tv CBS Evening News CBS August 1, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT
>> quijano: the outbreak of wildfires in the west turns deadly. a firefighter is killed in northern california. walls of flames drive hundreds from their homes. zimbabwe suspends big-game bow hunting as officials try to track down the american dentist who killed a lion. could terrorists use drones for attacks in the u.s.? the department of homeland security issues a warning. and class warfare: the college board releases new advanced placement u.s. history teaching guidelines after conservatives claimed last year's edition was anti-american. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" >> quijano: good evening. i'm elaine quijano.
this is our western edition of the broadcast. august begins with a deadly wave of wildfires in the west. california is now under a state of emergency with thousands of firefighters battling nearly two dozen fires fueled by record heat and powerful winds. one firefighter was killed in northern california. the largest fire in the state, the so-called rocky fire, is generating enough smoke to be seen from space. it's burning 100 miles north of san francisco. at least 22,000 acres have been destroyed. the fire is still only 5% contained, and hundreds have been forced from their homes. carter evans is there. >> reporter: this is the type of fire californians have long feared, one that literally explodes in size. in just three days, the rocky fire has become a monster. at least 14 homes were destroyed, with 6,000 more at risk. john dowel says the flames came dangerously close to his home before firefighters told him to run. >> the firefighters when we were leaving, they were all retreating. they were all going out. >> reporter: the fire was moving that fast? >> they couldn't stop it.
they said it came over their engines. >> reporter: what was it like as you were leaving? what were you thinking? >> the worst, you know. >> reporter: you didn't think it would be here when you came back? >> no. i left all the gates open and everything open so the horses would have an escape route. there wasn't time to load up before; they were going frantic. >> reporter: fortunately, all of his horses were there when he came back. >> yeah, they're calming down. >> reporter: further north another fire became deadly. 38-year-old david ruhl was found dead on the front lines of the frog fire in california's modok county. officials are still investigating how he died. ruhl was from rapid city, south dakota, and a fire captain in the black hills national forest. he's survived by a wife and two children. firefighters throughout the u.s. have converged on california this week. more than 9,000 of them are battling flames as new fires break out, and some, like this one near napa, suddenly roar back to life. on friday, governor jerry brown declared a state of emergency, saying the severe drought and extreme weather have turned much of the state into a tinderbox.
>> our main obstacle has been the weather and the terrain. >> reporter: lynn tolmachoff is with cal fire. she says conditions are as bad as it gets. >> a triple-digit temperature, very low humidities, winds that are helping push this fire through really steep and difficult access-type terrain. >> reporter: firefighters have got this ranch surrounded now, but you can see how close the flames have already come. the earth here is scorched black, and it is like this for miles. the good news is the weather is starting to change, bringing with it higher humidity. that's good for firefighters only if it produces rain. the problem is, it could produce dry lightning, and, elaine, that could easily start more fires. >> quijano: carter evans reporting for us. carter, thank you. the department of homeland security has issued a warning about possible drone terror attacks in the united states. more now from cbs news homeland security correspondent jeff pegues. >> reporter: with more unmanned
aircraft systems taking to the skies, federal law enforcement officials say separating recreational and commercial drone use from the potential for malicious activity is becoming increasingly difficult. cbs news has learned that law enforcement agencies across the country are being warned that the growing availability of drones increases the chances of one being used to carry out a terrorist attack or commit a crime. a department of homeland security intelligence assessment says "detection and disruption of plotting by violent adversaries determined to use u.a.s.-- unmanned aircraft systems-- as a weapon, will likely remain a challenge for security officials for the near term." it defines adversaries as terrorist organizations, domestic terrorists, violent extremists and lone operatives among others. law enforcement officials say terrorist groups overseas have been uses u.a.s., or drones, with video capabilities for surveillance operations. they cannot rule out similar
