tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC August 6, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
on this saturday night -- game on. an early gold medal for team usa as the rio olympics get under way. america's best competing in the water, on the beach and on the field after last night's spectacular opening ceremony. concert chaos. scary moments after a railing gives way at a concert injuring dozens. state of siege. richard engel on the new intense battles in syria as insurgents try to liberate hundreds of thousands in a city cut off by government forces. fearing zika. couples in florida now putting off plans to have children. the comeback. the american athlete who made it to rio after winning the biggest battle of her life.
for her, victory here will be a bonus. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is nbc news "nightly news" with lester holt, reporting tonight from the summer olympic games in rio. welcome to copacabana beach, the lights of the beach volleyball stadium blazing right behind me where the u.s. women compete later this evening. coming off a lavish opening ceremony celebrating the athletes in brazil, team usa was off to a great star as the rookie from virginia took the first gold medal of the olympic games. but here in the pool are where some of america's look to shine. let's go about an hour from here to baja where we find nbc's miguel almaguer with the latest on the competition. >> reporter: lester, good evening.
olympic park is open today. thousands are still pouring in to the venue. there are gold medal events later on tonts. it is a nightcap to an incredible day. today against this stunning backdr backdrop, the games began. the americans on the road. in the water. shooting for gold. it didn't take long to reach the podium. 19-year-old newcomer guinea thra thrasher, air rifle. the best in the world. >> i'm so overwhelmed. i can't express any emotions. >> reporter: the men's archery team also on target. silver for team usa. with half a million visitors in rio for the day -- >> we're so pumped. it is so great here. >> reporter: -- this international destination is brimming with national pride. this morning, a sea of yellow and green. after last night's dazzling display of culture and beauty, the opening ceremony a tribute
to brazil's rain forest, the portuguese ships, the slave trade arriving in this country, a cauldron lit by a national treasure. and then an explosion of color for a country that never lost faith. >> i'm so proud. i had goosebumps. i cried. >> united states of america! >> reporter: for team usa, michael phelps led the red, white and blue. for team refugees, for their appearance at the olympics. embodying the spirit of the games. the syrian refugee who swam for her life swam today in the 100-meter fly. she won her heat but didn't advance. still, she spoke with a heart of gold. >> it was an amazing feeling to be here and to compote here and see all the champions here. yeah. it was special. >> reporter: but she'll be back in the fool for the 100-meter free now as the sun sets on this
first full day of competition, the american stars are shining tonight. the defending women's soccer champs taking the field. for kerri walsh jennings and april ross, their prime tdebut t copacabana. for all the triumph, there was heartbreak. a french gymnast broke his leg while finishing the vault competition. . audience knew it immediately as he was carried off. he raised his arm. there was tremendous applause for him. this is not about the medals, it is about the competition. >> miguel, thank you. back in the united states, frightening moments at a concert last night when a railing suddenly gave way taking dozens with it and leaving more than 40 people injured. it happened near philadelphia as fans were dancing to the music of rapper snoop dogg and wiz
khalifa. morgan radford has details. >> reporter: moments before the collapse, cell phone video captured rap are snoop dogg and wiz khalifa pumping up the crowd at their new jersey concert, turning their backs for just a moment, when suddenly the railing gave way. sending dozens of fans slamming into the concrete floor five feet below, their bodies falling in waves. >> it was kainds of like something in a movie. something you would never see. it was just piles and piles of people on top of each other. >> reporter: it happened inside this popular event venue where fans were edging closer to the railing hoping to snap photos of the duo until finally their weight pushed it over. 42 people were sent to the hospital, one in critical condition. first responders built makeshift tents to treat injured fans lying on stretchers outside the arena. the concert canceled. >> everyone on the lawn was like screaming like, oh, my god, like
is everyone okay. you can hear people crying. >> reporter: snoop dogg tweeted late today -- prayers to my fans, wishing you all a quick recovery. with khalifa tweeting, i hope everyone at the concert last night is all right. >> reporter: fans took to social media saying, tonight was crazy. scariest moment of my life. a chaotic end to a concert meant to bring fans together ton a summer night. those injured fans have since been treated and released from the hospital. meanwhile, officials had already put in a new and secure temporary railing inside of this same venue where there is a concert being held tonight and where you can already see, there are some excited fans lining up behind me. lester? >> morgan radford tonight, thank you. turning to politics and donald trump mending fences this evening. he's in the swing state of new hampshire tonight where polls show him running behind hillary
clinton. after a bruising week of controversies and suffering rebukes of some within his own party, trump, it appears, is changing strategy. jacob rascon has the latest. >> reporter: next stop, the granite state. donald trump hoping for a rebound after a week of political whiplash. from lashing out at top republicans, to sudden unequivocal endorsements, telling "the washington post" on tuesday -- i like paul but these are horrible times. we need strong leadership. then on friday -- >> i support, and endorse, our speaker of the house, paul ryan. >> reporter: from "i've never been there with john mccain, he has not done a good job for the vets," to -- >> i hold in the highest esteem senator john mccain. >> reporter: and from senator kelly ayotte has given me no support, we need loyal people, we don't need weak people, to -- >> i also fully support and
endorse senator kelly ayotte. she's a rising star. >> reporter: the about-face, the cratering poll numbers, the fight with a gold star family, some true believers beginning to doubt. >> if he doesn't change, he may not win. >> we need to stay on this message and don't get sidetracked by what the media is saying. >> reporter: trump now back on message with a vengeance, his attacks on hillary clinton unprecedented. >> she's the devil. she's a monster. >> the queen of corruption. >> she's like an unbalanced person. >> reporter: hillary clinton also stumbling again on her e-mails. >> i may have short-circuited, and for that, i will try to clarify. >> reporter: trump pouncing tweeting today -- anybody whose mind short-circuits is not fit to be president. look up the word "brainwashed." tonight trump returns to new hampshire, the state that gave him his win during the primaries, plus a lot of momentum.
