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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 12, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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is next. we're back at 6:00. on this saturday night, state of emergency. white nationalist protests turned deadly in charlottesville, virginia, when a car slammed into the crowd. president trump condemning what he calls an egregious display of bigotry and calls for unity. >> no matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all americans first. border lifeline as tensions rise with north korea, we get a rare glimpse at the crucial trade link with china that keeps north korea running. sick bay in space. training astronauts to double as first responders when there's a medical emergency on the mission to mars. and close encounter. the remarkable scenes
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in the water as swimmers come within inches of a gentle giant. "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. good evening. terror and death in the streets of charlottesville, virginia, today as a car plowed into a crowd of protesters killing at least one and injuring many more. hours earlier, the virginia governor declared a state of emergency. this historic southern college town has seen two days of violent protests focused on race. white nationalists counterprotesters clashed as state troopers tried to keep the peace. they did not succeed. nbc's tom costello is there with the very latest. tom? >> reporter: jose, good evening. the streets are calm at this very moment
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but behind me police are still working the scene here where the fatal accident occurred. witnesses say that this driver came plowing into a crowd of counterprotesters, people went flying in every direction. we had at least one fatality here. a short time ago, they arrested a suspect in this but we don't know his identity. the police chief moments ago said this was in fact an intentional act. in the entirety of this incident here, more than three dozen people injured. this has been a day of heated racist rhetoric and violence. a horrifying scene in charlottesville, as this car plowed into a crowd of people. the driver then backing up and witnesses say dragging at least one person. >> it's barrelling towards the protesters. i jump out of the way and scream car. >> reporter: three cars involved in the chain-reaction crash, killing at least one person. >> that's when he went right through the crowd. >> reporter: brennan and chris took video of the moment of impact. he took aim at the crowd? >> yeah. it was a very narrow street. he sort of slowed down and then just slammed into them very, very hard.
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>> reporter: it happened two hours after a planned protest built as unite the right was shut down by police at a nearby park. hundreds of white nationalists, some wearing what appeared to be uniforms, carrying weapons and confederate flags and nazi symbols clashed with counterprotesters. the rally originally meant to protest the city's decision to remove the statue of confederate general robert e. lee but quickly turned to chaos. >> you will not replace us! >> reporter: this video was live streamed. >> we're being gassed now. the charlottesville police department is allowing people to come in here and gas us. they won't allow us into the event even though we had a permit. >> if you will not disperse immediately, you'll be arrested. >> reporter: police stepped in clearing the demonstrators from the area, declaring it an unlawful assembly. the largest deployment of virginia state police in nearly three decades.
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tensions began simmering last night when white nationalists carried torches in the city, reminiscent of propaganda events in the '20s and '30s. today, president trump responded to the violence. >> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. >> reporter: the mayor of charlottesville also weighed in saying he is broken hearted and urged people to go home. we have another tragic development. a state police helicopter was working all day hovering above the crowd watching the developments. it crashed a short time ago. the governor of virginia tells us that two state troopers died in that crash. so we now have three people dead here in charlottesville, virginia, or nearby and at least three dozen people injured in what may have been the biggest white nationalist attraction or event in decades. jose?
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>> tom costello, thank you very much. from charlottesville to new jersey where president trump addressed the violence striking a different tone than we've heard from him in recent days and in a call for unity the president's message also focused on what he calls a return to law and order. nbc's kelly o'donnell with that part of the story. >> reporter: this was not the celebratory event president trump had planned. his moment to tout the bill for veterans care overshadowed by the kind of national emergency that requires a president's voice. >> it's been going on for a long time in our country. not donald trump, not barack obama, it's been going on for a long, long time. >> reporter: referring to today's violence and suggesting he and his predecessor did not spark this violence. he reached out to democrat terry mcauliffe. >> we agreed that the division and hatred must stop and must stop right now. >> reporter: the president used the
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word "bigotry" but did not specifically rebuke or describe racially motivated protesters, some of whom brought weapons to a planned demonstration. >> no matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all americans first. >> reporter: the president turned to more comfortable terrain by turning to first responders. >> i want to salute the great work of the state and local police in virginia. incredible people. >> reporter: and he called for calm. >> what is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives. >> reporter: the racial divide parallels a political one where some of those at the protest were vocal trump
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supporters aligned with white nationalism like david duke. >> that's why we voted for donald trump, because he said he's going to take our country back and that's what we've got to do. >> reporter: the president carried on with his planned bill signing but turned back to charlottesville. >> everybody wants it to heal and it will heal. >> reporter: although president trump indicated he would take questions, he did not. he heard the words white nationalist and left the room. >> do you want the support of these white nationalist groups who say they support you, mr. president? have you denounced them strongly enough? >> reporter: and white
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house officials trying to explain why the president described this as bigotry on many sides, they say he's condemning all of it but there was violence from protesters and counterprotesters. some republican senators are saying the president must say more to describe this as domestic terrorism and to call out white supremacist. jose? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. much more tomorrow on "meet the press," h.r. mcmaster and admiral mike mullen, former chairman of the joint chiefs. today's violence in charlottesville is a stark reminder of our nation's troubled history when it comes to race. nbc's morgan radford looks at new data as to how deep it exists and where the deep divide exists. >> you will not replace us. >> reporter: last night's torch protest march by the alt-right in charlottesville, virginia, has eerie echos of the past, familiar images from an era that many americans thought was behind us. race, after decades of civil rights legislation and even the election of a black president is still at the center of our national conversation. is this the tipping point? >> yes. america is entering a unique phase in history. >> reporter: nearly three-quarters of american voters say race relations in the united states is worst now than in the 1990s after the o.j. simpson and riots.
