tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC February 24, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. the death toll has risen even higher today from that violent storm system that tore through the south, and it's on the move tonight. as we start here, cities from northern carolina up to the d.c. area under the threat of tornadoes. at least four more people were killed this afternoon, some in waverly, virginia, where there's been significant damage from an apparent tornado. at least seven people have died from this time yesterday. right now at least ten states are at risk for severe weather with the highest tornado risk this evening. nbc's miguel almaguer reports from the storm zone. >> reporter: tonight this is what they fear, funnel clouds, possible tornadoes, a weather system still packing pounding rain and whipping winds with. with at least four dead today there's another night of dangerous weather still ahead. >> look at that. oh, my god >> reporter: forecast calls for 70-mile-an-hour winds.
the danger zone. the wicked winter weather a powerful linear system fueled by the strongest el nino on record raking across ten states. the storm mangling the landscape, ripping apart homes and taking lives. >> the glass is breaking and you can hear things flipping around outside, i mean, just total carnage. >> reporter: with three killed on tuesday and dozens injured, convent, louisiana, was in the bullseye, 160 homes demolished. >> we went from the floor to the ceiling, from the wall to the floor. >> reporter: braxton lott, his wife and three small children rode out the storm in this trailer. they were pulled into the air and rolled over several times across the street. savannah clinging to her daughter as she was being sucked out of a window. >> she was like flying out the window literally. i had her by her ankles. >> reporter: with up po to 30 tornadoes reported in pensacola, florida, a twister smashed apart an apartment complex.
traveled two miles, described as a war zone, homes shredded, rvs flipped over and cars tangled in trees. with the same weather system triggering up to 18 inches of snow in the midwest, at least 67,000 have lost power and now more could, too. a state of emergency as the threat across the east isn't over yet. as the rain continues to hammer down here in raleigh, we remain under a tornado warning until a bit later on tonight. lester, the storm is moving towards washington, d.c., and your area in new york. it's expected to hit that region around 11:00 tonight. if there is some good news, it should be packing a bit of a lighter punch. lester? >> all right. miguel almaguer tonight, thank you. tonight the scandal involving dangerous air bags in millions of cars appears to be growing even larger with u.s. senate investigators saying they have uncovered evidence that the takata corporation was deceiving automakers for years about its defective air bags, and there is a growing
recall could now grow to cover half of the cars on american roads right now. nbc's tom costello has details. >> reporter: it was just before christmas when 52-year-old joel knight was killed in south carolina. his 2006 ford ranger hit a cow on a country road. the takata air bag inflater exploded on impact. >> when it contact, this could have prevented us, his death could have been prevented. >> reporter: the coroner found metal shrapnel that came from the air bag also severed his spine. at least nine have been killed from exploding air bags. now senate investigators say internal e-mails show takata was aware its air bag inflaters were defective and yet deceived its customers, the automakers for years. a 2006 takata e-mail says reports were cherry picked and somebody was schmoozed to accept certain deviations. in another e-mail an employee writes if the
records or makes an audit we'll have a lot of failures, sometimes 38%, but takata disputes whether the writer had the right knowledge. >> they were manipulating data to make it look like this explosive device was in fact safe. >> reporter: in a statement takata says it's deeply sorry for all fatalities and injuries that have occurred and the issues raised in the e-mails are entirely inexcusable and will not be tolerated or repeated. it's already been hit with a record $70 million fine. a stunning 24 million vehicles are under recall for a potentially defective air bag. now, regulators are under congressional pressure to expand the recall to include every takata air bag in america. potentially 120 million vehicles. that would be nearly half the cars on the road. meanwhile, in south carolina the knight family is suing both takata and ford. >> that someone could be so inconsiderate of someone's life. >> reporter: over an air bag meant to save
took yet another. tom costello, nbc news, washington. donald trump is aiming for a knockout after three landslide victories. the gop front-runner could be headed for a super tuesday sweep if his opponents can't stop him and frustration is growing from some in the party as rubio and cruz continue to target each other, not the man who is charging towards the nomination. we have it all covered tonight starting with nbc's katy tur in houston. katy, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. donald trump is looking more and more like the favorite to win the nomination, and now the last nominee, mitt romney, is taking aim. donald trump with evangelical leader pat robertson in virginia today trying to hit ted cruz where it hurts, targeting christian conservatives at regent university. >> i've got to be a good person today, at least for the next hour. >> reporter: coming off his big win in nevada. >> soon the country is going to start winning, winning, winning.
