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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  August 8, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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reached to upper proportions. that's up next. i'm anthony mason. the dow plunge than 600 points after america loses its a.a.a. credit rating. the u.s. vows to keep up the fight against taliban as the country mourns the 30 american troops shot down in afghanistan. >> pelley: and i'm scott pelley in east africa where the world's largest humanitarian crisis has become a children's famine in a crumbling country. that's it. that's the border. we've just crossed from kenya into the failed state of somalia and this is essentially no-man's land. we'll report from lawless somalia where an estimated 300,000 children are in danger of starvation. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
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>> mason: good evening. scott will be reporting on the famine in somalia in just a moment. but first, the big story here at home tonight. a huge selloff on wall street in the first trading session since standard & poor's downgraded america's credit rating. the dow plunged 634 points-- or more than 5.5%-- the biggest one loss in more than two and a half years. and it comes on top of the nearly 10% drop in the past two weeks. today s&p also downgraded mortgage lenders fannie mae and freddie mac. and even assurances by the president could not stop the slide in stock prices. from the opening bell, a cascade of selling swept over the market. by just after 3:00, investors were just dumping shares. >> right now it's 1.6 billion on the down side, 24 million on the upside. >> reporter: even veteran traders like alan valdez were startled.
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>> on any given day the ebb and flow of this market is all confidence and right now there is no confidence in the markets. people are saying why buy stock in i don't know where it's going. >> reporter: ironically, even after standard & poor's downgraded u.s. government credit, investors were piling into u.s. treasury, driving down interest rates and actually making it cheaper for the u.s. government to borrow. >> if you're looking for a safe home for your cash, many people would still rightly think it's the u.s. dollar and definitely the u.s. treasury. >> reporter: investors also poured into gold which rose $61 monday to hit a record of more than $1,700 an ounce. >> they feel the desperation factor settling in now. the original mint wrapping. >> reporter: robert higgins, c.e.o. of the first state depository, a gold storage facility in wilmington, delaware says his business is up 40% this year. >> gold is the international world currency that even will feel good about owning until we
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straighten out this mess and get back on the right path. >> reporter: rattled investors will now turn the federal reserve tuesday which hold what is usually a sleepy summer meeting. how important is the fed's statement tomorrow? >> well, tomorrow it's become very critical. >> reporter: economist ellen zentner says ben bernanke and company need to address the sudden and extreme volatility in the markets. >> the longer that that drags on the more depressing effect it will have on job growth, on consumer spending, on business investments. volatile city a killer of the economy. >> reporter: but for now, the selling doesn't seem to stop. >> it's anyone's guess when you've got investors running scared as to where the bottom is. >> reporter: the last time the dow hit bottom back in march of 2009, it closed just above 6,500, so the dow is still up 65% from that low point. that's probably not much consolation to investors looking at today's 600-point drop and
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neither were president obama's comments four hours into the selloff. norah o'donnell is at the white house. norah? >> reporter: good evening, anthony. president obama today tried to instill some calm and reassure americans about the state of our economy. but even as the president spoke, the dow jones took a nosedive and dropped below 11,000. today, president obama made his first public comments on the s&p downgrade-- three days after it was announced. >> no matter what some agency may say, we've always been and always will be a a.a.a. country. >> reporter: the president noted that the s&p downgraded america's credit rating due in part to doubts about politicians' ability to work together to reign in ballooning deficits and debt. >> we didn't need a rating agency to tell us that the gridlock in washington over the last several months has not been constructive, to say the least. >> reporter: still, as mr. obama said, our problems are imminently solvable but he notably did not call congress
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back to work from its month-long vacation. instead he says he's hopeful a congressional super-committee mandated by the recent budget deal will address further deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform. >> i assure you, we will stay on it until we get the job done. >> reporter: the american public seems increasingly fed up with washington. president obama's approval rating stands at just 48% and a staggering 82% disapprove of congress-- the highest ever recorded in a cbs news/"new york times" poll. lawmakers home for the summer recess are feeling that anger. >> i want something to lift me up. ( applause) >> reporter: in arizona, senator john mccain was holding a town hall with his constituents and got quite an earful. >> they are fed up with all of us. but i would point out the first two years the democrats controlled all three branches of government. >> reporter: now, tonight republican leaders acknowledged there will now be tremendous pressure on them to compromise
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on tax increases. but the majority leader, eric cantor, wrote a memo to fellow house republicans warning "we will be told there is no other way forward but i respectfully disagree." anthony? >> mason: norah o'donnell at the white house. thanks, norah. president obama paid tribute today to the 30 u.s. troops killed over the weekend in afghanistan and he vowed to press on there and succeed. the americans-- including 22 navy seals-- were killed when their helicopter was shot down in wardak province. their remains will be flown to dover air force base in delaware. >> reporter: it will take two transport planes to bring all the flag-draped caskets home. 30 americans were aboard that chinook helicopter when it went down-- a crash so horrific their remains have not yet been identified. a shocking loss for the nation, an indescribable one for the stepfather of navy seal brian bill.
