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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 20, 2022 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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forecast it will have a little more. >> let's break it out later. rob, thanks a lot. >> thank you for watching. nightly news is coming up next. >> see you after the olympics. tonight, vladimir putin's march to war. with the u.s. saying an invasion is imminent, the new intelligence na putin has given the order to strike and some fighting has started as we speak. ukrainian soldiers hurt. civilians evacuated, as the state department warns it's dangerous for americans inside russia. president biden, huddling with his national security council today. >> we're talking about the potential for war in europe. >> the cost of that war, the new warning the price of gas and other goods will
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probably spike in the u.s. and could russia retaliate with a cyberattack here? the queen of england now battling covid, diagnosed more than a week after meeting with prince charles, who later tested positive. the latest on the condition of the 95-year-old monarch. two helicopter crashes near popular beaches just hours apart. the dramatic rescue in the water off the coast of california and the terrifying plunge off miami beach. the college basketball fight with the michigan coach throwing the first punch, while in nebraska, the real spirit of the game, the powerful moment between these players and this mother before every tip-off. good evening, i'm hallie jackson in for kate. the world tonight is holding its breath, bracing for russian president vladimir putin to make his move, with grim warnings from america's leaders, they fear he's made up his mind to go to war
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in ukraine, even as they try to buy time by muscling open the window for diplomacy. new reporting tonight shows that window may be slamming shut fast, with nbc news learning u.s. intelligence shows russian military officials have been given the green light to invade, according to top sources. and president biden today in the situation room for an emergency meeting. we have every angle covered this sunday night, starting with our erin mclaughlin in kyiv. >> reporter: tonight, a barrage of artillery fire increasing in war-ravaged donbas. with more than 1,500 explosions in just the past day. the region is part of ukraine, but controlled by pro-russian separatists. across the border in belarus, just hours from kyiv, an ominous sign the russian forces could be there to stay indefinitely. this morning, the belarusian defense minister extended his country's joint military exercises with russia which were scheduled to end today, citing the increasing violence in
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donbas. violence, u.s. officials allege, the russians have stoked to create the pretext for war. >> we're talking about the potential for war in europe. i mean let's really take a moment to understand the significance of what we're talking about. >> reporter: president biden holding an emergency meeting with his national security council today. >> there is still an option for him to pull back. that's what we're trying to do. we're trying to prevent a war. >> reporter: at french president emmanuel macron made a last-ditch effort with a phone call to vladimir putin. putin blamed the escalation in donbas on ukrainian forces and called on the west to respond to his demands for security degrees. >> there is no innovation and there is no such plans. >> reporter: but on the front lines, ukrainian soldiers say they're already under attack. president zelensky calling for an immediate cease-fire. >> we have already two people dead, 11 people wounded and it keeps going as we speak. >> reporter: inside separatist-controlled
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donbas, thousands of women and children are being evacuated on buses and trains. they're seeking safety in russia. final destination, unknown. i'm afraid because i have two little children. afraid that something can happen with them, she says. the men forced to stay and fight for russia-backed separatists. >> men from the age of 15 or 16 into their 50s aren't let out of the country, so this is something that's splitting a lot of families right now. >> reporter: families torn apart by a war that has yet to be declared. while tonight in kyiv, people can only pray that this war will end before it officially begins. >> erin joins us now from kyiv. erin, who are we hearing has been evacuated from these separatist regions. >> reporter: they're evacuating women and children. i've been texting one woman in donbas who says even though she's terrified, she's not going to leave her home. hallie. >> erin mclaughlin in
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kyiv, thank you. it's not just that the u.s. thinks an attack is imminent, multiple sources say there's intelligence it's already been ordered. josh lederman has new reporting from the white house tonight. josh, what have you learned? >> reporter: hallie, two people with knowledge say the u.s. picked up intelligence showing russian military officials were given an order to go ahead with an invasion. they say the u.s. witnessed russian military units take steps to carry out that order, preparing for an attack. president biden knew about that intelligence when he told reporters that putin had made a decision. the president has stayed close to the white house managing the crisis, but tonight the white house unexpectedly announced he'd spend presidents' day in delaware and abruptly cancelled the trip hours later. there's a new warning from the u.s. embassy in moscow about threats of attacks against public places in major russian cities. hallie. >> josh lederman, thanks. the president has been clear that u.s. troops will not fight in ukraine, but his administration has warned a war would
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still have consequences here in america. it could send the stock market sinking and the price of gas and other goods soaring. here's nbc's senior business analyst, stephanie ruhle, with the potential fallout. >> reporter: tonight a possible invasion thousands of miles away means potentially big impacts for wallets of americans here at home. gas and food prices, inflation and investments all at risk. as the white house tells companies to be on alert for possible russian cyberattacks on businesses and infrastructure, and warns of the potential economic effects in the weeks ahead. >> i will not pretend this will be painless. there could be impact on our energy prices. >> it requires sometimes for us to put ourselves out there in a way that maybe we will incur some cost. in this situation, that may relate to energy costs, for example. >> reporter: russia is one of the largest producers of oil and natural gas. western sanctions or retaliation from russian president vladimir putin could disrupt the flow of oil.
