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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 8, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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spain and ireland first. >> kind of acted out the emotions. >> her voice with the emojis. >> wouldn't that be nice? developing news tonight. a political shocker. the powerful congressman likely the next speaker of the house suddenly pulls out of the race. now chaos and confusion and a big mystery in washington. new evacuations as rivers swell to a breaking point. high alert in cities along the carolina coast, bracing for that flood disaster now barrelling their way. american hero stabbed. the u.s. airman who risked his life to stop a terrorist attack aboard a high speed train in france stabbed multiple times here at home. police hunting for his attackers. is this fair? a domestic violence victim sentenced to jail for not showing up at her alleged attacker's trial. >> you think you have anxiety now? you haven't even seen
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anxiety. >> now backlash against that judge. "nightly news" begins right now. there is turmoil for republican lawmakers that could affect all of us before it is over. it has to deal with who will become the next second in line to president, the man many thought had been on track for the job shocked the political establishment when he bowed out of the race to become speaker of the house. the question mark over who succeeds current speaker john boehner raises the spector of a possible spending showdown and another government shutdown. national correspondent peter alexander is on the story for us tonight. >> reporter: it was a political bombshell just hours after kevin mccarthy made his final pitch to replace john boehner as house speaker. the california republican stunned colleagues by pulling out of the race. >> we should put this conference first. i think there is something to be said for us to unite.
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we probably need a fresh face. >> reporter: under fierce opposition from party conservatives and criticism for his speaking skills. >> today is the day that should really look to and the pressure mount to actually let the people have a say. >> strong, english-like words. >> reporter: mccarthy recognized he risked a humiliating defeat on the house floor later this month and admitted damaging his own candidacy with comments suggesting the house benghazi committee was politically motivated to hurt hillary clinton. >> what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. >> that wasn't helpful. i could have said it much better. >> reporter: the same forces that propelled political outsiders including donald trump to the top of the gop presidential field are fueling the revolt among some republicans in congress. this week a conservative republican warned any candidate for leadership who committed misdeeds should withdraw from the race, but mccarthy dismissed that as his reason for exiting.
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>> no. come on. >> reporter: the abrupt announcement threatens congress' ability to meet a series of critical deadlines and a shutdown looming if a budget deal isn't struck. democrats could barely stifle their glee. from the white house -- >> any news they would like to discuss? >> reporter: to capitol hill. >> you think it's a mess. >> it is a mess. >> reporter: so now what? boehner agreed to stay until election for his replacement is held. one potential speaker who republicans could rally around is paul ryan. tonight nbc news confirms he is boehner's top choice but aides to ryan insist he is not interested. lester. >> peter alexander, thank you. the rain has long passed but the people of south carolina simply can't catch a break. there are new evacuations in place right now. all that water from days of epic rainfall is essentially racing out toward the sea leaving still more dams breached and many other threatened and
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coastal communities are about to bear the brunt of it. gabe gutierrez is in south carolina with late details. >> reporter: new evacuations tonight as flood fears mount along the carolina coast. days after the historic rain, 70 dams are now in danger. so far 14 have breached. the water now flowing east. residents in the coastal community of georgetown are bracing for a second round of flooding. >> when nature overwhelms you, doesn't matter how great you design it. it's going to fail. >> reporter: in south carolina, about 1.2 million gallons fell per person. these railroad tracks suspended in the air, the ground beneath them washed away. >> devastation is just unbelievable. >> reporter: also hard to believe, the incredible stories of survival. >> i went down in the water. >> reporter: she and her grandson clung to a cross after her car skidded into a ditch near a church and
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waited five hours until rescuers pulled them to safety. >> thank you so much for saving us. >> reporter: 27-year-old amber lloyd fell into a drain pipe at the height of the storm. >> in the water i kept telling myself, amber fight. >> reporter: she wasn't breathing when three county detention officers pulled her out and performed cpr. she now gets to thank them with her daughter autumn. >> i never believed in angels. i absolutely believe them now. >> reporter: boil water advisories are in effect throughout the state. volunteers swarm in. >> it's sad nobody has clean water. >> we have been through the first big wave. we are about to go through the second big wave. >> reporter: the governor is warning the flood waters could threaten several counties for up to 12 days. here in columbia, a bit more rain is forecast into the weekend as a massive cleanup effort is under way. throughout the state, more than 350 roads and bridges are shut down. lester. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you.
