tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS September 3, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
thanks for watching us at 5:00. "cbs evening news" is next. ley: tonight, president obama on the isis threat. >> our objective is clear. >> pelley: but is it? >> on the president's conflicting signals, nancy cordes tells us congress is demanding a clear strategy. did hackers help themselves to credit card numbers of do-it- yourselfers? elaine quijano has home depot's warning to customers. two men wrongly convicted of rape a are free after three decades in prison. michelle miller on how science saved one from death row. and chip reid goes along on a google search for some of the planet's oldest residents. >> and you think about what these things have seen, it's-- it's mind-boggling. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
>> pelley: good evening. this is our western edition. after the beheading of a second american by sunni muslim terrorists, president obama said today "whatever these murderers think they will achieve, they have already failed." the president said america's resolve has been stiffened by the horrific acts of the group known as the islamic state of iraq and syria. the execution of reporter steven sotloff was shot on video and posted yesterday on the web, just like the beheading of journalist james foley last month. but mr. obama, who was criticized for not having a strategy for attacking isis bases in syria, sent conflicting signals today. major garrett was traveling with the president in estonia. >> reporter: president obama today called the beheading of steven sotloff barbaric and said the killers would be brought to justice. >> we will not be intimidated.
their horrific acts only unite us as a country and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists. >> reporter: the president used some of his strongest language to date to describe the u.s. goal of defeating the terror group also known as isil. >> our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy isil so it is not longer a threat not just to iraq but also the region and to the united states. >> reporter: but later, the president stepped back from that language. >> if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink isil's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem. >> reporter: white house officials explained the president meant that before isis can be destroyed, the u.s. and its allies must manage to degrade its finances and roll back its territorial gains. it remains unclear if mr. obama
will expand air strikes against isis from iraq into its stronghold in neighboring syria. today, the president called for a united front. >> it is very important from my perspective that when we send our pilots in to do a job, that we know that this is a mission that's going to work, and we've got allies behind us so that it's not just a one-off but it's something that over time is going to be effective. >> reporter: the first day of nato meetings here is supposed to be about ending the war in afghanistan and beefing up long-deficient nato defense budgets. but, scott, confronting isis is likely to dominate a special sideline meeting the president has organized with the leaders of great britain, germany, france and italy. >> pelley: major garrett in wales for us tonight. major, thanks. president obama ordered more troops into iraq to help secure the embassy and airport in baghdad.
mr. obama first returned troops to iraq in june to help iraqi forces with intelligence and advice on isis. with today's addition, it will soon be up to 1,200 americans. the most dramatic language about isis today came from vice president biden in new hampshire. >> when people harm americans, we don't retreat. we don't forget. we take care of those who are grieving. and when that's finished, they should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice because hell is where they will reside. ( applause ) hell is where they will reside. >> pelley: but the question is, how do you make them go? members of congress are pressuring the president for a strategy. nancy cordes is on capitol hill for us tonight. nancy? >> reporter: and, scott, the beheading of a second u.s. journalist was really a galvanizing moment. we saw a huge increase today in the number of lawmakers calling
for swift military action. and republicans in particular are pushing the president to devise a strategy quickly, to articulate it, and to act on it. most of them tell us they do not believe the president needs their approval to launch air strikes in syria, at least not at first. but just in case, several lawmakers plan to introduce proactive legislation granting him that authority when congress returns next week. republican frank wolf of virginia is one of them. >> this group is moving. they are a violent group. you cannot negotiate with them. you cannot sit down and reason with them. >> reporter: the president tried to get congressional approval to strike the syrian regime last year, but he didn't get it. lawmakers tell us they believe this situation is different, and they see a clear threat to national security. scott?
>> pelley: nancy, thanks. >> pelley: at the nato summit in wales tomorrow, the allies will also be addressing the crisis in ukraine, where the government is battling pro-russian rebels. in response to that situation, the president is sending more u.s. air force units and aircraft to the baltics. and the u.s. will contribute troops to a nato rapid response force in eastern europe. more now from mark phillips. >> reporter: there's been a lot of saber rattling in eastern europe lately-- nato exercises with troops from all over the alliance staged deliberately in poland, lithuania, estonia, countries on the front line with russia. now nato says it's going to make this kind of deployment more permanent with its new rapid- reaction force. about 4,000 strong, a spearhead, they call it. the spear clearly pointed at vladimir putin and his eastern european ambitions, which were apparently not satisfied when he annexed crimea earlier this year.
the west was caught flat-footed teen. >> what they're deciding on now is something that can respond much more quickly. >> reporter: alex nicholl of the international institute of strategic studies: >> if the situation arises where an ally comes under threat, perhaps in the baltic, that nato is able to respond very quickly, at 48 hours' notice, and take some action which might deter any further action by another country. >> reporter: "might" is a big word. >> well, i think that the-- yes. >> reporter: vladimir putin, visiting mongolia today, has proposed a peace plan for ukraine, but one that would leave pro-moscow rebels in control of the areas they now hold. putin has a strategic advantage in this standoff with nato. he doesn't have to get agreement from 28 countries before acting. putin's more nimble. >> he's absolutely able to be more nimble, and, of course, toat's not going to go away.