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>> we're heartbroken. we mourn, more than anything else, his life, his unfulfilled dreams. he was already an accomplished mountaineer, skier, pilot and triathlete. >> reporter: as families and friends of the 30 who died on saturday came forward, we learned that the youngest-- door gunner spencer duncan-- was just 21. his friends back in kansas can hardly believe it. >> i think numb is a great way to describe it for now. >> reporter: even harder to comprehend for people in shreveport, louisiana, where lieutenant commander jonas kellsall and chief petty officer robert reeves played on the same high school soccer team. >> the war comes home to you when you... when it's a neighbor when it's a hometown boy. and here we've lost two of them. >> reporter: among the oldest is 36-year-old kevin houston, one of 22 navy seals aboard the helicopter. matt bills had been a seal for ten years, which means he was a veteran of countless nighttime
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raids. the seals aboard the chinook were assigned to back up another team which was west of kabul looking far local afghan leader. the team got pinned down in a fire fight and called for help. the chinook with the 30 americans, eight afghans and one dog aboard was apparently hit by a rocket propelled grenade as it came in. a taliban commander told cbs news the man the seals were looking for wasn't there. "we had all our forces in position to defend our valley" he said "and our commander is alive and well." earlier this afternoon, the aircraft carrying the americans took off from afghanistan for the final journey home. they will arrive at dover air force base in delaware tomorrow morning. anthony? >> mason: david martin at the pentagon. thanks, david. flying helicopters in afghanistan is an extremely dangerous job. today in the east, a chinook was forced to make a hard landing-- though no one was hurt.
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seth doane joined a medevac team today aboard a black hawk helicopter in southern afghanistan. >> reporter: from the air, afghanistan's rugged terrain is simple and striking. but the view from a helicopter's flight deck is anything but peaceful. what specific dangers do you have in the air? >> just any kind of surface-to- air fire from the enemy, whether it be r.p.g.s, small arms fire, machine guns, anything like that. anything they can do to take us out of the sky would be our biggest threat. >> reporter: you've been shot at before? >> yup. yup. >> reporter: chief warrant officer zach martin and his co- pilot captain chris morisoli is part of task force thunder medevac unit. we joined them on a medical mission on black hawk helicopters in kandahar. compare afghanistan to other places you've flown. >> busy. i mean, it's busy, it's hot, it's harsh and you've just got
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to keep your head about you at all times because if you really do get complacent and lazy, they can grab you. >> reporter: this afternoon, the medevac team airlifted two afghans seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. how common is it for you to pick up afghans? >> very common. we do, of course, all u.s. coalition forces, enemy prisoners of war, afghan, local nationals, afghan national army. basically anyone in the country that needs medical evacuation we go ahead and handle. >> reporter: while the priority is stabilizing patients, this weekend's helicopter incident is adding a new focus. a crash like the chinook crash raises your awareness. >> yes. >> reporter: how so? >> we've been here since months and you kind of get in your rhythm and it makes you more wary like, wow, people are still dying here everyday. >> reporter: missions continue across afghanistan and the troops here tell us that something like the chinook incident only served as a reminder of what's at stake and
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of the work still ahead. seth doane, cbs news, kandahar, afghanistan. >> mason: and the "cbs evening news" continues now with scott pelley in kenya. >> pelley: we've decided to report to you tonight from east africa because the famine emergency here is taking on historic proportions. tonight, the united nations says 3.7 million people face starvation and the u.s. government estimates that 29,000 children under the age of five have died in the last 90 days. this is a camp in kenya where 400,000 somalis are here and 1,500 more throw themselves on the mercy of the camp everyday. these are the new arrivals. you know them by the faces dusted with the desert and by the eyes that have seen too much. medina ali was one of those waiting to be admitted to the camp.
