tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 17, 2019 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
tonight, the dramatic new twist in a bizarre case, whether the attack on actor jussie a hollet was hoax created by him, despiteis denials. what happens now to he thousands of captured foreign m fighters,y from europe, who joined the nks? what president trump says about their arte. we on the front lines in a largely forgotten war, involving iaruss. why it matters to the united . stat they're bringing their bibles, and their guns to church. >> you ow, we pray that nothing ever, everhappens, b if it does, you've got to be prepared. >> the growing number o
congregations enlisting armed volunteers. >> with the number of on the rise. and prized catch, the delicacy that has becom black gold in kentucky. good evening. kate snow is off tonight. stunning n revelations in the case involving the alleged racist and homophobic attack on tv star ss smollett. chicago police investigating the case for more than 2 1/2 weeks want ttsmol to talk to them again, describing the incident that left him beaten and with a noose around his neck. >> reporter: police are now investigating if the actor, hit s for his role in the series "empire," paid two men to stage an aeged attack against
him. in january, jussie smollett said ro masked men assaulted him before hurlinial and homophobic slurs before throwing as intoe around his neck and dousing him. >> i have no doubt in my mind that that's them. >> police say they questioned d released two men,onfirmed by nbc as two brothers, both followed smollett on instagram. investigators say they searched the brothers home found a bpe, bleach ack mask. >> you do such a disservice when you lie about things like this. >> reporter: police issued a statement saying new information gleaned from their interview from the brothers shifted thetr ajectory of the investigation. today, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation tell nbc news smollett is no longer considered a victim in the case, nor is he considered a hisuspect. at ts point, police just want him to come in and clarify his
story. overnight, attorneys for smollett categorically denied the notion that he staged the assault. he has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that jussie played a role in his own attackin nois further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying. and tonight theor a remaining steadfast, standing by his storwi despite the g scrutiny. jose? >> steve patterson, thank you. the battle intensified over president trump's declaration of a national emergency to fund his border wall with a growing number of state saying they plan to challenge him. white house correspondent kelly thdonnell was wit president in florida and has our report. >> reporter: a florida weekend getway for the president is no holiday for adversaries, heading to court to challenge the president's border wall national emergency. toda california attorney general javier dbesara s legal action is imminent. >> we are prepared.
we knew something like this enha gh goi . ur >> reporter: california's legal coalition filing suit ainst the national emergency is expected to include new mexico hawaii, oregon connecticut, minnesota and possibly other states. democrats on capitol hill plan to take action,to but any legislative block would likely provoke t president's first-ever veto. >> yes, will he veto?e >> will protect his national emergency declaration guaranteed. threat may a veto not deter the opposition. >> frankly, i think there's enough peoplen the senat who are concerned that what he's doing is robbing from the military and the dod to go build this wall. >> reporter: even some republicans are wary about mr. trum usi this executive power to get more border wall money that congrs refused to authorize. >> this would be another expansion of tt wer. that's why you see an awful lot of us concerned about >> but defenders blame politics
and claim the president ran out of option >> congress is locked down and will not give him what we've given pastpresidents. so, unfortunately, he has to do it on his own and i support his decision to go thatroute. >> reporter: a senior white house official said today that under the prident's emergency plan, building the 200-plus miles of proposedorder barrier would take until the fall of 2020 right in the heart of campaign season. the timing of any construction could easily be affected by the coming legal challenges, slowing down the urgency the president describes. jose? >> kelly o'donne at west palm beach, florida. thank you. the woman t expectedbe president trump's nominee for ambassador to the united nation s withdrawn from the nomination. the issue was heather nauert's family failure to pay taxes on a foreign-born nanny hired to take care of her children. she is no expected to continue in her current role as state
department spokeswoman.ru president is now calling on europe to take back hundreds of foreign fighters captured in syria and put them on trial or else the president threatenedehe u.s. could forced to release them. but as nbc's lucy kavanaugh ports, that idea is facing opposition abroad. >> reporter: u.s.-backed kurdish forces are closing in, with the islamic state all but gone, the question now, what to do with he feigners who remain, like british teen, who ran way to syria with two classmates in 2015. >> saw all the videos on the internet and thatt jind of attracted me to them. >> rmorter: speaking f a syrian refugee camp she said she has no regretsbout joining isis. >> i have my kids. i had aood time there. >> reporter: now she wants to come home. >> i think people should have sympathy toward me fev ything i've been through. >> reporter: more than 480,000
foreigners from 80 countries joined isis. most came from france, follow bid germany and the uk. president trumpnants europ allies to take back over 800 isis fighters capture in syria and put them on trial, suggesting they would otherwise be. releas >> there is a danger of europeans not getting convicted and potentially then escaping from observation in the uk or elsewhere and potentially then attackg america as well. >> reporter: isis still a threat, even as the battle against them comes to a close. nbc news. in soujuan guaido, trying tg down the maduro regime. in, colomb marco rubio called on colas maduro, to allow humanitarian aid into the country, saying this was another
