tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC December 31, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
a dry start to the new year, but more rain and low snow levels tomorrow night. >> we'll see you back here at 6:00, happy new year. on this saturday night. new years on edge. the country and the world say farewell to 2016 with unprecedented security highlighting the dangers we still face as a new year begins. attacking the grid. an apparent new hacking attempt by the russians. this one targeting a public utility system and exposing a broader threat. trump's enemies. he talks of unity but tweets something else. donald trump calls out his opponents 20 days before he takes office. calming influence. in stressful times, exercising the mind with meditation and how more and more are being guided by their smartphones. and new year's dreams. we'll hear about their favorite moments of 2016, and what they hope for in the new year. "nightly news" begins now.
>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz balart. good evening. i'm peter alexander in for jose. new year's festivities are well underway across the globe. here in the u.s. as the clock ticks down to midnight, americans are preparing to ring in 2017 surrounded by beefed up security. police are out in force in the wakes of attacks from brussels to berlin even deploying physical barriers like giant sand trucks to protect the crowds. millions are expecting to watch the ball drop in times square. that's where we begin with nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: a dazzling start to 2017. amid reminders of the ever-present danger. new york preparing with a record 7,000 officers in times square. how confident are you that you can keep all of these people safe? >> i'm extremely
confident. we are so well prepared to do this, this is something that the nypd does so well. >> reporter: people already waiting for hours. >> it's been on my bucket list since i was little. you have to do it once. >> reporter: among the first celebrants in the global party sydney, australia. fireworks illuminating the harbor bridge. the city's biggest display ever. hong kong, dubai, moscow lightening up their skies. ♪ revelers in tokyo capturing the moment in a sea of selfie sticks. this year concrete barriers and heavy vehicles are placed to block truck attacks. the carnage in nice in july and berlin two weeks ago. germany's capital flooded with extra police. in an unusual move, some carrying machine guns at the party near the brandonburg gate.
chancellor merkel calling 2016 a year of severe tests. the biggest islamic terrorism. there's a hope for eternal peace. pope francis leading prayer inside the basilica. a more worldly atmosphere here in the city that never sleeps. tonight ready to party into the new year. and so far new york city officials say there is no direct terror threat to the expected 2 million people gathering here in times square to ring in 2017. peter? >> anne thompson, thank you. in chicago today an unfortunate reminder of the year that was. hundreds of people marched quietly on michigan avenue carrying crosses for each person killed in violence in that city this year. more than 760 people were victims of homicide compared to fewer than 500 last year. an organizer of today's march said the violence won't end until everyone in
chicago decides its their problem. there is a new front tonight in the hacking war between russia and the u.s. this one in vermont. it appears the russians may have tried a cyber attack on a power company in that state. it comes days after unprecedented moves by the obama administration to punish russia for hacking during the presidential campaign. we get more from nbc's hans nichols. dozens of russian officials boarding government planes. forced to leave the u.s. by midnight tonight. the retaliation for cyber attacks allegedly directed by moscow. now american authorities rushing to protect the national electric grid. russian malware found on a laptop at burlington electric. a utility with fewer than 2,000 customers. perhaps a target because of the size. >> that's the beauty of choosing a small utility. number one, it will have very limited security infrastructure. it's tied into the grid system. >> reporter: the utility said it uncovered the virus before it
could infect computers controlling the grid. we took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding. vermont's governor pointing the finger at the leader of russia. americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world's leading thugs, vladmir putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid. the discovery of the hack came after the department of homeland security on thursday warned operators of critical infrastructure to be on the look out focode used in grizzly step. what american officials call russia's cyber war campaign. the malware found on the burlington laptop bearing the unique russian signature. the infiltration raising concerns about the vulnerability of key systems. >> we've always understood there are vulnerabilities. now we understand that the russians have the capability to potentially exploit them. >> reporter: neither the russians nor the white house have publicly commented on the potential breach, but a u.s.
