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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  January 7, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PST

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♪ ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight, life in prison for the men convicted of murdering ahmaud arbery, the 25- year-old who was shot while out jogging. his family tonight calling the sentence justice. >> life without the possibility of parole. life without the possibility of parole. life with the possibility of parole. >> o'donnell: reaction from outside the courthouse, and the message from ahmaud arbery's family. >> raising him was the honor of my life. >> o'donnell: winter weather chaos: a powerful snowstorm hit the northeast canceling more than 2,000 flights, but bringing a welcome day off for school kids. fourth dose? the c.e.o. of moderna says you could need another shot this fall. but one state wants another booster now. vaccine requirement showdown: conservative supreme court
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justices raise serious questions about whether the biden administration can mandate that america's largest companies require a covid shot. remembering sidney poitier: reactions pouring in tonight after the death of the first black man to win the oscar for best actor. >> you think of yourself as a colored man. i think of myself as a man. >> o'donnell: the world's top tennis player stuck down under. tonight, what his rival rafael nadal is saying about the consequences of djokovic's vaccination status. and "on the road." the heartwarming acts of kindness helpitlight >> 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 following several big stories on this friday night and we want to begin with the
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sentencing of three men convicted in the murder of the ahmaud arbery case. it garnered national attention after video surfaced of the men chasing and shooting the 25- year-old black man in a georgia residential neighborhood nearly two years ago. the father and son, greg and travis mcmichael, were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. their neighbor, william bryan, who filmed the pursuit, received life with the possibility of parole. bryan will first have to serve at least 30 years in prison before he's eligible. well, during the sentencing hearing, aubrey's sister recalled her brother's humor, describing him as a positive thinker with a big personality. cbs' mark strassmann is outside the courthouse in brunswick, georgia, for us. good evening, mark. >> reporter: good evening, norah. outside this courthouse, several dozen people listening by speaker cheered when the judge announced the sentence. nearly two years after ahmaud arbery was killed, his family sees justice in a case that
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almost never came to trial. >> we are all accountable for our own actions. >> reporter: accountability in america's latest moment of racial reckoning. three life sentences, two without chance of parole. in a relieved georgia community, ahmaud arbery's family still churns. >> when i... close my eyes, i see his execution in my mind... over and over. i'll see that for the rest of my life. >> reporter: the 25-year-old arbery went jogging and ended up running for his life. for five minutes in february 2020, three white georgia men in pickup trucks pursued a black man on foot they suspected was a burglar, trapping him "like a rat," in the words of defendant gregory mcmichael. two 12-gauge shotgun blasts tore pointblank into arbery, even though gunman travis mcmichael later testified arbery never threatened him. >> didn't pull out any guns? >> no, ma'am.
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>> didn't pull out any knife? >> no, ma'am. >> reporter: their jury, 11 of them white, also watched this video, recorded minutes before the shooting. it shows arbery walking inside a home under construction, doing nothing wrong. >> raising you was the honor of my life, and i'm very proud of you. >> reporter: wanda cooper-jones urged maximum sentences for killing the son born on mother's day, 1994. >> they were fully committed to their crimes. let them be full-- let them be fully committed for the consequences. >> thank you lord! >> yes! >> reporter: relief outside the courthouse for several dozen supporters of the arbery family. >> i knew that we would come out with a victory. >> yes. >> i never doubted it. >> reporter: defense lawyers argued that life without parole was unjust and plan to appeal. these same three defendants have
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more legal worries next month. their federal trial begins on hate crime charges. norah. >> o'donnell: mark strassmann, thank you very much. well, the northeast's first significant snowfall of the year caused chaos across the region, shuttering schools and stranding air travelers. the new york city area got more than nine inches of snow, and boston schools were forced to close after getting nearly a foot. meanwhile, snow turning to rain across the pacific northwest caused flooding across several communities in lewis county, washington. cbs' nancy chen is in hard-hit boston tonight. good evening, nancy. >> reporter: and, norah, good evening to you. this was one of the latest arrivals for the first snow of the season. this storm was fast moving, but it was powerful, dumping more than a foot of snow in parts of new england. with snow blanketing the landscape, some saw beauty. others saw work. >> it's going to be pretty easy to remove. it's just going to take a little bit of time, and we're going to have to get the machine out, for sure.
