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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  November 30, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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numbers. >> that is cool. i would love to help. considering i write letters anyway. >> you do? what are you asking for? >> a new doppler. >> couric: tonight, summit at the white house, the new balance of power. >> people came to it with a spirit of trying to work together. >> the question is, can we find the common ground the american people expect us to find? >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, a massive overhaul of our food safety system. the senate votes to give the f.d.a. for the first time the power to order a food recall. what was once a dropout factory is now producing high school graduates. and a recipe for soothing the bodies and lifting the spirits of cancer patients. >> i hope you enjoy them. >> thank you so much. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening,
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everyone, president obama came face to face today with the new washington reality-- at least for the next two years. a house of representatives that will be controlled by the republicans with the majority of at least 50 seats. and a senate in which his democrats will have a majority of just 6 seats. the president met with the leaders of congress for the first time since the election. topping the agenda of their two- hour talk unfinished business of the 111th congress, including what to do about those bush tax cuts. chip reid is our chief white house correspondent. chip, was it a friendly gathering? >> reporter: well, katie, the president said it was an extremely civil meeting but he also pointed out that the two sides still have profound philosophical differences, especially on the issue of tax cuts. >> the american people did not vote for gridlock. they didn't vote for unyielding partisanship. >> there was plenty of talk of working together in today's meeting but after nearly two hours, nothing even approaching a deal on the tax cuts set to
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expire at the end of the year. the president did hint at compromise. >> we agreed that there must be some sensible common ground. >> reporter: but in the meeting stuck to his position. he says wants the tax cuts extended for couples making less than $250,000 a year and for individuals making less than $200,000. but he wants the cuts to expire for upper-income. to break through the logjam, the president proposed and congressional leaders agreed appoint a bipartisan team of negotiators. but republicans, with their hands strengthened by the election victory, appeared even less inclined to bend than the president. >> and so we're looking forward to the conversation with the white house over extending all of the current rates. >> reporter: to drive home that no-compromise message on tax cuts, boehner later issued a statement insisting that the president must agree to stop all the tax hikes or new house majority will in january when boehner will be speaker of the house. the president did offer an olive
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branch, taking some responsibility for partisan tensions. >> i was encouraged by the president's remarks regarding his perhaps not having reached out enough to us. >> reporter: but republicans did not return the peace offering. the president also pleaded with republicans to help ratify the stark nuclear weapons treaty with russia but republicans dug in their heels. despite the lack of concrete progress, boehner called the meeting "very nice." >> of course, we've had a lot of very nice meetings. the question is can we find the common ground the american people expect us to find. >> reporter: both sides behaved themselves in this meet bug we've learned that doesn't mean much. what matters is the next meeting the one where each side has to give something up and nobody's ready to give anything up. >> reporter: press secretary robert gibbs said today president is willing to compromise on those tax cuts. he also said, "there is an extremely strong likelihood the issue will be resolved before the end of the year. katie?
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>> couric: meanwhile, chip, i know an extension of unemployment benefits for some two million americans will begin to expire at midnight tonight. what do you expect will happen there? >> reporter: well, so far, republicans are blocking that extension. it's a tough vote for them. on the one hand, they want to prove to tea partiers that they are serious about cutting the budget. on the other hand, it's very difficult to cut off unemployment benefits during the holiday season. katie? >> couric: chip reid at the white house, chip, thank you. the commission president obama appointed to come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit is expected to officially roll out its recommendations tomorrow. and the republican's co-chairman of that panel, alan simpson, said today with his trademark candor he expects critics to tear right into it. >> they're gonna rip this thing to shreds and do it with zeal. we will listen now in the next few days to the same old crap i've been dealing with in all my public life. emotion, fear, guilt, and racism. and when people use emotion, fear, guilt, and racism on you, you use facts on them, which
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really irritates them. >> couric: we'll have comprehensive coverage tomorrow of the panel's recommendations and the tough choices we'll all be facing to reduce the sea of red ink. the outgoing congress has a lot on its plate. the senate passed the biggest overhaul of the nation's food safety laws since the great depression. it gives the f.d.a. new power to prevent food-borne illness which is kill 5,000 americans every year and put 325,000 others in the hospital. more now from congressional correspondent nancy cordes. >> reporter: 17-year-old haley bernstein was hospitalized for nearly four months after eating e.coli-tainted lettuce when she was three. all these years later, she still takes seven medications a day, is partially blind, learning impaired and has diabetes. >> the hardest thing, i think, is my deficit on my eyes.
