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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 26, 2019 5:30pm-5:59pm PDT

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98 tomorrow and then pidown to up next, kate snow sitting in for lester holt on "nightly news." breaking news tonight, the major verdict just handed down. a dramatic day in court, drug maker johnson & johnson ordered to pay more than half a billion dollars. the judge finding the company helped fuel the deadly opioid epidemic prosecutors hailing it as a landmark decision. >> johnson & jnson was the kingpin behind the nation's ongoing opioid crisis. >> tonight, why this ruling also tonight, president trump at the g7 opening the door talks with iran and signaling a break through in the t to become a hurricane. puerto rico bracing for potential impact
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our correspondents there on the ground tonight the flash flood emergency in the midwest, a car swept away by rushing water. the uber driver accused of kidnapping a teen on her way home from her sweet 16 party police say he drove in the wrong direction planning to sexual assault her. how she got away and called for help the brazen heist in broad daylight caught on camera, armed robbers forcing employees on to the ground, binding them with zip ties and tape. the manhunt tonight for suspects who made off with millions in jewels >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, i'm kate snow in for lester tonight. in an effort to hold someone accountable for this nation's devastating opioid crisis, more than 40 states have sued the companies that manufactured or distributed prescripti tonight, for the first time, a e led agctio safety of thousands of oklahomans compromised the health and the landmark decision could be the first of many and could
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impact an even bigger trial slated to begin this fall. we begin tonight with kristen dahlgren >> reporter: late this afternoon, a landmark decision >> defendants caused an opioid crisis that is evidence by increased rates of addiction, deaths, and neonatal syndrome in oklahoma >> reporter: the judge ruling against johnson & johnson saying the company is liable for aggressively marketing powerful painkillers while down playing the risk.playing the risk oklahoma had asked for $17 billion to help fight the epidemic the judge awarded 572 million saying it would be up to the legislature to get additional funding. prosecutors praised the award. >> we have proven that johnson & innocent people. >> reporter: attorneys for johnson & johnson promised an appeal >> johnson & johnson did not cause the opioid abuse crisis here in oklahoma or anywhere >> reporter: the case is not just about oklahoma.
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there are nearly 2,000 pending lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and distributors like johnson & johnson. legal scholars have called the oklahoma trial a litmus test and compared it to the case against big tobacco in the '90s. but for tonya radcliff tonight who testified at the trial, it's about something much smaller, her babies, some fostered or adopted after they were born dependent on opioids >> for the first time ever, the pharmaceutical companies are going to be held responsible for the betterment of oklahomans and beyond today was a win. >> what next >> that promise of an appeal means this isn't over. however it plays out in oklahoma, it seems to be a resounding for all those other towns and municipalities and states suing drug makers a judge in ohio is going to start to hear those cases in october and some say this may influence the drug companies
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in settling. >> kristen, thank you. president trump is returning home from the g7 summit on a hopeful note, saying he's open to possible nuclear talks with iran and signaling a possible breakthrough in the trade war with china nbc's hallie jackson is in france with more >> reporter: the summit closing with an open door as president trump indicates he'd consider the french president's push to set up a meeting with iranian leader hassan rouhani. >> if the circumstances were correct or right, i would agree to that. but in the meantime, they have to be good players you understand what that means would be the first between the countries' two leaders since the iranian hostage crisis nearly four decades ago and a dramatic development in a relationship marked by rising tensions over iran's nuclear program
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there's no timeline for any face-to-face just yet, and no timeline on a deal with chin to end the trade war either, although the president seems to think he's getting closer. >> i believe they want to do a deal the tariffs have hit them very hard in a fairly short period of time >> reporter: the president's optimism boosting markets, but it's not clear china is changing its position the president was asked about the whiplash week in which he suggested the chinese president was both an enemy and a great leader >> sorry it's the way i negotiate it's the way i negotiate it's done very well for me over the years and it's doing even better for the country >> next year it's president trump's turn to host the g7 somewhere in the u.s he's leaning toward miami and his golf resort nearby that's raising ethical questions given his financial stake in the company as he insists, without evidence, he will lose billions while in office. what reassurances, if any, can you give the american people that you are not looking to profit off the presidency? >> the combination of loss and opportunity, probably it'll cost me anywhere from 3 to $5 billion
