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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 31, 2019 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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breaking news tonight the chemical inferno exploding at an exxonmobil plant, dozens injured at the scene, residents ordered to shelter in ple, black smoel filling the sky just miles from america's biggest cities. the fighter jet crashing near death valley star wars canyon. the urgent search for the missing pilot. we have late details. your money, the fed cutting rates for e first time in over a decade, what it means for everything from your mortgage to your cret cards and your car payments. high stakes rematch, joe biden ama la harris facing hff again tonight afterer blistering attack in the first debate. biden vowing he won't be so polite this time. and the fireworks between the modates and progressives
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exposing the mo decratic divide. disturbing body cam video shing a man's final moments restrained in ha cuffs by police after he called 911 for help. >> you're going to kill me. you're going to kill me. >> the officers overheard cracking jokes he was dying in their custody. tonight, his family says they want justice. and a big plan ve uned to drive down the costs of your prescriptions. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening, breaking tonight near houston, an explosion and fire at an exxonmobil pretoll chemical p has injured at least 37 people. a tower of potentially toxic smoke forced nearby residents inside for several hours unr a shelter in place order. tonight, the fire in baytown texas is under contl, but experts are still monitoring the air quality for danger. our joe fryer has late details. >> reporter: it started with an explosion. >> oh, wow. look at it from he.
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>> reporter: sending a storm of flames and umes of black smoke into the air at the exxonmobil plant in baytown, texas. the company says 37 people were hurt all with minor injuresin cluding first degree burns. the city initially told neighbors to shelter in place, but that orders was lifted hours later. the company and other encies monitoring the air andeporting no concerns. the plant produces ethylenechemical used in many plastics, but it's unclear what sparked the explosion. >> i can tell you we're going to work diligently to figure it out so that it doest happen again. >> reporter: in march, erupted fir in part of the exxonmobil complex that neres oil. around that same time about 15 miles away an inferno at the intercontinental plant burn for days prompting worries about air quality there. two weeks later, afire at the plant in crosby left ea d.wo rker d a string of petrol chemical blazes with
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lexa s on edge. joe fryer, nbc news. and there is breaking news from california tonight. thcrash of a u.s. navy fighteret and a search and rescue effort under way for the pilot. gadi schwartz has late details. gadi, what do we know? in> reporter: good evenlester. still no word on whether that pilot was able to eject safely and whether the navy has be able to locate him. the crash happened outside death valley near an a known as canyon, seen here in images showing a nrow slot frequently used by the military for training. it's also a place onlookers visit hoping for a view of jets flying by the tight ny ca walls. the f-18 super hornet th similar to one was part of the 151 flying out of air station. investigators are still trying to determine what caused the jet to crash. >> all right. thank you. also breaking this evening, u.s. officials say usama bin laden's n and potential successor is dead. this comes eight years after navy seals
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killed the al quaeda leader in pakistan. nbc kourtney cue by broke the story and has the very latest. >> reporter: tonight the man groomed to be the heir apparent to ama bin laden, his son hamza, is dead. hamza, the most charismatic and religious militant of usama bin laden's n was expected to be the face of the next generation, the terror group capitalizing on the family nam it's unclear what the u.s. government's role was in his death which happened sometime during the trump administration. u.s. officials not ensaying where, whor how he died. >> do you have any intelligence that bin laden's son has been killed>> i don't want to comment on it. h >> reporter:amza was not at the pakistan compound when his father wle kil my u.s. navy seals in may 2011. in february, the u.s. state department announced a $1 million about his whereabouts. >> news of hamza's death comes as u.s.
