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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 3, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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see you at 6:00. >> dubois: tonight the big dig. boston shovels out of a record snowfall as a major storm hits the northeast. plains are grounded, highways dangerous, and a deep freeze is taking hold. reports from throughout the storm zone. the obama administration versus the little sisters of the poor. jan crawford on a supreme court battle over obamacare. john blackstone on the latest twist in the battle over the fate of jahi mcmath, the girl declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy. and steve hartman "on the road" with chris rosati and one very sweet dream. >> reporter: stealing captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> dubois: good evening, scott off s off tonight, i'm maurice dubois and this is our western edition. ice, snow, freezing cold, it is called winter and the northeast got plenty of it today and all the problems that go with it, including air travel problems that spread to the west coast. the storm is being blamed for at least eight deaths, most of them on roadways. the number of flights canceled over the past two days has topped 5,000, some places got as much as two feet of snow. boston set a record. and now the cold is moving in in much of the region. the mercury never got out of the teens today. we have a team of correspondents covering the storm and first karen anderson of our boston station wbz. >> reporter: well, maurice, tonight the temperature is hovering around five degrees with a projected low of minus four. and boston is hoping it can weather this cold as well as it did the storm. boxford, massachusetts, had the most snow with nearly two feet. in boston, pedestrians outnumbered cars and fashion
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gave way to function for those who ventured outside, including chris smith. >> i have long underwear on, i have a turtle neck on, a fleece jacket under this and a ski coat and i am not quite toasty. >> reporter: statewide, some 3,400 plows and salt trucks kept the roads passable and with several highways ordered closed, there were just a handful of accidents. but firefighters in north attleborough had to battle bitter cold and a fire for four ho it left firefighter kevin laliberte encased in ice. south of boston, high surf combined with th e and sent freezing sea water crashing into several homes. the street was littered with debris. the national guard helped evacuate a handful of residents. now comes the bitter cold. governor patrick urged people to limit their time outdoors. >> these are, as i say, dangerous conditions, potentially dangerous temperatures for everybody.
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>> reporter: dangerous, indeed. the windchills in boston tonight can make it feel like at least 15 degrees below zero. these are conditions where frostbite can set in within about 35 minutes. maurice? >> dubois: karen, thank you. the heart of new york city got about six inches of snow and east of the city parts of long island got more than twice that. terrell brown is there tonight. terrell? >> reporter: maurice, new york's governor took the unusual step of shutting down three interstates so that they could be cleared. that worked but now this arctic air is creating a new problem. some who ventured out in the storm regretted it. on long island, 45 miles per hour winds blew snow back on the road soon after they were plowed, leaving a dangerous layer of ice. brookhaven highway supervisor dan losquandro. it gets to a point where it's so cold there's some things you can't do. >> the regular rock salt we put
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on the road simply isn't effective in single-digit temperatures. it will not melt the ice on the roads. >> reporter: connecticut state police responded to over 200 accidents and 3,000 calls for help. 50 mile an hour wind gusts required restrictions on vehicles traveling across maryland's chesapeake bay bridge. the buses are running in new jersey but in paterson this one slid down a hill and crashed into a building. no one was hurt. by sunday, temperatures will be in the 40s, melting much of this snow followed by heavy rain and, maurice, with all of that water it could create more headaches for drivers. >> dubois: it sure could. terrell brown on long island tonight. now to the airport, many travelers were stranded as 1,600 flights were canceled or delayed at new york area airports. 188 flights were also canceled in boston. 472 in philadelphia and 463 in chicago. all this created a ripple effect across the country. the web site flightaware shows fewer flights than usual in the skies over america early in the
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day but as the day goes on the situation improves and more flights are able to take off. joining us now is meteorologist steve baskerville of cbs station wbbm in chicago. steve, old man winter seems to be just about getting started, right? >> reporter: you know, maurice, this winter weather cannot stop being so dramatic. we've got another storm that's brewing! it's starting in the southern plains, it will be moving north and east and affecting places like -- well, new york city could have another mixture of rain and ice, even a half a foot of snow is possible around the eastern great lakes and that won't even be the weather headline! i think it's going to be that arctic air. in the last 20 to 30 years we've not had the kind of cold we're expecting. that minus 11, by the way, that's the high expected in chicago. on monday afternoon many places in the midwest won't get above zero for at least 24 to 48 hours. and arctic air slumps as far south and east as down in georgia and look at your afternoon, st. louis, on
