tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 4, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
thal wibe stationed at the international space station which just celebrated its 15th anniversary. >> thanks for joining us. tonight, breaking news. new evidence indicates it was likely a bomb that brought down that russian plane and isis may have planted it, killing 224 and raising fears that isis terror tactics have reached a whole new level. an officer's betrayal. he was hailed a hero but a costly manhunt failed to find his supposed killers but now it is said he staged his own death after embezzling for years after a youth program. buyer beware. did you know some businesses can sue you or fine you for giving them a bad online review. the effort in congress to put a stop to it. and the cost of living. a young man needing a new cholesterol drug costs over $14,000 a year and the ceo of the drug company defending to nbc news why it costs so much. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening.
we begin with a potentially ominous turn in the investigation into the russian air disaster over egypt. a u.s. official late today told nbc news that evidence indicates it was likely a bomb, possibly planted by isis operatives that brought the airbus 321 down over the sinai desert, killing all 224 people on board. if proven, it represents a new and more lethal isis capability with far-reaching security implications for airline passengers and beyond. the story is still developing. let's get right to cairo and our bill neely is there with late details. >> reporter: for five days investigators have searched the wreckage for clues that caused a mystery. now a u.s. official tells nbc news, evidence indicates it was likely a bomb.
the suspicion, it was placed on board by ground crew or baggage handlers and that isis is responsible. it is a strong suspicion, not a conclusion. and no evidence of a bomb has been found yet in the debris. but it is a suspicion shared by britain. >> we have concluded that there is a significant possibility that that crash was caused by an explosive device on board the aircraft. >> reporter: britain is suspending all flights to the airport where the plane took off. officials won't say if intelligence comes from the crash site or the flight data recorders which are still being analyzed. and no one is ruling out the possibility of a technical fault on the plane. one hard piece of evidence, a u.s. satellite strongly suggesting an explosion. a heat flash detected at the time of the disaster can only have come from a catastrophic fault, causing the fuel tank to explode or a bomb. russian doctors report
the injuries of those in the back of the plane match an explosion. but the mere suspicion this was a bomb raises the disaster to a new level. >> we obviously have a strong desire to get to the bottom of what exactly happened there. >> getting an explosive device on to an aircraft in this region is a game-changer for security. >> u.s. aircraft have long been warned away from the area. the faa advising airlines should avoid flying into or over the sinai peninsula. if there is a bomb there will be explosive evidence and residue, fragments of a timer. no one has found it yet but there is growing concern. and today isis repeated its claim that it bombed the plane but it gave no evidence. tonight the head of the airport from where the plane took off has been fired and investigators have discovered lax security above all, and those who have
access to the runway and to the planes. lester. >> bill neely in cairo. the brutality of isis has been well documented but successfully blowing an airliner from the sky would take the terror group into uncharted territory. we get that part of the story from richard engel. >> reporter: if isis did bring down the russian plane with a bomb, then the group which few had heard of only two years ago will have proved it has not just ambitions, but also deadly reach. in just a year, despite 8,000 u.s. and coalition air-strikes, and the occasional soon to become more frequent special forces raid, isis has spread far beyond its strongholds in syria and iraq. in fact, u.s. military officials tell nbc news they worry about the growing signs of isis presence in a half dozen other places. afghanistan, west africa, libya and in the sinai peninsula where the egyptian military has been battling isis for months. why is isis spreading
so rapidly? with its mountains of cash and savvy online recruitment, isis is more open to newcomers than al qaeda ever was. terrorists have always targeted planes, but in the post 9/11 world, increased security has made them more difficult to attack in the u.s. and many other places. that is one possible reason why isis would target the low-cost russian charter, flying out of a small egyptian airport. the other reason -- russia has declared war on isis in syria. a senior u.s. official told me a short while ago, that quote, the confidence is there that a bomb brought down the russian plane. and he expects russia to retaliate heavily and militarily against isis in syria. >> richard, thank you. let's bring in michael lighter, the former director of the national counter terrorism center under president obama and bush. now the executive vice
president of lydeos which does national security work for the federal government. michael, what are you hearing from your sources about all of this? >> lester, people are look at two pieces of this. the circumstantial. and the vulnerability of the airport for poor screening is there. and really the capability i think is largely there, even if this is an upgrade. and now it is the more direct evidence. not just the flight path, but also signals intelligence and other indicators that, in fact, isis or isis affiliated groups were looking to target this. so i think on both of those fronts, circumstantial and direct, there is growing confidence that this could well have been a bomb. >> as we've noted, this plane originated from a non-u.s. airport but what ought we to think about as we approach getting on airlines with this potential new threat from isis out there? >> the good news is really since the underwear bomber, the christmas day bomber in 2009, any plane which is flying to the
