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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  April 15, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> thank you. >> we'll hang in there. "nightly news" is next. >> thanks for watching. see you back here again at 6:00. inspire yours? tonight, the president's explosive new accusations about james comey. calling him the worst fbi director in history while comey has something to say about the president and ethical leadership. a firestorm in philadelphia. >> we are the people! >> after a starbucks manager calls the police to remove two black men who say they were just waiting for a friend to arrive. searching for children who may be the victims of sex traffickers. tonight, we are with a group of volunteers dedicated to finding them and bringing them home. wild spring weather. tornadoes in the south. more than a foot of snow in the midwest and wildfires in the plains. and on the anniversary of the boston marathon bombing, a
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survivor's story about a dog named rescue and how he changed her life. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. good evening. president trump began the day with a tirade against a man who once worked for him. mr. trump using playground nicknames for former fbi director james comey, criticizing the way he handled an investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails just days before the election. all of it a strong reaction to comey's upcoming book in which he accuses the president of being untethered to truth. comey today said his book is about the ethical leadership of two presidents and one who serves as a counter point. we begin tonight with kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> reporter: before the president visited his virginia golf club today, he teed off on twitter. mocking the fired former fbi director as slippery james comey and slimeball. the relationship ended in ashes
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a year ago. but comey is lighting a new match promoting his book on sale tuesday. today, the president railed against comey's account of why he went public with usually secret investigative details about the hillary clinton e-mail case shortly before the election. >> i was operating in a world where hillary clinton was going to beat donald trump. >> reporter: a tweeted rebuke today from the president. he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win and he wanted a job. comey added more context to his reasoning but was not certain about how much 2016 predictions affected him. >> i don't remember spelling it out but it had to have been that she's going to be elected president and if i hide this from the american people she'll be illegitimate the moment she's elected. the moment this comes out. >> reporter: the president seized on that. unbelievably james comey states that polls were a factor in the handling, stupidly, of the clinton e-mail probe.
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comey scorches the president's character writing that he is ego driven and unethical. the white house counterpunch, attack james comey. >> james comey is a self-admitted leaker. the guy knew exactly what he was doing. he thought hillary clinton would win and he thought that this would give him some cover. >> reporter: but comey, whose ten-year term as fbi director wasn't up until 2023, writes the election outcome would not affect his job. which is why he was the official who briefed president-elect trump about the salacious unverified dossier. i was staying on as fbi director. we knew the information and the man had to be told. after all that venting, the president is expected to turn at least some of his focus back to foreign policy. he'll spend the next week in florida where he will host japanese prime minister shinzo abe. officials say they expect to talk about north korea and concerns about trade. kate? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house for us, thanks.
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former first lady barbara bush is surrounded by family tonight following a recent series of hospitalizations. a spokesman says the 92-year-old has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care. it will not surprise those who know her that barbara bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health. the statement continues, worrying not for herself thanks to her abiding faith but for others. mrs. bush, of course, holds the distinction of being the wife of former president george h.w. bush and mother of george w. bush. now to syria and word that the trump administration plans to impose new sanctions on russia tomorrow for supporting the assad regime and its use of chemical weapons, the news comes two days after the u.s. air strike on chemical facilities in syria and today new satellite images revealing the extent of the destruction. nbc's bill neely has our report. >> reporter: good evening, kate. it was business as usual today
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for syria's president assad. his warplanes back in action bombing rebel areas. the u.s. warning him, don't use chemical weapons. russia offering him new arms, new missile defenses. the smoke has cleared on the u.s.-led airstrikes. the impact clear, too, in new satellite images. president trump repeated today the raid was perfect. this chemical research center certainly perfectly destroyed. by 76 missiles. but syria denies it produced or used poison gas. we developed medicines at this site, he says, especially to combat cancer. but a defector of syria's chemical program said there's poison stocks in scattered warehouses. the airstrikes were limited he says. syria can still produce more and use them.
