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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 27, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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back in 30 minutes. >> pelley: tonight, the supreme court says violent video games may be sold to kids. in a historic decision, the court rules even the most grotesque games are protected by the first amendment. a jury convicts rod blagojevich of attempting to sell president obama's former seat in the u.s. senate. if there are so many homeless veterans, why has this part of a veterans' home been turned into a golf course? and don teague reports on a record-breaking drought as the sun beats down on the lone star state. >> it hurts. it hurts bad. it hurts real bad. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. it's not very often that we
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can't show you pictures of what we're reporting on, but today the supreme court ruled that violent images-- many too grotesque to put on television-- may be sold to children. back in 2005, california made it a crime for retail stores to sell violent video games to anyone under 18. today, the nation's highest court in a 7-2 decision ruled that law is unconstitutional. the games are protected by the first amendment. nancy cordes is at the supreme court. >> reporter: violent or not, video games are free speech. that was the majority's conclusion today. this country has no tradition of specially restricting children's access to depictions of violence wrote justice antonin scalia. he and four other justices called research linking video games like this to increased violence in children not compelling and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media like books or saturday morning cartoons.
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>> this decision was not in the best interest of parents, no questions. >> reporter: james steyer runs common sense media which rates the content of games and videos. he helped to craft the law which would have banned kids from buying games that depict killing maiming, dismembers or sexually assaulting an image of a human being. >> i think it's naive to suggest that the video games are just the same as a book. i don't think they have the same impact on people because one is an interactive game where you can repeatedly do the act hundreds if not thousands of times. >> reporter: the decision was a victory for the video game industry which argued that parents, not the state, should restrict what children buy. bo anderson is c.e.o. of the entertainment merchants association, an umbrella group for the video industry. >> the government should not be deciding what content is good or not good. >> reporter: two justices disagreed, conservative leaning clarence thomas and liberal
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leaning stephen breyer. he concluded that extremely violent games can harm children by rewarding them for being violently aggressive in play and thereby often teaching them to be violently aggressive in life. 12-year-old sam strong of tacoma park, maryland, had to get permission from his mom tracy before buying "golden eye 007," a game that's rated "teen." >> you just have to be aware and you i think have to have an open conversation with your children all the time. >> reporter: she's an example of why so many supporters of the california law say today's decision isn't a total defeat because that this long and very public court battle encouraged a lot of parents to think twice about what their children are watching and playing, scott. >> pelley: nancy, i wonder, does this spell the end of attempts to regulate video game sales? >> well, the law in california was never implemented because they were concerned about this court challenge. it's now been struck down in six other states as well. the authors of the law in
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california told us they're now combing through this decision to see if they can craft a bill that's perhaps more narrow, but they're not sure they're up for another court battle. >> pelley: thank you very much, nancy. video games have ratings, of course, and we asked daniel sieberg to find out who does that rating and how they decide. >> reporter: tom sobolik is 14 but playing a video game intended for people intended 17 and over. "call of duty" is rated "m" for mature. >> i'm not looking far game that's obscene or vulgar. if it's a good game, i want to play it. most good games i find are rated "m." >> reporter: every video game is rated based on content, just like movies. but unlike movies that last just a few hours, video games often run 30 to 40 hours of playing time. games rated "t" for teen may contain violence but minimal blood. games rated "m" for mature may contain intense violence, blood, and decapitation.
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and games rated "ao" that's adults only, too graphic to show you here, have prolonged scenes of intense violence and sexual content. to rank video games, the gaming industry created an independent panel of about six people-- not unlike the movies. but it only rates scenes selected by the game maker. although the game maker faces fines for failing to disclose graphic content. and when we asked the ratings board association just who these people are, president patricia vance wouldn't tell us. shouldn't that be revealed in some ways so that the public can get a better understanding of who these people are and make sure that their kids are playing games that are age appropriate for them? >> look, our... the point of keeping our raters' identities anonymous is to keep them from... away from outside pressures, whether it's from industry, whether it's from consumer advocacy groups, whether it's from the press. >> reporter: the gaming industry is asking retailers to voluntarily agree not to sell "m" rated games to minors.
