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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  August 10, 2021 3:12am-3:42am PDT

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can the worst of climate change be reversed? taliban takeover: as the u.s. exits afghanistan, more cities fall to taliban forces. can the afghan army hold on? staggering debt, americans stuck under a mountain of medical bills, now the largest source of american debt, why it is worse in some states. emotional reunion, meet a new mom who was separated from her newborn for days because of coronavirus. play of the game, it wasn't a player, but instead the ball girl who became a hero. and beaches for all, one woman's vision, giving everyone a chance to enjoy a day at the beach. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> garrett: good evening, everyone. thank you for joining us. norah is off tonight. i'm major garrett. the next few days could
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determine the political future of new york governor andrew cuomo. pressure is intensifying after a revealing interview with a woman identified as executive assistant number one in the state attorney general's sexual harassment probe of the governor. brittany commisso accuses cuomo of groping her and when asked about his repeated denials she told cbs news and the "albany times union" the governor knew exactly what he was doing. cuomo has been largely out of sight huddling with his inner circle, but one of his most trusted advisors, melissa derosa, quit overnight. impeachment proceedings looked into and looking into nor sexual allegations. and cuomo's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. cbs' jericka duncan, what is the impeachment timeline? >> reporter: state lawmakers handling the investigation say we are sever weeksfr achment.nftoen
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if the governor were to resign, resign, impeachment is not off the table. all of this happening today as we're also hearing from the woman known as executive assistant number one, tell her story for the first time. >> i felt as though if i continued to go to the mansion that he definitely was going to try to do more. >> 32-year-old brittany commisso says new york governor andrew cuomo groped her breast at the governor's mansion last year. last week, commisso filed a criminal complaint against cuomo, and four district attorneys in new york have opened investigations into his alleged sexual misconduct. >> came back to me and that's when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra. i exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, "oh, my god, this is happening?"
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>> reporter: since commisso broke her silence, cuomo east most trusted aid melissa derossa resigned. the state attorney general's report in which cuomo was alleged to have sexually harassed 11 women also said derossa played a leading role in trying to protect the governor against the allegations. today roberta kaplan resigned from time's up a national organize formed to fight workplace sexual misconduct. according to the state attorney general's report, kaplan offered advice on a letter from cuomo's team intended to take issue with the credibility of at least one of his accusers. >> this process will be concluded very soon, and when i say "very soon" i'm speaking about several weeks. >> reporter: and this afternoon, the state judiciary committee met to discuss potential articles of impeachment for sexual misconduct. also being considered whether the governor lied about the number of covid-related nursing
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home deaths, his possible use of state resources for a more than $5 million book deal and whether the governor prioritized covid testing for family and friends at the beginning of the pandemic. is it fair to say that the sexual misconduct allegations are taking precedence in this probe? >> it is fair to say. those eleven allegations were moved forward as being credible by the state attorney general. >> reporter: brittany commisso says that should be enough to convince the governor to leave office. >> if the governor's watching right now, what would you say to him? >> i would say, "governor, this is the truth, these are the facts, and it's your turn to do the right thing. and that right thing is to resign. and >> reporter: the governor denies all allegations of sexual harassment. meanwhile, the judiciary committee that's looking into this says he has until this
