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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  April 30, 2021 2:06am-2:36am PDT

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what senator tim scott said in his republican rebuttal about racism in america a hazing death of an ohio college student. eight people indicted today. the charges they face. our richard engel on the front lines in ukraine. troops on high alert from the threat posed by russia. new developments in the shooting of lady gaga's dog walker and the theft of her two dogs five arrests including the woman who returned the dogs seeking a $500,000 reward. and the surprising reason you could find gas stations running on empty this summer >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone after living through some of the darkest moments in its history a stunning announcement from the mayor of new york city today. the city where a year ago makeshift morgues idled on its streets, set to fully reopen in july officials announcing the city of 8.5 million residents has administered a remarkable 6.4 million vaccine doses, setting
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it on a firm road to recovery but the capricious nature of this virus revealing itself in new places tonight like oregon, a new hot spot, forcing new restrictions, even as overall infection numbers drop in so many parts of the country. nationally almost 14 at least vaccine dose miguel almaguer now with the good and bad of where this pandemic leaves us tonight. >> reporter: in another sign the nation is turning the corner, tonight new york city, once the epicenter of the pandemic, is now set to fully reopen july 1st. today the mayor announcing restaurants, theaters, museums, even music halls will be back in business at full capacity if the state signs off. though broadway will likely remain dark through summer, the mayor cited the city's 6.4 million vaccinations and the use of face masks indoors as reasons to move forward >> this summer this is going to be the summer
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of new york city >> reporter: with the president noting this 4th of july could truly bring a new independence day, evencdc is w outlining a detailed framework for a safe return one option, requiring 98% of crew and 95% of passengers to be vaccinated >> it really does set forth a pathway that we think is achievable, practical, and safe >> reporter: even hard-hit california is seeing a low in new covid cases. nationally infections are down about 21%, in part because of vaccinations but there are some dangerous hot spots. some hospitals in michigan are still at 100% capacity. but one of the most worrisome outbreaks is in oregon. 15 counties are reimplementing restrictions >> at this moment we are moving backwards >> reporter: tonight some setbacks for a nation eager to move forward as the u.s.
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gets closer to doing just that. miguel almaguer, nbc news >> a reminder, you can make a plan for when and where to get vaccinated visit for more information it was a life cut short. the alcohol-related hazing death of a college student in ohio last month. today as eight members of the fraternity were indicted the prosecutor made an emotional plea here's kristen dahlgren >> reporter: his parents clutched hands as charges were announced in the death of 20-year-old bowling green state university student stone foltz after a fraternity initiation >> it is alleged that the new members, almost all being underage, were provided a bottle of high alcohol content liquor >> reporter: eight members of pi kappa alpha now facing charges ranging from felony involuntary manslaughter to misdemeanor hazing after the prosecutor says they encouraged foltz and other pledges to drink the entire bottle. >> hi. someone that we know
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is non-responsive. he drank alcohol, like a lot of alcohol >> reporter: the prosecutor says the sophomore business major had a blood alcohol level almost five times the legal limit and was found by roommates after fraternity brothers dropped him off. he died three days later. the most serious charges could mean up to 11 years in prison if convicted an attorney for the family calling it a step in the right direction, asking how many injuries and deaths will it take for people in positions of power to do the right thing 44 states including ohio do have anti-hazing laws, but they can vary greatly. >> this tragic and senseless death should remind us all of the moral imperative for us to drive hazing out of the state of ohio >> reporter: tougher laws too late for foltz. but his family and prosecutors -- >> please, god, let it be the last time that it's prosecuted in the united states. >> reporter: -- now hoping his death can save others. kristen dahlgren, nbc news
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after unveiling his plan to congress in a primetime speech president biden on the road today to sell to the american people his vision to expand the role of government in our lives with massive investments in a post-covid social net. peter alexander is traveling with the president. >> reporter: first the speech, now the sales pitch. >> hello georgia and the other county back there! >> reporter: president biden traveling to georgia, the state that gave democrats control of the senate. putting the president's ambitious agenda within reach. >> so much have we gotten done, like getting checks to people probably would not have happened. >> reporter: earlier the bidens visiting former president jimmy carter and his wife rosalynn >> madam speaker, the president of the united states. >> reporter: the president last night casting this as an inflection point in history, making the case for the largest expansion of government programs in decades. >> these are investments we made together as one country. and investments that only the government was in the position to make
