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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 18, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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predators. >> that is their favorite food, actually. >> yeah, and it looked close to shore, too. >> thanks for joining us here at 5:00. lester holt is next. >> bye-bye. tonight, 7 million acres scorched as raging infernos burn at a record-breaking pace. tonight a tornado of fire. the military now on the front lines. the fbi and clinton's e-mails. what nbc news has learned about the feds' analysis of her private server and their efforts to retrieve data her team tried to wipe clean. manhunt for a bomber. authorities say this is the killer caught on camera as a new explosion rocks a major tourist city and a mystery deepens. and our nbc news investigation into a doctor prosecutors call a con man diagnosing women with m.s. who never had it. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly
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news with lester holt." good evening. help is coming from as far away as the east coast to fight wildfires in the west. an epic season of destruction that reached a new milestone today. 7 million acres torched this summer so far. across several states right now it's an all hands on deck effort. soldiers, even jailed prisoners enlisted to join the fight, with so many homes lost and so many others at risk. one of the worst fires continues to burn in chelan, washington, which is where national correspondent miguel almaguer leads us off on this busy tuesday. >> reporter: these are the conditions firefighters are facing on the front line. flames shooting closer and closer to homes in washington state. the national guard has moved in, bracing for a monster day tomorrow. winds expected to kick up dramatically. >> there are still hundreds and hundreds of houses that could be in the line of fire. >> reporter: the air attack key. dozens of drops every hour.
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>> four helicopters have been making drops here all day long, hammering this hill with water. but the blaze is still on the move. >> reporter: this is where the fire is burning. steep canyons, rugged terrain. too dangerous for firefighters. but the perfect fuel and topography for this blaze to grow and explode. robbie and john luke are among 40 families who have lost it all. >> i had a lot of stuff. stuff wasn't that important. some things -- my grandpa's porch swing from his house that i swung with him on. i can't ever replace that. >> reporter: california is also burning. outside san luis obispo north of los angeles, this entire community threatened. across several states, 7 million acres are up in smoke so far. more land than the entire state of vermont. help from as far east as new york arriving. these firefighters joining the fight in oregon.
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cash-strapped california paying for 4,000 inmates. low-level offenders to help. while in idaho the conditions are unpredictable. this firenado erupting near firefighters, shooting flames 100 feet into the air, as firefighters wait for more dangerous days still ahead. >> reporter: the fire here in chelan is one of nearly 100 that are burning all across the west. they have lost 60,000 acres here and roughly 40 homes. late word tonight, lester, that some 450 homes in this area are under some kind of threat. lester? >> all right, miguel, thank you. tonight, as hillary clinton campaigns in nevada, nbc news has learned the fbi has begun its analysis of the private e-mail server she used while serving as secretary of state. and we've also learned this week a federal judge in washington is set to hold a hearing on another issue touching on this e-mail controversy surrounding a well-known member of clinton's inner circle. our justice correspondent pete williams has late
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details. >> reporter: the fbi's forensics experts are now examining the server once located in hillary clinton's new york home, the device that hosted her private e-mail account. two sources familiar with the process say analysts are optimistic they can recover at least some data even though they've determined as was previously disclosed it was wiped clean when the account was deactivated. the fbi is examining whether any government secrets were improperly sent or received on the private server which was not a classified system. >> it was never designed to be secure. it was designed to be a way of sharing information, not protecting information from being shared. >> i do want to be the champion -- >> reporter: the e-mails have been a stubborn political issue, a nearly daily distraction for her. just yesterday the state department said 305 e-mails have been flagged for further review to see if they contain classified information. on thursday a federal judge holds a hearing on a lawsuit touching on the e-mail controversy involving houma abedin, a key clinton campaign
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adviser constantly at the candidate's side. she was also a top aide to the secretary of state and had an account on the server. a watchdog group that sued to get details of abedin's contract has expanded its lawsuit demanding a search of the clinton e-mails for answers. >> i think they are dragging their feet. i think they are engaged in some form of gamesmanship, legal gamesmanship, and they're being less than frank and forthcoming. >> reporter: she was asked today if she regrets setting up the private server. >> i do now. in retrospect what was supposed to be convenient has turned out to be anything but convenient. >> reporter: and mrs. clinton says even if she had used the state department e-mail system, not her own, all the material would have to be reviewed anyway before releasing it publicly and she said that would raise the same kinds of questions about whether some of it should have been classified. lester? >> pete williams, thank you. overseas to a growing mystery as another bomb explodes in bangkok. ratcheting up the anxiety even further after yesterday's deadly
