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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 16, 2019 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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eaking news tonight. at least four americans killed and three other americans wounded in a horrific attack in sya. a suicide bomber striking at a restaurant popular with u.s. soldiers. now isis claiming responsibility. the attack coming after president trump announced troops were pulling out. richard engel is in syria for us tonight. also breaking, the feds arrest man accused of plottingk an att the white house. our pete williams has late details. an american among the dead in that massacre at a luxury hotel overse he was a young ceo who helped with rescue efforts on/11. we're at the scene. as federal workers denied their paychecks now line up at soup kitchens, a power struggle erupts over the state of the union address. another major storm ewing from coast to coast. a foot of snow in parts of the northeast.
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al roker is here. it changed this teenager's life. but it's the most expensive drug in america. >> $850,000. how do you justify that? >> how could one treatment cost that much? families demanding answers as a dis accused of giving their loved ones fatal doses to hasten their deaths. the hospital says there could be dozens of cases. and a big change on the american road. what's in, what's out, and why more people are ditching their sedans. good evening, everyone. a deadly terror attack has taken the lives of four americans, injuring three others in syria. tonight isis is claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing at a restaurant. the blast coming soon after tr presidenp declared isis had been defeated and ordered a u.s. pullout from syria. the casualties include u.s. troops and civilians. nbc's richard engel is in syria
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tonighth new details on this stunning attack. >> reporter: multiple witnesses tell nbc news u.s. troops were at a restaurant halfway down this street, and then this happened when a man in civilian clothing approached the door. a suicide bomber apparently lying in wait with a powerful explosive vest. four americans were killed. two u.s. service members, a civilian working for the defense depament, and a contractor. as rescue helicopters came in, witnesses told nbc news u.s. fooues may have set a dangers pattern coming to this same restaurant repeatedly. isis almost immediately claimed responsibity. the group, it seems, trying to show the world president trump is wrong. >> we've beaten them badly, we've taken back the land, and now it's time for our troops to come back home. >> reporter: but u.s. troops are still here in syria for now.
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and their allies, kurdish forces, who took us into the battle zone, say the u.s. is leaving a war that's not finished. these areas here on the front el line are compldevastated, and u.s. and kurdish-led forces are still fighting again isis. there are as many as 4,000 isis fighters still in this area. hardly mission accomplished. vice psident pence today sees it differently. >> the caliphate has crumbled and isis has been defeated. we'lstay in the fight to ensure that isis does not rear its ugly head again. >> reporter: but one o president trump's allies is warning about pulling out the 2,000 u.s. troops in syria too soon. >> t's set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we're fighting. you make people who are trying to help wonder about us. i saw this in iraq. and i'm now seeing it in syria.e >> rep the trump administration says it will leave the fighting on the ground here in syria to the kurds. but it's hard to see how they'll
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be able to do that after u.s. troops pull out, because they have no planes, no helicopters, and almost no heavy weapons. lester? >> richard engel in syria tonight, thank you. there artragic new developments in another terror attack overseas. the young american ceo is among the ad in that massacre at a luxury hotel in kenya. nbc's kelly cobiella has made her way to the scene. >> reporter: amecan jason spindler, a ceo who helped with rescue efforts on 9/11, was living in kenya and having lunch at a hotel when f e suspected terrorists launched their deadly attack. it sent people running, scrambling out windows.'s spindlarents in texas desperately waiting for word. >> the later in the afternoon, i got the call from the embassy. letting us know that he had been identified. and he was at thmorgue. >> reporter: most of the victims were kenyan. today facing the heartbreak of seeing their loved ones at the morgue.
