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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 21, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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sheriffs deputies teaming up to save that little guy in that storm drain. >> trying to get out of the rain. see you at 6:00. breaking news tonight. breaking news tonight. a growing path of devastation. there are new tornadoes on the ground and a major flood emergency under way. people swept away, trapped in cars, clinging to trees for dear life. and neighborhoods destroyed by a ferocious outbreak of twisters. >> it was so scary. i just thank god we're all okay. >> and tonight the threat is far from over. protests erupt over the abortion flashpoint from the steps of the supreme court to cities all across the country after a wave of restrictions on abortion. abortion rights advocates taking to the streets. a new escalation in the subpoena showdown between the white house and democrats as don mcgahn is a no-show. hope hicks now ordered to testify, and nancy pelosi facing
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she start an impeachment inquiry a big american city held for ransom. computers taken over by hackers demanding money. holding some city services hostage. the city refusing to pay, and it could happen to where you live. and just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, a great white shark may have been spotted way to close for some people's comfort. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone. flash flooding is under way right now, leading to some dramatic rescues in oklahoma, where even some rescuers had to be saved. people are reaching for higher ground as a line of violent storms batter the region, where sevel inches of rain have already fallen on the heels of that destructive tornado outbreak across several states. and tonight even as people pick up the pieces, that weather system is now rolling into kansas, missouri and arkansas. our kerry sanders has the latest.
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>> reporter: no mercy for the midwest. missouri hit late today with a tornado near springfield. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: that's after storms pummeled the great plains overnight, bringing ferocious winds and rain. oklahoma hit especially hard. >> look at that, boys! >> it was so scary. i just thank god we're all okay. that's all that matters. >> reporter: now dangerous flash floods. >> this is by far the worst i've ever seen. >> right now we've got a dramatic rescue going on. >> reporter: this woman near oklahoma city holding on for her life. >> they just pulled her out of the water. >> reporter: one of her rescuers also needed saving. even cattle tried desperately to get on to dry land. stretches of interstate 40 shut down. further north, neighborhoods ripped apart. >> reporter: i'm morgan chesky in tulsa, where height rain split this tree and sent it
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toppling into this home, pinning the man inside for more than an hour before he was rescued. >> you're almost out. >> reporter: a huge twister passed over mango, oklahoma, too. >> we had a huge trailer that's like -- don't know where it's at. >> reporter: just picked up and gone. >> gone. we don't know for sure where it's at. >> reporter: for brenda rogers and her family, chaos lifted her 112-year-old home nearly a foot off the foundation. >> we may have lost our house, but, you know, we've got our lives. and we're okay. look at that. >> reporter: the flash floods here in oklahoma buckling some roads. the big concern is that this is not over. tonight more rain and tornadoes are forecast. lester? >> all right, kerry sanders in the storm zone, thank you. let's turn now to al roker. another dangerous night ahead. >> absolutely. on the radar, severe thunderstorm watches from arkansas to illinois. we have tornado watches and flooding again, a big problem. 9 million people at risk. rainfall rates 1 to 2 inches per
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hour. and here's where we've got the severe risk from st. louis down to little rock. 13 million people in danger. this storm system will push to the east. it will bring storms from minneapolis all the way down to shreveport. lines of storms, torrential rain and another system comes in on thursday, lester. 2 to 4 inches of rain, likelihood of flooding from lubbock all the way to minneapolis. lester? >> all right, al. thank you. let's turn now to the protests from coast to coast today. people taking a stand against the growing number of states passing strict new abortion laws. our stephanie gosk is in louisiana with more. >> get everyone you know to that voting booth. >> reporter: on the steps of the supreme court today, abortion rights activists grab back the megaphone. >> my body, my choice! >> women should have the right to do with their bodies what they want to do with their bodies. >> reporter: hundreds of protesters joined by democrats, looking for votes in 2020. >> we will not go back! >> reporter: demonstrations organized in cities nationwide, triggered after a wave of restrictive abortion laws passed in multiple states.
