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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  December 10, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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news with katie couric" a surprise appearance in the white house briefing room. how that happened. plus should the royals reexamine their security team? have you seen those pictures? coming up with katie couric. >> couric: tonight, president clinton makes an unexpected and unprecedented encore appearance in the white house briefing room to push the obama tax cut deal. >> i am happy to be here. i suppose when the bullets are fired are unlikely to hit me. >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, an infamous kidnapping case. >> i'm so thrilled with the verdict. >> couric: davis is convicted in of elizabeth smart. british security under fire after protesters attack prince charles's car. and scoring a piece of history, the birth certificate of basketball. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this
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is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. if you were channel surfing this afternoon, you might have done a double take when you saw the president of the united states in the white house briefing room. it was the 42nd president, bill clinton, taking questions from reporters. the 44th, barack obama, called in the biggest gun he could to help persuade congressional democrats to go along with the tax cut compromise. and the stakes couldn't be higher. in just three weeks, the bush tax cuts are due to expire for everyone. two million of the long-term unemployed could lose their jobless benefits, and the budget deficit is soaring. the treasury reported today the deficit hit a monthly record in november: more than $150 billion, adding to a national debt now closing in on $14 trillion. chip reid is at the white house tonight. and, chip, it was a very unusual scene there today, to say the least. >> reporter: well, katie, we had been told by white house
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officials that absolutely this was a private meeting. we wouldn't even be getting a piece of paper describing how the meeting went. but to the surprise of everyone in the press corps, on a moment's notice, everything changed. >> ...a slow news day. i'll bring the other guy in. >> reporter: after more than an hour in the oval office, the current and former presidents made a surprise visit to the briefing room. >> given the fact that he presided over as good an economy as we've seen in our lifetimes, that it might be useful for him to share some of his thoughts. >> reporter: the president spoke for barely a minute, doing little more than introducing the former president, then turned it over to mr. clinton to defend the president's tax deal with republicans. >> the agreement taken as a whole is, i believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of americans and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and
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create more jobs. >> reporter: then the president stunned everyone by announcing he was leaving for a holiday party. >> here's what i'll say is that i've been keeping the first lady waiting for about half an hour. so i'm going to take off. but-- >> i don't want to make her mad. please go. >> you're in good hands. and gibbs will call last question. >> help me. thank you. >> reporter: that left the former president to do the talking, and talk he did for more than half an hour in all. he explained at length why he thinks the compromise on taxes was necessary. >> if we had 5% growth and unemployment was dropping like a rock, maybe you could have the so-called mexican standoff and you could say, "it will be you, not me, the voters will hold responsible for raising taxes on middle class people, if they all go down, you know, next year." that is not the circumstance we face. >> reporter: and he argued that the private sector is sitting on enough money to save the economy. >> the money is there to get this country out of this mess. $2 trillion in the bank is $20
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trillion in loans. ask them to be honest with us about what would it take to get you back into the investment business. >> reporter: as the president requested, press secretary robert gibbs called last question repeatedly, but mr. clinton was back in his white house groove and ignored gibbs, calling on reporters again and again and again. he opined on the state of the economy. >> the united states has suffered a severe financial collapse. these things take longer to get over than normal recessions. >> reporter: he praised bipartisanship. >> i think it is an enormous relief for america to think that both parties might vote for something, anything, that they could both agree on. >> reporter: and he recalled how much he liked being president. >> oh, i had quite a good time governing. ( laughter ) i am happy to be here, i suppose when the bullets that are fired are unlikely to hit me, unless they're just ricocheting.
