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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 15, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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and then as we about into next week, rain will be back. >> thank you very much. thanks for joining us. lester is next. >> we'll be back at 6:00. hope to see you then. the gunman livestreaming the terror in new zealand. 49 people killed in a shooting massacre at two mosques. the gunman livestreaming the horror on facebook. police capturing him in a dramatic takedown. the community in disbelief. >> we're so kind and loving. so i just don't understand why someone would hurt us like this in such a way. >> the suspect's apparent manifesto filled with racist rants. president trump mentioned by name in those writings says he doesn't see white nationalism as a rising threat. >> i don't really. i think it's a small group of people. >> tonight security stepped up at mosques here at home. president trump uses his first-ever veto after a dozen senate republicans joined
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democrats to revolt against his emergency over the border. the damaged black boxes from the ethiopian airlines crash now being analyzed in france. what the pilots' urgent communications reveal about the plane's final moments. north korea's new nuclear threat weeks after president trump's summit with kim jong-un fell apart. actress felicity huffman back in court with husband william h. macy in that massive college cheating scam. the new fallout tonight. heart health warning. what you need to know before your family's next breakfast. inside a major american city's awe-inspiring new landmark. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening and welcome to our viewers in the west. almost 7,000 miles from the u.s. mainland, the city of christchurch, new zealand, is reckoning with a practically unspeakable horror tonight. the brazen murders of at least 49 people, men, women and children shot down during friday
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prayers at two mosques. a nearly equal number left injured. the attack allegedly carried out by a man described as a white supremacist who livestreamed his rampage on facebook. tonight he is under arrest as authorities study an anti-muslim manifesto in which he decried what he called invaders. our richard engel starts our coverage. >> reporter: it was no accident that new zealand's deadliest terrorist attack began around 1:45 in the afternoon. a gunman storming the al noor mosque when it was packed with hundreds of muslims performing friday afternoon prayers. >> i could hear screaming and crying. i saw some people drop dead. >> reporter: witnesses say the attacker came in through the front door wearing all black. police say he had at least two assault rifles and a shotgun. >> i saw in the main room on the right-hand side, there were 20-plus people. some of them were dead, some of them were screaming.
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>> reporter: one survivor managed to escape, his shirt covered in blood. >> the blood is spilling on me, i mean, splashing on me. i think, oh my god, oh my god, it's going to happen to me now. >> reporter: witnesses describing the killer. >> was wearing a helmet, black helmet, with a big machine gun. >> reporter: on that helmet the gunman had a camera. this image taken in his car as he arrived at the mosque. he livestreamed 17 horrific minutes as he sprayed bullets into men, women, and children, stalking from room to room, stopping only to reload. he then got into his car, driving three miles away to launch another deadly rampage at a second mosque. later police rammed his vehicle, where they found explosive devices. that's the suspect being taken into custody. two u.s. intelligence sources tell nbc news the suspect is 28-year-old brenton tarrant, a white supremacist who posted an apparent manifesto of
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anti-immigrant, anti-muslim conspiracies. >> this is one of new zealand's darkest days. >> reporter: just 5 million people live in new zealand, where many police officers don't even carry weapons. >> many of those who will have been directly affected by the shooting may be migrants to new zealand. they may even be refugees here. they are us. the person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. >> reporter: tonight one suspect is under arrest, charged with murder. police say two others were taken into custody. their suspected roles in the attack unclear. australian media say brenton tarrant grew up in grafton, australia, worked as a personal trainer, and traveled throughout asia and europe. police describe the gunman as a fanatic who meticulously planned every detail. >> this is a very well planned event. >> reporter: while tonight dozens of victims are being remembered. >> we're such a small
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community. we're so kind and loving. i just don't understand why someone would hurt us like this, in such a way, just like an animal. >> reporter: christchurch's mayor saying, our city has changed forever. >> richard joins us now. we're also learning about incredible bravery by those survivors. what can you tell us? >> so as horrible as this attack was, it could have been even worse. a witness says that as this gunman was going room to room, shooting people down, a young man approached him, tackled him, wrestled a gun from him, chased him all the way to his car before he was arrested. but it was still too late for so many people. >> all right, richard engel, thank you. our miguel almaguer has made his way to new zealand. he's on the ground at the scene in christchurch for us tonight. miguel, you're at the hospital
