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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 23, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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updates. >> people are getting a little impatient with the wet weather. business. president trump taking executive action on trade and on abortion. as his chief spokesman meets the press for the first time since that heated statement about the inauguration crowd. and tonight a major lawsuit accuses the president of violating the constitution. deadly path of destruction. wild weather all across the country. tornados clobber the south, and tonight poweul storms including a nor'easter barreling up the coast. tax refund warning. a surge in scammers trying to steal your money, making off with what you're owed before you even know what happened. the time to protect yourself is now. medical magic. the doctor waving his wand, making kids feel better, and inspiring america. "nightly news" begins right now.
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good evening to our viewers on the west coast. with pen to paper, president trump sent a strong signal to america's trading partners there will be a new playing field. making good on his promise to withdraw from the transpacific partnership agreement while putting u.s. businesses on notice that there will be a price to pay for moving jobs offshore. on the first business day of his presidency, mr. trump moved quickly to begin dismantling obama-era policies, refocusing on the job ahead after seizing on a head-shaking distraction over the weekend. our white house correspondent hallie jackson starts us off tonight. >> reporter: at the white house, a reset already after a rocky start. on his first full white house workday, president trump most notably backing out of the transpacific partnership, a major deal that would have
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made it easier to trade with allies around the pacific to counter china. >> we've been talking about this for a long time. >> reporter: the move winning praise from people like senator bernie sanders, and from mark gliptus, a labor leader in west virginia. >> 100% behind trump as far as the renegotiation of that specific treaty. that's not the only one. >> reporter: an administration aide tells nbc the tpp move fulfilling a campaign pledge is the first step in renegotiating big trade deals including nafta with canada and mexico. >> when will you begin to renegotiate nafta? >> at the appropriate time. >> in theory we'll be keeping higher-wage jobs by pulling out of trade deals, but we might see the cost of goods increase. >> reporter: president trump also today implementing a hiring freeze for federal workers, except military members, and reinstating a reagan-era policy to ban recipients of u.s. foreign aid from suggesting or providing abortions. all of it amid a flurry of photo ops from west wing meetings with business
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leaders from places like dow, lockheed martin, and ford. the president promising to cut regulations and taxes. >> to say the president was engaged was an understatement. >> reporter: today's push on policy a stark contrast to what critics called the petty over the first 72 hours of the trump administration with the president harping on the size of his inaugural crowd. his press secretary today pressed about his own inaccurate claims. >> our intention is never to lie to you. >> reporter: at points sean spicer on defense clearly frustrated. >> it's a little demoralizing to turn on the tv day after day and hear, can't do this, this guy's not going to get confirmed no way they're going to go through. >> reporter: to that point president trump today calling reporters back into the roosevelt room -- >> where's miss jackson? >> reporter: why? to witness praise from union leaders about his inauguration speech. >> that was a great moment for working men and women of the country. thank you. >> you may never hear that on television. >> reporter: the president's holding a
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reception here tonight for leaders of both parties, including a one on one with house speaker paul ryan as his cabinet comes closer to reality. cia chief mike pompeo is expected to be confirmed tonight. rex tillerson just cleared his biggest senate hurdle, looking all but certain to be installed as the next secretary of state next week. >> hallie jackson at the white house, thank you. meantime the new president is already being taken to court being sued over his business interests. a liberal watchdog group claims president trump is violating a constitutional ban on accepting gifts from foreign governments. we get details from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: first lawsuit of its kind against the wealthiest president in modern times. over a clause in the constitution that bans public officials from receiving any present or payment, what the framers called emolument, of any kind from any king, prince, or foreign state. a liberal ethics watchdog group says mr. trump is knee-deep in violations. >> we've never had a president who's had such vast financial interests that are so
