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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 24, 2016 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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breaking news tonight. were americans the target of a brussels bomber. what nbc news has learned inside the lair where they plotted to kill. sources say the two suicide bomber brothers may have had nuclear ambitions to get their hands on a dirty bomb. the world with their wives explodes as an angry ted cruz tears into donald trump. >> donald, you're a sniffling coward and leave heidi alone. >> the nastiest turn yet. state of emergency as a wild storm spawns everything from a blizzard to tornadoes and violent hail. a massive system tearing across the country. and gary shandling dies suddenly. shocking news tonight, the beloved comedian gone at age 66. hollywood mo
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begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. in the aftermath of tuesday's deadly attacks in belgium, authorities in neighboring france have just announced that they have foiled a terror plot in the advanced stages there. unrelated to the brussels bombings. while in brussels, red flags have emerged that possibly point to americans being targeted as part of this week's attacks. at least 31 people were killed and 316 hurt. dozens suffering critical injuries that doctors describe as looking more like wounds of war. and tonight as we're getting our first look inside the apartment where the suitcase bombs were constructed, comes word two brothers involved in the attacks may have been in search of radioactive materials for a dirty bomb attack. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel has late details now from brussels.
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>> reporter: were americans the target of the brussels bombers? the state department today said no. >> we don't at this point have any credible evidence that suggests it was targeting americans. >> reporter: but tonight nbc news spoke with counterterrorism expert, claudee, a former french intelligence officer briefed on the investigation. he says the taxi driver who drove these three suspects, including the two bombers on the left, told investigators the man in the hat still wanted by authorities launched into an anti-american tirade in the car on his way to the airport. >> it was a general conversation. he didn't say, i will kill americans, of course. >> but it's a key moment. >> yes. the last thing was -- which was by someone was very aggressive words against america and american citizens. >> reporter: he also says two of the suicide bombers who caused
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bakraoui brothers may have been trying to get their hands on a more terrifying weapon. >> to make a dirty bomb, certainly. >> reporter: they filmed a top scientist producing medical radioactive isotopes. mo naek neek said they may have mand to kidnap one of the scientist's relatives to try to force him to hand over the radioactive materials. >> the point is, of course, it was a stupid plan, because you cannot -- even if you take the knowledge of this man. >> reporter: new pictures to nbc news inside the safe house where the isis bombers prepared their suitcase bombs and other explosives used in the brussels attacks. a hole in the door likely left by police. new twists for the people of brussels to wonder about. soldiers are still patrolling here to guard against another possible isis attack. but this country seems overwhelmed by the scale of the threat. only 225 extra troops
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brussels. it's a show of force, but a small one. belgian officials accept they don't have the manpower to deal with the hundreds of jihadi fighters that came back from the middle east. tonight, lester, france's interior minister said in a raid this morning outside paris, a french national was arrested in the late stages of an attack against france. apparently the official said at this point there does not appear to be a connection between that arrest, that suspect and the atrocities that happened here in brussels, a city still in mourning. >> richard, as you reported, americans could have been the intended targets of this, as nbc's tom costello explains, it's the question many security experts have been asking since the attacks. >> reporter: two and a half days since the attacks on brussels, 12 americans are known to have been injured, including three mormon missionaries. but several are still
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unaccounted for, including two with u.s. government connections. also missing, husband and wife stephanie and justin schultz from kentucky. and brother and sister sasha and alexander penchowski from new york. were they among americans deliberately targeted? the chairman of the house intelligence committee said, yes, the their location at the time of the attacks key. here's where it happened. in the brussels airport departure terminal, the checkout lanes for united and american was in row 8. delta airlines was in row 11. belgian prosecutors say the bombs went off near row one and two, not far from the starbucks, and close to the brussels airlines counters. meanwhile, the maelbook subway stop, and the u.s. embassy, a mile further down the street were serviced by different train and subway stops. tonight international risk experts say americans traveling to europe should cons
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gatherings and always be aware of your surroundings. >> maybe i don't want to be flying at peak times. when there's mass congestion. do i know where all the exits are in the airport. am i watching everyone around me. if something doesn't feel right, trust your instincts. >> reporter: travel advice that may simply become the new normal. tom costello, nbc news, washington. the two suicide bomber brothers in these attacks fit a troubling pattern. terrorists with family ties. radical groups often exploit the bonds between brothers, and as our kier simmons takes us inside a neighborhood that's become a prime recruiting ground for terror. >> reporter: at the brussels airport and subway stations, nothing new. the attack on the french magazine "charlie hebdo" last year involved two brothers. the boston bombings carried out by two brothers. even the jihadist behind 9/11 included three pairs of siblings.
