tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 13, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
>> thank you for watching. i'm jacqueline london. up next, "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. we'll see you back here tonight at 1011:00. tonight, an american set free in north korea, sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, now suddenly on his way home. and a mystery tonight, his parents say he's in a coma. what happened to this student from ohio. grilled before congress, fiery exchanges as the attorney general comes out swinging in his defense and senators accuse jeff sessions of impeding the russia investigation by refusing to answer questions. prison break manhunt, the search for a pair of escape inmates who killed their guards, armed and dangerous and on the run. seeing on the road a consumer alert tonight about the headlights on some of the most popular suvs on the road. how many don't get a passing grade. inspiring america, a little girl wishing to honor the men and women in blue.
"nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. we're glad you're with us tonight. today's surprise news a 22-year-old american student imprisoned in north korea since early last year has suddenly been released and quickly tempered by shocking word about his health. he is returning to cincinnati tonight but it appears he is gravely ill and been in a coma since sometime after his conviction and sentencing to hard labor for allegedly destroying a poster. the announcement comes as former nba star dennis rodman, one of the few people who have met both kim jong-un and donald trump was paying a visit to pyongyang. we get more on this tonight from gabe gutierrez. >> i have made the worst mistake of my life. >> reporter: tonight, 15 months after his
so-called trial in north korea, 22-year-old otto is on his way home in a coma. >> at the president's direction the department of state has secured the release of otto from north korea. >> reporter: in a statement to the press the family says he's been in a coma more than a year. we want the world to know how we have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime. a u.s. official tells us he contracted b botyoulism and fell in a coma after taking a sleeping pill. he had been on a tour of the reclusive country when in january 2016 he was detained for stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel. that march he was sentenced to 15 years. >> i entirely beg you for the government of north korea for forgiveness so that i may return home to my
family. >> reporter: since then, the u.s. had urged the north koreans to allow swedish diplomats access to him and three other americans still being held there. this february, secretary of state tillerson briefed trump who asked for his release. they were finally allowed to visit him but it wasn't until this month officials say they learned of his medical condition. >> the north koreans have a lot of explaining to do. why didn't they tell us and why didn't they abide by the geneva convention on prisoners. >> reporter: outside cincinnati, prayers for his recovery. the announcement comes as former nba star dennis rod man returned to north korea. this time he denied he was enlisted to help free any americans. >> that's not your purpose? >> not my purpose at all. >> reporter: the state department says his trip had nothing to do with the release. right now, he's traveling from u.s. to
japan where a medical team and state department representative and expected here in ohio to be reunited with his family later tonight. lester. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. we turn now to the high drama on capitol hill late today as the attorney general jeff sessions went before the senate intelligence committee under oath and came out after a combative exchange and refusing to answer questions about his conversations with president trump. nbc's kasie hunt brings us inside the room. >> reporter: sitting in the same seat where fired fbi director james comey appeared just days ago, today attorney general jeff sessions defiant addressing the russian elections comey had been investigating. >> the suggestion i participated in any collusion, i was aware of any collusion with the russian government to hurt this country is an appalling and detestable lie. >> reporter: but the sharpest moments,
democrats going after sessions for not answering questions about his conversations with the president. >> now, you're not answering questions and impeding this investigation. >> reporter: sessions relying on what he says was long standing adjust department practice about not revealing confidential information. >> i am not stonewalling. i am following the historic policy os the department of justice. >> reporter: today, sessions contradicting comey's account of the plea the former fbi director made to sessions. don't leave me alone with president trump. after which the president directed him to drop the flynn investigation. sessions denying he stayed silent as comey claimed. >> i believe it was the next day he said something to express concern about being left alone with the president. that in itself is not problematic. he did not tell me at that time any details about anything that was said that was improper. >> sessions taking issue with this comey assertion. >> we also were aware of facts i can't
discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a rush investigation problematic. >> mr. comey said that there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic and he couldn't talk about them. what are they? >> why don't you tell me? there are none, senator wyden, there are none. i can tell you that for absolute certainty. you tell -- this is a secret innuendo leaked out there about me and i don't appreciate it. >> reporter: sessions was also grilled today about a potential meeting with the russian ambassador at the mayflower hotel back in 2016. he said while it may have happened, he insisted that he didn't remember it. lester. >> kasie hunt tonight, thank you. while all that was playing out today, the future of the special counsel in the investigation has been called into question. will he stay on the job or not? this comes after a friend of the president says he
thinks mr. trump is considering removing mueller. we get the latest from white house correspondent kristen welker. >> reporter: president trump under fire among that he is considering firing robert mueller. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: the suggestion raised by the president's long time friend, chris rudy, the white house saying rudy never spoke directly to the president about mueller. rudy acknowledging that but doubling down. >> you read the art of the deal, keep all your options open. do i think he will actually fire him? no. i do think it has been an option? yes. >> reporter: is it because of top officials at the white house? >> i already said i will not reveal who my sources are but i felt confident saying it. >> reporter: republicans say getting rid of mueller could be devastating
after james comey firing. >> i think the best course is let this investigation going on legally and thoroughly. >> reporter: but mr. trump legally can't fire mueller but could order rosenstein to do it. today, rosenstein said today he saw no good cause to consider that option. >> if president trump ordered you to fireplace mueller, what would you do? >> i won't fol any orders unless they're lawful orders. >> this is textbook trump, waiting to see what he wants to do, leaving all options on the table, keeping people guessing and creating a huge distraction. >> reporter: for his part, the president trying to focus attention on his agenda talking healthcare in wisconsin and meeting with senate republicans at the white house. this comes as senate republicans have come under fire for trying to hammer out a healthcare bill behind closed doors and without a public hearing so far. >> i really appreciate
what you're doing to come out with a bill that's going to be a phenomenal bill for the people of our country. >> reporter: with the clock ticking on a potential vote tonight, two senate sources tell nbc news, president trump told republican senators the house healthcare bill that cuts some services is mean and wants the senate version to be more generous. the white house wouldn't comment but isn't denying the report. lester. >> kristen welker from the white house. >> one more report after recent scandals in recent years at the department of veterans affairs the house passed a bill that would hold v.a. employees more accountable make it's easier to fire them and protect whistle blowers. the vote was 68-55, the bill was passed by the senate last week and now heads to the president for final approval. the head of uber said today he is stepping aside, taking a leave of absence from the ride hailing service he co-founded as he confronts a
series of scandals. the ceo said the ultimate responsibility is his and he set no date for his return. the move came as uber's board accepted a set of recommendations for change after widespread allegations of sexual harassment in a hostile workplace. those recommendations include taking steps to control the use of alcohol and non-prescription drugs during work hours and work related events. we are on verdict watch for the bill cosby deliberations, coming back with questions for the judge raising speculations what's going on behind closed doors. stephanie gosk is at the courthouse in norristown, pennsylvania, what's the latest there. >> reporter: good evening, lester. it's been a hot day in pennsylvania, the media and public and protesters waiting on the courthouse steps for a verdict that never came. bill cosby and his defense team have been here all day filing in and out of the
courtroom every time the jury has a question. the jury has been deliberating more than a day. they've come up with four questions, the most recent question about constand's first statement to police in canada, back in 2005. this was something the defense made a big deal about over the course of the trial. she told the detectives she had never been alone with cosby until the night of the incident. then, in three subsequent statements to law enforcement that story changed substantially. but i would hesitate to read too much into these questions. we have no idea what the jury is thinking. lester. >> stephanie gosk, covering the cosby trial for us. thank you. in the state of georgia, authorities have launched a massive manhunt for a pair of inmates they say killed two guards before breaking free with guns, and it could be growing. kerry sanders with details. >> reporter: tonight, a hunt for two inmates armed and authorities say deadly dangerous.
>> substitutes escaped from a prison transport bus after killing correction officers and taking their handguns. >> reporter: at 6:35 this morning a routine transfer of inmates in rural georgia turned violence. two prisoners overpowered the guards like this one somehow breaking out caged doors and turning the pistols against them. >> i saw two brutally murdered corrections officers, that's what i saw. the blood on my shoes. >> reporter: on the run tonight, 43-year-old donnie russell rowe serving a life sentence for armed robbery and 24-year-old ricky dubose, serving 20 years, believed to be a member of the arianne prison gang known as the ghost-faced gangsters. when the subjects escaped, rowe and dubose carjacked a first car they saw, this honda civic. it all unfolded in front of susan dunne's driveway. she grabbed her phone and took pictures.
