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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 29, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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we have new information on the acreage and damage. jeff ranieri will be here with high winds and gusty winds. >> 7:00 tonight to 5:00 a.m. tomorrow the worst of the winds. breaking news tonight. the unprecedented new fire warning here in california the very first extreme red flag warning ever issued. the most powerful santa ana winds of the season threatening to fan the massive infernos. potential hurricane-force gusts over 80 miles per hour in spots. more than 100,000 under emergency evacuations. what's your big fear when the winds pick up as forecast? we're on the front lines with firefighters battling flames and exhaustion also breaking, the bombshell testimony. a white house official who listened in on president trump's call with ukraine's leader giving a firsthand account in the impeachment inquiry. the two warnings he gave his superior, and how the president is fighting back
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caught on camera the plane plunging out of the sky, crashing into a home below. the house going up in flames the pilot killed one neighbor saying it sounded like a sonic boom. boeing's ceo confronted on capitol hill families lined up behind him with photos of 737 max crash victims. their message to him and the question tonight, will he resign the medical wonder the patient live streaming her own brain surgery on facebook while she was awake. and the price you pay. amazon's new salvo in the grocery wars how you can save >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt, reporting tonight from los angeles. >> good evening, everyone, from los angeles, where fires are still burning and where things are expected to take a very dangerous turn just a few hours from now with the arrival of what's being called a major santa ana wind event later this evening.
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perhaps record setting an unprecedented and dire extreme red flag warning in effect here, as we come on the air, for critical fire weather conditions while 400-plus miles to the north of us, crews are still working to gain the upper hand in that epic battle against the fire that has displaced more than 100,000 people and is still on the move. tonight with major fires on both ends of california, the worst may still be to come >> we have the most significant wind event in los angeles of the year it will be starting this evening. >> reporter: the biggest blaze, the kinkade fire, burning in sonoma county, growing overnight, now more than 75,000 acres, threatening more than 90,000 structures. air quality a major concern. at this couple's wedding, masks were handed out to guests. the kinkade fire has now bee burning six days 150,000 people remain under
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evacuation orders. >> really frustrating. >> just not knowing what to do yeah, living paycheck to paycheck and not having enough money to go somewhere else >> reporter: frustration mounting with utility company pg&e, which has been cutting off power. tonight 1.5 million are in the dark the company's equipment already believed to be the cause of three fires. and in southern california, the getty fire, now 15% contained. the firefighters right now literally in a race against time they're no longer battling the huge brilliant flames, but smoldering pieces, hot spots that could ignite the next fire once the winds arrive. tonight wind gusts could reach 80 miles per hour in the mountains surrounding l.a. we're very concerned about the events tonight >> reporter: ralph terrazas is chief of the l.a. fire department what is your big fear tonight when the winds kick up as forecast >> my big fear is that the getty fire is not completely cold, and that the embers are going to blow downwind and start another fire >> reporter: a transmission pole
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is thought to have sparked this fire late sunday a lot of these folks got out in the knick of time. you had some elderly folks can you talk about the rescues at the height of this? >> we had 17 rescue missions we sent up an ambulance along with an ems captain to every one of those addresses and helped those people evacuate the area >> reporter: 90-year-old nola highland said she had no other way out. were you able the grab anything or bring anything with you >> my purse and some money >> reporter: that's it >> that's it. >> reporter: with another dangerous night expected, officials are pleading with residents under evacuation orders not to return home. those dangerous winds here in southern california expected to kick in some time after 11:00 tonight. with tens of thousands of homes and other buildings threatened by that monster fire in the north, the battle to contain it has taken on epic proportions. our gadi schwartz is with firefighters there tonight >> reporter: on the frontline to
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the fiery back roads, crews from all across the west racing to protect homes. these are the men and women fighting fire in the most dangerous conditions, sometimes even with their hands. at the kinkade fire, the biggest in california, 4500 from ten different states trying to keep the fire here from growing many of them on grueling 24-hour shifts >> a couple of days we're pretty tired, being out on the line all night. >> reporter: back at base camp, they sleep in tents when they can, sharpen their tools, prep their trucks, then fuel up and head back out to find more hot spots. how do you make it through 24 hours nonstop? >> you do it >> reporter: some crews now working on the fire for their sixth day. >> i need water! >> reporter: in conditions that would push almost anyone to their limits. >> we're kind of in our battle rhythm right now as we like to call it. >> reporter: but to those in
