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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  August 15, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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a tough go at it this week. >> we'll be staying on the story throughout the evening and throughout the week. thanks for joining us. tonight, relentless disaster. 20,000 rescues as floodwaters carve a deadly path of destruction. emergency shelters packed as we see the mammoth scale of devastation. residents running for their lives as homes burn to the ground in california. firefighters unleash a massive attack. extreme vetting. donald trump's new ideological test for immigrants, what he said today about allowing only people who support our values to enter the u.s. trapped by war. richard engel with a rare look inside a hospital under ground in aleppo to escape the bombs, treating syria's children who fill bed after bed. and unstoppable. usain bolt strikes again as simone biles goes for another gold.
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are they the greatest of all-time? "nightly news" from rio begins right now. >> announcer: this is nbc "nightly news with lester holt" reporting tonight from the olympic summer games in rio. good evening, from the olympics. full coverage of the headlines from here ahead, but our top story is back home where the death toll and the misery index is rising because of the devastation in louisiana. at least switch deaths reported, 12,000 others are living in shelters. the number of rescues has reached 20,000 after a staggering amount of rain, as much as 2 1/2 feet inside 72 hours in some places. from overhead, baton rouge this evening, we're looking at a watery scene that is in some ways reminiscent of the aftermath of katrina. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in louisiana with the latest. >> reporter: the devastation is massive, wide swathes
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of louisiana under water, now a federal disaster area. what are we looking at right here? >> once a shopping center, and clearly a major retail area here is compromised. >> reporter: today a break from the downpours, but not from the heartbreak. many rivers receding, but still at record levels. more than 20,000 people have been rescued in louisiana in the past few days, more than 12,000 or so have spent some time in emergency shelters. life after the historic flood won't be the same. in the hard hit town of watson after being pounded by 31 inches of torrential rain, the loss is staggering. >> basically we lost everything other than our lives. >> reporter: mark macaulay barely escaped with his wife and kids as the relentless river rose quickly. >> in a couple of hours, we probably had six foot of water.
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water is probably one of the worst mother nature beasts there is. >> reporter: his son blake with his own harrowing story. >> we were trapped. >> reporter: rescued separately by a coast guard helicopter just in time. >> you don't know helpless until you're fighting for your life. >> reporter: now the tropical moisture spreading west and north, putting 20 million people in six states under flood watches. parts of missouri and texas have already flooded. >> it's acting just like a tropical system without the wind. it's grabbing all of that moisture from the gulf of mexico and continues to drop it as torrential rain along the gulf coast. >> reporter: in louisiana, communities cut off for days are assessing the unthinkable damage. pastor michael luce's church with the sanctuary where the terrified homeowners were trapped on the second floor. tonight he is grateful to be alive. adding to the disaster, many homes are not covered by flood insurance and even as these waters recede, major roads are shut down and a
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bit more rain is in the forecast through wednesday. lester? >> gabe, we're watching another terrible disaster of a very different kind. it's unfolding in the opposite end of the country, in california where this evening nearly 9,000 firefighters are battling eight large wildfires that are burning. they're being fueled by scorching temperatures, bone dry conditions and strong winds. nbc's joline kent takes us to the wildfires. >> reporter: out of control and burning fast. the so-called clayton fire ripping through main street of lower lake, a town founded in 1858. more than 1,000 firefighters battling flames on the ground. and in the air. leaving wilted skeletons of homes and shops behind. >> i was here when i
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see the flames coming. in a minute and a half, it was right here. it just come so fast. >> reporter: as these 175 structures decimated across 4,000 acres. >> the devastation is huge, the devastation is extensive and there are hundreds of homes and buildings and structures that have been lost as a result of the fire activity yesterday. >> reporter: the local candle warehouse up in flames, now reduced to glass and black char. >> it was like a bomb had gone off. >> reporter: jody barnes has lived in lower lake for more than 20 years. >> grabbed the cats and grabbed the dog and basically ran for our lives. >> reporter: all this devastation just a few miles from the historic valley fire last year. it was the third worst fire ever in california. >> it's the last thing we wanted to have happen, really it's just tragic. >> reporter: out here in lower lakes, the skies may be blue, but the air smells of ash.
