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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 24, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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thanks for watching. >> cbs news with scott pelly is next. fugitive edward snowden had planned his escape, but russia may have other ideas. bob orr and john miller are on the story. the jury at the start of the murder trial of george zimmerman. mark strassmann is there. and the real man of steel. richie check schools jim axelrod on the americans who built the nation. >> these places are full of memories, i would think. >> memories? you don't know where to start! captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: good evening. edward snowden is the most- wanted fugitive in the world tonight. the white house belief it is former national security agency contract employee now charged with espionage is in russia and the united states has been pressuring the russians all day to send him home before he can those asylum in some other country. the incident has strained u.s. relations with both russia and china. it was in hong kong that snowden exposed two top-secret u.s. surveillance programs, one that collects the phone records of millions of americans and the other that monitors internet traffic. bob orr begins our coverage. >> reporter: edward snowden's flight seemed stalled for now in moscow. seat 17-a, which snowden reportedly booked on this cuba- bound jetliner, remained empty today as the plane took off for havana. it's not clear if snowden changed travel plans or if russian security agents blocked his departure, but u.s.
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officials are pressing the russian government to detain snowden as a fugitive traveling with a revoked passport. jay carney is the white house press secretary. >> we have asked the russians to look at the options available to them to expel mr. snowden back to the united states. >> reporter: carney urged russia not to repeat the actions of chinese authorities who allowed snowden to leave hong kong on sunday. >> this was a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on u.s./china relationship. >> reporter: snowden, who has disclosed some of the n.s.a.'s most critical intelligence programs, originally pledged to fight extradition from hong kong. but after the u.s. justice department revealed friday it had charged him under the espionage act snowden ran. the anti-secrecy group wikileaks orchestrated and paid for snowden's escape accompanied by a wikileaks advisor, snowden flew to moscow. from there he was expected to
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fly to cuba and then to ecuador where authorities are now considering his bid for political asylum. in a phone conference with reporters, wikileaks founder julian assange refused to divulge snowden's current location. >> reporter: it's worth noting julian assange spoke to reporters from ecuador's embassy in london where he himself has taken refuge for more than a year. if snowden can get to ecuador he might be safe, because while the u.s. has an extradition treaty with ecuador, authorities would not be inclined to help with what they probably view as a politically motivated extradition. >> pelley: what is russia up to? >> it's possible russian president putin may want to extract a price for turning over snowden and cooperating. that could involve maybe a trade of some sort of diplomatic favor down the road but he's taking
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his time here and that puts the u.s. in the embarrassing position of desperately pleading for help in a case which for now remains beyond the reach of u.s. prosecutors. >> pelley: bob orr in washington. bob, thanks very much. state department correspondent margaret brennan talked to america's top diplomat, secretary of state john kerry, about the snowden case today. margret is traveling with the secretary in new delhi. >> what is the u.s. doing, what are you doing to bring edward snowden back to the u.s. >> our country is doing everything possible. we have a coordinated effort between the state department, the justice department, the f.b.i., the white house in an effort to try to persuade our russian colleagues that this is important. important to the united states, important to them in terms of upholding rule of law and we have returned seven prisoners to them in the last two years that they requested. i think it's very important for
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them to adhere to the rule of law and respect the relationship. >> pelley: senior correspondent john miller has been covering the snowden story. john, u.s. authorities, you were telling me earlier today, thought they had a good working relationship with hong kong, thought they could get a deal. what was wrong? >> well, we didn't hear a lot about it while it was going on but it was actually fairly fast- pace which had i think in some ways fooled the u.s. authorities into believing well, this all seems to be working mechanically the way it's supposed to. snowden reveals himself as the source of june 9. now the u.s. was on the phone with their law enforcement counterparts in hong kong, the department of justice is on the phone with their counterparts and they're saying under the treaty what charges would be acceptable that would both fit within the treaty-- american law, hong kong law, so on-- and they come up within three charges and within four days they have a sealed complaint and forward that on june 15 to hong kong. so now the hong kong authorities are looking at that and they're in touch everyday.
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by the 17th, the u.s. is on the phone with hong kong saying "why isn't anything happening?" and they're saying "we're reviewing it." by the 19th of june eric holder is on the phone with the hong kong attorney general equivalent saying can you please execute the professional arrest warrant and take him into custody on the 21st hong kong says "we want more information." and while d.o.j., the department of justice here, is preparing that, suddenly they find out on the 23rd that snowden has departed for moscow and that hong kong didn't find it sufficient. so there was a lot going on there and nobody's quite sure what happened. >> pelley: john, thank you very much. the new head of the i.r.s. acknowledged late today that the targeting of political groups was wider than we were told and included organizations that were liberal in nature as well as conservatives. acting commissioner danny werfel revealed early results from an investigation and nancy cordes has the details for us tonight. nancy?
