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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 18, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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the cbs evening news with scott pelley is next. remember the latest news and weather is always on cbs s-f dot-com. thanks for watching. "cbs evening news with scott pelley" is next. >> caption colorado, llc c e veryp e captai gives a new and incredible explanation for abandoning his sinking ship as divers continue to search for victims aboard the "costa concordia." alan pizzey is on the scene. a close call in the air. bob orr tells us how an air traffic controller put two planes on a collision course. the push to topple a dictator. liz palmer gives us a rare look at the people trying to end a 40-year dictatorship. and mark phillips with pieces of history lost and found. >> so this is the gate to the treasure trove.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. the captain in the italian inuise ship disaster now says he did not leave the ship intentionally. he is quoted tonight as telling investigators that with the ship listing to one side, he tripped and fell into a life boat. francesco schettino remains under house arrest this evening. the "costa concordia" lies off the west coast of italy, and in this new satellite photo, she lies beside the island of giglio where she hit the rocks. 11 people are confirmed dead. 21 others are missing, including a retired american couple. alan pizzey is at the scene. >> reporter: rescuers are still looking but with no signs of life or noise coming from the hip, they're saying quietly that short of a miracle, there's little chance of finding
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survivors in the wreck. to add to the woes, the ship shifted a few inches today. its precarious position forced a temporary halt in the operations. the strain is showing on rescuers. one had to be brought back from the wreck on a stretcher after he collapsed. those under the most stress are the divers, specialist cave rescues teams have been brought in because as corrado camerini put it, the inside is like the inside of a cave, there is no light. >> the water is like milk, like milk. the visibility, you can see your hands in front, your mask, nothing more. >> reporter: the efforts are concentrated on reaching the cabins of those known to be missing. the massive ship has 14 decks, 1,500 cabins, and miles of corridors. no one can even guess how or why some people were trapped on board, other than to attribute it to the chaos. more booms have been laid
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between the ship and the coastline, a precaution in case any of the more than half a million gallons of fuel in the "costa concordia" begin to leak. specialist oil removal equipment is being unloaded in the already-crowded harbor. once the equipment is in place and the authorities give permission, the operation to remove the oil can take place in between two and four weeks. it can even go on while the search for bodies continues. the only problem, the experts say, will be the weather, and the stability of that ship. it's virtually touching the shore of an island whose economy is totally reliant on the attractions of its pristine marine environment, one of italy's premiere dive sites, a sanctuary for dolphins, whales and porpoises. an oil spill would make this a double tragedy. there's widespread outrage in italy over the decision to place the captain under house arrest rather than leaving him in jail. as one restaurant owner here in
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giglio put it to us, "it's a disgrace." scott. >> pelley: alan what's next for captain captain schettino. >> reporter: it could take a while. scue he does go to trial it will be on charges of multiple manslaughter, abandoning his ship and causing a collision at sea. >> pelley: one reason hope for survivors has faded is the rescuers just aren't hearing anyone banging inside the ship trying to get attention. there was a poignant moment tonight when the "concordia's" sister ship, the costa "serena" sailed past the scene of the tragedy as it began a voyage through the mediterranean. it was two planes that came much too close in biloxi, mississippi. today, the national transportation safety board explained how a passenger jet and a small private plane came within 300 feet of each other. bob orr is joining us now with details. bob. >> reporter: scott, federal
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safety investigators tell us the near midair crash was blamed on an air traffic controller who officials say has a history of disciplinary and job performance problems. the incident happened on a sunday afternoon last june at the gulfport-biloxi airport in mississippi. a single-engine cessna with two people aboard was cleared for takeoff on a short north-south runway. n.t.s.b. investigators say just 16 seconds later, the same controller who was handling the cessna, cleared a continental united express regional jet to begin rolling on an intersecting diagonal runway. both planes climbed over the airfield on a collision course, getting closer and closer together before the faster commuter jet with 53 people aboard streaked in front of the slower, private plane. investigators say at their nearest point, the planes were at the exact same altitude and only 300 feet apart. according to the n.t.s.b. report, the captain of the continental jet remarked to his copilot, "wow, that was close." investigators say the controller told them he never really anticipated a problem because he thought the cessna would be long gone before the regional jet got airborne. the f.a.a. says that controller was suspended but later
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retrained and, scott, he's now back on the job. >> pelley: bob, thank you very much. for ten months now, thousands have fought and died in a war that has been hidden for the most part. syria's dictator, bashar al- assad, doesn't want the world to see his military attack the popular uprising against his government. it was only when observers from the arab league went there that some foreign journalists were allowed in, including our elizabeth palmer. she was able to travel south to find what the dictatorship doesn't want you to see. >> reporter:
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they need outside help. the protesters know that they're facing internal opposition as
