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tv   CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell  CBS  March 5, 2021 3:12am-3:42am PST

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why capitol police want to extend the deployment of troops plus what the rioter known as the q-anon shaman is telling "60 minutes plus" about president trump. >> o'donnell: two million doses a day, a new record for vaccination as we're learning when children may be able to get a vaccination. plus, what is holding up those stimulus checks. shocking arrest. a dallas officer taken into custody, charged with two murders. the new details, tonight. the royal tell-all. in her interview with oprah winfrey, the duchess of sussex takes aim accusing buckingham palace of lying about her, spacex explosion, a rocketexgine ceters kepapart by thiss the "cbs evening news"
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with norah o'donnell, reporting from the nation's capital. >> o'donnell: good evening, and thank you for joining us. there are a lot of headlines as we come on the air, including new fallout over state's loosening coronavirus restrictions. and we'll get to that in a moment, but we're going to begin with breaking news because for the first time tonight one of the women accusing new york governor andrew cuomo is speaking out to cbs news on camera, detailing what she says was clear sexual harassment by the powerful democrat and head of the national governor's association. cuomo's former executive assistant charlotte bennett says the governor asked her intimate and inappropriate questions about her personal life, all, she says, in an attempt to sleep with her. the governor who became an international celebrity for his handling of the early days of the pandemic in new york, is now facing allegations that his administration covered up covid deaths at nursing homes, along with allegations from three women that he sexually harassed them.
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on wednesday, cuomo publicly apologized, saying he was sorry if he acted in a way that made anyone feel uncomfortable. but as you will hear tonight, charlotte bennett says that apology did not go far enough, calling him a text-book abuser. >> o'donnell: governor cuomo said that he had never propositioned anybody. do you believe that he was propositioning you? >> yeah. >> o'donnell: for what? >> sex. >> o'donnell: in the spring of 2020, new york was the epicenter of the covid crisis. >> the pandemic was obviously stressful for all of us. and he was on tv nearly every day talking about it. >> o'donnell: so you think all this national attention may have emboldened him? >> absolutely. i think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways. >> o'donnell: bennett says their professional relationship took a turn on may 15, when she alleges the governor started asking her and over again her hry as a xualssault survivor.
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>> so he goes, you were raped. you were raped. you were raped and abused and assaulted. >> o'donnell: another key encounter happened on june 5, when bennett says she was called into cuomo's office to take dictation and he told her to turn off the tape recorder. >> and then he explained at that point that he was looking for a girlfriend, he is lonely, he's tired. >> o'donnell: you've just finished dictation and the governor is telling you he's lonely, and looking for a relationship. >> yes. he asked if i had trouble enjoying being with someone because of my trauma. >> o'donnell: this seemed entirely inappropriate. yeah, the governor asked me if i was sensitive to intimacy. >> o'donnell: in his office. >> yes. ring tk day. saying tha
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ed as that also asked you about if you had ever been with an older man. >> yes. he asked me if age difference mattered. he also explained that he was fine with anyone over 22. >> o'donnell: and how old are you? >> 25. >> o'donnell: what were you thinking as he is asking you these questions? >> i thought he's trying to sleep with me. the governor is trying to sleep with me. and... i am deeply uncomfortable and i have to get out of this room as soon as possible. >> o'donnell: and to be clear, what made you think that he was trying to sleep with you? >> without explicitly saying it, he implied to me that i was old enough for him and he was lonely. >> o'donnell: text messages sent by bennett to a friend and reviewed by cbs news memorialize her encounter with cuomo her enr immediately afterwards.
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bennett tells her friend the governor "talked about age differences in relationships." the friend, who verified the messages, asked, "wait, what? did he do something?" bennett responds no, but it was like the most explicit it could be." how did you respond to those questions? >> i responded honestly. and... when i was even thinking of coming forward, i think that was where i held the most shame. and that, like, i really was uncomfortable. >> o'donnell: why did you feel shame? >> i feel like people put the onus on the woman to shut that conversation down. and by answering, i was show engaging in that, or enabling it, when in fact i was just terrified. >> o'donnell: people will watch this and say, why didn't you get up and leave? >> i didn't feel like i had a choice.
