tv NBC Nightly News NBC February 7, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
on this saturday night, drenched. pounding rain hits the west coast bringing dangerous floods and even the threat of mudslides. and in the east they're bracing for another foot of snow. fighting isis. we're on a military base as coalition forces launch another day of punishing air strikes, while the family of a captured american aid worker holds out hope their daughter is still alive. hard hit, the lawsuit that could be a game-changer. a mother sues her son's football league alleging sport played a role in his suicide. and playing hookie? think again. the new app that gives you a heads-up if your college kid is skipping class.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. for a storm wreaking so much havoc along the west coast tonight, the force behind it sounds almost harmless. but what forecasters call the pineapple express is serious business. it's a virtual river in the atmosphere hundreds of miles wide that is driving tropical rains from across the pacific into northern california on up to western washington state. it's triggered widespread flooding power outages, even shutting down a major highway. and tonight more rain is on the way. nbc's miguel almaguer is outside seattle with details for us. miguel good evening. >> reporter: lester good evening. rivers across the region are surging tonight. there are flood watches in effects for counties in three different states. and tonight widespread damage is already done. 30 miles outside seattle a community at one point 30 inches under water.
the town of brennan first hit hard by pounding rain and then by a river that jumped its banks. flash flooding trapping some in their homes and car. >> we floated for a while then got on high ground. and then we called 911 and had the fire department come out. they rescued us. >> we're surrounded by it. >> reporter: tonight, homes are flooded. >> maybe about four inches now. >> reporter: and even more rain is on the way. >> if it keeps on raining like this, it's going to -- it's going to be a losing battle. >> reporter: with parts of washington water logged now there is fear of landslides. even this battered bridge too dangerous to cross. in spokane, the national weather service is investigating a new phenomenon 200 miles of milky rain that fell yesterday leaving dirty residue all over cars and windows. the west is being walloped by the so-called pineapple express, an atmospheric river dumping
ribbons of rain. overnight in california. >> i've never seen it like this. walk every day and it's just crazy. >> reporter: not just buckets of water, but bolts of lightning. in the mountains along the california/nevada border fierce winds, emergency vehicles responding to accidents that shut down i-80. in the bay area snapped trees litderred the streets. >> of course we're screaming. >> reporter: for liz who was driving with her daughter it doesn't get closer than this. >> vanessa said she felt something go through her hair. and now that i'm looking at it how lucky was that? >> reporter: with power lines down and neighbors a mess the first punch of this storm is over. but tonight the pineapple express promises to deliver another quick hit. with more rain saturating washington state as well as california that state won't come out of its drought because this weather system is simply too warm. it's not adding to the snow pack. the pineapple express is
expected to deliver its next punch all the way through monday but the most powerful punch should be behind us. lester. >> all right, miguel thanks. and while the west coast gets hammered by heavy rain those in the east are bracing for yet another round of snow. let's bring in weather channel meteorologist mike seidel who's in boston for us tonight. hi mike. >> reporter: hey, lester. let's pick up where miguel left off because yet another pacific front will slam onshore tomorrow and monday. and that's going to bring more heavy rain in those areas, flood prone areas from san francisco down to seattle. they've already had a lot of rain. they could see another five inches but this is an area that's been consumed by drought for several years especially northern and southern california. it's doubtful in of this rain will get down to southern california and los angeles. back east a weak storm will slide across the ohio valley and off the jersey shore later monday. and out to sea. no nor'easter this time but a persistent resulting in a long
duration snowfall. many along interstate 90 near t least another foot of snow including boston. but since it's falling over two and a half days the plows will be able to keep up with it this time. and on the southern fringe we could have an ice storm. there will be power outages and that includes the new york metro area. and new england to nice and mid-atlantic. so when this snow falls, there will be very little melting. >> we have been warned mike thank you. overseas assault continues against syria and iraq. they include new bombing missions by the jordanian air force determined to avenge the brutal killing by isis of one of their own. nbc's keir simmons has our report tonight from an air base in jordan. >> reporter: for a third day jordan launched a wave of retaliation against isis. one by one the f-16s took off. unconfirmed isis claims that an
