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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  July 17, 2019 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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ger event, get a $1,000 purchase bonus on 2019 jetta, tiguan, and select atlas models. ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight, from our southern border, cbs news exclusives-- a rare look inside the largest holding facility for migrants. did you travel the whole way with your son? >> si. >> o'donnell: the acting homeland security secretary tells us how the crisis could be resolved. >> congress could fix it very simply. >> o'donnell: and the border bottleneck that drives migrants to enter the u.s. illegally. also tonight, demands for change after the boeing 737 crashes. >> i speak not only with my voice, but the voices of my departed family. >> o'donnell: the race to save stranded whales. >> oh, my god. they're going to die if they don't get help. >> o'donnell: and, dangerously hot weather is spreading from west to east.
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this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting tonight from hidalgo, texas. >> o'donnell: good evening. we are here tonight at the very heart of the immigration crisis and saw images that would break the heart of any parent. cbs news cameras were allowed exclusively inside the largest migrant processing facility in the country. it's all right here along the southern border. we have seen still photographs of it before, but that is like nothing, like witnessing, in person, young children lying on the floor on mylar blankets, and looking into their eyes and wondering what they're thinking as their lives are in limbo. we also talked to border patrol agents trying to do the best job that they can. and, in an exclusive interview, the acting secretary of homeland security told us what more needs to be done, and he pointed a finger at congress. we begin tonight inside the ursula migrant processing facility, with a woman and her young son who recently crossed
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into the u.s. illegally in search of a safer and better life. where are you from? >> venezuela. >> o'donnell: venezuela? >> si. >> o'donnell: and you traveled the whole way with your son? >> sola. >> o'donnell: a lot of walking. angelina estrada and her two- year-old son martin is just one of the 815 families here. a journalist who says she was threatened by the venezuelan government, and knows the law that, as a mother with a child, she will be allowed to enter the united states.
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are you getting warm food? >> si, si. >> o'donnell: but you're sleeping on the floor? >> si, si. >> o'donnell: it's extraordinary to see mothers and their children sleeping together on the floor in this 77,000-square foot facility. the toughest thing to see? these infants, alone, napping mid-morning in this makeshift nursery. they are just some of the nearly 300 unaccompanied children here. without parents, they are being cared for by members of the coast guard. this is the whole 55,000-square foot park? >> yes, we just walked the whole perimeter. >> you just went around the entire perimeter. >> o'donnell: and was any of this cleaned up or dressed up for us? >> no. absolutely not. >> o'donnell: we had exclusive access to this facility. there was no one we weren't allowed to speak with, and nowhere we couldn't go. this is not like anything i've
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ever seen before. we were here with kevin mcaleenan, acting secretary of homeland security. also with us, carmen qualia, the chief border patrol agent who runs the facility in the rio grande valley. have you ever let cameras inside here before like this? >> no. >> i made the decision to take the risk and bring cameras in, to be transparent about what we're facing and to show that to the american people, and make sure that our congress knows what we need to help us address this crisis. >> o'donnell: you realize this may cause more criticism of what's going on here? >> i think we need a national conversation based on the facts that are actually happening on our border to try to address and solve the problems. >> o'donnell: a year ago, the country was shocked by still photos showing children being held in overcrowded cages. today, it is cleaner and more well-organized, but it is still hard to look at. i mean, you're the acting secretary. >> right. >> o'donnell: you're saying, this is not good enough. >> i've been saying it for a year. >> o'donnell: the conditions for families there are much
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different than at the mcallen border patrol station for adults, where vice president mike pence visited last week. we're here at the mcallen border station. it's the busiest there is, right? >> right. >> o'donnell: how is it that they just got shower units last week? >> so, that's been a result of lack of funding-- not to provide all of the services that we'd like to provide. we prioritize children, obviously. we prioritize families second. and single adults are the third to get that kind of humanitarian support. >> o'donnell: so you're blaming some of the past conditions on congress's lack of funding? >> it's been a critical issue. >> o'donnell: mcaleenan says the solution is this so-called tent city, named "donna," which is expanding. he says it is far better suited to house new migrants. >> it just provides a lot more capacity. the big challenge of the overcrowding is, people are uncomfortable because there are too many in small areas. we'll be able to reduce that. >> o'donnell: and those facilities possible because of the $4.6 billion supplemental that was approved.
