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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 2, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> primarily, we're dry for this evening, but a collaphance of thunderstorms tomorrow. lester holt is next with nightly news. >> bye, folks. breaking news tonight on the supreme court cliffhanger. the fbi's background investigation could be wrapped up as early as tonight. is it enough time? and nbc news has learned agents do not plan to interview christine blasey ford. tonight, president trump saying this when asked by nbc news what he would say to young people at this moment. >> it's a very scary time for young men in america, when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. >> and what about young women? >> women are doing great. also breaking, a ricin scare at the pentagon. mail sent to the defense secretary testing positive for the lethal poison. amazon's surprise move. will it start a trend? tonight what it means for workers and amazon customers. a political rising
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star suddenly drops out of his race. the army veteran going public with a very private struggle. how his revelation could help others. caught on camera. football fans outraged and the faa investigating after a police helicopter doing crowd control gets dangerously close. and the new alert coming to your cell phone. why phone also be blaring at the same time all across the country tomorrow. and hang ten, a wall of water 65 feet tall. can you even imagine? tonight, the wave and the fearless woman who rode it to a new world record. >> this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt." good evening, everyone. president trump described today what he could consider a deal breaker in the confirmation of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. tonight, that confirmation is barreling down converging tracks. on one the u.s. senate and majority leader mitch mcconnell today
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insisting a confi confirmation vote will take place this week. while on the other track, the fbi investigation of kavanaugh racing against its own deadline for completion, with key witnesses now on the record. our peter alexander has details. peter, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you. tonight, christine blasey ford's lawyers say "it is inconceivable the fbi would not interview her" as two sources familiar with the matter tell nbc news the fbi could wrap up its background investigation as early as tonight. tonight, president trump is revealing one thing in his mind that would disqualify his supreme court nominee. >> i don't think he should lie to congress, and there have been a lot of people over the last year that have lied to congress, >> reporter: still, the president is fiercely defending brett kavanaugh. >> i think he's been very brutally treated. >> reporter: and casting this as a critical moment for young americans. >> what do you say to young men in america? >> i say it's a very scary time for young men in america when
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you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. you can be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something. but in this realm, you are truly guilty until proven innocent. >> reporter: asked again if he has a message for young women. >> women are doing great. >> reporter: tonight, the fbi's completed its interview with kavanaugh's high school friend mark judge, who said he never saw kavanaugh act in the manner dr. ford described. his lawyer saying, we are not commenting on the questions the fbi asked mr. judge. key republicans weighing in. >> i think the fbi is doing what we've ta to do. swing vote questioning kavanaugh's attacks on democrats on his hearing. >> this whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit. >> i tell myself, you give a little leeway because of what he's been through. but on the other hand, we can't have this on the court.
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we simply can't. >> do you trust that he can be impartial on the court? >> i think he'll be totally impartial. >> reporter: kavanaugh tonight also facing new questions over his affinity for alcohol during high school and college. >> i liked beer. i still like beer. but i did not drink beer to the point of blacking out. and i never sexually assaulted anyone. >> reporter: his former yale classmate, chad ludington, telling cnn, kavanaugh mischaracterized his drinking at yale. >> i've seen brett drunk to the point that he could be passed out. >> but you never saw him passed out? >> i never saw him passed out, but i saw him quite drunk. >> reporter: "the new york times" reports that kavanaugh got into a bar brawl in college. the times obtained a 1985 police report showing a 21-year-old man accused of kvapil throwing ice on him. it's unclear whether anyone was arrested or if charges were filed.
