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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 20, 2015 3:30pm-4:01pm PST

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♪ the questions and adventures never end ♪ on this sunday night, heating up. hillary clinton already looking beyond her fellow democrats, and ahead to the general election. sharpening her gop criticism, and calling donald trump isis' best recruiter. trump firing back, saying she lies like crazy. bomb scare. an emergency landing for a packed air france jeiner after a suspicious device is found on board. just the latest incident to put air travelers on edge. collateral damage. the ripple effect after the arrest of a drug company executive charged with fraud. clinical trials halted, charitable donations returned. and warming trend. while golfers may enjoy this record-breaking december, it's been one tough season for businesses that count on the cold. "nbc nightly news" begins now.
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>>le. >> good evening. we begin tonight with the race for the white house, and the two front-runners surging. donald trump and hillary clinton almost looking past their own primary rivals and training their sights on each other. clinton flexed her muscles during saturday's debate, insisting that trump is dangerous for the country and this morning trump calling clinton a liar. all this as the first voters are just six weeks away from having their say. nbc's hallie jackson has the very latest from new hampshire. >> reporter: on defense, about a data breach by his own campaign, bernie sanders taking a different tone today. >> information came into our campaign about the clinton campaign. >> magically? >> we didn't go out -- >> magically came there? or you had a staffer -- >> yes, that's what the --
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>> you believe it magically came in. okay. >> reporter: his lawyerly language, coming a day after more direct words at the democratic debate. >> not only do i apologize to secretary clinton, i want to apologize to my supporters. >> reporter: hillary clinton accepting that apology and issuing one of her own after returning late from a commercial break. >> sorry. >> reporter: her performance, largely looking past the rivals on stage with her to ones who might be next year, republicans like donald trump. >> we also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears. he is becoming isis' best recruiter. >> reporter: trump firing back. >> she lies like crazy about everything. whether it's trips where she was being gunned down in a helicopter. or an airplane. she's a liar and everybody knows that. >> reporter: but trump's taking heat, too, for embracing praise from russian president vladimir
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putin, and defending him against accusations he's ordered journalists killed. >> it's never been proven that he's killed anybody, so, you know, you're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. at least in our country. >> reporter: trump, off the campaign trail today, but others are making a preholiday push. like chris christie on a bus tour in new hampshire. >> is it cramped quarters? >> reporter: no. signing a photo for the pilot who flew president obama and him over new jersey after superstorm sandy. >> what the american people should have learned that day about me, and what they'll learn about me if they get a chance to make me the president, is that i will always put their interests ahead of politics. always. and if you need proof of that, that pictures is it. >> reporter: christie hoping for a surge here. >> sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. >> reporter: and already surging past another establishment competitor, jeb bush. >> six months ago people thought you were the front-runner. your campaign is not -- >> i hated that. >> you hated being the front-runner? >> i feel much better back here. >> reporter: bush says he understands he has
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to earn the nomination. but that looks tough with trump solidly on top of rm every gop poll that seems to frustrate bush who did some self-described therapy at an event here in new hampshire this weekend. he unloaded on a front-runner, kristen, calling trump a jerk. >> hallie jackson, thank you for that report. overseas now, a major scare in the air today. it happened on an air france jetliner with more than 450 people on board. a suspicious device discovered in a bathroom forced the boeing 777 to make an emergency landing in kenya. the story from nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: the packed air france boeing 777 from the holiday island of mauritius was supposed to land in paris. instead, 473 passengers and crew were boarding buses in mombasa, kenya, this morning. the pilots made an emergency landing, after a passenger told a flight attendant about a possible bomb in the bathroom. >> the plane was just went down, slowly,
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slowly, slowly. so we just realized probably something was wrong. >> -- a technical problem just not to make us scared. >> reporter: several other flights scheduled at the airport were diverted or canceled during the emergency. within hours the ceo of air france announced the suspected explosive device was a false alarm. he said it was nothing more than cardboard, paper and a kitchen timer. since the attacks in paris that killed 130 people in november, four air france flights have been diverted because of bomb threats. >> airline flight crews are always on a very high state of alert. and i think what you would see is a similar response, regardless of the tragedies in paris, and in elsewhere around the world, the russian metro jet, so i think that they acted in accordance with their training and that training was in place long before the most recent terrorist events. >> reporter: most of the passengers were
