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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  January 26, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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and their debate continued on the tarmac. the president took issue with the governor's new book in which she claims that the president lectured her and of the condescending to her in an oval office meeting. we spoke to governor brewer today about the meeting on the tarmac. chief white house correspondent norah o'donnell has that. she's traveling with the president in colorado tonight. norah. >> reporter: scott, immigration is always a hot-button political issue, but it got personal when the president met with the republican governor of arizona. it's this picture with the republican governor's finger in the president's face that has jan brewer on the defensive today. >> i don't believe i was disrespectful. i went there, again, as i said, i was happy to share with him what arizona has done, the arizona comeback. >> reporter: the confrontation happened on the tarmac after air force one landed just outside phoenix yesterday. >> he wants to talk about
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amnesty. i want to talk about border security. and we are just going to have to agree to disagree on that. >> reporter: the president has never adicated for blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants but does support a path to citizensship for some. the president and the governor have a history of strained relations over arizona's controversial law which requires arizonaians to carry immigration papers at all times or risk arrest. under the law, anyone can be stopped on suspicion of being in the country illegally. the obama administration is challenging the law in court. in 2010, the governor requested a white house meeting with the president, and at the time, described it as friendly. >> well, we just completed our meeting this afternoon. it was a very cordial. >> reporter: yet, a year later in her book, she recalled that same meeting quite differently. "it was as though president obama thought he would lecture me and i would learn at his knee," she writes. "he was patronizing."
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the president clearly didn't like that description and aides say he told the governor on the tarmac she inaccurately described their meeting. brewer now accuses the president of being thinskinned. >> having the most powerful man in the world tell you he didn't like the way you spoke about him in your book, it takes a little bit away from you. it's a little breathtaking. >> reporter: and this won't be the last time the president visits arizona this campaign year. his call for immigration reform is likely to be popular with arizona's growing hispanic population. >> the opponents of action are out of excuses. we should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. ( applause ) >> reporter: now, this whole desert dust-up has proved quite a distraction, the president himself tonight saying this is a classic example, scott, of things getting blown out of proportion. >> pelley: norah, thanks very much. we don't know if this story will sell papers but it sure is selling books. have a look at this. before she pointed to the
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president's face, governor brewer's book ranked number 285,568 on the amazon sales list. we checked again just a little while ago. the book is now up to number 21. politics is always ruff and tumble. last year, during the debt debate, president obama said his young daughters were more responsible than congress. but in this election year, we've noticed rhetoric that's more coarse than we can remember. this was mitt romney last week. >> i'm someone who believes in free enterprise. i think adam smith was right and i'm going to stand and defend capitalism across this country, throughout this campaign. i know we're going to hit it hard from president obama but we're going to stuff it down his throat and point out it is capitalism and freedom that makes america strong! >> pelley: we wondered what bob schieffer thinking of all of this. he's our chief washington correspondent and anchor of "face the nation" in florida tonight. bob, it seems like it's not a
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democratic or republican issue but a question of how the office of the president is treated. >> reporter: well, i think that's right, scott. i mean, this is just another sign of the growing incivility and really vulgarity of our modern american politics in campaigns. these campaigns have gotten so ugly and so nasty, that they're now tarnishing the whole system. i think it also underlines, also, the coarseness of our culture in this age of social media, when it is so easy to say anything about anybody, and get no penalty for saying it. but the thing that has always made our system so strong, scott, is that whenever whatever we have thought of the officeholder, we have held the offices themselves in high respect. we have respected the office. i've watched a lot of presidents over the years, but i can never recall a president stepping off air force one, which is itself a symbol of the presidency in american democracy-- and being
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subjected to such public rudeness. i think really we're a better people than this little incident illustrates. >> pelley: bob, thank you very much. with the florida primary coming up on tuesday, bob will have a special one-hour edition of "face the nation" this sunday live from miami. we did a poll last week, and we asked folks at home if the two parties should compromise to get things done. 85% said compromise. it was about the same for both republicans and democrats. it isn't the other party that newt gingrich has to worry about tonight. the candidate for the republican presidential nomination had some of the biggest names in his own party turning against him. dean reynolds is with the former speaker of the house in florida. >> reporter: in mount dorra today, it was gingrich against the g.o.p. >> remember, the republican establishment is just as much an establishment as the democratic establishment, and they are just as determined to stop us. >> reporter: mitt romney
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already has establishment figures like senator john mccain and governor chris christie in his corner. today, former g.o.p. presidential nominee, bob dole, the senate majority leader when gingrich was speaker of the house, underlined his support for romney in a letter that contained this on gingrich. "if gingrich is the nominee" dole wrote "it will have an adverse impact on republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. hardly anyone who served with newt in congress has endorsed him, and that fact speaks for itself." in a recent interview with rita braver for "cbs sunday morning," dole elaborated. >> he's very bright, very articulate. he's a good debater. but i found him very difficult to work with. >> reporter: do you think he has any chance to be president? >> i hope not. >> reporter: more than 70 current members of congress have endorsed romney, compared to 11 who are for gingrich. trent lott succeeded dole as
