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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  September 4, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> pelley: tonight, a strike on syria is one step closer. a senate committee votes to attack, but there is opposition in the house. >> what is the end game here? where is the imminent danger to the united states? >> pelley: nancy cordes on capitol hill. major garrett is traveling with the president. the most notorious criminal in years has committed suicide. michelle miller has the story. there's fresh evidence today that the economy is improving. we'll check in with mellody hobson on what to expect. and of all the stars at the u.s. open, our favorite is angelo anderson. jim axelrod with the afghanistan vet who refused to let the enemy take him out of the game. how do we get from you taking two rounds in afghanistan to being a ball boy at the u.s. open? >> it was quite a journey.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. president obama has won the first battle in his campaign to get congress to authorize military action against syria. as you know, the president wants to punish the assad dictatorship of syria for a nerve gas attack two weeks ago today. u.s. intelligence says sarin gas killed more than 1,400 civilians, including more than 400 children. today the senate foreign relations committee passed a resolution that would give the president authority to carry out a limited strike. the 10-7 vote sends the measure to the full senate. congressional correspondent nancy cordes is on capitol hill for us tonight. nancy? >> reporter: scott, three republicans joined nearly all of the committee's democrats in voting to approve this resolution which was originally written by the white house but dramatically revised by the
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committee in order to restrict the president's military options. >> yea. >> mr. durban? >> yea. >> mr. udal? >> no. >> reporter: the resolution places a 60-day limit with the possibility of one 30-day extension and prohibits the use of united states armed forces on the ground in syria. >> the resolution is agreed to and ordered favorably reported by the committee. >> reporter: even as the plan gained momentum in the senate, the depth of opposition in the house was revealed at a house foreign affairs hearing. new york democrat gregory meeks. >> i don't see or hear-- unless there's another setting i need to be in-- where the world is stepping up and agreeing to act with us militarily. >> reporter: pennsylvania republican tom marino challenged the secretary of state on the effectiveness of air strikes. >> this will not stop the butchering and the killing that takes place over there. so what is the purpose?
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what is the end game here? where is the imminent danger to the united states? >> congressman, you're absolutely correct that it will not stop the butchery. i wish it would. but what it will do is what it is intended to do. it is intended to assert the principle which has been in place since 1925 that no one should use chemical weapons. >> reporter: south carolina republican jeff duncan accused secretary kerry of being more hawkish now than when he was in the senate. >> is the power of the executive branch so intoxicating that you would abandon passed caution in favor of pulling the trigger on a military response so quickly? >> when i was in the united states senate i supported military action in any number of occasions and i am not going to sit here and be told by you that i don't have a sense of what the judgment is with respect to this.
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>> reporter: there were several members who pushed for intervention. republican adam kinzinger of illinois is a former air force pilot. >> listening to some of my colleagues it's been amazing to me that we are seeming to paralyze ourselves into inaction running through every potential scenario that could occur in this. and it makes me wonder god help us if we become a country that can't do the right thing because we paralyze ourselves to inaction. >> reporter: the chairman with the joint chiefs of staff testified today he believes the risk to u.s. soldiers and airmen in such a strike would be low. he also revealed that israel is preparing for the possibility that syria might try to retaliate by striking them. also, scott, he estimated that the cost of these strikes to the u.s. might run into the tens of millions of dollars. >> pelley: and a full vote in the senate could come next week. nancy, thanks very much. you may have just notice secretary kerry mentioning 1925. he was referring to the geneva protocol banning chemical weapons in war signed after the horrific gas warfare of world war i. 138 countries have signed the ban, including the united states
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and syria. president obama has made a point of staying out of the two-year- old syrian civil war, but a year ago he warned the syrian dictator that a red line would be crossed if the dictator used chemical weapons against his rebellious citizens. the president is in stockholm tonight meeting with the swedish prime minister. our chief white house correspondent major garrett is there. >> reporter: president obama was asked if he needed to strike to preserve his credibility because he set a red line on the use of chemical weapons 13 months ago. >> first of all, i didn't set a red line, the world set a red line. the world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorred and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war. point number two: my credibility is not on the line, the international community's credibility is on the line. >> reporter: the president said
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syria will not be shamed or talked out of future use of chemical weapons. >> so the question is after we've gone through all this, are we going to try to find a reason not to act? and if that's the case then i think the world community should admit it. because you can always find a reason not to act. >> reporter: mr. obama asserted that he has the authority to attack syria alone but predicted congress will back him up. >> as commander in chief, i always preserve the right and the responsibility to act on behalf of america's national security. i do not believe that i was required to take this to congress but i do not take this to congress just because it's an empty exercise. i think it's important to have congress' support on it. >> reporter: president obama
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soon leaves for a global economic summit in st. petersburg, russia. russian president vladimir putin, who back it is syrian regime, called secretary of state john kerry a liar today for appearing to minimize the role of al qaeda-backed fighters in the syrian opposition. >> pelley: and the president is due to return late friday night. major, thanks very much. so, are americans behind the president? well, the pew research center has just done a poll that asked about possible u.s. air strikes against syria. 29% said they were in favor, 48% opposed. 23% said they just don't know. most members of congress are still on vacation and they're getting an earful of opinion in their last week at home before returning to washington. manuel bojorquez listened in. >> why is this so special that it requires u.s. intervention? >> reporter: at this panama city, florida, diner, a dozen voters peppered republican steve
