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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 23, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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destruction in mariupol after nearly a month of fighting. the toll growing on both sides nato estimating as many as 15,000 russian troops have been killed president biden set to meet with fellow nato leaders here in brussels and what he may announce about u.s. troops in the region also tonight, the deadly tornado at least an ef-3 tearing through the new orleans area a governor declaring a state of emergency more than 60 tornadoes reported over 48 hours. where the threat is headed tonight moderna announcing it will ask the fda to authorize its covid vaccine for children under 6. how well does it protect young kids and how soon could they get their shots? the final day of questioning for supreme court nominee ketanji brown jackson. her tense exchange with republican lindsey graham over child pornography. and the case involving race jackson says she'll recuse herself from and remembering the first woman to serve as u.s. secretary of state
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the tributes pouring in tonight for madeleine albright >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt, reporting tonight from brussels good evening from brussels, everyone, where tonight president biden and fellow nato leaders are gathering for tomorrow's emergency summit over ukraine. they're looking to help ukraine and give more pain to vladimir putin. they're deploying four new battle groups in bulgaria, hungary, romania and slovakia, as a check on further russian ambitions. tonight the u.s. officially accusing russia of committing war crimes in ukraine, citing available evidence the mayor of kyiv says 264 civilians there have been killed, while nato officials estimate that as many as 15,000 russian troops have died in the first month of the
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war. both numbers impossible to know for sure a lot to cover tonight. we begin with richard engel. >> reporter: drone footage released by local ukrainian fighters shows the aftermath of what looks like carpet bombing inside mariupol similar attacks on homes, hospitals, and schools led the u.s. state department today to assess russian forces have committed war crimes this morning, russia fired more missiles at kyiv, destroying apartments and trying to spread fear but the people of this city refuse to bow down russia has significantly intensified attacks in and around kyiv over the last 24 hours, leaving more and more homes across the city like this one. barbara, a resident and volunteer, said russia has already bombed this area four times. but it's not helping russia's advance in a government building in kyiv, two of the capital's top security officials monitor a real time battle map,
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unclassified, that shows russian troops are losing territory around kyiv. the red areas are under russian occupation the blue areas are new territory ukrainian forces say they've recaptured in the last 48 hours, much of it in the last 24 hours "not just that the russians don't have gas or other means to fight, but it's the actions of the ukrainian army that led to destroying their lines of communication so they can't replenish their food, fuel, and other equipment," said the city's police and military adviser have you ever seen something like this before during the course of this war is this the most blue areas that you've had? "we haven't seen such big territorial gains in the outskirts of kyiv," he said one month on, russia's war looks increasingly like a fiasco. and according to a new nato estimate, as many as 15,000 russian troops have been killed so far.
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and it sounds like it could be another long night here in kyiv [ sirens ] >> that mournful sound. richard, thank you president biden arriving here in brussels for that nato summit nbc's kristen welker joins us now what are we expecting to hear from president biden and the others >> reporter: good evening, lester. since the west's significant sanctions have not stopped russia's invasion so far, president biden has said there is a threat that putin may news chemical weapons. nbc news has learned the president may announce the u.s. plans to indefinitely maintain an increased number of u.s. troops deployed to nato countries. ukraine's president zelenskyy is expected to address the group virtually and again plead for more help. and as the refugee crisis mounts, president biden will end his trip with a stop in poland, lester a lot at stake >> kristen, good to
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have you with us tonight. a different kind of devastation back home deadly tornadoes in the south. and it may not be over tornado watch in parts of florida, georgia, ohio, west virginia, pennsylvania, and kentucky sam brock is near new orleans where the scope of the damage is immense. sam? >> reporter: lester, immense but concentrated here in araby, the tornado's path was only a couple of blocks wide but a few miles long in terms of the impact on homes. this area is all too familiar with mother nature's wrath the sight of a black funnel cloud barreling toward nuew orleans >> there it goes >> reporter: prompted gasps and cries. >> there it is you can see it get to your safe place. >> reporter: a monstrous twister leaving fractured neighborhoods in its wake >> this is it, this is what's left of it. >> oh, yeah, you can't go in there. >> reporter: this is karen baker's once
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beautiful home which she spent years saving to buy >> basically i have to start all over >> reporter: i see tears streaming down your face. >> yes >> reporter: how devastating is -- >> i mean, it's very devastating when, you know, like all your hard work is gone up in the air >> reporter: now baker's friends help her gather what clothes and items they can and load them onto a truck. in one sense, new orleans was fortunate. the terror streaking over the mississippi river only causing one confirmed fatality and a handful of injuries in what preliminary surveys show was at least an ef-3. >> and when you see the path of this tornado, that is an absolute miracle >> reporter: on the other, a region historically pummelled from hurricanes katrina, zeta, and ida, took another blow if even on a microscale >> i've been to katrina but this is way worse because everything was leveled, the whole neighborhood was
