tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 13, 2017 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
breaking news tonight. blizzard emergency. the biggest storm of the season takes aim at the east coast. 85 million under advisories. up to 2 feet of snow in the forecast. travel already a nightmare. al roker is tracking it all. replacing obamacare. there's late word on the impact of the gop's new plan. millns more uninsured and premiums could go up. wiretap whiplash. the white house offering a different explanation for president trump's explosive claims against president obama. nbc news investigation. u.s. authorities seizing cell phones, demanding passwords from american citizens, all without a warrant, and it's legal. new pain relief. a game-changing treatment for arthritis sufferers. inspiring america. a major milestone for the oldest
living survivor of pearl harbor. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. winter has saved its biggest punch for last. tonight, exactly a week until spring, this image from space shows a powerful storm system gathering that forecasters fear could paralyze much of the northeast tomorrow with blizzard conditions. 85 million people will potentially be impacted with 31 million from eastern pennsylvania all the way to southern maine, including new york city, under blizzard warnings. the ripple impact is already being felt at airports around the country. 6,000 flights for today and tomorrow already canceled. let's get right to al roker with the very latest forecast and timing on this. >> leicester, thanks so much. we time it out, we already see snow falling in washington, d.c. this evening. philadelphia, you'll start seeing it right around midnight.
tomorrow morning's commute, washington, philly, new york seeing the snow. heavy snow and increasing wind in new york city in the morning hours. by midday, new york city and boston, gusts over 40 miles per hour with snow inland 1 to 3 inches but could be falling at 4 inches per hour. by evening new york and boston, you're going to be looking at all kinds of commuter problems. it could turn into a rain-sleet mix in boston. a track of either 50 miles either way could affect these accumulations. but right now 4 to 7 inches in washington, 8 to 14 in philadelphia. new york city by wednesday morning 12 to 18 inches and boston about 8 to 14 inches of snow, lester. so it looks like this could be a major snowstorm. and when you add the winds it is going to be a nightmare for power outages and all kinds of problems. >> we'll be watching in the morning for the latest, al, thanks very much. a number of governors in the northeast have declared states of emergency ahead of this monster storm. nbc's gabe gutierrez has the latest as the region prepares for the worst.
>> reporter: tonight, winter's revenge. the northeast bracing for impact after a treacherous commute this morning in chicago. the city's first snowstorm since december. >> one day it's 50 or 60. the next day it's in the 20s. it's hard to know. >> reporter: this wisconsin freeway shut down after several crashes. >> roads are terrible. multiple-vehicle accidents. >> reporter: a travel nightmare unfolding across the country. more than 4,600 flights already canceled for tomorrow. including almost all flights from newark. >> all the flights were canceled going back to chicago. so i'll be spending another night. >> reporter: in boston, philadelphia, and new york, schools are closed. more than 1,600 snowplows in new york alone are ready. 283,000 tons of salt are on hand. >> this should be a very serious blizzard. one that everyone should take seriously. >> reporter: some of the most epic nor'easters on record have come at the end of winter, including the so-called storm of the century in 1993.
and this blizzard in 1888 that coated the brooklyn bridge. tonight almost 20 million people are under coastal flood warnings and advisories from delaware to massachusetts. the rush is on to stock up. >> bunch of snacks and water and milk, stuff like that, so the kids don't go crazy in the house. >> reporter: in the nation's capital, salt trucks are on the move. >> we're preparing for the worst. our crews have been out really since yesterday noon to pretreat roads. >> reporter: with spring only a week away. some light snow is already starting to fall here in washington. the house has postponed its votes for tomorrow and german chancellor angela merkel has already postponed her trip until friday because of the looming storm. >> gabe gutierrez in washington, thanks. as we mentioned this late winter storm has already created massive headaches for travelers. thousands of flights already canceled. nbc's tom costello is standing
by at jfk airport at new york. how big an impact is the storm already having? >> reporter: the list of canceled flights is growing fast, especially tonight into tomorrow. normal flight operations for the most part today. here in the new york city area. chicago had delays and cancellations today. over the next 18 to 24 hours as conditions deteriorate, we're going to see more and more ca cancelations especially in the new york city area. most affected airports in the next 24 hours up and down the i-95 corridor. we're talking about boston, new york's major airports, philadelphia, baltimore, and down in d.c. as well. amtrak says it's running a modified schedule in the northeast tomorrow. and the acela line, the high-speed line modified between d.c. and new york, canceled tomorrow between new york and boston. if you are going to fly into or out of the northeast, change your ticket now. the airlines are waiving the change fees. but if you try to go in and out of here tomorrow, you may be out of luck. lester? >> tom costello at jfk, thanks. to our other big story we're following, the republican health care plan.
