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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  October 22, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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>> couric: tonight, a massive leak of secret u.s. army field reports from iraq reveals shocking allegations of abuse of detainees by iraqi soldiers and police. i'm katie couric. also tonight, nine months after the earthquake, a new disaster in haiti. an epidemic of cholera. well over 100 have died already, hundreds more are sick. conservatives come to the defense of liberal commentator juan williams, fired by npr for his comments about muslims. and their ship has come in. the haves are spending on luxury items again. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
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>> couric: good evening, everyone. it is a leak that is more like a flood. hundreds of thousands of secret u.s. military documents from the iraq war released today by the web site wikileaks. these u.s. army field reports describe a war even more brutal than we knew, including allegations of widespread abuse of detainees at the hands of iraqi soldiers and police. the documents also provide details of more than 66,000 civilian deaths, including 15,000 that were previously unreported. london's "guardian" newspaper posted this map of baghdad based on the documents, with red dots showing every location where a civilian was killed. cbs news has taken great care not to reveal information that would compromise the safety of any individuals. more now from national security correspondent david martin. >> reporter: late this afternoon, news organizations began posting a trove of classified documents from the
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iraq war given to them by the whistle-blower julian assange and his wikileak web site. it first appeared on the arab network al jazeera. >> found within the files, the real civilian casualties. the prison torture coverup, the extent of deadly checkpoint encounters. >> reporter: wikileaks is believed to have 390,000 documents, which would make this the largest publication of secret material in history. pentagon officials say their biggest concern is that the documents contain the names of iraqis who might be subject to reprisal. >> there are 300-plus iraqi names that we thought were considerably exposed here because they were ones who were cooperating with us. >> reporter: the documents are reports sent in by american units in the field from 2004 through 2009. civilian casualties. 100,000, according to one tabulation. greater than numbers previously made public. many killed by american troops,
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but most of them by other iraqis. secret prisons. iraqis tortured and abused by other iraqis. some cases the u.s. investigated, others were ignored or simply referred to the iraqis. assange claims it's evidence of war crimes. >> we can also see from the iraqi military and security services, the torturing of over a thousand people and the lack of intervention for that torture by the united states. >> reporter: the documents are all part of what is called the iraq database, which dwarfs the 76,000 afghan war documents wikileaks released earlier this year. in both cases, the documents are believed to have been given to wikileaks by army private bradley manning, who is accused of copying them while working in an operations center in iraq. so far, katie, what the documents tell us is that the iraq war was even uglier than we thought. >> couric: and, david, i understand there are also things in the documents about iranian activities in iraq.
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what can you tell us about that? >> well, there are reports and they were well known during the bush administration, of iran training and arming insurgents in iraq and even plotting to kidnap and kill american soldiers. what these documents show is that iranian meddling in iraq has continued well into the obama administration. >> couric: david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thank you very much. now moving on to haiti and what so many feared would happen after the earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people. a sudden outbreak of cholera. it's centered around saint-marc, a town that served as a refuge for survivors of the quake. at least 150 people have died from the infection so far. 1,500 are now sick. cholera has not been seen in the western hemisphere in almost 20 years. and dr. jon lapook reports it couldn't come at a worse time for haiti. >> reporter: dirty water flowing through haiti's streets during the rainy season is spreading the disease, now flooding hospitals with patients.
