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

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6:00. now to lester holt in new york. >> see you at 6:00. tonight the coldest blast in decades turns deadly. temperatures plummeting even further, feeling like 50 below zero. >> worst i've ever seen. >> records shattered, flights canceled, schools closed, mail delivery stopped. president trump blasts his own intelligence chiefs telling them to go back to school after they publicly broke with his threat assessments on everything from north korea to iran. it was a $10 billion promise touted by the president to bring back american manufacturing jobs. but tonight there' promise broken. >> it's devastating for the taxpayers of wisconsin. this is something that's been hyped up and it appears it was all, you know -- all for show. the nfl commissioner breaking his public silence on
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that blown call and the super bowl controversy. a miraculous rescue caught on camera. a father and son who pulled a teen from this fireball crash. how everyone made it out alive. underground mystery. a 50-yard tunnel found leading right under a bank. the fbi on scene investigating a wild criminal plot. and another major recall of chicken nuggets. 120,000 pounds in two days. the food safety alert your family needs to know. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone. as we come on the air in the west, cities are virtually paralyzed tonight in the midwest as the polar vortex holds millions in a dangerous and icy grip. a blast of arctic air sweeping across the upper tier of the country now rapidly pushing toward the northeast. the weather blamed for at least six deaths so far. windchills are dipping as far as 50 below zero. so cold in chicago that fires were actually lit to keep commuter rails from freezing.
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our miguel almaguer is in the frozen zone tonight. >> reporter: it's not just the winter whiteout conditions and treacherous roads making headlines. it's also the bone-chilling deep freeze. hard to see but easy to feel. >> it's like stinging, it's like having a needle into your skin. >> reporter: today 210 million americans below freezing by morning. 58 million of them waking up to subzero temperatures. records shattered in more than two dozen cities. among them chicago, the windy city a frozen tundra feeling like negative 52. >> it's brutal, man, this is the worst i've ever seen. >> can't even see out of your glasses. >> can't see out of my glasses, no. >> reporter: across the country it's just as brutal. >> i'm in des moines where we broke the record of 13 below zero, right now it's 20 below, and that's without windchill. >> the feels-like temperature between right now and saturday afternoon will increase by 90 degrees. >> that cold weather is moving east and we're already seeing it and feeling it. overnight it's forecast to drop to 4
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degrees in new york, and it will feel like 20 below zero. >> here in washington, d.c. it's also going to drop into the single digits and the wind is going to make it feel like it's 15 below. >> reporter: many schools and universities in the midwest and northeast canceling classes. the rails and roads either empty or a nightmare. flying ice shattering windshields. thousands of flights canceled or delayed. the homeless facing imminent danger, some huddled in shelters. >> to me it's just hoping that i can just stay warm for the night. >> reporter: it's so cold, if you go outside in wet clothes, this is what it looks like in just four minutes. so tough you can't bend it, and you can hear it. the u.s. postal service suspending deliveries in 11 states, too dangerous for mail carriers. you definitely don't want to be out here too long. my ears are frozen right now. >> reporter: at this minneapolis hospital, they've seen more frostbite patients this month than they do in a typical year.
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>> the first signs of frostbite are pain, numbness, tingling. those types of things are warning signs that you should get inside. >> reporter: a killer cold, not ready to thaw out yet. with cities like chicago coated in thick chunks of ice, it is colder here than on mt. everest, in parts of antarctica, and siberia. to give you more perspective, lester, we were in l.a. yesterday. it feels 123 degrees colder here than there. lester? >> two words, good grief. miguel, thank you. let's turn to al roker. al, how much worse does it get and when does it finally warm up? >> a snow squall line has opened the backdoor to brutally cold temperatures in the northeast, heavy snow moving through lake-effect snow could drop up to 4 feet in upstate new york. meantime, tomorrow morning brutally cold again, minus 4 in minneapolis. minus 40 for windchill. minus 45 chicago. minus 25 buffalo. the good news is we've
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got warming temperatures coming. in fact, believe it or not, by sunday, some places could feel like an 80-degree warmer swing in just 48 hours. that's the news we like to hear. lester? >> indeed we do, al, thanks very much. meantime, with much of the country in the grip of this freeze, president trump tweeted, quote, windchill reaching minus 60 degrees what the hell is going on with global warming? please come back fast, we need you, end quote. scientists say the invasion of record cold is in fact likely the result of climate change. and there's more evidence, in the form of scorching heat and fires around the world right now. here's tom costello. >> reporter: across the globe, the weather picture is one of fire cold in the midwest, fire and record heat in australia.120 degrees and hr >> what that really means is that fires will be uncontrollable. they'll be fast moving. >> reporter: and yo-yo weather cycles. after the deep freeze
