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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  April 15, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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late today the critical vote delayed and worries among those who've gotten the shot president biden announcing a full u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan by september 11th, saying it's time to end america's longest war. the president visiting the graves of u.s. troops, saying "look at them all. in washington the mixed reaction the urgent rescue mission after a ship capsizes off louisiana. and bernie madoff, the con man behind the biggest ponzi scheme in history his death behind bars. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone the calls for justice for daunte wright were answered today, though not to the extent his family hoped a brooklyn center, minnesota police officer who for 26 years served in blue today wearing orange in a jail mug shot facing a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the
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death of the 20-year-old black father it was over in seconds. the struggle, the shout. "taser, taser, taser." and then the lethal shot from a very real gun in the hands of officer kim potter, who is white the prosecutor's decision to charge something less than murder a disappointment to some activists who question how a highly trained police officer could confuse a service weapon for a taser ron allen is there tonight with reaction and late details >> reporter: tonight former police officer kim potter's arrested and jailed, facing a charge of second-degree manslaughter in the death of 20-year-old daunte wright. in a statement prosecutors say potter "abrogated her responsibility to protect the public when she used her firearm rather than her taser. her action caused the unlawful killing of mr. wright, and she must be held accountable. potter shot and killed wright during a traffic stop >> [ bleep ] i just shot him. >> reporter: the now former officer on the force for 26 years training a rookie cop that day during what
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police have called an accident law enforcement activists count at least 16 similar cases of guns mistaken for tasers in the last 20 years, not all fatal no comment today from potter's attorney, the police union or the family of daunte wright the wright family's attorney speaking out. >> obviously, they are glad she got charged today. they do hope and pray for a day that we will get equal justice. >> you, me, or anybody else with this skin color would be in silver handcuffs right now with murder charges. >> reporter: today angry reaction to the manslaughter charge from activists involved in three straight nights of protests >> now you can see the crowd getting restless, getting -- stirring even more >> reporter: overnight at least 79 arrests as police clashed with demonstrators and enforced a curfew. now some protest leaders comparing potter's case to that of former minneapolis police officer mohamed noor in 2017 a black officer convicted of murder and manslaughter after shooting and killing a
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white woman who'd called 911 for help. some see a different standard for the white officer killing a black man. >> you think she should be charged with murder >> yes, i do think she should be charged with murder clearly and unequivocally. >> why >> because of her reckless conduct >> ron, any idea how the manslaughter charge will play with the crowds out there tonight? >> reporter: more people seem to be arriving here earlier tonight. they are not satisfied. city officials are pleading for peace as the clock ticks toward another curfew lester >> ron, thanks and while we watched that scene playing out, just ten miles away in minneapolis derek chauvin's lawyer called a retired medical examiner who did not examine george floyd's body to argue that it wasn't the former police officer but floyd's drug use and heart problems that caused his death. gabe gutierrez is there. >> reporter: so far george floyd's heart has been at the heart of derek chauvin's defense. >> how did the heart and drugs contribute to the cause of death?
