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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 20, 2019 2:07am-2:37am EDT

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after accusations of child abuse raising ne questions about the league's policies. plus, outrage over lunch shaming after parents get a letter warning their children could be placed in foster care if they don't pay their school lunch bills. why is the district going to such extremes? >> this is "nbc thnightly news" wi lester holt. good evening. there's breaking news tonight from the persian gulf region where things are becoming more ayonfusing and unstable by the iranian forces have seized a british registered tanker shipan its crew in the stra of hormuz claiming it broke the law. they also stopped another ship. it comes as iran disputes president trump's claim that the u.s. destroyed an iranian drone that anthreatened an americ warship. the president issuing a new warning tonight. our hallie jackson has the latest. >> reporter: another serious provocation tonight in the strait of hormuz after iran seized a british tanker with 23 crew members onboard. >> this only goes to show what i'm saying
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about iran. trouble. nothing t trouble. >> reporter: the u.s. calling iran's move cu eslatory violence. tehran had pledged retaliation after the brits seized one of its ships earlier this month. >> we will respond in a way that is considerate but robust. >> reporter: it's the latest flashpoint in this already volatile region. a fifth of the world's oil flows through the strait of hormuz. the u.s. drowned an iranian yesterday. iran now predictably ap denying it hned and mocking the u.s. by suggesting maybe the navy took out one of its own unmanned planes. a month ago iran shot down a u.s. drone bringing the white house to the brink of a military strike before president trump pulled back. he appears reluctant to sink into deeper conflict but i today warning against f further escalation. >> we have the greatest ships, most deadly ships. we don't want to have to use them.
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>> reporter: former y national securit adviser susan rice. >> each of these incidents in isolation are not especially alarmingin the aggregate, they are. >> reporter: iran's looking for leverage and for relief from severe economic sanctions put in place after president trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal. ali arouzi is in iran. >> iran growing more defiant. more confrontational. sanctions and the nuclear deal slips away. as far as the iranian people are concerned, well, they just want st to see this doff resolved. >> reporter: for now, a region on edge remains on alert. >> and hallie joining us now. is the u.s. doing anything differently? ed we have lea tonight, lester, the u.s. is now putting patrol aircraft above u.s. ships in that critical strait of hormuzn order to according to a spokesperson ensure their safety. we're also now arning the u.s. will be putting troops essentially in saudi arabia. this is a significant step in what's being a controveial military relationship. lot of developments. >> all right, hallie, thank you. more breaking news tonight. an american citizen accused of going overseas to join isis is back in the u.s.
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facing terrorism charges in a new york courtroom. our justice correspondent pete williams has late details ow he was caught. >> reporter: investigators say he went to syria to join isis in 2013 and help train isis fighters. court documents id tify him as ruslan maratovich asainov, age 42, born in kazakhstan. a naturalized u.s. citizen who lived this brooklyn neighborhood for five years before joining isis. he appeared in federal court toda prosecutors say an undercover operative working for new york city police actual met with him overseas and kept in touch with him afterwards. used of is a helping isis set up training cam , rising through the ranks to become a top sniper instructor. terrorism experts say it's rare an isis fighter from the u.s. is brought back to face charges. >> challenge to identify them and grab th and gain custody of them on the ground in iraq and syria. this is obviously a tremendous achievement in terms ow enforcement and
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intelligence. >> reporter: his lawyer says asainov would not answer the judge's questions in court today because he doesn't recognize the judge's authority. he could face 20 years in prison if convicted. lester? >>ete, thank you. dangerous heat is sweeping much of the country tonight. 190 million people are at risk for extreme temperatures. and in some places the scorching heat and humidity are going to get worse. inblayne alexander is chicago for this report. >> reporter: in madison, wisconsin, this morning, a mechanical fire at this power plant. >> transformer and active fire. >> repor knocked ttut power downtown on the t day of the year. with the summer heatwave sweeping the un coy, today in kansas city, it feels like 110. in oma and des moines, 114. that's already proving deadly. former new york giants player mitch petrus just 32 years old has died of apparent heatstroke in arkansas e after working outsid yesterday. in chicago, the lurie children's hospital is
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h showing justow fast a hot car can kill. the air insi jumping from 80 degrs to 130 in less than an hour. >> dehydration and the kidneys shting down can happen pretty rapidly particularly at 120 degrees. >> reporter: just within what, like, five, ten, minutes? 15 minutes? start to see the effects within 10 to 15 minutes. >> reporter: around the city salvation army cooling centers are ready. can centers like this ultimately sa llyave a life? >> i think so. i think so. >> reporter: special instructions at this peeweeic practe in ironton, ohio. >> if you art to feel not good, stop. >> drink all kinds of water until the game's over. >> reporter: today new yo heat emergency as these dangerous temperatures head east. and lester, here in chicago tonight, it feels like 103 degrees but this weekend, all a of this warm blows east. new york city, they canceled the city's triathlon ancentral
