tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC December 23, 2016 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
tonight, let it be an arms race. president-elect donald trump ratchets up his nuclear rhetoric, vowing to out-match any country in a push for global weapons dominance. plus, a new trump versus obama controversy erupts over israel. breaking news, legendary actress and writer, carrie fisher, princess leia from "star wars" suffers a massive heart attack on a flight to los angeles, rushed to the hospital. we have late details. isis church threat, stepped-up security around u.s. houses of worship amid a new advisory from the fbi. dramatic takedown of the suspected berlin truck attacker, killed by police in italy. how was he able to travel so far? and family surprises. bringing the 12 days of christmas to life and inspiring america. "nightly news" begins
from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. i'm kate snow in for lester tonight. four weeks from today, president trump will officially take the oath of office. but in the past several days, the president-elect has inserted himself into high profile and controversial foreign policy issues. today he went even further than his previous comments about nuclear weapons, and we learned that trump made a phone call to egypt's president last night after the israeli government asked trump to weigh in on a u.n. resolution involving israel. all of it breaking with past protocol for a president in waiting and angering the obama administration. we begin tonight with our chief affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. >> reporter: even as vladimir putin was on ruling out an arms ce
four-hour news conference, donald trump was saying, let there be an arms race in an off-camera call. >> the president-elect told you what? >> let it be an arms race, we will out-match them at every pass. >> and outlast them all? >> and outlast them all. >> reporter: trump today escalating his stunning reversal of decades of u.s. nuclear policy. first announced on twitter thursday that instead of cutting weapons, the u.s. should strengthen and expand nuclear capabilities. on today, trump's new press secretary reinforcing the harder line. >> we're not going to sit back as a country and allow other countries to expand their nuclear capability with the u.s. sitting idle. this president is going to take action. >> reporter: but despite sounding like a warrior, trump was also sending softer signals today, releasing what the president-elect called a very nice letter putin sent him last week. while putin was telling reporter, if trump invites him to visit america, of course i will go. a sharp contrast with president obama's threat to punish
for interference in the u.s. election. a charge putin mocked today, saying, losers always look for ways to accuse somebody else. they should look at themselves first. and putin wasn't the only dispute today. at the u.n., the fight was over israel, the white house letting a resolution pass, condemning jewish settlements in east jerusalem and the west bank. obama refusing trump's and israel's demand to voteo it. for decades the settlements have been preventing a two-state solution. trump immediately tweeted, as to the u.n., things will be different after january 20th. so who's in charge now, obama or trump? >> it's confusing the rest of the world, which is hearing two very different messages from the president and president-elect. >> what is alarming critics is the unpredictability of trump's twitter announcements on complex issues that can shake the globe even before he takes the oath of office? kate? >> andrea, thank you. tonight, as so many americare
and homeland security are reminding the nation's police to remain vigilant over the holidays. their new message follows an internet posting by isis supporters, calling for attacks on churches. our justice correspondent pete williams has more. >> reporter: police have posted extra security around prominent churches and synagogs in new york, something they do route teenly this time of year. it's a good idea, federal officials say, advising local law enforcement in a new message, to remain vigilant over the holidays. earlier this week, it says, a pro-isis social media account posted a link to a website listing thousands of u.s. churches and calling for attacks on them. it also called for attacks on coffee shops, hotels, markets, streets, and other public places in the u.s., canada, france, and the netherlands. for the past two years, isis has issued similar lists, none resulting in a successful attack. but this one isn't even from the terror group itself. >> it's important to put this in context. it did not come from isis. i
online have no idea what this is or where it came from. so it's by no means official. >> police in major cities say they've already boosted security, partly in response to the truck attack in berlin, and officials say the website listing churches is full of errors and out of date. kate? >> pete williams, thank you. breaking news about actress carrie fisher who is hospitalized tonight after suffering a serious attack. she's now 60 and best known for her role in the "star wars" saga, was on an overseas flight at the time, and tonight fans and co-stars are sending thoughts and prayers from around the world. nbc's miguel almaguer has the late details. >> reporter: after landing at lax, carrie fisher was rushed to a local hospital according to law enforcement officials. passengers say the actress appeared to stop breathing and was taken off the plane by emts after suffering full cardiac arrest. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> remembered by generations as princess leia, fisher
for decades, even when returning to her starring role in "star wars" nearly 40 years later. >> i've always hated watching you leave. >> born in 1956 to famous parents eddy fisher and debby reynolds, the actress blazed her own path to stardom. >> you think that's funny, don't you? >> ygs. >> reporter: fisher's hollywood debut came in 1975 in "shampoo." several blockbusters followed. "the blues brothers." "when harry met sally." >> i read that in a magazine. >> reporter: more than 90 credits in television and film, but it was that role in "star wars" that left so many talking for so many years. just last month fisher revealed her on-screen romance with harrison ford -- >> i love you. >> i know. >> reporter: -- was in fact, a real-life love affair with the married, hollywood heartthrob. today co-star mark hamill tweeting, sending all our love to carrie fisher. >> people aren't stars for nothing, you know. or sometimes they are, but we won't talk about them.
