tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 13, 2021 2:06am-2:41am PDT
the wildfire exploding out of control in california. a major highway partially shut down. mandatory evacuations ordered. new fallout after super bowl-winning nfl coach jon gruden resigned over offensive e-mails. what it means for the rest of the league if you're on doctor's orders to take a daily aspirin to cut the risk of heart attack or stroke, the major change you need to know about and she's 93 and at the forefront of a charge to save a piece of history from the bulldozers >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt good evening as the nation turns the corner in the fight against covid, the thing that some experts believe has helped slow the spread, vaccine mandates, are facing the biggest challenge yet. the governor of texas tonight banning businesses and entities in his state from requiring proof of vaccination, setting the state on a collision course with
the feds and leaving some companies that operate there caught in the middle. nationally, the number of fully vaccinated has inched up to 56.5%, leaving 67 million americans who are eligible for the shots unvaccinated even as attention turns again to booster shots for the already vaccinated miguel almaguer tells us more. >> reporter: even as some hospitals in hard-hit texas face another surge of covid cases, the governor here is issuing an executive order prohibiting any entity including private businesses from imposing vaccine requirements, fighting what he calls federal overreach, governor greg abbott says covid vaccines are safe, effective and our best defense against the virus but should remain voluntary and never forced >> we continuously are releasing mandates that are undermining everything that public health stands for. >> reporter: with many frontline workers outraged by the ban on vaccine mandates, abbott, who contracted covid in august, has
tried to stop school districts from requiring masks and covid vaccines, though they have long required vaccinations for diseases like polio and measles. some of the nation's biggest corporations are based in texas american airlines saying today, "we believe the federal vaccine mandate supersedes any conflicting state laws." >> there have just been so many things that have been perplexing that go against medical advice, that go against what some of the greatest scientific minds in the world have been advising us to do since the very beginning of the pandemic >> reporter: as our nation squabbles over mandates, some 67 million who are eligible remain unvaccinated today the brooklyn nets say they have no choice but to play without nba superstar kyrie irving, who has not complied with new york city's mandate to play at the barclays center >> i think it's very disappointing that a high-profile athlete declined vaccination
we all really should get vaccinated, not only for ourselves but on behalf of everybody around us. >> reporter: with many americans still refusing to get their first dose, this week the fda will also take on boosters for those vaccinated with moderna and johnson & johnson. tonight our nation deeply divided over the choice to vaccinate and the right to implement mandates >> and miguel, there's news breaking about kids and vaccines. what are you hearing >> reporter: well, lester, the white house had a phone call with governors today telling them to be prepared to vaccinate children 5 to 11 years old by early november. of course that's anticipating fda authorization. meantime, on friday we should add the fda will also hear research on mixing vaccines that's already happening in other countries and could soon happen here lester >> news a lot of us have been tracking miguel, thank you. just developing tonight, a deadly shooting at a post office facility in memphis, tennessee authorities say a postal employee shot and killed two other workers at that facility they say the suspect then died from a
self-inflicted gunshot. the facility is a postal annex it is not used by the public breaking tonight, new details about the death of gabby petito. three weeks after her body was found in wyoming a coroner there releasing autopsy results revealing her cause of death. kristen dahlgren has more for us tonight. >> reporter: after an exhaustive autopsy the teton county coroner confirming how gabby petito was killed. >> cause death by strangulation and manner is homicide >> reporter: the coroner says the 22-year-old died three to four weeks before her body was discovered in the wyoming wilderness that would put petito's death somewhere around the last week of august. the last confirmed sighting of petito was august 27th. two weeks after the moab police stopped petito and her boyfriend brian laundrie after bystanders reported domestic violence. >> i was apologizing to him >> reporter: no charges were filed tonight the coroner says the case is in the hands of investigators and that dna samples were taken
by the fbi >> this autopsy included a whole body cat scan, a examination by a forensic pathologist so we pretty much covered all the bases. >> reporter: investigators have been searching for laundrie for nearly a month. wanted on debit card fraud charges and for questioning in petito's homicide. after his parents say he went hiking in a local reserve in september and never returned today an attorney for laundrie called gabby's death a tragedy, adding "brian is only considered a person of interest in relation to gabby petito's demise. at this time brian is still missing and when he's located we will address the pending fraud charge against him. no comment from petito's family as they learn more about her final hours. kristen dahlgren, nbc news there is a new wildfire raging tonight in california, where high winds caused a blaze near santa barbara to blow up, forcing evacuations and
