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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  June 17, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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reportedly missing, too. president biden acknowledging today the u.s. has no idea where they are and vladimir putin, his defiant new message for the u.s. keir simmons in russia tonight. also this evening, the fda authorizing the covid vaccine for children under five. the last group still ineligible the decision now moving to the cdc. when the shots could begin. and the questions many parents have the shooting at an alabama church, police saying a third victim has now died what we're learning about the gunman. summer travel chaos. more than 1,000 flights cancelled after severe storms. the wwe's vince mcmahon stepping back from his role as ceo the investigation into alleged misconduct a surge in violent crime. my conversation with the l.a. county d.a. facing a potential recall how he is responding to his own prosecutors who say his reform policies are making matters worse. and the crime that
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brought down a presidency 50 years ago today. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening the fate of two missing american military veterans, volunteers in ukraine's fight against russia, may be coming into focus tonight. video said to show alexander drueke and andy huynh, appearin on russian television this evening the men apparently captured by russian troops we are showing still frames of the video that appears to show both men alive a third american remains unaccounted for. they are among an unknown number of u.s. citizens that traveled on their own to fight on behalf of ukraine, prompting a renewed warning against such travel from president biden today. notably the captured americans were not mentioned by a defiant president vladimir putin today in a speech in the russian city of st. petersburg keir simmons is there
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tonight, and thus, we remind you russia is cracking down on the media, limiting what reporters can say under threat of imprisonment. >> reporter: tonight russian media showing images they say are american military veterans captured in ukraine. they spoke to them, but we are not showing those interviews alex drueke is a former u.s. army staff sergeant, and andy huyhn is a former marine both had gone to volunteer to fight with ukrainian troops. >> i mean, they don't look bad they look good they don't look injured so i think that's quite promising if it turns out to be real. >> reporter: huynh's fiancee' joy black speaking with us tonight. >> every little bit of information is building up the hope to really get them home as soon as possible. >> reporter: there is no news of a reported third american missing in ukraine earlier, president biden with this message. >> we don't know where they are, but i want to reiterate, americans should not be going to ukraine now.
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>> reporter: no mention of the men from president putin a defiant speech, today. accusing the u.s. of thinking of itself as quote god's own messengers on planet earth while getting a political boost from china's president xi sending a video address, praising the strong resilience of their relationship at today's st. petersburg economic forum president putin's address delayed by more than an hour because journalists were told of a large scale cyber attack at the same time, british prime minister boris johnson visiting president zelenskyy in ukraine, and tonight, the european union backing ukraine's application to join. president putin denouncing western sanctions as mad and thoughtless. this russian business leader worth half a billion dollars has been sanctioned by europe one of the aims is put pressure on you, that puts pressure on the russian government >> there is obviously pressure on me, my personal and
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professional life. i struggle to see how i could put pressure on the russian government. >> keir, let's circle back to the americans. we know russia is holding wnba star britney griner on criminal charges and paul whelan as well. now these captured american vets which is only going to escalate tensions between the u.s. and russia. >> reporter: that's right, lester. while we've seen these men on television, the russian government is saying nothing about this and we still don't know where the men are. lester >> keir simmons, thank you. within days, it appears that very young children will be able to get covid vaccine shots after the fda today authorized the pfizer and moderna shots for children under five. but as stephanie gosk reports, not all parents are on board >> reporter: today, more than a year and a half after adults started to get covid-19 shots, the fda authorized pediatric versions of moderna and pfizer vaccines for children six months through four years old the last age group to
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become eligible. making up roughly 18 million americans. the agency determining known and potential benefits outweigh known and potential risks. the moderna shot is two doses one month apart. pfizer's vaccine is three doses. the first two three weeks apart with a third dose administered more than two months later. >> i would say parents should feel comfortable getting either one of these vaccines to their children. >> reporter: convincing parents this age group will be a tall order less than 30% of children 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated in florida, while the vaccine will be available many places, no state money will be spent vaccinating young children it's the only stat that hasn't preordered the vaccine. many providers will have to order doses directly from the federal government >> to do an emergency use for a six month old or one-year-old simply to placate anxiety, that's not the standard when
