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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 15, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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hot. 80s all week long. >> thanks for joining us here. lester holt is live with nightly news. >> see you at 6:00. bye. tonight the growing firestorm over two words by president trump -- go back -- before a congresswoman he targeted hitting back after his tweet that's been widely slammed as racist saying they should go back to the country they came from even though three of them were born here. >> this is his plan to pit us against one another. >> as the president doubles down >> they're free to leave if they want and if they want to leave, that's fine. and if they want to stay, that's fine >> reporter: new details surface as jeffrey epstein's accusers confront him the intriguing evidence, the diamonds, the cash, the passports that prosecutors say they found. as tensions with iran escalate, my interview with the lead nuclear negotiator. are you afraid that you're playing with fire here what he said about iran's nuclear program and the
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potential for war. breaking news. after a desperate search, a woman found alive after disappearing three days ago from a california campsite. we'll have late details. and on prime day, amazon's biggest event of the year -- >> amazon! >> why some made it a day of protests against the retail giant. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening. president trump's message, america love it or leave it. doubling down upon harsh words to four liberal democratic congresswomen, all women of color, all american citizens, whom he told over the weekend to go back to their home countries. a demeaning phrase often used by racists. today the president brushing off the storm of criticism his words created, but not letting it go the four women targeted by the president speaking out just a short time ago our hallie jackson has late details. >> reporter: a united front late today from the freshmen democrats attacked by the president as he fans the flames
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of racial resentment >> this is his plan to pit us against one another. >> this is a distraction, and we should not take the bait >> he does not know how to defend his policies. so what he does is attack us personally, and that is what this is all about. >> i urge house leadership, many of my colleagues, to take action to impeach this lawless president today. >> reporter: alexandria ocasio-cortez, ilhan omar, rashida tlaib, and ayanna pressley, four outspoken newly elected lawmakers make up the so-called squad, singled out though not by name by the president who tweeted sunday they should go back to their home countries deploying a racist trope meant to marginalize people of color only omar was born elsewhere, in somalia, all four women are u.s. citizens >> these are people that in my opinion hate our country >> reporter: the president looking to exploit the
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democratic divide between progressives and moderates, not bothered by the criticism and not backing down asked at the white house if he's concerned people see his comments as racist and that white nationalists seek common cause -- >> it doesn't concern me because many people agree with me. all i'm saying, they want to leave, they can leave. >> reporter: gop leadership silent so leadership select so far, although at least 17 republicans have denounced the president's comments >> i think those tweets are racist and xenophobic. they're also inaccurate. >> reporter: most other republicans stopping short of calling the remarks racist >> what was said and what was tweeted was destructive, was demeaning, was disunifying, and frankly, it was very wrong >> reporter: some republicans are defending the president tonight. and house speaker nancy pelosi plans to force a vote on their positions with the symbolic resolution if the president had hoped to divide democrats, the opposite appears to be happening as they unite against him. lester
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>> hallie jackson at the white house. thanks while all that was going on, the trump administration opened a new front in its drive to limit the er of ople crossing the southern border into the united states by making it much harder to request asylum our gabe gutierrez has that story. >> reporter: tonight the trump administration is making it harder for migrants to seek asylum in the u.s. the new rule means migrants coming from central america can't seek asylum here if they didn't do so first in mexico today in atlanta a new protest over rates targeting undocumented immigrants. the government has not released numbers. >> the i.c.e. raids were very successful >> reporter: it comes as the battle over the border intensifies. >> well, it was definitely overwhelmed. >> reporter: today we spoke exclusively with aaron hall, the chief border patrol agent in el paso he oversees the station in clint, texas, where recent allegations of uncrowded and unsanitary conditions drew international outrage. what happened? >> it's a volume issue we don't want to hold that many
