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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  May 8, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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>> pelley: tonight, catching a terrorist. new details about how u.s. and other intelligence agencies stopped a plot to blow up a jetliner headed to the united states. john miller has the latest on the investigation. he once said g.m. should go bankrupt. now mitt romney is claiming credit for saving the company. we'll talk to political director john dickerson. the immigration mess. bill whitaker with american children forced to move to a foreign land. >> i was scared. i was shocked. i was nervous. >> pelley: and byron pitts with a former crook now doing the lord's work. >> i used to love money and use people. now i love people and use money. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. there are late-breaking developments this evening in that alleged bomb plot in which al qaeda allegedly tried to put a bomb on an airplane bound for the united states. the "new york times", the los angeles times, and the associated press are all reporting that the would-be bomber, the man who was to carry the bomb on to the aircraft was actually an undercover intelligence agent that was working with the c.i.a. all along. we have a number of developing items on this story tonight. we're going to go now to john miller, our national security correspondent and former assistant director of the f.b.i. john, what are you hearing? >> well, this goes right to the heart of an intelligence agency's nightmare which is identifying a source that they've placed inside an organization. i just got off the phone with intelligence agencies and
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senior officials. they say they're not going anywhere near commenting on this obviously because. >> pelley: understood. the associated press at least is reporting that this man has been removed from yemen and apparently is safe. this may go a long way toward explaining why authorities said yesterday that the bomber was no longer considered a threat. it may well be now that he was actually working with the c.i.a. all along. you've been doing a lot of reporting today about al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and the outfit that put this bomb together. >> that's right. scott, since 2009, intelligence... u.s. intelligence officials have had a laser focus on a.q.a.p., al qaeda of the arabian peninsula. it's a highly capable group made up of experienced leaders, battle tested terrorists and a very talented bomb maker. this is is training video of al qaeda of the arabian peninsula or a.q.a.p.
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this latest plot serves as a stark reminder of their primary mission. bring down an american plane. a former f.b.i. agent who has questioned more members of a.q.a.p.than anyone. what makes al qaeda of the arabian peninsula, out of all the al-qaeda affiliates the chosen one to attack america? >> al-qaeda on the arabian peninsula are the closest to osama bin laden's version of al qaeda. that's why they feel that this is their duty, they feel this is their obligation to continue the bin laden fight regardless to what other al qaedas in different areas are doing. >> reporter: ibrihim al asiri is is the master bomb maker. when leaders plotted to kill saudi's counterterrorism chief in 2009 at his home in jeddah, asiri made the bomb and chose the suicide bomber. his own brother. >> that gives you an idea about the dedication and the level of hatred that the group have. >> reporter: the intended
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target survived. asiri's brother did not. but asiri continued to make bombs that were cleverly disguised. the underwear bomb that failed to detonate on board a jetliner over detroit on christmas, 2009. and two bombs hidden in printers that were shipped as cargo through u.p.s. and fed-ex, they were intercepted by intelligence agents just hours before they were set to blow up the planes that carried them. we asked bomb technician kevin barry what he sees when he looks at asiri's work. >> an increased sophistication at trying to prevent being detected. the're making mistakes. they're not big mistakes. but we've been fortunate that they've been caught. >> reporter: looking into these devices, does it give you any insight into who he is? >> i tells you that he has the assets, he has the intent, and he has no conscience. >> reporter: now the f.b.i. has that bomb at their lab in quantico. what they're doing tonight is
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working on reverse engineering it. they're going to actually make a copy. they're going to blow it up in the fields. they're going to learn how it worked, how it would function and what effect it would have on an aircraft in flight. >> pelley: john, thank you very much. we were curious today whether the latest airport security equipment would have caught this bomb. we asked transportation correspondent mark strassmann to find out. >> reporter: at more than 180 u.s. airports, the t.s.a.increasingly relies on full-body scanners. their waves screen passengers for dense objects, looking for metallic and non-metallic threats from guns to homemade plastic explosives. kip hawley was the administrator in 2007 when the agencies rolled out these scanners. he believes an alert transportation security officer would have caught this latest underwear bomb at the checkpoint. >> the t.s.o.monitoring the image would be able to find enough to say there's something there we need to check. >> reporter: it has 700 full body scanners in place across
