tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC September 28, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
tonight, a deepening crisis in puerto rico. chaos and confusion over emergency aid that's bottled up, and the white house under fire over the response. our team reaching remote villages cut off in desperate need. emotional homecoming. congressman steve scalise makes a surprise return to the capitol for first time since the baseball practice shooting that nearly took his life. payback time. late word from health secretary tom price facing a firestorm over leaving taxpayers on the hook for pricey private jet flights. tragedy at yosemite. a sudden slide on the iconic el capitan. climbers with no chance to get out of the way. and cancer diagnosis. julia louis-dreyfus goes public with her battle with breast cancer and sends a message abou
"nightly news" starts right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. and thank you for being with us tonight. so close yet so far. the essential provisions a thirsty and hungry puerto rico has been crying out for for over a week now are reaching the island only to run up against a distribution roadblock. adding frustration on top of misery. think for a moment about living in a world where grocery store shelves are bare, there's no clean water, you can't buy gas to get to work and, of course, no work, no pay. the trump administration today waived rules that prevented some ships from delivering goods, but the root of the problem runs much deeper. nbc's gabe gutierrez is there with the latest. >> reporter: tonight thousands of shipping containers, many filled with supplies, sit at san
bottleneck stifling the relief effort. >> it is extremely heartbreaking. >> reporter: jose ayala with shipping company crowley says it doesn't make a difference that today the trump administration temporarily waived the jones act, a nearly century old law that requires that only american ships carry supplies from u.s. ports. >> the supply chain from the domestic carrier hasn't been the problem. we deliver. the problem has been the distribution on the island. >> reporter: with little phone service in puerto rico, communication is crippled. private truckers aren't showing up for deliveries. the former general in charge of coordinating military relief efforts after hurricane katrina is blasting the trump administration. >> the people are looking at a watch and the damn governor is working off a calendar. that has to be fixed. >> reporter: but the acting homeland security secretary is defending the federal response. >> the relief effort is under control. it is proceeding very well considering the devastation that took place. >> reporter: today the defense department dispatched a three-star general to puerto rico.
there are now enough resources on the ground including 10,000 federal relief workers and 7200 troops. >> president trump has put people first and paperwork second. he's had us call out and pull out all the stops. >> reporter: but at the cruise port, we saw mounting frustration. thousands of hurricane maria evacuees standing in sweltering heat to board a royal caribbean cruise ship en route to the u.s. virgin islands, then florida. >> we don't have water, like nothing. >> reporter: amy tempranaro from nushlg is waiting to get on the ship after a harrowing week and several canceled flights. >> you literally can't get out. it's desperation. people start getting antsy and crazy. you literally cannot get off this island. >> reporter: gabe is at the port right now. let me give folks a peek behind the curtain. we've had great difficulty communicating with you and our other teams on the ground there and you've got sophisticated equipment. tell me this, are the relief workers facing the same issues with communications? >> reporter: lester, you don't realize how
wiped out. we've spoken with fema search and rescue crews that tell us they've had such a tough time communicating with local officials. we've spoken with power crews who say they're not fixing lines yet, just clearing debris because they can't talk with headquarters. there's plenty of supplies here. just look behind me. until phone service improves, until people communicate, this recovery is at a virtual standstill. >> gabe gutierrez who we should note that gabe and his team have been there since before the hurricane struck. the devastation across puerto rico puerto rico is truly hard to imagine. cities and rural areas alike left in ruins. and tonight our team has made its way to to some of the remote villages cut off by mud slides and debris. aid caravans unable to get in. residents unable to get out. it's an increasingly dire situation. nbc's gadi schwartz takes us there. >> reporter: in corozal, puerto rico, candida is looking for things that survived hurricane maria. she finds vinegar and wd-40.
