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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  December 23, 2018 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. >> does the mallory case fit a pattern that you're seeing coming from chinese intelligence? >> yes, we currently have three pending cases against former intelligence officers, and they're alleged to have been spying on behalf of the chinese. >> it's hard to overstate how unusual it is to have three cases like this ongoing. >> it's not unusual. it's unprecedented. >> kevin mallory was a former clandestine case officer for the c.i.a. who the justice department believes was recruited by a chinese spy. >> did you send them anything on that phone? >> i sent them some tests. >> tonight, "60 minutes" gets an insider's view of what espionage looks like.
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>> malta sits as a sun-dappled speck in the mediterranean, a short ferry ride from sicily and not much farther to libya. over the last three millennia, malta has been conquered or colonized by just about every world power. ( bells ringing ) most of the 500,000 people here are catholic, a tradition that started early. the apostle paul is said to have been shipwrecked here in 60 a.d. but as you'll see, today, the proud maltese are dealing with accusations that are far from holy. >> you fly up alongside that wolf, and you shoot a tranquilizing dart into it. >> dart's in! dart's in! >> five minutes, it goes down. we process the wolves. we take blood. and we attach a radio collar. and then we follow them for their life, hopefully. >> yellowstone wolves are fierce, and territorial; the leading cause of death is attacks from other wolves.
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>> cooper: kevin mallory was a down-on-his-luck former clandestine case officer for the c.i.a. when he was approached by a man the department of justice
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believes was a chinese spy. officials say mallory was a prime target for recruitment. he was out of work, three months behind on his mortgage, and thousands of dollars in debt. but as the chinese would discover, kevin mallory wasn't exactly james bond. the department of justice agreed to show us how they caught mr. mallory, and why they believe his recruitment by china is part of a massive clandestine campaign to steal not just national security secrets from the u.s. government, but industrial and technological secrets from american companies. this is what espionage looks like. the man standing on the right in the yellow shirt is kevin mallory, who once held a top secret security clearance while working for the c.i.a. and the defense intelligence agency. footage from a surveillance camera at a virginia fed ex store in april last year caught him as he prepared to hand a clerk stacks of classified documents to be scanned onto an
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s.d. card-- the kind that can be inserted into a mobile phone. >> ryan gaynor: so this is the rare moment, right, in an investigation-- in an espionage case, where we actually have video footage of the individual preparing the classified material for transmission to the foreign intelligence service. >> cooper: we watched the tape with ryan gaynor, the f.b.i. supervisory special agent who investigated mallory, and jennifer gellie, who prosecuted the case against him for the national security division of the department of justice. they say kevin mallory sent national security secrets to a chinese spy on a covert communication device. >> jennifer gellie: so here you see him talking with the store clerk about the scanning job. and throughout this video, you see little pops of yellow-- little yellow pieces of paper that flash by when he's showing the documents. that was important for us, because the document that he successfully passed consisted of a typed-up white piece of paper that was the classified information, followed by two yellow sheets of paper with his handwriting on them. and here, you can see-- >> cooper: so that's the-- those are the yellow sheets of paper?
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>> gellie: you can see the yellow sheets going through that scanning process. >> cooper: prosecutors say some of the information mallory sent could have revealed the identity of a couple who had secretly spied on china for the u.s. it was a very personal betrayal. mallory had supervised the couple years before. he was betraying people. this is people's lives at stake. >> gellie: correct. these were documents that specifically talked about human beings, whose lives could be in danger. >> cooper: if they had traveled to china, they could have been arrested. >> john demers: at the time he gave the information to the chinese intelligence officer, he knew they were planning on traveling to china. >> cooper: john demers is the top official in charge of the department of justice's national security division, which helps guard the u.s. against terrorism, cyber-attacks, and espionage. he's responsible for coordinating activities across law enforcement and u.s. intelligence agencies. he says kevin mallory's recruitment is just one of many efforts by the chinese ministry of state security, or m.s.s., to
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spy on the united states. what is m.s.s.? >> demers: so, m.s.s. is the principal intelligence agency of the chinese government. and in rough terms, it is like the c.i.a. and the f.b.i. put together. their capabilities are world- class. they have cyber capabilities, they have expertise in turning people into cooperators, and they have all of the tools and expertise of a very capable intelligence organization. >> cooper: john demers says kevin mallory hadn't worked for any u.s. intelligence agency in five years, but he was still of interest to china. he spoke mandarin, was desperate for money, and had classified information he might be willing to sell. >> demers: you're looking for people who will be willing to work with you for one reason or another. you start very slowly. you start to see what information they are willing to share with you originally. innocuous information. then, something maybe slightly more sensitive, and so forth. and that relationship develops over time.
