tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 31, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> pelley: tonight, the republican front-runner on the defensive. herman cain denies accusations of sexual harassment, but he now acknowledges there was a monetary settlement. millions in the northeast are without power after a historic snow fall and passengers revolt after being stuck on planes for hours. >> i got a problem here on the plane. i'm going to have-to-need to have the cops on board. >> reporter: undercover video shows russian spies taking payoffs in america. video that helped the f.b.i. bust the spy ring. and how do you get america back to work? dean reynolds with a man who's putting the motor city on the road to recovery. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening, herman cain, the front-runner for the republican presidential
nomination, could not have been more clear about it today. he said "i have never sexually harassed anyone." but he acknowledged that he was accused of sexual harassment in the 1990s and that the accusers received a monetary settlement. the story, which broke late last night, has shaken up the g.o.p. campaign. political correspondent jan crawford has the late-breaking developments. >> reporter: he's a front-runner under fire. >> sir, excuse me! >> reporter: today herman cain was on the defensive, flatly denying accusations of sexual harassment. >> i'll let the rest... while at the restaurant association i was accused of sexual harassment. falsely accused, i might add. i was falsely accused of sexual harassment and when the charges were brought, as the leader of the organization, i recused myself and allowed my general counsel and my human resource officer to deal with the
situation. and it was concluded after a thorough investigation that it had no basis. >> reporter: the intense scrutiny was triggered by a story that broke late sunday night on politico, a non-partisan web site for political reporting. it said at least two women had accused cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s when he was head of the national restaurant association. according to the web site, the women accused cain of improper language and gestures. cain's chief of staff mark block told cbs news that cain recalls one incident with a staffer that may have lead to a complaint. >> he commented to this employee that she was about the same height as his wife. his wife is a very short person. i think about five feet. >> reporter: and... >> that's it. no more than that. >> reporter: but block said there was no physical contact. the web site also said the restaurant association eventually paid a settlement to the women-- something cain initially said he didn't know.
>> i am unaware of any sort of settlement. i hope it wasn't for much because i didn't do anything! >> reporter: but late today he told fox news there was a settlement. >> and, yes, there was some sort of settlement or termination and i don't even know what the contents of that was. since it was found baseless, that was no big settlement or it would have had to come to me. >> reporter: the news comes as cain has shot to the top of recent polls. in iowa, he's leading former massachusetts governor mitt romney 23% to 22%. in texas, he's even edged governor rick perry 27% to 26%. now, cain said today the story was a witch-hunt designed to bring him down as the front-runner. but, scott, he vowed that it wouldn't. >> pelley: jan, cain's campaign staff isn't large or highly experienced. what's their plan for dealing with this controversy? >>. >> reporter: i talked to mark block, his chief of staff, about that, he said they're going to
be transparent, have cairn answer these questions. he was at the press club today surrounded by media so they're going to allow him to continue talking about this. he also said herman cain supporters are still backing him. mark block told me online donations to cain's campaign today were up significantly-- almost double. >> pelley: jan, thank you very much. millions in the northeast are in the dark this halloween night after a historic weekend storm brought heavy slow in maryland to maine. at least 13 deaths are reported, nearly two and a half million homes and businesses in nine states are without power. the storm forced cancellation of more than 1,700 flights and passengers on at least four jetliners say they were held eventually captive on the tarmac for seven hours and more. with the passengers bill of rights, that's not supposed to happen so we asked anthony mason why it did. >> reporter: as the hours ticked
by and diverted jetblue flight 504 remained stranded on the tarmac in hartford, the frustrated pilot radio it had tower. >> reporter: the problems began saturday afternoon when snowy weather and instrument troubles forced the diversion of about 50 planes from new york airports. 23 of them with 1,700 passengers aboard landed at the relatively small hartford airport. jetblue 504 with 129 passengers aboard was among four jets stuck on the hartford tarmac for seven hours or more. and as toilets stopped operating tensions started rising.
