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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 17, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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breaking news tonight, shock breaking news, shock waves as president commutes the sentence of chelsea manning. the army intelligence soldier convicted of giving secrets to wikilea wikileaks. planning to be freed but what about edward snowden? critical condition. with obama care on the brink of repeal,ould a replacement cover those with pre-existing conditions. a three-year search ends. is flight 370 lost forever. we're in the home of the reagan democrats who delivered big for donald trump. they're hopes and fairs as he prepares to take office. a boom in boomers paying for college. fl
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growing age group left saddled with debt. nightly news begins right now. good evening from michigan. the ice rink in the city hall part of a beautiful city square here in warren which helped deliver one of the biggest surprises in 2016. this key blue state going red for donald trump. what are people here expecting now? we're talking to them tonight as part of our trip across america. we start off with breaking news out of washington. just three days from the end of his term the white house announced president obama has ordered clemency for over 200 prison inmates. among the most notable, chelsea manning, the former army intelligence analyst convicted for passing classified government material to wikileaks and whose
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[000:01:59;00] been fraught with complications. the president ordered her release this spring. nbc cynthia mcfadden has late details. >> reporter: the army private convicted of leaking diplomatic documents will be free in may. president obama announced late this afternoon he will commute her 35-year sentence. >> i think justice was finally done today. 35 years was not an appropriate sentence. >> reporter: it's not a pardon. her conviction still stands but her sentence has been reduced to the seven years she will have completed in the next few months. >> all those people standing down there. >> reporter: the case broke in 2010 with all the makings of a spy thriller. >> a senior pentagon official says the prime suspect is army first class bradley manning. >> reporter: the day
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after manning was announced she was a transgender woman known as chelsea. manning twice tried to commit suicide last year. she's incarcerated in the male military prison in kansas. >> was the government able to point to any specific damage as a result of the releases from chelsea manning? >> no, they were not. we had secret sessions of the court-martial where that would be the place the government would do that. the answer was no. what they would be able to show and what they did show is certain diplomats had their feelings hurt. certain countries were upset. >> reporter: the 35-year sentence is the longest any leaker has received. not everyone supports the decision. secretary of defense ashe carter did not support the commutation. at her trial she apologized for her actions that was apology was never heard outside the courtroom until last
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week when nbc news broadcast it forward. i want to go forward. before i can do that, i understand that i must pay a price for my decisions and actions. >> reporter: today, president obama decided that debt has been paid. sources inside the intelligence community believe the reason manning sentence was so stiff was because edward snowden's massive leaks came to light just as manning was being sentenced. snowden was beyond the reach of the u.s. and russia. manning paid the price. mr. snowden's clemency application was turned down today by the president. lester. >> all right. thank you. speaking of snowden's current home, russia, today vladmir putin came to the defense of president-elect donald trump breaking his silence about those unverified allegations leaked about mr. trump last week. here at home more democrats are joining
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an inauguration boycott with just three days to go. hallie jackson has more. >> reporter: an unsurprising response to those unsubstantiated allegations about donald trump. rubbish defending trump. putin accusing the obama administration of trying to delegitimatize trump, working to solidify a partnership before it begins friday, inauguration day. dozens of democrats boycotting. the no shows more than 50. scattered reports of boycotts popped up in 1973 with richard nixon. 2001 with george w. bush but nothing that reached this level of coverage. sparked by comments from congressmen and civil rights freedom rider john lewis who despite saying this would be his first missed inauguration also skipped president bush's in 2001.
