tv 60 Minutes CBS December 11, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> i know donald trump. i know him very well, and i think his attitude, his support for israel is clear. he feels very warmly about the jewish state, about the jewish people and about jewish people. there's no question about that. >> with trump, do you think that israel will not be as at odds with the united states as you have been under the obama administration? >> yeah, we had differences of opinion with-- i had differences of opinion with president obama. >> was it personal between the two of you? >> how do you stop a war close to christmas? this television ad campaign helped. with colombian special forces, it was shot near guerrilla strongholds that were decorated
with christmas lights. each tree was rigged with a motion detector that lit up the tree and a banner when the guerrillas walked by at night. it read, "if christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home." >> what we did was try to make coming back home for christmas an important thing. >> and it worked? >> and it worked incredibly well. >> tell me about the night you got lost. what do you remember? >> it's a memory that's been within me for such a long time. >> saroo was just five years old when he got lost, and as depicted in the movie, he ended up on a train that took him a thousand miles away. no way to know how to get home. >> it's a ghost train. no one's on the train. and-- >> and the train is hurtling down the tracks-- >> it's hurtling down the tracks. i was locked in the carriage. i couldn't open it.
>> and you're five years old. >> and i'm five years old. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm leslie stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm lara logan. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories, tonight on "60 minutes." >> cbs money watch, sponsored by american express open. proud supporter of growing businesses. >> quijano: good evening. iran announced today it is purchasing 80 passenger jets from boeing for $16.6 billion. the federal reserve is expected to raise short-term interest rates this week. and opec and non-opec nations reached a deal this weekend to cut oil production. i'm elaine quijano, cbs news.
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for any bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. i'm still going for my best. and for eliquis. ask your doctor about eliquis. >> stahl: on our recent trip to jerusalem, we found a surprisingly optimistic benjamin netanyahu, who has served the longest stretch as prime minister in israel's history. he told us his country has never felt as secure or less isolated. but it's been a tumultuous eight
years between israel and the u.s., over the iran nuclear deal and the expansion of jewish settlements in the occupied west bank, so part of his optimism relates to the election in the u.s. netanyahu and his followers on the israeli right are greeting the idea of president donald trump with a resounding l'chaim. >> benjamin netanyahu: i know donald trump. i know him very well, and i think his attitude, his support for israel is clear. he feels very warmly about the jewish state, about the jewish people and about jewish people. there's no question about that. >> stahl: with trump, do you think that israel will not be as at odds with the united states as you have been under the obama administration? >> netanyahu: yeah, we had differences of opinion with-- i had differences of opinion with president obama and most well- known, of course, is iran. >> stahl: was it personal between the two of you? >> netanyahu: no.
no, i don't think so. i think that-- suppose we had the greatest of personal chemistry, okay? so, what? you think i wouldn't stand up against the iran deal if i thought, as i did, that it endangers the existence of israel? of course i would. >> stahl: he says it wasn't personal, but there were times when it sure seemed that way. the relationship, often rocky, hit bottom when mr. netanyahu took the provocative step last year of lobbying against the iran nuclear deal, and by extension, president obama, in a speech before congress. >> netanyahu: it doesn't block iran's path to the bomb, it paves iran's path to the bomb. so why would anyone make this deal? >> stahl: when you campaigned against him and you spoke to the congress, it was read as a lack of respect and something that had never been done before. >> netanyahu: no, it was not borne of any disrespect, because
i have the greatest respect for him. i had then and i have now. >> stahl: but do you regret that you did that? >> netanyahu: no, on the contrary. i think that it's my responsibility to speak up when something threatens our very future. >> stahl: he's says he's going to see mr. trump soon to lobby him to scuttle the deal. the president elect has called the agreement "stupid" and "a disgrace." but trump's choice for defense secretary, general james mattis has advised against pulling out. if it were to be abrogated, wouldn't that put you in a more precarious position than you are now? because they would obviously then rush to the bomb. >> netanyahu: i think iran didn't rush to the bomb before there was a deal. >> stahl: really? >> netanyahu: no, because they were afraid of retribution. >> stahl: but if-- okay, you get rid of the deal. then what? >> netanyahu: i think what options we have are much more than you think. many more. and i'll talk about it-- >> stahl: like what? >> netanyahu: --with president trump.
