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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 27, 2016 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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tonight, remembering carrie fisher, the actress who rose to fame as princess leia in the blockbuster "star wars" saga, dead at age 60. tonight, the tributes pouring in from around the world. breaking news. trump tower evacuated, the bomb squad called in, what triggered the panic. mall mayhem, post holiday shopping chaos erupts across the country. fist fights caught on camera, several now facing charges. historic visit, solemn moment. the first japanese leader to visit the uss arizona memorial at pearl harbor, with president obama by his side. and who's listening? a warrant issued for an amazon echo. can authorities use a smart seeker as a virtual witness in a murder trial? "nig
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right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. i'm tamron hall in for lester. she was a force all her own. actress and writer carrie fisher who are -- who rose to fame as princess leia in one of the biggest blockbuster series of all time, "star wars," has died at age 60. the iconic star passed away days after suffering a massive heart attack on board a flight from london to l.a. from birth, she was part of hollywood royalty, and tonight, her legions of fans reflect on the legacy she created all over own. nbc's harry smith with more. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: in "star wars," carrie fisher was going to save her people from the evil darth vader. >> what the hell are you doing! >> somebody needs to
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wars" is not just a film franchise, it is perhaps "the" film franchise. she was the dominant force of those first few movies. >> you think i'm going to leave without giving you a goodbye kiss! >> reporter: when word came last friday that she suffered a heart attack on a flight from london to los angeles, it stunned the world. but then news today of her death. on twitter, "star wars" co-star mark hamill said, no words, #devastated. harrison ford in a statement said, carrie was funny and emotionally fearless. she lived her life bravely. we will all miss her. fisher's mother thanked all who embraced the gifts and talents of her beloved and amazing daughter. carrie fisher was a child of hollywood mega stars, debbie reynolds and eddie fisher. >> think of eddie as brad pitt, debbie as jennifer aniston, and elizabeth as angelina jolie. >> reporter: "shampoo" with warren beatty was
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[000:02:58;00] wars" when she was 19. during filming, she had an affair with co-star harrison ford, and later would write about her insecurity and abuse of drugs, in the bestseller "postcards from the edge." fisher, who also struggled with mental illness, was wickedly funny and was unafraid of sharing her life's travails and triumphs. >> i make very difficult situations in my life funny as quickly as possible. >> reporter: fisher appeared in "sex in the city" and "the big bang theory" and had memorable roles in "when harry met sally" -- >> he's never gonna leave her. >> of course he isn't. >> you're right, you're right. i know you're right. >> reporter: -- and as john belushi's torch-carrying girlfriend in "the blues brothers." without screen credit, she was the script doctor for a number of films, and returned to the "star wars" franchise in 2015. she had reportedly
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just finished filming her latest scenes for th made famous for playing a princess, it will be the person, not the part, who will be remembered best. >> may the force be with you. >> reporter: harry smith, nbc news, new york. and now to that breaking news here in new york, a security scare at trump tower late today, forcing an evacuation. a suspicious bag triggered the panic, but a senior police official says it later turned out to be filled with toys. president-elect trump was not there at the time. he remains at his mar-a-lago estate in florida. safety also a major concern at malls across the country, after a serious of massive brawls erupted the day after christmas. security has been stepped-up at more than a dozen malls after violence sent shoppers running for the exits. as nbc's gabe gutierrez explains, some authorities believe social media is partly to blame. >> reporter: again -- and again, they seem
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to explode out of nowhere. fighting. it was just a huge mob of people. >> reporter: brawls at malls across america, ranging from minor melees to mass evacuations. in aurora, illinois, eight teenagers have been charged. >> no one really knows what caused it. it was just two girls started first and other people got involved too. >> reporter: chaos at more than 15 shopping centers in a dozen states. at this new jersey mall, pandemonium, police in riot shields, storming the food court. witnesses say a person shouted "gun" after someone slammed a chair during a fight. this video from connecticut shows an out-numbered officer trying to control the crowd. >> they just started yelling and pushing each other. >> reporter: in ft. worth, texas, multiple fights with more than a hundred teenagers. in ohio, false reports of shots fired near cleveland. no weapons found. at another mall in chattanooga, tennessee, people say -- police say two people set off
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fire >> i heard the pop, pop, pop. >> all of a sudden, just a tsunami of people, running over tables and screaming. i have shoe marks on my jacket from people stepping on me. >> reporter: shopper jim tanner said it was complete confusion, in an age of mass shootings. >> folks are more attune to every incident that happened. >> reporter: authorities don't believe the incidents are connected, though some blame social media for turning minor disturbances into major hysteria. >> social media is going to be the death of this country. they cause more of a panic than is necessary. >> reporter: tonight the malls are back open, with stepped-up security. here in chattanooga, police say the fireworks were set off to cover up a smash-and-grab robbery. now the search is on for the thieves. meanwhile, this mall is packed as the post christmas rush is in full swing. tamron? >> gabe gutierrez, live for us in tennessee. thank you, gabe. a solemn and historic moment late today when japan's prime minister became
