tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC September 23, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
tonight, god bless america. the pope speaking from the heart, embracing and challenging our country on this historic day. first mass on soil and a parade with tens of thousands looking for a glance or a touch orlessing. parents handing over children to be kissed. but there is controversy as the pope canonizes some say isn't a saint. >> some show his lead falling, and donald trump reignited a media war and points fingered at hillary clinton over president obama's birth. and the head of volkswagen ceo busted for cheating its way around the lot. tonight the fallout on the car lot. and remembering yogi.
the hall of famer whose home plate heroics an home spun wisdom made him a legend. "nightly news" begins right now. pope francis in america. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. reporting tonight from washington. good evening. for pope francis a day that began at the white house ended at the alter, behind us the shrine of the immaculate conception where behind us pope has concluded a mass in front of an estimated 23,000 people. a moment wrapped in joy and controversial as we explain in a few minutes. but we see at infection and adoring crowds and an equally adoring pope. all swept up in a sea of excitement along the streets of washington. babies held high and children blessed. the lighter moments of a day that brought together two of the most powerful men on earth. who also happen to share a similar agenda.
we begin our coverage of nbc's anne thompson ann? >> reporter: lester, today the humility of pope francis intersected with the seat of american political power. his compassion winning the day as he some very controversial issues. today pope francis met the american people. the average, and the elite. pulling up to the white house in the modest fiat for an elaborate presidential welcome. >> and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of jesus' teachings. >> we are living in a critical moment in history. >> reporter: the blunt-speaking pope outlined his priorities. the son of an immigrant family he praised the roots and urged the protection of religious freedom and commended president's out reach to cuba and action on climate change. >> climate change is a
problem we can no longer be left to our future generations. >> reporter: a beaming president obama took the pope for a tour of the white house and a private meeting. and then under a cloudless sky he toured in the pope-mobile. blessing the 50,000 along the route, kissing children and by every indication enjoying himself. >> it was a blessing to see him. he waved to us and we just felt the energy. >> the whole world came together as one. >> there was work to do, the business of the church. the pope delivered a pep talk of sorts to brother bishops, acknowledging the pain of the sex abuse crisis and making sure it is never repeated. here at st. matthew's cathedral he brought up immigration again, telling them to welcome immigrants an they will enrich the nation and the church. while outside a small protest demanding women freedom.
he finished day with another historic moment. canonizing the first saint on u.s. soil, juipero serra. a controversial priest who founded missions in california. ending a day that saw some often bitterly divided city united in joy. >> god bless america. [ applause ] >> reporter: now tomorrow we expect to hear more from pope francis on issues such as income inequality and immigration and climate change as he addresses a joint meeting of congress. first pope ever to do so. lester. >> and now the pope coming face-to-face with the diverse of america. people from all over the country who came to see him and meet him and if they were lucky to be blessed by him. many with stories rooted in faith and hope. and what they discovered was a pope who seemed just as eager to meet them. nbc's tom costello spent his day in the crowds. >> reporter: on a perfect sun-drenched day, pope francis emerged from the papal tour to the cheers of the faithful and the
delight of catholic school kids. >> it was really cool. >> yeah, we got to touch him and stuff and shake his hand. it was awesome. >> reporter: to those who had arrived early for this day it was awesome. he blessed the crowd and stopped to take selfies. this 16-year-old selfie quickly went viral. >> it was a once in a lifetime experience. it felt great. it was amazing. >> reporter: but the pope had a special request. >> pray for me. >> i will. i promise. i promise. every day. >> reporter: tens of thousands poured on to the streets of washington. francis riding down constitution avenue and smiling and waving and blessing the crowd. so many came with heart wrenching stories of sadness and loss. this family lost their twin sons named after two previous popes. they came to get their daughter closer to francis. >> it was a very joyful experience for the family.
>> yes. tears of joy, absolutely. he is just amazing. >> reporter: of the many images today, this one. 5-year-old sophie cruz broke through the lines and scooped up by security. but francis called for her to come close. a few words and a hug and she handed him a t-shirt with this letter. her parents are undocumented workers from mexico who traveled from los angeles. she had rehearsed her message to the pope. please protect my parents. >> because every day i'm scared that one day they will take them away from me. >> reporter: her proud father relishing her moment with poppa francisco, a day of special moments and memory. tom costello, nbc news, washington. amid the excitement there is controversial. during the first mass he led the first canonization ever to take place in america but some say the figure he just elevated to sainthood isn't worthy of it. joe fryer explains. >> reporter: up and
down california's majestic coast you find a series of catholic missions steeped in faith and controversy. today pope francis canonized the man who founded many of the missions, father juipero serra. but to many native americans, they think he is no saint. >> it is painful that our lives don't matter. >> reporter: starting in 1769 serra and his fellow missionaries came here to what is now known as california. they established nine of the states 21 missions, including this one in carmel, where serra is now buried. at time tens of thousands were converted to catholicism and worked at the missions. but vincent medina said some of his ancestors were beaten and many died of disease. their culture nearly erased. >> people went beyond their era of their time to be super human and i doan think juipero serra was better than his hare. >> this distant cousin
and boss in san francisco yet he supports the cannonization. >> the holy father has declared this year as a year of evangelization and sharing the gospel and and juipero serra is a gospel bearer. >> reporter: despite the difference of opinion, both men attended the mass today where medina read scripture in the native language of his ancestors. >> it shattered every single stereo type that we're not here any more. >> reporter: no longer forgotten, the language is now reawakened for the world to hear. the pope said today he thought serra sought to protect native americans from those who were abusing him. here at the mission a few hundred watches the mass, breaking into applause when serra became a saint. many here feel he is responsible for bringing them their faith. lester. >> joe fryer in carmel, thank you.
