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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  February 23, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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s evening news with scott pelley is coming up next. >> the latest news and weather is on our website >> pel >> pelley: tonight, treacherous in texas. the latest winter storm hits the south.an the north is in for another deep freeze. how serious is the terrorist threat against american shopping malls? a cbs investigation, patients sent outrageously expensive prescriptions they didn't order. >> reporter: what is in those creams that is worth $18,000? >> pelley: and a photographer helps veterans reveal their inner selves. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: this is our western edition. much of america it is a dangerous night to be outdoors. there are winter weather advisories across the south, wind-chill advisories across the
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northeast and another storm is sending temperatures plummeting and vehicles skidding across the ice. we have two reports and a forecast. first adriana diaz in texas. adriana? b >> reporter: scott, this is one of dallas' busiest highwayumpe intersections. normally this would be bumper- to-bumper traffic, but this on- and-off sleet storm has brought roadways to a crawl. so far there's been one traffic- related death and 300 accidents. it looked like a monster truck derby on interstate 40 justid outside amarillo. 25 vehicles, mostly semis,br banged up and broken after sliding on icy roadways. outside dallas, drivers had to reverse off an icy highway ramp, and one driver tried to push another up a slippery incline. tony hartzel is from the texas department of transportation. >> sleet is a little more challenging because people think that it's a little like snow
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but it's a lot slicker. it can look passable, but underneath can be black ice. >> reporter: at the dallas airport, more than 1,000 flights were canceled and the "american sniper" murder trial inst stephenville was postponed. this person turned a slushy parking lot into a four-wheel drive skating rink, but it was serious business for the 300 plows and de-icing trucks deployed to stay ahead of the treacherous conditions. >> reporter: i'm anna werner in monterey, tennessee, where after a weekend of treacherous condition, power crews are working overtime. t at the height of this historic ice storm, 50,000 residents were without power, but as the storm subsided and foggy conditions lifted, by this evening power outages were down to 20,000. the main job for emergency personnel today became checking in on elderly residents stuck inin cold homes. >> you still good on food? >> reporter: people like 71-ke year-old bill hites, whose son in indiana was worried and asked police to drop in. he was trying to stay warm using a patio heater, not meant to be
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used indoors, and police found it was leaking carbon monoxide. >> come over to the shelter about 3:30, 4:00. if i don't see you, i'm coming back out here. >> reporter: mr. hites wasr brought to an emergency shelter after he also told police he started his car in his garage trying to stay warm. of the 26 people who have died here in the past week, scott nine died from exposure to the cold. >> pelley: anna werner, thank you very much, anna. now for forecast we'll turn tois eric fisher, the chief meteorologist at our boston station, wbz. eric? >> reporter: scott, we're tracking more messy, wintry weather across the southern states working their way overma toward alabama and georgia. that trend will continue overnight.he as we head through the overnight hours, tomorrow morning's drive, the atlanta metro heading over toward columbia, eventuallye, w closer to charlotte, we're looking at snow, freezing rain and sleet all mixed together. really dangerous conditions out there on the roads. snow totals the heaviest in theci atlanta area, especially the northern part of the metro up into the mountains of north
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carolina. another storm is lined up behind this one. this is wednesday into thursday. pretty much the same area, that i-20 corridor northward lookingd at more significant snowfall. that will wrap up on thursday morning and usher in more cold. cold a big part of the story for tonight. look at tomorrow morning's temperatures out the door. well below zero. record lows likely to fall into the northeast. another batch moves in on wednesday, reinforcing this cold. another arctic front, and that will lead us all the way into the weekend. scott, after that maybe a little improvement. >> pelley: eric, thanks very much. southern california also got a dose of winter weather. it rained the past few days in los angeles, and it has been snowing up in the mountains a rare sight this winter. some ski areas have already closed because it has been so dry. tonight, big bear could get seven inches. >> if you beat the well, if you beat the weather today by going to the mall, you may have been thinking about the new threat made against american shoppers by a terrorist group in east africa.