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frightened to be identified, one young man told me family and friends were recruited on street corners in the molenbeek neighborhood of brussels. >> translator: yes, they will kill you if you leave. >> reporter: some went to syria to fight jihad, like these pair of sons. and died there. >> he said, i'm a friend of your son. and i would just inform you that your son has died. >> reporter: but others returned to their neighborhoods to kill in europe. salah abdeslam arrested for the paris attacks friday, purportedly joined isis with his procedure. many isis recruits have local backgrounds. locals told us hear is a cafe where drugs were sold. he died in paris, a suicide bomber. >> if you look at paris networks, there are people who have known each other for a protracted period of time. of course, the strongest bond is that of siblings, within t
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intelligence agencies are scrambling to trace those links, fearing another attack. kier simmons, nbc news, brussels. back at home, turning to the race for president, in a furious ted cruz unleashing today on donald trump, after the republican front-runner fanned the flames in the war over their wives on social media. this as the polls show that trump may have a serious problem with women voters. nbc's hallie jackson has details. >> reporter: a single retweet reigniting the fight between the front-runners, donald trump showing this photo to his 7 million followers. his wife, side by side with ted cruz's. with the phrase, the images are worth a thousand words. >> donald, you're a sniffling coward and leave heidi the hell alone. >> i'm going to beat him for the nomination. >> he's leading right now, you looked in that camera and said he's a coward. >> donald trump will not be the nominee. because donald trump is a train
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with wife heidi in wisconsin today, taking his toughest tone yet. >> donald doesn't like strong women. strong women scare donald. >> reporter: trump's campaign manager dismissed it, saying of cruz, this is his effort to gain attention to try and stay relevant in a race that he has lost. and insisting trump has great relationships with women. megyn kelly, whom trump has attacked repeatedly, asking about the tweet, simply, seriously? nearly half of female republican voters say they can't imagine picking trump. and among women in the general electorate, 7 in 10 have a negative view of trump. >> nobody respects women more than i do. >> reporter: he's repeatedly defended himself on the trail. his wife has, too. >> i see him in life. he treats women the same as men. >> reporter: some supporters unfazed. >> we have some foreign leaders out there that are tough and ridiculous, and rather nasty. maybe we need one of our own. >> reporter: insults online reverberating in real life. hallie jackson, nbc news, wisconsin.
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gary shandling has died suddenly, rushed to the hospital this morning passing away of an apparent heart attack. he was just 66 years old. and he's being remembered by celebrities and fans far and wide as a legendary comic genius. here's nbc's harry smith. >> reporter: gary shandling first came to our attention doing a stand-up routine on the "tonight show." >> i west to the bank earlier today. have you gotten your free pen yet? these are free. they pop right out. >> reporter: he was such a big hit, he was soon filling in for johnny carson. there was even talk that shandling would eventually take over the show. but shandling found his way to showtime. did a sitcom about a stand-up comedian. it was a thinly veiled sendup of sitcoms and of shandling himself. it was funny and a cult hit.