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it's a patient process. >> cooper: it's a grooming of an intelligence asset. >> demers: it's a grooming, and it's a constant testing to see what the person is willing to do. >> cooper: the chinese didn't reach out to kevin mallory in a dark alley, like in a movie. they made contact with him like any job recruiter would. they sent him a message on the career networking site, linkedin. what could the chinese tell from reading his linkedin page? >> gaynor: when you look at this linkedin page, its very clear immediately that he worked in national security, that he had the type of background that the chinese intelligence services are most interested in. >> cooper: he's good at national security, military, international relations, counter-terrorism, security clearance, dispute resolution. this is a signpost to "i was a former intelligence official." >> gaynor: and it led to what you would expect. >> cooper: mallory ended up in contact with this man, who called himself michael yang and claimed to be an employee at a chinese think tank. so he's a chinese intelligence officer? >> gaynor: we believe him to be a chinese intelligence officer. and more importantly, mr. mallory, when meeting with him, believed him to be an
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intelligence officer. >> cooper: over the next several weeks, michael yang paid mallory $25,000 to come to shanghai twice, and mallory reached out to former colleagues at the c.i.a. asking to be put in touch with people who had current intelligence on china. prosecutors say his former colleagues grew suspicious and reported him to c.i.a. security, putting him on the radar of law enforcement. when mallory returned from his second trip to china, he was stopped by customs at chicago's o'hare airport. he had lied on this form about how much money he was carrying-- more than $16,000 in cash-- and agents discovered this box with a phone in it. mallory claimed it was a gift for his wife, but it was actually a covert communication device that had been given to him by chinese intelligence. this looks just like a regular phone. what makes it a covert communication device? >> gaynor: so, it's not so much the hardware. the phone itself had a unique
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piece of software installed on it, designed to allow secure communication, both in text and also the secure transmission of documents later. >> cooper: you might think a former c.i.a. officer would be cautious about the texts he sends to a chinese spy, but kevin mallory was remarkably direct, complaining about the money he was paid and the risk he was taking. "your object is to gain information," he told michael yang, "and my object is to be paid for it." "i will destroy all electronic records after you confirm receipt," mallory wrote to yang. "i already destroyed the paper records. i cannot keep these around. too dangerous." "at this point, all the risk is on me." >> gellie: so he says, "i'm taking all the risk," but then he goes on, a few bubbles later, to actually try to transmit additional information to the chinese. >> cooper: but technology wasn't mallory's strong suit. he complained to michael yang that the phone wasn't working properly. "this system sucks. it's too cumbersome," he wrote. "i put all these messages, and then, and you can't read them
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because you are not logged in at the same time. that's a poor system." at this point, prosecutors say, mallory was scared. he'd been stopped at customs, and he feared the c.i.a. and f.b.i. were onto him. prosecutors say he decided to come up with a cover story, and reached out to the c.i.a., telling them he thought he was being recruited by chinese spies. the c.i.a. called him in for an interview. >> kevin mallory: my judgement is, and we haven't gone through this conversation, that these guys work for chinese intelligence. so my sense is that they were looking for government secrets. u.s. government secrets, at some level. >> cooper: in this meeting, mallory admitted the phone was a covert communication device given to him by the chinese, but, prosecutors say, he lied about the classified documents he'd already sent. >> dorsey: did you send them anything on that phone? >> mallory: i sent them some tests of some sort, just to see if i could do it right. and i couldn't figure it out. i messed that up. >> gaynor: he's trying to control the narrative.
