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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 2, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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tonight, record high. boom times on wall street. another major milestone. while so many families wait for the rally to reach main street and put more money in their paychecks. deadly school explosion during summer classes. people trapped inside. a search into the night. what happened? legal immigration crackdown. the white house vowing to go beyond illegal immigration and tighten entry requirements, even favoring those who speak english. nbc news exclusive. behind closed doors, a dramatic confrontation in the situation room. president trump lashing out over afghanistan, leaving top advisers stunned. and seeking justice. a man who helped set himself free now from the other side of the table helping free others who have been wrongly convicted. "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, everyone. we're glad you're here this evening. the stock market's spectacular ride carried it to a new record today as the dow shot past the 22,000 mark for first time. it's one sign of an economy that's hitting on many cylinders. good news for wall street and certainly for folks with 401(k)s and retirement dollars in the market. it can be easy to forget, however, that a lot of working people are still staring into near-empty wallets and are feeling left out of today's celebration because salaries are lagging behind. our business correspondent jo ling kent has the bigger picture for us tonight. >> reporter: with today's record, the dow is now up 20% since president trump was elected. that's the story of one economy. while many americans feel like they're living in another. why are you here at amazon?
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>> i was originally working retail, and it just wasn't enough money. >> reporter: frustration shared today in 12 states as thousands of people lined up at amazon job fairs, all hunting for work. like nearly half of americans, clarence williamson doesn't have a single dollar in the stock market. his economic indicator, his paycheck. >> i've worked at the airport for probably about the last five years. within the last five years, the wages at the airport nowhere near what they should be. >> reporter: williamson is talking about wage growth or the lack of it. because, while the stock market hit new highs, gdp is growing and housing prices are at record levels, wages are only up by 0.5%. >> consumer spending makes up something around two-thirds of the economy. if wage growth is slow and people just aren't spending the dollars, you'll not see continued economic growth. >> reporter: that's why so many applied to amazon, which aimed to hire 50,000 people today. and the hiring goes beyond retail.
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in colorado, terry precht wants to grow his workforce by 10% but says foreign competition makes raising wages hard. >> i'm not just competing with the guy down the road. i'm competing with people 5,000 miles away who have a labor pool much larger than mine but also at much lower price. >> reporter: a frustrating reality for working america facing an economy far removed from wall street. >> jo ling kent joins us now in the studio. don't mean to be a pessimist, but we've seen these things. sometimes you see there's nothing to it and the numbers don't support it. what we saw on the dow, is that real? >> the fundamentals are strong. we do see jobs are growing, corporate earnings are good. wall street not bothered by the drama in washington. until the fed starts aggressively raising rate or those pillars start to crack, this market is likely and could very well continue. >> jo ling kent, good to have you, thank you. tonight, search crews in minneapolis are working into the night trying to find a school employee still missing and feared dead after a massive explosion ripped through a
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historic school building during summer classes killing at least one person and injuring at least nine others and trapping people inside. nbc's blake mccoy is on the scene of a school emergency. >> reporter: a massive explosion shattering the late morning quiet in this minneapolis neighborhood. >> we also see now flames and fire and a building collapse as well. >> reporter: the school, the historic minnehaha academy, torn apart by the blast. those inside for summer classes scrambling to get out. some holding on to each other in the darkened wreckage finding their way to safety and into the arms of loved ones. >> i felt like we got bombed, like that's -- it was pretty big. it was a pretty big explosion. >> reporter: nine people were rushed to the hospital. one school employee found dead beneath the rubble. ruth berg, a longtime assistant in the school office. tonight, rescue crews are combing through the debris trying to find another adult still missing.
