tv CBS Evening News With Russ Mitchell CBS April 3, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
>> mitchell: tonight, metal fatigue: investigators find evidence of cracks in the metal on that airliner whose roof peeled open, forcing the play in an emergency descent. >> we were going down fast. you could tell this wasn't any joke. >> mitchell: i'm russ mitchell. also tonight, a top libyan diplomat travels to greece to deliver a message from moammar qaddafi as rebels continue to gain ground. has the battle for libya become a stalemate? dreams on ice: female hockey players running out of time to create a high school team of their own. and still rocking: singer wanda jackson is enjoying her biggest success yet, half a century after being discovered by elvis. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news"
with russ mitchell. >> mitchell: good evening. we are learning more tonight about that scary ordeal aboard that southwest airlines flight from phoenix to sacramento where part of the roof ripped open at 36,000 feet. the plane had to make an emergency landing, and while no one was seriously injured, southwest airlines canceled some 300 flights today as investigators examine the damaged plane and passengers relived those terrifying moments in the sky. nancy cordes has the latest. >> reporter: investigators examining the damaged airplane have discovered a major clue: multiple preexisting cracks surrounding the five foot by one foot hole that ripped open at cruising altitude friday afternoon. >> we did find evidence of widespread cracking across this entire fracture surface. >> reporter: the rupture happened 18 minutes after takeoff from phoenix. >> and all of a sudden there was a loud bang and the masks dropped and it's really, really windy, and ears hurt.
>> reporter: one flight attendant and one passenger passed out from the loss of cabin pressure. the pilots descended from 36,000 feet to 11,000 feet in just four and a half minutes. >> we were going down fast. you could tell. this wasn't any joke. >> reporter: the pilots considered turning back to phoenix, but when the cabin crew described the extent of the damage, the captain decided to land immediately at a military base in yuma, arizona. the shaken passengers were eventually reunited with their families in sacramento. >> you're never going on another airplane again. >> yes, i am. >> reporter: metal fatigue was the cause of a similar southwest incident in 2009, when another 737 had to make an emergency landing in west virginia after a football-sized hole opened up in the hull. the year before, southwest found cracks in half a dozen of its 737's, and was fined $7.5 million for overdue inspections.
this weekend southwest grounded 80 737s for inspection, causing cancellations on saturday and roughly the same number today. the last major inspection of this 15-year-old jet was a year ago. >> that is exactly why we are here, to look at why this problem occurred, why it was not detected, and why this event happened. >> reporter: investigators are removing a large section of the plane's roof around the tear and bringing it here to washington for more analysis. the black boxes are already here, and investigators say those boxes captured very good data about everything that happened during and after the incident. >> mitchell: nancy cordes in washington, thank you. for more perspective on the southwest incident, we are joined by a former national transportation safety board chairman mark rosencur, now a special contributor to cbs news. good evening. >> good evening. >> mitchell: should people who are going to be on 737 300s in the next few days be concerned? >> absolutely not, russ.