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>> the situation is terrible. inside the hospital they're overcrowded... they're not overcrowded, it's beyond overcrowded. >> reporter: cholera is a bacterial infection spread by poor sanitation. it causes diarrhea and dehydration so severe victims can lose more than a quart of water an hour. it can kill patients within a day. but if they get prompt treatment with fluids, less than 1% die. this outbreak seems especially deadly. >> to have a death rate in our own facilities of 10% from diarrhea is a very, very severe and unusual problem. >> reporter: fear is rampant. this man could not find a taxi driver willing to take his ill sister to the hospital. he said the driver was afraid of getting cholera himself. aid workers are rushing to bring in clean water to prevent the disease from spreading. >> we need to get water purification to everyone. it's going to continue to spread. >> reporter: world health officials say they have enough medicine to treat 100,000 cases, but with a country with virtually no infrastructure, the
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question is whether the medicine can reach the people in time. >> we expect it to get bigger. and we have to expect that and react to it. >> reporter: the biggest concern is that the cholera outbreak will spread to port-au-prince, where a million and a half people are living in tents. katie? >> couric: so do public health officials think they can get this thing under control? it doesn't sound like it. >> reporter: you know, i spoke to experts today and they're extremely concerned. the rebuilding of haiti has gone very, very slowly. people still living on top of each other in unsanitary conditions, and if this spreads to port-au-prince where there are millions of people, the effects could be devastating. >> couric: jon lapook, thanks very much. now to a growing health problem in this country, diabetes. and a prediction today that the number of cases could double, even triple, in the years ahead. right now, one in ten americans has diabetes, but the c.d.c. says 40 years from now it could be as many as one in three. one reason, of course, is obesity. but the c.d.c. says there are others. the population is aging, and
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with age comes a greater risk of type two diabetes. the minority population is growing, and minorities are at higher risk. and people with diabetes are living longer. in campaign 2010, we're down to the last 11 days in the battle for control of congress and the money being spent is phenomenal, nearly $1 billion so far on house races alone, nearly $1 billion chasing more than 182 million potential voters. that works out to at least $5 a voter. and if you're wondering where all that cash is coming from, investigative correspondent sharyl attkisson follows the money. >> reporter: depending on where they sit, political observers have watched with delight, or horror, but certainly awe. >> u.s.a.! >> reporter: in terms of election money, there's never been anything like it. the conservative group american crossroads has spent nearly a
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quarter million dollars per day this month. >> we predict $3.7 billion will be spent on this midterm election. >> reporter: that's 30% more than last time. for the first time in a midterm, outside groups are outspending the official democratic and republican parties. tens of millions are being given anonymously through groups that don't have to disclose details. >> with nevada in economic freefall... >> reporter: there's never- before-seen volume and spending on ads, up 75% over 2008. >> the u.s. chamber is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> in the last five weeks, interest groups have spent about $65 million in the top races in the country, which is an unprecedented number. >> reporter: the newest numbers show democrats with a $20 million advantage in traditional spending by party committees. and democrats have long held the lead in outside spending. but this year, the supreme court loosened the rules, and it's not hard to see why so many liberals
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are angry. the scales have tipped the other way. >> all across america, special interests have poured millions of dollars into phony front groups. you've seen them. >> reporter: ironically, it was republicans lambasting outside spending groups in 2004. they're happily embracing the new world order in 2010. >> we're going to put it to good use to defeat democrats who have supported the president's agenda. >> reporter: the chamber of commerce-- a vocal opponent of democrats-- is now the top outside spender. $28 million. not far behind are the conservative groups american crossroads and crossroads g.p.s. at $27 million. some of their biggest money comes from swift boat supporter bob perry, who helped sink john kerry's presidential bid. the top liberal groups are labor unions. afscme rates with $23 million. watchdogs say more ads and information can be good, but voters can't judge the credibility when donors are secret. >> right now, it's completely opaque in many cases. we just cannot know, and will never know, who is ponying up
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the money. >> reporter: for better or worse, insiders on both sides believe that big money will indeed affect the outcome. as one told me "when the smoke clears, you will be able to point to scalps claimed due directly to the unparalleled spending. it matters." katie? >> couric: sharyl attkisson in washington. sharyl, thank you very much. in other news, the firing of liberal commentator juan williams by national public radio has fired up conservatives. some are calling for congress to pull the plug on taxpayer funding of the network. it all began with controversial comments williams made on the fox news channel about muslims, and it's become the talk of cable, radio and congress. ben tracy is following the debate. >> the disgraceful decision by the national public radio... >> reporter: with a new contract, juan williams is now fox's $2 million man. >> everybody likes you now. okay? everybody who counts. >> reporter: williams is still defending comments he made monday on fox about seeing people in muslim dress on airplanes.
