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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 11, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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5:00. lot lester holt is next. >> we hope to see you at 6:00. tonight, deadly expl bo a catastrophic blast that leveled part of a town, killing 15, wounding hundreds more. tonight a shocking new turn in a baffling mystery. planned parenthood rampage. late word of a twist in the case. why the accused cold-blooded killer may never face trial. what's in trump's taxes? will he or won't he release them before the election? a new uproar, and new pressure for the billionaire to open up the books. royal reprimand. the queen caught on tape. what she said on an open mic that has the palace doing damage control. and healthy foods. how is it that the government says sugary cereals are healthy while salmon and avocados don't make the cut. the fda is revisiting the question of what is healthy. "nightly news" begins right now.
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>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. it virtually wiped a part of a texas town off the map. an industrial explosion so powerful, it killed 15 people and injured hundreds, leveled nearby homes, businesses and schools. and now today, three years later comes the stunning news that what many may have imagined all this time was a tragic accident was something else, a criminal act. someone, officials announced today, set that fertilizer plant on fire, triggering a catastrophe of massive proportions. now the question turns to who. nbc's janet shamlian has late details from texas. >> reporter: this haunting video shows the moments of explosions. in the small town of west texas, a massive
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blast at the city's fertilizer plant. 15 people were killed, including a dozen first responders. 200 were hurt. hundreds of buildings ripped apart, including houses, apartments, schools and a nursing home. more than three years later officials now say the fire ahead of that blast was intentionally set. a preventable criminal act. >> we came to the conclusion after we ruled out all reasonable accidental and natural causes. >> reporter: one of the largest investigations in atf history, three years and 400 interviews that have cost more than $2 million. and it's ongoing. a $50,000 reward authorities hope will lead to an arrest. >> it is the most difficult type of determination to make. in other words, every little other piece of cause and origin has
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to be eliminated. it's very difficult and painstaking. >> reporter: initial findings by the u.s. chemical safety board faulted the company for failing to prevent the fire. and regulatory groups were not identifying the hazard. the community was almost unrecognizable. rubble and a crater 12 feet deep. tonight with word it was no accident. heart break for those trying to rebuild their lives. >> anger at whoever caused this. anger at kind of this bad timing that is happening. we were finally healing, and now we're not. >> reporter: no closure, as the investigation raises only more questions. janet shamlian, nbc news, houston. there's late word of a new twist in the case after a deadly attack at a planned parenthood facility in colorado. the accused killer who has had several outbursts in the courtroom calling himself a warrior for the babies may now never face a trial. nbc's miguel almaguer has details.
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>> reporter: robert deere never entered an official plea, but during his many outbursts in court -- >> let's let it all come out. truth! >> reporter: he said he was guilty of a mass shooting at a planned parenthood in colorado springs. today a judge ruled deere is not mentally competent to stand trial. the shooting last november was carried on live television. a dramatic five-hour shootout that left nine wounded and three dead. police say deere had an arsenal. nine guns and a homemade bulletproof vest. when he was finally taken into custody, officers say deere is happy. >> deere is so obviously incompetent that the judge ruling had no choice but to find him incapable of helping his lawyers. >> reporter: charged with 179 counts, deere will now be sent to a mental institution for treatment. >> kill the babies, that's what planned parenthood does. >> reporter: in court
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documents, attorneys reveal a psychiatric evaluation for deere showed he was incompetent and delusional. >> if he's found to be competent, the court proceedings will go ahead. while he's incompetent, essentially the court proceedings are at a standstill. >> reporter: deere, whose mental status will be reviewed in august, was again defiant in court. at the end of today's hearing, yelling at the judge, filthy animal. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. for a third consecutive night, a wide swath of this country is on alert for the threat of yet another tornado outbreak. 27 million are bracing for impact from north texas to indiana. some in areas that have already been hit hard this week. nbc's gabe gutierrez has more from the danger zone. >> reporter: today in tennessee, a flood emergency. up to seven inches of rain pounded the county within hours, prompting water rescues. >> bridge is completely out. people cannot get in
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or out. >> reporter: overnight, lightning burned down this strip mall. while missouri saw baseball-sized hail. and in mayfield, kentucky, the cleanup is under way. >> holy mackerel! >> reporter: after this tornado swept through. injuring ten people and narrowly missing an elementary school. >> no matter what anybody can say, god was with us yesterday. >> i didn't think i was going to make it. >> reporter: gus barely survived, clinging to a tree outside his home. >> you can't rebuild lives. we got lucky. >> reporter: the damage in kentucky comes after days of wild weather. in oklahoma, this tornado upgraded today to an ef-4, the strongest so far this year, with winds of up to 200 miles per hour. rising air causing instability, combined with strong winds in various directions makes the atmosphere ripe for tornado outbreaks. since saturday, there have been 47 reported twisters across a large swath of the country.
