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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  July 26, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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tonight, the the cbs evening news is next. >> schieff icans e phone lines demanding a deal. ( busy signal ) >> schieffer: as the government stumbled toward default. ben tracey on america's growing wealth gap. whites now have 20 times the net worth of african americans. new and chilling details of the oslo killer. elizabeth palmer reports he took drugs to stay alert as he massacred 76 victims. and after being blamed for making americans fat, michelle miller says mcdonald's is trying to turn happy meals into healthy meals. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> schieffer: good evening, scott's off tonight. i'm bob schieffer. well, it is one week and counting to august 2. today the president says the government will run out of money and, among other things, will have to stop sending out social security checks. yet, after weeks of wrangling and prime time speeches last night by the president and republican speaker john boehner, today congress and the white house seemed further apart than ever in finding a solution. a top conservative in the house said there were not enough republican votes there to pass boehner's republican plan let alone the democrats. we begin tonight again with nancy cordes at the capitol. nancy? >> reporter: bob, good evening to you. to no one's surprised here on capitol hill, the president's calls for a swift compromise to end this mess have fallen on deaf ears here and leaders from both sides are still clinging to their own plans even though it's not clear either plan can pass.
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>> congressman alan west's office. >> can i get the name and town you're from? >> reporter: the capitol hill switch board got overloaded today. >> right now we have 142 people on hold. >> reporter: after president obama made this plea on prime time television. >> if you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of congress know. >> reporter: republican senator lamar alexander got more than 300 calls. >> they're saying cut spending, support the balanced budget amendment, and they're also saying get the job done. >> reporter: so many people are phoning speaker boehner's office this week the shortest wait time is over an hour. >> we appreciate your patience, we're getting a very high volume of calls. >> reporter: but the calls for compromise... >> i can understand your frustration. >> reporter: ...are going unheeded by lawmakers. >> democrats will not vote for it. democrats will not vote for it. democrats will not vote for it. >> reporter: in a televised response to the president last night, speaker boehner said it was mr. obama who wouldn't budge. >> and the sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check
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six months ago and he wants a blank check today. >> reporter: with bipartisan talks all but dead, the two sides railed against each other's plans today, despite the fact that they're not all that different. both would cut some spending up front without raising any new bx revenue and both would appoint a bipartisan commission to identify future cuts. but the republican plan would allow only a short-term increase in the debt ceiling until those cuts are made. >> it's reasonable, it's responsible, it can pass the house. >> reporter: no, it can't, say conservative members of boehner's own party who wanted even deeper cuts. >> i am confident as of this morning that there were not 218 republicans in support of the plan. >> reporter: that division among house republicans strengthens the democrats' position. they're hoping that if speaker boehner's bill fails in the house tomorrow, they might be able to win some moderate republicans over to their side. bob? >> schieffer: okay, nancy.
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hold on there just for a second because for all the tough talk last night, norah o'donnell is picking up at least some indication at the white house that the president may-- may-- be willing to consider yet another approach. so what have you got, norah? >> reporter: good evening, bob. even tonight as the president issued a veto threat on that house republican plan, his advisors say he's still holding out hope of a compromise. it would have to be, as nancy indicated, some version of those two bills currently in congress and if that is the case it would mean that the president would have to give up on something he has long advocated, and this is having a deficit reduction bill with tax increases. >> this is no way to run the greatest country on earth. >> reporter: after laying out dire consequences in last night's speech, today the president sent his advisors across the airwaves to promote his message. the message is a political one. the president is preaching compromise while republicans are taking the "my way or the highway" approach.
