tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC March 15, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
>> "nbc nightly news" is next. breaking news tonight. a major make-or-break moment in the race for president. will trump knock out rubio with a win in florida? can kasich stop him in ohio and force a contested convention? and can bernie sanders pull off another shocker? also breaking, one of the biggest public transportation systems in america to suddenly shut down id urgent concerns over safety. millions bracing for a nightmare commute. stunning admission. for the first to imthe nfl announces a direct link playing football and degenerative brain disease. and pain killer epidem epidemic. a major alert about a painful secret at homes across america. millions getting hooked on pilots prescribed by their doctors. the cdc warning of a surge in deadly
overdoses. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. both the states and the stakes are a lot bigger on this tuesday primary night where the front-runners could draw closer to sealing the deal or wind up in a long and contested slog to the convention. florida, illinois, ohio, missouri and north carolina are in play. for republicans, 358 delegates up for grabs. 691 for democrats, and both parties are very sharply focused on ohio tonight where governor john kasich is best positioned to block a run of the table for donald trump and where bernie sanders hopes to follow up his recent michigan victory with an upset of hillary clinton. our election team is in position to cover it all. let get started with peter alexander in ohio tonight. hi, peter. >> reporter: john kasich's aides are
extraordinarily confident tonight. this is the most decisive day in a republican campaign that's now officially lasted almost an entire year and the race tonight could be whittled down to two or could be extended for another four months until the republican convention right back here in ohio. donald trump looking for a knockout in ohio. zeroing in on working class voters and taking aim at their popular governor. >> you've got to beat kasich. he's not going to be a great president. he's not going to be strong. >> reporter: for john kasich, it's win or stay home casting his ballot but ignoring trump. >> you're not going to ruin myself after i voted myself to president. i have nothing to say to him. >> reporter: tonight crossover voting, reports of a surge of multiple democrats casting republican ballots. >> my father would go craze en. he would roll over in his grave if he knew i voted for a republican. >> reporter: trump once again shaking up the race, already casting himself as the inevitable nominee. >> the biggest people in the party are calling. they want to sit down.
>> reporter: a sweep tonight would give trump a clear path to winning a majority of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, about you if trump loses ohio, he'll have to win nearly 60% of the remaining delegates or face a contested convention. in florida, marco rubio's fighting to stay alive. >> my campaign has never been built on winning in one particular state. obviously, you know, we're moving forward. >> reporter: vowing to stay in the race, win or lose. his wife jeannette today on msnbc. >> we just take it one day at a time. we'll get through tonight and make the desnigs why would rubio keep runing? >> people have already voted in many states and it would be rubio's option to stay in the race to hang on to his delegates until the convention in cleveland. >> reporter: that could help deny trump the nomination. hoping for a two-man race with crump, ted cruz trying to lure away kasich and rubio supporters and hearing from his own protesters. >> go back to canada. >> thank you, sir, very charming of you. one difference between this and a donald trump rally is i'm not asking anyone to punch you in the face.
>> reporter: again today president barack obama denounced the vicious atmosphere in the 2016 campaign. >> it is a cycle that is not an accurate reflection of america, and it has to stop. >> reporter: reacting to trump's raucous rallies, mitch mcconnell told trump to tone it down. >> i thought it would be a good idea for him, no matter who starts these violent episodes to condemn it and discourage it. >> reporter: over the last 48 hours john kasich has repeatedly told us going forward he wants to draw sharper distinctions between himself and donald trump over tone and temperament. we'll find out very shortly if he gets that opportunity. lester. >> peter, you're looking at potential make-or-break time for some republicans. on the democratic side there's a fair amount of drama as well. team clinton trying to avoid another surprise defeat in the midwest. bill clinton went back on the attack there today against bernie sanders. sanders fired back over hillary clinton's record and her allies. nbc's andrea mitchell has more on all that.