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>> they were significant. while other -- they contributed to mr. floyd having a sudden cardiac arrest >> reporter: today dr. david fowler testified that floyd died of cardiac arrest combined with the effect of illicit drugs, not a lack of oxygen >> is it your opinion that mr. chauvin's knee in any way impacted the structures of mr. floyd's neck >> no, it did not. >> reporter: fowler said he would have classified floyd's manner of death as undetermined due to multiple factors including this >> there is exposure to a vehicle exhaust, potentially carbon monoxide poisoning >> reporter: fowler, who did not examine floyd's body, recently retired after 17 years as the chief medical examiner of maryland during cross-examination the prosecution came out swinging >> you should do your homework before you arrive at your opinion. fair enough? >> yes >> you haven't seen
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any data or test results that showed mr. floyd had a single injury from carbon monoxide is that true >> that is correct >> reporter: also fowler acknowledged floyd needed immediate medical care to reverse the cardiac arrest >> are you critical of the fact he wasn't given immediate emergency care when he went into cardiac arrest >> as a physician i would agree. >> reporter: this morning a passenger in floyd's suv, morries hall, appeared briefly in court without jurors in the room >> i'm fearful of criminal charges going forward. >> reporter: hall said he planned to invoke the fifth amendment to avoid questions about floyd's drug use the judge quashed his subpoena and he won't be compelled to testify defense testimony is expected to continue tomorrow if and when the defense rests, the prosecution can call rebuttal witnesses before closing arguments, lester. >> okay, gabe, thank you. a lot of folks left hanging tonight but there's no decision after federal
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health officials held an emergency meeting on safety concerns that led to the pause of the johnson & johnson covid vaccine. almost 124 million have now received at least one dose of the various vaccines miguel almaguer has late details >> we're going to go in and out >> reporter: as millions more are vaccinated today and tens of millions await their turn, tonight no decision from the cdc's advisory committee after reviewing johnson & johnson case data. it's still unclear if or when the vaccine will be used again >> this is all the johnson & johnson that i can't use. >> reporter: in the meantime, every state halting the use of j&j, which some fear could lead to fewer getting vaccinated >> i wonder if this is going to set us back and if so by how much and by how long and will certain communities be even more hesitant now? >> reporter: the six cases under investigation are out of the 7.2 million who've received j&j's single-dose vaccine. the one fatality, a 45-year-old who
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received her dose march 6th. 11 days later she was hospitalized with dry heaving and a headache the next day she passed away. today experts working to reassure the public >> we believe that by empowering americans with data and facts we will strengthen the public's trust >> reporter: the need to vaccinate comes as some states see what looks like the start of a fourth surge, including a climb in hospitalizations protecting americans comes with earning their confidence >> i have full trust in the vaccine >> reporter: but danny harrison says he had to be convinced and now regrets getting his j&j dose >> i'm just praying, to be honest with you. there's nothing that i can do i can't take it out of me >> reporter: tonight the race to vaccinate and to restore public trust. miguel almaguer, nbc news in just 60 seconds, our series "american extremism. a new warning about the risks for the entire country
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president biden today declaring it's time for american troops to come home as he announced all u.s. forces will soon be out of afghanistan, saying the events of 9/11 20 years ago cannot explain why we should remain here in 2021 here's peter alexander. >> reporter: america's commander in chief tonight paying his respects to fallen u.s. troops from iraq and afghanistan at arlington national cemetery >> look at them all. >> reporter: earlier president biden declaring america's longest war will come to an end by september 11th speaking in the same room where president bush first announced military action in afghanistan. >> we went to afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago. that cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021. >> reporter: the withdrawal of more than 2,500 service members from afghanistan to begin within weeks but missing the may 1st deadline set by former president trump. president biden saying
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america's goals have been achieved. >> bin laden is dead and al qaeda's degraded in iraq -- in afghanistan. and it's time to end the forever war. >> reporter: the president's move drawing bipartisan praise but also criticism. >> al qaeda and isis are going to come back he's paving the way for another 9/11 >> reporter: president biden's own cia director today acknowledging there's a, quote, significant risk that al qaeda and other terrorist groups will try to rebuild once the u.s. and its allies leave still, for the military it marks the end of an era. more than 2,300 u.s. troops dead. the war lasting so long that multiple generations served >> i went and served my country in this theater so that my son wouldn't have to >> reporter: but eventually master sergeant trevor deboor's son specialist payton sluss would serve there too. >> it was too long to be there something we should definitely improve on so we don't have
