tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 1, 2018 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
>> stay tuned. thanks for watching. i'm keith jones. >> and i'm erin coleman. "nbc nightly news" is next. see you at 11:00. tonight, a frigid and dangerous start to the new year. below freezing temperatures in 90% of the country with at least five deaths now linked to the cold. just when will it end? the search for what caused a plane to hit a mountain moments after takeoff. ten americans killed, five from the same family. the new warning to the u.s. fm north korea's dictator who says he has the nuclear button on his desk. buying pot. it's now legal for recreational use in california. one of the many new laws taking effect today. and a celebration of life at a big new year's day parade and the selfless acts that are inspiring america. this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. and happy new year. i'm peter alexander in for lester.
tonight bone-chilling cold temperatures are giving tense of millions of americans little to celebrate this new year's day. an arctic blast that's not just dangerous. it's deadly. parts of 35 states are under wind chill advisories for warnings with record chill from nebraska to new york. there's little relief in sight. tomorrow's temperatures again expected to stay well below average across much of the u.s. we start with blake mccoy in chicago. >> reporter: a bitter freeze gripping the country. >> it's unbearable. >> i feel it every second in my bones. >> reporter: now, turning deadly with at least five suspected cold weather deaths, the latest in detroit where a man was found frozen in front of a church. this as dangerous whiteout conditions caused a massive pile-up in michigan. an indiana woman had to be rescued after her car plunged into an icy pond trapping her as it sank. overnight it was the coldest ball drop in a hundred years, just 9
degrees at midnight in new york's times square. >> we're freezing, and we had no idea it was going to be this cold. >> it's the coldest i've ever been. >> reporter: much of the country begins 2018 in this prolonged deep freeze. 90% of america waking up below freezing today. 35% below zero. new record lows set in places like omaha, des moines and buffalo. for emergency crews, the bitter cold is presenting a challenge. >> we've got two trucks froze up right now. we're in the process of trying to get them back to the station to thaw out. >> reporter: runners in chicago braved sub-zero temperatures for new year's day 5k. >> we're late because we questioned our sanity. >> reporter: columbus moved its indoors. perhaps the hardiest soufls all, those taking the polar plunge despite polar temperatures. tonight you can see ice over the chicago river here. it feels like 14 below here right now. while things will warm
up a bit tomorrow for much of the country, a second blast of arctic air is set to move in later this week. a frigid start to 2018. peter? >> blake, stay warm. hustle inside when you can. there's more news now. in costa rica investigators are trying to find out what caused a small plane to slam into a mountain killing ten americans, most of them from two families on vakdz. it's reportedly the airline's second deadly crash in months. gabe gutierrez has the details. >> oh, my god. it's like right here. i can see all the smoke. everybody's screaming and yelling. >> reporter: near costa rica's pacific coast an eyewitness describes the horrifying scene after a single engine plane crashed in the woods. 12 people killed including ten americans and two local crew members. >> it like went up and then all of a sudden just beared to the left and nosedived right in front of us. >> reporter: tonight in suburban new york friends and family are mourning the loss of bruce and irene
steinberg and their three sons, matthew, william and zachary. >> inconceivable that a whole family should meet with such a disaster. they were a lovely family. >> reporter: also among the dead mitchell and leslie weiss from tampa, florida, along with their two children. the plane belonged to nature air, which did not respond to a request today. another one of its flights reportedly crashed into a river. authorities say this aircraft had been inspected a month ago but strong winds had delayed its landing earlier on sunday. the california-based travel company that organized the trip says it's extremely heartbroken over this horrific loss of life and that it's working with local investigators to find out exactly what caused this unimaginable tragedy. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. we're learning much more tonight about the gunman who
carried out that attack in colorado killing a young sheriff's deputy and wounding six other people before he was killed. nbc's steve patterson is there and has those details. >> reporter: new images frf deputy zackari parrish's young family before it was shattered when the 29-year-old officer was killed if an apparent ambush. >> when i sat with his wife and held her hand, i could see in her eyes her life is over. >> shots fired, shots fired. >> reporter: more than 100 rounds fired wounding four otherp officers and two civilians. >> we have one deputy down inside the apartment. all of us have been hit at least once. >> reporter: s.w.a.t. team killed the suspect, 37-year-old matthew riehl. tonight authorities are investigating his motive. riehl recently posted a series of incoherent angry messages online including videos railing against local law enforcement. >> we're going to fire all these bums come next year. >> reporter: riehl, an iraq war veteran, honorably discharged
in 2012, practiced law after graduating from the university of wyoming. in november, the school sent a letter to faculty and staff along with a picture of him and his car warning about rambling nonsensical messages on his facebook page that mentioned the school. today sheriff joe pelley says his son jeff was one of the responding deputies. >> our focus is on getting him healthy and up and moving. >> reporter: he was shot while trying to drag parrish to safety. >> he was over zach trying to get hold of him to pull him out. that's why the bullet went through his body. >> reporter: community members now turning this patrol car into a memorial for a fallen service member and family man. so now all but one of the deputies wounded in that attack have been treated and released from a local hospital. only deputy pelley remains, facing a long road to recovery after undergoing emergency surgery. peter? >> steve patterson in colorado, steve, thank you.
