tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 30, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
boots on ground in syria. a change of course in isis. the u.s. now deploying troops despite president obama's repeated promises that he wouldn't give that order. historic floods. torrential rains slam central texas. high water rescues as rivers overflow and an airport and major highway shut down and tornados strong enough to toss a trailer up on a roof. riding a surge. our brand new polls showing senators cruz and rubio winning the debate. those carson and trump are on top. and now a new debate controversy erupts. and speaking out
of after a student is sentenced in a sexual assault case that gripped the nation, the victim's mother talked about her daughter's courage to come forward. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. the american footprint in the war against isis is about to get bigger. and whether you call it boots on ground or advisors as the white house is calling it, for the first time ground troops are inside of syria. the americans, all from special operations, are fewer than 50. the mission said the white house, to assist local fighters. it is a major policy shift that has many wondering whether the door has cracked open to a deerer american ground rule. richard engel has the story tonight. >> reporter: after thundershowers of air-strikes against isis in iraq and syria and 3000 troops back
white house announced a new step. >> the decision that the president has made is to send fewer than 50 special operations forces to sear. >> reporter: in other words, american boots opd ground in syria. something the president said would never happen. >> i won't commit our troops to fighting another ground war in iraq or sear. >> reporter: but tonight the white house announced nothing has changed. >> they are not in a combat mission. >> that is not the mission but they could find themselves in a combat situation. >> there is no denying the amount of risk they are taking on here and they are themself if necessary. >> reporter: that left some military experts skeptical and angry. >> this is domestic politics. there is an element of alice and wonder land to this press announcement. i think it has been rare in american military history to have seen micro management of military operations on the level of this >> reporter: the
announcement came on the same day that talks on syria began in vienna. the u.s., russia, turkey and iran. the but the change in military policy has long time. >> the decision to spend u.s. special forces into syria is a recognition that simply what we were doing wasn't working. the situation on the ground was -- was continuing to deteriorate. >> reporter: a u.s. official tells nbc news the new plan is a three-pronged approach. in northern syria, dozens of american special operations forces will deploy alongside kurtish and arab fighters to battle isis. in northern iraq, the u.s. plans to to have a rapid reaction force to back up troops and allies. and in turkey, more air-strikes by the base by more aircraft. including f-15 bombers and low-flying a-10 warthogs for close air support. although the white house was at pains to admit it, the u.s. is
stepping deeper into the war in iraq and syria, even though it insists nothing has changed and no promises were broken. lester. >> richard, thank you. we want you to know i'll sit down with president obama with a two-part interview, including what he still wants to accomplish as the final year in office approaches. that is monday night here on "nightly news." we're following a major storm emergency happening in texas. one person is confirmed dead as massive flooding overwhelms a huge part of the state. evacuations and roads turning into rivers. a school in san marcos completely surrounded. there have been three reports of tornados and one county has declared a state of disaster. with this system not expected to let up any time soon. janet shamlian is in the storm zone for us. >> reporter: violent storms battering south central texas. record rain, reports of tornados, flooding and widespread damage. evacuations from san antonio to austin.
>> there is one of the vehicles that got washed away. >> reporter: noer a town of wimberley, kathleen and her friends were trapped in a bed and breakfast until rescued by the national guard. >> the water was rising so fast and we didn't know where we were going. >> reporter: sirens warned as the danger as the cypress river spilled over and raced toward homes and businesses. on halloween eve the roads were filled with pumpkins carried away by the storm. in austin, amess. amid the rising water, this woman helped by passers by. >> i quickly rolled down the window and pulled myself up. >> reporter: this was left in a wake. a tractor-trailer like a broken toy on top of a hotel. power lines down everywhere. the roof ripped from a high school. in south texas, a lightning strike knocked out radar at the national weather service in brownsville. rain soaked the state. closing the austin airport which was battered by almost 14 inches in six
hours, more than the city received the entire month of may, which was already the second wettest on record. the swollen blanco river cresting more than 13.5 feet over flood stage. >> i watched it come up. >> reporter: the evacuations along the river bank reminiscence of may lives, including eight people in a home swept down the river. >> it went from nothing to up my >> reporter: this woman was pregnant then. late today, she was rescued with her 10-day-old baby. >> second time. this is the second time this has happened to us. it is almost unbelievable. >> reporter: all eyes are on the blanco river here tonight. while it has receded from the height of the storm today it is still high. and there is another system out there expected to bring more heavy rain in the next couple of hours. back to you. >> thank you. al roker is here. we all sat up straight
will drop amounts akin to a hurricane. >> that is right. this one has done 13 inches and there is more on the way. tornado watches in effect for evening and tonight, damaging winds and tornados. two inch hail possible tomorrow. that system moves to the east and now in louisiana, in the gun sights. one inch hail possible. to give you a sense. we're talking upwards of another 5-6 inches locally, could be 5-7 inches of rain in a square mile, you get an inch of rain. that is the equivalent of 17 million gallons of water. well let me put it to you this way, we have flash flood watches and warnings that cover 75,000 square miles and you put that into perspective. that is 1.27 trillion gallons of water, enough to fill 192,000 pools. >> al, thanks very turning to the race for 2016. we have a brand new nbc news online poll conducted by survey monkey.
