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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 26, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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we'll track that coming up at 6:00. >> thanks for joining us. lester holt is next, bye. tonight -- did authorities fail to act? president trump slamming deputies who remained outside during the florida school shooting, and making this claim. >> i really believe i'd run in there, even if i didn't have a weapon. and for the first time, we're hearing the school officer's side of the story. why his attorney says he's no coward. the murder victim killed while he was streaming on facebook live. [ gunshots ] tonight, the police manhunt for the gunman. the major credit card company refunding hundreds of millions to customers. do they owe you money? deadly tornadoes and massive flooding cutting a path of destruction from texas to michigan. tonight, millions bracing for a new storm threat. and why a star basketball player missed a free-throw on purpose. >> that's not my
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record to have, and obviously, that record deserves to stay in his name. >> the touching tribute on the court. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, and a special welcome to our viewers in the west. it's good to be back with you at the usual time. president trump shared with us today what he might have done, had he been at that florida high school when shots rang out, whether he had a gun or not. the president offering a heroic scenario as he faced more pushback to his idea of arming trained school teachers. even his own daughter in an interview with nbc news questioning whether such an idea would even work. in a meeting with governors, however, mr. trump tiptoed around another idea that could put him on a collision course with the nra. our hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: from president trump on the parkland shooting, hypothetical heroics. >> i think i really -- i really believe i'd run in there even if i didn't have a weapon.
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>> reporter: the president piling on criticizing the four florida deputies who may have held back during the attack. >> they weren't exactly medal of honor winners, all right? the way they performed was, frankly, disgusting. >> reporter: in a meeting with governors, president trump pledging he's willing to take on the nra. >> if they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a while. >> reporter: today no mention of an idea he likes that the nra does not. raising the minimum age to buy semiautomatic weapons to 21. president trump did talk about a more controversial proposal, arming certain properly trained educators. a conversation turning confrontational. >> educators should educate and they should not be foistet upon this responsibility of packing heat in first grade classes. i just suggest we need a little less tweeting here, a little more listening. >> reporter: even the president's senior adviser and daughter is not totally onboard. ivanka trump with nbc's peter alexander. >> do you believe that arming teachers would make children safer?
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>> to be honest, i don't know. it's an idea that needs to be discussed. >> reporter: seven states do let school staff carry guns on campus. >> no teacher should be compelled, but others are concerned about their students and have training and specific capacity as you've described. >> reporter: for now, changes to gun laws look more likely to come from states than the federal government. in congress, a narrow bill to strengthen background checks seems to have the most momentum. but a senate debate on that has not been scheduled yet, with democrats arguing that bill alone would be insufficient. still, the difference this time could be the student survivors demanding action. >> i have been heartened to see children across this country using their voices to speak out and try to create change. >> reporter: hallie jackson, nbc news, the white house. >> reporter: i'm kerry sanders in parkland, florida, where 12 days after the massacre, the attorney for armed campus deputy scot peterson is speaking out. peterson, under
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withering criticism for never entering the building as the killing went on inside. >> what is he seen doing on video? >> nothing. >> reporter: peterson's attorney now saying his heart goes out to the families of victims in their time of need. however, the allegations that peterson was a coward are patently untrue. and that peterson, who resigned last week, took up a tactical position, because he thought the shots were coming from outside the building. >> based on his training, his protocols, equipment and tactics, he should have went in and done everything he could possibly have done to neutralize the killer. >> reporter: internal affairs investigative sources tell nbc news they believe, in the crucial four minutes while peterson was outside, six people were gunned down on the third floor of the building, and now the broward county sheriff's office is investigating whether two or three more deputies arrived and did not go in. >> i'm madeleine wolford. >> reporter: also today -- an emotional
