tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS July 21, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
>> pelley: tonight casualties of war. the flight 17 victims are finally heading home. now the world demands access to the phillips is there. >> if there's ever going to be hard evidence of what brought this plane down it will be found here and right now nobody's looking. >> the death toll rises in the war between israel and secra cease-fire? reports from barry petersen and holly williams. the governor of texas sends troops to stop a surge of illegal immigrants. anna werner reports from the border. firefighters battling western fires get a break from the weather. and david martin with an american hero. >> nine guys died. so the rest of us could come home
captioning sponsored by cbs. >> in is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. we have just learned that ukrainian rebels have turned over to investigators the flight-data recorders of the malaysian flight 17 which was shot down thursday over eastern ukraine. it has been four agonizing days for the families who lost loved ones on flight 17. they pleaded for the return of the remains of their loved ones. today the pro russian rebels who control the area of eastern ukraine where the plane was shot down sent them home in rail cars. 282 of the 298 victims have been recovered so far. the u.n. security council including russia demanded that the rebels now allow investigators safer and unrestricted access to the crash site. we have a team of cbs news correspondents covering this
story and we'll begin tonight with mark phillips in ukraine. >> reporter: they died in a place they never intended to be. and now most of the victims of malaysia air flight 17 finally began the journey home. the train of refrigerated rail cars where the bodies had been stored became a rolling morning. it crawled slowly out of the rebel controlled town of torez near the crash site. a deal had been worked out to take the victims into ukrainian government territory, to the a city where they were due to be flown to hold-and-for identification. dutch forensic experts had viewed the bodies earlier in the day, under a tight escort of rebel guards. days of living exposed in the summer sun had done its work. still dutch investigator peter van vilet said he was satisfied that the condition of the bodies. >> i have watched the train and the wagons. and i am think the storage of the bodies is --
>> at the crash site itself bodies were still being discovered and then vilet became the first foreign investigators to get a look f only a brief one, at the wreckage. an international team of aviation experts that has been assembled has yet to arrive. security in this war zone is still a concern. as is the security of the passengers' belongings. we saw emergency workers going through personal property. it's clear there's been tampering with materials on the site. if there's ever going to be hard evidence of what brought this plane down it will be found here among the wreckage. it's one thing to say that a missile was fired at this plane. it's quite another to find bits of it or some evidence of an explosion. and right now nobody's looking. as part of the deal to release the bodies, the plane's black box data recorders were also supposed to be handed over to malaysian representatives.
>> in the end the handover was repeatedly delayed but finally, scott, the black boxes are back in malaysian hands. >> pelley: mark phillips covering near the crash site, thank you, mark. and a moment ago malaysia said the black boxes are in good condition. u.s. intelligence says it has circumstancesal evidence that ties russia to the missile that was used. our david martin tells us that analysts are going through satellite photos trying to find the missile system crossing from russia into ukraine. the ukrainian government released this video in which it claims the system minus one missile crossed into russia shortly after the plane went down. today president obama said this about the pro russian rebels in eastern ukraine who occupy the crash site. >> they have repeatedly prevented international investigators from gaining full access to the wreckage. as investigators approached they fired their weapons
into the air. these separatists are removing evidence from the crash site. all of which begs the question, what exactly are they trying to hide. >> nothing, according to russian president vladimir putin who said today the west is using this tragedy to achieve selfish political objectives. of course clarissa ward is outside the kremlin tonight. what is putin's strategy? >> scott, clearly putin is trying to portray the west as hysterical, irrational actors and casts himself as the voice of reason in this crisis. but what he's really doing by constantly repeating that we need to wait, wait and see what the results are of the investigation, he's essentially refusing having to answer any of the growing number of allegations of russian complicit in this tragedy. that is not a sustainable strategy and it remains to be seen how russia is going to deal with this going forward. >> clarissa ward in moscow
for us tonight, thank you, clarissa. >> world outrage grew all weekend long as the victims lay in the sun flower fields and wheat fields near the russian border. liz balmer-- palmer is with the families in amsterdam. >> mourners are still coming to pay their respects at a makeshift memorial just yards from where the passengers boarded the doomed plane. but for the families of the victims, condolences are not nearly enough. >> i want to arrange a funeral. i can't. i don't know where they are. i don't know. i want them back. i want my children back. >> they have to come back. >> give the bodies back. >> mr. putin, send my children home. send them home. >> today at last some of the bodies are finally on the way. and public concern has now shifted to the crash site that's become contaminated and looted.
