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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  November 5, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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the votes? and new roadblocks for the president's even larger plan to expand the social safety net. why the new delays. also tonight aaron rodgers breaking his silence after testing positive for covid the reigning mvp acknowledging he's unvaccinated, but maintaining he didn't lie when he said he was immunized. why he refused the shot. the new weapon in the pandemic how effective is pfizer's covid pill. and the president's employer vaccine mandate facing new legal challenges. opening statements in the trial of three white men charged with killing ahmaud arbery. arbery's mother in tears as new video was played in court. remembering colin powell the emotional funeral service. the final stop on our journey across america, phoenix my rare access into the dea's evidence vault inside millions of potentially deadly pills. and the image seen around the world a baby handed to a u.s. marine over walls at the kabul airport as afghanistan fell. two months later, my
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visit with the finally reunited right here in arizona. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. across america reporting tonight from phoenix. >> good evening from phoenix, the last stop in our journey across america. a city that sits on the cross roads of so many major issues impacting this country. we'll dig into that shortly. but, first, will they or won't they or maybe the better question is can they on this friday evening, speaker nancy pelosi's gambit to get a house vote on both president biden's two spending priorities, a bipartisan infrastructure deal and the social safety net and climate bill quickly threaten to spiral out of her control. pushback from moderate democrats forcing pelosi to retreat on the social spending vote for now while holding fast on the infrastructure vote. progressives ready to make their own statement. kristin welker standing by now with late details. >> reporter: tonight
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renewed chaos on capitol hill the democratic divide over president biden's multi-trillion dollar spending plans again on full display. >> welcome to my world. this is the democratic party. we are not a lock step party. >> reporter: house speaker nancy pelosi announcing she will hold a vote on the trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill tonight. scrapping plans to vote on the social and climate spending plan which progressives had demanded >> do you have the votes right now for the infrastructure bill >> we can't wait too much later for the legislation. i do believe that
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there are a large number of members of the progressive caucus who will vote for the bill. >> reporter: early this morning president biden making yet another sales pitch for his agenda. >> i'm asking every house member, member of the house of representatives to vote yes on both these bills right now. >> but some moderates have been waiting for the nonpartisan congressional budget office to analyze the social and climate budget's impact on the economy, inflation and the true cost. it comes as president biden is desperately looking for a political win. his approval rating plummeting and republicans winning stunning election victories this week. wednesday the president told us democrats have delayed action for too long.
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>> kristin, where does that leave the social and climate spending plan that progressives wanted >> reporter: well, the future of that larger plan is now uncertain after speaker pelosi postponed the vote democrats say they are aiming to take action on it by thanksgiving. lester >> all right, kristin welker, thank you. tonight nfl superstar aaron rodgers is speaking out after testing positive for covid-19. the quarterback had said he was immunized but today explained what he meant and how he received unapproved treatment. here's miguel almaguer >> reporter: former super bowl champion, league mvp and the face of the nfl. aaron rodgers is breaking his silence after testing positive for covid. >> i didn't feel great yesterday. >> reporter: on the pat mcafee show, the 37-year-old green bay packers quarterback discussed taking monoclonal antibodies and ivermectin, a drug the fda advises against using for covid because of the risk of serious illness. it's often used to treat livestock. >> i believe strongly in bodily autonomy and the ability to make choices for your body. >> reporter: rodgers says he consulted with controversial podcaster joe rogan and revealed he never took one of the three authorized vaccines. >> i'm not, you know,
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some sort of anti-vax flat earther i am somebody who is a critical thinker >> reporter: this after telling the media over the summer he was protected >> are you vaccinated? what is your status on vaccinations >> yeah, i've been immunized. >> reporter: today rodgers who said the woke mob tried to cancel him insisting he was not misleading the public. >> my plan was to say that i had been immunized. it wasn't some sort of ruse or lie. it was the truth. >> reporter: he says he's allergic to ingredients in mrna vaccines and was concerned about side effects. so he received an immunization protocol, not scientifically proven to provide immunity against covid. now sidelined for at least ten days, rodgers loss may stretch beyond the football field, impacting his public perception after fumbling his handling of his v
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miguel almaguer, nbc news and tonight a possible milestone in treating covid-19. early results promising that pfizer cut short a clinical trial and will submit data to the fda. with more on that, here's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: tonight pfizer says its new anti-viral pill used with a low dose of hiv drug and taken within three days of covid symptoms reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% in virus adults. >> we're saving millions and millions of lives. >> reporter: pfizer ceo says the results which have not been peer reviewed yet will be submitted to the fda for emergency use authorization likely before thanksgiving. >> the high efficacy comes, even to us, as a surprise. >> reporter: meanwhile as covid cases soar in europe, britain has become the first country to approve another anti-viral pill developed by merck. an fda advisory panel will consider that treatment for the u.s. later this month >> yeah!
