tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC June 29, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT
the threat the u.s. military says it took out. a massive $40 million settlement for juul the major changes to how it sells e-cigarettes a major victory for transgender students at the supreme court. the growing new lockdownsd the world, and reopening america. inside las vegas' newest casino as the city bets big on a comeback and meet the sensational six. superstar simone biles leading five olympic first-timers on a quest for gold >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening. we're closing in on the 120-hour mark, five days since that florida condo collapsed in the middle of the night, potentially entombing over 150 people. yet not since the immediate aftermath has anyone emerged alive from the pile. instead, the death toll has only risen. the remains of at least 11 people have been found so far. but it's the potential for finding the living
that tonight has searchers tunnelling into the heavy debris, they're looking for survivors, and short of that, they're looking for answers for anxious families meantime, another search for answers is uncovering the concerning history of the building itself. what was previously known about serious structural damage and what was being done about it morgan chesky starts us off tonight from surfside, florida. >> reporter: tonight a rescue effort equal parts delicate and dangerous. crews scouring every inch of champlain towers south. >> over the past few hours our first responders did recover another victim >> the count for those still missing more than 150 people, finding them a monumental task with international help israeli rescue teams joining fema specialists. >> are we approaching a critical time here >> i think every moment is critical this is why we're working 12-hour shifts. >> reporter: state fire marshall jimmy
patronis stresses crews are using high-tech tools, scanning debris for signs of life, battling tiring conditions made even tougher by mother nature >> every time it rains, it creates challenges lightning creates challenges shifting in the rubble creates challenges if the rubble shifts, we stop. because you just can't take a chance of the rubble shifting and harming somebody's life below >> reporter: over the weekend authorities identified eight of the 11 confirmed victims. some using dna samples given by family. luis bermudez sr. losing son luis, who lived with muscular dystrophy, and his mother ana the father pouring out his heartbreak on facebook, writing "i will see you soon, my angel, my everything." >> they couldn't be apart. couldn't be apart. >> reporter: sergio lozano also in mourning his parents gladys and antonio two of the first victims named. the proud son sharing the couple had just become great grandparents and would have celebrated their 59th anniversary >> their love story ending together. time of death on the death certificate,
1:35, exact same time of death, exact same time everything. that was their life. that was their life, together always. >> morgan, we keep thinking of the families who are anxiously awaiting word you spoke with some of them >> lester, i have. many of the families had a chance to visit the collapse site yesterday and witness this massive rescue operation firsthand. tonight they're quick to remind us of survivor stories elsewhere and are encouraging everyone stay hopeful lester >> morgan chesky in miami, thanks. for its part, the white house says president biden believes there should be a federal investigation of this disaster as new questions emerge about warning signs. sam brock has that part of the story for us >> reporter: tonight the gravity of the mass casualty event in miami. >> i thought i lost. i wish i hug her harder >> reporter: accentuated after a years' old engineering report found major structural damage underneath the pool deck and signs previous garage concrete repairs were failing in champlain
towers south, though it's not clear what caused the collapse. now board meeting minutes obtained by nbc news submitted to investigators say surfside's building inspector ross prieto informed residents a month later after reviewing the engineering report it appears the building is in very good shape. mr. prieto couldn't be reached for comment, but told the "miami herald" he didn't remember getting the report one county official says laws will change because of this collapse why do you say that? >> because they will what took place here will put my colleagues and i in a position to do whatever it takes so this would never happen again >> reporter: possible options include shortening the 40-year timeline for a building's recertification, or changing how inspections are conducted. >> most of these 40 year certifications are done by eye. that will change in the future >> reporter: it's not clear how champlain towers south was inspected. but miami architect
says we have new technology at our disposal >> having infrared, metal, concrete samples for salinity quantity in there. those are the kind of things we should potentially be looking at. >> reporter: another commissioner is encouraging the impanelling of a grand jury that can subpoena individuals who have issued reports to find out what they knew about that building and when lester >> all right, sam brock, thank you let's turn to that dangerous record shattering heatwave in the northwest, where temperatures were well above 100 again today. guad venegas has more. >> reporter: another day of dangerous temperatures in the northwest melting records. >> hotter than 100 degrees. >> reporter: salem, oregon setting an all-time high at 117 degrees. in portland, where the typically cool weather means not everyone has ac, families escaping to museums to cool off. >> pretty unprecedented. pretty bad. >> reporter: others moving to cooling centers after power outages sunday left thousands in the dark. >> i mean, it's already bad enough not
having air conditioning but to have no power at all in this heat is dangerous. >> reporter: in eugene, ncaa champ taliyah brooks fainting during the olympic trials over the weekend. she's been transported to a hospital by ambulance and we've also been told she is okay as the northwest begs for rain, the midwest got too much in detroit, crews battling flooded roadways with cars stuck under water. today the possibility for more rain across the region and light rail trains here in portland stopped running because it was too hot for the equipment. they're expected to start running again tomorrow when it cools off. lester >> all right, thank you. let's bring in al roker now. al, is there any relief in sight? >> lester, it is oppressive heat here in the east and downright hot out west you can see 24 million people under heat advisories and warnings on the west coast. 43 million in the northeast. historic heat in the pacific northwest.