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>> i get worried. i get nervous. >> reporter: many muslims were offended. but today williams explained he was simply stating an honest feeling many americans may have. >> and i don't say "i'm not getting on the plane." i don't say "you must go through additional security." i don't say "i want to discriminate against these people." >> reporter: meanwhile, npr's p.r. nightmare for so quickly firing williams is getting worse, after its c.e.o. said this: >> his feelings that he expressed on fox news are really between him and his... you know, his psychiatrist or his publicist or take your pick. >> reporter: she later apologized, but now republicans in congress are trying to cut funding not only to npr, but to all public broadcasting. yet tax dollars usually fund less than 2% of npr's $166 million budget. the rest is corporate sponsors, member stations and donors. media experts say a big issue here is not so much what juan williams said, but how cable news often blurs the line between journalism and opinion.
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>> the minute you step away from reporting data and you start analysis, i think it's impossible not to let some sort of opinion in. >> reporter: williams thinks npr's decision was more about their distaste for fox news. >> they were uncomfortable with the idea that i was talking to the likes of bill o'reilly or sean hannity. >> reporter: talking to them now is going to make williams a very rich man. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: and off the coast of central california today, a shark attacked and killed a man. the shark reportedly bit off the left leg of a 19-year-old college student in waters along surf beach, north of santa barbara. a friend managed to bring the victim to shore, but he bled to death. as a result of the attack, officials have closed three beaches for the weekend. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," a president's not supposed to leave home without it. but one reportedly did. up next, millions of kids will be playing football this
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weekend. will their helmets protect them? [ male announcer ] if you've had a heart attack caused by a completely blocked artery, another heart attack could be lurking, waiting to strike. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines, such as prilosec, reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment. don't stop taking plavix without talking to your doctor as your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase. people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding
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should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition,
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>> couric: it's friday night and at high schools across america, stadium lights are being switched on for this week's big football matchups. but a series of recent injuries is putting a spotlight on the dangers of the game. and raising questions about how
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well helmets protect the players. here's cynthia bowers. >> reporter: these players kicking off this afternoon in chicago are among more than a million high school football athletes taking the field this weekend. and they can expect some hard hits. but what parents and players may not know is that the most critical piece of equipment-- their helmets-- may not be providing adequate protection against concussions. >> you're going to test the car before you actually market it. and they should do the helmets like that as well. >> reporter: according to the "new york times," helmet standards haven't been overhauled since 1973 and don't test for concussion prevention. >> there isn't currently a "policeman" in the field checking on those helmets. >> in trouble, oh! big hit! >> reporter: he points out that even though concussions and hard hits at pro and college levels have gotten more attention lately, there are 55,000 concussions in high school football each year.
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just last year, two high school football players died of head injuries, nine suffered permanent disabilities. >> at the high school level, that's where you get the greatest mismatch of size and speed. >> reporter: manufacturers still test helmets the same way they did almost 40 years ago-- simulating a five-foot drop. that test was designed to prevent skull fractures. but these days the problem is finding a way to prevent concussions. >> research is being done to determine if there's any additions or changes that can be made to make the helmets more protective for concussions. >> reporter: even with the most advanced helmets on the market, when a player's head strikes a hard surface, the skull is protected but the brain still sloshes around, sometimes causing long-term damage. >> one, two, three, victory! >> reporter: as research continues, experts say players need to listen to their coaches. >> we always talk about leading with the eyes and keeping the head up and, you know, never lead with the head. >> reporter: which right now may be the best way to make a
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violent sport less dangerous. cynthia bowers, cbs news, chicago. >> couric: and when we come back, a former top general makes a disturbing claim about a president and the nuclear codes. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right. ♪ tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications, and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. [ man ] don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache, or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help
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the $1.5 billion sub stayed there for ten hours until other navy ships towed it to deeper waters. it wasn't damaged and no one was hurt, just a little embarrassed. now, this next story is more than embarrassing, it raises serious questions about u.s. national security. a report that the clinton white house once misplaced the one thing no president should ever lose. bob orr has details. >> reporter: it's an astonishing charge from the last general to command the military under president clinton. general hugh shelton says in the year 2000 clinton white house lost the presidential code needed to launch nuclear weapons. in his newly released memoirs, general shelton writes: >> this card and this process are extremely important to be fail safe and i think every president of the united states takes this responsibility extremely seriously.
