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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 10, 2015 7:00pm-7:31pm EST

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breaking news -- fbi divers enter a lake near the scene of a san bernardino terror attack and a family connection is revealed between the killers and the man who bought their gun. trump shock waves. the republican front-runner stands to lose big business over his plan to temporarily ban muslims from the u.s. and he's forced to back out of a trip to israel. what americans really think of the plan in our brand-new poll. breaking his silence for the very first time. former american p.o.w. bowe bergdahl reveals why he abandoned his post and ended up in enemy hands. a runaway train. passengers trapped on an out-of-control boston subway are horrified to find no operator on board as
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the train passed through station after station. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. for much of the afternoon, our eyes have been closely trained on a lake near the scene of the san bernardino terror massacre where fbi divers have been engaged in a new search for critical evidence, one authorities say could go on for days. in addition to tracking the physical and digital trail of this husband and wife team of killers, we've learned investigators are also now taking a harder look at the couple's family tree, after discovering some relationships that raise new questions about them and those close to them. here's nbc miguel almaguer with late details. >> reporter: today the fbi sent divers to search a lake three miles from where the shooting took place. authorities say it was related to their investigation, but declined to say how. >> we are seeking evidence of anything that had to do with
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this particular crime. >> reporter: investigators coinue to question farook's friend enrique marquez. officials say he is speaking freely to the fbi after going on a inking binge following the massacre and now feels remorse. police say he bought the two assault rifles that ended up used in the shooting. he has been arrest or charged. he told investigators farooq discussed staging the attack in 2012 at a university or big public gathering, but got cold feet when four southern california men were arrested and charged with plotting to kill u.s. soldiers in afghanistan. authorities are looking at whether farooq knew one of those men. marquez and farook once lived next door to each other in this neighborhood and were close friends. officials say farook's brother, also named syed is married to a
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ukrainian woman. neighbors say they had no idea marquez had a wife. >> i didn't know he was married. i mean, i've known him, i've seen him. 's here. he lives here. i've never seen a woman there. >> reporter: marquez' mother told nbc news she didn't know her son was married either. she says all she wants to say as a mother is, quote, he was great kid. tonight in san bernardino, friends and family gathered on a hill for the funeral yvette velasco, one of the 14 killed in the shooting rampage. nearby, a rolling tribute. a remembrance wall to honor the 14 victims of this terror attack. their faces and their lives. the victims gone but not forgotten. at a briefing a short time ago, the fbi says they are following leads that the gunman spent time at this lake. they are clearly looking for evidence. what remains unclear is they were at this lake before or after the shooting.
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federal agents will be canvassing local neighborhoods looking for evidence there, as well. >> miguel almaguer, thanks. the terror attack in california has given away to one of the most emotional debates of this presidential campaign season. donald trump's proposal to put a pause on entry by muims into the united states. a brand-new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll tells us what americans think of that idea. 37 of adults oppose the trump plan. only 20% say they support it. the trump camp may find validation in our new poll numbers. katy tur reports. >> reporter: just as the plans were coming into focus, donald trump abruptly backed out of his trip to israel today, tweeting he'll reschedule with benjamin netanyahu "after i become president". >> i didn't want to put him under pressure. i'm in the midst of a very powerful campaign. >> reporter: the trip sparks blanket outrage across the middle east and strong pushback
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from within israel, as 37 members of the israeli parliament demanded the prime minister cancel the meeting. >> donald trump's decision to cancel or indefinitely postpone his trip to israel is being greeted here with a sigh of relief. his visit would have placed us in a difficult position. we are surrounded by muslim countries. >> reporter: the contentious candidate is polling strong. ahead double digits nationally. in a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, 42% of gop voters say they support his muslim ban, but he is facing increased competition from ted cruz. especially in iowa where the texas senator locked up a key endorsement today, while taking a dig at trump. >> ultimately, the decision is who has the right judgment? experience and judgment to serve as commander in chief. >> reporter: from cruz to this bald eagle in a "time" magazine photo shoot, trump is under attack from all sides. even in the middle east where his wallet
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could take a hit as his business ties are facing increased scrutiny. >> he realizes he has investments in muslim countries. >> reporter: trump is unfazed and mulling his options. you would vote for him as an independent? >> yes, i would. >> reporter: why? >> i like his ideas. it's the same ideas as i have. >> reporter: it's a big concern for the rnc. how far can you push trump before he jumps ship? make no mistake, he wants to win. his best chance of winning is on the republican ticket. this as he's expected to pick up a new endorsement here in new hampshire tonight. >> thank you. let me turn to chuck todd, moderator of "meet the press." that was a fascinating number, 42% of republicans support this muslim immigration plan he's put forward. what does that say to his republican challengers who have been condemning him on this? >> it is a divided electorate. i would say there is some question. i wouldn't ignore the