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>> reporter: in hard-hit massachusetts, the state's department of transportation worked to keep up, deploying more than 2,500 pieces of equipment to clear snow and ice off roads. >> i'm out here, if it's one inch, 36 inches, or 96 inches. >> reporter: slick highways turned deadly. the driver of this pickup was killed after careening off the road. the storm system got its start yesterday, stranding drivers on this kentucky highway. >> when cars start parking and shutting down on the interstate, you know that's not great. >> reporter: by this morning, it was the second storm in a week for the virginia-d.c. area. while in new york city, nine inches of snow made for a dangerous morning commute. still, public schools remained open. but airports did grind to a halt across the country. more than 6,000 flights were canceled or delayed, the majority due to weather. >> i don't mind waiting, you know, six hours, seven hours in an airport if they can get me
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home tonight. >> reporter: out west, in washington state, heavy rain and snow fell across the puget sound. rising floodwaters closed a 20- mile stretch of a major interstate, and there were at least 21 water rescues. the storm in the east came just as several states were experiencing a critical shortage of snow plow drivers. has the snow plow industry faced something like this before? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: massachusetts contractor bill french says rising costs supply chain issues for vehicle parts and a labor shortage worsened by covid has made his work challenging. >> covid has, obviously, affected everybody. even if you have the equipment ready there is the ambiguity of who will be able to work and who isn't. it's kind of a perfect storm. >> reporter: and a rapid cleanup is critical here because a band of cold air, frigid air, is expected to move into this area turning those wet and slushy roads into ice overnight with cold temperatures expected to last into tomorrow and possibly early sunday, norah. >> o'donnell: that ice is scary. all right, nancy chen, thank you. well, now to the fight against covid.
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the omicron variant is fueling the surge in hospitalization of children under the age of five, which are at their highest level since the start of the pandemic. meanwhile, several states are hitting new records, including florida, where cases are up 56% in the last seven days and where there's a big testing snafu. here's cbs' manuel bojorquez. >> reporter: today, after much criticism, the c.d.c. tried to clarify its guidance for those who test positive for covid, but no longer have symptoms, saying if they want to use a rapid test to determine whether to leave isolation after five days, it would be the best approach. >> if it's positive, stay home. and if it's negative, please continue to wear your mask, because that does not mean you're no longer infectious. >> reporter: as the c.d.c. encourages people to get boosted when they're eligible, the f.d.a. shortened the time between a second moderna shot and a booster to five months like it had for pfizer's. moderna's c.e.o. said a fourth dose may be needed in the fall, but west virginia is asking the c.d.c. for a second round of booster shots now.
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this comes as citigroup announced unvaccinated workers will be fired at the end of the month, becoming the first major wall street bank to enforce a vaccine mandate. meanwhile, omicron surge is pushing hospitalizations up in 46 states, rising 40% nationwide from the previous week's average. and the rate of hospitalization for children under five, who are not yet eligible for vaccination, is the highest it's been since the pandemic began, doubling since last month. florida today broke its single- day record for new cases with nearly 77,000. the state is being criticized for new guidelines discouraging testing for healthy individuals who have been exposed to covid, but show no symptoms. though, scientists warn, they can still spread it. >> you don't want to be responsible for putting someone you love in the hospital. >> reporter: and state officials are under fire for letting about one million test kits expire in a warehouse at the end of last month when holiday demand for
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testing was high. >> we tried to give them out prior to that, but there was not a demand for it. >>reporter: there's a disturbing number out tonight: one study says up to 80% of floridians will have caught covid-19 by the time this omicron wave is over. to ease demand at testing sites like this one, the white housese and u.s. postal se and u.s. postal service are set to be finalizing plans to mail testing kits to u.s. households as early as next week. norah. >> o'donnell: that 80% number is stunning. manuel bojorquez, thank you. well, tonight, in a test of presidential powers, the supreme court is weighing arguments over the biden administration's covid vaccine rules for large companies and healthcare workers. cbs' jan crawford is following the closely watched set of arguments that went on for hours today. >> reporter: with nearly 36 million adults yet to get a single dose of the vaccine, liberal justices said the dangers of the coronavirus justify the unprecedented federal mandates to encourage vaccinations.
