tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 9, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
tonight and then tomorrow they're at the oracle arena, back in san jose next weekend. >> i love them they're so fun to watch. have a good weekend, folks. >> they're going to win tonight. under siege, dramatic standoffs today near paris. terrorists take hostages in two different locations. the brothers accused in that awful massacre, as police launch simultaneous attacks. also, the accomplice they're now looking for, a young woman who apparently escaped in the chaos. in this country a massive pileup in blinding snow, well over 100 vehicles involved. a terrible scene on the highway as some areas brace for several feet of snow on the way. and free college for anyone who wants it. that's the offer from president obama, but how real is it? "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams.
good evening. this was a violent and eventful day in and around paris. while it's tempting to declare the crisis of these past several days over, we simply don't know that tonight. french police today moved in on two hostage situations. they killed three suspected terrorists including those two brothers sought after the brazen attack on the satirical magazine in paris on wednesday. tonight police are looking for a female accomplice who might have run from the chaos and gunfire, pretending instead to be a hostage. and now the worry shifts to whether or not anything else is coming. it's where we begin again tonight with our team in the u.s. and france, richard engel starts us off from paris tonight, richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. those two brothers had been on the run for two days until this morning. they carjacked a vehicle, drove here on the outskirts of paris, barricaded themselves into a
building, got into a gunfight with police and took a hostage. this tiny french village suddenly became a war zone. at 9:00 this morning local maintenance worker pascal heard helicopters overhead. his boss called him, he says, to tell him to stay inside just doors from where the gunmen were holed up. but he went instead to a nearby school. i gathered the children and helped usher them into classrooms, he said. at that moment police descended on the village quickly sealing it off. the kouachi brothers were surrounded. french police brought in helicopters. at nearby charles de gaulle airport, a runway was closed air traffic diverted. at 9:40 barricaded in the briefing press, cherif kouachi
spoke to a french journalist by phone. i was sent by al qaeda, he said. it was anwar al awlaki. who financed me. he was killed by a u.s. drone in 2011. as he spoke, worried parents in the village gathered. their children still hiding in the school not far from the standoff. by midday police snipers were in place. french authorities decided it was too dangerous, the children had to be moved. they were taken out in small groups. 15-year-old marvin said we were surprised to hear what was going on. this is such a quiet village. then near dusk two explosions, one caught on camera. the sound of gunfire. [ gunfire ] children started running to the buses. this was the most dangerous time, but it was over in
just minutes. the kouachi brothers had come out shooting, and they were quickly shot dead. their hostage was unharmed. richard engel, nbc news, dammartin-en-goele, france. >> reporter: this is lester holt in paris. with explosions and rapid gunfire, it was over. [ gunfire ] a dramatic, bloody end to the day's second hostage drama, captured live on french tv. fifteen people held hostage by a lone gunman inside a kosher market led to safety. inside, four others were dead. the shooter himself also killed. french president hollande called it a terrifying anti-semitic act. it began around midday with a report of gunfire at a kosher market in eastern paris, and hostages taken. police confirm the gunman amedy coulibaly, was an associate of the kouachi brothers.
they also say he killed a policewoman in a paris suburb yesterday. coulibaly himself spoke by phone today with a french journalist. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> reporter: we only coordinated at the start, he said. when they started charlie hebdo, i started with police. as security forces tried to negotiate a peaceful end, many shops in the historically jewish district across town closed their doors early. all of paris was extremely tense today. police and citizens on edge. there was a report of a shooter in the subway, false it turned out. near the supermarket standoff testy cops evacuated streets. and this. we just happened upon this scene driving down this road a few hundred meters from the site of the hostage-taking. and everywhere we look, police are out with guns. they're crouched over this vehicle. a reported bank robbery, another false alarm. everybody seems on edge. what is it like living in paris right now? >> we don't know.
it sounds so unreal to us. >> reporter: then, just as the sun was setting, the assault, bringing this siege to an end. but police are still trying to account for this woman, 26-year-old hayat boumediene, thought to be an accomplice of amedy coulibaly. late tonight the prosecutor here in paris held a nus conference and said the initial indications are the four hostages who were killed were shot by the terrorists and not during that police assault. there were some injuries, three police officers and two civilians also hurt during the siege here, brian. >> lester holt late at night now in paris. richard engel before that starting us off, gentlemen, thanks. and tonight, intelligence services in france and around the world are trying to connect the dots to see who else is there, trying to determine what these attacks may say about any larger picture. we get that report tonight from nbc's bill neely outside paris. >> reporter: she's a terrorist and she's on the loose. french police described
hayat boumediene armed and dangerous. and the partner of the supermarket killer, amedy coulibaly. these, their own photographs. he and the other gunmen may be dead, she is not. french intelligence knew the men were linked, two are brothers, two prisoners together. coulibaly released just months ago. they had recruited men to fight u.s. troops in iraq ten years ago. this week their sleeper cell re-awoke and they became assassins. but did they act on their own, and are there others ready to strike? if they were part of a bigger network, french authorities have a bigger challenge. they know more than 300 french nationals are currently fighting for isis in iraq or syria. the risk of blowback of militants returning to kill is enormous. [ speaking french ] >> reporter: tonight, french president francois hollande called for unity.
