tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 14, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
it comes with another decision looming on johnson & johnson boosters what you need to know. also tonight 1000 workers walking off the job at john deere plants across the u.s. the largest private sector strike in years. what they're demanding. and the labor dispute that could grind hollywood to a halt. the dramatic twist involving alex murdaugh. the new charges the south carolina attorney faces and how it is linked to the death of his family's housekeeper the panel investigating the january 6th riot pursuing criminal contempt charges against trump ally steve bannon after he denied a subpoena what it means for the former trump advisers they want to talk to. just in, the sentence handed down for millionaire and convicted murderer robert durst. our nbc news exclusive. what a texas school administrator said about books about the holocaust that left teachers outraged. you'll hear the secretly recorded audio and ready for holiday deals? best buy's ceo on why black
friday is starting earlier than ever this year . this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone further acknowledging covid vaccines while incredibly effective lose some of their punch over time, an fda safety panel has just given its endorsement to booster shots for many americans who were fully vaccinated with a two-dose moderna vaccine. it is not the final word but the panel's recommendation for a third moderna shot mirrors what the cdc recently decided for pfizer boosters, recommending them for older people and those at higher risk of covid infection nearly 188 million americans are now considered fully vaccinated with close to 9 million having already received boosters yet, there remain questions on whether the extra shots are really necessary for most people miguel almaguer has late details. >> reporter: moving a major step
toward authorization, tonight an fda advisory panel says some americans fully vaccinated with moderna should get its booster. the unanimous recommendation not yet green lit by the cdc applies to those 65 and older and others at higher risk of severe disease because of health conditions or exposure at their job. >> i think we all expected a third shot was going to be prescribed for those at high risk the question here is did the science appear to justify such a decision >> reporter: providing documents full of data, moderna argued the fda should authorize its booster for recipients at least six months after their second dose, citing break-through infections and waning immunity over time. but the fda notes even without a booster, vaccines still afford protection against severe covid-19 disease and death in the united states. >> there has been some push back against moderna because its efficacy against hospitalization remains high, so why the need for a booster? >> the vaccines are
still working for a vast majority of americans. it is keeping people out of the hospital it is keeping people from being infected they're not in urgent need of a booster. >> reporter: with nearly 70 million americans already fully vaccinated with moderna, those who qualify join the same group of pfizer recipients who can also get a booster with moderna's original doses larger than pfizer's its third shot will be a half dose authorities saying today the data are not perfect, but these are extraordinary times. today the president again making the sell for boosters. >> these boosters are free say it again they're free available and convenient to get. >> reporter: as johnson & johnson's case for a booster comes up tomorrow, tonight for millions, vaccinated with moderna, the extra dose of protection may soon be a shot away >> and, miguel, this is obviously a big decision today, but not the last on authorizing a moderna booster. what happens now
>> reporter: well, lester, now the fda advisory panel that has agreed the fda itself still needs to sign off. then a cdc advisory committee needs to make a recommendation next week before the cdc director gives the okay a few more hoops before we get the green light on a moderna booster. >> thank you very much. tonight more than 10,000 workers are on strike against the farm equipment maker john deere. the latest walk-outs in a resurgent labor movement along with a supply chain crisis and a worker shortage. there is growing concern about the economy heading into the holidays here's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: in iowa today, members of the united auto workers walked the picket line kicking off the nation's largest private sector strike in two years. >> it is a resurgence of the labor movement you know, the cheap labor bubble has finally busted. >> reporter: he has worked for john deere for almost two decades. more than 10,000 union members like him, employees at 14 plants
in five states rejected a deal that included 5% to 6% wage hikes. the workers argue they deserve more since the company reported record profits this year, $4.7 billion so far. >> this is the first time that the deck has been stacked in our favor. we know it. >> reporter: a john deere spokesperson says we will keep working day and night to understand our employees priorities and understand the strike but the walk-out is underway during harvesting season when many farmers need parts for their equipment. it is also smack in the middle of a supply chain crisis, many factors colliding as the american worker decides to fight back. >> the president believes in collective bargaining rights, believes in workers rights believes that the role that labor unions and why they're so important to our country. >> reporter: marie has been a nurse in massachusetts for nearly 40 years. she has been on strike for seven months. >> i think the pandemic has awakened the union movement again. and i think that people are
realizing what they're worth is. >> reporter: across several states, a strike at cereal giant kellogg is entering its second week, while in a very different industry, hollywood, 60,000 behind the scenes workers are threatening to strike as soon as next monday. crew members are calling for higher pay, better benefits and meal breaks. in august alone, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs, a record some analysts calling it the great resignation. >> a lot of people suffered greatly during the pandemic in terms of work hours, difficult to work conditions and so forth so there is exhaustion and there is an opportunity to come and negotiate -- re-negotiate terms. >> reporter: and gabe joins us now from wall street where despite all this you mentioned stocks rose. >> yeah, lester. today the dow rose by more than 500 points after mayor banks reported strong earnings. also, the number of americans applying for unemployment
