tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC November 4, 2018 3:30pm-4:01pm PST
. tonight, with just two days until the mid-term elections, the president and his predecessor rally voters in the final stretch, making their closing arguments as races tighten across the country. our team of correspondents has it all covered. the death of an american soldier killed in afghanistan shocks the town where he was the mayor. >> there are three great loyalties that have guided my life and everything in it, god, family and country. >> his community now mourning a father of seven who dedicated his life to service. anti-american protests in the streets of iran. a celebration of the hostage crisis nearly four decades ago as a new cold war escalates. health concerns
over a newly opened wildlife refuge. some saying the former nuclear weapons site is unsafe. and going batty in texas. a sight to see as millions of the nocturnal creatures take to the skies causing planes to change course and turning dusk to dark. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. good evening. from democracy plaza inside our nbc election center, with less than 48 hours ago until the mid-term elections and the campaigning went into overdrive today. president trump and former president obama both in key states today, and more store power in districts across the country as republicans try to maintain control of both the u.s. house and the senate. as of tonight, nearly 35 million voters have already cast their ballots. that's a record number for early voting. we've identified five states to keep a close eye on this tuesday and our correspondents have all of them covered. we begin with kelly o'donnell in tennessee.
>> reporter: a megawatt matchup made by these unpredictable mid terms. today two presidents on the trail, 45. >> this is like being at a georgia football game! >> reporter: and 44 back in action. >> i've been doing a little campaigning, but i'm a little out of shape. >> president trump putting some distance between himself and the fate of house republicans as he left the white house. >> the difference is i campaigned for all of those husband members there's so many of them. >> reporter: but claiming he's been an asset to republican senate races. >> i think i've made a difference of five or six or seven. that's a big difference. >> reporter: the former president in gary, indiana, today, a state he carried once in 2008 and where trump won in '16. barack obama trying to keep a senate seat blue by helping incumbent democrat joe donnelly. >> when you vote, you can be a check on bad
behavior. when you vote, you can choose hope over fear. >> reporter: democrats, many both confident and concerned, that voters who have appeared motivated for months will follow through at the polls. >> everybody is encouraged others to get out and vote. >> reporter: president trump making stops in georgia and tennessee today, scrapping to make sure republican-held seats stay red. >> so if you want more care advance and you want more crime, vote democrat. it's very simple. >> reporter: women are among the most sought after mid-term voters. >> for me it's security, jobs, economy. >> reporter: after his rally here in chattanooga, tennessee tonight, there will be one more day and three more rallies for president trump. now he has said that he's been most focused on senate races, and frankly republicans have been predicted to do well there all along so he may be positioning himself to take credit there and avoid blame if republicans do not keep control of the
house. kate? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you. let's dig in deeper to some of the races starting with texas and a hotly contested smart seat. we go live to san antonio with the latest. >> reporter: early voting in texas has broken every record. more people voted early in 2016 than voted in the entirety of the 2014 election, and the beto o'rourke campaign hopes that's because of the enthusiasm that you can hear behind me from some of these large rallies he's been doing, particularly in the big diverse cities of austin and san antonio where he needs big numbers to make this race truly competitive. the republican ted cruz has led though recent polls shows the race is tightening. right now there's little that this campaign could agree on, except that this the most competitive race in texas in 20 years, and the turnout on tuesday will be massive. kate? >> thank you. over to georgia, the governor's contest
