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tv   NBC Bay Area News at 530  NBC  September 21, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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u.s. will lead on covid, climate change, and human rights, but he was clear he will not go at this alone. >> i believe we must work together as never before. also the message the president had for china. plus, the autopsy is in. gabby petito's death ruled a homicide. new details on the young woman killed on a cross-country trip with her fiancé. why investigators are searching a nature reserve in florida. the way we've been fighting wildfires for the last century may be making us more vulnerable to feature disasters. i'm senior investigative reporter. coming up, we investigate what could be putting your community in danger. the news at 5:30 starts
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right now. good tuesday. thank you so much for joining us. i'm janelle wang. >> i'm raj mathai. president biden laying out his foreign policy agenda. this comes at a delicate time of his presidency. the president is trying to reassert america's role as the global leader while defending his decision to pull troops from afghanistan and repairing strained relations with allies. nbc's alice barr has details. >> reporter: in his biggest moment yet on the world stage, president biden today addressing the united nations general assembly, vowing to lead an era of international cooperation to solve pressing global challenges. >> at the dawning of what must be a decisive decade for our world. >> reporter: the president charting a starkly different path from his predecessor's america first policy, calling for a global commitment to fight covid and climate change.
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>> our prosperity and very freedoms are interconnected in my view as never before. and so i believe we must work together as never before. >> reporter: the speech comes at that time of new skepticism over u.s. commitment to collaboration less than a month after america's chaotic withdrawal from afghanistan despite many allies' reservations. >> i stand here today for the first time in 20 years with the united states not the war. >> reporter: president biden promising a new chapter of relentless diplomacy instead of relentless war. >> u.s. military power must be our tool of last resort, not our first. >> reporter: the president focused on competing with china while insisting -- >> we're not seeking a new cold war. >> reporter: but u.s. attempts to counter china through a nuclear submarine deal with australia have infuriated america's oldest ally, france,
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after they were cut out of the lucrative president biden seeks to re-establish america's role as a world leader. the white house skipped the u.n general assembly. tomorrow president biden will host a virtual covid summit with u.n. leaders. he's looking to send more vaccine doses around the world amid criticism of the u.s. booster plan when much of the global population has yet to receive even one shot. in washington, alice barr, nbc news. >> thank you, alice. two shots are better than one. johnson & johnson says a two-dose version of its covid vaccine provides 94% protection against infection. that makes it comparable to pfizer and moderna's two-dose vaccine. the j&j vaccine was touted as one-and-done shot that provides 79% protection against covid infections. 81% against hospitalization. the company says one shot is
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still highly effective but it says real-world data shows a booster produces even better numbers at 94%. a new report on how contagious the delta variant is. today a new cdc report on the outbreak at a federal prison in texas over the summer. the report shows the delta variant infected all but three unvaccinated prisoners and 129 out of 185 who were fully vaccinated. one unvaccinated person died. the cdc says the report shows the delta variant is highly contagious in crowds, in between places with a high vaccination rate. the autopsy results are in. the teton county coroner's office in wyoming confirming they have found the body of gabby petito, but they're not revealing the details of how she was killed. investigators continue to scour the area where the remains of the 22-year-old were discovered. this is all happening as the manhunt intensifies for petito's
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fiancé, brian laundrie. crews were at the carlton reserve near his family's home in north fort, florida, south of tampa. tuesday is the last time his parents saw him. >> brian laundrie has done absolutely nothing other than to help himself and bide time so that he could cover his tracks and his actions. >> police in south florida confirming today that petito's case is now officially a criminal investigation. nowadays a quick answer for a lot of people, a lot of experts, is climate change. our increased fire danger is due to the rising temperatures and drier conditions. each new wildfire, though, seems to burn faster and spread farther. >> but senior investigative reporter digs deeper into a 100-year-old practice that some say is fanning the fires across the state.
