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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  March 17, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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on this tuesday night, breaking news. the dramatic finish to a fight for power in israel. and the last-minute threat that could destroy any chance of a peace plan. downfall. the surprise resignation of a rising star congressman who made headlines with the "downton abbey" office. a spending scandal exploding all around him. american isis? tonight a u.s. military veteran taken down by the feds. charging the cockpit. an air scare caught on camera. passengers rushed to tackle a man who was screaming about jihad and a bomb onboard. and detecting breast cancer. new questions about the accuracy of biopsies. are one in four patients being misdiagnosed? "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news
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world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news." reporting tonight, lester holt. good evening on this very busy news night. we begin with a high-stakes showdown that has left years of american peace efforts in the middle east teetering on the brink. even with votes still being counted benjamin netanyahu took to twitter tonight to declare himself the winner. if he prevails, the implications are enormous, because just before today's vote, netanyahu locked in a tight race publicly shut the door on a two-state peace solution, rejecting the idea of a palestinian state long a key pillar of american diplomacy in the region. we begin with our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell in tel aviv. >> reporter: it was a dramatic finish to a frantic three-month campaign, capped by benjamin netanyahu's desperate last-minute appeal to his hardline base. in a rare election day
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appearance, the prime minister said, go out in masses to the ballots. pleading with his supporters to offset what he called extremist israeli arab candidates. late polls showed him losing ground. netanyahu swerved farther right, pledging to prevent the creation of a palestinian state. reversing decades of promises by israeli leaders to american presidents, from carter to obama. and what netanyahu told me only last october. >> we need to have a vision of peace of two nation states who recognize one another. israel is a nation state of the jewish people, and palestine is the nation state of the palestinian people. >> reporter: of course, there was that american campaign stop. his controversial speech to congress. netanyahu was right to worry. tonight many voters told me they wanted a better economy and were ready for change. >> he stated there will be no palestinian state. ten years ago they were talking about two states.
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and it didn't happen in the last ten years. so it's not going to happen with netanyahu. >> reporter: why not netanyahu? >> because i think he had his chance to do for the past few years. and he didn't do it himself, so i thought we needed a change. >> reporter: but in the end netanyahu got his voters to the polls. >> it's very important to make sure that the next government is going to be right-wing government. >> reporter: and as you can hear, here at netanyahu headquarters, this party is rocking. they're celebrating already. even though as the votes are counted, it still may be a tie. he has more natural allies to form a coalition. this has profound implications that could mean the end of peace with the palestinians, the end of peace for president obama, and change the course of history in the middle east for years to come. lester? >> a lot of moving parts there tonight. andrea mitchell, thank you.
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let's turn back to this country now and the sudden downfall of a young political star who made national headlines for a capitol hill office decorated like "downton abbey." congressman eric -- aaron schock is resigning his seat in the house after a scandal over his spending habits grows all around him. kelly o'donnell has this report. >> reporter: a political career undone by his curious office decor and extravagant travels as seen on instagram. >> what do you say we first take a selfie? say hello, new york! >> reporter: 33-year-old illinois republican aaron schock, whose famous abs landed him on the cover of "men's health" magazine today topped headlines with his announcement. schock will resign from congress. i do this with a heavy heart, he wrote. schock stunned constituents waiting to see him. >> i didn't really think he would resign. it was kind of discouraging when more would come out. >> reporter: what began as interest in schock's
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"downton abbey"-style office makeover quickly spiraled to tough scrutiny of schock's use of taxpayer and campaign-related funds including private planes. >> clearly, you know, when you rent a plane, you go around your district, people can say, gee, that seems out of touch. i get it, okay? >> reporter: schock paid the government back more than $40,000 for some expenses and promised a review. but new questions surfaced monday. the "sun-times" and politico reported that schock may have overbilled for mileage. schock claimed about 170,000 miles, but public records showed his vehicle had only been driven 80,000 miles. tonight his spokesman says schock will repay the government for all mileage he claimed during his since years in congress. no dollar figure given to us yet. making this all the more unusual, schock announced his resignation without telling house speaker john boehner who later said it's the right decision. >> kelly, thank you. an american military veteran accused of trying to
