tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS October 20, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT
the gruesome discovery in a florida nature reserve, the f.b.i. identifying personal belongings of brian laundrie, the sole person of interest in the case of gabby petito. his parents' involvement in the search tonight. breaking news: the f.d.a. gives the green light to moderna and johnson & johnson booster shots. plus, the white house's plan to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11. why shots could be available at schools. >> guilty. >> o'donnell: 17 counts of murder. nikolas cruz pleads guilty and apologizes for the deadliest high school shooting in u.s. history.
toys stuck at sea: aisle after aisle of empty warehouse shelves as toy companies lose millions. getting answers: we go to capitol hill to ask lawmakers what's being done for thousands of children and families with dangerous drinking water? will congress act? transplant breakthrough: the medical advance that could be a game-changer for the 100,000 americans waiting for kidneys. the queen's health scare, why doctors told queen elizabeth to cancel a trip. ♪ ♪ ♪ and an officer and a gentleman with a violin. how he found a new way to give back. ♪ ♪ ♪ 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 thank you for joining us. we're going to begin tonight with breaking news, what could be a significant development tonight in the search for brian laundrie, the only person of
interest in the strangulation death of his fiancee, gabby petito. laundrie was last seen more than a month ago. today, human remains along with a notebook and backpack belonging to laundrie were found in a wilderness park in sarasota county, florida. not far from his home. his family guide law enforcement to the location. the f.b.i. says it's too soon to tell if the remains are laundrie's. this case has drawn national interest. the young couple, both in their early 20s, went on a cross- country van trip that they documented on social media. petito was reported missing in september, and by that time, laundrie had already returned home to florida alone. her body was discovered later in wyoming. cbs' jericka duncan is going to lead off our coverage tonight. >> reporter: a discovery today in the florida nature reserve where brian laundrie was believed to be hiding. >> investigators found what appears to be human remains, along with personal items, such as a backpack, a notebook belonging to brian laundrie.
>> reporter: authorities have been searching the reserve for the past month and say the area where the suspected remains were found had been previously under water. a heavy police presence, along with the county medical examiner and cadaver dogs quickly descended on the scene. according to a statement from the laundrie family attorney, laundrie's parents decided to search the pa search the park this morning, and then directed f.b.i. agents and police to the location where they found the belongings. the park had been closed to the public until yesterday. retired f.b.i. agent mary ellen o'toole says today's findings raise questions about laundrie's parents. >> the parents have engaged in behavior that is suspicious, and that has to be resolved. and i think that it ultimately will be in terms of whether or not they provided any kind of assistance to their son. >> reporter: the 23-year-old had been the sole person of interest in the murder of his fiancee, gabby petito. the couple had been on a cross- country van trip when she disappeared in august, and he
returned to florida. last week, investigators ruled petito's death a homicide by strangulation. in a recent interview with "mino mother pleaded with laundrie's parents for help. >> i believe they know probably, if not everything, they know most of the information. >> reporter: it's unclear what was in that notebook that investigators found. f.b.i. response teams are still processing that scene there in florida, and, norah, as for brian laundrie, he was never formally charged with the murder of gabby petito. >> o'donnell: jericka duncan, thank you. also in florida, this was an emotional day for family members of the 17 people killed in the parkland school shooting. more than three and a half years after the massacre, the gunman pleaded guilty today, hoping his life will be spared. cbs' mireya villarreal is in parkland with the details. >> to count one of the indictment, murder in the first
degree of victim luke hoyer, how do you wish to plead? >> guilty. >> reporter: without hesitation, nikolas cruz pleaded guilty 17 times to murder and 17 more for attempted murder for the deadliest high school shooting in u.s. history. >> count 34: attempted murder in the first degree of kyle lehman, how do you wish to plead? >> guilty. >> i accept your plea of guilty. >> reporter: afterward, cruz gave a rambling speech where he talked about drug use causing violence and he also apologized to the victims' families. >> i am doing this for you and i do not care if you don't believe me. i love you, and i know you don't believe me. i have to live with this every day. >> he's doing it for our families. >> if you wanted to do something for our families, you shouldn't have killed our loved ones. >> reporter: tony montalto and his family sat feet from the shooter. they tried to hold back their emotions. his daughter gina was 14 years old. >> it was probably the most uncomfortable thing-- well, second most uncomfortable thing we had to do. the first one would be hugging
our daughter's lifeless body. >> reporter: the case now heads to a penalty phase in january. after hearing testimony, a jury will recommend either a life sentence or the death penalty. under florida law, the jury must be unanimous to approve a death sentence. the victims' families are split on what cruz's punishment should be. >> life in prison is a life. he deserves nothing more than the death penalty. >> reporter: legal experts believe that defense attorneys for nikolas cruz suggested he plead guilty as a strategy to save his life. they also say that we can expect for them to try and prove that he is remorseful now, and that there was a history of mental illness. norah. >> o'donnell: mireya villarreal, thank you. and tonight, the f.d.a. has given a thumbs-up for millions more americans to increase their protection from covid by authorizing the moderna and johnson & johnson booster shots. and regardless of which shot you