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authorities in sacramento are hunting for the people involved in a violent confrontation with an american hero in the streets. u.s. airman spencer stone, one of the men hailed for stopping a terrorist attack with a gun aboard a high-speed train in france, saving dozens of lives was rushed into surgery today after a brawl caught on camera here at home. >> reporter: it started as an argument outside a bar in sacramento and quickly became a brawl. surveillance video from a store across the street appears to show american hero spencer stone fighting with more than one person. two groups of people pushing, shoving and throwing punches before eventually scattering as the police cruiser arrives. investigators say stone was stabbed multiple times in the upper body. >> this incident is a very unfortunate altercation between two groups of folks who are enjoying the night life in midtown sacramento. >> reporter: what a different scene than just a month ago when
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sacramento welcomed stone home as a hero, credited with helping thwart what might have been a massacre onboard a high-speed train headed to paris. the president of france awarded stone and his friends the country's top medal the legion of honor, then an audience at the white house. tonight in a sacramento hospital, stone is in stable condition after undergoing surgery. childhood friend and fellow hero alex scarlatos tweeting, everybody send prayers to the stone family today. an american hero who may have stopped a terror plot recovering from another knife wound this time in his home town. jacob rascon, nbc news, los angeles. the war in syria has entered a dangerous new phase with russia's military involvement and word today that some of the russian cruise missiles fired from hundreds of miles away veered off course landing far from their intended targets. it's the air space the russian missiles flew through that rattled the u.s. commanders.
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the latest developments now from chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: russia's intervention into syria is escalating by the day. so are the risks, including confrontation with the u.s. senior defense officials tell nbc news that four of the 26 cruise missiles russia fired at syria from the caspian sea yesterday landed short in iran. russia and iran deny it. apparently there were no casualties. but what really has u.s. military officials worried is that washington wasn't informed before the launch. even though the missiles traveled through air space where american aircraft are operating. already at least two u.s. planes had to be diverted to avoid confrontations with russian aircraft. there has been u.s./russian consultation, so-called deconflicting meetings, but they don't seem to be working. what's worse, the russians secretly recorded the video conference and showed it on television. washington is also fuming at russia's choice of targets in syria, mostly
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anti-assad rebels, some backed by the u.s. >> we have not and will not agree to cooperate with russia so long as they continue to pursue this misguided strategy. >> reporter: the problem is washington and moscow are fighting what are effectively two different wars, the u.s. bombing to stop isis, vladimir putin bombing to keep assad in power, and because these wars overlap, a mistake could escalate quickly and badly. syria has been an open wound more than four years and now bringing the u.s. and russian military dangerously close to each other, closer than in decades. >> richard engel, thank you. a controversial remark online has media titan rupert murdoch under fire. the powerful man whose empire includes fox news fired off his thoughts on ben carson, president obama and what it means to be an african american commander in
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chief. many took to be inflammatory comments on race. hallie jackson has more. >> reporter: he's one of the world's biggest media moguls who runs the show behind the scenes, but fox news owner rupert murdoch now finds himself in the headlines. apologizing today after sending this tweet calling ben carson terrific, then adding what about a real black president who can properly address the racial divide? the backlash online over "real black president" immediate. >> the reason it's a problem is there is no one way to be black. there's no one singular authentic way to be black. rupert murdoch, by pretending he knows the real way is doubling the offense. >> now responding, the 84-year-old says he finds both president obama and ben carson charming, tweeting he meant no offense. carson didn't take any. >> i know rupert murdoch. he's not a racist by any stretch of the imagination. >> is president obama a real black president? >> he's the president and black. >> the controversy highlighting what it
