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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 7, 2018 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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aboard rocky mountaineer. canada's rocky mountains await. call your travel agent or rocky mountaineer for special offers now. tonight, raging western wildfires. california's governor declares a state of emergency as record heat and high winds fan dozens of parent insider attack in afghanistan. time is running out to rescue the thai soccer team traed in a cave. oxygen levels are low and monsoon rains are on the way. the world mourns the loss of an icon. the man who cocreated two of our most recognizable superhero. and the drum beat for diversity in hollywood as up and coming stars flip the
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script and transform what we see every day. this is "nbc nightly news." we begin with the deadly and dangerous crisis in california and many other areas throughout the western u.s. ferocious winds feeding wildfires as record temperatures have put more than 18 million people under excessive heat warnings. our own steve patterson is with the firefighters and evacua evacuees on the front lines of the blazes near santa barbara. >> reporter: tonight a state of emergency in california. the misery made worse by record-breaking heat and high winds. more than 2,000 people evacuated near santa barbara. nearly two dozen buildings destroyed. the man and his six kids barely made it out alive. >> the wind was gusting so fast last night. there was no chance. >> just with the shovel and the hose, i probably put out 30 to
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40 spot fires easily. >> reporter: firefighters attacking it from the air and on the ground. >> when you have fire weather like that with the wind and the relative humidity and the heat, it's really just impossible. we kind of go into a defensive mode. >> reporter: in northern california, the fires turned deadly. one killed as flames there exploded across 20,000 acres. fires burning in san diego county too. >> we've got to get out of here, guys. >> reporter: it's churning through homes, even injuring a firefighter. >> we had 60 seconds maybe. we knew immediately we needed to get in our cars and go. >> reporter: california's march of flames part of nearly 60 large fires racing across 13 states. making matters worse, the west is baking in a blistering heat wave. >> it's super duper hot. >> reporter: records shattered yesterday in california. 102 in santa barbara, 108 in downtown l.a. in burbank, a sweltering 114 degrees.
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excessive heat warnings expected to stay in place for nearly 20 million americans and bone dry conditions and red flag winds return. firefighters once again bracing for the very worst. back outside of santa barbara, you can see the full destructive power of this fire, gutting several homes along this street. this extreme heat wave leaving thousands without power tonight. all this while we're tracking a brand new fire just outside of burbank, forcing mandatory evacuations there now as well. >> thank you. that dangerous heat is reaching over the u.s. border. in quebec canada temperatures near 100 degrees are linked to 54 deaths in the last week. many were senior citizens, a group at particular risk for health problems on extremely hot days. in japan today, torrential rainfall led to deadly flooding. at least 34 people were killed. nearly 50 are missing. many fled the rising waters on rooftops, waving to rescue helicopters for help. the waters were 16
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feet deep in the worst hit areas. storms that hit puerto rico and florida last year could have some serious long-term effects on the ecosystem. scientists at florida international university are keeping a close watch with new technology. and they are finding the recovery is slower than meets the eye. >> reporter: in puerto rico, clear evidence of the power of a hurricane, but only now are scientists looking beyond those destroyed homes to the trees and the forests. >> a landscape that is completely green and colorful, it was overnight turned brown. all you could see, it was like toothpicks of what was left. >> reporter: to the naked eye almost a year later, it might appear mother nature has fully recovered, but a hike deep into the national forest tells a different story. >> you're going to take a scan in this location. >> reporter: nasa scientists using the world's most advanced imaging equipment can now see across
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hundreds of square miles down to the tiniest of leaves and twigs. incredibly, airborne nasa teams documented these exact areas just six months before hurricanes irma and maria made landfall. the comparisons reveal what has never been accurately calculated before. >> today, we're looking at half the trees having been damaged or downed by the storm. >> reporter: from puerto rico to here in the florida everglades it is the same story. to look at this, it appears like there's lurk growth. but comparing before and after photos reveal 60% of the mangroves destroyed. scientists here have the same fears as in puerto rico. if another powerful hurricane strikes, the coastal mangroves that are a protective barrier to storm surge could never fully recover. >> think you're sick with the flu. the forest has a flu for a little bit and it needs to rest. if you introduce another impact, that could push it over the
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edge. >> reporter: images that expose nature's vulnerabilities. and shocking images coming from haiti tonight. fires burning in the capital city port-au-prin port-au-prince. americans there now told to shelter in place. some flights from the u.s. cancelled after protests turned violent and deadly. people there demonstrating against a government fuel price hike. an american service member was shot and killed in afghanistan today. two others were wounded. they were victims of a possible inside attack by the taliban. >> reporter: this is the third combat death of the year in afghanistan, but it's the first in the south, the heart land of the taliban. the other two have been in the east where isis is strong. most of the 14,000 u.s. troops there in afghanistan are in a train, advice, assist capacity. that puts them in direct risk of meeting potential taliban fighters who have infiltrated afghan
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forces and can turn their weapons on either american or nato troops. to safeguard american troops, the pentagon has deviced this strategy where they have something called guardian angels units. their sole mission is to protect u.s. forces from insider attacks. president trump considered pulling out of afghanistan last summer. he decided to add an additional 3,000 troops. the goal remains to force the taliban to the negotiating table. the entire world is watching as rescue workers i vauevaluate their options for rescuing 12 young members of a thai soccer team and their coach. monsoon rains are on the way, which could flood the cave completely. janice ms mackey frayer brings us the latest. >> reporter: too much water, not enough air and torrential rain on the way, all conditions that could spell disaster for the children and their coach if not rescued soon. the options are few and risky.
