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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  May 1, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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into wednesday. a few of the valleys could hit some upper 80s on wednesday. and then cooling back down for the weekend, where you could see a return of spring showers early saturday morning. so take the summer, spring and winter there. >> well, thanks a lot. thanks for watching. "nightly news" is next. we'll be back again at 6:00. hope you can join us then. tonight, a secret visit by u.s. officials to ukraine how speaker nancy pelosi and a congressional delegation walking the streets of kyiv with president zelenskyy. and the new video of civilians finally evacuated from the battered city of mariupol. tornado strategy stunning new footage of a twister ripping through a kansasown. hundreds of homes damaged as we learn that three meteorology students were killed after chasing a storm. down to the wire the republican primary for a senate seat in ohio just days away in what could be the first real test of the power of an endorsement from
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former president trump. growing manhunt. the search goes nationwide for an accused murderer and a corrections officer transporting him police in alabama suspect she was in on the escape plot. >> my only hope is they catch him soon before anybody gets hurt. nbc news investigation. youth coaches banned from olympic programs due to allegations of abuse now coaching young people elsewhere. 15 injured some critically when a party bike crashes in atlanta. plus, d.c. comic trevor noah and the president not holding back. >> ever since you have come into office, things are really looking up you know, gas is up, rent is up, food is up, everything this is nbc "nightly news" with kate snow. good evening she is the highest ranking u.s. politician to visit ukraine during the war. a surprise visit by house speaker nancy pelosi she and a delegation of other members of congress walked the streets with ukraine's president. pelosi later saying we're there for the
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fight and you cannot fold to a bully. tonight after days and weeks of calls to evacuate civilians trapped in the besieged city of mariupol, the international committee of the red cross saying it is helping facilitate safe passage still, hundreds of civilians may remain inside a steel plant there. the mayor saying with thousands dying in that city, the war must stop. we begin with kelly cobiella in ukraine. >> reporter: tonight a surprise show of support for ukraine. house speaker nancy pelosi leading a delegation to kyiv, meeting with president zelenskyy. the visit under wraps until today for security reasons speaker pelosi telling the ukrainian leader the u.s. is with you >> we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight to freedom. and so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done. >> reporter: zelenskyy grateful for the visit saying this is a signal of strong
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support for ukraine. the war is intensifying by the day. the russian defense ministry says they have hit 800 targets in the past 24 hours, including a hanger storing u.s. and western supplied weapons in odessa. meantime tonight civilians are finally escaping the besieged city of mariupol the united nations coordinating with russian and ukrainian forces new video shows civilians helped out of the rubble by ukrainian soldiers nbc news has not been able to verify the video or when it was recorded president zelenskyy announced the first group of 100 civilians are out of that infamous steel plant and they're working on more evacuations mariupol's mayor says conditions grow worse by the day in two months, the russians killed 20,000 people the mayor says. in russia today, they celebrated the war, which moscow calls it special military operations, waiving flags. while in ukraine, a somber day
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the first sunday after orthodox easter, the day families here remember their loved ones this year children missing their fathers and wives mourning husbands who died fighting for ukraine's freedom. they bravely defended our city, this woman says, so that we could breathe and carry on living today nato began a massive pre-planned military exercise in poland nato says that exercise is not aimed at any country not related to the war in ukraine. kate >> kelly, thank you. back in this country, 14 million people are under a severe weather threat tonight following that devastating tornado that tore through a kansas town. we're seeing strike ing new images of that twister. and today we learned three meteorology students were killed after that chasing that storm morgan chesky has more. >> reporter: tonight in kansas, one mangled mile after another following a friday nightmare.