is heating up there tonight with the republican contender accusing state democrats of launching a cyber attack on the voter registration system. nbc's jeff bennett is in macon, jeff? >> kate, voting has emerged as the central issue in this race now that republican brian kemp and democrat stacey abrams are locked in a statistical dead heat. the latest polling showing them effectively tied. now, kemp is also georgia's secretary of state, and he's pushed voting restrictions which many abrams supporters say are aimed at limiting turnout among african-american voters. now today kemp's office announced an investigation into the state democratic party over an attempted hack of georgia's voting registration system. democrats call it a political stunt. kate? >> all right. thank you. on to florida and another race for governor that could sway that swing state. our catie beck is in orlando. another dead heat there. >> reporter: that's right, kate. this race is essentially tied. florida has a long
history of hotly contested races, and it will live up to its reputation this tuesday. the latest poll has democrat andrew gillum leading his republican opponent ron desantis by a single point, 49% to 48%. that's giving president trump reason to make florida a focus. he's made several stops here in recent weeks, including one last night in pensacola, florida, but despite all of the national attention on both sides, the race for florida governor will be headed into a tossup tuesday. kate? >> catie beck, thank you. latina voters are one of the most coveted groups in this country, and both parties are making a strong pitch to win them on tuesday. more from miami with that part of the story. >> reporter: kate, i've been speaking to latinos throughout the mid-terms, and many tell me they do not favor the administration policies and the numbers bear that out. according to our latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll out today, 34% of latinos disapprove of
president trump, 62% disapprove of the president, but will latinos turn out? that's the big question and what we're here to find out. earlier today a get out the vote rally with latina actresses eva longoria and america ferrera among others, really mobilizing this community to turn out and another one is set to begin in just a few minutes here in miami. kate? >> you can hear more from those prominent latina activists on their efforts to get out the vote tomorrow morning on the third hour of "today." now to north dakota and its pivotal senate race with incumbent senator heidi heitkamp facing a strong challenge from kevin kramer. a voting law in effect for the first time is suppressing their right to vote. kevin tibbles went to north dakota and has more. >> look here. one, two, three. >> reporter: the busiest place on the turtle mountain reservation is the dmv, turning out new tribal id cards so
fast the old machine melted down. >> are you feeling overwhelm overwhelmed. >> reporter: the director says some 2,000 have already been printed. >> we are prepared to make 10,000 of them if need be. >> reporter: the turtle mountain reservation is home to 19,000 people spread out over 72 square miles. it is rural and remote. few street signs, few numbers. so in september when a federal judge upheld a north dakota law requiring voters to show an i.d. with a street address, many native communities saw it not as an attempt to prevent fraud but as an attempt to shut them out. the tribal chairman here jamie ajer. >> we have a rising of native nations in turtle mountain. that's the best way to put it. >> we are native americans, and we should have our rights. >> reporter: for those who have traveled for miles to get their new i.d.s, the law is offensive. >> it's contrary to everything that the
united states government has guaranteed to the sovereignty of its people. >> reporter: with poverty and high unemployment, the tribal council provides the new i.d.s for few. >> they are still handing out voter i.d.s at like 8:00 last night. >> reporter: youth activists gather to organize transportation for those without. >> did you get it filled out? >> yeah. >> reporter: and to get out vote. >> the something small and then the next day it just grew, and now it's just like this fire within everyone. it's beautiful. >> reporter: they may not feel tied to street names and numbers, but here they know where they stand. >> i'll call you up when it's ready. >> kevin tibbles, abc newscenter 5 on the turtle mountain reservation, north dakota. and a reminder, join lester holt, savannah guthrie and chuck todd for the vote, america's future. nbc's election coverage starts at 8:00 eastern, 7:00 central on tuesday night. a u.s. soldier was killed in an apparent insider attack in afghanistan this weekend. the national guard member was serving his fourth deployment overseas.
