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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 24, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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warm dry note. >> we have cookies and notes for santa at hour house. thanks for watching nbc bay area news, we'll see you back here again at 6:00. is jeerks a tragedy in the sky this christmas eve. deadly plane crash, no survivors, and questions about why the pilot tried to take off at all. dramatic rescue on the slopes. helicopters swoop in to save more than 150 skiers hanging midair for hours. and home for the holidays. we're there with the heartwarming family reunions. >> announcer: this is
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nbc nightly news with kate snow. >> good evening, i'm peter alexander, thank you for letting us be a part of your christmas eve. down to the wire for last minute holiday travelers and gift buyers. more than half of all americans leaving some of their shopping to this final weekend, that window of course is quickly closing. santa's on his way and many places, snow has already beat him there. tonight, 65 million people in 24 states are under winter weather alerts with the strengthening arctic blast now sweeping across the country. we'll have that forecast for you in just a moment. first we begin with jo ling kent on the dash for deals. >> reporter: it's the race to the finish line. people are scrambling to finish holiday shopping, looking for last minute deals. >> okay. wish us luck. we are off to do our last minute shopping, hopefully we get everything we need. >> reporter: crystal from abilene, texas, is one of them. >> everything here is literally 50% to 70%
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off, as you can see. so, i think we've hit the jackpot here. >> reporter: more than 125 million people are spending the weekend finishing their shopping. and it's paying off big for retailers. in a holiday season where online shopping surged, the real challenge for brick and mortar stores were satisfying customers as they shopped online giving them better deals offline. some of the best bargains are on clothing, toys, and electronics like laptops, smart watches, and fitness trackers. and stores like target, kmart and big lots are open late tonight. trying to cash in on procrastinating customers. how were the deals? >> great. >> deals were great. >> reporter: and if something has to be under the tree tomorrow morning -- >> you can still get gift cards, which are one of the most popular and most requested gifts. you can pick up a gift card just about anywhere. >> reporter: but for folks who are willing to wait, experts say put online items in your shopping cart now and leave them there overnight. chances are, when you wake up, you'll see prices slashed or coupons in your inbox. >> still need to buy
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for a few gifts for my daughter and my son. >> reporter: waiting wasn't an option for crystal. >> we were able to get it all done within about five hours. >> reporter: the final dash to put the perfect treasures under the tree. jo ling kent. >> in addition to the last minute shoppers, of course are the last minute shippers working overtime this christmas eve. a scramble to make sure that your special deliveries find their place under the tree in time to be torn open tomorrow morning. nbc's kristen dahlgren has more. >> standing here waiting for a package from ups. >> reporter: after he ordered the lego set almost a week ago, he knew how much his son, caleb, wanted it under the tree for christmas. >> he's talked about it probably once a week for the last two years. >> reporter: but with hours to go, still no legos. >> check the front door no less than 100 times. nothing's there. >> reporter: while the website shows a scan
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near his home in georgia, this afternoon, the system said, not to expect it before christmas. >> it's very disappointing. >> reporter: this year, atlanta, along with houston, kansas city, and denver, are the four spots ups has sent special teams from across the country to help with the crunch. several hundred office employees, like accountants and desk workers stepping in to assist sorting and even driving. ups acknowledges that's more than in year's past. the company says the vast majority of 750 million packages have arrived on time. online shopping reached record numbers this year. americans expected to spend half their holiday budget online. which translates into record deliveries. for ups, more than 300 packages a second over the past week. fedex says in spite of bad weather near it's memphis hub saturday, it expects to complete all deliveries today. as for alan kidd, he's bought alternate presents, but still
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hopes tonight delivers a christmas miracle. >> if it got here for him, i could see his face lighting up already. >> reporter: now ups says it is still working to try and get that package there tonight. unless you think the shipper's relax after this rush, they say they are expecting record returns starting tuesday, so peter, no rest for the weary. >> all right, thank you very much. good holiday to you. now to the answer to the question everybody's asking, who's going to get a white christmas? want to get a check on the forecast. wnbc's dave price has it. how is it looking tonight? >> much of the country blanketed in snow. heading to christmas eve, talking about heavy snows from the rockies through the cascades and to the olympic mountain ranges out to the west. and the midwest had a good dose of snow now as it rolls into new england. these complications won't end as far as travel trouble rolling into christmas day itself. heavy snow expected through sections of new hampshire and maine into pieces of
