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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 14, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> pelley: tonight, fire on a rampage. the worst wildfire in colorado history has now destroyed nearly 400 homes. >> everything was in the house. we lost everything. >> reporter: but firefighters and the weather are slowing it down. barry petersen is on the front lines. the kraut had this farmer praying for rain. now dean reynolds tells us he's praying for it to stop. will u.s. weapons be enough to topple syria's dictator? david martin is at the pentagon, and elizabeth palmer talks with the rebels. and on the road-- the whirlybird catches steve hartman's attention. >> i mean, they told us it was impossible. who doesn't want to prove everyone wrong when they're told that something's impossible? imposs captioning sponsored by cbs captning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. two people are dead, 38,000 are outho, their homes this evening, 24 square miles of dry, forested terrain has gone up in flames around colorado springs. for four days, life has gone on just one step ahead of the fire. peter mcevoy had his at-bat and then went home to evacuate his baseball trophies. j.c. francis said she remembered watching television by the fireplace in her aunt's house. the weather is now helping, for a change, and barry petersen is on the fire line. >> reporter: with a break in the weather, the 750 firefighters get their first real chance against a fire that can spread faster than a man can run. incident commander rich harvey. >> as that fire moves and is burning, it's throwing embers out in front of it, up to about a third of a mile. it runs, it jumps and, you know,
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it joins forces. >> reporter: and it was slowed, at least for now, thanks to a thunderstorm that swept through the burning area. it has been a week of agony for people like michael and francis vialpando. who moved to the black forest in 1963. their two sons and two daughters eventually built their houses within walking distance of their parents'. the entire family had just 10 minutes to leave when the fire rushed in on tuesday. what did you grab? what did you get out? >> not much. just-- just ourselves. >> reporter: no family photos or mementos? everything? >> everything, everything was in the house. we lost everything. >> reporter: now all that's left of their house is a chimney, and the other houses my also be destroyed. >> my kids are all alive, so i thank god for their safety. >> it's easy to rebuild when you're young. but i'm 80 years old. and if i had to do it again, i
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don't know if i can. >> reporter: the family is starting a fund to raise money to rebuild their parents' house. it was not insured. colorado officials are talking about a request for federal disaster aid. that could mean services and money for families just like this, scott, when it comes time to rebuild. >> pelley: barry, thanks very much. it has been a season of extremes. 44% of the country is still in drought, including much of the west. but at the same time, the upper midwest is suffering through one of the wettest springs on record. dean reynolds reports that's a complete reversal from a year ago. >> reporter: last july, bob bleuer's farm in channahon, illinois, was dying of thirst. >> with lack of water, we don't have near the growth we should. >> reporter: burned brown from the unrelenting drought, his corn, wheat, hay, and soybean crop fields were off by two- thirds. this is literally the opposite of what it was last july. >> last year, yeah.
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>> reporter: this has been the wettest spring in 40 years for much of the nation's corn belt. rain fall in parts of the upper midwest is eight inches above normal. three inches fell wednesday night alone on the bleuer farm. >> if the gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers, right? >> beyond my control. >> reporter: so this season, his hay fields are too soggy to plow. his wheat is bent and beaten from the storms. your corn crop you think is going to be okay. >> what isn't underwater, yes. >> reporter: this pond that appeared two days ago prevented him from seeding his 120-acre field of soybeans. so you sort of need an imagination to visualize what it should look like, i guess. >> yeah. >> reporter: do you have any idea how deep it is out there? >> i'm not walking out to find out. but it's probably a foot and a half two, feet. >> reporter: more suitable for seafood. did you ever think you'd see fish in your fields? >> no, no, not especially here.
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it's a long way from the river, and i don't know-- i don't know how it got here. >> reporter: the national weather service says the unseasonably wet spring was caused by a low pressure system that hovered for months all the way from the northern plains to the southeast, producing above- normal amounts of precipitation, and, scott, the weather forecast for here this weekend is for more rain. >> pelley: hoping for a break in the weather, dean, thanks very much. yesterday, the white house said that the president had decided to send weapons to the rebels fighting to overthrow the assad dictatorship in syria, but the white house did not say what kind of weapons. well, correspondent david martin has figured that out and reports tonight from the pentagon. >> reporter: the military aid to opposition forces is intended to show syria president obama meant it when he said use of chemical weapons will was a red line. it would also shore up the rebels, who have suffered recent defeats.