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>> should a child, a life inside a mother's womb, be killed due to the actions of its parents? >> abortion care is safe and still legal in all 50 states. >> reporter: but that message may not be getting through. >> i've seen patients that are already scheduled for their procedures calling in, asking whether or not they're going to be able to access care. >> reporter: katie caldwell is the coordinator at an abortion clinic in new orleans, one of three in louisiana. you don't do a lot of interviews. >> no, i don't. >> reporter: why? >> personal security reasons. but i think that now is kind of a tipping point. and so because i'm able to i will visibly and vocally advocate for this. >> reporter: there's a large group of people in this country who believe that life starts at on conception and the taking of that life is murder. why isn't that the case? >> that's a difficult quonto aw. everyone is entitled to their beliefs. they are not entitled to infringe upon other people's bodily autonomy. >> reporter: at the louisiana
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capital -- >> we believe that babies in the womb are worth having the same opportunity to live as all of you. >> reporter: a state law banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy is likely just days away from being passed. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new orleans. we are following some news developing out of washington right now. house democrats issuing new subpoenas for more former white house staffers after ex-white house counsel don mcgahn defied a subpoena to testify today on orders from president trump. let's get more on this from nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: tonight, the president's former white house counsel, don mcgahn, a no-show for a house hearing today. but there were still plenty of fireworks. >> the president took it upon himself to intimidate a witness who has a legal obligation to be here today. >> and we're here again with the circus. >> reporter: mcgahn gave 30 hours of testimony to robert mueller, prompting democrats to subpoena him, saying mcgahn is a key witness in their obstruction probe.
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but the trump administration argues justice department opinions going back four decades give senior presidential aides like mcgahn absolute immunity from testifying to congress. digging in tonight, democrats subpoenaed hope hicks, the president's former communications director and annie donaldson, the president tweeting the dems were unhappy with the outcome of the mueller report so now they want a do-over. but it's mcgahn's absence that's a breaking point for many democrats, who are now demanding impeachment. >> i believe we have come to the time of impeachment. >> reporter: house speaker nancy pelosi is still resisting those calls. >> it's about the presentation of the facts. so that the american people can see why we're going down a certain path. >> reporter: all of it a contentious backdrop as president trump hit battleground pennsylvania overnight, turning his fire on former vice president joe biden, a scranton native who moved to delaware as a child. >> he left you for another state.
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and he didn't take care of you. because he didn't take care of your jobs. >> reporter: as for whether robert mueller will testify, three sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news, mueller and house democrats have been unable to reach an agreement so far. lester? >> kristen welker at the white house, thanks. today president trump's top national security officials briefed congress for the first time after weeks of conflicting signals on iran. and there's also late word about a possible chemical weapons attack in syria. andrea mitchell has details. >> reporter: after three weeks, the administration telling congress the tense standoff with iran appears to be easing. >> we do not want the situation to escalate. this is about deterrence, not about war. >> reporter: the administration saying the orders to attack ships at a saudi pipeline came from the iayatollah. they sayus
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sending a carrier group to the region. >> if there's an attack on american interests personnel in iraq or anywhere else directed by the ayatollah and his henchman and you don't respond, your ass will be up here. >> reporter: democrats criticizing the lack of diplomacy. >> i don't know why this administration can talk to the north koreans but can't talk to the iranians. >> reporter: in neighboring iraq, nbc's bill neely. >> reporter: tonight, iraq says it's passing messages between the u.s. and iran and wants to send ministers to mediate. it's nervous it will get caught in the middle of a conflict and of what iran's powerful militias here might provoke. >> reporter: and in tehran, iran's president rouhani saying this is not the time for talks. and tonight the state department says that the assad regime in syria may be again using chemical weapons, including chlorine two days ago. and warns if proved, the u.s. will respond. lester? >> andrea, we'll be watching that situation closely and what the response will be from the white house if the evidence reveals another chemical attack. meantime this evening, federal investigators are looking into another deadly
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seaplane crash in alaska. the second in a matter of weeks, involving the same company. nbc's miguel almaguer has details. >> reporter: when rescue teams reach the wreckage -- >> look at the engine. >> reporter: the small float plane was submerged in the frigid waters off alaska's annette island. the pilot and 31-year-old passenger killed. sara luna was an epidemiologist. before the trip, she posted about her excitement for her first float plane flight. >> sadly, i was able to see them pulling the people out. >> reporter: the seaplane operated by tac-1 air, making this the second crash involving the small airline in less than a week, and the third within a year. six were killed just last week when a tach-1 air flight collided with a float plane operated by mountain air. >> the weather conditions can getad hurry. >> reporter: last july, passeng passengers aboard another tach-1 flight were injured when its
