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tv   CBS Morning News  CBS  August 11, 2010 3:30am-4:00am PST

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life is calling. how far will you go? crash probe. what caused a plane to slam into an alaskan mountainside killing former senator ted stevens and four others? came pain 2010. the results from last night's races in the run up to november. and a quick get away. the world's most fed-up flight attendant makes another hasty exit. this is the "cbs morning news" for wednesday, august 11, 2010. spshg good morning, everybody, and thanks for joining us. i'm betty nguyen. this morning we are learning more about the plane crash that killed former alaskan senator ted stevens. the single engine plane plowed into the side of a mountain on monday afternoon. there were clouds, gusty winds and rain at the time. stevens and four others were
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killed. four other passengers did survive. federal investigators are on the scene. tara mergener is in washington with the latest. good morning, tara. >> reporter: hi, betty. this plane crashed with such force, it left a 300-foot gash on the slope. the ntsb meets together today to try to piece together clues. investigators this morning are combing the remote mountainside where former alaska senator ted stevens lost his life. >> we're looking to see whether or not there were any pilot reports, distress signals. >> reporter: he and four others were killed when their plane went down 325 miles southwest of anchorage. the group of nine was headed out on a fishing trip. four others survived the crash, including former nasa chief sean o'keefe and his teenage son. they were left stranded overnight until rescuers could reach them. >> they can provide us the best information about seating location and survivability, but our first priority is for their
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health. >> reporter: investigators are looking into weather as a possible cause, noting conditions at the time included light rain, clouds and gusty winds. stevens served 40 years in the senate, longer than any other republican in history. his unexpected death has left lawmakers stunned. >> we have lost one of the greatest leaders this state will ever see. >> reporter: stevens was extremely popular in his home state. he directed billions to alaska, including the infamous bridge to nowhere, which became synonymous with pork barrel spending. he was convicted of corruption and the charges were later dropped because prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense. >> the home is where the heart is, mr. president. if that is so, i have two homes. one is right here in this chamber and the other is my beloved state of alaska. >> reporter: ted stevens was 86
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years old. now, in 1978, stevens survived a plane crash in anchorage that killed his first wife ann and several others. betty, back to you. >> tara mergener joining us live in washington. thank you. n> also in alaska, three tourist who had been stranded on a glacier since sunday have been rescued. the glacier is 45 miles northwest of anchorage. they were picked up by helicopter on tuesday but nine other are still stuck on the glacier, including seven guardsmen who had been part of the rescue effort. now to politics. four states held primaries tuesday and we begin in colorado where incumbent michael bennet won the democratic state's primary. and the backing of president obama. bucking an anti-establishment trend, he defeated andrew romanoff, who was endorsed by former president clinton. he was a denver school superintendent when he was appointed to his seat nearly two years ago. >> it was just a week ago the political pundits and the
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washington oddsmakers started counting us out of this race. so, to the pundits and the talking heads, i have a simple message, welcome to colorado. >> bennet will face ken buck in november. in connecticut, former wrestling executive linda mcmahon easily defeated two other candidates to capture the republican senate nomination. mcmahon spent more than $20 medical of her own money on the campaign. she hopes to capture the seat held by retiring senator chris dodd. >> people ask me every day, linda, why did you decide to run for the united states senate? and i can tell you, it is because i had a great fear that the american dream was in the greatest jeopardy that it has ever been in our lifetime. >> mcmahon will be the underdog when she faces richard blumenthal in november. he ran unopposed. in georgia the republican runoff for governor is too close
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to call. the three-week runoff election between karen handel and nathan deal featured biting attack ads. handel was endorsed by sarah palin and deal by newt gingrich. in minnesota, mark dayton won nomination for governor. he'll face republican state representative tom emmer. a tropical depression has formed in the gulf of mexico and headed right toward the site of the oil spill. the storm center is located about 340 miles southeast from the mouth of the mississippi river. with winds of 35 miles per hour, it is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm today. the approaching storm forced bp to stop working on a relief well designed to permanently plug the damaged well. work is expected to be suspended for two to three days. meanwhile, federal authorities announced tuesday that about 5,000 square miles of the gulf along the florida panhandle have reopened for commercial and recreational fishing.
