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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  January 4, 2015 7:00pm-8:02pm PST

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captioning funded by cbs and ford > logan: four star generals are trying to make sure the country doesn't go the way of iraq, when territory was fought and won at great cost to americans was lost because the iraqi military wasn't strong enough to hold the military back. tonight you'll hear from the general and the new president of afghanistan as america's longest war comes to an end. are you concerned about the rise of the islamic state and what threat that could cause? >> yes, yes. ♪ ♪
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[laughter] >> stahl: the older people are passing it on to the younger generation, and the younger generation can pass it on to the next generation. i don't want this music to die. ♪ ♪ >> stahl: there sure didn't seem to be any risk of any music dying here as five groups took the stage to perform before a packed house in harlem. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bob simon. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm bill whittaker. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." >> cbs money watch update sponsored by: calling all chief life officers.
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>> glor: good evening, north korea says new u.s. sanctions demonstrate inveterate hostility. iran's president called on its government to end monopolies and embrace competition. and the incoming chair of a key senate committee says he's open to raising the federal gas tax which hasn't moved since 1993. i'm jeff glor, cbs news.
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>> logan: navigating the end of the longest war in american history is the job of general john campbell, the last four- star general of the war. his mission is making sure that, after the u.s. withdraws from afghanistan, the afghan security forces do not go the way of iraq, where territory that was fought over and won by the u.s. at great cost was lost because the iraqi military wasn't strong
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enough to hold the enemy back. could the same thing happen in afghanistan? the u.s. combat mission officially ended on december 31, but in a sign the afghans need more time, the u.s. agreed to still play a limited role on the battlefield. under general campbell's command, american forces will fly combat operations for afghan troops when needed, and u.s. special operations forces will continue to hunt down al qaeda with their afghan counterparts. but after 13 years of fighting the war as americans have known it is over. america's longest war is being reduced to dust and rubble. you can see it here at bagram airfield-- half the base is gone. barracks, where soldiers slept torn down. bunkers bulldozed into piles of sandbags.
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equipment and vehicles shipped out at a relentless pace, and close to 300 u.s. bases shut down to meet the deadlines set by president obama. much of what is left now belongs to the afghans. >> john campbell: we've been at this for 13 years, been a lot of blood, sweat, tears. but i've seen some good progress, as well. >> logan: 57-year-old john campbell is one of the youngest four-star generals in the army and this is his third tour in afghanistan. to show us what billions of dollars in foreign aid has done to make kabul more modern, he flew us over the city just hours after we arrived. this was among the darkest capitals in the world when the u.s. got here. now, the ancient city is ablaze with light. >> campbell: this is a perspective people don't get-- kabul at night here, the lights. >> logan: when i came into kabul for the first time with the... the afghan forces, when they took the city from the taliban in 2001, there wasn't a single light.
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>> campbell: just take a look at the highway lights. >> logan: but millions of people across afghanistan are still without power, and the lack of security threatens whatever progress has been made. last year was the deadliest of the war-- more than 5,000 afghan soldiers and policemen killed. at this memorial down south in kandahar, general campbell paid tribute to some of their fallen. afghan major general abdul hamid was at his side. he lost close to 200 of his men this past year. you believe that the afghan security forces, particularly the afghan national army doesn't get the credit it deserves. >> campbell: it's the number one respected institution in afghanistan. couple years ago, i probably wouldn't have said that, but today it is. they've taken this fight on, they've gotten them through two very, very tough fighting seasons, and the last one, predominantly, all on their own. >> logan: the afghan government can't afford to pay for them. the afghan army, the police, the
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air force, they're all paid for by the u.s. and its allies. casualty rates-- they're dying in huge numbers. unsustainable, according to your deputy. the attrition rate's another area of concern. >> campbell: yeah, i mean, there's challenges. they know that the army they have today probably will not be the size several years from now. they just can't afford that. the casualties you brought up, you have to take a look and put that in context. so, in fighting season 14, their operational tempo was at least four times greater, so you expect probably casualties to go up a little bit. >> logan: leading the fight: afghanistan's elite special operations units. the defense department released this video, which shows afghan commandos on a nighttime clearing operation. at the height of the fighting season this past summer, they carried out over 150 missions every month. eight years ago, these forces didn't exist. general campbell flew us out to their main training facility, in
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the high desert on the southern edge of kabul, where they allowed us a rare opportunity to see some of these soldiers up close. they have their own wing of specialized pilots, and on this training exercise, the afghan commandos showed how they would assault an enemy compound. while they operate mostly on their own, they still rely heavily on the u.s. in areas like intelligence and logistics. and there are fears over what will happen when the americans withdraw, heightened by the collapse of u.s. trained forces in iraq. >> campbell: there is a lot more talk from many of the senior leaders i deal with on the... on the afghan security forces about iraq and syria, and what's going on, and saying, "hey the coalition left iraq, and a couple years later, look what happened. don't let that happen to us here in afghanistan." >> logan: the u.s. significantly underestimated the risks of withdrawing completely from iraq.
