tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 8, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
with many businesses struggling to hire. what president biden is saying about this tonight the new showdown over vaccine and mask mandates why the sheriff in l.a. county says he won't enforce new rules. all while some experts now say we're entering a new phase of the pandemic. the college admissions cheating scandal the verdict is in for two of the parents accused of trying to buy their kids way into top colleges. the department of justice' decision after reviewing that controversial shooting of jacob blake. will the officer be charged with civil rights offenses? presidential showdown the white house blocking an attempt by former president trump to withhold documents from congress on the january 6th riots. the new warnings about the price of holiday travel and finding the toys you want what the experts say you should be doing now to get your gifts on time. and superstar tony bennett singing his way into the
guinness book of world records. ♪ this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening the anecdotes we have been hearing about employers desperate to find workers don't at first appear to square with what economists are calling a disappointing jobs report that came out today the slowing pace of growth reflecting an employment landscape some believe has been reshaped by the pandemic leaving some job seekers on the sidelines. in september, buffeted by the covid delta variant, the country added 194,000 jobs fewer than expected. the unemployment rate dropped, however, to 4.8% as more workers exited the job market. but will an improving covid outlook give the economy the boost it needs our team taking a hard look tonight. we begin with peter alexander. >> reporter: tonight help wanted just when america was expected the usher in a fall season of new hires, instead u.s. job growth dropped to its slowest pace of the year with a recent spike of the delta variant and an ongoing shortage of workers holding the economy
back president biden tonight insisting it is a snapshot from nearly a month ago when the covid case count was much higher >> since then, we have seen the daily cases fall by more than one-third and they're continuing to trend down. we're continuing to make progress. >> reporter: the economy in september adding 194,000 jobs a disappointing figure for a second straight month. unemployment dropping below 5% for the first time since before the pandemic with more people giving up looking for work republicans blame president biden's policies one key leader saying if this were a football team with this losing record, the coach would be searching for a new job. kaitlyn was laid off at the height of the pandemic since then she's applied for nearly 300 jobs but can only find in person work. when she feels safer working from home with her ten-month-old baby how frustrating has this been for you? >> it's challenging. and it definitely wears you down mentally you start to feel like am i ever going to get something? is this ever going to
work? >> reporter: according to the job search website indeed, the number one reason people are not going back to work is fear of catching coronavirus still many economists predicted job gains with the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits and school reopenings. but that has not happened if you had your way, how many more people would you hire right now? >> five, at least. >> reporter: in sarasota, florida, mike martin owns reef cakes restaurant, but these days he's juggling multiple jobs himself because he can't find anyone to hire and he's postponed plans to open six days a week. >> i have a head chef here he's working about 65 plus hours a week and i'm working upwards of that, more than that so it's been very challenging. >> reporter: so, peter, what are some of the industries that are still looking to hire right now? >> reporter: yeah, lester among them, retail, restaurants, transportation, health care that have all been raising wages and offering better benefits to try to attract and keep workers. the u.s. right now is still five million jobs below pre-pandemic
levels meaning, there's a long way to go. >> all right peter alexander at the white house. thank you. a pillar of the president's plan to get the economy back on track is his push for vaccine mandates still only about 56% of americans fully vaccinated but as covid cases start to drop, there is new pushback and some questions about how soon the pandemic will enter its next phase. here's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: in knox county, tennessee, the fight over mask mandates is raging from bus stops -- >> you have three minutes to speak. >> reporter: -- to school board meetings >> having my child's education held hostage for an agenda is not right. >> reporter: florida has fined eight school districts for imposing mask requirements in oregon, a judge denied a state trooper's request to block a vaccine mandate. while the sheriff in los angeles says he won't enforce the county's vaccine requirement among his deputies.
