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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 25, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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close, though. >> "nightly news" up next. you can find us online., and on facebook and twitter. merry christmas. on the broadcast tonight, now playing, cyber threats aside, crowds across the country lining up tonight for the big opening that almost didn't happen. some moviegoers calling it their patriotic duty, as north korea responds. in the hospital, the latest on the condition of former president george h.w. bush, spending christmas under the close watch of doctors. crowded skies, drones everywhere. one of the hottest holiday gifts this year. so popular, that flying schools can barely keep up with demand. and the celebration, across the country and around the world, the pope's message at the vatican and here at home, we ask you what makes this the most wonderful time of the year. "nightly news" begins now.
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>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. merry christmas. i'm tamron hall in for brian tonight. we begin with crowds gathering at hundreds of movie theaters across the country for a big christmas day opening that almost didn't happen, thanks to a cyber attack that exposed some of the biggest secrets of a hollywood studio and cyber threats that nearly derailed the release of "the interview." the controversial movie is now out and reaction is pouring in from across the country and from north korea. we're joined tonight from los angeles. m good evening. >> reporter: good evening, tamron. the planned release date, the 25th, but not at big theaters which worried about threats. no security problems have been reported at smaller cinemas like this one, where some folks say they're not just here to see this movie, they're here to send
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a message. this christmas day opening did not involve traditional presents. >> it's a gift. you know what i mean? just to see what the hoopla was about. >> it wasn't the most christmassy thing we did, but the most american thing we did. >> reporter: audiences lined up at more than 200 theaters for the interview. one sold-out screening, a midnight surprise. the co-director and co-star with adult language. >> if it wasn't for people like you guys, this literally would not be happening right now. >> reporter: sony pulled the film last week after a message claiming to be from the hackers that threatened large theater chains planning to screen "the interview," which features a plot to kill kim jong-un. president obama appears pleased about sony's change of plan. >> i'm glad it's released. >> reporter: north korea is not. north korea calls the release an unpardonable mockery to the dignity of our supreme leader.
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on the streets of pyongyang, predictable outrage after the u.s. pinned sony's cyber attack on korea. unfounded rumors according to this woman. russia is calling north korea's anger quite understandable. here at home, those who watched the movie are unapologetic. sorry, north korea, but not sorry says one of hundreds of instagram posts from those who streamed the interview online. >> it's become something of an event. i don't think sony will make its money back by any means, but it will be widely seen. >> reporter: a film green lit for its punch line -- >> it was hilarious in a stupid way. >> reporter: -- can't stop making headlines. the movie industry is watching to see if "the interview" will be a game changer, available in theaters and online at the same time. that almost never happens. but it's too early to tell if this is a one-time thing or wh it can set a new standard for
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hollywood. >> holly, thank you so much. one quick note on new trouble tonight for sony. a different hacking group is claiming responsibility for service disruption involving sony's play station and microsoft xbox. today which was unacceptable to a lot of frustrated users unable to connect. across the country and around the world today people celebrated christmas. a holiday and a feeling that transcends boundaries and brings people together. this christmas wa no exception. ron motte is just outside at rockefeller center. ron, good evening. >> reporter: merry christmas. christmas is a holiday for gathering, and that's exactly what thousands upon thousands of people are doing around our iconic christmas tree here at rockefeller plaza. it's also a holiday about giving, and that was in ample supply as well. around america and abroad, even outer space, christmas is celebrated. nasa astronauts barry and terry. >> we want to take the opportunity just briefly to wish
