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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  November 12, 2015 5:30pm-6:00pm CST

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lester holt." good evening. we start with greig danger t t sky w wch threatened nearly 2 dozen flights last night alone. the fbi is looking for potentially dozens of suspects who lit up the skies with laser pointers in 16 cities. one targeted the helicopter of our nbc station here in new york city which aimed its camera lens at the source catching the alleged culprit in the act. tom costello now with a rare pilot'ssiew of this alarming threat from the ground. it happened 1,500 feet over brooklyn. a bright green laser light suddenly lit up the nbc 4 helicopter cockpit. >> don't look, george. >> reporter: the reporter and his pilot nearly blinded as they hovered above the city. on the ground, a man who appeared to be targeting not only the nbc chopper but nypd chopper, too. >> we can see him standing outstse the ilding in the back with thehe lacer in his
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hand shooting at us. >> there's another arrest. >> reporter: police quickly moved in making one arrest. at the same time in dallas -- three aircraft were targeted near lafield. faa reports last night alone more than 20 aircraft were struck by lasers nationwide, from upstate new york to detroit, cincinnati to salt lake, sanan juan, puerto rico to los angeles. a number of attacks is growing. as of mid october, more than 5,300 strikes this year compared to 3,900 last year. at u.s. park police headquarters today where the s.w.a.t. team practiced repelling, they showed how the laser light can blind the pipit. they a a five milla watts or more. the eye damage can be irrersible. >> as we are coming in for a landing, the whole pock pit illuminates in almost
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like a green haze. >> reporter: no suspect was identified. pointing a laser at a plane is a felony punished by up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine. so far, at least 50 ople h he been convicicd. their sentences ranging from probation to five years. the suspect in last night's case in new york pleading not guilty. bail set at $20,000. by the way, the fbi says it's typically a male in his teens or 20s who is behind this. they generally don't know what they're doing. but as you know, 5 milawatt lacers are illegal, butou can still buy them online. thank you. no one is immediately dismissing a claim by isis thought was behind twin terrorist womaning ing bombings that killed 48 people in lebanon. coming two weeks after the suspected bombing of a russian jetliner over egypt possibly by isis operatives.
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raising fears isis may be e eanding its reach. our chief foreign correspond richard engel has late details. >> reporter: the bomb exploded in the lebanese capital beirut with devastating effects. more than 40 dead, at least 200 injured. the explosions were at a shopping area with cafes in the southern neighbhbhood. it's also a a strong hold of the shiia militia hezbollah. and hezbollah is fighting against isis in syria. so it surprised no one when isis claimed responsibility for this atrocity which lebanese officials say involved at least two suicide bombers and possibly two more. it means isis is now at war internationally, bombing those who are fighting the group whereverert can find them. >> isis is expanding. and today, tonight's attacks in beirut if reallyarried out by isis, this would
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reenforce its narrative at invincibility. >> reporter: u.s. bombed the russian plane in egypt two weeks ago in response to air strikes by russian jets in syria. isis specifically called for attacks on russia just t ts rning in a new video. anddow isis apparently brought carnage to lebanon to take revenge against hezbollah. there are other countries attacking including the united states. but there's little common ground on how to deal with the group. >> this internal religious civil war is broadening and getting more cruel and dangerous to allll of us. >> repororr: lebanese officials warn the country may be entering a new phase of violence. in the past, similar bombings in lebanon were the work o al qaeda. now it could be isis. the group's target list seems to be widening. thanks. there is late word of another black eye for the u.s. secret service. an employee assigned
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been arrested, a aused of sending sexual messages to someone he thought was an underage girl. our justice correspondent pete williams is in our d.c. newsroom with details. what can you tell us? >> these charges were filed against a member of an officer assigned to check the i.d.s of people with appointments to visit the white house. prosecutors say the officer, 37-year-old lee robert mooreref churchill, ryland, began sending sexually plicit text messages in august to someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl but who was actually an undercover police officer. in one message he said he was, quote, sitting at box office style booth checking i.d.s for entrance into a building. court documents say he sent a sexually explicit photo of himself. he was relieved of duty last week and put on leave. osecutors say afterer he was arrestst, he admitted senenng some explicit messages while he was on duty at the white house. >> pete, thank you. a stunning verdict late today in the sensational trial of
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an aging mobster accused of playing a part in one of the most infamous heists in history, one that became the basis for the hollywood classic "goodfellas." after weeks of testimony revealed details about the heist we never knew until now. the jury says he's not guilty. rehema ellis has the courtroom dra. >> reporter: it was a heist so big, so bold they made a movie out of it. "goodfellas" told the tale of the daring 1978 heist at the lufthansa airline terminal at kennedy airport that netted $6 million in c ch and jewels. it was then t t biggest cash robbebe in u.s. history. for almost 40 years, no one was ever convicted of the crime, and today that remains the case. late this afternoon, the man charged with helping to plan it, 80-year-old reputed mobster vincent asaro walked out of federal
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court in brooklyn a free man, not guilty of a a charges, including racketeering and extortion. >>'d like to thank my two lawyers. without them i wouldn't be here now. i'd like to thank u.s. marshal service for treating me great. >> reporter: it was a stunning defeat for the government and its star witness, asaro's own cousin to turned on him and wore a wire to gather evidence against asaro. asaro saiai -- >> you donon want to know. >> it's probably beyond mob betrayal. it's a blood betrayal. >> reporter: asaro had never been linked to the heist until his arrest last year. based on those secret recordings in which he complained he never got his fair share of the loot. little of the money was ever recovered, and tonight, still no justice a aost four decadede later. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. turmoil at the university of missouri has now led to a major shift in power.