>> reporter: the paraplegic was 32-year-old jimmy brown, paralyzed from the waist down. >> behind us there was almost a fight. in front of us people are yelling. "just bring the stairs, let us get off the plane." yelling at the pilot and airline attendants. >> reporter: under a new passengers' bill of rights, an airline can be fined the $27,500 per passenger for delays of more than three hours but fliersrights.org says the airport is also to blame. >> they should have been able to handle it. they're an international airport. all of their excuses are because they sent employees and customs home early. >> reporter: the last man off flight 504 agrees. >> i don't see why they couldn't use the stairs at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00. why did it take until 11:00 for me to get off the plane? >> reporter: in a statement, hartford's bradley international said its resources were stretched to the limit by the 23
diverted flights. jetblue blamed a confluence of events and said all passengers would receive full refunds. >> pelley: anthony, let me ask you the question we've been asking in the newsroom all day. why didn't they just roll stairs up to these planes and get the people off? >> reporter: that's the great unanswered question, scott, a spokesman at hartford would not answer it. they are investigating the incident, as is the department of transportation. but kate hani at fliersrights.org pointed out the airport managed to get ambulances and police cars out to some of those planes so why no stairs? >> pelley: that begs the question: can the airport be fined under the passenger bill of rights? >> reporter: well, that's interesting. the bill of rights exquds the airports. they managed to get themselves written out of that case. they are not subject to the $27,500 fine per passenger and some passenger rights advocates are saying now they should be. >> pelley: anthony, thank you very much. this story got us wondering just how many flights have violated
that three-hour delay rule since the rule took effect? our research department dug into it and tells us that in the 16 months before the rule there were 977 such delays but in the same length of time after the rule was passed there have been 54. this much snow this early hasn't been seen in this part of the country in years. more than 100 years in new york, and it's left a historic mess. jim axelrod is covering that part of the story. >> reporter: in kinnelon, new jersey, the crews from butler power and light are working round the clock. >> my guys? they'll go until they drop. >> reporter: craig struble oversees 20 linemen hoping to have everyone's pewer restored by tomorrow night. he knew they were in for it once they saw the forecast last week. >> just the time of the year, the moisture, how wet the snow is and the fact that the leaves are still on the trees. >> reporter: then you've got
major issues. >> a recipe for disaster. >> reporter: just up the street, mark and mar marcy pryor packed their toy boys off to grandma and grandpas after first trying to rough it with just a kerosene heater. >> the first night the four of us were in one bed and we were reading by flashlight and trying to make it fun like "all right, this isn't bad." by day three we're like... >> it's a little old. >> reporter: nearly 400,000 customers are in the same boat as the pryorss in new jersey. it's even in worse in connecticut. more than 750,000 are out of power there and hospitals are reporting an increase in carbon monoxide poisoning as people use generators to heat their homes. >> so we're texting friends to get phone numbers to find kerosene places. >> reporter: back in new jersey where the pryors are trying to keep their heater filled, their boys won't need their halloween costumes until friday. the town's mayor has postponed trick-or-treating because of the downed power lines and trees. when are you hearing you might get your power back