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>> reporter: scott, democrats say that the fact that liberal groups were on these watch lists too, is proof that there was no partisan agenda at the i.r.s. but republicans argue it's not that simple. i.r.s. commissioner danny werfel briefed senate finance leaders and the president on his findings today and released a list of the types of briefs that were singled out for extra scrutiny. in november of 2010 groups with the word "progress" or "blue" in their title were placed on a "be-on-the-lookout" list and agents were warned "their activities are partisan and appear anti-republican." indicating that tax-exempt status may not be appropriate. werfel today said he suspended the use of "be-on-the-lookout" lists and new leadership has been installed at all five levels of the senior executive managerial chain. tea party groups that were singled out for extra scrutiny saw their applications delayed, in some cases for years, as i.r.s. agents tried to determine whether they could be considered social welfare groups and
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therefore exempt on paying taxes. werfel says from now on groups that end up in a backlog for more than 120 days will get expedited approval if they self- certify that no more than 40% of their time and money go toward political activities. it still appears that tea party groups were asked far more questions and made to wait much longer than progressive groups and, scott, republicans point out that so far not a single progressive group has come forward to tell congress that they're upset about the way they were treated by the i.r.s. >> pelley: nancy cordes at the capitol. nancy, thank you very much. a decision by the supreme court today may make it harder for universities to use race as a factor in admitting students. the case involves abigail fisher, a white student, who claimed that the university of texas discriminated against her when it gave preference to minority applicants. the court did not rule today on the big issue of whether
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affirmative action is constitutional but its ruling could raise the bar for allowing racial preference. jan crawford is at the court today. >> reporter: in the 7-1 decision, the justices side stepped the constitutional issues ruling said that a lower court used the wrong legal standard when it upheld the university of texas affirmative action program. the opinion written by justice anthony kennedy sent the case back to the lower court with instructions to use a tougher standard to assess whether the university has offered sufficient evidence that will prove that its admissions program is narrowly tailored to obtain the educational benefit of diversity. abigail fisher said she considered that a victory. >> they gave us everything that we asked for and i'm very confident that u.t. won't be able to use race in the future. >> reporter: but bill powers, the president of the university of texas, also was claiming victory saying he thought the
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affirmative action program will withstand the tougher scrutiny. >> today's ruling will have no impact on admissions decisions that we have already made or any immediate impact on the immediate impact on the holistic admissions process at the university of texas. >> reporter: the ruling prompted a strong separate opinion by justice clarence thomas. he said arguments used to support affirmative action were similar to now denounced arguments of slaveholders and segregationists over what was good for black people. but with today's ruling, affirmative action survives. the question is for how long? the justices already agreed to hear an even bigger case this coming fall on affirmative action and admissions and in hiring and, scott, that chase may not be so easy for the justices to punt. >> pelley: jan crawford on the steps of the court. jan, thank you. the most closely-watched murder trial in the country is playing out in sanford, florida. george zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain, says he shot an unarmed trayvon
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martin to death in self-defense. mark strassmann was in the courtroom today for the opening statements. >> good morning. >> reporter: prosecutor john guides' very first words to the jury were profanities. >> ( bleep ) punks. these ( bleep ), they always get away. >> reporter: he was quoting george zimmerman's description to a police dispatcher of a person wearing a hooded sweatshirt in his neighborhood. it was 17-year-old trayvon martin. >> the murder of trayvon martin was the product of two worlds colliding. >> reporter: six jurors-- all women-- must decide whether zimmerman murdered martin or killed him in self-defense. half of them took notes as prosecutors outlined their case. no living witness saw how the fight began or ended other than zimmerman. martin's parents were emotional as guy argued the teenager's shooting was second degree murder. >> george zimmerman did not shoot trayvon martin because he had to, he shot him for the
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worst of all reasons: because he wanted to. >> reporter: don west is one of zimmerman's defense attorneys. >> i think the evidence will show that this is a sad case. that there are no monsters here. zimmerman is not guilty of murder. he shot trayvon martin in self- defense after being viciously attacked. >> reporter: west played recordings of calls to police that night of february, 2012. on one there are screams for help in the background and the sound of the fatal shot. >> reporter: was that martin's voice screaming for help or zimmerman's? jurors will have to decide for themselves. the judge has excluded testimony from audio analysts. that recording was too much for
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trayvon martin's mother to hear. as soon as it began playing i watched her get up and walk right out of the courtroom and, scott, she didn't come back until the afternoon. >> pelley: mark, thanks very much. some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation may soon become law. we'll have an update on nelson mandela's condition. and why all of washington seemed to be hunting for this critter when the "cbs evening news" continues.
