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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  October 20, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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>> pelley: tonight, an urgent plea. after another death, another warning to owners of nearly five million vehicles with potentially deadly air bags. jeff glor has the latest. a suspected serial killer leads police to seven bodies. dean reynolds reports. dozens of americans get the all clear on ebola while debora patta in liberia meets children orphaned by the virus. inside syria, holly williams meets an american volunteer fighting isis. >> it just got me mad and it made me feel like i had to do something. >> pelley: and jim axelrod with yoko ono, keeping the legacy of lennon alive. >> when you hear them singing...
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>> they're so good, so good. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. we're going to begin tonight with an important development in a story we've been investigating, a potentially deadly defect in millions of vehicles. today federal safety regulators urged owners to have their air bags fixed after a fourth fatality. today toyota added nearly 250,000 vehicles to that recall list. but this goes way beyond toyota. an auto safety group estimates that as many as 25 million vehicles may be equipped with the defective air bags. jeff glor has been following this and he has these late developments. >> report: the air bags in question are made by takata, and they've been subject to a spiraling series of recalls that this year reached more than 11 million. the problem: the air bags can
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explode, sending metal shrapnel flying through the vehicle. we spoke to stephanie erdman, who barely survived. >> instant blindness on my right side followed by gushing blood. it's terrifying. i thought i was going to bleed out at first. >> reporter: four deaths may be linked to the defect, the latest a 51-year-old woman in orlando driving a 2001 honda accord. this was the 911 call. >> the right side of her neck is severed. >> where is she bleeding from, can you tell? >> it looks like it's coming from... >> the right side of her neck. >> the right side of her neck. >> reporter: that followed a death in california, an 18-year-old in oklahoma and a mother of three in virginia. documents filed with the national highway traffic safety administration or nhtsa show honda, the biggest buyer of takata air bags, first learned about exploding air bags in 2004. the recalls didn't start until 2008. nine carmakers are now involved, and today there was that new recall of nearly 250,000 air
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bags in toyota vehicles. as in previous recalls, the fixes will only be made in warm-weather climates where takata believes high humidity makes the explosions more likely. clarence ditlow heads the center for auto safety. why not recall these vehicles in every single state? >> money. >> reporter: and why is that acceptable? >> it's a frustration to us. how in the world can you approve a geographic recall that doesn't include the two states where people have been killed. >> reporter: takata told us, "we fully recognize that one incident is one too many. we are constantly investing in and examining ways to improve." the toyota air bags recalled today are passenger air bags. scott, it to that says if they don't have the parts right now to fix them, they will tell people to avoid sitting in the passenger seat in the affected vehicles. >> pelley: thank you very much. the government is urging people to have their cars fixed.
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we've posted the complete list of recalled vehicles on our web site, cbsnews.com. today indiana police say seven women found murdered over the last few days may be victims of a serial killer. a suspect in custody has been talking to detectives, and here's dean reynolds. >> reporter: the trail that led to at least seven bodies began friday night at this motel in hammond, indiana. police say the suspect, 43-year-old convicted sex offender darren vann, spent time there with a 19-year-old escort he found on the web site back page. she was later found by a coworker strangled. the escort service gave the police vann's cell phone number, and he was located and arrested hours later at a house in nearby gary. karen freeman-wilson is the mayor. >> he played on individuals that might be less likely to be reported missing. >> reporter: did the suspect resist at all? >> he did not. he was cooperative with officers.
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>> reporter: john doughty is the chief of police. >> he admitted his involvement in the hammond incident and expressed interest in notifying police of other incidents he was involved in. >> reporter: vann was convicted in an assault in texas seven years ago. police say he directed them to the bodies of six more women found in abandoned houses in girlry and he indicated ominously there could be more. >> you could go back as far as 20 years based on some statements we have. that's yet to be corroborated. >> i think he was shocked. we caught him off guard and he started working with the police. >> hammond mayor thomas mcdermott called the suspect a serial killer. >> maybe it's because he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life if jail. maybe that's why he's cooperating. >> reporter: darren vann has now been charged in the murder of the woman in hammond on
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friday night. scott, when we asked if he had expressed any motive, the chief of police here in hammond said, "i don't have a specific reason he did this." >> pelley: dean, thanks very much. today an ebola patient was released from a hospital in atlanta, cured after six weeks. the hospital has not identified him, but he's believed to be a doctor who worked on the epidemic in west africa. also today, officials cleared 48 people who had been close to thomas eric duncan, who died in dallas october 8th. they have passed the 21-day incubation period for the virus. worldwide there have been more than 9,200 infection, nearly all of them in west africa, more than 4,500, about half, have died. but those who catch the virus are not the only victims, as debora patta discovered in liberia. >> reporter: this abandoned building is the new home for these children, orphaned by ebola.
