tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS May 30, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> pelley: tonight, financial fears spread west. stock prices head south. europe's debt crisis has american investors dumping stock. anthony mason looks at what's next for our economy. a new massacre in syria today. should the u.s. get involved now? reports from allen pizzey and nancy cordes. more people are doing it. dr. jon lapook reports science is zeroing in on what it takes to live past 100. >> reporter: have you ever had a heart attack? >> no. >> reporter: ever you ever had a stroke? >> no. >> pelley: and ten years ago today the cleanup at ground zero came to an end. jim axelrod catches up with the everyday heroes who helped america heal. >> that was the only job. that was the one i was trained to do.
captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. more investors decided today that it's time to get out of the stock market while the getting is good-- or before it gets any worse. here's how bad it got today. the dow fell more than 160 points closing at 12, 419. it's still clinging to a small gain for the year of 1.66%. that matters a lot to the marathon 50% of americans who are invested in the market and have now seen it fall 16 of the past 20 sessions. so we asked anthony mason why the market is rattled and to tell us about what it means for the economy going forward. >> reporter: may has been a month of misery for the markets. the dow has been up only five of 21 trading sessions this month. the u.s. economy continues to grow slowly. >> we're facing a very challenging global environment with europe deepening its
recession, with china slowing. >> reporter: bruce kazman is chief economist with j.p. morgan chase. >> the global backdrop is really our big concern right now. >> reporter: because europe is our biggest trading partner and the deep recession in europe could slow our exports there, cut growth for companies here, and lead to more layoffs. and on the floor of the new york stock exchange, traders like ken polcari of icap securities worry there's not much washington will do to help. >> because the sense that there's gridlock if washington because it's an election year so not a whole lot is going to get done, everyone's busy trying to get reelected. >> reporter: the good news: worries about global growth are driving down oil prices. crude, which was at $110 a barrel in march fell below $88 today for the first time since october. the next big barometer for the economy will be the unemployment numbers which come out on friday but the labor department had some encouraging numbers today. it said in april unemployment rates fell in nearly all of the
largest u.s. cities. >> pelley: so anthony, with investors getting out of stocks and oil, where's the smart money going? >> reporter: into the safe haven of u.s. treasuries, u.s. debt, scott. the yield on the ten-year treasury plummeted to the historic low of 1.62% which means the cost for borrowing for the u.s. government is diving. >> pelley: thank you very much. in syria there was a second mass execution uncovered today. just yesterday we told you more than 100 people were executed over the weekend, mostly women and children. the u.n. suspects supporters of the dictatorship killed them. well, today bodies started showing up with hands tied behind their backs. the violence began 15 months ago when syrians rose up against the dictator bashar al-assad. allen pizzey has the latest. >> reporter: opposition activists posted another gruesome video today. this showed bodies of 13 people apparently shot dead in eastern syria, their hands tide behind
their backs. the victims were said to be defectors from the syrian army. with access for form journalists severely restricted by the syrian government, such videos are often the only insight into what's happening. they're usually impossible to verify. but this time the head of the u.n. observer mission in syria confirmed the images. major general robert mood said he was deeply disturbed by this appalling and inexcusable act. the killings come just days after the bodies of 108 civilians-- nearly half of them children-- were found in the eastern syrian city of houla. they were also brought to the world's attention by amateur video. the houla massacre sparked international outrage and a dozen koupb reis expelled senior syrian diplomats in protest. syria announced the censure as unprecedented hysteria. so far the regime in damascus has ignored demands it stop shelling rebellious towns, a condition of the peace plan brokered by u.n. special representative kofi annan six
