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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 23, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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movie in "london has fallen" that opens next week. >> i'm getting waves right now. >> that will be fun. breaking news tonight. state of emergency as tornadoes explode across the south. millions under a severe threat, fears the towns to be demolished in the dark. trump towers. can he win three in a row, and can anyone stop him? murder mystery as chilling images emerge of thatber driver in a gun shop. what he was buying hours before prosecutors say he went on a deadly rampage. hotel nightmare. a popular sportscaster fights back after being secretly filmed by a man in the hotel room next door. the video posted online. could someone be watching you? and eating natural. millions look for it on the label, but what does it really mean? acall for a crackdown. an answer that might surprise you.
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"nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. a violent and unseasonable weather outbreak is happening in the south. already several tornadoes have touched down in louisiana. the first images showing a trail of damage and destruction, and forecasters say the risk will continue overnight. at this hour, tornado watches are posted across parts of three states. several others are under flood watches with heavy downpours predicted. the national weather service calling this a particularly dangerous situation. up to 19 million people are in the potential danger zone with alabama, mississippi, and louisiana facing the worst of it right now. louisiana is where we begin with nbc's jacob rascon. >> reporter: tonight a monster winter storm is wreaking havoc across the south and only getting started. >> there it is.
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it's crossing the roads. already already reports of several tornadoes across louisiana, including the most violent, a wedge as wide as it is tall. thomas howard watched the massive twister blow past his home. >> all at once we hear a loud noise. the wind looked like it just come down and went up. >> reporter: reports of damage pouring in, including near the new orleans airport and at a gym. >> when the weather gets so bad the roof of your gym and the wall just blows off, it's awesome. >> reporter: billboards torn apart. this home taking a direct hit. the roof ripped off, tossed into the backyard. some 19 million people at risk for severe weather through tonight. from snow and golf ball sized hail in texas to the threat of flash floods and tornado warnings in several states. this kind of storm is not usually seen until spring, but this year's el nino, the strongest ever recorded, is driving an active subtropical jet stream, helping fuel the dangerous
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tornado weather. as storm chasers from around the country race to the region, the most severe threat may be nearly impossible to spot. the possibility of tornadoes embedded within a line of thunderstorms, forming so quickly radar can't keep up. after dark, virtually invisible. much of the south already pummeled, now bracing for round two. we are now live in convent, louisiana, where at least two people have died. dozens more are injured, and still some may be trapped in the rubble behind me. there are images from earlier to show you some of the mobile homes there simply flattened. around 300 people lived in that area. and from elsewhere in the state, tornadoes still ripping through as the severe weather threat is really only just getting started. lester. >> jacob rascon, thanks. al roker is tracking these storms. al, what has you most concerned? >> it's this yosht danger that we're watching, lester.
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in fact, we have tornado warnings up right now from just north of new orleans, also from mississippi spreading on into alabama, and we've got also 19 million people under the gun from new orleans all the way to tallahassee. damaging winds and those tornadoes possible. so here's how we track it. overnight tonight, long track and very powerful tornadoes. and of course because when it's dark, you can't see these tornadoes form or their track, they are most dangerous. then tomorrow morning, this moves to the east. 25 million people at risk. much of north carolina, the eastern half of north carolina, up for wind gusts, isolated tornadoes. this all pushes to the north. it's going to be a mess traveling from columbus up to boston and all the way down to washington tomorrow, lester. >> al roker, thank you. tonight, donald trump is going for three after blowout victories in new hampshire and south carolina. the race moves west to nevada where voters will have their say this evening as the party establishment puts its energy in seeking a way to stop it. nbc's katy tur has the
