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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 23, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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let's get it going. >> see you at 6:00. captions by: caption colorado >> pelley: tonight, getting in deeper. >> on my orders, america's armed forces began strikes against isil targets in syria. >> pelley: america and five arab allies. >> this is not america's fight alone. >> pelley: david martin on what was accomplished and what comes next. the u.s. also targets a terrorist group called khorasan for plotting attacks against america. bob orr on this offshoot of al qaeda. dr. jon lapook on the toll taken by the head-to-head combat of an e l career. >> it's the loss of the special things that we've done in the past. >> pelley: and a bird in hand-- dean reynolds shows us how man is attempting to restore bird populations threatened by climate change. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. this is our western edition. as the moon moves into a new phase, so does the war against isis. the united states and five arab allies took advantage of a dark, moonless night to expand attacks against the sunni terrorist group into syria. president obama stressed this is just the beginning of a long campaign to destroy isis. the allied attacks overnight involved the u.s., bahrain, jordan, saudi arabia, qatar, and the united arab emirates. 14 isis targets were hit. the u.s., acting alone, launched eight strikes against another terror group, an al qaeda offshoot called khorasan. we have a team of correspondents on the story. first, we'll go to david martin first at the pentagon. >> reporter: the desert bloomed with fireballs as cruise missiles and precision-guided weapons, some of them launched by arab aircraft, hit an isis
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training area in eastern syria. that strike took place near the end of a four-hour aerial assault which began with cruise missiles launched from navy ships and included the first shots ever fired by america's newest, most sophisticated aircraft, the f-22 stealth fighter. lieutenant general william mayville, the pentagon's director of operations, used before-and-after photos to show what a satellite-guided bomb from an f-22 did to a building isis used as a headquarter. >> and you can see that the command and control center where it was located in the building was destroyed. >> reporter: you have to look closely at before-and-after pictures of an isis finance center to see what a cruise missile did to its satellite dishes. >> the rooftop communications is heavily damaged, while the surrounding structure remains r:rgely intact. >> reporter: a total of 168 weapons struck targets from aleppo in the northwest, eastward to the isis stronghold of raqqa, and further east toward the border with iraq.
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the strikes around aleppo were aimed at a second terrorist group called khorasan, an organization of al qaeda veterans u.s. intelligence believes was plotting attacks against europe and the u.s. the strikes hit what they aimed ir, but isis will dig out. >> they will adapt to what we've done and seek to address their shortfalls and gaps against our air campaign in the coming weeks. >> reporter: last night's strikes inside syria were by no means the last. >> you're seeing the beginnings strikes like this in the future can be expected. >> reporter: at the very end of last night's strikes, u.s. aircraft spotted two isis trucks out in the open and attacked them, destroying one and amaging the other. >> pelley: and all americans returned safely. david, thanks very much. most of us are hearing about the khorasan terrorist group for the first time. so we asked homeland security
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correspondent bob orr to tell us more about it. >> reporter: taking advantage of the lawlessness inside syria, khorasan, a terror cell of veteran al qaeda operatives, has been working on new hard-to-detect bombs that can be smuggled aboard airplanes. al qaeda has experimented with non-metallic bombs that may be hidden in shoes, clothing, cell phones, laptops, and even tubes of toothpaste. that intelligence prompted the t.s.a. in july to tighten security for u.s.-bound flights from two dozen foreign airports. sources say khorasan, which takes orders from al qaeda chief ayman al zawahiri, includes explosives experts, who may have been trained by al qaeda's top bomb maker. he is the architect of bombs hidden in underwear and computer printers. unlike isis, khorasan is not battling for territory. instead, sources say it's plotting external attacks against the west and recruiting
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american and european radicals. western passport holders who have joined the jihad in syria ould be used to carry bombs on to planes. lieutenant general william mayville said the airstrikes on khorasan disrupted an imminent plot. >> intelligence reports indicated the khorasan group was in the final stages of plans to execute major attacks against western targets, and potentially the u.s. homeland. >> reporter: khorasan works in tandem with al-nusra, al qaeda's affiliate in syria. this new web video shows extensive damage from the airstrikes, and now the u.s. is trying to determine if a major khorasan leader was killed pop twitter, jihadis are claiming mushin al-fadhli died in the bombings. al-fadhli, once a close adviser to osama bin laden, is on the u.s. list of most wanted terrorists. tonight the u.s. government is warning about the potential for retaliatory attacks from home-grown lone wolves who may