weeks ago. he met today with the foreign minister of jordan, one of syria's closest neighbors. >> i think what is important is that we work together to find a solution that will lead to a democratic transition in syria and find a way of ending the killing as soon as possible. >> reporter: but if this amateur video that shows rebel fighters in action today is anything to go by, no one is listening. allen pizzey, cbs news, amman. >> pelley: when there was a similar shraugter in libya president obama ordered air strikes which ended the dictatorship there. should the u.s. go to war again? we'll have two reports. first, nancy cordes with what republicans are saying. >> reporter: in the wake of the houla massacre, mitt romney called president obama "weak" saying his lack of leadership has resulted in a policy of paralysis that has watched assad soughter 10,000 individuals. romney argues the u.s. should
arm the syrian opposition but many fellow republicans-- including mike rogers, chairman of the house intelligence committee-- have their doubts. >> i'm not one that believes we should be arming the rebels right now. we're having a difficult time getting a complete picture who they are. >> reporter: how well do you think the obama administration has handled this syrian crisis? >> we should have been engaged earlier. we've had discussions months ago about certain possibilities that we could do. >> reporter: a few republicans-- like senator john mccain of arizona-- have been pushing for u.s.-led air strikes for months. >> are there dangers and risks and uncertainties in this approach? absolutely. but there are no ideal options in syria. all of them contain significant risk. >> reporter: but donald rumsfeld, the defense secretary under president bush, warned on cbs "this morning" this toppling the dictatorship is no guarantee of a better government. >> the world obviously would be better off with the assad family
out of there. but the question is, what comes next? and that's a very tough intelligence question. >> reporter: congressional republicans contend that the u.s. should have been first to eject syrian diplomats instead of following the leads of other countries and, scott, they want the president to put more pressure on russia to stop selling arms to the syrian regime. >> pelley: thanks, nancy. now, how does the president see it? norah o'donnell has some insight on that at the white house tonight and, norah, what are they thinking about arming the opposition? >> reporter: well, the white house opposes arming the opposition because the opposition is not unified and because they believe there are some parts of the opposition that are not friendly to the united states or a peaceful transition. scott, as one senior advisor told me, they're also concerned they don't know where some of these arms could end up. >> pelley: now, one of the stumbling blocks has been russia, an ally of syria. russia has opposed taking
drastic action against syria. i wonder, is the white house engaging russia in any way? >> reporter: well, the president has directly engaged the russians on the issue of syria and they still hope russia can play a constructive role but the last time the president spoke with a russian leader was at camp david, the g-8 meetings, and that was two weeks ago, scott. >> pelley: norah, thank you very much. earlier today president obama picked up the phone and called his rival mitt romney. governor romney clinched the republican nomination last night after a big win in the texas primary. mr. obama called to congratulate him and with that call we thought we would look at the state of the contest-- and is it close. these states that you see in blue are states that will most likely vote for president obama, the states in red are solidly for romney. the gold for both candidates is found in the battleground states. each of these could go either way. 270 electoral votes are needed to win. our cbs news elections and
polling unit estimates that obama can count on 212, romney can rely on 191, and 135 are up for grabs. john dickerson is our political director. he's been traveling in the tossup states of ohio and florida and, john, let's start with ohio. what's the picture there? >> ohio with with its 18 electoral votes is dead even according to the polls between the two candidates the unemployment rate is 7.4%, a little below the national rate of 8.1%. the president says the auto bailout he supported has revived the car industry which democrats say is connected to one in eight jobs in the state. but a recent poll of ohio voters shows those who think the economy's getting better credit the republican governor not president obama. a group to watch in ohio is blue-collar white voters. the obama team has been appealing to them with ads saying when mitt romney was a c.e.o. he put people like them out of work. the president may not win a majority of blue-collar voters but in these battleground states where it's so close, losing some