dropped to the lowest level since the pandemic began. to some unions feel they have to leverage. lester >> all right gabe gutierrez tonight. thank you. a well-known south carolina lawyer whose wife and son were killed in an unsolved murder case is under arrest for the second time tonight, this time on charges of stealing millions meant for the sons of his former housekeeper who also died catie beck has late details. south carolina attorney alex murdaugh out of rehab and under arrest for the second time in a month. authorities announcing more charges in the already complex case today two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, charges related to a 2018 wrongful death suit after murdaugh's family housekeeper gloria satterfield allegedly suffered a fall at his home and died a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of her sons alleged that murdaugh pursued an insurance settlement and kept nearly $3
million to himself. >> it is not a day they're relishing, but they do have grace and a lot of appreciation towards law enforcement. >> reporter: last month murdaugh was charged with filing a false police report and insurance fraud after police say he hired a man to kill him so that his son could collect on an insurance policy though, the alleged shooter denies the charges murdaugh's attorneys says their client was depressed and suffering from a severe opoid addiction. >> greed and are deadly sins and they were plenty in this matter. >> reporter: as the accounting of possible financial crimes continues, so does the investigation into the unsolved murders of murdaugh's wife and son found shot to dealt on the family property in june murdaugh's lawyers responding to today's arresting saying he deeply regrets that his actions have distracted from the efforts to solve their murders. legal experts say the trickle effect of the charges may be a strategy >> it could be that these current charges against murdaugh are a kind of place holder by authorities to keep their eye on him. >> a complex legal case with
growing layers of unanswered questions. catie beck, nbc news an escalating showdown tonight between a former top adviser to president trump and a house committee which is demanding steve bannon cooperate with its investigation into the january 6th capitol riot hallie jackson is here and, hallie, they're signaling they will charge bannon with contempt of congress. >> yeah. this would be a pretty significant allegation into what led up to the insurrection steve bannon, remember, was a former aid to former president trump. he so far has refused to comply with the committee subpoenas, citing mr. trump's claims of executive privilege. but next week the committee will vote on holding bannon in contempt of congress you also have the lawmakers on this committee now postponing planned interviews with three other trump aids, mark meadows, dan scavino, kash patel because a committee aid says a continued engagement really with the investigation. but at this point, lester, it seems like lawmakers may be hoping this bannon vote sends a signal to these other witnesses that they've got to get onboard,
they've got to cooperate or else there will be consequences >> okay, hallie. thanks so much a disaster unfolding tonight in taiwan where at least 46 people were killed when a 13 story building turned into an inferno. dozens more were injured. residents said they heard an explosion and fire and smoke engulfed the building. neighbors said many poor, elderly and disabled people lived there. and a deadly day in the streets of beirut. at least six people killed in some of the worst street violence in the lebanon capitol in years the armed clashes broke out during protests of the investigation into the massive explosion in the port of beirut in 2020 that killed more than 200 people in just 60 seconds, the water crisis in michigan and new measures just announced to deal with the led. and exclusive details about the explosive controversy in a wealthy texas town now in a battle over books in its school libraries.
michigan and the response from the governor over an alarming amount of lead that has been in the water there for years. megan fitzgerald is there with more. >> reporter: tonight top officials in michigan are taking action in benton harbor. >> we are bringing a whole of government approach to ensuring that the residents of benton harbor have safe drinking water. >> reporter: this comes after elevated lead levels have been found in the water for three years. reports showing the highest reading nearly 60 times the state limit. the state now stepping up the response in the water crisis, promising to fix all lead service lines in 18 months and ramping up the water distribution that started two weeks ago. >> more than 20 semitrucks totaling 35,000 cases of water are scheduled for delivery to benton harbor every week until this is no longer necessary. >> reporter: residents frustrated with the response. >> they're stepping in, but they're stepping a little too slow and a little too late. >> reporter: frank jones has nieces and nephews under the age of ten and worries about their
lead exposure. >> everybody is concerned about this water they don't know if the kids are sick or not becaus they're not doctors. >> reporter: the state has known about the elevated lead levels and that residents had access to the information, but many say enough wasn't done to warn them of the danger. are you upset? >> yes i'm very upset. >> reporter: michigan's department of health and human services also stepping in, offering blood testing for every child to monitor lead levels and providing access to medical care. >> it's always concerning whenever we're talking about children being exposed to environmental hazards, that could potentially have long-term ramifications on their development. >> reporter: here the lines for water lasts hours, but at this location tonight, these folks have been told they have run out. lester >> megan fitzgerald, thank you. the new report in our series on a texas school district at the center of a firestorm over diversity and inclusion efforts. now secretly recorded comments from a top administrator about books on the holocaust are sparking new outrage
