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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 9, 2018 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT

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breaking news tonight. hurricane michael explodes to a major category 3. new evacuations as the storm closes in on the anlorida panhe. and new forecasts of life threatening storm e. su ricane michael is a monstrous storm. and the forecast keeps gets more dangerous. >> tonight, the view from a cruise ship caught in the storm. al roker is here with the latest track. the surprise exit catching even top white house officials ofguard. u.n. ambassador nikki haley is out. but why? and who's in the mix to replace her? the final moments caught on camera before "washington post" journalist walked into the saudi consulate in turkey and never came out. shocking new details.
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an accused serial rapist, and hundreds of tapes found in his home. and as we continue our journey across america, our visit to a powerful ntemorial docug a painful chapter in history. ernd a personal discy i'll never forget. >> this is "nbc nightly news with lester holt," ss ac america, live from montgomery. lester holt," across america, live from montgomery. the historic dexter avenue king memorial baptist the historic dexter avenue king memorial baptist church in the heart of montgomery, alabama. a city long known both as the cradle of the confederacy and the birthplace of the civil rights movement. today, aowning its past while embracing its future. a revitalized downtown, home to new tech companies and manufacturing. a charming river front and minor leag baseball. good evening, everyone, from montgomery, alabama. night two of our cross america journey. the pastt this church was none other thr martin lut king, jr., from 1954
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to 1960. it was in the basement here he helped or nize the bus boycott. information, it was just down dexter little bit here that rosa parks famously refused to give up her seat on a bus i 1955. we'll share our stories shortly. but first to hurricane michael. but here in alabama, we are under a state of emergency as the hurricane as just been upgraded to major status, as it makes its run towards the gulf coast, with landfall still predicted along th e florida panhandle tomorrow. tonight, the scramble to hunker down or get out. gabe gutierrez has the latest. >> reporter: tight, time is running out before a rapidly intensifying hurricane michael slams into the florida panhandle. on> hurricane michael is arous storm, and the forecast keeps getting more dangerous. if you don't follow warnings fro officials, this storm could kill you. >> reporter: 35 counties in florida and all of alabama under a state of emgency, michael already drenching cuba.
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cruise passenger shot this video on the storm's edge. >> hurricane michael is going to be a devastating storm. this part of florida has not seen a storm of this magnitude in quite some time. >> reporter: today, a last-minute rush on supplies. barehelves, long lines, frayed nerves. paul potts is boarding up but staying put. >> this is one to watch. i'm usually not too concerned with the hurricanes in florida, but this bears watching. >> reporter: at least 120,000 people are y under mandat evacuation orders. including coastal communities like port st. joe. tell me how worried are you about this storm? >> i'm very worrie it's something we've never faced.an i , we don't know exactly what to expect >> reporter: more than 2,000 national guard members and hundreds s are ate troop on alert. rescue teams just back from hurricane florence in the carolinas are now deploying to florida, as micha takes aim. gabe gutierrez, nbc , news, port st. j florida. >> reporter: i'm kerry sanders on panama city
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beach, where tonight they're preparing to face down a stunning st m surge of 8 to 12 feet. >> there's no wato hide. it's impossible. >> how prepared do you feel the ity is? >> the city's ready. >> reporter: we've o seen the powerthe storm surge before. it's a fast ving and fast rising flash with the power of the atlantic ocean behind it. here on the beach, the force behind a three-foot storm surge would knock me off my neat. hesix feet is near top of the sand dunes. once it overtops them, it can cause the sand du s to breach, allowing flood waters to rush land, submerging homes, buildings, ast reets. 23 years ago, hurricane opal's storm surge was defs pate i -- devastating. the beach disappeared. and that was a problem. so the city piped in sand from deep offshore, extending the beach line out to the high tide mark. going from an average
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of ten fde to 100 feet. the elevation raised seven feet. even the size of the grains of sand, carefuy selected to reduce the severe impacts of a storm surge. building codes have also been stngthened. >> it's coming. there's nothing you can do to stop it. you just prepare the best you can. >> reporter: also in rs the crosshaithis pier, built eight years ago. the boards i'm walking on are supposed to break away during a storm surge. but thisture is designed to hold during a hurricane and it will all likely be tested tomorrow during hurricane michael. lester? >> kerry sanders in pa ma city beach, thank you. al r is monitoring every moment of the storm. al, what's the latest? >> lester, a major hurricane now, a category 3 michael is 295 miles south of panama city, florida, 120-mi-per-hour winds. it's moving north at 12. it's a fast mover, it will make landfall tomorrow afternoon
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ound 1:00, right at panama city and e continue into southeast. so besides the winds, the category 3 storm th it can cause, we've got storm surge t potential of 913 feet, from mexico beach to keaton beach. we'll be watching that closely. and of couhe rainfall. anywhere from 5 to 10 inches of rain, locally a r more. the only good thing about this, lester, is it's a fast mover. back to you. >> we'll be keeping a close watch on this on we want to turn to the surprise exit that caught even some of aides off guard. top u.n. ambassador nikki haley says she's resigning. the latest shakeup in the trump ad nistration, and one that few saw coming. and as peter alexander reports, speculation is swirling about her future and who's in epine to replace her. >> rter: nikki haley's abrupt resignation, costing president trump one of his administration's ue ma stars. his u.n. ambassador and one of the few women in his cabinet. to> it was a blessing to go he u.n.