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that threat came in an online video and here's jeff pegues. >> reporter: the video calls for attacks modeled after the terrorist assault on the westgate mall in nairobi, kenya, in 2013. that attack took 67 people andke made the al qaeda affiliate al- shabaab known worldwide. now the group is urging followers to carry out similar assaults on schooling centers innt the west, with specific mention of america's biggest mall juste outside of minneapolis. >> what if such an attack was to occur in the mall of america in minnesota? >> reporter: the video also encourages attacks on malls in canada and in england, as well as shopping centers run by the company westfield, which operates 38 malls across the united states. however, in a joint intelligence bulletin, the f.b.i. and theit department of homeland security said the video is not an indication of ongoing al-shabaab plotting in the west, but is likely an attempt to gain further attention for the kenya attack. the real threat is from lone wolves who may sympathize with
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the message, presenting law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt plots which frequently involve targets of opportunity. for a few years now, police have been training for lone wolf attacks on malls and schools. ( explosion ) active shooter drills like thison one just outside washington, d.c., emphasize confronting assailants as quickly as possible even while the shooting is still going on. in response to the video, the mall of america has increased security. scott, al-shabaab has found sympathizers in minneapolis' large somali-american populationha where more than 20 people havemp been charged with attempting to join the group. >> pelley: jeff pegues in our washington newsroom tonight. jeff, thanks very much. tonight, in a remarkable investigation, cbs news correspondent jim axelrod and producer emily rand have discovered that unwittingco patients across the country were sent millions of dollars in medications they did not order.on
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the medications are made by compounding pharmacies which mix custom drugs for doctors, but in this case, the combination of the compounding pharmacy with a telemarketer added up to outrageous bills to medicare and private insurance. >> reporter: last april, john picard got a call from a telemarketer about an alternative treatment for pain. what kinds of questions did they ask you? >> do i have ever pain? do i have needs for medication? >> reporter: picard gave then caller permission to speak to his doctor. did you authorize them to seek a prescription? >> no. >> reporter: which is why picard and his wife meryl were surprised when these jars ofs prescription creams and gels showed up three months later. >> our immediate reaction was, oh, my goodness, someone else ordered medication and they sent it to us by mistake. >> reporter: it wasn't a mistake and their insurance had been billed, $2,500 for a pain cream,
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$3,600 for a migraine cream and nearly $13,000 for a scar gel. >> $18,680 and change. >> reporter: you must have been stunned. >> all i saw was egregious billing for something john didn't want, we had no idea how to use, we didn't know what was in it. >> reporter: the call came from a company in american forkmp utah, that went by several names, including action medical and western medical. rachel wurtz worked in the billing department. >> we spoke to a couple, and they were billed $18,000 for these creams. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: three creams. is that unusual? >> no. not for three, oh, no. $18,000 for a one-month supply three creams, that's about right. >> reporter: western medical pitched the creams as a free benefit paid by insurance. if a patient said yes, western medical told their doctor, "one
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of your patients has expressed interest in a non-invasive topical cream to help alleviate pain and sent over pre-written prescriptions for the doctor to sign. why do you believe your doctor signed the prescriptions? >> we had been discussing the topic of pain, and they took advantage of that in the way that memo and that fax implied. >> reporter: sources linked to western medical tell cbs news the company collected up to 200 prescriptions a day, billing them to medicare and private insurance for more than $1 million a week. >> this is really abuse in the marketplace. >> reporter: dr. steve miller is the chief medical officer at express scripts. they paid for john picard creams but recently stopped covering many of them because, dr. miller says, there is no research proving they work. >> if you talk to almost any a pain expert, they will tell us these things work strictly through a placebo response and not through a physiologicalh
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response through pain receptors.hr >> reporter: the creams were formulated and produced at downing labs, a compounding pharmacy in dallas. ashley downing and her husbandba and co-owner chris downing recently hosted this red carpet event to celebrate their pharmacy's multimillion dollar growth. last month we sat down with the downings to ask them about their business. did you have any knowledge that products produced by downing labs were being shipped to people who had not asked for them and insurance companies were being billed at these kinds of rates? >> we became aware that there were issues being made and that people were not happy, and when we then sat down as a company and decided we're no longer going to have a relationship with them. >> reporter: so if i am talking to someone working at western medical and they're telling me that the-- >> i think we should go aheadhi and...