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people in our short-term facilities >> reporter: even at this point you still dispute the characterization of the care the children were receiving inside the clint facility >> absolutely. we've added showers. we've added laundry facilities we provide clean clothing for them to wear >> should this not have been added months ago before it got that bad >> well, keep in mind, it's the u.s. government. we have an entire contracting process. the illegal alien traffic is always going to be one step ahead of our ability to respond. >> reporter: as for the asylum policy changes, the chief says he does believe they will help reduce the flow of migrants here, but critics are expected to challenge the new rules in court. lester >> all right thank you. tonight, a judge here in new york is weighing whether to grant bail for wealthy financier jeffrey epstein who was accused of abusing underage girls. in dramatic moments as two of epstein's accusers confronted him in court our stephanie gosk was there >> reporter: there was a lot more in jeffrey epstein's $77 million mansion besides hundreds
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of photos of young women, according to prosecutors the fbi found piles of cash, diamonds, and an expired foreign passport from the 1980s with epstein's photo, but under a different name his residence listed as saudi arabia together with at least $500 million in wealth, prosecutors told the federal judge today epstein is an extreme flight risk while two of his accusers testified that he is a risk to the public, as well. >> these were girls who were procured, transported across state lines, kept under supervision. >> reporter: courtney wild says she was 14 when she was abused annie farmer, 16 when she says she met epstein. >> there is a real danger presented, and hearing directly from the victims, the only way that anyone's really going to understand what it really means. >> reporter: federal prosecutors also alleged epstein paid
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$350,000 to co-conspirators to influence them epstein's defense argued there was no evidence the money was a bribe. his lawyers say they will fight the sex trafficking charges and offered up conditions for bail, including house arrest also pointing out epstein is not accused of committing any crimes after serving 13 months for sex-related charges in florida over a decade ago. the judge will rule thursday whether to grant bail. >> i know when this case was filed there was an appeal for potential victims to come forward. have they heard from any >> they have, lester here in new york they've heard from several also in new mexico, they've heard from several jeffrey epstein owns a sprawling ranch there. their names will be forwarded to federal prosecutors who say their case is growing stronger by the day >> all right, stephanie gosk, thank you. there's breaking news tonight in california after a search stretching four days. a woman who vanished while walking her dog at a campground has remarkably been found alive. nbc's miguel almaguer with the details just coming in
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>> reporter: tonight, the miraculous rescue of cheryl powell, finally surrounded by family again the 60-year-old who went missing in central california's white mountains found alive just hours ago. three days after she vanished in the wilderness >> i was screaming, i had a whistle. i was pounding on my horn. it was the most panicked time in my life. >> reporter: just before she was found, cheryl's husband, joe powell, had nearly given up hope on friday he was turning the family jeep around after they picked this remote campsite. his wife waiting with their dog up the hill, vanishing minutes later. after he called police, he made the desperate plea for help. >> cheryl, please, come back to me stay strong. please come back to me please >> reporter: scouring the mountains for days with no sign of powell, this afternoon rescue teams suddenly came across the family dog 2.5 miles from where cheryl was last seen then came the news -- they found the 60-year-old,
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dehydrated, resilient, strong, but exhausted. >> everyone's so happy and so ecstatic >> reporter: tonight her family back by her side details of her survival and three nights in the wilderness just coming to light what some are calling a miracle on the white mountains miguel almaguer, nbc news. another story developing late in california, a massive house explosion that rocked a neighborhood in riverside county east of los angeles. officials say a gas company worker was killed in the blast while crews were working to repair a damaged gas line. 15 people were injured authorities still looking to account for one of the people who lives in that home tonight, millions are under flash flood watches as the remnants of barry continue to lash the south the storm moving into arkansas and in louisiana leaving behind to the breached levee in myrtle
