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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  June 1, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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the nation marking the worst act of racial violence in u.s. history. a thriving black community destroyed 100 years ago. the surprising naomi osaka abruptly quits the french open after refusing to speak to the media tonight getting personal about her struggles with depression the summer wedding season is now in swing. why prices are surging this year and how you can save and this memorial day the tributes large and small to those who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedoms >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening i'm peter alexander in tonight for lester across the country this memorial day a chance to remember and to reflect but for so many americans today also marks the unofficial start of summer and a return to what looks a lot like life before the pandemic records set at airports, crowded beaches, hotels in
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many places fully booked but with more than half of all american adults now vaccinated and most states having lifted their restrictions, some health officials are warning it is still too soon to celebrate. we begin tonight with blayne alexander >> reporter: they are the welcome scenes we haven't seen in more than a year. millions flooding airports around the country, from chicago to miami, newark to vegas. >> i forgot to take my belt off and take my phone out at security because i hadn't done it in so long. >> you were a little out of practice? >> yeah. >> reporter: over the weekend tsa set a new pandemic record. nearly 2 million passengers in a single day. in all, processing more than six times the travelers of memorial day 2020. >> i think everybody's just happy to be moving again a little bit, although still being careful. so it's been nice. >> reporter: crowds flocking to sunny beaches down south around many of the nation's national parks most hotel rooms are fully booked through labor day. >> i think with covid you kind of just
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needed an escape and it was an escape that was safe >> reporter: and hawaii, once home of some of the strongest covid restrictions, now once again filled with tourists. but it wasn't a warm welcome everywhere along the jersey shore businesses and beaches forced to close. from a rained-out times square to the wind-whipped midwest nasty weather put a damper on many holiday plans. but even with americans getting out and about, a word of caution from dr. anthony fauci. in a new interview with "the guardian" warning americans against declaring victory prematurely, noting "we still have a ways to go." and with more than 40% of the country fully vaccinated, a new "washington post" analysis is revealing troubling data about those who are not, noting that among unvaccinated people the death rate is roughly the same as it was two months ago and is barely inching down >> my takeaway is if you're not vaccinated at some point you will get infected that's really how to look at this analysis. >> and blayne, another variant's been discovered as travel
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picks up >> reporter: yeah, peter. there is new concern about a potentially more transmissible variant in vietnam parts of that country are now back on lockdown, but so far there have been no cases of that variant found here in the u.s. peter? >> blayne alexander in atlanta tonight. blayne, thank you. now to one of the most poignant tributes on this memorial day, president biden laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at arlington national cemetery and speaking in deeply personal terms about overcoming loss while also delivering this note of caution >> democracy itself is in peril here at home and around the world what we do now, what we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen will determine whether or not democracy will long endure. >> much more on america's memorial day tributes a little bit later. but now to the showdown in texas over a controversial new
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voting bill. democrats walking out of the state house, preventing passage of legislation that they say would restrict voting rights. kelly o'donnell has the very latest. >> reporter: just minutes before a midnight deadline texas democrats headed for the exits. their walkout from the house floor derailed at least temporarily a controversial new voting law that would affect millions. >> we came together. we said enough is enough, the people of texas deserve better >> reporter: but now texas governor republican greg abbott will compel state lawmakers return for a yet unscheduled special session. the governor declared this election integrity bill a must-pass emergency. changes in the texas bill would lower the legal standard for overturning an election outcome, eliminate drive-thru and 24-hour voting, require proof of identity on absentee ballots, make it illegal to send an unsolicited ballot application. >> this helps to
