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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  October 19, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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>> couric: tonight, they put barack obama in the white house but many say they won't vote for barack obama this time. also tonight, major medical news, hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of breast cancer and make it deadlier. she thought insurance would pick up her medical care until she found out her policy never existed and there are tens of thousands like her. and the n.f.l. blows the whistle on dangerous helmet-to-helmet hits. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. election day is just two weeks away and a cbs news knowledge
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networks poll out tonight indicates democrats are in trouble with a key group of voters-- independents who voted for barack obama in 2008. fewer than half say they'll vote for a democrat this time around. 38% say they don't know who they'll support and they're not necessarily angry with the administration. nearly two-thirds of independents tell us the midterm elections are not a referendum on the president. nevertheless, he is trying to rally the troops as the election draws near. here's our chief white house correspondent chip reid. >> reporter: in the final weeks before election day, the president is going hoarse as he struggles to fire up the democratic base. >> it is up to you... >> reporter: but shout as he may, many aren't listening. 67% of those who voted for mr. obama in 2008 are less enthusiastic about voting this year according to the cbs news/knowledge networks poll. >> i'm kind of losing hope in the whole thing. like it really feels like it doesn't matter.
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>> reporter: 67% of obama voters do plan to vote democratic in november but 8% plan to vote republican and 21% don't know who they'll vote for. >> i don't see a lot of republicans i like. on the other hand, i don't see a lot of democrats i like. >> reporter: among independents who supported the president two years ago, a full 50% are either planning to vote republican or are still not sure. there is some good news for the president: 77% of obama voters are satisfied with the job he's done so far. >> i don't think that anybody else could have done any better. >> considering what he had to work with i think he did an excellent job. >> reporter: but of the 22% who are dissatisfied, 50% say the economy is their greatest disappointment. >> everybody's struggling. everybody i know that lives in suburbia is struggling and trying to keep our houses. so i think more jobs need to be made available. and i wish there would be more emphasis on that. >> reporter: the white house is taking a glass half full approach to this poll noting that 82% of obama voters still
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approve of the job he's doing, including 73% of independent voters. they say that shows he's still holding on to his coalition even in these dire economic times. katie? >> couric: chip reid reporting from the white house, chip, thanks very much. we want to bring in our cbs news political analyst john dickerson and democratic strategist jamal simmons who are both in washington. jamal, let me start with you. our latest poll also found that 82% of people who voted for barack obama in 2008 approve of how he's handling the job. while that sounds encouraging, chip reported there's definitely an enthusiasm gap this year. do you think this will come down to turnout for the democrats, and how is it going in that department, jamal? >> reporter: you know, the poll also said that 69% of voters say they'll definitely vote in this election so there's a kind of mixed message coming from some
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of those numbers. at the same time, katie, democrats are feeling very good. they feel like if you look at the early vote returns, you're starting to see some strong response and voters are starting to figure out if republicans win, they're going to cut 21% out of education and borrow $700 billion from the chinese to give tax cuts to rich people and most voters don't want to do that. >> couric: conversely, john, just 39% of independents who voted for president obama say he's made progress solving problems. is that encouraging news for republicans? >> it is encouraging news for republicans. that's a low number from independents who were such an important part of that obama coalition. and that group is even less enthusiastic about the democrats who will actually be on the ballot. 70% of independents who voted for obama in 2008 say they are angry and dissatisfied. that's good news for the party that's out of power. >> couric: meanwhile, g.o.p. senate candidate christine o'donnell got into a face-off with her challenger chris coons over teaching evolution in schools. they had a disagreement about the content of the first amendment. let's take a look. >> where in the constitution is the division of church and state? ( laughter ) >> it's in... an excellent point.