well, i think quite a few, actually. >> stahl: because if you, you know, put sanctions back on, the other signatories to the deal won't. >> netanyahu: there are ways, various ways of undoing it. >> stahl: you have something in your mind. >> netanyahu: yeah, i have about five things in my mind. >> stahl: well, give me one. >> netanyahu: well, i'd like to talk to the president before i talk to "60 minutes." >> stahl: what about the intelligence that the west is getting from on-site inspections? apparently, most of the intelligence community thinks it's worth keeping the deal for that intelligence. >> netanyahu: i think we have-- the deal is not the critical thing of intelligence. intelligence is a critical thing. ( laughs ) >> stahl: which israel is really good at. >> netanyahu: which is-- we're very good at. and you know, with a little help-- >> stahl: so you don't think we're-- >> stahl: --gaining that much by these on-site inspections? >> netanyahu: for intelligence? >> stahl: yeah. >> netanyahu: no. >> stahl: what about the silver lining? that because of this deal, you now have all this-- these better relationships with your neighbors. >> netanyahu: oh, well, that's true. i would say-- i will say this. the only good thing-- --i can say about the deal with iran is that it brought the arab states
and israel closer together. >> stahl: it's the old proverb: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. on a trip to the desert town of be'er sheva, he told us there's been a tectonic shift: it's been reported that israel and the arab world are sharing intelligence. >> netanyahu: all i can tell you is that israel's position in the arab world has changed because they no longer see israel as their enemy, but as their ally, in their indispensable battle against the forces of militant islam, either those led by iran, the shiites, or-- and those led by daesh, by isis, the militant sunnis. >> stahl: we hear that you have dramatically improved your relationship with egypt. is that correct? >> netanyahu: yes. >> stahl: jordan? >> netanyahu: yes. >> stahl: saudi arabia? >> netanyahu: no comment. >> stahl: i have to ask you, because it's the most fascinating of all: israel and saudi arabia. are you actually developing an anti-iran alliance in the middle east?
>> netanyahu: doesn't have to be developed. it's there anyway. >> stahl: israel is developing a whole skein of new alliances, in some cases with countries that have been challenging the u.s. around the world; like russia, which has placed its troops in syria, israel's next door neighbor. how would you describe your relationship with russia right now? >> netanyahu: it's amicable. but the minute mr. putin decided to put his military forces in syria, i went to see him. and i said, "look, here's what i'm doing. i'm not intervening in syria. but at the same time, if syria tries to intervene with us, if iran tries to use syria to attack us, we'll stop it. >> stahl: you're telling mr. putin that you will attack? >> netanyahu: i said, "we should avoid this." and he said "i agree." so we coordinated between our militaries, because no one wants an inadvertent israeli-russian clash.
>> stahl: you have a friendship with mr. putin, and a friendship with china. you seem to be inching toward an anti-american bloc. >> netanyahu: god, no. let me tell you something-- >> stahl: well, talk about that, because i think there's an impression of that. >> netanyahu: that's a false impression. first of all, there is, there is an irreplaceable ally. it's called the united states of america. >> stahl: yeah, but here you are making friends with our adversaries-- >> netanyahu: so no. you have relations with russia and you have relations with china. we can have relations, economic relations, trade relations with other countries, as you do. why not? >> stahl: he has used economic and trade relations to improve israel's standing in the world by selling, and in some cases, giving away, its high-tech inventions. israel boasts of more start-ups per capita than anywhere in the world, many based in be'er sheva, and nations have lined up to buy drones, as india has, and
cutting edge agricultural technology, as china has. there's excitement about a new innovation that extracts drinking water out of air. so this is israeli diplomacy through technology? >> netnyahu: exactly right. >> stahl: countries that used to vote against you regularly at the u.n. are now your clients. i mean, african nations-- >> netnyahu: it's a revolution there. we can't keep up. >> stahl: what's surprising is that he's making progress with all these countries, without making any progress with the palestinians, who have lived under israeli occupation in the west bank for half a century. what about the quality of palestinians' lives? you know, it's 50 years since what people call "the occupation." it's 50 years. you still have checkpoints. people have to be cleared. soldiers everywhere in their lives.
