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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  January 12, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm CST

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there is breaking news tonight. iran seizes americaca. ten u.s. sailolo on two navy boats taken into custody by iranian authorities. tonight the scramble to free them. one last time. president obama's finana state of the unioio address. what he will tell the nation. why he is aiming for a more hopeful tone and what he told matt lauer about donald trump. and our intervivi from joe biden. the generous offer the president made in one of his darkest hours. tourists murdered. at a center with thousands of visitors flock every day. responsibility. and massive pile-ups.
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reaction crashes in severalltates and dozens of vehicles in twisted metal. "nightly news" begins right now. - good evening. with the president just hours away from delivering his final state of the union speech i ithe capitol behind me, the white house is now consumed with the potential new international crisis that threatens to overshadow that speech. ten american sailors and their boats are beinggeld right now by iran. seized after the americans apparently drifted into iranian waters in the persian gulf. it happened around noon eastern time. since then there has been a flurry of diplomatic contact and late word that iran may be moving to quickly try to resolve this crisis. let's get the latest from oururentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. >> reporter: two heavily armed u.s. navy riverine boats
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u.s. sailors, nine men and one woman were headed for bahrain when they ran into trouble and the iranians. u.s. military officials tell nbc news one of the boats reportedly developed memeanical problems. both boats drifted off course into iranian territorial waters off the island of farsi in the middle of the gulf. according to officials, the iranian coast guard quickly seized the two boats. iran claims once ashore ten americans were turned over to the notorious revolutionary guard. >> any situation is difficult to resolve when it becomes public. >> the seize your sent immediate shock waves through washington and the timing could not have been rse. with only hours before the president's state of the union address, u.s. officials say the iranians acknowledged it was an accident and that the ten americans would be released back to the u.s. u.s. officialslsay the iranians acknowledged it was an accident and that the ten americans
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>> u.s. authorities have been in touch with iranian officials. who have confirmed for us a couple of things. first, they confirmed that the sailors are safe and they have assured us thbt our sailors will be allowed to resume their journeyey promptly. >> if not, it could cost iran billion dollars in the nuclear deal with the u.s. to be implemented at the end of the week. >> f f iran to do anything but to return the people and the equipment immediately would be a blatant slap in the american's >> reporter: and u.s. offials now say despite theirir assurances, those ten americans will not be released by the iranians tonight, ising concerns here that the detention for the americans could lester. >> jim miklaszewski, thanks. the story playing out against the back drop of years of bad history between the u.s. and iran. but also the delicate nuclear deal. and as he mentioned, the president about to speak to the nation.
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mitchell. what is going on behind the scenes today? >> it has beeee frantic. politically this could not have happened at the worst time. hours before the state of the union address. when the president planned to talk about the fact that iran had gotten rid of the nuclear fuel and lifting the sanctions was only days away from being implemented. so behind the scenes it was a scscmble. secretary kerry ran out of top officials to call minister zarif. explaining they had sailed into the waters by accident. after a while iranian officials called back and promised the release of the sailors promptly. but critics like jeb bush and marco rubio is saying this exposed his iran policy. state officials say it proves exactly the opposite. if this happened a year ago before kerry and iran negotiated the deal, hard-lines would make sure the sasaors did not get they say daylight is when they will get
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thank you. and let's turn us to the event that brings us to the capitol. the president in final state of the union. the last he will ever give. as senior white house correspondent chris jansing tells us, the president is expxpted to strike a very different tone than years. >> for the last time congress and the nation about the state of the union, a president trying to recapture theheope and change of when he first took office. despite the setbacks and gridlock that have helped turn his hair gray. posting a video shot like a hollywood trailer to reach beyond congress and write his own legacy. his message of optimism, trying to rise above the noise and anger of the 2016 matt lauer on "today." >> do you feel you are responsible for a certain hunger out there for the message donald trump is putting out. >alk to me if he wins and then we'll have a conversation
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i feel about. >> he will talk about solutions for the partisanship that has divided the nation. the failure to pass tighter restrictions on guns symbolized by an empty chair in the first lady's box for the victims of gun violence. and a culmination more fearful of terrorism at any t te since 9/11. one of michelle obama's guests, the air force sergeant who leapt in action to stop a terrorist on a train in paris. >> it is something i got to do, give an opportunity to do something good and it worked out. >> reporter: with all of the pomp and circumstance of night's address, t t president will focus on bigger themes he hoped will be carried on by a democratic successor. >> this is probably his last best hope to try to fame the issues for 2016 in a way that might be more likely that a democrat could get elected to succeed him. >> reporter: a major final challenge to find the voice that moved americans to elect him twice. and we just got our first look at excerpts
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tonight the president will argue that the future we want will only happen in we fix our plicks. you won't hear him name donald trump or call out any other republicans. but senior aides have acknowledged to me rhetoric absolutely played a par in how written. lester. >> chris jansing, we'll see you with the coverage later in the president's speech. > and while the president prepares to those who to succeed overdrive on the campaign trail. they have less than three weeks until the iowa caucuses. as nbc's hallie jackson reports, republicans are already unleashing attacks on whaha theyy expect to hear from the president. >> reporter: skipping the state of the union? soerntd ted cruz. >> i think there is a canadian curling contest on. >> reporter: instead firing away at president obama. at a second amendment rally in new hampshire. >> why not join your colleagues tonight.