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cross into isis-held territory and join the group instead is in federal custody in new york today charged with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. nbc's jim miklaszewski has the details for us. >> reporter: he's identified as tairod about pugh a former u.s. air force airplane mechanic. court documents claim that in january, the 47-year-old moved from egypt to turkey in an effort to cross the border into syria to join isis in the violent jihad, but turkish authorities denied him entry. he was deported to the u.s. and arrested by the fbi. on his laptop, agents found 180 jihadi propaganda videos and isis videos of mass executions. a cell phone contained a photo of a machine gun. born and raised in the u.s., pugh was in the air force from 1986 to 1990. in 2001, the fbi got a tip that pugh sympathized with osama bin laden. terrorism experts say at 47, pugh would not have
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been much of a fighter, but as former u.s. military, he could have been a huge propaganda tool for isis. his court-appointed attorney said today pugh would plead not guilty. jim miklaszewski, nbc news, the pentagon. tonight, some passengers who were on board a united airlines flight from washington to denver describing what some of them are calling the scariest moment of their lives. a man rushing toward the cockpit, they say, screaming jihad and yelling about a bomb, all of it caught on camera. nbc's peter alexander has the tape. >> reporter: frightening moments just minutes after takeoff. an unruly passenger started yelling, claiming there was a bomb onboard and headed toward the cockpit. >> he was saying jihad. he was saying the plane's going down. >> reporter: don digby and another passenger scott maldonado quickly reacted. >> i immediately put my arms around his torso. and i believe i kicked the bottom of his leg and flipped him on the ground.
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>> no, come on! >> reporter: the pilot, en route from washington dulles to denver, calmly alerted the tower. >> united 1074 state nature of emergency again. >> there's a passenger in the back. he ran forward towards the cockpit and he is being restrained by other passengers. the cockpit is secure. >> reporter: the plane was cleared to return to dulles. once on the ground, the disruptive passenger was detained and placed on a 72-hour mental evaluation hold. he was not arrested and not charged and no weapons were found. >> the amount of power that this individual had for a solid 20 to 30 minutes was just unbelievable. >> reporter: authorities say there's no reason to suspect any ties to actual terrorism. peter alexander, nbc news, washington. let's bring you up to speed now on our lead story from last night. there are new twists this evening after the murder mystery bombshell involving eccentric millionaire robert durst. he's facing new weapons charges in new orleans as the authorities in los
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angeles want him sent to them to face charges in the shooting death of his friend. nbc's stephanie gosk has the latest. >> reporter: robert durst pulled out of the courthouse today with a smile, even as the charges against him mount. his lawyers say he did not murder longtime friend susan berman 15 years ago. and they want to challenge the arrest warrant. >> my concern is that the warrant that was issued in california was issued because of a television show and not because of facts. >> reporter: the police chief in l.a. disagrees. >> our case is independent of the documentary. our case will stand on its own. >> reporter: hbo's documentary "the jinx" the life and death of robert durst, uncovered a letter from durst that looks a lot like an anonymous note sent to police by the presumed killer. the series ended with now famous mumblings in the bathroom. >> killed them all, of course.
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>> reporter: durst's wife kathy disappeared in 1982. the family still waits for answers. >> i would ask bob to forgive himself and deal with the penalties that are before him and to basically give us a burial site. we would want kathy's remains. >> reporter: behind these walls robert durst maintains his innocence. and he could be here for another week. his next day in court is scheduled for monday. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new orleans. prosecutors in the boston bombing trial revealed another message never before seen by the public allegedly left by dzhokhar tsarnaev in the boat where he hid during the manhunt. the jury heard from the boat's owner who got the shock of his life in his own backyard. our pete williams was back in the courtroom today. >> reporter: david henneberry ended a week of chaos for boston after the marathon bombing calling 911 when he found dzhokhar tsarnaev hiding in his boat. the boat was stored in the backyard of this house. the owner said he noted the cover was partly open, so he got
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a ladder and looked inside. the jury saw a picture of the boat as it looked that night. ladder in place, cover partly open. prosecutors reveal today that while tsarnaev was hiding in it, he just didn't write a message in pencil, he also carved on one of these wooden slats, a message said stop killing our down arrow innocent people and we will up arrow stop. an apparent reference to u.s. military policy meaning, if you stop, we'll stop. an fbi agent recalled finding two smashed cell phones on the ground near the boat, along with a debit card belonging to dun meng the man whose suv was carjacked earlier that night. the jury also heard from a close friend of tsarnaev who said he loaned this gun to tsarnaev two months before the bombing. prosecutors say that gun was used to kill m.i.t. police officer sean collier. pete williams, nbc news, boston. the head of the secret service faced a grilling on capitol hill today about the agents who crashed a car into a white house barricade after an alleged night of drinking on march 4th.