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park's aussiefest. and asking people to conserve energy to prevent power outages. lester? >> nhing to take lightly. all right, blayne, thank you. let's turn to al whoker. al, does this fever break? >> lester, no relief for 190 million of this weekend. 34 stateom the southwest to canada under some sort of heat advisory or heat warning. tomorrow, heatndexes of 109 in d.c. 107 in cincinnati. chicago it will feel like 110. sunday, 111 in new york city. 101 pittsburgh. charleston, 105. sohe good news is we see relief by monday for milwaukee, pittsburgh and binghamt binghamton. tuesday, the northeast is at or below average temperatures. in the meantime, the heat continues through the weekend. lester? >> something to look forward to, al. thank you. tonighe nfl says it won't suspend one of its rising stars over child abuse accusations. but the decision is raising some new questions about the leag's personal conduct policy. here's mgan chesky.
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>> mvp, best player of the year. >> reporter: tonight the nfl cleared one of its rising stars. chiefs wide receiver tyreek hill won't be suspended or fined after being accused of breaking his son's arm. today the league saying, "based on the evidence presently available, the nflca ot conclude that mr. hill violated the personal conduct policy." hill and former fiancee crystal espinal had been investigated earlier this year for child abuse, but prosecutorsst ped short of pressing charges. >> we believe that a crime has occurred, wever, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime. >> reporter: in an audio recording, espinal accused hill of child abuse. >> he is terrified [ bleep ] of you. >> you need to be terrified of me, too. [ blp ]. >> reporter: espinal even saying he'll punch the boy. >> kept saying daddy punches me, which you do, when he starts crying, what do yodo ? you make him open up his arms and you punch him in the chest. >> reporter: hill has denied all accusations of child abuse. sameanwhile, the kan department for
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children and families say their investigation into the case is ongoing. and the nfl's decision could reignite criticism of how it handles domestic abuse cases. tonight hill says he respects and accepts the league's decision adding"to my children, i promise you all i will continue to strive to be the best father, the best friend, the best role model, and the best mentor i can be." when training camp stts next week, hill's expected to be back on the field and the chiefs say he's welcome. morgan chesky, nbc news. a pennsylvania school district is feeling the heat g tonight for send letter to parents threatening to put their children in foster care for failing to pay their school lunch debt. which sotics call lunch shaming. miguel almaguer has the story. at> reporter: the threing letter was sent to parents at the wyoming valley west school district in pennsylvia. trying to collect $22,000 owed by roughly a thousand students, the district wrote parents, "if yo are taken to dependency court, the result may be your child being removed from your home and
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placed in foster care." >> it's bordering on criminal, if you ask me. for them to pull that on families. >> reporter: sparking outrage, critics call the letter lunch shaming, but the cash-strapped district says it needs the money. >> it might be a bit too heavy for some people. no one wants to take wa their kids afrom them or to advocate that, but we were not getting a response. >> reporter: with the national school lunc program serving 30 million children, 20 million ki qualify for free lunches. 2 million more for reduced pricing. a growing number of states have passed r are considering legislation banning lunch shaming. federal lawmakers are working on their own anti-shaming bill. >> messed up. it puts a lot of pressure on the kids and the parents. >> reporter: tonight, school ainistrators in pennsylvania are sending out letterof apology, but the last thg some parents want here is more mail from the district. miguel almaguer, nbc news. now to an nbc news investigation on an
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issue of concern to liillions of american fami. nursing homes. tonight, we look at one man accused of taking over more than 100 homes in 2 yrs and then running them into the ground leading to some painful consequences for patients. asstephanie gosk h more. >> reporter: nurse grace williamson was working at this massachusetts nursing home in 2016 when a imillionaire named joseph schwartz took over the business. >> once they started hiutting down staff and ever, conditions became very difficult to maintain. >> reporter: then in may, janine pettiford said she got a call from her cousin, john. >> he was quite panicked. he said, i need help, i'm getting kicked out. >> reporter: and so were hundreds of others, all forced to leave five massachusetts homes when schwartz stopped paying employees according to state officials. >> this didn't happen only in this state. this was the final state that he wreaked havoc through. ro >> reporter:this office above a pizzeria, schwartz's business grew rapidly from running 11
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nursing homes to over 0 10in just 2 years. >> joseph schwartz -- ut >> reporter: b in a 2017 deposition for a malpractice ca against schwartz's company that was later settled, he wouldn't disclose the se of his business. >> you don't know how many homes you own now? >> no. >> reporter: to operate the homes, experts estimate state and federal governments paid sc artz's company hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. >> you just never think in terms of your children having to go through anything like this. >> reporter: betty mcfadden's son was in a schwartz-run nursing home in arkansas after a stroke left him unable to move. ti sanitary condis were so poor in 2017 that inspectors documented maggots on ater son's catheter. the stlater issued fines for neglect. do you think the people in the nursing home just ignored what was blatantly negligent care? >> yes, i do. >> reporter: by the middle of 2018, most of the chain was collapsing.