>> netanyahu: actually, i've lifted checkpoints quite a bit, and we're trying to create bridges and thoroughfares and so on, so we can have freer movement. palestinians know-- they look at aleppo in syria, and they look at yemen, and they look at libya, and they look at other places, and they know that our intention is coexistence. >> stahl: you told us that israel is less isolated today than it has been in many years in the past. and yet, at the same time, you're losing support in-- in western europe. >> netanyahu: isolated? all these countries are coming to israel and it's a fantastic change. >> stahl: but not western europe. not you, your natural allies, or your older allies yet. >> netanyahu: well, they're coming-- >> stahl: they call you colonials. >> netanyahu: they're coming around too. >> stahl: but they call you occupiers. >> netanyahu: well, they call us a lot of things, but i think they're coming around too, i have to tell you. >> stahl: but criticism has spread, on u.s. campuses, too. there's a movement called b.d.s., to boycott, divest, and sanction israel and its
products, because of the palestinian issue, the unresolved palestinian issue. and this is the playbook that they used, you know, against apartheid in south africa-- >> netanyahu: yeah, well, i don't buy it. it's not about this or that issue. it's against the very existence of the state of israel. >> stahl: you know what they want? i know what they want. they want you to stop expanding and building settlements. >> netanyahu: yeah, well, we did. we stopped. we stopped in gaza. we tore out the settlements and gave the palestinians gaza. and what happened? did we get peace? we got 20,000 rockets on our heads and terror tunnels. >> stahl: still, his critics argue that's not a justification for the steady expansion of the settlements in the west bank. those settlements are smothering palestinians' hope for their own separate state. >> netanyahu: i think the obsession, the focus on settlements as though this were the issue and this is the obstacle to peace, i disagree with that. >> stahl: but it is an obstacle. i mean-- >> netanyahu: no, it's not an
obstacle. >> stahl: well, you say that, but they don't say that. >> netanyahu: yeah, but i'll say something else. the real reason we haven't had peace is because of a persistent refusal of the palestinians to recognize a jewish state in any border. "you ask us to recognize you, i'm willing to do that. i ask you to recognize us. recognize the jewish state, for god's sake." and if they do, this thing will begin to correct itself very quickly. >> stahl: it's a condition he doesn't put on his new friends. have any of the arab states said they accept israel as a jewish state? >> netanyahu: yeah, they say a lot of things in various forms. >> stahl: and never actually said they accept you. >> netanyahu: do they say it publicly at this point? not yet. >> stahl: he acknowledges that the arab states want to see movement on the palestinian issue. but despite washington's call for a halt, settlement expansion has continued, even after the u.s. gave israel a $38 billion military aid package.
netanyahu and the palestinian leader mahmoud abbas recently greeted each other at the funeral of former israeli president shimon peres. but the two have not held open, direct negotiations in over six years, for which they blame each other. what kind of a state is it going to be if you just, you know, don't do anything? >> netanyahu: i'm not going to just not do anything. i'm going to do something. >> stahl: well, if you don't negotiate with the palestinians- - >> netanyahu: well, i'm willing to negotiate with them at any moment. >> stahl: and if it doesn't happen? >> netanyahu: i haven't reversed my position. i've said, "look, we will solve this because we want two nation states at peace and with the proper security arrangements. >> stahl: you would be pushing for a two-state solution if that-- >> netanyahu: two states for two peoples. and that's where i'm focused. yeah, i'd like to have president trump, when he gets into the white house, help me work on that. i'd like to see if the arab
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>> logan: for more than half a century, colombia was one of the most violent and isolated countries on earth, infamous for cartels, cocaine, and kidnapping. the revolutionary armed forces of colombia, or farc, fought the government in the longest running war in the western hemisphere-- until recently, when colombia achieved what many thought was impossible. the war is effectively over, the country transformed. how do you end a 52-year war that left 220,000 dead and
millions displaced, against a revolutionary army dedicated to overthrowing the government? billions in u.s. aid helped, but the colombian military came up with one of the most unusual ideas in modern warfare: an advertising campaign. they hired a creative ad executive, jose miguel sokoloff, to convince thousands of fighters to give up without firing a shot. how did sokoloff do it? with soccer balls and christmas trees. >> jose miguel sokoloff: advertising is a very, very powerful force. in the good you can do, by changing minds of people in certain ways-- >> logan: that's why it's powerful. >> sokoloff: that's why it's powerful. he wanted peace forever. >> logan: it was the power to change minds that brought colombia's deputy minister of defense to jose miguel sokoloff's ad agency in 2006. ( explosion ) the military had brought the farc to their knees and were looking for a new weapon to end the war.