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>> reporter: still, public health experts stress that vaccines remain the best protection against the virus. seven-year-old theodore just got his. what is this going to mean for you >> it means that i can -- i can just like have more sleepovers and play dates, and i can feel more better going to big, giant parties. >> reporter: but not everyone is celebrating after the biden administration announced companies with 100 or more employees have to ensure they're vaccinated by january 4th or get tested weekly at least 27 states now say they filed or plan to join lawsuits challenging the rule. >> the federal government can't just unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation >> reporter: as for that covid pill, pfizer says it has about 50 million treatments at the ready. lester >> gabe gutierrez tonight. thank you. an emotional day in a georgia courtroom as the trial of three white men accused of killing ahmaud arbery, a black man whose family says he was out jogging got underway
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with opening statements ron allen is at the courthouse >> at this point in time, mr. arbery is under attack >> reporter: prosecutors describing the moment gregory mcmichaels, son travis and neighbor william "roddie" bryan allegedly trapped ahmaud arbery with their pickup trucks. showing jurors the video of the fatal confrontation. arbery chased for five minutes. prosecutors arguing the elder mcmichael said this during the pursuit. >> stop or i'll blow your [ bleep ] head off. that's what he said to mr. arbery. >> reporter: watching in court, arbery's mother overcome with emotion. >> i decided to remain in so that i could get familiar with what happened to ahmaud the last minutes of his life. >> reporter: the three men face nine counts they have all pleaded not guilty the defense says the men acted to protect their community from an uptick in crime and showed the jury these home surveillance videos insisting they revealed arbery had been seen in a home in
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the neighborhood on at least four different occasions at night the defense argued arbery was not simply out for a jog when the defendants tried to detain him. >> he is not jogging he is running away into the neighborhood possibly armed. >> reporter: the defense telling the jury, travis mcmichael had come face to face with arbery just days before the fatal encounter and that he acted in self-defense when he shot arbery after the pursuit. with testimony underway, prosecutors are questioning police officers who arrived at the scene and took body camera video that they hope can convince the jury to convict the defendants of murder thank you. in washington d.c. today, a tribute to a remarkable american life a memorial service for colin powell former secretary of state, chairman of the joint chiefs and so much more. chief washington correspondent andrea mitchell was there >> reporter: at washington's national cathedral, an
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emotional celebration of the life of colin powell soldier, statesman, counselor to the presidents president biden and former presidents obama and bush all there to pay their respects bill clinton not well enough to travel but the speakers were close friends and family, not heads of state. >> he was genuinely interested in everyone he met he loved the hot dog vendor, the bank teller, a janitor and a student as much as any world leader. >> his virtues were homeric, honesty, dignity, loyalty and an unshakable commitment to his calling and word. >> reporter: his love of music ranged from hymns to bob marley and a passion for aba, even performing for sweden's top diplomat. >> colin immediately went down on one knee and sang the entire mamma mia to a very amused foreign minister from sweden >> reporter: above all, he was a family man.
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his wife of nearly 60 years and his children and grandchildren. >> the last night of his life i walked in to see him he could not see or speak to me, so i took his hand that hand that signed report cards, tossed baseball and fixed old cards, that hand that signed treaties, and war orders, saluted service members. colin powell was a great lion with a big heart. we will miss him terribly ♪ >> reporter: andrea mitchell, nbc news washington in just 60 seconds, i'll get a rare look inside the dea's battle to control the fentanyl crisis in phoenix.
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we're back now from phoenix, a city the drug enforcement administration calls
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the absolute front line of the fentanyl crisis, a major distribution hub for counterfeit pills coming from mexico tonight we go inside the dea's operation to stop it. a warning some of the images are disturbing. this is what two million counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl and other drugs looks like, a fraction of the total seized in arizona this year these are all fentanyl pills? >> these are all fentanyl pills. >> at the dea's evidence vault in an undisclosed location, our teams were granted rare access to see the scale of the crisis firsthand. what are fentanyl pills? >> they look legitimate, these pills. sometimes they look like xanax, sometimes hydrocodone, oxycodone. they can look like anything they contain deadly and dangerous quantities of fentanyl. >> special agent in charge of the dea's field division says these fake pills are
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the number one threat. why is phoenix so critical in terms of this fight >> phoenix is the head of the snake. >> is it called that because you are so close to the border? >> we are -- all the trafficking routes run right through our back door. >> nationwide, the vast majority of counterfeit pills intercepted by the dea are seized in arizona. nearly half containing potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. despite china say it is cracking down, the large chemicals are sourced largely from there. then it is pressed into pills by drug cartels in mexico and smuggled to cities like phoenix where they are repackaged for distribution across the country social media now an essential tool to buy these tools online how easy is it to purchase online? >> i could sit here with you, order pills, pay for them and arrange for delivery and pickup as a parent, you should worry about what your child is doing right there in your living room >> at the street level, the phoenix police department is also seeing the