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the white house is blasting it as a desperate attack at a ridiculous story by a reporter who has previously criticized kavanaugh. the president arguing it's all motivating his supporters. >> they are so in favor of judge kavanaugh. you've never seen anything like it. i actually think it's a rallying cry for the republicans. >> reporter: peter alexander, nbc news, the white house. >> reporter: i'm kristen welker. president trump putting the focus on young men today. >> i say that it's a very scary time for young men in america when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. >> reporter: his comments coming a day after his son, don junior, sent a similar message. >> i got boys and i got girls and when i see what's going on, it's scary for all things. >> who are you scared most for kavanaugh story front and center, sexual conduct is being talked about by families across the country. in kansas city, missouri, brady johnstone said he's spoken to his parents about it. >> they would turn to me and say something like, you know, you know what's going on here, like
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one small mistake your career could be over. just be conscious and smart and respectful. >> reporter: parent and pastor trevor atwood in tennessee says he's tried to teach his sons what is and isn't appropriate behavior. >> i'm going to teach them to choose to do the right thing, to treat women with honor and dignity and respect. >> reporter: still, ray allen, the father of three sons who lives in maryland, thinks the focus shouldn't be taken off women. >> it's a scary time for both young women and men. >> reporter: what is your message to your younger sons going to be once they're old enough to understand this moment? >> the message is the same, no means no. >> reporter: parents across the country trying to turn this flash point into a moment of learning. kristen welker, nbc news, washington. there's more developing news tonight. a scare at the pentagon where mail delivery has been shut down after tests on letters sent to top officials detected a possible poison. the feds now
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investigating, and our justice correspondent pete williams has late details. >> reporter: initial field tests on two suspicious looking envelopes addressed to the pentagon suggested possible traces of the deadly poison known as ricin. they were stopped at a mail sorting facility, separate from the pentagon building, addressed to defense secretary james mattis and the chief of naval operations john richardson. a similar letter was addressed to the white house but stopped well before it got there. another was sent to the houston campaign office of senator ted cruz, but tests there for anything hazardous turned up negative. law enforcement officials say tonight they don't consider any of these letters to be dangerous, and they say they are following some promising leads about where the letters may come from. lester? >> pete williams, thank you. tonight, dangerous weather is on the move in both ends of the country. in the southwest, torrential rain from the remnants of hurricane rosa. millions are under flash flood watches in phoenix and salt lake city. and severe storms from ohio to connecticut. already reports of tornado
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damage in pennsylvania and a dangerous night expected ahead. today, over a year since the violence in charlottesville, four men described as members or associates of a militant white supremacist organization are now under arrest. they are accused of flying from california to virginia with the intent to incite a riot and commit violence at the unite the right rally. prosecutors say they assaulted a black men, two women and a minister. a big announcement from amazon. it's raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for u.s. employees, more than double the federal minimum wage. nbc business correspondent jolene kent has the potential impact on workerston you, the customer. >> reporter: under growing pressure from workers and lawmakers, amazon delivering a major pay raise ahead of the critical holiday shopping season. all 350,000 workers in the u.s. at both amazon and whole foods, will earn at least $15 an hour starting november 1st,
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including full-time, part-time, and contract employees. senator bernie sanders one of ceo jeff bezos' harshest critics, reacting today. >> i hope very much that other corporate leaders around the country will follow his example. >> reporter: earlier this year, walmart bumped up its pay to $11 an hour, amid a growing national campaign to increase minimum wage. today, workers in detroit rallying. >> i think this will embolden workers, as well as politicians, to push for changes both at other retail companies, as well as other tech companies. >> reporter: as for amazon shoppers, analysts do not expect the higher pay to push prices up, at least for now. now, remember those corporate tax cuts that went into effect earlier this year? they aren't boosting paychecks. surveys show only a fraction of companies are now using their tax savings to raise wages. >> thank you very much. communities in tennessee are on alert as authorities hunt for a suspect at a deadly
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crime spree. kirby wallace is suspected of killing a man in a carjacking monday and wanted in a deadly home invasion. police b couple and set fire to their home. the wife was killed, her husband escaped with injuries. we turn now to a high profile war veteran going public with a very personal decision. jason kander, a rising star in the democratic party, dropping out of the kansas city mayoral race, saying he wants to get help for something that afflicts so many of our veterans, ptsd. nbc's cynthia mcfadden has his story. >> reporter: jason kander is 37 years old. today, he made a very hard decision, and a brave one. he will not run for mayor of kansas city. it's the reason that has drawn national attention. in an open letter released to war veteran, says he has post traumatic stress disorder. after 11 years of trying to outrun depression and ptsd symptoms, he writes, i have finally concluded that it's
