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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 15, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

5:30 pm >> pelley: tonight, can it be? a bipartisan agreement in washington? a republican and a democrat roll out a plan to overhaul medicare. nancy cordes on what it would mean to you and future generations. is jim axelrod is in iraq where the war that began with shock and awe officially ended today with quiet reflection. >> it's a bittersweet moment. >> reporter: erin moriarty is following a murder mystery on long island where the discovery of the remains of nearly a dozen people set off a hunt for a serial killer. and the thousands of pictures that are worth one incredible story. anthony mason with the artist no one knew until now. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: good evening. just when you thought washington was hopelessly deadlocked, a conservative republican and a liberal democrat have net the middle with a proposal to save medicare. 49 million americans are on the government health plan, but it can't survive in its current state. it's projected that medicare will be bankrupt in 12 years. today's proposal would be a major change and we asked congressional correspondent nancy cordes to sort it out for us. nancy? >> reporter: scott, it's something we haven't seen in quite some time: an influential republican and a democrat coming together on an issue divide the two sides like almost nothing else-- medicare. >> this is the path to prosperity. >> reporter: the plan republicans introduced eight months ago went over like a led balloon with democrats and many seniors. so today, house budget chair paul ryan teamed up with a democrat, oregon senator ron
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wyden, to introduce a new cost- cutting plan for medicare. >> we want to show that a bipartisan solution is out there. >> reporter: starting in 2022, he says, seniors would have the option to stay on traditional medicare or choose from a menu of private plans. how would this plan save money? >> it would save money because it would give seniors choices. it would give choice and competition. >> reporter: traditional medicare was not a choice in the proposal ryan unveiled in april. back then, ryan envisioned back then, ryan envisioned ending medicare and giving seniors subsidies to buy private insurance. but the congressional budget office estimated ryan's formula would cost the average senior $6,400 more in 2022 than they pay today. your original plan was unpopular with voters, is this an attempt... >> i think it wasn't at all. this is just adding an option to the plan that we already put out. >> reporter: but the white house panned this new proposal, arguing that insurance companies
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would scoop up healthy seniors, leaving the sick to traditional medicare and driving costs for that program way up, scott. >> pelley: nancy, what does it mean that paul ryan and ron wyden sponsored this? >> reporter: well, ryan, in particular, is quite powerful. he's the chair of the house budget committee, he has a lot of sway with rank-and-file republicans. but even he believes it would be too difficult to get the two sides to come together on a hot- button issue like this during an election year, so he's going to wait until 2013 to introduce his legislation. >> pelley: nancy, thanks very much. an important development in presidential politics. 19 days out from the iowa caucuses, the republican governor of iowa, terry branstad, said today he doesn't know whether front-runner newt gingrich has the discipline and the focus to be president. john dickerson focuses on politics as our political director and, john, i wonder, gingrich is leading in iowa. what does this mean? >> this is big news in
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republican politics in iowa. on the eve of the very last debate in sioux city right before the caucuses. governor terry branstad is very popular in republican circles. he's been elected five times. he said he wouldn't endorse any of the candidates, but the these remarks he essentially endorses the key critique of newt gingrich, that he lacks the discipline and temperament to be president. this comes on the heels, scott, of a very negative endorsement from the "national review," an influential conservative publication which said that republicans will blow their golden opportunity to beat barack obama if they nominate newt gingrich. >> pelley: "national review" an influential conservative publication. john, thank you very much. medicare will be an election issue, of course, and so will unemployment and on that score there's some improvement to report tonight. the labor department said today the number of americans filing their first claims for unemployment benefits last week totaled 366,000.
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that's the smallest number in 3.5 years. the stars and stripes were folded today, signaling the end of one of the longest wars in our history. secretary of defense leon panetta accepted the colors in baghdad as he formally closed america's nearly nine-year involvement in iraq. jim axelrod was there to witness the end. >> reporter: for the final time, the colors were presented at u.s. military headquarters in iraq. ( band plays "the star spangled banner" ) ( applause ) >> reporter: the ceremony marked the official end of mission. defense secretary leon panetta took stock of the treasures spent-- more than $800 billion-- and the blood spilled during the last nine years. >> today in particular we remember the nearly 4,500 brave americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
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>> reporter: now the war is in the hands of the historians who will weigh the toppling of a brutal dictator against the war fought over weapons of mass destruction that were never found. joint chiefs chairman general martin dempsey, perhaps mindful of the war's unpopularity at home, offered his own view of a mission accomplished. >> the next time i come back, i'm going to have to be invited in. i'm going to have to be invited by the iraqi government. and i kind of like that. >> reporter: with headquarters now closed, over the next several days the last of the u.s. troops will begin moving towards kuwait and leaving iraq. the military doesn't want to say exactly when this will happen, worried about attacks from iranian-backed militias on the way. >> today we mark the end of operation new dawn. >> reporter: command sergeant major joseph allen dawn. is headed home to retirment. >> this is a bittersweet home.
