tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 27, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
egrees tomorrow. then it goes hotter from there. tonight, the search intensifies for two teenage boys lost at sea off the florida coast. for the first time we see their capsized boat as the's maive hunt to find them shifts gears. desperate families waiting for word. where they're looking now. danger on the road. one of the world's biggest automakers ordered to buy back vehicles from customers because of the serious risks they pose. are you driving one of them? taking the blame for a deadly accident caught on camera. would you go to prison to protect your child? one family's shocking secret exposed. and it's the end of an era. tonight, where were you when luke and laura got married? a night to reminisce as a tv legend says good-bye. "nightly news" begins
right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt." good evening. they are just 14 but also experienced at sea, and that is giving hope to the families of two florida boys that are the mass object of a massive ocean search under way right now off the coast of florida. the boys went missing on friday after setting out alone on a fishing trip believed to be to the bahamas. their 19-foot boat was found capsized and adrift in a strong current yesterday, but there have been no signs of the boys. late this afternoon the coast guard provided an update on the expanding search. our kerry sanders reports now from jupiter, florida. >> just confirmed, nobody is on board. >> reporter: in the desperate search for two missing teens, a discovery both grim and hopeful. their capsized boat. but no sign of 14-year-old perry cohen and his best friend austin stephanos. >> it's terrifying to know that your child
is out there without you and that if they need help that you can't reach out your hand and give them the help that they need. >> reporter: the teens set out friday from jupiter, florida on a 19-foot single-engine boat with 25 gallons of fuel believed to be headed to the bahamas, only 44 miles away. but this squall captured on another boater's cell phone on friday may have caught the young mariners off guard. >> i call him my macgyver. he can make something out of anything. he is so strong-willed. >> reporter: the capsized boat was found 67 miles offshore and 170 miles north of where they departed. it was caught in the gulf stream a constant current that flows four to six miles per hour this time of year. >> and when a person is in the water you're basically looking for the chest up. so it's a relatively small object. >> reporter: the boys' mothers say it's unlikely they were wearing their life vests when they capsized unless they knew they were in trouble. that's because most
boaters in florida while they have the safety gear on their boat they rarely wear it because it's so uncomfortable in the florida heat. the boys' family and friends walked the beach here today urging folks in north florida and georgia to do the same. among those helping, neighbor and football great joe namath who's offered a $100,000 reward for information. >> we just keep on looking until we get an answer. >> reporter: tonight, caught in the gulf stream the boys could now be off the coast of georgia. one up side working on their behalf the water temperatures here are in the mid 80s. lester? >> kerry sanders off the coast of florida tonight. thank you. another big story we're following here. one of the world's biggest car makers fiat chrysler is being ordered to make an offer to hundreds of thousands of customers to buy back their vehicles because of the dangers they pose on the road. nbc's tom costello reports. >> reporter: crash test video of a deadly defect.
a jeep liberty's rear-mounted fuel tank rupturing on impact. but on the right no rupture after a jeep is fitted with a trailer hitch to protect the tank. consumer advocates estimate as many as 270 people died in fiery jeep crashes including a 4-year-old who died in this crash. today the governor said fiat chrysler had acted far too slowly in ordering 23 recalls and fixing 11 million defective vehicles including the liberty and other models. >> have people been put at risk because of fiat chrysler's actions? >> we think so. we think that this is a classic case where there is in some cases a remedy available that consumers don't know about. >> reporter: chrysler today hit with a record fine of up to $105 million and ordered to buy back half a million vehicles including certain 2008 through 12 dodge suvs and the top-selling dodge ram pickup and provide cash to customers trading in or fixing those jeep grand cherokees and jeep liberty models.
