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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 22, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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11:00. have a fantastic evening. tonight, shock waves from donald trump's vulgar attack on hillary clinton. a sexually derogatory word and a crude comment about a bathroom break leaving many asking has he ho finally gone too far. the warmest christmas ever. records sh tered. in the 70s where we usually see snow. and a major threat for last-minute travelers. 38 million at risk. historic landing, a spectacular feat for the future of space travel. and tonight the rocket man behind it dreamin ofg of a city on mars. targeting cancer. a little girl becomes the first child of the world to receive a
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treatment that saved her life and could save many more. and santa's little helper, the amazing dad who turned his son into elf on a shelf with the help of a little photo magic. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. if there is a limit to how far donald trump will go with his crude insults and school yard-like taunting, we're still waiting to see it. his latest verbal assaults include a public mocking of hillary clinton bathroom habits, a vile depiction o her last defeat and declaring his hate for some in the media. whipping up an angry crowd against the press there to cover him. but of course it is playing well to his core of supports who embrace his boldness. but is that enough? especially as the new national poll shows senator ted cruz
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let's start with nbc's katy tur. >> wow! >> re:orter: donald trump again storming past political decor um. this time to kriz site hil llary clinton. >> what happened to her. i'm watching the debate and she disappeared. >> for using the bathroom during the democratic debate. >> i know where she went. it is disgusting. i don't want to talk about it. no, it is too disgusting. don't say it. it is disgusting. >> reporter: ad going even further, berating her with a sexual vulgarity for losing to barack obama in 2008. >> she was going to beat. she was favored to mewin. and she got schlonged. she lost. >> reporter: hillary clinton fighting back with humor. >> we should give a few more minutes for bathroom breaks. >> i'm just glad they had one somewhere. >> and a message to a little girl about bua llying. >> you are looking at a person who has had a lot of things said about me.
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stand you will to bullies wherever they are and why we shouldn't let anybody bully his way into the presidency. >> rump grand rapids rally, anything before christmas, was anything but merry and bright. the crowd riled up and angry. trump turned the table on reporters, by the way, i hate some of these people but i would never tell them. no, these people, i'll be honest, i'll be nest, i would never kill them. i would never do that. >> reporter: his traveling press corp penned for campaign protoc in the center of the arena as thousands booed and jeotered. >> you a offended. the average american is not. because the average american was just sitting on their couch saying that exact same thing. >> reporter: butn today a new poll found that half of all americans would be embarrassed to call the billionaire president. and though the same poll finds him atop the gop field, ted
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>> i will donald trump speak for himself. i will speak for myself. >> reporter: and that strategy is working for ted cruz who is now within the margin of error with donald trump. meanwhile, if there ever was a line for the front-runner, it is hard to imagine where it was, lester. >> katy tur, thanks. and we want to turn to our political director, the moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. we've been here before. another day another controversial comment by donald trump. anond i kept thinking when i heard the comments, if most americans say in the workplace what he said, they would be fired. line does appear to be gone. it doesn't appear to be hurting him. but does it himity his growth and could he win if he doesn't grow his core. >> you are right about this idea. if any of us said what he said in the public square in the media, any other politician, if you said it in the workplace, you would be fired. but we said the same thing about what he said about mexicans and john mccain being war hero and what he said about fox news
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one of one of those would have get you reprimanded or fired. but it doesn't hurt him. but the thing we miss the most about the dona y trump supporters is that this is not economic, it ie s cultural. it is the anti-political correctness idea. th ste i ra that everything -- all of the major changes that have happened demographically in this country, he is tapping into -- into this idea that things are changing fast and don't you miss the old good days. the whole reason for the slogan make america great again. it s the again. that is the code word of saying the way it was. the way before we pead all of these changes. the way before your culture changed. so i think that is what we're seeing. obviously he is being crude about it. i don't think anything could stop him as far as chasing him out of the race. however, it does hurt him in a general ela ection. there is no way this guy could win a gene l election if he continues to go down this road. >> chu todd, appreciate your analysis.
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american troops killed in a suicide attack in afghanistan. it was the deadliest attack on u.s. forces in the country in more than two years. chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski has more on the victims of who they are and who they leave behind. >> this major adriana vorder bergen is the first openly gay female officer to be killed in combat. she and five other u.s. airmen were meeting afghan leaders near bagram air base t when a suicide bomber on a motorcycle drove into the group and detonated his bomb, killing all six americans. described as a champion of gay rights she was most proud of her wife and her young song jacob. she said adriana was light of our livers. we his her so much. she has always been me hero.
