tv NBC Nightly News NBC October 11, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
on this sunday night, capitol kay, i don't the explosives new claim by a fired staffer who accuse the house benghazi committee of partisan attacks on hillary clinton while the committee chairman strongly denies that plus, after weeks of uncertainty, republicans try to persuade a familiar face to become the next house speaker. deadly force, nearly a year after the fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun, what two independent reports say about the killing of tamir rice. the hidden world, forgotten in a famous bell tower, now uncovered after decades collecting dust, revealing secrets of our distant past. and the homecoming, how one small town managed to bring back high school football almost three decades after the last
touchdown. nightly news begins now. . >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news." reporting tonight, kate snow. good evening. we begin with those new claims by a former staffer on the house benghazi committee that would seem to reinforce what hillary clinton has long been saying. an intelligence officer in the air force reserve who was fired from his job as an investigator on the benghazi committee said today it had evolved into "a partisan investigation." a characterization the committee vigorously rejects. it all comes just as republicans in the house are struggling to find new leadership, exposing deep divisions in the gop. we begin with nbc's kristen welker in washington. >> reporter: stunning allegations from air force major bradley pod liz cat. >> this has become a partisan
investigation. >> reporter: former investigate with the republican-led committee investigating the benghazi attack says the group's actual target is hillary clinton. >> i honestly i do not believe this investigation was set to go up after hillary, i believe it shifted that way. >> reporter: he claims he was kicked off the investigation for taking military leave and resisting pressure to focus on clinton. >> i'm scared. i'm going up against powerful people in washington. i was fired for trying to conduct an objective, non-partisan, thorough investigation. >> reporter: congressman trey gowdy, chairman of the committee, said podliska was targeting clinton himself and cut because of his poor performance. podliska filed a grievance but never mentioned clinton but he denies he was handled classified information and his committee was told in april about his concerns. meanwhile, tonight, the congressman is defending the committee's work. today, the clinton campaign called the allegations explosive, saying they underscore the investigation has been a partisan sham from the start. this after house majority leader kevin mccarthy suggested the
committee was aimed at dragging down clinton. >> everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, a select committee. what are her numbers today? >> reporter: after heavy criticism for that remark, mccarthy withdrew his name from the bid to become speaker of the house amid the growing chaos a hard push to recruit consensus candidate, congressman paul ryan. today, even some republican hardliners said they will support him. >> i think he would be a wonderful speaker just like i thought he would be great vice president or president. >> reporter: now, the house is in recess for a little more than a week. there is broad agreement that lawmakers need to name a new speaker as soon as they return with some in the republican party expressing concerns it could hurt their chances for taking back the white house in 2016. meanwhile, clinton will testify before the benghazi committee on october 22nd, a key test for republicans as well as the democratic front-runner who has been consistently dogged by that issue as well as that controversy over her e-mails.
kate? >> kristen welker starting us off. thank you. as hillary clinton prepares to face senator bernie sanders and others in tuesday night's democratic debate, the wildcard in all of this, of course is vice president joe biden, who is said to be close to deciding whether or not to run. nbc's ron allen is in greenville, delaware, near biden's home. ron, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, kate. the vice president has been here all weekend. we have seen him out and about enjoying himself with his family, including his grandchildren at a sporting event, amid reports that there's a family meeting that may help him decide whether he wants to run. the vice president has said he is not sure whether he is emotionally ready to take on that challenge of running for president while the family continues to grieve the death of his son, beau. we do not expect to see him on same for the first democratic debate on tuesday, under the rules, we understand he could take part if he announces any time up until the event. other observers say how hillary clinton does before the benghazi committee and the continuing e-mail controversy could also impact the vice president's
decision. he takes voters away from hillary clinton, adoreding to the most recent polls. and the question now being asked as well of when does it become too late for the vice president to jump in? right now, however, it appears he is focused on his family here while the waiting and guessing continue. kate? >> all right, ron allen. one day, we will get a decision. thanks so much. almost 11 months after a police officer in cleveland shot and killed a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun, two independent reviews were released this weekend. they found the officer's action was justified. nbc's rehema ellis reports tonight on the findings. >> reporter: tamir rice was only 12 years old when last november, he was seen on surveillance video in a cleveland park waving what turned out to be a plastic pellet gun. police say the orange tip was removed. >> it's probably fake but he is scaring everyone. >> reporter: within seconds after arriving at the park, officer tim loehmann shot and killed the boy, never told, the
