tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 16, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
5:00. lester holt is next for "nightly news." >> we hope to see you back here at 6:00. bye. tonight, officer charged after a fatal shooting caught on camera. the 4-year-old in the car. the aftermath streamed live on facebook. new emergency evacuates as wildfires explode across seven states. smoke blanketing big cities sending people rushing to the er. up in the air. trump tower as the president elect denies reports of chaos as a surprise name emerges for a powerful post. surprise medical bills. when a hospital takes your insurance, but the doctor who is treating you doesn't, a staggering one out of five patients paying the price in emergency. and attention holiday shoppers. the best way to save
on gifts might be how you pay for them. "nightly news" begins right now. >> from nbc news world headquarters in new york this "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. >> good evening. in a year of several high-profile shootings by police officers, few have stood out or generated more shock than the live image streamed across social media of philando castile moments after a traffic stop last july. we begin tonight with a major development on that case. that saint paul minnesota officer has now been criminally charged after prosecutors determined castile did everything right complying with officers before he was fatally shot and key evidence in the case is that disturbing video captured by his girlfriend. nbc's blake mccoy has details. >> oh, my god please don't tell me he's dead. >> reporter: the aftermath of philando
castil castille's killing by police was seen around the world. tonight the officer who fired the fatal shots is being charged. charged with second degree manslaughter carrying up to ten years in jail plus who counts of dangerously discharging a firearm. each carrying up to five years. yunez has previously said he thought castile was reaching for a gun. castile had a permit to carry and warned the officer. >> i told him not to reach for it. i told him to get his hand off it. >> you told him to get his i.d., sir, his driver's license. >> reporter: the attorney said castile was calm and complying with the officer's commands. >> his dying words were in protest that he wasn't reaching for his gun. there simply was no objective threat posed to officer yanez. >> reporter: the july shooting sparked sometimes violent clashes with police, demonstrators camped outside the minnesota governor's mansion for weeks, and castil's girlfriend gave several impassioned pleas. her 4-year-old was in the back seat when castile was killed.
>> it was god that made sure those bullets didn't ricochet. it could have been all three of us. >> reporter: minnesota's police union says it is disappointed with the charges, adding that no one can speak for officer yanez as to what he actually encountered. with a not guilty plea expected, his mother warns it's just the beginning. >> it's a beginning to a different chapter and we all hope and pray that the right thing is done. >> reporter: she hopes the eventual outcome of this nation will be felt nationwide. blake mccoy nbc news. let's turn to the wildfire impacting half a dozen states. there you new evacuations under way and air quality alerts as smoke blankets big cities sending people to the hospital. we get the latest from nbc's kerry sanders. >> reporter: in north carolina a heavy ear roll on the flames. water dumped as new mandatory evacuations
go into effect. >> making sure i got all my valuables. things that are very important to me. >> reporter: with his wedding photo in hand, david benson like hundreds of others now on the move. more than 80,000 acres ablaze across seven southern states. 5,000 firefighters from as far away as alaska an the front lines. hundreds hospitalized due to dangerous smoke conditions. investigators still searching for what started the dozens of major fires. in tennessee two men charged in separate arson cases. >> here with weather outlook -- >> reporter: another arrest in kentucky. police say that suspect admitted he set the fires to get more facebook likes. >> why would do you that? it's just sad. >> this part is hard. >> reporter: in athens, alabama, the cracked earth painful evidence of the record drought feeding the flames. 60 days without a drop of rain. >> we've been living here almost 37 years and the ponds have never been dry. >> reporter: across the south tonight, park officials banning campfires, smoking cigarettes, even parking off road, for fear of igniting the dry leaves below.