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>> we need the gas company to respond as well and shut off the gas to this property. >> reporter: early on, officials suspected and later confirmed the cause. >> we have been able to confirm that the explosion that the collapse was caused by a gas explosion. >> reporter: the blast sliced the brick building in half, scattering debris all over campus. firefighters still monitoring hot spots tonight. trauma for this tight-knit community, home to the school since 1913. >> i believe we're going to be even stronger. we're going to tie ourselves together, come in and build something stronger. >> reporter: the man missing is an 81-year-old school custodian. work continues to reach him in the rubble behind me. as for the company contracted to work on this building at the time it exploded, they send their thoughts and prayers to all involved. lester? >> blake mccoy tonight. blake, thank you. to the white house now. president trump today throwing his support behind a plan to profoundly change immigration policy in this country. it would slash legal immigration
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by half over a decade, with strict new conditions that have some critics up in arms. nbc news national correspondent peter alexander has details. >> reporter: president trump tonight vowing to dramatically cut legal immigration by prioritizing english-speaking immigrants with skills that help grow the economy. >> this competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak english, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy. >> reporter: the president's proposal going beyond the campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration. >> these illegal workers draw much more out from the system than they can ever possibly pay back. >> reporter: mr. trump's message tonight reinforced by one of his top aides. >> we're saying our compassion, first and foremost, is for struggling american families. >> reporter: senior policy adviser steven miller clashing with reporters. >> you're trying to engineer the
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racial and ethnic flow of people into this country. >> that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant and foolish things you've ever said. >> reporter: the new bill backed by two conservative senators already facing fierce backlash on capitol hill. >> the biggest flaw in this proposal is the notion that there are long lines of americans waiting to pick fruit and to work in hospitals and hotels and restaurants and meat processing plants. exactly the opposite's true. >> this immigration proposal is not going to go anywhere because it really would devastate the economy. >> reporter: the president trying to get back on message with his base, drawing a hard line on immigration. tonight the president insists the proposal, if passed, would be the most significant change to the nation's immigration system in half a century. but saying it and doing it are two very different things for a president still waiting for his first legislative victory. lester? >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. regarding russia, the president today did reluctantly sign new sanctions punishing
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that country for its interference in the 2016 election. congress overwhelmingly passed those sanctions, which also restrict the president's power to lift them. despite calling the sanctions, quote, seriously flawed, the president says he signed them today for the sake of national unity. russia's prime minister today said that this signals a, quote, full scale trade war. amid heightened tensions on another global front, north korea. the u.s. made a dramatic show of force overnight test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile from california, the fourth this year. the unarmed missile traveled over 4,000 miles into the south pacific, according to officials. this comes after north korea tested two of its own icbms last month including one on friday which analysts say could strike a wider range of the u.s. mainland. now to an nbc news exclusive, revealing president trump's growing dissatisfaction with america's military strategy in afghanistan. just today two u.s.
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service members were killed when their nato convoy came under attack reportedly by a suicide bomber. the taliban have claimed responsibility. tomorrow the national security council is scheduled to meet and discuss changing the u.s. strategy in afghanistan. but the last time they met, things got very heated. the president blasting his own advisers. nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has an inside look at what happened in that room. >> reporter: tonight an exclusive look behind the closed doors of the situation room at an increasingly frustrated president, agitated with his military on afghanistan, even as he delays a decision on a new strategy in a fight his top generals describe as a stalemate. senior administration officials take nbc news inside that meeting two weeks ago where the president's key advisers surrounded him, including secretary of defense jim mattis. those sources say the president lashed out, suggesting mattis should fire the general in charge of afghanistan, venting,
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quote, we aren't winning. influenced, it seemed, by a meeting he'd had earlier with veterans of the afghan war. those same sources tell nbc news some in the room were taken aback by an analogy the president made referencing the renovation of a favorite new york restaurant led by an outside consultant to illustrate how those on the ground might make better decisions than those at higher levels. >> his point was perhaps it would have been better if that owner had gone to the employees who were working in the restaurant rather than hired someone from the outside and wasted a lot of money. >> reporter: those officials say the president also seemed annoyed china, not the u.s., is making money mining rare minerals in afghanistan. sources tell nbc news the president left the meeting without deciding on a strategy, and that his advisers left stunned. officials close to secretary mattis said that when he returned to the pentagon after the meeting, he was visibly angry, and he went for a long walk by himself to think it over. now questions of the president's confidence in his own team.
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msnbc's hugh hewitt with the national security adviser. >> do you have confidence yourself in general nickelson, the combatant commander? >> of course. i have known him for many years. i can't imagine a more capable commander on any mission. >> does secretary mattis, does the president? >> absolutely. >> reporter: he does have confidence in nicholson's leadership. the white house declined to comment on internal deliberations about afghan strategy but says no decision has been made with options still being developed. bottom line for america's longest war, the wait for a new plan stretches on. hallie jackson, nbc news, the white house. now to a remarkable story we want to share with you. it's been said that living well is the best revenge. you might agree after meeting the man in this next story who fought back from a terrible injustice armed with knowledge and tenacity. he turned the tables on the justice system with an improbable journey that changed his life and now is changing the lives of others. attorney jarrett adams wants to right wrongs.