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sutherland with questions about syria. sutherland says he's leaning against voting to authorize the use of force. i'm curious on this particular issue what you're hearing from them? >> overwhelmingly we are hearing pushback from our citizens against a military action in syria. >> reporter: sutherland narrowly won his seat in 2010, becoming the first elected republican from this district since it was formed in 1963. he's expecting a competitive race as in 2014 which could be further complicated by his vote on syria. if the administration is able to present you with something that you vote yes on, are you prepared for a possible backlash in your district? >> well, sure. that's a factor. but every vote has some backlash. so i'm used to that. >> reporter: sutherland's district in the florida panhandle includes tyndall air force base. this colonel who served in iraq worries u.s. intervention in syria could lead to a wider war. >> one of the unintended consequences is going to be how are we going to end this and not have it grow out of control or flame out of control. >> reporter: the war fatigue,
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how big a factor is it in this district? >> that's a huge part of our decision-making process. to make sure the most weighty decisions of sending men and women into conflict that we have done so with heart, mind, and soul. >> reporter: congressman sutherland has also asked constituents to call or e-mail him regarding syria. scott, he says so far 300 people have and 96% of them oppose u.s. intervention. >> pelley: manuel, thanks very much. we woke up this morning to the surprising news that ariel castro had committed suicide in prison. for a decade, castro held three young women captive in his house of horrors in cleveland, beating them and raping them.
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but he apparently decided that he could not live behind bars. here's michelle miller. >> reporter: we're told ariel castro hanged himself with a bed sheet at this prison in central ohio. guards had checked on him less than 30 minutes before his body was found. a month ago, castro pled guilty and accepted a life term to avoid a death sentence. >> reporter: the women he abused and raped declined to comment today. amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight have asked for their privacy. the house that was their prison was torn down last month. neighbor jose aponte. >> i don't feel nothing for the guy. i mean, how can you feel something for somebody that kidnapped three girls and hold them captive for almost a decade? >> reporter: children now play in the garden planted on the
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site of what became known as the house of horrors. the people here say now that castro is gone it may be easier to move on. >> i knew that he was going to do something like this, but not this soon. >> reporter: this woman grew up across the street. you feel he should have lived longer? >> yes. he -- yeah. suffered more in jail. those girls suffered 11 years and he only suffered for four months. >> reporter: cuyahoga county prosecutors said in a statement today, scott, that castro couldn't even take for a month a small portion of what he dished out for more than a decade. >> pelley: michelle miller at the site of the castro home which was demolished. michelle, thanks very much. the administration has seven million people on its most wanted list-- for obamacare. some of the heaviest traffic in the nation is in car dealerships. and rescuers work to free a whale caught in a net when the "cbs evening news" continues. dentures are very different
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>> we need all hands on deck here. the health of our people, the security and stability of our families and the strength of our economy are all riding on getting health care reform right and doing it well. that means we have to do it together. >> pelley: americans can begin buying policies on the new health insurance exchanges on october 1 and, as ben tracy tells us, the administration is working hard to get folks to sign up. >> do you currently have health insurance? >> reporter: angelica marquez and her colleagues work for local health clinics. they've had no problems finding uninsured in this part of california. what percentage of the people
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are uninsured? >> i would say one out of ten are insured and 90% of people are not. >> do you currently have health insurance? >> no, not yet. >> reporter: using a mobile software program marquez told her she will qualify for subsidized insurance based on her income. the income cutoff for subsidies under the affordable care act is $46,000 for individuals or $94,000 for a family of four. if they had not come up to you and talked about what your options might be, would you have known? >> not so much. i would haven't known. i probably would be doing something last minute. >> reporter: the government's goal is to enroll seven million americans in the health care exchanges by next spring, but a new poll shows 62% of the uninsured say they don't have enough information about how obamacare will affect them. 44% of all americans think it was either repealed, overturned or unsure if it's still law. people can enroll on line but the health care bill earmarked $11 billion for community clinics nationwide in part to do this outreach and enroll. >> it's so easy, thank you.
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>> reporter: after they knocked on pilar mendoza's door she went to her local clinic to get coverage for her daughter sophie. with health care coverage what will you be able to do for your daughter that you haven't been able to do? >> i will be able to get her immunizations back on track and enroll her in school. >> reporter: because without immunizations she can't go to school? >> right. >> reporter: so that makes a big difference? >> it's a huge difference. it's her future. >> reporter: mendoza qualified for medicaid under obamacare and her coverage begins immediately. ben tracy, cbs news, california. >> pelley: so, how much will it cost to buy health insurance on the state exchange? in a new study of 11 states that have posted prices so far a mid- range policy would cost a 21- year-old on average $270 a month. a 40-year-old would pay $330, a 60-year-old $615. tax credits for lower-income people would reduce those costs. if you want proof that the
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economy is getting stronger, look no further than show room. that's next. next. ,,,,
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>> pelley: one of the hottest places in the country this august was the automobile show room. according to numbers out today, cars and light trucks were selling at their fastest pace since the country plunged into the great recession. ford and chrysler sales were up 12%, g.m.'s up nearly 15%.
