tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 20, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
saturday. we'll take a look at all the events at 6:19. >> longest day of the ye right? >> longest daylight of the year. tonight, president trump backs down. reversing his policy that separated migrant children from their parents. >> we're going to keep the families together. i didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. >> an uncharacteristic retreat under intense national pressure but what now? how will so many families torn far apart be reunited?cue the racetrack. a crash at nearly 100 miles an hour, a father rushing to pull his son from an inferno. a cardinal accused. once one of the most powerful figures in the catholic church tonight suspended after allegation of abuse. a dramatic kidnapping escape caught on camera. a jogger grabbed in broad
daylight. >> this is not how my story ends. this is not -- i am not going to let this happen. >> tonight how she fought back and broke free from the clutches of her attacker. announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening and welcome to our viewers in the west. in a rare political he treat, president trump today ordered an end to the policy of separating migrant families who enter the country illegally. exercising a power he claimed only a few days ago that he didn't have, the president signed an executive order that he says will maintain zero tolerance at the border while allowing families to remain together. the president was feeling increasingly isolated over the policy including within his own party. but tonight there is confusion about what happens now. let's starou nbc's kristen welker. >> we're signing an executive order. >> reporter: tonight under a mountain of pressure a stunning reversal by the president with the stroke of a pen after saying for days only congress could do
it. >> it's about keeping families together while at the same time being sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border. >> reporter: the executive order keeps parents and children together while the adults await immigration hearings and instructs the military to build new facilities to house those families. the plan doesn't end the president's zero-tolerance policy which requires everyone who crosses the border illegally to face prosecution. >> the borders just as tough but we do want to keep families together. >> reporter: but acknowledging the dilemma. >> if you're really, millions of people, and if going to be overrun with you're strong, then you don't have any heart. that's a tough dilemma. >> reporter: still it is an undeniable shift after the president and his top officials argued for days -- >> you can't do through an executive order. >> congress and the courts created this problem and congress alone can fix it.
>> reporter: the president was under fire politically and personally with his daughter and the first lady expressing concerns over the images of children in private conversations, sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news. >> ivanka feels very strongly, my wife feels very strongly about it. i feel very strongly about it. i think anybody with a heart would feel very strongly about it. we don't like to see families separated. >> reporter: the personal appeals capping days of political turmoil. on sunday images surfaced of kids in cage-like structures. by monday the world heard the horrifying sounds. children crying just separated from their families. tuesday the presidtw warning against an infestation of illegal immigrants. >> when you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally which should happen, you have to take the children away. >> reporter: the bipartisan calls grew louder on capitol hill. >> the white house couldnge it in five minutes and they should.
>> we know the depths this administration will go to now to push their hateful agenda. >> reporter: allies slammed the president. >> the pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. this is wrong. >> reporter: the pope labeling it immoral, adding fuel to the fire overnight protesters heckled the department of homeland security secretary. the public face of the zero-tolerance policy while she dined at a mexican restaurant. >> shame! >> reporter: now the hard part, congress still wrestling with a long-term solution on immigration and what to do with all those children. >> reporter: late tonight we hear they haven't heard any way to deal with the 23,000 children detained and separated from their parents. bottom line, there are no current plans to reunite the children from those parents who may be awaiting hearings.
tomorrow congress will consider two bills. >> thank you. while there is significant support for the president's reversal, there is also scepticism tonight. reuniting these families is much easier said than done. gabe gutierrez is in south texas with the unanswered questions. >> enough is enough. >> reporter: after protests erupted around the country. >> we will not be silenced. we're ready to fight. >> reporter: the president's executive order today left border towns with a central question, what now? >> what we're seeing right now is a self-created humanitarian crisis by the federal government. least 17 states. sits in a federal prison near seattle while her 8-year-old son is in a children's home in upstate new york. the good-bye was agonizing. [ speaking in foreign language ]
>> reporter: he just started crying and he look at me and says, don't leave me, mom, she says. >> a number of kids have come with lice, have come with bedbugs, with chicken pox. >> reporter: others have been flown to michigan and california, a complex web regarding multiple government agencies. critics say untangling it will be a logistical nightmare. those charged with illegal entry are given a flyers but jodie goodwin says the process will be difficult. >> the children don't have the capacity to even maybe tell them their parents full name. so being able to identify the parents through the children is something that's impossible. >> reporter: donna abbott works in michigan caring for 81 children separated from their parents at the border. >> we're seeing some where between two weeks to a month for us to make contact with the parent and begin to setup contact with the child. >> reporter: cameras have not
been allowed inside so-called tender age shelters like this one that advocates say the facilities house crying toddlers. in all more than 2,300 kids have been separated from their parents since the zero-tolerance policy was announced last month. some housed in this tent city. according to an official with the department of health and human services, those tents cost $775 per person per night. almost three times the price to house them in more permanent shelters with their families. tonight in this shelter in texas, families are huddled together as their immigration cases are decided now hoping they'll at least stay together while they wait. a former congressman who toured another facility, the so-called tender age shelter, some children even toddlers have been separated from heir relatives. there is a huge amount of uncertainty about how those youngest children will be reunited with their family members. lester? >> thank you.
