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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 9, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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tonight, poler plunge. over a foot of blinding snow falling and the worst is yet to come. a killer's confession inside the horror of a church massacre in chart. buyer beware, a warning about all those gift cards you're about to get and give, a billion dollars wasted last year along. how to get the most bang for your buck. and the right stuff, on a friday night, inspiring america. without her, america might never have made it into space, finally
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getting the attention she deserves. "nightly news" begins right now. >> from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nightly news with lester holt." >> weather is making for deadly conditions with falling temperatures across nearly ever state. there's been weather related pileups on the roads, as heavy snow makes for treacherous driving. and tonight as another storm barrels eastward from the pacific northwest, much of the country is also bracing for a brutal blast of artic cold. we'll get the forecast in a moment. but nbc's kristen dahlgren has the latest. >> reporter: today was another deadly day on the roads. in ohio, a massive chain reaction crash, the third this 24 hours.
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nearly 50 cars and trucks slammed into each other in the snow. many had to wait hours to get out of the cold. in upstate new york, blinding lake-effect snow, more than a foot in places, creating headaches for drivers and those struggling to get out. they're used to this kind of weather up here, but the atmosphere was so unsettled, the storm also brought thunderer snow. >> we're seeing the roads are basically just ice. >> reporter: even parts of texas saw a light dusting. seattle giving us a glimpse of more to come. ice on the road had wheels spinning and cars sidelined. >> i slid into the side and i got stuck. >> reporter: on top of this, 45
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states seeing below normal temperatures today. >> it's frigid, it's like alaska. >> reporter: emergency crews in states like iowa and illinois getting ready for a rough week ahead. >> knowing we have possibly a foot of snow coming, it can be kind of scary. >> reporter: and here in perrysburg, new york, we have already gotten more than 19 inches. this is what happens when you don't dig out your car, it doesn't look like this one is going anywhere any time soon. >> dylan dryer is here watching it for us. this is the s >> it is going to continue to get colder. parts of the midwest starting off with windchills well below zero, we're also looking at the 20-degree windchills stretching farther to the north. in bismarck, it will feel like 14 below later on in the day.
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the coldest air is yet to come. it's called a siberian express. new york not even making it above freezing, even nashville, barely above freezing with a high of 33. before the coldest air gets here, we have another system making its way onshore in the pacific northwest, it will spread into the great lakes region, some pockets of heavier snow as well with especially high amounts off of lake erie and lake ontario with a foot to a foot and a half. let's turn now to a dramatic day in south in south carolina. jurors viewed a videotaped confession from the avowed white supremacist killing nine parishioners at a historically black church last year. it is an account of why dylan roof opened fire from dylan's own mouth.
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>> in his chilling confession, dylan roof said he considered himself a white supremacist, he said i went to a church in charleston and i did it, i killed them i guess. this is security video of roof entering emanuel church last year. he said the trayvon martin case woke him up and prompted him to research online. prosecutors showed jurors the confession on the third day of roof's federal trial, where he's accused of 33 counts including hate crimes. minutes before the massacre, during bible study, prosecutors say roof can be seen in this surveillance video. he quietly walked out, gun in hand.
