— By Lester Holt, NBC News anchor
It's the third day of Israel's massive retaliatory attack on Gaza, and the death toll has now climbed above 360--many of those reported to be civilian non-combatants. Israel faces rising outrage from neighboring Arab countries and condemnation from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Bush administration, however, lays the blame on Hamas, which it regards as a terrorist organization, and says Hamas must stop firing shells into Israel. Tonight on Nightly News, our veteran Mideast correspondent Martin Fletcher reports from the war zone on what is happening inside Gaza and what Israel's apparent end game is. Savannah Guthrie will explain the White House's thinking as well as why President-elect Barack Obama is not weighing in for now.
At a time when many people are having to trim non-essential items from their budgets, we will report tonight on a disturbing trend of some Americans having to cut even deeper -- forgoing, or self-rationing, necessary prescription medications because they can no longer afford them.
There has been another case of a celebrated non-fiction memoir turning out to be fiction after all. This one was a soon-to-be-published holocaust story that Oprah Winfrey once called the "greatest love story...we've ever told." We will tell you how the hoax was exposed.
Brian is off tonight. I'll be looking for you on NBC Nightly News.