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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  September 4, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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prize, 81 degrees. >> we're almost there. lester holt is next with nightly news. >> we'll see you at 6:00, bye. tonight, breaking news, hurricane dorian regaining strength and closing in, georgia and the carolinas bracing for impact stunning new images, the mass devastation in the bahamas. tonight inside the urgent rescue mission, survivors cut off desperate for aid. our correspondent on the chopper, the family pulled to safety in the southeast the storm threatening the worst floods in 30 years, hundreds of thousands evacuating, al roker with a new track. the deepening mystery, new images of the deadly diving boat disaster. investigators hunting for the cause. bo
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all 34 who died trapped on board now recovered. new allegations of a sexual predator crisis at lyft 14 women filing a lawsuit, their attorneys claiming as many as a thousand victims. the warning the drivers may still be on the road. our series "justice for all," my extraordinary journey into the heart of america's mass incarceration crisis, three days living inside the largest maximum security prison in the nation just in tonight, the 911 calls after kevin hart's horrific car crash. >> we're just here, and he can't -- he can't move >> the dispatcher promising an ambulance on the way and growing concerns about teens and vaping, schools cracking down as students return to class. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening and thank you for being here as we start tonight there's late word from the national hurricane center that dorian is regaining some of its intensity. the storm also in a chances of a u.s. landfall we're also following a
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massive humanitarian rescue eff way in the bahamas that suffered under the storm's most powerful and lethal punches. our team is positioned across the storm zone. we begin in the bahamas now with morgan chesky. >> reporter: tonight a desperate rush in the bahamas where thousands are stranded on the islands of abaco and grand grand bahama ravaged by days of rain and storm surges >> we need help. we need help >> reporter: relief groups desperate to get that help to them. rescue missions now around the clock by boat and from the air. crews bringing the injured to safety. kerry sanders was on a blackhawk helicopter with customs and border protections air and marine operations. >> we're heading right now to the hardest hit areas. >> reporter: rescuing people in abaco who lost everything. >> did you think you would be here after this >> no, i thought i was going to die >> we don't even know how much -- what that was because the tv went out what was it? >> it was a category 5, 220
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plus-miles-per-hour. >> 220, okay >> it must have felt like it. >> it felt like hell >> what do you think when you look out the window at your home and the other homes? >> this is the most devastating thing you can imagine. i can't even believe it it's unbearable. >> reporter: countless others remain stranded >> it's deteriorating really fast. mentally, emotionally, physically there's a lot of people missing >> reporter: more than 13,000 homes in abaco were destroyed >> it was just worse than anything i could have imagined. >> reporter: in neighboring grand bahama a similar scene. the airport there completely under water making it nearly impossible for medical help and supplies to get in >> it's going to be a long road and there's nothing to go in and patch up it has to be a full rebuild of the communities. >> reporter: dorian's aftermath leaving entire towns in ruins on islands now unrecognizable morgan chesky, nbc news, nassau >> reporter: i'm kristen dahlgren. hurricane dorian lashing the southeast, barrelled up the coast, bringing
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torrential rain, fierce winds, and so much water from florida to the carolinas. as dorian moves away from northern florida, still posing a threat. you can see this water rising behind me >> this georgia beach has entirely disappeared and i want to give you a sense of just how powerfu the waves are. take a look that wind ripping off the pier that is flooding this island may be entirely cut off from savannah >> we're seeing similar conditions here in south carolina the water getting dangerously close to these homes. this used to be a sandy beach, now just water. and conditions are only expected to get worse over the next 24 hours. >> reporter: in north carolina, they know what's coming. >> starting in this area right here is where you'll see significant flooding dea hurricane warning and mandatory evacuation officials worry the only road will be under water leaving
