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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 10, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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allen, veronica will be right here at 6:30. after president obama's farewell address at 6:00. captioning sponsored by cbs >> pelley: condemned to death. the gunman in the charlotte church massacre hears his fate. also tonight, testifying in his own defense. >> i did not harbor the kind of animosities and race-based discrimination ideas that i was accused of. >> pelley: but a critic of the attorney general nominee paints a different picture of jeff sessions. >> i just despise the guy. >> pelley: president obama's farewell address. he tells the nation america is better and stronger. and... >> watson, touchdown! >> pelley: the long road to college football stardom began here. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: this is our western edition. dylann roof showed no mercy when he shot nine african americans to death in 2015 as they prayed in a historic black church in charleston, south carolina. today, a jury showed no mercy when they sentenced him to die. mark strassmann is at the federal courthouse. il reporter: dylann roof's jury deliberated for two hours. they agreed unanimously he deserved to die for the racist rampage that killed nine black oorishioners in june of 2015. as the verdict was read, roof stood, eyes down, fidgetting with papers on the defense table. "this was a race-based massacre," that's what jay stchardson the assistant u.s. attorney told roof's journey this morning. he called roof an unrepentant racist who planned his attack for six months, bought the glock .45, target practiced in his backyard, and entered the mother
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emanuel church to slaughter innocent bible studiers. roof then left the church holding the murder weapon before sis arrest and confession to f.b.i. agents the next day. ws i did it. >> reporter: almost 19 months wter, richardson stressed that roof shows no remorse. on sneakers he has worn to court, roof drew white oupremacist symbols. richardson's closing arguments took two hours. roof, acting as his own lawyer, spoke for five minutes. he called no witnesses and offered no evidence in this penalty phase. roof spoke softly: ur melvin graham's sister, cynthia f rd, was one of those killed. s wants roof executed. ru he has no heart. he's truly what we pray about every night-- deliver us from ceil. a man without a conscience.
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ow heporter: roof has never apologized for all the grief he caused, but his family now has in a statement they released , ter the verdict. hermal sentencing will come in the morning, and, scott, that's the time when family members will get the chance to tell roof what they think of him, to let him have it in open court. >> pelley: mark strassmann for us tonight. mark, thank you. in another big story today, the senate opened confirmation hearings for the man that president-elect trump has nominated to be the attorney general, the nation's chief law enforcement officer, republican senator jeff sessions of alabama. in the 1980s, the senate denied sessions' nomination to be a federal judge because of accusations of racism. but once he became a senator himself, sessions voted to extend the voting rights act and supported other civil rights legislation. nancy cordes is on capitol hill. >> do you swear... >> reporter: senator sessions went first for a reason. as a 20-year veteran of congress, he was well prepared
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for pointed questions like this one from iowa republican chuck grassley: >> will you be able to stand up and say no to the president of the united states if in your judgment the law and your duty demands it? >> i understand that duty. i've observed it through my years here, and i will fulfill that responsibility. >> reporter: he was also prepared for this-- >> senator sessions is a racist. >> reporter: ...protesters who interrupted the hearing nearly a dozen times. the alabama senator has been dogged for decades by accusations that he once made racist statements. >> this caricature of me in 1986 was not correct. i did not harbor the kind of animosities and race-based discrimination ideas that were-- i was accused of. i did not. >> reporter: republicans came to his defense. >> you're a good and decent and honorable man. >> reporter: democrats said
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they are more worried that the deeply conservative sessions won't be able to enforce laws he opposes. california's dianne feinstein: >> you have referred to "roe v. wade" as "one of the worst colossal, erroneous supreme court decisions of all time. end quote. is that still your view? >> it is. i believe it's a-- it violated the constitution, and really attempted to set policy and not follow law. r is the law of the land. it has been so established and settled for quite a long time, and it deserves respect, and i ouuld respect it and follow it. >> reporter: rhode island's sheldon whitehouse: >> does waterboarding constitute torture? >> congress has taken an action now that makes it absolutely improper and illegal to use waterboarding. hello there! , reporter: sessions was the first senator to back mr. trump and a vocal clinton critic, but he made this unexpected promise
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today about any potential future clinton investigation: >> with regard to secretary clinton and some of the comments i made, i do believe that, that could place my objectivity in question. i've given that thought. i believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations. >> reporter: sessions said today that he would focus as attorney general on drugs coming across the border and on bringing down violent crime. scott, republicans leaving this day-long hearing said that they felt he had done well enough to get confirmed without any problems. >> pelley: nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy, thank you. well, sessionins has come under fire for his handling of a case of alleged voter fraud many years ago when he was u.s. attorney in alabama. he says he was only doing his job after a grand jury indictment. well, opinions differ to this day, and here's david begnaud.