>> for many years manufacturers could get away with these kinds of things. you saw it with all manufacturers. chrysler's the next one on the block, and they're paying the price for it now. >> reporter: the price could be high. hundreds of millions of dollars. in a statement the company says it agrees with the government's order and "we also accept the resulting consequences with renewed resolve, to improve our handling of recalls and re-establish the trust our customers place in us." it's also agreeing to four years of independent oversight into how it handles recalls. if you own an affected vehicle, chrysler is supposed to reach out to you directly. you can also contact your dealer but they may not have the details right away. the complete list of affected vehicles on our website at nbcnews.com. lester? >> all right, tom, thanks. meantime nbc news is digging deeper tonight into the largest auto recall in u.s. history. you'll recall those defective takata air bags in 34 million vehicles linked to at least eight deaths and over 100 injuries. as drivers rush to have them replaced nbc news has found cars
that could have these dangerous air bags driven right off the rental car lot. as our national investigative correspondent jeff rossen explains. >> reporter: when some recalled air bags go off, this could happen. a violent explosion. shrapnel sent flying. so are there rental cars out there right now with that defect? imagine driving with your family right now and having no idea about this open recall. scary. >> reporter: we're scanning the most popular companies. >> here we go. here's another one. >> reporter: our nbc producers check the vehicle identification numbers, or vins against the government database. >> looks like we found one. >> at this dollar rent-a-car we get a hit on this ford mustang. >> recall status is incomplete. one of the air bag recalls. >> reporter: but they rent it to us anyway. >> you're all set. check out at the gate. >> reporter: at avis we spot another mustang with an air bag recall. >> here we go. i've got keys to another one. >> reporter: we drive off, no questions
asked. >> the key's inside. >> reporter: and watch what happens at this hertz location. we find two mustangs with a recall. ready to rent. >> my car's safe and everything right? >> yeah. all the cars are safe. >> jeff rossen from nbc news. >> how are you? >> reporter: when we return the car at dollar i alert the manager. >> it has an open recall on it for the takata air bag defect. the potentially deadly one. >> i'm not quite sure about that but i'll certainly refer it to our corporate headquarters and check on it for you. but again, i apologize. >> so you won't rent this to anybody else until it's fixed? >> absolutely correct. >> reporter: avis makes the same promise. >> we'll sideline the car. >> and at hertz -- >> we found both of these cars that we rented from you have an open air bag recall and you rented them to us. >> can you just turn off the camera? >> are you going to take these cars out of service? >> can you please turn the camera off first? >> they they end up taking the cars out of service to be inspected. the companies later telling nbc news they ground and remove cars when they get the official safety recall notice and they had
not received them. but documents obtained by nbc news show the manufacturer in this case ford sent out not one but two unofficial advance recall notices over a month ago. hertz and dollar acknowledging they received that notice but they didn't pull the cars because as policy they wait for the official notices. tonight as a result of our investigation hertz, dollar avis and budget all telling nbc news they are now removing the affected cars with open recalls nationwide. they say safety is paramount. by the way, experts say you should check the vin number of every rental car, even the car you own, before you buy it. we have an easy link on our website right now, lester. nbcnightlynews.com. >> all right, jeff thanks very much. thousands of structures many of them homes, are under threat right now in the west as more than 20 large wildfires burn out of control in five states. just this year 5 1/2 million acres have burned. that's about the size of new jersey. and we're still early
into this fire season. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer has more on the desperate struggle to stop the flames. >> reporter: tonight in california the golden state is seeing red. during the last week 270 new wildfires here. 5,000 firefighters are on the front lines. the biggest threat they face in northern california. the so-called lowell and rag fires torching nearly 9,000 acres, threatening homes like michael martino. >> i have to just commend all the firefighters and people who are doing a great job to save as much as they can. >> reporter: feeding on tinderbox conditions exploding without warning. four firefighters were caught in the flames. one suffering serious burns. >> we've seen very very aggressive fire. conditions are dry. fires are burning much quicker than they normally do. >> reporter: in bend oregon crews are trying to stay ahead,
