tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC May 6, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
the question tonight, what caused it also tonight, at least 50 more civilians evacuated from tt besieged steel plant in mariupol russian forces trying to crush the last pocket of resistance in that ukrainian port city and why fighting may escalate this weekend. breaking news, the images from north carolina reports of multiple tornados touching down the major discovery in the manhunt for an escaped alabama inmate and the corrections officer accused of helping him. the plane crashing into a backyard in houston, all four people onboard escaping alive the u.s. economy adding more than 400,000 new jobs in april despite soaring inflation. the cdc now investigating five deaths and more than 100 mystery cases of hepatitis in children. what it's now ruled out as the cause and “inspiring america.” my report on strangers opening their homes and churches to ukrainian refugees
>> announcer: this is “nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening terrifying images coming out of cuba tonight. a five-star hotel in downtown havana ripped by a massive and deadly explosion the death toll rising as rescuers search for the missing. dozens of injured were rushed to hospitals. cellphone video capturing the moment of the explosion as the saratoga hotel was quickly engulfed in smoke and dust its facade crumbled by the blast. cuban authorities tonight blaming the blast on a gas leak. the hotel once frequented by well heeled tourists and celebrities including some americans was closed for renovation. kerry sanders now with late developments. >> reporter: moments after the explosion, a witness began recording as the cloud of dust from the blast enveloped the streets of old havana. a witness points and yells, there's people
alive, there's people alive! in the rubble another says, there's one, there's one! bystanders, police, firefighters began climbing over concrete and glass in the frantic search for survivors. cuban authorities say they believe the massive explosion at havana's saratoga hotel was caused by a gas leak nbc news' ed augustin lives around the corner from the hotel. >> i was working at home i heard this massive explosion, rushed out onto the terrace, and the first thing i saw were plumes of smoke above havana's building my first thought, there'd been some sort of attack. >> reporter: havana's governor reports the hotel chef fled the kitchen moments before the explosion to warn that there was a smell of gas from a truck delivering canisters the chef miraculously survived the $700 a night hotel saratoga was just four days from reopening. inside when it blew up, hotel and construction workers other victims outside
on the sidewalk. officials say at last count 74 people injured, at least 22 dead the luxury hotel saratoga had looked like this popular pre-covid with stars like madonna, beyonce, and jay-z. tonight an investigation is underway into what went wrong as families are notified of who died and who is still missing. kerry sanders, nbc news in ukraine more civilians were evacuated today from the besieged steel plant in mariupol as the battle there becomes increasingly desperate. it comes as first lady jill biden visits the region kelly cobiella is in ukraine with the latest >> reporter: tonight russian forces are still trying to break the last pocket of resistance at mariupol's steel plant. it won't take long, this russian-backed fighter said the united nations describing the plant as a hellscape with 200 civilians and
hundreds more wounded fighters holed up. today 50 more civilians were rescued evacuated by the u.n. and red cross and now in russian controlled territory. russian flags are now flying in the city of mariupol amid fears moscow is planning a victory parade next monday although the kremlin denies it. today a defiant president zelenskyy said mariupol will never fall because there's nothing left russia has already destroyed it it comes after nbc news reports that u.s. intelligence shared with ukraine led to ukraine's sinking of the "moskva" last month. the pentagon today denied targeting the ship >> the kind of intelligence we provide them it's legitimate, it's lawful, and it's limited. >> reporter: in another show of support another high profile visit. first lady jill biden meeting with u.s. and nato military leadership in romania today. with plans to visit
refugees on slovakia's border with ukraine on sunday marina and her two sons have been living in a shelter since fleeing mariupol her husband is fighting in the plant. after worrying for a week, today his messages came through all at once. in one message he calls vladimir putin a bald monster, saying, all in all screw him in another he wrote, in the morning these bastards fired on us from the ship. everything is more or less fine. how are you? >> and kelly cobiella joins us now from inside ukraine kelly, there have been warnings from officials there to be ready for increased attacks this weekend what's going on? >> reporter: yeah, lester there's a fear that with what russia calls victory day approaching on may 9th that there could be a bombardment of strikes across the country this weekend so people are being warned, listen and pay attention to those air-raid sirens. lester >> all right, kelly. you and your team