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sergeant lam loved to surprise his wife and twrso children. this is the first time he came home from afghanistan after a 10-month deployment. and as a new york city police detective in the bronx, lam was well loved. >> you met him and knew him and he was well loved. >> repliter: he did three combat tours before being killed this week. the u.s. airmen include save stargt lewis bona casa. chester mcbride, a college football standout and mike an anthony cinco of rio grande valley, texas. in washington, d.c. a restaurant was closed. staff sergeant petter toll b was among the dead. loyal customers joined in. >> the good people in erica care about you and your son, your lomess is our loss. >> reporter: this, as his wife just learned she is pregnant with their second child. coincidentally, this
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repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," l soifting the ban against gays in the military. ening the door for major adriana voder burgen and providing military benefits to her family that would have otherwise been denied, lester jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. thank you. the woman accused of running down a crowd of people on the vegas strip has ore officially been charged with murder, child abuse and felony hit-and-run. 24-year-old lakeisha plowed into the crowd repeatedly killing one woman and injuring three dozen more, including several now in critical condition. prosecutors say they are considering a number of other charges as well. chances are no matter where you live today, you were talking about the weather. extremes from coast to coast. and across much of the eastern and central u.s., we are headed for the warmest christmas on record. temperatures being shattered, headed for the 70s on christmas eve and christmas day. ther is also a major storm brewing. severe weather
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americans. and causing trouble for last-minute travelers. nbc's miguel almaguer breaks it all down. >> reporter: the weather on i-49 along the texas-arkansas border turned the roadways deadly. three killed, seven injured in a blinding fog pile-up. >> it sounded like a explosion. >> reporter: the wild weather system creating havoc is also poised to shatter records. some spots, 40 degrees above average. christmas eve in philli, 73. charlotte, 77. savannah, georgia, 79. 2800 temperature records already broken in december. in raleigh, where it will be 78, today the roads are sloppy. 2600 pig lets were on this big rig. what they are calling the pork chop overturn. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: across the country, a different extreme fuelled in part by el nino. the jet stream funneling strong southern california
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to rip off roofs and topple trucks. in sierra, this winter whiteout beautiful but dangerous. major roads shut down. others brought to a crawl. >> these things have to be up on the tire. >> reporter: many here will be lucky to get home by christmas. >> it was supposed to be a christmas eve trip. but i didn't get out of town in time. >> reporter: in oregon, steve sill has spent 15 hours a day for the last 15 days fighting blizzards so trav lers d icon't get stuck. >> we can't afford to go down. we have to have everybody on hand. >> reporter: oregon and washington state have been hammered continuously. winds knocking down power lines and trees. a season of extremes from coast to coast. tonight here in southern california where we are bracing for 60 le-per-hour winds, a cold weather alert has been issued for ma 10ny of the region. the temperature could plummet well below freezing. in an area, lester, renowned for sunny skies even in the
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lester. >> miguel almaguer, thanks. let's bring in meteorologist dylan dreyer. typically in december, would you be asking where is the white christmas. but all i see is red on that half of your map. >> it is going to be a warm christmas across the eastern half of the country with temperatures running 30 to 40 degrees above average. we'll start to break some records on wednesday. but hristmas eve is the day we're all going to be talking about. we are going to crush records. in boston the old record 61. we're forecasting a high of 68 degrees. in washington, d.c., the old record 66. we should make it up to 76 degrees. t keep in mind, these warm temperatures come withlshowers, rain and heavy storms. the best chance of strong storms will be back near memphis. we could see long, track, long duration tornados especially as we go into wednesday afternoon. now out west, that is where we're getting the white christmas. we're lookie: at troubles in the overpasses. wednesday is going to be a rough travel day. christmas eve the rain continues up and down the east coast and on christmas day still rainy in the southeast.
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to the mountains to get the white christmas. >> dylan, thank you very much. and now to the stunning astonishment in cape canaveral. space skch has contracts to carry cargo and eventually astronauts to the space station managed to launch an unmanned ro et into the night sky and landed back on earth paving the way to reuse rockets, not just discarding them after a single use. tom costello on how this could change the future of space travel. >> reporter: the liftoff was like a rethousand rocket launches before, but , for space x, this was no ordinary mission. just 4 1/2 minutes into flight, the first stage of the felcon 9 separated and did a u-turn, headed back to earth. then oven seven minutes later mission control watched history in the making. for the first time
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pay load mission had returned and successfully landed vertically back on earth. while 385 miled up 11 kplungs satellites were released no or bit. in california, celebration. the upstart at space x had overcome a challenge that had ooi for decades. how big of a challenge? space x said this was like launching a pencil over the empire state building, breaking it in half and reversing it and landing the pencil right-side up on a shoe box. recovering and reasing the first stage could dramatically cut the cost of future launches. the space x kre billionaire elon musk. >> i think it is a revolutionary moment. >> reporter: six months ago a space x rocket blue up after liftoff. last month blue origin owned by amazon ceo jeff bezos launted vertal cally in the texas desert.
