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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 14, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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monday. >> thanks. see you back here at 6:00. tonight, the mystery man. new revelations about that trump team meeting with a russian lawyer. turns out others were also in the room including, as nbc news was first to report, a former soviet counterintelligence sergeant. and what was contained in that document the lawyer brought to the meeting? killer's accomplice. a second man now charged in four murders after his cousin's confession. tonight the chilling new details in the case. massive sinkhole caught on camera. a house swallowed into the ground. neighbors evacuated as more homes are threatened. deadly chases. new pressure on police in a major american city to better protect the public when they're in hot pursuit. and crimson classic. an american icon rolls on celebrating a century of fun.
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"nightly news" begins right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. and good evening, to our viewers in the west, and welcome to our new studio home here at 30 rock. the drip, drip of revelations about that meeting involving the president's eldest son and a russian lawyer threatens to become a steady trickle with nbc news learning today that there were other previously undisclosed participants in that meeting including a former russian military counterintelligence sergeant. donald trump jr. released e-mails this week proving he took the june 2016 meeting with the expectation of learning damaging goods on hillary clinton from a russian government attorney. but new information tonight is challenging the younger trump's account of that meeting. nbc's peter alexander has the latest details. >> reporter: president trump tonight back home after taking part
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in french bastille day celebrations, returning to a parade of problems. nbc news has learned that this man, rinat akhmetshin, a russian-born american lobbyist and a former soviet counterintelligence sergeant, who some u.s. officials suspect has ongoing ties to russian intelligence, was also in that room at trump tower last summer alongside donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort, russian lawyer natalia veselnitskaya and a translator. >> if you're an investigator and you care most about ties between the trump organization and the russian efforts to meddle in the election, this meeting now looks a lot more significant. >> reporter: trump junior's lawyer now tells nbc news veselnitskaya was accompanied by two people but didn't name them. it's the latest twist in this ever-evolving drama just three days after the younger trump dismissed concerns that more revelations would follow. >> as far as you're concerned, this is all
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of it. >> this is everything. this is everything. >> the fact that they failed to mention the presence of this russian american lobbyist is only going to further pique the interest of special counsel robert mueller and other investigators. >> reporter: veselnitskaya this week told nbc news she brought a two-page document that included a brief description of what she believed were questionable contributions to the dnc. and that trump junior asked whether she had financial records to prove it. >> translator: my answer was no, that it was never my intention to collect any financial records to that end. >> reporter: trump junior says no meaningful information was exchanged, and the president's repeatedly defended his son. >> most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research. >> reporter: still, democrats are pouncing on today's news. >> this provides yet another conduit back to the kremlin that the trump campaign would eagerly accept the help of the russian government. >> reporter: also tonight nbc news has confirmed the president is adding to his growing roster of lawyers in the russia investigation, hiring a veteran d.c. attorney to handle the legal response here
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inside the white house. lester? >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. and a moment that has a lot of people talking today. president trump's long good-bye with french president emmanuel macron as he concluded his trip to paris. their farewell handshake today went on and on and on, lasting nearly 30 seconds. at one point mr. trump even pulled in france's first lady without ever letting go of her husband's hand until finally it was time to leave for the flight back home. now, to the new developments in the murders of four young men in pennsylvania. a second man has now been charged in those murders after his cousin confessed to police. and tonight we're learning chilling new details in the case. nbc's stephanie gosk has the latest. >> reporter: today a pennsylvania d.a. revealed a gruesome tale, describing in detail the murder of four young men. >> we have the two men locked up that need to be brought to justice. >> reporter: cosmo dinardo pled guilty to two dozen charges. including four counts of criminal homicide.
