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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  October 5, 2021 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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, and led him outside safely. captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight, the facebook whistleblower urges congress to act, comparing the social media giant to big rivetting tobacco, warning the health of the nation is at risk. riveting testimony from a former employee, calling facebook an urgent threat to america's children and blaming founder mark zuckerberg, who she says knows the social network is hurting people. >> the buck stops with mark. there is no one currently holding mark accountable but himself. >> o'donnell: state of emergency: the race tonight to protect california's coast from the massive oil spill, as a criminal investigation is launched into what happened. booster shots: important news for the millions who have had the johnson & johnson shot. leading cause of death: the stunning number tonight: covid
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has killed more than 700 police officers nationwide, so why are so many officers rejecting the vaccine? tough negotiations: president biden hits the road in michigan, as he pleads with his own party to strike a deal. what programs may get cut. plus, the warning about a potential economic catastrophe now just days away. cbs news investigation: are some a.t.f. employees gaming the system and possibly costing the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars? powerball winner-- what a lucky person in california could buy with all that money. and muhammad ali, the greatest boxer in the world, who painted art with meaning that's now for sale. ♪ ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening to our viewers in the west and thank you for joining us.
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we want to begin tonight with the scathing testimony from a former facebook employee that had senators describing the social media giant as morally bankrupt. frances haugen went before congress today to tell lawmakers the company has a simple motive: maximize profits no matter the cost, something she first told "60 minutes." republicans and democrats were united in their outrage, as haugen described how teens get hooked on instagram and are subjected to nonstop bullying. she called on congress to regulate facebook. tonight the company is responding and taking aim at haugen. but senators want to hear directly from founder mark zuckerberg, demanding that he answer their questions. cbs' kris van cleave is following all of this and joins us from the capitol. good evening, kris. >> reporter: norah, no word yet or when if the committee will call mark zuckerberg, but tonight, facebook is calling out the whistleblower at the center of all of this, saying she was an employee for less than two years, and had limited access to top executives. but she left the company with
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tens of thousands of internal documents, and that research, she says, shows facebook needs to hit the reset button. >> they're paying for their profits right now with our safety. >> reporter: former facebook employee frances haugen told senators facebook is looking to hook kids early, hoping they'll also bring their parents online. but she says the company's own research shows its instagram platform can be harmful to teens, even addictive, especially for some girls. >> it's just like cigarettes. teenagers don't have good self- regulation. they say explicitly, "i feel bad when i use instagram and, yet, i can't stop." >> reporter: she blamed the app for directing kids from healthy eating recipes to anorexia, prompting suicidal thoughts and making bullying worse.dal thoughts and making >> kids who are bullied on instagram, the bullying follows them home. it follows them into their bedrooms. the last thing they see before going to bed at night is someone being cruel to them. >> mark zuckerberg's new policy is no apologies. >> reporter: haugen says c.e.o. mark zuckerberg is facebook's
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ultimate decider. >> mark holds a very unique role in the tech industry. there are no similarly powerful companies that are as unilaterally controlled. >> reporter: where is mark zuckerberg right now? why is he not a face of this as conversation right now? >> i work with mark zuckerberg closely. i can tell you he cares a lot about these issues.i can tell yr he always has. >> reporter: monika bickert is a facebook vice president. does the buck stop with you, or does the buck stop with mark zuckerberg? >> everybody who is working on these issues at facebook, starting with mark, but continuing down to anybody on these safety teams, cares aboutn these safety teams, cares about these issues. >> reporter: tonight, facebook is pushing back at haugen, saying she was not involved with company decision making and called the tens of thousands of pages of documents she turned over stolen. >> we are doing the research exactly because we care about safety. if one teen on instagram is having a bad experience, we need to do better. >> if you were a member of this panel, would you believe what facebook is saying? >> facebook has not earned our