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i never know what's to the right. i always have to turn my head to look what's there. >> reporter: the legislation that passed the senate today... >> the bill is amended as passed. >> reporter: ...aims to prevent the kind of contamination that sickened 1,800 americans who consumed eggs this year and 1,400 who ate jalapenos last year. >> detect it earlier, stop it earlier. >> reporter: the bill gives the f.d.a. about $1.4 billion over five years to dramatically boost inspections of domestic and foreign food facilities, from 7,400 inspections a year now to 50,000 a year by 2015. for the first time, the f.d.a. would have the power to recall contaminated foods. >> there was a company during the recent peanut outbreak that refused to recall its food. >> reporter: today's 73-25 vote is a rare bipartisan success story. democrats won g.o.p. support by
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exempting small farmers from some requirements and by rejecting a $500 annual r.j. administration fee per food facility. a provision in a house bill that passed last year. still, critics question where the $1.4 billion will come from? >> we have the safest food in the world. by many measurements and it's continued to improve. >> reporter: with just a few weeks left in this congressional session, the only way that this bill will become law is if the house accepts this slightly weaker senate version without any changes. katie? >> couric: nancy cordes on capitol hill tonight. thank you, nancy. also on capitol hill, the house took action to write an historic wrong. today it gave final congressional approval a bill that would award more than a billion dollars to black farmers who for years were denied federal loans and grants that white farmers received. it's part of a settlement with the department of agriculture that we first reported back in july. on another issue, president obama repeated his call today for congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell."
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the law that bans openly gay people from serving in the military. as david martin reports, the president has new ammunition in his battle in the form of a brand new pentagon survey. >> reporter: based on responses from 115,000 servicemen and women, the pentagon panel decided the risk of allowing gays to serve openly in the midst of war would be low. >> a strong majority of those who answered the survey, more than two-thirds, do not object to gays and lesbians serving openly in uniform. >> reporter: 70% said it would have a positive, mixed or no effect. but that majority does not exist among combat troops. the ones doing the fighting and dying. >> within the combat arms specialties and units, there is a higher level of discontent, of discomfort and resistance to changing the current policy. >> reporter: 48% in army combat units and 58% in the marines said repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" law which for 17 years has banned gays from serving openly would have a
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negative or very negative affect. as a result, the chiefs of the arms services are not convinced the risks of repeal are low. >> their concerns revolve around stress on a force after nearly ten years of war. >> reporter: the panel, which included a top general who is personally opposed to homosexuality cited the military's experience with racial integration, accomplished in the face of much greater prejudice and now widely recognized as having made the military stronger. gates called on members of congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" during the current lame duck session and warned that if they don't the courts will. >> those that choose not to act legislatively are rolling the dice that this policy will not be abruptly overturned by the courts. >> reporter: if congress repeals
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"don't ask, don't tell," it would be up to the pentagon to decide when gays could start serving openly and that would take several months. katie? >> couric: all right, david martin reporting from the pentagon tonight. now to the fallout from the leak of those secret diplomatic cables. the state department is tightening access to its computer files and today the wikileaks web site which posted the documents was attacked by unknown hackers. its founder, julian assange told "time" magazine that secretary of state hillary clinton should resign if it's proved she ordered american diplomats to spy on u.n. officials. as for assange, he is in hiding as elizabeth palmer reports. he's made plenty of enemies. >> reporter: love him or loathe him, julian assange provokes passionate debate. he was born in townsville, australia, in 1971. raised by his mother, he was home schooled and said to be fiercely intelligent and a skilled computer hacker while still in his teens. by 2007, he'd founded wikileaks to expose bureaucratic secrets globally, but it was this year
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that he and the site rocketed to fame with a video posted online showing an attack on iraqi insurgents that killed both journalists and civilians. assange stepped into the spotlight to defend the leak and the rumor mill went wild, calling him a paranoid control freak who slept in a different place every night. he was even named in a rape case in sweden and added to interpol's wanted list. at a panel discussion in london, i asked him how he liked the attention. you have become the story almost despite yourself and i think that... i think we'd all like to hear what you want to say about that. >> so you want know become even more part of the story? ( laughter ) >> i do. >> well people say don't you find all the attention on you annoying and very difficult? well, yes, it's annoying, yes it's very difficult. >> reporter: so if it's so difficult, what makes him tick? colleagues say it's conviction. >> what comes across is a very
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firm, very firm belief that secrets are not often a good thing. and that society doesn't benefit from secrets. >> reporter: this is a man with a mission to keep on leaking. up next, he says, thousands of documents from some of the world's biggest banks. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. >> couric: and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," when the best medicine is a cookie. but up next, catching potential dropouts before they fail. ands to help improve your bone strength. like bone-healthy exercises that are easy to do. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss.
