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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 12, 2018 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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frigid day tomorrow. just in time for football. >> a little bit of everything. thanks for watching at 6:00. >> nightly news is next, we'll see you back here at 11:00. tonight shock waves from president trump's vulgar oval office comments about immigrants from africa and haiti. >> mr. president, are you a racist? >> the president ducking questions and tweeting denials while a senator who was in the room to hear it unloads about what he said. >> hate-filled, vile and racist. >> tonight the backlash around the world. the ice storm sliding across the country with another cold blast on the way and hidden danger lurking on the roads. staggering new numbers in the flu emergency as health officials warn this year is particularly lethal for children. big changes coming to your facebook feed. why mark zuckerberg predicts you'll spend lest time on facebook and why he says that's a good thing. and a little boy's dream come true.
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>> sweetie, it's all for you. >> his emotional reaction to getting his first bed, bringing so many people to tears. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening, everyone. thanks for being here. president trump offered something less than a full-throated denial today over vile, racially charged comments about african and haitian immigrants that he's accused of uttering during a bipartisan meeting with senators yesterday. one of those who says he heard the remarks disparaging those from what the president reportedly called s-hole countries was illinois democrat dick durbin. who labeled those comments racist. a charge that dogged the president today when he appeared at a white house event honoring martin luther king jr. peter alexander has much more. >> mr. president, are you a racist? >> reporter: president trump tonight ignoring questions as outrage grows over his insult
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calling african nations s-holes while saying the u.s. should accept more people from places like norway. he conceded his words were tough but saying this was not the language used. democratic senator dick durbin insisting the president did use that word repeatedly. >> in the course of his comments, said things which were hate filled, vile and racist. i cannot believe that in the history of the white house in that oval office any president has ever spoken the words that i personally heard our president speak yesterday. >> reporter: president trump adding he didn't say anything derogatory about haitians, but durbin says also not true. he said, do we need more haitians? reaching out to the six other in the room. two staying silent. senators tom cotton and david purdue saying he do not recall trump's
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remarks. and lindsey graham after confirming the comments to a colleague noting, i said my piece directly to the president yesterday. president trump working the phones last night, according to two sources close to the administration, calling friends to assess the damage. one describing his mood as belligerent. speaker paul ryan today delivering this muted rebuke. >> first thing that came to my mind was very unfortunate, unheflful. >> maybe we'll agree and maybe we won't. >> reporter: unhelpful to reach an immigration deal on this the anniversary of the 2010 haitian earthquake, condemnation from haiti's ambassador. >> the stigma, the cliches, the stereotypes that revolve on haiti, they've got to stop. >> reporter: anger heckoed by haitians in south florida. >> to say that about another country, other people, he should be ashamed. >> reporter: the governments summoning their ambassadors to clarify the president's remarks. mr. trump not first time he's broken
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decorum with comments on race and ethnicity. last fall the president inquired about a translation sbelgist. the white house did not immediately respond to a request for comment. tonight martin luther king jr.'s nephew said he doesn't believe president trump is a racist but does think he's, quote, racially ignorant. >> peter alexander at the white house, thank you. meantime tonight as that controversy rages, president trump headed to the doctor today for his first annual checkup as president as questions continue to swirl from critics who question his fitness for office. we get details tonight from our chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. >> reporter: president trump shaking hands with his doctor after his first official physical as president. >> i think it's going to go very well. i'll be very surprised if it doesn't. >> reporter: until now, much of what
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americans have known about the president's health comes from the campaign. >> i have great genes and all that stuff. >> reporter: like this made for tv moment. >> it's really brought my cholesterol down. >> reporter: dr. oz sharing details about, for example, the president's weight and blood pressure. in december 2015, the president's personal doctor memorably stated donald trump, quote, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency. he's also the oldest. his doctor told nbc news exclusively -- >> his health is excellent, particul particularly his mental health. he thinks he's the best. >> reporter: the president recently called himself a stable genius pushing back on questions about his mental fitness. his most visible exercise, playing golf, often seen using a cart, and for his diet, he enjoys steak and fast food. >> there's no legal requirement for the president to release his health information. >> reporter: but it is tradition. >> president bush got a clean bill of health saturday.