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tuesday. two below zero. barely zero around cincinnati, double digits maybe around new york city and cold, cold weather shrinking as far south and east as atlanta. georgia may not see 40 degrees in the afternoon. so with all this in mind, this is one of those weekends and five-day periods where either you're digging out from all the snow or trying to stay as warm as you possibly can. maurice? >> dubois: steve baskerville in chicago, tonight. thank you. there is news tonight from iraq where al qaeda militants have battling iraqi government forces for control of fallujah and ramadi. u.s. troops and local militias had driven the mi militants from those two cities in anbar province during the iraq war. more than 1300 americans were killed in the fighting. david martin is following this. >> reporter: despite air strikes by government aircraft, the iraqi cities of ramadi and fallujah where american troops once fought desperate battles
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against al qaeda are in danger of falling back under control of the militants. fighters dressed in black have burned police stations and raised the al qaeda flag over government buildings. u.s. officials stopped short of declaring that either city has fallen to the insurgents, calling it a fluid situation but one which at the moment looks bad. the iraqi government is moving forces to the outskirts of the cities in an apparent effort to retake control. the fighting pit it is shiite government of prime minister maliki against sunni insurgents and threatens to re-ignite the kind of sectarian warfare that almost destroyed iraq in the years following the american invasion. u.s. officials blamed the resurgence of al qaeda in part, on the incompetence of the maliki government and in part of the spillover effect from the civil war in syria which has become a rallying cry for radical islamists. it's been two years since the last american combat soldier left iraq and now the iraqi government is in danger of
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losing some of the hardest-won victories of that war. >> dubois: david, do you have any sense that the iraqi government has any shot at retaking these cities here? >> reporter: well, they have the fire power to do it because, among other things, they have american-made tanks. the danger is that retaking the cities could set off an allout civil war between sunnis and shiites. >> dubois: okay. david martin at the pentagon tonight. thank you. the u.s. evacuated nearly two dozen americans from the embassy in south sudan today. they were flown out on a cargo plane because security there has deteriorated. south sudan became an independent country two and a half years ago. more than a thousand people have been killed in fighting between rival ethnic groups. today the two sides met for peace talks in neighboring ethiopia. the obama administration asked the supreme court today to lift a stay that is blocking enforcement of a key provision of the new health care law. at issue is coverage for contraceptives. here's our chief legal
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correspondent jan crawford. >> reporter: in court papers, the obama administration dismissed arguments that a contraception coverage requirement in the new health care law violates the religious beliefs of a group of roman catholic nuns saying their claim lacks any foundation in the facts or the law. but the little sisters of the poor late this afternoon issued a staunch rebuttal saying the health care law forces them to do what their religion forbids and provide access to health insurance which includes birth control. justice sonia sotomayor agreed on wednesday to temporarily exempt the little sisters from the requirement. the obama administration is urging sotomayor to lift the exemption. it points to a compromise in the law that would allow the nuns to sign a certification opting out of the contraceptive requirement, leaving responsibility for providing that coverage up to insurance companies. but daniel blomberg of the becket fund for religious liberty-- which represents the
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nuns in the lawsuit-- says that compromise is a sham because it forces them authorize a third party to provide coverage. >> this morally makes us complicit in doing something wrong. please don't make us have to participate in doing something wrong. please don't make us ask someone else to do something wrong on our behalf. >> reporter: cecile richards is president of planned parenthood. >> the government has already said this group of nuns is not required to provide birth control to their employees and there's nothing in the affordable care act that should go against any of their religious beliefs. >> reporter: but this issue goes beyond the little sisters. there are 19 other lawsuits challenging the contraception requirement and, maurice, those involve hundreds of other catholic nonprofit groups as well as schools and universities. >> dubois: jan, do we see all of this ultimately heading to the entire supreme court? >> well, in those other cases that are challenging the contraception requirement some of the federal courts have sided with the catholic group which is means that some point maurice it's likely, i think the, the
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court is going to have to step in and decide this. >> dubois: jan crawford in washington tonight. thank you. the administration today announced two executive actions aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill. one clarifies who is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of mental illness. the other gives hospitals more flexibility in providing information to the federal database for background checks. we have the results of drug and alcohol tests in the paul walker car crash. there's a new turn in the case of jahi mcmath, declared brain dead after a tonsillectomy. and scott pelley takes us to the edge of an erupting volcano when the "cbs evening news" continues. [ male announcer ] this is the story of the dusty basement at 1406 35th street the old dining table at 25th and hoffman.
