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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 22, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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b.a.r.t. not running in the transbay tube. >> we will stay with it and talk about the heat and fire danger. up next is "nightly news." we will see you back at 6:00. breaking news tonight. the explosive new testimony. the key witness, the u.s. ambassador to ukraine. what he said behind closed doors. house democrats saying he drew a disturbing direct line between president trump and a quid pro quo to pressure ukraine to investigate his political rivals the president lashing out, comparing the impeachment inquiry to a lynching. tonight the backlash to the president's words on both sides of the aisle also tonight, actress lori loughlin hit with a new bribery charge in the college cheating scandal. prosecutors turning up the heat. how much longer she could spend in prison if convicted a shocking video of the officer caught on camera throwing an 11-year-old student
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with special needs to the ground. >> do not resist do not resist! >> get off of me >> stop resisting! >> a school administrator pleading with him to stop. the outrage and what has now happened to that officer the disturbing new images. massive cracks found in a pedestrian bridge days before it collapsed and killed six people on a florida college campus. were warning signs missed? and 911 in crisis. what if you called for help and no one arrived emergency services and the staggering number of americans losing access. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt >> good evening, everyone. president trump's oft repeated impeachment defense that there was no quid pro quo may have crumbled today under the weight of explosive testimony from the administration's top envoy to ukraine. william taylor reportedly describing to house investigators what he says the administration dangled in order to nudge ukraine into announcing politically charged investigations and then there was that other
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big impeachment headline, the president comparing the process to a lynching, a word with profound racial meaning and history. peter alexander is covering it all for us >> reporter: explosive and disturbing, that's how house democrats tonight are describing the closed door testimony of bill taylor, the top u.s. diplomat in ukraine, detailing the events surrounding that july phone call between president trump and ukraine's leader according to his opening statement, taylor testified official ukraine policy was undercut by irregular efforts led by the president's personal attorney rudy giuliani, who had been digging for dirt on the bidens and allegations of ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. with ukraine's president zelensky wanting a white house meeting and u.s. military aid, taylor testified that gordon sondland, u.s. envoy to the european union, told him everything was dependent on zelensky announcing he would investigate, including security assistance
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adding sondland said that president trump wanted president zelensky in a public box by making a public statement about ordering such investigations all of it directly contradicting the president's repeated claim there was no quid pro quo. >> you know, when this came out, it was quid pro quo. well, there was none >> reporter: the new allegations coming as president trump is under fire for tweeting about the house democrats' impeachment inquiry, "all republicans must remember what they are witnessing here, a lynching. that word igniting outrage >> it is very painful, and it is a distraction that america should not accept or tolerate. >> to compare the constitutional process to something like lynching is far beneath the office of the president of the united states. >> reporter: many republicans critical too >> given the history in our country, i would not compare this to a lynching >> reporter: other allies
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defending president trump, who has a history of racially inflammatory comments. >> this is a lynching in every sense. this is un-american. i've never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody is accused of a major misconduct who cannot confront the accuser, call witnesses on their behalf and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge. >> reporter: we asked the white house about that choice of words. >> the president is not comparing what happened to him with one of our darkest moments in american history. >> reporter: what's he doing >> he is just not. >> you know that is not true and i know that's not true he used the word "lynching" which has a dark record in america's history. >> people are upset about president trump's words all of the time but what you can't argue with are the results he has put forth for the african american community. >> reporter: tonight the white house said that taylor's testimony was, quote, more triple hearsay and selective
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leaks. still, taylor testified he stands by his characterization that withholding military aid for help in a political campaign is, quote, crazy lester >> a lot going on tonight there, peter. thank you. now word late today that the anonymous government official who wrote a scathing column last year against president trump has just written a tell-all book here is andrea mitchell with that >> reporter: from the shadows, the voice of anonymous, the trump insider identified by "the new york times" last year only as a senior administration official, writing the president was impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective. now expanding that slashing critique in a book titled "a warning. >> president trump is going to want the get to the bottom of who this official is he has already felt like there are leakers and traitors in his midst. we've seen him freaking out over the last month about the anonymous whistle-blower who filed that complaint that has triggered the impeachment proceedings. >> reporter: the day the column appeared, president trump erupted. >> so if the failing "new york times" has an anonymous editorial, can you believe it? anonymous. meaning gutless. a gutless editorial.
