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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 12, 2016 3:37am-4:07am EST

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quitting your job -- >> i'll go back to iowa and go back to work and all that. try to help ted win here first. >> reporter: wells is one of nearly 10,000 volunteers here in south carolina, making some 25,000 phone calls a day. part of the organization cruz is depending on to topple donald trump here, like he did in iowa. >> the state of south carolina, i don't think people are interested in someone, a republican candidate who's pushed partial birth abortion, who won't defend marriage. >> reporter: cruz's strategy, paint trump as too liberal, with more ads like this one on the way. >> he pretends to be a republican. >> reporter: for his part, trump seems to be playing a more positive political game than before. >> it's going to be such an unbelievable week and a half. >> reporter: but in the more mannerly south, his more colorful language may be a big turnoff. >> he gets the nomination they're going to sue his
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>> reporter: as the focus group found. >> it's crass. nonprofessional. >> a leading presidential candidate saying profanity from a stage. >> reporter: marco rubio and jeb bush, meanwhile, taking shots at the front-runner -- >> how do you think donald trump going to washington will solve anything. >> jeb bush has no foreign policy experience, period. >> reporter: trying to prove south carolina isn't simply a two-man fight. underscoring that point, a new cruz ad slamming rubio for being nothing more than a pretty face. this race getting rough-and-tumble already, with nasty new robocalls. in a new twist, jeb bush is getting backup on the trail from his brother, former president george w. bush making his campaign debut on monday. lester? >> hallie, jackson, thank you. it's always there, lurking, and now the dreaded polar vortex is heading south, bringing with it the coldest air of the season for tens of millions of us.
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>> yeah, lester, it will be potentially deadly weather coming in. the polar vortex is already there, but it will shift over to the northern atlantic. the jet stream dips to the south. that means that cold air spills south of the canadian border, into the northeast, and the midwest, bringing some of our colder temperatures that we have seen yet. bismarck tomorrow will feel like 7, minus 7 in minneapolis. 13 in cleveland. as we get into saturday morning, you'll see those temperatures single digits and below. and we bottom out sunday morning, records possible in boston with minus 5, 2 in new york city, 4 in rochester, 1 in pittsburgh, roanoke 10. you get out west, it's going to feel like a different season. from seattle all the way to roswell and down to san diego, it will actually feel like temperatures in april and may. so we've got two different countries depending on where you live. >> al, thanks. good to have you here. the international olympic committee
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world today that all measures are being taken to fight the zika virus ahead of the games in rio. but u.s. officials are taking their own precautions as we hear from a star athlete casting doubt on whether she'll compete. the outbreak has led to an emergency appeal from top u.s. officials, health officials. as our rehema ellis reports. >> reporter: puerto rico could be the next hot spot for the zika virus, warns the cdc, testifying before the senate today. >> at some point we may well see tens or hundreds of thousands of zika infections in puerto rico. >> reporter: this news as the u.s. olympic committee announced it's hiring two infectious disease experts to advise the 500 athletes hoping to compete in brazil. including soccer star hope solo. >> if i had to decide today, i would not go. fortunately, the summer olympics are about six months away.
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to get our doubts and questions answered. >> reporter: the soccer teams will compete in areas even more vulnerable to zika than rio. one is near the amazon rain forest. another in an area where the number of zika cases are especially high. >> i don't think soccer being so close to the rain forest where there's more mosquitoes. i take my health very seriously. we all do. >> reporter: new research has found more evidence linking zika to babies born with microcephalus. olympic athletes have competed while pregnant, there were five during the london games in 2012, including gold medalest kerry walsh jennings. >> we'll be waiting to hear what steps will be taken to make sure everything's safe and secure. >> reporter: with women making up half the american team, the countdown to the olympics is on. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york. a california utility company now says it's finally stopped the leak from
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has been spewing natural gas into the air near los angeles. making people sick and forcing thousands of families from their homes in porter ranch. it's been leaking for nearly four months. invisible to the naked eye, but the giant infrared images. the plug is a temporary fix, but if it holds, it will be cemented closed. they face a lawsuit over the investigations in all this. nato is intervening in the massive refugee crisis sparked by the war in syria. it's deploying patrol boats to intercept migrant smugglers. as many flee syria, others are trapped, including hundreds of thousands in syria's largest city. nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, shows us the desperation inside aleppo. >> reporter: the syrian regime has been fighting rebels in aleppo for years now.