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appearance by student maddie wolford, hit by three bullets in her stomach, chest and hand. doctors calling her recovery a miracle. >> and i would just like to say that -- i'm so grateful to be here, and it wouldn't be possible without those officers and first responders and these amazing doctors. >> reporter: while students are grateful, some are also anxious about returning to class on wednesday. >> welcome back! >> reporter: teachers arriving back at their classrooms today, greeted by a rainbow. >> the rainbow was there. the rainbow was there for hope. >> reporter: tonight, almost every republican member of the state house of representatives has called on the florida governor to remove sheriff scott israel from office. not one democrat has requested the same thing. tonight, sheriff israel, an elected democrat, says politics has no place in a criminal investigation. lester? >> kerry sanders tonight, thank you. a new severe
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taking aim at the middle the middle of the country after powerful storms spawned deadly tornadoes, ending the longest stretch on record without a fatal twister in the u.s. here's nbc's ron mott. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: a handful of tornadoes tearing through arkansas, tennessee and kentucky, killing at least five. >> a gutter just floored me. it just knocked me down. >> this is the living room. >> reporter: gwendolyn woods was watching tv with her family when 125 mile-per-hour winds sent them scrambling for cover. >> the ceiling fell right in there. >> reporter: the living room ceiling collapsed. >> i heard someone say "get to the bathroom" and then i heard a big, a loud boom, and so i just went into my bathroom up front and started praying to god. >> reporter: across the region, neighbors lent a helping hand. elsewhere, flooding continues to threaten communities especially along the ohio river, hitting its highest level in 20 years. rescuers in michigan
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recover the body of a missing 6-year-old, as indiana residents are left to wonder what they'll come home to when the water goes away. >> it's a hard feeling to describe, to see that what you have is almost gone. >> reporter: next up, a couple clear days to dry out before the skies open again. ron mott, nbc news, clarksville, tennessee. we turn now to the hunt for a killer in a shocking murder that played out on facebook live. the victim, streaming himself walking down the street in north carolina, when suddenly fatal shots ring out. tonight, facebook says it will remove instances of videos that are shared supporting or encouraging such acts of violence. nbc's morgan radford has the story, and a warning to you, these images are disturbing. [ gunshots ] >> reporter: 55-year-old prentice robinson was on facebook live streaming his walk home from the local police station, after having his phone stolen, when suddenly -- robinson was approached by a man who killed him in cold blood.
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[ gunshots ] >> only being a block or so away from the police departments is, police department, that's -- that's -- if that's not brazen i don't know what is. >> reporter: a local university was on lockdown for an hour. >> hid under tables. put tables in front of the door. >> reporter: residents say robinson often used his facebook to publicize neighborhood disputes. >> putting stuff on facebook about other people or what they're doing. people don't like that. people get angry. >> reporter: this isn't the first time a shooting has been captured on social media. >> i told him not to reach for it! >> reporter: in 2016, philando castillo's girlfriend streamed on facebook after being shot by a minnesota police officer. >> please, don't tell me my boyfriend just went like that. >> reporter: and last spring, the random killing of a cleveland grandfather was also streamed live. tonight in north carolina, police are still scouring for clues. searching for a killer on the run. [ gunshots ] >> reporter: morgan
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radford, nbc news, wingate, north carolina. despite a u.n. cease-fire resolution, syria kept up bombing outside damascus today. dozens more killed, bringing the death toll in the past week to more than 500. the u.n. secretary-general calling it hell on earth. we get the latest from our chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: this, activists say, is eastern hunta after a u.n. cease-fire. human rights groups say president assad forces backed by russia are ignoring it to drive rebels from this damascus suburb and they accuse the regime of using chlorine gas. which can cause death by choking. today the white house was asked how president trump would respond. >> when i said we would call for an immediate end to this offensive operations, we mean it. i'm not going to broadcast what we may or may not do. >> reporter: russia claims the rebels gassed their own
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people for international sympathy. medics say that's ludicrous. today, yet again, they ask for help to stop the assad regime from bombing their clinics. >> we want action. we don't want only words. >> reporter: we've been following two sisters, noor and alla, who have been using twitter to appeal for help. this weekend we sent a cameraman who managed to find them. they had little to eat, and are often confined to bunkers. >> there is no food. no medicine. no water. >> reporter: russia tonight said a so-called humanitarian corridor will be open to allow civilians in huta to leave. maybe it will be more effective than the cease-fire. richard engel, nbc news. president trump gave his response today to a new suggestion by north korea that the two countries hold talks. the president said it would happen only under the right conditions, as he put it.