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>> reporter: and the house and senate are expected to vote on the tax package next week, katie so we'll see if this had the intended effect. >> couric: i was going to ask about that. i know cbs radio correspondent mike knoller, the unofficial white house historian, he tells us this is the first time bill clinton has been in the briefing room since he was president. do you think he did change any minds? is it too soon to tell? >> reporter: well, we tried to find that out, katie. we called a whole bunch of offices on capitol hill and talked to advisors, and they virtually all of them said, "my boss is traveling, he didn't get to see it." which makes you wonder why this extraordinary event was buried on a friday evening, katie. >> couric: i'm sure they'll be hearing about it this weekend, though. chip reid at the white house. thank you, chip. now to a kidnapping case that gripped the entire nation. elizabeth smart was abducted in her own bedroom. she was rescued nine months later, and today a federal judge jury convicted brian david mitchell of kidnapping and
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transporting a minor across state lines. john blackstone has more on the murders. >> reporter: more than eight years after she was kidnapped at knifepoint, elizabeth smart, now 23, walked out of the federal courthouse with a victory she and her family had long desired: a guilty verdict for her kidnapper. >> today is a wonderful day and i am so thrilled to be here. i am so thrilled with the verdict. >> it's real. >> doesn't she glow? >> reporter: elizabeth had been the star witness in the trial of 57-year-old brian mitchell, the drifter who had claimed that god told him to take the then-14- year-old girl as one of his wives. on the stand, she said mitchell raped her virtually every day during her nine-month captivity. >> i am so thrilled to stand before the people of america today and to give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about their cri-- about what's happened to them. >> reporter: defense attorneys admitted mitchell committed the crimes against smart but claimed he was mentally ill, delusional, convinced he was acting on orders directly from god.
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whenever he entered the courtroom during the four-week trial, mitchell sang hymns loudly and was routinely ordered out of the courtroom. prosecutors called it an act. >> one of the witnesses called it a switch-- flipped it on, flipped it off. >> reporter: and jurors were clearly touched by smart's testimony. >> elizabeth smart, i think she's a wonderful, capable, very intelligent person. >> i'm a soft old man with children. you gotta be pretty callous to be able to walk away without having something tug at your heart. >> reporter: mitchell was arrested and elizabeth freed in march 2003, but his trial in state court ended abruptly when a judge declared him incompetent to stand trial. federal prosecutors later picked up the case and elizabeth flew back from her mormon mission in france to testify. she's now eager to restart a normal life. >> i am excited to go back to france and complete my mission. thank you to everyone for everyone's prayers and support. >> reporter: mitchell's wife and coconspirator in this case has
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already been sentenced to 15 years in prison. mitchell will return to this court on may 25 for sentencing. katie. >> couric: john blackstone reporting from salt lake city tonight. meanwhile, in london, it was an embarrassing security lapse. last night, students protesting tuition increases attacked a car carrying prince charles and his wife, camilla, to a concert. today, elizabeth palmer reports officials promised a thorough investigation. >> reporter: first came the police escort. and then the prince's rolls royce. at first the protesters seemed amused. >> hey, charles, how you doing? >> reporter: then things got ugly. >> off with their heads! >> reporter: a mob shouting "off with their heads" smashed a window, kicked the car, and threw paint until police fended them off. ( protesters chanting )
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>> get off! >> reporter: the couple reached the theater unharmed, but shocked and shaken. >> if camilla had got out of the car two minutes later, she would have been covered, you know, in paint. it could have been possibly the picture of the century. but how catastrophic would that be to the image of our royal family? >> reporter: so how did it happen? the royal car usually follows smaller side roads from prince charles' resident to the theater district, but last night it took main roads and ran right into the protesters. >> there were literally hundreds of us. they should have seen the cars and taken them in another direction. >> reporter: but the mob wasn't rioting when a police reconnaissance team checked the route, says london's police chief.
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>> including several minutes beforehand when it was still clear. >> reporter: britain's royals have been targeted before. a youth shot blanks at the queen in 1981. and in 1994, a man fired a starter's pistol at prince charles. but neither incident changed the family's deliberately open, accessible style. >> they like to be seen by their public. and to lock them up into armored vehicles every day of their life was something they wouldn't want. >> reporter: the royal family and the police know they had a close call last night, and they're determined it won't happen again. there's now an urgent security review under way, especially as prince williams' royal wedding is planned for april. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. >> couric: in oslo, norway, there was a special poignancy to today's nobel peace prize ceremony. for the first time in 75 years,
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there was no one there to accept the award. the winner, chinese dissent liu xiaobo is in prison back home so the award was placed in an empty chair. that won't happen any time soon as celia hatten in beijing reports. >> reporter: chinese leaders called liu xiaobo a criminal, plotting to overthrow the state, but outside china, the nobel peace prize winner is a respected human rights activist. liu helped coordinate 1989's tiananmen square demonstration. then two years ago, he co-wrote "charter 08" calling for multiparty democracy in china. for that he's serving 11 years chinese jail. >> what he did was different was not simply to talk about political reform but to try to organize a resistance. >> reporter: his wife is also paying a heavy price for her husband's work. she's under strict house arrest.