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be inspired to act in the name of al qaeda or isis. they tell us there's no credible specific threat, scott, at the moment. >> pelley: bob, thanks. syria is in the fourth year of a ruinous civil war and a number of terrorist groups have set up there simply to take advantage of the lawless chaos. to help us understand all of this, we have micahel morell, who until last year was number two at the c.i.a. clarissa ward, who has worked for us extensively inside syria, and our chief white house correspondent major garrett. michael, the civil war started as a revolt against the syrian dictator, bashar al-assad. he is a tyrant that the united states has been trying to get rid of. do our airstrikes help him? >> scott, he must be feeling pretty good today. he has three groups he's fighting against-- isis, al-nusra, and the moderate opposition. we attacked two of those groups last night. we're in the process of weakening them. that is a benefit to him. it allows him to focus more on the moderate opposition. he's already starting to do
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that. >> pelley: clarissa ward in london, what are some of the unintended consequences of these airstrikes? >> reporter: well, scott, the nusra front was the first syrian rebel group to be designated a terrorist organization by the u.s., but the group does have wide support on the ground, partially because it has actually been fighting against isis, even at times alongside the western-backed so-called moderate rebels that the u.s. is hoping will actually fight this war. so these strikes could potentially even backfire and put those u.s.-backed fighters in a very tough situation if nusra supporters now turn against them, because they simply do not have the weaponry or the manpower to fight the assad regime and isis and other rebel groups at the same time. >> pelley: major, the president talks with pride about getting the united states out of iraq. he has avoided getting involved in syria for years. does this dominate the rest of his term?
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>> reporter: scott, the phrase i heard for months at the white house about syria was this-- syria is a grease fire inside of a dumpster fire. and now the remainder of this presidency is in that fire. on the plus side, the president put together a coalition that didn't appeal possible a month ago. but there are deep questions about whether or not training these syrian rebels will work. there will be skepticism about do t this administration will be able to do to defeat isis and also pursue its goal of getting rid of the assad regime. and all of that is likely to be inherited by the next democratic nominee because as the white house has already said, this will take years. >> pelley: and, michael morrell, let me ask you, what is the threat to the homeland here posed by these groups that we are now striking? >> so i think today there are two threats. one comes from al-nusra, the khorasan group, which has the ability to reach out with foreign fighters and with the help of al qaeda in yosemite, yemen, and match them up with
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explosives to take down an airliner. that's the threat we're dealing with today and that's the threat we hopefully disrupted. the other threat is from isis, isis sending back their foreign fighters back to western europe, back to the united states to conduct less-sophisticated attacks. those are the two threats today. >> pelley: michael morrell, former deputy director of the c.i.a. clarissa ward in london. and major garrett, our chief white house correspondent, thank you, all. the isis campaign of terror has set off a humanitarian crisis. holly williams is with the refugees fleeing syria for turkey. >> reporter: from where we stood on the syrian border, we could see the black flags of isis and villages controlled by the islamic extremists. "don't cross over," warned this man. "if you're not a sunni muslim, they'll kill you." 60 miles away is raqqa, the capital of what isis calls its islamic state, and the target of some of the u.s. airstrikes last night. many believe the american-led strikes are too little and have
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come too late. ahmed sadiq is a syrian refugee who fled the city of aleppo two years ago, after syrian government forces began indiscriminate attacks on its residential neighborhoods. "why didn't the americans target the regime," asked ahmed. "if they bombed the regime three years ago, isis wouldn't even exist now." but instead, isis has thrived on the deadly chaos of syria's civil war. last week, they launched another violent offensive, seizing scores of villages and forcing more than 100,000 syrians to flee their homes for the safety of turkey. mahdena wasu told us she came to this makeshift refugee camp three days ago, after isis besieged her town and killed two of her cousins. "we've been hoping for a year
