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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 19, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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a -- >> that's a big thank you. >> that's the news. >> a nice way to end. thanks for joining us here at 5:00. lester holt joins us next with nightly news. >> we'll be back at 6:00. thanks. tonight, trump's ultimatum. summoning republican senators to the white house, telling them not to leave town till a healthcare deal is done. another reversal with millions of families caught in the middle. what a police officer was seen doing on his own body cam that has a big city department facing tough questions about trust. deadly distractions. a new crackdown on what's being called driving under the influence of electronics. nbc news exclusive. our unprecedented access inside the elite counterterrorism unit working to stop the next attack amid a growing array of threats. and inspiring america. signs of hope spotted all over town. messages meant to brighten the day of strangers. "nightly news" begins right now.
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>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening to our viewers in the west. good to have you with us tonight. president trump, who only 24 hours ago was willing to let government healthcare die a slow death, performed a head-snapping turnabout today summoning republican senators to the white house to suggest they cancel their vacations and get back to work on a plan to repeal and replace obamacare. the president effectively ordering cpr on a bill that fractured republicans fear may beyond saving as new cost estimate just released underscore the toughness of their task. chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: senate republicans facing failure on a bill that looked all but dead are now getting a booster shot from president trump and a warning shot. >> we shouldn't leave town until this is complete, until this
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bill is on my desk. we're very close. >> reporter: they're not. not right now. but president trump's pushing them back to plan "a" again. >> i think the people of this country need more than a repeal. they need a repeal and a replace. >> reporter: over lunch in the east room he hoped to sway skeptical senators like dean heller next to him, the most vulnerable republican up for re-election with a jab couched as a joke. >> look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? okay. >> reporter: president trump deploying his bully pulpit and holding on to hope healthcare reform will happen with his comments today an about-face. monday's message, repeal and replace. >> we will end up replacing it. >> reporter: turned into repeal now, replace later that night. but by tuesday -- >> we'll let obamacare fail. >> reporter: now today. >> we have no choice. we have to repeal and replace. >> reporter: are you experiencing some political whiplash here? >> well, it's pretty obvious we've had difficulty in getting
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50 votes to proceed, but what i want to disabuse any of you of is the notion that we will not have that vote next week. >> reporter: senate leadership leaving the door open to either repeal only or to repeal and replace in that vote next week despite concern neither option will get enough support to pass unless at least some senators will change their minds. >> nobody said it would be easy. obviously it isn't, and we're still working hard at it. >> reporter: tonight new estimates show if senators only repeal obamacare with no replacement, 32 million fewer people could have coverage over the next decade with premiums projected to double. bleak numbers that won't make this any more politically palatable for hesitant republicans. lester? >> all right, hallie, thanks. let's drill down a bit now. those new numbers reverberate this evening, 10 million americans who receive their coverage through obamacare are essentially in limbo. if congress isn't going to replace or even repeal obamacare, what happens next? and what could be done to improve it? nbc's tom costello has that report.
