tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC May 16, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
little bit of a light jacket. it's going to be a lot of fun. tomorrow morning, sunshine, tempps in the low 50s. tonight, over the line. new outrage over a growing crisis at america's airports. a chaotic mob scene at o'hare. the latest nightmare, passengers waiting hours at security. tens of thousands this year missing flights, some sleeping on the floor. deadly amtrak disaster. breaking news tonight. what the feds think may have caused that crash in philadelphia. isis in america. fallout from our investigation revealing the u.s. citizens now fighting for the enemy. were they plotting right under the noses of their friends and family. tragedy at sea. a beloved mom vanishes after falling from her cruise ship in the dark of night. silent killer. an alarming new warning about heart attacks. nearly half of them striking without the usual symptoms. many don't even know they're
having one. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. grounded, hundreds of passengers, their planes leaving without them because of understaffed and overburdened tsa checkpoints and epic lines. for weeks we've been reporting on growing tsa wait times and the dire predictions for the summer travel season. and what happened in chicago last night is an apparent harbinger of things to come. it's happening at major airport hubs across the country, unreasonable waits, keeping thousands from making their flights. nbc's tom costello has the latest developments. >> reporter: it got this bad at chicago o'hare. passengers sleeping on the floor after long tsa lines prevented them from making their flights. >> i got my ticket on another airline.
and the only available flight is tonight. >> reporter: american tells nbc news, 450 of its passengers missed their sunday flights at o'hare. >> it's frustrating. we know it's frustrating for our passengers. and it's just as frustrating for our employees. >> reporter: it's not just chicago. nationwide, so far this year, american airlines says the tsa's problems have cost tens of thousands of customers to miss their flights. o'hare tops american's list of most affected airports followed by dfw, atlanta, l.a.x. and miami. at minneapolis-st. paul airport, the assistant federal security director is now a government whistleblower who says morale among checkpoint screeners is at rock bottom. >> poor leadership, lack of accountability, lack of a plan b this summer and lack of trust. >> reporter: a new hire earns between $15 to $24 an hour depending on experience, location and whether they're full or part-time. since january, every hire is sent to the new tsa academy in georgia for two weeks of intense training. while the tsa union claims 6,000
screening officers are needed asap, tsa headquarters said 200 new recruits graduate from the academy every week. yet 117 quit each week. meanwhile, at the airports -- >> i have never seen anything like this. this is just -- somebody needs to get their act together. >> reporter: the lines grow longer. you may recall a year ago the tsa suffered a 90% failure rate when undercover agents managed to smuggle weapons through the checkpoint. that's one reason they've had to tighten things up, and no longer will they wave anybody through the tsa precheck line. you have to be preapproved and that also slows things down. >> tom, i know you will be staying on this. thank you. there are new revelations about an amtrak train crash that killed eight people just over a year ago. nbc news has learned the source close to the investigation, that the engineer was distracted by radio dispatches when the train derailed, and that he only has a, quote, dream-like memory of
the nighttime crash. the ntsb will meet on the final accident report tomorrow. now, to the battle over birth control at the supreme court. a highly anticipated decision in which the justices took a pass on deciding once and for all the issue of religious rights and contraception coverage. but the justices did give a strong hint of how they think it should be resolved. our justice correspondent pete williams has those details. >> reporter: unable to muster a majority on such a controversial issue apparently tied 4-4, the court ducked the big question, does it violate the religious freedom of church affiliated groups to make them tell the government they don't want to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees. little sisters of the poor, for example, the catholic charity, said even that would make them complicit in a sin. today's brief unsigned ruling strongly endorsed the possible compromise. religious nonprofits would arrange to get an insurance policy that does not cover birth
control. the insurance companies would take it from there, arranging for the contraceptive coverage at no cost to employees. >> the supreme court is saying, can't you all just get along? you seem to be able to figure this problem out without making us decide the case, which is a good thing, because we don't have the votes to do it. >> reporter: for the religious groups that sued, including the little sisters, the court said they do not have to do anything to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage. >> all we ever wanted was to be exempt from having to provide services that violate our catholic faith. >> reporter: the court also said their employees will get contraceptive coverage, but with no clear majority, the justices left it to the lower courts to work out exactly where that coverage would come from. added to the religious group's policy, or from a completely independent source. >> my suspicion is if we have nine supreme court justices today, it might have been a different outcome. >> reporter: both sides have something to cheer about.
