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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  August 17, 2021 3:12am-3:42am PDT

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>> o'donnell: tropical storm fred makes landfall: florida braces for flooding and life- threatening storm surge. haiti's agony, the death toll soars after a devastating quaffing, rescuers using bare earthquake, rescuers using bare hands to go through rubble. could heavy rain threaten the search for survivors? grim covid warning, hospitals are stretched so thin a cancer surgeon is covering nursing shifts. safe to drive?: the new investigation into tesla's autopilot software. and the big announcement from soccer superstar carli lloyd. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening, and thank you for joining us. we're going to begin tonight with the rapidly changing developments in the taliban takeover of afghanistan. president biden just spoke
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directly to the american people, defending the u.s. withd defending the u.s. withdrawal. >> i stand squarely behind my decision. after 20 years, i've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw u.s. forces. that's why we're still there. >> o'donnell: well, the swift fall of kabul led to chaotic and disturbing scenes at the airport as afghans tried to climb onto a u.s. military plain, and hundreds of afghans packed in an american c-17 fleeing the country. u.s. officials including president biden admit they were caught off guard about how quickly the taliban overran the country. intelligence officials warned it could take 30 to 90 days but kabul fell in just ten. the evacuation of the capital brought back painful memories of saigon and the i think also side by side are familiar. graves worries women and girls are beginning to lose their rights as the islamic team
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maintains tower. weijia jiang at the white house, and david martin has news from veterans in the afghan war but roxana saberi has news from the afghan capital. >> reporter: good evening, with kabul under taliban control aen, sense of terror is filling the streets. we saw the risks many could take to escape. with undeniable desperation, afghans clung to a u.s. military plane as it took off today from kabul airport, fleeing from the taliban any way they could, at least two fell to their death. on the ground, more pandemonium. and gunshots. the pentagon says u.s. troops shot and killed two armed afghans in self-defense, as 6,000 forces will be used to airlift americans out.
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america's 20-year war is ending as it started, with the taliban in charge, strolling through kabul's once fortified green zone, home to the now shuttered u.s. embassy, taking selfies and seizing the national tv station. like before, they pledged to punish looters and thieves according to sharia law. this video posted online appears to show just that. this time, they're promising to allow girls to go to school and women to work. the taliban said they will respect women's rights, so you don't believe them? >> i don't. >> reporter: pashtana durrani was helping educate girls in kandahar, until the taliban seized the southern city last week, sending her into hiding. what do you think would happen the you if the taliban find you now? >> i don't know. >> reporter: they could do something to you. >> they find me, they make me suffer, one day, two day, three day, i'm going to die -- >> reporter: a girl lost her leg in a taliban attack on her
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village. when we asked what frightened her most, she told us not being allowed to go back to school to become a doctor. women and girls aren't the only ones at risk.women and girls arh afghans who worked for americans or the afghan government also fear for their safety. one man called us in the middle of the night terrified, begging for help. norah. >> o'donnell: roxana saberi, thank you. president biden is the fourth to oversee the war in afghanistan as commander-in-chief and in his remarks he vowed not to turn the fight over to a fifth. the president said today staying in afghanistan is not in america's national security interests. the mission is to prevent another attack on the american homeland and it has been a decade since the death of osama bin laden. weijia jiang reports from the white house. >> i stand squarely behind my decision. >> reporter: president biden said the harrowing images from afghanistan prove he was right to withdraw u.s. troops.