>> it was either four or five shots in quick succession, bam bam bam bam. >> my biggest worry is they will kill somebody else, my biggest worry. >> reporter: murdered corrections officer 42-year-old christopher monica and curtis billue, both known for love of their families. >> we lost two of our fellow officers and two of our kin. >> reporter: tonight, reports the men broke into this home 30 miles from where they escaped, changing out of their prison jumpsuits. the authorities have reviewed a video recorded on the prison bus that shows the two inmates escaping and shooting. tonight, there are reports the men were spotted at a dollar general store about a mile from where they broke in and changed clothes. the fear tonight, that these men will not give up without gunfire. lester. >> all right. kerry sanders, thank you. a somber dignified transfer ceremony last night at dover air
force bays in delaware as the bodies of three american soldiers killed on saturday in ag arrived back in this country. all were members of the army's 101st airborne division, all in their 20s. corporal dillon baldridge, target eric houck and sergeant william bays killed in an insider attack. when they were fired on it happened in an area they were battling isis forces. more to tell you about as we continue tonight. some of the most popular vehicles on the road. a new report raising questions about a key safety feature we all depend on. a girl on a mission. thanking the police for their work in all 50 states and to folks everywhere whose diabetic... ...nerve pain shoots and burns its way into your day... ...i hear you. when that pain makes simple errands simply unbearable... ...i hear you. i hear you because my dad struggled with this pain. make sure your doctor hears you too. so folks, don't wait. step on up.
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out of two dozen suvs they tested the vast majority had headlights considered marginal or poor failing to give drivers a clear view of the road or blinding other drivers. tom costello has details. >> reporter: across the country of the 40,000 people who die every year on the nation's roads, half are killed at night, dusk or dawn. >> the track is ready, you can begin your run. >> reporter: now, the insurance for highway safety is shining a light on the mid-size 2017 suv models it recently tested. only two had headlights that earned a good rating. >> too many headlights compromise safety because they only allow a short view down the road at night. >> reporter: the split screen shows the difference using low beam lights. on top the volvo 60 with a good rating,
bottom, the kia sorento. volvo offers twice the light illuminating a pedestrian and the deer barely visible with the kia. kia tells nbc news it meets or exceeds national safety standards and kia will carefully evaluate the results of this test as part of its commitment to continuous improvement. even some luxury suvs received poor ratings. >> if you don't have the right lighting or come around the corner and simply not see a child or deer or other obstruction in the roadway. >> reporter: where the lights are aimed is critical since higher sitting suvs can affect oncoming traffic. the auto industry wants government approval for headlights that reduce glare but maintain constant light on the road. starting next year, automakers want the top safety insurance rating they have to insure their headlights are up to the job. hrheumatoid arthritis like me,
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if you were hoping for an oprah faceoff with donald trump in 2020 you can file that thought away. the famous talk show host was asked in the awards podcast if she thought she would have a chance defeating donald trump. she said she didn't know and i will never know the answer to that because i won't run for public office. a young girl who plans to travel around the country this summer with a single purpose in mind, to give her personal thanks to those who protect and serve us. it all came about after an especially tragic day for the police last year. how she is inspiring america. >> give her a hug. >> reporter: meet a little girl on a big mission.
7-year-old roslyn baldwin has traveled all over the windy city from louisiana. >> you look just like me. >> reporter: to share her affection. >> what do you think of the cops in chicago? >> awesome. >> reporter: she's made it her goal to travel the country hugging as many men and women in blue as she can find. do you think police officers need a hug from time-to-time? >> yes. >> reporter: how come? >> they love us. they protect us. >> reporter: what do you want to show them? >> love. >> reporter: roslyn is the daughter of a minister. >> where did you get the idea to do that? >> from god. >> reporter: after five officers were killed in an ambush in dallas last year, she told her parents she wanted to do something. she's already delivered her personal thank you to cops in 16 states, from louisiana to oklahoma and beyond. her ultimate goal is to hit all 50. >> she says she's a
little girl and she has a big heart. so i didn't want to devalue her mission of love. >> reporter: officer mike carroll not only got a hug, he got to baby-sit roslyn's little brother. >> thousands of miles to hug a cop, it means a lot. >> there you are! >> she has our backs. it's amazing as young as she is coming to our city and going to other cities as well. >> reporter: chicago. >> when >> reporter: chicago. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer.
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hollywood comeback. two racy new roles looking hotter than ever at 54. >> now on "extra". ♪ extra, extra demi moore aging in reverse as she returns to the spotlight. >> you look gorgeous. >> thank you. >> in "rough night", her sex scenes with alec baldwin in "blind". is she dating again? how she got the best body ever
in her 50s. plus, co-star scarlett makes look-a-like grandma. >> holy crap. and breaking new details on batch hrar in paradise sex scandal. corinne so drunk she went limp in the pool. former contestant tenley revealed how wild it could get on set. >> what's happening? ♪ extra ♪ megyn kelly under fire. will she be forced to pull her interview with alex jones? ♪ extra a billion dollar divorce. elle macpherson split from her wealthy husband. what she is walking away with. ♪ extra plus, mariah carey eyeing a return to the new "american idol". >> would you ever go back? >> our special correspondent mark wright has the pop diva with raisi