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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 20, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> and we'll have more news for you right back here at 6:00. we'll see you then. on this sunday night, a legend gone. entertainer jerry lewis has died. he spent more than 60 years in show business, but his greatest legacy may be the billions he raised for charity. nuclear tensions, a region on edge as the u.s. and south korea plan joint military drills. could it provoke a response from kim jong-un? historic find. the wreckage of an american warship is discovered deep in the pacific, more than 72 years after the japanese torpedoed her in the final days of world war ii. and dance dreams. how one summer camp is making a difference for hundreds of kids with lessons that go far beyond the stage. "nightly news" begins now.
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>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz belart. >> good evening, kate snow is off tonight. an american icon has died. jerry lewis passed away in las vegas today at the age of 91. he was a beloved star of the screen and stage but may best be remembered for those annual telethons to raise money for the muscular dystrophy association. lewis was passionate about that cause and the children he helped who called themselves jerry's kids. tonight, the mda said his decades of devotion can be summed up in a motto that lewis would often quote. "i shall pass through this world but once. any good, therefore, that i can do or any kindness that i can show to any human being, let me do it now. let me not defer nor neglect it, for i shall not pass this way again." tonight tributes are pouring in across the country. our miguel almaguer takes a look at his life and legacy. ♪ dash of pepper, dash of pepper ♪
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>> reporter: most of the public saw him only as a funnyman. >> you said you loved me, and i've loved you, living and loving. >> reporter: but jerry lewis was a lot more. during more than 60 years in show business, he was an accomplished dancer, recording artist, actor, writer, director, philanthropist, teacher and inventor. the son of vaudevillians, lewis dropped out of high school and at 15 took his comedy act on the road. it wasn't until he teamed up with singer dean martin that lewis became a star. >> there! >> within two years, these two guys who were almost out of work were making movies. >> reporter: martin and lewis became two of the highest paid entertainers of their day. >> a divorce is the only way out. >> reporter: on the tenth anniversary of their partnership, they split. >> i knew we went to the pinnacle.
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where were we going to go from there? >> reporter: lewis launched his solo career. >> i'm not out of order. >> reporter: he appeared in more than 50 movies, beginning with "the delicate delinquent" in 1957. >> mr. washevski, have you learned anything in your first class? only this morning looking in the mirror before shaving i enjoyed seeing what i saw so much, i couldn't tear myself away. >> reporter: the 1963 film "the nutty professor" is considered by many to be his masterpiece. ♪ he even tackled broadway. >> jerry lewis! >> reporter: but to many, lewis is best known for his telethons for muscular dystrophy. he raised more than $2 billion in 40-plus years on the air. >> mr. jerry lewis! >> reporter: in 2009 that earned him his only oscar, the gene hershultz humanitarian award. >> he was good at anything he tried. we've lost i think someone whose life
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really echoed the american century. he was an extraordinary man. >> reporter: at 91 lewis passed away peacefully surrounded by family. he lived an unforgettable life. miguel almaguer, nbc news. another passing to note, legendary comedian and civil rights activist dick gregory has died. gregory was one of the first comedians to use humor to confront civil rights issues. he rose to fame in the 1960s and parlaid his standup career into a life of social and political activism, becoming friends with martin luther king jr. and malcolm x, later he also became a nutritional advocate and motivational speaker. dick gregory was 84. as president trump returns to washington tonight, there's word from the white house that he plans to address the nation on a new strategy in afghanistan. nbc's kelly o'donnell has the details. >> reporter: returning to washington after a crisis-laden summer vacation that seemed
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anything but restful for the country. a new development late today, the president will unveil his plan for u.s. forces in afghanistan, in a prime time address monday night. after a strategy session with his top advisers at camp david friday, and while nuclear tensions with north korea are running hot, flying today defense secretary james mattis. >> once he announces what the strategy is, can he get more precise on afghanistan troop levels, how, what we're going to do. >> reporter: on the homefront, tuesday the president heads to arizona for a campaign rally, reconnecting with his political base amid fallout over the racially fueled violence in charlottesville. concerned republicans say president trump's condemnations of white supremacists were cloudy. >> it's going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, that moral authority remains compromised. >> reporter: trump supporter jerry falwell, jr. >> he could be more polished and more politically correct,
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but that's the reason i supported him is because he's not. >> reporter: following the white house shakeup that expelled the hard right nationalist steve bannon, a call for stability. >> the changes have to stop and we have to have a team. you can't keep putting new people in the line-up and think you're going to win a world championship. >> reporter: democrat former secretary of homeland security jeh johnson said senior officials should not be pressured to resign. >> i'd say absolutely not. you have to stay. it's country first, and we need people like john kelly, jim mattis, h.r. mcmaster to right the ship. >> reporter: tomorrow night the president will speak to an in-person audience of servicemembers at ft. myers base in virginia and the nation, by extension, with his third prime time televised address. i'm told the president will be specific about numbers for afghanistan in terms of troop levels and he will also talk about his plan to get countries in the region like pakistan to assist with intelligence and
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diplomacy. jose? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. a programming note, nbc will carry the president's address to the nation live tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern/6:00 pacific. meanwhile, a new nbc news poll shows many americans, even trump supporters are embarrassed by the president, and it is impacting his favorability in three important states. nbc news political director and moderator of "meet the press" chuck todd is here to explain. chuck? >> reporter: well, jose, look, michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, they were the three states that put donald trump in the white house, three states a republican hadn't carried since the '80s. we thought we'd check in there specifically. what's interesting is they look like swing
