tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 25, 2020 2:07am-2:38am PST
christina aguilera and tearful tributes from michael jordan and shaq the lawsuit filed by vanessa bryant her new allegations against the helicopter company. the market meltdown. the dow plunging over 1,000 points and concerns rising as the coronavirus outbreak grows outside of china the attack outside a carnival the car potentially plowing into a crowd. many of the 30 people hurt are children. the battle for south carolina, our brand-new poll bernie sanders surging in the state that may be joe biden's last stand but sanders under fire for what he said about fidel castro. and our tribute to a trailblazing nasa legend. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening harvey weinstein was taken from a new york city courtroom in handcuffs today after a jury found the once high flying movie producer guilty of rape and a criminal sexual act. tonight, the man who became a symbol of the me too movement accused by dozens of women who claim he sexually victimized
them faces potentially years in prison as well as another trial in los angeles stephanie gosk starts us off. >> reporter: harvey weinstein once one of hollywood's most influential power brokers tonight behind bars, a convicted sex offender after more than four days of deliberations, the jury here in new york found the 67-year-old guilty of two counts of sexual assault, including rape. the district attorney called today's decision a moment that will change the course of history. >> this is the new landscape for survivors of sexual assault in america, i believe and this is a new day. >> reporter: the media mogul faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. acquitted of the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault, which could have put him behind bars for life those charges based in part on annabella sciorra's rape accusation she said we can never regret breaking the silence.
tarale wullf testified during the trial. >> i never for once thought he would be held accountable, and that's a big part of why i'd never spoke up because he is him and i was me, but that's changed now. >> reporter: she says weinstein raped her in 2005, one of three witnesses who was brought in by prosecutors to establish a pattern of sexual assault. what message do you think this verdict sends today? >> that it's okay. you have permission and you should speak up for yourself. >> reporter: more than 100 women have accused weinstein of sexual misconduct since blockbuster reports broke in the "new york times" and "the new yorker" two years ago, fueling the me too movement. while this case centered on the accusations of only three women, it was widely seen as a pivotal moment for all of weinstein's accusers, women like caitlin dulany >> i certainly never thought that this would happen, not even three years ago. i lived with this inside of myself. >> reporter: actress mira
sorvina tweeting today, the beginning of justice more to come, my sisters. #weinsteinguilty as the jury read the verdict, weinstein showed little reaction, moments later cuffed by officers and taken to prison. >> he didn't react emotionally there was no crying or anything like that. he kept saying i'm innocent, i'm innocent. >> reporter: weinstein has long denied ever having non-consensual sex. >> you can think whatever you want about harvey weinstein as a person but i personally do not believe, as i've said all along, that harvey weinstein is guilty of committing these crimes >> reporter: tonight weinstein is at a medical facility on rikers island, awaiting his sentencing on march 11th soon after that, the defense says it will appeal. >> stephanie joins us now. as i mentioned at the top, he faces charges now in los angeles. what happens next? >> reporter: that's right, lester
this is far from over. he's facing two felonies including rape in los angeles. he's going to have to be extradited out there to face his accusers. >> all right stephanie, thanks very much. in los angeles today a powerful memorial for basketball legend kobe bryant, his daughter gianna and seven others who died in that helicopter crash in california bryant's widow speaking publicly for the first time since his death in an emotional tribute. miguel almaguer was there. ♪ everywhere i'm looking now i' surrounded by your embrace ♪ >> reporter: tonight the tribute, the heartbreak and the still unbearable loss. this, the final good-bye to kobe bryant and daughter gianna. >> bye, baby girl. >> reporter: an overwhelming wave of emotion as vanessa bryant took the stage speaking publicly for the first time, celebrating her daughter, gigi. >> her smile took up her entire face like mine kobe always said she was me, she had my fire, my personality and sarcasm. she was tender and loving on the inside. >> reporter: the grief still vivid for her husband. >> i couldn't see him as a
celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player he was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children he was mine. he was my everything. >> reporter: tens of thousands gathered here to celebrate all of the victims, including the seven others who died when their helicopter crashed in foggy weather. family members and friends all gone too soon. >> i can only imagine how painful this is for them. >> reporter: from across the country, fans came in droves, draped in purple and gold gathering in the house that kobe built for a tearful good-bye remembering him at center court where bryant held court for 20 years. the crowd erupting when michael jordan walked on stage. >> in the game of basketball, in life, as a parent, kobe left