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>> reporter: in west virginia, ron and marie logan both have pre-existing conditions and rely on the affordable care act, but in four years their premiums have skyrocketed from $1,000 to $1,800 a month plus a $14,500 deductible. >> that means that before the insurance pays anything, we are out of pocket for almost $30,000. >> reporter: it's a familiar story. this year obamacare premiums rose 20% on average. however, the vast majority of customers received subsidies to offset the increase. >> obamacare isn't failing. it's failed. >> reporter: not exactly. the independent kaiser family foundation reports in 2017 insurers are regaining profitability and there is no sign of market collapse. >> it seems to be working pretty well in most places, but everywhere insurers are worried that they may not be reimbursed for billions of dollars that they are owed. >> reporter: today the trump administration announced the
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subsidies for low income americans will be paid in july but beyond that's in question. the uncertainty has led some insurers to pull out leaving a third of the marketplaces with only a single insurer. but rather than killing obamacare, most polls show americans want a bipartisan fix, shoring up the subsidies but then working with providers and insurers to cut medical costs. upstart oscar insurance is betting the affordable care act will survive. it's expanding coverage from three states to six and partnering with the cleveland clinic in ohio to keep people out of the hospital. >> we think we have a model now, an insurance company that's built around the needs of the individual that works. >> reporter: the question tonight -- will washington compromise to find a fix? tom costello, nbc news, washington. there is late word tonight that the president's son-in-law jared kushner will be interviewed by staff members of the senate intelligence committee next monday at a closed session. the president's son, donald jr., and former campaign manager paul
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manafort have been invited to testify next week before the senate. all three attended that meeting with the russian attorney with the promise of receiving dirt on hillary clinton during the campaign. this news comes after revelations of a second previously undisclosed meeting between president trump and vladimir putin during the g-20 this month. both the white house and the kremlin deny there was anything improper about that encounter. we're following some breaking news here right now. let's get this update from nbc's lucy kafanov. >> reporter: after days of concern about his health, tonight we have learned that senator john mccain has been diagnosed with brain cancer. the arizona senator's office releasing a statement tonight confirming that doctors found a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer. the tumor was discovered on friday when senator mccain underwent a surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye. doctors are now looking at treatment options, including
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chemotherapy and radiation. his office says the senator is in good spirits and is confident that future treatment will be effective. and now back to lester in new york. >> lucy kafanov, thank you. now to a big city police department that has seen its share of controversy under scrutiny again. it's happening in baltimore. a police officer under investigation for what he was seen doing on his own body camera. nbc's stephanie gosk has that story. >> reporter: the body cam video shot in january shows a baltimore police officer searching a garbage-strewn backyard. he finds a bag of drugs tucked into a soup can. but the video doesn't actually begin there. it starts 30 seconds earlier. officer richard panero in the same spot planting the evidence, according to the public defender's office. today police announce the officer has been suspended. >> i know we have to immediately launch an investigation. all boots on the ground. >> reporter: the department released more body cam footage from that day for
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context as well as the discovery of a different bag of drugs on that same property. but even the police are investigating the charges against the alleged dealer in this case were dropped last april. and the public defender says the same officer stayed on the job and testified in a separate case. >> that officer still has what we think is 53 cases open. >> reporter: the states attorney's office says it immediately reported the incident to internal affairs. the baltimore police department has one of the largest body cam programs in the country. >> what we expect out of these cameras is improved public confidence. >> reporter: the program began in 2016 following violent protests over freddie gray's death a year earlier. the 25-year-old died days after being arrested and transported in a police van. today the police commissioner facing new questions about trust. >> perception is reality. so if our community thinks that there are police officers who
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are planting evidence in the course of their duty, that's certainly something that will keep me up at night. >> reporter: the same cameras that are supposed to improve confidence tonight appear to be shaking it. stephanie gosk, nbc news. tonight anticipation is mounting in nevada ahead of what could be one of the most watched parole hearings ever. o.j. simpson behind bars for nearly a decade. tomorrow he'll learn if he'll finally be set free. nbc's joe fryer is there. >> reporter: the spotlights are now firmly fixed on a prison in rural windswept nevada and a nondescript parole board office 130 miles away. two places that tomorrow will be linked by video conference for what some are calling the parole hearing of the century. the prison, lovelock correctional center, is where o.j. simpson has been locked up for nine years, mopping gym floors and coaching softball teams, hoping for parole. even the prosecutor who put simpson behind bars thinks he'll get out. >> he's spent nine
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years in prison on a robbery charge which is a pretty significant stay in the nevada state prison. this was his first conviction, and so it's likely that they will parole him. >> reporter: simpson is serving time for an armed confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers. for the four parole commissioners at the hearing, one of the most important factors will be a risk assessment. it's a scorecard that looks at things like age at first arrest, employment history prior to arrest, history of drug and alcohol abuse and disciplinary conduct over the past year. in his last hearing in 2013, simpson was deemed low risk and granted parole on some charges. >> i'm sure the powers here know that i advise a lot of guys and i like to feel that i kept a lot of trouble from happening since i've been here. >> reporter: the parole board is not supposed to consider simpson's criminal trial in 1995 when he was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife nicole brown and her friend ron goldman. for months the goldmans say they've been anxious about the possibility of simpson's release.