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blast in an area popular with western tourists. and officials say the bomber was caught on camera. now they're trying to figure out exactly who he is and why he attacked. nbc's ian williams is there. >> reporter: the mystery centers on the man in the yellow t-shirt. police say he's not just a suspect, he's the bomber. but who is he? chilling security camera video shows him entering the shrine unnoticed, sitting next to a young woman, and casually slipping off his backpack. he then stands amid his victims, takes a picture, and walks away, leaving the backpack behind. >> after that three minutes, a bomb. >> reporter: the explosion, captured in new cell phone video, killed at least 22 people. today bangkok escaped further bloodshed. a device exploding in the water near a river pier, similar to but smaller than yesterday's bomb. police say it was thrown from a bridge, targeting commuters. "it sounded like a car
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starting. then i saw smoke and an explosion," this man said. bangkok is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. but the city is on edge, security tight, police warning visitors to remain vigilant. >> i'm okay, but it's very scary. >> reporter: thailand has seen political violence in recent years, but not like this. not in the capital. still, with no claim of responsibility and no apparent motive, the police are tonight building their hopes around that grainy surveillance video of the suspect in yellow. >> reporter: near the blast site today blood donors lined up, investigators searched for clues, while mourners tonight lit candles and wondered if the mystery bomber would strike again. ian williams, nbc news, bangkok. in a first for the army's elite rangers school, a pair of women have just made history by proving they belonged among the best of the best. but whether they will actually be allowed on the front lines with their male counterparts is still a matter open to debate. our hallie jackson has
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the story. >> reporter: it's the army's ultimate test of toughness. rangers school. where only the strongest, fastest, smartest soldiers make the grade. for decades that meant men. but this week for the first time ever two women are ready to join their ranks. >> i think it's a historic moment for the military writ large. >> reporter: the first few days of that elite ranger training a grueling test that knocks out 1 in 3 candidates. a five-mile run in under 40 minutes. a 12-mile march in less than three hours. 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups. water survival and land navigation tests. the ones who pass then train in three phases -- the woods, the mountains, the swamp. >> the ranger department maintained the same exacting standards for men and women. these two young west pointers are superb athletes with great leadership skills. >> reporter: the army is not identifying the women
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until later this week before they graduate, but even then they won't be joining the ranger unit yet. they can't take the next step because the military is determining whether to allow women into combat roles, a decision expected by the end of the year. >> women have really attained the highest goals within the military. they're capable of leading our soldiers in future combat. >> reporter: two of the army's toughest making history. for now their mission far from over. hallie jackson, nbc news, washington. we turn now to an nbc news investigation that is bound to outrage many of our viewers. a doctor accused of profiting as he diagnosed patients with neurological disorders that they never had. tonight we meet patients who say he preyed on them, yet he continues to practice medicine. our senior investigative correspondent cynthia mcfadden has the story. >> we created a wider door space here. >> reporter: when amber taylor's doctor diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis he
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told her she'd better prepare for her future. >> we did tear out an additional wall here. >> reporter: she borrowed $50,000 to make her home wheelchair accessible. she also quit her job and stopped coaching her daughter's softball team. all things she said were part of following doctor's orders. >> one day i remember him saying you need to come to the realization that this is your diagnosis and it will get worse. >> you go in with migraines, you come out with m.s. >> absolutely. >> and a whole lot of powerful drugs to go along with it. >> yes. >> reporter: her doctor, sean orr, put her on the m.s. drug copaxone. the injections cost $5,000 a month and cause painful welts. >> you ran out of spaces to give yourself the shots. >> yes. absolutely. >> reporter: but worst of all, she learned it was never necessary. that's right. amber taylor does not have m.s. and never did. >> you might think that okay, everybody makes mistakes and maybe he just made a mistake in your case.
