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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 28, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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county. we'll track that through tonight and also another look at how much is ahead. >> sounds good. thanks very much. thanks for joining us. "nightly news" with lester holt is now. >> and we'll be back at 6:00. hope to see you then. breaking news tonight. a rare reversal from president trump, facing growing backlash over his administration's plan to cut off all federal funding for the special olympics. tonight, a major backtrack. also tonight, nbc news learning new details about robert mueller report, over 300 pages. and new turns in the battle over how much the public will get to see. the growing uproar in chicago with the city now demanding jussie smollett pay up. tonight, how much money they want him to hand over. a popular airline shuts down without warning, leaving passengers caught off guard. >> we live in boston,
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massachusetts. we got to work tomorrow. so we don't really think that's going to happen. >> tonight, people struggling to get home, scrambling to find other airlines, and hoping for a refund. behind the attack at siegfried and roy in front of a horrified las vegas audience, roy horn critically injured by his own tiger. tonight, for the first time, the trainer who was on stage speaks out about what happened and says the story we've all heard these years is wrong. and 40 years after the biggest nuclear disaster in u.s. history, triggering widespread panic and fear, tonight our andrea mitchell, who was there to cover it, goes back to three mile island. good evening, everyone. we start tonight with a presidential about-face over what's become an emotional and bipartisan hot button. that white house proposal to cut money for special olympics. the president this afternoon in a sharp reversal declaring the special olympics will be funded. the turn-about comes after his education secretary, betsy devos, faced a blistering backlash on capitol hill.
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our hallie jackson has late details. >> reporter: that controversial proposal called off tonight. >> why cut money for the special olympics? why would you cut funding for that? >> the special olympics will be funded. i've been to the special olympics. i think it's incredible. and i just authorized a funding. i heard about it this morning. i have overridden my people. >> reporter: the president announcing an about-face after secretary betsy devos came under fire yet again today for proposed across-the-board cuts to the education department, including more than $17 million from the special olympics. >> whoever came up with that idea ought to get a special olympic gold medal for insensitivity. >> let's not use disabled children in a twisted way for your political narrative. that is just disgusting and it's shameful. >> reporter: devos, after days of publicly defending the proposed cuts, now says she's pleased and grateful adding,
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this is funding i have fought for behind the scenes over the last several years. keep in mind the private organization never really seemed at risk of losing its federal funding, since it's up to lawmakers to make that call, and they didn't want to make the cut. but a top official at the special olympics points out the symbolic significance of this reversal, telling me tonight this move is pretty amazing, lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house. and that wasn't the only drama in washington, where republicans rose up today against the democratic head of the house intel committee for still insisting the trump campaign conspired with the russians, something clearly on president trump's mind as he hits the road for the first time since that summary of the mueller report was released. peter alexander has details. >> reporter: president trump tonight taking a victory lap, emboldened by the end of the mueller investigation that found no conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia. >> and after three years of lies and smears and slander, the
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russia hoax is finally dead. the collusion delusion is over. >> reporter: the president rolling it out as a key talking point for his 2020 re-election. and demanding the resignation of top democrat adam schiff, who repeatedly pushed the collusion theory. >> little pencil-neck adam schiff. >> reporter: joining him, all nine republicans on schiff's house intelligence committee. >> i will not yield. >> reporter: today, signing this letter, calling for schiff to step down during a contentious hearing. >> you're not accusing someone of getting a parking ticket or stealing a piece of bubble gum. you are accusing the president of treason. >> reporter: schiff not backing down, angrily rattling off a list of interactions, including that trump tower meeting, still arguing it's collusion. >> my colleagues may think it's okay that the russians offered dirt on a democratic candidate for president. but i don't think it's okay. i think it's immoral. i think it's unethical. i think it's corrupt. and evidence of collusion.
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>> reporter: tonight, nbc news has learned the mueller report is 300-plus pages long, and democrats are demanding attorney general william barr turn over the whole thing. >> show us the report, and we can draw our own conclusions. we don't need you interpreting for us. it was condescending, it was arrogant. >> reporter: president trump's also renewing his attacks on fired fbi director james comey. >> there was no crime. they've all admitted it. comey, who's a terrible guy -- >> reporter: that, after comey's criticism of the president to lester. >> i don't think we've seen in the history of our country a president try to burn down an institution of justice because he saw it as a threat. >> reporter: here in michigan, the president won in 2016 by 10,000 votes, he's trying to make the mueller investigation personal, not just for himself, but his voters, calling it an effort to try to divide the country. lester? >> peter, thank you.
