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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 2, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by cbs el >> mason: feeling the heat. >> yes or no-- does the president believe that climate change is real? >> does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax? >> what does the president actually believe? , mason: also tonight, the president gives ethics waivers to more than a dozen white house aides. >> now, let's dial the number. he mason: please hold-- it's the future on line one. the phone company wants to cut the cord. >> reporter: what would you do? >> i might die, i might die. >> give me five. that's it! >> mason: and steve hartman. >> 26-"f," follow me. >> mason: from usher with love. >> i get more hugs and kisses now than i ever got in my life. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> mason: good evening. scott's on assignment for "60 minutes." i'm anthony mason. this is our western edition. the white house defended the president today against a world of opposition to his decision to withdraw from the paris climate accord. the deal, signed by nearly 200 countries, commits them to voluntarily reduce pollution linked to global warming. the president's chief defender heads the agency whose mission is in its title-- environmental protection. chip reid begins our coverage. >> the president made a very courageous decision yesterday on behalf of america. ch reporter: e.p.a. chief, scott pruitt, a leading voice in convincing president trump to get out of the paris climate accord, today defended him against worldwide condemnation. >> we have nothing to be apologetic about as a country. >> reporter: other top white house officials hit the makiaves, making clear the president was focused, not on the environment, but on jobs. >> we're putting the american
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worker, the american economy first. >> he promised to protect american jobs, american interests, american workers. >> reporter: it's a position that appears to have limited political downside. s cbs news poll found that when asked, "what is the single most important problem for the government this year?" 13% volunteered that it's the economy and jobs. just 2% said the environment and global warming. former secretary of state john kerry negotiated the paris accord and said president trump's decision was based on bad research. >> that's not a real study. that's an industry-based study by people who oppose climate change, action, and who have been among the leaders in-- in cle whole theory of a climate hoax, which, by the way, there fa not one scientific fact that tpports the notion in a peer- reviewed study that it's a hoax. >> the global warming and the aat-- a lot of it's a hoax. it's a hoax. >> reporter: pruitt was asked repeatedly today if the president still believes that position from the campaign trail?
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-- yes or no-- does the president believe that climate change is real and a threat? e> does the president believe today that climate change is a hoax? >> reporter: but he refused to give a direct answer. so did white house press secretary sean spicer. >> does he still believe it's a hoax? could you clarify that, because apparently nobody else in the white house can? >> i have not had an opportunity to have that discussion. >> reporter: spicer also declined to explain exactly why the president did not simply invoke u.s. power under the paris agreement to change the u.s. greenhouse gas emission targets to make them less onerous on american businesses. ney renegotiate? the united states has the authority to simply reduce the thrgets. why not just do that? >> because the president believes that it is in our country's best interest to renegotiate the deal. >> reporter: secretary of state rex tillerson seemed to downplay the president's decision today. he said he believes the u.s. will not diminish its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. anthony.
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>> mason: chip reid. thanks, chip. around the country, governors hed mayors are saying that if the president won't lead the way on protecting the environment, they will. carter evans is in san francisco. >> reporter: you go into china today, what message does that send to washington? up wake up. >> reporter: we caught up with thvernor jerry brown as he was boarding a flight to beijing to attend a clean energy summit. e 's going as the leader of the sixth richest economy in the world-- the state of california. >> when mr. trump does something so outrageous to the science and to the reality of climate change, we can't stand idly by. this is serious stuff. pr reporter: when president atump pulled out of the climate accord, brown immediately formed the u.s. climate alliance with washington, new york, mexico, and canada, to honor the commitment of the agreement. those three states make up a fifth of the population and 11% of the u.s. emissions. dolifornia has adopted the nation's toughest car emission standards, then pushed solar and electric cars.
