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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  March 14, 2015 6:00pm-6:31pm PDT

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>> axelrod: the search for survivors following a deadly cyclone. 170-mile-per-hour winds batter an island chain in the south pacific. villages are wiped out. dozens are feared dead. a sexual assault investigation rocks a los angeles high school. four teen boys suspected the targeting two teenaged girls and posting photos on social media. a texas ice cream institution issues its first recall in a century after three people died. the rescue of miracle baby lily. now police footage shows how she was saved. >> come on, baby. >> axelrod: and a homeless man find purpose and brightens his neighborhood with a roadway garden. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news." .>> axelrod: good evening. i'm jim axelrod. we begin tonight on the other side of the world with a natural disaster. a chine of islands in the south pacific that makes up a countrycalled vanuatu has taken a direct hit from a powerful cyclone with wind close to 170 miles per hour. neighbor you haven't heard of vou before but you may very well have seen it. this group of islands was one of the locations where the long-running reality show "survivor" was shot. today, the president of vanuatu says many of his people have no running water or communications and is asking the united nations for help. here's seth doane. >> reporter: residents tried to solvage what they could in the capital city of port vila. many rode out the storm in emergency shelters. cyclone pam hit this chain of islands in the south pacific with nearly 170-mile-per-hour wind. early reports suggest entire
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villages may have been destroyed. alice clements with unicef described the ferocious storm. >> it felt like the world was coming to an end. the winds were incredibly strong uplifting roofs, destroying community infrastructure like hospitals and schools. obviously, affecting housing and casualties as well. >> reporter: vanuatu's population of 267,000 is spread over 65 islands. it was the location of cbs' "survivor" in 2004. communication is down, so many of the islands are cut off making damage estimates and death tolls hard to determine. but the u.n. says 90% of homes in the capital may have been damaged. vanuatu's president was at a u.n. disaster planning conference in japan. >> i'm speaking with you today with a heart that is so heavy. i stand to appeal on behalf of
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the government and people of vanuatu to the global community to give a lending hand in responding to this very currentica lamb tee. >> reporter: aid groups say getting residents food water and shelter are the biggest priorities now. jim, the death toll is expected to rise as communication is restored with outlying islands. >> axelrod: seth doane covering for us tonight in beijing. the southern california beach town of venice, california, usually known for its sun and fun is reeling tonight over a sexual assault investigation at its high school. the disturbing allegations involve 14 boys and two girls all underaged. here's omar villafranca. >> reporter: the arrests happened quickly in classrooms. los angeles police officers took eight venice high school student into custody stunning classmates like josh noonan. >> they were shocked just like me. what's going on. what's-- why are they getting arrested? why-- why them?
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why them? like, these kids are pretty popular. >> reporter: the boys are as young as 14. all are underage. all face felony sexual assault charges. the attacks allegationedly date back to 2013 but police accomplice say most were in the last two weeks, some happening on campus. l.a.p.d. commander andrew smith. >> some of these were forced sexual acts, sexual assaults. others were consensual with individuals who are too young to give consent. >> reporter: kumiko howard is the girlfriend of one of the suspects and came forward to defend him. >> he wants them ton that he's not-- he's not guilty like, he's innocent, and he denies-- he didn't do nothing bad to that girl. >> reporter: investigators say they're looking into digital evidence of the crimes. senior allen hernandez says students were circulating pictures. >> it didn't look like anybody was forced. it looked like they were all you know, trying to have fun eye don't know. that doesn't sound right but you know. they all looked like they were doing it willingly.
