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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  May 16, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT

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>> axelrod: u.s. commandos battle hand to hand with isis fighters in syria. a senior leader of the terror group is taken out. his wife captured. was it more than speed? the f.b.i. probes that deadly amtrak derailment in philadelphia. did a projectile hit the windshield? boston exhales after the marathon bomber is sentenced to death, but why there are still years to go in this case. and they met as strangers in a classroom and then found out they're long-lost sisters. >> and then i just paused for a second, and i just said, "is this real life?" captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news." >> axelrod: good evening. i'm jim axelrod. and this is the western edition of the broadcast. we begin tonight with a
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successful u.s. raid on isis targets deep in eastern syria. in an early-morning mission conducted under the cover of darkness, a team of delta force commandos took out roughly a dozen isis fighters, including a key isis leader, the man described as head of the terror group's lucrative oil operations. abu sayyaf was his name, known to be a key associate of abu bakr al-baghdadi, the leader of isis. as david martin reports, this was a high-risk operation for the u.s. military which apparently yielded high rewards including the capture of sayyaf's wife. >> reporter: the delta force commandos went into syria aboard black hawk helicopters and tilt- rotor osprey aircraft. their target was a building where abu sayyaf lived with his wife and oversaw black market oil operations, a major source of isis income. one pentagon official called him the chief financial officer of isis. isis oil facilities have been frequent targets of the u.s.-led bombing campaign, but this time,
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the delta commandos intended to capture the man who ran the operation. a firefight broke out, and according to pentagon officials, some of the isis fighters attempted to use women and children as human shields. about a dozen enemy fighters were killed in fighting that sometimes involved hand-to-hand combat. pentagon officials said there were no reports of civilian casualties and no americans were killed or wounded, although there were bullet holes in some of the aircraft. the commandos found abu sayyaf and his wife on the top floor of the building. according to pentagon officials, he attempted to resist and was killed. his wife was captured and taken back to iraq, along with a young iraqi woman who officials believe had been enslaved by abu sayyaf. the young woman will be returned to her family. the wife will be interrogated. officials believe she knows about the abuse suffered by kayla mueller, the american aid worker who died earlier this year while being held hostage by isis. defense secretary carter called
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the killing of abu sayyaf a significant blow to isis although no one expects it to cripple the organization. this was the first successful commando raid into syria, and they brought back cell phones and laptops which will now be used to track down other isis leaders. jim. >> axelrod: david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thank you. tonight, amtrak is agreeing to abide by an emergency order issued by the federal railroad administration. the order will expand a speed- restriction system that might have prevented this week's deadly derailment in philadelphia. this comes as the f.b.i. checks out the possibility that some sort of object hit train's windshield just before the crash. here's kris van cleave. >> reporter: new video from a security camera showed the speeding train as it careened off the tracks. the accident prompted federal regulators to order amtrak to immediately complete installation of automatic train control that could remotely stop a speeding train, assess speeds approaching curves and add speed limit signs.
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the national transportation safety board asked the f.b.i. to investigate damage to the windshield of train 188's engine to determine if an object struck the train. board member robert sumwalt. >> what damage patterns to that windshield are we having the f.b.i. look at? there is a circular pattern that emanates out just a bit. >> reporter: in an interview with the n.t.s.b., an assistant conductor recalled hearing a radio conversation between engineer brandon bostian, and another train operator about objects striking their trains. two other trains in the same area, a washington, d.c.-bound amtrak train and a regional commuter train known as septa, both appear to have been hit by what witnesses describe as a projectile shortly before the crash. septa officials say transit police get about one call a week in that area for people throwing things at passing trains. monica williams was on the septa train that was hit. >> there was a loud bump. the train immediately slowed. >> reporter: as they sat on the
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tracks, train 188 raced by. minutes later she learned it derailed. >> now there's another train a few minutes ahead and you're telling me it's off the tracks. so lots of feelings. and then a little bit of gratitude, too. >> reporter: investigators still don't know what caused the amtrak train to rapidly accelerate to speeds more than 100 miles per hour, and the train's engineer told the n.t.s.b. he does not remember the events leading up to the crash. longtime friend james wear called bostian shortly after the derailment. >> he was in shock and he wasn't remembering much of anything. he just couldn't remember. >> reporter: and we've learned the philadelphia district attorney's office is gathering information about the derailment, but, jim, it is too early to say if that will result in a criminal investigation. >> axelrod: kris van cleave at philadelphia's 30th street station. kris, thank you. two years and a month after the boston marathon bombings there is a palpable sense of relief in the city tonight now that the penalty phase of the trial has
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ended. dzhokhar tsarnaev is headed for death row, but as don dahler reports, it will be years before the case is closed for good. >> reporter: dzhokhar tsarnaev has not seen the last of the inside of a courtroom. he is about to begin making his way through one of the most convoluted journeys in the legal system-- death penalty appeals. many of the people most affected by his actions, like liz norton, feel a sense of closure. >> i have to watch my two sons put a leg on every day so i mean, i don't know closure, but i can tell you it feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. >> but boston college law professor roger bloom says this will not be over soon, if ever. >> the likelihood of him actually being killed by the state is minimal. >> reporter: so this could go on for decades. >> that's the tragedy, i would say, of this, whether or not he will actually be killed by the government in this case is somewhat problematic. i'm not sure it will ever
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happen. >> reporter: that's why martin richard's family urged prosecutors to settle for life. in an essay published april 17 they wrote, "we hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the lingering, painful reminder of what the defendant took from them which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring." in fact, the average period between sentence and execution nationwide in 2013 was 15 years. executions are even more rare in federal cases. since congress reinstated the death penalty in 1988, 71 people have been put on death row, yet only three have been executed, the last in 2003. timothy mcveigh, who was convicted of blowing up the murrah federal building in oklahoma city in 1995, was executed four years after sentencing, but only because he dropped his appeal. tsarnaev has given no indication he intends to do the same. the first appeal is automatic. his attorneys will likely ask for a new trial, and barring that, will begin a series of appeals all the way up to the supreme court.