uses here in the u.s. to support violent activities. last fall, the new york city police department told us it was paying close attention to the nation's fascination with drones and the potential for security breaches. officials pointed out this video from germany in 2013 of a drone hovering over a crowd of people just as german chancellor angela merkel delivered a speech. it flew toward the podium and landed right in front of her. last fall, deputy chief salvatore dipace, one of the n.y.p.d.'s top counterterrorism officials, told us the incident was a wake-up call. what is it about that video that concerns you the most? >> if you really think about what could have happened there that drone hit its target right on the mark and could have took the chancellor and her people out. >> reporter: in addition to terrorist organizations potentially using drones here in the u.s., cbs news has learned that law enforcement officials say drug trafficking organizations are using u.a.s. to transport illicit payloads
and to conduct route surveillance and monitor law enforcement operations on land and at sea. jeff pegues, cbs news, washington. >> quijano: tonight, zimbabwe is suspending the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in the area where a dentist from minnesota killed a popular lion named cecil. as jericka duncan reports cecil's death may have been a game changer. >> reporter: the shocking death of cecil is changing how big game in zimbabwe is hunted. emmanuel fundira is the president of the safari operators association. dr. walter palmer of minnesota is currently in hiding. officials in zimbabwe are seeking dr. palmer's extradition for killing the country's beloved lion that wore a g.p.s. tracking collar. in an interview with "the telegraph," theo bronkhorst, one of dr. palmer's guides, admits
what happened one month ago today was wrong, saying, "i was devastated. i could not have seen the collar at night. i should have taken it to parks. i admit that. so, we did what had to be done. we took the head and skin, as the client had paid for the trophy." cornell law professor jens david olin says extradition won't be taken seriously until dr. palmer is formally charged with a crime. >> at this moment in time, there's no formal extradition that's binding on the united states for the united states to go out and actually arrest palmer. >> reporter: even if the 55- year-old dentist is not punished in zimbabwe, life here at home has been a nightmare. >> it's unclear whether or not dr. palmer is in hiding from an internet mob or whether or not he's in hiding from the extradition process. >> extradite! extradite! >> reporter: protesters have camped outside his dental office.
twitter and facebook lit up with thousands of messages this week, vilifying the hunter. and since july 28, more than 215,000 people have petitioned the white house to extradite palmer promptly. the president is expected to respond in the coming weeks. elaine, we also learned today that officials in zimbabwe are now investigating the killing of another lion back in april. >> quijano: jericka duncan reporting for us. jerika, thanks. yesterday was the deadline for so-called super-pacs to file fund-raising reports with federal regulators. these groups, which operate outside of the official presidential campaigns, have raised more than $258 million this year. the top earners: the super-pac backing jeb bush hauled in a record $102 million; ted cruz's super-pac raised nearly $38 million; while those backing hillary clinton and scott walker took in $20 million. julianna goldman has more on the piles of campaign cash pouring in.
>> reporter: what makes this year so unique is that for the first time, nearly every one of the 22 presidential candidates has their own super-pac, an outside group that now operates alongside the campaign, running ads and knocking on doors but without limits on the amount of money any one person can give. that means the sky is the limit for wealthy donors. for example, hedge fund executive robert mercer gave $11 million to support texas senator ted cruz. if he had donated to the campaign, he'd only be allowed to give $2,700. >> it's the wild west. >> reporter: as the chairman of the federal election commission, ann ravel is the top cop on the beat that is supposed to police the record money and investigate possible violations. like whether candidates and super-pacs are coordinating, which the supreme court has said could be illegal. >> in order for people to have faith in our electoral system and in the political processes
they have to know that the law's being enforced. and people assume it. >> reporter: but they can't assume it. >> no, they can't. >> reporter: the six-member f.e.c. usually splits evenly along party lines, but it needs a majority to even open investigations. >> i think that the likelihood is that the lawyers who are representing all the candidates are saying to them, "the commission cannot get four votes to enforce any matter. therefore, you can take risks with the law." >> reporter: a cbs news analysis shows that more than 61 people have given $1 million or more to candidate super-pacs. elaine, ravel says the major concern here is that these mega- wealthy donors are buying outsized influence, and that means less power for the average voter. >> quijano: julianna goldman reporting from washington for us. julianna, thank you.
