tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 30, 2014 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT
on our broadcast tonight, out of the sky. a human fireball as a on our broadcast tonight, out of the sky. a human fireball as a twin-engine aircraft crashes into a building filled with people at the airport in wichita. we will have the latest tonight on the dead and injured. defiant ride. a nurse quarantined at home over those fears of ebola leaves on a bike ride with the media and police following close behind. out and proud, powerful message from the ceo of apple, tim cook makes a very public announcement about his personal life and makes history in the process. and vegas undercover. an elaborate fbi sting caught on camera inside caesars palace, big money, high stakes and a big arrest. some have compared it to "ocean's 11." others think the feds went too far. nightly news begins now.
>> from nbc news world headquarters in new york this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. after a relatively safe period for air travel, tonight, we are covering a tragedy in wichita, kansas, where a twin-engine aircraft full of fuel went down on takeoff into a flight instruction building right there on the airport grounds. while the pilot was believed to have been killed instantly, the search all day and rising death toll had to do with the people in the building where the explosion took place. it's where we begin tonight with nbc's ron mott. ron, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you. officials say the pilot was believed to be the only person aboard that small airplane which lost power shortly after takeoff. they say the pilot then tried to turn back to the runway, culminating seconds later in a fiery crash. thick clouds of black smoke billowed high into the sky, fueled by a raging fire, a harrowing scene this morning for
those at wichita's mid-continent airport, moments after a twin-engine turboprop slammed into a flight training facility filled with dozens of people. >> heavy smoke on the horizon as you approached the airport for miles. >> reporter: emergency crews rushed to the scene, the aircraft's nose gear visible among the flames. air traffic control transmissions captured the crash. >> we just lost an aircraft. >> reporter: witnessess say the king air 200, a popular small airplane built by beechcraft, headquartered here, encountered trouble shortly after takeoff, that an engine appeared to quit, leaving the pilot struggling to regain control. the plane veered from the runway and into the flight safety
building where pilots were busy practicing maneuvers on simulators. hours after the crash, smoke can still be seen rising from the top of this building. as you can see, that black column of soot outlines the height and the width of this fire. officials say that king air landed on four flight similarities inside. >> we are grateful at this point that a large number of people appeared to have gotten out of the building, but certainly saddened by the loss of life and anybody that might have been hurt. >> these families and these people in your thoughts and your prayers and certainly a tragic moment for our community. >> reporter: now, officials say three of those killed were killed in a flight simulator. the fourth, according to the mayor, was the pilot. we spoke to a gentleman just across the street here. he says he knew that pilot, the pilot was well liked and well regarded here and this community is quite shaken tonight, brian. >> ron mott after a terrible day in wichita, kansas, thanks. a warning tonight from one of the humanitarian groups battling the ebola epidemic in west africa. doctors without borders says that mandatory car ran teens in some states here are, in fact, having a chilling effect on american doctors and nurses willing to go over there to
help. the group says it's thinking about cutting assignments short. it adds that some workers are waiting out their 21 days in europe before coming home to "avoid the stigma." and the tonight, a nurse in maine remains in a hard-to-believe standoff with officials over her quarantine rules. nbc's stephanie gosk has our report from fort kent, northern maine. >> is it worth all this, kaci? >> it is definitely worth it. >> reporter: this morning, kaci hickox took her usual morning bike ride, with the media not far behind, there was nothing usual about it. >> you talk about taking a step last night? >> this morning, chad and i said we wanted to go for a bike ride. >> reporter: maine's governor didn't seem overly concerned, even though just yesterday, his
own health officials said she had to stay at home. >> as long as she is not touching other people or, you know, staying a distance from other people, then i don't see the harm. >> reporter: but in a statement, the governor said negotiations with hickox failed and she wouldn't agree to all of maine's guidelines for people at some risk of developing ebola. so far, hickox has agreed to daily checkups and has not left the fort kent area. >> how are you doing? >> reporter: but last night, she said she is worried health workers are being stigmatized. >> when we let stigmatization win, we all lose. so, i think this is something we have to fight from the beginning. you know, i have been told that if friends come to my house, they can't hug me. they have to stay three feet away from me. >> reporter: hickox's favorite pizza place, the moose shack, the owner, becky long, has been getting calls from other customers. >> we've been receiving phone calls, has she been here? is she here? you know, people wanting to come have lunch but are not coming because of the possibility she >> reporter: she wants to send over a pizza, but she is waiting to fee the police will let her. while other lunchgoers criticized hickox. >> you think she is spreading anything, but why take the chance? why -- why make an uproar in the community when there's no need of it?
