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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  November 6, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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a passionate argument at the supreme court. a new twist in the scandal over bullying allegations. and now the league is investigating the miami dolphins. was he assassinated? and mother and daughter, dr. nancy sneiderman and her dart on a very personal journey, to meet the birth mother she never knew. nightly news begins now. from nbc news world headquarters, this is nbc nightly news with brie and
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williams. it's plainly visible on the currency we use. it says in god we trust. but even before this nation was a nation, the founders puzzled over a dilemma that's still a dilemma today. how much separation should there be between the government and religion. prayer, said in public at things like town meetings -- our justice correspondent at the court for us tonight. >> reporter: nearly every government body in america opens its meetings with a prafrm the question for the justices, when does that go too far and violate the separation of church and state. it's the way cities and towns have opened public meetings for hundreds of years in a country with god on its currency, something like a prayer brings the supreme court to order. >> god save the united states
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and this honorable court. >> reporter: but justice elena kagan said what if it began with a priest? some say it's unconstitutional. >> and we ask all these things in your holy name, amen. >> i don't think you should have to endure religious indoctrination in order to participate in your own town government. >> reporter: but the town say it is has history on its side. >> we have a rich tradition back to our founding fathers of opening legislative meetings with prayer. >> reporter: several of the supreme court's liberals today questioned it saying that people may feel compelled to join a
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prayer. both houses of congress have always started their days with prayers from paid chaplains, a practice endorsed 30 years ago. >> eternal god, how great you are. >> reporter: justice steven breyer suggested that the court could draw up rules to make local prayers more inclusive. but justice samuel alleto said e didn't see how it was possible. >> pete williams starting us off at the supreme court tonight. thanks. now we turn to this growing scandal involving bullying ant nfl. a lot of people have been slow to come around on the idea. reluctant to believe that something like bullying could exist in something designed to
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be a highly violent, testosterone fueled world inside pro football. and opinions are widely varies on this. a special counsel has been appointed to investigate. our report tonight from nbc's carrie sanders in south florida. >> reporter: practice on the gridiron. but it's ha happened off the field that has the team on defense. today the south florida sun sent nal says that incognito was asked to toughen up martin. >> i believe in the men in our locker room and the coaching staff. if there is anything that needs to be corrected, we will take all necessary measures to fix it to ensure that this doesn't happen again. >> reporter: the nfl is now
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conducting an investigation into allegations of bullying in the dolphins' locker room. espn has said sources have heard voice mails in which incognito called martin the n word. hey, what's up? you're still a rookie. i'll kill you. today incog neat owe who's suspended without pay didn't stop to talk as he drove by in a new ferrari. but yesterday he did talk to miami station wspn. >> i'm just trying to weather the storm right now. and this will pass. >> reporter: for as long as they can remember, what happens in the locker room stays here. disputes are worked out privately inside these walls. >> a lot of people would find half of what goes on in a locker room to be very offensive in corporate america. it would never fly. hr wouldn't have enough people working for them. >> reporter: job than martin has made no comment since he left the dolphins' training facility
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last week. some say he may have a difficult time returning. >> the nfl is a brutally violent sport. and now you have a guy that wouldn't stand up to his own teammate that was picking on him? i think he's jeopardized the rest of his nfl career. i think on some level there will be a scarlet letter associated with jonathan martin for whatever team he attempts to lay for going forward. >> reporter: espn reports that jonathan martin briefly checked himself into a hospital for emotional distress and tonight he's with his parents in california. >> kerry, thanks. for the second time, now, health secretary kathleen sebelius today faced a barrage of questions from congress over hundreds of problems with this new federal health care website. her testimony came hours after the chief technical official stepped down at the centers for medicare and medicaid services. his office oversaw the creation of the website.
