tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 12, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
on this sunday night, border wars. president trump faces big protests in mexico over trade and his plans for a wall while his administration defends the travel ban and plans its next moves. russia's ambitions. how moscow is targeting other elections, this time in europe, trying to boost far right candidates there. >> painful legacy. the name on a building evokes slavery and caused protests and now yale university finally agrees to a name change joining others that have done the same. and dinner with friends. it all began with a chance meeting, a shared concern and a photograph. how two families, one jewish, one muslim, quickly found common ground. "nightly news" begins now. test. test. test. test. test.
test. >> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. good evening, in 18 cities across mexico today thousands joined demonstrations against president trump's policies, the largest gathering in mexico city. those who joined the anti-trump rally cited the president's continued calls for a border wall and promises to dismantle nafta as cat lifts for their action. it all comes as the white house is considering how to move forward on its immigration policy after losing in court last week. we begin tonight with kelly o'donnell in florida. >> reporter: demonstrators in palm beach. both trump supporters and detractors lined his route to the airport. president trump returns to washington tonight with international friendships facing tests. today in mexico city. thousands marched to protest president trump's plans for a border wall.
anger directed at mr. trump's own image. human and economic divisions between the u.s. and mexico, including the trade deal nafta also affect canada. tomorrow prime minister justin trudeau meets mr. trump at the white house. trudeau directly criticized the president's seven-country travel ban tweeting a message for refugees. welcome to canada. defending that travel ban across morning television today, the president's senior policy advise efforts stephen miller lashed out at the courts. >> we have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government. >> reporter: white house weighing options. >> to ensure that our immigration system does not become a vehicle for admitting people into our country who are hostile to this nation and its values. >> reporter: miller's boss liked what he heard. the president tweeted great job, but miller was clearly unprepared to answer for mr. trump about controversy around national security adviser
michael flynn who told mike pence he had not discussed sanctions with russia but monitored calls suggest he did. >> if you were caught misleading the vice president of the united states, would that be considered a fireable offense in the trump white house? >> it's not for me to answer hypotheticals. it wouldn't be responsible. it's a sensitive matter. >> reporter: and during his weekend here, the president also faced a first test from north korea. a missile launch prompted a late-night television appearance with his guest, the japanese prime minister. some on-the-spot diplomacy with mr. trump saying only that he fully supports japan. kate? >> kelly o'donnell down in florida. and late today north korea claimed claimed that missile test was successful. the pentagon said it was a medium or intermediatium range ballistic missile and did not pose any threat to north america. it's all being followed closely though by south korea, and our kier simmons is in seoul tonight. kier.
>> reporter: kate, good evening. here in south korea many people believe this was a test not just of the north korean missile but a test aimed at the president of the united states. the south korean government saying that it believes this was a direct and deliberate challenge to the new administration. around the capital of south korea here, seoul, there are bomb shelters, but what many u.s. officials fear is that north korea has vowed to develop a long range nuclear-capable missile that would be able to reach the mainland of the united states. kate? >> kier simmons in south korea. as the fallout continues from russia's meddling in the u.s. presidential election, it turns out that this country's election is not the only one russia has tried to influence. moscow section earthing more and more political influence in europe, supporting nationalist far right candidates whose voices are growing louder hand louder. we asked nbc's matt bradley to take a look at the role russia is playing. >> reporter: american troops in
poland, a show of norse meant to deter russia's growing ambitions in europe, but vladimir putin's advance there is far more subtle. moscow is quietly supporting europe's far right populist with loans, cooperation and propaganda. >> it's a very clear stance for the russian government that they are in support of populist radical right candidates and they sympathize with these movements and see them as destabilizing european political systems in the eu in general. >> reporter: a new political front line as major european elections loom, even as the u.s. reels from russian political interference in its own presidential election. for europe's right, putin's russia represents a nationalist tradition they feel their own countries have lost. the head of austria's anti-immigration freedom party signed a five-year cooperation deal with put opinion's party. there were claims we would get financial support from russia, he told us, but that's absolutely not true. he says the deal is about making
peace with russia, not taking money from them. marine le pen of france's anti-immigrant national front took a nearly $10 million loan from a moscow-backed bank in 2014, and russian state media are now sneering her strongest opponent in elections this spring. as right wing populist parties across the continent cozy up to moscow european institutions are taking notice. the eu created an agency called e-central arterycom to counter anti-europe propaganda and meanwhile nato is deploying thousand of u.s. troops to europe's eastern fringe, a new kaeld war on the political front lines that risks heating up. matt bradley, nbc news, vienna. in hamburg, germany, there was chaos for a time today in the airport at that city b.50 people complained of eye irritation and had some problems breathing after a corrosive substance leaked through the air conditioning system.
