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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 21, 2018 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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tonight shutdown day town, the blame game intensifies, but is a compromise in the works? as hundreds of thousands of federal workers prepare to stay home. tonight we look at the impact on the military. our exclusive interview with the vice president as he's criticized. real scenes from north korea, lester holt inside the country as it prepares to compete in the winter olympics. the american federal prosecutors say is a senior isis commander, and what his mother in new jersey has to say about it. back flips, head locks, spine busters, the enduring popularity of a pop culture force now 25 years old. and from linebacker to teacher, finding a way to warm up his class and
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inspiring america. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" can kate snow. good evening, with the start of the workweek tomorrow morning federal employees are waiting to hear whether they'll go to work or not. even after two days after negotiations, lawmakers have failed to reach a compromise to end the government shutdown with members of each party pointing the finger at the other for causing this mess. we begin with nbc's kelly o'donnell. >> reporter: 35-year federal employee talana morton smith, an i.t. specialist dreads the unwanted job he could face tomorrow. >> i will begin shutting down the operations at our agency. i will receive my furlough letter. >> reporter: on shutdown day two, the white house switchboard is taking no calls. >> we apologize, but due to the lapse in federal funding we are unable to take your call. >> reporter: but it is
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a working sunday on capitol hill. where senate party leaders slam their political paralysis over the budget and immigration. republicans blame democrats. >> this shutdown was a political miscalculation of great proportions. it doesn't need to go on any longer. >> democrats blame the president. >> a dysfunctional president. hence, we are in a trump shutdown. >> reporter: behind the scenes, desperation and urgency, two dozen senators of both parties have been meeting privately working on options. >> we are trying to be helpful in showing them that there is a path bad. >> we want to see a commitment to take up immigration. and with a belief that we'll get to a good result for d.r.e.a.m.ers. >> reporter: the president did not spend the day in deal making mode. officials say he spoke only to republican leaders, not democrats. and called two cabinet secretaries to check on the shutdown's impact at veterans affairs and homeland
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security. senator lindsey graham has been frustrated with mixed signals from the white house. >> i think the president's in a good spot in terms of understanding what deal will work. you've just got to commit to it. >> reporter: top white house officials including the chief of staff, the budget director, and the head of legislative affairs have been working the phones with a broader group of lawmakers, and then relaying those conversations to the president. sources here describe the state of negotiations as fluid, even hopeful, but not yet confident they can reopen the government tonight or before the workweek begins again. kate? >> kelly o'donnell at the white house. kelly, thanks. and for the latest on where things stand on capitol hill, let's bring in our congressional correspondent kasie hunt who's been following this all day long. >> these negotiations are minute to minute. we just confirmed at nbc news that leader schumer on the democratic side and leader mcconnell on the republican side
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talked. they meet here at the capit capital. jeff flake and lindsey graham have been in a high stakes game of shuttle diplomacy going back and forth. they were leading the bipartisan meeting kelly o'donnell talked about that was ongoing throughout the day here on capitol hill. so out of that meeting between schumer and mcconnell an nbc source tells us that while they don't have a deal at this hour, they are also not at loggerhead. that's potentially a glimmer of progress. my sources are also saying that at this point we expect that it's likely that the government will still be shut down tomorrow. that could change. there is a key vote potentially scheduled overnight. so we'll obviously be watching all of that closely. but again, they are all still here in washington trying to work this out. workers, of course, coming back to washington. this is the first real workday on monday. so those impacts are really going to start to be felt.
