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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  January 31, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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couric, who is on the way to egypt. >> smith: tonight, clinging to power. egyptian president mubarak calls far dialogue with the opposition but protestors say it's too late. he must go. the u.s. urges a peaceful transition and begins evacuating american citizens from an egypt in crisis. i'm harry smith. also tonight, it's a high-tech battle: the revolution in egypt started online, then the government pulled the plug, but the web is not the only medium for a message. and when a pinch of salt is probably more than enough. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> smith: good evening, katie is on assignment. egypt's 82-year-old president is fighting for his political life
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tonight. for a seventh straight day, demonstrators filled the streets of cairo demanding that hosni mubarak give up the power he's held for 30 years. mubarak named a new cabinet today and asked his new vice president to open talks with the opposition about giving them more freedom. but protest leaders met to plan the largest rally yet. they will try to put a million people on the streets tomorrow. and the army says it will not use force against them. the egyptian government puts the death toll in a week of violence at nearly 100, but reports from witnesses indicate it is higher than that. an international exodus from egypt is under way. thousands of u.s. citizens are trying to fly out and u.s. marines have two ships standing by in the red sea in case they're needed to help evacuate americans. in washington, the obama administration continues to call for a peaceful transition to democracy. we have extensive coverage tonight, including a team of correspondents in cairo.
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we begin with elizabeth palmer who has been covering the protests in the heart of cairo. elizabeth? >> reporter: good evening, harry. well, the protestors are still down in the square behind me, you may be able to hear them. several thousand of them. they've been chanting ever since quite a dramatic speech by egypt's vice president on television a couple of hours ago who offered talks with what he called "all political forces" on constitutional change. last week, the vice president's offer might have sounded like victory to the protestors. now, for this crowd, it's just not enough. "tell anyone who orders you to fire on us, no," the demonstrators chanted. "we are your people." people who have found a voice and a place to call their own. liberation square has become, as one demonstrator called it, the moral heart of egypt. >> we will be here until he gets out.
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>> reporter: the atmosphere is a mixture of jamboree, mass picnic and religious. everyone right down to the very youngest understands the goal. "leave, mubarak." one group of lawyers is here because, says aiman gowany, they are fed up with corruption in the courts. >> our government will not respect anything in egypt, the law and the people. >> reporter: as dusk fell, it was clear the official curfew was going to be completely ignored. the people have declared this essentially a mubarak-free zone. ringed by the army, the police pushed back. this is the only place in egypt where there's true freedom of expression. it's certainly not getting any coverage on state television which broadcasts business as usual pictures of the president swearing in his reshuffled cabinet. but the new ministers are all
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mubarak old guard. unacceptable to angry egyptians demanding a fresh start. one man who wants to offer just that is mohammed elbaradei, egypt's bookish nobel prize winning diplomat who fought his way into tahrir square over the weekend to address the crowd. "change is coming" he promised. elbaradei is at home on the world stage. as the long time head of the international atomic energy agency, he was a key figure in policing iran's nuclear program. but after decades abroad, he probably doesn't have the grass- roots support necessary to leave the country. his diplomatic skills, though, may make him ideal for a political transition, a transition that tonight seems more likely than ever. now, tomorrow morning what's being billed as the million-man march is supposed to take place here in tahrir square and it looks to us as if the soldiers around the square have pulled
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back their tanks to actually make room for this tsunami of a crowd that's expected. the army reiterated once again today that it wasn't going to use violence on the protestors, so that may even encourage more people to come. >> smith: elizabeth, this is so interesting. here you have the army siding with the people in the street. mubarak says he's not going anywhere. this is an enormous test of wills. is there any way to predict how this is going to turn out? >> reporter: well, harry, this is brinksmanship of the highest order and so far the government has blinked twice. it offered a cabinet reshuffle and then tonight we hear they're offering constitutional talks. each time there's been a concession the protestors have picked up momentum. so i would say the way it looks tonight these demonstrators are holding the high cards. >> smith: elizabeth palmer with us in cairo tonight. once again, thank you. at night it gets even more dangerous in many parts of cairo.