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to be president. i used to get a lot of money to give speeches. now i give speeches all the time and do you know what i get zippo. and that's good. i've done a lot of great jobs and deals i don't do anymore i don't want to do them. the deals i'm making are for the country and that's much more important. >> reporter: leaders are questioning whether russia should be readmitted to the g7 president trump says he would be open to inviting russia as a guest to next year's summit. kate >> hallie jackson in france for us hallie, thank you. also at the summit g7 leaders pledged to help in the battle against those massive wildfires in the amazon. kerry sanders is in brazil tonight and explains why efforts to save the landscape may be too little too late. >> reporter: in is an amaz fore. the land burned to make way for soybean farms william da silva is earning $15 a day, considered a good wage here how do you feel about the destruction of the amazon? he says i feel bad
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the smoke and destruction is atrocious. scientists say part of what fuels the rain forest is the water that escapes through the leaves it's called transpiration. water vapor rises and builds the rain clouds. it's a cycle that is the life blood of the rain forest but with the trees cut down, that cycle is broken, turning a once lush rain forest into an arid savannah. tonight with 43,000 troops here to stop the fire, not one person has been arrested for setting them, something that climate scientists and activists say is an irreversible crime. what happens here impacts us in the united states? >> very much so. we already have some changes taking place and what is projected is much greater. it affects water supplies, agriculture, all sorts of things >> reporter: today, world leaders at the g7 summit pledged
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$20 million in emergency aid to help fight the fires but it is yet to be seen when, how, or if it will even make a dent in the destruction now happening here kate >> kerry sanders, thank you. and dangerous weather hitting here at home as well severe storms triggering floods across st. louis today caught on camera, a car being swept away by fast-moving flood waters along a highway a number of drivers were stranded and there are reports of multiple water rescues. right a, a eyes ar be in the crosshairs nbc's morgan che theskisre watct closely tonight. >> reporter: in puerto rico, today's sunny skies weren't fooling anyone across san juan, wants on water, ice, and for michelle, backup power ahead of tropical storm dorian
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what concerns you the most right now? >> right now, electricity. >> reporter: the storm could make landfall wednesday, bringing high winds and up to 10 inches of rain, the sttentially hit the island since another named maria. >> who doesn't remember maria? >> reporter: almost two years ago hurricane maria hit puerto rico head on the category four hurricane killed nearly 3,000 people, making it the island's worst natural disaster cruise line royal caribbean announcing three ships will be directed out of dorian's path. tonight dorian prompted a hurricane watch for puerto rico. the national hurricane center saying if the storm stays on its current path, it could reach hurricane strength right as it cheskythanyou.land as we track the threat fro dorian, there's new fallout tonight over what happened after hurricane irma nearly two years ago. there's word that police plan to charge several nursing home workers in connections with the
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deaths of a dozen residents in irma's aftermath. >> reporter: disturbing images, hard to forget >> over 100 people being evacuated. >> reporter: senior citizens in distress, evacuated from a scorching hot nursing home in south florida after a power outage caused by hurricane irma. residents at the rehabilitation died from extreme heat, their deaths ruled homicide. >> it felt like 110, 115 degrees in there >> reporter: family members left devastated >> shame on you. >> what a price to pay >> reporter: the facility was shut down and now nearly two years later, police plan to crie responsible for their care one attorney connected to the case tells nbc news, three nurses and one administrator will likely be prosecuted, adding several have already turned themselves in >> it's very clearly and undisputed that they were going to any length they could under emergency situations >> reporter: several groups investigated the incident. some questioned why the center took three days to place the first 911 call for help. >> the doctors had done their
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rounds nobody saw any problem until that first call was made >> reporter: months later, state lawmakers passed legislation requiring nursing homes to have backup power, capable of lasting for four days. police are expected to officially announce the charges tuesday. katie beck, nbc news in hong kong, authorities are defending their use of force tonight after violent clashes have been escalating between protesters and police. we get more from nbc's janice mackey frayer. >> reporter: tonight, tensions high in hong kong after the most violent protests yet police and prodemocracy protesters run in battle police using water cannons for the first time and several officers drawing their pistols, one shot fired, a warning. in the chaos, an officer points his weapon at an unarmed man begging, "don't shoot. he was kicked as police pushed protesters back. among the arrested, a 12-year-old boy.