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states. his job approval rating in all three states is basically what it is nationally, a little bit lower in pennsylvania and wisconsin than it is in michigan. that's somewhat notable, probably worth keeping track of over time, does michigan end up being more of a rust belt state that stays in the trump column more so than either wisconsin or pennsylvania, but look at these proud versus embarrassing numbers at the end here. this is something that should trouble the white house when you have 64%, 63%, 64%, it means some trump voters are calling themselves embarrassed by the president so far. jose, some tough numbers for the president, but obviously he has plenty of time to try to turn those around. >> chuck todd, thank you. there are ominous, new warnings from north korea tonight in response to the u.s. and south korea's planned military drills this week. nbc's bill neely has the latest from seoul. >> reporter: stunning new images tonight from kim jong-un's north korea. propaganda posters that show the u.s. capital crumbling, destroyed by missiles. >> we never know which way he's going to turn. he's not irrational, but he is unpredictable. >> reporter: that unpredictability is being tested again tonight, as u.s. forces prepare exercises on the
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korean peninsula this week. these in april. tensions still high after threats from president trump and from north korea. the military exercises that start off south korea are loathed over there in the north, where they watch u.s. troops practicing to kill their leader. this week, though the exercises are different, not live fire, mostly underground computer simulations involving 17,000 u.s. troops and 50,000 south korean, but no b-1 bomber overflights. defensive, says the u.s., provocative says north korea. u.s. officials do expect some response to the new drills, but no sign yet north korea is planning any eminent launch. kim jong-un may have
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paused his plan to fire missiles towards guam but that hasn't solved this nuclear crisis or ended the tension at this most dangerous of borders. >> it's still nerve-racking there's no doubt about it. >> reporter: families like the raiders are among nearly a quarter of a million of americans living in south korea. >> south koreans are if anything more worried about what the american government's going to do now more than what the north korean government is going to do. >> reporter: the war of words may have cooled, but military options like military drills are still very real. bill neely, nbc news, seoul, south korea. in the lust, the fight over immigration policy is back in the headlines as some century cities are making threats to withhold federal money. in an exclusive nbc news interview, attorney general jeff sessions talks why the crackdown is critical, but not everyone is convinced. nbc's pete williams reports. >> reporter: when deputy ricardo cueva
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patrols king county, washington, outside of seattle -- >> we're going to need two tows. >> reporter: like dozens of other so-called sanctuary cities, policies that work. >> we could care less if someone is here legally or illegally, documented or undocumented. >> in an exclusive nbc news interview, attorney general jeff sessions says he'll cut off federal crime grants for cities that fail to give immigration 48 hours before they release them from jail. >> reporter: he crites
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the case of juan san francisco sanchez. a sessions praises miami for enforcing its immigration policies. still ahead tonight, a side effect of the solar eclipse no one is talking about. also a side effect of a city 60,000 feet below the sea.
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all eyes will be on the skies for tomorrow's epic eclipse, but if you look and listen closely, there may be a show going on around you as well as nature's creatures react. nbc's kerry sanders reports from carbondale, illinois. you and your friends may be ready for the total eclipse, but when day turns to twilight, strange things can happen. [ howling ] >> reporter: reports dating back centuries have revealed bizarre behavior in the animal kingdom. records found by the american academy of arts and sciences show in 1544, birds ceased to sing during the eclipse, and in 1851, a colony of ants stopped moving until the light reappeared.
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another study found that chimpanzees would climb and point to the sky. so will tomorrow look like a scene from the hitchcock film "the birds"? >> my gut is there's nothing to worry about as far as animals going out of their minds or some chaos or animals starting to stampede, all of a sudden attacking people. it makes for a good science fiction movie, but this is not science fiction. >> reporter: ron mcgill works at zoo miami where the eclipse will be around 80%. >> bird, animals that are normally active during the daytime might start shutting down as they see that light go down, about you that will all change. >> reporter: even spiders during a past eclipse in china entemologists reported spiders destructed their webs. in rural illinois, avid byrd -- bird watcher vicki lange
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mendenhall, says she's curious about how the birds will react. >> that's the beauty of wildlife. you can't push a button and say all of a sudden animals do this or that. they're wild animals, they'll do what they're normally gonna do. >> reporter: here in carbondale, illinois, which will have the longest total eclipse in anywhere the continental united states there is a carnival atmosphere literally because just about everybody has one of these, the california academy of sciences has come up with an app so people can crowd source their observations of what happens to animals and plants. it's called i-naturalist. jose? >> kerry sanders, thank you. many of you may be wondering if weather is going to interfere with eclipse viewing where you are. here's nbc's dylan dreyer with the answer. >> good evening, jose. it's pritty cool that most of the areas seeing the totality will be fairly clear. let's start in the pacific midwest in 10:19 in the morning in madras, oregon, pacific time, it looks mostly clear, same for idaho and wyoming. the middle of the mid offal of the country kansas city scattered showers around 1:08 which is the time of tot
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totality. and looks okay in carbondale, illinois where totality will last the longest. as you get to south carolina, greenville looks good, mostly sunny. charleston closer to the coast we could see a few more clouds around that could partially obstruct that total eclipse. jose? >> dylan dreyer thank you so much. tune in tomorrow for live coverage of the total eclipse on nbc, msnbc, and nbcnews.com. coming up the dramatic end to a 72-year search for a piece of u.s. naval history.
