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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 31, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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for a 30 second addfare the super bowl $5 million. you can sigh it on nbc bay area, 3:30 is kick-off on sunday. >> if you're not going to the super bowl coverage starts at 9:00 a.m. bye. wreck on the tracks. an amtrak train packed with republican members of congress including house speaker paul ryan slams into a truck in its path. >> mass casualty incident, level one. train versus truck. >> lawmakers jumping in to help the injured. we have the latest from the scene. it's president trump versus his own fbi director again. the fbi makes a re public warning. grave concerns about the accuracy of that secret russia investigation memo. urging the white house not to release it. the cdc director resigns amid scandal. right as the agency is fighting this flu emergency exploding in 49 states. kids and migraines and the unusual way doctors are treating them. would you believe botox? >> i saw a night and day difference. >> parents say it's a life
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changer. and meet the real-life heroes turned movie stars playing themselves in clint eastwood's new hollywood blockbuster. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. welcome to our viewers in the west. we begin with the frightening moments on the rails for republican members of congress today. it was a deadly collision between the chartered amtrak train they were aboard and a garbage truck. one of those in the truck was killed. another critically injured. some describing, a loud noise, a jolt, and belongings scattered everywhere. a rush to attend those hurt. t tonight the ntsb is joining the investigation into the crash. our kasie hunt reports from the scene in crozet, virginia. >> mass casualty incident. level one. train versus truck. >> reporter: just outside charlottesville, virginia, at 11:20 this morning, a garbage truck split in two by a chartered amtrak train carrying hundreds of republican members
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of congress, their spouses and children, on the way to a policy retreat at the greenbrier resort. >> i personally was sitting and just felt the very strong jolt which shocked everybody. >> reporter: most on board the train including the house speaker paul ryan were not hurt. outside, lawmakers, several of them medical doctors, rushed to try and save the men riding the garbage truck. >> i can't find a pulse. dr. roe can't find a pulse. we started cpr. >> reporter: one man died at the scene. another in critical condition. >> so we were working on the man that was injured for quite a while, and for about 20 minutes, but he was breathing. obviously very serious condition. >> reporter: after the crash, amtrak said two crew members and two passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. authorities still investigating what caused the crash, but on board, initially there was fear. >> at first we didn't know. a lot of people i think thought
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the worst, maybe there had been an attack on the train. i think right now everyone's pretty confident about what happened. >> reporter: for some, it was eerily familiar, recalling the terrifying republican baseball practice where steve scalise was shot. >> my mind went back to the same thing cutting away steve's uniform so we could apply a tourniquet. so, anyway, it's too reminiscent. >> reporter: the reality is that these crashes happen several times a week. sometimes when drivers try to beat the train. witnesses today said that the crossing arms appeared to be down, and the lights appeared to be flashing. the ntsb is coming in to investigate. lester? >> kasie hunt in virginia for us tonight. thank you. another big story we're following this evening is the battle brewing between president trump and his own fbi director who was sounding the alarm over the potential release of that republican memo in the russia investigation. the president indicating he'll release it. the fbi now signaling grave concerns over its accuracy. urging the president not to do it.
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we get all the latest now from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: tonight, president trump again clashing with his fbi director. this time christopher wray, the man he hand picked to replace james comey. the flashpoint, a controversial republican memo alleging anti-trump bias within the fbi and justice department. the bureau tonight waging an extraordinary public campaign to prevent the classified document's release. warning of grave concerns about facts left out that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy. >> mr. president, any response -- >> reporter: president trump tonight ignoring questions about the fbi's plea. still, the president's mind appears made up. >> let's release the memo. >> don't worry. 100%. >> reporter: chief of staff john kelly today backing up his boss. >> it will be released here pretty quick i think. the whole world can see it. >> reporter: house intelligence committee chairman devin nunes, a former trump transition official, unleashing his own unprecedented attack accusing the agencies for having stonewalled congress' demands for information for
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over a year. all of it overshadowing what the white house billed as a unifying state of the union address. president trump's tough tone on a crucial immigration sticking point drew democratic boos. >> under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. under our plan -- >> reporter: that's not true, relatives like aunts, uncles and cousins, cannot be sponsored. still, the president is earning praise from this group of trump voters. >> americans are dreamers, too. i like that comment. i thought it was really on the money for where we are at. >> i'm worried about, you know, within the week, he's going to say something on twitter, and pick a fight with somebody. >> reporter: one more item about that memo, critics argue it's intended to undermine the russia investigation. tonight, the transcript of a closed-door house intelligence committee meeting this week shows the republican chair devin nunes refused to answer whether