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>> kasie hunt on capitol hill, thanks. hours after the government shutdown began a helicopter crashed in california killing two soldiers on a training mission. it was a stark reminder the military continues to train, fight, and face danger even if congress fails to provide immediate funding. hans nickels has the details. >> reporter: the helicopter crashed around 1:00 a.m. saturday morning in fort irwin, california, killing two pilots on board. they were among the troops of the fourth infancy division. the division's commanding general said our heartfelt prayers and condo lenses go out to family and friends during this difficult and painful time. they won't receive the $100,000 death benefit normally paid out within 36 hours until the government shutdown ends. around fort irwin that news doesn't sit well. >> the family is now not only lost a loved one, but now having to
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wait on the government. >> reporter: less than 24 hours before the accident defense secretary jim mattis took aim at congress, warning a shutdown would force a furlough of half of the pentagon's 740,000 civilians, affect intelligence operations overseas and training for reserve forces. >> for too long we have asked the military to stoically carry success. now there's misaligned resources. >> reporter: troops overseas good a little good news. they were initially told the shutdown would shut off the nfl broadcast of the playoffs, but today the pentagon deemed the armed forces network essential. now they're able to watch the big games. >> relief for them. hans, thank you. the shutdown reverve rating across the globe with the vice president -- democrats during a speech to troops on
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the front lines near the syrian border. chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell was with him. >> reporter: the vice president offering troops an unusually partisan message. >> a minority in the senate has decided to play politics with military pay. you deserve better. >> reporter: the white house won't comment on immigration. >> as you know, andrea, the legislation requires too often 60 votes. and so in a very real sense the democrat minority is in the driver seat here. >> reporter: the service members here can't help worrying about what's happening back home. >> reporter: how do the troops feel about the shutdown and what they see going on in washington? >> everybody wonders if they're going to work the next day, going to be able to pay their bills. >> reporter: earlier the vice president was lectured by jordan's king abdullah, he was
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angry. >> for us in jerusalem, key to muslims and christians as it is to jews, keys to peace. >> it hoped to visit, but was told he would not be welcome. how can you have a peace process when the two sides are so far apart, and the palestinians are not even meeting with you. >> we understand our allies have a difference of opinion on that. >> reporter: tonight he arrived in jerusalem, where the new u.s. embassy may open as soon as next year. even as the u.s. faces another crisis. nato ally turkey fighting kurdish fighters. pence telling me turkey should deescalate, and now. now to north korea where lester holt spent time today in a part of that country rarely seen by the outside world, a ski resort where north and south korean athletes are expected to train for the winter
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olympics, far different scenes from what we're used to seeing in north korea. lester? >> reporter: kate, we traveled about four hours east of pyongyang to visit a ski resort that has significance in the recent talks we've been watching between the north and south over the winter olympics. this, we're told, is a place where athletes from the north and south will be training together. we were also invited here, i would suspect, because it is not what people expect to see in north korea, a modern ski resort. it's got patriotic music and videos playing from a screen here, and a lot of families out enjoying themselves. we've spoken to some of those families, expressing optimism the two countries are speaking together, a sense of pride that they will be competing together in the winter olympics. and also some expressing a sense of greater security, given a chance to ratchet down some of the tensions. none of this, of course, erases the issues of the nuclear
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program here that is drawing the attention and criticism from around the world, and certainly the crippling sanctions that have caused so much hardship in this country, not evident here obviously, but something that they are dealing with here. we'll continue our reporting this week on "nbc nightly news" but we'll send it back to you in new york. we have an unusual look tonight at a senior commander of isis, a man federal authorities say was born and raised here in the united states. and now his mother is acknowledging for the first time that it's her son who appears in an isis propaganda video. justice correspondent pete williams with that story. >> reporter: who is affects we will leave for the enemy. >> reporter: he calls himself abuhamza the american. isis video calling for terror attacks in the u.s. >> show resolve and place your trust in allah. he will wave the way for you. >> his real name is
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zufi hoksa. now his mother says that's him in the video. >> yeah, yeah, this is my son. she told reporter ted greenberg of nbc station wcau that she's surprised and upset. >> did he ever talk about terrorism before he left? >> no, no, no. >> now posted ofn't door is a note saying the family is devastated. a man who managed a restaurant where hoxa was a boy, he saw signs of trouble. >> we know you're going to open up a newspaper someday and see you're inial ca al qaeda. >> he showed up in an isis video beheading a kurdish soldier. court documents say he has become a senior isis commander. >> to find an american on the battlefield for
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isis, as a propagandist, as an operational leader is rare and quite surprising. >> reporter: if the u.s. ever captures him, he'll be charged with terrorism, a massachusetts man who helped him get to syria is now serving 28 years in prison. pete williams, nbc news at the justice department. this weekend marks four months since hurricane maria tore through puerto rico. the recovery effort may not grab daily headlines anymore, but volunteers are still on a mission to bring vital supplies there. tonight gabe gutierrez revisits a group of veterans who've gone above and beyond. >> reporter: in the mountains of puerto rico, clara bell santana sleeps in what's left of her shredded home. desperate, she says, struggling without power, hardship on top of heart ache. her sick father died on christmas day. >> they are americans. they deserve help. they deserve support. and they deserve not
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to be forgotten. >> reporter: we first met jason matty, an iraq war veteran in october. he and other volunteers rushed in supplies. >> people are hurting really bad right now. >> this social media post went viral. since then he's launched his own nonprofit. jose lebron, a retired air force veteran from san antonio, and lysette gonzales, a police officer. >> i saw his post and contacted his wife and said how can i get involved? >> together they're traveling through the mountains, bringing food, water filters and medical care to lines of people still waiting for help. 70-year-old israel ort ortiz strums his guitar to dull the pain. diabetic and bedridden in sweltering temperatures. >> reporter: why do you do this? >> i don't think that i could look myself in the mirror and know that i walked away
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from people here. >> reporter: it's incredible how much a donated generator can mean when a man realizes he has power and the fan for the first time in four months. on this island, amid the heartbreak, there are reasons to celebrate. >> you just feel a joy in your heart that you potentially saved their life. to be a part of that is incredible, incredible. >> reporter: gabe gutierrez, nbc news, puerto rico. still ahead tonight, inside america's new boomtowns fueled by our insatiable appetite for online shopping. also a television milestone in the world also a television milestone in the world of sports woman: i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan.
