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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 19, 2022 2:06am-2:41am PST

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trump allies from the january 6th committee, including rudy giuliani the showdown on capitol hill the senate debating voting rights bills, but is there a path forward new questions in the texas synagogue standoff what did british authorities know about the gunman? and news on his two sons questioned in the uk the white house warning russia could now invade ukraine at any point richard engel inside ukraine tonight. our exclusive after our reporting on young people dying after obtaining deadly pills through snapchat the platform's head of safety on how snapchat is cracking down. and the big honor for an nhl trailblazer. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening it appears tonight the cell phone companies have blinked in their showdown with the airlines verizon and at&t now say they will voluntarily delay
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rolling out their new faster 5g cell service around runways at some airports tomorrow amid a debate over whether 5g signals could interfere with critical cockpit technology that pilots rely on to land planes in low clouds and fog. 5g service will, however, still roll out elsewhere overnight. the cell giants insisting 5g is not a threat to aviation, but the faa and the nation's airlines aren't convinced. they have warned of massive flight disruptions if pilots are unable to fly at certain landing approaches because of 5g interference today some overseas airlines proactively suspending flights to the u.s. over all this tom costello now with late details. >> reporter: with the clock ticking down to the nationwide 5g rollout at midnight, today a last-minute deal to avoid an airline crisis at&t and verizon both say they will temporarily limit or delay turning on 5g cell towers that are close to certain airports the announcement comes
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after ten airline ceos urged the white house to intervene, warning of catastrophic disruptions affecting hundreds of thousands of airline passengers if a two-mile buffer zone isn't created around airport 5g sites president biden today applauded the agreement coming after years of political infighting involving the fcc, faa, the airlines, the trump and biden administrations, and competing agendas. the concern, the new fifth generation of cell service called 5g operates on a radio spectrum that could bleed over and interfere with a plane's radar altimeter. those altimeters bounce a signal off the ground to give pilots their precise distance to the ground >> 50, 40, 30 -- >> reporter: critical for landing in poor visibility warning of potential interference, the faa had told pilots they would not be able to use altimeters at more than 80 airports near 5g sites, including large airport hubs in houston, dallas, l.a.,
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new york, chicago, and seattle the airlines warned that would lead to massive delays, diversions and cancellations as soon as wednesday. >> the faa has to go airport by airport, runway by runway and do an analysis to clear these runways at airports so that we can safely fly. >> reporter: but the cell phone industry, which already delayed the rollout twice and says 5g is safe at&t today took aim at the faa saying we ar frustrated by the faa's inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5g technology without disrupting aviation services. >> the bottom line is we've got to get this done safely, and right now every indication is it's not been tested, and it is not safe for a full rollout. >> tom, you have been reporting on this story now for weeks. this has a real kicking the can down the road feel how does this get resolved >> reporter: well, we don't really know. it could take weeks. it could take months the bottom line, the faa has to look at every single plane and determine whether its altimeter could be vulnerable to 5g it's already cleared 45% of the
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fleet in the u.s 55% not cleared. this could take some time, lester. >> all right tom costello for us tonight, thank you. we want to turn now to the pandemic and the mixed signals tonight as infections drop off in parts of the northeast but explode in the west. cases up just 23% in new york and new jersey over the last two weeks, and actually decreasing by 43% in washington, d.c. but in california, they're 316% higher up 247% in oregon and almost as much in arizona. cases among children spiking dramatically as well almost 1 million infections reported in the last week and as the u.s. averages 2,000 deaths a day, a new model is forecasting 58,000 to 305,000 new deaths by mid-march. all of this comes as americans can now order those rapid at-home test kits from the government here's jo ling kent. >> reporter: one day earlier
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than expected, the federal government's website for free covid tests has gone live in a soft launch, the white house began taking orders for up to four tests per household. >> we're very pleased with the website so far. >> reporter: the website officially launches tomorrow after a year of long waits and rapid tests often nowhere to be found despite president biden's promise last year. >> the bottom line, this winter you'll be able to test for free in the comfort of your home and have some peace of mind >> reporter: still today, many pharmacies and major retailers are out of stock, leaving families like the preki-hefferins frustrated >> look, you're negative. >> reporter: like so many they say findin rapid tests to get their kids back in school has been nearly impossible >> i felt desperate, so i posted it on instagram, and that was the only way that we had to actually get a couple more tests. we have friends shipping us tests from vermont overnight.