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clearing the way. first syrian troops are advancing and destroying the city in the process. activists in the white helmets dig through the rubble for survivors. they provided us with this footage to show the world what is happening in aleppo. one of the volunteers told us by skype that he fears the city's fall is near. >> we are so worried, because if we lose aleppo, we lose all the war. >> reporter: the russian involvement changes the game? >> yes. absolutely. it changes everything. >> reporter: aiding, he says, 70,000 people already escaping aleppo in the last few weeks. panic is spreading in aleppo that the regime plans to starve the city into submission. it's a tactic they've used in other places. >> that's why we are sending this to you and all the world. we need help. >> reporter: what kind of help do you need? what are you looking for?
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to stop the russians. >> reporter: the russians say they are bombing isis targets in aleppo, but ismael said that's just an excuse. >> we don't have any isis. they just helping the forces and killing us. >> reporter: the u.n. said 300,000 people are still stranded inside aleppo and fears an unprecedented wave of refugees may be leaving the city in the next few days. making the world's refugee crisis far worse. richard engel, nbc news, new york. there is a lot more to tell you about tonight. still ahead, new details about that nightmare cruise. we'll hear firsthand from those onboard it. 30-foot waves battered the ship. one newlywed said she feared she would die on her honeymoon. they could be the
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we are back now, with the passengers thankful to be back on dry land on what one hell. the ship rocked by a powerful storm with hurricane force winds and 30-foot waves. water rushing inside. many wondering why the ship set sail with that storm coming in the first place. here's the details. >> reporter: passengers describe it as terrifying.
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anthem of the seas sailed into the middle of a massive storm. >> i thought i'm going to die. i'm going to be drowning in the ocean. it was very scary. >> reporter: lee wright was on her honeymoon. kyle leveque was with his mom. >> absolutely. i think 5,000 people lives were at risk. >> reporter: royal caribbean say the storm became worse than predicted. two days before the cruise even started, the national weather service predicted waves as high as 31 feet. in the same area anthem battled the storm. >> this was a system that was well forecast days in advance. there were even hurricane wind warnings out the day that the cruise ship left for the area where they hit the hurricane-force winds. >> reporter: passengers say the ship felt like it was tilting side to side in hurricane force winds. waves crashing as high as the fifth deck. inside, passengers scrambled for cover amid shattered glass and flying furniture.
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day of my entire life. >> reporter: tonight the ntsb is part of the investigation into what happened, and the coast guard reports the ship needs more repairs before it can sail again. royal caribbean said anthem is scheduled to cruise the same waters starting saturday, when there's a possibility of yet another storm. with the 4500 passengers getting refunds and credit toward a future cruise, few regret this vacation is over. alive. >> reporter: nbc news, new jersey. when we come back, it's taken a century, but one of einstein's famous theories has finally been proven
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you don't see this every day, a congressman getting a nicotine fix right in the middle of a hearing. duncan connor took a puff off a vaporizer to protest a measure that would ban it on planes. nothing toxic about the vapor. the congresswoman next to him waving it away didn't seem to appreciate it. titanic is getting a sequel. its debut is being
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year to 2018. an australian tycoon commissioned a replica over a century after the original sank. the new one is said to have upgrades including more lifeboats. a major announcement today confirming something einstein predicted a century ago. scientists have detected navigational waves rippling across the universe, when two black holes collide to form one. think of it like the ripple effect of spreading water when you drop a rock. except these collisions so monstrous they can shake the fabric of spacetime. it's a very big deal, or so i've been deal. when we come back, suiting up with nasa's next generation. could become the first americans to set foot
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finally tonight, a help wanted sign of sorts, getting an astronomical number of applicants. nasa is hiring its next generation of astronauts, the first years. and some could ultimately be bound for mars. nbc's tom costello has more from johnson space center in houston.