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i've had five birthdays here so it's been a lot of deployment. so, it's time to go. it's time to go. >> reporter: the sun is setting on the mission here and soon only one flag will fly over iraq. jim axelrod, cbs news, baghdad. >> pelley: and that will be by the end of the month when the last 4,500 troops will leave. at the peak of the war in 2007 more than 166,000 americans were in the fight. the turning point in the war came with a change in strategy. and a little bit later in the broadcast, david martin has the story of the unknown american soldier who figured out how to get america out of iraq. vladimir putin isn't going anywhere, at least that's his plan. he's running for president of russia again. and if he wins in march and serves another term, he will have run russia for 18 years. today putin on t.v. answered questions from callers.
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he shrugged off recent massive protests against fraud in the parliamentary elections. and he welcomed a challenge from a flamboyant billionaire, the owner of an n.b.a. team, who entered the russian presidential race this week. charlie d' agata is in moscow. >> reporter: mikail prokhorov today aligned himself with the thousands who took to the streets to protest what they say was massive vote rigging in favor of putin's party. he told supporters he might join the next protest himself. prokhorov's announcement to run for president against putin surprised many. how serious are you about this challenge and what are you hoping to achieve? "it was not a decision made in one day" he says. "i made this decision two months ago. it was the most serious of my life. nicknamed "mr. holiday," prokhorov is known for his lavish lifestyle and beautiful women. he showed off both to "60 minutes" last year.
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he spent more time following sports than politics. he owns the new jersey nets. today he joked he'd be willing to settle down and get married if it would make him a better candidate for president. but jokes aside, prokhorov's friend and business colleague, alexander lyubimov, says the time is right to challenge putin. >> there's a lot of people who feel independent, who feel free, who don't like kind of being mislead or cheated or... they don't believe in government in general. >> reporter: the prokhorov campaign is hoping to tap into the growing discontent among many voters against putin's heavy-handed rule. prokhorov didn't release any details of his platform, but he says he'll fight for the middle- classes even though he's one of russia's richest men. he made his fortune during the '90s when he took over russia's largest metals company. he also owns two banks and a vast real estate empire, earning a reputation as a ruthless
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businessman. >> i like to be in stress. it's my competitive advantage. >> reporter: analysts here say his campaign is seen as a long shot. the difficulties start now. he has to collect two million signatures in the next month to even get on the ballot. charlie d'agata, cbs news, moscow. >> pelley: back for a moment to vladimir putin's appearance on russian t.v. today. he noted that senator john mccain had used twitter to show support for anti-putin protesters. putin suggested that since mccain was tortured as a p.o.w. in vietnam he must be "nuts." mccain quickly responded today odth another tweet. he la nina factor in the new weather forecast for the winter. the hunt for a long island serial killer. and anthony mason with a portrait of a photographer and her amazing work. when the "cbs evening news"
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>> pelley: for 18 months now, police have been searching for a missing new jersey woman. this week, remains believed to be hers were found on long island east of new york city. but it turns out the search turned up evidence of a possible serial killer. erin moriarty of "48 hours" has been looking into it. >> reporter: the body, believed to be that of shannan gilbert, a 23-year-old prostitute who
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dreamed of becoming a singer, was found in an isolated overgrown marsh. >> the body was found approximately one quarter mile northeast of where her personal belongings were located last week. >> reporter: the search for gilbert turned into what has become long island's largest homicide investigation when police looking for her stumbled instead upon ten murder victims- - eight women, a man, and a toddler believed to be a child of one of the women. their bodies were dumped along a their bodies were dumped along a secluded beachfront highway. suffolk county police commissioner richard dormer voiced what everyone feared. >> we're looking that we could have a serial killer. >> reporter: what do you believe happened to shannan gilbert? >> i don't know. that's the $64,000 question. >> reporter: shannan gilbert vanished after making a panicked 911 call lasting 20 minutes during which she reportedly claimed someone was trying to kill her as she ran from a
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client's home in a beachfront gated community. the client is not a suspect. investigators believe one person is behind at least four of the deaths and may live in the area. he's so brazen he used the cell phone of one of his victims, melissa barthelemy, to call her 14-year-old sister, amanda. >> and this voice is saying "no, this isn't melissa." >> reporter: family attorney steve cohen says the calls were made before anyone knew melissa was dead. >> and the killer said some pretty horrible things to amanda. >> reporter: like what? >> sexually explicit things as to what he had done to melissa. >> reporter: investigators don't believe shannan gilbert is another victim. instead, they theorize she accidentally drowned. but gilbert's family refuses to believe that. they say the 911 call and the fact that her clothing and purse were found far from her remains
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suggests murder. erin moriarty, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: erin will have more on this case on "48 hours mystery" saturday night at 10:00, 9:00 central here on cbs. charlotte bronte is best known for her novel "jane eyre," but in london today, a french museum bought one of her smaller works at auction for more than a million dollars. and do we mean small. about the size of a book of stamps. bronte hand wrote this 19-page unpublished book let entitled "young men's magazine" when she was just 14. they say you need a magnifying glass to read it. with the end of the war in iraq, we remember an american soldier and his plan that turned the tide. that's next. questionable choices i've made?c