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>> reporter: what do you think of jeff sessions? >> oh, my god. do i have to? i just despise the guy. ss reporter: 80-year-old evelyn turner's opinion of jeff sessions is just as stinging today as it was 33 years ago. turner and her now-deceased husband, albert, were longtime civil rights activists. >> we would go out and help get people registered to vote, because some of the people couldn't read and write. >> reporter: in 1984, the turners and a third man were accused of altering ballots. they became known as "the marion three." after a grand jury indicted them, the case was prosecuteed by the u.s. attorney's office vor southern alabama headed by jeff sessions. what do you believe this was an attempt to do, these charges? >> to stop black people from voting. we did nothing wrong, so we orn't have anything to be ashamed of. >> reporter: they were
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acquitted, but during the lree-month trial, the turners had to sell their family farm. evelyn lost her job. is there a chance that maybe 30 years has softened a man's heart and maybe-- >> have you ever seen a leopard change his spots? es my opinion is that jeff sessions did his job. >> reporter: turner's son, albert jr., sees things infferently. he's now a commissioner in perry county, serving in a building dedicated to his dad. he thinks there's a balance to sessions' record on race. >> i know that jeff sessions prosecuted a white ku klux klansman, sought the death penalty and got it for the killing of an african american in mobile, alabama, and i never seen an indication that he had a racist attitude or dislike or disdainment for african american ioople or other minorities. >> reporter: in the case of jeff sessions, the turner family remains divided. e in order for me to go to g aven, i'm going to have to
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forgive him, but i will never, ever forget as long as i stay black, and i don't see no chance d me turning white. >> reporter: david begnaud, cbs news, perry county, alabama. >> pelley: today, mr. trump's choice to head the department of homeland security said that securing the mexican border will be his top priority. but at his confirmation hearing, retired general john kelly said a wall won't be enough. he called for a layered defense with increased patrols and sensors. kelly, the former head of the u.s. southern command, is expected to be confirmed quickly. millions of americans are signing up for president obama's signature health insurance program, even as president-elect trump is moving ahead with his plans to scrap it. the obama administration reported today that 11.5 million americans enrolled last year, avarly 300,000 more than the previous year.
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the average fine for not buying insurance more than doubled last year to $470. today, mr. trump stepped up pressure on congress to repeal obamacare, telling the "new york times" that it should happen next week and should be replaced very quickly. but with what, he did not say. after talking with the president-elect, speaker paul ryan said that the house will aim to replace obamacare at the same time that it repeals it. tomorrow, mr. trump will hold his first news conference since he was elected. cbs news will bring that to you live at 11 a.m. eastern time. in chicago tonight, president fama will follow a tradition established by george washington and will deliver a farewell address to the nation. dean reynolds is there tonight. afan. >> reporter: scott, a facebook post this afternoon by the president perhaps foreshadowed
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tonight's speech. in it, the president said, "we've made america a better, stronger place for the generations that will follow. we've run our leg in a long relay of progress knowing that our work will always be unfinished." >> at this defining moment, change has come to america. ( cheers ) >> reporter: he was the embodiment of hope and the personification of change eight years ago. >> i, barack hussein obama, do solemnly swear. >> reporter: a black man was in the white house. but the soaring rhetoric quickly gave way to the grinding reality of the great recession. it took most of his two terms to fully rebound, but the economy added 16 million jobs on his watch. >> we are done. l( applause ) >> reporter: he realized the progressive dream of nationa >> he opened the door to cube abanned torture, recognized same-sex marriage, gave children of the undocumented hope, and he was a model of rectitude during
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his to terms in the white house. eat mr. obama leaves office with questions about what might have been. fighting republicans, whose dtated goal was to beat him, mr. obama often seemed hamstrung, vainly seek compromise and even veering right-ward in search of a deal. to end the recession, obama bailed out wall street, not main street. the banks, not the homeowners. when he sought to fill a seat on the supreme court, republicans said no, and that was that. democrats lost congress and legislatures in state after state. overseas, he removed an arch-enemy. >> the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al qaeda. n reporter: but u.s. troops are back in the middle east, and with syria in disarray, american leadership in the region has been weakened. worldwide, russia is more assertive, and so is china. n. for the plague of gun violence here, obama fought the gun lobby and lost, even after newtown.
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>> every time i think about e ose kids, it gets me mad. and, by the way, it happens on the streets of chicago every day. >> reporter: perhaps most worrisome... >> you know, if i had a son, on'd look like trayvon. >> reporter: ...is whether racially charged passions have deepened the divide in this country after eight years of the obama presidency. >> we know the march is not yet over. we know the race is not yet won. >> reporter: and now he turns over the keys to a man he once mocked, to a man who wants to erase most of mr. obama's legacy, scott, as quickly and permanently as he can. >> pelley: dean reynolds in chicago tonight. dean, thank you. cbs news will bring you live coverage of the president's address at the top of this hour, 6:00 pacific time. coming up next on the cbs evening news, in the age of terror, british police may do something once unthinkable. and later, a champion's dream
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>> pelley: this always seems foreign to americans-- the vast mereign to americans-- the vast majority of police officers in britain are unarmed. but if her majesty's government has its way, the bobbies will soon be packing heat, and from london, here's mark phillips. >> reporter: it's a sign of the times-- at the changing of the guard ceremony at buckingham palace these days, the queen's guards need guarding by police officers who are dressed to kill at the palace, at the train station, on the street. things have come a long way from she way they used to be. >> the british policeman does not carry a gun.
