tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 20, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
les than anyone... change your thinking about buying your next one. tonight health care mystery. an obamacare replacement that affects tens of millions of americans kept from public view. cloaked in secrecy by senate republicans. a plan to vote in just days. what is in the bill? tropical storm warning expanded on the gulf coast from texas to louisiana. also, crippling heat. so hot in one city, it's forcing flights to be grounded. violent ride, severe turbulence and passengers and a crew member sent to the hospital in houston. train station explosion in brussels. soldiers opened fire. another apparent terror attack thwarted. an opioid epidemic striking so many families they're running out of treatment beds. jails turned into detox centers. and inspiring
janitor spreading hospital cheer. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news in new york, "nightly news" with lester holt. yea or nay. hard to answer without knowing what you're voting on. such is a position senators find themselves in over a health care bill crafted largely in secret that will have a profound effect on millions of americans. republicans are eager to finally deliver on their long-held promise to repeal and replace obamacare. they're certainly not counting on democrats to help them. right now, with ten days to go, it's lestlessness within their own party that leaders are dealing with. frustrated members of the senate wanting to know what's in the bill, who it covers and at what cost. or put another way, what are we voting on. nbc's casey hunt is on capitol hill tonight with details.
>> reporter: want to know what's in the gop health care plan? >> we want to see if they'll tell us what's in the bill. >> reporter: trying to track down the details. >> news flash. we didn't get the bill. >> reporter: while republicans back at the capitol say they haven't seen it either. >> no one's shared it. they used to complain like hell, the democrats, when they ran the affordable care act. now they're doing the same thing. >> reporter: even though the signs to write the bill are in the dark. >> even though i've been a member of this working group among senate republicans, assigned to help narrow some of the focus of this, i haven't seen the bill. >> reporter: republican majority leader mitch mcconnell is trying to corral the 50 votes he needs for it to pass. how long will the american public to have to read this bill? how many days? >> they'll have plenty of time, yeah. we've been discussing all the elements of this endlessly for
>> reporter: with 52 republicans in the senate, if three vote against it, the vote will die. moderate republicans come from low-income rural states, like lisa murkowski, dean heller, and they worry it could throw people off their insurance and raise premiums for millions more. fiscal conservatives like pat toomey, ted cruz and mike lee want to rein in medicaid spending. health care for 23 million people is on the line. priscilla spence didn't have insurance before obamacare. >> if i don't have insurance and i can't get taken care of and can't see the specialists that i need to see, i could die. >> reporter: so far it's impossible to know. americans might only have a few days to figure it out. >> who's pulling the strings. this is a political houdini act. >> reporter: americans will get their first look at that bill on thursday, which means they'll have just over a week to read it before the senate plans to vote. president trump at le i
the senate version will have more heart than the house bill. lester. >> kasie hunt at the capitol tonight, thank you. we turn to breaking weather news. a tropical system inching up the gulf of mexico has intensified into a tropical storm. cindy is on track tonight to bring flooding rains and high winds along the gulf coast by thursday morning. tonight warnings are up for millions of americans. al roker is here now with details. al, what's the major concern with this one? >> it's going to be flooding, lester. we're already seeing flooding ahead of this. it's already 240 miles off the coast. we've got a predecessor rain event. this is ahead of the system, causing massive flooding in and around the atlanta area today. it is 280 miles south of morgan city, 45-mile-per-hour winds. it's not moving. makes landfall around the texas-louisiana border sometime thursday morning. tropical storm warnings up from galveston all the to new orleans, storm surge of one to two feet.
from three to five inches from houston to the panhandle of florida. this area has already picked up 10 to 20 inches of rain in the last two weeks. this could be another 7 to 12 inches on top of that. and that will mean life-threatening flooding. >> all right. al, good to have you here tonight. thank you. that's not the only extreme weather we're monitoring tonight. there's also the crippling heat gripping the western half of the country where sidewalks are buckling and power grids are strained. temperatures have already turned deadly and cities are opening cooling centers to keep people safe. we get it all from nbc's miguel almaguer in phoenix. >> reporter: tonight in phoenix, the hottest big city in america, paramedics race to save lives as the temperature climbs. >> we want to get you to the hospital? >> reporter: almost 120 degrees in the shade. sky harbor airport, 43 flights canceled. the scorching temperature affecting the performance of smaller planes. >> it doesn't affect me. but if it affects
>> reporter: cars are like ovens in these conditions, up to 50 degrees hotter inside, dangerous to the touch. >> even touching the steering wheel in a car can cause burns. >> reporter: a staggering 40 million are under heat advisories. colorado to california. where the power grid is strained. tonight a plea to conserve energy. death valley topping 120 degrees. >> it's like so hot, you can almost not breathe. >> reporter: sidewalks and roads are buckling under the intense heat. and now, fire season is heating up. several fast-moving fires are burning across the region. >> on a scale of 1 to 10 of brewing scales, it's an 11. >> reporter: a 25-car pileup in this dust storm along i-10 in new mexico left six dead. extreme conditions crippling a region, with no relief in sight. it's not just the temperature in the air, but the radiant heat that is coming across from the ground that is cooking
