tv NBC Nightly News NBC February 28, 2015 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
on this saturday night, gunned down. grief, condemnation and mystery after the murder of a russian opposition leader who openly criticized putin and feared for his life. terror trends. new insights into the mind of the world's most notorious terrorist as he went from british schoolboy to isis executioner. on the rise. cheap gas is quickly becoming a thing of the past. we'll look at why and how high it's likely to go. and cold cash. in this brutal winter, for one man there's no business like snow business. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. substituting tonight, peter alexander. tonight, what may be the highest profile assassination in russia since the stalin era. the target, one of vladimir
putin's fiercest critics who dreamed of democracy over dictatorship. boris nemt the kremlin considered to be one of the area's skur securest. today, president putin vow personally oversee the investigation even as other critics of the kremlin are expressing fear for their own lives. we begin tonight with nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: to russians it was unthinkable. boris nemtsov, former deputy prime minister, now prominent opposition leader, shot four times in the back, gunned down 200 yards from the kremlin. police say the shots were fired from this abandoned white car. it's not clear who's behind the attack, but russian investigators floated several theories. it was a contract killing. the work of islamic extremists. or a provocation to destabilize the country politically.
to nemtsov's friends, it's a political assassination. >> he's a martyr now. he was killed for staying there and trying to prove that russia could move into the brighter future without violence. and the man paid for his belief with his life. >> reporter: president vladimir putin promised nemtsov's mother to have the perpetrators brought to justice. he was a thorn in putin's side, a vocal critic with credibility. for years he spoke out about corruption and putin's hold on power telling nbc news in 2000. >> he strongly believes in market economy, but he doesn't believe in democracy. >> reporter: he received death threats and was worried about his safety. and for good reason. a long list of kremlin critics and journalists have been killed or imprisoned since 2003. hours before his death, nemtsov spoke out on radio promoting an opposition rally he was supposed to lead this sunday.
[ speaking in a foreign language ] >> reporter: calling for political reform and denouncing putin's ukraine policy as unbelievably aggressive and fatal for our country. ukrainian president petro petro poreshenko said had evidence from kiev to new york st. petersburg to moscow mourners lay flowers. president obama condem brutal murder of boris nemtsov and offers condolences to his family and the people. have lost one of the most eloquent defenders of their rights. nemtsov was friends said, and that's what made him a target. kelly cobiella, nbc news, london. >> the killing comes at a time of continuing tensions between russia and the west over ukraine. for more right now we're joined by michael mcfaul, he's a former u.s. ambassador to russia and now an nbc news analyst. ambassador, we appreciate your time.
this was russia's biggest advocate for democratic change. what are the real consequences of this loss? >> reporter: well, the consequences for u.s.-russian relations, i think, are minor in that it won't change policy. but i think this terrible tragedy, the killing of my friend, underscores a country that feels unhinged right now. russia has created enemies everywhere, in ukraine, in the united states and calling people like nemtsov traitors. and now it feels like the government is losing control. i don't want to judge the investigation beforehand. i hope that president putin will be true to his words and follow through on this. but it really is a tragic moment somebody i consider a great champion for democracy has now been lost. >> you yourself a target of death threats most from russian nationalists. what's the climate like right now in russia? >> reporter: well, for the last two years propaganda on television every night says that
the united states wants to destroy russia, wants to a revolution there and boris or those like him are marianettes to do this. every was mr. nemtsov, when he would visit at my house, we would watch the people trail him and then watch them trail him as he left. that's a hysteric atmosphere. i hope the people that have created it will think twice before they pursue it in the future. >> ambassa appreciate your insight. also new details about the isis executioner known as jihadi john in the years leading up to his radicalization and conversion to a life of terrorism. we get more onfr keir simmons in london. >> reporter: a new photo reveals mohammed emwazi, aka jihadi john, a teen in high school, within a decade he would be the front man for isis killings.
holding a knife in videos where hostages were murdered. but in e-mails from 2010 released tonight, mohammed emwazi complains of violence against him by a british security officer. he says he "throw me on to the wall" and he was subject t strangling by my neck. in high school, a former teacher is quoted in a news report saying mohammed emwazi underwent anger management therapy. his university in london was according to some a hotbed of extremism. >> we've all seen evidence of jihadist videos being shared at the islamic society of the university including those calling for the deaths of coalition soldiers overseas. >> reporter: by the time o university picture he was on the road to radicalization. he wears a pittsburgh pirates cap. it is absolutely sickening, the pirate said in a statement, to see this murderer wearing a pirates cap in this old photo. after he left university he began traveling to kuwait where some of his family members live. tonight, nbc news has learned kuwait has been helping the
worldwide investigation into emwazi's movements. some british lawmakers are questioning how he was able to travel to syria to join isis. but criticizing the uk security agency is unfair, britain's prime minister says. >> all i can say is even in the last few months their dedication and work has saved us from plots on the streets of the united kingdom. >> reporter: 3,400 westerners have now joined isis, according to u.s. officials. home grown extremists like mohammed emwazi. >> the home grown violent extremists pose the most likely threat to the homeland. >> reporter: authorities say they now have investigations in all 50 states. and tonight one senior lawmaker is questioning the uk's approach asking how many more people must die before we look more closely at the strategy of our intelligence services and calling for tougher action to prevent young people from joining isis. peter.