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daniel sieberg, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: we wondered how big video games have become in entertainment. have a look at this. music sales in this country totaled $6.9 billion a year. movies take in $10.6 billion at the box office and video game sales total $23 billion, more than movies and music combined. in chicago today, the jury said guilty 17 times as the former illinois governor rod blagojevich was convicted of attempted extortion, bribery, conspiracy, and fraud. dean reynolds reports on the long decent of the high-flying politician. >> reporter: arrested, impeached and now convicted, the normally outspoken former governor was almost at a loss for words. >> patti and i are obviously very disappointed in the outcome. i, frankly, am stunned. there's not much left to say
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other than we want to get home to our little girls and talk to them and explain things to them and then try to sort things out. >> reporter: while his first trial ended in a hung jury, today's finding was conclusive. guilty on 17 of 20 corruption counts. the jury foreperson. >> i think in this instance when it's someone representing the people, it crosses the line. >> reporter: along with various shakedown schemes, the most striking charge was that blagojevich tried to enrich himself by selling or swapping president obama's vacated u.s. senate seat. a brazen move shocking even here in illinois where a politician going to prison is not terribly unusual. blagojevich never got anything for filling the seat and spent two years pleading his innocence on the talk show circuit and, lately, seven days on the witness stand. the case rested on wiretaps of a profane governor plotting to cash in on his appointment power. >> i mean, i've got this thing and it's ( bleep )ing golden. >> reporter: the defense saw
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that as the ramblings of a political blabbermouth. but prosecutors said it was enough to make abraham lincoln roll over in his grave. u.s. attorney patrick fitzgerald. >> corruption in illinois is not tolerable. governor blagojevich did not get that message. >> reporter: and, scott, the f.b.i.'s chief investigator said that with today's conviction, perhaps illinois's long national embarrassment is finally at an end. >> pelley: thanks, dean. federal prosecutors said today in a court filing that former boston mob leader james "whitey" bulger is talking-- a lot. and proudly filling in details of 16 years on the lam. bulger, who was arrested last week in california, said he made several trips to las vegas to play the slots. he also went to tijuana, mexico, to buy prescription drugs and even returned to boston heavily armed to "take care of some unfinished business." there is news in politics tonight, seven months before the iowa caucuses, michele bachmann
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announced she's a candidate for the republican presidential nomination. bachmann, a tea party favorite, is a 55-year-old former tax attorney serving her third term as a congresswoman from minnesota. she's mother of five and, over the years, foster mother to 23. jan crawford has day one of the bachmann campaign. >> reporter: michele bachmann made the case today that she is in the race to win. >> i am here today in waterloo, iowa, to announce we can win in 2012 and we will win! ( cheers and applause) >> reporter: just two weeks after a strong showing in the republican debate, bachmann enters the race already in a statistical dead heat in iowa with mitt romney. a new "des moines register" poll has romney at 23% followed by bachmann at 22%. bachmann was expected to do well in iowa. she was born and spent her childhood here in waterloo. and at a party on the eve of her announcement she got a hometown
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welcome. >> in my heart, this was home. >> reporter: but her early rise in the polls suggest she's striking a chord with people who are sick of washington. voters like linda zermeno say it's more about who she is than where she was born. >> and i believe she says what she means and she'll do what she says. >> reporter: in an interview with cbs news, bachmann describes herself the same way. >> people are really tired of politicians. they're very tired of it. they want real results. and they also are tired of being told things that aren't so. >> reporter: but critics say she isn't as forthcoming as she says and at times yesterday she stonewalled bob schieffer on "face the nation." >> so a person who may have been on the record as saying he favored same-sex marriage, you wouldn't disqualify that person for nominating them to the supreme court? >> my primary test will be the constitution. they need to be a strong constitutionalist and recognize that just as the justices should not act outside of the bounds,
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neither should the president. >> i have to say i don't think you answered the question but i'll go on. >> well, if you want to go further, we will. >> reporter: now, for all the excitement here earlier today, scott, it's also important to remember that sometimes these early polls don't tell us all that much. this time four years ago, mitt romney also was leading and way back in the back of the pack was this unknown candidate, mike huckabee, who eventually won iowa. >> pelley: thanks, jan. libyan dictator moammar qaddafi is now officially a wanted man. the international criminal court today issued arrest warrants for qaddafi, his eldest son and his intelligence chief. the judges say there is evidence that they are responsible for crimes against humanity. the killing of hundreds of civilians in the early days of the libyan uprising. a major league baseball team filed for bankruptcy today. the dodgers are bleeding red. why is there a golf course on land intended to house military veterans? a cbs news investigation.