continue to be safe. severe weather in the mid-atlantic tonight and reports of a tornado touching down in north carolina causing heavy damage to a distribution center there several dozen workers there huddled inside one reported seeing a funnel cloud this storm system moving across the mid-atlantic and northeast into tomorrow tonight the leak of that draft supreme court opinion is putting a spotlight on challenges some women face getting an abortion challenges that would become more common if the draft opinion holds. ali vitali reports from south dakota. >> reporter: it takes several hours and a security escort for dr. sarah traxler to get to work. >> it's a lot of hours on an airline. >> reporter: she lives in minnesota, part of a team of out-of-state doctors on rotation at this clinic in south dakota, doing it because fe providers here will. many fea retribution in a conservative space
like nurse misty if you could talk about why we're not using our last name. >> it's not safe from harassment >> reporter: it's south dakota's only abortion clinic, one of five states with a single health center performing abortions and a glimpse at what could become reality for millions if roe v. wade is overturned though abortion is legal here, it's heavily restricted >> for some women they already are very much living a post-roe life >> reporter: three-day mandatory waiting periods after the first visit an stringent rules on telehealth and abortion pills exacerbate the burden of distance it's not just distance but time and money to get to this clinic patients have to take off work and drive to the southeast corner of state more than two times the size of the country of ireland >> they drive here on day one and then they have to come back. that is almost a 1,300-mile journey for them to make in 3 days >> reporter: the republican governo hopes to go even further should the supreme court end roe's protection >> i look forward to the day when all unborn lives are protected. >> reporter: new fault lines forming around the country.
in louisiana, a new bill could make abortion a homicide. in oklahoma, now the latest state to ba abortions after six weeks when many women don't even know they're pregnant yet a new poll shows 61% of americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. and back in south dakota nurse misty won't soon forget the feeling of reading that leaked draft opinion. >> it felt like i was being trampled, and everybody above me knew that i was down there and because i have a uterus i wasn't worth picking up off the floor. >> reporter: bracing for a world without roe. >> so i don't think we knew exactly that was going to be so egregious, but we've been planning for a worst-case scenario. >> reporter: ali vitali, nbc news, sioux falls, south dakota let's turn now to the economy and another strong jobs report today more than 400,000 jobs added in april unemployment holding at 3.6%, but a worker shortage persists with experts saying wages are not keeping up with rising inflation.
kristen welker is at the white house to tell us more >> reporter: with growing dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy, president biden in battleground ohio touting today's jobs report. >> we have now created a total of 8.3 million jobs in my first 15 months in office >> reporter: with 428,000 jobs added to the u.s. economy in april, the country has gained back 95% of the jobs lost early in the pandemic, creating opportunities for people like new graduate jordyn whitted who just started a communications role with an arts non-profit >> it gave me an opportunity to really loop in my hobbies and my interests as more money, different title, different organizational structures >> reporter: but the country is also facing dire economic headwinds. while paychecks are up 5.5%, prices are soaring even higher with inflation at a 40-year record home prices have spiked 20%
gas prices are back near record highs. and the dow is down 9% this year, putting a dent in peoples' retirement funds republicans today blasting the president's policies, blaming him and democrats for skyrocketing prices. adding to the economic turmoil, there's a record number of job openings there are currently two jobs available for every person who is unemployed among the reasons, some people are retiring early due to the pandemic others are holding out for higher pay businesses like precision landscaping in portland, oregon, say they've had to increase salaries and even turn down new customers. >> it has been hard to find employees because it's become a much more challenging environment to find employees. we get competition from areas that we once didn't. >> reporter: recent polls show just a third of the country approves of the president's handling of the economy, intensifying concerns for democrats as the mid-terms approach lester >> kristen welker at
the white house, thank you. let's get to the growing risk of covid infections yet again as new and more contagious subvariants spread are we going to see new restrictions as a result gabe gutierrez now with the latest. >> reporter: tonight new covid cases are exploding across more of the country as the so-called ba.2 omicron subvariant takes hold. >> are we concerned about the numbers? yes, we are. but preparation not panic. >> reporter: new york city's covid transmission rate is up 32% in the last 10 days the city now grappling with what looks like the start of a fifth wave of the pandemic are you seriously considering the return of mask or vaccine mandates >> no, but we're watching the data and the trends in the data to decide whether we need to make a shift in our city. >> reporter: new jersey's seven-day average for confirmed cases is up 137% from a month ago. most of connecticut is now in a covid red zone as the state's positivity rate tops 10%.
