tv NBC Nightly News NBC November 23, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
and in egypt, the new president there just handed himself a lot more power. and so the streets in cairo explode again while the region watches a shaky cease-fire. and the stories we're just now learning about. the people who saved so many lives after that awful chain-reaction thanksgiving day pileup in texas. >> and thinking outside the box when shopping for that perfect gift. remember, a lot of kids are just fine with the box. nightly news begins now. good evening, we learned a new term this year, you might have heard it, some people were trotting out gray thursday to describe the stores open on thanksgiving day to get a jump on the shopping season that normally begins with black friday today, tonight. and all over the country. while the gray was meant to show
the kind oretailing gray area, the black in black friday of course, means in the black positive sales to start off the season. there was a time when this day every year was not the same as injuries, incidents and riots, but it has happened again as americans get all worked up into a shopping frenzy. we begin tonight with courtney reagan at the mall in fairfield in dayton, ohio, good evening. >> reporter: good evening to you, brian, today marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season and it will be one of the longest compared to the past several years. with thanksgiving falling so early, there are two extra days between thanksgiving and christmas, and retailers were hoping that the consumers use the extra time to shop and to spend. after that big thanksgiving meal, this is how shoppers got their exercise. racing down the aisles for early
black friday deals. >> oh, it saves a lot of money. >> i don't know what i can do damage with, but i'm going to go find out. >> reporter: braving the lines, the crowds, the fights to the cash register. here in kansas, the girls screamed for the gates to open as if they were at a rock concert. the frenzy started early this year with retailers like walmart, toys "r" us and target, opening their doors on thanksgiving day, hoping to get the 147 million shoppers spending before they go elsewhere. the decision to start black friday early sparked a controversy with target employees posting on-line petitions against working the holiday. and walmart workers protesting this week at dozens of stores as part of a nationwide walkout. >> we are unstoppable >> reporter: walmart released a statement calling the protests made for tv events, saying the large majority of protesters are
not even walmart workers. the stakes are especially high, because black friday kicks off the most important shopping season of the year. >> on average, we estimate that black friday weekend sales can account for up to 10 or 11% of all holiday sales. >> reporter: sales are expected to grow a little over 4% this year, slightly below last year's 5 or 6%. on-line sales are expected to stay strong, jumping 12% from last year. stores have been taking advantage of the public's web savvy by offering promotions and mobile apps that lure shoppers in the store early signs show that sales are strong. >> we had the best black friday ever at walmart. >> reporter: with shoppers snatching up electronics, toys and unexpected items. walmart sold more than 1.8 million towels. whatever they're buying, retailers just hope shoppers keep coming back until christmas day. consumer confidence has been improving over the last several
months. and the economists hope it will translate into strong holiday sales. consumer spending makes up 70% of u.s. gdp, so strong holiday sales are crucial for economic growth in the fourth quarter. >> courtney reagan, busy in dayton, ohio. overseas tonight, the cease-fire appears for the most part to be holding in israel and gaza. and suddenly we're watching something else. the streets have filled up across cairo and egypt, as the new president once hailed as a hero just made a huge power grab that some say looks like the beginning of a new type of dictatorship there. nbc's jim maceda is high above tahrir square in cairo this evening. good evening >> reporter: hi, brian, well just as the world thought that egypt was coming out of the revolutionary pain, the demonstrators are out there digging in.
once again, the square filled with protesters, tear gas and casualties. their target? a dictator. but this happened today. and they were not talking of hosni mubarak, but morsy, fresh from brokering a cease-fire in gaza. and winning world praise he set a precedent by granting himself new power, firing one man in the regime, and giving islamists free reign to write the constitution the opposition leaders took to the street, saying that he had appointed himself the new leader. the clashes spread across the country, injuring more than a 100. in alexandria, the muslim brotherhood headquarters there raided and burned by protesters >> they're not going to lose their voice if they think somehow they have a new hosni mubarak.
