tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 22, 2019 2:07am-2:37am PDT
party to get tougher and fight impeachment and what he's saying about his sudden about face cancelling plans to host the g7 summit his own florida resort after backlash what we've learned. my nbc exclusive one on one with mark zuckerberg the facebook ceo defending the social media giant's controversial role in america's election do you feel like you're giving a green light to politicians that lie, lie, lie? the major changes the company says it's making to prevent interference in 2020 and zuckerberg getting personal like we've never heard before. and our exclusive inside the record-breaking flight over 19 hours nonstop in the air, and the cutting-edge ways they're preventing jet lag >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone from los angeles where firefighters and residents are on high alert and we witnessed a dramatic fight to save homes in peril by a fast-moving wildfire today. residents told to evacuate, given minutes to flee, as schools were told to shelter children in place. and with high temperatures and
fierce santa ana winds expected to pick up, utility companies may once again cut power in certain areas to reduce the threat our gadi schwartz is in pacific palisades tonight. >> reporter: in southern california's pacific palisades, this afternoon, a sudden wall of fire, racing up a canyon in an instant, surrounding homes with flames crews already on high alert throwing everything they could at the fire, as people ran from their homes. air drops and hand crews there within minutes. >> we got fire actively coming up the back of the home. >> reporter: as hundreds of residents were ordered to evacuate, anxious parents raced to get their kids from nearby schools the fire spread 15 miles in 15 minutes. >> when i got here, it was a little scary, because there were four firemen in my driveway. >> reporter: at least one person helping battle the blaze was injured. >> this is an extremely challenging fire for hand crews. if you look at the firefighters, they are essentially clawing
their way up this hillside with rocks coming down on them. >> reporter: winds are expected to gain strength creating such dangerous conditions that power companies plan to shut off electricity to millions, a new practice that could become a regular occurrence for the next ten years. lester, today's close call, such a scorching reminder to how important it is to always be prepared it doesn't matter if you live above a canyon like this or miles away, authorities are saying with the types of winds we see a little bit later this week, firestorms are a possibility so they are encouraging millions of people to pack emergency go bags with medication and important documents, anything you might need to evacuate immediately lester >> a lot of people holding their breath waiting to see what comes. gadi schwartz, thank you. to the urgent threat along the gulf coast after a powerful ef-3 tornado tore through the dallas area, parts of mississippi, alabama and the florida panhandle bracing for severe weather as well gabe gutierrez is in dallas.
>> reporter: tonight, the trail of destruction stretches for almost 20 miles across dsely populated dallas this home depot shredded, one tornado sliced through this neighborhood near love field >> everything can happen in seconds. >> reporter: this girl huddled with her family in this bedroom, as the twister barreled through. >> go, we have a tornado run! >> we just grabbed the bed and put it on top of us. that's all we thought about. >> reporter: overnight, fast-moving storms launched debris at least three miles into the air. rescue teams rushed door to door, searching for trapped survivors. >> our home is gone. >> reporter: the tornado obliterated this warehouse and blew this debris into that apartment complex. incredibly, no one here was seriously injured. >> i think we should consider ourselves very fortunate that we did not lose any lives. >> reporter: but the storm system turned deadly in oklahoma and arkansas at least two people were killed by toppled trees, and in missouri a pair of ef-1 tornados touched down
back in texas, tens of thousands of people were left without electricity. today, crews dangled from helicopters to clean up power lines. look at the damage in this neighborhood, what goes through your head? >> just, there is really almost no words it's unreal. >> reporter: miles is still in shock. >> didn't expect this. it came out of nowhere. >> reporter: late today the national weather service confirmed this was an ef-3 tornado, packing winds up to 140 miles per hour the severe weather threat extending through tomorrow for parts of the east coast. lester >> all right gabe gutierrez, thank you. president trump tonight turning up the heat on fellow republicans calling on them to fight back harder ainst democrats' impeachment investigation. hallie jackson has the latest. >> reporter: the president facing fire on several fronts today including from his own party. >> the republicans have to get
tougher and fight. we have some that are great fighters but they have to get tougher and fight because the democrats are trying to hurt the republican party for the election. >> reporter: president trump is trying to rally his own troops against democrats on impeachment. >> any democrat wants to because they won't beat me in the election so of course they want to impeach why wouldn't they want to impeach me it's so illegitimate. >> reporter: now the president backpedalling, with some republicans upset with his initial decision to hold next year's g7 summit at his own doral resort >> i don't understand why at this moment they had to do that. >> reporter: nbc news learned the president late saturday reversed himself after hearing om a group of house republicans huddled at camp david. two sources in the room say those moderates made clear the president should change course, which he did, but begrudgingly today, swiping at a constitutional clause that prohibits people from profiting off the presidency. >> you people with this phony emoluments clause, it would have been the greatest g7 ever. >> reporter: in another retreat, the president's acting chief of staff is trying to walk back what he appeared to acknowledge last week, that the administration made military aid to ukraine contingent on