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the white house worked with anyone on his staff as they put that memo together. lester? >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. a surprise shakeup to report at the cdc. its director dr. brenda fitzgerald resigned today amid growing conditions about financial conflicts of interest. fitzgerald, a trump appointee, came under fire after she reportedly bought stocks in tobacco and health care companies after she took over at the cdc in july. this comes, of course, as the cdc is overseeing the response of the worst flu season nearly a decade. tonight, this flu emergency is hitting home for many across the country. long lines for the flu shot, pharmacies struggling to keep tamiflu on hand. and schools and churches taking urgent action to prevent the spread. we get the latest from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: in florida, louisiana, and texas
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today, the offer of free flu shots brought out families like the belews. >> we know it's more prevalent this year than it has been in the past, and so we just knew it was time. >> reporter: an urgent reason to get vaccinated, cases like 45-year-old hope mccord-mcfarland. >> it's every mother's worst nightmare. >> reporter: now on a ventilator in virginia. >> flu shots saves lives. if you get the flu shot, you won't be living the nightmare that i'm living now. >> reporter: as more schools across the nation close for deep cleaning, at catholic churches, parishioners no longer share the same chalice during the sacrament. >> i ask the lord every day to bless me and keep me healthy. >> reporter: widespread flu has driven demand for tamiflu. the anti-viral drug reduces the flu's duration and symptoms. it's safe for pregnant women. what happens if you don't have the flu but you take tamiflu? >> you can take tamiflu to prevent getting the flu if you've been exposed to the flu. >> reporter: the fda and cdc warn there could be side effects. nausea and vomiting. and in rare cases for children,
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hallucinations. although drugmakers tell nbc news there's plenty of tamiflu, pharmacies are scrambling to keep it on hand. >> our supplier ran out yesterday but we do have more on order. >> reporter: the best defense, say doctors, is the vaccine. for the wilkins family of eight, today eight free shots and now peace of mind. what do you hope the shot does? >> stay protected from the flu. >> reporter: tonight, as hospital e.r.s and emergency care centers like this see more flu patients every day, it's estimated this flu season will cost businesses more than $9 billion in lost productivity of employees calling in sick. lester? >> we're seeing it all around us. all right, kerry sanders, thanks. michigan state university is facing a deadline to turn over potential evidence into the investigation of its handling of the sex abuse scandal involving former usa gymnastics doctor, larry nassar. nassar was in court today for his third and final sentencing hearing. the number of accusers who say
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he abused them has risen to at least 265. nbc's rehema ellis has the latest. >> larry nassar is a criminal of the worst kind. >> reporter: more emotional and powerful statements from dozens of larry nassar's accusers. >> takes a monster backed by ego, experience, and power, fueled by multiple institutions to sexually assault a child in front of their own mother. >> reporter: now more focus on his former employers and the police. >> as a student at michigan state, i am completely heartbroken and betrayed by the school's administration. >> i'm not proud to go to this school. >> reporter: today at michigan state university, where nassar was a doctor, protests despite the change to a new interim president. >> this institution has much it can be proud of but we have to change the culture. >> the time is up for you, mr. nassar.
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>> reporter: tomorrow brianne randall-gay is expecting a public apology from the police department which dismissed her complaints against nassar over a decade ago. >> i believe that if my report would have been taken seriously in 2004, that many of these victims would have never met larry nassar. >> reporter: now michigan attorney general investigators are demanding msu turn over e-mails, texts and other files associated with nassar. and at usa gymnastic, the entire board resigned amid pressure from the u.s. olympic committee. long overdue changes for many including four-time olympic gold medalist simone biles who shared her story this morning on "today." >> so it feels like he took a part of me that i can't get back. i'm still working on that part. >> reporter: tonight hundreds of young women taking back their lives and holding institutions accountable. rehema ellis, nbc news. there is a new and controversial tactic up for debate in the fight against america's opioid crisis. lawmakers in one state
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now considering a desperate measure to enable doctors to force addicts into treatment against their will. does it work? and is it ethical? nbc's stephanie gosk explains in our continuing coverage of this deadly epidemic, one nation overdosed. >> reporter: users passed out in cars, needles lining alleys. these are the images of america's opioid crisis. in massachusetts, governor charlie baker has a bold and controversial new idea. a proposed law that would allow doctors on the front lines to force patients into treatment. even if they don't want to go. do you see patients in here that are about to walk out on the street and you think to yourself, that person's going to die in the next few days? >> absolutely.
