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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 11, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> she's just barriking at us. >> lester holt joins us next. tonight, growing outrage over a white house staffer mocking john mccain. sources tell nbc news she joked in a meeting, it doesn't matter what he thinks. he's dying anyway. mccain's daughter now firing back. >> i don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and you can come to work the next day and still have a job. >> tonight, the white house refusing to apologize confirming that staffer still has a job. also tonight, the soaring cost of prescription drugs. president trump promising to bring them down. new concerns in the volcano emergency in hawaii. a national park shut down, fears a power plant could be next. police officers under fire and one quits the force after video shows cops pulling a grandmother out of a car. how did a stop for a
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turning violation escalate so quickly? and our week-long journey across america concludes here in north carolina. with some amazing kids in a league of their own. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. a former tobacco factory now the sprawling and vibrant center of fast-growing durham, north carolina, along with near by raleigh and chapel hill, part of what's known around here as the try ang. good evening, everyone, and good to have you with us for the fifth and final stop of the journey across america. we'll tell you about the stories that brought us here shortly. first, the white house tonight is refusing to acknowledge hurtful comments made by a presidential staffer about senator john mccain that have set off a bipartisan firestorm. and now tonight, the daughter of the ailing senator and former prisoner of war is speaking out. our kristen welker has details. >> reporter: from the daughter of one of america's most
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celebrated war heroes, a powerful message for the white house after a staffer mocked her father battling brain cancer. >> it is not how you die, it is how you live. >> reporter: meghan mccain speaking out on "the view." this week her dad senator john mccain a p.o.w. opposed the president's nominee for the cia gina haspel and three sources with direct knowledge tell nbc news special assistant kelly sadler said during a thursday white house meeting, he's dying anyway. >> i don't understand what kind of environment you're working in when that would be acceptable and you can come to work the next day and still have a job. >> reporter: today the white house confirms sadler still has a job and then tried to ignore the controversy altogether. >> i'm not going to validate a leak. >> reporter: now a growing chorus of bipartisan criticism, trump supporter joni ernst calling on the nation to treat this war hero and his family with the civility and respect he deserves and lindsey graham says
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nobody is laughing in the senate. >> i think the biggest problem is that we are normalizing behavior that we shouldn't normalize. >> reporter: former vice president joe biden telling nbc news people have wondered when decency would hit rock bottom with this administration. it hasn't happened yet. is the president ultimately to blame given his divisive rhetoric even taking aim at mccain as a candidate. >> i don't like people that were captured. >> does the president set the tone? does he bear responsibility for the tone in this white house? >> he certainly does and i think he's done a good job of laying out what the priorities of the administration are. >> what has happened to civility in politics when you can't expect the white house, the presidency of the united states, to respect a dying man, a dying american hero? >> reporter: and senator mccain's wife cindy also weighed in tweeting to sadler, may i remind you my husband has a family, seven children and five grandchildren. for her part, gina haspel says she has the utmost respect for
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mccain as she still face as tough confirmation process. lester? >> kristen welker starting us off in the white house, thank you. while that controversy swirled in the white house, in the rose garden president trump vowed to take on the soaring cost of prescription drugs draining the wallets of so many families. but as peter alexander reports, the plan was light on specifics and critics say the president may have broken a big campaign promise. >> reporter: president trump tonight unveiling his prescription to bring down drug prices. >> the drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of american consumers. >> reporter: the president pledging to derail what he blasted as the gravy train for special interests. >> this is a total rip-off, and we are ending it. >> reporter: included in the white house blueprint, a proposed overhaul of those drug acts requiring manufacturers to disclose the cost of their medicines. also floated,
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banning the pharmacist gag rule so you're told at the counter about lower cost options, offering new incentives for drug makers to slash list prices and cutting consumers' out-of-pocket costs. >> we will have tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. >> reporter: the pharmaceutical trade association arguing some of today's propels would limit patients' access to innovative treatments but after the announcement, drug stocks soared. the president notably stopping well short of his past rhetoric. >> the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry because they are getting away with murder. >> reporter: mr. trump today abandoning his campaign pitch to use the government's buying power to negotiate lower prices for its programs. one consumer advocacy group complaining what trump laid out is policy that big pharma could love. >> reporter: tasked with heading up this effort the health and human services
