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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  July 24, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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violence. today in an agreement with the city, the federal government moved in to clean it up. it's an unprecedented top-to-bottom overhaul, and chip reid has the story. >> reporter: attorney general eric holder today announced a plan to completely transform the new orleans police department. one of the worst police forces in the nation. >> this agreement is the most widespread, wide-ranging in the department's history. >> reporter: the plan will change dozens of police policies and procedures on everything from training to recruitment to interrogation. for example, all officers will get 40 hours of training on the use of force and 24 hours on searches and arrests. officers will be barred from stopping or arresting people on the basis of their race, sex or sexual orientation. cameras will be installed in patrol cars. interrogations will be videotaped, and threats of violence during interrogations, once standard practice, will be prohibited. all this began two years ago when new orleans' mayor mitch landrieu concluded his police
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department was out of control. so he asked the justice department for help. >> the citizens of new orleans deserve a police department that prey tects, that serves, and partners with the community to keep our city safer. >> reporter: after a 10 month investigation the department found that officers in the new orleans police department routinely use unnecessary and unreasonable force. officer involved shootings and in-custody deaths are investigatedded inadequately or not at all. training is severely deficient. the report also found that officers routinely engage in race and sex discrimination during one 17-month period officers fired weapons at 27 people, all were african-american. and the report says there was a sweeping failure to investigate allegations of rape and domestic violence. the new orleans police department has been plagued by corruption and scandal for decades. one notoriously incident followed hurricane katrina when four officers opened fire on a group of unarmed people killing two and wounding four. the officers are now serving long jail terms.
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this agreement will be in effect for at least four years. scott, the attorney general cautions that no one should expect change to come overnight because corruption in the new orleans police department is so deeply rooted. >> pelley: chip, thank you. we've learned something new today about what was happening inside the theater during friday's massacre in aurora, colorado. today two women who were wounded said the suspect, james holmes, was shouting at his victims. barry pederson has the interview. >> reporter: witnesses say the shooter said nothing as he repeatedly fired into the audience. but from the hospital, survivors alee young who was shot in the neck and stephanie davis who kept her friend from bleeding to death remember it differently. >> i see him up there. and i'm hearing him yell at people and then you just hear the rounds going off just boom, boom, boom, boom. >> reporter: off camera davis told reporters later he would shout, "what are you doing?
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i said stand up." he would pick people up. i saw him stand over someone. i just see hair and him holding the shirt and, boom. >> it's sad for me to know that there's people out there that just go through life where they just massacre, you know, for lack of a better word, just to massacre people and i feel so sorry for him. i feel so sorry. >> reporter: investigators, including the lead prosecutor karen pierson, scoured holmes' apartment today. investigators were also coming to the theater crime scene. one major clue to what triggered holmes' actions could be his academic failure at the university of colorado's denver medical campus where he was part of an elite program in neuro science. he had just flunked part of his first-year examination and had begun the process of withdrawing. the university campus remains on a heightened state of alert with barricades around some of the campus research buildings where holmes might have studied. officials are being tight lipped about the time holmes spent here including the fact that some of
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the ammunition he bought online may have been delivered to him at the university. the public defenders get their chance at the crime scene later this week. they will bring their own forensic experts to see if they can find any discrepancies in the prosecution's case. scott? >> pelley: barry, the investigators seized holmes' computer. what have they found in that so far? >> well, what our sources are telling us, scott, is they've been going through this computer hard drive since yesterday. so far, nothing they have found from the hard drive, nor from the witnesses, has led them to change what they believe was the original scenario. that said, you need to add that they also have not yet found anything that explains motives. >> pelley: barry, thank you. amid all of the death in aurora, there is new life today. katie medley gave birth to a son. the son of her husband caleb medley who was severely wounded in the shooting. she was also in theater but she
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was also unharmed. the baby's name is hugo jackson medley. a short while ago john blackstone spoke with michael west who is a friend of the family. >> the baby is full of life. loud. just like his dad. so the baby is doing good. katie, she's recovering. caleb is still in critical condition but he is stabilized. >> katie was able to bring hugo down to see caleb. >> katie, she put hugo in caleb's arms and she was holding his hand when the baby was laying with caleb and katie was talking to caleb about the baby. his blood pressure and his heart rate went up. he was squeezing her hand. so we know that he could hear her. everybody emotions are complicated, but from this tragedy we did get a brand new life. it's a great day. >> pelley: in addition to caleb
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medley, 18 shooting victims are still in the hospital. five of them are in critical condition. there is a vicious fight unfolding tonight in the city of three million people. the largest city in syria, aleppo. the syrian dictatorship is hitting rebels with attack jets and helicopter gunships. the popular uprising against the 42-year-old dictatorship began about 17 months ago. this is video today from the city of holmes where government troops counterattackd rebel forces. it's estimated that nearly 20,000 people have died in the civil war so far. most of them civilians. a major concern for the world tonight is syria's stock pile of chemical weapons. we asked david martin to look into that. >> reporter: israel has started issuing new gas masks to citizens living close to the syrian border. a barometer of the increasing concern overseer i can't's arsenal of chemical weapons. pentagon officials say syria has
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the largest operational, that is, ready to use, stock pile in the world. and now a spokesman for the syrian foreign ministry has talked openly about using them. >> these weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the syrian republic. >> reporter: besides biological agents such as anthrax syria is believed to have hundreds of tons worth of chemical weapons ranging from paralyzing nerve agents to old-fashioned blister agents like mustard gas. they could be launched by missiles, fired by artillery or dropped from airplanes. it would take more than gas masks to protect against them. a full body suit of the kind worn by american soldiers is needed to present sarin from coming in contact with the skin. there are fears the regime might use these so-called weapons of mass destruction, w.m.d. for short, to put down the uprising. a horrific scenario which the foreign ministry spokesman seemed to rule out.
