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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  April 22, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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doing the antirain dance. >> you have one and it works. >> thanks for watching. "cbs evening news with katie couric" is next. >> couric: tonight, why americans so angry? walk the halls of congress and you'll see. plenty of problems, but no one's home. i'm katie couric. also tonight, the gold rush. the growing demand for a safe investment sends the price of gold above $1,500 an ounce. life in the slow lane. easing off the gas as the price soars. and will the british economy gain a few pounds from a wedding that's costing tons? 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. americans sent their elected representatives to washington to
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deal with a world of problems. but they haven't gotten much done so far. and now most members have left town. some have left the country, leaving a whole lot of unfinished business behind. just adding to the frustration of voters. here's congressional correspondent nancy cordes. >> reporter: as gas prices spike and confidence in the economy plummets, americans looking to washington for help would find no one's minding the store. >> the house stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. monday, may 2. >> reporter: after barely averting a government shutdown, congress is taking a two-week break, even though the nation is about to hit its debt ceiling, even though the senate has failed to produce a budget for the second year in a row. >> this is the most dysfunctional place i've ever been a part of in my life. >> reporter: ten senators are in china, along with their spouses and military escorts. the taxpayer-funded ten-day trip
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includes meetings with chinese leaders and a quick side trip to gambling mecca macau, home to several casinos operated by companies in democratic leader harry reid's home state of nevada. five more senators, including republican leader mitch mcconnell, are traveling through south korea, india and afghanistan. >> no one would run an organization like this. if the board of directors of a large company that's going broke took off to a trip to china for two weeks, the shareholders would be outraged and they'd demand they all be replaced. >> reporter: a glimpse at the congressional calendar shows why it's been so hard for members to get things done. of the 78 weekdays since january, the house has been in session only 44 days, the senate only 40 days-- an attendance rating just over 50%. and it hasn't gone unnoticed. americans approval of congress plunged to 16% in the latest cbs news poll, down five points in just one month. >> hello, los angeles!
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( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: the president's also been out of town, raising millions for re-election in california. while he was there, he directed the justice department to target fraud in gasoline pricing, but oil experts say it's just a gesture, unlikely to make much difference. >> i see him kind of hitting around the edges with this manipulation and fraud task force. again, we're glad he's doing it, but it's not going to be enough. >> reporter: members of congress say they need all those days off so they can spend more time in their home districts. but it's hard to see how they compromise on something complicated like really reducing the deficit when they're so rarely here to negotiate. katie? >> couric: nancy cordes on capitol hill tonight. nancy, thank you. anxiety about the economy is sending a lot of people to the perceived safety of gold, and the price is soaring. this week it closed above $1,500 an ounce for the first time. national correspondent dean reynolds has more on the modern- day gold rush.
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>> reporter: these days it seems gold is all around us, glittering as never before. >> friends, recently i've decided to sell a few gold chains. >> reporter: with the u.s. economy sluggish, with turmoil in the middle east, chaos in japan and near bankruptcies in europe, gold is attractive, luring small and big investors alike. >> gold is historically likened to a monetary metal and, more than that, a safe-haven asset. >> reporter: a pricey asset. in 2006, an ounce of gold cost $562. this week it went above $1,500. a 167% increase. demand for gold from emerging middle classes in china and india is also driving up the price. indians, for example, are famous for their lavish gold-plated wedding celebrations. >> i can get cash for this gold medallion of me wearing a gold medallion! >> reporter: the lure of that
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gilded price hasn't gone unnoticed on main street. cash for gold parties are proliferating. >> i'm very curious to see what it is all worth. >> reporter: in lombard, illinois, jackie west will be at one soon. >> this is gas in my car. >> reporter: others hit the local jeweler for a windfall... and business is brisk. at this jewelry store, more than 50% of the customers come in wanting to sell their gold. >> the economic times, they need the money. >> reporter: gary davalle says people are digging through closets, dressers and purses as if they were treasure chests. >> a nice handful of gold would get you a thousand dollars very easily. >> reporter: anybody come in here and say "i can pop this filling out of my tooth"? >> we don't pop fillings but we'll take them. ( laughs ) >> reporter: remember, gold prices usually heat up when the economy is heading south, so really it's in just about everyone's interest to see the price of gold go down eventually. and that's no bullion. dean reynolds, cbs news, chicago.
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>> couric: now to the middle east and a deadly crackdown today in syria. government forces opened fire on protesters throughout the country. at least 88 people were killed. late today, president obama called the use of force outrageous and accused syria of seeking help from iran to put down the protests. more now from barry petersen. >> reporter: by the tens of thousands, demonstrators took to the streets in some 20 cities only to face bullets in what witnesses called the bloodiest day in the five-week uprising against a regime that seems ever more desperate. some said the security forces fired right at protesters, shooting not to warn but to kill. adults and even children were caught in the crossfire. as the injured were taken to this hospital in dara, the doctors said there were 15 dead he left behind.