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secretary alex azar who, until last year, ran one of the country's largest pharmaceutical companies. whose side is he on? tonight secretary azar says trust us by our actions. lester? >> peter alexander tonight, thank you. the ceo of at&t is telling employees that those payments to president trump's private attorney michael cohen were a mistake. in an internal memo randall stevenson called cohen's hiring a serious misjudgment and said at&t's chief lobbyist in washington is leaving the company. overseas, angry anti-u.s. protests broke out in iran today as the u.s. moved to reinstate sanctions between that country. it comes amid escalating tensions between iran and israel erupting in exchange of rocket fire and missile strikes. richard engel has more from the west bank. >> reporter: defiance today in iran as the u.s. reimposed some sanctions as president trump walked away from
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the deal, burning american flags after friday prayers, shouting death to america and issuing a new threat that unspecified preparations have begun to restart iran's nuclear program on an industrial scale if negotiators can't salvage the deal. it comes after a rare and dangerous military confrontation between israel and iran, and that isn't the only flash point. jerusalem is now blanketed with posters thanking president trump for his decision to move the u.s. embassy to the city on monday. a controversial decision that drove palestinians onto the streets. palestinians say they will keep protesting right until and after the u.s. moves its embassy to jerusalem and that they will never give up on their dream of having the holy city as their capital, too. >> nothing can stop us from demanding freedom or oblige us to surrenders to injustice. >> reporter: but israel so far dismissed the protest as anger that will pass and says the embassy move will go
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forward no matter what. richard engel, nbc news, in the west bank. there has been yet another shooting inside one of our nation's schools. a 15-year-old student is hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the arm after a 14-year-old, former student, allegedly opened fire at a high school north of los angeles. police say the suspect was later captured at a shopping center. a rifle was recovered near the school. in hawaii tonight, new concern over massive eruptions at kilauea where lava has destroyed hundreds of homes. with a national park shut down and worries that a power plant could be threatened next. officials say there is no sign the eruptions are coming to an end. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer has the latest. >> reporter: after fountains of lava and columns of toxic gas, kilauea's most explosive blast could be on the horizon. the volcano may blow its top. as the hot lava lake
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inside drains into cooler groundwater. a catastrophic steam explosion can launch ballistic boulders the size of cars in the air. >> it's going to be raining down on people. we do not want people to get injured or have a rock fall on their head. >> reporter: tonight, concern of another catastrophe, a race to remove hazardous underground gas stored at a geothermal plant. where lava is close. this lava field stopped just short of a home over here. it's still warm. you can feel the heat coming off it. it also crack the earth. here, steam is still venting. now the threat of the largest eruption yet, tropical paradise forever changed. miguel almaguer, nbc news, hawaii. a philadelphia nurse is now facing charges for the death last month of herbert mcmaster at a senior living community. mcmaster was the father of former trump national security advisor h.r. mcmaster. the case is raising troubling questions
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for families with loved ones living in homes for seniors. stephanie gosk has details. >> reporter: the death of h.r. mcmaster's 84-year-old father was sudden. police now say it was also criminal. a nurse at the facility is charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect and records tampering. >> gainey could have saved mr. mcmaster's life had she simply done her job. >> reporter: gainey will plead not guilty to the charges. her attorney telling nbc news, gainey is a single mother and was simply doing her job. we fully expect her to be exonerated but police say she failed to do the required neurological checks on mcmaster and released a detailed time line of what happened. april 9th, herbert mcmaster is admitted for rehabilitation for a stroke. and april 12th,
