tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS September 13, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
♪ ♪ ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: breaking news, a powerful tropical storm lashes the texas coast with heavy rain and life-threatening storm surge. tonight a still recovering gulf coast prepares for more flooding. states of emergency as nearly 15 million americans face a tropical storm warning from nicholas, the 14th named storm of the year. back-to-school, new york city, the nation's largest school district, heads back to the classroom. what's being done to protect children from covid as outbreaks have forced nearly 1,700 schools nationwide to close. plus the update on when elementary school kids might be eligible for a coronavirus shot. capitol hill threat, a california man arrested with a machete and bayonet in his
neo-nazi pickup truck. with capitol police on alert for this saturday's rally supporting the january 6 rioters. california recall, democrats call in the party's stars to campaign for governor newsom, including president biden. how the state's election is driving national politics. america's oldest world war ii veteran, the celebration for the 112-year-old lawrence brooks, and the secret to his long life. >> he says his motto is "be good to people." >> o'donnell: breaking barriers, how an n.f.l. official made history on the field. and call him big man on campus. we'll introduce you to the 13-year-old now attending one of america's elite engineering schools. this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening to
our viewers in the west, and us, and we're going to begin with breaking news because the arrival of tropical storm nicholas along the gulf coast of texas is here. the storm, near hurricane strength, has millions of americans under flash flood watches tonight. it's the 14th name storm of the season, a number not typically hit until mid-november. nicholas is bringing gusts topping 65 miles per hour, a potentially life-threatening surge of sea and water and torrential rain. a widespread area of texas is bracing for 6-12 inches of rain. some places could see as much as a foot and a half. and states of emergency have been declared as the storm could impact efforts to restore power still out after hurricane ida hit two weeks ago. we'll get the latest on the track and timing of nicholas in just a moment. but first janet shamlian leads off our coverage in galveston, texas. good evening, janet. >> reporter: norah, good evening. the outer bands of tropical storm nicholas are churning up the texas coast tonight. you can see the winds and the heavy rain kind of bringing and churning up the surf right now,
and it's only expected to get worse over the next couple hours. across the region, they are preparing for potentially life- threatening flooding. and i can tell you here in galveston it is already dangerous. the driving is treacherous, there is low visibility, and as the storm moves into louisiana, communities are preparing for days of heavy rain. the gulf coast is under threat once again tonight two weeks after the death and devastation of hurricane ida. tropical storm nicholas could deliver catastrophic rainfall. now there are watches, warnings and worry the louisiana coast through southeast texas, including galveston and houston, down to corpus christi. >> there are people who do drive into high water, and they sometimes lose their vehicles and, even worse sometimes, lose their lives. >> reporter: nicholas could dump as much as two feet of rain even as recovery from category 4 ida is just getting underway.
heavy rainfall expected in louisiana in the next two days which could spark flooding in areas already washed out by ida. >> this is two weeks post- hurricane. >> reporter: this video shows one city in louisiana still flooded after ida. >> this is a familiar sight down here right now. >> one of the things we have to guard against is dismissing the threat of this storm because it is not projected currently to reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall. >> reporter: here in texas, the hours to get ready are already passed. businesses are closed and most school districts are closed for tomorrow. norah. >> o'donnell: janet shamlian in galveston, texas. stay safe out there. thank you so much. well, it's going to be a long night for folks along the gulf and the worst effects may not be felt 'til the morning. let's get the forecast now from cbs' jeff beradelli. it's tough out there for folks. >> reporter: good evening, norah. the worst is just about to come and about to move onshore.
