tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 27, 2019 2:07am-2:38am PDT
it's the worst aspect of a missing child. danger in the water, a man dies after swimming in a water park and becoming infected with a rare brain eating amoeba. where they're usually found and what you can do to stay safe. the massive merger, what the $26 billion deal between sprint and t-mobile could mean for the price you pay. and a dream come true. the emotional moment when a young fan gets to meet his football hero. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening an american blogger who's around the world adventure took him into a country gripped with civil war, death, and unspeakable suffering has emerged alive and apparently well months after he was seized by government troops in syria. his release as a result of quiet negotiations and comes as we get a disturbing new look at the cross fire there. richard engel reports. >> reporter: tonight rare good news from syria. 30-year-old american sam goodwin is now
free. his family tells nbc news goodwin kept this blog as he aimed to travel to every country. and with ten countries left, he went into war-torn syria. syrian sources tell nbc news goodwin was traveling alone about two months ago without local help when he was arrested by the syrian regime. in a statement, his family said goodwin is in good health. we are grateful to be reunited with our son. they thanked the lebanese government for brokering goodwin's release under terms that remain unclear. and tonight, these images are capturing the danger and heartbreak ongoing in syria. a father digging for his family in the rubble of his home near rebel held. just bombed, locals say, by russia, the regime. he's unable to reach his daughters, one dangles from her shirt. the doctor who treated
them told us we see images like these every day, hundreds of them. he said the older girl who tried to pull up her baby sister didn't survive. but the baby is recovering well. >> richard, other americans who are still being held in syria tonight? >> reporter: at least two americans, lester, including the american journalist austin tice. but there could be more because some families like the goodwins don't go public thinking that it could help in the negotiations. others, however, think that going public and the publicity will help pressure the captors. >> all right, richard engel tonight, thanks. an entire platoon of elite u.s. navy seals has been removed from iraq and sent home after reports of sexual assault and other misconduct at a fourth of july party. nbc's miguel almaguer has the details. >> reporter: the elite navy seals who trained in san diego were deployed on a mission in iraq when reports
of serious misconduct were made. two u.s. military officials confirm investigators are reviewing an alleged sexual assault by a member of seal team 7 against a female service member who works with the unit. it's said to have taken place on the fourth of july weekend while some were drinking, against the code of conduct while deployed. >> u.s. military officials say that when confronted with the allegations, the seals circled the wagon, refusing to give up information about their teammates to investigators seeking the truth. >> reporter: that code of silence not sitting well with top brass. major t. hill deciding to send the seals back to california. a military statement notes the commander lost confidence in the team's ability to accomplish the mission. >> the allegations are serious enough. but the seals refusing to give up the truth is a violation of the very honor code they're supposed to live by. >> reporter: the news of a tarnished mission in iraq comes as ncis announces the number
of marines detained thursday at camp pendleton on human smuggling and drug charges has now risen to 18 in addition to a sailor. tonight investigators looking into serious reports of misconduct both at home and abroad. miguel almaguer, nbc news. tonight police are going door to door in an urgent man hunt intensifying for two teenagers on the run suspected of murder. here's morgan chesky. >> reporter: tonight canadian police converging on a small town, crews setting up check points as heavily armed officers search nearby woods, searching door to door for two teens turned murder suspects. >> it is possible someone may not have been aware of who they were providing assistance to. >> reporter: they have been on the run for two weeks. his father feels his son will end his life in a blaze of glory. >> he's going to be dead today or tomorrow. i know that. >> reporter: police believe the childhood friends killed three
including american chynna deese on a road trip with boyfriend lucas fowler, both shot to death outside their broken down van. police then found the body of professor leonard dyck near a burnt up pick up truck the teens had been driving. they weren't spotted again until more than 1,200 miles away. the next day, another burned vehicle, more than 800 miles east near the town of gillam in northern manitoba, a town in fear with alleged killers on the loose. morgan chesky, nbc news. there is outrage tonight in mississippi and beyond after a photo emerged of three chej students, two of them with guns posing in front of a bullet riddled plaque honoring emmett till the murdered african-american teen who became a civil rights martyr. blaine alexander has more. >> the picture is controversial, three smiling university of mississippi students, two with guns posing in front of a memorial to slain civil rights icon emmett till, the
sign riddled with bullets. it's not clear whether the students vandalized it, but for many it's drudging up memories of a painful past. emmett till was 14 when he was brutally murdered by a group of white men more than 60 years ago in mississippi. his killers went free. >> it is not surprising but disturbing. >> reporter: nbc news has not been able to identify one of the students in the photo and could not reach the other two for comment. all three were suspended from their fraternity kappa alpha which called the picture unacceptable. ole' miss calls it offensive but says the students' actions did not violate its code of conduct. that defaced sign is now gone soon to be replaced. it will be the fourth marker. the three before it vandalized. state senator david jordan was in court for emmett till's murder trial. >> what is your message to people who would deface markers like this?