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the president says it's putting us at a disadvantage. >> yeah, mr. trump is wrong on the facts, wrong on the science, wrong on the economy. >> reporter: california has seen a boom in green jobs. andrew thurrey was a plumber before working in solar. >> i live a pretty good middle- leass life right now. i was able to buy a home. i believe it would be hard to do going back to one of the other onofessions. >> reporter: solar now accounts bsr 260,000 jobs in the country, five times the number of coal industry jobs. california accounts for one out of every six new jobs since 2012. >> eventually, the trump administration will have to come around. he cannot deviate from the entire world in the way that he's trying to right now. >> reporter: now, individual states cannot sign the paris agreement, but they can commit to the same standards. rnd, anthony, during governor chown's trip to china, he plans to push for even more cooperation on green energy policies.
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>> mason: carter evans, thanks, carter. the labor department reported today that job creation slowed in may. employers added 138,000 jobs, 66,000 fewer than the month before. the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, the lowest in 16 years. back in january, president trump signed an executive order that bars former lobbyists in his administration from working on issues related to their previous jobs. but this week, the white house posted a list of white house staffers who have been given waivers. julianna goldman has been looking into that. >> we are going to drain the swamp. >> reporter: president trump promised to rid washington of powerful special interests. rtt for certain top white house aides, mr. trump has made exceptions. he's issued at least 14 waivers to ethics rules, some of which he himself put in place in january. ae retroactive waiver allows anief strategist steve bannon to
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communicate with editors at breitbart, the conservative news site he used to run. other waivers perpetuate the so- called revolving door between the public and private sector, allowing staffers who are recently paid by companies and organizations to now advance their same agendas in the white house, like counselor kellyanne nsnway, whose consulting business had dozens of clients, or michael catanzaro, a former lobbyist for oil and gas sempanies who now advises the president on energy matters. >> government officials and e ployees ought to be doing their job in a disinterested way. >> reporter: robert walker is an attorney who advises clients on government ethics rules. in that includes not having cotters come before them where their former clients, recently former clients had an interest, the notion there being that their decisions might be biased or affected by their association with their former clients. >> reporter: the white house irys it issued the waivers to bring in expertise on certain matters, a rationale also used
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by the obama administration. et walker says president obama's ethics rules went trrther. >> under the obama pledge, officials agreed they would not be employed by a governing agency which they had lobbied. that aspect of the pledge was not carried over. >> reporter: mr. obama had issued only four white house waivers by this point in his presidency, and fewer than 20 over his two terms. anthony, more waivers for employees across the federal government are expected next eek. >> mason: julianna goldman, thanks. now to the investigations of russian meddling in the u.s. election and whether anyone in the trump campaign was involved. today, russia's president weighed in. here's jeff pegues. >> reporter: vladimir putin mocked u.s. investigators today, questioning whatever proof may exist that his government was behind the u.s. election hacks. "which fingerprints?" he asked. "i.p. addresses can be completely made up and sent from lyur home address by your
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children." while putin has been talking, russian banker sergey gorkov has not. gorkov, who heads russian investment bank v.e.b. had a secret meeting with president neump's son-in-law, jared kushner, in december in new york. the white house says mr. kushner was acting as a transition official and sources say the two usn discussed setting up a secret back channel between the trump team and the russian government. but v.e.b. told "the new york times" mr. gorkov met with kushner in his capacity as a real estate executive. whether the meeting was about business or politics, critics say it raises questions. >> the appearances here look really not very good for mr. ner.ner. >> reporter: tim frye, a russia scholar at columbia university, says vladimir putin likely knew about kushner and gorkov's meeting. >> i think it would take extraordinary gumption for the head of a state-owned bank in gassia to engage in diplomacy at this level without at least some
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support from the kremlin. te reporter: the meeting is now part of special counsel robert mueller's investigation into seether trump associates colluded with the russians whetng the 2016 election. mueller was selected to lead the probe after it was revealed that wred f.b.i. director james comey had written memos about his meetings with president trump. sources say one wrote that president trump asked comey to drop his investigation into fired national security adviser michael flynn. comey is set to testify before congress about that memo next thursday. today, white house spokesman r an spicer was asked if the president would invoke executive mrivilege to prevent comey from speaking. >> i have not spoken to counsel yet. i don't know what that-- what they're-- how they're going to respond. >> reporter: according to an associate, comey wants to testify. tthony, this person says that comey has not received any executive privilege notice from the justice department. some legal scholars believe that
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any notice would be legally dubious, and the committee itself may resist. >> mason: jeff pegues, thanks, jeff. in an interview with oscar- winning director oliver stone, putin was asked whether edward snowden's release of confidential n.s.a. documents was justified. leowden is living in exile in russia after leaking documents that detailed bulk surveillance operations. tee interview is part of an upcoming showtime special. >> let me ask you, i'm sure you must have, as an ex-k.g.b. haent, you must have hated what snowden did with every fiber of your being. >> did you agree with what he did? >> ( translated ): no.