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she sat with the quiet resignation of a woman who had fought to save her children in an unforgiving land. how long were you walking? >> 17 days. >> reporter: and how many children do you have with you? >> four children. >> reporter: did all of your children survive the journey? >> one boy died on the way. >> reporter: the somalis are farmers and ranchers who tried to hang on after one year without rain, then two and three. now land is pale and livestock have fallen. there's no help at home. somalia hasn't had a stable government in decades and much of it is run by a brutal militia called al-shabab. to trace the path of the refugees, we drove north today with the u.n. to the border. there we got the help of a local militia to take us into the country.
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that's it. that's the border. we've just crossed from kenya into the failed state of somalia and this is essentially no- man's-land. this is southern part of the country where al-shabab has held sway for a long time, but now this local militia has taken over this small part of the country and they're providing cover for the humanitarian relief efforts that are just beginning to penetrate somalia. six days ago, the united nations children's agency unicef set up this emergency feeding station in the somali town of doubli. layla abrar with unicef is our guide. >> the coming groups from these villages, they kind of help each other along the way. but by the time they get to a place like doubli, which is a transition village they are barely alive. >> reporter: this is medina, who told us she walked three months before she reached this place yesterday. did all of your children survive? >> ( translated ): two children died on the way. >> reporter: how old were the children?
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>> ( translated ): one was eight years old and one was nine years old. >> reporter: where did you have to leave them? >> ( translated ): we left them exactly where they died because we didn't have the strength to carry them and we didn't have the strength to bury them. >> reporter: this woman walked in with her one and a half-year- old granddaughter. unicef showed us how they used this tape to diagnose malnutrition. anything in the red is life threatening. >> she went beyond the green, she went beyond the yellow, and she went far beyond the red and she's there. >> reporter: 9.6 centimeters, ten centimeters or so smaller than she should be. >> she's severely malnourished, needs specialized treatment. you can see her eyes are already whitish. it's really a severe situation that we see everywhere in somalia. now she's not only starving she's dying.
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>> reporter: tonight the united nations says the number of acutely malnourished children like the one you just saw comes to 340,000. late today, the white house announced the united states will send another $105 million in emergency relief. later in the broadcast, we show you what life is like in the refugee camp. but up next, an explosion of anger in london. the rioting spreads when the cbs news continues. ♪ [ country ] [ man ] ♪ gone, like my last paycheck ♪ gone, gone away ♪ gone, like my landlord's smile ♪ ♪ gone, gone away ♪ my baby's gone away with dedicated claims specialists... and around-the-clock service, travelers can help make things better quicker. will your auto and home insurer... be there when you need them most? for an agent or quote, call 800-my-coverage...
