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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 18, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> we will have to check with the bosses. >> she will be okay. >> nightly news with lester holt is next. >> see you at 6:00. the president tries to disavow an angry chant saying he disagrees with the crowd that roared "send her back" about a somali-born u.s. congresswoman. >> i was not happy with it i disagree with it. >> even though the president paused last night as the crowd yelled its insults. breaking news. the president saying the u.s. navy destroyed an iranian drone hours after iran said it seized an oil tanker. troubling new flash points as tensions continue to escalate. bail denied. a judge says jeffery epstein must remain in jail until his trial on sex trafficking charges
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saying he is a threat to the community and a flight risk. across the country 200 million under a brutal heat alert. we uncover the dangerous conditions for some of the nation's delivery people why are ups package trucks not air-conditioned? >> my vision was blurred i was seeing stars i was throwing up. >> the nbc news investigation you'll want to see. and jon stewart blasting the one senator holding up additional money for health care for 9/11 first responders. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. president trump's attempt to distance himself from the go back controversy is ringing hollow tonight the fall out from his racist attack on four congresswomen who the trump rally began yelling "send her back" after the president took another swipe at somali-born congresswoman ilhan omar the president saying he tried to stop the chant, except the video shows he didn't. hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: the chant easy to hear but for some hard to listen
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to "send her back." >> reporter: democrats and a few republicans appalled at the words incentive erupting from the crowd at the president's north carolina rally, referencing congresswoman ilhan omar who escaped somalia as a child. >> i'm worried for our country. >> it's violent rhetoric. >> the chant was offensive. it's just wrong. >> reporter: omar herself quoting maya angelou, like air i'll rise, defending her right to make at times controversial comments on foreign policy that have angered republicans. >> we tell people here in the united states we are patriotic here in the united states this agreement is welcomed. debate is welcome. >> reporter: the president today trying to distance himself from the chant, but he initially suggested owe more and three other democrats, all u.s. citizens, go back to their home countries.
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>> i didn't like that they did it and i started speaking quickly. >> reporter: he did not start speaking quickly, instead waiting 13 seconds before continuing on. >> omar has a history i of launching vicious anti-semitic screeds. [ crowd chanting ] >> and she talked about the evil israel. >> reporter: you can see the video there. some top republicans defended president trump. privately, it was a different message. nbc learned that gop leaders explained today to the vice president that they thought the chant was not helpful and should be discouraged. >> hallie jackson at the white house. thank you. there is breaking news on the u.s. confrontation with iran. a u.s. warship has destroyed an iranian drone. the u.s. got way too close and
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ignored calls to stand down. late details on this. >> reporter: the announcement from president trump the warship "uss boxer" took down an iranian drone in the strait of hormuz. >> the boxer took defensive action against an iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance approximately 1,000 yards and was threatening the safety of the ship and the crew the drone was immediately destroyed. >> reporter: this one month after iran shot down a u.s. drone in the same area today iranian media reports iran seized a tanker they claim was carrying smuggled oil from small boats. the ship and crew towed in an interview with lester holt, javad zarif said iran is the biggest power in the persian gulf.
