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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 22, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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prg on this sunday night, tornado disaster. at least 16 people dead after a weekend of unusually severe weather in the south. the danger not over yet. alternative facts. the words of a top trump aide on "meet the press" causing controversy as the president thanks the fbi director and first responders for their service. controversial move, the president's promise to move the u.s. embassy from israel to jerusalem and the warnings not to do it from palestinians. feeling the heat, the warmest year on record, renewing concern about climate change and fuelling a hot political debate. and shop talk. they're mechanics and trail blazers making the local garage much more welcoming to women. "nightly news" begins now.
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. >> good evening. as we come on the air tonight, southern states are bracing for yet another round of dangerous weather. 36 million americans are under some sort of storm threat tonight and this comes after tornadoes killed at least 18 people, newly updated number in georgia and mississippi over the past two days. authorities confirming two of those just minutes ago. this afternoon, president trump sent condolences and said he spoke to georgia's governor, offering help from the federal government. it is still a dangerous situation and in the past few hours our reporters had to take cover including gabe gutierrez who joins us from adel, georgia. gabe. >> reporter: kate, good evening. just a short time ago, this neighborhood had to take cover yet again as another line of thunderstorms ro
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roared through. last night a tornado ripped this neighborhood apart and residents are still in shock as the full extent of the damage is still being tallied. tonight new powerful storms are sweeping across the south. >> look at the rain clouds -- there's a really strong motion. >> reporter: the latest this largest rain-wrapped twister near albany, georgia. hours after a devastating tornado ripped through the small town of adel. >> it was terrible. awful. >> reporter: barely escaping her home collapsed around her as her husband scrambled to pull their daughter to safety. >> i stood behind the door and the debris was coming through the front window. he went to her, she was screaming for him. and he was hollering for her. right about the kitchen is where she went to get the stuff of of him. when he came out the get her, everything on the back of the house, the patio doors went through the house. >> reporter: in georgia at least 12 people are dead. >> i guess that house -- >> it's gone.
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>> reporter: many of them killed in this mobile home park. >> windows started shaking. my fiance woke me up and said we have to get the boys inside the bathroom now. he went back out because he heard someone yelling. come to find out, our neighbor's granddaughter had gotten thrown from her trailer into our yard. this is the most devastating thing i have ever been through. >> reporter: overnight, pounding rain, fierce winds and quarter-sized hail knocked out power to thousands. the governor declaring a state of emergency. it's georgia's deadliest storm since 2011. >> i mean, it was around here and it got thrown way around there. you know? so it was devastating. >> reporter: survivors astounded. looking at pictures of their homes before and after. >> the air started to come in, air started to pick up the house. it started rolling. >> reporter: for them, the destruction here is hard to fathom. david gutierrez, nbc news, adel, georgia.
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i'm sarah dallof, hail, rain and tornadoes the south battered by a wide swath of severe storms. >> oh, there it is. on the ground. >> reporter: in louisiana, one of several tornadoes caught on video. one twister sucking a man out of his home through the front door. tossing him on to his lawn. he survived. in hattiesburg, mississippi, the path of a twister killed four. shock and sadness on the ground. >> you see the doorway and like the hall. we were standing right there. whenever it hit us. >> reporter: similar scenes in eastern texas. this house destroyed by another possible tornado. the homeowner inside somehow walking away unhurt. damage saturday seen in neighborhood after neighborhood across the south. with winds up to 75 miles an hour in some parts. the national weather service issued a rare high risk threat for the first time in two years. affecting south georgia and north and central florida. between the storms and an attempt to clean up, trees moved off power lines and
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homes in mobile, alabama. >> picked up the roof off the garage. did all the damage you see here. >> reporter: busine businesses also taking a direct hit. strong winds overturned dozens of cars at this dealership. with more severe storms on the way, millions of people remain on edge. bracing for what the next few hours may bring. this january is already above average for tornadic activity here in the south. and there's still a week to go. kate? >> sarah dallof, thank you. that same storm heading up the coast and by tomorrow it's expected to bring heavy rain and winds to parts of the northeast with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. not a great start to the workweek, but the east coast is certainly not the only part of the country dealing with heavy weather tonight. there's a massive storm pounding parts of the west including california where there's now a threat of mudslides. joe fryer has more on that. >> reporter: like a water fall from the sky, rain is pounding southern california tonight.