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>> reporter: this man has studied presidential health for years. why do you think it's important for people to know about the commander in chief's health. >> the president has his finger on that nuclear button. and nobody in the world has as much power as a president of the united states. >> reporter: dr. ronnie jackson conducted the president's physical today. and he plans to share more about his health next week at the white house. >> hallie jackson inside the white house, thanks. president trump also decided today to let the iran nuclear deal stand but only if major changes are made. he waived sanctions on iran that were lifted under the deal but warned this is the last time he'll do so, demanding that congress and european allies toughen the deal. that gives them until may to comply with an ultimatum from the president to fix what he calls flaws in the deal or the u.s. will withdraw. president trump says he's canceling a planned trip to london to open the new u.s. embassy there. and he's blaming it on the obama administration saying
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they sold the old u.s. embassy for, quote, peanuts, and built the new one in a worse location. in fact, the relocation was initiated during the george w. bush administration. the trip was threatening to be a security headache for authorities who feared mass protests against the president. now to a major story we've been reporting on, the flooding and mud slide disaster still unfolding in southern california. with time running out, the death toll and the number of missing remains in flux as families endure an agonizing wait to learn the fate of loved ones. numbers's miguel almaguer is with survivors and first responders. >> reporter: tonight in montecito, this is what search teams are up against. 30 m oilesf thick sludge and boulders several feet deep. the acuncounted for missing somewhere here. >> i saw the effects of katrina and during hurricane sandy, and it felt very much like those events. >> reporter: in the hardest-hit
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communities there's only one way in. >> it's surreal. >> reporter: this is what's left of vicky risken's home. >> that's my chimney. >> reporter: and as close as we can get. >> i think the hardest thing is, of course, this is awful and literally so sad not to have this house, but my cousin rebecca died, and i can't replace that. she was the most sparkly, joyous person. >> reporter: after disaster, montecito is now under evacuation orders. the hills above this city were torched by fire in december. with record rains this week, hillsides cascaded on to communities below. waves of mud washing three miles out to sea. matthew broten's wife priscilla is trapped and eight months pregnant. >> the sheriff said it could be four or five days, a week before anyone can dig us out. >> reporter: with hope fading there will be more resk cues like this one, 17 victims have
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now been identified. the youngest 3-year-old ceili benitez died with her cousin jonathan. the oldest 89-year-old james mitchell was killed with his wife of 50 years, alice. for their families, the closure they've been dreading found in a community already buried in grief. rescue teams say they've searched the vast majority of the debris field, but in neighborhoods like this where rocks and mud are up to roof tops going home to home looking for survivors is nearly impossible. many are still unaccounted for, but finding them alive in conditions like this would be a miracle. lester? >> the volume of that debris and the size amazing. miguel almaguer, thank you. as we head into the weekend a major ice storm is taking aim from mississippi up to maine. 60 million people are in the path as temperatures plunge again turning slick roads into sheets of ice. take a look at what happened on i-40 in tennessee. a major pile-up involving multiple
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tractor trailers. nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer is here with the forecast. >> there are two sides to this storm, lester. heavy rain up and down the east coast, but on the back side of it where it's colder, we have the snow falling. it will continue to fall across ohio and pennsylvania especially as we go into tonight. as that storm continues to move to the north and east in between the rain and snow, we have the ice. now this whole storm system will last until early afternoon on saturday especially up across northern new england. so we are looking at about 3 to 6 inches of snow back through ohio, back through western pennsylvania. we could see upwards of a foot of snow especially upstate new york with enhancement off of the lake. a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch possible could cause dangerous conditions on the roads and downed trees and power lines as well. we're worried about a flash freeze. on the back side of this, temperatures are taking a 20 to 40 degree drop in 24 hours. rochester, new york was 59, tomorrow 16. 59 in pittsburgh, 18
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by saturday. that cold air continues east as we go into sunday. >> we enjoyed the break as short lived as it was. >> very short lived. >> dylan, thank you. a new alert from the cdc today. this year's deadly flu outbreak has now expanded to every state but hawaii. this flu season is shaping up to be three times worse than last year. doctors warn the strain is taking a drastic toll on children across the country. we sent our gabe gutierrez to the cdc headquarters for details. >> take a nice deep breath. >> reporter: tonight for first time in 13 years the flu is just about everywhere in the continental u.s., widespread in 49 states and the rate of hospitalization has nearly doubled since last week. the cdc is now reporting 20 pediatric deaths so far this season compared to 3 at the same time last year. jonah was just 4 years old and had health problems, so he was more vulnerable. his family near dayton, ohio, is heart broken. >> one of the most difficult things that i've ever had to do