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do you face any of the same risks here? >> campbell: the fundamental difference is that the senior leadership, both on the military side and in the government, want the coalition. they want the u.s. to stay here. >> logan: but do we share any of the same risks? >> campbell: there'll still continue to be threats here in afghanistan that will try to dictate that is it not stable, so absolutely. >> logan: general campbell has to weigh those risks against his orders to end this war for americans. here, he was pinning medals on some of the soldiers he was sending home. under president obama's mandate, u.s. troops are now down to about 10,000. there'll be half of that in a year, and in december 2016, the u.s. mission is supposed to be over. you're operating on the president's timeline here. how much wiggle room do you have? >> campbell: as any commander gets on the ground, he has to make an assessment, and then provide his best military advice with senior leadership. so i'm constantly makin those assessments.
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>> logan: so you don't feel boxed in? >> campbell: well, i... i feel like... you know, i'm a four- star general i'm not sure what you mean by "boxed in." if it... if it means boxed in on the number of people i can have here and the timeline i'm on again, if the... if the administration just wanted somebody to come here and say, "hey, you're not going to make any changes, you're going to do x," then they wouldn't need a leader that had the experience. they wouldn't have picked me. >> ashraf ghani: deadlines concentrate the mind. but deadlines should not be dogmas. >> logan: ashraf ghani is the new president of afghanistan, a former world bank official who has spent much of his life in the u.s. >> ghani: if both parties, or, in this case, multiple partners, have done their best to achieve the objectives, and progress is very real, then there should be willingness to reexamine a deadline. >> logan: did you tell president obama that? >> ghani: president obama knows me. we don't need to... to tell each other. >> logan: it took a firm hand from the u.s. to get president ghani and his chief political
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rival, dr. abdullah abdullah, to share power after a bitter dispute over fraud in the presidential election. it's general campbell's job to stay close to both men. he's now invited to attend their national security council meetings here in the palace, and says the new government is on the offensive. in our interview, president ghani had strong words for the nation's enemies. >> ghani: do not ever threaten an afghan with violence. we will rise as one, and we will face every threat the way we have taken on thousands of previous armies and conquerors. this is the moment of destiny. work with us to transform asia. but should you threaten our existence, everybody will be destroyed, not just us. >> logan: you say that with a
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smile at the end. >> ghani: well, because i want to make sure people understand who they are dealing with. >> logan: who are they dealing with? >> ghani: the bones of my ancestors guide us. this country was not the gift of anyone. it is the results of millions of people sacrificing. what did we have? our bare hands. >> logan: one of president ghani's biggest challenges is something john campbell has dealt with before. when we first visited him here four and a half years ago, he was in charge of eastern afghanistan, which borders pakistan. during that visit in 2010, we were caught in an ambush with his troops along the frontier, a routine event for u.s. soldiers who faced the impossible task of fighting an enemy that flowed freely from its safe havens in pakistan. we've had this conversation
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before-- 2010, when you were division commander. >> campbell: three hours, you made me talk about pakistan. >> logan: and nothing has changed on the battlefield. in fact, the pentagon, in their most recent report on afghanistan, said that, "the resiliency of the afghan insurgency continues to depend on sanctuary in pakistan." >> campbell: well, everybody's been frustrated with pakistan. afghanistan has been frustrated. pakistanis have been frustrated with afghanistan. but i've seen change here just in the last couple of weeks with engagement with the senior leadership... >> logan: let's look at what hasn't changed in 13 years. the pentagon, in their most recent report, said that pakistan is continuing to provide sanctuary to america's most lethal enemies in afghanistan, the haqqani network, which they describe as the most potent strain of the insurgency, the greatest risk to u.s. and coalition forces. >> campbell: yeah, i agree with... i agree with you. haqqani, you brought up. they've been the greatest threat to the coalition. i've lost many soldiers because of haqqani members. am i frustrated because they come in afghanistan, they go into pakistan? of course, i am.
