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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  October 24, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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congress today with some of the harshest language yet. then he did an end run around the house and the senate. he offered relief to some homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages, and he did it with an executive order that does not need the approval of congress. the president is beginning a western campaign tour, which includes a stop here in los angeles tonight. but he made the mortgage relief announcement today in nevada and for one very good reason. bill plante is traveling with the president. bill? >> reporter: well, scott, nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in the country, and that's why the president unveiled his new program here in this neighborhood of modest, underwater homes, but there is also political reason. the president needs to win this state next year, so he says that congress is... he's doing what he has to because congress won't. >> i'm here to say to all of you and to say to the people of nevada and the people of las vegas, we can't wait for an
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increasingly dysfunctional congress to do its job. >> reporter: because congress has refused to pass his jobs bill, the president is going around them and doing what he can, issuing executive orders. under the revamped home affordable refinance program, people will be allowed to refinance no matter how far their home value has fallen, as long as they've been paying their mortgage for six months. >> if you have a $250,000 mortgage at 6% interest rate but the value of your home has fallen below $200,000, right now you can't refinance, you're ineligible, but that's going to change. >> reporter: major lenders have allowed existing second mortgages to become part of the new loans. the new rules apply only to government-backed mortgages of fannie mae and freddie mac. they extend the existing program to the end of 2013. the president concedes these new rules won't work immediately. >> we need them to get their act together because the truth is the only way that we can truly
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attack our economic challenges, the only way we can put hundreds of thousands of people back to work right now is with bold action from congress. >> reporter: the white house won't say how many people might be helped by this new initiative, but outside estimates say it's in the range of about one million, and that would still leave millions of homeowners under water. as one administration official put it to us, "it's hard to debate that we need to do much more." scott? >> pelley: bill, thank you. as bill mentioned, the power of the president's executive order reaches only fraction of the people in need, and that leaves about ten million americans asking, what about me? we asked wyatt andrews to answer that question. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of struggling homeowners might be helped by the president's mortgage plan, but ken lalonde is not one of them. he qualifies in almost every way, including the most important. >> never missed a payment. >> never missed a payment, never
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been late with payment. >> reporter: but here's the hold-up. ken's loan is held by the bank of new york and not by fannie mae or freddie mac. at a time when lower interest rates could save him $2,500 a year, he says the bank has blocked his request to refinance. >> basically they've said, we don't have program for you. i don't apparently fit into this program either. and that's my dilemma thus far is i keep running into a roadblock of this might help others, but it doesn't necessarily help me. >> reporter: and ken lalonde has a lot of company. while the administration could be helping as many as one million people with government-backed loans, estimates say there are seven million homeowners like ken lalonde, who are underwater on their bank loans, are up to date in their payments and who could benefit from lower interest rates. until the banks help refinance that larger group of homeowners, economist dean baker says the president's plan will have limited impact. >> it's difficult for president
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obama to do very much without help from congress. he can try to pressure the banks, but thus far at least that's not been very successful. >> reporter: there are also national negotiations under way demanding that these private banks help their underwater homeowners refinance their loans. but that deal, even if it is reached, is weeks away, so, scott, that leaves the president's plan, which most analysts say is a very good idea that helps very few people. >> pelley: wyatt, under this plan if more of these loans go bad, will that increase the risk to taxpayers? >> >> reporter:, scott, the theory goes the other way. the administration says take a homeowner with a $200,000 government-backed loan. if you help that homeowner save $3,000 a year, that should decrease the risk of default and decrease the chance that the taxpayer picks it up. that's the theory. >> pelley: wyatt, thank you very much. here's one hopeful sign for the economy: cat pillar, which makes
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heavy construction equipment, is considered an economic barometer. today cat said demand for its machines is strong. profits in the third quarter soared 44%. caterpillar added nearly 5,000 jobs. on wall street, the rally continues. the dow closed up 104 points. so far this month it's up 9%. in libya, the new rebel government says that the former dictator mommar qaddafi will be buried tomorrow in a secret location in the desert. his body was removed today from a fridgerated room in misrata. for four days libyans had lined up to see it. elizabeth palmer tells us that one of the new government's big problems is winding down the army that rose to defeat qaddafi. >> reporter: libya's deputy interior minister had a blunt message for this roomful of sunni to-be ex-rebel fighters. "the war is over," he tells them. "it's time to move on."