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joint chiefs of staff. but in the summer of 2006, he and patriquin were part of an armored brigade sent to take back the city of ramadi from al qaeda. >> three brigades had lost 100 soldiers each. ramadi was the most dangerous place in the world. >> reporter: with a background in special forces, an iraqi- style mustache and passable arabic, patriquin bonded with local sheik sattar, a flamboyant and slightly shady man fed up with al qaeda's ways. >> sattar was able to rally the other tribes to flight al qaeda, and that's where travis had an influence in working with sheik sattar. >> reporter: convincing the tribe its future lay with the american side marked the beginning of what became known as the sunni awakening. it involved arming and training the tribes to fight al qaeda-- a risky idea, since the militias might someday turn against the u.s. to sell it, patriquin created edat was perhaps the most famous
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document of the iraq war; of all things, a stick figure powerpoint briefing. it reads like "iraq for dummies." "everyone wins except terrorists, which is okay because terrorists suck." exactly the opposite of the typical military briefing stuffed with statistics and charts. major chad palai worked side by side with him. >> we had a tendency to overthink things, and the easiest answer is in front of us. >> reporter: one month later, patriquin, major megan mcclung and specialist vincent poe monte were killed on their way from a meeting with sheik sattar. it would remain for general petraeus to embrace the sunni awakening throughout iraq, but it started with a 32-year-old army captain from st. louis, missouri. do you think he changed the course of the war? >> i think it dramatically changed our mind-set and understanding of what we need to do. >> reporter: even a as the last american troops pull out, it's
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too early to claim success in the form of a lasting democracy in iraq. but there's no denying this simple fact. >> we lost 96 soldiers in the ten months we were at ramadi. the unit that followed us lost three or four. so the effectiveness of how that worked is tremendous, if you measure in lost american lives. >> reporter: travis patriquin. remember the name. david martin, cbs news, the pentagon. >> pelley: it looks like much of the nation is in for a mild winter thanks to the weather phenomenon known as la nina. government weather experts said today that la nina will cause shifts in the jet stream that could mean drier, milder conditions east of the rockies. she was a phenomenal photographer, but we may have never known about her were it not for a twist of fate. her story is next.
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mirror or a shadow. maier worked as a nanny and housekeeper in chicago. but on her own time, a roleflex strapped to her neck, she indulged her secret talent-- taking pictures. remarkable pictures. this woman was not an amateur. >> no. i don't think she ever made a penny from her photographs, but she certainly was no amateur. >> reporter: howard greenberg is a leading photography dealer. tonight his gallery is opening the first major exhibition of maier's pictures in new york. >> she never showed them to anyone. nobody knew she was making the photographs. she did them by herself, for herself for reasons we can only guess at. >> reporter: and we might never have seen them if not for john maloof. >> the box i bought was the biggest box they had of negatives, and it was loaded to the top. >> reporter: a few years ago maloof, a real estate agent, saw them at a chicago auction house. >> rolls and rolls of undeveloped film.
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her storage locker had delinquent payments, so what they do is auction the stuff off. >> reporter: he bid $400 hoping to find some shots of the city for a book he was writing. but what he discovered in the box took his breath away. >> you could see maier on here. >> reporter: mm-hmm. maloof traced maier from the name on a film envelope to a 2009 obituary in the chicago papers. maier had only just died at age 83. but a picture of the chicago nanny began to develop. are these her shoes? >> yes. hese are her shoes here. >> reporter: there's a slightly mary poppins quality to her. >> there is, everything but the umbrella. >> reporter: phil donahue hired maier in the '70s to care for his four sons. she snapped this shot during her job interview. >> i saw her once taking a picture of an inside of a trash can and i thought, "well, they laughed at jackson pollock. how do i know?" >> here's a little girl eating candy.
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>> reporter: john maloof is still archiving maier's more than 100,000 negatives. >> i never would have imagined this to get as big as it has. >> reporter: through his efforts, he's the subject of a new book and the greenberg gallery show. >> the photographs are really wonderful. that's the most important thing. and the story is even better. so vivian maier will not go away. >> reporter: saved from obscurity, the work of an unknown street photographer is at last coming out of the shadows. anthony mason, c tonight, the federal government has uncovered what it says is "blatant discrimination" against latinos... and a good evening. i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. the federal government has uncovered what it says is
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blatant discrimination against latinos and a systemic disregard for the u.s. constitution. it's happening in maricopa county, arizona, in the office of sheriff joe arpaio. and it's something san francisco district attorney george gascon says he saw firsthand. he was police chief in mesa, arizona, when he did complain about arpaio. >> i would tell people and i said, you know, i never lived in the south during, you know, the segregation years. but based on what i've read and seen, this feels like that. and people would say to me, nah, you're exaggerating. i said no, you have to come and see it. >> reporter: here's how sheriff arpaio once described his crackdown on illegal immigrants. >> we have investigated, detained, arrested, investigated in our jails, acting as federal immigration agents over 40,000 people. >> reporter: but after a 2.5- year investigation, the u.s. justice department now says


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