so they asked sokoloff, one of the world's top ad men, to create a series of campaigns and tv commercials to convince the guerillas to surrender and the colombian people to accept them back. >> sokoloff: this gives us the chance to apply our skills to something that is fundamentally important to us, to our kids, to our country. ♪ ♪ >> logan: in december 2010, they launched "operation christmas" which they filmed for commercials that played on local tv. at great risk, blackhawk helicopters carried two of sokoloff's colleagues, led by colombian special forces, into rebel territory. they found nine 75-foot trees near guerilla strongholds and decorated them with christmas lights. each tree was rigged with a motion detector that lit up the tree and a banner when the guerillas walked by at night. it read: "if christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home.
demobilize. at christmas, everything is possible." >> sokoloff: what we did was try to make coming back home for christmas an important thing. and we knew that if we put up-- up these christmas trees with that sign up there, we would touch the hearts of the guerrillas, because my hearts-- my heart was touched. and they went and they did it. >> logan: and it worked? >> sokoloff: and it worked incredibly well. >> logan: he said 331 guerillas, roughly 5% of the rebel force at the time, demobilized. they came out of the jungle and gave up. this is spectacular. >> sokoloff: it's beautiful, isn't it? >> logan: like most colombians, sokoloff was born into war and grew up here in bogota without knowing a day of peace. in the beginning, what was the purpose of the campaign? >> sokoloff: it was always exactly the same: demobilize as many guerillas as possible. >> logan: as with any ad
campaign, they began with research. their focus group: former guerillas. sokoloff's team tracked them down and interviewed them. >> sokoloff: we found the common denominator of all those stories is that a guerilla is as much a prisoner of his organization than the people he holds hostage. >> logan: there was no way out? >> sokoloff: there was no way out. and it certainly softened me up when i heard these stories. and i said, these poor people. >> logan: and you never expected that you would feel that way? >> sokoloff: i didn't expect them to be so human. >> but how do you reach your target audience, when they are hiding in 150,000 square miles of jungle? the rivers, they discovered, are the highways of the jungle. so they launched their second christmas campaign, "operation rivers of light." they asked people in nearby villages to send messages and gifts to the guerillas, which were placed inside capsules that
glowed in the dark, then floated down the river. >> sokoloff: so you just put them there and these lit up at night. and-- >> logan: wow. >> sokoloff: when you see that beautiful thing coming down the river, you can't help but being touched by it. >> logan: how many lights like that did you send? >> sokoloff: almost 7,000. >> logan: one of the messages was from colombia's president juan manuel santos, who was just awarded the nobel peace prize for his efforts to end the war. and you did this with the colombian military? >> sokoloff: absolutely, we couldn't have done it without them. >> logan: it humanizes them as much as you've tried to humanize the guerillas. >> sokoloff: exactly. >> logan: sokoloff and his military partners never let up. they rolled out dozens of campaigns, each uniquely designed to show the guerillas the way out, with beams of light, stickers on trees and voices of ex-guerilla leaders
booming across the jungle. but no voice was more powerful than their mothers. >> sokoloff: she's waiting for you, she's been waiting for you for at least 20 years in some cases. >> logan: in 2013, sokoloff found 27 mothers of guerrillas. they gave his agency photos of their sons and daughters as young children, that only they could recognize. during christmas, flyers with those photos were placed all over the jungle. >> sokoloff: and the message was before you were a guerrilla, you were my child. so come home, because i'm-- i will always be waiting for you at christmastime. >> logan: we call that going for the jugular-- >> sokoloff: ( laughs ) yes. >> logan: --jose, because wow. ♪ ♪ >> sokoloff: 218 people with this campaign gave up their weapons and came home and stopped shooting.
so, whatever number you get out is people that you don't have to fight. >> logan: what was your most successful campaign? >> sokoloff: football. >> logan: football? >> sokoloff: football. always football. football-- ( laughs ) --moves this country. football is our passion. >> logan: it was a passion shared by the guerillas, who often stopped fighting during matches. when colombia hosted the under 20 world cup in 2011-- >> goal colombia! >> logan: --sokoloff kicked off a new campaign. soldiers armed with thousands of soccer balls entered stadiums and players, celebrities, and fans all signed them. they loaded them onto helicopters and threw them out over the jungle, each with a sticker that said "demobilize. let's play again." over eight years, 18,000 guerillas put down their weapons and came home, in large part because of sokoloff's campaigns. the ads helped bring the farc to the negotiating table in 2012.
