tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC October 31, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
way, that photo in the yosemite. it was a pop ring or one of those ring pops. >> oh. then she finally got the real one? >> she already had that. have a great night. have a safe halloween. bye, folks. breaking news tonight. six days until the midterms. president trump doubling down on his immigration rhetoric. now threatening to send up to 15,000 troops to the border. but is this a manufactured crisis? a reality check tonight on the caravan of migrants and refugees up to 900 miles away. also tonight, the president goes on the attack against house speaker paul ryan over birthright citizenship. the oprah factor. her surprise announcement. can she help elect this country's first african-american woman governor? and is she reconsidering a potential run for president? a growing mystery. two sisters found bound together by duct tape in the river hundreds of miles from
home. authorities tight-lipped on a chilling case. the final moments caught on camera. passengers seen boarding that doomed jet liner, as tonight investigators make a big discovery. the startling new warning causing doctors to change the way they treat one of the most common cancers in women. fighting back against an avalanche of robocalls. >> this is insane, they're ringing, all the same number. >> we're leading the charge to stop those calls. and a supreme secret for nearly 60 years. the revelation tonight that stunned even their own children. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening, everyone. we are six days from the midterm election. but millions of americans are having their say now. 24 million early or absentee votes have been cast already, eclipsing the total nationwide early vote of four years ago. the enthusiasm fired up by several house,
senate, and governors' recognizes that are virtual dead heats tonight. and with control of congress at stake and therefore his agenda, president trump is embarking on a campaign blitz, hoping to tip momentum toward republicans with a closing argument that starts and ends with immigration. the president threatening to send thousands more active duty troops to the southern border and attacking the republican speaker of the house who said the president can't simply order an end to birthright citizenship. hallie jackson has the story. >> reporter: tonight the president's pulling a page from his 2016 playbook, working to energize his base on immigration. now threatening to triple the number of troops he's sending to the border. >> our military is out. we have about 5,000, we'll go up to 10 or 15,000, military personnel on top of border patrol, i.c.e., and everybody else at the border. nobody's coming in. >> reporter: that would be more troops than the u.s. has in
afghanistan, and a little more than two u.s. service members for every migrant or refugee in the caravan, still some 900 miles from the u.s. border. just six days from the midterms, the president zeroing in on an issue that fires up his supporters as he fires away at a fellow republican, paul ryan, who is not even on the ballot. the president is tweeting the house speaker should focus on holding the majority rather giving his opinions on birthright citizenship, something he knows nothing about. why are you attacking paul ryan? >> birthright citizenship is a very, very important subject, in my opinion it's much less complex than people think. >> reporter: that comes after ryan correctly pointed on the president can't just override the constitution with an executive order to prevent babies born in the u.s. to undocumented parents from becoming citizens. >> well, you obviously cannot do that. you cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. >> reporter: even with pushback from his party, the president is not backing off, betting his base will turn out if he keeps the border battle front and center.
