tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 24, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
tonight, black friday frenzy. stores packed, shoppers out in force, sales soaring. who will win this season's shopping war between online and in-store deals? the deadly terror attack on a house of worship. hundreds killed as they prayed. is isis behind the horror? new reaction from the white house to signs that michael flynn may have cut a deal. is president trump's former aide cooperating in the russia probe? actress uma thurman breaking her silence about sexual harassment in hollywood. her powerful, angry message to harvey weinstein. new warning. the phone scam growing nationwide. >> they can actually mimic somebody's phone number now? >> absolutely. >> how to protect yourself. and the kindness of a
stranger. a good deed repaid in ways he never expected. we're there for the big surprise. >> this is nbc "nightly news" with lester holt. good evening to our viewers in the west. we're glad you're here and you may be glad to be taking a shopping break if you're among the americans who have helped ring up an estimated $3.5 billion in online sales alone since yesterday. $640 million of it spent before 10:00 this morning and nearly half using mobile devices. welcome to holiday shopping 2017 style. as the slow and steady shift in how and where we shop reaches its tipping point. dramatically transforming the annual black friday frenzy. our jo ling kent takes us into the thick of it. >> reporter: the black friday frenzy started early. 2,500 people lined up at the mall of america before dawn. >> we're out of that one. we have the one for $949. >> reporter: across
the country, millions of shoppers clamoring for discounts. >> electronics don't get cheaper than on black friday. >> so far i've saved $1,000. >> i wait all year instead of buying stuff i wait until black friday. it's all cheaper. >> reporter: but the big spending hit a few speed bumps. macy's credit card system slowed to a crawl causing long lines at the register. >> it is a problem. a lot of people are upset. >> reporter: and online shopping was so popular at lowe's that the website experienced multiple outages. so far in november $33 billion has been spent online. up nearly 18% from last year. the battle for your wallet is unfolding on smartphones and tablets. new data shows that more than 60% of all online shopping now occurs on mobile devices. >> you want to be first. you want to get the deals. >> reporter: with its strong surge, the future of the traditional black friday is under threat. >> i think what we're really seeing is a generational difference in how we like to shop. that's going to continue to grow, and retailers are going to have to adapt if they expect to make it in the long run. >> reporter: after more than 6,700 brick
and mortar retailers shut down this year, amazon has become shoppers' number one destination. but traditional retailers aren't giving up, as they inundate customers with aggressive sales through cyber monday. it's expected to be the largest online shopping day ever. with $6.6 billion in sales. tonight, walmart and target releasing their cyber monday discounts to counter the amazon effect. big sales both online and off as retailers attempt to survive until the next holiday rush. this best buy has been packed all day. but to give you a sense of how much pressure amazon is exerting on traditional retailers like these, new data now shows that amazon is scooping up half of all online shopping on this black friday. lester? >> jo ling kent in new jersey tonight, thanks. taking a turn now overseas to the deadliest terror attack in egypt's history. the death toll staggering. hundreds killed, as they prayed at a mosque. isis is suspected, but has not claimed responsibility.
nbc's bill neely with more now, and a note some viewers may find these images disturbing. >> reporter: near an egyptian mosque the sound of gunfire, and a massacre. mayhem, after egypt's deadliest terror attack. even ambulances were targeted. while inside, more than 200 people lay dead, murdered as they prayed. the militants singled out the mosque 200 miles from the capital cairo. a suicide bomber detonating inside the mosque, then gunmen in four off-road vehicles opening fire both inside and out, on fleeing worshippers. >> islamic militants have been conducting attacks in the sinai against egyptian security outposts. but an attack against a mosque really crosses a new threshold. >> reporter: two years ago in the skies over sinai, isis brought down a russian-bound plane using a bomb in a soda can. this year, isis has killed dozens of christians, including inside a church.