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>> any unconventional weapon that the syrian arab republic possesses would never be used against civilian or against the syrian people. >> reporter: but there is another horrific scenario. that is, syria disintegrates into violence. chemical weapons would fall into the hands of terrorists who might use them against the u.s. or israel. the weapons are produced and stored at depots around the country. u.s. officials say they are working with israel on plans to secure the site. a mission that would almost certainly require putting troops on the ground. for now both u.s. and israeli officials say the weapons remain under the control of the syrian regime which has beefed up security at the sites. >> pelley: but a deteriorating situation. dave, thank you very much. security is also a major concern in london where the olympics begin on friday. we asked mark phillips to find
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out whether the city is ready. >> reporter: three days to go and along with the crowds there's been another invasion: more troops. the london organizers who recently had to call in 3500 military personnel because of private contractor couldn't deliver enough security guards today had to bring in 1200 more soldiers. so with the helicopter carrier moored in the middle of town, commandos patrolling london's river, and antiaircraft missiles ringing the olympic site, some like columnist nick cohen feel these are looking like a games under siege. >> we're having the olympics and the para olympics almost feels like para-military olympics. >> reporter: london is having another rough roll-up to the game. its often rickety transport system is being stressed to breaking point with two crucial line failures this week. >> it's going to be a bit of a fiasco. people are going to get stranded. >> reporter: stranded or stuck, london's traffic is expected to get even worse because 30 miles
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of special olympic lanes have been carved out of its already narrow streets for the exclusive use of official games traffic. even its famous black cabs are banned. can i ask what you think of the olympic lane? >> you don't want to know. you do not want to know. believe me. >> i'm a licensed cab driver. i have a right to work the streets of london. and the olympics are stopping me from doing that. >> reporter: it's one of the major hubs of every olympic city. hold the games and the world will come. except the reality is the games may scare away as many people as they attract. maybe more. the games will begin in hope that things can only get better. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> pelley: the highest ranking catholic church official convicted in the sex abuse scandal is going to prison. 61-year-old monsignor william lynn of philadelphia was sentenced today to three to six years for child endangerment. he was convicted of covering up
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abuse by priests that he supervised. the judge said lynn had, quote, enabled monsters in clerical garb. will health care reform raise or lower the deficit? we'll have a new report. the mississippi brought low by drought. what that is doing to this key shipping route. and america knew him as gorge jefferson. we'll remember actor sherman hemsley when the cbs evening news continues. i never meant to... sleep in my contacts. relax... air optix® night & day aqua contact lenses are approved for up to 30 days and nights of continuous wear,
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increases your risk of stroke. ask your doctor if you can reduce your risk with pradaxa. >> pelley: a powerful storm system known as a derecho swept across the midwest today. winds knocked out power to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in illinois. but it didn't reverse the damage from our record drought. we sent michelle miller to st. louis where the temperature hit 105 today to see what's happening to one of the nation's most important commercial waterways. >> if we don't get any relief the impact just gets worse and worse and worse. >> reporter: barge operator mark fletcher has been shipping corn and grain on the mississippi river for over 30 years. twice a day he checks river levels in st. louis. today it's nearly 12 feet below average. making the river narrow and shallow. >> it takes more turns, more shipments to get the same amount
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of time down to new orleans. >> reporter: to navigate around the sand bars tug boats must push fewer barges but carry less cargo. that's costing fletcher $20,000 a day. will the consumer feel it in their pocketbook? >> the company that buys the corn or the wheat or the soybeans to process into other food items obviously is going to raise their prices over time. >> reporter: one barge could haul as much as 58 tractor trailers at a fraction of the price. >> the biggest fear right now is as water levels drop they're going to continue to run aground. >> reporter: a traffic jam. traffic jam, exactly. reporter: one of fletcher's barges has already run aground. it will be stuck there for months. the army corps of engineers plan to dredge the river to keep it open. but that's little comfort to port operator dennis will. >> if the river is not passable, you'll see delays of barge tows for two or three days while they're in there dredging that area to get it back open up.