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>> reporter: and just what? >> not do this anymore. this is... i was not prepared for this at all. >> reporter: let me ask you one more question: what is in those creams that is worth $18,000? w >> we don't determine the formulas on, that so i... i'm done. >> or the pricing. >> reporter: the downings said the insurance company sets the price. they declined our repeatedth requests to explain theex relationship with western medical. but during our visit, we saw sales orders for a pharmacy affiliated with western medical for the exact same products they shipped to the picards. >> we're all paying for this. this is not just me and john and our little account.nt these numbers are eventually spread across everyone in terms of what all of us pay in healthte care. >> reporter: in a statement to cbs news following our interview, downing labs said they did-- were not involved in billing the picards and only received the cost of the
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medication and small compounding fee. the owners of western medical declined to comment, and as for the picards, after making numerous complaints, they did get the charges to their insurance reversed. >> pelley: but you have to wonder how many did not. jim, great reporting. thanks very much. we learned today that the academy awards broadcast last night got its lowest rating in six years. still, over 36 million people watched. but that was down from nearly 44 million last year. as often, some actors used the national stage as a soapbox. this was supporting actress patricia arquette. >> it's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the united states of america. >> pelley: and she has a point. according to the census bureau for every dollar a man makes, a woman earns just 78 cents for doing the same job. jericka duncan is adding it up.
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>> i wanted to be able to control my own destiny. >> reporter: for most of her career, financial planner maura griffin says she was paid less than men who were doing the same job. so she launched her own firm to help women close that gap. >> part of my job is coaching them and letting them know how to negotiate. >> reporter: among full-time workers, women earn 18% less a week than men. women c.e.o.s make 20% less. and in the legal profession, women make 43% less than their male counterparts. hollywood is pointing out that divide while women in arts and entertainment are making 21% less. it's an uneven playing field from the start. a year after graduation, men are already earning 7% more than women, according to a study by the american association of university women. and once the salary is set, that gap widens over time. >> what we found is that women are not getting paid equally for equal work with equal
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experience. >> reporter: anna beninger is the director of research at catalyst, a non-profit that promotes more opportunities for women. >> when you think about the impact that a gender wage gap has on someone's lifetime earnings, you know, with women being four out of ten breadwinners these day, it's having a huge impact beyond justth the women themselves. it's impacting our families and it's impacting our economy. >> reporter: scott, if this wage disparity continues at this rate, experts say we won't see equality for women until 2058. >> pelley: jericka duncan reporting tonight. jericka, thank you. new research could change the way doctors treat peanut allergies. and an nfl prospect takes a leap of faith when the "cbs evening news" continues. and an nfl prospect takes a leap of faith when the "cbs
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>> pelley: a new medical study out today could transform the way doctors prevent peanut allergies. turns out keeping kids away from peanuts may be the wrong thing to do. here's dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: eight-year-old evan woollen is enjoying a peanut butter sandwich. when he was a baby, his mother kerry thought this would never happen. >> he was allergic to peanuts. i think it would have developed into an allergy. >> reporter: evan was enrolled in a study challenging the idea that peanuts should be avoided in the first year of life. >> i hat quite a bit of peanuts. i had a peanut snack i had to have three times a week.
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>> reporter: researchers followed more than 600 british babies four to 11 months old who were considered at high risk of developing peanut allergiesa because they had eczema or an egg allergy. one group avoided peanuts.1 the other, that included evan, ate a small amount of peanut protein every week. after five weeks, the kidsin eating peanuts had 81% fewer peanut allergies than the kids not eating them, exactly the opposite of guidelines from 15 t years ago withdrawn in 2008 that recommended excluding peanuts from the diets of infants and toddlers at high risk of allergies. >> i think this should change clinical practice. >> dr. hugh sampson is an expert not involved in the trial. >> i would encourage people with babies between four and eight months of age to come in and getple evaluated and get started on peanut protein if you're at high risk. >> reporter: today evan has no signs of peanut allergies. in fact... >> my favorite food is peanut butter, which does have a lot of nuts in it.
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>> reporter: researchers excluded children who were highly allergic to peanuts based on special skin testing, so dr. sampson suggests that any strategy by parents or other caregivers to give peanuts to either toddlers or infants should definitely include input from a health professional. >> pelley: jon, thanks very much. life is changing dramatically for a single mom who just joinedy a very exclusive club. her story just ahead. for a single mom who just joined a very exclusive club. her story just ahead. that's what i'd like to do. you've tried to forget your hepatitis c. but you shouldn't forget this.
