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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 16, 2016 2:07am-2:37am EST

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children are killed. > massive storm from louisiana to maine. snow and ice in the north. a tornado outbreak hit the south. and heartburn alert. new concerns about prescription meds millions take to treat it linked to kidney disease, now linked to an increase risk of dementia. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from n n news world headquarters in n n york, this the "nbnb ninitly news" with lester lt. good evening. in an electctn year already fraught with improbable plot twists and drama now this. the ideological balance of the u.s. supreme court suddedey in limbo. tonight there's late word on whoho presisint obamaaight be considering to replace the late justice scalia as lines are drawn fororn epic battle between democrats and senate republicans who are determined to leave the choice up to the next president. tonight the current president is suggggting republicans
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but they, not democrats, hold the power to control the process. our justice correspondent pete williams begins our covevege. >> reporter: the bodyy of antonon scalili arrived overnight, the casket draped in an american flag flown from texas w wre he died in his sleep at a privateeuest ranch. >> thehejudge, when i found him saturday rning, was in complete repose. >> reporter: on the court scalia was one of the most influentiaia conservatives in more than a generation and his criticism could be stinging, even for ruth bader ginsburg, his ideological opposite and traveling xansions. she said sunday we're bebe buddies. how is it that you're able to zing sosobody, your friend rutut bader ginsburg and the n nt day go to the opera? >> becausesese next day she will be zinging me. equal opportunity zingers.
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ssibilities to succeed him, esvein vasan and jane kelly and merrick garlrlded a patricia mimiett.t. for now the susueme court is evevey split bebeeen conservatives and liberals without antonini scalia so somemef the big cases could end in 4-4 tieses on immigration a tie would blockck presidede obama frfr enforcing his plan to allow up p 5 million people hehe illegally to stata on on abortionn a tie would restrict reststctions on abortion in texas to remain in forcecer in the case of a force the court couldld choose to withhold its decision and order thehe case to be reargued en ththe's a ninth justice. >> the justices have the ability to take a case when there'e' a tie and put it on a shelf and come back it a year later, conceivably even two years late sneer in modern times the longest stretch the supreme court has gone without all ninee justices is jusus over
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nenely 50 years ago. the justices are now in their mid-winter break and will be back on the bench a year ago todada leftner. >> no matter who it is the president picks the repeplican leader in t t senate and many of the leading gop candidatat say no one should get a vote and the seat shoulul remain empty until the next president nominates a successor. that could leave this battle raging for well andrea mitchell reports. >> reporter: the battle over the supreme courtt instantly redefining the presidential race. republicans on the trail today. >> i intend to make 2016 a referendum on the u.s..upreme court. >> we're not moving forward on a nomomee untitiafter the election. >> the republicans should not allow it to hahaen. >> reporter: political wars exploded within hours o o antonin scalia's death. playing t tthe republican base, senate leader mitch mcconnell vowing to ock any obama nominee. saying the next president should fill thth vacancy. president obama quickly pushing back. .