yorker is looking for a lock on the nomination sooner rather than later. >> we might not even need the two months, folks, to be honest, all right. >> reporter: around if polling is indication he could be right. the billionaire resonating across voting blocs. >> we won of the evangelicals, we won with young. we won with old. we won with highly educated. we won with poorly educated, i love the poorly educated. >> reporter: nevada numbers like new hampshire and south carolina show trump won evangelicals, conservatives, moderates, those who are worried about immigration, those who wanted an outsider and those who are angry. trump's abrasive tone working. >> stay on course, stay on message. >> reporter: in fact, donald trump alone got more votes than total votes cast in nevada's 2012 gop caucus. today that cycle's nominee mitt romney speculated trump has something to hide. >> the reason that i think it that there's a bombshell in there is because every time he's asked about his
delays. >> reporter: the candidate repeatedly saying he will release his taxes at some point. the trump effect is in full effect. now he's looking for a knockout. >> thinks three chief opponents all have to run in their home states and trump could beat them haul. he can beat kasich in ohio. he can beat rubio in florida and it can all can begin in next tuesday in texas ted cruz is suddenly the first one voted off the island. >> reporter: step setting the rivals up for a lone star state showdown. katy tur, nbc news, houston. >> reporter: i'm hallie jackson in texas, a state where they remember the alamo, but it's a different kind of battle. ted cruz is winning here. a new poll shows he's up double digits over donald trump, 15 points. >> it is good to be home. >> reporter: nationally though, he's neck and neck with marco rubio for second place. the two fighting to be the trump alternative but fighting each other first, all while trump picks up delegates and momentum.
wasting your time attacking marco rubio instead? >> that's an interesting question given i'm the only candidate on the debate stage who has consistently pointed out donald trump's liberal record. >> reporter: given that it hasn't worked yet? >> well, at this point he's won two of the first three states and i've won one. >> reporter: cruz looking now to super tuesday in texas where today he won the endorsement of the governor. in his home state where he must win, his confident campaign pointing to 27,000 volunteers here. rubio's campaign equally confident in their strategy, wait for cruz to fail and lay off trump, for now. >> i don't have any voters begging me to attack anyone. i'm not in this race to attack any republican. i'm more than happy to show differences. >> reporter: but the florida senator has what could be his own alamo to fight in the sunshine state which awards all its delegates to the winner meaning a second place finish won't matter. that primary three weeks away but maybe the beginning of the end of this republican
hallie jackson, nbc news, houston. the discussion over the supreme court escalated to a new level as president obama hit back at republicans who said they will refuse to meet with any potential nominee until the next president is election. the nbc has learned is vetting a republican governor for the vacancy, a move that seems designed to put gop senators in an uncomfortable position. our justice correspondent pete williams has details. >> the notion that there's some two-month period -- white house meeting with the king of jordan the president on senate republicans and their leader mitch mcconnell for saying choosing a supreme court justice should be up to the next president. >> the american people ability to gauge whether the person i've nominated is well within the mainstream. you. >> reporter: and known that on a long list of potential nominees is brian sandoval, the republican governor of nevada and the state's first hispanic federal judge. >> this is a way for