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this woman told me she lost her sister. the hotel is jt at the end of that road, and more than 24 hours after the attack began ce were still trying to clear it of explosives. back in texas, spindler's parents say he would have turned 41 next monday. >>t e were getting ready to together with him for his birthday. he was gng to come back to the states. unfortunately it's not going to happen. we have to go and bring him home now. >> he's just my baby. and i miss him.r: >> reporhe al qaeda-linked terror group al shabaab has claimed responsibility. the country still high alert tonight. lester? >> kelly cobiella, thanks. there's breaking news about the threat of terrorism tonight this time at home. feds making an arrest, they say the suspect wanted to attack the white house. pete williams is in washington. pete, what are you learnin? about th >> reporter: lester, the fbi says it was alerted to this 21-year-old man, hasher taheb,
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by somebody in the atlanta area. last september fbi undercover operatives began meeith him. court documents say he told them he wanted to attack the white house with guns and explosives but he didn't ve any of his own. he was arrested today after receiving them from the undercover operatives. g authorities are searchins house tonight, but there never was any threat.lo he was under surveillance. despite the government shutdown, fbi agents are still working cases even though they're not getting paid. lester? >> and pete, as that shutdown contues, some federal workers are now lining up at soup ed kitchens to feheir families. in washington a new fight erupting over the shutdown and president trump's state of the union address. peter alexander with details on speaker pelosi's new power playm >> speaker, the president of the united states! >> reporter: one of the biggest nights of the year for president trump may be off, possibly shutting down the state of the unio speaker nancy pelosi urging the president to postpone his annual address or deliver it in writing.
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in this new letter citing security concerns, noting that due to the shutdown, the department of homeland security and secret service have been hamstrung by furloughs. >> he can make it from the ovali if he wants. >> reporter: pelosi's deputy more definitive. >> the state of the union is off? >> the state of the off. >> reporter: steny hoyer's aides lateinsisting he misspoke. the white horee tonight not onding. but homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen challenged pelosi's claim, tweeng dhs and the secret service are fully prepar to support and secure the state of the union. even though agents and dhs staff aren't presently being paid. the white house now acknowledges e shutdown that's dragged into its fourth week is taking a mucr bigg toll on the economy than first estimated. the trump administration, anxious to avoid alienating the president's base, is looking to lp hard-hit farmers, temporarily reopening some usda offices to clear the backlog of farmers waiting for federal payments and loans. peter alexander, nbc news, the
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white house.> is is tom costello. across the country, the faces of the shutdown. hundreds of thousands struggling without a paycheck. >> would you likany soup? >> yes, please. >> reporter: in the nation's capital, at world central kitchen, thousands showed up for a free meal in the shadow of the buildings where they normally work. among them anita gonzales evans, who works at department of interior. >> i never thought i'd he to come get a free lunch like this, but i am really trying to save my rmoney. eporter: there's an unintended symbolism here. the food bank sits right her on pennsylvania avenue, exactly the halfway point between capitol hill and the white house. ne trump administration h selectively recalled 50,000 workers and high-profile agencies, though still working without pay. faa aircraft inspectors, f food inspectors, and irs tax uding nic trujillo in utah, going back to work on friday. >> they get to continue to receive their paychecks.
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d what are they doing to me? they're, you know -- i'm two weeks away from living on the street. they're not. >> reporter: meanwhile, tonight the tsa chief says more of his officers are n coming to work, citing financial hardship. tom costello, nbc news, n shington. let's take a t shocking e-mails involving the makers of the powerful painkiller oxyntin. prosecutors say the messages show ty help fuel the opioid crisis by deceiving doctors and patients and try to blame users who got addicted. with more on that, here's kate snow. is so wealthy there's a wing at new york's metropolitan museum of art named after them. they own purdue pharma, the maker of one of the most widely prescribed and abused pain killerin america, oxycontin. in 2001 when richard sackler wap head of the y, he wrote this e-mail. we have to hammer on abusers ina everpossible, they are the culprits and the problem, they are reckless criminals." the e-mails part of a court filing by the massachusetts attorney general.
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the filing alleges ricrd sackler directed purdue staff not to tell doctors the truth inabout how powerful oxyco was. >> we now know that purdue and sackler family were pushing for the strongest possible dosage to be prescribed. because they made more money. the stronger the dosage, the mo money they made. but the stronger the dosage, the more peoe died. >> reporter: when oxycontin was first released, the massachusetts filing says richard sackler told the crowd, the launch of oxycontin tablets will be followed by a blizzard e ofriptions. the sackler family referred nbc news to purdue which said in part, the attorney general cherry-picked e-mails and the complaint is littered with biased and inaccurate characterizations of these documents. but debbie boris is 4 yus. we followed her family for years. her son day started on painkillers including oxycontin in high school, then turned to heroin. >> they pushed a product, they pushed a drug they kuld hurt people.