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those who stay trapped and cut off for days >> we're going to lose electricity. the roads are going to flood. a lot of the barriers are going to be impassable >> reporter: tonight parts of the outer bank look like a ghost town, residents and tourists heading for higher ground. and for those who choose to stay, officials have a warning. >> if you can't get out and something happens to you, until the weather stops it could be a while before we're able to get to you at all. >> reporter: as you can see the beach is empty. we're already seeing the skies darken a bit and the wind and waves beginning to pick up but things expected to get much, much worse as we go through the next 24 to 48 hours. lester all right. kristen dahlgren, thanks let's bring in al roker for the latest on the path of the storm. al, where is it headed and when >> it is headed up the east coast we are looking at it strengthening, a very strong category 2 with 110-miles-per-hour
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moving north/northwest at 8-miles-per-hour. here's the track of the storm. makes its way across charleston thursday afternoon, may make landfall in wilmington but makes its way by friday afternoon, it moves away and off into the atlantic. impact, charleston, tomorrow morning, 50 to 90-miles-per-hour winds, four to seven feet of storm surge, 8 to 15 inch of rain wilmington up to 95-mile-per-hour winds upwards of 15 inches of rain. norfolk friday 30 to 65-miles-per-hour winds. and two to four inches with winds that extend out 195 miles, not just the coast has to worry but folks inland as well. lester >> all right al roker, thank you. let's turn now to the deadly boat fire in california where tonight investigators have recovered all but one of the 34 victims as they work to understand why all the passengers became trapped. miguel almaguer has the latest >> reporter: tonig the fbi's dive team returning to the scene, hoping to help pinpoint the cause of the fire that killed 34 people.
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"the conception" sinking to the sea floor may soon be brought to shore >> we want to see what happened so we can try to prevent this from happening again. >> reporter: after interviewing the five surviving crew members, the coast guard and ntsb boarded the vision, examining the lay out of its sleeping quarters similar to "the conception," investigators finding it difficult to escape through the emergency hatch. >> i did have concerns about passenger egress >> not enough or not big enough >> my concerns were whether the passengers could get out. >> reporter: after the explosive fire torched the 75-foot dive boat, all but one of the victims have been recovered at sea, among them a dive instructor, a physics teacher, a family of five including three sisters. >> they're just beautiful, special they did everything right. i don't understand >> reporter: tonight a tragedy at sea and an ocean of heartbreak for so many families miguel almaguer, nbc news, santa barbara.
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another story we're watching, ride share giant lyft accused in a new lawsuit of having a sexual predator crisis attorneys claiming there are as many as a thousand potential victims and warning some of the accused drivers may still be on the road. here's nbc's tom costello >> i started begging him, please take me back home. i promise i won't report it to the police >> reporter: it started after her lyft driver allegedly high on drugs grabbed her phone. then for five hours gladdis says he kept her in the car before pulling into a deserted beach >> he sexually assaulted me >> reporter: kim says a lyft driver attacked her in salt lake city. >> he reached over and tried to grab me, grabbed me around my neck forcefully and tried to kiss me >> reporter: both women are among 14 who today filed suit againslyft alleging they were sexually assaulted or raped by their drivers who may still be driving.
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their attorneys filing a mass action suit predicting at least a thousand potential victims across the country. >> for every report of one rape there's three or four others that occur, so you can do the math >> reporter: in recent montes, alleged attacks has trended on twitter. the suit alleges lyft's mobile app is negligent, that it should constantly monitor rides, record video and audio of each trip, send alerts when a driver veers off course, and ban drivers who turn off the app mid-drive. in a statement the company says what the victims describe is terrifying and has no place in the lyft community, adding lyft is designing products and policies to keep out bad actors, make drivers and riders feel safe and react quickly. they're also ruling out an emergency panic button providing fast access to 911. lester >> tom costello, thanks tonight with rising health concerns over teens and vaping, michigan has becom the first state to ban the sale of most
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flavored ecigarettes tonight we show you how schools across the nation are cracking down hard as students get back to class. here's nbc's anne thompson >> reporter: they are back to school in jonathan law high and back to locked bathrooms. principal fran thompson showing us one of the four facilities off limits to students to stem what he calls the epidemic of vaping >> in the girls room like this, they would literally -- i can't believe i'm saying this -- they would literally set up blankets it would be like a little tent city where they would just hang out in the bathroom. >> reporter: teachers monitored the other four bathrooms signing kids in and out. >> and you think it's made a difference? >> i think it's made a difference in monitoring where the kids are, the teachers -- the kids aren't going for 20 minutes out of class so, that's helped. do i think it's cut down on the vaping i don't know >> reporter: it's a nationwide problem in texas some schools make kids roll up their long sleeves so they can't hide the