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and in the south, corn that should look like this is withering. families facing a texas-sized drought when the "cbs evening news" continues. news" continues. i have copd. if you have it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms... by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor right away if your breathing suddenly worsens,
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plants dry against the rising waters of the missouri river. the government's top nuclear official visited the plants and declared them safe. in new mexico, there's worry about one of the national laboratories that designs nuclear weapons. wildfires broke out on sunday and came within 50 feet of the los alamos lab. officials closed the lab today. some radioactive material is stored there. also on the list of mother nature's punishments this year is drought. texas is especially hard hit. it's about to set a record with the driest nine months since 1895. don teague met the texans struggling to stay on the land. >> reporter: it looks like harvest time in crawford, texas, but for fourth generation farmer bert gohlke it's actually a financial disaster. >> you have one of these and you have three of those. >> reporter: this could have been a great year for gohlke. corn prices are near record highs. but instead of harvesting his 1,500 acres of corn, gohlke is
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chopping it up into a feed call silage, the only salvageable use for a crop destroyed by drought. >> we should be dealing with seven and a half foot corn right now, green, nice big ears on it. filled out all the way around. instead, that's what we have. >> reporter: his potential losses more than a quarter of a million dollars, but just a fraction of the $3 billion the historic drought will cost texas farmers and ranchers. 250 miles south, rosalee coleman is hurting, too. a 70-year-old widow, she's running this cattle ranch on more than a thousand acres by herself. >> other than raising three wonderful children, i feel like my greatest achievement has been to hold on to this land. >> reporter: and she needs every acre. with no real rain in nine months she's forced to move her cattle from pasture to pasture just to find grass to sustain them. >> in a normal season i would rotate every couple of weeks, three weeks. a pasture like this would hold
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them easily for that long. but in this kind of weather it's usually every four or five days. >> reporter: where rosalee coleman and bert gohlke are surviving-- thanks to saving in good years and planning for drought. >> trying to figure out where we can cut corners and keep going and maybe have a decent year next year. that's really what it's about, surviving. >> reporter: but holding on is harder with each day. this week's forecast doesn't help. more heat and only a slight chance of rain. don teague, cbs news, crawford, texas. >> pelley: it may not look like it, but this was supposed to be a home for military veterans. cbs news investigates next. okay, team! after age 40, we can start losing muscle -- 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle
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>> pelley: on any given day in this country, more than 75,000 military veterans are homeless. we were shocked to discover what's become of land in southern california that was meant to house homeless veterans-- and once did. bill whitaker investigated. >> reporter: in four tours in iraq, sergeant freddie cordova saw friends blown up by i.e.d.s and learned to kill or be killed. >> what keeps you warm in iraq during the winter is that. your hate. >> reporter: in 2008, he was diagnosed with severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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>> it made me very angry. very ill-tempered, very short- tempered. >> reporter: after intensive v.a. counseling, he keeps his rage under control and channel it is negative into positive. >> freddie. >> reporter: he helps vets with even worse p.t.s.d., like vietnam vet john aldridge who can't hold a job and lives by a freeway in l.a. l.a. is the homeless vet capital of the u.s., with more than 8,000 on city streets. it makes cordova angry again, especially since just blocks away sits almost 400 acres, half the size of central park donated to the u.s. government after the civil war expressly to provide housing for disabled veterans. while today there is a large v.a. hospital there and an old age home for veterans, most of the land and buildings that once housed homeless vets have been vacant and dilapidated for decades. what's more, with the city encroaching on all sides, the v.a. now leases about a third of the property for private use to a bus company, to enterprise rent-a-car, for u.c.l.a.'s
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baseball stadium, a private school's athletic field. there's even a golf course and a dog park and there's no public record of where the money goes. >> i got serious about it. >> reporter: for seven years, bobby shriver, former mayor of nearby santa monica, has been pressuring the v.a. to provide shelter to homeless vets. >> i think it's terrible. people are dying in this street when there's enough of this kind of treatment, it's un-american. >> reporter: so he joined veterans and the a.c.l.u. in a lawsuit to force the v.a. to rehab the this facility to house 200 to 300 vets with p.t.s.d. the department of veterans affairs declined to talk to us, but insists it had gotten thousands of homeless veterans off the streets and into community centers. last week, the v.a. announced a master plan to rehab buildings here for veterans suffering p.t.s.d. but the plan has no timetable and no budget. which likely means no help any
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time soon for homeless vets like luis gonzalez and his wife. he says vietnam was easier than the streets. >> the military, they're survival. you've got to kill to survive. but out here it's hard. >> if we don't get him, another one off the streets, he'll be m.i.a., missing in america. >> reporter: while the courts decide the best use of this property, freddie cordova will do the best he can helping one vet at a time. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: for one of baseball's premier teams it is a sad new chapter... chapter 11. how the dodgers went broke when we come back. e. do you think i'd let osteoporosis slow me down? so i asked my doctor about reclast because i heard it's the only once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment. he told me all about it and i said that's the one for nana.
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crying out loud? >> reporter: the dodgers' financial troubles have been laid bare by the ongoing divorce settlement of mccourt and his ex-wife jamie. they bought two homes near the playboy mansion and two more in malibu. they paid $225,000 a month for a private jet and $300 a day for hair styling. the mccourts' lavish life-style was financed by at least $108 million borrowed against the dodgers. in many divorces it's the kids who suffer. in this one, it's the fans. >> i would love the old time family feeling to come back to the dodgers. >> reporter: john parker grew up faithful to the dodgers. >> i'd walk through the gate and the tunnel and see the field and it's like i'm home. >> reporter: his loyalty goes back to his father frank, a world war ii vet who grew up in a kansas farm in the 1930s. the first time he heard a radio baseball was on. >> it was the brooklyn dodgers he said from that moment on he was a dodger fan. >> reporter: the dodgers moved to los angeles, so did frank,
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raising a family as devoted to the team as they were to each other. two years ago his son john arranged a very special 87th birthday. though frank's eyes were failing he got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. >> there was this big roar from the crowd and it was awesome and he couldn't see them but he said soy, i could sure feel them." >> reporter: frank parker died last year. the only good part of that, his son says, is that he doesn't have to see what's happened to the team he loves. john blackstone, cbs news, los angeles. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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