tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS November 4, 2019 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: tonight, breaking news, the f.b.i. thwarts a terror attack. a white supremacist is under arrest in a plot to firebomb this colorado synagogue. new video tonight from syria shows u.s. special forces guarding oil fields. also tonight, the former ambassador who was told to watch her back, her testimony made public today in which she says she felt threatened by the president and his allies. murder mystery clues tonight in the search for who killed a couple from new hampshire and buried their bodies on a remote texas beach. shake-up at mcdonald's. another top executive is out days after the c.e.o. is fired for having a relationship withl. just in the nick of time.
meet the hero on the tracks who rescued a man from an oncoming train. >> he wasn't going to make it. i couldn't watch that. >> o'donnell: and we'll show you how an 11-year-old boy is going the distance to honor fallen first responders. >> this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell. >> o'donnell: good evening. thank you so much for joining us for our western edition. we're going to begin with a developing story. a domestic terror attack averted tonight. the f.b.i. has broken up a plot to bomb one of the oldest synagogues in colorado. a 27-year-old man who called himself a skinhead and believed he was fighting a racial holy war is under arrest. authorities say he also tried to poison drinking water at the synagogue in the city of pueblo. the man used several facebook accounts to detail his hateful ambitions, and that's how the fim.
>> reporter: investigators say richard holzer, a skinhead and former member of the ku klux klan, wanted to attack pueblo colorado's temple emanuel early sunday morning. u.s. attorney jason dun says the f.b.i. was in on the plot. >> mr. holzer went on to suggest to undercover agents that they use explosive devices to destroy the synagogue and "get that place off the map." >> reporter: according to court papers, holzer met with undercover agents last friday in a hotel room. he was animated and displayed a nazi arm band and removed a knife, mask, and a copy of "mein kampf" from a backpack. the undercover agents gave him two fake pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite. shortly after that he was arrested. >> mr. holzer repeatedly expressed his hatred of jewish li.g as female white supremacist made contact with him in september
after he posted rants about jews and other minorities, displayed white supremacy symbols and wrote about getting ready to cap people. his arrest comes just over a year since a gunman killed 11 worshipers at the tree of life synagogue in pittsburgh. since then, the anti-defamation league says at least a dozen white supremacists have been arrested after threatening to target jewish houses of worship. the f.b.i. also says that holzer talked about putting arsenic in the synagogue's water supply and that he said he paid someone he called "mexican hitler" to do it last year. so far there is no evidence that that actually happened. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, jeff. incredible job by the f.b.i. tonight. thank you. we're going to turn now to capitol hill where we're getting a first look at some of the compelling testimony that's been behind closed doors in the impeachment inquiry. nancy cordes spent the day pouring over the transcripts like some of the rest of us and tonight has the cliff's notes version for us.
nancy, some fascinating details. >> they really are, norah. one 300-page transcript documents a u.s. ambassador's growing dread as the president's allies circulated false stories about her. at one point a colleague, gordon sondland, even urged her to try to save her job by tweeting her support for the president. marie yovanovitch told congressional investigators she was warned by ukrainian officials last winter to watch her back, because the president's personal lawyer, rudy giuliani, was planning to do things, including to her. >> she got fired finally, but she was blocking it. >> reporter: giuliani would go on to publicly smear yovanovitch as he worked to convince ukraine to investi campaign rival joe biden. house intelligence chairman adam schiff: >> and she was working with ukraine to get ukraine to fight corruption, and so what does this irregular back channel sanctioned by the president do? it seeks to remove someone fighting corruption in ukraine.
>> reporter: once she was removed, yovanovitch said she was shocked to read that the president himself described her as "bad news" in a phone call with his ukrainian counterpart, warning she would "go through some things." yovanovitch was asked, "did you feel threatened?" "yes, i was wondering, is there an active investigation against me in the f.b.i? i don't know." >> the president of ukraine was not a fan of hers either. >> reporter: president trump defended his call today. republicans struggled to do the same. was it appropriate for him to say that she was going to go through some things? >> i'm not... i don't know what that even necessarily is in reference to. >> reporter: the house also released the testimony of diplomatic veteran michael mckinley. "it was extremely clear to everyone," mckinley said, "that state department officials were being used in a way that certainly didn't fit in to any past example we can think of."
a lawmaker asked, "because they're being used to dig up political dirt on an opponent?" he responded, "that's correct." mckinley said he urged secretary pompeo several times to put out a statement supporting yovanovitch. >> i never heard him say a single thing. >> reporter: pompeo has disputed that. >> not once. not once, george, did ambassador mckinley say something to me during that entire time period. >> reporter: four white house officials were subpoenaed to appear for depositions today, and all four were no-shows. democrats said it's just more fodder for a likely article of impeachment centered around obstruction of justice. norah. >> o'donnell: nancy, thank you. president trump suffered another legal setback today in his battle to keep his tax returns private. a federal appeals court ruled that the president's tax returns cannot be kept from new york state investigators looking into those hush money payments made to adult film star stormy daniels.
