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tv   CBS This Morning  CBS  December 18, 2017 7:00am-9:01am PST

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>> have a great day, everyone. good morning to our viewers in the west. it's monday, december 18, 2017. welcome to cbs this morning. a total blackout at the world's busiest airport in atlanta causes massive flight disruptions around the country. the power is back on this morning but it will take days to get everyone moving. president trump says he will not fire the special counsel investigating his campaign in russia. he's waiting to sign the republican tax bill but at least one issue could still derail this week's big vote. the pentagon spent millions in a secretive program to investigate ufo sightings. we'll hear from the man who ran it. he says it's a national security must. and these ancient redwoods are suffering from too much
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love. after social media spread their secret location. we'll take a rare official tour with forest rangers who are struggling to protect the trees from visitors. but we begin this morning with a look at today's eye opener. your world in 90 seconds. >> i've never seen anything like this, absurd. >> that was a nightmare. >> a massive power outage crippled atlanta's airport. >> flight delays and cancellations rippling across the country. >> power has been restored but the trouble is not over. >> the president's lawyer accusing mueller's team of improperly obtaining thousands of e-mails from the president's transition team. >> is he setting the stage for firing muler? >> there's no conversation whatsoever in the white house. >> we're on the verge of getting this done, the single biggest change to the tax system ever that president trump is going to sign this week. >> massive tax breaks to the rich, cuts to social security. this is a grossly unfair tax
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bill. >> wildfire tearing through southern california has grown to the third largest in the state's history. >> these flames are like three stories high. they're scary to look at. >> the owner of nfl's carolina panthers is selling the team after claims that he sexually harassed workers and made racist comments. >> all that. >> pope francis turned 81 and celebrated italian style. the pope blew out birthday ca t candles. >> and all that matters. >> explosion of love here for ryan after suffering that horrific injury. >> ryan surprising his teammates. they didn't even know he was coming. >> on cbs this morning. >> this happened in dallas. two sisters found a dance partner in a southwest airlines employee on the tarmac. >> i hope people resorted to this in atlanta when they had to wait all those hours. >> the air traffic controller entertaining them and keeping up with them too. look at that. there goes the chicken dance.
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>> this morning's eye opener brought to you by toyota, let's go places. >> welcome to cbs this morning. that's a good way to start the morning, right? >> i think so too. >> yeah, good sense of humor, mr. southwest man on the tarmac. >> absolutely. >> i'm norah o'donnell with gayle king and anthony mason, with us all week. thousands of airline passengers are stuck in atlanta this morning after a massive power outage shut down the world's busiest airport. an electrical fire knocked out power for nearly 11 hours yesterday at hartsfield-jackson atlanta international airport. power was restored just before midnight. >> more than 1,100 flights were canceled yesterday. more than 400 flights were already canceled today. about 30,000 passengers were stranded. some say they were stuck on the tarmac for at least seven hours with no food or water. >> the flying wasn't stressful enough, officials are still evaluating the cause. chris van cleave is at
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hartsfield-jackson in atlanta with the major disruption at the key hub. chris, good morning. >> reporter: well, good morning. many of those 30,000 travelers are going to be trying to get out of here today. let me show you what the airport looks like as we take a view here. this really came at an awful time. the airlines look at sunday as the start of the christmas travel rush. and this is an airport that's busy on a good day. 275,000 passengers on average, 2,500 planes coming and going. so today really becomes about recovery. cheers of joy late sunday night at atlanta's hartsfield-jackson airport when the lights finally came back on. >> it was great when the lights came on, that was exciting. >> blackout in atlanta. >> reporter: but for much of the day, this is what the inside of the nation's busiest airport looked like. thousands of passengers stranded inside as the airport ground to a standstill. >> we were literally carrying
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old people down the escalators and carrying we'll cha ining wh. my heart was racing because i'm scared for their lives. >> walk down the escalator which is a nightmare, then we have to go through the tunnels that are pitch black. it's scary. that was a nightmare. >> reporter: hundreds more travelers were stuck inside airplanes waiting for a gate. >> we sat on the tarmac for six hours. i have my 5-month-old with me. we're trying to get to ft. myers but all flights have been canceled. >> no power. no anything. >> reporter: georgia power believes switch gear failed, sparking an underground fire that took out backup systems in substations powering the airport. atlanta mayor reid. >> i want to be very clear, we do have a redundant system but it was impacted by the intensity of the fire. >> reporter: with well over 1,000 flights canceled, the power outage hit dealt at it hardest. atlanta is its main hub. continued issues monday in atlanta could mean problems at airports across the country. >> so as a result you have this
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terrible mess with airplanes not where they should be, crews not where they should be and passengers not where they should be. >> reporter: that's part of why delta canceled more than 300 flights mainly this morning as they try to restart normal operations by midday. of course, the big question now is how does a fire in your primary system take out your redundant system? that's going to be a question flyers want an answer to. norah. >> all right, chris, thank you. president trump says he will not fire special counsel robert mueller. the president spoke out last night after his attorney accused mueller of improperly obtaining tens of thousands of e-mails covering the time before mr. trump took office. paula reid is at the justice department. paula, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. a lawyer for president trump's transition team claims that some of the e-mails that mueller has obtained contains privileged information and that the transition team was not allowed to review them before they were handed over to special counsel.
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the president last night quashed capitol hill rumors that he was poised to fire special counsel robert mueller. >> no, i'm not, no. what else? what, are you surprised? >> reporter: democrats and republicans agree on mueller's integrity. >> i have confidence in director mul ir. >> i do not at all believe that mr. mueller has been compromise order his investigation. i think he's beyond reproach. >> reporter: but the president said he was troubled by allegations made by his transition team that mueller got unauthorized access to thousands of transition e-mails. >> looking good. it's not looking good. it's quite sad to see that so my people were very upset about it. >> reporter: mueller is pushing back and says the e-mails were obtained legally. in a rare statement, his spokesman said, when we have obtained e-mails, we have secured consent or appropriate criminal process. >> i can't imagine there's anything on them frankly because
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as we said there's no collusion, there's no collusion whatsoever. but a lot of lawyers thought that was pretty sad. >> reporter: the mueller probe faces increasing attacks from republicans over a top fbi investigator who was dismissed from the investigation. >> let's get all the documents, let's bring him in for depositions. >> reporter: now republicans say they will subpoena fbi counterintelligence agent peter strzok and senior fbi lawyer lisa page who texted criticism of then candidate donald trump throughout the campaign. white house press secretary sarah sanders says the white house continues to fully cooperate with the investigation, and they expect it to wrap up soon. but sources close to the case say this will go well into next year. >> all right, thank you very much, paula. president trump will unveil his national security strategy in a speech today. and he plans to single out china and russia as threats to american interests. the president spoke again yesterday with russian president
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vladimir putin. he thanked mr. trump for sharing information from the cia that allowed russia to prevent a terrorist attack in st. petersburg. russia made arrests and found weapons and bomb materials. margaret brennan's at the white house with the story. margaret, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning. the two presidents spoke again sunday for the second time in four days. in a rare optimistic statement, president vladimir putin thanked mr. trump and the cia for providing the information that helped them to thwart that potential terrorist attack on russian soil. the white house is calling this, quote, an example of the positive things that can occur when our countries work together. notably for mr. trump, he also praised the cia, in contrast to his past criticism of that agency. in this case, he thanked the entire intelligence community on a job well done. but this afternoon when he unveils his national security strategy, the president will
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call out russia as well as china as threats to the u.s. who refer to them as, quote, revisionist powers attempting to erode american security and prosperity. now, that puts them on par with north korea and iran as well as terrorist organizations as undermining america's power. now, it is clear that the president's national security team sees vladimir putin as an adversary, despite the president's own attempts to broker a friendlier relationship. >> margaret brennan, thanks. congressional republicans say their landmark tax reform bill will be on the president's desk this week. the house of representatives intends to vote on the plan tomorrow. the senate is epected to vote no later than wednesday. nancy cordes is on capitol hill with the approaching end of a long quest for republicans. nancy, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. there is no more tinkering. the tax bill is set. republicans insist they have the votes to pass it. now they just need to prove to
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the american people that the tax cuts are worth the cost. >> this is an historic event. >> reporter: treasury secretary mnuchin promised sunday that the $1.46 trillion tax plan will primarily benefit the middle class. >> this will be very large tax cuts for working families. >> reporter: working families may need some convincing. a recent cbs news poll found almost 70% of americans think the plan will help the wealthy. >> it's a huge giveaway to big corporations. >> reporter: democrats pointed to a last-minute deduction added to the tax bill, benefiting those with real estate income like president trump and former holdout senator bob corker. >> is that how you got senator corker with this provision? >> the particular provision you're talking about honestly is just one piece of a thousand page bill. >> reporter: in a statement last night, corker said he had no knowledge of the pass-through provision in question. and asked how it made it into the final conference report. the bill republicans plan to
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pass tomorrow would reduce rates at every income level. double the standard deduction. and slash the corporate tax rate. >> this is something designed to be able to energize the energy. >> reporter: the question is, will it boost the economy to justify the price tag? >> they did not do enough to still cover. this is not going to pay for itself. >> reporter: arizona senator john mccain, battling brain cancer, will not be here to vote for it. >> i understand he'll come if we have a need for his vote which hopefully we won't. >> reporter: mccain's son-in-law, journalist ben domonich, told "face the nation" that mccain was flown home sunday to spend the holidays with his family. >> he remains one of the toughest men on the face of the earth. >> reporter: the fact that republicans are moving ahead without mccain shows that they don't believe they will need his vote in the end and that the handful of gop holdouts who haven't said where they stand will vote yes when push comes to shove, anthony. >> is there anything that could still derail this bill?