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today, the president's advisors said mr. obama would veto the plan proposed by speaker john boehner. press secretary jay carney. >> we here in a stalemate. the speaker's proposal cannot pass the senate, will not pass the senate, will not reach the president's desk. >> reporter: both the house and senate bills offer large spending cuts but do not include the tax revenues long pushed for by the president. would the president sign a debt >> would the president sign a debt ceiling increase that includes no new tax revenues? >> i think the president made clear that the option that the majority leader put forward was a better option than the speaker of the house put forward. but it does not contain within it up front revenues. and guess what? that's a compromise! >> reporter: the only solution, said senior advisor david plouffe, is for house and senate leaders to find common ground. is there a plan "b?" >> the plan "b" is you need to compromise. and, listen, there's a lot of discussion on capitol hill today. what's in the senate and the
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house, there's quite a bit of commonality there. so we just need folks on capitol hill to compromise and i expect that they will over the coming days. >> reporter: but the main sticking point is on the very provision that the president says he won't compromise on, and that is that he wants a debt ceiling raised all the way through 2012 and his reelection bid. bob? >> schieffer: so, norah, if we're going to have this compromise offered, when would we expect that the president would offer this? >> reporter: well, i think what they want is for the bills to make their way through the house and then you'd see the house and senate leaders come together on some sort of compromise and then the president would have to give up on tax increases and would also perhaps have to give up on whether it's a short-term plan. this is still very difficult, bob. >> schieffer: and nancy cordes up on capitol hill, would you see any chance that what norah has just outlined here, could that pass up there? >> i do see a chance of that, bob, and we're told that
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democratic leaders and republican leaders quietly behind the scenes are still talking because there's a very real possibility that neither bill that's being put forward will pass and they will have to marry them somehow in time to make that august 2 deadline. >> schieffer: okay. well, keep us posted. thanks to both of you. if there is one factor that is holding back the economic recovery, it's the housing market and it's not getting any better. a report out today shows that home prices in the 20 biggest u.s. cities fell by 4.5% in the year that ended in may. economists say prices have not yet hit bottom. the great recession did not affect everyone in the same way. a new report shows that the wealth gap between whites, blacks, and hispanics are the widest they've been since the government started keeping track 25 years ago. ben tracy reports tonight on two families living in two different worlds. >> i have to have color. >> reporter: sharron bryant-
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simmons calls herself a shoe-a- holic. >> i have to show the toes. >> reporter: she used to spend freely on her footwear but in 2005 she was laid off by u.c.l.a. where she worked for 20 years. >> i thought i could weather the storm, but then after getting out there and going on various interviews it was something totally different. >> reporter: her home value dropped $100,000 and she depleted her savings. >> it has been almost a living hell. >> reporter: an experience shared by many minorities. in 1995, the median white household had a net worth seven times that of black and hispanic families. a new study of census data finds the wealth gap has become a chasm. white households are now worth 20 times that of blacks and 18 times more than hispanics. the median white house showed worth $113,000, hispanics about $6,000 and blacks about $5,700. the main asset minority families own is their home. as values have plunged, so have their net worth.
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white families are also more likely to also own retirement accounts and stocks. those have rebounded with the stock market. that's partly why hispanics have lost 66% of their net worth. blacks 53%, while whites lost just 16%. rick and lori owens' investments have already recovered. >> congratulations. >> reporter: back in 2008, they also benefited from the cratering real estate market and found a great deal on a house put up for auction. >> you know, we here in a home that we love and a neighborhood that we love, but, you know, it breaks my heart for the people that have lost their homes and have lost their jobs. >> let's go! >> reporter: sharron bryant- simmons did finally find a new job, but it pays $40,000 less. >> it is what it is at this present time but i just don't plan to stay in this rut. >> reporter: yet experts say it could be a decade before the wealth gap closes. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> schieffer: president obama
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stopped by the norwegian ambassador's residence in washington today. he signed a condolence book and expressed his sorrow over the bombing and shooting rampage in oslo. in norway tonight, authorities found explosives at a farm owned by the attacker and safely detonated them. elizabeth palmer now with a report on what his lawyer said today. >> he believes-- he believes-- that he is in a war. >> reporter: attorney geir lippestad did his best to explain the inexplicable, why his client, anders behring breivik, massacred 76 innocent people. >> he said it was necessary to start a war here in europe and throughout the western world so he's sorry that it was necessary but it was necessary. >> reporter: necessary, breivik argues in his online manifesto, to trigger a war against muslims and immigration. this whole case is indicating that he's insane. >> reporter: breivik's murderous
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rampage last friday was aimed squarely at the liberal values of norway's ruling labor party. he bombed the government offices. then, high on drugs to keep himself strong and awake, he drove to the island of utoya and gunned down scores of the party's best and brightest. breivik was cold, his lawyer said, and asked how many people he'd killed. though lippestad didn't tell him. >> he says that he is part of an international organization. he says that there's several cells throughout the western world. >> reporter: police are now investigating those claims. breivik, meanwhile, is in jail, in solitary confinement, unable to see how norwegians have reacted to the worst atrocity on their soil since world war ii-- with compassion and commitment to the democratic values he hoped to destroy. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. >> schieffer: i want to update a
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story that sharyl attkisson broke in february. the gun walking scandal in which federal agents allowed thousands of weapons to flow into mexico. well, today an official with the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives went before congress and apologized. the idea behind the program was to track the guns and take down mexican drug cartels. but as sharyl reported, hundreds of weapons turned up at crime scenes in mexico and the united states. now, here's a question: can fast food be healthy food? mcdonald's is saying yes. thousands of post offices may be forced to close and the postal workers won't be the only ones to suffer. and the bottle that broke a record. what makes this wine worth six figures when the "cbs evening news" continues. ugh, my feet are killin' me. well, we're here to get you custom orthotic inserts.