>> reporter: but morsy told supporters he took the bold move to save egypt's democracy, that it was only temporary to speed up the movement. i am for all egyptians, and won't be biased against any son of egypt, but many were not buying it. >> this is not what the revolution was about. >> reporter: today, the state department called on them to resolve differences. and through democratic dialogue. but tonight, the protests raged on and raised questions about morsy's ability to enforce a cease-fire abroad as he fights for his political life at home. the opposition has called for another million-man march on tuesday as almost two years after their revolution, egypt remains torn over what it is becoming, religious, secular, or something in between? >> jim maceda, in cairo, as we mentioned, the cease-fire is holding tonight between israel
and hamas, and while there are no more rockets fired across the border there were shots fired there today. and that has many nervous. nbc's ayman mohyeldin has more tonight. in gaza >> reporter: good evening, brian, 48 hours after it went into effect, a fragile cease-fire is being put into effect. on friday, israeli troops shot and killed a palestinian man, injuring close to 20 others ,the men were protesting along the palestinian side of the gaza-israeli border. the government prohibits them to approach the fence. they are currently investigating what happened. but the zone eats up the palestinian land, critical for the farmers who for years have been unable to work their fields because of israel's restrictions. despite what the palestinians say is a violation of the cease-fire they don't intend to retaliate or escalate the situation. and they are still committed to the success of the truce they will, however, file a complaint with the egyptian government that brokered it,
brian? >> ayman mohyeldin, in gaza for us. and back in this country, late news we're following. they were in the middle of evacuating part of downtown springfield, massachusetts today because of the reported gas leak. when that happened the explosion was caught by local television news station. the blast could be felt several miles away. several people were reported injured and apparently it came from a building housing a bar. we are learning more tonight about that awful chain-reaction pileup on thanksgiving morning on the highway outside beaumont, texas. more than 100 cars and trucks collided in a huge mangled mess that stretched for miles down i-10 in heavy fog. two people lost their lives, dozens more were hurt. but some are alive tonight because of quick thinking from other survivors. our report from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it took more than nine hours to clear the wreckage
from i-10 in east texas. 100 cars smashed, nearly 100 people injured. and two dead, a husband and wife, their suv crushed by an 18-wheeler. >> it is like he was jumping around, he was in the air, air borne, taking these cars with him. >> reporter: police credit good samaritans with helping to save lives. kate is a nurse who rushed to help another family as the chain reaction continued. >> so i jumped in the car, got the little boy, closed the door, we braced each other. >> reporter: this man managed to free nine accident victims. >> you really couldn't see because of the fog, i started to help people out of the cars. >> reporter: the fog was described as a death trap. four years ago, a deadly mix of brush and smoke caused a pileup on i-4 in florida, killing four. in california, in 2007, dense fog caused this 100-car pileup near fresno that killed two.
and this is the time of year when fog can move in quickly. >> you get the longer, cooler nights basically allowing the temperature to cool all the way where the moisture can condense and create the thick fog. >> reporter: fog is famous for distorting a driver's speed and perception. if you hit it, experts advise to slow way down, don't forget to use your fog lights, not your high beams try to pull way over until the fog clears fatalities continue to decline year around. thanksgiving, 2006, to a projected 451 deaths this year, a huge drop. this is a time of year for families with 39 million of us driving over these four days. and sunday will be the most busy day when so many people start to head back home. tom costello, nbc news, washington. this night after thanksgiving is just another night of cold, dark, and curfews
for so many people along the coast recovering from the monster storm named sandy. life is still standing still for people from the jersey shore, north through new york and beyond. just tonight, new jersey governor chris christie announced the preliminary estimate of damage in his state alone? $29 billion before it is all over. one of the landmarks that was ripped apart was seaside in new jersey, where the boardwalk was a summertime attraction for millions. pictures of the roller coaster relocated in the ocean have been shown around the world. and now local officials there are considering for now leaving it right where it sits as a tourist attraction, anything to bring the visitors back. and there is a reason to celebrate for some hardest hit. breezy point in new york, where 111 homes were lost. this couple were busy planning their wedding set for the day when the storm hit last month.
their house was flooded. the church where they were supposed to get married was turned into a command post instead. they nearly postponed the whole thing but in the end they decided to go ahead with it, giving their family and friends a much-needed break after the storm. they are getting married this evening, our best of luck to both. and still ahead tonight as our broadcast continues, the other war next door. and the popular destination, beautiful beaches. resorts, and now a very high murder rate. and later, the secret message from world war ii, and they're looking for somebody to unlock the code.
as they sat outside a liquor store, police found bags of cocaine in the pockets and one opened in the car. news of this shooting has brought attention to what has become an explosion of violence across puerto rico, which is home to about 4 million american citizens. much of the violence involves drug cartels, who are increasingly turning their attention there from mexico. authorities seized a quarter billion dollars worth of cocaine, a lot of it headed to our shores. our report from gabe gutierrez from san juan. >> reporter: this is a war on american soil. in puerto rico, federal agents are hunting for suspected drug traffickers. on this week, they arrest 16. >> there is plenty of work for us, that is for sure. >> reporter: these raids are becoming more common on the island, best known for its stunning beaches and its rich history, dating back to columbus.