he was also a fixture of his community back home. nbc's kathy park reports. >> tonight utah mourns a man who touched many corners of his community. >> this is a sad day for utah, for america. >> brent taylor, a married father of seven dedicated his life to service for both his city and country as mayor of north ogden and as a major with the utah national guard. in january he used facebook to announce a leave of an sense for his latest deployment to afghanistan to train an afghan commander battalion. >> there are three great loyalties that have guided my life and everything in it, god, family and country. >> his character and commitment among the accolades for the 39-year-old taylor killed in saturday's apparent insider attack in kabul. the third in which a u.s. soldier has been killed in afghanistan this year. >> i know it was crazy to go but he
volunteered because he thought he could do something good. >> reporter: taylor often used social media to share his experiences overseas and in the last facebook post he proudly reflected on witnesses afghanistan's first parliamentary elections and stressed the importance of voting here in the u.s. he was expected to be back home in months, but in this town he will forever have a flames as a hero. kathy park, nbc news. >> we turn now to iran where thousands took to the streets with anti-american signs and charnts marking the anniversary of the lawn hostage crisis back in 1979, this as the trump administration imposes new sanctions on the country, but will there be enough to curb iran's growing inbruins? more now on this growing cold war. >> reporter: thousand of iranians are celebrating an infamous day in history. 39 years again iranian students stormed the u.s. embassy in tehran. 52 americans held hostage for 444 days,
an act solidifying a russia that saw the u.s.-backed sha gone. once america's policeman in the region iran spun from ally to enemy, starting a cold war and pitting it against the u.s. and its alice. ran's reach has been formidable. during the 1980s, it waged a deadly eight-year war with iraq. today they are close allies. >> this where around 2 million iranian pilgrims crossed the border into iraq. iran's supreme court leader recently said if iranian fighters hadn't martyred themselves in syria, in iraq, this wouldn't be possible today. decades of sanctions have not curtailed the islamic republic's impact on the region. sunni, saudi and shia iran have been slugging it out in proxy wars, vying for dominance based on as much ideology as it is strategy. saudi arabia is so pivotal to the trump administration's effort to exert
maximum pressure on iran that eastern the shocking murder of a saudi journalist at the hands of his own government hasn't affected their alliance. >> they have been a great ally in the middle east. we need them as a counterbalance to iran. >> the u.s. has picked a side in this cold war, but will the latest round of sanctions and pressure be enough to weaken the islamic republic or strengthen its resolve. >> reporter: ali arouzi, nbc news, tehran. the fda has approved a new opioid that's more potent than the dangerous pain killer fept nil. we probably don't have to tell that you 50,000 people are dying every year in the u.s. after an open poid ov -- after an opioid overdose and many are wondering if the new drug could do more harm than good. >> reporter: for those fighting the opioid epidemic it's a hard pill to swallow. the fda's approval of the drug, an opioid
pain killer ten times as poe temp as fentanyl throws more fuel on the raging fires of america's opioid crisis. massachusetts senator edward markey and three other senators signed a letter last week demanding the fda not green light the drug. >> what the fda is doing by ought rising the drug to go into the market is supercharging an already deadly problem that we have in our country. >> reporter: for the senator it's perm. opioid deaths in massachusetts are more than twice the national average, but the fda says it has safety measures in place and that the drug is restricted to use in certified, medically certified healthcare settings such as hospitals, surgical centers and emergency departments. the manufacturer says it won't be abused like fentanyl, more bine or other drugs because the pill comes in a single dose, not for home use or available in pharmacies. >> dsuvia is different than most opioids and you won't find it in a
walgreens or cvs. >> reporter: it was requested by the pentagon for battlefield use where intravenous painkillers can be ineffective or unavailable. >> people have said this before where it can't be abused and there's regulations in place and even the very controlled substances have shown abuse in the past. >> reporter: a new tool for pain management which will be closely watched as america's opioid crisis gets worse. matt bradley, nbc news. >> still ahead tonight, why some hikers and pikers refused to go near the breathtaking public trails. also, how she ran away with the title once again, blowing away her competition at the new york city marathon. you're headed down the highway when the guy in front slams on his brakes out of nowhere. you do, too, but not in time. hey, no big deal. you've got a good record and liberty mutual won't hold a grudge by raising your rates over one mistake. you hear that, karen? liberty mutual doesn't hold grudges... how mature of them. for drivers with accident forgiveness
