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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  March 6, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captions by: caption colorado comments@captioncolorado.com >> pelley: sexual assault in the military. >> pelley: sexual assault in the military. the army's top prosecutor for sex crimes is accused of sexual assault himself while the senate today votes on a major change in how the pentagon tries sex cases. nancy cordes and david martin are on the story. ukraine moves toward a breakup. elizabeth palmer and charlie d'agata on a nation tearing in two. is marijuana effective for children with seizures? barry petersen speaks to parents who are convinced. and as the west struggles with the worst drought in years, one scientist finds disturbing evidence of how long it could last. >> droughts can last over a decade. and in some cases, they can last over a century. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> pelley: good evening. this is our western edition. we begin tonight with one of the toughest enemies facing the u.s. military-- sexual assault within the ranks. there are developments on the front tonight. we learned today the army is investigating sexual abuses against its top prosecutor of cases. also today, brigadier general jeffrey sinclair pleaded guilty to having improper relationships with female officers and adultery. he still faces more serious charges of sexual assault. there were 5,400 reports of sexual assault in the military last year, a 60% increase from the year before. today, nancy cordes tells us emotions were running high as the men and women of the senate argued over what to do about it. >> the people who do not trust the chain of command are the victims! >> reporter: after lobbying her senate colleagues for nearly a
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year, new york democrat kristen gillibrand came within five votes today of passing a major change to the military's command structure. >> the ayes are 55, the nays are 45. >> reporter: rand paul was one of the early converts. >> we've known that sexual assault in the military has been a problem decade after decade. i think it's time that we tried something new. >> reporter: gillibrand's amendment would have stripped commanders of authority over sexual assault cases, putting everything in the hand of seasoned military trial lawyers. south carolina republican lindsay graham voted no. >> you're indicting the whole chain of command here, folks. that's why i'm so emotional about this. >> reporter: but supporters, including 17 of the senate's 20 women, brought up example after example of commanders ignoring sexual assault complains of complaints, punishing the victims, or overturning rape verdicts. california democrat barbara boxer. >> what we do is we say we're keeping this in the military but
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we are allowing the experts to make the decision. >> reporter: military veterans in the senate were split. senator john walsh of montana voted yes. senator john mccain of arizona voted no. >> because if you take the responsibility from that commanding officer, then you are eroding his ability to lead. >> reporter: and that is the argument that won the day, though gillibrand vowed to try again. >> many people said to me, kirstin, i'm going to watch this, if it doesn't get better in the next six months, i'm with you next time. >> reporter: this was a victory for the pentagon's top brass which had argued vigorously against the measure. the senate is poised to pass a bill next week that would make some smaller changes, like giving military prosecutors more influence, scott, over military commanders when it comes to deciding which sexual assault cases goes forward. >> pelley: nancy, thank you very much. we mentioned the army's top prosecutor for sexual assault is himself accused of sexual
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assault tonight. the newspaper "stars and stripes" broke the story, and david martin has details. stripes" broke the story, and david martin has details. >> reporter: lieutenant colonel joseph morse was one of the army's top prosecutors. he led the prosecution team in the case of staff sergeant robert bails who pled guilty to the mass murder of afghan civilians. more recently he was in charge of the army's special victims prosecutors. the lawyers who prosecute sexual assault, domestic abuse, and crimes against children. but he is now suspended from his job because a female army lawyer recently alleged that in 2011, he tried to kiss and grope her in a hotel room during a legal conference on, of all things, sexual assault. the investigation is not yet complete and so far no charges have been brought. morse has made no comment. the case sounds strikingly similar to that of lieutenant colonel jeffrey krusinski, the former head of sexual prevention in the air force. he was charged with groping a woman outside a nightclub last year.