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>> reporter: well, we still haven't seen the final analysis from bipartisan number crunchers. there could be something there that gives lawmakers cold feet. that will show us who wins and who loses from this tax plan. even democrats i have spoken to thinks republicans have this in the bag, even though they believe it will hurt them politically in the long run. >> nancy cordes, thanks. a massive south california wildfire's threatening more homes this morning after advancing three miles since saturday. at 270,000 acre, the thomas fire is the third largest wildfire in modern california history. funeral procession for a firefighter killed thursday crossed five counties. first responders saluted as it passed. carter evans is in montecito near santa barbara where multimillion dollar estates burned. >> reporter: good morning. this is one of nine homes that burned here in montecito. but with the break of the winds yesterday, firefighters said they were able to have one of their most productive days in the two weeks that this fire has
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been burning. there are now 8,500 firefighters battling these flames. the thomas fire roared back to life over the weekend as wind gusts hitting 70 miles per hour pushed the flames into the wealthy community of montecito near santa barbara. this is what sonya beerman's house looked like on friday but this is the devastation she returned to on sunday night. >> it's hard. let me tell you, we've had our moments. it's been crying until we got here and it's, like, words can't explain. >> reporter: on saturday, more than 3,000 people in and around montecito were forced to evacuate. >> these flames are like three stories high, you know, they're scary to look at. >> reporter: some 1,300 structures in montecito were threatened this weekend but firefighters were able to keep the number damaged or destroyed to 15. >> this is a firestorm destroyed this home. >> reporter: when that wind was blowing, there's not much you can do? >> there's no way you can stop a
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fire front like that. >> reporter: the fire has now scorched more than 420 square miles. if it were placed over the new york city area at more than 40 miles wide, it would reach from new jersey into long island. more than 700 homes have been destroyed and 18,000 structures are still threatened. the thomas fire has claimed two lives including 32-year-old firefighter corey iverson who died thursday from burns and smoke inhalation. firefighters and other mourners honored him by lining the streets. he's survived by his pregnant wife and 2-year-old daughter. this fire is now 45% contained. there are still mandatory evacuation orders. but the good news is, there is hardly any wind, so firefighters are going to use this time to try and build a containment line all the way around the fire before the winds are forecast to return on wednesday. >> all right, touch and go continues. can't say enough about the job
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that the firefighters are doing there. thank you so much, carter. carolina panthers owner jerry richardson said he will sell the nfl franchise after he was accused of workplace misconduct. "sports illustrated" reports that richardson or the team have made confidential payouts to former employees. beyawn thu beyawn that golodryga is here. >> the nfl says it is investigating the allegations. and despite a long statement released yesterday by richardson, the former nfl player turned team owner, has yet to address the accusations directly. the new report details a pattern of behavior that accusers claim created a hostile work environment. >> mccaffrey, touchdown. >> reporter: since the panthers arival in north carolina more than two decades ago, billionaire owner jerry richardson has been at the helm. and during that time, according to "sports illustrated," at least four female employees received financial settlements from either richardson or the team. misconduct allegations against richardson range from sexual to
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racial. including what multiple women call the seat belt maneuver. inviting female employees to lunch and when seated in his car, he is accused of brushing his hand across their breast before putting the belt in the clasp. the report also says richardson asked multiple female staffers if he could shave their legs, requested barefoot massages and gave back rubs that went too low down the spine. multiple sources told si the 81-year-old owner recently directed a racial slur at an african-american scout for the panthers. >> that's something extremely serious, especially when you see so many people getting, you know, picked out because of things that they've done in their -- in the past. >> reporter: panthers quarterback cam newton says despite the allegations, richardson's impact on the team has been positive. >> he has had such a father-like role to a lot of players in that locker room that's present and, you know, past. >> reporter: in an open letter that made no mention of the
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allegations, richardson told fans, i believe it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership. i will put the team up for sale at the conclusion of this nfl season. >> i will be the best nfl owner that you can imagine. >> reporter: high-profile potential buyers are already showing interest. including hip-hop mogul sean combs and golden state warrior steph curry. that will be something with steph curry there. jerry richardson purchased the panthers in 1993 for $206 million. forbes now estimates the franchise's net worth is around $2.3 billion. the statement said the entire organization is committed to ensuring a safe, comfortable and diverse work environment. a lot of people comparing this to don sterling, the former owner of the clippers, forced to sell that team. >> now falling into the creepy category, really jaw dropping to hear. >> those are some very interesting possible buyers
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there. all right, bianna, thanks. the pentagon admits it conducted secret ufo research. ahead, one apparent encounter caught on camera and how the program got bipartisan support
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the u.s. air force academy says it's overhauling how it handles sexual assault. >> ahead on our investigation, why one survivor says the potential changes don't do enough to protect victims from
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retaliation after reporting assaults. >> you're watching cbs this morning. >> this portion of cbs this morning sponsored by toyota, let's go places. let's go places. so your folks took it pretty hard, huh. they loved that tree. it really meant a lot to them. ♪ this is our tree. ♪ let's bring everyone closer this holiday. toyota. let's go places. the toothpaste that helps prevent bleeding gums.
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deadline today. plus prince harry and barack ob been arrested.. accused of firing a gun at a hotel in san fr good morning. it is 7:26. i am michelle griego. a richmond police officer has been arrested accused of firing a gun at a hotel in san francisco. san francisco police are not releasing many details of what happened at the four seasons hotel, but they do say the suspect surrendered peacefully. and today oakland union workers that walked off the job earlier this month and negotiators from the city will take part in an immediate united nations session to resolve outstanding issues. workers suspended the weeklong strike last tuesday. stay with us. traffic and weather in just a moment. on almost everybody. the arm of an arm wrestler? the back of a quarterback? the face of a fairy? prescription eucrisa is a nose to toes eczema ointment. it blocks overactive pde4
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enzymes within your skin. and it's steroid-free. do not use if you are allergic to eucrisa or its ingredients. allergic reactions may occur at or near the application site. the most common side effect is application site pain. ask your doctor about eucrisa. welcome back. i am joy christine wilson in the -- gianna franco in the kpix traffic center. we have reports of an accident
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clearing in the shoulder. slow conditions out of morin county to san francisco. give yourself a few extra minutes as you work your way through there. and an accident at northbound 101 at cesar chavez. the right lane is blocked. and delays northbound at 3rd, as well. here is emily. a chilly start this monday morning. temperatures getting close to 30s, close to freezing. 33 degrees in santa rosa as well as fairfield, 43 in san jose. warmer around the bay, 51 in san francisco. the high temperatures are low 60s. 61 in fairfield, 63 in napa, pacifica 61 degrees. santa rosa 62. looking at the seven-day forecast, sunny and beautiful today. cloudy tomorrow, rain following behind that on wednesday early morning. then days of sunshine, two of them thursday and friday, followed by clouds over the weekend.