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entangled with those of foreign governments and that are as secret as donald trump's. >> reporter: the suit lists a dozen trump business interests worldwide it says now violate that ban or will soon. among them, each time a foreign diplomat pays to stay or puts on an event in the president's washington hotel. services provided by the government of dubai for the trump international golf club opening next month. permits sought from china for the trump organization to build luxury hotels there. mr. trump today brushed off the lawsuit. >> without merit. totally without merit. >> reporter: he has said he'll give the u.s. treasury the profits from any foreign payments at the hotel, which his lawyer says don't count anyway. >> paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and it has nothing to do with an office. >> reporter: mr. trump has said he'll have his two sons run the business, but the suit says that won't solve the problem. to win the ethics group must also show that it's directly harmed by any constitutional violation. the legal experts say
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its claim of harm that it's having to spend time and money suing mr. trump isn't enough. >> this is a pretty out of the box idea. the notion that because they've had to work harder, that somehow they are injured enough to be able to be successful in a lawsuit on this subject. >> reporter: one of the goals of the lawsuit is getting access to mr. trump's tax return. but even if this case doesn't get to first base, legal sources say other lawsuits are in the pipeline, perhaps even from a competing hotel. so this issue is not going away, lester. >> pete williams in washington, thank you. now to the wicked weather. all across the country this evening, a ferocious tornado outbreak causing a deadly path of destruction across the south. and tonight two huge storms are lashing the east and west coast, including a nor'easter with tropical storm
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force winds. miguel, what's the news there? >> cleanup could take days, if not weeks. the river is partially washed away. as for the folks that live just on the other side of this street, they could be trapped for another day. in southern california, the strongest storm to pummel this region in years brought record rainfall, mudslides and a flood of water rescues. men, women and children caught in rushing rapids, this car swept away half a mile. >> it went by in probably, i don't know, 30 seconds. >> reporter: here a firefighter clutched a toddler. the two swept down stream before being plucked to safety. three days of relentless rain caused hills to crumble, mud to flow into homes as hundreds were ordered to evacuate.
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eduarte, ground scorched by fire last summer, is washing away today, a neighborhood on the edge. >> we decided we wanted to stay and protect our house. >> reporter: with travel treacherous, two major freeways in southern california were flooded by four feet of water. at least three are dead, one woman killed in bed by a falling tree. in the sierra nevada, seven feet of snow in five days, and now the threat of avalanches. california is on pace for its wettest year on record, now one of the most destructive. miguel almaguer, nbc news, santa clarita, california. this is blake mccoy in long island, new york. high winds tonight are battering the east coast as a fast-moving nor'easter whips gusts up to 60 miles per hour, toppling streetlights in new jersey, flinging trees into homes. >> i heard the crack and knew something was wrong.
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>> reporter: in philadelphia, a 60-year-old man was killed by flying debris. police say he was struck by a sign that flew off a car dealership. a piece of this downtown mural fell onto two parked cars. on new york's long island, crews spent the day shoring up sand dunes to protect against coastal flooding. the region's airports are reporting hundreds of delays and cancellations. the storm is impacting 23 million americans, but unlike most january nor'easters, this one won't bring much snow. temperatures are too warm. instead, wind and rain with power outages being the biggest concern. tonight thousands of people are already in the dark. as you can see, the damage from this storm is already widespread. these heavy winds and rain are expected to continue overnight and into the morning. lester? >> blake mccoy, thanks.