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>> reporter: nailah winkfield hopes her daughter will recover if taken to a long-term care facility. the attorney asked the court to order children's hospital to insert breathing and feeding tubes. >> this is a critical issue because as the time moves forward any chance that jahi has to receive any type of neurorehabilitative care-- which her family seeks to pursue-- is expiring. >> given her status as a deceased human being it is medically unwarranted, legally unprecedented and, frankly, unfathomable to the hospital that a court would contemplate ordering surgery be performed on that dead body. >> if we could address her as jahi whether or not she's living or dead, it's very harmful to the parents to keep hearing "the body" "the deceased" "the corpse."
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we don't have to agree upon whether she's alive or dead, out of dignity we would request we just use her name. >> reporter: the judge sided with the hospital. >> i'm going deny the request. >> reporter: it will not be forced to perform surgery on mcmath. both sides did agree to a plan that would allow the family to remove her from the hospital. the family's belief that she's still alive suffered another setback today, maurice. the county coroner issued a death certificate stating that jahi mcmath died on december 12. >> dubois: john blackstone in san francisco tonight. the los angeles county coroner's office said today drugs and alcohol were not involved in the car crash that killed actor paul walker and his friend roger rodas. the bodies of walker and rodas-- who was driving the porsche-- tested negative. the sheriff's department said speed was a factor but it hasn't determined how fast the car was going. it wasn't easy getting to the top of an erupting volcano but that gave such a view. it's just ahead. volcano but that gave such a view. it's just ahead.
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>> dubois: scientists have put out a warning about the mount cleveland volcano in alaska's allusion islands. there have been three brief explosions over the past week and observers believe the next one could send a plume of ash 20,000 feet into the air. that would threaten air travel because volcanic ash can damage jet engines. the volcanic eruption is one of nature's most spectacular events rarely witnessed up close but scott pelley was able to see one firsthand when he traveled to one of iceland's most active volcanos for "60 minutes."
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>> reporter: it means "island mountain glacier" in the inscrutable language of iceland. when it blew in 2010 we started shooting this story. and we came to the right place. over the last 500 years iceland's 30 volcanos have released one-third of all of the lava on earth. we put together an expedition to be the first to reach the summit after the eruption. the volcanic landscape covered in ice isn't hospitable to life or convoys, for that matter. the man in front of the truck is pointing out cracks in the glacier that would swallow us whole. we covered miles of forbidding terrain at walking speed. >> we're almost at the highest point. >> reporter: when the trucks could go no further we hiked with our guide, one of the
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world's leading authorities on volcanoes, haraldur sigurdsson. wow. that is astounding. >> isn't it? >> whoa! look at that! oh, my god! >> incredible! what a sight! i'm looking right into the crater. >> reporter: scientists rate volcanic eruptions on a scale of 0 to 8. this is a 4 which they call "cataclysmic." tell me what you're seeing. >> it's an explosive eruption and explosions are producing big clouds of ash that are moving up, straight up into the atmosphere at the velocity of a few hundred feet per second and throwing out huge rocks. >> reporter: how big are the piece wes see flying? >> some of these are the size of cars. >> reporter: how high are they going up? it must be a thousand feet. >> at least a thousand feet but they're still red hot. they may be 2,000 degrees fahrenheit. >> reporter: unbelievable.
