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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  March 17, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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serve current and former military members and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. test. >> pelley: tonight new developments on the missing plane. we'll have the latest on one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history. seth doane takes us on the search. bob orr on what we've learned today. the president moves against russia in the biggest east-west standoff since the cold war. elizabeth palmer and charlie d'agata on the crimea crisis. >> what happened to the universe right after the big bang?
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today scientists think they know. and break out your brackets with march madness upon us, james brown introduces us to the coach who made harvard a name to be feared captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. whatever happened to malaysia airlines flight 370, it has just lanned in the record booksment it has to you been missing without a trace for more than ten days and that's longer than any commercial airliner in history. the boeing triple 7 disappeared on a flight from kuala lumpur malaysia to beijing with 239 people on board including three americans. because the plane's communication systems were silenced, experts can only estimate that its final location is along one of these corridors toward the north or toward the south. that covers 7 million square
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miles. 26 nations are searching tonight. and seth done err is with the u.s. navy. >> reporter: this u.s. navy mission today was to cover 27,000 square nautical miles of open ocean in the southern corridor. >> are you looking for debris, are you looking for life rafts. >> i'm looking for everything. >> francis enriquez studies radar images on this flight that flew over indonesia and out into the indian ocean. >> the radar will give me pictures of anything big on the water. and then i will zoom in, verify that it's to the debris and go back to the radar. >> reporter: the two corridors identify the possible location of the plane based on the last signal that was picked up by a satellite over the indian ocean. the size of the new search area is based on the estimates of plane's remaining fuel. to the north the plane would have flown mostly overland, china and kazakhstan are among countries asked to
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check radar records. the australians are leading the search in the south, mostly over water. and that is where this plane comes in. >> this is the u.s. navy's p3 o ryne t was developed to detect submarines using radar and high technology cameras. it can peer deep into the ocean. >> reporter: chris kovach is one of the pilots. >> somebody said we might see something, we immediately turn back to that object. then we have a camera zoom in on it. depending, we might come down to 200, 300 feet and then got everybody's eyes focused on that object. >> reporter: today the crew spotted an oilslick. they noted its location, took pictures and will send the information to malaysian authorities coordinating the search. >> seth doane is joining us from the malaysian capitol. the triple 7 has an emergency radio beacon in case of a crash. what do you know about this?
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>> that's right, scott, it has that beacon but that signal is only emitted for about 48 hours. and it does not work particularly well underwater. >> pelley: and that beacon hasn't been heard from in that time. the cockpit voice recorder and flight-data recorders as i understand it also send out a signal. >> right. that black box. that black box lasts for about 30 days. so there are only about 20 days until that goes dead it does have better rang underwater though, about one to two miles. >> pelley: seth-- . >> pelley: seth doane, reporting, thank you. and the investigators are now looking again at the backgrounds of the two pilots. one of whom had built a flight simulator at his home. here's bob orr. >> reporter: investigators want to determine if the flight simulator found in captain zaharie shah's home was ever used to practice radar-evading maneuvers and landings at remote airstrips. sources say a preliminary analysis found nothing unusual in the simulator or
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zaharie's background. he's a married father of three. and a flight instructor with more than 18,000 hours of experience. but the sequence of events surrounding the jetliner's disappearance is focusing suspicion on zaharie and his copilot farrek hamid. the 27-year-old fariq has 2700 hours flying having ream moved to the 777. he has been described as a quiet, religious man who was planning to marry. malaysian officials today said it was fariq who uttered the last words from flight 370. all right, good night, he said at 1:19 a.m. on march 8th. two minutes later at 1:21 the planes transponders quit sending the plane's location, altitude and speed to controllers. it was flying at $35,000 feet en route to beijing. around the same time, during a half hour window from 107 to 1:37 the plane stopped sending engine performance and maintenance tech messages to the airline.
