tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS September 9, 2021 3:12am-3:42am PDT
victims of the surfside condo collapse, racking up thousands of dollars in credit card purchases. protecting the president. we hear from the secret service agents guarding george w. bush and dick cheney on 9/11. >> when i saw the look on the president's face, i knew that there was something that was bad. >> o'donnell: domestic violence in the military. what a former army lawyer tells us needs to happen to protect survivors. monumental change: removing the nation's largest confederate statue. and welcome to cooperstown. derek jeter takes his place among the best baseball players in the hall of fame. 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 anything to begin tonight with troubling news for parents as we send our kids back into
the classroom. for some it's the first time in a year and a half. across the u.s. kids now account for more than one in four new cases, and even more concerning, more than 1,500 children have been hospitalized for covid in recent days. that is a pandemic record. health officials in mississippi today reported the death of aa seventh child from coronavirus, and in texas, so many kids have been infected, that schools across the state are returning to virtual learning. in what's being billed by the white house as a major address, president biden on thursday will announce his new plan to try and slow the spread.d slow the spread. we've got new details on that? we've got new details on that? in just a moment, but cbs' mireya villarreal is going to lead us off tonight from san antonio. good evening, mireya. >> reporter: well, good evening, norah. nationwide, there are 1,400 school closures that were reported because of covid concerns just last week, and of those 1,400, more than half of them had to go back to virtual learning. right here in san antonio, the largest children's hospital says they are seeing a record number
of patients, young patients, and that is very scary to a lot of parents here. pediatric covid hospitalizations across the country are hitting record levels. children now account for one in four infections. >> we're seeing more kids in the i.c.u. needing higher levels i.c.u. needing higher levels of monitoring, higher levels of intervention. >> reporter: right in texas, nearly 300 children are in a hospital fighting covid. >> how are you keeping my child safe? >> reporter: it's that kind of worst-case scenario that worries parents like lindsay harrison, a mother of three school-aged kids. harrison's youngest is in third grade in a school district north of san antonio where masks are not mandatory. in the first eight days of school, her district sent out 250 notices like this one of positive infections, but she says they lack key information about who is sick.
>> why can't we know every time a kinder ranch-affiliated person is testing positive for covid? >> reporter: harrison says she read on a facebook group for parents, every kindergarten teacher at her son's school, kinder ranch elementary, recently tested positive for covid, and so did her son's teacher, information school officials wouldn't confirm. >> we didn't have an option. our hands were tried. >> reporter: clint saavedra's children also attend school in the same district as the harrisons'. what is your biggest worry right now? >> my kids being sick and in a hospital on a ventilator. i can't be the only parent. how are other parents-- how are they okay with that, that-- that risk? how are they just okay with that over a mask?" >> reporter: in the last three weeks, more than 50,000 students right here have tested positive in schools. and some sad news out of florida.
we have been able to confirm that 13 employees of the miami- dade school district have died from covid since the start of the school year. all of them were unvaccinated. norah. >> o'donnell: all right, mireya villarreal, thank you. we want to turn now to president biden's new plan to try and tackle the covid pandemic. cbs' weijia jiang joins us now from the white house. good evening, weijia. so what are we learning? what's new in this plan? >> reporter: well, good evening, norah. white house officials say what's new is a target on private- sector businesses and schools that could require new mandates for vaccines and making testing more accessible. he'll also announce measures to ensure that kids are adequately protected in the classrooms, and there will be new safety guidelines, depending on whether you are vaccinated or not. cbs news has also learned that the president will raise the issue of covid vaccines on a global scale with other world leaders when they meet at the united nations general assembly later this month.
