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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  September 23, 2019 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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♪ feed your head captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ >> brennan: tonight, the controversy over the conversation. calls for impeachment grow louder. president trump admits he talked with ukraine's leader about joe biden, but denies wrongdoing. they say a picture is worth 1,000 words. a teenage climate activist stares down the president at the u.n. an american soldier is charged with sharing bomb-making instructions online, and police say he wanted to blow up a news network. outrage after two six year olds are arrested at school. tonight, will the officer face trouble? stranded. up to 600,000 travelers have to find a new way home when the world's oldest travel company suddenly shuts down. and in your money, your health, there may be a lesson in it for all of us. he has insurance, so why did he
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get stuck with a nearly $700,000 hospital bill? and harry and meghan follow in diana's footsteps as they travel through africa. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell. >> brennan: good evening. this is our western edition. norah is on assignment. i'm margaret brennan. tonight, more answers lead to even more questions about president trump's july phone call with the new leader of ukraine. the president confirmed they did discuss joe biden and his son. he also publicly accused the bidens of being corrupt, but he denied putting any pressure on ukraine to open an investigation. weijia jiang starts us off tonight from the united nations. ne we had a perfect phone call with the president of ukraine. everybody knows it. >> reporter: the phone conversation between president trump and ukrainian president
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volodymyr zelenskiy is the talk of the town as president trump meets with world leaders in new york city. the president has been on the defensive since it was revealed that a whistleblower filed a complaint about his communications with ukraine. the question: did mr. trump in that july 25th call threaten to withhold military funding if the ukrainians did not investigate joe biden and his son? >> no i didn't. no, i didn't. >> reporter: today he confirmed they discussed foreign aid, but no quid pro quo. >> i put no pressure on them whatsoever. i could have. i think it would probably possibly have been okay if i did. but i didn't. i didn't put any pressure on them whatsoever. >> reporter: president trump claims the former vice president abused his position to help his son hunter, who worked for a ukrainian gas company at the time. there is no evidence of wrongdoing. >> joe biden and his son are corrupt. >> reporter: the president stood by his discussion with his ukrainian counterpart as an
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effort to combat corruption in ukraine. >> one of the reasons the new president got elected is he was going to stop corruption, so it's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption. h reporter: sources tell cbs news the white house is seriously considering releasing a transcript of the conversation, something biden urged as well. >> i hope you get to see the call. >> reporter: but mr. trump acknowledged the potential consequences of doing so. >> i don't think it's a great precedent. i didn't say i was going to release it at all. >> reporter: during an interview, ukraine's foreign minister opposed releasing the transcript, arguing that confidentiality is a main condition of conversations and sometimes leaders share sensitive information. margaret, presidents trump and zelenskiy are set to meet here at the u.n. on wednesday. >> brennan: we'll be watching. thank you very much. weijia jiang at the u.n. we want to bring into the conversation nancy cordes at the capitol. nancy, lawmakers are demanding to see the transcript of this phone call. what's the latest on the investigation?
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>> reporter: well, margaret, democrats do want to see a transcript, but they say that's not enough. they also want to see the full aistleblower's complaint. they are now upping the ante. today, three separate house committees sent a letter to the secretary of state threatening subpoenas if they don't get six different categories of documents this week. they want to know, for instance, what rudy giuliani, the president's personal attorney, told state department officials about his conversations with the ukrainians. the committees, by the way, first asked for those documents a couple of weeks ago but haven't gotten any of them yet, margaret. >> brennan: has it impacted the leadership of the democratic party and whether they move forward with trying to impeach the president? >> reporter: there was some chatter among some freshman democrats in the house this weekend who have so far held out on impeachment, but who feel that this may represent a serious new transgression. if a block of them ends up changing their mind, that could
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in turn put pressure on another holdout, speaker of the house nancy pelosi, who already this weekend warned that the administration could be entering "a gave new chapter of lawlessness that would trigger a whole new stage of investigation" if congress doesn't get access to that whistleblower's report soon, margaret. >> brennan: developing story. thank you, nancy. details coming in on another major story. a u.s. army soldier is charged with sharing bomb-making information on social media. jeff pegues reports that thef. in as the soldier allegedly set his sights on targets here in the u.s. >> reporter: while 24-year-old private first class jarrett william smith was stationed at three military bases over the past two years, investigators say he was posting bomb-making instructions on facebook. smith told one associate online, "i got knowledge of i.e.d.s for days," a reference to an improvised explosive device.