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>> reporter: police are still looking for four teenaged suspects in this small beach community. >> axelrod: we have a major recall to tell butonight. blue bell ice cream is sold in 23 states, mostly in the south. three people have died after eating blue bell ice cream tainted with a toxic bacteria, and as mark albert reports they ate it in all places at the hospital. >> reporter: five people in this hospital in wichita, kansas, became infected with listeria over the past year. at least four of them ate ice cream served by the hospital. the three people who died were all older adults. the ice cream was made at this blue bell creamery plant in brenham, texas. the c.d.c. says the machine that made these 10 products caused the outbreak. blue bell c.e.o. paul kruse tells cbs news the company removed all the tainted products from stores last month. >> no question, absolutely we
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apologize. >> reporter: plu bell is responsible for this listeria? >> no question. >> reporter: listeria symptoms include fever, muscle aches diarrhea and vomiting. department of health spokesperson said there may be more cases. >> symptoms can appear three to 70 days after consuming this bacteria, and we continue to monitor situation. >> reporter: listeria kills an average 260 people a year in the u.s. and sickens 1600, according to the c.d.c. the largest nationwide listeria outbreak was in 2011 when 33 people died from tainted cantaloupe. >> it was just tragic. i still think about him. >> reporter: paul schwarz's father, paul air, world war ii veteran, was one of them. >> we shouldn't have to take a bite of cantaloupe or ice cream and possibly get sick and die. it's just-- it's just unconscionable that this happens. >> reporter: blue bell's c.e.o. tells us he does not know how the contamination happened
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but will likely scrap the $1 million specialty machine that meat product. this is the company's first recall in its 108-year history. >> axelrod: mark albert in our washington newsroom tonight, thank you. we have a new study to tell you about tonight. what appears to be awe breakthrough in treating heart disease. this has to do with which noninvasive test used for high-risk patients. dr. hooman yaghoobzadeh joins us right now. what does this study tell us, doctor? >> well, we've never had a study that compares head to head the two ways that we typically work up patients who have chest pain. this study takes a look to see when somebody comes in with chest pain what, tests the doctor should order. one test is a cat scan which is a way to actually look at arteries and see if there are blockages and how tight the block are. the other test is a stress test which doesn't look at the actual blockage but looks at blood flow to the heart muscle. each test has its benefits and limitations and the results of this study show that both tests
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are very good at keeping the rates of heart attack and death at two years very are low. >> axelrod: how will this best be applied? >> if a doctor doesn't know if somebody has heart disease or not and they're not on cholesterol medicines or rasp rin, a cat scan may be a better idea if the doctor wants to fiend out more about what happens to heart rate and blood pressure with exercise a stress test would be a better idea. >> axelrod: so what does that mean in terms of patient care? >> so it means that physicians are able to use either test with the confidence to know that both tests are pretty good at trying to inform what the next step is, for example does the patient need a catheterization or not. >> axelrod: so this really is a significant advance. >> yes because we've never had this kind of comparative study between two tests and before, doctors were just guessing at what test to use. now we have the data to be able to back it up. >> axelrod: dr. hooman
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yaghoobzadeh, thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you. >> axelrod: secretary of state john kerry will be in switzerland tomorrow, ready to resume negotiations with iran over its nuclear program. almost sure to come up, the letter 47 republican senators sent this week to iran warning that any deal will not last beyond president obama's term. in egypt today, secretary kerry discussed the letter with our state department correspondent margaret brennan. >> reporter: with the clock ticking, secretary kerry said this is the last chance. he has until the end of march to hammer out a deal with iran. will there be an extension? >> so, we believe very much that there's not anything that's going to change in april or may or june that suggests that at that time a decision you can't make now will be made then. if it's peaceful, let's get it done. and my hope is that in the next days that will be possible. >> reporter: the wild card is whether hard liners at home scuttle the deal.
