tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS September 6, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> pelley: tonight, new plans for an attack on syria. david martin has learned that the pentagon is planning a bigger strike. elizabeth palmer reports from the battlefield in damascus. and major garrett questions the president. >> reporter: are we on a fast track to military action as soon as congress renders its judgment one way or the other? >> pelley: the new unemployment numbers are not what was expected. mark strassmann will show us where high-paying jobs are on the rise. the america's cup launches tomorrow. carter evans reports it's high- tech and high-risk. and steve hartman "on the road." no adoptive family was willing to take troubled taylor-- until connie going found the perfect home. >> she knows my worst side and she still cares about me and still loves me. captioning sponsored by cbs
this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening, president obama is opening a new front in his battle to get congress to authorize military action against syria. he's taking his case directly to the american people. the president said today he will address the nation from the white house on tuesday. he made that announcement in st. petersburg russia at the end of the g-20 economic summit. the strike against the syrian dictatorship would be punishment for a nerve gas attack two weeks ago that the administration says left 1,400 syrian civilians dead. elizabeth palmer is the only american network reporter inside syria as the country braces for a u.s. attack. she spent time today with militias that support the dictatorship fighting rebels who rose up more than two years ago.
>> reporter: here's how the syrian government doubled the size of its fighting force in less than a year: it issued guns and bullets to civilians. the main job qualification: unwavering support for president bashar al-assad. this is the front line. and behind me are members of the national defense force and they are defending their neighborhood, trading fire with opposition fighters who are only 20 yards away down the street. a sniper's bullet clipped the mosque. the fighters thought they'd spotted him and opened up. later, when things were calm, four of them agreed to talk. two years ago they worked as a cook, a shopkeeper, a construction worker, and a car wash attendant who didn't want us to show his face. but when war ruined their businesses, they traded unemployment for crisp uniforms and a job on the front lines. so the bullet went in here and came out here? wow.
the area of tadamon was shattered last year when the opposition fighters battled their way in. six months later, the defense force pushed them back out with syrian military backup, something they still rely on. in a battle just last week, they asked for the army's big guns again. the syrian army has assigned tadamon's defense force their very own liaison officer. he didn't want his face shown on camera, but he did lead us into his bullet-scarred command post. do you see it as an extension of the military now? "they were created to assist the troops," he said. "and they know the area so well they actually lead the army." in that role, these men brim with patriotism and confidence and were keen to tell me they don't believe america will attack. why do you think they won't? "well, it would be the start of
world war iii" they said "and we think u.s. must now be thinking very hard about that." >> pelley: elizabeth is joining us in damascus. liz, when this war started two years ago, it was a massive popular uprising, people have wondered how assad has hung on. is this one of the ways? >> reporter: it certainly is. he has a core body of support, especially here in damascus. the fighters are offered a hundred dollars a month if they want to take the salary. a lot don't, they're just volunteers and they are completely supported by the community, fed and looked after by the people that they believe they're protecting. >> pelley: elizabeth palmer more insight from damascus tonight. thank you, liz. when president obama announced last saturday that he had decided that the united states should take military action. he also said that action would be limited in scope. but david martin at the pentagon
tells us tonight the scope appears to be widening. as syria's military hunkers down in anticipation of an american strike, the pentagon is looking for new targets to hit and new ways to hit them, including with manned aircraft. the original strike plan called for launching several dozen unmanned cruise missiles from u.s. navy destroyers in the eastern mediterranean. but syria's military has started moving potential targets such as rocket and missile launchers to make them harder to hit, hiding them, putting them in civilian neighborhoods, even burying them, all in an effort to limit the damage. that has forced the pentagon to find other targets and to consider using more powerful weapons like this 2,000 pound bomb which can only be carried by aircraft but is able to destroy buried targets. jets aboard the aircraft carrier "nimitz" in the red sea as well as long range air force bombers based as far away as the united states are capable of carrying those weapons.
the risk to pilots would be low since the weapons can be fired from distances outside the range of syrian air defenses. but adding aircraft would make what has been billed as a limited strike of short duration a more complex and costly operation. keeping the "nimitz" at sea, for instance, costs at least $25 million a week. pentagon officials insist adding aircraft and switching targets would not change the basic mission which is to convince syria never to use chemical weapons again. >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon. david, thanks very much. the commander-in-chief is heading home on air force one this evening looking back on a day when he struggled to rally support for a strike. among the 20 leaders at this week's economic summit, only a few support military action. alternatives to an attack are being proposed, including giving the syrian dictatorship a chance to give up its chemical stockpiles. our chief white house correspondent major garrett asked mr. obama about that.
