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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 8, 2018 3:30pm-4:01pm PST

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those. >> lester holt joins us next from south korea. >> we'll be back at 4:00. breaking news tonight. another meltdown on wall street. the second biggest point plunge in history. the dow plummets over a thousand points again. what's going on? the abuse allegations scandal exploding in the west wing, and chief of staff john kelly under fire. what did he know when he strongly defended a top trumpnsider accused by two ex-wives of physical abuse? >> so you told the fbi that rob porter was abusive towards you? >> yes. >> one of those women telling her story tonight to nbc news. high drama on the eve of the games as north korea tries to steal the attention with a show of force and a mysterious guest. shoppers beware. a lot of families getting free stuff in
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the mail that they didn't even order. it seems too good to be true, that's because it is. there's a scam you should know about. and the american champions. a perfect pair on ice and off. overcoming life's obstacles together, now living their olympic dreams. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening from pyeongchang, south korea, on the eve of a winter olympic games. lots to report from here, but our top story tonight is at home and another massive meltdown in the stock markets. the dow shedding more than 4% today. the 1033 point loss, the second largest single-day point drop in market history. and the second thousand point plus loss in a week. contributing to a race all the markets gained since late november with analysts now saying we may, in fact, be witnessing a long expected market correction. our business correspondent jo ling kent now with a deeper look at what is happening and why.
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>> reporter: tonight, turmoil on wall street after the second dramatic sell-off in a week. >> you had a lot more genuine fear in the market. they were selling the winners, they were selling the stuff they loved. >> reporter: the dow's 1,000-point plunge was the second steepest drop on record after monday's decline. >> it was certainly not a day that the bulls even wanted to remember or think about at this point. >> reporter: the free fall coming after a better-than-expected unemployment report, another indicator that the american economy is gaining strength. that drove interest rates up and fanned fears that the federal reserve will raise rates more quickly than expected, making borrowing more expensive. the wall street woes driving americans to wonder whether to make a move with their retirement savings frm there's absolutely no reason for panic right now. this is not indicative of some bigger problem in the economy. this is indicative of stock prices that a lot of people thought were too high. as long as you can keep your money invested for more than a year don't worry about a few days.
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>> reporter: good news for the economy uncertainty. the fallout of the white house over the resignation of a top aide. rob porter stepped down after he was accused of abuse by his two ex-wives. tonight one of them is speaking out to us. this as questions swirl about what chief of staff john kelly knew and when and how porter could have worked so close to the president after the allegations held up his security clearance. nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker has the story. >> reporter: tonight, the white house calling the allegations of abuse against top aide rob porter serious, disturbing and upsetting and now the focus here defending the embattled chief of staff, john kelly. >> the president has confidence in his chief of staff. >> reporter: despite a former white house official telling nbc news kelly was alerted months ago about some of the allegations of domestic abuse by porter's two ex-wives, the white house insisting kelly only learned the whole truth yesterday after
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this picture surfaced of porter's first wife, colby holderness, with a black eye. >> i think it's fair to say that we all could have done better over the last few hours or the last few days. >> reporter: and pressed on why porter only had an interim security clearance despite the fact that he worked at the president's side with access to some of the most sensitive materials to cross the president's desk. >> the background investigation was not completelied. there was no determination made about rob porter's security clearance, there was not a thumbs up or thumbs down. >> reporter: tonight one of porter's ex-wives is speaking out to nbc news, jennifer willoughby says porters wa physically and emotionally abusive to her, concerns she shared with the fbi when they were conducting the background check. >> i shared the details of my marriage the same as have been in the interviews that came out. >> reporter: one of the questions was could he potentially be blackmailed. how did you answer that question? >> i believe that the people who had the power to blackmail him