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to help, the new government is promising jobs, housing and even free college education to those who turn in their guns. the offer seemed to go down well, but on the outskirts of tripoli, commander khaled says he needs something else. "a psychologist," he say, "to help me come to terms with the atrocities i saw." khaled trained as an oil engineer. he and thousands of young men joined the anti-qaddafi forces six months ago and found themselves fighting a brutal war totally unprepared. were this fight, did you know how to use one of these? >> no, no, no, no. >> reporter: having risked his life far free libya, khaled says he's not handing over these weapons until he's convinced the government is stable and working towards democracy. if and when that time comes, he could deliver, along with the weapons, some of his best men. self--styled special forces
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soldiers who don't want to go back to civilian life. how many of you guys are going to join the regular army? put your arms up? all of you. mere novices when they joined the fight against qaddafi, they're now proud veterans ready to serve a brand-new country. i've just been speaking to the office of the military commander for tripoli, and he confirmed that saifal islam, the only one of qaddafi's sons unaccounted for, is alive. he's seeking protection from tribes in the desert. >> pelley: liz, what sort of government is beginning to form in libya? >> reporter: a little early to tell because the cabinet appointments haven't been announced yet, and that would be a real indicator, but we know there is a big pool of talent to draw on, professional people, some of them educated in the united states who are likely to surface. we also know from the chairman's
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speech yesterday, he's calling for tolerance. he says it's necessary in a post-revolutionary society, and also that libya is going to have a new code of law based in sharia law, islamic law that is, although he adds that libya will be a moderate islamic country. >> pelley: liz, thank you very much. next door in tunisia where the arab uprisings all began, they are still counting ballots in the first free election that that country has ever had. early returns today show a moderate islamist party got the most votes, about 30%. that will give it a big say when a new assembly drafts tunisia's constitution. america's ambassador to syria, robert ford, is back home tonight. it's too dangerous for him to be in damascus. ford has been targeted by supporters of the dictator bashar al asad ever since the
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ambassador denounced the violent crackdown on protesters. let's bring in chief white house correspondent norah o'donnell. norah, what's the latest? >> reporter: scott, tonight syria has reacted by recalling its own ambassador. all of this is a sign of increased tensions between the u.s. and syria. >> freedom, freedom! >> reporter: ambassador ford got a hero's welcome from anti-government protesters in the besieged city of hama this summer. ford explained why he went there in an appearance before congress. >> the syrian government was saying there are armed groups up in hama. i went there. i didn't see a single gun. the most dangerous weapon i saw was a slingshot. >> reporter: but the visit angered the regime of president bashar assad and three weeks later syrian troops attacked protesters in that city. ford's activism didn't stop. he appeared at a wake for a protesters and last month when ford visited a key opposition leader, assad supporters attacked his convoy. ford was called back to washington this weekend.
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state department spokesman victoria nualand says the u.s. is concerned about ford's safety. >> so i want to take this opportunity to call on the government of syria to immediately end its smear campaign of malicious and deceitful propaganda against ambassador ford. >> reporter: tonight a senior administration official said they are reviewing the security situation. they are hopeful that ford can return to damascus, but that may be difficult today in syria. there was a crackdown on those protesters as this intensified despite the u.s. condemnation. >> pelley: norah, thank you very much. the search continues for anyone who might have survived a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that devastated eastern turkey yesterday. security video shows people streaming from a building as the earth shook. at least 270 are dead, more than 1,000 are injured. there have been rescues.
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a young boy was pulled from the rubble this morning, but hundreds more may be trapped. hispanic voters helped barack obama win the white house. why many now are disillusioned. americans forced to wait in long lines for free health care. and mt. etna puts on a show. a revival when the "cbs evening news" continues. >> pelley: back now from los
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angeles. one reason for president obama's voice -- visit to this part of the country is to support hispanic votes. hispanics supported the president in big numbers in 2008, but bill whitaker reports many have now changed their minds. >> let's talk about obama. >> reporter: armando navarro is a political science professor at the university of california riverside. >> everyone is tired of what's going on. >> reporter: and a political activist and organizer of these massive demonstrations in the spring of 2006 demanding a path to citizenship for immigrants some when he heard candidate barack obama call for comprehensive immigration reform... >> i will make it a top priority in my first year as president. >> reporter:...navarro became one of the first high-profile democrats in california to back the junior senator from illinois. you thought he was the man? >> i thought he was the man.