once again, we're dealing with a life-threatening flood situation. i think undoubtedly roads will become impassable in certain areas and there will be water in homes. right now the storm is located offshore and so is the rain. but it is moving north at a good clip at 12 miles an hour, right now it's a tropical storm but could become a hurricane briefly around midnight before making landfall around the bay city area. after that somewhat uncertain. here's why: notice the bend to the east. some computer models slow it down to a crawl. if that happens, we're talking about catastrophic flooding. a five out of five flood risk for places like galveston all the way east towards port arthur and the big flood threat move from northeast texas into louisiana during the day tomorrow. anywhere you see in the white means we could see over a foot of rain, some places picking up as much as 20 inches of rain that's both for coastal texas, northeast texas and also in interior portions of louisiana as well. the bottom line is if you live
in an area that typically floods, you should plan on the possibility of water in your home. if you have anything that's very valuable to you, it would be a good idea to lift it up off the ground just to protect it and keep it safe. norah. >> o'donnell: jeff berardelli, good information, thank you. and we want to turn now to the covid pandemic and a milestone for the one-time epicenter new york city. for the first time in a year and a half about a million students returned to in-person learning today. cbs' meg oliver on what's being done to keep everyone safe. >> reporter: this morning, natalya murakhver couldn't wait to take her seven and eleven- year-old daughters back to school. >> i think it is more than safe to send kids back to school. they miss socialization, they miss learning, they miss the interaction with their friends. >> reporter: after 18 months of pandemic shutdowns plus remote and hybrid learning... >> we're going to do it, we're ready. >> reporter: ...new york city school's chancellor meisha porter called today's reopening a milestone, with mask requirements, classroom air
purifiers and vaccine mandates for teachers and staff, porter is confident schools are safe. despite all of that, there are nervous parents. how do you reassure them it's safe to send them back to school? >> i think what is important is where we agree. we all agree the best learning happens in person between students and teachers and we have done the work to get our building safe to get them ready. >> reporter: still, some concerned parents marched to demand remote learning option on sunday. >> love you. have a great day. >> reporter: daniel cohen has mixed emotions about sending his nine-year-old son back to class. >> a sense of relief but mixed with apprehension. we don't know what the delta variant is going to bring for this school. >> reporter: today, the american academy of pediatrics reported more than 240,000 new cases last week-- the second highest total since the pandemic began. and since reopening this year, covid outbreaks have forced nearly 1,700 schools nationwide to close.
how do you prevent that from happening in the nation's largest school district? >> continue to follow the health and safety protocols. folks in new york city are getting vaccinated, our vaccination rates are up. and that's how we build a protective bubble around our schools. >> reporter: here in new york city, roughly 75% of school staff and 65% of eligible students are vaccinated. former f.d.a. director dr. scott gottlieb, who is on pfizer's board, says pfizer could have a vaccine available for kids ages 5-11 by halloween, but it's ultimately up to the f.d.a. >> o'donnell: meg oliver, thank you very much. and washington, d.c., is on alert tonight days before a rally in support of the capitol hill rioters after a man was arrested with a truck full of weapons and swastikas. he told police he was "on patrol" and talking about white supremacist ideology. we get more on this now from cbs' jeff pegues. >> reporter: with capitol hill already on edge ahead of a potentially dangerous political
rally this weekend, a california man was arrested this morning after police found a bayonet and several knives in his pickup truck parked near democratic national committee headquarters where a pipe bomb was found on january 6. the truck had several swastika markings on it. authorities say this weekend's rally at the capitol in support of those arrested for taking part in the january attack could bring extremists intended on sparking violence. capitol police briefed lawmakers this morning. >> i think they're much better prepared than things were before january 6. >> reporter: officials acknowledged intelligence failures leading up to january 6, and this time around they're not taking any chances. new surveillance cameras are installed this morning and eight-foot-high security fencing will return. >> the fencing will go up a day or two before and if everything goes well, it will come down very soon after. >> reporter: paul abbate is the
deputy director of the f.b.i. should there be concern that there could be some sort of violence associated with that date? >> we're postured with our partners for september 18 now and even beyond that to ensure that violence doesn't occur. >> reporter: i am standing where protestors are expected to gather this coming weekend and while law enforcement is not expecting especially large numbers of people to gather here, under new leadership, capitol police have expressed repeatedly as publicly as they can that they will be prepared no matter who shows up. norah. >> o'donnell: all right, we'll be covering it. jeff pegues, thank you. secretary of state antony blinken came under fire today over the afghanistan withdrawal when he testified before a house committee. republicans called the pullout a disaster and a disgrace. some called on blinken to resign. 13 american service members were killed in a suicide bombing during the withdrawal. blinken said there are about 100
