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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  December 30, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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tonight, the most widespread anti-government protests in iran in years. nationwide display of dissent in a country that has little tolerance for that. president trump declares oppressive regimes cannot endure forever. early troubling start to the flu season. it's now widespread in dozens of states with far more cases than at this time last year. the growing health crisis in puerto rico with many doctors now gone, the challenge of finding care especially for pregnant women and young children. training police to be more aware when they're interacting with people who have autism. and they've been best friends for almost all their lives. tonight, the remarkable new twist that brings them even closer.
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>> announcer: this is "nightly news" with kate snow. >> good evening. for the third day in a row, anti-government protesters took to the streets in iran in what appear to be the most widespread demonstrations since the government crushed a big reform movement in 2009. there was also a large pro-government rally in tehran today, and from florida, president trump weighed in, saying "the world is watching." nbc's kelly o'donnell is there with more. >> reporter: on the streets of iran's capital, days of public protest reached a boiling point, not seen for nearly a decade. the kindling to this show of anger and desperation is a poor economy, with few jobs and rising prices. brewing unrest that drew the attention of president trump's twitter feed. "iranian government should respect their people's rights, including right to express themselves. the world is watching." echoing the president's message delivered at the united nations.
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>> the longest suffering victims of iran's leaders are, in fact, its own people. >> reporter: the volatile conditions today moved many young people to demonstrate against the government spontaneously, as word spread through social media posts. by contrast, a more organized and scheduled wave of pro-government support turned out to praise the supreme leader aia toe that khamenei as thousands backed the regime. the u.s. designates iran a state sponsor of terror. president trump has refused to certify the owe ba in-era agreement to blunt iran's nuclear program. this week's protest response is coordinated. from the state department "the united states strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters." the white house press secretary "iranian citizens fed up with the regime's corruption ended squandering of the nation's wealth to fund terrorism abroad." when the president
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tweeted excerpts of his united nations address to amplify pressure, and encourage other nations to aid protest protesters. >> that iran's people are what their leaders fear the most. >> reporter: and demonstrations spread across iran. there are reports tonight of bloody violence towards some of those protesters, but those are unconfirmed reports. the iranian government also responded to president trump saying his words were deceitful and opportunist. kate? >> kelly, also tonight, there is a new report from the "new york times" today on the russia investigation specifically about why federal authorities decided to investigate in the first place. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: is it a mystery solved, kate? it appears the "new york times" has a clue about what got this started in the beginning, and they point to the young former foreign policy adviser george. done plus who has pleaded guilty for lying in the investigation. they say that back in may of 2016 he was in
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london and spoke to an australian diplomat, telling him that the russians had unflattering emails of hillary clinton. when those emails later became public, the diplomat went to the fbi, who asked for permission to investigate under the foreign intelligence surveillance act. so maybe that is what started it all. now today, the white house responded saying that out of respect for the special counsel, it would not comment, hoping that the inquiry would be completed expeditiously. kate? >> kelly o'donnell with the president in florida, kelly, thank you. a growing health concern tonight. the cdc says this flu season is already shaping up to be a lot worse than last year's, with widespread flu activity now being reported in dozens of states. gabe gutierrez has that story. >> this is our family's first time getting the flu this flu season. >> reporter: for the nicholson family of brighton, colorado, the last few days of 2017 have been miserable. >> we all have been experiencing the body aches and the chills and the fever.
