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

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developing developing news tonight. mad dash. hours before the critical vote what he has said about the iraq war, and hillary clinton fighting to hold off bernie sanders. slamming apple. the hours before the vote in two critical states trump under fire for what he has said about the iraq war, and hillary clinton fighting to hold off bernieanders. slamming apple. the feds fire back in a fiery battle over cracking the san bernardino killers' iphone, and now trump calling for a boycott. hoverboard crackdown after dozens of fires, some burning homes to the ground, the government says enough. a major new warning that could lead to an outright ban. walking free. after four decades
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confinement, a stunning twist in one of the most infamous cases in modern american history. and harper lee dies at 89. we remember the legendary elusive author of "to kill a mockingbird." "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt reporting tonight from columbia, south carolina. good evening. on the eve of two big votes on the road to the white house, the republicans in a primary showdown here in south carolina where the headline tonight is donald trump losing ground. in a new nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll trump now leads torrez but just five points, 28-23, down from a 16-point lead just a month ago. rubio virtually unchanged at 15. the next seven days may provide clarity in these races in addition to the republicans voting in south carolina, democratic voters will
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republicans there on tuesday and then it's back to south carolina next saturday, the 27th, for the democratic primary. a time line that is urgency in both races. we've got both races covered starting tonight with nbc's katy tur in north charleston for us. hi, katy. >> reporter: good evening, lester. donald trump has just taken the stage here. it's now less than 24 hours before the state votes, and as you said there are indications that this race could be a lot tighter than many had thought. donald trump losing his commanding lead as ted cruz tries to replicate his win in iowa. donald trump sounding confident to a boisterous crowd in myrtle beach, but the billionaire is still on the defensive, now for a 2002 howard stern radio interview where he said he supported the iraq invasion. >> are you for invading iraq? >> yeah, i guess so. >> reporter: trump has repeatedly claimed on the trail --
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was against it since a long time. into iraq. >> reporter: this morning on "today" he explained the flip-flop. >> it's the first time the question was ever asked to me, that was long before the war started. by the time the war started i was against it. >> reporter: also, a new nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll out today showing his lead slashed. a poll, i have a lousy poll. >> reporter: one potential reason, trump's accusations george w. bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. sources within the campaign told nbc news trump has been warned to ease off, both by advisers and even phone bank volunteers who were hearing negative reaction from voters about his attacks on george w. bush. >> saturday night at the debate his temperament was on display. >> reporter: cruz in second punching up and down, mocking trump with his own words. >> it's easy to say let's make america great again. you can even print that on a baseball cap. but the question to
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understand what made first place? >> reporter: and again linking marco rubio to new ad. >> marco rubio burned >> reporter: the battle for one, two and three getting tense. all while john kasich and jeb bush struggle bush bringing out his mother again today, trying to bookend a bad week. one bright spot for trump, the vatican clarified the pope 's comments today about the front-runner saying in no way was this a personal attack, nor an indication of how to vote. katy tur, nbc news, north charleston, south carolina. >> reporter: this is andrea mitchell in nevada where bernie sanders is pulling even with hillary clinton, and as time runs out the contest is getting nasty. >> i'm not just promising free this and free that and free everything. >> reporter: sanders dialing up his criticism of bill clinton at the msnbc telemundo town hall. >> bill clinton did a pretty good job as
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be clear. i happen to think that our trade agreements from nafta through tpp have been a disaster. >> reporter: the clintons firing back. >> i just don't know where all this comes from because maybe it's that senator sanders wasn't really a democrat until he decided to run for president. >> hillary's opponent jumped all over me last night. that campaign has been remarkably fact-free. >> thank you. i need you saturday. >> reporter: the key workers, 55% latino so both candidates hit a picket line. >> thank you so much. >> reporter: and clinton drumming up union support in the casinos where caucuses are held. >> give us an opportunity to express ourselves, so i'm looking for a candidate, a person that will stand behind us. >> reporter: what do you care about? >> immigration. i'm mexican, you know. >> reporter: that's important? >> that's important, very important. >> i think that's going to be a real problem if she loses here, not just because her lead disappeared but because her whole argument is about electability. >> reporter: both