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nbc's white house correspondent has more on all this tonight. >> reporter: on capitol hill and once again under fire. secretary sebelius this time taking heat for the president's promise if you like your health care plan you can keep it. >> is that statement on the white house website true? or is it false? >> sir, i think the statement -- >> is it true or false? >> this is a dishonesty. you've been misleading the american people. and the president has. >> this, to put it bluntly, is simply untrue. >> reporter: while more than 3 million americans who buy their own insurance have received cancellation letters. >> delaying the affordable care act wouldn't delay people's cancer or diabetes or parkinson's. so for millions of americans, delay is not an option. people's lives depend on this. >> reporter: but in california, facing pressure from the state's
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insurance commissioner, blue shield of california agreed to give people a three month extension to find new plans. still blue shield warns individuals who switch policies midyear may be subject to paying a double deductible. today another big insurance company, humana, said it expects the administration to extend the enrollment deadline. also tonight internal documents obtained exclusively by the nbc news reveal that a stress test by one of the contractors shows it could only handle 1100 users at once before becoming overloaded. and secretary sebelius says tech experts have identified things that need to be improved. they've been able to process 17,000 registrations every hour. and now, about last night,
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specifically, those two closely watched races for governor. in virginia, close call, but when it was over, victory for the democrat there, terry mcauliffe. and in new jersey, a landslide win for the republican chris christie. and tonight, the question, what does this all mean, if anything, going forward. nbc's kelly o'donnell has our report. >> reporter: calling this a thank you stop. today governor christie visited with freshman at this public school. all smiles after a 22 point victory. the first new jersey republican to win this big in decades. he turned most of the state from blue to red in yesterday's election. >> i know that if we can do this in trenton, new jersey, maybe the folks in washington, d.c. should tune in their tvs right now and see how it's done. >> reporter: while christie says his only obligation is working for his home state he kicked off his own news conference.
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>> we'll go to an out-of-towner first. >> reporter: knowing that the country and especially conservatives will make tough judgments about his 2016 chances. >> are you prepared to make any adjustments to your personal style to tone down your brashness, to appeal to people beyond new jersey? >> no. >> none at all? >> no. this is who i am, kelly. you're asking me at 51 years old, now, to become a different person. >> reporter: and that big personality insists the push he run for president is no distraction. >> oh, please, it's such a burden for you to be speculating about me being the leader of the free world, stop. i'm so burdened. that's a pretty huge ego to be complaining about that. it's complementary. >> reporter: it sends a political message. and the governor picked union city which is known around here as little havana. he still faces hurdles. in an exit poll, new jersey
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voters didn't pick him but favored hillary clinton for president. >> he is in the wing of the party that wants to expand it and make it bigger. that's the tradition of ronald reagan. he reasserted that tradition last night as a conservative. and it's a very, very big deal for a beleaguered national republican party. >> reporter: and in that republican defeat in virginia for governor, tea party candidate cuccinelli lost to democrat and friend of the clintons terry mcauliffe. and our chuck todd reports that cuccinelli's team is upset with none other than chris christie, saying they wanted his help and didn't get it. >> kelly, thanks. it was an unusual patchwork style election night last night across this country with some notable firsts when voters woke up this morning. our national correspondent kate snow is with us for more on that. >> let's start with new york
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mayor. bill de blasio becomes the first democrat since 1989. in boston they've gotten used to saying mayor tom menino. marty walsh is the new mayor. he is irish american, the son of irish immigrants. detroit has elected its first white mayor in 40 years. and in seattle, ed murray is that city's first openly gay mayor. and a few ballot 34measures to tell you about. in colorado, there's a pot tax coming. in portland, maine, they also made recreational potts legal. and a domesticed air conditioned sports arena, they called it the 8th wonder of the world, a measure to save houston's astro dome failed. it is going to be torn down. >> a big change to the horizon. again, a patchwork of an election night last night.
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kate snow with us for the report. still ahead, was it poison nine years after the death of a controversial world leader? news about possible evidence about what killed him. later, a story about adoption featuring nancy sneiderman, her daughter and the woman who brought them both together.
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there is a new twist tonight in the death of yasser arafat who died under mysterious circumstances back in '04. for years his family's been pushing for an investigation into his death, claking he was killed by poisoning. and now a team of scientists may have confirmed in fact he was. our report tonight from our middle east correspondent. >> reporter: for nine years, his death has been a mystery. but what killed yasser arafat may have finally been answered -- radiation poisoning. a team of swiss scientists who
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exhumed his body say that their findings say it was the result of poisoning. >> they found values that far exceed the average environmental levels by 18 to 36 times. >> reporter: and this will become a sacred site now. a shrine for palestinians going on decades into the future. >> reporter: just before his death in 2004, arafat fell mysteriously ill, bow sieged in his west bank headquarters by the israeli military he was flown to france where he ultimately died. no autopsy was ever performed. last year an investigation by al jazeera led to answers. she now believes her husband was murdered. >> shocking, shocking crime. to get rid of the great leader. >> reporter: but if it was murder, who did it? how it got into his body is a
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question palestinians now want answered. >> what we need is proof that israeli occupation is responsible, that the israeli government has killed him as a result of an official decision. >> reporter: israel considered him a terrorist and an obstacle to peace but has denied any involvement in his death. controversy alabama his life, arafat's death is now just as controversial. nbc news, new york. and we're back in a moment with a huge case of mistaken identity.