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the best-selling vehicle by far- - as usual-- was the ford f- series pickup. mellody hobson is a financial and economic analyst for cbs news and she joins us this evening from our los angeles newsroom. why is this happening? >> it's happening because during the great recession people couldn't afford to make a big purchase like buying a car, and as a result of that they postponed that purchase, which means now the cars on the road are the oldest they've been since we've been keeping the statistic. the average car is 11.4 years old. so this isn't about want, it's about need. cars have outlived their useful life and people have to go and buy new ones. >> pelley: mellody, you put some numbers together for the folks at home, tell us what this means to the broader economy. >> well, one thing is to think of it as every car that's sold is like a jobs multiplier. approximately two million jobs are related to the auto industry in this country. one in every four manufacturing
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jobs is related to the auto industry, so it's a big driver of economic growth. on top of that, it is anticipated that this year 35,000 auto jobs will be added to the economy. so you can think of this as being good for the car companies, good for their shareholders, but also very good for the u.s. economy. >> pelley: financial analyst mellody hobson, melody, thank you very much. in alaska, rescuers are trying to save a humpback whale that has been tangled up in fishing gear for nearly two weeks. some of the netting is getting caught near its blow hole. most of the heavy gear is underneath the whale and is not an immediate danger but the rescuers are worried that the whale may have trouble feeding itself if it isn't freed soon. if you kept your eye on the ball at the u.s. open, this young man may look familiar. his unlikely path from afghanistan to flushing meadows next.
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last week and a half chasing down tennis balls at the u.s. open. what is this experience like for you? >> i'm actually still nervous. >> reporter: which on one hand makes sense since it's his first year in this high-pressure jobs where a stadium full of eyes will see every mistake. but after what he's been through it's hard to believe this could make him nervous. >> this here is the entrance wound for the bullet that shattered my humerus. it ricocheted up. >> reporter: on july, 2010, this navy medic was patrol ago village in afghanistan where a marine unit he'd been assigned to. >> once i walked in between the two houses, gun fire rang out and that was the gun fire that actually hit me. >> you remember hearing this? >> yes, all of it vividly. >> reporter: one round ripped through his right arm, another shattered his right leg. you've got a nice souvenir there of your time in afghanistan. >> definitely. but my favorite, though, is my doctor's signature that did the surgery's on my arm and my leg.
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>> reporter: how do we get from you taking two rounds in afghanistan to being a ball boy at the u.s. open? >> (laughs) it was quite a journey. it's still actually a process and a journey that i take everyday. >> reporter: after multiple surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical therapy, this purple heart recipient was participating in the warrior games, a competition for wounded servicemembers, when a scout suggested he try out for a ball boy spot the u.s. open holds for members of the military. did you know anything about tennis? >> um -- i knew that love meant zero and to never love a tennis player because of that fact. that's all i knew. (laughs). >> reporter: what is your presence at the open communicating to other wounded warriors? >> my purpose here is solely to speak to the heart and the mind and the body of those that think that they can't do because of what happened to them. >> reporter: sounds to me like you're on a mission of inspiration. >> i am.
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>> reporter: as much fun as he's been having, navy corpsman angelo anderson is looking forward to what comes after even more, when he heads back to camp lejeune to train other medics. tennis is great, he says, but he's got a job to do. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> 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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the debate whether to >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald it's about not ignoring the use of chemical weapons with a strategic strike. >> to sift your beliefs, your values, your thoughts. >> the debate whether to take action in syria is dividing bay area congressional leaders. good evening, i'm juliette goodrich in for elizabeth cook. >> i'm allen martin. new signs tonight that the crisis in syria is creating an unusual split among bay area democrats. suddenly house minority leader nancy pelosi is on opposite ends with many of her closest allies. phil matier tells us some of those democrat are threatening to deliver a rare rebuke to both pelosi and their commander- in-chief. >> across the country, there are different views in our caucus and in the country on
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the subject. >> reporter: that was house democratic leader nancy pelosi responding to questions about why fellow democrats including lawmakers right here in the bay area are saying "no" to the administration's call for an attack on syria. >> this isn't about going to war. it's about not ignoring the use of chemical weapons with a strategic strike. >> reporter: maybe. but even in pelosi's own backyard, bay area representatives like san jose's zoe lofgren continue to say not so fast. >> clearly, the leaders of the two parties have reached conclusions which is fine but that doesn't dictate to all the members. >> reporter: george miller agrees. what are you hearing from constituents? >> that they're absolutely against it, they don't see it as america's problem. >> reporter: and indeed, a recent surveyusa/kpix 5 poll found 7 out of 10 bay area polls believe that the syrian