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would be women who had been in personal relationships with him. so in short, the answer could be maybe. >> reporter: porter has called the allegations false and part of an organized smear campaign. >> i'm not surprised that that's his reaction. i think it's really unfortunate. and i hope that, in light of everything that is coming out, he will be able to face some of the issues that he deals with. >> reporter: the white house says the president learned about the matter tuesday night. meanwhile, communications director hope hicks who was reportedly dating porter, helped craft the initial statements in his defense. the white house says at times hicks recused herself but didn't disclose any details about how or when. lester. >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you. on capitol hill tonight big tensions and big drama playing out with last-minute questions surrounding that bipartisan deal in the senate to avoid a shutdown by midnight. nbc news capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt has the latest for us. >> reporter: tonight congress racing to avoid a government shutdown, scrambling
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to pass a major two-year bipartisan deal. republicans praising increased funding for the military. $165 billion over two years. many democrats won over with 131 billion more for domestic programs including 6 billion to fight the opioid epidemic and there's bipartisan support for the 90 billion in disaster relief for hurricane victims in the virgin islands, puerto rico, texas and florida. >> you get some things you like and you give the other side things they like. that's what bipartisan compromise is all about. on the net, this is a very good solution. >> reporter: but late into the day tension as the clock ticked toward midnight. senator rand paul holding up a vote in the senate arguing the deal spends too much. >> we're going to have a trillion deficit this year, a trillion dollars added to our debt. >> reporter: and in the house, democrats carefully counting votes. >> many of our priorities are in the bill. i have an unease with it. >> reporter: her unease over immigration left out of the compromise. the vote tonight to
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avoid a shutdown in limbo much longer than we thought. it depends on house democrats, but it also depends on senator rand paul. because of senate rules just one senator could hold up this vote until the shutdown deadline is passed. lester? >> kasie hunt at the capitol, thank you. now to what brings us and the world's most elite athletes and hundreds of thousands of fans here to pyeongchang. all eyes are on south korea for the start of the winter olympics. but trying to steal the spotlight, north korea, with a massive show of force today and lots of buzz over someone very close to kim jong-un joining the olympic delegation. we get more from nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel in seoul. >> reporter: kim jong-un hailed today as he inspected his troops. it's part of a dual strategy he's using for the olympics, a mix of diplomacy and threats of force. today force was center
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stage. north korea moved up an annual military parade so its goose-stepping and dancing troops would be seen around the world just one day ahead of the opening ceremony. but getting even more attention has been kim jong-un's attempts at family diplomacy. he's sending his younger sister, kim yo-jong, to south korea as an olympic envoy where she'll be part of a delegation having lunch with south korea's president. like the reclusive leader, little is known about her. she's believed to be 30 years old, studied with her brother in switzerland and was recently promoted to help lead the ruling party's propaganda and agitation department. but friday at the opening ceremony, the woman described in south korean media as kim jong-un's ivanka, will reportedly be seated near vice president pence. despite this new charm offensive, experts warn north korea's
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nuclear threat is unlikely to change. >> after the olympics are concluded, i fully anticipate that they'll resume testing. >> reporter: and today kim's missiles, which experts say could reach the united states, were front and center. these are supposed to be south korea's olympics, but the north, it seems, doesn't want to be left out of the limelight. although vice president pence and the north korean delegation will be in close proximity in that stadium, both the white house and north korea say as of now, there are no plans for any meetings or direct talks. lester? >> richard engel in seoul tonight, thank you. and a program note. i'll sit down for an exclusive interview with vice president pence here in pyeongchang. we'll have it for you tomorrow evening here on nbc "nightly news." and as all that plays out with north korea, here in south korea, the excitement is building. team usa is here, the largest and most diverse american team for the winter games ever. and even before
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tomorrow's opening ceremonies, some events have already begun. nbc's miguel almaguer is here with a look at the competition about to take center stage. >> lester, americans at home will see a lot of familiar faces. lindsey vonn just arrived here in pyeongchang. she's one of 103 returning olympians, part of team usa. tonight the olympic torch is taking its final lap. the opening ceremony just hours away. four-time olympian luger aaron hamlin will carry the american flag selected by her teammates. >> it's a privilege to be able to get that recognition is pretty cool. >> reporter: the olympics, a unifying moment coming with controversy. vice president mike pence, who leads the u.s. delegation, tweeted his support for adam rippon, saying, i want you to know we are for you, after the openly gay figure skater was critical of pence for his views on gay
