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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  March 18, 2016 2:07am-2:37am EDT

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public shaming of two high-powered officials as they were held accountable for the systematic failure that virtually poisoned the water for thousands in flint, michigan. michigan's governor and the head of the epa were called on to resign, as they appeared before congressional committee today to answer for the crisis. it made for some uncomfortable moments. in fact, rarely has the hot seat been hotter. nbc's stephanie gosk shows us. >> reporter: with the children of flint still unable to drink the water -- >> do you solemnly swear -- >> reporter: blame on the hill today. >> if you want to do the courageous thing, then you two should resign. >> people who put dollars over the fundamental safety of the people do not belong in government. and you need to resign, too, governor snyder. >> reporter: the republican governor from michigan and the head of the epa were hammered today on the hill. other the lead in flint's water. >> you need to take some responsibility. because you screwed up. and you messed up 100,000 people's
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100,000 of them. >> reporter: every resident of flint, including more than 8,000 children, was exposed to dangerous levels of lead for over a year. while officials insisted the water was safe. >> this was a failure of government at all levels. we all failed the families of flint. >> reporter: the democrat from pennsylvania hit back hard. >> you are not in a medically induced coma for a year. and i've had about enough of your false contrition and phony aapologies. >> reporter: epa head said her agency relied on michigan water officials. >> i wish we had yelled from the tree tops. but there was no way my agency created this problem. >> reporter: more than 150 residents from flint bused in overnight for the hearing. >> we can't brush our teeth. we can't use the faucet like we do here in washington. >> reporter: but they hope congress will hear their voices. >> when i look at the building behind me, i look at hope.
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faith in the government still lingers, even after they wor so badly let down. >> an american tragedy. now to the major announcement from sea world. after years of controversy, the company says it's making big changes in its killer whale program. immediately. the orcas are a trademark of the theme park, but after a devastating documentary, attendance and revenue both took a hit. nbc's miguel almaguer has details. >> reporter: sea world's announcement signals the end of an era. the killer whale breeding program which produced the theme park's biggest draws is over. 24 whales in three parks. the last generation of orcas sea world will display in captivity. >> the reason we think with eneed to do it now is society is changing. if you look at people's general comfort level with orcas under human care, i've seen a real shift in society. >> reporter: that
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momentum after the critical documentary black fish. citeding the mistreatment of orcas and the death of trainer dawn branchers au. attendance dropped, revenue plunged. sea world partnered with the humane society to find a solution. >> the real priority has been no animals from the wild into sea world. no new captive breeding, bringing in additional animals to the population. >> reporter: reacting to today's announcement, pita said it's not enough. >> we are pushing for them to release these orcas to coastal sanctuaries, so they can live out some semblance of a natural life for the rest of their days. >> reporter: last year sea world decided to end the killer whale shows, for a more natural setting for the orcas. once the pride of sea world, the parks are now saying good-bye to
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it famous. and the show millions came to see. sea world says it won't release its whales into the wild because they would not be able to survive on their own. on average, in captivity this ecould live for 30 years. they will remain at the facilities including the one behind me for quite some type. many are asking what will sea world be without its whales. the company saying simply that it's moving in a new direction. break to the agreement with the nation's biggest car makers that could save some of the 100 people who die in car accidents every day. the auto makers freed to make life-saving technology that can automatically apply the brakes in an emergency standard on all models. experts believe it could cut rear-end collisions by 40%, saving thousands of lives. here's nbc's tom costello. >> reporter: it's technology that's proven to save lives.
