tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC May 15, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
tomorrow, we'll warm back up once we hit this weekend. >> look at that saturday. >> thanks for joining us at 5:00. as a reminder, nightly news is next. >> we'll be back at 6:00, bye. developing news as we come on the air. breaking news out of north korea. why they are suddenly threatening to cancel the high stakes summit with president trump. violent storms and major threats of tornadoes. 45 million people in its path. a travel nightmare. new questions in what police call one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen. ten children rescued from their home. tonight their father is fighting back. >> i am not an animal. i'm not a torturer and i'm not a monster. >> reporter: his new interview from behind bars. chaos in the cockpit. the copilot nearly sucked out of a shattered windshield. late word from london. after twists and turns all day the father of the american princess bride now says he's
having heart surgery and won't attend the royal wedding. and remembering tom wolfe, the white suits, "the right stuff," "bonfire of the vanities." a literary legend is gone. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. to our viewers in the west. we begin with news out of north korea which may have thrown an unexpected wrench into the summit scheduled in singapore between kim jong-un and president trump. nbc's peter alexander starts us off with the latest. >> reporter: tonight, a momentary summit setback, or more? north korean state media reporting the north is threatening to back out of kim's joint meeting with president trump next month.
kim blasted military exercises. he canceled talks with south korea, notifying them by fax hours before a scheduled meeting where kim jong-un and south korea's president met last month. the announcement catching the president off guard. the pentagon confirming the long-planned exercises are routine. the state department insisting north korea hasn't notified the u.s. of any exchange. >> we will continue to go ahead and plan the meeting between president trump and kim jong-un. >> reporter: the north's dramatic shift in tone coming days after it released three american detainees and began dismantling a north korean test site, which was expected to be discussed one week from today. >> i can see this being part and parcel of north korea's cycle of this type of negotiation, they try to build up leverage
by engaging their opponents but making their opponents guess about what their next move will be. >> reporter: and tonight the president went to walter reed medical center to check on the first lady after kidney surgery. her office says she remains in good spirits. >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. one person is dead and multiple others injured. tonight investigators are on the scene, trying to determine the cause. nbc's jo ling kent now with the latest. >> reporter: a major explosion rocking this office building in orange county today. >> i have a car outside that looks like it has exploded. >> reporter: one person inside killed, according to police. three more transported to nearby hospitals for injuries. >> these two women came walking out of it and they were dripping blood and face full of ash, hair completely
singed. >> reporter: directly across the street, firefighters evacuating small children from a montessori day-care. >> i heard a big crash. i thought it was a garbage truck. >> reporter: police say no children were injured. they were reunited with terrified parents. >> we started crying, we were so happy all the kids are safe. >> reporter: law enforcement along with fbi and atf all on scene, investigating. >> we're still trying to figure out exactly what happened. >> reporter: as participants clutch their children tonight, relieved and holding tight. jo ling kent, nbc news, los angeles. now to severe weather watches and warnings including tornado and flash flood threats in the densely packed northeast tonight. a line of powerful storms has already knocked out power for thousands and has brought air travel to a crawl across the region. >> reporter: tonight storms slamming the midatlantic to new england bringing chaos to new york's grand central with thousands stranded as commuter
trains are suspended. the east coast seeing sheets of rain, vicious winds and lightning. with dangerous hail hitting connecticut. >> we have a tornado warning. >> reporter: and parts of new york and pennsylvania under tornado warnings. >> i'm jacob soboroff. moments ago residents received a tornado warning and instructions to take cover. the rain and wind are intensifying. we are seeing lightning, but people are still out on the streets. >> reporter: across the country, thousands of flights cancelled or delayed. >> planned on one day so we don't have anything with us. >> reporter: bradley international airport near hartford evacuating its air traffic control tower. hundreds of thousands of people in the east left without power. >> it's really like somebody flipped a switch. it went from a beautiful sunny day to this along the hudson river. a lot of people surprised by how quickly this is moving through. >> reporter: storms made a mess of much of the country over the past 24 hours. the nation's capital still cleaning up from the powerful storm that sparked this
house fire in maryland and left more than 1,000 in the dark. passengers at dulles airport rushed into a tunnel for safety monday evening as the storm passed. millions still bracing tonight as the storm now moves east. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, hastings on hudson, new york. new fallout from the deadly clashes between israeli forces and palestinians protesting the opening of the new u.s. embassy in jerusalem. the region is already on edge with new violence erupting today. nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel has more from gaza. >> reporter: in gaza, angry funerals today after health officials say israeli troops shot dead more than 60 palestinian protesters including six children monday when they tried to rush the israeli border. cameras catching them fall after being hit. today in gaza, israel seemed determined not to repeat the bloodshed, using an air campaign to keep protesters from ever reaching the border fence. drones hovered above the protesters, dropping small teargas bombs.
