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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 28, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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in schools ranging from milpitas to san ramon. >> we'll be rooting for you. >> nightly news is next. ahead tonight, twin disasters. a growing path of devastation from 13 straight days of tornadoes tearing across the country. neighborhoods leveled in ohio. >> tornado on the ground wait for the power flashes >> new danger tonight as violent storms rage from the midwest up through the northeast, and high alert as a major dam threatens to fail. massive flooding leaving parts of several states under water. new alarm about the deadly traffic jam at the top of the world as an american man becomes the 11th person to die on mt. everest this season. climbers forced to step over lifeless bodies because it's too dangerous to stop. too many people and too little time a major abortion ruling at the supreme court as lawmakers crack down on the procedure
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nationwide, and which state could be the first with no abortion clinics by the end of this week. ellen degeneres gets personal, detailing the painful sexual abuse she says she endured as a teenager. why ellen says her own mother doubted her for years, and why she is going public now. and the price you pay to book that summer vacation. the travel booking rules we've all been living by that may not be saving us money after all >> this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening. i'm savannah guthrie in for lester tonight a huge portion of the country is bracing for impact. severe thunderstorm and tornado watches at this hour stretch across 12 states, from oklahoma to new jersey. a wicked weather streak across the u.s. tonight, 13 straight days of tornadoes, the latest in dayton, ohio, where the terror struck at nightfall, a powerful ef-3 tornado. and in the south, it's flooding
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as days of rain have rivers our team is in place tonight across the region. we'll start with nbc's gabe gutierrez in dayton. gabe, what do you see there? >> reporter: savannah, the ef-3 tornado that tore through here packing winds up to 140 miles per hour was so powerful that this elementary school just collapsed. take a look at this mangled mess tonight local authorities are urging people to conserve water because the power is out to some of the pumping stations. the debris stretches for miles in and around dayton, ohio today as rescue teams frantically search for survivors -- >> fire department, anybody home >> reporter: -- people like lisa hasler struggle to cope. >> it would be better if i knew where i was going stay. >> reporter: she huddled in her bathtub as the ferocious winds ripped the roof off her apartment complex. >> we knew that the tornado was on top of us we knew it was going straight over us. >> reporter: one man was killed in nearby salina, ohio. >> tornado on the ground wait for the power flashes
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there you go >> reporter: at night the rapid-fire line of storms horrified those in its path. in the darkness, it was that much more terrifying >> the tornado just hit our house. we were just sitting out here. >> reporter: by morning a clear look at the shredded homes, the mangled power lines, the utter shock. >> i have no car now, no home. >> things that have been here my whole life are gone. >> reporter: there were more than 50 reports of possible tornadoes across eight states overnight, and it's been a devastating few weeks. tornado reports each of the last 13 days, more than 500 over the last 30 days tonight pendleton, indiana is also recovering. a twister there sliced through dozens of homes. >> everything around us came down i mean look at these trees they're terrible it's pretty devastating. >> reporter: parts of the midwest now in a state of emergency. >> the walls shook like an earthquake, and it was so deafening. >> reporter: and so many here brace for another long night gabe gutierrez, nbc news, dayton, ohio
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i'm kerry sanders at the keystone dam on the arkansas river. every second, more than two million gallons of water flows towards tulsa. that much water is now testing this city's 70-year-old levee system if these levees fail, even more neighborhoods will flood already a portion of the river city casino is under water, and there are concerns tonight here at the resort that things could get worse. and it's not just the arkansas river that is now 18 feet above flood stage. west alton, missouri is surrounded by the swollen missouri, mississippi and illinois rivers. they're all above flood stage and still rising. >> the levees are tired, plain and simple. >> reporter: as kansas and missouri now join oklahoma activating national guard units. >> prepare for the worst case scenario that we've had in our history at the city. >> reporter: tonight in arkansas, the water got so high, it spilled over the tops of some levees now here in oklahoma, the fear is the same could happen, resulting in more homes and
