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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 10, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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breaking news tonight. donald trump accused of encouraging violence at his rallies. a supporter caught sucker punching a protester. his campaign manager accused of roughing up a female reporter. states of emergency. a rising death toll as record floods rage. hundreds of high-water rescues, sending fish swimming down the sidewalks. brawl on plane. mayhem as fists fly. shocked passengers record of wild melee. you won't believe what started it all. ambush horror. five massacred, including a pregnant woman as gunmen opened fire in a backyard barbecue. tonight, a manhunt for a pair of cold-blooded killers. wakeup call, a big health alert. why this weekend is especially high risk for heart attacks and strokes. "nightly news" begins right now.
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>> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. a vicious punch thrown at a protester at a donald trump rally and caught on camera, led to criminal charges being filed against one of his supporters today amid concerns over the increasingly hostile environment at many trump events. in recent weeks, trump has fired up crowds by ordering protesters removed in ways that some fear might encourage violence. but hitting still closer to home is an allegation tonight of violence against trump's campaign manager, from a reporter who claims she was physically harmed. the trump campaign tonight strongly denying it. nbc's peter alexander has full details. >> reporter: stunning new video capturing a trump supporter sucker punching jones in the face. the officers escorting jones away last night. jones yelling at the jeering crowd before he was blindsided.
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>> get out of here. go home to mom. >> reporter: sheriff's deputies walking right by the attack, instead going after jones. >> i turned. as soon as i turned he hit me dead in my eye. >> reporter: 78-year-old john mcgraw was unrepentant. speaking to "inside edition." >> knocking the hell out of that big mouth. he deserved it. the next time we see him, we might have to kill him. >> reporter: today he was arrested and charged with assault. tonight the trump campaign tells nbc news the incident was unfortunate, that they have no control over the supporters' behavior and take significant measures to keep attendees safe. still, it's exactly the kind of behavior some believe trump has encouraged when protesters interrupt his massive rallies. >> who's protesting? anybody? get out of here. i'd like to punch him in the face, i tell you. i love the old days. you know what they used to do to guys like this in a place like this? they would be carried out on a stretcher, folks. knock the hell -- i promise you, i will pay for the legal fees.
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i promise. >> reporter: tonight new allegations that hit closer to home for the campaign. trump's campaign manager accused of roughing up a reporter. this afternoon, michelle fields from a conservative website bright bart news tweeted this photo of bruises after she said he nearly pulled her down by the arm following trump's news conference tuesday night. the campaign said the accusation is entirely false. writing no other outlet a reporter witnessed or questioned anything that transpired that evening, and questioning whether fields' accusation is part of a larger pattern of her exaggerating incidents. late today, cory tweeted, we're calling b.s. on michelle fields. a "washington post" reporter said he witnessed the whole thing and he supports fields' version of the story. there's also reportedly an audio recording of the incident that has not been released. all this sure to come up in tonight's debate. lester? >> peter alexander, thank you. we want to turn now to our political director, chuck todd. chuck, what do you
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make of this? >> well, i tell you this, donald trump's been playing with fire for some time. he does take his crowds and he fires them up. and sometimes it's a positive reaction he gets, and sometimes it's negative. he can be very mean to the protesters as peter pointed out, very vicious, frankly, in calling out the press corps so he can single out individuals. and so this has been a concern. this has been a concern of mine, frankly, with just the press corps and others that are there. that said, look, we know politics has been messy in this country for hundreds of years. so let's not pretend this is the first time that we've seen something like this happen. however, in this day and age of social media, it is the responsibility of the campaign, they can't be responsible for violence that takes place, but they can help set the tone better. john mccain in 2008 at his rallies toward the end started to get a little raucous and rowdy toward the end, and he said, that's not right, that's not
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what you do. donald trump at some point needs to take control of this situation, and do that at one of his rallies. >> chuck todd with some perspective tonight, thank you. the death toll has risen to five amid states of emergency like louisiana and mississippi, where thousands of families are evacuated as relentless floodwaters overwhelm cities and towns. one college campus so waterlogged, that there are large fish swimming down the street. nbc's janet shamlian is in the storm zone. >> reporter: a handful of children and their mom. among the hundreds of high-water rescues in and around boser city, louisiana. >> water just comes so quick, people don't understand that. >> reporter: it's been like this nonstop for 24 hours. at this home, four women and six dogs. >> called the sheriff. they said they would send somebody. >> reporter: these are
