tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 22, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
friday, but not a lot of rain. >> thanks for watching our news at 6:00. >> up next, nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. we'll see you at 11:00. tonight, school bus tragedy. the disturbing record of the driver of a school bus that crashed, killing five children. as our investigation reveals, an alarming number of school bus drivers who may be unfit for the job. travel nightmare, the storms that could make things miserable for millions of americans traveling this thanksgiving week. about face. the president-elect backs off his promises to investigate hillary clinton and says the law is on his side, when it comes to conflicts of interest. cancer message. the passionate plea from a hollywood star for men to get the test that may have saved his life. and high honors for an extraordinary group of high achievers. a remarkable afternoon at the white house. "nightly news" begins right now.
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. there is profound grief and bewilderment in a tennessee community rocked by a school bus crash that took the lives of five elementary-aged children late yesterday. and shock over the circumstances. the 24-year-old driver of the bus, stands charged with their deaths, accused by police of recklessly speeding before the bus careened out of control and wrapped around a tree. tonight with as many as a dozen kids hospitalized, we're learning details of the driver's history and of the lives that were taken. kerry sanders has the latest from chattanooga. >> reporter: tonight, a community in mourning, remembering the five lives lost in monday's tragic school bus crash. >> he was hurt. one of them was bleeding bad. one of them had passed out. >> reporter: the driver of that bus,
24-year-old johnthony walker has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and reckless endangerment. according to the affidavit, walker was driving well over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit, on a narrow winding road when he lost control of the bus. tonight nbc news has learned from state records that walker had his license suspended in 2013 for 25 days for failing to show insurance, and he was involved in another minor school bus accident just two months ago, no one was injured. at least one mother from woodmore leamtary school complains she complained to the school about his erratic driving. >> i done called the board of education. i done called the school. >> reporter: among the five children killed in monday's accident, 9-year-old zoe nash, her younger brother also in the bus, survived, but is in intensive care. >> there's no bringing her back, but we take the memories, you know. we take the memories away and we just try to live with that and, you know, just
hopefully we move forward so this won't happen to anybody else's family, you know. >> reporter: today, extra grief counsellors at the victims' school. some students lost their best friends. shamika black told her 9-year-old son his friends are now in heaven. >> i can just tell him that i love him and that it will be okay. that the child, he received the wings and you just have to pray. >> reporter: federal records show the private outsourcing company using here in chattanooga to hire school bus drivers has been involved in 142 accidents, with three fatalities in just the last two years. tonight the ntsb says the hiring and screening of drivers will be a part of their investigation. lester? >> kerry sanders tonight, thank you. president-elect donald trump did an about-face today on something that became a popular refrain at his rallies on the campaign trail. lock her up. now backing away from his vow to prosecute hillary clinton for her use of a private e-mail server. it was just one of
many issues trump addressed today, including potential conflicts of interest, involving his businesses. we get details from nbc's hallie jackson. >> she should be locked up. >> reporter: some promises he ran on as candidate, now looking less likely as president-elect. starting with his pledge to prosecute hillary clinton for her e-mail server. >> she has to go to jail. >> reporter: now donald trump confirms what a source close to him first told nbc. quote, it's just not something that i feel very strongly about. >> well, so much for locking her up, i guess. >> reporter: trump, who doesn't have the power as president to prosecute anyone, tells "the new york times," i don't want to hurt the clintons, adding, she went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways. breitbart, the conservative outlet that's backed trump is blaring the headline, broken promise, with the news now of maybe another one. during his campaign, trump attacked a major climate deal, the paris accord. signed by nearly every nation in the world.
