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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 29, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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list. >> i bet they're going to be a sponsor for that. nightly news is next. bye. tonight, late word on ivanka trump's new job, an official government employee in her father's white house. her title assistant to the president joining husband jared kushner in the west wing as critics raise concerns. a war of words escalates with the house rushing investigation quickly falling apart prompting a bipartisan show of force in the senate. storm chaser tragedy, three killed as vehicles collide on a tornado hunt. a very dangerous and important job. do they get too close? multiple sclerosis breakthrough. doctors report a life-changing treatment dramatically slowing the debilitating effects. tonight, a woman who went from a wheelchair to walking. and letters from jackie locked away for
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decades. mrs. kennedy's secret confident. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening to our viewers in the west. we learned late today that ivanka trump's recently announced informal role in her father's white house is about to become a formal job, despite her proclamations during the campaign that she had no desire to be part of the administration. mrs. trump is joining her husband jared kushner as a federal advisor to the president albeit an unpaid one. a family business rankled watchdogs and today's announcement was to address the concerns. ivanka trump is the first daughter or son to work in their father's white house since eisenhower was president. nbc's kristen welker has details. >> reporter: tonight, it's official, ivanka
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trump now a federal employee in her father's white house. her title assistant to the president. >> thank you all so much for being here. >> reporter: she's always had a seat at the table, at meetings with foreign leaders, and helping lead discussions on business and the economy. most recently moving into a west wing office. it's a move ivanka seemed to initially resist. >> people think you'll be part of the administration, ivanka. >> no, i'm going to be a daughter, but i've said throughout the campaign that i'm very passionate about certain issues and that i want to fight for them. >> but you won't be in -- >> wage equality, child care. these are things that are very important for me. i'm very passionate about education. really promoting more opportunities for women. so, you know, there are a lot of things i feel deeply strong about but not in a formal administrative capacity. >> reporter: but now she'll join her husband, jared kushner in becoming an unpaid adviser. the white house saying ivanka's service
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furthers ethics and compliance. she is stressing her unpaid status and writing in a statement throughout this process i have been working closely and in good faith with the white house counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role. >> the concern is that the white house had taken the position that ivanka trump did not have to comply with government ethics standards, and now they're acknowledging that she does. >> reporter: the move on the heels of her husband taking on expanded responsibilities behind the scenes. now tasked with bringing a business sensibility to help break washington's gridlock, a political power couple whom the president trusts almost more than anyone else. >> there is an understanding in the white house ivanka trump is much more engaged socially in washington with her husband, working different political players, working within administration. >> reporter: and it was a family affair today with first lady melania trump coming
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off the sidelines and into the spotlight. >> together we must declare that the era of allowing the brutality against women and children is over. >> reporter: unlike presidents behind him, he has multiple family members involved at all levels. ivanka trump's lawyer telling nbc news she will file all appropriate financial disclosure forms required of federal employees. she will be sworn in, although no date has been given. lester? >> kristen welker, at the white house thank you. in the meantime two diverging tracks in congress as the house russia investigation devolves into chaos and finger pointing. an ugly war of words that appears to have prompted a bipartisan show from the senators, rhawning their own investigation into the upper chamber. all playing out as a mystery deepens, who is the secret source behind the trump surveillance claim
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bombshell. nbc's peter alexander has details. >> reporter: tonight ahead of the senate committee's first hearing on the russia investigation, a bipartisan show of force. >> i have confidence we the members of the committee will get to the bottom of this. >> reporter: that cooperation a stark contrast. it's republican chairman devin nunes that questioned his impartiality after reviewing classified documents on the white house grounds last week. the president spokesman still refusing to reveal who cleared nunez in. >> i have asked preliminary questions and have not got answers. >> reporter: information would be easy to obtain through visitor logs, dismissing growing calls to recuse himself, nunes is now accusing democratic colleagues of stalling. the committee's leading democrat firing back calling for a postpone hearing with former top officials to be rescheduled immediately tweeting what's the hold up? also tonight, a bipartisan group of ethics experts urging the independent office of congressional
