tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS August 2, 2022 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
don't care about california. but we do. stand with us. cb captioning sponsored by cbs ♪ ♪ ♪ >> dickerson: tonight, how far will china go? after peeking nancy pelosi becomes the highest ranking u.s. official to visit taiwan in 25 years. the speaker of the house arrives on a u.s. air force plane to fanfare and china reacts. warships around taiwan and beijing promise a strong and forceful response. th planning behind a strike on a balcony in afghanistan that killed al qaeda's leader. new details tonight about how the u.s. tracked down one of the masterminds of 9/11. helping america's veterans: after days of protesting from comedian jon stewart and dozens of veterans' groups, the senate votes on a bill to expand benefits to warriors with toxic exposure from burn pits.
primary day across america: voters in five states go to the polls tonight. what we might learn about the elections this november and the ones in 2024. plus, kansas becomes the first state to vote on the future of abortion rights. confronting a liar... >> i wanted to tell you to your face, my son existed. >> reporter: the mom of a sandy hook victim addresses conspiracy theorist alex jones. they picked the wrong guy to mess with. robbers with an ar-15-style rifle target a liquor store, whose 80-year-old owner greets them with a shotgun. and finally, an n.b.a. champion on and off the court. what this former l.a. laker is doing to raise money for the children of ukraine. ♪ ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs evening news" with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> dickerson: good evening to our viewers in the west, and
thank you for joining us. i'm john dickerson in for norah. tonight, u.s.-china tensions increase after house speaker nancy pelosi's arrival in taiwan. the highest ranking american official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island that beijing claims as its own. pelosi was greeted on the tarmac at taipei's airport, by taiwan's foreign minister and other taiwanese and american government officials. in a statement upon arriving, pelosi said the visit honors america's unwavering commitment to supporting taiwan's vibrant democracy. china responded to the visit by putting its military on high alert and announcing a series of military demonstrations in the waters off taiwan. cbs' nancy cordes starts us off. >> reporter: the guessing game about pelosi's plans ended with this late-night touchdown in taipei. the house speaker was greeted by local officials, even hailed with a welcome message on taiwan's tallest skyscraper.
but across the narrow taiwan strait, china responded, announcing new live-fire military drills and circling taiwan and warning that the u.s. would pay the price for undermining china's interests. >> the speaker has the right to visit taiwan. >> reporter: here in washington, the administration offered cautious backing for the trip, but they weren't always so supportive. >> i think that the military thinks it's not a good idea right now. >> reporter: to reduce tensions, speaker pelosi's flight path from malaysia took her away from the chinese mainland and the south china sea. her journey was tracked by nearly three million people online. and earned her rare praise from republicans back home. >> i believe she has every right to go. >> you do not want the chinese communist party dictating to senior american leaders where they can and cannot travel. >> reporter: pelosi isn't the first lawmaker to visit taiwan this year. but, she's the first house speaker to do so in 25 years,
and she's been a thorn in china's side since 1991, when she unfurled a pro-democracy banner in beijing's tianammen square. in an op-ed today, pelosi said she made the trip because "we cannot stand by as china proceeds to threaten taiwan." what is this going to do to the u.s.-china relationship, which is already so fraught? >> we don't want to see this spiral into any kind of a crisis or conflict. we want to be able to maintain those lines of communication. it's going to depend a lot on how china behaves overcoming days and weeks. >> reporter: one of the things the white house will be watching for is whether china tries to retaliate against the u.s. or taiwan economically. in fact, john, just today, china suddenly banned shipments from 100 taiwanese food exporters. >> dickerson: tonight, we are learning more about the successful drone strike that killed al qaeda leader ayman al-
zawahiri in afghanistan. cbs' catherine herridge has the new details on how the decades- long manhunt finally came to an end. >> reporter: smoke rose after two hellfire missiles used bye r two hell fire missiles used by the u.s. military for targeted assassinations, rained down on ayman al-zawahiri. after the drone strike, green tarps hung from a building where it's believed he spent his final moments before he was killed on a balcony. >> americans can feel safer today now that the leader of alr today now that the leader of al qaeda, ayman al-zawahiri, is off the battlefield. >> reporter: within with a $25 million bounty on his head, the al qaeda's whereabouts was a lingering mystery for u.s. intelligence. earlier this year, the terrorist leader was tracked down to the busy afghan capitol of kabul. after an intelligence briefing where he saw the safe house, he authorized the strike. >> this mission was carefully
planned, minimized the risk of harm to other civilians. >> reporter: the fact that al- zawahiri was in kabul. and a violation of the taliban's commitment not to harbor terrorists. >> we are communicating directly with the taliban about their obligations not to allow al qaeda to use afghanistan as a basis for plotting. >> reporter: al-zawahiri played a key role in the 9/11 attacks in plots that murder americans overseas at two u.s. embassies in east africa, and on the u.s.s. "cole" in yemen. after navy seals raided this compound in pakistan, killing osama bin laden, al-zawahiri took over. after last year's chaotic withdrawal of u.s. forces from afghanistan, mr. biden insisted the weekend strike shows the u.s. ability to target terrorists remains strong. u.s. ability to tar >> no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the united states will find you and take you out. >> reporter: in addition, saif al adel, described as the terror
