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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 13, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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gusty winds, high surf and heavy rain possible approaching thursday. >> all right. thanks so much for joining us tonight. >> see you at 6:00. tonight, what happened behind closed doors? new questions about president trump and his dealings with russia and whether he, himself, was a threat to national security. more than three weeks into the shutdown, pain and now protests, as some workers fight back against furloughs and working without pay. >> a first look at a happy reunion. jayme closs back in the arms of loved ones, following three months of captivity. >> there's no other word. i mean, it's a miracle. >> a close family friend talks to us. a deadly winter storm pounds the midwest and the atlantic. tens of millions on alert. the birth rate at its lowest level in three decades, why are less americans having babies?
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and how a girl from an iowa farm is inspiring other girls to reach for the stars. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. good evening. president trump is a man who has long been in a public eye, reality tv star, businessman who sought the spotlight, a leader who frequently breaks news on twitter this weekend, though, two reports raise questions not about his very public life, but about what he has done in private. "the new york times" reports the fbi once investigated whether the president himself was working for russia. "the washington post" raised questions about five meetings between the past two years between trump and russian leader vladimir putin. we begin tonight with kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> reporter: snowed in at the white house today. a bitter chill swept across washington, with disturbing allegations reported by "the new york times" and "washington post" that prompted this
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startling question from a friendly fox news interviewer. >> are you now or have you ever worked for russia, mr. president? >> reporter: president trump did not answer directly, but appeared indignant. >> i think it's the most insulting thing i've ever been asked. i think it's the most insulting article i've ever had written. >> reporter: at issue, the times reports that in 2017, the fbi investigated the president directly, suspicious that he might be aiding russia. and "the post" wrote that former officials described the president as curiously secretive about his conversations with vladimir putin, even keeping interpreter's notes from senior advisers. today the secretary of state rejected those claims. >> a notion that president trump is a threat to american national security is absolutely ludicrous. >> reporter: but democrats demand more answers. house intelligence chairman adam schiff tweeted last year we sought to obtain the interpreter's notes or testimony.
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the republicans on our committee voted us down. will they join us now? >> why is he so chummy with vladimir putin, this man who is a form friend of the united states. >> reporter: but trump ally, senator lindsey graham, said he is astonished by the fbi's actions. >> this really did happen, congress needs to know about it and what i want to do is make sure how could the fbi do that? what kind of checks and balances are there? >> reporter: "the new york times" also said the fbi counterintelligence probe of the president became part of the ongoing mueller investigation. no evidence has emerged publicly that the president had any secret contact with or took direction from russia. the president said in that televised interview investigators found, quote, nothing. the white house press secretary dismissed the reporting as absurd and outrageously inaccurate. kate? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house for us. all of this as the partial government shutdown is now in
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its 23rd day. the transportation security administration said today that nearly 8% of airport security screeners are calling in sick. that is more than double the rate from one year ago. in fact, one checkpoint at houston's main airport is closed tonight due to a shortage of tsa workers. it's a sign that some federal workers have had enough. tammy leitner reports. >> reporter: federal workers' frustrations are now bubbling over with recent protests in boston and d.c. >> i'm concerned. >> reporter: border patrol agent jorge yanos is working, but without pay. and as a last-ditch effort, now heading to court. >> everybody is frustrated. a lot of the employees work double shifts and with no paycheck. so, that's a slap in the face. >> reporter: one of nearly 30,000 federal employees in a lawsuit brought by their union. 800,000 federal workers aren't
