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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 24, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> they do. >> thanks for joining us at 5:00. nightly news is next. enjoy this sunset. >> ooh. >> see you at 6:00. breaking news tonight. there's word of a possible deal in the works that would end the government shutdown. we have late details just coming out of the capitol. and president trump late today weighing in, all of it as the president's commerce secretary, a self-proclaimed billionaire, under fire for this tone-deaf response when told that federal workers are going to food banks to feed their milies. >> well, i know they are, and i don't really quite understand why. >> wilbur ross suggesting they take out a loan. tonight the nation's air traffic controllers working without pay, warning the added stress is creating an urgent safety risk in the the mystery after the bank massacre. five women shot and killed execution-style. horrific details emerging from inside that bank. shocking photos
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emerge. a lawmaker resigns in disgrace. pictures of him in blackface with the words "katrina survivor" written on his shirt. a measles outbreak now so serious officials have declared a public health emergency. stepped-up security at sundance. on edge over a controversial new documentary set to premiere about michael jackson. what will it reveal? and a big change. the drugstore aisle, a first of its kind move by cvs, letting you in on beauty secrets some companies might not want you to know. good evening, everyone. breaking as we come on the air tonight, a sudden flurry of activity on capitol hill right now where senate leaders have been meeting, discussing a way to end their border wall impasse. and perhaps reopen the government. the president himself going before the cameras a short time ago reiterating his demand for the wall, but perhaps opening
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the door for a temporary solution. let's get right to nbc's kasie hunt on the hill. what do we know right now? >> reporter: lester, good evening. tonight lawmakers are doing something they haven't in weeks, they are talking, trying to negotiate an end to this government shutdown. at the center of it are mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer. mcconnell actually invited schumer to a meeting in his office late this afternoon after competing proposals to open the government failed on the senate floor. our sources are suggesting that this could be a temporary three-week reopening while they try to negotiate around border security. the president has said that he wants a down payment on the border wall. house speaker nancy pelosi, as she left the capitol this evening, saying stay tuned. what we don't know right now is how serious these negotiations are, or how quickly they could reopen the government. lester? >> all right, kasie, thank you. let's go to the white house where president trump spoke just a short time ago about the possible shutdown deal in the
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works. this comes on the eve of another missed paycheck for a lot of government workers and amid controversy over some insensitive comments from a member of the president's cabinet. peter alexander is at the white house right now. peter, what are you learning? >> reporter: hey, lester, good evening. tonight the president is opening the door to a deal to end this shutdown, but he's putting the ball in the hands of senate leaders. it's a noticeable change in tone, making clear that he'll consider what they come up with. president trump tonight signaling an openness to a bipartisan deal if one's reached. >> if they come to a reasonable agreement, i would support it, yeah. >> reporter: the president insisting he wants a down payment for his border wall, and if that funding's not included -- >> i wouldn't be happy with it, i wouldn't be happy, but we have a lot of alternatives. >> reporter: house speaker nancy pelosi balking at the president's terms. >> that is not a reasonable agreement between the senators. >> reporter: the new urgency after dueling senate bills, one with border wall funding, one without, were defeated. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> reporter: frustration boiling over.
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>> how ludicrous it is that this government is shut down over a promise the president of the united states couldn't keep. >> reporter: tomorrow, 800,000 federal workers will miss a second paycheck. >> well, remember this, they are eventually going to be paid. >> reporter: commerce secretary wilbur ross, self-proclaimed billionaire, under fire after suggesting federal employees take out loans to bridge the gap until they get back pay. there are reports there are some federal workers who are going to homeless shelters to get food. >> well, i know they are. and i don't really quite understand why. >> reporter: democrats pouncing. >> he doesn't understand why they have to do that. i don't know, is this the let them eat cake kind of attitude? or call your father for money? >> reporter: ross later doing damage control. >> we're aware, painfully aware, that there are hardships he individual workers. >> reporter: late tonight the president saying businesses are helping those in need.
