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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  June 30, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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why the pennsylvania supreme court threw out his conviction and said he cannot be retried on the same charges. and reaction from the dozens of women who have accused cosby the record heat now blamed for dozens of deaths. over 50 million under alert. new york city declaring a heat emergency, asking residents to conserve energy when will relief arrive the game-changing announcement from the ncaa college athletes now allowed to cash in on their images the highly contagious delta variant now in all 50 states. the new alert from doctors about delta's different symptoms the death toll rising in the florida building collapse. the danger above hindering day seven of the search growing troubles for former president donald trump as he makes his first visit to the border since leaving the white house. his company bracing for criminal charges, potentially within hours. the former u.s. defense secretary who led the response to 9/11 being remembered tonight and the paralympian duo
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inspiring america. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening, everyone bill cosby was whisked away from a pennsylvania prison today, a free man after the state supreme court suddenly reversed his sexual assault conviction in a case that became an icon for the me too movement the 83-year-old comedian and actor arriving at his elkins park, pennsylvania home, going inside later, walking before news cameras, arm and arm with his jubilant defense team, but saying nothing the court throwing out his conviction, saying prosecutors violated a deal meant to shield crosby from criminal prosecution. tonight many of his accusers crushed by the decision and the prospect he will not face another trial stephanie gosk leads our coverage >> we love you, mr. cosby! >> reporter: tonight bill cosby is a free man, his conviction tossed out, his record wiped clean. he cannot be retried he appeared briefly before reporters
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outside his home >> today innocence came to mr. cosby. >> reporter:sby with sexual assault in 2015 was an affront to fundamental fairness, and the prosecution violated cosby's due process. late today, cosby calling into a radio show. >> this is for all the people who have been imprisoned wrongfully, regardless of race, color, or creed. because i met them in there. >> reporter: the 83-year-old was serving a three to ten-year sentence in maximum security prison after a jury found him guilty in 2018 of sexually assaulting andrea constand at the time, cosby's other accusers celebrated the verdict outside of court. >> i feel like i'm dreaming can you pinch me >> reporter: constand, a former temple university employee said cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his pennsylvania home in 2004 cosby said the interaction was consensual in 2005, the district
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attorney at the time bruce castor, who later would go on to be one of president trump's impeachment attorneys did not bring charges. castor testified that there was not enough evidence, but instead he made a verbal agreement not to prosecute cosby if he would give a deposition in constand's civil case. that same deposition became the basis for a new d.a. to charge him ten years later, days before the statute of limitations expired. the pennsylvania supreme court says prosecutors broke the promise. tonight, a spokesman for cosby said this is justice, and justice for black america. one of the prosecutors from the trial, kristen gibbons feden firing back. >> i'm disturbed, i'm distressed that they are again exploiting our thirst for justice in his name. >> stephanie joins us now from outside bill cosby's home stephanie, has the d.a. who brought the charges reacted this evening? >> yeah, he has, lester kevin steele says cosby was convicted by
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jury and released on a procedural issue he said he hopes today's decision doesn't deter women who are victims of sexual assault from coming forward lester >> stephanie, thanks a tweet just posted from bill cosby reads "i have never change my stance nor my story. i have always maintained my innocence. he also thanked his supporters and fans for their support. and from cosby's accusers, surprise and shock after today's decision and cosby's release. our senior national correspondent kate snow has covered this from the beginning and has some of their reaction tonight. >> reporter: late today andrea constand reacting to the decision, calling it not only disappointing but of concern in that it may discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault in the criminal justice system from reporting or participating in the prosecution of the assailant. her fellow accusers distraught janice baker kinney texted she's angry frustrated, sad, all the emotions, and sick to my stomach.
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victoria valentino said she didn't believe it when she first heard. >> i'm outraged. i'm infuriated how anybody could allow a little legal glitch to release a sociopath, a narcissistic pathological lying predator, rapist who had no concern, no feeling, no remorse. >> reporter: cosby was never charged with rape, and denied all allegations against him. heidi thomas was one of the five women who testified in support of constand about her own experience. >> i am furious with all of the enablers, over five decades of enablers and today the way i feel, the supreme court of pennsylvania is an enabler. >> do you still feel vindication that the jury believed you? >> no.
