tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 19, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
protection it comes as vaccine mandate battles heat up the college football coach who refused the shot fired also tonight the race to rescue americans held hostage in haiti the gang reportedly demanding $17 million for the 16 americans and 1 canadian what happens if the ransom isn't paid? the fiery plane crash in texas the passengers believed to be headed to boston for tonight's alcs game four remarkably, all 21 onboard escaping alive. the critical vote tonight by the january 6th committee on holding trump ally steve bannon in contempt of congress new developments in a story you first saw right here the heated texas school board meeting after a top administrator was recorded making controversial remarks about the holocaust. the former student alleging anti-semitic bullying the key deadline in the nfl's concussion settlement after the league pledged to end the controversial practice known as race norming.
and sky high -- the big celebration for chicago's historic wnba champs. chicago's historic w nbc champs. good evening, and thank you for joining us now that booster shots are becoming a reality americans fully vaccinated from covid-19 have some big decisions to make. tonight, the fda appears poised to move forward not only with approving booster shots for those vaccinated with moderna and johnson & johnson, but also clearing the way for so-called mixing and matching of boosters following hearings last week, as early as tomorrow, the fda could approve the move but what's the most effective of the boosters that question may be left to all of us to answer the freedom to mix vaccines could impact millions of americans looking to extend protection from the virus. miguel almaguer has more >> reporter: as early as tomorrow the fda could authorize fully vaccinated americans
to receive a booster shot that's different from the brand they initially received the approach of mixing and matching covid vaccines would affect tens of millions of americans. first reported by "the new york times" and confirmed by nbc news, the government will not recommend one shot over the other, saying the public should stick to the vaccine originally received. but for 15 million jabbed with johnson & johnson, new research shows antibody levels rose 76-fold with the moderna booster compared to a minimal increase with another shot of j&j. >> what we're finding out is that there are some cases where if you got one vaccine and then a booster with a different vaccine, you get a better immune response, a broader immune response against variants >> reporter: expected to sign off on moderna and j&j, boosters this week, the fda's decision will then be reviewed and likely approved by the cdc.
amid a pushback on vaccine mandates, authorities are doubling down on their importance, especially for those at higher risk general colin powell, who was fully vaccinated, still lost his life to covid, because he was immunocompromised. >> their bodies are just unable to respond to the vaccines. the rest of us need to do all we can to not only protect ourselves, but to protect the most vulnerable among us. >> reporter: tonight, tens of millions are waiting for an extra shot of protection miguel almaguer, nbc news i'm megan fitzgerald tonight, the costly toll behind vaccine mandates washington state's head football coach fired for refusing to comply with the state's vaccination order, walking away from a $3 million a year contract. and a sudden reversal from southwest, no longer forcing unvaccinated employees to take unpaid leave the airline says they're waiting on
exemption requests to be reviewed. the news comes the news comes after recent airline disruptions, including 2,000 southwest flight cancellations and delays the mandate battle also hitting the military tens of thousands of active duty service members still unvaccinated ahead of a looming deadline despite pushback across the nation, legal experts say private and public businesses can require vaccinations for employment >> employees who were terminated for not complying with mandatory vaccination policy, technically have been fired for violation of a company policy in a lot of states, that can result in disqualification from receiving unemployment benefits >> reporter: in california, protests over a statewide mandate which requires all k through 12 students get vaccinated, while a school in miami, who stopped vaccinated teachers from interacting with students in the spring, now saying vaccinated kids have to stay home for 30 days. the school says they
don't believe a vaccinated person can infect another but says they're erring on the side of caution. >> is there any truth to the fact that you can shed the virus? >> these vaccines do not administer any sort of live virus whatsoever. >> reporter: and across the nation, defiance over the jab at police departments. in chicago, thousands of police officers risking their job to fight the mayor's mandate. >> it's about saving lives. it's about maximizing the opportunity to create a safe workplace. >> reporter: covid is the leading cause of death among police officers for the second year in a row, but many officers across the country still holding the line >> megan, could larger companies required to enforce a vaccine mandate be penalized if they don't comply >> reporter: well, lester, we are expecting official osha guidelines in the coming days, but we are anticipating fines for companies that don't comply with vaccination mandates or regular testing for unvaccinated employees. lester >> megan fitzgerald in chicago, thank you. new this evening,
