tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 17, 2019 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
breaking news breaking news tonight and it's a bombshell, the sexual assault charges against kevin spacey dropped afterhe young man refuses to testify about a key piece of evidence. why prosecutors say they had to drop the charges. heat he brutal wave bearing down, 170 million people now under heat alerts from the midwest to th rtheast with temperatures near 100 and oppressive humidity. >> very, vhot outside. it is hot. >> dangerous, potentially deadly conditions that will only get worse into the weekend. how long will it last? al roker is here. breaking news. the house thwarts an attempt to impeach president trump as he holds a rally for the first time since his racist att on four democratic congresswomen.
the newly surfavid o showing a much younger donald trump at a party with jeffery epstein years before epstein was first charged with a sex crime. the new glimpse into their past lationship. and inside the app that's exploding in ouopularity, projecting what yight look likend older a younger, but now the new warning raising concerns about what it does with your photos. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly newwith lester holt." >> good evening, we start with that breaking news out of massachusetts where prosecutors have just dropped their sexual assault case againstse f cards" actor kevin spacey. the oscar winning spacey, one of several high-profile men caught in the glare of thme too movement, was accused of groping an 18-year-old man in a nantucket bar in ka016. our te snow has the late details. >> reporter: prosecutors dropping chars against actor kevin spacey, something his attorney called for in court last week. >> this case needs to be dismissed and i believe it needs to be dismissed today.
orter: the state of massachusetts dropping a nantucket case due to the unavailability of the complaining witness. that witness, a young man who was 18 when he worked as a busboy at this nantucket restaurant. his mother told me in 2017 that spacey assaulted her son. >> it wasn't until nsevin spacey put his hand ie his pants that he really knew he was in trouble. >> eporter: you say he didn't consent to that. >> absolutely not. >> reporter: the teen sent a snapchat video of the alleged incident to his girlfriend and texted with friends but last week at a hearing, his attorney said after e police reviewed th phone it went missing. e >> your honor, w t could not loca phone. >> reporter: spacey's attorney asked if the accuser had deleted messages. i don't believe so, he said. but his mother later admitted she did delete some content. at the hearing, the alleged victim stopped answering questions, asserting his right against self-incrimination. >> if you turn any ence in and in
this case it was electronic, in furtherance of a gacriminal investition and you altered it, that in and of itself is a crime. >> reporter: the accuser's attoey saying tonight, my client and his family have shown an enormous amount of courage under diffict circumstances and ha no further comment, no comment either from kevin spacey. >> kate joins us now. are there any other ny allegations, a informations surrounding him right now? >> both lester, both in los angeles and london, there are investigations under way, multiple men have accused kevin spacey of sexual assault and episodes dating back decades, actually, in l.a., we're told today l that prosecutors w decision soon on whether to file charges. >> all right, kate snow, thank you. much of the co try is feeling the heat tonight. excessive heat warnings are in effect from central oklahoma to pennsylvania this evening. the start of a heat wave that's spreading fast, spreing east and bringing triple-digit temperatures for the northeast by the weekend. 170 million now at risk. blayne alexander has more.
>> reporter: tonht, searing summer heat. >> it's very, very hot outside. it is hot. >> repter: millions bracing for a record breaking heat wave. it will feel like at least 100 degrees across 40 states. >> we are seeing that high heat and humidity. >> reporter: today in the nation's capital, it feels like 105. in wichita and oklahoma city, 108. inat bush stadium st. louis, it's enough ngto send fans fleei minutes into this midday baseball game. >> it's a lot. >> reporter: sun so intense it's buckling roads in wichita. and slowing trains in chicago, fears the heat will actually bend the tracks.nd ds of cooling centers are opening in new york city and after a weekend blackout there, crews are working to make sure the power grid doesn't take another hit. >> we want to make eoure we balance the need fple to stay cool with the amount of electricy that's being used in the city. the eporter: b real danger, your health.