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hitting the airwaves in the next state, south carolina. morgan freeman narrating a new hillary clinton ad today. >> she understands that our country can't reach its potential unless we all do. together. >> reporter: with a theme pulling together that seems to imitate a recent sanders ad. >> our job is to bring people together. >> reporter: clinton garnered the most important south carolina endorsement, veteran congressman jim clyburn. >> my heart has always been with hillary clinton. >> reporter: but before clinton gets to south carolina, she has to get out of nevada. a loss here to sanders after barely winning iowa and that huge loss in new hampshire would damage her argument that she is more electable. lester? >> andrea mitchell, thanks. we're joined now by our political director, the moderator of "meet the press," chuck todd. chuck, let's take a look at what's online for tomorrow. depending on the outcomes, what's at stake here moving forward in the campaigns? >> well, it's fair to call tomorrow shake-up saturday because in many ways this race is going to get shooken
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results tomorrow. marco rubio has a ton on the line in south carolina. he's got every endorsement you want in south carolina. he has spent more money than anybody else. hi appears to be the man with some momentum. third place is not a victory this time. he has got to get in first or second. donald trump, he obviously can't -- any time he's losing, it's not a good day for a guy who doesn't believe in losing, so he's got a lot on the line and ted cruz can't afford third. a bernie sanders victory in nevada is a bigger deal to him than a clinton victory would be there so shake-up saturday, bottom line. >> we'll be here to cover it all, chuck. thanks very much. author harper lee, a literary icon who wrote one of the most defining novels in american culture has died at 89. her 1960 book "to kill a mockingbird" about racial injustice in the deep south is treasured by generations of readers and is still taught in classrooms around the country. tributes poured in today for the beloved author. nbc's harry smith looks back at her
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>> reporter: in harper lee's hometown of monroeville, alabama, today, folks put up black ribbons in remembrance of the great author, tourists by the thousands still coming to the old courthouse to see the place so perfectly detailed in the film, the place where the hero atticus finch defends an innocent black man. >> and in our courts all men are created equal. >> everybody wants to be atticus. everybody wants to be the defender of the weaker, and i think that's one of the reasons why it -- it will live on forever. >> reporter: perhaps the most important story in american literature, "to kill a mockingbird" captured the injustice and humiliation of racism. profound and difficult truths made palatable by the narrator, young scott. >> you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. >> harper lee, "to
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kill a mockingbird. request ". >> reporter: truths >> reporter: truths made evident in english classes across america for more than 60 years. >> there's an n made important message to be learned from harper lee's book, being true to one's self and making the right choices. >> reporter: while america loved her book, harper lee was no fan of celebrity. not even oprah could persuade her to do an interview. miss lee did not publish another book until last year, "go set a watchman" was an early draft of her best-seller which disappointed fans for its less flattering portrayal of atticus. but a broadway version of "to kill a mockingbird" is in the works. in america where race matters and has always mattered, her words have never rung more true. harry smith, nbc news, new york. the battle pitting apple versus the feds has ratcheted up to another level tonight with the justice department slamming the tech giant for refusing to help unlock the san bernardino killers' iphone saying the company is only worried about its reputation. tonight apple is firing back, and on
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donald trump is now calling for a boycott. nbc's joe fryar has the latest from california. >> reporter: with apple publicly vowing to fight a court order to create software that would unlock syed farook's iphone, today federal prosecutors filed a motion arguing a judge should force the tech giant to comply. the government says apple's refusal appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public marketing strategy, something the company denies. earlier this week apple ceo tim cook posted an open letter saying the u.s. government has asked us for something we do not have and something we consider too dangerous to create. they have asked us to build a back door to the iphone. prosecutors responded to that today, arguing the court order does not require apple to provide a back door to every iphone or hack its own users. prosecutors contend apple could maintain custody of whatever software it builds.
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weighing in. >> we don't want to allow terrorists to establish a safe haven in cyber space. >> reporter: senior apple executives feel today's filing is frivolous as the company hasn't even responded to the court order yet. many tech companies are now defending apple. >> i think the government's interest in surveilling people, while it's an important interest, shouldn't trump all of our interests in being secure. >> reporter: donald trump who sends many tweets from an iphone is calling for an apple boycott until the company unlocks the shooter's phone. >> apple ought to give the security for the phone. >> reporter: tech giant now has a week to respond to the judge's order. joe fryar, nbc news, los angeles. powerful wind gusts near 70 miles an hour swept through chicago today. winds so strong some on the street like this woman needed help to keep from being blown over. it knocked down street lamps and threatened to blow bikes off their racks and factored into a construction collapse that crushed a car.
