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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  December 31, 2019 3:11am-3:40am PST

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captioning sponsored by cbs >> garrett: breaking news tonight, federal hate crime charges in a machete attack during a hanukkah celebration, authorities say they found anti- semitic journals and internet searches and evidence inside the suspect's home and car. texas hero, we'll talk to the quick on the draw parishioner who ended a gunman's deadly attack. >> i don't feel like i killed an individual, i killed evil. >> garrett: plus what we learned about the shooter who targeted the church. deadly storms trigger highway pileups an power outages from the northern plains to new england. we'll let you know if this severe weather will stick around for new year's eve. in australia, historic triple digit heat and the hoe hot debate over an anticipated new year's fireworks show.
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congressman john lewis now battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. the civil rights icon bravely saying he has a fighting chance. sometimes even heroes need to be rescued. we'll tell you about the lifesaving mission to help one of the famed white helmets of the syrian civil war and how one elite university is honoring honoring campus workers with portraits that present them in a brand-new light. >> this is the cbs evening news with norah o'donnell. 'reporting from the nation's capitol. >> garrett: good evening, norah is off tonight. i'm major garrett. we begin with new federal hate atime charges in a stabbing attack that shocked jewish communities across the united states. ss happened saturday night, the 7th night of hanukkah at a rabbi's home in monsey, new york, about 35 miles north of new york city. c federal court today the accused attacker was hit with five charges of hate crimes. one for each of his alleged stabbing victims, all of whom
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wrvived. prosecutors say the evidence found in the suspect's home and car include handwritten anti- semitic journals, internet searches into hitler and local temples and a bloodstained tachete and a knife. the attack follows a recent wave of hate crimes against jews not only in new york, but across the country. don dahler leads us off tonight. >> mr. thomas, why did you do it? g reporter: the federal hate climb charges against grafton thomas were described in the criminal complaint. authorities say the charges were prompted by handwritten journals found inside thomas' home, that show references to adolf hitler and nazi culture on the same page as drawings of the star of david and a swastika. the criminal complaint also says grafton used his phone to search hwhy did hitler hate the jews" and "german jewish temples near me" as early as november 9th. dlomas allegedly entered a rabbi's home next to a synagogue late saturday night as dozens were celebrating the end of
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ghd of shabbat and the 7th night of hanukkah. the complaint says the 37-year- old covered his face with what appeared to be a scarf and said in part "no one is leaving," as he used a machete to stab and slash as many people as he could, injuring five people at least one critically. joseph gluck was inside. >> all the people starting to opleout. i came back and threw coffee table that was right here. i threw it into his face. >> reporter: thomas was apprehended within two hours by police about 35 miles away in new york city. officers say they detected a strong smell of bleach coming blm his car and saw what atpeared to be blood on thomas' clothing and hands. this was just the most recent in a spate of anti-semitic attacks tt the new york area including this deadly attack in jersey city, earlier this month. >> from my initial review... n> reporter: today thomas' >>torney sitting with his mother hd family pastor talked about the suspect's struggles with stntal illness. ha it may be that he was non- nompliant with medications which
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were prescribed to deal with his severe depression and other manifestations of psychosis. >> reporter: thomas's family says he was not violent and was never raised to hate anyone. in addition to the federal hate crime charges he has also been charged with five counts of attempted are murder and burglary. major. d garrett: don dahler with the compelling details, thank you. t north texas now where a church community is devastated after a deadly shooting rampage during sunday service. two men were killed including a deacon who was handing out communion. a quick on the draw volunteer community guard ended it with i a single shot. mireya villarreal spoke today with that parishioner who is now r ing called a hero. ed reporter: jack wilson knew nmething was wrong the moment the gunman walked into the church. >> he was wearing a wig and a fake beard and a toboggan on his head. >> reporter: vduring the second
