tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 16, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
breaking news tonight. slamming trump. president obama comes out swinging late today. a harsh attack on the gop front-runner and firing back in a blockbuster battle over the supreme court. buried and blown away by record snow and a ferocious tornado outbreak. a massive storm stretching over 1,00 miles. to catch a serial killer. the grim sleeper trial in los angeles after a decade-long cold case mystery. how a bite of pizza may have caught an infamous murderer. slashing the price of prescription drugs by as much as 95%. how people are going around their insurance companies and saving big money. and the fur is flying.
we're behind the scenes as the best on four legs compete for best in show. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. as he laid out the ground today for a major battle with senate republicans over a supreme court nomination, president obama also waded deep into the race for president at a news conference late this afternoon taking on donald trump and other republican candidates saying being president is a serious job. it's not hosting a reality show. his remarks come just four days away from the next major test in the race for president with trump maintaining his national lead among republicans in our new nbc news survey monkey poll and jeb bush lagging behind, some wondering if south carolina could be his last stand, and for democrats the focus remains on
we have all sides covered starting with nbc's peter alexander in columbia, south carolina. hello, peter. >> reporter: hey, good evening to you, lester. tonight the president is weighing in on the republican race to succeed him, dismissing the party front-runner. here in south carolina donald trump is favored to win and jeb is desperate for a comeback. so much for southern charm. the leading republicans today in another ferocious round of fighting. >> then bush, poor bush. >> reporter: even president obama piled on. >> being president is a serious job. it's not hosting a talk show or a reality show. it's not promotion. it's not marketing. it's hard. >> in any other year south carolina should be jeb bush's to lose, the state that's embraced his family multiple times before. he have on moderate republicans and veterans, but today with
bush is pulling olling a distant fourth facing new urgency to jump start his lagging campaign. >> is south carolina a last stand for jeb bush? >> the oteri has been written for a long time and we're in it for the long tall. >> helping is george w. bush. >> a man i'm proud to call my big little brother, jeb bush. >> reporter: with trump relentlessly attacking w. over 9/11 jeb recalled an iconic moments from weeks over the attack. >> my vision of my brother is sitting on the mound in yankee stadium throwing high heat. it. >> reporter: jeb's team is split between the campaign and the right to rise superpac spending tens of millions of dollars on bush's behalf with little return. >> if the right to rise soupe pac has taught us anything you can spend hundreds of millions
>> reporter: finishing six in this iowa and fourth in new hampshire he admits he needs to beat his rivals here. >> how is finishing this state something you can celebrate as a victory? >> i will beat expectations? >> reporter: when do you win a state? >> i can't tell that you. >> reporter: this afternoon bush sent us this picture, adding am nation to a bitter fight. peter alexander, nbc news, south carolina. >> i'm kasie hunt covering the democrats where african-american voters are the focus today, hillary clinton courting black leaders, hoping for an endorsement from reverend al sharpton. >> only you know and you're not telling me. >> my lips are sealed. >> reporter: and in ma major speech in harlem picking through the consequences of racism. >> these inequities are wrong, but they are also immoral, and it will be the mission of my presidency to bring them to an end. >> reporter: clinton is relying on decades-old ties to stay
new cnn poll showers her ahead of bernie sanders 56% to 38%. sanders met with faith leaders there today, and campaigned with erica garner whose father died after a new york city police officer put him in a choke hold. >> he marched with martin luther king. he stood with jesse jackson, so basically he's stood with black people when it wasn't popular. >> reporter: success in early states has been powered by working class white voters. >> some of the people she won in 2008 against barack obama she's now losing against bernie sanders. >> reporter: many in that group feeling left behind and angry, pushing their party to the left. last night bill clinton comparing that to the tea party on the right. >> that's going on now in our party. >> reporter: trying a sharp rebuke from sanders today. >> we should not be making silly remarks. >> reporter: is there a comparison? >> no, there's no comparison. >> reporter: sanders doesn't need to win a majority of black
