tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 3, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
a complete list. >> a lot to do. and more on the weather forecast at 6:00. see you then. tonight, crunch time. president trump preparing for his first face-to-face meeting with putin. what's happening behind closed doors as he lashes out again on social media. beach backlash. a holiday storm hits new jersey as chris christie orders beaches closed over a budget fight then gets caught soaking up the sun. vanished. a chilling new twist in the disappearance of a college student. what authorities say they found on the phone of the man charged in her kidnapping. brave battle. an outpouring tonight as maria menounos goes public with a personal diagnosis. treated for a brain tumor as she cares for her mother who is battling stage four brain cancer. and celebrating america. tom brokaw on a time the country came together and the lessons from the greatest generation. "nightly news" begins right now.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. i'm peter alexander in for lester tonight. this evening, as many americans are enjoying this long fourth of july weekend, it is crunch time for president trump. the president at his vacation home in new jersey gearing up for what may be his biggest foreign test yet including the g-20 summit and meetings with world leaders none more closely watched than a high stakes session with vladimir putin. what will he say? will he confront president putin about moscow's meddling in the 2016 election? all of it as president trump lashes out on social media. we have the very latest tonight from chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. >> reporter: president trump not seen but heard today from his new jersey home making calls and making waves with three international hot spots making headlines.
in russia, europe and north korea. the president's first face-to-face meeting with vladimir putin set for the sidelines of the g-20 summit this week. now, today, new tough talk from the kremlin, a warning it's running out of patience with the diplomatic compounds the u.s. shut down as punishment for moscow's meddling in our election. an open question as to whether and how president trump will bring that up in his talk with putin. the president's already laying groundwork for conversations with france and germany. on the phone with their leaders today, chancellor angela merkel acknowledging those discussions won't be easy given u.s. positions on trade and climate. and the president also calling japan and china this holiday weekend to focus on north korea. the u.s. signaling it will get tougher on pyongyang, strongly suggesting beijing do the same. but president trump today is wading into a different international controversy over a little boy named charlie gard in london who has a rare
terminal disease. his parents want to take him to the u.s. for treatment. his doctors want to take the boy off life support. >> he's still fighting over there, believe me. he's still fighting. >> president trump today tweeted the u.s. would be delighted to help charlie if possible. his most recent tweet coming after several others, too. including one featuring a cnn logo. a fake fight generating real controversy and threatening to overshadow that critical overseas trip. >> with this president the attention he draws with his tweets, he can do certainly some damage with that, but he can do some great good in advancing u.s. interests on the foreign policy domain. >> reporter: and the president late today taking another jab at what he calls the fake news media while taking credit for some strong wall street numbers. but he may end up curbing his online habit when he heads overseas later this week. remember on his first foreign trip he hardly tweeted at all, instead letting his message abroad speak for itself. peter?
>> hallie jackson on the white house north lawn tonight. thank you. on the jersey shore today governor chris christie is facing an unwanted moment in the sun. tonight a holiday storm is swirling around the governor who first orders state beaches closed because of a budget fight, then got caught on camera by a newspaper relaxing on one of those closed beaches. the backlash has been swift and furious, and we get new details tonight from nbc's morgan radford. >> i don't have any money. >> reporter: new jersey governor chris christie causing fireworks of a different kind this holiday. >> just not right. it's not fair. >> reporter: christie was captured on camera taking his family to the beach sunday, but they were the only ones there. thanks to a budget standoff, hundreds of would-be beach goers were turned away by police because state parks and beaches were shut down. >> he's allowed to have fun. not me, right? >> reporter: the governor stayed at a residence provided by the state. a decision he's defending. >> that's the way it goes. run for governor, then you can have the residence. >> reporter: the images quickly going viral.