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>> logan: the pakistanis protect their leadership. they allow them to recruit. they allow them to rest. >> campbell: i agree. you know, i'm not going to tell you that i'm a friend of haqqani here and that pakistan is not providing them sanctuary. they are. we've known that for years. >> ghani: we'll either sink together or swim together. we've both become mutually vulnerable, and we both need to understand that stability in one isn't conceivable without the stability in the other. >> logan: can you understand the skepticism, though, given pakistan's actions here? >> ghani: skepticism is part of your job. the job of an elected president is to overcome the past and change the playing field. my people are bleeding. it is precisely because of that that i need to make sure that peace comes. >> logan: but in remote parts of the country, like these mountains in kunar province, president ghani's enemies are entrenched. we asked a local journalist to
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meet up with the taliban fighters there. the u.s. ceded this ground to them when american soldiers were pulled out of here. this man, who goes by the name qari abdullah, claimed to command 150 taliban fighters. he said, "we will fight against democracy, wherever it is." and he used this interview as an opportunity to pledge support for the islamic state, which has threatened to move into afghanistan. "may we be united to spread our ideology throughout the world," he said. are you concerned about the rise of the islamic state and what threat that could pose here? >> ghani: yes. yes. because the past has shown us that threats, that networks change their form. >> logan: but their ideology hasn't changed. >> ghani: their ideology gets more radical. >> logan: how concerned are you about that threat? >> campbell: there have been incidents of recruiting, of
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night letter drops that talked about different parts of the country. so, they're concerned... if they're concerned, i'm concerned about that. but i think, with the military they have here, with the conditions that are set, this... again, this is not iraq. i don't see isis, isil coming into afghanistan like they did into iraq. the afghan security forces would not allow that. >> logan: as general campbell transforms america's mission there's no peace agreement with the enemy, no decisive military victory, and no end to the war in sight. his challenge is making sure the soldiers he brings home do not have to go back. the u.s. came to afghanistan after 9/11 to defeat al qaeda. 13 years later, as the u.s. leaves, al qaeda is still here. >> campbell: what's the question? >> logan: that's the question. >> campbell: are they still here? are there small pockets? are there leadership that we continue to go after and a network that supports them? of course.
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are they at a level that they can continue to attack and plan for the united states? we're doing everything we can today to make sure they don't have that capacity. but i think we're going to have to keep continued pressure on that. once you take that pressure off, it's only a matter of time before they continue to build that back up. so that's why it's so important that we do build upon the afghan capacity to keep that pressure on. if we get to a point where i think their capability can't do that and they're still a threat to the united states, then i'll make sure my senior leadership understands that. >> what does general campbell has to say about the way americans think of the war in afghanistan? plenty. go to,th correspondents rd by viagra. about half of men over 40 have some degree of erectile dysfunction. well, viagra helps guys with ed get and keep an erection. and remember, you only take it when you need it.