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they can only appeal legal issues in the case, not the actual facts of the case. but, jim, legal scholars say there is one issue where they might have a chance, and that is the change of venue. despite the fact that there's hardly a person in this city that didn't suffer something from the boston bombings, he refused to move it out of town. >> axelrod: don dahler, thank you. a key witness to the marathon bombings never took the stand but his photos did help persuade the jury, and don will be back with that story a little later in the broadcast. now to nepal, where all eight bodies have been recovered from the site where a u.s. marine helicopter crashed tuesday while delivering aid. but as seth doane tells us investigators still do not know why the chopper went down. >> reporter: the crash site was discovered after a three-day search high up in the himalayas. the wreckage of the huey was found at 11,200 feet, located halfway between kathmandu, and mt. everest.
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the six u.s. marines and two nepalese soldiers on board had been part of the wider humanitarian aid mission providing relief to quake victims in nepal. the family of captain christopher norgren from kansas have been told he's among the missing. his father, ron. >> faith is going to pull my wife and i through this, and i hope that the faith of the families will pull them through, too. >> reporter: also believed to be on board is captain dustin lukasiewicz from nebraska, and lance corporal jake hug of arizona had just called his mom on mother's day. on friday, president obama said, "our prayers remain with the families." >> sometimes those in uniform get attention only when there's a battle, but they do so much more than that, and it can involve great risk, great sacrifice. >> reporter: recovery effort will resume with daybreak in nepal, but just reaching the wreckage means battling high winds, subzero temperatures, and
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rugged terrain. jim, the search effort had to be curtailed last night because in the words of one u.s. military commander, they simply could not afford to put any more service members at risk. >> jim: seth doane covering for us tonight in beijing. seth, thank you. egypt's former president mohammed morsi has been sentenced to death. the crime-- escaping from prison during the overthrow of hosni mubarak in 2011. morsi became egypt's first democratically elected leader but was then overthrown himself in a coup two years ago. a large section of the plains is under the threat of strong tornadoes tonight in kansas, two trnlds touched down this evening. kansas and nebraska are also on the lookout for twisters. let's looets bring in stase. lauren casey of our minneapolis station wcco. lauren, that is a lot of land and a lot of people threatened
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by dangerous weather. >> it is, indeed. and significant weather at that. the threat of baseball-sized hail and strong tornadoes is looming over parts of texas, oklahoma, kansas, and nebraska this evening and tonight. over two million people are within a moderate risk area, which includes oklahoma city and wichita, kansas. strong wind shear is creating an environment conducive to super- cell or rotating thunderstorms. so the threat of most concern is the tornado threat with a few strong and long-lived tornadoes possible. moderate is the fourth highest threat level on the five-tiered scale. major cities of dallas and kansas city, the tornado threatnd is less enhanced but strong damaging winds and large hail is still possible late tonight. >> axelrod: lauren casey with the dangerous weather forecast. lauren, thank you. a man accused of shooting at george zimmerman monday in florida is now out on bond. matthew apperson is charged with aggravated assault for shooting through zimmerman's car window on a busy street near orlando. the two men were not strangers they had been involved in a road rage incident last september. zimmerman,, was found not guilty
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>> it's nice to have a home town team i can be proud of. >> reporter: but that almost ended before the season began. a racially charged internal team e-mail surfaced. owner bruce levinson wrote about hawks fans: levinson eventually decided to sell the team. general manager danny ferry also read out loud from a scouting report that worried one player had "a little african in him." he's on indefinite suspension. steve koonin is the hawks' c.e.o. >> we made a mistake. we apologized. we took the actions. we're building through basketballs in the community. >> it is a ride that is shared together. >> reporter: the franchise reinvented and rebranded itself. n.b.a. coach of the year mike budenholzer has taken a roster of role players deep into the play-offs and produced four all- stars. 19 straight regular-season wins, a franchise record, helped
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bounce basketball apathy out of atlanta. >> we play as a team but we have allowed social voice. >> reporter: it also seems part of your success is not taking yourself too seriously. >> this is sport. this is game. this is fun. >> reporter: this season's attendance, social media viewership have all hit record highs. their facebook page added almost 250,000 fans. instagram followers jumped 415%. last month, the franchise sold for $850 million. if they can get past lebron james and the cleveland cavaliers, this team will earn a trip to the n.b.a. finds. mark strassmann, cbs news, atlanta. >> axelrod: up next, the photos that helped convince a jury to show the marathon bomber no mercy. mercy. to you, they're more than just a pet. so protect them... ...with k9 advantix® ii. it's broad-spectrum protection k ills fleas
