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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 30, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EST

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>> o'donnell: tonight a devastating discovery. families watch in horror as body and debris are recovered from flight 8501. allen pizzey reports from indonesia. jeff pegues on what's next in the crash investigation. a top house republican admits he addressed a white supremacist group but says he had no idea who they were. will party leaders buy his explanation? wyatt andrews has that. the blame game over the sony hacking attack. cyber experts say it may have been an inside job. but the f.b.i. again focuses directly on north korea. margaret brennan looks at the latest evidence. and major garrett on the effort to save the koalas before it's too late. >> reporter: is the word
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"extinction" too alarmist? >> no, extinction isn't too alarmist. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> o'donnell: good evening. scott is off tonight. i'm norah o'donnell. the news came suddenly and cut like a dagger. after three days of searching debris and bodies from air asia flight 8501 were located today off borneo, not far from where the a-320 vanished from radar screens with 162 people on board. many of their families were overcome with sorrow as they saw the television footage. allen pizzey begins our coverage tonight in indonesia where the flight originated. >> reporter: as the search resumed in the java sea, there was a grim discovery-- a body floating in the water. for the families, it shattered all hope that their loved ones would be found alive. the picture was shown on indonesian television in a room where families and rel iatives
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have waited since sunday. for many, the news were more than they could bear. at least two people collapsed and had to be taken away on stretchers. others wept inconsolably, holding each other in a shared grief that for some verged on hysteria. this man lost a friend in the crash. >> a childhood friend and with his wife and two children and -- >> reporter: by the end of the day, search-and-rescue teams had retrieved at least six bodies and wreckage was pulled from the sea. what looked like an escape slide, an oxygen tank, and even a suitcase. indonesia's president flew over the search area then came to consociety bereaved. he told the families everyone prayed for them to be strong. the wreckage is in relatively shallow water, about 160 feet, and one air crew said they'd seen what looked like a shadow on the sea bed that could be a big piece of the aircraft. with luck, the mystery of why
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the plane fell out of the sky will be solved. for some, that matters very little right now. indonesia is sending three warships to the area today along with more than s who will help retrieve bodies and sort through the wreckage as they try to locate whatever is left of the plane. norah. >> o'donnell: allen pizzey thank you. a navy destroyer the uss "sampson" joined the search today. transportation correspondent jeff pegues takes us through the nex phase of the investigation. >> reporter: with the recovery of the wreckage, investigators are one step closer to determining the cause of the accident. there was bad weather in the area around the time of the crash. they'll also try to determine the plane's air speed whether mechanical systems failed, and how the pilots responded before the plane went down. the answers may come from the plane's black boxes presumably still underwater. us navy ships sent to help the recovery have sonar equipment which can detect the underwater locater beacon. this is the sound they're going
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to be listening for. the so-called black box is actually orange and is located in the tail section of an air bus a-320. it contains the flight data recorder with the last 25 hours of information about the plane's altitude, air speed and engine performance. there's also the cockpit voice record wer the final two hours of pilot conversations and interaction with air traffic control. earlier this year, we were given an unprecedented look at how national transportation safety board engineers open the shell to extract the memory board of the recorders. it's about the size of a cell phone, and within the box it's almost indestructible. dr. joeically is the ntsb's director of research and engineering. >> they have to survive salt water immersion and immersion up to 20,000 feet. we've been succescovering data from submerged aircraft. >> reporter: the n.t.s.b. has been monitoring the situation
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but so far has not been asked to participate, norabecause airbus is a french company that company's equivalent of the n.t.s.b. has already sent a team of investigators to the area. >> o'donnell: jeff, i know you have been talking to your sources. what are some of the leading theories about what went wrong? >> reporter: well, weather certainly may have played a role but norah investigators can tell an awful lot about what happened from that debris field. a widely scattered debris field suggests an in-flight breakup. but it may have hit the water intact similar to what happened to air france flight 447 in 2009 when it crashed into the atlantic ocean. air speed indicators were lost in that case, but in this case, it really is too early to tell, and that's why those black boxes are so important. >> o'donnell: we may learn more soon. jeff pegues, thank you. in an odd coincidence a jetliner owned by an air asia subsidiary overshot a runway today in the central philippines. the air asia zest jet, an a-320
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got stuck in a muddy field after landing in high winds. emergency chutes were deployed. all 159 people on board got off safely, and there were no injuries. today, republican leaders said they stand behind congressman steve scalise, the house majority whip. scalise has admitted he addressed a white supremacist group in lose 12 years ago and he's apologized for it. wyatt andrews is following this. >> reporter: congressman scalise called his 2002 speech to the white sprem scientist group euro, a mistake i regret but insists in a statement today that his appearance was never an endorsement. these groups hold views that are vehemently opposed to my catholic faith he says and i reject that kind of hateful bigotry. he also told cbs affiliate wwl by phone he did not know they were an anti-semitic organization led by former klan leader david buick.
