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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 4, 2018 5:30pm-5:59pm PDT

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>> you know what? that looks amazing in the heat. i love it. >> we'll be back at 6:00. >> have a good night institute bring back the dogs, too. >> maybe on a surfboard. tonight -- the president's battles increasing the pressure on north korea to end its nuclear program. the secretary of state turns up the heat. while here at home, president trump takes aim at a sports super star. the immigration fight escalates as nearly 600 children remain separated from their parents. the process of reuniting them gets new scrutiny. a revealing new report about the school shooting suspect in parkland, florida, and what may have driven him to kill. as the economy grows, factories can't hire workers fast enough. some are using robots to fill in the gaps. what happens when the economy falters? and taking care of a summer tradition. we'll visit a place that keeps the country's carousels turning.
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good evening. jose is off tonight. i'm kristen welker. we begin with a political split screen. president trump taking to twitter to wage battles with foes old and new. his most recent with nba superstar lebron james. after james accused him of being divisive. and as the president engages in that back and forth, his secretary of state is engaged in a diplomatic challenge with far-reaching consequences. the administration's efforts to take the president's negotiations with north korea to we begit two tracks tonight, first, north korea. here's white house correspondent kelly o'el >> reporter: after that handshake made history, just eight weeks ago, new arm twisting from secretary of state mike pompeo. at a conference in singapore, saturday. over russia undercutting sanctions on north korean's regime. >> we have seen reports that russia is allowing for joint
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ventures with north korea firms and granting new permits to guest workers. >> reporter: those actions are a kind of economic help for north korea, specifically banned by the international community. >> any violation that detracts from the world's goal of finally fully denuclearizing north korea would be something that america would take very seriously. >> reporter: despite new reason for mistrust, pompeo reached out to his north korean counterpart with a smile. his warning was delivered, but so was a letter from president trump to kim jong-un, handed over by an american ambassador to north korea's foreign minister. the president is focused, at least publicly, on an improved relationship. >> what i did with north korea was great. i got along great with chairman kim. >> reporter: and positive steps, like north korea returning some remains of fallen americans, 65 years after fighting there. but the u.s. is also tracking worrisome evidence
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missile programs. activities pompeo declined to talk about in an open senate hearing. >> is north korea continuing to pursue submarine launched ballistic missiles? >> i can't answer that for you here in this -- >> you cannot answer that? >> no, senator. >> reporter: and after pompeo left the conference, north korea's foreign minister complained publicly about u.s. insistence that all sanctions remain in place until there's real proof that north korea has denuclearized. north korea says it wants to be rewarded along the way with relief, as it makes positive steps. that's an impasse. kristen. >> kelly o'donnell, live for us in bedminster, tonight, thank you for that report, kelly. well, president trump also had his eye on the midterms tonight. he left his working vacation in bedminster, new jersey, for ohio, where he's minutes away from addressing voters, ahead of tuesday's special election in a key congressional district. and it comes as mr. trump is taking on one of the state's native sons, basketball icon lebron james.
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nbc's geoff bennett picks up our coverage from lewiscenter, ohio. >> reporter: it's the latest skirmish in the ongoing battle between the president and professional athletes. friday night, trump tweeting, lebron james was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, don lemon. he made lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do. earlier this week on cnn, james slammed the president. >> what i noticed over the last few months, that he's kind of used sport to kind of divide us. >> reporter: the trump talk sparking a torrent of tweets from top athletes in support of james. even the first lady weighing in. saying in a statement, it looks like lebron james is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation. this week, james opened a new public school for underprivileged children in his ohio hometown. >> kids just want to know if we care about them. >> reporter: president trump ended his twitter insult with "i like mike." an apparent reference to the ongoing debate over whether james or nba legend michael jordan is the league's greatest player.
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jordan telling nbc news, i support l.j. he's doing an amazing job for his community. and tonight president trump is here in ohio of all places. lebron james' home state. this rally comes as the gop scrambles to hold on to what had been a reliable congressional seat, all ahead of a must-win special election. kristen. >> and the midterm fever is on, all right, geoff bennett, thank you for that report. extreme heat returning to the western portion of the country tonight. temperatures are expected to reach the high 90s in northern california tomorrow and the region will heates in the triple las vegas could get to 112 degrees. northern california isn't alone in its suffering f therom hot weather. a heat wave is also sweeping through europe creating extreme conditions.
