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tv   Early Today  NBC  April 2, 2015 4:00am-4:31am PDT

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breaking news "early today." gunmen storm a campus in kenya. death toll is rising as security forces battle the gunman. a severe weather threat across central and eastern u.s. large hail, tornado and thunderstorms in the forecast. >> we're in the eleventh hour of a possible iran nuclear agreement. will there be a deal? religious freedom debate moves from indiana to a newly enlightened arkansas governor. >> we want to be known as a state that does not discriminate but understands tolerance. >> arkansas will rewrite its bill to avoid an indiana-style backlash. >> i love indiana.
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i was born in indiana. all my friends are in indiana. but i think indiana has gone nuts. today they banned same sex car pools. >> "early today" starts right now. good morning. i'm dara brown. breaking news out of kenya, armed gunman firing at people and setting off explosions. there are varying reports of the number of students killed and others possibly kidnapped. tracie potts is live in washington. tracie, we know this is still a developing situation but what do we know right now. >> dar dar ark, we know as many as 15 were killed. 65 were wounded according to the kenyan government. the red cross is telling us 50 students escaped but there are hundreds of students and workers at that college who are unaccounted for. some believed to be held hostage by al shabaab, the somali islamic group that has claimed responsibility. they are claiming this morning
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they targeted christians at this university in kenya. in this particular area it's very dangerous. in the last hour the embassy in nairobi kenya is warning people american citizens in that region to stay away not just from the college but from that city county entire religion where government employees are already restricted. this started hours ago as mass gunmen created an explosion at the gate made their way into a girls dormitory and started firing for hours there was a shoot-out and explosions between police and those armed gunman mass gunman waiting for words on hundreds that are unaccounted for. >> tracie, terrifying and devastating news for those students. thank you so much. now to iran's nuclear negotiations. through the night top diplomats from six world powers try to hammer out a nuclear deal from iran two days after the
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deadline. this morning sources are giving nbc news an inside look at u.s. strategy. president obama reportedly told american diplomats to ignore the initial deadline but to be prepared to walk away from the table. they apparently don't want to look too eager for a deal emphasizing that there are alternatives including military and economic options. yesterday tough talk from the iranian foreign minister who insisted we may not get another chance at this. >> i certainly hope that our colleagues will recognize the fact that this is a unique opportunity that they need to take advantage of this opportunity. >> nbc's ali joins us from iran. what is the big issue on the table? >> as you said they were negotiating through the night. it seems they were making all sorts of counteroffers to each other. one of the main issues relates back to sanctions, the removal of u.s. and european union sanctions on the oil, oil
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sector banking sector finance sector in iran to be separated from the removal of u.n. sanctions. iranians always said they want sanctions removed in one stage not incrementally. apparently they are considering this offer now. they have obviously reached an impasse in these talks and trying to see if they can resolve it. rhetoric today becoming sharper. white house making a rash statement threatening to walk away from these talks and saying that all options are on the table. iranians generally don't respond very well to threats especially from americans. a senior iranian general said americans are not the only people with options on the table. we have to see today if a tangible statement will come out and form the basis for a framework for june 30th. dara. >> ali keeping a close eye on the talk thank you, ali. deadly catastrophe in gulf of mexico, massive explosion and
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inferno on an oil platform killed four people. a mexican oil company. 45 received medical attention, two in critical condition. late last night tweeted, the fire on the platform is dying and the platform has not collapsed. it's been a major controversy all week. today be prepared for new developments on religious freedom measures in arkansas and indiana that some say give businesses a right to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers. jay gray live from indiana. jay, lawmakers work late into the night. what are they trying to accomplish here? >> reporter: trying to find some common ground here. look dara they worked to rewrite portions of the existing legislation, remove other parts of the bill trying to find that compromise before this weekend. time is running out for lawmakers scrambling to try to
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modify indiana's religious freedom restoration law before the easter break which starts tomorrow and the final four which tips off in indiana this weekend. >> we just are going to fix it. we've got to bring this to a close in a positive way, reassuring everyone that indiana does not discriminate. >> we are arkansas! we are arkansas! >> the clock is ticking in arkansas as well where wednesday refused to sign a measure remove part of the bill to ensure business owners can't deny services to gays and lesbians by citing religious beliefs. >> my position is clear. i've asked them to remedy it. i've asked them to change the current law, and i've asked them to recall it and change the language on it. >> reporter: opponents say it's a start. >> to me it's a huge glimmer of hope that things might start to change here. >> reporter: others want the governor to go one tep further.
