tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS October 15, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
madonna county park. minutes ago ♪ ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> garrett: tonight, the johnson & johnson booster becomes the latest covid vaccine unanimously endorsed by a key f.d.a. panel. when you could get your next dose. the discussion over mixing and matching vaccines intensifies as the c.d.c. widens eligibility for boosters. >> guilty. >> garrett: pleading guilty: the suspect charged with massacring 17 students and staff at a florida high school in 2018 plans to plead guilty to all charges. will that move spare him the death penalty? vaccine showdown: chicago's police union tells officers to defy the city's covid vaccine mandate, potentially taking half the force off the street. bill clinton hospitalized: what we've learned about the 42nd president's condition as he recovers from an infection.
under arrest: did a capitol police officer help one of the january 6 rioters destroy evidence? politician murdered: a member of britain's parliament is stabbed to death while meeting with constituents in church. why this is being treated as a possible act of terror. lebanon chaos-- how a massive explosion last year lead to deadly street battles now. what passes for relative calm. >> garrett: and still serving: steve hartman is on the road with a former top f.b.i. official who is driven in a new direction. >> this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> garrett: good evening to our viewers in the west. thank you for joining us. norah is on assignment. i'm major garrett. we begin tonight with important news on covid booster shots. an f.d.a. advisory panel today gave a thumbs up for the johnson & johnson booster after doing the same for pfizer and moderna.
the f.d.a. will formally decide on those boosters next week. the panel recommends people get the j&j boosters at least two months after their initial vaccination. while the u.s. has reported more covid cases and deaths more than any other nation, the head of world health organization this week called the widespread use of booster shots immoral and unjust, until more people, he said, and people in the poorest countries get their first vaccination. the biden administration, which is sending tens of millions of covid shots to poorer countries, hopes the booster shots will get the pandemic under control and, not incidentally, get america back to work. cbs' mireya villarreal leads off our coverage tonight from fort worth, texas. mireya, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, major. right now today's discussions about the johnson & johnson booster vaccine included discussions and questions about the overall effectiveness of this particular vaccine, with a study just recently coming out saying of all the vaccines, j&j was the weakest.
more than 50 million americans who received the johnson & johnson vaccine are now one step closer to a booster shot. >> we do have 19 out of 19 unanimous "yes" votes. >> reporter: in contrast to the pfier, moderna recommendations, the panel is suggesting all adults, 18 and older who got the johnson & johnson vaccine, get the booster, as early as two months after their original shot. but the panel also heard concerns about the overall efficacy of the j&j vaccine. >> all of the data do not fully align with this being a vaccine that retains excellent activity over time. >> reporter: is there a concern that this creates confusion for people who are maybe on the fence? >> this is actually how science works. and you want us to do that. you want people to update guidance based on new data and new evidence. and my hope is it doesn't breed distrust but in fact makes people realize this is a good part of the process. >> reporter: on thursday, the c.d.c. added mental health disorders, including depression
and schizophrenia, to the list of underlying conditions for those eligible to get a booster. meanwhile, the "wall street journal" is reporting the f.d.a. has delayed a decision on whether to authorize moderna's vaccine for kids 12 and up. the agency reportedly wants more time to assess any potential risk of the rare inflammatory heart condition, myocarditis. more than 68,000 people in texas have died from covid-19, and doctors worry the state could soon lead the nation in mortality rates. an executive order recently issued by governor greg abbott bans private business from imposing vaccine mandates. >> governor abbott and our elected leaders in the legislature should be doing everything they can to save lives. and that's getting more people protected via vaccination. not taking away the tools we have to do so. >> reporter: here in downtown forth worth, health officials are hoping pop-up clinics, like the one you see behind me, will actually get more people vaccinated in the state.