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absolutely. every single day. >> reporter: under the law, physicians like dr. becker would be allowed to transport patients against their will to one of five treatment facilities in the state. once there, the treatment center can force patients to stay for up to 72 hours before needing a judge's approval. >> it is absolutely something that we consider, that i consider, personally, the last resort. >> reporter: forced treatment is already allowed in massachusetts and 36 other states but requires a judge's approval. removing the judge from the process, critics say, could violate users' rights. >> people who have undergone -- are twice as likely to die according to the state's own data as people who have undergone voluntary treatment. >> reporter: dan mumbauer who runs this treatment center believes doctors should be trusted. >> it's a very serious thing to take someone's civil liberties away from them. so i don't take it lightly at all. >> if they didn't do it, i was going to die. >> reporter: patrick cronin's parents had a judge force him into treatment 12 years ago. >> it i overdosed. i went to a hospital. the second i got out, i got high. in my hospital outfit. >> reporter: cronin supports the proposed law. >> a mental health
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situation where somebody said i'm going to take my own life. by letting someone walk out the door with addiction, you know it's the same thing. they're about to lose their life from drugs. so why can't we do the same thing? >> reporter: radical but necessary he says because opioids have put so many lives on the line. stephanie gosk, nbc news, brockton, massachusetts. we'll take a turn now to the alleged hush money scandal that has so many people talking. it all started with a bombshell report claiming president trump's attorney paid an adult film star $130,000 to keep quiet about an extramarital affair. now that actress has spoken out but she's left far more questions than answers. nbc chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has the story for us. >> reporter: for melania trump, a standing ovation at the capitol on her husband's big night. he now finds himself in a storm of controversy as a porn star's pr push lands her on a late night couch after her report the president's attorney gave six figures to stormy
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daniels to keep an alleged affair quiet. >> does this at all seem familiar to you? tighty-whities. >> reporter: the appearance comes after the "wall street journal" reported daniels received hush money before the election to keep under wraps a supposed sexual relationship with donald trump in 2006. those allegations of an affair denied by the president's longtime lawyer and denied by daniels, herself, in this signed statement, but -- >> the signature on the original statement does not match the signature on this statement. >> reporter: daniels playing it coy. >> did you sign this letter that was released today? >> i don't know. did i? i do not know -- >> you do not know where it came from. >> reporter: the alleged encounters with donald trump reportedly happened not long after the president's wife, melania trump, had given birth to the couple's son. the first lady's office pushing back strongly on reports she's angry with her husband. saying, "the laundry list of salacious and flat-out false reporting about mrs. trump by tabloid publications and tv shows has
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seeped into mainstream media." her office says melania trump is focusing, instead, on her role as first lady. a role that includes hosting guests at the state of the union. in a break from tradition, the first lady accompanied them to the capitol before her husband arrived. the two returning to the white house together. hallie jackson, nbc news, the white house. still ahead tonight, stopping migraines in children. could the answer be something that's usually just for grown-ups? also the three real-life american heroes bringing their own story to the big screen with the help of a hollywood legend.
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we're back now with medical news that will have a lot of parents sitting up and taking notice. if you've ever taken care of a child that suffers from migraines, you know how debilitating they can be and how helpless you feel watching them. nearly 10% of kids get migraines. doctors are now using an unusual treatment to stop them. nbc news medical correspondent
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dr. john torres has details on kids, migraines and botox. >> reporter: playing baseball used to be impossible for 9-year-old manu teave. he suffered serious migraines since he was 3. >> i was throwing up. all i was doing was going, like, lying down. i couldn't go to sleep. i couldn't do mostly anything. >> reporter: his only choice, going to the hospital to get strong painkillers. >> so frustrating as a parent to see your kid in pain, not being able to do anything. >> reporter: migraines affect 5 million children. with few treatments available, they're either forced to take strong drugs with major side effects or suffer through the pain. >> these children are not going to school. they're not functioning.
