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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 17, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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congested highways in the bay area and we have it on >> lot of freeways congested in the bay area. >> i think they're all congested. tonight, breaking news. terror arrest. a friend of san bernardino killer arrested and charged and now we are learning of at least two other attacks he's accused of helping to plot. ceo arrested. he's been called the most hated man in america for jacking up the price of an aids drug 5,000%. now he has been led away in cuffs, arrested for fraud. e-mail uproar. the secretary f defense admits using his private e-mail for official business, even while hillary clinton came under fire for doing the same. guarding theme parks. major changes for visitors to disney, universal, seaworld and more. security is stepped up amid heightened fears of terrorism. and stopping cancer cold. the quick freeze therapy that can prevent the fastest-growing form
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of cancer. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening, i'm kate snow in for lester tonight. there is breaking news as we come on the air. the first arrest after the terror attack in san bernardino. a friend of the attackers who bought the assault weapons used in the massacre has now been charged with terror-related crimes. we are learning about plans for previous attacks. federal officials say that man and farook plotted together, including plans to hit a community college with pipe bombs and open fire on a busy highway during rush hour. our justice correspondent pete williams has all the details. >> reporter: two weeks ago after the shooting attack that left 14 people dead and injured 22, federal prosecutors filed charges against 24-year-old enrique
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marquez. the friend and former next door neighbor of syed farook. prosecutors say in late 2011, the two men plotted to attack riverside community college where both had been students with pipe bombs and guns. the fbi says they talked about throwing pipe bombs to stop traffic on a crowded section of a state highway during rush hour then to shoot at people stuck in their cars. marquez is charged with violating firearms laws when he bought the assault rifles in 2011 and 2012. that ended up being used in the san bernardino shooting. under federal law, it's illegal to buy a gun knowing it's for someone else. the gun store form even warns, you cannot acquire a firearm for another person. the charges filed today say marquez and farook continued to plan for terror attacks by going to firing ranges, but the two stopped plotting together in late 2012 after some unrelated terror arrest in southern california. there is nothing to indicate marquez knew about the plans of
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shooting in san bernardino this month. he's charged with defrauding the government with a sham marriage. officials say farook's brother also called syed is married to a ukrainian woman whose sister is married to marquez. fbi agents questioned marquez a week after the shooting. they say he answered questions voluntarily and did not request a lawyer. president obama was briefed on the national threat picture today at the counterterrorism center. he said there are no known threats of attacks. he urged people to get on with the holidays. >> we cannot give in to fear or change how we live our lives because that's what terrorists want. that's the only leverage they have. >> earlier this week the bodies of syed farook and his wife tashfeen malik were killed in a police shootout were buried in the muslim tradition, in an undisclosed cemetery. it is clear the fbi believes that farooq
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was originally influenced by al qaeda and he radicalized his friend enrique marquez. marquez was arrested before 1:00 p.m., made his first appearance late today in a brief hearing. there's no plea, but they asked he was held awaiting trial. >> pete williams in washington, thanks. the last time you heard the name martin shkreli on this broadcast because of an uproar over his decision to drastically raise the price of a life-saving drug. he is a brash, self-promoter who called himself the world's most eligible bachelor, but this morning, he was in handcuffs, accused of duping investors out of millions of dollars. what the feds called a web of lies and deceit that could land him in prison for 20 years. shkreli pleaded not guilty and stephanie gosk has details. >> reporter: just before his arrest, 32-year-old martin shkreli broadcast live for three hours on