in massachusetts covid cases in schools have doubled in the past week even as the state's largest district, boston public schools, continues to require masks for students and staff. still, there are new concerns about tools in the fight against covid. the fda now saying that johnson & johnson's vaccine should only be given to adults who cannot receive a different vaccine or specifically request it due to a rare but serious risk of blood clots. so what about those who have already gotten the j&j shot? >> if you have received the j&j vaccine and it's been at least two weeks since you've received the vaccine, you're past the period of time of danger of that blood clotting syndrome, which is very rare. >> reporter: and doctors are also looking into so-called rebound symptoms among some patients who have taken paxlovid, the pill used to treat covid. experts say the benefits outweigh any risk, lester >> all right gabe, thank you for that. another health concern tonight. the growing mystery outbreak of
hepatitis among children the cdc saying the number of cases has grown to 109 including 5 deaths across 25 states and territories. more than half had an adenovirus infection, but the cause remains under investigation. the cdc has ruled out covid vaccinations as a possible cause in houston today a small plane crashing shortly after take-off from hobby airport the plane plowing into the backyard of a home near a high school incredibly authorities say all four people onboard escaped without injuries the crash lit a gazebo on fire in the backyard, but crews were able to quickly put it out in 60 seconds will the discovery of a key piece of evidence shift the manhunt for that inmate and a corrections officer in alabama? and with inflation on the rise how you can stay ahead of the soaring costs of summer travel. stay ahead of soaring costs of summer travel.
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it's been a week now since that alabama inmate escaped from a prison and disappeared with a corrections officer. today officials said the getaway car used by the couple wa found in tennessee about two hours north of the prison. they said it was abandoned shortly after the escape and some of vicky white's belongings were found inside it. also tonight the busy summer travel season is fast approaching, and this year the rising costs of gas and airfare are forcing many american families to change their vacation plans emilie ikeda with ways you can still save >> reporter: inflation is spilling over into summer, and whether it's the beach, big bend or broadway, your vacation will carry a heftier price tag. >> these prices are truly unprecedented for travelers. >> reporter: be prepared for steeper costs across the board. airfare is expected to be the highest in hopper's history for summer travel. averaging more than $380 round trip. hotel rates surging 36% from pre-pandemic
numbers at $154 per night and similar bump with car rentals where drivers will pay roughly $60 a day. >> there's so much demand in the american market for air travel, car rentals, hotels, even rental homes. and that puts a lot of upward pressure on prices >> reporter: wallet woes prompting the majority of adults to rethink their summer vacation plans >> you know, road trips used to be the affordable option, and right now they're less affordable >> reporter: a year ago the ball family's road trip from boston to tampa would cost roughly $375 in gas. this summer they're looking at more than $500 >> how are you making up the difference for inflation? >> we actually pack road trip breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks and that avoids the cost of having to stop as often. >> reporter: trip planners also recommending fly on a tuesday or wednesday, postpone your vacation until september or consider a destination with free activities built in, like the beach or parks
experts say it's not a matter of axing your trips altogether, just simply being savvy with your spending emilie ikeda, nbc news, new york and up next my report on people across the country helping ukrainian refugees feel at home and "inspiring america. helping ukrainian refugees feel at home and inspiring america. it's y. (driver 2) nope, i think it's your turn. (driver 1) i appreciate you so much, thank you so much... go. (driver 2) i appreciate your appreciation. it fills me. (burke) safe drivers save money with farmers. (bystander) just for driving safely? (burke) it's a farmers policy perk. get farmers and you could get a safe driver discount simply for having a clean driving record for three years. (driver 3) come on! (driver 1) after you. (driver 2) after you. (drivers 1 and 2) safety first! (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks. ♪we are farmers.bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum♪ when hurting feet make you want to stop, it's dr. scholl's time. our custom fit orthotics use foot mapping technology to give you personalized support, for all-day pain relief.
