tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS December 14, 2021 6:30pm-7:01pm PST
the monkeyed born thanksgiving week, hence her middle captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight, we are watching a major new storm system that could bring high wind and rain to areas already devastated by the torna ♪ >> o'donnell: tonight, we are watching a major new storm system that could bring high wind and rain to areas already devastated by the tornado outbreak. the search for more than 120 people still missing as thousands remain without heat, water, and electricity less than two weeks bore ristmas. tonight, the sad news that at least 13 children are among the victims. the heartbreaking story of a three-year-old boy lost. >> i wish i could have saved my son. i couldn't. everything was just falling on top of us. >> o'donnell: the trump texts: tonight, why donald trump jr. was urgently messaging the white house chief of staff on january 6, and so were three fox news hosts, as congress takes a vote
to hold mark meadows in contempt for refusing to cooperate. a new weapon in the fight against covid, the possible game-changing antiviral pill. could it prevent severe disease and protect against the omicron variant? cuomo ordered to return millions: the news about the disgraced new york governor and the $5.1 million he made off his pandemic memoir. holiday shipping deadline: still haven't gotten that gift out? well, all you need to know to make sure your presents arrive on time for christmas. and american kindness: neighbors turning the mayfield fairgrounds into a place to find help for those who lost everything. who lost ever this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening to our viewers in the west, and thank you for joining us. we are going to begin with the
most heartwrenching witness accounts we have heard since that once-in-a-century outbreak of tornadoes across america's heartland. in kentucky tonight, the state is in a rescue-and-recovery mode with more than 120 people unaccounted for, but the governor says he believes that number is even higher. residents are trying to pick up the pieces in what could be a year's-long recovery. experts say insurance losses from the destructive tornadoes could reach $5 billion across six states. the death toll now stands at 88, and we're now learning that includes at least 13 children, including nine-year-old annistyn rackley from missouri. this photo was taken as she sheltered in place inside a bathroom with her two sisters just moments before the storm hit. president biden approved an emergency declaration for counties in tennessee and illinois, where that amazon warehouse collapse claimed six lives. the president also declared an emergency for kentucky a couple of days ago, and he'll visit the state on wednesday to survey the damage.
that's where cbs' lilia luciano will lead off our coverage tonight in dawson springs. good evening, lilia. >> reporter: norah, good evening. everywhere you look here, the devastation is just disorienting. nothing makes sense, and so many people are still missing. the kentucky national guard and fema are assisting in the search over here for any signs of life, and today, we traveled to an even smaller town that lost 6% of its population in just one night. cattle rancher danny miller says he has seen tornadoes in his lifetime, but none like the one that took the lives of his brother billy and his wife. >> they lived in a-- it just exploded, i reckon. they said that i was found outside the house, laying on their sides, facing each other. >> they were always together, so that's the way they went, went home. >> reporter: danny and his wife, jane, say they depended on billy to keep lost valley farm, which has been in the family for four generations.
but when the tornado killed 40% of his cows, he said he wanted to quit. >> we haven't lost this many at one time. >> it's hard to make it on a small farm, especially to depend on your total livelihood comes from it. >> reporter: the tiny community of bremen, kentucky, suffered great loss. at least 11 people were killed in a town of 200. >> we still definitely are in rescue and recovery. we have people missing. i still expect that we will find at least some more bodies. there is just so much destruction. i hope that that's not the case, but it's-- it's still an expectation. >> reporter: at least 17 people died here in hopkins county. there's an urgent search-and- rescue mission for more than 80 people who are still unaccounted for. >> let's get it. let's finish this up today. >> reporter: dave jardon and his volunteer group sheepdog impact assistance hit the ground in dawson springs soon after the tornado struck to provide natural disaster relief. >> we're all veterans. we're all first responders. we've seen bad things.
if we find a body, it's going to be a bad day. if they find a body, it could very well be a neighbor, friend, family, loved one-- it would be an excruciatingly bad day. so if we can take that off their plate and-- we'll shoulder that as far as not letting them have to. >> reporter: danny miller, whose small cattle business was devastated, told me he won't quit after all, because he's thinking about the next generation. i asked him, "what would you tell president biden who is going to be around here tomorrow?" and he says, "we need help." norah. >> o'donnell: they do need help. i'm so thinking of the miller family. thank you, lilia. well, we want to turn now to one of the hardest hit communities, the town of mayfield, kentucky, where eight people lost their lives when the town's candle factory was destroyed. but as cbs' david begnaud tells us, there was also a three-year- old boy killed in the storm. >> i wish i could have saved my son. i couldn't.
