tv CBS Evening News With Katie Couric CBS February 9, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
we'll see you back in 30 minutes. caption colorado, l.l.c. email@example.com >> couric: tonight, it's getting worse. protests in egypt spread, state workers go on strike, the government threatens a crackdown, but the u.s. warns the mubarak regime it can't put the jeanie back in the bottle. i'm katie couric. also tonight, government job training programs under fire. they cost taxpayers billions, but a new report says it's not even clear they put anyone to work. a possible link between diet soda and heart disease. and while he's commanding u.s. forces, his wife is looking out for their families. what do you think military families need most right now? captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
>> couric: good evening, everyone. the longer the antigovernment protests in egypt go on, the more the mubarak regime digs in. and the united states is turning up the pressure again. day 16 saw the protests expand to government buildings, including parliament. thousands of state workers went on strike even after egypt's vice president hinted a new crackdown is coming. the obama administration said president mubarak hasn't met even the minimum threshold of reforms demanded by the protesters. mubarak's foreign minister accused the u.s. of trying to impose its will on egypt. and as elizabeth palmer reports, one of the leaders of the uprising says the time for talking is over. >> reporter: internet activist wael ghonim is the unlikely hero of egypt's revolt. today in a cnn interview, he said it's too late for genuine negotiations with mubarak. >> they decided to negotiate with us at night with rubber bullets, with police... police
sticks, with... with, you know, water hoses, with tear gas, tanks. >> reporter: but he didn't say that he was ready to lead this movement. disappointing legions of young activists who at the moment are making it up as they go along online. people like ahmed abbas el reedy, a stockbroker turned internet rebel, who discovered on twitter today that protesters were moving beyond tahrir square. >> now we will add the place in front of the parliament, another safe area for protests. so it's here on twitter now. >> reporter: his proudest moment so far: victory after pitched battles with egypt's riot police, all chronicled on facebook. and he's got a trophy riot police shield to prove it. >> the police, they had these riot shields. >> reporter: abbas thinks at this stage this movement does
need a leader and some structure. >> we are so strong but not organized. like a big beast that is striking everywhere, except bull's eye. >> reporter: when we arrived at parliament, the demonstrators were already in control. this is the main gate of egypt's parliament covered with the protesters' signs. inside is being guarded by just a few soldiers. outside, it's being guarded by hundreds of protesters. this building is now blockaded. the protesters had turned their lightning blockade into a tent city siege. so this feels like a good tactical move? >> for the time being, yes. it's... it's not what's going to make it for us but it's buying us time. >> reporter: a few minutes later, the army tried to move a fire truck in but the protesters blocked it. and leader or no leader, the call went out online for reinforcements who almost immediately began to arrive.
behind me, you can see tahrir square, and the protesters in front of parliament are just in a little side street off to my left. i can see them from where i'm standing. they're still there and the army is simply looking on. katie. >> couric: and, liz, why are they targeting parliament and are there any members inside the building? >> reporter: no the building is empty. the legislators had to move to other quarters. they're targeting parliament because they think it was elected in rigged elections and they want it dissolved. >> couric: liz palmener, in cairo tonight. as always, liz, thank you so much. by the way, elizabeth, two experts and i had an extended conversation about the crisis in egypt on my web show, that's at cbsnews.com. meanwhile, the political crisis has been devastating to egypt's economy which depends so heavily on tourism. last year, the industry generated $11 billion and two million jobs. but not any more as terry mccarthy reports.