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ethics to investigate whether nunes went too far, disclosing classified information. >> i've seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, i guess, at least monitored. >> reporter: revealing secret details about surveillance of foreign targets. >> they should not be disclosing classified information and there is concern he did just that. >> reporter: nunes later backtracked. tonight, the senate's republican chair is declaring his independence from the white house despite supporting trump. >> i'll do something i've never done. i'll admit i voted for him. i've got a job in the united states senate that overrides any personal beliefs i have or any loyalties that i have. >> the test of the committee is whether they go relentlessly. between the connections between the trump campaign and russia. >> reporter: tonight the white house is signaling a new willingness to work with democrats to fix problems with health care, even after the president said he would let obamacare
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simply explode. still tonight, the prospects for a deal remain grim. the senate's top republican said obama care is likely here to stay. lester? >> peter alexander, thanks. one final note from the white house where president trump announced plans to take on america's deadly opioid epidemic. following up on a campaign promise, the president is launching a commission to be led by new jersey governor chris christie to address the crisis. new jersey is one of several states where overdoses has skyrocketed in recent years. opioid addiction kills an estimated 78 people a day in this country according to the cdc. frightening moments today in washington when shots were fired near the u.s. capitol building. authorities say police tried to stop a woman driving erratically, who tried to make a u-turn and flee. hitting a police car and nearly striking officers. police opened fire at the car but no one was hit and the driver was taken into custody. investigators do not believe the incident is connected to terror. across the south tonight, some 16 million people are
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under threat of severe weather across parts of ten states. a strong line of storms moving east with the risk of tornados after tearing through texas with powerful winds that reached up to 90 miles an hour, leaving behind a path of destruction. we get more from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: tonight, powerful storms tearing through the south. >> it's just amazing. i'm just in shock. >> reporter: in rockwell, texas, these homes destroyed. >> at first, i thought it was a tornado because you heard the freight train sound. >> reporter: it wasn't a tornado, instead 90 mile per hour straight line winds. >> i didn't know what was happening. i had no idea. >> it happened so fast. >> reporter: in houston a tornado did touchdown. >> wow. >> reporter: toppling trees and tearing apart carports. >> i didn't know what to do. got panicked, so i stayed in the car and held onto the car. >> reporter: dangerous golfball-sized hail also battering the region forcing families to scramble for cover.
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>> huge shatter noise happened and we looked and my back windshield was busted out and it got glass all over my kids. >> reporter: 16 million people at risk tonight as this dangerous weather system moves east. >> strong tornados are possible through missouri and arkansas this evening. tomorrow the threat pushes east, especially tennessee and mississippi. those are the areas under the gun for large hail, damaging winds and strong tornados. >> reporter: anxious hours still to come on a night of wicked weather. kerry sanders, nbc news. now to what's being called a medical breakthrough, important health news for the 400,000 americans that suffer from multiple sclerosis. a devastating illness that strikes between the ages of 20 and 40, and mostly women. tonight the fda approved a new drug that proved so promising doctors say it could change the way the disease is treated. nbc's rehema ellis has more. >> reporter: this is
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the wheelchair chris dina reyes doesn't need any more, thanks to a new drug which doctors are calling a breakthrough for ms patients. >> i'm good. we can go dancing. want to go dancing? [ laughter ] >> reporter: ryes was diagnosed at 15 with this number log disease whose symptoms include exhaustion, muscle weakness and blurred vision. >> it affected my movement. i would stumble a lot. i would trip, fall. >> reporter: it got so bad she went from a cane to a wheelchair. it broke my heart. >> for people to see you in a wheelchair? >> yes, because i don't want them to pity me or remember me like that. >> reporter: on the verge of giving up the teaching job she loved, her last hope, testing a new drug. >> this is indeed a game changer for people with ms. >> reporter: studies found in patients with the kind of ms that relapses, it cut the number of episodes by half and appeared to
