tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS May 2, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
an international incident with no end in sight. at the center of it is chen guangcheng, the blind chinese dissident who escaped from house arrest in beijing last week and sought sanctuary in the u.s. embassy. this morning he walked out of the embassy hand in hand with american diplomats. the chinese guaranteed chen's safety and freedom, but now that he is back in chinese hands, there are reasons for doubt. holly williams has late details from beijing but, first, david martin on how this strange day began. >> reporter: scott, what was supposed to have been two days of high-level talks between secretary of state clinton, treasury secretary geithner and chinese leaders has turned into a diplomatic fiasco over the fate of one man. at first it was all smiles and hugs. chen guangcheng couldn't thank american diplomats enough. he even phoned secretary clinton to personally thank her. for their part, the americans
seemed delighted to have ended a standoff that began six days ago when chen escaped from house arrest and took refuge in the u.s. embassy. then, as chen was take on the a chinese hospital to be reunited with his family the wheels started to come off a deal which was supposed to have allowed him to remain in china free of persecution. justice chris johnson-- who, until two weeks ago, was the c.i.a.'s top china analyst-- predicted it would. >> in terms of trying to negotiate with the chinese a means to guarantee his safety within china, there's too much chance the chinese regime would renege and the administration would look terrible. >> reporter: from his hospital room, chen called western reporters and fellow dissidents saying he'd been coerced into leaving the safety of the american embassy. chen was also quoted as saying he now fears for his safety and that of his family and wants to
come to the u.s. american officials insist that throughout his six days at the embassy chen encyste insisted in remaining in china and he left after they negotiated the best deal possible with the chinese government. what has been described as the biggest test in u.s.-chinese relations in 20 years is not over yet. among other things, the chinese are demanding the u.s. apologize for meddling in their internal affairs. >> pelley: thank you, david. we're joined now by long-time asia correspondent holly williams of our british partner sky news. she's covering the story and joins us from beijing. holly, what's the state of playwright now? >> well, we understand that chen guangcheng is still in hospital here in beijing. he's being treated for some kind of stomach complaint. late in the day here in china one of his friends spoke to him over the phone and then started tweeting and she said that mr. chen told her that he had been forced to leave the u.s. embassy because chinese
officials had told him if that if he didn't his wife would be returned to their village where she would be beaten, persecuted and he, apparently, feared for her life. what this does is raise one very big question and that's the extent to which the chinese authorities can be relied upon to live up to these guarantees that they've made about chen guangcheng's safety going forward. >> pelley: tell me, what is it that chen did in his human rights work that made the chinese government so angry with him? >> well, chen guangcheng is really an extraordinary figure. he is a self-taught lawyer who has consistently stood up for the human rights of other people here in china. back in 2005, he exposed how thousands of people in his province of zhang dong had been forced to undergo abortions and forced to undergo surgical sisterrization and that's because local officials were being somewhat overzealous in their implementation of china's one-child policy.
>> pelley: now that chen is in the chinese hospital, he's beyond the protection of the u.s. government and the u.s. embassy. what happens next? >> well, we simply don't know. but we don't know what the intentions of the chinese regime are. i think one thing is clear: this is a very public embarrassment for the chinese regime. they don't like this kind of thing, they see it as foreign interference in their internal affairs. and they certainly don't like it being played out in front of the world's media. >> pelley: when he escaped last week, chen had already served his time in prison. but that didn't keep the chinese from putting him under house arrest anyway. surrounded by police officers 24/7. last week, the blind mr. chen slipped out during his guard's shift change, climbed over a wall and met a supporter who drove him to the u.s. embassy. in florida today, 13 people were charged in the beating death of
a florida a&m drum major. prosecutors say the death was the result of a band initiation ritual. 11 suspects are accused of felony hazing-- a crime in florida-- and two are charged with misdemeanors. mark strassmann has the story of the killing and the case. >> the incomparable 4,100! >> reporter: this performance in orlando last november was the season highlight for the marching 100, florida's celebrated band. just hours later robert champion died from injuries he suffered in a hazing ritual aboard a band bus. among those arrested for felony hazing, caleb jackson and ricky wills. wills was a drum major who charged at the head of his funeral procession. state attorney lawson lamar will prosecute the champion case. >> no one could have expected that his college experience would include being pummeled to death, an event that some early on mistakenly called a rite of
passage. >> reporter: band members call the hazing ritual "crossing bus c." sources close to the investigation tell us champion had to run from the front of the bus to the back while being punched, kicked, and stomped by more than two dozen band members. >> reporter: the 26-year-old died at the hospital from internal bleeding and shock. his parents, pam and robert champion, sr., say the hazing was murder and are disappointed by today's charges. >> rob loved that school. he loved that band. and they all failed him. all of them failed him. so they should be held accountable. we've always said that everybody, whether you were directly or indirectly, should be held accountable for what you did or did not do. >> reporter: there were several dozen kids on that bus. have any of the kids who were on that bus ever reached out to you to say anything?