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you're doing this. >> reporter: but the fda decision to authorize was unanimous. >> are you getting your three-year-old vaccinated >> absolutely. >> reporter: my mimi roger gopaul is a parent and a doctor. >> the majority of cases may be mild but we can't predict when there's going to be a serious complication we can't predict which child is going to have long-term effect from covid. so this is our chance to prevent those things >> stephanie, when do we think shots will be available for these young children >> lester, cdc panel has to meet. they're expected t approve this authorization mayb as soon as this weekend, then it is a matter of days before parents can go into the pediatrician's office and get the vaccination. >> stephanie gosk, thank you. now to the economy and a critical question tonight as we face skyrocketing costs and high interest rates are we at a turning point, headed for a recession? the president says not necessarily. but many others worry. here is tom costello. >> reporter: even as
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president biden insists a recession is not inevitable, a growing number of business leaders disagrees. 60% of global ceos according to a new survey expect recession in the next 12 to 18 months. the risk increasing if gas climbs over $5 a gallon nationally, inflation remains high, and the fed keeps raising interest rates. wall street closed mixed today. the dow down 17% this year >> we pumped a lot of money in the system to try to bail ourselves out of complete economic global shutdown due to the pandemic right? that's going to take a while to unwind. >> reporter: a recession is defined as two quarters in which the economy contracts rather than grows. already the first quarter of 2022 contracted, blamed on the omicron variant. we'll know soon if the second also contracted the list of companies slowing hiring or announcing layoffs is growing, including facebook meta, coinbase, redfin and bolt the question now will americans cut back on spending
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>> come on in, guys. welcome to the nationals. >> reporter: at the nats-phillies game, many fans said baseball is simply a summer ritual. >> ever since covid, everybody wants to get out. >> you'll pay the price? >> we'll pay the price. >> reporter: it's not cheap. tickets average $35 nationally beer up to $12, hot dogs up to $7. a family of four paying $253 on average. >> we'll spend the money on the food and parking it is worth it >> reporter: for many americans -- >> we have a certain amount we spend for gas we spend a week, that's all we spend. if we run out and don't have more gas money, we don't go places. >> reporter: the recession is here now. >> there's a subplot to all this. a lot of talk abou people that invested in cryptocurrency, their investments evaporating in recent weeks. what's the buzz here >> amazingly, one in five adults invested in or used cryptocurrency, but investors have been bailing out as the economy worsens, and the largest currency bitcoin lost 70% of
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its value since november, lester. >> tom, thanks. in alabama, the third victim of a shooting at a church potluck dinner died today, all of them in their 70s or 80s the suspect, a man police say sometimes attended the church. sam brock is there tonight. >> reporter: america's latest jarring example of gun violence. >> they were having dinner, and they were having fun then the next minute they weren't >> reporter: happened at saint stephen's episcopal church in a picturesque suburb of birmingham authorities releasing a mugshot of the alleged gunman, robert smith, an occasional church attendee who opened fire at a potluck dinner >> at some point he produced a handgun, began shooting, striking three victims. >> reporter: all three were killed, ranging in age from 75 to 84 years old. >> can describe the situation in which a fellow parishioner subdued the shooter?
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how critical was that in saving lives? >> it was extremely critical in saving lives. the person that subdued the suspect in my opinion is a hero. >> reporter: police didn't reveal a motive and the county sheriff office said the shooter has no booking history there. hundreds came out for a church service this morning, sad and shaken >> especially with a church environment, a place you consider to be safe and a place of refuge, is now kind of violated in a way. >> reporter: a minister here now has direct ties to two church shootings he tells me he went to seminal school with two people murdered at the horrific church massacre at mother emanuel church in charleston which happened exactly seven years ago today. a country in crisis. >> i was just really sad. i think it is sad to see something like that happen where you live >> reporter: confounded again by gun violence, split about what to do about it sam brock, nbc news, vestavia hills, alabama.
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in 60 seconds, a wave of violent crime threatens to take down one of the country's highest profile district attorneys i sit down with l.a. county d.a. george gascon next.
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less than two weeks after san francisco voters ousted their progressive district attorney, a similar recall effort is gaining speed tonight in los angeles county. d.a. george gascon, defending himself from critics who say his criminal justice reform policies have contributed to rising crime. i spoke to him about it >> violent crime is spiking on the streets in l.a. >> tonight there's trouble in paradise. >> police are warning people about an increased in home robberies. >> robberies in broad daylight, heists on the tracks, homicides on the rise. all amplified on local airwaves as a growing sense of unease grips the city we met deshaun bennett in koreatown on his way to his job as a
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security guard. >> i feel like they're way too lenient, way too lenient. >> some like beloved, an artist living in south l.a., feel the rhetoric doesn't match reality. >> i feel pretty safe. i walk around here 10:00, 11:00 at night. >> near west hollywood, elizabeth buzini is more worried than ever. >> i have never seen it like this i think they feel they can get away with it. >> the surge in violent crime and shift in the public's perception shaking the ground in southern california. >> look, this is horrifying >> a troubling reality for los angeles district attorney george gascon. is los angeles county any less or more safe since you took office? >> it is a complicated question, right? i'm not sure we're safer than we were 20, 30 years ago if you're looking at what has occurred in the last three or four years, then it is a higher level of insecurity today.