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he was tried in civilian court and acquitted. he is still in the air force but officials expect he will be forced to retire. whatever the outcome of the morse case, it will feed the perception that when it comes to sexual assault, the military just can't do anything right. >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon. david, thank you very much. we just have some breaking news coming in now on the ukraine crisis. we've just learned that president obama spoke by phone today with russian president putin. they talked for about an hour. just two days after the russian president said that he had no intention of annexing the crimean region, lawmakers there today said they want to rejoin russia, and they called for a referendum to let voters decide. that brought mr. obama into the white house briefing room. >> the proposed referendum on the future of crimea would violate the ukrainian constitution and violate international law. any discussion about the future
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of ukraine must include the legitimate government of ukraine. in 2014, we are well beyond the days where borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders. >> pelley: well, there was no respect for those borders today. we have three reports on the developing crisis. first, liz palmer on the russian navy blockading a dozen ukrainian warships. >> reporter: one of its own decommissioned warships across the mouth of donuzlav inlet. now, says ukrainian captain sox, our warships can't get out to help defend the country. they're sitting trapped at their dock, further up the channel, effectively dead in the water. sokolov told us that the russian missile cruiser mosckva still looming offshore towed the wreck into position on monday. and at midnight on wednesday there was an explosion, and the
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guards woke up to this. the russians continue to flex their muscle on land, too. their armed men still surround ukrainian military bases, while inside the ukrainian sailors wait and wonder what's next. but in the crimean parliament today, politicians showed their loyalty to moscow. they voted for a referendum on march 16 to ask voters whether crimea should officially join the russian federation. ukraine's leaders and president obama both said the referendum is completely illegal. and while pro-russian voices in crimea have been the most strident recently, there's no guarantee it will pass. when we put the question to captain sokolov... he said, "i will vote for crimea to stay in ukraine and so will all my fellow service men." >> pelley: elizabeth a moment ago we heard the president
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describe this proposed referendum as illegal. on what basis are they going ahead? >> reporter: a lot of what's going on here, scott, is not legal. turning back the international observers today, preventing them from entering crimea, wasn't legal. making crimean tv broadcast russian tv signals will not legal. but the fact is, the pro-russian groups in moscow are in charge here now. they're making the rules that suit them, and there's no one with the strength or the authority to make them do any different. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer covering the russian invasion in crimea. liz, thank you very much. president obama ordered some limited sanctions from the white house today and major garrett was there. >> reporter: president obama escalated the confrontation with russia today but cautiously. under his executive order, financial sanctions can now be levied against any individual or business the administration believes is undermining ukraine's democracy, and against anyone who claims to rule a part of ukraine without being
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elected. as yet, no sanctions have been imposed. the administration did revoke visas of those it holds responsible for threatening ukraine's independence. the names were not released. the president also described a way out of the crisis for russia. >> let international monitors into all of ukraine, including crimea, to ensure the rights of all ukrainians are being respected, including ethnic russians. russia would maintain its basing rights in crimea, provided it, abides by its agreements and respects ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the world should support the people of ukraine as they move to elections in may. >> reporter: president obama outlined the specifics this potential resolution with the russian president. putin was noncommittal, but, scott, both leaders agreed talks would continue at the highest diplomatic levels. >> pelley: major, thank you. it's helpful to remember ukraine is divided right down the middle.
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generally speaking, most people in the west want ties with western europe. those in the east, generally, support russia. now, with russia in crimea, other places in eastern ukraine are agitating to join russia, too. charlie d'agata saw that in donetsk. >> reporter: for the fifth day, mobs of pro-russian demonstrators broke through lines of ukrainian riot police and stormed this city's government headquarters. control of this building has come to symbolize control of donetsk, this deeply divide city next door to crimea. and while the russian protesters declared victory from the rooftops yesterday-- by this after, they'd lost control again. more than 70 people were taken into custody. ukrainian riot police were back in charge, and the country's blue and yellow flag flew high again. donetsk is home to one million people in ukraine's industrial heartland.