the president tonight here in florida is hoping to boost the chances of the republican candidate locked in a tight race for governor in a state where early voting by republicans has outpaced democrats. but democrats are hoping for their own shot in the arm when a different president, former president barack obama, visits this state later in the week, lester, both parties in an all-out blitz to election day. >> hallie jackson in florida, thanks. now let's talk about the oprah factor and her surprise announcement of her own campaign push, hitting the trail to help elect this country's first african-american woman governor. it has a lot of people asking is oprah also reconsidering a potential run for president? apparently those very close to her are keeping up the pressure. with more, here's nbc's kristen welker. >> reporter: tonight, oprah, off the sidelines and entering the 2018 fray. >> vote! >> reporter: the queen of talk now posed to lend her voice and star power to stacey abrams, the georgia democrat running to
become the country's first female african-american governor. abrams is locked in a tight race with republican brian kemp. the media mogul has largely stayed out of politics, making a brief but big splash in 2007 with her endorsement of candidate barack obama. >> i believe that now is the time for somebody like barack obama. >> reporter: also backing hillary clinton in 2016. but now oprah's the one generating buzz about a potential presidential run after this barn burner of a speech at the golden globes. >> a new day is on the horizon! >> reporter: winfrey was quick to dismiss speculation about whether she would challenge president trump in 2020, telling "british vogue," i would not be able to do it, it's not a clean business. it would kill me." but in an article out today, winfrey telling "the new york times" her best friend gayle king is urging her to
do it. king saying, "the country is bigger than your life." oprah is not the only high profile name campaigning in that race. president trump and former president obama will also stump in georgia. lester? >> kristen welker, thanks. in pittsburgh tonight, as funerals continue for the 11 people killed in that synagogue mass shooting, the suspect has now been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged now with 44 counts including hate crimes. prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty. i want to talk now about a growing mystery. this is a strange one. two sisters found bound together by duct tape in new york city's hudson river, their bodies hundreds of miles from home. authorities are being tight-lipped on this case while asking the public for help. we get more from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: tonight, new york city police want the public's help. anything anyone may now about two young sisters from saudi arabia. the bodies of 22-year-old rotana farea and her 16-year-old sister
tala were found last week in the hudson river, just off of manhattan pier. bound together by duct tape around their ankles and waists. they were dressed in similar clothes, black leggings and fur-lined black coats. tala, the younger sister, had been reported missing. their deaths remain a mystery. according to multiple sources briefed on the investigation, there are no signs of foul play. suicide is a leading theory. but nothing has been ruled out. >> there has been i will call it significant progress, trying to get the complete picture of what ultimately led to the two young ladies being discovered. >> reporter: according to the saudi embassy, the young women were students accompanying their brother in washington. nbc news has confirmed that the sisters lived and attended schools in virginia. the family appears to have had financial troubles. public records show two liens on their apartment in 2016. before the bodies were discovered here on the hudson river, officials say the sisters hadn't been
heard from since august 24th. among the many unanswered questions is why they ended up 250 miles from home in new york city. lester? >> all right, stephanie gosk tonight in new york. this evening, new video has emerged of passengers boarding that doomed jet liner that went down off the coast of indonesia, killing all 189 people on board. it comes as investigators have made a big discovery while searching for the black boxes. nbc's bill neely has details. >> reporter: they found more debris. but still no answers. more bags and shoes from passengers on board. but for families, few clues to how their loved ones died. one missing passenger sent this haunting video to his wife as he walked the jetway, his boarding pass for seat 24b. for search teams, a break through, finding what they believe is a part of the fuselage, using sonar ships and underwater drones,
they detected a hundred feet down on the sea bed an object 72 feet long. underwater microphones have heard pings they say are from the flight recorders. the two black boxes divers will now try to recover for clues as to why a brand-new plane suddenly plunged minutes after takeoff. as more body bags were brought ashore, the airline's technical director has been fired. the big question, was mechanical failure the cause? bill neely, nbc news, london. there is growing anger at the university of maryland tonight where the board of regents voted to reinstate the head football coach, five months after the death of a player after practice. that decision is not sitting well with some of his players. and nbc's tom costello is in college park, maryland with more tonight. >> reporter: back on the practice field today, maryland football coach dj durkin, five months after lineman jordan mcnair overheated,