officials say the source might have been pepper spray. the airport was closed briefly. authorities say the incident was not considered a terrorist attack. in this country, the northeast preparing to get belted again by a big winter storm tonight and tomorrow. more than a foot of snow expected in some areas as wide -- as our widespread travel disruptions. let's get the latest from weather channel meteorologist rich johnson. rich? >> reporter: kate, this could be a top ten storm for portland, maine. this winter storm affecting the northeast and bringing a widespread area of snow. as we look at our future radar, snow is spreading across new york state this evening and all the way up into maine, so maine down to boston. that is where the wrap-around snow is really going to pick up. by the time we get into tuesday the storm is away so we're looking at that time period late tonight when the winds will start to pick up. how much snow is going to fall. we expect the heaviest of the snow. eastern maine and north and west of boston. that's where we could see upwards of 12 inches of snow or
more in eastern maine and that's where we'll find upwards of two feet of snow so, kate, looks like this is going to be a rough storm late tonight into monday. >> rich, thank you. in the west, california set a new record last year. more guns were sold in that state than ever before, and california was not alone with the surge of gun sales as the fight over guns is heating up. nbc's katie beck has more on all of this. >>. >> reporter: gun enthusiast david martinez has owned guns all his life. recently he found an urgent reason to buy a new one. >> once i heard that they are going to ban the ars i stopped to get one. >> reporter: he's talking about california's bullet button ban. the state made till legal to sell rifles that have a button shooters can use to reload faster. the ban passed in july of 2016 but took a few months to go into effect. >> this whole wall right here was literally completely empty in december.
>> reporter: they were cleaning you out. >> they were cleaning me out. >> reporter: gun store owner vince torrez says the ban helped make 2016 his busiest year in decades. so it's your opinion that anti-gun laws really have an opposite effect? they push people to the store to buy more guns? >> exactly. especially in california. >> reporter: california gun sales surged last year, selling over a million firearms for the first time ever. >> we need comprehensive background checks. >> reporter: and nationwide a similar trend. a 19% spike in background checks, the tumultuous election season where hillary clinton could have been in the white house spurred sales. >> they thought if she would have been elected, she would definitely have gone 1,100% after the gun industry mr. president. >> reporter: now with president trump in office promising second amendment protections there's no national catalyst for sales. agendas are surfacing on both sides of the issue in states though. lawmakers in maryland and new mexico want to tighten
background checks while ten other states are aiming to allow owners to carry without a license. overall the gun industry is bracing for a slowdown in sales because of solid republican control in washington. >> it's a catch-22, but, you know, i would rather keep my guns. >> reporter: a balancing act that keeps businesses and lawmakers chasing a moving target. katie beck, nbc news, los angeles. and now an issue that generated years of debate all about a simple question that was complicated. what's in a name? for yale university the name was calhoun, a building on campus, and also a divisive figure in american history and its slavery past. as morgan radford reports, the issue has finally been resolved. >> hey, hey, ho, ho -- >> reporter: after months of protest, yale university announced it will change the name of calhoun college, one of its dormitories named after john c. calhoun. seventh vice president of the united states and yale graduate who supported slavery. >> this is a very, very happy
moment for all of us. >> reporter: the billing will be renamed to honor grace murray hopper, a 1930 graduate and celebrated computer scientist. >> people are happen we this name. >> reporter: last april yale's president said they wouldn't change the name because they didn't want to erase the university's past. now ten months later this statement. >> calhoun's legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately promoted slavery as a positive good fundamentally conflicts with yale's mission and values. >> they realize that had they made a mistake when they saw how angry all the students were that the name was staying, so they timely did the right thing. >> reverse the call. >> reporter: this comes after similar calls for change at colleges all across the country n.2015, the university of north carolina changed the name of saunders hall, originally named after a leader of the ku klux klan. that same year princeton students held sit-ins hoping to drop woodrow wilson's name from their university, citing the
former president's glowing praise of the kkk and his support for segregation. >> this questioning around the history of slavery and the history of naming is really the tip of the iceberg of how do we maintain diversity in our institutions of higher education? how do we maintain opportunity and access? >> reporter: well, yale's president says they now have rules to ensure that renaming buildings go through a review process and respects the part. this is all a part of wave of colleges now being forced to revisit that past and really make those changes in the present. kate? >> morgan radford, thanks so much. still ahead tonight, another immigration story that has been largely forgotten. what will happen to hundreds of cubans stuck in limbo? and his voice was the defamation of smooth. ♪ >> saying good-bye to a jazz legend. ♪ all night long ♪ larms) where's the car? it'll be here in three...uh, four minutes.
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and an american military hero has died. retired lieutenant general harold hal moore was known for saving most of his men in vietnam during the first major battle between the u.s. and north vietnamese armies. it was in 1965. that battle balanced budget amendment basis of book moore co-wrote "we were soldiers once and young" and the movie stars mel gibson that followed. general moore was a graduate of west point. he was 94 years old. as the trump administration's policies on immigration play out, there is another action, this one by president obama that has left hundreds of migrants in limbo. they are cubans who plan to enter this country via mexico. we get more from nbc's tammy lightner. >> reporter: the united states has just 100 yards from this dusty mexican border town, yet it might as well be 100 miles for these cuban migrants. for years people like martinez had years to set foot in the
u.s. to gain refugee status here. he found after traveling to mexico he found traveling here would not mean a reunion with his wife in miami. martinez says he's been waiting here since january 14th. his wife lady del rio made it to the u.s. just before the border closed, leaving behind her husband and two teenage daughters. now she is in the u.s. alone, desperate. the family sold their car and home to make the journey, and now they have nothing left in cuba. trapped mid-journey, apart. many cubans believe the repeal of wet foot dry foot was coming causing a rush to the border. nearly 57,000 cubans entered the u.s. in fiscal 2016 and more than twice the number in 2014. one thing that hasn't changed, a high-tech effort to spot migrants in the rough waters between florida and cuba.
