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

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. tonight, breaking news. bill cosby charged. the once beloved s sr booked and arraigned for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. the first criminal charge among dozens of as youkations of misconduct. >> floods of historic proportions, forcing dramatic rescues, wiping away buildings and causing thousands to evacuate and the worst is yet to come. security on alert. from coast to coast. as the u.s. gets ready to ring in the new year, while overseas the terror threat is high and major celebrations are canceled. and a child's salute. the moving image of a young boy at the funeral for his father, an nypd detective killed by a suicide bomber while serving in afghanistan.
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now. good evening. it was a jarring image, seeing the man who once personified family values on television walking past cameras to enter court, facing criminal charges of sexual assault. the charges against bill cosby stem from one woman's accusations involving an incident that allegedly took place more than a decade ago. more than 55 women have made accusations against the entertainer whose lawyers have repeatedly deniedal allegations. cod by was arraigned today in pennsylvania and stephanie gosk begins our coverage there tonight. >> reporter: the speck acle felt out of place at a small courthouse in pennsylvania. bill cosby, once known as america's favorite dad, arrived to face multiple counts of sexual assault. the first time the 78-year-old has ever been criminally charged.
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gingerly, using a cane and saying nothing. he posed a $1 million bond and posed for a mug shot. he is charged with three felony charges of vafd indecent assault when former temple university employee andrea constand went to his house to discuss her career. >> he urged her to take pills that he provided to her and to drink wine. the affect of which rendered her unable to move or respond to his advances and he committed david indecent assault upon her. >> reporter: bill cosby filed a criminal complaint but the prosecutor at the time said there was not enough to charge. a year later she filed a civil suit revealing 13 more alleged victims. one of them, barbara bowman, spoke with kate snow. >> i cried when i found out there were 13 women. i didn't think there were two. i thought there was
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>> reporter: the civil suit was settled out of cartourt. but since then allegations pile up. now more than 50 women say they were abused too. telling the same story. they were given drugs and assaulted. cosby denies the allegation and his lawyer said make n n mistake, we intend to mount a vigorous defense against this unjustified charge and we expect mr. cosby will be exonerated by a court of law. but the flood of new accusations prompted a reinvestigation. gloria allred represented 29 other victims whose cases fall out side of the statute of limitations. >> seeing him criminally charged and having to face a trial is the best christmas present that they have ever received. >> reporter: bill cosby is back here at home tonight. the scene of the alleged crime. the victim's lawyer tells nbc news that her client is gratified at the
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getting but troubled it took this long for him to be charged. kate. >> stephanie gosk in pennsylvania. legal experts say some of his other accusers could be called as witnesses in this criminal case. in late august, i interviewed 29 of those women. 27 in one room for a dateline special. andrea constand, the woman at the center of today's new criminal case was not among them. >> i was drugged and raped. >> he flipped me over and raped me. >> their stories were harrowing. and what was most striking was how similar some of the details were. >> it really duped america, as far as i'm concerned. >> reporter: the accusations from these women span five decades, ranging from harassment to groping to rape. >> how many of you believe you were drugged by bill cosby? how many of you believe bill cosby raped you? >> patricia stoyer and other women were ready to testify in the
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lawsuit ten years ago. today she felt vindicated. >> i was willing in 2005 to testify on behalf of andrea if it was helpful to her case. i remain willing to do that. >> reporter: cosby has denied all allegations and filed suit against some of his accusers for defamation. >> his attorney has said, quote, it is completely illogical that so many people would have said nothing, done nothing and made no reports. >> when it happened to me, there was no such thing a a like date rape. i never even heard of somebody being drugged and raped. >> i didn't report my sexual assault because i blamed myself. >> this body of women are moving the needle. >> that is right. >> not much. but we're still moving it. and that is the power we all feel. >> reporter: bill cosby is due back in court january 14th. and again today his attorney said they
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the other big story tonight, deadly massive flooding in the midwest. threatening to become a historic disaster. nbc national correspondent miguel almaguer reports from eureka, missouri, where some have already lost everything. >> reporter: the floodwaters in missouri have swept away homes and smashed apart lives. tonight the water is rising across this region as fast as the death toll. at least 20 killed in cars washed away by swift currents. neighbors are rescuing neighbors. many trapped after swollen rivers burst their banks.s. >> we still need help. i mean, we really need help. we're saving my house right now. >> reporter: the situation is so fluid outside of st. louis, it is unclear how many homes are gone. >> it rolls really quick. >> reporter: this man kayaked to safety. his home was swallowed by the merrimack river. tonight he is packing up what is left
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and under the brink of going going under. >> we have a safe place. now it is going to top the levee, they are thinking. >> reporter: with hundreds scrabbling to fill tens of thousands of of sandbags, the missouri governor said this could be the worst flooding in state history. in st. louis, the mighty mississippi floods at 30 feet. tonight it is brimming at 41.5. tomorrow it could crest at 43. 13 feet above flood stage. the highest mark since 1993, when 100,000 homes were destroyed. >> we are here before the water rises, we're here after it falls. we're here until this place is back to where it was before. and sometimes that takes a while. >> reporter: this washout was triggered after several days of relentless rain. part of i-44 is shut down and dozens of levees are threat end as a flooded treatment plant spewed raw sewage into a fast-moving river. and now more mandatory evacuations in communities like
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the rentals clearing out family heirlooms from home and business. tonight they have each other but they may lose the place where five generations grew up together. >> you are still dry but worried. >> we're going to get wiped out thistime. >> reporter: with many businesses already flooded, the damage could get worst over the next 24 to 48 hours. the water could r re 20 feet above flood stage. the camera you are looking at is roughly 20 feet in the air. but to give you some perspective of how much water we're talking about, all of the businesses you see in this area on your screen right now would be completely submerged up to the roofline. kate, back to you. >> wow, unbelievable. miguel almaguer, thank you. that massive flooding is part of the wild weather in recent weeks all linked to this season's powerful el nino and now as joe fryer reports, nasa said it is looking a lot like one of the strongest and most devastating el ninos ever on record. >> reporter: they are images that seem to defy december.