cools down tomorrow along the coast. but triple-digits continue in the inland sections and here in the northeast, we've got high temperatures, the heat index values 100 to 105 and we've got tropical storm danny making landfall with a lot of wet weather down along the southeastern atlantic coast lester >> al roker, thanks. in just 60 seconds, the $40 million settlement involving e-cigarette company juul
just breaking tonight, u.s. forces in syria coming under attack by multiple rockets. no injuries reported but this comes a day after american air strikes targeted iranian-backed militias in syria and iraq our richard engel has late details. >> reporter: the u.s. military says this compound near the syrian/iraqi border was used to transfer weapons to militias attacking american troops, until overnight when the u.s. struck back the pentagon says three locations were targeted in iraq and syria.
this month, militias in iraq paraded what appeared to be new drones, likely supplied by iran the militias have been getting more sophisticated, dive-bombing the drones with small explosives on to iraqi bases housing american personnel, evading defenses it was the second time president biden has ordered a strike in his presidency >> we took necessary, appropriate, deliberate action that is designed to limit the risk of escalation, but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message. >> reporter: this month iran elected a new hardline president. the biden administration is telling him the u.s. can negotiate with iran and fight the militants it backs around 2,500 u.s. troops remain in iraq. the pentagon says the air strikes were designed to protect them, but it seems the militia responded, firing on troops across the border in syria. no one was killed. the military says it's still assessing the situation. lester >> all right, richard, thanks one of the best known makers of
e-cigarettes today agreed to pay $40 million to north carolina to settle a lawsuit claiming it targeted minors in its marketing. here is stephanie gosk >> reporter: e-cigarette giant juul didn't just hook north carolina kids on their products, it was part of their business strategy according to a north carolina lawsuit filed in 2019. nbc news spoke with luka kinard that year. >> i noticed how this is getting out of control. >> reporter: 15 years old at the time, luka had to go to rehab to get over his addiction to e-cigarettes. >> he went from being a straight "a" student to an "f" student. >> reporter: today juul and the state announced a $40 million settlement. >> today's court order will go a long way towards ensuring that their e-cigarette products is not in kids' hands. >> reporter: juul, which had already stopped selling fruity and sweet flavors in the u.s. is agreeing to several new changes, including not using models under the age of 35 in its advertising.
