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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 10, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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news covered also at 6:00. hope to see you then. >> bye-bye. tonight trump's new warning the president doubles down, ratchets up the rhetoric and says the fire and fury threat maybe wasn't tough enough. his new message for kim jong-un. developing news on the opioid crisis to be officially declared a national emergency. what the surprise announcement means for so many families. mystery. sonic attack. american diplomats in cuba hit with hearing loss after a series of bazar incidents like something out of a spy novel. horrifying and shocking. taylor swift takes the stand, describing an alleged groping incident involving a radio d jay. a contentious showdown with the defense. and live from new
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york, we're with the weekend update guys back on the desk tonight in primetime and there's lot to cover. "nightly news" begins right now. ♪ >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester anholt. >> good evening to the viewers in the west. thanks for being with us. >> president trump fired off another round of vague but ominous sounding threats at north korea this afternoon. in his latest verbal salvo, the president appeared to paint another red line, this time over guam, the u.s. island north korea threatens to bracket with missile strikes. >> let's see what he does with guam. if he does something in guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before what will happen in north korea. >> the president's comments came during what is the closest thing we've seen to a full-fledged presidential news conference in months. mr. trump eager to sound off on
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everything from the russian investigation to the opioid crisis. let's start with the crisis in north korea and nbc news white house correspondent, kristen welker. >> reporter: a defiant president trump escalating his war of words with north korea. digging in on his threat of fire and fury. >> if anything maybe that statement wasn't tough enough. >> reporter: the president make the ominous comments after security briefings with his vice president, national security advisor, and chief of staff responding to critics who argued his earlier remarks crossed a dangerous line. >> it's about time somebody stuck up for the people of this country. >> reporter: north korea has ratcheted up its rhetoric this week, now threatening to launch missiles by mid-august aimed at the u.s. territory of guam. >> let's see what he does with guam. if he does something in guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before what will happen in north korea. it's not a dare. it's a statement. >> reporter: and on the specter of nuclear conflict. >> i would like to
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denuke the world. i know president obama said global warming is the biggest threat. i totally disagree. and nobody including north korea is going to be threatening us. >> reporter: but when pressed whether he's considering a preemptive strike which officials tell nbc news is on the table. >> we don't talk about that. i never do. i'm not like the other administration that would say we're going to mosul in four months. i can tell you that what they've been doing and getting away with is a tragedy. and it can't be allowed. >> reporter: the president also lashed out at his predecessors calling them ineffective and acknowledging a new round of sanctions might not be enough to solve the problem, even denying any internal discord when it comes to communications in his administration. >> there are no mixed messages and i'll tell you this it may be tougher than i said it, not less. >> reporter: his message to americans now, stay calm. >> people should be
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very comfortable. >> reporter: to north korea. >> north korea better get their act together or they're going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world. >> reporter: the president's fire and fury comments may be equally aimed at getting china's attention. the administration sees china as the link to getting north korea to back down. >> kristen welker with the president in new jersey. thank you. as the war of words plays out between president trump and kim jong-un, suddenly caught in the middle or republican 60,000 americans living and working on the u.s. territory guam. a u.s. military strong hold and an island within striking distance of north korea. residents are on edge as nbc's miguel alamaguer reports. >> reporter: the impending threat coming from the north korean regime, now lashing out with unusual specifics. their military examining an enveloping strike of the u.s. territory. four ballistic
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missiles they say could be fired in the next week, flying over japan and hiroshima. landing some 20 miles off guam's coast. the final order would need approval from kim jong-un. >> if the north koreans actually launch missiles directed at guam, it will lead to u.s. military unilateral reaction, which could indeed lead to general war. >> reporter: guam in the crosshairs because of its proximity to north korea and its military might. the air force, navy and coast guard on an island 30 miles long. anderson air force base is a launching pad for b-1 bombers. the military and its nearly 7,000 troops sprawl across 1/3 of the island. it's known as "the tip of the spear" the western most military installation on u.s. soil, though there are american bases spread across much of the region, including this
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one in south korea. >> this is a 24 hour, 365 day operation. >> reporter: lester got footage of the command center. and any missile launch would be detected first. and protecting the region thaad. a cutting edge missile defense system. but if north korea launches the barrage of missiles, they could hit guam in just 14 minutes. >> i feel confident in our military. >> i don't know what's going to happen and i'm scared. >> reporter: today as the sun rises in guam, so does the level of concern. >> from guam. something that stuck out in your report. 14-minute flight time for a missile from north korea to the island there. are there civil defense drills? what are they doing to prepare the public? >> reporter: no new security measures are in place, though there is new concern on this island. an existing warning system is in effect.
