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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 13, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

5:30 pm >> pelley: tonight, gu >> pelley: tonight, gunfire in a high school. a gunman attacks in a colorado town near columbine on the eve of the anniversary of newtown. >> we heard two more shots and we ran to a sprinkler room and just kind of hid in there. >> pelley: barry petersen is at the scene. for seven years, the u.s. disavowed american robert levinson who disappeared in iran. john miller reports on levinson, the i.a., and how a mission went wrong. a kansas man is arrested on charges he planned to bomb an american airport. bob orr is on the story. and steve hartman goes "on the road" with secret santas proving once and for all -- >> santa is real. (laughs) he's very real. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news"
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with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. this is a special western edition. what we saw today is not what school is supposed to be. more than 2000 students at a arapaho high in centennial colorado were marched out into the cold, hands on their heads, and led to a snow covered track where police officers searched them for weapons after the latest school shooting today. the police say one student shot two classmates before taking his own life, and all too familiar story coming nearly a year too the day after the shootings in newtown, connecticut, and just miles from the scene of two other mass shootings at columbine high school and at aurora movie school, barry peterson is in centennial for us tonight. barry. >> reporter: officials say three students were wounded, one was treated and released, the other in good condition and the third at this hour in critical condition. all of this from what started as an ordinary school day.
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>> the shooting began around 12:30. >> county sheriff grayson robinson. >> it is clear he was armed with a shotgun and made no effort to hide it or conceal it, he carried it into the school as he entered the school. >> >> reporter: faculty and students quickly locked doors and turned off lights. shayna keys is a junior. >> i don't know who it was that opened the door and said "shots fired, get down." >> reporter: witnesses say the gunman's target was a librarian. >> the gunman came into the school and immediately asked for the location of a very specific teacher and he named that teacher by name. when the teacher heard that he - - that this individual was asking for him, the teacher exited the school immediately. >> he came running and he took one shot at him and missed his >> reporter: the librarian ran into fabian llernes. >> he came running and he took one shot at him and missed his head. he said he felt the wind just go up and down. school. students streamed out of the school, out on to the school track, where they were patted down by police searching for the gunman.
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>> the shooter actually went quite a ways into the school because we found his body in the internal portion of the school in a classroom. trying to draw the shooter away from the school. it caused the shooter some confusion and that was enough time for the school to lock down. >> barry, thanks very much. we learned he'd been working if for c.i.a. senior correspondent john miller was an assistant director of the f.b.i. at the time of levinson's disapearn. john, what can you tell us now? >> reporter: scott, for seven years robert levinson's family kept a secret that he was operating under contract for the c.i.a., gathering information and reports on various countries, including iran. these revelations may
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dramatically change the dynamics of negotiations for his return. >> there were no words to describe the nightmare my family and i have been living everyday. >> reporter: christine levinson has been pleading for information on the fate of her husband since he disappeared. it was 2007 when levinson flew to the iranian island of kish in the persian gulf. later, we are told, he was sent to a prison and then a hospital in tehran. by 2010, reports had levinson somewhere near the pakistani border. the u.s. government's search for levinson has since grown cold. iran has at times seemed to know about levinson. last year, charlie rose of cbs "this morning" put the matter to then president of iran mahmoud ahmadinejad. >> (translated): i remember that last year iranian and american intelligence groups had a meeting but i haven't followed up on it. i thought they had come to some kind of an agreement.