let's turn to politics now. and while donald trump retains his lead in the polls among the republican candidates, the gap has narrowed. yet he is making headlines over what he said and didn't say about president obama's birth place. more on it tonight from nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: trump in charleston, south carolina. once again hammering birtherism. but saying it was hillary clinton who started it. >> yet in 2008, she was the original birther. she's the one that started that whole thing. hillary is a birther. >> reporter: clinton's chief strategist in 2007 did circulate a memo saying the lack of american roots but did not suggest he was born outside of the united states. a charge clinton today called ludicrous. >> this is such a bad example of what is wrong with instantaneous reactions and americans getting all worked up and people feeding prejudice and
paranoia like donald trump. >> reporter: trump's crack today a departure on what he claimed on colbert last night. >> barack obama, born in the united states. >> i don't talk about it any more. i talk about jobs, i talk about our veterans being horribly treated. i just don't discuss it. >> reporter: yet he keeps bringing it up. three months in, the trump playbook is well-known. self-promote and attack. >> he tells me he won't change. that brawling swagger, that bravado, it will remain. >> reporter: and this afternoon the front-runner declared he was boycotting fox news for not treating him fairly. fox shot back, trump doesn't seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country. as for the news of the day and the pope who seems to advocate for gentler immigration, donald trump who is holding a town hall said he will not change his stance that this country needs a stronger border. lester. >> and katie, for
hillary clinton, another chapter in what seems the never ending story of her e-mails. it turns out the fbi has recovered deleted personal and work e-mails from her private computer service. andrea mitchell has been following this story and is here with more, andrea. >> lester, that is right. just when hillary clinton was trying to get out from under the controversy, new reports that the fbi has been able to recover some of the deleted e-mails, both personal and work related from the private service. she turned over the server to the fbi last month after they started to investigate how classified information was handled on her private account. the recovery of her additional mails continues a drip, drip, drip from this issue. and a new poll today has and joe biden who has yet to decide if he is running and bernie sanders closing in on clinton. clinton is at 33% and biden at 25% and sanders at 24%. biden advisers say he will likely make a decision in time to be on the stage for the first democratic debate next month.
>> andrea, thank you. and a follow up tonight on the big commuter hacking attack in which fingerprint images of government employees were stolen. the office of personal management said today 5.6 million prints were stolen. not 1.1 million as first reported. the u.s. believes it was part of a chinese espionage operation and the president intends to discuss cyber security when he meets with the chinese president this week. the humanitarian crisis in europe continues to grow, and increasingly exposed fault lines has western european countries force a deal on the eastern counter parts to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of refugees coming in from syria and elsewhere. but as the arguing continues so does the suffering. our report tonight from nbc's bill neely. >> reporter: europe is battling to control its migrant crisis. french police firing teargas and migrants attacking, furious they have been blocked from reaching britain. across europe, refugees are on the
move and exhausted. countries say they are overwhelmed, croatia seeing 30,000 in a week and deploying riot police. the migrants are bused to hungary where armed troops and armored vehicles await. they are searched by police. even small children. women having hairpins removed. >> how they deal with the people in this way. >> reporter: the troops have been given new powers to open fire on migrants with rubber bullets and teargas to keep order and to keep them out if needed. europe's leaders have agreed to take in 120,000 migrants. less than a quarter of those who have come. the u.n. saying it is no solution. >> this is europe's last chance to get things right. >> reporter: because they are still coming. 3000 people arriving within hours today on dozens of flimsy boats
on one greek island. europe is still struggling to contain a crisis that is straining the unity, values and reputation. bill neely, nbc news, croatia. and still ahead as we continue here tonight, the disastrous consequences for volkswagen. from the board room to the dealerships. a black eye for a once trusted brand over the scandal effecting millions of cars. also more on this historic day in washington. a family that said a miracle carried them hundreds of miles to receive the pope's blessing. why do so many people choose aleve?
