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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  September 13, 2015 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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on this sunday night out of control, another huge explosive wildfire threatening thousands of homes. tonight an extraordinary view of the battle close up. desperate journey. lester holt in jurp on a deadly day as record numbers march toward a better life while in this country a new life for some escaping war. new questions about the issue tt just won't go away for hillary clinton. tens of thousands of her emails might not be gone after all. and true heroes. helping kids dream big at a time when they need it most. "nightly news" begins now. >> this is ""nbc nightly news"" reporting night carl
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quintanilla. >> good evening. the historic wildfire season in california has taken another turn for the worse. this one is called the valley firl north of sacramento, and in just 224 hours it's grown to some 60 square mete miles. that's more than double the size of manhattan. it's destroyed hundreds of homes, gutted cars on the highway, and forced thousands to evacuate. it's one of a dozen major fires now raging across the state, and nbc's gotti schwartz is there starting us off. good evening. >> good evening, carl. the devastation out here is absolutely staggering. this right here used to be a row of ten houses. you can see they have been completely incinerated. i also want to show you this right there. you see that. that is natural gas still burning, still flaming. last night we saw and we heard natural gas and propane blowing up all around us. >> reporter: the roads are surrounded. it's a town set ablaze. >> now, this is main street middletown. you can see there's all kinds of
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torching going on. there's house after house, building after building that's going up in flames. be careful here because there are embers raining down. >> reporter: cautiously we made our way through what looked like the gates of hell. this was a neighborhood, and now it's gone. all around loud explosions from gasoline and thousand gallon propane tanks. >> can you feel the heat as the fire rips down main street. the roar of the fire is deafening, and right across the street that is an apartment complex that has just started to go, and it's going to be a total loss. >> better keep it going. >> reporter: fire crews overwhelmed as they tried valiantly to defend people's homes. >> we heard them calling firefighters back after structures like this are just so fully engulfed in flames that there's no saving. >> reporter: at morning light the devastation fully revealed. >> everybody wishes they could do more.
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you kind of leave these kind of events feeling like maybe you didn't do as good of a job as you would like to have. >> reporter: the towns of cobb and middletown, mostly deserted, parts still smoldering. along the shoulder of the highway signs of yesterday's frantic evacuation. >> it came so quick, but it was just utter chaos trying to get out of there. >> reporter: the valley fire exploded to tens of thousands of acres in just 12 hours, and there's no sign of it slowing down. now thousands of evacuees are struggling to come to terms with the destruction. >> we lost everything. we got just our truck and my family, and that's it. >> reporter: this area haunted by scenes of once unimaginable but now very real and possible again in this drought-stricken state. >> at the beginning of this fire there were four firefighters injured. in fact, they were overtaken by flames, and they actually had to deploy their emergency shelters. she's shelters are only to be used in a last resort situation. very, very dangerous.
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they were all burned. second degree burns. they are expected to be okay. carl, back to you. >> thanks so much. we turn to the crisis in europe now where the human wave shows no sign of slowing down this weekend. today brought a reminder of how dangerous it can be when tens of thousands of refugees and mi grants are on the move. we begin with lester holt who is in hungary watching all of this unfold. lester, good evening. >> carl, good evening. they are still coming. it's after midnight here. another group coming down the tracks. the border is about two miles in that direction. people here sitting on the tracks. some of them may spend the night right where they are. others will try to get a bite, something in some of these makeshift aid stations that volunteers have put in place. people are coming in. hopefully they can find a tent, a volunteer's tent to sleep in. maybe they'll get on the buses. you see buses pulling away right now. those are taking people into detention camps where they will be processed. this will go on throughout the
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night, and there is such incredible urgency right now because late today, germany began to put the brakes on. those people coming over from austria into swrerm anne. they said no more for now. that backs things up through austria, and here in hungary, a country that said it will institute a crackdown at any moment now. >> reporter: the numbers of migrants are breaking records. over 4,000 on a saturday. even more expected today. it's a race to get here before hungary finishes building its border fences, closing its doors as soon as this week. soldiers with attack dogs have replaced police at the crossing preparing for the crackdown. it remains a dangerous race. at least 34 more people, nearly half of them children, drowned today on the journey from turkey to greece when their boat capsized. in austria 42 others being smuggled inside a truck much like this were rescued.
