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

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captions by:caption colorado, llc 800-775-7838 email: >> brown: tonight, tornadoes hammer the deep south. buildings are damaged, cars are flipped. meteorologist eric fisher says holiday travelers face even more rough weather. in a stunning reversal, "the interview" will be shown in rs. jericka duncan reports, while ben tracy investigates whether north korea really was behind the sony hack. >> this was a company that has essentially been nuked from the inside. >> brown: the u.s. economy shifts into overdrive thanks to tumbling gas prices. manuel bojorquez reports. >> ♪ a change will come >> brown: and anthony mason looks back at a civil rights anthem released 50 years ago elis week. >> it's the kind of song as a songwriter you want to write.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> brown: good evening. scott is off tonight. i'm james brown. this is our western edition. on a night when millions are heading out for the holidays, severe thunderstorms are lashing some parts of the country. at least one tornado was reported in southern mississippi. our cbs affiliate in huntsville, alabama, whnt, is reporting at least two deaths. cars, and in this case, a ambulance flipped over in high winds. this system is expected to cause problems through christmas. eric fisher, the chief meteorologist at wbz, our cbs station in boston, is following this. eric? >> j.b., a rough night of weather here across the southeast. tornado watches in yellow, and we've already had several tornadoes touch down. you can see some of the video, in particular, around marion county in mississippi.
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columbia community very hard hit. we saw widespread damage with cars flipped over, trees uprooted, certainly a lot of damage to homes, some roofs that were taken off. and so, all of this weather continues to work its way eastward as we head through the overnight. take a look at some of the storm n ports. you see the tornadoes here in red. they began in the northeastern section of louisiana. also, one popped up in southern georgia. we will continue to track this eastward during the overnight. watching this area in particular in orange, a chance for a couple more tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and flash flooding, a lot of very heavy rain in the southeast. tomorrow, that threat moves to northern florida, and virginia southeastern coastal section of georgia up towards savannah, an isolated tornado. and j.b., a night like this on the doorstep of christmas, you don't want to see weather turn tragic unfortunately, it has. >> brown: how is the forecast looking? >> we will watch it move northward as we head into christmas eve day. we've got the snow on the back edge. not a lot of wintry weather in this one. it all departs on christmas day.
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snowflakes fly in places like chicago, western michigan, and this tomorrow night could certainly pose hazardous travel. by the time we get to christmas day, it's in the rookies, a lot of snow coming down from the mountains. >> brown: eric fisher in boston. thank you. r another major story, sony pictures reversed course today. despite hacking and a threat, "the interview" will open on thursday. president obama is among those applauding the decision. jericka duncan begins our coverage outside of one of those theaters that has agreed to show it. >> reporter: the alamo theater here in yonkers, new york, will show the film on christmas day at midnight. at least 30 theaters across the country will show the movie. some showings have already sold out. the film will be shown at independent movie houses, like the plaza theater in atlanta, where police say they will monitor the location for potential threats. today, sony's chairman and c.e.o. michael lynton released a statement:
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>> you want us to kill the leader of north korea? >> yes. >> what! >> reporter: "the interview" is a satirical comedy about the assassination of north korea's leader kim jong-un. it was pulled last wednesday after hackers threatened violence against theaters planning on showing the movie. last friday, the f.b.i. said it believed north korea was behind the cyber attack on sony pictures. on twitter, the stars of the movie, james franco and seth rogen, claimed victory, and saluted the moviegoers who they credit with demanding the release of the film. and right now, sony executives say the release of this film will make it easier for them to show it to the general public. as of right now, too, there is no word yet on whether any major theater chains will reconsider its decision to not show the film. james?