house to extract maximum pain on republicans on their nominee. >> reporter: but president biden saw things their way 24 years ago when he chaired the senate judiciary committee and said no confirmations during a presidential campaign. >> action on a supreme court nomination must be put off until after is over. that senate republicans are now gleefully recalling. >> what we're doing is what the democrats top leadership has advocated in the past. >> reporter: but it was actually the rank republican on senate judiciary 24 years ago who said confirmations should go on during a campaign. >> it is this process, if process which should not be changed for election year expediency which has signified the majority of our system of government. >> reporter: president now says he'll have a nominee, quote, in the weeks ahead. >> mr. president, how many names? >> reporter: pete williams, nbc news, washington. a dramatic day in the civil lawsuit brought by sports reporter erin andrews. in court andrews looked on in tears as
about her trauma after a man secretly filmed her at a hotel. andrews is suing her stalker and the hotel's owner and former management company claiming they let it happen. nbc's morgan radford has details. >> reporter: an emotional day for erin andrews, wiping away tears while her father describes her as a shell of the person she once was. >> she's terrified. she's depressed. she's not the girl that we used to know. >> reporter: steve andrews, a veteran reporter, testifying on behalf of his daughter and her $75 million suit against the man convicted of stalking and secretly filming her naked in her nashville hotel room in 2008. >> she kept screaming i'm on the internet. i'm on the internet. i'm naked. everything i've worked for is done. >> reporter: andrews' lawyer says michael barrett removed and altered the peep hole of andrew's hotel room and held up a cell
naked. >> he wanted a room right next to her. i remember thinking to myself how does this happen. >> reporter: andrews' attorney called a hospitality expert to the stand. >> that's the cardinal sin in the hospitality industry is to give somebody's room number away or let them know that they are staying there. >> reporter: hotel's lawyer blames only the stalker. >> he deceived, he connived, he stalked. that's what mr. barrett did. >> reporter: mr. andrews believes someone needs to pay for what happened to his daughter. >> first time in my life as her -- sorry, as her father where i didn't know if she was safe or not. i fathered for her life. >> reporter: morgan radford, nbc news. still ahead here tonight, milania trump's first solo interview about the campaign, opening up about her marriage to donald trump, whether she ever thinks he's crossed the line and what happens on those occasions when they disagree. also caught on camera, e-cigarette batteries blowing up in a man's pocket.
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we're back now were a woman who could be america's first foreign-born first lady in nearly 200 years. milania trump, the with un-time design and architecture student turned fashion model, often seen but not often heard speaking in public, now speaking out. here's nbc's andrea mitchell. >> reporter: donald trump is everywhere, but his wife milania has avoided the
speaking only briefly on the trail. >> he was working very hard and he loves you. >> reporter: but now sitting down with msnbc's mika brzezinski. >> we have a thick skin and we know that people will judge him and people will call names and they don't give him enough credit. >> reporter: the former supermodel is trump's third wife, born in slovenia. >> i'm my own person. he's his own person, and i think that's very important. i don't want to change him. he doesn't want to change me. >> reporter: what about many felt he had insulted mexicans? >> no. i don't feel he insulted the mexicans. he said illegal immigrants. he didn't talk about everybody. >> reporter: but you're an immigrant? >> yes. >> reporter: do you ever think he's gone too far? >> i followed the law. i followed the law the way it's supposed to be. i never thought to stay here without papers. >> reporter: when he
muslims, do you worry about it? >> what he said it will be temporary and it's not for all the muslims. it's the ones -- we need to screen them, who is coming to the country. he wants to protect america. >> reporter: milania speaks several languages but what about some of the language her husband uses. >> do i agree all the time with him? >> no, i don't, and i tell him that. i tell him my opinion. i tell him what i think. sometimes he listens. sometimes he don't. >> reporter: even if not only visible to the public, milania trump is clearly a key sounding board for the republican from unir. andrea mitchell, nbc news. we're back in a moment with a warning about a potential risk in the water for children and pregnant women and yet another with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc.