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businesses flooded just like this savannah >> all right, kerry, thank you and that brings us to al roker al, 13 straight days of tornadoes. that's nearly unheard of and the mississippi flooding the worst since the great flood of 1927 this is hard to get your head around >> that's right. and we're not done yet, savannah look what's going on tonight we are talking about tornado watches, severe thunderstorm watches in the northeast and into the midwest, and then they stretch back into the plains midwest all the way down into texas. we are looking at, this and we've got flood watches in effect flooding as you saw in kerry's report a big, big problem. but tonight there is a fear of storm threat in the northeast. 40 million people at risk. we can't rule out tornadoes. widen out and you see we have enhanced risk throughout kansas and missouri 21 million people at risk. could see tornadoes, hail, damaging winds and for wednesday we're looking at 61 million people at risk from texas all the way to the northeast and rainfall and airport delays dallas, oklahoma, st. louis, cleveland, new york city we'll have an update tomorrow morning on "today. savannah >> what a mess
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al, thank you so much. now to a story that has captivated the world, the danger and overcrowding on wo tonight there are growing calls for tougher restrictions on mt. everest after an experienced american mountaineer became the 11th climber to die there this season nbc's gadi schwartz with the details. >> reporter: on top of the world, a deadly climbing season growing more dangerous at least 11 killed, including three americans. two of the elite climbers, don cash and christopher kulish collapsing after reaching the summit and spending time along this ridge where an astounding number of climbers pass through what's known as the death zone experts saying this year there are too many people and not all are prepared one sherpa telling us there are more inexperienced climbers than ever before. do some of the people, they their crampons and also the harness. >> reporter: this season nepal issuing a record 381 permits, no plans on slowing down, charging $11,000 each all in an expedition can run a
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climber more than $60,000. >> unfortunately, there are a lot of inexperienced climbers who can sign up with some of the more local expeditions and just get on to the mountain with minimal background. >> reporter: but in the death zone, the body only gets 30% of the oxygen at sea level. so high most humans would lose consciousness within two minutes without an oxygen tank, and so cold that climbers like this woman suffer severe frostbite. this month climbers crossing by the bodies of those killed on their way up, conditions too treacherous to bring them back down while nepal says the fatalities aren't from overcrowding and the lines arose from a small window of weather but as more adventurers set their sights on the most unforgiving place on earth, much of the danger has become man-made gadi schwartz, nbc news. next tonight, big developments in the heated battle over abortion the supreme court handing down a major decision today and in one state women seeking an abortion may have to leave to get one.thomon >> reporter: missouri could become the first state in the
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nation with no abortion clinic this planned parenthood facility in st. louis going to court to stay open beyond friday, unable to reach an agreement with missouri's health department to renew its license. two years ago, jenny bach says this is where she went to have an abortion. >> i know that we made the best choice for her. >> reporter: but with no clinic and a new law the governor signed friday banning abortions after eight weeks, she and her husband would no longer have that option. they ended her pregnancy at 15 weeks after learning their daughter had a genetic disorder and would die soon after birth now they are expecting another child. >> i believe my greatest act of love as her mother was to suffer myself instead >> reporter: louisiana is expected to enact an even stricter law, banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. >> we should look at when the heart starts beating to determine when life starts >> the law is blatantly unconstitutional. >> reporter: last week a federal
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judge blocked a similar mississippi law, finding it, quote, threatens immediate harm to women's rights. mississippi is appealing and for those looking for signs from the supreme court, today mixed signals on indiana's law the justices letting stand the lower court's decision blocking the law banning abortions on gender, race, or disability, but upholding the requirement fetal remains be buried or cremated. >> it's becoming sort of increasingly clear and perhaps likely that there are several justices who just aren't ready to wade into the issue of abortion yet if they can possibly help it >> reporter: something several states are not afraid to do. anne thompson, nbc news, chicago. now to a potential watershed moment in the opioid epidemic ravaging so many communities in this country what could be a precedent-setting trial for those looking to hold drug companies accountable for their alleged role
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being a drug kingpin nbc's stephanie gosk has the details. >> you'll now make opening statements. >> reporter: a first today in an oklahoma civil court an opioid maker on trial, accused of fueling an epidemic thinking crisis is a drug company-made crisis. and one of the causes is sitting right here to my right >> reporter: in a civil suit oklahoma's attorney general accuses johnson & johnson of misleading doctors by downplaying the risks of opioids while touting the benefits, for years. the company fighting back, arguing its products made up a small percentage of the opioid market and were sold according to fda guidelines. >> we talk about opioids as if they're all the same, and i assure you they are not. >> reporter: in court today, emily walden her son died of an overdose in 2012 she is now a leading activist in addiction and drug makers. >> they need to pay billions of dollars for the damage that they have done in every single state.