we've tightened security, he said, so we won't face risks and threats. but the threats are clear. the kouachi brothers told negotiators they wanted to die as martyrs. the attack on the kosher supermarket has frightened an already anxious jewish community. the main synagogue in paris will close tomorrow due to security concerns, the first time that's happened on the jewish sabbath since world war ii. the city is on edge, filled with antiterrorist police and s.w.a.t. teams. today, sieges may be over, but france says its government remains on high alert. well, the key worries now, brian, are of copycat killings by lone extremists and of sleeper cells that might be motivated now to take further action. preventing both will be a major
challenge after two of the deadliest days in france that have left this country reeling. back to you, brian. >> bill neely part of our team in and around paris tonight. bill, thanks. we want to turn now to michael lighter, former director of the national terrorism center under presidents bush and obama. he is now the executive vice president of lydos, working with the federal government on national security matters. and, michael, aqap, al qaeda of the arabian peninsula, claimed credit for this today, meantime a lot of americans want to know what does it mean here. >> i think it means there are huge challenges not just in france but here in the united states, brian. the u.s. intelligence community is very good, but it can only handle so much. and it is really been focused on isis in syria and iraq. and aqap in yemen remains a significant threat. and both of these organizations also can contribute to home grown terrorists who is simply see this and are inspired. and that volume can truly be
overwhelming. >> michael leiter in washington rounding out our coverage. michael, thank you as always. retired four-star general petraeus is back in the news tonight. in dramatic fashion. nbc has confirmed federal prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against the former u.s. commander in iraq and afghanistan because of an accusation that he leaked classified information to his one-time mistress while he was cia director. our justice correspondent, pete williams, has late details from our d.c. newsroom tonight. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. no charges have been filed and now it's up to the attorney general, eric holder, to decide whether in fact assembled by the fbi and prosecutors merit going to court. petraeus, a retired four-star general became the cia director in 2011. and the question has been whether he gave classified information to a woman who was writing a book about him, a woman who was also it turns out his mistress. he acknowledged the affair when he stepped down after leaving the cia for about a year.
no comment tonight from the justice department or his lawyer who has always insisted that petraeus did nothing wrong. one official says tonight this new leak is an effort to put pressure on the attorney general to bring charges, especially given that other lower level government officials have been charged with leaking classified information, brian. >> pete williams in our d.c. newsroom tonight. pete, thanks. elsewhere in our country this evening, a very serious outcome from this wave of winter weather. a blanketing ferocious band of snow, lake effect snow in michigan so powerful it reduced visibility to zero and led to a deadly pileup of well over 100 vehicles on the interstate i-94. it happened in battle creek, michigan, near kalamazoo. we get the latest from nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: a stretch of michigan interstate looked and sounded more like a combat zone. a winter whiteout causing a massive pileup shutting down a section of the i-94 in both
directions, killing one, injuring 22. police say 123 vehicles, 65 of them semitrucks, slammed into one another. some burst into flames. one semi loaded with fireworks blasted its cargo skyward. another was carrying corrosive acid. >> you just hear this boom and then you hear the shower of sparks that you expect to hear on the fourth of july. >> reporter: alice mitchell shot this video and ducked for cover. we spoke to him via skype. >> once i saw the firefighters start to scatter, i thought i better get out of the way. there were literally fireworks flying inches above my head. >> reporter: this satellite photo shows the entire great lakes region encased in snow and ice. and at the time of the crash, radar indicated a band of lake effect snow hitting the area. another fatality and injuries reported in this 50-car pileup just outside ann arbor.
tonight, police are urging motorists to stay off the roads. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. there's more, another massive traffic headache caused by huge amounts of snow in western new york tonight. a stretch of the throughway, nearly 70 miles long, remains closed from buffalo, new york to the pennsylvania state line. lake effect snow all related expected to drop two to three feet more in buffalo while watertown to the northeast could see up to five feet as yet another arctic blast moves in to much of the country tomorrow. still ahead on this friday night, free college for millions of american students. an ambitious offer that could help so many families. also, the homecoming. the young woman we came to know in the fight against ebola overseas comes home to the u.s. from the front lines.