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multiple sequential failure was normally suggest a catastrophic event and crash. but military radar and satellites indicate the jet kept flying for another seven hours, turning away from its flight path and heading west towards the indian ocean. >> reporter: investigators are now going back the backgrounds of all passengers and crew members, scott, trying to determine who might have had the skill necessary to hijack and fly a boeing triple 7 and the motive to do that. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. in another major story tonight, this was a day of fast-changing developments in the ukraine crisis. jest hours after voters in the crimea region the ukraine voted to become part of russia, president obama slapped sanctions on russian and ukrainian officials that he blames for the countries is. that did not stop a defiant russian president vladimir putin from recognizing crimea as an independent country today. tomorrow putin will address his parliament, presumably to say whether he will an ex the region into the russian
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federation. elizabeth palmer is in crimea. >> as soon as the tally was in the party started. >> sergei aksionov said what many ined crowd were thinking. dear friends, he told them, we are going home to russia. but in the cold light of day the euphoria gave way to uncertainty. armed men with dubious authority patrolled the streets. and crimeans wondered why most of their bank machines were empty. sunday's referendum was managed smoothly. in fact, the government claimed 82% turnout with almost 97% voting to join russia. based on both 308s and demographics, that sounds too good to be true. but there is little doubt that a majority of crimeans disappointed by years of corruption under ukrainian rule believe joining russia will mean a better life.
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leonid pilunsky isn't one of them. a former soviet submarine commander he say pro ukrainian member of ukrainia parliament and he thinks those who voted to join russia are deluding themselves. >> they think they're going to better off financially. the pensions will go up. basically they will have a better standard of living under russia. >> of course not, he said. russia hasn't invested in any of the areas its annexed. they're all depressed. since our interview, he's gone into hiding for his own safety. and his son slava was arrested by armed men on sunday. neither have been seen since. >> if or when russia does take over here, scott, order and security may be restored. but for the moment crimeans are living in a very uncertain limbo. >> pelley: liz bo palm never crimea for us tonight, thank you, liz. there is concern that russia might not stop with crimea. ethnic russians are the
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majority, along much of eastern ukraine and russian troops are mask:-- massed up and down that bothered. charlie d'agata is there. >> reporter: winding our way between buildings on this border outpost ukrainian troops showed us their new line of defense in case russian soldiers come across. >> so that is where that border is. >> ukrainian soldiers here told us they got the order four days ago from local ukrainian officials to start digging these ditches. they can't tell us how far back they go but as deep as they are with a bank of about 15, 20 feet the other side, they're clearly designed to slow down any advance. >> over the weekend russian forces and helicopter gunships took over natural gas plant six miles from the crimean border. >> it-- it only added to the tensions here in donetsk. in the past 24 hours pro russian protestors have stormed two government buildings, there wasn't a
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single pro ukrainian to be found among the crowd. on the streets of donetsk, pro russian voices are growing louder. if you had a referendum here like in crimea how would you vote. >> russia. >> would everybody here vote russia. >> yeah. >> the pro russian voices are the loudest, scott, but there are many pro ukrainians who are too frightened to speak out. they're worried about what might happen here in russian president vladimir putin annexes crimea. charlie d'agata, reporting for us from eastern ukraine, thank you, charlie? >> pelley: general motors today announced a new recall, it covers one and a half million vehicles, mostly suvs for air bags that may not deploy. this is in addition to the recall of 1.6 million cars for an ignition defect that is linked to 12 deaths. in an internet statement, gm's new c.e.o. mary barra had this to say. >> i want you to know that
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we are completely focused on the problem at the highest levels of the company. we are putting the customer first and that is guiding every decision we make. that is how we want today's gm to be judged. how we handle the recall will be an important test of that commitment. >> pelley: barra also said gm expects to spend $300 million in the first quarter of this year to fix recalled vehicles. we posted a complete list of the gm vehicles being recalled on our web site, cbs news.com. >> there is also news tonight about something that happened nearly 14 billion years ago. today scientists announced they have discovered what was going on in the earliest moments of our universe. right after the big bang. here's don daaler. >> for four years scientists used this telescope at the south pole to search for evidence of the astonishing speed at which the universe grew. it found evidence of grartational waves,