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shandling's real claim to fame came on hbo. the larry sanders show mocked late-night tv. ego, ambition and show business. >> some of us are talented. i'm sweating like a pig. >> reporter: it was what everybody at work talked about the next day. >> how am i really doing? >> you did great. what are you doing? come on. you're robin williams, for god's sakes. >> reporter: recently shandling shared a porsche can jerry seinfeld getting coffee. shandling could even crack up comedians. >> i don't think i would bounce it off a crowd. >> reporter: shandling was predictably funny. what he was famous for. harry smith, nbc news, new york. >> shocking loss. today the justice department has charged 70 iranians with cyber attacks on u.s. targets. they are contractors for the iranian government, accused of hacking dozens of banks. the fed say one also hacked the controls of a dam 30 miles outside new york city. but none of them is actually i
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so they may never be arrested for the crimes. a powerful storm is moving across nearly the entire stretch of the country, dumping heavy snow, spawning tornadoes and violent hail. winds even whipping fires. a wild convergence of weather events all from the same giant system. nbc's kerry sanders is in the storm zone for us tonight. >> reporter: spring for much of the country, a massive storm wreaks havoc across the plains, the midwest and the south. powerful hail roared through dallas. blowing out windows, and damaging cars. colorado digging out from the record spring snowfall. 17 inches in just 36 hours. stranding some motorists for more than seven hours. >> we're just going to sit here and enjoy the spring blizzard. >> reporter: the denver airport trying to get back on track after the fierce blizzard forced a complete shutdown. snow also blanketed minnesota
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where the governor declared a state of emergency. >> i just heard the roaring. >> reporter: and this morning, in lake charles, louisiana, a reported tornado touched down. >> there's my roof on the neighbor's house. >> reporter: the winds from the same system fueling fires in oklahoma and kansas, burning an area eight times the size of manhattan. >> if we can get mother nature to cooperate a little bit. >> reporter: and more dangerous storms predicted for the south tonight, where the national weather service is gathering more information to help keep people safe. >> we're going to check the temperature and humidity and wind, up to 100,000 feet in the atmosphere. >> reporter: tonight portions of alabama and the florida panhandle are under a tornado watch. kerry sanders, nbc news, birmingham. still ahead for us tonight, the beauty queen turned flight attendant two fled after 70 pounds of cocaine were allegedly
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justice came to an end. the deadliest kind of heart attacks, why they're on the rise for younger people and why it may not be too late to dramatically cut your risk. all cell", all cell", previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, it's not every day something this big comes along. a chance to live longer with... opdivo, nivolumab. opdivo is the first and only immunotherapy fda approved based on a clinical trial demonstrating longer life... ...for these patients. in fact, opdivo significantly increased the chance of living longer versus chemotherapy. opdivo is different. it works with your immune system. opdivo can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in your body and affect how they work. this may happen any time during or after treatment has ended, and may become serious and lead to death. see your doctor right away if you experience new or worsening cough; chest pain; shortness of breath; diarrhea; severe stomach pain or tenderness;
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or longer what pain? advil. we were planning to bring you this next story even before we got word of the sudden death of gary shandling from a heart attack at just 66 years old. there was a new study reporting that victims of the deadliest form of heart attacks are actually getting younger. the average age now just 60. nbc's anne thompson explains the alarming trend.
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>> reporter: every 43 seconds, someone in america has a heart attack. increasingly, that person is younger. a new study from the cleveland clinic said the average age for the deadliest type of heart attack has dropped from 64 to 60. because alarmingly, well-known risk factors are on the rise. including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. increases study author said they're fueled by the mistaken belief that pills can solve everything. >> it is the false idea that taking medications for cholesterol, and taking appropriate medications are enough. and lifestyle changes are not required. >> reporter: that's what trisha said she used to think. >> most of my life i was 95 pounds more than i am now. so i didn't exercise. >> reporter: a mom who worked as a research analyst at the pentagon, trisha said
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she developed diabetes, had heart bypass surgery. but it wasn't until she had eight stints put into her heart two years ago that she got scared. >> i was looking death in the face. >> reporter: exercise is now a priority. her diet is plant-based, and her family loves it. >> my husband has lost 38 pounds. my daughter has lost about 120 pounds. >> reporter: trisha is no longer diabetic and is down from 13 pills a day, to half of one. >> i'm having fun now. >> reporter: proving it's never too late to change for a better, longer life. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. we're back in a moment with a shocking plunge with a driver still at the wheel, caught on camera. with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go...