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i had a good boy who had a ture. and he doesn't right now. or >> rr: their life, she says, will never be the same. kate snow, nbc news, new york. tonight we're looking at y another major storm taking aim from coast to coast. get ready for rain, slush, and snow in a lot of parts.ok al with the latest forecast. al, where's it headed? >> lester, a quick hit with this first storm system. ou drops about maybe 1 to 2 inches of snow t the midwest, northeast, into new england. the secondtorm coming out from the west s brings heavw from the rockies making its way thursday into friday. as it moves across the rockies, on friday that snow is into th ains with an icy mix and heavy rain down to the south. as we move into saturday, sunday, gusty winds blow g snow from the plains to the northeast. totals anywhere from 3 to 6 inches through the midwest, but as you get into the northeast and new england, we're looking at anywhere from 9 to 18 inches of snow. moves out quickly sunday, then some lake effect on monday. lester? >> all right, al, we'll get the
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shovels ready, thanks. tonit a major safety recall to tell you about. hyundai and kia are going ahead with a recall of nearly 170,000 enhicles due to fire risks though the goveragency that oversees recalls is mostly closed due to the shutdown for a list of the models affected, visit our facebook page. that news comes as carmakers show off their newest models at the detroit auto show. but this year it's what they're not rolling out that has a lot of people talking. here's nbc's morgan chessky. >> reporter: they're the newestu rides ing heads in motor city. now turning the page on an entire industry. >> our job is to give the customers what they want. >> reporter: at ford, that means more suvs, crossovers, and pickup trucks. the car company one of many now ditching sedans in this era of low gas prices. the very vehicle once defining american drivers. >> they still get the eat performance, the great fuel efficiency. this is why we're so bullish about utility hicles.
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>> reporter: the sedan slump has been anything but subtle. in the past four years, sales plunged by 30%. the cause? millions of american drivers flocking to new animproved suvs. as a result, chevrolet says its impala, now extinct. also gone, the electric volt and smaller cruz. ford phasing out all sedans from its lineup, saving only its iconic mustang. recent college grad britney rankin made the swap today. >> it was perfect to go from a sedan to the suv just because of the size. >> reporter: the consumer switch hitting companies hard. gm clong five car plants completely to focus on the new market. >> it's easiero close those down and make greater use of the assembly lines that are already in production. >> reporter: a bet by automakers hoping these heaturning cars turn a profit too. morgan chesky, nbc news, detroit.> 're going to talk about a gut-wrenching question. is a drug worth $850,000, if it could save child from blindness? it's the most expensive drug in america.
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our cancerous tyndall given has more in our ongoing coverage of the high cost of drugs, "your money, your life." >> oh, you got it -- >> reporter: a year ago this scene would have been impossible >> where would you have to sit before to see the tv? >> normally i would be right in front of the tv. >> reporter: 14-year-old jack hogan's vision today is a scientif >> he walked into walls. he fell down a flight of stairs a couple of times. >> reporter: jack was born with a rare genetic disorder causing blindness, retinitis pigmentosa. >> he told us that he will probably lose his sight by the time he's 20 or 30 y old. >> reporter: last march he was the first person in the united states to receive an fda-approved gene therapy, a new drug, luurna, was injected into his eye. jack's vision improved dramatically. while the treatment is groundbrea $850,000. the price,
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jeff morazo is ceo of spark therapeutics which makes luxturna. >> $850,000. how do you justify that? >> we tried to take into account what is it worth to restore sight in an individual? there are institutions tt have worked to try to answer that question, including the judicial system. or >> reporter:o explains they looked at what juries harded people who had been blinded to determi much eyesight is worth. he says insurance covers the cost and that the gene therapy is a one-time treatment. but an independent watchdog group which studies dr costs says luxturna is overpriced. >> we arrived at a figure of approximately $400,000 to $450,000 as a more appropriate, fair price. >> reporter: morazo says it cost $500 million to build his company to where it is tod. has spark been profitable or at what point did you turn profitable? am we are not profitable, no. >> reporter: fories like jack's, though, the science isn't about price or profits. >> is this treatment a miracle for you?