united states or from the united states, there is much better screening that goes on. the challenge here is those same standards probably weren't adopted. so small airports like this in this region absolutely more vulnerable. >> michael lighter, thank you. tonight there has been a shocking turn s in the case of a police officer shot dead in illinois. a story we covered extensively. the manhunt for his killers. but now investigators say the officer killed himself. part of an elaborate, carefully planned suicide plot after years of stealing. crimes authorities called today the ultimate betrayal. nbc's john yang now with the stunning developments. >> reporter: just two months after officers from across the country mourn lieutenant charles joseph gleniewicz, the stunning announcement. >> this officer killed himself. >> authorities said he was stealing from a police program for young people and laundering the money for some seven years. that he killed himself because he feared an audit was about to uncover his criminal acts. police say some 150 investigators have poured through
thousand of pages of financial records and tens of thousands of e-mails and text messages, including this one sent june 25th. you'll have to start dumping money into that account or you will be visiting me in jail. today officials defended the massive days long manhunt for the three men gleniewicz claimed he was pursuing. costing nearly a quarter of a million dollars the first day alone. they allege it was a carefully staged suicide. he first dropping his pepper spray. a few feet later his baton and then his glasses before killing himself. his semi automatic weapon found 2 1/2 feet from his body in a grassy field. >> he had significant experience staging mock crime scenes. >> even the two gunshots were carefully planned. investigators say the first hit his cell phone and bulletproof vest. the second fatal shot was fired into the upper chest from a gun placed under the bulletproof vest, hitting a major artery. >> he was my best
friend. my world, my hero. >> when asked if his wife knew about the theft, police wouldn't answer. in a statement, her lawyer said the family is cooperated with the task force's investigation and will not comment at this time. in fox lake today, anger and disbelief. >> he was too good of a person just to do that. i don't believe it. >> reporter: while closing the books on gleniewicz' death, police have turned up strong indications of criminal activity on the part of at least two others. and that investigation, they say, is open and ongoing. lester. >> john, thank you. in california today, an attack on campus at the university of california merced where authorities say a student stabbed four people before being shot and killed by police. the rampage started inside of a classroom and continued outside. all of the victims are expected to recover. still no word about what set off the attacker. now to the race for 2016. where senator marco rubio is enjoying a surge in the
republican polls. but with more attention comes more scrutiny. our hallie jackson spoke on the campaign trial with rubio who was on the defensive about his own finances. >> reporter: marco rubio in the media scrum and the spotlight in new hampshire where he is five times more popular now than before last week's debate. picking up more support from senate colleagues and more money from a influential billionaire, and all means more scrutiny. >> marco has the big bull's eye on his back right now. >> for rubio, more questions about how he used a state party credit card when he was a legislator, admitting he charged personal expenses and paid them. two years worth of credit card statements still not disclosed. >> so why not put them out. >> we are. if they were personal expenses i paid them. if they were party expenses, the party paid them. it is that straightforward. and that is why it is debunked as an attack.
it is an old attack. >> a state commission found no ethic violations but he admitted this opens him up to attacks from rivals. >> marco rubio has a disaster on his finances and credit cards. >> trump facing fire from latino activists with more than half a million people petitioning to keep him off saturday night live this weekend. >> so let me just say this, ben carson is a complete and total loser. >> and his campaign now backtracking after trump's account retweeted a photo of jeb bush in a sombrero and next to a swastika. jeb bush now on a bus tour to re-set his campaign and rebrand his image with the help of the a media consultant who is encouraging him to be himself which in new hampshire is between animated and intimate. >> a lot of us have had family issues related to drug addiction. my precious daughter was caught in a pharmacy, actually. i've suffered with this as a governor and as a dad and i know so many people that have this similar kind of experiences that together we could fix
this. >> reporter: bush still trails candidates chris christie and john kasich in the new poll here in new hampshire. and everybody trails donald trump, lester. even in a state where the establishment candidates have done well. >> hallie jackson, thank you. it is early in the season but a record breaking first snow has fallen in the southwest. flagstaff, arizona got five inches, the most recorded for this time of the year. a winter advisory is in effect until late this evening. and in texas, tomorrow, the same system is expected to put 16 million people will be in the panel of severe weather. still ahead, the expensive new cholesterol drug that a young man desperately needs an the ceo of the company that makes it opening up about why the price is so high. he says it is completely justified. also the new set of wheels for kids who were missing on out a childhood rite of passage until now.