threatening more than 100 buildings. erin mclaughlin has late details for us. >> reporter: it's a battle to save california's pristine coastline from devastation. just north of santa barbara the alisal fire burns out of control, shutting down a section of the famed pacific coast highway. its breathtaking views now marred by smoke. >> not only is this area prone to significant fires that have had significant damage in the past but it's also a beautiful area >> reporter: the fire doubling in size overnight. forcing evacuations from the forest to the sea. firefighters now defending the famed reagan ranch once known as the west coast white house. you can see those flames climbing up that hillside just feet away from this highway. fire officials say the dry fuel combined with the northerly winds are the reason why this highway will be closed for the foreseeable future 7,000 acres scorched, 0% contained threatening up to 120 structures the toll adding to the state's staggering fire season. almost 2 million acres
burned so far. >> do you tie this to climate change >> you know, some people would we are seeing our fires burn differently. we're seeing them burn hotter and faster. they're more dangerous. >> reporter: rancher patrick brown's family has owned this land for more than 80 years. he evacuated last night. are you scared >> yeah. >> reporter: tonight fear, apprehension, and an all-out effort to save one of the most beautiful stretches on earth erin mclaughlin, nbc news, santa barbara county a new drive by the biden administration to block that controversial law in texas that bans most abortions. the justice department urging a federal appeals court to suspend the law once again. our catie beck is in texas with more tonight. >> reporter: in texas tonight a new firestorm of legal chaos over the state's controversial abortion law. >> there's just a remarkable uncertainty, confusion with patients about what the requirements are of the law and
whether or not abortion is still legal. >> reporter: last week a lower court in texas suspended the law, declaring it unconstitutional then 48 hours later an appeals court reinstated it. >> the bill that i'm about to sign that ensures that the life of every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion. >> reporter: the most restrictive abortion law in the country took effect september 1st, banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected around six weeks but it does not criminalize abortion instead it allows citizens to be enforcers who can file suit against anyone who helped obtain an abortion past the deadline for up to $10,000. anti-abortion advocates encouraged to see the law once again in effect. >> the fact that it has saved about 100 lives a day for over a month, meaning over 3,000 lives saved, is just an incredible victory. >> reporter: but overnight the justice
department asking an appeals court to suspend the law again, calling it state-sanctioned sabotage of the constitution texas democratic state representative donna howard says the confusing climate is by design, to make getting an abortion virtually impossible >> if you're not paying attention right now to what's going on in texas, you need to be because what's happening here is absolutely what's going to flow across the rest of our nation >> reporter: texas has until thursday to respond to the justice department this case could ultimately be decided at the supreme court lester >> all right catie beck, thank you. in just 60 seconds new details about the downfall of las vegas raiders head coach jon gruden and after days of chaos at southwest airlines new warning signs about holiday travel
ups driver and the pilot, who was a doctor from arizona. people in the neighborhood helped to rescue one couple from their burning home now to the bombshell rocking the nfl tonight. super bowl-winning coach jon gruden resigning from the las vegas raiders after e-mails containing racist, homophobic and misogynistic language were revealed. steve patterson now with the growing fallout. >> reporter: the news came as millions tuned in to "monday night football." >> breaking news tonight. jon gruden out as las vegas raiders head coach. >> reporter: jon gruden announcing his exit as head coach of the raiders. just hours after a "new york times" report detailed a series of e-mails he wrote over the course of nearly a decade that include sexist, racist and anti-gay language aimed at a slew of targets ranging from players to league officials. in a statement to the team gruden saying, "i love the raiders and do not want to be a distraction. i'm sorry. i never meant to hurt anyone." the e-mails sent while
