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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  June 17, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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we start off with clouds in the morning and sun and low 70s by the arve noon. i think it's pretty much perfect. >> it is. >> thanks for joining us here at 5:00. disaster on the tarmac in chicago. >> hey, stop, stop. >> the air traffic controller who stopped two planes on a collision course in the nick of time. isis in america. an fbi agent attacked in a dramatic takedown on alleged homegrown terror. multiple new arrests amid word of a bomb plot in new york city. called out. at&t hit with a massive fine accused of misleading customers who bought those unlimited plans. were you one of them? and over the edge. what if your day at the office looked like this? "nightly news" begins right now.
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good evening. as close calls go, this one was way too close. two planes loaded with passengers on two runways at chicago's midway airport. both pilots thought they were cleared for takeoff. started rolling down the runway. right toward each other. nbc's tom costello tonight with what happened next. >> reporter: it happened on intercepting runways at chicago midway. >> stop, stop. >> delta 1328 aborting. >> reporter: an alert air traffic controller screaming at a delta plane on a collision course with a southwest plane. >> delta 1328, stop, stop, stop. >> delta 1328 aborting. >> reporter: as close calls go, this one was serious. two planes loaded with fuel and passengers rolling at full throttle for takeoff and just 2,000 feet from a high-speed crash. before the incident both pilots were warned they had similar flight numbers. controllers then cleared a southwest 1328 to take off. but delta 1328's pilot thought he had been cleared. >> were we the ones cleared for takeoff?
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>> yes, sir, you were doing what you were supposed to be doing. >> delta was rolling also? >> yes, he took your call sign. someone kept stepping on you. >> the offending pilot has to listen closely to make sure the call signs are not confused, repeat back the clearance. the lives are at stake here, and so this is a very critical moment. >> reporter: the worst aviation disaster ever happened when two fully loaded 747s crashed into each other in the canary islands in 1977. thick fog and bad communication were blamed. 583 people died. close calls like the one at midway are actually rather rare today, and now chief pilots at airports and airlines nationwide are likely warning their own pilots to take note of what happened in chicago and assure it doesn't happen again, to learn from the lessons. savannah? >> all right, tom, thank you so much. now to an alarming story we're following about what authorities call isis-inspired plots to attack here in the united states. the fbi says it has a number of
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investigations going nationwide. some have already resulted in arrests. and the most recent came today when the fbi says an agent was attacked right here in new york. nbc justice correspondent pete williams has more. >> reporter: fbi agents say when they went to this house in staten island early this morning to conduct a search, the 21-year-old man inside lunged at them with this kitchen knife, repeatedly trying to stab an agent in the chest. body armor prevented serious injury. that man, fareed mumuni, was charged today with trying to kill a federal officer. after his arrest, prosecutors say he admitted being a fervent supporter of isis who wanted to join isis fighters overseas and said if he couldn't get there he would attack any police who tried to stop him. the latest in a surge of terror-related cases that has the fbi scrambling nationwide. >> there are more cases out there. there are more americans out there that right now the fbi is watching because they're concerned they may be isis supporters willing to take action even here inside the united states. >> reporter: the fbi
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says mumuni was plotting with a college student arrested over the weekend, 20-year-old munther saleh of queens, to stage some kind of terror attack in new york. authorities say they began watching him after he was twice found wandering on the george washington bridge. investigators say saleh downloaded instructions on pressure cooker bombs and searched for components apparently without actually acquiring explosives. out west the fbi has charged an arizona man with playing a central role in last month's shooting at the draw muhammad contest in garland, texas. prosecutors say abdul kareem of phoenix helped plan it and gave guns to the two men who ended up storming it. the fbi says kareem briefly considered attacking the 2015 super bowl in phoenix though they say that never got beyond the talking stage. the common denominator in all these cases, officials say, is relentless isis propaganda. in light of that authorities are being extra cautious about coming events and holidays, especially
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the 4th of july. savannah? >> pete williams in washington. thank you. there are new twists tonight in the prison break investigation in upstate new york as the massive manhunt for those two escapees appears to have hit a dead end. they could be anywhere by now. and authorities are telling us for the first time about an alleged murder plot discussed by the two men and the woman charged with helping them break out. a plan to kill her husband. nbc's miguel almaguer with the latest. >> reporter: joyce mitchell charged with helping convicted killers david sweat and richard matt escape from prison says the fugitives were planning to kill her husband lyle. that according to the district attorney, who says mitchell also used her cell phone to often call richard matt's daughter before she backed out as the getaway driver. >> i think she feared for her husband's life. she feared for her relationship with her family. she has not indicated to us at any time that she feared for her life from these two men. >> reporter: today lyle mitchell, who worked inside the prison's tailor shop with joyce, was questioned by
