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

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and the emotional message from the wife of one of the victims. what she told her husband just before he died also, help wanted. not enough workers to fill jobs at camps, water parks, restaurants and more we'll tell you what could be causing the crisis and what it could mean for you free at last the prisoner finally released after nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit and the heroes with that special mission, watching over the tomb of the unknown soldier. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening i'm kristen welker in for lester tonight, the great getaway has begun. with half of all american adults now fully vaccinated and most states having lifted covid restrictions, americans are preparing for the biggest travel holiday in the last year despite that new surge in gas prices, tens of
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millions of people are expected to hit the roads. the airports packed, too. we also have brand new guidance from the cdc on summer camps to tell you about, including whether your child still needs to be wearing a mask outdoors but first, let's start with the travel rush nbc's tom costello starts our coverage tonight. >> reporter: friday night and america's long-awaited great escape is finally under way. from clogged roadways to packed beaches and cool mountain getaways with half the population receiving one dose, nearly 40 million americans are expected to travel this holiday weekend >> just looking forward to a little bit of normalcy again. >> it was a long time coming, and it is about time and it's a perfect time of year to start anew >> reporter: aaa says an estimated 34 million are on the roads alone, even with the national average at the pump up more than a dollar from a year ago when the economy tanked airports are now breaking post-pandemic passenger records. nearly 2 million passed through tsa checkpoints on
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thursday alone nbc's blayne alexander is at the nation's busiest airport. >> here in atlanta airport officials expect to see 1.5 million people travel through this holiday weekend. that's the busiest it's been since december of 2019 >> reporter: and at the nation's premier weekend auto race spectators will be back in the stands nbc's tom llamas is in indianapolis >> here at the indy 500 they're expecting more than 130,000 fans on race day, which is sunday it's going to be the largest sporting event anywhere on the planet since the onset of the pandemic organizers feel they can keep the event safe, but they want to make sure fans follow the rules. >> reporter: but with most international travel still off limits the summer's hottest ticket may be the great outdoors the national parks already seeing record-breaking numbers. >> we know that many of the most popular national parks both campgrounds and lodging in and around parks are fully booked or nearly fully booked through labor day weekend. >> reporter: at colorado's cherry creek state park campers and rvs have been showing up all day.
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>> it's going to be a brand new world i think. i think it's a new start. and might as well just get out and have fun >> feels good to get out and feel regular again. >> reporter: tonight from coast to coast the great american relax is under way >> and tom, this is good news for the travel industry? >> reporter: absolutely the surge we're seeing of passengers has got the airlines recovering much faster than expected. they don't have enough planes right now meanwhile, restaurants and theme parks are coming back even faster than they expected, kristen. >> all as the new normal gets under way. tom costello, thank you. and just as the summer kicks off, the cdc released new guidance about which campers need to wear masks and which don't. here's stephanie gosk with what families need to know >> reporter: footloose and mask-free for kids this summer? not exactly, says the cdc. today releasing revised guidance for masking at camp. the agency had said unvaccinated campers
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should wear masks inside and outside now slightly revising that to "in general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors, whether they are vaccinated or not. unless they are in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact. with most campers under the age of 12 and not eligible for the vaccine yet, camps are left to decide for themselves what activities are safe, and the guidance is vague. >> one size does not fit all for each of these camps. they're going to have to take into account the rates of vaccination among their staff and among their older campers. >> reporter: in new york there was a mask requirement for summer camps until this week. now masks are just encouraged at crestwood country day camp on long island parents and staff are relieved >> there is an awful lot of pent-up desire to have children get back to camp >> kids that want to get back to camp and parents that want their kids to get back to camp. >> i'm not sure which it is more so. >> reporter: crestwood's director