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>> hold on. hold on, please. >> there is a separation of church and state that our courts and our laws must respect. >> so you're telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the first amendment? >> back to "roe v. wade." government shall make no establishment of religion. >> that's in the first amendment? ( audience reacts ) >> reporter: we received a statement from the o'donnell campaign it reads in part: >> couric: john, do voters care about exchanges like that one? >> it's hard to imagine, katie, with the economy being what it is that anybody's going to care too much about that exchange. plus in delaware, they've seen so much footage about christine o'donnell, anybody who is going to disqualify her for this constitutional back-and-forth probably already has. so it's a small distraction but two weeks out down in the polls little distractions can be costly. >> couric: jamal, in one poll,
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in a recent poll, she only trails chris coons by 11 points. could she actually win this race? >> you know, it doesn't look likely. doesn't look like she can win this race. you look around the country, not just christine o'donnell but sharron angle until nevada, and the man in ohio who dresses as an s.s. nazi for the weekend, these democrats are making candidates look good in comparison. >> couric: to be continued. jamal simmons and john dickerson, thank you both. for women going through menopause, the decision about whether to take hormone replacement therapy has been controversial and confusing. just last year, 40 million prescriptions for hormones were filled here in the u.s. but there's new evidence tonight that this treatment may be even riskier than previously thought. dr. jon lapook is our medical correspondent. jon, there was already a lot of concern about this course of treatment. >> reporter: katie, today's study adds to the evidence that taking hormone replacement therapy after menopause can be dangerous. today's study adds to the
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>> i think what's important about this study is that it really provides tremendous clarity regarding the risks of hormone replacement therapy. >> reporter: in 2002, a large study of post-menopausal women found the combination of estrogen and progesterone led to an increase in cases of breast cancer, about one extra case for every thousand women taking hormones for a year. following the report, the number of women using hormones fell by about half and breast cancer rates declined. researchers continued to study the women for an average of 11 years and found there was not only an increase in the number of breast cancer cases but the cancers were more likely to be advanced and cause death. the increase was slight-- a little over one extra death per year for every 10,000 women. >> i think from this point onward, any woman who's considering taking hormone replacement therapy will need to genuinely consider these risks. >> reporter: it should be noted that in this study women were on average 63 years old and were taking a higher dose of hormones than commonly prescribed today. >> couric: john, in light of the research that's been done on this, i know doctors now tell their patients if your menopausal symptoms are really
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bad then you can consider hormone replacement therapy, but at low doses for a short period of time. given this latest news, will that change that advice? >> reporter: what it does is up the ante, katie. because this not only shows an increase in the incidents of breast cancer, but an increase in deaths and even though that increase is only slight, there are so many people taking it that it has to be now taken into consideration. now what's going to make it murky, as usual, is the fact that most of the women in this stud by were older than the typical age of the person who's taking hormone replacement for menopausal symptoms, 63. and most menopausal women are around 50. so the question is at the higher dose that was used back then, it's a lower dose now, do you have the same effect? so at the end of the day people have to talk to their doctors and find out is it really worth the risk. >> couric: more studies may be necessary. dr. jon lapook, jon, thank you so much. in other news, an internal c.i.a. investigation has revealed a stunning breakdown of communications that led to a deadly attack in afghanistan.
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the "new york times" reports a c.i.a. officer was warned that a jordanian intelligence officer trusted by the agency was actually an al qaeda double agent but did not tell anyone. so the jordanian was flown to a secret base in afghanistan last december where he set off a suicide vest in the midst of a group of c.i.a. employees. seven were killed. meanwhile, the pentagon announced today an about-face on "don't ask, don't tell," at least for now. military recruiters have been told to start accepting openly gay recruits to comply with the federal judge's ruling that the policy is unconstitutional. some gay activists moved quickly to test the change by enlisting but they may not be allowed to o actually serve because the obama administration plans to appeal the judge's ruling to a higher court which could then quickly reinstate the policy. now a clear sign that people are more worried than excited about their golden years. 70 seems to be the new 65. a survey out today shows more
