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tonight, the democratic story, saying a racist photograph in his med school yearbook is not him. >> if i had have dressed up like that and s of the kkk, i would remember that. >> ralph northam defying calls to resign but admits he did wear blackface at a separate event. hundreds of thousands in the streets of venezuela protesting against the government of nicolas maduro as a top general defects to the opposition. the crackdown on sex trafficking as crowds pour into atlanta for the super bowl. protests south side, where inmates and workers say they're freezing as parts of the jail have no heat during the coldest week of the year. fighting an invasion in the
everglades by snakes that devour just about everything in sight. and why tens of millions are rocking to leonid and friends as moscow meets chicago. this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. good evening. it was a stunning admission and contradiction. virginia's democratic governor said today he does not believe it's him in this racist photo from the med school yearbook page with his name emblazed on top. during the press conference he admitted that he had in fact worn blackface that same year, but didn't believe then it was inappropriate. while national and state leaders from across party lines call on him to resign, ralph northam this afternoon begged for forgiveness and said he would not step down. jeff bennett is in richmond, virginia, tonight with the very latest. >> reporter: virginia governor ralph northam says it wasn't him
in that racist photo from his med school yearbook. >> i am not either of the people in that photo. >> so you're saying you had no idea this racist photo existed before it surfaced less than 24 hours ago? >> that is correct. i was in the united states army while i was in medical school. i was doing rotations out of the state. i had nothing to do with the preparation of the yearbook, nor did i buy one. >> reporter: it's a reversal for the virginia democrat who less than 24 hours ago apologized for appearing in the picture. >> that photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does not reflect that person i am today. i am deeply sorry. >> reporter: today, northam alluded to other actions in his past. saying in 1984 he won a dance contest where he wore dark shoe polish on his face as part of a michael jackson costume. >> i didn't personally find it
as unacceptable at that time. i have learned since, again, in talking to my friend seth. the picture, though, in the evms yearbook with the blackfacing and the member of the kkk is just horrific. >> reporter: despite northam's defiance, a long list of people now calling for him to step down. virginia's legislative black caucus, the state's democratic party, democratic candidates for president and the democratic national committee. >> thank you so much, guys. >> reporter: if northam were to leave office, 39-year-old lieutenant governor justin fairfax would become the second black governor in virginia's history. and in a statement tonight, the lieutenant governor issued a statement saying that he was glad northam apologized but he stopped short of calling for the governor to step down. now northam says he'll revisit his decision to stay in office >> jeff bennett in richmond, thanks you very much. an international political drama was playing out today between the united states and
russia as vladimir putin said he will follow president trump's lead and abandon a nuclear arms treaty. that treaty has been in effect for more than three decades. the question tonight, will this lead to a new arms race? here is white house correspondent kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: the president basking in florida sun and celebrity today, playing golf with jack nicklaus and tiger woods. as russia's vladimir putin played chess reminiscent of the cold war. we are suspending it, said putin. today putin defying a new u.s. demand that russia comply with the intermediate range nuclear missile treaty known as the inf signed back in 1987 by president reagan and michael gorbachev. friday secretary of state pompeo said the u.s. would withdraw in six months unless russia removed missiles near european borders. >> the united states stand ready to engage with russia on arms
control negotiations. >> reporter: president trump said a new deal should include other countries like china and india. to fight the spotlight over the trump/putin relationship, the president did not call out russia directly when asked why the u.s. would leave the treaty. >> one side has not been adhering to it. we have but one side hasn't. so unless they're going to adhere, we shouldn't be the only one. >> reporter: the apparent collapse of the agreement opened the door to development of new weapons. former ambassador to russia michael mcfaul is concerned. >> it's never good, in my opinion, for the united states and russia or the united states and china to be engaged in nuclear arms races. there is a reason why arms peace for four decades. >> reporter: moscow denied it ever violated the treaty and said it would only deploy intermediate range missiles if washington does. president trump says these changes mean the u.s. must find ways to have countermeasures to russia's land-based missiles
that are causing so much concern in europe. jose? >> kelly o'donnell in west palm beach, thank you. a reminder, nbc news will have full coverage of the president's state of the union address on tuesday at 9:00, 6:00 pacific. and tomorrow night, the country's biggest sports event will play out in atlanta. while fans gear up for super bowl liii between the patriots and the rams, authorities have been cracking down on what's happening off the field. bringing awareness to the human toll of sex trafficking. nbc's gabe gutierrez has that story. >> reporter: tonight as thousands crowd into atlanta for super bowl liii, federal authorities are looking for some you might not easily see. >> we've got so much money in one area that they're going to -- traffickers are going to bring the girls to them. >> reporter: gabby humphreys says she was raped at age 13 an abuse eventually became an escort, forced by a trafficker to have sex with strangers. >> do you think most people realize how prevalent this is? >> i don't think they do because
they don't want to look at it. they don't want to believe it. >> reporter: in the past few days there have been at least 40 arrests in a sex trafficking investigation in georgia. during last year's super bowl in minneapolis there were 89 arrests. around the country, more than 8,500 recorded cases in 2017. while large gatherings are magnets for sex traffickers, human rights advocates say it happens regularly. >> it happens 365 days a year. in atlanta we know at least 100 girls a night are being exploited. so our goal is to let the super bowl be a platform to bring greater awareness. >> reporter: in advance of the big game, some nfl players have launched an aggressive campaign against it. >> these crimes will not be tolerated. >> reporter: at the world's busiest airport in atlanta, delta is training its flight attendants to spot potential victims. one group has even put a hotline help number on bars of soap distributed to local hotels. after escaping her trafficker five years ago, gabby humphreys decided to fight back, becoming an advocate herself.