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massachusetts as well. where we could see upwards of a foot of snow. as we travel back to the upper midwest and northern plain states, bitterly cold along with more snow for sections of the rockies, headed into the central plain states. it's going to be a tough christmas day, as well, for many folks trying to get from here to there. we'll send it back to you. >> dave, merry christmas, thanks. one place where it is not snowing, sunny palm beach, florida, that's where president trump and his family are spending the holidays at his private club. the president taking time today to wish the troops a merry christmas. also taking aim at a familiar target. our white house correspondent kelly o'donnell has the details. >> we appreciate it. have a great christmas. >> reporter: a holiday greeting by video conference. >> we say christmas again proudly. >> reporter: the president connected with service members from each branch around the world. >> we're grateful for each of you who spend this christmas away from your families and defend all of our families. >> reporter: but not all today's tidings were joyful. the president again delivered coal to the
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media on twitter. the fake news refuses to talk about how big and how strong our base is. a political base often energized by the president's views on immigration. earlier this month, he said the u.s. should stop the policy where naturalized citizens can bring family members to the u.s. >> we're calling for congress to end chain migration. >> reporter: saturday night, the trump administration linked chain migration to a gun attack by a 51-year-old naturalized citizen from egypt, killed by police after authorities say he fired on pennsylvania law enforcement. the department of homeland security can confirm the suspect involved in a terror attack in harrisburg, pennsylvania, came to the u.s. through extended family chain migration. today, the white house argued for congress to make changes to clarify rules for temporary immigration programs that get extended for many years. already ordering nearly 60,000 haitians with temporary
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residency to leave within 18 months. >> the people here from haiti are here from an earthquake that happened roughly ten years ago. under temporary protective status. >> reporter: while back at mar-a-lago -- >> santa moves very quickly. >> reporter: the president and first lady call children to chat about the global travels of santa as tracked by the government's norad radar. and in those santa calls, the trumps spoke to 22 children living in ten states across the country. the white house has not announced the specifics for the holiday plans for the first family, but by tradition, they typically attend christmas eve services at the palm beach church where the president and first lady were married. peter? >> kelly, merry christmas, thank you. north korea is lashing out over tough new sanctions imposed by the united nations. kim jong-un's regime calling the sanctions an act of war that violates it's sovereignty. the north koreans went on to say it's a pipe dream for the u.s. to think the regime will give up it's
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-- its nuclear weapons. back in this country, a scare near the home of a member of president trump's cabinet. authorities responded to a bel air mansion. examining a suspicious gift addressed to treasury secretary steve mnuchin and delivered to his neighbor's home. in the end, officers found a pile of horse manure inside marked as being from, quote, the american people. the secret service is now investigating. tonight, five people are dead after a twin engine plane crashed at the end of a runway in florida. this happened at the municipal airport in central florida east of tampa. officials say a family headed out on a day trip to key west in their private plane took off in heavy fog. we get more now from nbc's maya rodriguez. >> reporter: the plane never made it past the airport. the cessna 340 on the runway. five people killed when it crashed on takeoff. >> one of our airport pilots was in the
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hanger, heard the plane starting to take off, and thought to himself, my gosh, i can't believe someone's trying to take off in this weather. >> reporter: shortly after 7:00 a.m., heavy fog blanketed the area. the plane took off heading east, visibility was less than 300 feet. a member of the sheriff's office aviation unit heard the crash. >> he said it was just seconds later that he heard the change in the pitch of the blades, and the impact of the north end of the airport, not very far from our hanger. >> reporter: when first responders arrived, they had trouble seeing the crash scene. >> we're on scene now at the air base. they say there is a plane down. it's really foggy, we're unable to see it from our location. i'm going to try to make it out on to the airfield. >> reporter: the plane already engulfed in flames by the time fire crews got to the scene. the victims on board known to many in this small town. john shannon, president of the republican club in lakeland and according to the sheriff, he