>> there is a cold front moving in but it will not bring beneficial rain, in fact it could even bring gusty winds this weekend that might make matters worse. >> reporter: with that forecast, fears tonight these fires will only grow. across the south tonight, air quality levels are at a level red. that is unhealthy. it means anybody in the impacted area could be susceptible to breathing problems. meantime here in north carolina, firefighters plan to battle the blazes overnight. they're hoping a lack of wind at least for the moment gives them an upper hand. lester? >> kerry sanders, thank you. now to drama surrounding white house transition of power. president-elect donald trump in an early morning series of tweets denying reports of turmoil inside his team as they race to fill key roles. nbc's halle jackson has more on that and the surprise name being considered to join the new administration. >> reporter: tonight, through trump tower's revolving door, a
countdown to cabinet selections. another name now in the mix for secretary of state. sources familiar with the discussion citing south carolina governor nikki haley who begrudgingly backed trump, even after he said her constituents are embars by her. >> governor, are you going to support donald trump? >> it's great to be in cleveland. >> reporter: so far, no response from the governor's office. eight days in. president-elect trump is looking like candidate trump did. inside his transition, much of what happened during his campaign, internal jockeying, leadership changes, complaints privately and publicly. no one really knows who's in charge. >> i think there is some confusion going on about a chain of command coming out of new york. >> reporter: vice president-elect, mike pence, the new transition team leader touring his soon-to-be home today with vice president joe biden. >> great progress. trump team's team blames the griping on
sour grapes from people forced out as they purge lobbyists. >> we're doing great up there. i was at d.c. yesterday at boast transition offices. very engaged. >> reporter: made first cabinet nominations within a few days of opponents conceding, it took president obama two weeks. were the clinton more than a month. by that timeline president-elect trump is on pace. >> every transition goes through chaos. every transition goes through turnover. >> reporter: trump is insisting his is going smoothly, in a tweet attacking the media, like he did his whole campaign. one day after dining with his family, but ditching the reporters assigned to follow him. breaking decades of protocol. his supporters shrugging it off. >> i find it frankly admirable. what he is saying there's a new way of doing things. there's a new sheriff in town. >> reporter: the white house correspondent association calls the move unacceptable. the point of that small group of press is to be protective in case of a national emergency. without that on a day
like september 11th, president bush would not have been able to address the nation from that florida school. lester? >> hallie jackson in midtown manhattan, thank you. turning overseas where after a three-week reprieve, deadly new air strikes have been launched on aleppo, syria. among the sites hit, an underground hospital built to care for children of war torn city. nbc news has gotten exclusive access into that hospital and for more on the attack we turn to our richard engel. >> reporter: the only children's hospital in eastern aleppo was bombed, witnesses say, by syrian helicopters. it served 4,000 patients a month. no more. >> it's a horrible moment, the children's hospital. >> reporter: one of the doctors filmed the aftermath for us. hospitals are targets in syria and the regime has been bombing them ruthlessly. from the basement dr. hattam spoke to us over skype. he asked us not to show his face. >> the world must stop these attacks on
aleppo. there are more than 90,000 children in aleppo, so these children are not terrorists. we are not terrorists. >> reporter: nbc news has been filming at the children's hospital for two months. it had the only relatively advanced maternity ward in the rebel-held section of aleppo. now it's out of commission. the syrian regime has relaunched its offensive to take back the city, and people there are not expecting help from the outside. what do you think the change of power in the united states will mean for you and for aleppo? >> for me personally, i'm not worried, because of trump, because mr. obama didn't do anything for aleppo. >> reporter: and the bombs are still pauling there. rescue workers pulled a girl from under rubble. she survived, but this offensive is gearing up for what some fear is a final push on the city. richard engel, nbc news, new york. back home now, we turn our attention to the shock so many americans must deal
with after a health crisis. a new report shows over one in five patients are getting hit with surprise medical bills after being treated in hospital emergency rooms. nbc's anne thompson has more on why it's happening so often and how you can prevent it. >> reporter: a trip to the emergency room is fraught with worry. joao outdoorsman tracy davis didn't anticipate this when he shattered his ankle. >> never in my wildest dreams was i thinking about out of network doctors. i just needed help. >> reporter: he and wife inga got a bill for almost $800 even though the hospital was in their insurance network. >> in network hospital with an out of network e.r. doctor. that makes no sense. >> reporter: in today's health care maze it's not unusual says a new study in the "new england journal of medicine", finding patients get surprise bills costing an average of $623. >> that's a house payment. it's rent. it's food.