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right to just have blind trust in them. >> reporter: this was that rare hearing where you had near- unanimous consent, republicans and democrats alike, that there needed to be additional regulation of companies like facebook, senators saying to each other it's time to get to work. now, facebook says it welcomes additional federal oversight. it says the majority of teens do not have a negative experience on instagram and stresses the company does not put profits ahead of people's safety. norah. >> o'donnell: we'll see if congress acts. kris van cleave, thank you. well, tonight, a state of emergency has been declared along the southern california coast, after that offshore pipeline leak that sent more than 125,000 gallons of heavy than crude into the pacific. cbs' lilia luciano reports there are new questions about the response. >> reporter: for nearly 12 hours, the pipeline was spewing oil into the ocean before any action was taken to stop it. the coast guard got reports of an oily sheen on the water late
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friday night, but they say they didn't have enough information to deploy boats. the pipeline company didn't report the leak until saturday morning. >> approximately 4,000 feet of the 17.7-mile pipeline has been displaced. >> reporter: cargo ships have been backed up along the coast for months. cbs news has learned that the coast guard is examining video to see if a ship dropped anchor in the wrong place and actually dragged the pipeline. >> the pipeline has actually been pulled like a bow string, and at its widest point is 105 feet away from where it was. >> reporter: the spill is down spreading down the coast towards mexico. 12 times a day the coast guard takes arial images to spot the movement. >> i would describe it as isolated patches or ribbons of oil and those can be hundreds of yards if not miles apart. >> reporter: huntington beach is a tourist town. local business owners were hoping for big crowds this weekend. what do you fear? >> loss of business. are we going to be able to stay here?
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i worry, i worry. >> reporter: last night, southern california was hit by a severe thunderstorm, halting the cleanup for hours. a huge concern has been the impact to wildlife, and while it will be very difficult to assess the extent of the damage to marine life, just to compare, the last big oil spill in this area killed more than 3,000 birds. this time around, officials say they have found and treated eight oily birds. norah. >> o'donnell: lilia luciano, thank you. some scary moment here in d.c. today after a suspicious smoke- filled s.u.v. was sitting outside the u.s. supreme court while justices were hearing arguments. capitol police took a 55-year- old man from michigan into custody after pulling him from the car. he was saying, "the time for pui talking is done." officials say the same man was seen acting suspiciously near the capitol back in august. president biden left town today to sell his signature spending plans directly to american voters.
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this came as feuding democrats worked to iron out exactly how much to spend and what programs to spend it on. we get more now from cbs' nancy cordes. >> every bit of it is paid for. >> reporter: the president was in michigan today to sell a plan he now admits must be slashed nearly in half. >> to pose these investments is to be complicit in america's decline. >> reporter: he and house democrats spent the morning discussing what to cut from his signature social spending package in order to secure the votes they need. >> this is like saying pick your favorite child. these are good programs. >> reporter: democrats told the president they're most wedded to the bill's new climate protections, paid family leave, universal pre-k., and an extension of the child tax credit. >> we've been talking about everything. >> reporter: today, one of the hold-outs, west virginia's joe manchin, said child care is his priority, too. >> i've always said children on the front end, and i think that's so important, people being able to get back to thethe being able to get back workforce.
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>> reporter: but that leaves other measures in limbo, including two free years of community college and adding dental and vision coverage to medicare. >> there's going to have to be give on every side to get this done. and i think we do. >> reporter: as they haggled, washington drew one day closer to crisis, as republicans continued to block democrats from quickly raising the nation's debt ceiling. >> that would require getting consent from every single republican. and i can't imagine that would happen. >> reporter: treasury secretary janet yellen warned today that defaulting could trigger a national recession. >> it would be catastrophic to not pay the government's bills. >> reporter: late today, the credit ratings agency moody's expressed confidence that the debt ceiling would get lifted in time, predicting that democrats will use a cumbersome mechanism to get it done on their own. but that is a precedent, norah, that they have not been eager to set. >> o'donnell: yeah, the market's watching that closely.