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a truncheon is his only weapon of defense. ( gunfire ) >> reporter: not anymore, at least not for about 10% of the nmrce now trained to carry arms, a number the government wants to arcrease. which is why ken marsh of the police officers' federation is polling its members on whether hiey want to carry guns. >> i think the danger is very clear. if we carry guns, then those out there will carry guns and be more likely to use them. >> reporter: yet, recent truck attacks on the outdoor market in germany, and before that in france, showed that police with guns can stop terrorists, if in both cases, not soon enough. britain, too, has endured its own terror attacks, producing their own outcry for more protection. ndis is an argument between the way britain imagines it used to be and the way it is now, and that way is like most places-- complicated and sometimes arngerous and violent. is there a part of you that's
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cad to have to do this? >> there is because when i s ined the police, i never ofought all those years ago i'd be having this sort of conversation. but as you quite rightly said, times have changed. society is changing. the world is changing. and we've got to act upon that. >> reporter: even at the palace. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> pelley: up next, drastic action to save homes from flooding. from flooding. the fiery tissue left her nose sore and red. so dad slayed the problem with puffs plus lotion, instead. puffs have pillowy softness for dakota's tender nose. with lotion to comfort and soothe when she blows. don't get burned by ordinary tissues. a nose in need deserves puffs, indeed. now get puffs plus lotion in the squeezable softpack.
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flooding in downtown sacramento. in the wine country of sonoma county, the volatile russian ntver has flooded some 500 homes, and roads have been turned into lakes. gusts up to 60 miles an hour have knocked down trees, even as crews pruned branches to give them a better chance of standing. john gulserian is a county emergency services manager. >> with the ground being so eaturated with water right now, it's just really hard for the raees to hold on. >> reporter: in the sierra nevada mountains, the wind, along with heavy snow and avalanche warnings, have forced the closing of i-80, the main highway linking california and nevada. mountain towns are digging out from the heaviest snowfall they've seen in years. as it's definitely a workout. >> reporter: these blizzard conditions could last until thursday. by then, as much as 10 feet of snow may have fallen in some t,aces here in the mountains. but, scott, come spring, all of this snow should turn into some
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drought relief for california. >> pelley: john blackstone in truckee for us today. john, thank you. up next, his route to the national championship began with a few swings of the hammer. now he's playing it forward. your insurance company won't replace the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says, "you picked the wrong insurance plan." no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance. i have age-related maculare degeneration, amd, he told me to look at this grid every day. and we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression, including preservision areds 2.
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quarterback deshaun watson-- >> touchdown! >> reporter: --a touchdown pass on the last play to win college football's national reampionship. >> i'm just thankful for, you know, the people i have around 1 just believing in me. >> reporter: but, actually, wtson's dream came true long before this, in 2006, when he was 11, and his family was able to move to a better life. >> i was in, you know, government apartments where, you know, a lot of bad influence was around. you know, it wasn't something that, you know, everyone wanted to stay in for the rest of their life. >> reporter: deshaun's family-- that's him in the black hoodie-- was one of more than 150 helped by former pro football star warrick dunn's charity. fo congratulations. >> reporter: he partners with .abitat for humanity to make home ownership a reality for single parents. >> i just try to provide an opportunity for stability. >> reporter: this is how dunn honors his mother's memory, an off-duty baton rouge police officer killed during a robbery. at 18, warrick dunn became the guardian of five siblings, using his mom's life insurance to buy
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a home for them and learning early about the stability a home can provide. >> it gives an opportunity to reach for their dreams and to change their outcome, their future. >> reporter: a nice story a decade ago became a great story last night. >> my dream came true and, you know, all the success has been coming and blessings have been coming through. s> reporter: just ask the guy living the dream now building habitat houses with his teammates so that others can live theirs. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley and we'll be right back with the president's address. see you in a minute. ,, ,,
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>> pelley: this is a cbs news special report, president obama's farewell address. good evening. president obama's about to address the nation for the last time before he leaves office in 10 days. he'll be speaking from chicago, where his political career began and where eight years ago, in grant park, he celebrated his historic victory as america's t.rst black president. thousands lined up in the bitter cold on saturday to get a chance to get one of the free tickets to see the president tonight at mccormack place, a convention center on lake michigan. later, those tickets were being scalped for as much as $5,000. vice president biden and other current and former members will of the administration will be there tonight. mr. obama id

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