tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS December 26, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
scott pelley tonight. captioning sponsored by cbs >> brennan: the present nobody wanted. snow, ice and wind ruin a lot of holiday travel plans. >> if you can't get me out today, you can't get me out tomorrow, you won't have me on the plane. >> brennan: also tonight, this year has seen a jump in drunk driving deaths. >> every waking moment you live with it. you can't take it back. ♪ cause i got to have faith. oh, i got to have faith ♪ >> brennan: we'll remember pop superstar george michael. ♪ i got to have faith, faith, faith ♪ >> brennan: and... >> you cannot touch the disk. >> brennan: this young scientist has big plans. >> it sounds like there's a
nobel prize for science in this. >> you're thinking what i'm thinking. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> brennan: good evening. scott is off tonight. i'm margaret brennan. well, holiday travel has become downright dangerous for millions. a wicked mix of freezing rain, snow and high winds is sweeping through the northern plains to the great lakes. highways are shut for hundreds of miles in the dakotas because of white-out conditions. violators face stiff fines. thousands are without power. more than 3,000 flights were delayed today, more than 350 were canceled. and with most flights booked solid, many travelers may have to wait days to fly. we have two reports tonight, first susan elizabeth littlefield of our cbs minneapolis station wcco. >> reporter: strong winds and heavy snow are moving across
both south and north dakota, creating white-out conditions. in some places conditions are so bad, drivers are creeping along highways coated in ice. >> 20mph or less is about all you can do here. >> reporter: the combination of snow and ice has forced the north dakota highway patrol to close several hundred miles of the interstate, creating a virtual no-man's-land. motorists are warn that they travel in some regions at their own risk. in minot, snowblowers are clearing away a foot of new snow. forecasters warn some areas could get another six inches. >> we are getting more this year than since i've owned the snowblower, and i've hand shoveled about ten tons of snow. it looks like we're in for a pretty hard winter. >> brennan: wind gusts up to 60mph and freezing rain are knocking out power in both north and south dakota. in minneapolis, a driver escaped serious injury when icy conditions caused a semi-truck to tip on its side. but in utah, a motorist died
when his car slid into oncoming traffic along the snow-covered highway. now high winds have moved in behind a weekend of rain and snow in minnesota. the blowing and drifting snow today forced two of the three runways at the minneapolis-st. paul international airport to close. wind gusts here in minnesota up to 66mph. that is just below hurricane force. now, they know how to fight snow on these runways. with that wind it is tough to battle. there were 200 flights either canceled or delayed. >> reporter: i'm demarco morgan. those storm-caused flight delays weren't just in minneapolis. in minot, north dakota, blizzard conditions transformed the international airport into a frozen the unthat. >> oh, you ain't going to get through that. >> reporter: mountains of snow blocked runways. strong winds and low visibility forced airport officials to completely shut down. as the storm traveled east, so
did the misery. >> i don't even know what's going on. i don't know how many flights were delayed today. >> reporter: by mid-day, midway airport in chicago was leading the nation in delays and cancellations. southwest passenger juan flynn thought he was going to atlanta. >> if you can't get me out today, you can't get me out tomorrow, you don't have any other planes? >> reporter: do you always travel during the busiest time of the year? >> no. >> reporter: holiday travelers like shirley wilson took the more than 70 delays and cancellations at newark's liberty international in stride. >> just come in early, because you never know what will happen. delays or whatnot, just come in early. >> reporter: after a bumpy start here at newark airport, traffic is now flowing smoothly. the airline industry estimates 73,000 more passengers travel each day during the holiday season. margaret, that's about a 4% increase over last year. >> brennan: thanks, demarco.