>> reporter: the reason some e.r. doctors contract independently and not always with the same insurers as the hospitals where they bourque. >> we've got to get out of this bizarre world where the networks of the hospitals and the physicians don't match, because at the end of the day, this is causing huge distress for the patients. >> reporter: in this youtube video -- >> patients are paying more and more. >> reporter: the american college of emergency physicians blames insurers who they say don't offer reasonable reimbursements, while insurance companies say hospitals should encourage their doctors to sign on with the same insurers they use. so what is a patient to do? >> the best advice i could have to do is do your homework before hand. >> reporter: that cut 200 bucks off tracy davis' bill but like many, he's weathering financial pain while trying to heal. anne thompson, nbc news, new york.
we turn now to some troubling new findings on the national highway traffic safety administration, in the first half of the year, highway deaths climb more than 10% compared to last year, and after years of decline, experts say the rising rate of fatalities could be linked to apps. apps designed to make your life easier behind the wheel, but may be putting you in danger. nbc's miguel almaguer explains. >> reporter: in corpus christi, three killed on the free-throw way. in minnesota, a teenager kills a father and daughter. from florida to california, nearly 18,000 people have died on highways in the first six months of this year. a startling 10% spike compared to last year. >> turn left -- >> reporter: experts say apps may be driving the troubling trend, taking away our attention from the road like never before. bonnie spray lost her daughter, amanda, to distracted driving. >> so tempting to, oh, let me just check my facebook status or let me send a tweet or
check my email. it can end in the blink of an eye. >> reporter: popular ans like snapchat let you post photos in current speeds. pokemon go allow users to search for virtual creatures on the highway and the gps app wayz asks compute commuters to report accidents. all of the app companies stress there are safe ways to use them. the passenger is supposed to be in control of the el kr phone. inside settings you can adjust sound and notification. you can also disable the app in sleep mode. in a statement waze says drivers should use hands free with voice commands and put their phones down. still experts worry it isn't enough. >> we know that hands free is not risk free. it's not your hand distracted, it's your brain. >> reporter: tonight commuters across the country may be losing sight of what's important, the very apps designed to make our lives easier and
more enjoyable may be making the road more dangerous. miguelal me goer, los angeles. ready to start your holiday shopping? why now may be the perfect time to sign up for a new credit card before you start checking off your list. we'll explain why. also, tom hanks, diana ross, bruce springsteen and so many more the all-star guest list one of president obama's final white house events.
we're still more than a week out from thanks giving but the nation's biggest retailer, already offering black friday discounts but those aren't the only deals. experts say there's big competition among credit card companies to get your business. right now could be the best time to take advantage of these offers. nbc's joe lanekent has details. >> reporter: the best way to save on gifts this holiday season may be how you pay for them. credit card analysts say there's never been a better time to shop for a new card, especially rewards cards. >> we're seeing an arms race in the credit card business because people are spending. the great recession is in the rearview mirror for a lot of folks. people are feeling comfortable. >> reporter: chase sapphire reserve, barclay arrival, plus and capital one average $600 worth of rebates and travel points. >> banks feel more comfortable extending credit. credit to consumers. that's why we're seeing the rewards credit card deals out
there. >> reporter: shoppers are already spending more during the holidays, meeting the higher requirements of these cards can be easier. for example, chase sapphire preferred requires spending $4,000 in the first three months. however, annual fees can be extensive, too, often ranging from $95 to $450 a year. paying off balance every month is a must. interest rates are high. >> these rewards cards are a great thing for your personal finances if you know you can pay them off. >> reporter: retailers may also offer you a credit card with in store rewards. experts say it's best to skip it if you don't pay it off monthly. average retail card interest rates are 24% versus 15% for regular cards. whatever you choose, shop around. >> the first thing that you should think about is how you want to use the card and what you want to get from it. if you're somebody who never travels anywhere, don't get yourself a miles card. >> reporter: in the season of giving, using credit wisely to stretch that holiday budget a little further.
