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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 24, 2019 2:07am-2:38am PST

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genetic tests, telling military personnel to avoid them. the threat that keeps these search-and-rescue teams up at night. >> this is something we've trained for. this is something realistically we have to be ready for. >> as we go inside a new training exercise to help first responders deal with a potential underground terrorist attack beneath our city. plus, there's still time t tips to get those last-minute gifts under the tree >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening millions of americans on the move, or at least trying to tonight, at the start of this christmas week bad weather in the southeast, a deluge of rain got things off to a bad start for some air travelers in florida with a record 115 million americans expected to travel over this holiday stretch, airports across the country are bracing for a crush of passengers and highway travel will likely be a challenge, too kerry sanders is in florida for us tonight. >> reporter: ft.
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lauderdale's airport back in business tonight. >> i've never seen flooding like this. >> reporter: on one of the busiest days of the year, the airport closed, a rare 4 inches of rain falling in just an hour. over 8 inches total within five hours. area roads and one of the airport's runways shut down. 155 flights delayed, 20 diverted, 6 canceled problems that cascaded throughout the day and for katherine tallah, a hopefully understanding family in detroit. >> i'm supposed to be baking cookies >> reporter: with a record number of travelers packing airports today, just walking the terminal an obstacle course. >> it's insane we have four suitcases, two -- a stroller, which is two pieces, and two car seats, so, and a partridge in a pear tree. >> reporter: near williamsburg, virginia, interstate 64 back open today after a 69-vehicle pileup sunday, dozens injured, two seriously. the chain-reaction accident likely caused
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by extremely heavy fog and black ice. >> my foot was actually caught between the steering wheel and the door. >> reporter: with 6 million expected to travel out of l.a.x. this week, today smooth sailing after a recent problem with rideshare pick-ups was solved today, most passengers arriving early >> reporter: and for everybody still traveling tonight, a reminder, the return trip will be much the same lester >> all right, kerry sanders, thank you let's bring in nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer dylan, what are we looking at for tomorrow and christmas as so many are trying to be someplace? >> good evening, lester the heavy rain we've been seeing down across the southeast will come to an end by tomorrow, but winds will increase on the back side of this storm system they could get a bit gusty, especially across the carolinas tomorrow elsewhere on christmas eve, we're looking for some mountain snow, especially in the higher elevations, heavy rain in the southwest, but it is going to really warm up through the middle of the country we're looking at temperatures well
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above average. well above freezing, too, so that really limits our chance of a white christmas. and on christmas day itself, we could see some snow showers out in the rockies, more rain in california, then near record-high temperatures elsewhere. lester >> all right, dylan, thank you. now to the other major story we're following, turmoil at boeing, which has fired its ceo over his handling of two deadly crashes involving the 737 max aircraft and the grounding of nearly 400 of those jets worldwide we get more from nbc's tom costello >> reporter: with a global 737 max fleet grounded since march and losing billions of dollars, boeing's board of directors decided late sunday the company needs new leadership now, firing ceo dennis muilenburg and immediately replacing him with board chairman david calhoun. >> the biggest issue for dennis muilenburg is the fact that boeing's relationship with the faa has broken down completely >> reporter: muilenburg had tried to pressure the faa into fast-tracking approval of the 737 max fixes after two fatal crashes killed
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346 people but now approval may not come until february or later, forcing boeing to temporarily shut down the max production line it was only in october that muilenburg met with the families of those who died. >> we are sorry, deeply and truly sorry. >> reporter: but anger only intensified over revelations boeing had not been fully transparent about the plane's problems the world's airlines are demanding compensation michael stumo, whose daughter, samya rose, died in the ethiopian crash, is demanding a change in boeing's executive culture. >> i can't help my daughter anymore, but this is what we can do is try to make aviation safer for everyone else. >> reporter: boeing says it needs to repair damaged relationships with the airlines and the faa and today, the new boeing ceo reached out to the faa chief, promising transparency and cooperation. lester >> tom costello, thanks. in saudi arabia today, a court sentenced five men to death for the killing of "washington post"