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so what you have here likely is an attempt to steer the story, to explain away some of the more alerting pieces, while not admitting to the criminal activity of providing the classified information to the foreign intelligence service. >> gellie: we now know, at this point in time, kevin mallory has successfully sent the classified table of contents, the classified white paper, and tried to send several other documents unsuccessfully. >> cooper: mallory offered to bring in the phone to be examined by the c.i.a., confident that all his messages to michael yang had automatically been deleted. so, he believes everything he's sent has disappeared from the device. so that's why he's willing to bring the device in? >> gaynor: we have every reason to believe that he believed at the time that those communications would be gone. >> cooper: two weeks later, mallory arrived at a hotel room in ashburn, virginia for a second meeting with the c.i.a. when he got there, the f.b.i. was waiting for him, along with a computer forensic examiner. he agreed to show them how the phone worked. >> gaynor: when he goes to demonstrate it, up on the screen
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where he expects to have his whole chat history basically deleted, up on the screen, comes some of the chat history. >> cooper: the f.b.i. recorded the meeting. >> mallory: i'm, i'm surprised it kept this much. >> f.b.i. agent: so, you made a comment that you were surprised that there was this much there. >> mallory: right, because you-- because this, right-- because, in the past, maybe it was the screen size or something because some of it just disappeared. >> cooper: one of the most incriminating messages that appeared on the phone was mallory planning another trip to china. "i can also come in the middle of june," he wrote. "i can bring the remainder of the documents i have at that time." >> gaynor: from the f.b.i. perspective, this is a pivotal moment in the investigation. >> cooper: four weeks later, the f.b.i. arrested kevin mallory and searched his home. hidden in the back of this closet, in a junk drawer, agents discovered an s.d. card wrapped in tinfoil, on which he had placed eight secret and top secret documents-- the same ones he scanned at that fed ex store last april. >> gaynor: it is our belief that
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it was his intention to take this s.d. card to china to provide to them. >> cooper: does the mallory case fit a pattern that you're seeing coming from chinese intelligence? >> demers: yes. we currently have three pending cases against former intelligence officers, and they're alleged to have been spying on behalf of the chinese. >> cooper: it's hard to overstate how unusual it is to have three cases like this ongoing. >> demers: it's not unusual. it's unprecedented. >> bill evanina: to me, it's disappointing, and it's really hurtful, i think, to everyone, to know that we still have people who are willing to betray the u.s. for a few dollars. >> cooper: bill evanina is director of the national counter-intelligence and security center, a division of the office of the director of national intelligence. he serves as the u.s. government's top counter- intelligence official. when it comes to espionage against the united states, does china pose the greatest threat, or russia? >> evanina: when it comes to espionage, china poses the greatest threat. and it's not even close, compared to russia or iran or any other country.
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and if you include economic espionage, industrial espionage, it's not even in the same ballgame. >> cooper: when most people think of espionage, they think of somebody in a trench coat, trying to steal a state secret. what's happening now with china, it's not just about state secrets, it's about technological secrets. that's the prize that china wants. >> evanina: that's correct. it's trade secrets, proprietary data, intelligence, emerging technology, nanotechnology, hybrid, anything that they can see that is the future. super-computing, encryption. those are the issues that they look at. and they have a prioritized schedule that they look at, and they send people forward to go collect that data. >> cooper: john demers, of the justice department's national security division, says since 2011, more than 90% of the economic espionage cases they have charged have involved china, which has stolen secrets about everything from genetically-modified rice seeds, to wind turbine technology. this is a persistent campaign you're seeing? >> demers: yes, very persistent, very sophisticated.
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very well-resourced, very patient and very broad in scope. >> cooper: demers says chinese operatives have intensified their efforts on industries critical to chinese president xi jinping's "made in china 2025" program, a ten-year plan to jump ahead of the united states in aerospace, automation, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other cutting- edge industries. i think some people who see this are going to think, "well, this is something the u.s. must do as well." >> demers: the u.s. intelligence community doesn't take trade secrets from foreign companies for the benefit of american companies. >> cooper: that doesn't happen? >> demers: this is not something that we do. >> cooper: as for former c.i.a. officer kevin mallory, he continues to deny sending any classified information to the chinese. this past june, a jury in virginia found him guilty of conspiracy under the espionage act, and lying to the f.b.i. mallory is currently awaiting sentencing, and faces up to life in prison.