the company denies any wrongdoing, adding in a stat ongoing effort to reset our company as we continue to combat underaged usage. juul argues their product is an important option for adults transitioning away from traditional cigarettes but while a survey on 2020 found that underaged use is down, roughly 20% of high schoolers say they still use e-cigarettes and nearly a quarter of them say it's a daily habit. access in north carolina will be tougher now, and with 12 states and the district of columbia filing similar lawsuits against juul, more changes could be coming stephanie gosk, nbc news a supreme court victory tonight for a transgendered student who was not allowed to use the bathroom of his choice our pete williams is here with the latest pete >> reporter: lester, this ends a legal battle that began when a school board in virginia said that transgendered students could not use the bathrooms matching their gender identity. that policy was challenged by gavin grimm who said it
stigmatized him and made him feel ashamed. lower courts ruled that the board's policy violated the federal law known as title ix, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in school programs, and today the supreme court declined to take up the school board's appeal the court did not rule on who's right so this sets no national president, but it does leave gavin grimm's victory in place the decision may be coming back here legal challenges are now brewing over transgender athletes in school sports lester >> pete williams at the supreme court, thank you. a jarring contrast on progress on covid this country and new and troubling setbacks in other parts of the world. here in the u.s., almost 180 million are now at least partially vaccinated our catie beck has details. >> reporter: while record numbers of americans prepare to celebrate the 4th and return to post pandemic freedom, a growing number of countries are seeing them disappear
>> hopefully we can conquer this. >> reporter: the dangerous delta variant sending sydney, australia into a two-week lockdown. the uk extending their lockdown bangladesh locking down for a week. also tightening restrictions in new zealand and israel >> delta is the most transmissible of the variants identified so far and is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated populations. >> reporter: but doctors say those fully vaccinated can put worry to rest. >> you really are in the clear in terms of risk. >> reporter: some states like new jersey feel a risk low enough to go against cdc guidelines, removing mask mandates from schools in the fall. still, health officials warn the proportion of new cases attributable to delta is doubling every two weeks. >> with the vaccine that does quite well against this problematic variant, so let's use them and crush the outbreak >> reporter: a race against the variant to get more americans
vaccinated and keep freedoms intact. catie beck, nbc news an arrest at the airport is adding to the growing concerns for pro-democracy supporters in hong kong as china tightens its grip on the city we get more now from keir simmons. >> reporter: driven away under arrest, a senior economist for a pro-democracy newspaper, a chinese crackdown that has seen journalists at "apple daily" led away in handcuffs the paper forced to shut down. applause in the newsroom last week as it printed its final edition. long lines in hong kong to buy a last copy not enough to protect freedom of speech. fung wai-kong was fleeing, at the airport when he was apprehended. he is the seventh "apple daily" journalist arrested, including the owner. when he helped launch "apple daily" in 1995, he declared "i'm not going give in. i want to present the truth.
but after months of protests, the reality in hong kong is suppression of once thriving newspapers. a security law imposed by beijing outlaws support of sanctions against china. hong kong's leader rejecting criticism from the u.s >> all those accusations made by the u.s. government i'm afraid are wrong >> reporter: china's authoritarian leader now determining hong kong's future with an iron fist. keir simmons, nbc news, london up next for us, rolling the dice again in las vegas, in our series "reopening america.
during this pandemic, so man americans are falling behind on rent but one state is planning to pay it all off for many residents. here is steve patterson with that. >> reporter: like millions of americans, jaylene bailey was devastated by covid, but not because she got sick >> we haven't just been living through the pandemic we've been living through the pandemic while wondering every night when we go to sleep if we're going have a roof over our heads the next night. >> reporter: bailey is a freelance screenwriter in an industry halted by the shutdown left without a gig, she fell behind on rent and says she's constantly worried about being kick out you've looked at the camping gear in your garage. >> yeah, we've checked it to make sure there is no rips and tears in it. >> reporter: in california, nearly a million renters are more than $4700 behind on rent. if we basically remove tenant protections before people are able to get back to work, we're just going to create the conditions
for an eviction tsunami. >> reporter: to stop that from happening, state officials have announced an unprecedented $5 billion rescue package for renters that would pay off 100% of rent for tenants who can prove financial hardship from the pandemic and make less than 80% of the income where they live. california's previous rent relief plan paid up to 80% of unpaid rent but tenants say it's hard to apply and landlords say it's hard to get paid >> if the owners are relying upon that money to pay mortgage and property taxes and insurance and maintenance, our owners have to dip into other reserves to make sure those obligations get paid. >> reporter: a way forward offering a little peace of mind >> it will absolutely set people's lives back on course again >> reporter: steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. and in neighboring nevada, las vegas is betting americans are ready to travel to destination cities once again miguel almaguer taking us inside the strip's newest casino in our series "reopening america. >> good luck to you guys.
