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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  July 3, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> i have tried it didn't go well have you? >> i did, it kept popping how was your experience. >> same. yeah. watch out for the fog tomorrow night. >> nightly news is next. we're back at 6:00. hope you join us then. tonight, breaking news the search suspended after the dramatic decision to demolish the rest of the collapsed surfside condo building early as tomorrow as tropical storm elsa fueling fears there could be a second collapse if crews don't ask fast reaction from families' still missing loved ones. this fourth of july, breaking records. despite the surge in delta variant. the president warning about a danger to those still unvaccinated as the white house falls shy of a key goal. what could be the largest ransomware attack yet with experts again blaming russian criminals. hundreds of american companies affected just weeks after
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president biden told vladimir putin to back off. devastating footage of a deadly mudslide in japan. how waves of debris swept through a city and armed and dangerous. a major u.s. highway shut down for hours as police faced off way group of heavily armed men. the standoff and latest on those arrested tonight. room service the hotel perks mimissing this summer as americans return to the road what you will not find the next time you check in. and love is elementary the teachers and students who capped their year with an a-plus wedding celebration. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. good evening i'm peter alexander in tonight for jose late tonight officials in surfside, florida tell nbc news they are suspending their search-and-rescue mission at the site of that collapsed condo building as they prepare to demolish the part of it that is
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still standing it comes as a powerful tropical storm is approaching florida and officials fear the structure wouldn't survive the storm's punishing winds. all of it anothe heartbreaking setback for families of the missing still clinging to hope for a miracle survival story we begin tonight with vaughn hilliard in surfside >> reporter: officials in surfside making a stunning decision tonight to demolish the still-standing portion of the champlain towers ahead of tropical storm elsa landfall >> can be brought down within 36 hours. >> how will this affect's fates of those citizen unaccounted for? >> given the fact you were going to have to do this anyways, it's the prudent thing to do i think it will lead to the course of action that most minimally disrupts the rescue efforts >> reporter: 24 confirmed deceased 121 still unaccounted for. tonight their families struggling to hold on to hope. >> devastating, excruciating, painful. >> reporter: pablo rodriguez's mother and grandmother yet to be found.
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>> as a family member with loved ones still missing, how do you feel about the decision to demolish this building? my biggest fear is now there's not going to be anything to recover and we're never really going to have a proper burial >> reporter: the mayor waiting until after the storm passes now making an about-face. are you confident th building could sustain high winds from this storm? >> naturally bring the building down safely in a footprint we predict, that is our very best path forward. >> reporter: tropical storm elsa could make landfall in surfside on monday. >> the closer the storm comes to surfside, the more frequent and stronger the winds could be >> reporter: increasing concerns rising across miami. a condo evacuated after a safety review found unsafe structural and electrical conditions. >> they say grab your stuff as fast as you can. you have to leave the building in 15 minutes. >> reporter: in the ten days since the
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towers first collapsed a major column inside the still standing portion has shifted by nearly a foot. the mayor enlisting today the same demolition company that took down the old trump plaza in atlantic city. leaving a neighborhood of families sunday t watch, and cling on to any remnants of hope. >> my son moments ago asking to facetime my mom to show him the new dinosaur he got, and i don't really have anything to say. >> and vaughn joins us now. vaughn, how are they planning to preserve the site during that demolition >> reporter: pierre, officials will put a tarp over existing rubble before demolishing the rest of the building and it will be easier to remove tha material and resume rescue operations. >> from surfside, florida, thank you. the record-breaking holiday weekend for travelers. millions hitting the road for july 4th festivities and producing developing
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concerns as the delta covid variant keeps spreading. guad venegas joins us. >> reporter: this independence weekend all right breaking travel records. >> we didn't really expect it to be this crowded. >> reporter: on friday, the tsa screened close to 2.2 million people, highest number since the start of the pandemic many more traveling by car according to gas buddy, friday hit the highest single day demand for gas since 19, and higher prices at the pump unable to scare drivers. >> really excited but not by the gas prices, but the traveling. >> reporter: and on the water, cruise ships setting sail once again ♪ with an increase in travel, the highly contagious delta variant poses a risk for those unvaccinated more than 30% of americans still without a single dose. >> being unvaccinated on this day in july of 2021 is fundamentally more risky than if you're unvaccinated at this point last year. >> reporter: with major concerns for regions with lowest