>> i want other people that >> i want other people that may be seeing this that are going through it or have gone through it to know that, hey, i am with you. you are loved. >> reporter: hoping to raise awareness as her city takes center stage. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of venezuela again today, protesting the government of nicolas maduro. while in this country some of those who have fled venezuela were showing their support for change. nbc's mariana atencio has more from miami. >> reporter: making his way through the crowds in the streets of caracas, venezuela, interim president juan guaido addressed hundreds of thousands of supporters. in an act of defiance, nicolas maduro held his own rally, proposing eay e national assemy led by guaido.
here in doral, florida hundreds of venezuelans say they are reenergized by the trump administration's hard line against maduro. among them this family. they fled the crisis back home in 2007. >> after 20 years going through this nightmare, we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. >> reporter: and the pressure is mounting. today an air force general defected from the maduro government. the situation growing more dire by the day. just this week more than 800 people were arrested. >> this moment we have people in the streets fighting for our liberty right now. >> reporter: it's a fight they're rallying for in the u.s., waiting for the day when they can finally return to venezuela. >> we are dreaming just to show our country to our kids. >> reporter: hoping for the day it's safe to return home. mariana atencio, nbc news, doral, florida. here in new york, protests today over conditions at a federal jail where inmates and workers say they've had to endure freezing conditions this
week. the government is blaming a power outage that it says will be fixed by monday. but as nbc's kathy park reports, that news is providing very little comfort. >> reporter: heated rhetoric outside the federal jail in brooklyn. protesting what some say are freezing conditions on the other side of these walls. >> it's ludicrous. it's disgusting. >> reporter: workers say they've gone without heat and hot water for days during a week when temperatures dipped as low as 3 degrees. >> we've been working with coats, hats, scarves. >> reporter: more than 1,000 inmates are also housed here 24/7. while you can't see the inmates, you can certainly hear them. all that banging and tapping, that's coming from furious fa >> i'll be out here until something's done. >> reporter: in a statement, federal bureau of prisons said the facility is experiencing a partial power outage but added
cells have heat and hot water. there is lighting in the common areas and inmates are receiving hot meals. the frantic situation now drawing attention from city and state leaders as these cells remain at the center of controversy. kathy park, nbc news, new york. we turn to california where high winds and heavy rains are prompting evacuations. authorities are trying to get people out of high-risk areas for mudslides. nbc's morgan chusky on the rising threat and the daniel that's already been done. >> reporter: in southern california today, a deadly chain reaction as a first responder at a highway crash became a victim himself. a car lost control, striking and killing him. in santa barbara, a nasty wake-up call at this home. high winds knocked down trees and the risk of mudslides prompted mandatory evacuations.. >> reporter: maps show high-risk areas in red, where ilires coul give way. it was barely one year ago when a mudslide in montecito killed
21 people and injured more than 150 others as debris buried homes. tonight officials are urging people across the l.a. area to make plans to leave before mother nature forces them to. >> there would be significant risks if people decided to wait and see if this storm is really going to materialize. >> reporter: mudslides aren't the only issue. here in malibu, neighborhoods have been all but cut off due to these floodwaters. with more rain in the forecast until tuesday, that danger can only grow. jose? >> thank you very much. after days of frigid weather in a large portion of the country, many eyes were on pennsylvania on this groundhog day and the news was good. punxsutawney phil failed to see his shadow, meaning according to the legend an early spring is on its way. as we climb out of this cold wave, nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer looks at what's ahead. >> good evenin we are finally getting some relief from the grips of that polar vortex. temperatures tomorrow will once
again get above average. chicago should hit 44 degrees, kansas city, 60. that's 21 degrees above average. down in atlanta, 57 with a few spotty showers for all those people down at the super bowl. then on monday, temperatures will continue to warm up. close to 70 in st. louis. by monday. huntsville, 68 degrees. jacksonville, florida, 69 degrees. even in boston, 15 degrees above average with a high of 51. going into next week, tuesday looks real nice. close to 60 in new york city and temperatures slide down into the 40s and become much more seasonable as we go into the middle of next dyl w dreyer, th much. in britain there is growing anxiety over brexit as the country prepares to leave the european union. this is prompting some to take drastic defensive actions to protect themselves. nbc's sarah harman has more tonight. >> reporter: with less than two months to go, britain still doesn't agree on how to leave the eu. >> no deal, a deal or no brexit.