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>> there's nothing else to say about that. >> reporter: though clearly many still have something to say about the issue. >> to each his own. >> i think that governor hutchison should veto. >> reporter: and the ongoing debate. it's a debate that could spill over into next week as well when nevada lawmakers are expected to move on a religious freedom bill there. that's the latest live in indianapolis, i'm jay gray. dara, back to you. >> thanks for that report. a major political scandal back home the likes we've only seen 11 other times in the history of our country. a sitting united states senator indicted. robert mennen des accused of taking more than a million dollars worth of gifts and contributions from a long time friend. he says he's innocent. once again, here is nbc's tracie potts. >> i will not be silenced. i am confident at the end of the day i will be vindicated. >> reporter: new jersey senator robert menendez faces fraud and
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bribery charges for what prosecutors describe as more than a million dollars in lavish gifts, luxury vacations in paris and the dominican republic flights on a private jet paid for by his friend florida eye doctor salomon melgen also indicted. >> i'm angry because prosecutors at the state department don't know the difference between friendship and corruption. >> reporter: the gifts, argued in exchange for millions in medicare reimbursements honoring a security contract and getting visas for the doctor's girlfriend. menendez has temporarily stepped down as top democrat on the foreign relations committee. democrats say he's innocent until proven guilty. >> it's just not illegal for a friend to help a friend. >> reporter: the justice department argues in this case it's illegal. tracie potts nbc news washington. >> earlier this week hail storms pounded parts of arkansas and
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mississippi. some hail the size of baseballs. now a wide part of the country is bracing for another round of storms high winds, thunderstorms, and even more hail. nbc meteorologist bill karins has more on the severe weather outbreak. good morning to you, bill. >> hail is amazing. it's fascinating things as big as baseballs can be at the top of clouds and fall all the way to the ground and smash wind shield. they do a lot of damage especially in the summertime with crops but usually don't lead to tornadoes. leads me to peak of tornado season. we're in it. a quiet, unusually quiet, don't mean to jinx it start to the tornado season. highest months april, mai, june, 200, as many as 300 average across middle of the country, southeast especially. today that's right where we're going to be for severe weather. i don't think we'll see many tornadoes today, maybe a few. of course even one is too many. if we're going to see those missouri springfield, paducah,
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ohio river, also a chance of strong storms in st. louis and over toward columbus, ohio. friday good friday severe weather nashville to greenville. our front continue to push to the south. some of the cool air in the west heading southwards. don't be surprised tomorrow telling you about significant flash flooding as much as three to four inches of rain expected maybe higher along the river ina but there's still very little if any, hope for any rain. same old headlines. i guess the new one will be severe storms in the midwest but we expect those this time of year. >> wet in the east and dry in the west. >> hasn't changed. >> tale of two countries. thank you, bill. real estate heir robert durst faces a new orleans judge
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welcome back. california is taking drastic steps to combat its historic multiyear drought. governor jerry brown ordered first ever mandatory water restriction. the executive order requires cities and towns to cut water usage by 25%. yesterday, he visited a ski resort in the sierra nevada mountains. >> one thing we know is we're standing on dry grass, and we should be standing in 5 feet of snow. we're in a historic drought and that demands unprecedented action. >> california farmers grow about half of all produce eaten in the u.s. . real estate heir robert durst heads to a new orleans courtroom.
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he has preliminary hearing on weapons and gun charges. he's wanted in murder of friend susan berman. investigation under way duke university, someone hung a noose from a free on a limb on campus. yesterday they marched on campus saying we are not afraid. we stand together. school officials sent an e-mail saying the person responsible will be held fully accountable. charges dropped against a motorist pulled from his car during a traffic stop. he was repeatedly punched in the head by officers and a stun gun. he pleaded not guilty and said officers planted cocaine in his car. just ahead, the price is right for a bob barker comeback. no april fool's black eyes to tumbles and falls. you won't want to miss a moment. sports is up next. blan having chantix as a partner .made i
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this morning on "today," vacation under cover, jewelry stores in the caribbean say they're offering good deals in diamond stores but are you really getting the good deal they promise. find out in the new rossen reports later today. it is time now for sports with my friend betty nguyen. good morning betty. >> good morning, dara. a milestone win for tennis star serena williams. the scene miami open tennis
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legend with her match victory now advances to the semifinals. after the win, given this decadent and delicious cake. congratulations to her. to another milestone, this one on the ice. sydney crosby scores 300th goal of his nhl career. it was a losing effort as the pens lost to the flyers 4-1. to the nba rocket star james harden strengthens his case for this year's mvp. he scores a career high 51 points in the win. check out this shiner though. ouch right? accidentally got elbowed by teammate during warm-up. despite injury went on against pacers as celtics win 100-87. spring baseball during red sox a fan loses his fight with gravity. takes a tumble over the rail reaching for a fuel ball. seems he's kind of proud of it
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taking a bow to the cheering crowd before being escorted off by security. then there's this -- >> wandering around the rider takes a horrible fall. >> my goodness a nasty fall at the course in england. just before jumping over 3.5 foot hurdle doing a double flip on the ground. fortunately as you see there he was able to walk it off. the horse was uninjured. on the auction block this mets classic bullpen cart sold the item on ebay for a whopping $90,000 bucks. dara, i'll send it back to you. >> thank you, betty. just ahead, a massive typhoon looming large back here with where it's headed up next. so to kill the germs that may make your family sick, we recommend using lysol disinfectant spray every day. lysol is approved to kill 80 germs,
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welcome back. how is this for a view? astronauts on the international space station with a beautiful view of super typhoon. look at the gorgeous eye as we go over the horizon. typically we show you our weather maps with higher elevation, altitude give you an image more like this. they are right down low, almost double the height of some of those high flying jets. the eye of the storm has disappeared, now in weakening all to the happiness of everyone in the philippines was that's where it's headed next.
