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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 18, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> you can get triplets. >> thanks for joining us here. see you at 6:00. tonight, steve bannon out. president trump's controversial chief strategist now the latest high-profile departure for the administration. inside the white house intrigue. terror manhunt. the urgent police search to take down a suspected terror cell linked to the back-to-back attacks in spain. and new tonight, the american killed in the violence. stabbing rampage. a knife-wielding attacker strikes another european city. was it also terror? police chase crash. the dash cam video. a cop car slams into another vehicle at over a hundred miles an hour. eclipse excitement. bumper-to-bumper traffic as the great getaway begins to see monday's total eclipse. we'll tell you where the weather might ruin the view. and a league of their own. kids throwing out the rule book and playing america's pastime just
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for the fun of it. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. west wing lightning rod steve bannon is out tonight as president trump's chief strategist. a key architect of donald trump's election victory, he nurtured much of the president's take no prisoners right wing impulses. word of bannon's departure produced sharp reaction. celebrations on the left and worry on the right over the fate of the president's conservative agenda items. and tonight, in an explosive interview, bannon is promising a wide-ranging fight for his nationalist ideas. our hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: promising war, steve bannon's bracing for battle. the now-ousted chief strategist telling bloomberg he's leaving the white house to fight for president trump against his
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opponents on capitol hill, in the media and in corporate america. bannon now becoming one of the last west wing originals to leave the picture one year and one day after joining team trump. the self-styled protector of the president's nationalist pledges mutually agreeing with chief of staff john kelly that he should leave, according to the white house. the news applauded today literally when it was announced at the stock exchange. >> i'm telling you that -- that bannon is said to have submitted his resignation. >> reporter: cheered by civil rights groups, democrats, even some republicans. >> the president did absolutely the right thing in firing steve bannon. steve bannon was undermining the administration. >> reporter: the chief strategist had been telling people close to him he thought he'd survive, but nbc news has learned bannon talked with kelly about resigning two weeks ago, according to multiple sources familiar with the decision. a white house official tells nbc news kelly recommended bannon's removal after a staff review this month at
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bedminster getting a sign-off from the president. bannon often seen, rarely heard, but influential with far right conservatives, delivering this message to them earlier this year. >> have our back but hold us accountable. >> reporter: bannon now able to freely swipe at the so-called globalists in the west wing. >> he had the infamous white board behind him in the west wing where he was keeping track of all president trump's campaign promises. so conservatives trusted steve bannon as the backbone of the trump administration. >> this was another fix to the staff side of the equation, but really, i don't think will have much effect on the donald trump side of the equation. >> reporter: bannon wasn't out of a job for long. tonight, he's already back in charge of breitbart news, the conservative outlet he used to run, according to his spokesperson. the site is quoting a breitbart executive as someone who has a
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finger on the pulse of the trump agenda. lester? >> hallie jackson tonight, thank you. let's turn now to chuck todd, nbc news political director and moderator of "meet the press." chuck, what are the expectations here as to how this may or may not change what we see and hear from the president? >> well, i don't know if it's going to change that much. in many ways steve bannon had been sidelined or marginalized a bit over the last three months. i mean, there had been all sorts of folks inside that west wing from the president's son-in-law to the national security adviser to the secretary of state who were all itching to see bannon go. he had made too many enemies. so i think on the staff front it should mean maybe fewer staff infights. but i'll tell you, you know, look. it's not as if steve bannon was donald -- you know, created the donald trump ideology. they were kindred spirits. they found each other. but i think just because steve bannon goes doesn't mean it somehow changes the president's comments, for instance, on his belief of what happened in charlottesville, on his belief on the culture sort of aspects of things.