ericanin afghanistan who still want to leave, and he insisted the afghan's government collapse happened much more quickly than anyone expected. also tonight, the u.n. is warning afghanistan faces a severe food crisis in the coming months. at least a million children are at risk of starvation. and tonight, president biden is and tonight, president biden is on his first trip west since taking office. he says the raging wildfires point to the need for spending trillions on infrastructure. the president is also hoping to boost a key political ally. we get more now from cbs' major garrett. >> reporter: president biden on a west coast swing talking wildfires and recall politics hoping to give california governor gavin newsom a boost before tomorrow's vote. >> thank god you have a governor who understands there is a covid crisis. >> reporter: newsom has pulled ahead in recent weeks with help from the party's top stars and by linking his top challenger, radio host larry elder, with former president trump. >> donald trump was defeated last november, but trumpism hasn't been defeated. >> donald trump is irrelevant to this election.
>> reporter: but in trumpian fashion, elder cast doubt about the integrity of the election claiming "shenanigans" could be at play. >> i want people to vote and believe in the election. >> reporter: under recall rules a majority have to vote yes to recall newsom. if that happens, the top vote getter among 46 challengers becomes governor, no matter how small their share of the vote. recall organizers blame newsom for overly burdensome pandemic restrictions and hypocrisy. at the height of his covid lockdown orders the governor kind at the posh french laundry restaurant with lobbyists, but without masks or social distancing. >> without hesitation, we've acknowledged mistakes. >> reporter: elder said he would roll back mask and testing requirements for state capitol police on day one, but he has also drawn fire for comments about women and race. >> racism has never been a less significant problem in america than today. >> o'donnell: major garrett joins us from long beach, california. what is the latest pulling on this high-stakes race?
>> reporter: public polls and internal republican polls indicate newsom is likely to keep his job but the governor is running scared having already plowed more than $65 million into this race, perhaps with an eye toward running up the score, president biden is campaigning in long beach with the governor in long beach wi at an election eve rally. >> o'donnell: all right, major garrett, thank you so much. now a cbs news investigation that has uncovered a new criminal enterprise. cyber criminals are going to frightening lengths to bully and harass social media users to give up accounts to sell them to the highest bidder. in at least one case, that harassment turned deadly. here's cbs' david begnaud. >> reporter: 60-year-old mark herring scooped up twitter handle @tennessee in the social media site's very early days. more than a decade later his daughter corrie and ex-wife fran said people would ask to buy it from him. >> he said no because he loved his handle. >> reporter: one night last year herring's local sheriff's
department received a chilling i 911 call. >> this is alaina, how can i help you? >> reporter: the person claimed to be mark herring. >> i just shot someone. >> you shot somebody? >> yes, ma'am. >> reporter: believing that they were responding to an actual emergency, police raced to herring's home in the woods of central tennessee. >> he went outside to see what was going on. >> reporter: in the moment they thought this is our guy. >> yeah. >> reporter: the officers, guns pointed at herring told him to come out underneath that gate and put his hands up. he did, but standing tall, he collapsed. mark herring had a fatal heart attack. >> i believe that's what killed him, being scared to death. >> reporter: the 911 call was a hoax. it was all part of an elaborate extortion campaign to force herring to turn over his twitter account. >> it's saddening, maddening, disgusting. >> reporter: and it's criminal. >> and criminal. >> reporter: the bad actors are exploiting web sites like this one where users names can sell
for tens of thousands of dollars. >> reporter: cbs news learned of a growing criminal enterprise where victims around the country say they were threatened for their social media handles, some like herring, by cyber criminals calling in fake emergencies. it's a tactic called "swatting." >> swatting is a more prevalent scheme we're seeing in this type of online extortion space. >> reporter: kenneth polite leads the u.s. justice's criminal division. he told us there are currently no federal laws that explicitly outlaw swatting. >> they're targeting celebrities, politicians, federal prosecutors, judges have fallen prey to these types of schemes. >> reporter: just one week after mark herring died, the f.b.i. arrested this man, shane sonderman, a 20-year-old. prosecutors say he arranged the swatting call. now, he pled guilty to conspiracy and, in july, he was sentenced to five years in prison. >> five years is nothing compared to a life being lost.