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flooding and mudslide concerns are high for what could be the strongest storm to hit this region in seven years! it's a dramatic turnabout for this city scorched by workforce during last summer's drought and now it's ready for mud flows prompts evacuations. though some don't want to leave. >> i never had to do this. >> we have our hands full up here. >> reporter: the storm system is dumping feet of snow in the mountains. days of rain have already caused problems on the west coast. in arizona, two men were rescued from a rental car swept away by rapidly rising waters. >> it swung us down and took us downstream pretty quick. >> tonight, the intense rain is cau causing problems across california. flashfloods causing closure on haitian and roads and mudding major concerns. we have breaking news.
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all united airlines domestic flights are grounded because of a computer issue. airports are advising travelers to check their flight status. back to kate in new york. some breaking news now. in san antonio, texas, a shooting at a shopping mall there has left one person dead, at least five people injured. police say the violence broke out during a robbery at a jewelry store. one suspect has been taken into custody. the search is on for a possible second suspect. the mall was evacuated and many of the stores were locked down. it was a busy sunday for president trump and his top aides including swearing-ins, thank yous to first responders and what became controversial words, alternative facts used by kellyanne conway this morning on "meet the press." nbc's kelly o'donnell is following it all and has the latest. >> reporter: assembled in the
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east room, another first. >> the president and vice president of the united states. >> reporter: president trump's most senior level white house staff surrounded by their families took an oath to serve the public. >> please raise your right hand. >> reporter: in a reflective tone, the president acknowledged this traditional note left by president obama. >> found this beautiful letter from president obama. >> reporter: left in the desk drawer for his successor on friday. >> it was really very nice of him to do that and we will cherish that. >> reporter: president trump previewed his outreach to world leaders. today a phone call with israel prime minister benjamin netanyahu. this week, trump will host theresa may, leaders from canada and mexico coming soon. trump says he will focus on trade deals. >> we're going to start some negotiations having to do with nafta. anybody ever hear of nafta? >> reporter: a thank you reception for law enforcement in charge of inaugural security. the president spotted fbi director james comey across the room and said this.
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>> he's become more famous than me. >> reporter: extending his hand to comey who became controversial in the handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. no notably, trump did not repeat his combative complaints of media coverage of friday's crowd size. >> i get this network and it showed an empty field. it said we drew 250,000 people. >> reporter: but on "meet the press," kellyanne conway defended the press secretary who gave inaccurate information about inaugural crowds from the briefing room saturday. >> why did he do that? it undermines the credibility of the entire white house press office on day one. >> no it doesn't. do so overly dramatic about it, chuck. you're saying it's a falsehood. they're giving -- sean spicer, the white house press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. >> wait a minute, alternative facts -- alternative facts, the one thing
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he got right was zeke miller, four of the five facts he uttered were not true. alternative facts are not facts. they're falsehoods. >> reporter: tomorrow president trump's choice to be cia director mike pompeo is expected to be confirmed by the senate. today happens to be the wedding anniversary of donald and melania trump, 12 years. after spending the weekend together in the white house, mrs. trump and son, are headed back to new york where he goes to school tomorrow. >> what a way to mark an anniversary. kelly o'donnell, thanks. in a phone call with israel's prime minister, netanyahu today, trump said peace with the palestinians can only be negotiated between the two parties. the white house will work closely with israel on that goal and a more immediate issue, president trump's promise to move the u.s. embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem. something his administration is now discussing in which the palestinians are warning against. matt bradley reports from israel. >> reporter: it's a holy city. a focal point for three major
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religions and the declared capital for both israelis and the palestinians. but the u.s. doesn't recognize jerusalem as a capital for either people. and no country has an embassy there. under president donald trump, that might be about to change. >> we will move the american embassy to the eternal capital of the jewish people, jerusalem. >> reporter: moving the embassy from tel aviv would be a symbolic gesture. with very serious, real world consequences. it's been more than 20 years since the u.s. congress passed a law relocating the u.s. embassy here to jerusalem. a few presidents have pledged to follow through, but so far each one has deferred the move. both bill clinton and george w. bush promised to move the embassy during their campaigns before backing away. mr. trump's comments have already sparked protests. if he follows through, palestinian firms said they'll withdraw their recognition of israel. palestinians say jerusalem is their