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>> pelley: lawmakers in texas are expected to vote tomorrow on some of the toughest restrictions on abortion in the country. manuel bojorquez has been following this from dallas. manuel, what's it all about? >> reporter: well, scott, the bill's supporters say the measures would raise the standard of health care for women and, they claim, protect the unborn from feeling pain. >> what they want to do... >> reporter: the debate before the packed gallery in the texas legislature lasted until 4:00 this morning. the proposed law would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. doctors performing abortions would needed admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. and it would make texas just the third state to require all abortions be performed at centers licensed for surgery-- a package of restrictions that opponents say could force 37 of the state's 42 abortion centers to close. houston democrats sefronia thompson.
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>> do you want to return back to the time of the coat hanger or do you want to give them an option to terminate their pregnancy because they have been raped? >> reporter: jodie laubenberg from texas is the bill's sponsor. >> this does not prohibit an abortion for any reason including rape and incest up until five months. at this point looking at a baby that's very far along in its development... >> reporter: hundreds of texans on both sides stayed in the state capital all night. this morning the house overwhelmingly approved the bill the state senate is expected to vote later unless democrats can filibuster until tomorrow's midnight deadline. scott, if that happens, governor rick perry can call another special session and try again. >> pelley: manuel, thank you.
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in south africa, former president nelson mandela remains in intensive care. over the weekend his condition was downgraded from serious to critical. mandela's nearly 95 and battling a lung infection. one of the great blues singers has died. we'll remember bobby "blue" bland when we come back. >> ♪ i can't even close my eyes. ♪ for our families...
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family-- they look more like raccoons. rusty was finally captured in a bush and taken back to the zoo unharmed. the man known as the sinatra of the blues died last night in tennessee. bobby "blue" bland. ♪ baby, you were just sweet 16 >> reporter: bland played with many of the greats, including b.b. king. he had more than 50 singles on the r&b charts and is a member of the rock 'n' roll hall of fame. bobby "blue" bland was 83. in a moment, the men of steel who built america and the man who is keeping them from fading into history. we had never used a contractor before and didn't know where to start. at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you.
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>> pelley: the founding fathers drew the blueprint for america, but foundry workers built the infrastructure. manufacturing jobs peaked at nearly 20 million in 1979. there were fewer than 15 million by 2003 when the bethlehem steel plant in pennsylvania closed. but one steel worker remained behind to keep its history from rusting away. jim axelrod has this story. >> reporter: the steel mill in bethlehem, pennsylvania, has been shut down for a decade. >> you look at it now, you can't believe it! >> reporter: but richie check, who spent more than 40 years working here, still can't get used to the silence. >> no whistles, no horns, no nothing. it makes you cry. >> reporter: check is 80 years old now. his father worked in the plant and so did his nine brothers and sisters. it was a place where 32,000 men
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and women made the steel for ammunition, aircraft, and battleships during both world wars. the golden gate bridge, the george washington bridge. 80% of the buildings that make up the new york city skyline, they were all built with bethlehem steel. >> these places hold memories, i would think. >> memories? you don't know where to start! >> reporter: actually, check knows exactly where to start: preserving the memories. he collects artifacts from bethlehem steel. like that brass i.d. buttons workers wore. >> 64 was my number for 44 years. >> reporter: he cure rates his own small museum. now a volunteer tour guide for the city, check wants to make sure the life he cherished is remembered. a time when a factory job could send three kids to college. >> if it had not been for bethlehem steel, they never would have gone, never.
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>> reporter: once a week or so check gets together with a group of retired steel workers to talk about this way of life that once defined america. he can't help but choke up as the group of men keeps getting smaller. >> you know that person, you won't see him anymore. just like bethlehem steel. >> reporter: tearful as he is, richie check is determined that mourning the memories won't stop him from honoring them. jim axelrod, cbs news, bethlehem pennsylvania. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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first step, could come in a if b.a.r.t goes on strike, this will be a regional transportation emergency. >> the critical first part could be in a matter of hours. how the ripple effect could cripple transit riders everyday. i am ken bastida in for allen. >> i am elizabeth cook. with each day a b.a.r.t strike is looking more and more likely, and the dirty little secret is there is no plan b if b.a.r.t workers walk off the job. kpix 5's reporter phil matier on who would try to pick up the commuters. >> reporter: that is the key word, try. when it comes to trying to move people in rush hour, it is not an easy job and it will not get
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easier without b.a.r.t. >> the session-day b.a.r.t strike in 1997 snarled traffic, taxed bus service in the east bay and put ferries at maximum service. it was not pretty. from the looksover thing, a strike -- of things, a strike this time could be worse. in 1997, b.a.r.t carried an average of 250,000 riders a day. today, it's more like 400,000 riders a day. >> we are working closely with our partners at ntc to see what the regional bus operators can do to fill in the gap. >> mtc says that other train and bus services won't be able to pick up the slack. >> additional buses or ferries, they will not come close to absorbing 400,000 riders. >> bottom line. >> if b.a.r.t goes on strike r this will be, quite literally, a regional transportation emergency. it will be widely felt and it will hurt whether you ride b.a.r.t or not. >> as for wh