official telling nbc news that thursday night's analysis was shared for this very reason. to help private networks defend against malicious russian cyber activity. peter? >> hans nichols, thank you. 20 days before he takes office, a provocative new message today from president-elect donald trump who once again brought up his enemies and those who fought him and lost, as he put it. it was a trump-style new year's tweet. it came as the president-elect broke tradition in another way. nbc's kelly o'donnell is following it all from florida. >> reporter: a trump helicopter buzzed overhead. a motor candidate rolled into donald trump's mansion in palm beach. after postings on social media revealed he made an unannounced exit spending several hours today at his juniper florida golf course. hours earlier trump began his holiday with a message on twitter. "happy new year to all, including to my many
enemies and those who fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. love." once again, striking a different tone than his call for unity election night. >> i say it is time for us to come together as one united people. [ applause ] it's time. >> the president elect demonstrating he won't follow convention with his twitter account or the media. he left without staff and press assigned to travel with him any time he's in public. a trump aid stated we weren't aware that the president-elect left home. don't anticipate any additional situation like this between now and inauguration. trump's team had agreed to follow this decades old practice intended as a safe guard so a president's whereabouts are known. trump will ring in 2017 as he did last year. a family and ticketed bash at
the mar-a-lago club. >> reporter: and the press pool left behind earlier today is going briefly to that party tonight for several hundred guests. it's not hosted directly by the trumps. when in public, the press pool is there so any president can connect with the american people immediately in a time of crisis. it's expected that the trumps will go back home to new york after their holiday here tomorrow. peter? >> kelly o'donnell, following the next president tonight. thank you. tomorrow morning on "meet the press" chuck todd takes a closer look at president-elect trump and his relationship with the media. in ohio, sad news tonight about the small plane that went missing over lake erie. it's now being called a recovery effort with no sign of the plane or the six people on board. nbc janet shamlian has the latest. >> reporter: dive teams couldn't enter the choppy waters of lake erie today. authorities looking for wreckage and remains. no chance of rescue for six people aboard a twin-engine cessna that crashed
thursday night. it crashed less than a minute after takeoff from burke lakefront airport. >> we've done from the rescue into recovery. >> reporter: the jet single piloted by beverage company chief executive john flemming. passengers including his wife suzanne, teenage sons jack and andrew, along with a neighbor and his daughter. the group headed home to columbus, ohio on a scheduled 40-minute flight after attending a cleveland cavaliers game. light snow and wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour could have have been a factor, authorities say. it shows a rapid descend. >> conducted by u.s. coast guard, canadian coast guard and local assets by air, water, and along the shoreline. >> reporter: in washington state, the wreckage of another missing plane has been found. four dead after it crashed after takeoff from seattle. the cause still unknown. janet shamlian nbc news.
breaking news tonight from istanbul turkey. an attack on the nightclub in the city with many casualties reported. we want to get the latest from matt bradley. he joins us live from london. matt? >> that's right, peter. now the mayor of istanbul is now calling this a terrorist attack. excuse me, the governor saying it's being investigated as such. those are still the early numbers at the moment. we're hearing there were 35 people killed and 40 wounded. those numbers could go up. we're waiting to see if those casualties increase. this was in a crowded nightclub. police say there may have been as many as 500 people inside the club at the center of one of istanbul's crowded party districts. it's not clear whether the bodies of the asill i can'ts are among the casualties. we don't know if they're in custody or at large. we'll get you the details as soon as we get there. there's been no claim of responsibility. as you can see from the images, the police are combing through the crime scene.
as i mentioned, there's been no claim of responsibility but turkey is surrounded by andenemies and has been attacked repeatedly since the civil war in syria began in 2011. peter? >> matt, istanbul has been on high alert of terrorist attacks of this kind given the recent history. what does it look like in that country now? i would imagine officers everywhere. >> that's right. not just in istanbul, peter, but throughout europe. in london there's been a massive deployment. thousands of additional police officers on to the streets protecting major open areas. remember the attack in berlin by this truck attacker is still fresh in everybody's mind. all of europe is really gerding for the worst tonight. it seems as the worst has struck, at least in istanbul. >> matt bradley joining us from london now. to update our audience. breaking news from istanbul there's been an attack in a nightclub in that country. we're told at least 35 people have been killed. many others wounded.
we'll continue to follow that story over the course of this night. still to come tonight, taking care of body and mind. why so many are now incorporating meditation into their mix for a healthy life. also, inspiring america. follow up on iron max. the boy whose real life challenge turned him into a comic book hero. (vo) a lifetime of your dog's nutritional needs... all in one. purina one. healthy energy, all in one. strong muscles, all in one. highly digestible, and a taste he loves, all in one. purina one smartblend is expertly blended... with 100% nutrition, 0% fillers, always real meat #1. lifelong smart nutrition. it's all in one. purina one.
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thousands of people watching the fireworks tonight. a reminder kathie lee gifford and hoda kotb will ring in the new year here with their special toast at 2016 starting at 8:00/7:00 p.m. central time on nbc. as a new year begins, many of us will make eating less and exercising more priorities. we'll see how it goes. as it turns out, some are trying to incorporate a calming effect into their lives through meditation, yes, there are apps for that. steve patterson has our report. >> reporter: with a new year upon us, gyms are swelling under the weight of new memberships, as millions resolve to build a better body. >> together let's take a long, slow deep breath in. >> reporter: lately, though, people like this are waking up to the idea that mindfulness matters as much as muscle. >> you don't have to bring spirituality to it. think of it as an exercise for your brain.
