tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS February 25, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
we're back in the 30s by >> pelley: tonight's republican debate takes on new urgency. it could be the last chance to catch trump before next week's super tuesday. also tonight, elizabeth palmer takes us inside syria at a turning point in the civil war. >> reporter: there is certainly no cease-fire here at the moment, and there's not going to be any time soon. >> pelley: daylight reveals the destruction done by a night of violent storms. and will this idea take off? plans for a widebody aircraft
>> at the end of the day, it's all about making money. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: tonight, the five republican presidential candidates are holding their final debate before super tuesday, the 12 primaries and caucuses that could be the turning point. for some it is a fight for survival, but for dominant donald trump, he is expected to draw most of the fire tonight, and now his tax returns have become an issue. major garrett is in the debate city of houston. major? >> reporter: scott, republicans here all agree-- tonight could be one of the last chances to slow donald trump's momentum before key contests in his republican rivals' home state. a new poll here in texas shows ted cruz ahead, and john kasich has been leading in ohio. but another poll put marco rubio well behind trump in his home state of florida. today, trump focused on a different republican candidate,
the feud between mitt romney and donald trump started yesterday when romney repeated his call for trump to release his tax returns. trump then took to twitter to call romney one of the worst g.o.p. candidates ever and a dope. trump also tweeted a picture of himself signing what he said was a recent tax return. the caption, "isn't this ridiculous?" the tax issue bedeviled romney in the 2012 campaign after democratic senate leader harry reid made a similar claim to what romney is now saying about trump. >> the word's out that he hasn't paid any taxes for 10 years. let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn't. >> reporter: the accusation was later debunked. for his part, trump has boasted he tries to keep his tax bill low. >> i fight like hell not to pay taxes. i hate the way the government spends my money. >> reporter: and he noted on twitter that, "tax returns have zero to do with someone's net
romney's response, "me thinks the conald doth protest too much." trump's g.o.p. rivals marco rubio and ted cruz have both pledged to release their returns. >> they're not very exotic, but we will release them. >> i haven't made enough money that my tax returns are interesting. >> reporter: donald trump is on a three-state winning street and won 60% of the delegates awarded so far. tuesday presents the biggest haul of all-- 595 delegates, just under half of the amount required to secure the republican nomination. >> >> pelley: the next democratic debate-- i should say primary, is saturday in south carolina. here's nancy cordes. >> we could just turn this into a revival. >> reporter: hillary clinton's inner preacher came out today as he courted black crowds in south carolina low country. >> i think we need more singing, don't you? i sing because i'm happy. i sing because i'm free!
bernie sanders was focused on minorities, too, meeting with residents in water-stricken flint. >> people were coming saying, this, water is brown. we're getting rashes," and they continued to ignore it. >> reporter: neither candidate can win in the delegate-rich super tuesday states without minority support. in 2008, african americans alone made up half of the democratic electorate in alabama and georgia, and nearly a third in virginia and tennessee. 32% of democratic voters in texas were hispanic. >> when you have people like trump saying that mexicans are rapists or criminals, that is an outrage. >> reporter: a new national poll finds clinton leading sanders among hispanic voters by a margin of two to one. she has a similar wedge african americans though her husband's crime bill has been a sticking point for some. two black lives matters protesters interrupted a clinton fund-raiser in charlestown last
>> well, can i talk? and maybe you can listen to what i say. >> reporter: the protesters were escorted out, and clinton later said she was sorry for some of the terms she used in the 90s, including the use of the phrase "super predators." she was using the term to describe violent young gang members, but now, 20 years later, says it was a poor choice of words. both clinton and sanders want to reform the way drug crimes, in particular, are handled, scott, because they say too many young blacks and latinos are ending up behind bars. >> pelley: this evening, president obama claimed progress against the isis terrorist group in syria. he said that isis has lost 40% of its territory, cut the pay of its troops, and is reduced to using civilians as human shields. but the wider war in syria is not going mr. obama's way. american-backed rebels are on the run.
the first time in years because of russian air support and iranian troops. it is rare fair reporter to get into syria, but our elizabeth palmer covered the dictator's advance today through an apocalyptic land. >> reporter: this used to be a neighborhood. now it's a battlefield. where the syrian army says it's got the enemy on the run. there's just been an air strike behind me. we're about five miles from the center of damascus, and the syrian army is trying to clear this suburb of opposition fighters. there is certainly no cease-fire here at the moment and there's not going to be at any time soon. solmer, one of the syrian soldiers, takes take us to see the buildings half a mile away where he says the rebels are now hiding. overhead, we can hear the helicopters scouting their target. then...
