tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS September 17, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> couric: tonight, sarah palin. can she see the white house from iowa? >> you betcha! >> couric: meanwhile, there are calls for a criminal investigation of another rising g.o.p. star. i'm katie couric. also tonight, ambush in afghanistan. american soldiers under fire. one is shot in the helmet and survives. a tree falls in brooklyn and more in queens, but was it a tornado that swept through new york city? and we'll end the week by spinning a few records and watching them go down. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. we don't know if sarah palin intends to enter the presidential race. the only failed vice presidential candidate in modern times who ever went on to win the white house was franklin
roosevelt. but the former governor of alaska is at the traditional starting line tonight-- iowa. and our latest cbs news/"new york times" poll only 20% of americans overall have a favorable opinion of palin. but 50% of republicans do. and those are the votes she would need for the nomination. dean reynolds is in des moines tonight. dean, the caucuses are 17 months away but iowa is already getting plenty of attention. >> reporter: very true, katie. there are some 50 news organizations and a thousand dinner guests here tonight in des moines, all of them drawn to this room by one person-- sarah palin. >> we can take it back! we can take back our country and we're gonna turn things around! >> reporter: for weeks, the former alaska governor has been promoting her political favorites and keeping herself at center stage. wednesday in oklahoma. >> america's heading towards a precipice and we'd better turn things around right now. >> reporter: last night in kentucky with tea party favorite
rand paul. >> the hierarchy and, you know, that i ear not liking this. >> reporter: the midterm elections are just over seven weeks away, but by coming to iowa now, palin has added to the notion that she may have november 2012 on her mind. >> by going to iowa, samp gets to keep all of her options open, she can be a republican king maker and she can start paving the way for a possible presidential run. >> reporter: but traffic on the road from iowa to the white house is getting heavy. among potential rivals, mitt romney will be here next month, minnesota governor tim pawlenty has made several trips and has hired staff here. and ex-speaker newt gingrich has come and gone seven times in recent months. moreover, palin's preference for the big well-paid speech over hand-to-hand campaigning runs against the grain in iowa. eric woolson ran mike huckabee's winning caucus every here if 2008. >> i think if a and candidate is thinking they can run a celebrity candidacy rather than a true grass-roots presidential
campaign they're going to be sadly mistaken. >> i'm so proud of mary! >> reporter: while she's been very successful at boosting her chosen picks, the latest cbs news/"new york times" poll found americans believe palin is way more interested in staying in the public eye than electing conservatives. and yet the white house said today that sarah palin is probably the most formidable force in the republican party these days. katie? >> couric: dean, that sounds like democrats may actually want to see more of her out on the stump. >> reporter: that's truement i agree with that, because her fame apparently cuts both ways. whereas she's going to help some republican candidates, the democrats here in iowa say their chief fund-raiser and organize is sarah palin. katie? >> couric: dean reynolds in des moines tonight. dean, thanks so much. now to the tea party's newest star, christine o'donnell who
scored and up set to take the nomination in delaware today. she took the spotlight today at a conservative summit in washington but there may be trouble ahead for her. a watchdog group intends to call monday for a criminal investigation of what it says is her chronic abuse of campaign funds. here's congressional correspondent nancy cordes. >> reporter: christine o'donnell, initially shunned by the republican establishment, was embraced by it today, granted a plum speaking role at the annual values voters summit in washington, d.c. alongside the likes of mitt romney and mike huckabee. >> the small elite don't get us. they call us whacky. they call us wing nuts. we call us "we the people." (cheers and applause) >> reporter: delaware's new republican senate nominee was at home in this crowd of social conservatives. but even as she preached a return to fiscal conservatism, o'donnell's own unorthodox spending habits were starting to come under heavy scrutiny. staffers on her previous
campaign for senate and o'donnell's own financial filings reveal that the unemployed o'donnell used campaign funds to pay for meals, gas, bowling trips, and personal rent, even long after the campaign had ended. >> i've never seen a candidate who just stole all their campaign money and used it for personal use. what it seems like here is christine o'donnell had no other way to support herself so she thought, okay, i'll run for u.s. senate. >> reporter: the nonpartisan watchdog group citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington is urging the u.s. attorney in delaware to open a criminal investigation. >> it's not sloppiness, it's out-and-out theft. >> reporter: but today o'donnell waved off her critics. >> will they attack us? yes. will they smear our background and distort our records? undoubtedly. >> reporter: republican senate campaign leaders scheduled their first face-to-face meeting with o'donnell today but she canceled saying she was just too tired after her whirlwind week.