paula reid joins us now from the white house. so, paula, does this mean we're finally going to see the president's tax returns? >> reporter: norah, the president's attorneys are going to do everything they can to keep these returns private. cbs news has learned they intend to appeal this decision to the supreme court, arguing that the president is protected from any criminal proceedings while he's in office. but today these judges held they don't think that the president will prevail at the high court, because they believe the president's accountants are not protected from subpoenas, and they may have to hand those returns off to investigators. >> o'donnell: another question for you, paula. the justice department today demanding details about an anonymous senior administration official who has written a critical book about the president. this is the next big showdown. will that stop the book's publication? >> it's unlikely. norah, this is the same official who last year penned an anonymous op-ed in the "new york times" describing the president as impetuous, adversarial, and ineffective and said there was
a faction inside the administration working to contain the damage. now, cbs news has obtained a letter the justice department sent to the official's publisher today saying that by writing the book he or she may have violated non-disclosure agreements and could have to forfeit any profits. the author's representative suggests this is just an intimidation tactic and it will not prevent the book from being published in a few weeks. >> o'donnell: all right, paula, thank you. there is word tonight that turkish authorities have captured the sister of abu bakr al-baghdadi, the fallen leader of isis, calling the arrest an "intelligence gold mine." you'll recall it was intelligence from turkey's sworn enemies the kurds who helped u.s. special forces take down al-baghdadi last month. a u.s. delegation met with the kurds today trying to repair relations with the abandoned u.s. allies. here's charlie d'agata. >> reporter: new video today shows the chaos and carnage tearing syria apart as america struggles to redefine its role in this region. president trump says the priority now is for u.s. troops
to protect oil wells in syria, giving the country's natural resources higher priority than its civilian population. the chairman of the house armed services committee, adam smith, told us today that perception is a wrong his delegation came here to right. >> i don't know why he would say something so stupid that is so wrong on policy. the united states of america doesn't have that oil, is never going to have that oil. it's not our oil. i don't know why the president can't understand that. >> reporter: he also said the decision to pull back u.s. troops in syria giving the green light for turkey to attack kurdish forces has had far- reaching implications. >> reporter: does the united states have a credibility issue? >> absolutely we have a credibility issue. that's part of the reason we're here is to begin to rebuild that credibility. >> reporter: the united states maintains a significant military presence here and continues joint military operations with both kurdish forces here and in neighboring syria.
operations against isis, which is far from beaten, says regional kurdish prime minister masrour barzani. how serious is the threat of resurgence of isis in this region? >> it is very serious. actually, we have seen a 300% increase in the activities of isis since last spring. >> reporter: that's a 300% increase in the number of isis attacks, norah, and congressman smith told us the number-one priority for u.s. troops here remains the fight against isis. >> o'donnell: all right, charlie, thank you. tonight, police have released an image of two persons of interest in the murders of a new hampshire couple. their bodies were found in texas. meg oliver tonight on the clues in the case. >> reporter: the buried remains of navy veteran james butler and his wife michelle were discovered in a shallow grave on padre island just over a week ago. today investigators released this image taken from surveillance video of a male and female driving the butler's
truck across the border into mexico four days after the couple was reported missing. kleberg county sheriff richard kirkpatrick. can you describe them? >> we don't know their names. as you can tell by the picture, it appears that they have got some distinguishing marks to them. >> reporter: last year the butlers left their hometown in rumney, new hampshire to explore the country in an r.v. their journey included recent stops throughout the southwest. along the way, they took odd jobs to pay for their dream adventure. at a resort in mesa, arizona, and the oil fields in laredo, texas. >> he said, "i've never seen the united states." >> reporter: debora van loon is james butler's sister. she says james and michelle kept in touch regularly. >> they were very good at staying in touch with everybody. they were awesome at sharing their daily adventures. you never think it will be you, and then it is. and it's hard. >> reporter: i just got off the
phone with a district attorney who says an arrest warrant for the man in that photo could happen as early as tomorrow morning. the motive for the butlers' murder is still unclear. norah, james butler would have turned 49 years old over the weekend. >> o'donnell: all right, meg. thank you. freedom came today for close to 500 prison inmates in oklahoma. it was the largest single mass release in u.s. history. all had been locked up for low- level crimes. omar villafranca shows us how some are celebrating their second chance tonight. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: one by one these now-former oklahoma inmates tir. >> i love you. >> i love you too, grandpa >> reporter: patrina hunt cried in her daughter's arms. hunt had served almost half of a ten-year sentence for drug possession and theft. the 22-year-old is now free in time to celebrate her daughter's birthday. >> i am very blessed to let this happen and for this to happen to
me and my family, and i'm just so glad to see my family. >> reporter: the 527 total commuted sentences are part of sweeping statewide criminal justice reforms which made simple drug possession a misdemeanor and increased the dollar amount to make property theft crimes a felony. today's releases run counter to oklahoma's tough-on-crime reputation. there are nearly 26,000 sitting in the sooner state's prisons. it also has one of the highest female incarceration rates in the country, something governor kevin stitt wants to change. >> we hope they get back into society and they don't come back to this place. >> reporter: as for hunt, she's looking forward to a second chance with her seven-year-old daughter. >> i'm very young. i have a lot of things i'm changing in my life. she's going to have to teach me as i go. >> reporter: the 527 who had their sentences commuted are only a small fraction of the oklahoma prison population, but now that they are out, it will
save the state nearly $12 million. norah? >> o'donnell: all right, omar, thank you. and there is still much more ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." why an attack on a man with battery acid is being investigated as a hate crime. more fallout at mcdonald's. another top executive is out. and a heart-stopping last-second rescue from a speeding train, and it was caught on camera. and it was caught on camera. after my dvt blood clot, i wondered. could another come around the corner.
