tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS December 13, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
11:00 tonight. captioning sponsored by cbs >> pelley: a big oil man tops the trump cabinet. exxon-mobil's c.e.o. with strong ties to russia is the choice for secretary of state. and rick perry could head a department he'd just as soon forget. >> i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> pelley: also tonight, the final words from a doomed freighter, and angry words from a widow. >> i would have thrown the captain overboard and tried the save myself and the ship. >> pelley: a former pro football player faces criminal charges in an alleged health insurance fraud exposed by cbs news. >> how much are they making? >> oh, millions. >> pelley: and a woman who couldn't get a job is now rolling in dough. >> chocolate chip and money.
>> exactly. money, honey. this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: today president-elect donald trump named the c.e.o. of exxon-mobil, rex tillerson, to be secretary of state. the senior member of the cabinet. tillerson was chosen because he's made successful deals with heads of state all around the world, but those could be ties that bind. tillerson, for example, has a close business relationship with vladimir putin of russia. the lifelong oil man has no government experience, but he did convince exxon to acknowledge climate change. also today, mr. trump picked another texan, former governor rick perry, to head the energy department, a department that perry once vowed to scrap. major garrett begins our coverage. >> we just couldn't be more
grateful that someone of rex tillerson's proven will leadership and accomplishment has been willing to step forward to serve our nation as our next secretary of state. >> reporter: rex tillerson's move from exxon-mobil c.e.o. to secretary of state nominee began with a meeting last month between vice president-elect mike pence and former secretary of state condoleezza rice. rice, along with fellow former secretary of state james baker and former defense secretary robert gates strongly recommended tillerson for the post. after his second face-to-face meeting with mr. trump on saturday, tillerson emerged as the president-elect's choice, beating out candidates such as mitt romney, rudy giuliani, and balk corker. >> and to me, a great advantage, is he knows many of the players and he knows them well. he does massive deals with russia. >> reporter: those deals with russia may be tillerson's biggest hurdle to confirmation. he's grown so close to president vladimir putin, he was ordered russia's order of friendship in
2013. >> certainly it should be a matter of concern. >> reporter: republican senators like arizona's john mccain have expressed concern about the tillerson pick. >> maybe those ties are strictly commercial and got to do with his business in the oil business, fine. we'll give him a fair hearing. >> reporter: but mccain's fellow senator from arizona jeff flake tweeted support of g.o.p. establishment figures "carries considerable weight." president-elect trump has also selected former texas governor rick perry as energy secretary, the agency he famously could not name during a 2012 presidential debate. >> the third agency of government i would do away with, the education, the... >> reporter: perry joins an emerging trump cabinet at odds with some of the core missions of their agencies. the nominee for the department of health and human services wants to repeal obamacare. the nominee for the environmental protection agency has previously filed suits against the agency over
regulation, and the nominee for labor secretary wants to repeal regulations guaranteeing overtime pay and worker safety. here in wisconsin, supporters started lining up for tonight's rally this morning in temperatures well below freezing. scott's, the state's recently concluded added 131 votes to mr. trump's margin of victory. >> pelley: major garrett, thanks. our state department correspondent margaret brennan takes a look at the ties between the exxon tiger and the russian bear. >> we have a very close relationship. i don't agree with everything he's doing. >> reporter: rex tillerson has worked with russian president vladimir putin since 1999, negotiating billion dollar oil deals that benefited both exxon and state-owned russian energy giant rosneft. tillerson said earlier this year that their relationship was strictly business. >> but i'm not here to represent the united states' government's interests. i'm not here to defend it, nor am i here to criticize it.
that's not what i do. i'm a businessman. >> reporter: he strongly opposed u.s. financial sanctions on russia, put in place after they invaded parts of ukraine and carried out war crimes in syria. if the sanctions were lifted, exxon consumed resume certain energy products in russia. >> he's much more than a business executive. he's a world-class player. >> reporter: tillerson also has deep relationships in many of the nearly 60 foreign countries where exxon-mobil operates. those include strained allies like saudi arabia and qatar and countries with questionable human rights records like chad and angola. unlike president-elect trump, tillerson is subject to federal conflict of interest laws and will have to shield himself from his significant business interests. tillerson currently owns well over $200 million of company stock, and exxon's board is meeting soon to decide how to unwind his financial stake. former ambassador and white house counsel norman eisen.