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>> oh, my gosh >> reporter: an ef-3 tornado packing winds topping 160 miles an hour. this drone video capturing a rare glimpse of the andover twister. while you can't hear it, the images stunning you can see degree suck skyward as the funnel forms, seconds before the twister starts tearing through homes. >> we were not prepared when we came outside to see it, all of this. it is pretty shocking. >> reporter: eric and melanie barney showed the closet where the entire family hid praying as the tornado closed in. >> we could hear the glass shattering out there. so had no idea what was happening. >> reporter: officials crediting early warnings with zero tornado deaths but the storm didn't leave without tragedy. >> this is gavin's 12th tornado >> reporter: beth and allen short say their so gavin, a top meteorology student at the university of oklahoma called to say he was storm chasing friday with two
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friends, nicholas nair and drake brooks >> we love that gavin was spreading his wings. this is just the worst nightmare for us and two other sets of parents. >> reporter: the group safely witnessed the kansas tornado and was driving back to kansas when authorities say their car hydroplaned, putting it in the path of a semi truck. >> they were all watching each other's trackers just to make sure that everyone was making it back to norman and they noticed that all three of their beacons had stopped moving. >> reporter: authorities say gavin, nicholas and drake died at the scene. their lives honored by the national weather service who launched a special weather balloon to pay tribute. tonight the university mourning three of their own, friends chasing a dream together morgan chesky, nbc news. we are just two days away from a critical republican primary for an open senate seat in ohio. normally a senate primary wouldn't merit a lot of national attention, but it's a crowded field and only
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one candidate received the endorsement of former president trump. tuesday's vote is being seen as a test of mr. trump's power over republican voters jesse kirsch is with the candidates in ohio. >> that's why we need to finish donald trump's border wall. >> reporter: tonight ohio's republican senate primary testing former president trump's vice grip on the gop. he endorsed author jd vance along with other conservative headliners, but they haven't thinned the field. with just two days to go >> if jd vance is not successful next week, what does that say about th clout of donald trump. >> we don't want a circumstance where they could defeat president trump. so if president trump's brand is on the line, the maga brand is on the line. >> reporter: vance surging to first in a fox news poll, but within the margin of error. josh mandel is in second, not backed by trump. but still tieing himself with the former president stumping with texas senator ted cruz the name trump is much more an endorsement. >> it is a governing philosophy
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america first is a governing philosophy when it comes to the economy, when it comes to jobs in our state. >> reporter: and some undecided voters say policy pitches matter more including independents in delaware county where trump's margin of victory plummeted 9 points from 2016 to 2020. >> i am not necessarily looking at candidates m i'looking at the issues. >> reporter: even some independents who voted for trump un-phased by his push >> just because you have these famous people in your corner doesn't mean that that's a smart thing to do. >> reporter: the sentiment shared at rallies, too. >> anyone running really needs to look at the reason why trump was successful by so many people and that was by putting american first. >> reporter: in a crowded primary, trump policy ideas echoing through multiple campaigning suggesting even if trump's candidate doesn't win, his brand name still can. >> let's have a fight where we say no more multinational corporations shifting american jobs overseas. >> and jesse joins me live from columbus jesse, i know the voting has already started.
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what kind of turn-out are they seeing? >> reporter: yeah. ohio's attorney office says so far early and absentee voting is skewing republican which is not normal. that could mean republican enthusias less interested in democratic races or both kate >> jesse, thank you. one of d.c.'s biggest events, a white house correspondent's dinner returned last night for the first time since the pandemic began. the annual celebration of journalism is also a chance for comedians and presidents to take on the politicians and celebrities in the room josh letterman was there. >> reporter: for a few hours, it was like covid didn't exist more than 2,500 people, including president biden, packed into a hotel ballroom there were very few masks, no social distancing but plenty of pandemic punch lines from comedian trevor noah. >> fauci thought it was too dangerous to come tonight pete davidson thinks it's okay, and we all went with pete okay
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>> reporter: mr. biden pointing out it's the first time a president attended the correspondence dinner in six years >> it's understandable we had a horrible plague, followed by two years of covid >> you guys spent the last two years telling everyone the importance of wearing masks and avoiding large indoor gatherings then the second someone offers you a free dinner, you all turn into joe rogan. huh? >> reporter: president biden poked fun at his own dismal poll numbers, now in the low 40s. >> i'm excited to be here tonight with the only group of americans with a lower approval rating than i have >> reporter: noah taking on the president over inflation. ever since you have come into office, things are really looking up you know, gas is up. rent is up food is up everything >> reporter: the president's decision to attend raising concerns as new covid cases are popping up at the white house at this star studded event, guests had to
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show they were both vaccinated and tested. >> i guess that's as good as we can hope for. >> reporter: mr. biden unmasked, but skipping dinner and staying mostly socially distanced as journalists and the politicians they cover raised a toast to the first amendment. >> to the journalists and their families, to the people and their elected representatives, to the united states of america. [ applause ] >> reporter: josh letterman, nbc news washington. still ahead tonight, new photos of the escaped prisoner in alabama and new details about the corrections officer who police fear was in on the plot.