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>> reporter: the codes, used to authenticate the president's identity, are contained on a small card called the biscuit carried by the president himself or a close aide.ñi that information is required to authorize the launch orders inside this black satchel, called the nuclear football, which also accompanies the president everywhere he goes. >> an i.d. check must be performed. >> reporter: the movie "the sum of all fears" illustrates how the process works. >> i give the order to strike. >> reporter: shelton, the former chairman of the joint chiefs, claims the pentagon repeatedly tried to verify that president clinton had a current authentication card. but each time, the department was rebuffed and told the president and his aides were too busy to produce the nuclear credential. only when it came time to change the codes did a white house aide admit the biscuit was missing. >> this should not be laughed off, i think. this isn't like misplacing your keys. >> reporter: while the missing codes were never needed, no one has yet explained how such a lapse could happen. a spokesman for president clinton refused comment and
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general shelton has offered no further explanation. bob orr, cbs news, washington. >> couric: and coming up next, living the high life on the high seas. the return of luxury. 7 ♪ just one bite opens a world of delight... ♪ ♪ a flavor paradise of delicious fishes ♪ ♪ friskies seafood sensations. ♪ ♪ feed the senses. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow, ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums and the life you want to live. with rheumatoid arthritis, there's the life you live... nothing works faster.
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the emergency declaration will help those who have lost jobs >> couric: finally tonight, with apologies to charles dickens, these could be the worst of times and the best of times in europe. in france, protests continued today as the senate voted to raise the retirement age there. in britain, deep budget cuts. nearly half a million public sector jobs will be eliminated. but even with all that, mark phillips reports, opulence is making a comeback. >> reporter: it seems to have happened without much fanfare, except here where the queen named a new luxury ocean liner-- after herself, naturally. >> i name this ship "queen elizabeth." (applause). >> reporter: you might think all this celebration for a new liner is misplaced. she may be built in the grand tradition of floating opulence from the heyday of ocean travel,
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but this ship was commissioned five years ago in that buoyant, free-spending time before the world economy started to sink. yet as the queen e.'s owners held their breath when tickets went on sale, something unexpected happened. >> we're seeing, particularly for the first few voyages, regular guests coming back to us. >> reporter: the fact they're most proud of aboard this ship is not about it style or its size or its luxury, it's the fact that all of the tickets for the first cruise sold out in 29 minutes and 14 seconds. there's still money floating around out there, and this ship is designed to soak it up. it's okay to seem rich again? >> i think there's returning confidence, yes. >> reporter: and it's not just at sea. the market for luxury goods has been bobbing back up, too. example: l.v.m.h., the luxury good makers. profits up 53% for the first half of this year. example: art. >> sold at $31 million.
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>> reporter: two picassosxd recently drew record prices. $106 million in new york and $55 million in london. example: luxury cars. jaguar sales up 42%. what's going on? >> when you get more confident you think, "hey, i've had a hard 18 months, why not buy something i can enjoy myself." >> i deserve it. >> i deserve it. >> reporter: in other words, spend it while you've got it. >> they thought well it looks like we're over the worst now. they're probably delusional. >> reporter: but what a way to go. mark phillips, cbs news, southampton, england. >> couric: and that is the "cbs evening news." i'm katie couric in new york. thank you for watching this week see you again on monday. until then, have a great weekend. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh ,,,,,,
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