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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  December 26, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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nightly news." tonight, an inside look at what happens to your baggage once you check it at the airport. have a good evening. see you at 11:00. on the broadcast tonight, paying tribute to the two police officers gunned down in the line of duty. a tense time for communities and police across the country. the day after, draws millions back to the stores in search of one more big deal. plus a retailer with a bold new idea on how to use those gift cards. ten years later, remembering the day when the sea took an awful toll. we're in the tsunami zone with some of those who survived. follow that bag. just what happens when you check your luggage. tonight, an inside look at how millions of bags get screened. and unbroken, the new blockbuster about a hero of the greatest generation. tom brokaw goes behind the scenes with director angelina jolie. "nightly news" begins now.
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. i'm kate snow in for brian tonight. even with the holidays upon us there's still tension and debate in many parts of this country over the use of force by police. in recent weeks we've seen so many demonstrations against law enforcement, but the ambush of two new york city police officers last weekend has focused attention on the dangers officers face every day on the job. today, thousands of people came from near and far to attend a wake in new york city to honor one of those fallen officers and support the city's police force. nbc's ron mott is outside the church tonight. ron, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, kate. the wake for officer rafael ramos continues tonight, all afternoon mourners have been streaming into this church you see behind me. it is a significant show of support that is spread well beyond new york city. a somber processional for a fallen officer.
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the body of rafael ramos brought into a church today, quiet salute and long lines to honor his life. >> we love rafael ramos. he was a gift to our church. we're going to miss him a great deal. >> -- get together the way they have for a very good fellow officer ramos. >> reporter: ramos and his partner wenjian liu were gunned down over the weekend sitting in their patrol car. liu married just two months. his widow sobbed as a news conference announced a 9/11 charity is raising money to pay off mortgages for both families. >> reporter: vice president biden will attend ramos' funeral on saturday as well as as many as 12,000 officers to pay their respects today and tomorrow. these men coming from utah on a free flight offered by jetblue to police departments nationwide. >> anything we can do to get back out there and support them,
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we have to. we have to. because we know they'd do the same for us. >> reporter: amid the sadness, the nypd says it has received dozens of threats. six people arrested, these weapons found in one suspect's home. >> something that you may have taken for granted a week or two ago, you know, you may get special attention this time. just heightened awareness. >> reporter: tensions between police and minority communities have fueled protests around the country. and here in new york mayor bill de blasio has been criticized by some for supporting the demonstrators. officers turned their backs when he arrived at the hospital after the shooting. and today a group of retired officers flew a banner over the city expressing that same sentiment. in response the mayor's office said this is a time to honor the officers and that dividing people won't help our city heal. meanwhile, a memorial grows back at the scene where officer ramos and liu died as their families prepare to say final good-byes. >> i'm going to miss his loving presence, and i can't even begin to fathom what life's going to be like without him.
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>> reporter: there's late word tonight that vice president biden will offer remarks at tomorrow's service for officer ramos. details for officer liu's funeral are not yet set. >> ron mott, thank you. until yesterday it was down to the wire for christmas shopping. tonight, it's down to the wire for retailers hoping to salvage this year's holiday shopping season. and, yes, that means even more sales. and if you've wound up with a bunch of gift cards that you may want want, one big retailer has an idea that you might find appealing. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in atlanta. gabe, good evening. >> reporter: kate, good evening. so far this year's holiday shopping season has been good, but not great. almost four in ten americans plan to return something during the holidays. and today some stores were ready as early as 6:00 a.m. for some christmas comes a day late. >> right now we're just trying
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to catch all the deals. >> see a lot of 50% off, even 60, 70, saw a couple 80% off. >> reporter: this year the national retail federation predicts holiday sales will increase just over 4%, but retailers are scrambling to make up for lackluster sales on black friday and so-called super saturday this past weekend. >> the shoppers are outsmarting the stores waiting for deeper and deeper discounts as you get closer to the end of hanukkah, christmas and new year's. the longer shoppers wait, the better the bargains. >> reporter: for consumers it could be a perfect storm. lower gas prices, more expendable income. the cost of cotton also down. experts say that means more deals on clothing. >> the deals have been awesome. we've been here since 8:00 this morning. and we've got a lot of good things. >> reporter: new this year, the world's largest retailer, walmart, is testing an unprecedented gift card swap. yes, on its website you can
