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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  April 29, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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see it but not the public. and what a prosecutor now says brown did before police started chauvin verdict. what he says the jury deliberated over the longest inside the room. severe weather on the move. tornadoes in oklahoma, flooding in arkansas, drivers rescued. where it's all headed next. our exclusive in the sky with american fighter jets on a mission to keep russia out of u.s. airspace. and the tributes pouring in for the nasa pioneer. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone. president biden's speech before congress tonight will not have the usual trappings or even attendance. covid shrinking the audience to just a few hundred. the big numbers of the night will be the president's proposals. $1.8 trillion earmarked for american families from childcare credits to free community college
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tuition. all on top of his recently announced $2.3 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan. price tags republicans are already balking at. i met with the president for over an hour today as part of a small group of tv journalists. while mostly off the record the president did share on the record his concerns about whether he can find bipartisan consensus on any of this, telling us he has to figure out if there's a republican party to deal with and not one splintered and fearful of one another. so how big will he, can he go? peter alexander previews tonight's address. >> reporter: they can provide powerful moments for a president, those joint sessions of congress in a packed chamber. but for president biden tonight just 200 people will be allowed instead of the usual 1,600. and in a historic first the vice president and speaker behind him, both women. >> it's time for boldness. for there's so much to do. >> reporter: the president tonight will tout progress on the pandemic and the passage of covid
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relief. in excerpts just released by the white house president biden will say, "america is on the move again. turning peril into possibility, crisis into opportunity, setback into strength." he'll also push for the biggest expansion of government programs in decades, announcing a new nearly$2 trillion proposal to help american families including free universal pre-k, tuition-free community college, and tax credits for childcare. on top of his more than $2 trillion infrastructure plan that tonight he will cast as a blue-collar blueprint to build america. in all, the president will have called for roughly $6 trillion of new spending in 100 days, planning to pay for it all by raising taxes on big businesses and the wealthy. republicans slamming it as a massive tax and spending spree, saying president biden promised to unify america but has no bipartisan achievements. they say so far he's only catered to progress democrats. >> this is not a unity agenda. this is a radical agenda.
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biden has handed the democratic party over to bernie sanders and elizabeth warren and aoc. >> peter, i understand you've learned a little bit more about how the president's preparing for these remarks. >> reporter: yeah, lester, white house aides say he's been making last minute tweaks and resting his voice. meanwhile, security at the capitol is tight tonight and even members of the house who are attending have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative covid test to get in. lester? >> all right. peter alexander at the white house, thank you. there are dramatic developments tonight in the criminal investigation of rudy giuliani's dealings with ukraine. federal agents searching the home and office of donald trump's former personal lawyer. hallie jackson is following this for us. hallie, what did they find? >> reporter: lester, multiple sources familiar with the investigation tell nbc news that those agents seized rudy giuliani's electronic devices. that would cover his phone, his laptop, and so on. it's believed to be part of a long-running investigation into giuliani's dealings in ukraine, and it is an extraordinary development, especially given
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giuliani's status as a former new york city mayor and long-time friend of former president donald trump's. in a lengthy statement to nbc news late tonight giuliani's attorney described the searches as part of a corrupt double standard, in his words and says giuliani can demonstrate that his conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical. lester? >> all right, hallie jackson, thank you. want to turn now to the police shooting death of andrew brown jr. in north carolina. a judge today blocked a full public release for now of those police body cam and dash tapes as brown's family is demanding. kerry sanders tonight on the decision. >> the court orders as follows. >> reporter: north carolina judge jeffrey foster ruling today the pasquotank sheriff's four body cams and one dash cam record when'd they shot and killed 42-year-old andrew brown will be disclosed to his surviving family and lawyer. that means in ten days they can watch the redacted videos but not have copies. andrew brown's 92-year-old grandmother. >> would you like to
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see that video? >> yes, i would. >> would you like the public to see that video? >> yes, i would. >> why? >> because then everybody will know what happened. >> and right now? >> right now nobody know what happened. >> reporter: the sheriff today. >> well, what would have been the ideal outcome for you? >> release. >> reporter: full release? >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: monday the sheriff played a single 20-second clip. >> this was an execution. >> reporter: attorney chantalle sherry lassiter described it. >> they run up to his vehicle shooting. he still stood there, sat there in his vehicle with his hands on the steering wheel while being shot at. >> reporter: but in court today the district attorney called her description patently false, that brown's car was driving towards the officers. >> and makes contact with law enforcement. it is then and only then that you hear shots. >> i still stand by what i saw in that clip. >> reporter: street security cameras show the s.w.a.t. team arriving. in the next 30 days the d.a. says an independent state investigation should be completed.
