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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 23, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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at least two were killed and more than 100 injured. in all, 24 tornados were reported across the south. but it was jefferson county, alabama, that got the worst of it. that same storm system now stretches from the gulf coast to the great lakes and is moving east tonight. mark strassmann is on the ground in the town of clay, alabama. mark? >> reporter: we've heard so many amazing stories of survival, scott. i'm standing in what was the front bedroom of a 73-year-old woman who was home alone. the tornado knocked down all the walls of that bedroom and neighbors found her over here, her head still on the mattress she was... her head on the pillow covered in bricks. but she was unconscious but alive. this is your bedroom. wow. >> reporter: aaliyah orr was startled awake at 4:00 a.m. by the sound of 150 mile per hour winds. when you look at your son's room now, it's amazing. >> i can't believe he was sleeping in that bed just
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minutes before this happened he was in that bed. >> reporter: and this is the bathtub where she and her husband roy orr darted for cover with her two-year-old son mitchell. >> we got in the tub, he got on top of us and we just... we just prayed our way through it. it's like the only thing in the house still standing is that bathroom. >> reporter: what were you doing? >> just praying. we just laid down in the bathtub and started praying. >> the only thing i could think so that i couldn't hold on to them strong enough. my grip wasn't tight enough because it kept feeling like i was losing them. the grip kept loosening every time i squeezed. that's the only thing i could think about was just holding tight. >> reporter: the storm sliced through subdivision in clay and left behind a swath of ruin a half mile wide. national weather service survey teams called it an ef-3 tornado, a severe storm. >> once we thought it was over and my husband got up and tried to walk through the house and i just heard him yell out "thank you, jesus."
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and i asked him was everything okay and he was like "no, the house is gone. but we're okay." >> reporter: all three members of the family, scott, including little two-year-old mitchell, walked away without a scratch. roy orr is a firefighter and he told me his training paid off. his house had no crawl space and cellar but he knew the tub gave his family the best chance of surviving. >> pelley: tornados in january, mark. thanks very much. the nation's five largest banks have agreed to a settlement that may end one of the most painful chapters in the collapse of the housing market. eight million american homeowners have gone through foreclosure-- some of them were hauled into banks that cut corners and used fraudulent documents. under the terms of this proposal a million americans may get help to stay in their homes. we asked anthony mason to give us the details. >> reporter: the foreclosure deal would be the biggest single industry settlement since the 1998 tobacco agreement.
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under the proposal, major mortgage lenders would agree to pay $25 billion-- money that would be used to reduce principle for roughly a million troubled borrowers. 750,000 would also receive checks for $1,800. >> as big as this settlement is, it's going to affect a very small percentage of mortgage holders. >> reporter: analyst rick sharga of carrington mortgage holders says the lenders together hold more than five trillion in mortgages. >> it's a big number but in the overall scheme of things relative to the real estate market it's a question as to how far you'll be able to spread that out. >> reporter: the settlement would apply only to privately held mortgages between 2008 and 2011. it would not include those held by government-controlled fannie mae and freddie mac which own half of all u.s. mortgages. the investigation was launched in 2010 by the states' attorneys general led by iowa tom miller.