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it's that time of year. time for campbell's green bean casserole. you'll find the recipe at campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ >> couric: you've probably heard the term "dropout factories." they're high schools in which fewer than 60% of the students who start there as freshmen are still enrolled four years later. and the good news is the number of these schools actually declined over a five-year period from about 2,000 to fewer than 1,800. tonight, chief national correspondent byron pitts takes us to a former dropout factory that's now producing more and more graduates. in our continuing series "reading, writing, and reform." ♪ pump, pump, pump it up... >> reporter: did your school day ever start like this? ♪ we're here... >> reporter: but chicago talent development charter high school
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is not like most places. centered in one of chicago's toughest neighborhoods, it's a new approach to an old problem. with one million kids dropping out of school every year, johns hopkins researcher robert balfanz wants to re-tool what he calls dropout factories. how bad is it? >> in a word, if you live in a high-poverty environment, it's really bad. your chances of getting out with a good education and having a shot at the american dream are at best 50-50. >> reporter: balfanz created diplomas now, attained at tackling the abcs, attendance, behavior and course assignments. the warning signs for dropouts. students falling behind on any of the abcs are flagged. weekly early warning intervention meetings with teachers, social workers and tutors. because there's rarely just one problem, there's a program to support students in class and in
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their neighborhoods. even teachers receive extra training. >> just wondering where stephon is today? in another program, near peers, as they're called, are tutors and mentors, mostly 20- somethings not far removed from high school themselves. they shadow the same group of freshmen students from class to class. >> we're setting the tone while they're in their classes, trying academically, emotionally. to offer them support academically, emotionally. >> reporter: already it's made a difference. at chicago talent, average daily attendance is at 90%, eight points above chicago public schools. and so far 92% of ninth graders are on track to graduate. 28 points above the district average. ninth grader darvell smith scored mostly "f"s last year. now, with the help of jason dones, it's been all "a"s. >> i can tell him about any of my personal problems. >> reporter: and he'll listen? >> he'll listen and he'll help me get through it so i can come to school the next day. >> reporter: it was as if he was
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saying you were his safe place. >> that hits me right here. that's the biggest part of our job is relationship building. so finding something that can become something greater, you know, the thing i focus on and my team focuses on and that we do very well at this school. >> reporter: diplomas now is currently in 20 schools in ten cities. a new $30 million federal grant could mean more schools in more places-- places where a kid is encouraged to dream not drop out. byron pitts, cbs news, chicago. >> reporter: now to a hostage drama that played out yesterday at a wisconsin high school. a 15-year-old boy had held 26 classmates and his teacher at gun-point before shooting himself. today he died of his wounds. no one else was hurt. the boy is identified as samuel hengel, a sophomore. police say they have no idea why he took the class hostage. coming up next, do we need more of it or not?
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i want to do it until they have to carry me out. b my first step... start eating cheerios. [ male announcer ] to keep doing what you love, take care of your heart with cheerios. the whole grain oats can help lower cholesterol. love your heart so you can do what you love. the rate board seems to be acting funny. watch. [dramatic soundtrack plays] wasn't me. you think i could do something... that awesome? enter the "tron: legacy" get on the grid sweepstakes, at this film not yet rated. until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work.