but the decision left the big questions unanswered. merrick garland's supporters in congress say it's further proof the court can't fully function with just eight justices. lester? >> pete williams, thank you. tonight the coast guard has suspended its search for a mom of four who fell overboard on a trip to mexico. it shows the moment the 33-year-old plunged from an upper deck vanishing in the dancht -- in the dark. nbc's miguel almaguer has the latest. >> reporter: the carnival cruise ship, "liberty" returned to port in texas today amid an fbi investigation. just hours earlier, the coast guard suspending its search for samantha broeber, the missing mother of four who fell overboard in the gulf of mexico. >> we are conducting a full ship search. >> reporter: it happened at 2:00 a.m. friday morning say officials at carnival. surveillance video is now said to show the 33-year-old on the cruise with two girlfriends climbing on to this railing, on the ship's towering tenth deck before falling backwards into the water. >> they had the section roped off up there.
and they were doing investigations up there. >> reporter: carnival notified the coast guard, deploying planes to comb 4,300 square miles of vast ocean. but no sign of the missing mom. >> our observers out the windows were regularly noting sharks. unfortunately we were unable to find the individual we were looking for. >> reporter: on average, some 20 people fall overboard on cruise ships every year. according to industry statistics. including this man last year who warescued by boat. and this woman whose terrifying plunge in 2012 was also captured on tape. tonight back in texas, the feds are asking questions. but for one family, hope is fading. miguel almaguer, nbc news. millions on alert tonight in the southwest and the plains for flash flooding, baseball-sized hail and tornadoes. a new one forming this evening in new mexico. parts of the texas coast have gotten up to a foot of rain since yesterday and forecasts
show the threat is only growing larger, going into tomorrow. turning to the race for president, what's shaping up to be one of the nastiest, knockdown general elections in history. we're getting a look inside the playbooks that donald trump and hillary clinton are using to target each other. nbc's kristen welker has details. >> reporter: tonight the clearest preview yet of the impending battle between donald trump and hillary clinton. >> i will tell you, i have been a counter puncher. >> reporter: aides telling nbc news he'll go even further than previous shots. >> crooked hillary. crooked, crooked politician. >> that crooked hillary. >> reporter: claiming to target character issues, clinton's e-mail controversy and her response to her husband's infidelities. trump said he will unleash it face-to-face at the presidential debate. >> let's just imagine i'm on a debate stage with donald trump. >> reporter: clinton today envisioning that first debate, too. even imitating her likely gop
rival. >> so what is your plan to create jobs? his answer is, i'm going to create them. they're going to be great. i know how to do it. but i'm not telling you what it is i'm going to do. >> reporter: her aides say clinton's counterattacks, ignore his personal jabs while trying to capitalize on trump's negatives, including with women voters. but clinton's also preparing to unleash a not so secret weapon. >> in politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. it's not cool to not know what you're talking about. >> reporter: on the bill clinton factor, today clinton defining the role for her husband, saying she'll put him in charge of revitalizing the economy. >> it may very well be the campaign will say, they'll use bill clinton against me, we might as well derive some of the positives by trying to use our spin about the former president. >> reporter: on wednesday, this fight will escalate when a super pac unleashes $6.5 million in tv ads, in key battleground states.