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one involved a so-called buddy dive. each boy tethered to a skilled diver. it's an incredibly treacherous task. an experienced diver running out of air and dying this week. the three-mile journey through the cave's tunnels takes an experienced diver about six hours. some spots too tight for scuba gear. another option, inserting a giant flexible inflatable tube. >> it will be as big as 17 centimeters in indictme as long as it needs to be to get the kids out. >> reporter: for days divers have been placing oxygen tanks and teaching the kids the basics. the worry, that they're weak and once underwater, could panic. >> the best plan is we can bring them out. >> reporter: for the first time, letters from the cave handwritten by the boys to their families, messages of love.
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one boy writing to his parents, i love you both. don't worry, i can take care of myself. their coach wrote an apology and promised to care for the kid as best as possible. at the nearby temple where he works, there are daily prayers for the coach and his team. rescue teams are drilling into the south side of the cave complex to release more water. that's being pumped out around the clock. millions of gallons now, but many more to go. when and how will be determined by the weather. rain is moving in now, which could flood the entire cave system again, making an already desperate situation far, far worse. in north korea today, conflicting perceptions of a meeting between the secretary of state and north korean officials. the u.s. said the talks were productive while north korea called the meeting "deeply regrettable." andrea mitchell joins us to help us sort it all out. >> reporter: the north korean statement, a
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stinging rebuke to secretary of state pompeo. with pyongyang denouncing what it called pompeo's gangster-like demand for denuclearization. that's only hours after the secretary of state said they had made progress. north korea seems to be reverting to the same tactics it used during nuclear negotiations under presidents clinton and george w. bush. neither of them granted the regime the prestige of a summit with an american president. pompeo is realistic about the prospects for kim jong-un to give up his weapons, but experts say that his leverage has been undercut by the president's repeated praise of kim and mr. trump's misleading claims that north korea is no longer a nuclear threat. tonight north korea has flunked a critical test, refusing to fill in details of what kim jong-un meant by that promise to denuclearize. >> amid all of this confusion, where do we go from here? >> reporter: military officials from both sides are supposed to meet in a week or so. but another of kim's
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promises is at stake there, to return the remains of 200 american soldiers unaccounted for since the korean war. the president said last month they had already been returned. that, in fact, has not taken place. now to the ongoing immigration crisis. the government is scrambling to create a list of very young migrant children, some of them are babies who have been separated from their parents ahead of a court order with a deadline of tonight. kelly o'donnell has more. >> reporter: today near san diego outside an immigration detention center, protests intended to comfort more than confront. >> we came here for peaceful rally to sing songs of love to the children. >> reporter: singing in both english and spanish to support migrant children separated from their parents under the president's zero tolerance policy. tonight, a looming deadline. a federal judge in california ordered
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officials to reunite all children under age 5 no later than tuesday. and by this evening, the government is required to provide a list of children and identifying details about them so that outside groups like the aclu can help locate their families. >> they will begin looking for the parents in this country and abroad. but it's critical the government use the private resources that are available. >> reporter: urgency complicated by bureaucracy. health and human services officials want more time as they process dna tests used to match children around parents. officials estimated that only half of the 101 children under 5 could be reunited by tuesday's deadline. but that dire assessment conflicts with secretary alex azar who said last month children's records were computerized. >> with just basic key strokes within seconds could find any child in our care for any parent. >> reporter: tonight, a wider search can begin.