but the murder rate here is now six times the national average, and police say more than two thirds of the deaths are drug-related. >> i think the cartels are smart, they realize we're putting efforts on the southwest border, and not paying attention to the third border, the caribbean, so now they exploit that. >> reporter: this is one of the main areas through puerto rico, officials say more than 80% will end up in the continental united states. the drugs come from venezuela, puerto rico, and new york. and places like florida >> do you feel ignored? >> certainly, we are banging on washington's door. >> reporter: the outgoing governor says that the island desperately needs more federal help. >> we are american citizens and we deserve to be protected. >> reporter: few people share that frustration more than the romero family. >> tough -- tough. >> a hero has died.
>> reporter: on the night of his 20th birthday last year, their son, julian, was walking down a well-lit street in san juan, and he was stabbed three times during a robbery, and died, after trying to protect his girlfriend. >> i am very proud of him. i am. very saddened with this huge weight. i have to continue bearing it. >> reporter: a weight that much heavier because his father says that julian was studying criminal justice and wanted to be an fbi agent. >> puerto rico cannot survive with this terrible crime wave. >> reporter: the war, on american's third border. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, san juan, puerto rico. up next, the story of homeowners who decided to hold out.
lady, the dog bo were ready to receive it. this is a 19-footer from a farm in north carolina, arriving on the traditional horse-drawn wagon, soon taking its place in the holiday blue room ,you may want to keep it over to the right on the account of the house in the road. this chinese family, a duck farmer, and his wife decided to refuse to go along with the demolition of their neighborhood when the highway came through town they are part of a growing resistance in china among some homeowners who don't feel like they're getting enough compensation, now it is a little more difficult to walk the dog. and great britain needs help of a person that can work with code. they're trying to understand the message sent by a carrier in world war ii. it is a handwritten message, never made its way to its
recipient, recently discovered all of these years later in a chimney. they believe the pigeon was one of a quarter of a million used by secret agents working behind enemy lines. british intelligence can't figure it out, so for those of you really good at it we have put it on our website tonight. and viewers in chicago treated to a two-generation news cast this afternoon, sure, you know the guy on the right. but do you know lester holt's son, stefan holt? he anchors at our sister station in chicago, wmaq. lester was a fixture on our station for 14 years, and since news is in their blood, father and son co-anchored the noon news. and when we come back, thinking outside the box for the perfect gift. as any parent knows, sometimes less is more.
>> reporter: don't be fooled by the brown boxy exterior, this is actually a pirate ship, no wait, a hotel, no wait, igloo, this man decided to throw out all the brand name toys and leave the rest to the kids' imagination. not one. not one complained about not having the toys on this black friday as parents by the thousands storm the times square toys "r" us, shelling out some major cash for some major play things, we asked the question, do you kind of want to play with the boxes now? did i just save you a ton of money? >> yes, you did. >> reporter: more evidence came from our nightly news viewers when we put out the call from facebook and twitter, for pictures of their kids and the boxes they love. there is no age limit. it can be the much-needed space
in the middle of times square. a dining room table. >> cheers. >> reporter: or a news desk. in fact, cardboard boxes were put in the national toy hall of fame in 2005. you can get them for free and run wild, or buy them with step by step instructions, from tanks to magical castles, each for about 30 bucks. though your cat will take whatever is lying around, this cat loves boxes both big and small. back at the preschool, the teachers say the experiment worked, they came out of their shells, and everybody learned how to negotiate. which begs the question, on this black friday is it smart to dig deep in your pocket or could this be more rewarding? then again you could use it as an excuse to buy yourself that new tv. those boxes are pretty big. katy tur, nbc new york.
>> and that is our broadcast on this post-thanksgiving week. i'm brian williams, kate snow will be here this week, sitting in for lester holt. we hope to see you back on monday night and we'll leave you with the glitter on the tree out back, all ready to get lit up on wednesday night. have a good weekend, from new york.
right now at 6:00, two sisters are killed in a tragic accident here in pal alto that shut down the freeway for hours. that's coming up in a live report. also ahead, let the shopping begin. we'll show you how shoppers faired on black friday. and the latest on a rescue in the bay that also involved several animals. thanks for joining us. two sisters are dead and a family in mourning after a horrific crash on a bay area freeway. 11 hours and the investigation still continues. the crash happened at 7:00 this morning on north bound 101? pal alto after a van slammed into the back of a chp patrol car.