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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 23, 2022 2:06am-2:41am PDT

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reports of tornados striking the south, twisters including a powerful ef-3, al roker is here. horror on the highway, six high school girls killed in a crash with a semi, what we're learning. investigation of a deadly boeing jet crash in china, could it have been equipment failer or even intentional, and children evacuated from ukraine to the u.s. with cancer for life-saving treatment. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening, the sense of history in the room was palpable, even if the process itself followed a familiar washington path of posturing and political opportunism, judge ketanji brown jackson, first black woman nominee to the supreme court facing hours of questioning to the senate
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judiciary committee in day two of her confirmation hearing, praised by democrats, grilled by republicans, both sides drag her into partisan food fights, the 51-year-old wife and mom defending her from what was coming, her philosophy, stay in my lane, in part, on accusations she was soft on crime including handing out lighter sentences to those on child pornography cases, nothing could be further from the truth she says and an action on roe v wade settled into law, the hearing going into the evening, our peter alexander with late details and highlights. >> reporter: tonight, judge ketanji brown jackson facing at times contentious questioning, nominated first black woman on the nation's highest court >> my record demonstrated my impartiality.
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>> reporter: accusations she was soft on crime noting her brothers and uncles served on law enforcement. >> i know what it's like having loved ones go off to protect and serve and the fear of not knowing whether or not they're going to come home again because of crime in the community. >> reporter: addressing criticism that her sentences in child pornography possession cases have been too lenient. >> as a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, i was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. >> reporter: republican ted cruz highlighted several cases where jackson's sentences were shorter than what prosecutors recommended. >> do you believe the voice of the children is heard when 100% of the time your sentencing for those with child pornography is less than what the prosecutors were asking for.
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>> yes, senator, i do, judges don't just take the guidelines and stop, they have to take into account the circumstances of the defendant because that's a requirement of congress. >> reporter: most federal judges in these cases sentenced below the guidelines because they consider them out of date, jackson also pressed for views on court packing, the idea promoted by some democrats to unbalance the supreme court adding more justices, ginsberg and stephen breyer she will replace, opposed >> do you agree with justice breyer and justice ginsberg that court packing is a bad idea? >> respectfully, senator, other nominees to the supreme court have responded as i will, which is that it is a policy question for congress >> reporter: jackson, who's received bipartisan praise for her experience as a federal
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public defender today explaining her work defending guantanamo bay detainees. >> that's what you do as a federal public defender. you are standing up for the constitutional value of representation >> reporter: lindsey graham using questions about jackson's faith. >> on a scale of one to 10, how faithful would you say you are in terms of religion >> well, senator, i am reluctant to talk about my faith in this way. >> reporter: to blast democrats treatment of now justice amy coney barrett in 2020. >> if a conservative woman wants to stand out and say i love my family just as much as you love yours and my faith means just as much to me as it does you, all of a sudden they're some kind of weirdo. >> reporter: jackson also asked about her views on the second amendment. >> the supreme court has established that the individual right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right. >> reporter: and on landmark abortion rights cases. >> roe and casey are the settled
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law of the supreme court >> reporter: with her confirmation assured if democrats stay united, reflecting on the historic nature of her nomination >> i have received so many notes and letters and photos from little girls around the country, in that they have thought about the law in new ways, because i am a woman, because i am a black woman. >> and peter, this is just the start, judge jackson will face another round of questions tomorrow. >> reporter: that's right, lester and nothing really happened today that appears likely to knock judge jackson off her path for confirmation, the white house pleased with her performance so far lester >> peter alexander, thank you, tomorrow, president biden heads overseas for emergency nato summit in brussels, the president expected to press for harder sanctions against russia which still sells its oil and gas to many european countries