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faster than me. so i have to stop running, turn around and confront it. he joined the military after 9/11. >> at that moment, i just decided instead of putting that in the someday category, i was going to serve my country. >> reporter: but tonight admits that service has left him needing help. kander is not alone. about 8 million americans in any given year will have ptsd. and between 11% and 20% of veterans. some experts believe the number may be much higher. he wrote, i was afraid of the stigma. i was thinking about what it could mean for my political future if someone found out. so much worse, he says, that last week he called the v.a. for help. i found myself on the phvetens' crisis line, tearfully conceding that, yes, i have had suicidal thoughts and it wasn't the first time. >> it's important that he's come forward because it gives veterans permission to give voice to what they're
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suffering from. and mental illness is as real as any other illness. >> reporter: tonight, kander has a message. if you're struggling with something similar, it's okay. it doesn't make you less of a person. in fact, what jason kander is showing all of us is that courage comes in many forms. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news. >> a powerful message. we turn now to the increasingly desperate situation after that earthquake and tsunami decimating the coast of indonesia. the death toll now officially over 1200, and fears it could get much higher. after a day's long journey, tonight nbc's janice mackie frayer has made her way inside the disaster zone. >> reporter: we arrived to devastation in every direction. at this hotel that collapsed during the earthquake, rescuers are using sniffer dogs in their desperate search for dozens of people still trapped in the rubble. as long as the dogs are barking, you'll keep looking? >> yes.
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yes. >> reporter: but there is so much rubble to search here. satellite images show how the earthquake and tsunami altered the landscape. buildings before and after. the town's entire coastline swallowed by the sea. the powerful quake and 18-foot wall of water, striking with little to no warning. some homes just floating away. today we felt aftershocks. there have been hundreds so far. and at the airport as we came in, scores of people were getting out, wounded and weary, boarding military planes to be evacuated from here. days after disaster struck, aid is still only trickling in to a gently low on villages where 280,000 little is known about people dozens of are cut off. police are protecting aid convoys from looters. people here are desperate. >> janice mackie frayer in the disaster zone, thank you. staying overseas for a moment.
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first lady melania trump touching down today in africa, the start of a five-day tour, making headlines not only because it's her first major solo international trip, but also because it follows her husband's oval office comments about african countries. nbc's ron allen is traveling with the first lady. >> reporter: america's reserved, understated first lady taking a bold step, arriving in ghana, gateway to africa. a warm welcome to a continent that president trump once called "s-hole" countries. mrs. trump here to extend her be best initiative, to help children overseas. highlighting what she sees as successful programs funded by u.s. foreign aid, like the moms and babies getting better nutrition and getting healthier hi the president favors cutting foreign aid, which funds the very programs mrs. trump will focus on, not just in ghana, but malawi, kenya and egypt. during her week-long mission. why africa? >> her choice.
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she chose africa. >> reporter: us, id's mark reed hopes the visit shines a light on what this money can do for people like this woman who works at this clothing factory, who can earn enough to take care of her kids for the first time. >> i'm very happy. >> it is about showing what american compassion in action looks like. >> reporter: today, nothing but praise from the president. >> it was beautiful. she's doing a great job as first lady. >> reporter: and true to form, the first lady made no public comment. her presence on the continent speaking volumes. ron allen, nbc news, across ghana. still ahead, outrage erupts after a police helicopter buzzes a tailgating crowd turning tents and grills into flying projectiles. fly projectiles. emergency alert. why your phone and everyone else's will go off at the same time tomorrow.
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tonight, federal officials are investigating a scary scene caught on camera. police helicopter called in to help with crowd control at a football game, but fans say the chopper got way too close, dangerously close.
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and somebody could have gotten seriously hurt. our national correspondent miguel almaguer has the video. >> reporter: tonight, the faa launching an investigation after football fans say this police helicopter flew dangerously low, thrusting projectiles through the air as thousands gathered for a penn state football game. >> what the [ bleep ]! >> i thought i was going to die. terrified of maybe it landing, maybe something happened with the helicopter and hitting one of us. >> reporter: police say it unfolded saturday when a tailgating crowd became unruly. >> oh, my god! >> reporter: after an officer was injured, the pennsylvania state police helicopter was called in. >> my first instinct was to hit the floor and cover my head, because there was a ton of debris flying around. >> reporter: flying an estimated 50 feet off the ground, tents, trash, even grills, flew across the field. >> i would never use this tactic.