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to drink bottled or filtered water. state health officials say they believe the lead is from home plumbing corrosion, not the water source. in kentucky, a sudden and shocking explosion caught on tape. it's a man taken by complete surprise when his pants pockets burst into flames. an e-cigarette wasbattery is blamed for the blast and as nbc's joe fryar tells us it's hardly the first time something like that has happened. watch. >> reporter: a customer was simply stopping for snacks at a kentucky gas station when the security camera captured this startling moment. >> suddenly there was a blast in his pocket and there was fire, big fire. >> reporter: york hamilton suffered second-degree burns. he says the spare battery for his e-cigarette device exploded. the flames eventually doused by a clerk. it's the latest injured tied to electric vapor products, reports popping up from oklahoma to california. >> i pulled it away from my lips and that's when it exploded. >> reporter: doctors at harborview medical
seen five different patients in the past five months. >> the way that the battery is in the device it becomes a high-powered rocket that can cause significant force and injury to the patient. >> reporter: the problems center around lithium ion batteries that power the device which can overheat especially if the wrong charger is use. the american vaporing association says when charged and used under proper conditions, vapor products pose no more of a fire risk than other products that use lithium ion batteries like cell phones and laptops. are a lot of customers asking you about this? >> yes, they are. >> reporter: at the vape source in l.a., they tell you not to carry the batteries in your pocket. >> it might touch the loose change or key and it will start to get hot. secure your battery case like this and then pretty much it's protected. >> reporter: advice to make sure that people can vape without the fireworks. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. when we come back,
when astronaut scott kelly says he's during its first year, a humpback calf and its mother are almost inseparable. she lifts her calf to its first breath of air, then protects it on the long journey to their feeding grounds. one of the most important things you can do is help the next generation. at pacific life, we offer financial solutions to accomplish just that. ask a financial advisor about pacific life. the power to help you succeed. allergies distracting you? when your symptoms start... doctors recommend taking ...non-drowsy claritin every day of your allergy season. claritin provides powerful, non-drowsy 24 hour relief... for fewer interruptions from the amazing things you do every day. live claritin clear. woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track.
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scott kelly though he's never lost sight of home. it's been right outside the window on the international space station. after a year in orbit, testing the effects of prolonged space flight, his ride back to earth departs next week so we decided to check in with him one more time before the big homecoming. astronaut scott kelly is in the home stretch. >> i started counting down when we got to ten days left which was a few days ago. >> reporter: kelly is one of two participants in nasa's mission, the first american to spend a year in orbit. as of today kelly has orbited the earth 5,344 times. talk to me about the metal and psychological impact of being up there. you look out the window and see the world pass by. you see familiar sights. what does that do to you to watch that? >> you know, you definitely have a different perspective on the earth and things that happen down there. i'm actually looking at it right now. the window is open. i follow the news very closely, have it on
in the evening so i keep probably more -- more in touch with what's going on on earth when i'm in space than when i'm actually on earth. >> reporter: kelly has been posting photos on social media throughout his mission. his awe-inspiring pictures of his home planet have become a huge hit. are you a bit nostalgic as your time in space is nearing an end? >> the ability to press our limits with regards to exploration and discovery, i think it's been a privilege of being a part of that, and it's something that i'm going to miss, but i've been up here for a long time and i also look forward to going home. >> the astronaut is expected to make his homecoming when sunday. when he wraps up his mission he will have traveled more than 143 million miles in space, and the one thing he's looking forward to the most when he gets home. >> human contact, the people you love on earth, your family, your friends, people you miss. >> reporter: and we wish kelly safe travels back home. that will do it for us on this wednesday night.
her lahusband. >> he's tell meg zip in and start singing. >> melania trump's one on one interview since his run. their surprising love story and "e.t.'s" interview with melania, what she said about her husband's white house ambitions 17 ago. >> and chrissy teigen pregnancy controversy. why she chose to have a baby girl. >> also tonight, fact checking the people versus o.j. with nicole brown's close friend fay res nick. >> he used to check in the bushes. >> we would check the bushes all the time to see if o.j. was out there. >> i ate cranberries. >> why is our own hart having a melt down? >> be careful. very careful. >> now for february 25, 2016, this is "e.t." tonight. breaking down in court today
stand in her $75 million lawsuit against the mariott hotel. >> she said the hotel let the stalker book a room right next to her and let tape her makeed. >> this is a story you have to see a few moments away. celine dion returning to the caesar's palace stage in vegas for the first time since the death of her husband, renee. >> there for what celine is saying is the most difficult performance of her life. >> our top stories, celine all by herself. all by myself any more >> so emotional, celine fighting back tears towards the of "all by myself." mid song stopped. overcome by tears. overcome by emotion. took a moment, finished the song, crying, walked off stage. before last night's near two-hourperformance, preserved as she prepared.