congressional budget office says that 24 million more people would be uninsured in the next decade than under the current law. and that the cost of individual premiums would go up substantially, at least in the short-term. we get details from nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: tonight the government scorecard is out on the new gop plan to repeal and replace obamacare. what it would cost and how many it would cover. the prediction? ending obamacare would mean 14 million more people would be uninsured next year. that's partly because many would decide to drop the coverage they're required to have now. the report also predicts individual premiums would spike about 15% before dropping in 2020. the analysis, worse than early estimates by health experts, giving ammunition to democrats. >> trumpcare means higher costs for less coverage. >> reporter: the numbers may make it harder for the president to pitch the plan after his promises on the campaign trail.
people, so inexpensive for the country. i am going to take care of everybody. >> reporter: the administration's already dismissing these numbers. from the congressional budget office, a nonpartisan agency whose job is to figure out what any new piece of legislation would cost. health secretary tom price late today. >> we disagree strenuously with the report that was put out. >> reporter: the white house argues the budget office was wrong on obamacare originally. >> the last time they did this, they were wildly off. >> reporter: that enrollment estimate ended up off by 30%. partly because the supreme court changed the expectation for expanding medicaid coverage. still, independent analysts found of all the estimates out there, the budget office came the closest. >> the congressional budget office's only job in life is to get the numbers as close to accurate as they possibly can be. >> reporter: the numbers that matter most to 62-year-old kim quode, the ones on her insurance bill. >> after obamacare started to set in, my insurance premium doubled.
proposal right now, the life-long republican would pay even more. since she'd get less help from the government. today's report also finds the republican bill would cut the federal deficit by roughly $340 billion over the next decade, something house speaker paul ryan is already citing in defense of the plan. lester? >> hallie jackson at the white house, thank you. there is no fallout from president trump's claims that trump tower had been wiretapped during the campaign by president obama. with the justice department under congressional pressure to provide some evidence by today to support those claims, the white house has now presented a different explanation for what the president really meant when he fired off those allegations. nbc's peter alexander has the story. >> reporter: the white house tonight giving itself new wiggle room on the president's explosive wiretapping claim. >> he doesn't really think that president obama went up and tapped his phone personally. >> reporter: aides aren't ruling out someone within the obama administration didn't. nine days after president trump's original tweets, still
the president deflecting questions three times today. his press secretary's revised explanation emphasizing mr. trump's use of wiretapping in quotes. >> he said they were in quotes, referring to surveillance overall. >> can you say affirmatively that whenever the president sends something, we can trust it to be real? >> if he's not joking, of course. every time he speaks authoritatively, he's the president of the united states. >> reporter: trump adviser kellyanne conway clarifying her weekend comment about whether the president was spied on. >> you can surveil someone through their phones, through their television sets, any number of different ways. and microwaves that turn into cameras, et cetera. >> reporter: conway today insisting she was discussing surveillance techniques in general, not the unsubstantiated claims by the president. >> i'm not inspector gadget. i don't believe people are using their microwave to spy on the trump campaign. >> reporter: even republicans are pressing president trump to prove what president obama has denied.
of two choices. either retract or to provide the information that the american people deserve. >> reporter: tonight, the department of justice says it's asked the house intelligence committee for more time to respond to the committee's request for evidence. peter alexander, nbc news, the white house. now to an exclusive nbc news investigation on a highly controversial practice going on at our borders involving u.s. citizens with valid passports, not suspected of any crime, not on any government watch list, being stopped and told, turn over your cell phone and your password. we get more tonight from our senior investigative correspondent cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: it happened in early january at the canadian border to buffalo couple akram shibley and kelly mccormack. he's a filmmaker, she's a student, both born in the usa. >> that to me felt like gross violation of our rights. >> reporter: u.s. customs and border protection agents held
passwords. they turned them over. three days later, they once again drove 20 minutes from home to canada for dinner. but they were stopped again. this time akram refused to give over his phone. >> one officer grabbed me from behind, grabs me by the throat. another officer comes in front of me, grabs me by the legs. third officer reaches into my pocket, pulls out my cell phone. they ask kelly to give her cell phone up. and she's scared stiff. she doesn't -- >> i just handed it right over, i was not about to get tackled. >> reporter: the law at the u.s. border, including at international airports, allows the government to inspect your phone. or your computer. no warrant needed. just like they can look into your luggage. not only that, whether you give them your password or not, they can make a clone of what's on your device.