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american airports. the problem is the vast majority of travelers, more than nine in ten pass through metal detection technology this is less some physician tikteded and would not detect the type of explosive used in this latest threat. p.e.t.n.was also used in the failed 2009 christmas day underwear bomb plot. umar fa uk abudumutallab went from legos nigeria through amsterdam and never passeded through a full body scanner on his way to detroit. the administrator took us to an agency lab to show us the threat posed. >> very concealable. designed in such a way that unless you have advanced technology you walk through a walk-through metal detector this will not register. >> reporter: he wants the tsa to change its security approach and focus on the primary threat: explosives. >> clearly a t.s.o.who has less to do in terms of fishing through bags, looking for swiss army knives and is able to focus on the explosive
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threat on behavior related to that, on resolving suspicious circumstances, i think that is a key ingredient to security and needs to continue. >> reporter: security officials agree that the best way to stop any bomber is to have good intelligence to spot the threat before it gets anywhere near an airport. and scott, good intelligence is exactly what stopped this latest underwear bomb plot. >> pelley: mark, thank you very much. moving on to the race to the white house. the presidential campaign and the survival of general motors have become a big issue. president obama takes credit for saving g.m., and points out that mitt romney was in favor of letting g.m. go bankrupt. but now romney says he too deserves some of the credit for the company's turn-around. >> i pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy and finally when that was done and help was given the companies got back on their feet. i'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry
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has come back. >> pelley: back in 2008 writing in the "new york times," romney argued against a government bailout of g.m. saying that without the tax payer money, g.m. would be forced to restructure itself. in the end, both happened. g.m. got the money and went through a massive overhaul. john dickerson is our cbs news political director. john, why is this so important an issue? >> well, this is exhibit-a in the 25 million dollars worth of ads that the president campaign just launched in the ad it said that the president, he believes in us. he fought for us. so this is an issue where in this weak economy the president can actually point to added shifts on the production line. it's also key message in the bellwether of ohio, the state's former democratic governor just finished a four- day tour promoting this rescue. governor romney said the president doesn't deserve all that credit. he says that the bankruptcy he called for was part of the auto recovery. he was right. the obama campaign says not so fast.
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were it not for the bailout funds that romney was against the car companies would have collapsed. they never would have been in position to then go through bankruptcyy. >> pelley: romney says he can take a lot of credit for saving g.m.. can he make that claim? >> well not if that means actually doing anything. there were republicans who were involved in the restructuring of the car companies like senator bob corker and former michigan governor. but the most mitt romney did was write the editorial in the "new york times". that may be why he's not boasting as much as the president is. he was in michigan today, the home of the car industry. he didn't mention the bailout at all. >> pelley: republicans in three states voted today in presidential pry primaries: indiana, north carolina and west virginia. together they don't have enough delegates for mitt romney to clinch the nomination. also on the ballot in north carolina a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman. the state already has a law that bans same sex marriage.
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we have more from north carolina tonight. >> reminding voters in your area to go vote today. >> reporter: opponents of a constitutional ban on same sex marriage went door to door in greensboro. >> polls are open to 7:30. >> reporter: william robinson helped organize this effort to mobilize voters against the amendment. >> this has nothing to do with morality or people's view on same sex marriage. especially since this is not about same sex marriage. it's already illegal in this state. >> reporter: what is it about. >> it's about political strategy. >> reporter: that strategy, robinson says, is to draw conservatives to the polls and weaken support for president obama among african-americans opposed to same sex marriage. mr. obama won north carolina in 2008 by just 14,000 votes. >> it's a wedge issue. it's all about dividing and conquering. >> reporter: president obama has supported civil unions but has not gone as far as vice president joe biden and other members of the cabinet who have endorsed same sex marriage. mitt romney is is opposed to
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same sex marriage. rev. richard callaghan has worked to pass the north carolina amendment. >> it is a matter of the future of our state and what will marriage become. we do not want a new morality which was the old immorality. >> reporter: 500,000 north carolina voters have already turned out for early voting. more than in the 2008 democratic primary here between hillary clinton and mr. obama. north carolina is the latest swing state to weigh in on same sex marriage. virginia, florida, and ohio all have constitutional bans. scott, the issue will be tested later this year in minnesota and possibly as many as four other states. >> pelley: thanks very much. we just set a record for the warmest year. why parents should think twice about letting teenagers drive with their friends. and strangers in a strange land. american kids forced to move to mexico.