>> hi. >> reporter: hillary clinton in florida, a state she feels confident about winning. unlike her home state of illinois where bernie sanders was campaigning today. >> well, i think that if there's a large voter turnout, we're going to do just great. >> reporter: clinton far ahead in delegates, but the midwest, illinois and ohio, are critical for her momentum tonight. after her surprising loss in michigan. would it hurt your momentum if you lose your home state to bernie sanders. >> >> look, this is about getting delegate, and i think we'll have a very good night getting delegates. >> reporter: clinton sending her chief surrogate and husband to chicago today going after sanders, labeling him the candidate of blame. >> this should be a race for president, and there's a blame candidate and a responsibility candidate in this race, and i'm betting the responsibility candidate will win. >> reporter: an attack immediately rejected by sanders' top strategist. >> we heard heard the attacks from president clinton but bernie sanders is not making personal attacks. >> reporter: but both sides are escalating.
sanders' strategy, trying to win illinois by tying clinton to chicago's mayor rahm emanuel, unpopular with some african-americans after a controversial police shooting. emanuel, a former top white house aide to bill clinton has endorsed hillary. >> rahm emanuel right now is radioactive. sanders in illinois is exploiting the same disenchantment with anything deemed vaguely establishment. >> reporter: perhaps tonight's biggest prize, ohio. sanders hammering clinton for her longtime support for free trade deals. >> i proudly stood with the workers secretary clinton stood with the big money interests. >> reporter: clinton respond. was nafta a mistake? >> you know, i think that you'll have to ask the experts who say on balance some people were helped. some people were hurt. >> reporter: and even if clinton were to lose the midwest to sanders, she would still be far ahead of him in delegates, but he would get a huge boost in momentum and
in online contributions as he vows to keep this race going all the way to the convention. lester? >> andrea mitchell tonight, andrea, thanks very much. want to bring in our political director hand moderator of "meet the press" chuck todd. chuck, for weeks now you've been talking about this date as an important milestone in the race for the white house. what should we be watching tonight? >> look, i've been calling it separation tuesday. can hillary clinton and donald trump truly separate as front-runners and become presumptive nominees? ohio is going to settle it perhaps in both contests tonight. that will tell us whether this race goes on or it doesn't. but i want to go into a little bit into the exit polls because this is also about whether donald trump is ready to unite the republican party and ready to be the presumptive nominee if he does well tonight, and what's interesting in collective exit polls when you ask republican primary voters if they would be satisfied with trump versus clinton in november, only 57% call themselves satisfied. 37% said they would consider a third party. now, when you just
isolate donald trump among republican voters and say will you definitely vote for him or will you probably vote for him if he's a republican nominee, collectively the definitely and probably is 71%, but look at the not vote for. 27%, so, lester, that 27% to 37% number, take both exit polls there, there's a group of republican voters that donald trump has to start speaking to at some point if he's going to go from insurgent populist that has had a rock rib support of under 45% to a nominee that can win a general election. so far he hasn't spoken to those 25% to 35% of the voters, but we'll see if he starts doing that tonight. >> chuck todd, chuck, thanks very much. let's turn to the breaking news from the nation's capital, the announcement of a shutdown of one of the biggest me throws in the country, the d.c. metro over recent concerns over underground fires. it will havin a impact across the country hand millions bracing
for chaos. nbc's pete williams with late details. >> reporter: at midnight tonight every train on the washington, d.c. metro will stop running, and the entire system will be shut down for 29 hours. >> it will impact the entire metropolitan region. there's no doubt about it. without metro it's going to have a lot of congestion. >> reporter: the decision, the first in the system's 40-year history, follows a fire at a subway tunnel monday that forced the closing of parts of three subway lines. the cause was said to be faulty cables that provide electricity to the rails. that same problem was found to be the cause of a fire in a metro tunnel last year, checking smoke sickened several passengers and one died of rhett pir try failures. metro's recently appointed manager ordered a shutdown to inspect all cables in the entire system. >> while the risk to public is very low, i cannot rule out a potential life-safety issue here, and this is why we must take this action immediately. >> reporter: d.c. metro is the nation's second largest by ridership, used by