>> i don't want to be in the position to lose 5%, 10% of my workforce overnight on a vaccine mandate while at the same time we're barebones with the defunding effort. >> i'm calling on more employers to act. >> reporter: the tension comes as president biden appeals for more private companies to require vaccines about a quarter of eligible americans still haven't gotten their first shot. >> that's why i have had to move toward requirements. >> reporter: but as new covid cases and hospitalizations plummet across much of the country, some public health experts are now wondering whether we're beginning to see the start of a transition from a pandemic to the virus becoming endemic. >> an endemic is one that constantly lurks in your population you can't omit the germ completely you can't get rid of it totally, but you can control it. >> reporter: how will we know when we get there? >> i think we'll know it when we see it when we see hospitalized cases and new cases at a sustained, really low level
if that rate of positives is below 5%, then we think this virus is just smoldering. >> reporter: nationwide, the weekly covid test positivity rate is now around 6%. it's fallen from about 10% early last month. >> we're going from pandemic to endemic. and that means we will be coping with this virus for years to come. >> happy to have you. >> reporter: for business owners, coping may look much different depending on where you live. >> if this becomes endemic, wow, i hate to think of what that means. >> reporter: melba wilson runs a harlem restaurant that requires proof of vaccination to dine indoors. >> in the beginning it hurt we did lose quite a bit of business however, moving forward, i think people like kind of started getting used to it i'm hoping this is something that will be ended hopefully within the next few months or so. >> gabe, let's go back for a moment to the vaccine mandates some police departments aren't quite sure how or whether they will implement them. >> reporter: yeah. that's right, lester here in new york, the nypd, the
nation's largest, says about two-thirds of its officers have had at least one dose. a mandate for city workers went into effect last month, but so far it does not apply to police officers lester >> gabe, thank you. two parents who went to trial in that high-profile college admissions scandal faced long prison terms tonight after being convicted of trying to bribe their children's way into elite universities. here's miguel almaguer >> the first parent to trial faced convictions today. financier john wilson and former casino executive gamal guilty of conspireing to commit bribery and fraud in our nation's most high-profile college admissions scandal. >> powerful and privileged people are not above the law. >> reporter: the four-week trial came to an end after the federal jury deliberated ten and a half hours. prosecutors said abdelaziz paid $300,000 to have his daughter fraudulently admitted to usc as a basketball recruit wilson, convicted of paying $220,000 to have his son
declared a water polo recruit at usc before agreeing to pay $1.5 million so his twin daughters could attend harvard and stanford >> pay for my tuition, lori >> reporter: unlike most parents, including actresses lori loughlin and felicity huffman who served little time behind bars after guilty pleas, abdelaziz and wilson rolled the dice at trial. >> it was a huge gamble because when you go to trial, you are running the risk of being punished for going to trial. >> reporter: the prosecution's case was built around rick singer, the college admission counselor who pleaded guilty to paying bribes to school officials. among the most damaging evidence, wiretaps played in court. >> i just want to make sure our stories are together i'm going to safely say that your $300,000 payment was made to our foundation to help underserved kids.
>> okay. >> reporter: now awaiting sentencing, tonight both parents face up to 20 years in prison miguel almaguer, nbc news the justice department said tonight it will not pursue civil rights charges against the police officer who shot jacob blake in kenosha, wisconsin. the shooting in august 2020 left blake paralyzed from the waist down and sparked days of violent unrest the justice department said there was not evidence to prove that the officer intentionally violated federal criminal civil rights laws. the major showdown tonight over executive privilege between president biden and former president trump who is fighting to withhold records from congress about the january 6th riot kelly o'donnell is at the white house tonight. kelly, what did the biden administration decide on this? >> reporter: lester, president biden denied a request from former president trump
to protect the secrecy of a long list of trump records from that day, january 6th things like call logs and e-mails that are housed in the national archive the former president tried to assert executive privilege, but that power only belongs to the current president. the biden white house said that privilege should not be used to shield information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the constitution itself. former president trump responded accusing mr. biden and democrats of using congress to persecute their political opponents. lester >> all right, kelly. thank you. in just 60 seconds, a staggering number of laser strikes on airplanes. the new warning tonight from the faa. >> reporter: and the dire situation in haiti so many desperate to come here again, even if they have been sent back. we're on the ground.
their vision tonight, we're getting a closer look at the increasingly hazardous living conditions in haiti. it is important because just last month thousands of haitians were sent back there after trying to cross into the u.s. now some say they will try again. jacob soboroff reports. >> reporter: defiant and speaking publically for the first time this week, ambassador daniel foot who resigned his position at the biden administration special envoy to haiti protested the deportation of thousands of haitians on humanitarian grounds. >> the gangs run port-au-prince it is in their control. it is in their hands. >> the situation on the ground in haiti is so dire, the u.s. coast guard says it's picked up three times as many haitians at sea than it did last year hundreds in the last few weeks. the biden administration sent over 7,200 migrants while allows 13,000 to remain in the country for now. mixed messaging that's still giving hope to many haitians that a journey to the
u.s. is still possible in rural haiti, we met several women waiting in line for food distributions from the un, including a single mother of four she and others told us there were a lot of people leaving. in the capital of port-au-prince, even this trauma surgeon who treats victims of gang violence daily echoed a similar message. how many of the people you meet as patients would consider leaving haiti for another country, including the united states >> 90% >> reporter: 90% why so high? >> violence. poverty. >> reporter: and even you as a doctor, is it fair to say that you might think about one day leaving haiti because of the situation here >> yes, i do because i've got dreams too i want a better life >> reporter: after thousands of haitians reached the u.s. border, signs in their home country, more may come
yet. >> we saw thousands of haitians in south america that wanted to make the trek to north america, but there are some in haiti that also wanted to make the trek up. >> i would think many, lester what we saw on the ground there was not just the political instability but extreme poverty, extreme hunger and those natural disasters as well setting people on their way it is why the biden administration sent a delegation there last week. and they said they're pushing for haitian-led solutions to the crisis >> jacob, thank you for your reporting on all this. two journalists are the new nobel peace prize winners. they are maria ressa from the philippines and dmitry muratov from russia. both honored for their work to hold leaders accountable for battling misinformation and promoting freedom of expression. when we come back, the cost of holiday travel is going through the roof we'll tell you the best time to book
we're back now with the price you pay. and if you are planning holiday travel, it is going to cost you a lot. anne thompson reports on when to book for the best deals and where you can still get a bargain. >> reporter: americans are eager to make up for lost time ready to take to the skies this thanksgiving and christmas now that covid is waning increasing demand accompanied by increasing prices. >> the best time would have been to book a few months ago. but the second best time to book is now. >> reporter: travel website hopper says don't wait until after halloween to make your plans because you might get more fright than delight. >> what we see is that prices will drift up from halloween until the week before thanksgiving and then they will pop
another 20% in that week of thanksgiving. >> reporter: hopper says the average air fear bought after halloween will carry a $400 price tag. and jump to $500 thanksgiving week as for a place to stay, it will cost more, too that average now $599 a night. almost double the price two years ago. united airlines says it's seen a 16% increase in holiday travel searches, so it plans to add more planes in december heading to sun and ski destinations like orlando and colorado, especially from the midwest. the travel bargains today exist abroad. >> we're seeing prices right now in the low $600s round-trip to europe, which is unheard of pricing. so those are starting to get higher it's already higher for christmastime. >> reporter: experts say don't dally for the best prices and selection. be flexible about your destinations and dates and book that rental car now.
