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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 21, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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that's regular motion. there we go. >> i want to know are they listening to the same song or different songs? >> good question. maybe we'll have an answer at 6:00. but probably not. >> see you then. tonight, crackdown and defiance in miami beach. the wild, spring break crowds in the streets despite a curfew intended to stop them. police sending in a s.w.a.t. team, firing pepper balls into the crowd. the emergency meeting today, into the city, closing down again as officials fear more violence tonight. across the country, 21 states seeing rise in cases of covid one college team ejected from march madness over positive tests. and the major change in who gets the vaccine, coming in some states tomorrow crisis at the border the head of homeland security with this blunt message. >> the border is closed. >> what migrants are
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telling us as record numbers continue to cross. pain at the pump gas prices spiking, topping $4 a gallon at some stations. what's driving the rise the death threats against this college basketball star after his team's upset loss. his desperate plea, what did i do to deserve this are you drinking more during the pandemic the shocking rise in alcohol-related illnesses. what you need to know. get the kleenex out. how hospital staff pulled off this amazing proposal >> reporter: this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow >> good evening. the popular bustling ocean drive in miami beach will be shut down again tonight after police struggled to contain crowds last night, forcefully breaking up groups of partiers it's not just college students, but adults who flew to miami to blow off steam, knowing florida's covid rules are less restrictive. miami beach's mayor today said he's
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concerned about covid spread but even more worried about violence local leaders spent hours today debating what to do, ultimately deciding to extend the state of emergency for up to three more weeks. we begin tonight with kerry sanders. >> reporter: authorities trying to avoid a repeat of what happened last night. >> please leave the area. >> reporter: spring breakers ignoring orders to leave. miami beach police using pepper balls and brute force to break up the party. >> i think the curfew is ridiculous. like, we just want to come out here and party. >> this is not a typical spring break crowd. >> reporter: today miami beach city commissioners held an emergency meeting. >> it looked like a rock concert. >> reporter: miami beach mayor, dan gelber >> people started to rage through the streets. running for their lives. you can't have that in a city that can't be a nightly event. >> reporter: the miami beach curfew runs from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. today with the sun up, the beach was back
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open crowds enjoying the sand and surf. but some who came for the famed, often hedonistic, miam beach night life say the curfew has ruined the party. >> i go back to my plane tomorrow and go back home. >> reporter: miami beach police posted this photo of famed ocean drive, empty, in sharp contrast to the past several weeks since spring break began last month, police making more than 900 arrests, confiscating more than 80 firearms. how much of this closure is a result of the violence and how much of it is because of the spread of covid? >> i think most of it is because of the chaos in the streets of course, we don't want to be a super spreader. >> reporter: many out-of-staters say they wanted a vacation where covid protocols are lax. >> i don't really think we have the fear of something called this coronavirus. >> reporter: businesses devastated. >> we're just getting back on our feet, you know and now it's like getting set back.
