tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 22, 2017 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
on this saturday night, russia connection? a new report says attorney general jeff sessions discussed campaign issues with russian's ambassador during the presidential campaign. the heated reaction from president trump. the devastating loss in california as residents return to find their homes in ruins after the worst wildfire of the year. desperate days. the growing anger and deadly protests in venezuela as the government tries to expand its power and crack down on dissent. opioid court. a new approach in battling the epidemic sending drug users immediately to treatment instead of jail. and sweet success. how one young man is building a satisfying life and business by
success. "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz bilart. a new report citing intercepts which could be an explosive revelation about attorney general jeff sessions. u.s. intelligence agencies intercepted communications between the russian ambassador and moscow. those communiques reportedly show that the ambassador and then senator sessions talked about the trump campaign, something the attorney general has denied. this, on a day when president trump fresh off a shake-up in his communications team was hoping to shift focus from russia to things like defense, health care and taxes. our kelly o'donnell has the story. >> reporter: with a
cinematic flair, today, the marine one landed on "gerald ford." >> may god bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her. >> reporter: there were tributes to those in uniforms and to former vice president dick cheney and defense secretary donald rumsfeld. both served under ford. >> they look great. they look great. >> reporter: getting down to business, president trump urged congress to deliver on higher defense spending but added another political plug. >> by the way, you can also call those senators to make sure you get health care. >> reporter: before today's pomp and ceremony, the president delivered ten tweets. he even noted that
president has the complete power to pardon. a power famously exercised by the president honored today. >> you grant a full, free and absolute pardon onto richard nixon. >> reporter: but president trump insisted the only crime during his administration is leaks against us. today, his frustration seized on a new intelligence leak involving attorney general jeff sessions. >> i did not have communications with the russians. >> reporter: t"the washington post" reports that ambassador kislyak told moscow he had discussed the trump campaign with sessions. an aide disputed that and said sessions stands by his testimony that he never discussed interference with any campaign. the president has publicly described a frayed relationship with sessions over his recusal overseeing the russia investigation. but the most visible shakeup happened inside the white house
communications director anthony scaramucci is taking over. tonight, a new russia challenge for president trump. leaders announced an unexpected agreement to vote on a new package of sanctions against russia, iran and north korea. the president wanted flexibility on russia sanctions but congress plans to limit what he can do. that leaves a choice to sign off on sanctions president trump does not support or use his veto and suffer the political fallout of appearing too friendly towards russia. jose? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house, thank you. now to california where eight wildfires are still burning tonight. many were forced to leave and now returning home. some are lucky. many others, however, are not. we get the latest from nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: the most destructive wildfire in america this year crept within a mile of the historic california tourist town mariposa. >> it'
around us. >> reporter: when you live here, a mile can feel like mere inches. >> i couldn't get back home. it happened so fast. >> reporter: it was gold that originally lured people here in the 1800s. this week, fire chased them away. the evacuation started days ago as angry wind-whipped flames moved closer but mike nolan stayed behind until helicopters and fire trucks showed up. >> he's a hero. he saved our home. i don't know what i'd do without him. >> reporter: today when his wife joanne returned home, her worst fears were extinguished. >> i didn't mind seeing all of the black because i could see my home. >> reporter: others aren't so lucky. the cause still unknown has destroyed 60 homes with 75,000 acres scorched, large enough to be spotted by space. as temperatures cool, crews are making progress. in mariposa, many are returning home. this gold rush town turned
back to life. >> i think everything is getting back to normal as quickly as they can, you know. >> reporter: mariposa sits in the shadow of yosemite national park which for now remains fully operational beneath a smoky sky, a reminder of the threat looming across california. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. beyond california, we're following a veer weather in parts of the midwest and mid-atlantic tonight. scenes like this outside chicago have been hitting the region for days now. many towns in iowa, wisconsin and illinois are under water and flood warnings continue. severe thunderstorms are in the forecast again tonight and tomorrow for wide areas of the midwest, mid-atlantic and the northeast. new fallout tonight from the shooting death of an australian woman by police in minneapolis as the victim's family and public demand details about what led to her death, a shakeup at the police department is triggering calls for even more changes. nbc's ron