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>> he was just untruthful. i absolutely did not have m.s. >> neither did these patients. all patients of dr. orr. >> all three of you were diagnosed with m.s. >> yes. >> any of you have m.s.? >> no. >> no. >> he looked into my eyes, and he said, "you've got m.s." >> i had my whole suicide planned. i said i'm not going to have my family have to take care of me like this. >> i went to several doctors and they kept telling me i didn't have it, but i just knew that dr. orr couldn't be wrong. >> dr. orr had a sterling reputation as the chief of neurology at jacksonville's baptist medical center. the department then ranked as one of the best in the country. >> i'm dr. sean orr. i'm a neurologist. >> reporter: he posted videos about the brain online. and he was the team doctor to the jaguars. but according to u.s. attorney lee bentley, who prosecuted dr. orr for fraud, he was also something else.
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>> a con man. just like other con men. he relied upon his charisma to close the deal. his error rate ranged anywhere from 65% for m.s. to over 95% for other neurological disorders. >> reporter: bentley said the con involved dozens, perhaps hundreds of patients. with every new m.s. diagnosis came a sure thing. a steady stream of expensive tests, frequent office visits, and costly prescription drugs, beefing up dr. orr's half a million-dollar salary and fueling his lavish lifestyle. both of these homes were his. in one two-year period he made a quarter of a million dollars with consulting services to questcore pharmaceutical, maker of the m.s. drug acthar. lee bentley says dr. orr was one of the nation's top prescribers. each vial cost $25,000. dr. orr declined to be interviewed, citing patient confidentiality, adding
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"differences of opinion and approaches to treatment with diagnosis happen." he settled the department of justice's civil fraud case for $150,000 without admitting any wrongdoing. but the u.s. attorney says there could be criminal charges. >> it's a beautiful day here. >> reporter: dr. orr is no longer with baptist medical center but continues to practice medicine 300 miles away in panama city, florida. whether dr. orr will be able to continue to practice is up to the florida department of health. they would neither confirm nor deny they are investigating him. lester? >> i want to know that these patients are going to be okay. you said they were on some pretty powerful drugs. >> well, we talked to several experts, and they said it's really unclear whether the long-term effects of these things will be detrimental to patients. although i can tell you several of the patients are suing dr. orr. >> cynthia, thank you very much. we've got a lot more news ahead including breaking news in the search for rosie o'donnell's daughter, who vanished
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without a trace. missing for a week. the major issue her disappearance is bringing to light. also late word of potential trouble in the tropics. a big storm gathering we'll tell you about.
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we've received late word that rosie o'donnell's missing daughter has been found safe after o'donnell herself issued a desperate plea to the public to help find her, bringing to light a private issue that so many families deal with. we get more on this from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: rosie
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o'donnell's 17-year-old daughter chelsea went missing a week ago from her home in a new york city suburb. today the former talk show host asked the public for help. posting photos on social media and a description on her website. chelsea was wearing a black sweatshirt hoodie, dark ripped jeans. she left home with her 6-month-old therapy dog named bear. the message went on to say chelsea stopped taking her medication and is in need of medical attention. o'donnell reported chelsea's disappearance to the police on sunday. >> we're working with the family to try to locate chelsea. at this point we do not think she's in any danger. >> reporter: in a statement rosie o'donnell's publicist said "chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness. it has been a difficult road for chelsea and her family." 1 in 5 american children between the ages of 13 and 18 have or will have serious mental illness. how much more difficult does it make the situation if the child is suffering from mental health issues?
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>> well, because of the situation of mental health issues there are several complications that come into play, including if she does not have her meds that can really exacerbate the situation. >> and some good news, as you mentioned, lester, just moments ago on twitter rosie said her daughter's been found safe and sound and she is thanking everybody tonight for their help. >> well, we're glad it worked out. glad she's okay. stephanie, thank you. we're back in a moment with breaking news from the fda. men have a little blue pill to help in the bedroom. now women are getting some help of their own. we'll tell you about it after this.