today, president trump condemned the horrible and cowardly terrorist attack. while tonight in egypt, there is deep shock at the massacre of so many civilians at worship inside a holy place by islamist gunmen. bill neely, nbc news. scary moments in london today. subway riders and friday commuters in a panic after reports of shots fired in a busy shopping district. authorities put the area on lockdown. they cleared out thousands of people. but eventually said they found no evidence of gunfire. police are now looking for two men they believe may have had an altercation on a platform in the underground. one woman suffered minor injuries as people fled the subway. there is new reaction from the white house this evening to revelations that michael flynn's lawyers have cut ties to president trump's legal team. the move is raising questions about whether flynn, the president's former national security adviser, made a deal to cooperate in the russia probe. nbc news white house
correspondent kristen welker has details. >> mr. president! >> reporter: while president trump hit the links with tiger woods in sunny florida, the cloud of the russia investigation is growing. a source familiar with the legal proceedings tells nbc news a lawyer for the president's ousted national security adviser, michael flynn, notified the president's legal team wednesday that flynn's team would no longer share information with them, as they had been regularly doing. the change first reported by "the new york times," could signal a significant shift in flynn's cooperation with special counsel robert mueller. what might it indicate? >> it could mean that he's cooperating with prosecutors. on the other hand, it might just mean he's negotiating with them. or, trying to secure some favorable plea deal. in order to do that, though, he's going to have to demonstrate to prosecutors that he has some valuable information. >> reporter: tonight the white house is downplaying the development. one official telling nbc news, even if flynn is cooperating
with mueller, there is no concern at the white house that flynn will implicate the president. mr. trump's former campaign manager, cory lewandowski. >> there is no culpability or liability to the president because he didn't collude, cooperate or coordinate with russia in any way, shape or form. >> reporter: earlier this month, nbc news reported that federal investigators had gathered enough evidence to bring charges in the flynn investigation. flynn is under scrutiny for his foreign lobbying work, involving russia, and turkey. and was fired after just 24 days on the job, although later in an interview with lester, president trump praised flynn. >> he's, in my opinion, a very good person. >> reporter: tonight one high-level source close to the white house tells me some in president trump's inner circle are concerned and feel this could be an ominous turn in the russia probe. lester? >> all right, kristen, thank you. let's turn now to an nbc news exclusive. inside the aggressive new u.s. strategy to fight the taliban. with the top american commander in afghanistan. who tonight for the first time is
revealing why the u.s. dropped so-called mother of all bombs in that country earlier this year. nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols is in kandahar. >> reporter: the message delivered to a remote base by a u.s. commander to his afghan counterpart, stay on offense. the goal really is to stand up the afghan forces, help them defeat the taliban, and so the taliban can be forced to negotiating table. here after 16 years of war the taliban controls 40% of the country. general john nicholson, the top commander in afghanistan, says the goal is to retake most of that territory in two years. as of right now, stalemate or winning? >> oh, we're still in a stalemate. we're only 90 days into this new policy. >> reporter: that new policy includes more american troops and trainers to fight alongside the afghans. a topic discussed over tea between brigadier general and general nazar. >> that's a decisive effort for me to get those 700 new soldiers trained. >> reporter: the fight isn't only against the taliban.
isis is also a threat. in april the u.s. dropped one of its most powerful bombs on an isis stronghold. you dropped the mother of all bombs. >> yes. >> big boom. >> yes. it was effective. >> reporter: what did you get out of that? >> what we did was we reduced an isis strong point, tunnels, caves, deep underground, other munitions were ineffective. >> reporter: today the afghans trying to give assurances that this fighting season will be different. breaking bread to celebrate a new strategy, with closer cooperation on the table. hans nichols, nbc news, kandahar, afghanistan. argentina's president says the search will continue for a missing submarine, nine days after it vanished. and he vows to get to the heart of what happened as hope fades for the 44 crew members. argentina's navy has revealed an explosion was detected in the sub's last known position, and if the sub is still intact, its oxygen may have run out. meantime, in a separate tragedy at sea the u.s. navy has suspended its search for three sailors
missing after a transport plane crashed off the coast of japan. on wednesday. back home, another star is breaking her silence about sexual harassment in hollywood. actress uma thurman lashing out on social media against harvey weinstein. thurman starred in some of the movie mogul's biggest hits over the years. nbc's katie beck has more on her powerful message. >> reporter: known for her role as a fierce assassin in the film series "kill bill," actress uma thurman, now targeting movie mogul harvey weinstein in a thanksgiving instagram post. i said i was angry recently and i have a few reasons. #metoo. in case you couldn't tell by the look on my face. then writing, i feel it is important to take your time, be fair and exact, so happy thanksgiving, everyone, except you, harvey, and all your wicked conspirators. i'm glad it's going slowly. you don't deserve a bullet. weinstein faces dozens of accusers, now being investigated by los
angeles police, who expect even more reports against hollywood figures in coming months. weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex. thurman, who starred in several of his films, was asked to weigh in on the scandal last month. >> when i've spoken, in anger, i usually regret the way i express myself. so i've been waiting to feel less angry. and when i'm ready, i'll say what i have to say. >> reporter: perhaps less angry now, but nonetheless, outrage, breaking the silence of another actress. >> these are stories that are not abating. and i think it's because women in hollywood, and men who care about those, want this not to be a moment, but a transformational time in history. >> reporter: thurman didn't make specific allegations in her post, but left a warning, stay tuned. a sign that her battle may be just getting started. katie beck, nbc news.