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>> reporter: he later tweeted "treason?" and the hunt was on. the white house and reporters trying to decode phrases in the column, looking for patterns without success. then came the denials from mike pence, mike pompeo, the entire cabinet, including many now gone like james mattis, kirstjen nielsen, nikki haley, dan coats and jeff sessions. tonight white house press secretary stephanie grisham said, quote, it takes a lot of conviction and bravery to write a whole book anonymously due to be published next month, the book will come out just as the president is trying to defend himself from the impeachment threat lester >> okay, andrea, thanks. tonight in syria, just as a u.s.-brokered ceasefire ended, russia's vladimir putin stepped in, announcing a deal of his own representing a major change for u.s. allies, the kurds our richard engel is inside syria. >> reporter: russia's vladimir putin tonight became the new king maker in syria as he and turkey's president erdogan carved up the country between them announcing from tomorrow a large swath of land in northern syria
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will be cut in half. russia's ally, the syrian government, in charge of the other. this had been the kurdish homeland until president trump effectively allowed turkey to invade it and then let the fighting continue. >> and i say, and some people thought it was a great analogy, some people not, but it's like two kids in a playground they fight you let them fight for a minute, and then you pull them apart >> reporter: but these are not kids and this is no playground as kurds bury their dead today, many believe they've also lost the right to live in northern syria. kurdish towns are already abandoned. everything is shut everyone is gone u.s. troops had been protecting the kurds here, but now they're leaving, russia is taking over, and american allies, the kurds, are moving into camps. lester >> all right, richard engel tonight, thank you tonight the legal trouble facing one of the biggest names
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in the college entrance cheating scandal is taking a turn for the worst. actress lori loughlin has been hit with another felony charge, along with other parents our miguel almaguer has late details. >> reporter: tonight a federal grand jury in boston has leveled a new charge o conspiracy to commit bribery against actress lori loughlin, her fashion designer husband, massimo giannulli, and nine other parents entangled in the college admissions scandal now facing more prison time if convicted, the additional charge comes as the group of wealthy and privileged parents refuse to plead guilty as four others did monday >> the government is turning up the pressure by adding even more charges with these superseding indictments. sooner or later, most defendants in federal court plead guilty. >> reporter: arrested in march, loughlin and her husband already face money laundering charges that carry a maximum combined sentence of 40 years the new charge carries an additional five.
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prosecutors say the couple bribed usc employees to facilitate their children's admission into the school as rowing recruits. the university now confirms both daughters are no longer enrolled >> any time a federal criminal defendant proceeds to trial, it is a massive gamble. the stakes are so high a federal criminal defendant has to consider pleading guilty before proceeding to trial. >> reporter: denying any wrongdoing in court, tonight the question for loughlin's team, will she change her plea or go to trial, believing a jury will buy her story? miguel almaguer, nbc news, new york there were some anxious moments today at a high school in santa rosa, california after a gunman shot and wounded a 17-year-old boy outside the school that school and two others were placed on lockdown as a manhunt was launched for the shooter police arrested a suspect and possible accomplice a short time later. as the houston astros ready to take the field tonight in game one of the world series, the team's already on defense with one official apologizing
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for his controversial comments made to reporters. nbc's stephanie gosk has more on that >> reporter: the world series between the astros and the nationals kicks off tonight with a cloud hanging over the first pitch. major league baseball announcing it will investigate comments made by houston astros assistant general manager brandon taubman saturday when the item clinched the american league pennant. "sports illustrated" reported taubman turned to a group of three female reporters during a postgame celebration in the clubhouse and yelled half a dozen times, "thank god we got osuna. i'm so glad we got osuna." that would be relief pitcher roberto osuna whom the astros acquired from the blue jays while he was still serving a 75-game suspension for domestic violence criminal charges against him were dropped when his girlfriend refused to testify the "sports illustrated" reporter described taubman's comments as offensive and frightening enough that another
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houston staffer apologized the astros swung back, accusing the report of attempting to fabricate a story where one doesn't exist. "sports illustrated" stuck by the reporting and then today taubman apologized, calling his language unprofessional and inappropriate. the astros saying in a new statement it fully supports major league baseball's stance on domestic violence tonight the game goes on stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york in new mexico, a police officer is off the force after video showed him throwing an 11-year-old girl who is a special needs student to the ground nbc's gadi schwartz has more on the outrage. >> reporter: in farmington, new mexico, a six-minute struggle caught on camera between a school resource officer and an 11-year-old girl >> put your arms behind me. >> let me sit up. >> reporter: the incident recorded at mesa view middle school as officer zachary christensen starts filming a
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sixth grade were special needs. >> she took more milks than she was supposed to. she threw a milk on the ground. >> reporter: he followed her through the hall, later writing in his report that she was stronger than him and she assaulted staff. this is what was captured on camera >> the officer moves in to arrest her >> i've had enough of this take your bag off. stop resisting >> stand up, stand up! >> get off of me >> reporter: at several points, school administrators tell the officer to stop. >> get off of me >> she is not a threat to yourself or others at this moment. >> she is. >> get off of me >> will you allow her to stand, sir? >> reporter: the 11-year-old arrested for assault but all charges were dropped while the officer was suspended the next day. the police chief apologizing >> the chief, you know darn well that this is a failure for us. >> reporter: an internal review found the officer violated the use of force policy, but before he was disciplined officer christensen resigned that video has now been turned over to the district attorney to decide whether the officer should face charges.
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lester >> gadi schwartz for that, thank you. now to a terrifying crisis impacting a lot of americans what if you call 911 and nobody responds some 57 million people at risk of losing vital emergency medical services our dr. john torres on what's causing this critical shortage >> reporter: 49-year-old jared was playing softball three years ago when suddenly he went into cardiac arrest >> if there had been no ambulance there and the people hadn't acted the way they did, i probably wouldn't be here. >> reporter: but now in his small town and others like it across the u.s., a shortage of volunteer emts is putting these services on the verge of collapse how dire of a situation is it here >> extremely and that's putting it mildly. >> reporter: in rural marmarth, north dakota, no one remembers the last time the town had a doctor the ambulance is the community safety net >> we're literally one person away from closing if we lose one of our emts, one of our care providers. we will have to look at shutting down and closing our doors. >> reporter: experts now warn close to one-third of all rural
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emergency medical services are in immediate danger of closing down >> nobody would ever imagine a world where you call 911 and nobody shows up, but here we are. >> reporter: as many as 70% of emts in rural america are volunteers neighbors helping neighbors. this is essentially a side gig, but one that occupies a lot of time. >> yes, sir. this consumes a lot of time, between training and hours spent with upkeep of service it's not just a 12-hour shift, but every year you have to be trained, you have to be certified. >> reporter: and then you have your real jobs. >> right. >> reporter: most states don't fund these service in 39 states, ems is not considered an essential service like police and fire even experts are surprised that up to 60% are paid for by community fundraising. >> it's fish fries it's the spaghetti dinners at the local church we're relying on that as our funding stream to fund one of our most essential medical services. >> i think we've got to make it easier for volunteers to serve.
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>> reporter: in washington, some lawmakers are proposing measures to entice new lunteers, ranging from retirement packages to free utilities. >> making sure that get t benefits that we would like to see every american get >> so what happens if my family is the one that needs the ambulance that day, for whatever reason and there is nobody here? >> reporter: the system that is supposed to save americans now in need of a rescue. dr. john torres, nbc news, marmath, north dakota. former president jimmy carter is hospitalized tonight after another health scare the 95-year-old fractured his pelvis after falling at his georgia home earlier this month he took a tumble that left him with a black eye and stitches just ahead, as we continue tonight, the major warning signs ignored before a deadly bridge collapse at a florida university just revealed today. also, anger at wework. why so many face layoffs while the controversial cofounder will walk away a billionaire. the big security change tonight at some major airports stay with us
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a scathing report tonight reveals dangerous signs missed just days before that deadly pedestrian bridge collapse at a florida university here is gabe gutierrez >> reporter: the dramatic collapse in march of 2018 killed six people near florida international university today the ntsb revealed these stunning images of cracks engineers say were 40 times larger than what's acceptable. >> oversight of the project, like the bridge itself, collapsed. >> reporter: the ntsb chairman says the cracks, seen days before the collapse, should have prompted contractors and fiu to close the road, and that the florida department of transportation should have done more >> i don't think i've ever seen one where there is more finger-pointing. >> reporter: today the university said in part fiu is committed to transparency and accountability the bridge's designer denied
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responsibility, saying that a failure in the construction process was the fundamental cause of the collapse. the state called the accident absolutely heartbreaking, saying it had already tightened regulations to close public roads whenever there is a risk to life, health, or safety >> it makes you angry. >> reporter: but for the family of 18-year-old alexa duran, who died in the collapse, today's report is painful. >> the wound gets open when you know that someone could have done something and they didn't >> reporter: the university plans to build a new bridge where the victims will be memorialized gabe gutierrez, nbc news up next, we'll tell you about a big security change at some major airports. announcer: time magazine reports: "the new american
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addiction. how juul hooked kids and ignited a public health crisis." other news outlets report- juul took $12.8 billion from big tobacco. markets e-cigarettes with kid friendly flavors and uses nicotine to addict them. 5 million kids use e-cigarettes. juul is "following big tobacco's playbook." and now, juul is pushing prop c to overturn e-cigarette protections. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c. we're back now to tell you about new anger at wework. once a rising star of silicon valley, wework is now suddenly in decline the office sharing company's new financial lifeline giving its controversial co-founder adam neumann a $1.7 billion payout to step down while the troubled company is reportedly planning massive layoffs.