chief justice john roberts says the federal court system needs to do more to protect its employees from sexual harassment. it's part of a year-end report on the federal judiciary. roberts announced that a task force will examine whether enough's being done to investigate complaints. this follows the recent retirement of a federal judge reportedly accused of sexual harassment by 15 women. iran's state-run media tonight says 13 people have been killed in anti-government protests nationwide. the demonstrations there have been going on for five days now as president trump voices his support for the protesters. chief white house correspondent hallie jackson has more. >> reporter: tonight, one iranian police officer is dead, three others hurt, according to state media as government security forces battle with protesters, demonstrations now turning deadlier. outrage over skyrocketing prices for food morphing into broader anti-regime anger for thousands of iranians in the streets. nbc's ali arouzi is in
tehran. >> authorities on the one hand have acknowledged people's dissatisfaction with the economy but have also blamed many of the protesters for trying to take this in another direction and issued warnings that demonstrations will be dealt with severely. >> reporter: president trump seeming sympathetic. the great iranian people have been repressed for many years. they are hungry for food and for freedom. along with human rights, the wealth of iran is being looted. time for change. is that the best course of action for him here? >> probably not. let's face it, america is rather toxic inside iran. it might be more helpful for us to sit back and let this play out. >> reporter: so far the protests are iran's biggest since the 2009 so-called green revolution. but that was different, more urban, more centered on students and the official u.s. response was different, too. then president obama preferred a more cautious approach. this time president trump appears unafraid to insert himself into
the unrest, one that could end by tomorrow or perhaps stretch for weeks. >> any time you have thousands of people risking their lives against a state that is prepared to use, quote, an iron fist, that's impressive. >> reporter: president trump is back in washington tonight after spending the holidays in south florida facing a number of foreign policy challenges like iran and a packed domestic agenda, too. he's looking to that mid-month deadline to come to some kind of budget deal with lawmakers or face the risk of a government shutdown. peter? >> hallie jackson on the north lawn tonight, thank you so much. an ominous new year's message today from north korea's dictator who made new claims about his country's ability to reach the u.s. with its nuclear weapons. at the same time kim jong-un made a new overture to south korea. kelly cobiella has the very latest from seoul. >> reporter: tonight jim jong ununleashing an ominous warning. the whole of the u.s. mainland is within our
firing range and the nuclear button is on my desk. it's not a threat, he said, but a reality. the president reacting at a new year's eve party. >> we'll see. we'll see. >> reporter: after a ballistic missile launch in november, jim jong unnow claims his nuclear weapons program is complete. experts analyzing the video said it was the most powerful missile yet possibly capable of striking the u.s. east coast, but north korea still has technical hurdles to cross. what is the main message? >> well, the signal that kim jong-un is sending to americans is checkmate, you know, game over. you have to deal with reality. >> reporter: kim jong-un never mentioned president trump in his speech. instead extending a hand to south korea and offering talks yet no sign the north is ready to disarm despite u.n. sanctions. j kim jong-un announcing a new goal today, mass producing nuclear
warheads and ballistic missiles. the country's new year's resolution for 2018. kelly cobiella, nbc news, seoul. a scary scene at a new year's eve celebration on an island in russia where an 80-foot plastic christmas tree burst into flames. thousands watched in horror as the tree burned up in a matter of minutes. fortunately, there were no reports of injuries. in liverpool, england, flames raced through a multistory parking garage on new year's eve destroying about 1400 cars. it apparently began with an accidental fire in one of those cars. officials said a sprinkler system would have likely stopped the flames from doing so much damage. here in this country with that record cold, it's the time of year when many families start thinking about how to escape the winter chill. the florida keys have always been a prime destination, but that region, of course, was shattered by hurricane irma, and many areas there are still scrambling to rebuild. here's nbc's tammy