to apologize? >> to apologize, no. >> reporter: not one? >> not one has reached out to apologize at all. would you want somebody like that to be your friend? >> reporter: florida a&m has suspended all band activities while a task force looks for ways to end decades of hazing traditions at the school. >> pelley: mark is in florida tonight. mark, i wonder, this young man was beaten to death. why no murder charges or manslaughter charges? >> reporter: well, scott, the prosecutor told me that because this was a group attack there was no single fatal wound like a gunshot to justify a murder charge or a manslaughter charge. champion died from his accumulated injuries, so in this case a felony hazing charge would be easier to prove in court and, by the way, carries a maximum sentence of six years. one more thing, scott. the prosecutor still hopes to charge even more people who were on that bus when champion was killed. >> pelley: mark, thank you. it was supposed to be a pitchers' dual in federal court
in washington today. baseball great roger clemens is on trial for allegedly lying to congress when he denied taking steroids and human growth hormone. an ex-team sphaeut the a star witness for the prosecution but what he told the jury today could be a game changer. here's chip reid. >> reporter: when roger clemens arrived at the courthouse today he and his legal team faced a daunting challenge. the day before, clemens former friend and teammate andy pettitte told the court that in 1999 or 2000 clemens mentioned that he had taken human growth hormone or h.g.h., a performance enhancing drug. that was the strongest evidence yet that clemens lied under oath when he testified before congress in 2008. >> let me be clear: i have never taken steroids or h.g.h. >> reporter: on the stand today, pettitte created significant doubts about his own testimony. asked by clemens' attorney if it
would be fair to say that it was 50/50 that he might have misunderstood clemens a dozen years ago pettitte replied "i'd say that's fair." that admission is especially damaging to the case against clemens because pettitte was considered the stronger of the two key witnesses. the other, clemens' former trainer brian mcnamee is expected to testify he injected clemens with steroids and h.g.h. but his credibility has been questioned in the past and will be again. pettitte's backtracking is not the first major setback for the government in this case. in july, 2011, the judge angrily declared a mistrial after prosecutors revealed forbidden evidence to the jury. clemens' attorneys have questioned the cost to taxpayers of trying him again in a case they say has involved 103 law enforcement investigators and 187 witnesses. today attorney general eric holder was asked if he believes
retrying clemens is a good use of limited justice department resources. scott, he said it is because testifying falsely before congress is a serious charge. >> pelley: chip, thank you. former san diego chargers linebacker junior seau died today in an apparent suicide. police say his girlfriend found him dying of a gunshot wound to his chest at his southern california. a gun was nearby. seau spent part of 20 seasons in the n.f.l. and helped lead the chargers to their only super bowl appearance in 1995. junior seau was 43. al qaeda after bin laden. why u.s. officials are worried about the new leader. a close call in the air over hawaii. and new video shows the moment a barge was... wiped out a tour boat when the "cbs evening news" continues. [ woman ] we take it a day at a time.
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>> pelley: president obama returned to the white house this morning from afghanistan where returned to the white house this morning from afghanistan where he signed a security agreement pledging u.s. support through 2024. hours after he left afghanistan, the taliban set off a bomb in kabul that killed seven civilians. the president's visit came one
year to the day after navy seals killed osama bin laden. his terror group al qaeda is now run by ayman al-zawahiri, a physician and long-time bin laden deputy. is al qaeda still a threat? we asked bob orr to take a look. >> reporter: the world first met dr. ayman al-zawahiri as an angry young man railing in english from a courtroom cell in cairo. that was 30 years ago when al-zawahiri was an islamic revolutionary in egypt. he was arrested with hundreds of others for the assassination of egyptian president anwar sadat. after three years in prison, al-zawahiri left egypt for a lifetime of terror. in 1998, he joined forces with osama bin laden. as al qaeda's number two, al-zawahiri was at the core of every major attack, including 9/11. following bin laden's killing by
u.s. navy seals, al-zawahiri seized control. >> he is as deadly a threat as we've faced before. >> reporter: bruce riedel, who spent three decades at the c.i.a. chasing al qaeda says al-zawahiri wants to tighten his grip on the terror network. >> ayman al-zawahiri to cement his authority has to carry out terror, he has to produce a significant terrorist attack which has his fingerprints on it. >> reporter: so so to establish his credentials in the terror world, he needs to attack? >> sooner or later you can't just talk about terror and expect to be regarded as a terrorist mastermind. you've got to orchestrate terror. >> reporter: but al-zawahiri's al qaeda centered in pakistan has been battered by relentless drone strikes and may not be capable of another large-scale attack. so al-zawahiri has used a dozen audio and video messages since bin laden's death to inspire strikes by al qaeda affiliates and home-grown radicals within the u.s. juan zarate on the national