voter groups by a smaller margin is as much a key to winning as doing well with your core supporters. >> pelley: and what are you finding out in florida. >> there the picture is not as good on the economy for the president. the unemployment rate is 8.7%, worse than the national figure, and the state's still reeling from the housing crisis. florida is so complex, maybe the most complex state. as one veteran said, it's like three different states and two countries. you've got the republicans doing well in the northern part, democrats have the south around miami and they fight over the swing voters in the middle from tampa to orlando. cubans support republicans but non-cuban hispanics are now a larger group. the president will do well with those non-cuban hispanic voters but romney has his own strong group, seniors, who have a very negative view, scott, about the president's health care plan. >> pelley: john, thank you very much. ten years after the cleanup at ground zero memories of america's darkest days. the dispute in the catholic church over the proper role for nuns. and are you smarter than a
six-year-old? her spell binding performance when the cbs news continues. ing. i'm mike utsler, and it's my job to make sure we keep making progress in the gulf. the twenty billion dollars bp committed has helped fund economic and environmental recovery. another fourteen billion dollars has been spent on response and cleanup. long-term, bp's made a five hundred million dollar commitment to the gulf of mexico research initiative... to support ten years of independent scientific research on the environment. results will continue to be shared with the public. and we're making sure people know that the gulf is open for business - the beaches are beautiful, the seafood is delicious. last year, many areas even reported record tourism seasons. the progress continues, but that doesn't mean our job is done. bp's still here, and we're still committed
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pope benedict is feeling a backlash from american catholics, angry over his crackdown on america's 57,000 nuns. a letter from the vatican warned them that the group that represents most of the nuns is straying from church teachings on abortion and homosexuality. that group is meeting in washington this week to consider a response and we have more now from wyatt andrews. >> i need infant mask. >> reporter: in the emergency room at johns hopkins children's center in baltimore, dr. karen schneider is about to save an infant boy who can't breathe. >> you call in respiratory? >> reporter: this is not just a job for dr. schneider, it's also her life's mission as a catholic nun. sister karen schneider became a sister of mercy 29 years ago before she attended medical school. are you more dr. schneider or more sister karen? >> you know, i wake up in the morning and i think of myself as sister karen. i think being a physician,
actually, is one of the best things that we can do as sisters. >> reporter: while many catholics remember nuns as habit-wearing school teachers, sister karen is the new version of catholic nun. most are highly educated and are managers of schools, colleges, and hospital chains. it explains why many nuns were stunned when the vatican accused their leadership of promoting radical feminist themes and of being too silent on issues like the right to life. in daily life, most nuns see those questions as outside their mission. >> personally i don't... i don't have time. >> reporter: you don't see those social issues in your job description? >> exactly. a child comes in in respiratory distress i take care of a child in respiratory distress. that's what my ministry is. >> reporter: in response to the letter from rome, hundreds of catholics have rallied behind the sisters. betty hill calls it wrong for the vatican to ignore sex abuse by male priests but want reform
from the church's most respected women. >> because we feel trampled on and we see that our sisters are being trampled on and we can't stand for that anymore. >> reporter: the american bishops in charge of the reform are aware of the nuns' popularity. the bishops' mandate from rome allows them to order change, but only after consultation. the bishop spokeswoman is sister mary ann walsh. >> they want to work on this together prayerfully and quietfully a peaceful dialogue. >> reporter: but to describe this as an order, a demand that the sisters reform, that's too strong. >> demand is "by god do it." that's not the spirit in which this has been done. >> reporter: at the hospital, sister karen is planning her third trip this year to treat children in haiti. her attitude on reform is simple: let rome keep its focus on the rules of the church. >> are you feeling better? >> reporter: she'll stay focused on the work of the church. wyatt andrews, cbs news, baltimore. >> pelley: living past 100. the secrets of the superager
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>> pelley: if you hope to live to be 100, a new study out today in the journal "aging" says a positive outlook on life will help. the study focused on a group known as superagers. dr. jon lapook met one of them in new york city and found there is a lot more to longevity. >> reporter: how old are you? >> well, 107 on december 19.