>> keir simmons in london tonight. thank you. in this country more uncertainty tonight over funding for the department of homeland security after congress was able to extend financing and avoid a shutdown of the department for at least one week. for more on this we're joined by our political director and moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. congress basically kicked the can down the road on this for another week. aren't w shutdown next frid house republicans behind speaker john boehner untangle this immigration dispute with the president and fully fund homeland security? >> here's hoping for at this point. he's hoping to get some resolution in the courts. why do i say that? there is of course the president's executive action immigration, it was challenged called unconstitutional by a federal court in texas. the administration i stay on that ruling so that they can begin implementing these new immigration policies right away. if the fifth circuit does not grant the administration that stay and basically says, no, you got to resolve this in the
supreme court, well then speaker boehner has a get out of jail free card. he can go to conservatives, let's fully fund homeland security, you don't have to worry about his immigration policy because it's now in the hands of the supreme court. but if in the next seven days we don't get resolution or as far as boehner's concerned they get approval to begin implementing this policy, peter, i have no idea how he does this. because the conservatives are very upset about it and he could be risking his actual speakership if he puts a clean bill on there and funds it without any chance of conservatives having a way to make a statement. >> chuck, quickly, it feels like nothing has changed in congress to most americans. can congress agree on anything? >> i think this tells you even though congress is in all republican hands, senate republicans are fighting with house republicans. so if you think we're going to get trade deals, tax deals, it is hard to imagine in this climate that it's going to happen. >> chuck, we'll have much more of this on tomorrow with "meet the press." house majority leader kevin mccarthy will be among chuck's guests tomorrow on "meet the press".
you may notice that gasoline prices are on the rise again. in california they've shot up almost a dollar over last month and the rest of the country may be headed in that direction. we get our report tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: well, that was fast. >> just pulled up and started watching as the price went up and up and up. >> reporter: in just one week average gas prices in california have soared 42 cents from $2.90 to $3.32. >> jumped like 12 cents overnight. and i don't understand it. >> reporter: in los angeles it's been especially brutal. a 49-cent spike in a week. so what's the reason for these higher prices? there are several. earlier this month a dispute shut down a refinery in northern california. and then this happened. an explosion at another facility cut off even more production. those two refineries process 17% of the state's crude oil. adding fuel to the fire environmental regulations here
mandate a specialized blend of gas not used anywhere else in the u.s. >> the quality of the gasoline is more stringent. it's harder to make and more expensive. >> reporter: not long ago many states saw gas below $2 a gallon. so what is california's spike mean for the rest of the country? analysts say directly not much. but the cost of crude oil is slowly starting to rise. and nationwide the price of fuel has soared 36 cents in the past month. despite a surplus, speculators are driving that price up. >> it's just sometimes the oil market's like any commodity. it reacts more on perception and emotion rather than reality. >> reporter: that reality now hitting home for tonya butler. she has a daughter who lives two hours away, and it just became harder to visit her. >> disappointed it's going back up so fast. >> reporter: after months of relief at the pump is suddenly over. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, los angeles.
and the weather caused some big problems on the road once again today. this was the scene in texas where more snow made travel hazardous. a winter weather advisory was in effect most of the day. conditions are expected to improve tomorrow. and in south florida today torrential rain and strong winds interrupted play at the honda classic golf tournament. it also led to flooding in miami with some areas getting as much as six inches of rain. in san diego the second largest drug bust ever at a u.s. border crossing. more than 15 tons of marijuana were seized at a border crossing with mexico. u.s. customs officers made the discovery inspecting a mattress truck. there were a few mattresses as well as 1,300 packages of pot worth $19 million. also in mexico, authorities are trumpeting a huge arrest in the drug war. their latest catch, servando gomez, known as la tuta said to be extremely violent.