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my constitutional respspsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. >> reporter: democrats today arguing there is plenty of time to confirm a nominee. >> i thinknke ought to talk about this, the nstitution of the united states. >> reporter: and no excuse to leaea the court gridlocked, potentially for another year. >> it would be the height of irresponsibility for thth republilin leadership not to have a vote on a nominee from the president. >> r rorter: so who will the president choose? the smart political bet, a moderate federal judge pported in the past by republicics, much harder for them to reject. so far most republicans up for re-election in swing states seem to be followinin their leader,,ut depending on whom the president picks could it backfire? even helping democrats retake thesenate. still in the presidential race it'ss a rallylyg cry for republicans, especially ted cruz, a former supreme court clerk. >> we're not going to give up the u.s. supreme cocot for a generation by allowing
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one more liberal appointee. >> reporter: and senator leahy told nbc that president obama already has his list. fact, the president is likely to consult republicans as well as democrats to see if any potential nominee has a ahance of getting a vote despite the p pssure from republican leaders to block a a action. lester. >> andrea mitchell, thank you. as the fight over theeourt plays out onn the campaign trail there are also new fights exploding withininhe republican party as donond trump launches multiple attacks, threatening to once again sue ted cruz and taking aim at george w. bububu over 9/11, right as the former president hits the campaign trail in support of his brototr. we get the latest from nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: he's back. former president georor w. bush on the campaign trail, this time for jeb in s sth cacalili. >> thank yououor your hard work for jeb. thank you for what you'u' going to do which is to vote for him on saturday here in the grere state of
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>> reporter: 43 aiming to m me his younger brother 45 rise to the white house, appearing together for the first time since jeb announced. >> thanks to brother for giving us someththg to do today, somethinggimportant. i'i' proud of his ndidacy, and i'm really proud to have been invited. >> reporter: but on this president's day donald trump is tryryg to crash the party, attacking w. today over 9/11. >> the world trade center came down during his reign so it's like, you know, he was the top. >> reporter: and for invading iraq. you had him on the aircraft carrier saying allorts of nderful things. theear was essentially over, guess what, not over. >> reporter: punctuatatg the fiery debate. george bush made a mistake. we can make mistakes that. one was a bite.. we never should have been in iraq. >> i'm sick and tired of him going after my family. >> reporter: willl trumums a aacks against t t bushes backfire? george h.w. bush and george w. bush both carried south carolina in their presidential primacy. jeb is betting his
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commandede in chief, can still bring in voters. hererehe military community is a key constituent, generating more than 150,000 jobss and nearar $20 billion for the state's onomy. today trump is again threreening to sue ted cruz, calling h h unstable and t t biggest liar he's eveve coco across. >> he doesn't even have the right to serve of as president or even run as president.t. he was born in canada, so i will bring that lawsuit if he doesn't apologize. >> reporter: cruz brushing off the threat saying trump has lost it. >> this is the most rattled i've ever seeee donald, his press conference today where hehetood and vented. i guess the only planks one can have is that his pollumbers in south carolina must be plummeting. >> reporter: and tonight's crowd by far the biggest that jeb bush has s sn all campaign season. earlier today his brother reflecting on hihi past presidential primaries says he prefers to focus on theeins than the losses, a glass half full man. in five dayayayhe bush fafaly will find out
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reason for optimism. ster. >> peter, thank you. an exexcted battleground has opened up in the demomoatic race bebeeen hillary clinton and bernie sanders. with just five days to go until the nevada caucus eds clinton is hitting the trail hard there.e. for months many believed she w wld win the state, but now as our kristen welker reports, t tt's a big question mark. >> reporter: after losing new hampmpire, second clilion is trying to come back wiwi a win in nevada. >> i hope you'll come out and caucusn saturday. >> repepter: today she again tried to paiai senator sanders as a candidate solei focused on walll street. . >> i am not a single-issue candidate because this is not a single-issue country. >> reportete sanders has dismissed that criticism, and today before a raucous crowd of 9,000 in michigan said he'd met with the families impact by the flint water crisis. >> i've just come from a meeting which was one of the more difficult meetings that i have ever attended. >> reporter: clinton
