tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 15, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
it is going to be a chilly eagles game monday night. >> enews continues now with nbc nightly news with lester holt. have a great evening. tonight -- staying in afghanistan. a stunning about-face from the president who promised to end this nation's longest war. why american troops are being kept there with no end in sight. is he headed to prison? former speaker of the house dennis hastert, once one of the most powerful men in america cutting aeal over charges he paid millions in hush money toe cover-up allegations of sex abuse. going to new extremes. the new forecast for winters released. there are big changes from years past. why millions are in for a roller coaster season. credit card warning. complaints piling up about those new cards with security chips meant to protect you. what you should know and why you should be checking your bills even more closely than usual. "nightly news" begins
right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news with lster holt." >> good evening. we learned today it will be up to the next president to end the american war in afghanistan. a conflict that lasted as long as world wars one and two and the civil war combined. today president obama did an about-face on his previous pledge to bring home all but an embassy security force by the end of next year. instead he announced there will be at least 5,500 american troops in afghanistan into 2017. beyond the end of his term in office. but will more time and more troops make a difference? nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel has been there for some of the war's fiercest battles and has you are a report. >> reporter: it's a war that just won't end. after 14 years, $1 trillion and more than
2,300 american lives lost. the president said today the mission is still not over. >> i've decided to maintain our current posture of 9800 troops in afghanistan through months ofers in yeek 2016. >> reporter: it meant going back on a promise made just last year. >> by the end of 2016, our military will draw down to a normal embassy presence in kabul, with a security assistance component just as we've done in iraq. >> reporter: iraq didn't work out either. the president had hoped to end both wars. he ended up sending thousands of troops back into iraq and said today, thousands will remain in afghanistan. it's note what he wanted. >> i know many of you have grown weary of this conflict. as you are well aware, i do not support the idea of endless war. >> reporter: the president had planned to draw down u.s. forces from about 9, 00 focused on training and counterterrorism
to about 1,000 by the end of next year. under the new plan, those 9,800 will stay through next year and 5,500 will stay after that, too. some veterans oppose the plan. >> there is no assurance this is going to work. there doesn't seem to be a clear plan for the future. >> reporter: but the president is determined. >> i am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort. >> reporter: why? because the u.s.-backed afghan government could collapse without support. the taliban's power base has spread. last month, the group took a major city, forcing the u.s. military to come to the rescue. and it's not just the taliban. now isis is spreading in afghanistan, too. the president suggested more extensions may be coming. >> we're going to continually make adjustments to ensure that we give the best possibilities for success. >> reporter: america's longest war just got longer. >> this kind of effort takes decades. i think it's going to
take decades. >> reporter: the experience of iraq hangs over so much of today's announcement, when u.s. troops left that country, the army quickly collapsed and isis spread. the administration doesn't want a repeat of that in iraq. so the u.s. military could be in afghanistan for a long, long time. >> richard. as the president delivered today's solemn news on troop levels there, we learned potentially shocking new details about the usair strike on an afghan hospital there earlier this month, including new information about the crew of the gunship, questioning the order that resulted in the deaths of so many civilians. our pentagon correspondent jim miklazewski is working that story for us tonight and has fresh details. >> reporter: the evidence was undeniable, the hospital run by doctors without borders in kunduz was in flames, devastated by a usair strike, killing at least 24 hospital staff and patients. the air strike was carried out by an ac-130 gun ship.
