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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  April 13, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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canisters, and fired a gun 33 times on a subway train, wounding 10 people. new video of the suspect entering the subway before the attack now details on how he escaped and his disturbing trail on social media also tonight, president biden stepping up military aid to ukraine $800 million in weapons, ammunition, and other security assistance and the latest satellite images where that massive russian convoy is headed severe storms on the move after a tornado outbreak injured nearly two dozen in texas al roker is tracking it the cdc extending the mask mandate for planes and public transportation how much longer will travelers have to mask up oscar winner cuba gooding jr. pleading guilty to forcibly touching a woman at a new york nightclub will he avoid jail time our series "crypto universe." inside the first country to make bitcoin its national
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currency is it working? and the female coach who just made mlb history. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone from the mayor of new york city tonight, "we got him. and with that, millions of anxious transit riders breathing a sigh of relief after word of an arrest in yesterday's terrifying rush hour subway shooting spree in brooklyn that left ten people shot. a massive and roughly 30-hour manhunt ending this afternoon in this moment, frank robert james led away after being taken into custody on the streets of manhattan's east village neighborhood nypd detectives releasing video of james yesterday morning as he entered the subway in construction attire before the shooting. a video trail part of what they call significant evidence gathered that includes a gun left at the scene that authorities say they were able to quickly trace back to james. police say james fired
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over 30 rounds on a subway car after setting off two smoke canisters. in the confusion, making his escape on another train across the platform tonight, the suspect, his criminal history, and the search for a motive ron allen starts us off now with late details. >> reporter: tonight, a collective sigh of relief in new york city >> frank, why did you shoot all those people >> reporter: 62-year-old frank r. james is in custody, charged with a federal crime after the bloody attack in a brooklyn subway station during rush hour. governor kathy hochul announcing the news. >> the suspect has been arrested. [ applause ] >> reporter: the arrest comes after a 28-hour manhunt. police releasing several images of the suspect and appealing to the public for help in a bizarre twist, law enforcement officials say it was james himself who called the crime stoppers tip line, saying he heard police were looking for him, and he was at a mcdonald's in manhattan's east village. he said his phone was dying, so they should come quickly
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officers rushed there, but he was already gone they found james nearby, and he was taken into custody without incident around 1:30. >> we were able to shrink his world quickly. there was nowhere left for him to run. >> reporter: this video from early tuesday morning shows james entering the subway in brooklyn, struggling to get through the turnstile before going through an emergency exit. two hours later, investigators say he opened fire on the crowded train. 10 people were shot, 29 total injured, including kids heading to school. one victim just 12 years old. police say james then used the subway to flee, getting on a train across the platform, riding one stop shoulder to shoulder with some of his victims. he later entered a station in another brooklyn neighborhood. law enforcement now piecing together his past >> he is known to us and has ties in wisconsin, ohio, pennsylvania, new jersey, and new york city >> reporter: james was born in new york and has nine arrests here
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dating back to 1992. charges including criminal sex acts and possession of burglary tools. police say he purchased the glock 9 millimeter handgun used in the attack at an ohio pawnshop in 2011 there are dozens of posts from james on social media, many filled with profanity-laced rants about race, violence, and even mocking new york mayor eric adams for trying to make the subway safer >> and i'm on my way to philadelphia. >> reporter: in this video, james talks about traveling from milwaukee to philadelphia, where police say he rented the u-haul van found a few miles from the scene of the attack. investigators still haven't determined a motive for why the suspect attacked the 36th street stop tonight, that station is once again filled with commuters >> the city runs on the subway. >> and you feel perfectly safe >> yes. >> ron joining us now from the police precinct where james was being held after being taken into custody. ron, what's next for him?