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>> we didn't attend it like so many other but president bush is a friend of mine. >> he got caught in a bad lie. let's see what happens. as far as other people not going because we need seats so badly. >> reporter: demonstrations already starting in washington. >> no trump. >> reporter: at least 99 of them planned this week. some for, most against with a different public protest coming from a top intelligence official. john brennon taking serious offense with trump's accusations that he leaked and used nazi like tactics. he said when his integrity is challenged that's where i think the line is crossed. tomorrow here on the hill, the talk turns to the health care law with the president-elect's pick to lead the health agency, congress tom price, set to face senators for the first time about the new administration's replacement plan. lester. >> hallie jackson, thanks. another major controversy we're following tonight. new developments in the battle over obama care now if the brink
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of repeal as a new would lose their coverage. that number would surge unless an immediate replacement is ready. president-elect trump has promised insurance for everyone, but who will pay for it? tom costello has details. tonight more pressure on republicans to come up with a viable replacement plan after the nonpartisan congressional budget office reported if obamacare is repealed without a substitute, within ten years 32 million americans will be without insurance and premiums for individuals could double. >> our job as a government is to guarantee health care to all people in a cost effective way. >> reporter: today republican house speaker paul ryan's office said the estimate are meaningless because they fail to take into account measures that might replace obamacare. one option creating a special insurance pool only for high risk patients with pre-existing
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conditions. people like brandy has already had a double mastectomy. >> i was 38 when i was diagnosed with cancer. it would be difficult for me to afford. >> reporter: it could be far too expensive for her and her daughter. >> if my cancer were to come back, what would i do? >> reporter: they would spend $25 billion in subsidies over ten years to make the high risk insurance more affordable. many states tried that before obamacare and couldn't afford it. >> they set the premiums 50 to 100% higher than people would face in the private market. >> my family has a history of breast cancer. >> reporter: brandy walker was in washington hoping to persuade lawmakers. >> i don't think i could afford high risk insurance. in a florida courtroom today the suspect in the deadly shooting rampage in
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the fort lauderdale airport was ordered to he gave conflicting explanations as to his motive. he said the government was controlling his mind, but later said he was inspired by isis linked chat rooms and websites. now to a new turn in one of the world's biggest unsolved mysteries. where is malaysia airline flight 370? after an exhaustive three-year search the mission is over with searchers no closer to finding that plane. it's a decision being met with outrage and disappointment from family members of those on board. nbc's miguel almaguer has details. >> reporter: hoping to solve one of the world's greatest aviation mystery, search teams combed a portion of the indian ocean the size of pennsylvania, but after nearly three years of scouring the deep blue sea, the search for malaysia
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airlines flight 370 is now suspended. confidence that the aircraft is not in area which in we have searched. >> reporter: with 239 people aboard the boeing triple 7, it left for beijing in march of 2014. the flight dropping off radar. during the search off western australia, a wing flap washed ashore on reunion island. 2500 miles away from the search grave. for some families who lost loved ones, a plea to continue the search to the north where new analyst shows the wreckage may now be. grace nathan lost her mother. >> not knowing has been horrible. it's been unbearable. >> was it an airplane problem? was it an intentional act? all of those possibilities remain on the table. >> reporter: tonight, the mystery may never be solved but for the families of the victims so much more has been lost. miguel almaguer, nbc news.
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a major announcementig general motors saying it will invest $1 billion in its u.s. factories creating or retaining 1500 jobs. the automaker will move some its production from mexico to michigan. the announcement comes after president-elect trump has criticized gm and other automakers for building cars outside e u.s. that announcement welcome news here in macomb county where we're on our journey across america. a detroit suburb, home to those famous reagan democrats who delivered a blue state to a republican over 30 years ago, doing it again in 2016. a key bellwether for the national mood on trade, jobs and the economy. they build a lot of things around here from cars to cabinets. a factory floor is seen to be a good place for a frank conversation about president-elect trump's promises and the expectations here in place that helped to elect him. >> reporter: just
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across 8 mile road, that 8 mile made eminem, lies macomb county. it's a county of contradictions not just in landscape but in the way the residents vote. in 2008 and 2012, the county went solidly for president obama, but now this is largely trump country. the president-elect garnered nearly 54% of the vote. a surprise to even those who support him like chris vitale, a chrysler worker who in the past supported obama. >> did you surprise yourself at all when you got behind trump? >> yes, to be honest with you, i knew nothing of the man other than he had a reality show. i don't like reality shows that much. he seemed to see the issues without being here. he's an east coast republican real estate developer yet he seemed to realize nafta was created 25 years ago to create this supposed mexican middle class and the
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mexican manufacturing makes $2.49 an hour. >> h >> yeah. >> reporter: people like debbie mcgee a single mom of two boys voted for donald trump. he offered her hope something she hadn't felt in a long time. what keeps you up at night? >> making sure my kids will have a roof and food on the table. >> do you feel invisible at times? >> yes. i can't win. i struggle from paycheck to paycheck. i sell stuff on swap sites to get extra cash. toys my kids don't play with or clothes they grew out of. >> what do you want from this president? >> i want changes. i want more jobs. i want better paying jobs. >> reporter: father of four works here at bakes and crop. a family own cabinet manufacturer. a clinton supporter, he fears the american dream he grew up with is exactly that, a dream. >> is what's happening here really the story of what's happening in the middle class in america? >> i think the middle class has been eroding for a long time and it
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will continue to e. kids i knew as small children struggling, living at home. not being able to afford to go to college because they don't have a job to pay for their cost of living while going to school. things are very difficult. >> reporter: smith is a retired third generation auto worker and uaw member. she voted for clinton and is skeptical of what mr. trump's america has in store for her. >> they have to make sure the people in america feel they are included. as african-american woman i don't feel as though his plans always include me. >> do you think this president will deliver? >> i don't. based on the things he said, mr. trump would say one thing at 9:00 a.m., say the opposite at 12:00 noon and at 3:00 p.m. he'd say he didn't say either one. >> how long would each of you give trump to make an impact? >> six months. >> i'll go off her
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answer a little bit. i don't expect things to greatly change but in six months we'll know if he's the real deal or not. >> reporter: this advice for the president-elect. >> listen to the needs of the people and not just the needs of big business. >> calm down. calm down and just focus on issues. >> think of the lower class and the middle class. >> keep america the exceptional place. the man hasn't been inaugurated yet. until he takes his hand off that bible, i can't really judge him. >> important voices as america readies to embark on the next chapter. our journey takes to home of the ft. bragg where the conversation continues. still ahead, student loan shocker. why a growing number of americans over 60 are taking on college debt and the big risk
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invest with confidence. back now with a surprising trend among older americans. when it comes to taking out student loans, the fastest growing group isn't young people. it's americans over 60 usually to help their children or grand kids. nbc news business correspondent tells us it's major risk they may not always be thinking about. >> it's really nice outside. >> reporter: when sheila's daughter got into the university of california santa cruz, she wanted her to have the full experience and graduate debt free.