>> reporter: giza, home to the pyramid that are more than 4,000 years old. until two weeks ago, they were visited by thousands of tourists a day. but now, giza is empty, and horse guides like farag abu ghanim, who has 25 employees and 35 horses are in trouble. >> from where we feed our family? and from where we feed these horses? >> reporter: each horse costs almost $10 a day to feed. farag has already gone into debt to pay for them. tourism accounts for one out of every 10 jobs in egypt. >> reporter: these pyramids normally attract 12 milliion tourists a year to egypt but since the protests began, they've been deserted, and all the attacks on foreigners in the streets many worry it will be
some time before the tourists come back. egypt is a daunting prospect for travelers. the must visit an egyptian museum located right in the middle of the demonstrations. and in the red sea resort of sharm el sheikh, american investors are holding up millions of dollars in development projects because of the unrest. >> five years-- it's going to take us five years to catch up to where we are today. >> reporter: in central cairo, shop owners say their business is down 70% and he says he's not earning enough to feed his family. >> no business. >> reporter: across the street, business in this leather store is even worse. when was the last time you sold a jacket? >> is about two weeks ago. >> reporter: your last sale was two weeks ago? >> yes, two weeks ago, yeah. >> reporter: so you're hurting? you're hurting? >> yeah, of course, yeah. >> reporter: all of egypt is hurting. one bank estimates the country is losing $310 million a day. >> for the man on the streets who can't get egyptian pounds out of the a.t.m.s, we've been out of work for two weeks. >> reporter: many businessmen may not be happy with mubarak, but they're getting impatient with the protesters who are killing their bottom lines.
termy mccarthy, cbs news, cairo. >> couric: the news about arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords continues to be very good as she recovers from an assassination attempt. she's continuing rehab in houston, including speech therapy and her spokesperson said today she's starting to talk again. at breakfast the other day she was able to ask for toast, a major milestone since she was shot one month ago. pia carusone is giffords' chief of staff. pia, have you heard the congresswoman speak in person and can you describe that moment for us? >> yes, absolutely. i was having breakfast with her a few days ago and she asked me for toast. she was having oatmeal and yogurt. it wasn't the first time she had spoken but it was great to see that recovery happen in front of you. >> couric: what was your reaction when she asked for a simple thing like toast? it must have been a very exciting thing? >> yeah, you know, i smiled, and i said... i said, "we're happy to get you toast." and the nurse was right near me
and she smiled, too, and she called down to the cafeteria and we had some, you know, brought up for her. >> couric: as we've been saying, many nights on the evening news, pia, her recovery has truly been miraculous. what is it like for you to witness this? >> i mean, it's, obviously, difficult to watch someone that, you know, you love and respect so much going through this, but but-- to go through something so difficult, but she's doing so well, it's... it makes every day a little easier for us to see the improvements that she's making and it's just very encouraging. >> couric: her husband, mark kelly, announced last week he would complete his mission as commander of the next space shuttle. does she realize he's going and doing that? >> absolutely. she is very supportive of him, extremely proud of his career, and, you know, he... he's kept her up to date throughout this whole process on his thinking. so she certainly understands it, and as you've heard mark say, he fully expects that she'll be at the launch and we can certainly
hope that she's better come april to join us in florida. >> couric: well, pia carusone, thanks so much for talking with us, and, please give congresswoman giffords and her family our very best. >> i will. thanks so much, katie. >> couric: in washington today, house republicans rolled out $35 billion worth of proposed cuts in the budget for this year, including $2 billion slashed from job training programs. taxpayers spend $18 billion a year on them, but as sharyl attkisson reports, government investigations are questioning whether all that money is doing much good. >> reporter: ramona cunningham headed a job training program in iowa but it turns out she was moonlighting on the dark side. ringleader in a fraud and corruption scheme, she used your tax dollars on $1.5 million in illegal bonuses for herself and others. they took 100 trips to casinos, usually during work hours. abuses like that are why two
government reports out today hone in on all the tax money devoted to training people for jobs. the g.a.o. found $18 billion of your tax dollars a year are going to not one but 47 different federal job training programs, almost all of them overlapping to serve the same people, and nobody can say how well they work. only five have ever been studied to see if trainees got more jobs than anyone else. >> shouldn't congress know if they're going to spend $18 billion whether it's working? >> reporter: the labor department, in charge of 21 different employment training programs, says they serve diverse groups and fewer programs wouldn't necessarily be better or more efficient. but senator tom coburn says the bureaucracy leaves too much room for abuse. he issued his own report: "help wanted" exposing outrageous examples. in california, three men are under indictment for allegedly luring high school kids into removing cancer-causing asbestos without proper protection, all under the guise of job training.