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pittsburgh fans were angry last night and they're still angry this morning over the controversial ending to the steelers game. did you see this? yeah, but look at the other replay on the other side. steelers fans thought they scored a game-winning touchdown the in the final minute but officials waved it off. they say the receiver bobbled the ground when it hit the ground. the patriots won, 27-24, taking a very important step toward the playoffs. that really did look like one of those plays that could have gone either way. i know, norah, at your house you were doing the hula.
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>> there was screaming, jumping up and down. it was the most incredible ending to the game preceded by brady and gronk driving that ball into the -- >> i looked at that and thought, i don't know. that could have been either way. >> i was going to say, good thing that official was not in pittsburgh last night. >> he would have needed security. >> that's what's so great about football, is plays like that. >> great game. both teams did a really nice job. welcome back to "cbs this morning." here are three things you should know this morning. treasury secretary steve mnuchin says a government shutdown is unlikely later this week. he said, i can't rule it out, but i can't imagine it occurring. it keeps the government running until this friday. the measure bought time for republicans to finish negotiations on their tax bill. time is running out to get your holiday gifts sent out in time for christmas. guess i'd better get moving,
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huh. today is the last day for amazon standard shipping and three-day select at ups. if you plan to use the u.s. postal service, tomorrow is the cut-off for first class mail. friday is the last day to ship with priority mail express. >> anthony, i wear a size 10 shoe, 11, depending on the designer. and we heard chick-fil-a on a sunday. famous for being closed on sunday, sprang into action yesterday to help provide food for those stranded at the airport. in a tweet the hartsfield-jackson atlanta the international airport called the gesture a miracle. u.s. air force academy is rebuilding the sex prevention office. after our six-month cbs
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news investigation looked into how the academy handles assault cases. we spoke to more than a dozen current and former cadets who told us they faced retaliation from peers and military leadership for reporting sexual assaults. the academy's superintendent says he's now open to all ideas that would help support victims. >> it's a real opportunity for us to get out and be part of the national conversation. the reckoning, the "me too" movement, the things that we're talking about. >> lieutenant general superintendent jay silveria at the air force academy in colorado springs said it is restructuring and expanding its sexual prevention and response office with an emphasis on better qualified staff and prevention efforts. >> i intend to be relentless in pursuing the perpetrators of these horrible crimes and holding them accountable, but i also desperately want to help all of the victims in any way that i can. >> his remarks to the colorado springs "gazette" newspaper came
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days after denying on "cbs this morning" that the academy had a problem with the way it handles sexual assault. >> do you think there are problems there? >> i don't think there are problems, and let me tell you why. we know that across the nation and across campuses, this is underreported. so i want reporting to go up so that i can provide that care, provide that support. >> last month the academy released a scathing investigation into its sexual assault prevention and response office, accusing former director teresa beasley of a lack of competency to jeopardize victim care. beasley told cbs news she's been made a scapegoat for standing up to leadership and advocating for survivors. >> is the air force academy supportive of those who report sexual assault? >> i would have to say absolutely not, no. >> more than a dozen current and former cadets told cbs news they reported their assaults only to experience retaliation by their peers and their commanders.
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>> i was terrified of reporting because i've heard of things that happen to people, and it did happen to me, so it's not horror stories. >> reporter: lieutenant general silveria is also open to allowing cadets who were sexually assaulted to transfer to another military academy. >> the focus shouldn't be moving survivors and disrupting their lives. the focus should be on reforming culture so that there isn't cases of retaliation against those who report. >> lynn hull is a former cadet who authored a memoir. about the way the air force academy handled her sexual assault. >> they lose their careers, they're often traumatized in ways that will affect them for the rest of their lives, and meanwhile perpetrators continue to graduate and serve in the armed services. >> the air force academy tells cbs news that in the past five years one cadet perpetrator of sexual assault has been convicted in a court-martial proceeding.
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11 others accused of assault were pushed out of the academy. >> your report, norah, opened a lot of eyes. people stopped me on the street to talk about it. so i wonder if the general looked back at your two pieces and said, let me do that again. >> they had the opportunity at the table and i think a lot of people felt he dropped the ball here. >> i think the key is not only how do they fix the problem, but why isn't there a focus on prevention. >> which is exactly right and for women to continue to please speak out. >> agreed. more than 300 passengers aboard a caribbean cruise ship are recovering after falling ill with a nasty stomach virus. the royal caribbean cruise ship "independence" returned fort in florida after a five-day cruise. more than 5500 people were on board. the cruise line said the ship would be thoroughly cleaned. they show the crew sanitizing it before new passengers board it. >> welcome aboard.
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♪ exciting and new come aboard you'll lose lots of weight ♪ >> here's your stomach distress bag. >> and they said they cleaned it up. >> they do know how to do that. >> they do know how to do it. >> newly released video shows former president obama joking with prince harry before the royal interviewed him before a bbc program. >> do i have to speak faster? >> no, not at all. >> okay. >> do i need a british accent? >> if there's long pauses in between, you're going to get the face. >> oh, okay. let me see the face. i don't want to see that face. >> those two have great chemistry, you see there. the pair sat down together in september during the invictus games in toronto. president obama shared his memories of his last days in office and shared his plans to cultivate the last generation of
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leaders through the foundation. while the former president and prince are not exactly strangers, the royal admitted he was just a little nervous. >> i'll interview you if you want. >> no, no. let's keep it this way. i'd much prefer that. >> some of the conversation will air on december 27th when he guests on bbc radio. the full interview will be available as a podcast. we all know the movie "when harry met sally." that's when harry met barack. you can tell the two of them have great chemistry. >> i wonder if the former first lady and president would get invited to the weddng. >> good question. >> i bet they get an invitation. i bet they would go. >> that's awesome. the pentagon spent millions of dollars to investigate ufo sightings. ahead, we'll show you one purported encounter by two navy fighter pilots and hear from the man who ran the program. and we invite you to subscribe to our "cbs this morning" podcast. find them all on itunes and apple's ipodcasts. you're watching "cbs this morning." apple's ipodcasts. you're watching "cbs this morning."
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newly released video captured by u.s. navy pilots investigated unidentified flying
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objects. the defense department said it ended the advance aviation threat identification program in 2012 over funding issues, but a pentagon spokeswoman said, quote, the d.o.d. takes seriously all threats and takes action whenever credible information is developed. tony dokoupil shows us two ufo encounters captured on camera. tony, good morning. >> good morning. wait until you see this video. that little known pentagon program had a budget of about $22 million according to the civilian intelligence officer who used to run it. most of the sightings were by u.s. military personnel who have been reporting ufo sightings for decades. this is one of the incidents the pentagon secretive group of ufo hunters investigated. >> there's a whole fleet of them. look on the faa. >> my gosh.
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>> reporter: this object appeared off the california coast in 2004 and baffled two navy pilots. >> it's not a drone. it's not something that we can easily say, oh, that's an airplane. >> reporter: luis elizondo ran the advanced aviation threat identification program at the defense department. he believed the way the school bus-sized object moved defied the known laws of physics. >> we're look beyond next generation technologies. former nevada senator harry reid championed the ufo program and some of funding reportedly went to one of his donors, robert bigelow, founder of bigelow aerospace, the military contractor. the las vegas tycoon spoke with "60 minutes" in may. >> do you imagine in our space travels we'll encounter other forms of intelligent life? >> you don't have to go anywhere. >> you can find it here. >> yeah. >> where exactly?