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the severe thunderstorm risk not over yet. >> the first of two areas is eastern missouri and illinois this evening, where tornadoes are possible. then the focus shifts to texas and oklahoma after dark, where the biggest threat will be for hail. >> reporter: now, that threat comes as this area is still struggling to recover from monday's storms. oklahoma's governor has just declared 15 counties states of emergency. lester, there is late word tonight of new tornado warnings just issued for communities in indiana. >> boy, they can't catch a break. gabe gutierrez, thank you. tonight a police officer is being hailed as a hero after springing into action during a wild stabbing rampage at a mall in massachusetts. a man with a knife slashing people apparently at random and the officer off duty, but in the right place at the right time to stop the bloodshed from being much worse. here's nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: investigators want to know why the town of tauten became the site of a stabbing rampage that stretched from a
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quiet neighborhood to a mall packed with people. >> this appears to be an irrational series of actions. >> reporter: officials identified the attacker as 28-year-old arthur de rosa. after dropping off one of his kids at soccer practice, authorities say he crashed his car, then broke into a home where he stabbed a mother and daughter who were eating dinner. kathleen slaven was seriously injured and her 80-year-old mother, patricia, died. >> she's pretty much everybody's grandmother. >> reporter: from there, officials say he drove to the mall and rammed his honda into a macy's and assaulting three women before stabbing two more people, including george heat, who was on a date with his wife rosemary. >> he jumped up and tried to grab the man so he wouldn't be able to stab anybody else. >> reporter: he was killed. he is being praised for sacrificing his life for others. >> he was my hero. he was my daily hero. he did everything for me. >> reporter: another
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hero, jimmy creed, the off-duty deputy who shot and killed derosa, ending the stabbing spree. derosa told relatives he was suicidal, and even checked himself into a hospital monday and left yesterday. >> he was a loving father, a caring friend. everybody who knows him knows he was a great guy. >> reporter: officials say it appears his victims were chosen at random, that he did not know any of them. tonight three of the survivors are still in the hospital. joe fryer, nbc news, tauten, massachusetts. federal grand jury has indicted a white ex-police officer on new charges in the killing of an unarmed african-american man. michael slager already faced a state murder charge for appearing on cell phone video to gun down walter scott in south carolina last year, as scott ran away. now slager has pleaded not guilty to the new federal charges, including violating scott's civil rights. he remains free on bail. a new day, a new uproar in the race for president. tonight it's all about donald trump's taxes, not releasing them would be unprecedented in modern presidential politics, dating back decades. a new report suggests
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that's exactly what the candidate was planning to do. now trump is pushing back, and mitt romney is weighing in. wondering if trump is hiding something that he doesn't want voters to see. nbc's hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: donald trump on defense today on taxes. for the first time, suggesting an ongoing irs audit may not be wrapped up before the general election. telling the associated press, he'll only release his returns when the audit's over. quote, nothing to learn from them. he says, now, not quite what he said before. >> i have no objection to certainly showing tax returns. >> reporter: trump may end up the first major party nominee in 40 years not to release his returns. even though nothing would stop him from doing so during an audit, according to the irs. a point mitt romney's now making, calling trump's stance disqualifying, and suggesting there may be a bombshell. trump's under fire from his own party on this topic, and on
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others, less than 24 hours before pivotal meetings with leaders on capitol hill. his fellow republicans divided on trump's positions on immigration reform, trade, entitlements. >> combine that with the -- with all these incendiary comments. all these issues have obviously unsettled a lot of us. >> reporter: today new signs party unity may be hard to come by. house speaker paul ryan meeting with members of congress who support trump. sources in the room telling nbc news there was tension, arguing, the longer ryan waits to endorse trump, the more divided the party gets. so what is it that you need to hear from him at some point to fully endorse him? and is there a situation in which you won't? >> there is plenty of room for policy disputes in this party. >> reporter: sources close to ryan said the speaker wants to hear trump's broader views on conservative principles tomorrow, not harp on policies where they disagree, like trump's proposed
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temporary muslim ban. >> hallie jackson on capitol hill, thank you. caught on camera, a very rare example of queen elizabeth not exactly minding her manners. we hardly ever hear the queen speak, let alone speak ill of anyone. that's why as our kelly cobiella explains it's unusual to hear her take offense and reveal what she really thinks in such a public way. >> reporter: a garden party in the rain, the queen pretty in pink with an umbrella to match. it was all very british. until this. the 90-year-old queen caught by the royal cameraman seeming to trash talk chinese officials who came for a state visit last year, in a way that only a monarch would. she called them rude. the comment sparking headlines for a rare breach of royal etiquette from the prim and proper queen.