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at 50 feet, you're going to be on the ground in two to three seconds if you lose the engine in that helicopter. and you're going into the crowd. >> reporter: after commands were ignored to leave, police insist it is rare to resort to these expanded interventions. a tactic tonight some are calling more dangerous than the crowd itself. miguel almaguer, nbc news. coming up, the new national alert system, what you need to know before the first test, tomorrow.
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ert coming to n your cell phone. it's happening tomorrow. phones all across the country getting a message from the president. the first test of its kind in case of a national emergency. nbc's tom costello has the heads up. >> reporter: the new national alert system will be similar to the alerts we all received during dangerous weather, a police operation, or amber alert. now the president will be able to issue alerts during
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natural disasters, terror attacks, even war. the first nationwide test tomorrow at 2:18 p.m. eastern. first, an alert tone. then a message sent to all cellular devices, tvs, and radios. the homeland security secretary today. >> my biggest concern is that we are not poised to anticipate and defend against emerging threats. >> this is not a drill. take immediate action measures. a false alarm in hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile caused widespread panic. the new presidential alerting system is to be used only in real emergencies, not for sending political messages. and builds on the alert system used on radio and tv for decades. >> people of my generation got our news through tv, radio. my kid's generation now get their information, get their news on the internet, on their phone. >> reporter: tomorrow's test should only momentarily disrupt
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conversations as the government hopes to harness the power of technology in times of national emergency. tom costello, nbc news, chantilly, virginia. up next, surf's up, way up. the incredible video of a surfer shattering a world record. college roommate and he o
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knew one of his accusers. we asked this bay area man, who does he he was judge kavanaugh's college roommate and knew one of the accusers. we ask this bay area man who he believes. and the type of crime that's likely to happen right here in the finally, the surfer riding a wave of fame after setting an amazing new world record, and she did it in the same place where she had one of the scariest moments of her career. stephanie gosk now with our nightly snapshot. >> reporter: off the coast of portugal, the ocean converges on an underwater canyon, 1,000 feet deep. it's where sea swells turn into monster waves and surfers come
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to break records. on january 18th, brazilian surfer maya gabeira caught the break she was waiting for. on monday, the world's surf league and the guinness book of world records called it. that ride broke the record for the biggest wave ever surfed by a woman. 65 feet call, more than six stories, and gabeira nailed it. what makes it more incredible, where she was five years ago. this same spot, sucked under and lost in the white water. she described the moment to outside tv. >> i was going down a really big wave and i lost control. i was unconscious because of the hit and the impact. >> reporter: she broke her ankle and struggled to get to the surface. unconscious, it took two minutes of cpr to revive her. >> i wasn't really born to do what i do, but i chose my path and i was focused enough and lucky enough to be able to chase my dreams and
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make it a reality. >> reporter: now she has a world record to go along with all that resilience. stephanie gosk, nbc news. >> what an incredible achievement. that's "nightly news" for this tuesday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc towing troubles. how a south bay city is taking some of the sting out of right now at 6:00, how a south bay city is taking some of the sting out of getting towed. also number one in the country. san francisco tops a new list, but it's not a flattering one. but first, the fbi investigation could wrap up tonight, but a bay area man who roomed with supreme court nominee brett cakavah feds. the news at 6:00 starts right now. >> the fbi has been instructed to wrap up its investigation by friday. as of tonight, palo alto's christine blasey ford has not been questioned by the feds. >> but the fbi may interview
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another person from the bray area, jamie coach. today he spoke with marianne favro about the sexual assault allegations and the investigation. >> reporter: jamie roach is now a ceo of a bay area company and today he told me he expects the fbi to talk to him about allegations from a second accuser, debra ramirez. she alleges kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were both students at yale. >> reporter: the senate's top republican is pushing for a vote on friday. today nbc news has learned the fbi does not currently plan to professor christine blasey f th hearing is enough. and now there are new questions about brett kavanaugh's sworn testimony about another accuser. >> if you

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