lester >> all right, anne thanks for the advice. if you think the price of travel is through the roof, let's turn to what the hottest toys will cost this holiday season that's if you can get your hands on them. stephanie ruhle now with how to get the best deals ♪ deck the halls. ♪ with balls of holly. >> reporter: if the idea of starting your holiday shopping now is sending shivers down your spine, you may want to grab a blanket. >> don't wait until tomorrow buy whatever you need today. >> reporter: owner of this toy store in pittsburgh has been in business for 51 years. >> i can't get a lot of it. >> reporter: he's bracing for a holiday shopping season like no other. the reason, supply chain issues. >> it is all stuck at the harbor. >> reporter: he only receives about 50% of what he orders add in inflation. >> most of the stuff has gone up around 10% we tried to order early, you know, before the prices went up but what could we do we just have to pass it on. >> reporter: and that is exactly why she has already started christmas shopping for
her nine-year-old son. >> reporter: what was christmas like for you growing up >> christmas was the best time of the year. just gathering around the tree, opening gifts. everybody had like piles and their own section. i told my son, this year kind of like you get what you get. >> reporter: have you noticed the prices are higher? >> oh, yes we actually picked up a board game not too long ago. the game was $35 that was ridiculous. >> reporter: reports from goldman sachs show the toy makers hasbro and mattel are rising prices to offset inflation. to illustrate why, our colleagues at cnbc tracked care bears made in china where manufacturing costs are up 25% since january. once in the u.s., moving the care bears by rail costs 225% more than 2019 and trucking rates are up 91% all of it driving up costs for care bear maker basic funds. to ensure you don't break the bank this holiday season, be flexible on which brands you buy. set expectations for your little ones now and take
album. the singer was diagnosed with alzheimer's in 2016. he performed his last concert with lady gaga in august. and, finally, the chance meeting of two soldiers that share a powerful bond that goes back to the battlefield a decade ago. courtney kube tonight with those who serve. >> reporter: as a combat medic, daniel exemplifies courage under fire. >> as soon as i hear the call for medic, run towards that danger and render that aid. >> reporter: in august 2011 in afghanistan, his unit came under grenade attack injuring three soldiers. >> it was a volatile area that we were in charge to secure. >> reporter: this attack hit his platoon leader, lieutenant john conte. madeo stabilized him and prepared him for med vac. >> it was a catastrophic event, so there was no walking away from that. >> reporter: what is it like to watch him leave?
>> reporter: back home, lieutenant conte's sister received the terrifying news from another soldier >> hey, your brother was in a grenade explosion. it was 24 hours before i heard any more news. >> reporter: her brother was safe that's the moment she decided to be an army doctor. >> i felt i wanted to pay it forward. >> reporter: 10 years later, 22 service members from units nationwide gathered in little rock assigned to a civilian hospital overwhelmed by covid cases. at a team dinner, a surprising connection. >> he said, do you have an older brother? and i said yes did your older brother serve in the infantry and i'm like yes is your older brother john conte? i'm like yes he said, i was in your brother's platoon. i was actually the medic that took care of your brother. >> how could this happen you know, it is just such a big world. i mean, we were sitting like literally right next to each other. >> i just gave him a big hug for a long time. and didn't really have words to express the gratitude
. i'm raj mathai. next on nbc bay area news tonight, you've heard of atm robberies but what about a bitcoin robbery? caught on camera in the south bay. did the thieves even know it was a bitcoin atm? also one of the highest vaccination rates in the country, so what's marin county doing right? i speak with the county's health officer, who is a covid survivor himself, about the new mask rules announced today. plus the legal battle over kids getting vaccinated. why some parents are lawyering up and heading to court to decide if their kids will get the shot.