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polls show 42% of black americans are upset about the way that they are treated. but only 15% of whites share the same view. >> the playing field is not fair. it's never been fair. so in an effort to correct it and making it appear fair, those who have had the advantage now feel disadvantaged because they no longer have the advantage. >> reporter: surveys and polls can obscure people's true feelings on the hot topic of race but how people act may are more revealing of what they actually think. a harvard researcher studying google searchers found hidden racism that public surveys may not capture. on obama's election night in 2008, 1 in every 100 searches for obama also included kkk or the "n" word
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and last year during president trump's run for office. >> no one's going anywhere. this is who america is and america has got to come with terms with it. we're really a multiracial society. >> data reveals that we've come to a point where whites see anti-white bias as more prevalent than anti-black bias. this tension we're seeing may pass but may get worse before it gets better. >> morgan radford, thank you very much. the crisis in north korea prompted a phone call last night between president trump and china's leader warning those involved it should escalate tension. many believe it was key to reining in the regime. to get a better sense of that relationship, we sent out janis mackey frayer for a look. >> reporter: north korea's economic lifeline, the bridge connecting it to china. more than three-quarters of
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trade with the regime happens here. in dandong, china, trucks load and line streets and then cross to the other side with building supplies, cement, heavy equipment. while severe united sanctions could slash a third of north korea's revenue at the choke point, this single lane bridge is business as usual. it's normal to trade with north korea, says this business owner. there's nothing to fear. but these days, tension is running high. deep suspicion of foreign journalists forced us to keep a low profile. as north korea's biggest ally in trading partner, china's pressure is crucial. though sanctions alone have never worked. >> the priority has
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always been stability and maintaining buffer zones at the border. china does not want to fully implement sanctions or cut off trade completely with north korea. >> reporter: in dandong, north korea is less a threat than an attraction. tourists eager to get a glimpse. both tours get closer to look at north korea and at how far china has come. the river separates the two by more than just geography. on the one side is the china's largest economy and north korea, the most isolated country on earth. at most, there is a half mile between china's prosperity and north korea's poverty. on the map, dandong is far closer to pyongyang than beijing but the new bridge china built goes nowhere the regime never built a road to meetings and the trade keeps flowing until the lights go out and other side goes dark
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with a dangerous standoff looming. janis mackey frayer, dandong. putting pressure on solar users trying to cut in on the savings that they're enjoying on their electric bills. and just one winner for the mega million jackpot but lotto fever in our country isn't over just yet.
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it's marketed as a way to save you and your family money on your electric bill but some utility companies are trying to change the rules on solar technology and it could wind up costing you much more than you expect. nbc's lucy kafanov explains.
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>> reporter: for these homeowners in tucson, arizona, 300 days of sunshine a year made going solar a no-brainer. they shelled out $21,000 hoping to offset the triple digit electric bills that come when temperatures are over 100. >> that's huge. >> that's a massive increase. >> reporter: it's an investment with a long-term payoff. >> ideally, we will pay zero over the year. >> reporter: that's because of something called net metering. when the sun is out, rooftop solar panels make more energy than most homeowners can use and they earn credits for extra power they send to the utility company which offsets buying power from the grid at night. utilities are not fans of net metering. every kilowatt generated on a home roof is one less that the power company gets to sell and now in six states across the
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country, power companies are fighting to change the rules. >> the reason you're seeing utility push back is the previous monopoly of all energy supply is being threatened. >> reporter: a proposed rule change in tucson would see new rooftop customers pay an additional $100 a year while earning a lot less for the power they sell. >> the costs for solar power are paid for by all of our customers and rooftop customers don't pay their fair share under our current rates. >> reporter: their main concern, net metering doesn't maintain the grid that carries power to and from the homes. power companies are jumping on the solar bandwagon, too, building huge solar fields like this one. here, there's nearly 100,000 solar panels, enough to keep the lights on for 5,000 tucson homes all year. they believe more homeowners benefit when they buy solar directly from them. >> large-scale communities like the ones we're standing in now are more predictable and more reliable.