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>> the golden rule is, the queen doesn't do politics. so when she says anything, or is heard to say anything remotely controversial, everybody starts leaping up and down. >> reporter: the chinese visit was meant to mark a new golden era between the two countries. the palace is now trying to smooth things over, with a statement saying, all parties worked closely, and the state visit was extremely successful. the chinese government called the visit a success, too. but ducked a question about the queen's comment. and china's censures blacking out the report on the bbc. a rare royal slip-up. for once her majesty was not the queen of diplomacy. kelly cobiella, nbc news, london. what does healthy really mean? sugary cereal can be sold as healthy, but foods like salmon cannot. a new push for the fda to settle the big argument in the shopping aisle. 400 miles in just
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30 minutes, a big leap forward for what could be the future of travel.
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if you're one of the millions of americans who try to eat healthy and prepare healthy meals for your family, you've probably wrestled with what is and is not healthy. it's not always easy to tell these days. the current fda definition of healthy eating were written 20 years ago, and a lot has changed since then. now the feds are starting the process
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of redefining what healthy really means. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: how is it possible a sugary cereal could be considered healthy, but not almonds, avocados and salmon? because the science of healthy eating has changed since the fda wrote the current guidelines in the 1990s, when healthy foods had to meet five government criteria on fat, saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, and nutrients. at a whole foods in washington today, we met nutritionist katherine talmadge. >> we used to think sugary cereals were fine if they were fortified with vitamins and minerals. >> not anymore? >> now we want the people to eat the whole foods, whole grains. >> reporter: now the fda is beginning the process of redefining what healthy means. professor david jost is a food economist at cornell. >> the simpler we can make it, the more we can make it easy for the consumer, the more it actually ends up doing some good. >> reporter: 25 years ago the focus was on a low-fat diet. but we've since
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learned some fats are actually good for you. and trans fats are now bad. despite what the old guidelines say, we now know that almonds, salmon and avocados are healthy. but that glass of orange juice we thought was healthy could be loaded with sugar. the turkey deli sandwich likely coming with a lot of salt, and lo-fat yogurt and muffins, lots of sugar. for years the fda has also been under pressure to define what a natural food is, but in fact, there is no standard. >> with no standards and no verification in place, that label can pretty much mean what any manufacturer or company wants it to mean. >> reporter: now defining what is natural and what is healthy is getting a 21st century makeover. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with a rush to rescue a family trapped in an suv as the road crumbles right beneath them.
