tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 6, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
before we ngwgo, we want to focus into on the seven-day. >> friday, that's the day for sun. >> lester holt is next. >> bye. breaking news tonight. r.kelly back in police custody and taken to jail hours after erupting in an explosive off the rails interview. >> i didn't do this stuff! this is not me! i'm fighting for my [ bleep ] life! >> why he's behind bars again. michael cohen's new evidence. back before congress and what he brought with him to back up one of his most potent claims. "jeopardy!" host alex trebek going public with a devastating medical diagnosis, stage 4 pancreatic cancer. >> i'm going to fight this. >> the iconic host's message to fans. senator and survivor. a barrier-breaking combat pilot, now member of congress, making a stunning pe an nbc news exclusive, our journey to the most dangerous place for children on earth.
a remote region that americans rarely see. > the fu facebook. how mark zuckerberg's new announcement may affect you. >> this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening and welcome to our viewers in the west. there is late word tonight of mounting legal troubles for r&b music star r.kelly, back in a chicago jail tonight shortly after speaking out about underage sex claims against him in an unsettling and explosive tv interview. a tearful and angry kelly forcefully claimed his innocence against the sexual abuse charges he faces and appearing later today at a court hearing in a separate child support case. kelly was ordered back behind bars. our stephanie gosk has the breaking details. >> reporter: tonight r.kelly is back in custody. this time over failing to pay more than $160,000 in child support payments. as a storm of reaction swirls around his stunning interview
with cbs news. >> i'm not lucifer. i'm a man. i make mistakes. but i'm not a devil. by no means am i a monster. >> reporter: the three-time grammy winner lashing out angrily when asked about allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. >> i didn't do this stuff! this is not me! i'm fighting for my [ bleep ] life! y'all killing me with this [ bleep ]! i got 30 years -- [ bleep ] >> robert -- >> 30 years of my career! y'all trying to kill me! you're killing me here! >> reporter: rumors of sexual abuse and relationships with teenage girls have followed r. kelly for more than a decade. >> have you ever had sex with anyone under the age of 17? >> no. >> never? >> no. >> have you broken any laws when it comes to women? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: last month r. kelly pleaded not guilty to ten charges of sexual abuse involving four
women, three of them minors. his arrest came soon after the release of a docuseries "surviving r. kelly." seven women were interviewed, all accuse the 52-year-old of some form of sexual misconduct. tim and jonda savage say r. kelly is holding their 23-year-old daughter joycelin against her will. >> what i saw on tv this morning about the way he acted when he got upset, i can only imagine what he does behind closed doors. >> reporter: joycelin savage says she wants to live with r. kelly. today she called her family for the first time in two years. >> how do we know you're happy, we don't hear from you in two years? >> i have to go now. >> i love you, joycelin! >> i have to go now. >> lester, a publicist for r. kelly says that the singer went to court today prepared to pay about half what was he owed in child support, adding that the judge told kelly he would be behind bars until he paid it all.
>> i know a lot of people think it might have been a risk for him to talk in that situation today but obviously he has a forceful denial. >> he certainly does. >> stephanie, thank you. a week after his public takedown of president trump we've learned michael cohen has delivered to congress a bombshell follow up, documents meant to back up his claim that the president's lawyers had a hand in crafting his statement to congress in which he lied. kristen welker has details. >> reporter: today, michael cohen was supposed to report to prison. instead, with his sentence delayed, he was behind closed doors testifying again in front of congress. >> i'm here to cooperate and will continue to cooperate. thank you all very much. >> reporter: according that a source familiar with the matter, cohen giving lawyers new documents aimed at backing up his explosive claim last week that the president's lawyers made changes to his previous testimony about that scrapped trump tower project in moscow. >> there were changes made, additions. jay sekulow for one. there were several
changes that were made, including how we were going to handle that message. the message, of course, being the length of time that the trump tower/moscow project stayed and remained alive. >> reporter: nbc news has not reviewed the alleged documents. cohen has pleaded guilty to tax and financial crimes and lying to congress, and republicans have attacked cohen's credibility. tonight, the president's attorney, jay sekulow, firing back, saying testimony by michael cohen that attorneys for the president edited or changed his statement to congress to alter the duration of the trump tower/moscow negotiations is completely false. and tonight, the white house is pointing us back to its previous comment on cohen's testimony saying it is quote laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like cohen at his word. lester? >> all right. kristen welker at the white house, thank you. and as that plays out, back at the white house president trump is reacting tonight to the alarming images broken by nbc news showing apparent rapid rebuilding of a launch
site in north korea. andrea mitchell is in our washington newsroom. andrea, what is the reaction to all this? >> lester, yesterday we showed these satellite pictures that north korea was rebuilding that key missile launch site within days of the failed summit. asked if kim jong-un was breaking a promise to him, mr. trump held his fire today. >> we have to solve a problem. the relationship is good. i would be very disappointed if that were happening. i would be very, very disappointed in chairman kim. and i don't think i will be, but we'll see what happens. >> but national security adviser john bolton is taking a much harder line, warning that if kim does not dismantle his weapons as promised, the u.s. might ramp up sanctions on the regime. lester? >> all right. andrea, thank you. north korea just one of president trump's major policy initiatives in trouble tonight. there's also stunning news of the president's trade war. the u.s. posting the largest trade deficit in history. jumping 10% in one year. that despite how the president has chosen to take on china.