nbc news learned that cockpit recordings reveal that the crew actually questioned whether the air strike was legal. a defense official said today it may, in fact, amount to a war crime. for three days the u.s. military failed to acknowledge innocent civilians were killed. >> an air strike was called to eliminate the taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck. >> reporter: four full days after the strike, the u.s. commander general john campbell admitted the worst. >> the hospital was mistakenly struck. we would never intentionally target a protected medical facility. >> reporter: a preliminary investigation indicates the u.s. military forces apparently failed to follow strict rules of engagement in identifying the target. defense officials also acknowledged doctors without borders called the pentagon in the middle of the air strike to report the hospital was under attack. it's not clear that message ever reached the forces in afghanistan. military and defense officials are closely
examining those cockpit recordings. according to one official, if the crew knew the target was a hospital filled with civilians and launched the attack any way, that's a war crime. >> jim miklazewski, thanks. dennis hastert, the longest serving republican speaker of the house in history, one second in line to the presidency, has agreed to cut a deal with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty to charges he paid hush money to cover up allegations of sexual abuse. the deal will bring an end to the sordid case and keep secret the details of what really happened. tonight we have reaction from the family of one of his alleged victims. we get the latest from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: lawyers for dennis hastert told a federal judge in chicago he agreed to change his plea to guilty. the former speaker now 73 was accused of evading federal banking rules and making payments of nearly $2 million in hush money to cover up past misconduct. he was also charged with lying to the fbi
about it. law enforcement officials have said the misconduct was sexual in nature, involving a male student when hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in new york during the 1960s and 1970s. that identity has never been revealed. the sister of another former student there says her brother told her years ago before he died hastert sexually abused him. she told nbc news today she is thrilled by word of a guilty plea. >> i would have liked to see him go to trial for more details to come out, but the main thing is that the truth has come out and his actions have been reve revealed. >> dennis hastert was once the republican party white knight after the leaving candidate admitted he had a series of extramarital affairs. during the clinton it. impeachment debates, he condemned the president's conduct. >> he abused and violated the public trust. >> a guilty plea would
allow him to avoid a humiliating trial that could delve into the details of his past. the government gets something out of the deal, too. >> the government is rightfully concerned about protecting the identity of victims. there are frequently victim whose don't want to testify or go forward. >> reporter: hastert's first state champion wrestler says he respects his former coach. >> he will be my friend forever. he has been and always will be. >> reporter: the judge set october 28th for the plea hearing. his lawyers will see he admits to what's charged. it's possible he may not have to serve any time in prison. >> thank you. new drama in the race for president as the two front runners on the republican side donald trump and bene carson are threatening to boycott the next debate to be aired on cnbc unless organizers meet their demands, including how long they'll be up on that stage battling it out. here is kristen
welker. >> reporter: teaming with bene carson, donald trump is threatening to boycott the october 28th republican presidential debate on cnbc if it lasts longer than two hours and doesn't include opening and closing remarks. in a letter to cnbc, trump and carson described their demands as very reasonable format changes. cnbc, a sister channel to nbc says it is still in the process of discussing its debate format but has not done opening and closing remarks in past debates. in a statement, added it would take the views on the format into consideration as we finalize the debate struck stuart. vice president biden remains undecided. today he played coy. >> are you running for president? >> i'll answer in korean. i'm here to greet president park. >> reporter: sources close to the vice president say he is calling allies in early voting states to ask about his chances. a stark contrast to biden's indecision, hillary clinton
aggressively courting the latino vote in texas, picking up a key endorsement, hud secretary julian castro. he is now the second obama cabinet member to endorse clinton. biden undoubtedly eyeing all of it. for biden, it's all about the dialogue between his head and his heart as he grieves his late son beau. there is news for every american who receives social security and those about to. for only the third time in the last 40 years, there is going to be no increase in benefits next year for millions of retire es and disabled veterans. the reason for no cost of living increase is because consumer prices are flat and the price of gasoline is down 30% from a year ago. tonight, federal forecasters are warning about a big change to come this winter which will feel different from recent years because of el nino. back and with a
vengeance. as miguel almaguer tells us it is wild extremes. >> reporter: today government forecasters set the stage for what's coming this winter, more weather whiplash. citing a rise in ocean temperatures, noaa says the building el nino phenomenon, among the strongest on record, will change weather from coast-to-coast. record snowfall this winter could be replaced by historic warmth. where there was extreme drought there could be epic floods. el nino packing a powerful punch. >> everybody is excited about the great wet hope here, el nino, but remember, you also have to deal with the floods, the mudslides and the general chaos. >> reporter: in the southern half of the country from california through texas to florida, wetter than average. but the pacific northwest and the ohio valley will be much drier. dramatic changes on