we have an update tonight on the nobel surprise. you know the one, bob dylan awarded the nobel prize for literature. the music legend went silent a few days after the announcement but later told an award interviewer the reward left him speechless. said he will not be in stockholm to accept ward at the december 10 ceremony. the academy said he wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible. no word on who will scoop it up for him. the white house announced today the final group of recipients president obama will award the nation's highest civilian honor, the medal of freedom and it's an all-star list among the names, kareem abdul jabbar, ellen degeneres, robert de niro, bill
and melinda gates, tom hanks, michael jordan, loren michaels, robert redford, diana ross, vin sculley, bruce springsteen and sicils ciceliy tyson. we put the full list on our website. caught on camera, a thing a lot of parents fear when a florida mom turned away from a changing table her 11-month-old baby .suddenly fell off, watch this, only to be caught by his quick-thinking 9-year-old brother. the baby wasn't injured, but now sharing video as a safety warning to other parents. when we come back, the police officer gaining fame for turning his his ride alongs into sing-alongs. >> "nbc nightly news" is brought to you by weather tech, the ultimate american immediate vehicle protection. wot bablto ep s prise==aj/ohhis
finally tonight, there have been a lot of headlines this year about strained relationships between police and the communities they serve. but one officer in arkansas is doing his part to change perceptions by reaching out and finding harmony with the young people in this school. social media is singing his praises. we get the story from
nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: at his day job phil blalock is a school resource officer. >> get to class. >> reporter: but in moralton, an hour outside little rock, he's become a bit of a rock star. on duty not just to protect and serve, but also sing. ♪ just imagine, just imagine ♪ >> reporter: he calls it cop car karaoke. ♪ nothing i can see but you when you dance ♪ >> reporter: inspired by james emmy award winning carpool karaoke. so you started lip syncing in the beginning. >> yes, two, three years ago. >> nor you do sing. >> i try to sing. >> reporter: pretty or not, blalock's videos have wracked up tens of thousands of views on social media. now other officers around arkansas are providing backup. it's become a weekly ritual. his own rif on community policing. >> just shows how fun
music can bring people together. >> he's at almost every ball game, every event. he goes way above and beyond to be a presence for these kids. >> reporter: a positive presence after blalock noticed growing mistrust of police officers nationwide. >> my favorite part of connecting with these kids are showing them just because we have a gun and badge that we're people. we're just like them. >> reporter: and for this father of two, the job can get personal. >> love you. >> love you too. >> we have kids we need to reach out to that haven't been given a fair share and these kids mean more than anything to me. >> reporter: it is that responsibility he says that keeps him singing. ♪ nothing creeping up on you ♪ >> reporter: maybe off key, but on duty. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, moralton, arkansas. >> i don't know about you, but that leaves me with a smile on my face. that's going to do it for us on a wednesday night. i'm lester holt.
from all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. tang acve le tr 5==j/te v= ritf we're marching, we're taking an active role. >> the police chief versus the principal. the questions a chief wants answered after a student protest got out of hand. >> the news at 6:00 starts right now. >> thanks for being with us. >> at the top of that list, did the principal encourage hundreds of students to walk off campus? the chief will be addressing the school board in the next 30 minutes. elise kirschner joins us with more. >> reporter: he won't be holding back here.
the meeting starts in 30 minutes. you can see people showing up here. the big question tonight will be did the principal of pittsburg high school encourage students to walk out of school as part of an anti-trump protest. with antioch police officers standing by -- cell phone video shows pittsburg high school students forcing their way on to the campus at antioch high school. >> the protests started at pittsburg high school last thursday with students walking four miles to antioch high. once they began -- >> one of our officers got assaulted. kids were knocking over garbage cans, children were trying to get into antioch high school and did. >> the police chief says three pittsburg students ranging from 13 to 17 years old were