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was to tell my other children on saturday morn i morning that their little brother wasn't coming home. >> reporter: this year's strain is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. the south is being hit especially hard. alabama's governor's declared a public health emergency. and in georgia at de kalb medical doctors say more patients in first week of 2018 than all last month. how do you feel right now? >> awful. it's gotten hard. my body's aching so it makes it difficult to walk. >> this season started early, it really has taken off very quickly. >> reporter: dr. daniel jernigan runs the cdc's influenza division and says this epidemic is likely the worst in three years. >> the season is peaking right around now. it's happening a lot of places at the same time but there's still a lot more flu to go this year, maybe even 13 weeks more of flu activity. >> reporter: adding to the concern, some states are reporting
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spot shortages of the antiviral medication tamiflu. doctors here tell us it's only really effective if taken within the first 48 hours of symptoms, so the best prevention, they say, is getting a flu shot. lester? >> gabe gutierrez, thanks. facebook users, sweeping changes are coming for you in the next few weeks. after saying his personal challenge for 2018 was fixing facebook, ceo mark zuckerberg revealed a big overhaul today to the news feed. and if the changes mean you spend less time on facebook, zuckerberg says he's okay with that. our business correspondent jo ling kent who covers social media extensively for us has the story. >> reporter: tonight, after more than a year under fire for how it delivers information to users, facebook ceo mark zuckerberg announcing what he's calling a major change to your news feed. here's what you can expect to see. more posts, photos and videos from friends and family. that means less content from businesses, brands and
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fewer news articles, too. zuckerberg predicts you'll spend less time on facebook as a result. and says, this will be, quote, good for people's well-being. the move comes after a barrage of criticism including facebook's founding president accusing the company of creating an intentionally addictive product. >> it probably interferes with productive in weird ways. god only knows what it's doing to our children's brains. >> reporter: and accusations that facebook did not do enough to stop russian meddling in the 2016 election which zuckerberg addressed last year. >> to bring facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. >> reporter: more than 2 billion people use facebook every month, more than the population of china and the u.s. combined. zuckerberg says he's making these changes to encourage meaningful interactions between people, but in an exclusive interview, former facebook manager sandy pericles says it's not coulding quite enough. >> it's taken too long to the point of even
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admitting there's a problem. >> reporter: and facebook stock today dropped 4%. jo ling kent, nbc news, san francisco. still ahead tonight, growing outrage. a hospital accused of dumping a patient out in the cold with nothing but a gown and socks, and a video that's gone viral. tell you what the hospital is saying about this now. also, home is where the heart is. the surprise gift that left one 8-year-old boy overcome with joy. my dentist said something interesting... my teeth are like an iceberg... there's a lot going on underneath that i can't see... like harmful bacteria hiding below the gum line. so now i use this. crest gum detoxify introducing new crest gum detoxify. new crest gum detoxify works below the gum line. it's clinically proven to neutralize harmful plaque bacteria and help reverse early gum damage. new crest gum detoxify. gums are good, so is my checkup! look for crest gum detoxify in stores today. each day justin at work... walk. and after work.
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he does it all with dr. scholl's. only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort. to keep him feeling more energized. dr. scholl's. born to move. your body was made for better things than rheumatiod arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. it can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb,
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hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz xr can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate. ask your rheumatologist about xeljanz xr. we're back now with a growing outrage and the apology over video of a discharged hospital patient found on the street wearing only a thin hospital gown and socks. it happened in baltimore, and the questions so many people are asking is why did hospital security guards leave a disoriented mentally ill woman out in the cold. the state of maryland has launched an investigation into this alleged case of what's being called patient dumping. we get more now from nbc's tom costello.
