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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  September 11, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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well that's at least the good news. >> that's it for us on 9news now at 6:00 p.m. the "cbs evening news" is next derek mcginty ll wibe back in half an hour. don't forget, wusa9.com is always on. captions by: caption colorado, llc 800-775-7838 email: comments@captioncolorado.com president's added a dress helps him win support for health care reform but there are still real concerns about how he'll pay for it. i'm katie couric, also tonight, september 11, 2009. remembering those we vowed never to forget. >> michelle coyle eulo. >> anne marie cramer. >> couric: panic on the potomac? not exactly. cable news networks mistake a training exercise for a real attack. and a cab driver takes a passenger on the ride of their lives. >> so this is not just gave you
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a life, it's gave me another life. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. well, he needed to do something to rescue health care reform, so the president took his case directly to the american people in a national television address before a joint session of congress. did it work? the answer tonight is maybe. a cbs news poll just out shows he did change some minds. 52% now approve of the way he's handling health care, that's a 12-point improvement from last week. and among those who say they watched the speech, support is even greater, 58%. but chief white house correspondent chip reid tells us the president still has a lot of work to do. >> reporter: the president bet the house on his prime time health care speech and in some areas he's cashing in, according to the new cbs news poll.
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42% say he has clearly explained his plan, up from 33% last week. and for those who watched the speech, it surged to 58%. the president still has a lot of explaining to do, though, on some specifics. one example: he spent a lot of time arguing that everyone will benefit from health reform, even those who already have insurance. >> what this plan will do is make the insurance you have work better for you. >> reporter: but he wasn't very convincing, according to the poll. only 22% of americans believe reform will help them personally. even among those who watched the speech, only 31% think it will help. 27% say it will hurt. 39% say it won't have any effect. one of the president's key points was that his plan will not increase the deficit over the next ten years. >> i will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits. >> reporter: but 52% of meshes say it's impossible to expand health care coverage without increasing the deficit.
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only 42% say it is possible. many fiscally conservative democrats in congress, whose votes are essential to the president, are also still skeptical. >> in order to get my support, the president's going to have to convince me that the... with the numbers that it's not going to add one penny to the deficit. >> reporter: the president says most of his plan will be paid for by reducing waste and inefficiency in medicare and medicaid, but he still hasn't provided specifics. the president is also proposing automatic spending cuts just in case his plan does add to the deficit. but those kinds of automatic cuts have been routinely ignored by congress in the past. katie? >> couric: chip reid reporting from the white house tonight. thank you. president obama marked the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks today by vowing to continue pursuing al qaeda and remembering the nearly 3,000 victims. the president has declared september 11 a national day of service. he and the first lady picked up brushes and helped paint a
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living room at a habitat for humanity house in washington. but this was also a time of remembrance. ♪ o, say can you see... >> sam samuel fields >> john a. chris see. >> couric: dreary weather provided a pointian backdrop as rain drops mixed with tears at new york's ground zero. >> you guys are always heroes and now you're always going to be an angel. ♪ my art is aching... >> reporter: carly simon flanked by her two grown children sang a solemn version of her oscar-winning song. ♪ let the river run... >> reporter: but at the white house, the first couple remembered the victims of 9/11 in silence. later, a rain-soaked president obama placed a wreath and paid respects to those who lost loved ones at the pentagon. >> the men and women who lost
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their lives eight years ago today leave a leg they still shines brightly in the darkness. >> couric: and? n shanksville, pennsylvania, a crowd gathered in the field where construction is imminent on a memorial to honor the heroic passengers and crew of united flight 93. >> to the families and friends of these heroes, you have our embrace, our compassion, our gratitude. >> couric: u.s. security forces of all kinds train continually for the possibility of a terror attack, even, it turns out, on the 9/11 anniversary. bob orr tells us a coast guard practice exercise in washington today caused quite a scare when a cable news network mistook it for the real thing. >> reporter: the president had just left 9/11 ceremonies at the pentagon, his motorcade crossing the potomac river as a coast guard security exercise unfolded on the water below.