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capitol, too. the city contains some of the most important pilgrimage sites in christianity and islam. >> my message to president trump is please don't do it. because it's not going to have nice consequences on the political track. >> reporter: but israelis say jerusalem has been the jewish capital for thousands of years and fear of violence won't change that. >> it is a symbol to follow up with the reality that we live in and it's aligned with our history. for me, it's just do what we need to do. >> reporter: moving the embassy could set peace talks back decades. many fear it would inflame a volatile situation. matt bradley, nbc news, jerusalem. when u.s. intelligence agencies concluded that russia tried to influence the u.s. election to help donald trump win, they cited russia today, a television network funded by the kremlin that's been called a propaganda outlet for the russian government. in moscow, our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, sat down with its top
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editor. >> reporter: here in russia, president trump's inauguration was cause for celebration. that's no surprise to u.s. intelligence agencies who claim moscow put considerable efforts into helping him win the election. and allege that the chief editor of russia today or rt played a key role. >> well, most of that criticism make us laugh, really. >> reporter: intelligence officials have said that rt worked hand-in-glove with hackers and the government to change the impact -- impact the u.s. elections on putin's orders. >> did you read that report? >> yes. >> it's as much sad as laughable. >> reporter: the specific 25 page report she's talking about was released by the u.s. director of national intelligence. it mentioned her by name 27 times. it described rt funded by the kremlin as part of a triangle moscow set up to discredit hillary clinton and
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help donald trump. with hackers stealing information, wikileaks spreading it around and rt fanning the flames with negative coverage of clinton. >> no serious person who knows anything about the world really, who knows how it works and who has real information, real data, who can use internet for god's sake would ever believe that. seriously. >> reporter: although rt isn't watched widely in the united sta states, its reports are picked up by other news agencies and spread on social media where she is taking the allegations where she's taking the allegations against her in a badge of honor, starring in a tongue-in-cheek viral video living up to all she's accused of and more. u.s. intelligence has released no evidence that the tactics helped the president win. in russia, many are celebrating the outcome.
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richard engel, nbc news, moscow.
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one of the challenges the new president inherited is helping to restore trust between the nation's police and minority communities. police departments nationwide are looking for ways to avoid using deadly force in confrontations. here's our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: some of the deadly encounters instantly went viral, like this one in minnesota last july. philando castile shot by police while in the car with his girl friend.
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some touched off more violence after police in baton rouge shot and killed black man, held on the ground by two white officers. six police officers were shot in retaliation. three died. president donald trump's choice for attorney general says the challenge cuts both ways. >> firearms deaths of police officers are up 68%. so this is a wake-up call, colleagues. it cannot continue. >> reporter: police departments nationwide are looking at ways to avoid turning routine encounters into fatal ones. >> one of our primary goals is to improve public trust and improve public safety. >> the police chief in minneapolis put her entire department through what's called implicit bias training. >> we want to make sure that officers aren't doing things towards people of color that they wouldn't normally do because they have certain bias that maybe they're pulling them over or searching them. >> reporter: just last week, 11 national police organizations
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endorsed what they call a consensus policy on use of force and training on how to investigation intense situati situations. >> police are trained to go in, take over, do things very quickly. that's the opposite of the kind of training we think they need in some situations. >> reporter: but the trump administration may cut back on one approach used aggressively by the obama administration, justice department, conducting civil rights investigations of police departme departmentings and going to court to force changes. >> it can impact morale of the officers. it can impact and affect the view of citizens to that police department. and i just think that caution is always required in these cases. >> reporter: for now, many police chiefs are searching for bays to make certain -- for ways to make certain that deadly force is the last resort. pete williams, nbc news, washington. when we come back, feeling the heat after the hottest year on record. dealing with the problem and the politics.