nothing in the tank. he left it all on the floor. >> reporter: jordan, an idol, turned rival then life-long friend. >> when kobe bryant died, a piece of me died please, rest in peace little brother. >> reporter: in the stands where they cheered for bryant through five championships, tonight there were tears but at times also laughter. >> now it's time for us to continue your legacy i'll look after things down here i'll be sure to teach natalia, bianka and capri all your moves, and i promise i will not teach them my free-throw techniques. [ laughter ] >> reporter: a man much bigger than basketball always the loving husband and father. >> god knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. he had to bring them home to heaven together. babe, you take care of our gigi
and i got nani, bibi and coco. we're still the best team. >> reporter: bryant's memorial, which ran for nearly three hours, was incredibly emotional inside especially when vanessa bryant spoke nbc news has also learned that vanessa bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company saying they should not have been flying in the foggy weather but today was all about remembering those nine lives lost but not forgotten lester >> some just beautiful and touching moments there miguel, thank you. also tonight, fears over the coronavirus hitting hard on wall street, the dow plunging over 1,000 points today, more than 3.5% the worst day in two years as cases surge outside china. we've got it all covered beginning with richard engel in hong kong. >> reporter: the coronavirus is looking more and more like a global pandemic, spreading far beyond mainland china, where the
government says strict quarantines have slowed infection rates locally, but even this has failed to stop the virus. in italy, a few cases this weekend ballooned today to over 200. at least seven dead, train lines stopped. nearly a dozen villages declared red zones. nbc's molly hunter is in milan. >> reporter: the challenge for the italians is stopping the spread before it spreads to europe, its borders and that starts here, at train stations, airports and transportation hubs >> reporter: in iran, 12 dead so far. the government is racing to increase production of surgical masks. in south korea, more than 800 now infected in the most impacted area, a line for face masks went on and on in hong kong, one of the first places hit, i went to see a doctor who just finished his shift working directly with coronavirus victims. it's been described to me like a
cold except this one will kill you. is that about how you see it >> the problem is with this new virus, it comes with a mortality of around 2 to 3%, which is extremely high if you consider it as a flu virus. >> reporter: if it can impact a fifth of the population -- >> it would be a catastrophe, yes. >> reporter: i followed dr. wong as he went to see his wife for dinner she's pregnant, so they kept far apart eating takeout at a distance, texting back and forth. the virus now nearing pandemic proportions as doctors believe many countries, especially those bordering china, probably have more cases than they know about or are reporting richard engel, nbc news, hong kong >> reporter: this is tom costello on wall street today a sea of red. the dow down more than 1,000 points, 3.5%. >> an ugly day for wall street the worst we've seen for stocks in years.
>> reporter: the stock market in a steep nosedive over concern the coronavirus is already cutting into the global economy. the market erasing all of its gains from 2020. among the hardest hit stocks, companies dependent on chinese supply lines and international travel, including apple, nike, marriott, united airlines, carnival and norwegian cruise lines. and pharmaceutical companies on concern drugs made in china could come into short supply >> it's not just the pharmaceutical industry, it's the auto industry. it's the consumer products industry so many american companies have staked their production on china. >> reporter: meanwhile small u.s. companies are also getting worried. omg accessories sells products for kids and tweens to big u.s retailers. but like many companies, manufacturing has been shut down for a month already. >> we do all the development, all the sampling, our whole team and creative team is out there in china
>> reporter: manufacturing on hold, as the coronavirus spreads. oil prices also sliding on concern a slowing economy won't need as much oil and gas to fuel it unleaded averaging $2.47 a gallon, down a nickel in just a month. lester >> the growing impact of all of this tom, thanks. a terrifying car attack left some 30 people injured at a carnival in germany. the driver is under arrest witnesses say he intentionally slammed into a crowd at least a third of those hurt were children. tonight, the motive is a mystery, it comes days after police say a far-right extremist gunman killed nine people in germany. we'll be back in 60 seconds with bernie sanders closing in on joe biden in south carolina our brand-new poll and after harvey weinstein's conviction, the future of the me too movement
the democratic presidential candidates are focusing on south carolina's primary this saturday, and our new poll shows bernie sanders is gaining on joe biden there. here is kasie hunt >> reporter: tonight, bernie sanders moving into striking distance in south carolina after his huge win in nevada where he built a broad coalition, including more than half of latino democrats >> we are going to win across the country because the american people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time. >> reporter: our nbc news/marist poll shows sanders in a strong second place position, behind joe biden in south carolina. the former vice president betting it all on his fire wall of support from african-american voters here where our poll shows biden still has an edge. though, sanders support is growing. are you going to win here in south carolina >> yes.