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investigators for two hours. he faces no charges. his attorney saying he does not support his wife. her attorney saying the opposite. >> he told me he was standing by her. that's what he told me face to face. >> reporter: the sheriff says the mitchells have only spoken once since her arrest. >> they both appeared rather composed given the gravity of what's going on. >> reporter: with the trail gone cold, police released new pictures of what the fugitives may now look like. >> we're concentrating our efforts not only in this vicinity but throughout the nation and beyond. >> reporter: there are now 200 fewer officers on the ground. many roadblocks and armed checkpoints are gone. no significant leads. not one single confirmed sighting in this million-dollar-a-day operation. >> the search still has to go on because there's nothing that suggests they got out of that area. >> reporter: resident jason donahue says police never searched his ten-acre property. >> they may be on the other side of that lilac and we do not know. >> they could be anywhere, police say, two fugitives growing
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more desperate and dangerous by the day. while police say they are scaling back their numbers, they also say they're shifting their focus further away from the prison. tonight there are still canines on the ground and helicopters in the air. simply not at the same numbers they were just last night. savannah? >> all right. miguel almaguer, thank you. we may be closer tonight to learning what caused that balcony collapse in california. it killed six people. the mayor of berkeley says the investigation is pointing to water-damaged wood on the structure. and a former member of the committee that approved plans for the apartment building has reportedly said the balcony was only meant to be decorative. another big story we're digging into tonight of interest to a lot of at&t customers. the company today got hit with a record $100 million fine accused of misleading customers who purchased those unlimited data plans. nbc's kevin tibbles with all the details. >> reporter: today the federal communications commission slammed at&t with a $100
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million fine, claiming the wireless giant misled customers when they severely slowed down data speeds for many paying for the unlimited service plan, making it difficult for many to surf the web, use the gps, or stream video. >> in some cases speeds were being slowed down so much that users were not even able to use their phones for the most basic purposes. >> reporter: they call it throttling, where a data provider will knowingly put the brakes on customers using a large amount of data every month. columnist tim stenovic says it happened to him. >> the mapping apps weren't loading instagram wasn't loading. >> reporter: in a release at&t says it will vigorously dispute the penalty. "we have been fully transparent with our customers, providing notice in multiple ways and going well beyond the fcc's disclosure requirements. at&t stopped offering unlimited data in 2010. existing customers
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were grandfathered in. and it points to notices like this one, explaining customers may experience reduced speeds at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. still, some hit back using their data on twitter. "you deserve a much bigger fine," said one. "when do i get my check," said another. the fcc says it has received thousands of complaints from at&t's unlimited data customers, adding it will investigate the option of allowing them to abandon their contracts without paying a penalty. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. now to tropical depression bill, which is threatening to cause major flood emergencies from the southwest up through the plains. parts of the texas coastline got more than 11 inches when the storm made landfall. high water shut down roads from texas up through missouri, where at least one death is being blamed on flood waters. the system is now moving northeast with flood watches and warnings in effect across the region and
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many fearing tonight that rivers already swollen from weeks of heavy rain will overflow their banks. pope francis has a message for the world, a call to action to reverse climate change. he's actually scheduled to deliver it tomorrow, but a draft version has leaked. and while some are welcoming the pope's opinions certain skeptics are wishing he would just stay out of the highly controversial issue. nbc's anne thompson has more. >> reporter: pope francis today asking the world to welcome his encyclical on the environment. >> speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: "this is our home," he said. "if it is ruined it damages everyone, especially the poor." but the world wonders if it is the pope who is damaged after a draft of the encyclical was leaked and published monday. does this suggest that there are people in that bureaucracy who are trying to upend pope francis's efforts? >> it certainly suggests there are