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you're more than just your bipolar i. ask about vraylar. >> wertheim: malta, you might say, is punching above its weight. the smallest nation in the european union is home to one of
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its fastest-growing economies. name a voguish growth-sector: internet gambling, crypto- currency, block-chain, artificial intelligence-- and malta is trying to establish itself as a hub. a mere blip in the mediterranean, malta prides itself on this surge, and its plucky personality. but, as we discovered on a recent visit, there's a fine line between the cutting edge and the margins; the sun and the shadows. along with old charms and new construction, malta is earning a reputation for rampant corruption and dubious dealings. and then there's the matter of the assassination of a journalist-- daphne caruana galizia, whose revelations cut a little too close to the heart of power. malta sits as a sun-dappled speck in the mediterranean, three small islands a short ferry ride from sicily and not much farther to libya. the southern gateway to europe. it can be hard to get your bearings here. over the last three millennia,
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malta has been conquered or colonized by just about every world power, and each has left its mark. ( bells ringing ) most of the 500,000 people here are catholic, a tradition that started early. the apostle paul is said to have shipwrecked here in 60 a.d. >> mark anthony falzon: i find this to be a good metaphor of maltese culture. >> wertheim: mark anthony falzon is an anthropology professor and local newspaper columnist. >> falzon: the story is that saint paul converted the maltese to christianity. so that would mean that malta was one of the first places to be converted to christianity, even before rome. so we would be the original and the best christians. >> wertheim: a small band of crusaders, later known as the knights of malta, fended off the mighty ottomans in the 16th century. under british rule, the maltese survived more than 3,000 german and italian bombing raids in world war ii.
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malta gained its independence in 1964 and, since then, this country with little heavy industry and not much arable land has had to figure out a way to get by on its own. remnants of its fabled past have made it irresistible to hollywood producers. parts of "gladiator" were filmed here. >> are you not entertained? >> wertheim: and, "game of thrones." europeans flock here for a budget tan; oligarchs, to dock their super-yachts. malta's already an established hub of online gambling... >> no more bets! >> wertheim: ...but since taking over in 2013, the current government has sought to refashion the country as a mecca for emerging and complex technologies, like crypto- currency and block-chain. the 44-year-old prime minister,
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joseph muscat, is the high priest of this new gospel. >> joseph muscat: welcome to malta. welcome to the block-chain island. thank you. >> wertheim: these industries may be thriving in this sunny place, yet they're known to attract more than their fair share of shadowy people. but that's nothing new. for centuries, malta played host to pirates and smugglers, operating at what mark anthony falzon calls the "center of the fringes." it strikes me there's a certain ingenuity, a certain scrappiness here. >> falzon: yes, and scrappiness also means flexibility. >> wertheim: does that also pertain to a willingness to bend rules? flexibility in that sense? >> falzon: no doubt. yes. the person who never bends the rules, they are thought of as a bit of a good boy. >> wertheim: which is not a term of endearment. >> falzon: no, a good boy is not a very good thing to be. it's naiïve. >> muscat: while we have increased... >> wertheim: perhaps in that same entrepreneurial spirit, the government has launched a program-- some call it a scheme-- to sell passports to
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the world's super-rich. have a spare million? you too could buy maltese citizenship, and as this promotional video shows, the european union passport that comes with it. >> as citizens of malta, successful applicants can enjoy visa-free access to approximately 170 countries. >> wertheim: who's buying these passports? >> manuel delia: russian tycoons, chinese tycoons, saudi tycoons, nigerian tycoons. >> wertheim: for manuel delia, an online journalist and longtime critic of the current government, the program, estimated to have brought in almost a billion dollars, is essentially a trojan horse, allowing those with dubious aims to breach europe's borders. why would they want a maltese passport? >> delia: because they want to go in the rest of the world, hiding where they're really from. maltese passports give them not only free movement for themselves through european airports, but it gives their money, their capital, free movement throughout europe.