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that the americans would attack them," she said. "they slaughter people, and we were living in fear." the syrian civil war began as an uprising against the country's government and, scott, now the fear is that these u.s.-led airstrikes could strengthen the position of the syrian regime, which continues to kill its own people. >> pelley: holly williams on turkey's border with syria. holly, thank you so much. to counter the assad dictatorship and isis, the obama administration intends to train moderate syrian rebels, but can the u.s. rely on them? margaret brennan put that question to a rebel leader today in new york. >> reporter: the administration had been reluctant to arm the syrian rebels out of fear they'd lose control of the weapons. their political leader, president hadi al bahra, says with the rise of isis, the u.s. has no choice. how do you say that the u.s. can rely on the opposition now?
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>> the u.s. can rely on the opposition. they are the boots on the ground. they are the real soldiers on the ground. the people have aspirations for freedom and democracy, and this y the only force available to the international community. >> reporter: the u.s. has promised the rebels a $500 million program to arm and train vetted fighters. do you trust you will get the heavy weapons you need and you will get those fighters as quickly as possible? >> we are insisting to have these weapon systems. i don't think that the u.s. will waste taxpayers' money and air raids without achieving the final results of it. so in order for the u.s. to succeed in this campaign against terror, it has no choice but to give us the weapon systems we need. >> reporter: and, scott, the rebels really have an uphill battle ahead. they're being asked to fight both isis and their number one enemy, bashar al-assad. they're asking the u.s. to establish a no-fly zone and to
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give them anti-aircraft weapons to shoot down the regime's planes. y> pelley: margaret brennan at the u.n. general assembly meeting at the united nations. margaret, thank you very much. a super bowl champion is paying the price for all those hits. will a new test lead to better treatment for brain trauma? and a cargo ship delivers something that could make the space station more self-sufficient, when the cbs evening news continues.
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i am very proud. i love myself as a nonsmoker. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. >> pelley: we were struck by a prediction that came out of the legal settlement between the nfl and former players. at least 25% of retired players can expect can expect to develop dementia can expect to develop dementia and much younger than those who did not play. we asked dr. jon lapook to tell us what's being done to help the players. >> and there's my old coach. >> reporter: in dave herman's den, the memories run wall to wall, highlights of a decade-long career with the new york jets. >> old memories. >> reporter: now 73, he played right tackle during the 1969 super bowl. >> i was lined up against big bubba smith. so he was slapping me in the head all for 60 minutes, and i woke up after the game, and i said, "who won?"
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>> no, no, no, no don't get confused. >> reporter: over the past 20 years, herman's wife, roma, noticed he was gradually developing problems with memory and thinking. >> it's the loss of the special things that we've done in the past. >> reporter: the memories together. >> uh-huh. >> this shows the hippocampus is damaged on both sides. >> reporter: neurologist dr. sam gandy of mount sinai hospital in new york is one of herman's doctors. >> he thought he had alzheimer's' disease. the panel of us who saw him couldn't agree on his diagnosis, whether he had alzheimer's disease or c.t.e. >> reporter: c.t.e., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head injuries such as concussions. abnormal tangles of a protein called tau help make the diagnosis and until no,w, the only way to find them was at autopsy. dr. gandy performed an experimental pet scan that can detect the tangles in living patients to try to determine if herman had c.t.e. a different scan had ruled out
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alzheimer's. herman's scan was positive for those tau tangles. the diagnosis was c.t.e. >> so the damage is caused by >> so the damage is caused by physical activity or is it caused by just age? >> in your situation, i think the best explanation is it's from the recurrent head injury. we don't have a way to confirm the diagnosis during life until now, and we can now establish common this disease really is. alzheimer's from c.t.e. is crucial because the underlying brain pathology is different. and a treatment that helps one disorder may not help the other. >> pelley: fascinating advance. jon, thanks very much. in the battle against one of california's biggest wildfires, are the fire crews getting the upper hand? that's just ahead. into a sandwich. the amazingly tender roasted turkey -- always raised without antibiotics, the zesty cranberry mostarda, the freshly baked flatbread... but here's what you don't always see. the care and attention that goes into it.