report tonight. >> reporter: chaos. >> i hear and understand your objections. >> reporter: minneapolis mayor sought to restore confidence in the city's police force with protesters urging the mayor be next to go. >> we're not going to be tricked by this effort, right? the former chief wasn't doing her job but we understand it's beyond the chief. the problem is institutional. >> the fiance has fought back tears. >> reporter: amid international calls for tears for justine damon shot and killed by the police in the alley behind her home. mayor hodges asked the chief to return home. the mayor returned and said she will not get her job. frustrations here and in the victim's native australia have only grown after she called 911 twice and two officers reon
driver's seat said he heard a loud sound as she approached his vehicle. that's when his partner opened fire from the passenger seat killing damond. officer noor has declined to speak to city officials. both officers have been placed on administrative leave and questions remain why they didn't turn on their body cams. she was engaged to be married. two communities world apart demanding to know the truth. the mayor has said the shooting should not have happened. in the meantime, officials say a bicyclist near the scene of this tragic shooting and actually watched as officers tried to perform cpr on justin is cooperating with the authorities. jose? >> ron mott in minneapolis, thank you. there's a new and not so subtle thought about
threat from mike pompeo. he said the most dangerous thing about north korea is nuclear weapons and is that kim jong-un controls them. the most important thing we can do, he said, is separate the two. not everyone shares that view, notably russia. keir simmons discussed the issue in an exclusive interview with russia's foreign minister. >> reporter: tonight, tension over north korea's missile program on multiple fronts. the trump administration preparing to bar american tourists from traveling to the isolated country. the cia director strongly hinting ousting the dictator kim jong-un and warning america against such action. >> we don't believe in the regime change anywhere. i hear very enthusiastic voices in the united states including in some parts of this administration that the patience has been over and they must do something becau
growing and the intercontinental ballistic missile was launched but secretary mattis answering the question that the user force against north korean regime would mean a disaster. >> reporter: and sergey lavrov questioning america's intervention in syria. >> after the country has been liberated, the presence of the foreign troops, on the soil of syria would be legitimate with the concerns of the syrians themselves. >> reporter: because america has supported syrian rebels and opposed president assad, the u.s. presence is illegitimate, the minister says. >> those that have been sanctioned by president assad would suggest that only russia, iran and perhaps hezbollah should be allowed to intervene in syria.
>> reporter: so far, a cease-fire in parts of syria broke up by the u.s., russia and jordan is holding but it's a tense truce where hundreds of thousands have died and a country carved out and russia and iran sensing a kind of victory. keir simmons, nbc news, moscow. and on the syrian issue on the fight against isis, lester holt discussed it at the security conference in aspen with dan coats, the director of national intelligence. >> take syria, for example, as you make gains against isis, is the intelligence community looking forward to, okay, we win here, what's the price of victory, what do we get for it? >> these are tough questions. what's happening in syria right now is just chaos. you've got several actors intersecting with each other. very difficult to try to project and stabilize the future for syria at this
>> and you can watch much more of lester holt's interview with dan coats on our "nbc nightly news" facebook page. this has been a deadly and chaotic week in venezuela. growing anger and protests there as the country endures its worst economic crisis and for nicolas maduro, it becomes oppressive. part of this is a plan by maduro that would give him even more power. on the streets of venezuela, it's a test of wills that's exploded in chaos. nearly 100 people have died in recent clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters. >> i've already lost two friends in the street. every time i go to the streets, i'm afraid. >> reporter: one veteran human rights lawyer says the socialist government is the worst he's ever seen. >> in three months, there have been more th
arrested in just three months. >> reporter: on thursday, at least two people were killed during the nationwide anti-government strike. the opposition used whatever they could find, rope, tree branches, set fire to cars and maduro is moving ahead with a july 30th vote for a special assembly to bypass the opposition-controlled national assembly and rewrite the constitution. critics see this as a blatant power grab taking power away from the democratically aled congress. this week, a symbolic referendum to reject maduro's plan and president trump threatened sanctions and maduro said no one gives venezuela orders. in the meantime, a country with the largest oil reserves
necessities are almost impossible to find. >> my grandmother doesn't have any medicines. we need support from people, from the united states, from the world to just listen to us and help us, please. >> reporter: food is expensive and scarce. >> venezuela people is queing to buy and nothing to eat. >> reporter: no easy solutions and no end in sight to the violence. and by the way, what's happening there is having an impact here. the u.s. received more asylum requests from venezuela than any other country last year and the number is on track to be even higher this year. still ahead tonight, one city's bold new approach to fighting and treating the opioid drug epidemic. is it a model for the entire country? also, he became the home alone dad. we remember the actor and some of his many roles.