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people who are resisting this, as only the locals could resist. >> reporter: no papal document in recent memory has generated so much interest. >> one man. come on, francis. >> will risk it all. >> reporter: including a hollywood-style trailer from brazilian environmental activists. the draft covers many of the themes francis has spoken about, from his first mass to visiting the typhoon-scarred philippines. it embraces scientific studies that show man is mainly responsible for climate change and calls for urgent action. >> the challenging message is mostly directed to the richer nations of the world to think more carefully about their own lifestyles of consumption. >> reporter: though church officials insist this is a mild call to action, the encyclical and this popular pope are now contentious issues in the republican race for the white house. four declared candidates and two others thinking about running are catholics. today jeb bush praised pope francis as an extraordinary leader but not on climate change. >> they don't go to
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mass for economic policy or for things in politics. i've got enough people helping me out with that. >> reporter: this pope is not afraid of controversy and more than willing to use his bully pulpit to save what he believes god made. anne thompson, nbc news, washington. politics now. and give this to donald trump. the man knows how to make an impression. he's been a presidential candidate for little more than a day, and he's managed to dominate the political conversation in ways his rivals have not, though time will tell if that's a good thing. we get more tonight from nbc political news director chuck todd. >> reporter: on the one hand he's a late-night joke. >> for a half an hour the most beautifully ridiculous jibber jabber. >> reporter: on the other hand he's the skunk at party. how does the republican party handle a political streaker who knows how to get attention? >> isis is building a hotel. can you believe they're in the hotel business? they're competing with me.
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>> reporter: in just 24 hours donald trump has generated more facebook buzz than any other republican. he's gotten into a spat with a new york tabloid. and singer neil young fired back at trump, saying he wasn't authorized to use "rockin' in the free world" during his announcement. trump made it clear he has no intention of abiding by ronald reagan's 11th commandment. he will speak ill of other republicans. >> i think bush is an unhappy person. i don't think he has any energy. and i don't see how he can win. >> reporter: though republican candidates don't want him taking their spot on the debate stage, none of them are eager to confront him. >> last time i checked another guy showed up yesterday. i mean, it's like -- >> reporter: and yet trump is already alienating hispanics. >> we have drug dealers coming across, murderers, rapists. >> i don't have an explanation for it. >> i don't think trump made any friends in the latino community with his comments. >> reporter: nbc's latest poll shows 3/4 of republicans said they won't support him. but he is channeling the anger of a loud minority in the republican party. >> i like the fact that he has a plan. >> reporter: in 2012 the obama campaign
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believes trump turned off swing voters. >> we had a photo of mitt romney coming down an airport staircase with the trump plane in the background. it was the perfect backdrop. >> reporter: going into 2016, dems are licking their chops at that backdrop again. chuck todd, nbc news. a lot more still ahead tonight. the surprising medical headline. everybody knows you have appendicitis, you get surgery. but tonight the new research that says maybe you didn't need to go under the knife at all. also, one giant leap. people jumping off cliffs like it's their job. and it is.
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as we said before the break, a very surprising medical headline today, and it's about a surgery that's performed routinely at hospitals all across the country every day. about 300,000 americans undergo appendectomies every year. but now a large new study is raising the possibility that for many the surgery was not necessary. our national correspondent kate snow has our report. >> reporter: it's button standard of care for more than a century, surgically removing the appendix after a case of appendicitis. elton john and zac efron had it done. madeline showed off her scar. >> ooh! >> reporter: but now a new study is raising doubts about whether people with appendicitis really need to go under the knife, suggesting that for some antibiotics might do the trick. >> to me this is a
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game changer. this was really very important data. that the vast majority of patients who have appendicitis can get away with not needing surgery. >> reporter: researchers in finland looked at 530 people with uncomplicated appendicitis, so no one whose appendix had burst. some had surgery. some took antibiotics for ten days. three days through an iv at the hospital, seven days with pills at home. one year later for more than 70% of the people that took them antibiotics worked. >> the vast majority of patients who come into the emergency room with appendicitis could be initially treated with antibiotics, see how they do, and if they don't do well they can get surgery later on. >> reporter: but the medical community is still divided. some doctors still favor surgery, where the appendix is removed through a tiny incision. they point out that most patients leave the hospital even sooner than someone on an iv drip antibiotic. surgery is still recommended for pregnant women, people with more severe cases, and children. still the new study is a conversation starter
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for patients and doctors, challenging that age-old assumption that the appendix has to go. kate snow, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with the huge response for the young golfer we told you about last night, who just achieved something incredible.