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with body armor every day and defend america. and i'll always do that. but i will tell you t' that i think time. >> reporter: the president today praising nikki haley, the former south carolinaernor who, during the campaign, t was a frequenump critic. >> she's done a fantastic job. we've done a than tas tick job together. >> reporter: the sudden departu stunning many white house aides, privately grumbling that she should have waited until after next month's midterms. her resignation letter obtained by nbc news is dated last wednes day haley met privately with the president. the daughter of indian immigrants dismissing political ambitions of her own. >> for all of you that will ask about 2020, no, i'm not ruing r 2020. i can promise you that what i'll be doing is campaigning for thon >> reporter: and going out of her way to compliment the president's daughter and son-in-law. c >>'t say enough good things about jared and ivanka. jared is such a hidden genius that no one understands. >> reporter: so why now? that's unclear. last month before president trump mocked
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christine blasey ford's testimony of her alleged sexual assault by brett kavanaugh, an accusation kavanaugh denies, haley argued accusersd be heard. >> it's not something that we want to do to blame the accuser or to t guess the accuser. >> reporter: weeks earlier, she shot down speculation that sth's anonymous senior official who authored that explosive op-ed, ar claiming to beof the trump resistance. insisting when i challenge the president, i do it directly. ambassador haley says she'll stay on through the end of this year. s so who replar? the president says his daughter ivanka would beed inle, but acknowledges he would be accused of nepotism. and ivanka tweed it will not be her. lester? >> peter alexander, thanks. took his seat on the u.s. supreme court bench today. and after a contentious confirmation battle, he wasted no time diving in with questions during the rs cases. after weeks of protests, a quieter scene outside, the retired justice kennedy sat with the
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kavanaugh family watching. now to the new qutions about the limo involved in the crash that killed 20 people in upstate new york. somber moments as hearses carried victims to a funeral home. investigate asking if the 2001 ford ex-discussion -- excursion was legally modified. it failed inspection last month. the company says it fixed any dects. > now to the disappearance that's prompted an outcry around the world. we're seeing a survllance photo of "washington post" contributor. his final moments before stepping into the saudi consulate irk and not seen again. richard engel now with new details onhe investigation. >> reporter: this is the last time saudi journalist and washington post columnisal khashoggi was seen alive, entering the saudi consulate in istanbul last week. what happened next is a mystery. and now secretary of
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state mike pompeo is calling on saudi arabia to support a thorough investigion. khashoggi, a vocal critic of saudi arabia's crown prince, told the bbc three days before he went missing he knew he had made poweremies. >> when do you think m yoht be able to go home today? >> i don't think i'll tee able to go home. >> rep turkish officials have two working theorys, that khashoggi was kidnapped from the consulate, or that he was killed and dismembered inside. turkish security forces are now hunting for a black van that may he carried khashoggi's body, and two saudi chartered jets that arrived and left istanbul airport. khashoggi had gone to the consulate to get papeo marry his turkish fiance. police escort.as a richard engel, nbc news. back here in
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montgomery, a new national memorial is confronting racial terrorism. the decades of public lynchings of mostly black men, the south but to far corners in the country. it's painful and personal legacy, that's often left out of the conversation about race.bu no longer here in montgomery. just after dawn, pillars at the national memorial for peace and justice d st testament to past.a's traumatic the pain, palpable. the memorial begins with this image, enslaved african li fa torn apart. centuries of slavery, giving way to decades of racial teor. the legacy of lynchings between 1877 and 1950, not just in the south but across the country, is told here. >> the mdset was that black people don't deserve the dignity of even being a defendant. and they would be edulled out of jails and purom law enforcement offices, and they would be
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isbrutalized in th way. >> reporter: brian stevenson created the memoal through his nonprofit the equal justice initiative. an attorney and atauthor, he's ded meis work to getting blacn and women released from prison and death row. his book "just mercy" is being made into a movie. at the memorial, more than 4,000 names are engraved. the date of murder listed with the county where they died. the reasons, chilling. >> drinkinfrom a white man's well. >> striking to protest low wages. >> yes, exactly. if you're black and go into town,here's so many ways that you can make a mistake that could cost you your life. >> reporter: for some to vi, the memorial revealing an unexpected truths. >> families not impacted by this. >> reporter: minutes later, it happened to me. my grandmother was a houston. and there's a houston here, and i have to call my father, but --
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>> it's astonishing to me how oft that happens. >> reporter: scannin the names on these columns, a familiar last name from bentford count tennessee stands out. houston. it was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. she was born in tennessee. and the john houston engred before me, according to family, was likely related. i have some phone calls to make. >> yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely. solutely. well, i know they would be so proud of you. [ laughter ] >> reporter: but many of the names are unknown. this wall, an acknowledgement to those not documented, those we'll never know. >>hat's right. >> do you ever allow yourself to estimate what thanumber might be? >> it's thousands. you know, whether it's tens of thousands, the e,great historian wr how many thousands we'll never know. >> reporter: joseph e. mccaul'sr, elmore bowling was shot and killed in