that's why many dutch people don't believe they will ever get the full truth about what brought down malaysia flight 17. but they do think their government should push for a thorough investigation anyway. >> if only to make a political point. >> it's now time to show mr. putin that he's going too far, much too far. >> the dutch government has demanded total access for investigators or else it will enforce sanctions against russia. >> flight mh-17 -- >> a threat echoed by british prime minister david cameron speaking on behalf of the french and german leaders too. >> russia needs to know that action will follow if there isn't a radical change in the way they behave. >> the european leaders are talking tough, scott, but there's a lot of resistance to really tough sexes. they have not only threatened billions of dollars worth of trade with russia but let's not forget it's russian oil & gas that
literally keeps the lights on in large parts of europe. >> liz palmer at the airport where the flight began, liz, thanks very much. malaysia airlines rerouted a flight from kuala lumpur to london after its normal route over ukraine was closed. this happened yesterday. and this time malaysia airlines flent flight mh-4 over war-torn syria. the airline says that syria's airspace is not restricted. in another major story tonight, after 14 days of war, 571 palestinians are dead in gaza. most of them civilians, 12-- 121 children. 7 israeli soldiers were killed today. they have battled over the gaza strip since it became a home for arabs displaced by the creation of israel in 1948. hamas, the militant group that runs gaza is launching rockets into israel demanding an end to a 7-year
israeli blockade. israeli ground forces moved in last week and we have reports from each side first barry petersen. >> reporter: the sky is gaza is draped in cloud from constant shelling. and shooting in the streets by israeli soldiers. and with the war, the never ending aftermath of desperate search for survivors. sometimes people are found, lives saved. sometimes not. these days in gaza death come was warning and sometimes without making much sense. a shell hit here last night. it killed 6 members of a family. the 7th a child, is still missing. a hassan el halak survived, his face scorched by the blast. his wife an two sons gone in an instant. his oldest boy was 6.
now el halak suffers a father's agony. >> i remember him, i remember his smile. i find myself faceless. i could not save him. >> relatives came to the morning to take away the bodies of his wife and children, his mother, his sister who was pregnant and a two-year-old child. >> i'm helpless. i don't knows what's next. i cannot imagine. how can i start again. >> at the nearby mosque a brief prayer service. then a procession down the street. ending at the graveyard. yesterday the el halaks were a large and vibrant family. tonight they are statistics, more names on the list of the dead. more torement for the living. the growing death toll does not appear to be affecting morale in gaza, at least not publicly. but keep in mind that openly opposing ham. >> assuras: or the war with
israel can be very dangerous here, scott. >> pelley: barry petersen in gaza city for us tonight. thank you, barry. israel's death toll after two weeks is 27. two of them civilians. 13 soldiers from one elite brigade, two of them americans were killed yesterday. holly williams is in israel. >> he willing to pay a high price to stop attacks by palestinian militants. its sold evers are paying with their lives. max steinberg and nissim carmeli grew up in america but wanted to serve their other homeland, israel. they fought with the golani infant ree brigade seen here entering the gaza strip before a deadly battle with the militants. 13 sold evers were killeds were killed including the two young americans. in los angeles last night
they held a vigil for max. his father stuart steinberg said his son was dedicated to being a soldier. >> he was our family's inspiration. he was our family's spirit. >> and in tel aviv sean carmeli's family remembered a man who wanted it to join the recall's-- army since he was a young boy. his grandmother mar gallit told us he was against el and softly spoken. he was going to come and visit me in two weeks, she said. but now i'm here visiting him instead. the israelis say they foiled two attacks today by palestinian militants who had sneaked into israel via underground tunnels and they say they killed at least ten of them. and scott, destroying the network of militant tunnels is one of the goals of the ground offensive in which more and morris rheal soldiers are now leaving
their lives -- losing their lives. >> pinkston: holly, thank you. secretary of state john kerry arrived in cairo tonight to try to arrange a cease-fire in the understatement of the day. a senior official said it won't be easy. the governor of texas deploys the national guard to stop illegal immigration. and crews battling western wildfires go on the offensive. when the "cbs evening news" continues
>> pelley: the first person to stand trial in connection with the boston marathon bombing was convicted today. azamat tazhayakov was a friend of accused bomber dzhokhar tsarnaev. he was convicted for his role in the removal of evidence from tsarnaev's dorm room. he faces up to 20 years. today texas governor rick perry said it's time to send in the national guard. he is authorizing the deploy am of 1,000 troops to the border with mexico to bolster security. there's been a surge of illegal immigrants, many of them children in recent months. and as anna werner reports, some land owners there have had enough. >> your family has been here what, 17-- 175 years. >> yes. >> few textans are as eager to welcome the national guard as lorenzo an zal duea. his family's lan has become a highway for illegal immigrants such as these women with children who came across the rio grande river just a mile or so away three
