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

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top 1,000 55 years in a row. >> what? >> caption colorado, llc >> couric: tonight, the president, on hallowed ground, honors the victims of 9/11 and comforts their families after the terrorist who ordered the attacks is finally brought to justice. i'm katie couric at ground zero. also tonight, what might have been. how a helicopter pilot saved the bin laden mission. and the future terror attacks that mission may have stopped. gas prices now just a penny short of the $4 mark, but they may be headed for a u-turn. and a child who survived 9/11 is a teenager now and is telling his story in his own documentary. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. nearly ten years ago, the president of the united states stood here in the rubble of the world trade center and vowed to bring those behind the 9/11 attacks to justice. >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. ( cheers and applause). >> couric: now with osama bin laden dead and buried, another president came here to today, as if to tell the nearly 3,000 who died here "we kept that promise." president obama placed a wreath near where the twin towers once stood to honor the victims and did his best to comfort their families. in a show of unity, the president invited former new york city mayor rudy giuliani-- a republican-- to join him as he paid his respects to firefighters who lost more than 300 brothers on 9/11. and former defense secretary donald rumsfeld, who helped rescue victims at the pentagon,
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joined vice president joe biden at a memorial service there. a very emotional day there and here in new york, of course. chief white house correspondent chip reid is with me at ground zero and, chip, the president was a state senator on 9/11. he was driving to a hearing in chicago when he heard about the attacks on his car radio. he came here in 2008 with john mccain, but this is his first visit here as president. >> reporter: that's right, katie. and, in fact, before he came here, he went to a fire house today that suffered enormous losses on 9/11. he never mentioned the words "bin laden," but everybody knew what he meant when he said "justice has been done." >> what happened on sunday because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.
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>> reporter: this is not just any fire house. the home of engine 54 lost 15 men when the twin towers fell-- an entire shift, more than any other new york fire house. a bronze plaque honors their sacrifice and that of their families, including 28 children who lost their fathers on 9/11. >> it's some comfort, i hope, to all of you to know that when those guys took those extraordinary risks going into pakistan, that they were doing it in part because of the sacrifices that were made in this state. they were doing it in the name of your brothers that were lost. >> reporter: at new york's first precinct, the president thanked the first police officers to respond on 9/11, reminding them that while bin laden is gone, the threat of terrorism is not. >> you're still going to be called on to take courageous actions, to remain vigilant, but you're going to have an entire country behind you when you do.
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>> reporter: later he visited ground zero for the first time as president, laying a wreath to honor the nearly 3,000 people who died here. there was no speech, only quiet words with family members, including three young girls who lost their fathers. this sacred ground, where the twin towers once stood, will soon be a memorial, a stark contrast to the unimaginable destruction of ten years ago when then-president bush vowed to track down the 9/11 perpetrators. >> and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon. ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: president obama invited mr. bush to join him here today but he declined, preferring to remain out of the spotlight. before returning to washington, president obama spoke behind closed doors with families of 9/11 victims, including carrie lemack. >> in a way it changes everything and nothing at the same time. he's gone, he'll never kill anyone else. he'll never release another video. we don't have to worry about that anymore. but my mom's still not here.
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>> reporter: tomorrow, the president heads for fort campbell, kentucky, where he'll meet with the helicopter pilots who flew those navy seals right into bin laden's compound, katie. >> couric: all right, chip reid. chip, thanks so much. also with me at ground zero is byron pitts. byron, i know you spent a lot of time here on september 11 and the days that followed talking to families of the victims and you talked with some who met with the president today. >> reporter: katie, that's right. and they all said it was a powerful, powerful moment, and the one word we heard from them all day today was "gratitude." some of the families who met privately with president obama today shared their pictures with us-- images captured on cell phones and digital cameras. >> and he walked in and everybody started chanting "u.s.a., u.s.a." >> reporter: retired new york city deputy fire chief jim riches was there. his 29-year-old son jimmy, also a new york city firefighter, was killed september 11.