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his cousin, 20-year-old sean kratz, confessed to three of the murders. according to the affidavit, the killing spree began on july 5th. dinardo told police he shot and killed jimi patrick because patrick didn't have enough money to buy four pounds of marijuana. dinardo buried the body on his parents' sprawling multimillion dollar estate. on july 7th, dinardo agreed to sell dean finocchiaro marijuana. he picked up kratz and instead of going through with the deal, dinardo said kratz shot finocchiaro in the head. kratz blames that shooting on his cousin. the same night dinardo drove both tom meo and mark sturgis to another drug deal where kratz was waiting. dinardo is quoted in the affidavit, when they turn their backs on me, i shot tom. when sturgis ran, dinardo started shooting him. dinardo told police he poured gasoline into a metal tank and attempted to burn the bodies and then buried them. >> we did find three
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of those young men buried deep within the ground under an old oil tank that was converted into a cooker, about 12 1/2 feet down. >> reporter: dominic belizzi is the local police chief. >> four young men killed like that, just terrible. >> reporter: what effect does it have on this community? >> it has -- they're in shock. our community's in shock. >> reporter: the mystery now solved. what happened to these four young men won't be forgotten. stephanie gosk, nbc news, bucks county, pennsylvania. the worst may still not be over tonight in parts of the upper midwest hit hard by severe storms. flash flooding left thousands of buildings under water in northern illinois and southern wisconsin where states of emergency have been declared. tonight millions are at risk of more heavy rain and damaging winds as the dangerous weather system moves east. and in florida, neighbors have evacuated from the site of a massive sinkhole. it opened up this morning and rapidly expanded to more than 200 feet, swallowing
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up a pair of homes. now several other houses are also threatened nearby. we get more from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: early this morning, neighbors just outside of tampa, florida, startled by a sharp crackling sound. the earth had opened beneath them. a dangerous sinkhole quickly growing. >> there's a sinkhole right next to our neighbor's house and it's literally eating the house like completely. >> look at that. a sinkhole. >> reporter: jose rodriguez and his family at first didn't understand what was happening but then scrambled to safety as the walls in their homes cracked and the floors buckled under their feet. >> at first i didn't know what to do, actually. i just saw the house. it was bouncing, cracking, falling apart. >> reporter: the sinkhole is now 225 feet in diameter, approximately 50 feet
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deep, azores dents -- as residents in nearby homes evacuate. >> unfortunately, i don't think people in this community are going to sleep peacefully for a couple weeks. >> reporter: this part of florida is known as sinkhole alley. in 2013, just an hour away, another massive sinkhole swallowed a man after it opened beneath his bedroom. his body was never found. florida's sandy soil sits on top of a layer of clay and a layer of limestone. circulating water from too much rain or drought can dissolve the underground layers causing the earth to give way. and when that happens, usually without warning, everything, including homes, go down as the earth collapses. tonight, with two homes already gone and nine homes evacuated because they're in the path of this growing sinkhole, the question is when will it stabilize and stop growing? and the experts here say making that call could take weeks. lester? >> what an awful scene there. kerry sanders, thank you. there's still a great deal of uncertainty tonight
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over chances of passing the latest republican healthcare bill. both president trump and vice president pence turned up the heat today on republican senators who are undecided. nbc's kasie hunt reports on the big incentives being offered to some. >> reporter: the new republican healthcare bill hanging on by a thread. now sewn together with backroom deals. the bayou bailout, sunshine sellout and the polar payoff, each aimed at a single republican senator still on the fence about whether to vote yes to repeal and replace obamacare. >> i'm not going to make any decisions on procedure or process until i've done my homework here. >> reporter: senator lisa murkowski was a no on the last draft, but this version tweaks a formula to give alaska special access to a $132 billion pot of money. florida has a special carveout for marco rubio and so does louisiana for bill cassidy. it's all orchestrated by senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. >> he's pulled more than one rabbit out of the hat. i keep asking him if he feels the fuzzy ears of another one in