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the best in nutrition... just got better. now with even more of the vitamins your body needs. like vitamin d. plus omega 3's. there's one important ingredient that hasn't changed: better taste. [ female announcer ] eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. the better egg. summertime is now a happy time. when we can eat what we want and sleep soundly through the night. prevacid®24hr prevents the acid that causes frequent heartburn, all day, all night. >> schieffer: bringing home the bacon is one of washington's oldest traditions. both democrats and republicans in congress spend considerable time trying to get federal funds for pet projects back home. so how is that affecting some of the newer members who came to washington vowing to cut federal spending at every turn? not much, apparently. sharyl attkisson has the story. >> reporter: everyone agrees the old stillwater bridge linking minnesota and wisconsin is on
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its last legs and must go. but the fancy $700 million replacement of the works cost double the cheaper alternative. a bill cosponsored by republican freshman sean duffy paved the way for the expensive bridge to be built though he ran on this platform. >> i'll work in congress to cut the spending and balance the budget. >> reporter: duffy's office told us his bill doesn't fund the bridge, it simply allows it to move forward and has some democratic support, too. steve ellis as taxpayers for common sense sees it as excess congress can't seem to resist, even during fiscal crisis. >> there's an alternative that's hundreds of millions of dollars less that may be not the signature bridge, maybe not the tourist attraction but actually could get the job done for far less money. >> reporter: freshman republican steven palazzo of mississippi also ran as a fiscal conservative. then he added more than $150 to the defense budget bound for a shipyard in his own district. he didn't want to talk with us
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but has said he's glad to be able to help ensure long-term viability of our ship building industry. republican duncan hunter, now in his second term, added $5 million to the 2012 defense budget destined for trex enterprises where employees are major donors to his campaign. hunter also asked for $3 million tax dollars for trex in 2010. a spokesman for hunter told us part of his role in congress is drawing business to companies in his district. and if congress really expects to do more with less, it's not evidence in the add-ons to the 2012 defense budget. there are fewer of them in years past but they add up to about the same amount as before-- $1.3 billion. bob? >> schieffer: thank you very much, sharyl. oregon congressman david wu says he will resign because of a sex scandal. the seven-term democrat is accused of an unwanted sexual encounter with the teenaged daughter of a campaign contributor. no criminal charges are expected.
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wu is 56. he says he'll leave office once the debt crisis is resolved. mcdonald's is toying with the happy meal. but will the healthier version be a hit with kids? that's next. w that next. on a science adventure. i can take the lead advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
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michelle miller has our report. >> reporter: mcdonald's is putting the happy meal on a diet, but some of its biggest fans are not thrilled. why not? >> i don't like apples. >> reporter: parents might be. starting in september, apples and a smaller serving of french fries will be standard fare in every happy meal. right now, happy meals average 503 calories. the new meal cuts that 20% to about 400 calories. >> we've actually been looking at this and testing it in various formats over the last two years. we think now absolutely the right time to do it. >> crisscross! >> reporter: happy meals are a key part of mcdonald's marketing to kids, accounting for 8% of total sales. consumer groups have long criticized the chain for using toys that come with meals as a way to hook children on what it calls unhealthy food. san francisco banned fast food meals that included toys unless the meals met certain nutritional guidelines.