all aimed at taking down trump. lester? >> kristen welker in new york tonight, thank you. a mother who lost her daughter in a terrible crash has an urgent new warning about the dangers of texting behind the wheel. more than eight people are killed every day by distracted driving, six of then teens according to a new study. the mom who spoke to our steve patterson wants to keep families from suffering the same pain she has. >> my name's bonnie spray. and this is my daughter, amanda. >> reporter: bonnie spray is a mom on a mission. >> why am i here? to share amanda's story. so you don't become a statistic. >> reporter: for nine years, everywhere she relives the story. >> it's painful. it's the worst day of my life. >> reporter: amanda was driving. she was distracted by a phone call. she ran a stop sign. her suv t-boned, rolling three times. somehow the 18-year-old walked away with just bruises, and the lesson learned, that she wrote
about. >> the reason for my car accident is to let me know that i need to slow down and pay more attention. >> reporter: then a year later, she crashed again. 40 feet off an overpass. this time, no walking away. >> the very last thing she does is send a text. >> reporter: distracted driving is an increasingly deadly epidemic on the road. the younger the driver, the higher the risk. every day, more than eight people are killed in crashes involving distracted driving. the largest responsible age group? teenagers. from an office in d.c., the national highway traffic safety administration is watching you, monitoring social media, confronting teens reckless enough to brag about texting while driving. >> get off the phones, don't do the texting. >> reporter: it's called tweet chaining. >> go to the channel where they're paying attention and let them know, it's like we want you to save your life. >> you need to pay attention to what's going on. >> reporter: which is exactly what bonnie spray is teaching face to face. you think that's your purpose?
>> i know that's what my purpose was. i'd give anything not to have it. >> reporter: two approaches, one message, phone down, eyes on the road. steve patterson, nbc news, oakdale, california. we turn now to the fallout from an nbc news investigation into isis in america, which aired last night on our series "on assignment." using files stolen by a man claiming to an isis defector, nbc news identified at least 15 american citizens or residents who have joined isis overseas. over two months we pieced together the trail of three of those recruits. beginning in suburban ohio, where our chief foreign correspondent richard engel has the reaction tonight. >> reporter: tonight, shock in the heartland after an nbc news investigation revealed an isis cell next door. >> it's crazy to think about americans joining this group in the first place. especially someone like lasalle. >> reporter: members of an
american family becoming part of the jihadist fight in syria. jaffray, and his wife and her younger brother connected to isis personnel files that we uncovered. nbc news tracked the american isis cell in ohio with the help of a former fbi investigator. lasalle and zackia were top students at their high school. but friends noticed they were becoming increasingly religious, and distant. zackia quickly married jaffray who lived in california and relatives said was watching isis propaganda video. then they all disappeared. >> his mom had called one day and she was like -- i was like, how is jaffray doing? you know, i haven't heard from him. she goes jaffray joined isis and went overseas with his wife. he also took her brother. so they all went to go fight, all three of them. >> reporter: khan is jaffray's cousin. do you think the boy is capable, was capable of doing this kind
of thing? >> yes. because if you talk about people killing muslims, he'll do it in a, you know, in an instant. >> reporter: lynch was a classmate of lasalle. >> he was just the smartest person. >> reporter: as a muslim, he now worries his community could face a backlash. >> imagining someone betraying us, and putting our security at risk makes you angry, especially with a group like isis that makes it harder for me to be who i am. >> reporter: in a statement today, his high school said even though their actions are indefensible, the loss of a young life is tragic, no matter the circumstances. according to a relative and u.s. intelligence source, lasalle died in syria. could i talk to you for a minute? their family who disavow their
actions say the other two are still alive, and working at a hospital in raqqa, the isis capital in syria. about ten months ago, they had a baby girl. richard engel, nbc news, new york. still ahead tonight, silent heart attacks. you may not even know you're having one. but a new warning about how stunningly common they are and why they're so dangerous, especially for women. we'll tell you how to spot one. doing away with one of the things fans hate the most about going to the game. could it start a nationwide trend. we'll be back.