>> we will cancel this deal so that our companies can compete. >> reporter: today he says he has an open mind about the deal. the walkback raising questions about what he will do as president and what he's already done in his businesses and charity. the trump foundation reporting in a new filing, it violated irs rules. tax experts say correcting that could require paying taxes and possible penalties. on the business side, unanswered questions about how he'd wall off his personal interests from the interests of the country. suggesting on the trail, it wouldn't be an issue. >> i wouldn't even be thinking about the business. i mean, who cares. i would actually say, who cares? >> reporter: now trump's brushing aside fears of conflicts of interest, pointing out, the law is totally on my side. he's right. the president is exempt from conflict of interest laws. but not from constitutional provisions forbidding foreign gifts. the president-elect today also condemned and disavowed a recent gathering here in
washington of members of the alt-right. a conservative extremist movement with ties to white nationalism. he added, he doesn't want to do anything to ener jazz that group. lester? >> hallie jackson, thanks. now to the travel headaches that could had by millions getting set to head to the airport for thanksgiving. winter storms from the rockies to the plains and up into parts of the northeast. we have it all covered starting with nbc's blake mccoy. >> reporter: for the northeast, more snow and gusty winds today. another harsh blow for residents digging out from yesterday's massive snowfall. upstate new york, seeing as much as 40 inches of snow in just the past two days. >> can't get out the side door yet. we got out the back door. [ laughter ] >> reporter: northern pennsylvania, digging out from 15 inches and even bigger snow drifts. >> you don't want to hit those drifts. you'll be buried in your vehicle. >> reporter: minnesota getting socked again. colorado too. all leading to a challenging start for holiday travel.
nearly 49 million people on the move this thanksgiving, up a million over last year. the biggest travel rush since 2009. you can thank low gas prices and cheaper airfares. chicago o'hair is debuting new automated screening lanes designed to get people through 30% faster. if you do run into problems flying this year, social media could be your friend. >> some of the airlines are answering twitter a lot faster than they would a phone call. >> reporter: now if only a tweet could dig you out of this. blake mccoy, nbc news, chicago. nbc news meteorologist dylan dryer is here with us. we're about to get hit with one of the busiest travel periods. where should people be on the lookout for the bad stuff? >> the pacific northwest and the midwest, that's where the next two storms are moving through. if we start on wednesday, for those of you traveling by air, we could see most of our delays across the midwest. mostly in the chicago area, because of poor visibility and also the possibility of seeing some heavier pockets of rain. in the pacific
northwest, we'll see occasional showers during the day in seattle, but then heavier rain tarts to move in overnight. if you're traveling by road, especially through the tennessee and ohio river valleys from chicago to nashville, we could see rain and storms early on. then improving conditions later in the day. the mountain passes in the pacific northwest, because of the snow, will cause significant slowdowns as well. as we go into thanksgiving itself, most of the country will see improvements, but we're still looking at possible delays across the pacific northwest due to rain and mountain snow. in the pittsburgh area, that's where we could see most of our scattered showers and some rain will last through most of the morning with improvements during the day. we are looking at a wintry mix of rain and snow in buffalo early on, changing to rain later in the day. on sunday, as people return home, it doesn't look like many trouble spots at all. >> dylan dryer, thanks. wall street continued its post-election rally today with a new record. the dow industrials
were up 67 points tod today, to close above 19,000 for the first time in the dow's history. the nasdaq and s&p closed higher as well. the issue of jobs and bringing back those jobs lost overseas is at the center of donald trump's plan to pull out of the transpacific partnership. that's the big trade deal the u.s. and 11 other countries agreed to last year. but last night, mr. trump said he would get rid of it on day one of his presidency. we get more on this tonight from nbc's jacob rascon. >> reporter: ulysses trotter was always going to be a factory worker. >> my livelihood, the way that i can raise my family, take care of my family, same way that my father did. >> reporter: in february, the chattanooga factory that provided for their families for decades, plans to downsize. those jobs, he says, shift overseas. >> cannot compete with them. we could probably do that, do those jobs now for free and we still couldn't compete with them. >> reporter: it's a difficult reality trotter and millions of americans fear would only intensify with the transpacific
partnership or tpp, which the president-elect says will go. >> i'm going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the transpacific partnership, a potential disaster for our country. >> reporter: it's a trade agreement between the united states and 11 other countries, including japan, mexico, and vietnam, that would lower trade barriers and taxes for u.s. goods. the winners in global trade deals often consumers who pay lower prices. the losers, often american workers, forced to compete with lower cost competition overseas. >> it's not possible to save all our jobs and have markets in the world open to american goods. we've got to have some trade-off, and that trade-off tends to be low value manufacturing jobs. >> reporter: in baltimore, drew greenblatt said tpp would help him add jobs. >> we need new markets to sell to. we need new clients to grow into. >> reporter: but it's an argument that doesn't convince trotter, it's why he supports trump's view on trade.