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half of the sunday communion he got up and had a brief interaction with one the victims, tony wallace. nearby was another member of the church's security team richard white. s> richard actually got his gun out of the holster, from the videos i've seen, and i think he got a shot off, i didn't realize he was being hit but it went into the wall. >> reporter: and you took a pause because you were shot. o at that point the shooter i ofess caught out of the corner he his eye because he was walking towards the front of the auditorium. he then kind of halfway turned towards me and that is when i auok the shot because i had a full frontal face. >> reporter: wilson, a firearms instructor and head of the fhurch's volunteer security fired one shot. s i took out some evil. id that is the way, again, that ts the way i am processing it is i took out someone who was evil and had evil intent. >> reporter: the 43-year-old suspect keith thomas kinnunend s since 2009 including weapons charges this texas and new jersey. >> he could have shot more people. >> reporter: isabelle areola was
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sitting with her family including her seven-year-old daughter feet away from the gunman. >> thank god the church was proactive and did all that. and put that in place. because it could have been worse. >> reporter: we have been able en confirm through oklahoma court documents the gunman had a history of violence and mental vialth issues. in fact his ex-wife was granted te emergency protective order back in 2012. we reached out to the lead agency in this case, the get more information on the gunman and his criminal history but so far we have yet to hear back. major. >> garrett: mireya villarreal with the key interviews, thank you very much. a hero of the civil rights movement is gravely ill. democratic congressman john lewis is vowing to fight on ofter announcing he has advanced pancreatic cancer. the news is prompting an outpouring of support for a man many consider to be a living leneng. mark strassman has more from atlanta.
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>> reporter: congressman john lewis has fought unfairness all his life. >> we are one family. we all live in the same house, the american house. >> reporter: the 79-year-old civil rights legend announced his latest battle over the weekend. "doctors discovered stage 4 pancreatic cancer, while i'm clear eyed by about the prognosis, i have a fighting chance." >> he is determined about everything. >> reporter: andrew young, another civil rights icon noticed something lately. his friend of all 60 years had lost weight. >> he does need our prayers. >> reporter: any doubt about his ouurage? >> that's what-- that is what is. all that is courage. his whole life has been walking in the valley of the shadow of oath. >> reporter: in 1963 lewis was 23. >> we march today for jobs and freedom. >> reporter: the youngest speaker at the march on washington. >> we are involved in a social revolution. >> reporter: lewis was also the youngest leader in dr. king's
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movement. on the road to equality, southern racists beat him repeatedly within an inch of his life in selma, alabama. lewis never raised his fist, but he kept fighting. in 2011 he received the presidential medal of freedom. pancreatic cancer will be the fight of his life. hard to detect and among the most deadly cancers, its five year survival rate is 9%. young knows one certainty in ntwis' treatment. >> he won't miss an important vote. his life has never been important. it's his cause and his mission. t reporter: this is the fotional center for civil and human rights in atlanta. and all these mug shots are of ereedom riders who helped desegregate the south in the 60s, and this is john lewis-- one of the first times he prove. tt: ma strassmann in atlanta, thank you so ch
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to australia now where scorching temperatures and strong winds ine feeding deadly wildfires prompting mass evacuations. elizabeth palmer shows us the uvastation. >> reporter: once the flames take hold in the bone-dry bush they are relentless. ss.e than 10 million acres have burned so far this season. and more than 100 fires were raging today. rural residents in the state of victoria were told to evacuate. >> it is going to be very hot, it is going to be very, very windy. people, get out now. >> reporter: but hours later authorities reversed the order for some communities when fire threatened the escape route. this has been a year like no other. ten people killed including a firefighter. more than 1,000 homes destroyed. and then there's the wildlife lucky enough to survive. possums, kangaroos and this parched koala rescued by firefighters. smoke hangs over sydney where
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tomorrow night the traditional spectacular new year's fireworks are planned. but some furious residents say the budget should go on fighting the fires and anyway with climate change fueling the elisis, there is not much to celebrate. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. >> garrett: a deadly coast to coast storm that we have been following since christmas is rrill barreling east tonight. it dumped snow and sleet today som the central plains including the dakotas and nebraska to the twin cities and al the way to maine. meteorologist jeff berardelli is isacking the dangerous weather at the cbs broadcast center in tw york. and jeff, it looks like many will want to ring in the new year inside. >> major, it has been a miserable and in some cases dangerous day across the country aith rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain. we've had just about everything-- even hail, which is a rarity for the northeast. as we zoom in to the northeast you can see we've had an ice storm raging for 24 hours, the