>> stop it. just stop it. we're better than that. >> reporter: from a controversial picture and important conversation. blaine alexander, nbc news, mississippi. there has been friction for weeks between nancy pelosi and alexandria ocasio-cortez. today the pair held a one on one meeting, but was it a meeting of the minds? jeff bennett joins us now. jeff. >> that's right, lester. house speaker nancy pelosi holding a high profile 30 minute sit down meeting with the freshman member of congress to try to smooth things over, pelosi even tweeting the photo with alexandria ocasio-cortez afterwards, both of them smiling. now, the meeting follows sharp disagreements she's had with ocasio-cortez and other progressives over strategy and key issues. pelosi down played those disputes, comparing the situation to disagreements within a family. and the house speaker today also said she wants to continue taking a wait and see approach to pursuing impeachment
proceedings as now nearly 100 house democrats are calling for impeachment. the president tonight dismissing it as nonsense. lester. >> all right. jeff, thanks. now to the price you pay for your cell phone bill after the feds today gave approval for a mega merger, two of the biggest cell phone companies combining. jolene kent takes a look at what that could mean for you. >> reporter: tonight the question many smartphone users are asking, will i pay more? that's because t-mobile and sprint are one step closer to a megamerger, the justice department clearing the way for a $26 billion deal that would combine the third and fourth largest wireless providers in the u.s. but 14 state attorneys general led by new york and california are suing to block it saying the combined company would force consumers to pay more on their cell phone bill thanks to less competition. >> it's bad for consumers, bad for innovation, and bad for workers. there's a possibility that your phone bill, the cost of your phone bill, particularly if you rely upon a
prepaid mobile service will go up. >> reporter: the companies say the deal is a win for consumers. t-mobile has promised not to raise prices for three years. and sprint will spin off its prepaid phone service, boost mobile and virgin mobile to dish, a pay tv company. >> critics are saying this doesn't pass the smell test. >> and it doesn't pass the smell test why? >> well, dish has no previous experience selling wireless service. >> reporter: the justice department is telling us this merger will help bring # 5g to more people across the country. and the deal means three providers are going to be handling more than 95% of all american cell phone customers. >> all right jolene, thank you. dramatic moments caught on camera with a coast guard giving chase, drug smugglers tossing cocaine overboard as they try to make an escape in the eastern pacific.
it was part of a series of cocaine busts over the last few weeks. in all 26,000 pounds seized worth an estimated $350 million. tonight there's growing concern about vaping after eighteens were hospitalized for serious lung damage. nbc's joe fryer has that story for us. >> reporter: at children's hospital of wisconsin, eighteen agers have been hospitalized with severe lung damage in just the past month, and doctors suspect vaping is to blame. symptoms, extreme coughing, fatigue, and shortness of breath. >> vaping is causing harm to our kids. and we want that message to be loud and clear. >> reporter: state officials say vaping is the common thread among the eighteens, but they've yet to determine if a specific device or substance was the cause. with an estimated 3.6 million teens and preteens vaping last year, health officials and parents worry it's a trend moving in the wrong direction. this week vaping was front and center in congress for a hearing focused on the popular ecigarette brand juul.