>> reporter: huda alubahi's heart is broken. her son, jha'lil, is dead. last friday night, when the tornado warning went off on his cell phone, she grabbed jha'lil and her youngest son, julius, and ran into a bathroom closet. >> by that time, everything was just falling on top of us. >> reporter: the tornado obliterated the 100-year-old home that she's rented for five years. where were the babies? >> right here. one was in this arm, and one was in this arm. i never saw my three-year-old because my face couldn't turn that way. but i did see the baby, and he cried, and then he just stopped. so at that time, i thought he was... gone. but he wasn't. >> reporter: while pinned under the rubble, huda says she never heard jha'lil make a sound.
did jha'lil die in your arms? >> yeah. he did. >> reporter: jha'lil dunbar was one of at least 12 children in kentucky to die because of these tornadoes. while jha'lil died in his mother's right arm, huda's one- year-old son, julius, was untouched in her left arm. it is unfathomable to her how that could have happened. but then again, so, too, is this. >> i don't care about anything in this huse. i just need to figure out how we're going to move forward without him, you know. >> reporter: the tornado that obliterated huda's home, also destroyed the homes of her aunt and her mother. norah. >> o'donnell: i know we met huda's aunt when we were there, and i'm just so thinking of that family and thinking of huda. david, thank you.
well, tonight, we are tracking a cross-country storm that could hit tornado-ravaged communities with heavy rain and damaging winds. just think about that. tomorrow, southern illinois and kentucky could get gusts up to 50 miles per hour. across the plains, gusts could hit 70 miles per hour. rain is likely every day from wednesday to saturday. seems cruel. and tonight, there's wild weather in the west. floodwaters sent an empty car floating down the l.a. river and orange county neighborhoods near an area burned by wildfires were evacuated because of mudslides. all right, we're also learning more tonight about that then- president trump knew during the january 6 insurrection on the capitol. his chief of staff turned over more than 9,000 text messages, but when the congressional committee investigating the riot asked for his call records, mark meadows stopped cooperating. well, that's why the house is set to vote to hold him in contempt.
cbs' kris van cleave reports from capitol hill. >> reporter: tonight, mark meadows is poised to become the first current or former house member voted in contempt of congress in nearly 200 years for refusing to cooperate with the january 6 committee. >> it seems like a tiny hand full of people who think that somehow they're above the law because they know a former president of the united states. and i'm sorry, that's just not how our legal system works. we have no kings here. >> reporter: the vote comes after wyoming republican liz cheney read startling text messages meadows received on january 6, pleading with him to get former president trump to stop the capitol assault, including from donald trump jr. >> "he's got to condemn this ( bleep ) asap." donald trump jr. texted again and again, urging action by the president. "we need an oval office addressr he has to lead now. it has gone too far and gotten out of hand."