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you all a merry christmas and a happy new year. >> reporter: from church services to service in the community, to afghanistan, sacrificing commitment were themes of the day. >> i love you and i miss you, and i hope you enjoy your christmas with family. >> reporter: in new york, volunteers delivered meals to elderly people at home. >> lonely to be by yourself. particularly on a holiday. so it's really heart-warming. i think brightens their day. >> reporter: in los angeles -- >> i got this toy. >> reporter: -- toys for homeless boys and girls, something good to eat. overseas, a christmas mass in bethlehem. the royal family headed off to church en masse. the queen spoke of reconciliation. >> peace and goodwill have lasting power in the hearts of men and women. >> reporter: and at the vatican, pope francis offered blessings of hope for the suffering, rebukes for acts, thanks to
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those on the front lines of the ebola fight. they tried keeping spirits high in sierra leone. ♪ there was christmas whimsy, too. frosty dip in germany, sun and sand in australia, elephants bearing gifts in thailand. back here at home, special deliveries were bundled with care in pittsburgh. volunteers struck a chord at a d.c. shelter. >> merry christmas! >> reporter: the world's busiest man recruited firepower in tucson, arizona, for kids who are spending christmas if the hospital. >> any kind of diversion to their normal medical activity helps so much. and seeing the firefighters is really important. >> reporter: a lot of folks were dreaming of a white christmas, and a few places around the country got just that. not so here in new york city today. a balmy 54 degrees. the next best thing to snow, i
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guess, tamron. >> ron, thank you so much. tonight investigators are trying to determine what started a huge fire that tore through several homes in san francisco this morning. it took hours for crews to get it under control. fire officials say three homes suffered significant damage, but thankfully there are no reports of any injuries. former president george h.w. bush spent this christmas day in the hospital where he's been for three days, and it's the same hospital he was two years ago on this very day. jacob is at houston methodist hospital with the very latest on his condition. jacob, good evening. >> reporter: tamron, good evening. the former president spent christmas day with his wife, son and other family members, and is, quote, in good spirits, and had a terrific day. we just learned he will spend yet another night at houston medical. on tuesday, he suffered what is being described as shortness of breath and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. the parkinson's disease makes him difficult to speak and walk,
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he has been active in recent years, even sky diving on his 90th birthday. he suffered from bronchitis and a cough last year. this time around, his health scare is less serious. tamron? >> jacob, thank you so much. tensions remain high in and around the city of st. louis after another deadly police involved shooting. police say the suspect who was shot was armed, and pointed a gun at officers. there are calls for calm in the community amid more protests. we get the latest from number's john yang in berkeley, missouri. >> reporter: on the proceed dominantly black west side of st. louis, a christmas sermon for a troubled time. >> i stopped by to tell you this morning, it doesn't look good in st. louis. it doesn't look good in new york. >> reporter: pastor ronald believes he knows the cause of this area's anger. >> there are people who really need someone to hear their
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voice, and not ignore them. >> reporter: that anger was on display last night as dozens of protesters gathered at the berkeley missouri gas station where 18-year-old antonio martin was killed tuesday night. the crowds smaller and calmer than the previous night, later shut down a nearby interstate highway and some tried to break into a store. berkeley officials are adamant that the shooting here was very different from the shooting of michael brown five miles from here in ferguson, missouri. to try to convince a skeptical community, they released security video which they said showed martin pointing a gun at the officer. >> this is not ferguson, just because it was two black teenagers, and two white policemen does not make it the same. >> reporter: it all seems it's distrust of the police. in new york, officials announced the arrest of a man threatening to kill more officers. these weapons found in his home.
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after church in st. louis, reflecting on the turmoil. >> there will be some bad things that happen. we need to learn to stop those things. >> reporter: a christmas message not just for this area, but for the entire country. john yang, nbc news, berkeley, missouri. christmas 2004 a decade ago is remembered in part for the epic natural disaster, massive 9.1 earthquake off the coast of western indonesia. triggering the deadliest tsunami in recorded history. a wave of destruction. among the community's hardest hit, bonda acha from the epicenter. katy turr went there to see what's changed and what hasn't. >> reporter: it was december 2004. ten years ago. the world woke up to mother nature at her worst. a tsunami like no one had ever imagined. that killed more than 230,000.