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journalist jamal khashoggi. the decision's seen as a positive move by the white house but denounced by those who claim the saudi royal family was behind the killing. keir simmons has more. >> reporter: tonight the white house describing death sentences for the murderers of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi as an important step the saudi public prosecutor announcing capital punishment for five individuals for committing and directly participating in the murder. another three men sentenced to a total of 24 years in prison for covering it up but this man, formerly a senior adviser to the crown prince, was cleared because of insufficient evidence. the deputy head of intelligence also acquitted, that despite the cia believing crown prince mohammed bin salman ordered the killing. the crown prince denying it in a september cbs interview. >> translator: absolutely not this was a heinous crime. >> reporter: and many questions remain unanswered mr. khashoggi's body
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is still missing after he entered the saudi consulate in istanbul in october last year and was dismembered. the sentences welcome tonight by one of jamal khashoggi's sons but criticized by many around the world the "washington post" and a senior u.n. investigator calling it a travesty of justice. lester >> all right, keir simmons, thanks. in afghanistan, a u.s. service member was killed during combat operations today. the taliban has taken responsibility 20 american troops have been killed in combat there this year a deepening divide tonight on next steps for president trump's senate impeachment trial, as republican and democratic leaders argue over witnesses and documents. hallie jackson has more >> reporter: a holiday hold on impeachment proceedings as key leaders dig in today. >> we can't take up a matter we don't have and so, hopefully, it will be on the way over at some point. >> reporter: republican leader mitch mcconnell waiting on house
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speaker nancy pelosi to send him those two articles of impeachment so a senate trial can begin, but pelosi today insists she won't take the next step in the process until "we know what sort of trial the senate will conduct. the president tonight on twitter responding, "she is trying to take over the senate and cryin' chuck is trying to take over the trial. no way!" but democrats say they just want what is fair, with senator chuck schumer today making the case in a new letter to colleagues, pushing not just for witnesses in a trial, like acting chief of staf mick mulvaney and former national security adviser john bolton, but documents, too, about the president's request for investigations in ukraine that could have helped him politically, even as military aid to the country was on hold. >> we say to president trump, release the emails, let your aides testify. we say to leader mcconnell, a fair trial with the facts, only the facts >> and hallie joins me right now. while this senate trial timing is in
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limbo, i know they're also in washington watching a new potential north korean threat what can you tell us about that, hallie >> reporter: lester, that's because north korea has been hinting ominously about a so-called christmas gift, which is partly why u.s. officials are worried that kim jong-un is preparing to conduct a new missile test, maybe over the holidays. and now a new analysis of satellite photos provided to nbc news show the country has expanded a factory linked to the production of long-range nuclear missiles, something to watch this week, for sure, lester. >> reporter: all right, hallie jackson, thanks in texas, authorities are warning that a traveler with measles may have unknowingly exposed others across the country, and that alert comes amid an increase in measles cases nationwide sam brock is in austin with the latest. >> reporter: tonight, an urgent health alert from texas after a passenger infected with measles passed through the austin airport last week after traveling in europe it's travis county's first detected case in 20 years. >> we're trying to get on top of this, share as much information as
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we can to try to really contain this. >> reporter: the passenger left from austin international airport on december 17th, but then proceeded to go to airports in chicago and virginia, meaning that other passengers in not one, not two, but three different airports were potentially exposed. this after separate cases at l.a.x. and denver international airports earlier this month. but health experts say austin is at greater risk because of low vaccination rates of children. >> austin, unfortunately, is one of the epicenters of the antivaccine movement in america. >> reporter: a startling study earlier this year estimates oneinfecte person could lead to an outbreak of more than 400 cases in austin with nearly 1,300 confirmed cases of the measles nationwide this year, more than three times the number last year, the highly contagious virus can linger in the air for hours. symptoms include cough, rash, fever, and sore eyes. tonight, doctors say it's another stark reminder to get vaccinated sam brock, nbc news, austin tonight, with one full day ahead of us until christmas, the
