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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  June 30, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> that is a climber right there. >> thanks for joining us here at 5:00. as a reminder, lester holt is next reporting from los angeles tonight. ye-bye. t, a new government warning for hundreds of thousands to stop driving their cars immediately because of potentially lethal air bags. also late word the feds investigating the first fatal crash in a self-driving car on auto-pilot. high anxiety and high alert for travelers at america's airports. there's word of a big show of force in the nation's biggest cities. history and controversy as the pentagon lifts the ban on transgender service members serving openly. "serial" new trial. the man at the center of a murder mystery, the subject of a podcast station heard by tens of millions getting another chance to prove his innocence. and toxic emergency. big trouble in the water tonight at some of the most popular beaches in america. "nightly news" begins right now.
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>> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. we start with an urgent warning. government safety regulators have taken the rare step of urging owners of some 300,000 cars to stop driving them immediately because of a high risk of potentially deadly air bag ruptures. the cars, hondas and acuras, are part of a broad recall of defective air bags affecting millions of makes and models linked to numerous deaths and injuries. the government tonight telling drivers of specific models to park them until they're repaired. nbc's miguel almaguer has details. >> reporter: the defective air bags can explode, spraying shrapnel into the driver. more than a hundred people in the u.s. have already been injured and ten killed including teenager, huma hannah, who was driving this 2002 honda civic.
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the massive takata airbag recall was first made eight years ago, but new data shows those who haven't made the fix face serious danger. >> we have brand-new laboratory testing that's showing some of these older models could have a 50% rupture rate. >> reporter: the government estimates 313,000 cars, some of the most popular brands on the road, are at risk. 2001 through 2003 model honda and acura vehicles are at the center of the recall. >> i'm here for the air bag service. >> reporter: paul jaffe isn't taking any chances in his 2001 civic. >> should you have that accident, you want to make sure that you're going to be safe and that your air bag is actually going to work properly. >> reporter: honda says 70% of their cars that need the fix have been repaired. the government says the other 30% of drivers need to get off the road immediately and take their cars straight to the dealership. the new test results reveal the danger is greatest in hot, damp places like florida and along the gulf coast where air inflaters can
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malfunction causing potentially deadly explosions. corey burdick lost an eye when his air bag exploded last may. >> i just thought i was going to die. i thought right here on the curb, this is it. >> reporter: tonight the government is desperately trying to find 313,000 drivers who may survive a crash but not the air bags designed to save their lives. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. and meantime, late today auto safety regulators also announced they're investigating a fatal crash involving a 2015 tesla model s in which the auto-pilot or automatic driving system was being used. it is believed to be the first deadly crash of a self-driving car on auto-pilot. tesla says the nhtsa action is simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations. the company notes this is the first known fatality in 130 million miles where auto-pilot was activated. with some 43
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million americans expected to travel this holiday weekend there is concern and uneasiness over the threat of terrorism, driven home by the recent attacks in istanbul and orlando. while the vast majority of people will be traveling by car, airports will be busy and seeing extra scrutiny. some big city police departments plan on making sure their heavily armed tactical units are a highly visible deterrent. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: two days after the attack in istanbul halfway around the world the nypd critical response unit is on the streets and on alert in times square. across the county in l.a. county, extra special ops teams are working train stations and public areas. >> i don't think people should be afraid today, but people should be more aware. >> reporter: more fi-profile police rollouts in miami airport, in d.c. and in chicago. contributing to a growing sense of unease the attacks in paris, san bernardino, belgium, orlando and now istanbul. since the brussels