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harm's way, their work is unrepayable. >> the house is still here, lord thank you. >> reporter: and now in an area still without power, gratitude is written by hand if it wasn't for the firefighters, what do you think would have happened to the house? >> this old wooden structure would have torched as quickly as one of the oak trees if they didn't hold the line. >> open the valve! >> reporter: tonight those with homes still standing are praying that firefighters will continue to hold their lines. and here at this massive base camp, crews are getting as much rest as they can before what will become a chaotic night. meanwhile, there are already thousands of crews out there in the hills, bracing for these winds that we're starting to see pick up. and this is not a question of whether this fire will grow. it will grow it's a matter of whether these crews can contain it lester, back to you. >> and hats off to those crews tonight. gadi, thank you. back inside now our l.a. newsroom, from north to south, we are in for a dangerous night with perhaps the most ferocious winds of the year, as we've been saying al roker joins us. al, what you looking at? >> lester, this is an unprecedented santa ana event. as you look into northern california, peak winds now
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through wednesday morning. but southern california, peak winds tonight through thursday and now the national weather service issuing a first-time extreme red flag warning 27 million people at risk, strongest santa ana this season and extraordinary and dire threat we've got in southern california gusts of up to 80 miles per hour a widespread power outage possibility, and we've got wind gusts anywhere from 35 to 75 miles per hour when people are told to evacuate, lester, they must evacuate immediately >> all right al roker, thanks there was dramatic testimony in the house impeachment investigation by a decorated war hero who works on the national security council and who was among those who heard that phone call between president trump and his ukrainian counterpart. hallie jackson now with late details on that. >> reporter: bombshell testimony tonight. for the first time, a firsthand witness to the explosive conversation that ignited the impeachment inquiry. >> did the white house try to prevent you from testifying? >> reporter: lieutenant colonel
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alexander vindman, a combat veteran and national security council staffer, was on that july call between president trump and the ukrainian president, listening in from the situation room then sending up this stunning alarm. this would all undermine u.s. national security. vindman is telling lawmakers he was concerned about the conversation in which the president asked for political help as ukraine was seeking key military aid according to documents obtained by nbc news, vindman says "i did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a u.s. citizen, and i was worried about the implications for the u.s. government's support of ukraine. he adds, "any investigation into the bidens would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained," telling his superiors more than once of his concerns referencing his military service, vindman writes of his motivation "for defying the white house to speak out now, i am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance
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and defend our country, irrespective of party or politics." the president is trying to paint vindman as partisan, accusing him of being a never trumper with no evidence some conservative allies even suggesting treason from a man who emigrated to the u.s. from the ukraine as a child. >> here we have a u.s. national security official who is advising ukraine while working inside the white house, apparently against the president's interests and usually they spoke in english. >> some people might call that espionage. he has an affinity probably for his homeland. >> reporter: but some gop lawmakers disgusted at that smear campaign against a decorated soldier who received a purple heart after surviving a road-side bomb in iraq. >> it is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation, and we should not be involved in that process. >> reporter: democrats also furious. >> look yourself in the mirror and ask if you want to sit on
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the sidelines while the president tries to take down a patriot. >> they don't have any way to explain away this evidence >> reporter: still, republicans do argue vindman's wrong when he says national security was ever at risk. >> we are all able to see there was no quid pro quo. the money was released ukraine did nothing, and no action was taken where's the crime? >> reporter: house democrats are also formalizing the rules of their impeachment inquiry, introducing a resolution today to hold public hearings for the first time and to let both democrat and republican sides question witnesses for an extra 45 minutes each. lester >> hallie jackson at the white house tonight. thank you, hallie. also breaking tonight, a deadly plane crash caught on camera the plane plunging out of the sky, slamming into a home in new jersey neighborhood during bad weather. rehema ellis is there for us tonight. >> reporter: chaos after a plane crashed into a home this morning in suburban new jersey neighbors heard it, then they