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20-year wars down the road >> reporter: despite concerns the taliban could overwhelm the afghan government, president biden says waiting for the right moment is a recipe for staying there indefinitely lester >> all right, peter, thank you. there's a desperate search off the coast of louisiana. one person is dead and a dozen are missing after what's called a platform vessel capsized when a storm suddenly broke out sam brock is there >> reporter: on the stormy shores of the gulf an intense rescue mission continues tonight for 12 missing people, spearheaded by the u.s. coast guard, which faced conditions it had not anticipated about eight miles south of port fourchon >> 80, 90 miles per hour were the winds, seven to nine-foot seas and extremely limited visibility >> reporter: authorities won't confirm if weather caused a 129-foot vessel to capsize tuesday. but they did reveal recovering one body from the gulf today. after a combination of u.s. cutters and good samaritans miraculously saved 6 of 19 crew members, but not among that group -- >> oh, god
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please let him be one of the ones. >> reporter: dara morales's 37-year-old son chas, a father of three. >> i'm scared and i'm devastated and i'm broken >> reporter: her latest text to her son so far unread. >> kids going bananas. they need their daddy to come home i want him to come home i need him to come home >> reporter: the u.s. coast guard says it's possible some of these crew members could be in an air pocket underneath the water in the ship. as for dara morales she says the last text message she sent her son, "i love you" at 2:00 a.m lester >> all right some tough hours ahead. thank you, sam his name became synonymous with unimaginable fraud and financial ruin bernie madoff, a wall street money manager who became infamous for running the biggest ponzi scheme in history, died today at a federal prison in north carolina madoff was serving 150 years for conning thousands out of tens of billions of dollars, causing staggering losses when his scheme was finally
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exposed in 2008. bernie madoff was 82 now to our series "american extremism" and new insight in the shocking plot to kidnap michigan's governor tonight one investigator is speaking out for the first time about the roots of the conspiracy to our stephanie gosk >> reporter: angry protesters at the capitol confronting police and demanding to be let inside >> let us in >> reporter: but this isn't washington, d.c. this is lansing, michigan a year ago. a rally organized to protest covid restrictions with members of the state's militia groups openly taking part. what happened here was less violent than what took place at the u.s. capitol on january 6th. there were some scuffles and one arrest but according to law enforcement, a seed was planted, among a small group of people a plan was taking shape to do something much, much worse >> reporter: the alleged plan was to kidnap the governor and put her on trial for treason. all because of
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michigan's covid lockdown >> when that rally took place in lansing, i was very concerned about some of the people attending because i knew who they were. >> reporter: former u.s. attorney matthew schneider was part of the state and federal investigative team now speaking publicly about the case for the first time they had been watching the group called the wolverine watchmen for a while. by the fall more than a dozen men would be arrested for the alleged plot one man pleaded guilty the rest not guilty. at what point do you switch from okay, this is just a harebrained idea, they're just talking, to they're getting prepared to commit a crime >> right that is the critical point for law enforcement. when i saw that the folks had actually taken some steps, for example, to go and look under a bridge to see if that was a place that they could put explosives to deter law enforcement from coming. >> reporter: that this wasn't just talk >> correct >> reporter: according to the indictment, some of the planning happened here at this
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unlikely home in the rural town of munith the group allegedly used the property for tactical training. >> target practice on the tires and -- >> yeah. >> -- that kind of thing? >> anything. >> reporter: janice kitley is the township clerk. what was the community's reaction to these charges >> well, they were horrified and embarrassed. >> reporter: authorities seized an arsenal of weapons hundreds of guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives and artillery shells >> it's one thing to have a gun because guns are protected under the constitution explosive devices are not. >> reporter: do you think a high-profile trial like this one and potentially these defendants if found guilty going to prison, do you think that that will limit the number of threats out there? >> well, we can hope so >> reporter: but it sounds like you're not sure it will necessarily. >> there is no doubt that there will be future acts of domestic terrorism in america. what we need to do is minimize that number, to bring that number down >> reporter: a problem he says not just for michigan but for the
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whole country. stephanie gosk, nbc news, detroit. up next for us tonight, battling covid in the poorest countries. why we all need to pay attention. our exclusive reporting from africa. just ahead
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in the race to vaccinate, the covax program aims to deliver 2 billion doses to the developing world by the end of this year but the rollout has faced challenges cynthia mcfadden with more from inside uganda >> reporter: tonight a look at the tragically slow distribution of
