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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  February 15, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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and more than six out of ten who earn six figure salaries expect they'll have to pay higher taxes which brings us to the president who talked up his plan for reducing the deficit at a news conference today. 48% of americans approve of the job he's doing. chip reid is at the white house tonight and, chip, the president says he wants an adult conversation about the budget. is that actually possible? >> reporter: well, katie, they're certainly talking past each other right now. republicans say the president's budget is weak and timid but the president says it's exactly what the economy needs. >> what we've done is we've taken an scalpel to the discretionary budget rather than a machete. >> reporter: the president said his budget is full of carefully crafted tough choices and lashed out at republicans for wanting to cut so deeply it will hurt more than help. >> i think it's important to make sure that we don't try to make a series of symbolic cuts this year that could endanger the recovery. >> reporter: he defended his decision not to propose cuts in
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the ticking fiscal time bombs of medicare, medicaid, and social security, suggesting that this is a time for quiet negotiations, not political posturing. >> this is not a matter of you go first or i go first. this is a matter of everybody having a serious conversation about where we want to go and then ultimately getting in that boat at the same time so it doesn't tip over. >> reporter: but on capitol hill, republicans told the president's budget director it's irresponsible to put off those tough decisions. >> you know the drivers of the debt are the entitlement programs and yet you're doing nothing to address that. >> reporter: but while congressman ryan has his own plan for cutting entitlement spending, republicans as a whole have yet to say what they would do. on the crisis in egypt, the president pushed back against critics who say his response was slow and erratic. >> in a complicated situation, we got it about right. >> reporter: and according to the new cbs news poll, 50% of americans approve of his
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handling of the situation in egypt. only 22% disapprove. >> i think history will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in egypt that we were on the right side of history. >> reporter: the president also had tough words for the leaders of iran, accusing them of hypocrisy for supporting the protests in egypt but crushing dissent in their own country. katie? >> couric: chip reid at the white house. chip, thanks very much. the wave of protests continued today in several countries in the middle east. in yemen, thousands marched in the capital demanding the president's removal. in bahrain, a second day of violent clashes in which two people have been killed. the king went on national t.v. to offer his condolences. dozens of hard-liners in iran's parliament called for two opposition leaders to be put to death, this one day after antigovernment protests in tehran. and one note from egypt. the muslim brotherhood, banned by the mubarak government, said today it plans to form a
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political party. social media and the internet have fueled the pro-democracy movement in the middle east, and today secretary of state hillary clinton said the u.s. will spend $25 million this year to protect bloggers and help them get around restrictions imposed on them by foreign governments. more now from seth doane. >> reporter: sometimes hurled in protest, these stones on a cairo street spelled out a much more powerful weapon, reading in arabic "we are the men of facebook." in fact, following its pivotal role in egypt, facebook pages and twitter groups are now popping up in at least ten countries across the middle east and north africa. rallying antigovernment sentiment from morocco and algeria to syria and bahrain. >> the internet has had a coming of age in this uprising in egypt. >> reporter: and foreign governments are trying to catch up. >> those who clamp down on internet freedom may be able to hold back the full expression of their people's yearnings for a
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while, but not forever. >> reporter: this afternoon, secretary of state hillary clinton called free access to the internet a fundamental human right. >> we believe that governments who have erected barriers to internet freedom will eventually find themselves boxed in. >> reporter: in egypt, facebook, twitter and google mobilized crowds and sparked a revolution. that put pressure on not just the government, but on the social media companies themselves which could lose millions in future business. >> they're walking a tightrope between the freedoms that they mean to uphold but also the local laws where they don't want to be too associated with the kind of uprisings that might result in them getting kicked out of the country. >> reporter: and there are questions about whether america has a double standard. today prosecutors for the justice department were pushing twitter to release confidential information in the wikileaks case. >> wikileaks does not challenge our commitment to internet freedom. the wikileaks incident began with an act of theft-- government documents were stolen.