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>> reporter: flames were the only guiding light when the chinook helicopter rescued more than 200 people trapped at the mammoth pool reservoir 80 miles south of yosemite. it cut off all roads heading out of the area. >> there was a lot of chaos obviously down on the ground. >> reporter: this rescue pilot spoke to us from his current deployment in kuwait. he's with the california army national guard and says the fast-moving flames barely gave anyone time to escape. >> some of the people had been burned badly, skin coming off of the body. >> reporter: so why did this wildfire spread so quickly? the answer may have to do with what happened here years before the creek fire ever ignited. >> the more trees you remove from the forest, the hotter fires tend to burn. >> reporter: he's a forest and fire ecologist. >> when the fire started downslope of us -- >> reporter: he took us on a
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tour of the creek fire and gave us a first look at his new research that essentially blames the u.s. forest service for creating hazardous conditions that allowed the creek fire and other fires across california to burn faster and spread farther. >> if what you're saying is true, the federal government could actually be putting peoples lives in danger. >> yeah, they're making things worse. >> reporter: at issue is what's known at post-fire logging. that's when burned trees are removed after a wildfire in hopes of reducing fuel during future fires. it's a standard practice for the u.s. forest service. but hanson and a growing number of scientists believe logging may have fanned the flames racing toward the mammoth pool reservoir. you can still see the cars left behind a year later as people ran from the fire. >> if it wasn't for the logging 5:15 wouldn't have reached the reservoir quickly. >> which means more would have
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had time to evacuate. roughly 380,000 charred acres and this is where the flames burned the tallest and fastest. it's also an area that's been logged several times over the past 25 years. using the forest service's own data, hanson flotd perimeter of the creek fire. he found the flames first erupted at big creek canyon. according to his research, that's also where the fire burned most intensely. and here are areas that were logged after previous wildfires. hanson says that overlap shows areas that were logged are three times as likely to burn faster and hotter versus areas left alone. >> big logs like this, not only do they soak up and retain large amounts of moisture like sponges, but they interrupt the flow of the fire across the forest floor. fires come from the ground up and fires have to hit this and climb over it. that actually can slow the flames. >> that is entirely bogus.
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there's nothing in the scientific literature to support that. >> reporter: this is a foster research scientist. he works with the forest service, but only spoke to us in his capacity as a professor at uc berkeley. >> the creek fire actually was a great example of that and we believe that most of what fueled that growth was the dead trees that were killed during the drought that proceeded that fire by four or five years. >> there are people watching left scratching their heads thinking how are highly educated scientists looking at the same fire and drawing totally different conclusions? >> it is a problem. there are some folks who have an agenda to essentially eliminate commercial harvesting on national forests. >> in 2018, more than 200 scientists from across the country, including professors at
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harvard, ucla, and uc davis, penned a letter asking lawmakers to reduce fire logging throughout the west. >> were all those scientists just wrong? >> no. i think honestly they're misguided when it comes to the scale of the issue. i think there's absolutely a role for burned trees to be left in the forest as habitats. but that role isn't over tens of thousands of acres. >> reporter: what i'm hearing you say is that it can be a too many in the toolbox, but it shouldn't just be the standard after every single fire? >> correct. this issue of scale is critical here. >> reporter: despite our repeated requests, the u.s. forest service declined to comment on our story. and the increased criticism the agency is facing about its financial stake in post-fire logging, which some view as a conflict of interest. each year the forest service makes about $45 million by
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selling timber to private lumber companies. >> it's not as though it's going to line someone's pockets. that money is being reinvested into reforestation of those areas. >> reporter: so they're financially incentivized and it's making things worse across the board. we have to change direction. >> reporter: you're talking about making what very well might be the biggest change in how we respond to wildfires in america in more than 100 years. >> that's exactly what i'm talking about. >> reporter: with roughly 03 wildfires burning across california, daring reskz aren't tliej become less dangerous. but so far there's little agreement on how exactly to make them less necessary. >> who do we believe? tonight at 7:00, we'll be joined by both of the scientists you just heard from and how researchers can come together possibly to figure out how to best protect our homes coming up on our 7:00 newscast.
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up next, the fight against climate change. the one thing bill gates says we're doing in the u.s. that's making it more difficult. if your car is running right, you might not notice your catalytic converter. you'll notice if it's been stolen though. i'm chris chmura. i'm chief meteorologist jeff ranieri. fall arrives tomorrow. take a look at my long-range outlook. our chance of rainfall in six minutes.