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>> it's just like right under people's noses. oh, my gosh. wow. >> reporter: unlike in the movies, most ufos don't turn out to be alien spacecraft. this green fireball above buenos aries in 2015 was likely a meteor while this strange light over los angeles was actually a missile test. >> i think this is a national security imperative. we have clear things that we do not understand how they work operating in areas that we can't control. >> elizondo refused to tell us how many cases his former group investigated saying that information was sensitive. from 1947 to 1969 an air force program called project blue book looked into more than 12,000 ufo sightings and about 700 of them remain unidentified. >> interesting how they buried this in the budget under this sort of blurry name advanced
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aviation threat identification program. >> they call it black money for a reason. >> i've never seen one, but when i was a little kid it shows aliens putting a needle in the you for years? terrified me. it still terrifies me. i believe that that. >> stranger things have happened. >> big smile from tony dokoupil. coming up, headlines including a blockbuster. opening for the new star wars movie. hearing it did okay. and pushing the limits. the team gunning to make a car rocket to a world speed record of more than 1,000 miles
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it's a better place, since you came along since you came along your touch is sunlight through the trees your kisses are the ocean breeze everything's alright when you're with me and i hold my favorite thing i hold the love that you bring but it feels like i've opened my eyes again and the colors are golden and bright again there's a song in my heart, i feel like i belong it's a better place since you came along welcome back to "cbs this morning."
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here's a look at some of the headlines. usa today looks at a report that finds an american soldier in niger was killed by enemy fire and not captured. the body of la david johnson was found two days after an ambush that killed other soldiers. johnson fought to the end after fleeing the attack by an off shoot of isis. he was not captured or executed as previously reported. the "washington post" reports that celebrity chef mario batali apologize for sexual conduct but he infuriated many when he included a recipe at the end of the apology. oh, no. he's accused of sexually aha rasing women and groping them. in an e-mail letter to fans he says he takes full responsibility but ended with a quote, in case you're searching for a holiday inspired breakfast these pizza dough breakfast is really good. people are going, what are you thinking? touf approve that before you put
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it up. >> this is a serious matter. >> not funny. >> variety says star wars, the last jedi soared to a $220 million opening. >> the second best opening ever, only its predecessor "the force awakens" beat it. "the last jedi" brought in $200 million over seas. >> my kids went. they loved it. the redwood forest that's now a social media sensation. oversees. the redwood forest that's now a social media sensation. 4 your brain changes as you get older. but prevagen helps your brain with an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember.
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nothing smells greater than the great outdoors. especially when you're in accounts receivable. only one detergent can give you a sniff like this. the irresistable scent of new gain botanicals laundry detergent. bring the smell of nature wherever you are. why do people have eyebrows? why do people put milk on cereal? oh, are you reading why people put milk on cereal?
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court of appeals judge alex kozinski has announced his retirement. . good morning. it is 7:56. i am kenny choi. the 9th circuit court of appeals judge alex kozinski announced his retirement, days after 15 former clerks accused of former san francisco federal judge of inappropriate conduct and comments. he released a statement he will retire effective immediately. a final public farewell to san francisco mayor ed lee, hundreds gathering yesterday for a memorial celebration at san francisco's city hall. among them the numerous national and local politicians and celebrities. traffic and weather in just a moment.
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good morning from the traffic center. if you typically take bart in morning, a heads up we are getting word of bart delays.
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there is police activity at the park station. otherwise muni is on time other than 208 departing about 20 minutes late. and to the freeways, a live at the richmond san rafael bridge, earlier back ups cleared out but still stop and go toward morin. here is emily. a chilly start tower monday morning. take a look at the temperatures right now. 33 in fairfield, 34 in santa rosa and a little warmer in san francisco 51 degrees there. 43 in san jose. the high temperatures will have things warming up as the sun climbs. 65 in redwood city as well as san jose. the seven-day forecast shows clear skies today, clouds returning tomorrow, rain moving in in the early morning hours of wednesday, then sunny skies behind that before
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clouds return to your forecast for the weekend.
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♪ good morning to our viewers in the west. it is monday, december 18, 2017. welcome back to "cbs this morning." the power is back on at the world's busiest airport, but peter gre peter greenberg is here with how the outage is still having a ripple effect across the country. plus, driving a car faster than most airplanes can fly. we will meet the man who wants to go 1,000 miles an hour. first here is today's eye opener at 8:00. ♪ thousands of passengers are stuck in atlanta after a massive power outage shut down the world's busiest airport. >> many of those 30,000 travelers will be trying to get out of here. so today really becomes about recovery. a lawyer for president
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trump's transition team claims some of the e-mails mueller obtained contain privileged information. >> in a rare, optimistic statement putin thanked mr. trump and the cia for providing the information that helped them thwart that potential terrorist attack on russian soil. no more tinkering. the tax bill is set, and republicans insist they have the votes to pass it. now they just need to prove to the american people that the tax cuts are worth the cost. the former nfl player-turned-team-owner has yet to address the accusations directly. >> but the new report details a pattern of behavior that accusers claim created a hostile work environment. at the horn for three. unc gets the victory. >> when you finally break through and get the win over a power five conference team, you dance. that's exactly what spartan head coach wes miller did in the locker room. >> hey! hey! ♪
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that's a victory looks like in the locker room. >> pumped up. >> i like to see happy people. >> that was what my living room looked like last night after the patriots' win. >> i believe it, another ah, at your house. i'm norah o'donnell. tracie crew after a patriots game. i'm happy to say anthony mason will be with us all week. >> great fob here. >> the power is back on at the world's busiest airport is atlanta. it is now clearing out a massive backlog. an electrical fire left and estimated 30,000 passengers stranded in the airport and on the tarmac. >> crews took nearly 11 hours to restore power, leaving people in dark terminals. more than 1,100 flights cancelled by the time power was restored. 400 are cancelled today. >> this of course affecting power across the entire country. kris van cleave is at heart field jackson international in atlanta. good morning. >> reporter: good morning.
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chaos and long lines throughout the airport and airlines are trying to get back the normal. still you just heard, 400-plus cancellations today. georgia power tell us they believe the fire may have started -- this outage may have started because of a fire in an underground electrical facility that may have involved what they call a piece of switch gear that failed and then the fire damaged backup systems. delta is by far the most affected airline here. this is their largest hub. they serve about 75% of the passengers at atlanta's airport. the airline cancelled more than 300 flights again today. they said they did it with the goal of getting back to normal operations by the afternoon. when a storm hit atlanta back in april, it grounded flights. it took delta five days and about 4,000 cancellations to get back on track. at that time delta's ceo said they needed to make significant improvements who to you the airline respond to disruptions. this will be a good test of the changes, gayle. >> all right. a big test today. thank you very much, kris vchri. cbs travel editor peter greenberg joins us at the table
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with the latest on this. peter, everybody wants to know how long it will take to get back to normal. it seems just because the planes are flying doesn't mean the passengers are. >> that's right. it is a two-part answer. it probably will take delta another 24 hours to get back to speed. they cancelled 900 yesterday, actually 300 from delta and another 100 today from other airlines. the crews are out of sequence, the planes out of cycle. that's part a. part b is what will happen to the passengers. >> that's right. >> the planes are already full for the rest of the week. if you are holding a reservation for the 17th, which was yesterday, that doesn't mean you are getting out today or tomorrow because those reservations for those flights today will be honored. >> peter, how significantly does it ripple out through other airports? >> big-time. remember, atlanta may be the busiest but because people don't fly to it but through it. it is about connectivity. you have people throughout the country who can't get back to where they wanted to go through atlanta, which means plan b for them is how are they going to get there without going through atlanta. >> so the atlanta mayor said
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that the backup power system also went down. >> you need a dedicated power system and a backup power system for the airport itself, not substations along the line. because when that happened it tripped and tripped and tripped and they couldn't handle it. remember, when you close the airport, you have a ground stop. that means nothing moves. that's why the passengers were trapped on the planes that did get into the airport because they continue operate the jet ways or escalators and let's not talk about where baggage went. >> and direct flights take a big hit here too. >> they do. we talk about the international flights because they have to be divert. if they are diverted you better hope they have a custom's facility. they are low on fuel. you have people overseas who can't get out because the planes haven't come back. >> peter, i have daughter coming home from college, a lot of people traveling for the holidays and they're sitting home going, is it going to affect me. >> it is. but you have to come up with a
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contrarian view of travel here. non-stop flights, forget them, they're full. if you are going through atlanta to los angeles, welcome to st. louis, chicago or salt lake city because you can't get there non-stop, those planes are full. what the airlines are doing is they're offering waivers. all are saying if you are going through or to atlanta you can rebook or cancel and refund with no penalty or change fees. that's the good news. bad news is rebooking won't be easy. >> wow. peter greenberg, you always have the best information. thank you, thank you. >> thanks. >> we have breaking news in britain where shots were fired this morning at a base used by the us air force. the royal air force base at milbin hall, about 80 miles east of london, a man tried to force an unauthorized vehicle through a check point about two hours ago. member it at the scene opened fire. the man in the car was ai rested and no one was wounded. the base was on lockdown after the incident but is operating
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normally once again a driver is training to get behind the wheel of a 1,000 mile an hour car by going high above the ground. we'll go along for a flight to find out how mid-air stunts are preparing him to handle supersonic speed.