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the hardest hit areas, accessible only by military style trucks. it's beyond belief how much of this community is actually under water. we've been driving around with the national guard for about 20 minutes now, and all of it looks just like this. relentless rain has swamped the region. a state of emergency in 22 parrishes, and entire communities devastated. louisiana's governor warning drivers of ongoing danger. >> we have more road closures than we have signage to mark them. so we need people to be very, very careful. >> reporter: more than 20 inches of rain in some areas. fish swimming along sidewalks in monroe. beyond louisiana, 12 million are under flash flood watches and warnings, from texas to kentucky. no relief for the weekend. >> they said it might not crest until saturday. >> reporter: whether it's a couple of horses -- >> she's shaking. she's cold. >> reporter: -- or a frightened child, saving lives has become full-time work. dozens of schools in
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the area have closed once again today. and tonight, a bit of a reprieve here. it has stopped raining. but forecasters say unfortunately this is only temporary. lester? >> all right. janet shamlian, thank you. a manhunt is under way for two suspect in a backyard massacre in the pittsburgh area. five people were killed at a shooting ambush at a family party. among the victims, a pregnant woman, and the motive remains a mystery. nbc's blake mccoy has the details. >> reporter: a backyard barbecue turned horrific murder scene at a family gathering last night near pittsburgh. five adults killed, three others injured while cooking out and playing cards. >> it was boom, boom, boom. >> reporter: among the dead, three siblings, their mother jessica shelton today struggling for words. >> it just breaks my heart. >> reporter: one of her children was eight months pregnant. the medical examiner adding that unborn child to the murder
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count. >> it was premeditated, it was calculated, it was planned. it's just a brutal murder. one of the most brutal i've seen. >> reporter: police say the first shooter approached the backyard and herded his victims toward the porch. that's where a second shooter with an ak-47 was waiting. police say he then shot the victims in the head execution style. neighbors are in disbelief. >> bad for anyone to get murdered. but mothers being slaughtered like this, it takes it to another level. >> reporter: the family says four young children were inside the home at the time, one watched as his mother was shot dead. >> i got the emptiest feeling inside. but i love my grandkids, so that's what keeps me going is my grandkids. >> reporter: police did find physical evidence here at the home. they hope it will help them identify one of the killers. tonight both of them are on the run, and a motive is unclear. lester? >> blake mccoy, thank you. heads are turning
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tonight in washington. the white house abuzz amid a star-studded state dinner to welcome the young new prime minister of canada, a leader who carries one of the most famous political names in the history of our northern neighbors. nbc's ron allen on the diplomacy and the excitement. >> reporter: today at the white house, president obama welcoming canada's obama, prime minister justin trudeau, the head of state, turning heads. >> i've never seen so many americans so excited about the visit of a canadian prime minister. >> reporter: just 44, with a young family, stunning the world with his victory last november, following the path of his father, pierre trudeau, justin, a former boxer, now a political heartthrob, featured in january's american "vogue." >> do you think he's dreamy, too? is that a word you'd use? >> i might. i might use dreamy. >> reporter: emily covers the d.c. social scene for the "washington post." >> the same sort of celebrity culture that surrounded obama, you're seeing that with the prime
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minister. >> reporter: trudeau has jumped in the campaign 2016, dubbed the anti-trump. inviting americans who say they'll flee if trump wins to canada. but today he would not take sides. >> i have tremendous confidence in the american people, and look forward to working with whomever they choose to send to this white house. >> reporter: this evening, a glamorous white house state dinner, 200 guests, celebrities like ryan reynolds and blake lively. serious issues like trade, defeating isis and climate change on the agenda. graying elder statesman passing the torch to a new star on the world stage. ron allen, nbc news, the white house. turning overseas now, a turnover purported secret files appears to have identified identities of thousands of isis fighters. the information comes from forms, a lot like job applications stolen from isis. and it's giving us a rare look at just who is willing to fight
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and die for the isis cause. we get more from nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. >> reporter: isis is fiercely protective of its secrets, and defectors, if caught, are generally executed. so this apparent leak may be a sign isis is starting to lose control. the german federal police has already said that the documents appear genuine. but it's an enormous and unprecedented trove of information, which experts are still sifting through. >> i think they probably are authentic,hese documents, because they contain a great deal of detail that's been verifiable, can be verified. >> reporter: there are thousands of these forms which carry the isis seal, and list detailed information about isis recruits, including their names, nationalities, and whether they chose to be fighters or suicide killers. in a preliminary review of the documents, which date back to 2013 and '14, we identified six that name americans.
