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tv   CBS Morning News  CBS  July 22, 2010 3:30am-4:00am PST

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friendly fire. a government employee fired for some misconstrued remarks gets an apology and a job offer. tropical threat. a gathering storm puts a stop to clean-up operations in the gulf. and a whale of a tale. two south african sailors tell their story of an unexpected visitor. >> i just saw this huge shape come out of the water and i thought, oh, you know, literally. >> this is the "cbs morning news" for thursday, july 22, >> this is the "cbs morning news" for thursday, july 22, 2010. captioning funded by cbs good morning, everybody. thanks for joining us. i'm betty nguyen. it was quick vindication for shirley sherrod. this morning she is considering a job offer from the agriculture department, not to mention apologies from the obama administration.
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all of this just days after sherrod was fired for what appeared to be racist remarks. tara mergener is in washington with much more on this story. boy, things have changed in a matter of, what, 24 hours, tara? >> reporter: that's right, betty. good morning. after accepting apologies from both the white house and the a agriculture secretary, sherrod weighs her option but the controversy rages on. shirley sherrod is still deciding on whether to go back to the department of agriculture. >> she has a unique set of skills which would lend assisting usda as we deal with trying to turn the page on our civil rights chapter. >> reporter: secretary tom vilsack offered to rehire the 62-year-old wednesday for a new role, just days after firing her over this speech. >> and here i was helping a white person save their land. >> reporter: the edited clip posted online by conservative
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bloggers appeared to show sherrod making racist remarks, but it soon became clear the comments were taken out of context. and there was actually nothing racist about the speech at all. >> without a doubt, miss sherrod is owed an apology. i would do so, certainly, on behalf of this administration. >> reporter: sherrod claims she resigned under pressure from the white house, but vilsack maintains the obama administration had nothing to do with his decision. >> i appreciate the concerns that folks are expressing, but this was my decision. and i made it in haste. >> reporter: sherrod says she tried to get the white house to watch the full tape. >> had that been done, we wouldn't be sitting here, having this conversation today. >> reporter: but some lawmakers are also blaming the media for jumping the gun. >> this issue is not about race. this issue is about reporting and responding. >> reporter: and, they say, avoiding a rush to judgment. and like the administration, the naacp also reversed course and called for sherrod to be
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rehired. betty, back to you. >> tara mergener joining us live in washington. tara, thank you so much for that. the effort to permanently plug the gulf of mexico oil leak has been suspended. skimming boats have been moved to shore and evacuations have begun. all of this because of a cluster of thunderstorms that could move into the gulf this weekend. forecasters say it has a 40% chance of becoming a tropical depression. kelly cobiella reports. >> reporter: with a storm brewing hundreds of miles away, the work to finally plug bp's blown out well has come to a halt. bp stopped drilling its relief well until the threat passes. >> if we are forced to move off the site because of weather, the entire operation could be delayed 10 to 14 days. >> reporter: that's a worst case scenario. since no oil has flowed into the gulf for nearly a week, bp is confident they can leave the well closed and unwatched if they have to. in louisiana some people are fishing again, but those who
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make their living selling seafood to restaurants, the commercialer fishermen, are still stuck at the dock. >> it does tend to make some a little angry that we can open up recreation but not commercial. >> reporter: clint's fish boat has been tied up since the spill started. the waters around louisiana and beyond are closed to him because the federal government wanted to keep gulf seafood from reaching restaurants until they knew it was safe. louisiana state officials have taken 600 samples and say it's fine to eat. governor bobby jindal is now pushing the federal government to let commercial fishermen get back to work. >> we've done hundreds of our own tests. now we're calling the fda to do their tests so our people with can go back out there, make a living. >> reporter: commercial fishermen could get the okay soon. the fda tells cbs news they've seen no problem with most seafood they've tested and some commercial areas could be reopened by next week. kelly cobiella, cbs news, grand isle, louisiana. this morning rescue crews in wyoming's grand teton national park are searching for a missing
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mountain climber. 16 injured climbers were pulled to safety wednesday after a thunderstorm and severe lightning hit the area. the climbers were part of three separate climbing groups, all above 13,000 feet when the severe weather blew through. in other news -- a final house vote is expected today on extending benefits to the long-term unemployed. the senate passed the bill after a month-long stalemate as republicans and democrats battled over how to cover the $34 billion cost. the president says he'll sign the bill as soon as it's passed by the house. 2.5 million people who have been out of work for six months or month are effected. also wednesday, the president signed into law a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations. the law tightens restrictions on banks and other financial institutions and follows heated debate on how to prevent another wall street meltdown. >> because of this law, the american people will never again be asked to foot the bill for wall street's mistakes.