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>> this is a pandemic in which nearly a million people have died, and this is the policy that is most geared to stopping all this. >> reporter: an extraordinary argument amid the surge of the latest omicron variant, justice sonia sotomayor, who is not ill, opted to participate in the arguments remotely, as did two lawyers arguing against thend e firsme, a majority of the justices, with the exception of justice neil gorsuch, wore masks. in the past, the court has allowed various efforts to mandate vaccines at the state level, but in these cases, conservative justices seem skeptical about handing that sweeping power to federal agencies. >> this is something that the federal government has never done before, right, mandate vaccine coverage? >> reporter: and there were practical questions to the requirement that some 80 million private employees get vaccinated or have weekly testing. >> is the testing alternative viable at the present time in
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light of the stories that we see about the long lines that are required to be tested? >> reporter: the justices seemed less skeptical of the more targeted mandate, which would require vaccines for more than 17 million healthcare workers at facilities that get federal medicaid or medicare money. now, the mandate for those large companies is set to take effect on monday, although the government says they're not going to enforce the vaccine requirement until next month. a ruling from the court on whether to block that, even temporarily, could now come any time. norah. >> o'donnell: jan crawford at the supreme court, thank you. well, we want to turn now to the death of groundbreaking actor and civil rights activist sidney poitier. president biden called poitier a once-in-a-generation actor, an advocate who carried so much dignity, power, and grace that it changed the world on and off the big green. the big gre he was 94. he was 94. cbs' jim axelrod looks back on the life and career of a hollywood legend.
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>> reporter: the salutes and celebrations later in his life were all so sweet for sidney poitier. ( applause ) but his climb to the highest echelon of american culture was long and hard... >> i've been mad all my natural life. >> reporter: he confronted deeply entrenched racism at every step. >> i had no power, except the power to say no. >> reporter: and forced white hollywood... >> sidney! >> reporter: begin taking a look at itself. >> you think of yourself as a colored man. i think of myself as a man. >> reporter: raised on a tomato farm in the bahamas with little formal education... >> i don't want him. i want a white doctor. >> reporter: ...sidney poitier headed to hollywood in 1950, playing roles that pierced the stepin fetchit amos & andy stereotypes. >> all i want is to be able to stand in front of my boy like my father was never able to do to me and tell him he would be somebody in this world besides a servant and a chauffeur. >> reporter: the first black
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actor to be nominated for an oscar for "the defiant ones" in 1959. >> the winner is sidney poitier. ( applause ) >> reporter: he'd be the first to win one five years later for "lillies of the field." with his a-list stature, he didn't ask for respect as much didn't ask for res as he demanded it. >> you ask me questions that fall continually within the negro-ness of my life. i am an artist, a man, american, contemporary. i am an awful lot of things. >> reporter: poitier's influence would stretch far beyond movie theaters. as civil rights took center stage, he helped organize the march on washington. >> mom, this is john. he thinks you're going to faint because he's a negro. >> reporter: but it was his bearing on screen that most powerfully challenged the realities of american life. >> virgil, that's a funny name for a ( bleep ) boy from
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philadelphia. what do they call you up there? >> they call me mr. tibbs! >> reporter: illuminating what we needed to see with a grace and dignity that's still so badly needed and will still be so sorely missed. >> that's it. >> reporter: jim axelrod, cbs news. >> o'donnell: missed so much, indeed. all right, still ahead, andrew cuomo makes a virtual appearance in court as there is news about a sex crime charge against him. and the world's top tennis player is detained down under. will he play in the australian open despite his lack of covid vaccination? open despite his lack of covid vaccination? getting out there has never tasted so good. try centrum multigummies.