collapsed, and died. today mcnair's family called it a personal affront. >> it feels like a total slap in the face, total lack of regard for no accountability for losing my son's life. >> reporter: the university of maryland suspended durkin after learning the staff took no steps to save mcnair's life. now it's the university president who's out. credited with building the university of maryland's reputation while bringing it into the big 10. >> this will be my last year as president of the university of maryland. >> reporter: meanwhile, several players walked out of a team meeting when coach durkin returned, one tweeting, every saturday my teammates and i have to kneel before the memorial of our fallen teammate yet a group of people do not have the courage to hold anyone accountable for his death. today "the washington post"'s sally jenkins wrote, don't let your children go to
university of maryland. lester, we have word the coach is out again. the university has bought out the contract of dj durkin. he is out of a job now after the governor and many members of the university system demanded an explanation from the board of regregents. now the coach is out. >> thank you, tom. a disturbing discovery at the vatican embassy in rome. many are hoping it can help solve a baffling 35-year-old cold case mystery. our kelly cobiella is at the vatican tonight. >> reporter: behind the walls of the vatican embassy, an old mystery brought back to life. workers found human bone fragments while renovating a building. the italian media can't stop asking, is it emanuela orlandi, the daughter of a vatican employee who disappeared 35 years ago when she was 15. her story one of italy's most intriguing cold cases with countless theories and rumors,
among them that she was kidnapped in a plot to free the man who shot pope john paul ii. orlandi's brother believes she's still alive and that the vatican has answers. the vatican has always denied involvement. as for the bones, police forensic experts are trying to determine the age, sex, and date of death. that could take at least a week, lester. >> kelly cobiella, thanks. a new health alert out tonight, two major studies warn that a widely used treatment for a common form of cancer in women could actually cause the cancer to come back. nbc news' medical correspondent dr. john torres explains. >> reporter: when dr. janine anderson had surgery for cervical cancer last year, she chose a minimally invasive approach using a smaller incision because recovery would be quicker. >> being a mom, i wanted to get back to my family as soon as possible, and as a physician, i wanted to get back to my practice, back to my patients. >> reporter: but 16 months later the cancer came back.
and she's fighting for her life. two major studies in "the new england journal of medicine" find that minimally invasive surgery nearly doubles the risk of death than other surgery. the doctors say it's because the minimally invasive surgery can spread cancer cells. dr. anderson says had she known, she would have chosen a traditional surgery and not worried so much about getting back to work. >> if it can help one person not to have to go through what i've gone through, i would love it. >> reporter: the study results are so stunning, researchers say it could mean new scrutiny over using less invasive surgery for other types of cancer. dr. john torres, nbc news. how many times does it happen, the caller i.d. number looks sort of familiar
so you answer. they're known as robocalls. how to stop them? tonight, inside the fight, including the app that lets you thwart those annoying calls while compact a little bit of payback. here is nbc news' national investigative correspondent jeff rossen with rossen reports. >> reporter: robocall scammers hitting so many of us at once, day and night. more than 30 billion robocalls last year alone. so how easy is it for them? we've asked cybersecurity expert ellie finkelman to show us. you've created a program. >> in just under an hour i created a program that can dial all these phones and masking the number that displace on tys on the caller i.d. >> reporter: you can make it look like any number you choose. >> any number i choose. >> reporter: you're going to hit a button. >> right about now, the calls should start hitting. >> reporter: all at once. this is insane. they're all ringing. all from the same number. this weird 407 number.
>> that's right. and i'm just one guy dialing a few dozen phones. this could have easily been anyone dialing thousands of calls. >> reporter: but now there is an app to stop those robocalls, called robokiller. here is how it works. every scam goes into a robocall database. the phone number flagged. so when the scammers call you, robokiller automatically intercepts the call. your phone never rings. robokiller even toys with the scammers, answering the calls and programmed to speak nonsense to waste their time. >> there's a shark circling my boat. >> you have to hit him in the nose. >> we want to put these guys out of business. >> reporter: the company granting us access to its war room, tracking robocalls real time nationwide. >> there's over 264,000 robocalls being made to americans in the last minute. >> reporter: what does this map show? >> just how bad the situation is. this 855 number is hitting southern florida almost 7,000 times. texas, 210 number,
seeing 4,000 calls in the last minute. >> reporter: those numbers now added to the blacklist. the app costs $3.99 a month. jeff rossen, nbc news, new york. >> i think i speak for many when i say go get 'em. also ahead tonight, chaos in the streets of a major american city. why is violence breaking out there almost every week? and the supreme secret just revealed about the romance between two justices.