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>> moments of my life was when my daughter said you really going to make it possible for me to get all the way through without debt? i said that's my goal. >> reporter: at age 69, she put $30,000 of her home equity loan towards college tuition and took out an additional 5,000 student loan in her own name. according to a new report by the consumer financial protection bureau, borrowers over 60 have nearly $67 billion in student loan debt. two-thirds of that debt is taken on for children or grand children and paying back the loans gets harder with age. 40% of federal student loan borrowers over 65 are in default. >> anything where you take out loans whether it's in the form of home equity in your house or straight up loan, it's something you really need to think carefully about. >> reporter: experts say put money away over time in a 529 plan for grand children which grows tax free.
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know that co-signing a loan means you're it and federal student loans will be cancelled upon death but private loans may not be. if you're behind on a federal student loan the government may garnish your social security check. nina is grateful to her mom and vows to take care of her some day. >> she gave me such a gift to go to college. >> reporter: an education for mother and daughter in financial planning and sacrifice. jo ling kent, nbc news. up next, a beloved star celebrating a major milestone. not the land. the water. or power sources. it's the people. american workers. they build world-class products. and that builds communities. and a better future. for all of us. because making something in america means so much, to so many.
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astrazeneca may be able to help. new numbers show the abortion rate in america has fallen to its lowest level since roe v wade in 1974. abortion rights counts 926,200 abortions in 2014, down from peak of 1.6 million in 1990. the authors attribute two main factors,
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increased availability of contrep abortion restrictions. a jaw dropping sight north of atlanta where a sink hole opened near an 18 wheeler nearly swallowing the truck whole. no injuries are reported. birthday wishes are pouring in for an american icon. betty white at 95 still going strong and still golden. we hope you're out having a great time celebrating. when we come back, how a woman with a mystery illness shocked her doctors and her family.
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bayer aspirin. finally, a stunning surprise and a great grandmother's second chance. she had a mystery illness. what happened next shocked them all. >> reporter: just two and a half months ago eloise barnett's family was saying good-bye. >> we bought cemetery plots. we were planning the funeral. >> reporter: she was unresponsive in an ohio hospital after her husband couldn't wake her up. >> we had to put her on dialysis. her blood pressure dropped. >> reporter: doctors weren't sure what was wrong but after more than two weeks she wasn't responding to treatments so her family made the
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difficult decision to >> it was heart wrenching and lots of tears. >> reporter: she had other plans. when the doctor expected to find a patient in her final moments. >> she opened her eyes and started talking to me. it really surprised me. >> reporter: some might call it a miracle. >> it's a miracle to me because i never seen it happen. >> reporter: she calls it good old fashioned grit. >> i can be stubborn but i have determination. >> reporter: all of this spunk from a woman who cheated death. >> they say i'm still very witty. >> reporter: the grandmother of two and great grand to three is still in physical therapy but is now back home at her family ranch. >> she'll be out on that grasshopper mowing, spring. >> reporter: still the same eloise with a new purpose.
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>> that was not my >> reporter: and a message. >> don't give up. don't give up. >> reporter: living against the odds and making every moment count. >> love you so much. >> reporter: kristen dahlgren, nbc news. >> pretty amazing. that's going to do it for us. i'm lester holt reporting from warren, michigan. from all of us at nbc newsthank you for , fios is not cable. we're wired differently. newsthank you for , that means incredibly fast 150 meg internet.
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