tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 27, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
bench. the top names on his short list and the timeline he gave for making his choice as the 50-50 senate gears up for a confirmation fight. also tonight, tracking the major nor'easter threat. 40 million under winter storm watches along the east coast up to two feet of snow expected virginia declaring a state of emergency al roker timing it out. the shootout in houston. three police officers wounded. what we're learning about the suspect. the pentagon warning russia has moved more troops to the ukraine border in the last 24 hours as president biden holds a critical call with ukraine's leader what they discussed. richard engel on the front lines. the deadline for millions of health care workers to get their federally mandated vaccines. the critical pilot shortage and the major airline launching its own flight academy no experience necessary. and after 42 years of telling america's story, a beloved member of our nbc news family signing off
>> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt good evening, everyone the process of choosing a nominee for the u.s. supreme court is officially under way tonight. president biden making it clear when he'll announce his pick, late next month, and who? the first black woman nominate to the court, holding to a campaign commitment the president's first detailed remarks on how he will move forward coming during an appearance with retiring justice stephen breyer this afternoon. breyer hand-carrying his retirement letter to the white house, outlining hi plans to step down this summer. tonight, a look at who may be on the president's short list to replace breyer, how he plans to make his decision, and what the reception might be on capitol hill peter alexander starts us off >> reporter: tonight president biden honoring justice stephen breyer's judicial legacy, for the president poignant close to a personal chapter, noting he ran the
confirmation hearing when breyer was first nominated. >> this is sort of a bittersweet day for me justice breyer and i go back a long way >> reporter: and now describing who he will pick to replace him. >> the person i will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. it's long overdue in my opinion >> reporter: thought to be atop the short list, judge ketanji brown jackson, on the powerful federal appeals court here in washington a 51-year-old harvard law graduate who was confirmed with bipartisan support just last year and 45-year-old california supreme court justice leondra kruger along with j. michelle childs, a federal judge from south carolina breyer hand-delivering his retirement letter to the president today, saying he wil serve until the end of the court's term the president's supporters hoping it's a chance for a political reset with
his legislative priority stalled bu republicans are pushing back >> they're trying to use this to distract from what is their failed agenda the american people are all concerned with inflation and crime and covid. >> reporter: president biden promises to reach out to senators from both parties for advice as well as his vice president and others, indicating he's looking for someone in the mold of justice breyer >> i think he's a model public servant in a time of great division in this country. >> reporter: with breyer pulling out a copy of th constitution, pointedly talking about the challenges still confronting this country and reflecting on the american experiment >> it's that next generation and the one after that my grandchildren and their children they'll determine whether the experiment still works. and of course i am an optimist and i'm pretty sure it will. >> peter, the president says he'll announce his nominee by the end of february >> reporter: that's right, lester. president biden says he is already reviewing candidates the white house has been vetting top contenders for more than a year now, so
behind the scenes the process is well under way. lester >> peter alexander starting us off at the white house, thank you. now the attention turns to the senate where key members are preparing to begin the confirmation process for breyer's successor, whoever she may be garrett haake is at the capitol. >> reporter: tonight senate democrats eager to begin the confirmation process >> we're not going to sit around, we're not going to sit on our hands. we have been very expeditious in all the other judicial nominees to the point where president biden's nominees, he's had more confirmed judges at this point of his tenure than any other president. >> reporter: so far, each of president biden's 42 judicial nominees have received the unanimous support of senate democrats, including kyrsten sinema and joe manchin who told a west virginia radio show today he's okay with the president selecting someone more liberal than he is >> whoever he puts up will have experience and we'll be able to judge 'em off of that. but as far as a
philosophical belief, that will not prevent me from supporting somebody >> reporter: this nominee will be the first to have to make her way through an evenly divided senate if democrats remain united, republican could slow but not stop her confirmation. tonight the senate's top republican holding his fire >> i'm going to give the president's nominee, whoever that may be, a fair look. umm, and not predict today when we don't even know who the nominee is, how i might vote >> reporter: but mcconnell also offered a warning to the president that he not outsource his decision to the, quote, radical left, a possible preview of what we'll hear in confirmation hearings, likely to begin in march, lester >> garrett haake, thank you. there is breaking news out of houston tonight where three officers were shot after a police chase the shootout erupting in a residential area when the suspect's vehicle crashed. police say the gunman fled the scene but was captured after a manhunt. all three officers were rushed to the
hospital they are listed in stable condition. there's a state of emergency in virginia tonight as tens of millions along the east coast prepare for a major winter storm al roker is following. what's the latest? >> here we go, lester. we've been talking about the model differences. right now we've got 40 million people under winter weather advisories, storm watches or warnings. here's what's happening. we watched this system come up friday afternoon into the evening. the euro, closer to the coast, stronger, slower, more impact, especially in new england. the american model, quicker, weaker, further away although starting to inch closer to the euro but we do expect to see thes major impacts. we expect both models show we will have explosive deepening of this storm, 30 millibar drop or more which is going to bring strong winds, blizzard-like conditions across new england. those impacts could stretch further south as we watch. airports and roads are going to be a big problem over the next 72 hours, lester >> thank you, al new concern