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nancy cordes, thank you. we turn now to the covid pandemic. today, dr. francis collins, the director of the national institutes of health, said he's stepping down at the end of the year. president biden called collins one of the most important scientists of our time. and there's big news tonight about a new covid booster shot. here's cbs' meg oliver. >> reporter: johnson & johnson is the latest company to ask the f.d.a. for emergency use authorization for their covid-19 booster shot for adults 18 and over. dr. eric topol: >> the johnson & johnson is now in 15 million americans. they got the one shot and done, but they weren't really done, because the efficacy isn't as high as the other vaccines. >> reporter: the johnson & the n johnson single-dose vaccine was only 71% effective against hospitalization from covid, but recent data found a j&j booster shot given 56 days after the primary dose provided 94% protection against illness and 100% protection against severe
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disease. >> this second shot, whether it's a johnson & johnson, or a moderna, pfizer, is really important, because we want to get that efficacy up high. >> reporter: a new study shows that vaccinations helped reduce more than a quarter million covid cases, 107,000 hospitalizations, and 39,000 deaths among seniors. tonight, the bells at the national cathedral rang to honor the 700,000 americans who have died from covid. moderna has also submitted an application asking the f.d.a. to authorize a booster shot. next week an f.d.a. panel will discuss both the j&j and moderna applications, and then later this month, they will discuss whether to authorize covid-19 vaccinations for younger children. norah. >> o'donnell: meg oliver, thank you. the pandemic has taken a devastating toll on police departments across the country.
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covid is now killing more law enforcement officers than guns, vehicles, or any other threat they face in the line of duty. here's cbs' jeff pegues. >> reporter: police officer christopher cockburn lost his battle against covid-19 last month. tell me about your dad. >> well, he was a police officer for over 30 years. >> reporter: kayleigh cockburn, his daughter, says he loved his job. when did your family find out that he had covid-19? >> on my 30th birthday, august 14. quite a birthday. >> reporter: exactly a month later, on september 14, at the age of 59, he was dead. >> i miss him a lot, yeah. ( sirens ). >> reporter: covid is now the leading cause of death for the men and women in blue. 716 officers since march of 2020. still, there is a reluctance to get vaccinated. in memphis and louisville, just 47% of officers have been vaccinated. and in philadelphia, just 13% of police department employees have
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provided proof of vaccination. >> we have members, just like the cross-section of the population of the united states, that do not want to be vaccinated. >> reporter: many firefighters are also refusing to comply. in spokane, washington, 50 of them will be fired later this month if they don't get the shot. one is tim archer. have you been vaccinated? >> no, sir. >> reporter: why not? >> because it's-- it's really in conflict with my conscious. >> reporter: do you see yourself changing your stance? >> no, sir. >> reporter: in some cases, officers and firefighters are saying, norah, that this is the toughest decision they've ever had to make during their careers. >> o'donnell: important to protect the public. all right, jeff pegues, thank you. we're going to turn now to a cbs news investigation. we have uncovered allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse at the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, potentially involving hundreds of millions of your tax dollars.
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that agency has not had a permanent director for six years, even as violent crime has soared nationwide. here is cbs' catherine herridge. >> reporter: in 2016, joe, an army veteran, went to work for a.t.f. as an information specialist in the human resources department. >> i had to maintain the integrity of the information that went into the system. >> reporter: almost immediately, joe, who asked to be disguised and not to use his last name, said he noticed problems. a.t.f. personnel doing administrative jobs were paid a special bonus known as "law enforcement availability pay," or leap for short. >> if you were functioning in an administrative capacity, you don't qualify for the pay, so you're not supposed to get it. a lot of people were getting it. >> reporter: government regulations stipulate the extra pay is reserved for criminal investigators who are on call and expected to work unscheduled additional hours. how big is the bump-up in pay? >> 25%.
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>> reporter: how much money are we talking about? >> if you made $100,000, and you got leap, you would get $125,000. >> reporter: did you flag the alleged violation to your supervisors? >> yes. >> reporter: a.t.f. emails indicate joe's supervisors were upset about what he told them. joe shared personnel records that show his performance reviews went from "fully successful" before his complaint to "minimally successful" after. he lost his job last summer for "unacceptable performance." what did you take away as the message? >> don't look over there. just because you see someone stealing money out of the a.t.m., you don't have to say anything. >> reporter: is that what they were doing? >> yes. >> reporter: last year, a lawyer for the office of special council said the investigative body found a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing, and an office of personnel management audit concluded approximately 94 employees were inappropriately classified. the office suspended the
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a.t.f.'s ablity to create certain jobs for no less than six months, saying the a.t.f. may have engaged in prohibitive personnel practices. >> if it's true, then it's a very significant amount of wasted tax dollars. >> reporter: former senate investigator, jason foster, has spent his career supporting whistleblowers. he reviewed what cbs found. whistleb >> it could be a waste of hundreds of millions of dollars if the same thing were happening throughout government. >> reporter: four federal agencies involved in joe's case declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation. an email from the office of special counsel said the final report is delayed citing broad implications for the a.t.f. why did you decide to speak up? >> because it was wrong. >> reporter: catherine herridge, cbs news, washington. >> o'donnell: and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," including a strike at factories that make some of america's favorite breakfast cereals. and, oh, the things you could buy if you're the lucky winner of that huge powerball jackpot. .