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the first of his country's leaders to visit the "uss pearl harbor. and by his side, president obama making what is likely his final visit of his presidency to the site. our tammy leitner is there with more. >> reporter: a silent moment, unimaginable 75 years ago. the prime minister of japan paying his respects at pearl harbor, on the "uss arizona" memorial. above where hundreds of sailors and marines are entombed below. >> translator: it was a place which brought utter silence to me. >> reporter: japanese prime minister shinzo abe visiting the battlefield where over 2,400 americans died. the first japanese leader to visit the memorial. today, abe stopping short of making an apology. >> translator: i offer my sincere and everlasting condolences. >> it is here that we
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remember that even when hatred burns hottest, even when the its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. >> reporter: al rodriguez was stationed at pearl harbor when the bombs started falling. >> you could see the planes up above with the red circle on the bottom. we knew it was the enemy, it was japanese. >> reporter: he thinks the time has come for a visit like this, even as his own emotions are still raw. >> i get very emotional. >> reporter: invited to be part of the ceremony today, he never thought he'd see a time when these two leaders would step foot on the battlefield where so much blood had been shed. earlier this year, obama became the first sitting american president to visit hiroshima, where the u.s. dropped the first of two atomic bombs in 1945. today's visit, cementing a partnership between two countries who were once enemies and now allies. both leaders talked
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about how their countries were tested in a found strength in the power of reconciliation. tamron? >> tammy leitner, thank you so much. a state of emergency has been declared in a neighborhood outside detroit where a massive sink hole has opened in the ground. 22 families have been forced to evacuate their homes, and officials fear it could be a long time before they can return, if their houses are even still in place. we get the details now from nbc's ron mott. >> reporter: tonight, in this neighborhood north of detroit, almost no one's home for the holidays. a massive sink hole, approaching the size of a football field, has evicted nearly two dozen families. evacuated after sudden cracks began tearing one home apart on christmas eve. now a waiting game, will it grow, can they stop it? >> you're just grabbing what you can at this point, right? >> yeah. clothes and valuables. and christmas presents. >> reporter: already officials say three houses are destroyed.
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water and the city's mayor calling for a state of emergency. >> we were informed it's much larger, that it encompasses the majority part of a neighborhood and many, many families. >> reporter: t.j.'s pizza shop is across the street from the sink hole. late today he was finally able to re-open for business. >> they're making in roads to get connection to businesses. but right out front, you can't get through. which will affect all the local businesses. >> reporter: the culprit, an 11-foot wide sewer line buried 45 feet underground. authorities suspect that line may have snapped, sending raw sewage into the earth, triggering the sink hole. it's a case of deja vu. this sink hole opened on the same stretch of road in 2004. this time around, emergency crews hit a few setbacks, including cutting the gas line this morning. those forced to leave may not be able to return home for several weeks as officials try to stabilize the ground. >> i can understand that, but it's hard. >> reporter: ron mott, nbc news.
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some potentially drivers of one of the most popular cars on the road. u.s. safety regulators have opened an investigation into the ford fusion and mercury milan from model years 2007 to 2009. it could lead to a recall. they're looking into reports that brakes may fail on rough or uneven surfaces. three crashes have been reported so far, but no injuries. investigators have begun examining the flight data recorder recovered from that doomed russian military plane. they're hoping it will provide answers about what caused the aircraft to crash into the black sea minutes after takeoff sunday. 92 people were killed. officials say they don't believe it was terrorism. now to a murder case testing the bounds of privacy. it was one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. the amazon echo smart speaker with home assistant alexa. but police in arkansas
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have issued a warrant, demanding access to an echo, hoping it can private home. nbc's miguel almaguer explains. >> alexa, what's the weather? >> reporter: amazon's popular home assistant echo, better known as alexa, was a best-seller this christmas. now police in bentonville, arkansas, hope alexa can help solve a real-life whodunnit, but amazon is saying no to a warrant seeking electronic data in the form of audio recordings, transcribed records, text records from an echo inside a home where a murder may have been committed. >> when you buy one of these things, even if it's not on, it's on, and it's listening. >> reporter: prosecutors say 32-year-old james bates, murdered his co-worker victor collins who was found strangled in bates hot tub. bates who called 911, pled not guilty. he's scheduled for trial next year. his attorney says he has nothing to hide, but this is an issue
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of privacy. >> you should be able free from the view of public, the view of police. >> reporter: tonight amazon tells nbc news it will not release customer information without a valid and binding legal demand properly served on us. amazon objects to overbroad and otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course. the prosecutor says this is about justice. >> we have established probable cause and obtained a warrant from judge to search this device the same way we would search a person's cell phone, a person's home. >> reporter: tonight, a murder in arkansas, igniting the debate over privacy inside the home. and if what's heard there can be used against you. miguel almaguer, nbc news, san francisco. more privacy concerns still ahead. did you get a new smartphone or laptop for the holidays? a warning tonight about the potential dangers lurking on your old devices. the steps to take
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before you get rid of them. also, the mistake on their party invitation, that made them a viral hit. we'll be back. them a viral hit. we'll be back. ♪ ♪ them a viral hit. we'll be back. ♪ construst number one doctor recommended dulcolax use dulcolax tablets for gentle overnight relief suppositories for relief in minutes and stool softeners for comfortable relief of hard stools.