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president bashar al-assad is trying to stem the anger. yesterday he repealed the harsh 48-year-old emergency decree that kept him and his father before him in absolute power. people were not impressed. as the posters of assad were ripped down, crowds chanted "the people want the fall of the government." organizers are being helped by the changes sweeping across the rest of the middle east and tonight they are drawing strength from the fact that the whole country seems in turmoil. barry petersen, cbs news, london. >> couric: in the battle for libya, the outlook for the rebels is improving. american predator drones are now targeting moammar qaddafi's forces. in benghazi, the rebels get an endorsement today from a key u.s. senator. and in the west, allen pizzey reports they made a breakthrough in a city that's been under siege for weeks. >> reporter: the battle for misurata took a turn for the
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rebels' side with the capture of a building being used by qaddafi loyalist snipers. that it counts as a victory is a good indicator of why predator drones could make a difference. added to a one-day fact-finding mission by senator john mccain, this was the best week the rebels have had for some time. mccain called the members of the transitional national council a powerful and hopeful example of what a free libya could be. >> they need to have the sanctions that are on them, on the provisional council, to be lifted. they need to have a... in my view to be recognized by the united states. >> reporter: council members think they've found a friend in high places. >> he understands the basic demands of the libyan people so we're happy. we're glad. we're proud. >> reporter: the rebel military effort also got a vote of confidence, but not a total commitment from the senator. >> they also need weapons, but those, i think, could be provided by other countries. >> reporter: you don't see the u.s. providing weapons for them
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at this stage? >> i think we could facilitate, as we did in the afghan conflict against the russians, but i think other countries are able to do that. >> reporter: in the senator's view, what the rebel fighters need most are anti-armor weapons, targeting equipment and, above all, better communications. as big a morale booster as senator mccain's presence was, the simple fact remains that the conflict here is at stalemate, both politically and militarily. and neither high-profile support nor predator drone strikes will provide a quick fix. allen pizzey, cbs news, benghazi. >> couric: in other news, pope benedict marked good friday by going on italian television to answer questions submitted from around the world, something no pope had ever done before. he told a seven-year-old japanese girl that the suffering from the earthquake and tsunami in her country is not in vain and that god is on her side. the pope later presided at an evening prayer service at the coliseum in rome. in jerusalem's old city, christians retraced the steps
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jesus is said to have walked as he was led to his crucifixion. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," downgrading their fill-up. with gas prices at a premium, some drivers are switching to regular. but is that a good idea? and something old, something new. the wedding of the decade in a church filled with centuries of history. so now your doctor's talking about plaque building up in your arteries -- she called it coronary artery disease. you think that's something you can just stick in an email and that's the end of it? do you know me? look, bonnie. i know you've been exercising and eating a healthier diet. and that's great. but you wrote that your doctor also wants you on this cholesterol medicine -- niaspan. i know -- another pill. i get it, i do. but i am not taking no for an answer. [ male announcer ] if you have high cholesterol and coronary artery disease, and diet and exercise are not enough,
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niaspan, along with diet and a bile acid-binding resin, is fda-approved not only to slow down plaque buildup but to actually help clear some of it away. bonnie, ever since we were kids, you would do anything for me. i need you to do this for you. [ male announcer ] if you cannot afford your medication, call 1-877-niaspan. niaspan is not for everyone, like people with stomach ulcers, liver, or serious bleeding problems. severe liver damage can occur when switching to niaspan from immediate-release niacin. blood tests are needed to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you have muscle pain or weakness; this could be a sign of serious side effects; this risk can increase with statin use. tell your doctor about alcohol use, if you've ever had gout, or are diabetic and experience increases in blood sugar. flushing, a common side effect, is warmth, redness, itching, or tingling of the skin. ask your doctor about niaspan. fight back. fight plaque. niaspan. fight back. fight plaque. everything is better with swanson broth in it.
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an essential ingredient in any kitchen. swanson 100% natural chicken broth. >> couric: if you pump your own gas, you've seen it. the meter that adds up your bill
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is moving faster and faster as the price continues to rise. it's taken just two years for the price to double to a nationwide average of $3.85. and national correspondent ben tracy reports drivers are trying to squeeze every penny out of every gallon. >> fuel economy is pretty much always on my mind. >> reporter: jeremy soule fills up his tank just once every six weeks, but that doesn't mean he likes it. >> i feel it in my pocket immediately when i pull in. it's something i hate to do. >> reporter: he calls himself a hypermiler, saying money by driving a prius, driving it slowly and never accelerating too quickly. >> i don't live my life in a action movie, you know? there's very few events in my life i've missed by two seconds. >> reporter: most of us live life in a slightly faster lane, but we still want to ease our pain at the pump. >> some people are almost in tears. it's really hard on them. >> reporter: so some are asking why pay a premium for premium gas? >> unleaded fuel premium. >> reporter: premium. >> it does say that.