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over the weekend the police where nowhere to be found, forcing civilians to form their own patrols to protect property from looters. today, officers were back on the streets as mark strassmann reports. >> reporter: for better for for worse, the only police force cairo has went back to work today. hosni mubarak's state police. since last tuesday when protestors began battling police in the streets, dozens have been killed. police trucks torched, police stations looted. then last friday, the police disappeared. for three days, not one cop protected the city of 18 million people twice the size of new york. jailbreaks freed thousands of inmates, gangs ran wild. it's wildly believed some looters were police. today the police are back, but the fear is staying put. last night we found worried residents armed with bats and machetes had organized a militia with in-your-face chick points. they vowed to strike back against looters. >> people will die to go inside.
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either we die or they die. >> reporter: we saw police today in cairo's west side in neighborhoods like dokki. but one mile across the nile lies liberation square and thousands of grow testors. soldiers are here but police seem invisible, apparently too provocative. so tonight the checkpoints will stay up. president mubarak today replaced the interior minister who oversees the state police. not likely to mean much to people now demanding radical change. harry? >> smith: mark, so the cops are back out on the streets again. what real difference does it make? >> reporter: during the day, harry, very little difference because the days are relatively quiet. it's the night where many neighborhoods in this city become scary places. so tonight's a real test for these state police, can they reclaim the confidence of people who have thought up until now they simply can't trust the people who are paid to protect them? harry? >> smith: mark strassmann also in cairo tonight. thank you. it is a chaotic scene at cairo's
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international airport, jammed with foreigners trying to get out of the country, including thousands of americans. also part of our team in cairo tonight is chief foreign affairs correspondent lara logan. lara? >> reporter: as we flew into cairo's international airport tonight, harry, we were struck by how deserted the capital looked from the air. this is a city that literally never stopped and those streets are normally packed with people and cars and bustling with activity. but tonight because of the curfew they looked virtually empty. it was a dramatically different scene earlier in the day as thousands of people jammed the roads leading to the airport, desperate to get out of the country. more than a thousand americans made it out on charter flights arranged by the u.s. embassy and another thousand are expected to leave tomorrow. one u.s. official told cbs news tonight there was panic and fear amongst those who came to the u.s. government for help.
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>> we felt safe but very on edge. >> reporter: crowds of people overwhelmed airline officials at cairo's international airport. >> can't get anybody to help us. >> reporter: here you can see the frustration of some passengers, many of whom have been stuck for days. when we arrived tonight, people were still camped in the airport trapped by the crisis. by the end of tomorrow, some two and a half thousand americans should have been evacuated and the u.s. embassy says they're expecting more and more requests but it's still only a tiny fraction of the more than 75,000 americans living in egypt are registered with the u.s. embassy. and that's just officially registered. >> smith: so, lara, if i'm an american citizen, i'm in cairo, i get to the airport, what is the process? how do i get out? >> reporter: americans are being told to come to cairo's international airport with their passports and basically to get
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in line. they really have no idea where they're going. they can't plan in advance or make arrangements. there are a number of different destinations where there could be sent, from athens to istanbul to cyprus. people who are living in egypt, living in cairo who may have to get out with their whole family and have no idea when they're going to be able to return home. this is not an easy time at all, it's a very difficult situation. >> smith: lara logan in cairo. thank you. in washington, the obama administration is weighing its words very carefully in this crisis. chip reid is at the white house with the latest. chip, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, harry. the obama administration is walking a very fine line here. on the one hand, they strongly support the protestors, but on the other hand, the last thing they want is for egypt to descend into chaos. so here is the basic policy position of the obama administration right now. first, the administration is calling for "an orderly transition to a government that respects the rights of the egyptian people." second they are not calling on mubarak to step down.