prolific author, fisher was returning from london where she was promoting the princess dirist when she ferd a massive heart attack. tonight her condition remains unclear, but her legacy in hollywood is forever cemented in history. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. tonight the suspected driver who killed and wounded so many in the vicious truck attack in berlin is dead, killed in a shoot-out with police in italy. there are now growing questions about how he was able to travel so far undetected. we get more from nbc's hans nichols. >> reporter: anis amri's four-day run from the law came to an end here in italy around 3:00 a.m., when he was stopped by two officers conducting routine i.d. checks. they asked him to empty his backpack. he pulled out a gun, yelling police bastards, and began shooting. police returning fire. one officer was wounded. the bullet going through his uniform. amri was killed by a rookie officer just nine mon
job. police say amri was carrying several hundred euros, but no cell phone. he arrived here in the dead of the night, was confronted by police, responded in italian, and about 40 yards down there, met his end. now questions growing over how europe's most wanted terrorist was able to cross multiple borders undetected. it was around 8:00 p.m. monday when authorities say amri was behind the wheel of the tractor trailer that plowed through a crowded berlin christmas market. he then got a jump on german police who took 24 hours to discover his i.d. card in the truck's cab. amri was able to make his way from germany to france, ended up in the french town of chapelery. by 9:00 p.m. he had crossed another border, arriving in turin, italy, and proceeding to milan where authorities say he arrived by train at 1:00 a.m. this morning. isis tonight releasing a video of amri in which he pledged allegiance to the jihadi group. >> everything that i see that was found out about this attack,
people who inspired him to move from his petty crime world and into the jihad world. >> reporter: a transformation that possibly happened in a sicilian prison, where he spent three and a half years becoming familiar with italian language, culture, and law enforcement. key questions for authorities. why amri chose this working-class section of milan, and whether he has a network of supporters in the neighborhood. kate? >> hans nichols in berlin tonight. -- italy tonight. thank you. terrifying moments in the sky over libya, when two hijackers seized control of a plane with 118 people on board. the hijackers reportedly supporters of late libyan leader moammar gadhafi forced the flight to divert and the lapped in malta. they asked for political asylum and threatened to blow up the plane, but after a stand-off, they released all the hostages and surrendered. switching gears on this eve of christmas eve, a very busy day on the roads and in the skies as millions race to get home for the holidays.
[000:09:58;00] as we take a look at what they call the misery map. not a whole lot of misery there. a lot of green on the map. meaning that things are smooth sailing at most airports across the country. one of the things that's helping that is the weather. meteorologist jan -- janice huff is monitoring all of that. a lot of folks hoping for a white christmas. do we have that anywhere? >> yes, of course, there will be a white christmas for a lot of the west, the interior west, especially over the mountains and even the northern plains, but we're tracking two storm systems that will produce great effects across the country. the first one is moving through the midwest right now, towards the east coast. that storm system will bring rain. a threat of rain and slow delays from the northeast corridor from boston, all the way down to washington, d.c. that's for tomorrow. the west coast storm system will be moving in and tracking eastward on christmas eve. there's a threat of flooding for southern california and heavy snow from the sierra into the rockies, where they will have that white christmas. and into sunday, that storm spreads into the northern plains,
producing a late-day blizzard on christmas day for the dakotas where they may see as much as 18 inches of snow. blizzard warnings are in effect already. for much of the dakotas. that's all day on christmas day. they're expecting as much as 18 inches. across the interior west, as much as 16 inches of snow. they will have a white christmas, great for the skiers, but not great for the travelers. >> maybe a little too white. janice, thanks so much. if the roads aren't packed enough for you, how about the malls? a mad dash as retailers are pulling out all the stops to lure last-minute shoppers into the stores. the stakes are high, holiday spending accounts for 20% of retail sales for the year. here's nbc's jo ling kent. >> reporter: the holiday shopping season that came in with a roar is going out with a bang. in fact, today could be the biggest shopping day of the year, beating black friday and cyber monday in sales. 2016 was the year online shopping surged. retailers have already
brought in more than $79.2 billion in online sales. year. and thanks to wintry weather across the country, analysts expect americans to spend $350 million more on clothing this december. versus last year. boots up 15%. hats, gloves and scarves, up 11%. now with less than two days to go, time is up for many e-tailers to deliver, so shoppers are flocking to malls to check off their list. >> why are you out here shopping two days before christmas? >> because we need more presents. [ laughter ] >> what's it been like out here shopping today? >> pretty crazy. but i love it, i love craziness and i love a lot of people. so this is right up my alley. >> reporter: stores are responding with deep discounts. target and toys r us rolling out 11th hour deals to clear their shelves. kohl's and walmart offering last-minute ordering with in-store pickup. >> even if you haven't started your shopping yet, last-minute sales