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>> i remember what it was like before he was incarcerated where my nerves were at high alert because i never knew where he was going to pop up. >> reporter: typically after a parole hearing here, the decision takes about three weeks, but for simpson's case, because interest is so high, commissioners plan to vote tomorrow so they can quickly return to business as usual. lester? >> all right. joe fryer tonight. joe, thank you. there is a critical situation unfolding in the west tonight. a fire emergency destroying homes and forcing thousands to evacuate near yosemite national park. crews from around the state have arrived to beat back the flames up to 50 feet high. the so-called detwiler fire has cut power to communities on the way to yosemite which remains open as smoke shrouds the iconic view of half dome. since 9/11 it's become an adage among terror prevention professionals. we have to be lucky every day, they say, the terrorists only have to be lucky once.
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we've seen it this summer amid a rash of terror events from flint, michigan, to london and manchester. low-tech but high-profile attacks. but one american city has taken the boldest step yet to try to tilt the odds away from the terrorists, and we were offered an inside look. in america's largest city, the faces of policing in a new age of terror. whereas 16 years ago it was planes into buildings, today's tactics more simple. still terrifying. >> we study attacks around the world. >> reporter: we're walking through a park in midtown manhattan. i see people enjoying themselves. what do you see as the head of counterterrorism? >> i see a free and open society here in new york city. but i also see a vulnerability. i see an area where, you know, very likely could be a soft target for a terrorist attack. >> reporter: which is why the new york city police department created the critical
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response command or crc. some 500 officers like kay ann dawkins and gregory wallace trained in behavior analysis, radiation detection and explosives, equipped with powerful long guns, body armor and deployed across the city. >> terrorism is evolving. so as a law enforcement officer we have to keep up with that. >> you have to be able to see who is not fitting in in the crowd. >> reporter: nbc news was granted unprecedented access to the unit as they train for scenarios straight out of the headlines. >> good sweeps, good pause. >> reporter: their real life syllabus, what police encountered in places like mumbai, nice, orlando, san bernardino and paris. >> the world has changed, and any police department, not just major metropolitan police departments, have to take a look at not just what's going on in the city and the nation, you have to look at what's going on worldwide.
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>> reporter: the crc members are trained to take the offensive even if there are wounded. >> stop the threat. have to. have to. that's the number one goal. because if i don't, then more innocents will be taken. >> reporter: but this work is not for everybody. >> we interview thousands of people before we select the people that we want. >> reporter: new york has been targeted 23 times since the 9/11 attacks. thwarting the next one is a high stakes game of chess. >> they're out there each and every day standing at locations that are sensitive that are high profile. and if something does happen, they have that ability to respond immediately. >> reporter: including crc, the nypd has now equipped more than a thousand of its officers with military-style weapons, as i learn, capable of delivering withering fire. >> a lot of the access shooter events, they had high-powered rifles. we will be meeting them with the same or greater force. >> reporter: a brutal reality of new york's response to the new normal.
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>> the thinking is if someone has any inkling in their idea that they want to bring harm to this city, best to go elsewhere with it. they're not going to stand a chance. >> reporter: the crc is just one part of the nypd's sizable counterterrorism operation but by design it is the most visible as deterrence is an important part of their mission. we'll take a short break and be back with more right after this.
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we're back now with a new crackdown on distracted driving which kills an estimated nine people
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in this country every day. many states have passed bans on the use of devices behind the wheel, but washington state is taking to it a new level with a strict new driving under the influence of electronics law going into effect. nbc's gabe gutierrez explains. >> reporter: a year ago this week jody bagnariol and elisabeth rudolph were stopped in traffic on i-5 in washington state when another driver slammed into them at 76 miles an hour. both women died. >> jody bagnariol was an amazing beacon of happiness, and she leaves such a void. >> reporter: what upsets jody's sister gina the most was that police said the husband of the other driver had taken a selfie from the passenger seat right before the crash. >> my sister was killed for something so insignificant. >> reporter: this sunday in washington state, a new dui-e law goes into effect, driving under the influence of electronics. it forbids the use of phones, tablets,
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laptops and gaming devices, even while stopped. >> put the cell phones down. >> reporter: texting was already illegal, but this law goes further. a first time offense means a $136 fine. a second citation, $235. it goes on a driver's record and is reported to their insurance provider. now at least 14 states have passed laws banning any use of handheld phones while driving. researchers at virginia tech have found that distracted driving accounts for two-thirds of severe crashes. >> it takes a driver roughly about 10 to 15 seconds to compose a text message. their eyes are off the roadway for half of that time. >> reporter: for gina bagnariol-benavides, it's become her life's mission. >> i refuse to let jody and lis' tragic death to become just another statistic. >> reporter: preventing another tragedy behind the wheel. gabe gutierrez, nbc news.