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leveled. >> reporter: an area trying to bury that trauma is a particularly resilient bunch, ready to bounce back again this is your life. >> this is my life right here, out of a bag. this is it >> reporter: sam brock, nbc news, araby, louisiana some welcome news for parents tonight on covid. moderna says it is weeks away from asking the fda to authorize emergency use of its vaccine for children six months to 6 years old. miguel almaguer is here miguel, this could happen by summer >> reporter: lester, it could, if moderna gets emergency authorization from the fda, it would be available for 18 million children in the country who for now have no or option to get vaccinated. moderna will offer its two-dose vaccine to children 6 months to 6 years old. the shot just one fourth of the dose offered to adults. it was only 40% effective in preventing symptomatic illness but the
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company says there's been no cases of severe illness in another big announcement, airlines are now asking the biden administration to roll back the federal mask mandate on planes which is set to expire next month they also want to lift international testing requirements lester >> miguel almaguer, thank you. in washington, a final day of questioning for supreme court nominee judge ketanji brown jackson. our peter alexander has late details >> reporter: for a second straight day, judge ketanji brown jackson facing heated questions from republicans charging she's soft on crime. >> why did you sentence him for half the amount >> you're not recognized, senator. >> reporter: pointing to cases where jackson handed out sentences for child pornography offenders that were shorter than prosecutors recommended. >> one of the most effective deterrents is one that i imposed in every case, and that judges across the country impose in every case, which is substantial,
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substantial supervision. any of these defendants -- >> wait, wait. you think it is a bigger deterrent to take somebody who is on a computer, looking at sexual images of children in the most disgusting way, is to supervise their computer habits versus putting them in jail >> no, senator, i didn't say -- >> that's exactly what you said >> reporter: jackson's sentences were in line with 70% of federal judges late last night republicans pressed jackson on cultural issues too including transgender rights >> can you provide a definition for the word "woman" >> can i provide a definition >> mm-hmm. yeah >> i can't >> you can't >> not in this context. >> okay. >> i'm not a biologist. if there is a dispute about a definition, people make arguments. >> all right >> and i look at the law and decide >> reporter: late in the day jackson becoming emotional as cory booker praised her historic nomination >> you have earned
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this spot. you have worthy. you are a great american >> reporter: tonight judge jackson says if confirmed she'll recuse herself from an affirmative action case next term involving minority admissions policies as harvard where she serves on a policy board, left of her. >> peter alexander, thank you. here in brussels as nato leaders look for solutions they might find inspiration in a groundbreaking woman who devoted much of her life to preserving world peace. madeleine albright, the first woman to be secretary of state, died today of cancer at 84. here is andrea mitchell >> i, madeleine korbel albright >> reporter: madeleine albright, first woman secretary of state, was always a trailblazer. a warrior for democracy against totalitarianism. born maria korbel, daughter of a czech diplomat, a refugee, arriving in the u.s. at age 11, after her parents sought asylum from communism in 1948 she only learned in
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1997 her grandparents were jewish and victims of the holocaust. a beloved professor at georgetown when president clinton tapped her to become u.n. ambassador in 1993, she fought for military intervention to stop genocide in bosnia, butting heads with colin powell over his reluctance to commit u.s. forces they later became close friends. >> now it's an independent country and there's a whole generation of little girls whose first name is madeleine >> reporter: albright mentored generations of future diplomats. >> i have not found that being a woman is a handicap in fact i have found it a terrific gender to be. >> reporter: her passion for pins became part of her diplomatic arsenal a serpent. a dove an upside down bird to honor downed anti-castro pilots shot down by cuban migs after leaving the state department, albright continued promoting democracy, teaching, visiting refugee camps into her
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80s, and supporting hillary clinton's quest for the white house. >> there is a special place in hell for women who don't help each other >> reporter: awarded a presidential medal of freedom in 2012, she considered herself first and foremost a mother, grandmother, and grateful american. andrea mitchell, nbc news in 60 seconds, watching carefully as bird flu cases tick up and up on poultry farms across america the impact on the grocery store and your wallet
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we're back now with a rapidly spreading outbreak in the u.s. of bird flu health experts say it poses little risk to humans but it could send food prices soaring even higher. here is tom costello >> reporter: it's happening at poultry farms across the country. a massive slaughter under way that could send food prices soaring. 190,000 birds culled in south dakota. 570,000 broiler chickens in nebraska 6.2 million in iowa.
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with farmers fearful of losing their entire flocks from kansas. >> you can take all the precautions you want to and you still might have a backyard flock that could catch this virus >> reporter: to long island, new york >> one little case and it could spread to the others, the next thing you know they'll all be gone. >> reporter: the map shows bird flu cases have spread across at least a third of the country, often carried by wild geese and ducks, sometimes drinking or eating from the same source even zoo birds are at risk >> now that it's a little closer we're having to go ahead and move them indoors. >> reporter: unlike covid, health experts say there's little risk of bird flu jumping to humans. >> this virus is devastating for birds, it can go from flock to flock, but it doesn't easily transmit to humans and it definitely doesn't go human to human at this point >> reporter: during a previous bird flu outbreak, i had to suit up in a biosecurity suit and decontaminate my shoes before going into a poultry farmhouse.