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the administration says it's open to talks. mainly to explain that the u.s. will maintain pressure on north korea until it takes steps towards eliminating its nuclear weapons. the supreme court dealt a major blow today to the trump administration refusing to hear an appeal and forcing the government to keep the daca program going. that decisively puts an end to president trump's march 5th deadline for congress to act on daca, which protects nearly 700,000 immigrants undocumented immigrants brought to the u.s. as children. the court battle is far from over. there's news tonight every parent needs to hear about kids and depression. new guidelines are out from the american academy of pediatrics urging doctors to begin screening all kids for depression when they hit adolescence. nbc news senior national correspondent kate snow has more on our ongoing series -- "1 in 5: kids at risk." >> reporter: at the annual checkup, usual checkup of weight and height and now a new focus. screening kids 12 and over for depression.
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the american academy of pediatrics urges pediatricians to have kids fill out a questionnaire with questions about having little interest or pleasure in doing things or feeling bad about yourself or that you're a failure or let yourself or your family down. why do the guidelines call for screening at age 12 and up? >> well, depression really hits when puberty starts. in fact, it's during puberty that depression doubles for girls. >> reporter: heather olsen wishes the guideline was in place years ago. in an interview with cynthia mcfadden, her daughter, alex, said she felt depressed at age 11. >> it's this sort of emptiness and persistent just not feeling great, not feeling naturally content. >> reporter: but no doctor ever asked how she was feeling. she didn't confide in her mom until she was 14. >> i was pretty flabbergasted, actually, when i found out that she had been so miserable for so long. >> reporter: as many as two out of three teens with depression never get treatment.
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the new guidelines call on pediatricians to talk to young patients and parents separately. >> teens in particular are much more reliable and more open when they're talking just to the pediatrician without their parent in the room. >> reporter: parents should watch out for other warning signs of depression including sad or irritable mood, withdrawal from activities, lack of energy. alex got help after finally opening up to her parents. >> i would do anything for them, because i know that they'd do the same for me. >> she's lucky, lester, alex, because in a lot of communities, there simply aren't enough therapists for children. one of reasons of national pediatricians are urged to step in. they are the doctors our kids see most proactively. >> provoking a lot of conversations. >> hopefully. and the health of the nation's first responders. we recently reported on the rising rates of cancer among firefighters. 60% of firefighters who die are victims of job-related cancer
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according to the nation's biggest firefighter union. now a department in one major city is sounding the alarm about breast cancer among its female firefighters. here's nbc's tom costello. [ siren ] >> reporter: no city in the country has more female firefighters than san francisco. 16% of the department. >> all units, stand by. >> reporter: today's far more toxic fires may be leading to an alarming rise in breast cancer cases. >> control three, battalion nine. >> reporter: among them battalion chief anita peretley. >> she said, you have breast cancer. and i -- i -- funny. i almost can cry. that same feeling like -- no way! no way. >> reporter: chief peratley is one of many. a stunning 15% of female firefighters 40 to 50 years old in san francisco had been diagnosed with breast cancer. six times the national average. >> i always think of it as, there's a cancer sniper out there. in the fire service.
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and it's not when. it's not if. it's who's going to be next? >> reporter: deputy chief jeannine nicholson herself has undergone a double mastectomy. >> 16 rounds of chemotherapy. and it was pretty brutal. i lost probably 25 pounds. >> reporter: it's not just breast cancer. 250 firefighters men and women have died of cancer here in the past 12 years. chris gower never smoked but lost his vocal chords. >> i'm pretty sure it's fire-related. i've been to 186 fires. >> reporter: it's happening across the country as today's fires involve plastics, electronics and fire retardant chemicals that researchers say spew toxic soot that firefighters inhale or seep through their skin. >> every single fire we go to is full of toxins. >> reporter: today, many departments are ordering much more aggressive decontamination procedures. >> but i never thought when i raised my hand to swear in to be a firefighter, i never thought about cancer. ever. >> reporter: now,
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local universities and hospitals have launched a study to determine whether it's all a tragic coincidence or whether there is a link between toxic fires and the breast cancer targeting this city's bravest. tom costello, nbc news, san francisco. and there's a lot more to tell you about as we continue tonight. are you due a refund? a big credit card company says it's paying back hundreds of millions of dollars in interest overcharges. also, the dramatic scenes in the middle of the night as a family is rescued from a burning building.