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>> reporter: he's called for roughly $6 trillion in new spending in his first 100 days, including a new nearly $2 trillion families plan, promising universal pre-k, free community college, and paid family leave a balking at uncomfortable, how you're going to pay for it >> reporter: president biden wants to raise taxes on big businesses and the wealthy. but republicans are slamming his plans as a radical tax and spending spree >> he could have walked up and said i'm president biden, thank you for watching, here's my message, i want all of you to send every bit of your money and freedom to washington >> reporter: still last night's speech was historic the speaker and vice president behind him for the first time both women >> and it's about time [ applause ] >> reporter: and due to pandemic protocols just 200 people in the chamber. the president delivering a forceful message to those at home hesitant to get a shot >> go get vaccinated,
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america. go and get the vaccinations they're available. >> reporter: one glaring omission in the address, no specifics on handling the crisis at the border with more than 23,000 unaccompanied migrant children still in u.s. custody tonight. >> so peter, where do things stand right now in terms of the president meeting with republicans about these proposals? >> reporter: yeah, lester, after being criticized by republicans for a lack of bipartisanship the president will welcome republican and democratic leaders including mitch mcconnell to the white house for the first time in less than two weeks. lester >> peter alexander in georgia for us tonight. thank you. in just 60 seconds the backlash over comments on race by the senator who delivered the republican rebuttal to president biden's speech the president's exclusive response tonight. and richard engel with ukrainian troops on the tense border with russia. a critical test for president biden.
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it was the republican response to the president's address last night that drew some of the
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strongest reaction today after senator tim scott declaredrica is not racist country kristen welker has that story >> reporter: he's a rising republican star and potential presidential candidate. tim scott, who grew up poor in south carolina, then became a senator. >> good evening. >> reporter: grabbing headlines with this response to president biden's address. >> hear me clearly america is not a racist country it's backwards to fight discrimination with different types of discrimination. >> reporter: while many praised scott, others called him naive. for hours the hashtag "uncle tim" trended on twitter before it was blocked. the phrase echoing a racial slur, "uncle tom," used to describe black americans who were viewed as too deferential to white people scott slamming the comments this morning. >> intolerance so often comes from the left with words like "uncle tim" and the n word being used against me by the left >> reporter: in an
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exclusive interview today craig melvin pressed president biden on scott's comments >> he said among other things, america isn't racist is it? >> no, i don't think the american people are racist but i think after 400 years african-americans have been left in the position where they're so far behind the 8 ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity, i think the overhang from all of the jim crow and before that slavery has had a cost and we have to deal with it. >> reporter: meanwhile, tonight george floyd's brother and other advocates met with top white house officials on police reform. president biden called on congress to pass a bill by the first anniversary of floyd's death, may 25th. lester >> okay, kristen, thanks very much and a reminder, you can watch much more of craig melvin's interview with president biden ngn "today." now to something president biden spoke about in that speech
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last night, the threat posed by russia. tonight ukraine on high alert after russia's recent activity along the border our richard engel is inside ukraine on the front lines. >> reporter: out here by ukraine's remote border with russia president biden's foreign policy is being tested a ruinous seven-year civil war could escalate at any moment i joined ukrainian troops >> so this is the front line up here >> reporter: the front is more active now than in years. they're sticking to the road and walking in a single line because beyond these taped markers it means there are landmines in the fields as we got closer lieutenant rostislav showed us the trenches they run for miles like a world war i battlefield. at the end is a lookout post what are you looking at through this periscope? >> it's enemy. >> reporter: in the distance they say are russian and russian-backed ukrainian troops >> they're in the tree