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school's president resigned following protests over his handling of racial incidents, an african-american has been named as his interim replacement. as jacob rascon reports, the student movement is spreading far beyonon that mpus. >> reporter:r:t was time for new leadership at the university of missouri and they chose michael middleton. >> i completely understand the frustration of our students, faculty, staff and community. >> reporter: the former deputy chancellor, now the interim president. >> it is imperative that we hear all of our students and do everything we can to make t tm comfortable and safe. >> reporter: also today, 19-year-old hunterark faced his charge >> we believe he is a danger. >> reporter: court documents revealing he admitted to having deep interest in an active shooter incident which left nine students dead, an apparent reference to last month's rampage at umpqua community
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collegeet oregon. at n nthwest missouri ate university, police arresesd another student for threats against blacks. and today the fbi began looking into threats against black students at howard university. but missouri has ignited a movement from ithaca college to yale. >> the presidents of universities are looking at now. it's reactionary when studenen have been tryiyi to tell them too be proactive. >> reporter: from virginia commonwealth to vanderbilt, university of iowa to the university of southern california. thousands are standing with mizzou. >> this shows the power that engaged students can have in creating change on their college campuses. >> reporter: the dean of students resigned at clalamont mckenna college, as protesters demanded better treatment for hispanics. back in missouri, many see the interim president as a perfect
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fit, a former civil rights attorney and student activist who fought similar issues on the same campus 50 years ago. now he says it's time r missouri to step forward and be a leader. lester? >> jacob rascon, thanks. ben carson is facing new questions about s friendship with a convicted felon. carson has taken a hard line on health care fraud, yet as chris jansing explains, he fought to keep his friend from going to prison for that very same offense. >> reporter: ben carson calls alfonso costa his very best friend. he is a driving force behind carson's charity, owner of a resort where carson vacations, but also a convicted felon. working out of this office as an oral surgeon, costa pled guilty in 2008 scamming more than $40,000 nor insurance companies. nbc spoke sploousively to the prosecutor today. >> he caused thehe insurance companies to finance the expansion of his business. >> reporter: as first
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reported by the associated press, in a bid for leniency, ben carson wrote a letter to the judge saying next to my wife of 32 years, there is no one on this planet i trust more. he testified at costa's sentencing. they became friends because our value systems were almost identical, adding, i love him. >> f fud is fraud. dr. costa pleaded guilty to fraud. >> reporter: costa got three years probation, including a year under house@arrest in this mansion outside pittsburgh. even that sentence was reduced by a year because of his work with carson's charity. but four years after carson appealed for leans lean yens si leanens si for his friend. not advocating chopping off people's lives, but stiff penalty. loss of all of one's personal possessions. costa and his lawyer declined comment. no comment from carson, arriving at a fund-raiser tonight. in a statement today
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said of costa, i know his heart. i am proud to call him my friend. i have always and will continue to stand by him. that is what real friends do. it's been a lucrative friendship. when ben carson filed papers to run for president, they show he and his wife earned between $200,000 and $2 million a year from his business association with costa. lester? >> chris jansing, thank you. there is new hope on the way for american women unable to conceive a c cld because they don't have a uterus or theirs is damaged. the cleveland clinic will perform the first womb transplant in america. eight women are taking part in the screening process. such transplants have been done previously with donatedteruses on nineeomen in sweden. four succecefully have given birth. a pastor's pregnant wife murdered. he says he came home from the gym to find her shot in the head. was it a home invasion
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ask your doctor about viagra. now available in new single packs. we are back now with a murder mystery that shocked the city of indianapolis. a pregnant wife of a young pastor found shot in the h hd inside her home.. her young son found unharmed. authorities believe it was a home invasion robbery. as nbc ron mott reports, a church and
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close community are left devastated. >> reporter: she was a young wife and mother settling into a new life in indianapolis with her pastor husband to start a new church. but on tuesday morning, police say 28-year-old amanda blackburn was shot i the head and later died, the victim of a home invasion and robbery. two weeks ago pastor davie blackburn posted this video to his blog. >> your wife is your best friend, someone you should be willing to lay your life down for. >> reporter: tuesday he discovered his wounded wife after coming home from a workout. >> we found an adult victim side the home unconscious with head trauma. and she was transported to methodist hospital in critical condition. >> reporter: the couple have a toddler son who was home at the time and unharmed and amanda was pregnant with their second child. they moved to indianapolis from south carolina three years ago and found resonate church who offers bibib studies and blogs.