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in haiti, former president george bush got a firsthand look at rebuilding efforts following january's devastating earthquake. mr. bush visited a mango farm and a sewing factory tuesday. following the deadly quake, mr. bush teamed with former president clinton to raise funds for relief efforts. on the "cbs moneywatch," asian stocks dipped into red territory again. ashley morrison is here with the latest on that. good morning. >> good morning to you. asian markets took a dive after the japanese yen surged dimming the long-term economic outlook. tokyo's nikkei shed more than 2% while hong kong's hang seng was also down. today wall street gets the latest on the job market and earning report from cisco. on tuesday the market slumped even after the fed said they'd keep interest rates at record lows and begin buying government debt to help spur the economy. the dow lost 5 4 points, while the nasdaq gave back 28.
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a preliminary federal report suggests in many cases toyota drivers were to blame for unintended acceleration. black box data recorders show brakes were not applied in 35 of the 58 crashes studded. sticky gas pedals and bunched up floor mats are still culprits. there's no evidence yet that faulty electronics played a role but the investigation will continue. airlines are doing a better job of making sure passengers don't get stranded on the runway. the transportation department says just three flights sat on the tarmac for more than three hours in june. compare that to nearly 300 in june of last year. the government now charges stiff fines for airlines that don't return passengers to the terminal within the three-hour limit. and if you're headed back to college and think you're a lock-in to get an "a" a new website will let you put your money where your mouth is. on students can place bets on their grades. more than 600 users have already signed up. the site calculates odds based
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on the student's ak domic history and the difficulty of the course. the company says it's not an online gambling, but technically illegal in the u.s. because the wagers still require skill. i don't know about you, but sounds like gambling to me, right? >> i think a little bit. if you're smart, it might pay off. if you think you're going to get an "a" and you do, you actually win. but it would work the opposite way, too. you think you're not going to do so well, you fail, you win, too. i don't know if that's a good idea. >> if you said you're going to get an "a" you might push harder, too. >> but if you're going to fail and you do, there you go. explain that to mom and dad, right? ashley morrison joining us live in new york. thank you. just ahead, former "american idol" fantasia hospitalized after a health scare. the latest dramatic exit by jetblue flight attendant steven slater. first, katie couric has a preview of tonight's "cbs evening news." far from the middle east conflict there's a glimmer of
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hope for peace in a town where differences are bringing people together instead of pulling them apart. where is it? find out tonight only on the "cbs evening news." where is it? [ female announcer ] introducing, new townhouse flatbread crisps. they're oven-baked flatbread crisps. ♪ with the tastes of sea salt and olive oil. ♪ or sprinkled with italian herbs. ♪ townhouse flatbread crisps.
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this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. my dad learned the hard way. but you may be able to do something. [ male announcer ] have a heart to heart with your doctor about your risk. and about lipitor. escaped prisoner john mccluskey is still on the run this morning. border patrol agents and u.s. marshals are searching near glacier national park in montana. for mcclucky and his fiancee. meanwhile, tracy province was in court in wyoming tuesday and waived his right to fight extradition. it's expected he'll be returned to arizona soon. jetblue flight attendant steven slater is free on $2,500 bail this morning. he faces charges in connection with an incident monday when he lost his temper with a passenger and bailed out by using the plane's emergency slide. as manuel gallegus reports, when slater was released, he was in no mood to talk.
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>> reporter: steven slater made another dramatic exit tuesday night. he walked out of a police station, free on bail, to face a swarm of reporters. >> i'm not going to say anything at all. >> reporter: then he made a run for it to the safety of a friend's car. slater's exit from a jetblue plane is what landed him in court. the 38-year-old flight attendant is now suspended from his job. his attorney says the trouble on monday's flight started in pittsburgh when two female passengers fought in space in the overhead compartment. >> he came over to assist. she started cursing and slammed the overhead luggage bin on his head. >> reporter: once on the ground in new york, the same passenger reportedly cursed out slater when she couldn't get her bag right away. passengers say slater then got on the plane's pa system and said, to the passenger who called me a blank blank, blank you. he then said, that's it, i'm done. with that he opened the exit door, deployed the plane's evacuation slide, grabbed two beers and jumped. but it was no joke here at slater's arraignment.