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i don't think this changes the president. this simply keeps the white house a little less choppy internally. >> all right. chuck todd, good to have you, thank you. turning overseas now where an urgent manhunt is under way for members of a suspected terror cell believed to be linked to the double terror attacks in spain. and we're learning more tonight about an american killed when a van plowed into a crowd in barcelona. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel is there with more. >> reporter: spanish investigators tonight believe the deadly van attack was the work of a terrorist network that may have had even deadlier plans. just hours later, 70 miles away, in the small beach town of cambrils, gunshots rang out. it was another attempted vehicle assault, but when that car crashed and five suspects emerged with knives, police quickly shot them dead. police say they were wearing fake explosive
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vests and that could be the most revealing clue of all. because two days ago police now believe this terrorist cell's bomb factory prematurely exploded. investigators suspect the attackers' original plan was to build a truck bomb, but with no explosives left, they went low tech instead. >> what you have is a terror cell that's being opportunistic and realizing they have probably a limited window in time to operate. >> reporter: american tourist heidi nunes and her husband jared tucker were in barcelona. today, we learned tucker was the lone american killed in the attack. his father blindsided, still in shock. >> i don't know how you feel. i'm not angry necessarily, you know, but more -- i just don't understand it. >> reporter: this was a tragedy that was an emotional outpouring at the growing memorial but also deep resolve. this is where the attack took place, the van that killed and injured so many
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terrified victims passed right through here. but what's amazing is that this street is even more crowded today than it was at the time of the attack. tens of thousands of people have come here to express their sympathy, but mostly, to show that they and this city refuse to be intimidated. french american pascal smorad witnessed the attack. instead of leaving, she booked herself an extra day in barcelona. >> for peace, for love and to show the people in barcelona that we care. >> reporter: police tonight say they've detained at least four people in connection with these attacks which have been claimed by isis. the big questions now, what happened to the driver of that van and how many other suspects may still be at large? and frankly, there are no clear answers. lester? >> richard engel in spain tonight, richard, thank you. there are also new concerns about what may also have been an act of terror in another european city after a knife-wielding attacker went on a
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stabbing rampage killing two people and injuring six more in finland before police took him down and arrested him. but tonight, a manhunt is on for more potential suspects. let's get more on this from nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: horror strikes the heart of another city. more bloody victims, this time spread across a town square. the assailant's weapon not a car but a knife. witnesses describe a deadly rampage, a man repeatedly stabbing victim after victim. reports say one target a woman who was pushing a stroller. local media reporting this is the assailant, shot in the leg by police and arrested. officials not ruling out links to international terrorism. finland, like spain, now on high alert. the attack began at two minutes past 4:00 in the city of turku in an area packed with locals and visitors. and once again tonight, a manhunt
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under way for more potential suspects after reports that others were seen with knives. officials in finland fearing more attacks. europeans feeling on edge again after a seemingly relentless killing spree. keir simmons, nbc news. back at home, the governor of virginia today ordered a temporary ban on demonstrations at the robert e. lee monument in charlottesville. he said the suspension will last until new rules are approved to protect both free speech and public safety after the deadly violence in charlottesville. there were protests today in other cities and more are planned this weekend. nbc's gabe gutierrez has more tonight on the fierce debate over free speech. >> reporter: today protesters against white supremacists took to the streets of durham, north carolina, without a permit. >> we're not going to stand for another round of jim crow. >> reporter: this as police are bracing for what some fear could be a white nationalist demonstration tomorrow in boston. >> we don't respond hate with hate. we respond hate with peace.
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we want people to be civil. >> reporter: and an anti-hate rally in dallas. >> we are nonviolent warriors for justice. >> reporter: but as the deadly events in charlottesville showed us, there's sometimes a thin line between permitting free speech and inciting violence. today, charlottesville's mayor said for the first time this robert e. lee statue should be removed, and he wants to ban people from carrying weapons at future rallies. >> i think we need to strike a new balance in this country between the first amendment and public safety. >> reporter: even the american civil liberties union is grappling with its own role. long known for siding with progressive causes, the group has also defended far right groups in court including the white nationalist protesters in charlottesville. but a virginia board member just resigned tweeting, i won't be a fig leaf for nazis. >> we believe that freedom of speech attaches to everyone in the u.s., to peacefully and lawfully assemble and to protest, even to groups we hate. >> reporter: white nationalists have said they'll return to charlottesville.
