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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 21, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> we will see you later tonight at 6:00. "nbc nightly news" is next. >> see you back here tonight at 6:00. on this sunday night, between good and evil, president trump in saudi arabia attempts to change his tone and reframe the fight against terrorism, calling on muslim leaders to combat what he now calls a crisis of islamic extremism. border battle, a texas town at the center of the immigration debate suing the state over a new law that bans so-called sanctuary cities. fight of his life. a boxer takes to the ring, not just to win the match but a much bigger prize, the right to remain in the united states with his family. and final act. after almost a century and a half, the greatest show on earth folds its tent. a sad day for some, while others say it is about time. "nightly news" begins now. ♪ from nbc news
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world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. >> good evening. on his first overseas trip, president trump today called on the muslim world to confront extremism, framing the fight against terrorists not in religious terms but as a battle between good and evil. in a glittering summit room in riyadh, saudi arabia, filled with 55 muslim leaders from around the world, mr. trump struck a different tone than he has in the past. it is the first stop on a multi-city foreign tour this week that to some extent is drawing attention away from his troubles back in washington. we begin with kelly o'donnell, traveling with the president. >> reporter: for a president known for his own luxurious trappings, hospitality displayed by saudi arabia's king has been resplendent and regal. >> i would like to thank all of the people of saudi arabia. >> reporter: the president left behind at least briefly the
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cloud of controversy choking his administration, and made no mention of his proposed travel ban aimed at six muslim majority countries. the centerpiece of this first stop, president trump's new message to the muslim world. >> we are not here to lecture. >> reporter: his aim, to contrast president obama and to contrast himself, discarding his well-worn phrase radical islamic terrorism for a more subtle approach. >> that means honestly confronting the crisis of islamic extremism and the islamists and islamic terror of all kinds. >> words adjusted, but his forceful tone was not, promising america's backing but urging arab leaders to do more to stop terrorists. >> drive them out of your places of worship. drive them out of your communities. drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth. >> reporter: and president trump delivered a dire,
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spiritual warning to terrorists and those who finance and recruit them. >> if you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned. >> you are here at the command and control center. >> reporter: one tangible step, a futuristic and visually spectacular event where the king and the president inaugurated a riyadh base center to combat and counter extremist ideology, especially online. beyond diplomacy, the trump administration says this is also about business. with $400 billion of investment in u.s. companies, that includes the saudis buying $100 billion in u.s. military equipment. this is all being watched by muslim-americans back home and the group cair says while it appreciates the president acknowledging islam, one speech does not wipe out years of anti-islamic sentiments.
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kate. >> kelly o'donnell overseas for us. kelly, thanks. for a closer look at the president's ambitious agenda this week, we are joined also by nbc's chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. the president is leaving saudi arabia a few hours from now. where is he headed next? next stop israel. it may be sensitive diplomatic territory. the president has long had a warn relationship with benjamin netanyahu, but he is heading there at a time that could be critical, trying to reassure this ally after sharing sensitive israeli intel with the russians in an oval office meeting. he also plans to be put them on a path to peace set to meet with mahmoud abbas in bethlehem, as well. after that off to rome for maybe a potentially awkward meeting with the pope. flashback to the campaign. remember then candidate trump blasted the pope after pope francis only building walls and not bridges too isn't christian. >> hallie, it is not just the home cities
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for the world's major religions, the president also headed to brussells to meet with nato leaders, an organization he once famously called obsolete. what is on the agenda there? >> reporter: he almost certainly will be pushed at this nato summit to declare his commitment to the alliance, to reaffirm that, even after he flip-flopped and said nato was now not obsolete last month. after that sicily for the g-7 summit. he will face more questions on his tough talk on trade and whether he will stay in the paris climate agreement. should be a big week. >> it is a big week. hallie jackson covering all of it for us. we will have extensive coverage of the president's trip all week long with lester holt anchoring nightly news from jerusalem tomorrow. in his remarks today, the president took a hard line on iran as that country reelect its incumbent president in a sweeping is victory. but as ali arouzi reports from tehran
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the iranian president's continued popularity will depend on whether he can deliver economic and social reforms. >> reporter: in a bitter election campaign, the iranian people chose moderation over conservatism. with an astounding voter turnout of 74%, moderate rouhani beat hard liner ebrahim raisi by nearly eight million votes. in his victory speech, rouhani said -- the iranian nation has chosen the path of interaction with the world a path which is driven extremism and violence. supporters of president rouhani have poured into the streets to celebrate his victory. their man got another four years and the sense of excitement and relief is palpable. but in iran euphoria can quickly turn into disappointment and disillusion. if he cannot translate campaign promises into reality such as creating much needed jobs to boost the economy, as well as freeing political prisoners, loosening social restrictions and getting rid of nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions.