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there somewhere. so we'll see. >> reporter: with two republicans already opposed, mcconnell can't lose any more republican votes if he wants to pass the bill. vice president mike pence today pitching republican governors worried about losing medicaid money. >> this is your chance. the senate healthcare bill restores medicaid to its original purpose. >> reporter: in west virginia where one in three people relies on medicaid -- >> it's terrifying for me as a mother. >> reporter: christy judd's son was born with a rare genetic condition and needs round the clock care. she's waiting to find out what this will mean for her family. >> if we lost medicaid, we would fight with everything we have in order to make sure we were able to keep ethan at home with us. >> reporter: kasie hunt, nbc news, the capitol. turning overseas now to a deadly attack captured on video at jerusalem's holiest site. it shows a gunman opening fire on israeli police, killing two. and at one point one of the attackers even appeared to be playing dead as police closed in. nbc's kelly cobiella
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has more. >> reporter: tonight, israeli police releasing this video of an ambush on holy ground. attackers shooting and killing two israeli officers in jerusalem's old city. minutes later, one of the gunmen apparently playing dead, then jumping up again, trying to run away. israeli police open fire, killing him. >> all three terrorists were shot and killed. >> reporter: the attack happened at jerusalem's holiest ground for both jews and muslims, the temple mount and the al aqsa mosque. israeli security services said all three attackers were related arab israelis from a town near the west bank. two of them posting a selfie at the al aqsa mosque yesterday with an ominous message. tomorrow's smile is more beautiful. tonight, in a controversial move, israelis closed the area. the mosque off limits for friday prayers. >> there's a real chance that this could lead to more demonstrations and, therefore, more violence in jerusalem. >> reporter: the most brazen attack in months, and anger is spreading on both
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sides. kelly cobiella, nbc news. it's been almost a week since iraqi forces backed by american advisers drove out isis fighters from the key city of mosul, but the human toll of that battle will be felt for a very long time. tonight our chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in iraq with the people now freed from isis and the american first responder who left the comforts of home to go to a war zone. >> reporter: iraq won the battle against isis here in mosul, but victims are still pouring in. and still treating them in an abandoned butcher shop is pete reed from new jersey. >> can i have another -- hundreds of thousands of people's lives were obliterated. their family members were killed, sometimes entire families. >> reporter: we met him eight months ago, the 28-year-old emt dropped everything to move to this war zone. and with a friend, made treating the wounded of this city
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his life's mission. >> i got the artery, yeah. >> reporter: how many front line medical posts like this are there in mosul right now? one. >> you're standing in it. >> reporter: reed never left. he now has 20 staff and volunteers. they've treated, he says, 7,000 to 10,000 injured. reed changed his life for this war, but an iraqi doctor working alongside him had his life changed by it. dr. aziz al kassab was in mosul when isis began its reign of terror. they forced him into service in one of the main hospitals where he's now returned to work. dr. kassab, a father of two, said isis watched his every move, kept him a prisoner. and if you refused, what would have happened? >> if i refused, they may kill me. >> reporter: the doctor now treats women. that was impossible under the group's strict islamic rules, not even when one woman came in bleeding badly. they would rather her die than allow you to touch her and treat her?
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>> they say to me, let her die peacefully. >> reporter: but the hospital is still not fully functioning. so for now, the young man from new jersey is keeping his clinic open. >> at the end of it, they always talk about how many people died. we wanted that number just to be a little bit less. if nothing else, we did that. >> reporter: reed plans to move his clinic as iraqi troops advance on isis in other towns and villages. human rights groups say the exact number of people buried under the rubble in mosul or killed by isis in the city may never be known. lester? >> richard engel in iraq tonight. you can see more of richard's reporting this evening in his special series "on assignment with richard engel" tonight at 10:00 eastern on msnbc. former president jimmy carter is out of the hospital in canada tonight one day after being treated for dehydration. the 92-year-old carter became weak while working on a habitat for humanity project. and he spent the night in the hospital as a precaution. he returned to the work site this morning for an event marking
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the end of the project. there's more to tell you about tonight. still ahead, the new warning about high-speed police pursuits. what the city best known for these chases is doing now to cut down on bystanders being injured and killed. also, stood up. why so many brides-to-be are in panic mode and making alternative plans tonight.