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vaccination numbers, experts say full fda ah approval for vaccines could help. >> they cite the fact that this is still under emergency use which is a big reason why they want to wait and see. >> reporter: with many vaccinated, a new sense of confidence to face the virus. >> i'm a nurse i really appreciated last year restrictions however freedom is really -- good for all of us. >> reporter: a long lockdown finally ending with americans set free to enjoy their independence >> and gaud, wha precautions are people urged to take this holiday weekend? >> reporter: the good news is medical experts say if you are fully vaccinated, you should be okay it not stick to outdoor events and wear a mask going indoors. peter? >> guad on the beach today. thank you. president biden is touting a major rebound in the economy, and in our lives this holiday weekend as the country marks an accelerated return to normal still, challenges remain with the white
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house falling short of its july 4th vaccination goal monica alba is covering the president. >> reporter: firing up the barbecues and air force one this holiday weekend as americans come together on the eve of independence day, the biden administration's top officials fanned out across the country from nevada and michigan to maine and new hampshire. the president, first lady and vice president blanketing the nation today in a what they're calling "the america is back together" tour, giving new meaning to the fourth of july by marking our independence from the pandemic >> now, it was hard to believe, i think, that we would actually be able to be together on the fourth of july. >> reporter: still, victory over the virus isn't being declared just yet the white house will miss its own partially vaccinating 70% of american adults by tomorrow nearly 67% of those 18 and over have received
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one dose, while 47% of the public is fully vaccinated heading into the celebrations, th president warned those who haven't gotten their shots yet. >> i am concerned that people who have not gotten vaccinated have the capacity to catch the variant. >> reporter: the white house announcing it will deploy surge response teams to hot spots, as fears grow over the highly transmissible delta variant, and vp harris made a push for the administration's next priority the bipartisan infrastructure plan, directly pitching a carpenter's union in las vegas. >> we need to get this framework across the finish line. >> monica, tonight the white house is preparing for its biggest gathering since the president took office. >> president biden invited about a thousand frontline workers and military families to celebrate the 4th here tomorrow with a barbecue on the south lawn peter?
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>> monica alba at the white house. monica, thank you. hundreds of businesses and thousands worldwide are recovering from one of the largest ransomeware attacks ever russian criminals are believed to be responsible. president biden is believed to take action ken dilanian has the latest on that >> reporter: less than three weeks after president biden demanded russian leader vladimir putin crack down on cyber criminals, the u.s. government once again is scrambling tonight to contain what some experts call one biggest ransomware attacks ever cyber researchers say hundreds of businesses in the united states hit and more than 1,000 across the world. researchers say the attack was carried out by revil, the same russian-based company that escorted from jvs, the world's largest meat packer. it is probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest ransomeware attacks ever >> reporter: biden directed his administration to help victims and find those responsible. he said he wasn't yet
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sure the attack came from russia, but - >> if it is, either with knowledge of and/or consequence of russia then, i told putin we will respond. >> reporter: the hackers reached so many victims by first attacking information technology company kaseya, which confirmed tonight it was hit by a sophisticated cyber attack o software used by clients to manage computers remotely a grocery chain in sweden closed most of its stores across the country after cash registers were locked up by expected the same ransomware. >> traditionally these criminals have operated with impunity in russia by and large, as long as they don't target russian businesses >> reporter: when keir simmons last month pressed putin about cyber criminals based in his country, the russian leader denied it >> translator: where is the evidence? where is proof it's becoming farcical. >> reporter: there's nothing funny about the impact of ransomware crippling the u.s. economy an estimated $20 billion a year and putting critical infrastructure at risk.