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>> reporter: but this year the new president of iran, hassan rouhani, seemed to deny knowing about levinson's fate. >> (translated): we do not have any information about this person. actually, our intelligence services have said that he is not in iran. >> reporter: today in tel aviv secretary of state john kerry declined comment on whether levinson was working for the c.i.a. in iran but pledged to continue seeking his return. >> i have personally raised it with the iranians and, of course, -- in the course of our discussions and we will continue to try to seek his release and return to the united states. >> reporter: late today david mcgee, an attorney for the le levinson family, said the u.s. government needs to do more. >> they have not work to full capacity. they have not made his case a priority case. he has always been second fiddle to some other issue with iran. it's been six and a half years. it's time for him to be at the top of the pile. >> pelley: john, what kind of information was levinson looking for in iran? >> we don't know exactly but robert levinson was an expert at
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two things. one, interview skills, getting people to talk. the other thing was on money laundering and hiding of assets so when you have a country where he had a source to interview and where they're under sanctions those can be two key skills. >> pelley: we've just learned when he went missing several years ago three analysts at the c.i.a. were fired in the case. why was that? >> robert levinson was under a contract for the analysis division. they run experts who can give them expert opinions that can help in analysis. what the operations division does is they run agents in the field and the reason they were fired is they found the analysts were running robert levinson not as an expert but as an agent in the field which they weren't qualified or allowed to do. >> pelley: thanks, john. and for the reaction in iran, elizabeth palmer is in the iranian capital, tehran, tonight. liz, what are they saying there? >> reporter: well, the english language state broadcaster did carry a story on levinson tonight but it just said what the government's been saying all
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along: iran doesn't know where he is but it is willing to try and help find him on humanitarian grounds. however, the fact that in the u.s. it's now being confirmed that he was working for the c.i.a. complicates things. in this country, there's no more toxic thing you can say about an american than he was working for the c.i.a. so if he ever were for one reason or another to surface here it now really makes it very difficult for the iranian government to justify freeing him and returning them to the u.s., scott. >> pelley: liz palmer in tehran. liz, thank you. early today in wichita, kansas, the f.b.i. arrested a suspect in a suicide terror plot. he is accused of attempting to bomb a mid-continent airport. homeland security correspondent bob orr tells us how he was caught. >> reporter: 58-year-old terry loewen was arrested as he tried to drive a van he believed was loaded with explosives on to the tarmac of the wichita airport where he worked as a technician for an aviation firm.
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the bomb was a dummy and loewen's coconspirators were not al qaeda operative bus undercover f.b.i. employees who infiltrated the alleged plot. court papers reveal over several months the f.b.i. had communications with loewen in which loewen allegedly expressed a desire to carry out a suicide attack. loewen proclaimed himself a devout muslim and said he was a regular visitor to jihadist web loewen proclaimed himself a devout muslim and said he was a regular visitor to jihadist web sites. he downloaded al qaeda's operations manual and was a reader of "inspire," the online magazine of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. prosecutors say loewen photographed airport access points, researched flight schedules and helped acquire parts for an explosive device. in early october he expressed greatest f is not
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being able to complete an operation because i was set up." but prosecutors say loewen turned down an opportunity to call off the operation and but prosecutors say loewen turned down an opportunity to call off the operation and instead helped build and wire the apparent vehicle bomb. and just two days ago, he left a letter for his family saying: now, prosecutors say this homegrown plot now, prosecutors say this homegrown plot was always under the f.b.i.'s control and at no time in danger to the public. critics, though, and perhaps loewen's attorney, scott, are almost certain to complain the f.b.i. went too far in a sting, aiding a would be terrorist with little actual ability. >> pelley: bob orr in our washington newsroom. bob, thank you. today the white house said that the north korean dictator's decision to execute his uncle reflects the brutality of the regime. state-run media said the uncle, jang son thaek, confessed to plotting a coup against kim jong-un. seth doane is covering the situation.
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he's joining us tonight from beijing. seth, what do you make of all this? >> reporter: good evening, scott. north korea is notoriously secretive regime so it can be very hard to tell exactly what's happening inside. but many have raised concerns that kim jong-un is a young, untested leader with nuclear ambitions who could be in the middle of a power struggle. jang son thaek was often seen right by mr. kim's side. we saw him pictured all the time right by him. but then we saw a picture of him late in the week when he appeared in handcuffs at his military tribunal before his execution. when we were in north korea over the summer, we saw mr. kim a number of times. he spoke nothing to the crowd's gathered but only waved enthusiastically and what was more interesting was people's reaction to him we saw a
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absolute breathless devotion and more than anything else, scott, that's what this might indicate- - that this high-profile purge is mr. kim assuming and assuring absolute power. >> reporter: seth, thanks very much. there was more snow overnight in upstate new york. some parts have gotten two feet of snow this week and another big storm is on the way this weekend. from the midwest to northern new england where as much as a foot of snow is forecast. nelson mandela's life is a story of great achievement but also unfulfilled dreams. and the angels had new yorkers looking up today when the "cbs evening news" continues. blet. it's, well, impressive. it's got the brightest hd screen, super-fast 4g lte, so my son can play games and movies almost anywhere, and it's got office for school stuff. but the best part? i got the lumia 928 for my daughter for free, with the best low-light smartphone camera this side of the north pole.