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>> i do understand that perhaps you should have said it differently. local people know who they are. when they go for groceries and everything else. i think what wilbur was probably trying to say is that they will work along. i know banks are working along. >> reporter: many americans waiting for relief with the government still stalled. peter alexander, nbc news, the white house. delta 2139 -- >> reporter: this is tom costello. at any given moment, 5,000 planes are in u.s. air space. air traffic controllers keeping them all safely separated. but after a month without paychecks, some faa staffers, including controllers, are turning to food banks. and responding to trump commerce secretary wilbur ross, who suggested they should just take out loans. >> i wasn't behind on my bills until the shutdown. why should i have to take out a loan for something that was not even my fault? let me get back to work. >> reporter: now the
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air traffic controllers union is warning that additional stress is creating a safety risk. with many controllers waiting tables or driving for uber after their normal 10-hour, six day a week job. already some controllers have resigned, citing failure to provide wages, failure to provide compensation for travel, undue stress to me and my family. >> they're not trained to deal with the stress of not being able to pay your bills or put food on the table for your family. >> reporter: furloughed faa academy instructor alita young came to the oklahoma city food bank. now she's volunteering. >> i got to the point that i was only eating once a day, to stretch out what i had. >> reporter: tonight the nation's airlines are weighing in. >> the reality is, that's no way to be running the country. the longer it goes on, certainly you start to worry about people not being able to come to work. >> reporter: american airlines, southwest, and jet blue warning the shutdown is hurting business and the economy. the faa insists the air space is safe, and it says it has not seen an increase in
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absenteeism among controllers. however, flight attendants as well as pilots are joining the air traffic controllers in warning they cannot predict when the system might break. lester? >> all right, tom costello tonight, thank you. a day after postponing his scheduled testimony before a house committee citing what he called threats from the president, today michael cohen was hit with a subpoena by the senate intelligence committee ordering him to appear in february. cohen is set to begin his three-year prison sentence in march. there's more breaking news tonight. the u.s. has ordered all nonessential personnel to pull out of the embassy in venezuela and leave the country. it comes amid a growing crisis, mass protests against a leader many say is illegitimate. but not all americans are leaving despite a demand by that venezuelan regime. we get late details from nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: a day after violent clashes and hundreds of thousands called for his ouster and his election victory a sham, tonight venezuelan president
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nicolas maduro says he is pulling his diplomats out of the u.s. while the trump administration is refusing his demand all american diplomats leave venezuela. >> the regime of former president nicolas maduro is illegitimate. we therefore consider all of its declarations and actions illegitimate and invalid. >> reporter: can the u.s. protect americans there? >> if any harm should come to these diplomats from the united states, i want everybody to know that the consequences, i believe, from this administration that they'll impose will be swift and they'll be decisive. >> reporter: the face-off between the u.s. and venezuela escalating after president trump recognized 35-year-old opposition leader juan guaido as interim president. he was out of sight today, possibly fearing arrest. now a long list of countries joining the u.s. supporting guaido. >> this kratocratic government has done terrible things. we want venezuela to have a new start. >> reporter: russia is propping up maduro, whose government has sent the economy into freefall. >> very hard situation.
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because we're very afraid. we don't know what is going to be our near future. >> reporter: tonight venezuela's generals threw their support behind maduro, a major blow to the opposition. many of the rank and file troops support the opposition as the country faces a growing crisis. lester? >> andrea mitchell in washington, thank you. back home frightening new details of the mass shooting inside a florida bank that killed five women. the suspect making his first court appearance today, but his motive remains a mystery. our kerry sanders has more from florida tonight. >> reporter: today mass murder suspect zephen xaver facing a florida judge. >> the charges are five counts of homicide murder in the first degree, premeditated as a capital offense -- >> reporter: if convicted xaver could face the death penalty. one officer telling nbc news the killings in the bank were more like executions. the chilling details
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described in the arrest report. the five victims lying face-down on the floor with apparent gunshot wounds to the back of their heads and upper torsos. >> yesterday our community suffered a tremendous loss. >> reporter: sebring police chief karl hoagland. did he go in there attempting to rob this bank? or just simply to kill? >> we have no information right now that there was any bank robbery. >> reporter: among the five victims, 55-year-old mariso lopez, bank employee. 38-year-old anna pinon williams, a mother of blended family with seven children, hired at the bank just two weeks ago. >> her life was truly a light in this world. >> reporter: also killed, a banker, 31-year-old jessica montague, raising three children in a blended family, her youngest 2 years old. and 65-year-old cindy watson, a retired paramedic who had stopped in to check on an account. her husband emotionally telling nbc news today, if i live long enough to see this bastard die, i'll dig him up to feed to the dogs. tonight police say they have not figured out a motive. kerry sanders, nbc news, sebring, florida. there is another deadly shooting we're following involving a young female officer
