tv First Look MSNBC December 25, 2015 4:30am-5:01am PST
>> it's friday, december 25th. right now on "first look." >> a state of emergency after a tornado outbreak tears through several states, the death toll has risen with entire neighborhoods destroyed. gun fire erupts at a north carolina mall on christmas eve. sending shoppers running for cover. and celebrations around the world as pope francis shares his christmas message at the vatican. and santas take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather here at home. "first look" starts right now. good morning on this christmas day. i'm richard lui. we start with the latest on the deadly weather. unseasonal storms and spring-like tornados left a path
of destruction and killed at least 14 people. parts of mississippi river under state of emergency after being hit extra hard there. emergency crews continue to search for those missing. mark potter is in mississippi with the latest. >> reporter: a devastating scene before christmas, after deadly storms and twisters carve through the midsection of the country. preliminary reports of at least two dozen tornados, including a possible ef-3, believed to have traveled more than 100 miles. >> it's total loss. everything. >> reporter: mississippi was the hardest hit. seven lives lost including a 7-year-old boy who died not far from where these twin tornados were spotted. >> wow. >> reporter: powerful winds flipped this semi. >> i knew it was bad. i could tell. >> reporter: haley hid under a mattress with her mother, grandmother and dogs. >> every house around us is gone. this is -- it's still standing but it's not going to make it. >> reporter: search teams worked
night and day going house to house looking for victims. >> we are trying to go through the mangled up mess of the trees. it's a disaster. >> reporter: the mississippi governor declared a state of emergency in seven counties. >> families lost loved ones. funerals will be planned. this should be a joyous holiday season. >> reporter: in arkansas high winds pushed a tree on a house and killed makayla. she was shielding her 18-month-old sister who is expected to be okay. the same storm system has been battering georgia and alabama with heavy rain. water cascading over this collapsed road. so many now spending this holiday rebuilding homes and coping with heartbreaking loss. >> mark potter reporting. thank you for that. up north strong winds knocking out power to more than a quarter million in michigan and parts of canada. some may not get power back until after the holiday weekend. the weather in new york city was
downright balmy. record breaking warmth will continue to grip much of the central and eastern states into the weekend. a different story, though, in the west with that. i-90 closed at snoqualmie pass in washington state due to the danger of avalanches and heavy snow weighing down on trees. bonnie schneider is here with more. so, the west is like the east, the east is like the west. then you got flood watches. >> that's right. we had severe weather yesterday we're monitoring the threat for flooding. in alabama officials advising to stay off the roads. there is so much water. we've seen a lot of rain in georgia, atlanta had a record rainfall just under four inches so this flood threat is imminent. look how much rain is coming through over the next 24 hours. huntsville, you could see up to three inches the more on top of what you have right now. so we're dealing with the soggy conditions into the south, look at this. a new winter storm is brewing, a blizzard watch, this will be in
effect for saturday, probably through monday. i think extended into parts of new mexico and texas, we're going to see blowing and drifting snow. winter storm warnings elsewhere, and it's not just heavy snow in the southwest. look what's coming to the upper midwest and the northern plains, several inches. minneapolis likely see several inches of snow into the next 48 hours. so our forecast calls for really cold conditions in billings, 17 degrees there. look at that, and 42 in chicago. 64 in new york, we shattered the record high temperature for today, and for yesterday. 72 degrees in central park yesterday afternoon. incredible. as we can check out the forecast for saturday look at this. snow developing across much of the plains, really cold temperatures off to the west. and still mild in the southeast. getting a little more seasonable into the northeast but not quite. eventually get colder toward sunday. you can see this cold air dipping down. minneapolis only 18 degrees on sunday. but watch out, not only for the blizzard conditions i mentioned saturday night into sunday but
look at this. 33 in oklahoma city. we could see icing develop in parts of oklahoma and kansas, this is a changing forecast as we watch the models develop. but the main thing to note is the active weather pattern through tuesday. >> looks like minneapolis is the only thing that is like minneapolis. >> exactly. >> okay. thank you so much, bonnie. thank you. in charlotte, north carolina gun fire in a mall with shoppers. a police officer shooting and killing a man as people ran for their lives. nbc's blake mccoy has details. >> reporter: gun fire on christmas eve, causing chaos at the upscale northlake mall in charlotte. >> i heard six gun shots. they sounded like firecrackers to me. then i saw people trample, turning around running toward me and trampling each other. >> reporter: police say it started with an argument between two groups of people inside the mall around 2:00. an officer working off duty heard gun shots and intervened.