>> they said by tomorrow but we keep hearing the next day and the next day so we have no idea. >> reporter: the crews we spoke with today said the huge number of downed trees is making the job of restoring power after this storm a much bigger challenge, scott, than getting power back on after hurricane aren two months ago. >> pelley: jim, thanks very much. tonight the highest-ranking federal official yet has admitted to knowing about the gun-walking operation, the case when agents from the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms watched weapons purchased in the united states smuggled across the board intermexico hoping they would lead the agents to drug cartels. sharyl attkisson has the latest. sharyl? >> reporter: documents released this afternoon show the head of the justice department's criminal division, lani brewer, lened as early as april of 2010 about the tactic used by a.t.f. known as gun walking. in a mepl plo, brewer's deputy wrote in a case called "wide
receiver" started under the bush administration "a.t.f. let a bunch of guns walk in an effort to catch the big fish of mexican drug cartels" and said the gun walking case could be "embarrassing" to a.t.f. today, brewer issued a statement saying he regrets he didn't alert others in the justice department leadership, apparently including his boss attorney general holder. in a separate case started under the obama administration which cbs news reported on this year, breuer says he like wise regrets not alerting leaders about the similarities of the cases. that, says breuer, was a mistake. republican congressional investigators say this new information contradicts the justice department's original letter to them earlier this year insisted that gun walking allegations were false. >> pelley: sharyl, thank you very much. a russian spy ring in america caught on video. a capsule to take astronauts into space could land hundreds of jobs on the space coast. and the star defense witness comes under fire at the trial of
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the u.s. today the bureau put out a trove of surveillance tapes and we asked bob orr to take a look. >> reporter: in june, 2010, anna chapman visited a new york coffee shop to get help with a computer from her russian handler. but she didn't know that handler was an undercover f.b.i. agent and the meeting was being secretly recorded. frank figliuzzi is the f.b.i.'s top counterintelligence agent. >> the f.b.i. undercover agent was so convincing that anna chapman actually handed over her covert laptop to the f.b.i. undercover agent. >> reporter: the f.b.i. was also watching with video and still cameras when russian spies richard murphy and mike zottoli met on a brooklyn street. and, again, when chapman shopped for leggings, hats and jewelry inside macy's as a russian official paced outside. the surveillance tapes document the f.b.i.'s ten-year effort of ghost stories, to track ten russian spies who burroed deep inside american culture. it's clear the f.b.i. was also
patient. agents took these still pictures of the buried package containing $60,000 a russian operative had planted in a rural field in new york state. two years later, video cameras then recorded one of the spies we trooefing the treasure. officials say overall the trade craft was sophisticated by compromised. this video shows spy mikhail semenko leaving a package in a cold war style dead drop under a bridge in arlington, virginia. still another camera captured a classic brush-by payoff. in this tape, the f.b.i. says $250,000 changed hands in a brief encounter on a subway staircase. the spies had been instructed to get inside the power circles of washington to collect fresh intelligence on u.s. policy. it's not clear if they ever took anything, but as they got a bit closer, the f.b.i. shut the operation down. >> reporter: bob, thank you very much. those russians went back to russia as part of a swap for u.s. spies. one thing the russians have that we don't is a spacecraft to
ferry crews to the space station but that may be changing. in the competition to build the next american manned spacecraft, boeing said today it will build its version in a vacant hangar at the kennedy space center. that could create as many as 550 jobs. still, just a fraction of the more than 6,000 jobs lost in florida when the space shuttle was retired. drama at the manslaughter trial against michael jackson's doctor. the prosecution goes after the star witness to to the defense,. the prosecution goes after the star witness to to the defense,. next. introducing swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth in easy to use packets. mix it into skillet dishes, for an instant dose of... hell-o! [ female announcer ] new swanson flavor boost.