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>> nobody can maintain security in those waters without iran. >> reporter: with tensions high in the region, commercial satellite imagery shows u.s. troops began deploying to prince sultan air base in saudi arabia in june. the first time u.s. troops have been there in more than 15 years. photos show what appear to be a u.s. military construction unit expanding a runway and building temporary housing. >> there is another site at the south end of the air base where there is ground clearing going on we think it might be for patriots or other missile defenses. >> reporter: so far no comment from the pentagon on the deployment nbc news. here in new york a federal judge denied bail today for wealthy financier jeffery epstein accused of sexually abusing dozens of young girls. the judge called him a flight risk and danger to his accusers and prospective victims. stephanie gosk has the latest. >> reporter: jeffery epstein is not going back to his $77 million mansion, at least for now. citing his great wealth and vast
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resources, a federal judge ruled epstein must stay in jail before trial. the 66-year-old pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges. if convicted he could be sentenced up to 45 years in prison only by taking away the freedom of jeffery epstein can we restore the freedom of these victims. in his decision, the judge said there was clear and convincing evidence that epstein was still dangerous. specifically pointing out the testimony of two accusers. one of them courtney wild, who says epstein abused her when she was 14 years old. >> as long as the victims speak up, he isn't going to get away this time. >> reporter: prosecutors argued epstein was an extreme flight risk worth more than $500 million, cash, diamonds, and an expired passport with a false name found in a safe in his mansion the financier who once partied nderouse arrest and ed t ground his private jet
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the judge said i doubt that any bail package can overcome danger to the community epstein's lawyers say they are considering an appeal. stephanie gosk. tonight some 200 million people under heat alerts the heat wave is down right dangerous. the scorching temperatures are not expected to break as we head into the weekend more from nbc's blayne alexander. >> reporter: tonight the relentless heat wave is showing no mercy from new mexico to new hampshire, 200 million people are under a heat alert through the weekend. in chicago ac repair crews are stretched to the max and downtown steam rising from skyscrapers after a morning rainstorm. here in chicago it's the tale of two extremes just six months ago this exact spot was frozen over now it's on pace to hit near record highs in south dakota you can actually see the heat rising. one of the hottest spots, kansas city, where f
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>> it feels like i'm sitting in a sauna. >> reporter: and in omaha the national weather service tweeting these pictures. biscuits baking inside a car as the heat its slow slog east a warning in new york city run the ac but keep it above 78. anything lower could cause another blackout and new york and much of the east coast will see the hottest temperatures on saturday for now it's the midwest that's taking the direct hit. here in chicago it will feel like 98 degrees tomorrow with much of the region under an excessive heat warning. as we said, the heat isn't expected to let up as the weekend approaches al roker is with us. al, where does this go tomorrow and the next few days? >> lester, it's been a long time since we have seen this kind of widespread heat. we are talking 34 states, 200 million people or more under heat alerts going into the weekend.
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for tomorrow the combination of heat and humidity makes for dangerous heat indexes it will feel like 107 in des moines, 102 this houston and nashville, 99 in philadelphia and this weekend air temperatures in the upper 90s to low 100s factor in the humidity and we are talking heat indexes 113 in washington, 112 in norfolk, and we are not going to see any relief until sometime on tuesday. >> all right al, thank you. the man in charge of homeland security was in the hot seat on capitol hill today trying to explain the troubling images of overcrowded shelters on the border. our geoff bennett has that story. >> reporter: acting homeland security chief kevin mcaleenan taking heat over president trump's immigration policies, including the separation of migrant children from their families. >> the damage the trump administration has inflicted and is continuing to inflict will impact these children for the rest of their lives.