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back now with a brand-new look at what could be the future of travel. getting from place to
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place much quicker than we do now. it's called hyperloop. and the inspiration behind it is the man behind space x, and tesla. the vision is, it will be up and running in five years. and nbc's gadi schwartz takes us inside the race to make it happen. >> three, two, one -- >> reporter: a blur across the desert, 0 to 200 in seconds, the first step to show shuttling 100 people a day at the speed of sound. >> all of that happened on purpose. that was really great. >> reporter: today hyperloop one tested its propulsion system responding to a call by elon musk for a high-speed super tube by the year 2020. the hyperloop vision, shoot pods every minute capable of zipping from places like l.a. to san francisco in half an hour. the next step for hyperloop one is take a two-mile long stretch of tube and build a testing ground here in the nevada
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desert and hope to have it unveiled by the end of the year. other companies are also working on alternate designs using air lock tubes, magnets and levitation to more than triple the speed of the world's fastest bullet train. but skeptics ask about high costs, land rights, and is it safe in an earthquake zone. >> the environmental process takes at least five years. then you're talking about the detailed design. i think five years from now is laughable. >> reporter: and how about those who may be scared of zooming 760 miles an hour through a vacuum in a windowless capsule. >> while we're in that environment, it should be as smooth as an elevator ride. >> reporter: but dreamers don't see obstacles, rather an opportunity to introduce an entirely new way to travel. gadi schwartz, nbc news, las vegas. >> looks like it would be quite the ride. until the hyperloop gets here, we'll still be getting around like this. take a look at this. a family in uber in san francisco, the suv balances over a sinkhole. police told them not to move, to prevent from tipping into the
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sinkhole. rescuers were able to pull them out. an ordeal one of the passengers called terrifying. i think we'd all agree. when we come back, getting by with a little help from your virtual friend. how an online community is boosting health in the real world. next at 6: tackling a big
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problem. ===jess/take vo=== what people living around levi's stadium want to stop to keep their windows and nerves from rattling. ===raj/take vo=== and, caught on video. a one-ton cannon hitched up and hauled away. we have the inside information about the heist. ===raj/next close=== next.
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jess/live finally tonight, an eye opening look at how your mood can impact your health. when one woman got some of the worst news of her life, she created an online support community and it's having big benefits in the real world. nbc's erica hill has tonight's "making a difference. ." >> reporter: kate is a busy mother of two, running a startup, a life she never imagined nine years ago. when first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. >> when i was diagnosed, there's just such a moment of mortality. >> reporter: the disease can ultimately rob a person of the ability to walk, or speak. >> all i wanted was to find one moment from someone's true life experience that -- where i could connect. and i couldn't find that. >> reporter: a video producer, she began documenting and sharing her journey online. >> there seems to be a weird cyclical thing happening within my body. >> just feeling really
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bad. >> i was walking around with extreme neck pain, frozen face. >> what did those moments that you put out there do for other people? >> the initial feeling was such a sense of relief for people. of, wow, something about your story really made me feel like i wasn't alone. >> reporter: she launched my counterpain, an online story telling community. >> there are parts of me that are not just ms. >> reporter: entries tagged with a date and a mood. 11 emotions ranging from happy to determined, guilty to scared. creating an instant snapshot of a person's journey. >> i didn't know what week this was. it certainly wasn't mine. >> reporter: neuropsychiatrist adam kaplan found this community improved some people's outlooks and even their health. >> i was completely blown away. we saw an enormous increase in people's purpose in life. >> the whole feeling of taking your energy out of yourself and putting it somewhere
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else, makes you feel differently. >> reporter: she believes that purpose is keeping her ms at bay, inspiring her to create more counterpain communities. erica hill, nbc news, bronxville, new york. that will do it for us on this wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us here ahappening crews are battling a brush fire that's so far charred about 30 acres...this is on i-80 just north of the carquinez bridge toll plaza. our nbc chopper is over the area right now to give us a live look. it appears flames from a car fire spread to nearby brush. that happened about an hour ago. but right now, no homes are "immediately" threatened. at least one lane of eastbound 80 is closed because of all the fire
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crews parked along the roadway. we'll keep you updated on the fire battle both on-air and black and park aid long that roadway and that is blocking traffic. again this is video from about an hour ago when the fire first started. it is on air and on-line on nbcbayarea.com. good evening and thanks for joining us. >> our other top story this evening, a deadly crime scene. we are just now getting new information. two people have died and a lot of other people caught in the traffic as this all came it a traj ing ending on highway 17. two crime scenes played out about five miles from each other. our crews were in both locations throughout the day. the homicide happened this morning at a home in a secluded red wood estates area of the hills. the chase ended down the mountain on hay way 17 near the hami

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