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was an accomplished pilot. also killed, his daughter, victoria, her husband, another one of shannon's daughters, and a family friend. >> hug your children today and your grandchildren a little tighter. and say prayers for the family of these folks on the airplane. >> reporter: this small town is reeling tonight. shannon's daughter and son-in-law were celebrating their first christmas as a married couple and before the group left on the plane, they had brought christmas cookies to the staff here at the airport. peter? >> all right, mya, -- maya, thank you very much for that. high drama today, high above the french alps. more than 150 skiers left stranded in chair lifts when a gondola broke. it broke down near a resort. the rescue operation lasted three hours. helicopters swooping in to save them, about 80 feet off the ground. look at that. rescuers opening hatches in the roofs, then safely lowering the skiers to the ground. heck of an ending there. across much of the world tonight, it's time for a celebration. tensions in the birthplace of christ are leaving arabs on
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edge. pope francis is presiding over midnight mass at the vatican. we get more on all of it from nbc's lucy cavanau cavanauka cavanau cavanaugh. >> reporter: rare moment of joy as bethlehem prepares to celebrate christmas, security is tight. the west bank in jerusalem have been the center of unrest in recent weeks. president donald trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as israel's capital sparking clashes. but in the center of this city tonight, a symbol of peace, fear may have kept some tourists away, but not all. >> i like being here at christmas. because jesus was born here. >> reporter: and at home, christian palestinian families gathered around their own trees. but the family worries about what the coming years will bring. >> used to see the light at the end of the tunnel, now i don't see any, any,
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any opportunities for peace. >> reporter: at the vatican tonight, pope francis presided over mass at st. peter's basilica. a prayer for unity and for peace. that prayer echoed in bethlehem's church of the nativity where they celebrated the birth of christ amidst uncertainty across this contested land. nbc news. and still ahead tonight, making our streets safer. ambitious effort in cities of all sizes all across the country and some of the results are dramatic. also tonight, tracking santa. he's up, up, and away on his sleigh. we'll show you where he's been and where he's headed next. rty mutual sat eight hundred dollars when we switched our auto and home insurance. liberty did what? yeah, they saved us a ton, which gave us a little wiggle room in our budget. wish our insurance did that. then we could get a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey, welcome back. this guy... right? yes. ellen.
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the y fills the gaps. and bridges our divides. donate to your local y today. because where there's a y, there's an us. we're back now with a major effort sweeping across the country. drive to make our streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. some places the results have been dramatic and nbc's steve patterson takes a look at how it's all being done. >> reporter: in a city infamous for it's traffic, the rite of way can be dangerous, sometimes fatal. >> fabulous husband and father. >> reporter: jennifer's husband, jeff, an avid bicyclist, was killed by a distracted driver one year ago. >> just as we turned right on foothill, i could see the police. >> reporter: jennifer is part of a movement called vision zero. >> slow down, your choices matter. >> reporter: an ambitious, global
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project to cut traffic deaths to zero. vision zero transformations include reducing lanes, expanding crosswalks, sidewalks, and curbs and adding bike lanes. >> really we're talking about shifting our systems and placing priority on managing speed. >> reporter: cities and counties have adopted vision zero all in an effort to save lives. now more than 30 cities have signed on to the vision. seattle transformed a one mile stretch of ranier avenue, cutting bike and pedestrian accidents by 40%. new york redesigned parts of queens boulevard, once called the boulevard of death. not a single pedestrian or bicyclist has been killed here since 2014. vision zero has hit some speed bumps. >> it basically created havoc in our community. >> reporter: back in l.a., they implemented it in the beach community. ply -- playa del ray. by reducing the number of lanes on a busy road. >> we have rush hour
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basically all hours of the day, 6:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. we just have the congo line of cars through town. >> reporter: lawsuits were filed. within a couple months. city crews began restoring the lanes. >> we're not against vision zero. we're against removing lanes on our arterial boulevards because you've pushed traffic off the boulevards into the neighborhoods. >> reporter: despite setbacks, vision zero continues it's steady rollout across the country. there's a new bike lane on the road where jennifer's husband used to ride. >> create a line to say, careful. just like a crosswalk. >> reporter: a comforting sight for her, and she hopes one day the number of traffic fatalities will finally hit zero. steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. >> important reminder to be careful out there. when we come back, something to cheer about. a holiday surprise that will excite fans of serena williams. yeah!? i switched to geico and got more! more savings on car insurance!? they helped with homeowners, too! ok! plus motorcycle, boat and rv insurance!