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it's debilitating when you try to talk, when you're trying to eat, when you're trying to sleep. i'm constantly licking my lips. water would address the symptoms for just a few minutes. the hygienist recommended biotene. it's clean and refreshing, i feel like i have plenty of fluid in my mouth. i brush with the biotene toothpaste and i use the mouthwash every morning. it's changed my life. it is the last thing i do before i walk out the door. biotene gives me that fresh confident feeling. >> pelley: the u.s. border patrol announced a new strategy today for catching illegal immigrants from mexico. using improved intelligence to target repeat offenders. these days though, the number of mexicans heading home outnumbers those coming to the u.s. many of them have been deported. the result of step-up enforcement. we asked bill whitaker to tell
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us what happens when families are forced to leave. >> reporter: everyday patricia herrera walks her three-year-old, 12-year-old yasmin, 10-year-old elizabeth and eight-year-old vicente to school. these days this familiar routine is on unfamiliar terrain. this family from salt lake city, these american children, have been uprooted here to tijuana mexico. these english-speaking children struggle to learn in spanish. >> it's different. it's hard for me to understand what they're saying here. >> reporter: right across from the house they share with relatives is the fortified fence that marks the u.s. border. when patricia was a baby her mother sneaked her across. she grew up thinking she was a u.s. citizen until she was stopped one day by federal agents. caught a second time last october she was deported to keep her family intact, she brought her children, u.s. citizens, over in february. >> i was sad. >> i was scared. i was shocked. i was nervous.
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>> i'm still not adjusting very well. >> i never thought i would... it would come to this. but it has. it's hard for them. >> reporter: four years ago tijuana school started seeing a steady flow of american students whose parents had been deported. when the u.s. economy fell into deeper recession, that flow became a flood. the schools are overwhelmed. this school is a prime example of what's going on. two years ago there were no u.s. students enrolled. last year six. this year 35. in all tijuana schools, 2,000 students from the u.s. have enrolled so far this year. how many of you speak english? most feel trapped between two worlds. sees or was born in washington state. >> i feel more american because all my life i was over there. >> reporter: jasleen was born in california. how is it different here? >> like over there is cleaner.
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like here is kind of like dangerous. like when it's dark. >> reporter: patricia can't work because she can't speak spanish well enough. she studies every night with her children. she survives on money her family sends from utah every week. >> i live right here on the borderline too. it's hard to know that i look over there and i think if i could only get through there but i know i can't. so i have to accept and learn to live my life here. >> reporter: it's a hard lesson many families have north of the border are having to learn. bill whitaker, cbs news, tijuana. >> pelley: the government announced some numbers today that real he'll caught our eye. it turns out the past 12 months were the warmest on average since they started keeping records back in 1895. the average temperature was 2.8 degrees higher than the average for the entire 20th century. he took us on some wild journeys. remembering maurice sendak when we return.