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the manhunt is expanding for an escaped alabama inmate accused of murde and the corrections officer who went missing with him and may have been in on the plot tonight we're getting new photos of the escaped alleged killer maggie vespa is following it all. >> reporter: warnings from coast-to-coast and a $10,000 reward tonight alabama authorities are working with the fbi, atf, secret service and other officials to find missing corrections officer vicky white and accused killer. >> definitely scary to see someone like that on the loose, you know, especially in your neighborhood. >> reporter: the pair who are not related walked out of a jail west of huntsville friday morning deputy white sai she was taking the
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inmate for a mental health evaluation. an appointment the sheriff now says was not scheduled. after investigators found her patrol car parked at this shopping center, they're asking for tips about what car the pair may now be driving. >> she had an outstanding reputation among the staff and the deputies that's why we're concerned there is a possibility she may have been coerced or threatened from someone outside. >> reporter: authorities warn at a staggering 6'9", 250 pounds, casey white often changes his appearance here he is in 2019 and here earlier this year new tonight what authorities say are the most recent photos they have from jail surveillance cameras serving time from a previous violent crime scene, he is charged in the 2015 murder of connie ridgway he's leaded not guilty ridgway's son learned of the escape. how did that hit you >> it is completely shocking that they have the guy that they have and he just gets out so easily. >> reporter: the question tonight: did he have help the sheriff says deputy white, a 56-year-old video with no children has been with the department for 17 years with staff voting her corrections employee
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of the year four times. she recently filed retirement papers and talked about life at the beach. do you think someone out there knows where they are >> i really in my heart of hearts don't believe anyone knows where they are i could be wrong if they do, they need to come forward and assist us in locating them for someone gets hurt. >> reporter: adding pressure to the manhunt as night falls again. maggie vespa, nbc news we're back in a moment with the southwestern wild fires that exploded inside officials warning they could get even worse plus an nbc news investigation. coaches accused of abuse now showing up elsewhere coaching other children
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in new mexico, high winds caused wild fires raging just east of santa fe to explode inside the fires have burned more than 100,000 acres of land, forcing thousands to flee their homes. officials are bracing for more high winds in that area in the days ahead warning it could make the already dangerous fires even worse now to a popular party activity that turned dangerous this weekend. officials say 15 people were injured, two of them critically according to the fire department after a pedal pub overturned in atlanta you have seen these party bikes which can be found in most major cities now they usually involve cycling around while drinking alcohol police say the riders in atlanta were trying to navigate a turn before that bike flipped over. now to an nbc news investigation. you have heard reports perhaps of olympic coaches accused of abuse. one would assume that
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they would be kept away from children and never allowed to coach again. but our investigation found that is not always the case. stephanie gosk has details. >> reporter: in 2012, mackenzie was dedicated to tae kwon do she had an eye on the olympics. >> i was so determined i thought about it every day, every second of the day. >> reporter: she trained with a top coach in missouri, thomas harden. >> he had this friendly persona and everyone loved him i like admired him so much because i wanted to be the best >> reporter: but when she was nine years old, she says coach harden's behavior changed. >> he, like, was grabbing my butt while he was picking me up and i was like, this is weird. >> reporter: did he become more aggressive with you >> uh-huh, yeah. at his house especially he would go under my clothing when he would pick me up. >> reporter: mackenzie says she kept the
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abuse secret for three years until she couldn't take it anymore. >> when i ended up texting one of my best friends at the time saying i don't know what to do, like something is happening to me and i can't tell anyone. >> reporter: her mom karen went to the police harden was not criminally charged and denied the allegations. but a missouri children's division report found that harden touched and fondled mackenzie. karen turned to an organization founded after the usa gymnastics scandal which can ban coaches even without a criminal charge. banned harding from coaching athletes in any olympic program and put his name in their online database. >> i was like yes, you know, finally something is going to be done so that people know that here is someone besides the mother of the survivor saying he shouldn't be around children. >> reporter: what effect did that
