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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 29, 2016 3:30am-4:00am EST

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on this sunday night, trump the frontrunner drawing fire from fellow republicans and democrats tonight for refusing to condemn the former leader of klan. and bernie sanders looks for a path forward after hillary clinton's south carolina fallen hero. officer and former marine killed on the job just one day after she's sworn in. small town police department in mourning. young guns. the intense debate in one state that would allow the small hands to put their fingers on a trigger.
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people areightly news" begins now. >> announcer: decision 2016. this is with kate snow reporting tonight from austin, texas. good evening from austin, texas. just over 36 hours untilopen here and across 11 other states. it is shaping up to be a pivotal night for so many campaigns.n race took on a mean edge today. ted cruz and marco rubio attacking donald trump over everything from his taxes,iness connections and foreign policy. and trump was on defense, especially when it came to an ng in which trump was asked about a supporter who used to be the grand wizard of the ku klux >> reporter: today's fire storm was not over what donald trump did, but what he didn't do.
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duke. >> reporter: failing to disavow david duke in this ou condemn them and don't want their support? >> i have to look at the group. i don't know what group you're talking about. >> the >> reporter: duke is not formally endorsed the gop frontrunner but has told his radio audience that votingald trump at this point is really treason to your heritage. trump tweeted he did disavow >> i disavow, okay? >> reporter: less than two days before super tuesday, marco rubio pouncing. >> there is no place in tve movement for david duke, the ku klux klan or any sort of hatredamerica. >> i don't understand it, but donald trump refused to disassociate himself and condemn white >> reporter: trump also drawing
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a quote from a fascist atalljanuary dictator. >> do you want to be associated with a fascist? >> no. i want to be associated with quotes. >> reporter: cruz also accusing trump of not wanting to release his tax returns because of possible mafia his taxes show those business dealings are a lot more >> let me stop you there. that's openly speculative. do you have any facts to support has mob ties? >> s&a construction owned by a mobster in ter: the bare knuckle insults flying. alabama senator jeff sessions. >> i am pleased to endorsedonald trump for the presidency of the united states.
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first senate ile a swath of the gop may be trying to stop the billionaire, another part is embracing him. gabe gutierrez in richmond, virginia. the republicans vying for the nomination could face a make or n tuesday. a loss for example for ted cruz here in his home state of texas could be devastating. holly jackson is live inma city with a look at the importance of this big vote. >> reporter: super tuesday is when the story line should shift from all the attacks to the arithmetic. adding up the delegates each candidate takes home. nearly half spread out across 11 ted cruz campaigning in this state today is calling it a battleground for him. but his must win, well, that's texas, his home state whiche most super tuesday delegates, 155 in all.
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his campaign tells nbc to watchas too. marco rubio meanwhile spending time and resources in virginia, one of his best shots toirst win. in georgia, he's looking to pluck off delegates in those su suburban area. johnooking passed super tuesday to march 16th when ohio votes for the governor, do or die from him. acknowledged that donald trump could steam roll on tuesday. for the frontrunner, it's not a matter of which state hew many. trump look dominant in nearly all of them. republicans could wake up wednesday morning to find trump with an overwhelming lead. >> thanks so much. here in texas, argue niezers say they expect a big increase in the number of latino voters this super tuesday. the last exit polls here show one in ten republican primary
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not all voting for their home state senator ted cruz. trump is attracting some hispanic voters. just like juan gomez. he already cast his ballot in early voting here. you already voted right? >> right. i voted for donald trump. >> when you first told me that, you were a little reluctant to tell me. >> well, there's a lot of hispanics that are spiteful or whatever about donald trump. i like donald trump for several reasons. number one, you know, i think we need somebody to manage the country. and he's a businessman and very successful businessman. but the other thing is that he -- he tells it like it is. >> what about the wall? >> i think at one point, we need something that will stop the influx of people coming into the united states. i think it's -- you know, the way the economies are in our two different countries, i think we can manage the people that are here. >> but you want to stop the
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>> the flow needs to stop, yes. somebody that's coming to the united states in from mexico, they call it el norte. they're looking for a better way of life. mexico is not providing that life for them. it's fine, but unfortunately there's a lot of bad habit that we have in our society. we supply needs for those people. >> the government? >> yes. >> you told me you're a compassionate man, you're a christian. >> i'm very compassionate. i walk with the lord. but there's certain things that, you know, are important for our country. you know, it's like when you run a business. a business has to be healthy. our nation is not healthy right now. >> juan gomez speaking to me there. trump making some inroads here in texas. the democratic candidates also turned their attention to super tuesday states. with hillary clinton's decisive
