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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 2, 2021 5:30pm-5:58pm PST

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>> we were there before the shutdown, it's so fun. that's it for us at 5:00. lester holt is next. tonight, the surprise shake-up for amazon and its billionaire founder. jeff bezos, one of the richest men in the world, stepping down as amazon ceo after building the company that has changed the american way of life what's behind his decision, and the new role he's taking on. also the two fbi special agents killed while serving a warrant at a home in florida. one of the fallen draped in a flag what we're learning about the suspect. the deadly storm pounding the northeast for a second day nearly three feet of snow in some areas homes collapsing and the new threat developing the white house announcing plans to speed up covid vaccinations the key roles on
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the hunt for variants. the house impeachment managers laying out their case against former president trump a week before his trial democrats saying he summoned a mob and aimed them like a loaded cannon at the capitol. how trump's legal team is responding. the 9-year-old pepper sprayed by police her mother speaking out to us about the action she's now taking paying tribute to the 100-year-old world war ii veteran who inspired the world >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone it's not often we start the broadcast with news of a change in one of this country's corporate suites but arguably no company has changed the way we live quite like amazon. and late today its ceo jeff bezos delivered the surprising news he's stepping down from the helm of the shopping empire formed in 1994 that late development just one of the major stories we're covering
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tonight that includes a deadly day for the fbi. two agents killed while trying to serve a criminal warrant in florida. then there's the urgent effort to identify covid variants in this country that could dramatically impact the fight against the pandemic but on this busy news night let's start with the breaking news about amazon jo ling kent reports >> reporter: after more than 25 years and billions in sales, jeff bezos is leaving his post as ceo this summer handing the reins of the massive disruptor he built to andy jaffe, the current head of amazon web services in an internal e-mail bezos, who will become executive chair, said "i intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives. i'm excited about this transition." early in his career bezos left his job in finance, founding amazon in 1994 he spoke withs about that career move in 1999. >> but i might really have regretted not having participated in this thing called the internet that i thought was going to be a really big deal
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>> reporter: and it was. what began as an online book seller grew fast. >> work hard, have fun, make history is our motto. >> reporter: ultimately becoming a mega online retailer with more than a million workers. >> he's almostponsible for every maor undercutting small businesses by aggressively lowering prices bezos is now one of the richest people in the world. his recent divorce from mackenzie scott was one of the most expensive ever after his affair with lauren sanchez was splashed across the tabloids bezos says he isn't retiring, but after decades of overseeing every major project he'll be taking a major step back. bezos will also stay involved with the "washington post," which he owns, and blue origin, his private space company. amazon, meanwhile, is facing antitrust investigations that will likely fall to the new ceo. lester >> all right jo ling kent tonight, thanks this was a tragic day for the fbi. two of its agents shot and killed and three
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others injured while >> reporter: before sunrise in sunrise, bureau confirming two special agents were shot and killed. 36-year-old schwartzenberger >> dan and laura left home this morning to carry out the mission they signed up for and loved to do. to keep the american people safe. >> reporter: three other agents were injured, two seriously. executing a search warrant tied to a man suspected of violent crimes against children including pornography. >> the fbi is a family and our chosen profession is fraught with danger. reality has taken two of our best from our family >> reporter: their
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heroism highlighted with police saamerican flag lt broward general playing out again at the coroner's office the suspect declared miami's fbi field office sitting at half staff. 9/11 and also the first time in more than 30 years that two agents died in the line of duty the last time in south florida in 1986. lester >> sam brock tonight in florida thank you. the northeast is reeling from the biggest winter storm in years some areas digging out from nearly three feet of snow. stephanie gosk has more >> reporter: the nor'easter swirled in and slowed down, dumping a mountain of snow, sending this region into a tailspin roughly a foot and a half in new yorkk. but the places hardest hit got nearly double that >> you'd have
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probably to 1996 to >> reporter: storm conditions continued on tuesday, frustrating the massive cleanup. >> it's hard at 72 it gets harder every year >> reporter: in new york city 1,500 vaccination appointments were postponed, backing up an effort that already had challenges while the mayor asked people to stay home so the streets could be cleared. >> if you don't need to be driving on the roads, please don't. >> reporter: as the storm ripped up the coast, beach erosion on cape cod toppled cottages most in-person learning was canceled across the northeast but because of the pandemic schools quickly pivoted to remo for those who could enjoy a reprieve from the grim winter it was play time. >> it was nice seeing them doing what they know best, just playing and having fun. >> reporter: this morning in punxsutawney the groundhog saw his shadow >> six more weeks -- >> reporter: winter isn't going anywhere stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york and while the
