tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS December 16, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
>> pelley: hung jury it's first trial of a cop in the death of freddie gray ends with no verdict. >> the family wants everyone to remain calm. >> pelley: also tonight, the sale on money is ending as the fed raises interest rates. vicious in vegas-- >> he's a chaos candidate. and he'd be a chaos president. >> he has failed in this campaign. it's been a total disaster. >> pelley: and meet bei bei, the little giant. >> reporter: how often do people say to you, "i want your job?" >> i think everyone does all the time. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: late today, the family of freddie gray called for calm in baltimore after the trial of officer william porter ended with a hung jury. porter is the first of six cops
to be tried in the death of gray, who was severely injured while in police custody. gray's death in april led to riots in the streets. prosecutors today have not yet said whether they will try porter again. kris van cleave is in baltimore. >> reporter: baltimore sheriffs deputies took down a demonstrator outside the courthouse. it was a tense, but largely peaceful atmosphere after seven african american and five white jurors were unable to agree on any of the four charges against officer william porter, including second degree assault and involuntary manslaughter. demonstrator archie williams was outraged. what do you think this says about justice? >> i say it looks like ronald mcdonald. it's a real bad joke. >> reporter: freddie gray died from injuries suffered while riding in a police van. officer porter was present at five of the six stops the van made. porter did not buckle gray in, despite police department guidelines, and prosecutors alleged porter did not call for medical help.
lawyer billy murphy represents the gray family. >> if the family's not angry, no one else should be angry, and i think the family has a bigger stake in this than almost anybody else. >> reporter: city officials have vowed to avoid a repeat of last spring's violent protests. today, baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings-blake pleaded for calm. >> if we believe in justice, must have respect for the outcome of the judicial process. this is our american system of justice. >> when do we want it? >> now! >> reporter: demonstrators have gathered peacefully since this verdict came in. scott, the other five officers charged have their hearings set for the new years. >> pelley: kris van cleave on the streets of baltimore tonight. kris, thank you. in another important story, we have reached a milestone in the recovery from the great recession. the federal reserve raised a key interest rate for the first time
in years. wall street took that as a vote of confidence in the economy and the dow rose 224 points. here's anthony mason. >> reporter: the aftershocks from the financial crisis and the housing meltdown forced the fed to keep interest rates near zero for more than seven years, but today, janet yellen declared an end to the extraordinary era of easy money. >> the economic recovery has clearly come a long way, although it is not yet complete. >> reporter: it was back in december of 2008 that the fed slashed rates as low as they could go, the same month the economy was officially declared in recession and bernie madoff was arrested in a billion-dollar ponzi scheme. by april of 2009, foreclosures had soared to their peak, more than 200,000 that month. and by october, unemployment was at 10%. but now monthly foreclosures are down 80% from that high, and seven years later, unemployment has been cut in half.
so the fed is raising rates a quarter of a point. >> and it reflects the committee's confidence that the economy will continue to strengthen. >> reporter: future increases will be gradual, and the central bank made certain the markets saw this coming. >> this is the most telegraphed punch in the history of the world. >> reporter: max wolff is chief economist at manhattan. >> it is a bookend of a period. this was the most stimulation monetary policy has ever given to our economy and hopefully we will never need this much again. . >> reporter: several major banks raised their prime rates immediately after the fed's move, and the cost of mortgages, car loans and credit cards could begin to rise. but it's good news for savers who will finally start to get higher returns on the money they've socked away. scott. >> pelley: a long hangover from the great recession. anthony, thanks very much. public schools in los angeles reopened today. they closed yesterday abruptly
because of an e-mail terror threat that turned out to be a hoax. 640,000 students were shutz out. new york city received a similar threat but dismissed it. today, the federal government revised its system for warning americans of terrorist threats. the department of homeland security issued its first bulletin today. it was a statement of what is already painfully clear. jeff pegues has more on this. >> reporter: today's bulletin says want country is in a new phase in the global threat environment. law enforcement is concerned about self-radicalized individuals who could strike with little or no notice. it also warned of threats against communities based on perceived religion, ethnicity, or nationality. the new bulletin alert was added because the other two categories, elevated and imminent, required detailed information and were never activated. bulletins like today's can be sent without a specific threat.