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african-american voters, bernie sanders faces an arduous path forward. >> reporter: secretary clinton storming through the south after her resounding victory in south nashville today. >> i will stand up and work and fight for you! >> reporter: heroin smashing expectations. she toppled sanders by nearly 50 points and netted close to 90% of the african-american vote, even more than barack obama won over in 2008. all that signaling a potential strong showing come super tuesday. on "meet the press" today, sanders acknowledged the magnitude of the defeat. >> well, we got decimated. that's what happened. among older african-americans it was pathetic. >> reporter: but he also vowed to fight on. that persistence on display at a rally in oklahoma. >> there would be nothing that
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to defeat donald trump. >> reporter: sanders faces a steep climb. our three new nbc news "wall street journal" polls show clinton topping sanders by nearly 2 to 1 margins in georgia. >> i just don't see a path for bersz bernie sanders. assuming nothing legal happens out of the justice department, hillary clinton is going to be the nominee. >> reporter: and clinton is already pivoting to the general election, again taking a broad swipe at donald trump. >> america remains great. but what america needs to do now is become whole. >> reporter: in a rare moment of solidarity, hillary clinton's campaign retweeted senator sanders who condemned donald trump's refusal to disavow former kkk leader david duke. america's black president cannot and will not be succeeded by a hate mongerer.
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fictional president on "scandal" campaigned with clinton today and mentioned trump's latest controversy. meanwhile, clinton's e-mails continue to cast a cloud over her campaign this weekend. the state department working to release the final batch by monday's court ordered deadline. donald trump vowing to raise the issues of her e-mails every day if the two face off in a general election. kate? >> kristen, thank you. a suburban virginia police department is mourning the death of a young officer killed in the line of duty just one day after she was sworn in. steve patterson has the story. >> we have three confirmed hits. >> reporter: the call, so unthinkable here, it was called into question. >> i just want to be clear, do we have officers involved in a shooting? >> we have three officers that have been shot. >> reporter: words that confirm the worst.
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william county police responding to a domestic shooting in woodbridge, virginia, a sleepy suburb of washington, d.c. officers wounded. 28-year-old officer ashley gwendon killed. >> police william county police department is in very deep mourning over the loss. >> reporter: the suspect 32-year-old ronald hamilton, an army staff sergeant captured. >> the accused and his wife were involved in a domestic altercation for some period of time that day. she was shot and killed allegedly by the accused. >> officer gwendon was just sworn in on friday. welcoming words, be safe, at the end of a now tragic tweet. first serving her country six years in the marine corps
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>> she clearly had a passion to serve others. >> reporter: now white flowers and black bunting, shock to a department that in nearly four decades had only suffered three line of duty deaths until now. a trail of blue lights in a police procession celebrating a life lost too soon. steve patterson, nbc news. as a fragile cease-fire enters a second day in syria, the international war against isis rages on. one woman has been battling them on her own for over a year. she's a yazidi and isis is threatening to wipe out her people. earlier this week, she was presented with a major international award for her work. >> reporter: she's one of iraq's most adored politicians and the islamic state's most wanted woman. when she's not rallying her people to fight isis, she's
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families turn to her for help. >> 11 members of his family are messing. >> women. >> children. >> yes. >> reporter: when isis fighters attacked iraq's yazidis 18 months ago, trapping them on a mountain, she cried out for help in parliament. [ crying ] her people are in crisis. nearly half a million are in refugee camps, hundreds of men disappeared, feared dead. more than 2,000 yazidi women and girls are still missing, held captive by isis. >> those terrorists buying and selling yazidi girls. >> reporter: she smuggles the women and children to safety. jilan escaped five months ago with her sister, but had to leave another sister behind.
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isis is asking for 25 to $35,000 for her freedom. >> reporter: it's dangerous work. >> are you afraid at all? >> no. >> maybe a little bit. >> yeah. >> reporter: what's harder she says is seeing her people suffer while the world turns a blind eye. >> all of them support me, yet you are right. you need support, but nothing happened. >> reporter: so far she's helped rescue more than 1,000 women and girls. >> all of them are looking for me to give hope for them. >> reporter: and nothing, she says, will stop her. nbc news, northern iraq. when "nightly news" continues on this sunday, allowing young children to fire a weapon.