security council of the george w. bush white house says al-zawahiri's propaganda might help the u.s. find him. >> any time he pops his head up-- like a prairie dog-- he can be found or traced back to him can be found. >> reporter: so the dilemma for al-zawahiri is he feeds to message to stay relevant but when he messages he becomes vulnerable? >> that's right. >> reporter: u.s. officials say if they get a clear shot at al-zawahiri they'll take it. riedel says he suspects al-zawahiri, like bin laden, is hiding in a populated center somewhere deep inside pakistan. is it important to take al-zawahiri off the battlefield? >> absolutely. that is resourceful and smart guy and it's important that we get him as soon as possible. >> reporter: al-zawahiri lacks bin laden's charisma and core al qaeda, in fact, is down to a few hundred members. but counterterrorism officials, scott, say it would be a big mistake to underestimate the egyptian doctor. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. in southeast asia today, an event few could have predicted a year ago. aung san suu kyi was sworn in as
a member of burma's parliament. aung san suu kyi, who is 66, spent decades in nonviolent opposition to the military rulers there, including years under house arrest. but there have been new democratic reforms in burma. after today's ceremony, she said that she will work to bring genuine democratic values to the government. back home, a new crackdown on medicare fraud worth $450 back home, a new crackdown on medicare fraud worth $450 million taxpayer dollars next. lettuce shower. b. made by bees. toucan sam. that's not cheese. grass fed. curry. gingersnaps. soup can tower. 5% cash back. right now, get 5% cash back at grocery stores.
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>> pelley: federal agents have executed a massive roundup of suspects for medicare fraud, breathtaking in its scope. there were raids yesterday in seven cities. 107 people are accused tonight in scams to steal $452 million from the program. they include doctors, nurses, and owners of mental health centers who allegedly billed taxpayers for treatments that patients never received. in the presidential race today, newt gingrich made the long-awaited announcement that he's giving up his fight for the republican nomination. he gave a less-than-ringing endorsement to his once-bitter rival mitt romney, suggesting only that romney is better than the democratic alternative, president obama. gingrich won just two states and 130 delegates. the f.a.a. is investigating whether air traffic controllers in honolulu covered up a close
call in the air. it happened in january. two jets-- a japan airlines 767 and a u.p.s. m.d. 11 were coming in for a landing when they were mistakenly put on a collision course. listen, now, as the tower instructs them to separate. >> pelley: the planes were less than two miles apart when they separated. officials in honolulu did not initially report the incident to federal authorities. the manager of the honolulu office retired after the f.a.a. began investigating. we got our first good look today at a deadly boat accident that happened two years ago. new video shows the moment a barge slammed into a tour boat in >> ifill: .
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>> pelley: finally tonight, it's among the most widely recognized paintings many the world, right up there with the mona lisa. "the scream" depicts a human figure on a bridge under a red sky shrieking in fear or despair and seth doane reports one version of it is up for auction tonight. >> reporter: sue prideaux will be in the room tonight when the scream is auctioned. she wrote a biography of edvard munch, the norwegian artist who created this multimillion dollar masterpiece. it just seems like a crazy sum of money. >> if you look at the billionaires, there's any number of private islands they can buy, private jets, private yachts. it there's only one scream. >> reporter: at least, it's
the only one that will ever be for sale. three others hang in museums. munch created this pastel on board in 1895. he was in great pain. a love affair had just ended and he visited his sister in and oslo insane asylum when he found himself at this fjord. >> and he had this vision that the sky turned to blood and he >> and he had this vision that the sky turned to blood and he had a great scream through nature. >> reporter: here this kind of amorphous amoeba like androgynous character. it evokes a feeling, even if we can't put our feeling on it. >> i think that's a very important part to it because you can relate to it whether you're old, young, male, female. and the extraordinary thing of the skull beneath the skin, you know? we all know we have that skull, don't we? >> reporter: it's inspired countless pop culture knockoffs, from the wes craven movie to the homer simpson poster. >> there aren't many works of art that have dolls, are there? >> reporter: new york art dealer david nash says the piece could sell for much higher than
its auction estimate of $80 to $150 million. >> a dealer used to say you can always remake the money. you can never remake the painting. >> reporter: and for tonight the auction here in shopped it around the world, going all out to get the best price. >> sotheby's presented it in london like a jewel in a black velvet room. the presence that that painting has you could just gaze at it for hours and hours. >> reporter: presence at a price that precious few could afford. seth doane, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world. is jessica's baby already earning millions? >> jessica simpson is a very savvy businesswoman. >> her luxurious birthing suite and hollywood babies, pregnant women posing nude. baby bumps and all. and is bobby brown to blame for whitney houston's death. his new interview. rihanna's wild new photos. and tom ford, one-on-one with vogue's andre leon talley. >> you have