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it's also the hometown of ousted president viktor yanukovych. the population is almost evenly split between those who back ukraine's new government and the ethnic russians who view it as an illegal one. many here like natalya smolyakova told us they welcome russian soldiers in eastern ukraine. you would be happy if the russian army came to donetsk. everybody would be. >> /(speaking russian) >> (speaking russian) sure, russian. let russian army come here. and defend us. >> reporter: the city really has become a flashpoint, scott. the moment we started asking questions to either side, heated arguments broke out, a lot of pushing and shoving, and a lot of people here are worried that these daily confrontations could erupt in violence across eastern ukraine. >> pelley: charlie, thanks very much. >> pelley: charlie, thanks very much. in south africa today, the olympic track star known as the blade runner, broke down at his
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murder trial. oscar pistorius put his hand over his eyes and later covered his ears during testimony. a neighbor testified that he saw pistorius kneeling over his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, trying to help her breathe, and that the story is said he shot her after mistaking her for a burglar. he could get life in prison in if convicted. >> pelley: tomorrow, we'll get the new jobs report. the u.s. unemployment rate last month was 6.6%, but it's been over 8% in california. getting that down is one of the many challenges governor jerry brown faces as he runs for reelection. we sat down with him recently. >> well, when i said i was going to bring insiders knowledge with an outsider's mind, now, i did bring skill to the task, but on top of that, we cut the budget. >> pelley: and the people
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howled about it. >> of course they did. all the interest groups get up set but they cut for a very important reason. i said no new taxes unless the people vote for them themselves in an election, and the people weren't going to vote for more taxes unless we show we cut to the bone. then after that was done, proposition 30 was put on the ballot, and it passed substantially. >> pelley: proposition 30 did what? >> proposition 30 imposed a 1, 2 or 3% tax on those who made more than $500,000 a year. it was unprecedented in the sense that most to have the states either are not asking the people for taxes or the people are saying no. in california, they said yes. i think they said yes because they saw 30,000 teachers laid off, they saw cutbacks. they saw university tuition double, and they said enough. >> pelley: we talk about the balanced budget, but the ugly fact is that you have almost a $300 billion deficit in your
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public employee and teacher pensions. it's a big number. >> it's a big number, and you haven't added other things like the deferred maintenance, which is a big number, too. but our pension funds have done quite well. so when you're talking about obligations that stretch out 50 years, we'll chip away at it. if our pensions were not challenging and we didn't have all these other problems, i would have a hard time finding a reason to run. >> pelley: the governor told us one of the billing challenges is to keep the state legislature from reversing his hard-won budget cuts. some parents are traveling thousands of miles so their kids can get a controversial treatment for seizures. and how did they get this amazing view? when the western edition of the cbs evening news continues. i don't usgrfor hold
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>> pelley: legislation that would legalize a controversial treatment for children with severe epilepsy is moving ahead in utah and south carolina. it uses oil derived from marijuana. for now, it's only available in colorado, and barry petersen has more. >> reporter: aaron klepinger considers this a miracle cure, the daily dose of liquid marijuana extract, known as charlotte's web, given to his eight-year-old son, hunter. >> hunter. >> reporter: the klepingers believe it controls seizures so
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severe, they caused brain damage. traditional epilepsy drugs were ineffective for hunter. the cleppingers say the extract has reduced the frequency of seizures from as many as 100 a day to as few as two a week. dawn is hunter's mother. >> when he was on pharmaceuticals, he was screaming all the time, or sleeping all the time, or having more seizures. so he's well-- more alert and more happy than he used to be. >> come on, let's go. >> reporter: the klepingers moved to colorado where recreational and medical marijuana is allowed from georgia where any use of marijuana is illegal. >> i feel horrible that a child's zip code is what determines their ability to get medicine they could that could potentially save their lives. >> reporter: and this medicine you think can. >> absolutely, i think it can. >> reporter: legislators in 12 states are considering proposals to allow a version of charlotte's web to be produced or sold legally. the extract has a very low dose of t.h.c., the chemical in marijuana that gives people a
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high. parents believe other chemicals in the extract reduce the seizures. but there is no scientific study to prove the effectiveness and safety of charlotte's web to treat epilepsy. >> we have real reason to be concerned. >> reporter: dr. amy brooks- kayal is first vice president of the american epilepsy society. she worries that parents are sailing into uncharted waters. >> we do know from basic science studies that marijuana derivatives can completely stop the cellular mechanisms of learning and memory. and right now, i don't know the benefits. i don't know the likelihood it's going to help. and i know nothing about the risks. >> reporter: there are about 200 parents in colorado using the extract, half who moved from out of state to use it legally. >> okay. >> reporter: dangerous or not, it is, to them, the best hope for their own miracle against epilepsy. >> that's it.