when he encountered one of the men with a gun he opened fire. this woman was at children's place with her twins, and became separated from them in the chaos. >> people went running. they ran through the store, and they actually rushed right through the twins, grabbed the twins and were gone. >> her kids
square at noon local time. to hear the pontiff deliver his traditional christmas day speech. here at home, many are taking advantage of the warmer weather. santa and helpers water skiing on the potomac river. the grinch was attending but even he could not put a damper on the fun. in central florida hundreds of surfing santas raised money for charity. the event set a world road with 648 jolly st. nicks taking on the waves. even those with long hair. the christmas spirit is not just for people. mocca the miniature horse and the owner ringing in the holiday with the salvation army. the pair are slowing down the hustle and bustle of shopping. reminding people of the true meaning of christmas. ahead breaking news from nigeria, scores dead and a gas plant explosion, plus draft kings and fan duel fire back after being declared illegal.
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live as the pope is now giving his traditional christmas day message. it's a blessing he does on easter day. it's a little after noon there. last year he had about 80,000 who gathered in st. peter's square to hear his message at that time. we are just stopping by as he is now well into his message this christmas day. we also have breaking news out of africa to share with you. more than 100 people are reportedly dead from a massive blaze at a crowded gas plant in southeast nigeria they were lining up to buy gas when a gas tanker caught fire. one witness saying the fire exploded like a bomb. 36 years after they were held hostage u.s. victims of the iran hostage crisis will receive compensation from the federal government. each of the 53 will get up to $4.4 million. the hostage crisis lasted 444
days from 1979 to 1981. after the shaw of iran was ousted. company fan duel and draft kings are suing the state of illinois to declare their games are legal. this comes a day after the state's attorney general outlawed them as gambling. both said that they will continue to operate in illinois pending the outcome of those lawsuits. nbc sports and nbc news parent company com skast are among the investors in fan duel. a mexican volcano putting on a show when it spewed red lava. followed by a tower of smoke and ash, 6500 feet in the sky. it has erupted three times since wednesday. no evacuations ordered but it knows how to celebrate christmas. bristol palin gave birth to her second child on wednesday. she named her newborn daughter sailor grace and tweeted out two photos. her mom followed up with a sweet christmas eve note saying quote,
oh perfect love, the best gift ever. >> a thursday might football, chargers against the raiders, what is future hall of famer charles woodson's last home game. the raiders take the lead on this t.d., they go up three after converting the two-point conversion with that. but josh hits a 46 yard field goal with a minute remaining. tying it up and forcing overtime. in the extra time seth roberts makes the grab, setting up this 31-yard field goal. it would prove to be enough. raiders win that, 23-20. college football, a pair of tropical bowl games. western michigan taking on middle tennessee in the bahamas bowl. offensive bonanza middle tennessee first on the board. a run by richie james, he is gone. but this one was dominated by western michigan who rushed for 215 yards and four touchdowns. get out of the way and western
michigan goes on to win, 45-31 for their first bowl victory. and san diego state university playing cincinnati in the hawaii bowl. these are tough places to play. san diego's state rashad penny is fast, he sped it up a little taking the opening kickoff, 100 yards for the score. this one here, they dominate cincinnati, 42-7. >> the old elf is known by many names. santa, kriss kringle and father christmas and st. nick. as richard engel reports for us, the real st. nick is a far cry from the santa we know. >> merry christmas. >> reporter: everybody knows santa's real name is st. nick. but you may be surprised to learn the real st. nicolas was born here, in what is now the town of demray in southern turkey. almost 1800 years ago. his statue still stands in the
center of town, where he served as bishop, and acted like a saint. his present day successor bishop chris is revered here too. once a year he holds mass in the church where his famous predecessor was buried. ♪ >> there is an icon of st. nicolas in every greek orthodox church. >> of course. >> but old st. nick is nothing like the santa we know. those stories are fun, the bishop says, and they would be even more fun if i was a child and had gifts coming my way. >> how did st. nicolas go from a christian saint to a fairy tale from a greek orthodox bishop to a toy maker with a staff of elves and team of flying reindeer? much of that happened in america. the 19th century poem t'was the night before christmas describes st. nick as jolly and plump.