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>> o'donnell: he's your boss. >> he's my boss. he's everyone's boss. >> o'donnell: governor cuomo said in a statement that what he said may have "been misinterpreted." did you misinterpret him? >> no, i understood him loud and clear. it just didn't go the way he planned. >> i never knew at the time, i was making anyone feel uncomfortable. >> o'donnell: did you watch governor cuomo's apology? >> i did. it's not an apology. it is not an issue of my feelings. it is an issue of his actions. the fact is that he was sexually harassing me and not apologized for sexually harassing me. and he can't even use my name. >> o'donnell: a to governor cuomo's office to respond to charlotte bennett's claims. they directed us to the governor's apology and asked to wait for results of the state attorney general's investigation. and there is more news from our interview with charlotte, that morning, and there will be more will be tomorrow on "cbs this morning," and there will be more news right here tomorrow on the
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"cbs evening news." tonight, capitol hill remains on extremely high alert because of threats of a possible attack on congress by militia groups. and capitol police are asking that national guard troops stay on well past the end of their deployment next week. cbs's jeff pegues reports tonight from capitol hill. >> reporter: tonight, the heavily-armed troops now deployed to protect the u.s. capitol are being asked to stand guard for two more months. cbs news has learned, capitol police are so concerned about ongoing terror threats, the department wants the national guard to stay through at least may. over 5,000 troops make up the current force. the new request would keep up to 2,000 troops on duty. many hill staffers stayed home, and the house slimmed its schedule, though house speaker nancy pelosi denied that it was due to the threat. >> i don't think anybody should take any encouragement that because some troublemakers might show up, that we change our
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whole schedule. on tuesday, white supremacist op in south florida. in a video posted on telegram last october, he allegedly confronted a woman holding a "black lives matter" sign near a trump rally. >> only white lives matter. >> that's nice. hope you-- >> only white-- yeah, i am. heil hitler. >> reporter: more than 300 of the people who stormed the capitol on january 6 have been arrested and charged. including jacob chansley who calls himself the q-anon shaman. >> let's all say a prayer. >> reporter: he spoke to "60 minutes" correspondent laurie segall. >> jake, legally are you not allowed to be in what you are calling the sacred chamber. >> and that is the one very serious regret that i have was believing that when we were waved in by police officers that
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it was accessible. >> reporter: security here denied that-- tonight at the capitol remains tight and the investigation into the insurrection continues and we learn today that the f.b.i. is looking into communications between rioters and members of congress to see if there was any inside help. norah. >> o'donnell: a significant development, jeff pegues, thank you. and tonight a new milestone in the fight against the coronavirus. the u.s. is now averaging two million vaccinations a day. that is more than 54 million americans that have had at least one shot, and nearly 28 million that are fully vaccinated. but there is growing concern as yet another surge as more states lift restrictions. cbs's mark strassmann reports tonight from alabama. >> goodness knows we are getting closer. >> reporter: governor ivy playing it safe, extending alabama's mask mandate another five weeks. contrast that with texas and mississippi. republican governors there announced this week they are
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lifting mask mandates. reversals president biden calls neanderthal thinking. >> reporter: alabama masking koirnlged staff at this vaccination clinic near birmingham. >> it really signals to everybody that we are not out of the woods yet. >> reporter: but five miles away at archie's barbecue, general manager michael manakitus hoped the mask mandate would go away. >> 90% of my customer base is against it. i would say that they feel like they shouldn't have to wear it. >> reporter: masking rollbacks in texas and mississippi means 16 states will no longer have mask requirements by next week. governor greg abbott says he made the right call for texas. >> we no longer need government running your lives, and instead everybody must continue to assume their own individual responsibility. >> reporter: nationwide demand for the covid vaccine still that warts supply. these aerials show the line for shots today in maryland.
