tv CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor CBS December 20, 2018 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
night. thank you for watching. we are back in 30 minutes with more news for you. >> glor: on the cbs evening news this thursday, a wild day in washington. defense secretary james mattis is stepping down. and a government shutdown appears more likely. severe weather could interfere with travel plans for millions. and we'll meet one of santa's oldest and happiest elves. all that and much more beginning with the headlines in 60 seconds. >> the defense secretary james mattis is leaving. >> this comes right in the middle of this debate over u.s. troops in syria. >> president trump has tweeted, "i greatly thank jim for his service." >> drama here at the 11th hour. >> washington might be getting a government shutdown for christmas. >> this idea of a wall is dumb! >> the fact is we need the wall. >> a purple heart veteran launched a gofundme page to pay
for the border wall. >> we're all just kind of sick of waiting around. we are taking the matters into our own hands. >> the holiday travel rush well under way. >> rain and storms just as millions hit the road.otlrdy. >> homes damaged from tornadoes. >> a chaotic scene. london's gatwick airport brought to a halt because of drone sightings. >> thousands of people have been stranded here. >> this is a deliberate act to disrupt gatwick airport. >> americans are getting bigger. >> the new c.d.c. report finds americans weigh more, have bigger waists and have higher body mass indexes than in the past. >> oh, no! i'm tipless! >> a hershey controversy. >> where are the little curly tips? the pieces appear to be broken off. >> hershey says they're looking into the cause. >> if it's got no tip what's the point? >> got to have the curly top. >> glor: good evening.i'm jeffnr western edition. we are going to begin tonight with a frantic series of developments in washington. we are just over a day now away from a partial government shutdown with new threats from the president today. but we begin here tonight with
late news on the defense secretary. one day after the president said he's pulling u.s. troops out of syria, mr. trump tweeted, "general jim mattis will be retiring with distinction at the end of february after serving in my administration as secretary of defense for the past two years." weijia jiang has more on this from the white house. >> reporter: secretary mattis explained why he is resigning in a letter to president trump. "because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours," mattis wrote, "i believe it is right for me to step down from my position." the move comes just one day after the president announced he plans to pull u.s. troops out of syria, shocking allies, and even top advisers. for mattis, the withdrawal was the last straw. in his resignation letter he called for using all tools of american power to provide for the common defense. president trump is now considering a drawdown of u.s. troops in afghanistan, which mattis also opposes.
>> we are going to appoint "mad dog" mattis. >> reporter: the former marine corps general was one of several military men to join the trump administration as part of a team the president called "my generals." >> a couple of them. these are central casting. if i was doing a movie, i would pick you, general, general mattis. >> reporter: but mattis became one of the lowest profile members of mr. trump's cabinet. in this rare september press conference, he laughed off speculation over his exit. >> of course, i don't think about leaving. i love it here. i'm thinking about retiring right here. i'll get a little place down on the potomac. >> reporter: less than one month later, president trump was less convincing on "60 minutes." >> what about general mattis? is he going to leave? >> i don't know. he hasn't told me that. i have a very good relationship with him. i ate lunch with him. i have a very good relationship with him. it could be that he is. i think he's sort of a democrat, if you want to know the truth. but general mattis is a good guy. we get along very well. he may leave.