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now, many migrants come to america illegally because entering as a legal asylum seeker is getting more difficult. mireya villarreal is 16 miles down-river from here in brownsville, texas, and shows us why the odds of getting asylum are growing longer and longer. mireya? >> reporter: you know, the wait is getting worse, partially because the u.s. government has ramped up their metering efforts. metering is where u.s. customs agents here at this bridge and other legal ports of entry force asylum seekers to turn back around, go back into mexico, put their name on a list, and then wait there until they're called. here in matamoros, mexico, just across the bridge from brownsville, texas, the wait to request asylum seems endless. how long have you been here waiting? "i have been waiting here two and a half months." afraid she'll lose her place in line if she's not close by, yolayle gonzalez is sleeping on the sidewalk that lines the gates to the bridge, hoping her name is called.
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it's been two weeks and no one has passed through. this family tells me they're out of money and have nowhere else to go. this is where the family lives. two moms and two kids sleep here every night, waiting to get into the u.s. >> she says right now things are getting really desperate. a lot of people are talking about crossing illegally. >> o'donnell: the desperation, which is leading people to risk their lives to cross the border. nearly 300 migrants died while attempting to cross in 2018. last month, this image of oscar ramirez and his two-year-old daughter valeria drowning outside this city caught the attention of the nation. >> o'donnell: and mireya, do we know how many people are currently waiting to apply for asylum in mexico? >> reporter: right now, there are about 19,000 people waiting to request asylum in mexico. to add to that, norah, we also know there are over 325,000
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pending applications filed here in the u.s. >> o'donnell: all right. mireya villarreal, thank you. and tomorrow, we will take you to the banks of the rio grande. we went with border patrol agents and acting secretary mcaleenan to see where the journey into the u.s. immigration system began for many of the families we spoke with today. and we're not going to end there, because manuel bojorquez will take us inside a federal shelter for migrant children, including infants and toddlers who entered the country without their parents. what is next for them? that's in a special "eye on america." in washington tonight, there is breaking news. the house voted overwhelmingly to block a resolution to impeach president trump. it was the first impeachment vote since democrats took back control this year, and nancy cordes reports, it exposes a party rift. >> reporter: donald john trump, president of the united states, is unfit to be president. >> reporter: it was a test vote of sorts on the appetite for impeachment, and it turns out, the hunger is low. >> i think we'll get rid of all
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this right now. >> reporter: more than half of house democrats joined all republicans to table the idea for now. >> i do think i'm winning the political fight. i think i'm winning it by a lot. >> reporter: texas democrat al green forced the vote by introducing an impeachment resolution. it says the "president's racist comments" this week suggesting "those who may look to the president like immigrants should 'go back' to other countries" qualify as high misdemeanors. >> if you did what the president has done, you would be punished. >> reporter: the president was referring to these four democratic congresswomen, who spoke to gayle king. >> so what is the point of going through the exercise of impeachment, when it doesn't look like it will go anywhere? >> the watergate glass didn't have the votes in the senate side. they didn't function from that place. they functioned by putting the country first. >> reporter: but democratic leaders prefer to wait, and for now, most party members appear to be with them. >> we have six committees that
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are working on following the facts, in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and the rest, that the president may have engaged in. >> reporter: the president, arriving in north carolina for a rally tonight, called the results of this vote "overwhelming" and said, "that's the end of it." but with special counsel robert mueller set to testify next week, norah, this wasn't the end of anything. >> o'donnell: and we'll be there for that, too. nancy cordes, thank you. there were calls today to ground the boeing 737 max forever. the jets have been out of the sky for four months, and that is longer than any other aircraft in history, and it follows two deadly crashes. kris van cleave tonight on two men who lost family members in ethopia, who went before congress to demand changes in the way new jets are approved he boeg 737 max crashes killed my wife, my three children, my mom-in-law.