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>> pelley: every state now restricts the number of young passengers that teen drivers can have in their car and with good reason. they're a potentially deadly distraction. a aaa report out today says just one passenger under the age of 21 raises a teen driver's risk of a fatal accident 44%. and with three or more, the risk jumps to more than 300%. on the other hand, an older
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passenger, over the age of 35, reduces a teen driver's risk of a deadly accident by 62%. many of today's teenagers grew up reading books written and/or illustrated by maurice sendak who died today of a stroke. he helped break the mold for children's books by exploring the fantasies and the dark side of childhood. where the wild things are is his tale of a boy named max who is sent to bed without supper and goes on a journey to tame the beasts of his dreams. >> and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for max. he sailed off through night and day and in and out for almost over a year to where the wild things are. >> pelley: he took us to where the wild things are in 1963. the story, words and images all from his pen. the wild rumpus is slightly menacing, drawn from sendak's
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childhood in world war ii and slightly humorous. the monsters are caricatures of his relatives. the original mad max is sendak himself. the monsters were animated at bedtime by a generation of parents and then made into a movie in 2009. he won many awards including the national medal of the arts honoring his work as a writer and illustrator. >> an illustrating in my own mind-- and this is not a truth of any kind-- is someone who so falls in love with writing that he wishes he had written it. the closest he can get to is illustrating it. >> pelley: maurice sendak was 83. they teach folks right from wrong in handling their finances. wrong in handling their finances. the money missionaries next. a] hi, i'm new ensure clear. clear, huh?
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we put more in, so you get more out. kenmore. that make kids happy. and even fewer that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. >> pelley: finally tonight, paul's letter to the philipians tells the faithful, god will meet your needs. in georgia where unemployment is running 9%, the greatest need is financial. as byron pitts tells us, churches there are putting their preaching into practice. >> you say, look, if they give me the house for half price, i'll take it. >> reporter: kevin cross looks
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and acts like a math teacher many would say he is. >> we need to put safeguards in place. >> reporter: he's one of the staff ministers at fellowship bible church in roswell, georgia, teaching financial fitness to families who have hit hard times. you tell people go ahead and let the bank foreclose on your house. >> give the house up especially if they're upsidedown. >> reporter: go ahead and return the car you can't pay for. >> i do. i do. >> reporter: how often do people take your advice? >> unfortunately not as often as i'd like. >> reporter: cross is a certified public accountant. his own financial salvation took place 25 years ago. at age 19, kevin cross stole $300,000 working as a bookkeeper for the broward county sheriff's department in florida. how does a 19-year-old steal $300,000 from the sheriff's department. >> i took little bits of money from several accounts and it went unnoticed. >> reporter: how much are you talking about? >> we're talking $4, $7, all
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from sale accounts. >> reporter: cross said he discovered his true calling after spending three months in a prison cell. he pleaded guilty to felony fraud and repaid the money. today he's married with two children. he heads up a four-member panel that decides exactly how money from an emergency fund should be used. >> i used to love money and use people. now i love people and use money. >> reporter: that family emergency fund has helped people keep their cars, get out of debt, stay in their homes. nikki o'keefe and her husband john fell four months behind on their mortgage after john lost his job and nicky became ill. they were about to lose their home. they were about to lose their home. when the church paid off their $17,000 mortgage. >> you won't have the burden of having a mortgage. >> what can we say? >> i don't know what i can say. >> there's a car out front.
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that's yours. >> are you serious? >> reporter: rachael cole an unemployed single mother has been out of work for much of the last three years. >> thank you. >> reporter: her car was repossessed a few months ago making her job search even tougher. >> many people right now know there's hope. i've found it right here. >> reporter: what's this mean to you, this car? >> it means everything. it really does. >> reporter: since last year, the church has helped more than 300 families. the church's generosity fund now exceeds $300,000. >> too overwhelming for you. >> reporter: the proverbs said the thief must repay seven fold. kevin cross has done that for those who have suffered in the great recession and redeemed himself in the bargain. byron pitts, cbs news, roswell, georgia. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news, all around the world, good night.
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. this is 9news now. 3/5 of the senators not voted, the motion is not agreed to. >> college students still facing the threat of booming interest rates after senate republicans blocked a bill that would have kept those rates in check. now, the clock is ticking to july 1. that is when the current federal student loan rate would double, costing millions of students about a thousand bucks more a year. both parties agree they need to keep rates low, but as bruce leshan tells us, they can't agree on how to pay for it. >> reporter: a dozen students from the nonprofit, young invincibles bussed through 42 cities in 40 days. hoping to mobilize college


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