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another shark attack today, this time in florida, where a 10-year-old boy was bitten on the calf while in chest-deep water off daytona beach. his injuries weren't serious, just minor lacerations treated on the scene. meantime, another attack victim, a 16-year-old boy who lost his left arm to a shark off north carolina over the weekend, is speaking from his hospital bed. he says he never saw the shark until it was already upon him. the celebration is in full swing in northern california, where the golden state warriors touched down to a cheering section of fans today at the airport in oakland. a hero's welcome for a team that claimed its first nba championship
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in 40 years. beating lebron james and the cavs in six games. now an update to a story we brought you last night. a huge show of support for a little boy with a big goal. not only did 6-year-old ryan mcguire reach his target of playing 100 holes of golf in a single day, he has also raised over $30,000 and counting for cancer research. ryan played today in honor of a friend and a classmate, danny, who lost his battle with cancer this spring. when we come back, warning. the first step is a doozy. a wild high-flying career that's probably not for everyone.
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collapse. ===take vo=== the families of the victims arrive from ireland... and the berkeley mayor shares a theory about what went wrong. ===take vo jess=== plus, a local woman says pot saved her dog's life. ===next close=== next. we end tonight on a wild ride, and we're bringing you along for it. three daredevils jumping from 9,000 feet and soaring at speeds of up to 120 miles an hour with a wingsuit and a prayer. here's cnbc's carl quintanilla. >> all right, boys. >> all right, buddy. >> you have fun. >> three, two, one. see ya. >> reporter: it's a high-flying, high-risk sport with no margin for error. >> no matter how many times we practice there's still that
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moment if you push off wrong you can tumble, you can flip. many accidents start by that first step going poorly. >> reporter: this is wingsuit base jumping. and these men are members of the gopro bomb squad, elite athletes sponsored by the camera maker. they make a modest living by challenging the laws of gravity. >> we're all scared before we jump. there's an element of fear. afterward, the feeling of joy is so much you're willing to deal with that as part of the experience. >> to stand on the edge of a cliff and to actually think of jumping off of that cliff, that should feel pretty foreign to most people. through our experience and training over the years and doing hundreds if not thousands of jumps it becomes something we're at peace with. >> how many friends or acquaintances have you had die? >> too many to remember. you know, a lot. >> when 20 of our friends died last summer in various parts of the world, that weighs on you pretty heavy. >> to reduce their
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risks the utah-based team trains constantly and watches each other's backs. >> i know if i was about to make a bad call it would be unlikely these guys would make the same bad call and one of us is going to catch it. >> by the time all of you had left the cliff my cameraman turned to me and said, "not for a million dollars." and i said not for 10 million. that's the difference between you and us. >> yeah. when i'm up there, i have this urge to leap off the cliff. the whole time we're standing up there. i'm like okay, i can't wait to jump off this cliff as soon as possible. >> following that passion has allowed them to make the impossible possible. carl quintanilla, nbc news, notch peak, utah. >> fun to watch from the ground. carl's going to have a lot more on the extraordinary growth of extreme sports in a cnbc documentary, "the new high," tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern. and that's going to do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm savannah guthrie. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." for all of us at nbc news, have a good evening.
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powerful words from the mayor of berkeley. so why did it happen? -- we have some more answers tonight -- into that deadly balcony collapse. ===raj/2-shot=== thanks for joining us. i'm ===jess/2-shot=== and i'm jess/top vo tonight a second balcony is being removed at this berkeley buildi . evening and thanks for being with us. >> tonight, a second balcony is being removed at the berkeley building the site of a deadly balcony collapse yesterday. the city said it is simply just not safe. >> that emergency work began as friends and family of the six
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students killed began arriving from ireland. >> mark matthews is at the airport where the families are arriving. but we begin with jodi. >> that investigation is still actively under way and tonight the property owner is complying with an order by the city to remove a second balcony. as you can see, the work is taking place as we speak. that second balcony is located directly underneath the balcony that collapsed. it has been declared structurally unsafe and the city fears it too, could fall down. meanwhile, loved ones of the victims have begun arriving here to berkeley to see this scene for themselves. i'll tell you they're getting a lot of support from the community. >> it's just horrid. they're young, they're beautiful, they're new. we know. we were young. and they were just here