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tv   Early Today  NBC  May 23, 2016 4:00am-4:31am PDT

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it's monday, may 23rd. coming up on "early today," overnight, the u.s. lifts its arms embargo with vietnam. a massive offensive by as many as 35,000 soldiers to retake the isis controlled city of fallujah is under way in iraq. this is on the heels of a drone strike that killed a major taliban leader. the president calls it an important milestone. plus, the polls tighten between hillary clinton and donald trump. the search for egyptair flight 804 may go almost two miles beneath the sea. and the billboard music awards lit up las vegas. "early today" starts right now. good morning, everybody. i'm dara brown.
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breaking news overnight, president obama announces that the u.s. is lifting the long-held arms embargo with vietnam. the news that came during a press conference just hours ago. the president arrived in vietnam overnight for his first day in a three-day visit before he heads to japan for his historic trip to hiroshima. nbc's tracie potts is in washington. good morning to you, tracie. how big of a deal is the u.s. lifting this arms embargo with vietnam? >> reporter: it's a really big deal. it erases one of the last elements of the cold war, even though the two countries are not on the same page, including human rights. despite lingering concerns about human rights, this morning president obama announced the u.s. is lifting its near decades long arms embargo against vietnam. >> this change will ensure that vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend itself. >> reporter: against china, claiming disputed islands in the south china sea, and it eases vietnam's reliance on russia. the president also announced new u.s. investment in vietnam.
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100 planes from boeing, engines, and electricity from general electric, totaling $16 billion, and the white house says 60,000 new jobs. >> new companies and new jobs being created constantly. so the united states wants to be a part of that. >> reporter: there are still concerns about human rights abuses in vietnam, which the country's president says will be addressed. >> tnslator: we need to work closely together, expand our dialogue together, and by so doing we can narrow the gap. >> reporter: historic agreements announced today, expanding america's reach into one of the fastest growing regions of the world. the president also talked about the tpp this morning. that's the transpacific partnership, that trade deal that has yet to be approved here on capitol hill. it's an election year. he admitted it will be tough to put it through, but he thinks he can get it done. dara? >> tracie potts, always good to
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see you. thank you very much. iraqi forces have begun a massive offensive to retake fallujah from isis. a senior security official tells nbc news over 20,000 iraqi federal police soldiers have been called into action with an additional 15,000 troops expected. on twitter, iraqi prime minister says he announced the offensive posting zero hour for the liberation of fallujah has arrived. taliban leader akhtar muhammad mansour has been killed. the pentagon confirmed it launched an air strike in pakistan targeting the taliban's top commander. with the death, the taliban is thrown into its second leadership crisis within a year. the white house said the attack marked an important milestone in our longstanding effort to bring peace and prosperity to afghanistan. it was carried out saturday by multiple unmanned military drones as mansoor and other
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taliban fighter drove in a remote area of the afghanistan/pakistan border. the u.s. attack on the insurgent group is believed to be the first american drone strike in the taliban headquarters. hillary clinton is beating donald trump in the 2016 presidential race, but just barely. in a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, clinton edges trump by just three points nationally, a statistical dead heat. back in april, clinton held an 11-point advantage over the billionaire businessman. in an exclusive interview on "meet the press," clinton hit trump on everything from his business acumen to his taxes. >> i do not want americans and, you know, good-thinking republicans as well as democrats and independents to start to believe that this is a normal candidacy. we are going to demonstrate he has no ideas. there's no evidence he has a ideas about making america great. and as we go through this campaign, we're going to be
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demonstrating the hollowness of his rhetoric and the danger of a lot of what he has said. >> a hypothetical matchup between bernie sanders and trump reveals a very different result. that same poll has sanders beating trump by 15 points, 54% sanders, 39% trump. in an interview yesterday, sanders made some news while arguing why he would do better than clinton in november. >> we need a campaign, an election coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked. i don't want to see the american people voting for the lesser of two evils. >> is that how you would describe hillary clinton against donald trump, the lesser of two evils? >> well, if you look -- no, i wouldn't describe it, but that's what the american people are saying. >> sanders is also continuing his war with the democratic party. he's now endorsing and began fundraising for dnc chair debbie wasserman-schultz's primary opponent. here's what sanders said yesterday on his feud with schultz.