are you, mr. president, looking at any of these ideas or are we on a fast track to military action as soon as congress renders its judgment one way or the other? >> i'm not itching for a military action. recall, major, that i have been criticized for the last couple of years by some of the folks who are now saying they would oppose these strikes for not striking. and i think that i have a well- deserved reputation for taking very seriously and soberly the idea of a military engagement. so we will look at these ideas. so far, at least, i have not seen ideas presented that, as a practical matter, i think would do the job. >> pelley: even on the road the president has been lobbying members of the house and senate to approve his plan, but nancy cordes tells us he's not getting much help from the congressional leadership. >> reporter: senate leader harry
reid and house speaker john boehner both support military strikes. but they've kept their public statements and their private lobbying to a minimum. house minority leader nancy pelosi says members need to decide on their own. >> some people will never be for anything and i totally respect that. but i do not believe that we can ignore the use of chemical weapons. >> reporter: the silence from leadership makes constituent voices register even louder. >> please oppose any action in syria. >> reporter: republican james bridenstine says he agrees with the voters who spoke at his town hall in oklahoma. >> so far what i haven't seen from this president is him define for us what is our national security interest in syria. >> reporter: in arizona, senator john mccain, who supports intervention, went toe to toe with angry voters for the second straight day. >> we see this over and over again! we got iraq, we got afghanistan. what have we accomplished?
>> i would say that if now that the president of the united states does not, after saying that the united states is going to act, doesn't, then, again, i wonder about that message that is being sent. >> reporter: leader reid did tell us in passing today that he thinks the resolution will get the 60 votes it needs in the senate next week. but, scott, members and aides over in the house say that they believe the vote there is heading in a very different trajectory, a trajectory of no, at least right now. >> pelley: nancy cordes at the capital. thank you very much. we have a correction involving a picture that we showed you last night. it was a photo from the "new york times" the times said showed syrian rebels executing soldiers loyal to the assad dictatorship. that much is still true, the "times" now says today it got the date wrong. it wasn't this year, it was from 2012. economists expecting a better
jobs report today but this is what we got. the unemployment rate last month fell to 7.3%-- the lowest in four and a half years, but that was largely because a lot of people took themselves out of the work force and are not counted as unemployed anymore. add back in those who have given up the hunt for work along with people forced to settle for part-time work and the underemployment rate was 13.7%. the number of jobs created was less than expected at 169,000. well, tonight, mark strassmann tells us about one industry that is seeing a lot of jobs growth, and that's automobiles. >> this is basically the beginning of the plant. >> reporter: jessie davis started on the assembly line at this v.w. plant in chattanooga. today this 37-year-old mother of three is a supervisor. >> i've jumped three levels in three years. so it's made me that much more hungry. >> reporter: you started out here building cars, you ended up building a career?
>> correct. >> reporter: five years ago, chattanooga beat out 400 other cities to become the home of this plant. it cost v.w. $1 billion to build. more than 2500 workers here assemble the passat sedan. they belong to the manufacturing middle-class america is trying to rebuild. v.w.'s plant workers with overtime average $50,000 a year. >> the main jobs that were here were like heavy-duty, nasty manufacturing jobs and they've gone. they're few and far between now so volkswagen coming in as a team member making $14, $15 an hour it was a big jump for a lot of people in this area. >> reporter: these jobs are nonunion and pay less than auto union or national averages but any new manufacturing jobs are hard to create. over the last year, the economy has added just 20,000 of them. tennessee had to offer v.w. more than $363 million in incentives to build this plant.
what has been the impact of this facility on this community? >> some of my team members that i came in with three years ago, they maybe came in and like their glasses were kind of broken, their teeth might have been a little bit frayed, kind of brown. when you look at them now you know they have like designer glasses on, their smiles are beautiful again and their confidence level has changed. >> reporter: today, the united auto workers announced it's in talks with v.w. to establish a workers' council in the plant. it could be the first step to unionizing and higher wages. did you ever imagine yourself working in a place like this? >> never. >> reporter: now that you're here? >> i love it. >> reporter: tennessee is one of seven southern states with major car making plants that hopes to build a future in manufacturing. mark strassmann, cbs news, chattanooga, tennessee. >> pelley: there's a new push for immigration reform tonight-- from the pulpit. and the america's cup sailboats are very fast and very dangerous. when the "cbs evening news"
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>> we attempt to help them to become documented if they can do so under the current immigration law. >> reporter: how difficult is that? >> it's very difficult. which is one of the reasons why that as a church we think we need to reform a system that is broken. >> reporter: that's the message sullivan plans to deliver in his sermon this week end to get parishioners to put pressure on congress. he'd like to see an earned path to citizenship for many of the people he helps. isn't the church inserting itself into politics here? >> what we're talking about is speaking in the public square about political issues and the moral values that are part of that and there are values that need to be spoken about and there need to be policies that need to be developed that reflect a just, compassionate society. >> reporter: demographics are also part of the motive. 38% of american catholics are hispanic. that number is growing.