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fact that there was a fairly large undecided number on this. larger than you normally would expect on something that got this much coverage. it's over 15%, between % and 20%. this was a live poll. there may be more people that support trump's position but don't necessarily want to tell somebody over the phone when we do these polls that they're for him. there is one other thing in this poll i think is good news for donald trump. 77% of republicans say that they appreciate or like the way he tells it like it is, even at some points if he does it inelegantly. a lot of people in this party like donald trump is bringing up issues. >> chuck todd, thank you. the shock waves of last month's terrorist attacks continue to be felt in europe. officials raise the alert level today in geneva, switzerland d increased security across the city. including outside the u.n. headquarters. police search for four suspects allegedly linked to isis and believed to be plotting a specific attack. senior u.s. counterterrorism officials tell nbc
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news that swiss authorities were acting on a tip from the cia. for more than six years now, it has remained a troubling mystery. why did sergeant bowe bergdahl leave his post in afghanistan and end up as the longest-held american p.o.w. since the vietnam war? we got an answer from the podcast sensation "serial" which made a surprise return today featuring bergdahl himself. we get more from nbc news national correspondent peter alexander. >> reporter: sergeant bowe bergdahl breaking his silence. for years he was america's only prisoner of war after walking off his remote army post in afghanistan in the middle of the night. >> 20 minutes out, i'm going, good grief, i'm over my head. suddenly, it really starts to sink that i really did something bad. >> reporter: his first person account is in the new season of the podcast "serial." he wanted to warn commanders about leadership problems
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before concocting a new plan he might track taliban insurgents, casting himself as a super soldier. >> i was trying to prove to the world that i am, i don't know, jason bourne. >> reporter: critics argue bergdahl was a traitor, later swapped for five taliban detainees held at guantanamo bay. "serial" offering maximum exposure. >> the more information people have about sergeant bergdahl, his motivation, the better. >> reporter: 19 months after bergdahl's release in the white house ceremony with his parents, today house republicans argued the obama administration blind-sided law makers with the prisoner swap. >> the administration intentionally violated the law not informing congress and misleading congress about these negotiations. >> reporter: to this day, bergdahl is haunted by his years in ctivity. >> there was times i would wake up and it was so dark.
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i would wakup not even remembering what i was. >> reporter: awaiting a decision about his future, sergeant bergdahl is an active duty soldier in san antonio. if court-martialed, he could face life in prison. peter alexander, nbc news, washington. a scary scene in boston this morning. a commuter train suddenly took off without a driver. tonight that driver has been put on administrative leave after the train barreled through several stations with dozens of terrified passengers trapped on board. nbc's ron mott has late details. >> reporter: tense moments in boston today when a runaway train with passengers moved down the tracks early this morning. transportation officials are investigating why the six-car train left the braintree station without its operator onboard. >> we were flying through the station. if we kept going at that rate of speed, we would have either derailed or went over the bridge. >> reporter: rail workers noticed within minutes and cut power
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to the train to make it stop. momentum carried it through several stations before finally coming to rest. >> everything was stopped, and we were trying to open the doors and we couldn't. we were trying to press the buttons to the emergency room and nobody heard. the people that was on the first car was trying to knock on the door of the conductor and that's when we discovered there was nobody there. >> reporter: the train moved to the next station where rattled passengers were finally able to get off. governor charlie baker questions what really happened. >> manipulated, tampered with, there was -- it's clear that it was set in forward motion, which is why it moved in the first place when the signal was manipulated. >> reporter: none of the 50 or so passengers was injured, but officials say one worker was slightly injured after being struck by this slow-moving runaway train. late tonight, he's been identified as the train's operator, david felix vasquez, a 28-year teran of the mbta. officials are investigating whether human error was the
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cause, as the probe continues to the hair-raising morning commute. ron mott, nbc news, boston. there is more to tell you about. coming up, airport ghost town. some days there are no flights there at all. why is this airport still in operation and costing taxpayers millions? as a new outbreak illness linked to chipotle grows, what the ceo is telling us. for adults with an advanced lung cancer called "squamous non-small cell", previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, it's not every day something this big comes along. a chance to live longer with... opdivo, nivolumab. opdivo is the first and only immunotherapy fda approved based on a clinical trial demonstrating longer life... ...for these patients. in fact, opdivo significantly increased the chance of living longer versus chemotherapy.