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nbc news announced that debate will be held in miami june 26th and 27th, two nights for a large number of candidates. it will be broadcast on nbc, msnbc and telemundo. two days after prosecutors in chicago dropped all charges against actor jussie smollett, the president said federal investigators are now looking into the case and chicago's mayor says the city will send the actor a bill. miguel almaguer explains. >> reporter: two days after prosecutors dropped charges against jussie smollett, the department of justice is reviewing the case, and the president is weighing in. >> i think that case is an absolute embarrassment to our country. >> reporter: kim foxx, cook county's top prosecutor, says she recused herself after communicating with smollett's family, who expressed concerns about the investigation while he was still considered a victim. >> this appears to have been a case of special treatment for celebrities.
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and any special treatment in the justice system fundamentally is not just. >> reporter: foxx says the deal to drop the 16 felonies for two days' community service and $10,000 in court fees was fair. but chicago's mayor is sending smollett this letter and a bill for $130,000 for police overtime. >> given that he doesn't feel any sense of contrition and remorse, my recommendation is when he writes the check, in the memo section he can put the word "i'm accountable for the hoax." >> reporter: with smollett's court records sealed, police insist they have overwhelming evidence proving his guilt, but are barred by court order from sharing it. smollett's legal team says he's no criminal. >> he, at this point again, has been victimized much more by what's happened afterwards than what happened that night. >> reporter: today while smollett maintains his innocence as police call him a fraud, the actor is back in l.a., this weekend up for an naacp image award.
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miguel almaguer, nbc news. tonight, thousands of airline passengers are stranded and scrambling to change their plans after the popular airline they were planning to fly suddenly shut down without warning. tom costello has details. >> reporter: at wow ticket counters, long lines this morning, but empty this afternoon. every wow flight canceled. >> nobody received any kind of e-mail communication. so we are just stranded here. nothing is happening. >> reporter: the icelandic budget airlines' 11 planes grounded in north america and europe, leaving passengers stranded, scrambling to find other airlines, and hoping for a refund. >> we live in boston, massachusetts. we've got to work tomorrow, so i don't really think that's going to happen. >> reporter: wow started flying in 2012, offering bargain-busting $99 fares to iceland and europe from toronto, boston, detroit, new york, and a baltimor baltimore. overnight as the airline abruptly went bust, angry passengers vented on twitter. we're stranded in dublin and can't get home to montreal. any chance you can accommodate a family of four out of chicago?
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and our dream honeymoon trip to iceland gets postponed again. it can be risky flying a low-budget foreign airline. wow was just the latest in a string of low-cost carriers going under. >> it came as a real surprise. >> reporter: wow suggests customers ask their credit card or travel agency for a refund. a reminder of the perils of booking low budget. tom costello, nbc news, washington. let's turn now to new concerns about the growing measles outbreak. a highly contagious virus once wiped out, but now there are more cases this year than all of last year. the outbreak blamed on people not getting vaccinated. here's rehema ellis. >> reporter: in new york city, 33 more cases of this highly contagious disease confirmed today, pushing the total to 214 and raising concern throughout the area. to the north, a county took drastic action earlier this week, banning unvaccinated children under 18 from all public indoor places for 30 days. >> we must do everything in our
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power to end this outbreak. >> and especially not be allowed in school if you're not vaccinated, you know, for the safety of the other kids. >> reporter: not everyone agrees. today, a protest inside a mall. but public health experts say this order to protect others from unvaccinated people is appropriate. >> it's narrow in its focus and it's temporary in its duration. that says we recognize and value the liberties. no one has to get vaccinated. >> reporter: today, in california, a proposal to deny medical exemptions, unless approved by a government official. tonight, area health clinics are open, offering parents the chance to vaccinate their children for free. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. now to a major court decision that could be a bellwether for future cases. a federal jury awarding $80 million to a man who says his cancer is linked to the popular weed killer roundup. with more on that, here's steve patterson. >> reporter: for 70-year-old edwin hardiman, vindication.
