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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 22, 2019 3:30pm-4:01pm PST

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and the baggage claim chaos at one major hub. the newly revealed emas that could be key in an impeachment trial. what happened immediately after the president's controversial call with ukraine's leader? new details in the case of the murdered texas mom, from people who know her and know the friend they believe tried to steal her baby. >> she fooled us all. >> why the infant is now in foster care. >> the emotional come-from-behind win for the 49ers. >> i'm so thankful for you guys,
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that you guys could do that for him. >> after their quarterback brother was murdered. online gifts before christmas as new data shows shipping delays are way up this year. fedex truck on fire just one of the problems. and there's good news tonight. the nutcracker ballerina with a message of perseverance this season. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. good evening. if you're not already where you want to be for the holiday this is week, you may want to listen up. the numbers of americans heading to airports, train stations and hitting the road is up from last season and those millions of travelers are running into ice, freezing fog and rain. nearly 4,000 flights were delayed today and frustrating situations at a couple of major hubs. we begin with morgan chesky. >> reporter: tonight the holiday travel rush brought to a scary
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halt. a nearly 70-car chain reaction accident, shutting down 64 in both directions near williamsburg. >> i got out of my car and i went and assisted a woman whose leg was pinned inside her door. >> reporter: capturing this video after his car slid on black ice, crashing into the massive pile-up. somehow he walked away as crews took 51 others to nearby hospitals. >> we do not know the cause of the accident at this time but we have factors such as heavy fog and icy road conditions that morning. >> reporter: despite potentially dangerous weather, 100 million americans opting to drive to their holiday destinations. 4 million are under flash flood watches across the southeast where heavy rain and gusty winds come with it. miami and atlanta already expecting delays, but mother nature isn't the only problem. at lax this fiery scene caused a
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traffic nightmare. flames torching three empty passenger buses, prompting a fast response but fortunately no flight delays. air travel expected to jump nearly 5% with 7 million people planning to fly between now and new year's day. a lack of baggage handlers led to missing bags, delayed flights and frustrated passengers in seattle. >> reporter: first official day here in atlanta. rain is coming down and the conditions gusty. if you're traveling on thursday, the day after christmas, aaa says that will be the busiest of the travel season. the national weather forecast is calling for a warm-up. that drive home could be feeling like downright autumn. kate? >> morgan, thank you. that fateful day last july when president trump called
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ukraine's president asking for a favor. of course, that led to an impeachment. we're getting the first look atty trove of emails that very same day from the white house that could come into play in a senate trial. kelly o'donnell with the details. >> reporter: in a search for impeachment evidence, senate democrats seized upon newly released documents. >> this email is explosive. a top administration official, one that we requested is saying stop the aid. >> reporter: that email discussed suspension of military aid to ukraine, part of 146 heavily redacted pages obtained by the center for public integrity. written on that same july day when president trump raised the issue of a favor to ukraine's president zelensky, seeking an investigation of the bidens. just 90 minutes after that call that prompted impeachment -- >> it was a great call, not just a good call. it was a perfect call. everybody said it was perfect. >> reporter: -- a white house
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budget official sent an email to please hold off, sending to ukraine nearly $400 million u.s. aid approved by congress, pend ing direction. i appreciate you keeping that information closely held to those who need to know. senator amy klobuchar questioning why the secrecy. >> i that's a great question, a question i want to have answered. >> reporter: today, administration officials pushed back. >> there's nothing new in these emails. there's a lot of back and forth exchanges about the time of this. the aid was released. >> reporter: the military hold was announced internally a week earlier, july 18th. a spokesperson telling nbc news to pull a line out of one email and failed to address the context is misleading and inaccurate. >> kelly is with us now. how will these emails potentially be included in a senate trial? >> reporter: well, kate,
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democrats argue it should, because it shows that there are other officials with knowledge of the when and how behind the withholding of ukraine aid who could be called to testify as witnesses. republicans counter that it is not the senate's job to do new investigating after the house has already voted to impeach. so the stalemate about what kind of trial continues. kate? >> kelly o'donnell at west palm beach, florida, for us. thank you. let's go overseas to north korea and new evidence that the country could be getting ready to test new nuke lower weapons. increased activity at a missile factory has u.s. officials on edge. molly hunter reports. >> reporter: the reclusive strong man, kim jong-un, meeting with top military officials as the u.s. braces for the christmas gift promised by north korea. tracking hour by hour, long
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range missile with capabilities of reaching the u.s. tonight new evidence that test is imminent. >> commercial satellite photos are showing improvements to a facility associated in the past with ballistic missiles, including a temporary structure that could accommodate a launcher arm. >> reporter: recent diplomatic talks have faltered and earlier this month, kim jong-un mounted a white house, signaling he was making an important decision. >> a war with north korea could cause hundreds of thousands of casualties and the option of sanctions on the north korean regime has been all but exhausted. >> if north korea does go forward with a test, what does that mean for diplomatic talks with the u.s.? >> reporter: president trump has hailed that that's his signature foreign policy achievement. a test now could signal the final breakdown of diplomatic talks. kate? >> thanks so much. in chicago, the mayor is appealing to the public for any information, following an
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overnight shooting that injured 13 people. it happened at a house party, a memorial for someone else who had died by gun violence. one person of interest is in custody right now. the shooting marks another grim statistic, more people were wounded in last night's gunfire than any other single shooting in chicago since 2013. we want to revisit a big story from 2019 now. four months ago, one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall destroyed great abaco island in the bahamas. as kerry sanders reports, the situation for survivors is still dire. >> reporter: great abaco island today looks much like it did the day after hurricane dorian. even the police station is frozen in time. the clean-up? extremely slow going. >> there's nothing left. >> reporter: survivor june russell likens the emptiness here to another ghost town. >> this is like chernobyl.
