tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 8, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
>> pelley: tonight, death >> pelley: tonight, death benefits are cut off for fam families of fallen troops. to the nation. the speaker of the house stood his ground. david martin and anthony mason are on the breaking story. the supreme court heard arguments that the rich should be allowed to give as much as they want to political campaigns. jan crawford on how the justices reacted. the nobel prize goes to the men who explained the origin of everything. mark phillips on the god particle. and our prize goes to 92-year- old betty soskin. this full-time federal employee wants to give washington a piece of her mind. >> the only problem is you feel like you're the only grown-up in the room after a while. while.
captioning sponsored by cbs captioning sponsored by cb this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. ley. captioning sponsor >> pelley: good evening. if you missed the movie "groundhog day," it is playing in washington. day 8 of the government shutdown was like 1-7-- the president and the speaker made appearances but neither saw even the shadow of a solution, at least none that the other would accept. in the meantime, nearly 460,000 federal workers are furloughed. their jobs are not getting done. and the cost to the economy is now estimated to be $8.5 billion. and there are new casualties of this battle-- the families of americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. david martin has their story. >> reporter: four americans killed in combat in afghanistan this weekend are on their way home for the last time. sergeant joseph peters left a wife and 20-month-old son.
normally they would receive a $100,000 death benefit, and the government would cover the cost of flying to dover air force base in delaware, where flag- draped caskets come how many home. not now. >> republican, democrat, no matter who we are, shouldn't we be embarrassed about this? shouldn't we be ashamed. >> reporter: as senator john mccain spoke it had already happened to families of the 17 service men and women killed while the government was shut down, six in afghanistan. army ranger sergeant patrick hawkins was on his fourth tour. cody patterson on his second. jennifer moreno volunteered for special operations forces in afghanistan. before the shutdown, congress passed a bill authorizing the government to keep paying and supporting the troops, but the language, according to the pentagon's interpretation did not permit payment of the death benefit air, fact which senator carl levin warned about ahead of
time. >> there are other unthinkable outcome on the government shutdown on our security. family members of military members who die in combat would not receive death benefits during a shutdown. >> reporter: the unthinkable happened, and you know what came next. the blame game. congressman duncan hunter sent this letter to defense secretary chuck hagel blame the pentagon for a careless legal interpretation that resulted in mistakenly denying payments. private charities have stepped forward to cover the families' expenses, and congress is scrambling to reinstate that death benefit. that could solve the problem but not erase the shame. >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon for us. david, thank you. now, let us remind you how we got here. the federal budget had to be reauthorized by october 1. republicans in the house passed a funding bill but they attached a rollback of the president's health care law known as obamacare.
neither the president nor the democrats in the senate would stand for that. now, republicans say they will not fund the government until president obama agrees to budget cuts. mr. obama says he won't talk about the budget until the government is funded. the president had a word for this today. >> we can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy. democracy doesn't function this way. and this is not just for me. it's also for my successors in office. whatever party they're from, they shouldn't have to pay a ransom either for congress doing its basic job. we've got to pate stop to it. >> pelley: but the partial shutdown is not the half of it. next week, congress must approve the payment of america's growing debts or allow uncle sam to become a deadbeat for the first time in history. late today, the leader of the republicans, house speaker john boehner, said they will not authorize this increase in the so-called debt ceiling unless the president agrees to budget cuts first.