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touting an endorsement from a groro of flint ministers praising her for highlighting the problem. >> they n nd to fix flint. >> reporter: it's an issue that resonatat with afafcan-americans, including i i states like nevadad where in 2012 roughly 15% of voters were blacknd another 15% hispanan. nbc news political ananyst johoh rosten says it's hard to get accurate polling, but he believeve clinton has a slimlead. >he clinton campaign h h to be worried about the whole millen yell effectct young voters deciding to register on saturday to support bernie sanders. >> reporter: nevada was supposed to be part of clinton's rewall and now that's in play, voters in reno understanding the divide. >> we've got a big uprisisi. >> reporter: what are you planning for this weekend? >> hillary clinton. >> reporter: why? >> i want to see a woman hanane the office. clinton was initially planning to campapan in florida. instead, she sent her husbanding there so
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courting voters here. meanwhile late tonight her campaign officials announund they are opening an offffe in flint, michigan. lester. >> kristen, thank you. tonigig a massive storm is moving across huge parttf the country. it's being felt from the gulf coast all the way up to maine. snsn and ice in the north and tornadoes ripping off roooo in the south. a huge mess all from the same weather system. nbc's kristen dahlgren hasdetails. >> president's day brought a fresh coat of snow to the nation's capitals a cololoal storm system spread misery from the south to the midwest and northeaea today. this twister was spotted in alabama. in louisiana this afternoon another tornado touched down damaging a pizza hut and injuring two. >> the caras shaking. >> i seen it likik coming at me. it was scarey. >> in mississippi a high school nearly crususd when a twister toppled this wiwi tree, and mother nanare wreaking havoc
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snow applause couldn't stay o o s sck roads. major highwayay finally did reopen a aer two massive pileups in pennsylvania and ininana this weekend. >t's been 30 years. probably one of the worst crashsh that i've ever seen. >> the east still hasn't thawed out after record low temperaturur. on sunday boston hit minus 9. watertown, new rk, saw 37 below and new yorkrkity was the coldesttt's been in 100 years. >> i've never known cold like that, ever? >> a warmup is expected. >> by tomorrow we're looking at temperatures that are anywhere from 5 to almost 20 degrees above average. lots of rain. airport delays. we go from frost to flooding. >> reporter: an upcoming thaw that may bring everything but relief relief. kristen dadagren, nbc news, new york. >e turn overseas now where dozensf civilians including childrenenave been reported innir strikes in syria. multiple hospitals and a school were hit.
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gotten rare access inside syria, and as reports this all mes t t same week that a tentative cease-fire is supposed to takeeffect. >> reporter: a desperate search for survivors. leastst hospitals and a school hit. wards ecked. an estimated 50 dead, the u.n. says. babies had to be rescued. this video from opposition activisis of a newborn in the arms of a firefighter. we don't'tnow the baby's name or who the mother is. >> we have seen many children, and i have seen many, many women, they were injnjnj and they were adad >> reporter: hospitals were a deliberere target.. doctors without borders claim, accusing russia o o syria. >> to be today a doctor or a nurse in -- in the area cocorollll by the opposition, it's equal to being a criminal. >> reporter: 700 health care workers have been injurur or killed in the syriann cocolict.
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were hit in 2015. seaterian ambassador to russia claim u.s. strikes destroyed one hospital today, a a acquisitioio the u.s.-led coalition denied. just dayay ago a partial cease-fire was anoujsed by secretary of state john kerry and u.s. allies meeting iningermany. >> this has been a period of intensified bombing, particularly in the north of syria. we have condemned that in the strongest terms. >> reporter: todod syrian president bashar al assad says he believes the cease-fire will be fficult to implplent. just days from the deadadne for a cessation in hostilities announced by secretary kerry last week, and there is l ltle sign the fighting will end. keir simmons, nbc news, damascusus thousand flocked to see pope francis today at a stadium in mexico's poorest state. he met with families at the e ent which llowed annenorm open-a-a mass t tt he presided over earlier. and a moving moment from his visit yesterday to a children's hospital
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sang "ava maria" for him earning a kiss from the pope and bringigi those around him to tears. still ahead here tonight, another new warning about common artburn medications. why the millionssf americans who take them could be at risk of m mory lossss a ao, t t dangerous mid-air