>> o'donnell: yeah, i mean, you see that the president's approval rating is falling. he staked his presidency on trying to contain this pandemic. is that why we're hearing from him now? >> reporter: the white house certainly knows this is a pivotal moment because those ratings fell for the first time on his handling of the pandemic since he took office. this week also marks back to school for millions of children across the country, many of whom cannot get vaccinated. the spike in pediatric hospitalizations in recent months has alarmed parents and covid task force officials warn more kids are going to get sick as long as the virus spreads. the president is also worried about the economy. in fact, just last week, he blamed the delta variant for a weaker-than-expected jobs report. norah. >> o'donnell: all right, weijia jiang at the white house. thank you. and tonight, just a week after floods and tornadoes slammed the northeast, the hard-hit region is facing the threat of more severe storms. tornadoes coiled pop up tonight from maryland to philadelphia.
a flash flood watch is in place from pennsylvania to new york city. the florida panhandle tonight is bracing for tropical storm mindy, which formed a short time ago. some areas could get half a foot of rain and gusts topping 40 miles per hour. all right, tonight, the f.b.i. has released new video of the suspect who planted pipe bombs outside the republican and democratic national committee buildings before that deadly january 6 assault on the u.s. capitol. eight months later, the bomber's identity, it's still a mystery. here's cbs' errol barnett. >> reporter: tonight, newly released video footage shows the suspected pipe bomber, seen here in a gray hooded sweatshirt sitting on a park bench near democratic party headquarters on capitol hill. they placed one explosive device and another several blocks away at the republican party headquarters. found on the morning of january 6 the bombs diverted police resources ahead of the capitol attack. the f.b.i. struggling with leads on the bomber's i.d. eight months later also released this
virtual map tonight showing the suspect's route and notedly the individual was wearing glasses and looking at street signs, an indication they may not be from the area. both bombs were viable, made of galvanized pipes, a kitchen timer, and home made black powder. >> no piece is too small, no lead is too small. >> reporter: former f.b.i. agent tom conner says the cell phone the suspect is seen using in the newly released footage is its own clue. >> i think it actually says that the potential is there that someone else was on the other end of that text or that phone. now you have two people involved in this, and potentially more. >> reporter: now, the f.b.i. is offering up to $100,000 for information that leads them to the suspect, and in 10 days from now, another rally is planned here at the capitol in support of those arrested after january 6. capitol police tell us all available staff will be on duty. and, norah, that fencing around the capitol is likely to go back up. >> o'donnell: wow, errol barnett, thank you.
well, tonight, a vivid reminder of the civil war and america's history of slavery no longer stands in a place of honor in virginia's capital. cbs' debra alfarone was in richmond as a 12-ton statue of confederate general robert e. lee was taken down. ( cheering ). >> reporter: what has become the most notorious monuments to one of the most controversial figures of the civil war came down gently but decisively this morning. the largest confederate statue in the country has now been removed. the 131-year-old bronze statue of confederate general robert e. lee was quickly dismantled at the torso and hauled away in pieces. virginia governor ralph northam ordered the statue removed last year following the murder of george floyd in minneapolis. >> monuments like these, they're no longer necessary. this should be a space for everybody to feel welcome and comfortable. >> reporter: nearly 170 confederate symbols, monuments han 2,0 symbols remain.