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>> i have acknowledged this initiative, while well intended, lost the public trust and president trump was right to end it. >> reporter: he defended his agency, pinning the blame on congress he says for not providing more money and not tackling laws he says incentivize migrants to come to the u.s. >> you feel like you are doing a great job, right >> we are doing our level best in a -- >> what does that mean what does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces? can't take a shower? come on, man. >> reporter: the hearing comes days after vice president mike pence toured a migrant facility in mcallen, texas, encountering 400 men crammed in cages, some complaining of hunger. others saying they hadn't showered in weeks. >> this would not be allowed as a kennel for dogs. it's unacceptable and it has to change. >> there is no one in this room that is warned more often or more stridently about the
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overcrowding and conditions in the facilities than i have. >> reporter: he says the efforts to reduce overcrowding are working, but he says the situation remains at beyond crisis levels. >> thank you. now to an nbc news investigation involving ups. most of us have had a package delivered by the company, which has 250,000 delivery and operations employees but in sweltering summers like this one, cynthia mcfadden discovered some of the people delivering the packages are struggling. >> reporter: ups driver jim clink could have lost his life. >> my vision was blurred i was seeing stars i was throwing up. i just honestly could not drive that vehicle safely anymore. >> reporter: his wife theresa -- >> i am a nurse and i was terrified. >> reporter: clink has worked for ups for almost 15 years. >> it's a very good job. as a matter of fact, i love the work i have done for ups. >> reporter: but every summer he dreaded the heat. >> the cargo area where all the packages are kept is like
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opening up a big oven and walking into it. >> reporter: clink lives in new jersey, but we discovered it's happening all over the country ups package trucks are not air-conditioned and drivers say the cargo area can reach temperatures up to 152 degrees one week in august 2016 clink says the heat became unbearable. >> i didn't want to be, you know, the complainer so i just worked. >> reporter: even though you were light headed? >> yeah. >> reporter: the next morning he called in sick and ended up in the emergency room your kidneys are failing you almost died? >> yes. >> reporter: he is not alone a nbc news analysis of federal and state data found 107 reports in 23 states of ups employees being admitted to the hospital for serious heat-related illnesses since 2015 ups declined our request for an
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interview, but in a written statement told us, this is a small percentage of their work force and says that some injuries are caused by workers' personal medical issues. two former department of labor officials say they believe the actual number of injuries is much higher. >> it's clearly a big problem. >> reporter: david michaels ran osha, the worker safety agency for eight years under president obama. >> obviously, americans want their packages delivered, but they don't want workers to get hurt ups is a large company they can afford to make sure the workers aren't hurt. >> reporter: he admits he was never able to pass a heat rule while he led the agency, but says it needs to happen now. >> if nothing is done, we will have workers working harder and faster in 100 temperatures and they will be hospitalized. >> reporter: we spoke to 20 ups drivers in 11 states who were injured or spoke out about the heat many told us they liked their jobs but feared retaliation if
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they complained or took extr breaks in part because they are constantly monitored >> the company knows when you have your seatbelt on, how fast you're going. >> reporter: ups told nbc news it believes air-conditioning would be ineffective in the trucks, said it encourages drivers to drink water and rest and provides employees extensive health and safety training. >> it's easy to give the advice. if the employer doesn't say you have the time to do it and we won't penalize you for taking the time, some of them will be hospitalized sadly, a few of them may die. >> you said the company thinks the air-conditioning would be ineffective. is it something they are considering? >> the company made almost $5 billion in profits last year. they say it hasn't calculated the cost of air-conditioning because they say it wouldn't be effective since the trucks make frequent stops and the doors are often open some experts say there could be other solutions like allowing more time for breaks when temperatures rise to dangerous levels
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as for jim clink, he said he is considering retiring early even though it's going to mean a cut in his pension. in south florida tonight hundreds of thousands of people in and around the city of fort lauderdale are warned to boil their water and told their taps could run dry. no water up to a day in the middle of this heat wave is blamed on a contractor who apparently hit a water main during construction. it caused several businesses, even a mall to shut down the governor declared a state of emergency and the state is sending truckloads of water to fort lauderdale. still ahead as we continue tonight, jon stewart blasting the one senator holding up a health care funding bill for 9/11 first responders. also, dozens killed at a horrifying inferno why an arsonist set fire who an animation studio. >>roier as we prepare to head backus
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we're back with a fight over funding for 9/11 first responders many sick and concerned that the money for their health care is set to run out unless congress acts jon stewart speaking out again as one senator is holding up the money. here's peter alexander >> reporter: jon stewart unleashing a stinking rebuke on fox news. >> an abomination. >> reporter: rand paul helped delay a bipartisan bill to extend compensation funding for 9/11 first responders and victims. >> so jon stewart could read, maybe he could read the bill and say who would vote for a bill that doesn't have a dollar amount in it. >> reporter: he argues he is not blocking the legislation but was asking for an amendment to offset the cost. >> some things they have no trouble putting on the credit card somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responders community the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, volunteers, the survivors all of a sudden, man, we got to go through this. >> reporter: the bitter back and forth weeks after stewart, an outspoken advocate for 9/11
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first responders, blasted lawmakers. >> your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity time. >> reporter: days later retired nypd detective lewis alvarez died. and today news that firefighter richard driscoll became the 200th fdny member to die from a 9/11-related illness. losses only reemphasizing the urgency. >> at some point we have to stand up for the people who always stood up for us. >> reporter: despite the adoverelmingly with vote scheduled for tuesday peter alexander, nbc news, washington. >> we are going to take a break and be back with a deadly inferno and what the arsonist was heard screaming.
