tv Early Today NBC July 15, 2021 4:00am-4:30am PDT
r, and even take on climate change... would you press it? hot, dry and windy it's a recipe for disaster out west as the wild fires rage across california and oregon. the summer surge cases of delta variant doubling in just weeks as covid cases spike again across the country a financial game changer for millions of families the new relief checks set to hit bank accounts today. what if federal marijuana laws just went up in smoke the new push to give the green light to legal pot on capitol hill "early today" starts right now good thursday morning, i'm phillip mena.
>> glad you're with us, i'm frances rivera we begin with the latest in the global fight against covid-19. after months of seeing progress, some countries including here in the u.s. are now seeing a dramatic turn about as the virus makes a resurgence infections, hospitalizations and deaths are climbing again, which are mostly being fueled by the highly contagious delta variant. according to the world health organization, global cases rose 10% last week and global deaths saw uptick after nine-straight weeks of decline here is miguel almaguer with nbc. >> reporter: the summer spike is catching experts by surprise who never expected numbers like these. new infections, hospitalizations, even deaths are increasing when many predicted they would be at all-time lows. in missouri, more covid patients are filling beds than during the deadly winter surge. hospitals here pleadingfor mor doctors. >> the tidal wave is coming towards our unvaccinated
population this variant is spreading quickly and this variant has the ability to devastate those in its weak. >> reporter: after accounting for just.1% of cases in april, the dangerous delta variant now makes up nearly 60% of new cases. as infections double, vaccinations are plummeting, down 54% last week >> have you had yours yet? >> reporter: as more states go door to door offering at-home vaccinations, the new report says the tennessee department of health will stop all adolescent vaccine outreach amid pressure from republican lawmakers. the agency says they're re-evaluating their process and wouldn't comment on former medical director who says she was fired after efforts to get teens vaccinated at school. >> the children that are not going to get vaccinated if they're not vaccinated at school and that is the travesty that's here, that's the injustice.
>> reporter: with 60% of children who are eligible for vaccinations still not inoculated, many fear with the return to school and after a summer together a fall surge is imminent >> the delta variant is going to move its way through the country over the course of august and september, maybe into october. unfortunately the worst is yet to come. it's going to get worse before it gets better in terms of the spread of the infection right now. >> reporter: several big cities are reporting substantial rise in covid cases after having very few here in l.a. county. covid cases are up 500% over the last month and with the delta variant circulating, the positivity in county is skyrocketing 700%. francis? >> high opening trend, miguel, thank you. corner storn of the covid relief package goes into effect as the first payments go out for the expanded child tax credit. nbc's tracie potts joins us with more tracie, good morning president biden will out the the new wind fall for families today.
>> reporter: hi, phillip, good morning. right the president is giving a speech about this today. it's $3,000 or more per child per family going out in monthly payments to millions of people starting today this was part of covid relief, as you noted the american rescue plan the white house says it will lift 39 million families out of poverty. now, the rest of the president's family plan is now embedded in democrat's $3.5 trillion what they call the human infrastructure plan. their reconciliation plan. and it's a lot more than that hard infrastructure plan take a look at the differences 3.5 trillion just over -- about a sixth of that with the infrastructure plan that the democrats are pushing, focussing on kids, families, seniors, energy, versus roads, bridges, airports and high speed internet for everyone the president is promising that both of these will get done, but republicans and now some
moestioning how it gets paid for. >> i've been very clear that i want to see to pay for it to make sure whatever we do compet >> is 3.5 million too high >> depends what you pay for. >> $3.5 million is a shocking figure the infrastructure plan is a separate plan all together what impact this will have i can't tell you at this stage >> reporter: the president also turning to foreign affairs today, hosting german chancellor angela merkel for her last visit to the white house after 16 years in office. the white house says they will talk about the pandemic, climate change and international security back to you. >> ally for four presidential administrations now. tracie, thank you. more than 150 companies are weighing in on the battle over the ballot box major businesss like pepsico, macy's and ikea signed on to a letter supporting the john lewis