the first since wednesday's republican debate showing ben carson in a dead heat with donald trump for the lead. but as for who actually won the debate, the polls show ted cruz on top followed by marco rubio and then trump and carson. over all jep bush fared worst in the debate. hallie jackson is on the campaign trail in iowa. >> reporter: a kind of victory trap planned in iowa but it is colorado the focus today after wednesday's debate. multiple campaigns planning to huddle to compare campaigns. >> just a minute. >> let me finish. >> reporter: now the republican party is suspending february's nbc news telemundo debate, the only debate to be aired on spanish language tv, writing the moderators in engaged in a series of gotcha questions and petty and mean spirit the in tone and designed to embarrass the candidates. nbc news said people who want to be
president of the united states should be able to answer tough questions. nbc news owned by the same parent company as cnbc called it a disappointing development but promises to work in good faith to resolve this mooter with the republican party. more fallout after a debate giving new momentum to ted cruz and mark row rubio who lended a counter punch against jeb bush. >> the super pac supporting rubio -- previewing the first ad is also highlighting cruz, trump and carson as his biggest competitors. not mentioned, his former mentor, jeb bush. that is even as a leaked memo shows the campaign plan to go after rubio, painting him as a risky bet. >> someone decides they want to do the democrats job for them and make it easier for the democrats to defeat a republican, that is the choice they make in their campaign. but i can't let it chafrp my campaign and i won't. >> tonight signs for a shake up for bush. his chief operating officer leaving the campaign as bush
promises to get better as a candidate explaining how to casey hunt. >> we have eight more debates and i'm going to have to do what candidates do which is rudely interrupt and not answer the questions that are asked and hopefully the debate moderators will ask for substantive questions as well. it is going fine. >> are you having any fun? >> oh, yeah. you saw it. i had a lot of fun. >> reporter: expect to see a sharper jeb bush on the trail next week in florida. as we looks to boosts had standing to compete with donald trump and ben carson. still the front-runners on the online poll. >> thank you. now a quick program note. chuck todd will have an interview on sunday morning on "meet the press." federal investigators have begun to examine the charred sections of the jet that caught fire on the runway in florida with over 100 people on board. two remain hospitalized and we are learning about the history of the plane as the ntsb tries to figure out what happened. nbc's kerry sanders
has the latest. >> reporter: aviation sources tell nbc news the boeing 767 had been in storage for two to three years and recently had its left engine replaced. the ntsb investigation starts with an eyewitness from yesterday. >> dynamic out of the left engine it looks like it is leaking a lot of -- i don't know if it is fuel. >> the fire burned about 50 gallons of jet fuel before it was put out. on board, more than 24,000 gallons for a flight to venezuela. >> there is a fire. >> do i know what sparked the flame and the answer at this point is no. ?> dynamic international airways is a charter airline with only five planes. but like all that operate in the united states they are subject to faa regulations an the same maintenance requirements. the faa tonight has no record of maintenance problems with dynamic. the flames that could have spread to the cabin were extinguished within
broward sheriff fire department. >> this is an aircraft engine fire. eric engine fire per the battalion. >> reporter: it worked like the text book. >> it worked better than text book. >> reporter: tonight some of the passengers boarded a flight to car acus. >> i'm not worried. i just want don't want to think about it. >> the ntsb ned a report on the cause could be more than a year ago. kerry sanders. lauderdale. emergency, two high school students from northern virginia are in a burn unit after a serious fire broke out in their chemistry lab as the teacher was demonstrated various fires. and as tom costello reports it is the latest example of how dangerous school labs can be if things don't >> reporter: it happened at one of the top high schools in the country. wt woodson high. fairfax county fire rescue dispatched just
after 9:40 this morning. >> building at 9525 main street, woodson high school, report of a fire in a room, kilo 105. >> the chemistry classroom. >> result is annagen ol fire. we do have fire in the room. >> reporter: a teacher and five students burned, all taken to area hospitals. two airlifted to d.c. burn units, one in critical condition and rushed to surgery. it happens during a routine demonstration. >> it was a demonstration on fire and the different colors of fire. >> the school was quickly evacuated with many students concerned about the injured. >> it is kind of scary knowing this could happen to anybody in chemistry class. >> although they are rare, when they occur the results can be tragedy. this boy suffered second degree burns. >> i was right front
last month four students were burned demonstration. the instructor who didn't have a teacher's license has been criminally charged. and now the risk say experts may also increase. news, washington. still ahead tonight, the case that dominated the prep school student convicted in a case that exposed an alleged culture of sex at one of the nation's top prep schools. now in an nbc exclusive the victim's silence. also the huge head blimp is still givin i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. and that unlimited 2% cash back of dollars each year going back
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tonight an nbc news exclusive. just a day after sentencing in a closely-watched sexual assault trial, the victim's mother is breaking her silence. the case ripped a lid off a sorded tradition at a prep school and gave us a rare look into teen's attitudes about sex. our natalie morales has the one-on-one interview. >> it is a case that captured the nation's attention. at the center, owen lab re, a former student at st. paul's school in new hampshire, accused of raping a 15-year-old girl whose identity we are concealing. victim's mom is speaking out now exclusively for the first time. >> when did you first know and when did she tell you what happened to her? >> i'll never for ged it.