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this comes as ukraine steps up its campaign to keep russian forces out of its capitol. richard engel is in kyiv tonight. >> reporter: with kyiv under a total curfew, ukrainian troops today went on the offensive, using hit and run tactics to drive back russian troops from the capitol. ukraine's main objective now is to prevent russian forces from encircling kyiv. like they did to mariupol. this new drone video released by ukraine appears to show russian strikes on factory and see industrial buildings, and these new satellite images reveal smoke rising above the besieged city, still cut off with hundreds of thousands of people without food and water ukraine's president zelenskyy is calling for an immediate summit with russian president putin zelenskyy today spoke by video link to italy's parliament calling for more sanctions against russia after criticizing the u.s. and nato for not acting
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with sanctions sooner which he says would have prevented the invasion meanwhile, russia released new video of its attack on a shopping mall in kyiv this week, insisting ukraine was using it as a site to launch missiles and store ammunition russia has met fierce resistance from ukrainians across the country and now for the first time today, a senior u.s. defense official says russia has lost more than 10% of its combat power in ukraine but increasingly, resistance is also inside russia, and the kremlin is trying to crush it. a russian court today sentenced putin's top critic, alexei navalny to nine more years in maximum security prison, allegedly for fraud, navalny's supporters say the charges are simply another way to keep putin's enemy off the streets. >> russian troops hampered by shortage on food and fuel, saying some russian troops lack
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appropriate cold weather gear and had to be pulled out of the fight because of frostbite >> thank you, and despite those problems russian forces closing in on several series, yet as gabe gutierrez reports, while under siege, many ukrainians are hanging on >> it's become a bleak existence. this is the dark, frigid basement where a dozen families cram together each night huddled by candle light, fueled by defiance. >> when the bombing is going, then you never know where it will drop. >> reporter: victoria velotava works for a charity in chenihiv in northern ukraine near belarus, russian troops surrounded the city but it's holding on, same as other cities like mariupol and kharkiv. >> this is not a war between ukraine and russia, this is a war between light and darkness between goodness and evil. we are determined to protect our
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land and to stay here. >> reporter: many others have not stayed more from ravaged cities arriving in lviv today, natalie is from kyiv, surrounded by russian troops on three sides. she decided to get out with her family before it's too late. others are making the remarkable choice to return a humanitarian corridor opened up today and this train is being loaded up with supplies and people who are headed back east to pick up loved ones. >> this woman is coming back from poland to care for her sick father in eastern ukraine. this mother is returning with her young daughter this is my country, she says firmly refugees now top 3 1/2 million as a volunteer train conductor, sergiv has seen a lot of them. the defiance in places like mariupol weighs heavily on him >> mariupol, a strong hold of freedom.
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a strong hold -- >> reporter: tonight, in parts of ukraine, they are surrounded but not defeated, lester >> gabe gutierrez, thank you at the nato summit, president biden could announce a plan to keep u.s. troops deployed to countries near ukraine permanently. this comes as the u.s. joins a major nato military exercise in norway courtney kube is there with american forces. >> reporter: tonight, troops from nato countries are descending across europe 30,000 now in a remote coastal corner of norway nearly 200 miles above the arctic circle, today's scenario, norway being attacked by another nation, nato responds, invoking article five of the 1949 treaty stating an attack on one of nato's member is an attack on all, first and only time it was invoked was 9/11, on hand for today's exercises, troops from 27 countries.
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most here manners came on shore yesterday, the mission, link up with nato allies and other marines where they simulate an exercise to attack nato enemy. attacks from land, air, and sea, this is cold response 22, a military exercise where nato partners must work together in frigid conditions. >> in the continental, you know, 48 states, weather is not as extreme as here in the high north so getting that exposure is really nice because there's a lot to learn, that's for sure. >> reporter: today's drills planned months before russia's invasion of ukraine. >> it's naive to think it's not on peoples' minds so absolutely they're tracking it and so are we but the exercise is completely separate. >> reporter: the dangers of operating in this harsh environment evident last week when an osprey crashed during training exercise killing the four marines on board. >> their best friends remains on the way back to the u.s. and families grieving, here, the challenge always is to stay focused on the training and mission at hand.
