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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 19, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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that poisoned potentially thousands of children. a governor under fire, residents now fighting back. the major snowstorm about to wallop a huge part of the country after three feet of snow. al roker is here. a freed american speaks after years held by iran. the u.s. marine's powerful message as another american family, their loved one still missing, said the government betrayed them. and now is the time. if you are planning to fly this spring or summer, what you should be doing in the next three weeks. "nightly news" begins right now. good evening. we start tonight with the breaking political news. former alaska governor and vp candidate sarah palin has endorsed donald trump in the race for the republican presidential nomination. her endorsement comes as trump and ted cruz
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while palin mirrors trump with an outspoken style and the appeal to the fed up and dissatisfied, we'll find out whether she could bring others into the trump tent days into the vote.u the vote.n the vote.t the vote.i the vote.l the vote. katy tur starts from the trump rally tonight. >> reporter: sarah palin has just taken the stage here in iowa. this was not the biggest welcome. a bit of a tepid response to her right now. is happy to be here to support what she is calling the next president of the united states. the question is, will this move the needle here in iowa. political fire brand, meet political fire sarah palin made it official tonight. there has long been chatter of a sarah palin-trump endorsement. after all, their
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they have similar attention grabbing styles and they seem to like each other. back in 2011, at a of a palin presidential campaign, trump left the door open to running as her vice president. >> she didn't ask me. she came up as a friend and she is a terrific woman. >> reporter: earlier in the campaign trump has no kind words for senator john mccain who picked sarah palin to be his running mate, catapulting here to national fame. >> he was a war hero because he was captured. i like people that weren't captured. >> reporter: despised by the elite and adored by the disaffected she could be a fit for cruz. in fact, she endorsed his 2012 senate run and he credited her with his win. >> i love sarah palin. sarah palin is fantastic. without her friendship and support, i wouldn't be in the senate today.
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the kind of move that excites someone that supports donald trump but wasn't sure if they would go out and caucus on a cold night. >> reporter: it all spelled bad news for cruz as terry branstad took the texas senator to task today for lack of support for renewable fuels. important to iowa farmers. >> i believe it would be a big mistake for iowa to support him. and i know he is ahead in the polls but the only poll that counts is the one they take on caucus night. >> reporter: now with iowa less than two weeks away and polls showing trump neck and neck with cruz, the palin official endorsement could be crucial. katy tur, ames, iowa. this is peter alexander. she was trump before trump. a provocative outspoken media magnet, sarah palin burst on to the national stage in 2008. >> they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull -- lipstick. >> reporter: with her informal folksy style she gave voice to a growing movement of conservatives angry at traditional party
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>> the one tool they have are articles of impeachment. >> attacking president obama -- >> mr. president, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke. >> reporter: and attracting millions of followers along the way. >> bloomberg is not around. our big gulp is safe. >> she quit her job as alaska governor mid term and with it went any hope of national political office. but she is a master disruptor with the give trump the bump he needs. >> while sarah palin no longer has the sway she once had, she is still one of the few that could move votes, especially in an important state like >> for a time hers was the endorsement to get in the republican primary, launching south carolina's nikki haley and joni ernst while she is still picking favorites, her seal after approval comes with no guarantees. take 2010. she endorsed 64 candidates and just 33
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palin is now as much a pop culture figure as a political one. spoofed on snl. while her influence has faded, trump is betting on a cold night in iowa, palin the base. peter alexander, nbc news, washington. and there is news on the democratic side of the race. a surging bernie sanders is giving hillary clinton's reason to worry. a brand-new poll shows clinton has an incredible amount of new hampshire if it holds up. we have more from nbc's andrea mitchell. moving on up. bernie sanders today riding in a spanking new campaign bus in iowa. >> i walk around, these comfortable seats. but the purpose of this bus is just to help us get around your beautiful state. and that is what we're going to do. >> reporter: with 13 days to go, it is hillary clinton's nightmare scenario. the possibility that bernie sanders youth brigade could topple her in iowa. it is competitive. in iowa, they have nearly the same number
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tv ads in iowa and new hampshire. and has spent more time in iowa, 51 days to her 39. and by raising money online from small donors, his team said they have the money to keep going. >> we could be in more places than they are and have more capacity to deliver message than they have. >> and a big warning sign for clinton in new hampshire. a new cnn poll has sanders ahead by 27%, a huge leap from the four point advantage in our poll last week. what about clinton's fire wall when the campaign moved south. in alabama last night sanders proved he could attract thousands. her lifeline could be barack obama whom running mate, advising president obama. because in our new of democrats view obama favorably. the final test could be could clinton match the passion of sanders' followers. news, washington.