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>> stahl: a show opened in new york recently that didn't get a whole lot of attention, but it features some of the most powerful singing voices you've never heard. you haven't heard them because for most of the performers, this is their first time on the stage. they've been singing their whole lives-- in church, in amateur groups, in the shower-- but like so many who had dreams of making it big, life somehow got in the way. the show was created by a theater producer and former disc jockey named vy higginsen, who has made it her mission to preserve a special part of american culture-- african-
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american music, both gospel and popular music like soul and r&b. she found a pool of untapped talent, men and women in what she calls their "second half of life," just waiting for their chance to shine. ♪ >> stahl: the show is called "alive: 55 plus and kickin'" and while that certainly fits the men and women who fill this harlem stage on saturday afternoons, "alive" also refers to the music, and that is just how vy higginsen wants it. >> higginsen: the older people carry the music in their body, in their mind. if they die, then that sound may be gone forever. ♪ ♪ >> stahl: her idea was not just to celebrate the music. she also wanted to produce a
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show about the life experiences and struggles that created it. she figured she'd start by finding the voices, then write stories for each character afterward. at least that was the plan over a year ago when she put out the call for auditions. >> higginsen: we talked about it on the radio, auditions for 55 plus, and they said, "this is a youth-oriented society. nobody wants to hear about us." i want to hear about you! >> ( singing "ain't no sunshine" ) >> stahl: theo harris, 65, was one of more than 200 people who showed up to audition. he had caught one of the radio announcements on his way home from work. >> harris: i pulled the car over to the side of the street. i said, "this is what i've been waiting for." >> stahl: 55 and over, i'm there. >> harris: i'm there. that's for me, yes. ♪ >> stahl: debbie bingham, 56 always wanted to sing, but she needed a steady job to raise her
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family, so she became a nurse. >> bingham: i worked in pediatrics, in the trauma center, so i did a little bit of everything. >> stahl: did you ever dream of being a professional singer? >> bingham: all the time. ♪ >> stahl: renee walker, also 56, works for her local school district. >> walker: when i started working there, i told myself it would just be a temporary job until i made it as a singer. so i've been there 31 temporary years. ♪ >> stahl: in some cases the talent was obvious. in others, like a 75-year-old named matthew brown, a little less so. >> higginsen: oh, matthew brown. when he walked through the door, he came in... he was bent over looking down, and i was thinking to myself, "what's gonna happen here?" >> stahl: he-he's not right for this show. >> higginsen: well, i don't
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know. i mean, look at... whew. >> stahl: she looked at you and said, "uh-uh." >> brown: yes. yes. yes. >> stahl: she told you that? >> brown: she told me that. >> higginsen: he took the mic. he pulled his shoulders back. he started to sing. and i fell out in my chair. ah! >> brown: ♪ shall always be my song of praise. ♪ >> higginsen: my god! that's what i'm looking for. >> brown: and i looked at her. and she straightened up. ( laughs ) >> higginsen: who sings like that today? you can't turn on the radio and hear that. but i heard that when i was a young girl. >> stahl: he sounded to her like nat king cole. did you know you had... that you got it? >> brown: i-i-i told myself, "you got it." but i won't... i-i won't say anything.
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>> ( singing "ain't no sunshine" ) >> stahl: vy heard a different sound in theo harris' voice. >> higginsen: i put him a little bit in the crooner doo-wop section. >> stahl: the doo-wop. >> higginsen: the doo-wop time. >> stahl: vy's plan had been to create a story for each singer that would match their individual sound. that was before she knew what kind of stories were right in front of her. theo harris revealed at his audition that he had spent time in prison. when he said how much time, he wasn't sure anyone heard him correctly. >> harris: greg kelly, who was the pianist, said, "wait a minute, how many years did you say?" and i said, "40." >> kelly: 40? >> harris: yes. >> kelly: four zero? >> harris: yes. and that's when vy heard it. >> higginsen: 40 years in prison? >> harris: in and out. >> stahl: harris told her he had committed burglaries, many in her neighborhood, harlem, to get
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money to feed a drug habit. vy told us she was conflicted, but when she and her husband and collaborator, director ken wydro, made their choices and assembled a cast to start creating the show, theo was sitting front and center. why did you pick him if he's this person who destroyed your neighborhood? >> higginsen: because he's part of it. he's part of the big picture. i can't ignore that. and perhaps it was necessary for him to have a second chance. perhaps he deserved it, another chance. >> stahl: and theo harris wasn't the only one they had chosen with a dramatic story, and he wasn't the only one who needed a second chance. matthew brown, born the fourth of 13 children in north carolina, had spent most of his life illiterate. >> brown: i was just ashamed, or i don't know what it was. but i just-just couldn't learn.
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you pull up a piece of paper and say, "read one word," i'm ready to run some place. >> stahl: for decades, he drank until the alcohol started to affect his singing voice, and that terrified him. >> brown: i remember the last drink i had. it was a guy i was drinking with. i told him, i said, "this is the last drink you ever gonna see me drink." >> stahl: of course, he didn't believe you. but was it the last... >> brown: he might have been too drunk-. that was it. >> stahl: that was it? >> brown: that's been 28 years ago. >> stahl: 28 years ago. >> brown: november the 2nd, 28 years ago. >> higginsen: when we heard his story, i just fell apart. i just... that's when you knew that you had to tell that story. >> stahl: yeah, you couldn't... >> higginsen: you can't... you couldn't really make that one up. it was a turning point. >> stahl: vy and ken decided to take a risk-- to have each singer tell his or her own true story paired with a song.