two loads per drone flying nonstop. you never knew when or where they would drop. >> turn around. >> reporter: these protests are not letting up. among palestinians there is no conviction that president trump is an arbiter for the peace process. as far as they are concerned the peace process is over. without hope for a negotiated peace, extremists have a free hand to fuel palestinian anger. the leader of hamas which runs the gaza strip arrived unannounced in a main demonstration. his militant supporters calling for rockets to fly toward israel. while u.n. human rights officials are criticizing israel for using lethal force against protesters, israel and the trump administration are blaming hamas for sparking the latest round of violence. >> no country in this
chamber would act with more restraint than israel has. >> reporter: that's not the feeling here in gaza now. they feel hopeless and ignored. there is no talk of a peace process now, not even talk of peace. lester? >> richard engel in gaza, thank you. now to the alleged house of horrors in northern california. tonight the father of ten children removed from the home is speaking out from behind bars. both he and his wife are facing several charges including felony child abuse. nbc's gadi schwartz has the latest. we want to warn you. some of the images are disturbing. >> reporter: tonight a man accused of torturing his children is defending himself from jail. >> they took my kids and they took my wife and now they took me. >> reporter: jonathan allen and his wife ina rogers accused of abusing and neglecting their ten children. >> i'm not perfect. no one is perfect. but i am not an animal. i am not a torturer and i am not a monster.
>> reporter: police found squalor and the grandmother said the kids told her they were tortured every day. >> he'd put duct tape on our eyes, lay us on the floor. tell us we couldn't move and if we did he would just pounce us and beat us all in the stomach. he said the demons were making him do it. >> reporter: wanda rojers didn't want to speak on camera. >> a black cloak is in the closet. >> reporter: but shared video from the home where she said she found a satanic book and a knife. these photos include a one and a half girl burned by scalding water. >> daddy burned her. he kept burning her and burning her. she screamed so loud she lost her voice. ♪ >> reporter: a very different picture portrayed on a youtube page called cute rascals go wild where they are coached through games laughing and asking people to subscribe. allen says the allegations are false and he does not worship the devil but does offer what he calls magical services. he and his wife say his mother in law brainwashed the children in a ploy for custody.