>> reporter: nato's new rapid- response force is designed to be nimble, but it is still a conventional military response to a russian leader who has been using unconventional means, and who, scott, has had nato scrambling to come up with a strategy to reassure its new eastern members. members. >> pelley: mark phillips in london for us tonight. mark, thank you. back here today, home depot told its customers to take a close look at their credit card accounts as it investigates a possible security breach. it is not yet known how extensive this may be or how many customers could be affected, but elaine quijano is looking into it. >> reporter: late today, home depot said it was working with leading i.t. security firms, including semantic and fish net security, to investigate the possible breach. it also posted this warning for customers: "we're looking into some unusual activity that might indicate a possible payment data breach,
and we're working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate." the possible data theft was first reported by brian krebs, the same security blogger who uncovered the breach at target of 40 million debit and credit card accounts. it took months before the retailer fully understood and disclosed the scale of the hack. sally greenberg is executive director of the national consumer's league. >> we can't continue to have situations where consumers find out in dribs and drabs over a prolonged period of time that their data may have been compromised. that's why we need to all agree on a national data breach information standard which says these are the steps you have to take if your company's data may have been breached. >> reporter: almost half of all adults in the u.s. have been affected by data breaches in the past year. most states have their own laws governing how companies notify customers after a cyber attack, but there is no uniform national standard. efforts to pass one stalled in congress this year.
what's more likely is the move to credit and debit cards embedded with computer chips that are more secure than cards with only magnetic stripes. scott, we spoke to the largest u.s. maker of those cards today. they say demand this year has tripled. >> pelley: seems like there's another one of these every week. elaine, thanks very much. the c.d.c. said today the ebola outbreak is likely to spread to more countries. 1,900 people in west africa. among the latest to be infected is a third american missionary. jeff glor tells us about him. >> reporter: dr. rick sacra has been making trips to west africa since the mid-80s. on august 2 this year, he posted a facebook message sending well wishes to his friends kent brantly and nancy writebol after they'd been diagnosed with ebola in liberia. sacra then volunteered to go himself. bruce johnson runs the s.i.m. aid group. >> i remember the day i got the word that rick said, "send me back in."
and i just-- i just literally kind of went, wow. what commitment of an individual knowing that he was going into potential harm's way. >> reporter: sacra was not working in an ebola clinic. he was delivering babies in an obstetrics wing. s.i.m. says upon diagnosis, he immediately isolated himself and is now being treated by some of the same doctors he trained. it's not known if he'll come to emory university hospital for care. writebol, released from emory two weeks ago, smoke with us this afternoon. >> probably the darkest moment was the night they put me on the airplane. it was a very-- not knowing whether i'd ever see my husband again, not knowing whether i would live on that flight. it was a very dark moment. >> reporter: doctors have told writebol it could be another six weeks before she's 100% healthy. a lot of people are wondering, would you go back? do you want to go back? >> we haven't made the decision yet. >> reporter: but you're considering it?
>> of course. those are our liberian brothers and sisters. i think the world's reaction tght now and our reaction is not to stay away but to help. >> reporter: with the c.d.c. saying this week the ebola outbreak is spiraling out of control, roughly 200 american aid workers remain in west africa. jeff glor, cbs news, charlotte, north carolina. >> pelley: two brothers wrongfully convicted are tasting freedom for the first time in three decades. and while the queen's away, the guard plays when the "cbs evening news" continues. [ hoof beats ] i wish... please, please, please, please, please. [ sighs ]
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for people who suffer from dry mouth. >> pelley: in north today, two brothers were released from prison after serving 31 years for a crime they did not commit. one of them had been on death row. michelle miller tells us science set them free. >> thank you, jesus! >> reporter: leon brown was 15 when he was arrested. >> with the help of god, i'm here today. >> reporter: henry mccullum was 20 when he was sentenced to death. >> they took 30 years away from me for no reason, but i don't hate.
>> reporter: his first lesson in freedom was how to buckle his seat belt before driving off from prison. >> you pull it down like that. >> reporter: the half-brothers were convicted for the rape and murder of 11-year-old sabrina buie, a child who was fund dead in a soybean field with her underwear stuffed down her throat. brown and mccullum signed a confession written by police after hours of questioning. why did police zero in on them? >> basically, it started with a rumor at school. >> reporter: ann kirby is leon brown's attorney. what went wrong here? >> well, there were so many things that went wrong. number one, no physical evidence tying either leon or henry to the crime, and basically the police stopped after the confessions. >> reporter: the north carolina innocence inquiry commission picked up the case and two months ago linked d.n.a. evidence on a beer can and cigarette butt found at the crime scene to another convicted murderer and rapist. he lived close by. ( applause ) yesterday, a judge threw out brown and mccullum's convictions.