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known for now is anything but. he was 50 feet away from the forum restaurant when the bombs went off. ( explosion ) >> i forgot everything, and i just started taking photographs. i felt it needed to be done. >> reporter: frame after frame captured the devastating effects of dzhokhar and tamerlan tsarnaev's terrorist attacks. in the midst of screams and chaos and carnage, hoenk, who never thought of himself as a photojournalist, somehow remained calm. >> i was just shooting. i wasn't scared. i was extremely conflicted taking the photographs at the same time. i just kept telling myself "stop thinking, stop thinking, just shoot, just shoot. you need to do this. there's no one else around that's doing this. you need to do this." >> reporter: you discovered something in yourself that you didn't know you had. >> i guess you could say that. >> reporter: prosecutors used hoenk's photos to transport the jury on to boylston street that day to show what home made bombs can do to bodies and lives, even
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lives not physically harmed. do you think you'll ever get those images out of your head? >> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: there's a very, very famous photograph from the vietnam war by eddie addams of an execution and it won him the pulitzer but he said later in life that image haunted him his t whole life. do you understand that? >> 100%. i see that little boy every single day, and it's not going to go away. >> reporter: that photo of three-year-old leo woolfenden, made the cover of "time." >> i was sad for him. i was sad for his family. i was sad for everyone that i photographed. >> reporter: maybe it's for that reason that hoenk has returned to the marathon every year since, not to relive the horror that it was, but to honor the beauty that it is. don dahler, cbs news, boston.
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>> axelrod: american pharaoh is one step closer to the triple crown-- actually, make that 9.5 furlongs closer. the kentucky derby winner took the preakness today in very muddy conditions. if he wins the belmont in three weeks he will become the first triple crown winner since affirm in 1978. normally, they don't allow dogs on the podium at the state high school track and field championship in texas but today i they made an exception. that's charlotte brown with her service dog, vador. brown, who is blind, took bronze in the pole vault. she counts her steps down the runway and plant the pole when she hears a faint beep. call it bronze if you want, but that's nothing but gold to me. still ahead, two women find they share more than an interest in writing. they share a mother. meals. yet up to 90% fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more... ...add one a day men's 50+. complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it helps support healthy blood pressure
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together. it's the first day of class, you're doing introductions. when did it dawn on you that you could be related. >> she said she was from new jersey. she said she had a child. >> and when she followed up with a rapid fire more detailed personal questions-- were you given up for adoption in tampa florida to a woman named leslie, i was like, whoa, whoa, whoa! the room kind of froze and i said is this real life. >> reporter: lizzie had already found their mother, leslie parker, a few years earlier. we spoke with her by phone in rhode island. >> reporter: parker was just a troubled teenager when she gave up the girls for adoption at birth, a year apart. 35 years later, her voice still breaks.
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>> reporter: in the next few days, the mom who gave her girls a selfless gift will meet katy for the first time. >> reporter: this family's next >> what she did for us was incredible. she gave us literally the gift of life. chapter begins monday when lizzie graduates from columbia with a degree in creative writing. her long-lost mother and sister by her side. mark albert, cbs news, new york. >> axelrod: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. later on cbs, "48 hours." for now, i'm jim axelrod in new york, and for all of us here at cbs news, thanks for joining us and good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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gunfire erupts outside a bay area mall leaving a row of cars riddled with bullets. >> i'm christian hartnett at san francisco's alamo square where costumed runners will fill these streets tomorrow for the annual bay to breakers race. we'll tell you about some changes designed to keep the craziness in check. >> and building bridges by breaking bread. the bay area county working to change the way young people think about poli
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your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald.

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