antonia hilton takes us back to south lake >> reporter: the parent of two daughters in south lake is uncertain about his kids education. >> with some of the local politics right now, i'm not sure that the teachers feel supported. >> reporter: the district already in the spotlight after parents clashed over its diversity plan now facing new pushback over which books are allowed in their libraries. some teachers placing caution tape over bookshelve it all started when a fourth grade teacher was reprimanded about her having a book about anti-racism. >> i couldn't believe it she's the kind of teacher we would hope the district would be trying to attract. >> reporter: the district sent new guidance to vet all books, instructing them to not allow a perspective that could be considered offensive this coming after texas passed a law banning the teaching of concepts that could make individuals feel guilt or anguish due to their race
nbc news obtained exclusive secretly obtained audio of a training. >> we are in the middle of a political mess. >> the director of curriculum offers and example for teachers, balanced books about the holocaust. 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 other things >> reporter: gina petty did not respond to messages. i met with two concerned teachers in south lake who hid their identities because they feared that speaking out could cost them their job. >> i'm in such shock when i heard these words. we felt this was necessary because we felt like no one was going to listen until a teacher spoke up. >> reporter: and it's not just in south
lake across the country, educators are facing new policies restricting how they can educate students about race from tennessee to pennsylvania south lake school district told nbc news they were helping teachers comply with texas law and the district has not and will not mandate books being removed. the district says they have not told teachers to ban books, to completely shut down libraries. what are you seeing? >> that's a lie. it is a flat-out lie how could you even make that statement? >> reporter: what do you think is at stake here >> in books children see what the world can be and to have that taken away because we're afraid of a few parents getting upset about a word or two or an idea that they have imagined in a book is unthinkable. >> reporter: he says his daughters see what's happening. >> unfortunately for kids at the age of mine, i think the last -- as they become aware of the world, i think
they just see the world as very highly politicized. >> reporter: but parents hope that politics find a way out of public schools. antonia hilton, nbc news south lake. >> and you can hear more of our reporting on south lake on our nbc news podcast all episodes are now streaming. after a trial that was delayed for more than a year due to covid. we finally know the fate of robert durst the frail looking millionaire real estate heir was sentenced in los angeles late today to life in prison without parole for the killing of close friend susan berman in 2000 up next for us tonight, stores moving up the holiday shopping deadline. how to know if you are really getting a deal.
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'cause we are. let's turn now to the price you pay. the ceo of best buy telling nbc news exclusively that black friday deals are starting this month in what is shaping up to be a challenging holiday shopping season stephanie ruhle has what you need to know. >> reporter: for holiday shoppers, the deals are coming early this year says best buy ceo corey berry. >> we will have black friday holidays starting next week. >> reporter: why next week >> because it is start of the holiday season. >> reporter: why is black friday now starting next week and you don't have to go to the store. >> i think what we saw from our customers is not just a willingness but a want to try to start early. >> reporter: best buy is not alone amazon, target and sams club are also offering black friday deals this month hoping shoppers by now in case shelves are bare later because of ongoing supply chain problems
but best buy says it's ready. >> we're going into the holidays with 50% more inventory than last year, 20% more than two years ago. >> it is sitting in warehouses in the u.s. are your warehouses full in the u.s. >> reporter: should we be prepared to spend more than we did last year >> appliances is a great example. but other categories remain incredibly competitive. >> reporter: recent labor day sales only saw prices drop up to 7%, a smaller discount compared to previous years. >> for shoppers when you see a sales sign you shouldn't just buy that hook, line and sinker it is always good to be price comparing. >> reporter: forecasts for shortages this year are real. >> yeah. i think we're going to see a lot of shortages, especially in toys and electronics. >> reporter: one reason why retailers are ramping up now
by squirrels than your typical police meet three-year-old lila, the capitol police department's first ever full-time emotional support dog. four-year-old leo joins the force this year. >> dogs come up to you and they're all happy. police officers don't get a lot of people that come up to them that are happy to see them. >> good girl >> i think it makes a world of difference. it does for me. >> reporter: for caroline edwards and jeff, the sights and sounds of january 6th are still vivid today. >> the images, the smells, the yelling, the chaos, that day was a war zone. >> just hearing the calls for help, hearing the locations that people needed help. >> reporter: the two officers are among many battling anxiety, depression and lingering injuries from the attack. four responding officers from that day have also died since by suicide capitol police now working to use peer to peer counseling helping cops talk to other cops about what they experienced.
>> over time, all agencies have recognized that it takes a lot more than just physical wellness to have a well officer. >> petting a dog can make your whole day better. >> reporter: you are like five times happier just talking about it. >> a new best friend for the men and women in capitol police blue. garrett haake, nbc news, the capitol. >> just watching that lowers the stress level. that's "nightly news" for this thursday thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night