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>> reporter: with a third of humanity online, about two billion people, there's a new struggle to determine boundaries where they simply do not exist. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> couric: since the beginning of the uprising in egypt, more than 50 journalists covering it have become targets of violence, including our own chief foreign affairs correspondent lara logan. lara was covering the celebrations in cairo last friday when she was surrounded by a mob, sexually assaulted and beaten. she was rescued by a group of women and egyptian soldiers. lara is back in the states now and we're pleased to report she's recovering well in the hospital. our thoughts and prayers are with her and, of course, we wish her the very best. in other news, at his news conference today, president obama stepped up the pressure on pakistan to release raymond davis, he's an american diplomat who's been jailed since he shot and killed two pakistani men in january. as david martin reports, the case has strained the
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relationship between two partners in the war on terror. >> reporter: facing a possible death sentence, raymond davis has been catapulted catapult from an obscure job at the american embassy in pakistan to the center of a diplomatic meltdown with a critical ally. dragged in. now the president has been dragged in. >> if our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country's local prosecution. >> reporter: davis is protected by a long-standing treaty which grants diplomats in foreign countries immunity from local laws. but he has been held in a pakistani jail for nearly three weeks since gunning down two men who apparently tried to rob him. the u.s. says it was self- defense. a local police call it cold- blooded murder and outraged pakistanis want davis hanged. >> it doesn't matter whether he was a diplomat or not. a murder is a murder and a murderer is a murderer. >> reporter: a former green beret, davis is an unlikely diplomat and no one has explained why he was carrying a gun. the case has become a matter of
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national pride for pakistan and president obama made a point of acknowledging pakistanis were killed. >> we're concerned about the loss of life. we're not callous about that. >> reporter: u.s. officials admit they shouldn't have been so high-handed in demanding the immediate release of an american who shot pakistanis a total of ten times. senator john kerry of the senate foreign relations committee was hastily dispatched to pakistan in an effort to smooth things over. >> even if it was mishandled, this man is a diplomat within the embassy and immunity attaches to him. so no matter how angry you get about something the way it was handled, that's the bottom line. >> reporter: the u.s. expects the pakistani government to tell the court davis does, indeed, have diplomatic immunity and must be set free no matter what he did. katie? >> couric: all right, david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thank you. there's a report tonight that
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the top commander in afghanistan, general david petraeus, may leave his post by the end of this year. that's according to the "times" of london which says the pentagon is now considering possible replacements. meanwhile, in italy, silvio berlusconi has been somewhat of a teflon politician. he's been charged with corruption many times but nothing sticks. now prosecutors believe the prime minister's luck is running out. as mark phillips reports, berlusconi was ordered today to stand trial in a sex scandal. >> reporter: she was just 17 but you know what i mean, the song goes. for italian prime minister silvio berlusconi-- 74-- what it means is another day in court, this time on charges he may not be able to dodge. she is karima el mahroug, a moroccan better known in italy by her professional name-- ruby heartstealer, a nightclub dancer who so danced her way into one
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of berlusconi's notorious all- night so-called bunga-bunga parties that he gave her $8,000 for her trouble. berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and using his influence to get her out of jail when she was arrested for theft. he calls the charges farcical. a farce he says trumped up by his political enemies. the money was a gift given to ruby because he thought she was a niece of then egyptian president hosni mubarak. italy's women don't seem to believe him. they marched in their tens of thousands over this past weekend demanding he resign. after all the scandals involving a series of much younger women, after dozens of unsuccessful prosecutions over corruption charges, ruby heartstealer may turn into ruby careerender. >> he's accused of having had