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>> his fever had spiked to 130.3. >> reporter: in syracuse, new york, christie freitas has been worried sick about her son, jackson, since wednesday even though he's been vaccinated. >> i set up alarms to give him more medicine or check his temperature and make sure he was doing all right. after a couple of days now, he's doing better, but we're still dealing with him being sick. >> reporter: the cdc reports the flu is now widespread in 36 states. there are almost three times as many case this is flu season compared to last year's. >> the reason it started earlier could be because of the cold weather, could be because of the virus the way it mutates every year. this year is especially attractive to people. >> reporter: in kentucky eight deaths so far, in south carolina seven and in north carolina 12 people have died, including a child. adding to the concerns an initial report citing data from australia this year's
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vaccine was only 10% effective though experts say the actual figures are here. this pediatrician is on the front lines making sure his patients get a flu shot, priorities children ages 6 months to 4 years, pregnant women and adults older than 50. >> it's imperative it definitely helps you. there's no real downside as opposed to the positives. the rewards far outweigh the risk when it comes to the flu vac vaccine. >> reporter: and the peak of flu season runs through february. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta. much of the eastern half of the country dealing with more extreme cold and snow tonight, as we look ahead to new year's. meteorologist dylan dreyer has the chilly forecast. >> good evening, kate. boy, is it cold out there. and the coldest is still yet to come. tomorrow morning windchills of 34 below in bismarck, north dakota. green bay 14 below. indianapolis it will feel like 18 we low. in hartford that windchill will make it
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feel like 1. on monday morning we kick off the new year with colder temperatures. paducah, kentucky, feel like 10 below zero. the windchill in atlanta, 13 degrees. it's cold everywhere, but before we get to monday morning we've got midnight on new year's eve and brutally cold everyone it tours gripping most of the country. the only warm spot in the best is. little bit of lake-effect snow and in new york city, 11 degrees, that would make it a tie for the second coldest new year's eve on record so it is going to be very chilly for those folks outside. >> chilly is an understatement. dylan, thank you. two men are under arrest tonight and charged with murder in the brutal killings of a couple and two children at their home in upstate new york. the motive still unclear. anne thompson has the latest. >> reporter: in troy, new york, a nerve-racking week of fear comes to an end. >> reporter: why'd you do it? anything you want to say? what do you want to say to the victims family. >> reporter: 38-year-old james white and 24-year-old justin mann arraigned
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for the gruesome murders of shanta miser, her children and niece and partner brandy mills. >> i feel so much weight was lifted. >> shakira is her sister. the family was in court today. >> it was difficult to look at the individuals and not react in rage. >> reporter: next to her, isiah, the surviving son, who was away when the crime happened. >> it gave me hope that i can finally get justice for my family. >> reporter: the victims were found the day after christmas in their apartment by the property manager, but officials say they were killed on the evening of december 21st. the local paper reports law enforcement officials say the victims were bound and their throats slashed. >> the savagery as you put it and the barbarism of what happened to these people our hearts and our prayers go out
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families. >> reporter: police say one of the defendants knew the victims. mann is on parole. both suspects pleaded not guilty. officials say there is still no known motive. >> we didn't understand it. we still don't understand it. >> reporter: tonight, the family and the community turn to prayer and each other, seeking comfort for questions still unanswered. now police say they used technology to connect the suspects to the crime, and they say they do not expect any additional arrests in this case, because they believe, in fact, they are very confident, kate, that they have the two men who are responsible for this. >> still so many unanswered questions. anne, thank you. overseas, there was heavy bombing in syria today. the government launching a new assault on a besiege rebel-held area not far from damascus where the human toll has been enormous. nbc's matt bradley reports tonight on some of those caught in the middle.
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>> reporter: he is too young to speak. but 2-month-old karim has become the voice of suffering in eastern guta near syria's capital damascus. since 201 the 400,000 people have lived under siege and bombing. today was among the worst. residents reported some 20 regime air strikes with more than 100 bombs. the sort of attacks that maimed baby karim and also killed his mother. >> there is no, no medicine for him now, no treatment for him. he want to evacuate from eastern ghouta. >> reporter: this month a syrian photographer turned karim's plight into a movement. actors and politicians covered an eye begging the world to open theirs. it may have helped. after two months of negotiations, 29
