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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 27, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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night, terrifying flight. a southwest jet with more than 100 people on board forced to make an emergency landing after the sound of an explosion. hitting home. gun violence strikes the family of nba superstar dwyane wade. as his cousin becomes one of the latest innocent victims. tunnel team. underground with the u.s. border patrol on a mission to stop smuggling. on the run, they expose the russian doping scandal. our richard engel with the whistle-blowers in hiding who fear the russian government is trying to kill them. second chance. as a tornado destroyed their gym, they huddled in the basement. a year later, we're there as the young gymnasts get the surprise of a lifetime. "nightly news" begins now.
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>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz balart. good evening. it started out routinely a. southwest airlines jet with 104 people on board on a flight from new orleans to orlando when suddenly the sound of an explosion, ang engine problem on the plane was forced to make an emergency landing. 99 terrified passengers are okay tonight and are describing what it was like when something went very wrong. jolene kent has the details. >> reporter: a terrifying moment in the sky. >> we were kind of just zoned out and then all of a sudden it was that huge, loud noise. >> reporter: what sounded like an explosion on a southwest florida from new orleans to orlando. the plane took off shortly after 9:00 a.m. a short time later, the pilot diverted the plane and made an
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emergency landing in pensacola. >> this is a boeing 737 in emergency status. >> i saw metal flapping and i knew something was wrong. >> reporter: the boeing 737 landed safely carrying 99 passengers and five crew members. southwest said it was a, quote, mechanical issue with the number one engine. photos taken aboard show the engine completely ripped away. southwest told us they bought the plane in 2000. >> reporter: the national transportation safety board now investigating this engine failure. southwest believes this was an isolated incident. the airline also refunding customers the cost of the flight and providing a $500 voucher for future travel, for a trip they won't soon forget. jolene kentd, nbc news. chicago's wave of deadly violence has taken the life of dwyane wade's cousin. the shooting happened just one day after wade took part in a town hall about the city's violence epidemic that's taken hundreds of lives.
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morgan radford has the story. >> we might have a person shot over here. >> reporter: hot shell casings on the ground and a community reeling once again. >> it's like there's no end to it. it just keeps going on and on and on and on. >> reporter: a weeping mother leaning on her sister for support. >> bullets flying around that had no name decided to fine its way to her head. >> reporter: 32-year-old nykea aldridge pushed her baby in a stroller on chicago's south side after registering her kids at school shot once in the head, once in the arm. aldridge caught in the crossfire when two men aimed at a third. >> what i heard was the gunshots first. bang, bang, bang, bang. >> reporter: a scene that's all too common, but this time gaining major attention after aldridge was named the cousin of dwyane wade. my cousin was killed
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today in chicago. he tweeted. four kids lost their mom for no reason. just day before -- >> can i say one more thing? >> reporter: wade spoke on a panel about chicago's gun violence, asking the city to come together. >> it is deep rooted and this is something that didn't start today. it's not going to end tomorrow. >> reporter: unfortunately tomorrow came too soon for aldridge. one of hundreds of children who become casualties of chicago's violence. 449 people have been shot in chicago since the beginning of this year. almost half of them kids. struck while doing everyday kid stuff like riding with dad on father's day or even drawing on the sidewalk or holding their mother's hands. >> it's a stunning, astonishing, tragic number. the fact this is genocide before our very eyes and we're turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to that. >> reporter: as for my kia aldridge --
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>> she loved their family and just wanted to have a better life. >> reporter: one that was taken far too soon. morgan radford, nbc news, new york. tonight, we're keeping a close eye on what's happening in the caribbean. several tropical systems are threatening to bring a lot of rain to the gulf. >> that's right, jose. we're tracking major storms that could have a big impact in the united states. all the way from the gulf of mexico flew the atlantic. a very busy time right now. watch' been watching 99. now passing through the florida straits. once it gets to the warm waters of the gulf of mexico it could explode into a tropical storm. maybe eve eve a hurricane. lots of uncertainty with this forecast. the entire gulf coast needs to be on alert over the next few days. we've had flooding concerns already. up to another 6 inches of rain is possible in south florida and much rain across louisiana as well.