caller said, the gun was probably fake. now, two independent reports conclude the rookie officer acted reasonably. one investigator, a colorado prosecutor wrote -- >> don't shoot. >> reporter: the death of tamir rice, along with other police shootings, has sparked protests across the country, including this one today in cleveland. >> it just seem like the officer didn't give the young man a chance. >> reporter: his young age added to the outrage. >> why would you kill any of them? you killed a 12-year-old. >> reporter: but another investigator, a retired fbi agent wrote, "rice's age was not releva releva relevant," adding --
an attorney for the rice family called the report biased. >> the prosecutor has evidently been on an 11-plus-month journey to ensure that there is no accountability and no indictment of the officers who were responsible for the death of tamir rice. >> reporter: meanwhile, the prosecutor's office says it continues to investigate possible criminal charges against the officer and is not drawing any conclusions from these reports. instead, it will leave it up to a grand jury to decide if the officer should be held accountable in the death of tamir rice. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. we turn overseas now to the deadly terrorist attacks this weekend in the capital of turkey. more than 90 people were killed when two suicide bombers attacked a peace rally not far from the train station in ankara. nbc's keir simmons is there tonight and has our report. >> reporter: they were linking arms, marching for peace. [ explosion ]
when this happened. amid the terror, 95 people died, 245 were injured. this student was there. >> someone missing the leg. >> the leg was missing? >> reporter: he holds up a picture of his best friend. they went to the protest together. >> after the first explosion, we all run -- we all run. >> right. >> and the second explosion, my friends, i cannot -- i couldn't find him. >> reporter: his friend had been killed. he was just 22. there are shrapnel marks on the sidewalk from the force of the blast, an attack sickeningly reminiscent of the boston bombing, two explosions in a packed, crowded place, and everything caught on camera. [ explosion ] turkish media replaying the terrifying scenes tonight report that one of the killers may have been the brother of a suicide bomber from a prior attack in
july. no group has claimed responsibility, but the government suspects isis or kurdish militants. while these kurds are furious, accusing turkey of failing to protect them again and again. [ gunfire ] [ there were clashes with police today, turkey descend nothing bloody politics, increasingly affected by the syrian civil war across his border. the man who sold pretzels at this street store was killed with his 8-year-old son. the shrapnel cutting through their clothes. today, turkey is in mourning after its deadliest attack in years. officials believe the death toll from the blast that struck right here could go even higher and the fear here now is that the security of elections planned three weeks' time may be threatened, throwing the country into yet more political turmoil. kate? >> keir simmons in turkey, thank you. russian president, vladimir putin, today defended his country's military intervention in syria's civil war, saying it would help efforts to reach a
political settlement. for its part, the u.s. gave up this past week on a highly promoted pentagon program to train and arm a syrian rebel force. we get more on that from our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel. >> reporter: it was a program created in the midst of war. a year ago, as isis was gaining ground in iraq and syria, washington found few reliable allies on the battlefield, so the administration launched a $500 million program to train a new syrian rebel army. this past week, the secretary of defense announced the program is over. >> i wasn't satisfied with the early efforts in that regard. >> reporter: not satisfied? by all accounts, it was an utter failure, even according to captain amara wawi, the spokesman for the syrian fighters we interviewed outside of syria. he asked us not to say where. >> translator: this is a huge
humiliation for the americans. we expected a thousand syrian fighters to be trained. >> reporter: al wawi is exactly the kind of syrian rebel the americans were looking for, a former soldier who defected and has been fighting inside syria for years now. he told us the first group of 54 u.s. armed and trained fighters was quickly overrun by an extremist group close to al qaeda. >> translator: as soon as their commander crossed into syria, he was taken and two days later, their base was attacked. >> reporter: the next class was even worse. the 72 trainees, seen here in a video supplied by al wawi, handed over much of their weapons and vehicles to al qaeda's affiliate and some joined the militants. from the very beginning, the u.s. government was worried, if it armed rebels in syria, that the weapons would end up in the wrong hands. and that's what happened. so, why should they keep going?