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ahead, john blackstone deep in the woods following the path
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of thousands of tree lovers. >> reporter: in northern california's dense redwood forest, a one secret grove of giant trees has become a social media sensation. but can too many admirers harm the health of these centuries' old redwoods coming up on "cbs this morning." ♪ these centuries-old redwoods coming up on "cbs this morning." ♪
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psoriatic arthritis tries to get in my way? watch me. ♪ i've tried lots of things for my joint pain. now? watch me. ♪ think i'd give up showing these guys how it's done? please. real people with active psoriatic arthritis are changing the way they fight it... they're moving forward with cosentyx®. it's a different kind of targeted biologic. it's proven to help people find less joint pain and clearer skin. don't use if you are allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms of an infection. or if you have received a vaccine, or plan to. if you have inflammatory bowel disease tell your doctor if symptoms develop or worsen. serious allergic reactions may occur. with less joint pain, watch me. for less joint pain and clearer skin,
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ask your rheumatologist about cosentyx. feel that tingle of a cold sore only abreva can heal it in as little as two and a half days when used at the first sign. abreva starts to work immediately to block the virus and protect healthy cells. abreva acts on it. so you can too. ♪ "it's raining men" - the weather girls ♪ it's almost christmas dad. ♪
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you remember that song in school. it's hidden deep within northern california's redwood forests stands a grove of ancient trees. they were discovered by researchers in 1998 who decided to keep the location secret. but as john blackstone reports,
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someone put the cowhere they ar social media. >> reporter: it's like stepping back in time. the towering trees, the exact location of the tallest named the grove of titans has long been kept secret to help preserve them. >> the earlier philosophy is we're not telling people. we're still not telling people. that worked. >> reporter: brett silver has agreed to lead me there. home of the largest trees in the world. this is not an official state park trail. >> no. this is one of the trails visitors have created by searching. >> reporter: a few years ago someone posted the gps coordinates. images like this led thousands to the area of the secret grove.
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trails creating the social trails. >> that just enhanced the hunt. >> yeah. it peaks people's interest. people got intrigued into the big tree hunt like trophy hunters. >> reporter: and like trophy hunters, people posed with the titans, sharing them online as proof of their conquest. >> you can see the steps leading higher and higher to get that focus. >> reporter: he studies the damage done by foot traffic. along with destroying native plants the soil compact caused by standing noekt a red wood harms the roots. are tree is so tall, so enormous it's hard to believe people hanging around down here are going to do it harm. >> most of the roots are near the surface. it kills the small roots where nutrients are taken up into the tree to help the tree grow. >> you can see the wear where
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someone has put their hand or foot. >> broken bark leads them to be vulnerable to insects and disease. and while some live 2,000 years, 95% of california's redwoods have been lost. >> cutting their way into trees that may be as old as our civil dags. >> reporter: the logging industry followed. now the conservancy is raising money to protect the titans. >> you walk into the old grove. it puts everything in perspective. >> reporter: $1.4 million is needed for raised walkways to help without endangering the trees. the park says it's nearly a three-year project. >> i know it's kind of a reach. they go, are you going to ask people to stay on trail? yes. that's our only defense. >> reporter: by staying on the
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trails visitors can still see the forest and save the trees. john blackstone, crescent city, california. >> i was wondering what was wrong with it. i like the idea, don't you? >> raised walkways. would be such a shame to lose those trees. such a ma judge tick shot. >> i want to go. ahead, we look at what it takes to build a car that goes over 1,000 miles an hour. >> reporter: creating a car to go 1,000 miles an hour, but how do you learn to drive it? flying me upside down in a stunt plane to understand the force of gravity during the drive. we'll have the story coming up on "cbs this morning." ♪
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♪ think of your fellow man, ♪ lend him a helping hand, ♪ put a little love in your heart.♪ ♪ you'll see it's getting late, oh please don't hesitate...♪ ♪ put a little love in your heart.♪ ♪ in your heart... ♪ in your heart... ♪ in your heart... ♪ in your heart. (vo) get zero percent financing for 63 months on select models, plus we'll donate two hundred and fifty dollars to charity.
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this morning in our "pushing the limits" series, we take a
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look at a project redefining speed. they hope they can travel more than 1,000 miles an hour. it would shatter the current land speed record. charlie d'agata took to the sky with the car's driver. he's a former jet fighter pilot. he's putting his body through a toll by flying an aerobatic plane. >> reporter: this is just a hint of what's to come, a test run. crank the beast up to a mere 200 miles an hour and the see how she handles. ten years and $40 million in the making, the man behind the wheel and the project is andy green. the former raf fighter pilot, he's held the record since 1997 before you could google land speed record.
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>> it doesn't leap into the air to explode, i was delighted to find out. it is possible to drive supersonic, but we did it. >> reporter: if that bloodhound has doors, they're aiming to blow them off. >> it would shatter it. >> we're going to have an engineers adventure that will push back the boundaries of physics, literally push back the boundaries of human endeavor. >> reporter: to get a hint of what that feels like, green took me up in a stunt plane to explain the g load the body experiences during the real thing, simulating the exact conditions of the 1,000-mile-an-hour run. i was just hoping i didn't pass out. >> that's 20 miles an hour for second. eight seconds later we're doing 200 miles an hour. 355. we're going to fire now.