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says masks will not be required outside giving the kids, he says, a chance to have a real summer. stephanie gosk, nbc news and now to that dramatic vote in the senate republicans blocking a commission to investigate the january 6th capitol attack, all as president biden unveils his sweeping and costly budget proposal chief white house correspondent peter alexander has late details. >> reporter: nearly five months after that violent siege of the capitol, tonight senate republicans slamming the door on the creation of a bipartisan commission into the attack. democrats say the former president is to blame. >> out of fear or fealty to donald trump the republican minority just prevented the american people from getting the full truth about january 6th. >> reporter: democrats needed ten republican votes, but only six signed on. among them alaska's lisa murkowski >> an independent commission is important. it's important for the congress
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but i think it's also important to the country. >> reporter: many republicans concerned a commission would alienate trump supporters, dismissing the proposal as a political exercise arguing law enforcement and congressional committees are already investigating the riot >> there's no new fact about that day we need the democrats' extraneous commission to uncover >> reporter: that dead end as president biden today reveals his new budget proposal, calling for $6 trillion in federal spending, the largest sustained spending level since world war ii, including major investments in infrastructure and social programs. republicans call it too expensive and too extreme, noting within ten years the president's plan would increase the u.s. debt to 117% of the size of the entire economy >> the debt becomes so large it's more than 100% of your gdp there's no coming back from that. this sounds like venezuela or cuba. >> reporter: tonight the white house is defending its spending as fiscally responsible, arguing it's necessary to help
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the u.s. recover from the pandemic and to make the country more competitive into the future kristen? >> peter alexander at the white house. peter, thank you and we will be back in just 60 seconds with new clues and a possible motive in that deadly mass shooting in california plus, the latest major hack who's behind it?
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with the high-stakes summit between president biden and russian president vladimir putin just weeks away, an urgent new crisis at the forefront another hacking against the u.s. government being blamed on russia our pete williams has the latest on the investigation. >> reporter: the latest attack hit the state department's agency for international development, usaid, which distributes america's foreign aid. the hackers inserted malware that sent what appeared to be genuine usaid emails to more than 150 recipients including human rights groups and other organizations that have been critical of russia's president vladimir putin in a blog post microsoft says the attack came from a threat actor called
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nobelium, originating from russia. the same group behind the huge solarwind attack that targeted the departments of homeland security, energy, commerce, defense, treasury and state and thousands of america's businesses the u.s. government has said nobelium's hacking is the work of russia's foreign intelligence service this time microsoft says automated systems blocked most of the malicious emails and marked them as spam. but the russian attack comes less than three weeks before president biden is scheduled to meet putin in geneva >> we need clear rules of nation-state conduct in cyberspace and then clearly stated consequences for violations of those rules. >> reporter: last month biden imposed modest sanctions on russia for the solarwinds attack but said he was prepared to take further action if the hacking didn't stop security experts say this latest attack was intended to gather intelligence on putin's opponents, but it was still going on within the past few days, suggesting u.s. sanctions haven't made much difference. kristen?
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>> pete williams in washington pete, thank you. investigators in california may be zeroing in on a motive for the massacre in san jose as new details have emerged about the gunman who killed nine co-workers at a rail yard and the massive arsenal he had at his home. miguel almaguer has the very latest tonight. >> reporter: chilling only because he appears calm, investigators say this surveillance video captures the gunman after his first murderous rampage and before his second. at his home, 25,000 rounds of ammunition, multiple weapons and molotov cocktails. a motive coming into focus. a federal law enforcement source confirming the suspect was detained by u.s. customs in 2016 after returning from overseas for possessing books about terrorism and fear and manifestos, as well as a memo filled with hatred toward his workplace. the targeted shooting began wednesday morning.
