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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  April 19, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> pelley: tonight, the plot to blow up the new york subway. bob orr has the f.b.i. interview with a terrorist who was planning the biggest attack since 9/11. six-year-old eton patz disappeared on his way to school. now, 33 years later, a new clue takes police to a new york city basement. john miller is covering. on the day pat summitt steps down, president obama makes a surprising announcement. dean reynolds is with the winningest college coach ever. and seth doane with the billionaire's son. how howard buffet plans to feed america's hungry. >> reporter: what would do you without a program like this here? >> starve. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. september 2009 might have been one of those dates etched in our history. that is when al qaeda terrorists planned to walk on to new york city subway trains and grand central terminal with bombs in their backpacks. those trains are ridden by more than five million people each day. details of this plot came from an admitted terrorist, now a government witness, at the trial today of an alleged coconspirator. homeland security correspondent bob orr is following the case. >> reporter: this is the handwritten recipe for bombs najibullah zazi hoped to explode on new york city subway trains. the nine pages of instructions were written by zazi in 2008 after he attended al qaeda training classes in pakistan. the notes, complete with scientific formulas and diagrams of lab beakers, details on how to build bombs with cooking oil, nail polish remover, hair bleach
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and ball bearings. zazi's homemade explosives guide was revealed in a new york courtroom where zazi testified against an alleged accomplice. zazi, the son of afghan parents, spent his teenage years in new york and later moved to colorado. he's pleaded guilty to planning the failed 2009 subway attacks, but newly released tapes of his f.b.i. interviews show zazi initially denied the plot. he explained the bomb making notes came from a book he downloaded and discarded. >> reporter: zazi also denied owning bomb-making equipment like a scale needed to mix ingredients. >> reporter: but zazi conceded a scale was found in his luggage.
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he was arrested four days later. lswly released e-mails also show zazi stayed in regular touch with his al qaeda handlers, right up to the point where he became spooked by police surveillance and abandoned the plot. for example, as he was preparing explosives inside this denver motel just before driving to new york, zazi sent a series of messages asking for help: "i do not know the amount. please, right away." but zazi also sought to assure al qaeda the plot was on. using a familiar jihadi code, he wrote, "the marriage is ready." in pleading guilty to the plot, zazi promised at the time to testify against other terror suspects whenever the u.s. government calls. and the fact is, scott, he's been an active source of information, meeting with the f.b.i. and others some 40 times in the past two years. >> pelley: bob, thank you. federal investigators are using every tool they have to get to the bottom of the pentagon secret service prostitution scandal. 21 americans are under investigation for allegedly
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hiring prostitutes in colombia while they were preparing security for president obama's trip there last weekend. norah o'donnell is at the white house breaking new details tonight. >> reporter: u.s. government investigators are now on the ground in cartagena, trying to piece together what happened last wednesday night, misconduct so intolerable it ended the careers of at least three members of the united states secret service. we have learned the names of two of the supervisors let go. david cheney was allowed to retire. greg stokes, who ran the canine unit, was removed with cause and under federal rules has the option to appeal. a third officer resigned and another eight remain under investigation. their futures remain in limbo. new york congressman peter king has been briefed regularly by secret service director mark sullivan. >> my understanding is there will be more resignations coming in the next day or so, and perhaps more after that. basically, director sullivan has said that as soon as he believes he has sufficient evidence to require someone to leave, he will act.
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>> reporter: we have also learned that all agents accused of wrongdoing are undergoing drug testing, but there is no evidence of drug use. polygraphs have been conducted on agents involved all week, and investigators have the names of all the women involved and none are believed to be under aged. the youngest woman was 20 years old. and as secret service officials continue to brief lawmakers, there was widespread outrage today on capitol hill. >> it's a stunning thing. it's actually disgusting. >> reporter: former house speaker nancy pelosi said it's time for the secret service to clean house. >> i don't see how those who are involved in this should be able to continue in their work. >> reporter: we asked white house spokesman jay carny whether there is evidence of a widespread problem at the secret service. is the president convinced this is an isolated incident? >> that would be a conclusion that you would have to reach after you actually investigate this incident. >> reporter: the secret service is being very careful not to say that such behavior has never happened before, but, scott, officials have told congressional investigators that such an incident has not been
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reported to their office of personal responsibility before. >> pelley: and the pentagon's investigating ten of its own in the case. norah, thank you very much. you may remember the name and the face: etan patz, the first missing child to appear on a milk carton. he disappeared in new york city 33 years ago. tonight, police are following a new lead. john miller has covered this case since the day etan disappeared, and he brings us up to date tonight. >> reporter: today, for the first time in three decades, police and the f.b.i. returned in force to the new york city block where etan patz vanished. new york police spokesman paul browne: >> we're putting greater emphasis on this location, looking forensically for any evidence of human remains or clothing. >> reporter: investigators intend to dig up the concrete floor in a basement that was once the workshop of neil
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miller, a handyman who befriended the six-year-old boy. the concrete floor was laid just days after etan vanished. patz disappeared in may of '79. he was last seen by his mom walking to the school bus stop by himself. the case tapped into the fears of every parent. it was one of the most highly publicized disappearances of a child. author lisa cohen wrote a book on the case. >> i think this really was a turning point for american culture. i can't tell you how many times people have said to me, "how could she let him walk to the bus stop by himself?" that's what people did back then. that was... that was absolutely a standard, and that was before etan. and after etan, everybody changed. >> reporter: images of etan patz were placed on milk cartons. but for stan and julie patz, there was never closure. the disappearance became a cold
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case. for years, jose ramos a convicted child molester from the neighborhood who indicated etan's baby-sitter was considered the prime suspect. john miller is joining us now. john, what led them to that basement? >> reporter: well, this takes this case in an entirely different direction from the former prime suspect, jose ramos, and it's a couple of things, scott. it's... there's a sealed affidavit filed in court. they have witness information in there. it concerns when that concrete floor went down, right after the boy disappeared, why it went down. and another element is they brought in f.b.i. cadaver dogs who did a search of that area. they've done some ground- penetrating sonar. they've seen some anomalies. this gave them probable cause to bring to a judge for a search warrant. >> pelley: after 33 years. john, thank you very much. a u.s. army black hawk helicopter has crashed in southwestern afghanistan. as many as four american soldiers are feared dead. the black hawk was on a nighttime mission. the cause of the crash is not known.