after swift public backlash, his spokesperson tonight blaming the legislature. >> we're talking about two beaches that were closed not because the governor closed them personally but because we don't have a budget provided to us from the legislature for his him to sign. >> reporter: christie blaming the media for the aerial photos. >> i really wonder about journalists who spend money flying planes to look whether people are actually where they said they would be. >> reporter: the uproar just the latest hit for the governor. four years ago he was re-elected, praised for his response to hurricane sandy, but then came bridgegate and his failed presidential campaign. now, christie has the lowest approval rating of any governor in more than 20 years. >> this was an incident of remarkably bad judgment. and everybody has one. but this one was pretty bad. >> reporter: you're saying he knows better. >> he knows better. >> reporter: but the damage may already be done. >> he just doesn't care anymore. he's kind of at a point where he's checked out. >> reporter: new jersey is one of nine
states that wasn't able to pass a budget on time. here at liberty state park, you can actually see police guarding the entrance where a fireworks display was scheduled to be held but had to be moved because of the shutdown. peter? >> morgan radford, thank you very much. overseas now to the front lines in the fight against isis. our nbc news team in iraq inside mosul as iraqi forces try to push the terrorists out. tonight we're getting our first look on the ground at what's left behind after years of isis occupation. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel is there. >> reporter: the final push is on tonight to clear isis from what was its key stronghold, the city of mosul. we were with u.s.-backed iraqi troops on the front line. their fire is not precise but overwhelming enough to allow them to advance. it's very close street fighting. we're on this rooftop here. they say that the isis militants may be 50
yards ahead maximum. casualty rates among some iraqi units are at world war ii levels. >> we'll be able to just go. >> reporter: u.s. officials tell nbc news isis' hold on the city is down to less than half a square mile. >> you don't have a whole lot of visibility. it's rooftop to rooftop anywhere from 100 meters to 10 meters in those engagements. >> reporter: we're seeing the toll three years of isis occupation and this offensive have taken on mosul's people. more escaping today and hiding among them isis suicide bombers. the historic old city of mosul has been razed to the ground, lost an ancient mosque that isis prized then destroyed. now this is all that's left of the nuri mosque. it took here for 850 years. it saw empire after empire. this was the seat of the so-called islamic caliphate. from that minaret once flew the isis flag. it was here where abu bakr al baghdadi announced the start of his caliphate. with just yards remaining u.s. commanders tell nbc news their eyes are
open to catch or kill any senior isis leaders who may still be in the city. the overall isis leader, abu bakr al baghdadi is not thought to be in mosul but they're still looking because as one u.s. commander told me, you never know. >> richard engel on the ground inside iraq tonight. thank you. now, a disturbing disappearance here at home in illinois. a young scholar studying at the university of illinois vanished last month and police there fear the worst. a 28-year-old man has been arrested and authorities are now revealing chilling details about what they say was found on that man's phone. nbc's ron mott has the details. >> reporter: tonight, the baffling disappearance of a 26-year-old chinese scholar at the university of illinois taking a twisted turn. june 9th, yingying zhang vanishes but not without a trace. officials say that's her taking a bus to sign an apartment lease. after missing a transfer bus she's last seen getting into a black car authorities now say
was driven by 28-year-old brendt christensen who offered her a ride. her disappearance rattled the community. rallies were organized to find her. her dad flying in from china. according to the criminal complaint, christensen was recorded explaining how he kidnapped yingying zhang holding her at his apartment. officials say his phone was used in april to access a website where he visited a forum called abduction 101. including threads titled perfect abduction fantasy and planning a kidnapping. a former ph.d. student, christensen has been charged with federal court with kidnapping and could face life in prison if convicted. >> from the time she disappears till the time the fbi first interviewed him, three days went by. unfortunately, you can move a body a pretty good distance in three days. >> reporter: a cruel fantasy perhaps that may have become a dreadful reality. ron mott, nbc news, chicago. across the country, millions of people will be watching the skies over the next 24 hours.
