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

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authority. but a victory for the white house on immigration, allowing the president to end the trump-era remain in mexico policy all as ketanji brown jackson becomes the first black woman on the supreme court. and the president's stark criticism of the court over abortion with a new call for action in congress as a florida judge temporarily blocks an abortion restriction law. we're tracking hundreds of new flight cancellations into the holiday weekend. delta pilots demonstrating. how you can avoid travel chaos and the president's answer when asked how long soaring gas prices will last the intriguing new discovery of a never-served arrest warrant in the case of emmett till, the teenager whose brutal murder almost 70 years galvanized the civil rights movement. the fleecing of america. the family-run ministry and the millions of assistance they got for employees who didn't exist >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt
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good evening the u.s. supreme court tonight ending a term that reshaped the court itself and the country in dramatic fashion. the first black woman to be confirmed as a supreme court justice sworn in today justice ketanji brown jackson replacing retiring justice stephen breyer she joins a court that days ago rocked the country with its ruling overturning the long-established constitutional right to abortions the term ending today with split decisions for the biden administration on immigration and the environment. in a win for its border policy, the court saying the administration acted properly in trying to end the trump-era policy that requires asylum seekers wait in mexico while their
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cases are decided. but the court also undercut the administration's climate change efforts, saying the epa overreached in its efforts to move the country from coal production to cleaner alternatives justice correspondent pete williams has details. >> reporter: in one of the most important environmental rulings in decades, the court says the epa does not have broad authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions by shifting energy production away from coal burning plants and toward cleaner sources like wind and solar. by a 6-3 vote, the court said such a major action would require explicit permission from congress writing for the majority, chief justice john roberts said, it is not plausible that congress gave epa the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme. >> it has really cut off the agency's ability to do the farthest reaching, most impactful thing to cut carbon emissions from the power sector that's the sector of the economy that produces about a quarter of our greenhouse gas emissions. >> reporter: for the dissenters, justice kagan says this makes
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the ruler the decider on such things i cannot think of many things more frightening. the court's ruling also could have broader implications because it said only congress, not federal agencies, can set the rules on what it called major questions. some legal experts say that's a recipe for inaction >> congress doesn't have the time or the expertise to be able to address all of the major social and economic problems on its agenda and, in addition, it is often incapable of reaching grand bargains. >> reporter: in a separate case, the biden administration can go ahead with its efforts to end the trump program that forces migrants seeking asylum to wait in mexico. the vote 5-4 with roberts and justice brett kavanaugh joining the court's three liberals today also marked the end of justice stephen breyer's 23 years on the court. his last act was joining roberts in administering the required two oaths of office to ketanji brown jackson who becomes the court's first black woman. >> so help me god. >> and now on behalf of all of the members
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of the court, i am pleased to welcome justice jackson to the court and to our common calling [ applause ] >> pete, looking ahead, the court said it will hear a case that could affect the coming presidential election >> reporter: yes, lester the court agreed to decide whether state legislatures and not state courts get the last word on how elections should be conducted for federal candidates republicans say that's how it's supposed to work, but opponents say that would leave state courts unable to defend voters when their rights are threatened lester >> pete williams outside the supreme court for us tonight. thank you. this evening president biden slamming the supreme court for its did he session overturning roe v. wade, accusing the justices of outrageous behavior and urging a controversial change to senate rules in response kelly o'donnell has that story >> reporter: from a world stage moment in spain, president biden accused the highest court of upending american freedom. >> the one thing that has been destabilizing is the outrageous behavior of the supreme court of the united states on overruling not only
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roe v. wade but essentially challenging the right to privacy. >> reporter: consequences he sees as so dire the president urged congress to restore abortion rights with new law. but in a 50/50 senate, democrats don't have enough votes making a surprise announcement today - >> and if the filibuster gets in the way -- >> reporter: -- the president said he would back a limited change to senate rules to allow a simple majority vote to make abortion legal again nationally. >> requiring exception of the filibuster for this action to deal with the supreme court decision. >> reporter: that's a flip, breaking his decades long filibuster support. >> ending the filibuster is a very dangerous thing to do. >> reporter: but tonight top democrats say they cannot make the change because a few democrats won't agree. while top republican mitch mcconnell said the president's attacks on the court are unmerited and dangerous. today i asked about
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the political pressure he faces >> are you the best messenger to carry this forward with democrats, many of them, many progressives, want you to do more >> yeah, i am. i'm the president of the united states of america. that makes me the best messenger. >> reporter: tomorrow the president will meet with democratic governors on abortion rights at the state level and will announce his own next step lester >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. in state houses and courthouses across the country people are grappling with rapidly changes laws governing abortion anne thompson now ha the latest on the next wave of restrictions that could be on the horizon. >> reporter: moves on the state level to restrict abortions hitting legal obstacles. florida's ban on abortion after 15 weeks scheduled to blocked in court
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today. >> it violates the privacy provision of the florida constitution. >> reporter: disappointing the governor. >> these are unborn babies that have a heartbeat. >> reporter: kentucky's trigger law, a near total ban, put on a temporary hold, too. applauded by that state's governor. >> the trigger law in kentucky is extremist. >> reporter: now a new salvo in the abortion rights war conservative lawmakers looking at potential laws to keep women from crossing state lines for legal abortions by targeting corporations paying their travel expenses. arkansas state senator jason rapert leads the national association of christian lawmakers. >> we are exploring legislation and drafting language that would stop some of these woke corporations from using shareholder money illegally and without real authority to traffic people for the cause of an abortion. >> reporter: some say any effort to stop women from crossing state lines is a step too far. >> this would be like