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in an online chat group, smith told an f.b.i. confidential source that he was intent on killing members of the far left group antifa and targeting the headquarters of a major american news network with a car bomb. when an undercover agent asked whether there was anyone down in texas that would be a good fit for fire, destruction, and death, smith allegedly responded, "outside of beto?" a reference to democratic presidential candidate beto o'rourke, who has made gun control a central theme for his campaign. katherine schweit is a former f.b.i. special agent. >> this subject routinely provided advice and direction on how to build bombs. that's frightening. >> reporter: there is something else that caught the f.b.i.'s attention. investigators believe that smith was also trying to link up with a far-right paramilitary group in ukraine. he could get up to 20 years in federal prison if he's convicted. margaret? >> brennan: jeff, thank you. we turn now to dallas, where a
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former police officer is on trial for murder. the victim, a man who was shot to death in his own apartment. omar villafranca reports that the former officer insists it was just all a mistake. she'd gone to the wrong door. >> the noise from the door must have scared him to death. >> reporter: former dallas police officer amber guyger sat in court as prosecutors accused her of murder and being more concerned about her career than a dying botham jean. >> in the five minutes that she's on that 911 call as bo is bleeding to death on the floor, she should have been giving 100% of her attention to that man. >> oh, my god. i'm sorry. >> reporter: guyger was off duty but still in uniform when she shot jean. her lawyers say guyger worked a 15-hour shift and thought jean was burglarizing her apartment. >> she knows she's made a tragic mistake, but it's not out of evil. >> reporter: jean was from st. lucia.
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his parents bertrum and allison spoke exclusively to cbs news before the start of the trial. >> i have prayed that god will help me to sit in the same room with my son's killer. >> i would like to meet her and ask her, what went wrong? how did you take him away from me? >> reporter: more than a year after losing her son, allison jean says she just wants to hear the truth. >> just come clean. >> reporter: what would that do for you? >> i'm looking forward to the trial as one step to closure. >> reporter: the jury is made up of eight women and four men. five of the jurors are black. now, if she's convicted of murder, guyger could spend the rest of her life in prison, and she is expected to take the stand during this trial. margaret? >> brennan: omar, thank you. tonight there is a massive effort to bring home more than 500,000 stranded travelers. they got stuck at airports and hotels all around the world as
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thomas cook, the oldest travel company in the world, suddenly shut down. kris van cleave has more on the llapse of a travel giant. >> reporter: the last thomas cook flight touched down in england this morning, leaving the company's 21,000 employees potentially out of work and an estimated 600,000 tourists stranded in vacation spots around the world and here in the u.s. >> really disappointed the holiday has to end like this. >> reporter: at new york's j.f.k. airport, flyers showed up only to learn their flight home was canceled. >> we have been given no information at all by anybody. >> reporter: in addition to new york, the airline served five other u.s. cities, 267,000 people flew to orlando alone in the last year. thomas cook specialized in low- cost vacation packages but was over $2 billion in debt. the british government declined to offer a bailout and new funding couldn't be secured over the weekend. >> it is deeply distressing to me that this has not been possible to save one of the most
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loved brands in travel. >> reporter: the british government has now chartered more than 40 airlines to bring home stranded passengers, the largest repatriation of its citizens ever in peace time. thomas cook was struggling as bookings dropped due to a weak british pound and uncertainty surrounding brexit. as many as one million people woke up this morning to find out the vacations they had already booked had been canceled, and margaret, it's not clear if they will get a refund. >> brennan: wow. kris van cleave, thank you. a new u.n. report sounds an alarm about the planet's failing health. it will be released in monaco. our mark phillips has more on what's being called the most dire u.n. climate report ever. >> reporter: the final wording of the u.n.'s next climate report is being worked on overnight in this building, but it's expected to say the ice in the arctic and the antarctic is melting far more quickly than was feared.
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not only that, global warming is so advanced, so many tipping points may have been passed that some of the more severe consequences of warming may now be inevitable. among the cited consequences, rising sea levels that displace hundreds of millions of people from coastal areas, increased numbers of destructive storms, devastated fish stocks and even reduced supplies of drinking water. the report is the gloomiest prediction thus far of the u.n.'s panel, which warns that if global emissions of greenhouse gasses are not reduced, the consequences will be even worse. margaret? >> brennan: thanks. at the u.n. today, teen climate activist greta thunberg blasted world leaders for inaction to stop climate change. in her speech, thunberg warned politicians they are failing to protect the planet. >> we are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. how dare you! >> brennan: social media lit up over this shot of thunberg
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glaring at president trump as he arrived at the u.n. now our special series on soaring healthcare costs, a recent survey finds americans have collectively borrowed about $88 billion to cover doctor and hospital bills, bills that can be confusing or even come as a shock. we have teamed up with the journalists at clearhealthcosts to shine a light on the problem and to help people fight back. tonight in our series "your money, your health," anna werner takes an in-depth look at the sky-high costs of "medical price roulette." >> there was no other way to go. >> reporter: it's been a year since crippling back pain sent frank esposito to the doctor. >> he looked at the m.r.i. and he said, "you need to go to the closest hospital immediately." >> reporter: this 59-year-old tool and die maker from long island says he could barely move. >> it wasn't an elective thing. >> reporter: it was that obvious?