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>> reporter: the biden administration says tests will ship within 7 to 12 days, landing at your door at the end of this month, best-case scenario >> what would be the grade you would give the biden administration on tests? >> right now, the grade i would give is a "c." >> reporter: thi epidemiologist, abigail echo-hawk, is the executive vice president of the seattle indian health board. >> when they're focused simply on using the internet, we're going to see those in rural america, those on native reservations are not going to get the same access to information, and that will continue to drive the inequity of the impact of covid-19 >> reporter: the white house has promised 500 million free tests via the website and says it will add a phone number to order soon. >> we're just really trying to catch up. >> reporter: in seattle, rapid test manufacturer inbios wants to produce 5 to 10 million tests per week to help meet
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demand >> the biggest challenge in terms of the home test in particular is labor shortage as well as paper products so we have the test, but we can't ship it if we don't have the product insert, the instructions for use as well as the box to put it in. >> reporter: for these parents, only a negative test can get the kids back in the classroom. >> what's your message to families who feel so frustrated they haven't been able to get tests sooner >> we see that there's been enormous demand, and we're trying to keep up with that demand. >> reporter: as families hope the white house will deliver. jo ling kent, nbc news facing a covid surge, soaring inflation, and a plummeting approval rating, president biden is trying for a reboot tonight as he enters his second year in office, all as he braces for defeat on democrats' voting legislation here's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: on the cusp of year two, after failing to convince his own party to pass key parts of his agenda, with poll numbers down, president biden is ready for his own white house reset. >> there's a lot of talk about disappointments and things we haven't gotten done. >> reporter: nbc news has learned one shift in strategy will tone down the
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legislator-in-chief persona built on president biden's 36 years in the senate. that means less public focus on his role in deal-making negotiations >> i'm just not going to get into private discussions or conversations with any members of the senate from here i know that's maybe a change. >> reporter: instead, the goal is to find ways for the president to engage more personally with the american people >> so let me speak to you directly. >> reporter: advisers would like to highlight strengths they see like empathy, but have not decided how best to achieve that tonight the president is braced for another setback as the senate debates democrats' voting rights legislation
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>> no one denies the path ahead is an uphill struggle. >> reporter: democrats argue they are defending democracy against restrictive state election measures they say would suppress the vote. but there is no path as two democrats refuse to back rules changes that would allow democrats to act alone. republicans call it a power grab. >> senate democrats want to mar their own legacies with a reckless, reckless procedural vote they know will fail >> meantime, kelly, we're also learning about four new subpoenas issued by the january 6th committee. what can you tell us >> reporter: that's right. the committee issued those subpoenas tonight for records and testimony from four more trump insiders, including attorneys rudy giuliani, sidney powell, jenna ellis, and aide boris epshteyn the committee wants to know about strategy memos they wrote and conversations they had with president trump about efforts to delay certification of the election results lester >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. now to the investigation into that hostage situation at the synagogue outside dallas tonight we're learning more about the gunman and what he was doing in the days leading up to the incident morgan chesky now with late details. >> reporter: tonight, a new image appears to show malik
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faisal akram arriving at our calling, a dallas outreach center at 10:01 p.m. on january 2nd. >> he fit into the regular crowd just like any one of us would. >> reporter: pastor wayne walker, ceo of the center, says akram was dropped off by a man he appeared to know. >> it wasn't just a high-five. it was an embrace. this looked like they had a longtime connection. >> reporter: tonight, nbc news has learned akram paid for his own flight from the uk to new york he stayed in queens for two days before asking his family for money to get to texas, where he told them he was hoping to find a bride, according to law enforcement sources. it was in texas the sources believe akram purchased the gun on the streets in the dallas area it was a stolen weapon in akram's native uk, a security source confirms he was the subject of a low-level investigation in 2020 by the
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british intelligence agency mi5, looking into possible ties to islamic terrorism. the case was closed because it didn't meet the threshold for further investigation. today one of the hostages shared more of saturday's terrifying ordeal >> he said frequently he didn't want to hurt us, and that allowed us to concentrate on what was important. >> reporter: like getting out. so when the rabbi threw a chair, everyone was ready to run exactly as they had been trained to do in courses for active shooters after several recent deadly incidents at synagogues, michael masters says his group trained 17,000 people just last year. >> we teach them to commit to action, how to recognize danger, how to respond to it and be proactive, and that's exactly what we saw these hostages do. >> reporter: and tonight british authorities say akram's two teenage sons that were detained for questioning have now been released, and they won't face charges. lester >> morgan chesky, thank you for that. in 60 seconds, the white house warning that russia could invade ukraine at any moment richard engel is there.
