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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 10, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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>> thank you, jeff. nightly news is next. as a reminder, lester holt has an exclusive interview with president obama aboard air force one. we'll see you soon. tonight, dramatic showdown as president-elect trump's nominee for attorney general takes on accusations of racism. also asked about trump's comments on grabbing women in that infamous conversation caught on tape. trump and vaccines, an uproar as robert f. kennedy junior said trump asked him to lead a vaccine safety commission. nbc news exclusive, president obama laying out his legacy. what he's telling lester in chicago hours before his farewell address. breaking news, dylann roof sentenced to death for that massacre in charleston. flash flood, rescues, millions tonight in danger.
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and thriller. a wild victory for the ages. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. i'm kate snow in for lester tonight who is interviewing president obama in chicago just hours before the president's farewell address. we'll have more from him in just a moment. but we begin with a very busy day in the presidential transition from obama to trump. and a grueling first hearing for one of trump's most controversial nominees, senator jeff sessions spent more than eight hours today fielding questions at a hearing about his nomination for attorney general. pete williams has our report. >> senator sessions served as an -- >> reporter: jeff sessions held a granddaughter in his lap prepared to go before the very committee he was a member of but voted
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against him in 1986 when he was nominated to be a federal judge, concerned about his record on several rights. >> the caricature credited of me was not accurate. it wasn't accurate then and it's not accurate now. >> reporter: in a hearing interrupted nine times by protesters, he said he would be against any blanket ban. he said he would step aside if investigations of the clinton e-mails or foundation came up. >> with regard to secretary clinton and some of the comments i made, i do believe that that could place my objectivity in question. >> reporter: he was also asked about mr. trump's claim about women in the "access hollywood" video. >> is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? >> clearly it would be. >> reporter: senator sessions has long opposed the supreme court decision on abortion rights.
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>> on a worst collossollaly supreme court decisions of all time. >> reporter: today he said if confirmed, he'd enforce it. >> it deserves respect. >> reporter: he said he would support revoking president obama's executive order allowing 74,000 young people to say who came here illegally under age 16. >> i believe if you go continually go through a cycle of amnesty, that you undermine the respect for the law and encourage more illegal immigration into america. >> reporter: more tomorrow, including opponents including john lewis and cory booker will oppose a colleague's nomination. but with republicans control, this was sessions vote to lose and it appears tonight that he is headed for confirmation. kate? >> pete williams in washington. thank you. now to the controversy sparked to the when robert f.
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kennedy junior said president-elect trump asked him to lead a committee on vaccine safety. the trump team saying no decisions have been made and hallie jackson has that story. >> reporter: a member of the kennedy political dynasty who favors fringe theories on vaccinations over mainstream medical practices says he would lead a new vaccination safety commission under donald trump. robert f. kennedy jr. meeting with esprident-elect today even as a spokesperson says he's exploring the possibility of forming a committee on autism but adds no decisions have been made at this time. >> president-elect trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies. he has questions about it. he says his opinion doesn't matter but the science does matter. >> reporter: that science already settled with every
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major medical association in agreement. doctors debunking a study that falsely claimed a link between vaccines and autism. the american academy of pediatrics reiterating today that vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. while the president-elect says himself he's pro vaccine, he's tweeted repeatedly about what he believes is a link between autism. >> i'm totally in favor of vaccines but i want smaller doses over a longer period of time. >> reporter: he's delivering a different health care message that couldn't be more clear telling "the new york times" that after obamacare is killed, a new plan to replace it will come very quickly or simultaneously very shortly thereafter. the problem is, that's practically impossible on the current timeline with serious disagreement with the gop about what a replacement plan would look like. the president-elect with plenty to talk about tomorrow here at
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trump tower in his first news conference in about six months. he's almost certain to face questions not just about health care but about russia and his own conflicts of interest. how he plans to separate donald trump the businessman from donald trump the president. kate? >> hallie jackson, thank you. as president-elect trump prepares to enter the white house, president obama is preparing to say good-bye. after eight years in office, tonight he will deliver his farewell address from his hometown of chicago. today lester had rare access aboard president obama's last trip on air force one for an exclusive interview looking ahead to his speech tonight. >> tonight you're going to talk to the american people. >> right. >> is this a hard one? do you know what you're going to say? >> i know what i'm going to say. i have to make sure i get through it properly. when you reflect back on eight years, for all the highs and lows and the one thing that's a constant is the incredible dedication of the people who got you there and who helped you do your job. everybody from the
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staff at the white house to the folks who made sure this airplane flies to supporters who would write me notes when things weren't going well to people who would say that the work we did made a difference. so i think that that sense of gratitude that i feel for those folks, i hope i'm able to express that. >> lester holt with the president just moments ago and a program note, you can see lester's entire interview this friday in our primetime special, "barack obama, the reality of hope". that's at 10:00, 9:00 central. for more on what the president will say, we turn to nbc kristen welker who is out there in chicago. >> reporter: a homecoming here in chicago where president obama's political career was first born. tonight saying good-bye one last time.