homeland security secretary jeh johnson. >> what we are concerned about here in the homeland are copycat-like attacks, and those who are self-radicalized who may be inspired to commit terrorist attacks. and regrettably, we have seen that in recent months and recent-- recent weeks. >> reporter: the massacre in san bernardino, california, two weeks ago was one such attack. so were the july 16 shootings that killed five people at two military locations in chattanooga, tennessee. today, for the first time, f.b.i. directo director james c, said the shooter, muhammad youssef abdulazeez, was also self-radicalized. >> there's no doubt that the chattanooga killer was inspired, motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda. we've investigated from the beginning as a terrorist case. >> reporter: comey said before san bernardino shooter tashfeen malik came to the u.s., she only communicated about jihad using direct private messages and not
publicly on social media. scott, that would have made it harder for immigration officials to see signs of her radicalization. >> pelley: jeff pegues, thanks, jeff. now, because the f.b.i. has determined that that chattanooga shooting jeff just mentioned was terrorism, the navy said today that four marines and a sailor who was killed and a marine who was wounded will all receive purple hearts. homeland security was the focus last night at the republican presidential debate in las vegas. 18 million people watched it on tv, and major garrett was there. >> marco knows what he's saying isn't true. >> reporter: first-term senators marco rubio and ted cruz spard over congress' decision toned the government's bulk collection and storage of phone records. rubio opposed ending the program, and cruz supported it. >> that tool we lost, the metadata program, was a valuable tool that we no longer have at our disposal. >> the old progrboamnf covere% to 30% of phone numbers to
search for terrorists. the new program covers nearly 100%. that gives us greaterbl ae to stop act of terrorism and he knows that that's the case. >> i don't think national television in front of 15 million people is the place to discuss classified information. >> reporter: the spat signaled rising tensions between the two as they vie to challenge g.o.p. front-runner donald trump. today, cruz rebutted rubio's implication that he revealed classified information. >> what i said last night has wbeenidely reported. it's been saturated in the public sphere. this is another example of the rubio campaign trying to spread misinformation. >> one of the most important things a president has to do is be able to handle both the role as the bully pulpit of the white house, but do so in a way that doesn't compromise our national security. >> reporter: after the debate, we asked trump how he would balance privacy and security. >> i have always come dwown on the side of security. to me it's the most important. >> reporter: even if it means doing something to encroach on the bill of rights? >> i thought, i hate the concept
of it, but we're dealing with some very, very bad dudes. >> reporter: jeb bush said trump's foreign policy proposals were not serious. >> he's a chaos candidate. and he'd be a chaos president. he would not be the commander in chief we need to keep our country safe. >> reporter: rubio did not accuse cruz of releasing classified information. he said he would leave that determination to the senate intelligence committee. scott, the committee said there was nothing to investigate. >> pelley: major garrett covering the campaign. major, thanks. tonight, we have a rare look at the battlefield in syria where u.s. special operations forces are now on the ground fighting isis. the americans are supporting allied militias, including kurdish forces that our charlie d'agata linked up with near the isis capital city. >> reporter: the thick fog meant the drive to the front line inside syria was slow. we were about 40 miles from iraq athe headquarters of isis, but
their fighters were just a few miles away and no one wanted to make a wrong turn. past deserted villages, we finally reached their line of defense. it wasn't much. one of the soldiers looked like he was barely into his teens. these are the syrian rebels the u.s. is training and equipping. until a few months ago, this whole area was controlled by isis. glooming days like these are a nightmare for rebel forces guarding front lines. isis militants use the fog as cover to launch sneak attacks. they can't see them coming until it's too late to stop them. the group leader told us u.s. warplanes can't see them, either. and while he said he was grateful for american support, he hadn't actually seen any of the u.s. special forces now on the ground. but commander lewland rojava had. we met him at his base camp deep inside syria.
what types of things are you discussing? "mainly coordination on the ground," he told us, "weapons and ammunition and who gets them, and they also uponned to see how successful we are in fighting isis on the ground. of the we also asked villagers what they thought of u.s. troops inside syria. "if they bring peace and stability" he said," they're welcome." when you found out u.s. troops were coming here, what did you think? 16-year-old omar told us he was simply happy. the commander told us, scott, once u.s. forces see for themselves what they're up against, they'll realize they need things like armored vehicles and heavy weapons, notion guns and ammunition. he also said, depending on how things go, maybe america will send even more forces. >> pelley: charlie d'agata with a report from america's new battlefield in syria. charlie, thank you. now the u.s. has also sent
hundreds of troops to west africa, where islamic militants linked to isis are terrorizing villages in a campaign of murder and kidnapping. the americans are there to support cameroon's army, and debora patta went along. >> reporter: cameroon's elite counter-terrorism soldiers gear up for the day's patrol to the nigerian border. balaclavas provide scant relief against the choking dust. they're searching for boko haram, the extremist group that has aligned itself with isis and killed more than 20,000 in the past six years. border up toes like ed colodny have suffered a string of attacks by suicide bombers recently. boko haram fighters frequently hide weapons and ammunitions in villages. sniffer dogs look for explosives as soldiers go from hut to hut. the belief is boko haram could be in any of these homes and not
even children are immune from security checks because in the past few months, the suicide bombs in this area have all been delivered by children. children, the new face of war. but today, they find nothing. major beltus kwene tells the village to be vigilant. the soldiers' base is just a few miles from the border. and you've been attacked here at this base. >> we underwent a massive attack at this base. >> reporter: kwene told us since boko haram has pledged allegiance to isis their tactics have changed. their bombs are under sophisticated and deployed with deadly frequency. >> when i see how horrible they can be, i think i will never, ever feel tired to fight against them. >> reporter: now cameroon is getting help from the u.s.