it may be the day after thanksgiving but it certainly doesn't feel like it outside in many places with above average temperatures across parts of the country. the warm weather continues through the weekend. los angeles enjoying highs in the 80s. after its warmest thanksgiving on record. hitting a high of 92. it's been three months since hurricane harvey slammed texas. but many communities, especially on the gulf coast, are still reeling. some areas without power or enough housing. as nbc news national correspondent miguel almaguer shows us, thousands have been forced to spend the holidays displaced from their homes. >> reporter: tonight along parts of coastal texas, a flood of damage near corpus christi. roofs, walls, and lives, ripped apart. these are the forgotten cities. hurricane harvey carved a path of destruction here nearly three months ago. but for many, it looks and feels like yesterday.
>> this is where we're living. >> reporter: jimmy kendrick, the mayor of fulton, texas, is living in one room. his house no longer a home. some of his neighbors are living in tents. >> only got 360 motel rooms available. we don't have any apartments. so you find out where you can live, and you make that your home now. >> reporter: outside houston, coastal communities suffered some of the greatest loss. in aransas county 80% of buildings were damaged. 80,000 have asked fema for help across the region. but only a third are eligible. the redmonds spent thanksgiving in a motel. >> starting over somewhere else was not an option for me. this is it. this is home. >> reporter: the big problem facing so many small communities is money. there isn't enough cash to clean up all of this debris, much less rebuild. many say they'll never return home. others believe their communities will never look the same. people here have anything to be thankful for?
>> we're alive. >> reporter: in this sea of loss, there is hope. but with the storm long gone comes the struggle to get back on their feet. miguel almaguer, nbc news, port aransas, texas. a new twist tonight for convicted murderer and former olympian oscar pistorius. an appeals court has more than doubled his sentence to over 13 years for killing girl friend reeva steenkamp. pistorius claimed he shot and killed steenkamp in 2013, after mistaking her for an intruder. the prosecutor said the two had been arguing beforehand. there's much more ahead tonight. has this happened to you? you get a call from your area code, maybe even similar to your own phone number, on the other end could be thieves out to steal your info. how to protect yourself from a growing scam coming up. also, the homeless man who returned a $10,000 check to the woman who lost it. we're there when she surprises him a life changing gift. just ahead.
we're back now with a warning about a phone scam spreading across the country. maybe you've noticed a spike in calls from numbers that look like they could be from a neighbor, or are strangely close to your own number. turns out it could be scammers trying to steal your info. in tonight's rossen reports nbc news national investigative correspondent jeff rossen shows you how to protect yourself. >> reporter: it's called spoofing. telemarketers calling from a number that looks a lot like yours, same area code, and even the same first few digits. trying to get your personal information. promising free cruises, and warranties. and now scammers are doing it, too. criminals realize that you're more apt to answer your phone if they call from an area code that you're in. and even more crazy, they can actually make the call look like it's coming from somebody you already know. >> reporter: they can actually mimic somebody's phone number now? >> absolutely. so for example i can
call somebody and make it look like you're calling them. >> you said you will be able to call my producer just off camera over there, you can call her from your phone. >> yes. >> posing as me? >> absolutely. >> reporter: we aren't showing you how he does it, but seconds later -- >> there it is. it says jeff rossen, work. it's your picture. this is literally what happens when you call me. i would see this and 100% think it was you. >> reporter: that is crazy. and by the way, everybody, this is my phone. we called from your phone, not mine. then he ramps it up, showing us what a real criminal would do. and calls my mom as me. again, from his phone. >> hi, jeff. >> hi, mom, real quick i need your social security numbers, i'm filling out some beneficiary forms. can you help me out real quick. >> what? >> i have this beneficiary form, i need to fill it out. what's your social security number real fast. >> okay [ bleep ] >> thanks a lot, mom, love you. >> reporter: and now you have it. >> that was it, i've got her social security number. >> reporter: think it can't happen to you? even the chairman of the fcc has been spoofed.
