tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 21, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
lester holt joins us next with nightly news. >> see you at 6:00, bye. tonight, chaos and confusion with thousands of families still separated and few clear answers about how this crisis will be resolved. all of it as melania trump makes a surprise visit to the border where migrant children are being held. >> and i'd also like to ask you how i can help to these children to reunite with their families. >> the first lady also raising eyebrows with the words emblazoned on her jacket. the state of emergency, a ferocious flood disaster going from bad to worse. an unarmed teenager running away after a traffic stop, shot to death by a police officer. tonight outrage, protests and a lot of people demanding answers. the price you pay for stuff you buy on the web, why online shopping is about to
get more expensive. the fbi warning about an alarming increase in sexual assaults on airplanes. and we're with the creative genius who revolutionized hollywood. tonight how that movie magic came to life. announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening and welcome to our viewers in the west. first lady melania trump traveled to the texas/mexico border today to see for herself what is being done for migrant children. caught up in her husband's immigration crackdown. her visit to a shelter in mcallen, texas,ntrol after president trump was backed into a political corner and yesterday ordered an end to the family separation policy he had supported, but left unanswered by his order is what to do uning thousaand children already separated. tonight, from the agencies charged with enforcing the
crackdown, mixed messages and apparent confusion. our gabe gutierrez is in south texas and has details. >> reporter: in a surprise visit to water-logged texas, the first lady waded into the controversy that has drawn worldwide outrage. >> i'd also like to ask you how i can help to these children to reunite with their families as quickly as possible. >> reporter: she visited a children's shelter which houses 55 kids, mostly teenagers, six of them separated from their parents. >> these children most of them come here alone without parents -- >> the majority of our children -- >> reporter: the department of health and human services says about 10,000 of the almost 12,000 children now in its care are unaccompanied minors, most are teenagers and 13% are younger than 10. the first lady's visit came a day after president trump signed an executive order to cease the separation of migrant families at the border, saying his wife's advice was key to his decision. >> my wife feels very strongly about it. >> reporter: last
weekend she said, we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also, a country that governs with heart. but tonight, more than 2,300 children separated from their parents under limbo. there are mounting questions about how they'll be reunited and growing confusion within the government. today a u.s. attorney's office in texas told nbc news some pending criminal cases against parents separated from a child would be dismissed but the justice department later saying that's not true. the defense department now sending extra military lawyers to help prosecute cases. how overwhelmed is the immigration system in south texas right now? >> there are not enough resources to do what the government wants to do right now. >> reporter: today mayors from major u.s. cities gathered at the border calling this a humanitarian crisis. >> the reason that those children cannot be reunified is because the system is overwhelmed by this policy. >> reporter: despite repeated requests, our cameras haven't been
allowed inside migrant children shelters around the country but new images released by hhs show living conditions inside facilities in florida and virginia. kids doing homework, eating meals at cafeteria style tables and playing soccer. for the youngest there are cribs, high chairs and small beds with brightly colored linens. the pentagon is now preparing to house as many as 20,000 migrant children on military bases, and tonight, the justice department has agreed to release a child separated from his mother from guatemala after he sued in federal court. lester? >> gabe gutierrez, in mcallen, texas, thank you. now to those still unanswered questions about what comes next for these children, first and foremost how and when will they be reunited with their parents? while the president may have backed down on separating them, he made it clear today the political battle is far from over. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker has the story. >> reporter: a soft touch with the first >> i want to thank you for your hard work. >> reporter: but a hard line on immigration from the
president himself. >> they're the worst immigration laws in the history of the world. >> reporter: a day after the president retreated on the issue of separating families, there's still no public plan in place to reunite those roughly 2,300 children with their parents. dhs secretary kirstjen nielsen on capitol hill unable to answer basic questions about their fate. >> what happens to the kids now they've been separated from their parents? >> we're implementing it. >> reporter: president trump defended his zero-tolerance policy which is still enact requiring all adults who cross the border illegally to face prosecution. >> if we took zero tolerance away, you would be overrun -- you'd have millions of people pouring through our border. >> reporter: today extending an invitation to democrats to come to the white house and work on an immigration deal while lashing out at the same time. >> they don't care about the children, they don't care about the injury, they don't