now, the c.d.c. is set to meet next thursday to discuss the boosters, but the earliest americans will get a hold of them will be on friday of next week. major. >> garrett: with all the steps in the process. mireya villarreal, we thank you very much. there is a big development tonight in the deadly 2018 shooting rampage at a high school in parkland, florida. the suspect, nikolas cruz, will plead guilty next week to all charges, including 17 counts of murder, hoping to avoid the death penalty. here is cbs' manuel bojorquez. >> reporter: wearing a mask and oversized glasses, 23-year-old nikolas cruz entered this broward county courtroom. >> please state your full name for the record. >> nikolas cruz. >> reporter: as the trial loomed for the mass killing at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, his lawyers told the court, cruz plans to switch his plea to guilty on 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. ( gunshots ) it was valentine's day, 2018, when then-19-year-old cruz, a former student, walked into the
school, pulled an ar-15 out of1u his duffel bag, and began shooting. 17 were killed, including 14 students and three faculty members. 17 others were injured. today, in a separate case involving an assault on a sheriff's deputy in jail nine months after the shootings, cruz pleaded guilty to battery and three other charges. >> how do you wish to plea? >> i plead guilty. >> reporter: but a guilty plea in the mass shooting case sets up the next court battle-- the penalty phase. defense attorneys hoping to avoid the death penalty will likely present cruz's history of mental illness to jurors, attempting to argue for a life sentence instead. >> i believe that this is the most perfect death penalty case there is. >> reporter: linda biegel's son, scott, a geography teacher, was shot and killed after unlocking his door and letting students hide from cruz. >> he's not ever coming back. and it's always going to be painful, and it's always going to-- always going to hurt. >> reporter: the next hearing where cruz would officially
plead guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges is scheduled for next wednesday. given how deeply impacted this community is, it may be difficult to find jurors who say they can be impartial during the penalty phase. major. >> garrett: difficult, indeed. manuel bojorquez, thank you. tonight, a u.s. capitol police officer is on leave after being indicted for obstruction of justice in connection with the january 6 insurrection. michael riley is accused of tipping off an unidentified protester, allegedly telling that person he agreed with their political stance, while advising them to remove photos and videos from social media that showed them inside the capitol building. riley is the first u.s. capitol police officer to face charges in the riot. tonight, a spokesperson for former president bill clinton says he is on the mend as he recovers fro inf e eaia spitand liciano reports from irvine. >> reporter: former president clinton's condition is improving
tonight with doctors saying he's responding well to treatment, though he'll stay one more night. but when he was admitted tuesday to the irvine medical center, there were signs of danger. >> he was disoriented. he wasn't speaking clearly. he was nauseous. he had vomiting. and they were very scared. >> reporter: the 75-year-old former president was suffering from an untreated urinary tract infection and showing signs of sepsis, a serious infection of the blood. >> it's very dangerous. i mean, you know, literally hours, a day later, he could have died from the infection. and so, i think we're lucky that he was near an excellent hospital, that his team pushed him to go to the hospital right away and get the care he needed. >> reporter: since then, he's been up walking and talking and has two books with him. former first lady hillary clinton has been by his side, and president biden calledim this afternoon. >> he's doing fine. he really is. and he's going to be released from the hospital. and we talked about-- which we were going to do before-- getting together. i haven't seen him in a while. and for him to come over and
have some lunch and talk. >> reporter: doctors stressed mr. clinton's hospitalization is not heart or covid related, but he has suffered several major health scares since leaving the white house, including quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2004, and he had two stents inserted to open one artery in 2010. representatives say that all health indicators are trending in the right direction and that president clinton will stay in the hospital overnight to continue his intravenous antibiotic treatment, and that he is in excellent spirits. major. >> garrett: trending in the right direction. good news, indeed. lilia luciano, thank you. tonight a serious safety issue is coming to a head in multiple cities. some police officers are resisting covid vaccine mandates, potentially leaving their departments and their cities shorthanded. the issue is especially acute in chicago, where homicides are up 55%, shootings up 68%, since 2019. cbs' charlie de mar has more. >> if you can financially
sustain a hit, then stick to your guns, take the hit, and we will fight it. >> reporter: chicago police union president john catanzara is urging officers to ignore the looming deadline to report their vaccine status to the city. he's predicting if the city tries to punish officers for not complying, only half will show up to patrol city streets. >> any sergeant, lieutenant, captain, or above who gives you an order to go in that portal is not valid. you are able to refuse that order. >> reporter: can officers ignore direct orders from a supervisor? >> they do so at their peril. insubordination is not something we can tolerate. >> reporter: the policy announced by mayor lori lightfoot in august required all city employees to be vaccinated by tonight's deadline or risk being placed on no pay status. workers can be unvaccinated through the end of the year if they undergo regular testing off the clock and out of their own pocket. the mayor insists the city will be safe. should the citizens of chicago be worried about their safety?