and mary jane bowling, once an executive at workforce, west virginia, got caught illegally funneling $100,000 of your tax dollars to her son, martin. the stimulus law added $5 billion more to job training. finding examples of waste wasn't hard. it's not so easy to find evidence the programs work well. katie. >> couric: sharyl attkisson in of in washington thank you. a married congressman from western new york resigned today after it was revealed he was looking for dates with women on line. according to gawker.com, republican christopher lee sent a topless photo of himself to a woman he met on craigslist. in a statement lee said, "i regret the harm that my action have caused my family, my staff, and my constituents." and still ahead here on the cbs evening news, a college baseball coach going to bat for one of his players. but up next, the general's wife: on a mission to protect military families.
>> couric: a warning today from the top u.s. commander in afghanistan. general david petraeus expects fierce fighting in the spring as insurgents try to retake towns captured by nato troops. the general's wife, meanwhile, is fighting a battle on the homefront on behalf of military families. many have been ripped off by
banks. today, j.p. morgan chase apologized for overcharging thousands of military families for their mortgages. as i discover, the general's wife is gung-ho about her new mission. >> i haven't been in the spotlight personally, but i'm willing to do it for the cause of our military families. >> couric: holly petraeus has always preferred to let her husband, general david petraeus, take center stage. >> i appreciate the opportunity... >> but now she's answering the call to service. >> ...to compete on a level playing field. >> couric: leading an office in the new financial protection bureau to safeguard military personnel and their families from financial fraud. >> they are a targeted population. it's sad to say that, but it's true. you'll see outside the gates of military installations, there's usually a strip with the "buy here, pay here" car dealers, the check cashing, the payday loans, the pawn shops, all ways for them to basically cut into their
paycheck by taking out debt to buy things. >> couric: a recent survey found that nearly a third of military families had at least $10,000 in credit card debt compared to 16% for the civilian population. >> there's my floating dock. foreclosures on the homes of military families are also on the rise. james hurley, who lives in hartford, michigan, had his house foreclosed on by deutch bank, and even sold while he was serving in iraq in 2005. >> i didn't know that they could sell it while i was gone, and i figured when i came home i'd come home to my house. >> couric: according to federal law, banks cannot foreclose on the homes of active duty service men and women without a court order. but it's happening all too often. >> i sent them all my paperwork. there's no way they can say, "well we didn't know you was in the military or guards." i think the government should
hit them pretty bad for breaking the law. >> when the united states of america sends our men and women overseas to serve our country, shouldn't we back here at least be looking out for their home? >> banks need to be sure that their administrators know and understand that there is a law for military personnel who go on active duty that reduces the interest on their debts. >> jim! >> couric: her mission is to educate military families about how to protect themselves. so she's visiting bases around the country, like lackland air force base in san antonio. >> i realize some of what you're going through, and i really appreciate your willingness to come out today and to talk to us about what you're hearing and seeing. >> couric: she says her work helps her cope with her husband's long absences. >> i really can't think of anything better to be doing while my husband is deployed forever. >> couric: first to iraq.