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department national security adviser ben rhodes said the increase would be dramatic but not to expect dramatic results. >> this is not something that's going to be resolved with the turn of a switch. >> reporter: previously approved shipments of food, medical supplies, and military gear, including armored investigation, would increase in size and frequency. and for the first time, the c.i.a. would be responsive to rebel requests for small-arms ammunition and antitank weapons, but not anti-aircraft missiles. rhodes seemed comfort the c.i.a. could keep aid away from the extremists. >> we have aid that gives us greater certainty not that we can just get things into the country but put it into the right hands. >> reporter: testifying before congress in april, the chairman of the joint chiefs, general martin dempsey does not share that confidence. >> it's more confusing on the opposition side today than it
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was six months ago. >> reporter: american troops, along with f-16 fighters and air defense missiles are currently conducting a training exercise in jordan. the fighters and missiles are expected to stay behind when the exercise ends, but officials say the u.s. does not intend to establish a no-fly zone over syria. rhodes said another long-term military engagement in the middle east is simply not in the national interest. but when it comes to syria, neither he nor any other official can answer that famous question from the iraq war, "tell me how this ends." >> pelley: david, thanks very much. elizabeth palmer has reported extensively from inside syria. she's been speaking with some of her contacts there today and joins from london. liz, we just heard ben rhodes say it wasn't likely these weapons would fall into the hands of islamic extremists, but what are the odds? >> reporter: well, it's pretty much guaranteed some of them will go astray. all sorts of methods have been discussed to keep track of them right down to numbering the shells and distributing them to specific groups.
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but these groups fight with one another. there's a thriving black market in arms. so it's going to be very hard-- no, impossible to keep track of them. however, the administration is foraging ahead. assad's troops have made significant gains in the past couple of weeks helped by this very powerful militia backed by iran, hezbollah. these gains are seen by the administration, in effect, as victories for iran, and so that's why there's real urgency behind this initiative. >> pelley: thanks, liz. syria is one of the topics on "face the nation" this sunday. bob schieffer's very special guest will be the white house chief of staff, dennis our investigative correspondent sharyl attkisson has worked on a number of sensitive stories for us, including the terror attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya.
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well, today, we learned that her computer has been hacked. cbs news put out a statement saying that a cyber security firm hired by cbs had determined through forensic analysis that attkisson's computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely, using attkisson's account. cbs news it working on finding out the identity of the hacker. we know more tonight about the gunman who went on that shooting rampage in santa monica, california, last week. he killed his father and brother at home and then three strangers at a community college. police were unable to trace his weapon, and carter evans found out why. >> reporter: the assault rifle 23-year-old john zawahri used in his santa monica shooting spree is illegal in california, but jacqueline seabrooks said he came up with a solution. >> he was able to by buy gun components from across the country to build his own 223
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own 223 semiautomatic rifle. >> very easy to build one yourself. >> very easy to build one just. >> reporter: components to build a semiautomatic rifle are available on the internet. so are the assembly instructions. the sale of most gun parts online is not regulated, except for one critical component. it's called the lower receiver. it holds the mechanical parts of the gun, such as the trigger. a background check is required to buy one, but police believe zawahri got around that by buying a partially completed lower receiver and modifying it. gun enthusiasts call them 80% receivers. we found web sites that sell them for less than $200 and specialty kits with tools for final assembly. scott, police say one of the reasons zawahri may have use aid homemade gun in his shooting rampage could be because his request to obtain a gun in 2011 was denied.