more than 700,000 passengers a day. tonight the federal government says it will be open tomorrow but hoping to avoid a traffic nightmare it's encouraging employees to telework from home, take unpaid leave or use a vacation day and parents will have to figure out how to get their subway-riding children to school. lester. >> all right. pete, thanks. now to the disaster still unfolding in the south where floodwaters continue to rise even after the torrential rain has stopped. emergency levee ofs are holding for now in louisiana where some 5,000 homes are damaged, but in one texas town we fine our miguel almaguer, it's too late to save a community that has lost everything. >> reporter: this is now the road into deweyville. highway 12 under water. this home along that roadway, one of many overcome by the flooding. the damage has gone from serious to catastrophic. 100 ordered to evacuate. these families racing
away from rising floodwaters. brandon berry refuses to leave. >> figured if something was going to come here and take my home out i wanted to see it. i'm not scared of the water. i'm scared for my belongings. >> reporter: this water is unstoppable fueled by the swollen sabine river. the community health clinic swamped under five feet of water. this church will have to be gutted to be rebuilt. schools, even the police station, hit hard by the deluge. the rising water today hasn't spared any home. since yesterday in this neighborhood, some of these properties were dry. today that's no longer the case. >> this whole community is devastated. they have lost everything they have worked their whole lives for. >> reporter: from the air, we could see the damage spared nothing. even the cemetery hit hard. all that's visible, the very top of tombstones. the water is set to crest tonight, but the damage here is already
done, lives forever changed. the water isn't expected to recede from this neighborhood for several days, if not a week. that's when neighbors will be able to return home or at least what's left of them. lester? >> miguel, an entire town. thank you. there is stunning news from the nfl which for the first time has admitted a connection between playing football and brain damage, and it could have major consequences from the pro level all the way down to the pop warner field. we get more from nbc's blake mccoy. >> reporter: offer the movie "concussion." >> i found a disease that no one has ever seen. >> reporter: and years of reports questioning football's safety, now for the first time publicly the nfl admitted on caphill a link between football and the degenerative brain disorder cte. >> mr. miller, do you think there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like ct sneh. >> well, certainly dr. mchugh's research
shows a number of retired nfl players are diagnosed with cte so the answer to that question is certainly yes but there's also a number of questions that come with that. >> reporter: the admission backs up what families of players like junior seau and frank gifford already know. >> the nfl finally admits. >> reporter: talk radio is now abuzz. >> there's never been that clarity or decisive admission of the connection between football and cte. >> reporter: implications could be big. already, lawyers appealing $1 billion class abslawsuit with thousands of former players, saying the nfl's admission means the settlement isn't enough. researchers think this could be a turning point. >> acknowledging and embracing the potential health consequences of football and concussions and head impact is the thing that's going to save the game. >> goes down and hits the back of the head. >> reporter: pittsburgh-area high school student john costello isn't taking any chances, turning down three football scholarships. >> i was worried about my health and i said, you know what. i can't play football
and can't put myself at risk. >> reporter: some friends have called him soft. costello is accepting a college basketball scholarship instead. blake mccoy, nbc news, chicago. and still ahead here tonight, a growing epidemic that kills dozens every day. the unprecedented action the cdc is taking to combat a danger that americans too often find themselves spiraling into. also, heads of state. fascinating story behind this surreal gath i know how it is. you're all set to book a flight using your airline credit card miles. and surprise! those seats sometimes cost a ridiculous number of miles, making it really hard to book the flight you want. luckily, there's a better way... with the capital one venture card. with venture, you'll earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. and when you're ready to travel, just book the flight you want, on any airline, then use your miles to cover the cost. now you're getting somewhere. what's in your wallet? what backache?