>> when he said he's going to make it one of his top priorities, that's good for you? >> it's good. people got to hold him to do it. he just be saying it and not doing it. >> reporter: one familying fearing a way of life is at stake. jacob rascon, nbc fuse, chat chooga, sneats. ben stiller rose to fame in some of the biggest blockbuster comedies of the last couple decades, but now he's getting serious, hoping to save lives by sending a message, every man should talk to their doctor about getting tested. his story from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: a man of many roles, today ben stiller celebrates one of his most important -- real-life cancer survivor. >> anybody who's had cancer, you know you have to keep on checking on it. but i'm really fortunate. >> reporter: speaking to matt lauer on "today" with his surgeon, stiller wants to send a message to men about getting screened for prostate cancer.
>> if it was up to me, i'd say every guy should go and get tested after the age of 40, 45. especially if you have a family history. >> reporter: the test itself, known as the psa, is easy. simple blood work. but some experts caution against routine testing, saying the psa can be unreliable and lead to overtreatment with painful side effects. >> this is a discussion the doctor has to have with their patient. the treatments for prostate cancer all have risks around urinary function and sexual function all have risks. >> reporter: the american cancer society recommends all men talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of having the test, starting at age 50 for those with an average risk, and age 45 forify high-risk patients like african americans and those with a family history. but according to those guidelines, stiller, age 46, with no family history when diagnosed, should not have gotten the test. >> if i hadn't taken this test, i wouldn't have known. i don't know when i would have known until
it had probably become something that was not going to have the outcome, in terms of the treatment that it did have. >> reporter: tonight the beloved comedian, grateful for a life-saving test that he is deadly serious about. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. and some troubling news tonight, having to do with the zika virus. the doctor who first sounded the alarm now says infected babies who were born appearing healthy could have defects after all. the cdc studied 13 such normal looking infants and 11 of them now have microcephaly, a medical term for a smaller head which can cause brain damage. there's a lot more to tell you about. school bus dangers, how the bad driving is not limited to a few isolated incidents. the alarming findings of an nbc news investigation. also, the ordinary bucket that started a nationwide movement, now headed for his nationwide movement, now headed for his place in american girl: (sobbing) i'm fine! alexa, play the song that goes,
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findings. >> reporter: big yellow buses, racing past red lights, risking dangerous collisions. one bus driver nearly rear ending a car before running the red light. >> they are responsible for the safety of our children. they know better. >> reporter: in dallas, the area's largest school bus agency fired 13 drivers, and suspended 229 more after an nbc news investigation uncovered these red light camera videos, along with nearly 500 tickets over a two and a half year span. drivers also racked up 1,700 complaints, called in by witnesses alleging reckless driving. >> we are taking the steps necessary, both systemic and personnel, so that this will not and cannot happen again. >> reporter: but from illinois to florida, to arizona, red light cameras show it happens in other cities too. in new york, drivers at several bus companies accumulated more than 6,000 speeding and red light violations in just two years. in miami, and nearby broward county, hundreds of school bus drivers received
traffic tickets while driving school buses but continued to drive, one even on a suspended license. safety experts say it's ultimately up to bus company managers to police bad driving. >> if there's dangerous driving behavior, if there are bad habits that are out there, they need to be addressed and it needs to be done quickly. >> reporter: but that was not happening in dallas. nbc news discovered the agency that runs the buses never disciplined a single driver caught in those red light camera videos. instead, the agency spent $80,000 of taxpayer money to pay the tickets and the drivers walk away with no punishment, until we flagged it. statistically school buses are still the safest way for kids to get to school, but the chattanooga crash and these images are a wake-up call for swift punishment if drivers are reckless. scott freedman, nbc news, dallas. and we're back in a moment with a milestone for one of the most famous baby milestone for one of the most famous baby pictures of al anyone with type 2 diabetes milestone for one of the most famous baby pictures of al knows how it feels to see your numbers go up,