>> reporter: at hickox's house late today, there was little sign of an uproar, just a health worker coming for a checkup and some pizza finally being delivered. the standoff in the ebola battle goes on. hickox and her team have not responded to the governor's statement today and there's still no court order forcing her to stay in the house, which means that the state trooper who has been here the last few days can't arrest her when she leaves. brian? >> stephanie gosk outside what is the most famous farmhouse right now in the state of maine. stephanie, thanks. now to the announcement a lot of us woke up to this morning from the ceo of apple, tim cook. easily, one of the most powerful business leaders in this country and around the world, for that matter, publicly acknowledging he is gay, while delivering a powerful message about equality and making history in the process. our report tonight from nbc's cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: today, tim cook did what no other fortune 500 ceo has ever done, came out as gay. in a written statement in "business week" the am ceo said,
"while i have never denied my sexuality, i haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now. so, let me be clear. i am proud to be gay. and i consider being gay among the greatest gifts god has given me." why does this matter today, or does it? >> yeah, it's sad that it matters, 'cause it shouldn't matter. you never have anybody saying i'm homosexual, but it matters because it is still not accepted all over the place. and now we have a major player saying i'm gay, which opens the door to many other things to come. >> reporter: cook's sexuality has long been the topic of speculation. he told brian in a 2012 interview, he values his privacy. >> i'm a private person. and, you know, i like being anonymous. >> reporter: he also appeared in an apple video promoting gay pride, but didn't speak. ♪ just a couple of days ago in his home state of alabama, cook seemed to edge closer to making a personal statement.
>> there is little, if anything, that matters more in our country than our basic tenets of equality and human rights. i have long promised myself to never be silent in my beliefs in regard to these tenets. >> reporter: today, cook made good on that promise. "it's been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the ceo of apple." >> apple is gonna be apple, but i think now the leadership of apple will be a stronger leader. he is now totally honest with who he is. so, when you have stronger leader, you have a stronger company. >> reporter: well, much has changed for gay people in the past few years. more than half the states in this country have laws permitting employers to firework officers they are gay. furthermore, in more than 70 countries around the world, many of them where apple does business, being gay can land you in prison. and five countries, brian, gays are subjected to the death penalty.
>> cynthia mcfadden on the story with us here in the studio tonight. cynthia, thank you, as always. let's go all the way west to hawaii tonight. it's not difficult to outrun the lava flow there, but it is impossible to stop it. the national guard today deployed 83 troops to a community in the path of that lava flow on the big island. they will set up road blocks and patrols now to keep people away. beyond that, there is little else anyone can do. and as it stands right now tonight, 40 to 50 homes stand threatened. back here in the lower 48, millions are keeping a close eye on the weather tonight. inarts of the northeast, people still talk about the halloween storm a few years back when snow falling on trees still full of leaves left some without power for days. nothing that severe, but there
is weather and we have meteorologist janice huff in the weather center. janice, how much? how bad? >> brian, it is going to be significant for this part of the country. we are talking about the great smoky mountains that usually see snow in the winter but not what we are expecting across the area as two storm systems, one near st. louis and one over the great lakes merge together to bring the system and to bring the snow. it starts out as rain tomorrow afternoon, but then rapidly changes over to snow across the appalachians, particularly the smokys of north carolina and tennessee and back into western kentucky. this will continue most of the day on saturday. part of the great smoky mountains could end up with a foot of snow in the higher areas near asheville and gatlinburg, tennessee. other areas will see four to eight inches of snow. we have winter storm warnings and watches already in effect