american hostage was killed in these bombing raids has not shaken jordan's resolve. we will wipe isis out one official vowed today. >> we're going to go after these guys wherever they are and whatever they have. >> reporter: the jordanian fighter pilot burned to death by isis had taken off from this very base. his comrades showed us how they write messages for islamic state on their 500-pound bombs. from the mother of martyr this one said referring to the dead pilot. while on jordanian television a well-known extremist cleric condemned isis. and on the streets protests against the jihadists have been led by queen rania herself. >> they can never bring us down. >> we will fight and we will win. >> reporter: two american f-22 fighters landed alongside jordan's f-16s. one after another these f-16s are returning to base. we watched them take off laden
with bombs in almost every case as far as i can tell they are coming back after two and a half hours with payloads empty. this past week the mood in the region strengthened against isis. in each cockpit fists were raised their deadly message delivered. keir simmons, nbc newshe war against isis is also being felt here at home as the family of a captured american aid worker remains hopeful their daughter is still alive. tonight the obama administration says there is still no evidence to support isis claims that kayla mueller was killed and that extra resources are being directed to find out where she is and what happened to her. nbc's joe fryer has our report tonight from her hometown of prescott arizona. >> reporter: here in prescott there are skepticisms that kayla mueller was killed in a jordanian air strike. u.s. officials say they've seen no proof. >> i just hope that you know that it could be possible that she's still alive. >> reporter: mueller's parents
say this news leaves us concerned, yet we are still hopeful that kayla is alive. in a statement directed to her captors, they said we have sent you a private message and ask that you respond to us privately. adding you told us you treated kayla as your guest, as your guest her safety and well-being remains your responsibility. >> i'm sure that the family is reeling for answers. and the community as well. >> reporter: mueller was kidnapped in august 2013 according to the aid group doctors without borders, she had just left one of its hospitals in syria and was headed to a bus station in aleppo to travel back to turkey when she was captured. her college professor remembers her. >> she was not naive. she was a fully informed scholar and activist. and walked in and let me say it with eyes wide open. >> i am in solidarity with the syrian people -- >> reporter: mueller's passionate about helping victims of syria's civil war, telling
her hometown newspaper for as long as i live i will not let this suffering be normal. her compassion is deeply touched this community, which is why today so many are praying for kayla. leading up to yesterday mueller's family worked hard to keep her situation quiet out of concern for her safety. many here in prescott had no idea that someone from their own town had been taken captive. lester. >> joe fryer tonight. joe, thanks. in europe this weekend some of the world's top leaders have gathered trying to find a solution to the growing crisis in ukraine, but those involved are very much at odds with how to move forward. and with the war raging in ukraine, the prospect of peace is far from certain. nbc's bill neely has our report from kiev. >> reporter: they've had enough. they don't flinch as the shells fire but they're now fleeing the fighting in eastern ukraine that's killed hundreds in recent weeks. other civilians hide
underground. it's a cold war bunker never used then but filled today. they've been here for months. even a breath of fresh air could be a risk too far. it's a crisis some leaders are trying to end. russia's president putin backs ukraine's rebels in the war. he's being pressured to pull them back. >> we do not believe russia has the right to do what they're doing. >> reporter: the vice president said today the u.s. will help ukraine defend itself against russia if necessary, sending weapons an option. that's fuel on the fire says germany's lead who are is proposing a cease-fire plan. the u.s. blames russia for the crisis. russia blames everyone but itself. but it says peace is possible. so far though there's no deal. and there's no peace. ukrainian soldiers vow to fight on but a vigil for their dead
comrades. this is a war that seemed unimaginable just a year ago. at least 1,500 ukrainian soldiers have now been killed. and it's a war that's escalating fast. but a military hospital doctor told me 10,000 soldiers have now been injured. the rebel and russian death toll unknown. the leaders will talk again tomorrow. the cost of their failure could be very high. bill neely, nbc news, kiev. >> for more on this let's bring in moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. he spoke exclusively to secretary of state john kerry about how the administration plans to move forward on ukraine. chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. as you know there's a lot on the secretary's plate, but he did join me in this interview from munich. i asked him specifically playing off of vice president biden's speech there in munich that bill neely was talking about, how soon the united states would begin sending heavier artillery to ukraine.