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just in, dramatic body cam from a deadly explosion and apartment fire in new york today. an officer running up to the inferno after the building partially collapsed. officers pulling debris off a woman and carrying her to safety at least one person died eight others were injured. now to the stark warning from the white house today that russia could invade ukraine at any moment richard engel is inside ukraine >> reporter: while russia denies it wants war, it does want the world to know it has its sights set on ukraine new videos show russian troops preparing for battle near the ukrainian border as fresh columns of russian tanks arrive in neighboring belarus, which has said it will follow russia's lead whatever happens. russia has positioned about 100,000 troops that could invade ukraine from the north, east, and south. a bipartisan delegation of american senators visited kiev
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yesterday with a message for vladimir putin, who insists it's russia that's threatened by decades of nato expansion. >> our message is there will be consequences if he chooses to violate the sanctity of this democracy. >> reporter: diplomacy is in high gear. before secretary of state antony blinken arrives in kiev tomorrow, the head of nato warning war is a real possibility. >> the risk of a conflict is real nato allies call on russia to de-escalate, and any further aggression will come with a high cost for moscow. >> reporter: secretary blinken is due to meet ukraine's president tomorrow and russia's foreign minister on friday russia denies reports it has already begun to thin out its embassy here, which could be an
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ominous sign or just more messaging from president putin. lester? >> richard engel in ukraine tonight. richard, thanks. up next, drug dealers selling deadly pills on social media. our exclusive. we ask if snapchat is doing enough to fight it
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now to our exclusive. we have reported on the alarming number of counterfeit pills young people are getting on social media now for the first time, a snapchat executive faces questions from kate snow on their crackdown. >> reporter: snapchat knows it has a problem.
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last year the dea seized over 20 million counterfeit pills. 4 in 10 had potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. young people have died after connecting with a dealer on snapchat >> what is snapchat doing to prevent those counterfeit pills from being sold on its platform >> kate, we are determined to make snapchat a hostile environment for drug dealers to operate. >> reporter: jacqueline beauchere joined snapchat as global head of platform safety in september our interview followed months of back-and-forth after the company offered to talk to us. beauchere says snapchat is partnering with outside monitoring services and using new tools to detect and take down drug-related accounts >> is that different than what you were doing a year ago? >> the company made a big push and has been leaning in heavily to this issue for the last year. >> reporter: snapchat says its law enforcement operations team grew nearly tenfold in 2021. >> in some instances, we're making proactive referrals to
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law enforcement in the hopes of prompting an investigation. >> why not in all cases? >> well, i think we could all agree that that's probably not practical and not realistic on either end we are packaging up those that show promise in terms of a potential investigation. >> how do you sleep at night knowing that children are losing their lives because they're using your app >> reporter: jaime puerta's son daniel was a high school junior when he died in april 2020. >> i was holding his hand when he took his last breath horrible >> reporter: puerta believes daniel thought he was buying a legitimate painkiller through snapchat, but the half pill he took was a counterfeit containing fentanyl. puerta says law enforcement told him it took months to get answers out of snapchat do you still know families who
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are waiting for answers? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: snapchat says it's responding more quickly now to legal requests from law enforcement, reducing the wait time from months to a matter of weeks. when a user tries to search for drugs on snapchat, they're shown content about the dangers. >> some of the families have said to us that they wish that snapchat would apologize. will you apologize >> for the families, we're heartbroken. their pain is unimaginable their devastation, incomprehensible, and our hearts go out to them it's those stories that drive us, drive us to continuously improve. the steps that we've taken as a company can't reverse the tragedies that they've experienced. but, again, we all have the same goal, and that's to keep young people and indeed all people safe on our platform >> does that sound like an apology? they're never going to apologize. an apology would be admitting that they are culpable. >> reporter: snapchat
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says it has previously apologized to families in person and in writing. after our interview, they sent a statement which reads in part, we are deeply sorry for your loss and know we can't imagine the immense grief you have experienced. >> our goal of ridding snapchat of drug dealers and drug content isn't going to be achieved overnight. meaningful progress takes time. >> in that time, people have died >> and, again, the best way to prevent more tragic deaths is to aggressively raise public awareness about these lethal poisonings >> reporter: awareness that is growing. kate snow, nbc news. up next, honoring a hockey trailblazer.
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finally tonight, the boston bruins retiring the number of a beloved player who skated into history. here's kevin tibbles >> making sports history in hockey -- >> reporter: he was a game-changer. >> it was the greatest story of my life, i believe >> reporter: willie o'ree became the first black player to skate in the nhl on this day 64 years ago. >> at the time, i didn't realize i had broke the color barrier until i read it in the paper the next day. >> because you didn't care >> didn't care.