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>> our focus is on the robosigning, that's the issue that's very troublesome. >> reporter: employees at several major banks admitting admitted to robosigning-- the signing of documents without reading them to speed up foreclosures. not all states support this settlement, most notably california where more than a quarter of all foreclosures are taking place in that state. >> pelley: anthony, thank you very much. foreclosures and hard times are big issues in the presidential campaign which now moves to economically hard-hit florida. the republican primary there is a week from tomorrow and it's looking like a two-man race between newt gingrich and mitt romney. our correspondents are with the candidates. first, dean reynolds with the gingrich campaign. dean? >> reporter: scott, newt gingrich got some pretty good financial news tonight. the wife of las vegas casino owner sheldon addle son contributed $5 million to a political committee supporting gingrich. it's the second $5 million
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donation to gingrich from that family last month. the song asked "how do you like me now" as the reenergized candidate took the stage before a smallish crowd in tampa. >> calista and i had a pretty good saturday in south carolina. (cheers and applause) >> reporter: gingrich used the opportunity to ridicule mitt romney. >> now, it used to pious baloney now it's just desperate baloney. so that that's the succession of this campaign. from romney's pious baloney to romney's desperate baloney. >> reporter: gingrich predicted desperation will be in the air tonight at the debate. >> when you get desperate you say almost anything and tonight's debate he'll probably stretch the barrier of almost anything. >> reporter: his new prominence in the polls may be what drew hecklers today. so when you... when you look at... >> you're not a reagan conservative. >> i'm not a reagan conservative? (boos) >> reporter: in addition, gingrich faces a multimillion dollar pro-romney ad campaign
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that's been attacking him. >> and then cashed in as a d.c. insider. >> reporter: gingrich has raided $1 million since saturday's win and is fighting back by stressing his ties to ronald reagan and what gingrich calls romney's record as a massachusetts moderate. he hopes a strong debate performance will generate free publicity and also deflect questions about his three marriages. they were tactics that worked in south carolina but may not in much larger florida with its ten t.v. markets where a well-financed, well-organized campaign can have an advantage. gingrich tonight is releasing information about the consulting work he did for lending giants fannie mae and freddie mac during 2008 at the height of the mortgage crisis. there have been questions raised about that relationship, the questions have been raised, scott, by mitt romney. >> pelley: dean, what's the connection between gingrich and the adeleson family that's now
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given $10 million in support of his campaign? >> well, it's pretty simple from the gingrich point of view. it is newt gingrich's very strong support for israel. apparently that is what is at the core of these donations from the adeleson family. >> pelley: dean, thanks very much. now to mitt romney working to get back on his feet after losing two of the past three contests. jan crawford is following his campaign. jan? >> reporter: well, scott, romney is responding to that beating he took in south carolina by hitting back at gingrich-- hard. >> we can see an october surprise a day from newt gingrich. >> reporter: exit polling shows the most important issue for republican voters is someone who can beat the president. so romney has opened several lines of attacks, but all with one underlying message reinforced in a new television ad out today "newt gingrich is not electable." >> if newt wins this guy would be very happy.
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>> reporter: romney is talking about past scandals. notably misuse of campaign funds while gingrich was speaker of the house which led to a reprimand. >> and he had to resign in disgrace. i don't know whether you knew that. >> reporter: and he's trying to raise doubts about his ability to lead. >> he's gone from pillar to post almost like a pinball machine, from item to item in a way which is highly erratic and does not suggest a stable, thoughtful course which is normally associated with leadership. >> reporter: today romney sat down with florida residents for a round table on housing and afterwards he hammered gingrich on his consulting contract at the government-owned mortgage joined freddie mac and accused him of being just another washington lobbyist. >> if you're working for a company, getting paid for a company through one of your many entities and then you're speaking with congressmen in a way that would help that company that's lobbying. if it walks like a duck and
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quacks like a duck, it is a duck. >> reporter: gingrich has said he was just a consultant for freddie mac, that he did not lobby for the company. but, scott, as far as romney's campaign goes, it has stood on two legs-- electability and that he can fix the economy and in south carolina gingrich kneecaped him on both. he won among voters who said those were the most important issues. >> pelley: jan, thanks very much. in a rare unanimous decision today, the supreme court of the united states ruled that police cannot put a g.p.s. tracking device on a suspect's car without a warrant. the justices ruled that the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable searches was violated when police and federal agents secretly attached a g.p.s. to the vehicle of a drug suspect. congresswoman gabby giffords' emotional farewell meeting with constituents. stem cell therapy improves vision with some people with macular degeneration. and a plan to raise that aalian