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looks like article category one, should not be a devastating blow for the island. >> that's a good thing. thank you very much bill. now time for entertainment news. cynthia lennon ex-wife of john lennon and mother of julian lennon died after a long battle with cancer. diesel's fursious 7 opens this weekend. the price is right, a one-day comeback came back to host an april fools' day of the show he made famous. taking selfies every time he gets stopped by police. this is the third stop in two months. nbcnews.com, a texas trooper ordered to go to counseling after taking this picture with snoop dogg. the trooper said he did not know about the rapper's arrest
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record. a rude awakening in a late night april fools' day prank. ♪ ♪ >> singer pharrell came face-to-face at his wax sculpture at madam tussauds. then he jammed out on "the tonight show." ♪ girl let's go camping with my uncle ♪ ♪ girls can't carry a foosball table ♪ >> all i could think was, that was awful. >> the mustache made the whole thing better. >> very good. i'm dara brown. this is "early today." we hope it's just your first stop of the day on nbc. headache? motrin helps you be an unstoppable, let's-rock-this-concert- like-it's-1999 kind of mom. back pain? motrin helps you be the side-planking
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leading the news on msnbc.com, 11 atlanta educators convicted in test cheating scandal. prosecutors claim they participated in a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests dating back motivated by pressure to meet standards and receive bonuses or keep their jobs. 23 others reached plea agreements while one was acquitted. in time indian army to climb he have rest to remove thousands of pounds of trash. 34 members of the climbing team plan to collect 8,800 pounds of garbage and other equipment left behind by thousands of climbers who attempted to scale the wall's tallest peak. to other stories we're following, over a week since the
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germany wings crash into the alps. they are trying to match dna. they have found damaged cell phones and electronic devices at the cell phone. they are now being analyzed at police labs in paris. if you didn't already notice smart phones taking over the world, 64% of americans own one. they ep spo respond and say they couldn't live without it. 70% say their smartphone is their only option to access the internet. what are the chances of winning the lottery twice? try 283 billion to one. this british couple won 1 million british pounds after winning their first british pounds in 2013. >> this is something else. i mean the first time was a bit of a shock. i would do it again. >> and as many around the world prepare to celebrate easter this weekend, a new nbc news "wall
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street journal" poll finds pope francis draws widespread praise from the public. 55% of americans say they view the pontiff positively with 34% giving him a very positive rating. the sentiment is even warmer among catholics with 74% giving him a positive rating. arkansas native gertrude weaver crowned oldest person born in 1898 making her 116 years old. she said the key to a long life is treating other people kindly. she even invited president obama to her 117th birthday. >> when i meet someone like world war ii era, to see someone that was from the 1800s. >> yeah that's two world wars turn of the century, amazing. and she's still alive and kicking. celebrating birthdays michael fassbender turns 58 christopher maloney 54 linda hunt turns 70. i'm dara brown. thanks for watching "early
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today." we hope you have a great thursday.
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right now at 4:30 we are following developing news dpnmen storm a university in kenya, taking hostages. plus paying tribute to the san jose police officer killed in the line of duty. details on today's memorial service and how other south bay police departments are lending a hand. drastic measures the governor institutes mandatory water rationing after seeing dry hills in the sierra firsthand. >> a look outside this morning, the city by the pay. it is thursday, april the 2nd and you are watching "today in the bay." a good thursday morning. it's 4:30 i'm sam brock. >> and i

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