>> reporter: betting big on its future, tonight the stakes couldn't be higher for las vegas as one of the cities hardest hit by the pandemic bounces back in a way only vegas can clubs, casinos and bars are thriving. resorts world, the newest casino on the strip, just opened its doors. is this the best time or the worst time to open a brand-new casino >> i would say it's the best time. people want to get out, have fun, and there is no better place than las vegas. >> reporter: for the city that never sleeps, it took a pandemic to bring the trip so a stand-still. in april 2020, las vegas had under 107,000 visitors but this past april, the numbers swelled to more than 2.5 million. that's no rebound, it's a striking comeback a visitor increase of more than 2,307% while the house may never lose, the estimated economic impact of the shutdown
98% of culinary union members were laid off. today 50% are still not back on the job. >> the joy of getting back to doing magic was overwhelming >> reporter: penn, of penn & teller says the show must go on. >> we're so happy to be at the theater. it was like being the beatles in '65 i mean, we could do no wrong. >> reporter: you could say vegas is betting on a strong hand, banking on a comeback that doesn't come with a setback. they're even hoping the news about what happens in vegas doesn't stay in vegas. tonight seeing the good in sin city, a town betting big to win big. miguel almaguer, nbc news, las vegas. and up next for us tonight, heading to tokyo and inspiring america with the sensational six.
finally, it doesn't get much more inspiring than the women representing team usa in gymnastics hoda kotb sat down with the sensational six. >> these are the six women who flipped, twisted, and soared their way on to team usa. raise your hand if you're freaking out. led by, who else, simone biles how is this one different for you? >> i feel like going into rio i was kind of a kid. but now i'm an adult i know who i am and i know what my gymnastics brings. so it's just different. >> her teammates all first-time olympians mykayla skinner was an alternate in rio.
>> i'm freaking out inside, yes. so crazy i've been waiting for this moment forever. >> jordan chiles was named for one great, michael jordan, and trains every day with another, simone. >> having her by my side 24/7 and giving me encouraging words every day definitely helped very happy to have someone like her >> cute, biles and chiles suni lee is know for her high-flying work on the uneven bars her biggest fan, her dad john who was paralyzed in 2019. >> it took me a minute to realize i was goings the olympics. but i looked up there and i knew that he was very emotional, and so was the rest of my family >> with no foreign fans allowed, their parents will have to watch from home. except for jade carey's dad. >> he has been my coach for the longest time and i'm really happy we're going to be there together. >> reporter: grace mccallum rounds out the team >> you have to remember, i've done a thousand of these routines in the gym. so you have to trust yourself and trust your gymnastics and that you know what you're doing.
♪ from the pain you drive into the heart of me ♪ ♪ the love we share ♪ ♪ seems to go nowhere ♪ ♪ and i've lost my light ♪ ♪ for i toss and turn i can't sleep at night ♪ ♪ once i ran to you ♪ ♪ now, i'll run from you ♪ ♪ this tainted love you've given ♪ ♪ i give you all a girl could give you ♪ ♪ take my tears and that's not nearly all ♪ ♪ oh, tainted love ♪ ♪ tainted love ♪ ♪ now, i know i've got to ♪ ♪ run away, i've got to ♪ ♪ get away ♪ ♪ you don't really want any more from me ♪ ♪ once i ran to you ♪ ♪ now, i'll run from you ♪
♪ this tainted love you've given ♪ ♪ i give you all a girl could give you ♪ ♪ take my tears and that's not nearly all ♪ ♪ tainted love ♪ ♪ oh' tainted love ♪ ♪ tainted love ♪ ♪ tainted love ♪♪ [applause] >> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show." if it up for my band, y'all. michelle from delaware requested that one so why did he want to hear that song, michelle? >> so i