fingers crossed the weather cooperates for a barbecue, maybe a dip in the ocean or the pool and, most importantly, for fireworks tomorrow night. so what is in store? here's nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. >> good evening, peter. everyone excited for the fireworks and most of the country is going to see pretty nice weather tomorrow evening. the western half of the country, nothing to worry about. right through the middle we could see scattered showers and isolated storms from minneapolis down into dallas and the southeast spotty showers and storms as well. if you are traveling to get to any of these destinations, we will see most of our trouble areas from minneapolis right down into northern texas where we do have some pockets of heavier rain within some of the heavier thunderstorms. also back through kentucky and into tennessee we can see areas of heavy rain as well. then on wednesday still looking at that area across the midwest right down into texas and also the mid-atlantic region where we could see some of our strongest storms, as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain possible as we get stuck in the
heavier downpours. the western half of the country looking good for wednesday, sunny and hot temperatures starting to build back in. peter? >> have a good holiday, thank you. amid the sun and the long holiday break there's also a warning as the country prepares to celebrate the fourth. already this year there are reports of people getting seriously hurt in accidents involving fireworks, suffering severe burns, even amputations. nbc's tom costello tonight reports on that danger. >> fire in the hole! >> reporter: on this independence day eve, close calls and horrific accidents across the country. in houston, a two-alarm apartment fire touched off by fireworks. in pennsylvania, a police chief lost part of his arm. and in tacoma, washington -- >> all my fingers blew off except for my pinkie. >> reporter: 17-year-old curtis lost most of his left hand last week. his chest and face covered in shrapnel wounds.
>> i didn't know that it was going to go off that fast. i knew i was doing something dangerous, but i didn't know it was going to go that fast. i thought i was going to at least have two or three seconds to throw it. >> reporter: nationwide as many as 11 people die and more than 11,000 people are injured in fireworks accidents each year. in fairfax county, virginia, a demonstration of fireworks bought legally in some states then driven across state lines starting with a mortar bought at a fireworks stand. to replicate someone's hand, the same explosion in a watermelon. somebody would lose a hand or a finger with that? >> very easily. very easily. >> i didn't really feel it because i was in shock. >> reporter: in colorado 9-year-old haley saxson is still recovering from second and third degree burns she received last year. >> it was just heartbreaking, to see your child like that. >> reporter: it turns out sparklers in the hands of children are often the most dangerous, burning hot enough to melt metal. >> the clothing has ignited, which can result in very serious
burns to the upper body, the airway, the face. >> reporter: the expert advice tonight -- forget the backyard fireworks and consider leaving it to the pros. tom costello, nbc news, fairfax, virginia. good reminder, be careful out there this weekend. still ahead tonight, maria menounos. the entertainment tv host revealing her private health battle. a brain tumor as her mother battles brain cancer. how maria knew something was wrong. also, supreme words of wisdom from a father to his son.
we're back with surprising news from one of our friends and former colleagues here at nbc news. tv and radio host maria menounos announced she was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. fortunately it was benign but it comes as her mother battles brain cancer. nbc's joe fryer has their story. >> reporter: over the past year while helping her mother battle stage four brain cancer, maria menounos could tell something was wrong with her own body. so she went to her doctor. >> i know you're going to think i'm crazy, but i feel like i have a brain tumor like my mom. >> reporter: in an exclusive "people" magazine story, menounos reveals that doctors found a golf ball-sized tumor in her brain. last month on her 39th birthday, the tumor was surgically removed and it was benign. >> for me i saw it as a huge blessing and a huge gift because i needed to change my life. >> reporter: what she has is called meningioma, a slow
growing tumor that forms in the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. it occurs more often in middle-aged women and is usually not cancerous but symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision and speech problems, all of which menounos experienced. >> usually if they can get most of it out of there, it's less than 10% that it's going to recur. in her case there's a 7% chance it could recur because he got most of it out. >> reporter: while her prognosis is good, menounos has decided to step down as co-anchor of e! news so she can focus on her family and herself. >> we're caretakers as women, and we help everybody and we put ourselves last always. and i don't think that we -- at least for me, i guess i realized that i didn't value myself in a lot of ways. >> reporter: more of her emotional story can be found on the people entertainment weekly network app. today on social media menounos wrote i'm recovering well and
should be as good as new very soon. but her mom will need more treatments. so she hopes the flood of support will keep pouring in. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. our thoughts are we our friend maria and her mom tonight. we're back in a moment with an emotional scene at wimbledon for an american star.