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storm slowed down vaccinations, the white house announced that thousands of pharmacies will get covid vaccines by next week as the country races to stay ahead of those new variants gabe gutierrez begins our coverage >> you ready >> reporter: with today some vaccine sites like this one in connecticut reopened despite the weather. how frustrating has it been to get an appointment? >> very frustrating. on a scale of 1 to 10 it's an 8. >> reporter: across the country from georgia to california frustration over the rollout is reaching the white house, which today announced details of its pharmacy vaccination program. by next week, february 11th, the government says it will deliver 1 million doses to 6,500 retail pharmacies nationwide, eventually expanding to 40,000. >> we have all of the infrastructure, all of the connection in community to be able to help those people who have been hard hit by the pandemic. >> reporter: andy slavitt is a senior covid-19 adviser to the white house who says he's concerned
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providers are holding back second doses. >> i think that's a function of what happens in a shortage. people hoard if they are holding back second doses that were intended as first doses, they don't need to do that >> reporter: what would you tell americans that are having such a tough time making those appointments >> i would tell americans it's going to be a couple of months this is not an administration that's going to overpromise >> reporter: one new study even suggests the possibility that those who've had covid-19 already may only need one dose of the vaccine after researchers found survivors had robust antibody responses even after a single ad but -- >> reporter: for bonnie bodak her second dose today is a reminder of what's at stake. >> hugging my grandchildren. it's the little things in life. it's the little things >> reporter: she'd waited long enough gabe gutierrez, nbc news, east hartford, connecticut. i'm miguel almaguer tonight inside these labs the cdc is hoping to analyze 6,000 covid samples a week, a race to track down dangerous and potentially deadlier variants of the virus,
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with the uk strain already detected in a majority of states researchers fear if the south african and brazilian variants are more resilient to vaccines the death toll could climb to 600,000 in three months >> we just don't really have a system to detect them before they become a problem. >> reporter: after just emerging from the deadliest month of the pandemic authorities say the variants could fuel a new surge in cases as early as march. while fewer americans are testing positive for the virus, testing sites are becoming harder to find and if there's less testing, new variants may be more prevalent. even for those who have recovered from covid, antibodies may not protect them from new strains of the virus. kelsey townsend, who was pregnant and on life support for almost 75 days, was just reunited with her baby after more than two months >> i love you so much.
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>> reporter: tonight townsend too faces the emerging threat but she is also a symbol of hope. miguel almaguer, nbc news we're getting a preview of sorts tonight of next week's impeachment trial of former president trump. democrats set to argue he incited a mob t violence mr. trump's lawyers calling the whole proceeding unconstitutional here's kristen welker. >> usa usa! >> reporter: tonight, house democrats unveiling their pinning the blame for the deadly capitol riot squarely on former president trump, saying mr. trump "summoned a mob to washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down pennsylvania avenue." that he refused to accept the will of the american people, even quoting liz cheney, one of the few house republicans who voted to impeach, who said president trump "lit the flame of this attack." in their brief democrats pointing to this fiery speech at the rally before the riot >> we love you >> and if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a
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country anymore. >> reporter: but in their defense today mr. trump's legal team saying the former president was only exercising his first amendment right to express his belief that the election results were suspect and they say he did not incite violence. >> this is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the first amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker, which is really against everything we believe in in this country >> reporter: mr. trump's team also argues it is unconstitutional to hold a trial to try to remove the former president because he holds no public office from which he can be removed. but tonight democrats are blasting that argument saying there is no january exception to impeachment. >> the trial must go on, and he must be held accountable >> well, kristen, democrats still have a steep climb for a conviction, don't they >> reporter: that's right. only five republican senators say this trial is even constitutional, and democrats would need
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17 gop votes for a conviction lester >> kristen welker at the white house. thanks in a candid and emotional account of what it was like inside the capitol during the attack from congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez, who also made a deeply personal revelation. kasie hunt has more. >> reporter: tonight congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez sharing a harrowing and emotional account of what happened to her during the capitol riot >> all of the sudden i hear boom, boom, boom, boom, boom on my door. >> reporter: afraid rioters were coming after her, she hid in a bathroom inside her private office >> and i'm like this and the door hinge is right here and i just hear "where is she where is she?" i mean, i thought i was going to die >> reporter: when she came out of the bathroom, she found a capitol police officer. she and a staffer eventually barricading themselves inside a fellow congresswoman's office as rioters raged. >> stop the steal! >> reporter: in the 90-minute live
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broadcast to her instagram followers also making this revelation >> i'm a survivor of sexual assault and i haven't told many people that in my life but when we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other. >> reporter: and members of congress as former president s evidence lester >> all right, kasie, thank you. there's sad news tonight of the world war ii veteran we've been following who inspired the world during this pandemic captain tom moore, who raised $45 million for uk frontline workers by walking laps in his garden, has died after his own battle with covid. moore was 100 years old. one of those people you will never forget. in just 60 seconds the mother of a 9-year-old girl pepper-sprayed by police speaks out to us as hundreds take to the streets.