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tonight the volkswagen ceo is out of a job. he is resigning over the scandal tarnishing the automaker's name. reports of 11 million cars worldwide rigged to trick emissions testing. nbc's janet shamlian has this report. >> reporter: as the volkswagen dealership in the woodland's texas, the showroom is quiet. buyers, the gm said, is staying away and sales have taken a nosedive. >> how much have sales dropped in the last few days? >> well literally we went from selling 13 new cars on saturday and one yesterday. >> reporter: volkswagen has admitted cheating by rigging millions of diesel models from 2009 to 2015 making them appear much less polluting then they are. this man owned a 2011 volkswagen jetta and
loves it and believes the company's claim of low emissions. >> i'm not pleased by it no. it doesn't encourage me to buy another volkswagen. >> reporter: the scandal is growing. worldwide 11 million cars are effected. today the ceo martin winterkorn resigned saying i'm stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible. and german engineering may have taken a major perhaps irreversible hit. cnbc's phil le beau. >> what happens next. are you driving a vehicle no longer in compliance with air rules. will you get a new vehicle. will the engine be modified. >> reporter: so many unknowns. volkswagen has apologized and is promising swift action. until then, drivers like nate silver are sitting idle. >> i'm waiting to see what they do to fix the problem. >> reporter: at the woodland's volkswagen location, they are not waiting. this year's effected models have been moved off the showroom floor to the back of the lot. janet shamlian, nbc
news, houston. we're back in a moment to pay a tribute to a legend who was as famous for his word play as his play on the field. 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™. vo: new namzaric is approved for moderate to severe alzheimer's disease in patients who are currently taking, and can continue to take certain doses of both namenda and donepezil. new namzaric is the first and only treatment to combine 2 proven alzheimer's medicines into a single once-a-day capsule that works 2 ways to fight the symptoms of moderate to severe alzheimer's disease. once-a-day namzaric may improve cognition and overall function and may slow the worsening of symptoms for a while. namzaric does not change how the disease progresses. it shouldn't be taken by anyone allergic to memantine, donepezil, piperidine or any of the ingredients in namzaric. before starting treatment, tell the doctor about any medical conditions they have...
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of the many clever sayings attributed to yankees' great yogi berra over his lifetime, this one comes to mind tonight. always go to other people's funerals, he said, otherwise they wouldn't come to yours. the world lost yogi last night at the age of 90. a man who knew how to win but also how to transcend the game. here is harry smith. >> it seems like a long time ago. baseball was never more important. the yankees never more dominant. and yogi berra was day in and day out the best player. durable and dependable and clutch. yes, he became famous for the yogi-isms that
belied the befuddling wisdom. "it ain't over until its over." "it's deja vu all over again." "when you come to the fork in the road, take it." >> i don't know i say these things. i really don't. i could be sitting at the table and they say dad, you said another one. >> he was belittled for his looks and then regarded as his dim wit and a cartoon changed that. yogi the baseball player became as beloved as yogi the bear. a lot of thinking lately. about miller lite. what a profound concept. >> and when his playing days were done his mellow props turned profitable. >> and they give you cash, which is just as good as money. >> yogi was just a guy. just an average guy. and that's what made him just so loveable. >> reporter: yet the average guy doesn't have ten world series rings. he said it best.
baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical. harry smith, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment from washington with a blessed day for one american family. their unforgettable moment with the pope. there's something out there. that can be serious, even fatal to infants. it's whooping cough, and people can spread it without knowing it. understand the danger your new grandchild faces. talk to your doctor or pharmacist about
this is the scene in washington, d.c. people waiting to greet the hope after a long day as he returned to his residence here in d.c. just every everybody who got to see him will go home with memories to last a lifetime, but to some, a family that came from florida, we get the story from rehema ellis. >> for teresa day and her six children, this is a pilgrimage. inspired by the holy father's message, on monday, they set off on an 870 mile drive from tallahassee, florida. today that journey paid off. >> oh, my god, there he is. >> he came up in his pope-mobile and he is going really slow and i held her up in the air and he did the sign of the cross and he blessed everybody.
and then we just -- we were in total shock. >> reporter: the family wrote in for tickets for today's mass and were shocked when they got seven. >> do you feel you've gotten a miracle already? >> absolutely. more than one, yes. >> reporter: day, a single mom, said her family has seen their share of obstacles. her 12-year-old has autism and epilepsy. her 9-year-old has heart problems. but guided by unwavering catholic faith they get through it. >> we do this all of the time. it is just me and the kids and we want to challenge ourselves and get out and see the world. >> reporter: joining the pilgrimage of thousands, her children's prayers were answered. >> i almost cried because this is actually the only time we probably will be ever to see the pope in our whole entire lives. >> when i'm a grown up, i want to be the pope. >> reporter: one boy's dream inspired by an unforgettable day. rehema ellis, nbc news, washington.