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>> and ken dilanian is with us now. ken, what's the white house prepared to do about this latest attack >> reporter: white house officials never expected biden's warning to putin to have immediate impact and will wait six months to assess the situation. >> keeping a close eye on that. ken dilanian, thank you very much. a major east coast interstate quickly turned into the scene of an intense standoff between a group of armed men and police today shutting down a neighborhood near boston kathy park has the details. >> reporter: tonight, emergency on the interstate after an hours' long standoff in massachusetts that shut down portions of a busy i-95. police arresting 11 suspects officials say a group of men was heavily armed with handguns and rifles and wore military-style gear. >> i can share with you that a number of firearms have been seized i cannot share with you the exact number >> reporter: police say didn't conform to show i.d.s and took off into the woods
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nearby residents were told to lock their doors and stay inside. >> you can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2:00 in the morning. certainly raises concerns >> reporter: the men said they belonged to a sovereign group known as rise of the moores and were heading from rhode island to maine for training at one point, one of them even managed to post a live video. >> we're not anti-government. we're not anti-police. we're not -- >> reporter: a dramatic start to the morning that ended peacefully nearly nine hours later. kathy park, nbc news. and coming up right here, the growing controversy over sha'carri richardson's suspension and why some say the rules need to change for elite athletes. also the latest on a powerful mudslide.
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a desperate search for survivors is under way after a massive mudslide in japan today. this is the moment a wall of water and debris swept through the town west of tokyo. heavy rains there blamed for sending that mud crashing through homes. two people were reportedly killed. at least 19 more are missing. now to that growing debate over america's fastest woman. sha'carri richardson suspended days ago for marijuana use. while she could still find her way on to the u.s. olympic team, her experience is raising questions of what we expect of elite athletes here is matt bradley
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>> reporter: tonight, calls for compassion for elite athletes. >> don't judge me, because i am human i'm you. i just happen to run a little faster. >> reporter: after american sprinter sha'carri richardson was suspended for a month and may miss the olympics for using marijuana, she says to cope with the death of her biological mother. >> triggered from there just blinded by emotion, blinded by badness, blinded by just hurting, hiding hurt. >> reporter: in an exclusive interview friday with "today's" savannah guthrie, richardson apologized for letting down fans and coaches. >> and i still made that decision. >> reporter: even president biden weighing in today. >> rules are rules and i was really proud of the way she responded. >> reporter: richardson's tokyo dreams might not be over a decision is expected any day whether she can run one leg of the 100 meter relay. but her team says they're focusing instead on her mental health her agent saying we
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have not focused on the relay. i don't want her hopes to be dashed richardson's suspension has focused conversation about the humanity of super athletes sha'carri's legion of fans rallied to he defense under #letshacarrirun. this is so trash by some michael phelps struggled with mental health issues for years, and tennis star naomi osaka skipped a press conference at the fren open citing anxiety and depression but her decision came at a huge cost she was fined $15,000 before withdrew from the tournament it's these sky-high expectations that some say should get a second look. >> i think there is a feeling that we expect these athletes, these extraordinary athletes to be super human in their athletic ability and also extraordinary in other elements of their life, but the pressure and toll on that takes athletes themselves can sometimes be
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extraordinary as well. >> reporter: a call to reform sports to make psychology a part of success. matt bradley, nbc news. and still ahead right here, an update on the massive ring of fire burning in the gulf of mexico. plus, the big changes at some hotels why so many are now scaling back on popular perks.
