tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC December 12, 2015 4:00pm-4:31pm PST
on this saturday night, trail of terror. the search for answers in san bernardino as divers uncover potential evidence and reports tonight that tashfeen malik posted about violent jihad on social media even before she arrived in the united states. on defense, donald trump runs into new opposition to his controversial plan to ban muslims from entering the u.s. as a new poll in iowa reveals the lead that all important fate might be shifting. hundreds of infants possibly exposed to tuberculosis from a hospital work who tested positive. cocaine hunters. authorities try to a reverse a big increase in cocaine smuggling. and "star wars"
tribute. how a cameo appearance of a droid dressed in pink honors the dream of a little girl who lives on. "nightly news" begins now. and good evening. we begin tonight with new developments in the investigation of a terror attack that killed 14 people in san bernardino, california, ten days ago. as they look for clues and physical evidence recovered, we're hearing as well about another potential blind spot. over this one, whether authorities were able to look at tashfeen malik's posts on social media before she was given a visa to come to the united states. >> reporter: she wasn't shy about her quest for violent jihad on social media. american law enforcement officials told "the new york times" tashfeen malik supported it and said
she wanted to be a part of it. nbc news has learned that fbi investigators now believe malik and syed farook were independently radicalized as early as 2010. malik's public social media posts may have been overlooked when her visa was processed. immigration officials ran her name against several databases, but don't routinely search social media posts as part of their review. today fbi divers in san bernardino are searching a lake for the third day for evidence that they might have tried to destroy. authorities said no important evidence has been found in the lake so far. investigators also keeping a close eye on farook's friend enrique marquez, who is not a suspect. sources say he has been providing information on the guns he bought for farook, who discussed a possibly plot for another planned attack scuttled in 2012. a new investigation
and an arrest in a fire bombing of a mosque in what many fear is another crime of hate. >> as far as we're concerned, it is an act of terrorism. the individual targeted us. we believe that it was targeted. >> reporter: a region on edge around san bernardino. the scars are still very real. a memorial wall met those morn -- mourning the 14 killed here at home. and in restaurants and businesses across town, the county replacing health inspection tickets that once born the signature of syed farook, trying to remove the stain of his name. today funeral services for two more victims. shannon johnson being remembered as a hero, a man who helped protect others in the last moments of his life. we turn to politics. a new poll out tonight shows a big surge in
iowa for senator ted cruz. with the nation's first presidential vote, the iowa caucus is just over seven weeks ago. the des moines register poll of likely republican caucus goes has cruz at the top with 31%. donald trump gets 21%. >> reporter: donald trump now trailing ted cruz by a whopping 10 points in iowa in the wake of his controversial call to ban all muslims from entering the u.s. today trump defended himself in south carolina. >> we don't want people coming in and knocking down world trade centers and having what happened last week in california with these two people. >> reporter: with protesters interrupting multiple times, some shouting stop islamophobia.
praise from ted cruz on shaky ground. he's now questioning his judgment at a private fundraiser earlier this week. >> that's a question of strength, but it's also a question of judgment. >> reporter: trump questioned his evangelical credentials by making a vague reference to his cuban background. his cuban heritage. >> i do like ted cruz, but not a lot of evangelicals come out of cuba out of all fairness. it's true, but i like him nevertheless. >> reporter: cruz today down playing the dissolving bromance. tweeting the establishment only hope, trump and me in a cage match. sorry to disappoint. donald trump is terrific. deal with it. chris christie refused to taunt the former reality tv star. >> i've known donald trump for 13 years. i can disagree with him and i have. i don't believe he's hateful. i don't believe he's a bigot. >> reporter: chuck pressed marco rubio on trump. >> you call his comments offensive and outlandish.
that's a lot different than the tone you just took with me right now. >> it's offensive and outlandish in the way it's not going to happen, number one. >> reporter: today's iowa poll was taken from december 7th through the 10th when trump was in the throes of fallout from his controversial comments about banning muslims from entering the u.s. ted cruz is now in third place in iowa with many caucus goers saying he doesn't have the credentials to combat terrorism. >> more of chuck's interview with marco rubio tomorrow morning on "meet the press." after two weeks of tough negotiations in paris, delegates at a global conference on climate change approved a landmark agreement tonight aimed at reducing greenhouse gases that are warming the planet. for the first time, nearly 200 nations agreed to reduce emissions, including developing powers china and india. just how much will
they have to be reduced? the agreement says enough to hold a global temp increase of 2.6 degrees fahrenheit. the countries will have to submit emission targets every five years. but that target is only a goal. it's not legally binding. tonight president obama hails the agreement. >> this agreement represents the best chance we've had to save the one planet that we've got. so i believe this moment can be a turning point for the world. we've shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge. more than two months after a u.s. air strike destroyed a hospital in afghanistan run by doctors without borders, we're learning of more victims. the initial death toll of 30 has now been raised to 42. among them 24 patients, 4 caretakers, and 14 staff members. the u.s. military has called the air strike a tragic mistake, saying several factors
resulted in the hospital being misidentified as a building being occupied by taliban fighters. in northern california tonight, a warning from health officials who say hundreds of newborns and many others may have been exposed to tuberculosis at a hospital after a nurse tested positive for the tb bacteria. >> reporter: officials at the santa clara valley medical center started informing hundreds of parents by phone and letter friday. their babies will have to take antibiotics for the next six to nine months. the reason, more than 1,000 people, including 350 newborns, may have come in contact with a nurse who tested positive for tuberculosis. the bacteria usually attacks through the lungs and is spread through the air when someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks. dr. steven harris worked with the infected employee who is now on leave.