during the peace talks, sokoloff said guerilla leaders asked the government to stop airing his commercials. soon after, they agreed to a ceasefire. >> sokoloff: colombians started feeling confident, started feeling that we could do whatever we wanted. ♪ ♪ we started feeling secure and safe, the fear started going away, and as we went outside and the world came here, it was infectious. >> logan: the energy. >> sokoloff: the energy was incredible. and that is what the world sees now of colombia. >> logan: colombia's spirit, once buried by war, has risen again. in the last ten years, international investment is up over 100%; tourism 240%. not long ago, it was too dangerous to go out at night; now, clubs in bogota are bursting with locals and foreigners. >> sokoloff: yeah, and that is
bogotaaá, which is probably not the best example of transformation. medellin, cali, all these other cities-- >> logan: even more? >> sokoloff: if you had been there ten years ago and you go today, you would say, "this is a completely different planet." ( sirens ) >> logan: medellin was the last place tourists would have come. at the height of the drug wars, it was the murder capital of the world, 6,000 a year. now it is the jewel of colombia. modern, cultural, reborn, it has been hailed as a model of urban innovation, mostly because of this man, sergio fajardo. >> como esta? >> logan: we saw people thanking you for transforming their lives and for what you've done. what does that mean to you? >> sergio fajardo: i'm very proud. because we have shown that hope can be built and things can be changed. >> logan: fajardo was a math professor, a political novice, when he ran for mayor in 2003.
without bodyguards, he dared to walk the poorest and most dangerous streets promising to end the violence and reunite the city. he won in a landslide. >> fajardo: what's the power of violent people? fear. and when you are-- feel fear, you are diminished as a human being. you are s-- subjugated. >> logan: divided? >> fajardo: divided-- there is no sense of community. so we have to put the pieces together of our society, and we have to connect physically and mentally. >> logan: they connected the city through its public transportation system. so now we head to the metro? we started our tour on a metro train that took us to communa 13, a slum that was once the city's bloody epicenter, where tens of thousands who fled the war now live. this is ridiculously steep. because it sits on a steep hilltop-- >> fajardo: even for us, this is steep. >> logan: --fajardo's urban
planners took a bold step. they built escalators up the side of the mountain, the equivalent of 28 stories. if you wanted to build hope, this was a good place to start. >> fajardo: this is a symbol. things can be done in the poorest part of town. >> logan: beautifully designed, decorated, and landscaped, the escalators have literally lifted the spirit of the community. fajardo convinced the wealthy and the poor to contribute to rebuilding medellin. from that came a cultural center, science museum, and botanical garden. >> fajardo: this was rundown. it was a place that people wouldn't come. they would be afraid of coming out to this neighborhood. >> logan: especially after dark? >> fajardo: most of the day. >> logan: to get kids off the streets, he poured money into education with new schools and libraries. you built a $4 million building? >> fajardo: right. >> logan: in the middle of one of the most violent-- >> fajardo: up to the--
>> logan: --slums in medellin? >> fajardo: it said the most beautiful things for the humblest people, which is a message of dignity. because usually we say, "well, if they are poor, whatever they get, that's plenty because they have nothing." we said, "no, the most beautiful things in this town, should be coming to these places." >> logan: no symbol has helped more than medellin's cable cars. they soar over its mountain slums carrying 40,000 people a day, connecting the poor with jobs and opportunities in the city's wealthier neighborhoods. and these places were pretty isolated before that? >> fajardo: they were. it was very difficult to get in here. you will never have someone from that part of town coming in here for any reason. and now, most people come to medellin, they would want to come here to ride the cable car, to see what we did in here and to get a feeling of a transformation. >> logan: colombia's transformation remains a work in progress. drugs and violence are still present. but after several failed
attempts, the country now has a peace deal with the farc that was just passed by its congress. >> sokoloff: and the benefit of doing it. >> logan: and jose miguel sokoloff? he was publicly recognized by his client, colombia's ministry of defense, with its highest honor-- that's rarely awarded to civilians-- for his creative advertising campaigns to help end the war. normally in advertising, you always want to see your clients coming back? >> sokoloff: yeah. ( laughs ) >> logan: you nev-- you never want to get rid of them. >> sokoloff: yeah, this is-- >> logan: but in this case? >> sokoloff: here, the object of this campaign is to not have a client, it's to-- to end this war and no need for-- for-- for any more of that anymore. >> logan: so they don't need you? >> sokoloff: so they don't need us anymore. >> selling peace isn't the same as selling soap. ad man jose miguel sokoloff explains at 60minutesovertime.com. sponsored by viagra.