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>> pelley: rioting in london that began over the weekend is continuing tonight. more than 200 people have been arrested so far. british prime minister david cameron is cutting short his vacation to deal with the crisis. mark phillips now on what's behind the violence. >> reporter: the violence has spread like an arc of burning anger across london, parts of which were in flames for the third night running. it started as a demonstration after a police operation in which a man was killed, but it's now become a wave of violent outbreaks that threatens to spiral out of control. >> to see scenes like that is absolutely heart breaking and shocking. >> reporter: they are areas with a history of social tension, but police are calling these outbreaks copycat opportunistic rioting. police at first were accused of under-reacting to the violence, then of overreacting. a stop-and-search incident spurred this latest round of violence.
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but whatever tactic they use, they haven't been able to stop it. wherever the police presence quells the violence in one area, it breaks out in another. >> what i've seen is pure violence, is pure gratuitous violence. it's criminal damage. >> reporter: whether the rioting is being coordinated or just random, it is destructive and right now no one seems to know how to stop it. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> mason: we got word today that a former colleague of ours died over the weekend. dr. bernadine healy was a cbs news medical consultant back in the 1990s. a cardiologist, she was the first woman to head the national institutes of health and later served as the president of the red cross. dr. bernadine healy, who had battled brain cancer, was 67. they used to. e are you one of them? remember when you had more energy for 18 holes with your buddies. more passion for the one ya love.
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good job girls. >> mason: the heat wave across much of the country is breaking record after record. today the national weather service reported the average temperature in oklahoma in july was 89.1 degrees-- the highest for any month in any state ever. and dallas is on track to set a record this saturday, 43 straight days of triple-digit heat. the education department is changing course on "no child left behind." school districts have long complained about the program's mandated testing. today education secretary arne duncan said some of the testing will be waived for districts that pursue other reforms. at age 28, diana nyad tried but
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won't police reveal the name of the suspect? next on cbs 5 what's behind the "meatless monday" ca >> pelley: back now at the dadaab refugee camp at the center of east africa's famine emergency. this has become the largest refugee camp in the world, with 400,000 people living here and a quarter of them have come in just the last six months. the united nations hasn't been able to expand services that fast, so many of the refugees are living in the desert as best they can. when new refugees arrive, their fear of immediate starvation is over. they'll find the basic foods they need. but then they set off for the place that's known as the outskirts. against the winds, they hold on the a piece of desert that is about as barren a place as there is on the earth. they make these domes out of
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twigs and inside families of five, six or more huddle against the sun-- no longer starving, not quite living. chris tridy is with the united nations's children's agency unicef. >> there's a huge population on the outskirts of the camps near are not getting the services they need because of the rate of influx is so high. >> reporter: we talked to people who said their entire village got up one day and left together. >> you're talking thousands and thousands of people moving en masse to get as quickly as they can to locations where they can access food and water. >> reporter: disease follows the weakened refugees to the outskirts: malaria, measles. nearby, we melt a girl who weighed no more than an infant. she was fighting what a perd to be infections that caused bleeding in her eyes. can she see? >> ( translated ): she can see out of one eye.
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>> pelley: she's blind in one eye? >> correct. >> pelley: how old is she? >> ( translated ): seven years old. >> pelley: this girl is seven years old? >> seven years old. >> reporter: chris tridy of unicef called the medics but they said she wasn't dying. they told her father to bring her to a camp hospital the next day. the u.n. is expanding services but too many are coming too fast. about 1,500 a day. the weather drove them here and all day long in the outskirts it seemed that the wind had come to finish them off. there are a lot of agencies providing relief to the refugees and you will find information on how to contact them on our web site. we will have more from the african famine emergency tomorrow night. until then, for our team at the dadaab refugee camp and from all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley. good night.
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nearly three years. the downgrade. the sell off. and advice from those who've seen this all before. the worse day for your investment in nearly three years. the downgrade, the selloff and advice from those who have seen this all before. a 14-year-old murdered, now 27 years later a suspect has been arrested. his relationship to the victim and the break that helped police solve the case. you lied to the board of supervisors and are in that office under false pretenses. >> yesterday he was the reluctant yet dedicated mayor and today he's a divisive politician, officially in the running. good evening, i'm dana king. >> and i'm ken bastida.


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