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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 11, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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>> lester hold joins us from the reagan library. >> see you at 6:00. lways find us onli at nbc facebook and ttter. this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening to our viewers in the pacific time zone. we begin with breaking news. pandemonium erupting late at a donald trump rally in chicago. the event descending into anarchy as fist fights broke out among protesters and trump supporters. trump campaign citing safety concerns announced it was postponing the event before trump could take the stage. now that the arena has been cleared out a huge crowd amassed outside. all coming as trump's campaign manager is under fire. a reporter now filing a criminal complaint against him. accusing him of misdemeanor battery.
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wmaq phil rodgers outside the arena in chicago. phil, what's happening there? >> lester, we are on campus of university of illinois-chicago, where donald trump was scheduled to speak at 6:00 p.m. the crowd have been building throughout the day here. in fact many got here before dawn. there was a march to the arena at 4:00 with thousand of demonstrators who said they would send a message that donald trump was not welcome in chicago. at the same time, there were many other demonstrators who had gotten tickets and who were inside the arena. at about 6:30 this evening, a gentleman took the stage and said, here is his statement. mr. trump just arrived in chicago and after meeting with law enforcement, has determined that for the safety of all of tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight's rally will be postponed to another date. he said thank you, and please go in peace. what happened after that was anything but peaceful.
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fist fights broke out inside the arena between pro and anti-trump demonstrators. eventually chicago police were able to get control of that. and the arena was cleared. meanwhile, the demonstrators outside seized victory. chanting "we stopped trump. we stopped trump." so just when we thought this campaign could not get any stranger, tonight here in chicago it did. >> phil rodgers from wmaq. phil thank you very much. donald trump spoke with msnbc's chris matthews moments ago. here is some of what he had to say. >> and i met with law enforcement. we could have didn't. would have done it. could have done it. i decided not to do it. it is very tough. i think a lot of people said this is going to increase it. this has the nothing to do with my decision today. my decision is i just don't want to see people hurt. >> donald trump speaking a short while ago with chris matthews about that melee that erupted in chicago as a result of his canceled appearance.
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nbc's katie tur joins us. katie, we have been watching the violence escalate at trump rallies. it appears to have boiled over. you have been at so many of them and watched the climate. is it at all surprising this might happen? >> no, this is not surprising. we have been predicting some sort of riot, potentially, a race riot now for quite some time when it comes in these donald trump rallies. they have been getting increasingly tense. at times violent. boiling over into what you are seeing right now. these images on your screen right now of trump supporters, and trump protesters, breaking out into fist fights on the floor of an arena where donald trump is supposed to speak a few hours, or moments after this was, this was happening. he was supposed to be there. we have seen the tension escalate especially in the past weeks. we have seen this a number of times frankly throughout the campaign. donald trump staked his campaign on being provocative. he has been a provocateur, there was nothing he was not going to
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say so far in this campaign season. he began this campaign, by saying that some mexicans are rapists and drug dealers. he staked his campaign on building a wall. he pro posed at least temporarily, a ban on all muslims. he didn't repudiate the kkk the other day, immediately, on a sunday morning show when asked three separate times to do so. he has also said that he believes islam hates us. when asked about that last night at the debate, if all 1.6 billion muslims in the world hate america, donald trump said, he believes that a lot of them do. so this sort of tension has been boiling over for quite some time. seeing this violence erupt now in chicago is no surprise especially since these protests were planned there ever since donald trump announced that he was on his way. >> all right, next's katie tur, we'll continue to monitor that situation in chicago. we want to move off to the tribute that brings us here to california. nancy reagan called the reagan
