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

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found today by two firefighters at dylan beach. >> nice reunion there. >> thanks for joining us. lester holt is next. >> bye. breaking news tonight a trump administration preparing options for a military strike in syria. is america about to weigh deeper into a bloody civil war after that horrific chemical attack. all of that amid a tense confrontation over the north korea nuclear threat. president trump, the president of china and a high-stakes showdown in florida. palace intrigue. after the sudden demotion of top trump advisor steve bannon, tonight word of a power struggle with trump's son-in-law jared kushner. home genetic testing approved by the fda for the first time. at home tests for everything from parkinson's to late-stage alzheimer's. would you want to know? remembering don rickles, a beloved comedy legend who invented a genre all his own.
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"nightly news" begins right now. good evening from los angeles, to our viewers in the west, as we come on the air, the trump white house may be on the verge of launching a major military strike against syria. president trump spent part of this day huddled with his top military advisers, reviewing options that may include keeping syria's air force out of the sky or even cruise missile attacks. as a way of punishing the syrian government for that horrific chemical weapons attack earlier this week. and in a major policy shift, the trump administration is speaking openly about removing bashar al assad from power. we have two reports, we begin with hallie jackson. >> good evening, lester.
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this is the ultimate test for a commander in chief, whether to take military action, in this case, after a humanitarian crisis that has gripped the country with the world watching. stepping off his plane into the center of an international crisis, president trump huddling tonight with his defense secretary for an urgent briefing on military options against bashar al assad. >> i think what happened in syria is a disgrace to humanity. and he's there, and i guess he's running things, so something should happen. >> something should happen, he says. not specific but still his strongest signal yet he may move to push assad out. >> it's a serious matter, it requires a serious response. >> reporter: the secretary of state suggesting there's no role for assad to govern the syrian people. calling on our allies to act through the political process. >> those steps are underway. >> two military officials tell nbc
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news the u.s. watched on radar as a syrian plane dropped bombs in the northern part of the country monday. hitting a hospital, the flashes and booms clearly visible. victims on the ground reacting like they had been exposed to a nerve agent. victims like the ones buried today by abdel hameed el-youssef. crying out the names of his 2-year-old twins. his children and wife among the more than hundreds of syrians killed. images like these have horrified the president. triggering his reversal on syria. now just 11 weeks into his administration, this crisis bringing him to the brink of a decision that will define his legacy. >> if he does nothing, it's going to be obama on steroids in terms of his perception. if he acts decisively and responsibly, he can set the mideast.
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>> reporter: a russian spokes person today tells the u.s. it's support for assad is not conditional. here in the u.s., a high stakes crash course, syria now overshadowing north korea. the company at the top of his agenda. >> thank you. as language about the assad regime
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cannot lead an unbiassed investigation. >> as far as i can tell, congressman nunes killed that. >> the investigation can have a fresh start. >> the work has always continued but now i think the cloud that had settled over the committee's work has been lifted.
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>> schiff also says he's optimistic about working with the republican taking over the probe. congressman mike konya way of texas, telling reporters here at the capitol he will follow every lead in this investigation no matter how long it takes. lester? >> kasie, thank you. president trump's nominee for the supreme court appears all but certain for confirmation tomorrow after high drama on the senate floor and a historic change by republicans to overcome a democratic blockade. at 49 years old, neil gorsuch could sit on the high court for decades. our justice correspondent pete williams has details. >> reporter: as the senate prepared for the historic showdown, emotions were raw over president trump's nominee, neil gorsuch. >> the opposition to this particular nominee is more about the man that nominated him, and the party he represents. than the nominee himself. >> democrats were still fuming that president obama's nominee merrick garland never got a hearing. >> they kept that
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position vacant so it could be filled by a republican president. that's exactly why we're here today. >> reporter: after republicans failed to muster the 60 votes needed to end the filibuster on gorsuch, they need to eliminate filibusters for supreme court nominees. the nuclear option was invoked with republicans acting out of partisan duty rather than principle. >> i think it's a sad day for the senate. we have now destroyed 200 years of tradition, requiring 60 votes. >> many legal experts say from now on, when the white house and senate are controlled by the same party, presidents will be less likely to appoint moderates. >> it will become much more partisan, and presidents will not be able to nominate people who are more extreme. they won't have to cater to the other party. >> reporter: it's a safe bet that neil gorsuch will be
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confirmed tomorrow in time to take his seat and hear the final 13 cases of the term. pete williams, nbc news at the supreme court. lots of severe weather tonight in the eastern part of the country with millions facing the possibility of dangerous storms, in a week that's already seen widespread destruction from devastating tornados. we get the latest from nbc's jacob rascon. >> reporter: tonight strong winds, heavy rain and possible tornados wreaking havoc across several states. significant damage reported in parts of virginia, brutal winds tossing large trees into homes. knocking out power to thousands. >> she was screaming, i could not console her, we huddled in the living room. >> portions of the d.c. metro area under a tornado warning as the storm pushed through ripping the roof off this high school building. in florida, at least a dozen homes destroyed by a tornado tornado in okeechobee county, and this massive house fire sparked by lightning. in the midwest, gusts so powerful, they
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shattered high rise windows in chicago. over 15 million americans face some severe weather threat today. the same system that's ravaged the south all week, forcing more than 1,000 flight cancellations in atlanta alone. and producing more than 10 reported tornados so far, including in elizabethtown, kentucky. >> i felt my trailer shake, i saw debris from over there hitting my trailer much. >> reporter: a large barn leveled in ohio. a massive cleanup effort from the latest twister outbreak. as the latest severe weather threat moves northeast. no injuries were reported today. the severe weather threat moves on tonight, and into tomorrow morning, including flood watches in parts of the northeast. lester? >> jacob rascon tonight. thank you. still ahead tonight, finding out your risk for certain diseases, the fda approves at home genetic testing. also remembering one of the most funny men of our time.