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high rise forced evacuations, and the willis tower sky deck was forced to close. well over 100 flights were cancelled or delayed, and more than 100,000 were left without power in northern illinois. thousands paid their last respects today to justice antonin scalia as he lay in repose in the supreme court's great hall. among the mourners president obama and the first lady. as for who might replace scalia on the court, nbc's pete williams reports a new hint tonight about who the president may be considering for the seat. >> reporter: antonin scalia returned to the time, his casket carried past 100 of his former law clerks. remaining justices gathered with the scalia family for a prayer from his son paul, a catholic priest. who have died in the lord. >> reporter: another son christopher writes in the "washington post" about once getting out of mowing the lawn to attend a track meet. quote, so he did it himself after reminding me that a supreme court justice probably had better things to do. president and
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their respects as did more than 4,000 people who waited in long lines. also here, washington, d.c. appeals court judges, including two, patricia millett, mentioned as possible successor. vice president biden said the nominee could be a previously confirmed judge. >> there are plenty of judges who have, are on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the republicans. >> reporter: one obvious possibility, judge jane kelly of iowa unanimously confirmed in 2013 with the support of the judiciary committee chairman, republican charles grassley who just happens to be from iowa. >> i'm pleased to support her confirmation. >> reporter: tomorrow justice scalia's funeral at the basilica of the natural shine of the immac k immaculate conception with his son paul celebrating mass. pete williams, nbc news at the supreme court.
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ahead for us tonight. the crackdown on hoverboards. the hottest fad of the past year in more ways than one. now the fed says none on the market is safe. what to do if you have one in your home. also, the man who is now tasting freedom after four decades in solitary confinement. big news tonight in your mutual fund. we invested in your fund to help us pay for a college education for our son. we've enclosed a picture of our son so that you can get a sense there are real people out here trusting you with their hard-earned money. at fidelity, we don't just manage money, we manage people's money. for adults with an called "squamous non-small cell", previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, it's not every day something this big comes along. a chance to live longer with... opdivo, nivolumab. opdivo is the first and only immunotherapy fda approved based
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thanks the patients and physicians who participated in the opdivo clinical trial. big news tonight involving those so-called honchds that involving those big news tonight involving those so-called hoverboards that were some of the biggest sellers over the holidays. they have also been involved in dozens of fires across the country, some having burned homes to the ground. today the consumer products safety
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dramatic action, announcing none of the 00 hoverboards currently on the market is safe, and it could soon confiscate or recall every one of them. nbc's tom costello has details. >> reporter: it was a very close call for a family of six in nashville. the fox family's home destroyed by fire. two of their children trapped inside managed to escape by jumping out of the second-story windows. >> when the door opened, the smoke and the flames, it was so hot that the smoke was just so black i couldn't get into the house. >> reporter: cause of the fire, a hoverboard. >> we almost lost two of our children, two of our children almost died because of the christmas gift. >> reporter: one of at least 52 hoverboard-related fires in 24 states. >> it's on fire! >> reporter: destroying at least two homes and a car. in december the nation's airlines banned them. for months the consumer product safety commission has been testing all makes and models, diagnosing
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overheat and catch fire. today the agency notified hoverboard manufacturers, importers and retailers that all hoverboards must comply with new ul safety standards and threatened to confiscate or recall any of them that don't. elliott kay runs the agency. is there any hoverboard on the market that you think is safe right now? >> i'm not aware of any that meet current standard. >> reporter: zero? >> zero. >> reporter: in december alone customs and bothered patrol seized more than 1,300 potentially dangerous boshds with defective batteries at jfk airport. now any hoverboard that arrives at a u.s. port can be confiscated if it doesn't meet the standard and with dozen of reports of those falling and breaking bones, safety regulators remain hoverboards are inherently unstable. if you own one, tonight the consumer product safety commission recommends putting it away and demanding proof from the retail their it meets the new safety standards. tom costello, nbc news, washington. we're back in a moment with something the cdc warns americans are not getting nearly enough of.