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this week, iowa lawmakers sent a bill to the state senate that would allow children under the age of 14 to shoot handguns. while supporters say the measure brings iowa law up to date, opponents argue it's creating a quote militia of toddlers.
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in central iowa, shooting is a way of life. >> it's just a fun sport to do. it's fun to relax and just go down and release some stress. >> reporter: dad brian is coach of the local scholastic shooters. 13-year-old emma isn't allowed. >> when i learned i couldn't do it, it kind of got me a little irritated. >> reporter: so the family now supports iowa lawmakers moving toward a new law that would allow children of all ages to handle handguns. >> this is not about giving our children the combo to the gun safe. this is about allowing them in a supervised scenario learn a great sport. >> reporter: last week the iowa house approved the measure, but the debate was fierce. >> we pass laws for those parents who lack the parents skills needed to protect their
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>> reporter: the bill now goes to the state senate. but opponents are quick to point to cases of kids getting their hands on a gun with tragic results. this idaho mom killed last year when her 2-year-old got ahold of their concealed handgun while they were shopping at walmart. most states don't specifically restrict handgun use by children. in iowa kids under 14 are allowed to use handguns. for the brady campaign to prevent gun violence this debate takes away from what they see as the more serious issues. >> it represents the gun lobby's vision, which is selling as many guns as they possibly can, that every mother, father, and child in america is armed to the teeth rather than focusing on the things we really can do through policy. >> reporter: the question for lawmakers in iowa now are guns
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nbc news, new york. up next, we go out to l.a.
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take a look at this. it's a reenactment of jfk's funeral procession including flag-draped coffin and horse drawn carriage. it's filming for a new movie starring natalie portman. speaking of movies, as hollywood gets ready for the 88th annual academy awards tonight, the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity continues. chris rock already dubbing the ceremony the white b.e.t. awards. could that theme overshadow the glitz on the red carpet. that's where we find our al roker. >> reporter: the weather's not a problem, that's a good thing. everybody is really anticipating chris rock's performance tonight. i actually got to see him last
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he was still working on his monologue. if they're any indication what i saw last night, we are in for one heck of the night. the diversity issue is big, big part of this. there were protests tonight being held just not too far from where this red carpet is. al sharpton reading those protests as they brought a lot of people out. in response to this, the academy has presented a slate of very diverse presenters, sofia vergara, morgan freeman, kerry washington, kevin hart, a lot of folks like that. and of course there are the awards. one of the ones that everybody is expecting, leonardo dicaprio, who has been denied an oscar for so long is an odds on favorite to win for "the revenant." the red carpet is rocking. we'll continue to watch it for you. kate, back to you. >> thanks so much. make sure you tune in tomorrow
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all the winners and the oscar after party.
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it seems to be all the rage in this nation of snackers. an alternative to chips and chocolate. it's low fat, high in protein, and portable. sales here in texas and across the country are exploding. we're talking about jerky, now perceived by many as a more
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>> reporter: it's an interstate convenience store the size of a warehouse. 120 gas pumps, 34 types of taffy, 26 flavors of fudge. but at bucees, one of the biggest draw is the deli style jerky bar. >> me and my friend made a trip from san antonio. >> reporter: 35 kinds in the glass case. >> jerky sales are exploding. >> reporter: the dried meat is the snack of the moment. sales up 12% last year across the country. americans spending almost $3 billion. >> it's protein. definitely better than potato chips. >> reporter: and that's the allure. high protein, low fat, very portable. >> lean, good energy source, and what's not to like. >> reporter: so popular, one of
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the beef jerky outlet where they even sell krau crawfish and bloody mary flavored jerky. today's jerky has come a long way from those pressed slim jims. now boutique brands with innovative flavors. >> cherry maple. >> reporter: there's also ghost pepper, teriyaki, sweet and spicy. no refrigerator required. but it doesn't mean it will last. >> how quickly will you go through this? >> i'll probably be done with it by the time we get to dallas. >> reporter: hot and dry and fun off the shelf. >> my kids love it. that is nbc "nightly news" for this sunday night. lester holt will be in tomorrow. i'm kate snow.
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from houston.
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it's monday, february 29th. coming up on "early today." leo wins, "spotlight" shierchs, and chris rocks on. >> well, i'm here at the academy awards otherwise known as the white people's choice awards. and the political insults and miscues as the candidates sprint for votes ahead of tomorrow's super tuesday with 12 states voting. >> plus a major assist from an anonymous shopping cart guy. that and much more as we kick off a busy week ahead. "early today" starts right now. good morning.

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