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banning have on his career >> absolutely nothing. >> reporter: today harden still works with kids, coaching in his own studio an nbc news investigation found he's not the only coach banned for alleged sexual misconduct to still be working in their sport. out of the over 1,600 coache banned by safesport, at least 20 continue to coach minors. safesport's ceo says there is only so much they can do. >> we do our best to investigate those allegations and remove people who shouldn't be part of sports for participating. unfortunately, organizations across this country don't have to listen to that >> reporter: cologne hopes athletic organizations will follow safesport's lead. >> i would love to see where schools, universities, local recs and parks youth serving organization are coming to say, this is the standard we are all going to
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live by and we're making sure our kids are protected. >> reporter: harden did not respond to requests for comment ten years later, mackenzie worries about the children he coaches. >> i have a few times looked up his studio and like people who are training there and i so badly wanted to like message some of these parents saying, please get your kids out of there. i don't want anything to happen to them. i know who he is i know what he's done. >> reporter: stephanie gosk, nbc news. important reporting. when we come back, the inspiring school principal that did so much for his kids. the touching tribute they're now paying to him.
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there is good news tonight about lasting
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legacies before the pandemic, we introduced you to an inspiring principal in delaware. it was clear the huge impact he was having on his students. we're so sorry to say he passed away recently but tonight we revisit his school to see how his impact has only grown. >> good morning! good morning good morning >> reporter: we first met dr. terrence newton in january 2020. >> i want you guys to be successful, and you got to have a plan. >> reporter: the school principal had created an on campus barbershop for his students at warner elementary in delaware. >> how many of you guys feel good when you get a haircut? >> reporter: in this at risk community with a rising crime rate. >> when you guys are successful, my life is successful. >> reporter: it was a safe place for swapping stories, sharing laughs and building confidence. and was one of the many ways he showed students how much he cared. >> i tell the students i love them and i just want them to know
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whatever situation that you guys are in, i love them. whether you made a bad decision or a good decision, i still love them >> reporter: that legacy of love now helping this community grieve dr. newton's death following a motor cycle crash this march. thousands attended his funeral honoring his life and impact as an educator the governor recognizing dr. newton's outstanding dedication with the highest civilian award for service. >> dr. terrence newton is hereby presented this order of the first date >> reporter: and last week in front of the school he called home, warner elementary's beloved principal was celebrated with a road named in his honor [ applause ] >> reporter: for acting principal kimberly, dr. newton was a friend and mentor. >> we know physically he's gone, but he's here spiritually he's given us all the pieces to the puzzle we just have to continue to put the puzzle together. >> reporter: this
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simple street sign a symbol for a man who went above and beyond to lead students down the right path his kindness, something kids here say you will never forget. >> he's the best guy you could ever dream of. >> love you. miss you. >> i think he changed my life. >> reporter: life changing educator letting students know just how much they matter >> these kids remind me, when i see them, i see me we could change the world. if we work together, we can change the world. it is such a loss. the barbershop he started at the school by the way is still there, starting up again this week with local barbers and stylists coming in for the kids. that is nbc "nightly news" on a sunday lester holt will be back with you tomorrow i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, stay safe and have a great night.
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we are unified to see that we can fight for better wages, better rights. >> at 6:00 workers taking to the streets on this may day. we'll take you to marches as people fight for better working conditions. plus -- >> our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done. >> house speaker pelosi making a trip to ukraine. the visit with the country's president. it appears a vaccine for the youngest children is finally on the horizon. the updated time line from moderna when shots could go into


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