how many heat-related calls woulsay you would that you have had so far this summer? >> so far this summer i want to say we have had a few hundred. >> reporter: paramedics like vaughn gearing up for more calls, stocking up on ice packs and cold water. a reminder that heat exhaustion can set in quickly. be aware of symptoms, including headache, nausea, and dizziness. and here in st. louis, we are right in the middle of this hea wave and it's certainly a reminder that heat exhaustion can turn deadly, n especially ie very young and the elderly so it's important to drink plenty of water and stay in the shade or inside where it's air conditioned. lester. >> all right, blayne, thanks, we'll let you step inside and get cool. we wt to turn to al roker. al, as we said, it's supposed to get hot in july but this can be very dangerous. >> it really can, lester, we're talking about 170 million people under heat advisories, heat watches, heated warnings from texas to canada all the way to the eastern seaboard wi70 1 million people at risk, triple-digit heat
indexes for omaha, st. louis, chicago, nashville, columbus, then a s we move york, 106 in d.c., 110 in chicago, and the heat wave continues into the weekend with triple-digit hea dexes and if that's not enough, lester, we have severe thunderstorm watches with heavy lines of thunderstorms movin tonight. that will probably cause problems as far as the airports are concerned ght on into the late nooechb. evening. >> rough days and hours ahead, al. thanks. there is more breaking news tonight. the house thwarting an attempt to impeach president trump as he holds his first campaign rally since his racist attack on four democratico resswomen. we get late details now from hallie jackson. >> reporter: no impeachment for now as the very vote democratic leaders had hoped to aid is forced to the front by single lawmaker, congressman al green of texas. he's arguing the president's racist attack on four freshmanawmakers telling them to go back to their home countries, has demonstrated that donald trump is unfit
to be president. >> today we take a punishment. i will vote to impeach him. if you did what the president has done, you would be punished. >> reporter: green's motion was effectively killed for now in a vo late today. >> on this vote, the yeas are 332. >> reporter: that's because despite pressure from more than a third of her caucus, house speaker nancy pelosi has opposed achment, concerned it distracts from demrats' policies. she prefers to proceed with a series of congressional investigations. >> that is the serious path that we are on, not that mr. green is not serious, but we'll deal with that on the floor. >> reporter: the president today unfazed. >> do you think you're this political fight? >> i do think i'm winning the political fight. >> why? >> i think i'm winning it by a lot. >> why? >> ihink that they are not espousing the views of our country. the four congresswomen. i'm not relishing the fight. i'm enjoying it because i have to get the word out to the american people and you have to enjoy what you do. >> reporter: now another escalation tonight, attorney general william barr and commerce secretary
wilbur ross voted in criminal contempt of congress, an extraordinary move by ru democrats, fstrated l ith the white house's refusa comply with subpoenas about a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 census. and late tonight, we are heing from the president about that impeachment vote ahead of his rally in north carolina. he's calling it a ridiculous project, ying it's time for democrats to get back to work. lester? >> hallie, thanks. and also being talked about tonight some video shot by nbc news 27 years ago that offers a glimpse into hithe past relationsp between president trump anjeffery epstein who is now facing new sex trafficking charges. nbc's stephanie gosk oras details. >> repr: a 1992 tarty at mar-a-lago, donaldrump and jeffery epstein shared a joke and a laugh. edfl cheerleaders danc among the crowd. the video from nbc's archive was shot more than a de before epstein served 13 months in a florida jail for procuring a minor for prostitution. last week, after
epstein pleaded not guilty to new federase trafficking charges, the president characterized their relationship. >> people in palm beach knew him. he was a fixture i palm beach. i had a falling out with him a long time ago. i don't think i've spoken to him for 15 years. i wasn't a fan. >> reporter: but in a 2002 magazine article, trump called epstein a terrific guy, adding, it is even said he likes beautiful women d as much as io. and many of them are on the younger side. on thursday, a federal judge willecide if epstein gets out on bail, prosecutors have argued he is both a risk to the public and a flight risk, citing his more than $500 million wealth, piles of cash, loose d diamonds, an expired foreign passport under a different name but with epstein's photo. his residenclisted as saudi arabia. the defense team said the passport was acquired from austria in the '80s for personal protection when epstein traveled in the middle east. stating their client was concerned about kidnappers, hijaers or terrorists.