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in st. louis who was killed police say when another officer accidentally shot her. tonight there are many unanswered questions. with more here's nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: tonight st. louis police are investigating the death of one of their own. shot and killed by one of their own. police officer kaitlin alex was married, just 24 years old, and a rookie. late last night, according to authorities, she visited two male officers at an apartment in the city. they were on duty, she was not. police say they were sitting in the living room. >> there was an accidental discharge of a weapon. the female officer was struck in the chest. >> reporter: police say the two officers rushed alex to the emergency room and called for police backup. the prosecutor's investigating. while the names of the two male officers have
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not been released and the police have not explained why they believe the shooting was accidental. a statement says one of the officers mishandled a firearm. there are also questions about a patrol car outside the emergency room that apparently had its windows broken. >> all that's going to be a part of the investigation. >> reporter: meanwhile the city is remembering a young woman described as enthusiastic with a bright future. the police union says it wants to know more, adding, for now, we wait, we wonder, and we weep. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we're also following tonight a stunning turn of events in florida where the new secretary of state abruptly resigned today after shocking photos surfaced showing him in blackface at a halloween party. nbc's gabe gutierrez has more on that controversy. >> reporter: these pictures obtained by the local paper, "the tallahassee democrat," show michael ertel at a private halloween party in 2005 posing as a hurricane katrina victim. at the time, ertel was a county supervisor of elections. just weeks ago florida governor ron desantis had appointed him secretary of state. >> it's unfortunate. i think he's done a
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lot of good work. but at the same time, you know, i've got to have an administration that's going to be focused on what matters to floridians, and i don't want to get mired into kind of side controversies. >> reporter: according to the paper, the photos were taken just two months after hurricane katrina ravaged the gulf coast. ertel is seen in blackface wearing red lipstick, earrings, and a new orleans saints bandana. there's nothing i can say, he told the paper, when asked about the photos. today the paper says it shared them with the governor's office. ertel abruptly resigned hours later, just a short time after testifying before lawmakers about election lawsuits. nbc news could not reach him for comment. >> he had arranged for media visits to new orleans after the disaster. so for him to come along and do this was really shocking. especially in the aftermath of the storm. >> reporter: ertel, an army veteran, was in charge of restoring voting rights to more than 1 million ex-felons which voters approved in november. tonight he's out of a
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job. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. to washington state now where a public health emergency has been declared over a growing measles outbreak. so far, 26 confirmed cases, most of them in unvaccinated children. tonight officials warn some nba fans may have been exposed. here's nbc's morgan chesky. >> reporter: it's the game now connected to a public health crisis. officials confirming someone at this portland trail blazers game was highly contagious with measles. the case one of 26 in washington. now a dozen schools, a costco, and portland's airports join a growing list of locations exposed to measles, which can be fatal. >> that virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after they've left. if you show up in that time period, again, it's contagious. >> reporter: in clark county where the outbreak began, 1 in 3 students go unvaccinated. the problem so widespread the world health organization is calling the refusal to vaccinate one of the biggest threats of 2019, right behind ebola.
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tonight doctors say even vaccinated adults could be at risk. >> that's because of waning immunity over the years, not getting both shots when they were children, or getting the vaccine in the 1960s when it wasn't quite as effective. >> reporter: for some washington families with children too young to vaccinate, the only way to stay safe now is to stay inside. >> it's scary. and it's unfortunate. and, you know, i don't want my family exposed to it. >> reporter: a preventible disease now becoming a new threat. morgan chesky, nbc news. and it was a deadly day in colorado. a snowy blast causing trouble on the roads. dozens of crashes and at least one person killed. a jack-knifed semi shutting down a highway. we're also tracking this arctic blast in the midwest. cities like minneapolis and chicago could see windchills as low as 35 below zero. also tonight, controversy at sundance. why police are bracing for the premiere of a new documentary on the king of pop. then the major makeover coming to a big chain. strap in for the ride of a lifetime.
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>> we are going to take you up into the skies, we're flying with the thunderbirds right now. we're going to try to pull 9 gees with them. that's coming up on "nightly news."