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1,000, 1, 1,000, 2. we're doing 500 miles an hour already. >> reporter: as the blood rushed to my head, i felt like it was going to explode. then came the worst part of all. deceleration at three times the force of gravity. >> three, two, one. 800 miles an hour. 750. we're already down below the speed of sound. still slowing down. it feels so slow. how are you feeling now? >> exhilarated. boy, it feels like you just got slammed right in the chest. i mean the force on the body. >> that's exactly so. it's fairly unpleasant. >> i didn't know which way was up. literally i didn't know which
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way was up. >> reporter: the gut-wrenching g-forces from tapping into the lunatic fringe of technology. it took the rolls-royce jet engine found in a euro fighter and mounted it on top of a rocket. yes, a rocket. this is what it looked like in
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this was a new station as well, is that not the case? >> you saw by that those are new cars. the real question is are they new tracks? who was maybe taining the tracks? most people don't realize is amtrak doesn't own the tracks. it's owned by the freight line. we have two issues here that the national transportation safety board will be investigating almost immediately. one the condition of the tracks. and two, was this train quipped
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with what's called positive speed control. that will limit how fast the train can go based on the condition of the tracks. you may remember the derailment of 2015, near philadelphia. had that been on that train then it's arguable it never would have happened. congress gave amtrak a deadline of 2015 to install it and that's been extended. so, it's safe to say that it's not a liberty amtrak train. >> high fast do the high speed trains usually go? >> well that's interesting. the axle la on the east coast gets up to billion 86 miles an hour for about 30 miles. the reason it doesn't go any faster than that is because of the condition of the track. i would suspect this train could go a little bit faster if the tracks could support it. certainly the cars could support it because of new technology. >> i know this story is still in flux peter as we know but they've had the big ribbon cutting ceremony on friday as anthony just mentioned. this was the first day of the
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service. you would imagine that they would have had some trial runs before they actually put the train on the track with passengers on board. >> well, there it is. they would have had trial runsz. but was the train fully loaded? what was the weight of the train? and how much pressure was there on the track? all that has to be determined by the ntsb, actually the team that's probably en route there right now. >> you can see the number of emergency vehicles on the scene, because this something treated as a potential mass casualty event as that train has eventually fallen off the bridge and into interstate 5. which of course goes all the way along the west coast from all the way from u.s./mexico border all the way up through washington state and now all southbound lanes are blocked on interstate 5 as they try and first respond to potential injuries on board that train. and then of course the investigation, which will likely take months to figure out just what went wrong. >> all right, norah, we just have a passenger who was on the train at the time of the accident. his name is chris carnes. he joins us here, he or she
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joins us by phone. can you tell us exactly what happened, what you saw? >> yes. we had left the station about 20 minutes prior and we had just passed the city of du pont, which is between tacoma and olympia, and at a certain point it seemed like we were coughing -- or reaching sort of a bend in the tracks and all of a sudden we were slammed in to the seats in front of us. then the car careened down an embankment, down an embankment. and came to a stop. after that happened we could hear and feel the cars crumbling and breaking apart. and water came out from ceiling
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and a lot of dust all over the place. and, in order to get out of the car we had to kick out the window, the emergency windows, because the emergency doors were not functioning. there were multiple people injured. there's military police, firefighters, medical aid of all sorts. they're on the scene right now. >> we can tell looking at the pictures, very upsetting just looking at the picture. i can't imagine what it was like for you on the train. did you allville any warning at all that you were danger? and how fast was the train going, do you think? >> so there was a little bit of creaking initially. but there wasn't a whole lot of warning. from what i can tell that i mean i didn't have a speedometer or anything but the new section of
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track is supposed to be operating at 79 miles per hour. i don't know how fast we were going then. >> chris, where were you on the train? were you near the front? >> yeah, so we were near the front, probably the second or third car. >> because -- >> we had actually moved back. i had actually moved back a couple of cars just two minutes before. >> so when you were able to crawl out through the window of the train, were you on the embankment still or were -- because some parts of the train in the pictures we're looking at actually ended up on the highway. >> yes. yes, so we were -- we were one of the trains that went down the embankment. but then there are several other cars that seem to have piled up, and been torn apart at the -- on top of the rail overpass and there's at least one car that seems to be hanging off of the overpass at the moment.
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>> chris, what types of injuries did you see? >> cuts, people bleeding, i did see -- i did see one person who was laying on the ground and was not moving. >> was the crane -- was the train full? was it crowded? >> i -- i don't know. our car was the passenger load was relatively light. >> we can't tell by looking -- we can't tell by looking at it. >> no. >> can you give us some idea how long, how many cars there were in the train? >> let's see here, so i would say maybe ten cars roughly. the only car that is still on the tracks is the rear locomotive. >> i can tell you, according to washington state department of transportation, the typical amtrak cascade train can seat up to 250 passengers, and typically consists of 13 train cars.
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so, we're talking, you know, hundreds of people could be on board. >> yes. >> that train. how are you doing? >> yeah, i'm -- i'm all right. thankfully, i mean, the seat in front of me just cushioned the blow. >> chris, was everyone else in the car that you were in able to get out? yes -- >> we lost chris. i think we've lost him. >> yeah. >> yeah we want to bring -- we want to bring peter greenberg back in. peter, i don't know how much of what chris said you were able to hear, but, what if nick additional can you make of what he together us? >> well, it's pure speculation but he did mention the train was nearing a bend, making a curve. the question was what speed was it going at that point. because that's really when the exact derailment happened in
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philadelphia, around a curve. was it a positive speed droll? but again, i have to emphasize this is just pure speculation but i can almost guarantee you the two things the ntsb will be focusing on -- i should say three -- is the medical condition of the engineer on the train. you can imagine there will be a drug test immediately. number two, the condition of the track, who owned the track, and how well it was maintained. and number three, was there positive speed control installed on this particular train. >> yeah chris carnes also mentioned something about hearing a creaking sound but i couldn't really tell us exactly what that meant. does that mean anything to you? >> and i can't either. i mean trains do creak. if you've been on amtrak, they creak. >> all right. >> that's certainly true. >> how often, peter, would you say they inspect the tracks? >> well, the real question is who's doing the inspection. if the tracks are controlled by the freight train, or the freight line, and they're owned by them, they're only inspecting them for like heavy weight, and
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whether or not they're fastened completely in terms of taking stresses and loads. they're not only checking them for speed because the freight trains don't care about speed. speed is an issue that has hampered amtrak since day one because we don't have high speed rail in america for that very reason, the condition of the tracks. and that's an issue that's been around since amtrak started more than 40 years ago. so it's something we're going to have to look at. but right now, i guarantee you, they're going to be looking at those tracks, because were they new tracks? they're certainly new cars. but were they new tracks? and when was the last time they were inspected? >> those are all really important questions. just to recap everyone if you're just joining us now, an amtrak train has derailed on a bridge over a highway in pierce county, washington. that is just about south of tacoma. as you can see, there is a major emergency response from local authorities already on the scene there. i'm looking at the pierce county sheriff's twitter feed right now, and they say that injuries and casualties are reported.
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numbers to come. we've spoken to a witness on the ground who said he saw cuts and bruises, and they had to kick open the emergency window in order to get out of the train, because the doors on his car were blocked. this is a new route, a high speed route. peter greenberg -- >> first day of service. >> first day of service. it could have been going around 80 miles an hour if they were on an area where they're going as fast as this is typically, according to washington state department of transportation, this type of amtrak train would have 13 cars in it and could have up to 250 passengers. and if you know interstate 5, as most people on the west coast do, because it takes you from mexico to washington state, this area in washington state now it is blocked. all southbound lanes blocked because there's a train essentially hanging in the middle of that interstate. >> as we heard chris carnes who was a passenger on that train tell us a short time ago, he felt -- he felt a slight