it was at midnight and she called my crying unconsolably and she said something awful had happened. >> reporter: prosecutors say he lured the girl to a roof where they had sex. they say it was part of a ritual called senior salute. which involved graduating senior boys wooing younger girls. the case went to trial this summer. he was acquitted of felony rape charges but found guilty of a lesser felony. using a computer to lure his underage accuser and found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault. the victim testified against him. a brutal experience, according to her mom. >> it has been excruciating for her. but being a pretty pure soul, she just wanted to do what was right. >> reporter: yesterday, a judge sentenced labry to a year in jail and he is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. the victim spoke emotionally in a video played during
sentencing. >> without just and right punishment, i really don't know how i'll put one foot in front of the other. i don't want to felix prisoned for the rest of my life. >> reporter: lab re once planned to study theology at harvard. >> he is a kind, loving soul that is a genuine person and to his core he's an incredible person to be around. >> for now he is free while an appeal is pending. natalie morales, nbc news, concord, new hampshire. there will be more of the reporting on the case tonight on the dateline at 10:00, 9:00 central. we're back in a moment with an amazing sight. one of the driest places on earth suddenly in bloom. this bale of hay cannot be controlled. when a wildfire raged through elkhorn ranch, the sudden loss of pasture became a serious problem for a family business. faced with horses that needed feeding and a texas drought that sent hay prices soaring,
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helicopter to lift the nose cone. the rest will be extracted sometime in south america, a rare and beautiful sight. normally this desert in chile is one of the driest places on planet earth but now it is in bloom with purple mellow flowers. it only happens every 5-7 years but heavy rain created the biggest bloom there in decades. incredible picture. and the video of the day comes from peoria, arizona. a frightful driver just in time for halloween as storm gusts blow a giant pumpkin down the street through a busy intersection and fleeing from a business halloween display, bouncing through traffic before finally getting stuck in a neighborhood park. and speaking of pumpkins. when we come back, the amazing creation this is year tha woman: my mom and i have the same hands. same eyes. same laugh. and since she's had moderate alzheimer's disease, i've discovered we have the same fighting spirit, too. that's why i asked her doctor about new once-a-day namzaric .
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halloween like a carved pumpkin. but this year the familiar mugs are getting, well, a face lift. intricatal orange orbs, the handiwork of the manny acpumpkin carvers, turning the run-of-the-mill jack-o-lantern into a work of art. >> it is a work of art and to see it carved into it is exciting. >> but the green of the giant gord has got to be dublin, ohio's janet paris. she doesn't carve them, she paints them. >> i pumpkin-ize. that is what i do. >> this year's offering, a 374 pound head. >> the trump-kin. >> it goes together. i mean, pumpkin -- trump. trump-kin. >> she's pumpkin-ized everything from miley serious and steve jobs to president obama. she works it all out on paper in her kitchen before taking
ten hours to perform the extreme makeover. the trump kin's biggest challenge -- the unmistakable name. >> 638 inch, of varying color. >> she plans to leave it on display past halloween, no matter what happens to the real donald in the scary world of politics. but the first order of business is trick or treat. kevin tibbles, nbc news, dublin, ohio. that will do it night. remember to set your before heading to bed on saturday as daylight savings time comes to an end. halloween. there. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good