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pilot became disoriented in bad weather and crashed into the side of a mountain. today with the ntsb on-scene, tac-1 has voluntarily suspended operations after another tragedy in the air and few answers as to why. miguel almaguer, nbc news. now to an nbc news investigation as the battle over immigration rages, we're taking a closer look at the treatment of immigrants in detention. in partnership with the international consortium of investigative journalists, we found thousands placed in solitary confinement in the last several years. and tonight a government whistleblower sounds the alarm about what she calls widespread abuse. gabe gutierrez has the story. >> reporter: this man studied in soh carolina on worked as a hospital technician there. in 2017, he was accused of visa violations and arrested by i.c.e. >> i'm just scared and confused. all i know, i have handcuffs on my hands, a big chain around my
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waist and feet. >> reporter: in jail, he got in trouble for bis disobeying an order to return to his bed. his punishment, seven days in solitary. >> i'm thinking, like, what did i do wrong in my life that i get that punishment? >> we have created and continued to support a system that involves widespread abuse of human beings. >> reporter: ellen gallacher works in the office of the inspector general at the department of homeland security. in 2014, she was with a different dhs office, where she reviewed civil rights complaints and was troubled by what she saw in i.c.e.'s own files. hundreds of immigrant detainees being put in solitary confinement every week. most troubling for her, cases involving the mentally ill. a schizophrenic detainee sentenced to 390 days in solitary for throwing human waste at a guard. another mentally ill detainee
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got 15 days, because he had a green pepper in his sock. >> the note specifically said he had hidden the green pepper. >> reporter: a green pepper. >> a half a green pepper. >> reporter: i.c.e.'s policy states that detainees should be segregated only after careful consideration of alternatives. >> solitary confinement was being used as the first resort, not the last resort. and sometimes it was the only approach. >> reporter: in a statement to nbc news, a spokesperson says i.c.e. is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody. the use of restrictive housing in i.c.e. detention facilities is exceedingly rare but at times necessary to ensure the safety of staff and individuals in the facility. between 2014 and 2018, gallacher sent memos detailing her concerns up the chain. how would you characterize the overall response to the concerns you raised? >> muted. >> reporter: why are you speaking up now? >> because if i didn't speak up, i don't think i could live with myself. >> reporter: an nbc news review of i.c.e. data found more than 8,000 cases of immigrants held in solitary confinement in
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local, private and federal facilities under both the obama and trump administrations. a third of them involved the mentally ill, including one put in isolation for nearly two years. at least seven have committed suicide while in solitary. rivera, an immigrant from honduras, tried to hang herself while in solitary in new mexico. >> they didn't help. you're never going to be out. >> reporter: she spent about 11 months in isolation, sometimes in a cell like this. documents show officials knew about her history of mental illness, including prior suicide attempts. >> it's not only me. it's a lot of people who are living in segregation time right now. and they need to be out there. because a lot of the time when you get out you're going to feel like me. >> she is now living with a sponsor in the u.s. the immigrant from egypt at the beginning of our story was
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granted asylum, lester. >> gaib gabe, is there any indication that the situation is getting better? >> lester, the federal whistleblower we spoke with thinks it may be getting worse because of the rising number of immigrants being detained in facilities that aren't necessarily equipped to deal with the most vulnerable. lester? >> all right. gabe, thank you. just ahead as we continue tonight, hackers holding another city for ransom. services that handle everything from selling a home to paying the water bill crippled. then just days before the beaches fill up, the great white shark scare in an unexpected place. place. we'll tell you about that. stay with us stay with us. back now. farxiga, along with diet and exercise,... ...helps lower a1c in adults with type 2 diabetes. and when taken with metformin xr, it may lower a1c up to 2.1 points. do not take if allergic to farxiga. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing. stop taking and seek medical help right away. tell your doctor right away if you have... color in urine, or pain while you urinate...
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aleve pm. there's a better choice. back now with that big american city held hostage by hackers demanding money. it's the latest instance of as ransomware, a growing danger that could strike where you live. here is pete williams. >> reporter: tonight, it's a huge headache to complete a home sale in baltimore. the city's computer system that looks for property liens or debts to check for a clear title
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is locked up, as buyers and sellers wait the city searches paper files by hand. >> i've been here since 6:45 in the morning. >> i think that they're trying their best to get as many of our documents processed. >> reporter: baltimore was hit two weeks ago by ransomware, freezing thousands of city computers. hackers demanded 13 bitcoins worth about $100,000 for the code to unlock the system. a similar attack tied atlanta in knots last year and cost millions to recover. greenville, north carolina, a city of 90,000, was hit just last mon. so far this year, analysts say 25 local governments have been victimized. the president of baltimore city council, be brandon scott, says his city will not pay the ransom. >> you talk to technology people and others, people who pay ransoms can leave something in the system and come back and shut you down again.