in tennessee today president obama unveiled the goal of a nation where everyone has not only the chance but also the means to go to college. he has a plan to put more careers on the launchpad with two years of community college tuition courtesy of the government. and while for millions of us a community college education can be the only viable option, the question is how to pay for this generosity. our report tonight from nbc's chris jansing. >> reporter: 28-year-old akita hodge is a working mom. five years ago she started a
two-year program at maryland's montgomery college but had to quit because she just didn't have the money. >> and how much will i owe, how will i pay it back? how do i do this? and it's like should i be here? >> reporter: those questions wouldn't have come up if the program proposed by president obama had been in place. >> two years of college will become as free and universal as high school is today. >> reporter: to qualify on -- for free tuition, on average, $3,800 a year students of any age would have to go to school at least half-time, keep a c-plus average and make steady progress toward their degree. the federal government would pick up three-quarters of the tab, states would have to pay the rest. the white house says this program will help as many as 9 million students go to colleges like this one. but at $60 billion over ten years with no details yet on where the money's coming from, it's a tough sell to congress. a spokesman for house speaker john boehner says, without details to review, this plan is more like a talking point. and a group dedicated to
expanding college access is skeptical too. >> tuition is just 20% of the cost of going to a community college. it's those 80% of costs that can be the biggest barriers to students enrolling in college. >> reporter: akita hodge is back in school for the first time in four years and argues with the president's plan she'd be the first person in her family to graduate, setting an example for her children. >> to have that great job, to actually own that business, to go somewhere bigger in life. >> reporter: stated simply like that, it's a goal everyone can agree on. the conversation about how to achieve it gets complicated. chris jansing, nbc news, rockville, maryland. back in a moment with late word from a familiar name talking about a run for the white house. also, a huge nfl playoff weekend on the way. how some fans will be able to know a big play is about to happen even before they see it on live tv.
252,000 jobs in december, more than expected. unemployment rate dropped from 5.8% to 5.6%. that's the lowest since '08. the troubling sign, however, is that wages continue to stagnate in this country. tonight, nbc news has learned mitt romney is at least talking about mulling over another run for the white house. he reportedly made the remarks that he is considering a run in 2016 during a meeting of gop donors here in new york today. for what it's worth, ann romney has strongly, declaratively and publicly said there will be no third run for the white house. the u.s. will make a bid to bring the 2024 summer olympic games to the city of boston. it was selected as the best u.s. bid city last night, beating out some big competitors like l.a., san francisco and d.c. while there are great pluses like sailing off the cape and rowing on the charles river, they would still need a lot of facilities and infrastructure.
and so opinions there are split on welcoming the world just nine years from now. the only foreign competitor so far is rome. as you may know, we are heading into a huge nfl weekend. four games over two days, marathon viewing for some of us. and in at least one of the four cities, in seattle, the seahawks hometown crowd is so loud they can make the earth beneath the stadium move. a seismometer will register any localized tremors dourg the game and in some cases, it may register before tv viewers see the play that caused the shaking because of the built-in delay on live tv. when we come back tonight, a hero's welcome for a woman who risked everything to make a difference.
the first signs of good news that the volunteers in the fight against ebola are getting the upper hand, the rate of spread in liberia, the hardest hit nation, has dropped dramatically for example. that's also very good news for people like katy meiler, who cares for the youngest victims in that country. we first met her in october in the middle of her mission. she's now arrived back in the
states. and tonight nbc's anne thompson has the story of a young woman devoted to making a difference. >> reporter: katie meyler has every reason to dance. home safe in new jersey after five months in ebola-ravaged liberia. >> i'm happy that i'm alive. i feel really grateful. >> reporter: do you feel like you're home? >> there's a piece of home here. but i also feel really at home with my kids. >> i love you. >> i love you! >> reporter: her other home is a slum in liberia's capital where she ran ebola response teams. >> make sure they're taken care of. >> reporter: she saved so many, but not all. aware of the risk to her daughter, back in bernardsville, joanne prays. >> i believe you're safer wherever god wants you to be. >> reporter: how would you describe your daughter? >> a bubble of love. >> reporter: "time" magazine
named her one of its persons of the year calling her a tornado of energy. so proud joanne stops strangers in the airport. >> one of my best friends was like let me put this in perspective for you. obama was the "time" person of the year. >> reporter: landing in new york she says she was pulled aside for more than two hours of questioning even though she'd spent nearly three weeks outside of liberia and had no symptoms. >> that was hard to come back to. >> reporter: next month schools in liberia will resume after being shut down to curb the spread of ebola. meyler will reopen her more than me girls academy which one the $1 million prize at an awards. >> it's ridiculous and embarrassing that a 10-year-old girl is selling herself because she needs a clean glass of water. to me what's scary is what goes on before ebola and what will continue to go on after ebola. >> which is? >> there's no running water, or
100,000 people living without bathrooms. these things need attention. >> reporter: in so many ways katie meyler's work is just beginning. anne thompson, nbc news, bernardsville, new jersey. >> that is our broadcast on a friday night if for this week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you back here on monday evening. it is troubling for us do this. it really is painful. >> freightstraight from the chief. put more officers on the streets. but where it is coming from is what has people concerned. thanks for being with us on this friday. >> a restruck touring of the san jose police department. the chief just released his command staff and more shuffling of officer.
the goal to boost patrols in the dwindling department. i know you just spoke exclusively to the chief but what does it mean for investigations like homicide or robbery? >> well they are in trouble, jessica. this is a department in crisis. it is bleeding officers and tonight even the homicide unit is taking a hit and it has at least one crime victim very worried. >> this is man expected of breaking in a few months aago the suspect and accomplice haven't been caught. >> it was really scary. thank god nothing happened but it was very scary. >> san jose police are quickly running out of officers to investigate crimes like this one but are being reassigned to street patrols. san jose's top cop announced even more staff shuffling today including a homicide unit which is losing a sergeant to street patrols. >> we are reducing certain