i mean at some point, everybodyv everybody. people leave. >> reporter: cbs news has learned it was mattis' own decision to leave, and he personally delivered that resignation letter to president trump here at the white house during an unscheduled meeting this afternoon. th it, he also talked about the importance of treating allies with respect and being resolute against adversaries, specifically naming china and russia. jeff, the president hopes to heme a replacement by the end of the year. th glor: okay, weijia jiang, at the white house for us. weijia, thanks very much. and we move now to the shutdown ohowdown. tdow when it appeared a deal to forunng fore bordriwas government will run out tomorrow at midnight, impact the department of justice, homeland security, and nasa, among other agencies. nancy cordes is following this.. >> reporter: the president's siout-face sent lawmakers scrambling as the chances of a
shutdown shot up. >> there's no consensus right now on what the best way forward is. >> reporter: just yesterday, eadep. leaders thought they had hit on a compromise mr. trump could live with, a short-term spending bill funding the government through february 8, giving them another shot to bargain for border wall funding w the new year. >> all in favor say aye. >> aye. >> reporter: the senate passed the bill unanimously last night, but then the president started to get an ear-full from the far right. >> no way! >> the wall, the wall, the wall has to be built. >> this is a fumble. if we're not going to fight now, oten are we going to fight? >> reporter: by this morning, no one was quite sure where he stood. reve you gotten any assurances from the white house or the oesident himself that he will sign this spending resolution? >> i don't know that anybody ever has any assurances from the white house on any subject. >> reporter: house republican leaders headed to the white ruse to find out. >> the president informed us
that he will not sign the bill that came over from the senate last evening. >> reporter: congressional rgotiators had already settled lr $1.6 billion for border security next year, but the president wants $5 billion more, specifically for a border wall. without a deal, before tomorrow roght, a partial shutdown will leave more than 400,000 government workers furloughed right before christmas. but the president has said it's worth it. >> i am proud to shut down the udvernment... >> reporter: his patience wearing thin as his party has repeatedly tried and failed to secure the funding for his campaign promise. >> i say to congress, i will neve republicans passed a funding bill tonight that includes the $5 billion for the border wall. but they lake leigh don't have the votes to get that through the senate. so at this point, jeff, it is hard to see how the two sides come together in time to avoid a
shutdown. >> glor: okay, nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy, thank you. london's gatwick airport, britain's second busiest, remains closed after drones were spotted nearby yesterday. care than 600 flights have been canceled at an airport that serves 110,000 travelers a day. roxana saberi is there. >> reporter: confusion and frustration swept through gatwick airport today as every single flight was canceled, diverted, or delayed. >> it said, "all flights canceled because of the drone." >> reporter: two drones to be exact spotted flying over the airport's only runway last night, forcing it to shut down. >> my parents live in florida, so that's where we're trying to get to. hopefully we'll be there by the weekend. >> reporter: before christmas. >> before christmas. >> reporter: britain's armed forces have now joined police in the hunt for the operator using special tracking technology. authorities say the intrusion doesn't appear to be terror related, but it is deliberate. what are the dangers that these drones could pose?
>> well, obviously, if they're flying near an airport with an aircraft taking off and landing, it's going to tangle with the aircraft, which could potentially cause it to crash. >> reporter: as the popularity of drones soars, so does the threat they pose to aircraft around the world. this chilling video was filmed by a drone hovering illegally above a passenger jet arriving in las vegas. and mexico's largest airline, aeromexico, is investigating whether a drone slammed into the nose of this airliner last week. no one was injured, but researchers at the university of dayton have shown the damage a drone can do to the wing of an aircraft. security experts tell us the fact that the drone operator has not yet been caught suggests a level ofhiicatio thats creating a headache here, especially for those passengers who have no idea tonight when this airport will reopen. jeff. >> glor: a huge international airport closed down because of drones, just remarkable. roxana, thank you. a.a.a. says this is the worst
day to travel if you're headed out for the holidays. bad weather is making it even harder right now. suspected tornadoes tore through a trailer park in florida today as millions begin their journeys. here's manuel bojorquez. >> reporter: severe weather is slamming florida just as the holiday travel rush is getting under way. in manatee county, near tampa, debbie rhodden and her family hunkered down as a tornado tore through their neighborhood this morning. high winds toppled trees and plredded roofs. >> it was quite frightening. it was scary. it was extremely quick. we could have been killed, very lucky. >> reporter: in southwestern florida, this north fort myers family cried after the roof was nearly blown off their home. officials say 70 mobile homes fici damaged by a tornado and declared unsafe at this demmunity in zephyrhills. and in leesburg, the storm mangled this home, leaving a trail of debris. heavy rains also flooded streets in tampa on one of the worst travel days of the season.