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the da told the judge, slater could have injured or killed a member of the ground crew by deploying that powerful slide. slater's partner declined to say anything about the incident. >> i have absolutely no comment. if you do me a favor, leave, leave, leave. >> reporter: a friend of slater says he's been under a lot of stress because his mother has cancer. she defended his actions, as did his ex-wife. >> i can understand why he snapped. i would have snapped, too. >> i find it more offensive this passenger isn't being put on trial. >> reporter: slater could face seven years in prison if convicted. manuel gallegus, cbs news, queens, new york. in other news singer fantasia barrino is hospitalized after taking an overdose of aspirin and a sleep aid. the singer's manager says the former winner of "american idol" is in stable condition. he says fantasia was overwhelmed after being named in court documents in a divorce case involving her alleged affair with a married man. the 26-year-old is expected to
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be released soon from a hospital in north carolina. straight ahead, your wednesday morning weather. and in sports, tempers get hot as the reds and cardinals fight for the division lead.
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here's a look at the weather in some cities around the country. new york, sunny, 90 degrees. miami, thunderstorms, 86. thunderstorms in chicago, 88 degrees there. 93 and sunny in denver. and a sunny 79 in l.a.
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time now for a check of the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows storm clouds over the northern plains and heading into the great lakes. and the southeast has a new tropical system brewing. later today, thunderstorms could pop up in the mid-atlantic and ohio river valley. the heat wave continues in the midwest with temperatures in the 100s. and the southwest will see sunny skies. in sports, two top teams go extra innings. with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning mariano rivera of the yankees gave up a walkoff single and the texas rangers beat new york 4-3. the yankees' lead in the american league eastern division is down to only half a game. minnesota went on a home run spree against chicago and the twins beat the white sox 12-6. that puts the twins in first place in the american league central division. in the national league, fines and suspensions are expected after an ugly fight. an argument at home plate turned
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into a benches-clearing brawl between st. louis and cincinnati. the cards won the game 8-4 and pulled ahead of the reds into first place in the central division. and atlanta's brooks conrad hit a ninth inning home run against houston. the braves beat the astros 4-2. atlanta now leads the national league eastern division by 2 1/2 gams. and in monday night's braves and astros game, watch this, a fan named bo stepped away from a foul ball, which hit his girlfriend, sara, oh, in the arm. now, he claimed he lost sight of the ball in the lights. needless to say, his girlfriend was less than pleased. she was smiling a little bit, though. i think she'll be all right. when we return, another look at this morning's top stories. and growing gap, how salaries for federal employees outpaced those from private companies.
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good morning, i'm sydnie kohara. john kessler is on vacation. the 18 year old was released yesterday... because of a lack of evidence. the german woman was caught in the crossfire of a shooting near union square sunday night. coming up at five: why police say... the case is far from closed. a series of attacks at the same contra costa county apartment complex. this is a sketch of the man police want to question. why police believe the same man is responsible for all three attacks. it's a groundbreaking of sorts for a new transportation hub in the bay area... the new transbay terminal. what it's expected to look like... and the dignitaries who will be there. and the tale of a kidnapped kitty... found in new york, and returned home to the bay area. join us for cbs 5 eyewitness news early edition ... beginning at five.