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cbs news was barred from going near her apartment. they are well known, but thousands of other political prisoners in china remain hidden from the spotlight. those deemed enemies of the state endure house arrest, face secret trials and lengthy prison sentences, or they simply disappear. gao zhisheng fought government corruption and was kidnapped by security forces in 2009. ( translated ) "there were over 100 police always watching our house. our home was like a prison." his family then fled to the u.s. gao resurfaced in march before being abducted again. many fear he is dead. another activist, feng zhenghu, is paying a heavy price for his battle against state corruption. chinese authorities banned him from boarding a plane home. when beijing finally relented, feng was placed under house
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arrest in shanghai. he describes being guarded 24/7 as mental torture. "i could be jailed at any time using any excuse," he explained. police regularly break feng's mobile phone data chips and illegally seize his computer equipment. but feng's biggest worry: his family's safety. "i have buried my love for my family deep, deep down," he says. "i can't show it because the agents i deep with are very cruel. if they detect your weakness, they will hit it hard." china's history of dissent is a long one. from his prison cell, he dedicated the nobel he won today to the tank man and other protesters, and that's encouraging to many in china who want the global spotlight shined once again on the country's lack of political freedom. >> couric: like china, iran has come under fire for its human rights record.
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there has been an international outcry since iran sentenced a woman to death by stoning for committing adultery. today, the woman, a 43-year-old mother of two, was shown on state-run tv, apparently confessing to helping her lover kill her husband. she even reenacted the murder, demonstrating how she gave her husband an injection and later assisted as he was electrocuted. it is unclear if that confession was coerced, but iranian authorities could use it to justify executing the woman by hanging instead of stoning. and coming up later here on the "cbs evening news," traveling back in basketball history to the man who invented it. but up next, we'll hear from passengers on that antarctic cruise, just back from one very rough ride. if you have osteoporosis, and you take once-monthly boniva,
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just one before meals helps prevent gas before it starts. at pso, we set out tot your dog to discover the science inle. some of nature's best ingredients. we created purina one with smartblend. new, delicious shredded morsels and crunchy bites, with real meat, wholesome grains and antioxidants, for strong muscles, vital energy, a healthy immune system, and a real difference in your dog. purina one improved with smartblend. discover what one can do. >> couric: it was an antarctic voyage promising views of icebergs and wildlife, but it turned out to be no pleasure cruise for the american passengers. for one 24-hour period, the ship was slammed by high winds and towering waves. today, erin moriarty reports they finally made it back to port in argentina and told their stories. >> reporter: the 290-foot 4,000- ton cruise ship was tossed like a toy in the dangerous waters off the southern tip of south america.
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on tuesday, a 45-foot wave shattered a window on the bridge of the "clelia 2," knocking out communications and radar and forcing the captain to declare an emergency. >> we're boaters, but i've never seen anything like this before. >> the coffee pots and everything was flying around. and so they asked us to go to our cabins, which we did. >> reporter: the 88 americans onboard, many of them retirees, were confined to their quarters while another cruise ship, the national geographic "explorer," sailed to the rescue, braving the same rough seas, the "explorer" crew hovered close by, and in a daring effort shot a line to the crippled ship and used it to send a working satellite phone. >> it was really rough, and the boat was rocking and people were falling over. it was really hard to walk. so it was really bouncing. >> reporter: after the waters calmed, the "clelia 2" which never lost complete engine power limped back to port where the passengers seemed remarkably calm about the 24-hour ordeal.