that's concerning millions of east coast drivers as the storm system tracks north. here in lake wales, florida, wople are starting to clean up after a tornado damaged this home and injured a woman inside. parts of the state could see even more heavy rain tonight as the system moves north. jeff. >> glor: all right, manny, thank you very much. eric fisher is chief meteorologist at wbz in boston. eric, good to see you. where are the big problem areas eonight? >> jeff, good evening to you. those strong storms in florida right now pushing down towards the miami area. it might be the solstice tomorrow, but it's all green on the radar, meaning all rain with this storm system, a bit of a grinch storm for parts of the northeast. that tropical moisture will be lifting northward throughout the night and throughout the day on friday. it will sense that draw to the tropics, drawing up all that moisture and heavy rainfall. a lot of spots on the eastern seaboard have already seen their wettest year on record and have flood watches in effect adding to those yearly totals. we have also got very warm air
for december, a chance of record highs in the northeast corridor, but it's going to be a rough friday at the airports, as well as on the interstates, with some a that heavy rain moving on through. mostly rain, but on the back end with the cold, a chance of in the appalachians. late friday into saturday. so some people, at least, seeing some snowflakes in the lead-up to christmas. jeff. ng glor: it's amazing all the rain and wind but so warm. eric, thank you very much. russian president vladimir putin warned today the u.s. withdrawal from a cold war treaty raises the risk of nuclear war. putin spoke at a lengthy news conference in moscow where he also had some praise for president trump. charlie d'agata was there. >> reporter: it was one of the easiest questions president putin faced today "donald's right," he said, about president riesident trump's decision to pull u.s. pull u.s. forces out of syria. >> ( translated ): as for defeating isis, i do generally
agree with the president of the united states. we've achieved some major advances when it comes to omfeating the terrorists, and we have struck major blows on terrorists in syria. >> reporter: but he then added it was "illegitimate" for u.s. troops to be there in the first place. the three-hour, 43-minute press conference included questions on everything from rap music to putin's marital status. although the subject matter can be serious, the annual president putin press conference takes on almost a festive atmosphere, with some people even dressing for the occasion. but few would have expected putin to raise the specter of a nuclear war when he criticized president trump's threat to pull fut of a treaty which bans both countries from basing certain missiles in europe. >> ( translated ): this might entire civilization and maybe our planet. if those missiles would be positioned in europe, what will we do? we need to ensure we are safe.
>> reporter: president putin is still hoping to meet with president trump, despite an abrupt cancellation three weeks ago. he says there is a lot for the to men to discuss. jeff. >> glor: okay, charlie, thank you. we move now to a vicious, deadly attack on two young women who were on a camping trip in the mountains of morocco. their alleged attackers claim to be members of isis. david begnaud is following this. >> reporter: the victims were on vacation together in morocco. 24-year-old louisa jespersen, from denmark, and 28-year-old maren ueland from norway went to college together. their bodies were found in a remote region where they were camping. it's a popular spot for tourists. four suspects have been arrested. investigators released photos of three of them. moroccan prosecutors said the men pledged allegiance to isis in a video that was made before the killings. there are reports that the women had stab wounds to their necks. officials say police have video
surveillance of three people pitching a tent near where the victims were staying. ( speaking foreign language ) a moroccan government spokesman called this a "terrorist criminal act." morocco is a popular destination for tourists. with more than 13 million people from around the world visit annually. just last month, jespersen posted on facebook asking her friends for advice on the region. so three of the suspects were caught actually trying to board a bus to leave the country. they had long knives and slingshots on them. authorities say, jeff, of the four people they arrested, they think they've got all their men. >> glor: horrible story, but good to you have here two nights in a row, and permanently in new york now. >> thank you. >> glor: thank you. coming up next here on the cbs evening news, the unusual way an iraq veteran and triple amputee is raising millions to help pay for the president's border wall. and later why bigger waistlines are the new normal. the new normal. to have a cigarette.d
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veteran believes he's come up e'th a way to pay for the controversial border wall-- rrowd-sourcing on social media. tony dokoupil reports donations are pouring in. >> reporter: if congress won't fund the border wall, iraq war iteran brian kolfage says he will, along with more than 100,000 supporters and counting. >> people put their money where aeir mouth is and they're tanding up and that's why it exploded so fast. >> reporter: since sunday, his gofundme campaign has raised more than $8 million with donations ranging from $5 to $50,000. t we are going to build the wall, 100%, and mexico is going to pay for the wall. don't worry about it. >> reporter: i don't mean this to be flip, but i thought mexico was going to pay for the wall. >> i think we thought a lot of people were going to pay for the wall. i think we're all just kind of .ick of waiting around, and we want action. we want to takti >> reporter: kolfage, who lost three limbs during his second deployment to iraq in 2004, says he does support immigration, if it's legal.