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>> he killed them all. who he wanted, he made sure they were dead. >> reporter: the nine men who went to work and never came home remembered by a sea of loved ones >> it was horrific >> reporter: tara fritch lost her husband, alex. she was at his hospital bedside as he slipped away >> i just said, i love you. i don't want you to go, but i know you have to. and it's okay. we'll be okay. and his heart stopped. >> reporter: in september the fritches planned to renew their vows on their 20th anniversary. >> i've lost everything i don't want to be here without him >> reporter: miguel almaguer, nbc news, san jose well, tonight a philadelphia man who says he was wrongly convicted of murder is getting a second
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chance, and his first taste of freedom in almost three decades ron allen has his story. >> reporter: after nearly 30 years in prison eric riddick tonight is a free man. >> just happy to see everybody. i'm happy to be here to enjoy my family this is amazing. a little overwhelming. >> reporter: riddick, now 51, still claims he had nothing to do with the murder of his best friend william catlett in november of 1991 in philadelphia >> did you kill will catlett? >> reporter: lester first talked to riddick from prison three years ago after hearing about his case from rapper meek mill after his release from prison >> i've never, ever taken a human life >> reporter: today a judge agreed riddick had been wrongfully convicted. evidence that might have proved his innocence not provided to his attorneys alibi witnesses who said riddick did not commit the crime never testified. the only witness who said riddick fired the fatal shots has since recanted his story through it all riddick's mother leading the fight to free her son
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>> the waiting, the knowing that he's innocent, not because i'm his mother saying he's innocent, because we did the legwork >> reporter: riddick's numerous appeals rejected until a new review by the philadelphia d.a.'s conviction integrity unit today saying they believe riddick was an accomplice to the murder but did not fire the fatal shots riddick agreed to plead no contest to third-degree murder and was freed because he's already served 29 1/2 years. you're not fully satisfied with the outcome today? >> i'm not, no i'm happy he's getting released after 29 years in jail. but i think that the evidence should always rule the case and the evidence is that he's not guilty >> reporter: riddick vowing to continue the fight. >> there's a lot of other innocent men in prison >> reporter: for others behind bars claiming like him they deserve to be free ron allen, nbc news, philadelphia >> a long and emotional journey there. well, now to an update on a story we told you about just a
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few weeks ago. a 10-year-old boy from nicaragua part of the surge of unaccompanied migrant children who approached a border patrol agent crying, saying he'd been abandoned, today was reunited with his mother in texas. they plan to live with family in florida. emotional reunion. and there's growing concern this summer with many businesses saying they can't fill those summer jobs. stephanie ruhle tonight on why and what this might mean for you as you hit the road >> reporter: greg and sally buttinger own camp hillcroft and says kids can't wait to come back >> kids are counting down the days. >> reporter: camp is booked for the summer but sally worries she won't have enough staff, especially foreign students who need j-1 visas to be camp counselors. they have only one confirmed and are waiting on 23 more >> us not bring our international staff over is something that keeps us awake at night. >> reporter: because of covid the u.s. has a ban on travel from 33 countries, many of them where these workers come from. there's also a backlog to process j-1 visas
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without all the counselors from overseas activities like swim lessons and gymnastics could look different this year. with current staff doing double duty. but lack of visas for international workers is causing problems for all sorts of businesses across the country. employers rely on j-1 foreign workers during peak tourist season. >> they work typically in places where there are labor shortages and as a result they actually help keep americans employed in those places >> reporter: last month over 500 companies urged the secretary of state to defer parts of the visa process, calling the situation a crisis the state department says it's waived some interviews to speed up the process. >> it's great that the state department took that action, but it's not enough >> reporter: kalahari resorts owns four water parks and hires about 700 overseas workers. this summer maybe 100. >> the j-1 visa pr employees they've offered bonuses, relocation packages, even housing for sally the issue is a personal one
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>> i came over on a j-1 visa little did i know i would end up marrying the camp director's son. >> reporter: summer is here will the workers be? stephanie ruhle, nbc news, new york next, an exclusive look at a groundbreaking new clinic for communities of color
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tonight nbc news has exclusive access to the first transplant clinic for african-americans, an important first for communities of color who often struggle to get access to health care
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meghan fitzgerald has more >> reporter: this is life for 31-year-old dawn bowen once independent and thriving in her career, now she spends nine hours a day getting dialysis >> my body in some ways has turned against me >> reporter: dawn was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure in 2018 doctors told her she would need a transplant but three years later she's still waiting. >> what does waiting feel like? >> like a roller coaster, an emotional roller coaster >> reporter: dawn's experience is all too common among people of color. studies show that just 26% of black patients waiting for an organ receive one. but for white patients the number is nearly double >> there's a lot of data that shows that black patients are less likely to get referred to a transplant center and are less likely to get listed and therefore transplanted >> reporter: dr. dinee simpson is one of just ten black female transplant surgeons practicing in the u.s.