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then a decision. does the d.a. charge the officers? the deputies remain unnamed but had an anorthern court today. >> officers are very distraught over what h. they feel for the family of andrew brown. we believe that the shooting was justified. >> reporter: if no officers are charged, the d.a. says he will release the videos. tonight extra law enforcement has been deployed here to keep the peace. lester? >> kerry sanders in north carolina. thank you. just what was it like in the room where 12 jurors deliberated the fate of derek chauvin, the former minneapolis police officer convicted of killing george floyd? well, today one of those jurors broke his silence and spoke to gabe gutierrez. >> i knew it was a historic moment. >> reporter: brandon mitchell was one of the 12 jurors who convicted derek chauvin of george floyd's murder. >> it was tough. there was days where i literally -- i just didn't want to go. to watch somebody in agony, to watch somebody die over and over again, on stand
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replay basically. >> reporter: he says the initial ballot for second-degree manslaughter was 11-1 but that lone juror came around within an hour. >> everyone was being extra careful and extra delicate. >> reporter: the longest discussion was about third-degree murder, he says, because of confusing jury instructions. second-degree murder was unanimous on the first ballot. the key testimony for him? dr. martin tobin, the world-renowned pulmonologist, and eyewitness donald williams, the mma fighter. >> i thought the prosecution was almost doing too much. i felt like it was a for sure no-brainer. >> reporter: as for the defense's argument that an angry crowd of bystanders distracted officers? >> i thought that was absolutely ridiculous. i thought that was crazy. i was like, if that's the route you're going to go that doesn't even make any sense. >> reporter: mitchell would not say what he thought an appropriate punishment for chauvin would be. his sentencing is now scheduled for late june. lester? >> a rare glimpse in that room. gabe, th an if you have obstructive sleep apnea and you're often tired during the day, you could be missing out on amazing things.
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all right. we're back now with the push to vaccinate more americans after the cdc relaxed the mask guidelines for those who are fully inoculated. tonight almost 143 million have received at least one vaccine dose. miguel almaguer joins us now. miguel, what's the aim here? >> reporter: lester, the cdc hopes loosening face mask restrictions for the vaccinated will encourage the 118 million adults in this country who've chosen not to get inoculated yet. after reaching a high of roughly 4.2 million shots in a single day, the u.s. is now averaging a slumping 2.5 million a day. in west virginia they're offering a $100 savings bond to residents between 16 to 35 who get vaccinated. and at the milwaukee bucks game sunday fans can get a shot while watching hoops. with the cdc facing pressure to ease more restrictions, more rollbacks could come if vaccinations pick up. lester? >> things getting very creative.
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all right. miguel almaguer, thanks. a powerful system causing widespread flooding in arkansas. first responders rescuing several trapped drivers. a school bus sliding into a ditch. the storms also spawning a tornado in oklahoma. tonight 25 million americans are at risk. a fascinating case before the supreme court today that could affect your kids. can a school punish them for something they say off campus? pete williams on the high school cheerleader who says she was just blowing off steam. >> reporter: when brandy levy, then a pennsylvania ninth-grader, discovered she didn't make varsity and would remain a junior varsity cheerleader she lashed out one saturday. she posted a photo of herself and a friend on snapchat and wrote using a word we can't say on tv blank school, blank softball, blank cheer, blank everything. >> i wasn't really thinking about it when i was making it. i was just upset at everything. >> reporter: but when one of the cheerleading coaches saw it, brandy was suspended from the junior varsity team. she and her parents sued, and a federal
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court ruled that students cannot be punished for their off-campus expression. several members of the supreme court said the school went too far. >> she blew off steam like millions of other kids have when they're disappointed about being cut from the high school team. >> reporter: but the justices also worried that schools must be able to take action against cheating or bullying. >> i don't know how you locate the conduct in school versus out of school when you have social media. >> reporter: the court seems likely to rule that brandy levy should not have been punished but it's unlikely to block schools from policing off-campus expression that's truly threatening or disruptive. lester? >> all right, pete, thank you. and speaking of schools, it's the focus tonight in our week-long look at president biden's first 100 days. a major issue, getting kids back into the classroom and the pledge president biden made. here's kristen baltimore's waverly elementary and middle school, where students are back in the classroom, complete with desk shields and