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rumbling sound and the train went off the tracks, and his car careened down an embankment. he said the car -- he felt the cars crumbling and actually breaking apart. as you can see, the front car of the train is actually dangling off the track, on the to the highway, according to the passenger chris carnes, the only -- the only actual train still on the track is the locomotive at the very end of it. >> you know i keep thinking i take the amtrak regularly as i know you guys do, there's no seat belts on a train. so when you're involved in a collision, or an accident like this, you can easily go flying in that car. >> there's nothing to support you. >> chris carnes told us that he was protected actually by the cushion of the seat in front of him. he was fortunate to be able to get out of the train by kicking out the emergency window. the ntsb is on the scene investigating this we understand. we want to bring in former ntsb chairman mark rosenkerr to give
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us some sense of what should be happening right now. mark, if you can hear me. >> the ntsb will be dispatching a go team out to that area to begin the process of looking at this accident, understanding what happened, and ultimately, finding out what the preliminary cause was, and ultimately then making recommendations to prevent this kind of accident from happening again. >> mark, what are the most important things they will look at out here? >> they'll be looking at a number of factors. they'll be sending investigators that are experts in track, experts in signals, experts in loek motion. also they'll be looking at survival factors. all of these investigators will be up there to document the scene and determining exactly what happened. >> does it say anything to you at all that this happened, this is their inaugural run, the very first day, it happens 45 minutes into the ride. does that mean anything at all to you? >> well, that's certainly going
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to be a factor that they're going to be looking at. but this will be a meticulous, methodical examination of everything, all of the elements, which, in fact, could create an environment for a terrible accident like what we're seeing. >> mark, peter greenberg was talking to us about one of the amtrak's significant problems is that while it's running high speed trains, it doesn't, in fact, own the track lines. the freight trains do, and that they're not actually often built for these kinds of speeds. >> that's absolutely correct, anthony. amtrak only owns relatively small portion of the 62,000 miles of track in the united states. so, they'll be looking, and they'll be working with the railroad that actually owns that track, and they will become a party to this investigation. >> you can actually look online to gauge an amtrak train and according to amtrak's realtime location, train 501, which is what this was, it reached 78.5 miles per hour traveling between
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seattle and tekwilla. and after stopping in tacoma it sped up to 81 miles an hour before derailment. so mark, this train was going fast. >> absolutely. it may well have been doing its maximum speed. but they'll actually have what they call an event recorder. they're similar to a black box in an aircraft. they will be able to get a lot of data from that particular box when it's finally downloaded. >> mark, what kind of crew is typically on a train like this? >> well, it will be one engineer, and then there will be a group of conductors and trainmen that will be on board. the conductor, of course, is really technically the person who runs the train. >> are there typically emergency -- anyone who can respond to an emergency on board a train? >> all of the crew that, in fact, are in the cabins themselves, in the rail cars, are all highly trained people and able to work very, very closely to making sure that they
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have the emergency capabilities on board the train, and work very closely with those that are emergency responders once they finally get to the site. >> mark, we were talking earlier that there typically aren't, you know, seat belts on trains or requirements for them. is that something that's been discussed? >> well, we've looked at it. but, at this point, we've never come about to make a full decision on whether it's necessary or not. clearly the survival factors that's will be part of this investigation will be making recommendations. >> they will go to the scene. they will look at the track. when it comes to the conductor what will investigators want to hear from him or her? >> they'll be asking the conductors all kinds of questions. did they hear any sounds? how did the cars react? remember we don't know if this was a push-pull train meaning that the locomotive was, in fact, actually pushed the train forward, or if that car was the
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tail. >> will they look at cell phone records? >> they'll certainly be looking at the engineer, and the crew. but, they'll also be doing a toxicology test as it relates to any type of drugs or alcohol. >> we know that this derailment happened just at about 7:30 a.m. pacific time. so, probably the early end of the commute out there. this was amtrak train number 501, which operates between seattle and portland. we've just gotten in some video from someone who saw part of this train derailment. let's take a look. there you can see someone driving by, and probably pulled out a camera there to look at that one, which is a lot of backed up traffic, because all of the southbound traffic there has been blocked, but also the emergency response. you can see there a picture of really just how -- where those train cars, if not several of them, just went careening off of
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that bridge or overpass onto interstate 5. this is actually, for other people who may know joint because lewis mccord, this is right around that area, too, a major military installation is also in that area. >> you can see the massive backup there. which when we first went on the air now 10 or 15 minutes ago was already three miles long and now on southbound on interstate 5, major artery up and down the west coast, it must be significantly longer than that. you can also see that front car that is literally hanging off the overpass down onto the interstate. we had chris carnes who was a passenger on one of the cars that was probably, he said three or four back from the front. he ended up going down an embankment and having to kick through an emergency window to get out of the car. he said his car was not -- there was not heavily populated and everybody was able to get out. but he said only the last car on the train was still on the
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tracks. >> i keep think about, too, if these passenger cars essentially ended up, part of them in the interstate, they may have also hit some cars. >> very possible. >> looking at that picture -- >> that we're just driving by through on what is a busy interstate early in the morning as people are sort of making their way to school, and making their way to work. >> right at the beginning of the commute, norah. 7:30 pacific time. looking at the pictures, definitely on the ground you don't know what's underneath the train. >> again, this is a train that started in seattle, at 6:00 a.m. west coast time. made its way to tacoma, and was coming out of the tacoma station, which was brand-new, just been dedicated over the weekend, and opened for passengers today. and about 45 minutes after leaving tacoma is when this -- when this accident occurred. >> what we know according to amtrak's realtime location, which you can view online, this train was probably going about 80 miles an hour. there are typically in this amtrak cascades train, which is
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what this route is, they usually can carry up to about 250 passengers. there's 13 cars in there. so that's a significant amount of people. >> it could be a significant amount of people. and again, as you pointed out, norah, it's very possible this front train, which is still dangling onto interstate 5, could have hit, you know, could have hit cars or trucks down there on the road. we don't know. and as you can see, again, an enormous backup on interstate 5 where there is no southbound traffic. >> we've heard chris carnes say that he witnessed injuries himself. that he saw injuries on the scene. he saw cuts, cuts and some bruises. i'm hoping that the pictures of the casualties will not be as bad as these pictures could indicate. right now we still don't know. this story is unfolding right now as we're on the air. >> want to bring in transportation correspondent kris van cleave who has followed disasters like this, and chris, significant to see now this amtrak train derailed on this overpass in washington state.
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>> yeah, norah, it is, you know, this is -- this is cascade service train 501 that typically goes between seattle and portland. where the train derailed is along interstate 5. south of seattle. tacoma is sort of the next largest city as you go down. and you know, what you're seeing there is it looks like maybe the second or third car in behind the engine. has gone off the freeway -- gone on off this bridge onto the freeway there. the lead car after the engine also sort of dangling over there, and then perhaps another car that's derailed from another angle. so, this is a fairly serious derailment. if you think back a couple of years ago, to amtrak 188 where you saw a pretty bad accident there, just a couple of weeks ago we got a ntsb report on a
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fatal accident involving amtrak that was critical of the railroad and safety culture. in fact it found 29 failures and latent conditions that indicated, i'm quoting from the ntsb, a systemic problem with amtrak's safety culture and found that amtrak's safety programs weren't efficient. we don't know the cause here. we don't know what has happened. but certainly these look to be fairly standard amtrak or regional cars. i can't say for sure that at the same time they were involved -- that were similar to the amtrak 188 crash. these cars tend to be older cars. and depending upon this particular line is not as densely traveled as say the northeast corridor. but certainly you're going to have people on these trains. and this looks like a fairly violent derailment based on the pictures we're able to see. >> just looking on line, the
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washington state department of transportation, this was a new amtrak cascades train. i mean, they were billing it as something that could cut travel time between seattle and portland by ten minutes. i'm just reading through this, they were able to reduce some of the time because they rerouted some of the trains between tacoma and olympia with the upgrading of tracks, and signals system. this was a new route that was taking trains on an inland corridor. what might that mean? >> well, so you know, they're going to go and look at the tracks. what may have led this train to derail? certainly they're going to look at the speed. you know, whenever there's an accident like this we're going to find out that there were multiple factors that ended up playing in here. they're going to check the engineer, and see just like think back to amtrak 188 there are all those questions about the engineer's performance. was he distracted. was there a substance issue? we don't know any of that of course, but they're going to look at that.