were initially vaccinated with, the f.d.a. says you can use any brand as a booster. we get more details from cbs' nikki battiste. >> reporter: f.d.a. authorization covers moderna recipients who are 65 or older or at high risk because of their job, living situation or underlying health conditions. any j&j recipient 18 or over is now eligible for a booster, too. >> by giving additional doses of vaccine to people who are already vaccinated, we're further reducing their risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death. >> reporter: the f.d.a. also authorized mixing vaccine brands but did not weigh in on whether recipients should stick to a single brand if possible. >> if you got a johnson & johnson vaccine, you do get a bigger boost in your antibody levels if you get the pfizer or moderna vaccine as your second dose. >> reporter: meanwhile, the white house announced it's ready to ship 15 million vaccine doses for the country's 28 million
children ages five through 11 in anticipation of emergency use authorization by early november. the plan is to work with pediatricians or primary care centers, pharmacies, schools, and rural health clinics to distribute the vaccine with smaller needles and doses. there will be no mass vaccination sites. >> kids have different needs than adults, and our operational planning is geared to meet those specific needs. >> reporter: today, new york city ordered its roughly 300,000 municipal workers receive at least one vaccine dose by the end of next week, or have an approved exemption. otherwise, they will forfeit their pay. >> our message is simple: get vaccinated, keep with us, keep us moving forward. anyone who isn't will go off payroll and on to unpaid leave. >> reporter: starting today, new york city employees who get their first vaccine dose in the next 10 days will get a $500 bonus. if cleared by the c.d.c., the
moderna and j&j boosters could be available as early as friday. moderna's booster will be given six months after the second dose, while johnson & johnson's would be two months after the first dose. norah. >> o'donnell: wow, unpaid leave versus $500. nikki battiste, thank you. and here's a sobering thought: some economists believe the supply chain bottleneck could keep prices high throughout next year. tonight, cbs' carter evans reports the backlog isn't just hurting consumers. it's driving some businesses to the brink. >> we should not have empty shelves. that's not a good sign. >> reporter: ed o'brien's denver company makes some of the most popular outdoor toys on the market, but it's on track for a sales decline of 40%. you don't have a demand problem. people want to buy your product. >> yeah, it's a supply problem. >> reporter: that's because he has no idea when his toys will arrive from china. >> we still have containers that we placed orders in march and have not seen and don't know where they're at. >> reporter: because of the huge port backlog, he's paying more
for shipping than ever. >> the cost for shipping from china was $6500 from china to denver.ppin >> reporter: how much is it now? >> $30,000. >> reporter: how much have you lost this year? >> we face over $2 million of unexpected expenses. >> reporter: he cannot raise prices on deals he's already made. >> i'm scrambling for friends and family, money, banks, everything else to get additional money to keep the business going. >> reporter: nationwide, suppliers cannot get items to stores fast enough because there's a shortage of warehouse workers and truck drivers with more than half a million job openings. >> companies almost certainly won't be able to fill all the roles they hope to this holiday season. >> reporter: andy challenger, with outplacement firm challenger, gray, and christmas. says companies are trying to entice workers. amazon is offering signing bonuses up to $3,000, and starting wages up to $22 an hour. walmart and target are offering free college tuition. >> what it's mostly doing is hiring away workers from their
competitors, and that's why we're seeing some of the highest quit rates that the country has ever recorded. >> reporter: in order for ed o'brien's business to survive, he says he has no choice but to raise prices in the future. >> i would say at least 20%, 25% across our board, at least. >> o'donnell: and carter evans joins us now live from denver. and, carter, it's so interesting to hear what small businesses are suffering from. what does it mean for consumers? >> reporter: well, it means more expensive items for us as well, because small businesses just can't absorb price increases this big. they've got to pass them on to shoppers, and that's why experts are telling us that sticker shock is going to continue well into next year. norah. >> o'donnell: your reporting really makes it clear. carter evans, thank you. we want to turn now to a story we've been covering closely. america's water crisis. we actually learned today about another city in michigan that is warning residents of high levels of lead in their water. the town of hamtramck, just outside detroit, joins benton harbor and flint as the latest place to have dangerous drinking
water. we went to capitol hill to get answers and find out why congress has been slow to act and slow to help communities like benton harbor, michigan, the predominantly black town, where thousands of residents have water contaminated with lead. omar villafranca was there last week. >> reporter: what water do you use to cook? >> the bottled water. >> reporter: to brush your teeth? >> bottled water. >> reporter: bathe? >> bottled water. >> thank you for having me. >> o'donnell: michigan congresswoman rashida tlaib has been pushing to get more money to fix the problem. we talked to the mayor of benton harbor, he said they need help now. >> tell him i feel it. i'm here and moving with a sense of urgency. >> reporter: in her state, more than three of four kids tested have detectable levels of lead in their blood. if i'm a parent in your state, i'm asking what is congress doing? why is it taking so long? >> that's why when i talk to our residents, you get it. what is going on with the rest of them? don't they know this is happening.