>> i opened a place like this because i was looking for it. >> reporter: she left life as a tv executive to find her own peace of mind. later founding a meditation studio in los angeles to help others do the same. >> i would say at the very least you're going feel relaxed. the most you'll feel change and your life will start turning in a positive way. i think most people are feeling that. >> reporter: a 2015 study found some form of meditation is practiced by at least 18 million americans. nipping at the heels of the nation's $16 billion yoga industry. >> it's a simple thing. you open up the app and press play and get guided through meditation sessions. >> reporter: richard pearson cofounded a smartphone app that teaches meditation. knowing that not everyone can or would visit a studio. >> we want to make looking at a healthier mind on your to-do list every day. >> reporter: with $35 million in investment and 11 million users,
head space is a growing number of apps that may be proving he's on to something. the one thing, you're on your phone all the time. one thing meditation is supposed to do is disconnect you from it all the time. >> yeah. >> reporter: something meditation is supposed to do is disconnect you. isn't it a little bit contradictory? >> the irony is not lost on us. it's where people are. it's sensible to meet people where they are rather than building something they can't fit in their lives. >> i wouldn't call it a fad. i would look at it more as a life skill. >> reporter: a promising path to inner peace. helping fight stress no matter where you go. >> that could be worth a try. steve patterson, nbc news los angeles. coming up a fresh perspective on the year that was and the year to come.
as 2016 draws to a close, we've been following up on some of our most inspiring stories over the year. tonight a boy whose courage earned him a starring role in his favorite comic book. since we first met him, he's been busy just like a super hero helping others. how this little man is inspiring america. >> hi everybody! >> reporter: it's been quite a year for 6-year-old max levy. super fan of comic books and now a super hero himself. >> yes! >> reporter: we first
hit met him in january after surgeons put a port in his chest for the medicine treating his hemophilia, a disease that prevents blood from clotting. >> i said you're going to get a metal disc in your chest like iron man. and his response, i'll remember it for the rest of my life. i get to be iron man! >> we're here because that's where iron man has it but they had to put it in a certain spot so they had to put it here. >> reporter: that's okay. >> yeah. it is. >> reporter: when marvel comics heard about max, they wrote a story about him and called him iron max. how proud are you to be in the "iron man" comic book? >> proud. not just pretty proud. proud. >> reporter: he got the grand tour of marvel headquarters in new york. >> it was, like, a random kid who hemophilia. wears a helmet all the time. walking around. and then max a super hero in a comic book. it's actually changed me. >> reporter: it changed his family, too. big sister zoe created a calendar. hearts for hemophilia raising more than $1,500 to
help people like max. >> everyone coming up to us like max is a hero. that's what the year has been. it's incredible. >> i'm not really a super hero but people call me a super hero. i could be a super hero if i did more super heroish things. >> reporter: a little boy fightsing a disease and helping others sure sounds like the definition of a super hero to us. nbc news new york. >> way to go max. up next the new year, as we look at the scene tonight in beijing. we asked children here for their take on the year ending and the year about to begin.
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finally tonight with so many grown up issues confronting us the past year and challenging us in 2017, we wanted to get a different perspective, a more innocent view of the year that was and the year to come. so we sat down with some first and second graders at public school 261 in brooklyn. here they are in their own words. ♪ >> summer vacation. >> disney world. >> reading a lot of books. >> i went on a trip with my mommy. >> my favorite part of the year is being with my friends. ♪ >> i learned how to swim. >> in 2016, i didn't know what
six plus six was. it was tricky for me, so i learned that six plus six equals -- oh, i forget again. >> 12. >> yeah, 12. >> i learned how to tap dance. >> i learned something called karma and karma is basically pay back. like, if you're nice, you're going to get something nice to happen. and my mom dad get good karma parking. >> a new year's resolution is when you have a goal. >> sort of like you redeem yourself. >> a new year's resolution is something you really want to try to accomplish. ♪ >> my resolution goal is to
become an artist. >> to get a dog in 2017. [ laughter ] >> to stop fighting with my sister and play more piano. >> to stop biting my nails. >> to practice playing guitar and get better at it. >> something i want to do for other people is donate toys and books and clothes. ♪ >> i don't really know what that is. >> stop smoking. >> don't liter. >> it's important for people to be kind. >> maybe my sister should be kind to me because that's how it starts. >> that people can say nice words like i love you. >> treat people how you want to be treated. ♪ >> i wish for peace.
>> to make a lot of friends. >> happiness. >> happiness. >> fun. >> joy. >> umm, i wish that all their dreams come true. ♪ happy new year! happy new year! happy new year! [ noise makers ] >> happy new year to you guys. simple, meaningful thoughts for the new year. before we go, we have an announcement for our viewers in new england. starting tomorrow, january 1st. there will be a new nbc station in boston. so if you're looking for nightly news or any other nbc programs, you'll find them on channel 10 on those cable providers in boston. again, that's starts tomorrow. new year's day. that's going do it for us on this saturday night. i'm peter alexander reporting from washington. from all of us here at nbc, thank you for watching and have a safe and happy new year. a deadly attack in a nightclub
attacker reportedly dressed as santa claus opened fire inside the club. 35 people were killed and of those 35, one is a police officer. ten of the 40 that are wounded are in critical condition tonight. turkish broadcasters are reporting between 500 and 600 people were inside the club at the time of the shooting. an nbc producer in istanbul spoke with the club's owner who believes the attacker could still be in there. police are sealing off a radius outside the club in istanbul. stay with nbc bay area for the breaking news, we're updating the story on the air and online on nbcbayarea.com. back at home, our other top story tonight is the security in san francisco as people gather to celebrate the end of 2016. tens of thousands of people are expected to show up tonig