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and left entire cities flattened. but nothing compared to what we saw in baun da aceh on the northern tip. >> it's said over 1,000 bodies clog the waters beneath this bridge and they're still pulling bodies out today, nine days later. >> reporter: ten years later, on this very same bridge, it's almost unrecognizable here. business as usual on the streets. the town is rebuilt. and they say that, yes, they have recovered. after a decade, the scars are healing. the economy rebounding. and life is going on. everything is now back in its place. almost. this man was fishing when the wave came in. onshore, he found his home and 26 members of his family, including his son, daughter, and wife gone. >> first love. >> reporter: first love, only love? his oldest away in bali was the only one left. >> the first thing that i said
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to him was, where's my mother? and where's my brother and sister? and then he say, suchi, they're gone. >> reporter: now it's in her 1-year-old son shawn that she sees the face of her lost brother. in the days after he describes how he ran with his 5-day-old daughter under his arm. today nami, nicknamed for tsunami, is 10. across aceh, the memory of that day is strong. but then again, so is its future. nbc news, banda acha. so many drones filling the skies, so many amateur pilots,
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flying schools can't keep up. and later, one of the wildest plays you will ever see. an amazing moment on the field.
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we are back now as promised with one of the hottest gifts this christmas. drones being unwrapped today all across the country. so many, in fact, that this week the faa launched a new drone safety campaign. they're increasingly popular for personal use. a lot of companies, amazon and domino's among them, are talking about someday using drones to
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transform how they do business. the faa still has not given the go ahead for widespread use. but already thousands of would-be pilots are lining up and some leading aviation schools are stepping up to train them. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: from movie chase scenes to aerial farmland surveys, wildfires, wildlife, law enforcement, package delivery, you name it, the real drone invasion is still waiting on the faa to set the rules. >> i've got the ability to sit and hover and look at something for a while to make sure, is this the person we're looking for? >> reporter: but the nation's leading aviation schools are not waiting. >> nice and stable. >> reporter: already training a new generation how to fly an unmanned aerial system, or uas. when you're first learning how to fly this thing what's the biggest challenge? >> i would say the biggest challenge is the positional awareness of the aircraft. so whether it's flying toward
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you, whether it's flying away from you, you have some different controls. >> reporter: it's not just small models. >> we're about two miles south. >> reporter: bigger military-sized drones as well. class enrollments up more than 1,000%. >> the hardest part for us in coping with it is how quickly the technology changes. >> reporter: it's a generational shift here at emory riddle which has taught traditional piloting since 1926. now in just three years, its unmanned aviation major has grown from 11 students to more than 200. 100 colleges and universities offer similar programs among estimates of 100,000 jobs over the next ten years. junior alexa roman hopes she lands one of them. >> it seems to be the wave of the future. and especially with the military. >> reporter: at the university of north dakota -- >> a point of interest is turning right on looks like 18th street. >> reporter: students who already have a commercial pilot's license are hoping to be among the first certified drone pilots. >> the benefits that this industry will provide i think is just going to be exponential. >> reporter: it could start in
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just a few months when the faa announces the rules on who's allowed to fly and where. after that, the sky could be the limit. tom costello, nbc news, daytona beach. we're back in a moment with a happy family reunion just in time for christmas.