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study says that it shows promising results. so we asked dr. jon lapook to show us how it works. >> reporter: 78-year-old sue freeman has gradually lost her vision to macular degeneration. as her sight faded, so did her independence. >> it was sad to me because i was so active and i think i shut down more than i thought i did. i didn't want to make plans with friends anymore because i gave up driving three years ago. that's the hardest. that was really the hardest. >> reporter: macular degeneration destroys cells called retinal pigment epithelium or r.p.e., a key component of sharp, detailed central vision. freeman had the most common form known as dry macular degeneration. >> the treatments for dry macular degeneration are very few if any. there are no approved treatments for macular degeneration so dry macular degeneration is really an unmet medical need. >> reporter: u.c.l.a. eye surgeon dr. steven schwartz took human embryonic stem cells that
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had been modified and turned into r.p.e. cells that were needed. he transplanted the new cells by injection into one of sue freeman's eyes. she noticed this after two weeks. >> i said "oh, my god, i can see my watch." it was a little blurry but i said "i can see the numbers." i was just, like, wow, this is incredible!" >> reporter: but freeman's retina had changed very little on examination and dr. schwartz wondered if somehow the placebo affect was at work. results were quite different with patient number two, a 51-year-old woman also legally blind but with a juvenile form of macular degeneration. >> this patient we've got some real evidence that we can hang our hat on that there's at least a biological signal we may be on the right track. >> reporter: the second patient asked we not use her name. in this woman's case, dr. schwartz saw the new cells had taken root in her retina. we asked her to compare vision. first in the eye that wasn't treated. now do the other eye. >> uh-huh.
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>> reporter: what does it look like now? >> the, i see your face way better than my right eye. like, i can see your whole face. if you told me that was going to happen, i would... i don't know, i just... it's great. it's just remarkable, really. >> reporter: dr. schwartz emphasizes these are preliminary results and he's continuing this trial in more patients. now t-cells he's using come from a human embryo donated by a couple who'd used fertility treatments to have their children. the embryo was left over. schwartz says the science is less further along using stem cells derived from other sources like umbilical cords. >> pelley: jon, thank you very much. joe paterno will be remembered this week with public viewings and a memorial service at penn state. today on campus people paid their respects at a makeshift memorial next to a stavp chew of paterno who was head football
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coach for 46 years. he died yesterday of lung cancer at 85. it was less than three months after being fired over a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his former assistants. a marine staff sergeant takes a plea in a case that killed 24 civilians in iraq. that story's next. me, drawing my insulin dose. and me the day i discovered novolog flexpen. flexpen is pre-filled with your mealtime insulin. dial the exact dose, inject by pushing a button. no vials, syringes or coolers to carry. flexpen is insulin delivery my way. novolog is a fast-acting insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes. do not inject if you do not plan to eat within five to ten minutes after injection to avoid low blood sugar. tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take and all of your medical conditions, including if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. the most common side effect is low blood sugar.
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for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa. [ man thinking ] oh, this gas. those antacids aren't working. oh no, not that, not here! [ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. >> pelley: divers recovered the bodies of two women today from
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that italian cruise ship. at least 15 people died in the ship wreck, but 17 others are still missing. 3,000 passengers were evacuated, and the cruiseline said today all of them will get refunds. also today, authorities gave salvage crew it is go-ahead to remove 500,000 gallons of fuel. a u.s. marine pleaded guilty today to one count of dereliction of duty in the largest and longest-running war crime trial to come out of the war in iraq. staff sergeant frank wuterich was being court-martialed in california in the deaths of 24 unarmed civilians who were killed in the iraqi town of haditha in 2005. at one time, wuterich and seven other marines faced a range of charges all the way up to murder but charges were dropped against everyone but wuterich. david martin reports wuterich's plea to a minor violation today appears to bring the case to an end. >> reporter: sergeant wuterich admitted in court he had told
