tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 25, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
>> all right. thank you. >> not bad at all for the holidays. >> thanks for joining us. i'm jim rosenfield. >> and i'm jacqueline london. the "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. ity fears. the president says there is no credible threat to the u.s. this holiday weekend. but as millions take to the road and sky, tonight a warning of a dangerous lapse. our nbc news investigation revealed at major airports. tragic mistake. military officials now blame human error for the deadly u.s. strike on a hospital, revealing the crew lost vital systems and carried out the attack any way, on the wrong target. to the streets. another night of protests in chicago as new questions are raised about the video showing a police officer fatally shooting a teen-ager 16 times. and buyer beware, this year black friday may not have the biggest savings. the best days to find the best deals on the
hot items. nyly news begins right now. good evening. on this night before thanksgiving, and the long weekend when it is estimated nearly 50 million americans are travel ago way from home -- traveling away from home, the president made a speeshl appearance meant to reassure the nation. president said he knew americans are asking each other whether it is safe to fly or gather. they understood that families are discussing fears of terrorism around the dinner table. and he essentially asked americans to trust him and trust law enforcement authorities. as of today, the president said they know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland. we begin with national correspondent peter alexander at the white house. >> reporter: a
preholiday show of force from the streets of manhattan to the white house. where president obama flanked by his top national security advisers tried to reassure anxious americans. >> i want the american people to know that we are taking every possible step to keep our homeland safe. >> reporter: the message in effect, we'll do the worrying, you do the celebrating with the reminder to stay alert. >> if you see something suspicious, stay something. but other wise americans should go about their usual thanksgiving activities. >> a new government advisory offers little information but warns what police already know. attackers could capitalize on the thanksgiving holiday to promote their agenda. the top concern is home grown agreements with soft targets impossible to protect. >> we have a number of different tourist destinations that are a big part of the economy. we are vigilant to anything happening there. >> reporter: this week hundreds of newly assigned officers to
the nypd critical response command prepared for nightmare scenarios. simulating active shooters and hostage-takers. >> this is an elite dedicated force, they are briefed on counter-terrorism and briefed on the intelligence every day. this is a force for today's threat picture. >> ahead of tomorrow's parade with 3 million expected, police are deploying extra crews. >> i believe we can't live in fear. >> of course it is on our minds, but they want us to live in fear and we feel we can't. >> reporter: priel paris brought the terror threat closer to home, u.s. security officials are working relentlessly to prevent any attack here. the president made it clear if his team learns about my specific credible threat they will let us all know. he will spend the holiday weekend here with his family before flying to paris for climate talks later in the weekend. >> peter alexander at the white house. thanks. now to an nbc news investigation that raises questions about
security with isis claiming responsibility for bombing that russian jetliner in egypt and suspicions that an airline employee may have been key to executing the plot. security experts have been warning about the potential insider threat posed by employees who work at airports here in the u.s. the vast majority of airport employees in this country do not pass through a security check point every day the way passengers do. and as an nbc tom costello reports, it is a gaping hole that tonight we are seeing first-hand. >> reporter: at jfk airport today, business as usual at the employee entrance at terminal four. select airport workers swipe secure keys and enter a pin and then walked right in. unlike passengers and crew members, no i.d. checks, no metal detectors or explosive scans. no bag checks. it is the same routine captured here on cell phone video last january. no check points inside either, except for the random tsa and airport police checks.
nationwide, only miami and orlando airports fully screen every worker every day. surprisingly the nation's airports decide for themselves whether to screen employees. but an airport police union said it is a dangerous security gap. three years ago they wrote the tsa urging mandatory screening for all airport employees, including tsa officers. >> when are we going to learn our lessons from the past and be proactive rather than reactive. >> homeland security called for fewer access points and more random employee screenings. after the metrojet bombing in egypt, security experts are warning against radicalized employees with access to airports and planes. homeland security secretary jeh johnson today. >> most airport workers every day are not screened. does that need to change. >> we are evaluating whether more is necessary right now. that is something that i and tsa has been focused on as recently as today. >> reporter: the problem, many airports
complain they can't afford the man power to screen every employee every day. tonight jfk airport terminal executives are not responding to our calls for comment. but the tsa said the airport does do background checks and does conduct random passdowns and bag checks but it is not every employee and not every day. tom costello, nbc news, washington. today turkey released what it calls proof that a russian fighter jet was warned repeatedly that it was violated turkish air space before it was shot out of the sky. the ips dent is threatening to send the region spiraling further out of control. richard engel joins us from istanbul with more. good evening, richard. >> reporter: kate, today the dispute between turkey and russia got even worse. turkey released audio recordings of what it said were repeated warnings sent over radio to the russian bomber. >> [ inaudible ]. >> turkey said that
the jet was warned ten times and that in the moment it didn't know the nationality of the approaching aircraft. but the russian navigator who ejected said he heard none of this. experts say it is possible they weren't tuned into the same channels. it appears they are not watching the same readers either. turkey released a flight path showing the russian jet cutting across an outcropping of turkish territory. russia gave its own version of the route, claiming it was on the syrian side the whole time. isis is taking advantage of all of the divisions among the enemies and launched an unprecedented campaign of in sitement, calling for attacks on the united states. it is a scare tactic, the simplest form of terrorism. and this is on the agenda of francois hollande when he traveled to moscow to put this behind turkey and russia and put some sort of coalition together. kate. >> richard engel reporting from turkey.