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attacks in march, the u.s. has beefed up security at airports nationwide. >> the american public should expect to see this july 4th weekend an enhanced security presence at airports, train stations and other transit centers across the country. >> reporter: following istanbul and brussels, many aviation security experts worry u.s. airports are vulnerable. >> we have not paid enough attention to the airport facility security, despite the fact that there's a long history of attacks against airports. >> reporter: meanwhile, preparing for the fourth of july weekend on the national mall, u.s. park police under orders from the chief. >> be prepared and be aware. >> reporter: the challenge for police around the world cracking small terror cells that can pick their target at will. >> people should not allow isis to be their travel agent or to be their national security advisers. they will act when and where they want. if an incident occurs in the united states,
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it is going to be isolated. it will probably be an individual. >> reporter: back here on the national mall where they're preparing for a very big weekend and a big influx in tourists, police here say they prepare every day in washington as if they could face a national, a big emergency, but they say that there's no information any attack is imminent. lester? >> all right, tom costello in washington, thank you. in turkey today raids across the country and more than a dozen people now in custody in connection with the airport terror attack that killed 42 people in istanbul. the sweep comes as we learn new information on the three bombers, where they came from and where they may have spent their final days. nbc's kelly cobiella has the latest. >> reporter: new security cameras showing panic in the terminal. now a closer look at the faces of the three men who caused it, bombs hidden under winter coats, weapons in luggage. nbc has not yet verified these images, but a turkish police
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source says one was from russia's caucasus region, the same area as the boston marathon bombers, the other two from uzbekistan and kyrgyzstan. at least one arrived in turkey a month ago from the isis stronghold of raqqa in syria. turkish media saying the three attackers rented an apartment on this busy istanbul street, paying for three months up front in cash, adding a security door, keeping the windows shut and curtains drawn. inside, a strong chemical smell, according to one neighbor. turkish officials say the explosives used in the attack were military grade. this is the heavy security door, and neighbors say the bomb squad, forensics and special forces have all been here. one of more than a dozen raids across istanbul and the coastal city of izmir. turkey's interior minister said 13 are in custody in connection with the airport attack. the fight against isis in this country and on the front lines intensifying. coalition bombs rained
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down on an isis convoy south of fallujah, wiping out hundreds of militants fleeing the city. in turkey today, memorials and more funerals. these workers were on their way to bury a friend. how do you feel today? "still in shock" they told me. among the dead, cab drivers, caterers, an airport employee just a week away from his wedding. we saw a lot of airport employees in tears today as they tried to get on with their work. this is the seventh terrorist attack in turkey this year. lester? >> all right, kelly, all this creating a climate of anxiety. we saw that here at home. the u.s. air base that's home to the presidential aircraft this morning when the report of an active shooter sent joint base andrews in maryland on lockdown. personnel were ordered to shelter in place. but it was a false alarm. someone mistook an active shooter drill for the real thing. the all-clear was given after about an hour and a half.
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a tense hour and a half, we note. history and controversy as the pentagon lifts its ban on transgender service members serving openly. it's a move being hailed by many but questioned by others. the republican head of the house armed services committee says it's the obama administration putting, quote, politics over policy. our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski tells us more. >> reporter: after a year-long study, defense secretary ash carter has lifted the last gender-based barrier in the u.s. military. >> i'm announcing today that we're ending the ban on transgender americans in the united states military. >> reporter: for the first time as many as 12,000 transgender men and women now in the military will be able to openly serve without fear of being discharged. and transgender recruits will be accepted by the military services. >> what it means is that transgender troops can serve openly. they don't have to live in fear. they don't have to lie about who they are. >> i felt very betrayed.