shaking. the water was going through the door. >> reporter: she's the type of woman that holds your hand while she shows you where she once slept. >> there was my room. there's my bed. >> reporter: candida and her son julian still haven't seen any aid. >> this was our shangri-la. >> reporter: it looks like it. >> paradise lost. >> reporter: down the road others holding on to each other as they make the long trek for gasoline. every day you walk seven miles? >> try to get some gas. >> reporter: in these rural areas gas cans are the first steps in getting back to work. this man waiting near a washed-out bridge, a government welfare manager, wants to get back to giving aid to pregnant women. the woman supervising the roadwork, an engineer who has lost everything. she says that even though she lost her house, the reason why she's here is because she loves her country, she loves puerto rico, and this is what she can do to help. in even more remote areas black hawks are flying in water and food to people like veronica and her
aid chopper flying overhead while his mother worries about their future. >> it's going to get worse. >> reporter: back in the black hawk -- >> i want to be busier. >> reporter: soldiers anxious for more orders to help as they fly over devastation like the ruins of candida's home. gadi schwartz, nbc news. corozal, puerto rico. in washington today cheers and tears as congressman steve scalise made a surprise homecoming to the capitol. his first time back since the baseball field shooting that almost took his life. kristen welker has the emotional moment for us. >> reporter: just 15 weeks after nearly losing his life, a powerful homecoming. congressman steve scalise on crutches walking on to the house floor. a bipartisan standing ovation. a fight he wasn't sure he would win. >> i'm definitely a living example that miracles really do happen. >> reporter: it was june 14th when a gunman opened fire on republicanpr
baseball game. scalise was shot in the hip, gravely wounded. >> when i was laying out on the ballfield, the first thing i did once i was down and couldn't move anymore is i just started to pray. >> reporter: today praising capitol hill police who helped save his life, officers crystal griner and david bailey. >> crystal couldn't be with us today, but david bailey is with us. david, you are my hero. you saved my life. thank you so much. >> reporter: emotions overflowed on the house floor. >> our prayers have been answered. >> today we are team scalise. >> reporter: from the halls of congress -- what did you say to congressman scalise today? >> first, i had to tell him i love him. >> reporter: all the way to the white house. >> we're so excited. what happened to him, just horrible. we are so happy. >> reporter: senator jeff flake was with scalise on that ball field. >> being out there, hearing those prayers that he was talking about, was a day i'll never forget. >> reporter: searing memories as scalise markne
>> it felt incredible just to feel the love and warmth from my colleagues being back working with them. >> reporter: showing that, while parts of him may have been shattered, his spirit never was. kristen welker, nbc news, the capitol. a remarkable moment in washington today. there's late word tonight about the controversy swirling around health secretary tom price facing scrutiny over his frequent use of private jets costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. the president says he's not happy, and the secretary appears to have gotten the message. our chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has details on price's new process. >> reporter: late tonight the health and human services secretary promising to pay back taxpayers for pricey plane travel that's putting his job in peril. the president not pleased. tom price just moments after getting a flu shot looking for a booster from his boss. >> we're going to work through this and as i
president. >> reporter: but the president today when nbc news asked -- tom price says he has your confidence. is that true? silence. price now promising to write a check for his seat on private flights that, according to politico, at times mixed government business with personal to the tune of more than $400,000. price says he'll only fly commercial from now on, no exceptions, and will cooperate with two reviews into the travel acknowledging he was not sensitive enough to taxpayers and regrets the concerns including some from president trump himself. >> i am not happy about it, and i let him know it. >> reporter: price's mia culp pa coming after questions about those flights and his future. when asked whether price would keep his job -- >> we'll go through this process and conduct a full review and sue what happens. >> reporter: because price is only paying for his seat, he'll only pay about $51,000 of that reported $400,000 price tag according to a