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busiest airports, chicago's o'hare. linois is also home to an airport that barely has any flights at all, deep in the american heartland. it has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and falls deeper into debt every day. why do officials keep pouring money into it as taxpayers cry foul? national investigative correspondent jeff rosen paid a visit. >> reporter: welcome to mid america airport. only one airline, allegiant operates out of here. some days there are no flights at all. when i catch one of the rare flights in, we soar over the cornfields of illinois on final approach. and here's what i see from my window. empty runways, empty gates. so how empty is it here? let me show you around. it's a week day afternoon. we are talking about the peak travel time. escalators aren't running because there are no passengers he. suffice it to say, there are no lines at
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the ticket counter. there is not even a ticket agent. come down this way. this is baggage claim. you know how annoying it usually is? so busy, such a fuss. no one there either. we are all alone in this airport. >> the state can't afford it. we can't afford it and all they want to do is tax us. >> reporter: local taxpayers call it the money pit. >> this is everybody's tax money. there is money from the state coming in here, the federal government coming in here. >> reporter: the the airport cost nearly $300 million to build.airport y $300 million to build. another $22 million for improvements. and today, it's nearly $82 million in debt. nbc news first investiged this airport back in 1998. back then, officials promised things would get better, but the airport has only fallen deeper into debt. why does the county board keep funding it? we went to the chairman. is it acceptable this airport is in the red every single year by millions and taxpayers are paying for it? >> no, it's not. that's why we continue
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to bring in more flights and more commerce. >> reporter: another reason to keep mid america open, it shares runways with scott air force base. >> scott air force base would not be here. >> reporter: the air force sa mid america is not a factor keeping scott open, but yet as mid america sits empty, kern stands behind it. >> we continue to try to break even at mid america airport. >> reporter: that's the goal after 18 years in the red? >> the goal of any airport to break even. >> reporter: which you have not been able to do ever. >> we're working. it's moving in that direction. >> shut it down and look at other options. th're hoping for a miracle. >> reporter: this affects all of us. any time you buy an airplane ticket, you know those taxes and fees, some of that money goes toward airport improvements from the big ones we use to the small ones like mid america with very little traffic. >> jeff rosen, thanks very much. we are back in a moment with good news about the health of actress and wife of tom hanks rita wilson. about th about th actress and wife of
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prudential bring your challenges a first in this country, connecticut's governor says he will ban people on the federal no-fly list from buying guns in s state by issuing an executive order. governor daniel malloy sayshe order will deny gun permits to these individuals. last week the u.s. senate rejected a measure that would have stopped people on the terror watch list from buying guns. the woes continue for chipotle. the outbreak of a norovirus stomach bug linked to one of its boston locations has jumped to at least 141 cases. in the fallout and an earlier one involving e. coli, the ceo appeared on "today" to apologize. nbc's tom costello has more on what the company is doing to keep its customers safe. it's a chipotle pledge, food with integrity. but that pledge is now under the microscope with chipotle in crisis, the ceo today talked to matt lauer on "today."
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>> first, i have to say i'm sorry for the people who got sick. they're having a tough time. >> reporter: chipotle's trouble began two months ago, an e. coli outbreak sickened 52 people. 43 restaurants closed. now boston college. the number of students sickened with the norovirus today jumped to 141. the restaurant involved cited for three health code violations is closed for cleaning. >> after so many people got sick, i'm not sure i'm going to come back. >> reporter: norovirus is a common gastro intestinal virus that can spread rapidly. >> when you touch surfaces and have the virus on your hands, it can be transmitted in different restaurants. >> reporter: e. coli usually occurs when vegetables come in contact with contaminated water. now the company is promising new food handling procedures from farm to restaurant, including pre-preparing and sanitizing some ingredients like diced
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tomatoes then shipping them nationwide. >> procedures are so above industry norms we are going to be the safest place to eat. >> reporter: those comments helped lift the depressed stock, but with customers staying away, chipotle must reassure them, too. tom costello, nbc news, washington. rita wilson, actress, producer and wife of tom hanks announced today she is cancer-free. she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. after undergoing a double mastectomy she says she is 100% healthy. wilson reminded americans of the importance of getting a second opinion which she credits for helping her catch her cancer early on. when we come back here tonight, the heart warming surprise awaiting an iraq war veteran and his family when they returned home. veteran and his family when they returned home.
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away from home for long periods of time. serving in the military, for example. tonight we meet some great neighbors who have taken it upon themselves to help by putting their hearts into it. nbc's janet shamlian has our season of kindness report. >> reporter: the noise of construction in a salt lake city neighborhood is the sound of kindness. landscaping, painting, woodwork, an extreme makeover for an iraq war veteran and his family who have no idea it's happening. >> when they walk in, it should be a complete surprise to them. >> reporter: greg adamson runs heart to home, helping families who need house renovations due to disabilities or other life-changing events, with volunteers like trevor. >> i definitely called in sick to work. but they shouldn't be too mad, it's for a good cause. >> reporter: from his time in iraq, he is traumatized by loud noises. >> we were considering moving.
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>> we were. >> to get away from it. >> to go somewhere quieter. >> reporter: he wanted only sound proofing for his bedroom. heart to home said yes, but secretly had bigger plans. >> we try to think of it as the old barn raising days when community would come together after a fire or something happens. >> reporter: after a call for volunteers, building material and appliances, an overwhelming response. >> do you know how to paint? >> no. i never painted before, so i don't know how well it's going to turn out. >> reporter: from high school sports teams to entire offices, hundreds helped around the clock while the family stayed in a hotel unaware. finally, it's time for them to return. to their dream house they never could have dreamed of. >> this is pretty amazing. holy cow. i didn't expect this. >> reporter: part miracle, all inspiration as a community turns out for neighbors in need. janet shamlian, nbc news, salt lake city.
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that will do it for us on a thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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lights, camera, access. this has been a surreal year. >> this is amy. >> my name's joy. >> a best friend's showdown. there is no shortage of

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