here's his answer. >> i have no doubt that additional assistance of economic kind and others -- other kinds will be going to ukraine. and we do so understanding that there is no military solution. the solution is a political diplomatic one, but president putin's got to make the decision to take an offramp. and we have to make it clear to him that we are absolutely committed to the sovereignty and integrity of ukraine, no matter what. >> reporter: and lester as you know the u.s. is sort of on the outside here in these talks. it is france and germany trying to talk putin off the ledge and onto that offramp. tomorrow we also take up isis. you'll hear a very interesting take from the secretary on the state of the iran nuclear negotiations. >> all right, chuck. we'll let folks know they can watch the rest of chuck's exclusive interview with john kerry tomorrow on "meet the press." a word tonight about our
colleague brian williams. you may know has been under scrutiny this past week over his recollection of certain stories he's covered. this afternoon brian issued a statement that says in part, it has become painfully apparent to me that i am presently too much a part of the news due to my actions. he goes onto say i have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days. brian's full statement can be found on our website. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this saturday a young man commits suicide and now a lawsuit claims it was a direct result of playing football as a child. and later, a second act for a d meet the world's newest energy superpower. surprised? in fact, america is now the world's number one natural gas producer... and we could soon become number one in oil. because hydraulic fracturing technology is safely recovering lots more oil and natural gas. supporting millions of new jobs. billions in tax reve and a new century of american energy security.
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it's an issue that's already cast a shadow over the nfl, brain damage suffered by some players as a result of repeated hard hits. but now a landmark lawsuit is putting youth football in the spotlight. the family of a young man who committed suicide is suing their son's league claiming his dementia and depression were a direct result of playing football as a kid. our report tonight from nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: nurse debra says she knew her son could get hurt playing football, but never imagined his life might be on the line. >> i would love to have my son back happy and healthy. and i know it's not going to happen. >> reporter: this week she sued pop warner the nation's largest youth football organization blaming it for her son joseph
taking his life in 2012 at age 25. according to the lawsuit joseph's depression and eventual suicide were the result of brain injuries he suffered playing pop warner football calling it an abnormally dangerous ultrahazardous activity. and alleging pop warner recklessly exposed children to the risk of injury. >> i just didn't realize that what kind of damage could be done with the kids banging their brains together. >> reporter: an autopsy conducted three months after his death found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. while not involved in this case dr. melissa lieber has been treating young athletes for years. >> i think parents' concerns are warranted. they make sense. and their fears are heard. and i think people are changing coaches are changing. youth sports are changing.