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but for many americans watching from afar, it was a cause for action in the chaos of the lviv train station i met so many refugees overwhelmed and uncertain. do you know where you will live? >> no. >> so far about 15,000 have found a safe haven in the united states ala is at st. nicholas ukrainian cathedral in philadelphia philly resident sandy gerber took her shopping and helped organize 200 neighbors, all pitching in. >> people are, you know, texting me, emailing me. they want to give clothes. >> across the country in san diego pastor phil metsker runs calvary chapel, just a few miles from the mexican border what inspired you to get the church involved in this >> well, it takes a village. you just can't do this alone, and our church
and our whole community rallied very fast >> thousands of californians embraced total strangers with open arms and open hearts former nfl player nick roch and his wife ana marie hosted several ukrainian families and felt like history paid a visit. >> you never expect to really be a part of helping it or changing it and let alone especially having it literally show up on your doorstep. >> they had 20 unexpected ukrainian guests the night before and maybe the visitors have given americans some inspiration do you think that what we're seeing, this outpouring toward the ukrainian refugees, is a template for a better us? >> i hope so i really do. i mean, we've all banded together to say let's help these people who are in need that's such a powerful message for today. i hope it inspires us all. >> don't miss the 2022
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some of horse racing's greatest here's kathy park. >> reporter: at 20 years old, roughly 67 in human years, sun king may be done with racing but he still wants to win even if it's outrunning caretakers like 75-year-old michael blowen >> i run with a lot of them i'm like 0 for 4,000 i've never beat one of them once. >> reporter: this longtime film critic with "the boston globe" traded in a life covering hollywood headlines to chasing a different set of stars >> he's only got four teeth left so his carrots have to get cut up real tiny >> reporter: retired racehorses at this farm aptly called old friends. >> like celebrities. >> yeah. >> like meeting celebrities. that's exactly right >> reporter: horse fans still swoon over silver charm the 1997 kentucky derby and preakness winner was just three quarters of a length shy from a triple crown beat by touched gold >> touched gold wins it by half a length! >> reporter: the
former competitors now neighbors at old friends. do you feel a great responsibility taking care of these horses >> yes but it's not a burden. it's an honor. >> reporter: their racing days may be over but these thoroughbreds still have a cheery squad of visitors from around the world. >> i've seen them win their races and it's like, oh my god, i'm seeing them in person. it's just such a thrill >> reporter: in the final stretch of their lives blowen says these horses are still leading by example >> everything is on the line there's no time to waste now. you've got to get it done before the finish line >> reporter: going the distance even in their golden years in georgetown, kentucky, kathy park, nbc news that's "nightly news" for this friday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night h other. good night.
i'm raj mathai. next on nbc bay area news tonight, we are quickly becoming california's covid hot spot. one of our coronavirus experts will help us understand why the bay area is getting hit so hard. and what the spike in cases means for your mother's day plans. also, a life-changing treatment for the immunocompromised. so why haven't more people received? how the treatment work, and what the roll-out says about our fight against covid. and a rough week on wall street. what it means for your wallet, your 401(k), and your credit cards. you couldn't find your baby formula? >> no. >> what are you going to do? >> well, i have to go to other stores to look for it. >> where is all the baby formula? and what's behind this bay area shortage?