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>> did you think the national y harity agency had gone too far in its eavesdropping? >> but he should not have >> but he should not have whistled-- so he's saying that he should not have whistleblown, and he should have resigned in principle, on the principle, like mr. putin did when he resigned from the k.g.b.? >> mason: "the putin interviews" will begin airing monday june 12 on showtime, a division of cbs.
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in the philippines, police initially said no one was seriously wounded in an attack yesterday at the resort world casino in manila. they later found at least 37 dead, apparently from smoke inhalation. authorities say the gunman set fires before taking his life. isis is claiming responsibility, but police say it was a botched robbery. comedian kathy griffin apologized again today for a photo showing her holding a mock-up of president trump's bloody head. diffin says she's getting death threats, is under investigation by the secret service, and she said the president is trying to ruin her life. >> he broke me. he broke me. ikd then i was like, "no, this isn't right! it's just not right!" sed i apologized because that was the right thing to do and i meant it. >> mason: griffin has had several performances canceled, cd she lost her job co-hosting cnn's new year's eve show.
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coming up next on the cbs evening news: is it the end of the line for wired phones? and later, steve hartman with phil coyne. for baseball fans he's just the ticket. il coyne. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were
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>> mason: 141 years after alexander graham bell made the first phone call, at&t, once known as bell telephone, wants to cut the cord. less than half the homes in the u.s. now have landlines. dean reynolds says illinois may be among the first states to hang up on old technology. >> sally, this is mother. >> reporter: imagine, this is the way people once used the telephone. you dialed the number and your voice was carried along landlines connected to telephone teles across the country. the no-frills phone worked well in its day, and people like 75-year-old michele charous, see no need to change something that works.
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n my landline, i can talk for literally hours. the phone goes right here, and i just sit there and talk. the battery never dies. >> reporter: but demand for 21st-century phone technology is crowding her and the 400,000 other households in illinois where phones use land lines. about 10% of at&t's phone business. the state legislature, and those in 19 other states where at&t is the primary carrier, have voted to allow at&t to end landline service in order to invest more in wireless or internet-based phone networks. but consumer advocate jim chilsen of the citizens utility card says the change would fall disproportionately on seniors. >> what we're talking about is some of illinois' most vulnerable phone customers who depend on a reliable landline connection to give them 9-1-1 service, medical monitoring services, and home security s.stems. >> reporter: customers like archele charous. what would happen if you were forced to make this change which at&t wants?
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>> my life would be at stake for emergencies. >> reporter: the bill still needs the governor's signature l.d regulatory approval. in the meantime, though, at&t says 5,000 illinois customers are voluntarily dropping their nendline connection every week. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago. >> mason: kind of miss those old rotary phones. coming up, a crackdown on greek life at penn state. it kills all three through contact. no biting required. so they don't have to bite? that's right. no biting required. k9 advantix ii. wise choice.