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surprise what the president will say. >> my prediction is we'll see heights of demagoguery that the president has not reached in his final farewell state of the union. >> others taking aim at the president's leership. >> he can't be thrilled witit me. and franklkl you know, the country is a mess. and we're going to straighten it out and we're going to make america great again. >> the state of the union is way too pessimistic for the american people. they do not believe that it is good. and it needs to >> the state of the union will not be a call to action tonight. it will be fantasy wish list by a president who has failed us. >> reporter: on the democratic side, not hitting president obama, but hillary clinton hugging him from rival bernie sanders. >> we e ve a big difference over guns. you know that. if you go around saying you stand up to special interest, stand up to the most powerful special
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lobby. >> reporter: the sharpest attacks yet, echoed by her daughter on the first campaign trip. the hint, assign the race getting tighter and so does sanders. >> it could be that the inevitable candidate for the democratic nomination may not be s inevitable today. >> reporter: a pair of new polls show sanders leading now in both iowa and here in new hampshire. but nationally, our online tracking survey has hillary clinton up by double-digi over all. and o othe republican side, it is donald trump still dominating. >> hallie jackson, thank you. seating behind present obama tonight as always will be the vice president. today j j bidid spoke exclusively with savannah guthrie about the loss of his son bowe and thoughts about hillary clinton and donald trump and th 2016 race. >> reporter: for the eighth president and the eighth time as vice `resident, joe
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a heartbeat from the esident. but with his heart still heavy from the loss last year of his son beau. >> i think people are wondering how are you doing? >> we're doing well. we're fofosing on the inspiration beau was rather than the loss. >> reporter: he confided beaus may become too sick to support his family, only with the president. >> jill and i will sell the house and be in good shape. he said don't sell that house. promise me you won't sell the house. at me saying this. he said i'l'l give you the money. >> reporter: tell me how your relationship with president obama years? >> it ishfamily. and he's become family. and i ihink probably no vice president or president on a personal basis closer than he and i have >> reporter: but now with a year left in office, joe biden sizes up a presidential field he is no longer partf it, calling hillary clinton new to a key progressive issue propelling bernie
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>> for the last five years s s's been engaged in foreign policy. she has good ideas but burny is pushing the envelope. >>&and as for donald trump? >> do you think he could be elected. >> yes. >> you said he is divisive. >> he is divisive. and that is nit healthy. we do bes when w w act as one america. >> reporter: but joe biden said this office will be his last in the white house. a decision he recently said he regrets every day. >> was it hard to hear him say that? >> it was because i know how he feels. but, you know, i've always said joe would make a great president. >> work, he said, he could continue beyond the west wing. >> is there no scenario in which you could see yourself getting into this race in 2016. >> i leaeaed never to say no. if i win the lottery. i'm only joking. that was a joke. >> savannah guthr
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president at the white house today. turning now to chuck todd, nbc political news director of "meet the press." what are we going to mean. >> if joe biden winin powerball, it would just be enough to run for president. it is the final state of the union but first peach of the campaign for president obama. this is issues tonight he wants to put on the forcing his democratic successor forcing them to embrace but he is the message he wants to spend the year campaigng on. and so i think that t the proper way to put this in the context. look, there is a laundry list. they are proud of that. but it is really about the agenda that barack obama would be r rning on if he could run for a third term. >> you'll join me later on as well as andrea for live coverage of the president's final state of the unini address at 9:00 eastern here. a deadly suicide attack at istanbul's
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killing ten foreign nationals including eight german tourists. the u.s. has condemned the attack suffered by a key nato ally. richard engel is in istanbul for us tonight. >> reportete good evening, lester. turkish officials say the suicide bomber was a syrian national, saudi-born and he recently entered turkey from syria and registered as a refugee. police say they identified him by his fingerprint. nearly all of the victims, ten killed, 15 injured, were from a single german tour grgrp. they wereen the old city visiting monuments when the suicide bomber approached them and then detonated his isis hasn't formally claimed credit for this tack. but unfortunately t t city has become something of a cross-roads with isis and other militts going through here on the way into and out of syria. the t tkish governmenen has sometimes cracked down on the militants and critics say other