weeks ago. >> it's like a funnel. and they all get on the border, or on our land, american soil. and they take three or four routes. but they all diverge into one. and that's right behind me, that road. >> reporter: many wind up in nearby mcallen texas. 76% of the illegal immigrants in this recent surge have come through the rio grande valley region. volunteers have offered help to the immigrants at a catholic charity shelter downtown. lazaro fernandez junior's fabric company is just two blocks away. >> i'm frustrated because we should have never gotten to that point n that situation. and our government has put us in that situation. and that is wrong. >> reporter: officials in mcallen want washington to reimburse the city for the $700,000 it expects to spend this year to deal with the latest surge of il local immigrants. that includes transportation and security costs. >> we are being invaded. and the quicker the
politicians realize it is an invasion, the quicker they will close the border. >> anzaldua hopes the arrival of the guard is the first step in that direction. anna werner, cbs news, mcallen, texas. >> pelley: in a moment we'll remember america's giant leap in space. rough the night to bake fresh bread from fresh dough in every bakery-cafe. because it tastes better that way. and it makes all of our sandwiches... soups... and everything else it touches taste better too. then, at the end of every day, we donate everything we have left to people in need. so we're out of bread. and we stay up all night... and do it all over again. panera bread. thank ythank you for defendiyour sacrifice. and thank you for your bravery. thank you colonel. thank you daddy. military families are uniquely thankful for many things,
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hundreds of square miles but lighter winds and cooler temperature kos help calm the flames. right now wildfires are burning in six states. hayley guenther of our spokane affiliate krm-tv has more. >> the fires burning in the pas civic northwest have scorched 1300 square miles. this video was taken over washington. more than 100 homes were lost. fire commanders expect that number to grow. fire spokesman pete buist. >> as long as we have hot, dry, windy wlfer weather we'll have problems containing the fire. it's hot, dirty nasty work. >> there are now more than 3500 fire fightsers trying to get a handle on the wildfires in the state. the arrival of more water-dropping aircraft and calmer winds have allowed crews to beat back blames-- flames threatening houses. the first thing that came to mind mind was survival. >> judy swank has lived in this valley for 14 years. she said she only had a few minutes to back up her belongings and escape.
>> i was pretty sure that there was just no chance my house was going to make it i just knew it was gone. now judy swank learned her house did burn down. scott rain forecast for midweek is expected to help those firefighters but they fear the storms could bring lightning strikes and start new fires. >> pelley: mayly guenther, thanks very much. >> it was 45 years ago today that the apollo 11 lunar module left the moon after astronauts neil armstrong and buzz ald ren took man kind's first steps on the lunar surface. today nasa announced when americans take the next giant leap to mars they'll bring along this mission patch. it was carried to the moon and signed by armstrong, aldrin and michael collins. all three of them american heroes. and so is this man, his story is next. >> this portion of the "cbs evening news" is sponsored
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award, the medal of honor. pitts defended a key observation post during one of the bloodiest battles of the afghan war and he told his story to david martin. >> american soldiers digging in for what would prove to be their last stand. nine of these men were killed when the enemy attacked their makeshift base in the afghan villeage of wanat in july 2008. >> it was the most intense fight i had ever been in. seemed like fire was coming from everywhere. >> sergeant ryan pitts was wounded in the opening fuselage. >> how badly are you bleeding. >> my biggest concern was a count wound in my inner thigh on my right leg. so then i crawled to the southern fighting position in bogar put a tourniquet on my leg. >> jason bogar who was killed a short time later kept pitts from bleeding to death. but the situation described by an apache helicopter pilot was desperate.
>> i think they don't want to lift their heads. >> as shown in this army recreation pitts was manning an observation post above the main base at wanat. the enemy was so close he had to let his grenades cook off before he through them. >> so that the enemy couldn't pick it up and throw it back because it was so close i didn't want to give them a chance to pick it up. >> you would activate the grenade and count to 3 or 4. >> yeah. >> and then lob it. what happens if you get a short fuse. >> it would detonate in my hand. >> and pitts ran low on grenades he fought on with a machine gun. suddenly, there was an awful silence all around him. >> i thought everybody was dead. i thought i was the only one there. >> an you were. >> i was. >> you're all alone. you are wounded. and the enemy is how close? >> close enough that they could hear them when i was talking on the radio. >> four soldiers rushed to his aid but they were all cut down. one of them israel garcia was mortally wounded. >> i just held his hand and
we talked for a little bit. he wanted me to tell his mom and wife that he loved them. >> the apaches laid down fire within ten meters, about 30 feet to pitts. >> 10 meters, so -- >> you've got to be kidding. >> and finally beat the enemy back. >> but you can see american dead lying on the ground. >> nine guys died so the rest of us could come home. and valor was everywhere. everyone was fighting as hard as they come and i don't think anybody, you know, no man fought harder than any other. >> and the families of all nine were there today for ryan pitts. david martin, cbs news washington. >> 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.
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