>> translator: if america is serious, they have to keep on training a large number of fighters to fight the terrorist organizations. >> reporter: but the u.s. is not going to throw good money after bad. from now on, it will focus on working with established rebel groups instead of trying to raise a new rebel army. richard engel, nbc news, istanbul. the pentagon said this weekend it will offer what it called condolence payments to families of the victims of that u.s. air strike on a doctors without borders hospital in afghanistan. the mistaken bombing killed at least 22 staff members and patients. the pentagon say it had will also make payments to repair the hospital. we got a deeper look this weekend into the world's most secretive state, as north korea celebrated the 70th anniversary of its ruling party. nbc's bill neely was among the journalists invited inside north korea and he has our report. >> reporter: it was the biggest military parade in north korea's
history, mass ranks of troops marching past the country's young leader, kim jong-un, in the undisputed goosestepping capital of the world. this is an army that still sees the united states as enemy number one. for them this is much more than a mass demonstration of loyalty. this is a defiant message to america. their commander's message that was the u.s. policy of trying to stop north korea getting a nuclear weapon had failed and that america had been drive nen into a corner. this is a countries who country is virtually brainwashed early, drilled from 5 years old to hate america and to obey without question. yao me park escaped south korea with her parents after years of indoctrination at military school, speaking to nbc's kate snow. >> the school teaches that at any moment, america will try to overtake us. >> reporter: they dare not step out of line and when i talked to
them, they didn't assuring me they love their leader like a god. kim jong-un is saluting the crowd. this parade, of course is all about him polishing his image as a tough guy with his finger on the nuclear trigger. the lavish parade was a costly extravaganza in a country where millions live in poverty and in desperate hunger. bill neely, nbc news, pyongyang, north korea. when "nbc nightly news" continues on this sunday, the relics of an ancient world newly found after being hidden for decades in plain sight. and later, the controversial and heartbreaking play that has and heartbreaking play that has the world of baseball buzzi look, and heartbreaking play that has the world of baseball buzzi the wolf was huffing and puffing. like you do sometimes, grandpa? well, when you have copd, it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said...
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collection from a forgotten time has been gathering dust for decades. >> i don't want it to be secret, although it is really fun to show someone for the first time. [ dinging ] >> reporter: only a select few have keys to this restricted area where hundreds of thousands of fossils are coming back to life. >> this is actually the skull of one of the ground sloths we had here in california. >> reporter: ph.d. student eric holt, like a kid in a candy store. >> they are just absolutely cool. >> reporter: from saber tooth cat skulls to mammoth tusks, some of these bones have set undisturbed for a century. >> we had camels in came. we had mammoths and mastodons. we had giant saber tooth cats, we had dire wolves. >> the fossils removed from the tower, brought down here, laid out and cleaned, measured, classified, analyzed. >> reporter: they are also cataloged online and
paleontologists from around the world are noticing. scientist at berkeley say the fossils are key to understanding the california ice age some 30,000 years ago. they could reveal why these animals became extinct and how humans and climate change played a part. >> and that's exactly the sort of crisis that we are facing now. >> reporter: 20 tons of fossils in the heart of campus, still largely a myth to students. >> kind of like a secret society-type thing almost. >> reporter: the historic bell tower striking a link between the past and the present. jacob rascon, nbc news, berkeley, california. >> cool stuff. up next, a high-flying act that had all of us gasping today. when my doctor told me i have age-related macular degeneration, amd we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression. and everywhere i look... i'm reminded to stick to my plan. including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula
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finally tonight, football season has special meaning this fall in one tiny town in north dakota. for years, there weren't enough kids to support a high school football team, but people there missed the game. and now, after almost 30 years, they are celebrating the return of the comets. here's nbc's mark potter. [ cheering ] >> reporter: homecoming day in alexander, north dakota, and the high school football comets are on the field after a very long absence. it's been decades since alexander had its own team. cheering them on is leslie bieber, the school superintendent, who fought hard to bring football back to the community. >> they have something that they haven't -- that they have been starved of for 27 years. so, you can feel that energy and that pride. >> reporter: football ended in alexander in the late 1980s when small farms collapsed and there
weren't enough kids for a team. but seven years ago, an oil boom began, attracting new families, and this year, the comets are back. [ cheering ] there are only 13 players, but it's enough for a six-man football league. so, how are they looking today? >> looking pretty sharp today, actually. miles from where we were a few weeks ago. >> reporter: a few weeks ago, many of these boys had never even played football and still have a long way to go. but at a pregame rally, it's clear the whole town loves them. [ cheering ] on game day the weather turned bad. after very heavy rains, it's now cold and windy, but the town still turned out. and they couldn't be more enthusiastic, even though the comets are having a tough day against a more experienced team. >> oh, gosh, we are loud. and usually, the loud esteem out there, even if we are losing. >> reporter: for her son, number 25, this team is really
important. >> i used to be a bad kid and football saved my life. and i owe everything i have to football. >> reporter: one more reason no one really cares about the lopsided score. the fact they are losing big, did that -- >> that don't bother me. >> reporter: a source of pride for everyone here, especially the boys who are now a team. they are the alexander comets. mark potter, nbc news, alexander, north dakota. >> we wish them a great rest of the season. that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday night. up next, "football night in america," the san francisco 49ers versus the new york giants. lester holt is back here tomorrow. i'm kate snow reporting from new york. for all of us here theat nbc ne good night.
captions paid for by nbc-universal television >> just across the river from new york city sits metlife stadium, the site for "sunday night football" and two teams who may be headed in opposite directions. 34-year-old eli manning and his giants return home looking for their third consecutive victory, while colin kaepernick and his team have had little in the way of offense, and that's just one of the problems that are among the question marks surrounding the 49ers.