tonight about the crisis in ukraine. the pentagon says russia has moved more combat forces to the borders in the last 24 hours. richard engel is on the front lines tonight with ukrainian troops >> reporter: this may be russia's way of showing it didn't like the united states' written answers to russia's demand that nato leave eastern europe and bar ukraine. new live fire drills near ukraine more jets into belarus. and naval exercises in the baltic sea president biden called ukraine's president zelenskiy who is receiving u.s. weapons. but president biden has said repeatedly, no american troops are heading his way. on the call, president biden pledged additional economic support. on ukraine's front line in the east, the troops are remarkably calm on watch, but many here seem to be
following their government's line that there's no great reason for concern "we're in good spirits and we have no problems," says valentin ukraine has already been in a low-level war out in the east for eight years, emptying out so-called front line ghost villages there used to be 3,000 people here. we found three women, all russian speakers none wants putin to invade "we live in ukraine, we don't need russia," says tatiana yet russia continues to mass in force upwards of 120,000 troops now and significantly more, intelligence officials say, coming next week. nato is trying to show a united front but there are divisions. germany refuses to send combat weapons, instead is sending 5,000 helmets. the mayor of kyiv was outraged and asked, what are they sending next, pillows? lester
>> richard engel in ukraine, thank you we want to turn to covid and a mixed picture tonight. positive signs in some areas where cases are falling but more of those infected in recent weeks are now dying. kate snow with the latest >> reporter: tonight, a deadline for health care workers in 25 states, including new york and california, they must now have at least the first dose of vaccine. it comes as some hospitals still face staffing shortages in california, where average daily case numbers are up 27%, l.a. county reported its youngest ever fatality, a 15-month-old baby. in washington state, they're averaging more deaths now than ever and nationally, the death rate is still rising but the average number of daily cases is going down, because some states are past their peak or leveling off. experts are closely watching a subvariant of omicron that's now been found in a number of states. early data suggests it's not more severe than the original omicron. >> it may be a little
bit more contagious. and that's what we have to pay attention to and that's what we're learning >> does that mean we could look at another wave or an addition to the wave we're already in >> i think another major wave is really unlikely out of this subvariant >> reporter: two weeks ago we were inside a covid icu at the cleveland clinic and met ron perelka. >> what would you say to people who think omicron is mild and it's no big deal >> i'm willing to go walk out the door and they can come and sit in here and see what it's like. >> reporter: ron is back home and slowly recovering but his son has been hospitalized for 71 days with double pneumonia and covid. >> what's the lesson we should learn from what your family has been through >> i think, appreciate family time is short. >> reporter: he's hopeful his son will be hope soon too kate snow, nbc news.
big news tonight on the u.s. economy, growing at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years in 2021. but many industries are having trouble filling jobs, including the airlines today united airlines took a major step to address a critical pilot shortage, opening its very own flight academy no experience necessary. tom costello is in phoenix. >> reporter: daybreak in arizona, and 29-year-old josh is up early in the cockpit with his flight instructor >> 71, rotate. pitching 85. >> reporter: six months ago, josh was a motorcycle cop in metro denver, dreaming of learning to fly that's when he saw united airlines is recruiting students, no experience needed,
for the first major airline owned pilot flight academy to help fill the critical shortage o airline pilots in december he joined the first class outside of phoenix >> as soon as i had my first flight and we left the ground, i knew this was for me, i was hooked it's just a completely different feeling than being on the ground. >> reporter: the industry predicts a shortage of 12,000 pilots in north america next year, with too few pilots coming from the military and private pilot training costing $100,000, prohibitive for many, all airlines are scrambling to fill their cockpits united plans to hire 10,000 pilots over the next eight years, half of them graduates of its new academy. ceo scott kirby. >> this is a way for you to ensure the pilots are being trained to the specs, to the qualifications you want >> in the way that the military trains pilots, with offset recovery training, a unique approach to pilot training to train the next generation of pilots for united airlines. >> reporter: united says 50% of its students will be women or minorities.
as a flight attendant, shelley thomas dreamed of becoming a pilot. today she is teaching josh to fly, and headed for her own career in the cockpit. >> the ultimate goal would be to fly a 777 for united >> reporter: that's a big plane. >> bigger than this one. >> reporter: before becoming a commercial airline pilot, the grads will still have to have 1,500 flight hours. most will start at a regional airline as for josh -- >> probably my best landing i've had yet >> reporter: -- in a few years, he may be your pilot tom costello, nbc news, phoenix. on international holocaust remembrance day, we look at how those trying to preserve its memory and meaning are facing a dangerous, growing movement t rewrite its history. jake ward has more >> reporter: susan warsinger survived kristallnacht and fled her native germany alone with her brother in 1940 as the nazis began murdering millions o jews like her.