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a surreal scene. a massive fire in the gulf of mexico is
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finally been put out. that eye of fire as some on social media describe it created by an underwater pipeline that erupted yesterday sending a burning ring of flames to the surface. mexico's state-owned oil company that operates the pipeline says no one was hurt and they're investigating the cause. with millions of americans finally hitting the road as the pandemic winds down, they're finding familiar comforts at many hotels now missing. breakfast buffet daily housekeeping and even overpriced cocktails and candies in the mini bar. sorry. they're gone. changes that may stick. aaron gilchrest has the story. >> reporter: as many of americans set out for an overdue vacation, they're noticing big changes at hotels across the country. >> i did not know they weren't cleaning the rooms every day. >> i think we're paying more and getting less services from it. >> all of the perks we used to have, they've taken those away or limited them. >> reporter: from the breakfast buffet to mini bars to daily housekeeping hotels cut classic perks to stay safe and stay afloat. >> this is where our
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buffet service used to be it was definitely a lot of adjustments we had to make. >> reporter: at the arlo in lower umanhattan, general manager kordell nelson says cuts were the only way not to close. >> that meant reducing staff at the front office, housekeeping and engineering departments. >> reporter: but even as covid restrictions ease and americans return to leisure travel, it still may not be enough to bring workers back in a new report, hospitality union unite here estimates nearly 40% of hotel housekeeping jobs, more than 180,000, may never return. dee taylor is the union president. >> i think travelers are getting short changed, and who's getting benefit of that this is just about wall street trying to squeeze more and more out of the american consumer and the american worker. >> reporter: workers like mary who was furloughed from her housekeeping job in waikiki last march due to covid
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how hard is it to just not be able the work >> well, it's really hard, because this is our way of living. i always go weekly for food bank. i'm going there weekly. just to put food for my family. i feel so embarrassed. because i don't want my kids to see me outside like no home to be with i'm sorry. >> i'm asking help from you guys. >> reporter: a single mother of two hands out flyers near her hotel asking guests to demand daily housekeeping. >> we are ready to do our job. >> reporter: in manhattan, the arlo is back at 85% staffing now. they're hoping a return to normal will mean more guests, too. >> i think once we get back to seeing that corporate and group travel, we'll get back to that 100% staffing. >> reporter: aaron gilchrist, nbc news. just don't take away the mini bar gummi bears. right? when we come back, a lesson in love the school teacher
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celebrating a big day with some very excited guests.
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finally tonight, there is good news to put that tough school year behind us. a story about the dedication of two teachers and the unforgettable memory that they created for their students jose diaz-balart has their special celebration. >> ooh >> i'm going to probably cry >> the emotional time
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moment alexandra staph's fifth graders and mason mcdowell's third graders have been working for >> open your eyes, guys open up! >> reporter: the first year wichita public school teachers inviting their students to be a part of their wedding this week. >> i'm very excited. >> i'm very happy to be a part of this. >> reporter: the big question came back in april when the couple got engaged after dating during covid. >> will you guys be my junior bridesmaids >> yes >> will you guys be my junior groomsmaids >> yes. >> it would be really sweet if you would. >> ah! >> reporter: it was a hit on social media, and a gesture of dedication for these educators. >> i hope you all can see the smiles going on in here >> reporter: sharing their joy following a difficult year >> how did you decide to invite your students to be a part of your wedding? >> they just mean so much to me, but because of the pandemic, i feel like
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we had an even more interesting relationship with our students because we're all going through this hard time together. >> reporter: their community so moved by the story. >> ah, you look beautiful! >> reporter: that businesses chipped in for the special day. donating everything from hairstyling to outfits, even the cake >> so there's just, like, so many more blessings than we even imagined >> mason, you may kiss your bride [ applause ] >> reporter: and as they married -- this celebration -- ♪ sing a song ♪ >> reporter: creating lasting connections. >> the life lesson i feel like, you know, that happens in the classroom. us getting to impact them, building our relationships with them, that's our goal, to build them into young men and women. >> reporter: these teachers going the extra mile. >> i felt like we were the specialist class ever i'm super happy right now.
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>> reporter: making memories their students will never forget. jose diaz-balart, nbc news. and our congratulations to the whole wedding party there. that is "nightly news" for this saturday i'm peter alexander. we thank you for joining us all of us here wish you and your family a very happy and sage safe fourth of july. have a good night. right now at 6:00, getting ready to celebrate. setting up for the return of fireworks in san francisco on the fourth of july. businesses are ready for the big show too.
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the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us. i'm terry mcsweeney. we're counting down to the return of fireworks displays. the million dollar question, as it is every year, is the fog going to come down and mess it up? taking a live look at san francisco, a couple of different shots of the city. well, a little bit of blue on the right there. then again, this is not the night we're talking about. let's check in with vianey arana for the fourth of july evening forecast. >> i wish i could say we've got loads of sunshine on the way for the coast butne is mainly goinge its way inland. right now current temperatures around the coastline and san francisco, 61. half moon bay, 59. the marine layer has brought some drizzle last night as well and into this early morning when it comes to the cloud cover. take a look at this. i did

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