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the u.s. plans to punish russian companies linked to syria as revealed on cbs "face the nation." >> you will see that russian sanctions will be coming down. secretary mnuchin will be announcing those on monday. >> reporter: syria's president met visiting russian lawmakers today. russian troops now in control of the suburb where last week's gas attack killed dozens. the chemical inspectors who'll investigate that now in syria. the airstrikes came before their report. the u.s. threatening they'll be repeated if assad strikes with gas again. bill neely, nbc news, beirut. back in this country, there's a firestorm over what happened three days ago at a starbucks in philadelphia where the police were called in and two black men were arrested. the incident sparked outrage from those who say it's yet another example of black men being treated differently in this country. morgan radford tonight on what
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happened and the reaction. >> no longer, no further. >> reporter: protesters calling for justice today. after the arrest of two black men at this philadelphia starbucks on thursday. >> what did they do? >> reporter: this video captured by witnesses' cell phone shows police talking and later handcuffing the man waiting for a friend. the men wanted to use the restroom but the manager said that per store policy they couldn't use the restroom since they didn't buy anything. when they wouldn't leave, she called police. >> a group of males refusing to leave. >> reporter: some witnesses say the officers overreacted. >> sitting there quietly on the phones and like everyone else in starbucks was. >> reporter: the philadelphia police commissioner says the officers didn't do anything wrong. >> they followed policy. they did what they were supposed to do. >> reporter: the men who won't want to be identified by name were held in custody for eight hours before they were released. prosecutors didn't file charges but their defense lawyer says this wasn't about the law. it was about bias.
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>> a lot of people are saying this issue is about race. do you think this would have happened if your clients were not black? >> i would love to hear the 911 call in this case but what's the 911 call you're never going to hear? hi, this is the starbucks at 18th and spruce. there are two white women sitting in here. one of them asked to use the bathroom and she didn't order a coffee. come quick. >> reporter: starbucks in damage control. >> what we need to do as leaders, we own this situation. we are responsible for this situation. and we'll take accountability for making the necessary changes. >> reporter: meanwhile, video of the arrest has gone viral. many on social media calling it a clear-cut case of racism. >> we should not be going through this. >> reporter: one protester says this went too far. starbucks says the manager who called police no longer works at this store. meanwhile, the criminal defense attorney for the men arrested wouldn't yet comment on whether or not they were considering filing criminal charges or any charges of their own. kate?
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>> morgan radford in philadelphia tonight, thank you. there is a big recall of eggs going on tonight over fears of salmonella. rose acre farms of seymour, indiana, has recalled more than 200 million eggs after at least 22 illnesses were reported. the eggs were produced at a farm in north carolina and distributed in nine states, most on the east coast. and sold under various brand names. find more information about that on our website nbcnews.com. after president trump signed a bill this past week cracking down on websites that facilitate sex trafficking, there's a renewed focus on the children most at risk of being exploited. tonight, nbc's steve patterson has the story of a california family's desperate attempt to find their daughter and a group of volunteers dedicated to bringing missing children home. >> god bless you, emmy. >> come home, angel. >> reporter: a daily prayer marina and paul foley would give anything to give up. >> keep emmy safe.
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>> reporter: eight weeks ago, their 14-year-old daughter emily ran away. >> these were her favorite lights and they'll stay on until emmy comes home. >> reporter: her parents said she troubled history struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts and running away. last june, social workers placed her in a group home. this is the seventh time she's taken off but the first time the foleys haven't heard from her. >> everything leads us to believe that she's being hurt. >> i think she's trapped in human trafficking situation. >> reporter: paul and marina went to the police but quickly decided they needed to do more so they turned to joseph travers. >> here's the zone one, motels. >> reporter: travers runs saved in america. a group of ex-cops and navy s.e.a.l.s with a new mission. track down missing children before it's too late. >> this is modern-day slavery in our country. >> reporter: now licensed as private investigators they utilize decades of surveillance training.
