tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 20, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
his name is willie mcgrady, our director of broadcast operations. congratulations to tiegen and the wash spirit and i think willie's going to have that smile on his face, it's going to be locked on. >> proud parent. what a beautiful family as well. congratulations to them. >> thanks for watching. nightly news is next. breaking news tonight. chaos at the airport after a passenger fires as gun while stopped at a tsa check point. travellers at atlanta's airport running for safety, flights grounded, the gunman fleeing and it happened during the historic holiday travel surge the nation's airports hitting a new record ahead of thanksgiving. protests from portland to new york in the wake of the kyle rittenhouse acquittal. the new video of his reaction immediately after the verdict. >> the jury reached the correct verdict. self defense is not illegal. >> reporter: as a father of one of the men he killed speaks out to us. boosters for all, the new recommendation
from the cdc and the surprising science of how quickly and effectively the third shot works new video released today of the chinese tennis player believed to have gone missing after she made accusations against a former government official what the government run media claims it revealed the highway free for all after an armored car accident >> someone dropped money all over the freeway. >> police now hunting down drivers who scooped up the cash. plus, triumphing over expectation the football team's secret weapon that now has them heading to the championship game. ♪ ♪ >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news. >> good evening. it was a terrifying scene at heartsfield international airport. he lunged for a gun inside his bag, which then went off. frightened passengers scrambled for safety all flights were grounded
the incident could not have come at a busier time for airports. as americans hit the sky ahead of the thanksgiving holiday in huge numbers, on friday alone, a new pandemic record. more than 2.2 million people passing through the country's airports cathy park leads us off tonight. >> reporter: thanksgiving travel off to a chaotic start at the atlanta airport. >> you guys, i'm in the airport, and i don't know what's happening because everybody is running. >> reporter: at 1:30 this afternoon, security was inspecting a passenger's bag containing a loaded firearm. th passenger lunged for the weapon, accidentally discharging it, before fleeing the airport, sending hundreds running, scrambling an ducking for cover. panic outside too. with crowds waiting for updates. the faa issued a ground stop, dozens of flights were delayed
atlanta's airport routinely leads the nation in gun confiscations. a record 450 firearms this year alone. all of this playing out with millions on the move ahead of a busy holiday travel week >> it's going to feel like that old thanksgiving where you either sat in traffic or you're in line at the airport. >> reporter: the tsa screening more than 2 million people friday. the biggest since the start of the pandemic. airports in california and florida look more like 2019 with long lines and wait times this year aaa estimates roughly 53 million thanksgiving travellers, at least 4 million plan to fly. >> try to get out early, avoid the rush. >> reporter: tsa officials say they're prepared to handle the surge, even with monday's looming deadline for employees. they estimate the vaccination rate among screening officers to be around 90%. >> yeah. to the point, we are
going to b staff enough to handle the surge and i expect to have no impact whatsoever with respect to the vaccine. >> and cathy joins us live have operations resumed in atlanta >> reporter: jose, they have after getting the all clear this afternoon but all passengers who were at the airport at the time of the accident had to be rescreened we've also learned three people sustain nonlife threatening injuries >> thank you fallout is being felt across the nation from the verdict in the kyle rittenhouse trial. many taking to the streets to protest while others celebrate the acquittal as a victory. and we're now hearing rittenhouse's first words from after the verdict. megan fitzgerald is in kenosha, wisconsin >> reporter: frustrations spilling into the streets across the nation. in portland, rioters setting fire, smashing windows and doors. protesters from new york to chicago angry over kyle rittenhouse being acquitted on all five counts.
>> not guilty. >> reporter: the families of those rittenhouse shot and killed that night in kenosha, wisconsin in august of last year stunned by the verdict. >> i'm numb to it right now. i'm still in shock >> reporter: the father of anthony huber, one of the two men rittenhouse killed, blasting how the trial unfolded >> if anyone watched that trial, you can't tell me that that judge wasn't biased. >> reporter: will you pursue a civil suit against kyle rittenhouse? >> the civil suit has been filed whether we add his name to it is yet to be determined. >> reporter: is the kenosha police department a part of this as well >> yes, they are. and the sheriff's department and everyone involved. >> reporter: legal experts say civil suits could be viable. >> i think these are triable cases. you can never predict the outcome of a jury, whether a civil jury
or a criminal jury >> reporter: rittenhouse speaking to fox news shortly after the verdict. >> the jury reached the correct verdict. self defense is not illegal. it's been a rough journey but we made it through it >> reporter: john huber's son didn't >> this is where my son is how does he get to walk free after killing him? >> reporter: reaction to the trial further demonstrating the country's political divide >> before the trial starts, people are choosing sides >> reporter: now some republican members of congress are jockeying online over who will hire rittenhouse as a congressional intern while vice president harris offered this response to the verdict. >> i've spent a majority of my career working to make the criminal justice system more equitable, and clearly there's a lot more work to do. >> megan, what has the reaction been on the ground there in kenosha? >> reporter: well, jose, since the verdict was read inside the court house behind me here, the streets have been calm, giving the sense that this community is ready to move forward. >> in kenosha, thank you.