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meaning gas prices in the u.s. could soar, possibly as much as 30 cents per gallon. and that's not all. heating your home could also become more expensive. >> gas prices are going up much more, home heating is going up much more in europe. because we ship a lot of our gas over to europe, our prices will go up as well. so yes, we will be paying more. >> reporter: those rising prices of oil and gas could push up inflation even more, making everyday items including food more costly and that could slow economic growth if russia invades. the crisis is likely to cause more wild swings in the markets as global investors worry about how a potential conflict will play out, potentially impacting americans' investments. >> so for those who were planning to retire this year, start living off their retirement savings, should they be reconsidering? >> i think they might want to pause, just take a look around, see how this all plays out, what kind of damage it does to their nest egg. >> reporter: as people brace for the economic
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impacts, experts say the damage will hopefully be short term but warn there are still lots of unknowns of russia invades. stephanie ruhle, nbc news. to the other breaking news tonight, queen elizabeth has tested positive for covid, becoming the latest royal to come down with the virus, and there are very real concerns about her health given her age. molly hunter has the latest from london. >> reporter: today buckingham palace announced queen elizabeth has tested positive for covid-19. the 95-year-old monarch is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms and expects to continue light duties at windsor. the palace not sharing any details about where exactly she might have caught it. back on february 10th, her son, prince charles, tested positive for covid. his second bout with the virus. at the time, the palace said the queen had seen her son recently. on february 14th, camilla tested positive, but there was no update on the queen's health. >> very different for the head of state in the united states who as you all know has
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regular medicals and those checkups are made public. it's part of his or her role as the head of state. our head of state, the queen here in the uk, does not do that. the royal family tend to be much more private about their medical matters. >> reporter: and then on wednesday, the 16th, we saw queen elizabeth greet military leaders in person without a mask. the message to the public, she doesn't have it. >> the queen of england at the age of 95 fully vaccinated with her covid-19 shots is still at risk of hospitalization. it's much less if you're fully vaccinated like the queen. what's not clear is what variant of omicron most likely that she was infected with and could that affect her chances of also being able to get sick and potentially going to the hospital. >> reporter: according to the cdc, people 85 and older have the highest risk of severe illness from covid-19. last october, a health scare put her in the hospital overnight and
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forced her to rest up for a few weeks. but since the beginning of the year, she's been back at work, as she ramps up to her 96th birthday and the platinum jubilee celebrations coming this summer. >> molly joins us now from buckingham palace. molly, do we know if the queen has had a booster shot? >> reporter: we know for sure she has been double vaccinated. we do not know whether or not she's had a booster shot. we have asked, hallie. the palace says they do not provide rolling updates on her majesty's health. >> molly hunter, thank you. after 17 days and more than 100 events, the beijing olympics have come to an end. athletes from around the world gathering today for the closing ceremony to say good-bye to these unusual games. steve patterson has the highlights from beijing. >> reporter: tonight, a final farewell to a winter games like no other. the closing ceremony celebrating unity at an olympics oftentimes overshadowed by covid
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and controversy. bobsledder elana meyers taylor carried the flag for the u.s. while jessie diggins beamed as she got the silver medal she won just hours earlier. diggins leaving it all on the course. >> that was so hard, but it's so special. >> reporter: norway won that event and 36 others. the winter powerhouse topping the medal count. the u.s. finished with 25. under the glare of the global spotlight with expectations sky high, chloe kim did what she does best. >> that is guaranteed gold. >> quad flip to open. >> reporter: nathan chen simply dazzled. >> absolutely stunning. >> the best skater in the world just brought it on the biggest stage in the world. >> reporter: and erin jackson made history. >> erin jackson is into the lead! >> there isn't a lonelier place than standing center ice. >> reporter: we tried to make sense of a russian teenager's positive doping test, and said good-bye to an olympic legend.