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we're back now with a big announcement for credit cardholders. citigroup will refund $330 million to customers after mistakenly overcharging them on interest. customers could get back nearly $200 each. are you one of them? here's nbc business correspondent jo ling kent. >> reporter: tonight, one of the world's biggest credit card companies admitting it overcharged some customers for as many as five years. citibank promising to refund nearly 2
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million credit cardholders. the average, $190 per customer. citi apologized in a statement saying, "while we have found no evidence of employee misconduct, we should have identified these issues sooner." the bank tells nbc news it caught the flaw in late 2016 during a routine review required by federal law and then reported it to regulators. citi says it failed to reduce some annual interest rate charges for cardholders in good standing. for example, a customer who started making payments on time after paying penalties for missing payments. there's no way for people to find out if are this they're eligible. >> unless you truly have a banker's-level understanding it would be next to impossible to determine if they're being charged the correct amount of interest or an incorrect amount of interest. the way that you avoid interest on a credit card is to not carry a balance. >> reporter: citi says they'll notify customers in the second half of this year with a check in the mail. jo ling kent, nbc
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news, los angeles. when we come back, the terrifying moments in the mountains as avalanches strike after heavy snow.
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visit to learn more. a life-saving rescue in houston early this morning, as a massive fire consumed an apartment building with a mother and her three children trapped in a balcony. firefighters, including one on the ladder, brought the children to safety. officials said one of the children heard a smoke alarm and got everyone up. after the kids were rescued, the mother was brought down from that burning building. a scary sight caught on camera in washington state. an avalanche mowing over a highway there. no reports of deaths or injuries in this, but at least three people were killed in avalanches in other parts of the state over the weekend. and in europe, where they're recovering from a big winter storm, an unusual sight in rome, the vatican city today. not much more than a coating it was reportedly the most snow in six years
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there. it had them throwing snowballs in st. peter's square. schools closed and public transportation curtailed. when we come back, the missed foul shot, on purpose. why it was one for the record books. northern californ.
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rain, snow and hail. plus a weather phenomenon - streets covered in something called "graupel", i )ll tell you what that is and what )s in stoe for us tonight. next at 6 right now at 6: wild weather hitting northern california. finally tonight, occasionally over the years we've shown you viral videos of wild basketball moments. those crazy, impossible shots that get everybody to smile. tonight, however, we want to show you a miss. a shot that stood no chance of going in, because the university of iowa player who put it up had something bigger than glory on his mind. it was more than sportsmanship on display over the weekend in hawkeye nation. it was an act of honor and respect.
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sophomore point guard jordan bohanon with a chance to break the school record of 34 free-throws in a row. instead, he pointed to the sky and then purposely missed the shot. >> and he does miss it. >> reporter: you see, jordan didn't want to break the record set by chris street, an iowa basketball legend, three days before he was killed in a car accident 25 years ago. jordan was determined not to eclipse chris' legacy. >> it wasn't my record to have. >> reporter: chris' parents were there cheering on jordan and were stunned when the shot fell short. >> he doesn't want to break somebody else's record, but that just says what kind of a heart he has. >> reporter: a kind heart, guiding jordan's display of uncommon selflessness. >> obviously that record deserves to stay in his name. >> reporter: the hawkeyes won their game, and the hearts of fans who shared jordan bohanon's belief that life is bigger than basketball.
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an unforgettable shot. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. an odd winter phenomenon our state capital, while we deal with rain, snow, and hail. right now it's strange weather hitting oregon. an odd phenomenon hits our state capital while we in the bay area deal with rain, snow and hail. news at 6:00 starts right now. thank you for joining us chlts i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. the umbrellas were out this morning across the bay area from santa rosa to san jose. on the right side of the screen, the sky ranger with a great view
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of the snow and the east hills of san jose. about an hour ago, look carefully. a little bit of hail in richmond. our chief meteorologist jeff ranieri is tracking t. a busy day here. >> you can see our storm reports today we did have some hail in bait area, and of course in sacramento that's where the weather turned real severe. two funnel cloud reports along with hail, and what you're hearing in social media as gropple. we can depict it here where streets are covered with what looks to be snow. in fact, this is gropple and a little snow mixed in as well. all the rooftops covered in white, also these streets making it hard to navigate because gropple and hail is extremely icy. it's fun for kids after the


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