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>> pelley: in south africa today, an estimated 100,000 people lined up for one last chance to view the body of nelson mandela before his funeral sunday. mandela led his country's transformation to a multiracial democracy, but his dreams for a better economy have not been fulfilled. unemployment tops 20%. mark phillips went to alexandra, where a young nelson mandela began his battle against apartheid. >> reporter: alexandra in mandela's time was a desperately overcrowded place to which people migrated in droves looking for work. it still is. they lived in shacks beside open sewers. they still do. life was hard, often short and prospects grim. they still are.
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ask linda twala, who's been fighting to improve conditions here for decades. >> this is not what we fought for, yeah. we thought by now we're going to be living in a habitable place in a beautiful alex. >> reporter: if the test of the democratic south africa is what it has done for those at the bottom, alexandra does not give those now running the country high marks. >> i would say they don't know our sufferings. >> reporter: they have forgotten you? they don't care about you? >> i wouldn't say they've forgotten us, but something is wrong somewhere. >> reporter: gladis metetwa. she's 77 now. she was a teenager when nelson mandela rented this room from her father. >> now it's worse. >> reporter: worse? >> yes, worse now. >> reporter: how is it worse? >> too many people here. >> reporter: too crowded? >> too crowded. and crime is too much.
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>> reporter: too much crime. >> you take up arms you don't expect to survive. >> reporter: denis goldberg who was part of the resistance movement nelson mandela ran from this farm and who served 22 years in prison himself sees alexandra's problems differently. it will take a lot longer than two decades, he says, to right apartheid's wrongs. >> i'm not saying we don't have problems. i'm not saying we haven't got a hell of a lot to do, huge amount, mega. but we've learned the basics. >> reporter: the basics of a decent life are what they're still waiting for in alexandra. in his memoirs, nelson mandela described alexandra as a slum, living testimony, he said, to the neglect of the authorities. well, 70 years later the authorities have changed but the neglect is still here. in the old days, alexandra was called "the dark city" because it had no electricity, no lights. it's not that much brighter now.
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mark phillips, cbs news, alexandra. >> pelley: today the u.s. navy's blue angels soared over new york city, past the building known as one world trade center and other landmarks. the angels had been grounded because of forced budget cuts. this was their way of announcing that they're back. in a moment, newtown families talk about their lives and their mission one year after the shooting. so here's to the bride and... [ coughs ] [ so here's to the bride and... [ coughs ] ounc robitussin dm max now cos in a new liquid-filled capsule. nothing provides more powerful cough relief. robitussin. don't suffer the coughequences. so i deserve a small business credit card with amazing rewards. with the spark cash card from capital one, i get 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. i break my back around here. finally someone's recognizing me with unlimited rewards!
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connecticut will fly at half- staff to honor the 20 first graders and six adults gunned down at sandy hook elementary school on december 14, 2012. as the anniversary approached, elaine quijano spoke to nicole hockley, the mother of six-year- old dylan, nelba marquez green, mother of six-year-old ana, and bill sherlach, husband of the school psychologist mary sherlach about their lives without their loved ones. >> for the one year mark, it's going to be very private, just the three of us. and we're actually -- my husband and i are talking to jake in terms of how does he want to mark that day and remember dylan. so we're going to follow his lead on that. >> reporter: at this point, how is everyone doing? >> jake has his good days and bad days, just like my husband and i do. but he's loved, he's supported. he misses his little brother terribly.