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news tonight that will not come as a shock to the millions in this country who constantly find a themselves tired and dragging. the cdc says a third of americans aren't getting enough sleep, and that raises their risk of obesity and heart disease. among other issues 6 a among other issues 65% are sleeping seven hours or more. researchers suggest more us need to get to bed at a regular time and turn off tv and electronic devices. as you're probably saying to yourself right now that's probably easier said than done. the last of the prisoners known as angola three is free tonight. albert woodfox has alpert wood fox, the longest serving solitary confinement prisoner has been released as part of a plea deal. as nbc's jacob rascon tells us, it's been a hard fought battle to gain his freedom. >> reporter: few may ever understand freedom like albert woodfox released tonight on his 69th birthday after his attorneys say he spent more time in solitary
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other prisoner in american history. it started with a prison riot in louisiana state penitentiary or angloo in 1972. prison guard brent miller was stabbed 32 times. woodfox and fellow inmate herman wallace were convicted for the murder and sentenced to solitary confinement. prisoner robert king got the same penalty for a different crime. they became known around the world as the angola three, spending decades in 9 x 6 foot cells, even as woodfox and wallace's convictions were overturned twice for inadequate representation and charges of racial discrimination. king was released in 2001 after 29 years alone in a cell. >> i'm free from angola, but i don't feel free as long as herman and al brert in prison. i don't consider myself free. >> wall ways was set free in 2013. he died of cancer days later, and today albert woodfox pleaded no contest to the killing and was
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but he had already served 45 so was released. woodfox, who has always maintained his innocence, said i hope the events of today many. after more than four decades free. jacob rascon, nbc news. when we come back, what voters here in south carolina tell me about how much they polls. kelme
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the newer poll numbers we talked about at the top of the newscast that show a tightening of the gone presidential race in south carolina underscore how fluid things appear tonight. i dropped in at a local barbecue place during the lunch hour to take my own scientific measure of what's driving people's decisions. want an ice tea. >> sure. >> sweet or unsweet. >> sweet in south carolina. >> it's not hard to found south carolina republicans who haven't made up your minds. >> you're not unusual. >> i don't think i'm the only one. i think a lot of people are starting to give another look to some of the candidates. >> here at doc's barbecue many folks told us their vote may not go to the candidate that they
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person they think they can win. >> do any of you believe in the polls? >> yeah, i do. >> what do the polls tell you right now? >> well, they are telling me that probably going to be between trump and cruz. i was really liking ben carson, but poll-wise i don't really think he's going to do so well any longer. >> you're influenced by the polls, may not vote for him. i think it may be a wasted vote so i may go elsewhere. >> how about you, robert? >> i can't help it. i'm looking at who has the best chance of winning. >> you watching the polls carefully? >> i would like to vote for the candidate who has the best chance to defeat hillary and at some point have you to vote for the right person, who is standing up for america. >> were you captivated by trump at any point in this process? >> i really like listening to him but at the end of the day, you know, just his demeanor just doesn't speak leader of the free world to me. >> is there anybody among the candidates you think that could unite country? >> i wish i could say yes, but all i can do
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out thereto among this republican lineup? >> i wish i could say so but honestly, no, i feel like trump is so polarizing, cruz is so far right that i don't think he'll be able to bring the democrats and republicans together, and so, no, i don't really see someone who is going to be that middle of the road candidate. >> just some of the things on the minds of south carolina republican voters on this night before the primary. that will do it for us on a friday night. i'm lester holt reporting tonight from columbia, south carolina. this is 9news. i've been in an accident. i was dropped from the vehicle. >> that as arapahoe county -- that is arapahoe county sheriff's department bill foreman after he was hit by a large truck on his way to investigate the death of a child.
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foreman who nearly died the same day he was going to be recognized for 25 years of service. >> i'll tell you seconds mattered. seconds mattered in this case. >> i've been in an accident. iliff, dropping the vehicle. >> reporter: strong enough to make the call after a truck plowed into him. >> it's amazing really how calm he was. >> reporter: moments after arapahoe county sheriff's department bill foreman almost died. >> he gets into the e.r. and they have to do cpr on him for approximately four minutes to bring him back. a trauma surgeon told me that 10 years ago he does not survive this. because of changes in technology and procedures and things like, that 10 years ago he doesn't make it. >> reporter: nine days in icu, recently awake, stable and never alone. >> i have been in the icu every day, sometimes twice a day to see him, and i'll be in that

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