nbc's tom costello has details. >> reporter: at the last stainless steel cutlery maker in the country, the cutthroat competition is cheap, subsidized foreign imports. the trouble? the dollar is so strong it makes liberty tabletop's forks, spoons and knives more expensive at home and abroad. >> it cut into the business model and basically destroyed the industry in the united states. we're hanging on, like i say, thanks to a lot of loyal people who search for "made in america." >> reporter: the strong dollar means foreign-made products are cheaper for americans to buy, everything from tvs to cell phones to computers. but american goods sold abroad are more expensive. a big reason the trade deficit has skyrocketed to $891 billion, the highest ever. the president's trade war was meant to correct the imbalance. just last week he incorrectly insisted the deficit was going down, not up. >> you saw trade deficits went down
last month. everyone was trying to find out why. we're taking in a lot of tariff money. >> reporter: so far, though, little evidence that's true. with the trade war heating up last year, u.s. exports to china dropped dramatically. even as we imported even more, cheaper chinese-made goods, threatening u.s. business and jobs. lester? >> all right, tom. thank you. among the u.s. companies that have criticized president trump's tariffs is general motors which rolled its last chevy cruze off a line at its lordstown, ohio, plant today after more than 50 years in operation because of high demand for suvs. the plant is one of five the automaker plans to close in north america this year, eliminating 14,000 jobs. those in a senate hearing in washington today had to be stunned to hear a deeply personal revelation from a freshman senator who also happens to be one of the most celebrated female combat veterans in u.s. history. nbc's kasie hunt has the story. >> i stayed silent for
many years. >> reporter: senator martha mcsally made the emotional and personal revelation during a hearing featuring survivors of sexual assault in the military. >> like you, i am also a military sexual assault survivor. i was preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer. >> reporter: mcsally was the first woman to fly a fighter jet in combat, retiring from the air force as a colonel. she didn't name the perpetrator at the hearing. >> i didn't report being sexually assaulted. like so many women and men, i didn't trust the system at the time. i blamed myself. i was ashamed and confused. >> reporter: later she says she tried to come forward to her superiors. >> like many victims, i felt the system was raping me all over again. >> reporter: nearly 7,000 service members reported being assaulted in 2017. but advocates believe there are many who aren't coming forward. >> i am grateful for her courage. it took enormous courage to speak that truth. >> reporter: and tonight, the air force apologizing to
mcsally, saying they're appalled by what happened to her and insisting they're committed to eliminating sexual assault from the ranks. lester? >> all right. kasie, thank you. overseas to new exclusive reporting from our richard engel inside syria tonight as he speaks to the young victims of isis now getting their first taste of freedom as u.s.-led forces close in on the last remaining isis fighters in that country. >> reporter: when hundreds of isis fighters surrendered today from the last crumbling speck of the islamic state, it meant some of their youngest victims were finally free. had b kidnapped by isis an they're yazidis, a religious minori forces gave them their first meal in days. 7-year-old farhat told us what happened when isis men came to his village. "they took me and my brother from our house in a car. our parents went in a
truck," he says. that was five years ago, the last time he saw his mom and dad. isis propaganda videos showed what happened to most yazidi women. fighters laughing about buying them as sex slaves. in 2014, a u.s. airlift rescued many yazidis facing an isis slaughter. but it was too late for farhat. i asked if he was beaten. "every day, with a stick and a cable," he says. now the tides are turned. yazidi slaves freed, and isis prisoners under interrogation by u.s. special forces. isis fighters and families are now burning their documents and cell phones. we saw them melted in fire pits. they're claiming they're just civilians. lester? >> an uncertain future there. richard, thank you. an nbc news exclusive, we want to take you to where another crisis is unfolding, a virtually lawless nation, the central african republic. no u.s. network has reported from c.a.r.