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>> absolutely, 100%. he's a different child. >> reporter: it's about a boy who used to walk into walls, nol able to on a basketball team. so really effective, but really, really expensive. we're going to be seeing more high-priced drugs? >> yeah, we are, there are dozens of them. some expected to cost in the millions of dollars which impacts all of us and our that hascalling for a new pricing system based on how well these drugs work. >> all right, kristen, thanks very much. >> > also ahead tonight, lethal doses. we're going to talk about the doctor accused of giving patients deadly prescriptions. then the birdbox, tide pod, and more dangerous challenges. youtube now cracking down. y tels you they can save you money. save up to 10% when you bundle with esurance. including me, esurance spokesperson dennis quaid. he's a pretty good spokesperson. ehhh. so when i say, "drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved an average of $412," you probably won't believe me. hey, actor lady whose scene was cut.
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> next tonight, the doct accused of giving lethal doses to more than two dozen patients to hasn their deaths. here's anne thompson. >> reporter: david austin is heartbroken.
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>> i've had her since '82. >> reporter: missing his wife bonnie of 36 years. shortly in september after being rushed to mt. carmel west hospital in columbus, ohio, >> out comes that doctor and he says, she's brain dead. then i went berser >> reporter: austin agreed to withdraw life support, but in a lawsuit says he didn't know dr. william husel had already administered an excessive dose of pain medication, including the opioid fentanyl, for the purpose of ending bonnie's life. >> any reasonably careful doctor would know that would cause death. we apologize for this tragedy. >> reporter: now in a video statement, hospital officials are apogizing, saying they found at least 27 patients near death for whom dr. husel ordered potentially fatal doseain medication over five years.>> he actions instigated by this doctor were unacceptable and inconsistent with thvalues and practices of mt. carmel. >> reporter: the hospital fired dr. husel, who could not be reached for comment, and
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suspended 20 staffmembers pending review.mb co police are investigating, while david austin seeks a legal rto make sure health care providers do no harm.bc anne thompson,ews. we'll take a short break. up next, youtube's new crackdown. na sing. -jamie, this is your house? -i know, it's not much, but it's home. right, kids? -kids? -papa, pap-[ laughs ] -you didn't tell me your friends were coming. -oh, ys h. -te is tiny like a child. -yeah, she is. oh, but seriously, it's good to be surrounded by what matters most -- and auto bundle from progressive. -oh, sweetie, please, play for us. h, no, i couldn't. -please. -okay. [ singing in spanish ] -please. -okay.
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we've all seen them. videos of stunts like the birdbox, or tide pod challenge. now youtube is drawing a line. here's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: they're the cringe-worthy challenges deemed dangerous. potentially deadly. or just downright stupid. tonight youtube says it's banning or restricting all viral pranks and challenges, like biting into tide pods, that could resu in physical harm. it comes aft the explosion of videos like the birdbox chs lenge, where participant blindfold themselves and perform everyday tasks. but in utah, a teenager was nearly killed while driving
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during the birdbox challenge >> this is one thing we never ou thght we'd have to say. don't drive blindfolded. >> youtube says when a questionable video is flagged, their editors can immediately pull the clip. but the company promises this isn't e end of viral videos. so tonight, no need to worry. the "i ate all your halloween candy challenge" is here to stay. miguel almaguer, nbc news. >> got to draw the line somewhere. up next, a landmark moment in american history. we'll be right back. (client's voice) remember that degree you got in taxation?
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if you have signs of ketoacidosis which is serious and may lead to death. ask your doctor about the pill that starts with "f" and visit for savings. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. finally tonight, when boozea banned. nbc's kevin tibbles on the landmark event of 100 years ago. ♪
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>> the eagle flies at night. >> reporter: a century ago, a secret password would get you a drink in the big apple. speakeasies like chumley's were all the rage. >> everyone from ernest hemingway to criminals. it was hustling and it was bustling. >> reporter: on this day in 1919, congress banned booze. forcing it a year later underground and into the hands of the underworld. gangsters like al capone made a killing in more ways than one. ou today i'm going to make a gin rickey. >> reporter: jordan whips up a prohibition-era cocktail from a time when the '20s roared. ♪ >> good on a hot day. >> definitely. >> or when you're hiding out from the cops. >> exactly. m reporter: legend has it the phrase "86," whichns to disappear, was coined at chumley's, located at 86 bedford street. d en cops on the take woultip off the bar. >> they'd call a half hour
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before sayg, guys, there's a raid coming, 86. everybody would go out the door. >> reporter: when prohibition ended in 1933, the suds flowed legally once again. >> if these walls could talk, who knows what they would say. , reporter: kevin tibblesc news, new york. >> that's "nightl." t.m lester hol
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