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it's -- it's - that sucker punch is -- is basically saying it doesn't matter what happened to you it doesn't matter what happened to over 50 women who have a told their stories. it's an absolute affront. it's a slap in the face it's an insult >> reporter: many do not see a legal path for another case, but some say they're not giving up. there is much more to say and do, eden tyrrell said late today if the me too movement is going to mean anything at all in the future. >> kate joining me now in the studio. this has to be devastating for andrea constand >> when i sat down with her in 2018 exclusively, she said she didn't feel that she alone took down bill cosby she felt like she was part of a collective, lester today in that statement she says -- she and her team remain grateful to those who came forward and urge all victims to have their voices heard. >> all right, kate, thank you. and for a closer look
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now at the court's ruling, i'm joined by nbc news legal analyst danny cevallos danny, the court said cosby was treated unfairly in their opinion, exactly how so >> the court said when former district attorney bruce castor made an unconditional promise that he would not prosecute cosby, cosby reasonably relied on that promise to his detriment by forgoing his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination he sat for depositions. those depositions led to his prosecution >> and the court closed the door on a retrial in this case so would that leave cosby completely off the hook >> off the hook on this particular case, but it is always possible that there are other victims out there who's cases could fall within a statute of limitations. but with every passing day, another window on a statute of limitations closes >> danny cevallos, thank you. in just 60 seconds, more records broken as brutal heatwaves still
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have tens of millions in their grip. and a major change just announced on compensating college athletes
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dangerous, deadly and unprecedented, another day of record shattering heat gripping both the northeast and parts of the northwest. tom llamas has more for us tonight. >> reporter: tonight, that dangerous heat melting the big apple. record highs at la guardia airport and nearby newark. >> it's extremely hot. and i'm working in this crazy weather and i can't take it. >> reporter: new yorkers told not to crank the ac this emergency alert going out. officials warning power outages could be on the way >> we don't want another blackout >> reporter: on the street, workers pushing through that intense heatwave with little relief. how do you beat the heat you drinking water, trying to stay cool? >> a little water, a little fan, a little bit of these windows or something >> reporter: 11 states under heat alerts on the east coast boston hitting a record today firefighters there battling intense
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flames and temperatures, leading them to rescue some of their own. in oregon, officials received reports of 63 deaths that may be heat-related, 45 in just one county. and in washington state, nbc news has confirmed at least six deaths tied to the heat and throughout the u.s., scorching triple-digit heat over several days, leading to real fears of heat exhaustion so day three versus day one of a heatwave, you're at much more risk because your body has not gotten the breaks it normally gets >> reporter: lester, the good news. relief should be on the way. our weather team tells me the heat that's been hammering the northeast will cool off starting tomorrow into the holiday break, but conditions will persist in the pacific northwest. lester >> all right, tom, thank you. a groundbreaking change for college sports tonight the ncaa clearing the way for athletes to make money by selling the rights to their names, images and likenesses but rules that bar athletes from being paid directly will remain
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piece by piece, the search through the rubble grinds on tonight in south florida, almost a week after that catastrophic building collapse the death toll continuing to rise with so many still missing. morgan chesky is there. >> reporter: tonight, rescue workers tired but determined teams not slowing down to bring the missing, gone seven days, back home >> we're not leaving anybody behind this is going to go until we pull everybody out of there. >> reporter: the collapse of champlain towers south leaving 145 people still missing, claiming 18 lives, including luis bermudez and his mother ana, whose family now has closure. >> they're with god now. so that gave me a relief and a sense of peace. >> reporter: calls for accountability only growing. >> why did this happen >> reporter: today a new lawsuit filed on behalf of man still missing. attorneys pushing to visit the site and preserve evidence. at the scene, crews making progress. but still unable to