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the board voted friday to fire him and concluded he violated company policy. in an e-mail sent to mcdonald's employees, easterbrook said, "i agree with the board that it is time for me to move on." the company would not confirm the identity of the other employee involved. attorney doug wigdor specializes in employment litigation. >> being involved in a consensual relationship in corporate america really is full of risks. one is there is a power imbalance, especially as the c.e.o., and even if someone is in a consensual relationship, that doesn't really mean that they're truly consenting. >> reporter: known for moving the company forward, easterbrook spent ioeling mcdonald's in noama and expanding food delivery services which led to 17 consecutive quar but his reign did not come without critics. the international labor group fight for 15 said during his tenure there were 50-plus complaints against mcdonald's related to a sexual harassment problem that company executives
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attacks, up 24% in 2017. at niagara falls, new proof that rushing water always wins. an iron ship stuck on rocks near the falls for 101 years has finally dislodged. a heavy storm driving the river's current spun the ship around and downstream on halloween night for goodness sakes. the old barge is now about 150 feet closer to a very long fall. in oakland, a dramatic split- second rescue was caught on camera. officials say a man who may have had a bit too much to drink slipped into and onto the train tracks sunday. a hero transit supervisor john o'connor grabbed the man, pulling him to safety with about a second to spare. >> what are we supposed to do? we're all human beings. >> o'donnell: the two men hugged as everyone at the scene applauded. up next, a boy honors fallen first responders one mile and one hero at a time. is that ireland...1953?
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he's in it for the long run. >> all right. this is my room. >> reporter: wow, there's a lot of patches here. >> yeah, i got about 500. >> reporter: the patches decorating the walls of 11-year-old zechariah cartledge's bedroom are from every corner of the country. >> people just randomly send them to me because they love what i do. >> reporter: zechariah runs a mile for every first responder who loses their life in the line of service. since january he's run 283 miles. >> all i think about during the runs is the fallen heroes, the fallen firefighters, their families. that's my mission for the run. >> reporter: inspired by new york's tunnel to tower 5k, which honors the fallen 9/11 first responders, zechariah started his tribute when he was just eight years old. >> it's a beacon of hope for our future. >> reporter: near zechariah's home in seminole county, florida, sheriff dennis lemma says the runs come at a critical time for law enforcement. is it hard to hear an 11-year-
old boy talk about officers being gunned down and that's why he's running? >> i think it's important that our communities at all age groups know the sacrifices being made. >> reporter: on this night zechariah ran to honor 37-year- old brian ishmael, a sheriff's deputy from el dorado county california who was shot and killed recently. as zechariah ran in the rain with supporters behind him, he had a following nearly 3,000 miles away. >> and there everyone goes. >> reporter: elementary school students in el dorado were inspired by zechariah to run and remember their fallen hero. >> that final lap is the final good-bye. i want to give it all in that final lap. i want to show how much a great man or woman this officer was. >> reporter: winter springs, florida, mireya villarreal, cbs news. >> o'donnell: a beautiful story. thank you, mireya. that is the "cbs evening news." i'm no we'll see you right back here tomorrow.
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right now at 7:00. >> i can't believe it. it was astonishing. it was disappointing. >> what was he thinking? a santa clara county teacher suspended for wearing black face in class. >> mr. carter has been planning this costume for about a month. >> people are going through stop signs. there was one here only 2 weeks ago. >> more kids hit by cars in one east bay city. what parents are demanding tonight. >> reporter: apple announces a $2.5 billion commitment to build more affordable housing and combat homelessness. >> and late breaking campaign news. the presidential candidate whose aid is accused of stealing from the kamala harris campaign. >> reporter: and a bart train just second hitting
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