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>> reporter: kerry joins us now from miami beach. kerry, tell us more about the restrictions in place for tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the curfew is back in effect and it will continue, the city commission decided today, up until april 12th the curfew runs from thursday until monday morning at 6:00 a.m. because miami beach is an island, to control the crowds coming here, they're going to restrict those coming over the bridges and causeways to residents only, kate. >> all right kerry sanders, thank you. more states will expand access and eligibility to the covid vaccine starting tomorrow but is it enough t protect against variants that are contributing to a rise in cases nearly half of the states are seeing increases. morgan chesky reports. >> reporter: tonight as more states are easing covid-19 restrictions, more fears in the fight against the virus. 21 states from hawaii to new york now reporting a rise in covid cases. experts blaming th
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trend on new variants. now a race to get vaccines into arms starting tomorrow, 14 more states will expand vaccine eligibility. in florida, anyone over 50 can get the shot indiana opening up vaccinations to those 40 and over. in rare move, mississippi is allowing anyone 16 and older to get the vaccine. on the basketball court, the march madness bubble is being tested with their first covid disqualification, virginia commonwealth out after vcu reported multiple positive tests. there are signs of progress in boston, weeks after fenway park served as a mass vaccination site, the field now being prepared for baseball's opening day and in texas, firefighters are saving lives in a different way. >> my name is steve. this is david. we're here to give you your covid vaccine. >> reporter: the city of corpus christi partnered with meals
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on wheels launchin save our seniors. >> to date we have vaccinated over 2,000 senior citizens. we are now a model for the state of texas. >> reporter: the program giving those stuck at home, like roberto garcia, a chance to return to normalcy you have grand kids and great grand kids you haven't been able to hug in a year? >> no. >> reporter: that's rough. >> yeah, it is. >> reporter: hope now on the horizon for so many. >> do you feel like you're putting out a pandemic here? >> yes yeah you can almost see the steam rising from the pandemic everyone we go to, we have a fully vaccinated elderly citizen is one less likely to die. that would be a wonderful day when it's gone. >> so much hope, morgan what more can you tell us about these variant strains of covid >> reporter: kate, that's right new york joining a growing list o states concerned about
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the brazilian strain of variant of covid. tonight, officials urging everyone eligible to please get vaccinated kate >> morgan chesky, thank you. a record number of migrants at the southern border got a new warning from the biden administration today. we're closed and late today, the president said he may go to the border himself soon kelly o'donnell is at the white house. >> reporter: an alarming human drama on the southern border now, more than 15,000 migrant children held in u.s. custody. late today, the president said more can be done to discourage asylum seekers. >> making sure that we re-establish wha existed before, which is they can stay in place and make their case from their home country. >> reporter: part of an immigration wave, the biden administration says is on pace to be the largest in 20 years. today, homeland security secretary mayorkas fanned out across television to make this claim. >> the border is
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closed the border is closed the border is secure the border is closed. >> reporter: republicans say that does not match reality. >> the border right now is wide open because the biden administration dismantled the very effective policies of the trump administration. >> reporter: silas martinez says he made a difficult 15-day trek from el salvador with his young family. he told us the current president said he wasn't going to separate families, and here we are. the white house struggles over how to describe what's happening. when the press secretary used the word "crisis" this week -- >> dealing with a crisis on the border. >> reporter: she quickly pulled back. >> challenges on the border. >> reporter: president biden deployed fema to the border and has used his authority to roll back some policies. and disputes the argument that he is a magnet for migration. >> i can say quite clearly, don't come over. >> reporter: friday, of the more than 2,000
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families crossing the border, 200 were expelled >> we made a decision we will not expel young, vulnerable children. >> kelly, we're hearing the president may want to see the situation firsthand? >> reporter: pressed by reporters, he said he would go to the border at some point but gave no timeline other officials are saying to deal with this crisis, they are using as many as 200 shelters in 22 states to accommodate this influx of migrant children who are on their own. kate >> kelly o'donnell at the white house for us, thank you. the president's secretary of defense made a surprise visit to afghanistan today lloyd austin landed in kabul this morning to meet with afghan officials. the u.s. is tentatively set to withdraw all u.s. forces from that country on may 1st that's the date previously agreed upon by the trump administration more than a year ago. now to the latest on the investigation into that deadly shooting spree in atlanta, that killed eight people, including six asian