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historians, undersea explorers and naval enthusiasts alike are celebrating a major discovery in the pacific, the wreckage of the "uss indianapolis" sunk by the japanese in the final days of world war ii has been found. its discovery solving one of the most
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infamous mysteries in u.s. naval history. here's nbc's steve patterson. >> that's it, paul, we've got it, the "indy." >> reporter: a dramatic end to a 72-year search. the wreckage of a famous world war ii war era ship once thought lost forever in the dark waters of the pacific ocean discovered friday. microsoft's billionaire co-founder paul allen funded the expedition to find the "uss indianapolis." >> we try to do these both as really exciting examples of underwater archaeology and as tributes to the brave men that went down in these ships. >> reporter: deep sea detective work pointed a team of civilian researchers led by robert kraft to the "indy's" final resting place 18,000 feet below the surface of the pacific. >> it was exciting. it was upsetting. it was very emotional and it was humbling. >> reporter: in what is the u.s. navy's single greatest loss
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of life at sea, the battle-hardened heavy cruiser was shredded by two japanese torpedos just days after delivering components of the atomic bomb later dropped on hiroshima. on july 30th, 1945, the "indy" with nearly 1,200 on board sank in just 12 minutes. about 800 sailors and marines escaped the sinking ship, only 317 of them survived, after enduring days adrift in the shark-infested sea before being rescued. only 22 are alive today. >> what they did needs to be remembered, and not just for getting torpedoed and sunk. they were heroes. >> reporter: tonight the discovery resurfacing the courage and resilience of those who gave their lives in the service of our freedom. and're following breaking news in the
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south china sea. john mccain was involved in a torpedo shot to a aircraft carrier. search and rescue efforts are under way. meanwhile the navy is calling on the singaporean government for assistance bringing the ship into port. jose balart will have much more right after this break.
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a
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a finally tonight we take you to an inspiring summer camp that is changing kids' lives by leaps and bounds, the program that, through music, dance and encouragement is giving hundreds of children the tools they need to be able to soar above life's adversities. >> we can do anything. >> reporter: camp hasn't started yet but don't tell these kids that.
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100 students from some of miami's roughest neighborhoods arrived pumped up and ready to dance at alvin ailey camp. >> good morning, campers! >> our kids take over the entire campus. >> reporter: they learn dance, ballet, west african, and spoken word. instructors using the arts to help these kids find their voice. >> we're raising the next great generation of philanthropists, of artists, of performers, of civic leaders. >> reporter: for six weeks the arch center provides meals, transportation, even dance shoes, but mostly a safe place for expression. >> there you go. >> reporter: arch center director of education haido oliveiros emigrated from mexico when he was 6 years old.
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how does a kid from los calientes in mexico end up here? >> i'm a product of programming like this. >> reporter: many of the children are being raised by foster care parents or other family members. home life is often challenging. sometimes life is very tough but you have very strong dreams, don't you? >> i really do. >> reporter: what are those dreams? >> helping my brothers and sisters, designing games and also dancing. >> reporter: othniel's mom is in jail. he lives with his six siblings and dad. >> through the situation with my family and they helped, they got me clothes and shoes just for the summer just to help me get by. >> when i first joined, i was really shy and nervous, and now i'm not nervous at all. >> reporter: brianna not only found the confidence to dance, she formed a special bond. christina is the first student with down's syndrome at ailey camp. why did you become such good friends with her? >> because i want to make her feel like she's important. she really is. she's special. >> reporter: brianna lives with her grandmother. here, she becomes instructor. >> i teach them what i learn here. >> reporter: how good are they?
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every day the camp begins and ends with affirmations. what are some of the things that you find, that means a lot to me in your affirmations. >> i am a winner, because kids should always think of themselves as a winner. >> i would not use can't to define my possibilities. >> you are a winner, my friend. you're a winner. extraordinary kids and an extraordinary program. if you're interested in finding out more, i'll have information on my twitter feed right after this broadcast. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. lester holt will be back in tomorrow. i'm jose diaz belart reporting from new york. thank you for the privilege of your time and good night.
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this august visit your local volvo dealer the bay area and the country -- for tomorrow )s historic solar eclipse. right now at 6:00, all eyes on the sky. excitement is growing across the bay area and the country for tomorrowi tomorrow's historic solar eclipse. >> tomorrow's total solar eclipse is the first since 1989. thom jensen is on the road. hi, tom. >> here at 8:00 a.m.

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