alarming news about what's being called the silent killer. nearly half of all heart attacks striking victims without the usual symptoms. without those warning signs, oftentimes people don't even know they're having one. leading to deadly consequences. nbc's rehema ellis has details. >> reporter: two days after christmas in 2010, kansas teacher's aide julie rickman felt unusually tired and short of breath. she went to the e.r. thinking her asthma was acting up. but she was shocked by the doctor's diagnosis. >> he said, mrs. rickman, you had a silent heart attack. i immediately thought, what did he just say? and tears immediately ran down my face. >> reporter: an event like julie's without any of the classic symptoms and no chest pain is known as a silent heart attack. and tonight, a new study reveals they're far more prevalent than doctors ever thought. accounting for 45% of all heart attacks. the study also says patients who suffered silent heart attacks
are three times more likely to die from heart disease. and women are at the greatest risk of death. since it's silent, what should you be looking for? doctors say pay close attention if you have increased indigestion, unusual fatigue, or shortness of breath without chest pressure. if a heart attack is silent, how can someone know for sure that they've had a heart attack? >> first, they need to go to the doctor. and then they need to get their heart checked out. this is an echocardiogram that shows us heart muscle function. >> reporter: since julie rickman's heart attack, she's made big lifestyle changes, eating a healthy diet and exercising. >> i wanted to watch my son grow up, so it was an easy choice. >> reporter: doctors say listen to your body, and take any warning signs to heart. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with news about the man behind perhaps the most famous ad jingle of all-time. ♪
one of the most famous commercial jingles of all-time, i'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, i'd like to buy the world a coke, we learned today the advertising legend behind it has died. among bill backer's other creations were miller time and tastes great, less filling. for miller light. he's also the guy who put dave thomas in wendy's ads. legendary ad man bill backer was 89 years old. 13 of the nation's top police officers were honored with the medal of valor at the white house today, all showing incredible bravery in the line of duty. but not all were in attendance. father of two robert wilson iii was killed in a shootout last year. his grandmother accepted the medal from the president on his behalf. sports fans who feel they're getting gouged at the stadium concession stands may like what they're up to in atlanta. when the atlanta falcons move into their new home next year,
they'll have the lowest concession prices for any major sports team. we're talking $2 hot dogs, pretzels and refillable sodas. $3 nachos and peanuts and $5 for domestic draft beer. hopefully other stadiums around the country are taking note. when we come back, bon apetit. a food truck with a twist -- what the customers can't wait to get their paws on.
jess vo plus, are people working for tesla for 5 bucks an hour? elan musk responds to the accusation. next close next. ==jess/take vo== right now at 6. finally tonight, they're quick, they're tasty and as the weather gets warmer there's never one far away. we're talking about food trucks. they've gotten to be such a big business, their whole fleet is catering just to canines. as nbc's joe fryer tells us, customers are sitting up and begging for more. >> reporter: sure, one could give a dog a bone, or you could give a dog -- >> that will be $7.50. >> reporter: -- a gourmet treat. this is the seattle barkery. a food truck for customers like chief. >> he's like, oh, it's here! i'm going to get a lot of food! roll over. good! >> reporter: the mobile munchery sells pumpkin pretzels, cheesy doughnuts and doggy sundaes. >> you don't make this at home?
>> no. and even if i did, i don't think i'd have the patience. >> leave the baking to own ter dawn ford. >> this is like the perfect color for the bacon. >> reporter: once a dog walker who made quality puppy snacks for clients, dawn and husband ben found a '68 chevy van on craigslist and put their business on wheels. >> we as humans are eating better. so why not your dogs. >> let's have a peanut butter and banana bone. >> all right. we can do that. >> reporter: with sales now soaring, they even have a manager. >> he's going to get fired here if he doesn't wake up. >> sleeping on the job. >> reporter: sherman tests every treat before it hits the menu. quite the comeback story for a rescue dog adopted with a broken jaw. sounds like a lot of testing for sherman. >> yeah. he's got to work on his physique a little bit. >> reporter: with canines giving the cuisine two paws up, a mobile treat truck might just be dog's best friend. joe fryer, nbc news, seattle.
that's going to do it for us on a monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. walking the freeway ...investigators meticulously combing a bay at a standstill and walking the freeway, investigators meticulously combing a bay area freeway looking for gun casings. >> multiple suspects following the shooting, westbound highway 4 is shut down. you can imagine traffic is a mess. we're going to show you. let's get to our nbc chopper, this evening commute at a complete standstill for thousands of people many it's been three hours like this, you can see there all those cars on the surface streets.
no cars on westbound four. it's been crawling for thousands of people for three hours now. just getting a little bit of good news. westbound 4 will remain shut down for 30 minutes many it's all because of this, police officers literally walking the freeway, something we don't see often. searching for shell casings here and other clues. this all started at a quick stop on sick mother drive. it led to a shell gas station on bailey road where two suspects were caught, and it continued on to highway four where two more people were arrested many jodi hernandez is in antioch tracking all these developments. >> reporter: gunfire erupts once again as you mentioned tonight. there are a lot of rattled nerves. >> crazy, you're not