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>> reporter: so you're following the rules? >> i'm following the rules. >> reporter: even if your car recommends premium, experts say most modern car engines automatically adjust for lower octane gas, and it won't wreck your engine. if your car takes regular, they say don't even think about upgrading. >> people actually put premium fuel in their cars thinking it's going to help their car or be good for their car. and it's a complete waste of money. >> reporter: tires can be gas guzzlers. you can increase your fuel economy by nearly 4%, or four cents on every dollar you buy, simply by keeping them properly inflated. and don't idle for more than 30 seconds. turning the car off and then back on again will actually save more gas. but by far the biggest fuel saver, experts say, is to tone down the road rage. fast, lane-changing, sharp- braking driving burns gas. calm driving can improve your mileage by 33%. and empty out your trunk. the less weight in the car, the less gas you'll burn. but you don't need to sweat it
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out. studies show having your windows rolled down or the air conditioning on doesn't really affect your fuel economy. jeremy may ditch his car all together and ride his bike. that way he won't have to be so hyper about his mileage. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles >> couric: whale watching on cape cod today was as easy as walking to the water's edge. a record number of endangered north atlantic right whales have gathered in cape cod bay. more than 200 were spotted this week-- nearly half the entire population-- drawn there to feast on zooplankton, the whales are drawing crowds of people to the beaches, all hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the rarest animals on earth. meanwhile, earth day turned 41 today, but the earth itself is more than four billion years old. nasa has released stunning images of our planet taken from satellites and the international space station. the photographs provide some of the most detailed views of the world we've ever seen. the tassili n'ajjer national
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park in the sahara desert. in a muted pastel palate, it resembles an impressionist painting. shimmering waters off the islands of the bahamas glow in turquoise. alaska's susitna glacier, a river of ice meeting fiery red vegetation. earth day began in 1970. >> a day set aside for a nationwide outpouring of mankind seeking its own survival. >> couric: this year, more than one hundred million people have pledged an act of green, as simple as recycling more often or as significant as switching to solar power at home. the goal? to keep mother earth looking as beautiful in her closeups as she does from a distance. and coming up next, for richer or for poorer. the economic impact of the royal wedding.
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climbing the stairs, ced i was having troubl. working in the garden, painting. my doctor suggested spiriva right then. announcer: spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled maintenance treatment for copd, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. i love what it does. it opens up the airways. announcer: spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor right away if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, have vision changes or eye pain, or have problems passing urine. tell your doctor if you have glaucoma, problems passing urine, or an enlarged prostate, as these may worsen with spiriva. also, discuss the medicines you take, even eye drops. side effects include dry mouth, constipation, and trouble passing urine. it makes me breathe easier. i can't do everything i used to do. but there's a lot i can do that i was struggling with. announcer: ask your doctor if once-daily spiriva is right for you.
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it was in my sister's neighborhood. i told you it was perfect for you guys.
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literally across the street from her sister. [ banker ] but someone else bought it before they could get their offer together. we really missed a great opportunity -- dodged a bullet there. [ banker ] so we talked to them about the wells fargo priority buyer preapproval. it lets people know that you are a serious buyer because you've been credit-approved. we got everything in order so that we can move on the next place we found. which was clear on the other side of town. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. with you when you're ready to move. >> couric: one week before the royal wedding, a new cbs news/"new york times" poll finds most americans have a positive opinion of the groom, prince william. they like his grandmother queen elizabeth even more, but less than half of americans have a favorable opinion of the bride, kate middleton. and only 38% like her future father in law, prince charles. the wedding is generating a lot of business for the british, but mark phillips reports that on balance it may not be doing much
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good for their economy. >> reporter: except for the crowds and the gowns and the jewelry, on a certain level royal weddings over the years are like many others. >> i, ann elizabeth agnes louise. >> i charles phillip arthur george. >> reporter: but royal weddings are different in one special way. they all claim to be good business-- or so we're told. >> there's a huge opportunity in london that comes from hosting such an event as the royal wedding. in fact, if we have the same number of visitors who came to the wedding of charles and diana in 1981, which was around 600,000 people, we could have an economic benefit to the capital of around 30 to 50 million pounds. >> reporter: that's about $80 million spent by all the people who come to eat, sleep and make merry in one of the world's most expensive cities. >> a day, $150 or more.