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devices. in february, nebraska they are randomly testing students in extracurricular activities for nicotine there are vape sensors in illinois and new jersey bathrooms >> lungs have collapsed. >> reporter: back in connecticut, these students don't vape, but they know who does >> it sounds like a smoker's cough >> yeah. >> it's disgusting >> yeah. >> it's disgusting >> they're at practice wheezing and heaving and like everyone's doing laps >> reporter: what was once high school cool now with an increasingly high cost anne thompson, nbc news, milford, connecticut. tonight we take you on an extraordinary journey inside ground zero of criminal justice reform in america, a maximum security prison where i was embedded for three days and two nights exploring the line between punishment and rehabilitation and what is "justice for all. it's called mass incarceration and it's a uniquely american crisis it, i was transported
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to the largest maximum security prison in the country as a prisoner would be at least the first timers, do you think they have any idea what life they're about to go into >> no, they find out it's totally different once they get behind angola it's totally different. >> angola, or louisiana state penitentiary, is a former slave plantation i spent three days here on the inside, my access was virtually unrestricted, and at times i was not in the immediate sight of officers very few of the roughly 6,000 inmates here live behind bars as we traditionally think of prisons in fact, most of them, about 80%, live in open dorms like this, bunk beds like you would see in a barracks >> but for security reasons i won't be staying in a dorm. instead i'm brought to this cell block, reserved for high-risk offenders. in my case, a high-profile guest >> so, 11.
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go in there, please. go ahead and close >> as journalists we know that to get to the heart of something you have to get inside it the closer you are to something, the more is revealed to you. the men on my tier are locked in their cells 23 hours a day, like my neighbor william curtis, a convicted murderer sentenced to life he told me he tried to escape how far did you get? >> not very. >> in 2017 louisiana lawmakers passed bipartisan reforms which reduced its nonviolent prisoner population >> louisiana is a poster child for why this country needs to make changes >> the majority here committed violent crimes i was a lot different at 17 than i am at 60 now, but i still knew right from wrong >> i was 17 years old when i took the life of carnell >> terrence simon wa
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convicted of second degree murder when he was 17 and is serving a life sentence without parole >> i don't deserve sympathy >> you don't deserve sympathy >> no. i don't deserve a second chance. >> one thing i witnessed over and over, the search for hope and validation. >> i just knew i had to do something different than just do time and die in prison >> dalton, serving 60 years for manslaughter found his hope in a bible college program. everybody stays busy everybody has a job or occupation >> yeah. if you're on this yard, you have a job >> the prison offers over a dozen vocational programs like auto repair officials here say rehabilitation programs like these and not simply punishment is the answer to making everyone to ve a person a life sentence and say you're not worthy of
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rehabilitation, that's i believe where we get it among >> you're saying if we take hope out of the equation, that's where we get in trouble. >> if you take hope out of the equation, there's going to be a lot of trouble >> there's a lot more from inside angola on a special one-hour "dateline" friday at 10:00/9:00 central and on sunday i moderate a town hall from inside a maximum security prison at 10:00 on msnbc. there's more here tonight including the college admissions bombshells, e-mails reveal how usc officials kept track of big donations, sometimes millions, by applicants families. and 911 calls after the car crash involving kevin hart and we speak with a woman who found a baby girl just five hours old abandoned at her doorstep
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all right. next tonight the new twist in the college admissions scandal e-mails reported to show the big role donations parents played in admissions for a school at the center of the uproar here's joe fryer >> reporter: the college cheating
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scandal is shining a new light on the admissions process at the university of southern california, a court filing reveals e-mails between usc officials showing how they tracked applicants and spreadsheets sent by an athletics department official, some applicants were labelled vip with comments like donor, potential donor, 1 mil pledge, given 2 mil already and dad well-known ortho surgeon. zangrillo's attorneys were trying to get documents from usc, say university officials were keenly aware that vip applicants did not have to be admitted based on merit. responding in a statement, usc calls the filing illegal to divert attention from the criminal fraud for which he has been indicted, adding no athletic department official has the authority to compel admissions decisions steven mercer is a college application consultant who used to
