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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  November 27, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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reservations to have dinner inside, but please don't get carried away, start eating the walls. kids are out! >> yeah. >> see you at 6:00. tonight, countries around the world taking drastic action to stop spread of a new covid variant, the new travel warning from the u.s. state department new york declaring a state of emergency israel banning all foreign visitors in an attempt to keep the omicron variant out as the united kingdom imposes new restrictions for all arriving travelers >> this variant is spreading around the world. >> as the first cases are detected there new questions how transmissible and dangerous omicron is and the warning today that the variant is likely already in the u.s we talked to the experts to get you answers. how worried should we
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all be about this? back to business, shoppers out in force as we enter peak holiday shopping season many are asking where are the deals. smash and grab the new round of shocking robberies putting communities on high alert across the country. war of words a republican congresswoman under fire for an anti-muslim joke directed at a member of congress her apology and why democrats say it is not enough. an angel from above. the world war ii pilot who never stopped saving lives this is nbc night lie news with jose diaz-ballart good evening developments came at lightening speed today as officials took steps to stop the spread of the variant called omicron. israel is taking the most extreme measures, announcing late today no foreign visitors will be allowed in. suspected cases of the variant popped up
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around the world today in the uk, netherlands, italy and germany joining previously known cases in other countries around the globe. we know you have a lot of questions about the new variant and in a moment we will layou what we know and don't know about how dangerous it is. we begin with gabe gutierrez and the rapid global response. >> reporter: tonight, drastic measures to contai the omicron variant. israel, the first country to completely close its borders. the uk also tightening rules on travel and mask wearing. >> this is the responsible course of action to slow down the seeding and spread of this new variant. >> reporter: british citizen and business traveler henry warren no says he is stuck in south africa. >> we failed spectacularly at that, despite a rapi drive to the airport
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to try to see if there were any flights leaving, now we're in a new boat and hoping to get out by christmas. >> reporter: germany and italy announce their first omicron cases following belgium. more countries clamping down on travel from southern africa 61 people flying from the region to the netherlands tested positive for covid authorities are no checking how many are infected with the new variant. >> we're going to take every precaution that's why we've taken the measures we have. >> reporter: the biden administration new travel restrictions from south africa and seven others around the countries set to take effect monday today, the cdc and state department advising against travel to the region this morning, passengers from there arriving at newark afte a long flight. >> we heard about it we were just hoping we are able to get out of there last night. lucky we made it. >> reporter: new york governor declared a state of emergency, starting next week, allowing the state t increase hospital capacity and fight potential staffing shortages. no omicron cases have been identified yet in the u.s. experts say it is likely the variant is already here. >> i would not be surprised if it is we have not detected
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it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility, it almost invariably will ultimately go essentially all over. >> reporter: scientists are scrambling to study omicron. early indications are it is highly contagious because of it many mutations. >> this is a real reminder for us all that the pandemic is far from over >> reporter: gabe joins us live from jfk in new york. gabe, will the new travel restrictions apply to american citizens? >> reporter: no. restrictions don't ban flights or apply to american citizens or lawful permanent residents, but they do preven foreign visitors from south africa and seven surrounding nations from arriving in the u.s. >> gabe gutierrez in new york, thank you. we know you have a lot of questions about this we want to take a step back for a closer look at why the world is reacting so aggressively to the new variant and what you should do in your own day-to-day life.