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lester. >> richard engel in istanbul. thank you. those loloprices at the pump could fall even further after oil prices drop below $30 a barrel today. notable. because oil hasn't aded that low sincece december of 2003. many investors are betting that china's volatile markets will curb demand for fuel and the price could fall even more. a blast of winter weather and white-out conditions contributed to massive pile-ups in several states today. shutting down some big highways. and trapping drivers in their cars. the biggest was at t e indiana-ohio border. it involved some 40 cars, including several semis. another crash in indiana involved at least 15 vehicles ter a tractor-trtrler rolled over. there is a lot more to tell you about here tonight still ahead. new questions about who made the call to stand down when the authorities could have captured el chapo months ago. also the president's word smith. how he took the
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there is new fallout from the capture of one of the most wanted men in the world as we go inside of the secret hideout where el chapo was taken into custody after an hours-long fire fight. there are new questions about the clandestine meeting between el chapo and sean penn. did the meeting delay his capture. nbc's gabe gutierrez is in mexico where el
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hours of freedom. >> reporter: in an interview with rolling stone, joaquin el chapo guzman described himself as a a god-fearing family man who loves his mother and wants to die of natural causes and hasn't done drugs in years. he said freedom is beautiful. on friday it ended after a fierce gun safehouse. in his home state of sinaloa. >> as we walk up the stairs, we could see many bullet hohos. this is one of the bedrooms inside of the home. andn interesting detail here is what is laying on the bed. several dvd copies of a movie starring kate del castillo. >> she is the soap opera star who sean penn said facilitated an oct meet between himmnd the drugg lord. now there are conflicting reports on how much of a role that played in his capture. mexico's attorney general said it was
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revealed guzman's location. penn and del castillo were seen in these surveillance videos. mexican marines were preparing to move in. but to ensure the two actors would not be hahaed, the raid was called off. it is unclear who made that call. days later when the operation did take place, el chapo had already escaped. it would be months before agents found him. multiple u.s. sources tell nbc news penn played no role, even inadvertently in last week's raid. instead, they say, the key wasas tip from the police. >> sean penn as he said himself was there to conduct an interview. not there as part of any u.s. government effort to apprehend el chapo. >> mexican officiaia tell nbc news that he is being held in isolation isolation, not on the ground floor to prevent another escape. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, mexico. w wre back in a moment with a major recall on children's cold medicine. we'll tell but the mistake that could
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there is a major recall to tell you about regarding children's liquid cold medicine. it is made by a company called periggo and sold by manan chains. cvs, rite aid and kroger and others affected by the recall. the dosage cups that come withh cherry and grape flavors have incorrect measurement markings and that could lead to an overdose. a full list could be found on our website. up and up it goes. the jackpot for tomorrow night'ss powerball drawing is now reaching $1.5 billion. but the odds of winning remain the same. which is why it is $1.5 billion. it is about one in 292 million, the odds. the jackpot is already more than twice the previous record. when we come back, rare access behind the scenes, inside of the white house with the man whoakes notot
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the speech writer changes. a flurry of activity over the last few days that peter alexander got to see fit-hand, rare access of how it l comes totother. >> >> reporter: in the final hours leading up to the state of the union, cody keenan is trying to keep up with the president's last-minute edits. >> describe the feeling when tonight isisdone? >> relief. pride in what everyone has done here. >> reporter: behind the president's speeches, keenan is the man tasked with translating images into the words. >> this is where the magic happens. this corner basement office. no windows. the white house doctors give me vitamin b. >> the chicago native takes his boss's hand-written notes like these, and turns them into powerful presidential prose. >> if prayer were made of sound, the skies over england that night would have deafened the world.
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up with him in the midst of a coffee-filled writing binge, including a meeting in the oval office with the president. the final days of a two-month marathon to prediction 2,000 words. >> where did you watch last year's state of the union. >> at this desk. >> with? >> chicken tenders and a buzz wiser. >> from the director of speech writing six years later. >> the moment you stare at a blank piece of paper, what is going on in your mind. >> fear, that you don't know what to say an hope you could make it into something nice. >> knewtown and tucson where others struggled to find words. >> repter: keenan friends say, writes from the heart. he met his fiance who is a researcher who fact-checks his speeches. >> so she gets paid to tell mee i'm wrong. >> how does that go? >> it is tense around
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>> the state of this union has never been stronger. peter alexander, nbc news, the white house. >> that will do it for us tonight. a reminder we're back on at 9:00 eastern for the coverageef the state of the uniogood evening everyone, i'm ron steele. amanda is outtn assignment - itwas an icy cold day toddy. let's go to storm track seven chief meteorologist mark schnackenberg now who is tracking this cold. from the kwwl stormtack 7 weather team. see the screen for your complete weather information.
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