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>> it was pretty exciting. i got my money's worth. >> reporter: none of the passengers who paid $9,000 a piece was injured but they may have been lucky. the voyage took them through the notorious drake passage, an area that sailors say is one of the most treacherous in the world. erin moriarty, cbs news, new york. >> couric: looks terrifying. from the high seas to the skies now. there are 357,000 aircraft in this country, but the f.a.a. is missing the proper ownership documents on about a third of them, mostly private planes, and that could make it easier for terrorists or drug traffickers to buy planes that can't be tracked. the agency says it's going to require every aircraft to be reregistered over the next three years. and still ahead, the secret behind space-aged cheese. secret behind space-aged cheese. a completely blocked artery,y another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike.
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the robitussin relief finder >> couric: president obama's special envoy to afghanistan and pakistan is in the hospital tonight. richard holbrooke, who is 69, became ill this afternoon at the state department and was taken away by ambulance. no word yet on his condition. former tennis great martina navratilova is in a hospital in kenya. she came down with high altitude sickness. navratilova is 54 and expected to make a full recovery. earlier this week, a rocket blasted off into space on a test flight, and today we learned it was carrying secret cargo. the privately owned falcon 9
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roared off the launch pad at cape canaveral wednesday sending an unmanned capsule into orbit. the capsule splashed down in the pacific, and inside a wheel of cheese. why? >> i want to buy some cheese! >> couric: apparently, it was a fromage homage to an old monty python skit. and coming up next, remembering when basketball was two words and there was no dribbling. the original rules of the game. the original rules of the game. hey! you're gonna wash the deck.
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hey tough guy, that cold needs alka seltzer plus! it has the cold-fighting power of an effervescent packed in a liquid-gel for all over relief! hiyah! dude! with it. next on cbs 5 >> couric: finally tonight, two weeks before christmas, some people went shopping today for a piece of the past. anthony mason has the story. >> reporter: good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. >> reporter: three remarkable artifacts of american history were sold at sotheby's today. >> they're really all three of these icons. >> reporter: the first... >> the kennedy-lincoln emancipation proclamation. >> reporter: ...was the document signed by lincoln that freed the slaves in 1863. >> and i also collect things having to do with american history.
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>> reporter: bought by robert f. kennedy in 1964 for $9,500, it sold to an anonymous buyer today for more than $3.7 million. >> our next sale is custer's last flag. >> reporter: general george armstrong custer and his seventh cavalry died at the battle of little big horn but this flag survived. it sold for $2.2 million. the last item up for sale would bring the highest price-- two pieces of paper. >> without those two pages there would be no game of basketball. >> reporter: the two typed pages on which james naismith laid out the rules of his new game in 1891. where had the rules been kept all these years? >> oh, gosh, my grandfather had them in a desk drawer until 1939. >> reporter: after more than a century in the family, ian naismith was selling them to raise money for the family charity. >> on my left $800,000. >> reporter: when the gavel came down they had a record for sports memorabilia, more than
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$4.3 million. the buyer: fans of kansas university, where naismith was the first basketball coach. >> he read about the rules being auctioned off, and he came up with this idea. >> reporter: lauren's husband, josh, made it his mission to bring the rules to the school. >> so he didn't have a whole lot of time to try and meet people and raise the money, and believe it or not, he did it. >> reporter: he persuaded david booth, a mutual fund c.e.o. and kansas alumnus, to bid. >> reporter: it turned out to be quite the christmas present. anthony mason, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching this week. russ mitchell will be here tomorrow and i'll see you again on monday. until then have a great weekend. and for the latest news online you can check out good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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so hot that it wound up in court. why some are convinced you're getting a bad deal. it is the hottest fire sealing in the land. so hot it wound up in court. why some are convinced you're getting a bad deem. >> they're fighting back by forecasting up. i'm len in san jose. ahead what's behind the latest efforts to find the medicalmarijuanaa raids. the bay area city that's closed for the holidays. they can be sold. 11 today buildings throughout southern california so says a san francisco superior court judge. flee officials tried to stop the sale -- three former officials tried to stop


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