burning what they can now. >> almost as a prevention technique. but yeah, we are using fire to fight fire. >> reporter: eliminating dead trees and shrubs. the perfect fuel for fire. after years of drought this forest is ready to burn. it's dryer than ever. officials say even a controlled burn like this one can be dangerous. while more land is burning, homes are not. many have been saved in a series of close calls. but this fire season is still young. crews know one small spark can instantly blow a fire out of control. miguel almaguer, nbc news, bend, oregon. let's turn to politics now. with just ten days to go until the very first republican presidential debate donald trump is now leading the race in new hampshire with second-place jeb bush trailing him by seven points. and in iowa trump is rung a close second behind scott walker. and with 16 candidates competing for a spot on the debate stage, the war of words is escalating. nbc's peter alexander
has the details. >> reporter: jeb bush today winced at the latest republican attack line. >> i think we need to tone down the rhetoric for sure. >> reporter: reacting to mike huckabee, who over the weekend asserted that president obama's iran nuclear deal could lead to another holocaust. >> he would take the israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven. >> reporter: late today huckabee refused to back down. >> i have stood at that oven door. i know exactly what it looks like. i will not apologize, and i will not recant because the word "holocaust" was invoked by the iranian government. >> reporter: among those offended president obama. >> would be considered ridiculous if it weren't so sad. >> reporter: competing for attention, republican rivals are trying to outtrump trump. >> and then i watch this idiot lindsey graham -- >> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured. >> they're rapists. and some i assume are good people. >> reporter: even before huckabee several candidates
resorted to political stunts. ♪ rand paul torching the tax code. lindsey graham smashing his cell phone after trump gave out his number. the horse race is on. but the track is muddy. trying to keep the peace, republican party chairman reince priebus speaking this morning exclusively on "today," going out of his way not to criticize trump. >> he's speaking out to people that are really frustrated with washington. >> the pressure on these candidates is to ratchet up the rhetoric be confrontational. >> what doesn't work? >> i think what doesn't work is being thoughtful serious, dispassionate, and presidential. >> reporter: with all the infighting six in ten americans now say they have an unfavorable view of the republican party. lester? >> peter alexander. and this program note. presidential hopeful governor mike huckabee will be live tomorrow morning on "today" here on nbc. turning overseas where sources tell nbc news that turkey is getting into the fight against isis teaming up with the u.s. in a plan to eradicate isis
fighters near turkey's border with syria. there are no u.s. service members in the ground war, but there are americans who've left everything behind to join the fight against isis. our keir simmons was just in syria, where he met one of them on the front lines. >> reporter: escorted by a pickup truck mounted with a machine gun, we reach a front line in the fight against isis in syria. the city of hasaqa. we see remnants of battle and repeated isis suicide attacks. >> like the biggest bomb i ever seen. it was just over there. like you know, about 200 meters in the air, a big fireball. and we were getting attacked. there was a suicide bomber. >> this is where we pull guard duty. >> reporter: 25 an american from the south bronx, shows me where the isis positions are. he volunteered for this fight, joining kurdish militia, the ypg, the only force successfully beating back isis. >> there's an explosion right there. >> yeah. >> reporter: he says
he's hated terrorists ever since 9/11. >> fighting for my country as well. >> fighting for america? >> yeah. >> against isis. >> yes. before they attack us. >> reporter: on the other side this man, amir an isis fighter who surrendered during a u.s. air strike. now a prisoner of the kurds. he asked that his face not be shown. amir tells me he dropped out of college to join isis a group that cuts off people's heads, throws people from buildings, rapes women. >> how can you join a group like that? "they told us when we behead people we instill fear and the women we kill are adulterers," he says. it's something robert cain here to fight but his unit has outdated weapons. >> 1971. >> reporter: he shows me a picture of his 8-year-old son jonathan now living with robert's parents. they went to a yankees game before he left. amir talks about home too. "i've been a bad son," he says. then something unexpected happens.