next tonight, the violence breaking out over and over again in portland, oregon, among opposing protesters. and the mayor under fire for a plan to restrict who is allowed to protest and where. nbc's miguel almaguer has more on the controversy. >> reporter: these chaotic street brawls in portland, oregon, began as planned protests but spilled into violence between left and right extremist groups, as they often do. now the mayor wants the power to restrict when and where
protesters can demonstrate if they have a history of violence. >> i feel a personal responsibility as the mayor of this city to protect the public and protect the public's property. >> reporter: but there is protest over the proposed ordinance. the aclu says it's a violation of the first amendment. >> they have the tools already on the books to hold people accountable and simply aren't doing so. >> reporter: with the bloody battles leaving some afraid to venture into downtown. >> go home! >> reporter: soon the city will decide on the mayor's plan. >> usa! >> reporter: already sparking protests over protes protests. miguel almaguer, nbc news. next, supreme romance. the secret between two justices revealed after decades.
school. but it turns out they had a secret that even their own children didn't know about. here is pete williams. >> reporter: sandra day o'connor and her husband john were married 57 years after meeting in law school at stanford university. she graduated number three in her class. number one was william rehnqui rehnquist. he would become a justice, then chief justice of the supreme court. she eventually joined him there. it's long been known that they were more than just friends at stanford, and actually dated for a time. but now author evan thomas, working on an o'connor biography, has discovered that rehnquist's interests in her went much further. when he left law school to become a supreme court clerk, he wrote to her. >> i think he was lonely in washington and began writing her, ardently writing her. he went on to say, "sandy, will you marry me?" >> reporter: there is no record of her response but it was clearly no. she married john o'connor a few months later at the family
ranch. the children of both marriages had no idea about the earlier proposal found in an old box of the o'connors. >> they gave me permission to see the box, the o'connor kids, but hadn't read what's in the box. >> reporter: they remained friends on the supreme court bench. coming up next, trick or treat. the best kids' costumes that caught our eye this halloween. >> announcer: "nbc nightly news" is brought to you by pacific life. protecting generations of families for 150 years. that's the power of pacific. death of an icon.
and we're wishing you a happy halloween with the best and most popular kids' costumes we've seen this year. kevin tibbles has our spooky and colorful snapshot tonight. >> reporter: ghouls and goblins. >> trick or treat! >> reporter: costumes at the minnesota zoo. >> pumpkins and kitties. >> reporter: pumpkins and kitties? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: stephanie's mom-made masterpieces have the internet howling. >> i usually give myself two weeks to spread out about 25 to 40 hours of work. >> reporter: and what you see -- >> dinosaur. >> reporter: -- may depend on where you live. pirates popular in alaska, florida, and south dakota. rhode island and louisiana love their princesses. and unicorns? >> they're everywhere. >> reporter: it's unicorns from coast to coast. volunteers in california spent two
months helping 5-year-old wheelchair-bound eliza transform. scary? maybe. but sometimes, oh, so sweet. kevin tibbles, nbc news, minneapolis. >> kids, have fun out there and be careful, okay? that's "nightly news" for this wednesday. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thanks for watching and good night.breaking news: the death of a giants legend. willie "stretch" mccovey p right now at 6:00, breaking news. the death of a giants legend. willie "stretch" mccovey passes away late this afternoon. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening. thanks for being with us on this wednesday. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. the bay area has lost a legend. not just on the baseball field but in the community. we first all righted this story on our 5:00 newscast and we have since been flooded with calls and comments. giants hall of famer willie mccovey has died. the long-time atherton resident
first came to the bay area in san francisco in 1959 and immediately made an impact. the giants had just moved here from new york, and willie mac was a part of those magical early years. sweet smile and a powerful swing. >> let's give you a live look at at&t park from our exclusive center field cam. mccovey cove, named after mccovey. you can see the flags at half staff this evening. nbc bay area's terry mcsweeney is at the ballpark as giants fans are just now really starting to hear the news of mccovey's passing, terry. >> reporter: yeah. and they are stunned. you talked about mccovey cove. we're always going to have that here at at&t park. we're also going to always have the willie mccovey statue behind me right here. kind of looking away from mccovey cove. what he could have done at this ballpark had he played here. how many balls he would have hit into mccovey cove. take a look at willie mccovey in his glory da
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