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saw it >> like that classic plane nosedive sound, and i heard a loud crash >> there was a tremendous explosion. >> reporter: it shook everything around you >> it shook everything around. >> reporter: a twin-engine cessna 414 caught plunging out of the sky on a security camera, crashing into this house just before 11:00 >> god >> reporter: and burst into flames authorities say the only person on board, the pilot, was killed. >> so right now, thank god, nobody was hurt on the ground. >> reporter: wnbc helicopter pilot dennis protsko lives nearby you did not fly today. why? >> the visibility and the ceiling is very, very poor. >> reporter: tonight federal officials are here investigating what caused this plane to fall from the sky rehema ellis, nbc news, colonia, new jersey in washington today, they came with all they had left of their loved ones, pictures of those who died in two 737 max crashes overseas at an emotional congressional
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hearing today, families demanded answers from boeing's ceo on this first anniversary of the indonesian crash tom costello was there >> reporter: in a senate hearing room, heart-wrenching anguish. families holding photos of their loved ones as senators grilled boeing's ceo on the 737 max and the m-cas software blamed for two fatal crashes. >> these loved ones never had a chance they were in flying coffins. >> reporter: ceo dennis muilenburg offered an apology. >> we are sorry, deeply and truly sorry. >> reporter: and accepted blame. >> we are responsible, and we own, that regardless of cause. >> reporter: but lawmakers demanded to know about text messages from boeing's chief test pilot who complained of trouble with m-cas in the simulator two years before the first crash. >> you knew in 2016 that this was happening, and your team at boeing decided we didn't need to fix that
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>> 346 people are dead because what these chief pilots described as egregious and crazy -- >> reporter: among the family members here today, paul njorogre, who lost his wife, three children and mother-in-law in the ethiopian crash >> there are days i just wake up and weep and cry over missing my children and my wife >> reporter: late today, muilenburg met privately with family members, many of whom want him to resign >> will you resign >> that's not where my focus is. my focus is on the job at hand, focused on safety. and we're going to do everything we can to ensure safe flight. >> reporter: also today the faa chief for the first time suggesting the max's return to service is not a done deal, saying when and whether that happens is yet to be determined. lester >> tom costello at the capitol tonight, thank you a major move in the world of college sports to tell you about. the ncaa board of governors taking a big step toward allowing student athletes to
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profit off their fame. here is nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: tonight a major score for college athletes >> 89-yard touchdown >> reporter: in a stunning play change from the ncaa, announcing it's considering changes that could allow student athletes to be compensated for their name, image, and likeness. a move backed by basketball legend magic johnson, who played at michigan state. >> you don't make any money. you can't get a job while you're playing at your university so this allows them to at least have a little money in their pocket >> reporter: calling the game plan a modernization for the future, the ncaa says athletes will not be paid to play, but may be able to sign with agents and cash in on endorsements in a manner consistent with the collegiate model but any rule changes could take years. the reversal comes amid intense pressure as the ncaa hopes to avoid a legal battle with states like california, which passed
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its fair pay to play law just weeks ago. >> this is the ncaa being backed into a corner. we won't know if this is actually going to be a good deal for student athletes until we see those details. >> reporter: with the ncaa making billions, the new policy could dramatically alter the world of college sports. a game-changer that could level the playing field for student athletes miguel almaguer, nbc news. there are new developments in a terrible tragedy at sea a grandfather now charged after a toddler fell to her death from a cruise ship window let's get more on this from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: 51-year-old sam anello charged with negligent homicide in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter chloe. the family was in puerto rico this summer, about to set sail on a royal caribbean cruise ship when anello says he lifted chloe on to a railing in the children's play area, unaware the window was open. the 18-month-old fell ten
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stories to her death chloe's mother spoke with savannah guthrie >> he was extremely hysterical the thing that he has repeatedly told us is i believed there was glass. he will cry over and over. at no point ever, ever, has sam ever put our kids in danger. >> reporter: family attorney michael winkelmann >> as you say, accident, not crime? >> absolutely. 100% accident, not crime. >> reporter: the family says the cruise line, which is calling it a tragic incident, is at fault for leaving the window open, not sam anello, who winkelmann says is heartbroken >> they feel terrible. they feel like the charges were completely unnecessary. >> to lose our baby this way is just unfathomable. >> reporter: the cruise line handed over security footage recorded that day. chloe's family has yet to see it, but prosecutors reviewed it before bringing charges. lester >> all right kerry sanders, thank you just ahead, as we continue tonight, the remarkable