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friday, august 13, to present his evidence. major. >> garrett: jericka duncan, thank you. we want you to know that you can see more of jericka's interview on paramount+ and cbs news goth in the documentary "executive assistant number one: cuomo accuser speaks." tonight more troubling numbers in the covid pandemic. the u.s. is now averaging more than 100,000 new cases each day, with every state reporting high or substantial community transmission. fewer than 59% of americans 12 and older are fully vaccinated. cbs' omar villafranca reports from hard-hit louisiana. >> reporter: as another covid wave crushes the south. >> medicines in. >> reporter: lousianans are battling the variant with the vaccine. 20-year-old autumn muray is back for her second shot before she returns to southern university. >> in a few weeks, so, i wanted to be safe from myself, my peers, my mom pushed me to get it, gave me the facts about it. >> reporter: the daily average
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for vaccinations in louisiana is up 175% in the last month, but less than 38% of lousianans are fully vaccinated, and covid is already clobbering the state's healthcare system again. louisiana is averaging 30 covid- related deaths a day, and more than 2,700 people are hospitalized with the virus, like 61-year-old douglas allen. the college football fan has been at baton rouge general for almost a month after waiting to get the vaccine. >> i wanted to wait a little bit later because of football. i wanted it to take effect so i didn't have to worry about in the middle of the season, hey, i got to go get a booster. >> reporter: in texas, where cases are surging, the dallas independent school district is the first to require teachers and students to wear masks, defying governor greg abbott's order banning mask mandates. tents are popping up in houston to deal with the overflow of patients but there aren't enough
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nurses to staff them. farther north, canada reopened its border with the united states. nonessential travel to canada has been banned since march of 2020, and tonight the pentagon will seek the president's approval to make the covid vaccine mandatory for all u.s. military personnel. back in louisiana-- >> she hasn't touched her since she was born. >> reporter: this is the moment elizabeth jones got to see her newborn daughter charleston. jones was covid positive when she gave birth two weeks ago and had to immediately quarantine. >> i haven't even held her. >> reporter: how is she? >> she's perfect. >> reporter: testing sites in louisiana are busy again. our lady of the lake say they have seen numbers jump ten-fold at this location in the last month. more than 250 people have been tested here just today. major. >> garrett: omar villafranca, we thank you. tonight california's dixie fire has grown to become the second
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largest wildfire in that state's history. 765 square miles have already burned, that's twice the size of new york city. crews have been fighting the blaze nearly a month but only 21% contained. nearly 800 structures have been destroyed, another 16,000 are threatened. related to that, a new and comprehensive study by the united nations warns that the wildfires, floods and excessive heat con summing parts of our planet could have catastrophic results unless nations work fast to stop greenhouse gas emissions. scientists make it clear humans are to blame. cbs' ben tracy reports. >> reporter: this summer's apocalyptic wildfires in california and greece, floods io what could come. scientists say the planet is warming faster than at any time in at least 2,000 years. >> climate change is a problem that is here now. nobody's safe, and it's getting
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worse faster. >> reporter: the u.n. report says it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land, that many changes are now irreversible and more warming will accelerate extreme events that are unprecedented. climate change is fueling stronger and wetter hurricanes and life-threatening heat waves. sea levels are rising faster as glaciers keep melting. the ocean retains 90% of the excess heat trapped by climate change. scientists say immediate and rapid reductions in greenhouse emissions mostly from fossil fuels are necessary to avoid catastrophic impacts. >> we have to act very fast. >> reporter: jeff berardelli is a meteorologist in cbs news climate specialist. is there time for us to offset the worst impacts of climate change? >> there is more time. we have time to save ourselves. we have some extremes in climate, but we can avert complete catastrophe but not all catastrophes.