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officials tell us al quaeda was trying to regroup in the wake of the collapse of isis in syria. now to breaking news on the economy, the federal reserve cutting its key interest rate today since the great e recession more than ten years ago. nbc's tom costello tonight on what it tells us and what it peans for the price youay. >> reporter: red arrows on wall street today after the fed cut interest rates by ju a quarter point and no more. the dow jone industrial sliding 333 points. despite good economic indicators, rome powellade clear a slowing global economy and trade war with china pose real risks. >> t outlook for the u.s. economy remains favorable, and this action is designedo support that outlook. >>eporter: the cut comes after nine rate hikes since 2015. president trump has demanded rate cuts and day tweeted disappointment that the cut wasn't bigger. powell let us down but at least he is ending
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quantitative tightening, or rate hikes, which shouldn't have started in the cefirst pla. no inflation. but trade talks with china halled and some experts suggest china hopes to delay until the 2020 electionin ew jersey, owner steven lang says higher tariffs on the wedding gowns he imports from china would force him to double prices. >> tariffs don't work. isolationism doesn't work. this is a world economy and we're hurting ourselves more than we are benefitting anybody. it's just the wrong move at the wrong time. >> reporter:me while, here's how today's rate cut could affect you. mortgage rates have already dropped to below 4% on a $200,000 loan, a savings of $130 a month.$3 onthly savings on a $25,000 new car on a $2,500 credit card balance, your minimum monthly payment will drop by just 50 cents. es so the real quon is whether the fed might cut rates again. the fed won't commit but the slowing global economy and the trade war both pe potential risks to the
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wconomy, and the fed alsoants to see a slight up tick in inflation. so, lower interest tes may hel tom costello, thanks. a dangerous night ahead for people with severe storms on the move. and we're moniring a double tropical threat in the pacific. al roker is here. al, where are the threats headed tonight? >> in the northeast delays.or airport we've got 11 states, 51 million people at risk for severe weather. we've got hail, winds, and isolated tornado possible. category three storm with erik. probably won't be a problem for hawaii flossie will cause problems the beginning of next week. in the atlantic, 10% chance of this wave developing, not a big problem. however, this wa just come off rica, 60% chance of developing in the next five days. this one bears wahing. lester. >> al, thank you. it is the final night of the second democratic debate and all eyes are on joe
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biden who is hoping for a stronger showing as he faces a field that includes kamala harris again along with eight other rivals, a it after the fireworks on the first night put a democratic divide on full display. kristen welker is in detroit. ig>> reporter: ton the focus is on the front runner joe biden, taking the stage and aiming to improve what hadmits s a lacking performance last time. >> i was probably overly polite in the way i didn't respond to an attack. >> reporter: that attack came from kamala harris. >> do you agree today that you wer oppose bussing in america? >> reporter: who in tonight's rematch will be standing next to biden. >> my mother raised me to be polite and i intend to be polite. >> reporter: it all comes after the fiery rs finight. >> i get a little bit tired of democra afraid of big ideas. >> reporter: which exposed the epic clash between moderate and progressive candidates.
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>> i think democrats win when we r on real solutions, not impossible promises. >> i don't understand why anybody goes to the troublof running for president of the united states just to talk about what we can't do and shouldn't fight for. >> reporter: montana governor steve bullock is the newest face to jump in. >> do you feel like you introduced yourself to the american people? >> do. as the only one that won a trump state, we have to win back some e these places w lost. >> reporter: and marianne williamson delivering this moment. >> if you think this is goingo deal with the dark force that this president is bringing up in this i country, then afraid that the democrats are going to see some very dark days. >> reporter: and in this crowded field of candidates who are struggling to connect will be looking for that type of stand out moment, especially wisince far fewer be in the next debate. lester. >> kristen, thank you. one of the big issues in these debates, fo afable health care. and tonight the trump administration is proposing a plan for americanso import description drugs from foreign countries where they often cost
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much less. dr. john torrez reports on your money, your life. >> reporr: a disturbing trend in the u.s., the rising cost of medication. >> dg companies are greeting the new year with price hikes. >> reporter: with few competitors, the price skyrocketed, a heated topic at last night's debate and making headlines today. >> we're open for business. >> reporter: as the trump administration laid out the foundation to allow ga the u.s. to ley import drugs from foreign countries like canada where medications are often much cheaper. >> we'll you bring them in in a way that's safe for the american consumer and also reduce their costs. >> reporter: while welcomed news for many, it's nothe answer for millions of others because today's proposal does not include certain drugs like insulin. >> without this drug, my son will die. >> reporter: insulin mo is one of th common drugs americans like kathy go to canada to purchase. a vile thereosts roughly ten times less than it does in the u.s.