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december of 1947, alabama. his name, now memorialized. >> i was ecstatic. my father had never gotten any recogniti nor had we. had never been recognized for the trauma that we suffered. >> reporter: stevenson anas visions of his team eng, his team collecting soil samples from over 280 lynching sites in the country, a tangible memory forhose who never received a proper burial. >> you know that the sweat of enslaved people are i soil. you know that the blood of these lynchings are in that soil. tears of those that were humiliated by segregation are in the soil. but what i love abt it is we can gather the soil and we can still grow something. we can make that soil create new life. >> the memorial opened in april. a iteady surpassed 200,000 visitors. in a word, powerful. much more from here ahead. but first, some of the day's other big
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next tonight, investigators say they've ver seen a case like it. an alleged serial rapist, accused of recording his crimes on some 500 videotapes found in his home. ndhat evidence, now in the of prosecutors. nbc's miguel almaguer has the details. >> reporter: appearing before a judge today in flint, michigan, gilbert conway faces 86 counts of crimin sexual conduct. kidnapping and other charges. prosecutors say the alleged serial rapist had been stalking and recordinhis victims for nearly a decade. >> in all my years, i've never had a case it like this. >> reporter: after raiding his home, inve igators say they sieged 500 tapes. many of them years old. a trove of evidence still being reviewed. >> we believe that he
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actually videotape the sexual assaults while he commits them. suspect there are dozens, maybe scores, maybe hundreds more victims. >> reporter: police say conway was arrested after one of d is alleged victims steprward. investigators say that led to more victims, and the discovery of ta hundreds of pes inside his home. tonight, the suspect's attoey denies the allegations, telling nbc news mr. conway be appears to hav a hardworking individual with years of employnt and a loving family man. -yut prosecutors say the r-old raped and recorded an untold number of victims for years. miguel almaguer, nbc news. we'll take a break. when we come back, more of our cross thamerica tour wit church organist, still going strong over 60 years after she was hired pastor by the name of martin luther king, jr.
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sunday the church behind us is filled with music from a living legend. i sat down with the organist athreeia thompson, who has been playing since she was hired here in the '5 none other than martin luther king, tr. insis church, althea thomas' music has inspired worshippers for decades. >> he called my house and said, this is martin king. king?, who is martin and he said, you have been enthusiastically recommended. hot dog, listen to that. >> reporter: while she took the jobshe told dr. king there was a complication. >> i can't start right away because i'm getting married tomorrow. >> reporter: dexter avenue was dr. king's only full-time congregation. >> tell me about reverend dr. king.
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>> he was a fantastic person. a very special kind of person. not only a good preacher, but a good human being. >> reporter: she says while listening to stirring sermons from reverend king's lp , she felt a special connection. >> as i ayed those little parts that were mine to put in, i would put them to whatever was to his mood. you could make anybody feel at ea >> reporter: she keeps his memory alive today through her music. >> bravo, bravo. >> althea, an incredible lady, doesn't miss a note. we're going to take a break. up next, more amazing music our ur across america. ♪ we've transformed this home to show the new keurig k-café brewer is so easy, it makes any house a coffee house. rinsky's coffee house is open! pop that in for a coffee or brew a shot and froth fresh milk for a latte or cappuccino. easy peasy. now she's a barista!
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♪ the sounds of the alabama state university's mighty marching hornets here in montgomery. the hornetare one of the best and most competitive college marching bands you'll ever hear, and they gave us a peek at all their hard work before saturday this fall.h in a state where football takes center ma stage at ala state university, it's the band that steals the show. this high energy group of 208 is the most popular in town. movies. reality tv. and this summer, performance with ozzy osbourne put together inwo days' notice. under the direction of
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asu alum james oliver, that kind of turnaround is nothing new. >> we do not repeat shows. i hike audience something fresh every weekend. >> that means practice. a lot of it. four hours a night, five days a week. >> that hard work is going to pay off. >> reporter: ariah berkeleyin that time on top of her c studies in forensi ology. in fact, 70% of e band are not music majors. their dedication, on full display every saturday. >> basketball and football, they love the sports. but we're the entertainment. wh our team doesn't win, the band does. >> reporter: but winning the fifth quarter is not enough for dr. ol >> i want to do a super bowl, because we have something to give to that audience. >> and with that kind
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of work ethic, i'm sure they'll go quite far. that is "nightly news" for this tuesday evening. i'm lesr holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night.
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lights, camera, access. it has to look like a man dancing it. f>> just minutes awayrom tonight's ama's, we are behind the scene for secrets from j-lo, taylor and more. >> we know each other from another lifetime ago. >> what! you're just telling us this nown mandy? you won't believe what we

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