>> no, they shouldn't be. obviously, we have contingency plans in place if they are necessary. but i'm confident that they're not going to be necessary. >> reporter: it is not only chicago police officers facing vaccine mandates. hundreds of officers in seattle and san francisco could lose their jobs if they don't submit their vaccination status. chicago alderman anthony beale, a critic of mayor lightfoot, is worried about safety this weekend. >> we implore the governor of this great state of illinois declare a state of emergency. >> reporter: illinois governor j.b. pritzker said the national guard is at the ready, but mayor lori lightfoot has yet to request it. and this past year, covid-19 is the number one cause of death amongst officers nationwide. major. >> garrett: charlie de mar, thank you. britain is reeling from a brazen attack on a member of parliament who was murdered in front of his constituents. the suspect, said to be a british citizen, was quickly arrested. counterterrorism officials are leading the investigation. cbs' charlie d'agata reports
from london. >> reporter: stabbed to death inside a church while serving those he cared for most. and for now, british police are treating the murder as an act of terror. sir david ames was holding an open meeting with constituents when, witnesses say, a man wielding a knife charged id stabbed the 69-year-old politician multiple times. emergency teams were quick to respond to the scene in essex, east of london, but paramedics were unable to save his life. police arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder, and recovered a knife. prime minister boris johnson said the entire country was heartstricken. >> and the reason i think people are so shocked and saddened is, above all, he was one of the kindest, nicest, most gentle people in politics. >> reporter: the father of five was a hard-line brexit supporter who had served as a conservative member of parliament for nearly 40 years. ames is the second british lawmaker to be killed in justlaa
abbe the street whe meeting with her constituents. british y to discuss a motive. once again, the suspect is a british citizen who gave up without a fight. meanwhile, flags here are flying at half-staff. major. >> garrett: charlie d'agata, thank you. we are also following developments in the lebanese capital of beirut, which is being torn apart by violence. police are still rounding up suspects after seven people were killed in street battles thursday. this all traces back to a massive explosion one year ago. cbs' holly williams is on the scene. >> reporter: they buried their dead in lebanon today in a country seething with anger. in lebanon, this is what passes all going into the air, as a rk of t at ts funera
but yesterday, the center of beirut looked like a war zone. protests by supporters of hezbollah, a group backed by iran, spiraled into clashes with rival militias. the violence was sparked by this: a giant blast last year fueled by dangerous chemicals stored in unsafe conditions, killing over 200 people. the protesters claimed the official investigation is biased, but others say negligent leaders linked to hezbollah are implicated in the disaster. >> everything hezbollah is doing and saying and acting is showing one thing: they do not want the truth to come out. >> reporter: mark daou is an anticorruption activist. lebanon is suffering one of the world's worst financial crises since the 1800s, with shortages of food, electricity, and medicine. and he told us government corruption is the root of the problem. >> it is the leaders who have taken people's money, distributed it to their cronies,
but they insist on holding on to power. >> reporter: nearly three- quarters of lebanon's population is now living in poverty, according to the u.n., and there are fears this country is on the brink of total collapse. major. >> garrett: holly williams, thank you. still ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," the texas abortion law is back in effect as the battle appears to be shifting to the u.s. supreme court. and after nearly 60 years, a mystery at sea is finally solved. everything will be fun and nice. but i still have bad days... flare-ups, (cough cough) which can permanently damage my lungs. my lungs need protection against flare-ups. so it's time to get real. because in the real world... our lungs deserve the real protection of breztri. breztri gives you better breathing... symptom improvement, and flare-up protection. it's the first and only copd medicine proven to reduce flare-ups by 52%.