>> part of something real important, you know that. >> couric: and now afghanistan. >> we have arrived at a critical moment. >> couric: they talk to each other mostly via e-mail. do you feel as if he's done enough? he's served his country. it's time for him to come home? >> well, every deployment has an ending, so i know he's not going to be there forever. >> couric: she met her husband of 36 years in 1973 while her father was superintendent of west point. david petraeus was then a hot shot cadet. she hopes military families learn from mistakes they made early in their marriage, like buying a fancy, but temperamental sports car. >> i have learned from experience. and we were lucky. ours were not-- didn't have serious consequences but we did spend a lot of money on repairs on that red sport car. >> couric: whose idea that was, by the way? >> i probably have to point the finger at my husband on that one. >> couric: holly petraeus told me that part of her mission is to connect the military with the american people. in her words, "they need to know us and to know what our lives
>> couric: in health news, a new study finds strokes are down among older americans due in part to better medications, but up among those who are middle aged and the young. researchers blame that on obesity. meanwhile, a lot of people who are watching their weight drink diet sodas, but now as national correspondent jim axelrod reports they may be linked to
heart disease. >> reporter: if you think you're doing the right thing... by drinking diet soda instead of regular, you may want to rethink that. >> we know that sugar and calories are not healthy. however, this was the first study to show that there may actually be health consequences of consuming diet soda. >> reporter: hannah gardner's team studied more than 2,500 people in new york city and found those drinking diet soda had a 48% higher risk of stroke than those who reported no soda drinking. >> we did not see a significant association between regular soft drink consumption and risk of combined vascular events, but we did see it for diet soda. >> reporter: americans drink 4.2 billion gallons of diet soda each year. that's nearly a third of all soda consumed in this country. since the people studied may have had other risk factors, much more investigation must now be done, but doctors say the
study does deliver a valid warning. >> we can't conclude anything definitive. there needs to be more research. but i think it starts to give suggestions that maybe drinking diet soda is not the best thing for us. >> reporter: meaning people who choose diet soda believing it's healthier might be buying an illusion. >> couric: lindsay lohan office a familiar stage today. the 24-year-old actress passed through a media gauntlet at los angeles superior court. lohan pleaded not guilty to stealing a necklace from a jewelry store last month. the judge said it appeared she had violated her probation in a drunken driving case and warned her, "don't push your luck." she's been released on $40,000 bail and faces up to three years in prison if convicted. and coming up next, a college baseball coach gets credit for a save. save.
>> reporter: he had almost no warning. 19-year-old kevin jordan was a promising baseball player, an outfielder recruited to wake forest university by coach tom walter. that was before kevin's kidneys failed. >> at the time, i didn't know what it was. i just... i thought i was out of shape and i kind of knew in the back of my mind that i wasn't. >> reporter: he had a rare disease that caused kevin's immune system to attack his own body. just months after he was diagnosed, kevin was on dialysis and need a kidney transplant. average wait time: three years. >> my initial thought was that there's no way that kevin jordan should have to go through what he's been through for another three years. >> reporter: there was a way out-- find a volunteer donor. the coach was a match and that's all he needed to know. he decided to give his player his kidney. >> i never asked. it was... he volunteered off the bat. and i don't know if i would have asked. >> it was a clear-cut decision.
it was i have the ability to help kevin jordan have a normal life. >> reporter: it was no small gesture. it involved major surgery-- two, actually. one to remove the kidney from coach walter, another to transplant it into kevin. both were performed two days ago at emory university hospital in atlanta. >> i'm still feel a little sore but i'm fine. >> reporter: doctors say they can expect normal lives except there will always be something extraordinary between them. >> our blood runs together, so as the saying goes, "blood is thicker than water" and kevin and i will... will always share blood. >> reporter: it's a special bond between the player and the coach who gave him a chance to play and a second chance at life. richard schlessinger, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching, i'll see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
a protest from the '60s, over some 21st cent meters. . you're watching cbs 5 eyewitness us? finish news. >> what looks like a protest over some 25th century power metres. the punishment coming to those who launched the pg&e block aids. a cause in a san francisco neighborhood a dog. and super human effort to free one child's finger. good evening i'm dana king. >> and i'm allan martin. well, it is no is he decreed a lot of people are seriously owe he is -- opposed to pg&e's power smart metres. but now it involves the district attorney. >> you are under arrest. hands behind your back. >> reporter: these people have been arrested for