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exchange gift cards from more than 200 stores, restaurants, even airlines for a walmart card. for example, a $100 gift card from target would get you almost $97 at walmart. one from best buy $92. starbucks, almost $73. >> i think it is something that is unique and could certainly help to be a driver of walmart sales. >> reporter: at atlanta's lenox square, robin fox was here early to beat the crowds. how many returns are you making today? >> it was about ten. >> reporter: ten returns? >> yes. >> that was half off. >> reporter: if you'll be joining her this weekend at the return counter, bring your id. more stores are asking for it, to cut down on fraud. and the post-holiday rush is just beginning. u.p.s. said today that it expects just u.p.s. alone to return more than 800,000 holiday packages to retailers. kate. >> wow. gabe gutierrez in atlanta tonight. and as you heard gabe mention something that may help post-holiday sales a little bit,
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this was a 92nd straight day that gas prices have fallen in this country. the average price of a gallon of regular is now at $2.32. that's down 12 cents over the last week alone. a year ago on this date the average was almost one dollar more. several dozen states are now reporting at least one service station selling gas for under two bucks. sony was still dealing today with a suspected new hacking attack. this one on its playstation network as the company tried to recover from the devastating attack related to its movie "the interview." we get the latest tonight from nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: the error messages lighting up xbox live and playstation appeared to be no mistake. a possible cyber attack downed both networks as people tried to log on with their new christmas gifts but couldn't. >> well, hack that one too or what? >> reporter: today frustrated gamers vented online. day two with no internet, nothing. rumbling past 50 hours now.
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anger at the real life grinches. neither xbox or playstation is commenting on what caused the outages, but lizard squad took credit. sony owns both playstation and the studio that made "the interview," and xbox is one of the platforms streaming the controversial comedy. could this outage be related to the original cyber attack against sony? >> i really don't think so. i don't see any type of connection to the original attack. remember, they didn't actually steal anything. no data. all they did was turn the lights off. >> reporter: a separate group is believed to be behind the cyber attack on sony pictures which the u.s. blamed on north korea. those hackers appear to threaten retaliation if sony released the movie to the public. but sony did any way to 331 theaters nationwide where "the interview" grossed more than $1 million on opening day. >> that's a really good number. it's almost not even about the
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movie anymore, it's about what the movie represents. >> reporter: sony pictures says it's grateful for the fantastic audience's reaction. like in austin ♪ proud to be an american >> reporter: a hollywood ending for this movie, but just the start of questions of impact on screens big and small. the movie is available online too, but the streaming statistics are not out just yet. worth noting though that "the interview" ranked either number one or number two on google play and youtube movies, kate. >> hallie jackson in los angeles. thanks. former president george h.w. bush remains in a hospital in houston, texas tonight three days after he was brought there with shortness of breath. nbc's jacob rascon is in houston with a new update. jacob, what's the latest? >> reporter: kate, good evening. once again a family spokesman says mr. bush remains "in high spirits and continues to make progress." but he will stay yet another night at houston methodist
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behind me. this will be his fourth night since being rushed here by ambulance on tuesday after having some trouble breathing. at 92 years old he's the oldest living former president and suffers from parkinson's disease that makes it difficult for him to speak or walk. we're told he spent christmas day with family at the hospital as he did two years ago with bronchitis and a persistent cough. so, kate, he's doing well but not ready to go home just yet. >> good news. jacob, thank you. tonight, we learned the name of a company recalled caramel apples after an outbreak of listeria that killed ten people. it's the happy apples company of washington, missouri. the affected apples have a best used by date of november 23rd, consumers are being warned by the cdc to throw those apples away if they still have them at home. ten years ago today just a day after christmas the world was stunned by one of the worst natural disasters in modern times. the 2004 indian ocean earthquake and tsunami killed thousands and
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transformed the landscape triggering a decade of rebuilding and recovery. nbc's katy tur has been reporting from the region this week and has our story tonight on lives lost and lives changed forever. >> reporter: it was a day like no other, one remembered every day since. and now the jakarta tsunami early warning center, constant surveillance. here they monitor one of the most active fault lines on earth, the same one that ruptured in 2004 causing a towering tsunami that devastated cities in 14 countries. >> no shelter, no food, no power, no water. >> reporter: today, on the tenth anniversary the dead are remembered. almost a quarter of a million lives lost across the region. in indonesia, sri lanka, india and thailand. it's still as vivid as if it happened yesterday, says this indonesian woman.