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presidential library the shining city on the hill that her husband ronald reagan once spoke of. it is there atop the hills of simi valley nancy reagan is being laid to rest next to her husband after a funeral today that brought tears and laughter. and brought together a broad spectrum of notable faces from a former president and current and three former first ladies to well known faces from hollywood and the media. nbc's andrea mitchell attended the funeral and has details. a woman without ronald wilson reagan would never have become the 40th president of the united states or succeeded as well as he did. >> representatives of 10 white house families on hand, led by michelle obama, president and
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mrs. bush, caroline kennedy. the service all planned by nancy reagan herself down to the white peonies, her favorite flower on her casket. tributes both funny from her daughter patti davis. >> i thought that even god might not have the guts to argue with nancy reagan. >> and sweet, our friend tom brokaw. >> so god bless nancy. mrs. ronald reagan. first lady. and the unlikely friend of a reporter. thank you, nancy. >> before the service, hillary clinton, on reagan's support for stem cell research. >> it was very brave of her to take a -- a political stand on behalf of research that she thought might help prevent or cure alzheimers. >> reporter: above all what so many celebrated to day the enduring love affair. >> my parents were two halves of a circle. no one truly crossed the boundary into the space they
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held as theirs. >> reporter: ronnie and nancy, the couple that met in a hollywood restaurant all those years ago now together again for eternity. >> she will once again lay down beside the man who was the love of her life. the one she loved until the end of her days. resting in each other's arms, only each other's arms, till the end of time. >> reporter: andrea mitchell, simi valley, california. there is an increasingly dangerous developing situation in the south tonight. another major storm system triggering states of emergency and over 1,000 high water rescues. families pulled from rooftops, from trees, as police and the national guard move in amid historic floodwaters raging. millions of people warned of flash floods. from the storm zone now. >> reporter: desperation as the waters rise in louisiana. six of the people rescued were found clinging to trees. anxious families were rushed to safety in the dark of night.
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>> my little son, he was asleep so we had to hurry up and get him together really, really quick. so it was a little scary. well, a lot scary, really. >> reporter: in swamped neighborhoods, 1,300 rescues and counting. hundreds of homes have suffered water damage. in monroe, already more than 20 inches of rain. this boat crashed into a bridge, a result of rising water. across five states, 12 million people are under flash flood watches and warnings including tennessee. this woman had to be rescued from her home. >> i thought we had enough time for us to leave, you know. if the water come all the way up, i lost everything i work for for 20 years. >> reporter: in mississippi, flash flooding covered three-quarters of the state. conditions so dangerous, a police boat capsized during a rescue. >> what do you think when you see this happening to your town? >> it's horrible.
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water is everywhere. the amount of rainfall we received in a 40-hour period is epidemic. it's worse than hurricane gustav. >> reporter: in this neighborhood, several of the homes did stay dry but because water filled every street in the subdivision, they are effectively trapped here. they can't get out. lifelong residents are shocked. >> i said, this is as bad as ever. >> reporter: tonight, at least 50 streets here in greenville are flooded just like this one and searchers are out not far from here looking for two men who went fishing and now are missing along the mississippi. lester, back to you. there is breaking news in the manhunt for two dangerous escaped prisoners in new mexico. late word this evening that one of the two men is now back in custody, the other remains at large. nbc's joe fryer now with the latest details. >> reporter: tonight one inmate is in custody, but police are searching for the other escaped while being moved from one prison to another. if history is any indication he
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won't surrender quietly. >> these guys are violent. they shot at law enforcement. they murdered people. >> reporter: wednesday the state was driving five inmates, a 180-mile trip, after arriving, corrections officers realized 32-year-old joseph cruz and 22-year-old lionel claw were no longer in the van. not clear how the men escaped. yesterday seen on surveillance cameras in albuquerque no longer wearing prison jump suits. later one may have been spotted in a nearby neighborhood. police set up a perimeter and combed the area, but the convicts could not be found. tonight, cruz, convicted murderer was captured. but authorities are looking for claw. >> shots fired. shots fired. >> in 2007 he led police on this high-speed chase. at one point a passenger actually jumped from claw's car while it was going 95 miles an hour. the pursuit ended with a rapid exchange of gunfire.