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>> pelley: indicator, thank you. it was six months ago they had a gunman burst into the sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, and starting shooting. today, newtown observed 26 seconds of silence, one for each of the 20 first graders and six adults who were killed. and the newtown bee published an opinion piece written by former arizona congresswoman gabrielle giffords who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt two years ago and roxanna green. her daughter, nine-year-old kristina-taylor green was one of six people killed. both women say more needs to be done to stop gun violence writing in part:
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>> pelley: after the terror attack in benghazi, u.s. diplomats now undergo extensive security training. and the pope gets a taste of hog heaven when the cbs evening news continues. continues. [ female announcer ] your smile... and stain it... and stain it. so every day, use crest 3d white toothpaste to remove up to 90% of surface stains in just 5 days. no wonder crest 3d white is the number one whitening brand. after all, every day counts. life opens up when you do. to rock a whiter smile in just two days, use these products together. bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business. take these bags to room 12 please. [ garth ] bjorn's small business earns double miles on every purchase every day. produce delivery. [ bjorn ] just put it on my spark card.
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john kerry, replaces christopher stevens, who was killed along with three other americans during the assault in benghazi. since then, diplomatic security en overh overhauled, and margaret brennan went to one of the special training camps for our diplomats. >> reporter: charles hornbostel >> reporter: charles hornbostel is on his way to a post at the u.s. embassy in afghanistan in july. this month, at a camp in west virginia, he was trained in how to deal with the attacks that are a part of everyday life there. that something as small as a fedex envelope or any other sort of envelope could in fact contain enough explosives to cause you great amount of injury, all right. >> reporter: he learned what to do when cornered by a terrorist in a vehicle... >> now, inside of your vehicles there's a lot of compartments and areas to hide things. >> reporter: ...and how to find out if an explosive is planted in the car. it's pretty scary to be going into a place like kabul that it is a war zone. >> it is a little scary. i'm actually thinking more about my family, to be quite honest.
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>> reporter: since the attacks in benghazi, the number of diplomats required to take this course has jumped, and with more embassies becoming terror targets, the administration has been forced to dramatically increase security and surveillance overseas. there have been more than 200 attacks on u.s. posts in the past five years. and the number of missions considered high threat has increased in the last nine months from just two to more than 20. in addition to the deaths at the u.s. mission in benghazi last fall, 25-year-old diplomat anne smedinghoff was killed this spring in afghanistan. she was based at the u.s. embassy in kabul. when you saw that story, knowing where you were going, what did you think? >> i thought, "yes, huge tragedy, scary what happened." didn't change my opinion about going. it's not the safest thing in the world, but if wanted safe we just stay home. >> reporter: how is your wife doing with this? is she nervous? >> she is nervous. she's naturally nervous. you know, she doesn't want me to
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be gone in a place that is in the news, quite frankly. >> reporter: he'll leave wife ciforty and three-year-old son alexander behind. kabul is considered too dangerous for family members. to make it safer for diplomats in the field, the state department has created a unit that monitors high-threat posts 24 hours, a day. they've add security agents and marine guards to most dangerous u.s. missions. but, scott, agents tell us that they still did not have the resources to fix all of the security flaws highlighted in those benghazi attacks. >> pelley: margaret brennan at the state department. margaret, thank you. a young boy demonstratdq the spirit of america next. for our families...
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our neighbors... and our communities... america's beverage companies have created... a wide range of new choices. developing smaller portion sizes and more.. low and no-calorie beverages... adding clear calorie labels so you know... exactly what you're choosing... and in schools, replacing full-calorie soft drinks... with lower-calorie options. with more choices and fewer calories... america's beverage companies are delivering. >> pelley: we'd like to show you something that happened this week during the n.b.a. finals between the miami heat and the san antonio spurs. before tuesday's game in san antonio, the national anthem was
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sung by a young latino boy you may recognize from america's got talent. >> sebastian de la cruz. ♪ o' say can you see >> pelley: but that performance brought an ugly storm of racist anti-latino tweets. well, there was only one way to answer the hatred. the spurs brought sebastian back last night when he again showed his love for america. ♪ and the home of the brave >> i'm mexican american and this is the american dream. this is what i lived for, to be in the free country of america. >> pelley: in the land of the free, one brave young man. ( cheers and applause ) and we had to show this. harley davidson lovers presented
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stopped by st. peter's square this week to present pope france wis a couple of classic bikes. so the vatican the vatican fleet now includes a pope mobile and two pope cycles. in a moment, those magnificent terrapins in their flying machine. "on the road" at the university of maryland next. n? yeah... try new alka seltzer fruit chews. they work fast on heartburn and taste awesome. these are good. told ya! i'm feeling better already. [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer fruits chews. enjoy the relief! little things anyone can do. it steals your memories. your independence. ensures support, a breakthrough. and sooner than you'd like. sooner than you'd think. you die from alzheimer's disease. we cure alzheimer's disease.