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they're going to look at the condition of the tracks. was the train going too fast? had something happened on those tracks earlier? was there an anomaly that wasn't detected? you know, all of those things are going to be questioned. certainly when it's a new route, one of the things you want to know is was the engineer familiar enough with that route. you know there was a lot of speculation in amtrak 188 for example, that engineer had only been doing that stretch for a few weeks and one of the theories was he got confused about where he was on the tracks and the train was going too fast. so that certainly will be something they look at. you're going to go through sort of a checklist of anything that could go wrong and try to narrow those out. when you talk about these new cars, you're then going to want to see if there'ssome issue with those cars or if this is just something that happened because there was a problem with the track. i mean there's all kinds of scenarios. i think you had mark rosenker
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talking about it a few minutes ago -- >> chris we've just gotten a new picture from the scene, and guys it really looks like there is a train underneath -- there's a train on the road, actually on the highway, and another train on top of that. >> so -- >> one stacked on top of the other. and after amtrak accident 188 there was a lot of talk about that stopgap system on the tracks, chris. can you talk about that? >> sure. so, positive train control. that is something that, in theory, would have prevented something like amtrak 188 if the train had been going too fast, or if it had detected a problem in the track, it would have stopped the train. amtrak has had that running on most of the northeast corridor between say washington, d.c. and boston. but amtrak doesn't own many of the train tracks that it operates on, including up in washington state. so that's up to the freight rail to enstall positive train control. and they are behind schedule. the federal government has kicked the mandate for that
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back. it could have already been delayed again so positive train control likely was not in place here. you know, one of the things that we saw with amtrak 188 was just the force that these trains experience when they abruptly stop. and that, remember, one of those train cars nr amtrak 188 essentially got plowed through by another train car. so the force of these crashes can be really greatthat train was going at a high rate of speed which is certainly possible through that stretch of track. >> we should -- we should tell everyone, too, that we do not have any reports of casualties from officials there. however, we have spoken with a witness who says that he saw many cuts and bruises, including someone who was laying there not moving. i just want to go back to this picture that we showed you a short time ago. it was actually tweeted out by a washington state trooper. and the trooper's name is brooke
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bova. what you can see if you look very closely is it looks like not only is one of the tracks on the ground, the other one appears to have crushed into it. and if you look at that condition of that car, it looks like it has suffered some serious damage -- >> it's upside down. it's actually flipped over, and the other train has -- the next car has landed on top of it. the first car looks like it might have even burned. >> yeah, and if you look to the left of that car, that orange, that almost looks like a -- like a tractor trailer. we were talking about whether those trains could actually come off and hit some of the traffic below. that looks like a tractor trailer that orange truck to the left. that is some significant damage. >> yeah, it could be. >> i mean i'm thinking how do you -- if your train flips over onto an interstate and you don't have a seat belt on, this is some scary stuff. >> very scary. >> and you look at how badly damaged -- >> they do not have seat belts. >> we were talking about that, kris. we received word that there were
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75 people on board the train when it derailed. we heard earlier that this particular train line can carry up to 250 passengers. but a state department spokesman says that there were 75 people on board. again, the train had just -- >> the department of transportation. >> state department of transportation. confirms that there were 75 people on board. we should say the train has just left -- >> sorry, kris, go ahead. >> i was going to say we can tell you the ntsb is monitoring this. i fully expect you'll see the ntsb launch a team just to look into this accident as they get a little bit more information here. but expect to see an ntsb investigation. >> and as well as the disruption to rail travel here. this is part of a major new route between seattle down to portland. the washington state department of transportation is telling us that southbound i-5 will be closed for an extended period. this is another major travel
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artery through the northeast. and as you can see, because as we mentioned, there is at least one car on the highway, flipped over, with another car that has fallen, and basically was stopped by the train down on the highway. so that's a situation that is going to take a very long time to clear up. we have no sense whatsoever of what casualties there may be in those cars you see dangling off of -- off of the overpass there. we did speak, as we've mentioned, with one passenger who was in a car a little further back, and chris carnes, awhile ago, who described his car careening down an embankment, feeling the car basically crumble and breaking apart, and escaping through a window that he kicked out. he said there were not many other passengers in his car. they all got out but he saw multiple injuries. >> and we have views now,
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anthony, from a google map, a satellite view of this accident from a google map of the tracks. that you can see there. there's a significant curve there. >> that's what the passenger chris carnes described the train going into a curve, and that's where the accident occurred. >> you know, i can remember that philadelphia amtrak crash that i covered and that was the issue. it was going too fast around a curve. and, because of the unfamiliarity with that curve and because the conductor did not know how to slow down that caused the derailment. i mean, they figured that out after, you know, several years of investigation that it was speed, and it was the curve. >> again we should say this accident is very much in flux. we don't know the condition of the track. we don't know the condition of the conductor or the engineer. all we're going by right now is what we're being told from witnesses on the scene. when you can look at the visual yourself, just the shot of that
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train on top of the other train that's flipped over and clearly looks like it's burned. norah when you pointed out the tractor trailer to the left of the screen, this happened during rush hour. >> mm-hmm. >> and again, as the passenger we spoke with told us, from what he saw when he was able to get out of the train, every car, except the locomotive at the end, was off the tracks. as you can see there's at least one down on the road with a second dangling just above it, and then he was on an embankment so he didn't end up on the road. but it looks like obviously the people in the very front, there are going to be some significant casualties there. >> and we've been told that this train line typically has 13 cars. so it's a big line. we've just heard from the pierce county sheriff's spokesman that there are fatalities. so, you know, we knew that this
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was likely a mass casualty event. we can see from the pictures, but we're now hearing official word that there are casualties. and potential fatalities. so, we company only imagine, too, what family and friends who knew that their loved ones who take this route are thinking and trying to get information about their loved ones who are on the train. >> or traveling on the highway. kris van cleave can you tell us more about the pictures that we're looking at now? >> when you see some of these pictures, you understand why you're starting to hear reports of fatalities and serious injuries. you know the train cars, as you said, this was a fairly new route. and those are fairly new train cars, they have been engineered to be crash resistant. but, certainly you have -- you're going to have a heavy impact there. and one of the things now, the ntsb which will almost certainly launch an investigation here
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will look at is the survivability. what can be learned here? trains don't have seat belts. so that was something that came up a lot in the amtrak 188 investigation is when the train started to be derailed people were thrown around the interior of the train. which can result in a lot of those injuries we've been talking about. >> kris, you've mentioned an ntsb report which came out about two weeks ago which was critical of amtrak's safety culture. what specifically was it critical of? >> sure. so in that report, after amtrak 188 there was that incident a few months later, also in pennsylvania, where a train hit two workers on the tracks. and while going through that, that accident, the ntsb found that there were communication issues. safety planning issues that led the board to believe that there was not a good enough focus on the safety culture inside amtrak.
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the ntsb has been critical of the lack of positive trains that's it's not on every track in the united states. they've expressed disappointment that the department of transportation has kicked the time line back repeatedly on positive train control. we don't know yet if positive train control would have made a difference in this crash but that is technology that is designed to stop a speeding train. that is designed if there is something wrong with the track to slow or stop the train. >> i'm just looking at our affiliate out there in seattle who has confirmed 70 people were on board when this train derailed. so, in fact, if it was a full capacity train it can seat up to 250 but according to our affiliate there were 70 people on board the train when it derailed at about 7:30 a.m. pacific time. >> it's -- obviously we don't know how many people were on each car. and we're not exactly sure how many cars were on this train. but typically, you know, the
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passenger we spoke to said he thought there were about ten. typically it can be 12 or 13. it would sound like each car was not particularly highly populated. and hopefully there were not too many people in those front cars, as we've shown you. there you see one car upside down on interstate 5, having fallen off the overpass. there is the second car, which has landed essentially in the bottom of that car, and then subsequently all the cars behind it, with the exception of the very last, which is the locomotive, also derailed according to that passenger we spoke with. >> mm-hmm. >> norah, kiro says 70, state department of transportation says 75, as you point out the train can carry 250. and it scores with what chris carnes the witness told us, there were very few people on this car. again this train was the beginning launch. >> yes. >> it was very early in the train route. so i guess if there is good news
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here, it's that the train was not fully loaded. yes, kris? >> a little bit of information from the pierce county sheriff, who we understand so far is sort of leading the police response here. they're reporting that several cars on i-5 were struck by the derailed amtrak train cars. multiple motorists injured on the roadway. they say no fatalities reported amongst the motorists yet. but so there's another element here. it was -- we're talking rush hour time in seattle when this happened. so as the cars came flying off the tracks, they came down and impacted cars on interstate 5. i-5 is a very busy freeway through seattle. in fact, far more people in the seattle area are going to be driving than riding amtrak. so, the pierce county sheriff is now reporting that several cars on the interstate were struck as the train cars came off the tracks, so many of your injuries are going to come from people in those vehicles. in addition to the 70, 75 people on board the amtrak train. and that difference in numbers, that's not unusual.
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it took amtrak about a day or so to get a firm count of how people get on. people get off. you know how many tickets are sold, but if somebody tried to get off at a stop earlier or missed their stop, so your numbers could change some that 70 to 75 could fluctuate. plus you have train crew, tengo talento near, conductors. >> and to kris's point about far more people traveling on this highway, where we now know that a number of cars were struck by the train when it came off the track, the southbound, the washington state department of transportation is saying the southbound highway will be closed for an extended period of time while this accident is being investigated. >> and it is top of the hour, noon eastern standard time, 9:00 a.m. pacific time. many people waking up at this hour and seeing that there has been a major train derailment in washington state


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