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some are already happening across the earth. >> reporter: here in the western united states hotter and dryer. this haze is smoke from wildfires out in california. but in the eastern united states it's a completely different story. they're getting wetter and scientists say they should expect more coastal flooding in the years to come. major. >> garrett: in boulder, colorado, for us, ben tracy, thank you. a tropical storm is expected to develop tonight in the caribbean sea. watches posted in the dominican republic and cover all of puerto rico. as much as half a food of wain is expected in some places over the next day or two. this storm system could threaten south florida by this weekend. now to breaking news, one of jeffrey epstein's accusers is now suing britain's prince andrew claiming the prince sexually abused her when she was 17. in the substitute filed today in federal court in new york virginia says epstein forced her to have sex with the prince who denied epstein died by suicide two
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years ago in jail. the taliban speeds up its week in afghanistan, provincial pap calls are falling as the taliban speeds up its weeks-longo fencive, this as the u.s. military and n.a.t.o. cbs' charlie d'agata has the latest. ( gunfire ) >> reporter: taliban militants blast their way into kunduz. thousands of residents fled the fighting. the biggest blow to afghan forces collapsing against an all-out assault that has advanced at lightning speed. since the offensive began in may the militants swept across the country capturing more territory than at any time since 2001. >> the security situation is deteriorating and over the last 72 hours, roughly five provincial capitals fell to the taliban. that's deeply concerning. >> reporter: they have been emboldened by the pullout of all u.s. forces by the end of this month, although u.s. officials tell cbs news american airstrike
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have targeted taliban position in recent days with reaper pdrones, ac-130s and b-52s. over the weekend, u.s. embassy in kabul urged all u.s. citizens to leave the country immediately. as taliban militants raise their flag in kunduz, afghans can only brace for more cities to follow and wonder how long before kabul itself is in their sights. the taliban have already proved the capital is within reached stepping up targeted assassinations. gunmen shot dead the afghan's media director days after as assassination attempt on the acting defense minister. major. >> garrett: charlie, thank you. overdue medical debts are the biggest source of debt in the united states. tens of millions of people learned they are one serious
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illness away from being unable to pay their bills. cbs' anna werner looks at the cost of getting sick in america. >> i felt like a criminal, like i was doing something wrong. >> reporter: when a man showed up at alysa gummow's front door in kenosha, wisconsin with a court summons, the single mom felt crushed. did you ever think you would be in the financial situation you were in because of medical bills. >> never. it makes me feel like a failure. >> reporter: they're suing you? >> yes. >> reporter: for the second time, she's being sued for unpaid medical bills her insurance didn't cover. back in 2017, a $50,000 bill for hip surgery forced her into bankruptcy despite having a full-time job. >> you know, middle class americans get the short end of the stick. it's not fair. >> reporter: this time, gummow has a job that pays more but not enough to pay new bills not covered by her high deductible insurance plan. >> this is alisa, i'm a debt
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collector-- >> reporter: a new jamma study finds medical bills are the largest source of american debt with a record $140 billion in collections last year, nearly twice the previous estimate. it's all about the medical bills. >> yes, a uniquely american phenomenon. >> reporter: the lead author >> reporter: standard professor neil mahoney is lead author says bills are often higher for people living in a dozen states including wisconsin that chose not to expand eligibility for medicaid under the affordable care act. > >> the fact that the healthcare system which is supposed to heal people is creating half of debt and collections in the united states is something that i think is quite distressing. >> reporter: experts say state and federal legislation is needbt cs. for now, gummow is on a payment plan, but says she's still forced to choose between prescriptions and groceries. >> i feel like i will be in debt the rest of my life.
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>> reporter: medical debt, a chronic condition for many americans still searching for a cure. anna werner, cbs news, kenosha. >> garrett: there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." flood waters in an unlikely place and the people who barely got out. the explosive test to find out if america's newest aircraft carrier is battle ready. and playf thy, tackled-- sort of-- by the ball girl. how to keep track of her medication, and how to keep her spirits up. [announcer] you can quit. call 1-800-quit now for help getting free medication. well, geico's 85 years isn't just about time, you know. it means experience. i mean, put it this way. if i told you i'd been jarring raspberry preserves for 85 years, what would you think? (humming) well, at first you'd be like, "that has gotta be some scrumptious jam!" (humming)
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>> garrett: in omaha, three people were up to their necks in deep trouble, they were trapped inside an elevator that filled with water as it reached a basement of a building during a heavy weekend rainstorm. one man called a friend at the building for help. three rescuers managed to open the elevator doors. no one was hurt. tonight more spectacular video as the united states navy puts its newest aircraft carrier to the test off the florida coast. this is the third so-called shock trial for the u.s.s. gerald ford. 40,000 pounds of explosive were detonated close to the ship to make absolutely sure it is battle ready. and there was an exceptional play during the dodgers-angels baseball game on sunday. a man ran under the field and, for a time, eluded security
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guards until a ball girl tripped him up just enough causing him to flip over the fence and that's when security guards finally got him. up next how everyone can enjoy a day at thebeach thanks to a woman with a vision. woman with a vision. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ what makes new salonpas arthritis gel so good for arthritis pain? salonpas contains the most prescribed topical pain relief ingredient.