devon henry is the owner of the construction company that took down the statue. >> we got it done. we're here. a lot of people are happy. some people are not. but at the end of the day, guess what? it's down. >> reporter: and tomorrow, crews will remove those plaques from the base of the monument, and the statue itself is being held on undisclosed state property, according to the governor's office, until an appropriate, permanent location can be found for its display. norah. >> o'donnell: debra alfarone, thank you. and tonight, we're hearing chilling memories of september 11 from secret service agents who protected the first family on the day america was attacked. here's cbs' jeff pegues. >> reporter: in this now-iconic moment from 9/11, president bush is informed of the attack by his chief of staff, andy card. eddie marinzel is off to his right. >> when i saw the look on the
president's face, i knew that there was something that was bad. >> reporter: he was the lead secret service agent on the president's detail, and with the 9/11 attack in progress, his mission became getting the president out of that elementary school classroom and on to air force one as quickly as on to ar force one as qui possible. >> we did a very steep takeoff. >> reporter: why was that? >> our idea was to, you know, hide in the sky until we could figure out what was-- what was going on. >> reporter: "hide in the sky." >> right. >> reporter: fighter jet escorted air force one, protecting the president from any possible attack. the twin towers and the pentagon were feared to be the beginning of a larger al qaeda battle plan. on board air force one, marinzel, card, and a military aide huddled, deciding who was going to tell the commander in chief that secret service supervisors had determined that
it was too dangerous to return to washington. >> "don't bring him back. it's too unsettled. we don't know what else is out there." >> reporter: and so you said as far away from washington as possible at this point? >> i said to the president, "we have come up with a plan that we could go to barksdale air force base, regroup and find out what's going on. i was working the afternoon shift that day. >> reporter: steven stasiuk, who was off duty, began running tomorrow the white house. >> everybody just showed up. no one had to be told to come in. >> reporter: nick tortta was with the first lady on capitol hill before evacuating her say secret service headquarters. >> we perform a role, and that role is really to evacuate and to provide that safety. >> reporter: at the white house, tony zotto was ordered by his supervisor to rush vice president dick cheney down into the white house bunker where a military aide told him yet another hijacked plane was incoming.
>> he said, "mr. vice president, we have a plane coming down through pennsylvania, down the potomac direction. it's a hijacked plane. we need your authorization to take it down." and he said, "is it a confirmed hijack?" and the officer said, "yes, sir, it is." and he just said, "okay, take it down." >> reporter: flight 93 was not shot down. it crashed after the passengers and crew fought back against tht hijackers. norah. >> o'donnell: incredible to hear all that history 20 years later. jeff pegues, thank you. and now to our executive cbs news investigation into domestic violence in the military. our reporting found the military is failing spouses, partners, and service members who report abuse among the ranks.e ranks. tonight, in part four of our tonight, in part four of our series, a former army attorney who worked with dozens of survivors is speaking out. he calls the issue a crisis that has only compounded after 20 years of war. >> there was no protection for me. there was no help. there was no resources.
>> o'donnell: cbs news spoke suo reported d with nearly 40 survivors who reported domestic violence to the military. they described a broken system. >> a soldier is an asset. they need him. they have spent a lot of money to train him and to do his job. and who am i? rt partf the probn they have their soldier. >> o'donnell: survivor liz knight says one of the only people who helped her after she reported was captain tony hosein. is domestic violence in the military a crisis? >> it is a crisis. and it's not given the attention that it deserves. >> o'donnell: tony served as a legal assistant's attorney and special victims counsel for the army. does the army value the soldiero more than the victim's safety? >> yes. >> o'donnell: why do you hesitate when you say that? >> because i know the army tries, but the army sell tasked with fighting this nation's
wars, so the most important thing to the army is its soldiers. >> o'donnell: before tony started working with survivors, he was a defense counsel. >> i defended soldiers who were alleged to have committed acts of, you know, rape, assaults,mms of, you know, rap sexual assaults. >> o'donnell: that gave him a unique perspective. >> there are people who have done horrible things that i may have helped, you know... but i got to see the other side and the hurt and the trauma and' perspective.tims' perspect >> o'donnell: research by the nonprofit group blue star families found incidents of spouse abuse in the military were more than twice that of the national population. >> soldiers are great at what they do. they are great at fighting this nation's wars. but when they come back home, there's a disconnect. they're not in battle anymore. a lot of them have p.t.s.d., and other tramas. >> o'donnell: tony told us he often saw soldiers self- medicate. >> almost all of my cases involved alcohol. >> o'donnell: it sounds like you're describe a cycle to me,