tragedy. a war that's killed 10,000 people since it began five years ago. the u.s. supports ukraine in this struggle. billt neely wento ukraine and reports. >> reporter: ukraine, fighting to survive. its troops take us to front line where they're battling russian-backed separatists. >> russian made? >> yep. crossporter: we sprint open ground and into trench warfare, an extraordinary vision of world war i in today's europe. ukraine, cut in two. more than 2,000 killed along this line last year. in theni ukr sniper's nest, the enemy is not far. this is vy close quarters, the sneerest snipers, russian snipers, are 300 yard as way. these are the militants they're fighting from two breakway
provinces backed by russia. the u.s. says 2,000 russian troops are leading them.si all rus officers? all russian commanders? a five-year war almost forgotten by the world. they worry russian troops will invade. >> it's my country. it's my earth. it's >> reporter: you don't want to live under russian rule? >> no. ve reporter: ne >> never. >> reporter: this is the front line not just between the ukrainian army and russian-backed separatists. it is the main flashpoint today between russia and the west. the u.s supplies weapons and training to ukraine. the war now deadlocked. his messageo the u.s., don't forget us. nearly 2 million people have fled the fighting. many have lost everything. everything gone? gone.
leave the front line at a sprint, past the broken road toa ru, ukraine iset dmined never to take. bill neely,bc news, ukraine. recent attacks on churches and other houses of worship have prompted n growingber of them to add something new. teams of licensed, armed volunteers nt vors, willing to protect their congregation in the event of anattack. >> reporter: in birmingham, alabama, worship is a sunday now there's another piece to this routine. how many of you have guns on you? >> mine is in my purse. >> reporter: these three and other members make up the vormnteer security team, every sunday with a prayer and a plan. >> let's do this. >> reporter: after 30 yearrcin law enfoent, jeff rush leads the team. not everyone is as experienced. during the week, derek walker works as a warehouse manager. what was it that made you raise your hand and say i will doth
? i'll volunteer for this? >> the people i care abouch my ch family, i want to protect them. >> they believe keeping par drls ishionors safe from attacks isp of the ministry. they are not alone. volunteer security teams have been launched over the pastde de which is why companies like ozark shoot, don't shoot solutions offer spealized training, using real glocks in real churches. it is evidence of a grim new reality. in 2015, nine people were killed in emmanuel ame church in south carolina, last october, 11 dead after a shooting at pittsburgh's tree of life synagogue. and the deadliest in 2017, 26 gunned downt first baptist church in souther lands, spri texas. the church now has its own armed security team. but critics like the giffords c
later says the presence of a gun makes gun violence more likelynd believe civilians do not do a good job of preventing gun violeee when they armed. at a2, the weapons are out of sight, but the protection t of mind. >> i appreciate having security. for one, ites m me feel like the church cares about my >> reporter: these three say security is theirca lling. >> i have the heart of a mother and a mother is going to protect her children. >> reporter: standing ready to prevent tragedy and praying they never have to. birmingham,alabama. >> two days after that shooting rampage a factory in aurora, illinois, the five employees gunned down were honored today. thousands gathered at a vigil ah pratt facility where a
long-time employee was fired. how to tell whether it's true or not and all the information we're exposed to every day. er holt tells us about a new program called media wise,h teaching hchool students how to sarate fact from fiction. >> from the moment you wake up news ach for your phone, comes at you like a tidal wave, tv, newspape, cebook, twitter, reddit, blogs, podcasts. for the youngest news users, it can be information erload. >> when you read misinformation online, that can impact the t decisiont you make in real life. and itep does. >>ter: separating fact from fiction is a daily battle for sdetusnt like maya, trevor, baraka and owen, who i met at woodrow wilson high school. >> fire is used to keep chicago trains running in the cold and that appears to be fire on t tracks. how many of you believe that'sue show of hands. in an effort to cut through the
noise, the pointer institute of journalism advocacy groupea d media wise, a program that uses real-le emples ke these to help students discern the truth. how many of you have ever posted something or put something out on social media that later turnedut n to be true? they say they get much of their news from social media, but often approach it with skepticism. do you ever feel like sometimes the story is almost too good to be true? >> i do a key search and srch e same exact headline and see if it only comes up from that other rce or there credible sources like "the new york times" or washington post. >> people always arepost story and you see a lot of people posting that, i might check it out to see what it's about. >> the story about the fire on the tracks, it was media wise is working with heanford to create a curriculum. this fall,ll roll it out to teach more than a million studts how to be more discerning news consumers. i'm proud to say i was named an
ambassador to the pointer program and look forward to helping them educate kids around the country. bclester holt, news, washington. > still ahead tonight, why many now see music as an important part of treating people withis alzheimer'sse. also a special delivery on a jetblu your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory.