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>> about a thousand dollars a day. are you counting a hotel and everything? probably about that. >> reporter: and that's before buying all the mugs, plates, dish towels, bags, cushions, stamps, pillows, playing cards, champagne glasses and biscuits-- which they'll send anywhere in the world. and beware of those made in china mugs which suffer from brotherly confusion. that's prince harry, not william, next to kate. but all this pomp is expensive. the royals-- known as the firm, because they are a business-- receive a government grant of about $13 million a year to cover expenses. but the public cost of this wedding far exceeds that. extra policing and overtime alone is estimated at more than $35 million. and there's another cost. when all these people are here, they're not working. and because the royal wedding holiday falls between two long holiday weekends, you can actually take 11 days off and
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only burn three days of vacation time. economists have actually done the math. >> invariably that leads to a loss of output. so in terms of the impact on g.d.p. in the economy, we're suggesting that actually it could knock off something like a quarter of a percent of growth. >> reporter: which translates into a potential loss to the economy of about $50 billion-- with a "b"-- dollars. it better be a heck of a party. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> couric: of course, before the party comes the ceremony. when we return, we'll look at the home for british royal ceremonies for the past thousand years. my name is mike, and i quit smoking. i knew for years before i quit that i needed to quit, and i went online to find a way.
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for 18 holes with your buddies. more passion for the one ya love. more fun with your family and friends. it could be a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. come on, stop living in the shadows. you've got a life to live. [ male announcer ] so don't blame it on aging. talk to your doctor and go to to find out more. move by the transit agency tonight. next on cbs 5 >> couric: finally >> couric: and finally tonight, a lot of couples dream of a church wedding and kate and william appear to be no different. they'll be married in one of the most famous churches in the world. erica hill of the "early show" takes us inside a church filled with history. >> reporter: westminster abbey, officially the collegiate church of st. peter at westminster, has
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been at the heart of british history and the monarchy for more than a thousand years. >> it's been the coronation church since christmas day 1066 when william the conqueror was crowned here. >> reporter: the very reverend dr. john hall is the dean of westminster abbey. >> this is the third building, on this site, not completed until the middle of the 18th century. >> reporter: the present church is where the queen occasionally worships, as she did this week on her 85th birthday. and where nearly 60 years ago she-- like 37 of her predecessors-- was crowned. >> i now crown you with the crown of glory and righteousness. >> reporter: the monarchs are crowned in the coronation chair made famous in the recent movie "the kings speech." >> get up! you can't sit there, get up! >> why not? it's a chair. >> that king, george vi, was married at the abbey, as was his daughter, who became queen elizabeth.
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the last royal wedding here took place 25 years ago when prince andrew married sarah ferguson and a very young prince william served as a page, though he wasn't terribly interested in the event. friday morning is sure to be different. >> i'm delighted that they're marrying here. they wanted to come here because it's a place of staggering beauty and also of remarkable intimacy. i think that's true. >> reporter: for prince william, the abbey is steeped in memories. it was also the setting for his mother, princess diana's, funeral in 1997 ♪ good-bye england's rose, may you ever grow in our hearts... ♪ >> people have thought, "well, isn't it rather sad and strange to be marrying in the place where your mother's funeral was?" the answer is surely that in
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parish churches, normally, we celebrate all the happy and sad events of our lives. >> reporter: the church will be filled with 1,600 guests. the service will be traditional following the church of england. the vows will be exchanged in the grand yet intimate setting of the high altar. >> when you're up at the high altar, i think you can get sense that it is a personal moment, and that's the most important thing for them. and i hope that we can all get a sense of delight at this commitment that they're making. but in the end, they're asking god to bless their marriage together. >> reporter: in a setting that has seen a millennium of ritual and tradition. >> couric: erica hill reporting from london. erica will be there for the "early show" all next week and i'll be there as well beginning tuesday. and on friday, our live coverage of the wedding begins at 4:00 a.m. eastern time. that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric in new york. thank you for watching this week, i'll see you on monday. until then, have a happy passover and a happy easter.
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good night. captioning sponsored by cbs you're watching cbs5 eyewitness news in high- definition. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." everybody was looking at each other. a couple of ladies were in shock. >> i called them and they said no, she couldn't possibly be driving. another open door. the return of a texting driver who wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel. and that's not the half of it. the one word that will have passengers again asking what's next for muni. >> why all of a sudden are they being washed onshore. >> a rather shocking site along the bay. what experts have to say about a small wave of dead sharks. one of the great mysteries of the human mind. how researchers are getting their best look yet inside autism. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dan


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