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>> reporter: a mission preparing them for real-world scenarios, and as the war unfolds in europe, the stakes feel even higher courtney kube, nbc news, bartabus, norway >> in 60 seconds, already new reports of as many as 18 tornados across the south. this after a deadly day in texas. al roker is here
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new reports coming in of at least 18 possible tornados touching down in the south tonight, on the heels of the deadly outbreak in texas, at least 20 reported tornados leaving at least one person dead and 19 injured the most powerful had 150 mile an hour wind that slammed the city of jaksboro northwest of dallas morgan chesky is on the ground for us what do you see? >> reporter: well, from what we are seeing is shock mixed with overwhelming relief because this is all that's left of
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jaksboro elementary school where hundreds of students and teachers road out this incredible storm, and they were supposed to have a tornado drill later this week that yesterday, proved all too real tonight, devastation in texas. from a string of storms, now striking across the south. >> nobody needs to be on the highway right now. >> reporter: mississippi on high alert after a deadly 24 hours in texas. the twisters shredding homes, tossing cars. >> get inside! >> reporter: leaving many scrambling to take shelter one tornado striking during rush hour monday, crossing a busy i-35 unfolding on live tv. >> tornado on the ground now. >> reporter: another close call capturing the storm rolling a red pick-up truck then tossing it back on the road, somehow the driver speeding to safety. in jaksboro, two hours south of dallas, a suspected tornado ripped the roof off of the high school, butit was a direct hit on the elementary that nearly
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brought police chief scott haynes to tears. with the roof caving in, his biggest fear, the 400 students and teachers trapped inside. i know you don't want to dwell on it, but how easily it could have gone the other way? >> there could have been a lot of casualties just out of this one structure here in jaksboro >> reporter: the chief leading us down the debris-strewn hallway where he checked the school's safe room >> to have immediate entry into the room and having the kids grabbing on to you and things like that, was a good feeling. >> reporter: he calls it a miracle, every student and teacher unscathed. marching on. >> we're tracking those storms tonight, al roker is here. >> here we're talking louisiana to mississippi, alabama, tornado watches there, tornado warnings
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popping up as well, now 10 million people at risk for severe weather, significant tornados possible tonight as the system moves east with wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour, tomorrow, it expands to 27 million people from ohio river valley into southeast, panama city and jacksonville, also looking at extremely heavy rainfall rates, that's why we have a moderate to risk of flooding all the way up new orleans to nashville, generally three to 4 inches of rain but some folks could see 6 inches of rain plus so make sure you're prepared to get out and evacuate to higher ground as the systems move through >> i know you and your team will track it out, thank you very much. in oklahoma, tragedy on the highway, six girls from the high school killed when their car collided with a semi truck superintendant says they were going off-campus for lunch, no word on the condition of the truck driver up next for us, what caused the deadly crash of a boeing jetliner in china, the critical issues investigators are looking
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it's the commercial aviation work horse, why did that chinese boeing 737-800 suddenly plunge and crash, apparently killing everyone on board? tom costello has the latest. >> reporter: buried and scattered across a hillside in southern china, the remains of china eastern flight 5735, no survivors, just the personal belongings of 132 people on board.
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chinese investigators now say the boeing 737-800 was leveled at 29,000 feet when it suddenly went into a fast and fatal nose dive slamming into the ground in less than 2 minutes. its final seconds captured on a surveillance camera. chinese authorities say they promise to find the cause of the accident as soon as possible at the dream aero simulator in maryland, retired captain mark whites showed us what the final seconds may have looked like >> we're going down 6,000 feet a minute now. >> and getting faster and faster. >> absolutely, look, coming back with the throttles. >> can you pull out or is it too late >> i got 8,000 feet, i just hit the mountains. there's your reason. >> think how many seconds we had. you couldn't pull this out you just don't have enough strength >> reporter: the plane's black boxes could answer critical questions, did the plane suffer a critical mechanical or structural error, did the crew respond properly, and even, was
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the crash intentional. >> investigators got to look at the background of this flight crew and what was happening in this cockpit to rule out whether an intentional act was involved here we still just don't know >> the boeing 737-800 with a stellar safety record is not a 737 max, but three years after two fatal max crashes, boeing is again under scrutiny, tom costello, nbc news washington. up next, inside a potentially life saving mission to bring critically ill ukrainian children to the u.s. >> announcer: "nbc nightly news" is brought to you by farxiga
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for some ukrainian children, the best hope of surviving war and cancer was here in the u.s., kerry sanders with the life-saving mission. >> reporter: ukrainian children who escaped the bombs and bullets but not what threatened their lives before putin attacked, two boys, two girls, as young as 18 months, old as eight years, each with advanced cancers, tonight with expedited help from u.s. state department at st. jude's research children's hospital in memphis. >> cancer diagnosis for a family is already a life-changing