which is deployment-- >> yes. >> o'donnell: p.t.s.d. >> yes. >> o'donnell: alcohol abuse. domestic abuse. >> domestic abuse, and then when it comes to my desk because it's become rape or sexual assault, it's too late. >> o'donnell: d.o.d. policy mandates that commanders ensure military offenders are held accountable and gives them the power to make decisions about the outcome of a case. >> i understand it's their charge to maintain good order and discipline, but here they prosecor should , that judge should make. great for the soldier, but for the victim it's looks like they're in a system that's rigged against them. >> o'donnell: in february, after more than two decades of service, captain tony hosein retired honorably. >> i don't practice law anymore. i've seen the worst of the worst. and i started off very idealistic, you know, wanting to help, wanting to do better, and just somewhere throughout the years, it just-- i felt like i
was spinning my wheels. >> o'donnell: what will happen if nothing changes? >> until there's drastic change, i think we'll still see the same trends, dramatic violence in the military, i think, will persist. >> o'donnell: while change could happen soon. in a statement, defense defense secretary lloyd austin told cbs news that the pentagon is working closely with congress on some legislative proposals to remove decisions about whether to prosecute sexual assaults and related crimes, including domestic violence, from the military chain of command. we'll keep you posted. and still ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," officials call them "cyber-grave-robbers," identity thieves target victims will of the surfside condo collapse. ♪ ♪ the progressive family ♪ ♪ they're helpful but annoying ♪ ♪ they always leave us snoring ♪ ♪ accidents are boring with the progressive family ♪ so... when do you all go home?
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to this story. in florida tonight, three people stealing the identity of sevendl victims of that surfside condominium collapse. prosecutors say this suspect was carrying a versace purse she just bought while making another $2,500 purchase. the suspects allegedly watt and attempted to buy a total of more than $100,000 in goods using illegally obtained credit cards in the victims' names. and now they've been caught. all right, the resort city of acapulco, mexico, is cleaning up the destruction from a powerful magnitude seven earthquake that struck overnight. at least one person was killed, buildings were cracked and damaged, and more than 1.5 million people lost power. it shook buildings 200 miles away. it shook buildings 200 miles away. all right, coming up all right, coming up next, yankee fans flock to cooperstown as derek jeter enters baseball's hall of fame. perstown as derek jeter enters baseball's hall of fame.
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story. and a reminder: if you can't watch us live, d ♪ this is the "cbs overnight news." >> i'm errol barnett in washington. thanks for staying with us. the new school year is under way from coast-to-coast, and with covid cases among america's children surging to all-time highs, many parents are concerned. more than 252,000 kids tested positive for covid-19 in just the last week. that is the highest total ever in a seven-day stretch, according to the american academy of pediatrics. now during that time, children accounted for more than 26% of all covid cases here in the u.s. despite that, states like texas and florida are restricting mask
mandates and other safety measures. mireya villarreal has this story from san antonio. >> reporter: here in texas, less than 60% of the eligible population is actually vaccinated that is with pediatric cases surging and the delta variant spreading very quickly. here's what we know. more than 50,000 students tested positive inside texas schools in the last three weeks. that is leaving parents very concerned by what they say is a lack of transparency from school district officials. >> i just want pf m when it comes to my child and their safety and their education. >> reporter: for lindsey harrison, sending her three kids back to school has been a source of anxiety and stress. her oldest child is immunocompromised. in the first eight days of school, 250 notices like this one has been sent to families. but harrison says they're missing key information about who is sick.
>> why can't we know every time a kinder ranch affiliated person is testing positive for covid. whether it's a sob, whether it's a teacher, whether it's administration or if it's a student. >> reporter: according to the texas tribune, at least 45 school districts across the state have suspended in-person learning following spikes in infections. the lone star state recording a record in pediatric hospitalizations over the weekend. dr. norm christopher is the chief medical officer of the children's hospital of san antonio. >> there is no doubt that the frequency at which children are being infected is dramatically increased. >> reporter: and their symptoms are greater as well? >> the number of children requiring hospitalization is greater. and the number of kids requiring intensive care, monitoring and treatment is higher now than it was during the firstr