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>> i'm not familiar with what that group was but, you know from what i've seen i just detest hate groups of any kind. >> reporter: scalise's explanation was enough to keep his job as house majority whip. speaker john boehner and majority leader kevin mccarthy both expressed support with boehner calling the speech an error in judgment but praising scalise as a man of high integrity. scalise was also helped by a democrat congressman cedric richmond, a new orleans political rival. >> i don't view steve as having racial challenges at all. >> reporter: but other democrats were not as forgiving. minority leader nancy pelosi called the speech deeply troubling for a top republican leader. and many are questioning scalise's claim he knew nothing about uero marg potok is with the southern poverty law center. >> it was not an obscure group in the least. its leader was internationally famous. so i just think the idea that he
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walked into this event with no idea what was going on is very, very hard to swallow on its surface. >> reporter: but what saved congressman scalise is his actual record here on capitol hill where he has no pattern of racist thoughts or behavior. norah, that allowed speaker boehner to see this as a mistake made 12 years ago and not as a big political scandal that could hurt republicans when they take over here next monday. >> o'donnell: all right, wyatt andrews, thank you. tonight, a blast of cold arctic air is pushing part of the country into a deep freeze. icy highways in lovett, texas made driving dangerous today and in california, the 126th rose parade could be the coldest ever. meteorologist eric fisher of cbs station wbz has more on the new year's chill. eric. >> norah, good evening. it is frigid across the middle of the country right now "p" wind chill advisories and warningings for 16 states,
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feeling as cold as 45 below zero. wint wind chill values from the west to the midwest running below zero and many locations lot of layers required. also tracking a storm here into the southwest. a few snowflakes in los angeles tonight, and heading into new year's eve and day snow on the strip in vegas. they haven't had measurable snow in six years there. the heaviest snowfall, southern utah and northern arizona places like flagstaff could see up to a foot of snow. a lot of cold is on the map especially in the middle of the nation but almost all of the united states will be running below average. the one exception will be florida. if you want to ring in the new year in the warmth, florida will be the spot to be. >> o'donnell: good excuse to snuggle up with somebody on new year's night. >> i like that. >> o'donnell: f.b.i. agents investigating the hacking of sony has met with a private
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security firm that believes the whole thing may have been an inside job. their evidence points to former sony employees not north korea. here's margaret brennan. >> reporter: the obama administration continues to blame north korea for the hack of sony pictures, but state department spokesman jeff rakyk, acknowledged north korea may not have acted alone. >> it's possible that some assets outside of the dprk might have been involved but that doesn't change the conclusion about the dprk's responsibility. >> reporter: in recent days, the f.b.i. met with multiple cyber security firms who suggested that north korea might have outsourced the attack or had its hackers working from outside the country. another firm norse suggested the hackers might have had inside help. it pointed to a woman who calls herself lena and claims to be connected with the guardians of peace who took credit for the sony hack. norse believes she worked at sony in los angeles for 10 years until leaving the company this
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past may. norse's curt stan berger spoke first with cbs news last week. >> we are very cched that this was not an attack masterminded by north korea and that insiders were key to the implementation and success of one of the most devastating attacks in history. >> reporter: cyber-security consultant ken van wick says what makes pinpointing the hackers so tricky is they can mask their identities. >> you can traverse through the internet, jumping jumping from one place to another very, very easily which essentially hides your tracks and you can make it look like somebody else did it. you can make it very difficult for the investigators to find you. it's very easy for the attackers to not get found. >> reporter: cyber experts tell cbs news that it's really only the government that has the type of far-reaching access to determine who carried this out. and, norah as for the firm hired by sony pictures to