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face masks. >> it is amazing. it feels great to have that feeling of normalcy again. >> reporter: principal dr. tanya green bringing back students two days a week in person. >> what was the initial reaction when you said we are returning to the classroom? >> the initial reaction just across the board from teachers, school leaders, was just maybe apprehension. >> reporter: parents like cherese cole were unsure. >> i did a tour and it made me feel relief like okay, they got this and my daughter's going to be fine. >> reporter: her daughter, anaya, is now back in class. >> when i was in virtual it was kind of hard for me and i was just getting very frustrated. >> reporter: you got frustrated with virtual learning? >> yes. >> reporter: back in december president biden made this pledge. >> my team will work to see that a majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days. >> reporter: though republicans say he was not aiming high enough. tonight 65% of
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students attend schools that are fully open. nearly 30% do a combination of in-person and at-home learning. but progress has been uneven, particularly for students of color. many schools facing obstacles like lack of resources or disputes with teachers unions in the struggle to reopen. >> so many kids who were doing well are angry, are upset, disappointed. >> reporter: lucy soloranzo just wants her boys back in the classroom. last month their santa ana, california schools announced they'd stay remote. when you look around at other school districts, what goes through your head? >> i feel sad that once again our community is not given the opportunity. >> reporter: back in baltimore a new twist, making up for what's being called the covid gap. learning loss after a year of zoom classes. >> i'm very concerned. >> can you make up for the covid gap? >> i think you have to start somewhere. you can't not do
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something. >> reporter: she's planning for summer classes and hopes to bring everyone back to the classroom full-time this fall. >> do you want to go back five days a week? >> i want to stay in school every day like how i used to do. >> i really feel like to have children inside the school brings that human touch. they need to be with us. >> reporter: kristen welker, nbc news, baltimore. and with so many kids kept out of classrooms over the last year a lot of families have faced impossible choices. tonight president biden will address expanding access to childcare. here's stephanie ruhle. >> hold on to it. >> reporter: at the height of the pandemic and with her children out of school la tasha kendrick had to make a difficult decision. stay home with her three kids or keep her quit. i have to. >> reporter: eight months later the single mom is still without a job. >> i want to go back to work and i just need childcare. if i can have that, then i'll be okay. >> reporter: is it a vicious cycle? no childcare, no job.
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no job, no childcare? >> yes. it really is. >> reporter: it's not just parents struggling. childcare centers are being hit hard too. last year many parents pulled kids out because of fears over the virus. facilities also had to limit the number of children to account for social distancing. all of that led to layoffs and shutdowns. now 1 in 6 childcare workers are out of a job. is your business making a lot less money than it was a year ago? >> oh, yes. absolutely. 60% less. >> reporter: cecilia montero has been running a childcare center for nearly 40 years. >> we suffered a lot. >> reporter: do you think it will come back? >> i don't know. >> reporter: how come? >> because there's still a lot of people don't have a job. >> reporter: president biden is proposing $225 billion to invest in childcare centers, increase wages for workers to a minimum of $15 an hour, and make childcare affordable for low and middle-income families. this on top of the 39
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billion already targeted to shore up the industry. some relief in a year where everyone has paid a price. do you think our children feel it? >> of course. they feel it just like we feel it. >> reporter: stephanie ruhle, nbc news, stamford, connecticut. a program note. president biden will sit down exclusively with craig melvin as he marks his first 100 days in office. more here tomorrow and friday on "today." up next we ride, ♪♪ if you have moderate to severe psoriasis... or psoriatic arthritis, little things, can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream...'s a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable... ...with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. for psoriatic arthritis, ...otezla is proven.... to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
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now an nbc news exclusive with american forces tasked with keeping russian warplanes out of u.s. airspace. kevin tibbles takes us for a ride high above the arctic in alaska. >> reporter: high above the top of the world, u.s. f-22 fighters ready to intercept. just look at the globe from above. from their anchorage base you can reach most major cities in under ten hours. joint base elmendorf richardson is the tip of the defensive spear. >> we average about six to seven intercepts. 2020 we had 14. russia is increasing their activity. >> reporter: radar texts from both the united states and canada cover the north like a blanket. >> i can think of one where they've been within 40 miles of our coast. >> reporter: this is often what they find. aging nuclear-capable russian bear bombers. dangerously close to our airspace. what does it feel like to do an intercept? does it get your heart pumping? >> if it's at 2:00 in