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if you were one of the 17 million people who took part in that ice bucket challenge craze two years ago, you're now a part of american history. the smithsonian is adding the original bucket, the one that started it all to a new philanthropy exhibit, giving in america. it raised more than a hundred million dollars for the als association. two weeks after the death of legendary musician leonard cohen, some good news. one of his hits finally stands among the country's most popular. the original version of his 1984 ballad, hallelujah jumped to number 89 on the latest hot 100. it was downloaded 33,000 times last week alone. and the original gerber baby turned 94 this week. she was four monthsing on when a family friend sketched that portrait now known all around the world.
gerber liked it just the way it was. these days ann turner is a retired english teacher and novelist in florida. boy, they grow up fast, don't they? when we come back, some of our country's biggest over-achievers receiving highest honors tod hey, need fast heartburn relief? try cool mint zantac. it releases a cooling sensation in your mouth and throat. zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. try cool mint zantac. no pill relieves heartburn faster.
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finally tonight, a who's who at the white house as president obama blew past the record for most medals of freedom awarded by a president. 114 in all over eight years, the highest civilian honor for some of the best and broitest this country has to offer. it's safe to say the final class of the obama years did not disappoint. it was an extraordinary gathering that even before the ceremony made for some remarkable images, including the obligatory mannequin pose that soared across social media. president obama hosting and celebrating the 21 distinguished americans who each has left an indelible mark on the nation's fabric. >> extraordinary americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us towards progress.
>> receiving the prestigious medal of freedom honor, giants of sport, including kareem abdul-jabbar, and michael jordan. >> renowned character actors like the guy from "space jam." >> reporter: legends of the screen, redford, hanks, and de niro. >> the sicilian father turned new york mobster. a mobster who runs a casino. a mobster who needs therapy. >> reporter: actress cicely tyson. >> once he got her education and broke into the business, slee made a conscious decision not just to say lines, but to speak out. >> reporter: and for those wondering about this tweet, ellen degeneres did make it into the white house where the president praised her as a trail blazer. >> just how much courage was required for ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. >> reporter: there were musical icons,
diana roy diana ross and bruce springsteen. >> i am the president, he is the boss. >> reporter: for all of them, the honor started with a phone call like this from the white house. >> oh, my gosh, no. >> yes, so you -- >> are you sure? just an old baseball announcer. >> reporter: but today, vin scully, that little old baseball announcer and dodgers legend, joined an exclusive club. >> i think, as human beings, we each looked at each other and thought, we've really been fortunate. i know i did, for sure. >> as we noted, this is the last time president obama will award medals of freedom, and it was apparent he relished the moment. that's going to do it for us on a tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and goodnight.
>> psychiatric emergency. >> he's exhausted. he's just really tired. >> kris jenner breaking new details to extra as kim hoops jet home. reports kanye assaulted someone at his personal trainer's before being handcuffed and hospitalized. >> harm to himself. >> plus -- >> i just want him to get some rest. >> the stars stepping up to support kanye today. trump's media showdown inside his closed door showdown with george stephanopoulos, wolf blitzer. >> one describing it as a firing squad. >> live with mario, the king of pop. >> what's your favorite song of your dad? >> from the music to the memory, ut nce jackson opens up about life without his father. >> what's the most common thing people ask you. >> plus kirstie alley watching john stamos