for the past five years. but tonight our cynthia mcfadden takes us to a report of 1.5 million children at risk of starvation and the major geopolitical battle brewing there. >> reporter: we're making our way into a nation in tatters, the central african republic, where the civil war has left the children here in desperate shape. >> this is the most dangerous place in the world for children. >> harder than syria? >> the most dangerous. two of every three children in this country are in need of humanitarian assistance. >> reporter: unicef is on the front lines of the crisis. we travel in with their usa ceo, carol stern. pediatriepc hoter: we're greeted by ann young jebay. she's the head nurse and has worked here for 25 years. do you ever turn a child away? >> no. >> reporter: there is simply nowhere else for them to go. like many children
here, colette is an orphan. >> this 7-year-old weighs how much? >> she weighs 14 kilos, which is like 28 pounds. >> reporter: we meet little maja lee, who's only 6, and on the brink. >> no intervention, you will lose this child. >> reporter: we're headed outside the capital where we're told it's even worse. over the past six years over 1 million people have been forced to flee their homes. what did you bring with you? >> they couldn't take anything, only the clothes they had. nothing. >> reporter: tonight, in addition to the humanitarian crisis, experts are concerned that the america-first foreign policy of president trp may until now the u.s. hasovider o year. >> it's a weak country in an incredibly strong spot. it behooves us to maintain a strategic alliance and strategic presence in c.a.r. exactly because of where it is and the resources there. >> reporter: those resources, a wealth of diamonds, gold, uranium, have drawn the attention of both
china and russia. in fact, the country's top security adviser is now a russian. and the russians are investing heavily, sending weapons and military advisers to train government forces. there are other concerns, as well. >> isis takes advantage of security vacuums, governance vacuums. they can potentially move into c.a.r. we have to fill all the vacuums. if we want peace in east africa, we need peace in c.a.r. >> reporter: while there is no peace here yet despite a deal signed a few weeks ago, there is a miracle in a little silver packet at work. >> this is life or death. >> reporter: it's called plumpy nut, a paste that tastes like peanut butter but is filled with a day's worth of nutrients. >> no refrigeration, no preparation. mom just rips it open. babies can feed themselves. as you can see, they're thoroughly enjoying this. >> reporter: last year unicef struggled to raise half what was they say is needed for them to help the people here. what happens if you
can't raise the money? >> children die. that's the answer. unicef will stretch and do as much as it can in every corner of this country. do. we can only do >> reporter: take a glimpse at what the money is already doing. remember maja lee? plumpy nut has made a world of difference in just three days. >> she's sitting up and she's eating by herself. >> these kids would die if you, this hospital, unicef, wasn't here. >> translator: in the morning when we have the staff meeting and they tell us no baby god. >> reporter: so many children yet to save. lester, some good news. maja lee is now home from the hospital. for more on the central african republic, go to our website. if you want to help the kids, here's a way to do that, too. nbcnews.com. >> overall it's a grim picture. one the world needs to know about. >> absolutely.
>> thank you for your reporting, cynthia. breaking news just ahead. beloved "jeopardy!" host alex trebek revealing a major health battle today and making a vow tonight to his fans. we'll have it for you. police scrambling to solve a murder mystery after a tragic discovery on a hiking trail. hope you can stay with us. murder mystery after a tragic discovery on a hiking trail. hope you can stay with us. -ah, the old crew!
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we're back with that we're back with that devastating diagnosis revealed late today by beloved "jeopardy!" host alex trebek battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. trebek vowing tonight as reaction pours in from friends and fans. we get the latest from nbc's ann thompson. ♪ >> this is "jeopardy!" >> reporter: on "jeopardy!" he's the man with all the answers, but tonight 78-year-old alex trebek sharing devastating news with his millions of fans. >> now just like year, this week i was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. >> reporter: this
means the cancer has spread to other parts of trebek's body. only 3% of people with this diagnosis live more than five years. >> i'm going to fight this. and i'm going to keep working. i plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease. >> reporter: trebek has been a fixture in american living rooms for 35 years. tonight, "wheel of fortune" host pat sajak tweets he would never bet against trebek. trebek himself says he's counting on three more years, the number left on his contract. ann thompson, nbc news. >> and we are all sending him our very best tonight. up next, facebook's new privacy promise. to keep doing you... and we'll take care of medicare part d. by helping you save up to $5 on ea pio..