despite the executive order, there is a catch having to do with how long children can be held in the federal detention centers with their parents. jacob soboroff has been looking into that and joins us from texas tonight. jacob, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. we do not know how long these families will be detained together. what we do know is children that were held alone in facilities like this will now be housed with their parents. historically the length of those family detentions could be up to 20 days long. we expect that to be challenged in court and when that happens those detentions could stretch on for months on end if not indefinitely pending the outcome of immigration proceedings. one other thing we don't know tonight is where those detentions will take place. more unanswered questions tonight, lester. >> thank you. the immigratcr> ashat battle pl there is also a flood emergency plaguing parts of soh xa the coast is inundated with water following rains breaking records in some places leaving people trapped. kerry sanders reports tonight from south texas.
>> reporter: more than a foot of rain triggering flash floods, submerging vast areas along interstate 2 from mccallum to mercedes, texas. >> we woke up it was around 3:00 in the morning and we saw outside and everything was flooding, everything. >> reporter: 85-year-old francisco ramirez, a long time resident says she's never seen it like this. >> just raining, raining. it can't keep on coming. i'm scared. >> reporter: you're in good hands now. thank you. overwhelmed first responders getting a helping hand from volunteers. these good samaritans taking this man who can't walk to high ground. in some cases the water's so deep military trucks had to back up to find a different route out. juanita gomez asleep as the floodwaters quietly began to rise.
>> when i woke up this morning at 8:00 i stepped in the water. >> reporter: right out of your bed into water? >> yeah, yeah. >> reporter: roads given out, creating sink holes. because of flood like this is so rare, most homeowners say they have no flood insurance. experts say the long-term drought and the sun baked soil compounded the impact of the flood. and this misery will likely continue. forecasters say the threat of more flash floods will continue through the night. lester? >> thank you. now to that cardinal accused. he was once the most powerful voices in the american catholic church. the former archbishop of washington, now the first u.s. cardinal suspended by the vatican after an allegation of sexual abuse on a minor. it's another sad turn in the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the church. we get more from nbc's ann thompson. >> the world is in crisis.
>> reporter: tonight suspended from his public priestly duties after an allegation he abused a teenager in new york 47 years ago was found to be credible and substantiated. he would go on to lead archdiocese in new york and washington. do families in those archdiocese have a reason to be worried? >> i don't think so. we have absolutely no evidence that there was any other impropriety with a minor. >> reporter: however, the newark archdiocese revealed today there were two settlements of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago. >> this case raises more questions than it answers. how long has the catholic church known that cardinal mccarrett was involved in sexual misconduct. >> reporter: in a statement today, now retired, he maintained his innocence saying he has absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse, but apologized for the pain his accuser has gone through.
he counseled presidents and popes and talked about the priest's sex abuse scandal on "meet the press". >> do you believe there'a special place in hell for men who represent christ on earth and abuse their flock? >> there is certainly a terrible judgment on someone who would abuse the trust that a priest must have, that a priest does have. >> reporter: a judgment now facing this prince of the church. ann thompson, nbc news, new york. kim jong-un was once again on the world stage today wrapping up a two day visit to china after last week's summit with president trump, the north korean dictator met with china's leader, meanwhile, north korea is reportedly expected to return the remains of up to 200 american service members from the korear, sothing president trump requested at last week's summit. now to a dramatic rescue caught on camera in virginia. burning car in the middle of a racetrack as hundreds watched from the stands. the car exploded into flames, on to the track toe his n. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer has their story.
>> reporter: mike jones was behind the wheel of car 39 on virginia's south boston speedway when he spun out of control. after smashing into the wall at nearly 100 miles an hour, the stock car burst into flames. >> it's a driver's worst nightmare for sure. once i saw the flames, it was just get out as quick as i could. >> reporter: just seconds after coming to a stop, dean jones says he did what any dad would do. >> i just had a single focus, get my son out of that burning car. nothing else mattered. >> reporter: jumping the pit wall, running to his son's burning car and pulling him from the wreckage as flames exploded around them. >> when i saw the flames, nothing was going to stop me from getting to his car. >> reporter: the father and son duo have always shared a lifelong love of racing, dean jones's is mike's pit crew chief, the dad making this save on fathers day weekend. >> the feeling that i felt when i pulled him out the car was
just a sense of relief that my son was alive and it's really hard to put in words. >> reporter: tonight, mike jones is ready to get back in the driver's seat knowing dad is just a pit stop away. miguel almaguer, nbc news. >> what a heart stopping moment that was. still ahead tonight, it could have been a brutal attack on a woman out for a jog. how she was able to fight off her attacker? the deadly crash and fire on a well-known bridge near washington and the rescue of workers who became trapped.