this is a fine and a very safe aircraft. 25% of the aircraft that are being flown today are 737s. >> mitchell: southwest has a large number of this particular aircraft in its fleet. any idea why? >> well, they're economical to fly, and they are very good for the short hops that southwest airlines' people use. and they are a very, very safe aircraft. >> mitchell: how important was the crew in making sure the plane got down okay and the passengers were relatively calm? >> russ, this was a very important element here in the safe landing of this aircraft. the crew is trained to be able to do and react very, very quickly in these in-flight emergencies. they don their oxygen masks, declare an in-flight emergency, and were able to get their aircraft down to below 10,000 feet in less than four and a half minutes. the cabin crew did an outstanding job of calming the passengers and making sure that they had their oxygen masks on. >> mitchell: you touched on this a moment ago, but how well
engineered is this plane, and how well is it built? >> this aircraft, again, is the work horse of the industry. it's very safe. and even in fact when you do see, for example, this terrible incident that occurred on friday night, it is because of the design of the aircraft that the skin didn't peel all the way off. it stopped at the brackets and the stringers, the way it is designed to. >> mitchell: former national transportation safety board chairman, thank you so much, and welcome to cbs news. >> good to be with you. >> mitchell: in the battle for libya, the country's acting foreign minister met with the greek prime minister in athens today. the top greek official says libya appears to be seeking a diplomatic solution. back in libya, the rebel advances followed by hasty retreats continues with misrata in the west and brega in the east, the two top battlegrounds. mandy clark in benghazi has more. >> reporter: the only rebel-held city in western libya is still under siege by qaddafi forces. doctors in misrata say over 150
people were killed there in the past week, and aid is badly needed. some help is reaching the city. a turkish ferry evacuated 250 wounded. it arrived in the rebel stronghold of benghazi to pick up more injured in the eastern front before heading to turkey. those wounded are coming from the battlefield of brega. the oil town remains contested after five days of intense fighting. even with more powerful weapons and better military leadership on the front line, rebels are struggling to gain any ground. >> we were making progress, but they fired at us, he says. the gunmen are hiding in the city. and they're now facing another problem.
qaddafi forces have changed tactics, moving around in armed pickup trucks to better blend with rebel fighters. that also makes allied air strikes difficult. one raid over the weekend accidentally hit rebel forces, killing 13. russ. >> mitchell: at this point does it look like there can be a military solution to the conflict? >> reporter: that seems increasingly unlikely. the fighting seems to have reached a stalemate. the hope among many here is for more defections from qaddafi's inner circle to cause the regime to collapse. >> mitchell: mandy clark in benghazi, libya, thank you. turning now to the disaster in japan, there was more discouraging news today from the fukushima nuclear plant. officials say it could take months to bring the plant under control. crews now are trying to plug a leak of radioactive water into the pacific with a mixture of sawdust, shredded newspapers, and chemicals. the bodies of two workers were found both killed by the tsunami. the overall death toll now stands at more than 12,000, with another 15,500 still missing. in afghanistan today two
policemen were killed and more than 30 people injured in a third day of angry protests against american pastors' burning of the koran. david petraeus denounced the burning today in a public statement in kabul. >> we condemn the action of an individual in the united states who burned a holy koran. that action was hateful, it was intolerant, and it was extremely disrespectful. and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible. >> mitchell: here at home, the justice department is appealing a federal judge's ruling that struck down the entire health care reform law. the government motion defends the requirement that nearly everyone buy health insurance, arguing that congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce. the federal budget battle is headed for a capitol hill showdown this friday with a possible government shutdown hanging in the balance. joining us from washington with a look ahead is political analyst john dickerson. good evening. >> good evening, russ. >> mitchell: in your mind, how
likely is it that the government will shut down in five days? >> well, there are dark clouds, because even though negotiators are working behind closed doors, they have to come up with an agreement well before friday so congress can take a look at it. the debates are not only over the size of cuts, but the kind-- with hot-button issues like funding for the environmental protection agency, funding for planned parenthood in president obama's health care plan. the one thing that will rescue a shutdown from happening is that both president obama and speaker john boehner and the house believes that a shutdown would harm the economy. with a fragile recovery under way, neither party wants to be blamed with mucking that up. >> mitchell: quickly, we have not seen a federal government shutdown in 15 years, but what exactly happens when the government temporarily goes out of business? >> it wouldn't be as bad as it was 15 years ago. a lot of things have been deemed essential services, which means they would continue to get funding even if there was a quote, unquote, shutdown. it looks bad politically, but the wars will still be funded, benefit checks will go out, and maybe a few museums will close, but that would be it.