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and i just have to take the advice of the law enforcement and the professionals. >> reporter: cyber security experts say the spread of these attacks is a warning that cities large and small must be better prepared. >> cash-strapped municipalities are uniquely vulnerable to this kind of ransomware attack, because they're using older systems, they don't keep them updated and they don't have the resources to be able to respond. >> reporter: but with ransomware attacks spreading, cities are finding that a strong defense is no longer a luxury. ♪ i was just finishing a ride. i felt this awful pain in my chest. i had a pe blood clot in my lung. i was scared. i had a dvt blood clot. having one really puts you in danger of having another. my doctor and i chose xarelto®. xarelto®. to help keep me protected. xarelto® is a latest-generation blood thinner that's proven to treat and reduce the risk of dvt or pe blood clots from happening again. in clinical studies, almost 98% of patients on xarelto® did not experience another dvt or pe.
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were from a gps attached to an almost ten-footer called cabin. tagged in nova scotia last september, they have been following him since. so when he appeared to surface in the long island sound, residents were on alert. >> i'm going to probably go in a pool for the rest of the summer. >> reporter: but then this morning, new pings showed cabot all the way on the other side of long island, an unlikely swim in one day. and researchers point out just because cabot appears to be gone -- >> time will tell. but certainly he's not the only shark in there. >> reporter: already places like cape cod, massachusetts, were taking extra precautions thisad devices anina shark killed a man there last summer. while they sort out the gps confusion, those in connecticut are wondering whether cabot really could be spending part of his spring off their beaches. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, grenich, connecticut. up next, those who serve. the women making history in west
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to keep the punchline right where it is. his personal connections to the legendary comedy club -- and the effort to keep it from closing down. next. in tonight's "those who in tonight's "those who serve," a major milestone at west point. this year the academy will graduate more african-american women cadets than it has in its 217-year history. here's morgan radford. >> reporter: it's a class photo gone viral. 34 black female cadets standing on the stairs of west point academy, part of the most diverse class in the school's history. how does it feel to be a part of elmi history? feeling to see all of our sisters. us just standing there in solidarity. >> reporter: these women have
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formed a sisterhood that's also a support system, with more than 900 students in their graduating class, black women make up less than 4%. >> it hasn't always been pretty. >> reporter: when you say it hasn't always been pretty, what do you mean? >> there are some moments here where you feel like, oh, am i worthy? you know, do i deserve to be here? i definitely struggled sometimes, because sometimes i would be, like, the only woman of color or even woman in general in my -- in my class. every time i step into a new class, i count. and i'm like, i guess it's just me today. >> reporter: something their classmates also want to change. >> we need different perspectives in our army. >> that's what makes us better cadets and will make us better leaders. >> reporter: leaders for the next generation. wh >> i hope those girls can ittlb i have the strength to defy the odds, which is what we did. to say, hey, i can do it too. we defied the odds. >> reporter: morgan radford, nbc news, west point, new york. >> definitely something to be proud of. our congratulations to all. and we hope you'll tune in tomorrow night when i talk exclusively with american
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airlines ceo doug parker. he speaks out for the first time since the 737 max fleet was grounded. that's "nbc nightly news." i'm lester holt.right now at 6: stepping in and saying "no" to president trump. we investigate california )s latest lawsuit against the president. stepping in and saying no to president trump. >> some bay area cities are making moves to ban facial recognition technology. it could be happening in the south bay? >> but first, we're tracking a storm moving again through the bay area. this is a live look at our radar. how much longer can we expect this rain to last? >> good evening. thank you morial day barbecues might have to be postponed. we're still seeing the rain and nasty wind. we've seen showers on and off all day. right now, just gray and chilly with some sprinkles out there. >> these are not sprinkles.
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this is what it looked like if gillroy. jeff ranieri joins us with an updated time line. how much longer? >> i think we'll get a brake as soon as we hit tomorrow's forecast. you see wind gusts today. 30 miles per hour. look at the doppler radar. worst of the storm system has moved through. light to moderate rainfall. keeping the roadways slick for may. this is going to pick up that rainfall down near union city by 6:23 tonight. free monlt by 6:37. so rainfall over san mateo and redwood city and to 634 tonight. again, sunshine. i have it in the forecast for


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