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you can't imagine how much we fear the ocean now, says another in india who lost her son, mother and two grandchildren. petra nemcova was in thailand vacationing with her boyfriend simon atlee when the wave came crashing into their hotel room. she was found eight hours later, her pelvis broken in four places, buried in debris and clinging for life to a palm tree. atlee didn't make it. but as hard as it was to lose him, she says it was worse to hear children's screams for help through the trees. >> and after half an hour i didn't hear them anymore. and that was one of the hardest -- that was the hardest moment of that experience. was not the physical pain. it was not being able to go and help. >> reporter: through her charity, happy hearts, she's built 107 schools in areas ravaged by natural disasters. >> i cannot change the past. i can change the future of the
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children. >> reporter: for the people of this region, hope has returned. lives have been rebuilt, but no one here will ever forget what happened that day ten years ago. katy tur, nbc news, khao lak, thailand. still ahead tonight, keeping the skies safe. an inside look at what happens to your luggage when you check it in. and later, mystery solved, why the little prince was absent on christmas day. dad, i know i haven't said this often enough, but thank you. thank you mom for protecting my future. thank you for being my hero and my dad. military families are uniquely thankful for many things, the legacy of usaa auto insurance could be one of them. if you're a current or former military member or their family, get an auto insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life.
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the airlines estimate that 45 million of us are flying over this holiday break, and that means as many as 100 million pieces of luggage checked in and screened at airports nationwide. more than 99% of them arrive at their destination, believe it or not, on time with their owners. but have you ever wondered what happens after your bag takes off on the conveyer belt at the airport? we get an inside look tonight from nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: mid-morning at miami international. >> that's going to be d26, which is this way. >> reporter: and the biggest baggage system in the western hemisphere is once again being put to the test. 11 miles of computer-guided belts carrying 60,000 bags every day. but what you don't see is what's behind the counter. >> could you please flip the bag -- >> reporter: from the baggage control room to the tsa's extra screening rooms. to get that behind the scenes
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view, we're checking this bag. but ours has three cameras. down the belt and very quickly the bag passes through a giant tsa scanning machine looking for explosives. if your luggage is one of the very few that trips the alarm, screening officers could send it here for a hand search. only 5% of bags are ever physically opened. today, laptops, wine bottles, christmas gifts and food are getting a second look. and a pass. the officer knows what to look for because the image pops up right here on his screen. it could be electronics, could be liquids, anything dense. in this case it's a tortilla press. officer go mez has come across car parts, live spiders, even a freshly caught fish. >> i'm thinking is it going to start flopping around on the table. i got to keep it under control. >> reporter: bar codes and security cameras keep track of everything. >> if you are caught stealing and fired and you're subject to criminal prosecution by local authorities. >> reporter: but the number of t
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tsa officers arrested for theft is down 10%. meanwhile the bag moves through a complex network of sensors that ends up at the right plane. >> everyone carrying two, three bags per customer. >> reporter: the advice for holiday travelers. >> don't put any electronics in your bag, don't check your car keys or your cell phone. and no medicine. >> reporter: and put your trip itinerary inside your luggage on the remote chance it doesn't arrive with you. tom costello, nbc news, miami. we're back in a moment with a truly special christmas day delivery. she inspires you.