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our matt bradley has that story from portugal. >> reporter: in a tiny portuguese village, the fire alarm is low tech. emergency professionals are more like volunteers. but the fear of forest fires is as high as the soaring temperatures. last year, this region was ravaged by fires that killed more than 60. "last year's fires were terrifying. they were all around us," said adalina. meteorologists predict portugal and spain could see 118 degrees, the hottest ever recorded in europe. part of a global heat wave. sparking wildfires in the arctic circle. even melting so much snow on sweden's highest peak, it's no longer the highest. catherine diets and jen shoemaker are visiting lisbon from boston. >> our original plan was to walk around, see all the sights. see the history. now with this heat, we're probably going to be in and out of places that have air conditioning. >> reporter: they say they don't want you to drink alcohol when it's really hot. >> well, probably not. >> we can't take all of the advice. >> reporter: even caution takes a vacation.
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you know, kristen, we didn't see those european-wide record-breaking temperatures today, but here in lisbon, they broke their own record. it was more than 111 des that's the hottest it's ever been recorded here. and i got to tell you, kristen, it's sweltering. we still might see those european-wide temperatures broken tomorrow or the day after. kristen. >> all right, we know you'll be watching closely. matt bradley, thank you. tonight, a federal judge is calling the trump administration's efforts to reunify migrant children separated from their parents unacceptable. this comes as the president's zero tolerance policy faces new scrutiny. nbc's maya rodriguez reports on one family's struggle. >> reporter: a bittersweet good-bye at orlando's international airport. 39-year-old alejandro juarez leaving behind her family as she is deported back to mexico on friday. >> my mom is a good person and she's not a criminal. >> reporter: she first entered the country illegally 20 years ago. and had two daughters here after marrying a marine who served
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three tours of duty in iraq. >> when you always said on the news that you loved veterans, that you love our military, that you're doing everything for the military. my husband is a veteran. he fought for this country three times. >> reporter: the case is just one facet of the trump administration's zero tolerance immigration policy, which began in april. among those affected, children separated from their parents at the border. of the more than 2,500 separated, 572 are still awaiting reunification with their parents. now a federal judge is demanding accountability. judge dana sabra yesterday blasting the administration for not having a plan on how to reunify children in their custody, calling it unacceptable. adding, quote, the reality is that for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child. the administration defended the process this week. >> certainly, the president himself has stated that he doesn't like the idea of family separation. i don't think anybody does.
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we also don't like the idea of open borders. >> reporter: back in florida, a different kind of separation for the juarezes. as a mother headed back to a country where she no longer has family. leaving behind part of the family she created here. maya rodriguez, nbc news. one of the country's best-known college football coaches remained side lined tonight, as ohio state university launches an investigation into how much head coach urban meyer knew about allegations of domestic violence against a former assistant coach. now we're hearing new comments from both men. nbc's gadi schwartz has those details. >> reporter: it was a day of two simultaneous bombshells for buckeye nation. >> i've never hit her, i've never beat her, nothing. >> reporter: former assistant coach zach smith speaking out to espn about his ex-wife's allegations of domestic violence and these pictures released by her. >> anything that happened to her body was all just defensive movements to remove myself from the situation.
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>> reporter: at the same time friday, ohio state's famed head coach urban meyer acknowledging he did know about the allegations, contrary to what he told reporters. this is what he said about the allegations a week ago. >> i was never told about anything. never anything came to light. i never had a conversation about it. so i know nothing about it. >> reporter: but yesterday, an about-face. meyer tweeting, my intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading. however, i was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues. adding, i have always followed proper reporting protocols and i did so regarding the zach smith incident in 2015. fired by meyer, still coming to coach meyer's defense. >> if he loses his job, it's flat wrong. this is the guy who fired me. it would be crwas never charged with domestic violence. his ex-wife says she was pressured not to file charges by smith's family and by a lawyer with close ties to both coaches.
