tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 12, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
saudi arabia's ambassador to the united states. the administration is consulting with allies all around the world. u.s. officials insist that the iranian government was behind the plot. norah o'donnell is at the white house with the latest. norah. >> reporter: scott, tonight, secretary of state hillary clinton said iran must be held accountable for what she called a reckless act that the u.s. will not tolerate. >> this plot was a flagrant violation of international and u.s. law and a dangerous escalation of the iranian government's long-standing use of political violence and sponsorship of terrorism. >> reporter: secretary clinton said the plot was directed by elements of the iranian government, including the deadly quds force, an elite secret branch of the iranian military. it was a brazen murder-for-hire plot right out of a spy novel where an iranian-born u.s. citizen wanted to hire a mexican drug cartel to kill the saudi ambassador.
the details are so bizarre, some u.s. officials said it looked like the work of amateurs. >> i would be careful about calling this a sloppy operation or amateurish or cowboyish. >> reporter: michigan republican mike rogers chairs the house intelligence committee. he says in fact this was a sophisticated plot. was this a rogue actor or were the highest levels of the iranian government involved? >> i have a high degree of confidence that there were the highest echelons of the iranian government involved in this particular act. >> reporter: rogers said the u.s. goal must now be to encourage some reluctant members of the u.s. city council to further isolate iran and renew focus on iran's nuclear program. >> do you want a nation that is actively engaging in assassination in a foreign land for political purposes possessing nuclear weapons? i think no one, no rational person could come to the conclusion that that's a good idea. >> reporter: and that's the
message the u.s. wants to send to china, russia and our european counter-parts. >> absolutely. >> reporter: today the administration slapped additional sanctions on an iranian airline services the iranian revolutionary guard. >> pelley: norah, what would be next for the administration? >> reporter: well, the u.s. wants to go to the u.n. city councils to get an international condemnation of iran, and they also want russia and china to try and back a stricter sanctions against iran to further isolate the regime. >> pelley: norah, thank you very much. today, just 24 hours after that iranian plot was revealed, we now hear about another dictatorship targeting people here in the u.s. this time it's an allegation that syria is spying on its enemies in this country. homeland security correspondent bob orr has our story. >> reporter: as violent clashes played out this spring in the streets of damascus, sympathetic dissidents rallied
peacefully in washington. but u.s. prosecutors sayy among the demstairses was a spy. mohamad soueid is accused of videotaping the rallies and delivering the tapes and personal information about the protesters, including e-mails and phone numbers to syrian intelligence agents. an indictment unsealed today said he was part of a conspiracy to undermine, silence, intimidate and potentially harm protesters in the u.s. and syria. this syrian american was among those spied on at the washington rally. she said her family in syria had been targeted by assad's security forces. in april her father was killed. >> it was the snipers from, like, top buildings. they start shooting at people. it's 14 people who died, five of them from my family, from my father's side. >> reporter: she found out about her father's death from watching this video on youtube.
she sued the syrian government and named mohamad soueid as one of the defendants. days later she was threatened. >> they told me, "we will kill your family. we will vanishing your daughter if you don't drop this lawsuit." >> reporter: soueid, who briefly appeared in court today, is not charged with causing any deaths, but prosecutors say his actions have clearly put people at risk. now, prosecutors say in late june, soueid traveled at the expense of the syrian government for a face-to-face meeting with damascus with president dash, but the syrian embassy has flatley denied soueid is a spy adding they have no americans on their intelligence payroll. >> pelley: bob, could sow eat have done this spying all alone? >> well, he had a little bit of help, scott. he was working with the people inside the syrian embassy, and furthermore, prosecutors say in the indictment he tried to recruit outsiders to help him do the snooping. no one else has been charged and at the moment they're not looking for any other illegal
syrian agents. >> pelley: the so-called underwear bomber abruptly stopped his trial today and pleaded guilty. umar farouk abdulmutallab admitted that he tried to blow up a northwest airlines jetliner on christmas day in 2009 to retaliate for what he called america's killing of innocent muslims. he now faces life in prison. looking at the economy now, the labor department told us today that the number of job openings around the country has dropped sharply. it says there were 3.1 million jobs available in august. that's 157,000 fewer than there were in july. with the economy struggling, we were surprised today when we were booking flights for the holidays. some of the prices we were getting seemed to have climbed so high so fast that we asked anna werner to find out what's going on with the airlines. >> reporter: southern methodist university senior austin prentice hopes to fly home to portland for
thanksgiving. but a ticket that used to cost him just over $300 now runs over $500. >> $554 is the cheapest flight i can find to fly home and back. >> reporter: that's the cheapest. >> the cheapest. 554. >> reporter: rick seaney who tracks ticket fares says price will be up 40% because five major airlines are cutting flights. >> today it's all about consolidate, merge, cutback. you don't hear words like grow. there are only a couple airlines actually adding seats. >> seaney estimates there will be 600 fewer seats. airlines want to make sure their flights are profitable. >> procrastination is not going to help you this year. there will be no empty seats. there is no reason for airlines to discount. >> reporter: web site travelossity expects airfare over thanksgiving up 40%.