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after seeing the widening disparity she started the first and only program in the country that helps african-americans receive organs >> the mission is to work with them to overcome those barriers, get them on the list, get them transplanted >> reporter: barriers like the lack of access to pharmacies, healthy foods and specialty care simpson says every patient is evaluated by a committee looking to ensure the organ will be properly cared for. >> if a ride is a barrier to them getting to their appointments we'll work to figure out how to get them a ride if they need to demonstrate that they have around-the-clock support, we'll help piece together a solution >> reporter: since the program started three years ago at northwestern, there's already been an 18% increase in black patients listed for a transplant now simpson opened a new clinic in chicago's south side >> this is where we need to be it's going to create an oasis of care >> reporter: giving hope to people like dawn >> i'll get the call,
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hey dawn, we finally found you that kidney. and i'm going to be like yes, i am ready, let's get this party started. >> reporter: optimism through equity thanks to a team committed to giving all patients a fair shot. meghan fitzgerald, nbc news, chicago. >> that team making a big difference in a lot of lives and when we come back, "those who serve. a solemn mission to guard the tomb of the unknown soldier 100 years later.
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finally tonight, as we begin this memorial day weekend we take you to arlington national cemetery and a look at those guarding america's unknown heroes aaron gilchrist reports. >> reporter: on one of america's most hallowed grounds, a tomb holding the remains of three american heroes as the inscription says, "known but to god. >> and it was so powerful it just changed me >> reporter: richard azzaro was drawn to service as a teenager when he first saw tomb guards walk the mat in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier. he would enlist in the army at the age of 17, on track to serve in special forces but he was drawn to the old guard, the soldiers who watch over the tomb, a mission that he called mentally, physically, and psychologically demanding, a mission too important to ever fail >> it's about america's sacred duty to never, ever forget those who have served and sacrificed on behalf of america in times of war or armed conflict
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>> reporter: the tomb of the unknown soldier was dedicated 100 years ago. it's the final resting place of an unknown american fighter from world wars i and ii and the korean war now at 76 richard still vividly remembers a mother once speaking to him about her soldier son as he marched. >> she told me how grateful she was for what i was doing, taking care of her son, the way a mother thanks you for taking care of her baby and i said, i'll never fail you >> reporter: over the years only 688 soldiers have stood watch 24 hours a day in any type of weather. five have been women, including ruth robinson, a member of the society of the honor guard, preserving the memory of the tomb and the unknowns >> to me there was no higher honor that i could do in my military career than to guard the unknown and then to later on share their story. >> reporter: a sacred duty to keep serving those who made the ultimate sacrifice aaron gilchrist, nbc
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news, ellicott city, maryland >> and we honor all of their sacrifices this weekend. that is "nightly news" for this friday. please be sure to catch the latest episode of "nightly news" kids edition tomorrow morning on nbc. thank you so much for watching i'm kristen welker have a happy and healthy memorial day weekend. ♪♪ if you're not the one for me ♪ ♪ then how come i can bring you to your knees ♪ ♪ if i'm not the one for you ♪
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♪ why have we been through what we have been through ♪ ♪ it's so cold out here in your wilderness ♪ ♪ i want you to be my keeper ♪ ♪ but not if you are so reckless ♪ ♪ if you're gonna let me down ♪ ♪ let me down gently ♪ ♪ don't pretend that you don't want me ♪ ♪ our love ain't water under the bridge ♪ ♪ if you're gonna let me down ♪ ♪ let me down gently ♪ ♪ don't pretend that you don't want me ♪ ♪ our love ain't water under the bridge ♪ ♪ oh ♪ ♪ say that our love ain't water under the bridge ♪ ♪ oh ♪
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♪ say that our love ain't water under the bridge ♪ ♪ say that our love ain't water under the bridge ♪ ♪ oh ♪ ♪ say that our love ain't water under the bridge ♪♪ >> all right, welcome to "the kelly clarkson show," y'all. give it up for my band, y'all. that was water under the bridge by the lovely and talented adele. that is from her multiplatinum multi-grammy-winning album, allie from vancouver requested it so why did you want to hear

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