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the pace of this country by country journey is grueling. especially to the youngest. >> this child has just been brought across the border. she couldn't walk on her own. she looks flush and dehydrated, and right now no one can seem to find her mother or any of her family. >> reporter: moments later she appears. the child's pregnant mother, her younger child is also sick. just inside hungary food, water, and aid stations await, but so do the police who bus the new arrivals to fenced in detention camps for processing and fingerprints. something so many are desperate to avoid. >> fingerprints. are you okay with fingerprints? >> no, i don't want. >> you don't want fingerprints? >> they're very afraid that after they're fingerprinted that they will will have to stay in hungary which is an inhospitable place for these people arriving from syria, iraq, and afghanistan. >> reporter: those who defy the order are often chased down.
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in the camps many are held for days given id bracelets before being freed to try and journey onward. >> i don't feel like prisoner. i am in prison. >> reporter: austria's chancellor likening the treatment of migrants by authorities to nazi deportations during the holocaust drawing an angry response from hungary, but hungary has made clear it doesn't want the refugees and migrants. the head of the international federation of red cross visiting here today called it a humanitarian crisis. >> how much does it concern you that there appears to be no government help here, that all of the help we're seeing is done by volunteers such as your organization? >> i think -- not anywhere near to match the magnitude of the problem. we need to do more. >> reporter: most who come here can't be sure where they will ultimately be welcomed, but every step farther from the
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war-torn countries they fled is reason to be thankful. >> we're joined now by nbc's richard engel for more on this. you've been following this story for several weeks. it's a geopolitical story, but really for those of us on the ground, for people watching around the world, this is a people story. the optics are important. how is that affecting the countries involved as they decide what to do about it? >> these are profound decisions that need to be made by european leaders. it is a very emotional story for the people that are here. most of them come from war zones. they are terrified. they don't know what is going to happen. >> you had a piece of video the other night in one of your stories -- i think we're going to show it right now -- of a family, a little boy just distraught when the police tried to turn his family around. >> he is from syria, so you have to understand he is terrified already by men in uniforms. this family, mother and a boy, decided to run from police because they didn't want to be registered, they didn't want to be put into a camp, and this boy, they were quickly overtaken by riot police, and this boy
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kept saying i think the only word he knew in english. please, please, please don't grab me, don't put me in a camp, let us go. they were put in a camp. europe has some decisions to make. we could be seeing the biggest challenge that europe, as we know it, has faced for a long time. >> as we said, germany now says it can't take anybody across the austrian border right now. where we are hungary at any moment they'll put that gate up and stop the flow. what happens then? >> europe has been priding itself for years on being an open continent with one border, one currency, people can come in, they can work in one country, live in another. that system could be breaking down. we're expecting to see tighter border restrictions over the next 24 hours or so here in hungary. these people, as you can see, are still coming in. as hungary tightens its borders even further, there could be a backlog of people trying to come in. i wouldn't be surprised if we
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see violent clashes. >> richard engel. people coming in even as we speak here. it will be a big day. hungary threatening to close its borders. we'll be watching that as a domino affect of all that. carl, for now we'll send it back to you in new york. >> lester holt and richard engel in hungary. thank you very much. the obama administration announce thissed past week that the u.s. will take in an additional 10,000 syrian refugees over the next year. nbc's ron allen visited some syrian families already here as they start a new life. >> reporter: the faithful at the islamic center in patterson, new jersey rshgs a world away, and at the same time very los to the exodus of migrants pouring into europe. two years ago mahmoud, now a janitor at the mosque, made it all the way to the u.s. with his family of eight children, escaping the war in syria. he says he has relatives still trying to come here, but it's nearly impossible. like many syrians not able to flee the country, he left behind
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a good job, a technician at a water plant. here the family only can afford a small three bedroom apartment. his sister, who also made it to america, says she can barely watch the images on television. mothers trying to escape. i can't help but cry and feel pain and agony, she says. it brings back memories of living in constant fear. daughter rasha is now a high school senior. >> if we're not going die, we're going to have a very hard time there. >> reporter: now they have hope and plans for a future. >> we want to learn and continue my education. >> reporter: like so many young syrians who escape, this college student said he faced a terrible choice. >> the choice i made is either stay in the country, be drafted to the military, mandatory, and start killing people on the street, or to flee the country. >> reporter: he was among 1,500 syrian refugees granted political asylum in the u.s.