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lastly, i-91 has the potential to become a tropical storm over the next few days approaching the carolina coast. >> those developing systems carry another potential danger as well, further fueling the zika threat in this country. while communities in florida prepare, thousands in the midwest are dealing with the aftermath of another severe weather system. nbc's janet schwanly has more. >> reporter: with more than 40 people in florida already affected by the zika virus, growing fears more rain could increase the threat. soaking will put spraying on hold. it will wash away existing pesticides and create more of the perfect mosquito breeding grounds. stanling water. >> look at your property, drain it, cover it so we don't have an excessive number of mosquitos. >> if any property owner doesn't comply, the public health is at stake and therefore they will be fined, upwards of $1,000. much is at take.
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>> they will begin enforcement. >> reporter: indiana was slammed by record rain and storms friday night taking many by surprise. this woman was one of them. >> decided to kick my door in and get out. thank god i didn't have my daughter in the car. she is only one and a half. i would have freaked out. >> reporter: gusting winds toppled power lines and started fire. downed trees became unintentional roadblocks. in missouri overnight, about a half foot of rain in the kansas city. entire neighborhoods under water. this is what it looked like driving during the deluge. rising water turned roads into rivers. drivers were stranded all over the area. here in miami they're bracing for heavy rain and it could last for several days. today public works employees opening every storm drain throughout the city, emptying them out in anticipation of what's to come. jose, back to you. just over ten weeks until election day and it seems most presidential
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candidates are trying the same strategy this weekend, keep the focus on the opponent. we have two reports for you tonight starting with jacob rascon covering the donald trump campaign. >> reporter: good evening. donald trump tonight campaigning in iowa, attacking hillary clinton, appealing to minority voters, and attempting to clarify his immigration policy. locked in a dead heat in the heartland, donald trump targeting hillary clinton's record with minorities. >> how quickly people have forgotten that hillary clinton called black youth super predators. >> reporter: the rhetoric boiling over in recent days. >> hillary clinton is a bigot. >> reporter: senator joanie ernst says she has heard enough. >> hillary rodham clinton has done some pretty you willy things, too. i wish both of our candidates would tone it down and start focusing on policy. >> reporter: many bikers stood behind
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trump in des moines. others said they wish he would throttle back. >> we need to talk to trump and tell him to calm it down. >> what would he have to do to get your vote? >> he has to change how he talks to people. >> reporter: trump's minority outreach repeatedly criticized as tone deaf. >> to the african-american parents, you have a right to walk down the street of your city without having your child or yourself shot. >> reporter: today after the fatal shooting of dwyane wade's cousin, trump tweeted just what i've been saying. african-americans will vote trump. >> so we send our thoughts and prayers to the family. >> reporter: trump today unexpectedly talking immigration policy. >> we're going to build a great wall on the border, and we're going to institute nationwide e-verify, stop illegal immigrants from accessing welfare and entitlements. >> reporter: the candidate still crafting his signature issue, hoping voters won't pull away.