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women. law enforcement officials say there's not enough evidence to move forward with a federal hate crimes case against the suspect at this time today, a new nationwide outcry against violence targeting asians kathy park reports. >> asian lives matter! >> reporter: tonight, a movement to stop the hate against asians, spreading across the country. >> we are marching down here i was almost in fear on the street, being there to support as well, showing their solidarity >> reporter: these voices amplified by politicians, celebrities and advocates. >> there is a real problem, a real hatred it's something that all of us have to address together. >> reporter: actress sandra oh putting an spotlight on the growing problem in this passionate speech during a rally in pittsburgh >> everyone here, i will offer, i will challeng
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everyone here, if you see something, will you help me? if you see our brothers and sisters in need, will you help us >> reporter: elliott peterson lost his son traif travion in a shooting last year now he's grieving the loss of his mother, one of the eight victims in the spa shootings. sharing his favorite photo of her, he told us, she had a lot more years to live. and in the wake of tragedies in atlanta, another vicious attack a new york man left bleeding on the train after someone punches him in the head. police haven't released a motive but a witness says a 68-year-old man was targeted. >> riding the subways for 30 years, i've never seen anything like it. >> so disturbing kathy, is there a chance the fbi could move forward with a federal hate crime case in atlanta later against that suspect >> reporter: well, kate, according to an fbi spokesperson, if there is more information that comes to light during the
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local investigation, the fbi is prepared to investigate. meanwhile, here in the community, they are very much hurting and looking for answers. kate >> i'm sure. kathy park, thank you. still ahead tonight, what this college basketball star told us about being the target of online death threats. also, what's driving the high cost of gas some states nearing $4 a gallon
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if you're feeling
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the pain from the sharp spike in the prices of gas, prices are up to levels we haven't seen in years steve patterson explains why. >> reporter: as the country begins to open up, a collective grown is being heard as people pull up to the pump. >> especially with the times the way they are, you think they would give us a break at the pump but no. >> reporter: nationwide, the cost of gas is is skyrocketing, reaching levels unseen since 2019 today's national average for a regular gallon of gas is $2.88, a 20-cent jump since february and 27 cent increase from this time last year. in california, brace yourself, $3.87 for regular. this is showing no signs of slowing down. the price of gas has risen for the 59th time it shot up to $3.92, the highest it's been since november 2019. so what's fueling the surge?
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>> is it really al coincides with the fact that america is reopening, motorists are taking back to the roads. there are places to go, things to do as we start to see covid recovery demand has surged but supply has not that's what's pushing prices up so significantly across the entire country. >> reporter: as for any sign of relief, experts say it's likely pretty far down the road a dip or two is expected in the next few weeks, but the prediction is a national average hovering close to $3 by memorial day, when most americans begin hitting the road for the unofficial start to summer. steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. a college basketball star is speaking out tonight about the shocking death threats he has been getting since his team lost in friday march madness game tonight ohio state's e.j. liddell shares his story with kelly cobiella >> reporter: a shocking upset, second-seated ohio state buckeyes lost to orel roberts
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then a much bigger shock for rising ohio state star 20-year-old e.j. lidell. private messages sent to him on social media were filled with racist hate, homophobic slurs and death threats. lidell tweeting, honestly, what did i do to deserve this i'm human. >> i don't see why anybody would want to harm me. it's just about me playing the game that i love sometimes people view a lot of basketball players as entertainers and they don't understand we live a regular life like everybody else. >> reporter: ohio state quickly responding, the athletic director saying the language was appalling and will not be tolerated the school reporting it to university police sports stars coming to liddell's defense on twitter and tv >> to give the kids death threats and hurl racial slurs at hi because you're safe in your own home, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. >> reporter: by making those private messages
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public, liddell called out the bullies hiding behind a screen. in a way, you're standing up for other people, as well. >> at the end of the day, basketball is just a game i have fun playing. probably messed up some people's basketball brackets. sorry about that but -- >> reporter: turning a hard loss into a big win. kelly cobiella, nbc news. up next, a major injury for lebron james. his diagnosis today. and more women drinking during the pandemic serious health effects doctors are now seeing
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we're back with a bittersweet victory for republican julia letlo, the widow of luke who died from covid back in december