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stop the disease from getting worse. and for those with more severe progressive ms, it slowed decline. >> for the first time, we now have a treatment that slows degeneration, walking difficult and immobility. >> reporter: the drug costs $65,000 a year but is less than the current medication. it works with fewer side effects. expected to be covered by insurance. christina gets infusions twice a year. >> it's almost unbelievable. it's a miracle drug. you need some water. >> reporter: she's now able to plan a future. >> come on. >> reporter: free from crippling disability. rehema ellis, nbc news, converse, texas. now to a chilling 911 call in oklahoma. investigators say the target of a home invasion burglary ended up fighting back, killing three teenagers in what police say appears to be a case of self-defense. in a remarkable twist
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it is the alleged accomplice of the home invasion might be charged with murder. nbc's kristen dahlgren has the story. >> house got broken into, three men, two shot in my house. >> reporter: the 911 call came from this home near tulsa, oklahoma monday. moments after 22-year-old zach peters shot three intrud intruders. >> are they bleeding? >> yes, i believe one is down and one is still talking. you need to get here now. >> they broke into your home? >> yes. >> reporter: authorities say the three burglars 16 to 19 were dressed in black wearing gloves with knives and brass knuckles. all three died but during the call peters only realized he shot two of them. >> what did you shoot them with? >> an ar-15. and i'm still armed in the east corner of my house. >> sir, my deputy is on scene. unarm yourself and put the gun away. >> okay. it will be unloaded on my bed. i'll still be in my bedroom. >> reporter: the alleged getaway driver
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elizabeth rodriguez could face not only burglary charges but three counts of murder, even though she never pulled a trigger. >> in oklahoma if you are in the commission of a felony offense and somebody dies as a result, you can be charged with first-degree murder. >> reporter: according to the arrest affidavit rodriguez knew the homeowner, planned the burglary and drove off when she heard gunshots. as for the shooter, peters may not face charges due to stand your ground laws, which allows justifiable use of force against others if there's a presumption of imminent danger. >> preliminary investigation looks like self-defense. >> reporter: authorities say peters is cooperating. >> i believe one of them is shot bad. >> reporter: and the investigation is just beginning. kristen dahlgren, nbc news. still ahead, the storm chaser tragedy, when most are running away from a tornado, they are running towards it risking their lives in one of the world's most dangerous jobs.
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this time it all took a deadly turn. remember that best picture fiasco. the academy deciding the fate of those blamed for the biggest blunder in oscar history.
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test test. we're back now with a closer look at the dangerous job behind that tornado tragedy that took the lives of three storm chasers. so many of the pictures you see of storms as they are tearing across the country are captured by storm chasers. take a look at this map. all the storm chasers
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out there on the hunt right now. police say this accident was preventable but while the job is perilous, many say their information saves lives. miguel almaguer explains risks and benefits. >> oh, my gosh, look at that. >> reporter: by definition, the job is dangerous. storm chasers driving into trouble while others run away. some say their pictures and weather warnings can save lives. but in texas tuesday, three storm chasers were killed tracing a tornado. police say kelley williamson and randy yarnell blew three a stop sign slamming into corbin jaeger as the three men pursued a storm. this was their live need shortly before the crash. >> they did something they absolutely love and people should strive every day to do something they love. that's what kelley and randy did. >> reporter: williamson and yarnall were veterans.
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>> go to the right a bit and back to the left. >> reporter: contractors for the weather channel owned in part by nbc universal, contributors to the show "storm wranglers" where the men spoke of the dangers they face. >> people can sit at home where it's safe and we're out there getting the shot for them. >> reporter: in pursuit of treacherous weather, the most dangerous part of their job is driving to the storm. >> go, go, go, randy! >> reporter: but their research on tornado formation done from the field. >> hang on! >> reporter: is often used by meteorologists to warn the public of potential threats. >> do not ride this out in your home. >> it's a big one. >> reporter: but tonight the national weather service calls the practice dangerous. >> the benefit is to collect data to use to better understand the storm structure and evolution and ultimately improve predictability, but the fact of the matter is storm chasing is not always safe. >> reporter: a risky job that can save lives and take them.