>> you have such a huge portfolio, your decision affect industry. a single statement or tweet can move an entire market, so you need to be very, very conflict-free. >> reporter: since tillerson's name first surfaced as a potential secretary of state, exxon-mobil shares have gained about 6%. scott, the question here at the state department is whether tillerson will oppose high-stakes foreign policy challenges as a deal maker or as a diplomat. >> pelley: margaret brennan, thanks. here in new york at trump tower, there is a steady flow of the rich and famous visiting the president-elect. vogue editor-in-chief anna wintour was there today. so were former football stars jim brown and ray lewis. and rap mogul kanye west who says he talked to mr. trump about multicultural issues including bullying and urban violence was. there. west once said he too wants to
run for president. now to a grim reality that the new president will face right away. his first foreign policy challenge is likely to be syria. tonight the syrian dictatorship and its russian allies say they have broken the rebellion in the country's largest city, aleppo. rebels are evacuating now after years of siege, starvation, and devastating air strikes. last night thousands protested at the russian consulate in istanbul, turkey, demanding an end to the bloodbath. aleppo once held two million residents and treasures of early civilization, but there is nothing like civilization there today. debora patta reports. >> reporter: the situation today was described by the united nations as a complete meltdown of humanity. [gunfire] the u.n. said it had evidence that pro-government militias massacred 82 civilians, some in their homes, others as they tried to run away.
11 women and 13 children were among them. eyewitnesses described streets lined with bodies, people too scared to collect their loved ones for fear of being shot. activists abdulhafi alhamdo is in eastern helpo. >> we are facing one of the most difficult or the most serious or the most horrible massacres that is in history. >> reporter: for the injured, there is no medical help. this man desperately tries to put out the flames that engulfed his body. and drenched in misery, civilians make a last attempt to get out. these children are utterly defenseless. all they have is each other for protection. the syrian military has now taken back aleppo and couldless
civilians have paid for this with their lives. in a conflict that already has a long list of atrocities committed against civilian, scott, the past 48 hours has been even worse. however, the russians and the syrians have denied any wrongdoing, saying now that aleppo is fully under their control, all military operations have stopped. >> pelley: debora patta in beirut tonight. deborah, thank you. four marine sergeants are facing court-martial for their role in the alleged abuse of recruits at the parris island boot camp in south carolina. they're the first to be charged, but as david martin reports, almost certainly not the last. >> reporter: it's 6:30 a.m., and these recruits have been up since 4:00. the training at parris island is supposed to be tough, but investigations have found it to be downright cruel. drill instructors abusing, humiliating and hazing recruits,
none of it permitted according to commanding general austin renforth. >> when you put your hands on a young man or woman, you have crossed a line, and we're not going to tolerate it. rawft but these investigations show it was tolerated until last spring when the abuses came to light. an e-mail sent to the white house entitled "concerned loved ones of innocent recruits" described incidents of drill instructors withholding food, drinking on the job, calling recruits terrorist, using homophobic slurs and warning them that snitches get stitches. the most notorious case involving a muslim recruit who allegedly jumped to his death after being slapped by a drill sergeant is still under investigation. that same drill instructor allegedly ordered another muslim recruit into a clothes dryer. renforth was supposed to fix all this when he assumed command. >> you can't jump them? >> no. >> can't slap them?
>> no. >> reporter: can they call them names? >> they cannot. any allegation of recruit abuse comes directly to me. >> reporter: but since then, one recruit has died after bein3 found unresponsive in his bunk and a second is in critical condition after jumping from a second-floor landing. both cases are still under investigation, although neither appears to involve abuse. the earlier incidents of abuse documented in these investigations are expected to result in more charges ranging from assault to dereliction of duty. but renforth says the training at parris island will remain as tough, though not as cruel, as ever. david martin, cbs news, parris island, south carolina. >> pelley: in the weather, it will be bitter cold tonight in the upper midwest, and jamie yuccas is covering the arctic blast. >> reporter: minnesota knows how to deal with frigid temperatures. as a matter of fact, this is a beat-the-cold party happening in one family's backyard. you can see they've turned it into an ice rink.
the upper midwest and great lakes regions will both deal with 15 to 20-degree below normal temperatures for the rest of the week. that arctic air will then head east and new england could see record-breaking low temperatures by thursday. there's another storm system brewing in the pacific northwest, and that means that temperatures will be below normal for half of the country as that cold airheads south and east, scott. >> pelley: jamie yuccas, thanks. there are criminal charges tonight after a cbs news investigation into an alleged fraud that cost u.s. taxpayers $2 billion last year. jim axelrod and producer emily rand broke the story. >> picked off. >> reporter: former college and nfl linebacker monte groh surrendered at the federal courthouse in miami to face charges of conspiracy to defraud
the government, health care fraud, taking kickbacks and money laundering for his part in the nationwide fraud. >> every patient that i have loves these products. >> reporter: that cbs news exposed last year. one of the people working with groh was this woman. she peddled pain cream to members of the military at no cost to them. >> here's this amazing cream. it's completely free. all you have to do is type in your number online and submit it. >> reporter: she told us tri-care, the military's health benefit plan, paid out relatively $25,000 for a one-month supply. >> if you want to feel bad or do your own research, you can do like the rest of us did. we got over it quick once we started making our money. >> reporter: she turned herself in last friday to face a charge of conspiracy to receive kickbacks. cbs news has learned she was just one of dozens working with groh to generate business for a compounding pharmacy in florida. >> how much is the pharmacy making? >> oh, millions.