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political director, the moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. big news on both sides. how do you see the state of the race right now, 13 days in unt until iowa and talk about the endorsement of trump versus cruz. >> it is tumultuous. and we don't know who will win iowa or new hampshire. and it is less than two weeks out. that is exciting as a political junky. let's take the sarah palin endorsement what does it mean., what does it mean. i think today was a really, really bad day for ted cruz. and it is a good day tor trump.or trump.for trump. she could fire up the troops and maybe helps bring more crowds app serves as a surrogate for crowds to get crowds when he is not there. but if you are ted cruz today, you got a double stomach punch. the sitting republican governor criticizing the republican front-runner in that state and then the sarah palin thing. so i think today will be known more of as a bad day for ted cruz than a good day for trump. >> chuck todd, thanks. the president met with the mayor of flint, michigan, in d.c., days after
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emergency. over lead contamination in the city's water supply. tonight the governor is addressing the people of his state amid growing calls for his resignation over the crisis. nbc's kevin tibbles has more. >> reporter: today the residents of flint lined up to receive clean drinking water from members of the michigan national guard. even on a frigid winter day, frustration boils over. >> governor, please do your job. >> he should be fired. >> are you angry? >> i'm past angry. angry is not even the word. >> reporter: much of that anger now pointed at michigan governor rick snyder. >> to you, the people of flint, i say tonight as i have before, i'm sorry and i will fix it. no citizen of this great state should endure this kind of catastrophe. government failed you. >> reporter: in april,
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from detroit's water supply to save money. immediately there were complaints about the taste and smell. in february, 2015, the first tests showed elevated lead levels. officials insisted the water is safe. but that june, an epa official wrote a the lack of any treatment for lead is of serious concern. those concerns but took no action. while children and others continued drinking the water. in september 2015, independent researchers discovered alarming levels of lead in children's blood. six days later, the governor publicly acknowledged the problem. it wasn't until this month, nearly two years later, that the governor declared a state of emergency, and asked for federal help. some 9,000 children under the age of six may have been exposed. including five-year-old honey, four-year-old gavin and ten-year-old isabella. >> sometimes i get rashes, sometimes i'll itch and it kept me out of school a lot.
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officials say long term exposure to lead could lead to learning disabilities, lower iqs and behavioral issues in children. at a recent family fun night in flint, children were having their blood tested for next to all of the games and balloon animals. when nbc news contacted the epa today, the federal agency admitted authorities have moved slowly but also blamed local and state officials for failures and resistance. those gathered here tonight only want answers, accountability, and clean water. lester. >> clearly a lot of passion out there tonight with you. kevin, thank you. the stage is set for what could be a major supreme court ruling on presidential power. the high court will take up president actions on immigration which have been courts. this will be the administration's last chance to put into would shield some 4 million undocumented
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we're hearing for the first time from one of the americans now freed after being held captive for years by iran. powerful words from a u.s. marine describing what his ordeal was like. we're also hearing from the family of another american still missing. not part of this prisoner swap, who say they feel as if the government has betrayed them. we have the latest from nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: free, after 4 1/2 years in an iranian prison. >> this is all still surreal and we're soaking it all in right now. >> reporter: amir hekmati, relieved and elated tonight. >> i feel alive for the first time. it is like being born again. and i just really feel proud to be an american. >> reporter: in disbelief as his captors suddenly told him to pack his things, he finally landed in switzerland on sunday. >> as soon as we got out of iranian air space, champagne bottles were popped and the swiss are amazing. their hospitality, chocolate, veal was served.
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his military training helped him survive, he said. >> i didn't want to let my marine -- fellow marines down. >> reporter: and he thanked the president, congress and his family for securing his freedom. >> even the iranian officials who were our captors, essentially, were amazed and had asked us why is it that they are working so hard for you? and i just said, well that is america. >> this must make it all the more difficult. >> but watching on msnbc today, the son of former fbi agent bob levinson missing for nine years in iran. >> we're not in germany right now welcoming home or celebrating with swiss chocolates and veal and things like that. we're just devastated. >> reporter: the state department vowing not to give up. the iranians saying they will help with the search. the family doesn't believe it. >> we have been abandoned. and it is just the worst feeling in the world. and i wouldn't wish this upon anyone. >> reporter: they fear they'll never be this
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keir simmons, nbc news, germany. the controversial decision to lift international nuclear sanctions on iran could have a major impact on what you pay at the gas pump. it is just one of the ripple affects the iran deal is having on the rest of the world. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel got rare access into iran and has more. >> reporter: with sanctions lifted, iran is moving quickly to open the taps at its vast oil fields. and it is already moving markets. the deputy oil minister said that iran could soon export an extra half a million barrels a day, followed by a half million more in the coming months. >> the world is awash in extra oil. so when iran comes back online, they are going to be adding to that oil glut. that means prices could go even lower. >> reporter: good news for consumers at the pump. bad news for other oil producers like saudi
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but in the tiny, old-fashioned stock exchange, iranians are betting on the future. >> it was a good day here at the tehran the market just closed. it was up a thousand points, about 1.5%, at a time when markets almost everywhere else around the world are tanking. sara has been a trader >> what would you recommend that i buy? >> i would say to buy auto company shares. >> iranian costs? >> yes. >> she invited us to her home where we learned she has a degree in physics, and is addicted to "game of thrones." >> do you think it will change? do you think this will be a new chapter, a new day? >> yes, i really think so. the doors are open for everyone to come and invest. and everyone will come. >> reporter: iran wants to come out of isolation and bring a market of nearly 80
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economy. richard engel, nbc news, tehran. still ahead here tonight, a nasty one-two punch of winter weather. including what is expected to be the season's first major snowstorm for millions of americans. al roker is here with details. also one of the world's biggest stars adds his voice to the outrage over the oscar nominations.