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utah are preparing for possible protests at the sundance film festival where a new documentary about michael jackson is set to premiere. it hasn't been shown publicly, but it's already creating a storm of controversy as our miguel almaguer reports. >> reporter: tomorrow at the sundance film festival, under increased police security and concern, the highly anticipated premiere of "leaving neverland." >> michael! >> reporter: the new michael jackson documentary featuring two accusers who revisit claimslestion against the legendary singer. wade robson, befriended by jackson when he was a boy,
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spoke to tmz. >> i can't change what happened to me, but what i can do now is try to make a small impact. >> reporter: robson and james safechuck are at the center of the documentary. today jackson's estate firing back saying both men testified in support of jackson years ago, then unsuccessfully tried to sue his estate, calling this yet another lurid production to exploit and cash in on michael jackson. before his death, jackson was acquitted of molestation charges. the documentary's debut comes after the r. kelly docuseries which led to an outcry to ban his music. so far not a single clip of "leaving neverland" has been but tonigh supporters are calling for protests as a new documentary unveils allegations that plagued jackson in life and now after death. miguel almaguer, nbc news. coming up we want to tell you about a big change coming to a beauty aisle near you. we'll be right back.
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one of the nation's biggest drugstore chains is getting a makeover. cvs is revamping its
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beauty aisle, letting you in on secrets some companies might not want you to know. here's kristen dalgren. >> reporter: gone are the days of a beauty aisle peppered with images of perfection. today cvs is rolling out its beauty mark, a way to tell what images have been digitally altered and which have not been retouched. >> the beauty mark is our pledge to pass along a healthier self-image to the next generation. >> reporter: for now 70% of photos will be labeled, most of those wearing the product but without any airbrushing. companies like revlon, neutrogena, and cover girl are already on board. >> it might mean i might have to get a really good night's sleep. >> reporter: neutrogena creative consultant and actress kerry washington is all for it. >> we're up against this extraordinary power of computers to tell us that we're not enough. >> reporter: the goal is to have 100% of images labeled by 2020. >> are you worried about sales at all now that those images may not be quite so
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perfect? >> when our customers shop with us, we're actually educating them and giving them more. >> reporter: giving them a reality check. and making sure true beauty is easy to see. kristen dalgren, nbc news, new york. and up next for us, our high-flying adventure. criminals walk free?
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next, the backlog south bay police officers say is putting everyone at risk. and -- pge is off the hook. for now. a major announcement by cal fire -- about who )s to blame for the deadliest of the wine country fires. next. finally in tonight's "those who serve," get ready for an adrenaline rush. our gadi schwartz takes us high in the won't forget.e you >> reporter: it's a very loud reason for the name thunderbirds. the squadron celebrating its 65th anniversary at nellis air force base, home to pilots like brandon felker, inspiring thousands at air shows across america. these days there's a pilot shortage. >> not just in the air force, it's across our
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services and it's across -- i believe even into the commercial industry. we need a lot of young folks that are interested in flying. >> to fully appreciate what they do, we geared up and took off, pushing 29,000 pounds of thrust. >> man, we got up here quick! >> i told you it was going to be quick, how do you feel? >> yeah, i love it! >> good. well, now 6.3 gees. >> reporter: it usually takes about five years and $3 million to $11 million to train an air force pilot. but for one glorious minute -- >> want to try it? >> sure. >> all right, go ahead. you have the aircraft. >> reporter: they offered me the stick. and i'm not the only one to be hot shotting at nbc. nine years ago lester pulled a whopping 9 gees. fast forward to today. >> here comes some gee. >> reporter: a flight that literally takes your breath away. here, high above the desert, some hope that more pilots will sign up to fly. gadi schwartz, nbc news, nellis air force base. >> all right, we can all stop clutching the armchair now. that's nbc "nightly news" for this
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thursday. i'm lester holt. the reason san jose police want to talk to the driver. right now, 6:00, have you seen this van? reason san jose police want to talk to the driver. >> backlog in the courts and computer problem that officers say is letting criminals back on the streets. first pg&e is off the hooks for tubbs fire in north bay. what next for pg&e and its bankruptcy declaration? news at 6:00 starts right now. i'm raj mathai. >> saying pg&e is not the cause of the fire, but private equipment, not pg&e's. >> tubbs was deadliest of the fires in october of 2017,
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destroyed more than 5,600 structures and killed 22 people. started in calistoga. because of the vicious winds spread southwest, destroying entire neighborhoods of santa rosa. >> we have a team covering this. melissa colorado, big declaration for the company. what about for the people who lost everything? >> reporter: surprisingly many of the fire victims say this announcement doesn't change anything from them. still focused on rebuilding and hopefully moving into brand new homes in coffey park this year. >> i felt


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