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and then we need criminal charges. we need prison time for these executives >> reporter: the lawsuit named multiple companies, but in march, purdue, the makers of oxycontin, settled, paying $270 million while denying any wrongdoing teva pharmaceuticals did the same just two days ago, paying $85 million. this case is one of a mountain of pending claims, around 2,000, filed across the country suing drug makers and distributors what happens in oklahoma could set a critical precedent, which is why walden, who is from kentucky, felt she needed to be here >> a mom in oklahoma or a mom in kentucky, we've lost our kid we've lost loved ones, and we feel the same pain this is just the beginning >> yeah, it really is. there is a massive case pending in ohio. it consolidates more than 1800 lawsuits the judge in that case wants
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both sides to reach a settlement which could run in the tens of billions of dollars. that is money that is desperately needed to help people with recovery >> you have a lot of courtrooms to keep your eyes on stephanie, thank you so much it is a war of words in the race for 2020 tonight. democratic front-runner joe biden back on the campaign trail for the first time in ten days, and he is firing back after attacks by the president who returned today from japan. nbc's peter alexander with the details. >> mr. president, why you so concerned about joe biden, sir >> reporter: tonight joe biden's campaign blasting president trump, deliberately waiting until the president landed back in the u.s., according to his aides, before responding to the president's weekend attacks, calling them beneath the dignity of the office. the president in japan sided with north korea's brutal dictator, kim jong-un, while lashing out at the former vice president. >> kim jong-un made a statement that joe biden is a low iq individual he probably is, based on his record i think i agree with him on that i can tell you that joe biden was a disaster
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>> reporter: biden's campaign today arguing "to be on foreign soil on memorial day and to side repeatedly with a murderous dictator against a fellow american and former vice president speaks for itself. and it's part of a pattern of embracing autocrats at the expense of our institutions. most every republican silent but pete king calling the president's criticism wrong, tweeting politics stops at water's edge the president also fueling controversy by brushing off north korea's recent short-range missile tests by saying they don't personally bother him. nbc's kristen welker is in tokyo. >> reporter: those tests do bother the japanese, but while here president trump broke with his hosts and his national security adviser john bolton who see the tests as violations of u.n. resolutions >> and late tonight back here at the white house, president trump on twitter is defending his insult of biden, claiming he was sticking up for the former vice president by paraphrasing kim jong-un's words. savannah
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>> peter alexander at the white house, thank you tonight we're hearing from the hiker rescued after spending 17 days lost in the jungle in hawaii and she is sharing a miraculous survival story nbc's molly hunter is there. >> reporter: tonight amanda eller flanked by her family, talking about the 17 grueling days lost in the maui jungle after becoming disoriented. >> i tried all these different paths. and then i was like oh, shoot. these are not bike paths these are not walking paths. these are boar paths. >> reporter: badly injured, she did whatever she could to survive. facing treacherous terrain, even a flash flood. >> i was sitting in a foot of water on hard rocks, but i didn't have another choice. >> reporter: her family and he's rescuers never giving up >> and the helicopters are passing over and i'm standing on rocks and waving them down and they're passing over and not seeing me. i'm invisible. >> reporter: and that moment when she finally saw them. >> i looked up and i saw the helicopter right over me, and he's pointing right at me, i just fell to the ground and started bawling.
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>> reporter: hoisting to her to safety, it was javier. >> i just collapsed. it was the best first hug ever >> reporter: last night so many more hugs when she saw her rescuers for the first time since her ordeal now those same searchers already on a new rescue mission, looking for another missing hiker. tonight grateful to be alive. >> grateful for every breath grateful for every thing and i hope never lose that >> reporter: molly hunter, nbc news, maui >> an incredible story just ahead, talk show star ellen degeneres speaking out about the sexual abuse she says she suffered and why she is opening up about it now. then the price you pay for summer travel. tips on when to buy and fly. stay with us to simone, i leave the van gogh.