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majority leader and was a republican senator from mississippi when gingrich was speaker. >> he knows how to touch the right hot buttons, and on the stump, he's good. you gotta give him credit for that. i just don't think that's what we need in a president. >> reporter: with such party establishment opposition, gingrich now sees little choice but to cast his lot with the tea party movement and style himself as an insurgent battling against the old order. >> make no bones about it-- this is a campaign for the very nature of the republican party, and the very opportunity for a citizen conservatism to defeat the power of money and prove that people matter more than wall street and that people matter more than all of the big companies that are pouring the cash in to run the ads that are false. >> reporter: and that's a point we are likely to hear tonight at the debate, scott, where we're told the audience will be encouraged to applaud if it wants to. >> pelley: five days to election day there, thanks very
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much, dean. in president obama wins reelection, he may very well have to find a new secretary of state. today, hillary clinton told state department employees she will stay on until a successor is chosen. she said she is ready for a rest. >> i think after 20 years, it will be 20 years, of being on the high wire of american politics and all of the challenges that come with that, it would be a-- probably a good idea to just find out how tired i am. >> pelley: the president's national security team can expect a robust debate with congress over the administration's plan to shrink the military. today, defense secretary leon panetta outlined how he intends to save nearly half a trillion dollars over the next decade. the army would shrink by 80,000 soldiers, the marines by 20,000. pay raises for the troops would be limited. some bases would be closed.
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health insurance fees for retirees would go up, and big-ticket weapons like submarines would be delayed. but the plan calls for expanding the special forces. they include navy seals, who swooped into somalia tuesday night and rescued two aid workers. one of whom is an american woman. tonight, both are receiving medical care at a naval air station in italy. we asked bob orr to tell us more about the men who carried out the rescue operation. >> reporter: jessica buchanan and poul thisted, seen in this hostage video, were freed by navy seals after a battle that lasted just a few minutes. the mission, named octive fusion, called for navy seal team 6 to parachute into central somalia, surround a camp where the captives were being held and take prisoners if possible. pentagon officials said when one of the somali kidnappers fired, the commandos opened up. at least eight suspects were killed, and the hostages
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rescued. the team leader radioed success, with the code word "jackpot." it was the kind of surge scall strike that defines one of america's most elite special operations forces. former navy seal eric greitens -- >> the enemy has made their choice. if they're taken americans hostages, if they're armed on the battlefield, then they know the seals are are going to have to engage with them and use force. >> reporter: seal team 6 was founded add a counter-terrorist force after the failed 1980 mission to rescue american hostages in iran. over 31 years, the team's success has been built on notoriously rugged training. fewer than 25% of the candidates make it through boot camp. there have been celebrated successes. last may's raid that killed osama bin laden, the 2009 rescue the at sea, in which seal snipers shot and killed three somali pirates holding the captain of the cargo ship methicillin-resistant staphylococcus they
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have also taken heavy lozs. members of team six was killed when their helicopter was shot down during a night time raid in afghanistan. through all of the challenges, seals remain resilient. >> if you're going to be a terrorist who will threaten the united states, you know we have on call a highly trained commando force, and you will never be able to sleep peacefully at night. >> reporter: in military jargon seal team 6 is better known as a tier 1 force. scott, that means they only get the tough ones. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. you nay not know that the name seal stands for something. it's an acronym that refers to the fact that seals operate everywhere, by sea, air, and land. a car insurance scam using phony crashes is costing honest drivers. a discovery near the south pole could fuel debate over climate change. and a mystery for marine experts-- dolphins in danger of being stranded off cape cod,
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when the cbs evening news continues.
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>> pelley: in this tough economy, one type of insurance fraud is more popular than ever. it involves scam artists who stage car crashes in order to cash in. here's chief investigative correspondent armen keteyian. >> reporter: in tampa, florida, security cameras outside a business captured an accident, an s.u.v. slamming into a car.
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but rewind the tape, and you see the car was actually driven into the middle of the street. the driver got out, a collision, and then five people climbed into the damaged vehicle. the passengers later claimed they were injured to rip off their car insurance company. instead, they were arrested and convicted of staging a car accident. ron poindexter is the florida director for the national insurance crime bureau, a not-for-profit agency funded by the insurance industry to investigate fraud. >> it's a big problem nationally. in florida, it's a huge, growing problem that's out of control. >> reporter: today, 12 states have what's known as "no fault "auto insurance. that means no matter who's at fault, everyone involved in a car accident is entitled to insurance money if they're hurt. in florida, it's up to $10,000 per person. in new york, it's $50,000. payouts are so big, it set the stage for massive fraud. scammers like this man, who asked we conceal his identity.