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>> pelley: a strike by 6,000 oil refinery workers has entered its fourth week. it now affects 15 refineries and could pressure gas prices. they're up 26 cents in the past four weeks to a nationwide average $2.30 a gallon. byron jones played football at the university of connecticut, and he hopes to make the leap to the nfl. well, today he auditioned at the scouting combine, and how's this for a leap: a standing broad jump of 12 feet and 3 inches one inch longer than the world record set in 1968. though it's not likely to be recognized as an official record, u.s.a. track and fieldnd took note of it and jones twitter handle, "byron 16 jump." marie holmes has just had a big jump in income. she's one of three winners in this month's $564 million powerball jackpot. she claimed her share today. the other two have not been identified.ti
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holmes is a single mother of four and lives in a trailer in north carolina, but not for long. she's going to take a lump sum of $127 million. that's before taxes. in a moment, we have somet, amazing images to show you of american veterans reflecting on their lives. tep you can take to help prevent another serious disease- pneumococcal pneumonia. one dose of the prevnar 13® vaccine can help protect you ... from pneumococcal pneumonia, an illness that can cause coughing, chest pain difficulty breathing and may even put you in the hospital. prevnar 13 ® is used in adults 50 and older to help prevent infections from 13 strains of the bacteria that cause pneumococcal pneumonia. you should not receive prevnar 13 ® if you've had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine or its ingredients if you have a weakened immune system, you may have a lower response to the vaccine. common side effects were pain, redness,
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>> pelley: 70 years ago this >> pelley: 70 years ago this very day, joe rosenthal of the associated press snapped one of the most famous photos of history, five marines and a navyne corpsman raising the american flag at iwo jima. we'll end tonight with a photographer who uses his camera and a mirror to help veterans open their lives to the world. here's wyatt andrews. >> reporter: the photos askto veterans to reveal who they are as reflected through the mirror. on one side we see what we're used to, proud service membersus in uniform, but on the other is any image the vets show for themselves, their unabashed joy, their unrelenting pain, the liberty to be whatever. >> i love this. >> reporter: here's the concept: the photographer devin mitchell creates the mirror images buts never suggests what anyone should be. >> the only way to get the truthy from anyone is to allow them too
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create what their story is. this is their choice 100%. >> your choice of who you are in your everyday life.. >> reporter: in his everydayte life, marine veteran chris van etten, who lost both legs in afghanistan, now has a modeling career. >> the goal is someone will look at that picture and think, "i need to get going, it will get better." >> reporter: one of the clearest messages is the pain of ptsd. the vets want us to see the drugs, the pills combined withus alcohol they use to fend off depression. marine veteran andrew mclaren sent us this message... >> i'm not going to become a statistic. >> reporter: is his resolve not to be the 22nd veteran today tor: commit suicide. but just before this photo was taken, he unleashed pure anguish at his struggle. >> i want to kill myself everyan day. the only reason i don't do it is because of my kids. >> it's going to be all right.
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>> reporter: it feels like it was hard to be in that room. >> i felt like i was in a place of need. i wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world except for in that exact very spot so that he could have his outlet. >> reporter: you felt like if he needed to get that go, you were happy to be there? >> i needed to be there. there those are the places i wanted to be. i would not change it for anything. >> reporter: but then in so many photos, there is unmistakable celebration, family reunions that no one takes for granted anymore, the pride in having served next to the relief at being home, and a portrait evolves of an earned sense of freedom which was the point of wearing the uniform all along. wyatt andrews, cbs news, san diego. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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tying up the evening commute. we have breaking news on the peninsula that's happening right now. a train has hit a car on the tracks leaving a mangled mess. that's now tying up the evening commute. good evening. i'm ken bastida. >> and i'm veronica de la cruz. the view from chopper 5 shows that heap of mangled metal difficult to make out exactly what it is. cal trans says a southbound train hit a car that was on the tracks in menlo park. it's not clear why the car was on the tracks. a woman was the only person in that car. we just found out that she has died. no one on the train was hurt. live look right now at chopper 5. we're told those crossing gates were fully functional at the time of the
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crash. they were destroyed in the collision. the train also may have suffered serious damage. it may take a while to clear that debris to get that all off the tracks. it had collision happened at 4:45. cal trans says trains in that area are stopped till further notice. earlier today a freight train collided with a pickup truck in morgan hill. chopper 5 flew over that scene as crews cleaned up debris. it stalled around 1:30. the driver was able to get out. no one was hurt. new at 6:00, what's the holdup? a deal was struck days ago to get west coast ports back to order. the port of oakland is still moving at a snail's pace. kpix 5 has learned the reason behind a new slowdown at the port of oakland. joe vazquez says workers are not going at full speed.

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