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>> wertheim: and free movement to the united states. american airport, you've got that maltese passport validated by the e.u., you go right through passport control? >> delia: visa-free, absolutely. so, that's a big reason to have it. >> wertheim: applicants to the golden passport program, as it's come to be known, are supposed to show that they've established residence in malta for at least a year. but when we checked the listed address for a russian tycoon, it led us here... >> delia: down there in the basement. >> wertheim: a modest suburb and rundown basement apartment that had been divided in two. let's just call this what it is. this-- this is a fraud. >> delia: it is a fraud. it's a fraud. what's worse, it's perpetrated by the state. it's not just sanctioned by the state. >> wertheim: there are other countries in europe where money can get you a passport, but in tiny malta, it has helped contribute to the economic boom. and yet, if malta is suddenly flush with cash, in other ways, it's bankrupt. at least according to journalist daphne caruana galizia, who spent years chronicling organized crime, as well as
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high-level corruption, for malta's major newspapers, and then on her blog, "running commentary." when she launched the site in 2008, her son matthew says it quickly turned into a must-read. how would you describe her blog, "running commentary," to someone that-- that hadn't read it before? >> matthew caruna galizia: it was completely revolutionary. >> wertheim: she became known simply as "daphne," and just as quickly, became a reviled figure in some corners of malta. vilified by government officials, subjected to libel suits, and to death threats. do you ever think to say, "mom, you've got to stop the blog, you've got to stop poking and provoking. this is getting dangerous." >> galizia: of course she felt fear, and you could see it. she knew that the powerful people that she was writing about were closing in on her. they were using every possible means to shut her down. she knew that, and that frightened her deeply. >> wertheim: then on the afternoon of october 16, 2017, matthew was sitting across from
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his mother at the dining room table in the family home as she finished a blog post. "there are crooks everywhere you look now," she wrote. "the situation is desperate." just before 3:00 p.m., she left the house to go to the bank. >> galizia: and then what seemed like 30 seconds later, i hear the explosion. and just, it was just so loud. >> wertheim: daphne's car made it less than a mile down the road through the valley when a powerful bomb placed under her seat was detonated, sending thick black smoke into the air. matthew ran toward the wreckage. so you think this is where-- >> galizia: i think this is where the-- this is where the bomb went off. it's been marked by the forensic team. and this is where a lot of the flesh and metal and plastic was. >> wertheim: the car ended up in a field 100 yards away, consumed by a fireball. matthew's first instinct was to try and get his mother out. >> galizia: i remember walking
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up to the driver's side and just seeing fire. i didn't see anything else inside the car. >> wertheim: there are a lot of ways to kill someone. what do you think the significance of a car bomb this powerful was? >> galizia: obviously it was a way of killing my mother. a way of sending a message to us, to our family. and a way of sending a message to anyone else who was thinking of doing anything about the really grand corruption in this country. >> wertheim: this was a symbolic gesture? >> galizia: it was. >> wertheim: for the mourners who attended daphne's funeral, her assassination was symbolic of just how corroded malta had become, under a government that she claimed doesn't just tolerate corruption, but encourages it. the list of scandals she exposed and relentlessly pursued is too numerous to catalogue here, and includes allegations of cronyism, bribery, and money laundering. but there's one revelation that stands out, involving a murky maltese bank recently shuttered by european authorities.
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it allegedly held accounts for some of malta's most well- connected, including the prime minister's chief of staff, keith schembri. as daphne chronicled, schembri is alleged to have taken kickbacks for brokering malta's billion-dollar national energy deal, and for taking payoffs to help russian millionaires snag those coveted maltese passports. >> delia: keith schembri is still in business. he's the chief of staff of the prime minister. he's the most powerful man in this government. >> wertheim: he went to work today? >> delia: he went to work today. >> wertheim: with-- with this cloud hovering over him? >> delia: well, this is what impunity is about. this is why i'm angry. >> wertheim: schembri denies any wrongdoing, but leaked findings into the passport kickback allegations by malta's own financial watchdog determined that there was "reasonable suspicion of money laundering and/or the existence of proceeds of crime." maltese justice officials are looking into both sets of allegations. what's more, there have been
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multiple inquiries by european authorities, all raising serious questions about corruption in malta. we put all this to glenn bedingfield, a local member of parliament and former advisor to the prime minister. what's your level of concern? >> glenn bedingfield: i don't have any concerns. >> wertheim: you have no concerns about corruption? >> bedingfield: no, because i think that there's a smear campaign, trying to hit the government. >> wertheim: all of this is a politically-charged smear campaign-- >> bedingfield: it is a politically charged smear campaign, yes. >> wertheim: the e.u., the european authorities. >> bedingfield: the e.u. can you quote from an e.u.-- can you? >> wertheim: i can quote from an e.u. report right now. this is ana maria gomes, an m.e.p. >> bedingfield: whoa, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho. ana maria gomes. >> ana maria gomes: we are taking up malta in the european parliament. >> wertheim: ana maria gomes is a portuguese member of the european parliament leading an e.u. inquiry into the rule of law in malta. she is part of a growing chorus of officials who see the country as a problem child on the continent. >> gomes: the system is basically flawed, because the prime minister ultimately controls the attorney general, who also controls the police.