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excuse me, i was wondering could we-- ? bedroom! finding the right person for the job isn't always easy... ...but when you have an insurance question, you can always count on your local geico agent. they can give you personalized advice and could help you save hundreds. who wants some dress shirts!? for expert help with all your insurance needs, get to know your local geico agent today. while many of us are driving less during the pandemic, thieves across the country have been using one car part more. >> okay, what is it? let's bring in chris chmura explaining why the catalytic converters are the criminals' top choice. where is it on the car? >> right underneath in between the engine and the exhaust.
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you know, the cost of it is upwards of $3,000. so many cars are parked while people work from home, you're just a sitting duck. they're easy to take. thieves want them for the metal inside that has shot up in value. >> because people know they're going to get more money because they're worth more and it takes two to three minutes to make a couple hundred bucks or a couple thousand dollars. >> coming up tonight at 11:00, police tell us the vehicles that are most at risk. we'll lay them out and walk you through the steps you need to take to protect your car. your engine is revved up over consumer complaint? go to, click the responds option from the main menu or give us a call at 888-996-tips. >> thanks, chris. the election results are mixed in canada this evening. justin trudeau wins his third
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straight election but failed to get the majority in parliament that he was hoping for. trudeau believes canadians didn't want a conservative government during a pandemic, so he called a snap election which is two years earlier. bill gates says partisan politics is hurting the climate change problem. gates said fighting climate change is a political issue and that needs to change. president biden made climate change one of his priorities. former president trump withdrew the u.s. from the paris climate accord. gates says decarbonizing economies is a monumental task and needs help from all political parties. gates says he sees momentum building but it says this will be the hardest thing humanity has ever done. extreme weather in guatemala has people doing whatever they can to escape right now. tonight on "nbc nightly news,"
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megan fitzgerald is making the trek where families are having trouble getting food. nearly half of all children in the country under the age of 5 are chroniclely malnourished. >> when people are closer to the edge because of generalized insecurity, a bad climate event can push them over the edge. >> coming up on "nightly news," a man is willing to risk everything to get out of the country and hear what he's already tried so far. let's bring in our chief meteorologist jeff ranieri. is it as this our final day of summer? >> it is. are you sad to see it go? >> no. it was so hot today. it's going out with a bang. >> it's hot right now. >> i'm ready for cooler weather and also some rainfall chances. i thought i'd start with something different tonight. with fall officially arriving tomorrow and a look at my long-range forecast. when it comes to our rainfall chances, let's get right to it.
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september 29th next week into october 2nd we're looking at a system that's becoming a bit more clear into focus impacting fires to the north. it offers a few spotty shower chances. but what we're looking ahead towards right now is mid-october. we could see a significant pattern change here. what i'm calling a 70% chance right now for a moderate storm system to bring the bay area a quarter to a half inch. still a ways out from that, but definitely some stuff to look forward to. also as we continue through fall and winter, a 75% chance la niña returns 27% of times, that brings us above average rainfall. heading in the right direction here. we got a lot to make up for, but some good news here on the map tonight. so as we head into fall tomorrow, we'll get a look at temperatures beginning to cool
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off. we have this system to the north that will drop our temperatures and also helps push the smoke towards the east. improved air quality as well. wednesday, no problems. chillier beginning as you head out the door with temperatures in the upper 50s and also low 60s. san francisco, 56. north bay at 57. daytime highs instead of the mid and upper 90s, we're back down to 83 in san jose. 85 in milpitas. through the east bay also much more comfortable. 88 in pleasanton. 79 in san mateo. san francisco we have 71 in downtown right at the coastline, 69. through the north bay, 88 in sonoma, and 76 in mill valley. in san francisco low 70s through the next couple days. 60s coming back this weekend. across the inland valleys, i'm again. so we go down tomorrow back up