this isis fighter starts to cry. it is rare to interview an isis fighter, never mind see one break down in front of you. isis can be beaten the kurds told me. but today two suicide bombers hit a town where we were filming just days ago. isis will not give up easily. lester? >> keir simmons in iraq tonight for us. thank you. still ahead tonight, shocking secrets and lies after a deadly wreck caught on tape. what one father did to shield his son from the law. it may have you asking how far would you go to protect your child? also the latest in the death of whitney houston's daughter bobbi kristina. the autopsy re ♪ hi! but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. those who have served our nation. have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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a milwaukee father is set to be released from prison after he was put away for a crime he didn't commit. that's because authorities say his son is the real person responsible for a deadly hit and run. a dark family secret exposed that has a lot of people talking about how far a parent would go to protect their child. nbc's kevin tibbles has the story. >> reporter: juan silva chose to do the time for what he says was his son's crime. two years served for a hit and run outside this milwaukee tavern that killed a father of three and injured a woman. >> i've never seen anything like it before. very unusual. >> reporter: but today that conviction was thrown out. the 2013 accident was picked up by security
video. it may be disturbing as it shows the impact and a white van leaving the scene. the father turned himself in saying he was behind the wheel. he was sentenced to five years in prison trying to keep his 21-year-old son, juan silva jr., out of jail. today silva's lawyer says the father turned on his son who is getting into trouble while he sat in jail. >> he was very disappointed that his son wasn't using this opportunity to clean up his act. >> reporter: at the silva home today a man who would not appear on camera but identified himself as juan silva sr.'s elder brother said he was only doing what he thought was best for his family. in response to an inquiry by nbc news today the woman who survived the accident lashed out at silva. "a parent, especially a father, is supposed to teach his child right from wrong, not encourage lies and deception." juan silva sr. today had his conviction vacated. juan silva jr. will appear in court next
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and is the leading state sponsor of terrorism. initial autopsy results are in for bobbi kristina brown. but they do not shed any light on the cause of her death yesterday. the only child of bobby brown and the late whitney houston was in a coma after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub six months ago. the circumstances remain under investigation. she was 22 years old. it's a magazine cover so many people are talking about today. the front of this week's "new york" magazine. it shows 35 women who accuse bill cosby of sexual misconduct. the story inside collects their accounts of what the comedian allegedly did to them. the cover also has an empty chair for those who didn't share their stories with the magazine or have yet
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finally tonight, a dramatic exit for a television legend. anthony geary, "general hospital's" leading man and one half of luke and laura, the soap opera couple whose 1981 wedding was the most watched moment in daytime tv history. tonight as geary says good-bye to luke spencer for good we get a look back from our own soap opera fan, nbc's jenna wolfe. >> strange place to do business. >> i don't tell you how to run your life. so don't tell me how to run mine, okay? >> reporter: the character of luke spencer was never supposed to be a leading man. >> i did it! >> reporter: yet four decades later he's leaving as one of the biggest heartthrobs in soap opera history. >> i don't regret our life together.
not for an instant. >> reporter: his on-off-on-off relationship with a much younger laura kept generations glued to their tvs, wondering what could possibly happen next. >> i pronounce that they are husband and wife. >> if i said to you luke and -- >> laura. >> luke and? >> laura. >> luke and laura. >> reporter: their wedding drew some 3 million viewers solidifying their place in tv history. by comparison prince william and kate's wed hg just ing had just 23 million. >> wedding of luke and lawyerate biggest event in daytime history. elizabeth taylor was such a big fan she requested to be i guest at the wedding. >> reporter: but after eight best actor emmys and quite a few different hairstyles actor tony geary is walking away. >> you were a fan. >> big fan. >> part of you is dying inside that luke is leaving. a small part of you. >> a little bit. it's not broken but it's getting there. >> reporter: geary isn't being fired. there's no scandal, no hard feelings. he just feels the time is right to say good-bye to port charles.
>> i'm leaving port charles, sonny. >> reporter: we won't spoil the ending for his fans. instead we'll say that all good things must come to an end and luke spencer was a good thing for daytime tv. jenna wolfe, nbc news, new york. that will do it for us on this monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of u the death of bobbi bobbi kristina brown, how the family said good-bye. whitney and her little girl together again. >> at peace.
>> i'm at the hospice where the family said their final good buys to bobbi kristina. >> a heart-broken bobby brown, tyler perry rushing in. dion warwick speaking out. >> she's in much better hands now. nick gordon is on suicide watch it becomes a murder investigation. caitlyn jenner surprise appearance at the culture club concert, who she was caught dancing with before the big premier of "i am cait" plus inside her historic vanity shoot. >> i never thought some day i would be able to do this. tom cruise's world tour from london to the hamptons with co-star alec baldwin. plus new secrets and