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our commitment has never been stronger. >> pelley: with man's love affair with flight. for centuries, people have dreamed of soaring like an eagle and gliding like a falcon, and for a select few, hovering like a humming bird. steve hartman met a flock on the road. >> reporter: if leonardo da vinci were arrived today, you can bet he'd be on that gym
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floor, down there with those university of maryland students hoping to see what he first saw in his mind's eye more than 500 years ago. >> ready to take her up? >> reporter: a human-powered helicopter. until recently, remarkably little progress had been made on da vinci's design. a few got up. kind of. but quickly went down, often in the human-powered equivalent of flames. >> it's really hard to make a human-powered helicopter because humans are in general really terrible engines. they're worse than a steam engine. it would be easier to build a steam-powered helicopter than a human-powered helicopter. >> reporter: so why are they even chasing this windmill? >> they told us it was impossible. who doesn't want to prove everyone wrong when they're told that something's impossible. >> reporter: they've been at it almost five years now. some of the grad students put in more than 40 hours a week building and rebuilding this monstrosity. it's as wide as a 737, but
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weighs less than a small cheerleader, just 82 pounds without a pilot, an engineering marvel. but here's the really amazing thing-- it works. at least in so far as it can consistently lift off and land in one piece. what's the practical application? >> the practical application, honestly, there isn't really a practical applications. you're not going to commute to work 65 seconds at a time in a human-powered helicopter any time in the near future or probably ever. >> reporter: again, it's mostly a pride thing. but there's also a prize. the american helicopter society and the sikorsky helicopter company are offering a quarter of a million dollars to the first team or school that can hover straight for one minute and reach a height of 10 feet. >> back it down. >> reporter: the height has been the hard part. for months, the maryland kids never got above four feet. >> the university wasn't going to fund us anymore. it had been four years. there needed to be something that happened drastic. >> reporter: team member
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elizabeth weiner was under the helicopter last summer during what was supposed to be their last, "give it everything they've got" attempt. >> and i watched him pass me. he went over my head and i saw my fingertips not even close to touching the bottom of it. it was very overwhelming. >> reporter: they redefined the very word "impossible." >> it will be really exciting and i think there will be that rush right after. >> reporter: what you're most looking forward to? >> is a nap, some rest. >> reporter: steve hartman, on the road. >> it's going to be great. >> reporter: in landover, maryland. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley. i'll see you sunday on "60 minutes." good night, and happy father's day. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh media access group at wgbh
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>> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald the bad news is 1700 employees are out of a job. >> it's one of the most drastic layoffs in recent bay area history. and it's at one of the biggest and best known companies in silicon valley. good evening, i'm allen martin. >> i'm elizabeth cook. just last month, analysts reported an increase and head count at symantec. but then came today's surprising announcements. new at 6:00 we asked len ramirez if the silicon valley economy is humming, why so many layoffs? len? >> reporter: well, for some companies, it's humming along. for symantec, unfortunately, it is not. symantec officials are not officially commenting on the number of layoffs but it is expected to be very significant. and when a company this size does something like that, it has definite ripple effects throughout the local economy. it is one of the biggest and
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most well known companies in silicon valley. >> symantec. >> reporter: a coffee roasting manager knows many of symantec's 21,000 workers as regulars and friends. >> hey, how's it going? >> reporter: her shop is just two blocks from the sprawling symantec campus and takes in about 10% of its sales from symantec catering orders and walk-ins. >> to 7:30 it's like line out the door sometimes both ways. >> reporter: now she is afraid the lines and the business will begin disappearing. symantec is in the middle of a companywide transformation and reorganization that will reportedly cut 1700 jobs, potentially one of the big job upheavals in the valley in years. >> they are having to restructure because they are facing increased competition. >> reporter: david writes a stock market blog called all about trends. he says while many silicon valley companies are trending up, symantec has been going the other way. the company makes internet security and antivirus software. its popular norton