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director joseph clancy admitted he didn't find out about the incident for five days. even then it took an anonymous e-mail to bring it to his attention. clancy said he had no excuse for the agency's lapse. more in the battle against isis in iraq, and that fight is actually been joined by american boots on the ground although these americans are volunteers. veterans, no longer taking their orders from the u.s. military. our bill neely was with them as they fought with kurdish forces outside erbil. >> reporter: war with isis, kurdish troops in a frontline battle with an enemy that took their land. they are taking it back. it began with coalition air strikes hitting isis in three villages. more than 100 kurdish troops move in. with them, a half dozen americans. veterans of the war in iraq, back as volunteers. some didn't want to be identified. the next village? >> the next village.
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>> reporter: they target the black isis flag in a fourth village. as they move in, a humvee spots three suspected isis fighters running and gives chase. later they reported three dead. the kurds suffer casualties, too. their lead humvee hit by a hidden bomb. isis has booby-trapped roads and buildings, but the village appears secure. then isis hits back. the kurds have taken that village, but there is gunfire now and a battle going on. the kurds have decided to make a retreat. there is a frantic pullback. isis may have lost ground, but they're not beaten. >> they're everywhere. >> reporter: this is going to take time. >> yes. >> the enemy you don't fight today you leave for your children. i can't have that. >> they're just pure evil. pure evil. >> reporter: the kurds find dozens of ieds and isis tunnels. it's an enemy on the run but ready to fight on.
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bill neely, nbc news, iraq. days after a powerful cyclone hit the pacific island nation of vanuatu, many victims remain desperate for relief. our drone captured some incredible images of the damage. in this devastation, many don't know whether their loved ones are alive or dead, including a mother our own miguel almaguer encountered today on a desperate search. >> reporter: a worried mother on a long road home. 28-year-old favi on a desperate journey to find her family. >> i don't know what they are doing. if my home is still there. >> reporter: when the storm hit three days ago, she was with her husband in vanuatu's capital port via. her 2-year-old son, her mother and grandmother were here on tanna, which took a direct hit from the storm. she doesn't know if they're still alive. heading to her remote village, we sent up a drone for a better look. this road was unpassable until now. friends along the way speak of
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neighbors who didn't survive, but they have no word about her family. after a hard 45-minute ride -- >> there's my house there. >> reporter: still standing. she must go the rest of the way on foot. she finds her grandmother in the very spot she saw her last. but where was her son? for three awful days, she had waited for this moment. >> this is my son. i've got my son alive. >> reporter: moments later she's reunited with her mother. in the midst of so much devastation, this family has found what matters most, each other. miguel almaguer, nbc news, tanna, vanuatu. a lot of news still ahead here tonight, including a major study raising new questions about breast cancer biopsies. how reliable are they? how many women are being misdiagnosed?