voting rights advancement act. it would restore a requirement forcing places with a history of discrimination to get federal permission before making changes to their elections meanwhile, texas democrats are still blocking two restrictive voting bills nbc's priscilla thompson joins us from austin with an update. >> reporter: frances, the texas house is moving into the third day without enough people to have a kor rum because most of the democratic members remain in washington, d.c. and they're still saying they are going to stay there until this special session is over. and so, what that means is that while republican lawmakers here say they are having meetings and working on legislation, they can't actually pass any of that until they regain that kwoer rum. are there areas they're willing to compromise on this voting bill in order to entice some of their democratic colleagues to come back? but the republican house speaker
has said that republicans have already compromised here and they are willing to wait this out, even if it requires another special session. they will go until 2023 if they have to. frances? >> wow bold statement there priscilla, thank you. a blistering new report by justice department investigators says the fbi mishandled sexual abuse allegations against larry nassar, the former doctor for usa gymnastics the indianapolis field office failed to respond with the utmost seriousness and urgency and made numerous and fundamental errors it took months before the agency opened a formal investigation. hundreds of women have accused nasser of abuse. he's currently serving a life sentence for sexual abuse and possession of child pornography. the fbi called the actions of those involved inexcusable and discredit to the organization. after being cut off from the world for several years the cuban government finally restored internet to the island and here is what they didn't
want us to see, raids and assaults, police breaking into homes, dragging residents out and just for protesting. now people getting beaten in the street "the washington post" is reporting at least 200 protesters have been arrested. and as these disturbing images surface, cuban-americans in florida are trying to help. a group of about a dozen voters are sending supplies by sea and in little havana around 1,500 people gathered at a concert calling for cuba's freedom. let's turn now to the alarming wild fire danger growing in the west. more than 1 million acres have already burned and the fires are being fueled by relentless heat waves and the most severe drought in years nbc's jake ward joins us now from california. jake, good morning >> reporter: good morning, phillip. here in the western united states we are used to the idea that the fire season will always be bad, bu be particularly terrible because of a combination of conditions driven by climate change dozens of wild fires raging out
of control in the west >> we had three, four fires around here in the last month and it's kind of getting scary. >> reporter: 2 million people under red flag warnings across five state -- california, idaho, montana, washington and oregon the bootleg fire is the first official megafire of 2021. it's burned more than 200,000 acres, doubling in size for four-straight days now seven times the size of san francisco. drought conditions in 90% of the west are making it worse. >> it has never been this low. it really, truly is unprecedented. >> reporter: lake mead is lower than it's been in the 1930s. sun of several depleted reservoirs across the southwest. >> climate change has a fingerprint on what we're seeing right now. >> reporter: they plan to close this boat ramp on the nevada side of lake tahoe citing danger to boaters without enough water, vegetation dries out and becomes ready fuel
>> it's like a stocked fireplace. tinder patch ready to go up. >> reporter: symptoms of climate change fueling the fires this fire season is about six weeks ahead of schedule. outbreaks behaving like they typically would in august or even september now, phillip, these three factors, triple-digit temperatures, drought and dry vegetation could all be bad on their own, but together they're conspireing to make fire season as dangerous as we've seen phillip? >> that is truly terrifying. jake, thanks >> janessa webb is tracking severe weather in the nation's mid section. janessa, good morning. >> yeah, good morning. good morning, everyone you know, the heat advisories they have expired across the pacific northwest. 65 active large fires across the pacific northwest right now. so, as jacob said, we're seeing that early start and everything has been a little bit earlier from hurricanes to severe weather this season and right now we're watching
that in the midwest across chicago into the upper midwest we'll see this line die out as it makes its way south and east. rain fall accumulation we're forecasting at least another 1 to 2l build for phoenix, higher elevations flagstaff today mid 80s. another element, man, we have flash flooding across the desert southwest. we'll talk about that coming up. >> a lot to still watch. thank you, janessa. >> "early today" is back in two with a roller coaster plot to kidnap an iranian author living in brooklyn. britney spears scores another win in her conservatorship fight with her father leukemia. it will not work for everyone.