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and schools will be closed tomorrow. the fire still very much on the move, just 5% contain and the and thed ad cause still unknown. and you can feel the late-day winds picking up and this could send the fire in new directions and fast. lester? joe lean kent watching the fire in california, thank you. here in rio, a lot of news to cover, both on and off the field of play, a scare at the olympic park outside the basketball venue when a tv camera from the olympic broadcasting service fell 60 feet from a cable above that snapped. seven people were injured. also two fires burns a few miles from the olympic field hockey venue that kicked up smoke and ash that high winds blew onto the playing surfaces. while inside the venues, a ton of action featuring a pair of athletes who just might be the best ever in their respective sports. we get the latest from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: the race is less than 10 seconds, but the usain bolt show just keeps
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going and going. from the very moment he walked out, to well after the race was over. this is not just about jamaica loving you, it's about the world loving you. why is that? >> it's just my charisma, you know what i mean? >> reporter: yes, it's pretty clear what he means. compare that reaction to this. u.s. sprinter justin gatlin, banned from beijing in 2008 for doping finished second. >> i could see everybody so i was laughing. i took my time, i could see him, and i knew that i was catching him. one thing my coach always says, don't panic, take your time. >> reporter: bolt's start was the second slowest, but then by the halfway mark, enough ahead to give a cheeky look. usain bolt is unstoppable. at 6'5", he typically takes 41 steps to other runners 43. which means each of his strides is nearly 8 feet long, from here to here.
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now i'm 5'8" and i'm not even close. and i probably can't get up. now bolt has a record three consecutive golds in the 100 meter dash. he will race two more times here in rio. dominance asserted on the track, while in gymnastics, dominance slipped for simone biles. >> i'm disappointed but i'm the only gymnast that's competed as many times as i have, so i have to give myself props for that. >> reporter: instead of gold on the beam, she won bronze. teammate laurie hernandez, silver. allyson felix is go g to race in the 100 meter. that's one full lap around the track. she's hoping to repeat her gold medal performance in london. lester? >> stephanie gosk here in copacabana, thank you. a busy day on the campaign trail today, donald trump and hillary clinton both in battle ground states. trump unveiled his new immigration proposal, something he called
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extreme vetting while clinton had some high powered help in going after trump. we have it all covered starting with nbc's katy tur. >> reporter: tonight donald trump's message is clear. >> hillary clinton's policies launched isis on the world stage. >> reporter: under democrats, isis is expanding, under him that will end. trump is outlining new details for his controversial new muslim ban. >> i call it extreme -- extreme vetting. >> reporter: the vetting including what trump calls a cold war era ideological test. >> we must screen out any who have hostiles a attitudes towards our country. >> reporter: trump also calls for using warning signs for international intervention. >> this new system will be used for local police officers, federal investigators and immigration screeners. >> he's saying a majority of americans are going to want to set aside some civil liberties, some international norms in order to fight a more aggressive war against terrorism.
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>> reporter: notably missing trump's past insistence that president obama founded isis, his attempt at sarcasm, joe biden says has no place in politics. it gets repeated in the middle east and puts a target on u.s. troops. >> if my son were still in iraq, and i say to all those who are there, the threat to their life has gone up a couple clicks. >> reporter: trump's message on isis blunted today by new questions over his campaign chairman's business ties in the ukraine. the anti-corruption task force uncovered a ledger allegedly documenting $7.12 million in off the books cash payments. from ukraine to paul .12 million in off the books cash payments. from ukraine to pau12 million in off the books cash payments. from ukraine to paul . million in off the books cash payments. from ukraine to pau7 million in off the books cash payments. from ukraine to paul manafort. manafort called the allegation silly and nonsensical. >> reporter: this is andrea mitchell in scranton, where
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hillary clinton is going after donald trump where he's strongest, with white working class voters. trump is counting on them to give him his best and perhaps only shot at the white house. clinton today bringing along scranton's hometown hero to make his case, even stopping at his childhood home. >> if you're worried about your job, then there's only one person in this election who will possibly help you and that is hillary clinton. >> we're going to make the biggest investment in new good paying jobs since world war ii. >> reporter: joe biden telling me trump's economic plan doesn't add up. >> he has no notion what he's talking about. and just look at his budget. >> reporter: what do you say to white, not college educated men in pennsylvania, in scranton? >> that's what i'm saying here, take a look at the facts, take a look at what he's talking about. >> reporter: clinton is practically camping out in pennsylvania.