this time around though as you mentioned, he is behind in the polls. meanwhile, bernie sanders is tarringing "bernie or bust" voters writing an op-ed in the "l.a. times" writing, i voted for hillary clinton and so should all of those who voted for me. lester? >> jacob rascon in new hampshire tonight, thank you. in europe, authorities in belgium are investigating a machete attack on police today as a possible act of terrorism in a city outside brussels pat a police station. witnesses say the attacker shouted" god is great" in arabic before wounding the two female officers. he was shot and later died. in syria, intense new battles on two fronts today, one a town held by isis, another a major city where a government siege has choked off hundreds of thousands of people. chief foreign correspondent richard engel is following it owl and has our report. >> reporter: the scramble for territory is escalating quickly in syria tonight. in the north, american-backed
rebels appear to be on the verge of taking another city. this video shows them helping civilians, mostly women and children, evacuate the war-torn city through a tunnel in a wall. it is a major isis stronghold, a base of foreign fighters accused of plotting international terror attacks. if it falls, it would be a major loss. to the west, there is another rebel offensive, but very different. islamist rebels are trying to break through the syrian government stranglehold on the city of aleppo. the rebels here released a highly produced video, aerial shots, music and all, showing their fighters in close combat and taking control, at least for a little while, on a syrian government military base. but who are these rebels? some are from a group that just last week announced it is breaking its long-standing ties with al qaeda.
the rebels here are rebranding themselves and seem to be using this operation to show the world they're fighting for aleppo, not al qaeda. u.s. official aren't convinced they have they've changed allegiances at all. so many competing goals in syria, so many casualties, so many reasons this war has sent millions of refugees in to flight. richard engel, nbc news. back in the u.s., many people in phoenix remain on edge this evening as authorities hunt for a serial shooter now linked to nine attacks, most of them deadly. now new concern that he is expanding his target zone. >> reporter: when the sun goes down in phoenix these days, fear comes out. the serial killer still at large, believed to have shot nine people, seven fatally, since march. >> it is certainly frightening for anyone. >> reporter: according to police, most of his attacks occurred under the cover of
nature in the maryvale neighborhood, and now appears to be moving into central phoenix. while many are staying off the threats, many are still unaware of these threats. >> you know about this guy? >> no. first time seen he seeing it. >> reporter: that's why this guardian angel walks a central phoenix neighborhood where the most recent shooting happened on july 11th. >> he doesn't care who he's shooting at. he doesn't care if there is a child in the car. >> reporter: this is not the first serial shooting for are phoenix with its highways making it easy to escape. still unsolved, a series of shootings last year, and a decade ago a murderer killed people along baseline road, that killer now an death row. chief jewel was the lead investigator on yet another shooting spree her ten years ago. he say serial shooters enjoy killing as a sport. >> i think he's having fun. he's playing with the police.
it is kind of a cat and mouse game. and so far, he's winning. and he's going to continue to play this little game until he gets caught. >> reporter: the most recent shooting on july 11th happened right here in this neighborhood. and now police are hoping their newof $50,000 will entice someone to come forward with new information to allow these people to get back to normal life. nbc news, phoenix. still ahead tonight from rio de janeiro -- beyond the community and the olympics, a look at the rich and complicated history that frames this (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even mer-mutts. (1940s aqua music) (burke) and we covered it, february third, twenty-sixteen. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because
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great rates for great rides. we're back from rio de janeiro. we're going to take you tonight beyond the olympics for a look at what gives light to this vibrant and diverse city of more than 6 million people. stephanie gosk went out to see for herself what makes rio unique. >> reporter: there is no way to prepare the first-time visitor for the beauty of rio. winding through the stunning landscape is a culturally rich and complicated city. in recent years, struggling with recession, corruption, and extreme poverty. but people here hold on tightly to what gives this city so much life. ♪ >> reporter: samba was created here at the foot of this rock. >> this is where the slaves would bring salt coming from
europe. they would express the culture of tradition with musical instruments, singing, dancing. >> reporter: two nights a week this little neighborhood still turns into an outdoorjamb session. >> there is no separating the after cam roo african arts from a brazilian. there are so many untold stories and so many ways that they c cannot express it. this is one way they can. >> street art like this is everywhere, made legal in 2009. >> they can put it on the walls to show the rest of the world, this is us, this is who we are. >> reporter: each mural shows deliberate attention to detail. watch how brazil's signature cocktail is made. >> it has to be made in front of you. amber took us for a brazilian staple. portuguese barbecue.