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youtube playing chess, the guitar and searching okcupid. hours later, the fbi would be at his door. the pharmaceutical exec dubbed by some as the most hated man in america for wildly inflating the price of a life-saving drug now stands accused of a laundry list of securities fraud charges. >> these charges highlight the brazenness and outrageous web of lies and deceit. >> reporter: the charges have nothing to do with shkreli's decision in september to hike the price of daraprim 5,000% to $750 a pill. he argued it would fund important research and development. >> doctors and patient groups say they can't access this drug, are you going to change the price? >> no. >> reporter: later his company said some hospitals and patients would be eligible for discounts. now shkreli is accused of creating an elaborate ponzi scheme, stealing more than $11 million from his former
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pharmaceutical company to pay off investors in another one of his businesses, a failed hedge fund. shkreli is already so widely despised, he united hillary clinton and donald trump in a common cause. >> he is nothing. he is zero, he is nothing. he ought to be ashamed of himself. >> i'm announcing a detailed plan to crack down on these abuses. >> shkreli is the son of eastern european immigrants raised in brooklyn. his parents worked as janitors. he spent $2 million for the only copy of a hip-hop album and told the magazine, i'm the most successful albanian to walk the face of this earth. now he's well on his way to becoming the most infamous, as well. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. secretary of defense ash carter under fire tonight after he admitted using a private e-mail account for some official business. carter says he made a mistake, though as pentagon correspondent
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jim miklazewski reports, carter continued to do it even while hillary clinton's use of private e-mails made headlines. >> reporter: consider the pentagon's champion of cyber security defense secretary ash carter admitted he violated the department's own regulations. >> this is a mistake i made with respect to e-mail, entirely my mistake. entirely on me. >> reporter: carter used his personal unsecured e-mail account for official government business. >> someone in my position and with the sensitivities about this issue should have known better. >> reporter: he didn't. carter started using his personal e-mails from the time he was sworn in as defense secretary in february. just a month later, the scandal over hillary clinton's exclusive use of personal e-mails when she was secretary of state exploded on capitol hill. with accusations she destroyed some of those e-mails. >> was it a mistake for the four years that you had that e-mail arrangement?
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>> i did the best i could during those four years and thought that everything that i was e-mailing that was work-related was being preserved. >> reporter: despite the public uproar, carter continued to use personal e-mail for seven months. even ignoring a white house warning last may. >> the white house chief of staff did ask the council's office here at the white house to contact senior officials at the pentagon to alert them to concerns about e-mail use. >> reporter: republicans like senator john mccain calling for an investigation. >> i wonder what planet that ash carter was residing on when this whole thing broke about hillary clinton. wouldn't a normal person say, hey, she's in trouble for doing what i'm doing. >> reporter: pentagon officials insist there were no secrets or classified information in any of those personal e-mails. but critics already raising questions about secretary
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carter's judgment. kate. >> jim miklazewski at the pentagon, thanks. immigration is one of the dominant issues of the republican race for president. now two rising candidates, senators ted cruz and marco rubio are locked in a heated feud and trading attacks as donald trump continues to lead with his hard line on immigration. we get more from hallie jackson. >> reporter: for donald trump, language he might like. russian from vladimir putin and poetry from jimmy kimmel. channelling dr. seuss. >> there are two kinds of people which one will you be, a loser like them or a winner -- >> like me. >> trump could be headed for a storybook ending. the race's leader for months. now facing fresh competition with ted cruz solidly in second place.