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a crisis over french fries of all things is easing in japan because of a shortage caused by a labor dispute here in the u.s., mcdonald's had limited orders to only the small size at its 3,000 japanese branches. the country imports most of its frozen fries, but now they've increased shipments by air and from the east coast of the u.s. and the company says all fry
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sizes will now be available again ten days from now. thank goodness. in this country the call came in just before 6:00 p.m. in philadelphia, and two police officers responded to aid in delivering what would be the best christmas present of all for one young couple. here they are after helping the woman give birth on a subway train. she was already in labor when they and the other officers got to the scene. they coached her through the delivery, even unwrapped the umbilical cord from the baby's neck and from there it was on to the hospital where the baby, mom and dad are all doing just fine. well, drivers heading north on the garden state parkway in new jersey noticed something a little unusual on one of the signs on christmas day. it was exit 135. and instead of the towns of clark and westfield, you can see someone made it clark griswold, you know, the dad played by chevy chase in have the national
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lampoon christmas vacation." and in england a lot of people wanted to know why the duke and duchess of cambridge attended a christmas church service without 17-month-old prince george. afterward his mother provided the answer telling well wishers she was sorry george wasn't there but he would have been heard in church. in other words, he's a regular noisy baby. something a whole lot of us parents can relate to. and when we come back, tom brokaw talks with angelina jolie on the hero behind her new movie "unbroken." usic ]♪ can you help me up? [ snow intensifies ] [ sleighbells ring in the distance ] aleve. all day pain relief with just 2 pills. get back to being you.
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finally tonight, it was a big christmas day at the box office for "unbroken," the new movie about a world war ii hero who died this year at the age of 97. his remarkable life story became a best selling book that angelina jolie made into a movie produced by our sister company universal pictures. tom brokaw got to know them both during the making of the film. >> reporter: i followed director angelina jolie for almost a year as she brought "unbroken" to the big screen. she saw in louis, life lessons that emerged from his long terrible ordeal. >> it's not that we don't know
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what it is to forgive or to -- you know, what brotherhood is, what patriotism is. we know it. but we need to know how to connect to it. we need reason to connect to it. >> reporter: angelina developed a close personal relationship with louis. an olympic athlete he survived a wartime plane crash. 47 days on a life raft, he was declared dead and faced terrible treatment in several japanese war camps. given all that you went through, was there ever a moment when you just fleetingly thought, i can't do this? i can't go on? >> it never occurred to me. i'm a very positive person. no matter what the situation is, i've learned how to be content, i've learned how to handle it. >> reporter: through the force of his will he survived his brutal treatment and came home a hero. how did he do it? we got insight from the decorated navy s.e.a.l. of
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blackhawk down fame. were there times when you thought to yourself, oh, my god? >> yeah, absolutely. perhaps there's a dna characteristic that helps one tolerate pain and helps one recover, but i think most of it is psychological. >> reporter: and world war ii veteran clarence graham, a prisoner of war even longer than louis. could you tell when you got into these camps who of your friends would survive and who wouldn't make it? >> it was pretty obvious. somebody that had an outgoing personality, looked for the good, they had a good chance. >> reporter: to the end louis looked for the good. he remained unbroken. >> what a gal. >> tom brokaw tonight on an extraordinary life. and that is our broadcast for this friday night. thank you for joining us. i'm kate snow in for brian. lester holt will be here this weekend. for all of us at nbc news, have a great weekend. good night. brittany and her man in their j
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pjs. >> how the stars spend christmas, now on "extra." ♪ ♪ extra, extra ♪ >> beyonce in a bikini in
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iceland, bruce jenner crashing the kardashian christmas, bieber on his private jet, we are around the globe how starts celebrate saint nick. christmas in my, tv's highest paid actress doesn't want you seeing his paycheck. >> why for you're telling this to people. >> and the nastiest you have seen. what's the big news he's keeping covered up for now. >> let "extr >> you and "extra" have been my friend for a long time. >> then the ultimate forecast who has a shot at this year's race. >> this is one of her best and i think oscar will pay attention. plus 50% off everything. >> the day achristmas, the three best deals you can get today. >> now on "extra" from universal studios, hollywood,


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