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>> american troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. r men blad afghan forces and president ashraf ghani for the rapid taliban takeover. more quickly than we had anticipated. so what's happened? anghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. mr. ghani insisted the afghan forces would fight. but, obviously, he was wrong. >> reporter: president biden took little responsibility for his administration's miscalculation of how the war would end. only briefly mentioning today's chaotic scenes at the kabul airport. >> scenes were seen in afghanistan. they're gut-wrenching, particularly for our veterans. >> reporter: it was an outcome far different than what he
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predicted last month. >> likelihood there's going to be the taliban overrunning everything and overrunning the whole country is unlikely. >> reporter: republicans accused the president of leaving hastily without a plan especially amid warnings from pentagon leaders that terrorists could regroup sooner than expected. >> we're less safe as a nation. the likelihood of an attack coming from afghanistan now is through the roof. >> reporter: democrats meanwhile demanded answers about the administration's plan to get afghans who helped the u.s. military out of the country. >> the question here is whether this is going to be saigon or dunkirk. are we going to leave people behind as we did in south vietnam, or are we going to hold the beach until everybody is taken off that beach? >> o'donnell: and weijia joins us now from the white house. the airport in kabul shut down for a period today. the u.s. ambassador is the what areou hearingut wha is being done to p and prt e.
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>> reporter: norah, tonight we know u.s. diplomats are talking to the taliban and the need -- about the need to restore order in the airport and pentagon leaders warned in a face-to-face discussion not to interfere with evacuations. president biden said if the taliban attacks u.s. troops, the u.s. response would be swift, using devastating force if necessary. norah. >> o'donnell: weijia jiang, thank you. in two decades, more than three- quarters of a million american service members have been deployed to afghanistan. well, tonight, many wonder if their sacrifices were wasted. more on this from cbs's david martin. >> reporter: juan dominguez was a marine lance corporal in 2010, sent into the taliban heartland of helmand province, where his battalion lost 25 men killed. >> i'm on the verbal of breaking down crying because this is just like we gave so much and just like that is wiped out, you know.
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>> reporter: he lost both legs and an arm, but incredibly has fashioned a new life as a drummer. his thoughts are with the afghans who helped the marines and are now at the mercy of the taliban. >> we have seemingly turned our backs on them. just pray for them because our government didn't help them get safe passage out. >> it's a disgrace to this country to depart like this. >> reporter: retired army colonel dave bronstrom lost his son in 2008. >> we're in a bad situation, need you to come in hot immediately. >> reporter: the gun camera of an apache helicopter could make out his body along with the other soldiers killed that day. >> we will have additional fallen hero missions. >> this is very disheartening. >> reporter: i hate to ask this question, does it feel to you like your son died for nothing? >> you know, my son died trying to protect his fellow soldiers, but for the ultimate cause of
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stabilizing the country and establishing a good government, yes, it was a sacrifice that was for naught. >> reporter: the united states spent $1 trillion in afghanistan and it seems like peanuts compared to the 2,400 dead and the 22,000 wounded. norah. >> o'donnell: and we are thinking of those service members and their families. david martin, thank you. turning to tropical storm fred which slammed into the florida panhandle today with gusts topping 70 miles per hour. that is actually ne that is actually nearly hurricane force. tonight the storm is it barreling north dumping heavy rain on parts of florida, alabama and georgia, flood alerts stretch as far north as virginia with up to eight " of rain expected to some places. manuel bojorquez joins us from panama city beach, florida. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, norah. thousands are without power tonight here along the florida panhandle as the storm moves through.