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to 94 thursday. and then here we go, much more comfortable this weekend right into next week. we have those 80s returning. so raj and janelle, are you ready for rain chances? >> yeah. >> pretty good forecast for october, right? >> happy fall. >> looking forward to that. thanks, jeff. up next, a creative way to make money. the tip you'll want to hear if you're leasing your car. stay with us. (background talking and laughing) ♪ ♪ (child) ...some people just go there immediately... at kaiser permanente, your entire care team is connected. so even a routine appointment can save your life. i am so glad you did this mammogram, so we can detect it early. everything looks great with your eyes,
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if you lease your car, you might find out it's better to sell it off than to turn it back in. a global computer chip shortage means fewer new cars are on the dealer lots, and that sent the used car market skyrocketing. the people who are about to come to the end of their lease generally have an option to pay a balance and buy the car outright. but buying the car outright then selling it to a used car wholesaler can lead to a pretty good profit because lease buyout
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prices were set years ago when dealerships never thought used car prices would be so high. there is a backup offshore, container ships are stuck off the shore of california. yesterday there were 72 container ships waiting to unload at the port of long beach. carriers are starting to cancel upcoming shipments to allow some of the containers to clear. that means some goods could be delayed, major a disruption in the supply chain. the demand for imports jumped during the pandemic, and retailers are gearing up for the holiday season. chipotle is adding a new item to the menu, smoked brisket. the chain says it's you willnary team has been working to perfect this recipe. this is their third major menu division after cilantro cauliflower rice. it will go on sale on thursday. i'm in.
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i'll try it. >> sounds delicious. ready for the reunion at levi stadium? sunday's big night for the 49ers and the fans. stay with us.
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the players and the fans have been waiting a long time for this sunday's game. >> yeah, a long time back to, what? january of 2020. that's a year and a half. that's a long time ago. that's the last time the 49ers played a real home game at levi
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stadium with fans in the stands. it was a big one. the nfc championship when they dismantled the packers, winning this game. they then advanced to the super bowl. fast forward to this sunday, the 49ers' home opener ends on nbc's sunday night football against the packers. a sellout crowd expected. it's going to be rocking, so will that parking lot. 49ers coming into this game 2-0. the packers are 1-1. again, sunday night football right here on nbc bay area. kickoff at 5:20. we have a special newscast before the game at 3:00 p.m. and then complete postgame coverage live from levi. it's the ryder cup that tease off friday. likely going to be a pressure-packed weekend. >> i believe that we will win! i believe that we will win!
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>> a major, you're playing for yourself. at a ryder cup, it's a lot more than just you. [ cheers ] you're playing for your teammates and your captains, but you're also playing for your country. my favorite event to play in. it means a lot more to me. >> the number one goal at the beginning of each year is to make the team event that year. and the ryder cup and that first tee shot, it's that good. >> i just love team sports. you're also representing your country, which is just bad ass in itself. >> the consequences if you don't hit a good shot or if you lose, that's not on you, that's on all your teammates and they don't get to experience in a very often. >> a major would be a ten. you're playing for not just
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yourself. you have a bigger responsibility because of that, the pressure is so much more. >> wow. that music was dramatic. >> think of it as a football game with golf. i mean, the fans are into it. you can watch all the action throughout the weekend here on nbc bay area and the golf channel. i'm fired up right now. >> a lot of sports on nbc bay area. >> raj and janelle, right now at 6:00, ready to step up to help refugees from afghanistan. the bay area school district preparing for new students right in the middle of the year. >> the message i would send to our community is to welcome people with open arms, with grace, and with empathy. >> what else the local community is doing to help those refugees. just how hard was it to get into dreamforce this year?
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combatting hate crimes. the meeting of the minds in the bay area about a troubling trend. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for being with us. >> i'm zblaj i'm jessica aguirre. it is san francisco's marquee event, dreamforce kicking off with star power today. metallica playing virtually from l.a. today the annual salesforce returned after a pandemic hiatus. but like most things, it looks different this go-around. 1,000 people in attendance and some of the covid restrictions are some of the strictest so far. >> dreamforce with 140,000 people, this time. the protocols are so tight, that even the man who came up with this trail head concept in 2016


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