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but he's playing defense today after attacks from marco rubio over what to do with the estimated 11 million people living here illegally. rubio wants to eventually make some of them citizens. cruz does not. and says he doesn't support any legal status. that's more politically palatable to conservative primary voters. now he's having to explain why he said this, proposing an amendment back in 2013. >> they would still be eligible for legal status. >> sounded like he wanted the bill to pass. >> of course i wanted the bill to pass. my amendment to pass. >> you said the bill. >> it would take citizenship off the table. >> reporter: cruz says he was trying to make a political point to prove the bill's supporters would budge. -- wouldn't budge. >> it laid naked. the partisanship, the hypocrisy and lies behind the proponents of rubio schumer and this plan. >> reporter: rubio should be on the ropes for that reform bill, unpopular with most republicans. rubio is pouncing. trying to blur the lines. >> he's going to have a hard time. he's not told the truth about his
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position in the past on legalization. >> reporter: a rubio versus cruz immigration battle leaves the front-runner untouched on top. cruz often talks about immigration out on the campaign trail, but it's trump who originally pushed the issue into the spotlight. his tough stance pulling other republicans to the right with him. that could hurt the gop in the general election if it alienates hispanic voters. >> hallie jackson, thanks so much. the war against isis mostly fought from the air got an important boost on the ground here in new york at the united nations. the u.s. joined with other members, notably russia, to target isis' finances. richard engel follows the money. >> reporter: it's a wave of terror fueled by cash. isis raises and spends billions but today a rare moment of international consensus. >> the draft
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resolution has been adopted unanimously. >> reporter: the u.n. security council agreed to cooperate on tracking isis money and punishing those who profit from it. critically, the resolution was sponsored by both the united states and russia, long at odds over syria. perhaps now getting closer to joining forces to stop isis. today president putin said he's open to more cooperation. isis remains the richest terrorist group in history, pulling in an estimated $480 million a year selling black market oil mostly to syrians who have no other source. $100 million from stolen antiquities and $600 million in taxes, imposed on those unfortunate enough to live under isis occupation. in total, $1.2 billion of annual income plus about $2 billion in reserves. but money could be isis' achilles' hee heel.
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>> it cannot run its war, it cannot act as a state, it cannot engage in terrorism abroad if it cannot finance those activities. >> reporter: isis thinks of itself as a state with 7 million people. and an army with about 80,000 fighters. if the world can put a squeeze on the flow of cash, that army might start to shrink. cracking down on isis money won't be easy. today's agreement is encouraging because it could form the basis for far greater cooperation between washington and russia, cooperation which experts say is the key to defeating isis. kate? >> richard engle, thanks so much. still ahead tonight, the fastest growing type of cancer, but there's an innovative prevention that puts the deep freeze on cells that cause it.
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we are back with our series "target cancer," chasing the cure. news that may surprise many viewers. did you know the fastest-growing cancer in america isn't one that gets talked about all the time, it's a cancer of the esophagus. doctors are using cutting-edge treatment to prevent it, including freezing it away. rhonda small loves adventure. the atlanta business woman and mom of two collected vintage planes and motorcycles with her late husband earl. after he suffered from cancer of the esophagus she joined the organization and learned everything
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about it. weeks ago, an ironic twist of fate. rhonda is now at risk for the very same cancer. she has barrett's esophagus where acid reflux changes the cells lining the esophagus. those cells can transform into cancer. it's the fastest-growing cancer in the united states. >> the type of cancer related to diet, reflux, that's going up at a rate five times higher now than it was 25, 30 years ago. >> five times higher. >> no other cancer is even close to rising that fast. >> but there is a way to stop barrett's from transforming into that deadly cancer. you are going to demonstrate on fruit. >> reporter: we will pass this down the mouth. >> a growing number of physicians using a high-tech procedure called cryotherapy to remove precancerous cells inside the esophagus by freezing them off at minus 2320
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degrees fahrenheit. he demonstrated the way he paints liquid nitrogen inside someone's esophagus on an apple. >> what's amazing is what grows back is normal cells. >> it's a fast outpatient procedure. >> this is microscopic barrett. >> today rhonda small saw a specialist to consider her treatment options. >> help get the word out. >> she is working hard to promote awareness about the most frequent symptoms. >> i had a little bit of heart burn. i've never had heart burn before. >> others include persistent cough, hoarse voice. trouble swallowing. common signs worth noting because early intervention can save lives. >> i want to do what i can to be around to see grandchildren some day. >> the reason for the dramatic increase in this cancer, doctors point to americans consuming more acidic drinks like iced tea and soft drinks. back in a moment with metal detectors
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at the happiest place on earth. major security changes coming to theme parks. thousands of people
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came out today to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now, could make a big difference over time.