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taken to hotels. to wait for flights out of kenya tonight. but a kenyan official said six are being detained for questioning. including the man who reported the suspicious device. all could face criminal charges. kelly cobiella, nbc news, london. >> scary moments for those travelers. in this country now, the hunt goes on tonight for the texas teenager who killed four people while driving drunk, and received only probation after his lawyer claimed his family's affluence spoiled him and was a factor. we get the latest now from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: tonight, the u.s. marshals service says it believes someone must be helping fugitive ethan couch elude capture. if it is his mother, tanya couch, who also went missing nine days ago, it just got harder for her to hide, as well. tonight, the tarrant county district attorney officially listed tanya couch as a missing person, which means she will also now show up on national police databases. >> he's getting help. we just got to find out how he's doing it. >> would it be his
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mother? >> i think it's a safe assumption. we have not yet located the mother. but, yeah, she could be helping him. >> reporter: the d.a. says ethan couch may have fled because of this video. that appears to show couch with friends playing beer pong. if there was alcohol, that could be a violation of his probation. but it's unclear, as the video does not show couch drinking. >> when somebody takes off, who's got a probation sentence, you have to wonder whether there's some concern about a violation that might put them back in jail. >> and as the former u.s. attorney you've seen that happen? >> we've seen many times where somebody got a generous term of probation, blew it by committing a crime, and getting put in prison for the whole time. >> reporter: ever since couch's controversial affluenza defense, an unexpected ten-year probation, there have been complaints of special treatment for the wealthy. lucas mcconnell was among nine people injured in the drunk driving accident that killed four.
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lucas' father -- >> i think accountability for him, and would come in the form of swift and certain and severe punishment. >> reporter: judge jean boyd sentenced ethan couch and also set the conditions of his probation. we attempted to ask her about the developments today, but she was unavailable at home and didn't answer her phone. tonight, the u.s. marshal says even if ethan couch has fled the country, he's not beyond their reach. >> it really doesn't matter if he flees the country. we're going to find him and we'll make every effort to get that person back. >> reporter: tonight the u.s. marshals say they're confident that ethan couch will be behind bars and in jail soon, in part because they say even the wealthy eventually need to use a credit card, and a cell phone, and those, they say, are easily tracked. kristen? >> kerry, thank you. three days after the arrest of a young drug company executive on securities fraud charges, there is more tonight on the ripple effect, including at least two labs announcing they'll suspend a drug trial sponsored by his
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company. nbc's morgan radford has more on the collateral damage. >> reporter: released thursday on $5 million bond, the pharmaceutical executive dubbed by some as the most hated man in america isn't staying quiet. >> i'm not one for a lack of comments. >> reporter: martin shkreli live streaming for hours at a time. after pleading not guilty to securities fraud. just yesterday, tweeting, i'm confident i will prevail. the allegations against me are baseless and without merit. while shkreli remains inside the comfort of his new york city apartment, the fallout over his alleged scheme keeps growing. at least two labs now suspending a clinical trial funded by his company for a leukemia drug. in a statement, a cancer center saying it's stopping this clinical trial indefinitely pending the outcome of the investigation of shkreli. and a homeless charity returning a $15,000 check he personally sent them in january. saying the more we learned where this
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money may have come from the more we felt like it was important to give it back. in september, shkreli made headlines for hiking up a cancer drug 5,000%. >> and doctors and patient groups saying they can't access this drug. are you going to change the price? >> no. >> reporter: now, he's accused of orchestrating a ponzi scheme that stole millions. if convicted he faces 20 years. today a rep for shkreli says his twitter account was hacked after a series of tweets including this one. anyone want free money? willing to donate hundreds of thousands to charities before i go to prison. shkreli resigned from his company. he's expected back in court in january. a tough pill to swallow. morgan radford, nbc news, los angeles. well, with just five days before christmas, many businesses find themselves scrambling to make up for slower sales this holiday season, due in large part to this unusually warm weather this fall. nbc's ron mott tonight on the cold, harsh