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federal officials say in the last week more than two million shots were given every day. california's earmarking 40% of its doses for vulnerable communities. and the governor's asking everyone in the state to wear two masks. >> we are encouraging people basically to double down on mask wearing particularly in light of all of what i would argue is bad information coming from at least four states in this country. >> reporter: back in alabama, the state's largest mass vaccination site is run by the university of alabama at birmingham. staff administer 1,500 shots five days a week. they could do more, if only there were more vaccine. one covid worry among many. >> this virus is very crafty. and we may see variants that can escape what the vaccine is trying to do. >> reporter: but there is encouraging news tonight about vaccinating children. pfizer and moderna have both begun clinical trials on kids 12 and older. and norah, the c.e.o. of johnson
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& johnson says he expects to have a vaccine for kids ready by september. the start of the new school year. >> o'donnell: wow, that is good news. mark strassmann, thank you. well, tonight, the senate is beginning what could be a marathon debate on the president's $1.9 trillion covidr relief plan. democrats expect to get it passed, but republicans are not making it easy. cbs's nikole killion is following the debate at the capitol. good evening, mikole. >> reporter: good evening, the national is still at work even as the capitol remains on high alert, vice president kamala harris cast the tie-breaking vote to advance the covid relief package because it had no republican support. g.o.p. senators are hoping to stall passage by demanding that the entire 628-page bill be read aloud it could take up to ten hours. at the core of the bill $1,400 stimulus checks for most individuals making under $80,000 a year and $160,000 for couples,
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plus unemployment benefits at $400 a week for the end of august. they're due to expire later this month, which is why democrats hope to pass this bill by the weekend. norah? >> o'donnell: nikole killion, thank you. well, tonight, the arrest of a dallas police officer on murder charges is sending shock waves through the law enforcement community. fellow officers took brian riser into custody today for two murders in 2017 unrelated to his police work. a man came forward and confessed to kidnapping and murdering two people at riser's direction. well, he is now on administrative leave, and the f.b.i. is on the case. and tonight, the split between the royal family and the duke and duchess of sussex seems wider than the ocean that separates them. in oprah winfrey's exclusive interview, prince harry wife meghan accuses of palace of spreading lies about them. cbs's elizabeth palmer reports tonight from london. >> reporter: it is pretty clear
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britain's royal family isn't going to like sunday's interview with oprah. how do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today? >> i don't know how they could expect that, after allreivpl >> reporter: "the firm" is the nickname for the royal family and their gloves are off. >> you could probably only describe that relationship now between the two sides as all-out war. on tuesday, the "times of london" reported allegations that after meghan markle married prince harry, she bullied household staff and forced two aides to quit. "we are very concerned and said in a statement adding its hr team would investigate. harry and meghan called the bullying allegation-- it certainly marks another low in
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their relationship with the british media. >> we all know what the british press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health.is . so i did what any husband and what any father would do, i need to get my family out of here. >> reporter: when meghan and harry moved to the united states, they tried to leave a window open so that they could return here to the royal fold if things didn't work out. but it now seems, after sunday's interview with oprah, there will be no going back. norah. >> o'donnell: liz palmer, thank a prime time special airs sunday at 8:00, 7:00 central right here on cbs. and there is still much more news ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news:" what caused a spacex rocket to blow up after a perfect test flight? and a wild rescue at sea. a fire breaks out aboard a ship that is sinking fast. wait until you see how it ends.
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pad with flaming debris. no one was hurt. a fuel leak is suspected of causing it, but spacex has not commented. c all tight, tonight, the u.s. and canadian coast guards are celebrating what officials call one of the "craziest and challenging" rescues in years. in a dangerous 12-hour operation they managed to airlift more than 30 crew members from a ship that had an engine fire and was sinking fast off nova scotia. the rescue was hampered by 30-foot waves and gusts near 60 miles per hour. our parent company, viacom-cbs, is in the news tonight. c.e.o. bob bakish and the company's leaders rang the nasdaq closing bell to mark the launch today of paramount+, the company's brand new streaming service. starting tonight, you can watch the "cbs evening news" on paramount+ any time. and up next, an emotional family reunion. four sisters, kept apart by
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and a reminder, join us for more ♪ ♪ this is the "cbs overnight news." thanks for staying with us, as the u.s. senate begins what could be a week's long debate on president biden's covid reheave packager, several sats are putting the pandemic behind them. mississippi has dropped their mask mandate. the mayors of houston and san antonio insist it's a mistake, but a lot of on texans are cheering the move. we have the story. >> reporter: the end of covid restrictions for some texas business owners is cause for celebration.
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>> there's going to be people that wear masks. most are not. i felt like this is where we should have been all along. >> reporter: others say they are not ready to drop masks and social distancing like lenny ambros and he we are going to follow the cdc guidelines. we feel it is best and it's the best way to keep our operation running smoothly. >> reporter: texas governor greg abbott said that falling hospitalizations and vaccinations mean mandates are no longer needed and it's up to people to act responsibly. is it too soon? the state averaged 6,000 cases a day when the mandate was made. average cases are still above 4,000, much too high warns infectious disease expert. >> the variants are here in texas and they have been documented in multiple areas of the state including here in houston. >> reporter: while many welcome the return to normal, some business owners say it's an
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impossible situation. >> it's easy for governor abbott to say everyone should open because he is not the one who is physically at risk. >> reporter: michael owns the cotton mouth club, he closed it last june, believing it was not safe to be open. he said that other bar owners were attacked for enforcing the mask wearing in the statewide mandate. >> we are used to having people do what they don't want to do. this makes it seem to people as a optional thing and something that they want to argue about. >> reporter: a number of national chains, including starbucks, kroger and target say they will continue to enforce mask wea b mae to do soer in the lone star state goes . heen citizens living in long-term care facilities. what about older americans who find themselves home bound. there's a group of nurses in new jersey working to make sure t

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