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that cease-fire in syria is falling apart. the u.n. says syria's dictator, bashar al-assad, isn't complying. new video posted online today appears to show the city of homs, a city of 1.5 million people, being shelled again as the regime tries to crush a freedom movement that rose up more than a year ago. very few reporters have been admitted into syria, but our elizabeth palmer is in damascus tonight. liz, i understand you were detained by the syrian army today for having a look around. >> reporter: yes, we tried to go to one of the towns where the cease-fire had broken down. but when we went through the last main military checkpoint, the soldiers realized we had neither a government minder nor written permission. so, while they decided what to do with us, we had a chance to talk with the soldiers, and they told us that they were tired. they haven't been able to go home on leave for between five and eight months.
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and they're also scared. they say they're coming under attack regularly. >> jim: i wonder, is either side observing the cease-fire? >> reporter: from what the officer told me, no. he said he had orders since last thursday when the cease-fire was due to start that his men should not fire, even if they were fired on. and then he said, "of course, it's hard to stop young soldiers from firing back when they come under sustained attack." so an admission that it is breaking down sporadically, and, of course, in homs, it's broken down completely. the shelling has practically not stopped at all. >> pelley: so the fighting goes, despite the cease-fire. liz, thanks very much. there may be an arms race starting in asia. after india tested a powerful new missile that can reach major cities in china. the missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead all the way to china's capital, beijing. india joins now an exclusive club of nations with long-range missile capability that includes
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the u.s., russia, china, britain, france and israel. the white house said today that president obama will present pat summitt with the medal of freedom, one of the nation's highest civilian honors. the university of tennessee head coach has been the face of women's basketball for nearly 40 years, but today early-onset dementia forced summitt to step down. dean reynolds was there. >> it's never a good time, but you have to find the time that you think is the right time, and that... that is now. >> reporter: it was a quiet, even subdued moment when pat summitt passed the head coach's whistle to her successor in a mostly empty auditorium. >> three seconds! somebody count! >> reporter: a far cry from the rip-roaring four decades that characterized her 38 years as head coach at tennessee. >> defense, one, two, three. >> defense! >> reporter: she won more than 1,000 games, more than any other college coach. >> right there, right there! >> reporter: tennessee's new
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head coach, holly warlick, was summitt's assistant for 27 years. what made her so special? >> well, i think we see pat and she has the focus, but what i loved about pat was her passion. >> reporter: university of connecticut head coach geno auriemma faced summitt four times for the national championship. >> she had the foresight and she had the vision and the intensity level. and she made it like, hey, it's okay for women to stare you down on the sidelines and be upset and show emotion. >> reporter: but over the past season, her players could see a difference in their 59-year-old coach. megan simmons is a sophomore guard. >> you could see a change in her and how she was, you know. there were some days where she would be there and then she wouldn't. >> reporter: now the coach who was so competitive she got physically sick when she lost a game, the woman who continued recruiting prospects even as she went into labor, will help out here as head coach emeritus. >> they're going to still see
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me, and i'm still going to yell at them. but, you know, i love these young people, and hopefully they'll keep me young. >> reporter: with that, she walked off the court that bears her name. it was, she said, a really great ride. dean reynolds, cbs news, knoxville. >> pelley: it was a great ride for her students, too. everyone who played four seasons on her team graduated. two of the biggest names in airlines may be moving toward a merger; the air force intercepts a mystery plane flying on its own; and the amazing "discovery," awaiting visitors to the smithsonian-- when the "cbs evening news" continues. the way you want? y can orencia help? could your "i want" become "i can"? talk to your doctor. orencia reduces many ra symptoms like pain, morning stiffness and progression of joint damage. it's helped new ra patients
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equipment right now to fly. >> reporter: u.s. airways could add key domestic hubs like dallas and miami in a merger that would see the country's fifth largest airline swallow the fourth largest. american's unions, which made $4 billion in concessions to the airline nine years ago, might get a better wage and benefit deal from u.s. airways. gavin has been a pilot at american for 14 years. >> i would just say the stomach for another concessionary deal and being where we're at is not where the 8,000 pilot of american airlines want to be. >> reporter: a merger would leave just four major u.s. carriers, compared to eight in 2001. american airlines wouldn't comment directly on any negotiations, but, in a letter to employees today, american c.e.o. tom horton addressed takeover speculation that he said was fueled by those who seek to serve their own agendas. he said american should proceed with its own restructuring.