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>> reporter: lester, he's now in federal custody because of the charge he's facing we expect him to make his first appearance in court sometime tomorrow if convicted, he could face prison for the rest of his life lester. >> all right ron allen, thank you and investigators have been looking into what frank james was doing before yesterday's attack i want to bring in justice correspondent pete williams now. pete, what are we learning >> reporter: police and federal agents, lester, say he's had no steady job or fixed address the past few years. they say he rented that u-haul van monday afternoon in philadelphia using his own name he apparently slept in it a bit, then drove it into brooklyn tuesday morning, caught on surveillance video crossing a bridge just after 4:00 a.m. and then about two hours later, investigators say a camera recorded him getting out of the van and walking toward the subway police say cameras in the subway show him entering the system a short time later wearing that distinctive vest, lester. >> pete, police say today he has an extensive criminal record so how was he able to
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buy a gun? >> reporter: because none of those charges resulted in felony convictions. so he was still legally able to buy a gun, and that purchase 11 years ago was a legal one. investigators say this is a close-up of that weapon, showing that he tried to obliterate the serial number, but atf used that number to trace the purchase of the gun to frank james, and that is a key piece of evidence in the federal charges filed today, lester. >> pete williams, thank you. tonight in ukraine, they're bracing for a new russian offensive in the east, all as president biden today authorized $800 million in more military aid for ukraine. gabe gutierrez is there. >> reporter: outside kyiv, ukrainians are scrambling to clear land mines, trip wires, and booby traps, new dangers after the russian retreat. today we drove to the village of andrivka, where ukrainian troops are removing ammunition russian soldiers left behind this was once the front line, now a dirt road littered with weapons of war
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it was an intense fight. the russian troops were trying to advance but took heavy fire from the ukrainians. a direct hit on this tank but the battlefield was actually this woman's backyard she'd lived in this home for 34 years. she says the russians told her family to leave or be killed "we have no words to describe our anger and our sorrow," she says. this is the cellar where the russian troops took shelter for several weeks. you can see it's tight in here. it's very cold and they left their jackets behind the war is now escalating elsewhere in these latest satellite images a russian military convoy can be seen still creeping into eastern ukraine. local officials there say new deadly air strikes have ravaged kharkiv and bomb disposal teams are now scouring neighborhoods. today the presidents of poland and three baltic countries visited kyiv to show solidarity the u.s. also just announced a new $800 million aid
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package to ukraine, including helicopters, more javelin missiles, and for the first time, heavy artillery. but ukraine's president zelenskyy today again asking for more, including tanks and combat jets. so will the new help be enough? west of kyiv, this is the second bombed school we've visited in as many days. this is what it used to look like the principal cries when she sees it now "the russians were driving their tanks and shooting," she says, "and the kids saw it all." tonight the students are safe, but their teachers are shaken as ukraine wonders what's next. >> the collective sense of security just shattered there. gabe, i know the focus is now turning to the southeastern city of mariupol, which has been cut off for weeks by russian forces. >> reporter: yes, lester russia is now claiming that more than 1,000 ukrainian troops have surrendered in mariupol though that
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claim has not been verified tonight a senior u.s. defense official says that russia still has not taken the besieged city lester. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. here at home, terrifying scenes in northwestern iowa as a tornado swept through, ripping large pieces off a shed and tossing them across a road this latest round of severe weather is far from over. sam brock now on the damage already done. >> reporter: mother nature's four-week assault continues tonight in states like texas, missouri, and arkansas >> that's big. >> reporter: under tornado watch again after already suffering heavy blows. >> i was just lucky that i didn't get sucked out. >> reporter: the storm producing a lightning strike bonanza stretching 1,000 miles from minnesota to the gulf coast, affecting 45 million people while pumping out blizzards in north dakota twisters in iowa, including this big rig barely outrunning a tornado.