care about the problems, they don't care about anything. >> reporter: and taking fresh aim at mexico blaming them for the influx of immigrants from south central america. >> they walk through mexico like it's walking through central park. >> reporter: tonight there is new fallout. in an interview with the christian broadcast network, attorney general jeff sessions acknowledging the political damage. >> it hasn't been good and the american people don't like the idea that we're separating families. >> reporter: on capitol hill, protesters wrapped in thermal blankets imtatding the images from the border demanded action has the bill failed on the house floor with another bill on life support postponed until next week. tonight the first lady is facing scrutiny for the jacket she wore today. the back of it reads, i really don't care, do you? her spokesperson saying it's just a jacket. there's no hidden message but the president tweeting tonight it refers to the fake news media. melania has learned how dishonest they are
and she truly no longer cares. lester? >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. one of the most heart-wrenching parts of this story is the audiotape of detained children crying out for their families. tonight our chief foreign correspondent richard angle has traveled to central america where he found a grandmother who heard her granddaughter's voice on that tape. now she's waiting on edge for any news of what happened to her. richard has the story from el salvador. >> reporter: tonight, anna enriquez is worrying about the fate of her family. separated and detained in the united states. she says this is her 6-year-old granddaughter heard on audio pleading with u.s. bordent wr 's in the united states. >> translator: i feel helpless, she says. it's hard to hear someone you love suffering. >> reporter: anna's granddaughter alisyn made the dangerous trek up through central america to the united
states with her mother, but 16 days ago they were detained while trying to cross the border illegally. why are so many families with children risking everything to leave el salvador? we can't even go out at night, she says. this country is torn apart by gang violence. this neighborhood where this family lives is considered one of the most dangerous. the homicide rate in el salvador is 15 times higher than in the u.s., sometimes people here just disappear. el salvador is gripped by a war between two gangs, the notoriously brutal the ms-13 and another gang called the 18th street. anna worries about her family facing possible deportation back here. my daughter is young. i'm worried the gangs will set their eyes on her, her life is in danger, she says. tonight, as far as the family knows, 6-year-old allison is still held in u.s. federal custody. her mother still held separately. no one here knows how or when little allison
will be reunited with her mother. lester? >> richard engel in el salvador, thank you. we'll take a turn now to the protests erupting in the streets of pittsburgh after police officer shot and killed an unarmed high school student in a neighboring community when he allegedly fled on foot during a traffic stop. the deadly shooting was caught on camera. nbc's ron mott has the story. we want to warn you some of these images are disturbing. >> so no justice, no peace! >> reporter: tonight, calls for justice for antoine rose. >> why they shooting at him? all he did was run and they're shooting at him. >> reporter: cell phone video showing the 17-year-old black nnpittsburgh police after running from a traffic stop, shot three times. protesters rallied outside the county courthouse, the county leading the investigation into what happened. donna giles came with her 18-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter. >> they didn't have to shoot him in his back. >> that could have been my brother or my
friend. like, anybody that i know. >> reporter: police have not identified the officer who opened fire on rose and another male as they were fleeing. now revealing that officer had been sworn in just hours before the deadly shooting although he had been an officer in other departments. the officer now on leave. >> is the officer white? >> i don't understand what that had has to do with the situation here. >> reporter: authorities stopped the car in which rose was a passenger because it matched the description of a vehicle involved in a drive-by shooting minutes earlier. police say two guns were found in the car on the floor but rose was unarmed when he was shot. tonight protesters demanding answers. s and that is what we onig the borough of east pittsburgh issued a family, the officer who shot and killed him is on leave and the investigation being led by allegheny county is