katie? >> couric: nancy cordes on capitol hill tonight. nancy, thanks very much. in other news, president obama wanted harvard professor elizabeth warren to head a new consumer protection bureau but that would have meant a long confirmation fight with senate republicans who think she'd be too hard on wall street and big banks. so today the president named her a special advisor, no confirmation needed, to oversee setting up the consumer financial protection bureau. the president said the agency will, among other things, crack down on abusive practices by mortgage lenders and enforce the new credit card law that bans unfair rate hikes. there is no bigger consumer issue than health care and in this economy, americans are not only losing jobs but the health insurance that often comes with them. the census bureau says more than 50 million people were uninsured last year. that's an increase of nearly 4.5 million. health care reform will eventually ensuring virtually every american. meanwhile, sharyl attkisson reports a battle has broken out
between the insurance industry and the white house. >> reporter: millions of americans are about to get their first big taste of health care reform. both benefits and costs. starting next week, your insurance company can no longer put dollar limits on essential benefits such as hospital and lab services. dependent children will be covered to age 26. you'll get preventative care with no deductible or copay. but there's a price. >> of course, all of those new benefits have additional costs that will be reflected in the cost of coverage. >> reporter: insurers like blue cross/blue shield of illinois have already sent letters notifying customers of premium hikes, up to 13% total. all, they say, because of health care reform. in response, the obama administration has issued a remarkably stern warning to insurers. stop blaming premium hikes on health care reform or else. in a letter, h.h.s.-- health and human services-- accuses the insurance industry of
misinformation and misleading marketing and warn there is will be zero tolerance. "we will keep track of insurers who make unjustified rate increases" says the letter "and may exclude them from a large slice of the market in 2014." don't the insurance companies have a right to make their own analyses and claims to their customers? >> well, absolute they have a right to communicate with their customers. we just want to make sure that that communication is as accurate as possible. >> reporter: but accuracy may be in the eye of the beholder and insurers are firing back, asking how can they be forced to increase benefits then prevented from telling customers why costs are on the rise? >> we strongly believe that our policyholders have a right to this information. >> reporter: the obama administration insists the impact of health care reform on premiums will be minimal and that insurers should have to justify their rate increases with real data. sharyl attkisson, cbs news, washington. >> couric: in other news here in new york city, weather service investigators spent the day trying to determine if a
deadly storm system that hit yesterday included a rare tornado. whether it did or not, the storm left a 14-mile path of destruction across brooklyn and queens. here's michelle miller. >> reporter: even for jaded new yorkers it was a storm that got their attention. >> look at the tree! look at the tree! >> reporter: winds at 100 miles an hour gusting through the city with tornado warnings in the middle of rush hour. >> the entire roof has been ripped off, sheared off. >> reporter: by daybreak it was clear: this was one for the record books. from roof tops blown away in staten island... >> it looked like dooms day. it was coming in black. it made it like midnight. >> reporter: to more than a thousand toppled trees in brooklyn and queens. stunned new yorkers began to clean up the damage from the storm that tore through some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the country. what did you think when you first saw it? >> i think my mind was a blank.
(laughs) i really... i mean, you're not used to this kind of stuff. >> reporter: no word yet on whether these were tornadoes, but no one would be surprised, especially this year. >> we get an occasional tornado here. it averages about one every five years give or take a couple years. this summer, this is our fourth tornado in the new york city area in about three month's time. >> reporter: a woman who had just switched seats with her husband died when a tree fell on their parked car. the couple had pulled over on an expressway to ride out the storm. the husband was not hurt. >> i've been in brooklyn for over 20 years and i have never seen anything like this. >> reporter: the strong weather system blew in from the midwest where several tornadoes also touched down in central ohio and new jersey. and hundreds of trees like this one remain strewn about new york city. they're blocking streets, sidewalks and have fallen on homes. tens of thousands of people remain without power so, katie,
cleanup crews will have a long weekend ahead of them. >> couric: all right. michelle millner brookline for us tonight. michelle, thank you. turning to afghanistan now where the polls opened just hours away from now for parliamentary elections. and the taliban have declared war on everyone associated with it-- including voters. in the last few weeks, at least 18 poll workers and one candidate have been kidnapped. in spite of that, plenty of afghans are willing to risk their lives for democracy. from kabul, here's mandy clark. >> reporter: as an afghan woman, everything about robina jalali is unconventional: ambitious, young and bristling with confidence, the 25-year-old is running for parliament. two years ago she was in a different race, running for afghanistan in the beijing olympics. she finished last then. tomorrow jalali hopes for a different result. "i represent youth and i represent women" she says.
"and both need a voice in parliament." but constituents here are just as likely to kill candidates as they are to vote for them. >> look at this, this is my car. >> reporter: she was in the front seat campaigning when insurgents smashed in the windows. jalali is not alone. the taliban have threatened anyone involved in the elections. its campaign of terror has left three candidates dead. but 2,500 people are defying the danger and running for 249 seats candidate haroun mir warns the could be afghanistan's last election before the taliban regain power-- a threat he compares to a spreading tumor. so taliban is a cancer in afghanistan? >> exactly. and it's growing fast. since last year, taliban have been able to expand their territory in the north and now even in suburbs of kabul. >> reporter: despite the threats, jalali remains hopeful, campaigning until the end in the belief that the time for a new afghanistan is now.
mandy clark, cbs news, kabul. >> couric: the taliban are also stepping up attacks on u.s. troops. coming up next, powerful images from an insurgent ambush. one soldier owes his life to his helmet. and later, tall tales from the new guinness book of world records. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives.