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>> it's going to hit that barn. there it goes. >> reporter: and texas sustaining the biggest strike of all overnight. a powerful tornado carving an eight-mile-long path in salado, wiping out dozens of homes and injuring 23 people >> i could just barely hear my wife mumbling because i was screaming for her, trying to find where she's at. >> reporter: the house collapsed, but miraculously they all survived how amazed are you that you're standing here having this conversation with me today? >> pretty much, because i felt i was fixing to die. >> reporter: wilson's daughter-in-law explaining the joy of having her family alive as she uncovered precious keepsakes. >> we're very grateful, very blessed. >> reporter: one of the many buildings devastated here in salado is this church which not only had its roof ripped right off, but the entire rear portion of the building is now reduced to brick and rubble. >> this is a large
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bump in the road, but it's not defeating us by any means >> reporter: millions of americans now bracing for whatever is thrown their way next sam brock, nbc news, salado, texas. >> let me pivot to al roker, who is tracking these storms we've got more stuff on the way >> absolutely, lester. right now we've got tornado warnings popping up all the way from kentucky down into parts of louisiana and mississippi. we've got tornado watches. we've got also severe thunderstorm warnings. this is a very vigorous system. right now, 31 million people at risk the greatest risk, memphis is in the bull's-eye, nashville, jackson. we're also looking at houston, new orleans, birmingham as well indianapolis too for tornadoes. 75-mile-per-hour winds from evansville to jacksonville these storms organize, become a squall line, spread a lot of wind damage and tornadoes ef-3 tornadoes or stronger nocturnal tornadoes, which are twice as deadly for nashville, possible, tupelo, jackson, alexandria, little rock, and
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evansville this system will be pushing to the east tomorrow we've got currently 28 million people at risk from hartford all the way down the i-95 corridor we're talking flooding down through the south and out in the pacific northwest and on into the plains, we're talking a lot of snow, lester good news, the sierra will see more snow, and that's good news for their drought. >> al, thanks very much. in 60 seconds, the battle over mask mandates and the cdc's decision today on planes, trains, and buses. and the guilty plea today by an oscar-winning actor.
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tonight, caution on covid from the cdc, which is extending the federal mask mandate on planes, trains, and buses as cases climb it comes despite pressure from airlines and as other mask mandates have been rolled back. here's miguel almaguer >> reporter: the two-week extension of the federal mask mandate on public transportation impacts tens of millions of
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americans every day. with the order set to expire next week and now extended into next month, passengers in the air, on the ground, and riding the rails will still need their masks. today the cdc citing a rise in new infections >> it isn't like things are static. things are moving. we're seeing an increase throughout the country. >> reporter: often a point of controversy and confrontation, the faa has received complaints of over 1,100 unruly passengers just this year more than half related to wearing a mask. after weeks of pressure and just hours before today's announcement, airlines lobbied for change >> it's time to let the masks go and let people decide. >> reporter: today airlines for america urged the cdc to end pre-departure testing for international flights and domestic mask mandates, saying neither restriction is currently supported by data and science >> it's outlived its
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usefulness at this point. we don't understand why this continues for airlines and does not continue for restaurants, bars, sporting events, take your pick. >> reporter: with airlines and americans eager to return to normalcy, tonight the face of travel remains the same for now miguel almaguer, nbc news actor cuba gooding jr. pleaded guilty today to one misdemeanor count of forcibly touching a woman in 2018. the oscar-winning actor had faced a trial on charges of unwanted sexual touching of three women at nightclubs. under the plea deal, gooding will not face jail time. he will continue counseling next, inside the first country to make bitcoin its national currency but is the change paying off
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back with our series "crypto universe" and one country that's taken the digital money trend further than any other, becoming the first to make bitcoin its national currency. gadi schwartz takes us to el salvador to find out, is it working [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: bitcoin no all right. just cash? bitcoin? no okay bitcoin? no okay bitcoin? no in surf city, this is one of those major draws for tourists in this area. so far, every single
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store that we've asked, no one's accepting bitcoin. it's been seven months since the president of el salvador, nayib bukele, declared bitcoin as legal tender >> it's the evolution of humankind so we're going there >> reporter: but so far, the first country to adopt bitcoin as currency has seen confusion, glitchy transactions, and fluctuating prices that have left most salvadorans slow to adopt. as foreign investors watch the president declare a state of emergency due to gang violence while facing questions over human rights but here the president continues to use bitcoin as a rallying cry against dependence on the dollar. so just put in cash. going to put in 200 bucks. across the country, bitcoin atms convert greenbacks into digital currency hey, we finally got our money 2 1/2 hours later. $199.01. not sure where the 99 cents went, but the money is on our phone. a survey shows only 14% of businesses have