where weather permitted, americans flocked to the stores. the day after christmas usually sees the second most foot traffic of the season right behind black friday. jericka duncan went looking for bargains. >> 75% off christmas. >> reporter: the holiday shopping season didn't end with christmas. for some it just began. >> there's so many clearance racks everywhere. >> i think everything at least had one sale on it. >> reporter: it's also one more chance for retailers to cash in. analysts predict the week after christmas will account for about 14% of this year's holiday sales. department stores struggling to keep up with online retailers looked forward to today and the increased foot traffic. market strategist matt wolf. why is the day after christmas becoming so much more increasingly important for these brick-and-mortar stores? >> probably because about 25% of people say they got a gift card. so we know the gift card business is enormous and blowing up. we also know that returns are a
big deal. so you're going to get people back that way. >> reporter: overall holiday shopping sales are expected to be up roughly 4% from last year, and online sales have brought in more than $79 billion, that's a nearly 11% increase. >> just all the stuff you need, but you wait for the sale. so this is a great time to make those purchases. >> reporter: that mentality won't change, but how consumers get what they want, especially younger ones, likely will. >> if you count on them to be your next customer, you have to come up with a new strategy pretty quick, or you become the short-neck giraffe on the great plains of american retail. >> reporter: that's why in the coming year you'll see retailers working hard to bridge that gap between off-line and online shopping. margaret, analysts say some retailers are already experimenting with ways that people can actually pay for things inside the store by using their phones. >> brennan: wow.
jericka, thank you. over the weekend president-elect donald trump said he's planning to shut his charitable foundation to avoid any conflicts of interest, but that may be easier said than done. julianna goldman explains why. >> i give a lot of money to people and charities and everything. i love people. >> reporter: the donald j. trump foundation has been embroiled in controversy since the campaign. it's largely doled out other people's money, according to its tax filing from 2009 to 2014, the president-elect did not make any donations. and for 2015, it admitted to a practice known as self-dealing, the use of charity funds for one's own benefit, which is a violation of i.r.s. rules. the admission came after a series of reports questioning whether foundation money was used to settle business lawsuits. the new york attorney general conducting an investigation and says mr. trump's charity cannot legally dissolve until the investigation is complete. >> we're going to be raising a tremendous amount of money. >> reporter: it also follows his son's eric promise to stop
raising money for his charity amid questions that donors could be seeking to curry influence. in response, the president-elect tweeted, "isn't this a ridiculous shame?" publicly mr. trump that shunned the sughts of problems with his business, but aides are trying to untangle controversies that have raised concerns about potential conflict of interest, including with his children who are key advisers at the trump organization. calling it "normal housekeeping," trump attorney alan garten confirmed to cbs news that the company is terminating several international business deals, including in brazil and an unfinished hotel in azerbaijan. there are no laws governing conflicts of interest for the president, but, margaret, ethics experts say the only way for mr. trump to fully wall off his business from the presidency is to liquidate his assets into a blind trust, which he said he will not do. >> brennan: julianna goldman, thank you. well, president obama said in an interview released today that he could have beaten donald trump had he been able to run again.
speaking to former adviser david axelrod for his weekly podcast, the president rejected the noalings that democrats have abandoned white middle class voters. late today president-elect trump tweeted that mr. obama "should say that, but i say no way." well, this is a national day of mourning in russia for victims of sunday's plane crash in the black sea. pieces of the jetliner were pulled from the water today off sochi. all 92 people on board were killed, and many were members of an army choir. the russians do not suspect terrorism. in colombia, an investigation today blames human error for the crash of a charter jet that was carrying a brazilian soccer team to a championship match. it found, as suspected, that the plane ran out of fuel. 71 people died. six survived. in the philippines, a powerful typhoon that blew through on christmas day is blamed for at
least six deaths. the storm also left five provinces in shambles and hundreds of thousands seeking shelter. in chicago, two brothers were shot and killed at a family party christmas night on what was a very violent weekend. there were at least 27 shootings, 12 people were killed. there have been 745 gun homicides in chicago this year, a more than 56% increase over 2015. chicago police say nearly all the victims were young, black men under 30. well, the cost of justice has been going up. many states are imposing crippling fines as a way to close budget gaps. those who can't pay can wind up behind bars. here's justice correspondent picking jeff pegues. >> reporter: after 24 hours behind bars in college station, texas, this unemployed mother of three is minutes away from being released. >> i have three children.he
explained how her inability to pay a simple traffic ticket drove her down a path to jail. >> it just snowballed. with paying my bills, i didn't have the money to pay this. >> reporter: traffic violations, missed payments, and failure to appear in court caused her bill to grow to nearly $3,000 in fines, fees, and an arrest warrant. >> i'm judge ed spillane. >> reporter: but city judge ed spillane had her released immediately. why did you release her? >> i released her so she can work on community service. >> reporter: every week spillane releases defendants who are not a danger to society and cannot pay the fine. >> it's completely illegal. you cannot be put in jail due to your economic status or economic inability to pay a fine. >> reporter: the justice department agrees. it sent this letter to every court in the country, discouraging the practice by calling it "unlawful."