that will leave cash-strapped students hoping to go home for the holiday relying on luck. >> if i find a friend in dallas who wants to adopt me, maybe i'll do that for thanksgiving because it's cheaper. >> reporter: you might have better luck depending on your airline. southwest and us airways has added seats on some route, but waiting it book will cost you. expect every day you wait to add $5 to a round-trip fare. get economy was the focus of the republican presidential debate in new hampshire, and the front-runner, mitt romney, suggested that he is better able to deal with the economy than president obama. >> i'm not going to have to call up timothy geithner and say how does the economy work because i spent my life in the economy. i spent my entire career working in the private sector starting businesses, helping turn around businesses, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. and i know how to make tough decisions. >> pelley: one of romney's rivals for the g.o.p.
nomination, herman caine, touts his own business experience. he was once the c.e.o. of godfather a pizza. cain's fix for the economy is called the 999 plan, and we asked wyatt andrews to find out if the numbers add up. >> my top priority is 999. ( laughter ). >> reporter: it's the one big idea that's driving herman caine and driving his surge in the polls. >> 999 is bold. >> reporter: bold because cain would replace the entire tax code and all of its loopholes with a 9% corporate tax, 9% personal income tax, and a 9% national sales tax. it raises the same amount in revenue, he says, but would be simpler and more fair. >> we must grow this economy with a bold solution. >> reporter: the idea made cain a target in the debate last night with jon huntsman mocking 999 as a gimmick. >> i thought it was the price of
a pita when i heartheard about it, herman. >> reporter: if enacted, however, 99 nine, would make filing taxes easy. most families would pay a flat 9% income tax can only one deduction for charitable contributions. there would be no tax on capital gains which also leads to a simple conclusion. >> it will raise taxes on the poor. it will cut taxes on the rich. >> reporter: roberton williams of the nonpartisan tax policy center calls 999 a double hit on low-income americans. the 30 million households that now pay no federal income taxes, including some families making up to $49,000, would start paying 9%, plus the 9% sales tax on consumer goods like food, medicine, and gasoline. upper income americans, meanwhile, would see their top 35% income tax rate slashed it 9%. >> they'd see very, very large tax cuts. >> reporter: richer people would pay comparatively less.
>> they would pay absolute less than they're paying right now. >> reporter: and now one knows want true impact of a 9% sales tax on an economy that needs its consumers to spend even more. 999 may have won herman caine some attention, but, scott, now it's bringing him scrutiny. >> pelley: wyatt, thank you. cain's 9% plan would be a big cut for corporations, too. our research department worked want numbers, and they tell us once you consider the deductions and the loopholes, the average tax paid by american companies is about 26%. despite high unemployment rate, we have found there are plenty of jobs for people with the right skills. the f.b.i. busts a man who allegedly hacked the e-mail of hollywood celebrities, and a boxer attempting the comeback of a lifetime. when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: there has been a deadly mass shooting today in southern california. a gunman opened fire at a crowded hair salon about 30 miles outside of los angeles. six people were killed, and three others were wounded. the gunman was later arrested about a half a mile from the scene. this is no word yet on the motive for the shooting. in florida today, federal agents arrested a jacksonville man for allegedly hacking into the
personal e-mail accounts of hollywood celebrities. we asked ben tracy to look into this. >> reporter: his alleged victims are a who's who of film and music, including actresses scarlett johansson and mila kunis, as well as pop star christina aguilera. today's arrest of 35-year-old christopher chaney in florida comes after an 11-month f.b.i. investigation dubbed "operation hackerazzi." the indictment says that during a three-month span, chaney hacked into his victims' google, apple, and yahoo e-mail accounts. he then took control of the forwarding feature so a copy of every e-mail was sent virtually instantaneously to his own e-mail account. >> using these methods, chaney stole not only private and personal photographs of the victims. he also took evenly information, movie scripts, and conversations that's the victims believed to be private. >> reporter: chaney is charged
with 26 count, including identity theft and wiretapping. authorities say he offered some of of what he sold to celebrity blog sites and some of it was published including nude photos of scarlett johansson that appeared online earlier this year. however, the f.b.i. says chaney was not trying make money. >> there is really no money to be had here. these are high-profile people put on the pedestal in our society and that's one of the things they want to do is take them down a notch. >> reporter: unlike this summer's news of the world scandal in britain, it does not appear chaney was working for any particular publication. the f.b.i. says more than 50 people were victims of chaney's hacking, all of them with ties to the entertainment industry. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: this was a tough day for millions of smart phone customers all around the world. their blackberrys were blacked out. the parent company, research in motion, says it started way technical glitch in europe that
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but they couldn't say exactly which elements of the plan they will bring to a vote first. as that debate goes on in washington, all around the country, listen to this, there are 4.6 unemployed workers competing for every job that's available. we asked elaine quijano to show us one way that the workers can improve their odds. >> i don't really dig the second shift, but you gotta start somewhere. >> reporter: despite the worst job market in decades, listen to what 20-year-old nick senniti found right out of high school. how many offers did you get? >> uhm, three, i think. >> reporter: three offers. >> right. >> reporter: he graduated in 2009 as a certified welder from a career and technical education high school, or what used to be called vocational education. he now works for air products in allen up to, pennsylvania. est 7500 employees you have here in the united states, how many are what you would say are the skilled workers?