>> reporter: take it to the bank >> yes. >> reporter: biden's campaign hoping a key endorsement expected wednesday from the highest ranking african-american in congress, jim clyburn, will help, as establishment democrats are increasingly worried about a sanders nomination do you think bernie sanders is capable of beating donald trump? >> i'd like whoever the democrat is to beat donald trump. i don't think he can beat donald trump and keep a democratic senate or get a democratic senate and keep a democratic house. >> reporter: meanwhile, sanders tonight facing backlash for these comments to "60 minutes" about communist cuba >> we're opposed to the authoritarian nature of cuba you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. when fidel castro came into office you know what he did? he had a massive literacy program. >> reporter: billionaire rival mike bloomberg writing on twitter that castro murdered, quote, thousands of his own people but, sure, bernie, let's talk about his literacy program bloomberg is looking to rebound from his disastrous performance in the last debate a top bloomberg campaign official telling us they hope to make tomorrow night's debate all about bernie sanders lester
>> kasie, thank you. in chicago today jussie smollett pleaded not guilty to new charges stemming from allegations he staged a hate crime on himself last year he's charged with six counts of disorderly conduct for making false reports to police. the charges are similar to those dropped by prosecutors last year now for a closer look at our top story. the impact of harvey weinstein's conviction today extends far beyond a new york courtroom. analysts say his case launched a movement and is a watershed moment for victims of sexual assault. here is kate snow. >> reporter: harvey weinstein built an empire with films from "shakespeare in love," to "pulp fiction," to "goodwill hunting." now he's a convicted rapist. >> this is not about one group of women this is about all of us. >> reporter: louise godbold is one of the many who accused weinstein of sexual misconduct >> this is no longer tolerated
and there is no excuse like playboy. this is assault. and it's not going to be allowed to happen anymore. >> reporter: in october 2017, weinstein prompted the me too hashtag to go viral. the movement destroying the careers of men across industries advocates for survivors of sexual violence expect reports to swell again this week >> more survivors are being believed more institutions are taking steps to be meaningfully supportive of survivors and prevent sexual harassment and abuse. >> reporter: the weinstein case involved women who continued to have a relationship with him was this the kind of case prosecutors might have avoided in the past? >> yes, i think many prosecutors would have viewed this as too complicated, too difficult, unlikely to lead to a
conviction >> reporter: so with this verdict, what happens? >> it sends the message that these are the kind of cases that can be brought and can result in a guilty verdict >> reporter: for accusers like caitlin dulany, a triumphant moment after the trial >> the fact the jury believes these women in spite of what the defense did to discredit them really speaks to the fact we are in a different era. >> reporter: kate snow, nbc news up next, as we continue tonight, why a new series about the hunt for nazis is sparking controversy.
the fictional depiction of the holocaust. >> reporter: though inspired by true events, the new amazon prime series "hunters" is largely fiction. >> do you think your mother can protect you? >> from what >> nazis. >> reporter: oscar-winner al pacino plays a holocaust survivor who leads vigilante nazi hunters in america in the 1970s. one scene in particular is drawing sharp criticism. it depicts nazi guards in auschwitz using prisoners as human chess pieces the auschwitz memorial writes inventing a fake game of human chess is not only dangerous, foolishness and caricature, it also welcomes future deniers we honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy. the series was created by 31-year-old david weil, whose grandmother is a holocaust survivor that attracted pacino to the role, as he told willie geist before this controversy surfaced
>> it's always something when it's personal because that's really art in a way when it's personal. >> reporter: weil says to be respectful to real victims, he created fictionalized events, including the chess match. it's true nazis perpetuated widespread and extreme acts of sadism and torture and even incidents of cruel games against their victims. i simply did not want to depict those specific real acts of trama. the latest debate in a discussion over how best to keep the stories of holocaust survivors alive. joe fryer, nbc news. up next for us, we remember a pioneering woman who helped put americans into space
finally, she helped push the frontiers of space breaking barriers and making history. rehema ellis on the extraordinary woman who was once a hidden figure. >> reporter: katherine johnson's fascination with numbers started early on, growing up in west virginia >> i counted everything. i counted plates when i washed dishes i counted steps from home to church. >> reporter: breaking race and gender barriers in the 1960s jim crow america, johnson helped chart the flight path for america's first space mission with alan shepherd and when john glenn was chosen to orbit the earth, he insisted johnson confirmed the computer's calculations >> he knew that if i had done it, it was right.
>> reporter: charles bolden former head of nasa said a few years ago, johnson was always given the hardest calculations how surprised do you think people were that it was a black woman? >> shocked shocked. you got to remember when she walked in the control center, she was the only black in there so quite naturally, they thought she was the maid >> reporter: for years, she was hardly known outside of nasa the movie "hidden figures" changed that >> nasa, sir. >> nasa? i had no idea they hired. >> reporter: she was honored at the academy awards and given the presidential medal of freedom. in an interview a few years ago, johnson was forever humble you did your job better than anybody. >> i did the best i could. >> reporter: when she died today at 101, tributes from nasa and taraji p. henson, who played johnson in the movie wrote, because of your hard work, little girls everywhere can dream as big as the moon the woman enchanted by numbers now counted as a true american hero rehema ellis, nbc news.
♪ except for you ♪ don't ever let anyone step all over you ♪ ♪ just open your heart ♪ and your mind ♪ is it really fair to feel this way inside? ♪ ♪ oh [cheers and applause] ♪ someday, somebody's gonna make you wanna turn around ♪ ♪ and say goodbye ♪ until then, baby ♪ are you gonna let them hold you down ♪ ♪ and make you cry? ♪ don't you know? ♪ don't you know things can change? ♪ ♪ things'll go your way ♪ if you hold on for one more day ♪ ♪ can you hold on for one more day? ♪ ♪ things'll go your way ♪ hold on for one more day [cheers and applause] >> kelly: give it up for
wilson phillips! ♪ ♪ ♪ someday, somebody's gonna make you wanna turn around ♪ ♪ and say goodbye ♪ until then, baby ♪ are you gonna let them hold you down ♪ ♪ and make you cry? ♪ don't you know? ♪ don't you know things can change? ♪ ♪ things'll go your way ♪ if you hold on for one more day ♪ ♪ can you hold on for one more day? ♪ ♪ things'll go your way ♪ hold on for one m