tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC July 20, 2022 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
northeast, and in texas, more wildfires racing as power use in the state reaches an all-time high. testing the grid, will it hold up? all while summer electric bills soar, going up 20% for most americans. how long will this heat wave last plus severe weather in the forecast tonight. growing outrage over the missing secret service text messages, our exclusive reporting on what the secret service was told before those texts were deleted will a bipartisan push on same-sex marriage survive in the senate with growing concerns of supreme court reversal russia's new warning to ukraine as we speak exclusively with ukraine's first lady her new appeal to americans to not forget about the war and her fears for ukraine's children our exclusive report new concerns about dirty bombs, how easy it is to get hold of the radioactive material that makes them. hit in the housing market
sales plunging as mortgage rates rise. what it means for buyers and sellers. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone as the heat tightens its scorching grip, in some places, it's one eye on the thermometer and the other on the electricity meter. texas in particular seeing nearly unprecedented power usage as triple-digit temperatures continue to drive people indoors, testing the power grid nationwide electric bills are already expected to climb 20% over last year, to a average of $540. roughly a third of americans right now under heat alert yesterday saw a dozen record highs broken. more expected today. parts of the desert southwest could see a dangerous 115 degrees. and th heat now pumping into the east and south washington, d.c., bracing for a possible high of 100 by sunday.
philadelphia under a heat advisory through the weekend. ou team in place tonight with the very latest and we begin with sam brock >> reporter: the blistering heat wave blanketing the u.s. continues to crank out record temperatures. >> terribly hot. i mean, i can't handle it >> reporter: two out of every three americans experiencing heat above 90 degrees. some cities setting new daily highs. dallas at 109, albuquerque at 102, wichita falls, texas, a whopping 115 while americans try anything to weather the onslaught, tonight unrelenting heat in texas is testing the state's energy consumption, which is expected to swell to levels never seen before, using equipment that in some cases dates back half a century. >> these are not designed to run full out year round everybody built these for august and september. everyone in texas knows that's when it gets really hot. >> reporter: record usage here even more stark when stacked up to other large states. texas at 80,000
megawatts, at leas doubling new york's projected summer peak and california's current usage. power generation is keeping up with near record temperatures. right now there' 4%, 5% extra capacity. but last week available levels dipped low enough, texans were asked to conserve toda ercot, the air traffic controller for the power flow, said that strategy worked. >> i am always worried that the system could be overtaxed, so that's why i prepare on bot monday and wednesday of last week, the conservation efforts of every texan helped preven us from going into emergency. >> reporter: texans counting on the help and reliability, still struggling to keep up with costs this 83-year-old in houston has seen he energy bill spike up nearly 200%. >> i run fans, don't even run the ac because it's just too expensive >> reporter: nationally household electric bills are
expected to jump about 20% to an average of $540 for the summer as the country confronts an outdated system. is this a texas problem or a national problem? >> our grid problem is a national problem, not just texas and california texas and california have gotten there first. >> reporter: families hoping it's addressed soon with so much on the line >> sam, you walked us through the numbers. beyond the current heat wave, why does texas consume so much more energy than everyone else? >> reporter: texas has a lot of people, 30 million people, california 40 million. texas, in addition to to the hottest temperatures in the country, it has a massiv industrial footprint, petrochemicals and refineries that drain energy combine the two things, that puts texas at the top of the list. right to dylan dreyer for the forecast when does this end >> i wish i had an answer, this is going to continue. heat advisories coast-to-coast and record-breaking
temperatures expected through the weekend from coast to coast. through the weekend, high temperatures up around 100 degrees or higher feels like index around 108 little rock will feel like 108 tomorrow. northeast, feels like 105 in d.c., 103 in new york city, and through the weekend, st. louis stays above 100 degrees, on sunday, drops to 98. there's a cold front that i going to help drop humidity, not going to drop temperatures though tonight it is going to mean severe storms possible in ohio area and tomorrow, even in the northeast, especially new england, could see isolated tornadoes develop as cold front comes through. >> dylan, thanks very much with any action on climate change stalled in congress, president biden addressed the crisis today, calling it a clear and present danger at an event i massachusetts. >> this is an emergency, and i will, i will look at it that