gruden was an analyst for espn and confirmed by the nfl but not seen by nbc news were initially discovered during an nfl workplace misconduct investigation. the report detailed several e-mails from gruden including a racist description of nfl union chief demaurice smith, anti-gay slurs insulting the nfl commissioner, panning the hiring of female referees and chiding the hiring of the league's first openly gay player, michael sam. wide receiver keyshawn johnson, who played under gruden, on espn. >> he's just always been a fraud to me never from day one, he's been a used car salesman >> reporter: the league slammed gruden's comments, calling them "appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the nfl's values." now new questions on how the nfl will handle this investigation as the league combs through a trove of e-mails and calls for transparency get louder >> the only way to answer all these questions is to make the e-mails available and let's see who said what and when about whom and to whom, and then maybe we have a
better picture of how big of a cultural problem this is for the nfl. >> reporter: the disgraced exit of one of the nfl's biggest names raising more questions about the league's future. steve patterson, nbc news southwest airlines delayed hundreds more flights today as it gets back up and running following days of cancellations and chaos. our tom costello now on what could be a very troubling sign ahead of the busy holiday travel season. >> reporter: five days after the meltdown began -- >> are there any seats -- >> reporter: -- southwest was mostly back on schedule today, canceling just 89 flights after cutting nearly 2,500 since friday forcing hundreds of thousands of angry passengers to miss their flights. >> it was horrible we had a flight friday morning at 7:00 a.m. that was canceled due to crew issues we were delayed 12 hours getting out of orlando to get to chicago. >> i was kind of scared this morning that our flight was going
>> obviously, i really feel for our customers. >> reporter: again today blamed the trouble on weather-related airport ground stops in florida last friday >> by the end of the day we had significant numbers of airplanes and flight crews that were totally out of position >> reporter: but while other airlines recovered quickly, it took southwest until today to catch up. through the summer many airlines struggled to handle the unexpected surge in passenger traffic >> it seems like southwest was likely, you know, at the max capacity in their schedule with very little margin for error and a lot of their flights do go through florida. >> reporter: both southwest and its pilots union deny suggestions that pilots caused the slowdown to protest the federal vaccine mandate. though southwest pilots have asked a court to temporarily block the mandate. american's pilots union says 30% are still not vaccinated while 84% of delta's employees and 99% of united's are vaccinated between airline staffing shortages, controversy over vaccine mandates, and
recommendations. what does everyone need to know >> lester, this comes from the u.s. preventive services task force which today issued a draft recommendation changing previous guidance that called for a daily low dose of aspirin for those 50 and older who are at a high risk of heart disease or stroke these new recommendations now say adults in their 40s and 50s should only take daily aspirin if their doctors recommend it but the biggest change, adults 60 and older should not take daily aspirin if they haven't had a prior heart attack or stroke the task force says the potential side effects, mainly bleeding, outweigh the benefits for them. lester >> this caught a lot of folks' attention. thanks for walking us through it, doctor there's a new water crisis in michigan involving unsafe levels of lead not far from the city of flint where that water disaster there put so many at risk. our meagan fitzgerald has more tonight >> reporter: just three hours from flint another michigan city facing an urgent water crisis the contamination coming from old lead pipes. had you been drinking and cooking with the water before then? >> i had i had no idea.
>> reporter: the state says it's known about levels for three years and that residents had access to the information, but many residents say neither the city nor the state did enough to warn them of the danger when did you learn that there was lead in the water? >> last week i've been drinking the water, cooking with the water, brushing my teeth. >> reporter: two weeks ago the state started distributing bottled water to residents after a petition was filed last month detailing the problem to the epa >> the state of michigan would not have responded to this crisis if it hadn't been for the petition from epa >> how do you know that >> because years had gone by where nothing had happened >> reporter: hundreds of people have been waiting hours, lines stretched across several blocks for some this is their only hope at fresh drinking water >> this community cannot afford to buy water. i'm horrified. i cannot believe for one second that a city, a state, or the federal government would allow children to continue to drink this water >> reporter: but the state agency responsible for
oversight of the water supply says they've been addressing the lead levels all along. >> steps were taken as soon as the elevated levels were recorded to work on that corrosion control and get that in place. corrosion control takes time we are seeing elevated numbers, but we're also seeing in general an improvement overall. >> reporter: a community fearful and worried about their health the state and the epa have allocated millions of dollars to fix the pipes here, but officials say that's a process that could take years lester >> all right, meagan, thank you. up next, one woman's battle to save part of her neighborhood and her heritage from being bulldozed.
