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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  April 16, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT

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>> mitchell: tonight, deadly tornadoes strike across the south, leaving destruction and death in their wake as powerful storms sweep from alabama to north carolina. i'm russ mitchell. also tonight, new rules in the tower. reports of yet another sleeping air traffic controller prompts the f.a.a. to impose new regulations and new schedules. under siege-- eyewitnesses in the embattled libyan city of misrata, say qaddafi's forces are using outlawed cluster bombs against civilians. and it takes a village. the anticipation mounts in kate middleton's hometown with less than two weeks to go until the royal wedding. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with russ mitchell. >> mitchell: and, good evening. the south and southeastern part of the country are reeling tonight from a deadly onslaught of powerful storms. the storm front has been sweeping from the heartland to the east coast. tornadoes have already killed at least 17 people in four states, stretching from oklahoma to alabama. tonight a tornado watch is in effect in central north carolina where storms is already caused widespread damage. winds up to 80 miles an hour blew through the raleigh area, uprooting trees, knocking out power for thousands of residents, damaging numerous buildings, shredding homes in this mobile home park, and flipping cars on interstate 95. >> you couldn't see out of a window. things were just slashing around and things were popping. and two or three minute, it was over. >> mitchell: this lowes hardware store in sanford south of
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raleigh was destroyed. in salisbury, north of charlotte, one man said he was holding a four-week-old baby when the storm hit. he lay the child on the living room floor and covered it with his body. as the storm blew out windows and tore off part of his roof. and joining us is reporter bo mennic of wral tv, in bethel hill, north carolina. bo, what is the damage like where you are? >> reporter: we're in the parking lot right now in the school, the bethel hill charter school. you can see there off in distance, the gymnasium of the school has had its roof literally just torn off and all the area this is what you're going to see. you're going to see a lot of tree limbs and twigs out, just blown all over the place. we've seen some power lines very low hanging right now. it's certainly an active and dangerous situation out here. crews are working on restoring power to several hundred homes and, really, it's just a very frightening experience but thankfully, no one up here was hurt. russ. >> mitchell: that's good news.
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>> bo minnic of wral-tv joining us tonight. let's turn let's turn to alabama where seven people have tied in tornadoes, including three members of a single family. don teague has that part of the story. >> reporter: just one look at what used to be a home in vinegar bend alabama is enough to see the power of the storm that roared through here. one look at this family photo, enough to realize what was lost. five members of the box family and a friend were in this house when the tornado struck. jean box and her sons, hunter and sheldon, didn't make it out alive. linda smith rushed to her nephew's home after the storm. >> i just ran all the way, and along where i'm standing is where i found hunter. >> reporter: this rural community is close knit and hurting. friday night's tornado caused widespread damage here. smith says most everyone here is related. today, dozens of cousins, aunts,
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and uncles gathered to salvage what they could and mourn for those who died, something they've already done too much of. >> we've lost nine people in our family within four months time. >> in nearby fruitdale high school, teachers and classmates shed tears for sheldon and hunter and comforted one another. >> i've seen them, you know, grow up and it's heartbreaking. >> reporter: while at what's left of her home, 14-year-old halley box-- alive because she was at a friend's house when the tornado hit-- tried to comprehend the loss of her mother and two brothers. her father and little sister are in the hospital. >> i just ask people to pray for her family, that we can help get through all this. >> reporter: linda smith says this family has always relied on each other, prayer, and their faith in god, three things they need now more than ever. well, the tornado that destroyed the box family's home and this barn was one of several that
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raked across the state of alabama, and as you mentioned, they took a heavy toll. seven dead in this state alone. the national weather service is still out looking at the damage to determine exactly how many storms there were and the severity of the tornadoes. russ. >> mitchell: don teague in washington county, alabama, thank you very much. here's what else is happening tonight. there is yet another case of sleeping on the job by an air traffic controller to tell you about. this one happened today in miami. it is the sixth sleeping incident disclosed by the f.a.a. since mid-february, and this afternoon the federal government took action. chief white house correspondent chip reid has more. >> reporter: the latest instance of an air traffic controller caught sleeping on the job happened early this morning in miami at a facility that handles high-altitude traffic. according to the federal aviation administration, the controller did not miss any calls from aircraft and there was no operational impact. but in less than two months, controllers have now been found sleeping in six cities--
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seattle, reno, nevada, lubbock, texas, knockville, tennessee, washington, d.c., and now miami. in the reno incident earlier this week, the controller slept through a medical emergency. >> we've got a pretty sick patient and we may have to land. >> reporter: this afternoon, the f.a.a. announced that new rules will go into effect within the next three days, prohibiting work schedules that are most likely to result in air traffic controller fatigue. experts say controllers are often required to work day and night shifts in the same week, making it hard to get enough sleep. secretary of transportation ray lahood has promised to get to the bottom of it. >> we're not sitting around trying to just make excuses. we've stepped up, we've added more staff, and we... we... i believe, personally, that this is an outrageous situation that will not stand on my watch. >> reporter: in their defense, f.a.a. officials say they're the ones reporting the sleeping controllers and they're not trying to hide anything. but they admit they've long