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sex with an underaged girl and paid for it. he's accused of having abused his power. everyone can understand that, can identify with that sort of accusation. >> reporter: the case is due to be heard in early april before three women judges. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> couric: there's a new twist in another high profile case in italy. a court there today ordered the parents of amanda knox to stand trial for libeling the police. knox is the american student convicted of murdering her college roommate in italy. her parents have claimed the police abused her during questioning, but the police deny the allegation. now to bell, california, the small city in los angeles county where officials gave themselves astronomical salaries and benefits, outraging taxpayers. bill whitaker reports on some explosive e-mails that have just now surfaced. >> reporter: if the residents of bell, california, were outraged before, now they are furious. >> they should be thrown in jail, that's what they should
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be, and stuck there in there for a good while. >> reporter: former city manager robert rizzo and other officials allegedly used city funds like a piggy bank. in an e-mail presented at this week's preliminary hearing, former police chief randy adams wrote assistant city manager angela spaccia: referring to a favorite saying by city manager rizzo, she goes on: >> there's going to be a lot of innuendo but there's not going to be a shred of hard evidence that miss spaccia did a single thing that was improper. >> reporter: bell, a city of fewer than 40,000 with a median household income of less than $30,000 had some of the highest paid leaders in the land, with
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salary and benefits, city manager rizzo made $1.5 million a year-- almost four times what president obama makes. assistant manager spaccia, more than $376,000. police chief adams made $457,000 a year, more than the chiefs in l.a. and new york. rizzo, spaccia, and most of city council, face charges of misappropriation of funds for gorging themselves at the public trough. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," the last time he was at the white house the president gave him a tie. today he gave him a medal. but up next, when two men match wits with a supercomputer, it's no trivial pursuit. kgng
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>> couric: man versus machine, it's a contest familiar to anyone who's ever struggled to fix a car or hook up a d.v.d. player. this week, the rivalry moved to t.v. and as jim axelrod reports, it's anything but elementary my dear watson. >> this is jeopordy... >> reporter: it's the ultimate jeopardy square off, the record holder for consecutive matches won ken jennings and brad rutter taking on an i.b.m. computer named watson. >> watson?
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>> what is sauron? >> right. >> reporter: watson is a mega- mind of ten refrigerator-sized computer racks running at a speed of 80 trillion operations a second. but this is far beyond google. watson understands language the way we speak it. the difference between bat and bat, for instance. it analyzes the equivalent of a million books and whittles down hundreds of likely answers to the best one. >> understanding human language, being able to get into the nuance, the implicit nature of it, the ambiguities actually are very, very hard problems. >> reporter: the scientists here have filled watson with so much information it would take the typical human being 250,000 years to learn as much. but as the competition has proven so far, that makes watson smart-- not perfect. >> what are the '20s? >> no, watson? >> what is 1920s? >> no. ken said that. >> reporter: after the first of three nights, watson was tied for the lead with rutter and far ahead of ken jennings. >> i sort of felt like i wanted to win as badly here as i ever have before at anything. this is like the dignity of the species.
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>> reporter: but fear not, say the inventors, machines won't make us obsolete. >> the kind of response that a human has to music or to art, to a computer, it's frequencies and amplitudes. it can learn to analyze it, but it can't feel. >> reporter: meaning watson may rival the human brain, but never the human heart. jim axelrod, cbs news, yorktown heights, new york. >> couric: and coming up next, has someone discovered the secret formula for coca-cola?
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♪ activia activia dessert. >> couric: as corporate secrets go, this one ranks right up there with the colonel's fried chicken recipe. a radio program claims to have found the secret formula for coca-cola. but is it the real thing? mark strassmann reports from atlanta. >> reporter: coke's secret formula-- the holy grail of the soft drink universe. finally discovered, radio newsman ira glass says yes, the real thing hiding in plain sight. >> it's interesting the photo that was in the newspaper because they didn't even put it on the front page when they ran it back in 1979. it's just another column. >> reporter: this photo. glass stumbled on in the a 1979 edition of "atlanta journal- constitution," supposedly the handwritten original formula of pharmacist john pemberton, coke's creator. >> i think this recipe has been out there for anybody who cared to discover it.