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where we're also learning about some of the victims tonight. what can you tell us there? >> reporter: lester, good evening. we're just a few blocks away from where one of the shootings took place. it is a grim scene at the hospital behind me. i can tell you doctors described what they saw as a war zone. they treated more than 40 patients. some have only minor injuries but many have serious injuries including two people tonight who remain in critical condition. there have been more than a dozen operations already and there will be certainly more surgeries in the days ahead for many of these victims. doctors say they were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the carnage that they saw. many of the injured came here in ambulance, others, the walking wounded, drove themselves. the victims are children, one as young as 4 years old, their parents and the elderly. many are still suffering from gunshot wounds. i can also tell you here, lester, that many families are clinging to hope. hundreds are waiting for word outside the hospital here. as richard mentioned, many officers are not armed but here
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they are heavily armed as a precaution. lester, more people were killed in this single attack than are murdered in this country during a regular year, lester. >> the whole thing just devastating. miguel almaguer in christchurch, thank you. back home at the white house late today, president trump, who was mentioned in that gunman's apparent manifesto, said he does not see white nationalism as a rising global threat. but as our pete williams reports, security experts don't agree. >> reporter: police tonight are stepping up patrols around mosques nationwide, from new york to los angeles. no known threat here, they say, strictly a precaution. >> our message to them is one of, we are here with you. >> reporter: but terrorism experts say today's attack in new zealand shows that white extremism has become a global threat. >> we've seen white supremacists move from the margins to the mainstreams. and cleverly use social media and other forms of technology to spread across borders. >> reporter: adl says right-wing extremism caused 50 deaths in the u.s. last year, including the october shooting at a
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pittsburgh synagogue. authorities in new zealand say the gunman there drew inspiration from other white nationalists, especially anders behring breivik, who killed 77 in a gun and bomb attack in norway eight years ago. last month the fbi arrested a coast guard officer in maryland, accusing him of amassing weapons and plotting attacks on members of congress. also inspired by breivik, prosecutors say. security experts say a common thread of white nationalism is fierce opposition to immigration, calling it invasion. in a document the new zealand attacker appears to have posted online, he said he president president trump quote a symbol of renewed white identity, though he was also critical of the president. the president today condemned the attack. >> i think it's a horrible, disgraceful thing and a horrible act. >> do you see today white nationalism as a rising threat around the world? >> i don't really. i think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. >> reporter: ali sufan, a former top fbi counter terror agent who
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investigated the 9/11 attacks, says right-wing extremism is not getting enough attention from police or u.s. intelligence. >> we need to deal with the domestic terrorism threat as a national priority. so far it's not. we don't have, for example, congressional hearings about these kind of things. it's not part of any national strategy. >> reporter: security experts say this form of terrorism is anti-islamic, anti-semitic, anti-immigrant. they say the common theme for violent white extremists is hate for people who are different. lester? >> all right, pete williams, thank you. this attack is just the latest act of violence to be livestreamed on social media. it's raising new questions about how tech giants manage disturbing content that could inspire copycats. let's get more on that angle from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: this still frame before the massacre is all we'll show you of the 17 horrifying
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minutes streamed on facebook live. police quickly tweeted they were aware of the extremely distressing footage and strongly urged that the link not be shared. but hours later the video was still visible online, raising questions about tech companies' ability to control violent content. >> right now they claim they are surprised by this. there is no surprise. they've known this is a problem. they've had the ability to stop it, and they haven't deployed the technology to do it. >> reporter: facebook admits it was police that alerted them to the video and they quickly removed the gunman's facebook and instagram accounts. other companies also say they have rigorous processes in place to manage and remove flagged videos. >> you're looking at something like a game of whack a mole where it keeps popping up in different places. >> facebook says it was alerted to this video by the new zealand police. that means human moderators or artificial intelligence didn't catch it. >> it wouldn't necessarily know it was looking for this very precise thing. >> reporter: this is not the first time a heinous crime has been promoted on social media. in 2017 a man in cleveland
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broadcast his cold-blooded shooting of a 74-year-old victim. in 2015 after local news reporter alison parker and photo journalist anna moore were shot dead on television in virginia, the gunman posted body camera video of the attack online. more than three years later, cyberspace still haunts allison's father. >> i was just astounded and angry that i have not been able to get all of the videos of allison taken down. it's outrageous to me. >> reporter: in addition to the video, facebook also says it's removing any praise or support for the new zealand gunman. critics say, not fast enough. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. president trump expressed condolences for new zealand from the oval office as he signed his first veto. nbc's hallie jackson is at the white house. hallie, good evening. >> reporter: lester, good evening to you. late today president trump issued that veto on what he called a reckless resolution, a bill that would have blocked his national emergency on the border wall.