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story of loss and love. as a five-year-old child in india, he became impossibly lost in calcutta, a sprawling, chaotic city of 14 million people. he said he had no money, no one to help him, no clue how to get back home. that he survived is amazing enough; what happened next got hollywood's attention. his story is now a movie, called "lion," the english translation of his indian name. but there would be no movie, no story without saroo's memories, the recollections of a terrified little boy. it's hard to recall events from age five, but witnesses we talked to and documents we found support almost all that he remembers. saroo brierley considers himself lucky to be alive. when you hear his story, we think you'll understand why. tell me about the night you got lost. what do you remember?
>> saroo brierley: i remember it so vividly. it's-- it's a memory that's been within me for such a long time. >> whitaker: it began when saroo brierley was five in his village in central india. he lived in a cramped one room house made of cow dung and brick with his mother, two older brothers, and younger sister. his father had abandoned them leaving them penniless. do you remember being hungry? >> saroo brierley: we're always hungry. we were always sort of having to sort of live a day at a time. >> whitaker: you found more food at the train station than anyplace else? >> saroo brierley: if i really wanted to sort of find food, the train station is the best place. it wasn't just myself, there was other beggars and people at the train station too. >> whitaker: is that what you and your brothers were? >> saroo brierley: we were beggars, yeah. >> whitaker: he says his mother would often leave the children for days on their own so she could earn less than $1 a day
hauling rocks at construction sites. >> saroo brierley: when i saw her eyes as a child, i know she was going through hardship. >> whitaker: you remember thinking that, looking at your mother? >> saroo brierley: yeah. i'd see, whilst i'm sort of sleeping or almost asleep next to my sister, and i could see sort of tears going down her eyes as well. >> whitaker: one night, guddu, his oldest brother he idolized, wanted to scavenge at the big train station down the track. saroo says he begged to go with him. reluctantly, his brother gave in. saroo remembers the station had a water tower and a pedestrian walkway. he also remembers he was exhausted. when they got there, it was late at night. >> saroo brierley: and i just wanted to go to sleep, and my brother said, "wait here. i'll be back." i ended up going to sleep on the bench. i'm not too sure whether it was like ten minutes, 20 minutes, an hour, two hours, three hours. >> whitaker: when he woke up, he remembers a train was there but
his brother was not. saroo thought he might be inside looking under seats for coins and food. he didn't find him, but he did find a comfortable seat and fell back to sleep. when he woke up again, as depicted in the movie, the train was careening across india for hours and hours. >> saroo brierley: it's a ghost train. no one's on the train. and-- >> whitaker: and the train is hurtling down the tracks-- >> saroo brierley: it's hurtling down the tracks. and i just ran up and down. tears. i was locked in the carriage. i couldn't open it. i'm on this carriage, on this train, all by myself locked as a prisoner. its prisoner. >> whitaker: and you're five years old. >> saroo brierley: and i'm five years old. >> whitaker: he thinks he was trapped more than a day. he ended up 1,000 miles from home, in the crowds and chaos of the main calcutta train station. more than a million people pass
through here every day. >> saroo brierley: i was panicking. my heart was going triple time. i'm calling out for my brother, my sister and my mother. >> whitaker: was no one paying attention to a little-- little kid in the crowd? >> saroo brierley: no one was paying attention. no. to them, it's like you're just another kid outside the train station, you know? a beggar out from the train station. >> whitaker: to make matters worse: he spoke hindi. in calcutta, people speak bengali. he avoided the police because, at home, police arrested beggars. so he'd have to do what he'd learned from his brothers: survive on his wits and scavenge in a vast, unforgiving city threatening to swallow him up. he slept alongside other street kids in the train station, but there were adult predators at night. saroo says he barely survived perhaps for weeks before a young man helped him and brought him to the police. a judge sent him to an orphanage.