the way. just today in texas, heat and fire, while in the northeast, millions are bracing for freezing temperatures. >> last weekend we had temperatures 65 to 70 in the northeast. as we get into the weekend, we'll see the threat of snow in northern new england at higher elevations. >> reporter: the northern half of the country will be warmer than usual while the southern plains and southeast will be colder than normal. a year of extremes. el nino promising more wild weather to come. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. former nba and reality tv star lamar odom continues to fight for his life in a las vegas hospital after being found unconscious at a brothel, spending tens of thousands during his stay there doing drugs. the panic call for help when odom was found. >> reporter: two days after he arrived at sunrise hospital, lamar odom is still unresponsive. his inlaws, the
kardashian family asking the world to pray. the manager the love ranch brothel says she spent many hours talking with odom who told he he just wanted to get out of the spotlight. >> we've all been praying. he's been through a lot. he can get through this, too. >> reporter: the brothel owner tells nbc news odom paid $75,000 and was getting ready to extend his stay. employees told police odom used cocaine the day he arrived and herbal sexual stimulant throughout his visit. odom was inside this vip suite on the bed, fully clothed, still unconscious. it took four men to carry him to the ambulance. he would have been air-lifted to las vegas but didn't fit in the helicopter. video shows odom in the ambulance. >> at this point, the case is ongoing. >> reporter: sources close to the former
nba star tell our sister network e! doctors found multiple drugs in his system that he suffered from a stroke and is in a coma. lamar odom and khloe kardashian's divorce is yet to be finalized so she has legal authority to make medical decisions for him. unconscious for a second day and little but uncertainty ahead. nbc news, las vegas. in south africa, oscar pistorius. olympian found guilty in the death of his girlfriend will be released from prison next week after serving less than a year of his five-year sentence for manslaughter. he is expected to move to house arrest at his uncle's home. pistorius, a double amputee who found global fame as a sprinter claimed he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder when he shot her dead in his bathroom in 2013. still ahead -- they are supposed to be the latest line of defense against fraud. the new credit cards with computer chips recently issued to millions of us are
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>> reporter: ahead of the holiday shopping season there is credit card confusion. >> i didn't know why my credit card wasn't going through. >> reporter: netflix blaming the new chip cards for slower growth saying people are forgetting to update their accounts with their new card information. despite the october 1st deadline, many stores still haven't upgraded to the new chip reiders. some customers say it takes longer to check out. >> the lines have been getting very long. it's pretty annoying. in the past, i would swipe my card. >> reporter: most retailers require only a signature with the new chips, target is going further adding pins to its credit cards, following a massive data breach two years ago. >> when they issued their own card, they are responsible for those. so they get to make the rules. frankly, i applaud them for this. >> reporter: to protect yourself, experts say update all accounts linked to your new card, including expiration date and security code. beware of scammers sending e-mails asking for your personal information and monitor your card statement. the new chips won't
protect online transactions. >> there are new bumps in the road perhaps if you are not used to using it. i would suggest those bumps are pretty small. it adds a layer of protection, even if it's not perfect, it's better than what it was before. >> reporter: but the confusion may have just begun. only 20% of the old magnetic strip cards have been replaced so far. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. we are back with a strange reason for a flight delay that had passengers all abuzz. where our next arrival is... red carpet whoa! toenail fungus!? fight it! with jublia. jublia is a prescription medicine used to treat toenail fungus. use jublia as instructed by your doctor. are you getting this?! most common side effects include ingrown toenail, application site redness, itching, swelling, burning or stinging, blisters, and pain. oh, epic moves, big j! fight it! getting ready for your close-up? ask your doctor
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that's the idea behind a thought-provoking new campaign that's making its point with help from photo shop. here is stephanie gosk. >> reporter: the british edition of "elle" assembles and doctored the photos, showing lonely women at the top. editor lorraine candy. >> there is a huge gender gap around the world in places of power. >> reporter: take away male counterparts in the uk parliament. >> it's shocking actually. until you see it, you don't realize. >> reporter: the same for entertainment and world leaders. the statement "elle" is making is loud and clear. >> it just isn't fair women aren't there. because of our gender we aren't paid the same, recognized the same or promoted the same. >> reporter: we looked at u.s. political leadership. here is the 114th congress freshmen class. candidates for president democrats and republicans. it's lit up the internet. 8 million people
shared the hashtag more women. >> the biggest social media campaign we've ever done, the most watched video we ever put on youtube. >> reporter: triggering a passionate and spirited debate. exploring who is to blame and whether it should matter. that discussion, candy says, is exactly the point. >> this conversation needs to get better and be forefront of people's minds. >> reporter: one way to do that is create an image they won't soon forget. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. >> that is going to do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
oprah rocked by lamar odom's life and death crisis. >> why the tragedy's hitting close to home with oprah now on "extra." lamar odom hits a nerve with oprah. >> it reminded me of having to deal with drugs in my own family. >> extra with oprah's reaction today. new shockers about odom's drug use from the 911 call. >> and khloe kardashian put to the test. >> how she's coping as she's forced to make medical decisions for lamar. >> and the beloved country queen takes on new reports today. real new jersey