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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 24, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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as you head out there. that is why. >> i look at the picture. looks like a hillside. we are seeing flat ground. we zoom in you can see the flames. looking towards the sky and the black smoke. also see the firefighters right there on top of it. keeping their eye on it. protecting the homes. >> mr. at 6awe has no will to fight isis. strong words from the u.s. defense secretary blaming the iraqi forces for the latest gain. a beautiful mind. the sudden death of john nash, the genius who inspired the oscar winning film. and generations who want to follow in his footsteps. nbc news exclusive. one of the first students to file a lawsuit over concussions from high school football. why he hopes no other player winds up in his shoes. and honoring the fallen veteran. their families and supporters set out to remind all of us about the true meaning of memorial day.
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>> this is nbc nightly news with lester holt. substituting tonight, kate snow. >> good evening. on this memorial day weekend in the middle of this country rain has not only wrecked holiday plans but threatening lives. two people dead and several missing after flood waters swept through towns in oklahoma and texas. in haze county, texas residents were warned if they go to their roof tops bring something white to flag rescuers. a series after storms has saturated the area. the national weather service in norman, oklahoma has issued 70 flash flood warnings this year. we begin tonight with nbc on the ground in texas. >> reporter: good evening. the water rose here more quickly than anything this town has seen.
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behind me was a road but it's been washed away. and while there has been some sunshine here this afternoon, more rain is expected. the raging waters are being called historic and catastrophic. the blank co river 27 feet above flood stage is destroying homes along its banks and closing roads. hundreds of homes are under water in hayes county, texas, where rescues are underway. there has been at least one death. >> if you are forced to go not roof of your home take something white you can flag, let us know you're there snsh in bernie tk this suv was swept away. >> we haven't seen water this deep come up this fast ever. >> reporter: in houston an ef-1 tornado ripped the roof off this apartment complex sending two people to the hospital. another twister was confirmed near dallas damaging traffic lights and garages. >> a lot of street lamps down the signs
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bent down to the ground. >> reporter: farther north in oklahoma 20 year veteran firefighter captain john farley was killed overnight, swept away by high water. >> he was not just a good man for the community and his family and this department, but he was a good man for firefighters across the nation. >> reporter: the severe weather ripped through the wright family's home their upstairs roof collapsed into their den. thankfully everyone survived. the water came up to here, that's about five feet. >> yes, that's correct. >> reporter: back in texas liz and her husband barrel ex caped the rising waters. >> it makes you realize how important life is. >> reporter: tonight she and her neighbors are bracing for more rain. >> we are anticipating additional rain next 48 hours. so certainly as was mentioned a while ago. if you to not need to be out of your homes, if you've had an opportunity to get to a relative's home friend's home or to one of our evacuation facilities, please stay there.
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the waters while they are beginning to recede it's still dangerous. >> reporter: all this damage will take a while to clean up. across the river there was a small resort filled with memorial day gas but it was heavily damaged and tonight there will be a nighttime curfew in effect. tonight all eyes now on whether or not the storms will clear by tomorrow's holiday. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is in dallas tonight >> reporter: tornado watches are up right now stretching from missouri to the gulf coast of louisiana. some of the same areas being impacted by this flash flooding and as the rain gauges fill up the records are falling. more than a foot and a half of rain in oklahoma city it this month, wettest may going back 125 years. some spots have picked up nearly 2 inches of rain and missouri has fallen in two weeks blazing out a four-year drought in wichita falls. more on memorial day and with the ground super saturated it
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won't take much more flash flooding to kick back in. there is a threat with severe storms mostly in texas with a chance of a few -- but the wet weather, spots that have already had 15 inches of rain in may could see another 3 to 5 inches. and because of all the clouds and rain so far here in in das fort worth they have yet to hit 90 degrees. this is five weeks later than average and another impact expect a bumper crop of mosquitoes. get the bug spray handy. >> not good news. tonight cleveland, ohio, is a city on edge after protests erupted overnight, hours after a court acquitted a police officer in the shooting death of two unarmed african-americans. moralees are planned for today. nbc's kevin tibbles is there with more. >> reporter: kate, protests over yesterday's verdict for the most heart has been peaceful, but there remains a large police presence on the
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streets here and the cleveland mayor says violence will not be tolerated. more than 70 arrests on the streets of cleveland overnight as police in riot gear confronted protesters. but for the most part demonstrations were peaceful. in the wake of saturday's court decision that found officer michael brelow not guilty in the 2012 shooting of two unfarmed african-american motorists. >> we would not allow people to commit acts of violence either against property or persons. >> reporter: timothy russell and melissa williams died in a hail of gunfire following a high speed chase moving more noon 100 officers that saw 137 bullets fired into their car. brelow was accused of firing after the couple had been sub died. today timothy russell's sister remains outraged.