tonight, the wing section that could unlock the mystery of malaysia flight mh370 has arrived in france for analysis as investigators hunt for more clues on the small island of reunion off madagascar, more than 2,000 miles from where the boeing 777 may have crashed. jonathan vigliotti is on the scene. >> reporter: the wing fragment called a flaperon arrived by police escort at a french military facility near toulouse. officials say it, along with the remains of a suitcase, will be analyzed on wednesday. malaysian officials aren't waiting for conclusive evidence to begin the next phase of their search for mh370. they sent crews to reunion island today who will join a growing grassroots search effort launched by locals. do think the piece belongs to the plane? >> perhaps, we don't know. we don't know. we suppose. >> reporter: the wing flap was found here on the east coast of the island, an area known for the rough surf and for all of
the garbage the current brings in. i spoke with one man who found these items here on the beach, what looks like a plastic magazine rack and a singed and shredded flotation device. it's unclear if the ocean is delivering clues or just trash. it's been 17 months since the plane disappeared. oceanographers say strong currents are capable of carrying mh370 debris from its believed crash site over 2,300 miles away. a memorial was held this afternoon on the island at a church just down the road from where the wreckage was discovered, a candle lit for every person who has not been found. families of the 239 people on board mh370 say at this point, they just want answers. but, elaine, even if that wing flap does belong to mh370, experts say it will be difficult to trace where that plane crashed into the indian ocean and where the rest of it is. >> quijano: jonathan vigliotti thanks.
critics took on the college board and won. how they changed the way advanced placement american history will be taught in some high schools. and a high-tech tool helps police end a high-speed chase when the "cbs evening news" continues. igh-speed chase when the cbs evening news continues. well, when you have copd it can be hard to breathe. it can be hard to get air out, which can make it hard to get air in. so i talked to my doctor. she said... doctor: symbicort could help you breathe better, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. symbicort helps provide significant improvement of your lung function. symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort contains formoterol. medicines like formoterol increase the risk of death from asthma problems. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections osteoporosis, and some eye problems. you should tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it.
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♪ [music] ♪ jackie's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today her doctor has her on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. >> quijano: every year, about half a million high schoolers take an advanced placement american history class as a way to earn college credits, but there's been a national debate over what parts of american history should be emphasized. on thursday, the college board under pressure from conservatives, changed the guidelines for teaching the course. here's contessa brewer. >> reporter: students might not notice the changes, but a.p. u.s. history teachers will. for example, lessons on westward expansion. >> in the original version, the focus was almost exclusively on the negative impact of western settlement on native american populations. >> reporter: historian jeremy
stern helped the college board craft the revisions. >> including that is obviously essential, but you also want to talk about the point of view of the settlers themselves. >> when you change the story to one of pioneering spirit and economic opportunity, it's not just a change in emphasis. it's a lie. >> reporter: like beauty history may be in the eye of the beholder, and what seton hall history professor william james hull hoffer sees is downright ugly. >> the new standards have gone completely wrong. >> reporter: this is the document the college board changed, guidance for teachers about what the final exam will cover. new recommended court topics now include the american ideals of liberty, citizenship and self- governance, and the productive role of free enterprise. >> those are republican national committee, presidential, donald trump talking points. >> reporter: critics had slammed
last year's a.p. course guidance as unpatriotic. lawmakers in many states went on a rampage, pushing for changes. in colorado last september conservative school board members said the a.p. american history materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder. ( cheers ) that sparked civil disorder, massive community protest. the republican national committee adopted a resolution calling last year's framework biased and inaccurate. ben carson, a republican now running for president, went even further. >> i mean, i think most people when they finish that course they'd be ready to go sign up for isis. >> reporter: the college board knows the revised framework won't make everyone happy. >> i think people, frankly, on both the left and the right, have greatly exaggerated the power of this document. >> reporter: the college board doesn't mandate specific text books. the framework is a guide, not a requirement, about lesson plans. a.p. u.s. history teachers
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it has been a week of wild mood swings for wilmer flores of the new york mets. the player, seen crying on the field thinking he'd been traded wednesday, is suddenly celebrating. flores, who was not traded, hit a home run in the 12th inning last night, defeating the rival washington nationals, 2-1. flores has become a fan favorite and received several standing ovations last night. good for him. still ahead, a groundbreaking comedian out to break down some stereotypes. rather, some stereotypes.