tonight nbc news is getting answers. rare insight into the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. a crushing burden for tens of millions of americans. why do medications cost so much more here than in other countries. nbc's anne thompson spoke with a drug company ceo that a problem for so many people means your money or your life. >> reporter: they are the talk of the industry. two new drugs that
could lower bad cholesterol. intended for those with inherited high cholesterol or heart disease. like 25-year-old steven doyle. he works out daily and takes statins that are not doing enough. >> new drugs on the horizon. >> his doctor at the hospital said steven needs the new drugs but he is worried about the cost as he waits for approval from his insurance. >> it is tough when it comes to medical stuff costing so much because you can't say no to medication. >> reporter: each drug costs more than $14,000 a year. but one watchdog group said the price should be from $2,200 to $7,700. >> we weren't profitable until late 2013. >> reporter: so we went so see this doctor, ceo of regeneron that makes the drug that could help steven. he said the drug has lost money, 25 of its 27 years. >> it is not a simple assembly line from
you, i want to make a drug low in cholesterol and you look it up in a formula how to do this. this is a lot of blind alleys and long nights of trying different things until you actually can get it all to work. >> how often do you start and stop? >> all of the time. >> reporter: the cholesterol drug the doctor said took 15 years and $2 billion to develop. the list price is $14,600 but the doctor said what people pay is much less. >> we give away drugs to people who can't afford it or don't have insurance and we give rebates and discounts to the insurance companies that lower the effective price. >> reporter: a new study finds prescription drugs in the u.s. are twice as expensive as those in the united kingdom, canada and australia. the doctor concedes the price will be lower overseas but said that is because the governments control the cost of drugs as well as who can get them. >> do we want cheap drugs now and no drugs in the future or more
expensive drugs now and a constant stream of drugs to deal with the next scourge. >> steven doyle is anxious to try these new drugs that could finally lower the high cholesterol he inherited from his mom susan. >> well, i mean, i want to live a normal life. >> reporter: now will he and the rest of us be willing to pay the price? anne thompson, nbc news, new york. when we come back, so much for the customer is always right. some businesses looking for payback for negative reviews.
now trying to stop it. >> reporter: jen palmer never thought an online purchase would change her life. >> we were scared. we were stressed. we had no idea what was actually going to happen. >> reporter: her husband ordered gifts from a website called kleargear.com. she said she never got them so she posted a harsh review, saying these people are horrible to deal with. but then the retailer retaliated, slapping the couple with a $3,500 fine and sending the bill to a collection agency, dinging their credit. today palmer took her fight to capitol hill. >> we never dreamed it would come this far. we really didn't. >> they are called non-disparagement clauses allowing companies to take action if a customer's review could hurt the bottom line. this senator has introduced legislation to ban consumer bag clauses online. >> this is really online bullying, when
you intimidate and create an atmosphere of fear when a consumer can't express their views about a product or service online. >> right now the clauses are allowed in every state except california. >> in the last two decades we have consumer reviews and we're still learning how to deal with them. >> jen palmer and her husband sued klear gear and were awarded $307,000, though they have yet to be paid. the company did not respond to our request for comment. the current owner said the brand will soon be dissolved. a lesson learned in reading the not-so-fine print. dave guiterrez, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with the generous gifts that allow these kids to have a free-wheeling time like their friends.
is making a difference. >> reporter: when she is on her bike, she is like any other five-year-old. >> would you like to see me ride it. >> i would love to see you ride it. >> happy, confident and even a little bossy. >> now camera up. >> reporter: but away from her wheels, izzy lives in a world where almost everything has to be done for her. she begged or grandmother for a bike but one made for her special needs costs thousands. it was almost a dream. almost by accident, they found andrew mcclin. >> some children don't have one condition, they have four. they don't have three doctors, they have 12. >> reporter: moved by their challenges, the baton rouge businessman spends his free time creating moments like this. >> a bike for me! >> i love it! >> reporter: he buys the bikes and gives them away to kids like
izzy. >> these bikes change lives. it just is so amazingly powerful. >> reporter: with 30 children still waiting, his 90th bike is going to aidan. the five-year-old has cerebral palsy and a brain injury and now a tool he sees as a toy. >> what difference do you think this will make for his quality of life? >> i think this is going to be a step forward for him walking and running one day. >> reporter: the bikes help build strength but as important -- what they do for a child emotionally. izzy is part of the gang. >> i like to ride it all of the time. >> reporter: the power of a set of wheels delivering the feeling of freedom. janet shamlian, nbc news, baton rouge, louisiana. and that is going to do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. i'm janelle wang, in for jessica
aguirre. [[raj i'm raj mathai. a3 intro handa [[raj . good evening. thanks for joining us on nbc bay area news at 6:00. i'm janelle wang in for jessica aguirre. >> i'm raj mathai. michael johnson will be inducted into a police hall of fame. he was killed in the line of duty earlier this year. robert handa joins us with an exclusive interview with his wife and she's now a widow but has a powerful message to share.