>> i was there for the night of the broken glass, when our neighbors, who wer friends, looted our apartment and destroyed some of our furniture. and then i remember i had to be separated from my parents, because they wanted us to be safe >> reporter: she shares her memories at the holocaust museum and with groups online but misinformation and lies about the holocaust flood the internet >> you literally have some of the most extremist ideas, moving from the margins into the mainstream we see it with the willingness of people in elected office, those who should know better, to draw ridiculous comparisons between covid-19 precautions and the nuremberg laws there's no basis for those comparisons. >> reporter: experts say these comparisons aren't just inaccurate they're dangerous. >> but the trivialization of the holocaust doesn't allow us to learn from it
the goal is not only to look back on the past and say, what would i have done, but to look ahead at the future and ask of ourselves what will i do >> reporter: the largest social media platforms officially ban holocaust misinformation but a recent study found that 84% of anti-semitic posts stay up even after being flagged by users. susan warsinger at 93 is part of the last living generation of survivors. she says it's painful to see the holocaust distorted in politics and online >> my father and mother would be horrified. we have to be sensitive to each other and we have to take care of one another. >> reporter: someday, we won't have living witnesses to rely on this is our moment to protect the truth they lived. jake ward, nbc news. we'll take a break right here up next, the members of team usa take flight for the beijing olympics
about a hundred u.s. athletes are off to beijing for an unprecedented olympics shaped by the pandemic steve patterson was with them as they left los angeles. >> reporter: tonight, team usa, packed, pumped, and ready to compete in the winter olympics speed skating star brittany bowe with a final farewell to mom before a 17-hour flight >> love you! >> reporter: but with covid complicating everything from training to qualifying, it's
already been a long trek >> such a crazy ride, my fingers are crossed we're going to get on this plane and get over there safe and sound. >> reporter: this is it, nearly half the u.s. teams boarding this flight after a lifetime of preparation. but first they're going to have to deal with some pretty strict protocols once they make it to beijing, they'll be tested daily they must remain in a fully closed loop. no interaction allowed with the chinese public and if an athlete tests positive, they'll be immediately isolated or hospitalized >> i try to not get so frustrated in my head and just take it day by day so many invasive nose tests. >> reporter: the chinese government's zero-covid policy upping the stress. >> it definitely adds a nervewracking part to it. still, i'm focusing on racing and competing my best. >> reporter: that mindset echoed by the whole team >> if we just do our jobs, we'll do amazing. >> reporter: a lifelong dream undeterred, no matter the obstacle steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. >> we're looking forward to watching
>> reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. tel aviv bosnia minneapolis. baghdad. >> he's reported from just about everywhere and covered just about everything. a top notch correspondent with a huge heart but before the proud canadian became a beloved member of our team -- >> reporter: kevin tibbles, cbc news, montreal >> he was a reporter in canada for the cbc. in 1995 he joined nbc news and headed across the pond to london where he spent five years covering all types of stories, from the war in iraq -- >> reporter: it is an absolutely eerie day in baghdad >> -- to the death of princess diana in 2000 he returned to the states and settled in chicago where he's been for the past 20 years. he's covered five olympic games and learned how to fight like an ancient gladiator. he took us on a tour
of some of london's best pubs. and held his own on the ice with some of the world's most elite athletes from a helicopter over the icy waters of alaska to the tulips of holland, michigan, and some of the greatest roller coasters, tibbles has done it all. he's up for anything that dry sense of humor. >> reporter: i got to ride shot-bun. >> and quick wit >> reporter: henrietta put his right foot forward and said -- >> let's dance >> always shining through. >> reporter: goodbye cruel world. >> while his adventures at nbc may be coming to an end, if we know kevin, we know there will be plenty more ahead. >> to tibbles! >> kevin, so many of us have looked forward to your stories and remind us of all the good out there and good people. on behalf of your colleagues and our viewers, thank you for your storytelling and
for your integrity and for lifting us up every night. >> lester, it's been an honor, obviously. so many experiences. so many people and i have traveled around the world and across this country, from north to south, east to west it has been a blessing working for you, working for nbc news i only have friends. and it's been great bringing the stories of ordinary, regular people to the rest of the nation thank you so much. >> be well, my friend. that's "nightly news." thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other. good night
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ask your doctor about ibrance. it's happening. mask rules are easing up. we'll tell you which can county is leading the way. and if others will follow suit. president biden's bold promise. >> the person i will nominate will be someone will extraordinary qualifications. character, experience and integrity chl the first black woman ever nominated to the united states supreme court. >> we're talking to a judge who broke barriers here in northern california. >> it's just a bit stunning. that it has taken this long to get the representation. >> her pointed message to those who say the president isn't considering all qualified candidates. look at this. off they
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