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and if i can get comfortable talking about this kiester, for any sort of discomfort in yours. preparation h. get comfortable with it. back now with a warning for everyone who got a new smartphone or laptop this holiday. as you switch on those new devices, beware of all the ultra personal information on old devices you're getting rid of. even if you think
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you've deleted it all, complete strangers could still use it to data. nbc's national investigative correspondent jeff rossen and his team share what you need to know to protect your information in tonight's "rossen reports." >> reporter: we store everything on our phones and laptops. e-mails, texts, even shopping and banking information. >> when i delete stuff off this thing, i assume it's gone. >> all of that information is still there, easily accessible by anyone, even thieves. >> reporter: we want to see for ourselves, so we buy dozens of used cell phones online. laptops too. we bring them to be analyzed. >> this would be an identity thief's gold mine. >> reporter: this laptop we bought for $75, giving us full access to the family we bought it from. >> home address, phone numbers, personal family pictures. >> reporter: that's scary. >> we found tax information. >> reporter: right down to their bank routing numbers, even account numbers. so who does it belong to? this suburban mom
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named traci. i track her down. all of the things we pulled off your computer. >> all of my financial information, my place of employment. >> reporter: social security numbers of your entire family. >> social security numbers of everyone. >> reporter: people can do damage with that information. >> yes. >> reporter: think that's bad? on this next device, a cell phone belonging areah, a college freshman, we find 3,000 private text messages, secret passwords to her student scholarship, social media accounts, and shopping apps, even when and where she goes to class. we set up a meeting to tell her what we found. >> that's scary. you can lose everything just from a phone. because i have all my information on there. >> reporter: so how do you really wipe your devices clean? let's show you, starting with the iphone, i have one called up right here. you hit settings right there. you come here to general. once you hit tha you scroll all the way down to the bottom. you see it says reset right there?
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you hit that, then you want to look for this, erase all content you hit that and you get that phrase there, erase iphone. on android, some models want you to go into settings and encrypt the data, factory reset here too. hit settings, backup and reset, scroll down to factory data reset. reset device. and your information is gone. as for laptops, experts say there is no factory reset. so take the hard drive out before selling. jeff rossen, nbc news, salt lake city. when we come back, troubling new details about iconic popstar george michael's final days. ♪ ♪ (man) my dad and i have the same eyes. same nose. same toughness. and since he's had moderate alzheimer's disease, the same never quit attitude. that's why i asked his doctor about once-a-day namzaric. (avo) namzaric is approved for moderate to severe alzheimer's disease in patients who are taking donepezil. it may improve cognition and overall function, and may slow the worsening
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christmas morning. michael's manager says he died from heart no word yet on funeral plans. the party was only supposed to be for family and friends, but tens of thousands descended on a small town in mexico monday for a teenage girl's traditional 15th birthday celebration after the invitation video was accidentally posted publicly by her father. well, it quickly went viral with more than a million people rsvp 'ing and many of them showed up. n and let the countdown begin, the big sign is almost upon us. the iconic ball is 12 feet in diameter and covered in more than 2,600 waterford crystals. more than a million people are expected to witness it drop in times square on new year's eve, with millions more watching at home. when we come back, carrie fisher and princess leia's
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role as princess leia in the "star wars" to generations of female fans that women could do so much more than be damsels in distress in traditionally male-dominated genres. our stephanie gosk has more on a pop culture trail blazer. >> reporter: at this moment in "return of the jedi," jabba the hutt was hated as much as darth vader. and then his prisoner princess leia turned around and did this. when i saw this scene in 1983, the crowd in the theater cheered, and so did i. as someone pointed out today, leia wasn't just a princess, she was a bad ass. >> she's the strong character that makes everyone wish they were as strong as her. >> princess leia was a leader and she was a hero, just like all the men in the series. >> reporter: and there was more than just a little of that attitude that came from the actress herself. in an interview, she responded to criticism about the bikini she wore in the scene. tell them that a giant
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slug captured me and then i killed him because i didn't like it. all across the internet there are white dresses and those ear buns, even little girls too young to know are dressed up. let's not forget, leia was the one who stole the plans to the evil death star and had no problem putting han solo in his place. >> why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking, nerd herder. >> reporter: now the female characters in the latest movies reflect her strength -- after a prolific career as an actor and writer, fisher admitted there was no escaping the role that defined her. i am princess leia, she told a newspaper, no matter what. and we will miss her. >> i love you. >> i know. >> reporter: stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. >> and we will indeed miss her. that will do it for us tonight on this tuesday night. i'm tamron hall in for
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lester. i will see you "today." and from all of us here at nbc news,
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thank you for watching and goodnight. >> beloved actress carrie fisher has passed away. our special tribute to a "star wars" star. welcome to "access hollywood." i'm liz hernandez. the iconic actress and author passed away at 8:55 this morning after going into cardiac arrest aboard a flight from london to

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