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many in japan bewildered and mourning after a deadly arson attack left dozens dead. >> reporter: tonight a devastating fire that authorities say was deliberately set leaving 33 dead, dozens injured, and a country horrified by whey pierce to be the worst
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mass killing in decades. i saw some people with burns covered with something, she said fire officials say most of the dead at the animation studio were in a stairwell where they had tried to escape to the roof. kyoto police are calling it arson, saying a man poured what appeared to be gasoline and reportedly shouted "you die"" as he set it ablaze the suspect detained at a hospital a motive unclear he is not an employee of the studio known as kyoani, a popular producer of animation.of grief. japan's prime minister shinzo abe called it ap people who went to work to create colorful stories now a part of one of the country's darkest days. >> shocking tragedy. when we come back, the next chapter in space
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as we mark the 50th anniversary of the apollo 11 mission to the moon this week, many may wonder when we're going back the answer it turns out could be soon tom costello looks out on the space horizon. >> reporter: it was 47 years ago when the last astronauts left the lunar surface. since then humans hasn't ventured beyond the space station. with the discovery of ice and water, the moon is suddenly hot again. jeff bezos unveiling a spaceship he hopes land astronauts on the moon elon musk working on a space mission. nasa powers ahead with project art miss
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americans back on the moon in just five years, build a lunar base and one day head to mars. former space shuttle commander eileen collins. >> no human has walked on mars to me that's inspirational who is going to be the first person on mars will it be an american >> reporter: but a manned mission to mars is likely 20 years or more away the future now isn't just about nasa it's about other countries and commercial space business. china wants to put its own people on the moon meanwhile, spacex and boeing will soon fly astronauts to the space station taking over from russia >> it's a very sensitive joystick. >> it is. >> reporter: boeing chief astronaut chris ferguson showing me the starliner looks like a fighter cockpit, which is why i really like it. >> reporter: tonight 50 years after apollo 11 -- >> it's time to go back to the moon, this time to stay. >> reporter: the world again has its eyes on the stars. tom costello, nbc news at the kennedy space center. >> a lot to explore out there. that's "nightly news" for this thursday. i'm lester holt.
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for all of us at nbc news thank you for watching and good night. right now packing up and moving on. bay area residents are getting sick and tired of shelling out thousands of dollars on rent. but is there a way around sky-high prices? plus, a local family demanding justice. what exactly happened on a southwest plane that left their father dead? but first, threats of i.c.e. raids still sending fear throughout the bay area. but now it is businesses that are feeling the impact. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thank you so much for joining us. i'm garvin thomas. >> and i'm anoushah rasta. raj and jess have the night off. first the fear, now the fallout. tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants have essentially gone into hiding. a result of a threat of ice sweeps coming from the trump administration. while there are no confirmed reports of i.c.e. arrests in the bay area the fear alone has been
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enough to hit the bottom line for local businesses. >> nbc bay area's damian trujillo joins us live from a mexican western store in san jose which has seen, damian, a huge drop in business. >> reporter: yeah, you know, garvin, no reason to restock these shelves. the merchandise simply is not offing. from clothing stores to restaurants, businesses that rely on immigrant shoppers say the customers have evaporated. the ambience is festive at el nuevo rancho grande store in san jose. problem is there's no shoppers here to enjoy it. >> people are not coming out like they used to. >> reporter: ramon recendes is a consultant for dozens of latino businesses in the south bay. he worries that families have

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