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addressing a crowd of 20,000. president obama stood in this same spot and celebrated his re-election victory four years ago. >> i've never been more hopeful about our future. >> reporter: tonight a very different moment. while his approval ratings are at a seven-year high, he will talk to a divided nation. >> what is the tone? >> it's one of optimism and hope. >> reporter: top adviser valerie jarrett says don't expect a rebuke of donald trump. the president will talk about fairness, justice and lay out his vision for the future of the country. >> a chance to be optimistic, not critical and challenge us all to figure out how we can engage. >> reporter: tonight he's expected to address the historic nature of his presidency, the first african-american to serve as u.s. president. and will likely tout what he sees as his accomplishments, to passing his signature piece of legislation,
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obamacare. but there have been defeats. immigration reform stalled, continued uprising in iraq and afghanistan and racial tensions are boiling over. the president acknowledging his biggest regret, not passing stiffer gun laws. the presidential farewell, a time-honored tradition since george washington. now a chance for the 44th president to reflect with nine days until he closes the final chapter on his presidency. >> thank you america. god bless. god bless you, united states. >> reporter: in speech excerpts released moments ago president obama will praise the american values embodied in the city saying this is where change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged and come together to demand it. after eight years as your president, i still believe that. kate? >> kristen welker at the farewell tour.
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>> you can see president obama's address tonight at 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific right here on nbc. there's breaking news now out of charleston where a jury late today sentenced avowed white supreme assist dylann roof to die for that horrific church massacre. we have late details from the courtroom. >> reporter: following weeks of disturbing evidence and heart-wremplging testimony, the jury's unanimous decision took about three hours. dylann roof convicted of 33 federal counts including hate crimes should get the death penalty. >> this is a very hallow victory because my sister's still gone. i wish that this verdict could have brought her back. >> reporter: for the loved onces of the charleston nine it's 573 days of agony since he walked into the historic emmanuel ame church and opened fire forcing survivor jennifer pinckney to huddle with her 6-year-old daughter as she called 911.
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for weeks, jurors saw videos of his target practice, videos of a chilling journal and representing himself during the penalty phase, roof offered no apology for the massacre. i felt like i had to do it, he said. i still feel like i had to do it. he told jurors that only one of them had to disagree with the death penalty sentence to spare his life. from what i've been told i have the right to ask you to give me a life sentence but i'm not sure what good it would do anyway. >> it's painful because they had to relive this whole night and it's a story that had no good ending to it. >> reporter: dylann roof's family said we have always loved dylan but we will strug again as long as we live to understand why he committed this horrible attack. after the sentence was read roof stood up and asked the judge for new attorneys to file a motion for a new trial. kate? >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. now to the west where an unforgiving storm, the kind not
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seen in more than a decade is hammering a region already water logged with flood waters. so-called atmospheric river continues to dump steady rain and snowfall in a region that can't handle much more. tonight this deadly storm is still pushing its way across a drought stricken area now slammed with a deluge. nbc's miguel almaguer is in the thick of it. >> reporter: rain is falling, rivers are rising and hillsides are crumbling and vineyards are under water and so are homes. >> we're just watching to see if everybody else got out. >> reporter: the russian river surging above flood stage in this historic town. bonnie and her neighbors are losing ground by the hour. >> watch and wait. that's about all you can do. >> reporter: with 13 million under a flood threat, the roads are dangerous. in ridgefield, washington, a 4-year-old girl and her family rescued by firefighters.
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in oregon, breaking through a sheet of ice just to see the road while some struggle to walk on it. in colorado, i-70 shut down by an avalanche earlier and in california, a news crew buried but not injured by a landslide. >> visibility goes in and out. >> reporter: in the sierra, nevada, a whiteout with hurricane-force winds. seven additional feet of snow expected forcing many ski resorts to shut down. the runoff headed downstream. these flood gates opened for the first time in a decade. >> we're just thrilled at how our flood defenses have held up. >> reporter: tonight more rain is on the way. this water-logged region avoiding disaster for now but on the brink of even more serious flooding. with pockets of light and heavy rain falling at this very hour tonight, some communities could get eight inches of rain today alone. roads are literally turning into rivers.
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this street here pouring into the russian river behind me and all of that water behind me won't crest in for a few more hours. kate, back to you. >> unbelievable picture. miguel, thank you. in orlando, tonight the search for an accused cop killer is expanding and the reward for information leading to his capture has increased to $100,000. authorities say markeith loyd is suspected of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and then fatally shooting debra clayton when she confronted him in a parking lot. police are calling him armed and extremely dangerous. still ahead, warning about headphones for kids. why they could be putting your child's hearing at risk and how to make sure you're buying the safest ones. also, why there are new worries for the nation's largest retailer.