>> there's going to be a negotiation here. we can't raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what's driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means. the idea that we should continue to spend money that we don't have and give the bill to our kids in & our grand kids would be wrong. this isn't about me and frankly, it's not about republicans. this is about saving the future for our kids and grand kids. >> pelley: it's next week's deadline on paying america's debts that is the biggest threat to the economy. that has turned wall street increasingly sour. the dow hit an all-time high in mid-september, but since then it has fallen 900 points. it dropped nearly 160 today after hearing the speaker and the president. it closed today at 14,776. so who's afraid of a federal default? here's anthony mason. >> reporter: the u.s.
treasury's already using emergency measures to pay its bills. but by october 17, it will be down to $30 billion in cash. >> $30 billion in the treasury is equivalent to probably $30 in your checkbook or mine. >> reporter: mark patterson, a former treasury chief staff under president obama says before the end of this month, the u.s. government will owe $12 billion in social security payments and $6 billion in interest payments on the debt. and on the first of next month, another $58 billion is due in social security, medicare, and military and veterans' benefits. the president would have to decide who to pay and who to delay. >> when i was at the treasury we looked at all the options for sort of contingency plans. they all have sort of god-awful consequences. >> reporter: if, for example, the government can't pay interest on the treasury bills,
which are considered the world's safest investments, it could cause chaos in financial markets. as goldman sachs c.e.o. lloyd blankfein said. >> we're the reserve currency of the world. payments have to go out to people. if money doesn't no in, then money doesn't flow out so we really haven't seen this before and i'm not anxious to be a part process that witnesses it. >> reporter: a debt ceiling crisis could cause interest rates to double on mortgages, student loans, and auto loans. >> this is a country that pays all of its bills on time, always has, not a day late or a dollar short. that's the u.s. treasury. if we operate in a different way we are asking to become a country with frequent debt crises like greece. >> reporter: the treasury borrows nearly $1 out of every $5 it spends. one wall street analyst says calculating the effect of a u.s. debt default is like preparing for a large asteroid impact. >> pelley: we'll keep following this. anthony, thanks very much. money and politics was also an
issue for the supreme court today. the justices heard the latest challenge to campaign finance reforms that were enacted after the abuses of the watergate era. jan crawford tells us that the question before the court is whether limits on individual contributions to candidates and political parties violate the first amendment. >> reporter: in court, the battle lines were drawn. liberal justices defended rules that limited the overall amount of money people can give to different candidates and political parties just as ruth bader ginsburg suggested the limits promote democratic participation adding, "the little people will count some and you won't have the super affluent as the speakers that will control the elections." conservatives indicated overall limits on contributions to candidates instead infringe the right to free speech. justice samuel alito bluntly
dismissed sphek alation caps are needed to prevent corruption. "what i see are wild hypotheticals that are not obviously plausible." the case was brought by alabama businessman shaun mccutcheon, who argues he should be able to support as many candidates as he wants in an election cycle. under the law, he will hit the contribution cap after donating the maximum $2600 to 18 candidates. >> i think this is a fundamental free speech issue about your right to spend your money on as many candidates as you choose. it doesn't make and sense that if, say, my 18th race was alabama house race, and then i also wanted to donate to a florida senate race i couldn't do that. >> reporter: but veteran campaign finance reform advocate fred wertheiner said there is more at stake and the individual contributions would add up to millions. >> this case is not just about whether mr. mccutcheon can give a few extra contributions. it's whether he can give $2.5 million to support congressional candidates.
>> pelley: and a decision on the case is months away. jan, thanks very much. >> we have late breaking news from washington tonight. cbs news has learnedded that president obama will nominate janet yellen tomorrow to be the next chairman of the federal reserve. yellen is currently the vice chairman. if confirmed she would succeed ben bernanke, who is retiring. one week after the debut of the most visible part of obamacare, the health insurance exchanges, americans are still having trouble signing up. the main government web site was shut down overnight for another upgrade. but the problems persist. we asked anna werner to have a look.