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>> i'm all for it so that when they do get it they're getting less calories than they should. >> reporter: consumer surveys almost always say customers want healthier food choices. but studies have also shown when it comes to voting with their wallets, it's often a different matter. ryan l. bell of new york university studied the city's mandatory posting of calorie counts on menus but found that it had little impact on eating habits. >> people report liking this information, but we're not seeing at a population level that people are using it in a way that will transform obesity thus far. >> reporter: mcdonald's says it will continue to transform its menu, cutting salt 15% by 2015. the new happy meals with apple slices will be in all 14,000 restaurants by next spring. michelle miller, cbs news, new york. >> schieffer: well, here is something you're not going to find under the golden arches, but a bottle of french wine left over from the days of napoleon is the most expensive white wine over sold.
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today in london, a collector paid $123,000 for the 200-year- old bottle of chateau d'yquem. that works out to about $25,000 a glass. ( laughs ) a small town... small towns have been put on notice. their post office may be closing. we'll tell you about the ripple effects next. [ female announcer ] for frequent heartburn sufferers, summertime is now a happy time. a time when we can eat what we want, drink what we want, and sleep soundly through the night. unlike antacids, one prevacid®24hr pill prevents the acid that causes frequent heartburn for 24 hours. choose prevacid®24hr and see why 9 out of 10 users say they're satisfied. so relax. enjoy. with prevacid®24hr, happiness is a day without heartburn™.
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was in the smoke? next on c5 oakland's new air traffic >> pelley: in the old days in small town america, the post office was located in the general store which became the village meeting place. well, guess what? in a blast of common sense, the money-strapped postal service is considering closing more than 3,600 post office buildings and going back to the old ways. here's our chief national correspondent byron pitts. >> reporter: in madison township, ohio, folks have been losing jobs and local landmarks, symbols of the town's vibrancy. first it was kmart, then g.m. plant, and now the lincoln post office. bill hartnett has been a resident for 36 years. >> doggone it! this is one more thing. one more thing that we're just... it's being taken away. >> reporter: the postal services response?
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we had no other choice. the lincoln post office was one of nearly 36,000 nationwide, 80% of all post offices not turning a profit. today postmaster general patrick donahoe announced a new bill advantage strategy, an effort to partner with local businesses to offer postal services. >> the convenience is a key thing because as we move to work with providers, hey, they're open seven days a week, 12-14 hours a day, that's great for our customers to come in and mail and ship with us through that way. >> reporter: donahoe has urged congress to drop saturday delivery and reduce payments for future retirees health benefits. if not, economists warn, in the next five years taxpayers could face a $100 billion bailout. do you ever worry that one day the post office will just go the way of the horse and buggy in this country? >> well, we're going to deliver 170 billion plus pieces of mail this year.
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i don't think it's going to go away any time in the near future. >> reporter: back in madison township, ohio, bill hartnett doesn't underestimate the value of having a local post office. >> i think it's important for people to kind of say this is an asset, it puts business in our community, it brings dollars into our community. >> can you see now? >> reporter: business owner jessica little knows that well. she's feeling the ripple effects of the post office closing next door. for years, she's depended on the extra business it brought to her barbershop. >> if i lose a lot of business, you know, i could go. what else can go? what else is going to go? >> reporter: with so many small businesses across the country barely hanging on, the opportunity to incorporate as a new village post office could be the only way to stay open. byron pitts, madison township, ohio. >> schieffer: and that's the news. for scott and all of us at cbs news, i'm bob schieffer. thank you and good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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captioned by media access smoke that could be seen for miles. what it took to get the flames at a plastics plant under control. ning, i'm allen martin a massive fireball and thick, black smoke that could be seen for miles. what it took to get the flames at this plastics plant under control. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm dana king. we are going to show you live pictures now from our chopper 5 of what is left of that six-alarm fire at the macro plastics facility. crews have knocked down most of the flames. as you can see, it is smoky and certainly hazy in the area. >> this is burning just northwest of travis air force base east of interstate 80. we have two reports tonight. let start with ann notarangelo with the latest on the firefight tonight. ann. >> reporter: and allen, i just took a walk to the side. building last half hour so i haven't seen any large


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