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>> what a run he has had. >> i'm leaving behind a whole lifetime in the sport. and i'm proud of that. i'm proud of every -- every moment of it. >> reporter: after a fourth place finish at last night's team event, another veteran >> i get that people will say we short after a long olympics. this is my absolute favorite memory, and i just want to thank you for that. >> reporter: proving no matter the challenges, the olympics are often about a lot more than medals. steve patterson, nbc news, beijing. still ahead tonight, dramatic video of two helicopter crashes on both coasts just hours apart. plus, donald trump apart. plus, donald trump is retur ni if you have type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure...'re a target for... ...chronic kidney disease. you can already have it and not know it. if you have chronic kidney disease... ...your kidney health...
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>> airplane crash, newport boulevard and west coast highway. >> reporter: it happened just south of l.a. in newport beach, california, where the officers were responding to a call. >> it was like flipping over and spinning. >> it started losing control and went into a tailspin, came all the way down. >> reporter: inside, two officers with the huntington beach police department. one released from the hospital. but 44-year-old nicholas bella, a 14-year veteran of the department, did not survive. now the entire fleet is grounded, as investigators try to determine what happened. >> we do regular maintenance, ongoing maintenance and there's a schedule that is comprehensive with respect to the maintenance on our helicopters, so i don't know what occurred. >> reporter: it comes just hours after another shocking crash, this time in miami beach, where a chopper plunged into the water just barely missing the crowded beach. lieutenant lucas bocanegra was one of the first officers on the scene. >> the location of the crash site helped the three survivors
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tremendously, because it wasn't too far into the ocean, it wasn't very deep. >> just off the sand. >> reporter: experts say helicopters are generally safe and crashes like these do not happen often. >> typically you're supposed to be 500 feet vertically or horizontally away from the nearest person or structure. but when helicopters are landing and taking off in crowded areas, you know, they're designed for that. then there is -- there are exceptions. >> reporter: tonight, the ntsb is investigating. blayne alexander, nbc news. still ahead, the college coach throwing punches today. what he is saying now. plus, the next olympics already plus, the next olympics already ramping avoiding triggers, but can't keep migraine attacks away? qulipta™ can help prevent migraine attacks... it can't prevent your next period. qulipta™ can help prevent migraine attacks... it can't prevent stress. you can't prevent what's going on outside, that's why qulipta™ helps what's going on inside. qulipta™ is a pill. gets right to work
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former president donald trump is getting back on social media, but not on twitter. instead, he's trying to compete with it. this week his own app called truth social is expected to hit the apple app store. twitter permanently banned mr. trump after the january 6th insurrection, accusing him of using his twitter account to incite violence. check out what happened at the end of the wisconsin/michigan basketball game today. michigan head coach juwan howard was arguing with wisconsin's coaches. and then look closely, this happened. >> juwan howard just threw a right hand! and now we've got a scrum! we have a scrum. >> the fight was eventually broken up. howard said he was upset that wisconsin called what he considered an unnecessary time-out with 30 seconds left in a game the badgers were leading by double digits. wisconsin beat michigan 77-63. so the beijing
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olympics may be in the history books tonight, but in paris, organizers are already working hard to get ready for the next games, with ground-breaking venues and athletes who have never gone for the gold before, like for the first time ever, olympic break dancers. keir simmons explains. >> reporter: tonight, the spotlight turns to the city of lights. a return to europe after three olympics in asia. organizers' revolutionary vision integrating the city's historic architecture, with olympic sports, archery and esplanade. fencing, and beach volleyball at the foot of the eiffel tower. >> we want to offer a new celebration and be creative. i think it's the time also to reinvent a little bit the games and make sure that those games will be completely different. >> reporter: that includes the debut of a surprising new sport, break dancing. american olympic