a brennan center study found at least 15 states have user fees which are explicitly intended to raise revenue. how much money are some of these states making from these fees? >> the state of texas makes $1 billion a year. >> brennan: $1 billion a year? >> >> in fees. >> reporter: the state says it's simply following supreme court directives. aren't you advocating a slap on the wrist? >> absolutely not. >> you're crying again. >> reporter: this woman got a break. >> yes, sir. i just need to get back on my feet. >> reporter: but across the country others like her are still locked up. jeff pegues, cbs news, college station, texas. >> brennan: coming up next on the "cbs evening news," new technology could prevent drunk driving deaths. and later, the music world pays tribute to george michael. honey, aren't we having friends over? it reeks in here.
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>> brennan: 2016 may go down as one of the worst years for drunk driving deaths. on average 28 people a day have been killed in d.u.i. accidents. one bad decision can lead to a lifetime of regret. here's transportation correspondent kris van cleve. >> reporter: it must be a moment that you think about all the time. >> constantly. >> reporter: christine alexander knows the pain a drunk driver can cause because she was one. when you got in the car that night, did you know how intoxicated you were? >> no. >> reporter: did you think you should have been driving? >> i didn't think that i was that intoxicated. i thought i was fine to drive. >> reporter: that night in 2004, she had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit.
driving home from a bar, she crashed into her boyfriend richard hale's motorcycle. he died. she went to jail. in 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired crash, an increase of nearly 300 from the year before. 2016 could be even deadlier. >> if you're drinking, don't drive. >> reporter: national highway traffic safety administrator mark rosekind. >> we're seeing increases we have not seen in 50 years. it's tragic. >> reporter: why do you think the drunk driving numbers are going up? >> that's one we're still trying to figure out. >> reporter: nhtsa is hoping this technology will reduce the number of drunk driving deaths. it uses censors to measure a driver's blood-alcohol level. if it's too high, the car won't start. but for christine alexander, it's too late. >> every waking moment you live with it. and you can't take it back. >> reporter: virginia is planning to start testing the
drunk driving technology next year. the system could be offered as an optional feature in new cars by 2020. kris van cleve, cbs news, washington. >> brennan: when we come back, we'll remember george michael, a superstar who spanned the decades. if you could see your cough, you'd see just how far it can spread. robitussin dm max is now better tasting, with the same fast powerful cough relief. robitussin dm max. because it's never just a cough.