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>> reporter: like so many survivors, her family was torn apart by dorian, her 19-year-old son lives in nassau, her 13-year-old daughter on another bohemian island. >> we feel forgotten. >> reporter: where is the bohemian government, in your mind? >> not here. >> reporter: it's taken them months to set up trailers for employees who will manage the clean-up, a mega storm, 180-mile-per-hour winds and 23-foot storm surge. destroyed the power company, water and sewer systems and schools. >> we are in the mother of all clean-up. >> reporter: 30 years worth of garbage. i reported from this spot right after the hurricane, a neighborhood known as the mud. the damage then nearly impossible to describe. i really hope i don't see anything worse than this,
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because it is such devastation. we have come upon, in this bohemian heap, bodies that are exposed. those who survived the hurricane here and are still on great abaco are living the most desperate of lives. if it were not for the american charities, the sustained misery would be intolerable. border mission turned salt water into drinking water but at a cost. >> right now we're running about $7 a gallon. >> reporter: for fresh water? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: serving 2.1 million free meals. global empowerment mission has been here too, as they were for fires in california, a cyclone in mozambique, destruction of the amazon. disasters tied to global climate change. they are consistently described as the worst ever. >> the world is changing. we've got to get ready. >> reporter: for thomas and jackie williams with a baby boy due in weeks, the future is
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unknown. but with all the joy of a boy who is coming, you're living in a tent. >> yeah. >> reporter: great abaco, only 145 miles from florida. but for the foreseeable future, a world away. kerry sanders, nbc news, marsh harbor, the bahamas. the san francisco 49ers are reeling from a sudden tragedy, the violent death of a player's brother yesterday morning. during saturday's game there was an emotional show of support for that player's loss. sarah harmon has details. >> i don't know what to say to you. you guys know what happened last night. >> reporter: coach kyle shanahan and his players filled with emotion after the fatal stabbing of quarterback's younger brother. >> i spent an hour with with him last night. he was distraught, like any of us would have been, distraught. >> reporter: the tragedy shook the entire team.
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>> known him for eight years. kind of a little brother to me. >> reporter: 22-year-old clayton and his friend, 21-year-old penny were fatally stabbed outside a nashville bar. tonight police are asking for help to identify this man and releasing footage from inside the bar, saying they want to question two men at the center sbooth the man and woman who later joined them. their grandfather, bobby, nfl hall of famer. >> i was not thinking about any stats or anything like that. >> reporter: clayton, a college junior, played for long island university. the family remembering him as an amazing, big and soft hearted human being who loveer loved kids, underdogs and the less fortunate. saturday cj flew home to be with his grieving family, the 49ers managed a thrilling victory over the l.a. ram. >> last thing he said to me, he stopped me and said make sure
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you guys go and win this game. >> reporter: honors a request for a little brother gone too soon. the missing mom in texas murdered after a possible baby snatch plot. news about why the infant is now in foste r i'm your 70lb st. bernard puppy, and my lack of impulse control, is about to become your problem. ahh no, come on.