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police say there was a separate burglary hours before she was found. >> for something like that, such a brazen attack, they had a weapon and shot somebody, it makes you scared. you don't want to live in fear, but you can't be paralyzed by that. >> reporter: police released no further details.s. tonight there areo arrests. ron mott, nbc news, chicago. we are back in a moment with the birth control mix-up that more than 100 wowowo found out about after jake reese, "day to feel alive" jake reese, "day to feel alive"
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we are back with a big lawsuit over birth control. over 100 women are suing a drug company because they say a mix-up in the packaging of their birth control pills resulted in unplanned pregnancies. as nbc's anne thompson reports, they want the company to pay millions of dollars in damages. >> reporter: for genenetions, women haveveelied on the pill to avoid pregnancy, but a new lawsuit says eight
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brands of birth control pills failed, putting 113 women in danger of unintended pregnancies because the pills were defectively and dangerously designed, manufactured, packaged, sold and distributed. the defendants, endo pharmaceuticals of quality and qualitest based in pennsylvania. they were packaged upside down so the placebo were taken at the start of the 28-day cycle rather than at the end. that left the women without adequate couldn't recommendation. qualitest voluntary recalled the pills in 2011. the recall involved an extremely smallumber of pill packs and was able to confirm only one defective blister pack was sold. one legal expert says if the women win, the cost of pregnancy and child birth will be reimbursed. recovering the cost of raising a child will be much harder.
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>> most jurisdictions would say having a child is worth it. we all think having a child is worth it in the long run, even though it's a lot of work and a lot of money. >> reporter: of the 28 states the women come from, only seven permit the payment of child rearing. the company says courts have thrown out cases from the recall because the plaintiff couldn't p pve she bought a defective package. anne thompson, nbc news, washington. the heart-stopping video of the day comes from brazil where a security camera was rolling as a man slowly walked across train tracks never realizing the train was approaching at that very moment. astonishingly, the train misses him by a hair, but he never looks up the whole time. apparently ununare he wawa nearly run overer because of that video, the rest of the world is aware. when we come back, how the worst day of this retired soldier's life led to the
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local college. new life for an old sioux city warehouse. and,fromootball to volleyball.. siouxland teams try to play for a chance to advance at the state tournament. joyce hoppes with the iowa pork finally,efore tonight only nine living veterans of our nation's longers war
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received the medal of honor that. number rose to ten today in a moving ceremony at the white house. nbc's jim miklazewski has the harrowing tale of an american hero awarded the nation's highest military honor. >> reporter: it was three years ago first lilitenant lorne grover led his team on a deadly mission that changed their lives forever. >> always would be the worst day of my life. >> reporter: it was supposed to be a routine operation in afghanistan. he and his six-man security team guarding a group of high-ranking u.s. and afghan commanders. suddenly two men on motorcycles come speeding around a corner, a clear diversion. out o o no where a third man walked backwards toward the formation. >> he's a threat and i can't shoot him because i can't see a weapon him. >> reporter: agent andrew mahoney knew instinctively this was a suicide bomber. >> he wasn't looking at us. >> reporter: the two americans rush the bomber pushing him away from the othth americanan >> reporter: thissas
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a walking bomb and both of you confronted him. >> i hit him, grabbed him, start pushing him and threw him. mahoney comes and pushes him down and then he just detonated at my feet. >> reporter: miraculously both survived the blast. three american soldiers and a foreign service officer were kikied. groberg was s siously wowoded. after three years of rehab and 33 surgeries, he's back on his feet. today a visibly emotion al emotional groberg was at the white house where he received the medal of honor from president obama. >> on his very worst day he managed to summon his very best. >> reporter: long after afghanistan, he still weaea as bracelett with the four who died. >> we do the best we could as a team and it's combat. that's the reality of it. >> reporter: jim miklazewski, nbc news, the pension. >> that will do it for
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us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you fofo watching and good night.good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm matt breen. (sheila) and i'm sheila brummer. a morningside college class is taking hands-on learning to a whole new level, literally. ktiv's tiffany lane has the story on how students are looking to use drones to get their careers "off the ground."
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they can also be used to spot stowaways on trains, assist law enforcement to find missing people and also deliver items s for stores. learning how to o e drones in those situations is exactly what one morningside college class is looking to do. " they're gonna be requiring people to have drone licenses to fly commercially and stuff. so i feel like i'm kind of the frontrunner of that because not a lot of drone classes are being offered right now. three students from the college and five students from whiting community schools are learning the techninil aspects and laws behind the devices that are changing the course of many future jobs. su "one of the drones used in the class is a quadcopter. now to use it, the left side is to control the height and the right side is to control the steering." "the big advantage of a quadcopter is its ability to hover in one place and really zoom in and focus on taking a high quality shot," "a lot of professional photographers prefer this style." along with quadcopters, the class is also learning how to use fixed wing- drones.
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