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somehow, despite the close range. everyone survived. an officer who was there fears a repeat as the hunt for claw continues. >> he is going to feel even more of a reason to run or fight or, or possibly harm other people in his way. >> reporter: a desperate search for two escaped inmates who continue to slip away. joe fryer, nbc news. scandal rocked one of the nation's best known veterans charities. the wounded warrior project raises millions every year to help veterans, wounded in iraq and afghanistan and their families. but now the top two executives have been fired amid reports of lavish, and wasteful spending habits. we get more from nbc's erika hill. we get more from nbc's erica hill. >> we won't leave one warrior behind. >> reporter: it's one of america's largest and most well-known veterans charities, raising $342 million last year. over seven years, fred cane, father of two veterans, proudly raised $325,000.
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>> the mission is too important to forget. >> reporter: last month, he canceled his annual benefit amid reports of questionable spending at the charity. late thursday, the wounded warrior project fired ceo steve nardizzi and coo al giordano following an independent investigation which found, according to a statement, some policies, procedures and controls are in need of strengthening. >> it's a culture that was created by these guys and i think that that culture is systemic and they are going to need to change a lot more. >> reporter: that culture came to light in a cbs news investigation, which claimed the wounded warrior project spent lavishly on travel and overhead, allocated a little more than half of its donations to veterans programs. connie chapman worked there for two years and says she was fired in a restructuring. >> i went to new york for less than 24 hours for a meeting of one of the chief executives. it was a lot, a lot of spending. >> reporter: the fired executives declined nbc news
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request for comment. the charity found that more than 80% of donations were spent on programming. >> i think it's damaging for all charities involved with veterans. people are just not going to give money. >> reporter: a harsh reality for the nation's more than 20 million veterans. erica hill, nbc news, new york. still ahead tonight, passengers losing patience. why those security checkpoint lines at our airports have been getting so long recently and the reason it may only get worse. also, a new twist in the mysterious death of a former vladimir putin aide on u.s. soil. was he murdered?
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break, many of the biggest airports across the country are reporting long lines at security checkpoints. the tsa is blaming a staffing problem. and with a record increase in travelers, the tsa says it doesn't have the staff to move everyone through fast enough. that's led to passengers missing flights and calls for the tsa chief to fix the problem immediately. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it's happening at airports nationwide. agonizing long, slow lines to get through tsa. >> do you have a boarding pass for me today? >> reporter: in seattle today, backups, delays and mounting frustration. >> i missed my flight on wednesday. more than two hours i couldn't
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even get through that. >> reporter: same story in chicago and atlanta. >> they are long. they're quite a pain to stand on. >> reporter: dallas and newark. >> they sent us from one line to another. come down here, it's just awful. >> reporter: meanwhile, at some airports, closed checkpoints. the tsa chief on the defensive in minneapolis today. >> it's no different than if you were to go to disney world at the peek period of the year, you are going to expect to stand in some lines. >> reporter: what's the problem? a record surge in passengers. 140 million expected to travel this spring alone. the tsa says passenger volume nationwide is up 7% over last year. some passengers are carrying on more to avoid baggage fees creating choke points at the scanners. meanwhile, the agency is focused on spotting weapons after failing several high-profile audits. a record 2,600 guns were confiscated last year. the tsa says it is at its lowest staffing level in five years and now it's trying to staff up, training 192 officers each week. in minneapolis, some improvement but it's only a start.
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>> i don't think we can ever be satisfied until things get back to a place where people feel really good about coming through the airport. >> reporter: the advice this spring break, get to the airport very early and brace yourself for the tsa chief predicts could be a very intense summer. tom costello, nbc news, reagan national airport. and when we come back, a question many may ask when they lose that hour of sleep this weekend, is it time to do away with moving our clocks forward?