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back now with new concerns about one of the most popular gifts a lot of kids got for the holidays, headphones, particularly the kinds advertised for kids. a site that tests consumer products says many marketing limiting the volume in children's ears aren't doing the job. here's neebs nbc's kristen dahlgren. >> reporter: like typical kids, the twins are big fans of their headphones. >> like listening to music and stuff. >> reporter: their mom and dad thought manufacturers would
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make them safe. >> any product that is advertised as a kid product, you just kind of assume it has all the whatever safety regulations. >> test both of those things. >> reporter: a recent analysis of 30 children's headphones by the wire cutter found nearly half of those advertising volume limits allowed sounds to play above safe levels. >> some of them went to the level of a jam hammer or rocket concert. when you consider that volume level will be up against your child's ears, that could do permanent damage. >> reporter: a big concern considering headphone use by teens is increased from three hours a week in the '80s to more than 22 now. and younger kids are using them, too. dr. bryan flager helped the wire cutter with its analysis. >> i'm going to have airplane noise coming out. >> reporter: he showed us how much we have to turn up the volume to overcome outside sound. >> i can't hear a word you're saying. >> reporter: children should be able to hear you in arm's length
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away. the doctor says all headphones and ear dbuds can be used safely but limit listening time to 90 minutes a day at no more than 80% of maximum volume and consider headphones that block outside noise as they play. they are listening to the advice making sure little ears don't have big problems later on. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, wakefield, massachusetts. we're back in a moment with an outraged driver ticketed by police before he even left the driveway.
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tonight, more bad news from another big name in american retail. walmart will cut back on hundreds of jobs by the end of the month. sources familiar with the matter tell cnbc the cuts including regional workers and employees at the company's headquarters. that comes after announcements of major cuts at sears and macy's as well. a driver in
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michigan is fuming at police after finding a ticket on his car even though it was parked in his girlfriend's driveway. the reason? he left the unlocked vehicle running on a cold morning. the fine, $128. police say unintended and idling cars are easy targets for thieves. and tonight, the force is with los angeles. beating out san francisco as the future home to the george lucas museum, which will be filled, of course, with the legendary film-makers' personal collection including art and a ton of memorabilia from "star wars". he will pay for the museum. the cost about a billion dollars. when we come back, the new national champs celebrating a stunning last second upset that still has everybody talking.
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finally tonight, you didn't have to be a fan to get caught up in the heart-pounding drama of last night's college football championship in a shocking upset clemson got its revenge on alabama in a rematch of last year's title game. nbc's joe fryer has more on an instant classic that literally went down to the final second. >> reporter: when the clemson tigers returned to south
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carolina today, they brought with them a national title that had eluded this school for 35 years. >> i didn't know if we would ever win one in my lifetime. >> reporter: it's an accomplishment that for a while seemed unlikely. trailing by ten at the fourth quarter, clemson chipped away at their alabama foes eventually taking the lead and then losing it with just two minutes to go. >> still running! and scores! >> reporter: but in that tug-of-war moment, quarterback deshawn watson saw an opportunity. they marched down the field and on the final throw of watson's college career, did this. >> touchdown! >> reporter: and back in south carolina -- >> yeah! >> reporter: they did this. a night of cheers and even tears. >> today is the best day of my life. i love the clemson tigers. i'm so happy.
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>> reporter: the same team faced off in last year's championship with a different outcome but coach dabo swinney -- >> it's 35 years and finally coming home, baby! it's coming home. >> reporter: it's no surprise fans couldn't wait a moment longer greeting the buses carrying their champs. >> best day of my life. >> reporter: their patience and loyalty finally rewarded. joy fryer, nbc news. what a game. that will do it for us on this tuesday night. i'm kate snow in for lester. we'll have live coverage of president obama's farewell address. for all of us at nbc news, thanks for watching. have a great night. farewelll address.
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before we do -- we wanna check in w/ our microclimate weather alert. ==jess/2-shot== chief meteorologist jeff ranieri is with us...tracking the flooding and forecast. jeff? . >> we want to check in with our microclimate weather alert. >> jeff ranieri joins us now, tracking the flooding and the forecast. >> right now some of the heaviest pockets from san francisco back into danville and specifically for the next three
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hours the areas we're watching for potential flooding, los gatos creek. we'll be updating twitter, facebook and a live look here in chicago. president obama about to address the nation. we'll send it over now to nbc's lester holt. . >> this is an nbc news special report. president obama's farewell address, from chicago, here's lester holt. >> and good evening from mccormick place convention center in chicago, from in just a moment, president obama will give his farewell address to an audience of 20,000 here and millions more watching at home. tonight, which will hear from the president in his adopted home town, reflecting on his eight years in the oval office. just a short time ago, i


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