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known about the problem of air traffic controller fatigue for more than a year they've been working with the controller's union to try to find a solution. prior to this morning's shift at the air traffic facility in miami, all of the controllers were given a briefing on professionalism, and it might have had an effect. the controller who fell asleep was turned in by a fellow controller. russ. >> mitchell: chip reid in washington. thanks a lot. it is a big weekend for some men and women who may or may not want to run for president next year. the tea party is holding rallies across the country, and some big names are coming out to test the waters. cynthia bowers has the story. >> hello, madison, wisconsin! >> reporter: sarah palin braved the snow and a vocal crowd, a core group of tea partyers surrounded by a larger pro-union group at a rally in madison today. >> these are the front lines in the battle for the future of our country! >> reporter: ground zero in what's become a national debate over public unions' rights
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versus taxpayers' rights. >> madison, you held your ground. your governor did the right thing. >> reporter: two months ago, this capitol drew tens of thousands of protesters to fight governor scott walker's call to limit state workers' power to collective bargaining. tea party member john prijic says what happened in wisconsin is a wake-up call for the rest of the nation. >> the government needs to go on a diet and it starts here with grass-roots efforts. >> reporter: tea party rallies around the country marking the movement's two-year anniversary attracted the faithful, but also offered a platform for potential 2012 g.o.p. presidential contenders. minnesota's governor, tim pawlenty was in iowa. real estate mogul turned reality star donald trump was in boca raton.
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our current president-- ( booing ) they all want me to say, "you're fired." >> reporter: although the state over a matter of just three years, a movement begun to protest high taxes has become the most polarizing and powerful political movement in decades, one that provides a stage for sarah palin. >> the 2012 election begins he here! >> reporter: even though sarah palin has not announced any intentions of a presidential run, she took on the current president with gusto today and seems to be more than ready to be a player in that presidential process. russ. >> mitchell: cynthia bowers in madison, wisconsin, tonight. thanks, cynthia. in the battle for libya, moammar qaddafi's forces are pounding the city of misrata. the last rebel stronghold in the west. evidence is mounting that the libyan government is using cluster bombs, they were banned
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by 127 countries. >> the firing that's been coming in here has been pretty random.
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>> mitchell: and again that was kim sengupta of the independent. still ahead on tonight's cbs evening news, meet the senate's gang of six trying to build bridges on the budget.
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>> mitchell: congress has begun its easter recess one day after house passage of the republican plan for cutting the fiscal 2012 budget. the democrats have said it's a non-starter the senate but a small group of senators has been quietly working on find middle ground. whit johnson introduces us to the gang of six.
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>> reporter: the bitter divide over how to fix america's finances just keeps getting wider. >> we have to use a scalpel and not a machete to reduce the deficit. >> rather than building bridges, he's poisoning wells. >> reporter: but working quietly behind the scenes is a group of senators known as the gang of six. the gang of six. three democrats they're doing something almost unheard of in today's hyper- partisan washington-- working together on tackling the nation's ballooning debt, now clicking closer to its $14.3 trillion limit. >> when we started this, we were kind of viewed as the odd guys out that nobody gave much chance to. >> reporter: this odd couple, democratic senator mark warner of virginia and republican senator saxby chambliss of georgia, started the gang four months ago. >> i have two children and five grandchildren. should we leave them a $14 trillion debt? my firm answer is no.
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>> reporter: and they're not meeting in private they're jointly hosting town halls across the country hoping to get the business community on board. >> it's so critically important for us it get this issue under control now. >> reporter: to avoid political mudslinging they remain tight- lipped about what their proposals might be but do say they'll pick up where a bipartisan fiscal commission left off last december. that group recommended cutting $4 trillion over the next decade, in part by raising the retirement age, reducing medicare benefits for the wealthy and reforming the tax code by eliminating popular loopholes. tough to swallow for both parties. >> how do you sell this? >> we have to check our democrat hats and republican hats on the door.
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>> everybody will have skin in the game. >> reporter: the gang of six could unveil its plan as early as may but time is running out. time. >> both sides agree the closer we get to the 2012 election the tougher it will be to get a gel diehl. whit johnson, cbs news, washington. > >> mitchell: a programming note now. senator mark warner will be one of bob schieffer's guests tomorrow morning on "face of nation." cuba today marked the 50th anniversary of the failed bay of pigs invasion which took place on the island's southern coast. troops marched in havana to celebrate what has been considered by cubans a victory. and just ahead on tonight's cbs evening news, why military veterans with brain disorders are having a hard time getting therapy.