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up warehouses, to feed america's insatiable appetite for online shopping. as these warehouses hum with activity, they're unboxing another benefit. jump starting local economies. >> we were busy right away. >> reporter: in fact, kevin gipel left his fulfillment center job to open a restaurant. >> we've seen a lot of young early 20s getting their first. >> reporter: tracy has lured companies for as low as a $1 year, and tax rebates and tax deferments. >> what have you seen the last year in terms of job growth? >> it's within huge. in 2014, we had over 6,000 plus jobs. and the last quarter alone, sales tax has gone up 35%. >> reporter: fulfillment center boom towns are springing up across america, the average
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pay $12 to $14 an hour. even these jobs may not last forever as automation plays a bigger role. >> this isn't a silver bullet. it's hope and opportunity. but it has to be levered. and that means taking the proceeds from this, and investing in the community to make it more durable over the long haul. >> reporter: but for gipel the time is now. >> this is what people call the american dream. >> yeah, i think so. >> reporter: a new kind of dream right out of the box, tracy california. when we come back, the raw success of a wrestling power
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entertainment. tomorrow night wwe's monday night raw will mark a quarter century on television. the company calls it sports entertainment, and acknowledges the story lines are planned. one thing's for sure, the fans keep coming. as joe fryer reports. >> reporter: over 25 years monday night raw has earned a reputation for wild story lines. >> i hate you. >> airing on usa, nbc's sister network. the show may not be for everyone, but it has become a pop culture institution. >> whether it's hugh jackman getting involved in a match or betty white kicking off the show as guest host and taking it to bigger performers, there really is something for everyone. >> reporter: and of course years before he took office, president trump appeared. >> in front of the millions. >> reporter: the rock's movie career was launched here, same for john cena who calls raw the perfect
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training ground for wanna be stars. >> they have earned the pin drop silence of 20,000, and they have been cheered. >> reporter: among those cheering, rick aukberger, he's the sign guy, brings posters to each show, sparring verbally with competitors like hhh. >> you came over and pretty much yelled in my face that he's going to win the championship back and he's going to shove it down my throat. >> reporter: it scored the highest ratings in 1999, an era known for shocking story lines and language. 2008 the show went pg, hoping to attract more families. >> we've evolved over the years. we're not the same company we used to be. >> reporter: with more fans watching wwe through social media, and a video streaming service, raw is by no means the company's only platform. after 25 years this monday night mainstay is still on the air, and in the ring. joe fryer, nbc news.
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when we come back, how a teacher who fought tough battles in his first career you owned your car for four years. you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad. then liberty mutual calls... and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement™, we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember. i thought i was managing my moderate to severe crohn's disease. then i realized something was missing...
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and 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d. boost high protein be up for it finally tonight, a recent cold snap left students at some schools in baltimore wearing their coats in the classroom after broken heating systems were not repaired because of budget problems. some schools were closed for days. but one teacher took matters into his own hands. morgan radford tonight on how he is inspiring america. >> everybody should still be busy working right now. >> he is now tackling a new mission. >> there's nowhere else i would rather be a part of the change that i want to see than in the hometown
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that raised me. >> since leaving the nfl, mabid has been teaching in baltimore where many classrooms like his have been dark and cold. >> what's the day been like for you guys today? >> cold. >> he posted a video of his shivering students on social media. >> yesterday i had frostbite. >> it went viral. mabin couldn't wait for the city to -- he went door to door asking for blankets. he helped raise $82,000 on a gofundme page. major companies like amazon donated coats. finally the kids got back their heat and their smiles. >> reporter: what message does it send to these kids that took all that effort just to get heat turned on in their classroom? >> it tells them that they don't matter. why are the kids in this community not prioritized as heavily s.a. as the kids a few
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blocks away? >> reporter: you're talking more affluent whiter schools. >> exactly. >> now he wants to even the playing field. how important is school to you. >> real important. >> you want to do well in school. >> yeah. >> providing a place of hope even in the darkest of hours. morgan radford, nbc news, baltimore, maryland. great stuff, that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday night. lester holt will be reporting from inside north korea on "nightly news today" and msnbc. i'm kate snow. have a great night. .
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-all right, let's go. -here we go! 10 seconds! ♪ welcome to "little big shots," everybody. i'm your man steve harvey. we back. this is season 2. this is about to be huge. this show is the biggest thing ever. yes! this season, we have searched further and wider around the world for some of the most talented and fun little big shots that you have ever seen. i have a question for you. yes? why you don't have any hair? ♪ this is the biggest thing on television with the littlest people on it. oh, ho ho ho! whoo! i want you to know that my grandmother


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