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he was chief riches' oldest boy. >> we carried his body out of here down at ground zero on march 25, 2002, me and my three other sons. i congratulated him, and i thanked him and i said "you brought some solace to my family and we're happy at least one person has been brought to justice after nine and a half years." >> reporter: what did you say too the president and what did he say to you? frank and mary fetchet also met with the president. their son bradley was 24, an equity trader in the south tower. >> our two boys said "tell the president number one that i'm sleeping better already and number two, if he keeps up the good work, i'm going to vote for him." >> reporter: in their son's memory, the fetchets founded "voices of september 11," a web- based living memorial to all those who died, as well as a tribute to the rescue workers and survivors. >> that was right before uncle alvin went to heaven. >> reporter: for all those who met with president obama this afternoon, there were hundreds more like howard zafkin, whose brother-in-law alvin bergsohn
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worked at cantor fitzgerald. he and his 11-year-old son drove down to ground zero without a private invitation to meet with the president. they watched the wreath-laying ceremony from a rooftop. even though you weren't invited in you still wanted to be down here? >> yes, and i wanted my son to experience this feeling with me. >> reporter: for all the prestige of a presidential visit, all the news of bin laden's death, 9/11 is still very personal. father to father, does it ever get easier? >> never gets easier, never any closure, my heart's always... there's a dark hole there, i always wait for him to come in the room, light up the room with his smile. until we meet again, jimmy, i love you. >> reporter: each family was also given a private moment with the president and, katie, when we asked for details they declined but said it was like having a conversation with a father or friend. >> couric: that's nice. and all those losses still so heartbreaking almost a decade later. >> reporter: for those families, katie, it's like it happened yesterday. >> couric: byron pitts. byron, thank you as always.
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shortly after he met with the firefighters, the president spoke with steve kroft of "60 minutes" about what happens next in afghanistan now that bin laden is out of the picture. >> reporter: there are people in congress, influential people now on both sides of the aisle, who are saying that this is an opportunity for us to cut our commitment to afghanistan and begin... and hasten our withdrawals. >> well, keep in mind i've already made a commitment that, starting in july of this year, we are drawing down troops. and we are transitioning, we're training afghan forces so that they can start securing their own country. and so what has happened on sunday i think reconfirms that we can focus on al qaeda, focus on the threats to our homeland, train afghans in a way that allows them to stabilize their country, but we don't need to have a perpetual footprint of the size that we have now. >> reporter: you can see more of
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the president's first interview since the killing of osama bin laden this sunday on "60 minutes." meanwhile, embarrassed pakistani officials are still seething over the u.s. raid on bin laden's compound. at a meeting of top generals today, the army chief warned the united states not to conduct any more unilateral raids in pakistan or his military may stop cooperating with washington. both sides insist the u.s. did not consult with pakistan, which explains why the americans used new stealth helicopters to get in undetected and, as david martin reports, quick action by one of the pilots apparently saved the mission. >> reporter: navy seals did the shooting inside bin laden's compound, but an elite army unit called task force 160 flew them there and back. and the pilot of one of the blackhawk helicopters may have been the difference between success and failure. the seals were about to fast- rope into the courtyard in front of bin laden's house when the blackhawk lost lift.