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every member of the team is a volunteer. all refusing pay instead relying on private donations to fund operations. >> when we see the look of that parent or that mother who gets her child back, that's why we do what we do. that's our payment. >> reporter: on a sunday morning in san bernardino, we join them as they begin the search for emmy. >> i'm a private investigator. we're looking for a runaway girl. >> reporter: they start by canvassing the neighborhood for leads and then deploy a drone to expand the search. after several hours, a break. a good samaritan comes forward revealing the operation of a neighborhood pimp they believe could be connected to emmy. >> it's an incredible tip. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: travers says out of the 71 previous cases his team has taken on, they've brought 71 children home. >> this is for your baby when we find her. >> reporter: they didn't find emmy that day but three weeks later -- >> she's safe. and she's back. >> reporter: -- after a
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harrowing five weeks, emmy got a hold of a cell phone and made contact with her sister. >> our daughter stayed on the phone with her for four and a half hours while we took a drive and we were able to pick her up. >> reporter: do you remember what the first thing she said to you was? >> she said, mama, i'm hurt. >> reporter: emmy's recovering at a treatment center in hopes to meet the saved in america team to say thank you. >> they never gave up on us day and night. that just can't be grateful enough to them. >> reporter: you've never turned those lights off? >> never. so those lights and the prayer, those are for her. >> reporter: the lights left on so emmy can always find her way home. steve patterson, nbc news, san bernardino, california. >> so important. in london tonight, an unusual transformation of buckingham palace. the building was lit up in green images of trees and leaves to call attention to a global conservation project supported by queen elizabeth called the commonwealth canopy project, the
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goal to preserve rainforest areas for future generations. still ahead tonight, the state of emergency in oklahoma as wildfires burn through hundreds of square miles. and a remarkable story of survival. how a family made it out alive as their home was consumed by a mudslide.
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some breaking weather news in tonight. reports of a tornado touching down in greensboro, north carolina.
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it comes as severe thunderstorms are forecast from virginia down to florida. this was the scene this weekend in meridian, mississippi, where a tornado there blew a roof off a house. a neighbor shooting his video from across the street. it was one of many buildings damaged by the storm. although we are well into spring, it might as well be winter tonight in the upper midwest. this is how it looked in minnesota where more than a foot of snow fell in duluth which was under a blizzard warning. minneapolis got hit hard, as well. the national weather service calling the storm historic for the area in mid-april. i'll say. and in oklahoma at least two people are dead, hundreds of homes evacuated as wildfires spread across that state. they've burned more than 300,000 acres so far with conditions expected to worsen this week. we get the latest from nbc's maya rodriguez. >> reporter: tonight, western oklahoma is on fire. a state of emergency declared in more than 50 counties. the smoky smell detected in neighboring states.
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high temperatures, gusting winds and low humidity creating perfect conditions for wildfires. authorities say flames have injured seven and killed two, including a 61-year-old man trying to fight the fire and a woman found in her burned out vehicle. >> the other people that were there evacuated well before the fire and -- but she was still there. >> reporter: firefighters hope today's cooler temperatures would help contain the fires. >> the wind's horrible. the only thing that we have had is cooler temperatures and that hasn't affected the fire conditions at all. >> reporter: the reprieve will be short lived, temperatures are forecast to soar into the 90s this week and potentially whipping up oklahoma's already deadly wildfire season. maya rodriguez, nbc news. back in january, the idyllic coastal town of monticeito, california, hit with mudslides. 21 people were killed, 2 remain missing but many more came out
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alive. here's keith morrison with the story of one family who survived. >> reporter: it was around 3:30 a.m. when the sound of rain awakened marco ferrell. he walked out on to the street in front of his home. >> i heard kind of a whoom. i knew instantly what was happening. >> reporter: marco ran to alert his elderly parents, jeff and gabrielle. >> i'm looking back and see headlights coming. >> reporter: it was a police vehicle. >> he had these big, wide eyes. >> get out of here. get out of here. run, go, go. >> reporter: marco made it to the driveway. >> the flash flood's right there. >> reporter: camera phone recording. >> oh my god, mom! close the door! wake dad up happily wake dad up. >> he's happily asleep. mom's yelling at him. he doesn't wake up. she hits his leg. he wakes up. >> i had no idea what was going on. >> reporter: no idea his house was filling with mud. >> god, i pray for everyone here.
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>> mud was already up to my hip. >> reporter: gabrielle stood in a hallway with jeff and their three-legged dog lucas and wept. >> we are safe. that's what's important. >> yeah. >> reporter: gabrielle held on to her son as he helped her walk through the mud and debris. >> we still had lights. and you know what goes through your mind? we will make it. >> you can watch keith morrison's entire story about the mudslides "no way out" tonight on "dateline" at 7:00/6:00 central. in a moment, passenger safety concerns about the ride hailing services. what uber is now doing to try to put its customers at ease.