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every day is a new opportunity to help make life better right here in san francisco. whether it's helping local businesses like the fruitguys grow and prosper, supporting nonprofits like juma ventures as they fulfill their mission
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or helping neighborhoods like the tenderloin become vibrant communities. if there's a way to help the people of san francisco thrive and succeed, we'll find it. that's the power of local connections. that's bank of america. we are back with one of the wildest finishes ever on the college football field. western kentucky versus central michigan in the bahamas bowl. at one point western kentucky led by 35 points. but central michigan nearly came all the way back, scoring the final five touchdowns of the game, including an amazing final play in which four receivers touched the ball going 75 yards down the field all the way to the end zone for the score. unfortunately for central michigan, they went for the win with a two-point conversion and failed. western kentucky hanging on to victory by a point. we have an update on a story we first told you about last night. a family reunion for bow bow,
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the giant panda who refused to come out of her tree for much of a day after stepping on a hot wire used to keep her at the panda house in the national zoo. today we're happy to report she finally came down in plenty of time to chow down on a christmas bamboo lunch with her mom. president obama has a rule when it comes to photo ops -- don't put stuff on your head if you're president. posing last year with the navy football team he passed on putting on a helmet. but sometimes rules have to be broken. white house photographer pete souza posted a photo showing something you don't see every day, the president wearing a tiara. the girl scouts who posed with him apparently talked him into it. and by the way -- that rule about presidential head gear probably dates back to this famous image of president coolidge in a native american headdress in 1927. when we come back this christmas night the sights and sounds of the season. all of the different reasons that make this the most
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wonderful time of the year for so many people.
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finally on this special night, a question. what does christmas mean to you? maybe it's the presents, the lights, the music, or getting
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together with loved ones. we put the question to people around the country and discovered once again that christmas means something a little different to everyone. >> we are looking for the perfect christmas tree. our first christmas tree in our brand-new house. >> christmas is redemption, love, joy, happiness. fresh starts for the new year. we've got our christmas tree for this season. according to my wife it's fat. according to me it's tall. ♪ a very special christmas from me yeah yeah ♪ >> christmas is awesome. >> time to spend with my family. >> the holiday season is hoping for peace on earth. right, lucy? ♪
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>> christmas means having great food, good drinks, lots of friends, and red velvet cake. >> now that he's 1 year old, it's all about creating new traditions for our family. >> opening my presents. >> a little eggnog never hurt. >> look at that smile. >> i hereby declare on oath -- >> i hereby declare on oath -- >> this is the biggest gift. i finally decided to become a citizen. i'm very grateful to this country. >> merry christmas, everyone. ♪ >> every one-tenth of a second, i have to tell all of these lights what to do. 120,000 lights in all. we give 100% of all the donations that people give to this display to the local food banks. the show is going to start. ♪
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>> christmas is spending time with your family. >> amazing gifts. >> santa brings me toys. >> you don't need presents to have a great christmas, you just need your family. >> i'm on the nice list. usually on christmas eve i'm the one that vacuums the house. >> ask santa for a puppy brother. >> happy hanukkah! >> merry christmas to you and your dogs. >> merry christmas and a happy new year. >> merry christmas! >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas and god bless you. >> merry christmas and a happy new year. >> that's our broadcast for this thursday night. thank you for being with us. i'm tamron hall in for brian. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac --
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nbc bay area news starts now. >> this young girl here really is a hero. >> right now at 6:00, giving thanks. a neighbor's quick thinking makes all the difference when flames erupt. thanks for joining us, everyone. i'm terry mcsweeney. san francisco firefighters are being praised tonight for containing a wind-whipped house fire on potrero hill. flames gutted two duplexes on mississippi street. the cause is still under investigation, but the way firefighters kept it from spreading has neighbors singing their praises. this is where the fire burned
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the hottest, and where investigators believe it may have started in this space between these two duplexes. this video posted on instagram shows the flames shooting from the front of the buildings. the first fire crews say winds were pushing the flames towards the street. neighbors awoke to the smell of smoke and flames lighting up the sky. >> she started screaming my name, alan dhra, wake up, wake up, there is a fire. >> reporter: alejandra says her mother was the first up. corona ran outside. >> i just saw a huge like flames just popping out. >> reporter: and then she ran to the other rooms in her building to wake up her neighbors. >> this young girl here really is a hero. >> reporter: catherine herera got out safely with her son. >> we woke up, came out here. and at this point, the window blew out. >> reporter: there was an explosion. firefighters say it probably happened when flames hit the gas meter. all four apartments in the two duplexes are charred. but the house right next doo


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