tonight, decades e later, epstein's fat ras in the hands of a fedejudge. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. he was once one of the most feared and ruthless drug lords in jhe world. today,quin "el chapo" guzman was sentenced to life in prison but not before getting in a final word. ron allen reports from the courthouse. >> reporter: judgment day for crime kingpin, also known as el chapo, responsible for brutal murdersnd ntrolling much of the illegal drug trade across the u.s. for three decades, a $12.6 billion empire. today, judge brian kogan accused el chapo and quickly imposed the mandatory sentence, life in prison, plus 30 more years. a dramatic end to a tohunt from the 1990s 2017. after two infamous escapes from mexican prisons, including oth ugh a mile-long tunnel dug up to his cell.
>> never again will guzman pour poison over our borders, making billions while innocent les are lost. >> reporter: speaking for the first time in court, el chapo complained there's no justice here, calling his deten torture and inhumane. >> we like to pretend that it was justice. ort was not justice. >> repter: the evidence against the elrug lord, overwhming, 300,000 documents, satellite surveiance, dozens of victims and associates testified against him. el chapoected to spend the rest of his life at the super max prison in colorado with many of the nation's most infamous inmates. >> no one has ever escape from the that is pr. el chapo is never expected to be seen in public again. lester. >> ron allen, thanks. tonight, boeing finds itself again in the cross hairs after two fathers who lost children in that 737 max plane crash in ethiopia say boeing has yet to apologize in person to the families of people who died in the crash and they warn if boeing ts doesn't change ways there could be more victims. let's get more from
nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: appearing before congress, paul struggled to talk through the normty of his ss. his wife, all three of his children and his mother-in-law all died in the crash of ethiopia flight 302. >> i miss them every minute of evy day. >> reporter: we met him justfter he landed in washington. >> they would want me to take them to the swim. that's whamiss most. i that's what miss most. >> reporter: okay. a kenyan-canadian, he told congress boeing acted criminally when it failed to ground a 737 max after the fi t crash in indonesia. >> if boeing's conduct continues another plane will dive to the ground, killing me, you, or your children. >> reporter: in all 346 people died in both max crashes. the family lost daughter samya. s the faa they should have never d the max for
flight. >> we now have 346 tombstones, it's the tombstone agency, let's make some changes. >> reporter: just as the hearing began, boeing announced $50 million of near term financial aid to the victims' families and communities, writing, the tragic loss of life in both esaccidents continu to weigh heavily on all of us at boeing. >> apologies to cameras have not been apologies to the families. >> reporter: among victims' families, t and distrust. tom costello, nbc news, washington. the nation is in mourning the passing of john paul stevens, e of the longest serving supreme court justices in u.s. history, and tonight his friends and former clerks are honoring his legacy. here's pete williams. gerald ford put john paul stevens, a midwestern conservative on the supreme court in 1975 but by the early 1990s, stevens was the court'sost powerful libe retirement in 2010 marked a turning point. from then on, all the court's conservatives
were appointed by republican presidents with all the liberals appointed by democrats. a former clerk says justice stevens was seldom predictable. >> there is nobody who exemplifies betterhe ea of an independent supreme court, a supreme court following the law and e facts in each case without preconception. >> reporter: he voted to support abortion rights and to let prisoners at "guantanamer guantanamo bay challenge their detentio justice stevens insisted he didn'tan and said it was the court that shifted to theight. >> after nixon became president, every appointment to the court was more conservative tn his or her predecessor. >> reporter: but some of his views did change. at first a critic of affirmative action, he ended up supporting it in college admissions. or initially a sur of the death penalty, he became one of the court's most vocal skeptics of its fairness. >> with the benefit of dna evidence, we have learned that a substantial number of death sentces have been imposed terroneously. >> rep he dissented when the court said the second amendment applied to