leitner. >> reporter: this week typically marks the beginning of the high season here in the keys. >> welcome, welcome. where you visiting from? >> we are starting to see business increase, and every day is better than the day before. >> reporter: and while key west is well on its way to recovery, businesses in the middle keys are not as lucky. >> the water reached about here. >> reporter: harry's bed and breakfast in big pine key is a shell of what it was before hurricane irma roared ashore more than three months ago. about 30% of hotels in the keys are still too damaged to open. >> we've had to refund customers between, you know, 50,000 and $60,000. >> reporter: all along the highway, visible reminders of the devastation. 1700 businesses and homes were destroyed. the worst of it in big pine key, cudjoe key and parts of the lower keys. >> it's still awful. still trash everywhere and stinks around here, but it's getting there. >> reporter: local officials say they've removed 2.2 million cubic yards of storm
debris. but some locals feel it's not fast enough. >> i kind of think of war zone. >> reporter: steve miller says some of his friends have chosen to leave rather than rebuild. >> a lot of my friends have said, you know, i don't think i want to do this again. >> reporter: roughly 300 families are living in fema trailers. >> all i can do is try and hope at this point. >> reporter: many hope a booming tourist season will breathe new life into the battered keys. tammy leitner, nbc news, key west. and still ahead tonight, new year, new laws including the latest state to legalize recreational pot. also, why hundreds came out in 2 degree weather to welcome home their team now headed to the postseason for the hey, you every talk to anybody about your money? yeah, i got some financial guidance a while ago. how'd that go? he kept spelling my name with an 'i' but it's bryan with a 'y.' yeah, since birth. that drives me crazy. yes. it's on all your email. yes. they should know this? yeah. the guy was my brother-in-law. that's ridiculous.
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the beginning of the new year brings all kinds of new state laws that go into effect beginning today from legalizing marijuana to requiring more paid family leave, to restricting talking on your cell phone while driving. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams takes a look. >> reporter: the new year brings retail sales of recreational marijuana to the nation's most populous state. it's legal today in california for adults over 21. rules are strict. it must be sold in sealed child-resistant packages, shops must close by 10:00 p.m. >> we're going to make sure that these businesses are not located near parks or schools or churches, things of that kind. >> reporter: starting today oregon banned selling cigarettes to anyone under 21 including e-cigarettes known as vapes. it's the fourth state to do so. maine becomes the fifth in july. a new law in tennessee makes it illegal to drive through a school
zone while holding a cell phone. drivers under 18 can't use the phone at all in school zones even hands free. new york begins enforcing the nation's most comprehensive law requiring employers to give paid family leave eventually up to 12 weeks a year such as when there's a newborn or sick family member at home. at this brooklyn catalog and online retailer, the ceo says it's good for the bottom line. >> providing our workers with an opportunity to balance their personal needs and work requirements is something that we think is in our business interests as well. >> reporter: in vermont, the boss can no longer demand user names or passwords to get into the social media accounts of employees or job applicants. gun owners in california starting today cannot get ammunition through the mail. they must buy it in person at a licensed dealer, a step toward eventual background checks. the new year brings a 1.9% pay raise for the nation's 2 million federal workers. on average $140 a
month. and no celebrating the new year in las vegas with shark-fin soup. as of today it's illegal in nevada. pete williams, nbc news, washington. good reminder from coast to coast. up next right here, one woman's you might take something for your heart... or joints. but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember.