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>> mitchell: in afghanistan, a taliban suicide bomber wearing an army uniform killed ten people today, including five nato soldiers. the wars in afghanistan and iraq have left more than 200,000 u.s. combat veterans diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. most have mild or moderate cases and for them, finding treatment can be a struggle. mark strassmann has more. >> reporter: in this awful >> in this awful moment, james sperry's life changed. in flaug, iraqi, shrapnel tore
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into his head and chest. the 20-year-old marine nearly died. he is still fighting, some time constant migraines and dizzy spells. he has the iraq war signature wound-- traumatic brain injury. >> i lose vision in my left eye. my dizziness is coming on right now, and if you see my eyes, they do this. they shake. >> reporter: sunglasses ease his light sensitivity but not his chronic pain. he has trouble thinking, talking, remembering. >> i go to bed, i wake up the next day, and then i wouldn't remember the day before. >> reporter: so you tried to get help? >> i went to the doctors, and i spent 30 days in a mental hospital because i just couldn't take it. i was breaking down. >> reporter: but no one answered his pleas for cognitive brain rehabilitation, therapy to help injured brains function. >> my role as the chief medical officer is to make sure that our service members are getting the best care that they can get. >> reporter: warren lockette is in charge of tricare, the military's health insurance.
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tricare does not cover most cognitive care, calling it "not supported by reliable scientific evidence." >> there are pockets of techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective, but we really can't say cognitive rehabilitation therapy is effective when it stands alone. >> reporter: but advocates say that policy, along with poor screening procedures, leaves nearly 400,000 vets with limited options. the vast majority of them get no meaningful treatment. it's specialized care that's hard to find, harder to fund. but here at atlanta's sheppard center a few vets do get the help they need, a very lucky through. >> everyone that comes through here is better, tons better than when they show up. >> reporter: it's called the share initiative, a four-month regimen of physical and mental services, recreational therapy
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like horse riding, designed to relax the brain and ease anxiety. so far, sheppard's treated more than 200 soldiers. dr. darryl kaelin runs the program. any doubt in your mind at places like this it works? >> it absolutely works. >> reporter: this report by a panel of 50 brain experts convened by the pentagon agrees and recommends tricare fully covered cognitive treatment. still, kaelin says the military is unconvinced. >> still don't yet believe that treating somebody with thinking difficulty can make them better. and in fact, we know that it can. >> reporter: the real issue: money. shepard's program costs about $50,000 per soldier. without donations this program would not exist. >> these kids get screwed royally. >> reporter: billionaire bernie marcus cofounded home depot. he got so angry by the black of treatment he donated nearly $2 million to fund the sheppard's efforts. >> you read about the bridge to nowhere. my god. how we throw money away. why not for these kids? >> reporter: what sort of
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difference do you see in yourself? >> those first time in five years i've actually had hope for the future. >> reporter: it's hope vets like sperry deserve, but thousands of them live with their private torment and a future as clouded as ever. mark strassmann, cbs news, atlanta. atlanta.
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>> mitchell: and finally this evening if you have not received
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your invitation by now, you're probably out of luck. but several folks in one english village have and they're feeling on top of the world. barry pedersen has the latest on the preps for the royal wedding. >> reporter: britain is practicing its pomp for a princess to be who comes from a rather unroyal circumstance. the small village of buckelbury, population about 2,000. where old family friends are invited to the big do, like the landlord at the old boot pub. >> i just hope i'm close enough to see it, i'm in the front pews. i don't want to be right at the back. >> reporter: and the village butcher will be there, a wedding cheerleader. >> i think it will bring a smile on everybody's face in britain and happiness around the world. >> reporter: so will the local postman, so anxious to hide from the prying press, that it was a journalistic cue when we got his picture. it's said the british monarchy
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lost it's power, that these days it's just about show. the show here at westminster abbey is expecting great ratings. as many as 2 billion may tune in for the royal wedding. it is riegle, but kate seems as nervous as any bride-to-be, a all can see. , diet fueled by jitters has shrunk her from a size 10 it a four. prince william is getting no royal treatment. he had to stay on duty as a royal air force search-and- rescue pilot so like many a groom he could use work as an excuse to skip the wedding rehearsal yesterday at westminster abbey. prince harry had to step in. and the spoofing has started. this is a tv ad for a mobile phone company. don't expect the wedding to look like this or to be anywhere near this much fun. >> mitchell: and that is the cbs evening news. i'm russ mitchell in new york. see you back here tomorrow. good night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh help this dog...and find the person responsible. a painful picture of neglect. the efforts to help this dog and find the person responsible. i mean i really want to go here. but it all depends on the costs, i guess. >> college considerations, how bay area families are facing the harsh reality of a uc education amid massive budget cuts. and a tea party tempest. a southern california lawmaker admits e-mailing what many call a racist picture of their president. why she says she did it. cbs 5 eyewitness news is next. ,,


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