tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley Me-TV October 30, 2015 5:30pm-5:58pm CDT
later, he's doing just that, as the war against isis esk laits. also tonight, severe storms. texas. near disaster. >> one interesting thing is that going inside the cabin, you can't tell there was a fire. >> pelley: and steve hartman are a high school football player going for the exclamation point in a coach's career. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: president obama is putting u.s. forces on the ground in syria, something he had vowed not to do. but after a year of american airstrikes and the failure of a u.s. program to build an army of syrian rebels, mr. obama is order, in about 50 special operations troops to step up the war against isis. u.s. forces have struck inside
but these troops are in for the long haul. the white house says their advisers, not combat troops, but they will be in harm's way. david martin is at the pentagon. >> reporter: a pentagon official said american special forces will spend up to 60 days at a time in the headquarters of u.s.-backed fighters in syria. they will north, for the foreseeable future, go out on operations against isis. their mission-- to coordinate a drive by various bands of arab and kurdish fighters on the isis capital of raqqa with the help of american airstrikes. the number of jets flying strikes out of a nearby base in turkey will quadruple from just six to 24. "we want to be prosecuting as many isis targets as possible in syria," the pentagon official said. american and allied jets have been bombing raqqa for months. earlier this year, a jordanian
pilot had to bail out over raqqa. he was captured by isis and burned alive. >> we are near iraq every day. >> reporter: but as lieutenant colonel mike jones told "60 minutes" earlier this morning at the command center for the air campaign, a lot of time and fuel is wasted flying those strikes from bases 1,000 miles away. >> all of our fighters coming out of the arabian gulf, way down here, two and a half to three-hour transit time, that's a tremendous amount of transit time that could be spent on station. >> reporter: with more planes spending more time over syria and with some u.s. backed fighters within 30 miles, isis could be forced to pull back the front line in iraq to defend their capital. >> we can put pressure on there. we can strike them there, create fear, which makes them withdraw forces potentially from the mosul area and from ramadi. >> reporter: a pentagon official said it will take up to a month for special forces to reach syria and would not rule out the possibility that more
as this official put it, scott, "this is a start to gauge what's possible." >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon. thanks. now, that is syria, but u.s. special operations forces are already on the ground advising and assisting kurdish fighters in northern iraq, and that is where we find elizabeth palmer tonight. liz. >> reporter: scott, we know they're here because we actually ran into a small group of them, quite by accident, in the headquarters of one of the kurdish commanders. they wouldn't say anything, but the kurds say they're already an important part of the fight against isis up here. some of them actually live and work with the kurdish fighters right on the front lines. others help staff a joint command center here in the city of erbil. the mission includes target spotting, helping to coordinate airstrikes, and also going on joint operations like the raid on the isis jail last week that killed master sergeant joshua wheeler.
more joint rates like that and also further cooperation. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer reporting for us tonight in northern iraq. thanks, liz. so for insight into all of this, we'll going to michael morell, former number two at the c.i.a. and our cbs news senior security contributor. michael, how much difference does it make to have 50 u.s. special operations forces on the ground in syria? >> scott, it doesn't sound like much but i think it's going to make a significant difference for two reasons. one is these special forces will be with syrian kurdish fighters who are right up against the heart of isis geographically. they're up against the center of mass of isis. and secondly, the special forces will, i think, just as they have in iraq, make these fighters better strategically and better tactically, help them make better decisions militarily. >> pelley: now, the russians have troops on the ground at a military base in syria. does this increase the
confrontation? >> scott, i don't think so. i'm not concerned about that. these syrian forces, these kurdish forces forces that we're going to be supporting are focused entirely on isis. they're not focused on fighting the assad regime. so i think the chances of us butting up against the russians here is unlikely. >> pelley: michael morell, former number two at the c.i.a., michael, thank you. in another important story tonight, the largest mass release of federal prisoners began today. thousands of nonviolent drug offenders are walking free in a program to ease overcrowding. we have more now from our justice correspondent jeff pegues. >> this is about as far as i can go. >> reporter: after being in a halfway house and under home arrest for five months, 50-year-old william higgins became a free man today. the former public school teacher served 10 years in federal prison for dealing meth and ecstasy. >> i was released two years early and i am so grateful for
that. >> reporter: he is one of some 6,000 federal inmates to be granted early release under a u.s. sentencing commission program. in 2014, the commission voted to cut jail time for some nonviolent drug offenders. the average 10-and-a-half-year prison sentence is being reduced by two years. this program is part of a bipartisan effort to reduce the federal prison population, which has grown to more than 200,000 inmates. also being addressed, evening out sentences for those caught with crack as opposed to powder cocaine, and loosening so-called mandatory minimum sentences. critics say both practices have led to high incarceration rates and unfairly targeted blacks and the poor. kevin ring represents families against mandatory minimums. >> congress has decided over the last 30 years to spend billions of dollars locking up nonviolent, low-level offenders. so we've shifted our resources to locking up drug dealers and offenders who can be treated in other ways and with shorter sentences.