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a major study out tonight is raising new questions about the reliability of breast cancer biopsies. when a woman gets a mammogram showing something suspicious, she hopes, or understands a biopsy will provide definitive answers. but researchers now say as many as one in four biopsies are incorrectly diagnosed. nbc's anne thompson has more. >> reporter: breast biopsies can be painful and frightening procedures. now today, new questions about
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how well pathologists interpret them. an expert panel doublechecked the pathology results of 240 biopsies. overwhelmingly, they agreed on the diagnosis of invasive breast cancer and those that were benign. but the misdiagnosis involved two types of abnormal but not yet invasive cancerous cells. ductal canceroma in situ commonly called dcis and atypia. why are they misdiagnosed? >> the main reason is that the person reading the actual slide is a human being, and there is some subjectivity when you're reading slides of biopsy samples. >> reporter: in this study, pathologist missed dcis in 13% of the cases. in atypia even worse. and overdiagnosed in 17%. >> overdiagnosing may subject women to unnecessary surgical procedures, as well as
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to unnecessary treatment. the flip side of that is that the cases that are missed. these are women who are told that they don't have cancer and may not get the appropriate follow-up. >> reporter: experts say women should seek a second opinion if they get either diagnosis, have dense breasts, or are being treated at a facility that doesn't often see these cases. to make sure the treatment you get is the treatment you need. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. up next here tonight, the surprise announcement from a rising nfl star. why he's giving up millions.
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in a surprise announcement, star 49ers linebacker chris borland said he's retiring from the nfl after just one season. borland said he's worried about potential long-term effects of hits to the head. the nfl spopded saying it respects his decision while claiming the game has every been safer. the prince of wales and the duchess of cornwall charles
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and camilla have arrived in washington tonight, the start of a four-day visit to the u.s. during the trip they'll meet with president obama in the oval office. it's all part of an effort to highlight the special relationship between the u.s. and britain. when we come back, no, she didn't lose a bet on this st. patrick's day. she's making one on finding a vital cure.
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finally tonight, a story that began as so many do on st. patrick's day, with guys in a bar who had an idea. they convinced people, perhaps after a green beer or two, to shave their heads in the name of making a difference for kids who really need it. and just like that, st. baldrick's day was born. kate snow has that story. >> reporter: 13-year-old courtney is one of more than 500 brave souls shaving off her long locks all to raise money to fight childhood cancers. denver's st. baldrick's event on friday brought in nearly half a million dollars, adding to the more than $240 million raised nationwide since 2000. >> the hardest part is it gets really cold when you shave it off. >> reporter: when you shave it off?
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when preston was 5, he was diagnosed with stage three hodgkin's lymphoma lymphoma. in the midst of chemotherapy, he came to his first st. baldrick's event. >> there was so many people supporting me and cheering me to fight hard, that i want to give that support back to other kids. >> reporter: now cancer-free, he comes back every year. 15-year-old quinn is still in treatment. >> when i lost my hair, it was really hard. an once someone who didn't have to lose their hair said that they would, like shave their head i thought that it was really cool. >> reporter: that someone is her nurse, kara. >> quinn is just a really awesome kid. she wants to be a teenager. and i feel like the cancer and the side effects have really kind of stifled that. >> reporter: today, quinn is holding the razor. >> i'm hoping that by her shaving my head, that she'll see we're all beautiful whether we have hair or not. >> reporter: the magic inside this tent is about a lot more than bald heads. >> knowing that even though you have a life-threatening disease,
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there's people ready to lift you up. >> reporter: beautiful people making a small sacrifice to help a lot of brave kids. kate snow, nbc news, denver. that's going to do it for us on this tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and right now at 6:00 an abustrupt end to a high-speed chase. a man barrels out of control on a local freeway. >> we begin with the latest on this developing news. so why was he running? that's the question the chp is asking tonight. after 90 mile chase through four bay area counties. take a look at how much ground the pursuit covered. it started in vacaville as the driver of the nissan raced across the east bay, through san
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jose and ultimately flipped his suv in los altos hills. that's where we find terry. at one point he was doing a hundred miles an hour on just three wheels. >> yeah he wanted to get away from the chp. and it all ended here on 280 northbound. you can see some scratches on the freeway where that vehicle overturned. we are about a mile short of the exit. it was a long clas at 100 miles an hour. it ended suddenly. the front right tire of the suv blown out by stop strips put down by the chp but the driver didn't stop until this happened. his vehicle, you see it veering way over toward the left of the freeway northbound 280. it rolls on to its side. underneath you will see fire and smoke coming out p but underneath that suv and it stops right there on 280. but the driver this is kind of


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