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imagine what would have happened if it had crashed into the courtyard with all its seals still aboard. chris marvin doesn't have to imagine. it happened to him in afghanistan. >> how close did he come? as close as any helicopter came, maybe closer, but he had or she had the talent and skill level to land the aircraft safely and let everybody off without injuries. >> reporter: the pilot nudged the blackhawk forward into a controlled crash, shearing off its tail section. the seals were able to continue with their mission, and before they left blew up as much of the blackhawk as they could, but had to leave the tail section intact. that gave aviation expert bill sweetman his first good look at a stealth helicopter. did you know these existed? >> i think nobody outside the classified community knew these existed. >> reporter: sweetman points out the features that make it tell stealthy. like the cover over the tail rotor hub. >> what that is there for to s
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to reduce the radar signature, the radar reflections from the hub. >> reporter: the tail rotor has more than the usual number of blades, which evens out the distinctive wop-wop of a helicopter. >> so a range of a couple hundred feet even, if you've got a bit of urban background noise, you're not going to hear it. >> reporter: the pakistanis hauled the tail section away, so now the secret of the stealth helicopter is blown. >> we lost one aircraft. that's better than one life, for sure. >> reporter: still, the pentagon wants what's left of its helicopter back and has asked pakistan to return it. katie? >> couric: david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thank you. as we've reported, the seals took computer files, flash drives, d.v.d.s and documents from the compound. they show bin laden desperately wanted another 9/11 and was again targeting major american cities. more on that from bob orr. >> reporter: the world never saw osama bin laden after this videotaped appearance in september, 2007, but documents
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grabbed from his compound reveal to the very end bin laden was still at the core of al qaeda's operations and dreaming of new attacks against america. cbs news has learned that memos recovered from bin laden's lair show the al qaeda leader was thinking big. the memos referenced potential attacks against major american cities: new york, washington, chicago and los angeles. sources say the writing suggests striking on important specific dates: july 4, september 11 and new year's. that's interesting to analysts because it may suggest a subtle shift in terror planning. historically, al qaeda has attacked when it's ready, not necessarily on holidays and anniversaries. sources say the memos do not indicate that the potential plots are operational. instead, they seem to represent an al qaeda wish list-- loose, aspirational outlines for strikes the terror group hoped to launch. the memos do not mention any particular mode or method for the potential attacks, and it's not at all clear if any assignments had been passed out to terror operatives.
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bin laden's group also talked about attacking u.s. trains specifically on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. tonight the f.b.i. and d.h.s. are spreading that word to law enforcement agencies, but we want to stress to you that so far no imminent plot has been uncovered. katie? >> couric: bob orr, thank you. still ahead on "cbs evening news" from ground zero, you've seen what was here, later, we'll show you what will be. up next, the surge in gas prices. why the worst may be over. higgi. you have frequent heartburn, right ? yeah, it flares up a few days a week. well, we're the two active ingredients in zegerid otc. i'm omeprazole, the leading prescription heartburn medicine. and i'm sodium bicarbonate. i protect him from stomach acid so he can get to work. look, guys, i've already tried a lot of stuff. wow. with zegerid otc, you get 24-hour relief. so, this is goodbye heartburn ?
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>> couri >> couric: now to the obvious. gas prices are rising by the day, and on this day they reached a national average of $3.99 a gallon. they last hit that price in the summer of '08 on their way to a record high of $4.11. but anthony mason reports relief may be just down the road. oil plunged more than $9 barrel today to close below $100. >> reporter: oil prices tumbled nearly 9%, today but the damage has been done. >> we're spending about $1.5 billion a day just to fuel up our cars these days and in typical years it's been well under a billion. >> reporter: since january, gas on average is up more than 90 cents a gallon. that's 30%. >> every time the price does go up, i just cringe a little bit. >> reporter: ron kish, who captains this new jersey party boat, will hire fewer crew this
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season because gas prices are driving away the weekend fishermen. but he needs more customers to pay for his boat's 400-gallon fill-ups. >> instead of carrying 12 people just to pay for the fuel we might have to carry 15 people to pay for the fuel-- or 16 people. >> reporter: on average, americans are now spending nearly 9% of their income on gas-- double what they paid two years ago. how much impact do you see gas prices and food prices having on the momentum of this economy right now? >> you know, they directly hit the pocketbooks of americans. >> reporter: treasury secretary tim geithner said recently... >> they will slow growth. it means we have more headwinds as we recover. >> reporter: americans are driving less. gas purchases have dropped for six straight weeks. concerns about a slowing economy helped drive oil back below $100 a barrel today, and some analysts believe prices have now peaked. tom kloza is betting... >> we back off about 50 cents, i
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think the economy does okay with gasoline $3.75 or lower. >> reporter: after 44 straight days of rising prices, the rally may have finally run out of gas. anthony mason, cbs news, new york. >> couric: now to the midwest, where two weeks of near constant rain has produced some record flooding. the surging water invaded homes and businesses in and around memphis today. cars and even planes were caught in the flooding. a section of i-40 in arkansas was covered in water, forcing drivers to take a 120-mile detour. some of the flooding has already topped records set during the depression. and coming up next, ground zero: from ruin to rebirth. [ male announcer ] you've worked hard your entire life.