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a san francisco jury awarded $80 million to the california man after determining the agribusiness giant monsanto, now owned by bayer, is responsible for his cancer. he says repeated use of roundup led to his nonhodgkins lymphoma. the verdict encouraging to the 11,000 plaintiffs in other cases involving roundup. >> we looked just at the science. and the jury told bayer and told monsanto that this product causes cancer. >> reporter: in 2015, the world health organization categorized glyphosate, the active ingredient in roundup, as a probable carcinogen. bayer disagrees, saying its products are safe, citing studies from the epa and other regulators. the company adding, this verdict does not change the weight of over four decades of extensive science and the conclusions of regulators worldwide, that they are not carcinogenic. as bayer plans to appeal, cancer patient duane johnson is still waiting on the millions awarded to him last year in a similar
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lawsuit. >> in the long run, they will see the effects. and that's global. so that's bigger than me. >> reporter: today, a third trial begins in what is now a barrage of lawsuits that could bring down a biochemical titan. steve patterson, nbc news. so now to the question on the lips of just about everyone tonight, from here to wisconsin, who won it? a jackpot mystery. someone sitting on $768 million. kevin tibbles is on the hunt. >> reporter: it's the talk of this tiny hamlet. some lucky guy or gal hit it powerball big, buying the winning ticket at the local speedway. so far the winner's a secret, but the rainbow diner is all abuzz. you didn't win, though? >> i didn't win. >> reporter: me neither. the biggest thing to hit new berlin, wisconsin, since, well -- >> since the parade last fourth of july. >> reporter: this jackpot of $768 million has a cash payout
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of almost half a billion. and here that will buy you 298 million pounds of wisconsin cheddar, or 119 million pounds of wisconsin brats. nothing cheesy about that. kevin tibbles, nbc news, new berlin, wisconsin. it was 40 years ago today when the accident at three mile island put a cloud over this country's nuclear industry. all these years later, some who lived through it are still haunted by the accident. andrea mitchell covered it at the time and just went back. >> reporter: they gathered before dawn at three mile island, marking the moment when one of two reactors went into partial meltdown, the worst nuclear accident in u.s. history, halting the growth of nuclear power in america to this day, and sparking health concerns that linger 40 years later. the cleanup will take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. >> it was just panic, it was fear, it was all these emotions wrapped up into one. >> reporter: thousands of
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pregnant women and families with toddlers like christine lehmans evacuated. two weeks later, they got an all-clear from regulators and the utility company. >> that was our playground growing up. after the accident, that summer, waterskied in those very waters, because they told us it was safe. >> reporter: do you believe they told you the truth? >> no. >> reporter: 40 years later, people here are still debating whether to keep the remaining tower or shut it down. >> people in this area have an awful lot of cancer. all types. all types of cancer. >> reporter: one recent study found a possible correlation between the accident and cancers, but most others didn't. ralph desantis was the three mile island spokesman at the time of the accident. >> there wasn't enough radiation released from the accident to cause health effects in the area. >> reporter: but arnie gunderson, a nuclear engineer, says the equipment back then didn't measure all the radiation.
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>> somewhere between five to ten times more radiation was released than the nuclear regulatory commission admits to. >> reporter: tonight the nuclear regulatory commission says the accident led to significant changes to enhance safety, and that the accident had negligible effects on health. with cheaper natural gas, nuclear energy is no longer a bargain. now the state is deciding whether to subsidize that last reactor or let it close. andrea mitchell, nbc news, three mile island, pennsylvania. >> an unsettling moment in this country's history. still ahead tonight, what really happened in that tiger attack in the siegfried and roy show? the new revelations 15 years later. also, a family tied to some of the biggest american brands confronts its dark past. and how a young boy's dreams of becoming a superhero just came true. and how a young boy's dreams of becoming a superhero just came true. when considering another treatment, ask about xeljanz xr a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or active psoriatic arthritis for whom methotrexate did not work well enough.
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speaking about what he says really happened. here's stephanie gosk. >> say hello to everyone. >> reporter: glitz, illusion, and white tigers turned siegfried and roy into las vegas icons. until 2003, when a tiger roy had performed with for years nearly killed him on stage. the show was canceled for good. now an animal handler who worked for the german duo tells "the hollywood reporter" that the public was told a story shaped by the illusionists to protect the brand, save face, and cover up for a series of onstage handling errors made by roy. this is what roy said to nbc after the attack. >> so you believe you had a stroke, you fell -- >> yes, correct, absolutely. >> reporter: roy said the tiger was just trying to help. but chris lawrence, who was >> that's how wonderful they are. >> reporter: but chris lawrence, who was there that night, now says the tiger was acting out. what roy did was, instead of walking the tiger in a circle as is usually done, he just used
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his arm to steer him right back into his body. the move, he says, provoked the tiger. i vividly remember thinking, here he comes, and i experienced all of the things that you hear about prior to your death. the animal lunged for roy instead, dragging him offstage. roy was left partially paralyzed. siegfried and roy did not respond to nbc's request for comment on the article. while lawrence tells the magazine he suffers from ptsd to this day. that moment, he says, haunts him to the core. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. we're back with a dark past revealed about the family that controls some famous brands. controls some famous brands.