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work in usc's admissions office. >> there are people who see the words vip and think the system is rigged. is it rigged >> the universities try to keep their donors feeling like they're being attended to but i don't see universities bending so much that they're going to ruin their reputations. >> reporter: but the scandal is raising questions about the role of money in admissions joe fryer, nbc news. up next tonight an arrest after the death of a music star. and the new 911 calls just released after kevin hart's horrific crash
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back now with the new development in the death of a music star. have charged mac miller's alleged drug dealer with supplying miller counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. miller was found dead from an accidental overdose nearly a year ago. pleas for help after that terrible car cras involving kevin hart heard in newly revealed 911 calls
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we get details from stephanie gosk >> reporter: tonight the emergency calls. >> help is coming, guys don't worry. >> reporter: made by a bystander after kevin hart's 1970 plymouth careened off the side of the road in los angeles late at night. >> the ambulance is on the way. you guys okay in there? stay calm. >> reporter: at the time, two people were in the mangled car >> yeah, the roof is crushed and the car is pretty totalled. the door is smashed in >> reporter: hart who police say was a passenger got out on his own. a woman identifyin herself as his wife makes this call at 2:15 from a nearby home >> he's not coherent at all >> is he breathing >> yes, he's breathing. >> did he go to the hospital or -- >> no, no, no treatment at all we're just here. he can't move. >> reporter: the president of hart's production company said the actor underwent back surgery and is expected to fully recover. in the meantime,
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hart's friend dwayne "the rock" johnson filled in for him on kelly clarkson's new show >> my first guest today was supposed to be actor and comedian kevin hart so yeah, as many of you know kevin was seriously injured in a car accident >> reporter: authorities say alcohol was not a factor but are looking into whether or not high speed may have been to blame. stephanie gosk, nbc news up next tonight, what happened when a woman discovered a newborn baby girl left at her doorstep?
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it was a surprise of her life, a woman responding to cries and finding a healthy baby girl just five hours old left at her front door here's rehema ellis. >> reporter: this is the cry that got freda's attention in
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the middle of the night. >> the baby was inside here like this >> reporter: on the steps of her georgia home, a newborn baby girl freda stunned called 911. >> she just delivered the baby i've never seen anything like this before >> ma'am, what is your location >> reporter: authorities say the abandoned baby was only five hours old, wrapped in a towel, the umbilical cord still attached >> i took the towel off the baby's face and opened it up but the whole towel, and the baby didn't have nothing on. >> reporter: late today, police arrested the baby's mother charging her with reckless conduct that could have been avoided. georgia has a law allowing a mother to leave a baby at a safe place like a police station without facing criminal charges freda believes divine intervention placed the baby on her doorstep because her daughter wants to adopt. >> maybe god will bless us with a little child. >> reporter: tonight
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what started as a cry for help could be what an unexpected gift sounds like. rehema ellis, nbc news and that is "nbc nightly news" for this wednesday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc right now taking on the nra by labeling it a terrorist organization. the reason city leaders made the move. accusations of rape and kidnapping by more than a dozen reason. why they say lyft is partly to blame for those attacks. trying to piece together the final moments before a fire engulfed that dive boat. what investigators are saying and a tearful interview with a woman who lost her daughter and husband. good evening. >> the focus of that grim
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recovery mission is about to change. 33 of the 34 people killed in that fire have now been removed from that wreckage. >> our reporters have been in santa barbara throughout the week. allie. >> reporter: we want to talk about the next step in this investigation. they still have to recover that final body from the wreckage out in the ocean in the bottom of the ocean. it is going to be a difficult process. after that dive teams are going to be examining the wreckage and bringing it up to shore all in a process of trying to figure out what went wrong on that boat. the harbor is still swarming with local and federal investigators continuing their search for answers about the fire on the dive

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