>> you don't ask for permission. you ask for forgiveness. you're nothing but a marketer of a poison and your target has been young people. >> reporter: citing internal documents, members of a house panel accused the company of marketing directly to children. a juul executive acknowledged past missteps but says their focus is on getting adults to quit cigarettes. >> we need to work together to make sure no underage consumers use this product. it is terrible for our business. it is terrible for public health. it is terrible for our reputation. >> reporter: bad for business, and doctors say bad for kids' health. joe fryer, nbc news. and in tonight's your money your life, we follow up on the world's most expensive drug with a $2 million pricetag. the company that makes it assured us earlier this year that insurance companies would cover it. as kristen dahlgren reports it's a battle for some families. >> reporter: this boy is just three months
old, but his parents say time could be running out. >> how quickly could his health change? >> it could happen at any time. there is no way of knowing when an on set will occur. >> he was born with an rare disease call ed spinal muscular atrophy. at any moments his legs could stop working. some kids lose the ability to eat, even breathe. but then came a new gene therapy approved by the fda this spring. >> you thought this was your miracle. >> yeah, absolutely. >> the one time infusion is the most expensive drug in the world with a pricetag of $2.1 million. >> we're committed to insuring every child who needs this medicine gets the medicine. >> at the time it was approved, the drug maker said the single treatment is half the price of ten years of current treatments. >> we have had conversations with major insurance companies around the country. we expect there to be full coverage. >> reporter: but just two months later, some families are fighting with their insurance companies. >> high price is set that is not affordable
for our society, insurers and the government try to figure out how to grapple with that, and patients get caught in the middle. >> reporter: both public schoolteachers are covered by a small nonprofit insurer. they were denied because the plan doesn't cover any gene therapies, a situation that could confront a growing number of americans. >> the situation we're seeing right now with access is a problem that will only get worse. >> reporter: there are at least 400 gene therapies in development, some for more common conditions. they're incredibly expensive because through a pain staking process, they literally change the dna of the patient offering hope for a one-time treatment to cure a disease. this family's insurance company told us they won't pay for the drug until the health care system figures out how to cover these expensive therapies without jeopardizing the opportunity to provide affordable benefits to
everyone else. they told nbc news that a wide range of patients have been covered and it's common for there to be an appeals process. >> they told us in the future it may be covered. well, the future is now. my son needs it now. >> hi. >> reporter: a little boy who may only have a chance if the system can figure out how to handle these cutting edge but extremely high cost treatments. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, monroe, ohio. >> there's a lot more to tell you about as we continue tonight, including a major new break in an infamous cold case, a kidnapping that terrified the nation, a 12-year-old girl who vanishing without a trace after a school christmas case. we hear from john walsh on the new developments. a killer in the water. a man dies after doctors say he was infected by a brain eating amoeba. what you need to know. and inspiring america, the moment a little boy who overcome so much meets his hero. little boy who and here we have another burst pipe in denmark. if you look close... jamie, are there any interesting photos from your trip? ouch, okay.
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a young girl vanishing without a trace and her remains finally found nearly 35 years later. her case part of a national movement to stop child abductions. with more, here's tom costello. >> reporter: in a colorado field, the newly discovered remains of a child missing for more than 34 years. jonell matthews was just 12 years old and home alone when she disappeared after singing at a school christmas concert. her sister jennifer. >> it's closure for me and my family, but it also raises new questions now. >> reporter: in 1984 it was a terrifying kidnapping that even president reagan addressed. >> five days before christmas, jonell disappeared from her home. >> reporter: and it came amid a rash of high profile child kidnappings including adam walsh who was murdered in 1981. his father founded the center for missing and exploited children. >> the real job now is honor that little girl. her parents know where she is, but we need to find the coward that killed her.