concerned. senator chuck grassley wants the white house to explain what they're doing to make sure all cabinet secretaries are being fiscally responsible when they travel. lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house, thank you. tonight, the white house is facing a barrage of questions struggling to explain how the republican tax plan matches up with the president's promises about benefits for the middle class and not breaks for the wealthy. nbc's peter alexander has those details. >> reporter: tonight, fresh off branding his tax plan a win for everyday americans -- >> it's called a middle class miracle. >> reporter: now growing questions. will all middle class americans get a tax cut? doubts fueled in part by the president's top economic adviser refusing to say that's true. >> i cannot guarantee that. you could find me someone in the country that their taxes may not go down. >> reporter: democrats today pouncing. >> the president and his parade of millionaires are executing mi
>> reporter: experts say a guarantee is not possible because the details are limited. the plan increases the standard deduction and keeps mortgage interest and charitable deductions but appears to get rid of many others. >> what there are are eliminations of deductions that middle class earners take, and that way they could actually see an increase in what they pay even though their tax rate is going down. >> reporter: tonight questions about this presidential promise, that the rich won't benefit. >> it's not good for me, believe me. >> reporter: in fact, mr. trump's blueprint slices the top tax rate to 35%. while eliminating some taxes that would help the wealthy save like the estate tax. >> the idea that the rich don't benefit from this is patently false. >> reporter: how would the tax plan benefit him personally? tonight the white house is refusing to say. the president's top economic adviser insisting americans care more about what's in their own wallets than what's in his. >> peter alexander tonight, thank you, peter. now to tragedy at
park. deadly rock slides at the famed el capitan. massive boulders coming down without warning, striking people, leaving them with no time to try to get out of the way. this during the peak of rock climbing season. nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer has word of a new slide tonight. >> reporter: it happened again just moments ago in one of the nation's most stunning settings, yosemite national park, there was no warning. now eight rock slides. >> i can still see it falling. >> reporter: one boulder the size of an apartment building careening down the face of el capitan, killing one person, a second seriously injured. >> the last thing i saw was him at the rappel, rappelling her down, and then i turned back and they were gone. >> reporter: el cap is a world class destination for some who live on the edge. this tragedy comes at the peak of climbing season. >> if we had not climbed as quickly as we did, which is
climb, we'd be dead now. >> reporter: today it's still unclear what triggered the 1300-ton slide. tonight el cap remains open to all. a beautiful but also dangerous reminder of what mother nature can bring. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. tributes are pouring in tonight for an american icon who built a multimedia empire by pushing and often breaking boundaries. hugh hefner, founder of "playboy" has died at 91. nbc's cynthia mcfadden now with a look at his life and legacy. >> reporter: it was a revolution waged in a red silk robe with an $8,000 loan and a nude photograph of marilyn monroe, hugh hefner changed the way americans look at women and sex. beginning with the first issue of "playboy" back in 1953. the magazine an instant success. >> it's probably the most famous nude in the world.
[000:13:59;00] as hefner's empire quickly exploded. hefner launched his business at a very different time. six decades ago, the word "pregnant" couldn't be said on "i love lucy." >> hello there. glad you could join us this evening. >> reporter: hefner challenged what he saw as the priggish, repressed attitudes that were part of his midwestern methodist upbringing. his magazine was shocking to some, banned by others. the u.s. post office at one point refused to deliver it. all the while copies of the magazine carefully hidden under mattresses became secret treasures for generations of teenage boys. at its peak in the 1970s "playboy" sold 7 million copies a month while making bunny ears as famous as the golden arches. critics charged hefner crassly exploited women. >> the day that you are willing to come out here with a cottontail attached to
your rear end -- said they bought "playboy" to read the articles may have been telling the truth. interviews with those like fidel castro, jimmy carter and muhammad ali all considered must-reads at the time. he ran his empire from his bed. life is too short, he said, to live somebody else's dream. mission accomplished. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, new york. there's more to tell you about tonight. stel ahead, emmy award winning actress julia louis-dreyfus revealing her battle with breast cancer. the passionate plea she's making on women's behalf. on the brink of flu season, how bad will it be this year? the new warning today
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no matter what your name is. today there was a surprise announcement by one of the most acclaimed actresses on television. julia louis-dreyfus, the emmy-winning queen of comedy and star of "veep" and "seinfeld," revealed she's battling breast cancer and at the same time issued a call to action. nbc's catie beck has details. >> reporter: the day after she broke the record for winning the most emmys in a single role -- >> thank you so, so much. >> reporter: -- beloved comic actress julia louis-dreyfus learned she had breast cancer. today on twitter the 56-year-old wife and mother went public to send a message. one in eight women get breast cancer. today i'm the one. the good news, she