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not only have these children lost their parents, but they are often shunned by families and friends. touching these children could be lethal. nine-year-old mercy kennedy's mother died weeks ago. none of her neighbors wanted anything to do with her. mercy ended up here at this makeshift orphanage, a blank stare on her face. the center is run by ebola survivors. once recovered they're immune to this strain of the disease and can touch the children. this boy pulled through after a month-long battle with the deadly virus. she told us caring for these rejected children give her purpose. >> we are loving them. we are warm when i touch them. >> reporter: the spread of ebola fights the most basic human need to care for someone who is suffering or hurt.
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this woman tries to coax this boy with a loving kiss. >> i love you, baby. report baby jefferson is among the 2,000 liberian children newly orphaned, casualties of an epidemic that keeps growing. last month four-year-old pearlina watched her mother die in an ambulance on the way to hospital. pearlina was led away with no one to look after her, but gideon klekleh was part of the ambulance team that day, and he couldn't forget the look on her face. >> nobody to take care of her. >> reporter: nobody wanted her because of the stigma. >> nobody wanted her. she was left alone crying in the street. it was very pitiful. nobody would take care of her. so i myself felt sorry for her and i almost cried. >> klekleh decided to foster
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pearlina at his village home just outside monrovia. >> reporter: you're going to love her. >> i love her. i love her. >> pelley: and debora patta joins us tonight from johannesburg. debora, if the children aren't sick after the 21-day incubation period for the virus, what happens to them then? >> reporter: there's stale lingering stigma surrounding these children even after the 21-day incubation period. many of them remain in these care centers, which do their best to find family members or place them in loving home, but they're having mixed success because there is still a lot of fear surrounding children orphaned by ebola. >> pelley: debora patta reporting tonight. debora, thank you so much. in this country, hospitals have discovered another complication in treating ebola patients, and ben tracy has been looking into this. >> reporter: 140 55-gallon drums of contaminated material were removed from the dallas
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apartment where thomas eric duncan had been staying. the waste was incinerated this weekend at a facility in galveston, texas. >> go around. >> reporter: at hospitals nationwide, what to do with medical waste from ebola patients is largely an unanswered question. >> thank you. >> reporter: each ebola patient generates about eight 55 gallons of hazardous material each day. that's because their bodily fluids and everything they come in contact with, from hazmat suits and bed linens to cups and plates, must be disposed of. at a congressional hearing, congresswoman marsha blackburn questioned the head of the c.d.c. >> is ebola waste as contagious as a patient with ebola? >> waste from ebola patients can be readily decontaminated. the virus itself is not particularly hardy. it's killed by bleach, by a variety of chemicals. >> reporter: the medical waste can be sterilized or burned, but several states do not use medical incinerators because of air pollution concerns.
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the california hospital association sent a letter to senator barbara boxer, warning that storage, transportation and disposal of this waste will be a major problem. jan emerson-shea is a vice president with the association. >> because we don't have the ability to incinerate it, we would need to take it some location out of state most likely, and we're hearing that many other states are saying that they're not going to accept this type of waste from outside of their state. >> reporter: now the other issue here is training. i talked to a biosafety expert today who said it normally takes four to six weeks the train someone to properly handle this kind of material. scott, she said expecting doctors and nurses to learn that in a day or two is, in her words, "ludicrous." >> pelley: ben tracy in our los angeles newsroom. ben, thanks very much. the united states pounded isis positions in iraq and syria today. american planes also dropped weapons to kurdish troops who are in a desperate fight with isis for the control of the syrian border town of kobani.
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holly williams crossed that border where she met an american volunteer who has joined the fight. >> reporter: in northeastern syria, kurdish soldiers have been fighting a brutal war against isis for over a year, and they're still holding the line. we drove into syria, escorted by kurdish fighters, to meet one of their number, an american volunteer from meridian, mississippi. >> it felt like someone should do something. >> jeremy woodward believes isis is a direct threat to the u.s. >> i can't put my family and my daughter in this position as these people are in. what if it was them? what if they were getting killed, raped, slaughtered? it just got me mad.
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>> reporter: woodward is a former shopping mall security guard who served in the u.s. military for eight years, including tours of duty in iraq and afghanistan. but last month he paid his own way to turkey and was smuggled into the war zone, where he's been fighting on the front lines with kurdish soldiers and developed a close bond with many of them. >> can't really understand them, but sign language is everything. >> reporter: he's fighting alongside muslims and told us isis has given islam a bad name. >> that's not how the real islam is. these guys aren't like that. they care about their homes, their family, their country. >> reporter: have you killed anyone since you've been here? >> i've killed three in my first battle. hopefully my numbers will go up.
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i never thought i would be over in syria killing people, but they've killed innocent people. >> reporter: jeremy woodward told us he plans to stay on in syria until isis is defeated, even if that takes several years. and, scott, there are at least two other americans fighting with the same group of kurdish soldiers. >> pelley: holly williams reporting from northern iraq. holly, thank you. an american city drowning in debt cuts off water to thousands. and royal watchers are marking april on their calendars when the "cbs evening news" continues. [ male announcer ] over time, you've come to realize...