ongoing tonight, lester. >> thank you. now to your money and the price you pay to buy things on the internet. it's the way more and more people shop, of course, own for many it's about to get more expensive. our business correspondent jo ling kent explains. >> reporter: tonight your online shopping may get more expensive. the supreme court ruling that internet retailers can be required to collect state sales tax in online transactions. so what does this mean for you? medium-sized businesses are expected to be hit the hardest, meaning you could get charged for sales tax because they have to change the way they do business. colleen raft owns a that's like putting me on the same level t afrd it. have multiple locations and in-house legal and in-house accounting firms. >> reporter: but the court disagrees. justice anthony kennedy writing in the majority opinion, there is nothing unfair about requiring companies to bear an equal share of the burden of tax collection. if you shop at major online retailers like amazon, you're already paying online sales
tax nationwide, but if you buy from a small, individual seller, you probably won't pay more. that's because the court ruled in favor of a south dakota law that does not require online sales tax to be charged if the retailer sells less than $100,000 of products a year. ultimately, this decision could mean you pay more the next time you shop online and mean a big payday for state governments. the court says states recoup up to $33 billionry year. jo ling kent, nbc news. let's take a turn back to the border now and south texas. a state of emergency, a flash flood disaster forced people from their homes and elsewhere across the country. ann thompson has the latest. >> reporter: >> reporter: sunk in the flash floods unleashing a tide of emotion. >> you worked so hard for what you have and it's gone.
>> reporter: rain falling in two to three inches an hour, putting the precious belongings in the car. >> i have nowhere to go. >> reporter: an army of one rescuing strangers. >> we wanted to make sure we could go through the neighborhoods and help as many people as we could. >> reporter: while the texas national guard airlifts people to safety, everyone and everything desperate for a dry spot. 1,700 miles to the north and east near pittsburgh -- >> this is the trolley stop. >> reporter: another storm system inundating bethel park. powerful floods with tragic consequences. 64-year-old wendy abbott killed when the waters swept her away. while in montana, two chinook helicopters rescued bible school campers surrounded by washed out roads. back in south texas a brutal heat wave will follow the rains. tomorrow, forecasters say it will feel like 108 degrees. unbearable conditions to recover from a
disastrous flood. ann thompson, nbc news. there is late world tonight, pulitzer winning author conservative commentator charles krauthammer has died. "the washington post" called haim intellectual provocateur and a familiar presence on fox news. krauthammer was paralyzed below the neck in a diving accident as a young man and graduated from harvard and practiced psychiatry. he disclosed to the public just weeks ago a terminal cancer diagnosis. charles krauthammer was just 68 years old. the new fbi warning, sexual assaults board planes are soaring. what to watch out for and how to protect yourself when you fly. also, it's summertime and the box office wars are heating up. the largest movie theater chain unveiling a blockbuster bargain to lure you in.
tonight, the fbi is warning about what it calls an alarming increase in sexual assault cases on passenger planes. a federal crime yet because many passengers are reluctant to file a report, police say the real number of assaults could be much higher. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it happened on a red eye from lax to chicago. dana la rue fell asleep then awoke as a fellow passenger was assaulting her. >> one of his hands was feeling around on my chest and moving down toward my belt and the other one was high up on the inner thigh. >> reporter: the fbi says she's part of an alarming trend. from 2014 to 2017 the number of federal sexual assault investigations jumped 66% but investigators say many cases go unreported because victims are reluctant to speak up on a >> many of the victims are seated in middle or window seats, are covered by a blanket or jacket and often times are asleep. >> reporter: the fbi says it happenmovernht fls,victim has taken a sleeping pill. one in five flight attendants reports
being aware of an assault, even assaulted themselves. sarah nelson was attacked while flying as a passenger asleep at the window. >> this person who was attacking me was right there over me. i was afraid that if i spoke up right then it was going to cause the attack to become more violent. >> reporter: police say alcohol is often a factor. now a new fbi public awareness campaign urging victims and witnesses to immediately push the call button for help and call for police on the ground. if passengers deplane before police arrive, it can be very difficult to apprehend a suspect or find witnesses who have scattered through an airport to connecting flights. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we'll take another break here. when we come back, making history, the world leader celebrating something that hasn't happened in decades. and the headline tonight about one of the world's most famous animals, beloved by millions.