>> reporter: also texts from several fox news hosts, who just hours later would publicly downplay the insurrection, including laura ingraham. >> "this is hurting all of us. he is destroying his legacy." >> reporter: and sean hannity: >> "can he make a statement? ask people to leave the capitol?" >> reporter: cheney suggested the former president may have illegally obstructed an official proceeding of congress, which is a felony. >> did donald trump, through action or inaction, directly seek to obstruct or impede congress' official proceeding to count electoral votes? >> reporter: monday night, the former white house chief of staff addressed the move to hold him in contempt. >> this is not about me holding me in contempt. it's not even about making the capitol safer. this is about donald trump and about actually going after him once again. >> reporter: the justice department will ultimately have to decide whether meadows would face a criminal contempt charge similar to steve bannon. today, general keith kellogg,
who was mike pence's national security adviser, met with the january 6 committee for a deposition. he was reportedly with former president trump on january 6. norah. >> o'donnell: so many new details emerging. kris van cleave, thank you. and now to the latest in the battle against coronavirus where doctors may soon have a new weapon. a new antiviral pill from pfizer could be the breakthrough drug we have all within waiting for, and it can't come soon enough, as the u.s. has just surpassed a new milestone: 800,000 covid deaths. cbs' elise preston has the latest. >> reporter: tonight, a somber moment, as members of congress stopped to remember the 800,000 american lives lost to covid. >> we have 1100 deaths every day still. and we can't be cavalier about the fact that we're losing so many lives from this right now. >> reporter: new c.d.c. data shows the omicron variant increasing in the u.s., making up nearly 3% of all new infections. a study out of south africa today shows the variant appears
to be more resistant to two doses of the pfizer vaccine, knocking down efficacy against hospitalization to 70% and against infection to 33%. but if authorized by the f.d.a., a new treatment pill could be available this month. >> this pill can reduce approximately nine out of 10 hospitalizations. it's very, very sensitive, omicron, to this antiviral. so spectacular results. >> reporter: today, dr. anthony fauci said omicron will dominate the u.s. because of its rapid growth. the n.f.l. is tackling covid spread, mandating boosters for coaches and some team employees. this comes after 65 players across the league tested positive in the last two days. >> to come back here a year later and be in this room, it's just really surreal, and i've just been so grateful. >> reporter: it was one year ago today in this room that sandra lindsay became the first american to get a covid vaccination. the critical care nurse is now a
strong advocate for all americans to trust the science. >> we're exhausted, and we really want to see people protected. >> reporter: what does that exhaustion feel like? >> it just feels like a big weight on your shoulders. >> reporter: meanwhile, infections among children are spiking, up nearly 24% since last week. starting today, new york city will require children ages 5-11 to show proof of at least one vaccine dose. and december 27, children 12 and up will have to show they are fully vaccinated. norah. >> o'donnell: really enjoyed seeing that nurse again. elise preston, thank you so norah. >> o'donnell: much. well, santa may be able to deliver all his presents in one night, but the rest of us need to plan ahead. the deadline for shipping your holiday gifts is fast approaching if you want them to arrive before christmas. cbs' meg oliver reports. >> reporter: when did business really start to pick up? >> i would say at least a week before thanksgiving. >> reporter: and you've been going nonstop ever since.
>> nonstop. >> reporter: this week, holiday mailing intensifies, with christmas only days away. a long island, new york fedex courier raymond wenz is hustling to keep up. >> i need a signature. >> reporter: delivering up to 250 packages six days a week during the holiday season. do you feel like you can keep up this pace? >> i don't think anybody can. >> reporter: tornado damage in the central u.s., supply chain shortages, and a surge in online shopping are adding to the delivery pressure. fedex expects to ship more than 100 million more packages this holiday season compared to 2019. >> we sort 6,000 packages an hour here. >> reporter: nanette malebranche is managing director of tristate district fedex express. what's different about this year? >> the volume is obviously higher. our residential volume is much higher than it has been in the past. >> reporter: the company is hoping to hire 90,000 extra employees to help them through the peak season. u.p.s. is hiring 100,000 seasonal workers. the u.s. postal service expects