while the movie heightened the action for dramatic effect, we confirmed with the director of the orphanage that saroo told his story of being lost when they took him in. the social workers wrote his story in this log. five-year-old saroo didn't know his last name, didn't know his address, didn't know the name of his village. they put his picture on flyers, on tv, in the paper. but no one responded. he was declared a lost child of india. the woman who ran the orphanage told saroo a family in australia wanted to adopt him. about six months after getting on that train, he got on a jumbo jet to australia where he met his new mom and dad, sue and john brierley. what was that like when he gets off the plane? >> sue brierley: ( sighs ) oh. >> john brierley: pretty incredible-- >> sue brierley: yes. >> john brierley: yeah-- >> sue brierley: it was just so amazing. he just had these incredible eyes, and calmness about him.
he seemed a little bit cautious, but he didn't seem fearful. >> whitaker: they took saroo back to their home on the australian island of tasmania where he had a toy-filled room as big as his house in india. his new mother put a map of india on his wall, so he'd always remember where he came from. >> sue brierley: he virtually put his life in our hands from the first moment we met. >> whitaker: you could feel that. >> sue brierley: yes. yes. definitely. >> whitaker: they saved you. >> saroo brierley: they did. but they didn't know my past and what had been. and i only told them to the point of, you know, as much language as i had that i could describe things. >> whitaker: slowly, as he learned english in school, he began to reveal his past. he remembered details of the station where he got on the train to calcutta. the water tower. the pedestrian bridge.
he remembered the dam where he would play in the river. sue wrote it all down in this diary. under the love and care of sue and john, saroo thrived. he excelled at sports. he was popular at school. >> saroo brierley: i was happy, i was comfortable, getting the love that i-- that i've always sort of wanted. >> whitaker: with your new life, did you think about your old life often? >> saroo brierley: of course i did. those memories came alive when i went to sleep. >> whitaker: but sometimes in his waking hours, he would search the map of india, hoping to recognize something, hoping to find his mother. he said he feared she was anguished over losing him. how did you feel about that? >> saroo brierley: helpless. that's what it was, at the end of the day. you couldn't do anything. you think about it quite a bit.
i was holding onto those memories, never to let go. >> whitaker: nearly 20 years after he went missing, he discovered he could use his memories like a mental map to find his way home. his discovery? google earth. >> saroo brierley: it's just so massive. and this is what i've been sort of looking at. >> whitaker: with google earth, he could get a bird's eye view of towns and landmarks. he calculated a search radius from calcutta based on the speed of trains and the time he thought he was locked on board. night after night, he would follow the tracks looking for anything that would match his memory of the station where he got lost. so out of all of india, all the train stations in all of india, you're looking for a water tower and a walkway over the train tracks? >> saroo brierley: uh-huh. basically, a needle in a haystack. >> whitaker: one night, frustrated by hours, years, of fruitless searching, he looked out farther than he ever
imagined he could have traveled. >> saroo brierley: all of a sudden i come to this train station here and i zoom down. it matched absolutely perfectly. >> whitaker: the water tower's right there-- >> saroo brierley: the water tower is right there. >> whitaker: ( laughs ) and the pedestrian walkway. >> saroo brierley: the flyover bridge, the pedestrian walkway. >> whitaker: farther on, he saw the dam where he played in the river. it all matched what he'd told his adoptive mother, sue, years earlier, down to the map they had drawn in the diary. many people don't remember younger than five, but yet you remember in such great detail. why do you think that is? >> saroo brierley: i reckon what it is, is that i never went to school. so language wasn't really in me, you know. it was all visual. my visual senses were extremely heightened. >> whitaker: he knew he had to go to india to try to find his mother. at the airport, sue gave him this photo.
it's how he would have looked when his birth mother last saw him. >> saroo brierley: and all of a sudden, you know, my emotions and everything just take over me, and i'm just in tears. it was almost like feeling, you know, before actually knowing, "mum, i'm coming home to see you." >> whitaker: after 25 years, 16 hours on the plane, and a four- hour drive, he was finally home. it was just as he'd remembered-- the path he'd walked many times to his house. but when he got there, it was abandoned. your family's not there. what are you thinking? >> saroo brierley: i thought, "they're dead." i thought the worst. all the worst things that you could think of possibly was just going through my head. >> whitaker: saroo, now an aussie, stood out in the slum.