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before he could take his seat in congress she just won a special election in louisiana's 5th district to take his place. l.a. laker lebron james is off the court for now. he was injured in yesterday's game against the atlanta hawks. he was later diagnosed with a severe ankle sprain the team says he will be out indefinitely. he's more optimistic, though, writing on twitter, "recovery begins now back soon like i never left." turning to the pandemic now and yet another troubling toll of the virus. a new study from the american psychological association found nearly 1 in 4 adults reported drinking more to cope with stress during the pandemic. now doctors are seeing a steep rise in alcohol-related illness. catie beck has details. >> this used to be the bar in the house. >> reporter: as covid cases were spiking last spring, so was laney warnecki's alcohol use. at times she was drinking a bottle or two of wine a night. >> it seems like alcohol was the
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prescription to make it feel better like, numb that stress. >> reporter: the stress of being locked down at home with two children, while working a full-time job. warnecki spent much of the day thinking about her next drink. >> it was all consuming at a certain point. >> reporter: doctors say increased alcoho consumption fueled by the pandemic is already taking a heavy toll on health. >> we're seeing more and more particularly during the pandemic are those with liver disease. >> reporter: admissions for liver disease is up 30% this year specialists at other large hospitals sa theirs have shot up by 50% since last march. >> my concern is that this is the beginning and that the true effects will be seen years from now. >> reporter: this year's cases are
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younger. more under the age of 40 and women targeting a female audience, making light at what for many is an addiction. >> it's definitely driven by these cultural ideas of acceptability of heavy alcohol use and using alcohol in this way to cope with your emotions. >> reporter: doctors say the damage is nothing to laugh about. it can be fatal and is the leading cause for transplants. i think some people would be surprised to think you could do damage to your liver this quickly. >> it's really, i think, breaking a lot of our stereotypes about who gets alcohol-related liver disease, how you get alcohol-related liver disease, how quickly you can get a form of it. >> reporter: changing habits can have hopeful outcomes warnicki is -- what is your advice to the woman who is in the thick of it right now and can't seem to find her way out >> man life is so much better if you want it, you can do it. >> reporter: holding tight to good health as we start to let go of a difficult year.
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catie beck, nbc news when we come back, how the staff at a neo natal intensive care unit helped pull off a very special proposal.
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there's good news tonight about tough times building stronger bonds, and a marriage proposal like no other pulled off by the help of very helpful hospital staff. it's been a year of hope and heartache for this new york couple after five years of dating, they were expecting their first child last june when martine had severe complications.
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>> i was like something was wrong. >> it felt unreal. >> doctors performed an emergency c-section delivering baby morgan last april at just 25 weeks. >> morgan is a warrior. she's maintained her personality, her attitude and sass through it all. >> reporter: after ten months at new york's presbyterian neo natal care unit, morgan grew stronger each day and so did the love between tion and martine. sam lynton is a specialist at the hospital. >> they were there a lot, i assume? >> they came every single day, through snowstorms, rainstorms, on morgan's good days, bad days we got to know them very well. >> reporter: so well that tion knew he wanted the staff to be part of their special day. >> she was so close to them that i felt like they had to be part of it. >> reporter: the care team laid out a red carpet with rose petals when martine came in, they took turns reading love poems tion wrote. >> promise to continue to show you affection.
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>> oh, my god! >> creating a path of support all leading to their daughter. >> there's something i want to ask you. >> morgan reading a shirt that says, mommy, will you marry daddy? >> no way. >> she said yes! thank you, all thank you, all. >> it was just amazing. words can't describe that people took the time out just to make sure that all the working pieces fell in place. >> it's been such a tough year, i imagine, with covid was it nice to have something to celebrate? >> absolutely. having this glimmer of happiness and excitement really was a blessing for all of us >> the couple is hoping for a wedding summer of next year. we're wishing them all the best that is "nbc nightly news" on this sunday i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, stay safe and have a great night.
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right now at 6:00, a movement to spark change. hundreds of people filling the streets in the bay area again today, demanding an end to hate. news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, everybody, thanks for joining us, i'm terry mcsweeney. >> i'm anoushah rasta. the lgbtq plus community standing against violence on asian-americans. city and state leaders were also on hand, demanding an end to the


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