nomination, so their campaign's focus is on young african-americans. he'll campaign tonight at a historically black college in atlanta. lester? >> all right, kasie, thank you. funeral arrangements have been announced for late supreme court justice antonin scalia. on friday scalia will lie in repose in the court's great hall. on saturday a funeral will be held at the national shrine in washington, d.c. meanwhile, the battle continued over replacing scalia which the president also addressed late today as our andrea mitchell reports. >> i expect them to hold hearings. i expect there to be a vote. >> reporter: in california the president responding for the first time to the republican roadblock against his vilg the vacancy on the high court. >> i'm amused when i hear people who claim to be strict interpreters of the constitution suddenly reading into it a whole series of provisions that are not there. >> reporter: but will his nominee even get a hearing? a small crack today in the
powerful judiciary chairman chuck grassley in charge of any confirmation hearing telling iowa radio -- >> i would wait until the nominee is made before i would make any decisions. >> reporter: but grassley tonight telling nbc he's not open to a confirmation. tonight the president also revealing what he wants in scalia's successor. >> we're going to find somebody who is an outstanding legal mind, somebody who cares deeply about our democracy and cares about rule of law and any fair-minded person, even somebody who disagreed with my politics would say would serve with honor and integrity on the court. >> reporter: the president has a list said to include sri srinivasan of washington, d.c. and jane kelly of iowa, confirmed as federal judges three years ago unanimously. also washington appeals court judges merrick garland, long on the president's list though
millett, an experienced litigator and former clerk to justice ginsburg. who would scalia choose to replace himself, there were clues in a dissent last june when he called f more religious and geographic diversity on the court noted all stewedied at yale and harvard, five catholics and three jews, not a single evangelical christian, four from new york city. >> reporter: law enforcement officials and the owner of the ranch where scalia died are completely discounting speculation about foul play saying a pillow found in his bed was above his head, not over his face and the reason replacing scalia is so politically fraught his death represents a seismic shift in a court that has had a conservative 5-4 majority for half a century. >> andrea mitchell, thank you. another big story we're following is a monster storm dumping record snow to the north and spawning a tornado outbreak in the south, a massive system stretching well over 1,000 miles.
weather whiplash details now. >> reporter: this is one of 15 possible tornadoes reported as a powerful storm moved across south florida. surveillance video captured from a condo complex shows heavy rain and whipping winds. >> just sounded like a big freight train coming through. >> it was going through like craze. storm damaging homes, capsizing boats and sending beach chairs flying into the ocean. fueled by el nino, it's part of a massive system spanning 1,600 miles up the east coast where further north is brought snow and ice. freezing rain made for a treacherous commute in washington, d.c. in eastern pennsylvania a jackknifed semi caused this chain reaction crash. >> folks just start running into the back of each other, five to six trucks behind us right now. >> in parts of new york the storm dumped snow and lots of it. across western new york the snow really piled up on tuesday
here in buffalo how about six inches in five hours. >> both cities smashed daily snowfall records. >> and they said we're right in the bull's eye here so this is no sprays. >> on the west coast they are breaking records, too, heat records. southern california flirting with 90 degrees today. weather whiplash from coast to both of. blake mccoy, nbc news, new york. in southern california today, an accused serial murderer is facing justice after a decades long mystery that has terrified areas of los angeles. the so-called grim sleeper trial is attracting attention from across the country not only for the nature of the claims but also the way this infamous cold case was finally cracked. nbc's steve patterson has details. >> reporter: accused serial killer lonnie franklin walked into court today nicknamed the grim sleeper because of a 14-year gap in his alleged killing spree. >> the evidence in this case will tell a story, a story of a
streets of south los angeles. >> reporter: starting in the summer of 1985, prosecutors say franklin murdered nine women and one teenaged girl. >> almost all of them were hidden under debris, behind bushes in, dumpsters or covered with dirty mattresses left in alleyways or other trash. >> reporter: an 11th victim survived and now expected to testify as a star witness. authorities say an advance in dna technology that seems drama broke open the case. >> this case is one of those precedent-setting cases in that they are using what we call familial dna to get to the defendant. >> reporter: police had taken dna from franklin's son in an unrelated case and that reaccpetedbled the dna found at the grim sleeper crime scene so police trailed franklin to get his dna eventually lifting it from a pizza crust and other items in his trash. they say it matched leading to