the men, who are described as mentally challenged, still had to spend one more night in jail, but there was no containing the joy of mccullum's step-mother, priscilla. >> our prayers are out for the sabrina buie family. we are praying for them, and we are so glad justice was served and the tr and the truth finally came forth. >> reporter: today, the district attorney said he will reopen this case and look at that new evidence in determining whether or not to charge rosco artis, the man linked to that d.n.a. evidence. scott, he's already serving a life sentence in prison. >> pelley: michelle miller, thank you, michelle. >> pelley: tonight cbs news has learned that tesla motors has chosen nevada as the site for a factory that will make batteries for electric cars. california, texas, arizona and new mexico had been in the running. but the $5 billion plant is expected to be built outside reno, and employ as many as 6,500 workers.
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the police in waldo, florida, are under investigation for their ticket writing. vicente arenas drove there, slowly, to check it out. >> reporter: two of the country's worst speed traps, according to a.a.a., are on this 20-mile road. it's so bad, a driver's group posted this warning. pat burgess lives in waldo, a town of 1,000 people and one stoplight. >> they're just waiting to catch people because they-- they have to write so many tickets in order to meet the budget. >> reporter: waldo's seven police officers wrote nearly 12,000 speeding tickets last year, collecting more than $400,000 in fines, a third of the town's revenue. the problem is there are six different speed limits in just a couple of miles. you come in at 65, drop to 55, then 45, and then 35. now florida is investigating
whether the waldo police department violated a state law banning a ticket quota. gordon smith is the sheriff in neighboring bradford county. that doesn't ring well with you, does it? >> it doesn't because basically what you're doing is you've created this cash cow, or this cash register justice. >> reporter: smith was put in charge of patrolling hampton, nine miles down state highway 301, after the city's police department was disbanded this year. several town officials are suspected of stealing some of the money raised by fines. >> that's legalized robbery, and we shouldn't be doing that. >> reporter: the investigation in waldo began after police officers there filed complaints. the mayor declined our request for an interview, but a spokesperson tells us waldo's police department will also be taken over by county sheriff's deputy for the next 30 days. another sign of change-- the town has asked the state to post just one speed limit here. vicente arenas, cbs news, waldo, florida. >> pelley: the guards at
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>> pelley: 50 years ago president johnson signed the wilderness act to preserve millions of acres of america's natural beauty. now, with that same goal in mind, google has used modern technology to map our ancient lands. here's chip reid. >> reporter: they tower 300 feet into the sky, the length of a football field. and at almost 2,000 years old, northern california's old-growth redwoods are some of the tallest and oldest living things on earth. ben blom is the land manager here at the headwaters forest preserve. there's a blue stripe on that enormous tree behind you. what exactly does that mean? >> that's a mark to cut. so that tree was going to be cut down until headwaters was protected and acquired by the federal government and the state in 1999. >> reporter: that beautiful tree was going to be cut down. >> that and every other every one in this stand.
>> reporter: there are more than 3,000 acres of old-growth redwoods in this remote area, far from the beaten path. the wilderness society's warren alford is capturing the beauty of this forest for others to see. he's a volunteer with google's backpack trekker program. lle tech company started the initiative last year to allow people to see a panoramic view of scenic but hard-to-reach places. alford's backpack is equipped with 15 high-definition cameras, which are constantly taking pictures. >> a lot of times i'll look at a still photograph, and i'll think, "what's on the other side ou that?" and so this thing actually allows us to go through the landscape and give people a chance to really look around. >> reporter: alford hikes with this 45-pound backpack about 18 miles a day. >> there are special places all over the country, and we need to connect americans to these places. >> reporter: google has partnered with conservation groups around the world to
put your hands up! >> now at 6:00, new video of a tense run-in between an off- duty firefighter and a police officer. and you can judge for yourself whether the officer crossed the line. good evening, i'm veronica de la cruz. >> i'm allen martin. new at 6:00, kpix 5's da lin broke the story of the late night run-in and the bad blood between the oakland fire department and police. da. >> reporter: we just got this video and it's not very often that police will release the so- called lapel camera footage and, in fact, this is the first time that i can remember opd releasing this kind of video. >> its a chest camera mounted here to the officer's uniform. it basically records the interaction of the police
officer with someone else. this video apparently captured the entire incident, it happened a few fridays ago involving an oakland police officer mistakenly thinking that an off-duty firefighter thought he was a burglar at this fire station. this video is 45 seconds. we'll listen at the beginning of the footage. keep in mind this video is dark and it happened around 10:45. i want to set it up quickly before we go into the video. at the front of the fire station garage, you'll see two young children hard to see them but there are two young children and inside the fire garage that's the father standing in there. take a listen here. >> put the bag down. >> huh? >> put your hands up! put your hands up! turn around! >> only an oakland firefighter. i [ indiscernible ] door open. i walked through the station. i'm an