until recently, it was a power rarely used. >> the fourth amendment, even for u.s. citizens, doesn't apply at the border. under case law, that goes back 150 years. >> reporter: but now that's allowing law enforcement agencies to collect data from your phone in way that would violate the right against unreasonable searches d seizures anywhere else. >> i have extraordinary respect for our border patrol. with that said this loophole that you talked about really disappoints me. it seems to have gotten worse since january 20th. >> reporter: over the past month, nbc news has spoken with 25 american citizens stopped at the border. eight since president trump took office. all ordered to turn over their phones and passwords. or unlock them. many threatened with arrest if they didn't comply. like akram, whose parents are from syria, all but two of them american muslims. we spot-checked others on the list. among them a nasa scientist. intelligence officials told nbc news that none of those we checked were on any u.s. watch li
any crime. one did have a speeding ticket. homeland security officials tell nbc news electronic searches began late in the bush administration. but they were very limited. but by the last year of the obama administration, the number of cell phone searches increased five-fold. according to data obtained by nbc news, 2017 is gearing up to be a blockbuster year. more people stopped in february than the entire year of 2015. homeland security won't say how many are americans. so what's going on? two intelligence officials tell nbc news the increase is driven by two factors. frustration that law enforcement failed to detect a string of domestic terrorism attacks, and intensified rhetoric by donald trump about radical islamic terrorism. >> what is going on at the borders has the potential to be
a real digital dragnet. i think that this really puts at risk both the security and the liberty of the american people. >> senator wyden says he's introducing legislation to protect american citizens in these cases. the incident involving shibly and mccormack is being investigated by dhs inspector general. homeland security told us they're merely adapting to new intelligence threats and say electronic searches apply to less than 1% of travelers. lester? >> this happens at land crossings and airports? >> absolutely. >> all right, cynthia mcfadden, thank you. still ahead tonight, keeping you healthy. we look at a promising new treatment for arthritis, especially in women. also, the very close call as a cruise ship bears down on the patrol boat trying to rescue a pair of stranded jet skiers. with help from our advisor, we made it through many market swings. sure we could travel, take it easy...
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we're back now with important health news for the 1 in 4 americans who suffers from arthritis. for many the condition is so painful it limits their daily activities. but there's a new treatment for a common form of arthritis that can hit women especially hard. nbc's kristen dalgren has the first report in our series "keeping you healthy." >> reporter: every step is a victory for nichelle perry. last year her arthritis was so bad she could barely put on shoes, let alone walk. >> i had a black pair and a brown pair.
something that didn't touch the side of my foot. >> reporter: doctors said she could fuse the bones in her big toe but that would limit mobility. instead she tried a first of its kind implant, synthetic cartilage made with the same material as a contact lens that acts as a cushion for the joint. >> for patients who have arthritis, this is a game changer. >> reporter: arthritis affects 54 million americans, mostly women, and that number is growing every year. in many cases, doctors treat symptoms with pain killers. >> it's a synthetic graft -- >> reporter: this implant is now giving millions hope. so far, it's only used in the big toe in the u.s. but european doctors are already using it in knees and thumbs. >> so it's great for people who want to maintain motion. this is a revolutionary type of product that potentially is a lifelong solution to a lot of patients to maintain pass and decrease the pain that they're suffering from. >> reporter: data released today shows pain reduction in 91% of patients. and more than 100% improvement in their ability to play sports and activities.
six months after surgery, nichelle is back in the gym in shoes that make her smile. >> i was able to wear them, no problem. they're so cute. >> reporter: a new treatment that could be a big step for all arthritis sufferers. kristen dalgren, nbc news, durham, north carolina. we're back in a moment with march madness and the team that's waited a long time for an invitation to the big dance. i will never wash my hair again. i will never never wash my hair again now, i fuel it new pantene doesn't just wash your hair, it fuels it. with the first pro-v nutrient blend, making every... ...strand stronger don't just wash your hair fuel it fuel your hair. because strong is beautiful.
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video shows two women on an overturned jet ski directly in the path of an approaching cruise ship. you can see the shadow of the cruise ship creeping toward them as a sheriff's deputy pulls them to safety with just seconds to spare and the rescue boat hightails it out of there. at a dog show in england a jack russell named ollie didn't win any prizes but still won everyone's heart. he fell, ran in the wrong direction, had the announcers laughing their way through it. all in all, a pretty miserable performance by dog show standards but it didn't matter. the rescue dog's enthusiasm stole the show, proving ollie is a real champion. he's overacting. when we come back, a birthday party you won't want to miss. a veteran we have come to know turns 105 and he's still inspiring america. nd he's still inspiring america. ♪
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help celebrate a man who is inspiring america. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: birthdays are milestones. for ray chavez, march 10th is an annual miracle. did you ever dream you would live to be 105 years old? >> no, never did. >> reporter: we first met ray, the oldest living pearl harbor veteran, back in december, following him to hawaii for the 75th anniversary of the infamous attack. sharing his secret to long life. survival of the fittest. ray's been working out with his trainer twice a week since 101. naturally the gym is where ray kicked off his birthday weekend. some sweat and then some sweets. >> been surprising. because i thank so many people. >> reporter: saturday, more people. a procession fit for a president led ray to the "uss midway." san diego threw their favote
only thing old was the ship. >> i feel like about 50. >> reporter: handshakes, heroic hugs, and speaking of presidents, a celebratory letter from one. world war ii vet george h.w. bush. and at ray's church sunday his closest crew. >> i've only been alive 8 years. but he means a lot to me. >> we want to capture as much of the enjoyment of being together as possible. >> reporter: the weekend's fanfare couldn't shake ray's humility. >> i'm not a hero. i did what i did because i enjoyed doing it. >> reporter: just an old sailor with a bucket list complete. >> i just want to thank everybody that's here to give me this honor. >> reporter: katie beck, nbc news, san diego. >> happy birthday, ray. that's going to do it for us on a monday night.