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the battle over her father's conservatorship. the judge granting spears request to choose her own attorney the pop star demanding that her father, jayny spears, be charged with conservatorship abuse he has denied any wrong doing. the fbi says it is all very real, accusing four iranian intelligence operatives for plotting to kidnap outspoken critic of the regime right here in the u.s here is pete williams. >> reporter: the fbi says it was no movie plot, a secret two-year effort by iran to keep close tabs on this woman at her house in brooklyn with the goal of kidnapping her. >> i'm an iranian journalist, activist, but to be honest, the government in iran has different names for me. >> reporter: she's an outspoken critic of the iranian regimes human rights record, especially its treatment of women, a author with a big profile on social media. federal prosecutors say these
four men in iran hatched a plot to snatch her off the street, hiring private investigators to watch and photograph her house, falsely telling them she owed money to a client the middle east the fbi says it found this screen shot showing that one of the iranian men even researched ways to spirit her away by boat. u.s. authorities were so concerned they moved her to safe houses for eight months. a fifth person, a woman in california, is charged with helping move nearly half a million dollars here from iran to finance the plot. iran's foreign ministry in a statement calls these charges baseless and ridiculous, but the justice department says iran has a history of dragging dissidents around the world back home to be jailed or executed frances? >> pete, thank you. still to come on "early today," half baked attempt, the cannabis regulation sparks up controversy in congress, but can they reach a joint decision? plus, a singer olivia rodrigo giving us jackie-o vibes
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>> reporter: we sat down exclusively with three key senate democrats trying to sway their colleagues. >> this ought to be a republican state right dream because what we say in our bill is we're going to decriminalize at the federal level but we aren't going to force the states to legalize. >> we haven't been able to get infrastructure done yet. why bring this up now. >> we have to do a lot of things to move america forward. >> chuck schumer faces uphill battle, not just getting republicans on board but also president biden. >> i've spoken in the past about the president's views on marijuana. nothing has changed. there's no new endorsements of legislation to support today. >> reporter: critics say the weed industry is marketing to kids and some doctors report hypo tensy pot being linked to mysterious illnesses i users. >> i think long-term this will show a lot more damage to our children than we are admitting at this point. >> reporter: still, overall,
americans views on cannabis have changed dramatically back in 1969, only 12% backed marijuana legalization now 68% do >> more and more people across the political spectrum want it and so, it's going to roll it's going to roll >> reporter: long odds but high hopes. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, washington >> it's going to roll, but a matter of how quickly or how is slowly with a fight that we're just seeing there. but you can see, the investors, entrepreneurs, everybody just jumping and waiting for these lawmakers to see which way they're going to go. >> yeah. this is incredible i'm not that old and just the shift in views on just an array of these social issues this is staggering stay tuned we'll see. up next, janessa is tracking serious flooding in the southwest. and recall alert for a summer staple. the new warning for some of the st popular sunscreen brands. sigr digestive system isn't working at it's best taking metamucil everyday can help. metamucil psyllium fiber, gels to trap
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in today's top stories nfl star richard sherman who helped the seahawks win their first super bowl and played for san francisco in recent years is under arrest and being held without bail nbc's erin mclaughlin tells us what he's being accused of >> reporter: veteran nfl cornerback richard sherman facing a series of charges, including burglary, domestic violence police were called to the home of sherman's ex-inlaws in washington, responding to a report of a burglary in progress according to the police, sherman was attempting to force entry into a family member's home. the suspect fought with officers
while being taken into custody police deployed a canine dog to help make the arrest. >> it was a minor laceration to the lower leg and ankle area as a result of the canine contact >> reporter: police say no family members were injure and sherman never entered the home just before the alleged burglary, police say they suspect the superstar of leaving his severely damaged vehicle and fleeing on foot, after striking a cement barrier washington state patrol says they're investigating sherman for a hit and run and driving under the influence. the 33-year-old free agent and super bowl champ is widely regarded as a leader both on and off the field. he's the vice president of the nfl's player's association, the association releasing a statement saying they've activated the domestic violence crisis protocol for the protection and support of everyone involved. his manager telling nbc news he's shocked calling sherman a family man erin mclaughlin, nbc news. johnson & johnson announced wednesday it's recalling five of
its sunscreen products under aveno brand. they contain low levels of a chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure they're urging consumers to stop using them immediately and offering a refund. the number to call for j&j's consumer care center is 1-800-458-1673. thousands of fish got a direct flight to some of the most exclusive lakes in utah wildlife officials shared this wild video of planes restocking lakes that cannot be reached by car. they say that this method is actually safer than trying to drive the fish long distances. and we're also told that the survival rate is incredibly high the planes can carry 35,000 fish in just a single trip. >> wow it's amazing to see what kind of container they're kept in inside the plane, too, before they're dumped out like that. >> keeping them safe before they get caught. >> fly before they fry >> there you go. >> thanks for watching "early today. i'm frances rivera.