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means to be black in the white house. >> there is no question being a black candidate for the presidency brings an extra burden on you. it ain't fair, but it is true. >> reporter: president obama has lately used his platform to push for more dialogue on race relations. ben carson has a different message. >> i was asked by an npr reporter why don't i talk about race that often. i said it's because i'm a neurosurgeon and it's time for us to move beyond that. >> reporter: a message that seems to appeal to his supporters, propelling carson to front-runner status, a headliner on murdoch's media. hallie jackson, nbc news. action is being taken to bring a water emergency in flint, michigan, to an end. people haven't been able to trust the water in their taps the better part of the year after the city made a change to save money but ended up contaminating part of the water supply with lead. ron mott tells us more. >> reporter: liane says her 4-year-old
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son suddenly stopped growing last year and weighs less than his twin garrett. she blames flint's drinking water with officials who repeatedly claimed it was safe. >> both my children have been exposed. the one with the compromised immune system has blood poisoning. >> reporter: his lead level tripled. you've become a scientist living here. for months, she tested the family's water for any signs of chlorine to ward off harmful bacteria. >> zero chlorine. what does that tell you? >> that my water is not safe, but i already knew that. >> reporter: what worries her most are elevated levels of lead have been flowing from her taps. after a flood of complaints from residents and businesses about water quality more than a year leading to protests, boil advisories and filter giveaways, authorities including michigan's governor gave in announcing flint was returning to detroit's supply. >> the realization of increased lead exposure and a rise in
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the number of children with elevated blood lead levels was devastating for our community. >> reporter: school children will undergo a series of lead tests. those with higher levels will get treatment. these water woes are the latest in a string of setbacks for a cash-strapped city all too familiar with them. a city whose fortunes sank with the down turn in the auto industry. a bid to save money has cost flint much more. >> i'm all for what's doing in the best interest of our city. if you're going to do this, make sure it's safe and they didn't. >> reporter: while the switch from the flint river back to detroit system is welcomed news indeed, residents must wait another two weeks before that hook-up is completed. ron mott, nbc news, flint, michigan. the army veteran hailed as a hero in the shooting rampage at an oregon college is out of a hospital. he was shot seven times while trying to protect others from the gun fire. community colleges held a moment of silence marking a week since the massacre. tomorrow, president obama will travel to oregon to meet with
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victims' families, gun right supporters plan to protest his visit. still ahead, harsh words in the courtroom for a woman who says she is afraid to face her alleged abuser. the outrage at the judge who ordered her off to jail for it. the little boy who found an everyday superhero on his block. now he gets to be the side kick.
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a florida judge is under fire after dramatic confrontation in court sentencing a
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domestic violence victim to jail because she didn't show up to face her alleged attacker. it's an emotional scene on camera, the woman pleading for the judge to understand, the judge having none of it. stephanie gosk reports. >> reporter: in a florida courtroom earlier this year, a victim of domestic violence begged for leniency. nbc news disguised her voice. >> i beg you please. >> reporter: she refused to testify against her husband who she alleged choked her and threatened her at knife point, according to a police report. the court was holding her in contempt. >> why didn't you show up to court? you think you have anxiety now? you haven't seen anxiety. >> reporter: judge
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gerri collins came down hard. violated court order did not do anything for you. i find you in contempt of court and sentence you three days in the county jail. >> reporter: prosecutors struck a deal with the woman's husband getting him to plead no contest to simple battery, with a 16-day jail sentence. without her testimony. the video of the hearing has spread online. worrying advocates of domestic abuse victims. >> i understand that the state wants to take criminals and get them off the streets, but you don't do it by revictimizing a victim in this manner. >> reporter: a spokesperson says the judge can't comment on pending or impending cases, but the state attorney says victim testimony is key to successfully prosecuting such crime. >> i'm begging you please. >> i already issued my order. >> reporter: many wonder why the judge was so tough on someone the court
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already knew was a victim. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. back in a moment with one of the most epic traffic jams we've ever seen caught on camera. it may make you appreciate your commute.