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operation streamed live. the patient awake, helping surgeons as they operate on her brain. also, a bold new move in the grocery wars what amazon just did to capture your business. stay with us
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it may be the ultimate live stream event a woman's brain surgery seen on facebook today anne thompson was among thousands who watched. >> reporter: it's incredible to watch. 25-year-old jenna schardt identifies pictures and numbers. >> two >> reporter: while on the other side of the curtain, doctors operate on her brain, live on facebook their goal, to remove a massive blood vessel that led to a seizure that impacted jenna's speech as the occupational therapy student worked with stroke patients. >> if this can be some kind of learning opportunity for somebody else, i think some
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goodwill come out of this. i don't know what yet, but i do believe that >> reporter: i watched the operation with dr. john torres, streamed from dallas methodist medical center. why are they having jenna look at things on the ipad? >> the surgeons are probing parts of her brain when she does that if she can say it correctly, they know it's a safe part of the brain to do the operation in that area. >> reporter: her skull is open as they do this. can she feel >> no, she cannot feel any of that our brain does not have pain receptors in and of itself >> reporter: then jenna carries on a conversation, even smiling as surgeons remove the masks the doctors say she should have a complete recovery, much to her proud parents' relief. >> she is tired, but she said i don't feel like i had brain surgery. >> reporter: using technology to cut out the fear from a very dangerous and delicate operation. anne thompson, nbc news, new york >> that is just amazing. up next, the bold new move in the grocery wars. announcer: 5 million kids use e-cigarettes. it's an
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epidemic fueled by juul with their kid-friendly flavors. san francisco voters stopped the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. but then juul, backed by big tobacco, wrote prop c to weaken e-cigarette protections. the san francisco chronicle reports prop c is an audacious overreach, threatening to overturn the ban on flavored products approved by voters. prop c means more kids vaping. that's a dangerous idea. vote no on juul. no on big tobacco. no on prop c.
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back now with the price you pay and the new way amazon is turning up the heat in the competition in the grocery wars. nbc's jo ling kent and what it means for you. >> reporter: tonight amazon is serving up cheaper grocery delivery to your door, eliminating the $15 a month charge for amazon whole foods delivery and amazon fresh. the orders will arrive in as little as two hours, though for free delivery, there is a minimum, and you must be a prime member that's about $10 a month membership from target averages $8.25 a month where delivery is free for orders over $35 at walmart, the average monthly fee is similar for just over $8, delivery is also free. more than half of americans have tried online grocery delivery this year, up nearly 20% from last year. some of the most popular items flying off the shelves, diapers,
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detergent, coffee pods, ice cream, and carbonated drinks but online delivery may mean bad news for big grocery chains. what does this mean for your traditional grocery store that's just a grocery store >> if there is a very specific brand you want, amazon can get it for you, and you aren't going to be able to get that at your average local grocery chain. >> reporter: online ordering with in-store or curbside pickup is also surging in popularity, as companies try to bring down the cost of convenience. jo ling kent, nbc news, new york and we've got more on our top story, right after this.
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before we go, this may be a restless night for a lot of folks here in southern california
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strong santa ana winds blow in tonight, creating a critical fire risk. the warnings and the call to act fast when evacuation orders come are real and not taken lightly as one evacuee told me today, when he saw those tower of flames behind his house the other night it became an easy call to go and that's "nightly news." i'm lester holt. thank you for the challenging afternoon and evening is strong, dry, offshore winds that will impact the fire area. >> right now at 6:00, on high alert, the return of gusty winds fuelling the wild fire in wine country. now crews plan to keep their containment lines. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang in for jessica aguirre. >> it's going to be a long and dangerous night for fire crews
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and nerve wracking night for the evacuees and the thousands of people without power. >> sky ranger is flying over the wild fire in sonoma county. you can see it's generating so much smoke. you can see the gusty winds pushing the flames especially on the eastern side of the fire into lake county. people there have been warned be prepared to leave in an instant. >> here are the latest numbers. more than 75,000 acres burned. that's bigger than the size of san francisco and oakland combined. it's 15% contained, however that containment could go down as this fire spreads tonight. at least 124 structure decemb destroyed, about 90,000 homes and buildings are threatened, and more than 100,000 people are under evacuation orders. >> we have a team of reporters covering the fire, the air quality, and the pg&e power shut offs. let's begin


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