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♪ doing it my own way, ♪ every single day. ♪ and it feels good to feel good. ♪ start your day with sunsweet amazin! prune juice. and feel good. next tonight, a horrifying mystery is unfolding tonight in los angeles county where police are scrambling to identify a young girl found dead on a hiking trail. nbc's miguel almaguer has the details. >> reporter: the
grisly discovery, the body of a young girl found stuffed in a duffel bag like this one, was made along a hiking trail near los angeles. detectives releasing this sketch of jane doe, an african-american child between 8 and 13 years old. >> investigators did not observe any obvious signs of trauma to the victim's body. >> reporter: with no new reports of a missing girl, investigators say it's unclear how the child died or who could be involved. homicide detectives believe the body was dumped sunday. >> it's a horrible, tragic case. our investigators are working diligently. >> reporter: tonight, a horrific discovery in the hills, and now the desperate search to identify this child found in a pair of pajamas and the person who left her here. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. we'll take a turn to big changes for facebook. the tech giant which popularized public sharing announced today it is shifting toward private communication after a series of scandals involving users' personal data.
ceo mark zuckerberg said the platform will have a new focus on creating encrypted direct messages. a new report shows facebook lost 15 million users in the u.s. last year. up next, the young sensation wowing the golf world and inspiring america. other species avoid pain and struggle. we actually... seek it out. other species do difficult things because they have to. we do difficult things. because we like to. we think it's... fun. introducing the all-new 2019 ford ranger built for the strangest of all creatures. when cravings hit, hit back. choose glucerna, with slow release carbs to help manage blood sugar, and start making everyday progress.
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than any other immunotherapy. be open to the public, but some say they )re being turned away. the promise a south bay hotel made to the city that it could be breaking. and the fanciest police car in the bay area -- is now on the streets of the east bay. the bells and whistles added -- to help fight crime. finally, the young golf star who grabbed inedible shots that her have even the pros in awe. morgan chesky has tonight's "inspiring america." >> reporter: give amy bachersteady a golf club and it's clear she's got this. >> people say you're really good at golf. >> yeah. >> reporter: she didn't even pick up the game until five
years ago, which is what makes what amy pulled off at the phoenix open even more unbelievable. >> are you amy? >> yes. >> give me a hug, i'm gary. nice to meet you. >> reporter: pro gary woodland invited amy, who has down syndrome, to play hole 16 with the special olympics. with her dad playing caddie, amy did. >> you got this, kiddo. >> yeah, i got this. >> nice! >> the brilliance and genius of amy is she's not encumbered with self-doubt. >> i love it. >> you can do this. you can do this. >> nice! that is awesome! >> reporter: with one putt to go -- >> i got this. gott? >> yeah. >> let's do it. >> reporter: in front of a massive crowd, amy did. >> yeah! >> that is so awesome! >> reporter: a gracious thanks from a golfer surprising everyone but herself. morgan chesky, nbc
news, phoenix, arizona. >> and good for her. amy is one of the first athletes with down syndrome to get a college scholarship to play golf. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.the unusual courtroom sct involved the right now at 6:00, his lawyer says it was just a bad acid trip. the unusual courtroom scene that involved the victim's family supporting a stanford employee accused of attempted murder. >> scattered rain continues on storm ranger right now. i'll show you when this clears out and the major impact it's had on our rainfall season coming up. >> but first a family tragedy unfolding in san jose. two children and a woman found dead inside of an apartment. we are on the scene with what neighbors are telling us. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai.
>> and i'm jessica aguirre. a horrific and deeply sad situation unfolding at a san jose apartment complex today. we are hearing that a woman may have killed her two young children and then taken her own life. police and firefighters swarmed the commons apartments in south san jose. nbc bay area's robert handa was at that complex as some of the crews arrives and joins us with the latest. robert, this is just a tragic, tragic situation. >> reporter: that's right. and it is still a very tense scene here. as you can see, homicide detectives are still here trying to determine exactly how two young boys, we're told ages 5 and 7, ended up dead inside their home. the neighbors helped their father deal with the discovery are upset beyond words. >> i can't even explain the way i feel right now because i feel like anx