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. . we're back now with the new concerns about the prescription meds that so many people take to treat heartbeat and ascid reflux. 15 million americans take them toolock stomach acid and researchers sugugsted last weekkhat the medications may bebe linked to kids kidney fractures. now another concern being raised, that there is a link to dementia. nbc's tom costello has the information you should hear. >> reporter: 34-year-old tara h h acid reflux so bad it made her job as s speech therapist nearly impossible. >> i actually got vocal fold ulcers and vocaca fold nodules from it. >> reporter:r:he found relief in a mededation to blockck stomach acid, a proton pump
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most c cmon membebe nexium, prilosec and prevacid but the drugs have been recently been linked to an increaseddisk of kidney damage. 75% of those who took the medication regularly had a % risk of dementia, 4u7 4 boston and women tatang the medication for at least 18 months were most at risk. >> i mean, being 34 years old, even if dementia wouldn't hit me for another 40 or 50 years, it definitely concerns me that that -- that that could be part of my future. >> reporter: the sigh effects may cur, say doctors, because we actually need stomach acid to digest our food, ward off infection and t t nutrients. today two of the drdr-makers told nbc news the medicines are generally safe and effective when used in accordance with the label and to avoid druguginteractions, but many doctors are concerned too many patients stay on the drug too long. >> if you have heartburn that is milil and it's mob to come
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probably fwoest d d so at thihi point.t. >> reporter: before today's study tara decided to stop taking all acici reflex medication. instead, she's changed her diet. the result, no more acid reflux and no side effect from the meds. tom costello, nbc
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a laserimed into e cockpit of a flflht from london to new york forceddhe flight to turn ouou. one of the pilots aboard thehe virgin atlantic flight yesterday was reportedlylytruck in the eye a a felt sick afterwards. the plane with 252 passengers and 15 crew landed safely back at heathrow. investigators are working to find thehe source of a laser. such incidents are troubling but it turns out 2015 wasne of the safest years for airlines. four commercial planes
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3.1 million flights bubu the not factored in the germananngs or metrojet crashes because they said it wawa deliberate. an early grammy winner s saling the spotlilit on this president's day. jimmy carter snagged a cond emmy in the spoken word for the recording of his book. the 91-year-old former president beat out other nominees including amy poehler, hedy smith and dick cavet. when life gives them snow,,hese woman as cat: me and my boy matt had it good. he had catnip that was off the hook.
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and she's allergic to cats. every sneeze was a nail in my coffin. now i'm in a shelter. it's decent but they don't even have wi-fi. finally tonight, we were talking a momont ago about another winter blast hilgt millions of americans, but the brothers we're about to meet don't see the snow as a nuisancech they see it as an inspiration, to make something amazing for a good cause. asas our k kin tibbles explains, their
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snowflake, are one of a kind. >> reporter: from the depths o othe frigid vortex that is a minnesota winter comes the giant snow octopus, and it's takeke over the bart's family front yard. >> a l l of kids drivivg by and the parents will drive by and they will be in the back seat and they are like mom, stop. reporter: for five years the brothers have beennurning the fluffy white stuff many of us dread into wintry works of art, always with a watery theme because they love toofish. >> when we're not ice fishing we're o o here working on the sculpture. >> reporter: don't you ever get cold? >> never. >> reporter: these hardy boys have createte everything from a puffer fish and walrlr to a a sea turtle and a shark, although this year's octopus is the most ambitious yet. 500 hours to complete, 150 tons of snow, and a tentacle that windsds over m m and dadas front steps. >> it't' really,
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really, ally, reallyly really cool. >> reporter: folol come from miles around for a peek and a pic. this is a g gup of exchange students all the way from china. >> it's wonderful. >> it's marvelous. >> reporter:r:ow many legs does an octopus have? >> one, two, three, four, five. >> r rorter: six, seven, eight. >> six, seven, eight. >> reporter: many visitors leave donations and so far they have r rsed $8,000 to help provide clean drinking watat in hait. >> you don't makak life memories playing vidid games. >> reporter: nobody. >> make them doing ststf like that,. >> reporter: that's something parents everywhere could wrap theirrrms around. >> three, two, one. reporter: kevin tibbles, nbc news, new brighton, esota. >> s smuch fun. that's going to do it for us on a monony night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for
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