wrote, is that i have the most glorious group of supportive friends and fantastic insurance through my union. the bad news is that not all women are so lucky. so let's fight all cancers and make universal healthcare a reality. ♪ america knew her best as elaine benes from the hit comedy "seinfeld," later as the self-centered vice president on the hbo series "veep." >> and whether you voted for me -- >> reporter: and a three-time host of "saturday night live." off camera, louis-dreyfus is an advocate for cancer research. and doctors say when celebrities share their diagnosis, it makes a difference. >> i've personally seen women come into our clinic to say, i read this story. do i need to be considered for this particular testing or treatment? >> reporter: the american cancer society says women over 55, like louis-dreyfus should have mammograms every two years. while she's in treatment, hbo says
they'll shoot around her schedule, like so many wishing her a many laughs to come. >> no soup for you. >> reporter: catie beck, nbc news, atlanta. we'll be back with the viral video of the toddler who stole the show and a snack from prince harry. how do you chasee with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira. it's proven to help relieve pain and protect joints from further irreversible damage in many adults. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 20 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b,
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the smoking ban in restaurants. ood paying jobs in virginia. ed gillespie is a washington dc corporate lobbyist. he shows up for whoever pays him. tonight, federal health officials say that bracing for a potentially rough flu season. it's never a fun time of year, but officials say this fall and winter could be especially miserable because of the particular strain, h3n2, that is popping up. officials urge us to get our flu shots before it spreads more widely. an adorable moment caught on camera when prince harry, attending the invictus games in toronto, didn't realize his popcorn was being stolen by the toddler sitting next to him. when the prince finally noticed the snack thief, he agreed to share. harry is friends with the girl's parents. her dad is a british paralympian. what would the
presidents cup golf tournament be without a few presidents? former commanders in chief, barack obama, george w. bush and bill clinton all helped tee off the competition in new jersey today. golf star phil mickelson got in the act taking a selfie or at least half a selfie with the trio. up next, the rookie nfl star who decided others needed his paycheck more than him. inspiring america is next. needed his pay democrcheck more than him. nbc "nightly news" is brought to you by pacific life. protecting generations of families for 150 years. that's the power of pacific. families for 150 what are the ingredients of a life well lived? is it the places you go? the things you own? or the people that fill it with meaning? for 150 years, generations of families have chosen pacific life for retirement and life insurance solutions. protecting what's most important to you. that's the power of pacific.
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when it's time to get organized for retirement, it's time to get voya. finally, as the disaster continues to unfold in puerto rico in the wake of hurricane maria, there are also many who still need help after hurricanes harvey and irma. in houston, a city devastated by the floodwaters from harvey, an nfl star is making a very personal gift to help victims recover. our joe fryer has tonight's "inspiring america" report. >> reporter: like any good quarterback, deshaun watson has a play for every possible scenario, even a hurricane. >> i'm excited to do a little surprise. >> reporter: this week the houston texans rookie threw a
surprise at three stadium employees who loar >> you all do for us every day and never complain. i really appreciate you all. so i wanted to give my first game check to you all to help you all out. here you guys go. >> thank you so much. >> no problem. >> reporter: in all watson donated about $27,000 from his base salary of $465,000. this 22-year-old knows firsthand about the power of philanthropy. growing up in georgia with a single mom and three siblings in a cramped apartment, they received a house through habitat for humanity. >> just be around the family and be happy and be safe and not worry about anything happening was pretty helpful. >> reporter: on the night he was drafted, watson read a letter from his mom deanne who has been battling cancer. >> as i look back, we were not supposed to be here. >> reporter: days later, he bought his mom a car. grateful for all he has received, this young quarterback is now honored to give back. >> hopefully it will help. >> reporter: joe fryer, nbc news. >> what a great story.
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