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>> people don't forget what he has promised. so if things don't work out at the end of the four years, that's going to be the end of the reformist camp. >> reporter: besides domestic expectations, mr. rouhani continues to face hostile neighbors, an untrusting west made clear today during president trump's speech before saudi arabia's king. >> all nations and of conscience must work together to isolate iran, deny it. funding for terrorism cannot do it. and pray for the day when the iranian people have the just and righteous government they so richly deserve. >> reporter: but such challenges may simply be out of the question for the islamic republic, potentially putting iran and america on a collision course again. ali arouzi, nbc news, teheran. >> in this country, the latest battle over illegal immigration is unfolding in texas. that's where a small border town with
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funding from a major hispanic advocacy group is suing the state over a new law. that state law bans so-called sanctuary cities but critics argue it's unconstitutional and will trigger racial profiling. gabe gutierrez reports from the stay with us-mexico border. >> reporter: on the rio grande, there's as american town on edge. el cenizo with 3800 residents, about 20% here illegally. >> this whole notion that all the problems that we have with illegal immigration in our country is because of that side is just a false narrative. >> reporter: mayor raoul reyes is suing to block a so-called sanctuary city ban. >> it hinders relationships between the police departments and the community and that's dangerous. >> reporter: president trump signed an executive order in january threatening to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities but a judge blocked it. the new texas law is
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the first since then. it would fine local governments up to $25,000 a day, potentially send police chiefs to jail, and remove elected officials if they refuse federal requests to help with immigration enforcement. >> critics are saying this is a show me your papers law. is it. >> that is completely false. >> reporter: governor greg abbott who signed senate 4 on facebook live says it's about public safety, not racial profiling. >> no one can be pulled over and stopped just for no reason or because of what their race may be. there has to be that probable cause. >> reporter: this woman who didn't want us to show her face is undocumented. she crossed the border 15 years ago to be with her husband's family. immigrants are looking over their shoulders like never before, she said. >> doing the right thing is fighting for those who have no voice and who live in fear. >> reporter: if the law takes effect september 1st, mayor reyes says fines could
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wipe out this town's entire $250,000 annual budget in two weeks. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, texas. >> in pennsylvania this week, jury selection begins in the criminal trial of bill cosby, who is charged with sexually assaulting a woman at his home near philadelphia, charges the entertainer denies. nbc's ron allen has those details. >> reporter: while bill cosby said in a radio interview last week he wants to be back on stage -- >> i want to get back to the laughter. >> reporter: -- he is facing the start of a criminal trial this week that could make that dream impossible. cosby has pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault during a 2004 encounter at his home with andrea constand, an employee at temple university where cosby was a trustee, who claims cosby drugged and molested her. >> reporter: in the jury selection process it will be almost impossible to find people who haven't heard about these
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allegations. >> reporter: national headlines starting in 2014 as more than 50 women accused cosby of inappropriate conduct up from touching to rap, the allegednents spanning decades. kate snow interviewed 27 of the women on "dateline" in 2015. >> how many of you believe you were drugged by bill cosby? how many of you believe bill cosby raped you? >> reporter: cosby insists any sexual contact was consensual. only two accusers will testify at trial. >> reporter: what difficulty is the defense going to face? >> they're going to have to go pretty hard on these two women who are making accusations. this is not something juries like to see. >> reporter: and the jury is expected to hear cosby's own words about the incident. in statements from a civil case he settled with constand in 2006, cosby admitted to giving her three pills before touching her. and so i continue and i go into that area that is somewhere between permission and rejection. i am not stopped, cosby testified. following defense complaints about