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as the river continues to drop the problem worsens for everyone. >> reporter: many fear this drought could be as bad as 1988 when the river was so low it was closed to barge traffic. >> we can't do anything about it. mother nature is going to do what she's going to do. >> reporter: as many as 70 of fletcher's barges are tied up at the dock. water levels are expected to keep falling until at least water levels are expected to keep falling until at least september. michelle miller, cbs news, granite city, illinois. >> pelley: rising waters have turned deadly in china. more than 110 people have died in recent flooding and have a look at this. two cars plunged into a river yesterday after a bridge gave way. cars were carrying guests to a wedding. one man had to be pulled through a sunroof and hoisted to safety. the postal workers collection that got mike wallace's attention. it wasn't stamps. his story is next. [ male announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role
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and cuts spending. herbert vogel, who died this week at the age of 89, knew all about stretching a dollar. he put together a staggering collection of modern art on a shoe string. he a postal worker who never earned more than $23,000 a year. his wife was a librarian, but herb and dorothy vogel crammed thousands of works of art into their new york city apartment. they were often among the first to discover new artists, buying the works cheap and watching the value grow. the vogels caught mike wallace's attention in 1995 for "60 minutes." >> that one is by richard tunnel. do you see it? right here. >> yes, i see it. reporter: they could have made millions but they chose a different path. >> i didn't even make a $20 bill outright on any artist. outright. i never sold their work.
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>> in 30 years. i never put anything on the market. >> reporter: instead they donated every piece to the national gallery of art, their gift to the nation. did you know that sherman hemsley was also a postal worker before he moved on up to television stardom as george jefferson. archie bunker's neighbor and nemesis on "all in the family." >> that bartender is willing to work for me because you have enough green in your pockets, then black becomes his favorite color. >> reporter: hemsley's character was spun off into the jeffersons which ran for 11 seasons. sherman healthsly died last night at his home in el paso texas. he was 74. black males are killing black males on the streets of new orleans. byron pitts with the mayor who is out to stop it next. would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes,
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his head. he's dead. no witnesses. >> reporter: mayor mitch landrieu has the story down pat because he's told it so many times. in his office he keeps binders filled with the names and stories of every person killed on the streets of new orleans this year. >> two guys driving down the street. they saw somebody, there happened to be a birthday party going on for a nine-year-old boy. they took out an ak-47 and started spraying the neighborhood. unfortunately one of the bullets hit branna allen and killed her. she was five. my first priority. >> reporter: landrieu keeps her picture in his office, a reminder of who he's fighting for. what's the common denominator. >> if you happen to be a young african-american male between 16 and 24 years old you're either killing or getting killed. >> reporter: you made the point about race. why? >> if the ku klux klan killed 200 black kids on the street of america, there would be hell to pay. the opposite is true. the sun would stop shining. the world would stop and we
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would do something different. >> reporter: what is it about new orleans and this notion of we have black males killing black males? anyone from new orleans should know, it should be you. >> if i knew the answer i would be in good shape. the truth of the matter is non-knows. nobody knows in the country. you're never going to really understand it unless you look at it. in my opinion nobody has ever really looked at this because it's it's too painful of a discussion for us to have. but i can tell you drt or too politically charged. >> all you have to do is sit at a funeral of a five-year-old baby girl and feel the agony and the pain of her mother and her grandmother that runs as deep and as dark as the mississippi river to not be able to turn away from this. >> reporter: the mayor has adopted policing models that have helped cities like new york and los angeles. he's doubled the number of homicide detectives from 16 to 32 and 29 new police officers will walk community beats this month. and yet the killings persist.
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the murder rate spiked 14% last year. how do you as mayor of new orleans impact that? >> what i want to do is i want to say this is a priority. we want to solve that problem. we all need to have all hands on deck. we need to focus on it because these kids' lives matter. >> reporter: he won't be satisfied until he can stop adding names and faces to the binders he keeps close. byron pitts, cbs news, new orleans. >> 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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now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world. michael jackson's family at war. the surveillance video as cops are called to katherine jackson's home. janet confronting paris. the family fight in the driveway. >> janet and randy are recording every second on their cell phones. >> are they battling over michael jackson's billion-dollar fortune? who's taking care of his kids? the accused movie theater killer's life behind bars right now. >> they put these evidence bags on his hands and he started to play with them


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