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>> reporter: still heartbroken, paul njoroge told the house transportation committee about losing his entire family when ethiopian flight 302 crashed. >> i miss going to the playground with them and, you know, having some playful moments. >> reporter: njoroge and michael stumo, who lost his 24-year-old daughter in a 737 max crash, testified with pictures of crash victims on display. >> boeing's apologies to cameras have not been apologies to the families. >> i do personally apologize to the families. >> reporter: boeing's c.e.o. dennis muilenberg made that tv apology exclusively to norah o'donnell in may. >> we feel terrible about these accidents, and we apologize for what happened. >> reporter: today, boeing announced it would give $50 million to the families of those killed, part of a fund it created earlier this month. some families called that a p.r. stunt. paul njoroge thinks instead, boeing executives, including the c.e.o., should face criminal charges, and the 737 max should
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be scrapped entirely. >> i would like to see the plane not fly again. >> o'donnell: kris joins us now. and kris, do you think that 737 max is ever going to fly again? >> reporter: norah, the 737 max is almost seen as too big to fail. it is too important to boeing's bottom line, and thus, the larger u.s. economy, and too important to several of the world's biggest airlines. so it's really a question of when, not if. boeing has been working toward the goal of having them back in service by the end of the year, but sources across the aviation sector are telling me there's growing concern you may not see the max carrying passengers until sometime in 2020. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, kris van cleave, thank you. a huge legal victory today for actor kevin spacey. prosecutors in massachusetts threw out sexual assault charges against the two-time oscar winner. spacey was accused of groping an 18-year-old man at a bar in nantucket in 2016.
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the case fell apart when spacey's accuser refused to testify about text messages the defense said were deleted from his cell phone, and his cell phone went missing before the trial. the mexican drug lord known as "el chapo" had plenty of complaints today at his sentencing in new york for sending tons of cocaine and other drugs into the u.s. joaquin guzman said he didn't get a fair trial, and he didn't like the conditions at the jail where he was held. well, guzman, who twice escaped from mexican prisons, was today given life plus 30 years in an american prison. extreme heat warnings are posted tonight across the central u.s., and we're certainly feeling it here in texas. temperatures feel well over 100 degrees. and public health officials say heed those warnings, because about 600 americans die from excessive heat each year. errol barnett is in the thick of it. >> reporter:ma wisconsin, volunteers are going door to door checking on the elderly. st. louis is in the excessive
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heat danger zone, meaning prolonged exposure to heat and humidity could be deadly for the most vulnerable. the national weather service's heat warnings cover most of missouri and eight other states. >> the entire world is seeing an increase in temperature at an unprecedented rate. >> reporter: this is the first scorching heat wave the country has seen this summer. >> what we're currently seeing is that there are twice as many record highs on any given day than there are record lows. and this is really significant. so we will continue to see record-breaking temperatures as we go on into the future. >> reporter: the dome of heat will head east by the weekend. portland, maine will feel like 98 degrees on saturday. new york city will feel like 112, and in the nation's capital, it will feel like 107. now, this heat wave will last through sunday at the very least, but consider this: a recent climate study predicts that the u.s. will face more
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days that feel like 100 degrees or above. that number, norah, expected to double by 2050. >> o'donnell: that's hot. errol barnett, thank you. the world health organization today sounded the alarm about the ebola outbreak in the democratic republic of congo, calling it a global health emergency. ebola has killed more than 1,600 people in that central african country since last august, and the virus has now spread to goma, that is a city of more than one million people. still ahead on the "cbs evening news," breaking news. why thousands of protesters are demanding the resignation of puerto rico's governor. the race to rescue dozens of whales in distress. and, how do you put a price tag on history? iconic photos from the archives of "ebony" and "jet" magazines go up for sale. of "ebony" and "jet" magazines go up for sale. to the ford hurry up and save sales event.