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[nervously laughs] what's fios? fios has fallen behind. don't fall with it. xfinity x1 will change the way you experience tv. ♪ freedom freedom ♪ freedom >> brennan: george michael's friend elton john called him "the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist." singer paul young said, "michael's voice cut straight through your heart." george michael died in his sleep yesterday. jim axelrod has a look back. ♪ wake me up before you go go don't leave me hanging on the line ♪ >> reporter: he burst onto the scene in the 1980s, waking up the post-disco/pop music world
as one half of the duo wham!. ♪ wake me up before you go go ♪ i'm never going to dance before ♪ >> reporter: but with his smooth and soleful voice, george michael wasn't going to be anything other than a headliner all on his home. ♪ we could have lived this dance forever ♪ born georgios kyriacos panayiotou 53 years ago in london, michael would go on to sell more than 100 million records worldwide. ♪ oh when that love comes down without devotion ♪ starting in 1987 with his first solo album "faith"... ♪ cause i got to have faith ...he had eight number-one hits in the united states and won two grammys. ♪ why can't you do it why can't you get that monkey free ♪ the glare of the bright rights was too bright at times. in the tabloids for drugs and
soliciting sex in a public bathroom, which led to his coming out. what didn't get covered was his philanthropy, much of it done anonymously. earnings from his 1996 number-one hit "jesus to a child" were donated to a hot line for kids in need. ♪ don't let the sun come down on me ♪ royalties from his 1991 duet with elton john "don't let the sun come down on me" were earmarked to britain's leading h.i.v. charity. george michael's heart apparently failed over christmas weekend at his country home in england. ♪ freedom his fans will miss that remarkable voice. those closest to michael say what the world has really lost is one of its kindest and gentlest souls. ♪ you got to give for what you save ♪ jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> thank you so much. >> brennan: next, a young scientist took on lawmakers and won.
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>> brennan: the holidays are a time to catch up with old acquaintances and some who aren't so old. chip reid spent time with a young scientist whose ideas keep getting bigger. >> reporter: when we first met olivia mcconnell two years ago, she was leading a campaign to make the woolly mammoth the south carolina state fossil. >> olivia mcconnell. [applause] >> reporter: now 11, she's still making headlines. she and friends riley sims and. ly palmer have won first place in sever science fairs in a row. >> remember, you cannot touch the disks. >> reporter: olivia insists they're a team, but it's pretty clear who is in charge. this prize-winning experiment begins with the girls swabbing e. coli on the petree dishes.
then they smoke small pieces of paper in a solution of tobacco, place the paper on the e. coli, put it in an-of-inane wait 24 hours to see if the tobacco kills the e. coli. you think that this would actually be a cure for e. coli? >> it could. it possibly could. i hope it can. >> reporter: sounds like there is a nobel prize for science in this. >> you're thinking what i'm thinking. >> she's a remarkable young lady. >> reporter: ann jack, a university of kentucky teacher, says olivia has all the makings of a great scientist. >> she has the ability to perer is veer with something and get it right. report persevere maybe an understatement. whose house is that? >> mine. >> reporter: last year a flood destroyed her family's home and all the tobacco she had prepared. did you think your experiment was over? >> i never think that. >> reporter: you never do? >> never.
i don't like to say i can't, because everything is possible. >> reporter: where did you get that attitude? >> probably from my grandma and my mom. i inherited it from the girls in my family. >> reporter: earlier this year olivia and her teen, believe it or not, came in second at a science fair. they say a little adversity builds character, but it's hard to imagine she needs any more of that. >> i've been told that. >> reporter: chip reid, cbs news, lake city, south carolina. >> brennan: remember the name olivia mcconnell. that's the "cbs evening news." for scott pelley, i'm margaret brennan. thank you all for watching and have a great night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
c canda >> george michael gone at just 53, what we learned today about his shocking christmas holiday death, and our moments with the pop superstar. >> if i can keep my feet on the ground, i think we'll be all right. >> plus carrie fisher's fight for her life and the prayers from her "star wars" family. then we're looking back at 2016. from celeb moments to the hottest couples, prince harry and his hollywood girlfriend. >> really? >> fantastic. >> plus the year's biggest star "i do's." and 2016 unforgettable fashion. >> get up every day and kick as. >> now for december 26, 2016, this is entertainment tonight. >> hi, everybody. thanks so much for joining us.