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ensure that those mail-in ballots with both the application and the ballots come from who they say they are. and protects people's votes. >> reporter: as more than a dozen states enact tighter voting restrictions, texas democrats say their walkout is protecting voters' rights >> we are no longer going to stand and allow them to continue to push measures that disenfranchise our voters >> reporter: as texas democrats vow to keep up their opposition, the governor threatened to use his veto power to cut off lawmakers' paychecks for those who, quote, abandoned their responsibilities peter? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. and we have new images tonight of what authorities in miami are calling domestic terrorism. gunmen jumping out of an suv and opening fire just the latest example in a surge of gun crime. nbc's sam brock has the late details >> reporter: tonight new video showing the moments before a mass shooting in miami
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reveals a jarring sequence three shooters clad in black leaving their suv with assault weapons, only toring countless bullets and shooting 23 people, killing two. now just hours ago investigators revealing this murky dot in a miami canal is the stolen vehicle. as families face indescribable pain this father lost his son and carried his anguish from sunday's scene -- >> you killed a good kid! >> reporter: -- to monday's press conference one miami-dade official calling what happened an act of domestic terrorism, with a manhunt under way for the suspects >> we will do everything, everything we can we must get these killers off the streets. >> reporter: the gun violence continuing unabated in houston overnight two killed and two others injured at a nightclub. the violent behavior getting more brazen by the day. in south florida this man firing from his
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car window days ago, spraying gunfire in broad daylight the el mula tragedy wasn't even the only mass shooting in miami this weekend i'm in the wynwood district where seven people were injured, 60 reported gunshots, all this part of a nationwide spike in gun violence everytown for gun safety highlighting that 57 of the largest cities in the country saw a 36% jump in gun homicides from 2019 to 2020, the largest increase since data was available. >> i'm angry i'm hurt i'm relieved a disappointed >> reporter: tonight communities across the country hoping some course of action can calm the constant heartache. sam brock, nbc news, miami. and in just 60 seconds, naomi osaka's deeply personal message about her surprising withdrawal from the french open and the devastating impact of a years-long drought and why farmers are calling it quits in the west
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a stunner in the world of sports. tennis superstar naomi
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osaka has quit the french open, citing her mental health in a deeply personal message. kristen dahlgren has the details. >> reporter: it was not the finish anyone expected for naomi osaka at the french open the highest-earning female athlete dropping out after controversy over her refusal to do media interviews >> ah, naomi, it should never have come to this. >> reporter: the move comes after officials fined her $15,000 and threatened to suspend her. osaka wrote, "the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that i withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis the truth is that i have suffered long bouts of depression since the u.s. open in 2018 and i've had a really hard time coping with that." she apologized to journalists and said she feels the rules requiring interviews are "quite outdated," saying she'd take time away from the court but hopes to open a discussion about ways to make things better. osaka shot to fame after a controversial win over serena williams in the 2018
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u.s. open. the young star left in tears after the crowd booed as williams was penalized for yelling at a ref >> and i knew that how badly the crowd wanted her to win so i don't know. i was just really emotional. >> reporter: late today the french open releasing a statement offering sympathy and wishing osaka a quick recovery >> and we look forward to having naomi in our tournament next year >> reporter: tonight the star who didn't want to speak opening an important conversation about anxiety and depression, leaving what happens next in tournament officials' court. kristen dahlgren, nbc news now to a night that america long tried to forget. 100 years ago in tulsa, oklahoma a white mob murdered hundreds of black americans. the worst act of racial violence in the u.s. but now tulsa has committed to never forgetting the pain from its past. antonia hylton is there. >> reporter: once the site of horrific racial violence, tulsa's greenwood district transformed
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as residents and visitors marched and honored descendants and the few living survivors. this morning the dedication of a prayer wall at vernon a.m.e. church 100 years ago an estimated 300 black residents of the affluent greenwood neighborhood were murdered by a white mob. 10,000 of them fled as their homes and livelihoods were destroyed. nehemiah frank's family lost their tailor and shoeshine shops in the massacre. >> i feel like this is our final chance to put pressure on the city and the state who we feel are responsible for the massacre so we feel that this is our final chance to get restitution and repair from the city of tulsa >> reporter: the question of restitution has been the center of conversation and tension as black residents and lawmakers press for reparations. >> that's why we're standing out here today. reparations now for those survivors, for the descendants, and then also rebuild black wall street. >> reporter: but tulsa's mayor, g.t. bynum, says payments to survivors would