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critically ill patients, mostly children, have been evacuated to damascus. baby karim was not among them, nor are the nearly 500 seriously sick and injured civilians in desperate need of care. but theted t the wounded aren't its own casualties. >> cancer, kidney failure, there are some children suffering from malnutrition. >> reporter: two weeks ago a 6-month-old died before she could be evacuated. with isis all but defeated and syrian president bashar al assad nearing a brutal victory, many hope deals like this will expand. eastern ghouta is one of the last rebel holdouts. >> the country razed to the ground, we're hoping this might be a ray of sunshine. >> reporter: the war may finally be coming to an end, but for children like karim, a
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li lifetime of suffering is only beginning. matt bradley, nbc news. three months after hurricane maria tore through puerto rico officials say power has now been restored to 55% of the homes on the island, but that means 1.5 million people remain in the dark and puerto rico is facing an unprecedented health care crisis with pregnant women, mothers and their babies perhaps most at risk. tam tammy leitener reports. >> reporter: bobby orion was born at home. midwife me shell perez chiquez is under pressure. there's no room more mistakes work nothing electricity, no clean water and no doctors. on this day, baby and mom are given a clean bill of health. it's a bleak situation for pregnant women here. the island already had the fifth highest premie rate in the u.s. and since hurricane maria, public health experts say the island is
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facing a growing crisis. most families have no power. doctors have fled the island. it's so bad, no one knows how many doctors remain. >> we have had families that haven't reached their doctors in a month. >> reporter: with nowhere to turn, word of mouth leads expectant mothers to one of the few still open clinics, this one run by midwives. >> i think the most concerns are the water and the electricity. >> reporter: mothers say it's difficult to find the basics. fema initially sent diapers, formula and bottles but now many families rely on donations from churches and charities. this new mom thankful for whatever she gets. >> it's hard, but like i think you learn a lot, because then you have people around you that can help you, and you depend on the people helping you. >> reporter: strangers coming together during desperate times, bringing new life into the world. tammy leitenor, nbc
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news, san juan, puerto rico. she was profeld onto the public stage after the death of her father put in a chokehold by a new york city police officer. erica garner became an advocate for police reform and the black lives matter activist. today the tragic news erica garner herself died after suffering a heart attack last week. >> get back! >> fight back! >> reporter: erica garner turned personal tragedy into a public mission. she became a national advocate following the death of her father at the hands of a new york city police officer in 2014. >> i can't breathe! >> reporter: his last words "i can't breathe," a rallying cry for those pushing to reform policing in the u.s. >> with cameras or without cameras, with your support or without your support. >> that's right! >> i'm gonna be out here, representing for my father. >> reporter: her family tweeted "she cared when most people wouldn't have. she was good. she only pursued
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right, no matter what. no one gave her justice." during the 2016 presidential election, garner used her platform to campaign for senator bernie sanders. >> she used her grief and her pain to fight back and to say that we will have real police department reform in new york and around this country. >> reporter: today sanders said "she was a fighter for justice and will not be forgotten." >> love you. >> reporter: a young mother of two, inspired to fight by the death of her father. >> he raised me to be the fine young lady that i am right now. i know -- >> that's right. >> -- that my father is very proud of me. >> erica garner was just 27 years old. still ahead tonight, training the police to deal with people who have i was wondering if an electric toothbrush really cleans better than a manual. and my hygienist says it does but they're not all the same. who knew? i had no idea. so she said, look for one that's shaped like a dental tool with a
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round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's rounded brush head surrounds each tooth to gently remove more plaque. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the only electric toothbrush brand accepted by the american dental association for its effectiveness and safety. my mouth feels so clean. i'll only use an oral-b. oral-b. brush like a pro. but he hasoke up wwork to so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. but their nutritional needs (vremain instinctual.d, that's why there's purina one true instinct. nutrient-dense, protein-rich, real meat number one. this is a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one, true instinct. essential for vinyl, but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once daily pill
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for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. needles. a must for vinyl. but for you, one pill a day may provide symptom relief. ask your doctor about xeljanz xr. an "unjection™".
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when you have a cold, stuff happens. ♪ { sneezing ] shut down cold symptoms fast [ coughing ] with maximum strength alka seltzer plus liquid gels. as we've seen too often in recent years, communications is all important in any confrontation with the police, but what if someone has inherent trouble communicating, for example, people who have autism? that's where an unusual program to train law enforcement comes in. blake mccoy takes a look. >> reporter: at home in rural arkansas, 8-year-old connor is content playing with his trains. >> there you go. >> reporter: it's outside the comfort of home that his mom, roxanne daly, worries. connor is verbal.