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impact on the bottom line. >> reporter: winter is just a day away, and largely nowhere in sight. >> last year this time we were all digging out of a lot of snow. >> reporter: boston may easily set a record for its warmest december on record. third toastiest so far in d.c. >> i wanted to get a fun, wool hat and some cozy gloves and i'm like, well, i don't think that's going to work this year. >> reporter: complaints are few. except from businesses that thrive on cold cash. an estimated 343 million dollars in lost sales compared to a year ago at the nation's shopping malls. >> weather this warm for this sustained a period it acts like a tide. brings down all the stores and all the traffic into anything really that's apparel or apparel related. >> reporter: ski resorts like this one in the massachusetts berkshire mountains are among those worrying profits could melt away in the warmth. >> people say oh, gosh, i feel so badly for you guys we're praying for snow. i say don't pray for snow. pray for cold weather. we'll take care of making the snow. >> reporter: this unusually balmy
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weather had toes on display in buffalo earlier this week. >> something else you'll see around town. people are wearing flip-flops, like me. >> reporter: ski gear sitting on shelves in minnesota. >> we're not seeing customers come in for the winter specific stuff. >> reporter: even keeping vermont bears from their beauty rest, hibernation. and who'd imagine a round of golf on long island in late december? they had a global warming open here last weekend when it hit almost 70. not as mild today. about in the mid 40s. but still warm enough to putt, chip or free. mike meehan said some golfers are breaking out the short sleeves. >> last year the first couple weeks of december on the weekends we had about 51 players. this year we've had 397. >> reporter: so whether it will ever get cold or snowy enough this winter for that coat you've been eyeing remains to be seen. buy it anyway. if nothing else, for a rainy day. it's probably on sale. ron mott, nbc news, old westbury, long island. after a chilly
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weekend that unseasonably warm weather in the eastern part of the country is expected to continue right through this holiday week. we get more now from nbc news meteorologist dylan dreyer. >> good evening kristen. it was much colder across the eastern half of the country over the weekend. but we are going to notice the jet stream start to lift off to the north and we are going to get back into that warm stretch of temperatures. most likely breaking some records across the eastern half of the country closer to christmas. out west we'll still stay about that cold and stormy pattern with the mountain snow and the rain along the coast. but on christmas eve day, look at these potentially record-breaking temperatures. new york city, 72 degrees. that's 30 degrees above average for this time of year. washington, d.c., mid 70s. even cleveland and buffalo, running more than 20 degrees above average with highs topping out in the upper 50s. on christmas day across the northeast it's going to cool off a bit but still run about 10 to 20 degrees above average. new york still hitting 60. washington should still hit 62. cleveland about 51.
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and this warmth will obviously extend down south as well from dallas, new orleans, even tallahassee. temperatures in the 70s in florida, hitting 80 degrees. and then on christmas day again, slightly cooler for some in the northeast. but down south it gets even warmer. tallahassee running about 20 degrees above average. we should eventually get into a more typical pattern as we get closer to new year's. kristen? >> dylan, thank you. as he does almost every sunday, former president jimmy carter spoke at his church in georgia this morning. two weeks ago you'll recall he announced that he was cancer free. but today carter delivered some sad news. his 28-year-old grandson jeremy had died just hours before after falling ill at his family's home. >> and they don't know how long he stopped eating. and they took him to the hospital and we got there i guess about 1:30 this morning. and i believe i was there for about three minutes, it heart stopped beating again.
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so they decided to give him cpr but he passed away. >> carter went on to say that the congregation should be filled with a sense of joy and thanksgiving, even in sorrow. important lesson for everyone there. well, when "nightly news" continues on this sunday, new hope for treating pregnant technology empowers us to achieve more. it pushes us to go further. special olympics has almost five million athletes in 170 countries. the microsoft cloud allows us to immediately be able to access information, wherever we are. information for an athlete's medical care, or information to track their personal best. with microsoft cloud, we save millions of man hours, and that's time that we can invest in our athletes and changing the world. so don't trust your smile to any regular toothpaste. improved crest 3d white brilliance removes 5 times more stains than the red box.
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tell you about an enkourageing study that looked at treating cancer in women who are pregnant. nbc's rehema ellis has the details. >> reporter: just as mary harris and mark ladove were hoping to add another child to their happy family, they got devastating news. mary was diagnosed with breast cancer. >> you know you just wept. >> reporter: and then they learned she was pregnant. what were your options at that point? >> we had every option in the book. we could terminate. we had doctors tell us that that would be their recommendation. >> reporter: or face harsh cancer treatments, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy. >> it took us a long time to wrap our heads around the idea that a drug designed to kill off all the quick-growing cells in your body is safe to use while you have a baby developing. >> reporter: desperate to save mary's life, and the baby's, they chose surgery and later chemo in the third trimester. a decision supported by a new, small but encouraging study.