at wimbledon today tennis star venus williams was overcome by emotion when she spoke publicly for the first time about a fatal car crash she was involved in last month. that accident took the life of a 78-year-old florida man. nbc national correspondent miguel almaguer has more. >> reporter: minutes after venus williams won her opening match at wimbledon, the tennis star with a very different set of emotions. >> there are really no words to describe how devastating and -- yeah. >> reporter: at the podium, williams struggled.
>> completely speechless. and it's just -- >> reporter: the 37-year-old speaking publicly for the first time about the fatal car crash she was involved in on june 9th. >> maybe i should go. >> reporter: florida investigators say williams was traveling through a green light at 5 miles an hour when the light changed. according to the police report, linda barson says williams' suv cut in front of her car. she was unable to avoid the crash. her husband jerome, 78, died from head injuries two weeks later. the family is now suing williams. >> what mrs. barson and the family is looking for is for ms. williams to be able to step forward and accept responsibility. >> reporter: williams' attorney calls the accident unfortunate saying venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one. but this her first time facing the cameras. today williams winning on the court but still struggling off it.
tonight, from chief justice john roberts an opinion that has absolutely nothing to do with the supreme court. roberts recently delivered the moving commencement speech to his son's ninth grade class at an elite boarding school for boys in new hampshire. his words both serious and light-hearted now being widely embraced. >> from time to time in the years to come, i hope you will be treated unfairly so that you will come to know the value of justice. i hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. you've been at a school with just boys. most of you will be going to a school with girls. i have no advice for you. >> on that you will get no dissent here. and finally tonight, as america gets ready to celebrate, well, the national world war ii museum in new orleans has rapidly become one of the most popular museums in this country and a new exhibit is telling the story of ordinary americans on the
homefront. nbc senior correspondent tom brokaw caught up with author and historian david mccullough for a look at how the lessons of history can inspire us today. >> reporter: america is deeply divided these days. the worst since the 1960s, but it doesn't have to be that way. >> one of the clearest lessons of history is that almost nothing is done alone. it's a joint effort. and america is a joint effort. >> reporter: historian david mccullough touring the new arsenal of democracy exhibit here at the national world war ii museum, a vivid portrait of a nation at first deeply ambivalent about world war ii and woefully unprepared. in 1939, america's army ranked 17th in the world just behind romania. mccullough was just 7 years old when pearl
harbor was attacked and remembers it was all in after that. >> in grade school we were told we're helping to win the war, and we felt very involved, very patriotic about it. >> reporter: but that purpose came at a price. african-american service members were grossly discriminated against by some of their own commanders and the forced internment of japanese americans remains a deep wound. that was a terrible mistake. it's a scar on fdr. >> yes, it is. >> reporter: places like this museum in new orleans bring history to life, something mccullough has made his life's work. >> we can't just take those accomplishments, those gifts to us for granted. >> reporter: inspiring america with its own story right there for the taking. >> people often say to me, hasn't all of this all been written? is there anything left
to write about? oh, is there ever. thank goodness. we appreciate you spending part of your holiday with us. that is "nightly news" for this monday night. i'm peter alexander. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and have a great night. training a new clas to work in the santa clara county jail. and these cadets are learning something no other cadets right now at 6:00 training a new class of cadets to work in the santa clara jail. thanks for joining us i am jessica aguirre. and a many janelle wang sitting in for raj mathai. the beating death of michael hi tyrece. this class will be taught how to deal with mentally ill inmates.
>> reporter: critics say a lot of change is needed. 68 cadets began training here today. triple among the largest of the previous academy classes and that is not the only difference. >> we believe you possess the skills and humanity to do this work. >> reporter: 16 are women and 18 are overthirty years old. >> expected to prevent the use of force when possible through positive interaction. this class is going to be immersed in this new