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>> o'donnell: work at kellogg's cereal factories in the u.s. has come to a halt. that's where frosted flakes, fruit loops and rice krispies are made. 1,400 workers went on strike in four states after more than a year of negotiations over pay and benefits. it's not clear how supplies of these popular cereals will be impacted. all right, someone who purchasee a powerball ticket for last night's drawing at a grocery store in morro bay, california, hit the nearly $700 million jackpot. if they choose the lump-sum payout after taxes, they'll have $377 million. with that, you could buy the florida panthers, four f-15 fighter jets and plenty of fuel, or a cruise around the world with more than 3,500 of your friends. fun to do the math on that. all right, up next, something you might have not known about boxer muhammad ali. have not knt boxer muhammad ali.
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famous figure who could paint some paintings that we could make limited edition prints of and sell. >> that's why i say i'm the greatest. >> reporter: no one was bigger in the mid-1960s than ali. brown approached him. ali was game. >> he never claimed to be a great he knew he was the greatest boxer in the world, but when it came to art, he said to me, "i paint pictures with meanings." >> reporter: the two dozen works auctioned off today reflect what the champ was thinking, not just about boxing, but religion, war, and social justice. >> when i first opened the box and saw them in the flashlight, i got goosebumps. >> reporter: helen hall is with bonhams, the auction house that handled this "who knew" collection. >> you know, ali used his fists to fight, but those fists also created these art works. >> reporter: a broad range of brilliance befitting the greatest.
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jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> o'donnell: the bids for these paintings are already at $1 million. and we'll be right back. ly just ordinary eggs when they can enjoy the best? eggland's best. the only eggs with more fresh and delicious taste. plus, superior nutrition. which is now more important than ever. ♪♪ dawn antibacterial cuts through tough grease with 50% less scrubbing. important than ever. it also removes 99% of bacteria from your hands. dawn antibacterial. an easy way to clean your dishes... a smart way to wash your hands. hi susan! honey? yeah? i respect that. but that cough looks pretty bad... try this robitussin honey. the real honey you love... plus the powerful cough relief you need. mind if i root through your trash? now get powerful relief with robitussin elderberry.
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i'm norah o'donnell. we'll see you tomorrow. good night. right now at 7:00 -- >> the choices being made inside a book are disastrous for our children, for our public safety. >> after today's explosive whistleblower testimony on capitol hill, we wanted to know what will facebook's trouble mean for all the other businesses that use it to make money? a day like yesterday means they aren't putting food on the table. >> white tesla may be writing a massive check to a former employee. also we take you inside oracle park where the giants are all warmed up for friday's post season opener. now all they need is an opponent. could some bay area counties be close to dropping their indoor mask mandates? the announcement we are expecting within days. right now at 7:00 must remain on cbsn bay area ,
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facebook follow. >> there are no similarly powerful companies that are as unilaterally controlled, and in the end, the buck stops with mark. there is no one currently holding mark accountable but himself. >> mark zuckerberg was not there to challenge frances haugen at a senate subcommittee hearing today , as she accused her former employer of putting profits ahead of safety by inciting political violence, fueling misinformation, and using sophisticated algorithms to target teenagers. within the past couple of hours, the facebook ceo did share the lengthy memo he sent to his employees. that evening. i'm elizabeth cook. @tran08. that memo reads in part as follows, quote, we care deeply about issues like safety, well- being, and mental health. it is difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives. if we did not care about fighting harmful content


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