>> we need the wall for our national security. we need to enforce the laws, and we need to uphold the laws. >> reporter: i don't mean this m a flip way, either, but how would you feel if hillary clinton supporters created a campaign to tear down the wall you build. >> this is america and if that's what they want to do and they can pull it off, that's their right to do it. >> reporter: gofundme says this is the largest goal ever started on the site and if it's not reached, the billion dollars will go back to all the people who donated. he has a pace of about $1 million a day, jeff. but that pace is picking up. if it's $1 million a day, it will be reached some time in a second trump term. >> glor: what a story. nice job, tony, thank you. up next, have you noticed anything strange about hersh kisses? you notice anything strange about hershey's kisses?
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the s&p fell by nearly 40. the nasdaq lost 108 points and is down 19.5% from its record high in august. it is not what you want to hear heading into the holidays, but americans are gaining weight. the c.d.c. reports women's weight has risen, on average, from 163 pounds in 2000 to 170 now. actually closer to 171. men are up from 189 to 198. since 1960s, americans are 30 pounds heavier. men are down in height, about a tenth of an inch in a decade. women remain about the same. hershey's is dealing with somets may have nicisar in w me bakers are complaining r cakd cook look. hershey sahat it is working to make kisses cute again. up next, a real-life elf a long way from santa's workshop. real-life elfa long way from santa's workshop.
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no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be. otezla. show more of you. >> glor: even santa and his elves can use some help. don dahler shows us the second dusiest place on earth. >> "dear santa, i've tried my very best to be good." t reporter: not all the millions of letters sent to santa every year make it to the north pole.
some end up in santa claus, indiana. marian balbach is the town postmaster. >> letters addressed to santa, there's probably 20,000 to 30,000 a year. >> reporter: rather than forwarding them all the way to hee arctic, the u.s. postal service directs them here, where about 200 volunteer elves read every one. >> "dear santa, for christmas i want a hamster, fixed to not have babies." ( laughs ) >> reporter: and they answer werry one. 87-year-old mrs. cook is the chief elf. she's been at it for 78 years. >> i think it is so wonderful that children believe in santa claus in this electronic age. >> reporter: featur the town in930,anan like snowflakes on a winter's day. >> "i hope you continue to try to be good." >> reporter: it's not just the epildren whose holidays are made brighter by these personal messages.
for many of the elves, this is the high point of their year. he i think it's one of the things we say volunteers get hooked. >> reporter: especially when the letter writer has a parent who wh somewhere else, serving the aruntry. >> we have letters from children whose parents are deployed and, of course, that's a special letter for us. >> reporter: the elves make no promises about what santa will bring. they don't see their job as theyilling dreams. >> and what do we want for christmas this year? >> an iphone. y an iphone! >> reporter: their job is to keep those dreams alive. don dahler, cbs news, new york. >> glor: that is tremendous. and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. i'm jeff glor. we'll see you tomorrow. have a good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
a bay area chef mysteriously killed in his bed. now two people have been charged with a murder for hire plot. the biggest name in vaping closes a deal with big tobacco. a network of shoplifters doing serious damage, the bay area hotspot for retail theft and how police are fighting back. kpix5 news at 6:00 begins right now with a bombshell twist in the death of a chef. friends struggle to understand who woul him dead now two people are charged in a murder for hire scheme. police say maria moore and marvel salvant could face the death penalty if convicted. we have a report from the hall of justice.
>> reporter: the motive apparently was over money. police say the suspect apparently killed the victim to try to collect insurance money. in court a suspect's mother tells me her son is innocent. >> it is killing me. it is taking a toll on me. >> reporter: the mother marvel salvant does not believe the charges. she says her son is not a killer. >> to i think? i know! this is not my son. this is not my son. >> reporter: she says dropbox is a good man who loves to make.