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>> riding a wave of support for criminal justice reform, gascon took office in late 2020, promising to dramatically remake the nation's largest d.a.'s office, issuing a series of major policy directives aimed largely at reducing sentences and prison population. among them, efforts aimed at ending cash bail, largely eliminating use of sentencing enhancements, and a moratorium on trying juveniles as adults. but the rise in violent crime, which began before gascon took office, appears to have eroded that support. last year homicides reached a 15-year high surging 54% since 2019 we're seeing crime going up in many cities across the country. we're seeing progressive prosecutors like yourself under fire. do you think that's an accurate representation that progressive prosecutors equal rises in crime
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>> i mean, here's the problem. some of the more conservative counties here in california have higher per capita violence than we do, but you never see anybody blaming those prosecutors for the increase in violence >> critics blame gascon's policies for a surge in shootings, including the killings of two police officers this week, saying he prioritizes criminals over victims organizers say the recall is poised to qualify for the ballot and it has overwhelming support from hundreds of his own prosecutors. at least eight senior d.a.s have sued l.a. county, alleging they were retaliated against for speaking out against gascon's policies. >> the dysfunction, the chaos. >> including victor rodriguez and maria ramirez, two of the highest ranking prosecutors to go public with their concerns, emphasizing that they're speaking personally, not on behalf of their office, they say
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gascon's policies are forcing prosecutors into an impossible position >> every day d.a.s are walking into court having to make this choice between violating policy or their ethical obligation >> this puts a bad name on reform. >> gascon declined to comment directly on cases pending litigation but says voters elected him to set policy for the office >> if you can't get through to your own deputies, what does it say about your leadership >> actually, to be honest with you, it is complicated. you have a strong driving force that is very committed not only to try to remove me from office but more importantly ver committed to keeping the system the way it was. >> while many criminal justice experts say it is difficult to draw direct connections to gascon's policies, the surge in crime echoing across the country has put intense political pressure on his reform agenda earlier this month,
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san francisco voted to oust its progressive d.a. gascon has also backtracked on some of his policies, allowing for exceptions to his ban on trying juveniles as adults, and his directive to seek zero bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. there's a lot of perception that things are getting worse. if they don't get better, is that all going to lay at the feet of progressives and criminal justice reform efforts >> i am very fearful that it is happening already. >> recall organizers believe they have reached their goal, but continue to gather signatures just in case the vote would be held in november. up next, more severe weather and travel chaos with thousands of flights cancelled or delayed
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a chaotic day at the nation's airports with the busy summer travel season in full swing. more than 1,300 flights cancelled, more than 6,000 delayed as airlines recover from severe storms and there's more dangerous weather on the move tonight 29 million at risk in the mid-atlantic and southeast. the longtime ceo of world wrestling entertainment is
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stepping back from his duties while the company says it is investigating his alleged misconduct it comes after "the wall street journal" reported vince mcmahon paid a former employee $3 million to stay quiet about an affair, citing documents and people familiar with the inquiry. mcmahon's daughter stephanie is taking over as interim ceo. and the dynasty has been reborn. steph curry winning his first nba finals mvp award by unanimous vote after leading the golden state warriors to a fourth championship in eight seasons with a game six victory over the boston celtics the warriors and fans will celebrate with a parade in san francisco on monday. up next for us tonight, watergate at 50 how the historic break-in shaped the country and the meaning of scandal
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finally, a nation shaken, history altered. not today's news but a scandal that defined an era andrea mitchell on the 50th anniversary of watergate. >> reporter: the white house dismissed it as a third-rate burglary. >> the burglars brok through a fire escape door that led to the committee's offices. >> it was certainly bungled. five unlikely
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burglars in business suits breaking into the democratic national committee offices at the watergate building >> well, i'm not a crook. >> reporter: but old-fashioned shoe leather reporting by "the washington post" bob woodward and carl bernstein uncovered links to the white house and nixon's re-election campaign, taking down a president. >> what did the president know and when did he first know it >> reporter: watergate would change journalism and the political language >> just follow the money. >> reporter: and gate ever since attached to scandals large and small, think of bridgegate, deflategate, weinergate >> i began by telling the president there was a cancer growing on the presidency. >> reporter: it became emblematic of abuse of power, attorney general threatening "the washington post" publisher. >> tell her she is going to get caught in the big wringer if she publishes. >> reporter: she would not be bullied and there was a smoking gun. 3,700 hours of incriminating white house tapes, minus the notorious 18 and a half minute gap.
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nixon's secretary said erased when she reached to answer a call and hit the wrong button erasegate? the president resigned sparing the country a constitutional crisis. andrea mitchell, nbc news, washington >> that's "nightly news" for this friday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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i'm janelle wang. next on nbc bay area news tonight, the dubs just landed back home after doing it again. winning another title, ensuring their legacy as the team of this past decade. so when's the party? warriors have a late change to the parade route that will impact traffic in the city. and kids as young as six months old could soon get the covid vaccine. how these child doses differ from adult shots and the advice that infectious disease specialists versus for parents hesitant to give their kids the vaccine. and could we start seeing more out of control fires nationwide? >> sort of a wake up call for more ppl


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