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jacob wrasse cone, nbc news, des moines, iowa. >> reporter: i'm kasey hunt in new york. where hillary clinton stopped by an fbi office near her chappaqua home for a classified intelligence briefing. standard for presidential nominees, similar to the one trump had earlier this month. clinton's briefing came despite republican calls to stop it, but she didn't bring top aides whose e-mails to her private account while she was secretary of state drew scrutiny from the fbi. >> there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of highly sensitive classified information. >> reporter: on thursday, the judge said the state department has until september 13th to release e-mails uncovered during the fbi's investigation and donald trump is keeping up the pressure. >> i hear the nsa maybe has the e-mails. a lot of people say the nsa would have the e-mails if they really wanted to get them. but obviously, they don't want to get them. >> donald trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. >> reporter: the
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clinton campaign trying to keep the focus on trump. their allies working to expand the map to states like arizona and georgia as other battleground states shift clinton's way. >> a couple of the states that were really close have actually moved into pretty safer territory. virginia is one. colorado is one. >> reporter: polls show voters on both sides are fed up with the tone of the race. don't care what he thinks of hillary or she thifs him. i want to know their stance on issue. and i want them to explain it in a way that's respectful. >> reporter: in this group of eight voters, only two said they'd be proud of their vote. clinton running mate tim kaine spending quite a bit of time reaching out to spanish-speaking voters in states like florida over the weekend. clinton herself off the trail raising money in the hamptons. jose? >> thank you very much. a quick programming note. republican national committee chair reince priebus will be on "meet the press" tomorrow to address
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many of the topics with chuck todd. overseas, this was a national day of mourning in italy. the death toll from the past week's devastating earthquake now at almost 300. today a funeral was held for 35 of the victims. nbcese lucy calf on and off was there. >> reporter: italy buried its dead today. the youngest 9-year-old julia. she died shielding her 4-year-old sister who lived. they gathered to grieve and to remember, to comfort, hold, and bid farewell. a sweltering gym transformed into a makeshift chapel. before the bodies were returned to their hometowns for final good-byes. the search continues, but hope is all but gone. among those who remain behind -- >> i don't think that the town will be any more that town. it's finished.
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it came all down. >> reporter: he buried four of his relatives. >> two uncles and two cousins. they remained under the house. >> reporter: the youngest was 14. a town that withstood the test of time for centuries turned to rubble in an instant, and now this sea of tents is all these people have to call home. the question is for how long. little sofia was born three weeks before the quake. she won't remember the horror. her father will never forget. it was chaos, he tells me. the walls crumbled. everything is gone. i was lucky, he says. so many others died. but even here light and life amid the destruction. authorities say more than 2500 people have been left homeless by this earthquake. many are raising questions about whether more should have been done to protect both people and buildings. there's also growing concern about what happens when the next quake strikes again. jose? >> thank you very
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much. still ahead tonight, going deep underground with the u.s. border patrol as they try to stop smugglers.
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a border wall between the u.s. and mexico has become part of the national conversation, especially this election season, but sealing the border isn't as simple as what's on the surface. nbc's steve patterson
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we went deep underground to meet the u.s. border patrol's self-described tunnel rats. >> reporter: on the surface, deterrents are clear. steel and razor wire. signs in mexico to stay out. but underneath -- >> not a job for the claustrophobic. we met the u.s. border patrol team tasked with stopping the subterranean smuggling of people and drugs from the south. >> if we can keep a ton of cocaine off the streets that's a huge win for us. >> reporter: they call themselves tunnel rats, an homage to the vietnam-era soldiers charged with infiltrating the underground viet cong's extensive network. they explore sewer pipes, conduties for coyotes to sneak migrants into the u.s. >> you never know what you are going to see. >> reporter: we saw where they were trying to bore through the concrete pipe. >> they're literally chip through the concrete, get to dirt, and then just simply tunnel out. >> reporter: other tunnels built on
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cartel contracts can cost millions. this is the galvez tunnel 70 feet underground. it is what is considered a quist sophisticated tunnel, electricity, ventilation, and in some cases even a rail system. when found, the tunnels are destroyed. the rat pack leader says new ones are getting longer and narrower. this tunnel, 2700 feet long, but just three feet wide. >> it's more efficient too. you can build it in quicker time and it doesn't cost as much money. >> reporter: it is a dark, dirty, and sometimes dangerous job. >> you're going to have to trust the other guys. >> at no point am i ever in fear of my life. even if we're 70 feet deep, 2,000 feet south in an illicit drug tunnel. >> reporter: tunnel rats out of sight protecting a border from below. steve patterson, from the u.s./mexico border. when we come back, a whistle-blower is on the run. is the russian's government hunting for her in the united states?
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the whistle-blower who exposed the russian doping scandal that got so much attention before the olympics had been living in secret in the united states until now. a hack exposed her information forcing her and her family to live like fugitives, but who is after her? richard engel has the report. >> reporter: a russian runner and her family are on the run. they believe they're being hunted by the russian government. >> translator: if something happens to us, it is not an accident.