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after the conflict began. he says america and the international community should be doing more to stop the war. >> you think it's getting better there or worse there? >> no, worse. every day. every day it's worse than the day before. >> do you see any end? >> no. no end. >> reporter: and no end to the desperate masses in search of a better life. ron allen, nbc news, patterson, new jersey. >> and tomorrow lester holt continues his reporting from europe with our special coverage of the humanitarian crisis. we turn to the presidential election and new questions about the issue hillary clinton is trying to move beyond, the possibility that tens of thousands of emails that were deleted could still be recovered. we get more on the clinton campaign tonight from kristen welker. >> may the lord bless you and keep you. >> reporter: the clinton family attending church in washington today. the first time together publicly since hillary clinton officially announced she's running for president. >> we have another special guest
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with us today. hillary's husband. >> it's the church they attended the last time a clinton was in the white house. today no mention of politics. >> here we were not the first family. we were just our family. >> reporter: but as clinton fights get back into 1600 pennsylvania avenue, another development today about her personal e-mail account. the washington post reporting the company that managed her private e-mail server says it has no knowledge of the server being wiped, meaning some of clinton's 30,000 emails that she says were deleted may be recoverable. the clinton campaign isn't commenting on that report. it's a topic clinton has tried to downplay in the past. >> like with a cloth or something? no. >> the issue continues to take a toll. the latest cbs news-ugov poll has her being topped in iowa 43% to 33%. in new hampshire 52% to 30%. vice president biden, who hasn't
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announced a run, comes in third in both match-ups. >> i think we are generating a lot of excitement. not just in iowa and in new hampshire, but all across this country. that means larger voter turnout. >> clinton holds a more than 20 point lead in south carolina. the first southern primary. and a majority of democrats polled say the e-mail issue just doesn't matter. still, analysts say it is a political problem. >> the e-mail controversy has been a festering wound that has drained her support and distracted the campaign, and all the evidence is that that wound will continue to fester. >> polls aside, clinton still outpaces her democratic rivals in fundraising and organizing. she heads back to iowa tomorrow. >> kristen welker at the white house tonight. thanks. when "nightly news" continues on this sunday, how a church in the south transformed itself into a place where the views of all are welcome. what do a nascar® driver... a comedian... and a professional golfer have in common? we talked to our doctors about treatment with xarelto®.
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you'd need 6 tylenol arthritis to do that. aleve. all day strong. >> embattled county clerk in kentucky is expected to return to work tomorrow. kim davis was released last week from jail after spending five nights in custody. she was found in contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. she argued doing so would violate her religious beliefs. most of her deputies have been issuing the licenses in the meantime. not everyone shares those views, of course, and in neighboring tennessee one church has shifted in its thinking about matters of power and inclusion. we get that story from nbc's terry smith. >> reporter: sunday morning in the south. everyone knows you best be in church. for years what gays heard from the pulpit was more about god's wrath than god's love. >> it's been rough. growing up and having to deal with, you know, the church and,
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um, trying to -- being taught to be against myself, to hate myself. >> reporter: but david anderson and his partner, bob brooks, have found a spiritual home at grace point near nashville. >> it feels like a promise fulfilled and it's like some sort of an alternate universe at the same time. >> reporter: grace point is one of a handful of evangelical christian churches which has chosen to fully accept gay members, including marriage and baptism. >> we're either demons or angels, depending on who you talk to. we love just to be human. >> reporter: stan mitchell says the full inclusion of gay individuals caused a cism. had half walked out vowing never to return. mitchell says he gets it. he used to feel the same way. >> i understand. i was sincere. i think it's a horrible characterure to say that all of the folk who disagree with my position are homophobes and haters. that's not true. >> reporter: grace point's
