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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 4, 2019 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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johnsonville breakfast sausage has 15% larger patties. fits on a biscuit. breaking news tonight. the desperate search for survivors from the nation's deadliest tornado outbreak in five years. at least 23 people killed, entire neighborhoods wiped out.r young ch among the victims. what do you want us to know about your little girl? >> she -- she was perfect. she didn't cause any problems. >> did not have hemean bone in body. sh-- >> she was the air in my lungs. >> we're live in the disaster zone. r tributes pouring in "90210" and "riverdale" star luke perry. the surprising cause of death and the warning signs everyone should know. new troubles fordent trump. democrats launched the most sweeping corruption probe yet
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targeting his inner circle, including his sons and son-in-law. vacation horror. american tourists killed when their chopper crashes. shocking twist. police say the trac death of a good samaritan was all part of a murder plot staged by her family. michael jackson's alleged victims speak out. inside the disturbing new documentary about the king of pop and the controversy erupting. growing fertility trend. freeze your eggs for a fraction of the cost.bu are these startups putting profits over good medicine? and two young sisters lost in the woods nearly two days. what police say they did right e to sur. >> this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from smith station, alabama. good evening. around mthe shattered remains left behind by a tornado so fast and so powerful, searchers are still looking for more potential victims 24 hours later.
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we know at least 23 people died when possibly two twisters roared into lee county with to winds of u70 miles per hour. the deadliest tornado to strike the u.s. since 2013, sweeping homes from their foundations, leaving neighborhoods unrecognizable, and claiming the lives of nearly entire families. alnight we have powerful stories of survival and ofble grief. our gabe gutierrez made his wa to the hard-hit town of itauregard. >> reporter: as ped across eastern alabama, the massive tornado taking out a cell phone tower before going on to splinter trees and obliterate homes. ofnight communities in lee county are sealeand an urgent search for survivors is under way after the deadliest na u.s. t outbreak in five years. >> it was awful.n i've never smething like it before in my life. it was -- it was bad. >> reporter: tornado warnings were issued less than 10 minutes before the trifying winds
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ripped through the area. so far at least 23 people are the governorxtended the state of emergency. >> we losthildren, mothers, fathers, neighbors, and friends. >> reporter: the national weather service says this tornado cut a path of destruction about a half mile wide. there's damage as far as the eye can see. several people died in this neighborhood. and the devastation is overwhelming. >> everybody in this house is dead. >> reporter: anthony franklin is mourning the loss of his girlfriend of more than 20 is what's left of her home in beauregard, alabama. >> maggie is the type of person tthat's come through thisng once in a lifetime. >> reporter: the tornado, an st ef-4, packedated winds of 170 miles an hour, tossing this billboard 20 miles. a series of twisters sliced through the deep south, also pounding georgia and south carolina. >> to the community of lee
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county, we grieve by your side, and we pledge our unwavering pport to help you rebuild from the very depths of this horrible tragedy. >> this is where you cwded into >> this is where my two boys and i crowded to, yes. >> reporter: miles tatum says he addled with his two sons closet while the storm roared through in less than minute. >> the only reason this part of the barn is here, i'm nvinced, is lord saved us and my kids. >> reporter: k-9 units are scouring for signs of life, and anthony franklin is remembering the life he ce had. and there is late word tonight the national weather service has confirmed at least four tornados touched down throughout alabama. here in lee county, dozens of people are still unaccounted for. lester? >> all right, gabe gutierrez, thank you. so many families here tonight confronting the unimaginable loss of those they love. this afternoon i sat down with the parents of 10-year-old taylor thornton who shared their joyous memories and their crushing anguish over their little girl among the youngest victims of this tragedy.
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tonight, ashley and david thornton are reeling. >> she was a wonderful, sweet, god-filled young lady. wonderful big sister. >> reporter: their 10-year-old dauger taylor caught in a tragic twist of fate. she was spending the night with a friend. >> she was -- she had beenwi camping her best friend. >> reporter: taylor was miles me away from horight in the path of a devastating tornado. >> when you heard about the storm, did you immediately begin to worry? or did you think -- >> not really at first. i guess because it really wasn't that bad at our area and i di 't think it had gotten -- bigger as it obviously had become. >> reporter: when they couldn'tr reach ta friend's family, david left, desperately trying to make to it their police not letim through. >> i saw where they stopped us at. and there was just no way.ow i don't knownybody made it through that.