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rush is on and for those with holiday shopping still left to do, our erin mclaughlin has what you need to know in tonight's "price you pay. ♪ >> reporter: it's the eve before christmas eve, and for those who have left shopping until the very last minute -- >> i panicked. >> reporter: -- no need to panic. plenty of stores are open through tomorrow, and you can always buy online, though prices for overnight shipping and same-day delivery are getting steep, so picking up those online purchases in store may be your best bet. while there may be long lines for the pick-ups, there are less distractions. >> i get distracted in the aisles and then i end up buying other things in i probably didn't need. >> reporter: actually saved you money. >> yeah, it does. >> reporter: for those trying to avoid the in-store holiday crush, consider e-gifts. >> we love a little freedom to shop for ourselves. >> reporter: many retailers along with websites like gift card granny sell gift cards for restaurants, spa services, and getaways at a discount so a $50 gift card in some cases could cost you less than 40
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bucks. looking ahead, december 26th is the biggest day of the year for returns that inventory bump will push prices down even more. so, this late into the holiday season, the smartest play might just be to wait for old st. nick to make his rounds and then go shopping for those post-christmas deals lester >> erin mclaughlin in chicago, thanks. and here in new york and other big cities, a beefed-up police presence is keeping watch over t shoppers the threat of holiday-time terror attacks not far from mind i recently joined one group of experts preparing to battle a new scenario what first responders are walking into -- a smoke-filled subway tunnel, screams of people trapped in the aftermath of a bombing and collapse -- is not a what-if scenario it's happened. in madrid, in london,
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and remains a deep-seeded fear for millions of urban commuters. >> test one. you're in a train. >> reporter: the men and women in this frightening exercise are new york city police and firefighters, but today they are working as teammates for u.s. homeland security, one of fema's 28 urban search-and-rescue task force teams across the country. >> in the last five years i think we've deployed seven times, and that's just new york task force one, but the system is active every year. >> reporter: we see them at natural disasters at home and abroad, from hurricanes to earthquakes, ready to deploy at life-saving missions within hours. >> in haiti, where we had -- we made a couple of rescues of children that were trapped for over seven days to be part of that is just an amazing experience >> reporter: but we were granted rare access to see them train for a non-natural disaster, a terror attack below ground, in a mock fdny subway tunnel, to help
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them develop critical, new capabilities >> we're building the model, really, for a mission-ready package tunnel task force. it's never been done. >> here we go! >> hop on! >> reporter: one of the points of this exercise is to incorporate a different breathing technology instead of the normal 20-minute-or-so tank, they're wearing a device that allows them to spend not just minutes but hours on scene in the thick of it >> we're normally used to having, setting up in front of a building, where there's a collapse now we have to figure out a way in that long distance, 2,000, 3,000 feet into a tunnel. >> reporter: these rebreathers recycle the rescuer's own air and flush out carbon dioxide, buying critical time to locate and triage the injured. in this case, role-players, deciding who they can save and who they can't is it the kind of thing that keeps you awake at night >> new york city has one of the biggest bull's eyes on it in the country, realistically, and multiple attempts. so this is something we train for
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this is something realistically we have to be ready for. >> these fema teams funded by homeland security are based in 19 states already to deploy to disasters within six hours just ahead, they're wildly popular, but now the pentagon is warning service members not to use those at-home dna testing kits we're going to tell you why. also, we put some unusual holiday flavors to the test with some discerning experts. would you eat a pizza candy cane how. kale
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we're back with a new warning from the pentagon, which is urging members of the military to use those popular home dna testing kits, issing they present a security risk. pete williams has details. >> reporter: they're one of this year's hottest christmas gifts, home dna testing kits that help trace a person's ancestry or flag potential vulnerability to disease. the companies have long said they carefully guard the data they gather, but
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now the defense department is warning u.s. military personnel not to use them, a memo co-signed by the top pentagon intelligence official says the kits could expose personal and genetic information and potentially create unintended security consequences and risk. the kits are hugely popular with over 26 million people having submitted their dna to trace their lineage. privacy concerns have grown along with their populari popularity, given how revealing dna can be. >> one of the things about dna is it's almost always unique so therefore, while you can change your i.d., you can change your password, it's really difficult to change your dna. >> reporter: says it does not share dna data with insurance companies or employers. 23andme says its customers choose how their information will be used and shared though both acknowledge that federal agents and local police can get access to the data with a subpoena or court order. consumer advocates say these kits can help people manage their health and learn their genealogy.