many cities out west. here in phoenix, they're concerned about the power grid. they're asking everyone to conserve energy when they can. the big worry would be rolling blackouts. if that happened anywhere across the west tonight, the results could be deadly. >> miguel almaguer in phoenix, thank you. in houston this evening, passengers and a crew member are being treated after a violent ride aboard a united airlines flight from central america. turbulence so bad that ten people were taken to the hospital. we get late details on this from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: fire trucks and ambulances surrounded united flight 1031 at the gate in houston. the flight from panama city, panama, hit severe turbulence in mexican air space, some 8ing 0 miles east of cancun. the plane landed safely. in all, united said ten people were taken to the hospital. nine passengers and one crew member. turbulence is caused by disruption in air flow which can be seen on weather radar when
[000:07:59;00] detect when the air is clear. >> it's very uncomfortable. anything that is not secured can be flying around which includes passengers or flight attendants. >> reporter: this is what severe turbulence did at a moscow-to-bangkok flight this spring. there was no warning. 25 people were injured. here in the u.s., the federal aviation administration says 44 people were injured last year on flights due to turbulence. when they encountered unfriendly skies. anne thompson, nbc news. turning overseas, where for a third straight day, europe has been jarred amid a rash of assaults and terror attacks. in brussels this evening, an explosion rattled the city's central train station where soldiers shot an apparent bomber. no civilian injuries or deaths have been reported, but this, of course, follows attacks in both paris and london in recent
days. nbc's kier >> reporter: captured on camera, what appears, a burst of flames many feet high inside brussels central rail station. reports of an explosion and gunfire. a possible suicide bomber shot, neutralized, the local prosecutor said. witnesses describing a man with a bag in a car, then fire and screams. he was screaming all sorts of things, this man says. at one point he screamed out, allah akbar, arabic for god is great. police in europe's capital city said the situation is under control tonight. brussels the scene of a deadly isis attack last year in which 32 were killed by multiple explosions at the airport, and a metro line. this year, a wave of terror across europe. among the attacks, in manchester, a bomb at an ariana grande concert. in the uk capital, a knife attack on london bridge. in paris, a man attacking a police
officer with a hammer in front of notre dame. [000:09:58;00] london, a van mounting a sidewalk and mowing down muslims leaving a prayer service. >> in the one or two copycats. a sense that if one individual can do it, others can as well, and that builds upon itself. >> reporter: europe tense and on high alert again tonight, seemingly an unrelenting target. kier simmons, nbc news, london. now to the outrage over the death of an american college student released from north korea in a coma. the coroner's office in ohio now says no autopsy will be conducted on the body of otto warmbier at his family's request. only an external examination was performed with no conclusions made about the cause of death. a death that led president trump today to condemn north korea's actions. now the world is watching to see how the u.s. might respond. nbc's andrea mitchell has more. >> reporter: tonight
growing outrage over the death of american student otto warmbier, just days after he was carried off that plane from north korea in a president trump denouncing north korea. >> what happened to otto is a disgrace. >> reporter: john mccain calling it murder. >> what would you describe it as? >> reporter: warmbier's family blasting north korea's torturous treatment. how will the u.s. respond. one option, a travel ban. despite warnings, 1,000 americans still visit north korea every year. the company that took warmbier was still taking routes 11 days ago, tweeting this selfie. now telling news it will no longer take u.s. citizens there. another option, tougher sanctions. while the president is implicitly blaming his predecessor. >> frankly, if he were brought home sooner, i think the result would have been a lot different. he should have been brought home that same day. the result would have been a lot different. >> reporter: his press secretary asked to explain. >> the president believes that had it happened sooner, quicker, potentially there might have been additional medical
resources that could have been provided. >> to suggest that others didn't do as well as they did, i think is and i think they ought to cease and desist. >> reporter: despite the politics, in the end there is just sadness. sadness over the loss of a bright young man, only four years ago a promising high school graduate addressing his classmates. >> we're stronger than anything right now. we've made it through the good times and the bad. >> reporter: and beyond north korea's brutality, there is the issue of flaunorth korea nuclear and missile test. tomorrow the u.s. and china meet in washington to discuss options. president trump tweeting, while i greatly appreciate the efforts of xi in china, it has not worked out. at least i know china tried. apparently on the eve of those talks, not blaming beijing for north korea's behavior. >> andrea mitchell, thank you. turning to an alarming confrontation in the sky between the u.s. and russia. with tensions escalating between the
two countries, u.s. officials say a russian fighter jet intercepted an american spy plane over international waters. as nbc pentagon correspondent hans nichols explains, the aircraft came within feet of each other. >> reporter: the dramatic incident happening between a u.s. spy plane like this one and an armed russia jet over the baltic sea. the russian fighter jet approaching at high speed, tracking along the american reconnaissance plane at a close distance, and passing under it, coming within five feet of the american aircraft. these kind of moves known as intercepts can be common, but unsafe ones like this are rare. just two weeks ago, the russians intercepted this b-52 training over the baltic. and russian fighters have also buzzed american destroyers in the black sea. >> sounds to me like a hot-dogging russian pilot. this doesn't make any sense. it's dangerous air maneuvers. >> reporter: the latest intercept coming on the same day