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i got help. you can too. new years means a new day for those struggling with addiction. don't suffer. don't wait. choose help. call 844 reachnj or visit reachnj.gov the scene late last night in buffalo where hundreds of fans welcomed home their beloved bills and partied like it was 1999. that was the last time the bills made it to the playoffs. they did it yesterday by outmuscling miami. clinching the playoff spot when cincinnati beat baltimore. the bills erupting as they watched the end of that game in the locker room. that brings us to a story about the american dream and how one woman is fulfilling it by using her skills to make key parts for this country's space program. it began many years ago when she left vietnam, and today those skills are
helping america go to infinity and beyond. the journey to space starts with a single stitch. here in the nasa jet propulsion lab near l.a., this sewing circle is making blankets for rocket ships. to insul late from the extreme temperatures in orbit, each thermal blanket the patterned, measured and fitted by hand. >> i used to tell my kid, i'm making dresses for spacecraft, because they couldn't understand what i mean by blanket. >> reporter: she learned those skills after fleeing the vietnam war, never dreaming she'd join a team in america reaching for the stars. >> jpl is a community and nasa as a whole, it's about the people. and they're from all walks of life, from all parts of this wonderful world of ours. >> reporter: mark duran oversees the shield shop. >> we're at times working parallel five flight projects, and this team is strong and mighty when it comes to delivering on all those fronts.
>> reporter: in her first project at nasa, the casino mission to saturn, her gold blankets survived the journey helping capture never-before-seen views of the ringed planet. >> there's so many thing us have to take into consideration. you know, there's a moving part or there's a mirror. you have to be paying attention to it. i love my job. i do it, and i really enjoy doing it. >> reporter: the powerful story of immigrants now woven into the fabric of america. >> love the story. she tells us her work doesn't stop at the office. last year she tailored her daughter's wedding dress as well. when we come back, celebrating the gif ♪ traders -- they're always looking for advantages. the smart ones look to fidelity to find them. we give you research and data-visualization tools to help identify potential opportunities. so, you can do it this way... or get everything you need to help capture investment ideas
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finally tonight at the annual rose parade in pasadena, california, there were plenty of flowers but also a poignant theme on one of the floats. it honored those who helped save the lives of so many others by giving part of themselves. here's joe fryer. >> reporter: an every rose parade float natural materials cover the outside. for the donate life float that beauty helps punctuate what's on the inside. >> he's here with you, always. >> reporter: baseball legend rod carew is riding the float because he received a heart and kidney from a donor. >> it's the greatest thing that anyone can do. there's so many people out there that need organs. >> reporter: his donor, conrad rulen, died from a brain aneurysm at the age of 29. weeks later konrad's parents were able to listen to their son's heart. now they're honoring him by riding with carew in the parade. you guys consider
yourselves family, don't you? >> that's the first thing i told him, whether you like it or not, you're family now. >> reporter: family, that's how the owens feel. they lost their daughter melissa, but her heart went to yolanda harshaw. now they're all riding the float together in melissa's memory. >> anything to help them out, you know, keep melissa's dream alive, i'm all for it. >> it's an incredible, incredible platform for her to be able to speak for a donation. as the parade rolled through california today, the floral portraits of 44 organ donors could be seen on the float along with the many people they've touched the through their gift of life. joe fryer, nbc news, pasadena, california. what a great way to start the new year. that's "nightly news" for this monday night. lester will be back tomorrow. i'm peter alexander. for all of us at nbc news, we thank you for watching. happy new year and have a good night.
are you engaged. >> then a bachelor no more newly engaged steven stamkos john sta. catherine stazeta-jones tal about her transition to god mother. and the shocker on the set liz hurley on scene with her son. >> mom! and the blond beauty who spends six hours, six days a week working out. >> what do you do for those six hours. plus a movie star to a member of the master's, richard gere talking about