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even as the world rushes to stop the spread of the new variant, there's still so much we don't yet know >> we just unfortunately don't have enough data yet. >> this is all early data we don't actually know if what we observed in this brief moment in south africa's epidemiology is really harolding that it might be a worldwide threat. >> what has officials so concerned are the large number of mutations seen in this strain what do we know about the variant? >> the reason the variant is a concern is because it has many more mutations in this one variant, including many on the spike protein. >> that's the part of the virus that helps it infect humans, and the omicron strain has some 30 mutations on it alone. >> the concerning part is the mutations we have seen before in other places and other variants, seem to be the kind of mutations that can both increase th transmissibility, making it easier from one person to pass to
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another, but potentially also invade the immune system >> and many mutations in omicron are similar to the highly contagious mutations in delta do we know if it is more transmissible than the delta variant? >> if you look at the data out of south africa, it does appear it is more transmissible than delta. i think again, it is sort of a small sample size. >> that sample size is only around 100 confirmed cases of omicron in south africa but officials describe an exponential rise in overall covid cases and blame the new variant with many likely not yet confirmed. as to whether it is more dangerous once infected. >> so we actually don't know anything about the kind of disease that it causes in terms of increased mortality or differen disease features. >> here in the u.s., public health officials are promoting vaccines and boosters as the best defense against the new variant. >> it is absolutely essential that unvaccinated people get vaccinated and the vaccinated people get boosters
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>> do we know if the vaccines, the ones that are, for example, ones we think of in the united states, are they effective >> i think that's a question tha we will hopefully have information on in the next couple of weeks >> one thing i will say that might set people's minds at ease is that to date no variant has been able to completely evade immune memory from vaccines. >> if not, the vaccine makers are saying they're working toward an omicron specific vaccine. on monday, the u.s. will join other countries banning flights from south african countries. >> will this travel ba help do you think, dr. bhadelia >> you know, the best the travel bans can do is slow the spread they can't actually stop the spread of variants. >> experts stress how much this is the early stages here in the u.s., the cdc hasn't officially confirmed any cases of the omicron variant. >> how worried should we all be about this >> i think you should obviously pay attention. i mean, even without
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this variant, delta is still here, delta is still causing cases. >> the best thing you can do is no panic, if you haven't been vaccinated, get vaccinated, if you haven't gotten boosted, get boosted, if you're sick, to get tested really that's the best thing you can do. >> there's just so much w still don't know about this we have a lot to learn. the holiday shopping season is officially underway. shoppers kicking it off yesterday by turning back out to stores for black friday tonight, many shoppers are wondering where are holiday deals they've gotten used to katie beck has more. >> reporter: for some black friday shoppers, th excitement to hunt for deals wasn't quite the thrill this year instead, sticker shock. >> a lot different because all the prices are up. >> reporter: thanks to inflation, many shoppers found price tags were higher thanks to supply chain issues, the supply of what they wanted was lower. >> a lot of stuff is out of stock, online and in stores. >> the average shopper
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expected to spend 9% more without deep discounts of past years. tota online spending in the u.s. on black friday totalled $8.9 billion slightly less than what consumers spent online last year experts say messaging about this year's supply disruptions impacted buying patterns >> consumers are starting earlier, they'r buying more earlier, and they're not waiting for discounts. >> reporter: but even with a bigger strain on wallets, there's plenty of purchasing going on predicted retail sales will grow between 8.5 and 10.5% this year. and mastercard say numbers indicate retail sales are up nearly 30% from 2020 clothes, toys, electronics among the items in highest demand. >> closing out a year where consumers have been spending, we know that consumers are in a fairly good place when it comes to their household balance sheets, when it comes to their income. >> reporter: retail