he says she was not presenting severe symptoms while working at the hospital. >> she was not coughing, so we would consider her to be a very low risk for actual spreading tuberculosis to most individuals. >> reporter: the hospital requires all employees get tested for tb. the nurse was checked in september and the results came back negative. but two months later, the diagnosis was made during an unrelated doctor visit. tb was once considered eradicated in the united states. now rates in santa clara county are three times the national average. >> we're seeing some more cases because we have so many people from other parts of the world coming into the united states. >> reporter: babies can't be tested for the infection the same way as adults, so the antibiotics that kill tb must be taken as a precaution. >> in infants, the disease is more serious and much harder to diagnose and by the time it's diagnosed, it can be much harder to treat.
>> reporter: so far no tb cases have been linked to this exposure. a dramatic new look tonight at the battle against drug trafficking. while most illegal drugs enter the united states through mexico, there's a sea route from central and south america that's concerning authorities. the increase in smuggling has exploded. >> reporter: on a mission high in the sky, we're with a flight crew from u.s. customs and border protection. aboard a sophisticated surveillance plane. >> we're looking for drug trafficking. >> reporter: they're scouring the vast caribbean sea for high-powered speedboats smuggling cocaine bound for the u.s. >> they're going to change their tactics. we're going to change our tactics to try and get as much as we can and stop as much as we can. >> reporter: when they spot a suspected drug boat like this one, they radio the u.s. coast guard or other
ships to chase down the smugglers, who often try to outrun the officers, in this case leading to a high-speed collision at sea. over the last few years as authorities seize more cocaine loads, they're seeing a steady spike in cocaine smuggling in the caribbean. up from an estimated 30 metric tons a year to nearly 100 tons a year, suggesting traffickers have opened another route to the u.s. to avoid law enforcement and cartel violence in mexico. customs officials on cutters like this and others out there chasing the cocaine smuggling boats say most of the traffics aim for puerto rico. once they get the drugs there, they can then fly them to the u.s. mainland without having to go through customs. officials say the current caribbean cocaine routes are now sparking an even bigger problem, a crime wave. >> they're not just delivering a load of cocaine. they're delivering violence. they're delivering corruption. they're delivering
instability to nations that just can't absorb these problems. >> reporter: this fall the u.s. virgin islands declared a a state of emergency amid problems throughout the caribbean. >> in addition to the actual trafficking, the real problem these countries are facing is violence. day-to-day people getting killed. >> reporter: a new path to satisfy the insatiable american drug habit now costing those who live along the way dearly. according to the calendar, it's still nine days before winter, but for millions of people in the eastern part of the country, there's still not even a hint of it. that's not the only unusual weather going on this weekend. how are you? >> good evening. there is a lot going on across the country today. the eastern half of the country enjoying record warmth. we're looking at about two 22 states with
record highs. as we go into sunday, highs will remain 15 to 30 degrees above average. washington, d.c. about 71 degrees. it's been so warm this fall that some of the cherry blossoms are already starting to go into a second bloom. now keep in mind not just the heat is a concern, but it's also the fact that we've got dew points running about 60 to 70 degrees. this is going to trigger storms. we are looking at a few tornados possible, but the biggest threat will be for large hail. now in the pacific northwest we have seen day after day of these storms racing in off the pacific. flooding rains of 5 to 7 inches across southwestern oregon. in the mountains, this means a lot of snow. we'll see at least a foot of snow all the way from the olympics down through the sierra and even into the rockies in denver. we're looking at a couple of inches, but in the highest elevations we could
see, again, as much as a foot of snow. this will start to spread as we go early into next week. we're also looking at maybe a break for the pacific northwest as we head into the week. >> thank you very much. when "nightly news" continues, life without parole. the struggle by non-violent offenders to get their sentence reduced. later, celebrating the life of a musical legend. frank sinatra born 100 years ago today. it's a highly thercontagious disease.here. it can be especially serious- even fatal to infants. unfortunately, many people who spread it may not know they have it. it's called whooping cough. and the cdc recommends everyone, including those around babies, make sure their whooping cough vaccination is up to date. understand the danger your new grandchild faces. talk to your doctor or pharmacist about you and your family getting a whooping cough vaccination today. when a moment spontaneously turns romantic, why pause to take a pill?