protests under way for a second night in chicago as we learn more about past complaints about the officer at the center of the fire storm. and as stephanie gosk reports, there are new questions about that video that shows him firing 16 shots, killing an african-american teen-ager. >> reporter: the night before thanksgiving protesters are still in the streets of chicago. [ chanting ] >> reporter: demonstrations triggered by yesterday's release of dash-cam video showing the moment 17-year-old laquan mcdonald was shot and killed by police last october. officer jason van dyke emptied his 9 millimeter handgun, firing 16 rounds. among the questions being asked now, why is this video silent? five patrol cars with dash cams were on the scene but only one video emerged, with no sound of gunshots, no recording of what was said. the superintendent of the chicago police
department doesn't know why. >> there is supposed to be and it is supposed to happen in a couple of different instances and this is one of the things that we're working on. >> van dyke is charged with first-degree murder. his lawyer said the cop fired in self-defense. gunshot wounds riddled mcdonald's body. 16 of them from head to toe. city records show this is not the first time van dyke's conduct has been questioned. the officer was named in 20 citizen complaints, including allegations of unnecessary physical contact and drawling his weapon -- drawing his weapon. he was found not at fault each time. four cases remain open. journalist jamie calvin fought for ten years to obtain records of thousands of complaints against chicago police department, including those against van dyke. >> the issue reflected by officer van dyke's record but is a much, much larger issue is the failures of the accountability mechanisms in the city. and you know, we've tragically seen the
ultimate cost in the case of laquan mcdonald. >> reporter: this is a small group right now, but as you could see, a pretty disruptive one. they've shut down a large intersection here in the center of chicago. there are other groups that are planning an even larger protest on black friday at the magnificent mile. they are hoping to have an economic impact on the city their voices are heard. state. >> in chicago tonight. new developments in the deadly u.s. air strike that killed dozens at a doctor's word borders hospital in afghanistan. the u.s. military today called it a tragic mistake that could have been avoided. as jim miklaszewski tells us, the attack was the result of several crucial errors. >> reporter: it was a devastating attack. the u.s. air strike on the hospital in kunduz killed 30 civilian doctors and patients. today the top u.s. commander in afghanistan offered no excuses. >> this was a tragic but avoidable accident
caused primarily by human air. >> an ac gun ship hit the hospital run by doctors without borders with heavy artillery. 211 shells in 25 minutes. but it was the wrong target. the intended target was an afghan military headquarters seized by the taliban. but the hospital was more than 400 yards away. and nearly destroyed in at tack. it was atragedy of errors. in violation of protocol a special operations commander called in the air-strikes without ever seeing the target. many of the electronics critical to combat operations were not working properly and the crew aboard the plane failed to correctly identify the target they were about to strike. >> the investigation found that some of the u.s. individuals involved did not follow the rules of engagement. >> reporter: officials here say that audio tapes from the plane show that the flight crew at first questioned whether the air-strikes were even legal. but launched the assault any way.
one senior defense official called those recordings damning. doctors without borders called the u.s. military to say the hospital was under attack but the shelling continued for 17 more minutes. >> it really, for us, demonstrates a gross nelgs in terms of the responsibility of u.s. forces to distinguish between civilian targets and military targets. >> reporter: and the group called again for an in dependent impartial investigation. jim miklaszewski, nbc news, the pentagon. now to the race for 2016 on a week when many of the most heated political battles are moving off the campaign trail and over to thanksgiving tables around the nation. many of the candidates are taking a breather. but as our hallie jackson explains, they are leaving on a bit of a political cliff hanger. >> reporter: from candidates, a kind of presidential pardon. >> i'm pardoning it for being ugly.