>> we can be about 25,000 feet away, and we can tell what kind of boat it is and how many people on board. >> reporter: some makeshift boats barely sea "world sport"y. we're about 40 miles off the coast of cuba, and it's not uncommon that the coast guard finds people down on these small islands. they have either gotten lost or they have been abandoned by smugglers, and in that case it truly is a matter of life or death. for those like this woman and her son, returning to the communist island is not an option. saying she would rather die than return. experts estimate there are more than 500 cubans now at this border crossing alone, all dreaming of life in america. to be able to work and be free. for migrants that means waiting here at the border as long as it takes. tammy lightner, nbc news, miami. and coming up, a new effort
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a new documentary opened in select cities called "i am jane doe." the film shines a bright light hon how young women are being sold online hand the legal fight against one particular website. the film follows several families. nicole's daughter left home at 15. >> trying to wrap my head around how you take a child that was a soccer star, a violinist and 36 hours later she's being sold on a website. >> reporter: and main's mom had used the website backpage.com to buy and sell couches and tvs and then found her missing 13-year-old daughter for sale. >> it was the third link from the top. it had stars and hearts, and it
said young and new. i clicked it and there was the pictures of my daughter. >> reporter: she had been trafficked for sex for nine months. >> it's happening in every city and every town across america. that blew me away. hi not a clue. >> reporter: after a two-year investigation a senate subcommittee found back page edited ads to avoid red flags as a former moderator describes in the film. >> we had a list of words that we went by that were not supposed to be used in the ad. >> reporter: smoke with subcommittee chair senator rob portman on msnbc thursday. >> backpage.com has about 80% of the commercial sex traffic and have almost a monopoly on this. >> reporter: day before his subcommittee held a hearing last month, backpage announced it would remove its adult content section because of, quote, government censorship. backpage's executives refuse to answer questions at the hearings. >> based on the right provided by the first and fifth amments.
>> reporter: but for years the company has argued backpage is not responsible for content that third parties post. backpage also argued it has helped law enforcement fight trafficking, but in two new lawsuits against backpage filed just last week lawyers say young girls are still being advertised, just on a different part of the site. >> we believe in a fully and vibrant internet, just like everybody else, but can these companies do more to eradicate this problem? absolutely. >> reporter: there are multiple civil cases against backpage right now and a criminal case involving executives. when we come back, it began with a picture. how two ♪ (vo) do not go gentle into that good night, old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light. do not go gentle into that good night.
with all the division in the country let's end tonight with the story of unity about two families, one muslim, one jewish who came across each other at an immigration protest in chicago last week. you may recall the now famous picture. the kid talking as they sit on their fathers' shoulders, and that was only the beginning. here's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: when special guests are everything, everything has to be just right. from the handmade welcome on the door to the setting of the table, and when the new friends arrive, greetings and gifts. the six members of the yildrin family are muslim and the five are jewish.
they will be sharing the traditional shabiat dinner together. >> as a jew the best thing i can do is get up and stand for my muslim neighbors. >> reporter: jordan is a rabe, and he's talking about this picture, taken during immigration protests at chicago's o'hare airport. jordan holds his 9-year-old son adin on his shoulder. and fahti, originally from turkey holds his 7-year-old daughter miriam. the picture went violent. >> people think that muslims and jews cannot get along but actually maybe the governments cannot get along, but the people get along. >> reporter: as the family pause for their family prayers, young adin watches intently from the basement steps. >> it's nice to meet new people? miriam is a little younger. what's it like being at his house now? and she did present adin with this coloring of the encounter at the airport. jordan says he's received a few
nasty e-mails as a result of the picture, but far more positive ones from many muslim nations. >> tunisia, algeria, egypt. >> reporter: places you never thought you'd get a postcard from? >> yeah, absolutely. >> reporter: did you take any heat for doing this? >> a tremendous amount. >> reporter: stishlgs as the two family retire to celebrate their dinner, there was already talk of future dinners, future interfaith gatherings and future friendships. kevin tibbles, nbc news, deerfield, illinois. >> nice to celebrate the positive. that is nbc "nightly news" on a sunday night. lester holt will be back here tomorrow. i'm kate snow reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow on msnbc. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night.
i was in my room. it was all dark. and like everything was just spinning away from me into blackness. it was terrifying. >> reporter: it was a whirlwind romance with mister right that morphed into a mind-bending mystery. >> my blood ran cold. >> she was like, "i feel i'm being watched." >> my phone would be followed. he said, "you could be under surveillance." >> reporter: followed? surveillance? she'd stepped right into "the twilight zone"! hidden codes. government agents. undercover spies. >> i was so scared. who was this man she was about to marry? your brain has got to be saying "holy cow!" to learn the truth, she would launch a secret mission of her own. >> testing, testing.