franklin has pled not guilty and his lawyer is expected to challenge the reliability of the dna evidence. the sister of victim mary lowe is hoping for justice. >> i want her to see her killer and recognize what he did to her for no reason. >> reporter: police believe there could be other victims because these photos were found in franklin's home this. trial is expected to last up to four months. steve patterson, nbc news, los angeles. if you're one of the estimated 40 million americans with student loan debt, listen up. a houston man says he was arrested by a team of u.s. marshals without notice for had a nearly 30-year-old student loan. nbc's janet shamlian looks into the story. >> reporter: like millions of americans, paul aker has debt from college loans. last week u.s. marshals showed up at his houston-area home to help collect it. >> i went to my garage, opened the garage door and walked out with my hands up. >> reporter: aker claimed he was handcuffed and shackled for non-payment of a $1,500 loan
>> surreal. i think it's so unrealistic that you can treat a citizen as if he's a drug dealer. >> reporter: court documents show noticed were sent to aker starting ten years ago and he acknowledges he does owe the money, and he's not alone. student debt is skyrocketing. there's more than $1.2 trillion of it out there and more than 70% of bachelor degree grads will leave school with a student loan. akers says he was briefly put in a cell before brought before a judge and collection lawyer, ordered to pay over time $5,700 for the loan which includes interest and another $1,300 for the u.s. marshal service. tonight u.s. marshal service says aker refused multiple requests to appear in court dating back to 2012. >> the people in debt out there shouldn't be afraid that the u.s. marshals are going to come and kick their door down. this was an extreme case.
>> reporter: not offering a specific number u.s. marcals confirm their services are used for others who default on very old student loans. student loans can feel like a prison cell. for one man his unpaid debt landing him in chains. janet shamlian, nbc news, houston. still ahead tonight, battling the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. some people are saving hundreds a month on their medication, and we're going to show you how they are doing it. also, the grammys were one to remember for more than just the music. i accept i'm not 22. i accept i do a shorter set these days. p i even accept i have a higher risk of stroke due to afib, a type of irregular heartbeat, tnot caused by a heart valve problem. but i won't play anything less than my best. so if there's something better than warfarin, i'm going for it. eliquis. reliquis reduced the risk of stroke better than warfarin, plus it had significantly less major bleeding than warfarin... eliquis had both... that's what i
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we're back now with the cost of prescription drugs which keep rights. a third of americans say they are paying more than they did just a year ago, even for generic drugs according to "consumer reports." tonight we look at a new company, a startup, that wants to shake up the drug industry and bring down the cost of generic drugs. some are already saving big. nbc's olivia sterns has details. >> reporter: tammy powell, a nurse outside chicago struggled to pay for her own $400 prescription drug bill. every month even with insurance, saking cymbalta for neck pain and medications for high cholesterol and blood pressure. she was searching for coupons. >> when i got to the pharmacy actually with the coupon, it would run the code and it wasn't real. >> reporter: then she stumpled upon blink health, a new website that offers drugs marked down by as much as 95%.
medications at some point in their life and most people are overpaying. >> reporter: blink was founded by brothers matthew and jeffrey chachin to basically bypass insurance companies. >> good insurance, bad insurance or no insurance at all check the blink price before going to the pharmacy. >> reporter: here's how blink works. normally your doctor writes a prescription. dwu to your insurance company and the insurance company goes to the drug-maker. prices are based on what kind of insurance you have. blink goes straight to the drug-makers so you click on your drug, pay online and print out the receipt to the take to your pharmacy. blink features over 15,000 medications at 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. mostly generics, and not the super expensive cutting-edge drugs but consumer advocates say this approach could be the future. >> a lot of people have high deductible plans. you may not realize kind of what's going on until you actually try to fill the prescription. >> reporter: back in chicago,
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a passing to note tonight. former u.n. secretary-general boutros boutros-ghali has died. he was a veteran egyptian politician and diplomat serving as head of the u.n. for a single term from 1992 to 1996. he was 93 years old. for the first time in more than 50 years, daily commercial flights will resume between the u.s. and cuba. an agreement signed today could lead to as many as 110 flights her day beginning in the fall. flights.