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if we can speak just to the kids for just a moment. kids, time was not too many years ago, if you wanted to watch a movie, you had to drive to a place and hope they had the movie or wait until someone else returned it. you'd pay money to take it home and see it.
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if it was a vhs tape you were asked to rewind it. we called them block buster video. well, today, block buster admitted it's over. its parent company, dish network is shutting down block buster by mail. think back to the last time you watched someone give up a seat voluntarily in first class. it happened on board a flight from chicago to san diego. there were 13 veterans on board and in uniform, returning from deployment in afghanistan. the airline could only accommodate six of them up front, but when the remaining first class passengers saw this, seven of them got up off their seats and allowed them a better ride. and joe biden got all caught up in the moment last night and was trying to do the right thing. so he called marty walsh to
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congratulate him. the vice president yelled into the phone, you sun of a gun, marty, you did. sadly, he got the wrong marty walsh, he was thrilled to be talk being to the vice president. the walsh was an aide to ted kennedy previously for years, and even he says he knows at least eight other marty walshs in boston. when we come back here tonight, our colleague, dr. nancy sneiderman, her daughter, ant woman who made them a family.
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finally here tonight, a personal family story from one of our own family members, 27 years ago, dr. nancy sneiderman adoptd a baby girl who is now a graduate student. and as you're about to hear, she recently took nancy along for what turned out to be an extraordinary reunion with the woman whose decision changed both of their lives. >> hi. >> oh, god, i can't brief it. >> reporter: it was a moment she waited for her whole life. my daughter kate hugged her birth mother cheryl for the first time. >> you're a lot different than
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you were 2 years ago. >> reporter: 27 years ago i was a young surgeon in little rock, arkansas. >> i had a career in front of me. and one night i got a phone call from a doctor saying would you adopt this baby? and my answer was yes. >> reporter: that phone call changed my life. suddenly, i was a mother to a 7 pound baby girl. >> i can't ever remember not knowing i was adopted. >> reporter: kate made no secret of the fact that one day she wanted to meet her blojic mom. >> a couple months after i posted the listing, i got an e-mail. it said i think i'm your sister. your mother loves you, and she would love to meet you some day. >> reporter: that day finally came this summer when biological mother and daughter met in little rock. >> i've always wondered if you were proud of me. >> reporter: i always have been proud of you. being a single teenage mom, could i not give you a life that you would amount to anything.
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and i know that you're going to amount to a lot of stuff right now. >> i've had a wonderful life. there isn't a day that goes by that i don't thank you for everything you've given me. so if you would like, i would be honored to introduce you to my mom. >> reporter: i would love to. >> with that, it was my turn. >> thank you. i mean it. no, i really mean it. thank you. >> she's perfect. >> she's pretty amazing. >> reporter: i was stunned to see a woman who looks exactly like my daughter. >> look at the two of you. it's like your cheeks are similar. your eyes are similar. your smiles are similar. >> reporter: for kate, the puzzle pooes pieces were beginning to fall into place. but there was so much more i
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wanted to share, starting with a precious polaroid that's been tucked away for 27 years. so when you look at that picture of you holding kate hours after you gave birth, do you remember that moment? >> yeah. i do. and i remember the day that you came and got her, too. because i didn't know you were coming to get her that day. and that was the biggest heart break. >> reporter: i didn't know that you didn't know. you had a yellow cat named sam. later that day i took sam to the house where our life started. you always said there was no shame in being adopted were proud of it. >> i was. >> reporter: this is your journey. i'm proud of you. >> and our thanks for sharing their story with us. i'm brian williams, we of course hope to see you back here
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tomorrow evening. good night. good evening. >> our breaking news expands from sunnyvale to mexico. the abduction of a baby boy has ended safely on the other side of the border. all the informing coming in within the last hour. chris sanchez is in sunnyvale with the details. >> as you mentioned, and we must stress, that baby is safe. his 22-year-old father is now in the custody of mexican authorities. he will soon turn him over to u.s. border patrol. the father was pibed up this
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afternoon after crossing the border in mexico in arizona, about 800 miles from sunnyvale. he was stopped at a checkpoint inside mexico. almost immediately after the amber alert went out overnight, people reported sidings of him down south and his gold suv in san diego. they got pings off his cell phone down south as well. the mother said there was reason to believe he would head to mexico because he has several friends there. when he is turned over to the border patrol, the baby will be handed over to social workers who can care for him until he can be reunited with his mother. >> the u.s. border patrol has made arrangements with the arizona child protective services to be at the border crossing with them. when the baby does arrive, they can take custody of the baby. >> this all began when he left with the child around 34:30 to run errands then sent text messages saying he was not going to come back and threane