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ohio state university is now investigating and has placed coach meyer on paid administrative leave. kristen, back to you. >> gadi, thank you for that report. and there are new insights tonight into the man charged with killing 17 students and staff members at a high school in parkland, florida, and what factors led to that rampage. here's nbc's blake mccoy. >> reporter: tonight, an independent review finds broward county schools should have done more to help mass shooter nicholas cruz in the two years before his rampage that killed 17 people at marjory stoneman douglas high school this past february. a judge ordered the report partially redacted. but a mistake in that process means when you cut and paste the text into a new document, it becomes visible. among the key findings, cruz, who had a learning disability, had been receiving support services his entire education. but a series of conduct violations in 2016 led to a recommended return to cross creek, a special needs school.
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cruz had just turned 18 and not wanting to leave marjory stoneman douglas opted out of further support services. his grades declined. and no longer on track to graduate, he left in february 2017. and purchased an ar-15 rifle. returning for the first time a year later, the day of the shooting. the report finds broward county schools largely supportive cruz, but is critical on two points. not letting cruz stay at marjory stoneman douglas, his school of choice, with special education support. also, not following through on cruz's request to return to the special needs school two months after dropping out of stoneman. cruz is currently awaiting trial, facing the death penalty. blake mccoy, nbc news. >> as we track gu politically divisive and have many wondering how to reconcile the right to bear arms with public safety. well, one european nation may offer some insights. lucy cavanaugh reports.
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>> reporter: each mass shooting in america echoes thousands of miles away in switzerland. with a population of just over 8 million, this tiny nation has an outsized love for its guns. >> we believe in the right to have your own rifle and be armed, free citizen. >> reporter: after the u.s., switzerland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. one reason, a centuries old tradition of armed neutrality. they're given a weapon, trained their service. >> they go to the military and they shoot with friends, with family. this is the tradition of switzerland. >> reporter: a tradition that spans all age groups. there are hundreds of shooting ranges just like this one all across switzerland. guns are a regular part of swiss life. but mass shootings are rare. there are plenty of rules.
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>> because it's so highly regulated, it gives us the freedom to bear arms, to shoot our arms. all this under highly regulated regime. >> reporter: so i can't just walk in here and say "hey, i want to buy a gun?" >> no, absolutely impossible. >> reporter: before buying any gun, you have to get a license from local authorities. and undergo background checks that include screenings for violence, mental health and addiction issues. erin zimmerman, a former police officer in colorado who now lives in zurich, says the swiss model shows that guns and sensible gun control laws could go hand-in-hand. >> the relationship between the swiss and guns is more it's a matter of national security. whereas in the united states, it's more based on a personal freedom. they have a firearm to protect their own personal liberties because they don't trust the government in some cases. >> reporter: yasmin is too young to remember switzerland's last mass shooting in 2001 and thinks the swiss have a different relationship with their weapons.
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>> you usually don't get it to have it or protect yourself because in switzerland you're usually safe. >> reporter: like the u.s., a country that values its guns but sees gun ownership in starkly different terms. lucy cavanaugh, nbc news, zurich. ch. they finally retn home. smoothies. ♪ fight back fast ws it neutralizes stomach acid at the source. smoothies...
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assassination attempt against president maduro involving a drone. this video from a live address shows maduro abruptly stopping his speech after an explosion, then images of a formation of soldiers suddenly breaking rank to run. the drone might have dropped an explosive, seven people reportedly injured. but officials say the president is unharmed. we're back with a problem that's a good one to have. with the economy booming, the nation's factorian jo ling kent tells us about a high-tech start-up that aims to help solve the worker storage. >> reporter: pioneer metal finishing can't hire workers fast enough. demand for their seat belt parts has doubled over the last year and keeping up has been a challenge. for manager rob simon. >> we have to think of things differently. >> reporter: beyond putting up a hiring sign in the window, pioneer turned to start-up hire botics for help. hiring two robots. leprechaun and little guy. paying them each an hourly wage.
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for labor intensive jobs that once belonged to people. how much is one of these? >> a robot like this, starting rate is about $15 an hour. >> reporter: the bots work about 80 hours a week with a break on sundays. hire botics' ceo says he started renting out robot workers to save companies the huge upfront cost of paying for a custom bot. >> every company knows how to hire people. the idea was how do we make automation as easy as hiring a person. >> reporter: these robots are 30% more productive than human workers. what was your reaction when you hire -- robeots were coming in to do your job? >> i didn't think it was going to work. >> reporter: this is just eima 800 million workers around the world could be replaced by robots. >> robotic options don't necessarily mean that people are going to lose their jobs, it just means that people are going to have an opportunity to do other jobs within the organization. >> reporter: but that could quickly change in an economic downturn.