visit cuba under rules allowed by the u.s. government which bars tourism to cuba. last night's grammys had plenty of moments and still have people talking. adele had to power through technical difficulties and later explained away the bad sound by saying microphones fell on to the pino strings. taylor swift won album of the year. the pop start noted she is the only woman to have won that award twice and a thinly veiled attack against kanye west who recently claimed in a new song lyric that he was responsible for her fame. best rap album winner kendrick lamar earned rave reviews for his powerfully politically charged performance and lady david bowie. recently uncovered one of the largest diamonds on record. it's 404 carats, nearly 3 inches wide and said to be virtually flawless. it was found in the mines of angola and reports value the rock at over $14 million.
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ruin your plans. exclusive "on my way text" you'll know exactly when we'll giving you more time for what matters most. replace. represent blood cells. and if you have afib - an irregular heartbeat that may put you at five times greater risk of stroke - they can pool together in the heart, forming a clot that can break free, and travel upstream to where it can block blood flow but if you have afib that's not caused by a heart valve problem, pradaxa can help stop clots from forming. radaxa was even proven superiorpto warfarin pat reducing the risk of stroke,pin a clinical trial - and, in the rare event of an emergency, radaxa is the only oral bloodpthinner pother than warfarin with apspecific reversal treatment pto help your body clot normallypagain. pradaxa is not for people who have had a heart valve replacement. don't stop taking pradaxa
stopping increases your risk of stroke or blood clots. ask your doctor if you need to stop pradaxa before any planned medical or dental procedure. pradaxa can cause serious, and sometimes, fatal bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding. and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have kidney problems, stomach ulcers, a bleeding condition, or take certain medicines. side effects with pradaxa can include indigestion, stomach pain, upset or burning. don't just go with the flow. go with pradaxa, the only blood thinner that lowers your risk of stroke better than warfarin and has a specific reversal treatment. talk to your doctor about
finally tonight, we're going to the dogs. behind the scenes as coats are brushed and tails are fluffed and nails are clipped and nerves are frayed. that's because best in show will be awarded tonight at westminster and nbc's morgan radford is there. >> reporter: the doggie glam squad is hard at work, trimming, blow-drying, primping because looking this good takes time. >> heat dry the hair. >> took about six hours worth of work. >> hours and hour every week. >> reporter: but when best in show on the line you go all out. >> i think that's going to be a great lineup. >> reporter: nobody knows that better than david frye, the show's host. after 27 years he's hanging up his tuxedo, but even on his good-bye lap he's upstaged by 2008 winner uno, a westminsters legend. what do you have as top competitor? >> uno's got a vote there.
uno gets easier with experience. joan huber has spent the last 66 years on the dog show circuit. can you tell who is a winner and who is not? you can? you have the see the credit sauce. >> reporter: seven new breeds are showing for the first time this year so it's more competitive than ever. odds are on rumor, a 4-year-old german shepherd from wisconsin weighing in at 65 pounds, celebrated for her quickness and agility. charlie, a 4 1/2-year-old skye terrier hailing from florida known for his beautiful coat and happy personality or beckett, a brittany spaniel from colorado standing 19 3/4. full name rainbow splash ruggedly hand some beckett. top dog. >> the best in show dog is the one signature next to you on the couch anyway. >> reporter: if only our dogs at home were this well-trained. york. >> that's going to do it for us on a tuesday night. i'm lester hold.
lights, camera, grammys. undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments. >> did that play well? did taylor land her kanye counter punch? i'm billy bush. on the flip side, the whole story behind that, of a friend she beat. who had the great perform performance of the night? we have so much you didn't see.