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through missouri and deadly tornados tearing through the south. with unusually balmy weather blankets the northeast over christmas. all of it the result of an el nino weather system that keeps growing stronger. in fact, the newest satellite image released by nasa bears a strikele resemblanan to the one in 1997, the worst el nino on record. >> this el nino in size and intensity, will definitely rival the previous two champions. which were 82 and 97. this is a godzilla el nino. >> reporter: that 97 system caused devastating floods in california, a crippling ice storm in the northeast and rare tornados in florida. now this latest el nino promises a new round of weather havoc in 2016 with drought stricken california braced for rain and mudslides. >> through january and the beginning of february, we'll see the storminess out west and the cooler
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across the south and it should stay above average through the north. >> reporter: an el nino leaving destruction across the globe with the fears more devastating weather is still on the horizon. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. as we head into new year's, part of the country are on higher alert, from new york, to l.a., to washington, d.c. a response to tears of of more terrorism after the recent attacks in san bernardino and paris. security will be unprecedented in times square for the celebration just a few blocks from where we are. we get more tonight melvin. >> reporter: tonight, the ball is ready for the 1 million revelers who will pack into times square this new year's eve. and joining them on high alert, 6,000 nypd officers and a newly-created anti-terror force. >> we have the best prepared city i ithe country. the best prepared city to prevent terrorism and to deal with any
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>> reporter: the iconic new year's eve will have multiple layers of security. 14 entrances with magnetometers will barricade and secured by police with long guns to guard against intruders. once inside, you face secondary screening and won't be allowed to leave and return. >> we have more personnel that have been trained on how to deal with the issues. >> reporter: adding to the law enforcement presence, 1,000 security cameras, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs. today nbc news was given access inside of the nypd joint operations center. >> we do make analysis of what the terrorists have looked at in the past and we strategically deploy our officers to areas where there will be large crowds. >> reporter: across high-profile events including the rose bowl are under tight security. keeping law enforcement on heightened alert despite no specific credible threat. >> people should always be aware, always be alert but not be fearful, not be afraid. they are trying to
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life through fear. if we allow that to happen, we are falling into their trap. >> reporter: because of the unseasonably warm temperatures, event organizers here in times square say they expect a largege crowd than usual but insist they'll be ready. kate. >> craig melvin in time square tonight. thanks. overseas, the threat appears to be more immediate with evidence of at least two terrorist attacks being planned. one in europe, one in turkey, resulting in a number of arrests there. it is not surprising that some new year's celebrations then are being scaled back. nbc's bill neely has our report. >> reporter: across europe, police are on high alert. in belgium, two men have been arrested for planning suicide attacks in this historic square. due to be filled with new year crowds. authorities canceling fireworks, citing a terrorist threat. in turkey, more arrests. after a suicide vest and a backpack filled with explosives were
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house in the capital. two men suspected of planning a new year massacre. and in paris, authorities are scaling down celebrations, canceling fireworks, fearing a repeat of november's attacks. in london, too, security is tight. police in london have considered a terror attack highly likely for the past year. but based on new intelligence, they have now doubled the number of police officers on these streets. the threat is real. this british couple was jailed for life today for planning suicide attacks in the london. they tested explosives in their backyard. they were isis supporters. radicalized like the couple in san bernardino who carried out their attack. europe tonight is a continent on edge. bill neely, nbc news, london. all chicago police patrol cars will now be equipped with tasers following outrage over several deadly police shootings there.