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it's an emergency declaration now being challenged in court and at the capitol. that's where a dozen republicans voted against the president on this measure, hoping to put a check on presidential power. still, president trump today dismissed any internal gop drama and seemed confident in his approach. >> i put no pressure on anybody. i actually said i could have gotten some of them to come along. i said i want you to vote your heart, do what i want to do, i'm not putting any pressure. the case is a very strong case, very powerful case. it was -- i think actually national emergency was designed for a specific purpose like this. >> reporter: democrats will try to override that veto later on this month but it's not expected that they'll have enough votes. lester? >> all right, hallie, thank you. we turn now to new developments in the deadly ethiopian airlines crash with the cause still a mystery. the black boxes are being analyzed in france as new details emerge about the
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flight's final moments. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: in paris, investigators are analyzing ethiopian flight 302's badly damaged flight recorders, looking for clues into sunday's crash. already satellite data confirms the ethiopian crew struggled to control the plane with erratic speed readings, much like the indonesian lion air crew struggled last october. the final radio conversation between the panicked ethiopian captain and air traffic controllers reported by "the new york times." break, break, request back to home, the captain radioed. request vector for landing. nbc news reported last night that investigators in ethiopia 00 are looking closely at the position of the jackscrew that moves the horizontal stabilizer. that could indicate whether the nose of the plane was being forced down, much like the indonesian plane. >> and eventually that's what you'd be looking at right there. >> reporter: retired air canada captain aaron murphy demonstrated how easy it is to switch off a malfunctioning or runaway trim meant to keep the plane flying level.
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but max pilots complain boeing never told them of a new anti-stall system mcas that's deactivated the same way, now suspected of possibly causing the lion air crash. >> this is a training issue, because you should know how to deactivate that system. but if you're not even aware the system exists, you wouldn't even think of it. >> reporter: boeing plans to release a software fix soon. a preliminary black box report could be out within days but a complete report could take a month. which means the worldwide max fleet could remain grounded for weeks if not months. lester? >> tom costello tonight, thanks. there are new threats by north korea tonight two weeks after the talks between president trump and kim jong-un broke down. we get the response tonight from our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. >> reporter: north korea threatening to cut off talks and resume nuclear and missile tests. a top north korean official accusing the u.s. of a gangster-like stand at the hanoi summit. the u.s. replying the president holds kim jong-un to his promise
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not to test. >> that's chairman kim's word. we have every expectation he will live up to that commitment. >> reporter: trouble has been brewing since these satellite images show north korea is rapidly rebuilding a missile site kim promised to dismantle. still, the regime says relations between kim and the president are good, saying their chemistry is mysteriously wonderful. but critics say personal chemistry only goes so far. >> the underlying flaw here has been a diplomatic approach that's i think less focused on the hard work of diplomacy, and more on a kind of diplomacy of narcissism. so in a way i think the hanoi summit was a dose of reality. >> reporter: experts see north korea's threats as right out of their playbook, using bluster to achieve advantage in negotiations. the question is, what happens if the talks collapse and the tests resume? lester? >> andrea mitchell, thank you. breaking news out of boston where firefighters are battling a massive nine-alarm inferno at a casket company, heavy smoke forcing nearby residents to evacuate. no word yet on injuries or cause. just ahead tonight, new revelations in the
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college admissions cheating scandal. a new study out tonight on eggs and your health. it cost $200 million. what's it like and what is it? we'll take you inside.