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in the u.s., a 50-degree rebound in some cities within days. hard to believe when you're frozen like an icicle, but experts say that arctic blast is in fact further evidence of climate change. in response to president trump's skepticism, the weather experts at noaa tweeting, winter storms don't prove that global warming isn't happening. here's why. at the north pole, scientists say the melting sea ice and ocean temperatures have caused the walls of the jet stream or polar vortex to break open like a dam in places. that has allowed arctic air to escape, rushing south into the midwest. >> not only is greenhouse gas warming impacting the planet, but it's really nn kicng in in the parts of the planet that are most sensitive, in particular arctic sea ice regiond arctic. >> reporter: all of us are feeling the effects. still, over the past decade, the u.s. has broken high temperature records twice as often as cold ones. lester? >> tom costello,
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thanks. from government scientists contradicting the president on climate change to his own intelligence chiefs publicly contradicting the president on his threat assessments of north korea and iran. the president lashing out telling them to go back to school. hallie jackson has that fallout. >> reporter: the president calling intelligence officials he hired passive and naive, suggesting in a tweet today they go back to school. after they publicly contradicted him, not just on iran. >> i withdrew the united states from the horrible one-sided iran nuclear deal. >> at the moment, technically they're in compliance. >> reporter: but on isis. >> we have won against isis. we've beaten them and we've beaten them badly. >> isis is intent on resurging. >> reporter: on russia. >> is russia still targeting the u.s., mr. president? >> no. next question. >> we expect russia will continue to wage its information war against democracies. >> reporter: and on north korea. >> north korea's
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working out very well. >> the capabilities and threat that existed a year ago are still there. >> reporter: behind the scenes multiple sources tell nbc news intelligence officials felt frustrated by the president's tweets and debated a response, but in the end decided that would be counterproductive, so stayed silent. republicans did not. >> it's the best we have, and of course we need to rely on them. >> reporter: the democratic head of the house intelligence committee warned rhetoric like the president's is downright dangerous. >> i'd ask the president this. you've got the best intelligence agencies in the world, listen to what they have to say. when you ignore them, you do that at our country's peril. >> reporter: hallie jackson, nbc news, the white house. and while that drama plays out in washington, president trump's jobs agenda took a hit far away in wisconsin. tech giant foxconn is rethinking plans for a multibillion-dollar plant touted by the president that was supposed to bring thousands of jobs. with more on that here's kristen welker. >> reporter: for president trump, foxconn's new $10 billion plant was personal. >> foxconn. >> foxconn. >> reporter: even
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marking the groundbreaking himself last year in wisconsin. >> one of the largest jobs ever built in the world. >> reporter: the promise, to create 13,000 jobs, many blue collar, to manufacture lcd panels for tv screens and other products. but in a surprising development overnight, foxconn told reuters the company is now considering significantly scaling back those plans. in terms of tv, we have no place in the u.s., we can't compete, one executive told the news outlet. now instead of a factory, foxconn says it wants to create a technology hub. the state promised more than $4 billion in tax incentives. >> it's devastating for the taxpayers of wisconsin. this is something that has been hyped up. it appears that it was all, you know -- all for show. >> reporter: tonight foxconn tells nbc news, we remain committed to the creation of 13,000 jobs, adding, the global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed. but the company didn't get specific. so what are the
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implications for president trump and the economy? >> i think they can deduce that the president wasn't paying attention to what works in manufacturing. he's got his name all over this failure. >> reporter: no response yet from the white house. for his part, president trump tried to put the focus on the stock market which topped 25,000 today. mr. trump calling that tremendous news. lester? >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. also today, president trump spoke with venezuela's opposition leader who's locked in a standoff with embattled president nicolas maduro as large protests against maduro once again filled the streets. nbc's andrea mitchell has the story. >> reporter: tonight massive crowds supporting opposition leader juan guaido calling for the ouster of venezuela's embattled leader nicolas maduro. it's a cold war showdown. guaido supported by the u.s. and most of latin america, challenging maduro, bankrolled by russia, appearing on russian state television thanking vladimir putin. maduro accusing president trump of
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ordering a hit squad to kill him, trying to show military strength. u.s. officials warning maduro against any violence toward guaido or americans. president trump tweeting he called guaido and reinforced strong united states support. >> this is not a u.s. initiative. this is an initiative for which all the credit belongs to the venezuelan people. >> reporter: tonight the white house is tightening the financial squeeze on maduro, blocking him from getting any revenue from his state-owned oil company. lester? >> andrea mitchell, thanks. back home, breaking news in chicago where police say they're seeking potential persons of interest in the alleged attack on actor jussie smollett, star of the hit show "empire." nbc's ron mott is there and has more for us. >> reporter: tonight, chicago police say detectives have spotted potential persons of interest in the alleged assault of "empire" actor jussie smollett after poring through hundreds of hours of surveillance video. smollett says he was the victim of an attack early tuesday morning. police confirm the