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he said i was absolutely in awe that nobody was out there. if they had been there, he would have shot himself. he was arrested for a traffic stop the next day and he seemed surprised when he was told that nine people died. when asked what he would say to the families of the victims, he said i couldn't even look at them. they found this entry, i would love for there to be a race war. roof's defense team is not disputing the facts in this case. their goal is to avoid the death penalty. it would be their first such conviction in a hate crime. the biggest safety recall in u.s. history involving some 69 million defective car air bags, the government says it's taking far too long to swap out the defective bags with new ones. today the department of transportation laid out a new plan to speed up the process,
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deciding which cars get fixed first. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: next time you're on the road, look around, nearly one out of every six cars has a defective air bag made by takata, air bags that under the right conditions can explode, sending metal shrapnel flying into the front seat. but without enough parts, replacing all the air bags has taken fair too long. now government regulators are picking up the miss, imposing deadlines on the models that need to be replaced first. as of today, 19 brands and multiple models are included. cars in hot humid states are most at risks for exploding air bags. the priority list is based on the age of the air bag inflator,
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and so far investigators report 108 deaths, 180 injuries. in texas, attorneys said sarina martinez's air bag exploded during an front end accident. >> i remember looking down and seeing flood blood all over my shirt and i thought i was going to bleed to death. >> the air bag maker takata says it has ramped up air back replacement kits to meet demand. to find out if your air bag is under recall, find your number under the dash, go to safer car.gov, your priority should show up and your number should also appear. breaking news this evening in the scramble for secretary of state. former new york mayor rudy
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juligiuliani is out of the runn. a big decision for president-elect trump to make, as he's also under new scrutiny about his business ties. >> reporter: surprising news from trump world tonight. the president-elect announcing loyalist rudy giuliani would not be joining his cabinet. >> it was a mutual decision. >> reporter: giuliani telling fox news tonight. >> that was the only one i had any interest in. >> reporter: giuliani lobbied for the jobs two weeks ago, but joins chris christie on the sidelines. and rex tiller son, ceo of exxonmobil. and today sources also tell nbc news, mr. trump plans to tap gary comb, as the national
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director of the national economic council. also new scrutiny of the president-elect's decision to stay on as the executive producer of the "apprentice." >> i don't think he's going to be co-hosting with me. maybe we'll have him as one of the guest advisors or something like this. >> reporter: nbc entertainment declined to comment noting that nbc owns and produces the show. >> mr. trump is resigning. >> still experts warn, trump's business entanglements could pose a problem. >> the business world has seen this time and time again where executives think they only have the appearance of a conflict but it turns very real very quickly. >> reporter: he'll appear on stage with state party chair, the neese of mitt romney and says she's the next candidate to
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become the next rnc chair. the new action being taken by president obama. he's ordered u.s. intelligence to produce a report with all the evidence that russia used cyber attacks to influence the u.s. election. president-elect trump has continued to express doubts about that even though several agencies have pointed fingers at the kremlin. >> reporter: the president's extraordinary request was revealed this morning. >> the president has asked for a full review of the 2016 prosiz. >> reporter: the president now wants a document that pulls together the evidence behind the nsa's stunning announcement last fall. they were confident the russian government tried to influence the outcome of the u.s. election. this comes as congress is
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pressing for more details, and as donald trump told "time" magazine this week, he still doesn't buy russian involvement. i don't believe they interfered. it is an awkward situation, surely mr. trump doesn't want to give the russians any credit for his election. added to that, officials who worked on the trump campaign said the -- they also say mr. trump has formed a unique bond with president obama, the white house hope is that this new report can help mr. obama persuade mr. trump the russians cannot be trusted. >> i think what's important from my perspective is the role this administration can play and the intelligence community can play in helping inform and prepare the next national security team. >> reporter: how strong is the evidence pointing to the putin government? a senior intelligence official with direct knowledge tells nbc news, it is complex but clear.
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how mr. trump reacts to that evidence will shape u.s.-russian relations at a particularly tense moment. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, new york. let's turn overseas where syrian government forces claim to have seized almost all of the city, which was once a rebel stronghold. that leaves thousands of lives hanging in the balance, we get more from nbc's richard engel. >> reporter: the syrian government's long-awaited and brutally fought total -- government forces control 93% of the city, the russian military said today, so faced with what seems to be an almost certain defeat, thousands are crossing over to government territory. but they face an uncertain fate once they do. the u.n. today said it's received reports of hundreds of men who have gone missing. >> those who support the syrian
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regime will forever be associated with the fate of these men, some of them still boys. >> reporter: she tells us she's the last doctor left in aleppo, worries what the regime will do to her. >> when they approached my house, i wonder what they will do with me. >> why are you staying? >> because i can't go out. there's people who need me. >> reporter: but staying in eastern aleppo, could mean dying anyway. our camera followed this man with his wife when she collapsed and prayed her last rites. she died a short time later. secretary kerry tonight said what's happening in syria is the worst catastrophe since world war ii. for the rebels, aleppo was their biggest hope to bring down the regime, now many there just hope to get out with their lives. lester? we'll take a break.
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in a moment a warning over gift cards, more than half of american shoppers plan to give one this holiday season. but watch out, they can be drained before they're ever used. we'll tell you what to know before you buy them.