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[ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. just don't feel like they used to. are you one of them? remember when you had more energy for 18 holes with your buddies? [ glass shatters ] more passion for the one you love? more fun with your family and friends? it could be a treatable condition called low testosterone, or low t. c'mon, stop living in the shadows. you've got a life to live. [ male announcer ] so don't blame it on aging. talk to your doctor and go to to find out more. >> couric: in health news now, vitamin "d." getting too little has been linked to heart disease and cancer and that pushed supplement sales last year to $430 million-- an increase of 82%. but now new government recommendations say most americans would benefit from getting more vitamin "d," but not too much more. dr. jennifer ashton is at her office tonight. jen, there's been so much in the
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news about vitamin "d," but according to this new report, it may not be the wonder vitamin it's been purported to be, and too much may not be good for you. >> reporter: that's right, katie. so the researchers examined all the evidence on vitamin "d-3" and they were unable to prove that it prevented other diseases but they did zero in on its importance for bone health. so the new recommendation suggests an increase in the daily amounts of "d-3" for children and adults from 400 units a day to 600 international units a day. for adults over the age of 71, up to 800 units a day. >> couric: so do most multivitamins contain those recommended dosages or do you need additional supplements and can you, by the way, get it through diet alone? >> the old-fashioned way, right? well, katie, the amount in some vitamins is really variable. and in terms of food, you can get it in milk and certain types of fish. and, of course, you can get it from limited sun exposure but it can be difficult to get this new daily allowance, especially for
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those high-risk group of children, breast-feeding women and people who are obese or over the age of 50. so for those, supplements may be needed. >> couric: all right, dr. jennifer ashton, thanks so much. for more on this, you can go to our partner in health news and search "vitamin "d" recommendations." coming up next, sugar, spice, and a pinch of the american spirit.
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it's that time of year. time for campbell's green bean casserole. you'll find the recipe at campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™
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that's the beauty of benefiber. board. why some say it will spoil the fun. next on cbs 5 >> couric: if you're a cookie lover, you know there's something special about cookies baked by mom. the cookies baked by the mom in else-- hope. our final story tonight contain plenty of love and something else-- hope. mark strassmann now with the american spirit. >> you look good today. >> reporter: laura stachler and her daughter susan built a gourmet cookie business-- one sheet of ginger snaps at a time. and they discovered their recipe for success quite by accident during their family's darkest moments. seven years ago, laura's husband ken had cancer.
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their daughter susan-- then college senior-- was also diagnosed with cancer-- the same cancer her aunt susan had died from years earlier. >> there i was going home to do chemo and radiation, it was definitely not the easiest thing to take in. >> reporter: susan and her father even went through cancer treatment together. >> it was my husband, now it's my child. that was the only time... that was the only time i said "it's too much. i can't do it." >> reporter: rather than feel helpless, laura baked ginger snaps. ginger is known to soothe upset stomachs, often a side effect during chemotherapy. what began as a mother's love became the inspiration for this family business. today they make more than just cookies. they also make some very special deliveries. >> treats for you to enjoy this afternoon. >> reporter: and they bring comfort and hope. >> thank you so much. >> thank you! >> reporter: this is st. joseph's hospital in atlanta where susan went through her treatment. >> the ability to come talk to
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them and share with them, to know that it's going to be okay. >> six years cancer free. >> reporter: susan is now 29 and cancer free. >> people don't expect cancer to look like susan. so that in itself reminds them that, you know if this young girl can do it i can, too. >> and i need the holiday gift bags. >> reporter: some days they can bake up to 10,000 cookies and ship them nationwide. >> people will call from other places in the country and say "it honestly was the only thing i could eat." >> reporter: their ginger snaps are aptly called "susan's snaps." >> hang in there! >> reporter: honoring one susan's recovery and another susan's memory. >> she'd be very proud of you. very, very proud of my mom. >> reporter: proud of every susan snap's secret ingredient-- kindness. >> hope you enjoy it. >> i'll be thinking about you. >> reporter: mark strassmann, cbs news, atlanta. >> enjoy the cookies. >> couric: that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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captioned your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. the costly secret of low- income housing. it turns out, low income often means free even when it's not supposed to be. the problem that's creator for budgets and the very people who live in those buildings. for contra costa county schools, the situation just went from bad to worse. the next round of program cuts as the cash crisis gets even more dire. >> and the day after the escape, why was a 5'3" female deputy left alone with an inmate who is 6'7"?? for many residents low- income housing may as well be free and while some taxpayers might find that outrageous, there are plentype


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