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there is a new twist in the mysterious death of a former ally of russian president vladimir putin. four months after he was found dead in the washington, d.c., hotel room, authorities now say he died of blunt-force trauma, not a heart attack as first thought. we get the details from nbc's pete williams. >> reporter: for his aggressive
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control of russian media, mikheil lesin was called the bulldozer while serving russian president vladimir putin. now new information about his death in a washington, d.c., hotel is raising questions about a man putin publicly praised when he died late last year but who had an apparent falling out with putin's associates in late 2014 and stepped down from running a media empire. four months after lesin's death, police and the medical examiner now say he died of blunt-force injuries of the head and had injuries to his neck, torso, arms and legs. when his body was found in his room last november, it was thought he died of a heart attack. police say surveillance video show him entering the hotel the night he died looking disheveled suggesting he might have been injured before he came back here stand investigators say he had been drinking heavily. but the suspicious death of a kremlin insider, raises obvious concern. british sources say alexander litvinenko was murdered possibly on orders by vladimir putin. and boris nemtsov was shot and killed before leading a protest.
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even so, a former top russian spy in the u.s. says he doubts lesin met a similar end. >> there were no political assassinations ever committed by the soviets or the russians on the territory of the united states anywhere, any other country but the united states. >> reporter: for now, d.c. police say they are not even sure lesin was murdered, but his death has become an international mystery. pete williams, nbc news, washington. and a reminder as you start your weekend, it's that time of year to spring forward and set the clocks one hour ahead saturday night before you turn in and as americans prepare to deal with one hour less of sleep, lawmakers in nearly a dozen states are looking to do away with changing the clocks altogether because so many people like it when it stays light out later. they would join hawaii and arizona which already opt out. when we come back, one last good-bye to the former first lady from here in the community where the reagans had a special connection.
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finally tonight, the tribute to nancy reagan from the community she and her husband called home. california is where they met, where they married and where today the former first lady was
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being laid to rest next to the man she loved. our miguel almaguer has more on the reagans special california connection. >> reporter: tonight, the reagans are back together but for many this final good-bye isn't any easier. >> i absolutely loved them and adored them. they were part of a golden era. >> reporter: for two days, the lines stretched. 9,000 waited for hours to spend just a few minutes with the former first lady. >> from what i understand, she was the boss. >> reporter: the public admiration for this private couple is deeply rooted here. the reagans met in hollywood, married in studio city, lived in sacramento where he was governor -- >> my wife nancy. >> reporter: -- and she was california's first lady. they loved coming home to santa barbara's western white house. >> the ocean and the islands were so clear and so pretty. >> reporter: comfortable in a
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suit and gown, the first couple seemed most at ease in flannel and denim. after washington's beltway, it was back to california's bel air, the same home they would live and die in. >> she has a lot of love in her heart to do all of the things that she's done, especially for her husband to be with him. >> reporter: crowds lined the ronald reagan freeway for her final salute. the hearse traveling into the hills of simi valley reaching the presidential library they deeply loved. >> it's bittersweet and now that the two of them are together, enjoy life together again. >> reporter: they chose this place for the view where the nation now remembers them both. the end of a golden era in life and now death, side by side. miguel almaguer, nbc news, simi valley, california. and that will do it for us on this friday night. i'm lester holt reporting tonight from los angeles. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching and good night. right now at 6: flooding frs
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across the bay area.a slomovings creating a wet mess and time now at 6:00, flooding fears across the bay area, slow-moving storm system is creating a wet mess. and there is growing concern as more rain is forecast for the weekend. good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. we'll get to our storm coverage in just a moment. we'll start with breaking news. we want to take you out to chicago. these are live pictures from chicago. down below you see a restless crowd after a donald trump rally was canceled. the people now spilling into the
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streets throughout the last couple hours it's been very active there. this scene outside the arena on the university of chicago campus. the university of illinois campus. riot police are lined up keeping a watchful eye on the crowd. about an hour ago violent clashes before donald trump took the stage. several protesters had been vocal about attending tonight's event at the university of illinois campus. that was partly prompted by faculty and staff to petition administrators to cancel this rally, claiming it would be a dangerous environment for the students. now, donald trump had this chance on our sister network msnbc just a few minutes ago. >> and i met with law enforcement. and we could have done it. we would have done it. we could have done it. but i decided not to do it. but it's very tough. i think a lot of people said oh, this is going to increase it. this has nothing to do with my desuggestion today. my decision is i just don't want to see people hurt. >> now again, this was inside

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