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it's where the democrats held their convention, launched her bus tour, and though polls have her ahead among white working class voters, trump is up and gaining. so we went to a diner to find out why trump. have you decided who you're going to vote for? >> i'm going to vote for trump because i think he can bring jobs back because he's a successful businessman. >> donald trump knows what it is to run a business, he knows how to make the economy grow. >> reporter: clinton's fix, a big dose of joe biden. andrea mitchell, nbc news. tonight we have a rare look inside a secret operation saving lives in war torn syria. it's an underground hospital hidden away as the brutal conflict between government forces and rebels rages on above. and so many patients brought here are children. our richard engel takes us inside where some of the images may be disturbing to watch. >> reporter: the syrian government-led
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bombing of aleppo has targeted so many hospitals the few still working have been forced below ground. nbc news was granted rare access to one of these unmarked hidden basement clinics, where 2-year-old bayon was barely alive after an air strike on his home. medical staff tirelessly tried to push and pump life into the boy. then listen for a heart beat that wasn't there. but there's no time to take in the horror, children keep streaming in. after bombings in this city, rescue workers often save children first, so it's children who fill nearly every bed. >> the images never leave you, they scar you. >> reporter: dr. samer attar is a surgeon in chicago, but last month, he snuck into aleppo to volunteer. >> the doctors are exhausted, they're trapped, if there's a message to relay to
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the world, it's that they want the world to know what's happening. >> reporter: the makeshift hospital rooms are crowded. it can take days for families to find their injured sons and daughters. 10-year-old sawad lost her leg, she had been sleeping by a window when a bomb dropped. the doctor asked if any of her relatives were hurt. she says no, but she's wrong. she doesn't know that the attack that took her leg, also killed her 8-year-old brother. a boy nearby repeats, he wants to leave. but there's no leaving aleppo, it's encircled, starving and under attack. the injured children forced under ground. richard engel, nbc news. >> and that nightmare continues. there's more ahead as we continue, violence in the streets, fears of another dangerous night in a major
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american city where protesters demand to see a tape that allegedly shows police killing an armed suspect. also what's in their wallets? the trend among millennials that may surprise their parents. we're back now
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we're back now with tensions erupting in milwaukee, a curfew has now been imposed for teens this week after 14 people were arrested, one person was shot and several officers were injured during protests last night. driving it all, a police officer who shot and killed an alleged armed suspect. both the officer and
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the suspect are african-american. nbc's kerry sanders has more. >> reporter: two rounds of violence, gun fire and destruction in milwaukee and tonight with more fears of more unrest, no let up in the demand, release the body camera footage. law enforcement say the video shows 20-year-old silvil smith on foot, running away from a traffic stop, raising what appears to be a gun in his hand, and then a black police officer still unnamed firing two fatal shots. >> we want them to release the tape so we can see it. because i these they're hiding something, taking too long. >> reporter: after swearing in 40 new police recruits today, >> this has been a very challenging weekend for the milwaukee police department. >> reporter: milwaukee's mayor said he, too, wants that body cam video replaced. the clip was recorded without audio lasts only 25 seconds. >> i did not see the video, i saw the still shots taken from the individual in which the individual had a gun in his hand.
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>> reporter: but wisconsin state officials say they cannot release the video because it's key evidence in their case against the shooter. police tweeted photos of gunshots fired at them, a police riot helmet graced by a bullet last night, an armored vehicle hit repeatedly. >> it leaves concern that people shoot at them without concern of whether they injure or kill them. >> reporter: which leaves a heightened anxiety here tonight as riot police may again have to enter this neighborhood. kerry sanders, nbc news, milwaukee. up next, a new warning about the health risks of something most of us do every day.
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new data out from the federal reserve shows the millennial generation is into paper, not plastic. the percentage of americans under 35 who have credit card debt is at its lowest level in a quarter century. a lot of millennials
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sticking with the cash they have and not much credit, spooked by what they saw during the financial crisis. a new report from the american heart association claims no matter how much exercise you get, sitting too long can harm your heart. the report shows that american adults sit between 6 and 8 hours a day and it's even longer for adults 60 and over. the advice, sit less, move more with at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. coming up next, tom brokaw takes us to a place here in brazil that's as beautiful as it is dangerous.
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test. test. test. test. test test. test test. test. test. next at 6: the fire raging in
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lake county... a harsh but important reminder. ===raj/vo=== nbc bay area responds with three things everyone should do before it's too late. ===janelle/vo=== plus, jessica aguirre's one- on-one with former cal standout, anthony ervin. his olympic-size comeback. ===janelle/close=== the rain falling here in rio tonight and finally it is one of the wonders of this immense country and indeed the whole world. the amazon rain forest, an area as big as the continental u.s. and home to more species than anywhere else on earth. tom brokaw heads deep into the amazon jungle to take a look at what some call the lungs of the earth. >> reporter: it is a world unto itself, of life where nature rules in every way. square mile after square mile, one-fifth
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of all the fresh water in the world. i first traveled to the amazon 25 years ago to see the work of scientists cataloging this treasure house of the natural world. so how many lifetimes would it take for you to know a lot more than you do now about what it's going on here? >> well, you know how it works, the more you know, the more you need to figure out. >> reporter: mario and his wife letta are scientists with brazil's national amazonian research. this is part of the national treasure of earth, right? >> the forest is very important for a lot of people. >> reporter: prized by scientists and fortune the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the rain forest, it has kind of a spiritual effect. but this can be a sinister place, not
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just because of mother nature's dangers, but because it's become a war zone between eke come gists, naturalists and people who want to develop this area. according to an international human rights organization, 24 activists have been killed for their work in the amazon in the first four months of this year alone. the many indigenous tribes are under tremendous pressure here as well. >> there is a feeling that protecting the rain forest and natural ecosystems in the amazon is working against progress. it's really important that we make it clear that everybody benefits from a preserved ecosystem. >> reporter: a future without the amazon is simply unthinkable. >> we really haven't come close to describing everything there is. this is the michael jordan of
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biodiversity. >> reporter: or lebron james these days? >> right. >> reporter: mario has been upriver for a long time. for him, no man-made wonder can compete with the natural wonders that are part of his everyday life. tom brokaw, nbc news, in the amazon. and that will do it for us here. a reminder, nbc prime it. it comes up like a gust of wind. runs :07 ==jan/contvo== . >> if fire was so fast, you can't believe it. it comes up like a gust of wind. >> an all too familiar, destrugtive sight, a glowing wild fire wiped out does eps of homes in lake county. >> the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us on this monday. i'm janell wang. >> not big in size yet, but the damage is extensive. this is the same region devastated last summer. let's get to the latest now. within the past hour governor brown has declared a state of emergency in lake county. heat and wind, we know this is a dangerous mix, and this is what
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is happening, the so-called clayton fire has now burned 4,000 acres but it is growing. nearly 200 homes and businesses have been destroyed with 1500 other structures still threatened. now, thousands of people have evacuated this area. cal fire tells us the clayton five is just 5% contained. >> we have a team of reporters in place covering all angles tv fire. begin with nbc jodi hernandez live near the fire lines in lower lake. jodi. >> reporter: janell, this fire has done quite a number here on the town of lower lake. we're standing near one of the many, many homes destroyed by this fire. now, this used to be a two-story victorian house, built in the 1800s. tonight crews are working hard to make sure other homes don't suffer a similar fate. an aggressive aerial attack is under way tonight as clrefighters try to keep the


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