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getting paid. the longest shutdown in u.s. history has a trickle-down effect on communities around the country, too. some fda food inspections have stopped. miami's airport forced to close one terminal because of a shortage of tsa agents. in the d.c. area, furloughed employees are turning to food banks for the basics. kennedy space center contractor leroy smith's wife, judy, didn't fill an expensive prescription for seizure. >> he doesn't like having to say i can't get my wife medicine. >> it's childish that you shut down the government just because you can't come to an agreement. >> reporter: americans are now being forced to confront an uncomfortable and uncertain situation. how long can you go on like this? >> personally, i would say at least another paycheck. >> reporter: that's it? >> yes. >> reporter: tammy leitner, nbc news, san diego.y of state mike pompeo is in the middle east tonight and says he will press saudi arabia's leaders for
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greater accountability for the murder of a "washington post" journalist. andrea mitchell is traveling with the secretary. >> reporter: secretary pompeo is in saudi arabia tonight, first trip here since the cia concluded that the country's powerful crown prince was responsible for the brutal murder of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi, an assessment that president trump has not accepted. >> we will continue to have conversation with the crown prince and the saudis about ensuring that the accountability is full and complete with respect to the unacceptable murder of jamal khashoggi. >> reporter: despite u.s. sanctions on 17 of the alleged killers, including one of the crown prince's closest aides, the powerful leader is unrestrained say multiple current and former u.s. officials and former diplomats. president trump and his son-in-law, jared kushner see the crown prince, widely known as mbs, as a key ally and customer for u.s. weapons, but his country's human rights abuses are prompting worldwide
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criticism. this weekend a young saudi woman rahaf al qunun escaped to canada. >> a very brave, new canadian. >> reporter: she says she was fleeing an abusive family and had barricaded herself in a bangkok hotel room, pleading on twitter for u.n. help. >> i'm not leaving my room until i see unhcr. i want asylum. >> reporter: on his mideast tour, pompeo is facing questions about president trump's sudden decision to pull u.s. troops out of syria. and a new regional challenge, iran is threatening to start enriching nuclear fuel, that would violate the deal the u.s. quit last year. what do you think iran is up to with the enrichment -- what do you think they're up to?ee m? tomorrow the secretary of state is expected to see the crown prince, once known for his social refor, w overshadowed by the brutal murder of an outspoken journalist.
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kate? >> thanks so much, andrea mitchell. in wisconsin tomorrow, first court appearance for the man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old girl and holding her captive for three months before she managed to escape late last week. tonight we're hearing from loved ones about how jayme closs is coping. nbc's kathy park has that. >> reporter: these are the first photos of jayme closs, smiling with family and cuddling with pets after her three-month ordeal. >> she's eating well. she's happy. she's smiling. >> reporter: closs managed a dramatic escape thursday from a home in rural wisconsin, ending an intense search for the 13-year-old. she's been at home for with her aunt the last 72 hours, an emotional reunion after the teen's all a brutal murder of her parents. accused of both crimes, 21-year-old jay patterson now in custody. the motive, a mystery. >> i don't know if he just saw her or what the connection is, but there has been no contact
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like everybody thinks. >> reporter: ahead of patterson's first court appearance monday, his lawyers released a statement to the associated press, saying they're relying on the integrity of our judicial system to treat him fairly. one of patterson's neighbors said she was shocked by his arrest. >> jake just seemed like a typical kid, no different than any other kid in the neighborhood. >> reporter: back in closs' hometown, gratitude. >> we believed she was going to come home, just a matter of time. >> long-awaited homecoming for a community that never gave up hope. kathy park, nbc news. >> i'll have the story of another kidnapping that drew international attention and the undercover sting operation to catch a kidnapper "dateline" tonight. terrifying moments at a mall near salt lake city where police say two people were shot and wounded at a fashion place mall in murray, utah. a man and woman were shot. he's in critical condition, she in serious condition.