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>> quijano: so, a muslim walks into a comedy club, and what he does next is causing belly laughs and changing minds one club at a time. here's don dahler. >> have you or anyone you know been involved with or given funds to any terrorist organizations... mr. mohamed? ( laughter ) >> reporter: this is mohammed amer-- "mo," for short. his name is a dead giveaway that audiences are about to get a different perspective. >> i didn't mess around with that question. i said, "absolutely not." who says yes? please tell me one person that says yes. is this an effective method of capturing terrorists worldwide? >> reporter: so, you are a muslim, kuwaiti-born palestinian american? >> that's a mouthful, brother. ( laughter ) >> reporter: amer was nine when the first gulf war broke out. his family fled kuwait. how was the transition for you from kuwait to houston? >> well, i didn't know what to do and how to acclimate. i mean, i came here, like, a
week before halloween. >> reporter: wow. >> freaked me out. i was like, "why is everybody dressed this way? what is happening in america today!" people asking me for candy. "i'm not going to give you candy. you have blood on your face!" things can get rough in texas. you never know. it'd be like, "hey, mo!" >> reporter: 20 years later... >> "hey, mo, you one of them a- rabs, huh? you one of them muslims, huh?" i'm like, "no." ( laughter ) >> reporter: ...mohammed amer is the first arab-american to star in his own nationally televised one-hour standup special. is that kind of what you're going for in some of your act, just to point out these prejudices against arabs and muslims? >> sure. my way of addressing it is sharing different perspectives. "oh, you ain't gonna get your citizenship, baby!" ( laughter ) >> reporter: the show, titled "legally homeless," is inspired by the 20 years it took to get his to citizenship. >> i traveled the world without a passport. >> reporter: okay, how do you do that? >> well, they give you a travel document. it acts as a passport. i really wants to be a passport, really badly.
"congratulations! here's your resident alien card." like i'm going to take off my mask and... ( makes alien monster sounds ) it's not just an arab or a muslim issue. i don't think so. i think people fear black folk. what's happening to black america right now. i'm a comedian. my most important goal is to get people laughing and cracking up. if you can get them to laugh and have them think at the same time, then you got something. "america, i have come for you!" "oh, my god, mommy, what's wrong with him?" >> reporter: his ultimate goal: to break down stereotypes... >> "he's just a resident alien. that's all, baby." ( laughter ) >> reporter: ...one laugh at a time. >> "i have some humus. these aliens love humus. feed him humus." ( laughter ) >> reporter: don dahler, cbs news, new york. >> quijano: that's the cbs evening news for tonight. later on cbs, "48 hours." i'm elaine quijano in new york. for all of us here at cbs news thanks for joining us, and good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
drivers battle to get across the bay as bart workers race to keep a major project on track. the rocky fire continues to grow. i'm andrea with one homeowner's story of what is left tonight. >> and a bizarre banking problem for california pot clubs. why they are forced to deal in big bags of cash. >> kpix5
female announcer: right now at sleep train get up to 48 months interest-free financing on tempur-pedic. save hundreds on beautyrest. or choose $300 in free gifts with stearns & foster. the triple choice sale is on now at sleep train. live from the cbs bay area studios. this is kpix5 news. we just want top see what we can salvage. if there's anything lying around the yard. the barbecue pit. >> more than a dozen homes up in flames and tonight, the rocky fire is still growing and still out of control.