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made sales accepting bitcoin. el salvador's tourism minister acknowledged that any new system is bound to have bumps but said the goal is to give options to the 70% of salvadorans without bank accounts. it's been the vision of president bukele, she says, that opened the door for those who don't have access to banks. the president also encouraging the use of bitcoin to send remittances. the amount of money sent back here to family members in el salvador from places like the united states and canada is about $6 billion every year using bitcoin avoids the fees of money transfer companies the international monetary fund has urged el salvador to reverse course on bitcoin, and u.s. lawmakers have raised concerns as well in response, bukele tweeted, "okay, boomers. you have zero jurisdiction we are not your colony, your backyard, or your front yard stay out of our internal affairs." in the capital, san salvador, support for bukele is overwhelming, but using bitcoin remains
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a challenge. at this grocery store, we held up a line for ten minutes as the cashier waited for our payment to clear they said the transaction was declined, but on my bitcoin wallet, it showed that it had gone through then finally at a pupuseria -- okay there we go. this is the best transaction we've had so far an exchange of digital currency for a plate of el salvador cuisine. >> gadi is back from el salvador. given the challenges of bitcoin we saw in your story, how practical do average users find it to be? >> well, this really comes down to an issue of trust the people we spoke to down there say they do trust their president, t wheno the technology around bitcoin, they don't trust it enough to use it every day. >> gadi schwartz, good to have you here today. thanks so much. up next for us, we'll catch up with a family who's inspiring america by helping others who were once in their shoes
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a historic moment for major league baseball san francisco giants assistant coach alyssa nakken becoming the first woman ever to coach on the field during a regular season game. it happened after the first base coach was ejected from the game. nakken also the first woman to have a full-time coaching job in the mlb and finally, an update on a story we first brought you in 2016 about a boston nonprofit that finds a home away from home for families of seriously ill people traveling for treatment. now the two families we met have built a bond that's inspiring
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america. here's kristen dahlgren >> reporter: when we first met baby oliver huffman in 2016, severe intestinal problems led to dozens of surgeries. >> i think it still can bring tears to my eyes >> reporter: his parents were living with strangers to be near his care. pam and harvey lodish opened their home to the huffmans through hospitality homes, which matches patients' families with volunteer hosts to save the cost of a hotel. since the program started, they've helped more than 37,000 families. >> i'm so thankful that they would invest in our family. i mean, they didn't know us. >> reporter: but as oliver improved and grew -- >> he's in kindergarten and doing great. >> reporter: -- so did their relationship with the lodishes. >> the relationship that started, having a stranger welcome us into their house has now developed into something so beautiful. >> reporter: oliver calls them grandma and grandpa. >> we went there for
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thanksgiving >> reporter: he doesn't remember them ever being strangers, but he has heard about what they did. >> i've been sharing my allowance. >> reporter: so to give back, oliver now has a gofundme. >> can you do it too >> reporter: the huffmans moved to boston permanently, and this month they'll cheer on oliver's aunt as she runs the boston marathon for hospitality homes. how much do you think overall you guys are going to raise >> our goal was $10,000, but we got over that. >> right on! >> reporter: a little boy reaching big goals thanks to family, old and new. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, boston and that's "nightly news" for this wednesday thanks for watching. i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night, everyone
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(music throughout)
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right now on nbc bay area news tonight, a rented u-haul, surveillance footage, and a phone call to police from the suspected gunman himself. >> we hope this arrest brings some solace to the victims and the people of the city of new york. >> we are breaking down the crucial evidence that led police to frank james. we'll walk you through exactly what investigators say he did before, during, and after yesterday's subway shooting in new york city. also it's a parent's nightmare. a teenage girl dead after taking fentanyl. the man accused of giving it to her, was arrested but not being charged with her actual death. >> and i said, you failed. and he said, i know. >> we investigate why some overdoses aren't initially be treated like

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