what are they hitting, solmer? >> they're terrorists, he says. those are barrel bombs? barrel broms basically canisters filled with explosives rolled out of a chopper. they're cheap but horribly inaccurate. and are there any civilians left over there? "no, no," he says "only fighters, but there are fighters' families, too, cowering under the attacks. nearby, we enter tunnels the soldiers say were dug by fighters with the al qaeda-linked al-nusra front where they hit hid and fought for years. general youssuf, the man in charge, leads the way through ruins he now controls. you're still using air strike nghtz suburbs in order to fight nusra? "yes," he says, "because they're dangerous for syria and the world so we're justified in use
but that means that when this over-stretched and undertrained army does gain ground, its victories look like nothing marine few blocks of rubble. but the truth is, scott, that by now, all sides in this war are completely exhausted, and unlikely as it sounds, just a couple of suburbs over, the army has actually reached a mini truce with the rebels to allow food and supplies to reach civilians. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer with rare firsthand reporting inside syria tonight. elizabeth, thank you. today, the director of the f.b.i. said that his battle with apple is the toughest fight he's faced in government. a federal magistrate ordered apple to unlock the iphone of one of the san bernardino terrorists, but today, apple told the court that order is dangerous. jeff pegues has more. >> reporter: in its filing, apple says the f.b.i. is seek a dangerous power and that it
to 10 apple engineers to create new code that apple callses the government operating system or government o.s. apple said there would even have to be a government forensic lab on company ground that could be used to open hundreds of other seized diswies dwooises in law law enforcement's possession. apple says: the company believes the case triggers first amendment protections, and writing computer code is equivalent to free speech. >> this is the hardest question i have seen in government. >> reporter: f.b.i. director james comey reassured members of congress today that the bureau only wanted access to the iphone used by san bernardino terrorist syed farook. comey said the f.b.i. is stand on firm legal ground, but congress needs to set the limits on how far government investigators can go. >> i'm a huge fan of privacy. i love encryption.
but our need for public safety and our need for privacy are crashing into each other, and we've got to sort that out as a people. >> reporter: apple agrees that congress should have a bigger role in this debate, but, scott, the court case is moving forward. google and facebook are expected to file legal papers in support of apple. >> pelley: jeff pegues for us tonight. jeff, thank you. tornadoes in several states yesterday killed at least four people, including three in waverly, virginia, where we find chip reid tonight. >> man. >> reporter: vincent donald was about to sit down right here to watch tv when the tornado slammed into his mobile home, sheering off the roof and the wall. do you feel lucky to be alive? >> i'm not lucky. i'm blessed. >> reporter: but the tornado tore his neighbor's mobile home from its foundation and sent it sailing across a highway. a two-year-old boy, his father, and another man died.
now you're look at a-plus tires after the tornado. this was theiage door. that up there is the metal that was once the roof. scott, it's a good example of what happens when a tornado metal. >> pelley: and we want to point out, no one was injured in the coast guard incident today. chip, thanks very much. the world's appetite for portable electronics has triggered huge demand for rechargeable batters, but many of these batteries are now bursting into flames in places you would least expect. vinita nair is looking into this. >> reporter: when the fire first ignited, employee as this kentucky gas station thought it was a bomb. e-cigarette that exploded in josh hamilton's pants. he suffered third degree burns. it's just the latest incident involving defective lithium ion batteries that power e-cigarettes. 21-year-old evan spahlinger had to be placed in a medically induced coma for three days
>> it's an alternative to smoking cigarettes. it's supposed to be a safer and a healthier way of doing it. >> reporter: the same battery cells that power e-cigarettes, also power hoverboards. since december there have been 52 reported incidents involving hoverboards catching on fire. jay whitacre is a professor at carnegie mellon university. he said the demand to make these products cheaper and more powerful has led some companies to cut cornerrers. >> what we're seeing right now is a situation where may be of these batteries are simply not made to the same standard as the battery that are made say, at sony or panasonic, which have much more stringent quality control. >> reporter: he says lithion-ion-powered items are considered high-power applications. if their batteries are badly designed when they are charged they can overheat. is it something that the user is doing incorrectly. >> no. in general, with this kind of technology, it's very difficult
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it could seat the traditional three passengers, shift to two people who need dcialg space, including overweight passengers, or even fit a fourth person, like two parents and two small children. >> the airlines will consider anything that allows them to make a buck. >> reporter: ben mutzabaugh is the editor of "usa today's" "today in the sky" blog. >> if we've seen nothing else in the airline industry, they're very clever about coming up with ways to sell seats to passengers, especially when they can charge more for either seats that are better or for seats that are less awful. >> reporter: airbus previously sought patents for a design stacking passengers and this semistanding concept. seat maker zodiac created a hexagon pattern where the middle seat faces the passengers in the eye and window. tennessee congressman stephen cohen worries extra seats could jeopardizize safety making it hard to evacuate in the required 90 seconds as seen in this