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line by those windmills. >> reporter: earlier this month vladimir putin deployed up to 120,000 troops near here russia said it was ary exerci. ukrainian officials believe putin may be preparing an invasion and wanted to test if president biden would tolerate it. but president biden pushed back, warning putin of consequences. >> i affirmed u.s. support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine and i strongly urged him to refrain from any military action. >> reporter: last week russia withdrew most of its forces but ukrainian officials say it left heavy weapons behind and could return quickly america's ukrainian allies are now on high alert, on eight-month deployments down in the trenches, hoping president biden can deter putin from attacking. richard engel, nbc news, near mariupol, ukraine. another moment of the president's speech that is still resonating with many this evening, the support he offered to
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transgender americans. but has he lived up to his promises to the trans community? hallie jackson now with a closer look >> reporter: a personal pledge from a powerful platform. >> to all transgender americans watching at home, especially the young people, you're so brave i want you to know your president has your back. >> reporter: jessica fuller is one of those americans. she came out as transgender when she was 16 her dad never expected to share her story publicly >> i didn't know if i was going to fall apart and cry or laugh. >> reporter: much less go viral opposing an alabama bill making it a felony for minors to receive the same kind of gender-affirming care jessica did >> so you're asking me to someday put handcuffs on these people that are heroes in my life and arrest the people that saved my daughter? please don't ask me to do that. >> i was proud >> reporter: it's not just alabama it's estimated more than half of all states are considering bills that would restrict trans rights. a record 80 plus in all. most involving either medical care or
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sports the latest front in a political culture war. >> if this is not changed, women's sports as we know it will die >> we are talking about erasing the definition of woman. when we replace sex there's no boundaries with that. >> reporter: new polling shows most americans oppose laws limiting trans rights. and president biden campaigned on a promise to protect them in his first 100 days he's reversed the trump-era ban on transgender troops, threatened sanctions on countries that restrict trans rights, and nominated the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the u.s. senate. >> i voted for him because of these issues you know, more than anything else. >> reporter: what is your message to legislators in other states >> listen to these kids because they're telling the truth. and there's nothing else to tell >> reporter: for them it's not politics but personal hallie jackson, nbc news, washington up next for us tonight, what you need to know about the coming gas shortage in
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"the price you pay."
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police in los angeles say five people have been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting of lady gaga's dog walker and the theft of her french bulldogs. police say the woman who returned the dogs after lady gaga offered a $500,000 reward was among those arrested now in "the price you pay" as more of us hit the road this summer you may find it harder to fill up your tank vicky nguyen explains why. >> here we are wandering knapps
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>> reporter: jolene and chris knapp from texas took their three boys out of school in 2019 to travel we caught up with them take your kids on the road >> traveling has become the new way to educate your kids. >> we're going to work our way all the way up to portland, oregon. >> reporter: but this summer the knapps and other drivers may hit a speed bump gas stations running on empty there's plenty of fuel, but experts say there's a shortage of tanker truck drivers to deliver it. 35% fewer drivers after the pandemic forced some to retire or change jobs >> this summer we may see a few gas stations that have low to no fuel for a number of days >> reporter: aaa says it happened in las vegas. tourist hot spots could see some stations waiting to fill up for an extra day or two but don't panic buy. >> you don't need to hoard gasoline it's not going to be at every station there will be gas if you drive down the street >> reporter: with normal summer demand expect prices to creep up by memorial day to
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3 bucks a gallon on average. the knapp family says they'll take any gas delays in stride >> we just make sure we don't ever run below half a tank of gas. >> reporter: experts say to save gas group your trips together. if you're heading to a tourist town use an stations and fill up before you reach your thank you. let's turn now to our nbc news investigation of a tragic consequence of that deep freeze that hit texas this past winter people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning as they tried to stay warm nbc's antonia hylton has more tonight >> reporter: like millions of texans shalemu bekele and his wife woke on february 15th freezing in their houston home as the power grid failed. they're ethiopian immigrants and their 7 and 8-year-olds had never seen snow before >> translator: i was just thinking the power will come back now. >> reporter: but it didn't so as temperatures dropped his wife turned on the car in their garage to get carbon me alarm.