military that is setting up its first drone base in africa. here, cameroon soldiers are learning how to use their own drones for surveillance. the u.s. base won't be fully operational until next month. captain victor guzman-- >> the united states forces is providing intelligence, surveillance, and rereconnaissance ass theets to cameroon forces to take the lead, fight the local threat, and not only is it local, but it's grown to a global threat. >> reporter: the u.s. will have as many as 300 troops on the ground in cameroon by the time it's fully operational. they're also training the soldiers to prevent suicide attacks. it's critically important, scott, just 12 hours after we left kolofata, it was hit by a suicide bomber killing nine people. >> pelley: debora patta reporting from the heart of africa. debora, thank you. an attempt to save coral reefs
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>> pelley: an attempt to save florida coral is wrecking the reef instead. apparently they didn't think through what sea water does to metal. here's barry petersen. >> reporter: they're off before dawn. diver thomas pennypacker is on a rescue mission off the coast of ft. lauderdale, saving a piece of florida's natural coral reef, from this, as massive 35-acre graveyard of old tires. it started as a way to get rid of tires plugging up landfills back in 1970. up to two million tires bundled by metal clips were dumped here to create an artificial reef. the hope was that they would
spur coral growth and attract fish, all good for the environment. really good idea? really bad outcome. the clips rusted away. the tires broke free. storms and constant ocean currents keep the tires moving, dragging across and damaging the fragile living reef nearby, says alex delgado, the dive coordinator. >> right now, it's just a wasteland. it's tires everywhere. and now we need to correct it before it does additional damage. >> reporter: down below here is the priority zone where they had as many as 300,000 tires, but the tires have really spread throughout this area, all the way as far as the beaches of ft. lauderdale. >> how you doing down there? >> now, we're in a pretty good spot. >> reporter: surround by a seemingly endless mound of tires, pennypacker slings them on to lines to be hauled up by a crane. until he and his team fetch as many as 600 on a good day.
it's a race against time. pat quinn is the natural resources specialist for broward county. >> they won't break poorlt in our lifetime. >> reporter: so if you don't get them out of there, they're just going to be there. >> forever. >> reporter: so far, florida state funding will bring the number of recovered tires to about 160,000, not enough, say experts, to protect a reef 7,000 years in the making. barry petersen, cbs news, off the coast of ft. lauderdale. >> pelley: still ahead, years after his death, michael jackson is still setting records. osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture... i can tell you prolia® is proven to help protect bones from fracture. but the real proof? my doctor said prolia® helped my bones get stronger. are your bones getting stronger do not take prolia® if you have low blood calcium, are pregnant, are allergic
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of 20 classic movieadded today at the film registry at the library of congress, films preserved due to their cultural importance. the list includes "top gun," "l.a. confidential," can "the shawshank redemption" with tim robbins and morgan freeman. >> i guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. if you're busy living, you get... >> pelley: fans of michael jackson got busy buying his 1982 masterpiece. today, "thriller" became the first album to go platinum 30 times over. 30 million sold in the u.s., more than a million since jackson died in 2009. next, the new star at the national zoo.
glt new baby at the national zoo, a baby panda, made its public debut today, so we sent cub reporter chip reid for a look. >> reporter: getting introduced to the media at four months old is something usually reserved for a royalty. well, that's exactly what pay bay is, the prince of cute. millions of panda lovers have watched him grow up on the national zoo's panda-cam, from birth when he was completely helpless to where he is today, which is just mostly helpless. doctors say he's in perfect health and give much of the credit to mom, who endlessly plays with him, carries him over rocks, slides hims across the floor, and nuzzles him to sleep. brandie smith is in charge of animal care at the zoo.