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we're back now with a warning in what
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some consider the car chase capital of america. a new grand jury report says police in los angeles county must curb their high-speed chases because too many bystanders are getting injured or killed. as nbc's miguel almaguer reports, it's a serious concern. >> reporter: the heart pounding high drama seems to play out every day in southern california. >> oh! >> reporter: and often ends like this. >> oh, look at that. oh, he just crashed! >> reporter: according to a los angeles county grand jury reviewing 421 pursuits during a one-year period, 17% ended in a crash that could have resulted in injury or death. three people were killed, 45 hurt. 15-year-old jack phoenix was killed by a car fleeing lapd as he was crossing the street. >> a police car should be able to stop a car rather than just chase it through a city. it's the wild west. >> he's wiping out. >> reporter: the grand
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jury says officers need more training and pursuit policy should change. the report highlights 91% of high-speed chases nationwide are officers responding to nonviolent crimes. >> when people are injured and killed for a pursuit of a traffic violation or a property crime, that's hard to take. >> reporter: the lapd and sheriff's department now has 90 days to respond to the grand jury report. both agencies say they are constantly weighing the risks to the public and trying to mitigate the threat. >> the most important factor that we take into consideration is the immediate overall danger to the officers involved and to the general public. >> boy, this is a desperate driver. >> reporter: tonight police are in overdrive to keep the public safe, but some say that means putting the brakes on dangerous pursuits. >> taking him out. oh, he hit him. >> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. up next, a selfie gone wrong, and the
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expensive catastrophe that it triggered.
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there is panic among some brides-to-be after a chain of bridal stores suddenly closed. alfred angelo, which operates more than 60 stores and has partnerships with other retailers, reportedly plans to file for bankruptcy protection. that led to a run on the stores by women who had ordered dresses. many may have been left in limbo. there's a new sign on the door at pope francis' residence at the vatican. it says in italian, complaining not allowed. the sign warns that whiners could lose their sense of humor and ability to solve problems so stop complaining, it says, and act to make your life better. caught on camera, what may be one of the most disastrous selfies of all time. take a look at this. a woman topples pedestals of art like dominoes when she bends down for a picture. now, several on social media looked at this and they questioned whether this may be
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some kind of a hoax, but the gallery in los angeles where it happened say she caused $200,000 worth of damage. there's more ahead. up next, a century later celebrating a timeless american classic. next at 6: east bay firefighters
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take drastic action - ===vo=== how far they )re willing to go o get "you" to clear the brush around your home. ===terry vo=== and what has brides and bridesmaids in a panic - scrambling to get their dresses before it )s too late. ===next close=== the news is next. ==jan/take vo== right now at 6: get ready for another scorching weekend.
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finally tonight, they're an enduring childhood staple, those radio flyer red wagons used by kids to pull around their toys, their friends and just about anything else they can think of. and this summer marks a milestone. they were introduced a century ago. here's nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: oh, the childhood memories all bundled up in the back of a little red wagon. the classic american radio flyer. >> the town and country was a classic for many years. >> reporter: the town and country. >> yeah. >> reporter: robert pasin is the grandson of the man who invented it 100 years ago. >> it's a key part of people's childhood, and it really represents some of the best parts of childhood. playing outside, using your imagination, having adventures with people you love. >> reporter: antonio pasin personified the american dream. emigrating from italy as cabinetmaker only to find customers wanted to buy the wagons he used to transport his goods. as a tribute to his new home, the first wagons were dubbed the liberty.
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the radio flyer name came with his fascination with early radio communications and flight. today pasin flies around the company's chicago headquarters on a scooter. >> i think usually when you say the words "radio flyer" to someone, the first thing they do is smile, the second thing they do is tell a story. >> i remember pulling soda bottles, pop bottles to the store, and they would make noise as you rattled down the street. >> reporter: a trip to chicago's rivinia music festival reveals the radio flyer has withstood the test of time. >> we purchased it for our two girls, and it was probably about 32 years ago. >> reporter: now, i understand you've got a new addition coming? >> yep. he's due july 28th. and i plan to get him one, too. >> reporter: america's love for the red wagon passed down from generation to generation. kevin tibbles, nbc news, highland park, illinois.
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>> fond memories. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this friday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. get ready for another sc weekend. tirple digits are on the way for some parts of the right now at 6:00, get ready for another scorching weekend. triple digits. temperatures on the way to the bay area putting crews on alert for fire danger. >> the hottest weather is not here quite yet and crews are already being tested. putting out a fire neither east ridge mall in san jose. a different scene earlier.
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crews were able to put out the flame and no one was injured. chief meteorologist jeff rannie ranieri. >> this is a great example of what is going on here. fire chief is proud of his district. >> all the grass is mowed. there is no tall grass by the road. and all the trees that are up here have been limbed up. >> reporter: 99% of the properties in his

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