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>> reporter: if so, a discovery potentially worth a fortune. is it? unfortunately no. >> reporter: phil mooney coca- cola's archivist. >> it's a formula for cola but not coca-cola. >> reporter: coke now it is marketing pow over the mystique. officially there's only one written copy that's locked in the vault of an atlanta bank. >> this is an old-fashioned one. >> reporter: outside dallas, kelly shelton a coke die hard with hundreds of coke collectibles. >> i doubt that actually they've cracked the code. i'm sure... because people try all the time. >> reporter: glass actually made the formula in the photo and put it to a taste test. 28 of 30 people sipped and said nope, not a coke. >> reporter: mooney says knowing the right ingredients wouldn't be enough. >> you have to put it together in just the right way. >> reporter: only one company does-- coke is it. mark strassmann, cbs news, atlanta. ,,
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funeral home of ripping them off. now a twist in their fight for justice. next on cbs 5 >> couric: president obama called it one of his favorite events of the year-- the awarding of america's highest civilian honor, the medal of freedom. >> a philanthropist is a lover of humanity and there's no word that fits warren better. i should point out, he's so thrifty i had to give him a white house tie. ( laughter )
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>> couric: billionaire warren buffett was honored not just for his investment prowess-- he bought his first stock when he was just 11-- but also for his philanthropy. he's pledged the bulk of his wealth to charity. >> this is not what you expected. he mentioned when i was 11 i bought a certain number of shares of city service preferred and that was 69 years ago. i didn't think it would end up like this. >> couric: civil rights activist and congressman john lewis marched with martin luther king receiving his medal from the nation's first african american president had particular significance. >> to be honored by the president to receive this medal is unreal, just unbelievable. >> across the wall of the world, a river sings a beautiful song. >> couric: maya angelou recited a poem for one president at his inauguration and today was honored again by a second. >> as a girl margaret anne johnson endured trauma and abuse that actually led her to stop
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speaking. but as a performer and ultimately a writer, a poet, maya angelou found her voice. >> for every african who stepped off a slave ship on to an auction block from 1619 to 1865, i accept that. >> couric: jean kennedy-smith was born into political royalty. like her brothers, she chose to serve as president clinton's ambassador to ireland and founder of a nonprofit that helps people with disabilities learn through the arts. >> i mean, it was awesome, really. and it was... made me so happy to feel that i was an american. >> couric: stan "the man" musial played baseball for the st. louis cardinals for two decades, missing one season to serve in the navy during world war ii. today president obama said his hustle was matched only by his humility. >> well, this is the greatest day i've had in my life.
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>> george h.w. bush. >> reporter: and former president george herbert walker bush was honored for nearly 70 years of public service-- the cockpit of a navy plane in world war ii to the oval office at the white house. >> his humility and his decency reflects the very best of the american spirit. >> couric: there were 15 honorees in all, including german chancellor angela merkel, basketball hall-of-famer bill russell, cellist yo-yo ma and john sweeney, former president of the a.f.l.-c.i.o. congratulations. that's the "cbs evening news." i'm katie couric. thanks for watching. good night. you're watching cbs5 eyewitness news. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." are you an accused terrorist who just got out of guantanamo bay? why you can't legally come to
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the united states. one bay area city rolling out the welcome mat for you. what it might take to get this barge out of the mud. already tonight, some early signs of a stormy night ahead. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. in just a few hours the city of berkeley is expected to decide whether to invite former guantanamo bay detainees to be their new neighbors. mark -- mike sugerman has the story. >> reporter: again and again. the city of berkeley has tried to [ no audio ]. it wants to audio wikileaks leakers. now guess who is coming here? gitmo detainees. the federal government bans prisoners from guantanamo bay from transferring to the united states. berkeley is in the united states. so why is the city council here voting on bringing gitmo prisoners to town. >> i think it is important to take a stand. >> reporter: the berkeley peace
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and justice commission has recommended berkeley families take in some of the prisoners who would house and feed them at in expense. >> i'm talking about people who the u.s. government has determined are not a threat, who are innocent of charges, that never did anything against the united states. there are men like that at guantanamo. and those men deserve to resume their lives. >> reporter: like jamal. an algerian native. and another man said to have taken a vacation in pakistan around 9/11 and captured and sold as bounty to the u.s. >> if it is not a problem to the community i don't see a reason why not. >> we shouldn't have locked up all these people without knowing they were guilty or not for all these years without charging them for something. >> reporter: do you think they should come to berkeley? >> aut

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