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across the country, some 50 million people are under weather threats, and the violent tornado outbreak in the south have left massive devastation in its wake. it gave rise to the deaths of 20 people, most of them in georgia. nbc's gabe gutierrez is there with more. >> reporter: the destruction stretches for miles from mobile home parks to two-story houses. in georgia alone, at least 15 people are dead, several are missing. >> we were helping look for a two-year-old child that had been swept away in the tornado. >> reporter: an agonizing path of devastation leading right to a driveway in albany. this is the moment linda freeman first sees her childhood home in pieces, the place where the tornado took her father. >> wow. >> reporter: his roof collapsed on him. today her world came crashing down. >> our house has a basement, and if he had known it was coming, i know he would have got in that basement. >> reporter: paul freeman was 81 years old, a retired air
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force pilot who loved to hunt. his friends called him major. >> he had a huge heart, and i'm going to really miss him. >> reporter: he was among the 20 people killed across the south. 41-year-old amanda rowe died in cook county, georgia. 72-year-old simone cox and three others died saturday in mississippi. in all, 44 reports of tornado damage across six states in just 48 hours. overnight, howling winds pounded parts of florida, tossing boats and ripping through homes. >> i mean, this whole park here was covered with nothing but pine trees. you can see what's left. >> reporter: but it is georgia that felt the brunt of this latest system as daugherty county police captain tom jackson showed us. >> it looked like a bomb had just exploded back here. >> reporter: an emotional battle linda freeman hoped she would never have to endure, going through her father's memories. >> there's his uniform. i'm going to bury him
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in that. >> reporter: there are some things these storms could not kick. >> reporter: this area barely had time to recover from another set of severe storms just three weeks ago. lester? >> gabe gutierrez there for us tonight, thank you. al roker is tracking it all for us tonight. al, a very busy night on the radar across the country. what are you watching first? >> lester, thanks so much. the remnants of this storm out west, it's going to have a bit of a legacy as it dumps snow into the rockies, but as we continue east, heavy snow upwards of eight inches in minnesota all the way into wisconsin. here in the east, we've got a big mess along the interstates as this nor'easter makes its way up the coast. the low pressure system deep enough to be a category 1 hurricane, and look at the airport delays. boston nothing, but that's going to change as the night wears on. as we push into the evening, look at these wind gusts. we're talking 35 to 45 to 55 miles per hour,
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but as we get into tomorrow, a little bit less but still problems for the airports as you make your way up into boston. this system pushes up, got a lot of heavy rain with it. one to three inches on the coast. look for a mix of snow and sleet and freezing rain, and look at this by tuesday. upwards of eight inches into central new york, but the good news, lester, things calm down in the middle of the week. >> al roker, thanks very much. encouraging news this evening about a former first couple. officials say president h.w. bush is being removed from the intensive care unit at a hospital in houston where he's being treated for kom complications from pneumonia. the couple tweeted out a thanks for all the prayers and good wishes. mrs. bush has been released for her hospitalization for bronchitis. still ahead, the tax season and scams. why scamming your tax
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refund is on the rise. a warning for women more ghastly than doctors previously thought.
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believe it or not, today is believe it or not, today is the first day that americans can file their tax returns for the tax year 2016. an important day for millions who file early in order to receive their tax refunds early. but this year, millions of refunds are being delayed as the irs tries to crack down on scammers who steal taxpayers' identities, making off with the money you are owed.
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here's the warning from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it's big business stealing taxpayer identities then applying for and stealing refunds. scammers made off with more than $3 billion in 2014. last year, a 400% surge in phishing and malware tax scams. in ohio, jim found someone had applied for a $25,000 refund in his name. >> they had my social security number, they had my wife's social security number. >> reporter: it happened to lisa in washington state. >> they had entered in deductions in order to create a substantial refund, a little over $5,000, that was being sent to a routing number and account number that i had never seen before. >> reporter: the refund, wired to a mysterious prepaid credit card. aaron stocks owns a jackson hewitt tax preparation franchise in los angeles. >> i've had over 20 in my local offices. >> 20 cases of people having their identities stolen? >> yes. it's very, very common. >> reporter: to weed out tax fraud the irs
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is delaying refunds for 40 million americans to make sure the refunds are legit. most filing today won't get refunds until late february. >> these people aren't people making a lot of money. this is their biggest check. they need to pay off credit card bills from christmas, to get the car repaired. to wait 30 days really could hurt them. >> reporter: to avoid becoming a tax fraud victim, file your taxes early before a criminal can. avoid ever giving out your social security number. the irs won't call or e-mail asking for it. and pay for credit monitoring service to watch for fraud. the scammer who targeted lisa's family still hasn't been caught. and proving anyone can be a victim -- >> watch your social security number. that is the key. >> reporter: jim is an ohio congressman, introducing a bill to fight tax-related identity theft. tom costello, nbc news, los angeles. we are back in a moment with rescue workers rejoicing when they find some of the smallest survivors of a deadly avalanche.