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when he's having a bad day i just focus on the sort of person he's going to be when he grows up, or that i hope so many children in our community become in terms of their strength and resilience from having experienced the worst that can happen. >> i've got to tell you something. this group of people, this club that we have locally, what an incredible -- i draw so much strength from these people. i knew my wife for 36 years and three days. these people lost six and seven- year-olds. i can't -- i can't imagine what they go through. the strength is just amazing. and that helps me. >> reporter: they help you. >> oh! they have no idea how much. i pray for them every night. >> nobody wants to be a part of this club and unfortunately this club is growing. but nobody wants to be nancy lanza, either. and i've received hundreds of
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letters from parents saying "i need help for my child. how do i get it? where do i turn?" i know that there are parents out there who want help and just haven't been able to get it. so i think part of our mission now is to bring awareness. i would like to see a nation where parents who want help for their kids can get it without fearing a stigma or repercussions either at school or in the community but just really from an honest place get the help that they need for their kids because there are so many who don't. >> reporter: newtown officials say there will be no formal ceremony marking the anniversary tomorrow. scott, at 9:30 a.m.-- about the time the shooting began-- connecticut's governor has called for bells to toll statewide 26 times for each of the sandy hook victims. >> pelley: elaine, thanks very much. steve hartman is back "on the road." in a moment, he'll let you in on a little secret-- without giving it away. a
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>> reporter: every year about this time year the man in the red coat walks into shelters and food pantries, thrift stores and storerooms. >> what's going on back here? >> reporter: generating excitement as only a man in a red coat can. >> merry christmas. >> i've heard about him, never thought i'd ever see him. >> reporter: for those of you who haven't heard about him -- >> it's a blessing. >> reporter: -- or seen what he does. i'll tell you what little i know about this anonymous secret santa. >> that's for you, honey. >> reporter: he's a wealthy businessman from kansas city who goes to towns across america. in this case, albany, georgia. he gives away more than $100,000 worth of $100 bills. yes, real ones. >> these are brand new $100 bills and this is to make your christmas just a little bit brighter. can we do that? never gets old. i look forward to it every christmas.
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i get enthused about it. >> thank you. >> reporter: first thing this mother and daughter did with their money was buy some cottonelle. apparently receiving a random act of kindness can be pretty overwhelming. >> merry christmas. >> reporter: it's a lot of money for these folks. >> are you for real? >> i am. >> reporter: even $10 is a lot which is what he gave the kids at the local boys and girls club. >> you can do with it whatever you want. merry christmas! >> you don't get this kind of reaction from play dough? >> would $100 help you? >> reporter: and you certainly don't get this kind of feedback from a fruitcake. it's amazing. give a random stranger $100 bill and they start hugging random strangers. still, not all the excitement is because of the money. >> no, it's not the money. it's not the money. >> take this $100. >> reporter: willie thomas says around the holidays a lot of gifts are given out of obligation. so when a total stranger comes up and hands you $100 just to be nice it makes you believe again.
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>> he's real. santa is real. (laughs) >> thank you so much! >> my hope is that by doing this millions of people see it and millions of people act on it. you don't have to have any money. it can be a kind word, a good deed. anybody can be a secret santa. >> reporter: so try it out. you've got nothing to lose-- except your personal space. wow. i didn't even do anything! steve hartman "on the road" in albany, georgia. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley. i'll see you sunday on "60 minutes." good night. captioning sponsored b captioned by media access group at wg
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your realtime captioner is mrs. linda m. macdonald we haven't seen a spell of "spare the air" days like this for years. >> tonight during our record setting burn ban, the action of bay area firefighters are under scrutiny. good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'm allen martin. this is the longest winter "spare the air" stretch in bay area history. today marks the 6th day in a row, another one declared for tomorrow. our len ramirez on how people are suffering with dirty air and you're asking why firefighters can ignore the burn ban. we want to know, len. >> reporter: that's right. the traffic that you see behind me crossing the dumbarton bridge right now is only one part of the bay area's air pollution problem. some are calling in question the fire department's decision to go ahead with a live fire training exercise at the height of one of the worst air
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situations in the bay area in a long time. you can see it in the air. the pollution, the brown stagnant haze hanging over bay area cities was another "spare the air" when wood-burning was ban an unprecedented sixth in a row. you don't need to tell asthmatics about the air alert. they can feel it. >> i notice a little more irritation and breathing problems. so yeah, it's something that i have had to control for a long time. >> reporter: but something made it even worse for jones, who works in east palo to. yesterday, the menlo park fire protection district ran a live fire training exercise for new recruits at the dumbarton bridge which sent a significant amount of smoke over the region. jones had to reach for his inhaler and was upset when he found out that fire departments are exempts from the wood- burning ban. >> it's kind of disturbing because the public, the breathing public, we don't get an exemption from the air pollution. we are not allowed to burn in our fireplaces, ye