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including your stuffy nose. (breath of relief) oh, what a relief it is. thanks. property doesn't end up und water. next weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor the take special sponsored 7-day >> pelley: today, the united nations held a world summit on climate change. tonight, dean reynolds tells us about the effect that climate change is having on birds and what some humans are doing about it. >> reporter: their call is synonymous with the american wilderness. but the common loon of minnesota's north woods may actually be sounding an alarm. >> the land of 10,000 lakes is projected to not have loons in the summertime anymore by the end of the century. >> reporter: by then, according to a report from the audubon society, climate change will threaten half of the birds in this country. some may disappear.
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from loons to eagles to humming birds, flocks are getting squeezed, says audubon's chief scientist gary langham. >> all these birds are at risk, and they all paint a picture of an environment that is going to be disrupted from global warming. >> reporter: in the early 1900s, loons nested as far south as plinois and pennsylvania. but ever since, their range has steadily shrunk. if southern lakes continue to warm, the fish loons feed on could die, sending the birds farther north for food. but in waterville, minnesota, scientists are capturing loon chicks and moving them to their traditional southern nesting sites in a new project to see if they can somehow survive. >> there are many hunted species. >> reporter: david evers is with the biodiversity research institute. >> by providing a way to bring loons back to their former range and kick-start some of these populations. it is our responsibility in the end.
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>> three kilograms. >> reporter: here they monitor the chicks and release them to what they hope will be new summer homes. >> if we just wait for nature to take its course, it will take a nsry long time for loons to restore themselves. >> reporter: so far, four chicks have been released from the pens and into the wild. >> hopefully, it's as simple as that bird coming back in two and a half years. ep reporter: the swallows come back to capistrano. maybethe loons will return to waterville. dean reynolds, cbs news, waterville, minnesota. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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own chief to be remove now at 6:00, they want her out. firefighters calling for their own chief to be removed. they say it's a matter of public safety. good evening, i'm ken bastida. >> i'm veronica de la cruz. mike sugerman is in san francisco, where chief joanne hayes-white is under fire tonight. mike. >> reporter: high drama and back room politics have engulfed the san francisco fire department and as you say, the chief is now putting out fires of her own. here's how politically sensitive this issue is. >> i'm staying out of this for now. >> reporter: but you're the president of the board of supervisors. >> i'm staying out of it. are you rolling? >> yes. >> reporter: yes. you're the president of the
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board of supervisors. the never publicity shy david chiu wouldn't talk until he knew the cameras were rolling but wouldn't take a stand. is the chief's job in jeopardy? >> i certainly right now don't believe it is. >> reporter: but joanne hayes- white has little backing among her rank-and-file. the letter was drafted by leaders of every faction of the union. in the long history of the san francisco fire department that has never happened. it calls for the department to return to the levels of excellence which, quote, can only happen with a change in our current leader? in. will you resign? >> i'm not at this point thinking about resigning. >> reporter: in the shark- infested waters of the big city fire department hayes-white has lasted longer than any other san francisco chief. but the heat is on because of dangerous ambulance response times up to an hour in some cases. that's because of lack of equipment and personnel. the chief and mayor say things are getting better after more rigs are on the street and more emts are hired. >> i have confidence in the


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