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negative media, jurors will be selected here in pittsburgh and sequestered for trial back in suburban philadelphia where the alleged crime happened. regardless of what the jury decides, even cosby, once one of the most respected people in america, admitted he may never win back the public's trust. ron allen, nbc news, pittsburgh. >> today on long island, new york, not far from where we are, the ringling brothers and barnum bailey circus is giving its final performance after 146 years. the greatest show on earth is closing because the family that runs it says it is no longer profitable. nbc's kerry sanders has more tonight. >> reporter: animal rights activists, long protesting the ringling brothers and barnum and bailey circus keeping the pressure on right up until the last show. >> couldn't come soon enough. >> reporter: while the circus goes out of business, it says while it may have lost in the court of public
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opinion it did not lose in court. the humane society and the aspca paid ringling more than $20 million in 2012 and 2013 for repeatedly claiming the circus systematically mistreated its elephants. >> did the animal rights activists put the circus out of business? >> i think animal rights propaganda definitely played a tremendous role in it. >> reporter: you would say that was misinformation? >> i don't need to say it. you can -- you can talk to federal judge who called the case against us frivolous, vexatious and groundless. >> reporter: there was a time the circus coming to town was the most spectacular event of a community's year. at its height, ringling traveled to 140 cities and towns. 10 million people a year buying tickets to watch the greatest show on earth. gone as of tonight, not only the circus but a way of life. >> i never really thought that i would run away with the circus, but i did, and
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i have never looked back. >> reporter: did you think it was ever going to end? >> i never thought it would end, never. not in a million years. >> reporter: the elephants retired to a sanctuary in florida. the other animals ringling says will go to other sanctuaries or to circuses in europe. meantime, those who wanted to see the circus one last time, the final performance streamed on facebook live. kate. >> kerry sanders, thank you. still ahead tonight, on the trail of key evidence. how dogs are being trained to sniff out tiny electronic devices that may help police solve crimes. also, the scary moment when a sea lion jumps up, pulls a girl into the water.
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like almost every other part of modern life, committing crimes these days often involves an electronic device, and now police looking for evidence stored on even the tiniest memory chips have a new weapon, one with four legs and a tail. here is our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: meet iris, a two-year-old labrador retriever with a remarkable talent. thousands of dogs are trained to sniff for bombs or illegal drugs, but iris does something that seems unimaginable. she has a nose for digital storage media, computer comipz to work by her handler, jeff. >> the typical command for her would be seek and off she goes. >> reporter: we watched a training session as she found a hard drive taped to the back of a picture frame. >> that's a hard drive. >> reporter: under the
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cushions in a couch. >> oh, my heavens. >> good girl. >> reporter: inside a mailbox. >> wow. >> reporter: and concealed in a pillow. to her they have a unique odor. >> there's a lot of electronic devices in this room but she knows the difference? >> it is amazing and she knows the difference. it is very minute. she is trained to two micrograms of the odors. >> reporter: she can find tiny microdrives, thumb drives hidden inside electrical outlets and behind air vents, even devices used in bombings. >> this was a cellphone used as remote detonator. >> reporter: it has been through an explosion. >> yes. >> reporter: it is charged but she can identify it in the box? >> yes. >> reporter: iris lives with the agent and plays with his children and other dogs when she's off duty. >> i don't want her to always be in work mode. mentally, she needs time to relax. >> reporter: sure. but when that nose is at work, she can detect minute traces of the chemicals used in making storage media.
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it's a talent in big demand by law enforcement. a black lab named bear sniffed out a thumb drive containing critical evidence at the home of jared fogle, the former subway spokesman who pleaded guilty to sex crimes involving underage girls. at a series of and after a series of bombings in new jersey and new york last fall, iris helped search the apartment of a man charged with the attacks. she is veteran of a new canine force, dogs who know the distinctive aroma of stored data. pete williams, nbc news, quantity i co, virginia. >> go, iris. >> coming up, a boxer scores his biggest victory and it was only partly about winning the fight.