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there will be no more tax-funded bailouts, period. >> republican opponents say the law is a burden to small banks and the businesses that rely on them. secretary of state hillary clinton is in hanoi this morning celebrating the 15th anniversary of normalized u.s./vietnam relations. clinton arrived today for two days of talks. much of the discussion is expected to center on the threat posed by north korea. clinton came to hanoi from seoul, where she announced new u.s. sanctions against north korea. on the "cbs moneywatch," stocks in asia were mostly mixed this morning. ashley morrison is here in new york with the latest on that. good morning, ashley. >> good morning to you, betty. asian markets had a shaky start following wall street's declines. japan's nikkei lost 0.5% while hong kong agency hang seng was mostly lower. today wall street gets the latest on the housing market and a look at the weekly jobless claim numbers. wednesday stocks sputtered after ben bernanke told congress the economy remains fragile and the outlook uncertain.
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the dow lost 109 points while the nasdaq gave back 35. government watchdogs say a $50 billion program to help people avoid foreclosure isn't even making a dent. a special inspector general found mortgage companies have too much leeway to decide who qualifies for reduced balances and payments. mortgage debt collectors don't have much incentive to help because they usually make more money on a foreclosure. big oil companies are joining forces to prove they'll be better prepared for the next spill. exxonmobil, chevron, conocophillips and shell are forming a joint venture to design, build and operate a rapid response system they say will be able to capture up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day. startup costs are right around $1 billion. an exxon spokesperson said bp was not invited. ford is going where no automaker has gone before. the company announced it will
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sell the newest hybrid 2011 lincoln mkz for the same price as the gas-powered model, about $35,000. the decision could lead other competitors to follow suit. hybrids usually cost several thousand more to build because of the technology involved. if you have a bad case of the thursdays, you're not alone. a study tracking the moods of twitter users shows that people are angrier on thursdays than any other day of the week. researchers searched tweets for words linked to certain moods and tracked how frequently they were used on the social networking site. betty, i think we agreed that we were angrier on wednesday than thursday because at least on thursday we could see -- >> light at the end of the tunnel. yeah, the weekend is on the horizon. i don't know, wednesday or monday. monday seems like it would be an even more difficult day, right? >> monday i'm bringing that happiness a little along from the weekend. >> full of optimism, aren't you? >> wednesday is the hardest day for me. >> ashley, thanks for joining us
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live here in new york. we appreciate it. just ahead on the morning news, the verdict is out on whether cheerleading is a sport. plus, new allegations of blackmail in the latest between mel gibson and his girlfriend.
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or we could book with and stay closer. see, with welcomerewards, no matter where you accumulate 10 nights, you get a free one. huh. smarter. [ male announcer ] accumulate 10 nights and get a night free. welcomerewards from smart. so smart. when you go whale watching, this is not what you want to see. that is a 40-ton whale leaping out of the sea off south africa onto a passing boat. >> i was absolutely stunned. i saw this huge shape come out of the water and i thought, oh, you know, literally. i was absolutely stunned. and then chaos around us. >> the boat was damaged, but stayed afloat. the couple, unharmed. the whale, it went on its way. apparently not seriously hurt. now to the corruption trial of former illinois governor rod
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blagojevich. the judge will rule on a defense motion to throw out the charges against blagojevich. experts say that's not likely, but the trial has already had some surprises. on wednesday, blagojevich decided against testifying, something he had been promising to do for months. >> the government proved that i never took a corrupt dollar. i never took a corrupt dime. not a corrupt nickel. not a corrupt penny. i've learned a lot of lessons from this whole experience. and perhaps maybe the biggest lesson i've learned is that i talk too much. >> blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to trying to sell president obama's former senate seat and other corruption charges. in los angeles, the sheriff's department is investigating a claim that mel gibson was the target of an extortion scheme by his former girlfriend. detectives interviewed gibson's ex-girlfriend oksana grigorieva earlier this month after she claim gibson abused her in january.
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the extortion claim comes from gibson's lawyers and investigators won't provide any details. cleejs cheerleading is an athletic pursuit, but a federal judge ruled it's not an official sport. that prevents colleges from counting cheerleading squads to comply with chapter ix. straight ahead, your thursday morning weather. in sports, they don't call this kid a ball boy for nothing. he can really handle a glove.