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>> it was that obvious. >> reporter: you couldn't even walk. doctors told esposito he needed immediate surgery. that a herniated disc in his spinal column threatened to leave him permanently paralyzed. >> the pain was bad. i never thought it would end. >> reporter: but the surgery was just the beginning of esposito's nightmare. he has private insurance, so you might think, as he did, that he was covered for this kind of emergency, but just weeks into his seven month recovery, the bills started pouring in. this says the amount you owe is -- >> $256,000. it's mind-boggling. that's only one doctor. >> reporter: esposito was on the hook for over $650,000 in bills, including $256,000 for the orthopedic surgeon who fused his spine, $220,000 for the neurosurgeon, and another $53,000 for a doctor who monitored his breathing. he was denied coverage because his insurance company decided it was not an emergency and not medically necessary.
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>> you say, this can't be real. ayreally don't have to pay this. how am i going to pay this? you sit there and you start crying, because you don't know what you're going to do. >> reporter: esposito's story is exactly the kind americans fear most. four in ten say they have received a big bill in the past year. it's all part of a healthcare system that has become more complicated and costlier, with out-of-pocket spending up more than 50% since 2010. >> it's far too easy for these kinds of crazy stories to happen. >> reporter: aaron caroll is a pediatrician and health services researcher. so many people feel they are being pushed to the limit, that nobody is responding to them. >> yes, it's soul crushing. truly. the really bad part is the people we're asking to do all of this leg work are the sick. that's just not a good syste >> reporter: frank esposito has taken $49,000 from his 401(k) to pay down some of his bills. he has hired a medical billing
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specialist and even appealed to the state. but he still owes more than $220,000. >> you need to be able to know that you can do this, that you're going to get the care you need, that you're not going to be destitute by the time you're done. >> reporter: after appeals, esposito's insurer, oxford united healthcare, paid some of his doctors' bills. we're still waiting for a response as to the remaining $220,000 bill. now, as part of this series, we want to hear what you're paying for medical procedures. go to cbsnews.com/healthcosts and click onhe link to share what you paid. you can also search prices in the two markets already surveyed by our partner, clearhealthcosts. that's dallas and san francisco. margaret? >> brennan: important reporting. it's going to be a key issue for voters, that's for sure. a lot of people are naming this their number-one issue. anna, thank you. there is much more ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." caribbean islands including puerto rico are bracing for another storm. an update on two six year olds
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apnea. the arresting officer was identified as dennis turner. tonight, the orlando chief of police announced the officer has fed. >> i was sick to my stomach when i heard this. >> reporter: they say he failed which calls for a supervisor's approval before arresting anyone under 12. arresting someone that young is not unheard of. in fact, in florida, nearly 3,000 children between the ages of five and 12 were arrested in the fiscal year ending in 2018. michelle morton of the a.c.l.u. argues many are for behavioral issues that should be dealt with differently. >> law enforcement has to approach it in a more social worker-type role or more de- escalating situations rather than confronting them. >> reporter: manuel bojorquez, cbs news, orlando. >> brennan: coming up, a powerful storm blows through the arizona dese that's why your cash
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puerto rico and the virgin islands. they could get up to six inches of rain by tomorrow from karen, which is now a tropical depression with 35mph winds. over the weekend, karen slammed trinidad and tobago with powerful waves and torrential rain. what's left of hurricane lorena caused flash floods in arizona today. a number of people had to be rescued from their cars in the phoenix area. firefighters used a long ladder to reach a family trapped in their minivan. up next, harry and meghan in africa. ceremony mixed with a serious message. plants capture co2. what if other kinds of plants captured it too? if these industrial plants had technology that captured carbon like trees we could help lower emissions.
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included glad handing crowds, sampling regional cuisine, and doling out hugs to the localchd. but harry and meghan want to be taken seriously. today, they spoke out against violence toward women. >> i know that when women are empowered, entire communities flourish. >> reporter: later this week, meghan visits mothers living with h.i.v./aids, sure to evoke memories of princess diana. and prince harry will literally follow in his mother's footsteps when he treads the same path diana took, walking along an angolan landmine field, passing on her passions to the next generation. debora patta, cbs news, cape town. >> brennan: that's the "cbs evening news." for norah o'donnell, i'm margaret brennan. thank you for watching. and we will see you back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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as the threat of power shutoffs gets more routine can you guess what the hot item is at hardware stores here in the north bay? this part of the bay area is due for a catastrophic fire. will folks be able to evacuate if there is one? one man said he would have a better chance eating out on foot. dramatic opening statements and a bombshell activation. a bay area heiress starts her trial evidens cking as it relates to tiffany li.

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