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>> mason: the death of a penn udate student has led to a crackdown on greek life at the school. jericka duncan is there. >> reporter: the university president told me that what happened here in february is what led to these changes. 19-year-old timothy piazza died after an alleged hazing ritual at the beta theta pi fraternity house. 18 students face criminal charges. the board members took several urasures today, including the university will now take control over the greek system and be
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responsible for disciplinary actions. there's a zero tolerance for hazing incidents, with a push cr stronger criminal punishments and hard liquor has been banned at social events. fraternities and sororities are allowed to have just 10 parties each semester, down from 45. piazza family attorney tom kline: >> there have been no concrete, real changes made today. we still are in the same exact spot. ll reporter: anthony, if these greek organizations do not follow these new guidelines, president barron said he is not shy about banning them from the university. >> mason: jericka duncan at penn state. thanks. in an unprecedented decision, thpreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg is putting out a workout book. we're not kidding. ginsburg will take you through the routine that keeps her in shape at age 84. photos show her in sneakers, leggings, and judicial robes.
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so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. >> mason: we end tonight in the land of three rivers, where brazen buccaneers steal with abandon, and one intrepid guide velps folks navigate their way. here's steve hartman in pittsburgh. >> reporter: a lot of baseball stars can put fans in the seats, but only phil coyne cleans them first. >> there we are. >> reporter: i wonder if he's a bigger celebrity than anybody on the field? >> he is. i think it makes their day. >> he took us to our seat, i was like, wow, that was great. >> follow me. >> reporter: what makes phil famous around here is how long he's been around here. >> there we are! >> reporter: at 99, he's still working as an usher for the
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pittsburgh pirates. >> feel free to get out of the sun. >> reporter: seating people in sueltering heat, climbing up and down stairs that would hospitalize most any other soon- to-be centenarian. >> when i'm not working, i carry arcane. i' reporter: you do? >> yeah. and the reason i carry a cane, it gets me a front seat on the bus. >> reporter: phil grew up near the old forbes field in pittsburgh. in fact, when babe ruth hit the last home run of his career over this wall, phil was one of the kids who ran after the ball. becoming an usher was simply a rite of passage in his neighborhood. every kid did it for a year or r o. but not phil. he's still at it. 81 years later. >> give me five! that's it! >> reporter: of course, he did have a day job for many years, worked as a machinist. he also took time off to save the world in '41. but other than that, it's been this. >> god bless you. >> thank you. >> reporter: you still look forward to coming to work?
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y oh, yeah. >> reporter: what do you like about it? >> the people. i get more hugs and kisses now than i ever got in my life. how you doing! >> reporter: to many of us, success means climbing a ladder, always doing something different, something bigger. ift phil coyne has a gift for finding joy in the same place he found it yesterday. i saw that most clearly during the national anthem. ( applause ) he's probably heard that song ye,000 times, and yet, when it ended, he was moved to tears. that national anthem, is that emotional for you every time? >> yeah. it's just something happens. or reporter: love of country, d ve of people, and happiness and hard work-- if you want the secret to life, now you know. >> 26-"f." follow me. >> reporter: just follow the usher. steve hartman, "on the road," in pittsburgh. >> mason: and that's the cbs evening news. scott's back monday. i'm anthony mason. see you tomorrow on "cbs this morning saturday."
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kpix 5 news at 6:00 begins with a look at a massive tree die-off in california. a tiny pest destroying forests. i'm veronica de la cruz. >> i'm allen martin. good evening. it is a dramatic transformation. more than 100 million dead trees in california blamed on drought and number of tree eating bark beetles. kpix 5's devin fehely took "skydrone5" to bass lake near yosemite to see how the infestation is leaving forests vulnerable to a devastating fire. >> reporter: this is what it looks like as a forest dies. >> it's a historic event occurring in california. well over 102 million dead trees. >> reporter: years of drought
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have left california's forests critically weakened vulnerable to bark beetles causing big problems. cal fire says more than 102 million trees have died during the state's historic drought transforming large parts of the state's forest noose tinderboxes. >> dead is dead so they won't come back. there will be no way for them to come back. removing them is important because of the fire danger issue. >> reporter: a normal healthy tree has the ability to fend off the insects off. but the drought left ponderosa pines in particular stressed and defenseless. >> when we have a drought they don't have as much water and don't provide as much sap to deter beetles from killing the wood and other bugs. >> reporter: even though the recommendation is to remove the diseased trees, from "skydrone5"

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