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braking also known as aeb applies the brakes when a car or object is approaching fast and the driver isn't reacting. today government regulators announced the biggest automakers have alleged to make aeb standard equipment in all cars in six years, covering 9 the9% of the new cars on the market. >> life-saving a ex b systems will be not just a pricey option on top of the line models, but a given for any american consumer in the thu car market. >> reporter: technology that's badly needed. early estimates suggest 35,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year alone. one person every 16 minutes. safety experts believe automatic braking systems could have saved 12,000 of those lives. the technology used forward-facing radars, lasers or cameras to watch for objects that are approaching rapidly. if the driver doesn't hit the brakes, aeb kicks in. it can really catch
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if you're not paying attention, the brakes will slam on for you. >> this technology is implemented across the fleet, could pre vend 28,000 crashes from occurring every year. that's not just about inconvenience, or injury, it's about lives saved. >> reporter: and today safety sells. >> it brakes when you don't. >> reporter: many cars already come with automatic braking and a different approach to auto safety. while 20 years ago, it was all about surviving a crash, today it's about preventing one. tom costello, nbc news, mclean, virginia. in the battle for the white house, donald trump was the subject of a closed-door meeting today in washington, called by anxious conservative leaders. the purpose, building a strategy to block his path to the nomination. nbc's hallie jackson takes us inside the effort to derail trump. >> reporter: today two blocks from the white house, a secret huddle
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trump from moving in. a frustrated group led by eric erickson, emerging with a call for a unity ticket for the gop and looking ahead to a contested convention. the stop-trump movement regrouping to reassess how to slow him down. two road blocks slowing them down. first, trump could still lock up the nomination before the convention. ads against him not doing much, as he more than doubled his delegate lead this week, even after outside groups spent $13 million. >> now we're having conversations with donors, gauging the interest in moving ahead. >> reporter: anti-trump activists trying to convince delegates to be the convention. >> real people with lives and schedules and vacations and cell phones and twitter accounts all have to be found, cataloged, and wooed. >> reporter: the message to them, in the words of one activist, people who bultd this party have been here longer than the newcomers who are
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the whole thing down. >> those of us who are delegates in colorado. >> reporter: the second issue for the stop-trump movement, calling for unity without special vying to the party. new signs cruz may have the edge. marco rubio, praising him as conservative, though ruling out a vp run. senator lindsay graham planning to raise money for his colleague just a few weeks after this. >> if you kill ted cruz on the floor of the senate, and the trial was in the senate, nobody could convict you. >> reporter: the unlikeliest of pairing in an unlikely race, one the stop-trump movement never saw coming. and late tonight, a hacker group trying to stop trump is reportedly taking credit for the release of his personal information online, his phone and social security number. the trump campaign tells nbc, law enforcement authorities are seeking the arrest of the individuals responsible for attempting to
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candidate's account. >> hallie jackson, thank you. the u.s. is now officially de chaired isis guilty of genocide. secretary of state john kerry today formally accused isis of the crime of trying to ex terminate entire peoples, including christians, and ziite mufls. congress has been pushing for this designation, but it is now not expected to change the current u.s. strategy against isis. for the first time, we're hearing from the man that kurdish television said is the alleged american isis fighter who suddenly surrendered last week. he's revealing details about the dark path that led him from virginia all the way to the heart of jihadist-controlled territory in iraq. nbc news chief attorney correspondent richard engel has more. >> reporter: the first american-born isis fighter to surrender on the battlefield. >> i'm from the united states. >> reporter: the 26-year-old virginia native was captured this week in iraq.
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captors released video of his confession. >> i was with a lot of foreigners, a lot of asians, russians, and people from the surrounding area. >> reporter: he described how he traveled to turkey, and over the course of a few months, entered syria to join isis. his statements were made while he's still in captivity. they cham he tried to leave isis from where he was stationed in the iraqi city of mosul and surrendered to kurdish forces. >> i didn't support their ideology. and at that point, that's when i decided i needed to escape. i wanted to go back to america. the life in mosul, it's really, really bad.