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than half of working americans expect to stay working at least three years longer than they originally planned. eight out of ten feel it will take that long to rebuild the nest egg they've lost in the economic crisis. and fewer than half are very confident they'll be able to pay for basic living expenses once they do retire. if americans are unhappy with the prospect of working longer before retirement, the french are positively furious. today, simmering anger over the government's plan to raise the retirement age for public workers from 60 to 62 boiled over. student rioters clashed with police while strikers disrupted travel all across, here's elizah palmer. >> reporter: the worst violence erupted in the paris suburbs where students took on riot police who fought back with tear gas as seen repeated across the country. depending on whose numbers you believe, between one and three million workers nationwide-- from teachers to train drivers--
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marched to preserve their right to retire early at age 60. the government, facing a $14 billion pension deficit, has introduced a law to delay early retirement for these workers to age 62 and would push back full retirement from age 65 to 67, a change that would bring france roughly into line with the rest of europe and the u.s. the unions have pulled out all the stops to make sure that these demonstrations are as big and as noisy as possible and there is a lot of sympathy with the strikers. but most french people realize that the french state is deeply in debt and it needs some radical surgery. just ask small business owners who pay huge taxes to finance the good life. a 35-hour work week and a month's paid vacation. "yes, it is high time france pushed up the retirement age" says this man. but long lines for gasoline prove the unions aren't going to
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give up without a fight. workers are blockading fuel depots, leaving 4,000 gas stations high and dry. trains and planes, too, were running late or canceled all together as labor leaders threatened more disruption in days to come. now, the government is showing no sign of backing down. in fact, these pension reforms look to pass a vote in the french senate this week and become law, which is going to set the stage for even more confrontations and maybe a very turbulent winter for france. katie? >> couric: all right. elizabeth palmer reporting from paris tonight, liz, thanks very much. and coming up next here on the "cbs evening news," are you covered? tens of thousands of americans are finding out the hard way their medical insurance was a fake. and later, a warning from the n.f.l.: no more brutal hits like this. what?
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>> my cell phone rang. >> reporter: ...while still in the hospital, beth was told her health insurance policy-- which was supposed to be paying the bills-- was a fake. you're on your hospital bed? >> correct. >> reporter: and they're telling you what? >> the insurance i thought i had doesn't exist. so we've got the stroke, now we've lost the insurance that was supposed to help cover the stroke. so what's going to happen now? >> we wanted them to know they were in a bad deal. >> reporter: beth was notified by the office of scott richardson, the top insurance regulator in south carolina which this year became one of 28 states to shut down one of the biggest consumer frauds ever uncovered. officials are still counting the victims, but tens of thousands of people lost tens of millions of dollars buying what they thought was legitimate health insurance. >> they make it look very official. >> reporter: one of the largest scams involved an official-sounding group called a.t.a.-- the american trade association-- which was never licensed to sell insurance. sometimes customers like beth received policies from real
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received policies from real companies but whose names were being used without permission. >> they just stuck their name on here. >> reporter: in her case, phoenix insurance is real but it didn't issue the policy. >> not insurance in any way. >> reporter: meanwhile, david vladik at the federal trade commission has cracked down on a different scam, where an estimated 100,000 families lost close to $100 million. the f.t.c. says three companies promised their customers major medical insurance but only gave them medical discount cards that were typically worthless. what would happen? >> more often than not the doctor or pharmacy would say "what is this?" they didn't recognize them at all. >> reporter: investigators say the scams targeted middle-aged americans who lost their jobs and company-paid health insurance during the recession, couldn't afford insurance on their own, and then went on the internet looking for something different. >> breaking health care news! >> reporter: thousands of victims also responded to into specials that showed the
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president, the capitol, and the white house. >> now authorized to offer you savings... >> reporter: implying they were offering the new benefits promised under health care reform. and if you called those numbers... >> basic scam was selling people insurance. >> reporter: you might have spoken to this man. we agreed to withhold his name, but he worked briefly for a scam operation before blowing the whistle. he says salesmen were ordered to brazenly lie to desperate people as sales managers roamed the floor yelling out the word "taft." >> use the taft message. >> what did that mean. >> tell them any ( bleep )-ing thing. you get that money right now. >> i think it's a horrifying thing. >> reporter: beth wicker lost the premium she paid, still owes medical bills of around $17,000 and still doesn't have insurance. she often wonders why the scammers aren't in jail. >> i don't know why somebody can't track them down and shut them down instead of letting them just continually do this