we want laws changed. >> he took away a person, a life. >> reporter: david begnaud, cbs news, la vergne, tennessee. >> o'donnell: and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." meet an n.f.l. game changer. we'll tell you how she made history on the field. and we salute the nation's oldest world war ii veteran on his, yes, 112th birthday. the secret to his longevity. lo. its highly active peroxide droplets... ...swipe on in seconds. better. faster. 100% whiter teeth. shop crestwhitesmile.com. (roosevelt) i always thought that cigarette smoking just messed up your lungs. i never thought that at only 45 it would give me a heart attack. my tip is; do your heart a favor, and quit now. (announcer) you can quit. for free help, call 1-800-quit-now.
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>> o'donnell: you know, beginning college can be a humbling experience, no matter how smart or how old you are. here's cbs' mark strassmann. >> reporter: caleb anderson is adjusting to big changes. >> this is caleb. >> reporter: his new campus at georgia tech. >> i'm taking integral calculus. >> reporter: his new voice. >> i'm taking integral calculus, i have a studio for that. >> reporter: see, caleb just turned 13. by far the youngest wiz-kid at one of america's elite engineering schools. have you gotten some funny looks? >> yeah, definitely. you know, i also have had thoset college and, you know, this is incredible. >> reporter: at nine months, caleb learned sign language, reading at one.
by two, doing fractions. >> two, three. >> reporter: at three, he qualified for mensa. and now an aerospace engineering major instead of a 7th grader. >> i'm being challenged. >> reporter: you're not the only smart kid in the room. >> oh, definitely. i think i'm average. >> reporter: classes easy, classes hard? >> class is definitely hard. the one thing that unites everybody in this school is the work is terrifying. >> reporter: but what scares him now could make him even smarter. mark strassmann, cbs news, atlanta. >> o'donnell: i like that he says he's average, but there's nothing average about caleb. i think he's going to have a ph.d. before he has a driver's license. we'll be right back. driver's license. we'll be right back. wealth is breaking ground on your biggest project yet.
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set your dvr so you can watch us later: you don't want to miss that. the stage is set in california for governor newsom's highest profile supporter. both sides are making final pitches to california recall voters. >> i think he is passionate and genuine. >> we need him out. is mismanaged the state. a bumpy ride for the pilot of this small plane. how he ended up in a bay area marsh instead of on the runway. >> in an original report tonight, following 9/11, warnings of a new threat out there that could paralyze the nation. >> we are not prepared. >> it would make the pandemic look like child's play. president biden came to california to lend gavin newsom
his highest profile bid yet in his bid to keep his job. the two will be appearing together shortly at a rally in long beach. we are waiting for them to be introduced. meanwhile, president biden's first trip to california since taking office, and it comes in the final hours of the recall campaign. good evening, i'm ken bastida. >> tonight, the candidates and supporters are pulling out all the stops to secure as many last-minute votes as they can. >> the polls seem to be trending in the governor's favor, tonight, with a recent stanford survey giving him a 14 point edge. governor newsom is not taking any chances, this evening. >> cannot reinforce the consequences of this recall, to sit back california, of the ssissippi, and elsewhere. n >> got to turn out voters.