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investigate, they think north korea's the culprit, but as for how the hacking was carried out that's still being probed. >> o'donnell: all right, more to see there. margaret brennan, thank you. there was a tragic accident today at a walmart in hayden ohio. a woman was shot and killed by her two-year-old son. he was riding in a shopping cart and pulled a loaded handgun from his mother's purse and it went off. police say she did have a concealed weapons permit. new figures released today illustrate the dangers faced by police in this country. this year, 126 officers died in the line of duty, up 24% from last year. 14 deaths were in california, the most of any state and with that in mind, and amid continued protest over police tactics some officers are feeling threatened as never before. jim axelrod reports from san jose california. >> reporter: at demonstrations in cities across the country squads of riot-equipped police
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have been facing emotional angry crowds, often feeling empowered by using cell phone video cameras. >> there are some who would like to capture on video police doing something that will look bad. >> reporter: james gonzalez air, detective with the san jose police department, has seen the demonstrations from the other side. >> we are always outnumbered. as young police officers, my own police car was hit with bricks during protests. the first thing that goes through any police officer's mind is how do we get everyone home safe. >> reporter: in 15 jeers yearsa a policeman he's become experienced in pulling on full riot gear look pretty tough. you look pretty impefersuous. it doesn't feel the same behind that mask? >> what may look very intimidating to the protesters, you feel extremely vulnerable. there's a big difference in perception of what we see from one side of the riot glass and what protesters see from the other side. >> reporter: when officers try to separate troublemakers from peaceful protesters, making an arrest can incite more trouble. >> that's a very difficult thing
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to do, and that crowd often will turn on the police who are doing that very difficult job. >> reporter: it happened recently in gonzalez's own department when san jose officers tried to remove a disorderly man from a football game. fans shouted for the police to stop. >> a video is only one angle one perspective. it doesn't tell the whole story. >> reporter: soon, police officers in san jose will be wearing their own body cameras. more video may not reduce the stress of facing a crowd of protesters, but it will add a new view. john blackstone, cbs news, san jose. >> o'donnell: and still ahead dr. jon lapook on the growing number of women who hope to preserve their fertility by eggs. and if too much salt is bad for you, then this is really bad. we'll explain when the cbs evening news continues.
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i had a baby when my life was ready instead of just because my body is ready. >> there's a gradually growing population of women who are choosing to do this electively. >> reporter: dr. michael drews is clark's doctor at reproductive medicine associates in new jersey. >> probably, when this comes into its own it will be more liberating to women than the oral contraceptives back in the 1960s. >> reporter: as eggs age the success of fertility procedures declines. research shows eggs frozen at age 30 are twice as likely to result in a pregnancy as eggs frozen at 40. yet, one study found over 80% of women freezing their eggs were older than 35. >> the light goes off for most women when they begin to reach their later 30s and early 40s and that's had they they see, gee i'm running out of time. unfortunately in most cases they've largely already run out of time. >> reporter: there are no national figureses on how many women have frozen their eggs or returned to use them. the american society for
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reproductive medicine does not endorse elective egg freezing saying it may give women false hope and encourage women to delay childbearing. what's your reaction to that? >> i don't think my hope is false. i think it gives me a better chance, and i wouldn't tell any woman that she should do this. i think it's a really personal decision that a woman makes with her doctor and her bank account. >> reporter: the procedure costs between $10,000 and $15,000, and another $1,000 a year to keep the eggs frozen. still, clark says it's money well spent. is there part of this for you that's slowing down that biological clock that's been ticking? >> yes. it stopped. and i'll get older, but my eggs will stay the same age. >> reporter: though egg freezing is still an uncommon procedure, there are siengz it may be increasing in popularity. apple and facebook recently announced their health insurance plans will now cover elective egg freezing. a move that could spur other
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companies to follow suit. >> o'donnell: all right dr. jon lapook, thank you. in a moment, an update on former president george h.w. bush. >> i'm alex trebek. if you're age 50 to 85 this is an important message. so please,