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ally was diagnosed with diabetes at 12. s >> how essential for a type one diabetic to use insulin? >> it's the oy option. >> the 25-year-old works three jobs and struggles to afford the medication she so sp deately needs. she's covered under her parent's insurance now, but that ends in five months. >> buying insulin here at this price is not option. >> reporter: that's why she rations hers to get the most out of what she has. >> right now it's like a survival mode, like you ration because you have to. >> reporter: and you're not alone in this? >> no. there are people who are in a more severe situation than i am that not only have they been rationing but they get to a point where they can'trd af any insulin at all. and there's people who are dying. >> and dr. john torrez joining us now. a lot of people paying close attention to that report. how does this roll out? when does it happen? >> there are a lot of questions about this proposal. while we know some of the drugs included or excluded from the
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proposal, we're not sure of some of the ones that will be included or how soon they'll start coming into the country. the hope is this will improve access and affordability for families across the u.s. >> john, thank you. >> you bet. authorities are vestigating a devastating house explosion tonight in western pennsylvania it happened in washington county near pittsburgh. as you can see the house was flattened and nearby houses were damaged. s fficials say a gas leakspected. at least five people were injured there. t we've go disturbing story from dallas involving a man who called police for help but ended up dying in police custody. newly released body cam footage raises questions about how equipped police departments are to deal with mental illness. gabe gutierrezas t video which we shouldwa you is disturbing. >> help me! help me! >> tony had called 911 himself telling a dispatcher that he suffered from schizophrenia and depression and was off his meds.
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>> get off the ground. >> you're going to kill me. you're going to kill me. >> reporter: these body camera videos were obtained by nbc station kxias and the dallas morning news after a lengthy legal battle. he is restrained for 14 minutes as officers laugh and crack jokes. >> are youtill with us? >> reporter: then he goes quiet >> wake up. >> reporter: as he's loaded on to a stretcher, the officers realize he might not be breathing. in an ambulance, paramedics begin treating him. >> he's not breathing? >> he's not breathing? >> nope. >> oh, [ bleep ]. >> reporter: the officers appear stunned. >> do what? >> he's dead. r >>orter: an autopsy revealed he died from cardiac arrest caused by cocaine inis h system and the stress of being restrained. earlier this year thedallas coy general dismissed misdemeanor charges against three officers plus but the family is suinglling
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excessive force. >> he was not armed. he was not threatening the officers. and so as result his death was an epnexcusable tragedy. >> rter: a recent study found that people with mental others to be killed by police. >> officers are not equipped to deal with mentally ill right now and we're just beginning now to make this a universal standard. >> reporter: dallas police say two of the off thissers officers at the scene got written reprimands, but tonight all of them are on the job. the man behind many of broadway's biggest hits died. hal prince directed many musicals. west side story and fiddler on the roof to opera."m of the prince won numerous tony awards including the lifetime achievement award in 2006. he was 91 years old. and football legend nick buoniconti has died. he helped lead the miami dolphins to the nfl's only perfect season i72. the team won the super bowl that year and again in 1973. after his teenage son
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was paralyzed playing football, buoniconti helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars forn research paralysis. nick bouoniconti was 78. also tonight, we have a murder mystery. why was a 71-year-old lyft driver shot to death in his car on his 52nd wedding anniversary? also terrifying moments caught on camera, dozens injured by a rogue wave at a water park. stay with us. a rogue wave a[fby a armers bell] (burke) at fso we know how tocover alm. we've seen almost everything, even a "three-ring fender bender." (clown.) sorry about that.. (clown 2) apologies. (clown 1) ...didn't mean it. (clown 3) whoops. (stilts) sorry! lowns) we're sorry! (scary) hey, we're sorry! [man screams] [scary screams] (burke) quite the circus. but we covered it. at farmers, we know a thing or two because we.e seen a thing or two ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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it gives a nice smooth shave. just stopping that irritation.... that burn that i get. i wouldn't use anything else" ♪ we're back now with a tragic mystery in phoenix where police are searching r the killer of a 71-year-old lyft d driver shot tth in his car early epunday morning. >> rorter: it began like most nights for adwell t driving for lyft. but for the 71-year-old retiree, it was a special date, calls his wife of 52 years to wish her a happy anniversary just after midnight.