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>> reporter: so you might be surprised to hear navarro today? he does not have your vote? >> no, he does not have my vote. >> reporter: why? >> the issues of war, the issues of economy. >> reporter: most of all he feels deceived about immigration. >> under the obama administration, massive deportation, 397,000 deportations as of september 2011. he's moving more aggressively against us than the bush administration. >> reporter: mr. obama won 67% of the hispanic vote in 2008. hispanics were crucial to his victory in the key states of nevada, colorado and florida. now less than 50% view him favorably. nationwide hispanic unemployment is at 11.3%, two points higher than the national average. >> latinos today are the population most affected by the recession. >> reporter: arturo vargas is the executive director of the national latino association of elected officials. he says mr. obama can't count on hispanics' passionate support in
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2012. >> we still haven't seen a strategy that really has moved the needle for latinos. >> reporter: if many hispanics are disappointed in the president, they're disgusted by the heated republican rhetoric on immigration. >> i will build a double-walled fence. >> reporter: but disgust with the g.o.p. doesn't translate into support for the president. >> i think the greatest danger for the president is that latino voters will mott be as enthusiastic in 2012 as they were in 2008. and they may decide to sit it out. >> reporter: we have mexicans and latinos in every state in this country. all they need is to be inspired because we are truly the balance of power. we are the swing vote. would you vote for him in 2012, yes nor? >> reporter: to win, mr. obama needs to inspire the level of support he got in 2008. george w. bush showed republicans need just 35% to 40% of the hispanic vote to win the presidency. bill whitaker, cbs news, riverside, california. >> pelley: europe's most active volcano is at it again.
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sicily's mt. etna erupted overnight, spewing lava as high as 300 feet in the air. this is etna's 17th eruption so far this year. no one was hurt, but a number of villages were coated in ash. the latest release from netflix is an earnings report that shows customers are angry. is an earnings report that shows customers are angry. that story's next.
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surrounding net flicts took a new turn today. word that 800,000 customers left its video subscription service in the third quarter sent the company's stock price down more than 26% today. many customers were outraged when netflix drastically raised prices over the summer. and there is a serious deal in the toy industry tonight. mattel, which makes the barbie doll, is buying the company behind thomas the tank engine toys and videos for a very grown-up price, $680 million in cash. it's mattel's biggest acquisition in a decade. we've lost a member of our cbs news family. long-time white house correspondent robert pierpoint died yesterday. bob was 86. >> this is bob pierpoint in beirut. >> pelley: bob covered every president from eisenhower to carter. he was at parkland hospital in dallas when john f. kennedy died there. >> i heard the shots, wrote down
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in my notebook 12:33, sounds like three rifle. >> pelley: edward r. murrow hired pierpoint in 1948, and in a career that spanned 32 years, bob was most proud of his war reporting from korea. in the final episode of "mash," it is his voice you hear on the radio. >> this is robert pierpoint speaking to you. >> pelley: bob pierpoint's two great loves were news and tennis. one day on his way to match with president knickson's press secretary, news broke out so he threw on a jacket and tie and here is what viewers of his white house report never saw, the stuff of tv legend. and in fitting tribute to that legend, the pierpoint family tells us bob will be laid to rest in a suit jacket and tennis shorts. here in los angeles, they waited all night for something most of us take for granted. their story is next. >> pelley: finally tonight, it
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was a godsend here in the city of angels. this past weekend thousands got
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something that they could never afford on their own, a check-up. we asked john blackstone to tell us their stories. >> reporter: the crowds lining up overnight at l.a.'s memorial arena weren't here for a rock concert or a basketball game. they came to see a doctor for free because a year after congress passed health care reform, dental and eye care are still largely uncovered by both medicaid and private insurance plans. 60-year-old dorothy banks says there's no way she can pay for the care she needs. >> i wouldn't have money to, say, buy food, an my other expenses, i wouldn't have that money. >> reporter: 34-year-old kriss bonilla works as a cook but doesn't have health insurance. as the father of two, it worries him that he rarely sees a doctor. >> i want to be here for the future for my kids. so it's very important for me to take care of myself because if i don't take care of myself, you know, who is going to take care of my kids? >> 160/78.
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>> reporter: they joined over 3,000 others at a once-a-year free clinic care now. 800 doctors and medical workers donated their time. hospitals and clinics provided equipment and medicine. >> o, t. >> reporter: dorothy banks went to get her eyes checked. a former long-haul truck driver now covered by medicaid, but state budget cuts two years ago eliminated most vision services. >> i never gave it a thought that one day i would not have health care. that i would not be working. >> reporter: a painful wisdom tooth is what brought kriss bonilla here. under health care reform, small businesses can get a tax break for providing health insurance, but it's still too expensive for bonilla. he nation just $400 a week running a burger stand in south los angeles, and even that can
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be a struggle some weeks. >> there's just some days it's really bad. >> and all those prices are going up. >> all those prices are going up. >> reporter: bow bonilla says he likes the pay his own way. he got his first job when he was 11 and has been working ever since. >> it's very stressful, i'm not going to deny it, but i've got to keep my head up. >> reporter: even with his wisdom tooth freshly pulled, bonilla left the free clinic with a smile on his face. in a city with more than two million uninsured, he was among the lucky ones. john blackstone, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. with thanks to everyone here at kcbs and kcal, i'm scott pelley in los angeles. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world. was dog the bounty hunter's young grandson beaten by his father? the disturbing audio we warn you is hard to listen to. the fallout today in our "e.t." special investigation. then martha stewart's daughter on the defensive over

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