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at 11:30 p.m. mcmaster is found on the floor of his room with a gash on his head. 6:30 a.m. a concerned nurse assistant asks about his condition. gainey says he's okay. 7:00 a.m. the staff discovered he's died but mcmaster's chart indicated he was fine when checked at 7:20, 20 minutes after he died. when asked how that could be according to the affidavit, gainey replied, well, i falsified that one. the health care facility says it's working closely with investigators. while the mcmaster family wants their story to, in their words, prevent others from suffering at the hands of those who lack compassion. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. now to our journey across america bringing us to our final stop here in durham, north carolina. in the weeks after the violence that erupted in charlottesville, the governor here in north carolina proposed removing three confederate monuments from the state capital. it sparked a debate that raged for the
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last nine months. from demonstrations turning deadly in charlottesville to right here in north carolina, activists ripping down a confederate monument in the new south, old wounds haven't healed. ed, what do you think when you walk by the monuments? what thoughts go through your mind? >> i'm a retired army chaplain and i think about the soldiers. they do not in my opinion honor white supremacy. they are monuments to the soldiers. >> i think they are symbols of suppression and white supremacy, and that is part of my history. i have ancestors that fought for the confederacy that fought to keep people enslaved. i'm not proud of that. >> we talked to both sides in north carolina where there is another flash point. the state's historical commission now deciding if three confederate monuments on the capital grounds should be removed.
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william says they were put up during the racist jim crow era. >> they placed them in places of prominence all over the south in order to celebrate the present they created but celebrate the future they created, which was a modern white supremacist society in the american south. >> in a public meeting most spoke in favor of keeping the monuments where they are. >> those monuments mean everything to me. >> a north carolina law restricts moving monuments saying they can only be relocated to places of similar prominence. according to a 2017 poll, 59% of north carolinians believe the monuments should remain where they are. 29% want them taken down. >> to me, moving the monuments is simply a correction of the telling of history and creating a capital ground so it's more welcoming. >> are you sympathetic to those that are deeply offended, who see the symbolism in a different way than you
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do? >> when i hear people say that, i ask them let's go sit down over a cup of coffee and let's discuss this. i love to understand someone else's history. i want them to understand mine. >> so here we are in 2018 in the new south. can we ever move past this emotional controversy? >> i think we can. i hope we can. i believe the monuments will come down eventually. >> ed, will we ever get past this? >> i think we are beginning get past it and we're a long way past it. >> there has to be people who have a clear vision like john lewis and martin luther king jr. to have a vision yes, we can live in a society where race isn't so divisive and of course, one of the ways that we reconcile with the truth is to remove monuments erected by white supremacists to invest more fully in our children's future so they aren't having the same discussions 150 years later. >> the commission is
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expected to meet this month before it makes its recommendations on the monuments and its future. still ahead, outrage with a dashcam video with police forcefully arresting a grandmother. one of those officers off the force tonight. the major change starbucks is making after the controversial arrests in philadelphia.
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back now with the outrage erupting after police officers pulled a 65-year-old mother out of her car, cursed at her and arrested her during a traffic stop outside atlanta. the incident caught on dashcam video and one of those officers have resigned. gabe gutierrez has the story. >> reporter: the 65-year-old grandmother wailing in this dashcam video had just been pulled over by police in alpharetta, georgia. it took six officers to take rose campbell into custody.
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>> i'm so hurt. >> reporter: the incident starts calmly with the first officer telling campbell he's stopping her because she swerved into another lane. she refuses to sign the ticket. the encounter escalates. the third officer using strong language. >> shut the [ bleep ] up and get out of the car. >> reporter: as backup arrives, she's pulled out of the vehicle. then they restrain her. that third officer james leg was suspended. >> apparently lost his cool and temper and acted inappropriately, both with his words and with his actions. >> reporter: today leg resign resigned. in a letter he writes i feel i acted appropriately and the way i was trained but adds maybe i should not have used profanity. >> there is an old saying that says treat others like you want to be treated. that's the bottom line. >> reporter: tonight, campbell pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct as the
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department promises an internal investigation. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. coming up, just in time for mother's day, the list of the year's most popular baby names is out. and billionaire elon musk giving a sneak peek at something he says will revolutionize the way we travel. he's been called a rockstar lawyer. he tops the charts on progressive causes...