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prg as the trump presidency begins a new report from the weather agency this past week says last year was the hottest year on record. our chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson now with what's behind the numbers. >> reporter: when it comes to climate, 2016 was one for the history books. the earth's hottest year since recordkeeping began more than 130 years ago. the third record breaking year in a row. >> the rate of warming is not uniform over the whole planet. it is warming more on land than it is on the ocean. it's warming more in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere and warming more in the arctic. >> reporter: 8 degrees more. what scientists say is a massive increase, four times more than the rest of the planet. pushing sea ice in 2016 to near record lows.
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in antarctica a lengthening crack threatens to send an iceberg the size of delaware into the ocean. why is the world warming? scientists point to us and the fossil fuels we burn such as oil and coal that put carbon dioxide and other green house gases into the atmosphere. >> the sea level is rising, because of the warming. the ice is melting because of this warming. the shifts in ecosystems are happening. all of these things are related to that long-term trend. >> reporter: in fact, 16 of the 17 warmest years have happened since 2001. controlling carbon emissions was a priority under the obama administration. but the trump white house website now promises to eliminate the climate action plan. and scott pruitt, president trump's nominee to lead the environmental protection agency tried to avoid the issue in his senate hearing. >> why is the climate changing? >> senator, in response to the co2 issue, the epa administrator is constrained by statutes -- >> i'm asking you a personal opinion. >> my personal opinion is im material.
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>> oh, really? >> reporter: scienti scientists say it's not too late to alter the warming trend but it means making cleaner energy choices to stop our climate from warming. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. up next a new twist on car repair where a whole lot of drivers will feel more at home.
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finally tonight, just about anyone who deals with getting a car serviced or repaired knows that going into the auto shop usually means stepping into a place dominated by
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guys. but that is beginning to change. morgan radford found a different kind of shop talk in pennsylvania. >> reporter: they call themselves she cannics. we're here at the auto clinic and car center. armed with drills and bright red heels, bertrice banks and her team started a new garage for women. >> i always felt i was being taken advantage of and i thought why not create it for women? we can create it for ourselves. >> reporter: that's why she quit her job as an engineer, took night classes to become a mechanic and opened up her own shop with other auto gals. >> there are females out there, that say no, let my husband or my boy trend. that's fine. but those who want, whose have questions you can come to us. >> reporter: and the customers love it. >> i think it's fantastic. i really -- i want to see more of these kinds of clinics pop up. >> reporter: in fact, more than half of u.s. drivers are women, but less than 2% of mechanics are. >> so women are spending the money. >> the reason that
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women are spending so much and we are the number one customer is because there's more women drivers and we're the ones that tend to pay the bills and spend the money. >> reporter: that's why they teach how the cars work. >> this is the engine, you want your oil level to be up to the max. >> reporter: it doesn't stop there. >> the big reveal is our nail salon. >> reporter: her repair shop is a clubhouse for women with a full nail and hair beauty bar. >> reporter: so you are getting your car servi serviced? >> yes, i am. >> reporter: you're getting your nails done? >> yeah. a fabulous combination. >> reporter: a combination of beauty, brains and brawn. morgan radford, pennsylvania. >> good combo. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday night. i'm kate snow. from all of us at nbc news, have a great night. the storm wreaking havoc across
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the bay area. ==peggy/wsi2== rising creeks, pounding waves, and falling trees. the storm wreaking havoc across the bay area. >> and on this sunday night, we're going to show you exactly where the rain is headed, if it's in your direction. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thank you for joining us. >> we're going to get to our weather komplg in a moment. but first, breaking news to tell you about. all domestic united airlines planes across the country are on a ground stop and have been for a couple of hours. international flights and flights to hawaii and alaska are not affected. it's because of a computer issue. this is affecting about 50 flights in and out


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