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direction. tonight, tens of millions of americans
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big one-two punch of winter weather, including the first major snowstorm of the northeast this season. staggering amounts of snow are forecasted for some places. al roker is here tracking it all. al, what are we looking at? >> lester, right now the system and the energy is up over the pacific northwest. but we see by thursday it should be somewhere over the lower mississippi river valley. you have a snow wintry mix overnight. a strong storms along the gulf coast. then we move on into friday. snow moves into the mid-atlantic, including washington, d.c. severe storm threat for florida. as we move into friday night, here is where it gets going. the storm system makes its way and spreads snow from new york to washington to parts of the southeast and then as we move into saturday, the snow is heavy into new york city and boston, as far south as north carolina. saturday night, it intensifies. we have to worry about snow and on-shore wind with coastal flooding. a full moon raises the risk of a saturday high tide and saturday night the snow
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winds and bad visibility, travel will be up. heavy snow from washington into west virginia. but moderate snow stretching from new york into charleston and up into boston. we can't put numbers on this just yet, lester, but we'll have the latest model and have accumulations tomorrow morning on "today." >> i know you'll be following it all week. al, thank you. we're back in a moment with new cases of the dangerous zika
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recommending. more cases of the dangerous zika virus have been found in the u.s. two pregnant women from illinois have tested positive. zika has been linked to severe birth defects and there is no vaccine. health officials say both women travelled to countries where the zika virus has been found. today the cdc said expectant mothers who experience symptoms like fever, rash, muscle aches and pink eye during or within two weeks of travel to zika-effected countries should be
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monitored. tonight investigators say the driver of a greyhound bus felt tired before the bus crashed and flipped on the 101 in san jose this morning, killing two women. eight other people were hospitalized. george clooney has joined the course of criticism over the lack of diversity in the oscar nominations. he said, african-americans have a point when they say the movie industry doesn't represent them well enough. and he says it feels like hollywood is, quote, "moving in the wrong direction." in a rare move, the academy president has promised major changes to increase the diversity of the membership. when we come back -- are you thinking about flying away on a trip. why the best time to
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be right now. finally tonight, if this winter weather has you dreaming of somewhere tropical, we have news for you. most analysts say airfares are running at three-year lows right now with the best bargains coming in the next few weeks. and as tom costello reports, that means the time to book is right now. >> reporter: if you have got some flexibility, the next few weeks may offer some of the best
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a quick trip to honolulu, hopper.com shows the fare is $545 but could drop another $109 in weeks. $228 is the best price to miami, but that could drop $38. the $236 to new orleans could drop by $40. with kids and parents back from the holidays, january and february are typically the slowest and cheapest months to fly. with oil now trading below $30 a barrel, rock-bottom jet fuel prices have pushed airfares to three-year lows. >> i've been using a lot of the traveling websites and found really good prices. >> looking online for fares, they seems fairly good. fairly reasonable. >> and they know when kids are on spring break and that is when airfares start rising again. spring break, chicago to san diego, $430. washington, d.c. to orlando, $290, plus
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pros, book now. >> saturday and sunday on both ends of the spring break week, you will see prices raised by anywhere from 20% to 30%, even 50% on beach destinations like the caribbean and mexico. >> reporter: as for the summer vacation, look for good prices in the coming months but they will surely be higher than spring break. >> with planes nearly always full, the best days for travel are typically on off-peak travel days. mondays, tuesdays, wednesday and saturday. procrastinate too long and the deals could past you by. tom costello, nbc news, washington. that will do it for us on this tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night.
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picture outside. our weather authority team keeping track of this wet weather. we'll tell you how much rain we can expect later on tonight. the pastor accused of raping again. what happened in court today in. and getting help faster. the big move designed to improve response times if you ever need to get to a hospital. fireworks again today on the stand during the trial for the pastor accused of raping young members of his congrekgation. a defiant otis holland going toe to toe with the prosecutor. good evening. thank you for joining us. i'm reed cowan. >> i'm jim snyder. the judge had to step in and separate the two a couple of times. it's our top story. sergio avila is outside of the courthouse. sergio, the trial is wrapping up.
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otis holland finished up on the
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