today major pharmacies around the country are giving out covid booster shots to all adults, just one day after the cdc recommended everyone get a booster six months after their last dose. but the move is creating new questions about the benefits of getting an additional shot and the risks of not. katy beck has more >> reporter: days before thanksgiving, americans are rolling up their sleeves again to get a boost >> i'm super excited to get the booster >> reporter: friday the fda and cdc green lighting boosters for anyone over 18. plus recommend those over 50 should have one. right now only 70% of americans have received a booster officials hope opening the door wider will encourage millions more >> with the holidays coming up, i do feel it's really important to taken a extra step. >> reporter: and stop eligibility confusion. one study found four in ten vaccinated
adults were unsure if they could get a booster. still many questions remain as many head indoors and to crowded gatherings so, if you get it today, are you more protected on thanksgiving >> you're definitely more protected on thanksgiving than you were before you got the booster. >> reporter: while it takes about seven days for the booster to be fully effective, doctors say they see antibody response within just 48 hours how effective is this booster shot >> at least as effective as the initial two-dose series and maybe even a little bit more. >> reporter: in fact, pfizer's data shows 95% efficacy after the booster. important as real-world studies indicate immunity drops off after six months how much does your immunity wane? >> the good news is that you still have significant protection, but we know that a booster can help return it to at least the immunity you had after your
second dose. >> reporter: doctors say no time to waste as covid cases are on the rise in 17 states. >> we want to make sure we do everything we can so we can be together and enjoy the holidays >> and we're in the middle of the flu season can you get your booster and flu shots at the same time >> reporter: yeah, doctors say both are critical, jose, and you can get both safely at the same time they just warn you to be prepared. you may leave with two sore arms instead of one. >> thank you very much protests over a new partial covid lockdown in the netherlands turned violent overnight. you can see rioters throwing objects and lighting cars on fire in the city of rotterdam. police said they used water cannons and fired warnin shots in the crowd to disperse them. as protests take place across europe over new covid measures today is president biden's 79th birthday.
democrats in the house delivered him an early gift of sort in passing the massive social spending and climate plan friday. but now he faces an even bigger challenge, getting it through the senate monica all -- alba is at the white house >> reporter: today president biden's months' long quest to pass his massive social and spending and climate plan enters a new phase >> i will sign it, period >> reporter: but getting a finished bill to his desk for signature will not be easy after passing the house with no republican support, the president has zero margin of error in the senate, where the legislation goes next. two moderate democrats, joe manchin and kirsten sinema expressing criticism the white house acknowledging the president is ready to compromise and likely scale back the scope and size >> there are disagreements. everybody knows that publically, but he knows he's not going to get everything he
wants in his package >> reporter: currently in the $1.6 trillion version, free universal pre-k, an expanded child tax credit, four weeks of paid family leave, more medicare benefits and $555 billion to combat climate change. including clean energy tax credits. >> this bill is monumental. it's bigger than anything we've ever done. >> reporter: but substantial changes are expected once the senate takes it up after the thanksgiving holiday. with parental leave and the overall price tag still major sticking points to get all 50 democrats on board. >> monica, what does the timeline look like for the plan >> reporter: well, the senate will try to approve the bill by christmas but it will have to go back to the house for final passage, all while congress will be juggling end of year deadlines on government funding and raising the debt ceiling. >> thank you still ahead tonight, new video of a missing chinese tennis star. why so many don't trust it though.