from bluefield, west virginia, down to asheville. also cold weather alerts behind the system across the entire portions of the midwest and mid-mississippi river valley, significant storm, brian. >> that answers that question. janice huff in the weather center tonight. thanks. we are now down to the wire, five days left for candidates to win your love, or at least your vote in the midterm election. chuck todd, our political director, moderator of "meet the press," has been on the road covering the races that could shift the balance of power. seven battleground stays in the all. 3,153 miles traveled. and tonight, chuck brings the trip to an end in the state of louisiana, where a sitting democratic senator is fighting for her political life. hey, chuck, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. you know, one thing i learned about this trip is that the most omnipresent person on the campaign trail is somebody you don't see on the campaign trail, and that's the president of the united states, barack obama. he clearly is the issue that republicans hope will get them control of the u.s. senate. but while president obama's unpopular overall in many of these battlegrounds, it's more acute here in the south and it was something that democratic senator mary landrieu told me has more to do than his policies. take a listen. >> to be very, very honest with you, the south has not always the friendliest place for african-americans. it's been a difficult time for
the president to present himself in a positive light as a leader. >> reporter: you know, what's interesting there is other democratic folks that i talked to in the south, they use different language. mark pryor told me the president just doesn't understand rural america. but here's one larger bottom line about come tuesday night, no matter the result, brian, is that the democratic party is going to be leaving barack obama behind and is about to become the party of the clintons again, because that, who all of these democrats are running toward this election year, bill clinton and hillary clinton. >> chuck todd in louisiana, we will see the latest sunday on "meet the press." we will see you up here election night next tuesday. chuck, thanks. tom menino has died. he was mare of boston for 20 years, longer than any other and the closest thing that city has ever come to a mayor for life. menino transformed the city in the modern era from the gleaming skyline to the cleaner streets below.
he was a neighborhood guy in a neighborhood town. that's how he operated. a "boston globe" poll back in '08 found that half the people in the city had met him personally, some still thought that number was too low. two days before the boston marathon bombings, he twisted his ankle and fell. he needed surgery to install a plate with screws in his leg, but he checked himself out of the hospital. after the bombing, he refused pain medication so he could be a visible leader during that crisis. three days later, he famously got up from his wheelchair at the church service with the president, something he later told me he just had to do. >> no adversity. some people suggest i stay in the chair. and i said i have to get up. i have to send a message out there, we're strong, resilient and we can get through this. and i stood up and i hope i was -- my message was strong. and that's who i am. >> tom menino was diagnosed with cancer just this year after leaving office. he was 71 years old. still ahead for us this evening, caught on camera, like something out of "ocean's 11," an fbi sting inside a vegas casino targeting a big-money operation, but some are questioning how the feds pulled
this off. and later, making a difference for the man who invented the game "operation," now struggling to pay for one of his own. we will hear from him tonight with some very good news. and later, making a difference for the man who invented the game "operation," now struggling to pay for one of his own. we will hear from him tonight with some very good news. they call it planning for retirement because getting there requires exactly that. a plan for what you want your future to look like. for more than 145 years, pacific life has been providing solutions to help individuals like you achieve long-term financial security. bring your vision for the future to life with pacific life. talk to a financial advisor to help build and protect your retirement income. pacific life. the power to help you succeed. thlook what i got.p. oh my froot loops! [sniffs] let's do this? get up! get up! get up! get up! loop me! bring back the awesome... yeah! yeah! yeah! with the great taste of kellogg's froot loops. follow your nose! hi. i'm new ensure active clear protein drink.