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well. a sizable proportion of syrians, a new poll suggests as many as 50%, remain in favor of the regime. their reasoning is that any government-- disliked though as this one undoubtedly is-- is better than civil war. >> pelley: elizabeth, that government is almost a police state there in syria, and they have struggled mightily over these months to keep reporters like you from talking to the opposition. tell the folks at home how you managed to do it today. >> reporter: there's a team of human rights observers in syria right now, monitoring the situation, from a group of arab countries, the arab league. and one of the conditions they set when they came was that the media would have free access to whatever they wanted. now, the syrians surely didn't want to give it. they were sort of pressed into it, and we're taking advantage of that to get out and about and talk to as many people as we can. but i don't think this window is ering to stay open very long. >> pelley: liz, thank you very much. here at home it was an internet
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protest that has members of congress reconsidering new regulations for the web. google covered the name with a black band, and wikipedia went dark to protest two bills that are designed to keep people from sharing stolen movies, music, and other content. big production companies like film studios support the proposed laws, but internet companies say the legislation interferes with free speech. our parent company, cbs corporation, is part of a coalition supporting the bills. another big issue in washington and beyond is a plan by a canadian company to build an oil pipeline across america from canada to texas. today, president obama rejected the plan, but the battle involving jobs, the economy, and election-year politics is far from over. the company, transcanada, said it will reapply to build the
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pipeline, and wyatt andrews has more. >> reporter: the keystone pipeline would have stretched 1,700 miles from central alberta to two refinery depots in coastal texas, but today, after three years of studying the impact, the president said "no, not because of a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, the statement said, but because the president felt rushed by an arbitrary deadline set by congressional republicans." >> the bill is passed. >> reporter: that deadline, february 21, was agreed to by the president in last month's deal to extend the payroll tax cut, and republicans immediately made the pipeline shutdown a campaign issue. newt gingrich said the president was killing thousands of construction jobs and called the decision stupid. >> stupidity number one. we need the jobs. now maybe-- maybe when they're unemployed in november, they'll figure out jobs matter. >> reporter: republicans put the loss of jobs at 10,000 to 20,000. a state department estimate said
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it was 6,000, but the loss of asy job has angered the president's allies in the construction unions. david mallino is with the labor operation international unit of north america. >> these would be some of the highest paid construction jobs of this nature. >> reporter: high wage, high benefits? >> high wage, high benefits. health insurance, pension benefits. >> reporter: but the pipeline faced major environmental concerns. the oil in question does not come from wells. this is thick, tar sands oil, which has to be dug from the earth, and which environmentalists call among the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. tar sand pipelines in the u.s. have already had 11 significant accidents, including a toxic 800,000-gallon spill in western michigan. nebraska was concerned the pipeline might threaten a
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crucial acwefer and demanded the pipeline be rerouted. now that environmental debate is all political. scott, the president says the republicans have not given him enough time but republicans say he has chosen the environment over the economy. >> pelley: wyatt, thank you very much. wichita, kansas, is losing abousands of jobs. folks there say they were duped by boeing. new questions about the safety and effectiveness of tamiflu. and what's behind that rare snowstorm in seattle when the "cbs evening news" continues.
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>> pelley: americans are feeling a little better about the economy. have a look at the latest cbs news/"new york times" poll that's out tonight. the number of americans who believe the economy is getting better has doubled since october from 14% to 28% and the president is getting more of the credit. in determine, only 28% told us that he's making real progress fixing the economy, but now it's 35%. and the president's overall job approval rating, it's now 47%. manufacturing has been the life blood of the economy in wichita, kansas. one out of every five planes built in this country was made there. but folks in wichita say boeing double-crossed them when it suddenly announced plans to shut down the factory. we asked jim axelrod to look into it. >> reporter: boeing has produced planes in wichita since the 1920s. employing generations of workers like ted bates, an engineer for
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34 years. do you feel grateful for a career at boeing? >> yes. yes. >> reporter: but now employees like bates are shaking their heads at how boeing is treating their home town. >> you lose respect for those people who can't keep a consistent story. it's not just about employees. it's about a community. >> reporter: in 2008, boeing asked kansas officials to help win a $3.5 billion contract for 18 air force tankers. wichita's mayor, carl brewer, says kansas had a long history of coming through for boeing. they've received $650 million in tax breaks over the last 30 years. >> that is an awful lot of money, and we thought that that really meant something. >> reporter: brewer, and the kansas congressional delegation, lobbied the pentagon hard. in return, boeing promised the tanker work would be kept in wichita, saving 2,100 jobs, and creating 7,500 more. and somebody looked you right in
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the eye and said, "we're going to be in wichita?" >> going to be in wichita, and it's going to be just like it's been for the past 84 years. >> reporter: all that lobbying paid off. boeing was awarded the $3.5 billion last february. no one here heard another word until november when boeing suddenly announced it was rethinking its plans. the company decided its production costs in wichita were too high. it was moving the tanker work out of kansas to other u.s. plants and was closing its wichita operation next year. do you feel duped? >> well, you can't help but feel that way because the fact-- you know, by 2013, i'll have 2,100 workers that are out there that are trying to figure out what's going to happen in the future. >> reporter: plus 7,500 jobs that never came here. >> plus 7,500 jobs that will not come here. >> reporter: brewer, who worked for boeing for 20 years, would love an explanation from his old company.