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>> reporter: sage fox first served in the army as a male infantry soldier, but years later, after sage was recruited into the army reserves as a transgender woman, she was quickly pushed out and put on inactive status. >> it's fear, it's ignorance, it's bigotry, it's misinformation. >> reporter: lifting the current ban will not come fast or easy. the military services must come up with plans to provide psychological counseling and medical services for transgender forces including hormone treatment. it could take a year before the plan is fully implemented, but as for sage fox, she's elated and looking forward to returning to active duty. jim miklaszewski, nbc news, the pentagon. there is more controversy tonight not on the campaign trail but on the tarmac in arizona. the former president of the united states, bill clinton, bumping into the current attorney general of the united states, loretta lynch. the two talking for a few minutes. the optics of the chance meeting causing an uproar because it comes at a time when
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the justice department is looking into hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server. nbc's andrea mitchell has details. >> reporter: bill clinton on a campaign trip in arizona. attorney general loretta lynch visiting the phoenix police. they run into each other on the tarmac at the airport. it's 108 degrees so they board her air-conditioned government plane along with her husband and visit for 30 minutes. >> there was no discussion of any matter pending before the department. there was no discussion of benghazi, no discussion of the state department e-mails by way of example. >> reporter: saying it was social, about golf, grandchildren, and visits each had paid to former attorney general janet re no who is ailing. but with the justice department investigating hillary clinton's e-mails, on radio today donald trump pounced. >> i think it's so terrible. i think it's so horrible. i think it's the biggest story -- one of the big stories of
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this week, of this month, of this year. how bad a judgment is it for him or for her to do this. >> reporter: the attorney general says the e-mail investigation is being handled by career agents who follow the facts and the law. but critics, even some democrats, say it could raise suspicions. david axelrod tweeting, i take loretta lynch and bill clinton at their word that their convo in phoenix didn't touch on probe, but foolish to create such optics. the president not answering a question about it late today. >> thank you very much, everybody. >> reporter: but tonight, a growing uproar as judicial watch, a conservative group that sued for clinton's e-mails, is demanding an inspector general review, claiming the encounter undermines public confidence in the e-mail investigation. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. just as millions of americans prepare to get some sand and sun this fourth of july weekend, florida's governor has declared a state of emergency over a massive invasion of toxic algae in communities and beaches along florida's east coast.
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nbc's gabe gutierrez has more on what's forcing swimmers to keep their distance. >> reporter: tonight the hopes of florida's treasure coast are sinking. rivers and beaches coated in toxic blue-green algae. the stench forcing some to wear masks. >> it's awful. it really is. >> reporter: the governor declaring a state of emergency in four florida counties. >> the water is stagnant. so it all collects up. you're smelling the rotting algae. >> reporter: one family in stewart spotting this manatee struggling in a canal behind their home. >> when we turned the water on, it immediately came up and started just washing his face off. caught him coming up from the water and the muck, having a hard time breathing, spitting out of his nostrils a lot of the green algae. >> reporter: have you ever seen it this bad? >> no. >> reporter: martin county commissioner doug smith wants federal aid. >> it's awful. when i say it's a collapse of the ecosystem, that's being light about it.
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>> reporter: he and other county officials blame the problem on what happens to the west on lake okeechobee warmer temperatures and heavy rain have triggered a larger heavy algae ploom this year. to keep the lake from flooding surrounding homes and to relieve pressure on the dike there, the army corps of engineers released the excess water into neighboring rivers spreading that toxic algae. >> people are starting to call and saying they would rather not bring their boats in when the water is this way. >> reporter: for a manager at a local marina, the timing could not be worse. right before the fourth of july. >> everybody wanting to use their boats. now they will not be. >> reporter: this week several beaches were shut down. authorities are now watching this water closely ahead of the crucial holiday weekend. at this marina, the algae is particularly bad. lester, the stench is just awful. late today the army corps of engineers said it would reduce the flow of water from lake okeechobee. >> all right, gabe, thank you. still ahead
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tonight, he spent 16 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit. now the prisoner who captured the nation's attention on the podcast sensation "serial" gets a new shot at winning his freedom. also, over the edge, shocking destruction triggered by heavy rain, all caught on camera.
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we're back now with a surprise word about a murder mystery and the subject of the wildly popular podcast, "serial." a judge in baltimore has ordered a new trial. it comes after the
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podcast raised questions about the strength of the prosecution's evidence. our justice correspondent pete williams has late details. >> reporter: it's a new trial for adnan syed convicted 16 years ago of murdering a popular high school senior named hae min lee. she was found dead in a shallow grave in baltimore. seyd, her ex-boyfriend, was put on trial and convicted. the case might have ended there if not for a podcast called "serial" that turned it into a national phenomenon. he maintained his innocence. >> man, i had no reason to kill her. >> reporter: questions were raised about the strength of the prosecution's case and even about the effectiveness of syed's lawyers and their failure to contact potential alibi witnesses. late today a huge payoff for all that attention and work by his current lawyers. a judge ordered a new trial citing questions about the reliability of cell tower location evidence used to show where he was when the crime was committed. his legal team said tonight syed's family
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is overjoyed. >> they were at times speechless. so i had to check to make sure the phone line had not gotten cut off. but they're delighted. >> reporter: reaction was immediate on social media. one woman tweeted that she was sitting on the beach alone with tears of joy streaming down her face. in his ruling tonight, the judge said the case represents what he called a unique juncture between the criminal justice system and phenomenally strong public interest. but judge martin welch said he tried his best to address the legal merits of the request for a new trial and to treat it like any other case unfettered, he says, by sympathy, prejudice or public opinion. pete williams, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with michael phelps, the most decorated olympian ever now making history once again. shall adnan syed.