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details from las vegas. >> 68% would not leave under any circumstances. i think that means murder. i think it means anything. okay? >> reporter: gloating over what polls suggest is his unconditional support, donald trump looked past nevada to texas and ted cruz. >> i think he's going to way, way down in texas. i think we have a shot in texas. >> reporter: pushing the envelope again, telling a rowdy crowd in las vegas last night he would like to physically assault a protester. >> i'd like to punch him in 9 face. >> reporter: the vegas casino owner is expected to make tonight a three-peat with a win in the silver state, meaning he will have won -- >> if trump has a big win here, i think it's going to be very difficult to stop him going into super tuesday. >> reporter: after nevada, 11 states vote next week. places where donald trump has drawn huge crowds. 20,000 in alabama. 8,000 in massachusetts. and 10,000 in tennessee, where he'll rally again this
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saturday. >> hello, everybody. >> reporter: trump has enmade strong inroads in ted cruz home state of texas. a campaign source telling nbc news the nontraditional campaign is focusing on a more traditional ground game there. with strong kxs that trump could dominate super tuesday, rubio and cruz are now in a cage match for second. cruz is pushing his conservative credentials to gin up votes in nevada. >> if we keep going this same direction, we risk doing irreparable damage to the greatest country in the history of the world. >> reporter: the establishment's best home right now, marco rubio, who despite having spent some of his childhood here, left nevada this morning to focus on super tuesday. >> every time this race narrows, we pick up support, and when that happens, we'll win. >> reporter: but it could be too little, too late. >> he has placed himself in the best position possible to win the nomination, and i just don't see who stops him. >> reporter: like all of the states so far, nevada is expecting record turnout. this race just keeping getting tighter, and
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even more tense. tonight ted cruz saying that he wouldn't gamble his daughters' futures on donald trump. president obama reignited the battle today over closing the u.s. prison at gaut ann mow bay. he made a 2008 campaign promise to shut it down and followed that up in an executive order in one of his first acts as president. now he has sent his long awaited plan to congress without answering a critical question. where will the prisoners there now end up? nbc's ron allen tells us more. >> reporter: president obama insists guantanamo bay damages reputation, costs too much, and helps terrorists recruit. >> it's been clear that the detention facility at guantanamo bay does not advance our national security. it undermines it. >> reporter: right now, 91 prisoners remain, including alleged september 11th mastermind khalid sheikh mohammed. mr. obama's new plan would transfer detainees abroad but
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send as many as 60 to u.s. prisons, locations to be determined. republicans on the campaign trail agree. >> this morning, i watched president obama talking about gitmo, right? guantanamo bay. which, by the way, we are keeping open. >> reporter: mr. obama says gitmo has not produced a single verdict. 14 years, 800 detainees. while u.s. courts have convicted hundreds of terrorists and locked them away. >> there have been no incidents. we've managed it just fine. >> reporter: judith reese who lost her son joshua on september 11th, agrees with thement on most things, except closing guantanamo. >> you will delay justice probably all of my lifetime, and i don't think it's fair. i don't think it's right, and i don't think that is the american way of justice. >> reporter: faced with so much congressional opposition, the president may decide to try to use his executive authority as commander-in-chief to close the military prison. a move sure to set off a massive legal battle. lester. >> ron allen, thank you. republicans threw down the gauntlet today in the fight over the future of the
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supreme court. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said there will be no vote or even any hearings before the election on anyone president obama nominates to preplace justice antonin scalia. several key republicans said they wouldn't even meet with an obama nominee. also today, a letter from the supreme court's doctor revealed that scalia suffered from coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, and other ailments that likely contributed to his death. we're learning new details about the michigan uber driver accused in a deadly shooting rampage. he's charged with killing six people, apparently at random, though the motive remains a mystery. and now the parents of a 14-year-old girl critically wounded in the attack are speaking out. we get more from nbc's ron mott in kalamazoo. >> she is fighting for her life. >> reporter: a parent's anguish in full view. their daughter, 14-year-old abigail kopf, one of two survivors of this weekend's shooting spree, critically wounded and fighting for her life.