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hopeful, logan, hopes she'll be competing for team usa. >> i'm just a vessel to inspire other people to do what i'm doing of the and so yeah, i want to take home the gold for sure. >> reporter: in all, 306 events, 95% of them at pre-existing locations. but the massive olympic village is being built from scratch. they're racing to get it done, so far on schedule. >> right here in the heart of what is the biggest construction site in france right now. >> reporter: hard to imagine this as an athlete village right now. >> it is, isn't it? >> reporter: but the city's truly olympic-size undertaking is under water. preparations for a spectacular opening ceremony on the iconic river senne with boats carrying 10,000 athletes downstream and some events,ing through the triathlon, in the river. the $1.1 billion
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cleanup effort is now under way and the city expects part will be swimmable to the general public by 2025. >> that will be a massive and historical legacy for the olympics. >> reporter: tonight's french gold medalist says france is ready for the return of the games. >> it's just a dream to do the olympics in your home country. for me paris is the most beautiful city in the world. i'm really looking forward to see what's going to happen. >> reporter: and paris 2024 is also working towards becoming the first olympics in history to complete its carbon footprint. when we come back, its carbon footprint. when we come back, ♪ limu emu ♪ and doug. we gotta tell people that liberty mutual customizes car insurance so you only pay for what you need, and we gotta do it fast. [limu emu squawks]
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there's good news tonight about keeping memories alive and the unbreakable bond between one mom and a team of young basketball players. go to almost any game to cheer on the mustangs in sumner, nebraska, and you'll see something that's become so much more than just a tradition. one by one, these high school players making their way to the bleachers to hug jennifer dehart, the mother of their teammate, eli, who was killed just over a year ago. >> jennifer, what does it mean to you to receive those hugs, those embraces from these students? >> they make me feel special. they make my family feel special. like eli is hugging me through each and every
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one of them because he loved them so much. and they loved him as well, so it's like home every time i'm there. hard. >> it's sometimes still hard for dehart to talk about eli who was just 14 when he died in a car crash. >> share some memories about eli. what was he like? >> he was so much fun, always making everybody laugh. couldn't ask for a better kid. and he loved basketball. >> that's why eli's lifelong buddies, kellen and noah, knew their team needed a special way to honor him. >> we thought it would be a good way to show our love for jennifer and that we're always there for her and will have her back. >> in this tight-knit community, it's a small but mighty gesture to support the woman so many call mama jen. >> even when i see her outside of the games, i tend to give her a hug, tell her i love her and have a good
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conversation with her. just to see her is so nice. >> the team's dedication is a point of pride for their coach, who said it's helping them heal too. >> i'm just really, really proud of what they came up with. the boys continue to do this when their names are announced because it's so important to them. >> keeping eli in their hearts. >> if i can say one thing to eli right now, i'd probably just tell him i love him, miss him. >> by spreading the love he gave to others. >> going to those boys' games is hard, but i wouldn't want to be anywhere else, honestly. i know that my son is there with them. it's just the best feeling in the world, because it's like my son is hugging me through them and it means so much to me. >> jennifer says she plans on going to the games for years to come to support the team. that's nbc nightly news for this sunday. lester holt will be in tomorrow. i'm hallie jackson. forll of us here at a
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just brought it on the biggest stage in the world. nathan chen is the olympic gold medalist. china's national stadium better known as the bird's nest where tonight's xxiv olympic games concludes. in the 16 nights since the games were opened amid a web of uncertainty, it's been a tapestry of stories. as complex as any before. for the members of team u.s.a., this a night to celebrate the experience of a


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