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>> pelley: today two officials from the united nations lashed out at what they call a human rights violation, not in some third-world country or dictatorship but in a major american city, detroit. the city, which is drowning in $18 billion in debt, is trying to collect $81 million in unpaid water bills, and it's been cutting off the water to delinquent customers. here's michelle miller. >> reporter: by 11:00 p.m., rayanne sadowski has worked two jobs but still makes time to pick up water from friends and neighbors, water to flush her toilet, cook, drink and bathe. the city of detroit cut off service in august after she failed to pay her $800 bill. >> i do owe the money.
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i used the water. but being able to afford to pay for it is another story. >> reporter: why can't you afford water? >> when you make $25,000 a year, you have to pay $500 a month in rent on top of my health insurance, i'm literally over my head. >> at the end of the day, everybody's got to pay their water bill. >> reporter: alexis wiley is the chief of staff to detroit's mayor, mike duggan. >> people in detroit are paying higher rates because so many people aren't waiting. >> reporter: since march, detroit's water department shut off service to home 26,000 times. within two days thousands of delinquent customers made a payment. why are the shutoffs necessary? >> excuse me, you have the highest rate of poverty as a city in the country. >> these women led the mission. >> we suggest the city of
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detroit restore water connections to all residents unable to pay. >> reporter: the mayor's office admits for years the water department did a poor job of collecting money it was owed. then the city filed for bankruptcy last summer, under the weight of its own creditors, and the department decided to clamp down. >> whose water? our water! >> reporter: after a summer of protest, the mayor allowed low-income residents to get a payment plan. some even qualified for public and private grants. >> our job as a city is to help as many people as possible, help all our customers. >> reporter: with 2,300 homes still without water, the u.n. says it will keep pressuring the city until shutoffs stop. michelle miller, cbs news, detroit. >> pelley: another pro athlete has been arrested for domestic abuse. we'll have the story in a moment.
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>> pelley: the national hockey league suspended los angeles kings defenseman slava voynawf after he was arrested in a domestic violence case. police in redondo beach, california, responded to reports of a woman screaming and booked voynawf on suspicion of bodily injury to a spouse. he was released on $50,000 bail. apple rang up $39 million iphone sales last quarter. that's up 15% over last year. thanks to the iphone 6 and 6 plus. mac sales were up, too, but ipad sales dropped 13%.
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>> pelley: seems hard to believe, but john lennon would have turned 74 this month. the former beatle was just 40 when he was shot to death in december of 1980. tonight jim axelrod shows us how his widow is keeping lennon's passion for music alive here, there and everywhere. ♪ we all shine on >> reporter: it is not uncommon for an elementary school chorus to sing a john lennon song. it is quite the exception to the rule, however, to have yoko ono in the audience to hear it. when you hear them singing... >> it was so good, so good. >> reporter: ono showed up in style at ps 717 in manhattan alongside the john lennon tour bus, which gives young aspiring
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musicians to record muse, and shoot videos in this state-of-the-art studio. you probably get asked all the time to lend your support and your name and john's name to all kinds of projects. why did you try to support this one? >> i think this is one of the most important ones because, you know, the educational situation is not so good and all, that so we have to add something that's really positive. >> reporter: 250,000 kids each year visit this bus and another in europe and work with their professional crews to produce a video in a single day. ♪ we all shine on >> reporter: ono founded the lenon bus 16 years ago with a musician name brian rothchild. >> that's what the arts need. that's what music education needs in the world. we need lightedning rods like john lennon's name and the legacy of his life.
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>> reporter: if yoko ono is at all worried that legacy is lost on those born after john lennon's death, she should hear what fifth grader lena haptu has to say. >> he shows that if we try really hard, we can make things beautiful and we can make the world a better place. >> reporter: how's that? >> because i feel like if two buses can be doing... sending this message, why can't everyone? why can't everyone? >> reporter: why can't everyone? >> they can. ♪ it's up to you. yeah, you ♪ >> reporter: a moving thought to imagine. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ♪
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we ask kris jenner point blank tonight if her ex bruce really transitioning into a woman? >> we're not rhetting her deflect on any of it or the rumor that he's now dating her best friend. >> i really hope that he's happy. >> i would actually want, you know, a good friend of mine to call me up and say okay, kris, are you okay with this? did you get the phone call? >> right. >> you'll want to hear her answer to that. >> and the bruce question. so many say he's transitioning. >> just his hair alone, i had to let that go. >> also tonight brad pitt's series rolls into london and what do you think? do you think his son maddox sim pressed by dad? >> not that cool. >> mariah practically falling out of her chris and recording herself hitting high notes. it's just a mess, girl, what are you trying to prove? ♪