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gabe gutierrez has the details. >> reporter: inside this courtroom in buffalo. >> keep up the good work. >> reporter: this judge is on a personal mission. >> i think our job as a judge is not to hurt people, just to make sure they come out better than they came in. >> reporter: he's presiding over the first crisis intervention court of its kind. unlike typical drug courts, they get into treatment within hours, not weeks. it requires detox, strict curfews and checking in with judge curfew every day for a month. >> our main goal is to keep our participants alive. >> reporter: so far, they've succeeded. since may 1st, none of the nearly 80 participants has overdosed. for you, this is a life and death struggle. >> every day. >> reporter: he started with addiction to painkillers and judge hanna helped save his life. >> when i found out he was a recovering addict, w
right. judge hanna says he himself abused cocaine and marijuana. >> i didn't know i was addicted because it had become so much a part of your life. >> reporter: his program is funded by a three-year, $300,000 justice department grant. >> what makes it unique is that it's one of a kind right now. do i think it can be replicated? most certainly. >> reporter: it's part of a growing movement nationwide to come up with new ways to fight the opioid crisis. eight other states have announced they'll study how to expand treatment within the criminal justice system. >> i think the tide is changing in the country that you can't lock away an addict. you have to give treatment. >> reporter: how important is that personal connection? >> i think that's the most important part. the only difference between myself and one of the participants is time. and what you do with that time in between. >> reporter: in this court, the defendants aren't the only ones getting credit for served. >> we're all going to be here for
>> reporter: gabe gutierrez, buffalo, new york. still to come tonight, we'll meet a young man who has overcome life's challenges and found the sweet taste of rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira works by targeting and helping to... ...block a specific source... ...of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain and... ...stop further joint damage in many adults. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas... ...where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections,
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and "pelican brief" and in "the sopranos." he was found in a hotel room where he was recovering from back surgery. the cause of death has not been determined. john heard was 71 years old. and a beloved member of the nbc family has died. jim vance served in washington, d.c., for more than three decades. he was inducted into the national hall of fame in 2007. the president of wrc called him not only the soul of the station but of the entire washington area. he announced his diagnosis with cancer earlier this year. ♪ diagnosis with cancer earlier this year. ♪
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finally tonight, we're going to meet a man who's an example of how young adults with special needs can make a transition from school to a productive role in the workforce. he makes jam in texas. but before you think it's just a little at-home operation, nbc's jo ling kent tells us it's become a sweet success, and a hot one at that. >> reporter: norman stillwell knows that to make a perfect jam, first, you need to pick the perfect pepper. and it helps to have a pepper patch in your backyard. >> okay, how about if yo
to the headquarters of sweet heat jam. this commercial kitchen provided free of charge by a texas church is the bustling center of his empire. >> nolan is really gravitating towards food, like he liked to cook in the kitchen. he'd be throwing his towel over the shoulder and saying bam. >> you need some measuring stuff here. >> reporter: christine stillwell worried whether her son would be able to find a meaningful job. so they created their own opportunity. >> i think that every parent of a special needs child should never underestimate what their young person can do. >> reporter: so nolan, what's your favorite part about making the jam? >> i like it here. >> reporter: you like it here? >> yeah. >> reporter: this kitchen, you did this. >> yes. >> reporter: with 13 flavors, most of them a mix
business is good. sweet heat jam is selling thousands of jars a year. and nolan has hired a team, four employees and four rotating interns, all young adults with disabilities. how does it make you feel to work here at sweet heat? >> very happy. they understand our disability. >> all right. let's load her up. >> reporter: nolan's dad randy helps with deliveries. >> so there's our invoice sheet. >> reporter: to heb, the largest grocery chain in texas. nolan's jam is available in six heb stores. >> which one is this, buddy? >> reporter: lucky shoppers can sometimes get a sample from the jam man himself, enjoying the spicy sweet taste that carries an important message. jo ling kent, nbc news, katie, texas. tomorrow on "nightly news" with kate snow, a
jada pinkett smith's extraordinary admission. she was a drug dealer when she met tupacktia cure. welcome to "access hollywood," the weekend edition. i'm liz hernandez. jada made the announcment on cerium km sway in the morning. >> recently you opened up and talked back in your early days. you said you were a drug dealer and you just decided this one little piece was important to share. >> a bad one at that. >> you weren't even a good drug dealer? >> i wasn't a good one. >> jada jokes about it now but her troubled past were nothing to laugh at. >> you said it was finally time to share. so what was now the time? >> well, i fel