investigating the bidens. >> holding up funds to a foreign nation, particularly one that's under military threat, in order to fulfill a political purpose is a real problem. >> reporter: the criticism prompting this presidential praise for democrats >> i think they are lousy politicians. but two things they have they're vicious and they stick together they don't have mitt romney in their midst. >> reporter: tomorrow on capitol hill, the top diplomat to ukraine, bill taylor, is expected to testify privately after describing the idea of trading military aid for help with the political campaign as crazy. lester >> all right hallie, thanks there is furious reaction tonight from u.s. allies, the kurds, as u.s. troops are now withdrawing from northern syria. richard engel is in syria with us. >> reporter: these images tonight show one of the lowest moments of america's reputation
in the middle east in years. kurdish civilians until now close u.s. allies, throwing potatoes and yelling insults at american troops ordered out of syria. at another location, kurds holding signs for u.s. troops saying, tell your children kurdish children are dying and we did nothing to protect them president trump unmoved. >> we have a good relationship with the kurds but we never agreed to protect the kurds. we fought with them three and a half to four years we never agreed to protect the kurds for the rest of their lives. where is the agreement saying we have to stay in the middle east for the rest of humanity >> reporter: there is no formal agreement, except the word and bond u.s. troops gave to the kurds who fought with them for five years against isis, losing 11,000 men and women many of those u.s. troops are now headed to iraq, to fight
isis nbc'matt bdley is there. >> reporter: after more than four years of u.s. boots on the ground in syria, u.s. soldiers have finally arrive in northern iraq. they are withdrawing this is their convoy >> reporter: tonight the pentagon announcing some u.s. troops could stay in syria to protect oil fields around a quarter million kurds have already run from their homes including aid workers say 70,000 children, hundreds have been killed by turkey's offensive, which could resume tomorrow when the cease fire ends lester >> richard engel in syria tonight, thanks. back home, four more parents pleaded guilty in the college cheating scandal nbc miguel almaguer explains what it could mean for actress lori loughlin, as images surface of fellow star felicity huffman behind bars for the first time >> reporter: facing the pressure of a conviction, today four parents charged in the college admissions scandal reversed course, walking into federal court to change their pleas from not guilty to guilty with each facing fraud and money laundering charges "the l.a. times" reports prosecutors turned up the heat, threatening
to file an additional bribery charge, which if convicted, would likely mean more time behind bars. but despite the possibility of additional felony counts, 16 parents including hollywood celebrities lori loughlin and her fashion designer husband, are keeping their pleas of not guilty, moving closer towards trial. >> make no mistake, this is not a case where parents were acting in the best interests of their children. >> reporter: with more parents now headed to prison, cameras captured actress felicity huffman in her new role of federal inmate seen in a green prison jumpsuit, huffman spent time with william h. macy and her daughter over the weekend. a long way from hollywood, huffman's stint behind bars comes to an end this weekend this, as some parents admit guilt and others get ready for a high-stakes legal showdown
miguel almaguer, nbc news, new york. facebook tonight revealing it has just blocked new russian and iranian-based efforts on its platform meant to manipulate the political conversation here and abroad i sat down yesterday with facebook founder mark zuckerberg, who told me the company is now proactively applying the lessons of the 2016 election it's happening again but this time facebook says it is watching in realtime. >> some interference campaigns from russia and iran. >> in an exclusive interview, mark zuckerberg revealing how foreign actors are already working to influence the 2020 election. >> this signals that these nation states intend to be active in the upcoming elections, but it's also, i think, a sign that we've been able to proactively identify them and take them down. >> facebook today announcing several new measures, including labeling state-controlled media outlets. the identity of organizations and owners behind pages and content rated false by independent fact checkers. you used the term the industry
or facebook was on the back foot with regard to 2016 but looking back, was it more than that? was it something that facebook wasn't looking at, because it didn't really effect its business model one way or another? >> you know, we were looking fo r more traditional threats like hacking but we weren't looking for these more coordinated information campaigns, that we're now aware of >> facebook's move to call foreign actors is under fire for not holding political ads to the same standard refusing the biden's camp to remove a trump ad they say contained false information. do you feel like you're giving a green light to politicians to lie, lie, lie? >> no. look, i believe it's important for people to be able to hear and see what politicians are saying
that speech will be heavily scrutinized by other journalists and people. >> zuckerberg also facing criticism from senator elizabeth warren who he reportedly called a threat to facebook for her call to breakup the company. an idea he strongly rejects. have you reached out to elizabeth warren >> our teams are definitely in contact, and although, i haven't spoken to her personally about this. >> will you? >> i don't know. >> zuckerberg is passionate and on message about the company he created. but in a reflective moment, he offered some revealing insight >> i've been in the public eye since i was 19 and a lot of my personal experience has been that people say a lot of false things about you. >> reporter: do you think you're your best communicator for this company? >> historically, i've had a very hard time expressing myself. i just come across as robotic. that's one of things i need to get better at, running this company. >> you have two little girls do you worry about the internet, that they'll be on it some day soon and that toxic atmosphere