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companies doing this kind of innovation in the space realm is exciting and we're really at the beginning of a whole new era in space, i think. >> reporter: an achievement the ran who runs space x said will one day set the stage for a mission to mars. tom costello, nbc news, washington. still ahead tonight, it is save the -- it saved the life of a little girl dying of leukemia. a revolutionary treatment with the power to change human genes. can it work on others too. and a car spins out of control on a high-speed chase and red 97! set! red 97! did you say 97? yes. you know, that reminds me of geico's 97% customer satisfaction rating. 97%? helped by geico's fast and friendly claims service. huh... oh yeah, baby. geico's as fast and
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we're back with what could be a huge leap forward in the battle against cancer. a treatment that changes the genetic makeup of your cells an turns them into cancer-fighting weapons. it brought one little girl who was the first child to receive the treatment back from the brink of death. nbc's rehema ellis has more in our series -- target cancer: chasing the cure. >> reporter: emily whitehead is like most fifth graders, full of energy. but this 10-year-old is also a pioneer. we first met her three years ago when she was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia. the cancer was growing out of control and doctors were out of options. desperate, her parents turned to an skpar experimental treat
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pr iomise in a few adults. >> how sick was e? >> at one point the doctor came in and said you need to tell your family and because emily won't be here tomorrow. >> reporter: but emily fought hard. becoming the first chamild in the world to test a revolutionary technique, changing a cancer patient's own dna. it started with doctors at the university of pennsylvania and children's hospital of philadelphia. >> i think if you ask people back in 22,002, some of this would have sounded like science fiction. >> here is how it works frxt a blood sample, a patient's immune sells are separated out and injected with a deactivated version of hiv. the virus genetically changes the cells turning them into super-fighters that hunt out and destroy cancer cells. >> she's cancer-free. and i couldn't believe it. i just -- i thought it was a dream. >> reporter: today more than three years
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ground-breaking treatment, doctors have seen a 90% success rate in kids like her. >> the fact that it worked was absolutely miraculous. and it gives hope to so many other people. >> reporter: and now early clinical trials are underway, testing this approach and other kinds of cancers, like pancreatic and ovarian. >> it is strange -- >> but her story is now literally the text book example. >> if someone were to come to you now and to say, emily, how can we feel hopeful about our child going through cancer, what would you say to them? >> to never give up. >> reporter: one little girl winning her battle against cancer, paving the way for so many others to win theirs too. rehema ellis, nbc news, phillipsberg, pennsylvania. when we come back, don't blink and you'll
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for the first time since the military determined he would face court marshal, pow sergeant bowe bergdahl appeared in military court at ft. bragg. he was arraigned on charged of desertion and miss behavior before the enemy but he did not enter a plea. he was held by five years by the taliban after leaving his post in 2009. a deposit got quite a shurp when he -- s prise when he discovered the driver in this high-speed chase was a teen. it spun out f ntrol into oncoming traffic. you could make out the teen and his 8-year-old sister also in the car making a run for it. they snuck out and took the car owned by their dad's girld girlfriend for a joy ride. nearly a
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drone fell from the sky, nearly crushing a skier. the drone was carrying a tv camera and came crashing down during a world cup slalom race. he didn't seem to notice how close it came until later. he joked about experiencing, quote, heavy air traffic in italy on social media. when we come back, the elf on a shelf comes to life. technology empowers us to achieve more. it pushes us to go further. special olympics has almost five million athletes in 170 countries. aithe microsoft cloud allows us to immediately be able to access information, wherever we are. information for an athlete's medical care, or information to track their personal best. with microsoft cloud, we save millions of man hours, and that's time that we can invest in our athletes and
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finally tonight, a holiday delight. it is about a real life elf on the shelf. when you see him it might be hard to contain yourself. as hallie jackson tells us, his adorable pictures have earned him viral glory which leads us to this charming story. >> reporter: twas was the weekend before christmas and in the town of paradise, the elf on the shelf wasn't being very nice. he tiptoed downstairs with wrapping paper and glue. >> i can go into the bathroom in the middle of the night. >> he makes mischiefs and messes. not a role model, just look at that sweet tooth. >> he drank out of the syrup bottle. >> but big brother zack knows this is not a toy. he is rockwell, his brother.
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spreading the magic of the season with a little help from hisit pop. >> i'm holding him the entire time. >> and the magic of photo shop. rockwell sees you when you are sleeping and tells s toanta if you have been nice. his pictures so popular online, people shared and shared twice. strangers all over the world clicking photos of this kid. >> not really expe ing it would go viral and get the attention that it did. >> reporter: but this family has had a taste of what it is like to spread joy. look at who is next to rockwell. do you recognize that boy? that is will. he can fly, as we've told you before. his pictures proof. kids with down's syndrome can soar. these photos all taken for one simple reason. to share the love this family shows. no matter the season. and for the wo youngest kids, it is a love that never ends. >> we're really excited to watch them grow up together and be best friends. >> reporter: life is not always picture perfect. but one thing is clear. you don't have to wait until christmas to feel this kind of eer.
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gift, you can't find under the tree. so from the lawrence family, and ours, happy holiday urrom nby c. nbc's hallie jackson. and i tried, nothing rhymes with that. that will do it for us on a tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc


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