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debbie bingham, the nurse, wanted to talk about losing her son. he passed away four years ago. >> bingham: my son was diagnosed with cancer when he was 34 years old. >> stahl: oh, my word. she's the one who took care of him. >> bingham: it didn't matter how much i knew. it didn't matter how much i helped other people, i just couldn't do anything. ♪ ♪ >> stahl: debbie knew what she wanted to sing in the show-- "i will always love you," the song made famous by whitney houston. >> bingham: only problem was vy wasn't crazy about it at first. >> higginsen: i wasn't sure. >> stahl: why weren't you sure? >> higginsen: if that song is not sung the right way, it misses big time. >> bingham: ken said yes. vy said no. ken said, "why not?" vy said, "because." and i said to her, "if you give me the chance to show you, i
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promise you you won't be disappointed." >> higginsen: how do you say no to that? >> stahl: you can't say no. >> higginsen: i can't say no to that. but i did say, "okay. but have another song just in case." ( laughs ) >> stahl: theo harris wanted to sing about his time in prison and how it was music that got him through. >> harris: they had a 10:00 bell, which meant all talking ceases. so one evening i started singing. and it was real quiet. and then when i finished, i heard somebody say, "who was that singing?" and i... hesitantly, i said, "that was me." they said, "well, keep singing." >> stahl: keep singing. >> harris: keep singing. i was their radio from that point on. >> stahl: any song you felt like? >> harris: and... well, they... and took requests. >> stahl: oh, took requests? >> harris: and took requests yes. >> stahl: harris used his prison time to get an education-- a
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college degree and then a masters in playwriting. when a musical he wrote was performed at the prison, music brought him something else-- a leading lady. >> phyllis harris: of course they had to get somebody from the outside, 'cause it's all- male prison. and so my sister doris, she volunteered me. >> stahl: phyllis and her sister do volunteer work at the prison through their church. >> harris: so when she came in we saw each other for the first time. it was just some chemistry there. >> stahl: right away? >> harris: right away. >> stahl: did you know that he had been a drug addict? >> phyllis harris: after our first meeting. >> stahl: he told you everything? >> phyllis harris: our first visit, he told me everything. >> stahl: and she played your wife? >> harris: she played my wife in the play. and seven months later she became my wife. >> stahl: she married you while you were behind bars? >> harris: while i was in prison, yes. >> stahl: turns out vy had cast phyllis in the show without even knowing she was theo's wife. ♪ vy felt she was hearing the stories of a generation, the
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generation that came of age during the era of urban decay and the struggle for civil rights: the black baby boomers. >> higginsen: that was one of the most creative musical time periods. there were sounds that were created out of the emotion. ♪ >> stahl: but not everyone in the group had such dramatic stories of struggle. renee walker, the school clerk raised her two children in a middle-class suburb. >> wydro: okay, whoa whoa whoa what were you feeling singing that? just now, what were you feeling? >> walker: it's hard for me, because i don't really like to talk about myself that much, not my-my innermost feelings. >> stahl: but ken was adamant about us getting in touch with our feelings they decided renee would sing about something that was really more success story than tragedy-- watching her sons leave home to go off to college. >> wydro: and what did you feel when you had to say goodbye?
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>> walker: sad. >> wydro: sad. >> stahl: you wanna sing on the stage, it has to come out. >> walker: it has to come out. >> stahl: and there was one last story, from a man named matthew burke. he and theo harris had sung together in prison. he sold drugs, and committed violent armed robbery, but what he wanted to talk about in the show was what he had recently discovered in a case file about the first weeks of his life. >> stahl: it says that you were abandoned at two-and-a-half weeks in a hallway. >> burke: yes. >> stahl: mother unknown. father unknown. the first thing most of us get from our parents is a name. he was simply "abandoned #2360." you are a number. >> burke: and you wanna know something? i became 81a3684. i became 00a6432.