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>> reporter: barry petersen, cbs news, colora field? >> reporter: barry petersen, cbs news, colorado springs. >> pelley: we'll be right back. in a couple of hours, right? when you're worried about things at home, it's impossible to think about anything else. adt gives you fast response monitoring for burglary, fire, and carbon monoxide. honey? you okay? plus, you can control your home from almost anywhere. [ click ] call now and get adt for just $79. so you can get back to date night. anybody have occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three types of good bacteria. i should probably take this. live the regular life. phillips'. life's an adventure and it always has been. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use
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>> pelley: this won't be easy-- staples said today it plans to close as many as 225 stores. the office supply chain said it now makes nearly half of its sales online. just yesterday, radio shack said it is closing as many as 1100 stores. the retail business is changing, and with it the landscape of
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america. we were treated to an amazing view today. a crew from "time" magazine recently climbed to the top of the spire at one world trade center in new york city and mounted a camera on a rotating arm. this is the result. their camera produced 567 pictures that were stitched together digitally to make a single image. a 360-degree view from 1776 feet above manhattan. all we can say is wow. it was a dream come true for a young soccer man after brazil beat south africa in soweto yesterday. a seven-year-old boy wandered on to the field. security grabbed him, but then one of the brazilian stars intervened. he brought the boy to his teammates who hoisted him into the air, and now he's a star. all over the world. as bad as california's drought is, it could be a whole lot worse.
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scientists are now warning of a megadrought. >> reporter: scientist lynn ingram uses sediment inside these tubes to study the history of drought in the west. how far back in history can we go? >> well, we've taken this record back about 3,000 years. >> reporter: that record shows california is in one of its driest periods since the year 1580. we think of a three to five-year drought as being a long drought. historically, is that a long drought? >> historically, if we go back, you know, several thousand years, we've seen that droughts can last over a decade, and in some cases they can last over a century. >> reporter: the evidence of these so-called megadroughts is found in san francisco bay. ingram and her team at the university of california berkeley removed the sediment from the bay in nearby marshes. so when we go through periods of drought, what do you notice in the sample? >> what you notice is that the
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vegetation shifts to more salt- tolerant-type vegetation. >> reporter: that's because during drought, there is less fresh water runoff into the bay. >> these patterns tend to repeat themselves. we can expect this will happen again. >> reporter: scientists say their research shows the 20th century was actually one of the wettest centuries in the past 1,300 years. during that time, we built massive dams and rerouted rivers. we used abundant water to build major cities and create a $45 billion agriculture industry in a place that use to be a desert. even after several inches of rain last week, the drought continued. ingram believes state should be prepared for the 100 yearlong dry period. ben tracy, cbs news, berkeley, california. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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now word these rail cars a your realtime captioner is linda macdonald. it's the biggest disaster of its kind. a train carrying crude explodes. a town is leveled. dozens are dead. now word these railcars are even more dangerous than first thought. good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'm ken bastida. a report out today calls fracked crude oil just as volatile as gasoline. the finding is important because railcars carrying that crude could be rolling through our neighborhoods on the way to bay area refineries. only on 5, christin ayers talked to a survivor of a deadly derailment who hopes her story can serve as a wake-up call. >> it was boom. boom. boom. boom. >> we were in shock.
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>> reporter: she was just a few miles away when a train carrying 30,000 gallons of crude oil derailed setting off a huge explosion and fire in quebec. >> we knew for sure people would die. >> reporter: the accident took 47 lives. a once vibrant downtown was reduced to ashes. the toxic mess will take years to clean up. >> it's like ooalfields that is really highly contaminated. >> reporter: the train was carrying fracked oil from the bakken region of north dakota. regulations are required to test crude coming from the bakken region and they banned certain older model tanker cars but still haven't issued new rules for the much more common tank

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