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miguel almaguer, nbc news. we're back in a moment with news that will send fans of a beloved movie classic feeling, well, over the rainbow. ♪ over the rainbow way up ♪
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we received late word of horror on the highway in texas. at least 12 people have been killed and three others injured in a head-on crash between a church van and pickup truck in southwest texas. the texas department of public safety reports the van was carrying 14 people. it happened about 75 miles west of san antonio. there is no word at this early point what caused that deadly collision. the tense labor face-off between u.s. hockey and women players that has come to an end. a pay dispute had the women's team threatening to stay off the ice for the world championship beginning friday, but
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the boycott is off after the two sides agreed to a four-year deal with a substantial pay raise attached. fans of the beloved classic "wizard of oz" listen up, one of the signature songs "over the rainbow" is added to the library of congress' national recording registry. it's part of a diverse lineup being added this year, including david bowie, american pie and straight outta compton. a likely sign of relief tonight inside the halls of price waterhouse coopers. the academy awards announced today they are keeping the accounting firm after that embarrassing problem at the end of the show where they handed warren the wrong envelope causing him to read the wrong winner for best picture. new safeguards will be in place to make sure there is no hollywood remake next year. when we come back, jackie kennedy's lost letters inside a long hidden treasure trove revealing a touching tale of love. haest==ala wiin bayar poce parte
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finally tonight, they remain hidden away in a treasure trove between jackie kennedy and a british aristocrat that reportedly wanted her hands in marriage of the jfk assassination.
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today those letters sold at auction for a small fortune. nbc's kelly cobiella has the story they tell. >> reporter: the fairy tale presidency, tragic assassination, the grieving first lady. when jfk was killed, british ambassador and close kennedy friend lord harluck helped jackie heal and fell in love. the proof? in a box of letters locked away in the former diplomat's english home for decades and found earlier this year. >> sheer amazement, a real true discovery. >> reporter: more than a dozen letters from jackie handwritten proof of a deep friendship. >> with my love, dear david. >> reporter: when lord harlick's wife died, the two grew closer. she said i would do anything to take the anguish from you. she wrote about vacations and sailboats, children, politics and war. he reportedly proposed. jackie said no.
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if ever i can find some healing and some comfort, it has to be with someone who is not a part of all my world of past and pain. lord harlick was heart broken. for your photograph, i weep when i look at it. the last letter sent from the onassis yacht after jackie remarried. even if it isn't the way you wish now, i hope that bond of love and pain will never be cut. you're like my beloved, beloved brother. a year later, lord harlick remarried, too. their romance tucked away in a box and today, auctioned off in london. final price $123,000. can you tell us who bought them? >> i can't. i can tell you it's bought by a private collector. that's all i can say. >> reporter: for the rest of us, a brief glimpse of a hidden love. kelly cobiella, nbc news, london. and that's going to do it for us on this wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. ofcers ok ke ere aprlemhate'rnou
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it's a problem because it makes us officers look like there is a problem that we're not turning on the cameras, and that's not the fact. >> so what are the facts? right now at 6:00, san jose's police chief and his officers are at odds. whose request is causing a stir? the news at 6:00 starts now. i'm raj matthew. and i'm jessica agirlee, a body cam is at the center of this clash. it's a body cam. he wants the district attorney
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wants to let him know when the body cams aren't turned on. damien, officers feel this is a little too big brother for them. >> that's right, jessica. the police union tells me one police officer has been sent to internal affairs after a phone call from the d.a.'s office, not for a crime but for not turning on his body camera. police officers are sangry. >> reporter: san jose police officers began the training on the use of body cam. the manual says they must be on most of the time. >> i need to ensure the officers are adhering to the policy. >> reporter: so the chief told to let him know when the body camera was not turned on. >> it can damage the good relationship we have with the district attorney office and asking attorneys to get involved in administrative


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