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state officials forced to take control. shutting down some homes and displacing hundreds more residents. in that malpractice lawsuit, schwartz sa he took good care of an the residents d denies there was ro anything impr about millions in cash ulithdrawals. >> he take out draws, cash draws, from theacilities, right? >> yes. >> when you're taking out draws, that does ke way from some of the cash on hand at the facility to operate. >> i don't think so. w >>e need to have very strict rules about who's eligible to operate a facility, what the standards are for them, whathe financial backgrounds are. >> reporter: she says what regulations they took against schwartz, handsful of state fines and canceled federal contracts, came too late. the federal government says they have limited authority and each indivial nursing home is separately certified and held accountable. we wanted to talk to joseph schwartz. we visited his office inew jersey, his home in new york, and this address in
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brooklyn, and we got no response. advocates are concerned under the ra trump administon fines for problematic nursing homes went down by 34% last year. >> facilities know if they're cited with a deficiency, with a problem, there probably won't be any consequence. >> reporr: nurse williamson from massachusetts has a ss meage for nursing home owners like schwartz. >> shame on you. hope one day that you're not in a nursing home, and if you are, may god be with you. >> all right. stephanie joins us now. so where do things stand with mr. schwartz? >> the federal government tells us that schwartz still has a partial ownership stake in 50 homes. last year a spokesperson for schwartz says he doesn't actually own the buildings but he does manage the properties, lester. >> all right, stephanie, thank you. tonight, why more women arusing marijuana while pregnant despite evidence that it's not safe. also, dramatic scenes from a building on fire as a man his way down. and seeing a man
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we're back now to tell you about the sharp rise of the number of pregnant women smoking pot. a large new study out todafinding pregnant women turning to marijuana to ease everything from morning sickness to o migraines despi evidence that it's safe.'s morgan radfor >> good job, angelo. >> reporter: it's a typical day for mom, vicki. playing blocks with her son and smoking a joint. she is a the growing number of moms who use marijuana during and after pregnancy. for her, it's helped relieve debilitating migraines and stress. >> i can't go to work. i'm throwing up. i can't eat. that can't be good for the baby. >> reporter: she didn't want the morphine drip that doctors prescribed because she was afraid her baby would become addicted to the opiate. >> i decided to consume cannabis and within 30 minutes i did feel better. on >> reporter:ht, a study of almost 300,000 pregnant women
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in northern california s legal eed found that the use of cannabis has nearly anoubled. >> cnabis use in pregnancy is associated with ving baby who weighs less. and there's also growing evidence that there may be an association with neuro developmtal problems. >> reporter: women are using it to deal with morning sickness, migraines, and ich is sion, why vicki joined mothers mary, a group se bain canada where marijuana is legal nationwide. >> cannabis saved my life. if i hadn't gone the way of medical cannabis, i don't think i'd be here oroday. >> repr: but researchersay they don't know whether cannabis is more o effective thaner anti-nausea treatments, let alone safe. is it worth the risk? >> i've seen my children, they hit every milestone. they're developing beautifully. >> reporter: a risk e hese mothers willing to take. morgan rrd, nbc news, montreal. >> we willake a break. up next, a man scales his way down a
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with the daring skyscraper climb to safety that has an entire city talking. here's ron allen. >> reporter: as heavy smoke filled this 19-story apartment building in philadelphia, a man g appeared cling the side of the building. he's being called a real-life spider-man. news choppers capturin death-defying moment. the man using balcony fencing and rails to inch his way down. >> very dangerous. as he was climbing, i mean, that's got to be hard on yoands and your fingers and just got to hope that it holds out as you climb all the way down 200 feet from the top of the building. >> reporter: fire had erupted in a trash receptacle. dozens of residents ev acuated using the stairs. the n says cameras didn't capture him climbing up the building to rescue his ailing mother on the th floor. then seeing she was safe, he went back down. some three agonizing minutes until finally reaching rescuers on the ground. safe, uninjured, and with quite a story tte . ron allen, nbc news. >> pretty amazing feat. when we come back,
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so as we were preparing this week's coverage of the moon landing anniversary, i rediscovered a childhood scrapbook i kept about the "apollo" missions and rekindd memories of the moment through the eyes of a 10-year-old, so indulge me, if you will, as i share some of those reflections. >> three, two, one. we have a liftoff. >> it was just this spectacular sight to watch the saturn 5 engines start to ignite and the rocket e its way up. it was an amazing thing to watch. a 10-year-old kid living on an air force base in alaska.