flying in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. cartoonist thomas nass came up with the familiar santa image. and ads like this one helped lock it in. of course, coca-cola has a bigger advertising budget than the greek orthodox church. >> you try and tell people when you see all of these little santas, that's not the guy? that has nothing to do with st. nick. exactly, he says. i've been doing that for 30 years now. but without much success. because it seems people like santa just the way he is now. richard engel, nbc news, istanbul. >> just ahead, presidential hopefuls take last minute jabs before christmas, plus the elf on the shelf comes to life. now he is a viral sensation.
it may be the holiday season but that does not mean presidential candidates are taking time off from greeting voters or taking last-minute shots at each other. hallie jackson has more. >> don't feel guilty about your last-minute christmas shopping. even presidential candidates are procrastinating. jeb bush browsing board games. >> unlike donald trump, i didn't try to have a monopoly in real estate. >> and taking shots at donald trump, who is focusing on his own feud with hillary clinton. >> i really haven't gone after hillary yet.
there's a lot to go after. the job she's done is horrible. >> trump cautioning clinton after she said this -- >> it's not the first time he's demonstrated a penchant for sexism. >> and donald trump is the only candidate i've seen in i don't know how many cycles that's been able to get away with what he gets away with. the electorate constantly forgives him for the things that he says. >> trump making plenty of noise but on christmas quiet on the campaign trail, candidates spending time with family, sending greetings to supporters and in rand paul's case airing his annual festive grievances.
>> hallie jackson reporting for us. good morning to you, my friend. what do the candidates normally do? what's the tradition on christmas? >> happy friday and merry christmas to you. most of the candidates spent the night last night at church and senator bernie sanders spent the evening with his wife in vermont. >> when do they get back on the campaign trail? >> i'll be back in new hampshire on sunday and monday morning mr. trump is expected to have a huge rally monday night in new hampshire. he's leading the pack there but hot on his tail is former florida governor jeb bush, who also will be campaigning there.
a lot of the other candidates spending a lot of time in iowa and new hampshire and that's only going to continue as we inch closer to the first contest. >> so president obama is in hawaii. i was thinking to myself how do presidents normally celebrate, at least in the past as we go through the years? >> former president bill clinton took his daughter, chelsea, who we all know is expecting her child book shopping. then of course former president george h.w. bsh at one point spent it at camp david with his granddaughter. if you can see those antlers, she was in a play. and former president reagan and his wife nancy were playing with their dog. and that's a gift from the white
house correspondent press association. >> i'm wondering if you bought any candidate a gift. probably not, right? >> i don't think they need any gifts from any reporters. if i was going to get president obama something, being i'm with my family today, i think i'd get him a cheese steak. >> now the story about a real life elf on a shelf. his adorable pictures have earned him viral glory. >> twas the week before christmas and in the town of paradise the elf on the shelf wasn't being very nice. he makes mischief and messes. not quite a role model. >> he drank out of the syrup
bodle. >> this elf is not a toy, he's a boy. rockwell sees you when you're sleeping, tells santa if you've been nice. his pictures so popular online, people shared and shared twice. >> not really expecting that it would go viral and it would get the attention that it did. >> reporter: this family has had a chance to spread joy. do you recognize that boy? that's will. he can fly. as we told you before, proof kids with down syndrome can soar. and for the two youngest kids, it's a love that never ends. >> we're really excited to watch them grow up together and be best friends. >> life's not only picture
perfect but one thing is clear -- you don't have to wait till christmas to feel this kind of cheer. it's santa's best gift you can't find under the tree. so from the lawrence family and ours, happy holidays from nbc. >> halle jackson spending christmas eve making all of those rhymes. this is "first look" on msnbc. this is "first look" on msnbc. correspondent oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right?
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♪ ♪ this season, give the present of being present. a man knocked unconscious while witnesses walk by. >> i expect a person to call 911. >> but what will they do. >> a cop getting a mouthful from this great grandma. >> you're going to tase a 72-year-old woman? >> an nfl player and his wife desperately trying to make it to the hospital, detained by an unsympathetic cop. >> you ran a red light. >> my mother is