>> reporter: groh had nothing to say as he left the courthouse this afternoon. monte groh is out on $600,000 bond. he had to surrender his passport. scott. >> pelley: and there was no evidence these pain creams ever actually worked. jim axelrod, thank you. coming up next on the "cbs evening news," confusion and chaos as a crew of 33 disappears in the bermuda triangle.
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the night before at 11.14, the ship's third mate warned davidson, "within hours we'll be 22 miles from the center with gusts up to 120 and strengthening." he then said of his captain, "i trust what he's saying, it's just being 20 miles away from 100-knot winds, this doesn't even sound right." patricia quammie's husband theo was a member of the crew. >> i would have thrown the captain overboard and tried to save myself and the ship. it's just devastating that something like this happened. >> reporter: around 4:00 a.m., the captain returned to the bridge, downplaying the rough seas. this is every day in alaska, he said. an hour later it was clear the captain was wrong. the ship's engineer was worried. "i've never seen it list like this. i've never seen it hang like this. " at 5:43, the "el faro" was taking on water. the captain finally said, "we got a problem." 30 minutes later the ship lost propulsion. at 6:55, the captain made his
first of two distress calls. "we are in dire straits right now." at 7:29, the crew reported cargo crashing into the ocean as hurricane joaquin pounded the "el faro." captain davidson, "ring the abandoned ship alarm. get into you rafts. everybody get off, get off the ship. stay together. the captain tried to calm the other crew member on the bridge. "you got to get up. you got to snap out of it. we got to get out." the helmsman. "you're going to leave me." "i'm in the heaving you. let's go," the captain said. just seconds before that cuts out, the helmsman said, "i'm gone, or i'm a goner." "no you're not," the captain yelled back. investigators are trying to determine what information the captain had. the storm track e-mailed to him at 11:00 p.m. wasn't downloaded at 11:00 p.m. wasn't downloaded for nearly six hours. >> pelley: kris van cleve,
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>> pelley: cuisinart is recalling eight million food processors because parts of the metal blades can break off. 30 people have been injured. the processor sold between 1996 and 2015. the list is on the consumer product safety commission web site. soccer's biggest star has met his biggest fan. last year five-year-old ahmadi was pictured wearing a lionel messi shirt made of a plastic bag. today they met and posed for a picture with messi's barcelona teammates. today the man who dreamed up the ice bucket challenge received the inspiration award. pete frates is too ill to attend the ceremony, so they brought
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>> pelley: now the sweet smell of success. jim axelrod tells us it's coming from collette's kitchen. >> reporter: like any other budding entrepreneur, collette devitto guards her company's proprietary information quite carefully. this is the recipe? >> yes, it is. >> reporter: but it's secret? >> it's a secret, yes, it is. >> reporter: we can't... >> no. >> reporter: but coal et, born
26 years ago with down syndrome, is not like any other entrepreneur. >> it's my dream. >> reporter: it's you dream. her kitchen always made her happy, but when she kept getting rejected for jobs, she decided it was going to make her money, and collettey's cookies was born. you smell chocolate chip and money. >> money, honey. >> reporter: rosemary alfredo is her mother. >> i think all of that rejection made her say, i'll show them. >> reporter: so she sold cookies to the golden goose, whose owner was the only grocer in boston to give her shelf space. the entrepreneur has already started a cookie business in boston. then the cbs station ran a story that went viral. now she has to fill 4,000 orders from around the country with a dozen per order, collette has to
bake 50,000 cookies. >> okay. >> reporter: the commonwealth kitchen, a non-profit business incubator, has stepped in to help her scale up and collette is now closer to her real dream. your successful company will be a model for other people with disabilities. >> exactly. >> reporter: they'll say, if collette can do it... >> they can do it. >> reporter: turns out the secret ingredient she bakes into her cookies is not such a mystery after all. is the secret ingredient you've been protecting so much, it is love? >> yes, it is. always, always love. >> reporter: which makes both the khakis and the special young woman baking them about as sweet as they come. jim axelrod, cbs news, boston. >> pelley: i'll take a dozen. for all of us at cbs news all around the world
tonight, why kanye met with trump. >> he's a good man. >> i'm at trump tower. why this was one of kanye's first stops after being hospitalizzd for a breakdown. >> i'll see you soon. >> we have new details about their private meeting. >> plus what orlando bloom is telling us about his girlfriend katy perry. >> it's amazing that we can do this together. and -- ♪ >> james corden gets his dream guest. >> bruno mars. bruno mars. bruno mars. >> and "e.t." gets four secrets from their epic carpool karaoke. >> look -- plus inside j. law's and chris pratt's insult war. >> where do you keep your office? >> humiliating, but hilarious. why these co-stars are ripping on each other. >> i recently told you that you act like adele