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it was a place i lo looked up a lot. you could see the northern lights in winter. airplanes coming and going on the base. i was always enamored by all things aviation. >> we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other thing, notbe cause they are easy but because they are hard. >> at that moment in time getting to the moon was a priority. you could argue it was based in this race against the russians. president kennedy made that speh and less than ten years later, in fact, we were on our way to the moon and on the moon. on that day in 1969, we gathered around our first new colored tv and watched it all fold. the landing, the word that they were down, that they were safe. the eagle had landed. i do remember those words. >> the eagle has landed. >> i remember that was a moment of -- i'm getting emotional. i remember just the family all sitting there watching this and just this, wow, they're wn. they're on the surface of the moon. but we would just, as a family, jaws dropped. watching this happen. i think i started this scrapbook, you know, justecause of the
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giddiness of "apollo 11" then i drilled down a little bit more on the subsequent missions thinking that, knowing, understanding, that this was history. he planted a flag, just cemented that moment of enormous national pride. that, lo america just did. look what we did. with these guys there. i think i took it as just this remarkable achievement. as a 10-year-old boy, it was just this sense of awe. r i also remem thinking next up, mars. we're rolling now. to --we're goi you know, we're going to visit these vast worlds and new planets and reach for the stars and this was the beginning of something bigger and bigger and bigger. and to all the other 10-year-old space junkies out there, we'll get there.g. that's "nightly news" for this friday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching. good night. have a geekend.
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lights, camera, access. >> eddie murphy. >> yeah. >> i told you that's my bigge regret. >> he's one of the greats. >> i still have it in me to go there. >> is edd murphy finally coming back to dohat he does best? plus, how two of his comedy heroes crushed his heart. >>ol that's what he td me. >> wow. >> there's --o it again. >> awesome? scary. definitely furry. the internet frenzy over "cats." >> oh, oh. >> plus only access has "cats" twin scene stealers.
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how beyonce stepped in when the needed itmost. >> so she give us a home here? >> wendy's unexpected birthday gift. >> your husband was not my biggest fan. >> oh, andy. >> stop. >> a huge week in true crime. access breaks down all you need to know. >> he wouldn't leave them alone. end? >> and we'll show you how serena's done it again. >> realistic with a twist. >> with a twist. >> yes. welcome to "access." >> hello. >> kit is on vacation, and we, i'm going to say it, we're celebrating the return of eddie murphy. >>re we' all here. i'm pretty sure about that. there he is talking, finally getting back to stand-up with a possible $70h million deal wit netflix. >> food lord, that's a lot of money. coming up, he's coming back, a's talkedut it, opening up to jerry seinfeld on a new comedians and cars getting coffee, and kit talked to jerry
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about the special connection >> there'something about eddie. what is it? >> he's one of the greats. he's one of the maers. you know that you not doing stand-up drives people crazy. you know that, right? >> i want to talk to you. i'm going to do it again. >> really? i just had to -- just has to be right. get up there and start working out. >> really? >> i have to get up and -- the only way you can get like the act is i have to go to the clubs and work out. i'm going to do that again. >> you stillave to go to the comedy club. >> i had an ambition with this episode to connectat with th certain side of him ahagain t i knew from our early days. >> did you connect? >> yes, we did. undeniable, cruising ijerry's porsche gt, the duo dropp by


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