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there are 15 sirens in low lying areas that would warn the public, the same that would be used if there's a missile launch. >> all right. miguel, thank you. meantime across the border from north korea the growing crisis is keeping nerves on edge from south korea. we get the reaction from inside that country where thousands of u.s. troops are also in the potential line of fire. nbc's bill neely is in seoul and has that part of the story for us. >> reporter: they faced off and traded threats for decades. today the war of words grew. south korea's military calling the north's threat to guam absurd and warning it will take immediate and decisive action over any attack along side its american allies. they'll hold more joint exercises this month. south korea's president today called for a bigger army. and warned north korea to stop ratcheting up tension. in the capitol, seoul,
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anxiety. it's just 35 miles from north korea, the city of 25 million protected by 23,000 american troops. all of them in the crosshairs. people here critical of the north's threat to guam. >> i think it's an attempt to start a war. >> reporter: and critical of president trump's threat. >> so i thought it's very irresponsible and selfish. >> well, there is no panic here, no jets are being scrambled but there is deep unease as the tough talk from all sides gets more intense. lester. >> bill neely in seoul for us. thank you. and rounding out our coverage, north korea was one of many subjects the president sounded off about late today. a lengthy q & a makes noise on the opioid crisis, the future of senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell and the man leading the russia investigation. peter alexander. has our report. >> reporter: tonight
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from his bedminster golf club, the president taking a swing at a wide range of topics. insisting he has no plans to fire special counsel mueller. >> i'm not dismissing anything. i want them to get on with the task but i also want the senate and house to come out with their findings. i won i suppose because i was a much better candidate than her. >> reporter: in retaliation for the latest round of sanctions. >> i want to thank him because we're trying to cut down on pay roll. >> reporter: the fbi delivered a strong signal with the raid of his former chairman's suburban d.c. apartment. >> whether it was appropriate, you'd have to ask them. i've always found paul manafort to be a decent man. >> reporter: the opioid epidemic. >> i'm saying officially right now it is an emergency. it's a national emergency. we will spend a lot of time and effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis. >> reporter: mr. trump calling that crisis a serious and unprecedented problem. with opioids blamed for the deaths of
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nearly 100 americans everyday. >> when i was growing up they had lsd and certain generations of drugs. there's never been anything like what's happened to the country over the last four or five years. >> reporter: waging another battle with the top senate's republican, mitch mcconnell even as he praises his wife, elaine chow. >> she's doing a very, very good job. i'm disappointed in mitch. but if he gets these bills passed, i'll be happy and the first to admit but repeal and replace obamacare should have taken place. >> reporter: that swipe follows this critique from mcconnell this week. >> our new president of course has not been in this line of work before. and i think had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen. >> reporter: for the president no vacation from venting frustration. president trump today
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also commenting on banning transgender people from the armed services saying he has great respect for the community. adding it's been a very confusing issue for the military. i think i'm doing the military a great favor. >> peter alexander, thanks. now to a misty threatening to drive a wedge into renewed relations between the u.s. and cuba. investigators are examining whether american diplomats in havana were the victims of a hidden attack that may have caused hearing loss. more from andrea mitchell. >> reporter: tonight, u.s. government officials tell nbc news they suspect american diplomats in cuba were the target of acoustic attacks, ultrasonic sound waves or some investigators say possibly even poison. the bizarre incidents last october left a group of u.s. diplomats with hearing loss. blamed on what one says could have been a surveillance device inside or outside the
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residences all owned by cuba's government. several u.s. agencies, the cia and diplomatic security service are all investigating. >> we don't know exactly where this came from. we can't blame any one individual or a country at this point yet. an investigation is underway. we take that very seriously. >> reporter: canada also says some of its diplomats in havana also suffered symptoms. in havana a cuban news caster says the government is investigating and quote cuba has never nor would it allow the cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic agents or their families. so who's responsible? a third country. some suggest russia. or just a surveillance attempt gone terribly wrong says a former cia veteran. >> i personally think it was an accident. a surveillance event. i don't think the cubans would attack us
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physically like that, especially given the timing. >> the u.s. has already ex-spelled two cuban diplomats in washington after the incidents in savannah. only a first step depending on the investigation. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington. there are new revelations in the investigation into that penn state fraternity hazing death. a detective testified that one of the 18 fraternity members charged in the death of timothy piazza deleted surveillance footage from the basement that night. he suffered -- fraternity members waited 12 hours before calling for help. taylor swift takes the stand. the pop superstar faces the man she accuses of inappropriately touching her in a courtroom showdown. and the explosive surprise that shook up a city council meeting all caught on camera.