to process nearly 2.3 billion pieces of mail this week, making it the busiest time for holiday shipping. though the delivery rush means longer hours for wenz, he's not complaining. it must feel good when you see people's faces when you're delivering these packages? >> oh, yeah. every one i take out, they ask, "do you like your job?" i say, "no, i love my job." >> reporter: here at this fedex facility, there are 84 miles of conveyor belts to sort these packages. now, if you miss tomorrow's ground shipping deadline, you have until december 22 to send ground shipping deadline, you two-day, and december 23 to send overnight. but fedex is closed on christmas day. norah. >> o'donnell: they deserve the day off. meg oliver, thank you. all right, there has been so much turmoil and suffering in haiti this year, and tonight, at least 66 people are dead and dozens more wounded, after a gasoline tanker truck overturned and exploded in northern haiti. we want to warn you that some of
the images you're about to see are disturbing. here's cbs' manuel bojorquez. >> reporter: flames from the explosion towered into the sky over cap-haitien, after a truck loaded with fuel crashed in a neighborhood and desperate residents rushed to collect the leaking gasoline. daylight revealed the devastation in haiti's second- largest city. at least 66 dead, with dozens more injured and hospitals overwhelmed. "unfortunately, many people died," said the city's mayor, "we couldn't save them." fuel is scarce in haiti, as gangs that control more and more of the country hijack and block the trucks transporting it.tr this disaster is the latest in a series of crises here, from a presidential assassination and massive earthquake this summer, to kidnappings, poverty, and hunger afflicting the population. >> we're sort of on overload in terms of tragedies. >> reporter: leonie hermantin is with miami's san la haitian neighborhood center, part of a
group of organizations working to send aid. >> we know that the people from the-- from cap-haitien will definitely overcome this tragedy. but it is absolutely a tragedy that did not need to happen. >> reporter: for now, she says, medical assistance is the most pressing need. manuel bojorquez, cbs news, miami. >> o'donnell: and still ahead here on tonight's "cbs evening news," the new punishment for former new york governor andrew cuomo, and why it could cost him millions. cuomo, and why it could cost him millions. he's really on his game. once-weekly trulicity lowers your a1c by helping your body release the insulin it's already making. most people reached an a1c under 7%. plus, trulicity can lower your risk of cardiovascular events. it can also help you lose up to ten pounds.
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>> o'donnell: former new york governor andrew cuomo is being ordered by a state ethics panel to turn over more than $5 million he received for his book on the pandemic. the ethics panel approved the book deal last year after cuomo promised to write it on his own time and not use state resources or workers. but an investigation last month found his staff members worked numerous hours on the book during office hours. cuomo's lawyer says he won't give up the money without a fight. all right, coming up next, in the midst of tragedy, our fellow americans rise to meet the challenge. o meet the challenge. ...and heart risk. we're working up a sweat before coffee. and saying, “no thanks...” ...to a boston cream. jardiance is a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults
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truck for the winter. we were done. >> reporter: so she thought until she woke up in the morning and saw the devastation in mayfield. >> i turned on the news and i just bawled. i'm like oh, my god. i know people are going to need food. >> reporter: she had a few ingredients-- a food truck and a few thousand dollars-- but needed more to complete the recipes. so catherine raised $100,000 online. she called a few food truck friends and wound up here cooking alongside the disaster aid charity, world central kitchen. that team is used to driving into situations like this, meeting people like mark anthony, and his mother, liddy, whose home is unlivable. >> it's totally trashed. i absolutely love this home. i don't even want to leave it. >> reporter: so she didn't.en instead, she converted it into a food distribution hub for other victims of the storm. >> we're all in this together. we're all sharing, people helping. >> reporter: it's not a profound concept, but it's not meant to be. >> we're human beings. we help each other out. >> we're here for everybody because everybody is here for
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what i'm proposing today will make a lot of people uncomfortable, and i don't care. >> the top only got tougher as san francisco's mayor outlined a sleeping crime crackdown. let's mayor is appealing directly to the governor for help as a local hero launches his own effort to turn around the town. the storm cleanup continues ahead of our next round of rain, the scene is and is only getting worse tonight.
says. often called the nba's greatest shooter, tonight the numbers back him up. san francisco mayor london breed announces a sweeping new plan to crackdown on crime. >> the mayor did not mince words about it. >> it comes to an end when we take steps to be more aggressive with law enforcement, more aggressive with the changes in our policy, and less tolerant of all the bleep that has destroyed our city. >> is the for the vast majority that says it's great to hear the words and now we got to match up with actions. >> we are also called for sweeping the police and social workers in neighborhoods and she also wants to attack the rash of car burglaries, something she called an embarrassment to the city. you would like to hear from the mayor, we posted hurtful remarks on kpix.com.