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i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run. prudential bring your challenges back now with a sign of the times, with the country on edge over mass shootings and the threat of terrorism, the major theme parks in orlando, including disney, are upping security and adding metal detectors as so many families head there for christmas vacation. here's nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: they're among the most popular destinations of the u.s. now a trip to any of the major theme parks could mean a new ride through a security checkpoint. today at disney world, seaworld, universal and other parks, walk-through metal detectors and wand detectors became the most visible part of the theme park security. >> they are considered soft targets because they are considered to be low security but high density of people. >> reporter: there are more than 400 amusement parks across the u.s. the magic kingdom
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attracted more than 19 million visitors last year. this time of year those in florida and california are most active. holiday school breaks bump up attendance. disney says it is implementing additional security measures as appropriate. universal studios, a division of nbc universal promises we are able to help guests move swiftly through this process. in addition to the added security, disney parks banned the sale of toy guns including the popular buzz lightyear pistol and banned character costumes for guests 14 years and older. theme park goers in orlando seem to be taking it all in stride. >> it means a couple of extra minutes for my child's safety, so be it. >> reporter: like tsa at the airport, this new security will seem routine. kerry sanders, nbc news, orlando. when we come back, the little girl on a mission to make sure hundreds of other children have something to open this holiday season. take vo now, prosecutors reveal
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why an accused killer attacked his friend's brother. take vo jan plus, thieves knocked out the lights in a local neighborhood. why the plan to fix it is leaving a lot of people in the dark. next close next. finally tonight, it's called operation christmas child. it makes the holiday brighter with gifts for underprivileged kids. one of its supporters
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is a little girl named appropriately enough faith. jacob rascon has tonight's season of kindness report. >> reporter: every christmas, millions of children around the world who would otherwise go without presents get a shoe box filled with gifts and sometimes a picture of the gift giver. that is naveen, a syrian refugee. that is faith russell from tennessee. faith is on a mission. how many did you do this year? >> we did 503. >> reporter: 500? wow. >> i'm hoping i get to do 20,000 over the years. >> reporter: how could she possibly fill that many shoe boxes? every month faith runs a 5k and invites everyone. the price of admission, shoe box supplies. >> feels good to
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finally finish that race. >> reporter: her 22nd race in two years. extraordinary for any 10-year-old. especially one with spina bifida. >> i'll never forget the doctor saying these kids never walk. but those first few minutes were very emotional, just roller coaster. >> everything happens for a reason. we prayed. we had faith. >> reporter: they say with faith, nothing is impossible. >> they told my mom i couldn't walk and now look. >> reporter: the russell family has a motto. we don't have to come in first, but we do have to finish. even if that means 20,000 shoe boxes, one christmas, one child at a time. jacob rascon, nbc news, tennessee. that's inspiring.
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that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm kate snow in for lester tonight. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching. have a great night. breaking ne there has been another nbc bay area news begins with breaking news. >> on that breaking news in san pablo another possible freeway shooting on i-80. there's a massive traffic backup because of it. we're showing you some live pictures from our nbc bay area helicopter. calls came in about a shooting. this happened about an hour and a half ago along westbound 80 near san pablo dam road. >> just in the past few minutes one lane of westbound 80 has reopened, but for the past hour all lanes were shut down as chp officers were actually walking the freeway looking for possible
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evidence. they are not saying if a car was fired at. they haven't confirmed if a shooting has happened or not or if anyone was hurt. if it was a shooting this is the second one in the same area in recent weeks. last month a man was shot multiple times while driving through that spot in san pablo. we have calls out to the chp and since we get more information we will bring it to you. good evening, everyone. thanks for joining us. i'm janelle wang in for raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. tonight a fremont man is in federal custody accused of attempting to provide support for foreign terrorist organization. federal agents say they stopped adam shafi from boarding a flight to turkey back in june, but shafi maintains that his only intention was to help refugees in that war torn region. nbc bay area's michelle roberts is live at his alma mater in fremont. what have we learned? >> reporter: i spoke to people in his neighborhood today. they describe him as a normal kid. he grew up here. he went to high school here at


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