>> mitchell: let's talk about the budget battle for next year. how likely, how nasty is it likely to get? >> it will get uglier. we've been talking so far about just funding government for the rest of this year. what starts on tuesday is a big debate about government priorities for the next ten years: a debate about how much to spend on education; whether to cut defense spending; taxes; who pays how much, and is it fair? and then those toxic issues about entitlements: how to reshape medicare, medicaid, and social security. it gets to a fundamental debate between the two parties. president obama believes that while spending reductions have to happen, there also have to be investments in things like education. republicans believe cutting is the key, because if you reduce the deficit, you tell business that interest rates will stay low, and that allows them to hire people. so in the end, it comes back to the economy. >> mitchell: another interesting week in washington. john dickerson, as always, thanks a lot. we appreciate it. >> thanks, russ. >> mitchell: still ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," she's a star hockey player without a team. we'll tell you why. out a team. we'll tell you why. put the remote down and listen. [ male announcer ] this intervention brought to you by niaspan.
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rights officials are investigating complaints that yale university has tolerated sexual harassment of women on campus. the group of current and former students claims the ivy league school has violated the law prohibiting gender discrimination in education. and the title 9 law passed almost 40 years ago applies to both the classroom, participation in sports in college, as well as high school. but enforcing the law can be tricky, as michelle miller discovered in the case of a young hockey hopeful in maine. >> reporter: when 17-year-old hilary albert hits the ice, she's got one goal in mind. >> i want to play professional hockey. it's been my dream since i was four years old. >> reporter: but making the pros and earning college scholarships are long shots if scouts don't see albert in action, and they can't do that because her high school in northern maine doesn't have a girl's varsity team. >> they told me i should have been good enough for the boy's team. i'm fast enough but not big enough. >> reporter: david heald is
presque isle high school's athletic director. besides money and participation, he says... >> there not enough interest. >> reporter: what would be a number that would satisfy interest in your book? >> we would have to be able to field a team of probably 18, 17, 19 people. >> reporter: but hillary albert and her father dennis say 19 girls are interested and ready to play. for high schools and colleges, it's a numbers game. to get federal funding, they must agree to comply with title 9, a law demanding equal opportunity for men and women. but nationwide, over the last year, the office of civil rights says complaints of inequity have nearly tripled. >> we do not, however, have an audit process. we do not scan districts acros the country or colleges or universities across the country. >> reporter: that means it's up to the school to police themselves. does presque isle high school
meet compliance with title 9? >> i believe we do. i really do. >> reporter: maintaining an equal ratio of male to female athletes is the goal, one that many schools achieve by counting cheerleaders. but under the law, cheerleading isn't clearly defined as a title 9 sport. and without its 52 cheerleaders, presque isle high has an 11% gap. >> pretty close. >> reporter: it's close. >> yeah. >> reporter: but it's not equal. >> in your interpretation, it would be equal if we had the interest. >> reporter: to prove that interest, school administrators asked the hockey girls to raise $150,000 to run the team for three years-- something the boys were asked to do 20 years ago. >> we would not expect to see the underrepresented sex-- in this case, the women, the girls-- bear the burden of complying with title 9. >> reporter: with just a year left of high school, it may be too late for hillary albert. >> we went all over town to get money for auction.
we made about $3,000. >> it's just not enough. >> not enough. not enough to meet their dreams. >> reporter: while she was once a leading scorer for a national hockey team, she's now watching her dream of winning a college hockey scholarship slip away. but hopes the next generation of hockey girls can score that opportunity. michelle miller, cbs news, presque isle, maine. >> mitchell: and just ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news," baby eagles, ready for their close-up. so i have to wait up to an hour just to eat or drink. i've got time to kill. yeah right! i'm a working woman. and i'm busy. jgng why should osteoporosis therapy disrupt my morning routine? with new atelvia there's no wait. unlike other osteoporosis medicines... atelvia has a delayed- release formulation... so you can take it right after breakfast and help protect your bones.