>> reporter: giving turkeys a break, while they take one. most off the campaign trail for the holiday. >> the holiday presents an opportunity to maximize your exposure to voters, whether it is at thanksgiving day parades. >> reporter: still a slower holiday week makes momentum key. whether you have it or you don't. like ben carson, slipping double-digits in the latest iowa poll. at the same time ted cruz surging there. to within striking distance of donald trump who issued this warning last week. >> if he catches on, then i guess we'll go to wore. >> the two, the political bro-mance cooling on a collision course. >> no one could predict what trump is going to say next. but from cruz point's of view, he will play this cool. >> but watch for cruz to draw distinctions on policy if he is attacked by trump. who spent the holiday with family. a rare appearance by his wife on the campaign trail. >> he will be the best president ever sflrjts
another preholiday family outing sh the rubios, offer the senator sat down with natalie morales today. >> is this where you saw yourself at this point in the race, it is an unpredictable year. we've never had an election like this. i would say we are pleased with where we are in the campaign. >> rubio beginning airing ad this is week. he is not the only one. candidates and committees will flood tvs in the first four voting states, including here in south carolina, with $5.5 million of political commercials. still ahead, should you avoid the long lines and the elbows on black friday this year. why the experts say you might be able to watching football together is great... but i think women would agree... huddling with their man after the game is nice too. the thing is, about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection.
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we're back now with the frenzy about to be unleashed and we're not talking about the airport rush or thanksgiving feast. we're talking about the black friday bonanza, which will start at a lot of stores even before the turkey is cold. but did you know for many items black friday is increasingly a bad day to buy. nbc's olivia sterns tells us when the best deals are actually available. >> reporter: outside of this best buy, in southern california -- tents already up. shoppers waiting to get first dibs on black friday deals. in phoenix, jarvis johnson is also
sleeping out, determined to get the lowest price on electronics. >> they say the early bird gets the worm. i'm the early, early, bird and i'm going to get the biggest worm i could get. >> reporter: like millions of americans they are convinced black friday sales are the best deals of the year. but experts say they may be flat-out wrong. >> we saw that almost 20% of items on black friday itself are more expensive than they were about a week ago. >> run reason many retailers, including best buy are offering even deeper discounts online. this year more than ever shoppers will be using smartphones. both to compare prices and also find deals in real-time. plus many stores will send you special discounts if you are using their app. so when will you find the best deals in. >> earlier in the season, you will see better deals on things like small appliances, electronics, toys and games. zplfrmgt experts say for jewelry and electronics, try
thanksgiving day. for toys, wait until cyber monday. and for clothes, the closer to christmas, the deeper the discount. that said, if you want some of the hottest gifts of the year like toys from the star war's movie or a camera drone, you may want to shop now and pay the price. olivia sterns, nbc news, new york. >> reporter: at the white house today, a last-minute reprieve before thanksgiving as the president joined by his daughters pardoned abe, this year's national thanksgiving turkey. the president referred to him as toteis, or turkey of the united states. his friend honest was also pardoned. honest and abe will spend their days on a virginia farm now. when we come back, easing on down the road to stardom, the fresh face at the center of nbc's next fresh face at the center of nbc's next musical extrava fresh face at the center of nbc's next musical extrava i use what's already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals
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weather threat if you are traveling this thanksgiving. the west coast getting hit with snow and extremely high tides known as king tides. but the real danger is tomorrow when the system moves into the middle of the country. rain and a wintry mix are expected to disrupt travel in the central plains. on friday it moves into the midwest with the threat of flooding. we learned today that frank gifford, the legendary nfl hall of fame player and broadcaster and husband of kathie lee gifford suffered from the brain disease known as cte when he passed away back in august. that is chronic traumatic encephalopathy. it is linked with repeated hard hits to the head. in a statement the family said it is sharing the news so that gifford might inspire others suffering from the disease and so his family might be a small part of the solution to what it called an urgent problem concerning anyone involved with football. the family said it will continue to support the nfl and recent on-field rule
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we're approaching an annual tradition here on nbc. a live musical around the holidays. this year it is "the wiz" live. as rehema ellis tells us, the big role went to a talented young woman on the verge of stardom. >> in her very first audition for a star show, shanice williams won a beloved role. >> you are dorothy. >> beating out 600 other actresses in new york. >> when they told me, i was like this is crazy. i was so grateful. >> gratitude from the 19-year-old new jersey native, following diana ross' lead. now starring in the revival of the wiz with some of her idols, queen latifah. and stephanie mills who played dorothy 40 years ago on
broadcast, now she is aunty em. >> what a cast. >> i'm like how is this my first job and i get to work with all of these people. it's crazy. >> the director says from the beginning he knew shanice was special. >> when she came in the room, she opened her mouth and she had the right sort of support to deliver the song and she wasn't trying to copy someone. >> the yellow brick road. >> reporter: an only child, her parents say she grew up listening to the wiz soundtrack and putting on her own little shows. >> she loves singing and dancing and ballet, you name it, she wanted to do it. >> and now it is her turn to be someone else's inspiration. >> i'm happy because it shows younger girls and no matter the age, that dreams actually do come true. >> shanice williams, living what is true for her in a timeless story about friendship, courage and no place like