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. the u.s. navy have now been disciplined for an international incident with iran. iran released images of ten american
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sailors detained in january when they drifted into iranian waters. a navy investigation released today concluded that the americans turned over sensitive information including passwords and operational capabilities. the report also blasts the mission as poorly planned and executed. caught on camera, a catastrophic scene out of japan as mud slides caused a house to topple over, crashing down on other homes below. heavy rains have pounded southern japan over the past week. fortunately the area was evacuated and no injuries were reported. the most decorated olympian of all-time is headed back to the olympics. michael phelps secured his spot after winning the men's 200 fly at the olympic trials last night. he becomes the first american male swimmer to make five olympic teams. dara torres was the first american woman swimmer to achieve that feat in 2008. when we come back, a beloved radio host who's been a companion for generations prepares to sign off for good. what a fed-up bike rid is doing
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===raj/vo=== the post office doesn't deliver the ws is nex finally tonight, after more than 40 years on the airwaves, the beloved radio host of "a prairie home companion" says good-bye this weekend with his final broadcast about a
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mythical place called lake woebegon. garrison keillor, who also created the program millions listen to every week, talks with our harry smith about the end of an era. ♪ hear that old piano come down the avenue ♪ >> reporter: garrison keillor is a wizard who, for 42 years, has summoned us to set aside our woes and listen to a radio show. >> it's been a quiet week in lake woebogon, minnesota, my home town. >> reporter: we reality suspended we have hummed along to old songs. ♪ and hung on every word of radio dramas. >> private eye. >> this is the secret really is to go into a line of work that died a long time ago. >> reporter: his fans are legion. when you think about him not being on the radio anymore -- >> oh, i know. i know. i don't know. who can replace him? >> reporter: last saturday they stood in
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line for hours to get to see and hear him at tanglewood in the berkshires. his final show is set for this saturday. >> i'm sad that he's not going to be on it anymore. >> reporter: do you know how much you're appreciated? >> it comes as a surprise. it really is. i mean, it's very sweet. it's very sweet. ♪ >> reporter: 42 years is a heck of a run. >> i sat at the typewriter and i went tap, tap, tap. and it was the beginning of a career. luck. just blind, stupid luck. >> reporter: we feel lucky to have had this radio refuge, a feeling of home no matter where we are. ♪ harry smith, nbc news, lennox, massachusetts. ♪ i love you more than ever and that's no lie ♪ and that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. small difference, i'll takehaop
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if i have the opportunity to make a small difference, then i'll take that opportunity. right now at 6:00, renegade road improvements. a san francisco man says the city is not doing enough to keep bicyclists safe. i'm raj mathai. i'm jessica aguirre. that cyclist is taking matters into his own hands. fed up with near misses and collisions in the city, he's putting up cones along a busy road to protect cyclists from drivers. michelle roberts is live near golden gate avenue. he is breaking the law but he
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apparently doesn't care. how long will the cones stay up? >> reporter: the city says they will be taking them down and the man who put them up said he did it to make himself safe and others. we're at a busy spot at golden gate a. a lot of cyclists are passing by. cones are put out to make drivers aware they can't pass into that bike lane. >> it's been a bad commute day. >> he's been hit by car doors and runoff the road while riding his bike in san francisco. he says his horn and helmet cam aren't enough to protect him from drivers. now he's trying to the more direct solution. >> if there's dangerous locations, we want to make them safer. >> adam didn't want us to share his last snam is responsible for the cones in the tenderloin. he even attached a note reading bikes to the right and cars to the left. >> provides some physical

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