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actor was captured on video inside a subway restaurant near his apartment building shortly before he says he was attacked. smollett's manager called police to the actor's apartment 40 minutes after the alleged attack. when the officers responded the actor was still wearing a thin rope that he says was used in the assault. according to authorities the actor had light cuts and a scratch on his face. police say officers arrived with their body cameras rolling. as is procedure they asked smollett if he wanted them to stop recording and that he told them yes. chicago pd say they have a dozen detectives on the case and they're expanding the search of the city's surveillance network, one of the most extensive in the u.s. smollett has not responded to our request for comment. tonight the search for potential persons of interest wanted for questioning now in a high-profile alleged assault. ron mott, nbc news, chicago. another deepening mystery in st. louis where a young officer was laid to rest today after a deadly alleged game of russian roulette with a fellow officer. now prosecutors suggest police have obstructed the
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investigation. here's nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: today in st. louis, a funeral for 24-year-old police officer katlyn alix. >> katie was the best child. >> reporter: now her family desperate for answers. >> we need to sort through the fact and the fiction. and what's rumor and what's real. >> reporter: but there are only more questions. after this sharply worded letter from the city prosecutor blasting police for immediately calling alix's death an accident. >> there was an accidental discharge of a weapon. >> reporter: what the prosecutor says was a predisposed conclusion about the outcome of a case. officer nate hendren has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after shooting alix in his apartment. a late-night game of russian roulette turned deadly, according to both hendren and his partner, who was also there and has still not been identified, were on duty. alix was not. now the city prosecutor says drugs and alcohol may have been involved.
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her letter accusing the police department of appearing to obstruct the investigation by collecting only urine and a breathalyzer when her office wanted blood samples. the director of public safety hit back. >> to suggest that an officer is engaging in any obstruction of justice is ludicrous. >> reporter: hendren suspended without pay. while his attorney writes, there is no evidence nor will there ever be that this was anything more than a tragic accident. stephanie gosk, nbc news. tonight the nfl commissioner's breaking his silence on that blown call leaving the super bowl in turmoil, and his answers aren't likely to make saints fans happy. with more, here's gabe gutierrez. >> pass is incomplete, no flag. >> reporter: ten days after the refs decided not to call this pass interference penalty, dashing the super bowl dreams of the new orleans saints -- >> we understand the frustration. >> reporter: -- commissioner roger goodell finally broke his silence saying he never considered changing the outcome of the nfc championship game.
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>> should the saints be here, and is this game tainted? >> the game of football is played on the field. and they're played by humans, they're coached by humans, they're officiated by humans. we understand the disappointment of the saints fans, the organization and the players. >> reporter: fans so outraged some have sued. goodell's comments not satisfying matt bowers, who's bought several billboards to make it clear he thinks the saints were robbed. >> it was devastating. it's insulting to me that roger goodell would somehow insinuate he understands how we feel. >> reporter: the saints head coach saying he's trying to get past it. >> i eat ice cream and watch netflix for three straight days. >> reporter: goodell says the league will consider expanding the use of instant replay but cautions this was a judgment call. lester? >> gabe gutierrez in atlanta. and by the way, if you're planning a super bowl party, before you put chicken nuggets on the menu, there is a food safety warning we need to tell you about. here's nbc's steve patterson. >> reporter: tonight a major recall from one of the country's leading food
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producers. tyson foods is recalling more than 36,000 pounds of chicken nuggets that may be contaminated with rubber. the voluntary recall is for the company's white meat panko chicken nuggets sold in five-pound packages with a best use date of november 26, 2019 printed on the package. the announcement comes after the company says it received consumer complaints about extraneous material, specifically rubber, found in the nuggets. >> we have to worry about the rubber itself causing people to choke. >> reporter: so far, no confirmed cases of injuries. purdue foods recently recalled 68,000 pounds of chicken nuggets that may have been contaminated with wood. inspectors are recommending anyone with the recalled products to return it to the store or simply throw it away. steve patterson, nbc news. next tonight, the father and son who rescued a teen after a fiery head-on crash. then the mystery police found under what they thought was a sinkhole.