>> i want to tell them i love them. >> reporter: but police aren't buying it. they call it one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen. gadi schwartz, nbc news. >> a troubling story out of northern california. now to hawaii and yet another massive fissure that opened in the earth today spewing lava and life-threatening toxic gases. it's just the latest eruption to threaten neighborhoods there with fears that the biggest blast is yet to come. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer is in the air and on the ground on the big island. >> reporter: tonight kilauea making her fury known again. new plumes of smoke from the crater, ash falling. meantime, hissing from the ground. toxic gases that can kill in minutes. this is condition red. dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide. >> the wind can change at any time. of course if you are caught up in that,
there is no way to get out of it. >> reporter: tonight, new fountains of lava as the earth splits apart. from outer space, astronauts can see kilauea. what's so incredible from this perspective is how violent the eruptions have been. the geysers are shooting hundreds of feet into the air. now kilauea's crater is ready to blow. 38 years ago this week in washington state when mount st. helens blew, towns were buried in ash. now it could happen again on an island where they wait and worry. inside kilauea's crater just a few miles behind me, explosions are ongoing sending smoke and ash flying into the air. right now ash isn't falling on populated areas but all of that could change. this may be a preview of what's to come. lester? >> an ominous background on the big island. miguel, thanks. late word from london after a back and forth drama swirling around the
royal wedding of prince harry and american actress meghan markle. in the past 24 hours her father first pulled out of the wedding after it was revealed he took money from the paparazzi to stage photos. but earlier today he reportedly changed his mind and wanted to attend. now comes word of a medical emergency. we get the latest from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: tonight the question of who will walk meghan markle down the aisle remains unanswered. her father thomas markle telling tmz he's undergoing heart surgery wednesday morning after suffering a heart attack. >> he's been under a tremendous amount of stress amidst health challenges. >> reporter: it follows his surprise announcement to tmz monday that he was pulling out of the ceremony after it was revealed he had been paid for staged paparazzi photos. meanwhile, small quiet windsor is gearing up, including a massive and complex security operation. does the size of windsor complicate this operation to some
degree? >> it certainly creates a number of challenges for us. the width of the streets and the number of people we can get into windsor is much smaller than it is in london. >> reporter: with fears terrorists may use drones, new technology will be in place to spot them and bring them down. a denver-based company showed us a similar system used to disable over 1,000 drones in the middle east. >> they are able to jam all different frequencies so we are able to halt it in space, land it or crash it. >> reporter: at william and kate's wedding the crowd couldn't get close. in windsor the procession will come right up this narrow street. the spectators will effectively be able to reach right out into the road. prince harry and meghan will take an open air carriage. >> it's unprotected, not ballistically proof, it's not bulletproof, stab proof, nothing proof. >> reporter: the royal family wants open access for the public. officials are confident they can keep everyone safe in the process.
stephanie gosk, nbc news, windsor. tributes are pouring in for tom wolfe, the literary legend behind some of the most acclaimed works of the last half century. in his signature white suits he brought new journalism to the masses and earned legions of fans. he died yesterday in new york at the age of 88. nbc's cynthia mcfadden has a look back. >> reporter: tom wolfe held a mirror up to america for more than half a century. as both a journalist and a novelist. he liked to tackle big themes as as he did in "the right stuff," mythologizing the lives of the mercury astronauts made into a 1983. -- 1983 film. his runaway best selling novel "bonfire of the vanities" chronicled the clash between those of extreme wealth and those without it in new york city. he was an original. and a bit of an odd duck. each morning he told friends he would put on one of his
legendary three-piece white suits and sit at his typewriter until ten triple-spaced pages were written. why the white suits? >> it ends up creating a kind of personality. i don't really have to say much. >> reporter: william f. buckley, jr., wrote of wolfe, he is probably the most skillful writer in america. i mean by that, he can do more things with words than anyone else. tom wolfe would have liked that because it was true. the flame that lit a bonfire now spent. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, new york. there is more to come. still ahead, midair horror, the copilot nearly sucked out of a passenger plane cockpit at 32,000 feet. how he managed to survive. we'll be right back. he's been called a rockstar lawyer. he tops the charts on progressive causes...
winning pro bono battles for immigrants and the homeless. 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. a month after a southwest airline passenger died after being partly sucked out of an aircraft window, there is word tonight of another incident in which a
copilot on another airline was partially pulled out of his seat by a shattered window in the cockpit. the captain forced to make an emergency landing. here's tom costello. >> reporter: on the ground at the changdu airport, a sichuan airlines passenger airplane with part of the windshield blown out. the copilot treated at a local hospital for minor injuries after being partially sucked away from his controls. only his seat belt kept him inside. it happened when the airbus a-319 was at 32,000 feet. suddenly the co-pilot's windshield shattered. the plane depressurized. the temperature dropped to minus 40 as the pilot made an emergency descent. passengers described food flying, oxygen masks dropping, the sound of rushing air. flight attendants yelling at everyone to remain calm. within 20 minutes the captain had made a safe emergency landing. >> everybody breathe, we are okay.