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trouble is, no one is returning his calls. jim axelrod, cbs news, wichita, kansas. >> pelley: air force one was built in wichita. snow storm in seattle-- a rare storm blankets the northwest when the cbs news continues.
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>> pelley: people in the pacific northwest woke up today to a distinct change in the weather. heavy snow began falling overnight, and it's already broken records for this date. in olympia and at seattle's
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airport. ben tracy is in seattle to tell us what's behind the rare snowstorm. >> reporter: a city normally used to drowning in rain is now covered in snow. even four inches is enough to wreak havoc in a place with few plows and salt trucks. seattle's buss have found themselves in need of a lift, and its steeps hills are now only fit for snowboards and sleds. further south in olympia, more than a foot of snow has fallen, forcing morning commuters improvise. how is this walk to work compared to your normal walk to work? >> it's slower. ( laughs ) >> reporter: in an entire winter, celtics normally gets eight inches of snow. cca stevenson is keefe meteorologist at kiro, our cbs affiliate in celtics. rebecca stevenson is chief meteorologist at kiro, our cbs affiliate in celtics. >> it's not often that seattle gets wet and cold at the same time. >> reporter: the jet stream pattern that helped pummel
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alaska with more than 15 feet of snow over the past couple of weeks finally dipped south, allowing arctic air and precipitation to flow into the pacific northwest. this winter's la nina, the result of the pacific ocean's cooler temperatures, is also helping fuel colder weather so when the cold air collided with a warm front, heavy snow started falling. >> this is our second la nina in a row and studies have shown the trend is we have more snow in the second la nina when they come together. >> reporter: however, when it does snow here, it doesn't last for long. as you can tell, it's pretty much stopped snowing and come friday, scott, the folks here in seattle will be dealing with weather they're much more familiar with. it is forecast to rain. >> pelley: a rare sight there. scot, thanks very much. there is news tonight about the drug tamiflu. a new study shows it does shorten the duration of flu symptoms but researchers could not confirm claims by the makers of tamiflu that it could keep flu sufferers from developing complications like pneumonia. uncovering lost fossils that may have shaped the theory of evolution. that story is next.
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making a six figure salary. why you're paying for it. next on cbs 5 >> >> pelley: finally tonight, the story of scientific rediscovery, and to tell it, mark phillips was the natural selection. >> reporter: so this is the gate to the treasure trove, is it? in fact, it's the gate to a discovery by one of the world's great scientists that's been lost for a long time.
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howard falcon-lang spends a lot of time in this warehouse of the british geological survey, where he does research. generally, you know what's here? >> in most cases but there are also some surprises as well. >> reporter: up here? >> indeed. >> reporter: howard of walking along up here when he spotted an old wooden cabinet hidden in a forgotten corner. >> as any curious person would do i pulled open the door... >> reporter: without breaking it. hold on. there we go. he found a series of drawers containing hundreds of rock samples. normal enough stuff until he took one out. >> the first fossil i pulled out was this one here with the words "c. darin esquire." >> reporter: could you believe it? >> i could hardly believe it. >> reporter: they were actual samples collected by the charles darwin during his five-year voyage in the 1830s on the ship
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the "h.m.s. beagle" where his observations of wildlife and fossils led to his theories of evolution which shocked the world. most of the evidence darwin used have been documented but the sample fat found had been lost because he trusted them to a fellow professor, h.d. hooker. perhaps the original abcent-minded professor. >> hooker committed the cardinal sin of failing to number his fossils. fossils, and as a consequence, this collection has just been stuck in drawers for 165 years. >> reporter: there are more than 10 million rock samples in this warehouse packed in boxes and stacked on these shelves, all of them indexed and cataloged except for some that slipped through the cracks, some of the most important ever found.
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governor brown says california g good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. governor brown says california is on the mend but it is going to be a painful healing process. >> he laid out his plans for fixing finances in the state of the state address today. phil matier on the proposals that could be unpopular with taxpayers but one that could get an a-plus from the kids. >> putting it as simply as i can, california is on the mend. >> reporter: that was governor jerry brown's assessment of california and his prescription for getting it whole again? >> cuts and taxes neither popular but both need to be done. >> reporter: the cuts will likely be the social safety net programs something even his fellow democrats are resisting. >> most of these programs are already cut to the bone. >> the details inside the budget is what we have to debate. >> reporter: as usual, the republicans are dead set against any tax hikes. >> it was ironic, he praised veteran hour capitalists the 1%, the very people he wants to taxes and drive out of the state.


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