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today, at a shaken university of virginia, tamika shirley helped her son move in. >> to see something like that so close to home knowing this is where he's going to be, the first thing i thought was, what are they going to do to protect my son? >> reporter: for her the stakes in this fight for free speech could not be higher. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, charlottesville, virginia. across america tonight, millions are planning a long three-day weekend for the event of the summer, monday's solar eclipse. it's the first coast-to-coast total eclipse of the u.s. in nearly a century. already we're seeing traffic backups on routes leading to the path of the eclipse. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: from west to east, the great solar eclipse getaway is on. look at the bumper-to-bumper traffic on u.s. 26 headed for a solar music festival in central oregon. at the airport in portland, eclipse followers are sleeping on the floors waiting for monday's fade to black. while in bend, gas stations are running dry.
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>> i'm actually on my way to pick up my solar eclipse sunglasses, and then i saw all the lines for the gas and i thought, mm, i think i'll get the gas first. >> reporter: in nearby madras, campers are moving in, among them nbc's kate snow with her family in solar town. >> my dad's a retired scientist. so three years ago he comes up with the idea to get the whole family together. my sister lives in portland, oregon. so we all caravanned over to madras and we're here and we're ready for monday's eclipse. right, guys? >> reporter: the so-called path of totality will cut through the west, the midwest down to south carolina. at the astrocon convention in casper, wyoming, they've already gathered to feel the shadow. while amtrak's eclipse special to carbondale, illinois, is sold out. carbondale will be in total darkness the longest. and already staking out his seat at the stadium, eclipse chaser mike kentrianakis. >> 1999 i was on a cruise ship off the
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coast of cornwall, england. >> reporter: this will be his 11th eclipse. >> when you see it, it's surreal. it's something else. it's other worldly. >> that will do it, yeah. >> reporter: but you'll still need a pair of those solar eclipse sunglasses and they're nearly sold out. where can you find some? 7,000 libraries just got the last 2 million from the boulder space science institute. >> if you can't make it for this one you can come back in 2024. by then you should be able to find glasses. >> reporter: here at the smithsonian air and space museum's telescope on the national mall in washington, this will be aimed at the sun and the eclipse. they're expecting thousands of people to come through here on monday. the big variable, of course, is the weather. it's going to be clear in d.c., but the possibility of rain in the midwest and the southeast. lester? >> all right. tom costello tonight, thank you. still ahead this evening, with 12,000 seats and luxury boxes, the new $70 million football stadium for high school games.
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also, a police officer in a chase faces trial for ramming into a car at more than a hundred miles an hour. all that recorded on his dash cam. we'll be right back.
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we're back now with the return of those friday night lights as many high school football teams open their seasons tonight. and in texas, where everything is bigger, they've outdone themselves this year. nbc's blake mccoy takes us inside the new 12,000-seat high school stadium. ♪
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>> reporter: a celebration to dedicate this shrine to football that would make many colleges jealous. this is legacy stadium in katy, texas, the most expensive high school stadium ever built. $72 million, voted on and paid for by taxpayers. >> you have a champion football team like that, they deserve to play in a stadium like this. >> reporter: 72 million buys 12,000 seats, l.e.d. lights to display the home team's colors and luxury boxes for corporate sponsors. quite a view from up here. >> great view. >> reporter: katy's new stadium takes the price tag record from rival allen, texas, 60 million. in mckinney, texas, their new stadium, under construction, is nearing $70 million. >> at the 45, he makes the catch. >> reporter: the lure of friday night lights runs deep in texas, and the katy tigers boast eight football state championships. janet howell has carved out a section of her antiques shop
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for tigers gear. >> i think the cost may have been a little extreme, but the stadium was a necessity. >> reporter: a necessity, she says, because eight schools share the stadium. the superintendent estimates a thousand kids will benefit from it each night. >> i would challenge the country that would question a friday night in texas. come on down here and experience it. >> reporter: then they'll see it's worth the cost? >> it's worth the cost, and it's worth the time. >> reporter: here football isn't just a game. it's a way of life. blake mccoy, nbc news, katy, texas. we'll take a short break and be back in a moment with a college football kick that became a real game changer for one player.