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>> reporter: taylor is not the youngest victim beinmembered tonight. 6-year-old a.j. hernandes also killed in thpowerful storm. on facebook a relative writing, he was a precious little man that was loved by everyone. and while they grieve for tayl, the thorn tons tell us members of her friend's family also didn't make it out.wh >> her frienshe was with, she was injured? >> she is.e shdid survive. her father did not. >> you are a family of deep faith. >> uh-huh. yes, sir. we are. >> is that what you're hanging on to right now? >> oh, yeah. it's the only way. only thing that's getting us through this. and family and friends too. >>nohat do you want us to about your little girl? >> she was perfect. ane didn't cause any problems. >> did not have a one in her body. >> she was the air in my lungs. >> very sweet young lady. th reporter: so much pain here,
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but like so many i community, they are leaning on friends and family and loved ones around them here. this was the first deadly tornado of 2019, killing more peop than all of last year's tornados combined. but many are alive tonight because they heeded the warnings and they took action. nbc's kerry sanders has tips that could save your family's lives. >> reporter: best friends alive because they knew what to do. >> when the sirens went off, that's when we took cover. >> reporter: tiren and hannah heard ththunder, taking cover in a center room with no windows. >> we were down on the ground, there's a pillow right here. down here. and i was like >> her mom wasng right here. >> reporter: experts recommend having a plan long before a tornado threatens. go to a basement, storm cellar, or interior room away from windows and outside walls. in a mobile home, your best bet is to evacuate to a more sturdy building oshelter. and the weather service suggests having multiple ways to receive
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warnings, like on a phone, tv, or noaa weather radio. >> get in that tornado safe place, your life could be in jeopardy. te >> rep safe spaces can include storm shelters which can cost more than $5,000. these test videos showhey can withstand the equivalent of an ef-5 twister. >> it can prott you against flying debris such as cars, imees, metal. >> reporter: mosrtant, be prepared. >> take action before you see the storm. typically, fast-moving storms are common this time of year. if you wait until you see it, it may be too late. >> reporter: the power of these tornados everywhere you turn in the impact zone, including this overturned mobile home. tonight, as twister season gets under way in this part of the country, knowing what to do, a life-saver. lester? >> all right, kerry sanders, thank you. let's turn now to news that shocked many untimely death of actor luke perry. perry, who rose to fame as a
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teen heartthrob in the 1990s, has died at the age of 52. nbc's joe friar has more on the massive stroke that perry suffered and the warning signs everyone should know. >> reporter: in a show about perhaps the most famous zip code th america, luke perry took up real estate as bote resident bad boy and heartthrob. >> welcome to paradise, man. welcome to your dream come trues >> reporter:urn as dylan mckay in "beverly hills 90210" launched perry into teen idol stardom. >> there's luke perry! >> reporter: even a simple appearance at a mallould stir up hysteria. >> i want to do something with my life. i want -- when my time here is up, i don't want td look back e i didn't do anything. >> reporter: more recently he played a parent in the cw's "riverdale," a show that has spawned a new generation of teen idols. >> even though it's tough, even though it might cost you, you got do it. >> reporter: fans are surprised to learn he died after suffering a stroke at age 52.