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acceptance of gays a mistake, says dan scott of nashville's christ church. scripture, not society, should prevail. tloo do you feel like the culture is having too much affect on the church? >> culture always affects the church, but it cannot push the church to redefine itself. >> reporter: yet sunday by sunday grace point's pews have begun to fill again with newcomers like jennifer and linda oh connell. >> my daughter hasn't been to church for many years. totally different from the church we used to go to. i actually feel included here. i don't feel like a outcast. >> how do you know you're right? had. >> i don't know i'm right, but i feel deeply as deeply as i can that i am -- i know my heart is right. i hope my head is. ♪ >> is it courage or sacriligre? either is a matter of faith. harry smith, nbc news, franklin,
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nexium level protection. >> he is undefeat and now one of the greats of boxing floyd mayweather jr. says he has had enough. mayweather made the announcement last night in las vegas after winning his 49th consecutive bout in professional boxing. he has earned more than $700 million in the ring. now 38 years old, mayweather said there was nothing left for him to prove. we'll have to see if he means it. and one of the legends of the nba has died. moses malone. he was one of the first players to go right from high school to pro basketball. the 6'10" center was known as a ferocious rebounder, which earned him the nickname chairman
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of the board. he played for ten teams in his career, was a 12-time nba all-star and was name the league's most valuable player three times, he helped lead the 76ers to the championship in 1983. malone was found unresponsive in a hotel room in norfolk, virginia. he was 60 years old. up next, why it's so important for these kids to imagine they can do anything. hey marc. how you feeling? don't ask. this is what it can be like to have shingles, a painful, blistering rash. i never thought this would happen to me. if you had chickenpox, the shingles virus is already inside you. 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime. i know he must feel uncomfortable with that rash around his eye. your immune system weakens as you get older,
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finally tonight we all want our kids to dream big, to think that anything is possible as their lives take shape, but children facing a life-threatening illness like cancer, the dreams become even more important. now some of these kids are inspiring others thanks to a project that helps them soar. here's nbc's kristen. >> reporter: for 10-year-old candy carver, battling leukemia took its toll. >> her bones just would ache. she couldn't run around and walk a lot. >> reporter: but it never took her dreams. >> my dream is to be a fairy. >> reporter: that's exactly what photographer jonathan diaz made her. >> they came in with makeup and hair and it just felt so special. i felt like a movie star. >> reporter: she's one of 21 amazing kids featured in the new book "true heroes" photos and short stories of children like william for one special day battling dragons instead of cancer. >> it was the first time that i actually kind of saw him just being a little kid again. >> reporter: with makeup,
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costumes, and technology they are magically transformed into whatever they want to be. a pirate, mermaid, football star. >> cancer doesn't define these kids. they are their dreams. they are their hopes. >> reporter: for their loved ones, it can be something to hold on to. a few weeks after this photo, jordan lost her battle. >> just to have captured a moment of that that we'll be able to cherish forever. >> reporter: for diaz who founded the anything can be project it's about using his passion for photography to give something back. he says what he gets out of it is even greater. >> they have taught me what it means to fight for your life, fight for your dreams, fight for what you want to accomplish in this life. >> reporter: there's a lesson in every photo. not just about an incredible day, but a lifetime of hope. on the day of cami's shoot, some incredible news. she is now cancer-free. >> if you put your mind to it,
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anything can really happen. just what your imagination take hold of that dream and don't ever let it go. >> reporter: kids who are already superheroes now inspiration for all of us. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new york. that is ""nbc nightly news"" for this shunned. coming up next, football night in america. the cowboys versus the giants. i'm carl quintanilla reporting from new york. a reminder, lester holt will be reporting live from hungary tomorrow night. for all of us here at nbc news, thanks for watching. good night.
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>> announcer: nbc sports, home of the 2016 rio olympics, the nhl, premier league, the nascar chase for the sprint cup playoffs, and prime time's number one show -- "sunday night football." only on nbc. at&t stadium in arliton, texas, home of the dallas cowboys. tonight hosting their nfc east rivals the giants in the season premier of "sunday night football." for jason witten and the cowboys, this is the first game since a loss in january. eli manning through 30 touchdowns last season but his giants wound up 6-10 and now

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