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island, georgia, a relaxing day at the beach turned into a race to save dozens of whales in distress. mark strassmann shows us the dramatic rescue. >> these are saint simons island-- all these whales have washed up ashore. >> reporter: 50 pilot whales, a dozen already beached, the rest in shallow water. >> oh, poor baby. >> reporter: rescuers turned waist-deep water into whale triage. >> they said to be careful of the tails-- it's very powerful. >> reporter: they physically turned around animals 20 feet long, weighing three tons. >> come on, little buddy! >> reporter: this photo shows christian freeman helping rescue an adult female. >> we had two guys on the tail and then we had two girls on the one side and then two guys on the other side. >> reporter: it must have felt great. >> it was awesome. >> reporter: no one knows why pilot whales strand themselves. over the last decade, mass strandings have happened about once a year, usually in the southeast, typically in florida, but not in georgia since the 1990s. did it turn out better than you expected it to? >> absolutely. i expected that this would go south very quickly.
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>> reporter: marine biologist clay george: >> we got lucky in a number of ways-- the quick action from those folks initially. a number of things came together. >> reporter: today, this same pod of whales was spotted swimming six miles offshore and heading to open sea. they could beach again, but norah, it looks promising. >> o'donnell: all right. mark strassmann on the beach tonight. thank you. coming up, why protesters have packed the streets of puerto rico. rico. nother heart attack... ...or dying from one. don't stop taking brilinta without talking to your doctor,
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>> o'donnell: we're following breaking news in puerto rico. thousands of protesters have filled the streets demanding the resignation of puerto rico's governor. david begnaud is with the protesters in san juan. re reporter: norah, i would who are now marching from the capital to the governor's mansion which is in old san juan. let me tell you, these people, joined by artist like ricky
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martin and bad bunny but this is not over the chat scandal. it's over what has been decades of mismanagement, misappropriation of funds-- their words, not mine. hurricane maria was the lowest point for many of these people and the chat scandal, this one woman said, is the straw that broke the camel's back. the governor said he's not resigning. the question is, can he stay, given the outcries from tens of thousands of people like this. >> o'donnell: david begnaud in san juan, thank you. a newly released government database reveals the scope of the opioid crisis. the d.e.a. tracked the sale of 76 billion pain pills legally sold in the u.s. from 2006 to 2012. purdue pharma, widely criticized for its role in the epidemic, manufactured only 3% of the pills sold in the period. well, today the c.d.c. said tha1 deaths from overdoses declined last year. millions of photos representing
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or go to the website on your screen. the buck's got your back. >> o'donnell: a final note from here on the border-- it's important to remember that every picture has a story, like the border patrol agent born in mexico. agent eduardo cantu understands the american dream, because he says he's living it. he wants migrants to get that dream, but says, they need to come here legally, as he did. when we walked into the detention center, you couldn't help but notice the sound of children laughing and playing, moms with their children attached to their hips, unsure of their future. it's hard to look away. there's no doubt there's a crisis, and today we met those at the center of it. and that is the "cbs evening news." i'm norah o'donnell, here on the
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. right now at 7 p.m. >> what was that like being up there? >> crazy. crazy. >> bay area window washers with nowhere to go. how they finally made it to solid ground. >> plus the young victim of a suspected drunk driver making huge strides tonight in the hospital. >> we had a break through in her recovery. she was able to have the breathing tube removed. >> a $305 million victory for several bay area counties. the battle that was just settled. >> forgetting your reusable grocery bag will now cost you double. >> it new kpix 5 at 7 p.m. starts now with the window washers stuck


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