way. i said last week, i will say it again loud and clear. as president i'll use my executive powers to combat the climate crisis in the absence of congressional action >> anne thompson, the president said the word "emergency" several times, but didn't go as far as declaring it a climate emergency. >> that's right, lester that's despite pressure from democrats and leading environmental groups th president did not declare a climate emergency today, but he did take action authorizing more fema spending on climate-resilient infrastructure, expanding energy assistance to low income americans, and looking at the possibility of wind farms in gulf of mexico, currently home to oil and gas production that's a good first step, climate advocates say, but not nearly enough. and in this era of high gas prices, the president asking saudi arabia to increase oil production is slammed by both progressives and republicans as
a mixed message in a time of crisis, lester. >> anne thompson, thank you. we'll turn now to the growing pressure on the secret service over those deleted text messages the january 6th committee is asking for. the committee suggesting the secret service may have broken the law kristen welker, what is the committee saying >> reporter: lester, the committee is saying the secret service may have violated the federal records act. the committee's new criticism comes after receiving just one text message that they requested related to january 6th. tonight, a senior secret service official tells nbc news employees received two emails reminding them to preserve records on their phones before they were, quote, restored to factory settings, as part of a planned reset. an email last year specifically instructed to preserve all communications from january 6th but it was unclear if that was sent after the deletion already happened the secret service says nothing malicious occurred meanwhile, tomorrow
the january 6th committee will hold a prime time hearing describing all 187 minutes of the attack on the capitol lester >> kristen welker, thank you. after the supreme court overturned roe v. wade congress is no moving to try to preserve the right to same-sex marriage. the house passing a bipartisan bill, senate republicans now facing pressure to support it ali vitali has details from the capitol >> reporter: with court-given rights in jeopardy, democrats are pushing to enshrine them into law. >> we have to affirm it before the court overthrows it. >> reporter: despite seven years of precedent on same-sex marriage, new fear after the overturning of roe that the supreme court could revisit its 2015 marriage decision, leading to momentum to ensure they can't. >> our country's history is we expand rights, we don't go backwards. >> yeas are 267. >> reporter: 47 republicans joined house democrats tuesday to enshrine the right into law now the senate hoping to take up the cause >> i want to bring this bill to the floor. and we're working to
get the necessary senate republican support to ensure it would pass >> reporter: a handful of republicans signaling support. >> this is an issue that many americans, regardless of their political affiliation, feel has been resolved so i think its time has come >> reporter: public sentiment backs that up broadly and among republicans. but that support is far from widespread in congress >> it's a pure messaging bill, it's obviously settled law right now. >> reporter: other republicans echoing justice clarence thomas who wrote the decisions on gay marriage and the right to contraception should be revisited. >> obergefell, like roe v. wade, ignored two centuries of our nation's history i think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided >> reporter: some democrats want to act fast on this, suggesting they use days out of their august recess to vote on it. but our sources tracking the numbers say they're not sure they have th republican votes yet to do it lester >> ali vitali, thank
you. a stark warning for ukrainian from russian's foreign minister sergey lavrov who says russia wants even more territory in eastern ukraine, including kherson where today ukrainian forces bombed a vital bridge as they try to stop russia's advance. meanwhile, in washington, ukraine's first lady made a plea to congress for more american air defense systems. soon after, peter alexander sat down with her for an exclusive interview. >> reporter: five months into this war, do you worry that the world is moving on, beyond the war in ukraine? >> translator: i feel the entire world is supporting us but it is very important for us that this support doesn' vanish, because every day brings new victims. >> reporter: she particularly worries about the toll this crisis is taking on ukrainians' mental health how do you as first lady show the american people it's okay to ask for help >> translator: it's a sign of strength to go and ask for support when you need it it's an act of courage