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>> pelley: michael jackson's doctor, conrad murray, sat and watched today as the prosecution in his involuntary manslaughter trial tore into the key witness for his defense. ben tracy reports from the courthouse in los angeles. >> you keep throwing out these kind of rehearsed lines. >> reporter: prosecutor david walgren aggressively cross-examined the star witness for the defense, anesthesiologist paul white previously testified that michael jackson injected himself with the fatal dose of the sedative propofol, although today he conceded that dr. conrad murray's in-home treatment of jackson violated medical standards. >> have you ever administered propofol in someone's bedroom. >> no, i have not. >> reporter: have you ever heard of anyone doing that prior to this case? >> no, i have not. >> reporter: dr. white was grilled on murray's lack of monitoring equipment and that
dr. murray did not immediately call 911 when he found michael jackson unresponsive. >> are you saying he was not capable of pushing 911? >> reporter: murray also did not tell emergency personnel about the propofol. >> is that your testimony, that it was a detail that was overlookd? >> it was obviously overlooked, he didn't... >> not obviously. it could also be a lie, correct? >> correct. >> that's another option. >> if you say so, i guess, yeah. >> reporter: white says the amount of propofol murray claim he is gave jackson was not enough to kill the singer, yet he could not vouch for dr. murray's actions. >> if michael jackson had come to you, dr. white, and indicated he would like to hire you to administer propofol to him to put him to sleep each night in his bedroom, would you do it? >> absolutely not. that would be a job that i would never consider. >> reporter: now dr. white was nearly held in contempt of court today by the judge for repeatedly mentioning
conversations he had with dr. murray that the judge told him were inadmissible. dr. white should be the final witness for the defense, scott, unless, of course, dr. murray decides to testify. >> pelley: ben, thanks. did it seem a little more crowded out there today? the united nations says that this is the day the population of the world reached seven billion. among the newborns chosen to symbolize the seven billionth resident of planet earth is danica may camacho born around midnight in the philippines. president obama has apparently kicked his cigarette habit. reporting today on the results of his latest checkup, the president's doctor says mr. obama is tobacco free and, says the doctor, the president is fit at 50. his blood pressure is normal, cholesterol an ideal 193 and weight a healthy 181 on his 6'1 frame. a struggling city makes a
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his hometown is ready for a comeback, and we asked dean reynolds to introduce us. >> reporter: there's a revival sprouding in the motor city which almost no one in detroit expected. >> glad you guys are here. >> reporter: almost. >> give it up for dan gilbert. >> reporter: dan gilbert, founder of the nation's largest online mortgage lender, is leading a migration to downtown detroit, a city where one in four workers is jobless and, by last count, 48 office buildings were empty. you're taking a huge bet on detroit. >> yeah. it's a good city to bet on because all of the city's been down but it's rarely been out. >> reporter: he grew up here and heard tales from his father and grandfather about his t city's heyday as the arsenal of democracy and the car maker to the world. >> it certainly would be a very cool thing, i guess, for myself and others who have heard that from our fathers and grandfathers to be part of a generation to help bring it back
to where it was and maybe even to a place it never was. welcome to detroit, everybody! >> reporter: so a year ago he moved himself and 1,700 quicken loans employees from the suburbs to the city to gleaming offices. it's an oasis in the city where a third of all office space was vacant. this month he moved 2,000 more workers to a mostly vacant building across the street he bought and renovated. >> can i give you a hug? >> sure! >> reporter: detroit could use some new people. in the last ten years, the city has lost about a quarter of a million residents-- enough to fill comerica park about six times. gilbert and his partners-- including magic johnson... >> don't worry about it! i'm on it. >> reporter: ...have poured $100 million into purchases and renovations in the city's core. >> multimillion dollar improvement. >> probably close to ten for this project. these are skyscrapers in a major american city and need a little bit of love here, some young
energy in it. you know, once you that, these things come to life. >> reporter: the strategy is paying dividends for gilbert, too. he bought the 55,000 square foot madison theater for a million dollars. guessing correctly that high-tech startups would follow. >> it's already leased. there's no space left. >> reporter: gilbert surely has the money to make things happen, but he's creating more than wealth for himself here. >> we're hoping if we hit a grand slam here that detroit is looked as one of the miracle cities in the united states. (cheers and applause) >> reporter: and as he sees it, there's no conflict between doing well... >> we're going to make something very special happen in detroit. >> reporter: and doing good. dean reynolds, cbs news, detroit. >> 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
tonight in your only local news at 7:00, as those recognizable tour-mobiles end their service, what does that mean for the veterans trying to get to arlington national cemetery for veterans day? >> swift justice for a man accused of killing a nun at a drunk driving accident. and kids at a local college dealing with moldy dorms have their ship come in. we have word that a 1-year- old child drowned in a bathroom. both of her parents were there. and today the parents turned themselves in to face child abuse and neglect charges. today is the last