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>> brown: jericka, thank you so much. as jericka just reported, the f.b.i. blames north korea for hacking sony pictures. others are not so sure. ben tracy has that part of the story. >> sony was not just hacked. this was a company that has essentially been nuked from the inside. >> reporter: curt stanberger is a senior vice president with norse, a respected silicon valley cyber-security firm. while not directly involved in the sony case, it has conducted its own investigation. >> we are very confident that this was not an attack masterminded by north korea, and that insiders were key to the implementation of one of the most devastating attacks in history. >> reporter: he says norse data is pointing towards a person who calls her "lena," and claims to be connected with the so-called "guardians of peace" hacking group. norse believes they've identified this person as someone who worked at sony in
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los angeles for ten years until leaving the company this past may. >> this woman was in precisely the right position and had the deep technical background she would need to locate the specific servers that were compromised. >> reporter: other experts in cyber-security and private intelligence are also questioning the f.b.i.'s claim that north korea is solely to tiame for the sony hack. >> there are certainly north korean finger prints on this, but when we run all of those leads to ground, they turn out to be decoys or red herrings. >> reporter: for instance, while the malware used to attack sony has been used by north korea before, it is also used by hackers around the world every day. now, it's worth noting that the original demand of the hackers was for money from sony in exchange for not releasing embarrassing information. there was no mention of the movie, "the interview." james, meanwhile, the f.b.i. is continuing its investigation of the sony hack. >> brown: ben tracy in l.a. thank you, ben.
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well, the u.s. economy really took off between july and september. today, the previous estimate of 3.9% growth was revised upward to 5%. that's the fastest in more than a decade. althony mason is here to talk about that. .,llo, anthony. >> reporter: j.b., it was the best quarter since the summer of 2003, led by strong consumer spending and an upswing in business investment. that kicked off a rally on wall street. the dow closed above 18,000 for the first time ever, its second major milestone of the year. it crossed 17,000 just back in july. wall street has been setting one record after another. the dow has had 36 record closes this year. the s&p 500 has had 51. for the year, the dow is up nearly 9%, the s&p nearly 13%. so, six years into the recovery, the u.s. economy looks to have finally hit the gas. hiring is accelerating, wages are starting to pick up. and gas prices are tumbling down. and with the fed promising not to raise rates too soon, wall
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street, j.b., is making merry. >> brown: a peripatetic anthony mason, thank you. on the subject of gas prices, they have dropped 89 straight days and average $2.38 a gallon. that means drivers have a lot more to spend on other things. here is manuel bojorquez. >> $1.99. it's sweet. >> reporter: dallas taxi driver gerald callgrove says he's saving $40 to $50 a week on gas. what do you plan to do with that extra money? >> i've already basically done it. i've given maybe two extra gifts to my five grandchildren for christmas. >> reporter: every day, motorists are saving $450 million on gas compared to prices in june. 40% of people in one poll reported having more money to spend each month because of savings at the pump. more than a third of those with additional income plan to use their savings on holiday gifts. cheaper gas is also boosting holiday travel.
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nearly 90 million people are expected to make a road trip, up 4% from last year. lacy patterson will drive 500 miles. >> i was not planning to travel and due to the changes, and due to the allowances i've had with the extra money, i decided to make a trip. >> reporter: the savings go beyond the road. in louisiana, shrimpers are paying up to 70 cents less per gallon. that adds up, when you consider boats, like the ones owned by david chopin, can hold 10,000 gallons of fuel. what does that translate to for your guys? >> money in their pockets. we figured out it was the equivalent to probably a little over $1,000 in each crewman's pocket. >> reporter: by one estimate, cheaper fuel was the equivalent of a $75 billion tax cut for u.s. households. but, james, with prices like these still falling, the cut looks more like $100 billion to $125 billion. >> brown: thank you, manuel.