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there is sad news out of louisiana tonight. legendary chef paul prudhomme has died. started with his louisiana kitchen in new orleans, he popularized spicy cajun cuisine across america achieving international fame on tv including a show on pbs and several best-selling cookbooks. he introduced the world to the turduken. he passed away after a brief undisclosed illness. he was 75 years old. if you just walked in the door after a brutal afternoon commute home, take comfort. it probably wasn't this bad. epic traffic jam with thousands going nowhere fast on one of
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china's busiest roadways. scenes like this are not all that common in china. in this case it was a perfect storm. holiday traffic combined with foggy weather and a new checkpoint that forces 50 lanes to merge into 20. the rock and roll hall of fame is about to get the new additions. we have the list of the finalists. considered for induction. among first-time nominees, janet jackson, steve miller, chicago and the cars. cheap trick, los lobos and chaka khan. returning contenders include nine inch nails, the smiths, the spinners and yes. those who make the cut will be announced in december. the unlikely postal duo whose friendship knows no age but does know zip codes. ===take vo=== this man says a
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seed pod fell from a tree and cracked his skull. why he's blaming the u-s park service. ===jessica/take vo=== plus: cars and trucks colliding with trains. what caltrain is doing to try to prevent more crashes. ===next close=== next. finally tonight, a heartwarming story about two best buddies who neither snow nor rain nor age can separate. a postman and his side
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kick known for putting their own stamp on friendship. here's kerry sanders. >> reporter: some kids dream of being spiderman or batman. but 4-year-old carter admires a different superhero. >> it's time for mr. mike. >> reporter: the mailman. >> i see him. >> reporter: every day right outside his window. >> he's right there. >> reporter: postman mike. nine years on the job but only one route like this. >> hey, buddy. >> reporter: a most unusual friendship. >> ready to help me? i'm going to need a lot of help today. >> okay. >> reporter: the cheerful mailman. >> what are you doing in the road? hey. >> reporter: and his little buddy. >> good work. >> reporter: the invisible mailman to most of us to your son is -- >> everything. he's a hero. >> you are going to get fired, buddy. >> what's fired mean? >> reporter: here getting bills has never been so much fun. >> love you. >> love you. i can reach this one. >> reporter: to
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carter, the entire postal system is just one man, mike. >> good job. >> he sent a letter to one of his grandparents in texas and handed it to me one day. i said we'll get it there, buddy. he said i've got a long way to drive. >> you have a package. >> reporter: to explain how it works, the letter carriers in knoxville invited this pint-sized postman to their sorting center. >> whose house is this? >> ours. >> reporter: a first class friendship. >> we deliver the mail. >> reporter: a forever stamp of approval signed, sealed, delivered. kerry sanders, nbc news, knoxville. >> who needs e-mail with those two on the job? love it. that's going to do it for us on a thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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eye nbc bay area news starts now. cannot take care of himself. he is now dependent on friends and family. >> one man's life forever changed because of something that fell from a free in a park. the fight he's now taking up to stop it from happening to anyone else. good evening. >> only on nbc bay area, a freak accident that caused permanent brain damage. a navy veteran says a 16-pound seed pod fell from a tree and hit him on the head. here is a picture now. the 50-year-old vet and his injury. you can see his eye and head
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there. he says it happened during fleet week of last year. we are in san francisco this evening. what exactly is a seed pod, and is there a risk now for other people? >> reporter: well, a seed pod is something that fell from a particular type of tree that isn't from this area. yes, it is a concern to other people. now that vet was here in maritime park. as you mentioned, he was here to watch the blue angels from that 16-pound seed pod came crashing down. he says changing his life forever. it was during fleet week last year when he was knocked unconscious.

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