>> there we go. before you can even take a bite, there's more coming. >> just when i think i've made some progress, it starts to grow and grow. >> there's nothing subtle about brazil. it is all extreme. >> reporter: that really goes for everything. rio is bold and dramatic. for just over two weeks, it is on global display. a lot of that life happens right here on the beach. during the day people are running, playing volleyball, doing boot camps. i'm signed up for one tomorrow at 6:30, lester. you in. >> tell me all about it. i would say there is an undeniable warmth to it. you look at that rich history -- >> even through all of their troubles, it comes alive. >> stephanie, thank you. still ahead, as this country deals with
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liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance. although the zika outbreak has slowed here in brazil where it is mid winter, everyone here for the olympics is still aware of the threat, and many aren't taking precautions. while in miami where the first locally transmitted cases in the u.s. have just recently appeared, fear of contracting the virus is forcing some tough calls and decisions for many couples about whether to have children. more on this from sarah dallof. >> reporter: expectant mothermch
distance between her and zika, relocating to california. >> knowing that i can do something to possibly prevent it, why wouldn't i? >> reporter: in the u.s., 479 women have been reported with zi zika. it is not known in any of miami's home-grown cases are in that number but doctors are calling for alerts for women. this miami per filth clinic has seen an uptick in the number of patients delaying embryo implementation, as well as women freezing their eggs in case they later contract the virus. >> i think it's created a situation that makes patients very uneasy about her fertility, achieving a pregnancy or being pregnant in general. >> they're fearful.
>> absolutely. >> reporter: vanessa moore lives and works in the area where the local infections are suspected of occurring. she had her eggs harvested last week but is waiting to implant them until the temperature drops. >> the decision was made in the last 24 hours. i'm really scared. i really am. >> reporter: no easy choices for those who want nothing more than a healthy pregnancy and babies. in miami, sarah dallof, nbc news. when we come back, the heroic effort by one american woman to make it to these olympic games.
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finally tonight, as every athlete here knows, it takes almost a super human effort to get to the olympics. that's under normal circumstances. when a life threatening illness gets in the way, the challenge might seem impossible. but not for one determined american woman who plays rugby. here's hallie jackson. >> reporter: rugby's tough. jillian potter, puffer. not even a broken neck could stop her dream of making it on the rugby sense of team. new to the olympics this year. >> it was a broken bone. they could fix it. >> reporter: the broken bone on
field didn't keep her off field for long. mouth cancer. stage three. her toughest opponent yet. >> when they discovered the tumor, i was like, okay. >> reporter: the dyingness coming just weeks before the 2014 cup. potter played. >> i was like -- >> this is where my life changes. >> yes. >> reporter: she started chemo, then radiation. >> when i started losing my hair or my eyelashes and my body image started changing, i had to look in the mirror and i still had to smile. >> reporter: carol watched her wife fight before but never like this. >> seeing the person you love most in the world battle something that you can't do much about is about as intense as you get. >> reporter: support came from jillian's support. the tight-knit rugby sense of community -- >> you're a warrior.
>> reporter: -- raised almost $30,000 to help her recovery. >> you can do it. >> you got it. >> reporter: last year, reading a poem, potter marked her final round of radiation. her first practice back, not everything she hoped. so you're mad because even though you've got like top seven on the team, you're still upset because you weren't top five. >> yeah. i always want to have the best in the support. >> reporter: no slack allowed with, for anyone. >> we are going after the gold medal. you have to prepare yourself every day that you're going for gold. >> reporter: no matter the medal, potter already undefeated. hallie jackson, nbc news, san diego. >> that's going to do it for us on this saturday night from rio.
rio and the philly region will be well represented. >> i'm jacqueline london, with the story of a woman who hopes to go to rio. we'll profile a world record holder, who is the nicest person you'll ever meet, until it is time to hit the pool. >> jersey shore, and this region that has given birth to america's best hope in perhaps the most grueling event, bike, run and swim with top try athlete, joel malloy, coming up. our heart of gold series, profiling the men who carried this country to gold two decades ago, but now uses his platform for a much