california congressman jeff denham says he won't submit to pressure to vote for the senate proposal he considers flawed. 41% of his constituents are catholic. >> i think the biggest challenge with the senate bill is their border security piece. that is by far our top priority. both houses, both parties agree that border security should be number one but just throwing money at the problem doesn't solve it. >> reporter: but the window for congressional action is closing quickly. there are only 39 legislative days left until the house adjourns this year. elaine quijano, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: what's it like to fly over the waves? we'll show you how they do it at the america's cup next. next. duracell quantum. with its high density core, it's a quantum leap in battery power. power. in the hands of the most powerful. duracell. trusted everywhere. [ crashing ]
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>> pelley: they set sail tomorrow in the superbowl of sailing-- the america's cup. team u.s.a. and team new zealand will race in san francisco bay using the most high-tech sailboats ever made. they could be also the most dangerous. carter evans takes a look. >> reporter: the 72 foot catamarans racing for america's cup don't just sail, they fly. what does it feel like when the boat lifts up on that hydrofoil? >> it's amazing, exhilarating. it's a feeling you never get sick of. >> reporter: jimmy spithill is skipper of oracle team u.s.a. the catamarans use a 13-story tall wing to catch the wind and underneath the hulls hydrofoils lift the boats into the air.
>> that enables us to get speeds up to over 60 miles an hour. so they're very, very fast. you've got almost hurricane winds coming off the deck then it starts to accelerating and it keeps growing and growing and growing. >> reporter: a sailor died when the swedish team's boat capsized in may. team u.s.a. flipped its boat lastfall. is it more dangerous? >> these boats are definitely more dangerous. a formula 1 car is more dangerous than your family sedan. but that's where the sport is at. this isn't for the average sailor. >> reporter: the stakes have never been higher. each team has spent $100 million. earlier this week, team u.s.a. was penalized for breaking the rules by adding weights to their boat during warmup races. you guys have been called cheaters. what do you say to that? >> people can say what they want. i don't agree with the sanctions. but the fact is i've moved on. it's given us motivation. >> reporter: they'll need it. as part of the penalty, team u.s.a. will begin the finals two races in the hole. carter evans, cbs news, san
francisco. >> pelley: peyton manning made it look easy last night. the denver broncos quarterback kept throwing touchdown passes again and again, seven in all, tying a record. no one had done that in 44 years. the broncos beat the super bowl champion baltimore ravens 49-27 in the n.f.l. opener. this young man needed a home and she was determined to find him one. and they did where neither ever imagined. "on the road" with steve hartman is next. you know throughout history,
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>> reporter: it's your job to find without that family is. >> yes. >> reporter: but when you get a kid like taylor -- >> (sighs) >> reporter: that heavy sigh punctuates a ten-year struggle over this kid. for ten years connie tried to help taylor get adopted to no avail. >> it was always what somewhat my fault. but i didn't realize that, you know, when i was growing up. >> reporter: neglected by drug- addicted parents, taylor and his two sisters entered the foster system in 2003. this footage is from a local news segment aimed at trying to find the siblings an adoptive family and eventually they were adopted. someone took all three-- but then gave taylor back. said he had anger issues. connie eventually found him another family, but they returned him, too. same reason. >> i was just so mad because i thought that they weren't going to keep me. i was just trying to test them. >> reporter: but they were going to keep you.
>> yeah, i know. >> when you feel you're not lovable and you're up against someone loving you, that's a pretty scary thing. >> reporter: throughout the whole process, connie never gave up believing there was someone out there for taylor, someone who could see his potential and help him realize it. after that second family returned him, she stopped looking. >> all i could think about was how he was feeling and how he was blaming himself again. >> reporter: connie says she felt so bad for taylor she got this ache, this physical ache in her stomach. but it was a pain that came with an epiphany. she says she realized right then and there she couldn't be his caseworker anymore. the next day, she made arrangements to drop him as a client and take him on as a son. you'd looked all over for somebody to parent him. >> and it was me. >> reporter: their adoption was finalized earlier this summer. connie, divorced with two biological children, welcomed her first boy with open arms.
of course, taylor still had his anger issues. that mirror in his bedroom didn't break itself. but most of the madness has stopped as of a few weeks ago after taylor told connie he was running away from home. he goes "i'm leaving, i hate this." i said "i'm not sending you away, taylor." and he'd look at me, take his backpack off and go back in. (laughter) >> and i'm, like, yeah, this is where i belong. she knows my worst side and she still cares about me and still loves me. i put "mom" because i couldn't fit connie. >> reporter: sounds like someone's adopted a new attitude. steve hartman, "on the road," in st. petersburg, florida. >> 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. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
san bruno disaster: tonight- and-e admits critical mista after promising to take steo protect the public. good evening, i'm ken bastida. i'm juliette goodrich in for elizabeth cook. kpix 5's len ramirez joins live in san bruno-- and reports officials are conce p-g- and-e is *still puttig bay area neighborhoods at r [sf insert san bruno pipeli disaster video] pg and e's