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growing outrage tonight over the pepper spraying of a 9-year-old girl by police in rochester, new york her mother speaking out to nbc's ron allen. >> get in the car! >> reporter: an emotional confrontation. rochester police responding to a report of family trouble. >> she's got multicolored pants and a black hoodie and mom's saying she's making suicidal statements >> reporter: officers trying to convince a 9-year-old girl to get into a police car. >> i want my dad >> reporter: an officer eventually gives the girl, already handcuffed, a warning before using pepper spray >> come on >> i want my -- >> pepper spray's going in your eyeballs >> i >> my eyes >> reporter: tonight the girl's mother saying she will sue the city of rochester and its police department >> i trusted the rochester police department to do what they needed to do to help my daughter, not
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to abuse her or hurt her at all >> just stop for a second >> i want my dad >> reporter: the police union says the girl resisted and kicked one of the officers and that they did not harm her when she would not comply authorities have said the girl had threatened to take her own life and harm her mother >> no one would treat a 9-year-old child like that should be in law enforcement to help anyone. >> reporter: city officials already have said the officers' actions were not appropriate. at least three have been disciplined now a lawsuit by a family claiming police used excessive force against their little girl ron allen, nbc news. all right. up next here tonight, the food assistance program that tens of millions depend on, but is it helping enough americans
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president biden has vowed more help is on the way. but is the federal government doing enough we get more from cynthia mcfadden >> reporter: kenda mckeeny anderson isn't about to let a little bad weather stop her from helping her neighbors. [ doorbell ] >> hi. how are you doing? >> kids need to eat. families need to eat >> reporter: the founder of inner city youth group, a small non-profit serving detroit's east side, has been mobilized since the start of the pandemic >> come on up. >> reporter: we've been following her since march, before mask wearing was encouraged, and she and her volunteers began handing out lunches to children who were home from school by her count over
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150,000 meals in the last ten months. >> i keep doing it because this is something that our and melissa michaud, with five kids all unde >> we're just regular, you know, working people just trying to take care of our kids. >> reporter: the pandemic threw them both out of work but their families and neighbors and miss kenda stepped in >> we've had a lot of help and we are extremely grateful for that because for a few weeks in between march and may it got very -- >> it got rough. >> reporter: have you been scared? >> oh, yeah. >> very. very much so >> reporter: but so far they've received no help from government food programs even though their children were receiving free school lunches, they say they haven't been able to figure out how to apply for a federal program designed to give them money to replace those meals. >> the kids eat like birds sometimes, but they also kind of eat
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like dinosaurs other times. >> dinosaurs another time >> reporter: they did apply for snap assistance, a debit card that replaces the old food stamp program. used by 43 million people, a stunning 1 in 8 in america. up 6 million people since the pandemic for a family of seven to qualify their income needs to be under $52,000. what's your best estimate of your yearly income now? under. >> for the two of you. that's combined. >> that's combined >> you've applied for the snap program >> we've been denied several times. it said that i need to turn in verifications of end of employment for jobs that barry hasn't had in years. >> in years. the company doesn't even exist anymore >> reporter: has it been hard to get people on the phone? >> yes yes. >> this is what in my new job is keeping me up at night, is who are we missing >> reporter: stacy dean was appointed by
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president biden to head up the food and nutrition service at the department of agriculture. she says their goal is to help people like melissa anbarrd >> the process of applying for snap benefits is tough. it's incredibly rigorous and trying to carry it i think a little bit the administration hopes to improve that and also wants a review of the benefits themselves right now the average meal benefit is $1.40, bumped to $2 because of the pandemic. >> pretty hard to feed yourself on $2 a meal. i mean, $6 a day >> yeah. we understand that that's a struggle. and that's why we really want to take a look at whether those benefits are adequate. for a basic healthy diet >> reporter: in december congress passed a $13 billion aid package targeted at food. i mean, how much more do you need? >> we needd. n
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put a number on thatto explaik in detroit cynthia mcfadden, nbc news >> an important story for so many. up next, why some want to send the groundhog out for one more look to get a second opinion
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so are we in for six more weeks of winter kevin tibbles with the answer from one of the world's most famous forecasters. >> reporter: thanks a bunch, phil. punxsutawney phil, that is. the prognosticator of prognosticators. poked his head out of his pennsylvania gopher hole this morning and saw his shadow >> six more weeks of winter there will be >> reporter: his top-hatted troupe had us hoping for an early spring disappointing his pandemic fan club of cardboard cutouts and the rest of us >> what is going on? >> reporter: bill murray played a weather man trapped in the fickle groundhog's wintry spell as a mild-mannered reporter in chicago i'd been living it for two decades. >> it's groundhog day. >> it's still just once a year, isn't it? >> reporter: but let's face it, in a pandemic every day feels like groundhog day. ♪
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♪ i got you babe ♪ >> to the groundhog. >> to the groundhog. >> reporter: so phil, please go back to sleep and reconsider kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. >> yeah, go back for another answer that's "nightly news" for this tuesday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night right now at 6:00, abrupt cancellations amidst the shaky vaccine rollout. >> we could give a lot more vaccines, as could a lot of the other entities in our community. we just don't have them. >> the problems that thousands of people are running into as they look to get that dose. a potentialcenter. the reand bay area grocery stor
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workers getting a hefty pay we'll tell you where. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. frustrating evidence of the uneven vaccine rollout plan. kaiser says it can't get enough doses of the vaccine and had to cancel appointments for vaccinations, while another hospital says it's getting a frustrating number of no-show patients. scott budman joins us with more. >> reporter: if you're wondering why it's taking so long to get your vaccine, as could the other entities in our community. but we just don't have them. >> reporter: he's the health officer of the


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