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his lawyer says if the courts approve this way of gathering evidence, police could use all kinds of trickery to enter private places. we get the tale of the tape tonight from our justice correspondent, pete williams. >> reporter: after getting a tip that illegal betting was going on, fbi agents wired themselves up with hidden cameras at las vegas' caesars palace in july to get a peek inside a complex of rooms for high rollers, where a champion poker player, paul phua, was staying. one of the world's richest gamblers, he had flown to the u.s. on his private jet after making bail in macao, where he was accused of taking in millions from illegal sports betting. >> good luck. >> thank you. >> reporter: what happened next unfolded in the opulent settings of the vegas strip, like something from the movie "oaks's 11." the fbi suspected phua and others in his entourage from running an illegal operation in their vegas suite to take bets
on the soccer world cup. but his lawyers say fbi agents, to get a closer look, cut off internet service to the room, then claimed to be the repairmen summoned to fix it, recording it all on this video obtained by nbc news. >> is the wifi down, too? both hard line and wifi? >> reporter: once inside, the agents glanced at the screens of computers in the rooms, later claiming they you a evidence of illegal betting. >> i got the url for the site that they are wagering on. >> reporter: after the coming back with a search warrant, the fbi arrested phua and his son, accusing him and six others of taking millions in bets on the world cup. now, he and his lawyers are asking the judge to throw the case out, saying the fbi's ruse was illegal. >> if the government can do this, it can also cut off your cable television, your electricity, your phone service and when you call for help, you always have to worry that the person who shows up at your door is actually an undercover agent with a hidden camera. >> reporter: he says police cannot trick their way into a house or hotel room unless they have something more solid than a tip to indicate a crime is being
committed. prosecutors in las vegas declined to comment. their response is due in court in two weeks. but for phua and his co-defendants, these stakes couldn't be higher. pete williams, nbc news, washington. we are gonna be back in a moment with breaking news and it's about a break in that month-long manhunt in the woods of pennsylvania. e woods of pennsylvania. columbia forest products had a problem. their biggest customer is demanding refunds for defects. so i offered to help. at ge capital, we bring expertise from across ge. so i call in our access ge engineers, and together with columbia, we work backwards. from the cabinet factory, to the place they peel the logs. we find the source and help replace the machine. problem solved. if you just need a loan, just call a bank. but at ge capital, we're builders. what we know, can help you grow. this is charlie. his long day of doing it himself starts with back pain... and a choice. take 4 advil in a day or just 2 aleve for all day relief. honey, you did it!
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the nra opposes comprehensive background checks. they want to weaken maryland's gun safety laws. even support letting suspects on the fbi terror watch list buy guns. on gun safety and terror, the nra is wrong. hogan gets an a- from the nra. on protecting maryland, we just can't trust him. as we said, we have breaking news tonight in that manhunt for an accused sniper and accused killer in the pocono mountains in pennsylvania. authorities have been scouring those woods for over a month now, trying to find this man described as a trained survivalist, accused of opening fire on state troopers in an ambush, killing one of them. law enforcement sources tell nbc news tonight eric frein is in custody, captured while hiding in a hangar at pocono mountains municipal airport in pennsylvania.
bottom line is this manhunt appears to be over. you have never seen so much blue in your life, royals fans positively glow royals blue for game seven at home, but it was not to be. it came down to the last catch, last out of game seven. the giants were crowned world series champions with that grab. and imagine being madison bumgarner, the san francisco ace, the man with the wild turntable delivery that starts at about second base. he went 3-0 in the series, his third series and he is 25 years old. big night in cleveland tonight, and nike unfurled a big banner to match. lebron, as you may have heard, is back. all is well once again back in his hometown where the cavaliers open tonight against the new york knicks. researchers at wash u med school in st. louis are out with a report that explains a lot. they say scratching an itch can make you itch more because the minor pain of scratching then produces serotonin, the pleasure chemical, which can then make you want to scratch even more. when we come back on a thursday night, he has given us hours of entertainment and now,
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the goal of the electric board game "operation," which delivers the thrill of actual surgery without any of the responsibility and potential malpractice litigation. as we reported here this week, the inventor of "operation" now needs one himself. oral surgery, to be precise. and because he sold the rights to that game for $500 when he was young, he doesn't have the money, until his friends in the toy community got together to help him. and so we get our toy story tonight from nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: generations of american funny bones have been taken out and tickled. >> i got it. >> reporter: thanks to a 77-year-old chicagoan who had a light go off a half century ago while designing a college project. >> i got an "a." >> not bad. >> they didn't flunk me out. >> reporter: the result?
>> it's "operation," the whacky doctor's game where you're the whacky doctor. >> reporter: these days, john spinello is in need of an operation, oral surgery in the tune of $25,000 he can't afford. you see, spinello was just a kid when he sold the rights to his invention for just $500. that became "operation," a monster seller and family room staple everywhere. >> professional game incenters are. >> reporter: when other toymakers heard of his plight, they rallied. >> we thought the toy industry would respond. we didn't know the world would respond. >> reporter: they showed they don't have broken hearts but big ones, contributing to a fund to pay for the surgery. spinello can't get over the letters and e-mails from well wishers. >> i had had people come up to me, you're responsible for "operation"? i have become a surgeon. >> yes! >> what are you going to be when you grow up? >> a doctor. >> ah. >> it's like more fun when you play it with your family than when you play video games by yourself. >> reporter: john spinello says