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something like shockwaves sent out almost immediately after the big bang. the cosmic explosion that created the universe. john kovak of harvard leaded team of researchers. >> they have sometimes been called the first tremors of the big bang and they do rife at what is believed to be the first instance of the expansion of the universe. we're talking about the earliest times that can be observable. >> reporter: lightwaves can be bent by gravity, kovak team detected a pattern distance space that shows light being affected by a force that he says could only be gravitational waves. >> the act of pushing the frontiers of science, i think, really captures our imagination and many people's imagination when it pertains so closely to these questions about where we come from how the universe began. >> cbs news space consultant bill harwood. will it make anyone's life better in the sense of more jobs or a better economy? no, but it one of the great intellectual achievements of our time coming up with this big bang theory and getting some proof that it actually worked the way they think it
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did is an amazing achievement. >> if confirmed this discovery will give scientists a new tool for exploring the universe. in addition to light and radio telescope, scott they would be able to use telescopes dedicated to studying those elusive gravitational waves throughout the kos moss. >> pelley: fascinating, don, thanks very much. there has been a sharp drop in one of the most deadly cancers. and environmental disaster may be unfolding along the dan river. >> and californians wake up to a shake-up when the "cbs evening news" continues it. of the purple pill. f and that relief could be in your hand. for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms from acid reflux disease. find out how you can save at purplepill.com. there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. if you have persistent diarrhea, contact your doctor right away. other serious stomach conditions may exist. avoid if you take clopidogrel.
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it's covered by most health plans. mez tomorrow a federal grand jury will begin hearing evidence on whether north carolina regulators look the other way when toxic coal ash leaked from power plants operated by duke energy. coal ash is the sludge left over when coal is burned to make electricity. and there was a massive leak of it last month in the dan river. mark straussman's been following this. >> reporter: what is below this water. >> right below us is coal ash. >> brian william iss a conservationist with the dan river association, he took us 20 miles downstream of the coal ash spill at a retired plant in edden, north carolina. >> it was just giant gray sludge pouring into the river. >> reporter: on february 2nd, a pipe below a duke energy storage pond blew out. 39,000 tons of ash and water
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gushed into the river. wildlife officials estimate a layer of sludge that included chemicals known to cause cancer traveled 80 miles downriver. >> it's down here on the bottom and it's mixing in with the sediments and it's actually-- continually leeching out the toxins. >> duke energy klein declined an interview but said in i statement we will do the right thing for the river and communities, we are can't. drinking water has remained safe. the pipe has been permanently plugged. we take responsibility for this event. >> right at the water's edge. >> mike powell farm --00 sake acres four miles down from the leak. the main concern is flooding. >> flooding if it takes the ash not land, and settles there i don't know what the results will within. >> in additioning often happens in the spring. powell worries about what the coal ash could do to his tobacco and other crops. >> and how far in would the water go? >> it would go all the way to the other side of it this field here where you can see the tree line.
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>> reporter: we took three samples of the river bottom to an independent lab. test results found arsenic levels nine times higher than areas unaffected by the spill. and double the level of selenium, a metal shown in studies to cause mutations in fish. and while the epa says so far there is no threat to drinking water, it warns people to avoid direct contact with the coal ash. >> you have three grandchildren, would you let them play in this river. >> i would not let them play below the spill site right now in the water. because there's too many unknowns. >> reporter: the dan river spill was the third worst of its kind in u.s. history. duke energy has announced plans to fix or relocate all its 33 coal ash basins in the state. mark straussman, cbs news, greensboro north carolina. >> there's great news tonight in the battle against the third leading cause of cancer deaths. a report today says colon cancer rates among people 50 and older have dropped 30%
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in the past ten years. the reason, more older people are getting colonoscopies. 55% in 2010 compared with just 19% a decade earlier. la-renn scott, the girlfriend of mick jagger and the designer has died unexpectedly. we will have details when we come back. you've tried to forget your hepatitis c. it's slow moving, you tell yourself. i have time. after all there may be no symptoms for years. no wonder you try to push it to the back of your mind and forget it. but here's something you shouldn't forget. hepatitis c is a serious disease. if left untreated, it could lead to liver damage and potentially even liver cancer. if you are one of the millions of people with hepatitis c, you haven't been forgotten. there's never been a better time to rethink your hep c.