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don rickels.
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we're ba we're back now with big health news tonight for anyone who's ever worried they may carrie a gene that puts them at risk for life threatening diseases. the fda is giving a genetics testing company the right to directly market to the public to test for serious medical issues in your own home. the question is, would you want to know? here's tom costello.
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>> reporter: at a lab in california, a saliva sample from someone who wants to know more about their dna. are there signs of a disease or disorder in their genes. today for the first time, the fda has allowed 23 and me to market home dna kits directly to consumer to test for health conditions. in minneapolis, christine marks with her mom charlotte is hoping a dna test will give her peace of mind. after her father died of alzheimer's disease. >> i don't want my children to end up with it, i don't want them to see me with the disease. >> here's how it works. customers order the $200 kit online. the saliva sample is tested for more than half a million markers which could be associated with one of ten diseases or conditions. including late onset alzheimer's, parkinson's disease, celiac disease and
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various blood disorders. genetic risk is one piece of the bigger puzzle. it doesn't mean they will or won't ultimately develop a disease. we talked to dr. robert green by skype. >> we're moving toward a society of empowering people with health information. this is a welcomed step along that journey. >> reporter: still, some doctors worry about giving people confusing and life changing test results without having a professional help them interpret what they mean. but christine marks has decided. >> it doesn't necessarily mean i'm going to get alzheimer's, but at least i can be proactive. >> reporter: it's better to know. tom costello nbc news, washington. the number one player at golfing's most prestigious event. to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me
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a final good-bye today to an american hero. john glenn the first american to orbit the earth was laid to rest in arlington with full military honors. the flag on his coffin
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was presented to his widow, annie glen. this would have been their 74th wedding anniversary. the former marine pilot, astronaut and long-tile senator from ohio died in december at age 95. heartbreak tonight in one of the biggest stages in all of sports. the top-ranked golfer in the world and tournament favorite dustin johnson has suddenly withdrawn after slipping and falling down stairs injuring his back. on his way to the first tee, johnson realized that despite his intention to play, his back wouldn't let him. a spectacular view of jupiter in all its glory. it was taken by the hubbell telescope and shows the famous red spot and bands of swirling clouds. jupiter is at its closest distance from earth this year, 415 million miles. when we come back, remembering a truly funny man with his unique and
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rickles died at home here in los angeles today after a long career and countless laughs. >> it was quite a night. would you welcome mr. warmth, don rickles. >> the only thing truly warm about don rickles, sizzling insults, a master at the comedic putdown. >> what is your ancestry? >> honduran. >> i've been in the business 25 years and don't have a joke for a jerk that's hondurian. >> yeah, he went there, before went there was a thing. >> do you think insult humor is easy? standing next to you it is. >> don rickles didn't really tell jokes. >> i started making fun of the guy that yelled at me making fun of the room, making fun of the people around me and then it became a little bit of putdown thing. >> he credited his rise to another master of humor, johnny carson and more than 100 appearances on his show. >> when i hit johnny's
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show, the whole world knew me. >> give me a break. i'm so lonely. >> even before a president, he didn't hold back. >> it's a big treat for me to fly all the way from california to be here for this kind of money. >> rickles appeared on the silver screen and later the animated screen in "toy story." >> what are you looking at, you hockey puck? >> rickels perfected the secret sauce of making people laugh, not just at his humor but at themselves. >> he is what we all aspire to be. >> no matter what he said, you always knew it came with a wink because he knew that we knew it was all in good fun. >> i'd like my family to know that i was a good father and a good husband and i'd like the public to know that i was laughing along with them. >> don rickles leaves behind his wife barbara. and a daughter. he was 90 years old. that is going to do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. b thbigr sry nig --
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right now at 6:00, the rain is back but the bigger story tonight could be the strong winds. we are in a microclimate weather alert. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks fog br with us, i'm roth mathai. >> and i'm janelle wang. we'll show you a live picture of the golden gate bridge and in palo alto, you could see the bridge is wet right now. and we want to give you a view of the live doppler radar. could you see where the rain is coming down right now. >> a lot of green. we have a team of reporters covering the storm and the potential damage. let's begin in house with our
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meteorologist rob mayeda. and do you expect the wind to knock down power tonight? >> that is the real concern. this does stack up possibly as one of the windyer storms in a while. right now 66 degrees in san jose. and seeing mainly lighter rain falling around downtown. but you notice here off to the west around saratoga, the west end of the santa clara valley seeing heavier rain. in palo alto, the commute along 1010, looks soggy. and 63 degrees. and further to the north now toward san francisco and the rain is falling pretty good for the last hour. across the golden gate bridge, temperature of about 56 degrees and a steady rain into the north bay. this system powerful looking when you see it on the satellite. the area of low pressure off the coast and a deep area of low pressure at 980 millibars and the front comes through and they boost our wind speeds probably up to 45 miles per hour and even higher just before 11:00 from the coast into the


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