>> reporter: but some sheriffs and police chiefs disagree, arguing that the mass release comes without a proper safety net for the former inmates. >> this is all going to be dropped into the lap of the american police. >> reporter: new york city police commissioner william bratton: >> we're letting them out of jail, but the treatment is not there, job training is not there, housing for many of them is not there. >> reporter: do you feel like your concerns have been heard at the federal level? >> no. >> reporter: the sentence reductions are not automatic. federal judges are required to carefully consider whether there is a threat to public safety. scott, so far, judges have denied about 26% of the total petitions that they have received. >> pelley: jeff pegues, thanks, jeff. today, dangerous storms plowed across the southern plains. parts of texas were hit with flash floods and destructive winds. two suspects tornadoes touched down, and at least two people were killed by floods near austin where we find omar villafranca. ( sirens )
many residents in south central texas woke up to today-- tornado sirens alerting them to take cover. the fast-paced storms dumped up to 16 inches of rain in just a few hours, flooding neighborhoods and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses. just outside san antonio, heavy winds ripped the roof off this high school and homes in the area. the same strong gusts tossed this tractor trailer on top of a hotel. >> so, it's flooding here. >> reporter: near austin, a remarkably calm kerry packer shot this video after calling for help while still trapped in his car, swept away by the rushing waters. >> so you can see i'm floating down some sort of creek. >> reporter: packer was one of dozens who had to be rescued by emergency responders today. theresa didn't have much time to grab her three dogs and get out. >> you have the police coming down your street ordering you out of your house, it's a little overwhelming. >> reporter: brother and
sister john and terra jones went into their austin house to get their kids and pets as the floodwaters crept closer and closer. what are you going to do tonight? >> i-- i'm not sure. we're going to call some friends and we'll find a place to go. that's what we do. >> reporter: the man who shot that video in the car is okay. as for the residents in this austin neighborhood, many of them have already evacuated because this area and much of south central texas are still under a flash flood watch. and, scott, more rain is on the way. >> pelley: omar villafranca in the thick of it. omar, thanks. today,ing for investigators began searching for the cause of yesterday's near disaster in south florida. a jet carrying 101 people burst into flames as it taxied for takeoff, and kris van cleave is looking into this. >> reporter: a new upclose look at the damage done by yesterday's fire at ft. lauderdale airport. >> engine's on fire. engine's on fire! >> reporter: this is how it
looked after daniela went down an exit slide surrounded by smoke as the boeing 767 burned. today, boarding pass in hand, she's getting on another dynamic flight to venezuela. >> i just want to go home and go and do what i have to do there. >> reporter: a team from the national transportation safety board has recovered the voice and data recorders and will sift through the fledgling airline's maintenance records for the nearly 30-year-old plane. tim lebaron is the lead investigator. >> the left engine is fire damaged. the left wing is fire damaged. one interesting thing is that going inside the cabin, you can't tell there was a fire inside. >> reporter: before the fire, another airline crew reported an plane. the cause remains unknown, but an airport spokesman says about 50 gallons of jet fuel had to be cleaned off the tarmac. >> odds are that, you know, you could be struck by lightning than have an engine fire. >> reporter: retired airline captain ross amer flew 767s. he said when the pilot did a
preflight check, the engines would have been off so no fuel would have been leaking. >> initially, when he turns on that fuel valve, he doesn't know about that leak until somebody tells him or he gets an engine fire indication. those fuel leaks are so minute that they can't see on instruments. >> reporter: another question for the n.t.s.b., if the exit slide on the left-hand side of the airplane should have ever been deployed at all because that's where the fire was burning. scott, nearly two dozen people suffered injuries during that evacuation. all of those injuries have been described as nonlife threatening. >> pelley: kris van cleave tonight. kris, thanks. today, the republican party pulled out of a presidential debate that nbc news was scheduled to host in february. the g.o.p. is angry about the way another nbc outlet, cnbc, handled this week's debate. here's major garrett. >> reporter: in a letter from republican committee chairman reince priebus to nbc, priebus
said the network and its subsidiary cnbc conducted wednesday's g.o.p. debate in bad faith. , "we simply cannot continue with nbc without full consultation with our campaigns," the letter said. priebus accused cnbc of ignoring a commitment to ask questions about the economy and called the questions its moderators did ask "inaccurate and offensive." cnbc has endured withering republican criticism for the conduct of its moderators, typified by changes like this. >> what should we do? >> what we should do is be investing in all types of energy, john, all types of energy. >> meaning government? >> no, john. john, do you want me to answer or do you want to answer? ( laughter ) how are we going to do this? because. ( cheers and applause ) because i gotta tell you the the truth, even in new jersey what you're doing is called rude. >> reporter: nbc called the r.n.c.'s move disappointing but today is, "will work in good faith to revolve this matter with the republican party." g.o.p. front-runners ben carson and donald trump have both