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>> garrett: question -- what could be better than a trip to the shore on a hot summer day, especially when everyone can experience it? cbs' manuel bojorquez reports from miami beach. >> reporter: for sergio echeverria this isn't just a day at the beach. >> oh, man, this is so good. >> reporter: nicknamed "aquaman," the ocean has always been his second home, but a tractor accident this winter left him paralyzed from the waist down. did you think you would ever be able to get back in the water again. >> i had my doubts. i really did. >> reporter: but here you are. >> i did, and i'm improving. i like that. >> reporter: once a month, a small army of volunteers built out there stretch of miami beach, plastic mats for the wheelchairs and special floating chairs transporting folks for a joyful swim. >> it's amazing. >> reporter: sabrina cohen is
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the woman behind the adaptive beach days. >> i'm crying with joy. >> reporter: when you see people go into the water for the first time in years-- >> we all cry. it's like tears of joy. it's a gift to give to others. >> reporter: cohen is among the 61 million u.s. adults living with a disability. a car accident left her a quadriplegic at 14. >> for a moment when you're in the water, you're like anybody else. any mobility devices you use just wash away for a moment. >> reporter: they wash away. you're floating. that's the great equalizer. >> it sure is. >> reporter: she's now working to install a permanent location to reach more than the 8,000 they've already helped. >> it's like a small strand of miracles that just keep coming together. >> reporter: each one with a smile that just washes over. manuel bojorquez, cbs news, miami beach. >> garrett: a small strand of miracles. and we'll be right back.
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captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh ♪ >> announcer: this is the "cbs overnight news." i'm major garrett in washington. thank you for staying with us. 17 months after the pandemic forced a lockdown of the u.s./canada border, cars are rolling through the border crossings again, but so far it's just a one-way street. ottawa is allowing american citizens and permanent residents to enter canada by land so long as they show proof of vaccination and a recent covid test. air travelers haveo provide similar information before boarding a plane. now as for canadians who want to come intes,
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well, that's another story. the white house isn't saying if those restriction also be lifted, but they are set to expire at the end of the month. meg oliver has the story from niagara falls along the u.s./canada boarder in western new york. >> reporter: niagara falls, new york is one of the country's biggest tourist destinations. 14 million visitors come here every year to soak in the sights and to feel the mist on their face. and this morning for the first time in a year and a half, they're also able to cross over the border into canada. for many canadian businesses, they're hoping it's not too late. >> this place is beautiful. >> yeah. we encourage people to come and see, honestly, yeah. >> reporter: in niagara falls, canada, the vast majority of the city's revenue comes from the summer tourist season, which is almost over. the mayor says he grew frustrated as month after month went by, and the u.s./canada border remained closed. >> we're definitely going in the right direction, but for a long time it was a very dim light at
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the end of a long tunnel. >> our business went to literally zero. >> reporter: the ceo of niagara hospitality hotels says he was forced to lay off most of his staff due to the drop in business from american visitors. >> it started to really creep back for us. and it's all domestic. so right now it's 100 mile radius toronto coming here to niagara falls, canada. that's it. that's the market. >> reporter: starting today, u.s. travelers can cross into canada if they show proof they're fully vaccinated on an app and have proof of a negative covid test in the previous 72 hours. >> as long as people are vaccin vaccinated, i think that's great. >> reporter: the closed border has meant an 18-month separation from his girlfriend, tammy yonkers. the couple lives just 20 minutes apart. la bounty on the u.s. side and conners in canada. >> it's terrible. i came here in hopes of starting a life with her and starting a dream. and it's very hard to go every
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day, every day without having her in my life.


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