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rights. tonight figure skating heats up the ice with u.s. champion nathan chen making his olympic debut. but the chase for gold has already started. >> day one, yeah, really excited. >> reporter: sibling curlers matt and becca hamilton from wisconsin brushing past the competition knocking out a victory in a preliminary round against russia. first ever mixed doubles match at the olympics. >> go usa. >> reporter: shaun white says he's ready for redemption after finishing fourth in sochi. >> i'm feeling stronger, more motivated than ever. you know, it's wild being an olympian now for the fourth time. >> reporter: fellow snowboarder chloe kim also a gold medal favorite. >> a perfect 100. >> reporter: and at 17 a first-time olympian. >> even saying you're an olympian is so insane. i'm luck to be here. >> reporter: miguel
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almaguer, nbc news, pyeongchang. this is stephanie gosk. every year the siberian winds blow into south korea turning this small mountainous nation into a winter wonderland. the perfect backdrop for games of ice and snow. more than 50 million people call this country, the size of indiana, home. an innovator, an economic leader, companies like samsung and hyundai and the music that seems to reflect it all. k-pop. but walk around south korea's capital and its rich cultural history is on display at every turn. that frenetic modern society left at the door of a local tea shop. ginger? that looks great. where we met daniel gray. hi, dan. an american who now lives here and works as a tour guide. south korea, he says, has transformed since it host the summer olympics in seoul 30 years ago. >> the '88 olympics was korea coming out
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to the world saying that we are a developing country. now we're a developed country. this was a rundown neighborhood of seoul but the hipsters moved in, set up shops, set up craft beer places, restaurants. >> reporter: food is at the heart of south korean culture. and there's no better place to sample it than in the markets. >> this is just some fish soup. >> reporter: but foreigner beware. comfort food can have some serious kick. that's got some spice! >> this will be the greatest thing you've had. >> reporter: it looks like the greatest thing. a small pancake made with green tea, cinnamon and sugar was an eye-opening sxwro ining joy. a train light built for the olympics carries people out to pyeongchang. this is as rural as it gets. live king crab crawl in tanks by the beach while in the mountains snow falls on well-groomed trails. tonight the athletes
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village is at capacity. a day before the opening ceremony, a proud transformed south korea is ready for its latest star turn. the people here in pyeongchang are incredibly proud to have an event this size in their background, from the taxi drivers to the restaurant owners, they have rolled out the red carpet for their international guests. lester? >> a great introduction to this country, stephanie, thank you. still ahead, mystery deliveries. why amazon is sending some people packages they never ordered, and why experts think it's part of a scam you should know about. also the amazing story of a pair of american figure [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a "red-hot mascot." [mascot] hey-oooo! whoop, whoop! [crowd 1] hey, you're on fire! [mascot] you bet i am! [crowd 2] dude, you're on fire! [mascot] oh, yeah! [crowd 3] no, you're on fire! look behind you. [mascot] i'm cool. i'm cool. [burke] that's one way to fire up the crowd.
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explains. >> this is a cell phone selfie light. >> tv cover for your outdoor tv. >> reporter: one after another the packages keep coming. >> controller for your vr experience. >> reporter: mike and kelly say they started arriving in october. now they come twice a week. no invoices, no return name or address. just their name and address. even amazon doesn't know who is sending them. >> we didn't order this stuff. we really don't want this stuff. and we really want it to stop. >> yeah. and we have gotten no help from amazon. >> reporter: strangely, they're not even being charged. e-commerce experts say that suggests it's all part of a scam called brushing. vendors, often overseas, pay someone to use gift cards to buy merchandise, then ship it to a legitimate name and address. once it arrives, the phantom buyer, often the vendor, writes a glowing review on amazon or other e-commerce sites. >> the ultimate
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motivation is to get a good review for the product on to amazon. the more positive reviews, the more likely you'll get sales of those products. >> reporter: those reviews can mean big money, but amazon says it's found few fake reviews associated with these shipments and it will ban all venders that abuse the system. >> i don't even know what to do with half this stuff. >> reporter: they've asked for amazon's help to stop the deliveries and they're now far less likely to believe those five-star online customer reviews. tom costello, nbc news, washington. coming up, the major winter weather threat taking aim at nearly 30 million people. and t as you can clearly see, the updates you made to your plan strengthened your retirement score. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this? we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today.