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chinese state media now portraying this as a revolution. protesters say it's about safeguarding freedom that 12-year-old boy was charged with illegal assembly. he'll be released to his parents tomorrow tonight, police are defending their use of force as reasonable kate >> janis, thank you. days of ruth bader ginsburg revealed she had just undergone three weeks of radiation treatment for her fourth bout with cancer, she spoke to a group of college students today. here's andrea mitchell with more >> reporter: days after completing her latest cancer treatment justice ruth bader ginsburg, keeping her promise to appear at the university of buffalo. >> i did not withdraw when my own health problems presented challenges >> reporter: receiving an honorary degree and acknowledging her notoriety. >> it was beyond my wildest imagination that i would one day become the notorious rbg
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i am now 86 years old, yet people of all ages want to take their picture with me. amazing. >> reporter: also reflecting on her decision to attend law school with her husband. >> medical school was ruled out because chemistry had labs in the afternoon, and that interfered with my husband's golf practice. [ laughter ] >> reporter: and helping pioneer the fight for women's rights >> it was exhilarating to help bring down the barriers. true, we have not reached nirvana, but the progress i have seen in my lifetime makes me optimistic for the future. >> reporter: the oldest justice on the court, described today as an opera-loving rock star, showing no sign of slowing down. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington tonight with football season about to begin, a stunning announcement from an nfl star is still sending shockwaves across the league and the country and shining a new spotlight on
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player safety. here's nbc r's ron mott. >> reporter: tonight as the jolt from andrew luck's sudden retirement rumbles on, the new focus for some fans is football's brutality injuries are part of the game and they drove luck from it. >> it's taken my joy of this game away. sorry. >> reporter: luck has suffered through repeated injuries from head to toe. today, fellow quarterback tom brady rushed to luck's defense after fans booed >> it's his life everyone has a right to choose what they want to do >> reporter: making this announcement all the mor shocking is the fact that quarterbacks like tom brady and drew brees are playing longer, even into their 40s, due in part to rule changes made to protect them, and here's andrew luck, leaving at age 29. >> i believe that young people are much more knowledgeable about their long-term health than they ever have been >> reporter: in recent years, the nfl has addressed safety
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issues head on, but fears remain and not just among the pros. new figures out just today show boys' participation in high school football dropping to its lowest level in nearly 20 years. partly over safety concerns. >> come to the proverbial fork in the road, and i made a vow to myself that if i ever did again, i would choose me in a sense >> reporter: after making $97 million, andrew luck deciding some things are worth more than money. ron mott, nbc news much more ahead tonight, including the terrifying uber ride a driver accused o kidnapping a teen on her way home from a party. how she escaped. then a daring heist, the manhunt for suspects caught on camera stealing millions in jewels and sky high, the breathtaking view from a new record-breaking attraction stay with us
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tonight, a 15-year-old girl is safe after police say an uber driver tried to kidnap her
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nbc's steve patterson has the latest on the investigation and what the company is doing to keep riders safe >> reporter: the accusations are every rider's worst fear police say a new york uber driver picked up a 15-year-old girl from a sweet 16 party on long island in july. instead of taking her home, thes 32-year-old driver shawn williams canceled the route, saying he wanted to take the girl to his home in brooklyn where he planned to sexual assault her. the teen says he refuseder to pl over so she could use the bathroom, and she ran to the nearby mcdonald's to call police williams pleaded not guilty. he said the teen did not and williams complied when she asked to the use the bathroom. uber calls the incident deeply alarming saying they've removed williams access to the app the incident comes after a string of ride shares have taken dangerous terms. uber says they've taken steps to make the platform safer,
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including the option to share your ride with friends and family via the app so they can track your route, and adding a 911 button that passengers can use during the ride. as for the latest news with the 15-year-old girl, the suspect is due back in court next month if convicted, he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison. kate >> scary for parents steve, thank you coming up the brazen jewelry heist and the suspects on the loose tonight.