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>> dubois: and you can see scott's full report on volcanoes this sunday on "60 minutes." well, the second winner from last month's $648 million megamillions jackpot has come forward. he is steve tran of california. somehow he got around to checking his ticket this is week. tran, a delivery driver phoned his boss and said "i'm really sorry, i hit the jackpot, i don't think i'm going to come in today-- tomorrow, or ever." well, from dollars to doughnuts steve hartman has the krispy kreme caper and the man who baked it up. next. it up. next. [ laughter ]
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to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor be moved out of the hospita next at six. weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor then we take special >> dubois: finally tonight, steve hartman doesn't usually work the police beat but he's uncovered a plot to commit larceny. it's grand theft doughnut. steve met the unlikely schemer on the road. >> all right! >> reporter: chris rosati is both in the prime of his life and at the end of it. about a year ago this 42-year- old marketing vice president and father of two was diagnosed with a.l.s., lou gehrig's disease. it's obviously heartbreaking, but it's hardly the focus around here. in fact, after chris found out, he did something few people with a terminal illness ever choose
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to do-- he applied online for a job as a doughnut deliveryman. seriously. >> i knew i wouldn't get the job but at least then i could say when they arrest me, "hey, man, i applied." >> pelley: what do you mean when they arrested you? >> then the next step is you try to steal a truck. >> reporter: that's right. he said "steal a truck." it was all part of this fantasy chris dreamed up to stake out the krispy kreme doughnut factory near where he lives in durham, north carolina, follow one of the driver's on a route, and take his truck when the guy's not looking. >> and then just go around and give away the doughnuts. >> reporter: kind of a robin hood kind of thing. stealing cholesterol from the rich and giving to the poor. >> (laughs) i was going to go to the nearest school because once i knew where -- >> reporter: this plan has some holes in it and i'm not speaking doughnuts. you're just going to pull up to a school and say "here's a bunch of doughnuts"? >> yeah, now that you said that i probably wouldn't.
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>> reporter: not to mention the legal ramifications. >> one of the blessings of a.l.s. is what are they going to do? >> reporter: in case you haven't figured out, chris has a remarkable sense of humor about this, which is partly why when krispy kreme heard about his plotting through a facebook post they didn't threaten prosecution, instead they offered transportation. specifically, a bus, a bus stocked with doughnuts. >> the heist! >> reporter: and so for an entire day chris, his family and friends went on this rolling sugar high. >> you had two doughnuts? >> reporter: joyfully delivering to city parks, cancer wards -- >> take care. >> reporter: and children's hospitals. >> we're glad to make some people smile! >> reporter: but the biggest smile of the day belonged to chris himself. remember, his original dream was to show up at a school-- and here he was at his old high school. >> i got a thousand doughnuts on the bus. (cheers and applause)
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>> reporter: which leads us to what this was really all about. chris says if dying has taught him anything it's about how to live. >> thank you for the warm welcome. (cheers and applause). >> reporter: he says you have to do what you can to make people smile while you still have the chance. he really wants kids especially to know that. >> because if i can't impact people then this whole thing is a waste. >> reporter: message received. steve hartman, "on the road" in durham. >> dubois: and that is the "cbs evening news," scott will be back on monday. i'm maurice dubois in new york. thanks for joining us. have a good ni
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good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. i'm allen martin. now at 6:00, drought fears confirmed by the first snowpack survey of the year. good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'll allen martin. the it's the lowest snowpack reading on record and unless winter returns to northern california it could be trouble for our water supply. rob mcallister with a look at how bad it is. >> reporter: don't be fooled by me standing in ankle deep snow. the latest snowpack survey does not show great results for california. it's applying reading a bleak reading. snowpack is 20% of normal for the start of the year. >> no water right here. >> reporter: a drastic difference from a year ago at this time when the snow was six
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times higher than now but even with that, the rest of the winter did not keep pace. >> we had a great december last year. and then things shut off. >> reporter: a lack of storms early this season have hit ski resorts hard who count on the powder to turn a profit. >> it's pretty icy out there right now. i was hoping it would be a better season. >> reporter: even so families are making the best of what mother nature has already left behind. >> still we are having a good time. we are up here for the week. we'll enjoy it and make the best of it. >> reporter: with two months to go in the season, resorts are hopeful. >> we are very optimistic. there's still a lot of winter left. it's just the start of january. we are confident winter will return and have a big impact. reporter: still time for a rebound. >> if we can get into a wet pattern, perhaps we can catch up but the further into the season the less likely that becomes. >> reporter: while the nice doather may be enjoyable to ski

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