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the country's growing epidemicse alzheimer's e. someone develops the disease every 65 seconds. while there no cure yet, there are ways to cope and even help delay memory loss. nbc's ron mott visits with a group who says music may be the answer. >> where is my journal? >> i think it was in the back room. >> reporter: when ann hunt was diagnosed with alzheimer's disease a few years ago, the 82-year-old magazine editor and her husband, uce, feared a fast decline so they jumped at the chance to challenge her brain in a new way. ♪ myname's ann ♪ hello ann >> how did you find out about this choir? >> i was rlly looking for something i could find that would be a place where i could participate and understand whate is hng to me and feel like i could do something about it. >> reporter: growing movement in
alzhei mr's's movement,ing music to exercise the brain, reduce anxiety and socialize.t nationwide a least 30 choirs have beenormed for people like ann. it can help calm caregivers, too. ff>> learning new s and knowing there's life beyond the initial diagnosis, i thin is ar important message for folks. >> reporter: dr.middleton is an alzheimer's research and founded a chorus called the unforgettables. >> research suggests that music activates most parts of the brain than most other activities and the part of the brain affected by alzheimer's disease may not be affected as early. >> reporter: long time chicago choral conductor and his wife launched the good memories choir herebo >> when eve knows you're suffering from the same thing there's a natural compassion and opening up that happens. walls come down. >> reporter: the sound of music, the power of song, more proof that a music can b important
ally in the fight against alzheimer's. ron mott, nbc news, chicago. >> for more, we are joined by our medical correspondent dr. john torres. good to see you. can music slow down or even prevent alzheimer's? >> music memory can remain intact even after we los other memories and music can slowiv cogndecline. it doesn't seem to matter if you sing, play antr ient or listen to it. >> just beca musi >> just beca musi >> just let's be honest: dealing with your insurance shouldn't be more frustrating than the accident itself. that's why esurance makes it simple. just take some pics. [picture noises] go to sleep. wake up. grab a bite. maybe some racquetball. and boom - your money's on the way so you can get back on the road fast. well, not that fast. the editor had to make it fit in 30 seconds. it's pretty tricky actually trying to ...
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finally tonight, caviar is at pricey delicacy often enjoyed by the well-to-do with a glass of champagne. k,ese days there's a new kid on the bl catching and serving up the salty snake right in lee mif the united states. kentucky, to be precise. kevin tibbles went there for a taste. >> reporter:hey fished the rivers of rural kentucky for generations. these days it's not the fishe theyafter. it's their cherished eggs. how many people know tre's caviar in kentucky? >> i can tell you seven years ago, you're aalking to guy that had no idea. >> gra rivers, kentucky. >> reporter: since then, david
fields has creatic ams best caviar, the company serving an ever-growing worldwide. >> this is qualit >> it is. >> reporter: it comes from sturgeon. these things have been around since the days of the dinosaurs. >> they look like dinosaurs. when i first saw it, i was like, wow, that thing looks prehistoric. >> overfishing now threatens that budustry. here in landlocked keucky, the american sturgeon and paddle fish swim aplenty and produce the only wild caught caviar in the world. an ounce of the russif, st 75 bucks. how does it co lare? e it when it pops. not too salty. >> no? >> it's just right. >> more? >> reporter: this former high school assistant principal gambled everything to stock the stgeon. >> i was looking for another
income. >> reporter: he has traveled the globe, tasting and testing. h stile in kentucky where isvid and hisng friends like to be. >> i never lose sight of what got me to where i am. and without them, i have nothing. >> reporter: fishi for black gold, to please the pickiest palates. so we can all have champagne and caviar? >> abso. why not? >> reporter: kevin tibbles, grand rivers, kentucky. that's "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. lester holt will be back for tomorrow night's broadcast. i'm .