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grove, louisiana is by air boat. when the levee failed saturday -- >> you can see we have a break in the levee - >> reporter: the floodwaters rose more than five feet here it spilled over since hurricane katrina in 2005, the federal government has spent more than $14 billion rebuilding louisiana's levees but so far, not here the federal funding to replace this levee has been on the books for more than two years. the holdup -- red tape touring the breached levee, louisiana's governor said that intergovernmental red tape must end. >> the complaints of the residents are well-founded, they have a point >> well, they took water across their property i'm not going to ever say that they're not well-founded i'm just -- we're going to have to do everything we can to get the construction complete. >> reporter: with 20 weeks left in the hurricane season, the fear tonight, could this happen again to another levee in the next hurricane kerry sanders, nbc news, myrtle grove, louisiana with his country and the u.s. still locked in a bitter standoff, iran's foreign
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minister has arrived in new york telling me in an exclusive interview late today that iran is not looking for war and invites the u.s. to rejoin the nuclear agreement. how close are we to war do you think? >> well, we're not close to military war, but as i've said before, sanctions target ordinary citizens, civilians, people who need medicine, people who need special treatment >> iran is pushing back, crippled by harsher new american sanctions after the u.s. walked away from the nuclear deal iran now increasing its uranium enrichment beyond the previous limits, not enough for a nuclear weapon muhammad javad zarif was one of the architects of the original deal are you afraid that you're playing with fire here >> i think the united states is playing with fire. we have an agreement, and that agreement includes remedies once
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one side of the agreement starts violating it e agyoe tohose circumstances start partial implementation >> can you reverse this? >> of course it can be reversed within hours we are not about to develop nuclear weapons. had we wanted to develop nuclear weapons, we would have been able to do it long time ago >> push nearly came to shove last month after the iranian shoot-down of an american drone that the pentagon claims was in international airspace the iranians say it was in theirs and then there were those mysterious attacks on petroleum tankers near the strait of hormuz the u.s. ordered video that points to iran do you maintain your denial that iran was involved? >> obviously we would not be targeting a japanese tanker while the japanese prime minister was meeting with our leader those pictures that the u.s. navy put out don't prove anything, first of all we were involved, our navy was
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involved in rescue operations around the ships >> let's talk about the american drone that was shot down i understand the u.s. and iran differ as to where that aircraft was i want to ask you about why do you think the president took his finger off the trigger, called off a retaliatory air strike >> i think you need to ask him my analysis is that cool heads prevailed. people came to the conclusion that this will not be a limited operation. >> international monitors say iran was complying with the nuclear deal president trump, however, complained it didn't address iran's ballistic missile program or its support of militant groups across the middle east. why not take an opportunity to find some way to take the air out of this standoff >> because once you start accepting demands, there's no end to it. >> zarif says if the trump administration were to lift sanctions it has imposed, then
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room for negotiation is wide open is there a face-saving offer that iran would accept >> i think in any negotiations you need to find a win-win situation. otherwise, you'll end up with a lose-lose situation. >> the trump administration has threatened to impose economic sanctions on zarif himself, but for now has settled for severely restricting his movement in new york to just a few locations still ahead tonight, the deepening mystery after a prominent african-american community leader is found dead in her own trunk her family's desperate plea for answers. also, the protests by amazon employees as it holds one of its biggest events of the year and 50 years after man landed on the moon, we take you inside mission control just as it was on that day stay with us
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we are back with a murder mystery gripping the city of baton rouge, louisiana the founder of an
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african-american history museum found dead in the trunk of her own car. here's nbc's morgan chesky. >> reporter: in baton rouge, it's the growing question in a disturbing crime -- who would target the beloved community leader sadie roberts-joseph >> it's horrible that somebody would actually come to sadie and kill her and put her in her own trunk. >> reporter: her family tells nbc the 75-year-old was last seen 11:30 friday morning dropping off a batch of cornbread at her sister's home she wasn't seen again until two hours later when police found her body in the trunk of her own car. the coroner listing the cause of death as traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation. >> our detectives are working overtime they're exhausting every investigative lead and i know that this community will step up >> reporter: the smiling face of roberts-joseph known for decades.erf two fought for civil rights, founded the city's african-american museum, and was even the face of baton rouge in a recent tourism campaign.