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divide the city. he declined to speak to nbc news. in solidarity with survivors john legend and stacey abrams backed out of a ceremony initially scheduled for today. what do you think is the overriding emotion of this weekend? >> for the mayor and maybe others i think that they are hoping that this will wash over quickly and then it's back to regular business for them. for myself, for my community i feel like it's the sunshine coming in. and you know, shining light on 100 years of oppression and generational trauma. >> reporter: and do you feel like you're still carrying it on your shoulders today >> oh, without a doubt. >> reporter: damian rozelle's family lost their grocery store in the massacre he believes black tulsans' best hope is to lean on each other for support. >> a lot of the emphasis this weekend is on the destruction that took place and not really the rebuilding and so holding my granddaughter right here it's all about the future, not so much about the past. >> reporter: and rebuild black wall street together
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against all odds just as they did in 1921 an archaeological dig in search of victims' mass graves will resume at nearby oak lawn cemetery. and president biden is expected here in tulsa for the solemn anniversary. peter? >> antonia hylton, thank you. and this holiday weekend brought rain to large parts of the country, but not a drop where it is needed most. gadi schwartz tonight on the devastating drought in the southwest. >> reporter: across the american west there is a drought so vast it stretches from fire-ravaged california to drying lakes, rivers, and wells in utah, arizona, colorado and nevada and in new mexico on a ranch along the continental divide cattle pass through a pond that has been bone dry for years >> normally this pond would have water, probably eight, ten months out of the year >> reporter: like most surrounding states, about 80% of new mexico is under extreme drought, part of what scientists now consider a mega drought brought on by the changing climate and on this ranch it's
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been nearly six years since they've seen measurable rainfall. kishi spradley and her family have been raising cattle here for over a century >> when you own a piece of land as long as my family's owned this, i mean, they literally came in a covered wagon. everything here they built. they developed every water source, dug every well, built every fence. so you don't want to be the generation that loses it >> reporter: last year the drought forced the family to sell off a third of their herd, and this month they may be forced to sell another 20%. >> we always have to talk about that deadline, if we don't get rain by what day when are we going to call it quits. when are you going to let it go so far that your cows aren't worth anything anymore >> reporter: so what's that date for you this year >> if it doesn't turn around, we don't have grass by the 4th of july, then yeah, i think it's going to be quit >> reporter: and it's not just ranching. in new mexic state officials are asking farmers not to plant this year if they can afford not to. >> it's not in a farmer's dna to drive by a dry bunch of dirt doing nothing.
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>> reporter: glenn dugins grows new mexico chili, the state's most prized crop >> see those little baby leaves? that's what we're looking for. >> reporter: but because of the drought he was forced to send chili seed to sprout in a greenhouse in arizona then transplant 300,000 plants back to his field when the water finally started to flow a month late. >> we're going to do everything we can to survive, but it's tough. >> reporter: the drought laying bare a desperate hope from those who feed the country. a prayer that tomorrow will finally bring the rain gadi schwartz, nbc news, sandoval county, new mexico still ahead, hollywood sequel as americans go back to theaters plus the close encounter you won't want to miss
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a boat full of research students was awed by this giant shark they spotted off of cape cod. it's a basking shark some grow as long as 35 feet. but fortunately, they have very tiny teeth that is definitely something you would not find in the classroom. as covid restrictions lift, americans are headed back to movie theaters, and as steve patterson reports tonight, hollywood is hoping for a blockbuster summer >> reporter: for movie lovers across the country -- >> first one in a long time >> reporter: -- this holiday weekend marks a milestone. the movie biz is on track to break $100 million in ticket sales, something that hasn't happened in more than a year and with now more than 70% of theaters back open audiences are racing back to the big screen >> we'd like to get the popcorn, you know,