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he has autism. >> we have to stay on alert all the time with him. >> reporter: so today she's taking connor to meet with local law enforcement, an opportunity for him to get comfortable with police, firefighters and medical personnel, and for them to learn from him. >> can you try there? >> reporter: for officers used to protocol, autism and its spectrum of behavior presents a unique challenge. >> some of them will let you touch them. some of them won't. some of them will talk, some of them won't. >> reporter: the train something part of the non-property alert, run by stephanie cooper. she travels the country to educate law enforcement, enlisting the help of autistic kids in each place she visits. why is the hands-on tracking so important? >> autism video trainings are great to have. they're a great resource, but doesn't cover what live hands-on interactive training covers. so there's no look to autism. >> reporter: for cooper the mission is deeply personal. she's a former police officer herself and the mother of a severely autistic
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9-year-old son. >> by doing this type of training and knowing there are safe places for him to go if he is scared and confused, it just makes me feel better about the future for him. >> reporter: for the officers -- >> hey connor. >> reporter: -- and parents, the training has been revealing. >> he avoided every attempt they made. it was a huge eye opener for me and it was a shock. >> reporter: connor avoided eye contact and most interactions. something roxanne hopes to change. >> i need to make an attempt, myself and my husband, to introduce him to more emergency personnel, so that he can feel comfortable that he can talk to them. good job. >> reporter: today's introduction a first step towards understanding. blake mccoy, nbc news, batesville, arkansas. >> so important. we're back in a moment with the four-legged intruder looking for food,
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-swing and a miss! -slam dunk! touchdown! together: sports! touchdown! has been a problem for me. mouth i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated. i use biotene rinse twice a day and then i use the spray throughout the day. it actually saved my career in a way. biotene really did make a difference. [heartbeat] sometthat's when he needs the way ovicks vaporub.'s sleep. proven cough medicine. with 8 hours of vapors.
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so he can sleep. vicks vaporub. goodnight coughs. so it began with a call to the police, a squirrel had gotten into a house in upstate new york, and was eating the cookies. when the police arrived, they got more than they bargained for. the squirrel apparently did not want to be disturbed, and as you see, he jumps at one of the officers. the whole thing recorded on his body camera. the squirrel was eventually caught and released, and everybody was laughing. when we come back, the bond between two best friends and the the bond between two best friends and the amazing dis hey! yeah!? i switched to geico and got more!
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crest pro-health mouthwash provides all... ...of these benefits to help you get better dental check-ups. go pro with crest mouthwash. checkup? nailed it your body was made for better things than rheumatiod arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. it can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb,
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hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz xr can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate. ask your rheumatologist about xeljanz xr. finally tonight, a story that gives new meaning to the expression "friends and family." it begins long ago when two boys first met and started a friendship that continues to this day. but then, as steve patterson reports, there was a discovery that no one could have imagined. >> reporter: it's the kind of hawaiian day, perfect for a beachside walk. >> we're so lucky, aren't we? >> reporter: with your best friend. >> oh, my. >> reporter: walter mcfarland and alan robinson have shared a
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bond for more than 06 years. >> oh my god. >> we were just great friends. >> reporter: both adopted as children as met in the sixth grade. teammate champions on the football squad in high school. two life times of friendship, loving marriages, successful careers. >> come on, let's not take all day. >> reporter: even retirement. >> you stainged that deck, walter in. >> reporter: but something was missing in both of their lives. they searched for answers. both tried dna matching sites to chase their ancestry and before christmas an announcement that stunned friends and family >> my brother! >> reporter: these men, inseparable for six decades discovering they were brothers all along. >> he was crying. he couldn't even make it all the way up before he started crying, you know. it was so touching. >> i couldn't contain
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myself for the longest time. i'm still not the same and i don't know if i ever will be. ♪ >> reporter: since then, their newfound relatives have been insprashi inseparable. >> my family party all the time, they love music, they dance, they drink. it's fun. as soon as we wrap this up there will be another party. >> reporter: the ties of friendship, now family. what's all this like now that you guys know you're brothers, you're out on a beautiful day like this. i mean -- >> well there's going to be more days like this, that's for damned sure. >> yeah. >> reporter: the kind of hawaiian days you'd want to share with your brother. steve patterson, nbc news, honolulu. >> just beautiful. that is "nbc nightly news" for saturday night. tomorrow we'll look at a state where a growing number of school districts are in session just four days a week. i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night.
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postseason is why you play the game. >> postseason is all about writing your name in history. >> it's really the time of the year where it gets real. >> postseason's everything. 64,000 deaths in america last year. we need to stand up and say enough. over helplessness, hope over hopelessness. make sure that the lives we've lost will not have been lost in vain. addiction is a disease. when you ask for help, help is there for you.
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♪ hello, everyone. and welcome. glad to be with you tonight. we've got a great show for you. and what a great 2017 it's been for the eagles. think about it. day one the cowboys come to town. they're the winners of the nfc east. now as 2017 leaves us, the eagles, the nfc east champions, the cowboys coming to philadelphia and they will watch the playoffs from their couches. sounds like a good time. speaking of a good time. we've got fletcher cox. all about fletcher. his rise from pro bowl stardom from humble roots in mississi i


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