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in the shocking case of a texas mom who was mrded last week, the baby snatched and her friend charged in a crime. next, questions about where the infant will go next. sam brock reports. >> reporter: heidi broussard's family and loved ones are trying to process her shocking death, which appears to involve one of her oldest friends, megan humphrey. tim specializes in missing cases. he spoke to the suspect all of last week. >> she had me convinced when i talked to her and when i hung up talking with with her, that was the last person in the world i expected that could possibly have anything to do with it. so, yeah, she fooled us all. >> reporter: last thursday, investigators uncovered broussard's body in the trunk of a car on humphrey's property. tonight a family spokesperson says margot is now in foster
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care as they await dna testing to confirm it's her and highlight who the father is. humphrey, now charged with kidnapping and tampering with a human corpse stood in the delivery room when heidi gave birth, even spoke of her own pregnancy. >> do you believe the suspect was ever pregnant? >> no, sir, i do not. >> why would someone lie about a pregnancy? >> because she wanted the baby. she wanted the baby. >> reporter: reach iing out to humphrey's court-appoint ed attorney. we haven't heard back. this, as a family prepares for a vigil tomorrow night. sam brock, nbc news, austin. up next, we're switching gears. does that two-day shipping promise really mean it will get there by christmas?
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still get your gifts delivered in time. but after a lot of delays this season, can you really count on it? here is kathy park. >> let the holiday shipping scramble begin. fedex, u.p.s. and the postal service are in overdrive to get deliveries at your door before christmas. >> we have a much shorter holiday shopping season. i think that's what's causing this last-minute shopping bottle ne neck. >> today is walmart's big deadline for last-minute online orders. amazon prime members also have until today for free delivery until december 25th. best buy are offering free shipping for those who wait until tomorrow to buy. good news for carriers, more customers are shipping, up 21% this holiday season over last year. bad news for shoppers, their track record for delivering on time is getting worse, down 12% this season, according to the
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software company convey. are you confident all these packages will make it on time? i'm assuming for christmas. >> nothing is going to be local here in new york, definitely, but stuff outside the city will be a different story. >> we face challenges as far as whether is concerned, any other national kind of occurring circumstances. so, yeah, we try to work with our customers as much as possible. >> reporter: for the u.s. postal service, 86% of their shipments are arriving on time. u.p.s., 80%. for fedex it's even worse. only 68% on time. if you ship ten gifts with fedex, three are likely to arrive late. this week, amazon told its third-party retailers to stop using fedex because of these issues. what's to blame? bad weather early december and rare one-off events like this one last night, a fire on a fedex truck in southern california. some christmas gifts torched.
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>> all right, kathy. if you really need to still ship a package for christmas, what are the absolute deadlines? >> reporter: well, kate for u.p.s. and the postal service, that deadline is tomorrow. fedex offers same day delivery on christmas day, but it can get pricey, depending with where your package is going. here at the usps distribution center in midtown manhattan, hundreds of workers have been brought in to make sure your gifts make it on time. kate? >> okay, kathy. i'm still waiting for an order. when we come back, an incredible story of determination. i had to>> l when we were looking for a roommate,
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there's good news about never giving up. a little girl who was told she might never walk dared to imagine she could shine on stage. now she is the star ballerina in a beloved classic. the role of maria in nutcracker is a demanding performance, requiring soaring leaps and dizzying pirouettes. emily kerico makes it look effortless. >> doing what i do as a professional ballerina is a dream especially seeing where i have come from. >> this is where she came from, immobilized as a child in a full body cast. at age 4 she was diagnosed with
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stage four respospondylolysthes >> i think about the night terrors she had when she was in that cast. >> she had successful surgery. >> i wasny body cast, then a brace, and had to learn how to walk again. >> she leapt, taking up ballet, pushing herself and her recovery to the limit. >> oh, my gosh, her tenacity, her hard work. >> she inherited -- has a good, heal healthy dose of perfectionism from both of us. >> reporter: now 23 years old, she's been dancing professionally for six years but this is her biggest role yet. the lead in the atlanta ballet's nut cracker. it's a grueling schedule, rehearsing by day, on stage at night. always on her toes, literally. and the physical pain from her childhood disorder still
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lingers. >> i find it painful but i honestly live with it and it's my norm. >> this weekend as she glided gracefully across the stage as a grown-up marie, only two people in the audience knew exactly how much this performance defied the odds, her parents. >> you won't find a harder wo worker anywhere. she's working hard with her body that was not supposed to be able to do this. she's a christmas miracle. >> dazzling the audience night after night, living her dream. >> i feel very lucky to be where i am. i'm in love with ballet more than ever. >> and just like marie found her prince in the nutcracker, emily found hers in the ballet. she's actually engaged to another dancer. that is "nbc nightly news" on this sunday.
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>> announcer: nbc sports home of the olympic games, nhl, indianapolis 500 and primetime's number one show. "sunday night football" only on nbc. a mild december night in the great city of chicago. "sunday night football," a couple of teams, a couple quarterbacks, going in different directions. the reigning mvp patrick mahomes. his chiefs already won the west and are in the hunt for a first-round bye. a different story, disappointing year for mitchell trubisky and the bears already eliminated from playoff contention.


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