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call this number now. ♪ >> o'donnell: today former president george bush was released from a houston hospital, one week after he suffered there shortness of breath. mr. bush, who is 90 years old is now resting at home. in a statement mr. bush said he's grateful for the superb care. some people believe spilling salt brings bad luck. hopefully that's not case in
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chicago. take a look at this. today a wall collapse caized a huge spill at the morton salt facility. no one was hurt but the company's ad slogan sure rang true today-- morton salt, when it rains, it pours. some of the most accomplished actors are ones you never actually see. today, we learned kristine cavanaugh has died. the voice actor played chuckie in rug rats, dexter in dexter's laboratory, and the title role in the movie "babe." >> oh, beautifully done. i can't tell you how grateful i am to you all. >> o'donnell: no details in her death were released. kristine cavanaugh was 51. koalas are fuzzy lovable, and threatened. we'll show you what's being done to save them next. eh, you don't want that one. yea, actually i do. it's mucinex fast-max night time and it's got a nasal decongestant. is that really a thing? it sounds made up. mucinex fast max night time for multi-symptom relief. breathe easy. sleep easy. let's end this.
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>> o'donnell: finally tonight during president obama's trip to australia last month chief white house correspondent major garrett got to visit one of the native species which faces an unexpected threat. >> reporter: koalas are in a cuddly class by themselves. these two world leaders concur and, well, they don't agree on much. koalas live in eastern australia, where they compete with humans for habitat. it's a tough equation. each koala needs 100 eucalyptus
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trees to survive. >> loss of the habitat not only loses where they live. it loses what they eat. you lose that you lose everything. she's fully grown. >> reporter: karen nilsson is head koala keeper at lone pine koala sanctuary part of australia's effort to protect a national mascot whose population has declined by 30% since 1990. >> little pockets of habitat don't work because they get fragmented, the populations within that group become severely inbred, and they lead to other problems. >> reporter: by "other problems "nilsson means a stunning and slightly uncomfortable reality threatening koalas-- chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease. koalas sleep 18-20 hours a day and they eat a lot, more than two pounds of eucalyptus leaves daily. but they also mate, and inadvertently spread the virus which causes infertility and blindness.
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red eye is its signature. is the word "extinction" too alarmist? >> no extinction isn't alarmist. there are koala that have experienced localized expingz. >> reporter: but a vaccine offers hope for a cure and lifetime of protection. adam pokinghorne is one of its developers. >> the idea of the vaccine is that we're going to be able to train the immune system of koalas such that if they're ever exposed to this infection in the wild they will already have-- their immune system will be able to defend themselves against the infection. >> reporter: researchers need more funds to prove the vaccine works so they can give koalas a chance to thrive while sleeping, eating and doing everything else. major garrett, cbs news, brisbane australia. >> o'donnell: everything else. that's the cbs evening news. for scott pelley, i'm norah o'donnell. i'll see you tomorrow on "cbs
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we're going to have your new year's eve forecast and, of course, the forecast for the winter classic and snowflakes on the seven-day. we'll explain. >> good evening, i'm jan jeffcoat. >> and i'm derek mcginty. we begin with breaking news out of loudoun county where we're learning a fifth-grader has died from complications from the flu. >> the boy was a student at creighton's corner elementary. he died friday after spending several days in the hospital. . >> reporter: guys, we're not far from the loudoun county elementary school the fifth- grader attended.
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the loudoun walk in medical center here, just like many hospitals and doctors offices in the area and around the country, say they've seen a huge uptick in flu cases in recent weeks. the fifth-grader who died was a student in ashburn. one mother with a student at creighton's corner told me today in her son's class of 30 students, 12 have been sick in recent weeks. certainly that time of year. stuff is going arnold. around -- around. the cdc says the flu is at epidemic levels right now partly because this year's vaccine isn't a good match. but they still recommend you get the vaccine. they say it can help fight the flu and the symptoms. well, who would film up the


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