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>> translator: by the time i went there i found her. she passed out >> reporter: then the kids and shalemu collapsed too. all had been poisoned by carbon monoxide he woke up almost a day later in the hospital to heartbreak his wife and daughter had died his son was in intensive care >> translator: i screamed and i don't even remember what i was saying >> reporter: in our investigation with pro publica and the "texas tribune" we found at least 11 texans died from carbon monoxide poisoning. >> the kids down in my house not feeling good >> reporter: more than 1,400 were also taken to emergency rooms like the one at memorial hermann >> we might see 50 patients a year who were poisoned with carbon monoxide. we surpassed that on our first night. >> reporter: according to data obtained by nbc news, almost 80% of the people poisoned by carbon monoxide and treated at memorial hermann during the height of the storm were black or latino >> reporter: texas is one of only six states to leave carbon monoxide alarm regulations up to local government shalemu said if an alarm had been
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required in his home his wife and daughter would still be here. is there someone you want to see held accountable for this >> translator: i would. i hold accountable the government, the electricity company, and police all together they could have saved a lot of lives >> reporter: shalemu is suing the utility meantime, he's moved his son out of the home he bought to give his family security and opportunity in america. antonia hylton, nbc news, houston. all right. up next for us tonight, a man with a healing influence inspiring america.
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finally, i'd like you to meet a man who turned his life around by working to bridge divides and heal his community in charlotte, north carolina >> if something is happening -- >> reporter: the defining moment in greg jackson's life came in 2016 after keith lamont scott was shot and killed by police in charlotte. >> i wanted to get involved and immediately the first day of me protesting i was on national news. which was kind of like a big breadcrumb for me letting me know that this is the direction that i needed to head into >> that direction a far cry from his old life in the bronx. >> i did one year in jail, came home, and my mother was in charlotte at the time. and she said, boy, you need to get up out of what i did >> reporter: bringing him back to that defining moment. >> i wanted to build empathy. >> reporter: so he founded heal charlotte, a grassroots community outreach center that does everything from keeping an open dialogue with police
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to food distribution they all find homes for families like tahira johnson and her children, who were homeless for two years. >> i'm happy i have a home >> reporter: for eight months they lived in a hotel funded by heal charlotte. now they have their own house. >> every day we pull up it's like still in awe and believe that we actually live here after so long of being in the hotel i can't thank them enough >> reporter: now greg is trying to raise $10 million to buy a hotel that would provide transitional housing for 120 families like the johnsons >> somebody took time to make sure that i got up out of where i was. if somebody spent time to do that for you, why can't you do that for others >> so many uplifting stories to share with you. you can watch a special primetime with savannah guthrie and hoda kotb saturday our 2021 inspiration list featuring stories of some extraordinary
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people doing extraordinary things that's "nightly news" for this thursday. thank you for watching i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night ♪ ♪ ♪♪ maybe you don't like talking too much about yourself ♪ ♪ but you should'a told me ♪ ♪ that you were thinking 'bout someone else ♪
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♪ you're drunk at a party ♪ ♪ or maybe it's just that your car broke down ♪ ♪ your phone's been off for a couple of months ♪ ♪ so you're calling me now ♪ ♪ i know you you're like this ♪ ♪ when it don't go your way you needed me to fix it ♪ ♪ and like me i did ♪ ♪ but i ran out of every reason ♪ ♪ now suddenly you're asking for it back ♪ ♪ could you tell me where'd you get the nerve ♪ ♪ yeah you could say you miss all that we had ♪ ♪ but i don't really care how bad it hurts ♪ ♪ when you broke me first ♪ ♪ what did you think would happen ♪ ♪ i'll never let you have it ♪ ♪ what did you think would happen ♪ ♪ could you tell me where'd you get the nerve ♪
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♪ yeah you could say you miss all that we had ♪ ♪ but i don't really care how bad it hurts ♪ ♪ when you broke me first ♪ ♪ you broke me first ooh ooh ♪ ♪ you broke me first ♪♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: [screams] welcome to "the kelly clarkson show"! give it up for my band y'all! yes! "you broke me first" such a great song. and i did not know it, and it first became popular on tiktok and has blown up. katie from nashville requested it, why did you want to hear that song, katie? >> hi, kelly.
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i first discovered the song when


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