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but according to the cdc, 34% of ss than 65ients are years old. >> most people think 65, 70, 80o they'rg to have strokes. people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s can have strokes just as well. >> reporter: doctors say it's w the signs k using f.a.s.t. face, is it drooping? arms, is there difficulty raising them? speech, is it slurred? time, quickly call 911. perry is being remembered by his costars, including ian zearing, god, give him a seat close to you, he deserves y leaves behind a fiancee, two children, and a legion of heartbroken fans who tight are saying good-bye. >> so see you around. >> guess. >> reporter: joe friar, nbc news, los angeles. we turn now to the new investigation involving en prest trump tonight and his inner circle and the new move by house democrats. nbc's kristen welker has
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details.ig >> reporter: t president trump vowing to cooperate with the rapidly growing investigation by house democrats. >> i cooperate all the t everybody. and you know the beautiful thing? no collusion, it's all a hoax. >> reporter: today democrats issuina request for documents from more than 81 people in groups associated with the president, incding the president's eldest son, donald trump jr., son-in-law, jared mp kushner, and trganization cfo, alan weisselberg, looking into wey call allegations of corruption, obstruction, and abuses of power. t still insisting they're not yet building a case for impeachment. >> we have to do the investigations and get all this. we do not now have the evidencet all sortednd everything to he an impeachment. >> reporter: amongvents democrats appear to be targeting, that 2016 meeting between trump family members, campaign officials, and a kremlin-linked attorney, and those hush money payments during the campaign. democrats pressing ahead with
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their investigation even before the report by special couesel roberter is turned over. >> there's no collusion, so now they go and morph into, let's spect every deal he's ever done. we're going to go into his finances, we're going to check his deals, we're going to check -- theseeople are sick. >> kristen with us now. the president also getting some tough news about his national emergency. what's that about? >> reporter: indeed.ic the repu senate, lester, seems poised to block president trump's emergencdeclaration now that four republicans oppose it. it won't stop funding for a border wl because president truo ill likely be decided by e courts, lester. >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. we'll move overseas now to the vacation t dt took adly turn for several american tourists. here's keir simmons with more. >> reporter: tonight, entrepreneur brandon stapper's instagra packed with posts from around the world features videos from his kenya safari.
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>> this is like disneyland. >> reporter: the san diego a nativemong five killed sunday in this devastating helicopter crash on the trip ofetime. brandon's brother spoke to us tonight. >> him and i are just so close. it's kind of just been him and i for 18 years now. >> reporter: brandon stapper and asher burke were from san diego. kyle forti from colorado. a fourth american, so far unidentified. the local pilot mario mgonga also killed.of the grouriends were in two helicopters. one went down just after takeoff. an investigation under way into why it crashed. lester? >> all right, keir simmons, thank you. un a ng twist in the good samaritan murder that made headlines. in december jacqueline smith's husband said she was fatally stabbed while giving money to a panhandler in baltimore. but now police say smith's husband and stepdaughter staged that attack. both are chaed with murder. and tonight the finale of the shocking new docuseries "leaving neverland" airs.
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it tells the account of two men who say michael jackson.y miguel almaguer has the story and a warning, the allegations are disturbing. >> every night that i was with him, there was abuse. >> reporter: sharing stories of alleged childhood abuse in , graphic detade robson and james safechuck describe michael jackson as a sexual predator. >> not getting caught was a bige ust kind of fundamental. he would tell me tt if anybody found out, his life would be over. >> reporter: in the explosive new diamondback ewe series "leaving neverland," now airing on hbo, safechuck and robson chronicle alleged abuse years in the making. >> i'm the most happiest when on i'tage and when i'm with jimmy safechuck. >> the tour was the start of this sexual like couple relationship. >> reporter: it started, they say, with sleep-overs, often atl
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ned ranch. >> taking showers together. you know, fondling and kissing. >> jackson's estatdenies the claims and is suing hbo. they point out both men testified behalf of the singer when he was accused of sexual abuse in separate cases ars ago. jackson was never convicted. >> that's not michael. michael would never do that. >> reporter: tonight wl le michckson is gone his legacy is under attack. miguel almaguer, nbc news. there is word that the maker of the painkilr oxycontin is exploring bankruptcy as it faces a slew of lawsuits. for more on that, here's kate snow. >> reporter: sandy blankenship and her adopted 6-year-old eva n are one offamilies suing purdue pharma and others. eva's mom used opioids while she was pregnant and sandy worries she'll need a lot of support. >> she's 6 years old and she can't count to 20. she can't say r abcs all the way through. >> you think there's some deficits there?
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>> i'm sorry. it's just -- that's my baby. >> reporter: purdue faces over 1,600 lawsuits filed by al indivi but also hospitals, in 27 different states. with the prospect of having to pay billions, purdue is explo exploring filing for bankruptcyf a sourceiliar with the matter confirmed to nbc news. that would put a hold on all and allow the company to negotiate claims with a bankruptcy judge. ohio's attorney general, one of the plaintiffs, happened to be at the whiteouse today. >> the bottom line here is they're saying they don't want to have to pay to clean up their mess. we're going to fight to make sure that they do. >> reporter: in a statem today, purdue would not comment on its financial or legal strategy, adding, we have ample liquidity and remain committed bl our obligations. families like the kenships still hopefu their way.ming kate snow, nbc news, new york. up next tonight,he controversial new trend in the fertility business.