he couldn't communicate. a man approached who spoke english. saroo said he was looking for the family that had lived in this house. the man told saroo to come with him. >> saroo brierley: and i walked for about 15 meters just around the corner, and the man goes, "this is your mother." and she walked forward, and i walked towards her. we-- we're-- our eyes were locked together. >> whitaker: what'd you see in your birth mother's eyes when you look in them for the first time in years? >> saroo brierley: the tears that i saw when i used to look at her and i can see that she's struggling but this time it was tears of joy. >> whitaker: we sent our cameras to his home village. his mother kamla told us, "when i saw him i knew he was my saroo."
he's now been back to india fourteen times. he reunited with his sister and one brother who both had moved to a nearby city, but his mother never left their village. the movie shows the love between saroo and his oldest brother guddu, who took him to that train platform 25 years before. kamla told saroo his brother was killed on the tracks the very night saroo was lost. on that one night, your mother lost two sons? >> saroo brierley: yes, and i can't think, you know, what she went through. it's like, one is just, you know, here it is, he's died, but the other one, he's just disappeared. >> whitaker: why did your birth mother decide to stay there in that very village? >> saroo brierley: because she felt that one day the son that she had lost would come back.
and it was amazing because here i am, determined to find my hometown and my family from one side of the world, oceans apart, and here's my birth mother sitting there and waiting because she knew that one day her son would come back. and i'm so glad that she did. >> whitaker: saroo is now helping his biological mother in india financially, but he considers sue and john brierley his mom and dad, and australia his home. >> this cbs sports update is brought to you by ford division. i'm james brown with scores from nfl today. le'veon bell rushes for team record 236 yards in the steelers' win miami.
has won 7 of its last 8 to stay in the playoff hunt. matthew stafford leads detroit to a fourth-quarter come from behind win. and minnesota keep its playoff hopes alive. houston stays atop the a.f.c. south with a win over indy and tennessee wins to keep pace with south with a win over indy and tennessee wins to keep pace with houston. for more sports news, go to cbssports.com. and award-winning value from kelley blue book. giving drivers what matters most. that's how you become america's best-selling brand. shop now during the ford year end event. get a thousand dollars ford smart bonus cash on select models, on top of all other great offers. see your local ford dealer today.
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all connected for you. >> stahl: john glenn, who died thursday at the age of 95, was, for an entire generation, the embodiment of the american hero. he was not the first american in space, but he was the first american to orbit earth and became the symbol of america catching up with the soviets in the space race. it wasn't until 1998, 36 years after his first flight and near the end of a distinguished career in the u.s. senate, that glenn convinced the space agency to let him fly again, to explore the effects of space flight on the aging. during that training, he spoke with our late colleague ed bradley about his place in history and the american psyche. >> bradley: i think that-- i
think that people consider you a product of a simpler era-- >> john glenn: could be. >> bradley: --when there were clear good guys and bad guys, and that you were clearly a good guy. and i think people are pulling for you to do it again. >> glenn: all right, good. well, and we're going to do it again. >> stahl: and being john glenn, he did. i'm lesley stahl. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." right device with verizon. e why, if we made the holidays any easier, you could carve turkey with laser vision. holiday gifting made easy at best buy. thosthey are.sses? do i look smarter? yeah, a little. you're making money now, are you investing? well, i've been doing some research. let me introduce you to our broker. how much does he charge? i don't know. okay. uh, do you get your fees back if you're not happy?
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♪ announcer: cbs presents this program in color. ♪ -(theme music playing) -the dick van dyke show. starring dick van dyke... ♪ ...rose marie, morey amsterdam, larry mathews, and mary tyler moore. ♪ okay, everybody, now, why don't you come over here and sit down, -huh? bring your coffee, if you'd like. -okay. okay, wonderful. thank you. mel, come right over here and sit down, -lean back, and relax. -thank you, rob. laura, you're a wonderful cook. i don't know when i've enjoyed a better meal. i don't either. it really pays to fuss. as a matter of fact, this has been a very pleasant evening. well, thank you, mel. you're very sweet to say so.