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as tempting as the water behind me may be for some, officials say the surf is dangerous and are asking people to stay out to of the water. one of the biggest threats from fred the storm surge, could reach 3 to 5 feet in some areas of the panhandle and some areas are already dealing with the water coming up as early as this morning. tonight the main concern going forward, the rainfall. some areas could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, that is certainly enough to trigger flash flooding, and there's also the threat of isolated tornadoes. classes were canceled in some counties as a precaution and government buildings closed but, so far, there have been no evacuations. fred will lose its intensity as it heads north but could bring flash flooding to georgia and the carolinas in the next few days. >> o'donnell: we have an alert in d.c., manuel bojorquez, thank you. rescue divers continue after a earthquake killed 1,400 people
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and a tropical depression is headed toward the island. vladimir duthiers in haiti. >> reporter: homes and buildings reduced to rubble, now dozes of. >> reporter: homes and buildings reduced to rubb search and rescue teams are digging through mountains of debris looking for any signs of survivors. good samaritans use their bare hands to pull this woman and a young boy to safety after their buried under this collapsed building. the quake has killed more than 1,400 people and destroyed thousands of homes, and now there's a race against time as a tropical depression is threatening to bring heavy rains and major flooding to areas hit hardest which could hamper rescue operations. the epicenter of the 7.2 magnitude quake struck mer les cayes a coastal town located eight miles from the capitol of port-au-prince. this woman is treated for two
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broken legs, injured by fallen debris as the earthquake hit. she says she started to run when broken concrete fell on her and a man by her side, who was killed. this is just another major setback for a country that hasn't fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 220,000 people, and a nation still reeling from the assassination of its president jovenel moise just over a month ago. still haiti's ambassador to the u.s. bocchit edmond says there is hope. >> we understand the dire situation we're in, but the most important thing is we will come out of it. >> o'donnell: and vlad joins us from port-au-prince. with this tropical depression grace headed towards haiti, what's the big fear there? >> reporter: norah, the storm making halved in haiti -- landfall in haiti could make landfall in the quake zone, potentially bringing mudslides,
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disease and hunger. >> o'donnell: all right, vladimir duthiers, thank you.t now to the covid pandemic and a stark warning from the national institutes of health that the u.s.ld soon see 200 cases a day. the delta strain blamed for a 350% speak in cases since mid 350% spike in cases since mid july. cbs's david begnaud has more hit from hard-hit louisiana. >> reporter: louisiana is drowning in the fourth covid wave, hospitals in new orleans have forced normal doctors to pivot from normal jobs including cancer surgeon brian moore. >> a number of us have worked as nurses aides on day and night shifts in the i.c.u. to help them do basic stuff. >> in the last month, average daily cases in louisiana have have grown nearly eight fold. since the start of the weekend, nearly 13,200 covid cases have been reported with nearly 3,000 people currently hospitalized.
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that is the highest since the pandemic started. thva majy e tied to covid that ireading in communities, rather than settings like nursing homes. dr. chuck burnell is a chief medical officer for acadian ambulance. how close are we from medics refusing to transport patients because there are no hospital beds left? >> we're days away from that happening right now. less than a week. >> reporter: starting today, everyone in new orleans, 12 and older, has to show proof of at least one dose of a covid vaccination or a negative p.c.r. test result within the last 72 hours, applies to indoor restaurants, bars and gyms. beginning tomorrow in new york city, you can't even get by with a negative test. there it's no vax, no service. ( chanting u.s.a. ) not everyone is happy. protesters gathered outside the mayor's home at gracie mansion sunday afternoon. back here in louisiana the state's largest newspaper ran an
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editorial sunday afternoon that got a lot of attention. we are in the middle of -- of a hurricane season. a sign read if we all fought hurricanes the way we fought covid, we would drown. >> o'donnell: next on "cbs evening news," what's causing tesla cars to steer towards flashing lights. the federal government is launching an investigation. and an american soccer legend makes a big announcement. a place where everyone lives life well-protected. ♪ and even when things go a bit wrong, we've got your back. here, things work the way you wish they would. and better protection costs a whole lot less. click or call for a lower auto rate today. (asaad) since my mother got cancer from smoking,
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>> o'donnell: tonight, the federal government has opened an investigation into tesla's autopilot, it's partially automated driving system after a series of crashes with emergency vehicles. since 2018, nearly a dozen electric teslas in self-driving mode crashed into fire trucks, police cars and other emergencies vehicles with flashing lights. 17 hurt, one died. more help on the way for struggling families. the biden administration approved a 25% increase in monthly allowances for food stamps. 42 million men's depend on snap 42 million americans depend on snaphee avage benefit will go fm $121 to $157 a month starting in