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it is not accidental. >> if you suddenly end up murdered, is that what you're talking about? >> translator: yes, yes. this is exactly what we have in mind. >> reporter: two years ago, she and her husband, a former anti-doping officer, exposed the widespread use of banned substances in russian sports on the german tv channel ard. dozens of russian athletes were excluded from international competitions. a spokesman for president vladimir putin called her a judas. >> translator: it's not right. >> i personally do believe we are trying to do the right thing for sports, for clean athletes. >> reporter: we met the couple and their 3-year-old son for a rare interview. they're hiding here in the u.s., but their secret location has just been exposed. her online account at the world anti-doping agency, wada, which keeps track of her address, was hacked.
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there's no proof of who broke in but one main suspect because at the same time other wada members were bombarded with e-mails containing malware. experts say it is the work of hackers with close ties to russian intelligence, the same ones in fact who hacked the democratic party earlier this year. >> the russians that we suspect as behind the dnc incident has a habit of using certain information that we have seen used in this most recent incident. >> reporter: russian officials approached by nbc news would not comment. now they live like fugitives. they're staying with a friend until they can find a new place to hide. >> translator: it is hard. it is hard to move all the time. we would like to finally live quietly. >> reporter: richard engel, nbc news. when we come back, the big surprise for
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50 young gymnasts just a year after tragedy struck.
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finally tonight, the story of a second chance for a group of young gymnasts in oklahoma. a tornado last year appeared to put their dreams on hold. instead it taught them the lesson of a lifetime. >> reporter: for sheridan ramsey, strength is a balancing act. >> strength is getting through something you thought you couldn't get through. >> reporter: she is
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one of 50 gymnasts at the aim high academy whose strength last year was tested. >> when the tornado hit, that was the scariest part because it sounded like thunder hit the building. >> reporter: dzsenifer patterson is the gym's founder. >> my first thought is the kids are safe. >> reporter: credited with saving the children's lives by huddling them in the basement before the storm blew through. firefighters swept in carrying the terrified girls to safety one by one. >> it is sad, but you know what? we're going to be bigger and better than ever, aren't we? >> reporter: since then w no pertinent space, practice has been a struggle. the future of the gym up in the air. the girls told replacing the building could take four years. >> i'm thinking some of these girls may not ever get to experience that if it takes that long. >> it seems like forever. >> it seems like forever. >> reporter: on this day, as the students
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are bussed to what they think is a birthday party at an established studio in town, they have no idea that a local businessman with a $1 million donation will allow them to keep this gym for themselves. the moment it dawns on sheridan ramsey and her friends means more than any medal. >> they never lost hope. and when you have faith in something that is bigger than yourself, miracles can happen. >> it has definitely made me love the sport even more now that i know i'm stronger than a tornado. >> reporter: a lesson learned off the mat. that sometimes the most powerful type of strength is resilience. nbc news, tulsa, oklahoma. and that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm jose diaz balart reporting from new york. thank you for the privilege of your time. good night.
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next week, infamous crimes that captured headlines. >> the strange caves missing mom, stacy peterson. >> natalie holloway disappeared on a trip to this one picture causing quite the fire storm today. 49ers quarterback colin kaepernick sitting during the national anthem. what his head coach is saying about it. the news at 6 starts now. good evening and thanks for joining us tonight. i'm peggy bunker. terry mcsweeney has the night
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off. this picture took during yesterday's preseason game at levi stadium, colin kaepernick is drawing a lot of attention. he is not backing down. mary anne barber says why he is protesting the national anthem. >> reporter: kaepernick doesn't want to show pride for a country that oppresses minorities. this is not the first time that he remained seated during the national anthem. he did the same thing last week during another preseason game against the durn broncos. take a look at this picture from levi stadium. kaepernick is clearly sitting down while everyone else is standing for the national anthem. he told an nfl reporter he was not going to stand up for a country that oppresses black people. chip kelly had this response a couple of hours ago. >> we recognize the right of

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