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>> we'll take a short break and be a back with more right after this.
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we're learning more tonight about a bride-to-be's final moments before a police officer fatally shot her. newly released 911 transcripts shows justine damond placed two calls reporting a possible sexual assault near her minneapolis home on saturday. the officer driving the responding squad car says he was startled by a loud noise right before damond approached his door. then his partner, officer mohamed noor, shot her through the driver's side window from the passenger seat. so far officer noor has declined to be interviewed by investigators. when we come back, the mystery woman on a mission to spread messages of hope to strangers and inspiring america. the search is on for a gunman
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who shot and killed a man pushing a baby in a stroller. ===/jan vo=== plus, senator john mccain diagnosed with brain cancer. the heartfelt message from his daughter. ===next close=== next. finally tonight, it's been a mystery in one major u.s. city. strangers have been finding random anonymous notes filled with kind words that brighten their day. they didn't know who was leaving them, but our catie beck gets to the bottom of it in tonight's "inspiring america" report. >> reporter: shannon wasser used to search for signs of hope. now she searches for places to leave them. she drops notes.
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>> hello, stranger. >> reporter: each unique and often penned at the roadside, writing down what will later lift someone up. >> you are worthy. you are seen. and you are enough. >> reporter: wasser didn't always feel that way about herself. >> i got really involved in drugs and got arrested a few times. i just felt like worthless. >> reporter: but she turned her life around, and now the wife and mother of three -- >> take a breath, close your eyes. >> reporter: spends her time as a roaming optimist disappearing before her encouraging words are unsealed. >> sneaky. i try to be really sneaky about it. >> reporter: she's left more than a thousand at grocery stores, pay phones, at the airport, on gas pumps and street signs or here where crystal turk found hers. did you ever think that that deep hope would be taped to a tree in the walmart parking lot? >> never. never in my life. this says hope. >> reporter: turk is
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struggling to raise children with a husband in prison. >> hang on to hope. better days are coming. it does bring hope into my life. and it restores my faith in humanity. >> reporter: wasser says helping others see the bright side keeps her own life on a positive path. >> it can all be used for something really, really beautiful. >> reporter: random strangers discovering -- >> much left. hope sent. >> reporter: -- that we're all in this struggle together. catie beck, nbc news, san diego, california. >> what a great note for us to say good night on. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. we )re following breaking news n
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the east bay. a man is dead in hayward, after bei t while pushing a baby in right now at 6:00, we're following breaking news in the east bay. a man is dead in hayward after being shot while pushing a baby in a stroller. we're live in this neighborhood where the streets are shut down. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanking for being with us, i'm raj mathy. >> the family of the victim just arriving on scene. a man killed while pushing a 3 month old in a stroller. investigators calling it very
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disturbing. >> reporter: janel, still a very active scene. as you mentioned, family members just arriving a few minutes ago, let's go ahead and show you some of that video. these are two sisters of the young man who was shot dead here in the street about 3:00 in the afternoon. it actually happened that there were some sheriff's deputies in the neighborhood and arrived very quickly within a minute when they got the call. unfortunately, think were not able to catch whoever did this, and they are still trying to find information as to exactly how those people or the shooter happened to get out of the neighborhood so quickly. right now, lots of unanswered questions. what we know is this is a young man pushing a stroller with a 3 molgt old mon month old child inside this. is what the sheriff's deputies are looking for. >> i think we're looking at a drive by, a get away car. every

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