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>> reporter: o'ree played for the boston bruins in what many perceived to be at the time a white man's sport. >> i fought a lot when i first started. i fought not because i wanted to but because i had to. >> reporter: and willie did it all while keeping secret the fact he couldn't see out of one eye. that would have kept him from the game he loved. elected to the hockey hall of fame, o'ree, now 86, has worked tirelessly to make hockey a game for everyone a mentor with the nhl's diversity program, he gives some sage advice. >> if you think you can, you can. if you think you can't, you're right. and it's true. >> reporter: he remains a role model to the more than 100 black players who followed him into the nhl. >> thank you for being a role model. >> thank you, willie >> thanks, willie. >> reporter: willie o'ree, the youngest of 13 kids, who overcame all obstacles to make it to the nhl. >> retiring willie's jersey is
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really sending a message if you come and you make a change by just either being a woman, a transperson, a person of color in a sport where we've never seen that, that should be celebrated and remembered >> reporter: tonight his black and gold bruins jersey, number 22, will be raised to the rafters. kevin tibbles, nbc news and that's "nightly news. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and ♪ ♪ ♪♪ say you're leavin' on a seven thirty train and that you're headin' ♪ ♪ out to hollywood ♪
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♪ boy you been givin' me that line so many times it kinda gets like ♪ ♪ feelin' bad looks good ♪ ♪ that kinda loving ♪ ♪ sends a man right to his grave ♪ ♪ i go crazy crazy baby i go crazy ♪ ♪ what can i do honey ♪ ♪ i feel like the color blue ♪ ♪ i'm losing my mind ♪ ♪ oh cause i'm going crazy ♪
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♪ crazy crazy crazy for you baby ♪ ♪ you turn it on then your gone ♪ ♪ yeah you drive me ♪ ♪ crazy crazy crazy for you baby ♪♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show"! give it up for my band y'all with some aerosmith! we have a lot in, thank you so much! we are still going with no in studio audience out of an abundance of caution, but we have several people in the house he styled them from around the country. sue in boston asked to hear "crazy," so what's your
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connection? >> hey, kelly, it means a lot to me for a lot of reasons. first of all i love the lyrics, the video, i love the harmonica in that song, but mostly i have a connection to the word crazy, because i am a little crazy, i am a crazy aerosmith fan, even have a dream on tattoo, probably 30 or more aerosmith concerts and another one at fenway park this year i'm so excited. and your version of that song was just awesome. >> kelly: oh, my gosh, one of my favorite concerts of all time was them in vegas and i saw them at the end where they go to the stage, it was so insane. it was crazy. he had the fan. i loved all of it. and crazy people are the fun people, so that's awesome. normal is boring. so thank you so much, sue. we have a packed hour ahead of us from the hit cbs series "ghosts" we have rose mcver stopping by. we will kick it off with our
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first guest who has been in some good ones "melrose place" "charmed" in a show i love so much, and it may be insured and don't make mentioned every time she is introduced. so "who's the boss?," who did not want to be sam? just saying. but her new show is called "brazen" on netflix. to say hello alyssa milano! [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ oh, my gosh, are you one of those people, because every time i mention, people "since u been gone" or "stronger, does everybody bring up "who's the boss?"? >> alyssa: yes, but i think it's great. to be on a show that resonated and people still -- >> kelly: that's me with songs, i'm like i don't care, cool. it just means it was successful. i did want to be sam, and my
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sister, her name is spelled exactly the same as years, but her name is aleesa, so her whole life she gave up because of you. y'all are the same age, she was like i just give up. no one is ever going to know how to say my name. i think my mom screwed her on that one. but i love your name, but every time i see it i want to say aleesa. >> alyssa: you can call me anything. >> kelly: i just mentioned a few shows you are on, but i learned you had like a music career when you were younger? >> alyssa: i did in japan. i did all of the things. i don't do all of the things now. but "commando" was on television in japan and i did this interview and they asked how it started and i was like oh, i started on broadway to play annie, and all of a sudden -- >> kelly: i did not know that. >> alyssa: i'm seven years old, my daughter's age when i started. >> kelly: i have a 7-year-old, can you imagine her doing that? actually my daughter loves --
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any time the show is on, we are watching "encanto," do you watch it at your house? >> alyssa: of course. >> kelly: she does the song and dance. and i'm like we want to watch the show. but all right. >> alyssa: my daughter is a late bloomer performer, she does this thing where she gets dressed and she has an incredible sense of style. it's like fearless. and she will just walk by the windows and just kind of like check herself out and her reflection. >> kelly: oh, my god, so gorgeous, look at that hair. >> alyssa: her hair is insane and she has green eyes, so she looks like sam, and i'm like, if sam had green eyes. it's beyond that is a great coldplay song, just saying, it's really good. is it true that you chose your daughter's birthday to be on beyonce's birthday? because i love that. she is a powerful woman. >> alyssa: i did not choose, my best friend actually chose. so bella came five weeks early,
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she was 7 pounds, five weeks early, so there was no more room, she was like i'm coming out. and so -- >> kelly: this is foreshadowing by the way. >> alyssa: exactly, i was in labor and nobody believed i was in labor. because it was so early, but let me go to the hospital and the doctor says we will hook you up to the fetal monitor and he was like there was a big contraction, are you okay? we are probably going to take her tonight, or we can try to wait and see if the contractions go away. and my best friend is in the corner and he is on the phone and he is like, you know, let's wait, let's wait a little bit. he googled birthdays and was like, you know what, we are going to wait until after midnight, because i want her to have -- >> kelly: it's a powerful birthday. >> a


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