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centered in the santa monica mountains was felt across 150 mile stretch of southern california. here's how it looked on ktla's early morning newscast in los angeles. >> coming up more problems for a troubled -- >> earthquake, we're having an earthquake! >> pelley: the small quake caused more chatter than-- shatter, there was no major damage no injuries reported. today la-renn scott a fashion designer who was also mick jagger's girlfriend was found dead in her new york apartment, an apparent suicide. a former model, scott launched her fashion label in 2006. celebrities including sarah jessica parker wore her designs. at 6 foot 3 she towered over jagger. they beening to for 13 years. la-renn scott was 49. rachel melen known as bunny lived to be 103. she died today of natural causes. born wealthy her second husband was paul melon whose father was one of the world's richest men.
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>> in a lot of offices today many of us were busy filling out ncaa brackets. the tournament begins tomorrow with 68 schools buying for college basket bull's national championship. including one known for high test scores, not high scores on the court. how did harvard get in there. for that we're going to turn to a former member of the team, specialcover correspondent james brown, class of 73 rted in seven years harvard basketball coach tommy amaker's team have won 7 championships, and for the third year in a row are in the ncaa tournament.
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all four program that never won a title in the 60 year history of the ivy leg. >> you could go to harvard an make history still gives me some chills to think about that and we achieved that. >> i just want to think ever. >> am ecker credits a big part of his success to this group, a pontly breakfast group of alumni, faculty and business leaders who serve as an informal kim encabinet lending wise council and a friendly ear. >> we have had confidential discusses here, of things that have happened within our team that i want to inquire and ask and give feedback or a shared experience. >> tommy amaker has a bluest of cass bet call pedigrees. he played for and coached with hall of fame coach mike countries uski at duke and went on to to seaton hall and michigan and so in 2 o 007 its with a surprise when he came to an institution known more for its rhodes
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scholars thannate lets. >> what has made you effective. >> we talk about the option of harvard is not a four year decision, it is a 40 year decision, we believe in that. >> but harvard's success has not been without controversy. >> two years ago the team's cocaptains were the only students publicly named in a cheating scandal in which 125 harvard students were investigated. >> i'm proud of our guys for how they've handled this. they've been the face of certain things on behalf of our whole institution and how they handled it with grace and dignity. >> harvard has stunned new mexico. >> last year harvard made school history when it won its first game in the ncaa turn testimony. this year expectations are high. >> when i focused on the results of what the scoreboard said, winning or losing, we're trying to become a championship team as o toes-- opposed to trying to win a championship. >> chambers finds him cutting to the hoop. >> team work is a test narx he says.
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and victory happens along the way. >> james brown, cbs news, cambridge, massachusetts. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. we're going to leave you with a picture of the white house with new fallen snow and a green fountain in honor of st. patrick's day. for all of us at cbs news, all around the world, good night. we've issued a 80 overnight and early on tuesday. why -- an yellow alert overnight and early on tuesday. why? we're going to see black ice and snow on your morning commute. >> mayor gray may get indicted his attorney said. if, so they're ready to go to trial. >> reporter: the case against charles severance had some new evidence revealed. we'll tell you about it.
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we start with breaking news out of bowie, maryland, where a tanker truck overturned on route 50. look at this from sky9 moments ago. every single lane eastbound, westbound all shut down at one point. >> right now looks like traffic is flowing basically 1 lane each way. the tanker has not leaked hazardous materials. we'll let you know when all the lanes reopen if it happens during this newscast. a lot of white out on st. patrick's day and we're not in the clear yet. >> you may have thought it should be green outside. apparently meteorologist topper shutt disagrees. it's going to be a yellow alert tomorrow. >> some things are green but a yellow alert not so much. 32 at national the high today so far, 30 in gaithersburg and manassas. a lot of folks never made it above freezing, but it did melt. that will lead to refreezing tonight. the roadway will look wet, but it's frozen. that's black ice. you got to slow down and be careful getting

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