>> reporter: it's been a frustrating week for matt warren in dallas. he's still fighting his way through the registration process on healthcare.gov, to find out how much the plan will cost his family. >> i don't accept the excuse the system was overloaded. i wish it would have been built to withstand that load. >> reporter: many of the site's eight million visitors could not log in, had long waits, or were stopped cold by error messages. the site was supposed to handle traffic from 30 million people in 36 states. david semus is a white house senior adviser. >> it's a volume issue that required our team both hardware and software to address it to deal with the volume we were seeing which was extraordinary and a sign of good things to come. >> reporter: one of the biggest drags on the system was i.d. verification. more computing power and software changes were added over the past four days to fix the system.
some state-run exchanges have fared better. new york state said today it signed up 40,000 residents on its web site. after a week of trying, brooklyn shoe designer found the catastrophic public plan she was looking for, with a high deductible-- nearly $13,000 a year, but with a premium of $186 a month. what was the feeling for you when you finally got into it? >> it was a really good feeling. the web site was working and that was nice. >> reporter: we asked the department of health and human services to identify specific mistakes in the design process. they wouldn't. but, scott, we learned software that failed was designed by private contractors. >> pelley: anna, thanks very much. we just learned of a major development in that road rage attack in new york city. as you know, dozens of bikers swarmed an s.u.v. and beat the driver. one of the bikers was run over and critically injured. well now our john miller tells us an undercover new york police
detective was arrested. the detective was riding with the bikers and was allegedly caught on tape banging on the back window of the s.u.v. we're tracking a salmonella outbreak that has now spread to 17 states. two men who spent half a century chasing the god particle will share a nobel price prize. and tom hank shares a story that could save lives when the cbs evening news continues. people are stuck in very old habits
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brennan >> pelley: >> pelley: scientists who solved the mystery of the universe was award the nobel prize in physics. they suggested that a subatomic peter higs and francois englert. they suggested that a subatomic particle known as the higgs boson gives mass or substance to everything we know, is called the god particle. >> reporter: they've sung his name, and they've smashed subatomic particles against each other to prove the higgs boson particle that he theorized 50 years ago must exist actually does. and now in stockholm, they've given the biggest prize in science to the man who gave the particle his name. >> professor peter higgs. >> peter higgs did show up in july last year when scientists at the hadron collider outside geneva confirmed his long-held theory that there was a so- called god particle that explained why the universe held together. >> for me it's really an
incredible thing that happened in my lifetime. >> reporter: the theory is that the higgs boson particle acts as a kind of nuclear glue that allows the stars, the planets, and everything else-- including us-- to exist. it took the 17 miles of tunnel and $10 billion of investment and the world's biggest collider to prove it. but on the day of his nobel triumph, higgs, a private man, was as elusive as the particle that took so long to fine. higgs wasn't to be seen today. this is his working at the university of edinburgh earlier this year. his cowinner, francois englert, who worked on the same problem in the 60s, was less elusive. he said he was happy. the staff at the collider, too, were celebrating the award. and now the choir of workers there has something else to sing about.
♪ higgs, higgs, glorious higgs ♪ . >> reporter: mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> pelley: now here's something you're going to hear more about tomorrow. our state department correspondent margaret brennan has learned that the u.s. has quietly suspended most financial aid to egypt, including more than half a billion dollars set to go to egypt's military. a military coup in july overthrew egypt's first democratically elected government. tom hanks battled somali pirates on the the big screen. now he's fighting a real-life enemy. his story is next. before copd...
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her busy saturday begins with back pain, when... hey pam, you should take advil. why? you can take four advil for all day relief. so i should give up my two aleve for more pills with advil? you're joking right? for my back pain, i want my aleve. >> pelley: tom hanks surprised a lot of people when he shared this news. >> i went to the doctor and he said you know those high sugar numbers you've been dealing with since you were 36? well, you've graduated. you've got type 2 diabetes, young man. >> pelley: hanks is now a young man of 57. he is one of more than 23 million americans who have type 2 diabetes. the disease can damage the heart, the eyes, and the kidneys so we asked dr. jon lapook to join us. you were showing us earlier that people with elevated blood sugar can do a lot.