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tonight, an airport baggage handler and former delta airlines employee are charged with smuggling guns on jetliners. some of the guns were loaded. jim axelrod shows us how agents cracked the case. >> reporter: prosecutor says this surveillance video taken at atlanta's hartsfield-jackson airport captures a man named mark henry at work smuggling some of the more than 150 guns transported in carry-on bas on nearly 20 delta flights. brooklyn district attorney ken thompson: >> they breached the security to smuggle so many firearms, so many guns on plane from atlanta to new york city. >> reporter: henry was busted two weeks ago. yesterday, federal agents nabbed a delta baggage handler named eugene harvey. investigators say henry bought the guns in atlanta, gave them to harvey, whose job allowed him into secure parts of the airport without being screened, and then retrieved the guns from harvey
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once henry had cleared security. he then flew to new york, where he sold them. >> we're fortunate that we were able to get all the guns that they tried to put on the streets of brooklyn. >> reporter: according to the f.b.i., the two were part of a trafficking ring under surveillance for eight months. but when henry was arrested two ckeks ago with a black oakley backpack that held 18 handguns of various makes and models, seven of which were loaded, investigators say henry gave up harvey. the case raises the troubling question of why, as it says in the complaint, delta airlines employees are not subjected to screening by the t.s.a. upon entry to the internal secure/restricted area at hartsfield-jackson. henry hadn't even been paying for his delta flights. he had been using his mother's buddy pass that allows relatives of delta employees to fly standby at no cost. for its part, delta said it is fully cooperating with the
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investigation. j.b. >> brown: jim axelrod in our newsroom. thank you, jim. still ahead, president obama and the delicate balance of race relations. what can the president do to defuse tensions? and a bowl game ends in an all- out brawl when the cbs evening news continues. goodnight. goodnight. for those kept awake by pain... the night is anything but good.
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heads at 2:47 p.m., the exact time of saturday's attack. mayor bill de blasio marked the moment at city hall. he has asked for a halt in the protests against police conduct until officers wen jian liu and rafael ramos are laid to rest. president obama condemned the killings of the two officers, but there have been calls for the nation's first african- american president to do more to defuse tensions after two grand juries cleared white officers in the deaths of black men. major garrett has more on the president's balancing act. >> reporter: as protests rage throughout the country, the white house debated ways to put president obama at the center of the race and justice debate. mr. obama dismissed many as too showy or distracting. among the ideas floated-- a town hall on racial divisions, an event highlighting black and white churches building racial reconciliation, trips to memorialize michael brown or eric garner, or an ambitious national speech on race. >> the speech that needs to be
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had ultimately is the speech about citizenship and democracy. >> reporter: ben jealous led the n.a.a.c.p., from 2008 to 2013. >> this president's greatest power is to call citizens of this country into action to shape the future of their country. er should not give that up. >> reporter: top advisers bristle at accusation the president is awol. ceme describe an intense push for law enforcement reform built around the president's new task amrce due to report in early march. mr. obama spoke to its leader, philadelphia police chief charles ramsey, and new york police commissioner bill bratten, hours after the police murders. in addition, top white house adviser valerie jarret counseled new york mayor bill de blasio on ways to reduce tension. absent grand public gestures, ore president has tried to balance respect for law enforcement with calls for new methods and youthful activism, as he did on b.e.t.'s "106 and park." >> simply by virtue of color,
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esu've got less margin for error. and that's particularly true for black boys. we want them to be given the same benefit of the doubt as any other man would-- or any other boy would be given. >> reporter: the white house sought out the "106 and park" interview, viewing it as a eonduit to reach those agitating and organizing on their own. as for a race speech, advisers say the president already gave it in 2008 when he was far more popular and when racial polarization was less apparent. this time, they say, call for activism from below, not rhetoric from above. sherrilyn ifill is president of the n.a.a.c.p. defense fund and frequent white house adviser. >> the president stepping into that moment in a way might have silence other voices we now hear
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and myself might otherwise not have heard. people need to speak for themselves. and actually, that's the requirement of citizenship. >> reporter: the president's cautious approach tested for months reflected a quieter strategy to guide national change over time. james, the president calls this a long game, one he believes has only just begun. >> brown: major garrett at the white house. a congressman pleeds guilty to tax evasion. will he resign? ehat's next. resign?se that's next. dayquill cold and flu doesn't treat your runny nose. seriously? alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms plus your runny nose. oh, what a relief it is.