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nobody's being tried. and of course, the sense of impunity is being fueled by this fact. and it affects us all. >> wertheim: something's rotten in the state of malta, i hear you say. >> gomes: yes. and such a beautiful island, and such a great people, such a proud history. but, i must say that at the moment, indeed, the political atmosphere is-- is-- is rotten. >> wertheim: we repeatedly asked to speak with prime minister muscat, but were told he didn't have time. instead, the government put forward the finance minister, edward scicluna. the sheer volume, the circumstances, the fact patterns. can you not see how people looking at malta from the outside really wonder about integrity and corruption here? >> edward scicluna: well, if they want to know more about malta, they'll find out that it's not that picture you're-- you're depicting. it looks bad, but it's not. >> wertheim: not the way it's been depicted? >> scicluna: definitely not. >> wertheim: i want to be clear: this is a depiction based on multiple different authorities
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inside in europe-- >> scicluna: all allegations. they are all allegations. >> wertheim: they're allegations that have come out of investigations. these aren't ad hominem attacks... >> scicluna: no. i'm not trying to downplay allegations. allegations are serious. but they are still allegations. you know, it's up to the courts and their procedures and their experts to des-- to decide. >> wertheim: the supporters of daphne caruana galizia have no faith in these experts and procedures, especially when it comes to solving her murder. after a high-profile government raid last year, three men were detained-- figures she didn't know and never wrote about. but few doubt the assassination was ordered by one of her many powerful enemies. how will you know when you have justice? >> galizia: when all the corrupt people that she was reporting on, treating our country as a gigantic trough which they're feeding from for years-- when they've paid the price for that, then there will be justice for my mother's stories.
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but there also has to be justice for her murder, too. >> wertheim: the old ramparts, designed to protect malta from conquest and colonization, still stand tall. but outside forces that once might have invaded the country now look on with concern, waiting to see whether malta can confront itself, and move in from the center of the fringes. ( ticking ) >> daphne's voice... >> i have to say, it is a very corrupt country. >> ...inspired journalists who are continuing to report her unfinished work. go to sponsored by pfizer. i'm ray and i quit smoking with chantix. smoking. it dictates your day. i didn't like something having control over me. i wanted to stop. the thing is i didn't know how. chantix, along with support, helps you quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke
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( ticking ) >> whitaker: it's safe to say that wolves have an image problem. since ancient times, they've been portrayed in fables and legends, and the bible, as fearsome, voracious predators. the story of the "big bad wolf" may be the most memorable and frightening of all the fairy tales told by the brothers grimm. that "grim" reputation actually produced a very real result in america in the early 20th century. wolves were wiped off the landscape-- trapped, poisoned, and hunted until there was not a single one left in the american west. when the national park service decided to bring wolves back to yellowstone park in the 1990s, it followed a bitter debate between wildlife groups, who wanted them restored, and ranchers, who most definitely didn't. two decades later, the wolves of yellowstone still stir strong emotions, but they've also had an impact that almost no one saw
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coming. in the dead of winter, yellowstone park is a beautiful but forbidding place. howling wind, sub-zero temperatures, six feet of snow. just finding enough food to survive is a profound struggle for every animal. waterfowl, bison, elk, foxes, they all have to work for every morsel. yellowstone was the world's first national park, founded in 1872. and it remains one of the most visited-- millions of people come here every summer. but they used to pretty much leave it to the wildlife in the winter-- until the wolves came back. >> woman: oh, they're behind the tree. >> whitaker: now, reports of a wolf sighting can produce a traffic jam along the one 50-mile stretch of road the park service keeps open in the winter.
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>> man: oh, we got a wolf up, moving. >> woman: oh, neat. >> whitaker: visitors with spotting scopes gather in absolutely frigid weather for a momentary, long-distance view. >> doug smith: bill, these folks came from germany to see wolves. >> whitaker: how about that? doug smith runs the yellowstone wolf research program for the park service. >> smith: and no one predicted this would happen. actually, you know, we-- >> whitaker: the-- the-- the appeal of coming in to see the wolves? >> smith: yes. and it truly has been amazing. and, hundreds of thousands of people a year, we estimate, come here just to see wolves. ( howl ) >> whitaker: wolf tourism pumps $35 million a year into the local economy, much of it spent in the winter, which is prime wolf-watching time. >> glen mai: we've seen wolves all three days that we've been out. >> whitaker: glen mai is a retired f.b.i. agent from arlington, virginia. kathy lombard is a retired cop from new hampshire. they both paid an outfitter thousands of dollars to take them wolf-watching.