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third, the white house is calling for free and fair elections in egypt this fall, elections in which mubarak may or may not be on the ballot. now, harry, it may seem strange that they're calling for a transition to a new kind of government, but at the same time they're saying that mubarak may be able to stay around. well, the white house says they're being very adamant about this, they say they're not going to take sides but on principle they're going to continue to say it's up to the egyptian people, not the united states, to decide who the egyptian leader should be. harry? >> smith: chip reid at the white house tonight. thank you. the crisis in egypt continues to affect markets around the world. anthony mason is our senior business correspondent. anthony, what is going on with the price of oil? >> reporter: well the oil jumped again today harry and the crisis is adding a fear people are premium to the price. crude is at a two-year high, $292 a barrel. egypt itself is not a major oil
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exporter but egypt's suez canal is a key oil transit route. nearly two million barrels a day are shipped through the canal and one million runs through the pipeline that runs through the country. any disruption would divert tankers around the southern tip of after which is a much longer and more expensive route but most analysts think that's unlikely to happen. >> smith: i'll give you a hypothetical. what happens if this crisis continues and/or this crisis continues to spread? >> reporter: that's the contagion fear. if this goes beyond tunisia and egypt and spreads to the major oil producers in the middle east it could certainly have an affect on the world's economy and our economy. that's the worst-case scenario, but that could send oil prices skyrocketing which could ultimately put the brakes on our recovery. harry? >> smith: anthony mason, thank you for your expertise. the crisis in cairo is also a threat to some of egypt's national treasures. soldiers have arrested about 50 men caught trying to break into the national museum. on friday looters damaged two mummies along with 75 ancient artifacts. experts say the artifacts can be restored and soldiers will stay there to protect against another break-in.
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the uprising in egypt began online. still ahead, why the government's decision to pull the plug on the internet may have backfired. and the assault on salt. chances are you are eating too much of it. new federal guidelines next. [ male announcer ] if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicine÷s do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec,
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one has been a beast and another monster storm is on the way. it could end up dumping up to two feet of snow in places like st. louis and milwaukee before hitting the east coast tomorrow. today an icy mix made roads across the plains dangerously slick. there were at least 200 weather- related crashes and at least one fatality. in the legal battle over president obama's health care reform law, the score is now 2- 2. a federal judge in florida is the latest to weigh in, ruling today the law is unconstitutional because it forces people to buy insurance whether they want to or not. a judge in virginia issued a similar ruling in december, but two other courts have upheld the insurance mandate. it seems quite certain this issue will have to be resolved by the supreme court. two out of three americans are overweight or obese, an epidemic that is expected to send health care costs skyrocketing. today the federal government released new guidelines for a healthier diet. as michelle miller reports, most
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of us are not going to like this-- they start with cutting the salt. >> i like salt. >> reporter: joy alessi makes no apologies for her taste in food. >> i like sea salt and i look to dump a good handful in. >> reporter: but the u.s.d.a. is now urging americans like joy to wean themselves off excess sodium and improve their overall eating habits. >> this is a science-based system and it's focused on calories in and calories out. >> reporter: the nation's new dietary guidelines urge us to double the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat. we get more than 800 calories from solid fats and added sugars. the guidelines say no more than between two and three hundred calories of saturated fat. and they want us to double the amount of fish we normally eat and drink water, not soda. at 81, edith williams could be the guideline's poster child. >> i never crave salt. i like don't a lot of salt. >> reporter: really. >> yeah. >> reporter: you're in the minority.
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>> yeah. >> reporter: the main goal: reducing sodium consumption for half the population, people aged 51 and older, african americans, those suffering from certain chronic diseases, and children should consume just 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, or about half a teaspoon. guidelines for the rest of us remain at 2,300 milligrams. >> we need to get the food industry on board. >> reporter: nutritionist lisa young says the problem is the salt already in food. >> three handfuls of pretzels and that's all your sodium for the entire day. >> i want my 15 chips. three, four... >> one more. 14, 15. >> reporter: let's take out one more. i think i could stick to this. >> good. most of us can't. >> reporter: that's why the government is pressuring food companies to cut the salt in their products or face regulation. michelle miller, cbs news, new york.