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>> clearly, i favor her opponent. his views are much closer to mine than is wasserman-schultz's. let me also say this. in all due respect to the current chairperson, if elected president, she would not be reappointed to be chair of the dnc. meanwhile, shortly after the nra endorsed donald trump, a new nbc news report shows trump could still use campaign donations to pay himself back for his primary run. after a long back and forth on the issue, trump has said he would convert all the funds he lent his campaign into contributions. however, he's made no steps to do so. and the invitation to his first joint rnc fundraising event this week specifies the first $2,700 raised would go to paying trump back for his primary campaign, a primary that is seemingly over. trump has until august to convert his loans into contributions. the search continues for the black boxes of the downed
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egyptair a-320 that crashed last week. the egyptian president says he has deployed a submarine to aid in the search for flight 804. the robot submarine is believed to be among underwater equipment normally used by egypt's offshore oil industry. it could reach nearly two miles deep. from the surface, that puts the black box just on the edge of their detectible range. over the weekend, the egyptian military released images of debris recovered from the plane. officials warn it could take weeks to identify the remains of victims. 66 people were on board when it crashed. french investigators say the plane sent a signal that smoke was detected in the bathroom just minutes before it disappeared from radar. but still no definitive word on what brought down the aircraft. the egyptian president stresses that all scenarios are possible. egyptian authorities have previous said terrorism is a more likely reason for the crash compared to a technical issue. at last night's billboard music awards, britney spears kicked off the night with a
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medley of her greatest hits, but it was pink's acrobatic performance that stunned, as she spun above the crowd on a rope. her song was written for the upcoming movie "alice through the looking glass." and people at home could not help but notice demi lovato's t-shirt during her performance. it suggested her support of the transgender community in the political bathroom debate. kesha was again given permission to sing at the awards. she sang a tribute to bob dylan with ben folds and received a standing ovation. celine dion gave a powerful performance before being awarded the billboard icon award. she broke down in tears when her son surprised her on stage to present her with the award. she thanked her late husband. >> i didn't expect this. i don't want to cry in front of you. honey, this one's for you. the show must go on. >> and to close out the night, madonna was joined by stevie wonder to sing "purple rain"
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in an emotional tribute to prince. severe storms brought heavy rain, hail, and two confirmed tornados to west texas and the panhandle. this massive tornado was spotted in south perryton. no injuries or damage was reported. then check out this massive tornado in texas. meanwhile, this massive tornado touched down in northern south dakota. fortunately, no reports of injuries or damage there as well. nbc meteorologist bill karins is here with the latest on what seems to be shaping up as an active week. bill, what's going on? >> this will probably be our biggest tornado week. yesterday, 20 separated tornado reports. in the dallas area this morning, that is no longer severe. just a lot of lightning with that. we have our big trough in the west, keeping you cool and chilly out there. more severe weather in areas of
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central kansas, oklahoma, all the way through texas. enhanced risk for 14 million people. maybe even a few strong tornadoes. all the cool weather is kept in the west, northwest. temperatures in the 60s. for the most part areas in the 70s. even cooler than normal in the desert southwest. phoenix at 91 is cooler than you should be this time of year. we're still going to watch thunderstorms really lingering in the middle of the country for the next two days. severe thunderstorms are again likely from oklahoma down to dallas. tuesday looks to be a little bit more of the same in areas of the west. scattered showers in the rockies. temperatures 60s to 70s. it's not cold you like this time of year. reno, 64 degrees. much cooler this week than last week. fresno, 79.
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many areas of the west will be the cool spot this is week while the heat gets turned up the end of the week. how zika may be directly affecting americans. plus a graduation day surprise that floored the crowd. and major car trouble. you're watching "early today." e*trade is all about seizing opportunity. and i'd like to... cut. thank you, we'll call you. evening, film noir, smoke, atmosphere... bob... you're a young farmhand and e*trade is your cow. milk it. e*trade is all about seizing opportunity. sign up at and get up to six hundred dollars. ♪ snack patrol, saving the snack world. ♪ whoa, whoa, whoa... ma'am, we can smell the bland snack all over you. but, it's just a... whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...yeah. yeah.