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we're back now with what the centers for disease control call an emdeckic of growing pain pill addiction. people getting pain bills after an injury or surgery, millions getting hooked and on average a million people are dying every day from overdoses. nbc's tom costello has the health alert every family should hear. >> reporter: from the cdc today a nationwide health alert. the country, it says, is in the midst of an endickic of pain killer abuse, strong opiates with names like vicodin, percocet, oxycodone and oxycontin and now the cdc is urging doctors to reconsider whether the opiates they prescribe are
really necessary. >> reporter: these painkillers are very addictive. they are opiod medications and have the same chemical properties in it as heroin. >> reporter: in jacksonville, sarah willons, a mother of four was taking up to 35 hydrocodone pills a day. >> i was taking painkillers to get out of bed in the morning, to be able to function on any level. >> reporter: it started when her doctor prescribed the opiates after she suffered serious injuries in a car accident. for years opiates were the drug of choice for treating serious pain, especially after surgery or injury. now the cdc says they should no longer be the first choice. telling doctors to use ice, tylenol or ibuprofen first and avoid opiates if the patient is already on certain anti-angst it meds. if prescribing opiates start with a low dose. three days should be enough for most patients. >> it's terrible. you know, people are dying. we're losing 76 people a day to opiods and 36
of them are prescription opiods. >> reporter: desperate for health sarah wilson joined a trial and an injection in her arm stopped her opiod craving. >> i don't think i would be alive if not for the medication. >> reporter: as the nation works to stop a growing addiction to painkillers. tom costello, nbc news. and we're back in a moment with actor and we're back in a moment with actor harrison ford everhas a number.olicy but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. for those who've served and the families that have supported them, we offer our best service in return. usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life.
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president obama's historic trip next week the white house has eased even more restrictions on cuba. tourism is still barred, but americans can now legally visit cuba on their own by claiming it is for educational purposes. mail service is also being restored between the two countries for the first time in over 50 years, and baseball fans negotiations are under way to allow cubans to play in the u.s. without
defecting. get used to calling her saint teresa. pope francis announced today mother teresa will be made a saint at the roman catholic church on september 4th, the day before the 1th anniversary of the death of the nun who devoted her life to helping india's poor. a big announcement today from hollywood. indiana jones is coming back. harrison ford set to don that famed fedora and crack the whip for the fifth time re-teaming with steven spielberg for "indiana jones 5." it already has a release date. it's july 19, 2019 and by then we'll already be in the thick of the next presidential election. i hope i didn't give you a headache. ford will be 77 when the movie is released and he's shoeg no signs of slowing down any time soon. when we come back, the out of th (dog) mmmm. we've been together since 2012. dinner is absolutely our favorite time together. i do notice that sometimes i eat better than her.
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expect. >> reporter: it's an unlikely meeting place for these heads of state, a muddy virginia field. >> for sale, you want it. >> reporter: the presidents of the united states made of plaster and metal, from their life like eyes to their ties, weathered and worn. >> i'm glad i could save them. >> reporter: once a tourist attraction outside williamsburg where few ever game. it's hailed to howard hankins. when the contractor was asked to cart the commanders in chief away and crush them he just couldn't do it. >> people are losing track of the sacrifices that these guys make. i'll let them sit here forever like this before i smash them. >> reporter: so sit they do. while he plans a new park. he already has a mock-up for a larger obama statue. >> we've got obama. >> reporter: he says history is in his blood. howard's family has been here since before the revolutionary war. >> before there were presidents were were here. >> reporter: now he's
surrounded by washington who appears to be crying. >> he probably is crying about the situation in the country right now. >> reporter: and lincoln who was accidentally dropped in the move. do you ever come out here and quiet? it's kind of ear? >> i do. i come out here all the time. i come check on the guys. >> reporter: just look at all these politicians assembled together in one place and yet it's completely silent. but it is also monumental and breathtaking. >> it's like their home now. i'm going to take care of them. >> reporter: and what would they say about the present state of affairs. >> reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news, coker, virginia. >> and that will do it for us on a tuesday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news. thank you for watching and good night.
tears. the video cut from the finale. >> i would pick jojo. >> how was mom dealing with the decision? >> ben and lauren in our hot seat. >> we thought we were going to see a wedding last night. >> plus, why jojo beat out kayla to be the next bachelorette. gwen is back on the voice, back with blake in primetime. we've got their new coupled up interview behind the scenes. >> he makes people feel so good about themselves. >> thank you. then, more couples news. new video, george and amal in berlin. and lady gaga, wedding scoop straight from her fiance taylor kinney. >> would you consider eloping? young hollywood takes over the "extra" feed. platinum paris jackson, kylie jenner pool side, and shailene woodley's new york night. plus, the rapid fire quiz for the candidates. >> first girlfriend. >> you better pass. >> tv obsessions and secret talents. >>