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now experts warn this latest outbreak is the wors since 2015 when 50 million birds were slaughtered or killed by the virus, and it's only growing worse the risk to humans, very low experts say poultry and eggs are completely safe to eat. but expect prices will go higher, lester. >> tom costello tonight, thank you up next, a look at this moment of crisis for nato as the alliance confronts one of the biggest tests in its history
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back here in brussels, where leaders will be meeting on the ukraine crisis just hours from now. nato finds itself at a crossroads, a gut check moment as it confronts the very kind of threat it was designed to meet head on [ sound of gunfire ] >> reporter: drills like these have always kept nato forces prepared for a possible attack. and tonight, the threat from russian president vladimir putin may be the most tenuous moment for nato in decades. admiral jame stavridis is nato's former allied commander. >> this is in every sense the seminal moment for this alliance in the 21st century. we need to be ready. >> reporter: the cornerstone of nato is article v, which says an attack on one nato ally is an attack on all. since nato was formed after world war ii, it's been invoked just once -- 9/11 now as nato leaders gather here in
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brussels for their emergency session, at the top of mind, the fear that putin could extend his invasion into a nato country. what kind of shape is nato in right now? >> lester, nato outmatches russia ten to one in spending, five to one in troops, four to one in combat aircraft nato remains formidable >> reporter: if, for example, poland were to be attacked today, how quickly could the rest of the nations answer the call to help defend poland >> very quickly. 60,000 u.s. troops, thousands of combat aircraft can be on scene immediately. >> reporter: so far, the 30 nato countries have remained largely united in providing military aid to ukraine. but many nato countries that depend on russian oil and gas have not stopped buying it. giving a critical lifeline for putin ukraine's president zelenskyy now pleading with president biden and nato to go . . further, including tougher sanctions and writing, how many more people does russia have to kill for nato
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leaders to respond positively to ukraine's request for a no-fly zone or the aircraft we so desperately need what do you think the point of this particular meeting is? will they make concrete decisions or is it simply a show of, hey, we're all in this together? >> it's both there's going to be a demonstrated together moment in terms of messaging. but i think you'll see significant announcements about permanently forward-basing nato troops on the borders of the russian federation as a signal to vladimir putin. >> and inside ukraine, critical medical supplies are running low on the front lines. now volunteers are pleading for help. gabe gutierrez is in lviv, ukraine. >> reporter: in ukraine's cultural capital, far from the front lines, another urgent war effort is under way. >> i'm trying to show my attitude to the situation by working here day by day. >> reporter: the
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doctor is an intensive care specialist who now coordinates medical donations here this used to be an exhibition hall, a place for paintings, music, and dance it's now a distribution center where 11,000 shipments have been rushed across the country to the military and refugees >> this is where they organize the medical supplies, a grim reminder of just how deadly this war has been there's a shortage of one thing in particular tourniquets. volunteers say military units hav requested 300 tourniquets at a time. they can only provide five >> it's the best way to save your life. >> reporter: there are other battles to fight here anya is desperate for a stroller for her daughter her brother is on the front lines in eastern ukraine. valentina's husband stayed to fight too. did you ever think you would be experiencing something like this? no, she says, our
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grandparents told us what they had been through and i thought it would never happen to our children but now it's happening this is war on the home front why are you staying? >> hard to answer. i just feel myself here in the right place. i can't leave my people in ukraine, if i know i can help them, right here, right now. >> reporter: this room now holds donations from across europe an art gallery that is now a lifeline lester >> all right, gabe gutierrez, thanks. up next, in communities shattered by tornadoes, a spirit unbroken, inspiring america.
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finally tonight, helping tornado victims find a way forward. morgan chesky on neighbors inspiring america. >> reporter: life interrupted by mother nature at its worst. a family dinner. bedtime. a lifetime of memories turned upside down for communities in texas to mississippi and now louisiana. yet somehow the damage pales in comparison to the determination to keep moving forward. volunteers cleaning up neighborhoods just hours after being torn apart by tornadoes others making sure those who lost everything have something. >> we just cannot explain how thankful we are for everybody's help >> reporter: in gilmer, texas, the baseball team wearing gloves of a different kind while in hard-hit araby, louisiana
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>> the only thing i knew was to bring my generator and flatbed truck and see what i could do >> reporter: volunteer nate baron helping strangers. what do you tell folks now picking up the pieces >> i can tell you, you just hug them, you let them tell you what you need to do you just feel it >> reporter: despite the damage to stacey's home, she's ready for what's next. >> you know what, life's a puzzle and you constantly have to put those pieces back together >> reporter: so tonight they press on, finding hope in each other. morgan chesky, nbc news, araby, louisiana. that is "nightly news" for this wednesday. i'll continue my reporting from brussels as that important meeting of nato takes place tomorrow meantime, thank you for watching tonight i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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