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staggering influx of fentanyl, responding to overdoses and administering narcan, now a regular part of their job. sergeant jason busher leads the department's drug enforcement bureau. >> the biggest challenge is the quantity of fentanyl pills out on the street >> sergeant busher says not only are the drugs increasing, but the amount of people addicted to fentanyl is overwhelming. >> right now the probably the worst drug dependency over anything i've seen. >> we visited phoenix's pd science lab where forensic scientists test evidence these pills all confirm to contain fentanyl. >> landon was 25 he was getting his mechanical engineering degree. >> arizona state senator and teacher christine marsh lost her son last year. she believes he took a
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painkiller that was laced with fentanyl. >> it's overwhelming i will be mourning for my son for the next 40 years. >> senator march said her son would have hoped for others to learn from his mistake. >> there is a little strip in there. >> so she sponsored a bill that legalized testing strips in arizona that can detect the presence of fentanyl her mission now to save lives >> i have learned that one pill is too many. >> a crisis not just touching those with addiction, but families in every corner of this country. what is it that parents should be on the lookout for? >> having the conversations with your kids and letting them know that this is not an experimentation issue. this is a life or death issue. one pill could kill. one pill one time, game over. >> and officials are warning parents to be aware of what their children may be buying online we'll take a break up next why so many young people are moving to arizona and what it means for this critical swing state
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♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ (music) ♪ so i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪ welcome back to phoenix, the fastest growing major country in the country in the decade its changing landscape shaped arizona into a critical landscape >> reporter: with its stunning scenario and great getaways, phoenix has been a long-time favorite for retirees and snow birds. but now it is a hot spot for a new
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generation did you ever think that you would end up settling in phoenix? >> i think ten years ago if you asked me that question i would say definitely not >> reporter: 34-year-old patrick smith is just one of thousands of millennials moving in from out of state, drawn by the sunshine, job market and affordable housing. >> yeah. i thought i would be in a big city, overpaying for an apartment somewhere instead of being a homeowner here in arizona at, you know, my age. >> reporter: officially the fastest growing metro in the nation roughly 300 people are moving to phoenix every day. and in a state where president biden narrowly won by roughly 10,500 votes, the flood of newcomers could make this thing state one to watch even more closely. locals here point out that younger doesn't
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necessarily mean more liberal in a state known for its independent streak and millennials aren't the only group whose votes are up for grabs. >> we are much more complex. >> reporter: she is arizona's director for mi familia vota. she says the nonprofit registered more than 100,000 latinos last year regardless of political affiliation. >> you can fill it out at home. >> reporter: she tells us voters here are split on everything, from the pandemic to health care and the economy. are you hearing different, conflicting ideologies within the same groups? >> yeah, absolutely. i think the biggest misconception that folks have about latino voters is that we're all extremely liberal, that we all think the same way and it couldn't be further away from the truth. >> reporter: two groups changing the future of a battleground state and possibly the country nbc news, phoenix.
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next at 7:00, we're following breaking news, the great mall in milpitas remains in lockdown at this hour. we are live on the scene after initial reports of an active shooter. there are hundreds of people inside the shops and restaurants. and up next for us tonight, she's living here now we'll meet the baby girl who captured the world's attention. in the turmoil of the evacuation from afghanistan, it was a striking image a baby being handed over a barbed wire wall to a u.s. marine. that was back in august it turns out the family resettled here, and i was able to meet with them today. it was a moment of
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desperation felt around the world a baby handed to a u.s. marine over the walls of the kabul airport amid the crush and chaos as the taliban seized control of the city. >> we decided that we were going to pull her over the barbed wires. and then one of the marines, i was grabbing his leg, he bent down and he grabbed her and gave her to me. >> reporter: two months later and half a world away, i met baby leah and her parents now reunited and living in phoenix. how is life? >> we are doing all right. she's learning the language we are going to be getting our own place hopefully next two, three days. >> a harrowing escape they thought might never happen hameed, a naturalized u.s. citizen worked for years alongside the u.s. military as a translator he met baby leah then just 16 days old for the first time as she was hoisted over that razor sharp wire this was the first time you met your daughter >> yes i was very emotional at that time but i just have two minutes because i knew the job is not done. >> grateful to be
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together but he says what still keeps him up at night is the danger those left behind in afghanistan face every day. what about the rest of your family? >> they are both stuck in afghanistan we are just keeping fingers crossed because every call i get from afghanistan i'm praying to god it is not bad news. >> what do you think her future is now? >> she has an opportunity that a lot of the kids don't get who were left behind on the other side of the fence. she is a fighter >> the family happy to be here but so worried about those left behind in afghanistan. that's "nightly news" for this friday. thank you for watching, everyone i'm lester holt. please take care of yourself and each other and so long from phoenix.
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i'm raj mathai, next on nbc bay area news tonight, we are following breaking news in milpitas. the great mall is on lockdown. also, san francisco threatened by rising sea levels. it could wash out neighborhoods right by the bay and even flood. there's a new idea to protect the city, but it isn't cheap. and a san francisco cop accused of trying to steal painkillers from a local pharmacy. the officer's lawyer not denying the crime. >> obviously he has hid a shameful addiction for a long time. >> how his lawyer says he developed that habit. >> plus. >> everyone on the squad knew i was not vaccinated. everyone in the organization knew i wasn't vaccinated. i wasn't hiding it from anybody. i was trying to minimize and mitigate


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