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tonight, police are searching for three men caught on camera robbing a celebrity jeweler at gun point the men got away in broad daylight with millions of dollars worth of jewelry miguel almaguer has the la on the heist >> reporter: the brazen heist unfolded in broad daylight, the armed thieves forcing jewelry store employees to lay face down using zip ties and duct tape to bind them. the robbery in the center of midtown manhattan captured on camera as the gunman stole an estimated $4 million in july jewelry.
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jewelr this man, a victim, didn't wanted to be identified. >> they threatened our lives >> reporter: before clearing out the safe and display shelves, the suspects cased the store during the stick up, duffel backs were filled with the take. none of the employees were hurt. moments before the 911 call came in, the suspects walked out of the store and down the street. they blended in with the crowd ecurity cameras here were rolling. the aviatti jewelers, which caters to celebrities, is known for high-end products, a aller for the stars and now the scene of a dangerous multimillion dollar heist miguel almaguer, nbc news, new york up next, the thrilling new attraction that so many are flocking to this summer.
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finally tonight, a new
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sky-high attraction is drawing thrill seekers to tennessee, and it's not for the faint of heart. here's gadi schwartz >> have a great day. >> reporter: in tennessee smoky mountains, this was the best seat in gatlinburg for 65 years. but today it is just the way up to an adventure that is taking people's breath away welcome to the brand-new gatlinburg sky bridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in north america. and right around the middle of the bridge, things get pretty interesting. here, fears are conquered. >> you going to give me a hand here >> reporter: a walk of faith where strangers will reach for your hand. >> you got it. >> oh, my god. >> stand on the glass and let me take a picture >> reporter: or ask you to take a picture. >> happy anniversary >> reporter: a perfect spot to rekindle 25 years of romance in
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the mountains. there was a time just a few years ago where these lush mountains views, this incredible green landscape, could not have been further from anyone's mind. in 2016 forest fires ravaged the hillside, leaving the old chai lift and a half a century of ruins. >> we got the word it was coming our direction and coming fast, we knew we were in trouble >> reporter: now born out of the ashes, an astonishing overlook, once again introducing general raegss to a view that's defined this city for decades. gadi swartz, nbc news, gatlinburg, tennessee. >> that looks amazing. that's "nbc nightly news" on this monday night. i'm kate know. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night right now at 6:00, a teenager in contra costa county got the scare of his life. a rattlesnake bite, the feeling
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he says that sent up his body as it was happening. >> plus an east bay homeless encampment parents say is far too close for comfort. why city officials say it is breaking state law. >> first a deadly crash in the silicon valley involvi a police officers. the news ow. good evening and thanks for being with us on this monday. i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. an innocent victim, 28-year-old apple employee killed over the weekend after a suspected drunk driver in a stolen car crashed into her uber. she was the passenger in the back seat. >> nbc bay area's damian trujillo joins us in sunnyvale with the tragic details of this crash. damian. >> reporter: raj, police say the suspect was inside this night club here in sunnyvale. they said he left early sunday morning, got into a stolen car here in the parking lot. a car that was being watched by police. minutes later that tragic accident in santa clara.
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surveillance video shows sunnyvale police starting to chase a suspect in a strip mall parking lot. the department says officers quickly stopped the pursuit because it got too dangerous. >> he fled in a very reckless manner through the parking lot, fled at a high rate of speed on east duane avenue, and it was shortly after leaving the parking lot our officersad vehicle. >> rte

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