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so, what is it about wolves that bring you all the way out here from new hampshire, to sit out here and just hope for the chance to see them? >> kathy lombard: they've been able to bring wolves back into yellowstone and they've thrived. so, that's just an awesome thing to see. >> whitaker: it was january 12, 1995, when the first grey wolves, captured in canada, were carried into yellowstone park. it drew both national attention and fierce opposition. so much that armed guards were posted to protect those wolves. so, the first wolves released into yellowstone park were released right back here in this thicket? >> smith: yes. so, a total of 41, over three years. >> whitaker: how many are in the park now? >> smith: we've got 96 in ten packs, and it's been roughly 100 wolves the last ten years. very stable. >> whitaker: those ten packs, of about ten wolves each, are,
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without a doubt, the most closely observed and studied wolves on earth. >> smith: our goal is to keep in touch with each pack. that's our goal. >> whitaker: they do that by trying to attach radio collars to at least two wolves in each of the park's packs. >> smith: so you fly out in the airplane, find wolves in the open. that airplane radios a waiting helicopter on the ground. that helicopter flies out with a gunner in the backseat. >> whitaker: that gunner is almost always smith himself. >> loaded. >> okay. >> smith: and you fly up alongside that wolf, and you shoot a tranquilizing dart into it. >> dart's in! dart's in! >> smith: five minutes, it goes down. we process the wolves. we take blood. we measure them. we look at their health. and we attach a radio collar. and then we follow them for their life, hopefully. >> whitaker: that life, by the way, typically lasts about five
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years. yellowstone wolves are fierce, and territorial; the leading cause of death is attacks from other wolves. >> smith: and their look is uncontrollable. that look says, "i ain't going to conform to your rules. and i'll die before i do." and that's powerful. >> that is a location of a wolf. >> whitaker: data from the radio collars has helped smith's team to learn volumes about wolf behavior. >> woman: you can see where the boulder is, by itself. >> man: yeah. >> whitaker: it also helps all those wolf watchers find them. park service employee rick mcintyre is out every day, listening for signals... >> rick mcintyre: so, that is from a black male wolf, 1107. >> whitaker: ...and then spreading the word. >> mcintyre: would you like to see a gray wolf? >> whitaker: i would love to. >> mcintyre: okay, here you go. so, it's a little bit right of center. >> whitaker: oh, yeah. oh, look, here comes a whole pack. wow. >> mcintyre: so, see, if you
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count them all, there would be two grays-- >> whitaker: one, two... >> mcintyre: --and six blacks. >> whitaker: ...three, four, five, six black ones, and the white one that went by. >> mcintyre: and there should be a second gray. >> whitaker: how about that? we had spotted the junction butte pack along a ridgeline about two miles away. like most packs, it's led by an alpha male and an alpha female, the only two wolves in a pack who mate, with each other. >> mcintyre: the gray alpha female is still leading to the right. >> whitaker: oh, yeah. >> mcintyre: and you see how the ones behind her are playing. she's determined to lead them to the west. they're running along the top. >> whitaker: right along the ridge, yeah. that's magnificent. >> smith: we can see these wolves from the ground, and it's been a sensation. so we've learned a lot about pack dynamics, and personalities, and-- and how social they are. >> whitaker: what do you mean? describe that for me. >> smith: they want to be together. they're a pack animal.
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so the power of the wolf is the pack. >> whitaker: nowhere is that power more evident than when a wolf pack is on the hunt for elk, its favorite prey. they work together, because they have to. >> smith: your average wolf weighs 100 pounds or so, but your average prey animal is much bigger. a bull elk's 750 pounds. a cow elk's 500. so how is a roughly 100 to 120-pound animal going to take that down? >> whitaker: they do it, doug smith says, both by coordinating their attack, and by zeroing in on vulnerable prey. >> smith: they're going to take the weak. so, they're making their living off of calf elk, old elk, injured elk. >> whitaker: without wolves, there was an overpopulation of elk in yellowstone. as wolves have cut the size of those herds, there's been an unexpected side-effect: plants that elk feed on have made a
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comeback, which has in turn produced benefits for other species. >> smith: all the little trees have come back since wolf recovery. this gully filled with shrubs has all come back since wolf recovery. >> whitaker: and the wolves are a factor in all of that? >> smith: very simply put: wolves eat elk. elk eat this. when the elk get reduced, they eat less. so beavers and song birds can respond to the growth and that vegetation. >> whitaker: doug smith is quick to say that it's not as simple as he just made it sound. but, that hasn't stopped some environmentalists from declaring wolves the "saviors" of yellowstone's ecology. >> randy newberg: there's some people who will try to convince you that wolves could probably solve mideast peace and world hunger. >> whitaker: randy newberg is a montana hunter, who hosts a tv show and podcast for hunters. he remembers how emotional the debate over reintroduction was between wolf haters and wolf lovers.