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this just in from the folks at norad tracking santa's sleigh around the world where it's already christmas in many places. santa and reindeer making stops in rome, johannesburg and istanbul. he is on his way here which reminds the kids, including mine, ava and emma, i'm watching you, santa is still keeping tabs on who's naughty or nice. be good for goodness sake. among those helping make sure it's an unforgettable holiday, right here in new york, men and women in blue are joining the man in red. just in time for christmas, santa is getting some back-up. in brooklyn, joining forces with some super friends. an assist from new york's finest. also some of it's jolliest. here, santa's sleigh stretches 20 police cars. a caravan overflowing with a bundle of 7,000 toys. the gifts all donated and delivered to hundreds of new york
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city kids. >> some people don't really get gifts, but it's nice for cops to and santa to come around and give people gifts before christmas. so i thank them for that. >> merry christmas. >> we want to give them a moment, magical moment to feel like children and forget about some of the day-to-day realities. >> these elves turning their precinct into a workshop, sorting and wrapping every gift themselves. >> to see the look on a child's face, after receiving a toy, especially from the superheroes, their eyes lit up, as well as ours. >> i love to see all the superheroes because one day i'm going to be a hero. >> who wants a ninja turtle? >> me! >> merry christmas. >> enjoy. >> making somebody's holiday a little brighter. >> it's awesome to be a part of it. >> might just be the best gift of all. great way to kick off the holiday. one of our favorite holiday greetings this year comes from a family that became a viral sensation. you're going to remember these guys. dad, the professor, doing that live interview with a bbc from his home office
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when his daughter makes that grand entrance followed by her little brother rolling in, and then, of course, mom trying to get them all out. now the whole kelly family back together wishing everyone a merry christmas with this photo. miriam wishing everyone a peaceful new year. and to them as well. something extra to cheer about tonight for tennis fans. serena williams will return to the court next week in abu dha dhabi. it's an exhibition match. her first time back in action since giving birth to her first daughter, her first child, daughter alexis. the last time we saw her on the court was when she won the australian open in january. you'll remember, she earned her 23rd grand slam title while pregnant. up next tonight, magic moments that'll make you smile this christmas eve. bring the family around for this. for singing definitely dry mouth has been a problem for me. i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough.
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finally tonight, it's the moment when you see your loved ones for the first time in a long time. you know exactly what we're talking about. those unforgettable greetings at the airport that capture the true meaning of home for the holidays. ♪ ♪ >> i'm waiting for my husband. he's coming from afghanistan. he's been there seven years, comes home usually about every six to eight months.
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♪ >> we're waiting for my sister. 14 years, waiting for her. ♪ >> my husband has two kids in el salvador. 14 years and he hasn't seen them. my daughter, this is the first time she's going to see them. >> this is the first time since he left that we'll have all five of us under one roof. ♪
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>> question -- feliz navidad. >> merry christmas and happy holidays. >> happy holidays! >> love that. big thanks to producer jay blackman, what a beautiful piece. that is nbc nightly news for this saturday. i'm peter alexander reporting from new york. for all of us, we wish you a very merry christmas to you and your family. a look outside at the rockefeller center christmas tree. glistening bright on the plaza. have a safe night. . changes ahead in the forecast.
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a live look outside on thi right now at 6:00, changes ahead in your forecast. a live look outside on this christmas eve at the golden gate bridge there. come christmas morning, some areas could be getting rain. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening, thanks for joining us. i'm vicky nguyen. terry mcsweeney has the night off. showers could be coming to part of the bay area tonight. meteorologist vianey arana is tracking the showers. >> good evening, vicky. look how beautiful squaw creek in lake tahoe is. we've got raindrops there, that storm system is expected to bring the chance of a couple of flurries. it's looking weak r


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