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on the "cbs morning news," here's a look at today's weather. a new tropical system is brewing in the gulf of mexico. for now, it's just bringing rain to coastal florida. the northern plains could see the thunderstorms and the midwest continues to bake. here's another look at this morning's top stories. a tropical depression is headed toward the site of the oil spill. a tropical storm brewing -- or a tropical storm warning has been issued for much of the gulf coast. and former wrestling executive linda mcmahon won the senate nomination while michael bennet won the senate nomination in colorado. republican senate candidate rand paul of kentucky is denying suggestions that he kidnapped a woman during his college days. an anonymous woman told "gq" magazine in 1983 paul and a
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friend blindfolded her, tied her up and tried to force her to smoke marijuana. the alleged incident happened when paul was attending baylor university and was perhaps part of a prank. paul calls the allegations outrageous and is considering a lawsuit. a new study finds it really pays to work for the federal government. turns out federal employees' earnings have grown to more than that of workers in the private sector. sharyl attkisson reports. >> reporter: while many americans have suffered pay cuts or job losses, one group is bucking the trend, federal workers. a "usa today" analysis finds that federal employees have gotten bigger pay and benefit increases than private employees for nine years straight. >> it made me think, man, i should be a federal employee. >> reporter: federal salaries have grown 33% faster than inflation. their pay and benefits average $123,000, up 37% since 2000. private workers average $61,000,
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up 8.8% over the same time. >> so, you have wall street, you have big oil and now you have federal civilians. >> reporter: and the bonuses are flowing. cbs news has learned your tax dollars funded $95.8 million in airport security, tsa bonuses last year. a $35,000 bonus to the head of the agency. >> they're really overpaid. >> right now everything should be -- everything should be a freeze across the board until we get the economy back up and running. >> reporter: federal employees see thing differently. >> i definitely don't think i'm paid too much. >> i think i'm paid a fair wage. >> reporter: defenders of the higher salary say they reflect on the higher skills and education required for their job and many are paid more because they've been with their jobs so long. >> i've been with the government for 23 years. >> reporter: president obama has ordered a freeze on bonuses for 3,000 political appointees and asking for the smallest pay hike for 2 million federal workers,
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1.4%. sharyl attkisson, cbs news, washington. this morning on "the early show," tips on avoiding injuries while doing yoga. i'm betty nguyen. being a computer programmer, i like control. i had a bed that hurt my back. i needed a new bed, but it'd cost more money than i had saved up at that time. that's when i discovered blueprint. blueprint helped me make a plan. in the past, i would just spend money and hope to be able to pay it off later, but with blueprint, i was able to spend money and know that i could pay it off later. it's just amazing. with blueprint, on his chase freedom card, stephen designed a plan to save money on interest. does your credit card have blueprint? and it starts with healthy skin. discover aveeno daily lotion. the exclusive oat formula is proven to improve...
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the foreclosure crisis in the las vegas area has given rise to another crisis, homelessness. the number of homeless people has increased 17% in recent years. thousands have nowhere to live, forcing some to find temporary shelter in an unlikely place. seth doane reports. ♪ viva las vegas >> reporter: las vegas, it was built on the dream of striking it rich, but beneath these bright lights is a much darker world. for those who've struck out. >> when we come down here a lot of times, we don't know what to expect. >> reporter: tagging along on a homeless outreach mission -- >> sometimes people don't know how to ask for help. >> reporter: -- we journey deep into a labyrinth of flood
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tunnels, snaking for more than 200 miles, up to 20 feet below the ritzy casinos. here hundreds, maybe even 1,000 homeless escape the desert heat and the pressures of the world above. mike, who's hooked on meth, says tunnel life was an adventure at first. now eight years later what are you thinking? >> i'm thinking what a big mistake i made. >> reporter: the walls serve has a roster of those who've made mistakes. amid the scraps and misfortune, lives are pieced together. sally and her partner fled to these tunnels six weeks ago. she shows me her casino i.d., all that's left from her 20 years as a cashier from frontier hotel, which closed three years ago. you have tears -- >> because i have a lot of pain, you know. >> reporter: for a while, they laid tiles in homes until the
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construction boom went bust. the recession really hit you? >> yeah, hit me in my head, so bad. >> reporter: now they've laid a line of moss to keep water off their bed. and diego catches the runoff for a shower. you came from cuba here in search of the american dream. this doesn't look like the american dream. >> people lose american dream already. it's not only me. >> some did make poor choses but that doesn't mean you should give up on them. >> reporter: journalist matt o'brien wrote a book about this elaborate subterrainian world. but this is no place to live. >> down here you have some privacy. you know, you can kind of live on your own. look, you have a ceiling, two walls and a floor. >> reporter: o'brien's interest has turned into advocacy. >> do you mind if we come in and speak with you? >> reporter: and he's connected folks in the tunnel with a local nonprofit group called help of southern nevada. >> we could be the light at the end of the tunnel, the prayer that's answered.
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>> getting back to normal -- >> reporter: it was for randy, who now has an apartment thanks to help, which has placed more than 70 people in transitional housing, giving hope to the hundreds still living in shadows beneath the neon. seth doane, cbs news, las vegas. and that's the "cbs morning news" for this wednesday. thanks for watching. hope you'll join us later for "the early show." i'm betty nguyen. have a great day. ,,,,
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your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. good morning, everyone. it is wednesday, the 11th day of august. good morning. i said good morning again. i need a double


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