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if a merger did happen, scott, it would mean less competition in major hub cities served by american. that would mean fewer flights and likely higher prices for consumers. >> pelley: anna, thank you. a delta airliner made an emergency landing today after striking a bird. it happened just after the plane took off from new york's kennedy airport for los angeles. video taken by a passenger shows the birds flying past the plane. the 767 landed safely at j.f.k. for several hours today, a twin engine cessna flew out of control over the gulf of mexico. the plane was headed from slidell, louisiana, to sarasota, florida, when it lost contact with the tower and began flying in circles. two f-15 fighters tried to contact the pilot, but he had apparently lost consciousness. the plane crashed into the gulf. there was no sign that the pilot survived. reporting for duty: the new space shuttle "discovery" is ready for its new mission, when
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out, headed to its new home in new york. "discovery," the most traveled manned spacecraft, showed some wear and tear from its 39 missions. >> senator john glenn. ( applause ) >> pelley: john glenn, the first american to orbit the earth back in 1962, returned to space aboard "discovery" in 1998. >> it will be a symbol for our nation, of space flight that represents optimism and hope and challenge and leadership and aspiration to explore and to excel. >> pelley: "discovery" now takes her place alongside such historic craft as a concord supersonic jetliner and the "enola gay," the b-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on hiroshima. amazing museum. levon helm died today of throat cancer. ♪ ♪
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many remember his performance in "the last waltz" with his distinctive voice. helm mixed elements of rock, blues and country. his group, the band, once backed up bob dylan before becoming one of rock's legendary acts. levon helm was 71. ending hunger in the heartland-- how farmers are feeding americans, next. americans next. let's start with car insurance x. this one does save people a lot of money and it's very affordable. it was very delicious. could you please taste car insurance y? this one is much more expensive. ugh. it's really bad. let's see what you picked. oh, geico! over their competitor. you are a magician right? no., oh. you're not?, no., oh, well, give it a shot.
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buffet is well known for his charity work, and so is his son. today, howard buffet announced a project to feed the needy, a partnership with the food processing giant archer daniels midland and the national charity called feeding america. seth doane has our story. >> reporter: howard buffet owns a 3,000-acre farm in decatur, illinois. atop his tractor, he can see america's bounty, but not far from here, he sees folks with almost nothing. you are from one of the wealthiest families in america. did you really see, understand hunger? >> no. i wouldn't understand hunger because my kids have never been hungry. i've never put them to bed hungry. i've never been hungry. what i can understand is the humiliation, the frustration, even the embarrassment of some people who have to walk into a food bank for the first time and
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ask for help. i wanted to learn how to farm, and my neighbor asked me to help him. >> reporter: buffet is well known for his anti-hunger efforts overseas. we met him this winter in africa. now he thinks he and his fellow farmers should pay attention to the need here at home. >> i went and visited food banks, and i started to see a picture i don't think a lot of americans see-- millions of our neighbors that don't have enough food to eat on a regular basis. >> reporter: the "invest an acre" program that buffet announced today will allow the 80,000 farmers who use the processing plants run by archer daniels midland to donate the profits from at least an acre of their land. the profits from an acre might be only $100 or $200, but $100 is enough to help provide 800 food bank meals. multiply that acre after acre after acre, and that could make
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a real difference in these communities. the money will go to thousands of feeding america food pantries, primarily in the midwest. buffet's foundation will cover up to $3 million in administrative costs. the goal is to help people, including richard, an out-of- work plumber. he picked up a box from this decatur pantry. it's one day he doesn't have to ask his grown kids for food. what would do you without a program like this here? >> starve. >> reporter: it's that simple. >> plain and simple. >> i don't think the level of hunger in this country is acceptable, not for the kind of society that we are. it is absolutely not acceptable. >> reporter: what is acceptable, says buffet, is planting seeds for a solution, one acre at a time. seth doane, cbs news, decatur, illinois. >>
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>> good evening i am t-mac king >> the 49ers are about to be one step closer to this. this is what their new stadium is expected to look like from the field level. >> and now a live picture where, in just a matter of minutes, the team and the city of santa clara will break ground on that project. mark seelig is at the site where things are just about to get underway. >> we are standing at what will be the 50 yd line. as you can see this program begins moments from now. we did just here about the many benefits of the stadium including its environmental sustainability. >> i want this to be a sustainable showcase of technology, it enhances the game day experience from door-to- door.


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