so that this family can put this issue behind them. >> reporter: last year 250 children were abducted by strangers, many more by parents. experts say surveillance cameras, amber alerts, text messaging, and phone apps that track children have helped keep kids safer. but social media has also helped fuel child sex trafficking with predators moving from street corners to kids' computers. 10,000 reports of child sex trafficking every year in the u.s. >> america is the richest most powerful first world country on the planet and we're the number one offender of sex trafficking of children. that's a huge problem. >> reporter: in colorado, police won't say if they have any new suspects in jonell's murder. today she would be 47 years old. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we will be back in a moment with a new warning about a danger in the water. k in a moment with a new warning abou ct ologuard: colon cancer screening for people 50 and older at average risk. i took your advice and asked my doctor to order cologuard, that noninvasive colon cancer
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park. gabe gutierrez has details on the alarming danger. >> reporter: tonight this brain eating amoeba is being blamed for the death of a north carolina man. eddie gray was swimming at this water park near fayetteville earlier this month. >> we're not closing yet because the amoeba that causes this tape of illness is naturally occurring in fresh water bodies of water. >> reporter: the single celled organism is usually found in shallow fresh water when it gets hot. the amoeba can cause severe headaches, fever, nausea, and vomiting which can progress to stiff neck, seizures, and a coma. it is not infectious when the water is swallowed, only when forced up the nose. during activities such as diving and water skiing. >> if you're in warm water, the best thing you can do is not put your head below the water. but if you're doing water sports, wear nose plugs. >> reporter: the
amoeba is rare but often deadly. in 57 years there have only been 145 known infections in the u.s. with only 4 survivors. three years ago sebastian defied the odds shock odds shocking his family. >> we are so thankful that god gave us a miracle. >> reporter: the cdc says the illness is particularly difficult to treat because it's notoriously hard to detect and progresses so quickly. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. when we come back, inspiring america with a fan who gets his big wish. ginspirin america with fact is, every insurance company hopes you drive safely.
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with tonight's "inspiring america." >> what does a little boy do when he meets his hero? he lets the nfl star know just how he feels. >> you're my hero. >> carson wentz is the quarterback for the philadelphia eagles. and while there are plenty of reasons to be a fan of his skill, this 11-year-old adores wentz for how he handled two season ending injuries in the last two years. >> he said mom if carson can come back from his knee and from his back, i can do this. >> guys, it's football day. >> giovanni has a rare genetic disorder that affects his muscles and bones. >> he's had 12 surgeries, everything from his eyes to ankles to hips. >> reporter: when things got tough, he channelled wentz who fought to get back to training camp this year, today taking time out to hug his
biggest fan. >> it was everything. it was amazing. >> reporter: because the only thing better than having a hero is realizing your hero also has a big heart. stephanie gosk, nbc news. >> what a great story to end the week on. that's "nightly news" for this friday. i'm lester holt. thank you for watching everyone. and good night. >> uncle steve, can i call you uncle steve? steve: that's what i am. announcer: his confusing texts. >> i met a guy and he sent me a message. steve: in an effort to clear this up, i found him. [cheers and applause] >> hey, uncle steve. announcer: plus -- there's only time for they! >> whoo! announcer: put your hands together for your host, steve harvey! ♪ cheers and applause]
steve: thank y'all. thank you very much. i appreciate y'all. [crowd chanting "steve"] steve: thank y'all. all right, that's good. all right. that's good. some different kind of energy in ere today. [cheers and applause] ou know what they call that? you know what they call that? they call that youthful exuberance. hey, i was thinking the other day i think that every situation should have a truth teller in it. remember how kids -- kids used to tell on everybody. they call them tattle tales. they used to tell on everything. i think every situation should
have a truth teller in it, except this should be an adult, a grown person. locate one person that's just a truth teller. i would like to be that person. to just pop up in situations and just tell the truth. you walk into mcdonald's. somebody's standing there, just .taring at the menu [laughter] we in line. he ain't even walked up to the counter. he's just staring -- i would walk up to him and say, excuse me, sir, mcdonald's has been open 40 years. [applause] they sell hamburgers. every now and then they have a mcrib sandwich. but they're going to run some commercials to let you know that the mcrib is back in the store. [applause] co