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their advice, read the fine print about how the dna will be shared lester >> all right, pete, thanks. and next, the reviews are in on some far-out flavors of christmas.
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'tis the season of indulging, but tonight there is a twist on one of the most popular holiday treats here is gadi schwartz. ♪ >> reporter: on christmas trees around the world, candy canes have been sweet and minty since the 1920s, until a company named archie mcphee stepped in >> we entered the flavored candy cane business through bacon. >> reporter: you heard that right and from there, their annual creative meetings have gotten even more twisting. >> we have hamdy canes, gravy wasabi. >> reporter: so if you're a parent looking for a stocking stuffer in between naughty and nice >> can we eat those? >> ooh. >> reporter: you guys are going to taste them. >> i want the taco. >> reporter: we've assembled this panel of experts in sugar, anxious to give us an
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honest review. >> me, me, me! >> reporter: you guys are ready? >> yes. >> reporter: three, two, one -- >> ew! >> ew! >> reporter: oh! >> ew. >> reporter: what do you think this tastes like >> vomit. >> nasty. >> puke. >> reporter: was that a delicious pizza? >> no! >> reporter: mm, this one smells really good. >> caesar salad. >> green spinach >> reporter: kale? >> oh! [ laughter ] >> reporter: it's real bad at the beginning, but at the end, it kind of gets nice. >> i know what it is. >> reporter: what do you think? >> banana. >> can i go spit this out? >> i know what it is, cottage cheese. >> reporter: oh, close! mac and cheese. >> ew! >> ew! >> but, like, rotten egg. >> rotten egg in a candy cane. >> tuna fish. >> rotten fish that just came out of the sea right now. >> reporter: their verdict, all flavors still a lot more interesting than a lump of coal >> bon appetit >> reporter: gadi schwartz, nbc news, new york >> any review that starts with "ooh" can't end well. up next, we catch up with a boy and his best friend.
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we'll be ending our broadcast this week with the latest on some of our favorite stories tonight we catch up with a little boy from portland, oregon, who alongwith his best friend is still warming hearts around the world. it's been a couple of years since we've seen little buddy and his furry pal, reagan. >> there was an instant bond you could see the love between the two of them. >> reporter: both continue to grow in front of our eyes, as does their family. buddy's real name is sawyer he now has a little sister, stella, who just like her big brother, was a foster child, adopted into the family
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>> she especially loves reagan, so it's fun for the three of them to kind of get together. >> i love taking pictures >> reporter: their adventures in friendship are a popular instagram feed, with photos taken by the kids' grandmother, sandi. >> i would have never thought that an instagram account for a dog could turn into something so big and so helpful to other people. >> reporter: inspired by her growing family, grandma sandi has written books. >> is that reagan? >> that is reagan! >> reporter: and an annual calendar has now raised more than $60,000 to help other children in foster care and you aren't seeing double there's another doodle now in the picture >> lincoln is my son's dog. lincoln and reagan get to play together a lot. >> reporter: what began as a story about a boy and his best friend turns out to be the perfect message for the season >> there's something
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really special about having a companion that wants you exactly as you are >> so great to see their growing family, and yay, doodles that's "nightly news" for this monday. i'm lester holt. thank you for watching, everyone, and goodnight. ♪you're here where you should ♪be ♪snow is falling as the carols ♪sing ♪it just wasn't the same ♪alone on christmas day
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♪you're all that i need ♪underneath the tree ♪tonight ♪i'm gonna hold you close ♪make sure that you know ♪i was lost before you ♪christmas was cold and grey ♪another holiday alone to ♪celebrate ♪but then one day everything ♪changed ♪you're all i need ♪underneath the tree ♪you're here where you should ♪be ♪snow is falling as the carols ♪sing ♪it just wasn't the same ♪alone on christmas day ♪presents, what a beautiful ♪sight ♪don't mean a thing if you ain't ♪holding me tight ♪you're all that i need ♪underneath the tree
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♪you're all i need ♪underneath the tree ♪you're here where you should ♪be ♪you're all i need ♪underneath the tree [cheers and applause] >> kelly: as we continue our christmas celebration, i hope you have a good time because i love christmas. which one of you ha


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