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the drill involved coast guard fast boats patrolling a secure zone. >> people seem intent on trying to violate that zone. >> reporter: soon cnn was on the air, reporting the coast guard had intercepted a suspicious vessel. the cable network aired a radio transmission carrying an ominous warning from one of the patrol boats. cnn reported ten shots had been fired. other news outlets picked up the story. f.b.i. agents and police who had not been told of the coast guard exercise scrambled to the river fearing a 9/11 anniversary attack. flights at reagan national airport were briefly stopped, but there was no attack. >> no shots were fired. there was no suspect you will have. there was no criminal activity. this was a pre-planned normal training exercise. >> reporter: coast guard officials calling it a routine drill saw no need to put other law enforcement in the loop. white house press secretary robert gibbs blamed the media for triggering a frenzy.
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cnn said? a statement two calls to the coast guard yield nod confirmation of an incident but: media analyst tom rosenstiel said they made a mistake. >> there's no benefit to being wrong. the net effect over time is damaging to the press. >> reporter: coast guard officials ordered a review of the incident but refused to apologize for the training they see as essential to homeland defense. bob orr, cbs news, washington. >> couric: less than a month after 9/11, u.s. forces invaded afghanistan in search of those responsible for the attacks. eight years later, 62,000 american troops are fighting there, another 6,000 will join them by year's end. as nancy cordes reports, a fierce debate has erupted in washington over sending even more.
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>> reporter: paying tribute to the victims of 9/11, the president urged americans not to lose faith in the mission it sparked. >> let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still. >> reporter: but as mr. obama considers sending more troops to afghanistan, his own part see why bawlinging. today senate arms services chair carl levin implored him not to order more deployments but to focus instead on training the afghan army and police. >> we need a surge of afghan security forces. >> reporter: house speaker nancy pelosi sent a similar message. >> i don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to afghanistan. >> reporter: the misgivings in the president's own party reflect a growing national pessimism amid record casualties there. >> we need to have the afghan security forces demonstrate that they have primacy that they can control the situation on the ground. >> reporter: 21,000 additional
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u.s. troops will deploy there this year, driving total troop levels up to a new high, 68,000. levin argued sending more than that would just provoke the enemy. >> creating a bigger u.s. military footprint provides propaganda fodder for the taliban. >> reporter: republican senator john mccain shot back that arbitrarily capping u.s. troop levels would be catastrophic. worried that a democratic uprising could embarrass the president, the senate majority leader called for patience. >> i recommend to my caucus let's just take it's easy. >> reporter: regardless of what the president decides to do in the future, the secretary of defense is so concerned about the rate of i.e.d. attacks that tonight he's calling for an additional 3,000 troops to head to afghanistan right away to provide security and intelligence. katie? >> couric: nancy cordes on capitol hill tonight, thank you, nancy. if health news, results from u.s. clinical trials out today confirm that most adults may
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need just one vaccine shot against the h1n1 flu virus instead of two. that could effectively double our arsenal against another outbreak. more now from our medical correspondent dr. jon lapook. >> reporter: everything about the h1n1 virus has been unpredictable, including this: the vaccine against it is much more effective than expected. >> it appears that we may need only one dose of the new vaccine for most healthy adults and that the vaccine we are producing is working extremely well. >> reporter: experts have predicted that two separate shots would be needed. but in results released today, two vaccines being tested protected healthy adults just eight to ten days after a single dose. >> this is very good news for the vaccination program both with regard to the supply of vaccine as well as to its potential efficacy. >> reporter: health officials want to vaccinate at least 160 million americans so this news
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means a limited supply of vaccine could immunize twice as many people as expected and they will probably be protected more quickly than anticipated. >> the party line on influenza vaccine is when a new strain comes out it takes two doses. there may be something peculiar about this strain that has made us lucky. >> reporter: one caveat: these trials only studied healthy adults. in the coming weeks, we'll find out if a single dose will also work in two high-risk groups: children and pregnant women. dr. jon lapook, cbs news, new york. >> couric: coming up next right here on the "cbs evening news," eight years later. why can't we catch osama bin laden? me.