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as much as 8 inches of snow expected in some areas with more in the forecast this weekend. it couldn't have been 20 below today in philly and they still would have turned out in force to celebrate the eagles first super bowl championship. crowds packed 20 deep in some spots along the parade route all along the five-mile route to the "rocky" steps as many refer to them. speaking of crowds, imagine trying to tell everyone apart at one school just outside chicago which just set the guinness world record for the most twins in one academy year. 44 sets of twins and a set of triplets in the sophomore class at new trier class in winnetka. unbelievable. when we come back, they begin competing here tonight. vo: gopi has built her business with her own two hands. each unique piece comes to life in the same way... a messy, sloppy, splattery way.
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foods. finally, from pyeongchang, they're the only married couple on team usa. a figure skating pair hitting the ice tonight who have overcome so much as teammates and as husband and wife to achieve their olympic dreams together. nbc's joe fryer now with their story. >> reporter: chris knierim and alex ka scimeca knierim are together at all times. >> those look tasty. >> reporter: or hanging out in front of a hot grill, their teamwork even extends to the pesky poppy seed wedged between chris' teeth. >> this is love. >> reporter: they do have their differences. alexa loves to glue rhinestones on stuff. >> in my opinion, there's never enough sparkle. >> reporter: while chris is a serious car
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lover, even worked as a mechanic to help pay for his training. >> this is the man cave. >> reporter: but when they skate together, they're in harmony, a connection that was forged in 2012 when alexa traveled for a tryout with chris after her plane landed sparks flew. >> when i picked her up, i don't know what the deal was, but i just kept talking. >> he talked a lot. >> reporter: was he more talkative maybe because you were flirting with him? >> i was definitely flirting. he was definitely cute and picked me up in his black camaro and opened the door for me. >> reporter: by the time they drew closer winning their first pairs title in 2015. a year later they were married. their coach officiating the wedding. but immediately the newlyweds were tested. alexa was plagued by excruciating stomach pains. >> this pain that is like indescribable, you know. i'm like in agony and crying. >> reporter: months passed before she was diagnosed with a rare stomach disorder that
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required three surgeries. >> i spent like so many days in bed because i was too weak to stand up. >> reporter: it was hard for chris, too. >> i can lift her up, throw her, catch her, but there was nothing that i could do to help her even though that's all i wanted to do. >> reporter: in all, alexa missed eight months before she was strong enough to train again. when they returned to the world's stage, she says she never felt so alive. >> we had so much joy that i hadn't felt some so long. >> reporter: that joy propelled them to this year's u.s. championships where years of work and struggle came down to this moment. >> once again, the national champs. >> reporter: when they realized they were going to the olympics, a lifelong dream and a lifetime promise to have and to hold on and off the ice. joe fryer, nbc news,
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colorado springs. we have so many great stories to share with you here. you can watch figure skating's team competition live tonight right here at 8:00 eastern time. we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" does it go too far? san jose police release new, controversial p-s-a )s on domestic violence. right now at 4:00, does it go too far? sainte-julie police release controversial tsas on domestic violence. the news at 4:00 starts right now. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. i'm jessica agiry. >> i'm raj ma thigh. we will be on at 4:00 as part of the live olympics coverage. we will get to south korea in a moment. we want to start with an nbc bay area exclusive. a new twist on a critical message. public service announcements about domestic violence from a man's point of view. sjpd is leading the way. some people are calling this
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groundbreaking but others worry it misses the mark. nbc bay area's robert hoanda joins us with the story. >> reporter: the idea behind the public announcements isn't just to raise awareness about domestic violence but to reach the men who need the hear that message, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable. >> hey, i got an extra ticket to the game this sunday, man. you want to go. >> reporter: the setting in each of the five public service announcements are familiar ones such as a gym where advocates say comments and jokes between men about domestic violence often occurs. >> you need to tune her up. >> reporter: this scene has an unexpected end. >> anyone in here think it is funny? not funny. >> it will take men speaking up with friend, family members, within workplaces to change the norms that keep this type of violence in place. >> reporter: the psas feature real police officers


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