tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS April 30, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
is always on cbssf.com. & >> pelley: tonight, one man throws u.s./china relations into a crisis. the u.s. is believed to be sheltering an escaped dissident as hillary clinton heads to beijing for talks. celia hatton is in china, norah o'donnell at the white house. one year after the killing of bin laden, new revelations about his ultimate goals. reports from david martin and john miller. dr. jon lapook on a surprising new study about children and diabetes. and after serving years for crimes they didn't commit, mark strassmann finds men helping others just like themselves. >> sometimes when i get up i still pinch myself to see if it's true or not. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
>> pelley: good evening. just when the obama administration was expecting progress in relations with china there's a new crisis. one of china's leading human rights dissidents escaped from house arrest and is believed to be with american diplomats in beijing. the timing is incredible. tonight the secretary of state and treasury secretary are leading a delegation of 200 americans on a long-planned trip to china to iron out foreign policy and economic issues. china is our second largest trading partner behind canada. now the relationship is facing a dilemma: stand up for human rights or make progress on other issues that affect millions. we have reports from both capitals tonight, first, celia hatton in beijing. >> no one has heard from chen guangcheng's wife and six-year- old daughter since the blind human rights activist made a
daring nighttime escape from house arrest last week. chen's said to be under u.s. protection in beijing, but his wife and daughter stayed behind in their village home. blind from a childhood fever, chen is a self-taught lawyer. he was thrown into jail for exposing a program of forced abortions to conform to china's strict one-child policy. for the past 19 months, chen was a prisoner in his own home. guards surrounded the property, you could see them here captured on video smuggled to the outside world last year. chen said he and his wife were beaten regularly by police. for a time their daughter was prevented from going to school. journalists like this german crew never got past the security. but last sunday chen managed what seemed to be impossible. according to an activist who helped plan the escape, chen waited until the shift change of the guards when he wouldn't be watched, climbed the wall
surrounding his home, it took him 20 hours to reach a rendezvous point. finally he met he pierong, a friend and activist who was waiting for him. she drove him more than 300 miles to beijing. at a safe house chen recorded a video where he begged chinese authorities not to hurt his family. he said he feared insane retribution at the hands of the police. many of the activists who helped chen escape have been questioned. he pierong was on the phone to a u.s. contact when police arrived at her door. and she disappeared from the internet, too. when we type her name into china's version of twitter it blocks us from accessing her account. chen's underground network told us chinese police are targeting his entire family and continue to round up anyone with connections to him. celia hatton, cbs news, beijing. >> pelley: we don't know whether chen is holed up in the u.s.
embassy. the obama administration won't say, but the midnight oil will be burning at the white house tonight where norah o'donnell is covering the story this evening. norah? >> reporter: scott, these high- level negotiations are underway on what to do with mr. chen. and while those talks continue, president obama today tried to avoid saying anything that could risk their hopes to diffuse this crisis. >> obviously i'm aware of the press reports on the situation in china but i'm not going to make a statement on the issue. what i would like to emphasize is that every time we meet with china the issue of human rights comes up. >> reporter: it was clear mr. obama was trying to avoid rattling an already tense situation in part because chen's case is threatening to be the biggest human rights issue between the countries since the tiananmen square crackdown in 1989. today we learned kirk campbell,
a high level state department official arrived sunday to try and quickly resolve the crisis and to avoid a diplomatic embarrassment before secretary of state hillary clinton and treasury secretary tim geithner are set to arrive for a previously scheduled conference on security and economic issues. >> the u.s./china relationship is important. >> reporter: today at the state department, clinton would also not specifically address the chen case but she pledged the u.s.'s commitment to human rights in china. >> i can certainly guarantee that we will be discussing every matter, including human rights that is pending between us. >> reporter: chen's escape comes nearly three months after a chinese official walked into a u.s. consulate and implicate it had wife of a top government official bo xilai in the death of a british businessman. u.s. officials say the man later left the consulate on his own accord but officials don't believe chen would leave u.s. supervision without a guarantee
of safety for himself and his family. and, scott, this crisis would not come at a more inopportune time because the u.s. has been working so hard to gain china's backing and help on three hot spots-- tightening sanctions on iran and syria and pressuring north korea to end their nuclear program. >> pelley: and there was some progress in those areas. norah, tell me, how does the united states help chen and not anger the chinese government? >> it's the question. there are some officials talking about allowing chen some sort of medical parole. he doesn't want asylum, he doesn't want to leave china but this option about a medical parole is one on the table that would allow the u.s. to help chen and allow china to save face. >> pelley: a medical parole that might take him to the united states. norah, thank you very much. it was one year ago tomorrow that u.s. navy seals stormed osama bin laden's hideaway in pakistan and killed him. they also seized a treasure trove of documents and now, one year later, the secrets they
held are coming out. we asked national security correspondent david martin to find out what's in them. >> reporter: the navy seals had 40 minutes to get in and out of bin laden's compound before pakistani police showed up. first they got bin laden, then spent the remaining 20 minutes running from room to room scooping up what amounted to his personal archives into plastic garbage bags. with the bags tied to their waists to leave their hands free, they dashed for the helicopters, lugging five computers, a dozen hard drives and 100 storage devices, everything from flash drives to d.v.d.s. a task force of intelligence analysts has gone through the material and today the president's top counterterrorism advisor john brennan outlined some of what they found about bin laden's increasingly desperate state of mind. >> in documents we seized he confessed to disaster after disaster. he even urged his leaders to flee the tribal regions and to go places away from aircraft photography and bombardment.