for them, to ask for help >> reporter: what has been the hardest part of this war for you personally >> translator: that my children are in danger and of course i'm quite concerned about it believe me, all our children are in danger their pain is my pain. we need to finish this war as soon as possible >> reporter: this trip to the u.s. her first time away from her 18-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son since the war began. what does your son dream of, what does he want to be >> translator: he wants to be a soldier. >> reporter: he wants to be a soldier? that's what all ukrainian boys must dream of now >> translator: i think, yes >> reporter: what does that make you think as a mom? >> translator: all he wants to do is martial arts and how to use a rifle. and that's what i really want to ensure, is that the childhood of my son is given back to him and that he enjoys his life to
the fullest. >> reporter: just this week, the white house revealed new intelligence that shows that russia is moving right now to try to annex parts of eastern ukraine. your reaction to that? >> translator: we always knew that everything they say in their official statements are a complete lie, they always wanted to destroy us and we always knew about it >> reporter: after meeting with the bidens, who she calls real friends, her message to the american people tonight is simple. >> translator: the war is not over yet. it is horrible when you have to say goodbye to your loved ones and to organize funerals in the backyards of your houses the war continues. please don't forget about it >> reporter: her country's powerful plea peter alexander, nbc news, washington >> see much more of peter's exclusive tomorrow on "today" and on "meet the press" on nbc news now. ivana trump was laid to rest today the ex-wife of the former president was
celebrated as a tough businesswoman and trailblazer. mr. trump attended the funeral service in new york city along with the couple's three children, ivanka, eric, and don jr ivana's death last week from a fall at her home was ruled an accident she was 73 in 60 seconds, record prices but decreasing demand for homes. what buyers and sellers need to know as the market cools down
the runaway housing market is finally cooling down the dip in demand, a major about-face from all those recent bidding wars but is it enough to give buyers a second chance at homes they can actually afford? emilie ikeda has the price you pay. >> reporter: inflation and higher interest rates are hammering homebuyers, slamming the brakes on sales. >> the whole process is pretty discouraging >> reporter: teacher rachel payne and her fiance pressing pause on their house hunt in northern virginia. >> i never thought in a million years i
would be offering over a million dollars on a house, let alone that not even being enough. >> reporter: payne is far from alone in her frustration as new data reveals draining demand, reversing the red-hot housing market homes are increasingly selling at a slower pace, down 21% since january. and mortgage applications just hit their lowest point since 2000 >> the prior two years, surprisingly, housing market was extraordinary. huge number of buyers, which pushed up the prices now, the affordability is becoming a major challenge for new sets of buyers >> reporter: homebuilders' confidence in the market is also nose diving builders are seeing buyers drop out. but even as more house hunters call it quits, the median home price saw another high last month, at $416,000 are you seeing the demand change? >> it feels like no demand, some days. >> reporter: realtor shauna pendleton says
sellers are slow to accepting the new reality of the housing market >> it's very, very hard to accept the changes, especially if you've bought in the last 2 1/2 years and you went through that experience as a buyer to now have the complete opposite happen as a seller >> reporter: with thinning competition, buyers who lost out at bidding may get a second chance at homes that have been lingering on the marke more recently, that is if they can swallow the mortgage rates which have doubled in the past year. lester >> emilie, thank you ahead, the shocking new report showing just how easy it is to buy high risk radioactive ingredients used in dirty bombs.
we're back with a nbc news investigates exclusive. it's a look at an alarming new report on just how easy it is for some people to get the radioactive material used to make so-called dirty bombs. stephanie gosk reports. >> reporter: in april 2019 the fbi surrounded jared atkins' phoenix home in a tense two-hour standoff inside he had three stolen radioactive devices, enough to make a deadly dirty bomb atkins is serving 15 years in a federal prison now the government accountability office says bad actors don't need to steal radio active materials they can just buy it it's material typically used in technological devices for industrial or research purposes.