>> reporter: the year joseph died pop warner changed rules regarding head injury limiting contact in practices and restricting some tackles and blocks. he played football for four years continuing through high school. he also wrestled and was a pole vaulter. in a statement pop warner said while there is incredible sadness in this story, we question the merits of singling out four years of youth football amid a career of sports that lasted through high school. >> we don't have to prove that pop warner was the only source of those blows. we have to prove that pop warner was a substantial factor in him getting injured. >> reporter: a new challenge for america's most popular sport that could change how it's played for the youngest athletes. ron mott nbc news boston. when we come back the new app that there's nothing more romantic than a spontaneous moment. so why pause to take a pill? and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use,
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[breath of relief] oh, what a relief it is. mommy! hey! a college education is enough to make any parent wonder if they're getting their money's worth or at the very least their kids are showing up to class. a new app could be the answer. the technology lets parents track if they're cutting class, or put another way, if they're absent. here's nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: lynn university sophomore michael van castren is a serious student, but admits even he's not perfect. come the fall it will be tougher for michael and the 2,500 other students at lynn to play hookie
because with their consent their school-issued ipads will be equipped with class i20. >> my parents pay for my education. they have the right to know i'm using their money in the right way. >> reporter: class 120 is the brain child of jeffrey who says gps signals track student schedules. if they're not in class, they get a message like this. >> unable to detect amy montgomery at the following class today. this is what you would get in near realtime same day in the inbox. >> reporter: the goal to boost class attendance and increase graduation rates. >> 90% class attendance will lead us to over 80% graduation rates. unless we fix class attendance we will never fix our graduation problem. >> reporter: undermine students ability to motivate themselves. >> it does send a wrong message that you can't be trust and had that we're going to keep an eye
on you. >> reporter: lynn university president kevin ross disagrees. >> if we can continue some of those great behaviors they've learned in high school of attending classes up until the time they're going to graduate and hopefully become gainfully employed, i think we're doing our job. >> reporter: this new app isn't just here at lynn university. it's estimated that at least 5,000 college students all across the country could be tracked by class 120 in the fall. lynn university will be the first to use the app campuswide. and there is mixed reaction. >> i don't want anyone to get in trouble when i don't get to class. >> i think it definitely does help. in the mornings hard to get out of bed and go to class. >> reporter: but at the van castren household where tuition bills get mailed it's a welcomed change. >> it enforces the bond between the parent and the student, working towards the same successful goal which is their success in life. >> reporter: kristen welker nbc news bowca raton, florida. up next okay, call me crazy, but i like it
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at ally bank no branches equals great rates. it's a fact. kind of like mute buttons equal danger. ...that sound good? not being on this phone call sounds good. it's not muted. was that you jason? it was geoffrey! it was jason. it could've been brenda. in the five years since haiti's devastating earthquake a young dancer has become a powerful symbol of the country's struggles and its resilience. she's refused to give up on her dreams despite overwhelming odds. dr. nancy snyderman has been keeping tabs on her ever since the deadly quake and follows up tonight with an inspiring second act. >> reporter: for years she performed with some of haiti's
top dance troups. but a 7.0 magnitude earthquake changed all that five years ago. her right leg crushed by a concrete wall. that's when i first met fabien. and when she told me her dreams had been shattered. her resilience and spirit prompted an american prosthetics expert to help her secure a leg. it was all she needed to dream of dancing again. last month we traveled back to haiti to check on her and discovered her dancing aspirations had once again been dashed. her prosthesis no longer fit. because she couldn't dance, and was barely able to feed her 9-year-old daughter. but fiercely she held tight to her dream. luckily ed wart martin saw our latest story. a hospital team fit her with a new prosthesis.
>> i want her to be able to balance on her right leg. so prior to her injury she was passionate about dancing. and so we want her to return to that same passion so she can share her love of dancing to the community around her. >> reporter: fabien's former -- is eager to help her return to the stage. >> so i believe she'll be able to dance again. she'll be able to make it happen. >> reporter: she'll need hours of strenuous physical therapy and the hope now is to find a facility to support her dream. in the meantime she dances just a few steps determined though to some day make it many more. dr. nancy snyderman, nbc news haiti. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today," and right back here tomorrow evening. have a good night everyone.
>> the bobbi chris 10 a brown tragedy. hi everybody. welcome to "access hollywood", welcome to "access hollywood", weekend edition i'm shaun robinson. week ago whitney and bobbi 21-year-old daughter was found unrae responsive in her atlanta home under circumstances early similar to those of her late mother. >> rescue 4. possible card ybing arrest. 21-year-old female in the bath tub. physician down. en route. >>reporter: 10:00 a.m. last saturday rescue team race to bobbi kristen a home and brought her to the er at north fulton hospital in atlanta. the initial police report listed the incident as drowning listed the incident as drowning. on tuesday bobbi kristen a moved to 0emery university hospital which is