this is hispanic heritage month, and tonight we look at the battle to save part of a neighborhood in el paso, texas and one woman doing everything she can do to protect it guad venegas is there. >> reporter: they call her tonita and at 93 antonia morales is almost as old as the neighborhood she's fighting to save >> i like my community. i'm happy. >> reporter: two blocks of century-old structures including a chinese laundry and victorian homes all part of the downtown el paso barrio called el duranguito, where people displaced by
the mexican revolution but for now the future of part of el duranguito hangs in the balance. the city of el paso has been trying to build a 15,000-seat entertainment center here for concerts and sports events, which would mean destroying parts of the neighborhood tonita's lived in for decades so she's fighting back refusing buyouts to leave her apartment, she's now the only holdout in her complex doing what she can to save this storied neighborhood el duranguito is one of eight latino heritage sites that have not been classified as historic districts, excluding them from conservation and protection, like park, a historic gathering place for
chicano students >> only 2% of all national landmarks have anything to do with hispanic history. >> reporter: local historian david romo says el duranguito's historical significance is being overlooked >> we have roots here. and that's why we're fighting >> reporter: the former mayor of el paso says economic growth in this area would benefit the community more than preserving it. did you guys consider building the arena at a different site there's a lot of land in el paso >> we looked at other areas. there were four studies done before i became mayor that determined that that was the best location. >> reporter: the city won three lawsuits trying to stop the project and another is still pending. but tonita has no plans to back down sure to become a historical figure herself, just like the neighborhood she hopes to save. guad venegas, nbc news, el paso, texas thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of
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♪ real love i'm searching for a real love ♪ ♪ someone to set my heart free ♪ ♪ real love i'm searching for a real love ♪ [cheers and applause] >> kelly: welcome to "the kelly clarkson show"! give it up for my band y'all! [cheers and applause] that was some marriage able eyes for you, michelle and the audience requested "real love" why did you want to hear that? >> thank you for that song. >> kelly: i love that song, you are welcome. it's because i'm a huge fan and it resonates well with me because i am in my late 30s and still single and have not found the real love yet, but i feel like this is my year, it's going to happen.
right? >> kelly: even if it isn't come enjoy being single a little bit longer. >> sounds good. >> kelly: we will be feeling real love all our, see what i did there, one of the hearts on the big screen in small since he '70s, "real housewives of beverly hills" kyle richards is joining us. let's bring out our first guest, she is an incredible actress coming up seen her in "cruel intentions," "legally blonde," and "american crime story" her new documentary is called "introducing selma blair" in an honest look at looking at multiple sclerosis, a disease that attacks your immune systems and makes every day difficult. it is out starting october 21st, please everybody welcome selma blair! [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪
i love your outfit! >> selma: thank you, i was like i have to get to my audition. >> kelly: i love it. that's -- >> selma: i was like i match perfectly. i deal. it makes a difference. >> kelly: it makes you happy. i'm one of those people that loves to be surrounded by bright colors. >> selma: and you are wearing -- it looks good though. this feel like i love the color. i feel like we met in a coffee shop years ago. >> selma: i was not so memorable, because i was not winning "america idol," but you in the beginning days, coffee bean, i am with my manager and best friend, because i pay him so he can be my friend. anyway, i am lucky, but he -- we just are obsessed still, i'm so glad you made something of
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i have a punch, and maybe i will give you one, because it is amazing, you never know when you are going to a cane actually. but i love it and i do love wearing high heels as well, that's why it's a little bit long in the legs. >> kelly: it is nikes or i am being paid. >> selma: i love it, i'm going to try to row wear heels. >> kelly: you are nailing it. and i love the colors once again. is it also true, this is amazing, do you carry a tiny hand everywhere you go? >> selma: i did not bring it on here. i've a lot of props like high heels, a cane, and trying to get my hands on it, okay, maybe not with a tiny hand, but i always have it. it's in the bag and ready to come out. >> kelly: when you pull it out? >> selma: as you know, i think we go to the same school, our children, not us. but doing the tours a few years ago and not nailing it, because
you are really -- you are getting it coming or not to your kids, because they are still too little. but this one school where he does go and -- >> kelly: we took the tour my ex and i am or like i've never felt so inadequate. because the schools are amazing. >> selma: they are amazing. and it feels like oh, my god if i can just get through this stage of my life getting my kids in school i've done it as a parent. the rest might be a little iffy. >> kelly: we are trying. >> selma: so we get to the school and his dad and i are really nervous, and we are breaking up, it's really a contentious time were doing the school stuff, so i started to do it, i started to take that tiny hand out and i was wearing long sleeves and he is going, no. and i'm like i can't help it. and we are in the science teacher, and i'm like they'll love it. and it's a private school, and i am like i'm having fun. and then i see my savage, the science teacher everyone is so