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>> first of all, you have to recruit people people. you have to look around for people who want to do car accidents and then you have to ask them if they want to be the hitter or the one hit the car in front. >> reporter: the hitter or the one that's getting hit? >> yes. >> reporter: here's how it works. it's run by organizers who bogus medical clinics. they in turn hire recruiters who find people willing to stage accidents for money. the people involved are then taken to the bogus clinics where this undercover video, shot by florida state investigatores, shows what typically happens next. here an investigator posing as an accident victim was told to sign one insurance form after another for medical treatment he'll never receive. he was then paid $700 in cash for faking the accident and an injury. >> it's a lot of money. >> reporter: is it always the same thing? >> that's why it's so easy, no
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matter what you do you can have a back problem. >> reporter: this man told us he made about $1,000 for each person he recruited. investigators say crooked clinic owners can rake in as much as $2 million a year in phony billings. unethical doctors, lawyers, and even massage therapist're therapists are all involved and all get a cut. what's changed with this kind of no-fault fraud? >> the recession and the economy has created sort of a cottage industry to a point where they're actually stealing thousands and tens of thousands of dollars and not treating or seeing any patients. >> reporter: one big reason the industry says no-fault fraud like this scam added an estimated $650 million to the cost of auto insurance in florida alone last year. armen keteyian, cbs news, tampa, florida. >> pelley: they've discovered a surprise near the south pole-- a river running under the ice. that's next.
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>> pelley: strong wind and heavy rain are hitting the southeast tonight, brought on by a line of powerful storms that had much of the region under a tornado watch today. downpours flooded sections of alabama that are still cleaning up from some deadly tornadoes on monday. the debate over climate change may heat up with this news from antarctica. a team of scientists was surprised to find a system of rivers beneath the ice. lakes have been discovered in
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the past, but running water could, the scientist say, mean the ice is melting. critics say the source of the water must be found before any conclusions are drawn. and then there is this mystery on cape cod. for weeks, dolphins have been getting stranded in the bay near welfleet, massachusetts, and marine experts have no idea why. nearly 100 beached themselves earlier this month. many of them died. and today, another 200 were spotted in the bay. it's not known if they are in any danger. a run of bad luck for the gambling capital of america. that story is next.
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>> pelley: president obama's tour of five battleground states in the coming election took him today to louis vegas, nevada. no state has higher unemployment, 12.6%, and no city has a higher foreclosure rate. anthony mason now on what can happen when a state places all its bets on a single industry. >> reporter: the sign says, "fabulous las vegas" but it's not so fabulous these days. sinceth economy was built on gaming and tourism, in the recession that hand was a bust. >> you want to talk about a
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company town? this is a company state. >> reporter: jim murren should know. as c.e.o. of m.g.m. resorts, he runs a dozen resort casinos in vegas with 50,000 workers, m.g.m. is the largest employer in nevada and its biggest source of tax revenue. >> we alone, one company, represent about 12% of the entire state budget. >> reporter: while tourism and gaming revenue are rising again, the state's largest casino still lost $4 billion last year. there are plenty of casualties along the strip. that's the half-built skeleton of the echelon, a planned five-hotel megaresort. the construction was stopped when the recession hit and has never resumed. up the strip, the bankrupt fontenbleu, is also unfinished. the historic sahara closed its doors last may. even m.g.m.'s massive city center, the largest privately
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funded construction project in u.s. history nearly didn't make it. >> we need to diversify our economy. we need to bring more businesses here. >> reporter: but for entrepreneurs like jason mendenhall, the city hasn't made it easy. >> i mean, if it wasn't a high-rise building or if it wasn't a casino, no one wanted to talk to you. banks didn't want to talk to you. no one wanted to talk to. >> reporter: medden haul is executive vice president of sink a high-tech hub for data storage. its clients include the government, banks, and fortine 500 companies. can and you're actually expanding? >> we are. it will be one of the largest construction projects in the state of nevada. we're going to create over 3,000 construction jobs and hundreds of technical and operation jobs as we continue to grow. >> reporter: nevada now points to switch as the model of the kind of business it wants to attract. is it getting better? >> it is. and i think what's happened is the mindset of the people within the state has changed dramatically. >> reporter: at m.g.m., jim murren thinks a full recovery is still two years away, but after laying off 8,000 workers in the
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recession, m.g.m. is investing in its vegas hotels this year. >> we are utterly confident and we are putting our money where our mouth is. >> reporter: in sin city, they like their odds again. anthony mason, cbs news, lass have spaings. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org does your cable company keep charging you more... and more... and more? stop paying so much for second best. upgrade to verizon fios and get tv, internet and phone for our best price online: just $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years.
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now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world. demi moore. glamorous. successful. beautiful. and passing out after inhaling a cheap street drug popular with teens? tonight the "e.t. investigation" into the down fall of demi. where is she now? where is ashton. new video. plus, is she anorexic and what is the drug that reportedly caused her to have a seizure. then -- >> i'm 19. >> we look back at demi's rocky road of love. >> she is my valentine. >> from emilio to bruce to ashton. her past

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