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>> smith: for more on this story go to our partner in health news and search dietary guidelines. coming up next, egypt blacks out the internet. could it happen here? so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now, i've got the leading part. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
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just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. >> smith: the uprising in egypt is the quintessential 21st century event, born on facebook and other social networking sites which led the government to cut off internet service. science and technology correspondent daniel sieberg
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reports on this desperate effort to keep a lid on dissent. >> reporter: the blackout was a surprising move for a nation previously known for being open compared to other countries in the middle east. >> i think what's unprecedentd is the degree we've never seen such a connected country like egypt, to be disconnected from the internet. >> reporter: here's how it happened. in the united states it's companies like comcast or time warner that provide internet access. the egyptian government told their internet service providers to shut down, causing egypt to basically disappear off the internet map. telecom egypt went first just after midnight friday morning and within six minutes the five internet providers covering about 93% of the country went down and have not come back. only two other countries have ever shut off so completely-- nepal in 2005 and myanmar in 2007. >> it would have to be something pretty dramatic for the internet to be shut down here. >> reporter: but congress is considering a bill to expand the
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president's authority. >> the legislation says that the president would have the power to declare a cyber emergency and then the white house, along with the department of homeland security, would have the power to take control of certain key portions of the internet. >> reporter: holly pickett lives in cairo and says cutting off the online world may have backfired. >> when that happened and people realized that the internet had been shut off and the government had done this to them, this really angered people. >> reporter: but demonstrators also know that the internet can be a double-edged sword. before the shutdown, this 26- page protest manual warned protestors not to circulate information on social networks for fear the government would be watching. >> all of that can be very easily exploited by dictator's secret police. >> reporter: people are able to get around the internet ban the old-fashioned way by using a land line to dial up a connection in another country, harry. >> smith: i'm reading some cell
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phone service has been restored there. >> cell phones are back up and google is offering a service that lets people turn a voice mail into an instant twitter message. no internet required so some interesting ways of trying to get around it. >> smith: daniel sieberg, thanks so much. coming up next, remembering a movie composer whose music stole the show. movie composer whose music stole the show. c [ male announcer ] those with frequent heartburn imagine a day free of worry, a day when we can eat what we want, drink what we want, and sleep soundly through the night. finally that day has arrived with prevacid®24hr. just one pill helps keep you heartburn-free for a full 24 hours. prevent the acid that causes frequent heartburn all day, all night. now we are free. happy. with prevacid®24hr,
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putting their book in the spotlight. next on cbs 5 . lessons from wall street. two men have no frills financial advice. the twist putting them both in the spotlight is up next. man who knew the score-- because he wrote it. john barry who died over the weekend wrote the music for more than 100 films. in 1962, john barry helped introduce the world's most famous secret agent. >> bond. james bond. >> smith: adding that catchy guitar riff to the score of "dr. no." he would become bond's unofficial composer. writing suave and exciting scores for 11 more 007 films. ♪ goldfinger... >> smith: barry's talents were no secret. he was one of the busiest composers in hollywood. in a career that spanned five
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decades, he won five oscars, his first in 1967 for "born free." ♪ ♪ >> smith: others followed, for sweeping epics like "out of africa." ♪ ♪ >> smith: and "dances with wolves." barry's formula for scoring a movie? you just follow the action. john barry was 77. that's the "cbs evening news." katie will be reporting tomorrow there cairo. i'm harry smith in new york. thank you for joining us. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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. you're watching cbs 5 eyewitness news. new at 6:00 tonight jerry brown lays out his plan to end the budget madness. what it means for spending and taxes. >> an army of police, a lot of scared kids and parents but still no sign of any threat on campus. and it's oakland's police chief is on the way out or is he just grabbing some bargaining power? the cops and cars he may have already secured. >> good evening i'm allan martin. >> and i'm dana king. in a very short state of the state speech jerry brown laid out the problems in california. a governor wants to put a key part of his budget plan to a vote. hey, mark. >> reporter: hey, dana as promised by the governor himself the speech was short


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