the situation in haiti for those kidnapped american missionaries has grown more urgent after the kidnappers demanded a ransom of $17 million for their release. sam brock now with late details for us. >> reporter: an abduction and now details of a mammoth ransom first reported by "the wall street journal," citing the haitian justice minister $17 million, $1 million per person, for the 17 missionaries kidnapped by the notorious 400 mawozo gang in haiti among those being held captive, a mother and her five children, all but one under 18 according to a friend who did not want to show her face on camera but goes to the same west michigan church >> they're very genuine. they are loving people they had a heart for missions >> reporter: she says the father was also on the trip, but not with them at the time of abduction. former fbi agent tim gallagher says the agency discourages any payment. >> ransom payments are the fuel that drives these criminal
organizations, so the fbi is looking to rescue these victims at the same time depriving this criminal organization of the money that's going to embolden them >> reporter: the justice minister telling "the new york times" often these gangs know these demands cannot be met and will consider a counteroffer from the families >> we know these groups target u.s. citizens who they assume have the resources and finances to pay ransoms even if that is not the case >> reporter: on the ground in port-au-prince, conditions are dire. this doctor who works at a hospital there says the violence is inescapable. >> every level of the society, even the kids of people that sell things on the streets, they are being kidnapped, so the situation has never been as bad as it is >> reporter: ten years ago, indiana native rx rex bier was targeted by kidnappers and shot in the leg when he tried to escape >> we resisted they started shooting. busted out the windows and just all hell
broke loose. >> reporter: if you don't pay a ransom, what happens to the hostages >> oh, very often the people are killed. it's a question of life or death. >> sam, what's the read here? i know some experts believe this could be resolved in a matter of days. >> reporter: lester, that's certainly the hope the sheer difficulty of keeping 17 people captive all of whom need food, water, supplies and medicine, plus the fact that there are five children involved means that experts think this could be resolved in a matter of days, not weeks or months lester, back to you. >> sam brock tonight, thank you. federal safety investigators are on the their way to the scene of a fiery plane crash outside of houston. despite an inferno that consumed the large passenger jet, everyone survived. tom costello has more tonight. >> reporter: on a houston runway this morning, moments of sheer terror >> it is a passenger airplane >> reporter: it happened just after 10:00 a.m., a private passenger plane fully engulfed in flames at houston's executive
airport as emergency teams quickly converged on the scene. >> 19 people onboard, possibly 21 people onboard. there are multiple people off the plane >> reporter: amazingly, everyone escaped. 3 crew members and 18 passengers the youngest, a 10-year-old child. two people suffered minor injuries >> they were stunned they were very, very stunned but they did all self-extricate we can't tell you how they did that. >> reporter: authorities say the plane, and md-87 registered to a local investment firm, was thought to be headed to boston for the playoff game between the astros and red sox, but the plane never got off the ground >> the airplane rolled down the runway, struck an actual fence, and from there became disabled. >> reporter: the plane involved, 34 years old. no u.s. airline still flies the md-80 series of planes. the cause of today's crash unknown, but what investigators find could be crucial to the few foreign airlines that still
fly it tom costello, nbc news, washington. tonight, the congressional committee investigating the attack on the u.s. capitol is voting to recommend holding a top adviser to former president trump in contempt, trying to compel steve bannon to respond to a subpoena for testimony and documents related to the riot here's garrett haake. >> reporter: tonight, lawmakers taking a first step towards compelling a former top trump adviser to tell them what he knew about the planning for the january 6th attack or face potential prosecution. the committee investigating the attack on the capitol voting tonight to recommend holding steve bannon in contempt of congress why is it important that this committee hears from steve bannon >> he was reportedly in constant communication with donald trump in the days leading up to january 6th. it's also important that the committee affirm the rule of law that people when they're subpoenaed need to show up and if they don't show up they need to be prosecuted >> reporter: bannon warned of the coming chaos on his podcast