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finding no signs of harm to the baby's heart or brain, even after powerful chemotherapy. >> if you wait until the second and third trimester when the organs are developed, the birth defect rate goes down to what we see in the general population. >> reporter: the miracle of medicine, seen in a healthy baby stella. when she was born and you see your baby, you're thinking? >> it was amazing. she just had this mop of black hair. and this beg set of lungs. she was a fighter. she really wanted to be here. >> reporter: now mary shares her story and others through her new york public radio podcast called "only human." so that other families will learn from her agonizing choice, there is new hope for pregnant women with cancer. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. >> pretty incredible. when we come back, sweater weather. and why it was one for sweater weather. and why it was one for the record books.
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as we've been seeing for days now the new "star wars" movie with its rave reviews is exerting a powerful force on the fans. ♪ at a church in germany today, worship of "star wars" became part of the service, along with the music some came dressed in their best "star wars" outfits. the force felt as well in this country the other night when midway through a screening in hollywood the projector broke down. some of the fans captured the scene in the theater. >> no! >> to make matters worse, the projector then skipped to a point near the end of the movie, as one fan put it on facebook,
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everyone in the theater went crazy. eventually the problem was fixed, and the show went on. the theater offered a full refund to all the fans. as for box office sales the movie is in uncharted territory with record weekend sales of $238 million. add in foreign ticket sales and the total for this weekend is $517 million worldwide. and fans of another kind broke one more record this weekend. it happened in lawrence, kansas, during ku's game against montana. in the stands the largest gathering of people wearing holiday sweaters ever. 3,473 of them, to be precise. setting a new guinness record. easily breaking the old one set by a british university during last year's holiday season. and up next, an unlikely christmas tradition, the rock band that gives back each year with the phil! oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha!
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finally tonight in this season of kindness, giving back takes many forms. but well-known rock bandit has meant creating a new christmas song each year as we hear from joe fryar. >> reporter: they're the rock band with the scary name but generous heart. this month, the killers released their tenth annual christmas song. ♪ pretty girls holy lights ♪ >> you don't see us smiles as much as you do making these videos and making these christmas songs. >> reporter: we caught up with front man brandon flowers and bassist mark stormer in their vegas studio. it all started in 2006. ♪ when flowers got a call from u2's bono
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asking if they'd help with the red campaign raising money to fight aids. the band answered with their own quirky twist on a carol. ♪ the cowboy christmas ♪ >> reporter: and a tradition was born. >> at some point our drummer said that if you don't get a christmas song from the killers, that you know that there's something wrong. >> to be clear these are not nat king cole, bing crosby, holiday classics, are they? >> they have different moods, each one. some get a little darker. ♪ some are funnier. and some are a little more serious. >> reporter: from sentimental -- ♪ candles burning >> reporter: to a little bit twisted. >> it was our second song we just came up with the words, and it was about don't shoot me santa claus. ♪ i've been a clean living boy ♪ >> about a kid that wants to get back on the nice list. >> reporter: along the way the group got some star-studded help. elton john chimed in
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on one song plus there were cameos from owen wilson and luke perry. >> never ceases to amaze us how many people come out of the woodwork for a good cause. >> reporter: so far the killers have raised more than $850,000 for red. money that helps kids get life saving treatments. and with their newest song dirt sledding -- ♪ santa i want to make your dreams come true ♪ >> this year you could break the $1 million mark. what does that mean to you guys? >> it's great. we're just grateful to be a part of it. >> reporter: a band named the killers, singing holiday tunes to save lives. ♪ joe fryer, nbc news, las vegas. >> impressive. well that is "nbc nightly news" for this sunday. i'm kristen welker reportin
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sam bradford and the eagles have won consecutive games to revive their season, but tonight in philadelphia, they host a cardinals team that's on a seven-game tear. the cardinals have spent their season soaring into super bowl contention. now, with a playoff berth secured, the nfc west leaders look to make another statement in prime time. >> there's something special about playing sunday night.

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