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including one douglas macarthur mccain from san diego, which nbc news first reported was killed two years ago. the name on the form is not a perfect match, but his date of birth and hometown are. >> who the recruiters were. so to me, that seems to be the single most important and significant thing in these files. >> reporter: this syrian man said all this information was on a memory stick he stole from a senior isis commander, and then smuggled out of syria. i put it in my baby's diaper, he said, because i knew they wouldn't search there. we met him in turkey where he is now in hiding. he wouldn't show his face on camera, and didn't tell us his real name, preferring to be called abu muhammad. why exactly did you steal it? i took the memory stick so that one day i would be able to expose isis, he said,
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because i knew it had important information on it. he said he joined isis early on, and so was a trusted member of the group's internal security service. but he became disillusioned. i saw rape. i saw them butchering children in front of their mothers, he said. some analysts raised doubts about the authenticity of the documents. and nbc news has yet to fully vet them. but two security experts told us they do appear genuine. lester? >> richard engel, thank you. still ahead tonight, fight on a flight. a brawl breaking out on a packed airplane caught on camera. what the airline said passengers were doing onboard that triggered all this. also, the dangers of springing forward. why turning the clocks ahead can increase certain health risks, and what you can do to prepare yourself.
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we're back now with the wild brawl aboard a packed flight. a melee among first fist-throwing passengers caught on camera, right in the middle of the aisle. it left the surrounding passengers shocked and had the police and fbi scrambling to respond. nbc's miguel almaguer has the tale of the tape. >> reporter: passengers on flight 141 called it fight night. >> there was serious punches. >> reporter: a brawl breaking out between five female passengers. >> the stewardess even got punched. that's when i stepped in. >> reporter: the throwdown came just after touchdown. a spirit airlines flight from baltimore to los angeles, ending in hair-pulling and flying fists. two customers appeared
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to be intoxicated, playing loud music on a boom box. other customers asked them to turn down their music. the ladies refused and said, what are you going to do? a fight broke out. police boarded the plane. all five women detained then released. the friendly skies, not so friendly anymore. >> our aircrafts are fuller than ever, people are closer together. the conditions that lead to an air rage incident are higher than ever. >> reporter: from a man wrapped in duct tape by fellow passengers who said he was drunk, to a belligerent man refusing to leave his seat. flight attendants say unruly passengers are the toughest issue they face. >> there are fewer of us to be able to de-escalate the situation. >> reporter: an ugly problem becoming far too common. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. and we are back in a moment with a huge fireball caught on camera that rocked the city in the midwest.