the day before the attack >> all hell is going to break loose tomorrow it's going to be moving it's going to be quick. >> reporter: in letters to the committee, bannon's attorney argued bannon is unable to comply and had been instructed not to provide documents or testimony by trump to try to force his hand, the full house would have to vote to hold bannon in contempt, recommending the department of justice pursue criminal charges, a step president biden has supported, but would be up to the u.s. attorney for washington, d.c., to decide meanwhile, the former president has filed a lawsuit of his own, which seeks to prevent the national archives from turning his white house records over to the committee. the suit calling the investigation an illegal fishing expedition designed to unconstitutionally investigate president trump. >> i think the case is a weak one, and we will make our case that really this lawsuit is towards the edge of frivolous. >> committee members believe mr. trump's strategy is to drag the legal cases out past the midterms and hope a future republican congress
shuts this probe down. lester >> garrett haake at the capitol, thank you. in just 60 seconds a fiery school board meeting in southlake, texas. students, parents and teachers speaking out after our exclusive report revealing a school official's controversial comment about the holocaust. texas, student, parents and teachers after an official's controversial comment about the holocaust. kesimpta is a once-monthly at-home injection... official's controversial comment about the holocaust. kesimpta was proven superior at reducing the rate of relapses, active lesions, and slowing disability progression vs aubagio. don't take kesimpta if you have hepatitis b, and tell your doctor if you have had it, as it could come back. kesimpta can cause serious side effects, including infections. while no cases of pml were reported in rms clinical trials, it could happen. tell your doctor if you had or plan to have vaccines, or if you are or plan to become pregnant. kesimpta may cause a decrease in some types of antibodies.
the most common side effects are upper respiratory tract infection, headache, and injection reactions. ready for an at-home treatment with dramatic results? it's time to ask your doctor about kesimpta. a judge has denied bail for south carolina attorney alex murdaugh after he was charged with stealing millions of insurance money from the family of his late housekeeper. murdaugh is separately charged with plotting his own killing in another alleged insurance scheme he is also considered a person of interest of the still unsolved fatal shootings of his wife and son in june let's turn now to new developments in a story we first brought you last week. a school board meeting in southlake, texas, getting heated after our reporting on a top administrator's controversial comments on the holocaust caught on tape the firestorm coming after the district gained attention nationally for its diversity plan
here is antonia hilton >> you say that i'm divisive you're divisive. >> reporter: in southlake, tensions high yet again at a school board meeting >> i was subject to a rash of bullying, almost all of which was anti-semitic in nature i received everything from jokes about my nose to gas chambers >> reporter: jake berman, former southlake student who is jewish, opened up about past bullying so severe he says he contemplated suicide, his parents eventually pulling him from the school. >> the blame is right here in this room. >> reporter: the meeting the first time residents could publicly raise concerns after the district sent teachers guidance to vet all books, instructing them to not allow singular narratives that could be considered offensive >> please help restore my faith in the district and schoo board. >> reporter: all in response to a new texas law, prohibiting teachers from offering perspectives that could make students feel anguish or guilt. last week nbc news obtained secretly recorded audio
in it, the director of curriculum gina pett told teachers to balance books about the holocaust with an opposing view. >> make sure that if you have a book on the holocaust that you have one that has opposing -- >> how do you oppose the holocaust? >> reporter: gina petty did not respond to messages requesting comment. in response to petty's remark, the superintendent issue an apology, stating there are not two sides of the holocaust and pledging to work with staff to clarify the policy parents expressed concern about the controversy. >> the teacher who was reprimanded over the book, those teachers who recorded the training session and the administrator are all victims of this toxic environment. >> reporter: berman urging more needs to be done to protect students and teachers. >> this is a crossroads for the state and for this district one path is an opportunity to lead and be on the right side of history. the other will cost you and your children a quality education. >> reporter: a message he hopes leads to a brighter future for all antonia hilton, nbc news, new york. you can hear more
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with the tools and resources they need to be ready for anything. i hope you're ready. 'cause we are. the nfl faces a deadline to get rid of a practice that uses race to help determine which former players get money from the league's massive concussion settlement. stephanie gosk tonight on the controversial method >> reporter: it was an historic settlement. four years ago the nfl