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campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™ >> mitchell: two major studies out tonight uncover more genetic links to alzheimer's, identifying five new genes associated with the onset of the disease. one researcher called a monumental breakthrough toward identifying all the genes implicated in alzheimer's, which could lead to more effective treatments. a live streaming video feed from an 80-foot high eagle's nest has become an internet sensation. over the weekend, more than 100,000 people have tuned in to a live video feed of an eagle's nest high in a tree in northern iowa.
the so-called eagle cam is on a nest where a pair of eagles has been guarding three eggs for more than a month. the site crashed saturday morning when the first chick emerged. the second egg hatched about 5:30 this morning, and the third is expected in about three days. the camera about the size of a grapefruit is disguised by leaves and it's giving a glimpse of the parental habits of bald eagles. the adults take turns keeping them warm and feeding them every hour. bald eagles were taken off the endangered species list in 2007. they are now listed as threatened. coming up on tonight's "cbs evening news," rock star wanda jackson used to tour with elvis, and she is still at it. at it.
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her an atomic fireball of a lady. ♪ a hardheaded woman... >> reporter: elvis presley asked her out. when the rock era dawned in the mid-1950s... ♪ some people like to rock some people like to roll. ♪ >> reporter: wanda jackson was its first female star. >> i was a good girl. >> reporter: you were? >> i was just kind of bad in my songs. >> reporter: after more than 50 years of recording, wanda is riding a new wave of popularity. in 2009 she was inducted into the rock 'n' roll hall of fame. and her new record is her highest-charting album ever. ♪ today is the day >> reporter: you're as hot now as you have ever been, aren't you? >> it's just blowing me away. >> reporter: wanda jackson was a 17-year-old country singer in 1955 when she was booked to tour with a rising young star.
>> i had never heard of him when i started working with him. >> reporter: for a year and a half she drove across the south with elvis presley watching his career explode. >> there was elvis, singing and gyrating. and all these little girls-- oh, you know. and we had never seen anything like that. >> reporter: but elvis had eyes for her. >> he said, "would you be my girl?" "yeah, i would." and he reached in his pocket and he gave me this ring. >> reporter: were you surprised? >> yeah. i really was. and i had it checked. it's diamonds. >> reporter: you had it checked. >> well, of course. after he got to be a big star i thought, i wonder if those old suckers are real, you know? they were itty-bitty. yeah, they're diamonds. >> reporter: it was elvis who advised wanda to switch to rock 'n' roll. ♪ some people like to roll some people like to roll. ♪
>> reporter: and in 1960 "let's have a party' became her breakthrough hit. ♪ let's have a party . >> reporter: on stage wanda was also making a fashion statement. >> the girls in country music wore these fluffy little things. >> reporter: you didn't like those. >> i said these cloths are covering up my assets. >> reporter: the silk fringe outfits her mother sewed became wanda's signature. >> heck, all i had to do was just tap my foot and everything kind of shimmied. >> reporter: you are still wearing it, too. >> the sand has shifted, so you have to put the fringe in different places. >> reporter: at home in oklahoma city, wanda's husband wendell goodman quit his job with ibm nearly 50 years ago to become her manager. >> i told wanda just a few months ago, i said, "honey, i have not had a raise, and i've been doing this job for 49 years." she said, "yeah, but you get to sleep with the boss." and i said, "well, that's right.
i guess that's a fringe benefit." >> you all ready to rock 'n' roll? >> reporter: at 73, wanda is on the road again. >> 1950s style. >> anthony, i have never stopped touring. well, hi there, manhattan. >> reporter: catch a show and you will be amazed at how young her audience is. >> honestly, when i'm on stage i just feel waves of love. >> reporter: like the title of her new album says, for wanda jackson, the party ain't over yet. ♪ rock you baby. >> reporter: anthony mason, cbs news, oklahoma city. >> mitchell: and that is the "cbs evening news." i'm russ mitchell. katie couric will be here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by
pilot may have made to save lives. early findings in the southwest in- flight emergency... and how passengers are being impacted by another day of grounded planes. be prepared to pay the price for violating the handsfree law... the campaign starting tomorrow to make sure drivers get the message. cbs 5 eyewitness news is next. good evening, i'm ann notarangelo. ,,,,