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and the big security change to tell you about at several major airports, something visitors haven't been able to do since before 9/11. here is blayne alexander >> reporter: travelers know the routine. at the airport, if you don't have a ticket, your journey ends here but today that changed in detroit, now the third airport to allow visitors past security and into the terminals without a plane ticket so more people can shop, dine, plane watch, or greet loved ones at the gate. >> it's always hard to say goodbye to the kids. so it's a little easier. >> reporter: things changed after 9/11 the establishment of the tsa meant tougher security and restricted movements around the airport. pittsburgh and tampa already have similar programs in place how many of you would use this >> yeah. >> yeah. >> reporter: but not everyone is on board >> i'm not sure i would feel as comfortable ving nonticketed
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passenger. >> it just seems like a risk >> we take safety and security very, very seriously, and that's not going to change. >> reporter: all three airports require people to apply for a pass in advance and go through security screenings, just like any airline passenger. and the same rules apply no sharp objects or liquids over three ounces a new idea taking off, increasing airport access, even for those staying on the ground. blayne alexander, nbc news, tampa, florida up next, get ready to laugh.
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following breaking news. why b.a.r.t. has a problem on its hands and the problems it's causing. and facebook pledging a billion to build new homes, next. what do you say we end with a few laughs tonight, thanks to the jokesters behind one of the highest rated comedies on cable. here is joe fryer. >> dig down to the bottom to get it >> reporter: they're childhood friends who never stopped playing jokes on each other. >> as far in as you can go [ laughter ]
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>> reporter: joe, murr, sal and q. >> all right, mustache, don't call me clown is all i'm saying. >> reporter: "impractical jokers" on tv where one guy wears an earpiece while the others pull the strings. >> sal start petting his mane. >> reporter: if someone says that is candid camera. >> we're not mean to people on the street we're mean to each other which are our friends. >> reporter: though the public is still a wild card >> grab that woman's beer. >> she just sat down >> they could respond quite negatively to some of these things >> they do, but it's really way, way rarer than you think. >> reporter: but they've learned their fans can be impractical too. >> you say people have tattoos >> yes >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: a lot of people want us to write or draw on them. >> try to talk people out of it. >> i know they're going to regret it. >> reporter: now they have a new
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game show, "the misery index" debuting tonight on cbs. plus a comedy tour selling out arenas like madison square garden. >> i took a subway up there to the show, and i came out and saw the garden said sold out and i had tears streaming down my face >> reporter: tears of joy for comics who make sure the joke's on them and the laughs are on us joe fryer, nbc news. >> wow >> great to leave them laughing. that's "nightly news." good night, everyone right now at 6:00, breaking news. major delays on b.a.r.t. what's causing the problems through this evening's commute? the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening. thanks for joining us. i'm jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. we've been watching this story for the past 60 minutes. here's what we know. we're going to show you pictures from sky ranger. this is in oakland, where b.a.r.t. is investigating reports of sparks and smoke
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underneath the tracks on the oakland side of the transbay tunnel. it may have started as a debris fire it happened near the ventilation system of the transbay tube. those trains are moving. at 5:00, the timeline. the fire department asked b.a.r.t. to cut power to the tunnel. so, b.a.r.t. shut down the tube. it reopened the eastbound side, out of san francisco, into oakland. and a few minutes ago, both directions have reopened. you see all of the people on the platform. the trains are moving. it's a nightmare. a headache for a lot of commuters. >> we'll show you the map. commute errs crossing the bay ug buses, as well, in san francisco, as well. some of the alternatives they're faced with this, scott wiener, caught in this b.a.r.t. mess. the transbay tube is closed until

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