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we're back with a superstar show down in a colorado court room. taylor swift, one of the biggest pop acts on the planet describing what happened the day she accused a radio dj of groping her during a photo-op. he denies it and says
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he denies it and says she ruined his career. >> reporter: on the stand for an hour pop superstar taylor swift firmly repeatedly testified a radio dj lifted her skirt and intentionally grabbed her behind while posing for a photo. it was a definite grab, a very long grab, the singer said. he stayed latched on to my bare cheek as i moved away from him. i got as far away from him as i could. at issue is did david mueller grope swift at a preconcert meet and greet. the picture was introduced into evidence. swift didn't tell anyone until the meet and greet was over, waiting for fans to leave the room. when mueller's attorney pointed out she could have taken a break, she replied yes and your client could have taken a normal photo. swift's reps never reported the allegation to the police but did tell mueller's station kygo, which fired him two days ago. he filed a civil suit
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saying they cost him his job. he said he never felt swift and felt what appeared to be her rib cage. but swift alleging assault and battery says she's certain. you can ask me a million questions i'm never going to say anything different. fans of the grammy winning artist once again filled the courtroom. >> she was very confident on the stand. you heard about a lawyer badgering a witness? this is the first time i seen a witness badger the lawyer. >> they say it appeared mueller had a few cocktails before the photo. but he said he had nothing to drink before the meet and greet. we're back in a moment with new troubles for not one but two well-known american restaurants. whoooo.
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responders. the cause is under investigation. caught on camera an explosive surprise during an otherwise routine boulder city counsel meeting in nevada. smoke and flames suddenly erupting from the purse of a woman in the background. the woman was treated for burns but treated at the scene saent home. there are reports that a vape pen or e-cigarette battery may have sparked those flames. and news involving one of the most well known chain restaurants in america. the parent company of applebee's and ihop says it will close around with 60 locations. this when analysts say people are choosing quicker dining options rather than a sit-down restaurant. up next, "snl" is back early, the stars of weekend update getting ready for primetime with a whole summer of jokes to tell.
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well, our viewers certainly know it's been a busy summer for news from russia and o.j.'s parole. and showdown with north korea. none of it a laughing matter unless of course you're a late night comic.
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political satire is booming these days. the folks at "saturday night live" are bringing their popular weekend update to primetime tonight. i stopped by with a preview with its stars. >> it's weekend update. >> they are two breakout stars of political satire whose long summer off has been a season of missed opportunities. you guys missed scaramucci? >> we did. >> yes. that's like missing christmas or something. >> it feels like you showed up late to a concert and oh, man they brought out kanye. you're like what? yeah, he did one song and left. it was amazing. i was just going to get popcorn. >> the fake news. >> weekend update, a "saturday night live" staple has built plenty of careers and skewered plenty of presidents along the way. >> president clinton will be moving out the white house and expected to be the first president in history
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to not get his security deposit back. >> reporter: but the trump era has been the gift that keeps on giving for late night comedy. >> colin, it's official, donald trump is the next president of the united states. united? >> it's like you thought it peaked around the election and then it's gotten weirder. >> reporter: and so they're coming back early to the anchor desk for a special primetime run of "weekend update." >> people's appetite for it, that's the weirdest thing is that they watch the news and then they also want to hear entertainment about the news. >> we're living in a world where reputable news organizations are labelled as fake news. where do you fall into this? >> that makes us real. >> it's bazaar. yeah, we've been meaning to talk to you guys about that. >> the duo acknowledges there are plenty of topics and figures beyond politics they'll be looking to target and in the tradition of satire, finding humor in the darnedest places. >> kim jong-un is an
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ongoing -- >> that's -- we're right in the middle of that. people love laughing about that. >> kim jong-un, who describes himself as the harry styles of north korea. >> we find out it's funny when the audience does and we find out it's not funny when the audience does. >> you know very quickly. >> it's very long. >> until you get another laugh, it feels awful. >> a lot of fetal position sleeps on sunday. >> weekend update summer edition premiers tonight at 9:00/8:00 central. and come back here for the news. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and goodnight. has diplomatic traction, it is
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getting diplomatic results trt:08 ==jess/take vo== the american effort is diplomatically led. it is gaining diplomat results. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us i am jessica aguirre. >> and i am janelle wang. he warned the government of kim jong-un to quote get their act together. nuclear war is the earth's
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greatest threat. he also refused to back away from his threat earlier this week of fire and fury. saying if anything, that statement is not tough enough. james mattis was in silicon valley today. scott budman is live in mountain view. >> reporter: he was diplomatic when he says it is his job to have this military prepared and ready. u.s. defense secretary james mattis came to silicon valley to talk tech but quickly found himself answering questions about america's deteriorating relationship with north korea. >> the tragedy of war is well enough known.

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