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up next for us, new details in that college admissions cheating scandal that stretches from hollywood to the heartland. nbc's morgan chesky now with the latest. >> no comment. >> reporter: tonight more fallout -- >> would you stop? >> reporter: actors william h. macy and felicity huffman back in federal court. huffman one of 33 parents charged with fraud for paying to cheat college admissions. also accused actress lori loughlin, reportedly losing her netflix show "fuller house" a day after being dropped by the hallmark channel. >> i don't think we know yet whether it's the tip of the iceberg. i think in the weeks to come we'll learn whether this is rampant. >> reporter: in many cases parents paid thousands for a pro to take college admissions tests for their kids. former harvard tennis player mark rydell was
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allegedly paid $10,000 for every test he took. he's now cooperating with authorities saying, i am profoundly sorry for the damage i have done. >> it's just kind of like a slap in the face. >> reporter: tonight macy and huffman staying quiet. but it appeared huffman has taken down her website dedicated to parenting advice. now keep in mind, this investigation is still ongoing. the alleged ringleader telling authorities over 750 families paid him to cheat the system, meaning even more indictments could be coming. lester? >> morgan chesky in los angeles tonight, thanks. coming up, the big issue that had students on strike around the world today. and a new health warning about the eggs we eat. 123450
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it's a question that's been debated for decades. how many eggs can you safely eat? while many consider eating eggs in moderation okay, there was a
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new study out that found people who ate an extra half an egg a day increased their risk of cardiovascular disease by 6%, and their risk of early death by 8%. students took to the streets today in this country and far beyond calling on our leaders to do more to protect the planet. let's get more from kelly cobiella. >> reporter: across america and around the globe, students today went on strike for the climate. >> school strike for climate has arrived in america. >> reporter: alexandria villa senor is just 13 years old and has been on strike for nearly four months after seeing swedish teen greta thunberg calling out world leaders. >> you say you love your children above all else. yet you're stealing their future in front of their very eyes. >> reporter: alexandria helped organize the protests across the u.s. and to the adults who say these
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kids should stay in school? >> adults didn't do anything to prevent this. so they shouldn't be telling us that. if enough youth keep striking and going out to the streets, having civil disobedience will get the action that's needed. >> reporter: whatever it takes, they say, to save their future. kelly cobiella, nbc news, new york. up next, the newest sensation you won't want to miss. he said it )s time for a .
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the bold statement from san jose )s police chief igniting a fight on how to handle undocumented criminals. and we )re looking at the lengths bay area mosques are going to to keep their worshipers safe after the shootings in new zealand. next. tonight we have an inside look at new vertical landmark with its awe-inspiring views you can't miss. it's called vessel and our gadi schwartz is there for tonight's "snapshot." >> reporter: for months now in new york city, on the west side of manhattan, there have been a lot of questions. namely, what is this? >> a beehive for people. >> reminds me of hamsters on a wheel. >> reporter: they call
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it vessel. in order to appreciate what's going on here, you've got to start from the bottom. >> it's bold. it's powerful. it's doing something unique. >> reporter: the designers say it's art you can climb on. a park in 3d. >> new york is absolutely a soaring vertical city. >> reporter: over 150 staircases, nearly 2,500 steps to get to the highest point. and we're almost there. we weren't alone. during today's grand opening some of new york's living icons putting in a whole lot of legwork. >> incredible. >> i like that it's not just one staircase. >> it's a magnificent addition to new york city. >> reporter: the view from the top worth every single step. i mean, look at this. a soaring new perspective of new york city. and lester, this whole thing cost a pretty penny to build. we're talking $200 million. but the best part about it, it is free, it is open to the public. so if you haven't gotten your steps in, come on
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down. >> it's quite the view, gadi, thanks very much. that's "nightly news" for this friday. we're happy to get you to your weekend. i'm lester holt. see you later for "dateline" friday. from all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. taking the message to th streets. kids across the nation, demanding that right now at 6:00 taking the message to the streets. kids across the nation inlanding world leaders play closer attention to the problem of climate change. >> plus violence in new zealand. felt here. how religious leaders are reacting to attack on two mosques and the measures being taken to keep worshippers safe. >> a call to change. san jose sanctuary city from the police chief himself. >> the news at 6:00 starts now.
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good evening. >> a very big statement from the top cop in the city of san jose. the police chief went on record saying the county needs to change the sanctuary policy. >> prominent immigrant rights activists will fight the chief on this issue. after the police say an undocumented immigrant with a long criminal history brutally murdered a woman in her bedroom. we spoke to both sides for the report. >> the county policy needs to change. that's the reality. >> mincing no words. saying what many have only whispered. sanctuary policy is out of touch and needs to be revisited and revised. >> we're not here to shield the gangster the violent criminal. or the serious offender. we need to get the policy changed. >> announcement on the heels of one of the city oos most heinous crimes. police

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