he's author add a bill requiring the f.a.a. to set minimum seat-size standards. >> if people can't get out of an airplane in emergency conditions they lose their lives. it shouldn't be afternoon an accident. after an accident, it's too late and people are dead. >> reporter: the big question now, scott, will an airline say they want these seats and will safety regulators ever allow them to be installed in a plane? >> pelley: kris van cleave, thank you, chris. what's killing players in the n.b.a.? what a new study has found next. stock prices, earnings, and dividends... an equity summary score that consolidates the stock ratings of top analysts into a single score... and $7.95 online u.s. equity trades, lower than td ameritrade, schwab, and e-trade, you realize the smartest investing idea isn't just what you invest in,
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i'm jerry bell the second. and i'm jerry bell the third. i'm like a big bear and he's my little cub. this little guy is non-stop. he's always hanging out with his friends. you've got to be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat and be ready to get up. there's no "deep couch sitting." definitely not good for my back. this is the part i really don't like right here. (doorbell) what's that? a package! it's a swiffer wetjet. it almost feels like it's moving itself. this is kind of fun. that comes from my floor? eww! this is deep couch sitting. [jerry bell iii] deep couch sitting! >> pelley: heart problems account for three-quarters of sports-related deaths in young athletes. now, a new study may help save lives, and here's dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: two years ago isaiah austin was one of the nation's top college basketball players. then, a physical before the n.b.a. draft revealed a heart problem, ending his career.
with it, but it was just-- you know, just accepting it, accepting that life is in-- and health is more important than a game. >> reporter: in the u.s., sports-related sudden cardiac death is highest among basketball players. one big question is what's a normal heart size for these athletes? to find out, dr. aaron lane-davies and colleagues reviewed the heart ultrasounds of more than 500 n.b.a. players. when you first saw them, you thought these are big hearts. these are abnormal? the first instinct is to say these hearts are enlong-ranged. we're not used to seeing hearts for people that are this big. the average n.b.a. player is 6'7" and the average weight is 222 pounds. >> reporter: it turns out, like any other muscle, the heart gets bigger with exercise, although the hearts of the n.b.a. players were about 10% thicker than normal, that was not felt to be dangerous. the research establishaise baseline for doctors going forward. and how does this help us? >> this should help us distinguish those changes from
can lead to sudden cardiac death. >> reporter: in addition, they found that the aorta, the major artery leaving the heart, is also bigger in these athletes and knowing that will help with future diagnosis. scott, dr. engel says this is now a model for evaluating athletes in other sports. >> pelley: jon lapook, thank you very much, jon. well, soccer's biggest star came through with heart today for his biggest fan. fan. >> a five-year-old was photographed wearing a lionel messi shirt made from a plastic bag. it went online and messi sent him an autographed shirt from argentina's national team. the bag has been retired. up next, a math teacher's formula for success against the odds. so let's start talking about your long term goals. knowing your future is about more than just you. it's how edward jones makes
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>> pelley: we end tonight with a solution to a math problem that has stumped the best minds for centuries. how do you get school kids to succeed at calculus? here's mireya villarreal. >> reporter: from the outside, lincoln high school does not look like a place that inspires greatness. old, with gates on the windows, in a tough east l.a. neighborhood. >> today is all about making your life easier. >> reporter: but look beyond all of that, and you'll find this man, anthony yom. >> this is almost similar to this guy right here, right? >> reporter: the son of korean immigrants, yom teaches what is considered the hardest class in school, advanced placement calculus. >> one of my strategies, really to make sure to provide that environment where kids are not shamed of asking questions. do you get it? >> reporter: his approach to teaching goes beyond calculating the slope of a curve. yom makes his class meet after schools, on weekends, and even holidays.
>> it's not always fun, but i do know for sure, once they get the score and if i ask them, "hey, was it worth it?" every single one of them say it was so worth it. >> reporter: for three years in a row, every student that has walked into his class has passed the a.p. calculus test. and this year, one student, cedrick argueta, got every question right. >> his style of teaching commands respect and his personality is very likable. he gets ton his students on a personal level. >> reporter: what is the secret here? >> they know that i sincerely care about them, and it's prep for them. >> reporter: with love? >> yeah, with love. >> reporter: cedrick argueta and yom were both ordered by the l.a. school board and president obama invited seg sed rick to the white house science fair. the 17-year-old wants to go to cal-tech and become a rocket scientist, while yom's focus is on his next batch of calculus students. >> this is not rocket science. >> reporter: mireya villarreal, cbs news, los angeles.
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