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experts also note th biggest online shopping day of the year is still yet to come it is on monday. cyber monday, when consumers are expected to spend between 10 and $11 billion. >> we, consumers, have lot of spending power and they're bringing all of that to the holiday season as they look to splurge on ou family and friends >> and katie joins us from atlanta how did in store crowds yesterday compare to prepandemic levels >> reporter: jose, crowds were up 48% this year over last. but that's because last year, a lot of shoppers stayed home due to pandemic fears and because retailers ha reduced hours. even though we're seeing the uptick this year, the numbers are still significantly smaller than in 2019 before the pandemic. jose >> katie beck in atlanta, thank you. in washington, a fire storm over republican congresswoman lauren boebert's anti-muslim remarks aimed at one of her colleagues. boebert has now apologized democrats say it isn't
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enough here is kelly o'donnell. >> hi, everyone. i'm lauren boebert >> reporter: an outspoken newcomer to congress >> america does not need and cannot afford this junk. >> reporter: the 34-year-old colorado republican, married mom, gun rights enthusiast lauren boebert, ally of former president trump did something trump detests. boebert apologized under pressure, sh tweeted this friday. i apologize to anyone in the muslim community i offended with my comment about representative omar. minnesota democrat ilhan omar is one of only three muslims serving in congress. in this video taken at an event, boebert joked and seemed to suggest that omar could be wearing explosives when with her in an elevator. >> i looked to my left and there she is ilhan omar i said well, she doesn't have a backpack, we should be fine
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>> reporter: congresswoman omar responded, saying i am a suicide bomber is no laughing matter. she writes normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all muslims. speaker pelosi and democratic leadership called boebert's comments deeply offensive and concerning and slammed republican leader kevin mccarthy for his repeated failure to condemn inflammatory and bigoted rhetoric mccarthy responded that boebert apologized for what she said and has reached out to congresswoman omar to meet next week kelly o'donnell, nbc news. still ahead, a new round of brazen smash and grab robberies what one major retailer says they'll do to keep shoppers and employees safe. also, how di hundreds of fedex packages end up in the woods of alabama the investigation stumping authorities
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as we enter the busiest shopping season of the year, a wave o smash and grab robberies is on the rise with more this weekend. emily mckenna reports how retailers are fighting back. >> reporter: as shoppers rush into stores for deals, so are mobs of thieves grabbing and going police call them flash mob thefts, a surge in crime plaguing businesses at the most robust time of year. >> is it changing the
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way any of your family members are shopping >> yes, definitely especially my mother's generation they didn't want to go out at all to shop. >> reporter: overnight, more crime. high end handbags in los angeles. home depot, a different target look closely nearly ten people running out with sledgehammers and crow bars >> they had the sledge hammers ready to get people that were trying to stop them. >> reporter: california is home to three of the top ten cities for the worst retail crime according to a report from a trade group. los angeles is taking the number one spot. >> trying to get their hands on as much product as they can. especially durin the supply chain crisis, to try to get it to online sellers that want to list it for the holidays. >> reporter: the national retail federation says 75% of stores reported increase of crimes like these during the pandemic last night in minnesota, a best buy was hit. the retailer among companies making changes in response to rising crime, locking up products, hiring security guards,
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an brainstorming solutions with other retailers. >> we are seeing more loosely organized groups come together and target our stores. >> reporter: the company ceo on cnbc this week. >> for our employees, these are traumatic experiences and they're happening more and more across the country. >> reporter: at least ten people have been arrested in the l.a. area this week, 12 more near san francisco face charges. but dozens remain at large, leaving shoppers and stores on edge emily e get ta, nbc news los angeles we're back in a moment with challenges that are making it harder than ever for small stores to survive. plus, a stow away that traveled from guatemala to miami in th landing gear of the plane.