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>> i don't care what any judge or police officer say they cannot justify what happened that night. >> reporter: further demonstrations today with many calling for further investigation. >> i really hate the injustices that are done to african-americans in this city. >> i have grandchildren, i have great-grandchildren, i do not want to see them laying on the street dead >> reporter: others agreed with officer brelot wes acquittal. >> i duly believe in his heart he felt that he was protecting the community and himself >> reporter: the verdict came as cleveland also saw demonstrations on the six-month anniversary of the shooting death by police of 12-year-old tamir rice. that family still searching for answers, too. >> i'm looking for justice for my son and a change for the nation for nobody else's child have to go through this. >> reporter: the brelow verdict arrived on a busy weekend as the cleveland cavaliers host the atlanta hawks in
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tonight's nba playoffs. lebron james appealed for calm. >> something is going through a city that's very dramatic. i think sports is one of the biggest healers >> reporter: tip off for tonight's cavs hawks game is less than two hours away. there is a large police presence on the streets to ensure the game goes off without incident inside or outside the arena. kate. overseas the u.s. led military coalition launched 27 air strikes against the islamic state in iraq and syria this weekend. the strikes follow some big gains for isis which seized two key cities in the past week. today defense secretary ashton carter appeared to lay the blame on iraqi forces. nbc's chris jansing is at the exhaust tonight >> reporter: this is unusually harsh criticism from defense secretary ash carter his first comments since ramadi fell to isis. carter claimed american and coalition
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air strikes have been effective but says it's very concerning that iraqi forces cut and run when they came up against isis. new questions tonight about the obama administration's strategy in iraq after defense secretary ash carter blamed iraqi security forces for the fall of ramadi. >> the iraqi forces showed no will to fight. they were not outnumbered, in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force and yet they failed to fight, they withdrew from the site >> reporter: carter's comments are bolstering republican critics who question a strategy that realize heavy on training the iraqi military and today argued more must be done. >> there is a larger number of americans that believe we ought to have more american troops on the ground in the realm of a several number of thousands. >> reporter: but there's strong disagreement on capitol hill and among military experts. >> if we were going to solve it with combat power we'd put a couple of hundred thousand troops back on the ground and fight it out and try
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and occupy the region. not a very good solution. >> reporter: the white house contends air strike training and supplying equipment to the iraqi forces is working. just last week the president said i don't think we're losing and called ramadi a tactical setback. it's an assessment though, even democrats disputed today. >> the loss of ramadi i think was a serious set back. >> clearly isis has momentum, in particular over the last week. >> reporter: and secretary carter is getting strong push back from iraqiees who say the iraqi army and generals do have the will to fight isis and they are still sacrificing their lives. >> the iraqi government, the iraqi army and large sections of the iraqi people will feel insulted. they have been thrown under the bus >> reporter: tonight reports iraqi forces are heading back towards ramadi launching a counter offensive to regain lost ground. so far the white house has resisted calls to arm more of the isis op sig or send u.s. ground troops to the front lines to guide
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the gom bombing kban. carter says if the time comes the u.s. needs to change the support it gives to iraq it will but gave no indication that time has come. kate. at princeton university and far bond tonight people are mourning the sudden death of the man who inspired the beloved film "a beautiful mind." nobel prize winner john nash and his wife were killed in this a car crash if new jersey. they were returning home it to their princeton home from norway where nash had just accepted another ak owe laid in his stoerd career, a career that have interrupted for decades after swiz friend i can't took over had his mind. stephanie gosk has more. >> reporter: in 1994 john nash was awarded the nobel prize for a break through in kpiks. remarkable not only for the work that he did but the personal challenge he overcame to make it to that stage. >> what if no one goes for the blond, we don't get in each other's way and don't insult the other girls >> reporter: in 2001 nash's life of bril