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virginia passing a law saying that it is illegal for me to go to maryland to get dental care or illegal for me to have my primary physician be in the district of columbia. >> reporter: today 90 local prosecutors from across the country have signed on to a statement refusing to prosecute those who seek, provide or support abortions, calling criminalizing abortion care a mockery of justice st. louis county district attorney wesley bell. >> but if your state bans abortion, isn't it your job to enforce the law? >> well, it is well-settled law that prosecutors have discretion over the limited criminal justice resources that we have, and we make decisions all the time in that guiding principal is public safety and justice. >> reporter: a nation still debating what's enforceable and what's law in a post-roe world. anne thompson, nbc news. let's circle back now to the court's ruling allowing president biden to end the remain in mexico policy at the border that has migrant advocates celebrating. critics say it will send a record number of border crossings
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soaring even higher. gabe gutierrez with late details >> reporter: tonight another tragedy at the southern border. four migrants killed in texas as authorities chased alleged human smugglers. it comes days after 53 migrants died in san antonio. as the immigration debate ramps up, now the supreme court has ruled the biden administration can end the trump-era remain in mexico policy. >> i was very happy to hear it. >> reporter: we first met this immigrant advocate a year ago at a migrant tent camp in mexico there is an overwhelming sense of desperation here since then, she says that side of the border has grown increasingly dangerous. >> the asylum seekers get murdered all the time in mexico there is kidnappings every day. >> reporter: remain in mexico requires asylum seekers to wait south of the border while their u.s. asylum cases were processed its supporters argue that today's supreme court decision will encourage even more migrants to come to the u.s. >> this is devastating
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for the state of texas and the united states of america we're going to see more people here illegally that live in the two largest cities in america, new york and los angeles combined. >> reporter: there were more than 239,000 illegal border crossings in may, the highest monthly total ever recorded. >> if you don't have any repercussions, and they feel that all they're going to do is see a speed bump at the border, of course they will continue coming. >> reporter: the biden administration is trying to lift title 42, another trump-era border restriction, but a federal judge has kept that in place for now. lester >> all right, gabe, thank you. tonight one of the biggest july 4th getaways ever is underway a stress test for airlines already struggling to meet summer schedules, cancels hundreds for flights today as delta pilots picketed. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: walking information picket lines at seven airports nationwide today, off-duty delt pilots in contract talks who say they're working excessive
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overtime as the airline tries to fly its schedule without enough pilots. >> we're working as hard as we can >> reporter: delta, united and american have struggled since memorial day more than 3,000 total cancellations just on sunday morning. >> we don't have a lot of money we don't have a lot of time so when you do that, there goes your vacation. >> reporter: in an email to customers delta's ceo today said this level of disruption and uncertainly is unacceptable meanwhile, the faa identified volatile weather again today, leading to more delays and cancellations. today airlines are carrying the highest amount of passengers since early 2020 >> reporter: but the vast majority of americans, 42 million, are driving this weekend, a new record. and paying record july 4th pump prices, $4.86 a gallon, though, down 16 cents in two weeks. president biden says the embargo on russian oil means americans will continue paying a premium at the pump. >> as long as it takes so russia cannot, in
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fact, defeat ukraine. >> reporter: higher oil prices also lead to higher jet fuel and airline ticket prices, cutting into vacation budgets on the road and in the air if you are traveling, especially with kids this summer, add extra time pad time to your flights in the event they're canceled or rescheduled so you can make adjustments without throwing your entire vacation into chaos. lester >> tom, thank you. in 60 seconds, seven decades later, the discovery of an arrest warrant never served in the case of emmett till. what his relatives are calling for now.
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back now with a surprising development in the case of emmitt till, the 14-year-old black child murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman. 70 years later, an unserved warrant uncovered for a suspect in the case, a suspect who is still alive. here's ron allen >> reporter: some 67 years after the gruesome kidnapping, torture and murder of
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14-year-old emmett till, a document just found in the basement of a mississippi courthouse reigniting his family's decades long quest for justice. >> we dropped to our knees. we prayed. we shouted we embraced each other. >> reporter: till's cousin, deborah watts, says the family found an unserved warrant for the arrest of carolyn bryant donham for kidnapping, the woman who till supposedly made a rude gesture toward in a store in 1955. her husband roy bryant and his half brother then abducted and murdered till. his mutilated body in an open casket, one of the most iconic images in the civil rights era. till's killers, both now dead, were acquitted by an all-white jury but later confessed in interviews donham, now in her 80s, was never arrested or charged. >> do you really think this is a turning point? >> i do. i have to hold out hope there is a note on the reverse side of the warrant that indicates that she was not found in the county, but no one ever searched for
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her. >> reporter: no comment today from state and federal investigators who through the decades have re-opened and closed the case as recently as last year. some legal experts say prosecutors would likely have to obtain a new warrant if they chose to pursue the case no comment today from donham herself. we were unable to reach donham >> i believe mississippi has blood on their hands they have an opportunity now to clean that up and to make sure that justice prevails. >> reporter: a family fight endures in the brutal killing of a young boy that changed an entire nation ron allen, nbc news. up next for us tonight, the fleecing of america a family that duped the american government out of millions of dollars.