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>> i think there will be a lot of detective work involved in this. we're hopeful we'll locate the parents much quicker than the government is. >> reporter: the court focused on reuniting the youngest children as a top priority. but those age 6 and into their teens must also be returned to their parents by july 26th. the government said another reason that these reunifications are taking more time, some of the parents have already been deported, making it more complicated to find them. president trump visits the united kingdom next week to meet with the queen among others. protests are already planned. the president does have fans across the atlantic. >> reporter: it's a controversial welcome for a controversial president. this 20-foot tall blimp depicting president trump as an angry baby will soar over london as the city braces for protests against his u.k. visit. but america's 45th president will be
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greeted with open arms at the trump arms. >> god bless america. >> reporter: landlord damien smith has renamed his west london pub, hosting a series of trump themed celebrations next weekend to send a message. >> president trump has a lot of support here as well, you know? >> reporter: the president's disdain for global institutions resonates with some of the customers, many of whom voted to leave the european union and want to see an england first agenda here at home. what kind of british people support donald trump? >> it's blue collar people who feel they've been left behind by globalization, by elites and that they're not listened to. >> reporter: but president trump's british fans remain a minority. according to one survey, just 11% think mr. trump has been a good president, while 67% say his performance has been poor or terrible. >> they're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists. >> reporter: but his stance on immigration and trade applauded by populist allies like
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brexit liter nigel firage. >> they can take back control of their country, take back control of their borders and get back their pride and self-respect. >> reporter: a message that's likely to be drowned out by protests. >> no trump, no brexit! >> reporter: when the president arrived. still ahead, the miami film festival your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient
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this shift underway in tinsel town as more women and minority actors, writers and directors are supporting each other and finding new ways to tell their stories. we go to a florida film festival aiming to transform hollywood. >> reporter: in a room filled with big ideas -- >> it's loosely based on my experiences. >> reporter: -- these aspiring television writers are learning even bigger lessons. from hollywood's new it girl issa rae. she's talking to the final lists of a script writing contest at miami's american black film festival, a b.e.t. development deal up for grabs. do you think this industry needs opportunities like this? >> absolutely, 100%. >> reporter: why? >> so many voices get lost in the void. >> we out of over
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2,000 people were picked. what i've been putting all my time into actually can happen. >> reporter: ryan coogler won a contest at this same festival. >> it meant a lot. >> reporter: hollywood has long been under fire for a lack of diversity. attempts to diversity tv writers rooms over the past two decades have largely failed. two-thirds of shows in the 2016-17 season had no black briwriters at all. >> the mantra for our company is because holly wouldn't. >> you're creating opportunities by people of color for people of color. >> absolutely. who will go off into the mainstream and change the face of hollywood. >> reporter: denise davis says what's put on screen affects what
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goes on behind the screens. >> i've been on a lot of sets where i was the only person of color and the only female. as you create more authentic stories, you can make the crews and the industry a little bit more diverse. >> reporter: for these budding writers, there's hope there will be a space in the industry for them to do just that. when we return, remembering the beloved (car horn) when it's your mission to get a better hot dog in every hand, well, you gotta make... a better dog! that's what oscar mayer does every... single... day.
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comic book enthusiasts around the world are mourning the loss of a legend, artist and writer steve ditko dead at 90. >> reporter: steve ditko brought spiderman to life, first on the page, then on the screen. his style, vivid detail, with a splash of paranoia. he took readers on a riveting journey, drawing and plotting the first 38 issues of the amazing spiderman alongside writer st stan lee. then ditko walked away. he never gave an in-depth interview. lee rarely spoke of him, but did say this in 2015. >> i was lucky enough to work with the best artists in the business, jack kirby, steve ditko. there's nobody better. >> reporter: ditko went onto draw other comics like dr. strange, a character that kiss frontman
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gene simmons said today inspired his famous hand gesture. but it's ditko's spiderman that spun a billion dollar brand and forever left his mark on pop culture. blake mccoy, nbc, new york. when we come back, a group of enterprising teens who a group of enterprising teens who are not only e a group of enterprising teens who are not only e touch shows how we really feel. but does psoriasis ever get in the way? embrace the chance of 100% clear skin with taltz. up to 90% of those with moderate to severe psoriasis had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. most people were still clearer after one year. with taltz, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. don't use if you're allergic to taltz. before starting, you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection, symptoms, or received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz, including worsening of symptoms. serious allergic reactions can occur. ready for a chance at 100% clear skin?
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(laughing) bounty, the quicker picker upper. aleve presents: "staying in the game" with uncle drew. this is the moment. you gonna run away from it? or are you gonna step up and take it? now introducing, aleve back and muscle pain. only aleve targets tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. so you can leave it all on the court. coach: no, kids, don't you do that! uncle drew: i could do this all day. yes, way to finish man! aleve back and muscle. all day strong. all day long. see uncle drew in theatres june 29th. finally tonight, it's hard enough to get our kids to eat their vegetables and even tougher in a city
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where fruits and vegetables can be scarce. we found some teens changing that, one dessert at a time. >> reporter: these young gardeners grow their own vegetables. >> these two are for beets and carrots. >> reporter: until a few years ago many had never eaten one. now this 17-year-old is the ceo of green garden bakery which is run completely by teenagers. how did you come up with the idea of baking desserts with vegetables? >> as kids we didn't like vegetables. that was the start of it, to try to get them to eat vegetables. >> reporter: a challenge considering this low income part of minneapolis is a food desert with limited access to fresh veggies, fruits or grocery stores. despite the odds, this 3-year-old business is thriving. >> this is the third
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year this person ordered it. >> reporter: with veggies hidden in each dessert. >> the secret ingredient is jalapenos. >> reporter: green garden bakery plans to make $40,000 this year. the company puts one-third of its profits back into the community and mentors more than 150 neighborhood kids. alana taught many of these children when they were small children in a community cooking class. >> they had the idea and they came to me wanting to start it. so why would i deny them the possibility to try? zbhnch >> reporter: this is more than just a business. >> the day my dad dies, i came to work. i think it was like a distraction to keep me going. >> reporter: what would you do without this place? >> i don't know. >> reporter: these teens, once strangers,
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now family. and that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. thank you for the privilege of your time and good night. ♪ it's time for the 'lowest prices of the season' with savings on the new sleep number 360 smart bed. it senses your every move and automatically adjusts on both sides to keep you effortlessly comfortable. and snoring.... does your bed do that?
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