>> 4,000. >> reporter: john mcglade is president and c.e.o. of air products. his global company designs and builds high-tech hydrogen equipment and devices. how worried are you that you won't find enough skilled workers in the future? >> i'm worried. i've been worried. >> reporter: mcglade said he hires about 550 u.s. workers a year, 360 are technically skilled positions that require two years of college or advanced certification. these positions can often go unfilled for 12 months. >> we need people who are electronics experts, who are instrument technicians, who are mechanics that can work on today's modern equipment. >> reporter: but this year, funding for vocational education was cut by $140 million, and president obama is proposing a 20% cut next year. what is your sort of biggest fear if there isn't this continued support for voc tech education? >> without the support and
without the continued development of the skilled workforce we're not going to be able to fill the jobs. >> reporter: lehigh career and technical institute would be impacted as well. feist% of its budget comes from federal grants. >> 24 divide by 1.5 e-... >> reporter: the school trains about 3,000 student from across the lehigh valley, according to the national association of career and technical schools, these students can earn about $26 an hour more than similar student in nontechnical fields. >> there are going to be more and more of those skilled jobs available that are going to be well-paying and be a sustainable career for years and years to come. >> reporter: a career path that mcglade estimates will need 10 million more skilled workers over the next decade. elaine quijano, cbs news, allentown, pennsylvania. >> pelley: a new boxer is stepping into the ring. his record-- 26 years behind bars and one murder conviction overturned. hey, where's harriat?
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a 52-year-old man will make his professional boxing debut against an opponent nearly half his age, and if you think that's incredible, wait until you hear his story told tonight by bill whitaker. >> reporter: so you're going to feel like a winner just walking into that ring? >> i'm going to feel like a winner once i go and knock this dude out and do what i gotta do. >> reporter: at 52 facing his first professional fight this could be an over-the-top boasting of an over-the-hill boxer but don't bet against can dewey bozella. he already won the fight of his life. >> it wasn't easy. it wasn't easy at all. >> reporter: his childhood in brooklyn would have beaten most people down. he watched his father beat his mother to death, lost two brothers to the street. at 18 he was arrested, later convicted for the murder of a 92-year-old woman. he was sentenced to sing sing for a crime me maintain he did not commit. >> 20 years to life, i was like i'm a walking zombie.
my name was 84 as172. >> reporter: when he was offered release if he would just confess his crime he refused again and again. >> you got me saying a murdered a 92-year-old woman. you got the wrong man, period. i'd rather die in prison than tell you i did it. >> reporter: he found salvation in boxing, the training and discipline brought order to the chaos. >> it was my freedom. that was my escape from where i was at. it helped me to realize, you know, that there's a better way of living life other than walking around angry and frustrated and-- at people. >> reporter: so he fought to become prison champ, to earn a bachelor's and mastir's degree, to convince the innocence project to take his case. project lawyers who worked to overturn wrongful convictions found evidence he was innocent and after 26 years, dewey bozella was released from prison. >> in life, you're going to get knocked down. what are you going to do, lay down in the middle of the road like a worm or are you going to
get back up and do something with yourself? >> reporter: he started a foundation to teach the discipline of boxing to troubled youngsters but what he wants most, to fight just one professional match. why just the one? >> because that's what i need. i need ton what it feels like to be a pro. i know the need what it feels like to be able to say to myself i did it. >> dewey bozella ( applause ) >> reporter: saturday, he enters the professional ring to fight a 30-year-old opponent. don't tell him about long odds. he's beaten them before. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> 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
now, "entertainment tonight," the most-watched entertainment news magazine in the world. is richard simmons sick? the new headlines after his startling appearance on "dancing." now, the colorful fitness guru comes to "e.t." to set the record straight. >> i went from 160 to 138. >> plus -- julianne hough, dancing with her "footloose" co-star. her emotional "dancing" homecoming. >> george clooney, stacy keibler, ryan gosling and