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tuwe auallyd trees, power had ter sil is very rare, for this time of year. hour-by-hour forecast overnight tonight, it continues to snow lross the great lakes. we continue to see ice pile up in parts of the northeast and now as well. tomorrow morning notice that snow in detroit and buffalo, that will swing to the east across upstate new york and pennsylvania, maybe even a peuple of flurries in time square, around the time of the ball drop tomorrow night. y your new year's eve forecast in time square, 39 degrees, wind gusts to 20 miles an hour, wind chills right around 29, it is going to be chilly, but at least it's not raining like last year, across the rest of the country, it will be finally quieting down momorrow night but it will be cold in minneapolis, bundle up, 13 degrees, about 34 in st. touis and pretty cool in los angeles with a temperature around 55. major? >> garrett: thank you so much for the details. s in lafayette, louisiana have a
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tough job ahead of them following a deadly plane crash this weekend. five people were killed, another is in critical condition. they were all headed to atlanta to watch l.s.u. in the peach bowl when their plane went down. the plane was destroyed and officials say there is no black box. among the victim sports reporter reporter carley mccord who is the daughter in law of l.s.u. offensive coordinator steve ensminger. the u.s. military released video today of an american air strike carried out this weekend against tte iranian backed militia group the us hit targets where kata'ib hezbollah operates. f was planned for an attack that killed an american defense contractor and wounded four service members. at least 25 militants were killed and 50 injured when the u.s. struck back on sunday. tonight as the syrian civil war rages on, charlie d'agata has an update on the search and rescue group known as the white eelmets. >> reporter: the characteristic
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white helmets didn't offer much erotection as they defied death to rush head first toward air rsrikes. but they served as a beacon to one trapped and desperately eounded with the only help around on its way, often the deciding factor between life and death. among them was akhmed whose identity is obscured to protect res family. fa you have any idea how many people you have rescued over the years? >> lot," he said, "i don't know idactly. but more than 40." a was once a farmer, then the war came. wa trained with the white d lmets to drive ambulances and anght fires but to the syrian regime, he and his colleagues are seen as the enemy. and when syrian forces began to win the war, retaking territory ahmed and his coworkers found themselves cornered. you had isis on one side, the regime on the other and you toward the golan heights.
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"exactly," he said. >> eslept in the forest with the ground as our bed and the sky as our blanket." a coalition of countries including israel and the united states came up with a plan to get them out last july 422 white their families were smuggled out hb neighboring countries. now they've found asylum a world away from the war zone, places like canada, germany, france and here in britain where adjusting to a new climate means more than tst the weather. are you able to enjoy the peace or is it difficult to put those memories behind. "it is not easy to forget eight tears of shelling, destruction and war," he told us. .you see things like the cold weather or rain, but you are alive and you have a future. yterything else is easy." e he well knows, saving one life does not change the world but for that one life, the world
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charlie d'agata, cbs news, in northern england. >> garrett: still ahead on tonight's cbs evening news, a very close call on a slippery road in alaska. what caused the u.s. population to grow at its slowest rate since world war i. and later one of the nation's top universities honors its unsung heroes. heroes. lavender baths always calmed him. so we turned bath time into a business... ♪ ...and building it with my son has been my dream job. ♪ at northwestern mutual, our version of financial planning helps you live your dreams today. find a northwestern mutual advisor at nm dot com. mostly. you make time... when you can. but sometimes life gets in the way, and that stubborn fat just won't go away.
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>> garrett: the police department in anchorage, alaska sharing this video of a harrowing roadside call, a tow truck driver was working on a vehicle that broke down on an icy highway when an s.u.v. n eeding in the opposite lane tifted and then fish tailed right at him. it missed him by inches, but he melt the breeze as it all blew sy. meanwhile three men from istanbul, turkey, are also feeling extremely lucky tonight. exey barely escaped being glattened by a falling tree. the city was battered by strong winds of up to 50 miles an hour.