agreeing to pay nearly $1 billion to former players suffering the long-term effects of concussions. former defensive lineman amman gordon was diagnosed with dementia when he was 33 >> just kind of went numb, you know >> at the time we had a 3-year-old son and am thinking, my gosh, gosh, i he even going to be ar is he going to even be around for him when he grows up >> gordon and his wife roxy learned the protocols to qualify for the settlement including something called race norming. to this day have you received a penny from the settlement >> we haven't received a penny from the nfl >> you think it's because he's black >> i absolutely think it's because he's black. i think he's been discriminated against, and his case is just extremely egregious and it's just -- it's horrible >> players' cognitive test scores were adjusted based on age, education and, controversially, race. >> race norms were first developed as a band-aid solution, because blacks in this country on average have experienced much more socia disadvantage than whites
>> reporter: some medical professionals call the process outdated and oversimplified. >> it's imprecise, it's bad medicine, and it perpetuates false ideas about differences in intelligence by the color of skin. >> reporter: but it became part of the protocol used in the nfl settlement and effectively meant black players had to score more poorly than white players on cognition tests. the claims process was approved by a judge after the league and the players' legal team reached an agreement, but many of the players say they knew nothing about the race norming, including amman gordon he played in the nfl for eight years, retiring in 2012 do you have any sense of how many concussions you may have gotten over that period of time >> i have no idea. i mean, innumerable amounts. >> reporter: now he suffers from headaches, anxiety and panic attacks. >> imagine your brain being frozen until about noon. >> if we're lucky. >> some days are better than others >> some days are
better than others some days noon still doesn't feel normal. >> at first, they were told amman qualified to receive part of the settlement, only to have the league appeal the decision a judge agreed with the nfl, deciding an error was made, but the couple were never told what it was in the summer of 2020, the gordons joined tens of thousands of others calling for an end to the race norming. >> there is a different door for african-americans and a different door for white players? brain damage is brain damage. >> in june of this year, the nfl together with attorneys for the players, announced they would come up with new protocols the league has denied that the system was discriminatory, but in a statement at the time wrote, everyone agrees race-based norms should be replaced, but no off the shelf alternative exists, and that's why these experts are working to solve this decades-old issue. adding, the process would be retroactive for players affected by race norming. their agreed upon proposal is due tomorrow in court.
for amman gordon and potentially hundreds of others like him, it could mean their cases will be reconsidered >> i'm hoping the nfl will take a look at these people and their families and do what's right. it's time. >> reporter: for a league hoping to improve its image on issues of race, the gordons say how the nfl handles this changes in this settlement will be the true test. stephanie gosk, nbc news, san diego. up next for us here tonight, inspiring america. honoring to team that found the sky's the limit. ego. >> inspiring america, honoring the team that found the sky's the limit. what makes new salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain?
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finally, the big celebration in chicago for the city's first wnba champions here's kevin tibbles >> wnba champions, your chicago sky >> reporter: under a sky blue chicago sky -- >> we are so excited to see our team win for chicago! [ cheering ] >> reporter: they came loud and proud >> this is history in the making >> mission accomplished >> reporter: this year's women's basketball champs, the chicago sky, basked in hard-earned, well-deserved celebrity. >> i feel like women's sports have come a long way and i am very proud to be from here. what a victory this is, you know >> reporter: here's homegrown chicago star allie quigley shooting
hoops as a kid today she and the rest of her sky teammates are role models for little girls everywhere just ask eighth grader breonna white who came with her mom and brother. >> when i see the chicago sky, i see inspiration, a reason to push forward, like, motivation, like, to keep trying. >> reporter: big shoes, the sky's playoff mvp callia copper is proud to fill. >> the sky is the limit, young ladies. keep working. >> reporter: reach for the sky at school, on the court or even on your dad's shoulders everyone's a winner. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. and our congratulations to the team that's "nightly news." thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night i'm lester holt. please take care of yourlf and each please take care of yourlf and each se
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i'm just glad i can help. i'm raj mathai. next on "nbc bay area news" tonight, she's back in town with the police escort. the los gatos mom accused of throwing alcohol and sex-filled parties for teenagers arrived at sjc today. so what happens next? also, cancel that double-double. san francisco temporarily shuts down its in-in-out burger because of covid violations. it is the first time the city has done this. we are getting closer to dropping indoor mask rules for the vaccinated. one bay area county could be just two weeks away. bay area home prices showing no signs of slowing down. we are talking about why they're skyrocketing here but cooling off in other parts of the country. ♪♪ good evening.