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u if prescription chantix is right foyou. >> couric: americans are a lot less worried about another attack in the years since 9/11. our cbs news poll tonight found just 7% of americans believe a terror attack is very likely in the near future. in october of 2001, more than half felt that way. change is also apparent at the world trade center site in new york as we here from national correspondent jim axelrod. >> reporter: finally progress is plain to see at ground zero. at 70 tonights apiece, the base columns of the first building to rise are in the ground and the
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first three floors are taking shape. >> this is no longer a pit. it is, in fact, a vibrant construction site. >> reporter: one world trade center will be new york's tallest building at 1,776 feet. it's set to be finished by 2014, some eight years late. what's taking so long? >> after that day of tragedy there was a rush to create dates and there were probably somefa unreasonable dates. >> reporter: the port authority is the public agency that owns ground zero and is rebuilding about 60% of the 16-acre site. the other 40% is in the hands of developer larry silverstein, who's supposed to put up three other towers, two of those aren't even started. >> people look at this and they want this rebuilt. the fact that it's not i think is a national disgrace. >> reporter: he blames port authority delays in getting his portion of the pit ready for construction. by the time it was ready, he says, the recession had dried up private financing. the two sides are now in arbitration to map a way forward. >> all i want to do is do what
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the world expects us to do, and that's rebuild ground zero. >> reporter: whatever eventually happens with rebuilding ground zero, filling this open pit isn't the only piece of unfinished business from 9/11. what about capturing the master mind responsible for creating it? >> bin laden is alive. he is being hunted, but he has not been found. >> reporter: and on this eighth anniversary, experts explain that the same way they have for years: osama bin laden's suspected hiding place on the pakistani/afghan border gives him perfect cover. >> if you combine the highest peaks of the rocky mountains in a space the size if not larger of texas, where we do not have control of the territory and where any valley, any village, any compound can hold one man, you're talking about a needle in a haystack. >> reporter: another question& rooted in this pit is the condition of close to
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20,000 people who lived near, worked at, or responded to ground zero and reported respiratory similar symptoms soon after 9/11. >> the majority of folks are still affected on a daily level. >> reporter: they're being treated for asthma, sinus problems and now even post-traumatic stress disorder. >> we're going to need continued funding for 20 or 30 years more so that we can really describe and understand what happens after individuals have massive exposures to all sorts of different chemicals and compounds. >> reporter: questions for the future on this day devoted to looking back. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. impressive resume. i see you're flatulent in three languages... graduated top of your gas... (announcer) got gas on your mind? your son rip is on line toot. excuse me (announcer) try gas-x. powerful relief from pressure and bloating in a fast-dissolving strip. gas-x. pressure's off.
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>> couric: after all those dazzling leaps on the court, michael jordan is finally landing where he belongs, induction tonight in the basketball hall of fame. during his 15-year career, air jordan won ten scoring titles and six championships with the chicago bulls. not bad for a guy once cut from his high school team. on the topic of unrecognized worth, back in may an anonymous corporation donated a bronze ballerina statue to the goodwill of miami. goodwill recently discovered it's a rare sculpture worth about a half million dollars. so the charity notified the surprised donor and gave it back today. now that's goodwill. in beverly hills, comedy writer larry gelbart died today of cancer. the son of a barber, he got his
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start writing radio jokes for one of his dad's customers-- danny thomas. then on to t.v. where he wrote for cyd caesar. but gelbart is best known for t.v.'s "m.a.s.h." and the hit movie "tootsie" with the cross-dressing dustin ofman. larry gelbart was 81. still ahead, she thought he was just about the worst cab driver ever, until their lives took a very unexpected turn. "assignment america" is next. nnn medication to lower your bad cholesterol but your good cholesterol and triglycerides are still out of line? then you may not be seeing the whole picture. ask your doctor about trilipix. statin to lower bad cholesterol, along with diet, adding trilipix can lower fatty triglycerides and raise good cholesterol to help improve all three cholesterol numbers. trilipix has not been shown to prevent heart