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next tonight the shocking video, a fiery head-on collision and the miracle rescue by father and son good samaritans. with more, these nbc's kristen dalgren. >> reporter: no one saw it coming. >> they're going about 50 miles an hour into the wall of fire. >> reporter: 18-year-old sam lachance headed back to college in new hampshire when his jeep veered off course and into a tractor-trailer, all captured on mark cramer's dash cam. >> what ensued was a miracle. >> reporter: he and son john were on their way to the dentist. but ended up saving a life. pulling sam from the burning wreckage. >> we don't know what's going to happen, if it's going to explode. >> reporter: sam's family got the call their son was in the hospital. >> it's terrifying. >> reporter: but then they saw the video and realized just what a miracle it was sam was alive at all. >> if he didn't have those people there to help him, we'd be telling a different story. >> reporter: sam still has a long way to go. he has a brain injury
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and severe burns. but tonight he's sitting up and talking. >> there's no words. i'm just incredibly grateful. >> reporter: grateful to heroic strangers who happened by at exactly the right time. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. >> brave men. amazing everyone survived. next, the secret tunnel and the plot police say it's linked to.
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back to tell you about that underground mystery, a tunnel discovered leading right toward a bank. the fbi trying to figure out if there's an elaborate heist plot behind it. here's kerry sanders. >> reporter: at first it just looked like a small sinkhole. then the fbi found boots, a winch, a wagon, extension cords, a generator. a 50-yard tunnel leading to a bank. ld get into the bank, isn't the vault the real problem? >> i want to talk to them. i want to talk to them, yeah, these are great questions. >> reporter: the fbi looking for a suspect that one agent joked must be about the size of an abnormally fat gopher, able to fit in
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a space only two feet wide. agents say the caper was foiled by mother nature. the soil here in south florida is mostly a dirty sand, unable to support a tunnel after the ground was soaked by recent rains. like a movie, a mysterious tunnel, a criminal plot, a suspect that got away. at least for now. kerry sanders, nbc news, pembroke pines, florida. >> pretty unbelievable. up next, fans celebrate the fab four's farewell 50 years later. enough and is lasht
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pg&e up next, federal judge has had enough and lashing out at pg&e. it's time for the actions of pg&e to match its words. the strong message he delivered to pg&e and the actions he's looking for next. i moment in music history. even fans who weren't born then paid tribute around the world today. here's kevin tibbles.
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>> reporter: it was 50 years ago today. ♪ jojo was a man who thought he was a loner ♪ >> reporter: the fab four played live for the last time. ♪ get back get back >> reporter: as bewildered lunchgoers and london bobbies gazed up from the street below. back in 1969, the beatles were on the verge of breaking up when john, paul, george, and ringo tried out some new tunes high atop the band's london offices. today the beatles were celebrated with rooftop concerts around the world. from where it all started in liverpool -- ♪ back in the ussr >> reporter: -- to austin, texas. miami. ♪ don't let me down >> reporter: even in frigid new york. >> greatest band of all time, bar none. bar none. anybody argues, they're wrong. >> reporter: music that gets you moving no matter the temperature. >> i always listened
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to them as i was growing up. >> reporter: a half century later, just two beatles remain. but their music, well, let it be, forever. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. >> guess what will be on my playlist going home tonight. that's "nightly news." i'm lester holt. for all of us, thanks berated in a san francisco courtroom. the tongue lashing a federal judge gave p-g-and-e right now at 6:00, berated in a san francisco courtroom. the tongue lashing of pg&e. we'll lay out the storm and details on a stronger storm ahead. but first, reunited after a month apart. the first thing a woman seeking asylum did with her 18-month-old daughter who was taken from her
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at the border. news account 56 starts now. i'm jessica aguirre. i'm raj mathai. there's a lot of talk about immigration and what should be done. for now, families are being separated atted border and in this case,ar. an undocumented mother held her daughter in her arms after the toddler was released after more than a month. we brought you this reunion last night at 11:00. tonight there's a lot more information. roz platter has the details. roz? >> reporter: indeed. we just spoke to gretchen juliette's mom here cindy. you can see them here. not as many peers as last night. a joyous day they have spent in this reunion. we can tell you that her mom says she's still trying to get a adjusted. tears still flow off and on. a little bit of a cold but there were bright spots when she was jumping up

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