>> reporter: irving kahn used to pass through central park on his way to school. what did you see along the way? >> things you would never see: cows, sheep on the lawn. >> reporter: kahn still goes to work everyday, keeping tabs on the financial firm he built with his family. his sister named happy lived to be 109. his baby brother peter is 105. >> i wanted to talk to you about as tech. >> reporter: this is tom, irving's 69-year-old son. >> we think it's normal, we've always lived with it so it doesn't appear to us to be so extraordinary. >> reporter: but it is. the cannes are part of a group of ashkenazi jews, those who are from eastern europe who live unusually long, healthy lives. this is irma daniel, 105, and lily port, 99. they caught the attention of researchers who dubbed them superagers. dr. nir barzilai at the albert einstein college of medicine studies them. >> we were trying to find out
what are those biological complements that make us age at different rates? >> reporter: healthy life-style is not the key to the exceptional longevity seen among superagers. 60% of the men-- including irving kahn-- smoked at some point. fewer than half exercise on a regular basis. and they don't eat particularly healthy diets. what's your favorite food? >> rare hamburger. and a good cheese. >> reporter: nir barzilai and his team discovered people who live to be 100 are more than twice as likely to have a certain variant of a gene called cetp. it helps control cholesterol and protects against heart disease and dementia. irving kahn has that gene variant. have you ever had a heart attack? >> no. >> reporter: have you ever had a stroke? >> no. >> reporter: have you ever had any operation? >> no. >> reporter: nir barzilai says the future lies in developing drugs that could give everyone what superagers develop
naturally. >> then we could prevent the age-related diseases that are making life so miserable for the elderly. >> reporter: what do you want your legacy to be? >> worth knowing. worth being associated with. not a bad fellow. if i borrowed money i paid it back. (laughs). >> reporter: if he helps scientists find the keys to a longer life, irving kahn's legacy will be even richer. dr. jon lapook, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: well, lori anne mad disson of lake ridge, virginia, has barely begun her life but she's already made quite a name for herself. at six years old, she's the youngest child ever to qualify for the national spelling bee. she got off to a good start in today's opening round. >> dirigible. d-i-r-i-g-i-b-l-e. dirigible. (applause) >> pelley: she got dirigible but, oh, the humanity.
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>> pelley: tonight 55,000 first responders and recovery workers are being honored at the 9/11 memorial in lower manhatt manhattan. ten years after the cleanup there came to an end. some of them have been plagued by health problems and jim axelrod found many are still haunted by what they saw. >> reporter: the calendar says it's been a decade since that last steel beam was removemovedm ground zero. but mike mazziotti will leave it to others to mark the date. what did you see on 9/11 that left you with posttraumatic stress? >> what didn't i see? >> reporter: mazziotti was a cop with a chest of metals and a first responder on 9/11. looking out from the 20th floor of the north tower he saw a desperate man leap to his death. >> he was wearing a tweed jacket and flapping his arms like a duck, just flying through the air. >> reporter: he was never the
same. within a year mazziotti-- once the life of the party-- was retired on disability and reading a book a day to silence the demons. you just want some peace. >> that's all. back to being happy days but... >> reporter: what was it like on the pile? >> it was difficult. it was very hot. >> reporter: retired n.y.p.d. officer bill beaury spent four months on the pile as the mess of twisted metal of metal and concrete of ground zero, as it was call, looking for ronnie kloepher, a colleague. it is still with you that you never found his remains? >> yes. in a way it bothers me because there's nowhere for me just to go. >> reporter: like mazziotti, beaury retired more than 20 retn
20 years on the job. when people want to know what you did on 9/11, what are you going to tell them? >> i did my job. >> reporter: that might as well be the motto of the first responders. >> that was the only job. that was the one i was trained to do. >> reporter: "just doing my job." so from where you're sitting now with all of the pain you're in, does it offer you any comfort to know "i did my job and i saved some lives"? >> i'd been told you'd ask that question and i never thought about it. alls i was doing was what i was trained to do. >> reporter: they may not see it as heroic, but ten years later there still doesn't seem to be a better word. jim axelrod, 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.
and we begin with breaking news out of manassas. where the fbi has arrested a 48- year-old man named douglas howard story for illegally having a fully automatic ak-47. u.s. prosecutors also say that story had expressed hatred and wished vie listens against certain politicians including president obama. the fbi arrested him this afternoon at the chili's bar and grill on sudley manurer and court documents say -- manor and court documents say he provided an agent with the semiautomatic ak-47 and the money to make it fully automatic. he was arrested after he received the modified rifle. he faces up to 10 years in prison. what time you do after surviving applie