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of trying to smuggle 70 pounds of cocaine on a flight at los angeles international airport. taking off, running during a random security search of her carry-on bags, throwing her luggage and shoes as she fled. nbc's miguel almaguer has the new details. >> reporter: federal agents say security cameras captured marsha reynolds, even though police couldn't, as she tried to smuggle nearly 70 pounds of cocaine past security at l.a.x. the former jamaican beauty queen who's a nursing student and a jetblue flight attendant outran police at the airport last week, but was in federal court today after turning herself in, charged with intent to distribute cocaine. prosecutors say the flight attendant is a flight risk, who was working with an unnamed co-conspirator, a man who may now be trying to flee the country.
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[000:22:59;00] there will be more to the story. >> reporter: the fbi said reynolds tried to wheel $3 million worth of cocaine past the security checkpoint. when randomly flagged for secondary screening, court documents say reynolds became nervous and began looking around. after dropping her three carry-on bags and ditching her gucci shoes, police say the former nyu athlete sprinted down an upward moving escalator and out of the door. after some confusion in identifying reynolds, the fbi said she came back to l.a.x. the next day and flew to jfk. after the story broke, she turned herself in. 11 bags of cocaine and a track star beauty queen flight attendant. the feds say reynolds was fast on her feet, but in the end, could not outrun the law. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. scary video out of baltimore. take a look. it shows the sidewalk at the side of a parking garage.
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suddenly an suv plows right offhe ground below, landing upside down. miraculously the woman behind the wheel did not suffer any serious injuries. she was pulling into a parking space when the accident occurred. when we come back, amid the chaos, they rushed to help. some even injured themselves. the heroes at the brussels attacks, when we come back. your body was made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to a biologic, ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz is a small pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz can reduce joint pain and swelling in as little as two weeks, and help stop further joint damage. xeljanz can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis.
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long-term financial security for over 145 years. finally tonight, as the details continue to emerge about those who carried out the brussels terror attacks, so, too, are the incredible stories of heroism that day. ordinary people who risked their own safety to save others. here's nbc's kelly cobiella. >> reporter: minutes before two bombs ripped through the brussels airport, alfonz was smiling, wrapping luggage for passengers. i was working, he told me. then chaos. as panicked survivors ran from the airport, an immigrant from the ivory coast stayed. that's him, carrying
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one of the injured. needed help, he told me. i carried people out. i stayed with them. i helped stop the bleeding. also in the airport, this 20-year-old muslim. he was bleeding. i evacuated people, he said. i don't even know how i did it. it was my first reflex. across brussels, everyday heroes. too many to count. 400 volunteers for the red cross alone left their day job to dress wounds and comfort victims. how are you doing? >> i'm okay. >> reporter: tonight alfonz is still thinking about the people he helped. he would like to meet them to see if they're okay. and he says he's still not afraid. because the belgium he knows is an open, hopeful country. and that, he says,
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hasn't changed. kelly cobiel, news, brussels, belgium. that will do it for us on a thursday night. i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, thank you for watching, and good night. kathleen matthews: if we want to be heard, we need women in congress. it was the women who forced republicans to include women's health and contraceptive coverage in the affordable care act. in congress, i'll fight for pay equity, family leave and tougher gun safety laws. and, as an environmentalist, i'll work combat climate change.
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i know as a journalist and as a senior executive in business we get things done. i'm kathleen mathews and i approve this message. fios is not cable. we're wired differently. in the last 10 years our competitors have received a few awards. but we've received a few more, including jd power who ranked us highest in customer satisfaction for the third year in a row. only fios has the fastest internet on the most awarded network. now get super-fast 100 meg internet tv and phone for just $69.99 per month, online. cable can't offer internet speeds this fast at a price this good, only fios can. lights, camera, "access." >> there was a quote i read. i wanted to walk away from life. >> there were days i did feel like that. >> iggy azalea refers to it as her psychotic breakdown. i'm liz hernandez.

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