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>> newberg: wolves are wolves. they aren't the big bad wolf, and they don't have a rainbow shooting out their ass like everyone would think they do. >> eric kalsta: there's something romantic about a wolf, right? unless you've seen it chewing on a live cow. >> whitaker: erik kalsta's family has been raising cattle and sheep on this montana ranch for 100 years. he says he was worried from the moment the first wolves were brought back to yellowstone, which is about 100 miles to the south. >> kalsta: you know, they weren't going to stay in the park. they're a wild animal. they'll go where they want to go. >> whitaker: i'm sure you knew it was only a matter of time before they were going to get here. >> kalsta: oh, yes. there was no doubt. and there was a set of tracks... >> whitaker: erik kalsta knew that wolves would follow migrating elk out of yellowstone and onto his ranch, and that they'd attack his livestock if given the chance. he started hiring range riders to watch over his cattle, and he bought guard dogs to help keep
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wolves away from his sheep. >> kalsta: live sheep pay for things, live cattle pay for things. dead ones don't. >> whitaker: his defensive measures have kept wolves away from his livestock, but neighboring ranchers have lost both cattle and sheep to wolves. >> smith: the thing that's never monitored, when i talk to these people, is the lost nights of sleep, the nervousness. "i saw a wolf track at my place today," or, "i actually saw a wolf. wolves are around." you can't measure or compensate for that. >> whitaker: are wolf attacks on livestock a serious problem? >> smith: no, it's rare that it happens. but if it's happening to you, it's a serious problem. >> whitaker: it was that fear of wolf attacks that drove ranchers and settlers to eradicate them in the early 20th century. after the endangered species act was passed in 1973, wolves were among the first to be listed, and a campaign began to restore them to yellowstone park.
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after that happened in the '90s, wolves quickly spread out of yellowstone and into neighboring states-- so many, that there are now nearly 2,000 in montana, wyoming and idaho. after a long and bitter legal battle, those states finally won the authority to manage-- and sometimes kill-- wolves outside the national park. has this management of the wolves helped to lessen some of those passions, to calm some of those emotions? >> smith: i think so. >> whitaker: so to have wolves, you have to kill the wolves? >> smith: in some situations, yes. >> whitaker: the first situation is cut-and-dried: any wolves that attack livestock are immediately killed themselves. >> kalsta: i think that's helped a lot, at least with the ranching community. people feel better if they're not powerless to deal with something. >> smith: and then wolves are hunted. there's a hunting season on
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wolves. all three states have them. so having wolves be hunted has probably increased people's willingness to share the landscape with them. >> newberg: it looks like there's at least two of them. >> whitaker: randy newberg is living proof of that. he filmed a wolf hunt a few years ago for his tv show. it took him 11 days, and 100 miles of trudging and tracking through the snow. you went out looking for a wolf, and saw how smart they are, how cunning they are, how athletic they are? >> newberg: yeah. if you want to increase your respect for wolves, go and chase them out on their landscape. >> whitaker: hunters and ranchers and avid wolf-watchers rarely see eye-to-eye, but they now agree on at least one thing: >> woman: we've got a gray. >> whitaker: wolves are back in yellowstone, for good. >> smith: people love this. you know, we live in an artificial world. it's stores, and cars, and roads, and buildings.
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wolves are real, and people crave it. they love it. we almost have this thirst for something real now. ( ticking ) >> cbs sports hq is presented by progressive insurance. i'm james brown with scores from n.f.l. today. philly and indy both win. new england clinches the a.f.c. east round for the tenth straight year. new orleans survives and locks up home-field advantage throughout the n.f.c. playoffs while dallas clinches the n.f.c. east title. minnesota rolls and holds oned to wild card. for 24/7news and highlight, visit cbs sports 8. ♪ he's your home and auto man ♪ big jim, he's got you covered ♪ ♪ great big jim, there ain't no other ♪
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>> whitaker: i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." merry christmas. ( ticking ) ♪ ♪ i can do more to lower my a1c. because my body can still make its own insulin. and i take trulicity once a week to activate my body to release it, like it's supposed to. trulicity is not insulin. it comes in a once-weekly, truly easy-to-use pen. and it works 24/7. trulicity is an injection to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. don't use it as the first medicine to treat diabetes, or if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. don't take trulicity if you or your family have medullary thyroid cancer, you're allergic to trulicity, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.
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captioned by media access group at wgbh mama... (insects trilling) (gasps) america!


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