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>> i can shake your hand. they can't keep me from doing that. >> reporter: in a wisconsin jail, he meets with his client, whom he believes was wrongfully convicted of rape. he hopes the judge will now free him after 30 years behind bars. >> we hope everything will go well, and we're able to just see you walk out of here tomorrow. >> reporter: jarrett is not your typical defense attorney. in fact, you could say he knows the law from the inside out. >> although i received my diploma from loyola law school in chicago, i started law school in green bay correctional facility. >> reporter: jarrett was wrongfully convicted himself. he was 17 when he was arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a student at the university of wisconsin, a crime he denied from the start. in these cases, there's always that moment of this will get cleared up very quickly. >> you know, my only encounter with the criminal court system was "law & order." and that theme music comes on, you don't see guys who are
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wrongfully convicted go to prison. >> reporter: but jarrett did. a 28-year sentence. convicted after his court-appointed attorney chose not to put on a defense even though there was a witness who could have helped clear him. >> when this guy is telling us, look, we know you didn't do it. they haven't proven their case. the best defense is a no-defense strategy. we're like, yeah, that sounds good. because we don't know any better, right? but in reality, it was a horrible idea. >> reporter: a cellmate convinced jarrett to keep fighting. jarrett spent his days in the prison law library. he wrote letters and finally caught the attention of the wisconsin innocence project. keith findlay took up his case. >> he had done his homework. he knew the case factually better than anybody. and he knew the law. he said, look, the issue we're going to win on is that ineffective assistance of counsel claim. you got to lead with that, you got to argue that. >> reporter: jarrett was correct. it was the argument that caused
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the seventh circuit court of appeals to overturn his conviction. after nearly ten years in prison, jarrett was free, reminded, though, by a family photo album of what he'd lost. >> i started to just look at the evolution of me as a kid, just, you know, growing up, pre-k, kindergarten, graduation, birthdays. and then i turn the next page, and i didn't see another picture of me until i was 26, 27 years old. >> reporter: like a piece of your life just was erased? >> just forever gone. >> reporter: but jarrett's remarkable and at times ironic journey was just beginning. he went to college, graduated law school and clerked at the same court that tossed out his conviction. and then last summer was hired as a lawyer by the innocence project in new york, the same organization that successfully argued his appeal. what must it be like for you to walk in these doors every day as an attorney?
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>> there is no sweeter joy than to be on that side of the law. >> reporter: his to-do list, freeing other wrongfully convicted inmates. >> this is hopeful, and this is just filed. >> reporter: which brings us back to wisconsin and jarrett's client, serving time in the same prison jarrett once did. his name is richard beranek. >> he's not simply presumed innocent of these crimes. he is innocent. >> reporter: in june, his conviction was overturned based on new dna testing. jarrett's first win as a lawyer. >> what's up, man? where are the handcuffs at? you look free. >> reporter: and completing this improbable circle, jarrett's co-counsel on the beranek case was keith findlay, the lawyer who helped free jarrett ten years ago. >> this is a storybook tale that you wouldn't believe until you saw it.
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>> reporter: and keith, you're part of the story, too. do you just shake your head sometimes to watch the full circle that jarrett has been on? >> it's incredible. i mean, i've been amazed at every step of the journey. >> nothing pays me back more or my family more than me walking in the same court, in the same state where they didn't even look at me when they gave me 28 years, but now they have to acknowledge me as attorney adams. >> attorney jarrett adams is the first innocence project exoneree that the organization has hired as an attorney. there's a lot more ahead tonight. toxic police vehicles. yet another case of an officer getting sick behind the wheel, this time endangering another vehicle on the road. stay with us.