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here's a look at weather in some cities around the country. new york, sunny, 91. miami, partly cloudy, 90. chicago, thunderstorms, 89. denver, thunderstorms as well, 90 degrees. it's going to be a sunny, 80 degrees in l.a. time now for a check of the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows a large band of clouds stretching from the desert southwest along the rockies and into the northern plains. and clearer skies are coming into the northeast, pushing out the thunderstorms from yesterday. later today, another round of severe thunderstorms could impact the northern plains and the ohio valley. the northeast will be spared as clearer skies take over there. and in the southeast, heat and humidity continue to build up. on the west coast, cooler temperatures are settling in. in sports, an extra innings letdown for the white sox in seattle. the game went scoreless into the
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11th inning when chicago's omar vizquel finally drove in a run to make it 1-0. bottom of the 11th, white sox closer bobby jenks gave up a two-run single for his second blown save in four days. seattle won 2-1. the catch of the day at yankee stadium was by the yanks' ball boy. a leaping grab on a line drive foul hit by the angels' juan rivera. if the seventh after yanks' brett gardner was ee jeked, collin curtis hit his first major league homer, a three-run shot that helped new york win 10-6. the national leaves braves led 4-3 going into the ninth but an rbi double by san diego's torrealba tied it. in the 12th padre's nick hundley drove in two and san diego won 6-4. in cincinnati, the nationals' 22-year-old phenom stephen strasburg continued his winning way against the reds. the nats took the lead in the fifth on a two-run homer and held on to win 8-5.
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when we return, another look at this morning's top stories. then bloated city hall salaries. taxpayers stage a revolt after learning what some government employees are taking home. my green shirt? borrw ♪ that's not really my style, honey. weird, i can't find it. ♪ [ female announcer ] new tide original with acti-lift technology helps remove many dry stains as if they were fresh. hey! you found it. yeah, it must have been hiding in my closet. [ female announcer ] new tide original with acti-lift. style is an option. clean is not. get acti-lift in these tide detergents. how do i know if i'm getting a good deal? you should talk to the specialist. the specialist? he compares rates side by side. you could save hundreds. it's easy. great. okay, pickles! do your thing. [ bell rings ] that's amazing!
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i trained him myself. i meant the... okay. same coverage, more savings. now, that's progressive. call or click today. i'm john kessler. and i'm sydnie kohara. fire destroys several cars in the outdoor long- term parking lot overnight. the question is: intentional or accidental? coming up at five: what arson investigators are saying about it this morning. people *leaving the california state fair... searched at closing time last night. that's after two armed men robbed a food vendor. will there be a roll-back in fares on bart? the board votes later this morning. and, it's been a long time... but we're making up for it. not one... but two blowed ups! and there are reports of watermain break near el cerrito.. may be causing
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some damage to homes) join us for cbs 5 eyewitness news early edition ... on the "cbs morning news," here's a look at the weather. the high heat continues to grip the southern half of the country. the desert southwest will be in the 100s. and severe thunderstorms could impact parts of the northern plains and the ohio river valley. here's another look at this morning's top stories. efforts to plug the gulf of mexico oil leak are suspended because of threatening weather. forecasters say a cluster of thunderstorms currently in the caribbean could become a tropical depression in the gulf by tomorrow. and shirley sherrod,
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agriculture department employee fired because of a speech she gave, says she accepts an apology from the obama administration but she's still considering a new job offer. folks in one small california city are fighting mad. what set them off? the salaries earned by city employees. as you've probably guessed, they made a lot of money. ben tracy has the report. >> reporter: despite its name, bell, california, doesn't have much of a ring to it these days. unemployment is 16% and most people in this blue collar town make about $30,000, unless they work at city hall. irate taxpayers stormed the building after finding out the city manager is paid nearly $800,000 to run a town of just 37,000 people. >> we've been ripped off. we're being looted by the people of this -- the city administration. and we want to put an end to it. >> reporter: robert rizzo has run bell for 17 years. his starting salary was a reported $72,000. thanks to pay hikes and an
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automated 12% annual raise, his salary has skyrocketed nearly 1,000%. he now makes three times as much as the mayors of los angeles and chicago. and nearly twice as much as president obama. and rizzo doesn't even live in bell. he lives in this $1 million home near the ocean in huntington beach. we went to city hall to talk to him. he wasn't on the job. >> he's just not available. >> reporter: can you tell me if he's in the building? is he working today? >> no, he's not in the building. >> reporter: taxpayers are also angry the city's police chief makes $457,000, twice as much as new york's police commissioner, who leads nearly 35,000 officers. bell's chief oversees 33. >> they asked me to come in and make an assessment and bring best practices to this police department. and i have been diligently trying to do that. >> reporter: christina garcia is leading a grass roots effort to have both men fired. >> you have a chief police earning $500,000. you could create 17 new police jobs with that. >> reporter: taxpayers also want
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the city council that approved these salaries recalled. >> to have them removed and kicked out. >> reporter: those council members make nearly $100,000, and their jobs are part time. ben tracy, cbs news, bell, california. and in california, a candidate for the title america's dumbest criminal. jane murray allegedly robbed a bank if chico wednesday. police say as she fled to her get dast way car with bags of cash in hand, she came to an awful rlsization. >> the suspect found that her vehicle was locked. she had locked her keys in the car. she was not able to get into her car. when officers arrested her, she was still trying to get in. >> murray is a suspected serial bank robber. she allegedly had a role in two other bank robberies in the area. this morning on "the early show," helping your grown up children through the rough economy. i'm betty nguyen. this is the "cbs morning news."