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>> she indeed has been a trailblazer and a pioneer for this community >> reporter: tonight police say there are no suspects in her homicide and for the person or people responsible, her family has this message -- >> please come forward and acknowledge what you have done because i already know you're sorry for it >> reporter: a grieving family's plea for justice as police hunt for a killer morgan chesky, nbc news. in a moment, protests by workers at amazon on one of its biggest days
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tonight amazon is rolling out deep discounts, a blockbuster event that has a lot of customers cashing in, but the day is also being marked by protests over what some employees say are unsustainable conditions here's jo ling kent. >> reporter: tonight on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, some amazon workers are striking for change. as amazon rolls out hundreds of deals and demand bogs down its
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website, warehouse workers walked off the job, calling for safer workplace conditions and less strenuous standards to meet the huge demands of free two-day shipping >> there's all this pressure to perform and meet productivity rates. it's unbelievable. >> reporter: what is the rate that you have to hit >> we have to pick 332 items per hour >> lots of workers feel like they are disposable. >> reporter: these workers pick and pack orders at this minnesota fulfillment center >> if you don't work enough, 200, 400 units per hour, you will get written up at the end of the week. and if you get so many write-ups, you lose your job >> reporter: activists and unions also joining the protests, marching outside the new york apartment of amazon ceo jeff bezos amazon which last year increased its minimum wage to $15 an hour responded to the protesters, telling us - >> we're actually really proud of the working conditions that we provide it's a quality, safe, comfortable work environment we value direct dialogue and
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conversation with our employees always to find ways to improve it >> reporter: but some employees aren't buying it amazon tells us that this walkout will not impact their shipping promises to customers prime day ends tomorrow, and it's already on track to bring in an estimated $5 billion lester >> thanks. when we come back, we'll take you inside "apollo 11's" mission control just the way it was 50 years ago
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it was 50 years ago this week neil armstrong and buzz aldrin landed on the moon in "apollo 11." now nasa mission control has reopened as a museum, just the way it looked on that day in 1969
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here's tom costello. >> reporter: it was one of the most defining moments in human history -- >> the eagle has landed. >> reporter: with houston mission control at the center of the action >> rocket tranquility, we copy you on the ground. you got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. we're breathing again. thanks a lot >> reporter: gene krantz was just 36 years old and the flight director in charge this was your seat >> yes this was my seat >> reporter: 50 years later, he's back in mission control, restored to the way it looked on that day, july 20th, 1969. does this look the way it did 50 years ago? >> it's overwhelming, frankly. >> reporter: his kent cigarettes are here, but no ashes researchers poured over film and countless photos before precisely placing each chair, each coffee cup, pencil, rc cola, ash tray, and slide rule much of it found sitting in nasa storage rooms.
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a few vintage pieces including a corner coffee pot they found on ebay, an $8 million fund-raising effort to turn this national historic landmark into a museum. >> it's probably one of the most important and historic places on earth. and so we felt very compelled to make it be just as perfect as we can. >> reporter: gene krantz became more famous when he ordered failure is not an option on "apollo 11" also in this room. >> i think it's a message for young people who have a dream to do something difficult, to step up to great responsibilities >> reporter: history itself was written here by everyday people who accomplished the extraordinary. tom costello, nbc news, houston. >> what an amazing look back we're going to have much more on this historic anniversary all this week on "nightly news. we hope you will join us and that is "nbc nightly news" for this monday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching have a great night, everyone
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right now at 6:00, a helicopter flips at an airport in the east bay. the new details we're learning about this deadly crash. plus preparing for a backup plan. the reason a major local water agency is putting emergency equipment in strategic spots this fire season. but first -- >> kind of frightened me maybe one day they won't be there. >> afraid to go out in public. how bay area families are responding to president trump's immigration sweep. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for
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being with us on this monday. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. in fear and panic. that's how many bay area families say they spent the weekend. the threat of the widespread deportations hung over their head. immigration raids were supposed to begin yesterday but there were only a few reports of i.c.e. activity nationwide. >> just the threat of the raids had immigrant families changing their routines and hiding in their homes. nbc bay area's damian trujillo joins us in east san jose where a lot of people are seeing and feeling the impact firsthand. damian. >> reporter: the tropicana shopping center here took a huge financial hit over the weekend and mainly because of the families you're about to meet. they say they will no longer be shopping here because of the fear's i.c.e. might target this place since they cater to an immigrant community. the families don't want to show their faces fearing it might put them on? sort of watchlist. but they're not hiding their weekend anguish.

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