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six others dead, including a woman abigail called grandma barb. >> abigail is strong, and she is a vibrant, beautiful young lady and did not deserve this. and neither did her grandmother. >> reporter: abigail's mother recalls feeling her daughter squeeze her hand after preparing for possible organ donation. >> it was a miracle on its own. you don't expect it and all of a sudden it's there. >> reporter: across town, tammy george's apartment is pockmarked with bullet holes. shots were fired at her new neighbor, tiana carruthers. some are calling tiana a hero after shooing kids at this playground from the shooter. >> her main concern was those kids. >> reporter: hours before the violence unfolded, surveillance video captured suspect jason dalton at a gun store where they say he bought a black ta tactical jacket. police have not said where or when dalton got the 9 millimeter handgun recovered in
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his vehicle. today, the best man at his widing talked about the jason dalton he knows. >> the guy that you knew, past tense, was someone that would avoid confrontation and avoid trouble at any cost. >> reporter: more details about the suspect and the shootings, but why is still ai mystery. ron mott, nbc news, kalamazoo. turning now to a clash of tech world titans as bill gates is now weighing in on apple's battle with the government over unlocking the san bernardino killer's iphone and gates, the billionaire founder of microsoft, is siding with the feds. but as our justice correspondent pete williams reports, apple customers today around the world made a show of backing the company. >> reporter: apple supporters staged rallies today protesting what the fbi wants, holding up phones reading, no entry. >> what do we want? >> privacy. >> reporter: even taking that message to fbi headquarters in washington. the fbi got a big boost today from bill gates, one of the co-founders of
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microsoft. he says apple should help the fbi open an iphone used by one of the san bernardino attackers. >> the government's gone to phone companies and banks and lots of companies to gather information. >> reporter: major silicon valley figures had been united in supporting apple, including facebook's mark zuckerberg. >> i don't think requiring back doors into encryption is either going to be an effective way to increase security or is really the right thing to do for just the direction of the world is going in. >> reporter: in newly unsealed court documents, apple says it's fighting similar demands from the police and fbi to open phones in about a dozen cases in four other states. a national police chief group says most of them support the fbi because more locked smartphones now hold critical evidence and not just in terrorism cases. >> we have crimes all the time where the data from the cell phone is very helpful
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for us. i have one particular homicide right now that we can't get access to a phone. >> reporter: apple says it's still willing to help law enforcement, but not if that means breaking its promise to protect customer privacy. pete williams, nbc news, washington. opening statements were heard today in the $75 million lawsuit brought by sportscaster erin andrews. she's suing a man convicted of stalking her and secretly filming her along with a hotel that andrews claims allowed that man to have a room right next to hers. nbc's morgan radford has the details. >> reporter: sports reporter erin andrews heading into a nashville courtroom eight years after a stalker secretly recorded her naked in her room of this marriott hotel and then posted it online. a video viewed more than 300 million times. >> she is so afraid now. she is so afraid. >> reporter: andrews' attorney says her stalker, michael barrett, asked for a room next to hers and got it. he served 30 months and is now free.
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in the civil case, andrews wants $75 million from the marriott hotel in nashville, its management company at the time, and michael barrett. the hotel denies it's responsible. >> what he did to her was terrible, but counsel is trying to tie my clients, who are simply trying to provide a hotel room to a guest, to a criminal stalker. >> andrews was stoic in court, but previously shared her embarrassment. >> i won't get this down in 30 months. i won't get it down in 30 years. my kids, my future husband, will have to deal with this. >> reporter: andrews alleges her stalker was able to find out where she was staying from marriott. a former center reservations agent testified by videota videotape. >> during your training, you were told it was acceptable to provide the information if somebody was staying at a particular hotel? >> michael barrett will also be testify by videotape in a trial expected to take two weeks, and andrews is expected to take the stand. morgan radford, nbc
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news. still ahead tonight, so-called all natural foods with ingredients that are anything but. why those natural labels may not mean what you think they do and the effort to ban them altogether. also which cars were just judged the best on the road this year? we'll tell you.
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with millions of americans making a concerted effort these days to eat healthier, there is growing scrutiny on food labels and what they actually mean. and in the crosshairs
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right now, the natural label found on everything from tomatoes to processed ham, to root beer. it turns out there's no agreement or standard for what natural means, and that's got consumer rights advocates calling for change. here's nbc's tom costello with a consumer alert. >> reporter: dinner time in san diego. a passion for jane maynard, who writes a block about preparing healthy meals. her big gripe, the natural label found on so many products in the grocery aisle. >> that word pulls you in, and it makes you feel like for some reason that's a better food. >> reporter: 62% of shoppers look for the natural label, believing it means no artificial ingredients, chemicals, pesticides, or gmos, but in fact there is no universal definition or regulation for the word natural. among the question able examples cited by "consumer reports," del monte fruit naturals also contain artificial preservatives derived from industrial
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chemicals. and wesson vegetable oil contains genetically modified ingredients. >> that's why we think the natural label is so incredibly misleading because it leads people to think that that food may meet those attributes when in fact it does not. >> reporter: "consumer reports" has petitioned the fda to define or ban the natural label so shoppers aren't misled, and the fda is now asking for shoppers' input. the grocery manufacturers of america calls that a welcome and necessary step towards having a common national standard that consumers can rely on regardless of where they live or shop. >> does anybody want any guacamole? >> reporter: back in san diego, call jane maynard a skeptic. >> everything says all natural, right, so that doesn't really tell you anything. >> buyer beware. with no standard definition, natural means whatever the seller wants it to mean. tom costello, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with the race to rescue a pair of window washers trapped 65 stories above the ground.