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wrans and struggle with mental illness became an oscar award winning movie, "a beautiful mind." the couple sat down with nbc news the day after the awards. >> we had a little -- a feeling of regret that russell crow didn't pull through. >> reporter: crow did not get the oscar that year. today the actor tweeted, stunned. my heart goes out to john and alicia and family. an amazing partnership, beautiful minds and hearts. on saturday afternoon nash and his wife were killed in an accident on the new jersey turnpike. the mathematician 86 years old, his wife 82. police believe the couple may not have had their seat belts on when their taxi driver lost control of the car. the nashss were on their way home to princeton where as a young doctoral student he wrote the thesis that would game his famous. the study of why people and businesses make the decisions
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they do. matt professor joe sent is cone was a close friend and colleague for 65 years. >> some people are fantastic and he was one of the missouri fantastic ones of the century certainly of our times. >> reporter: princeton student just finished studying nash's work this semester. >> every time i walked and campus everyone would want to take pictures with him. >> reporter: after overcoming the challenges of his disease nash became something of a spokesman for mental health and had a message for those who suffer. >> i would suggest don't give up hope too easily. >> reporter: most of us will never be able to think the way he did, but everyone can learn something from the life he led. the movie "a beautiful mind" was also very much a love story, alicia nash stayed with her husband after their divorce in the early '60s they remarried in 2001. a professor who through the couple say
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they had an incredible partnership that lasted more than 55 years. late word tonight that comedian ann meara the mother of actor benjamin netanyahu stiller has died. meara gained fame along with her husband of 61 years. tonight the stiller family says peara's memory lives on in the hearts of her family and the people she entertained. when nightly news continues on this sunday is the teenager who is trying to change high school football after his concussions changed him. and on this memorial day weekend how some veterans are going the extra mile to make sure the fallen aren't forgotten.
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we're back with an
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nbc news exclusive. an interview with one of the first students to file a lawsuit at the high school level over concussions. he sustained while playing football. this young man is trying to change how head injuries are dealt with for 30,000 young football players in illinois high school. our report tonight from nbc's john yang. >> reporter: the last thing alex recalls about high school football practice was being hot and tired as he got into his defensive stance and waited for the snap. >> i was a little late coming up and it it was a head-on collision and after that i can't remember. >> reporter: he stayed in for a few more plays and then collapsed. but you don't remember that at all? >> i don't remember that. >> reporter: they said you were airlifted off the field. >> i don't remember that, either. >> reporter: what he does remember is waking up in the hospital with a severe concussion. he says some symptoms persist more than two years later. alex now 19 and in college is part of a class action lawsuit against the illinois high school
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association which governs high school sports. it charges the group with a systemic failure to manage concussions which it calls a battle for the health and lives of high school football players. positions say teams are especially vulnerable to concussions because their brains are still developing. >> a trauma to the brain can disrupt that already fragile foundation that is just starting to be formed. >> reporter: a new study found that the concussion rate among high school players is 11% higher than for college players. at both levels 58% of concussions are suffered in practicefrackpractice. the suit demands policy changes including preseason brain testing and having medical on call. >> what we've done is provided concussion education course for over 27,000 coaches over the last year. what we've done is modified football
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practices practices. what we've ton is studied all of our rules in all of our sports >> reporter: the association says the lawsuit would make football too expensive for some schools and that the rules should be made by school boards not courts. alex says it's not his aim to hurt the game he loves. >> i just want to make it safer. i want people to be safe. i foe it's a violent sport, but you can take precautions >> reporter: so that no other player he says, has to go through this same ordeal ordeal. john yang, nbc news coming up a selfie so good you will want to take notes.