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to harrison, the wine collection. to craig, this rock. the redwoods to the redheads. the rainbows to the proud. i leave these things to my heirs, all 39 million of you, on one condition. that you do everything in your power to preserve and protect them. with love, california. we're back tonight with ellen degeneres getting personal and detailing for the first time the sexual abuse she says she endured as a teenager. she says there is a powerful reason she is going public now
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here is joe fryer. >> reporter: when ellen degeneres sat down with david letterman for his netflix show "my next guest needs no introduction," and interview that will be released friday, the conversation turned serious. degeneres says she was abused at age 15 by her stepfather after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. he told me when she was out of town that he felt a lump in her breast and he needs to feel my breast then he tries to do it another time and another time. he tries to break my door down and i kicked the window out and ran. she said she waited a few years to tell her mother, and then she didn't believe me, and then she stayed with him for 18 more years and finally left him because he changed the story so many times her stepfather has since died. degeneres first shared her story in "allure" magazine in 2005 and last year opened up to savannah. >> well, as a victim of sexual abuse, i am furious at people who don't believe it and who say
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how do you not remember exactly what day it was or what. you don't remember those things. what you remember is what happened to you and where you were and how you feel. that's what you remember >> reporter: nbc news has been unable to reach her mother betty, but she has not commented on ellen's claims in the past. >> is there anything we haven't covered? >> no. >> reporter: degeneres told letterman she is sharing her story because she wants victims to have a voice. joe fryer, nbc news. and up next, we'll take a turn the price you pay. tips to save big during this record summer for air travel
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back now with the price you pay to book that summer vacation the unofficial start to summer is here, and chances are you're dreaming of jetting off somewhere relaxing but some of those booking tricks we think have been helping us save money could actually cost us more. here is tom costello. >> reporter: a few tips if you still haven't bought the summer getaway family tickets yet
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number one, booking on a tuesday no longer guarantees the best airfares since computer programs constantly change ticket prices based on realtime demand. >> the truth is that airfare changes so constantly that there isn't really a single day of the week where you're guaranteed to get the best deal. >> reporter: you'll usually pay more at night and on weekends when everyone else is trying to book so fair compare midday during the week number two, round-trip tickets are not always cheaper buying one-way tickets can save you up to 10% on some u.s. flights, and 18% on international trips. you can save up to 5% if you choose to make a stop rather than fly direct. number three, tuesdays and saturdays are usually the cheapest days to fly since fewer business travelers are flying. friday is the most expensive day to fly number four, surprise, if you buy your tickets six months in advance, you could be paying a
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lot more than just two to three months in advance. >> it's not too late to book your summer travel we're seeing great deals are still available for late summer august and september >> ticket prices normally hit their peak in june the best travel deals this summer experts say europe is looking cheaper than in years past savannah >> all right, tom, thank you up next, the student journalists inspiring america. g
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the common rip-off that has bart police getting more face time with riders. plus, they were told they could use it... now the city is telling neighbors they want it back. the fight over a fence in san francisco. that )s next. right now at 6: a fight over a fence. in tonight's inspiring america, the pulitzer prize ceremony packed with the nation's most celebrated reporters today honored the student journalists from parkland for the coverage of their fallen classmates and school staff >> reporter: eight days after a
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gunman opened fire at marjory stoneman douglas high school, the staff of the school newspaper, the eagle eye, gathered to start work on a special memorial issue to honor the victims. >> i had to relive that day over and over again to report on the shooting and tell the stories of the lives that were lost in our community. >> reporter: hannah kapoor and rebecca schneid. are the paper's co-editors in chief. >> it's definitely a way of coping for many of our staff members. while it didn't let us forget what was happening, it gave us a sense of control >> reporter: the student journalists wrote 17 obituaries, deeply personal to each student and staff member who died, balancing personal grief with journalistic responsibility. >> it doesn't matter how old we are. words still have an impact >> reporter: today some of the most accomplished journalists in the country gathered to honor the winners of the pulitzer prize. eight eagle eye staff members attended, and they received a standing ovation
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>> i would just want other students and other young people to know that their words matter. and if you have a story, it's your right to tell it. don't let anyone else tell it for you. >> hannah and rebecca are both off to college in the fall where they hope to continue telling stories that matter. that's "nightly news." i'm savannah guthrie see you tomorrow bright and early on "today.right now at 6: a fight over a fence. the reason san francisco is right now at 6:00, a fight over a fence. the reason san francisco is deeming that some neighbors tear one down in their own back yard. also a school trip takes a dangerous turn in contra costa county. we're live with new information on the 11-year-old boy found face down at the bottom of a pool. but first. we know that's money in their hands getting taken away from them. >> a new warning from b.a.r.t. the problem that keeps getting worse for riders. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for
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joining us. >> it's a crime of opportunity that's coming to a b.a.r.t. station near you. and you've got to think fast because this crime takes seconds. >> today b.a.r.t. officers kicked off a campaign to warn you about protecting your cell phone. it's just getting worse and stakes are rising, sam. >> reporter: it's a simple numbers game. everyone has a cell phone. everyone has their cell phone out when they're going to and from work and thieves, quite frankly, are just taking advantage of there have been more than 400 electronic thefts on b.a.r.t. just through april. and police don't want you to be the next victim. take a gander around pretty much any b.a.r.t. station. and you'll see a whole lot of this. riders' heads pointed down with phone screens propped up. i asked charles bennett how he usually carries himself on the train. >> jus l

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