>> of course i want to know that when my girls grow up that they will be able to say that, you know, their dad made the world better and stood up for what he believed in. >> zuckerberg will testify before congress this week about his company's plans for a new digital currency. now to another nbc news exclusive, our journey aboard a record-breaking passenger flight flying nonstop on qantas from new york to sydney, australia. tom costello was the only american broadcast reporter on board. >> congratulations on your inauguration history flight to sydney. >> reporter: 9:30 p.m. in new york as the qantas sunrise project takes off for down under a 19-plus hour research flight to monitor passengers and pilots. >> we've got an eeg, measuring my brain wave activity i've got a light meter measuring the ambient light, related to the melatonin levels. >> reporter: in the passenger
cabin, it's all aboughting jet lag. rather than turning the lights off right away, they stay in sync with sydney, where it's already lunchtime, adding special meals and exercise. >> we're really trying to trick our bodies. >> we are tricking our bodies at the moment because we're flying west, we are delaying r sleep. >> reporter: qantas wants to make this longest flight a regular service but must first prove that pilots can work 22 hours or longer sleeping in shifts 19 hours in coach could be miserable so qantas is talking about giving people more leg room and taking out a whole bunch of seats to create an area to exercise and play with children. >> we know people want the convenience of avoiding stopping they want to fly direct, willing to pay that little more. >> reporter: at 5:30 a.m. east coast time, the cabin finally goes dark with 11 more hours to go it's 2:30 p.m. on the east coast, it's 5:30 a.m. in sydney and somewhere out over the pacific ocean, the sun starting
to come up >> we expect to have you touching down in sydney just after 7:35. >> reporter: finally, 19 hours, 16 minutes later, record broken. flight 7879 lands. tom costello, nbc news, sydney. >> what an amazing journey still ahead for us tonight, the new backlash after the extraordinary video showing a high school coach disarming a student, then hugging him. why some didn't want it released. also, prince harry getting personal about those rumors of a rift with his brother and the amazing outpouring for a nurse whose photo after a tough day is touching so many stay with us
shotgun and then the emotional embrace. now the district says that video should never have been released. here is blayne alexand >> reporter: it's a life-changing embrace from a potentially life-ending encounter. 19-year-old angel diaz came to his portland high school armed with a shotgun but officials say there was only one round inside. his plan? to use it on himself. >> i saw the look in his face look in his eyes, looked at the gun and realized it was a real gun. >> reporter: diaz turned the gun on himself but it malfunctioned. the school district criticized the d.a.'s decision to release the chilling video to the public showing students scrambling and coach keenan lowe jumping into action. >> i lunged for the gun and put two hands on the gun and he had his two hands on the gun. >> reporter: that's when lowe was able to t stgun in return, giving something much more powerful. >> i told him i was there to save him i was there for a reason, and that this is a life worth living. >> reporter: soon after police stormed in, the student who officials say was battling a mental health crisis is now getting treatment. his attorney says although angel wanted to end his life that day,
fate had something else in store for him. it was fate that brought the coach to the school, a college football star turning to education because he wanted to change lives and on this day, he may have saved one blayne alexander, nbc news. >> what an emotional moment. up next, prince harry on those reports of a rift with his brother.
back now with prince harry getting candid for the first time on reports he drifted apart from his brother here is keir simmons. >> reporter: tonight, stunning comments from the duke and duchess of sussex raising questions over their royal future. >> i would love to take each day as it comes. >> reporter: a source close to the couple telling nbc news, they plan to take a break later in the year and spend some time in america
before their fairytale marriage, meghan says her british friends warned her not to marry into the royal family >> don't do it because the british tabloids will destroy your life. >> reporter: the royal couple now suing tabloids >> i will not be bullied into playing the game that killed my mom. >> reporter: harry weighing in on rumors of a rift between he and william. >> we'll always be brothers. we're on different paths at the moment and i'll always be there for him at the moment and i know he'll always be there for me as brothers, you have good days and bad days. >> reporter: documentary is set to air on abc and follows the couple on their recent tour of africa harry and meghan clearly unhappy with the media criticism many askg heouple might just walk away from the spotlight. lester >> keir, thank you up next tonight, the emotional photo of a nurse, at the heart of tonight's those who serve.
the sacrifice of those who serve summed up in a photo of a nurse touching so many here is catie beck. >> reporter: a hard day at work, most of us have had one but there is a deeper story behind this nurse's tough shift. >> i think it was just the first stages of grief for me. >> reporter: after work, labor and delivery nurse katy nixon was grieving another family's loss a stillborn baby she had helped to deliver she went to her sister laura's for some comfort. >> she just plopped down on that chair, and you can just tell she's defeated and tired >> reporter: laura took the picture of katy sitting sadly in scrubs, she posted it to facebook can we just give it up for nurses for a minute she wrote? describing how her sister had worked 53 hours in four days in so much caring for others, nurses forget they need care, too. ending her post, you bless your patients and their families more than you will ever know, a viral
flood of online encouragement. katy you are a hero, bless all nurses katy, grateful for the support, can't imagine doing anything else >>ave lod every minute of it. >> reporter: a hard day can't compete with a full heart. catie beck, nbc news a huge thank you to all nurses [cheers and applause] >> kelly: ♪ i'm sitting here