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search a 40-foot area marked too dangerous >> the debris that is there, you can't really search it because of the overhead -- what's called widow makers. they're the items that weigh 600 pounds, 500 pounds, air conditioners that could drop on top of them >> reporter: helping crews dig deeper, 21 rescue dogs working in shifts one of them a 2 1/2-year-old lab named feisty. >> what we're doing right now in the pile, as they peel back the layers, we're sending a dog up to check things out >> and someone could be buried feet beneath the rubble? >> yep. >> and she could still tell >> yep, yep. >> reporter: a team effort in the midst of tragedy, giving the families of those still missing hope morgan chesky, nbc news, surfside, florida. as covid vaccinations lag in this country, the dangerous delta variant is now in all 50 states. more than 180 million people are at least partially vaccinated in this country. but so many are still not, and authorities fear infection spikes. with more on that, here is miguel
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almaguer >> reporter: tonight as washington and oregon become among the final states to move into a full reopening -- >> just glad we're not going to have to wear any more masks >> reporter: authorities now confirm the delta variant has officially been detected in every state, threatening to explode in pockets of the country where vaccination rates are low, the strain remains the nation's most serious threat. >> i don't know why we're in such a rush i think we need to be a little bit more careful. >> reporter: citing growing concern from delta, connecticut's governor says the state will follow cdc guidelines, not yet lifting mask mandates in school this fall. and now doctors say those infected with the delta strain may have symptoms similar to a bad cold, which may lead to less testing and further spread but there is a way to eliminate the threat. >> if you're vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the united states we have three vaccines that we know are safe and effective. >> reporter: for now the cdc says the
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vaccinated don't need boosters, but like the virus, little is certain as the threat and science both evolve miguel almaguer, nbc news also tonight, former president trump and his allies are bracing for his company to be criminally charged, potentially in a matter of hours. peter alexander is with us. peter, what have we learned? >> reporter: lester, nbc news has learned the manhattan d.a.'s office and the new york attorney general's office will indict the trump organization for tax-related crimes the two company chief financial officer allen weisselberg will also be charged mr. trump is not expected to be indicted the former president recently blasting new york prosecutors as politically motivated. centered around and alleged scheme to pay weisselberg and others off the books by the organization lester >> peter alexander, thank you.
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and today the former president was at the southern border joining the texas governor who is aiming to pick up where donald trump left off. as republicans try to make immigration key to their party's future gabe gutierrez is there. >> reporter: as new video emerges of a border patrol agent saving a migrant child from drowning in the rio grande, the road to next year's midterms is already hitting a wall >> people are coming across our border from more than 150 countries across the entire globe it is time to make sure we seal this border and close it down. >> reporter: texas governor greg abbott is doubling down on plans to set aside $250 million to resume construction of the border wall that the biden administration had halted today former president trump joined him at the border for the first time since leaving office >> we worked with the governor on this it's the exact wall that border patrol, i.c.e. and all of the professionals wanted >> reporter: after the photo op -- >> governor you have the legal authority to build this wall with state money? >> reporter: neither
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the former president nor the governor took questions, but the political optics are clear. texas republicans overwhelmingly support abbott's wall effort, and republican governors from other states, including florida and south dakota are also sending law enforcement personnel to the border. >> totally political theater. >> reporter: democrats are furious that at least some of the money had been allocated for covid relief >> he has no legal authority over federal issues he is a state governor he can't do what the federal government is supposed to do >> reporter: governor abbott has also asked the public for donations to help crowd fund the wall, though he hasn't given details how much it will cost or how long it will take lester >> all right, gabe, thanks up next for us tonight, how teenagers are playing a vital role as the economy comes back tonight, how teenagers are playing a vital role as the economy comes back. (sfx: branches rustle) it is bear country though. hey boo-boo! we hit the jackpot! bear! bear! bear! look, corn on the cob! oohh chicken! don't mind if i do! they're hungry. t-bone! that's what i call a smorgasbord!