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a german family with ties to a german family with ties to some of this country's best-known businesses is confronting a startling discovery about their past. we get more from nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: they're the big business behind krispy kreme, einstein brothers bagels, a long list of america's favorite brands. but now the billionaire german
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family that controls j.a.b. holdings is facing up to a dark past. the family confirming their grandfather, albert reimann sr., was a devoted follower of hitler who used and possibly abused slave labor in the family's chemical factories during world war ii. >> he actively tried to get slave laborers, tried to get slave laborers sent to his factory. >> reporter: the explosive report appearing in the german tabloid "build," also naming his son, albert reimann jr. as a hitler supporter. in a statement the family spokesman told us in part, it's clear albert reimann sr. and albert reimann jr. were guilty and should have been held accountable and prosecuted. the family feels responsible for what happened. the reimann family promises to donate $11 million to help victims of the nazi regime and the investigation into their own family isn't over. they plan to release a full
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report next year. lester? >> kelly cobiella tonight, thanks. when we come back, the boy who got his wish and became a superhero. en in a gown ♪ ♪ and the only thing u have to say is wow ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪ ♪ and you never felt this type of emotion ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop drop say oh my drop drop drop ♪ ♪ make u say oh my god my drop drop ♪ ♪ make you're jaw drop make u say oh my god ♪
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i )m tracking heavy rain right now. where it )s headed and when we will dry out. up next at 6:00, tracking heavy rain. we'll show you where it's headed and when you'll dry out. alcatraz could be getting a new role. >> what some people want to do on the rock. the news is next. finally tonight, i want you to meet a boy who got to be a superhero. i sent him on a special mission where he met some crime-fighting friends. kristen dalgren has tonight's "inspiring america." >> reporter: they say everyone needs a hero. >> henry, can you be that hero and save the earth? >> reporter: tonight, a little boy named superhenry is ours. >> superhenry, we are depending on you. >> reporter: lester sending superhenry on a mission to save the world from evil alien dragon the dark, thanks to make a wish mid-atlantic.
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>> there's an alien from the planet pluto trying to steal the sun. >> reporter: with his sibling sidekicks, he heads to the very heart of bad guy busting. >> we hope that you're going to be able to help us today. >> reporter: greeted by the agency's director herself. the 7-year-old, who last year was undergoing chemo for cancer, briefed on his top secret spy gear. the chase takes our superhero here, where some real-life heroes show henry the ropes. >> can i get a high five? all right. >> henry, thank you for your service today, sir. >> reporter: he's already proven he's tough. >> he was incredibly strong and incredibly brave. it's nice to have him be a hero in a way that's fun for him. >> reporter: and for a boy who beat cancer, what's a little alien dragon from pluto? what makes you so strong? do you think it comes from inside you? >> inside me. >> reporter: from his school -- >> henry! >> reporter: to his hospital, henry shows off another special power.
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making people happy. tonight, our world a whole lot brighter thanks to a super little boy. kristen dalgren, nbc news, annandale, virginia. >> congratulations, henry, on your mission, awesome job. and that's "nightly news" for this thursday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. e deported. the rally at a gas station in contra costa county to free a man who )s at 6:00, detained by i.c.e. and could be deported. the rally to free a man who has lived in the u.s. for decades. plus -- >> found in the creek, battered and bruised. only on nbc bay area, we talk to the family of an mma fighter fighting for his life in san jose. first, heavy rain comes back to the bay. a live look in richmond, where it's coming down right now.
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the news at 6:00 starts right now. i i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm terry sweeney from for raj mathai. that's hail in santa rosa and other areas. jeff ranieri joining us now. what is going on here? >> the final storm of our week. we've already had the heavy downpours in the north bay and in san francisco. the strong line of rain is moving towards the east. we want to get a track on this to let you know where it's coming down the heaviest. from concord to walnut creek to san ramon, tough commute right now, pushing off into antioch as we hit 6:05. brentwood 6:22, likely holding up in discovery by for the return of rain by 6:32. hayward, fremont, berkley and oakland hills, that rain continuing to come down, moving into livermore by 6:28 tonight. off to


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