>> reporter: with parliament in turmoil, some are starting to worry that a no-deal brexit could lead to shortages, especially of food and medicine, much of which is imported from the continent. vicki's daughter grace has type one diabetes and needs an insulin pump to stay alive. >> how much supply do you have in here? >> we have approximately one month's supply in here and we will always try to maintain a full week's worth. >> reporter: both her daughter's insulin and the pump parts are imported from outside the uk. >> at the moment, i don't have a plan "b" if i cannot get to my local pharmacy and get the insulin thate without insulin she would die. >> reporter: some companies are fed up with the uncertainty. pharma giant johnson & and johnson is stockpiling vital medical supplies like trauma kits normally kept in european facilities. plane maker airbus threatened to
pull operation out of the uk if there's no deal. electronics giants sony and panasonic are relocating their european headquarters out of britain. there is genuine uncertainty about what happens next and one company is capitalizing on it. selling brexit boxes. inside a water filter, fire starter and a whole month's worth of freeze dried meals. the box costs $385 and the owner says sales are up 20%. >> reporter: some feel their best bet is to keep calm and carry on but prepare for the worst. sarah harman, nbc news, london. still ahead tonight, fighting a predator inri everglades. ♪ ♪ also, chicago by way of russia. wait until you hear the sound of leonid and friends. treating advanced lung cancer.
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whoa. all right. we got him. awesome work. woo-hoo! >> reporter: biologists believe some people released their pet pythons into the everglades in the late 1970s. they multiplied and multiplied again. they've become a serious threat to florida's fragile ecosystem. >> you can do go to everglades national park and be hard-pressed for find a single mammal there. single squirrel, single rabbit, fox, deer. the pythons have been taking out everything they can get their mouths around. >> reporter: they've even start to eat the king of the everglades, alligators. in less than two years trappers have captured more than 2,000 pythons. but studies show that the snakes are adapting rapidly and could move further north into colder climates. >> how powerful is he right now? >> very. almost got me in the face. just missed my nose by a fraction. >> reporter: for every snake captured and killed, the state pays on size.
this payday about $225. >> at almost 10 feet long, how old would you estimate this snake is? >> this snake is only 3 years old. >> and it's this big? because it's eating a lot out here. >> yeah. >> reporter: a female can lay up to 100 eggs a season. with only 50 full-time hunters out here catching at best five pythons on a good day, the snakes are winning. >> what draws you? >> well, i love the environment. these burmese pythons don't belong here in this environment. they need to go. >> reporter: on this day, one down. as many as 300,000 more to go. kerry sanders, nbc news, the florida everglades. >> those things are huge. we'll be right back. >> those thing moving? that's harder now because of psoriatic arthritis. but you're still moved by moments like this. don't taltz reduces joint pain and stiffness and helps stop the progression of joint damage. for people with moderate to severe psoriasis, 90% saw significant improvement. taltz even gives you a chance at completely clear skin.
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he was a familiar face in so many films going back to the 1950s. dick miller was a character actor in dozens of low-budget movies. some of them becoming cult favorites. in later years, he had hit roles in "the terminator" and "gremlins." over his long career miller appeared in more than 200 films and tv shows. he died this week in burbank, california. dick miller was 90 years old. and the veteran british actor clive swift has died. he was a former member of the royal shakespeare company who also appeared in a long list of films and tv shows. best known for his role the husband in "keeping up appearances." the sitcom ran for five years and was one of the bbc's most exported programs. clive swift was 82 years old.
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>> reporter: close your eyes and you won't believe your ears. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: the homegrown sound of rock legends chicago played by 14 musicians who hail from -- >> me from siberia. >> reporter: leonid and friends all the way from the former soviet union to play in where else suburban chicago. so what's these comrades comradery with the real chicago? for leonid's 60th birthday, that's him on bass, he rounded up some musician buddies to record tunes by his favorite band. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: he put them on youtube and it blasted off like sputnik. >> how many people have seen this on youtub >> more than 30 million views. >> reporter: that was only the beginning. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: club owners judy and chris came in next.
>> my nephew was searching through youtube for great bands and he said, this is the one you've got to get. >> reporter: so they did and fans lined up in siberian-style chicago weather for the sold out show. >> we can't believe it. >> reporter: jay drove in from michigan. >> they were fantastic. >> reporter: in fact, some real america/russia detente was brewing here. >> the music makes us closer to each other. not political at all for us. >> reporter: before anyone really knew what time it was, the night was over. leonid and friends played a few more u.s. giadg home to russia where it all began. >> thank you, chicago. >> reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news, illinois. and that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. tomorrow, a new era for scouting as girls start to join the ranks of the boy scouts. i'm jose diaz-balart reporting from new york. thank you for the privilege of your time and good night. and go.
on and off showers over the next 24 hours and the concern is now strong wind and thunderstorms. live look outside over free month. you see the rain over the lens. we got team coverage for you. let's track the storms path, rob? >> watching the showers. you can see in the north bay you are seeing showers. a little bit of break in san francisco, but you can see the rain approaching from the west and dodging some downpours in the last 15 minutes. it's 54 degrees. on the radar you can see that rain passing by. it looks like comes the next bond of rain, which is technically the same storm system from this morning. now we a dealing with the low pressure center. the center of the storm itself moving up the wind speeds again. wind