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nearly 60 years, they've been america's heroes. >> that's one small for man -- >> reporter: the men and women with the right stuff. now nasa's next generation is suiting up. jessica mei, ph.d. in marine biology, astronaut class of 2013. in your dream world, do you think about what kind of a mission you would love? >> i think i would like to go back to the moon. that would be a great first step. >> reporter: today she's in the water training for a mission to the space station. it's one of the biggest indoor pools in the world, the equivalent of 60 olympic pools, deep enough to hold 6 million gallons of water, and every new astronaut will spend considerable time here getting wet. >> i'm the first person to be alone on an entire planet. >> reporter: the movie "martian," a real mars mission could be 20
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the next class of astronauts, minimum requirements, a bachelor's degree in math, science or engineering with experience or a military background. >> communication skills, to be able to successfully work on a team, both a leader and follower. >> reporter: a mars mission could last two to three years. >> would you want to go camping with somebody you can't get along with, spend a week in the woods with them, let alone two years in a tent with those people? >> reporter: nasa only needs 8 to 14 new astronauts, but already more than 6,100 people have applied online. future missions could include a rendezvous with an asteroid, even mars. >> we can send people there and bring them back safely, i would be up for it. >> reporter: two to three years, far from home, for some the stuff dreams are made of. tom costello, nbc news, houston. that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thanks for
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it's friday, february 12th. coming up on "early today," life threatening wind chills a polar vortex is hitting the northeast and the midwest with a vengeance. bernie sanders took a few punches from the former first lady on debate night. >> the kind of criticismhat we've heard from senator sanders about our president i expect from republicans, i do not expect for someone running for the democratic nomination to succeed president obama. >> madam secretary, that is a low blow.
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deadly machete attack at a columbus restaurant as a possible terror attack. plus, dozens killed at a massive riot at a mexican prison. and is it really worth risking the zika infection. and plenty to keep you entertained during thiz frozen valentine's day weekend. "early today" starts right now. good to be with you. millions of americans are bracing for dangerously cold temperatures this valentine's day weekend. a polar vortex bringing bone chilling weather all the way down the florida. and whiteout conditions along sections of the new york thru way and in scranton nearby homes power lines all coated in ice. i can't even remember we've
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so, i don't even know what that feels like. >> and you're not going to like it either. it's going to be a really, really cold weekend across many spots. we are looking at some dampg ngerous cold. this is the leading edge of the arctic air. 19 below for the wind chill in international falls and normally that would stay up in northern minnesota. it will sweep down the south and east and all the places under wind chill alerts. that means how it feels will drop to 35 below zero. that's dangerous cold. you need to layer up. and it looks like areas of the southwest will be in the 80s this weekend. so, it's not everywhere. >> thank you very much. next to politics as the two
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candidates faced off in milwaukee last night. from civil rights and even henry kissinger. >> she talked about getting the approval or support or the mentoring of henry kissinger. now, i find it rather amazing because i happen to believe that henry kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. i am proud to say that he is not my friend. i will not take advice from henry kissinger. >> i know journalists have asked who you do listen to on foreign policy and we have yet to know who it is. >> one of the biggest back and forth came when clinton jabbed sanders for not supporting president obama. >> today senator sanders said president obama failed the presidential leadership test and
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he has criticized president obama. in the past he's called him weak, a disappointment. and i couldn't disagree more. the kind of criticism that we've heard from senator sanders about our president i expect from republicans, not from someone running for the democratic nominations to succeed him. >> madam secretary, that is a low blow. i have work wobama for the last seven years. but you know what last i heard we lived in a democratic society. i heard a united states senator had the right to disagree with a president, including a president who's done such an extraordinary job.e voiced criticisms, maybe you haven't. i have. >> later, sanders hit back on critics saying only clinton's
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>> well, you know from a historical point of view, my background, somebody with my views, somebody who has spent his entire life taking on the big moneys, i think a sanders victory would be of some historical accomplishment as well. >> and the twitter dis dead tie although sanders got more followers andle to narrow the gap from the start to the end. and now to the republican race and frontrunner, don ald trump who is hiting all of the group. he took time to autograph a mohawk sporting baby and a bedazled trump pacifier p. . for much of the day trump was in a heated back and forth with
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and rubio are with president obama on gay marriage. and he said cruz is a liar andd dishonest. >> reporter: making some 25,000 phone calls a day to topple donald trump here like he did in >> in the state of south carolina, i don't think people are interested in someone, a republican candidate who'stial birth abortion. >> reporter: cruz's strategy, paint trump as more liberal, with more ad said like this one on the way.tend to be a republican. >> reporter: for his part, trump seems to be playing a more before. unbelievable -- >> reporter: but in the more mannerly south, his language may bow e a big turn off. >> it's crass. >> it's not how you want
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>> you turn on the tv and you have a leading presidential candidate saying profanity from a stage.r: marco rubio and jeb bush taking jabs that frontrunners and at each other. >> jeb bush has no policy experience, period. >> reporter: trying to prove south carolina isn't simply a two-man fight. it was a dramatic end to a ay armed siege at an oregon wildlife refuge. four remaining wildlife activists surrendered afterurs of tense negotiations. david frey had refused to come out but finally turned himself in. all expect arraignment today. the refuge will remain closed to the public for weeks. meanwhile, the
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