that russia's defense ministry washed that any u.s. planes fighting isis in syria west of the euphrates river. today the u.s. testing russia's warnings. in southern syria, a u.s. f-15 intercepted an armed iranian-made drone heading towards a u.s. special forces training base. within minutes, and without warning, the russians on a military hotline, the american pilot shot it down. u.s. military officials claim that the hotline is open, but refuse to say whether or not the russians are answering it on their end. lester? >> hans nichols at the pentagon, thank you. it is election night in america. a closely watched special election in georgia to replace house secretary tom price in congress, which has now become the most expensive house race in history, pitting democrat jon ossoff against republican karen handel. the district has been in republican hands for decades, but president trump barely won it in november. giving democrats hopes
of an upset that some analyists say could be seen as a referendum on presint on when o.j. simpson could be released from prison. a parole hearing is now set nor july 20th. simpson was acquitted of a double murder in the so-called trial of the century, only to be convicted in 2008 for a robbery in las vegas. if parole is approved, simpson could be freed in the fall after nearly a decade in prison. still ahead tonight, our nation's deadly overdose crisis, inside one county at the epicenter, where it's gotten so bad, addicts are forced to seek help not from a hospital, but behind bars. we'll be right back. rs. we'll be right back. i tried to quit cold turkey. i tried to quit with the patch; that didn't work. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. for me, chantix worked. it reduced my urge to smoke. compared to the nicotine patch, chantix helped significantly more people quit smoking. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
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epidemic, many jails are now becoming makeshift detox centers as jacob uncovers in his series, one nation [000:17:58;00] >> reporter: to get addicts to seek treatment, montgomery county, ohio, sheriff's detectives are playing social workers, checking in on people who have recently been saved from overdoses. why are you knocking on people's doors after they overdose? >> we're the heroin capital of the world. >> did you overdoes? >> my mom did. >> do you use also? >> i do use also. >> when is the last time you used? >> yesterday. >> reporter: it's not easy to get addicts into treatment. but the sheriff's department provides a form of detox in the jail. what were you using? >> fentanyl. >> are you going through withdrawal right now? >> yes. >> can you describe how you feel right now? >> like crap. >> like crap? >> yes. >> do you know anybody
that's died? >> yes. my boyfriend, and my mom. >> i'm sorry. if any of your family or your friends catches you on tv, what do you want them i'm sorry. >> just got out of control. >> reporter: tawny watkins said she started using opioids in 2008. today attends a local support program called families of addicts. she's been in and out of treatment and the county jail. you've been clean over 100 days? >> yes. >> how did you do it? >> i eat, breathe and sleep treatment. i just got a house with a couple friends. i got my job back. >> is this your mugshot? >> yes. >> whoa. in a weird way, when you look at that, are you glad where you are? >> i'm so grateful i don't look like that anymore, and so grateful i got a chance to get back on track.
>> fentanyl is so powerful u with some sar yants sometimes stronger than heroin. they're banking on the next generation to stop from trying it if they can get the word out. jacob, tlauch. we'll take a break. we're back in a moment with a janitor with a song in his heart who's inspiring america. who's inspiring america. g america. d your brand new car. nobody's hurt, but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car.
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♪ let's groove tonight. ask your doctor about toujeo®. ♪ share the spice of life. we're back now with tonight's inspiring america report. in the halls of a hospital in tennessee, there's one employee with a not-so-hidden talent. a musical maintenance man with a gift of song making spirits soar. our kevin tibbles has his story. ♪ >> reporter: you can't help but get swept up in the larger than life personality of freddie wiggins. >> give me some love. >> reporter: his theme song sums it up best. ♪ i've got sunshine on a cloudy day ♪ i enjoy it here. >> reporter: freddie has been pushing a broom at the st.
thomas west hospital in nashville for 37 years. >> you cannot walk past him without him saying something, doing a fist bump, hey, how you doing. day. >> yeah. or more. >> reporter: and just like the doctors and nurses here, he dispenses care and compassion. >> people don't remember what you say. people don't remember what you do. but they always remember the way you make them feel. hey, baby, what's going on? >> reporter: mary has been a patient here for four years battling cancer. >> people like me need lots of encouragement. he always has the rights words for you. it's like he knows what he's doing. >> reporter: who knows, catching the freddie virus just might be therapeutic. >> there's such a need in health care to be more than just medical. that we've got to be more than that. and he has embodied that, embraces that. >> reporter: his mop is just a prop. washing away the
anxiety of a trip to the hospital. >> what do you get out of it? >> what i get out of it is what i give back. if i give happiness there, i get happiness >> reporter: sharing his infectious personality to spread a little joy. now, that's good medicine. >> show me some love. >> reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news, nashville. we'll take a break. up next, a dramatic rescue caught on camera when a youngster accidently takes a plunge at the zoo. youngster accidently takes a plunge at the zoo. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. but you must be pretty relieved. >> you think the result was correct? >> breaking news on "bachelor in paradise" scandal. this is "access hollywood."