>> reporter: the incident coming a month after southwest airline passenger jennifer reardon died after being partially sucked out of a boeing 737 window shattered when it was hit by shrapnel by an exploding engine. the incident in china appears to be completely unrelated. >> to have a window and then a windshield come out within a month of each other is just about unprecedented. >> reporter: the question for investigators in china, why did the windshield on this widely flown airbus plane suddenly explode? tom costello, nbc news, washington. we're back with more after this.
racial disparity in marijuana arrests. as the school year winds down, an eye opening look at the burdens teachers carry. 94% say they pay out of their own pocket for classroom supplies, according to a new education department study. an average of $480 a year. tens of thousands of teachers in recent months walked out of classrooms across the u.s. to protest low pay and budget cuts. and a touching moment in indiana when the 5-year-old son of a fallen police officer got quite the welcome back for his first day of school since tragedy struck. he asked if one of his dad's friends could take him to school on monday. when he arrived, some 70 officers were there to greet him. dakota's dad, officer rob pitts, was killed in the line of duty earlier this month. we're back with more right after this. racially?
cologn. plus, how technology is helping long time pot smokers erase their criminal record. next. the news at 6 starts right finally tonight, with music there are no limits. if you don't believe it, consider the story of the teenager you're about to meet. his passion for playing the piano has carried him above and beyond what others might consider physical limitations. his story and his music are inspiring america. ♪ >> reporter: darrius simmons taught himself how to play the piano at age 10. by 15 he performed at carnegie hall. now 17, darrius just composed his first song. ♪ >> i like to show people that i can do things that you think i may not be able to do. i think piano was a great way to show that. >> reporter: remarkably he's accomplished all of it with just four fingers. darrius was born with three on his right hand, one on his left.
>> i like the way the instrument sounds and the way people play it. i was like, i want to do that. they have ten fingers but i feel like i can make four work. >> reporter: darrius came up with his own technique for reaching all the keys and learning how to press the pedals with prosthetics. his legs amputated when he was a toddler. while darrius was at it, he picked up the trombone. >> i don't ever get discouraged. even when a part is too hard i just keep practicing until i learn how to play it. >> reporter: his mom said he was strong willed even as a little boy. >> you would hear him say, i can do it myself, i can do it myself. so i just let him go. >> reporter: now darrius has turned the determination to composing. after months of work -- ♪ >> reporter: -- he debuted his first song on his facebook page. it struck a chord quickly racking up 4 million views. >> i'm just glad i inspired people and made somebody's day. that's all i wanted to do. share my great music
with everybody and put a smile on people's faces. >> you go, darrius. we appreciate your spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. now: thanks for joining us. i )m jessica aguirre. and i )m raj mathai. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, and thanks for joining us, i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. a south bay woman says macy's employees at the oak ridge mall wrongly accused her of shoplifting simply because of the color of her skin. marianne favro joins us with this exclusive story. >> reporter: the incident happened last tuesday here at this macy ea's. a sales associate told her
something that convinced her she'd been profiled. she says on may 8th while shopping at this macy's store, a sales associate accused her of stealing this bottle of cologne. moore, who teaches autistic children says the associate searched her purse and took off her jacket without permission. when the salesperson didn't find any cologne, she made a comment. >> she said people like you have been stealing, they've been coming in and stealing stuff. >> reporter: we reached out to customers which says its customer bill of rights prohibits profiling. and they say they apologize. the situation is under investigation and is being reviewed. macy's is a company that values acceptance, respect and integrity and does not tolerate discrimination of any type. moore s