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over, and over and over. i don't understand that. >> reporter: despite the theft of tens of millions of dollars here, none of the investigations done so far has led to an arrest, which means the scammers are still out there. so the best way for consumers to protect themselves is to remember that all real insurance policies need a state license and you can check that by calling your state office of insurance. katie? >> couric: wyatt andrews, an important report tonight. wyatt, thank you. and coming up next, the n.f.l. says these hits can't keep on coming. cient. i could go and check at any point in time where the status of my refinance was. regardless if it's returning calls or emails, it's important to stay on top of the communication, to be sure that the client knows what's going on throughout the process. when we had a question, david had an answer for us right away. and that's why i love... i love... i love quicken loans! ♪
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>> couric: pro football players are as tough as you can get, but despite all the equipment they wear, the n.f.l. moved today to give them more protection. it imposed tough new rules to make the game safer from punishing collisions. in particular, so called helmet- to-helmet hits. some players have already been fined and mark strassmann reports suspensions may follow. >> reporter: in the n.f.l.'s world of legalized violence... >> that is not good news for the browns. >> reporter: ...even diehards cringed this past weekend. a series of frightening helmet- to-helmet collisions, like this one in philadelphia. >> oh! big hit! >> reporter: both players left the game with concussions, and baltimore tight end todd heap dropped cold when new england's safety brandon meriwether turned himself into a human missile. >> if you break the rules you'll
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be held accountable. so know the rules, abide by the rules, do it right because if you don't, you may hurt your team by spending time on the bench instead of on the field. >> reporter: under severe criticism, the n.f.l.'s cracking down. starting this weekend, suspensions for players guilty of flagrant blows to the head-- even first time offenders. should they be suspended? >> yes. >> reporter: shannon sharpe, a former n.f.l. star and now cbs sports analyst says clearly fining players was no deterrent. >> if your making $7 million and they fine you $15,000, you got your point across to the opposing team but the n.f.l. didn't get their point across to you. >> reporter: the n.f.l. estimates about 200 concussions occur a season. that's an average of just under one a game. but many go unreported. washington redskins receiver chris coolly admits: he kept playing through a concussion this past weekend. with concussions, here's the worry. when two helmeted players collide full force, the front end of the brain mashes against
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the skull. the impact can also ricochet the brain against the back of the skull. still, sharpe worries about too many safety rules and the essence of the sport. >> it changes the game. it has to. >> reporter: for the worse? >> i think so for the worse. >> reporter: for better or worse, pro-football will change this sunday. mark strassmann, cbs news, atlanta. >> couric: and still ahead, remembering mr. c. boxes from the postal service. ate if it fits it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that is easy. best news i've heard all day! i'm soooo amped! i mean not amped. excited. well, sort of amped. really kind of in between. have you ever thought about decaf? do you think that would help? yeah. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.90, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
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cbs 5 >> couric: finally tonight, we've lost two of our favorite tv parents in the past few days. barbara billingsley who played june cleaver died saturday, she was 94. today tom bosley died of heart failure near his home in california. he was 83 and also suffered the lung cancer. bosley played the quintessential 1950s dad in that 1970s sitcom "happy days." ♪ sunday, monday, happy days... ♪ >> couric: "tv guide" ranked bosley's character among the 50 greatest tv dads. he actually turned down the role of howard cunningham when it was first offered to him. but after rereading the script, he was moved by the relationship between father and son and signed on.
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"happy days" ran for 11 seasons. >> she was showing me how it happened and she hit me and then i fell down with all the stuff and that's about the time you came in. >> what happened here tonight? >> couric: even after "happy days" the roles kept coming. sheriff amos tupper in "murder she wrote." the crime-solving priest in the father dowling mysteries. bosley, who was jewish, was born in chicago in 1927. before tv he was a stage actor and won a tony for the title role in the musical "fiorello." but for people of a certain age, he'll always be mr. c. ♪ oh, happy days... >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. see you back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh ,,,,
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i'm jerry mcnerney, and i approved this message. he worked his whole life, served his country defending our freedoms, and depends on social security. so, who would want to privatize it? corporate lawyer david harmer. harmer's social security privatization plan would cut guaranteed benefits and gamble with social security on wall street. while we worry, harmer's wall street friends would make billions in profits from privatization. david harmer. a social security privatization plan we can't afford.


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