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the morning it sure is. >> especially in the dead of winter. >> the russians with training. they're looking for ways to compete with the united states. so they want to kind of get close. >> reporter: each time norad in the alaska region makes an intercept of a russian aircraft a red star goes up on the wall. there have been some 300 since 1983. and on the flight line down time quickly switches to the job at hand. and the jets are scrambled. how close do you get? >> close enough to identify and close enough for them to be aware of our presence. we've got a lot more punch if needed, if it came to that. >> reporter: once airborne over the beautiful vulnerable open arctic, the delicate ballet of precision refueling. the sleek f-22s slip into position behind the alaska air national guard tanker, a maneuver all controlled by hand. >> 60,000 pounds of jet fuel. eight f-22s. takes about two minutes to fill each
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one up. >> this is definitely the busiest probably last 14 to 18 months that we've seen really the russians come closer and closer to our airspace. >> reporter: and the more foreign posturing, the more the need to show a norad presence. and again, when there's a vacuum someone will try to get in there. >> and i can tell you that there is no vacuum up here. >> reporter: the arctic may often be a dark and cold place, but interest in it is heating up. kevin tibbles, nbc news, anchorage. up next here tonight, rem em my name is douglas. i'm a writer/director and i'm still working. in the kind of work that i do, you are surrounded by people who are all younger than you. i had to get help somewhere along the line to stay competitive. i discovered prevagen. i started taking it and after a period of time, my memory improved. it was a game-changer for me. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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he went to the moon and back, though he never set foot on the lunar surface. tonight we remember former astronaut michael collins, who died today. he was part of the three-man crew that brought man to the moon in 1969. >> it's one small step for man. >> reporter: as neil armstrong and buzz aldrin took those historic first steps, michael collins was orbiting alone, 60 miles above. the former air force fighter pilot was their ride home. >> i guess you're about the only person around that doesn't have tv coverage of the scene. >> that's all right. i don't mind a bit. >> reporter: in 2019 collins marked 50 years since the apollo 11 mission, talking with nbc's harry smith. >> was there any part of you that was like, i wish i could have done that too? >> well, sure.
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i wish i could have walked on the moon. but i can say with the utmost honesty i was thrilled to have the place that i had. >> reporter: before he left the command module behind, collins scribbled a message inside. >> the best ship to come down the line. god bless her. michael collins. i hated to leave it. just without saying something. i should have put "thanks a lot" on there. i don't think i put that on but i should have. >> reporter: tonight, we thank him for helping put man on the moon. michael collins was 90 years old. >> you can watch a special primetime "inspiring america" event that i'll be hosting with savannah guthrie and hoda kotb this weekend. our 2021 inspiration list featuring stories of some extraordinary people, among them actor and director lin-manuel miranda. >> how do you define inspiration? >> i define it as -- it's the thing that won't leave you alone. right? that's how i experience it.
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it's that notion that just kind of keeps coming back around and being like, hello, hello. >> more of that conversation this weekend and a reminder, i'll see you back here tonight for president biden's address to congress at 9:00 eastern. that's "nightly news" for this wednesday. thank you for watching, everyone. i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. ♪♪ sir if you don't mind ♪ ♪ i'd rather be alone ♪
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♪ from the moment i walked in tonight ♪ ♪ you've been coming on ♪ ♪ if i've told you once ♪ ♪ i've told you twice ♪ ♪ i'm just here to unwind ♪ ♪ i'm not interested in romance ♪ ♪ or what you have in mind ♪ ♪ what part of 'no' ♪ ♪ don't you understand ♪ ♪ to put it plain and simple ♪ ♪ i'm not into one night stands ♪ ♪ i'll be glad to explain it ♪ ♪ if it's too hard to comprehend ♪ ♪ what part of 'no' ♪ ♪ don't you understand ♪ ♪ i'll be glad to explain it ♪ ♪ if it's too hard to comprehend ♪
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♪ what part of 'no' ♪ ♪ don't you understand ♪ ♪ what part of 'no' ♪ ♪ don't you understand ♪♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show"! give it up for my band y'all! so that was "what part of no" by country legend lorrie morgan, i'm so happy right now, i love that kind of country, y'all, megan from cleveland requested it, why did you want to hear that song? >> hey, kelly, i am a old-school country music fan just like you, and mom always played artists like lorrie morgan


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