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winning pro bono battles for immigrants and the homeless.
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defending gay rights and gun control. democrat jeff bleich. after columbine, bleich led president clinton's youth violence initiative. with joe biden, bleich took on domestic violence. served president obama as special counsel and ambassador. maybe bleich can't pull off the rockstar look... but his progressive record is solid gold. new fallout from that firestorm over the arrest of those two black men at a philadelphia starbucks. tonight the company is telling all its employees to let anyone use the
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bathroom, even if they haven't bought anything. the move comes as starbucks reviews policies and does more damage control after the philly incident went viral last month. the new list of the top baby names is out and new parents still love little emma and little liam. those names top the list for last year according to the social security administration. rounding out the top five on the girl's side, olivia, ava, isabella and sofia. on the boy's side, noah, william, james and logan. and is this the answer to our traffic nightmares? billionaire elon musk posted video of the first tunnel being dug under l.a. as part of his proposed loop transportation system that would transport cars, cyclists at speeds of more than 120 miles an hour. musk says this nearly three-mile section is almost done and plans to offer free rides to the public soon. when we come back, the young baseball players in a league of their own here in durham. inspiring america is next.
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finally tonight, we've hustled across the street because it's college game night here in durham but this is actually the home of the durham bulls, made famous in the 1988 hollywood film but there is other ball fields in this area earning notoriety for making this sport accessible for kids who otherwise might have to watch from the sidelines. this might be the best play at the plate you'll ever see. >> i want to be on a team because it just feels good. >> i like running the bases, hitting the ball, and playing on the outfield. >> the miracle league gives everyone an opportunity to experience the joy of the game.
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like 7-year-old twins grayson and leyland thompson who both have autism. their mom cara drives an hour every saturday so they can play for the grasshoppers. >> they can come here and be completely themselves and they are accepted for who they are and nobody is judging them. >> instead, they are celebrated and supported. >> he's going to be safe at the plate. >> each kid is paired up with a buddy and the games are played on a rubberized field for kids in wheelchairs. nationwide, there are 300 miracle leagues. in raleigh alone, this there are 38 teams, more than 500 players, and 1,000 volunteers. demand so high, they raised $1.5 million to build a third state-of-the-art field in durham. benji capps first got involved more than a
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decade ago. when he signed up his son micah who has cerebral palsy. he was skeptical at first. >> played baseball my whole life, didn't really see how this would be any fun. >> he now runs the league. >> the smiles on their face and the joy they have, that's our goal. we just want to make sure they have a good time. >> game day is the highlight of kelton's week. when he's playing, he's focused on one thing. >> making my family proud. >> awe and you do make us proud. >> and that's what the miracle league is all about. one of the many great stories here in the triangle. that will wrap up our week on the road. it's been a tremendous week meeting people all across the country. big thanks to the folks here in durham and the triangle for coming out to our affiliate wral for their support and great welcome. i'm lester holt, for all of us, that's nbc news. have a good night and so long.
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>> reporter: i stood on this very street and reported about car break-ins. we know this is a very busy spot for tourists. if you look behind me, there's
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broken glass on the sidewalk right there. we asked the san francisco superior courts for a snap shot of how these car breaking cases got resolved will in 2017 and they spent months compiling that data. >> monday they just broke my rear window. >> reporter: people who live here -- even bombeding officers, all have been caught up in the cross hairs of the car break-in epidemic. auto repair shops say they're exhausted. >> a lot of employees are tired now because they don't get a break. >> reporter: nbc bay area requested a breakdown of the break-ins. the superior court granted our requests and dug up 417 cases. a little more than half ended with jail sentences and a sliver more in prison sentences totalling a 57% conviction r

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