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no, no, no, no, [music] people are both soft and strong... yey! which is why our products are too. angel soft. welcome back. mosquitos carrying the zika virus could start infecting people in the u.s. in the next month or so. that's according to the national institutes of health. he's urging a robust response. >> we need to be prepared for that and make sure that those local outbreaks don't become sustained. we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens. the international olympic committee said it will distribute about 450,000 condoms at the rio games.
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that's three times more than the 2012 london games. part of the increase is 100,000 female condoms offered for the first time. the ioc has not yet answered if the increase is due in part to zika. the mosquito-born virus can also be transmitted sexually. starting video in china the sinkhole swallowing up parked cars on a city street. the 16-foot wide hole gobbled up four cars. and a graduation in oklahoma went from typical to this. [ cheers and applause ] graduating senior micah mcdade was born with cerebral palsy, but that didn't stop him from ditching his wheelchair in front of everyone to walk across the stage to receive his diploma. his determination efforts gave him a well-received standing ovation from his classmates.
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landen downey has your business news. good morning. the average price of leaded gasoline to $2.32. it's still lower than a year ago. main driver? higher oil prices. big merger deal may be in the works today. bayer, maker of prescription drugs and aspirin, is offering to buy monsanto for $62 billion to create the world's largest agricultural products maker. meanwhile, the dow, closing higher friday, is now down for the past four weeks on speculation that the fed could raise rates as soon as next month. look for housing and gdp later this week. >> landen, thank you so much. sergio goes for his first win in four years. and the thunder rain on the
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warriors' parade. sports is up next. ♪ ♪ it's time to get seriously silly, people. ♪ join red nose day to do some serious good to help fight kids' poverty. ♪ it's simple: just get your red nose, only at walgreens, and get your silly on, seriously. time is running out. get your red nose today at walgreens. what backache? what sore wrist? what headache? advil makes pain a distant memory. nothing works faster stronger or longer what pain? advil. our bacteria family's been oni like to watch them clean,ns. but they'll never get me on the mattress! new lysol max cover with 2x wider coverage kills bacteria on big, soft surfaces. discover a new way to lysol that.
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this morning on "today," two lions are killed to save the life of a man who jumped into their zoo enclosure. now there's growing outrage over taking the lives of animals some say did nothing wrong. . it is time now for sports with my friend, betty nguyne. good morning, betty.
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>> good morning. let's start with the warriors. the golden state warriors are charging into oklahoma city. midway through the second, and draymond green catches steven adams below the belt. it proved to be the spark the thunder needed. they stormed on to a 24-5 run after that. they were up 25 at halftime and had a 41-point lead at one point. in the end, the thunder rolled to a 133-105 win and a 2-1 series advantage. cleveland cavaliers' guard dante jones has been suspended for game four after catching raptor bismack biyombo with a low blow. it happened in the closing seconds of game three. you can see him in obvious pain. jones has only played 11 minutes in the series. to golf now and sergio garcia won the at&t byron nelson championship. it is sergio's ninth pga tour victory and his first since 2012. ♪ and the home of the brave [ cheers and applause ]
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how's that for a rendition? 89-year-old holocaust survivor hermina hirsh singing the national anthem in detroit on saturday. hirsch has been a tigers fan since coming to america after being imprisoned in several concentration camps during world war ii. boy, though, she can sing, dara. back to you. >> great moment. betty, thank you very much. just ahead, the hottest look at the billboard music awards. plus, a democratic dance-off on "snl's" season finale. you're watching "early today." t tomorrow... ♪ for people with heart failure, tomorrow is not a given. but entresto is a medicine that helps make more tomorrows possible. tomorrow, tomorrow... ♪ ♪ i love ya, tomorrow in the largest heart failure study ever. entresto helped more people stay alive and out of the hospital than a leading heart failure medicine. women who are pregnant must not take entresto. can cause harm or death an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren.