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that's been my life-- a number. >> stahl: you're smiling. but you don't mean it. >> burke: right. and that's the defense mechanism. >> stahl: 'cause it's horrible. ♪ he was named matthew burke by a priest in the first of many foster homes. when he sings the song "georgia," he told us he's trying to give a name to what he lost. ♪ >> burke: if i had to give my mother a name. and i could give her a name. i can. it would be georgia. ♪ >> stahl: i know a psychiatrist who says the most important question she asks somebody is,
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"when you were growing up, who loved you?" do you have an answer? >> burke: that's very difficult to answer-- who loved me-- because there's different types of love. >> stahl: unconditional. i mean... >> burke: yeah, unconditional... >> stahl: that's what i mean. >> burke: i've never... i've never experienced that. >> stahl: so you-you have no answer for that question. >> burke: i have no answer. to this day i have no answer to that. >> stahl: it was daring bringing real people, none of them trained actors, to tell their own stories on the stage. what happened when the show opened when we come back. dcc1: pain slowed me down. my doctor and i agreed that moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves.
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>> stahl: we first met vy higginsen a few years back when she launched gospel for teens, a program to teach the hip hop generation the art of singing gospel. the teens are still coming, more and more of them each year. it's all part of her drive to keep this music alive, and what better way to do that than to bring the young and the old together? ♪ we were there when vy invited her over-55 crew to a gospel for teens class, for what she called
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an intergenerational exchange. ♪ >> higginsen: come on, matthew. >> brown: ♪ that old man river, he don't say nothing... ♪ >> stahl: vy wanted to know what the kids heard in matthew brown's voice. ♪ >> i hear the journey that he lived, coming from segregation coming from racism. i feel all the pain that our people had to endure, just by listening to his voice. and i thank him so much for sharing that with us. >> higginsen: wow! ( applause ) >> stahl: she wanted the kids to try to copy the sounds they'd heard. >> roberta ross: ♪ soon i will be done. ♪
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>> sateena turner: ♪ soon i will be done. ♪ ( laughter ) >> ross: take your time. >> higginsen: the older people are passing it on to the younger generation so the younger generation can pass it on to the next generation. >> stahl: and this is your mission. >> higginsen: i don't want this music to die. ♪ ( applause ) >> ross: ♪ i'm goin' home ♪ >> turner: ♪ i'm goin' home ♪ >> both: ♪ to live with god. ♪ ♪ >> stahl: there sure didn't seem to be any risk of any music dying here, as vy's group took the stage to perform "alive: 55 plus and kickin'" before a packed house in harlem. >> walker: vy has a saying: the first 50 years are for learning, and the second 50 years are for living. life just begins when you're in
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your 50s. ♪ >> brown: amazing grace shall it's a message that feels a lot like redemption. and that's what comes through in the music, and the real life stories, as when matthew brown the 75-year-old janitor, tells the audience about his battle with illiteracy. >> brown: i couldn't read or write. and when i turned 16, i started to drink. and then i was 50. but i had no give up in me! i went back to school to learn to read and write. ( applause ) >> stahl: he started writing poems, and even entered a poetry contest. >> brown: i took third place.
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( applause ) >> stahl: then, two years later, an essay contest. >> brown: i took first place! ( applause ) >> harris: no matter what life has thrown at you, no matter what you have done throughout your life, there's always a chance to get it right. >> stahl: always. >> harris: and this play-- it's not even a play. this is real people telling real stories who have been through real struggles. and it's been a healing process for me. ♪ oh my love, my darling... ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> stahl: when the man who spent more than half his life in prison sings about hoping his wife will wait for him, it feels as though the song is his story. >> harris: ♪ are you still mine? i need your love... ♪ >> stahl: but as in so many stories, this one had another twist.