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they're falling behind. >> worsening of pain when i press? >> reporter: now new hope using an unusual treatment. botox. the popular wrinkle reducer is also fda approved for adults with migraines. a new study finds it significantly reduces the headaches in children, too. after just one treatment, 31 injections around the head, kids reported anywhere from 6 to 20 fewer migraines each month. and the headaches they did have were shorter and less painful. researchers believe the botox blocks pain signals. manu tried botox last year. now he gets injections every ten weeks. >> i saw a night and day difference. he's back in school. he's playing sports. he is playing with his brother. >> reporter: taking a shot at a new treatment so he can get back to being a kid again. dr. john torres, nbc news, orange, california. coming up, the surprise move a major american city is making now that recreat leg and my we finally know what was in the blue g lady gave to another
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at at&t, we believe in access. the opportunity for everyone to explore a digital world. connecting with the things that matter most. and because nothing keeps us more connected than the internet, we've created access from at&t. california households with at least one resident who receives snap or ssi benefits may qualify for home internet at a discounted rate of $10 a month. no commitment, deposit, or installation fee. visit to learn more. if you were up late last night or perhaps early this morning, extra early, you may have seen the spectacular show in the sky. a rare super blue blood moon. when a blue moon meets a supermoon, throw in a lunar eclipse, voila. the best views were in alaska and hawaii but still
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pretty good in the lower 48 for the first super blue blood moon in 35 years. a surprise announcement in san francisco tonight where prosecutors say they will expunge and dismiss thousands of misdemeanor and felony marijuana convictions for those sentenced prior to the passage of a california law legalizing recreational pot. the more lenient rules will apply to cases dating back to 1975. even if those convicted don't file a petition. you can all sleep easier tonight. we now know what was in the box. it was one of the biggest mysteries from inauguration day last year when mrs. trump gave mrs. obama a a present from tiffany's. you might remember the awkward handoff where she didn't know where to put the gift before pausing for photos. mrs. obama telling ellen degeneres in an interview airing tomorrow that the gift was a lovely frame. up next here tonight, the big new movie starring the real-life american heroes who inspired it. and the tactics? g.
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next at 6: what the postal inspector is doing about the crime that keeps happening. also -- one bay area city reveals its throwing out old pot convictions. we look at why other cities may be dragging their feet. finally tonight, the amazing true story of three american heroes coming soon to the big screen. and when it came time to choose actors to play them, director clint eastwood had a big surprise in store. here's joe fryer. >> reporter: they were already real-life heroes. now they're real-life movie stars. alek skarlatos, spencer stone, anthony sadler play themselves in "15:17 to paris." the movie recounts how they stopped an armed terrorist aboard a paris-bound train in 2014. a true story that captured the attention of the world and director clint eastwood. >> having someone call you and
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say i have clint eastwood on the other line, i'm going to patch you through, is that okay? i'm like, yeah, that's okay. >> reporter: naturally they assumed established actors would fill the roles. what did you want to play you? >> michael b. jordan. yeah. >> chris hemsworth. >> zac efron. >> reporter: eastwood said he wanted to cast the guys who knew the story better than anyone. was there any part of you that was like, no, i don't think i want to do this? >> there was a part, for sure. we didn't want to ruin it. >> reporter: we interviewed the men at a sacramento church where sadler's dad is pastor. they grew up together, escaping into the woods during elementary school, a moment captured in the film. >> we did everything here. >> these were the simpler of times. didn't have to worry about anything. >> reporter: still close as adults, they vacationed in europe together which is what brought them to that train. >> spencer, go. >> reporter: they said reliving the moment when they con fronted the terrorist wasn't hard, it was healing. >> we didn't really process, like, almost dying and inadvertently saving a bunch of people. >> what we did that day is something no one can ever take away from us and something we'll
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be proud for for the rest of our lives. >> reporter: pride for the greatest role they'll ever play, themselves. joe fryer, nbc news, sacramento. >> we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" a growing problem in the bay area -- and beyond. thieves -- targeting postal trucks. right now at 6:00, a growing problem in the bay area and beyond. thieves targeting postal trucks. we'll show you how the postal service is responding to help protect your mail. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. is your mail the safe? two more postal truck break-ins, only this time with a brazen twist. it took place the same day, just blocks from each other. it's the latest in an alarming string of mail thefts happening in the south bay. nbc bay area's marianne favro broke the story last summer.
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she joins us live. marianne, this has been going on for a while now. so what's the plan? >> reporter: it certainly has, jessica. in spite of added patrols and beefed up security inside the trucks, two u.s. postal trucks parked on mildred avenue in willow glen were broken into in broad daylight on monday morning. 19 postal trucks have been broken into in san jose since last spring. it appears the thieves are becoming more brazen. on monday they stole mail out of two different locked postal trucks parked a block from each other in willow glen. postal inspectors say that's unusual. >> two break-ins in such a short time frame is very concerning to us. >> reporter: the thieves stole both letters and packages. a big concern for jenna vaccaro. >> i get checks all the time in the mail, i'm a freelancer. i rely on the mail toge


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