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millions of businesses applied for government help during the heart of the pandemic, including one florida-based family ministry that received millions of taxpayer dollars to pay employees. stephanie gosk on what authorities say really happened in our series "the fleecing of america." >> his word is his will. >> reporter: when the pandemic hit, canadian joshua edwards asked the u.s. government to help his family's ministry stay afloat he said he needed $6 million to keep paying more than 450 employees according to court records. the operation was run out of this florida office building. the government approved the ppe loan, adding another $2 million. making it $8 million in total but here's the problem, the only employees were the
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edwards family, four of them. canadian records show the ministry's monthly income was just $5,500 the application was a total fabrication, signed off by an 88-year-old accountant in canada suffering from dementia as per court documents. warren smith is the president of ministry watch, an evangelical watchdog >> so how didn't this flip a switch in the government when they saw this application >> well, it should have this would have been easy if you did a couple google searches on this. the bank would have known there was nothing there. >> this money was supposed to go to businesses that were keeping people employed and here you have this ministry taking advantage of that allegedly. >> yeah. well, this kind of fraud is absolutely reprehensible because there was a limit to those funds. >> reporter: instead of funding a ministry set up to help the poor, the family put a down payment on this $3 million house in a gated community blocks from disney world. within months, federal agents started asking questions.
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it was september 2020 when secret service agents came to this home where the edwards family was living. they wanted to know what they were doing with millions of dollars in taxpayer money. but when they got here, no one was home. the cars were gone and the house was cleared out. the secret service quickly asked florida highway patrol to pull them over. police were waiting on this highway onramp for the edwards as they headed north. when they stopped them, the father said they were on their way to a conference in texas, but he couldn't provide any details. and according to the authorities, in the backseat there was a paper shredder the family bought the week before and garbage bags filled with shredded documents federal agents seized the $8 million and briefly took them into custody for an immigration charge that was later dismissed. the next day they were let go and almost 20 months later no more criminal charges the edwards still own their house, so we knocked on the door. no one answered, but neighbors told nbc
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they still live there. we reached out to the secret service they said the investigation is ongoing and they can't provide any more information. the u.s. attorney in florida would not comment. alex little is a former federal prosecutor >> if i go into a bank and i steal $3 million and the police show up at my door and i say, oh, i'm so sorry i'm sorry i robbed that bank. here's your $3 million back don't i get arrested >> you would absolutely get arrested i think we can expect and should expect the federal government to take the same steps. >> why hasn't there been an arrest >> that's a great question it should be the sort of case the federal prosecutors are interested in and ultimately end up prosecuting. >> reporter: just last year, the family released new videos asking for donations but quickly took them down stephanie gosk, nbc news, orlando. up next for us tonight, how a teenager makes the cars he loves picture perfect.
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finally tonight, lots of kids are fascinated by cars but one young man has transformed that sense of wonder into mind bending photography. here's maggie vespa. >> reporter: anthony schmitz's love of cars is all about perspective. at 14, he is waiting to see the world from the driver's seat. in the meantime, focussing his love through a lens -- a vintage surf scene, church parking of the past, a classi fuelling up.
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on his iphone he captures auras of eras and tricks the eye, manipulating the miniature, transforming it into life size. his parents' home -- oh, my goodness -- now a warehouse for his muses. >> 1908 ford model t right there. >> reporter: 3,000 of them >> so you know every single one what's that one? >> yeah. '56 ford sun liner >> what about the one next to it? >> same. >> up here >> '57 chevrolet bel air. >> reporter: that colossal capacity for details stems from his super power. >> what do you like about having autism? >> not much. i like having a talent i wouldn't probably be all over the internet if i didn't have it ♪ i'm unstoppable ♪ >> reporter: this seattle-area boy born with autism is a smash hit on social media. >> facebook, 142,000 tiktok about 600,000.
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>> reporter: he sells books and calendars, too. a dream for mom. >> all the attention from different people from his photography makes him feel so good. >> reporter: much of anthony's collection, rooms of cars, a wall of plates came from fans of his drive. >> all autism people out there should always chase their dreams same with anyone always chase your dreams >> reporter: shifting perspectives on cars and life maggie vespa, nbc news, woodenville, washington. >> i think i spot our old family car in that collection what a great hobby that's "nightly news" for this thursday. thank you for watching i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good tonight
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next on nbc bay area news tonight, she is on the move. vice president kamala harris making two stops. we have the details. game on in -- just cleared a major hurdle. what is next, and is las vegas still in the cards? a wild scene in the bay, all boats, no captain. we will tell you how this happened. fisher falling from the sky. >> it is


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