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seven years after theo got out of prison, he started using drugs again. he robbed a hotel clerk and ended up in jail. >> harris: i've never contemplated suicide in my life until that night. i didn't want any human contact, and i certainly didn't want to call my wife. >> phyllis harris: very early sunday morning, the phone ring. >> harris: and i said, "i'm in jail." and i'm saying to myself, "she's gonna hang up. she's gonna leave me." >> phyllis harris: he got silent. and i said, "do you love me?" >> harris: and i started crying. i said, "yes, phyllis, i love you." she said, "well, i'll be there for you." she said, "we'll get through this together." ♪ you know i need your love... ♪ >> phyllis harris: then when i said it, i'm like, "what?" i'm saying to myself, "what did i say?" >> stahl: you don't know why you said it? >> phyllis harris: i don't know. no. ( laughs ) >> stahl: but you said it? >> phyllis harris: but i said it. ♪ >> stahl: she waited eight-and-
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a-half more years. ( applause ) >> walker: ♪ if i could, i'd protect you from the sadness in your eyes. ♪ >> stahl: then, a surprise. the woman with the least dramatic story singing about sending her children off to college gets the most emotional response. >> walker: ♪ and if i could, in a time and place where you don't want to be... the song is a parent to a child, wanting the best of everything for that child. i could have written it myself it's that real for me. ♪ my yesterday won't have to be your way. if i knew... ♪
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>> burke: i love all the songs. but that song for me, i sta... she used to rehearse it here. and all the men were crying. all the men. and they used to tease us and say, "okay, renee's gonna rehearse the song. bring the klee... kleenex to the boys." ♪ >> stahl: when we looked backstage during her song, there they were. >> burke: and i'm imagining in my mind that it's my mother saying that to me. >> stahl: and when it's his turn... >> burke: ♪ maybe you were just too young. ♪ >> stahl: ...matthew burke speaks to his mother, trying to understand why she abandoned him. >> burke: maybe you were sick. maybe you thought that what you did was best for both you, and for me. >> stahl: then he sings to her the mother he had had to name himself.
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>> burke: ♪ georgia, whoa georgia, the whole day through. ♪ >> stahl: so have you forgiven your mother? >> burke: i'd like to believe that i've forgiven her fully. >> stahl: but you're not sure? >> burke: there's a lot of things that could have happened. and the only one thing that i hope was not the case is that she said, "i don't want this child." >> stahl: this child? >> burke: me. ♪ >> bingham: ♪ but i know... ♪ >> stahl: after a son mourning the absence of his mother, a mother mourns the loss of her son with the song vy hadn't been sure about. >> bingham: ♪ and i will always love you. ♪ >> walker: you know, i've heard it said that if you lose your spouse you're a widow or a widower. if you lose your parents you're an orphan. but they said, "what do you call someone that has to bury their child?" what do you call them? we don't have a name for it. ♪
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>> bingham: there was a time when i couldn't tell the story to anybody without just bursting into tears. >> stahl: singing about it, she says, helps. >> bingham: ♪ and i wish you joy and happiness ♪ but above all of this, i wish you love... ♪ >> stahl: there's a pause before the song kicks up into a higher key... >> higginsen: they're cheering for her... >> stahl: ...if she makes it. >> higginsen: is she gonna get it? >> bingham: ♪ and i ill always love you. ♪ >> higginsen: she nailed it! ♪ >> stahl: having sung their songs and told their stories this cast of characters in their "second half of life" comes
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together for a grand finale. ♪ and it's hard to avoid the sense that vy's drive to keep the music alive, has achieved something more. >> bingham: the overall point of the show is this: it's never too late for anything. i'm not that sad little lady that i was before and things are gonna be okay. >> stahl: second chances. is that the way you see this? >> harris: how 'bout seven chances? ( laughs ) >> stahl: i'm told that you tell people you're looking at a miracle. >> harris: if you're not looking at a miracle, i don't know what a miracle looks like. >> brown: this is what i've always wanted to do. >> stahl: you told us that you feel like you're floating. >> brown: ever since when i auditioned last year. i've been floating ever since then. >> stahl: you're still up floating. >> brown: oh, i haven't been down since then.
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>> higginsen: yes! ( applause ) >> i love being an old man. >> stahl: the 2015 season of "alive: 55 plus and kickin'" begins in april.
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& >> whitaker: i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." right! now you're gonna ask for my credit card - - so you can charge me on the down low two weeks later look, credit karma - are you talking to websites again? this website says 'free credit scores'. oh. credit karma! yeah, it's really free. look, you don't even have to put in your credit card information. what?! credit karma. really free credit scores. really. free. i could talk to you all day.
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captioning funded by cbs and ford captioned by media access group at wgbh
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(coyote howls) man: hey, ochoa. police! drop your weapons! drop `em!
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banks! how bad you hit, banks? elizabeth: i know you and your son have been through a lot these past few months, mrs. banks. your husband's death was a terrible tragedy and i know that you want to see the man responsible face justice. as do i. carlos ochoa has been apprehended in mexico, and they are willing to extradite him. but they haven't. as you know, the sticking point has been mexico's standing policy against extraditing any of its citizens to a country with the death penalty. but he's a member of a drug cartel and a murderer. what do they care? elizabeth: he's still a citizen. and they object to another country meting out that kind of justice. however, if i can get your blessing


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