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get a soda and just have that experience as a family again. >> run >> reporter: "a quiet place part 2" expected to rake in almost $60 million over the long weekend. >> cruella >> oh. >> reporter: walt disney's "cruella" is expected to nab more than $40 million >> this may be the most important memorial weekend since the advent of the summer movie season. it'll tell all the naysayers that despite having all this great content at home there's really nothing like that big screen experience >> reporter: three major chains, cinemark, amc and regal, are all dropping mask requirements for fully vaccinated moviegoers. but they say they'll still keep procedures like seat blocking and enhanced cleaning in place. so while we may be a long way from normal leave it to a little movie magic at the box office to offer hope for a hollywood ending >> it felt great >> reporter: steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. and it's not just the movies wedding season is also looking to bounce back so many celebrations
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were postponed by the pandemic and now costs are surging for couples and for their guests here's stephanie ruhle with "the price you pay. >> reporter: like so many brides suzanne morin postponed her walk down the aisle because of covid >> october 2020 was our date, and then around june 2020 was when we chose to push it we didn't want to put anybody at risk. >> reporter: her new date scheduled for this september but she's not alone. almost half of weddings in 2020 were postponed, sending demand skyrocketing this year. >> trying to find that happy medium of what you're okay with spending now as opposed to what you weren't originally it's pretty tough. >> reporter: wedding day essentials impacted by inflation and supply chain issues since last april the price of flowers is up almost 5%. food prices higher too. and hotels up over 8%. couples forced to cut costs. >> is the number one place to save honestly the guest list >> the guest list, of course you're talking about food and alcohol and a bigger space >> reporter: consider
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a less desirable date like a weekday and be sure your venue is flexible extra costs hitting guests too airfare alone has gone up over 10% in the last month if you're a guest consider the total cost of attending before you rsvp, including travel and attire ask other guests about sharing expenses like rental cars or contributing to a group gift be comfortable saying no watch the livestream instead. >> it's the support. it's about the love. >> reporter: celebrate without breaking the bank stephanie ruhle, nbc news, new york and next, honoring the sacrifice of those who served
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finally tonight on this memorial day, americans are coming together to pay their respects, honoring those who served ♪ across america a moment to remember tributes both personal and shared ♪ so many of the traditions in spite of the pandemic now back. the thunderous roar of motorcycles in the nation's capital naperville, illinois today honoring 114 of its own service members who died while on active duty and in dadeville, alabama a field of flags and an opportunity to reflect. >> as you start putting the flags down, you start thinking of those people that have gone before you >> present >> reporter: at arlington national cemetery this memorial day the commander in
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chief saluting the fallen >> we're free because they were brave, the heroes of the greatest experiment the world has ever known >> reporter: 96-year-old cliff alvira served as grand marshal in royal oak, michigan the child of mexican immigrants, he landed at omaha beach on d-day. just 18 years old. a navy seaman. >> like the 4th of july fireworks all over the place. only this time it was for real >> reporter: the words he was so grateful to hear today >> thank you >> they said thank you? >> thank you for serving our country. >> reporter: so many reminders about those who have sacrificed for our freedoms like this from vietnam veteran robert parra at a commemoration in california >> respect the people that have served honor them whenever you can. just be thankful that we were out there for you. >> thank you tonight to all who have served that is "nightly news" for this monday. i'm peter alexander. we thank you for watching have a safe and happy
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memorial day ♪♪ i was like peace in a groove ♪ ♪ on a sunday afternoon ♪ ♪ you were there so was i ♪
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♪ in the park 4th of july ♪ ♪ i was chillin' with my kool-aid ♪ ♪ when miss chilli came to relay ♪ ♪ that you had a thing for me ♪ ♪ finest thing you'd ever seen ♪ ♪ i must admit to you ♪ ♪ i've heard them lines a time or two ♪ ♪ although for some apparent reason ♪ ♪ all those lines are now in season ♪ ♪ lights off lights on ♪ ♪ i guess the groove is on so i am ♪ ♪ diggin' the scene diggin' on you diggin' on me ♪ ♪ baby baby-ooo-baby baby ♪ ♪ it's on like that it's on like that ♪ ♪ i gotta be in love or somethin' like that ♪ ♪ diggin' the scene diggin' on you diggin' on me ♪ ♪ baby baby-ooo-baby baby ♪ ♪ it's on like that it's on like that ♪ ♪ i gotta be in love or somethin' like that ♪ ♪ oh why do i feel the way i do ♪
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♪ when all i can think about is you ♪ ♪ what was it in the line ♪ ♪ that made me fall for you ♪ ♪ do you know why i'm diggin' diggin' diggin' diggin' on you ♪ ♪ it's on like that it's on like that ♪ ♪ i gotta be in love or somethin' like that ♪♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: all right, everybody, welcome to "the kelly clarkson show." give it up from my band, y'all. yes. we are all digging on that classic from tlc, mom joke alert. melissa from


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