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back now with a buyer beware with one of the most popular gifts of the season. more than half of americans plan to give a gift card. but all are not created equal
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and a lot of people let them go to waste. what you need to know to get the most for your money. >> reporter: for gift givers who hope to skip the holiday shopping frenzy, gift cards may seem like just the solution. in fact 56% of americans plan on giving one this year. but tonight consumer experts are warning, giving a gift card comes with strings attached. >> it's not just $50 until the end of time. there is an expiration date. >> reporter: kerrey shank didn't know that, she was saving $400 worth of gift cards for something special but when she went to use them, the value was zapped to zero. there's a lot of fine print that goes along with gift cards including built in fees and expiration dates and not all cards work the same way.
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traditional gift cards do not decline in value and have an expiration date that's further in the future. >> $1 billion in gift cards was wasted last year. so the last thing you want to do is give someone a gift they never end up using. >> reporter: experts recommend make sure it's a gift card and not a prepaid debit card, buy directly from a retailer or not from a third party source. reading the fine print to prevent a holiday headache. up next here tonight, how a secret santa made christmas come early for almost 200 shoppers.
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if you still have one of those recalled samsung galaxy note 7 smart phones, listen up, samsung plans to force you to stop using those cell phones.
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samsung will release a software update that will keep them from charges. but they don't want customers to be without a funphone in an emergency. employees at a walmart say that a secret santa paid off 140 lay away accounts for a total of $174,000. employees are now calling customers to tell them the good news. and tonight 100 reasons to celebrate for a legendary american star. our best wishes to him tonight. up next, the real life inspiration for the new oscar contenders about nasa's unsung heros. more rain is on the way.
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we have the timeline for the weekend storm. ===raj/vo=== plus ... the crack-down on people living illegally at warehouses. but a lot of people -- don't want to kick them out. ===raj/next close=== next. ==raj/take live== finally tonight, there have been many stories told about the men who had the right stuff for america's space program, but coming soon to theaters, the lesser known stories of the african-american women at nasa who made the countdowns
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possible. rehema ellis has more in our inspiring america report. >> you have identification on you? >> nasa, sir. >> nasa? i had no idea they hired. >> and neither did the star of a new film called hidden figures. >> here we have these women who changed the course of america. the history of this nation. and we don't know about them. >> henson plays catherine johnson, now 98, one of the black women at nasa who did the math that put men in space. growing up in west virginia, numbers were always on johnson's mind. >> i counted everything. i counted plates when i washed dishes. >> reporter: she graduated college at 18, then on to nasa, becoming an unsung hero behind historic missions by john glenn, who insisted she verify her
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computer calculations before his first orbit around the earth. >> he knew if i did it, it was right. >> we would not have had a human space program if not for catherine johnson. >> how surprised are you that it was a black woman? >> shocked. when she walked into the control center, she was the only black woman in there, so naturally they thought she was a maid. >> reporter: nearly 30 years later, awarded the presidential medal of freedom. the trail blazer is this astronaut's role model. >> you look lovely in what you're wearing. >> the only reason i look lovely is because you know it's possible. >> catherine's daughters are proud. >> it's been a joy. >> reporter: a remarkable life of a humble pioneer, now on
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screen, no longer hidden from history. and that is going to do it for us on a friday night. i'm lester holt, for all of us here at nbc news, thanks for watching and good night. more rad ow at 6:00, more rain more rad is on the way, and it might impact your weekend plans. the news at 6:00 starts right now. good evening and thanks for being with us on this friday. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm janelle wang. in for jessica aguirre. we are monitoring our live camera throughout the bay area right now, as we prepare for the next round of rain. it is set to arrive in just about four hours from now. let's get to chief meteorologist, jeff ranieri, who is tracking the storm with the help of our storm ranger. >> that's right. and if you haven't heard, storm ranger is our mobile doppler radar on wheels. we have it positioned at san bruno mountain, picking up a few
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showers offshore now. rain near half moon bay, also approaching point reyes. i want to go offshore, put it in motion and you can see it's moving from the west off towards the east. over the next one to two hours, we could see spotty showers for the north bay, also right here for the peninsula. but the big action continues to remain well off to the north. that's where the cold front is located, and this heavy widespread zone of wet weather. so when do we eventually see that moving in? 7:30 tonight, not going to happen. we still need time for this to develop. by 11:30, we'll see scattered areas of rain, i think it's overdoing it a little bit. once we hit tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m., the cold front moves down and that rainfall picks up in intensity. as that rain arrives, again, storm ranger is here to ten us track that weather with the scanning doppler radar. we can move this truck to wherever we need to, to help track the conditions as it happens. it's also equipped with live cameras and a weather station. i'm back with

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