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uber has taken a lot of heat in the last year for issues involving passenger safety, especially some of its drivers. well, late last week the company announced new measures aimed at holding drivers more accountable and protecting passengers. nbc's matt bradley has those details.
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>> reporter: uber's on a campaign to get on the good side of passengers again as seen in this promotional video of safety measures to calm critics, reassure riders and drivers. >> we were not perfect. >> reporter: part of ceo dara khosrowshahi's efforts to revive uber's dismal reputation. >> any time you're growing as fast as you're growing and not an excuse. sometimes you get things wrong. >> reporter: turning the page nearly a year after the ceo travis kalanick resigned and accusations of mishandling sexual assault claims of passengers, all of which he denied. the safety measures launched this summer and include a panic but to connect passengers and locations with emergency dispatchers. there's also an option to share trip details with up to five trusted contacts in realtime. and annual reviews of driver background checks. uber's also bringing in former homeland security secretary jey johnson to chair the safety
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advisory board and response to years of criticism and legal attacks. >> 2018 for us is standing for safety. >> reporter: but not everyone is satisfied. >> seems a little late. >> reporter: attorney jean christianson has represented women in sexual assault cases, some of which uber settled out of court, saying that high-tech solutions are cosmetic. >> if you're being violently attacked in the backseat of the car expecting somebody to locate their app and press this without the assaultant knocking the phone is just not realistic. >> reporter: she says bolstered background checks still fall short of traditional taxi companies, but it's still a chang. for a company that has a reputation for resisting it. matt bradley, nbc news, los angeles. when we come back, five years after the boston marathon bombing, a remarkable story of rescue and love.
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the scene in boston today at the site of the boston marathon bombing five years ago today. though so many suffered in the blast, boston showed the nation its spirit of resilience, what quickly became known as boston strong. well, tonight, we meet one young couple there in boston on that fateful day. nbc's dylan dreyer shows us how they've turned a tragedy into a mission of love, purpose, and understand, all thanks to a dog named rescue. >> reporter: jessica kenski and patrick downs were newlyweds in boston. >> we were just cheering people on and then the blast happened.
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>> reporter: their lives were forever changed. each lost a leg in the marathon bombing. jessica eventually had the other amputated, as well. a dark time followed until they got a gift called rescue. >> good work. >> reporter: you fell in love? >> i just -- yes. i'm like, that's it. that's him. >> reporter: rescue the service dog helped them navigate their world but the couple was also coping with stairs and questions from kids who saw that they were different. >> did we answer your question? >> reporter: what are some of those questions? >> they ask if we sleep with our prosthetic legs on. what our legs are made. if we have other leg that allow us to do different things. >> a pup of rescue was in training. >> reporter: so they wrote a children's book to explain it all. set in their beloved boston and told partly from the viewpoint of their dog "rescue and jessica a life changing friendship"
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re-imagines jessica as a teenager learning to live with physical limitations. >> we've been amazing how fascinated they are by the illustrations of the prosthetic the crutches. >> but his wagging tail gave him away. >> reporter: the book not only helping kids understand and accept certain physical disabilities but it's also given the couple a new purpose. >> we're just starting to put pieces of a life back together. it's a good life, a beautiful life but looks a lot different than we -- either of us ever imagined. >> reporter: learning about love, loss and the differences that make us all so special. dylan dreyer, nbc news, boston. >> what a great lesson. that is "nbc nightly news" for a sunday night. lester holt will be back with you tomorrow. i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night. a gorgeous wg
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gone. rain returns to the bay right now at 6:00, the gorgeous weekend now long gone. rain is returning to the bay area. see the sprinkles right there on the lens. that's our live camera pointed at san francisco. we're tracking just how long this rain is going to stick around. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening. thanks so much for joining us. i'm vicki nguyen. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. rain arrived before your workweek. that's not all. dip in temperatures, chance of thunderstorms. what's on tap for tonight? >> this is an unusually cold storm for the month of april. it's sadly going to make an impact. what people are going to notice the most is the temperature drop. i know we're seeing rain, it's very apparent in san francisco at 55 degrees. we hit a high of about 64 degree. our daytime highs tomor w

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