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we could be on track tonight to see the very first hurricane of the season now that tropical storm danny has formed in the atlantic. it has sustained winds of 40 miles per hour but forecasters warn it could strengthen into a hurricane as soon as thursday and pose a threat to islands in the caribbean within a week's time. we'll keep a close
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watch on that. women who are waiting for a way to revive their sex drives won't have to wait much longer. there is late word that the fda has approved the first drug that's been dubbed the female viagra with a little pink pill. we get details from nbc's anne thompson. >> it was like a little switch flipping in my head. >> reporter: that's how 31-year-old catherine campbell described the loss of her sex drive. she still loves her husband, christopher, and hopes this new drug, addyi, turns the switch back on. >> i lost not only a very intimate part of my relationship with my husband but also a lot of my confidence. >> reporter: addyi is a little pink prescription pill to be taken daily. its effects kicking in about four weeks later. in one study women taking addyi reported a 53% increase in sexual desire and one more satisfying sexual experience every month. >> one in ten women suffer from low sexual desire. will this help all of them? >> it won't help all
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of them but a lot of them. >> reporter: addyi is often referred to as female viagra. but unlike viagra, which increases blood flow for men, addyi works in a woman's brain to solve a chemical imbalance among three neurotransmitters impacting desire. >> we're not trying to make people sex crazed. we're trying to normalize what has been for them not only a very abnormal situation but a very distressing situation. >> let's do something to change this. >> reporter: online a campaign argues women should have medicines to improve their sex lives just like men. >> women deserve better. >> reporter: some critics say addyi's help is not significant enough. there are side effects including sleepiness and nausea, and it should not be taken with alcohol. amanda parish says addyi restored her desire for her husband. >> suddenly it came back to the days where not only was i an active participant but i was an initiator. >> reporter: something many women like catherine long to be again. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. when we come back,
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one winning team meets another. a one-of-a-kind cinema getting a big surprise from baseball stars. crefiter===xt ose=thnewis xt. l
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we're going to end tonight with a follow-up to a story that
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struck a chord with so many of you about a movie theater where the most inspiring stories aren't the ones from hollywood. today the matinee crowd was anything but typical as the new york yankees stopped by for their annual hope week outreach. here's harry smith. >> hi. how may i help you? >> reporter: remember the prospector? the movie theater in ridgefield, connecticut. the place where the majority of the employees have disabilities. >> $4 is your change. >> reporter: and its pink-haired founder valerie jensen. >> we didn't need more trips to the pond. we didn't need more trips to the zoo. we just needed meaningful employment. >> reporter: today the folks at the prospector got a surprise. >> in walks the yankees. the yankees. all of the yankees. like the yankees. >> reporter: the new york yankees brought a check and a lot more. this wasn't a drive-by. they stayed for several hours. >> is it hard to be a manager? >> some days. >> reporter: chase headley and brian mccann, stars of a late-night victory last night, were humbled to be here. >> we're all inspired
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by what's going on here. >> this is amazing. ♪ oh my can can ♪ he can can >> turns out they had a lot in common. >> i think it's important to validate what she's doing and how she has formed her own little community here and given so many people value. >> and i think the best part about working at the theater is there's just so much love and joy every day when you work here. >> reporter: the prospector sees itself as being in the big leagues of what it does. >> i think the first major league baseball team to come here to see our major league here, as i call it, two major leagues. >> reporter: valerie has coached her team to the biggest victory of all. dignity. >> with the yankees arriving, being like we're here, we saw what you're doing, and we're here and we want to help show other people. ♪ three strikes you're out at the old ball game ♪ >> reporter: talk about a win-win.
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harry smith, nbc news, ridgefield, connecticut. >> and that will do it for us on a tuesday night. i'm lester holt for all of us at nbc news. thank you for watching and good night. nbc bay area news starts now. well, here's a twist. crime fighting while collecting trash. garbage trucks in san jose could be a watchdog for police departments. thanks for joining us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. not just collecting garbage, but collecting information. the proposal to arm them with license plate readers to spot stolen cars. is it too much to dump on city workers? robert rhonda joins us from a city waste collection facility to explain how this h will work
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and whether people like it. >> well, jessica, it is a unique yd. right now some san ho says police units use them to scan a car to see if p it was stolen or used in a crime. but it's a big city with a lot of cars spread out. so what if some of those vehicles were equipped with readers and traveleded the streets every week? such as garbage and recycling trucks. >> they are spread out throughout the city, if the councilman gets his way, they will make usual rounds with mounted cameras or license plates readers. the the idea so to help the understaffed police force at the the cost of a few thousand dollars a year. he calls the program refuse to the rescue. >> they scan every single car as they go, and it will be a great way to sweep

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