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robots, especially those equipped with artificial intelligence, may keep their jobs while blue and white collar workers lose them. a new rise of the machines that at least today is taking some humans with it. jo ling kent, nbc news, monroe, michigan. >> it's a sign of the times, that's for sure. well, when we return, a family touring a drive-through safari park gets quite a lift. d park gets quite a lift. people are taking steps to fight type 2 diabetes... ...with fitness helps lower a1c in adults with type 2 diabetes. farxiga, along with diet and exercise, it's one pill a day and although it's not a weight-loss du ru do not take if allergic to farxiga. if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking and seek medical help right away. do not take farxiga if you have severe kidney problems, are on dialysis, or have bladder cancer. tell your doctor right away if you have blood or red color in your urine or pain while you urinate. farxiga can cause serious side effects including dehydration,
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all happening in just a minute and a half. the women on wings project brought together female skydivers from 19 different countries. just incredible. in thailand today, a buddhist rite of passage for the young boys who were rescued from that cave last month. 11 of the 12 members of the soccer team were ordained novice buddhist monks in memory of a diver who died during their rescue. the spiritual cleansing is a tradition for thai males who experience adversi. visiting a safari park got quite a ride. imagine their reaction when a rhinosorous repeatedly rammed their suv. the rhino lifted the car off the ground several times. the park said the male rhino attacked the vehicle after a female rhino captured his attention. luckily, and amazingly, no one was hurt. you don't see that every day. up next, we'll take you for a much smoother ride behind the scenes of a fun summer tradition. much smoother ride behind
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it kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and it helps to remove stains. polident should be the first choice of every person that wears a denture, to clean their denture. finally to finally tonight, kids of all ages still enjoy a turn around a classic it's a summer tradition, after all. well, our harry smith takes us to a place where they've been keeping the nation's merry go rounds spinning for decades. >> reporter: up at the bronx zoo, you learn pretty quickly the kids can't enough of the carousal. to be clear, this is not your grandmother's carousal. this one is populated by bugs.
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a praying mantis, a grass hopper, even dung beetle. where, one wonders, does something like this come from? tucked away in an industrial park near mansfield, ohio, carousal works has been building and restoring carousals for over 30 years. you sell joy machines. >> that's exactly what it is. >> reporter: art richie is the founder and co-owner. he says being in touch with your inner 5--o understand who your customers are. >> you're working for a 5-year-old.hihood. >> reporter: be it a horse or a bug, all of the work is done by hand. >> these are some of the other figures we're making. >> reporter: dan jones is art's business partner. >> i'm here 25 minutes. i've fallen in love with all of this. >> you want to make a carousal, right? >> reporter: i've just such an appreciation for the hours and hours and hours that go into every single one of your pieces.
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their carousals are spinning all over the world. art's wife marilyn has lost count on just how many figures she's painted. what pride do you take in what happens in this building? >> i have really enjoyed doing this. it's a happy thing. you know when people go to that carousal, they're going to be smiling, you know? what's better than that. >> reporter: if you're a kid of a certain age, the answer is probably not much. harry smith, nbc news, mansfield, ohio. >> and you're never too old to enjoy one, that's for sure. that is "nightly news" for this saturday. i'm kristen welker. for all of us at nbc news, thanks for watching. have a great night. firefighters
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the heat and exhaustion, to middlefield. and ight now, firefightersea exhaustion to gain the upper hand on the mendocino complex fires. good evening. thanks for joining us. >> the mend oh seen ocino fire 57,000 acres, and the river fire burned about 45,000. cal fire says total containment is only 34%. flames destroyed more than 50
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homes. sergio, after all that happened, has to be nice the people returning home this weekend. >> reporter: lots of people coming back, checking to see how their homes are. happy to find the homes are intact. there's a reason why some people are coming back to lakeport. it is in part because two fires are burning a limb fttle far aw. there are still evacuations nearby, but it is across the lake from lakeport. a pretty good distance. the second fire is the r


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