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he realized his isis. u.s. officials say the group is having trouble keeping its recruits, and that he intelligence value. >> amazing to see him richard, thank you very much. nominee for the supreme court, merrick garland, made his first visit to capitol hill today hoping to meet with as many senators as he can. but he's had no meetings with republicans yet. some now say they're open to the idea. but the gop appears to be standing firm on denying him a vote. nbc's pete williams went to get answers on the hill. >> reporter: they're known as courtesy calls, merrick garland may find courtesy in short supply at the senate. so far democrats have formally agreed to meet with him, including harry reid and patrick leahy. democrats are highlighting their meetings to push for a
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though republicans say neither will happen. do you think that could be changed? >> i hope it will be changed. because i cannot imagine any senator standing up and saying, i'm not going to do any duty. >> reporter: eight republicans are open at least to meeting with garland, though some say that may not be productive. >> i'm not going to change my position, because it's based on the principle of this nominee having the possibility of reshaping the court for generations. i think it's best to allow the american that. >> reporter: no commitment yet from other republicans who voted 19 years ago to done firm garland as an appeals court judge. orrin hatch first raised the possibility after the presidential election, but no longer, now in line with his party. >> the right thing to do is put this over to the next president. >> reporter: the real concern, antonin scalia's death leaves the supreme court ideologically split,
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to the left. even a moderate like merrick garland who hopes he's doing more than going through the motions. the white house hopes to keep the pressure on with pro-confirmation rallies in dozens of cities. in a conference call today with supporters, president obama said, make yourselves heard. >> pete williams at the supreme court, thank you. still ahead tonight, accidental poisonings in children. a danger in so many homes, that it's sending kids to the emergency room every
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trying to fire up a new warning every parent must hear about the risk of sdeptd al poisoning for children. almost every minute of every day in the u.s., a call is made to poison control because a child got into medicine they shouldn't be taking. the rated of kids being rushed to the e.r. is staggering. >> reporter: robert lee called 911 just once in his life. for his daughter, katherine. >> i heard a crunching sound. she said, ooh, like something tasted bad. i knew she had accidently gotten one of my pills. >> reporter: robert takes several heart and blood pressure pills a day. it's not clear which one katherine ate. >> i felt scared and guilty all at the same time. >> reporter: every nine minutes a child is rushed to the reflt for accidental poisoning. a key factor, nearly
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least one prescription drug. almost 80% use over-the-counter medicines. >> kids have more exposure, particularly in multi-generational families. 48% of the time a child who is treated in an emergency room had gotten into a grandparent's medication. >> reporter: easy-open pill boxes like these are convenient for adults and a major hazard for children. of children brought to the reflt for possible medicine poisoning, safe kids worldwide found most medicine in a pill box, on the floor, in a purse, or right on the counter of the experts take controlling access is key. >> all medications should be stored out of sight of children and out of reach of children. >> reporter: katherine waste hurt, but learned a lesson. so now when you see something like this, could you eat it right away? >> no. >> what do you do? >> you think about it, and like turn away if it looks like medicine. >> reporter: a remind
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erica hill, nbc news, columbus, ohio. snnchts when we come back here tonight, the
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a new study finds that the main ingredient in many popular pain relievers like tylenol may not help at all when it comes to relieving arthritis. the study found that anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen work better but should only be used in the short term. the makers of tylenol disagree with the study, saying the drug is safe and effective. frank sinatra jr. has died. the son of the legendary singer followed his father in the music business working for him as his musical conductor. he performed many of the classic favorites. he made international headlines in 1963 when at 19 years old, he was kidnapped for two
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paid a $240,000 ransom for his safe release. the family said he died of cardiac arrest while on tour in florida. frank sinatra jr. was 72. scary scene caught on camera today at a high school pep rally in florida. it happened when a seasoned stunt performer was going to blow fire at the rally, accidently caught fire himself and suffered first-degree burns to his face. he is expected to be hospitalized overnight. several students were treated for breathing issues from the smoke. the wait is almost over for two expectant parents in washington, d.c. a pair of bald eagles are waiting in their nest for two eggs to hatch. it won't be long now. a tiny break has started cracking through one of the shells. it promises to be quite an amazing sight for all of those who will be watching the live nest cam feed. when we come back, dog overboard of the she was lost at sea five weeks ago.
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one happy ending. we're going to leave you tonight with a story of survival against all odds. a beloved friend lost at sea more than a month ago and feared dead. she must have one heg of a dog paddle going on, because amazingly this dog lived to see another day. nbc's gadi schwartz has the details. >> reporter: it's a sea dog's tale of survival. a wagging tail of survival. >> i was just blown away. i still get chills just looking at her. >> reporter: this is
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being found on an island five weeks sea. >> i can't believe it's her in the flesh. >> reporter: friends of luna's owner say she was on a fishing boat in february when she disappeared. after a two-day search they finally assumed the worse. >> you can imagine trying to search for a brown and tan dog on a brown and tan shoreline would not be an easy thing. >> reporter: her owner posting a good-bye on facebook, when he got the call. surviving on rainwater, fish and rodents rodents. >> she's thin, but she's not emaciated. >> reporter: luna was spotted sitting on the side of a deserted road. her ocean blue eyes made her an instant favorite among the sailors. >> good to get her back to her owner. >> i can't believe she's back. >> reporter: the navy making luna an honorary dog tag inscribed with a lesson usually taught
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special survival course. luna, keep the faith. gadi schwartz, nbc news, los angeles. >> apparently swims like a retriever. that will do it for us on this thursday night. i'm lester holt.
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