to avoid getting diabetes. >> we found a large study of people with prediabetes and it turns out the combination of diet, exercise, and weight loss can lower the risk of them getting type 2 diabetes by 58%. that's a huge reduction. >> pelley: we know, you've been tell us for years, obesity can double the risks, but tom hanks is not obese. >> no, but even being a little overweight can block the action of insulin and 15 to 20% of people who have type 2 diabetes are a normal weight. it's not just weight. it's genes. it's lifestyle, and then there's aging. even if you're not obese, aging itself can lower the ability of the pancreas to make insulin and lower the ability of the body to respond to it. so you have that plus a genetic tendency can add up to diabetes of diabetes as you get older. >> pelley: so lifestyle modifications our best defense? >> it skdgds boring, but you know what is not boring, not getting diabetes. >> pelley: the government has put out a health alert because of a salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken. it has spread to 17 states and made 278 people sick.
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>> pelley: among the parks closed by the government shutdown is one that honors the women who worked in america's factories during world war ii. they were known as rosy the riveter. a park ranger who tells their story has been furloughed, so tonight, she's going to tell it to john blackstone. >> reporter: the rosy the riveter national historic park can't compete for beauty with other closed national parks. it's an old shipyard in richmond, california. >> full speed production was under way. >> reporter: i >> full speed production was under way. >> reporter: in the 1940s, thousands of workers, many of them women, came together here to build the supply ships that helped win the second world war. they completed one ship in just over four days. there's some irony. you're telling the story of the greatest mobilization of workers in this country, and you can't go to work. >> no, that's right. that's right. >> reporter: betty rerid soskin is a park ranger here. at 92, she is the oldest full-
time ranger in the national park service. she has been furloughed. >> well, i'm here. i want to do my work. >> reporter: the rosy the riveter national park is all about work and working together. the women and men who built the ships came to california largely from the segregated south. >> mississippi, oklahoma, arkansas, louisiana, and texas, worked of 98,000 black and white southerners who wouldn't be sharing drinking fountains for 20 years back in their places of origin, without the benefit of focus group or diversity training. they had to do it cold turkey. >> reporter: that history is personal for betty reid soskin. she knew her great-grandmother who was born into slavery in louisiana and lived to 102. betty reid soskin's first job was in a segregated union hall. she has seen the country go through conflict and crisis. your patient with the workings of democracy. >> yes, yes, because i've seen so much change. we wax and wane, and go in the wrong direction, and to make mistakes. >> reporter: you can learn a lot in 92 years.
yeah, that's true. that's true. the only problem is you feel like you're the only grown-up in the room after a while. >> reporter: we could use a few more grown-ups right now. >> we could use a lot more grown-ups. >> reporter: it is said, that if we forget history, we're doomed to repeat it, but the history of national unity, park ranger betty rerid soskin teaches, may be worth repeating as well as remembering. john blackstone, cbs news, richmond, come. >> 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 access.wgbh.org
your realtime captioner is mrs. linda m. macdonald bart riders with a message for negotiators as we near the end of the 60-day cooling-off period. good evening, i'm ken bastida. >> i'm elizabeth cook. dozens of people are gathering with banners, signs and lots to say about a potential bart strike. chopper 5 over a union rally at frank ogawa plaza in oakland a push to get support for bart to call for a fair contract. the preparation should be there for another walkout. ryan takeo is at the rally. reporter: good evening. there are at least 200 supporters here union supporters here at frank ogawa plaza. the unions say if there is a strike, it is because bart negotiators are forcing them into one. either way area business
leaders say another strike could cripple the economic development of the bay area again. >> last time it was really difficult. >> reporter: if you thought july's bart strike was bad, you're not alone. >> we had to carpool a lot. >> reporter: workers at the financial district's [ non- english language ] had to rely on each other. managers rounded up workers in the east bay to carpool. >> mostly all of it. we live in berkeley. >> reporter: it's frustrating. >> crazy. traffic packed. so bad. no, no, no. >> we urge you to help your employees form workplace carpools. >> reporter: business leaders warned prepare for something worse if there's another strike. fall brings more workers, more students, and more drivers so the bay area council and other business groups want companies to think outside the box. how about letting