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this week, iran's supreme leader questioned whether president obama has the power to implement an agreement. that after 47 republican senators led by junior senator tom cotton published an open letter saying they'll make sure the deal does not hold after mr. obama leaves office. is a deal now in jeopardy? >> well, i don't know yet. when i negotiate for the first time on sunday night with foreign minister zarif, i'll have a better sense of where we are. but what i do know is this letter was absolutely calculated directly to interfere with these negotiations. >> reporter: so how do you clear the air? are you going to apologize for this letter? >> not on your life. i'm not going to apologize for the-- for an unconstitutional, unthought out action by somebody hohas been in the united states senate for 60-some days. that's just inappropriate. i will explain very clearly that congress does not have the right to change an exclusive
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agreement. >> reporter: sunday will be the first face-to-face meeting since that political firestorm erupted, and kerry told me that up to this point, negotiators havehave made progress on limiting iran's nuclear technology, but now it's time for some tough political decisions. >> axelrod: margaret brennan traveling with the secretary of state in egypt. margaret, thank you. and you can see more of margaret's interview with secretary kerry tomorrow morning on "face the nation" when one of bob schieffer's guests will be senator tom cotton who wrote the letter to the rawnlz government. newly released footage shows how a baby was rescued from a submerged car. and remembering the dancing machine who stole the show "the gong show" when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> axelrod: last saturday on this broadcast, we reported on the rescue of a baby girl in utah naismed lily. she was found in a river upside
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down in her car seat her head just above the water. tonight, vinita nair has the remarkable police video that shows just how lily was saved. >> say i'm okay. i'm going to make it. i'm just really tired right now. >> reporter: 19-month-old baby lily groesbeck is healthy and alert after surviving the car crash that killed her mother. >> what have you got? >> reporter: jarring video from a policeman's body camera gives us glimpses of the scene as he raced toward the frigid river. the car was found upside down in the water with lily and her mother inside. the policeman was met by other officers and firefighters who decided the only way in was to flip the car over on to its side. >> pass her up. pass her up. >> go, go g. >> reporter: police and firefighters then struggled to free lily from her car seat, which had been dangling right above the water. >> come on baby. >> reporter: they rushed her to a waiting ambulance. paramedics suctioned lily's
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nose, while the officer performed c.p.r. >> what do you need? >> suction! >> reporter: lily was transported by helicopter to primary children's hospital in salt lake city. the upside down vehicle was first spotted by a fisherman last saturday. police say lily was there for 14 hours before she was pulled out. they are still investigating the cause of the crash. lily's mother, 25-year-old jenny groesbeck, was killed. she was engaged to lily's father, deven trafny. >> i haven't really wrapped my head around that yet. she was the love of my life and i'm going to miss her a lot. >> reporter: but baby lily is home, safe and sound. >> say bye-bye. >> axelrod: the u.s. dollar is strong, but some analysts say there is a downside. that's next.
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>> axelrod: the u.s. dollar is now stronger against the euro than it's been in more than a decade, surging 32% in the year.
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this past week, it hit a 12-year high against the euro, which means, among other things, it's a good time to book that trip to europe. but there is also a downside, and here to explain is our business analyst jill schlesinger. so what is going on here? >> reporter: a country's currency is really a way to measure its economic strength. and right now here in the u.s., we might not have great guns economic growth but it is far better than what we're seeing in other developed countries like japan and europe. in fact, the u.s. probably is on track to grow at about 3% this year. europe, maybe less than 1%. >> axelrod: so you hear strong dlark you think good news. >> reporter: certainly good news for consumers so new england to booking your trip abroad if you can afford it, what about people who buy imported goods like clothing electronics, automobiles? very good news there. your dollar will go farther. but, if you're a big company a manufacturer, an exporter, the stuff that you are sending abroad is now more expensive. if you're a large multinational
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like coca-cola or both, you are deriving so many profits overseas those profits could come under pressure. >> axelrod: how long is this all expected to last? >> reporter: i spoke to some currency traders and they believe because of the strengthening u.s. economy that we could see this last for another couple of years, maybe not as dramatic, but maybe we'll buy more imported olive oil from italy and maybe some french wine. >> axelrod: sound good. you had a long list, i'm sure. >> reporter: yes. >> axelrod: jill schlesinger, thank you. >> thank you. >> axelrod: to his friends and family he was gene patton but the rest of us knew him by a different name. ♪ ♪ ♪ gene gene the dancing machine. he was an nbc stagehand when "gong show" host chuck barris spotted him off to the side dancing by himself and decided to put him on the show. gene patton died this week after a struggle with diabetes. he was 82. still ahead, serena williams makes an emotional return to a tournament she boycotted for 14 years.