some sad news to tell you about tonight. koko the gorilla who amazed the world by mastering sign language has died at a nature preserve in california. she was 46 years old. beloved by millions, koko had a vocabulary layer of a thousand words and was known for her great affection for kittens. she was a big star paling around with leonardo dicaprio. it's a girl for new zealand prime minister. we have been following her story as she's just the second elected world leader to give birth while holding office. she plans to take six weeks of maternity leave before returning to work. in the meantime the deputy prime minister has taken over, still no word on the baby's name. and with summer blockbuster season in high gear, the nation's largest movie theater chain, amc, is launching a service that let's you see three movies a week for 20 bucks a month. it's a direct shot at movie pass which gives you a movie a day for ten bucks a month but doesn't include options that amc
the vandal behind this immigration message reveals why it had to be done. plus, a noose, hanging dolls, and messages of hate. the torment 3 men say they endured on a high profile construction site. next. finally this evening, our spotlight shining tonight on the computer magic that makes movies bigger than life. 25 years ago in a film called "jurassic park" hit theaters dinosaurs were brought to life in ways audiences had never seen before. now as the latest installment of the franchise is about to premier, i visited one of the old jurassic sets to meet the man who took motion pictures to another age. >> welcome to jurassic park.
>> reporter: 25 years ago, they roared to life terrifying movie goers while also leaving them in awe. >> when you think of where you were 25 years ago, the latest film, can you describe the technological leaps that have occurred in that quarter century? >> things are faster better and look more realistic. >> reporter: dennis muren is the king of special effects, one of many behind the magic. he has won nine academy awards for his work. how did hollywood though react to this technology and seeing the way you made these dinosaurs came to life? >> when the movie came out they sort of went crazy. >> reporter: that technology, cgi, computer generated imagery, did you have to sell the concept to the producers? >> we had to prove to ourselves we could do it. we tested for about four months or so. steven saw it.
everyone saw it and said this is it. we've got to do it this way. originally it was going to be stop motion animation which you've seen in the old king kong. >> reporter: as movie goers now, we go to films now we don't know what's real and what's not. how do you feel the way cgi is used now? >> it's as big as your imagination. for story tellers, directors and writers, it's got to be an exciting thing and it always -- because they can start telling stories better than before. >> reporter: it's almost a big a change as to when you added audio to the movies. jurassic is now a billion dollars franchise, theme park rides, toys, and more. >> i think the reason it's still around 25 years later is originally steven spielberg made a great movie with great characters and great visuals that took you to another place. >> even then it looked pretty real. we should note that jurassic park is produced by universal pictures, part of the nbc universal family. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us.
that is "nightly news" for this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. now: good evening thanks for joining us. i )m janelle wang, in for jessia aguirre. and i )m raj mathai. the news at 6:00 starts right now. >> this politically-charged environment, a freeway billboard is a forum for activist and could lead to criminal charges. the billboard at i-80 was vandalized and tweaked to make it say "we make kids disappear", i.c.e. and we have the details and the police response. >> reporter: the owner of the build board, clear channel, quickly took down that political message today. but according to the emeryville police department, the owner has not yet filed a police report,
so there is no investigation. the department says vandalism is a crime but the group responsible says that crime is petty, and it's much less serious than trump's policy of separating families. you wouldn't know just by looking at it now, but this morning, this billboard had been altered to blast president trump. more specifically, his zero-tolerance immigration policy and the separation of refugee families. >> in a matter of hours, we had the materials procured, the concept and it was done, photographed and released to the media. >> reporter: that's the voice of a man who says he's a member of the act collective called "in decline." they're claiming responsibility for vandalizing the billboard. they showed this pre-produced vi