skepticism as pressure mounts from the tennis world. janice macke frayier is in beijing. >> reporter: tonight more questions, than credible answers in the mystery around chinese tennis star, peng shuai state media purporting to show her at a restaurant in beijing. nbc news cannot verify when or where they were taken in the videos, there appears to be some debate over the date peng does not address the camera, not even to reassure the world that she's fine. the women's tennis association, in a statement, saying while it is positive to see her, it remains unclear if she is free, adding this video alone is insufficient the wta ready to pull its tournaments from china. pressure is mounting on china's governmen after peng accused a top party official of sexual assault nearly three weeks ago. >> we know they have zero tolerance for criticism and a record for silencing those that speak out >> reporter: chinese
officials have said nothing and suggesting not even they have direct contact with her. >> we have to know she is free and safe to speak. >> reporter: earlier this month, peng alleged on social media that she had an affair with an ex-vice premier and included a clai that he forced her into sex her accounts no longer searchable a household name in china all but erased from the internet here the tennis world rallied behind the former world number one doubles champion and a strong stance the wta is taking in a lucrative market >> unless this is resolved, i support it 100%. >> reporter: in a statement, wimbledon added "we will work to gain clarity on her safety, which remains very much in question." janice macke frayier nbc news beijing when we return, what would you do? thousands of dollars suddenly scattered across a highway would you take it? what police are now saying and the amazing
happened the coast guard says they're currently investigating. now to a wild scene almost out of a movie. a california highway suddenly littered with cash and the drivers, who hopped out of their cars to scoop it up now police say they need to return the money or else. kenneth gibson has more >> reporter: this highway went from rush hour -- >> look at the freeway right now. >> reporter: -- to gold rush. it happened when an armored vehicle filled with cash for the federal reserve, burst open, sending dollar bills flying commuters pulled over and jumped out of their cars to scoop up the raining cash >> this is the most insane thing i've ever seen >> reporter: social media guru documenting to her more than 14 million followers on tiktok, posting a video of her friends, jumping, laughing, throwing cash. those videos now potentially evidence the california highway patrol calling on everyone to return the money.
>> floating cash is a tempting thing for a lot of people but it's not their money. >> reporter: two people have already been arrested. and authorities ar alerting drivers who took the money and ran, they have 48 hours to return it or face criminal charges. the social media influencer is encouraging people to return the cash. but that's not scaring people away from returning to the site to look for loose cash >> i pull over to find all these $2,000 bands and stuff. i was just like where's the money? >> reporter: where's the money? a question the fbi is asking too as it joins the case and now to a story inspiring millions across the country tonight. a football team from a california high school for the deaf has gone from underdog to undefeated and now they're heading to the championship game. here's the story >> reporter: this is high school football at its finest. the riverside cubs delivering an epic
victory on the field in a semifinal win for the record books >> oh, man, it's amazing, i just can't believe it. i mean, it's a true feeling of a dream come true. >> reporter: now they're heading to the championship game for their southern california division for the first time in the school's 68-year history. >> extremely proud this is a championship game this is historical for us >> reporter: a few months ago no one expected this team of deaf players, who hadn't had a winning season in nearly a decade, to even make it to the playoffs but they're proving everyone wrong for underestimating them and their powerful advantage, exceptional sign language skills >> we communicate much better and we can see what the coach is saying across the field and i'm able to communicate that with my players on the line, instead of going to the coach and the hearing players an listening to the coach and hearing what they have to say. >> reporter: the coach says the pandemic gave the team the break
they needed to come back stronger than ever >> you guys are amazing. >> reporter: in fact, they've gone from the underdogs to absolute favorites after an undefeated season and now a chance to win the eight-player football championship game >> we're not done. we're not done one more game. >> reporter: and with their success, they're delivering a message to the world >> we can do it and don't look at our disability as anything bad but we are a damn good team. >> reporter: if you ignore the noise and focus on the field, these cubs are fast, strong, smart, and full of heart. an extraordinary football team. nbc news >> bravo when we come back to the rescue. the innovative way this young boy is saving these dogs' lives.
there's good news tonight about the power of creativity. and the heart-warming way one boy is using it to help dogs in need >> a story of a rescue dog. >> there's something special happening at the animal care centers of new york city >> look at that happy face he deserves a home >> reporter: 11-year-old evan bisnauth is going the extra mile to connect with dogs waiting to find their forever homes. >> i try to read to dogs and socialize
with them so when a person comes up to the dog, the dog's not scared and barking and they could just feel comfortable in their environment. >> reporter: he started reading to the dogs here two years ago, but his compassion and creativity have since blossomed into something so much more >> i think i started were in n >> reporter: video animations he drew, voiced and posted during the pandemic to help get shelter dogs adopted. >> i really like tug of war, and i'm pretty playful. >> i was looking at my dogs and i knew at that second, what if dogs could talk and they could tell their true story >> reporter: the skits he created showcasing the pups and their personalities, using his own voice. >> shelter life is not easy for me. >> reporter: and imagination. evan has shared about 40 of their stories online, like 3-year-old mister. >> i'm just a sweet, goofy guy. >> reporter: or
1-year-old roscoe. >> i just need the right human or humans to understand me >> reporter: and this sweetheart named knuckles the video caught the eye of nick park, who adopted the nine-year-old pitbull mix last year. >> i would like to give him a message and say, evan that's so cool what you're doing. you're finding homes for these dogs and the very least, you found knuckles his home. this is his forever home >> reporter: winning the award of the aspca's kid of the year >> and one day a young couple appeared -- >> it's great to have a kid like evan, who is out there raising awareness, telling the rest of the community there are these great dogs available for adoption and showing other kids you can make a difference. and he's really done a spectacular job doing that >> and evan wants to open his own rescue shelter one day and wants to be an aerospace engineer at nasa that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday