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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  October 4, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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that's going to do it for us right now at 5:00. as a reminder, lester holt joins us now. breaking news tonight, large-scale emergency evacuations. plans to urge over a million people to flee the south carolina coast as a deadly monster hurricane barrels towards the eastern seaboard. critical clash. the vp candidates face off as trump's poll numbers slide. can a big moment tonight turn the tide? spying on your e-mails. a stunning report that yahoo! secretly searched hundreds of millions of accounts snooping on its own customers for the government. getting out alive. residents escape before a dramatic neighborhood blast. the warning signs that every family should know. and life-saving cancer test. hollywood star ben stiller goes public with his private health battle. how his cancer was caught, the test he says saved his life and it could save yours.
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"nightly news" begins right now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. a state of emergency has been declared in south carolina where officials right now are taking steps to begin evacuating coastal towns and communities, as the likelihood grows tonight that hurricane matthew will make landfall still as a powerful hurricane along the carolina coast this weekend. plans call for the evacuation of a million people there, starting tomorrow with residents to be sent a hundred miles inland. meantime, the death toll has risen to at least eight in the caribbean. the category 4 storm has caused widespread damage in the southwest tip of haiti, where it hit this morning. and tonight, with computer models predicting a u.s. landfall, people from florida to the carolinas are stocking up and preparing for the worst. we begin our coverage with nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: bracing
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for matthew. tonight, this is the scramble along the eastern seaboard. >> i'm preparing, buying rain gear and flashlights. >> i came to pick up a generator and extra fuel tanks just in case. >> reporter: a run on supplies, lumber, groceries, gas, and water. today south carolina's governor urging over a million people to evacuate from coastal communities, starting wednesday. >> this is not something that we want to play with. if you don't get out in time, you might actually get stuck, and i think that's worst case scenario is to be stuck on the coast. >> reporter: the evacuation zone covering a hundred miles from the shoreline. many coastal schools closing as residents prepare for five to seven-foot storm surges. >> make sure we have three days worth of food and water. you know, any prescriptions. making sure those are filled. >> reporter: even the national guard is at the ready. hurricane matthew is twisting its way north, threatening to pound florida and the
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carolinas. all under states of emergency. in florida, some are streaming to higher ground. >> storm surge is coming. we don't want to take any chances. >> reporter: parts of the sunshine state already under a hurricane watch. tonight it's picture perfect here, but danger is on the horizon and closing in. tonight, near the impact zone, we want to take you to a live picture outside of charleston, south carolina, where many are already starting to evacuate. they are told to have three days of food and water. there's concern not everyone is taking this threat seriously enough. the president canceled a trip here to miami and instead is going to meet with fema officials in washington, d.c., tomorrow. lester? >> all right, miguel. and as americans brace themselves for matthew's potential punch, this monster hurricane is roaring ashore in
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cuba at this hour after delivering a damaging blow to haiti earlier. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in the middle of the devastation. >> reporter: packing winds of 145 miles an hour, matthew's eye sliced through the southwestern edge of haiti, bringing massive storm surge, relentless rain, and howling winds. the death toll from the category 4 hurricane now up to at least eight, including four killed in the dominican republic. jamaica, also battered by flash floods and now eastern cuba is bracing for impact. hardest hit, haiti's rural southern peninsula, where there are early reports of devastation, in a region where many people live in shacks of wood. but villages and communications
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are cut off after a key bridge washed away. around port-au-prince, raging rivers and the threat of mudslides. haitian authorities had tried to evacuate people from the most vulnerable areas, but many refused to leave. now as it churns north, it's roughly the size of arizona. it's been a category 4 hurricane for three days. only 20 storms on record have lasted that long. the last to make landfall in haiti was cleo in 1964. tonight the most impoverished country in the hemisphere is reeling from yet another natural disaster. i've never seen this much rain, this woman told us. and matthew's path is far from over. the haitian government is asking the u.s. military for help in the relief effort. the damage is still being assessed in the southwestern part of the country. the full toll of hurricane matthew, not yet known. lester? >> gabe gutierrez, thank you. let's get to dylan dryer, what's it looking like? >> this storm has been maintaining intensity for so long now. still with winds up to 140 miles per hour. making it that category 4
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hurricane. it's looking like it will remain as a category 4 as it takes more than a day and a half to make its way through the bahamas on wednesday, exiting thursday with 130-mile-per-hour winds, up to 15 inches of rain and a 10 to 15-foot storm surge. after that, it looks like it's going to parallel the coast of florida as a major category 3 hurricane, producing up to ten inches of rain. then it's forecast to make landfall at some point on saturday in north carolina. also about 7 to 10 inches of rain with the wind and the storm surge an issue. then as it makes its way into the northeast, it should stay off shore, but we're still looking at heavy rain there as well. all the models are coming into agreement, the southeast needs to prepare now. >> dylan dryer, thank you. let's turn now to presidential politics and a critical night with just 35 days until the election. the vp candidates face off in their one and only debate, and maybe not a moment too soon for donald trump as the latest nbc news, survey monkey online tracking poll shows trump down six points to hillary clinton nationally. trump also losing ground in some swing state polls. so as their lesser known running mates go head to head tonight, can something shake up the race?
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here's nbc's hallie jackson. >> reporter: tonight, the supporting characters turn into the leading stars. with the countdown on to the biggest night in their political careers. now it's mike pence with the tougher role, cleaning up after one of his running mate's worst weeks yet. >> it's up to mike pence to turn the tick around, to turn the momentum around. >> reporter: pence will have to defend donald trump on issues where they have disagreed, trade, the iraq war and releasing their tax returns. pence has, not trump. pence may also face fire on his own record in indiana, not an especially popular governor there, not helped by his support, then reversal of a controversial religious liberties law. after a memorably awkward start, he's turned into trump's most faithful ally. a top campaign source telling nbc the two talk daily. trump on the trail, planning to live tweet tonight's showdown. >> i want to send our best wishes to our great governor, mike pence. >> reporter: tim kaine, meanwhile, will play to a hometown crowd with long-time virginia roots.
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his father-in-law, a former governor too. kaine's challenges, make clinton seem more trustworthy, combat attacks his ticket is too much of the status quo, and push pence off his game, without looking too mean. >> this is something that you should expect senator kaine to push him on. is he going to defend all of the offensive things that donald trump has said? >> reporter: it's their first and only face-off. both with experience in congress, both have sons who serve in the marines, both relative unknowns. even now, far from marquee names. >> they're running for vice president. >> i don't know who they are. >> this is -- >> i know it! right on the tip of my tongue. >> pence and kaine will be seated around this table tonight. a more intimate dynamic for two men who have never met until now. one will be just a heartbeat away from the presidency, especially relevant this year because, if elected, trump would
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be the oldest president to take office. hillary clinton, the second oldest. lester? >> and while their running mates duke it out on that stage, clinton and trump launched more attacks today on the campaign trail. clinton continuing to hammer away at trump's alleged treatment of women. while remarks from her own husband, the former president, have put her in an awkward position. nbc's andrea mitchell explains. >> reporter: tonight donald trump in arizona. >> i made my money as a very successful private business person. hillary clinton made her money as a corrupt public official. >> reporter: and hillary clinton in pennsylvania today, trying to remind suburban republican women about the past week. in this moment, with a 15-year-old girl. >> i see with my own eyes the damage donald trump does, when he talks about women and how they look. >> you are more than the way you look. you should be healthy, you should take care of yourself. but we're not all going to end up being miss universe. i hate to tell you. >> reporter: clinton's surrogates out in force,
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including michelle obama, knocking trump for complaining about his debate microphone. >> when she gets knocked down, she doesn't complain. she doesn't cry foul. >> reporter: but clinton's husband less helpful when he criticized obamacare. >> so you have this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people are out there, busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. >> can you imagine what he went through after making that statement? >> reporter: bill clinton and the campaign walking that back today. >> president obama has talked about that, that obamacare needs to be improved. it doesn't need to be sacked and scrapped. >> reporter: awkward moments on the trail for republicans too. like new hampshire senator kelly ayotte, asked if she would point to trump as a good role model for children. >> and i believe he's -- he can serve as president, so absolutely i would do that. >> reporter: gary johnson defending his foreign policy flub. >> you're running to be commander in chief.
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>> the fact that somebody can dot the is and cross the ts on a foreign leader or a geographic location, then allows them to put our military in harm's way. >> reporter: as clinton's lead widens, she's less worried about gary johnson taking away votes. as her campaign feels it has the momentum with the election five weeks from tonight. lester? >> andrea mitchell, thank you. our primetime coverage of the vice presidential debate begins at 9:00 eastern time here on nbc. there's a new report out tonight that says the beleaguered internet giant yahoo! secretly searched every incoming e-mail, snooping through hundreds of millions of its own customers' messages looking for a specific term at the request of the u.s. government. the revelation again igniting concerns over privacy and our justice correspondent pete williams has late details on this. >> reporter: yahoo!, one of the world's largest providers of e-mail services, scanned hundreds of millions of incoming messages looking for a specific term last year, according to the reuters news agency.
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yahoo! says only that it's a law-abiding company and complies with the laws of the united states. the decision to obey, not fight a court order, was made by the ceo marissa mayer, the former google executive running yahoo! since 2012. >> well, the news is troubling. this is precisely the type of mass surveillance that gave rise to so many objections here in the united states. and of course also in europe. >> reporter: documents leaked three years ago by edward snowden disclosed that the national security agency tapped into e-mail traffic to search for specific terms connected to terrorism. but reuters says yahoo! itself was doing the searching last year in realtime, looking for an item specified by the government. the company would have to do that search, experts say, after yahoo! began encrypting traffic last year, making it impossible for the government to read. the idea that yahoo! scans e-mail isn't new.
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the website spells it out, yahoo! analyzes and stores content from incoming and outgoing e-mail. u.s. intelligence agencies aren't commenting tonight on what's apparently a classified program. in the past, they've said they'll use all lawful means to prevent terrorism. pete williams, nbc news, washington. there were terrifying moments today when an explosion leveled a pair of homes in a new jersey neighborhood. federal statistics show that gas pipeline incidents have destroyed property or hurt or killed someone every other day in the u.s. for the last 20 years. is that what's behind today's blast? nbc's anne thompson now with some troubling questions. >> reporter: the clue to this explosion, witnesses say, was the hiss of gas and a rotten eggs smell. >> i said, why are you coming out of the house? he said, i smell gas, and it's a really bad odor. >> reporter: warning signs that allowed all the people in these two shattered buildings to get out before the blast. >> all of a sudden we heard the explosion and it was a surprise.
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it was such a big explosion, i couldn't believe it. >> we just had an explosion at a house. >> reporter: this cause is under investigation and some wonder if this incident, like others, was ignited by a pipeline problem. in 2010, a natural gas explosion leveled this san bruno, california, neighborhood, killing eight people. eight people died when an explosion brought down two apartment buildings in east harlem, new york, two years ago. and police dash cam video caht this house blown to bits in ocean county, new jersey, last year. tonight the utility pse&g says the gas line in this patterson, new jersey, neighborhood was replaced 30 years ago and had been routinely inspected. >> when it comes to gas and even electric, if you smell something, take it as serious as it needs to be taken. >> reporter: because quick action can save lives. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. still ahead tonight, surprise revelations from actor ben stiller, opening up about his private battle with cancer. the controversial test that he says saved his life. also what investigators have
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recovered from the wreckage of a deadly train crash and what it may reveal.
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we're back now with a major health revelation today from hollywood funny man ben stiller, going public about a private battle with prostate cancer, hoping to save lives by raising awareness about a cancer test, he says, saved his own life, but one that has been controversial also.
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here's nbc's joe fryer. >> reporter: typically funny, today on howard stern's show, ben stiller made a serious revelation. >> i had prostate cancer a couple years ago. at first, i didn't know what was going to happen. i was scared. >> reporter: in an essay for the website medium, stirl writes, i was lucky enough to have a doctor who gave me what they call a baseline psa test when i was about 46. as his psa levels rose over the next two years, doctors looked closer, discovering a tumor, mid range aggressive cancer. >> i learned that i was someone who had a case that could be treated. there are a lot of people who can't. >> reporter: the tumor was surgically removed and today stiller is cancer-free. he said, taking the psa test saved my life, literally. >> it was picked up early. >> reporter: stiller's surgeon offered a study that found dramatic increase in advanced prostate cancer cases as fewer men are getting screened. >> in my mind, the data is clear that screening for prostate cancer saves lives. >> reporter: it's a
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controversial issue. some organizations recommend against psa tests because they're not always reliable and can lead to overtreatment with painful side effects. the american cancer society recommends men talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of having the test starting at age 50 for those with an average risk and age 45 for high-risk patients, african americans and those with a family history. stiller, who was not high-risk, worries 50 would have been too late. >> you got very lucky. >> yeah. that's why i went from, oh, poor me, i got cancer, to, i'm so lucky. >> reporter: he knows the test is not foolproof, but believes men should be informed about their options. joe fryer, nbc news, los angeles. we are back in a moment with why the future is now for some awfully lucky movie fans.
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a second black box has been recovered from the scene of a deadly train crash in new jersey last week. investigators hope they can learn more from it than the first black box recovered, which wasn't working. the ntsb also obtained
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video from an outward facing camera on the train and the engineer's cell phone. many witnesses have said the train was speeding, but investigators have not reached a conclusion yet. an emotional day for some of the biggest names in golf as they said farewell to the king. thousands gathered for the memorial service for the legendary arnold palmer in his home state of pennsylvania. among those attending, jack nicklaus and much of the usa golf team which just reclaimed the ryder cup for the first time since 2008. rickie fowler carried the cup into the service at the request of palmer's daughter. it's taken 27 years, but for some lucky fans, the future has arrived. you can get your hands on a real life version of marty mcfly's self-lacing nikes from the 1989 movie "back to the future ii." only 89 pairs are available through a raffle. the proceeds go to the michael j. fox foundation and its search for a cure for parkinson's. when we come back, how will tonight's vp
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debate measure up with the fireworks we've seen in the past?
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finally tonight, we're closing in on this evening's first and only vice presidential debate of this election. as we've seen in the
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past, it's a face-off that can give us moments that go down in political history or infamy that we'll be talking about for decades to come. here's peter alexander. >> reporter: when it comes to memorable moments -- >> that's a bunch of malarkey. >> reporter: running mates haven't always played second fiddle. take sarah palin with her unforgettable introduction to joe biden. >> nice to meet you. hey, can i call you joe? >> you sure can. >> reporter: a campaign strategy after she kept calling him senator "o'biden" during debate prep. perhaps history's only knockout blow, democrat lloyd benson dismissing dan quayle after quayle likened his own credentials to john f. kennedy. >> jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> reporter: the devastating attack crippled quayle's career but didn't stop bush from winning the white house. >> there's never been a vice presidential
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debate that ever changed the outcome of a presidential election. >> reporter: but they can impact how the top of the ticket is viewed. >> i'm not a politician, everybody knows that. >> reporter: in 1992 ross perot came under fire for his vp pick, admiral james stockdale, who seemed out of place and out of his league. >> who am i? why am i here? >> reporter: his performance, a field day for "saturday night live." >> they say you're a drag on the ticket. they must have been watching a different show. when you were quiet there for an hour, that was world class. >> reporter: but the vp debates have also made history, like the first time a woman ever joined a major party ticket, setting up this dramatic duel. >> let me help you with the difference, miss ferraro between iran and the embassy in lebanon. >> i almost resent vice president bush, your patronizing attitude, that you have to teach me about foreign policy. >> reporter: they're number two on the ticket, but tonight on the stage, it's one-on-one. peter alexander, nbc news, washington. that's going to do it for us on a tuesday night. we'll see you tonight for our primetime coverage of the vice presidential debate at 9:00 eastern.
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i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and goodnight. from the one and onlf candidates. vice presidential this is a le picre from virginia... tim kaine and mike pence are about to take center stage. ==raj/shot== you can see the debate -- live -- right here on nbc bay area.= also -- some of our local headlines at this hour. fears over "creepy clown threats" in the bay area. ==jan/vo== police in fairfid anoakland are stepping up patrols. threatened severalr-user campuses. investigators dot beeve the threats are credible. sightings -- nationwide.of manyd ==raj/live== both candidates are mildbate... mannered. we'll see if there ar presidential debate. our live o
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this was one of my really great decisions right here. this guy is a winner. >> he is a progressive who likes to get things done. >> conservative principles work every time you put them into practice. >> the brightest future for our country is the one that we build together. donald trump will lead from strength. >> she's ready to fight. she's ready to win. and she is ready to lead. >> from nbc news. decision 2016. the vice presidential debate. here now, lester holt. >> good evening, everyone. it's the running mates' turn to clash te

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