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his men in so many words "shoot first and ask questions later." "i shouldn't have done that and it resulted in tragic events." events began when on wuterich's first day in combat his patrol was hit by a roadside bomb, killing one marine and wounding two others. >> my responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys die or got killed. >> reporter: in the only interview he has over done, wuterich told scott pelley in 2007 the next to die were five men who drove up shortly after the bomb went off. >> they got out of the car, as they were going around they started to take off. so i... i shot at them. >> reporter: they were running away from you. >> yes. >> reporter: you shot them in the back? >> yes. >> reporter: then he heard shot he is thought came from this nearby house. >> because i was the only... that was the only logical place
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the fire could come through, seeing the environment there. >> reporter: wuterich led an assault on the house. that's when he gave the "shoot first ask questions later" order. >> kicked in the door, threw the grenade in, grenade goes off, the first man enters the room and engages the people in the room. >> reporter: when he looked in and saw the bodies, wuterich realized some of them were women and children. thinking whoever had fired the shots had fled next door, wuterich and his marines hit another house. >> we went through that house much the same, prepping the rooms with grenades, going in there and eliminating the threat engaging targets. >> reporter: but there was no threat. >> there probably wasn't now that i look back on it. but there in that time, yes, i believe there was a threat. >> reporter: wuterich was on trial for manslaughter facing a possible 152 years in prison. by pleading guilty to dereliction of duty, the most he
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can get is three months. david martin, cbs news, the pentagon. >> pelley: that "60 minutes" interview is one reason the trial has taken so many years. after a series of court decisions, prosecutors won the right to play the entire interview for the jury, which they did last week. it was an emotional meeting today between departing congresswoman gabby giffords and her constituents. we'll have the story next. when my asthma symptoms returned, my doctor prescribed dulera to help prevent them. [ male announcer ] dulera is for patients 12 and older whose asthma is not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. dulera will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. dulera helps significantly improve lung function. this was shown over a 6 month clinical study. dulera contains formoterol, which increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. dulera is not for people whose asthma is well controlled
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arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords is giving up her house seat this week so she can concentrate on her recovery from the gunshot wound that nearly killed her last year. but there was one piece of unfinished congressional business, and john blackstone reports she took care of that today. >> reporter: gabrielle giffords arrived at her tucson office today to finish the meeting with constituents that was so violently cut short just over a year ago. on the day of the shooting, suzi hileman was waiting to shake giffords' hands. that finally happened today. these photos were taken by giffords' staff. >> i got my hand shake. i got to tell her how i think government could work better for me-- by having more people like her. >> reporter: hileman was wounded in the leg and her nine-year-old neighbor christina taylor greene
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was killed in the shooting. >> what i saw this morning it was bravest thing that i've ever seen anybody do. to put herself aside for the good of her constituents. it makes me cry. >> reporter: bill badger, who wrestled the gunman down in spite of a head wound came to the meeting wearing a blue rubber bracelet bearing giffords' name that he has worn everyday. why do you think she's decided not to continue? >> well, i think it's just like myself. when you come that close to death and your priorities change. >> i don't remember much from that horrible day... >> reporter: giffords' announced her decision to step down in a brief video released yesterday. today she visited a family assistance center named in her honor. she walks slowly, speaks haltingly and her friend, congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz says giffords has trouble putting complex thoughts into words. >> you have to have some patience and you have to make sure that you give her the time
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to find the words. >> reporter: a special election will be held to fill giffords' seat. her husband, retired astronaut mark kelly, says he does not want to run. one of giffords' last acts as a congresswoman will be to attend tomorrow night's state of the union address. john blackstone, cbs news, tucson. >> pelley: cbs news will bring you live coverage of the president's state of the union address and the republican response tomorrow night at 9:00 eastern time. that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at "cbs evening news" all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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tonight," the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world. >> heidi and seal, why did they break up? what went wrong? new shots of the couple apart. their last photo together. the clues behind their split. then the pressure, i don't know how much i can handle. >> angelina and brad, our backstage exclusive. plus brand new photos out with the kids. candid clooney. it's george's r rated face-off with his fellow oscar front runners. >> i wouldn't [ bleep ]. i said she wouldn't [ bleep ]. >> his past humiliations

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