group's military leader, is the likely successor. a former senior u.s. military official told cbs news that while the leadership has changed, al qaeda remains a resilient adversary that seeks out safe havens. john. >> dickerson: a resilient adversary. thank you, catherine herridge. after nearly a week of delays, outrage and protests, tonight the senate is once again trying to pass a bill which will expand healthcare and disability benefits to veterans exposed to toxic burn pits in iraq and afghanistan. cbs' scott macfarlane has the latest. >> reporter: with war veterans outside the capitol demanding action, a long-awaited plan to expand medical benefits for service members headed towards passage, making it easier for vets sickened by toxic fumes to get treatment. susan zeier's son-in-law died from lung cancer, she believes from exposure to burn pits in iraq. >> the first words out of the oncologist' mouth was what the hell have you been exposed to. >> reporter: veterans felt
blindsided last week when republicans unexpectedly blocked the burn pit legislation. >> they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over. >> reporter: their protest was powered by talk show host jon stewart. we see a lot of protests around here. >> yes. >> reporter: is this one having more of an impact? >> if it takes this to get something so unbelievably low hanging and common sense done, holy god. what are we doing with the rest of it? >> reporter: tonight, republicans dropped their opposition. >> the veterans' service organizations will be pleased with the final result. >> reporter: veterans' organizations sale cbs news this legislation could impact more than three million vets, including those exposed to toxins as far back as vietnam. the president supports the bill, says he'll sign it as soon as it reaches his desk. john. >> dickerson: scott macfarlane at the capitol. thank you, scott. norah spoke with jon stewart for her next episode of "person to
person," which premiers tonight at 10:30 eastern, 7:30 pacific on the cbs news app. we turn now to primary day across america. voters are heading to the polls in five states today, setting up pivotal races for november's midterm elections. in arizona, one of the republican contests features a candidate supported by former president trump, facing off against one supported by his vice president. cbs' ed o'keefe is there. >> reporter: tonight, in arizona, dueling republican candidates for governor backed by former president donald trump and former vice president mike pence are once again exposing divisions as wide and deep as the grand canyon. >> the party of lincoln, the party of ronald reagan, and the party of our favorite president, donald j. trump! >> reporter: kerry lake is a former tv news anchor who earned trump's nod. >> i think our policies appeal to independents, democrats and republicans. >> reporter: but karin taylor robson, a business executive backed by pence, doesn't think so, arguing lake's too extreme. >> we must get back to a place where the republican party is about addition and multiplication.
because on the current path that we're on, where we're just dividing, dividing, dividing, and fighting fighting fighting all the time. >> reporter: the former president's reference remains a big factor. >> i love trump and all of the people that he's endorsing. >> i wouldn't vote for anybody that he hasn't endorsed. >> reporter: 57% of republicans nationwide say they're more likely to vote for a candidate who gets a trump endorsement but our cbs news battleground backer also finds trump support makes registered voters overall less likely to vote for a candidate. in today's five contests, three incumbent house republicans who voted to apache him, faced primary challenges from trump- backed candidates who believe the 2020 election was stolen. in missouri's crowded primary,. he weighed in on monday night, announcing support for erick. but there's a problem. the former president didn't specify which eric.
did he mean eric greitens, the former governor, or erick schmitt, the attorney general? it doesn't matter to them. a trump endorsement is so valuable in the g.o.p. primary that they both send his support. john. >> dickerson: ed o'keefe out on the trail for us. thank you, ed. in kentucky, the death toll is expected to rise as rescuers find more victims of powerful flooding that swept away entire neighborhoods. in northern california, at least four people have now died in the mckinney fire, the largest wildfire in the state this year. much of the country is now facing extreme and potentially record-breaking heat. for more, let's bring in meteorologist mike bettes. >> reporter: places like hard- hit eastern kentucky, temperatures now climbing into the 90s. a lot of people here still without electricity, still without air conditioning. now that heat as the jet stream
goes north, expands all the way to the i-95 corridor. temperatures could be 10-15 degrees above average through the remainder of the week, including temperatures 95-100 degrees along the i-95 corridor, including d.c. and philadelphia by thursday. now, that heat also an issue across the northwest, we're also very dry, increasing fire danger with red flag warning, and fire weather watches. then also comes, john, the threat for flooding. monsoon moisture in the southwest, more rain in the ohio valley. >> dickerson: it's got us coming and going. thank you, mike. in texas a jury is considering how much conspiracy theorist alex jones should pay for lying that the 2012 sandy hook elementary school massacre was a hoax. the parents of one of the six- year-old victims is suing him, claiming his lies put them through a living hell. here's cbs' janet shamlian. >> reporter: emotional testimony from neil heslan, the father of six-year-old jessie lewis, killed at sandy hook elementary in 2012.