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october. soccer superstar carli lloyd is it hanging up her cleats, saying she's retiring later year after a few more matches with team u.s.a..s retiring l lloyd now 39 years old sauce she's forever grateful to have played for her country, and we are grateful to her. when we come back, the painful costs of two decades of war in afghanistan. decades of war in afghanistan. if you have postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture, now might not be the best time to ask yourself... 'are my bones strong?' life is full of make or break moments. that's why it's so important to help reduce your risk of fracture with prolia®. only prolia® is proven to help strengthen and protect bones from fracture with 1 shot every 6 months. do not take prolia® if you have low blood calcium, are pregnant, are allergic to it, or take xgeva®. serious allergic reactions like low blood pressure,
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>> o'donnell: we wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we're seeing in afghanistan, as we end america's longest war. when america leaves, for many, so does the hope -- the hope of freedom, the hope for human rights -- and in its place comes the sheer terror of what's next. we saw that desperation with images of afghans clinging to american planes, some dying, risking everything to get out to have the country. wars are costly to start and costly to end. it's costly to stay, and costly to leave. the cost in lives, the nearly 2,500 american troops lost, the
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families they left behind, and the more than 20,000 wounded warriors some wondering were our sacrifices worth it. and the cost to america's national security, a month short of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack, which was planned and directed from afghanistan. the u.s. went in with a promise to make sure afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists. but now thousands of prisoners released by the taliban, including members of al quaida and i.s.i.s., that promise now in jeopardy. the symbols of a free society painted over in fear because to of the taliban's swift advance. women and girls now face an uncertain future, as the men who believe they should be silenced take over. and the world is watching in fear of what may happen next. we'll be right back. happen next. we'll be right back.
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♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty ♪ >> o'donnell: all right, some people who refuse to get a covid vaccine are cheating the system, buying fake vaccine cards. what's being done to stop it, that's all tomorrow on the "cbs evening news." and a reminder, if you can't watch us live, set your d.v.r. so you can watch us later. that's tonight's edition of the "cbs evening news." i'm norah o'donnell in the nation's capitol, and we will see you right back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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captioned by media access group at wgbh ♪s the "cbs overnight news." >> i'm ben tracy in washington. thanks for staying with us. as the delta variant sweeps across the country, the virus is taking aim at the unvaccinated. just over half of the country is now fully vaccinated, and the quest to get the other half to take the jab has stalled. many of the vaccine hesitant pointed to the so-called breakthrough case, many who get covid after being vaccinated. the cdc wants you to know these cases are extremely rare. out of 168 million people vaccinated, only 1500 have died of the virus. that's a tiny fraction of 1%.
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david begnaud has more from lafayette, louisiana. >> reporter: 99.9% of people who have been vaccinated do not and have not gotten seriously ill and died from covid. it's extremely rare. but listen, it's happened, and it continues to happen. and if it happens to your family, it's devastating, even if you're the only one. so this morning we're going tell one of those rare stories and give you all the necessary context to understand how many people are being affected like this. >> i'm not feeling well. >> reporter: tara moseley read to us what would be some of her daughter's final words. >> and my legs are turning black. >> reporter: over the course of the next few days, angel would describe her pain in detail through text messages as chevrolet alone at home and later in the hospital. >> my lungs are clogged up with mucus and blood. >> reporter: angel battled covid and pneumonia in a new orleans hospital. her mother was only allowed to see her very briefly, i went in
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and i prayed with her and i had to show her that we love her. i love you. and at that moment, she shared a tear. >> reporter: who shed a tear? >> angel did. >> reporter: that same day, july 25th, angel died. she was 33 years old. i just tested positive for covid-19. while being vaccinated. >> reporter: when she ninl initially told her mother and sister on testing positive for covid, she was vaccinated, which means she is considered to be a breakthrough cases. according to the cdc, breakthrough cases make up less than 1% of all the covid cases. of the more than 168 million americans who have been fully vaccinated, around 8,000 have been hospitalized or died of covid. and that is about.005%. there will be people who watch this story who say she got vaccinated and she died. >> i would still say to them,


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