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>> hi, honey, happy 52nd. i said, you too. i sa i love you. and he told me he loved me. >> reporter: moments later that memorsh tered by gunfire. >> driver here is unconsciou >> reporter: investigators say a bullet struck harold's car killing him an iny. >> who would do something like this? someone you don't evennow? you pull a gun and shoot him in the head. >> reporter: police say there were no passengers in his cars. and with few leads and no suspects, investigators are now reviewing surveillance video urging witnesses to come forward. >> he's myest friend. >> reporter: together lf a century, harold drove nights to make extra money so the retirees could visithe grand canyon. >> that's our wedding day, july 28th, 1967. >> reporter: a dream cut short and a loving wife now a widow. >> totally senseless. >> reporter: left wondering why this night took a deadly turn. miguel almaguer, nbc news. we'll take a short break.
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we're back now with new developments in the cas two american teens arrested for murder, the murder of an italian police officer. tonighwe're learning much more about one suspect's violent past. nbc richard engel with the latest. >> reporter: tonight, the father of one of accused of murdering an italian policemen arrived in rome as new details emerge about his son, 19-year-old finnegan elder, who police say stabbed officer mario rega 11 times with a commando knife after police were called in following a drug buy gone wrong. italian media airing this video believed to be the suspects fleeing. elder had a history of
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violence. his uncltold that he was involved in fight nights in a san francisco park, that three years ago finnegan was arrested after fighting a 16-year-old boy who was hospitalized with a severe head wound. r he father of the otheteen under investigation, gabriel nale hjorth visited s son in custody, in a statement saying his son is devastated, never imagined there would be a confrontation with police, and didn't know elder was carrying a knife. hjorth's father is confident his son is innocent f ilies have hired italian lawyers. lester. >> all right, richard, thank you. terrifying ments caught on camera at a water park, a 10 foot wave craing down on tourists in a tsunami pool in china. 44 people were injured when a malfunction triggered the massive ll of water. up next for us, inspiring america, a life in music that began with the sound of war.
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finally tonight let's meet a young man who is on his way to a career as a concert pianist and credits u.s. troops in afghanistan. cynthia mcfadden in how his story is inspiring america. ♪ >> reporter: he grew up in afghanistan. at the time, the de taliban had ma playing or listening to music a crime. >> you couldn't make any music. you couldn't play any instrument. you couldn't sing. >> you could be arrested? >> you could be arrestedr killed. >> reporter: american
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forces put an end to that in 2001 when he was four. only 25 pianos remained in the country. he waited hours every day to practice on one. on> my passion and ambitis to be one of the greatest in the ororld. >> repr: he says his talent has sacrifices. he's not seen his family for the four years of college. none of it would have haened if it hadn't been for those u.s. troops who gave music back to the afghan people. so, he wrote an open letter to the troops who serve there. >> i wish i could talk to eacof you. i would tell you that a generation of young afghans have grown up in a civil society which you enabled through your service and courage. i would ask you not to despair that your sacrifice was wasted. lw'll prove it was not. i'll aays say thank you through my lifetime of music. >> reporter: he's now headed the grad school at the manhattan school of music. dreams intact, gratitude at the ready. ♪ cynthia mcfadden, nb
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news, new york. >> hard to mjen a world without music. what an incredible talent. ck we wish him lu that's "nightly news" leor this wednesday. i'm ster holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank u for tching. have a good night. honey, this gig-speed internet is ridiculously fast. we are seriously keeping up with the joneses. keeping up with the ford's. the garcia's. keeping up with the romeros. patels. the wahh-the-wahh wolanske's. right. no one is going to have internet like this.y xfinkes keeping up with the joneses simple. easy. awesome. want gig-speed internet? we've got you covered.
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