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the cdc said today it's seeing more cases of sexually transmitted zika than expected. the agency now investigating 14 new suspected cases acquired in the u.s., several involving pregnant women. zika has been linked to birth defects. in all these new cases, officials believe the virus was transz mitted by men who had recently traveled to affected zones outside the u.s. the main way zika spreads is through mosquitos. >> "consumer reports" is out with its annual list of best, most reliable auto brands. the top ten is dominated by european and asian carmakers. the top five are audi, subaru, lexus, porsche, and bmw. the only american brand in the overall top ten is buick, at number seven. a scary scene here in new york today. a pair of window washers were trapped when their rig got stuck outside the 65th floor of a high-rise hotel. firefighters had to cut out a window to pull the workers to
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safety after hanging up there more than an hour. nighter was injured. when we was back, palace revolt. why some of william and kate's subjects are threatening to walk off the job. >> announcer: "nbc nightly news" is brought to you by pacific life. for life insurance, annuities and investments, choose pacific life. the power to help you succeed. questions it raises over thente
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safety of uber and background checks of its drivers. =jess/vo= and why people in this homeless and get out.-hours to pack up
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=next close= the news is next. finally tonight, all is not well in the kingdom for britain's william and kate. the couple is facing a bit of a revolt, palace revote if you will, from certain staffers who warn that something is threatening to make their jobs a royal pain and they won't stand for it. we get more from nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: getting close to royalty. even if you're never as rich as them, is still, folks say, a great job. >> it's a fantastic place to work. >> reporter: at least it used to be. now, some working at william and kate's home, kinzing ton palace, the staff members who deal with tourists and sell those souvenirs are threatening to strike over a proposed 5,000
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dd pay cut. >> guest editing "the huffington post." >> why does someone work for the royals? >> there is this prinl, the idea that i'm working next to a royal. from my experience, that wears off pretty damn quick. >> reporter: what about witnessing history? staffers there had a celebration. it was a member of the household who first told the world about prince george. and for the tough moments too. >> good evening, ma'am. i'm sorry to disturb, but i've just had a call. >> reporter: in the movie "the queen" a member of staff woke the monarch to tell her diana was dead. tonight, talks continue to prevent a palace walkout. but perhaps as the british say, royal duties aren't everyone's cup of tea. keir simmons, nbc news, london. that will do it for us on a tuesday night. i'm lester hold. for all of us at nbc
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news, thank you for watching and good night. driver behind the s of an uber wheel. we'll tell you why sjp right now at 6:00, take a look. surveillance photos of a uber driver behind the wheel. we'll tell you why sjp-wants to track him down. good evening and thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica agiurre. uber driver wanted, not just any driver but one who police say assaulted an employee at san jose international airport. tonight there are calls for more scrutiny of uber drivers at the airport. marianne favro has more on what happens. marianne, some taxi drivers are now saying we told you so.
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>> reporter: they certainly are. and they want the city to do something about it, jessica. san jose police say that that uber driver allegedly assaulted an airport official when he questioned him about speeding on airport grounds. now, police have just released pictures of that suspect. >> the alleged assault happened last thursday neither airport's car rental center. witnesses say an airport official confronted a uber driver for speeding and began taking pictures of his car. that's when the driver allegedly grabbed him, yelled at him and then pushed him. the driver then reportedly picked up a passenger and drove off in a white mercedes. police are now looking for that man described as a white male in his 40s with dark hair, about 5'10", weighing 175 pounds. the allegations come as new questions are being raised about the safety of uber in the wake of a killing spree by driver jason dalton in michigan this weekend. dalton


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