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the dangers of high-speed police chases are getting new attention as a trial approaches for a florida sheriff's deputy who smashed into a car at more than a hundred miles per hour. the newly released dash cam video from the police cruiser shows the moment of impact which left the
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other driver severely injured. we get more from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: the palm beach county sheriff deputy is in pursuit -- the speed, 104 miles an hour -- before plowing into an innocent commuter. the driver of the smartcar, harry deshommes, was nearly killed. the officer, brandon hegel, was told three times not to chase the suspect. the officer charged with reckless driving, causing serious bodily injury. >> they just pitted him. oh, he's wiping out. >> reporter: it's another controversial high speed pursuit. in july, the los angeles county grand jury said police pursuit policy must change for safety. >> the most important factor that we take into consideration is the immediate overall danger to the officers involved and to the general public. >> reporter: tonight in palm beach, an
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officer faces trial in a case of criminal misconduct. miguel almaguer, nbc news. in ohio, jake suder was already feeling pretty good about the new football season at bowling green state university when he attempted to make a 53-yard field goal during practice. a challenge set up by his coach. as you can see, suder made it look pretty easy as his teammates cheered him on. why was it so important? by making that field goal, the 22-year-old junior won a full scholarship for the rest of his college career. when we come back, we'll turn to baseball and the pure fun of the game for these boys of summer playing by their own rules without coaches or parents weighing in. bay area safe?
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the important role the public plays in preventing an attack. ===raj/ vo=== and meterologist rob mayeda is tracking the clouds... for the best spot to see the eclipse ===next close=== next. ==raj/ take vo== right now at 6: finally tonight, if you watch a certain group of kids playing baseball in oklahoma, you might say they're bending the rules. for these young players, the only rules they follow are their own. and that may not be so bad. harry smith tonight with the play by play. >> reporter: it's a tuesday evening in edmond, oklahoma. and on a less than perfect field, about two dozen boys are getting ready to play ball. what do you like best about tuesday nights?
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>> playing baseball with my friends. >> reporter: how about you? >> same thing. >> reporter: but this game is very different. unusual to the extreme in this day and age. the boys are about to engage in a game of unorganized baseball. did you know how to do it? did you know how to get disorganized? >> no. we had no idea. it was a total experiment. >> reporter: david merle is an accountant and kid's baseball coach. he saw the stress that went with league play. the pressure, the parents, the expectations. so on tuesday nights, the kids play by kids rules. and kids rule number one, no adult supervision. so there's no dads or moms over there, run, billy, run. >> you'll hear it. it happens. but it's against the rules. >> reporter: the kids pick sides and everybody plays. even if that means six in the outfield and an extra infielder or two.
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imagine, kids playing a sport with no grown-ups involved. >> you can see the difference. i mean, they go up to the plate. they're relaxed. they're not worried about what mom and dad's going to say or what the coach is going to say. >> reporter: the adults and siblings hang out while the kids play. and maybe that's the biggest difference with unorganized baseball. the sense of play. do you like this better than the league play? >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: do you really? >> yeah. >> reporter: should i tell your dad you said that? >> yeah. >> reporter: okay. for these kids, tuesday nights mean they have a league of their own. harry smith, nbc news, edmond, oklahoma. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this friday night. jose diaz-balart will be here this weekend. i'm lester holt. and for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. in the middle of the baro
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right now at 6:00, a dream vacation turned into tragedy. an east bay man caught in the middle of the barcelona terror attack. tonight, his grieving family share their memories of this father of three. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening. thanks for being with us, i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. it has been more than 33 hours and this is what it looks like in barcelona. a memorial sprung up for people who lost their lives there when a van rammed into crowds along the iconic street.
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the search is on for the terrorist behind it. police detained another man, one of four in connection with the attacks on boarcelona. among the 14 who died is one american from the east bay. after praying for a miracle, his family learned the truth today. jared tucker is today. >> we have the changing tactics terrorists are using. we begin with jodi hernandez. the family must be devastated? >> reporter: they are absolutely devastated. jared grew up in this neighborhood. he ran a swimming pool repair company, his wife is a schoolteacher here in the east bay. they were on an anniversary trip in europe when the unthinkable happened. >> the only time he was in europe. it was a really big deal for them. >> reporter: this east bay


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