called for new debate formats. >> what it's turned into is a gotcha. that's silly. >> maybe every moderator should shoah that they vote republican. the questions were so nasty. >> reporter: shefer republicans campaigns, dissatisfied with the current debate formats will meet sunday in washington to discuss changes in future debates, scott. >> pelley: major garrett reporting for us tonight in the washington newsroom. major, thank you. out of tragedy, one man is determined to stop the cycle of domestic violence. flowers bloom in one of the driest spots on earth. and look who showed up at the
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policy center, says south carolina has the highest rate of deadly domestic violence, and mark strassmann is there. >> reporter: as a north charleston firefighter, christian rainey responds every day to people in crisis. but nothing will ever compare to the call he got in 2006. what happened? you were in college. >> i got a phone call from my cousin telling me that i needed to fly home. >> reporter: detra rainey, his mother, was murdered by her new husband michael simmons. he also killed rainey's four siblings. in one day you lost-- >> everything. >> reporter: and everyone. >> i call it everything because it's everything to me. >> reporter: over the past decade, men killed 493 women in south carolina. that's one every seven days. elmyra raven runs a women's shelter here. this former police officer was also once a victim of domestic
violence. something is different about this issue in south carolina. >> well, i think a lot of it has to do with our education education. we have a lot of rural pockets in our state. people don't want to get involved in the domestic violence issue because they feel like it's really not their business. >> reporter: christian rainey made it his business. >> when they say you're supposed to be a man, but what does that mean? >> reporter: the 30-year-old goes to fire and police stations, schools, anywhere that invites him. he counsels men about male culture and how they treat women. his nonprofit, called real m.a.d., men against domestic violence" gets victims and abusers the help they need. >> women can talk about domestic violence until we're blue in the face, but when another man calls you out on it, you know, it shines a different light on it. >> reporter: four months ago, rainey helped push south carolina to reform its domestic violence laws. ( applause ) stiffening penalties and banning
but he knows that some things he can never change. >> you know, the work i do is therapy for me and if she was here, she would be, i mean, so proud of what i'm doing. >> reporter: rainey's passion is saving lives. it's a fire that will never go out. mark strassmann, cbs news, north charleston, south carolina. >> pelley: steve hartman is coming up soon, but next, an arrest in a series of church fires. we thought we'd be ready. but demand for our cocktail bitters was huge. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding. fast. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. you can't predict it, but you can be ready. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself.
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>> good job. >> reporter: after 25 years at west blocton high school in west blocton, alabama, football coach gregg frenety said his proudest moment came last week with this relatively pointless extra point. had no effect on the game whatsoever, but as you'll soon see, that kick made his career. frenety has lived for football all his life. he played as a kid, went into coaching after college, and most importantly, when he got married, he dreamed of having a son who could play for him one day. >> i envisioned him doing what i did, playing football. >> reporter: a little you. >> yeah, a little me, that's right. >> reporter: but here's what he got instead-- jodie is the oldest of gregg's two daughters, no boys, other than the 40 or so he pretty much adopts every year. >> after school was football. on the weekends is football. off season, it's football. so. >> reporter: so imagine
jodie's surprise when her dad recently announced he would quit coaching. >> i just got to thinking one of these days i'm going to blink my eyes and my daughters are going to be gone and i'll have missed something, you know. >> reporter: the sport that had mattered so much for so long will now be replaceed by cheer competitions in girls' softball games. >> i was like are you sure you want to do this? and i realized he's giving this up for me. i need to do something for him. >> reporter: which brings us back to that extra point. if you look closely, you'll notice the kicker has a ponytail. jodie practiced for months, got the team's permission, then scored one for her dad. the final point in his last home game. >> good job, jodie! >> i just started straight for my dad, and he hugged me and that was the best, that was the best hug. >> i it was very exciting to see your daughter running off the field like that in full uniform, you know. >> reporter: better than a boy? >> oh, yeah, absolutely.
i wouldn't trade anything for my girls, nothing. i mean, if i had to go back and do it all over again, i'd say i want them two right there. >> reporter: and that's the great thing about young men who think they want a boy-- they grow up to be old dads dads who know better. steve hartman, "on the road," in west blocton, alabama. >> 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. sp i'll see you sunday on "60 minutes." good night. announcer: you're watching kcci 8 news.
>> oh my god! >> stop! kevin: a johnston bus driver in court after this video surfaces, showing him pushing a student on his bus. how drivers are trained to handle this kind of trouble. stacey: a phone call for free medical advice saves the lives of an iowa falls family. how a quick-thinking nurse rescued them from carbon monoxide poisoning. kevin: and where des moines businesses spend their money may be costing the city more than $1 billion a year. good evening, everyone. first off, that man accused of assaulting a johnston special needs student was in court this morning. stacey: robert scarbrough faces chges of assault and child endangerment for pushing a ninth grader to the ground on his school bus yesterday. kc's ryan smith is live in johnston. ryan, you found out a judge denied scarbrough's request for a court-appointed attorney. ryan: stacey, as of today, according to the johnston community school district, scarbrough is on administrative leave. that said, a polk county judge