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we're back with incredible footage of a stow away that traveled in the landing gear of an american airlines flight from guatemala to miami video shows the man sitting on the ground as airport personnel spoke to him, gave him water. not only did the man survive the two and a half hour flight, bu witnesses say he appeared to be unharmed th u.s. customs and border patrol says the incident is under investigation. tonight, an investigation is under way into how hundreds of fedex packages ended up in the woods of alabama earlier this week, 3 to 400 packages of various sizes were found in a ravine 30 miles north of birmingham, according
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to authorities fedex sent multiple trucks and drivers to pick up the packages officials sa it is unclear how the packages got there. we have reported extensively on supply chain challenges which large chain stores often have means to work around but for smaller independent stores, it is a much bigger challenge. on this small business saturday, senior business correspondent stephanie ruhle looks at how some are finding a way. >> reporter: 'tis the season to shop small. >> we're excited to see what happens. >> this is the time of year that we really need to have a boom of sales. >> it does feel like we're getting a little bit back to normal. >> reporter: all across the country, mom and pop shops are praying for a holiday miracle this small business saturday. >> this is the fourth quarter, this is where businesses like ours make it all up. >> reporter: means cameron has owned black-owned outerwear for the past decade. bu this holiday season
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has been particularly challenging. >> getting product on time and the cost of product going up, cost of shipping going up. >> reporter: the nightmare before christmas, marked by unprecedented supply chain disruptions. according to a survey from american express, over half small businesses are concerned about having enough inventory and enough labor to support their business this holiday season >> we have been waiting for shipment of a certain product, knowing you would get it in two to three weeks. it took us four months. >> reporter: small businesses like this hardware store in connecticut are increasingly losin out to shopping giants like amazon and walmart that can charter their own transportation or choose their inventory. >> where we might be getting 50% of a certain order, for us, that might be only ten items. for a big box, could be instead of a thousand, getting 500. >> because of mass volume that larger businesses are requiring, you know, small business owners unfortunately can be at the end of the list for suppliers. >> reporter: walmart for exampl
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said its inventory is up 11.5% ahead of the holidays at target, it's up 18% from a year ago last holiday we met jenny, a toy store owner on new york upper west side. >> right now, i think we're all just treading water. >> reporter: this year, while some things are better, others aren't. >> we are out of things we would normally have. >> reporter: do you feel it will be a good holiday shopping season >> i am hopeful. i'm definitely hopeful. got to be, right >> reporter: hoping for a happy holiday and banner sales season stephanie ruhle, nbc news, new york a major upset happened today in one of the most heated college football rivalries fans flooded the field after the michigan wolverines beat the ohio state buckeyes first time since 2011, earning a spot in the big ten conference championship game next weekend. the final score, 42-27. when we come back, honoring an angel. ho one heroic pilot took on a mission to save lives of hundreds.
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there's good news tonight about real life heroes and the world war ii pilot who became a guardia angel for hundreds in need for this 98-year-old, captain john billings. >> sir, i salute you. >> this was the special moment he was honored for helping others >> i am profoundly
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humble to present john billings with the president's lifetime achievement award. >> the ceremony in virginia last week recognizing his outstanding commitment to volunteering. how do you respond to people that call you a hero >> no, i'm not a hero. >> his record of service, though, tells a much different story. the world war ii u.s. army corp pilot awarded medals for his bravery and dedication but it is his time spent on these life-saving flights that's given him an overwhelming sense of purpose and pride. what has that been like >> wonderful wonderful. >> since 2004, captain billings has flown his own plane for angel flight mid-atlantic, a nonprofit that transports patients for free to life-saving medical care in places far from their own homes john has flown 462 angel flight missions
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which is unbelievable. all at his own cost. >> flaps up. touchdown. >> by his side for most of these trips, his buddy and co-pilot >> it's been so rewarding. we made so many friends, so many we have lost, but so many we stayed in contact with >> john, you are the man that changed my life. >> one of the patients was elaine when she didn't have th resources, they flew her from north carolina to cancer treatments in philadelphia now cancer free, she says she will never forget captain billings' kindness. >> once i met john, i mean, changed my life. >> while his days piloting these missions are now behind him. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> it is this legacy captain billing says has been the most rewarding of his life. >> i am so grateful for having met john. >> when i asked captain billings what
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the secret is to a long life, he said a good shot of good vodka every day. cheers, captain. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday kate snow is here tomorrow night i'm jose diaz-ballart. thank you for the privilege of your time and good night right now he gave his life protecting others. the secured guard shot while protecting a tv view dies. what his colleagues remember most about him. plus --
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>> we have not detected it yet. it is ultimately going to go essentially all over. >> racing to contain omicron, the variant that has the world on high alert. the actions world leaders are taking to slow its spread. and shopping small. the president's mvp taking part in this small business saturday along with millions of americans. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us. >> tonight members of the bay area law enforcement community are mourning the loss of a former officer-turned-private security guard. the death of kevin nishita also hits very close to home for us. he was shot in oakland on wednesday while protecting a tv news crew during a robbery. >> a familiar face for reporters and photographers across the bay area. he became a security guard after retiring from colma p.d. now a new lead on the inve

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