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♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ - yes! ♪ ahhhhhhh ♪ ♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ as the economy recovers from the pandemic, many employers are having trouble hiring enough workers. but it's creating the biggest job boom for teens in over a decade stephanie ruhle with our series "reopening america. >> reporter: tina phillips owns the famous fourth street cookie company in philadelphia >> that's $4 >> reporter: as restrictions ease, customers are coming back but when it comes to getting employees back, that's been a different story. >> we're about up to eight people we're still looking for four more. >> reporter: to fill those jobs, she's turned to an unlikely group, teenagers if it were a different summer, would you be taking the resumes and bringing on 15, 16-year-olds >> if you asked me that before, i would say no, because i know
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they have to go back to school. >> reporter: julie holahan owns a nearby business and says she is experiencing the same thing. >> right now we currently have three teenagers working, and i'd say that's probably three more than we had 15 months ago. >> reporter: in may, more than 33% of 16 to 19-year-olds had a job, the highest level since 2008 part of what's causing more teenagers to be hired now is really their availability and their willingness to take many jobs that perhaps other adults are not rushing into right now. >> reporter: but hiring teens is complicated. there are regulations about the jobs they can have and the hours they can work. and come fall, many will quit to return to school but with a record 9.3 million job openings, many employers are willing to accept that, even if it's just a temporary fix >> thank you >> reporter: for now, teenagers are filling an important gap, helping the economy and helping teens themselves grow. >> the best part about having a job is being able to make money on your own, not rely on anyone else but yourself >> i get my money and
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i'm just saving it >> it gives you a chance to go out into the real world. >> reporter: the surge in teen hiring might not last beyond summer as older workers are expected to return when pandemic unemployment benefits come to an end lester >> all right, stephanie, thank you the man who led this country's wars in iraq and afghanistan, former defense secretary donald rumsfeld has died. here is andrea mitchell >> reporter: donald rumsfeld, the only defense secretary to serve two presidents, was both the youngest during the cold war for gerald ford -- >> i donald h. rumsfeld - >> reporter: and the oldest after 9/11, launching the wars in afghanistan and iraq under george w. bush but it is 9/11 and the iraq war that defined his service. today george w. bush recalled rumsfeld running to the fire in the pentagon to assist the wounded. only four days later rumsfeld told a national security meeting at camp david they needed a plan to go after saddam hussein, despite no proof of his connection to osama bin laden.
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>> there are known knowns there are things we know we know we also know there are known unknowns. >> reporter: then widely blamed after the 2003 invasion of iraq for not listening to advice about how to manage the war fired the day after the president lost both houses of congress in the 2006 midterms, rumsfeld remained defiant rumsfeld, 88, died of multiple myeloma in his memoir, he insisted he didn't lie about saddam having weapons of mass destruction. writing, "the far less dramatic truth is we were wrong." andrea mitchell, nbc, washington andrea mitchell, nbc, washington. up next, inspiring america. how a dog named radar helped her find her w . up next for us tonight, inspiring america. how a dog named radar helped her find her way to tokyo and helmets and a first aid kit and everything you need out here. some stuff to get you to the top and stuff to jump off the top with.
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finally tonight, the paralympic swimmer who set a world record and is heading to tokyo with a little help from her best friend some call them the dynamic duo. >> thank you >> others, just a match made in heaven >> i feel such a connection with him. and he is such a woosh. >> the adorable service dog named radar has become a lifeline for 17-year-old anastasia pagonis, after battling a condition that caused her to lose her eyesight three years ago. >> he's changed my life i didn't have any freedom or independence before him. but now that i have him, i feel like a totally different person. >> radar, forward. >> but with the same determination. an avid swimmer before becoming blind, the high school senior recently dove back into the sport with radar by her
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side, she spent week after grueling week training for the paralympic trials. earlier this month, she not only earned a spot in the u.s. paralympic swimming team heading to tokyo, but she shattered a world record too >> i was wait, no way! and i just could not stop smiling >> it hasn't been an easy journey to get to this point >> i felt like i was blind and i was this teenaged girl, i had nothing to live for anymore. >> reporter: it took a dog named radar to show her otherwise >> you can do anything, and you can be an elite athlete. >> let's get it! >> an elite athlete experiencing the world around her in a whole new way. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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here are the two battling to the line and allyson felix... simone manuel's above her trying to fight on, and above simone... getting an opportunity to show her stuff. nonstop, displayed at the highest performance level... finding something and the us takes gold! ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ - yes! ♪ ahhhhhhh ♪ ♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪
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i'm raj mathai. next on nbc bay area news tonight, a stunning legal reversal. bill cosby released from palestinian. prison. back home, a free man. his assault conviction, overturned. >> we didn't think he was treated fairly. how does this happen? and what does it mean for his accusers who came forward? we're joined by patricia stoier. we'll be digging into the legal details with michelle dawber.


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