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manuel announced the change as part of his plan to overhall the city police force. he is under fire for his handling of the department says officers need more training on when it is proper to use lethal force. we turn to politics nowment and with donald trump leading the republicans, the real battle is in the rest of the field. among those trying to stay relevant. for his part, trump intensified the war of words today with hillary clinton. hallie jackson is on the campaign trail. >> reporter: december drama for jeb bush. in a surprise move, emptying his miami headquarters to send staffers to early states and canceling $3 million worth of ad time to pump that money into getting out the vote. his super-pac will still keep him all over tv in hopes the new strategy proves bush could be the party's traditional pick. >> at some point someone will have to be the standard bearer for the establishment wing of the party and they don't have any
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>> reporter: that is where the fiercest fight is happening, for third place. behind donald trump and ted cruz, the establishment candidates firing at each other. >> if they think this is tough, we are nowhere close to tough yet. >> reporter: but trump is still dominating the polls an the crowd count, today this long trump line treated inside to this trump line. >> i'll tell you who doesn't like hillary, are women. women don't like hillary. >> reporter: trump amping up attacks against his former wedding guests, both clintons. >> she is going to accuse me of things. >> reporter: and he is announcing plans to spend $2 million a week on ads. >> i'm ready to see him all over my tv. all over my tv and i'm ready to see him in the oval office. >> reporter: the 2016 battle just beginning. hallie jackson, nbc news, hiltonhead. still ahead tonight, carrying guns out in the open. it is about to be legal in one state for the first time. but many businesses there say if you are armed, stay out.
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are you taking a zumba class? among the new laws taking affect on new year's day is a controversial gun law in texas that will make it legal to carry handguns openly in public. but some, including many in law enforcement, think it
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wyff wyff wyff wyff wyff privilege. >> you have a chance to draw faster and be able to defend faster. >> reporter: nearly 1 million texans also have a concealed handgun permit. under the new law, no additional paperwork, training or fee is required for them. a concealed carry permit now doubles as an open carry permit. >> it brings us in line with just about every other state. >> reporter: representative larry phillips offered the new law. >> they have to be over 21. they also have to have a clean criminal and mental health record. >> reporter: many texans say it is about time. while others, including nearly 75% of texas police chiefs, strongly disagree, according to a new survey. some businesses are also choosing to ban open carry. sign maker shops scrambling to keep up with the demand. warnings to open carriers, keep out.
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another new texas gun law nicknamed campus carry, allowed concealed handguns on university campuses, taking affect next august. >> do we want it to be a culture where we think the way to solve things is with a gun? >> reporter: safety is the target many texans will tell you. texans for the new gun laws and against them. jacob rascon, nbc news, louisville, texas. when we come back, a late-breaking development concerning the mother of that (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a stag pool party. (party music) (splashing/destruction) (splashing/destruction) (burke) and we covered it, october twenty-seventh, 2014. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.
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waiter: here's your check. oh! you--you got it. you know, since i got rid of my car, i really enjoy walking. ok. got it? no, i'm good. announcer: getting pulled over for buzzed driving could cost you around $10,000 in fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates. oh, you're home early. you live with your mom? announcer: that'll set your game back a few years. buzzed, busted, and broke because buzzed driving is drunk driving. there is late word tonight that the mother of the so-called affluenza teen has been extradited back to the u.s. tanya couch was caught on the run with her son ethan in mexico, but he managed to secure a delay to remain there for days or even weeks. ethan couch is on probation for a drug driving cash that killed four people.
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may remember, after his defense argued he was so spoiled he didn't know right from wrong. official white house photographer pete souza has released the year in pikes. a rainbow appearing behind president obama as he waves from air force one back in april.l. the commander in chief playing around with school kids in alaska in september. and from the se month, the president and first lady escorting pope francis inside of the white house. we're back in a moment with this touching image as thousands paid their respects to a i absolutely love my new york apartment, but the rent is outrageous. good thing geico offers affordable renters insurance. with great coverage it protects my personal belongings should they get damaged, stolen or destroyed. [doorbell] uh, excuse me. delivery. hey. lo mein, szechwan chicken, chopsticks, soy sauce and you got some fortune cookies. have a good one. ah, these small new york apartments... protect your belongings. let geico help you
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finally tonight, an emotional tribute to a man who was a hero on the streets of new york and on the battlefields of afghanistan and to his family. harry smith has the story of one final salute. >> reporter: the streets of midtown manhattan came to a stand-still today. for the funeral of new york police detective joseph lemm. along fifth avenue near st. patrick's cathedral, a sea of blue stood in silent tribute for a cop his colleagues called superman. he was on patrol with five other americans in afghanistan when they were attacked by a suicide bomber
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in t was lemm's third deployment to afghanistan with the air national guard. yes, he was a cop and a reservist. for whom duty meant everything. two years ago, local news cameras were there when he surprised his family at a restaurant coming home early after his second long deployment. lemm was a big country kid from nebraska who thrived as a cop in some of the roughest sections of the bronx. his little boy ryan idolized him and high on the shoulders of a new york city police officer today, the 4-year-old saluted his pop. during the funeral, police commissioner bill bratton said this. >> today we say farewell to a hero and a hereby for all ages. a patriot who centered his life on protecting others. >> reporter: and that sure sounds like superman to us. harry smith, nbc news, new york. and that is "nightly news" on this
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