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>> are you okay? are you unable to speak? >> reporter: the video posted on facebook captures a clearly distressed young woman wearing only a hospital gown and socks in freezing temperatures just outside the university of maryland medical center in baltimore. >> so you all are just going to leave this lady out here with no clothes on? >> reporter: psychotherapist began recording when he saw hospital workers dump the patient and leave. >> they've left a patient on the streets and it's about 30 crease out here right now. >> reporter: baraka called an ambulance which took her back to the same hospital. >> i share the community's shock and anger at what occurred. >> reporter: now, the hospital is apologizing. >> where we absolutely failed and where we own that failure is in the demonstration of basic humanity and compassion. >> reporter: it's the latest so-called patient dumping
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example. hospitals discharging at-risk, often poor patients into the streets. cases in los angeles, las vegas and washington, d.c. have resulted in lawsuits and terminations. we talked via skype to the man who took the video in baltimore. >> i do believe that this is happening far more frequent than anyone even imagines. >> reporter: tonight the patient is back with her family, but the question remains how did the hospital allow this? t tom costello, nbc, washington. no pen, no problem. a major credit card doing away with the hassle at the register. he's only 2 when it comes to heartburn
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the announcement follows similar moves by american express, mastercard and discover. history has just been made in saudi arabia. for the first time ever the kingdom has finally opened a major sporting event to women. though they did have to sit in a segregated section during a soccer match. it's the latest reform for the country where women still face many other restrictions. and the mystery winner of last friday's $451 million mega millions jackpot has now come forward, though not before the cameras. he's 20-year-old shane missler of port ricky, florida. he opted to take the one-time payout of $282 million. he plans to use the money to help his family, and, quote, do some good for humanity. so good for him. when we come back, that heartwarming (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even a swing set standoff.
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finally tonight, a bedtime story we can all enjoy about a little boy who discovers the comforts of home after being without a home. his reaction to the things most of us take for granted will warm your heart. >> go ahead and open them. >> reporter: the big surprise for 8-year-old daeyr neely -- >> what do you think? >> reporter: -- was almost too much to bear. >> sweetie, it's all for you. >> reporter: his very own bed. the first he's ever had. >> i don't want the covers but i didn't know the covers was going to come with the bed. >> reporter: daeyr has been homeless since he was 2 years old, when his mom dionna lost her job and their apartment. last year me moved into a shelter hoping to qualify for public
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housing in detroit. >> he was starting to have a little trouble in school once we moved to the shelter. but i had to explain to him we have to do this in order to get our own home. >> reporter: in november, they moved into their new house but had no furniture. daeyr slept on a pile of blankets. >> and here's your dining room. >> a table! >> reporter: furnished by the nonprofit humble design. >> we transform their house with donated goods from the community. we furnish the entire house from top to bottom. we make it their home. >> reporter: it's the start of a new life. dionna plans to go to nursing school. >> as a mother, i did what i was supposed to do. i kept my promise to him and fulfilled our dreams. >> reporter: for a boy who never imagined a room of his own -- >> okay. time to go to bed. >> reporter: going to bed is a dream come true. sleep tight, little man, sleep tight. we appreciate you
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spending part of your time with us. that is "nightly news" for this friday night. i'm lester holt. for all ♪ now on "extra." angelina's white hot night, breaking news about the emotional moment that stole the show at the awards. and sterling k. brown on his best year ever. >> it is all such a whirlwind. >> tanika has the couples and
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fashions. >> pose for the camera. julia louis-dreyfus hits the finish line in her cancer treatments. >> we love you, julia. >> new video as her kids celebrate the milestone. she complains about traffic from the mud slides. >> and which oscar winner's home was devastated in the disaster? plus, david letterman and president obama, his favorite things about life after the white house. >> i sort of enjoy puttering around the house. >> new cop la alert, josh duhamel dating jennifer garner? and gerard butler on his funny instavideo, shaving off his beard. >> i love having a beard, man. >> i love being a cave


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