nbc blake mccoy has more. >> reporter: tonight, a massachusetts jogger attacked in broad daylight now sharing her story asking us to conceal her identity. >> i just kind of remember this is not how my story ends. this is not -- i am not going to let this happen. >> reporter: watch as a man stopped his car in front of her, gets out and begins groping her, pulling her arms. an attempted abduction. >> i knew of all the things the most important thing was not to allow him to get me into that vehicle. >> reporter: in that moment, this jogger became a fighter, kicking and screaming fending off her attacker. she praises an elderly neighbor who rushes to help. >> what was he going to do. he was going to figure it out. >> reporter: as the attacker took off, she then had the presence of mind to take a photo of his license plate. >> and that good information right at the scene was instrumental. >> reporter: the suspect
57-year-old gordon lions a convicted rapist hiding behind a sheet during his hospital arraignment pleading not guilty to kidnapping and assault charges. >> there was one person that tried to hurt me and there are so many people that day and subsequent days that have tried to help me. >> reporter: this victim determined to be anything but. blake mccoy, nbc news. >> we'll take a short break. it's just the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for recreational use. we'll tell you where. the brand-new stamps being unveiled and why they may add a whole new dimension to your mail.
on the woodrow wilson bridge as a tractor-trailer slammed into highway maintenance trucks. a tanker and three other vehicles engulfed in flames. underneath the bridge, three highway workers were left hanging over the river. they were stranded in a bucket at the end of a boom. police boats had to come to their rescue. recreational weed will soon be legal to the north of us. canada's senate cleared the way making canada the first advanced industrialized nation to legalize marijuana nationwide. it goes into effect on october 17th. it's a first for the u.s. postal service which rolled out a collection of scratch and sniff stamps. just in time for summer, the theme is froze entreats. there are ten different stamp designs. they were created by an artist in santa monica, california, giving ordinary postage something extra. when we come back, those who serve. the doctor who found a way to continue his mission despite the biggest challenge of his life. chaos.
video shows an officer repeatedly punching a man. why the police department is defending this use of force. plus, she made it on a plane with a weapon in her purse. the security breach at sfo. next. finally tonight we meet a young man who dedicated his life to medicine, healing others in the midst of their greatest emergencies until one day he a tragic turn about that gifted him with a new outlook toward his work and patients. his story tonight in those who serve. >> reporter: it was the final ride of a mountain biking trip when emergency room physician daniel grossman came face-to-face with the one trauma he wasn't prepared for. >> i went up a little hill. that's the only thing i remember. >> reporter: the next thing he knew he was on the ground. >> i could see he wasn't getting up, he wasn't moving. >> reporter: chopper to the nearest hospital he got a look at his own scan.
it was catastrophic, one of his vertebrae was shattered causing irreparable damage to his spinal cord. he knew he would never walk again. >> it was devastating to hear that. literally one second to the next life is turned upside down. >> reporter: but here's the thing about daniel, he's not the type of guy to let a wheelchair stop him in his tracks. he pushed himself, learned to live independently and in just six months went back to work in the mayo clinic er. >> hi, there. i'm dr. grossman. i'm one of the supervising doctors today. >> reporter: daniel says being in a wheelchair makes him a better doctor. >> i'm 6'5" i used to tower above patients and i would often forget to sit down now i have no choice. i have to sit. i have to hold their hand. >> reporter: that connection to his patients inspiring him to push forward with his own life.
>> i'm smiling all the time because i could have been dead and instead, i get to practice medicine, i get to influence the lives of others and it's an incredible feeling. >> reporter: putting life into perspective. at the end of our broadcast tomorrow night, our spotlight on jurassic park and the amazing technological advancements since its debut 25 years ago. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is nightly news for this wednesday night. i'm lester nbc news, thank
now: good evening and thanks for joining us. i the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. a change of heart leads to a change in policy. after days after pressure and international outcry, president trump reverses his administration's policy on separating children from their parents at the border. this afternoon, the president signed an executive order to keep families together when they crossed the southern border illegally. many members of congress on both sides of the aisle said the president had the power all along to stop the separation. the president maintains that a zero tolerance policy remains in place, but that children will now stay with their migrant parents. the big question tonight is, what happens to the more than 2,000 children already separated from their parents? so far the government says there is no plan in place. activists from the east bay boarded buses to head to sacramento today to protest the trump administration's immigration policies. inside the federal courthouse,
the judge heard arguments in the department of justice's lawsuit against the state of california's sanctuary law. over 100 immigrant activists denounced the separation of families at the border outside. also there, about a dozen of president trump's supporters who say the white house shouldn't continue its policy and keep people out of the immigration and make sure boarders are cracking down on immigration. demonstratoring s later reacted. >> he may have announced that he's going to end the separation of families, so he can look like a hero. but i'll believe it when i see