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>> reporter: but tim wants a choice. >> it's disheartening to think of a sunny place like tucson having less solar. we should have the most solar of anywhere in the u.s. >> reporter: while it's uncertain who will make that choice, it is clear that america's solar landscape is going to change. lucy kafanov, nbc news, tucson, arizona. what if there were a medical emergency in space? we're back in a moment with a look at a one-of-a-kind simulator getting astronauts ready for mars. one down and one
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one down and one to go. last night's mega million jackpot ended with a single win. the ticket was sold at a barbecue joint outside of chicago. no one has yet come forward to claim the $393 million prize. that's mucho dinero. for all of us who missed out, tonight's powerball drawing is worth an estimated $356 million. it was not the final end for the guy known as the fastest man. jamaica's usain bolt fell short of the finish line in the final sprint of his career. bolt went for the relay at the championships in london, appeared to have hurt his leg just after handoff. there you see him tumbling to the track. great britain wound up with the upset in that race. now to a peak inside nasa's critical preparation for the mission to mars. as the space agency prepares to send astronauts to the red
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planet, they are getting ready to handle a medical emergency millions of miles from the nearest hospital. our medical correspondent dr. john torres reports. >> reporter: when stephen johnson was at the international space station, a visit was out of the question. but they could in minutes have a doctor on call. >> realtime communications, a very minor delay, you could have a doctor on the radio with you while you're working with the patient. >> reporter: nasa's new plan for the final frontier have people heading further afield. to mars. 34 million miles away from earth. it takes 20 minutes for the call for help to reach earth. >> if you have an emergency, you're not going to wait for help on board. >> reporter: that means every member of the crew will be forced to be doctors, working only with the supplies on their ship. >> they have limited resources to deal with
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in that situation to figure out how they might be able to save that person's life. >> reporter: nasa has teamed up to create a first of its kind space simulator to teach astronauts how to deal with medical emergencies, ranging from simple injuries to major events like a heart attack. in one scenario, a pipe on the ship bursts causing poisonous gas to go throughout the spaceship. the astronauts face a double dilemma. they need to fix their ship and keep their sick crew members alive at the same time. i got a chance to suit up. in my scenario, a crew member's lungs had collapsed. i'm used to that setting in a hospital but not in space. this is realistic. the goal is to keep people healthy and complete the mission? >> you have to complete the mission. you have no choice. >> reporter: a mission much more perilous than before. astronauts will be living in deep space for three years, long enough that the crew will almost certainly face a medical crisis. a new world of space
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medicine that's one small step towards a giant mission. dr. john torres, nbc news, boston. when we come back, swimming in the shallows, rare encounters as a whale makes its way right up to shore. we end tonight with images from the west coast. a gray whale coming
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we end tonight with images from the west coast. a gray whale coming literally within
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inches of suspected swimmers. nbc's ron mott has the story. >> reporter: for a few swimmers and beach goers, a whale of a tale. sharing the pacific up close and personal with a friendly beast thanks to an apparent wrong turn. he soaked up the sun in dana point harbor this week. captain put his drone to work. >> this lady on the front just dives into the water and swims over to this whale. everybody is kind of stunned and then a whole bunch of people kind of helped out and they were actually able to get the whale out of the harbor. it's not something i would normally recommend doing. >> reporter: the orange county sheriff's department also captured the stunning encounter as good samaritans tries to shoo the young whale out to sea. but the whale took a couple more detours, first laguna beach and
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then newport beach. this time of year, gray whales have usually made the 6,000 mile trek from their winter homes near baja to the bering sea. whether this whale was simply lost isn't immediately known. wildlife officials are monitoring its whereabouts and health saying there's no cause for concern. finders keepers it's not though probably a handful of weepers perhaps thanks for showing the way. ron mott, nbc news. and that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. tomorrow on "nightly news" with kate snow, potential extraterrestrials repackaged for those of us at home. i'm jose diaz-balart. thank you for the privilege of your time. good night. a security scare at san jose
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airport. hundre right now at 6:00 breaking news, a security scare at san jose airport. hundreds of people asked to evacuate a terminal after a possible security breach. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, thank you for joining us. i'm terry mcsweeney. long lines in the terminal and
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big delays for poliflights. a big inconvenience for passengers tonight. marianne favro has details. >> reporter: this happened after 3:00 this afternoon. there was a security breach here at terminal a. and asry result more than 200 passengers will be delayed flying out. now that spokesperson told us one of the airlines screened luggage that was supposed to be checked on to a plane. but then that luggage somehow made it back into terminal a. so as a precaution, passengers from all 11 airlines, including alaska and american airlines were asked to come back and go through security screening again. even passengers who were already up at the boarding gates. we talked to one passenger who was impacted. >> we're inside, we were going out on delta and we saw s

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