and deals are still out there. strong offers on even beauty gift sets. >> reporter: here at the mall of america in minnesota, procrastinators are searching for the last-minute bargains. according to the national retail federation, 12% of americans waited until today to buy their final gifts. kate? >> not surprising. jo ling kent, thanks so much. still ahead, fighting cancer together. how patients are teaming up to share potentially life-saving information and learn, often before their doctors do, about cutting-edge treatments. also, a lost teddy
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>> i don't know how you sort through 3,500 words that you don't even know what they mean. >> we learned these in medical school. >> reporter: but then, kristin and chris found a facebook community of cancer patients and their loved ones, called "colon town," with 40 neighborhoods focusing on different issues. it's a private group sharing fears and the latest medical advances, information so new patients often learn about it before their doctors do. the clinic is where tom marcelia posts information about clinical trials. he's a scientist, specializing in cancer drugs. he's also a stage 4 colon cancer patient himself. >> they can get information, even a month sooner than by another means. it could be a life or death impact. >> reporter: thanks to the clinic, chris is about to start a clinical trial he never would have found on his own. and his wife has the support of the 2,500
members of colontown. >> i can get online to me, to tell me that i'm not alone, and that we're going to be okay. >> reporter: patients banning together online to create their own cancer moonshot. dr. john torres, nbc news, colorado springs. we're back in a moment with the controversy being kicked up over the world famous rockettes. uh oh. i don't see cake, i just see mess. it's like awful. it feels like am not actually cleaning it up. what's that make mommy do? (doorbell) what's that? swiffer wetjet. this is amazing. woah wow. now i feel more like making a mess is part of growing up. only new wetjet pads have absorb and lock to soak up tough messes and lock them away
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everywhere will understand. here's nbc's harry smith. >> eleanor and teddy are as close as a girl and bear can be. >> he's my best friend and, um, it makes me sad not to be with teddy. >> reporter: maybe more so after what happened this week. back home in michigan, after a family trip to texas, eleanor realized teddy was missing. teddy, through no fault of his own, was lost. >> i made the promise that any mom would make to their little girl who was missing their best friend, i will do everything that i can to bring teddy home. >> reporter: but from a posting on facebook, an old family friend made it his mission to track down the vanished bear. steven works at the detroit airport, he canvassed the bowels of dtw, where there on top of a trash can lid waited teddy. >> luckily it was there. a christmas miracle. >> reporter: teddy, lucky to be found,
helped steve all day at work. bears are good that way, you know. steven sent pictures to eleanor's mom, so eleanor would know teddy wasn't lost. teddy was having an adventure. instead of her sitting at home worrying about where the teddy bear was, maybe she can look online and see, he's having a bunch of fun. >> the funniest picture i saw was when teddy was in the cockpit. >> reporter: that evening, steven brought teddy to eleanor. >> it was pure relief honestly. >> i'm very happy that teddy is home and that i get to be with him again. >> reporter: joy is what happens when a girl and her bear are reunited. and when it's time for bed, who better to snuggle with? bears are good that way, you know. harry smith, nbc news, new york. >> so wonderful. when we come back, bringing the 12 days of christmas to life for a family that needs a little extra
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christmas ♪ >> rep holiday tune. ♪ a partridge in a pear tree ♪ >> reporter: but the mirallas family can say they've lived it. it all started when they found a basket of pears at their front door. inspired by the infamous partridge in a pear tree. >> and then we read the note and we knew it was going to happen for 12 more days. >> reporter: on the second day, two turtledoves in the form of inflatable turtles and dove chocolates. on the sixth day, instead of geese a laying, they got a goose pinata. on the ninth day, nine ladies dancing seemed to magically appear outside their window. >> why? why us, you know. >> reporter: the reason, emily's husband died of a heart attack in january, leaving her alone with five kids. so the las vegas community responded with 12 days of gifts. >> we received one of the gifts and it has a ornament in it. i'm like, okay, i guess we'll put up the tree. because i wasn't even thinking about
even decorating. did, a little bit. >> reporter: they were picked by a charity called in 12 days, started by suzanne lee. when she lost her husband, friends showered her family with 12 days of comfort. >> we felt something in our hearts that was completely free of pain. and we hadn't been without pain for nine months. >> reporter: now she's paying it forward, orchestrating complex surprises for 12 different families each year. like this school assembly. >> we love you. the school loves you. >> reporter: dedicated solely to the mirallases. what was your reaction? >> i felt like there was going to be way more laughs around the house now because of that, like way more smiles. >> reporter: the last day begins with a parade, and yes, those are 12 drummers drumming. >> for me, personally, joy has been put back in my heart. >> reporter: a dozen days that will linger for a lifetime. joe fryer, nbc news, las vegas. that's going to do it for us on this friday night. i'm kate snow in for lester holt.