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there's oil out there we've got to capture. my job is to hunt it down. i'm fred lemond, and i'm in charge of bp's efforts to remove oil from these waters. bp has taken full responsibility for the cleanup and that includes keeping you informed. every morning, over 50 spotter planes and helicopters take off and search for the oil. we use satellite images, infrared and thermal photography to map and target the oil. then, the boats go to work. almost 6,000 vessels. these are thousands of local shrimp and fishing boats organized into task forces and strike teams. plus, specialized skimmers from around the world. we've skimmed over 27 million gallons of oil/water mixture and removed millions more with other methods. we've set out more than 8 million feet of boom to protect the shoreline. i grew up on the gulf coast and i love these waters. we can't keep all the oil from coming ashore,
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but i'm gonna do everything i can to stop it, and we'll be here as long as it takes to clean up the gulf.
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,,,,,,,, a huge discovery in the universe. astronomers believe they identified the largest star ever right next door to our own galaxy. it's 265 times larger than our own sun and 10 million times brighter. scientists say if the star were our sun, the intense radiation would render life on our planet impossible. finally, it's impossible to ignore the recent controversy over the firing of a black agriculture department worker over racial comments. the incident highlights the stark changes in how information is received and transmitted in modern times. jeff greenfield reports. >> reporter: it's now clear that no one, not conservative blogger andrew breitbart who posted the
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original clip, not the naacp, not the agriculture official whom ordered her resigned, none of them had seen the whole speech. there's another part to this story. the deep-seeded desire of people to reinforce their preexisting beliefs. for instance, the idea of an obama administration official harboring anti-white sentiments fits an idea espoused by fox news' most popular voices. >> this president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seeded hatred for white people or the white culture. i don't know what it is. >> reporter: now, this doesn't mean fox would knowingly air a false or misleading tape. it may mean the original incomplete and out of context video clip seemed to fit an idea that would resonate with many in the audience. this is not an impulse confined to any one ideological splice of the public. in 2006 a black woman a stripper
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accused three members of the duke lacrosse team of raping her. it was treated as a classic case of white athletes committing an act. only did it become clear the charges were wholly false. >> were you at all concerned that your students and some members of your faculty were engaged in a rush to judgment and that their actions might actually throw fuel on the fire? >> we had public officials speaking as if it was almost a certainty this thing had happened. these charges engaged people's deepest fears and anxieties and dreads. >> reporter: if there's any encouraging aspect to this is that many players quickly took a hard, second look. fox news took a clear, cool-headed look at this story. >> i think this story has been thoroughly screwed up. >> reporter: white house press secretary robert gibbs publicly apologized to sherrod and no less than three commentators on the conservative national review website cautioned outlets on the right to use care before rushing to judgment. >> it was wrong. the story was entirely wrong.
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if there's an hour-long speech or a 30-minute long speech and you're putting up seven seconds of it and you haven't seen the rest of it, you feed to say, i'm putting up seven seconds of this and i haven't seen the rest of it. >> reporter: if you're an optimist you might look at this as what the president calls a teachable moment. maybe we should all wait and see what happens next time. jeff greenfield, cbs news, new york. that's the "cbs morning news" for this thursday. thanks for watching. hope you'll join us a little later for "the early show." i'm betty nguyen. later for "the early show." i'm betty nguyen. have a great day. -- captions by vitac --
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your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. caption colorado, l.l.c. hey, good morning. it's thursday, the 22nd of july. >> good morning, everyone. wow, what a rude welcome for a couple of people flying into


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