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there's alarming news this evening about cervical cancer. a new study shows dying from it is higher than previously believed, especially african-american women who are dying at a rate 77% higher than previously thought. for white women the rate is 47% higher. an important reminder for women to get screened. cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable cancers if it is caught early. a breathtaking look at our planet. like we've never seen before. the very first images have been sent back from nasa and noaa's cutting-edge weather satellite and they're stunning, clearer and more vivid than anything we've seen in the past. scientists hope these images will lead to even more accurate forecasts. overseas today a ray of hope at the scene of such an awful tragedy. italian rescue crews digging through the rubble at a resort struck by an avalanche pulled out three white
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sheepdog puppies, alive under all the snow after five days. so far, nine people have been rescued. six have been killed. 23 people are still missing and feared dead. the matchup is now set for the super bowl li showdown. the new england patriots will face the atlanta falcons after both teams dominated their conference championship games. tom brady and the patriots made history by securing the franchise's unprecedented ninth super bowl appearance. and matt ryan and the falcons have a shot at their first super bowl win in franchise history. they'll clash in houston february 5th. when we come back, pick a card, any card. the doctor with a few tricks up his sleeve to make his young patients smile. cking up for kyle.
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i thought you's was wearing a wire. haha, what? why would i wear a wire? geico. because saving fifteen percent or more on car insurance is always a great answer. should brace for in the next 48-hours. ===janelle/vo=== plus ... san francisco's ambulance shortage. we investigate how bad it got on friday the 13th and why the city admits its solution is short-term. ===janelle/next close=== next. ==sot== it's just part of living by the3 ==jan/take vo=ri we want to end as we do every monday with something that will inspire you. tonight, medicine with a touch of magic. a medical student who amazes his young patients with every abracadabra, and he's teaching fellow physicians the tricks of the trade. our kevin tibbles has more on our "inspiring america" report. >> she's been doing really well. >> reporter: doctors and nurses are often hailed as miracle workers. but for young patients at long island's stonybrook children's hospital, they're
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magicians too. third year med student david elkin carries a bag of tricks along with his stethoscope, making anxiety of being in the hospital disappear. >> i think magic is a unique art form that allows you to suspend your disbelief. it makes the impossible seem possible. >> reporter: he started magic aid to bring the healing powers of a smile to a sick kid's world. and presto, he's got 11-year-old delaney unger under his spell. >> perfect. >> it's magic. in a way it's medicine too. >> it's absolutely medicine. look at her smile. it's medicine, you're right. >> you wave your hand around it to make it like in here -- >> how did you do that? >> reporter: elkin says along with boosting social skills, magic helps develop a kid's motor skills. >> is that your card? by teaching them magic and customizing magic therapy for that particular patient, it gives them an end goal. like i have to master this magic trick.
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>> reporter: he's even teaching fellow med students how to cast their own magic spells. >> try and find something in the room that kind of shows what they're interested in and go off that. you can't really see what happens in magic. it's all an illusion. kids think that with medicine, they don't really know what's going on. they feel magic is medicine. >> reporter: the magical powers of medicine and the medicinal powers of magic. >> open up. >> reporter: hand in hand. kevin tibbles, nbc news, stonybrook, new york. >> that will do it for us on a monday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. right now at 6:
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danger is not over. -- but e dangerous waves along our coast are threatening right now at 6:30, the rein may be gone but the danger is not over. dangerous waves along our coast are threatening seaside communities. the news at 6 clrk starts right now. good evening. i'm janelle wang. >> and i'm jessica ageauirre. we've seen scattered rain across the bay area today and more rain is on the way.
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you can see the next system brewing over the pacific. >> we have a team of reporters bringing you this microclimate report. let's begin with chief mete rolgs jeff ranieri. >> you with see the center of the pressure right here. we're so completely sat lly sat from all of the storm systems over the past seven days, seven-day storm totals, 3.5 in san francisco, 6 to 8 inches for the santa cruz mountains. i want to take you back to the doppler radar right now. here's the scattered rainfall setting up throughout the north bay, san francisco bay and golden gate bridges. for the south bay we're introducing a moderate rainfall that will continue through park moore at 6:12, downtown san jose by 6:26 tonight. a quick overview of what we can expect this weak. you can see the chance of


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