>> reporter: that's a reference to the drone strikes against al qaeda safe havens in pakistan which were killing many of his most trusted advisors, including one of his own sons. >> bin laden worried about "the rise of lower leaders who are not as experienced and this would lead to the repeat of mistakes." >> reporter: perhaps the biggest mistake was the slaughter of muslim men, women, and children in iraq where the infamous abu musab al-zarqawi was waging a war of indiscriminate terrorist bombings in the name of al qaeda and costing al qaeda its legitimacy. >> so damaged is al qaeda's image that bin laden even considered changing its name. >> reporter: bin laden didn't have a clue the seals were coming but he seems to have clearly understood his organization was on the brink of defeat. >> pelley: david, thank you. those documents tell one part of the story, but another part has been coming out over the last two weeks in a federal courtroom in brooklyn, new york. john miller, now, on the story
of the men who worked for bin laden. >> reporter: many have heard of richard reid, the so-called shoe bomber who was caught trying to blow up a miami-bound plane in late 2001. fewer people have heard of saajid badat, the other shoe bomber. he changed his mind and never boarded his flight but in a video deposition he told prosecutors of al qaeda's plan. >> reporter: and badat told of meeting osama bin laden. >> reporter: the mission was about more than crashing a plane. it was to crash the airline industry.
>> reporter: badat's deposition was played at a trial about three new york men charged with plotting to bomb the new york city subways in 2009. another al qaeda recruit from new york, bryant vinas, testified he plotted to bomb a wal-mart store and the long island railroad to cause the big economic hit al qaeda leaders wanted. don borelli, a former f.b.i. agent, was involved in the investigation. >> they understand the psyche of the west that even a small plot that's successful will cause huge economic disruption. >> reporter: al qaeda is weaker than it was a few years ago but is still trying to recruit westerners. >> this is the crown jewel for al qaeda, to be able to have somebody like that that they can trust, that they can train, and then reinsert back into their homeland and carry out an attack essentially whenever they deem appropriate. >> reporter: that point was
underscored in this trial. the three new york men charged in the subway plot have joined al qaeda to fight american soldiers in afghanistan but when al qaeda leaders learned that they were americans with u.s. passports, they asked them to go home and carry out that attack on the new york city subway system. so the jury begins deliberations in that case today. >> pelley: thank you very much, john. at the site of osama bin laden's 9/11 attacks in new york city, the one world trade center tower achieved new heights today. the high steel reached 1,271 feet, passing the empire state building as new york city's tallest. it took almost six years of construction to get here. the 100th floor. by next year, with the 400-foot spire in place, it will become the tallest building in north america and the world's third- tallest building at the symbolic height of 1,776 feet. new concerns about type ii diabetes in children.
a drug that works for adults often fails in teenagers. should women get mammograms starting at the age of 40? and why a contortionist was called in to solve a spy mystery when the "cbs evening news" continues. so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both
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>> pelley: there's more bad news this evening about this country's diabetes epidemic. 26 million americans suffer from type ii diabetes-- most of them are adults. but the number of young people with the disease is growing fast and now researchers have found that a key medication for treating it in grown-ups often fails in teenagers. here's dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: 21-year-old sara chernov checks her blood sugar everyday. one of many changes in her life since being diagnosed with type ii diabetes at age 16. >> it's definitely troubling for anybody who's dealing with such a chronic disease to keep yourself on track, especially when you go through the phases of denial and understanding that this is a chronic disease. >> reporter: since 1980, obesity in children has almost tripled to more than 12 million and that, says dr. robin golan, who helped run the study, has fueled a rise in type ii diabetes in young people. >> historically childhood
diabetes has not been type ii diabetes so very little is known about the right way to both prevent it and to treat it. >> reporter: medications that control blood sugar lower the risk of patients developing complications such as poor circulation, blindness, and kidney disease. but the most commonly prescribed drug in adults, metformin, failed more than half the time in the young patients in the study. >> we could prevent them from getting diabetes that would be far preferable than being in the position of treating it. >> reporter: that's been the goal in new york city which has been waging an aggressive anti- obesity campaign for years, taking measures such as posting calorie counts on menus and banning sugary drinks from public schools. health commissioner dr. tom farley says willpower alone is not enough. >> we're going to have to try to engineer physical activity back into our daily lives. second, we're going to have to increase access to healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and reduce the viability of the calorie-dense snack foods that make it so easy for us to consume too many calories.