what is the fcc doing now to stop this? to protect me? >> a few different things. number one, we are empowering phone companies to block robo calls that appear to be spoofed with no legitimate purpose. number two, we are taking aggressive action against robo callers. and number three we're working with the industry to develop more technological solutions. >> reporter: in the meantime, experts say apps like mr. number and truecaller can help, alerting you to spoofed calls. but the best advice, never give personal information over the phone unless you made the call yourself. that wasn't even from my phone. he was just posing as me. >> you're kidding! >> reporter: because you never know who's on the other end. jeff rossen, nbc news, san diego. >> an important warning tonight. coming up, the man who tasted freedom this thanksgiving after 39 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
young son. but he always maintained his innocence. >> when they arrested me i told them, you can do whatever you want to me. but don't stop looking for the person that did this, because you have the wrong man. >> the governor pardoned coley after new dna evidence exonerated him in time for his first thanksgiving in nearly four decades as a free man. it started as a mix-up but now it's become a holiday tradition. you might remember the story we brought you last year about a grandmother in arizona who accidentally invited a stranger to thanksgiving. thinking she was texting her grandson. well the texts made them viral sensations, so this year they decided to spend the holiday together again. a new friendship formed. if you're putting off holiday decorating you might want to start decking the halls right now because people who do supposedly are actually happier according to a psychoanalyst who says trimming your tree can help conjure up childhood feelings of magic. and excitement. and another study says homes with outside lights and decorations are thought to be more friendly places to
bay area and in the sierra. and get ready to pay more. what )s going on - one state away - that )s driving up the cost of your christmas tree. right now at 6: a deadly attack in egypt. as we enter the season of giving a story about the kindness of strangers. when a woman lost something precious a good samaritan came to her rescue. we were there when she repaid him. nbc's rehema ellis with our "inspiring america" report. >> hi! >> reporter: elmer alvarez got a hero's welcome. but he had no idea he was about to get so much more. >> how are you? >> reporter: it all started with something real estate agent roberta hoskey had lost. a check for more than $10,000 on this corner. this is a very busy
corner. elmer found the check. and his first thought. >> might as well just do the right thing, and just look for the person and just return the check. >> i'm trying to find this guy. >> reporter: roberta posted her meeting with elmer on facebook live, giving him a small reward. >> i thought what a good samaritan. >> reporter: but she wanted to do more after finding this out about him. >> he's out here homeless. >> oh. >> you know what i'm saying? >> oh, my god. >> reporter: turns out the two strangers had something in common. roberta had also been homeless, a teenage mother, and a high school dropout. >> $417 a month, i'll never forget it. it's all i had to take care of myself and my son. >> reporter: but someone helped her turn her life around. >> i have always prayed god, if you bless me, bless me so that i could be a blessing to others. >> reporter: this thanksgiving week, roberta surprised elmer, getting him job training, but that wasn't all. >> you don't have to worry about being in the cold. we have housing for you. >> reporter: keeping her promise to pay it
forward, one good samaritan helping another. rehema ellis, nbc news, new haven, connecticut. >> isn't that a great story? we appreciate you spending part of your evening with us. that is "nightly news" for this friday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, tha deadly attack in egy extremists kill hundreds during prayer. right now at 6:00, a deadly attack in egypt. extremists kill hundreds during prayer. the news at 6:00 starts right now. i'm garvin thomas raj mathai is off tonight. >> jessica aguirre. we begin with this developing story out of egypt with a death toll out of the attack on a mosque reached 235 people. we get new video from outside the building that happened moments after the attack. inside too gruesome to show on air. it's a blood bath called by police. it's the deadliest in modern egyptian history. it's kbaking many in the bay
area. laura malport joins us live at the south bay islamic center in san jose where prayers focused on the victims in egypt. >> for decades the islamic association hosted a special prayer service and luncheon the day after thanksgiving. though today was no different, today the sermon took on a much darker tone than usual. >> reporter: hundreds of worshippers gather at the south bay islamic association for the annual day after thanksgiving service and celebration. today's sermon addressing the latest attack at a mosque in egypt and the country's sinai peninsula. >> we have witnessed in the past three or four months all sorts of acts of terrorism. >> officials say the militants opened fire on worshippers inside the mosque from off road vehicles blocking escape routes by blowing up cars. at least 235 people were killed, 13