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police are now searching for three suspects and say the shooting may have been gang related. a tense evening in los angeles where more than 30,000 public school teachers and staff have been threatening to strike, starting tomorrow, if their demands are not met as nbc steve patterson reports, the dispute is about more than just money. ♪ together united >> reporter: the nation's second largest school district on the edge of a massive strike. after weeks of negotiations between l.a.'s school board and teachers' union stalled. >> our kids are worth better than this. they really are. >> reporter: tomorrow more than 30,000 educators, serving some 600,000 students, won't be going to work. >> we will be on strike for our students starting tomorrow. >> reporter: what do they want? smaller class sizes, higher pay and more nurses, counselors and librarians. the superintendent saying they've made several counteroffers, even asking the
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governor to get involved. >> keep us in a room, lock the door, throw away the key if he has to, so we can reach a resolution to avoid a strike. >> reporter: 80% of students rely on free or reduced school lunches. a strike might also mean some kids could go out a meal. schools will stay open with substitutes and volunteers filling in, but some parents are keeping their kids at home. >> we're both working parents. it's going to be a big challenge but we will support the teachers no matter what. >> reporter: the prospect of any time without a paycheck is terrifying. >> many nights i lie awake and worry and cry because i'm afraid. >> how about i stand with the teacher? >> reporter: now parents and teachers are gearing up to send could stretch on for weeks. steve patterson, nbc news. dangerous mix of snow and freezing rain is putting
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millions at risk in parts of the mid atlantic and midwest tonight. a plane slid off the runway at the cincinnati airport. no injuries were reported. snow is expected to continue in washington. you saw it already. virginia and parts of maryland. this is the same storm that pounded the midwest with up to 20" of snow and is being blamed for at least seven deaths and hundreds of accidents. >> tuesday, the british government faces a key test of its plan to exit the european union when parliament votes on the brexit deal backed by british prime minister theresa may. as sarah harmon reports, the vote is seen as a test of the prime minister herself. >> reporter: 75 days before the uk is set to leave the european union, tensions are running high. and not just on the streets. lawmakers still don't agree on how to leave. >> i want us to leave the european union on the 29th of march with the good deal that's on the table.
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>> reporter: tuesday a vote on that deal. few expect it to pass. people here have had enough of theresa may. they're calling for a general election now. if her brexit deal doesn't pass, here is what could happen. one option? delaying brexit beyond march 29th. another, leaving without a deal, which could have disastrous consequences. there could even be a second referendum, but if these protesters have their way -- >> time for her to go, i'm afraid. absolutely time for her to go. >> reporter: it may not be up to may much longer. sarah harman, nbc news, london. in this country, a new report by the centers for disease control sa tndent dr. john torres looks at the reason behind the declining fertility rate. >> reporter: at age 40, she is happy with not having children. >> i love the spontaneity of
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doing what i want to do. i love work. i'm a workaholic. >> reporter: it's something she carefully considered with her husband jeremy. >> i had other aspirations in mind. babies are a lot of work and i wasn't really willing to take on half that work. >> reporter: it's a decision more women are making. a new report shows the u.s. birth rate is the lowest in 30 years. babies were born. >> we are seeing that access to contraception is more broadly available to women, allowing them to choose delaying childbirth. >> reporter: e.r. other possible factors, economic uncertainty and a drop in teen pregnancies. >> the important take-home is
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that women have choices to delay child bearing and optimize their health prior to achieving prna best for their outcomes. >> so, dr. john, what are experts concerned about? >> some say it puts our country in jeopardy of not having a strong enough workforce for years to come. another impact, we risk fewer people to help care for the nation's growing elderly population. >> that's the truth. still ahead tonight, a kind of spring awakening as more people see value in recycling mattresses. we'll go inside what was a sleepy business. also history being made on the field today. we'll tell you what was so special about this playoff game. sleepy business. >> also history being made on the field today. we'll tell you what was so special about this playoff game. i don't keep track of regrets.
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visit geico.com/bestof. that's geico.com/bestof. we're back with a story about the environment, involving something we all use and eventually throw away. we're talking about mattresses and a growing movement in this country to recycle them. as anne thompson reports, some see gold in all those springs and other mattress parts. >> reporter: for entrepreneurs on both coasts this is the stuff of dreams, mattresses broken down and recycled. >> one, two, three. >> reporter: with more than 50,000 thrown away every day in this country.'r >> reporter: mattress recycling is the law in california, connecticut and rhode island. in new york, it was in the trash left by superstorm sandy that christine found potential treasure. >> i started seeing mattresses everywhere. >> reporter: when reduced to parts, mattresses have many uses, saving hampstead 30,000 a
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-- $30 a ton in trash disposal costs instead of recycling by sending the mattresses to landfills. what does the foam get reused for? >> commercial carpet padding. >> reporter: what about the coils? >> this is considered scrap metal. they take it, melt it down, crush it down or repurpose it for other material. >> reporter: 80% of the mattress can be recycled. today the only thing that goes to the landfill is the padded top. nationwide at least 4 million mattresses have been recycled since 2015, creating 200 jobs, at least 56 recycling facilities across the country. she's now partnering with new york city's housing authority to remove these perennial eyesores. >> it will be cleaner, there will be less rats and there's a potential economic benefit. >> reporter: cheaper than sending the mattresses to a landfill and better for people,
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who dream of a cleaner, greener planet. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. when we come back, the final tragic act for a famous theater. l (burke) parking splat. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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joint pain, less appetite, vomi,ti fever, chills, and rash. prevention begins with prevnar 13®. ask your doctor or pharmacist about prevnar 13®. a normal quiet sunday morning began with a bang as the roof of the bradley center was o the milwaukee bucs bastbteam fo. a landmark of the american theater is gone. american shakespeare festival theater caught fire early this morning and burned to the ground. it opened in 1955. among the actors who performed there, katharine hepburn, james earl jones.