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false positive and negative results may occur. ask your provider if cologuard is right for you. >> o'donnell: a criminal charge was dropped today against former new york governor andrew cuomo. cuomo appeared in court on camera nearly five months after he resigned amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations, including a claim by former aide brittany commisso, who said cuomo reached up her blouse and groped her, which he denies. prosecutors say they found the aide credible but couldn't prove her allegations in court. tonight, the world's top tennis player is thanking fans for support as he remains detained in a hotel in australia over his covid vaccination status. novak djokovic is against vaccines and he was granted an exemption to play in the australian open, but government officials have denied his visa. there is a court hearing on monday. djokovic's rival, rafael nadal, says he feels sorry for him, but
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there are consequences for his decision. all right, steve hartman is next with the stories of everyday americans that give hope for the new yea new year. r. meet ron. that man is always on. and he's on it with jardiance for type 2 diabetes. his underhand sky serve? on fire. his grilling game? on point. and his a1c? ron is on it. with the once-daily pill, jardiance. jardiance not only lowers a1c... it goes beyond to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease. and jardiance may help you lose some weight. jardiance may cause serious side effects, including ketoacidosis that may be fatal, dehydration that can lead to sudden worsening of kidney function, and genital yeast or urinary tract infections. a rare life-threatening bacterial infection in the skin of the perineum could occur. stop taking jardiance and call your doctor right away
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>> o'donnell: just one week into the new year, it's already been a tough start for many, but cbs' steve hartman sees reasons for hope. here is tonight's "on the road." >> reporter: clairvoyant winslow eliot knows what we're feeling. >> any time there's uncertainty or anxiety, people want to know their future. >> reporter: so i asked winslow to shuffle up her tarot cards. >> you're going to ask a question? >> reporter: yes, but i don't want a reading for me. i want a reading for her. >> oh, the future of the united states of america. >> reporter: what lies ahead for the new year. >> okay. >> reporter: it's the uneasy
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question... >> interesting. >> reporter: ...on everyone's mind. to some, 2022 has already dropped the ball. we've already stewed in the resurrection of our insurrection. we've seen people stuck in traffic for hours and in airports for days. we've seen a spike in covid cases triggering a nationwide epidemic of deja vu. so, how will we manage? >> going into the future... >> reporter: winslow had answers. >> a higher octave of where we are now. >> reporter: unfortunately they went way over my crown chakra. >> it's going inward in time. >> reporter: does anything here say we're going to be okay? >> um... >> reporter: that's not good. but there was one card to go. and i'll show you that in a minute. but, first, a look at the wild card in this query, that resilient group of americans who dictate their own future, always taking whatever lousy hand they're dealt and somehow finding aces. whether it's the woman who turned her airport delay into a
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ukulele recital... >> the airport is a good place to practice. >> reporter: or the strangers who broke bread from a bakery truck on i-95. >> just trying to help out. >> reporter: we saw smiles pop up in the most unlikely places this week. did the outpouring surprise you? >> yes. >> yes. >> reporter: heidi and steve boatright lost everything in the colorado fire, but have since been flooded with goodwill and great comfort. >> people sending care packages, donating. names we don't know. we're trying to google some of the names, "who is this? we don't know who this is." >> it's pretty remarkable. >> reporter: i hear stories of kiness like that and wonder, if our future fated? or is it divined from the way we treat one another? that's what i believe. and winslow... what's the last one ...or someone out there. >> oh! >> reporter: ...agrees. >> it's a card of choosing love. >> reporter: steve hartman, cbs news, "on the road." >> o'donnell: i believe that, too.
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it can define-- divine your life. we'll be right back. on my travels across the country i came across this house with water dripping from the ceiling. you never know when something like this will happen. so let the geico insurance agency help you with homeowners insurance and protect yourself from things like fire, theft, or in this case, water damage. now if i had to guess i'd say somewhere upstairs there's a broken pipe. geico. save even more when you bundle home and car insurance at
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taking rybelsus® with a sulfonylurea or insulin increases low blood sugar risk. side effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may lead to dehydration, which may worsen kidney problems. wake up to the possibility of lower a1c with rybelsus®. you may pay as little as $10 for up to a 3-month prescription. ask your healthcare provider about rybelsus® today. one of the worst things about a cold sore is how it can make you feel. but, when used at the first sign, abreva can get you back to being you in just 2 and a half days. be kinder to yourself and tougher on your cold sores. >> o'donnell: this sunday on "60 minutes," in an attempt to heal a politically divided nation, one organization is bringing together democrats and republicans to talk about what they have in common face to face, one conversation at a time. our story, called "one small step" airs after football.
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that's tonight's "cbs evening news." i'm norah o'donn l. a bay area nurse battling the covert crush says one omicron variant side effect is making her job even harder tonight. >> you will feel crummy, but you do not need to come to the er. >>, schlager will this last? tonight one expert says the end of the surge is now insight. that estimation comes with a big if. this is super frustrating that it has to come to this.
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how the pandemic could put a figure skating phenoms olympic dreams on ice. tonight california's covid case count is rising well past the peak we saw last winter. at the center of your screen our test positivity average eclipsing the previous high. now approaching 22%. unlike last winter the death toll is far less because of high vaccination rates and the relatively mild symptoms. the surge is still putting a major strain on hospitals. front-line nurse told us it is causing problems for patients with non-covid emergencies. >> it is not your imagination. seems like everyone is catching this post holiday omicron variant driven wave of covid-
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