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more than $1 million in sales and wages from a restaurant he owned. he faces nearly two years in prison but today, he refused to resign. the athletic directors of memphis and brigham young universities are reviewing videos of the brawl at the end of yesterday's miami beach bowl. moments after memphis won 55-48 in double overtime, players were throwing punches and swinging helmets. the fights left several players bloodied. some could face disciplinary action. up next, 50 years ago, sam cooke recorded a classic that resonates to this day. >> ♪ a long time coming, but i know a change gonna come ♪ you want it ... until boom, it's bedtime! your mattress is a battleground of thwarted desire. enter the sleep number bed. save $300 on the final close-out of the c3 queen mattress set. he's the softy. his sleep number setting is 35. you're the rock, at 60.
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whose work seems fresh, even timely, half a century after its debut. anthony mason tells us about the artist and the song that gave voice to a movement. >> ♪ darling, you send me... >> reporter: with hits like "you send me," sam cooke became one of the most popular artists in the country. but by 1964, with the civil rights movement spreading, the singer wanted to send a different message. >> ♪ i was born by the river... ♪ >> reporter: 50 years ago this week, his song "a change is gonna come," was released. >> ♪ it's been a long a long time coming but i know a change gonna come... ♪ >> the song would just go all through your bones. ♪ it's been too hard living >> ♪ it's been too hard living
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but i'm afraid to die... ♪ >> reporter: mavis staples of the staple singers. were you surprised that song came from him? >> when he came with that song, we needed... black people needed black people to do something for us. you know, and sam cooke was at the top. >> reporter: cooke, who had been turned away from a whites-only motel in louisiana a year earlier, wanted to write a song with the power of bob dylan's "blowin' in the wind." >> if you observe what's going on and try to figure out how people are thinking and determine the times of your day, i think you can always write something that the people will understand. >> reporter: "a change" quickly became a civil rights anthem. but cooke did not live to see it. he was shot to death in a los angeles motel two weeks before its release. >> it's like sam's last song, and everybody loved sam because sam was such a...
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he'd give you shirt off his back. >> reporter: soul great al green has performed it. >> ♪ i was born by the river >> reporter: and made it his own at a 9/11 benefit in 2001. barack obama referred to the song after winning the 2008 election. >> it's been a long time coming. but tonight, change has come to america. >> reporter: smokey robinson: >> it's the kind of song, as a songwriter, you want to write because you know it's going to be around forever. >> ♪ it's been a long >> it's a classic, classic. >> ♪ a long time coming but i know ♪ >> reporter: that's something that won't change. at ♪ change gonna come >> reporter: anthony mason, cbs news, new york. >> it will ♪ >> brown: and that's the cbs evening news. for scott pelley, i'm james brown. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by
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>> live, from the cbs bay area studios, this is kpix5 news. >> now at 6:00, plans are well underway to demolish candlestick park in a matter of seconds but one neighborhood group says not so fast. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> and i'm veronica de la cruz. the candlestick demolition is igniting controversy with a new plan to implode the landmark. mark kelly shows us why neighbors are not having it. >> reporter: more than anything, they are concerned about their health. the fact is, candlestick park is old. and the concern is blowing it up will send cancer causing debris all throughout this neighborhood. we spent years building them. and in the blink of an eye, we tear these monster structures
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down. that's the king dome imploding in seattle. shirley moore was furious to hear about the developer taking down candlestick the the same way. >> i said you have to be kidding. >> reporter: shirley can throw a football into the stick's apartment. it is that close. >> it is 300 feet from us. >> reporter: if she got her way, candlestick park would be taken down like a lego set. piece at piece. >> you put the eco system and human beings at risk. you put more people at risk. you are doing more damage. >> reporter: the fact is imploding candlestick is not a done deal. the developer first has to get rid of any asbestos. >> if i feel the conditions will significantly impact my health. then i go away for a couple of days, you know, i spend the night at somebody's house. >> reporter: whether imploded or taken down in


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