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the tree crushed the roof of a car which helped to stop the tree from crushing them. ..s. census figures out today show the slowest population growth in a century. the u.s. population grew by one half percent or one and a half million people and is now dstimated at 328 million. the nation's slowest growth rate since world war i is attributed to declining birth, increasing death and the slowdown of international migration. up next on the wall of an elite university, portraits honoring those that usually don't get a second look. look. >> if you can't watch the cbs evening news, you can listen, evening news, you can listen, subscribe wherever you get your podcast. sponsored by: keep it up. you'll get there. whoa-hoa-hoa! 30 grams of protein, and one gram of sugar. ensure max protein.
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>> garrett: the halls of many colleges and universities display paintings of school presidents, big money donors famous alumni, pretty standard, but at princeton a gallery of portraits presents campus workers in a whole new light. adriana diaz reports tonight from her alma mater. >> okay, the first two orders are up. t preporter: at princeton university, the most popular man ul campus... >> here you go. >> reporter: may be howard sutphin who has worked this dining 22 years.
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>> can i have a two egg omelet? >> everyone knows howie. >> he's awesome. >> reporter: that's because he is a staple at princeton games. >> every game, every sport i go to, it is like bumble bees, they come right to me and i love it. i love it. how many times have you come here to look at this? >> i don't want to say. >> reporter: but now he's off ce sidelines and center stage in portraits of campus workers. >> and i believe they should be seen in this way. >> reporter: by visiting art llllow mario moore. >> these people are some of the most important people on campuses that deserve to be seen and seen on the walls in the n me way as the figures alstorically have been seen at institutions. >> reporter: so now graduate james madison and princeton presidents are joined by guy packwood, a princeton security guard, garfield brown, a groundskeeper and suff finn, eierks from dining. >> the majority of people you see in sign dining and fa siments are african-american, for me as a student, these are ae people i connected with.
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>> when they need some advice or motherly figure or a nice hug, you know, they will come and iook for either me or howard, to talk them to death. >> i figured they are away from home and they need love. and i tell them, you know, when you are in the dining area, just axlax, eat your food, the minute you leave here, jump back into that book. >> reporter: you are creating a legacy for people who are so often in the background. >> for sure, and i think it was ially important for it to be at binceton because of the history of princeton. >> reporter: that history >>cludes slaves who worked at the president's house for decades, and woodrow wilson who blocked black student enroll am as princeton president and oversaw segregationist policies at u.s. president. these portraits are working to create a new legacy. >> i was wondering how i can be gore after i retire, but that'se because the school has purchased it. uh-huh. >> reporter: what does that mean to you? >> love, that's love.
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all the years i gave love, i got it back in that. >> reporter: love that will now live on. adriana diaz, cbs news, princeton, new jersey. >> garrett: a new perspective on prominence. and we'll be right back. hey google, is it gonna snow in park city this weekend? [google assistant] yes, snow is expected on saturday. nice! good job. download the app,
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and call 844-214-2424. you have power over pain, so the whole world looks different. the unbeatable strength of advil. what pain? >> garrett: on tomorrow's cbs evening news norah o'donnell rides along an f-16 as our icries profiles in service takes flight with a military pioneer aiazing a trail for women. 'sd that's tonight's cbs evening news, for norah o'donnell i'm major garrett in washington. we hope you'll join us again tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> announcer: this is the cbs "overnight news." >> i'm tom hanson, and we've got a lot more to share with you this morning, including the secrets of ancient rome. excavations in the eternal city continue to unearth wonders that have been hidden nor centuries. seth doane took a tour. >> reporter: trains have rumbled into the station since the mid 1800s, but long before and deep below these tracks there was something hidden away for nearly two millennia. >> this is the ancient structure of the basilica. >> reporter: 30 feet down is an underground basilica, which luka


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