>> when you lose a child, you're losing part of yourself. and those feelings don't go away. >> reporter: heslan, and jessie's mom, scarlett lewis, are suing conspiracy theorist alex jones. jones on his "infowars" program told his audience of millions the massacre was a hoax calling the victims and their families crisis actors. >> they staged sandy hook. the evidence is overwhelming. >> reporter: the parents are asking for $150 million, saying they've endured years of harassment and threats by jones' followers. >> alex started this fight, and i'll finish this fight. >> reporter: heslan called jones a cowered for not being jones a a coward for not being jones a coward for not being present for his testimony, but jones was in court this afternoon as scarlett lewis, the boy's mother, took the stand and addressed him directly. >> my son existed. you're still on your show today trying to say that i'm-- implying, that i'm an actress. >> reporter: late today, jones took the stand in his own defense.
>> i never intentionally tried to hurt you. the internet had a lot of questions. i had questions. >> reporter: jones put his company into bankruptcy last week, which may delay two other damage trials scheduled for september. janet shamlian, cbs news. >> dickerson: still ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," abortion is on the ballot for the first time since "roe" was overturned. ou to the battleground state when we come battleground state when we come back iconds. you weren't made for uc or crohn's, but gut focused entyvio is. entyvio works at the site of the problem to block certain inflammation-causing cells from entering the gut. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment.
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>> when i was 15 years old, i accepted a ride home from work from a coworker, and he took me down to the river and left me there. i screamed "no," and i wasn't heard then. he didn't listen to me. but i'm going to vote no, and people are going to listen. >> reporter: walking through the suburb an wichita neighborhoods it's easy to find different points of view. >> vote yes. >> ideally, of course, i think we would all love a total ban. >> reporter: right now, there are only four abortion clinics left in the state, where the procedure is legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. voters will decide whether to amend the state's constitution. voting no will keep abortion rights in place. voting yes will overturn them and allow the state legislature, which is controlled by republicans, to act. as a lawmaker, do you want to
see a ban? >> my personal opinion, i think we need more restrictions. >> reporter: kansas is the first state in the nation to vote on reproductive rights following the decision to overturn "roe." but it will not be the last, and the decision will have an impact beyond its borders. so what's at stake in this election? >> i think not just reproductive choice in kansas, but in missouri and every border state, and, frankly, access to vital family and women's healthcare, really in the great plains entirely. i think it reverberates nationally. >> reporter: no matter how the vote goes tonight, abortions will still be legal here in kansas until the state legislature decides. and they come back into session in january. john. >> dickerson: caitlin huey-burns in kansas. thank you. up next, the monkeypox outbreak worsens as a federal emergency official is put in charge of the national response. break worsens as a federal emergency official is put in charge of the national response. isn't that right phil? sorry, i'm a little busy.
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. >> dickerson: the biden administration has as pointed a top official from fema to coordinate the administration's response to the worsening monkeypox outbreak in the united states. robert fenton helped lead fema's mass covid vaccination effort last year. more than 5800 cases of monkeypox have now been confirmed in the u.s. in every state, except montana and wyoming. at least four children have tested positive. states of emergency have been declared in california, illinois, and new york. still ahead, a gunman storms into a liquor store, and wait
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changed with russia's invasion of ukraine. medvedenko's homeland, and where he remains. this week, his two rings are up for auction. >> i just recognize i can die. these rings cannot help me. i have to do something positive. >> reporter: 100% of the money from the sale will go to medvedenko's "fly high" foundation. >> to help kids, to move them in a safe place. >> reporter: and once the war is over? >> to rebuild and fix the schools, because 100 schools are totally destroyed. >> reporter: why are sports so important to kids? >> sport, it's mentally rehabilitation. >> reporter: so the simple things in life not really matter, not championship rings. >> yes,
>> announcer: right now at 7:00. three former deputies convicted of beating an inmate to death could soon be walking free. a new state law that got their convictions tossed. >> i was shocked because that's my go-to reaction. once i read the opinion, it makes complete sense. >> police in the public come together at black parties across the bay area for national night out, including one dedicated to a murdered restaurant owner in oakland. a high-stakes meeting of the san francisco school board over one member's remarks about black and brown families. the tense moments at the podium that brought things to a sudden stop. and more legal woes for the a's and their quest to stay rooted in oakland and building new waterfront ballpark. streaming on "cbs news bay
area," a major twist in the beating death of a mentally ill jail inmate as a judge tosses the murder convictions of the three deputies involved. i'm ryan yamamoto. >> i'm elizabeth cook. on the change in the law that led to an pay pellet court ruling. >> reporter: strong reactions to the overturning of the three convictions of the correctional officers in the michael tyree case. the district attorney's office says it is still relying on viewing the court's decision but the attorney representing the fam of michael tyree says the case should be retried. >> at first i was shocked. >> reporter: paula kenny represented the sisters and daughter of michael tyree, a mentally ill inmate who was beaten to death in his jail cell allegedly by three correctional officers in 2015. >> there is still questions that the three defendant correctio