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it works or your money back! ♪ activia! >> couric: finally tonight, a woman gets into a cab and a driver takes her somewhere she never could have dreamed. here's steve hartman with tonight's "assignment america." >> reporter: although phoenix cab driver tom chappell insist he is always knows where he's going... >> i don't ever get lost. >> reporter: ...he has been known to miss a turn or two. >> oh, man, what did i do? >> reporter: such was the case we road with him. >> i got to talking and forgot to take the 101. >> reporter: and such was the case a few months ago,ing the day he went to the home of rita van loenen. >> i was running 30 minutes late when i finally picked her up and
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she was not a happy camper. >> i'm expecting a cab truck driver to be able to find his way. >> reporter: rita didn't tip him. in fact, she was hoping she'd never see him again. but fate had other plans. over the next two months, seemed like every time rita called a cab, guess who got dispatched? >> i was thinking why, lord? why are you picking me? (laughs) >> reporter: tom says rita continued to be cranky, even when he wasn't late. most cab drivers would have probably barked right back, but not tom. tom just wondered about her. >> i would like to understand why. for everything that goes on, i wonder why. >> reporter: he wondered if her attitude had anything to do with where he was taking her all the time, a medical office with a door that red kidney dialysis. >> so i went to the library and started learning more, then i started understanding why she was that way. >> i'm always crab biwhen i have to go to dialysis. >> well, i can understand why. >> reporter: through his research and from talking to rita, tom learned how physically
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and emotionally draining dialysis can be. he learned what rita really needs is a kidney transplant, but none of her friends or family are suitable donors. and finally, he learned something about himself. something incredible, really. >> i try to be as good to people as i can and, in fact, i've always said i'd give somebody the shirt off my back if they asked me for it. i never thought about giving somebody a part of me. >> it's unbelievable that the cab driver wants to give me his kidney. >> reporter: of course, rita knew tom probably wouldn't be a match but the fact he so sincerely offered meant the world to her. later when he actually followed through and got tested, she was blown away. and when those test results came back, they were both in utter disbelief. >> they said if it was any closer we'd be siblings. >> reporter: really. >> yes. >> reporter: the surgery is planned for later this year. >> oh, i tell him... i mean, it's hard for me to express in
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words how grateful i am. >> reporter: tom says it's nothing, really, he said he just had a talk with god and god thought it was a good idea. he never expected there to be anything in it for him. but there was. not a kidney... >> a daughter i haven't seen in 30 years. >> reporter: but a piece of his heart that was lost. >> she called me last night. >> reporter: last night? >> yeah. >> reporter: she'd seen his story on the local news. >> we just talked for a long time, talked about this. she's got kids i didn't know about. >> reporter: tom says after an ugly divorce his wife took their daughter and disappeared. >> i just want to cry because i miss her so much. >> reporter: the irony is part of the reason tom offered rita his kidney in the first place is because he figured he didn't have a whole lot more to live for anyway. >> and so this is not just gave you a life, it's gave me another life. >> reporter: if all goes well, they should both be enjoying those new lives by christmas. >> left here! >> i know it! (laughs) >> reporter: assuming tom can
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find the hospital, of course. finally, kudos to tom's employer chicago-based flash cab 303 taxi. the company has agreed to not only keep paying tom while he's recovering from the surgery, but they're also paying for his airline ticket to kentucky to see his daughter. >> couric: that is the nicest story. you never know how special your cab driver might be. but something tells me he's one in a million, right? >> reporter: he is. if anybody out there wants to help tom or if you want to learn more about organ donation, you can go to our web site right there on the front page and we've got links for you, cbsnews.com. >> couric: maybe they'll both come to see us after the surgery. >> that's been nice. >> couric: steve hartman, as always, steve, thanks so much. and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric in new york. thanks for watching this week. jeff glor will be here tomorrow and i'll see you again on monday. have a great weekend. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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from the first local station with news in high- definition, this is 9news now. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." >> we will look at our procedures and our timing of this exercise. >> a coastguard training exercise out on the potomac causes a panic on a day of 9/11 memorials. the coastguard fired 10 rounds at a suspicious boat and then showed vessels circling in the water right near the bridge. president obama's motorcade had just crossed over on the way to the pentagon. departures from national airport halted for 20 minutes. but the coastguard then said oops, just a training exercise. they were shocked and critical of cnn for failing to verify that report. this afternoon cnnme

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