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we're back now with word of another case of a police officer getting sick from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning and passing out behind the wheel. ford now says it's looking into the incident in massachusetts. it comes after we told you about a police department in texas that already pulled hundreds of vehicles off the streets. nbc's gabe gutierrez has the latest. >> reporter: police in auburn, massachusetts, say the officer driving a 2017 modified ford explorer passed out behind the wheel and slammed into another car. tonight, after testing, the department has pulled another nine vehicles from service due to high levels of carbon monoxide. >> we've ordered carbon monoxide detectors, which will be delivered and installed by
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tomorrow morning for every vehicle that we have remaining in the fleet. >> reporter: ford says safety is our top priority and we're concerned for those involved. we are working with the auburn police department and have a team in massachusetts on the way to inspect their vehicles and modifications made to them. last week austin, texas, pull more than 400 vehicles. citing more than 2700 complaint, federal regulators recently expanded their investigation into 2011 to 2017 ford explorers including civilian models. though ford says drivers of nonpolice explorers should not be worried. >> we've not found elevated levels of carbon monoxide in any ford explorer. while there have been reports of exhaust odors in some explorers, those instances are unrelated to carbon monoxide, which is odorless. >> reporter: in auburn, massachusetts, two more officers hospitalized after testing positive for carbon monoxide, as police investigate what may be poisoning their own. gabe gutierrez, nbc news.
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we'll take a short break and be back in a moment with triple digit temperatures, sand storms and dangerous floods. extreme weather putting millions on alert tonight.
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aboard rocky mountaineer. canada's rocky mountains await. call your travel agent or rocky mountaineer for special offers now. tonight, extreme record breaking weather is bringing misery to a lot of people in the west in more ways than one. in the usually mild cities like portland and seattle, temperatures are soaring into the triple digits. a historic heat wave offering little relief in sight for some 15 million people in sweltering temperatures. and that's just the start of it. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer has a look at the brutal conditions. >> reporter: tonight in portland, oregon, temperatures are soaring over a hundred degrees, breaking records. >> i don't want to be dramatic, life or death, but i mean it could be that very much so. >> reporter: a blanket of heat also searing seattle. only a third of homes have ac. >> i'll just sweat it out in my apartment and hope that my fans
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work. >> reporter: with 15 million under heat advisories or watches, the hot weather is fueling fires in washington state. >> check out this rain. >> reporter: meanwhile, in southern california, sudden summer storms. monsoon moisture creating life-threatening conditions. >> oh, my gosh! >> reporter: hail, lightning and wind. outside phoenix sand storms are blinding. tonight more dangerous weather is on the way. >> holy smokes! >> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news. when we come back here tonight, the end of an era for britain's royals. stay with us. a high speed chase. a crash...
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and then a shooting. what we )re just now learning... ===jess vo=== plus -- the new turn in the fire in the oakland hills - what firefighters are doing right now. ===next close=== next. raj/vo finally tonight, after 65 years of service, over 5,000 speeches and an astounding 22,219 appearances, britain's prince philip is hanging up his royal wave. completing his final solo engagement, greeting royal marines. at 96 years old, he deserves a well-earned rest, though you'll still see him out and about with his wife, britain's longest serving monarch, queen elizabeth. we appreciate you spending
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part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for a wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us as nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. right now at 6: we )re folloiwng breaking news: a high speed chase -- on intertstase 80 -- during rush hour. speeds reaching 100-miles per hour...and it comes to a bloody end. ==raj/2-shot== the news at 6 starts now. good evening and thanks for joining us. i )m raj mathai. ==jess/2-shot== and i )m jessica aguirre. we )ve been tracking this breaking story -- on air and online -- for the past 30 minutes. jess/live let )s give you the view from or nbc bay area skyranger. this is in richmond on richmond parkway -- right near the hilltop mall. this all started in vallejo on 80. thchmond parkway, which is the connector between 80 and 580. this is near the hill top mall. this started in vallejo on 80. officers chasing a car that
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white car there and the driver all the way down to richmond, but as you can see, it ended abruptly and with the scene you confirmee. officers apparently shooting a man. at this point we don't know if it was the driver or the passenger of the car. therough we have seen windows blown out. police are not confirming to us that the man is dead but there is a body on the ground with the tarp over it and from our vantage point, we can see that there is blood around that body. again, richmond parkway is closed during the investigation. no estimate when it may reopen but we do know that chp is monitoring that. our cheryl hurd is headed to the scene now. we'll continue to track this story and bring you updates on een onl platforms and here on air as soon as we get them. our other top story, the fire in the oakland hills. we've been on this scene for the lathours now. this is burning along grizzly peak boulevard, potentially e

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