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paid your dues. raised a family. you've earned a little peace of mind. now, some in congress want to make harmful cuts to medicare and social security. cutting your benefits so washington can pay its bills. aarp believes the country can do better. we can cut wasteful spending without cutting the benefits you've earned. join us. tell congress to stop the harmful cuts to medicare and social security. with heart-related chest pain or a heart attack known as acs, you may not want to face the fact that you're at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. plavix helps protect people with acs against heart attack or stroke: people like you. it's one of the most researched prescription medicines.
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finished by september 11, 2011-- the tenth anniversary of the attacks. it will be an eight-acre plaza filled with oak trees and nestled in a canyon formed by the surrounding buildings, of which one will be the tallest sky scraper in the u.s. the footprints of the twin towers themselves will be pools ringed by the largest man-made waterfalls in the country. around the edges, the names of every victim, grouped according to where they died, where they worked and, if requested, surrounded by friends. a museum housing remnants of the world trade center will open in 2012. it will be the final resting place of the victims' remains that were never identified. and, sadly, for the families of more than a thousand people who died here, no remains were ever recovered. if you would like to learn more about the memorial, you can go to 9/ and coming up next, the boy who transferred his memories of 9/11
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combine that with low online pricing... and your shipping costs... ..could head in a whole new direction. it's time to rethink your shipping. personal information got exposed. the recovery effort. next on cbs 5 >> couric: back now from ground zero.
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among the people who ran for their lives as the towers here collapsed on 9/11 was a four- year-old boy. it's a day he'll never forget. steve hartman has his story ♪ happy birthday to you... >> reporter: think about what you remember from when you were four years old. it's typically snippets at best-- fuzzy and brief. but for brook peters-- now 14 years old-- there's a good half hour from when he was four that still plays in his mind in h.d. his mom was running... >> she is holding me like this. >> reporter: so your head was facing that way? >> my head was facing that way the whole time while she's running. >> reporter: i see. >> so it was confusion. i was looking at pure chaos at the time. the flood of smoke and fire and just the chaos and the noise. >> reporter: 9/11 was brook's second day of kindergarten at a grade school four blocks from ground zero.
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few kids were closer, and even fewer were as hard hit. >> it was something that i've been having to deal with for even years later. >> reporter: brook didn't lose a father that day. >> it still follows me. >> reporter: ...he lost dozens of them. his mom was a volunteer fund- raiser for the new york city fire department and since her son had no dad, the guys pretty much adopted brook. he took his first steps in a fire house and helped wash the truck every saturday. >> i've always grown up with the guys. they were my guys. >> reporter: his story was just in a tribeca film festival documentary called "the second day," which he produced. in it, he also talks to other kids in his class about their recollections. >> i was definitely scared. i was terrified. >> reporter: turns out, he wasn't the only one who's been playing that video on a loop all these years. >> the towers seemed so close while we were running. >> reporter: peter napolitano
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was brook's kindergarten teacher. >> i just sort of, kind of hoped and assumed that they were unaffected. that's one of the reasons why i think brook's film is so important, because i was wrong. >> reporter: at four and five, they knew and felt more than most anyone imagined and according to brook, recent events won't help much. >> it never will get better. >> reporter: no matter who we catch and kill? >> no. that's just vengeance and justice, but the true hit will forever remain the same. >> u.s.a.! u.s.a! u.s.a! >> reporter: although most everyone welcomed the news this week, for people like brook, getting evan for what that man did remains a poor substitute for getting back to the way it was. steve hartman, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thanks for watching.
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i'll see you tomorrow. good night. you're watching cbs5 eyewitness news in high- definition. "this broadcast realtime captioned by becky lyon." the feds say this man bought houses for cheap by strong arming prospective buyers. tonight we walk you through a new kind of foreclosure fraud driving all home prices lower. >> they had a formula they used to divvy up those profits. >> i have found numbers, social security numbers. >> those numbers weren't hard to find. how a mountain of very private and personal medical information ended up spread all over a bay area neighborhood. >> get the location from the wi- fi networks. yes, we have the technology. laptop thieves beware. i'm dana king. >> i'm allen martin. we will begin with


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