here's nbc's mar >> reporter: following arrest, the notorious drug kingpin and former schooltea known at "la tuta" was paraded past the cameras before being flown to a high security prison. the d.e.a. says the 49-year-old servando gomez was the head of the knights templar, a violent cult-like drug cartel and ruled parts of mexico with an iron fist. >> if you took al capone in the wouldn't be a fight. al capone would be out cold. >> reporter: mexican authorities say they grabbed gomez as he left this house wearing a hat and scarf as a disguise. though long been a fugitiv wanted by mexico and the u.s., gomez boldly granted interviews criticizing the government. in an audio message believed to be gomez and posted on social media last year he also said, i'm not looking for clemency or benevolence for me. i'm a criminal. gomez bragged he would always
fight and never be taken alive. but mexican officials here say he was captured without incident, no shots fired. the arrest was announced by mexican president enrique pena nieto faced protest for failing to control drug violence especially since the disappearance and apparent mass murders of 43 teacher trainees last year. the d.e.a. praised the mexicans saying gomez's arrest will weaken the knights templar. but with new cartels being formed, many believe it's unlikely to stem the flood of drugs across the u.s. border or reduce the violence. >> often those who take the place of the fallen cartel leader are more vicious than the one who bit the dirt. >> reporter: in mexico though the arrest is seen as a hard-fought victory for the authorities. with a kingpin who taunted them now behind bars. mark potter, nbc news, mexico city. when "nightly news"
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anne thompson. >> reporter: before they head to liberia nancy and david writebol have one important stop, at atlanta's emory university hospital. just seven months ago nancy arrived here seriously ill with ebola while she did missionary work in liberia. now nancy has a different purpose. >> i'm very thankful to be able to give back. >> reporter: nancy's donating her plasma to be stored for future ebola patients and research. david, who did not contract ebola, is a volunteer for an experimental vaccine. together they are helping doctors find a way to prevent the next epidemic. >> we're looking for antibodies to ebola that will bind to the virus and neutrize it. >> reporter: bound by a deep faith in god and 40 years of marriage. >> i'm still thankful that nancy is still with us and i still have her. >> reporter: they are excited to return to liberia.
and anxious. >> those were very stressful days. and, you know revisiting that will i'm sure have a bit of an impact on us. >> reporter: but unlike when they left the epidemic has subsided. the u.s. military ended its mission there this week. >> we're thankful for what god's doing and for the way the numbers are coming down. >> reporter: and though it's believed her survival has made her immune nancy says she will not take any chances. >> you know there's still a respectful fear of ebola no matter if you've had it or if you haven't. >> reporter: another chance that just months ago seemed impossible. anne thompson nbc news new york. when we come back an update on the case of the missing dress. when the moment's spontaneous, why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night.
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former new york knick anthony mason has died. best known for tenacious defense here in new york in the mid-90s. mason was nicknamed the enforcer. despite some troubles with the law, he helped the knicks reach the nba finals in 1994 and played for five other teams in his 13-year career. mason reportedly suffered a heart attack last month. he was 48 years old. a stolen nascar race car has been found. it was discovered early today abandoned in an atlanta suburb about 20 miles from where it was taken. someone drove away with the trailer carrying the car from a hotel parking lot near the atlanta motor speedway
yesterday. valued at $250,000 the number 44 chevy wasn't damaged, but it was found too late for its driver to compete in tomorrow's race. and now about that dress. not that one, but the other one stolen from actress lupita nyong'o after she wore it last saturday night at the academy awards. it apparently turned up yesterday under a bathroom sink in the same hollywood hotel it was taken. the custom calvin klein valued at $150,000. a tradition gnat garment for prince william. earlier the prince dressed up as a 16th century samurai war lord on the set of a television studio in tokyo. look at him there. william also found a little time to show off his juggling skills for kids at a school. all part of his official visit. and there was another tribute to actor leonard nimoy today, this one from the final frontier.
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man in massachusetts may just be able to help you. he lives in boston or as you likely know they've had more than 100 inches of snow. and he'd be happy to send plenty of it your way, for a price. a boston-based correspondent ron mott has the story. >> reporter: there's no business like kyle wearing's snow business. >> it's booming right now. >> reporter: like no business we know. mail-order snow. >> shoveling a front walkway with my wife and we were just kind of joking around and just talking about shipping it to our friends and family just to get it out of our front yard. and when we started thinking about it decided to launch a simple joke website. >> reporter: his company, yo is getting off the ground literally. scoop by scoop. and with this much snow something had to give. more precisely, some of you paying $19.99 for a bottle or nearly $90 for a styrofoam container of kyle's snow. sales are heating up.
more than 130 orders and counting. he can hardly keep up. >> so we bought some. you're welcome. you're part of history now with us. >> reporter: though we can't exactly promise it won't melt before arrival. >> we're struggling to pack the snow and get it shipped out as fast as possible. so i had to bring in my brother. >> reporter: still, business is solid. even as the product itself is flaky. some here have advertised free snow with few or any takers. kyle has figured out a basic secret of commerce. >> i'm just really excited but at the same time how is it possible? >> reporter: while the best things in life might be free sometimes you can take them to the bank. ron mott nbc news boston. little bit of good news for you would-be entrepreneurs in boston more fresh snow is expected tomorrow. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm peter alexander reporting from new york. for all of us here at nbc news, good night.
police. getting a kick out of the new stadium. first look inside and why it paid to be early. >> indeed. >> very cool. thank you for joining us. i'm peggy bunker. >> and i'm terry mcsweeney a weather alert for bay area. certainly some strange weather today. you look at some right there. rolling through the south bay and a short time ago, boy, it got strange down here. take a look at the hail falling earlier this afternoon near morgan hill. other times today, if you could see the blue sky there, you get, you have the downpours or the sunshine. kind of depends where exactly you are in the east. in the east hills right now, there's a debate over whether it's snow or it's hail. >> it's moisture. and we welcome it. >> san bruno on the left and san jose on the right. you can see recent rainfall dropping on the lens there. check in with meteorologist rob ieta. >> various conditions around the bay area. around the