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look at this selfies, snapped by an elephant in thailand. yes, i just said an elephant. it grabbed a young tourist's camera extended its trunk and snapped that picture. in an interview the tour rhode island says he bought bananas for the elephant to eat but once he ran out the elephant grabbed the camera and took an elfie. >> the oldest living person celebrated her
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birthday was 116 candles, jeralean talley was born in 1899 and since then 20 presidents have called the white house home including president obama who sent her a letter. adds for her secret her godson says her number one rule is to treat people the way you want to be treated and our own lester holt can add honorary doctorate to his list of accomplishments. lester returned to california state sacramento to accept the honor. here is what he told graduates will reaching career success. >> when you think about making it to the top ask yourself what exactly is the top because one of the things that i've discovered is sometimes we're so busy climbing at that ladder of success we forget to pause on the rung that we're on and look around and enjoy the view and sometimes the view is a lot better than you might have imagined and maybe that's the place. maybe that is your personal top. >> our huge
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congratulations to lester and en the entire class of 2015. still to come veterans carry the weight of war one city at a time.
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on this memorial day weekend we pay tribute to each and
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every serviceman and woman who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, but for the veterans who have returned home their sacrifice has left them with something else, the weight of war. today a 2000 mile tribute wrapped up it's 200 city tour it's called carry the load. our own colonel jack jacobs tells us who they're carrying. >> it's a day meant to honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. i get asked all the time what am i thinking about on memorial day and it's not what everybody else thinks. >> right. >> parties are fine and getting together with friends are fine but i think every day what i think on memorial day and that's all the people i left behind. >> i think our greatest fear when we're fighting is that no one will know if we fought, like we will be forgotten. >> clint bruce's mission to to change all that. >> when i came home i saw the nation not remembering them well on the one weekend they were supposed to
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and i wasn't okay with it and i started walking on approximate memorial day a few years ago and an holding gentleman who i know was a world war ii veteran and said hey, son who are you carrying. >> reporter: bruce a former navy seal launched carry the load to remind americans of the true meaning of memorial day. >> carry the load is a chance for people to ask and answer the questions of who are you carrying? >> i'm carrying the load for my grandpa who served in the vietnam war. >> i'm carrying my wife who put up with that. >> i'm carrying the load for my dad, pie uncle and my great uncle. >> reporter: the national relay began last month at west point. >> i'm doing this for friends and family caring for the forgotten men and women who have died. >> reporter: people you of all ages walking miles at a time. >> i'm working for my come rads in desert storm. >> i'm carrying 75 pounds to represent all the fallen knights. >> we're cargo for sergeant dickie.
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>> even at water of annapolis didn't stand in their way. dubbed memorial may the relay spans 2000 miles passing through 200 cities and towns and wrapped up in dallas today. more than 15,000 people participated. >> it's this opportunity to reconcile a nation and an opportunity to walk alongside you and say, hey, what you did mattered. >> carry the load reminds us of lincoln's sermon at gettysburg, that it is for us, the living to be dedicated to the unfinished work of the fallen. colonel jack jacobs nbc news west point, new york. and that is "nbc nightly news" for this stunned night. i'm kate snow reporting from new york. we'll see you right back here tomorrow. for all of us at nbc news. goodnight.
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nbc bay area news begins with breaking news. >> and that breaking news in the south bay, a grass fire burning dangerously close to mobile homes in san jose. also, many residents very concerned about how close it is getting. good evening. >> that fire still burning. firefighters still working to keep people safe. the fire broke out between 4:30 and 5:00 near east capital expressway both directions of east capital closed right now. >> nbc bay area's annette miranda is at the scene.