the gao warns in the hands of terrorists, even a small amount could be used to construct a dirty bomb >> the gao now telling us that pretty much anybody can get the materials to create a radiological bomb is extremely scary. and i think we need to take immediate action. >> reporter: in a report exclusively obtained by nbc news, the gao concludes security measures in place today do not adequately protect against the purchase of high risk radioactive materials. using forged licenses, gao investigators purchased two quantities of radioactive materials from two u.s. businesses, enough to potentially cause hundreds of deaths from evacuations and billions of dollars of socioeconomic effects. radioactive materials are controlled by the nrc, the nuclear regulatory commission. specific security measures are triggered if someone buys large quantities the investigators bought less than that, but the gao is pushing for stricter controls for even smaller amounts. citing in part an accident with radioactive material
at the university of washington in may 2019 it took two years to clean up and cost $156 million. according to the report, national security officials tell the gao there is increasing interest among terrorists and other bad actors to get a dirty bomb >> actual terrorist groups, including neo-nazi groups in the united states, are trying to obtain a dirty bomb to launch actual attacks >> reporter: in a statement to nbc news, the nrc says it is taking actions including immediately communicating with the manufacturers of these radioactive sources and expediting a rule change to verify purchasing licenses. the nrc says the threat does not warrant an immediate change the authors of the report disagree. stephanie gosk, nbc news when we come back, one family's victory to restore their legacy along the california coastline
finally tonight, one family's legacy and the victory today allowing them to reclaim their sliver of california coast after nearly 100 years. here's harry smith >> reporter: now public land, 100 years ago manhattan beach was barely developed but on this small sliver of sand was a kind of paradise for in rigidly segregated los angeles, black californians were welcome on what was called bruce's beach >> there were two beaches in our area. this one and santa monica, inkwell beach.
>> reporter: janice hahn is a los angele county supervisor. >> african americans were not even allowed to swim at the beach >> reporter: here was lodging, a cafe, and a dance hall, built by charles and willa bruce. i own this land and i'm going to keep it, willa bruce told "the los angeles times" in 1912 hated by their neighbors, harassed by the ku klux klan, the bruces refused to budge. so the local town council condemned the property through public domain, claiming it was needed for a park the land sat vacant for decades. >> i think anyone knows how hard it is to become dispossessed that in itself is a grave puncture >> reporter: derek bruce is a great grandson of charles and willa bruce. >> that's what our family has gone through, a grave wounding >> reporter: returning the property to the bruce family became a rallying cry two summers ago as the nation reckoned with
racism today that act of reparation became official >> to rectify this historic injustice that was done to the bruce family >> reporter: the bruce descendants will lease the land back to the county for now the county has offered to buy it back from them for $20 million does this feel like justice to you >> in a way it does. in a way it does feel like justice >> reporter: but derek bruce says the emphasis should not be on celebration but on reconciliation >> and we have to understand that there is a path forward to human beings treating each other with respect and dignity. >> reporter: harry smith, nbc news, los angeles. >> and that's "nightly news" for this wednesday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
seen this ad? it's not paid for by california tribes. it's paid for by the out of state gambling corporations that wrote prop 27. it doesn't tell you 90% of the profits go to the out of state corporations. a tiny share goes to the homeless, and even less to tribes. and a big loophole says, costs to promote betting reduce money for
the tribes, so they get less. hidden agendas. fine print. loopholes. prop 27. they didn't write it for the tribes or the homeless. they wrote it for themselves. i'm raj mathai. next on nbc bay area news tonight, calls for action. after that rideshare driver was shot and killed inside his car. the tearful plea from his girlfriend. a new vow from oakland police chief. also the prices keep going up. how much more we're paying at bay area grocery stores and why. plus intense heatwaves and longer more intense fire season. >> that future has arrived. >> should we change the way we think about climate change? good evening, this is nbc bay area news tonight, i'm raj
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