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no word yet on the cause. and some history was made today on the field, as sarah thomas became the first woman ever to officiate at an nfl playoff game. she was among the officials working the game between the los angeles chargers and new england patriots. thomas was the first full-time female official in the nfl. she is now in her fourth season. when we come back, we'll meet a woman who is helping girls reach for the stars and knows better than anybody what it's like up there. stars and the fact is, americans move more than anyone else in the world. on average, we'll live in eleven homes. and every time we move,ng apartments become houses, cars become mini vans. as we upgrade and downsize, an allstate agent will do the same for our protection. now that you know the truth, are you in good hands?
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our because of smoking.ital. but we still had to have a cigarette. had to. but then, we were like. what are we doing? the nicodermcq patch helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. nicodermcq. you know why, we know how. family: happy birthday! let's blow out the candles together! okay, let's o sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. so my doctor said... symbicort can help you breathe better starting within 5 minutes. it doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. it may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems.
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tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. grandpa : symbicort could mean a day with better breathing. family: watch out, piggies! (blowing) ask your doctor if symbicort is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. there's a big push in schools across the nation to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called stem subjects. in connecticut, they're kicking
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off a new program now where students are being inspired by a woman who has literally reached for the stars. a rock star welcome for peggy whitson. the astronaut who spent more time in space than any american. when she visited the sacred heart school in greenwich, connecticut, the girls held on to every word. >> 15 to 16 sunrises and sunsets per day because we're going around the earth once every hour and a half. >> you could be doing anything. why come in and look at the girls' robotic projects? >> i think stem education is young ladies, i really want to promote the fact that science is cool. >> reporter: the school is piloting a new partnership working with nasa and ibm to implement new technology. >> there's so many stars to see. >> like 5,060. >> oh, boy, way more than that even. >> reporter: when whitson was 9, neil armstrong inspired her.
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by the time she graduated high school, nasa was selecting the first female astronauts. >> it was important for me that it made it -- it changed it from a dream to a goal. >> a reality, a possibility? >> yeah. so definitely in seeing someone there that made a difference. >> did you ever think you would meet a real astronaut? >> no. >> no. >> i thought it was something like really amazing, because that means any c >> they will be able to succeed. i did it. i'm from, you know, a farm in iowa. >> so what beverage do you think whitson was craving when she came home after her last space mission? you can find out in my digital series called "the drink" where i talk with folks at the top of their field about how they got there over a drink, of course. you can find it at nbcnews.com/the drink on roku, amazon fire and apple tv. that is "nbc nightly news" on a sunday night.
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lester holt will be back with you tomorrow. i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night. of us here have a great night. now.
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good evening and thanks for joining us. i )m terry mcsweeney. the news at 6:00 starts
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right now. thank you for joining us. >> we begin tonight with breaking news. pg & e's ceo has stepped down from her position. she's resigning. this comes as the utility is embroiled in controversy after deadly and devastating wildfires. they announced its board of directors is searching for her replacement. in the interim, john simon will take over the role. he has the executive vice-president. he has been with the company more than a decade. it comes as rumors spiwirl thatt could file for bankruptcy. it faces billions of dollars in liability over its potential role in recent california wildfires.

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