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>> axelrod: tennis star serena williams is known for her toughness. it's been at the root of many improbable comebacks. but last night, at the tournament in indian wells california, was perhaps of the most improbable of all because serena williams had vowed never to play indian wells again after being booed off the court there years ago. as jericka duncan reports, williams was welcomed back warmly. >> please welcome the number one player in the world, serena williams! ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: the one-minute standing ovation by a sold-out stadium served as confirmation, serena williams was missed. at last night's bn paribas open, she defeated monica niculescu, but williams says being able to forgive was an even bigger victory. >> i don't feel like i have to actually hold the trophy at the end of this. i feel like i'm already holding a trovey and just being here is
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a huge win. not only for me but for so many people. >> reporter: the last time she played here was in 2001. the crowd booed the then-19-year-old before and after she beat kim clijsters. that year, serena was set to play her sister, venus, but due to an injury venus pulled out. angered tennis fans alleged their father richard williams engineered the outcome. the family said some people shouted racist comments at them so they vowed never to return. but 14 years later serena had a change of heart. at a news conference before the tournament, she explained why. >> i thought it was really good timing, not just for me but for americans in general to step up and say, "we as a people we as americans, we can do better. we can be better, and we are better." >> reporter: "new york times" sports columnist bill rhoden: >> all the things that are going on in the united states, she put it all together and it's almost like she said, "okay i will
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make the first step." >> reporter: in an instagram post today serena said, "sometimes you have to face your biggest nightmares head first and conquer them." her next match is on sunday. >> axelrod: thank you. a homeless drifter puts down roots in a garden.
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>> axelrod: with our thoughts turning to spring now just six days away, we close tonight in a well-tended garden. as carter evans shows us, the man who maintains it is homeless put not without roots or purpose. >> jeff harmes is exactly the type of person many of us see and turn away from. how long have you been homeless? >> close to 30 years. >> reporter: and where is home for you? >> it's over by the freeway in the woods. >> reporter: last year, harmes parked himself on this median. slowly out from the dirt grew a garden terraced and filled with art. you have ever gardened before? >> no.
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but i went with it, man! >> reporter: what did that median look like before? >> we didn't have anything there. >> reporter: it was kind of ugly. >> it was ugly, sha. >> andy hashroun owns a wine shop in atwater village near downtown l.a. and like most who drive this street, he noticed something magical happening. >> he's doing a great thing. it's making the city beautiful. >> reporter: soon, other neighbors began showing up with plant and more. where did you get book? >> the guy across the street donated all these. that's exactly what i'm going to do. i'm going to put one stone thing all down on that first landing right here. >> reporter: while we were here steve branch has by with the latest donation. >> i love these. these are like vibrant succulents. >> reporter: harmes as a child was given a diagnosis of depression with scottic features. he began living on the street when he was just 17. how much money do you have in your pocket right now? >> probably about 10 cents. >> reporter: which is more important to you getting the
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nation or seeing people smile in their cars. >> definitely smiles. >> reporter: technically he shouldn't be here but tom labonge said he wouldn't interfere. >> he made this place beautiful. usually we don't allow people to live in the parkway or hang in the parkway but i look the other way. okay. >> hey, marshall! that's my buddy right there. he's helped a lot. >> reporter: people seem to appreciate this so much. >> it makes you feel good. the only thing i can say is my special contribution to the universe. >> reporter: jeff harmes may never leave the streets but those now entering his universe couldn't be more grateful. >> pleasure meeting you. >> you too man. >> you're an inspiration. >> reporter: carter evans, cbs news, los angeles. >> axelrod: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. i'm jim axelrod in new york. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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captioned by media access group at wgbh determined to keep her memory alive. celebration of life for a murdered mother. how one community is determined to keep her memory alive. >> a thankful family for three years of effort. and the record the others could see a
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a community gathers to celebrate the life of a young mother killed trying to protect her children. good evening. >> we start with breaking news in livermore. a 10-car wreck on 580 has left at least one person dead and six others injured. the crash

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