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week an inmate in e in oklahoma will get a special parole hearing next month. while the federal government approves early release for thousands of drug offenders who are believed to pose little risk, many states have not followed. >> christmas at lexington. >> reporter: for the last 19 christmases, betty chisholm has been buying presents for his son and putting them away. betty knows exactly where her son is. she and her family have been visiting him every month for nearly 20 years at the oklahoma state reformatory. >> what i did was wrong. >> reporter: in 1996, kevin ott was arrested with three and a half ounces of methamphetami
methamphetamine. oklahoma mandated a life sentence without parole. >> i'm not sentenced to stay 40 years, 50 years, get good time and again get out. they sentenced me to die in prison. >> reporter: at least 50 drug offenders are serving life sentences without parole in oklahoma. they're not eligible for release on good behavior unlike scores of violent offenders. ricky smothers convicted of raping a 4-year-old and released on good behavior after 17 years. the nonprofit sentencing project estimates 10,000 people across the country are serving life sentences for non-violent crimes. americans favor treatment over prison. in his recent interview with lester holt, president obama cited a texas program to reduce prison rates for low-level drug offenders. >> and what they found
over five years was it saved money, reduced crime significantly, and gave people a second chance. >> reporter: and there's even widespread agreement among conservative groups that life without parole sentences for non-violent criminals should be a thing of the past. >> it's just the death penalty stretched out over decades. >> reporter: this spring oklahoma limited life without parole for drug offenders. >> i don't believe my son is supposed to die in prison. >> reporter: but coming home a long shot. he's currently appealing to the state and has a hearing next month. when we come back, in this season of giving back, honoring those who have made the ultimate do you know the secret to a happy home in these modern times? it's a housewife who's in control of the finances. actually, any wife, husband, or human person can use progressive's name your price tool
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when your claim has been processed. yo, adrian. still not funny. unitedhealthcare birthday celebrations today for the chairman of the board. frank sinatra was born 100 years ago today. 17 years after he died, sinatra remains one of the best-selling artists of all time. he has records have sold more than 150 million copies around the world. an artist for all time. it was a tough game for the unbeaten state warriors last night against the boston celtics. but in the end, the
unbeaten warriors prevailed in double overtime. 124-119. doing so, the warriors extended their unbeaten streak to 24 games. in philadelphia, a new twist today at the 116th annual army-navy game. both teams wearing special helmets. navy announced last month its players would wear different helmets depicting different ships in its fleets. across the country, those who served and sacrificed in war were honored today in arlington and other veteran cemeteries. hundreds of thousands of wreaths were placed at the graves of the fallen. it was part of national wreaths across america today, which was started at arlington more than two decades ago and has expanded throughout the united states. we're back in a moment with how one little girl's dream made it into one of the most anticipated
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stormy. >> reporter: ten years ago in a galaxy not so far away, a dying "star wars" fan had a dream. >> when katie was receiving her treatment, there were times she couldn't get out of bed. >> reporter: katie johnson was just 7 years old with an inoperable brain tumor, so when her dad who founded one of the largest "star wars" costume clubs reached out to see if anyone could build it. >> her face lit up and she went to hug it right away. >> reporter: though katie lost her battle, her family knew there were others to watch over. >> our first thought is this can't be just a trinket that sits in our living room. we want to give back to other people. >> reporter: over the past ten years, r2kt
has visited toy drives, hospitals, taking on celebrity status. but nothing prepared the johnsons for the call that director j.j. abrams wanted r2kt to appear in "the force awakened." >> that level of excitement was what it was for us. >> reporter: this week millions will see r2kt in the background of one of the biggest releases in years. >> it makes me feel good because that's my sister's legacy living on. >> she would love it. >> reporter: the little girl with a dying wish, living on in ways she could have never dreamed. and that's nbc
"nightly news" for this saturday. for all of us here at nbc news, thanks for watching. good night. fire in california. what we're now learning about the suspect. ==peggy/vo== plus -- a historic deal reached -- to ficl an arrest made after a mosque fire in california. what we're now learning about the suspect. >> and a historic deal reached to fight climate change. what the differences could mean
for the bay area and beyond. . and we're keeping an eye on the skies and letting you know exactly what's going to be moving in. >> for the third time this week a storm is headed to the bay area. get ready to see more of this. rain and thunderstorms should be moving in by tomorrow morning. you can see this storm coming in from offshore s this storm could also bring some pretty strong wins. rob mayer has be ee eer has bee weather conditions. >> a high surf warning has been extended through 10:00 tonight. some wave height 15 to 20 feet. and then we're going to see the wind and rain increasing tonight, right now the radar mainly dry, it's this system here off to the west that's going to come charging through and bringing more wind,