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>> couric: in the war in afghanistan, the u.s. military has focused much of its attention on pushing the taliban out of kandahar in the south. but some of the toughest battles are being fought in the northeast in kunar province. its mountains and problem similar toy pakistan make it a haven for insurgents. tonight we're getting our first look at some dramatic footage of american soldiers being ambushed in kunar from our partner global post. in late august, infantry soldiers from the 101st airborne lead their combat outpost to scout out possible polling sites for the parliamentary elections. their convoy is hit by a coordinated attack-- on the ground and from the cliffs above. 19-year-old private justin greer cranks his turret toward the incoming fire and is shoot in his helmet.
>> bleep in the head! bell blm (bleep). >> your helmet saved you, man. hang on! >> couric: greer suffered a mild concussion but is otherwise okay. at the head of the convoy, the lead vehicle has been hit is now in flames. several soldiers attend to the driver who's lost his arm. the rest provide cover.
>> couric: as they drive off, the soldiers are still reeling from the attack. >> (bleep). >> you all good. >> (bleep) an i.e.d.? >> we don't know. >> that's (bleep) huge. >>py hands are all numb. >> couric: specialist jesse townsend is later hailed a hero for apply ago tourniquet to the driver's arm and saving his life. >> we all wanted to get out. we were taking small arms fire so we couldn't go anywhere. pretty much pinned down. but he did all right. >> couric: the soldier who lost his arm is recovering. private greer and specialist townsend are both doing well. we'll be right back. captioning sponsored by cbs
>> couric: a security scare during pope benedict's viz stoit britain. earlier today, the police arrested a garbage depot arresting five people. a sixth man was arrested later so far no one has been charged. also today, an extraordinary scene at westminster abbey. for the first time the pope shook hands with a female priest. anglican minister jane hedges. benedict is strongly opposed to ordaining women. first glenn beck had his big washington rally, now not to be outdone comedy central stars jon stewart and stephen colbert have announced dueling political
rallies near the washington monument the weekend before election day. >> a million moderate march! where we take to the streets to send a message to our leaders and our national media that says we are here! we're only here, though, until 6:00 because we have a sitter! >> couric: stewart calls his event "the rally to restore sanity." colbert's is called "the march to keep fear alive." now back in the '70s there were 19 soap operas on t.v. come monday, there will be just six. >> and now for the next 30 minutes, "as the world turns." >> couric: the first half hour soap began on cbs in 1956 with actress helen wagner saying "good morning, dear." today after 18,558 episodes, "as the world turns" ended its amazing run. >> good night. >> couric: wagner, by the way,
earned a place in the guinness record book for playing the same character for 54 years. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. home of one of the coldest, longest nights on the planet. and asked frequent heartburn sufferers, like carl, to put prilosec otc's 24 hour heartburn protection
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guinness records. >> a new tallest dog could come tomorrow, a new smallest dog could come tomorrow. that's the nature of record breaking. >> reporter: animals have always been a part of the guinness book. like dexter the world's smallest cow, or anastasia, the fastest balloon popping dog. but it's documenting the human quest for achievement that's made guinness the highest selling book under copyright of all time. like mangeet singh who has the longest hair, not to be confused with sarwan singh who has the longest beard. where else would you find the record for running through the longest consecutive planes of glass, or the longest duration full body burn. don't try this at home. just this week on regis and kelly they set another guinness record-- longest human mattress domino chain. >> congratulations! >> reporter: then there's this man. >> i love jumping, hopping, rolling. >> reporter: he holds the world record for holding the
most world records. 122 currently, including ten different pogo stick records, above and below water. >> when you break a guinness record you know you've done the best in the world that anyone has ever done and, you know, even though it seems silly, it takes a lot of endurance, concentration, and a lot of times talent. >> reporter: which explains exactly why people do it says best selling author and culture observer seth godin-- to matter. >> what guinness offerd is the slight chance that maybe if you try hard enough you get noticed, you get picked. just notice me, tell me you care about me and you'll remember me when i'm gone. >> reporter: take a good look at these folks. how could we forget? jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that is the "cbs evening news." i'm katie couric. thank you for watch from the first local station with news in high definition, this is 9news now. >> good everyoning, tonight in
your only local news at 7:00, household hazards, a family must bury their infant son after he is strangled to death in the drapes. dead woman walking. the only female on death row in virginia hoping for mercy from the governor before she is to be put to death in a week and speaking out, the hostages from the discovery standoff give the chilling details. i'm andrea. >> he asked me, do you have kids? yes, sir, i have two. what's so good about your filthy children? i looked him in the eye and i said, they are very kind, sir. i look back at him and it's jim face first on the floor. christopher was trying to get my attention. i looked over and he had his arms folded and putting three fingers under his arms and he mouthed the word run. he shook h