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caught on camera, a massive explosion just outside cleveland. at least one propane tank went up in a huge blast after catching fire at a construction site. first responders were at the area at the time of the explosion. fortunately no one was hurt. the cause of the fire is under investigation. don't forget this weekend is when we turn the clocks forward. that, of course, means we lose an hour of sleep. but experts also caution that the switch to daylight saving time can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke for many americans. nbc's erica hill explains why. >> reporter: it's a seemingly small change with a big payoff. and a rude awakening. losing that hour of sleep for daylight saving time each spring is more than a tough adjustment. >> the two days after the clocks move forward, there's a spike in the number of
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heart attacks, strokes and vascular events that occur. it's a very real phenomena. >> reporter: research shows in the two days after we spring forward, heart attacks can surge as much as 24%. and for those over 65, the risk of stroke increases 23%. biochemist martin young is an expert on the body's circadian rhythm. >> in terms of biology, daylight savings time is a terrible thing. >> reporter: the abrupt change in the body's timing changes the body's chemistry, which can aggregate existing risk factors produce more blood clots, making certain people more vulnerable. >> you would have to have a condition such as atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes in order to increase your risk of having a heart attack. >> there are certain things we can do to limit the risks. >> you should start now. start going to sleep a little earlier every night beginning now
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and you'll be ready. also, exercise. cut back on the caffeine, cut back on alcohol. and start destressing. >> reporter: the good news, come november, the hour we gain from falling back, lowers those same risks. erica hill, nbc news, new york. when we come back, as the public pays last respects to nancy reagan, the stories behind some of the most memorable images of her from the official white house photographer. we're tracking a flash owarning
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near petaluma. heavy rain continues toove
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the worst of it hitti (location) at this hour.we'll h finally tonight, thousands more pay their last respects to nancy reagan on this final day of public mourning before her private funeral tomorrow. while the former first lady is gone, she leaves behind a life in former pictures. many of them snapped by pete sousa, official white house photographer for the reagans, and now for the obamas, who shares the incredible stories behind the shots with our andrea mitchell. >> reporter: they are the iconic pictures of a first lady. >> i liked her. a lot of people thought she was tough as nails. but as long as you were straight with her, she was straight with you. >> reporter: and a portrait of a marriage. >> they were exactly the same way together behind the scenes as they were in public.
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it was very much a very true love and companionship between the two of them. >> reporter: the man behind the camera, white house photographer pete sousa. eyewitness to history from the frivolous -- >> in another 50 years, how will we explain this picture? who is this man dressed up in his blue suit? why is he wearing one white glove? >> reporter: -- to the royals. >> if you look close, she is actually blushing. >> reporter: to the personal. mrs. reagan's recovery from breast cancer surgery. and the diplomatic. summits that went well, and those like this one in iceland that went so badly, mrs. reagan rushed out to greet her husband when he arrived at andrews air force base to make sure he was all right. >> and mrs. reagan said to me, how's ronnie? how is he doing? >> reporter: pete sousa's final trip with nancy reagan is when the family brought ronald reagan back to washington for his state funeral in 2004.
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>> as you look at that picture, she's talking to her husband. >> reporter: now back at the white house, as president obama's official photographer. but accompanying michelle obama to nancy reagan's funeral. you'll be there to say good-bye? >> and to photograph. because that's what i do. >> reporter: capturing a first lady he followed in life, and now as she and her husband are reunited. andrea mitchell, nbc news. and that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. runs :05u know, it's go ti.
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jess/contvo rit now at hard by e storm. we're busy working on the house. you don't pay attention. next thing you know it's go time. >> right now at 6:00, hit hard by the storm. rising rivers leading to rising flood concerns here in the bay area. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. we're under a microclimate weather alert because of a flash flood watch. the bay quarter getting a pretty good soaking. a live look at our doppler radar, the yellow and red you can see just barely there means intense rain.
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>> nbc bay area's kim yonanaka is watching those rising waters in the north bay. we begin with chief meteorologist jeff rainieri. >> across san mateo, san francisco, contra costa, alameda county going strong. napa, marin and sonoma counties flash flood warning extended from 8:00 tonight from pet lalu to liberty. the lee howe creeks are currently causing flooding issues. avoid this area if the an all possible with the fast rushing and rising water. in terms of the rainfall right now we have that heavier zone of rain developing offshore again. this is going to be heading right into portions of the north bay. likely continuing


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