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covid vaccines to the world's poorest countries. this is all the vaccine uganda had left a few weeks ago so far covax has managed to send only enough vaccine to inoculate about 1% of uganda's population. the same's true for many of the world's other poor countries we've been given an exclusive look at the first wave of distribution here to health care workers, a complicated process in this complicated country. it's a race against time, not just for the people here but to stop the spread of the virus and its variants worldwide. hours outside the capital we finally reached the beginning of the last mile for a very small batch of covid-19 vaccines. >> there is hope that the vaccine is actually coming in >> reporter: dr. eva kabungera is unicef's lead immunization specialist >> unicef is the lead agency for the distribution of the vaccines here. so you've been sleeping, breathing the vaccines >> working almost 24
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hours, no sleep. >> reporter: we're headed to the buvuma islands. there are 52 of them, with 130,000 residents. the last mile requires one last boat. >> getting the vaccine this far has not been easy but it's precious cargo. it's wonderful to have this and yet it's a much smaller amount than you'd hoped >> reporter: this arduous journey to deliver only 40 precious doses for over 100,000 people there are about 200 health care workers on these islands. >> or even more. >> reporter: so is that enough? >> well, it's not enough, of course. >> reporter: after a very wet ride -- >> here we are >> reporter: -- we carry the vaccine coolers to the clinic. the race continues the next day as we head to an equally remote and equally important location the bidi bidi refugee settlement uganda's home to more refugees than anywhere else in africa >> we have security 24 hours. we want to be sure
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that nothing happens with the vaccine >> reporter: the arrival of the vaccine is taken very seriously. >> this is gold to us. >> may i see >> yeah, yeah. very important >> reporter: oh, wow there's the ice packs. >> quite a number of them can fit in there. >> reporter: getting the vaccine to even these extremely remote areas is not the problem. the problem is not having enough vaccine. in part because many wealthy countries are hoarding according to the world health organization, 87% of vaccines have been administered in high-income countries. >> we are only safe if all of us are safe and if any one country thinks after vaccinating its population they are safe, it is a lie. >> reporter: dr. ruth aceng is uganda's minister of health many wealthy countries have procured not only enough vaccine to vaccinate their entire population but to vaccinate their entire population many times over
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>> that is painful very painful every human life matters. and we have to hold hands together if we are going to win this war. >> reporter: but so far that has largely been beyond reach. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, kampala, uganda. >> a reality check for the entire world up next for us, simone biles looking ahead to the olympics.
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start the countdown. the tokyo olympics now just 100 days out. the cherry blossoms are blooming in tokyo.
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a sign summer and the olympics are just around the corner. but pulling them off will be a monumental challenge. covid infections are on the rise in tokyo, prompting new restrictions and japan's vaccine rollout has lagged when the games kick off, there will be strict safety measures in place including a ban on foreign fans. gymnastics superstar simone biles says that's okay with her >> it's going to be very different but it's still worth it because we've all trained so hard. >> reporter: now 24, somehow biles has only gotten better since rio. >> i'm like can i do it again can i be this good and can i repeat what i did last year, last time, last olympics? and i feel like that's what motivates me. >> reporter: she's just one of many team usa athletes expected to dominate. >> katie ledecky, who won four golds in rio, she has a chance to become one of the best
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swimmers in american history. on the track you have noah lyles that's maybe where there's a new name that will jump into the story. noah lyles has the chance to win the men's 100 meters that's usain bolt territory the last three olympics >> reporter: they'll finally get their chance in 100 days >> 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. ♪ ♪ >> ♪♪ it's been seven hours and 15 days ♪ ♪ since you took your love
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away ♪ ♪ since you been gone i can do whatever i want ♪ ♪ i can see whomever i choose ♪ ♪ i can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant ♪ ♪ but nothing ♪ ♪ i said nothing can take away these blues ♪ ♪ nothing compares ♪ ♪ nothing compares to you ♪ ♪ i know that living with you baby was sometimes hard ♪ ♪ but i'm willing to give it another try ♪
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♪ nothing compares ♪ ♪ nothing compares to you ♪ ♪ nothing compares ♪ ♪ nothing compares to you ♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show." give it up for my musical director, jason halbert. i am hands down probably the hardest vocalist to follow like that. he is harry potter. i hope you enjoyed that rendition of "nothing compares to you" from sinead o'connor. we've heard it a lot.

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