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next there is newy scrut of a growing next there is new scrutiny of a growing fertility trend, n startup that is offer wog freezing a lot cheaper than traditional ivf programs. here's morgan radford. >> reporter: it may look like a party. but this is an information session for kindbody, one of a growing number of egg-freezing boutiques. >> for me it's really juiv being proae about it. >> reporter: run by entrepreneurs, this new crop of cl ziicfrs.egtungee c s between $5,000 and $8,000 per cycle versus $15,000 in a hospital, which has higher overhead costs. thr marketing uses slick socialedia campaigns, spa-like settings, even mobile fertility vans. >> what about critics who say the prosecco, the instagra the cheese, the wine, it's all too gimmicky and are you taking this seriously enough? >> we think we don't have to
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jeopardize critical credility because we're doing fun things on instagram anderving prosecco. >> reporter: these entrepreneurs seizing on a trend as more women delay having families. in the last de the number of women freezing their eggs skyrocketing. >> welcome to extend fertility. >> reporter: ann hoegerty, ceo of extend fertilit says her facility is accredited, staffed by experienced fertility doctors, and has a state-of-the-art lab. >> there are a lot of people who say businesses like yours are f cashing in offar and off of desperation and that you can freeze 10 eggs but youot even get one healthy baby. >> egg-freezing is not a guarantee, and we are very cle about that. >> reporter: but some fertility experts worry ads like this one that suggest freezing eggs is ai simple as frozen yogurt trivialize a serious procedure which needs more consistent regulation. >> the woman is safer with a true infertility center that's going to be there for the next 40 years and isn't just trying
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to show huge earnings potential. >> $3,000 to $5,000 -- >> reporter: the egg-freezing boutiques we spoke to say they're not making promises, just offering someeace of mind. morgan radford, nbc news, new york. up nt for us tonight, an amazing story of survival. thanks to you, we will. aw, stop. this is why voya helps reach today's goals... ...all while helping you to and through retirement. um, you guys are just going for a week, right? yeah! that's right. can you help with these? oh... um, we're more of the plan, invest and protect kind of help... sorry, little paws, so. but have fun! send a postcard! voya. helping you to and through retirement. when cravings hit, hit back. choose glucerna, with slow release carbs to help manage blood sugar, and start making everyday progress.
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we're back with that we're back with that story of two sisters rescued after nearly two days alone in the wilderness. here's nbc's steve patteon. >>eporter: it's a moment o pure joy. leah and caroline kari reunited with their parents after two da woods. in the >> my sister cried the whole night. >> reporter: friday the 8 and 5-year-old girls asked their mom to go for a walk. when she said no, they wandered off anyway, ending up about a mile and a half from their northern california home. more than 200 rescue workers and volunteers scoured the woods with no sign of the sisters.
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but the family never lost hope because the girls were taught survival skills in 4h. >> it was starting to drizzle, so i knew we had to find shelter fast. >> reporter: the girls left a ratrail of granola wrappernk water off leaves, comforted each her with stories, even tried to build a fire. 44 hours later, the girls were n found, hgry and cold but in good spirits. forging their own happy ending out of every parent's worst nightmare. steve patterson, nbc news. >> brave kids. we'll be back with more from alabama next. that's because your home is filled with soft surfaces that trap odors and release them back into the room. so, try febreze fabric refresher. febreze finds odors trapped in fabrics and cleans them away as it dries. use febreze every time you tidy up to keep your whole house smelling fresh air clean. fabric refresher even works for clothes you want to wear another day.
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this community is coming together despite unimaginable loss and heartache. i'll have more from here tomorrow on "today." that "nightly news" for this monday. i'm lester holt. thank you for watching and good night.
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lights, camera, access. >> it's hard to go back to that. >> this is full on sex, and it a happened again andgain and again. >> the aegations as specific as they are horrific. access has the full breakdown of "leaving neverland".


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