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a national wildlife refuge has opened near denver, but with it its majestic beauty comes some controversy. it's the site of a former nuclear power plant and some environmentalists say despite a massive cleanup the area may not be safe. here's steve patterson. >> reporter: its undeniable beauty spreading over 5,000 acres. while many coloradoans can't resist the trails. >> i've within waiting for years for this park to open. >> reporter: others who know the history of this place won't set foot here. >> rocky flats is a nuclear weapons plant located on the edge of denver. >> reporter: a cold war relic, rocky flats turned out plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs from 1952 to 1989. >> shut down rocky
point. >> reporter: then it was shuttered after a series of fires, leaks and spills. now, after a $7 billion cleanup this long untouched land has reopened to the public as a wildlife refuge. the government calling it safe, but nearby resident elizabeth panzer disagrees. >> i believe will never be safe. >> reporter: she blames her son's rare cancer on contaminants to the site. doctors never found a link but she is joining activists in a lawsuit against the federal government in an effort to shut down the park. >> if there's plutonium sediment in our soil, it will track into our neighborhoods, our homes, our schools. >> reporter: scientists from the state's public health department constantly monitor the soil and water here. >> this whole site is one of the most well studied parcels of land on the planet. this is a very low-risk site. >> reporter: oversight agencies came here for a couple of hours a
day and after 20 years your average annual radiation exposure would be a tiny fraction of a medical x-ray. >> i think it's a nice national resource and local resource for us to get out and enjoy all this wide-open land. >> reporter: but county health director dr. mark johnsson says the site may not be clear of all contaminant and worries about lasting health risks. >> i feel that the contamination, particularly close to rocky flats, is higher than i would want my children exposed to. >> reporter: he's now calling for independent testing it, a lingering fallout marring this mile highly splendor. steve patterson, nbc news, denver. back in a moment with a sweet gesture of support. with a sweet gesture of support. why some loyal i just got my ancestrydna results: 74% italian. and i found out that i'm from the big toe of that sexy italian boot! calabria.
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again,ing kenyan mary keitany dominated at the new york city marathon topping her competitor by more than three minutes and recording the second best time in race history. it was her fourth win in five years. on the men's side, ethiopian lelisa desisa pulled away from the pack in the last mile to capture his first new york city marathon victory. and a heartwarming story from a southern california doughnut shop. the store called doughnut city sells out early every day now thanks to loyal customers who want to help its longtime owner get home early. they buy up his supply so john chan can care for his wife who is recovering from an aneurysm. the chans came to the u.s. as cambodian refugees nearly four decades ago, and they have been serving up doughnuts ever since. when we come back, going batty, an annual wonder o ahh.
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finally tonight, for some it might sound a little batty, but it is a popular fall family tradition in texas. venturing out at dusk to watch a wonder of nature. our kerry sanders reports from the bat cave. >> just beyond the cactus down a dusty road lies a cave in central texas where this time of year one of mother nature's most intriguing wonders takes flight just before sunset. that's the sound of more than 15 million bats near san antonio. an evening spectacle. >> oh, yeah, i see it. >> that's become a popular family outing. how would you describe
this? >> natural geographic in real life. >> the skies so darkened by these creatures they show up on doppler radar. nearby military flights rerouted as the mexican free tail bats fly up to 10,000 feet, 60 miles in every direction for a bug buffet. >> bats eat bugs. this colony of bats can eat 147 tons of bugs tonight. >> reporter: that's more than the weight of three boeing 737s. what do you think of this? >> it's amazing. it's amazing. i think the sound is incredible. >> reporter: how about the smell? >> the smell is terrible. >> reporter: this is what you expect, but turns out bats are not going to fly into my hair or try to suck my blood. there's only one bat on earth that does it, and it's not these. from bat tats to folk art and even jewelry. >> love bats. >> reporter: texas is so proud of its bats they are honored at austin's batfest each year. >> i love the way they
are just like exotic creatures and kind of like eerie looking, kind of weird. >> reporter: home to the world's largest bat colony. at dusk every night a show against the city skyline. meanwhile back at the bat cave they will begin migrating south to mexico in late november, and next year as they have done for 1,000 years, you batter believe it, they will be back. >> cool. >> why are we whispering? >> i don't know. because of the bats. >> reporter: kerry sanders, nbc news, comeau county texas. >> oh, kerry. that is "nbc nightly news." lester holt will be in for tomorrow's final countdown to tuesday's elections. i'm kate snow. for all of us here at nbc news, have a great night.
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