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>> garrett: tonight, the biden administration is planning to ask the supreme court to block the strict new abortion law in texas. it is the latest move in a legal back-and-forth that has blocked and then unblocked the measure. the law allows third parties to sue anyone who performs or helps someone get an abortion after early cardiac activity is detected, usually about six weeks into a pregnancy and often before a woman knows she is pregnant. tonight, a shipwreck more than 250 miles off the coast of boston is confirmed to be the coast guard ship "us revenue cutter bear." the "bear" was built in 1874 and had been missing since is it sank in 1963. it served in two world wars, had an iron bow that could chop through ice, and its captain in the late 1800s was the first govent s cbs' steve hartman with the man who found the best job of his life long after he retired.
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>> garrett: for some, service is a lifetime commitment. cbs' steve hartman with a case in point "on the road." >> reporter: if anyone has earned a coffee break, it's 63-year-old mike mason of midlothian, virginia. mike served his country, first as a captain in the marines... >> mike mason from the f.b.i. >> reporter: ...and later as the number four man at the f.b.i. >> good afternoon. >> reporter: mike left the bureau in 2007, went on to work as an executive at a fortune 500 company, and then the chief operating officer of this rocking chair. but mike says retirement did not sit well with him. >> i still had a mind, and i still had things i thought i was capable of doing. >> reporter: but if mike was going to start a new chapter, he knew it would have to be something really important, a job with a big payout, worthy of his time.
so in the end, the choice was clear. >> how are you doing? >> hi! >> reporter: from top of the f.b.i., to head of the b.u.s.-- mike mason may be the most overqualified school bus driver in america. >> when i gave them my resume, i actually got called by a very senior person in the county, and he said, "just checking." >> reporter: "did you mean to apply for this job?" >> "why do you want to be a bus driver?" and i told him. >> reporter: mike had heard the chesterfield county public school district was down 125 drivers, part of a nationwide crisis. in fact, more than half the school districts in america are reporting severe driver shortages. so mike stepped up and went all in. i mean, this guy actually waxes his bus. why? >> because it's just how i roll. >> reporter: this is the marines coming back. >> it is. but i think this is important work. i do. >> reporter: do you sincerely believe that what you're doing today is as important as what you were doing at the f.b.i.?
>> i do. i think in our society, we need to get next to the idea that there are no unimportant jobs. i mean, what could be more important than the attention we pay to our education system? >> reporter: so you continue to advance in your career. >> that's exactly right. i'm paid a lot less, but i continue to advance in my career, yes, indeed. >> reporter: as for the salary, mike says he already donated all of what he expects to make this year, more than $30,000, to various charities. but, of course, the much bigger gift is far less tangible. mike mason had climbed to the highest level, but by stepping back down to the bottom rung, he is giving us the greatest leadership of all-- leadership by example. >> see you later. >> reporter: steve hartman, "on the road," in midlothian, virginia. >> garrett: and if you feel inspired by all that, we're pretty sure your local school district would love to hear from you. and we'll be right back.
>> garrett: monday on the "cbs evening news," we speak with ahmaud arbery's mother and her quest for justice as three white men go on trial for her son's killing in georgia. that's the "cbs evening news" for this friday. for norah o'donnell, i'm major garrett in washington. have a great weekendght. captng captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org > breaking ws in oakland,
where a chp pursuit ended with a collision that sent an ac transit bus careening into the house. more breaking news in the santa cruz mountains, where a new fire is prompting evacuation warnings at this hour. the latest on the conditions around that fire, and i am tracking multiple chain rain chances on the way next week in the forecast. warning is out to about 1 million people in the south bay tonight, exceed your monthly water budget and pay the price. a mask rollback tonight in two bay area counties, but unless you are going to the gym, your evening out won't see much different. good evening. i'm ken bastida. and i'm elizabeth cook.
we begin with stunning new images from that fire burning near watsonville, along the southern edge of the santa cruz mountains. there was a fire world in the middle of the wildfire. just an eerie scene. the fire crews are using the last minutes of daylight to drop water and retardant on those flames. this is burning off of hazel dell road not far from mount madonna county park. the fire is prompting evacuation warnings for watsonville right now. >> it's being called the estrada fire. it's creating a lot of smoke and flames. the sun is setting, and the flames are feeding on dry brush and timber. that has created a massive cloud of smoke that viewers are reporting seeing for miles around. the red cross is setting up an evacuation center at the community center, along brown's valley road in corley dose. a crew head to the scene right now. we invite you