an individual right to own a handgun a when the court okayed corporate and union contributions to support political campaigns. stevens remained ,unusually acti publishing his third book this year at age 99 until a stroke thisek nded a remarkable american life. te williams, nbc news, at the supreme court. 'll take a break here. lot more still ahead tonight. new privacy and security warnings about a highly popular russian developed app. you've likely seen the k craze making you l older or younger but where exactly are your photos going? and massive ay protests under with star power, their plea to oust the governor amid a growinscandal. governor amid a growinscandal. stay witus.h i don't know what's going on. governor amid a growinscandal. stay witus.h i've done all sorts of research, read earnings reports, looked at chart patterns. i've even built my own historic trading model. and you're still not sure if you want tmake the trade? exactly. sounds like a case of analysis paralysis. is there a cure? td ameritrade'trade desk. thand answer all youeck toughest questions. sounds perfect. see, your stress level was here and i got you down to here,
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and all. >> there's just erwrinkles everywh >> reporter: first shared by people who stumbled upon something called face app. >> i just feel like it's not what i'm going to look like when i'm older. >> reporter: then quickly ing through social media transforming the likes of justin bieber, kim kardashian, not even the rock immune to virtual old age. today, it's e number one app on iphones aan oids, more than 100 million downloads. you basically take a picture, then click here and, oh, yikes. but what exactly are these picturesoing and how are they being stored? turns out, the developers based in and a statement the company says user data is not transferred to russia but in their terms of service you agree to the transfer and storage of your information in and to the u.s. and other countries. >> this essentially creating a surveillance technology industry that's going to be s orth billions of dollarand we'll always know whatou look like. >> reporter: think minority report when tom cruise walks by stores that know him by name but experts
say while there is concern other companieare collecting a lot more information than what you might look like down the road. >> sites like facebook and google, those rvices look at all the different parts of re your life, whe you go, what you look like, what you b, so y s this app any worse than te? >> reporter: a question we all should ask as we face the future. gadi schwartz, nbc news. we're back in a moment with the massive protests under way over a scandal involving the governor. s (christine) what you're doing
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tonight, a huge protest is under way in puerto rico where the governor is refusing to step down over a scandal ed involving leak private messages. nbc's gabe gutierrez is there tonight. >> reporter: tonight, more protesters on the streets of san juan demandinerto rico's governor resign. >> why should the governor resign? >> because he isn't worthyf being the governor of puerto rico. >> reporter: there have been other demonstrations in miami, d.c., and new york where late today,
"hamilton"ator lin-manuel miranda sounded off. >> support of the people. >> reporter: today, a second roy caribbean cruise ship cancelled its visit to the island. after police in riot gear fired tear gas to break up a crowd in san juan on monday. governor ricardo rossello has been under fire since nearly 900 pages of a private group chat were leaand published by the center for investigative journalism in puerto rico. the reported messages tw ben rossello and several close aides contain vulgar jokes about female politicians and journalists as well as an anti-gay slur aimed at pop star ricky martin who joined today's protesters. ts rossello insis he won't resign. he faced mounting criticism over his government's respons to hurricane maria in 2017. ndhere are now thousaof people at this protest and political pressure here had intensified after federal authorities arrested several local officis last week, accusing them of corruption. all that pent-up frustration is now
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tomorrow, only on "today." we cse tonight with a look back at some of the most iconic images of 20th century black america,e thst collection taken for "ebony" and "jet" magazines were auctioned off today in chicago. >> reporter: a grieving coretta scott king clutching her young daughter at her husband's funeral. intimate portraits of nat king cole, muhammad ali, and ray chles. pfor decades, theages of "ebony" and "jet" magazines were filled with iconic images like these,
d ocumenting celebrating african-american life, a historical treasure-trove. >> is it the intimacy of the photos that strikes you most? >> the intimacy is the focus. we see the joy of black life. we see the drama and the trauma of black life. >> when "ebony" debuted in 1945, blacks in many places were still forced to sit at the back of buses. in the decades that followed, you'd be hard pressed to find abl ack home in america without a copy of "ebony" or "jet" on the coffee table. but recently, the magazines fell on hard financial times, the johnson publishing company filed for bankruptcy in april and today, the prize photo archive, nearly 1 million images spanning 7 decades, was sold at auction. er there are conc what the new owners will do with the collection and how accessible it will be to the public. but there's question about the photos' place in history and their im