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now to entertainment news. the stars didn't disappoint on yesterday's pink carpet for the billboard music awards. there were some glamorous looks and of course a few unique choices that grabbed a whole lot of attention. famed deejay calvin harris, who is also taylor swift's boyfriend, canceled some upcoming appearances after getting into a car accident friday night. harris was a passenger in a vehicle that was hit head on by another car. thankfully, no critical injuries have been reported so far. we do want to say congratulations to eva longoria, who got married over the weekend. the actress wed jose antonio gaston in a private ceremony in mexico. this is longoria's third husband after nba player tony parker and "general hospital" actor tyler christopher. and on the season finale of "saturday night live," hillary clinton and bernie sanders did set aside their differences and danced it out, but not before a little pushback. >> all right! i think i'm going to head home.
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don't you work too late now. >> i won't, mrs. clinton. i'm actually closing up the bar right now, so everybody's got to go. that means you too, sir. >> no freaking way! i'm not going anywhere! i can stay here as long as i want. >> senator sanders, i'm sorry, but the night is over. >> no, no, it's not over. it's not over until i say it's over. >> classic. >> but if you think about this, i think they should keep going with snl through the summer. there's so much material. >> we haven't even had the skits with trump and hillary. >> that won't be till september. we're going to miss it. i'm dara brown. this is "early today." houston: mission allergy escape. for those who've gone to extremes to escape their unrelenting nasal allergy symptoms... houston: news alert... new from the makers of claritin, clarispray.
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in this season of college graduations, one man's story stood out this past week. he just earned his first bachelor's degree in engineering at the age of 54. but as nbc's kate snow reports, it's the unique path he took to get to this point that's the most impressive. >> reporter: michael has spent his days at worcester polytechnic institute and his nights cleaning those same classrooms. michael used to flip houses, but when the recession hit, demand dried up. he and his wife joyce lost everything. >> it was really hard because i couldn't look my kids in the eye and tell them, you do a good job and work hard, and you're going to be successful. i couldn't do that. >> reporter: when michael found the custodian job, he realized
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he'd make half as much money, but there was one big perk, free tuition. >> i wanted just a glimmer of a chance to turn my life around and do something that i could look back on and say, hey, you know, that was pretty good. >> reporter: in between classes, he studied in the custodial closet. >> all i did was go to school, study, go to work, eat and sleep. >> i felt like i ran tackle for him. really. i kept the distractions away. >> yeah. >> reporter: their sacrifices paid off. last weekend, michael walked with his class of 2016 alongside classmates 30 years younger. his graduation cap saying it all. >> it was a spectacular day. i was walking on air. it was superb. it was so much better than i ever imagined it would be. >> congratulations. >> reporter: yes, it was a little hard to head back to work on monday, but now he's hunting for a new job.
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>> now with the help, support, and encouragement of my fellow classmates and all my professors, they helped rebuild my american dream, you know. and now i dream again because of what they've done. >> so much to be proud of there. what an inspiration. >> that's what he could do. if it doesn't work out, go be an inspirational speaker. high schools, colleges. how about college hires? >> you never know. we'll see. now it's time for a look ahead. a baltimore judge is expected to hand down a verdict in the trial of officer edward nero, charged in the april 2015 death of freddie gray. nero is one of six officers charged. prosecutors say nero was negligent when he didn't buckle gray's seat belt. the defense says nero had a minimal role in the arrest and acted according to how he was trained. happy birthday to jewel. she turns 42. "price is right" host drew carey is 52. and joan collins is a lovely 83.
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i'm dara brown. sam//vo
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a brush fire scorches hundreds of acres in monterey county... as firefighters pour in, trying stop the flames from gaining more ground. laura//vo and more than 50 years later... president obama gives veitnam the right to buy american >>. >> a brushfire. president obama gives vietnam the right to buy american weapons. warriors, after last night clobbered at the hands of the oklahoma city thunder. "today in the bay" starts right now. good morning. thank you for joining us on this monday. i'm sam brock. >> i'm laura garcia-cannon. the morning commute coming up. >> monday. >> it will perk you up because it's chilly. >> it is chilly. we have upper 40s in parts o


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