that's where the frustration comes in. >> o'donnell: frustration because tlaib doesn't believe there's enough money in the bipartisan infrastructure plan to replace all of america's lead pipe. >> we know when we see $15 billion only in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we saw who put that together. we saw the folks that don't look like us that put that together, and when we talk about equitable distribution, $15 billion is not going to get us closer to that. >> o'donnell: you mean it will not help black and brown communities? >> it isn't. it is communities like ours that continue to be left behind, but we know with more funding we have a better chance. >> o'donnell: so you're putting more money for lead pipes in the "build back better plan." >> yes, another $30 billion that gets us closer to truly getting lead out of the water. >> o'donnell: it would cost an estimated $60 billion to replace all lead service lines in the u.s. and the e.p.a., they say six million to 10 million homes across the country have those lead pipes. we'll continue to watch how
congress acts. all right, tonight, we're learning about a medical milestone. new surgery that uses genetically modified animal organs to save the lives of humans. this type of advance is sorely needed because about 12 americans die each day waiting for a kidney transplant. cbs news chief medical correspondent dr. jon lapook has an exclusive interview with the lead scientist. >> reporter: this experimental surgery is setting the stage for a revolution in organ transplantation. >> the single biggest problem in transplantation is the lack of organ availability for all the people who need it. >> reporter: there are almost 100,000 americans waiting for a kidney donor. dr. robert montgomery lead the team which, for the first time, successfully transplanted a non- human kidney into a human. the human immune system rejects organs from animals. but dr. montgomery and his team at n.y.u.-langone's transplant institute genetically modified a pig kidney to make it more
compatible. the researchers connected the pig's kidney above the thigh of the recipient, outside the body, so they could see and test it. so you plug this all in, and what happened? >> the kidney turned a beautiful pink color. we were sort of taking in what we were looking at, which was incredible. it was a kidney that was immediately functioning. so we came up with this idea of testing it first in someone who is recently deceased but is being maintained on a ventilator. >> reporter: the family consented and donated the body for this study. >> they felt really strongly that this would be something that she would want. >> reporter: before this first attempt, n.y.u. created a new board, consulting with religious and legal experts and with bioethecists like dr. art caplan who heads the medical center's ethics division. do you have any second thoughts whatsoever that this was the right thing to do ethically? >> i think we should be doing it more often. what we have here is absolute certification of death, complete
volunteerism on the part of the people involved in the experiment with permission, and enthusiasm that they want to help. >> reporter: without genetic modification, a transplanted pig kidney would likely have been rejected within minutes. this kidney worked perfectly for 54 hours before being disconnected. what could it mean? >> it could mean that no one will need to die waiting for an organ anymore. >> reporter: dr. jon lapook, cbs news, new york. >> o'donnell: it's pretty revolutionary. well, there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news." new video shows the moments before a private jet crashed in texas. also, why netflix workers walked off the job to protest one of its programs. and there are new worries about queen elizabeth's health. what the palace is saying tonight. tonight. from unitedhealthcare. medicare supplement plans help by paying some of what medicare doesn't...
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access.wgbh.org very nice to have the rain back. >> we want enough to end fire season, but not too much. >> as bay area reservoirs begin to fill back up, could we be in for too much of a good thing? >> we were looking at too much rain tonight. i'm tracking it hour by hour in the forecast. some people refer to the defendant as a cool mom. there's nothing cool about getting teenage children drunk. >> a woman accused of throwing wild parties for teens faces a bay area judge. why she is now barred from seeing her own son. plus a band, phish, stops a
show to talk fall at chase center. right now on the kpix 5 news at 7:00, streaming on cbsn bay area, a fresh round of rain sweeping across the region at this hour. it's just a taste of what is to come. i'm ken bastida. >> and i'm elizabeth cook. the rain is really starting to ramp up right now. this was the scene in san francisco about an hour ago. umbrellas up as the rain comes down. >> and this is what it looks like for all of those in drivers out there right now in the east bay tonight. alex montano out on the roads.