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thing. >> then a war hits. >> exactly >> reporter: dr. asaiah says it was a fast paced 72 hours after arriving in poland, working with doctors to bring over children cancer patients strong enough to survive the trip to the u.s. >> no one can promise the family they'll be able to survive the cancer but what are the likelihoods now versus what they were facing. >> for sure if they remained in ukraine, they would have died from the disease so this is at least a hope for a different outcome. >> doctors at st. judes say those are arrive here, now monitored closely for infections, a problem more unlikely in a war zone. >> as they try to leave the home to find a place. >> as these children arrive fighting cancer, do you think putin has any idea what he is doing? >> i would bet not. >> tonight, st. judes said the
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race away from a war zone is over, now the battle against cancer resumes kerry sanders, nbc news, memphis. >> that's nightly news tomorrow a report from brussels ahead of the nato summit ♪ ♪ >> kelly: ♪♪ alone in this house again tonight ♪
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♪ i got the tv on, the sound turned down and a bottle of wine ♪ ♪ there's pictures of you and i on the walls around me ♪ ♪ the way that it was and could have been surrounds me ♪ ♪ i'll never get over you walkin' away ♪ ♪ i've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show ♪ ♪ and i thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control ♪ ♪ but i'm just drunk enough to let go of my pain ♪ ♪ to hell with my pride, let it fall like rain ♪ ♪ from my eyes ♪
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♪ tonight i want to cry ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show ♪ ♪ and i thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control ♪ ♪ but i'm just drunk enough to let go of my pain ♪ ♪ to hell with my pride, let it fall like rain ♪ ♪ from my eyes ♪ ♪ tonight i wanna cry ♪♪ [cheers and applause]
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>> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show"! give it up for my band, y'all! [cheers and applause] that was keith urban's "tonight i wanna cry." it's a great song. what is your connection to that song, alexis? >> my connection to the song it embodies the feeling i had with my mom passed away a couple of years ago. i was in palo alto in a condo and sitting in front of the tv with the tv turned down and a glass of wine. immediately in that moment, instead of letting it go emotionally, i was able to embody her presence. the song reminds me of strength and how things happen for me and never to me. [cheers and applause] >> kelly: i love that, awesome. thank you so much. from the new hbo series that i love, "the gilded age," louisa jacobson is here. then in honor of women's history month, we are hanging out with l.a.'s first-ever fire chief. [cheers and applause] plus, country sensation
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chris janson is performing! our gas to happens to be a oscar-winning actress , she went toe-to-toe with batman and "the dark night. you can see her alongside jared leto in "wecrashed." it's an amazing show, got to watch it. give it up for anne hathaway! ♪ ♪ [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪ >> kelly: oh, my gosh! [cheers and applause] >> anne: thank you! >> kelly: i love the color. i was like, you wear your colors today. you have a cool ritual about relaxing, distressing, which i think is awesome. >> anne: thank you very much. it's a ritual, it is helpful if you have a grill or backyard, right now i live in new york, so
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i haven't been able to do it for a while. life is life and we all kind of get overwhelmed sometimes. one of the things i like to do, you light a candle, set a timer for 12 minutes, get some paper, pen, and then just write for 12 minutes. you don't even think about what you are writing, you don't even read it back, then a 12 minutes, you stop a timer, you set the thing on fire. >> kelly: that sounds awesome! >> anne: it's really great. they are something really wonderful about taking all the stuff that was making you so worked up and off your center and destabilized, that you could probably scream. and watch it turn into ash, turn into nothing. it is really powerful. >> kelly: i love that. turning into ash, that is nice. >> anne: it is. we are complicated creatures. by the way, alexis, that was a beautiful story about your mom. thank you for sharing. >> kelly: i know and she looks so beautiful today too. [applause] so we are both turning 40 this year. >> anne: we are both turning 40. >> kelly: i'm excited.
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i know a lot of women in the industry get weird about age. i love it. i feel like life gets exponentially better every year. >> anne: i get more comfortable every year and i get more grateful. i feel like staying grateful is getting easier. i don't know, i think a little bit of it is, you are probably the same way being in the music industry, you have the opportunity to learn from so many people that came before. i have always had friends from older generations. so for me, aging never seemed like a big deal because i have always had friends those ages. but i have lost a few friends that have shifted and i realized that i am over the halfway point if i go at the same point as them. so the way i am holding it, yeah, you are turning 40. you might be closer to the end than the beginning. get to the good stuff. [applause] you don't know. >> kelly: i love that. >> anne: the world is the world right now. so if you have the opportunity
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to choose joy, then i think we are obliged to take it, frankly. [cheers and applause] >> kelly: absolutely. i love also that you said shifted. i always think it is weird how people are always like, you know, friends -- there are seasons were some relationships in our lives and i think that is important that that is okay. i like that you said "shifted." >> anne: i don't like to say they are lost. by the way come i don't usually talk about the stuff personally, i am turning red. you are really good at what you do. i like shifted -- >> kelly: it's nice. >> anne: i think it is softer and to me feels more honest. >> kelly: absolutely. because that might not be the end of the story. >> anne: that's what i mean. >> kelly: people come and go pray that is something i learned -- it is funny, because you said i'm from the music indi think everybody, there are literally so many different types of ages. so many generations and what we do, especially on tour. that's awesome. i think you learned from all of the different people and i think that people come and go and it's nice.


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