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when he entered the ring last night at madison square garden here in new york, ray beltran had a lot to prove. not only that he could out box his opponent,
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he was also fighting for the chance to remain in this country. nbc's morgan radford explained. >> reporter: a devastating second round knockout. mexican lightweight, ray beltran, sending his opponent jonathan may sell low, to the ground. a victory lawyers say can all but guarantee his green card. a dream come true for a man who crossed the border illegally at 16. >> in mexico, just it wasn't hard. you have nothing. >> did you feel you had enough, did you have food? >> i had nothing, no electricity, no food. i got no memories. >> reporter: you're getting emotional thinking about where you come from. who are you fighting for in this fight? >> i'm fighting for my kids. >> reporter: all three of his children were born here, which is why he's hoping for an eb1 green card, granted to only 4% of residents who show extraordinary ability.
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like winning a pulitzer, an oscar, or a boxing world championship. >> he is literally boxing for his life. what we're requiring of immigrants these days is the survival of the fittest. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. >> reporter: beltran is fighting for his future. >> reporter: what is it you love most about this country? >> i love that there is a lot of potential. whatever you want to do, you can make it here. there's a lot of hope here. >> reporter: hope in a place he already calls home. morgan radford, nbc news, new york. >> and from canada tonight, a scary moment this weekend near vancouver, british columbia. a young girl was sitting on a dock when a large sea lion swimming around the harbor, jumps up, grabs her by the dress, and pulse her under the water. a man you see rescues the girl. it all took place in a matter of seconds. luckily everyone was okay, although shaken up. up next, a young actress becomes a broadway star and breaks barriers in the process.
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finally tonight, it's been quite a run for a young actress named madison ferris, who has been starring on broadway with sally field and winning plenty of praise for her performance in the play "the glass menagerie." but there's more to it than just a talented actress excelling in a leading role. nbc's anne thompson has more tonight. >> i know so well -- >> reporter: sally field gives a
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tony-nominated performance in the glass menagerie". >> mother. >> yes? >> i'm crippled. >> nonsense. laura, i have told you never, never to use that word. >> reporter: but fields' own accolades go to her costar, madison ferris. >> she is so incredibly bold and brave. she puts her head down and just does it. >> reporter: ferris is breaking barriers as broadway's first lead actor in a wheelchair. >> i don't really talk about my disability that much. i just kind of live my life. >> reporter: ferris' muscular dystrophy has not held her back from her acting dream. a theater major in college, now 25, her madison's broadway idealogical debut is generating all kinds of buzz. >> it enhanced the performance but in the end didn't take it away at all. >> no one could have played the part better than her. >> reporter: even though madison admits to a few butterflies before auditioning with the oscar winning field. >> she is just the loveliest human being i've ever met. >> as mother and
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daughter, they enter upstairs with her dragging the wheelchair. >> i told maddie, if one day i say duck, it means the chair is coming flying at you and i've done the best i could, you know what i mean. >> reporter: to tell a story and send a message. >> the visual of what maddie brings is exquisite. >> reporter: at the end of the show, everyone around me said, does she really need that chair? >> really? >> reporter: yeah. >> wow. actually, i take it as a compliment they think i'm doing all of this through acting. they must think i'm a good actor. >> reporter: truth and illusion collide and shatter on stage and off. ann thompson, nbc news, new york. >> it is a remarkable performance. that is "nbc nightly news" this sunday night. lester holt will be reporting from jerusalem as the president visits israel tomorrow. i'm kate snow in new york. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night. another day of hot weather
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right now at 6:00, another day of hot weather around the bay area and that led to concerns about air quality. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, thank you for joining us, i'm terry mcsweeney. >> and i'm peggy bunker. a look across the bay area showing some very different weather depending on where you are. fog draping over the golden gate bridge right now. take a look at that. could barely see over side and the south bay and east bay are dealing with heat. and arob mayeda has concerned over air quality. >> as the temperatures heat up, high pressure acacting like a lid over the our and mixing out the low level pollution and we do have a spare the air day


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