>> reporter: little is being done in our nation's high schools to help. only 17% of students get the recommended one hour of moderately vigorous physical activity each day. >> pelley: you said a little over half of the teenagers are benefited by metformin, the rest are not. what do the rest do? >> a lot will end up on insulin and that could be for the rest of their lives which is why prevention is so important and programs like the one that commissioner farley is doing in new york city, even though they may be expensive and cost money now up front are a great investment because the total cost of obesity plus diabetes in the united states each year, $340 billion. >> pelley: lose weight. jon, thanks very much. another study out today asks when women should start getting regular mammograms to detect breast cancer. the government says not until age 50 and then every two years after that. but this new study suggests that
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but they say that she was speeding. the van was going 68 miles an hour-- 18 miles an hour over the limit-- when she lost control. this next story begins with the discovery of a dead spy in a duffel bag a year and a half ago. today, forensic experts said they hope traces of d.n.a. will help them solve the mystery. the spy's body was so decomposed detectives can't tell how he died. here's elizabeth palmer in london. >> reporter: it took britain's intelligence services a whole week to make this call to the police after a junior spy didn't show up for work. >> reporter: police began their search for gareth williams on this quiet london street where he lived, but as they made their way up into his third-story apartment what had been a simple missing persons inquiry quickly became a bizarre mystery. in the bathroom a red duffel bag
sat in the tub, padlocked. inside it, william's tightly folded naked body. detectives found no signs of a struggle in the apartment and nothing to show whether this was a homicide or a suicide. police even asked a yoga expert to prove williams could have locked himself in as a kind of stunt. unlikely, he said. gareth williams, 31 years old, was an athlete and, as police discovered when they searched his computer, he had a secret interest in bondage. these security camera images of him shopping alone are the last known pictures of williams. what happened after he got home and who, if anyone, was there with him, remains an open question which, unlike in the best fictional spy stories, may never be resolved. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. >> pelley: convicts cleared of crimes they didn't commit are getting help entering a strange new world. that's next. that's next.cc1:
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has now cleared 32 convicts in this last decade. mark strassmann tells us this has become so common in texas that the wrongly convicted there have joined forces to help one another. >> reporter: at this parade in lancaster, texas, six convicted felons were hailed as heroes. all had spent years behind bars for crimes they did not commit. >> we're just blessed to have this opportunity to be here today riding around in this parade enjoying our freedom again. >> reporter: christopher scott was arrested in 1997 for murdering a man in his neighborhood. a witness identified him as the gunman but scott insisted he was innocent. when did you know "i'm in trouble"? >> when they found me guilty. >> reporter: he was sentenced to 40 years in prison. >> i thought everybody that went to prison was guilty. and then when you see the pages turn on you and you be put in a position like that, you know you're in prison for something you didn't do, that changes your whole way of thinking.
>> reporter: 13 years passed before the real killer confessed. scott was cleared and released in 2009. once out, he got help from other men wrongfully imprisoned in dallas county. they call themselves the texas exoneree project. >> we have a lot of people say "we know how you feel." no, you don't, the only person that knows is the guy who's been in the position like me. he knows how it feels. >> today you are a free man. (applause) >> reporter: it's a growing fraternity. in the last ten years, more than 30 men in dallas county have been freed or cleared of wrongful convictions for murder and rape, more than any other place in the country. the exonerees helped newly released men rebuild their lives by finding them a place to live or helping them get a driver's license. >> got lucked up when i was 26, i didn't get out until i was 41. >> reporter: they have also become a voice for other texans they say are still wrongfully imprisoned. >> you wish you could help everybody get out of prison that don't supposed to be there, but you know you won't be able to do
it. >> reporter: the dallas d.a.'s office says it's reviewing another 200 cases of inmates who could be innocent. >> you're at least obligated to try, to at least help somebody that's in your position that they say they're crying out for help because many days i cried out for help and wouldn't nobody help me.
>> good evening. >> doyle drive me be back open but there is a new traffic concern tonight. the massive may day protests could make the commute to more a big headache >> the raley's could make last year's look like a picnic with occupied demonstrators joining end. and there has also been talk of taking some of the protest to the golden gate bridge. we have team coverage beginning with phil matier on how thousands will already have to find a new way to work. >> the golden gate bridge district amid rumors of a possible strike made a decision of their own. >> we are suspending all golden gate ferry service tomorrow morning. may 1st. sausalito and clarksburg. and we will return to service at about 2:15 p.m. >> the announcement is a pre-