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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  October 9, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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pelley" is next. captions by: caption colorado pelley: tonight, she could be the most powerful woman in the world. janet yellen is nominated to head the federal reserve. anthony mason on what this could mean to growth and jobs. a charity steps in to pay death benefits for fallen troops that the government cut off. david martin and nancy cordes have the latest on the government shutdown. while ken chenault, one of america's top financial executives, tells us what's at stake in washington. >> if the u.s. defaults, the system literally unwinds. >> pelley: and a prescription for disaster. jim axelrod on a veteran who survived the gulf war only to die while being treated by v.a. doctors. >> reporter: when he came home, did he continue to take all the medication? >> he followed the doctor's orders. the captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. this is the "c >> pelley: good evening, the economy is sill struggling to recover from the great recession. unemployment is over 7%. political battles have shut down much of the government and threatened the first default in u.s. history. so you might ask: why is this woman from brooklyn, new york, smiling? she's janet yellen. president obama nominated her today to keep america's financial system stable in an unstable world as chair of the federal reserve. if the senate confirms her, she will be the first woman ever to lead the central bank, succeeding ben bernanke, and the first democrat in more than 26 years. we asked anthony mason to tell us more about her and the challenges she faces. >> thank you, mr. president. i'm honored and humbled by the
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faith that you've placed in me. >> reporter: she's one of the most experienced economists ever nominated to head the federal reserve. in 1994, janet yellen was named a fed governor. she later headed president clinton's council of economic advisors and has been the fed's vice chair beside ben bernanke since 2010. if confirmed, the 67-year-old yellen would be the first woman ever to run a central bank. >> to have that barrier broken, you know, i'm smiling a lot today, i have to confess. >> reporter: christina romer, former head of president obama's council of economic advisors, became a close friend of yellen's when both taught at the university of california at berkeley. >> she is incredibly smart and in that job when it is so hard and there's so much to know i really trust both what she knows and her judgment. >> she is a proven leader and she's tough and not just because she's from brooklyn. (laughter) >> reporter: the son of a doctor and a teacher, yellen was class valedictorian in her brooklyn
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high school. she later earned economics degrees at brown and yale. today she pledged to honor the fed's mandate. >> to promote maximum employment, stable prices, and a strong and stable financial system. >> reporter: do you think she's likely to continue bernanke's policies? >> it's a very difficult place to make rapid changes. >> reporter: tony frato, former assistant treasury secretary, says the fed's biggest challenge will be ending the stimulus it's been using the prop up a fragile economy. >> the way it does that-- which has never been done before-- getting all of that right is going to be very, very difficult. >> reporter: so the next fed chairman is navigating some uncharted waters. >> no question. >> reporter: and minutes of the fed's september meeting released today show it's increasingly divided. yellen is known as a consensus builder. this may be her first test. >> pelley: it's interesting, anthony, her husband won the nobel prize in economics and they met at the federal reserve.
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>> a lot of brain power in that family. >> pelley: absolutely. but what do her critics say? >> she has critics who think she's too dovish, too liberal, in effect. but even those who disagree with her have respect for her. a former fed governor said "she argues without being argumentative." and we could use more of that in washington. >> pelley: has she said or done anything recently that suggests how quickly she wants to unwind this fed support for the economy? >> remember, she is one of the architects of this policy and she's been extremely vocal about the fed needing to act to bring down the unemployment rate. i think she's going to be very cautious about pulling back. >> pelley: anthony, thanks very much. the federal reserve was founded by congress 100 years ago this year to stabilize the financial system after a series of panics. and what it does matters. bad fed policy is blamed for creating the great depression in the 1930s while chairman ben bernanke is credited for stopping the same thing from happening in 2008. day 9 of the partial government
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shutdown saw the pentagon accepting charity to fulfill one of its greatest duties. david more tin told us here last night that the department stopped paying death benefits to families of troops killed in action. well, some of those troops came home today. >> reporter: the return of a fallen soldier is surely the most solemn event in the life of a nation. but today the honor paid to private cody patterson by defense secretary hagel and other top-ranking officials in a ceremony at dover air force base in delaware was overshadowed by shame. hagel himself said he was "offended, outraged and embarrassed" that the government which sent patterson to war had reneged on its commitment to fair for its family. the senate chaplain began the day by asking god to "cover our shame." >> when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dying on far away battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say "enough is
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enough." >> reporter: by mid-afternoon, lawmakers in the house had voted 425-0 to reinstate the death benefits. but by then, hagel had already worked out a deal with a private charity, the fisher house foundation, to make the $100,000 payments until the shutdown ends. thanks to charity, none of the families of the 17 service members killed since the government shut down-- including the three who came home from afghanistan with private patterson-- should suffer financially. what has suffered is the reputation of the government which failed to fulfill what secretary hagel called "this most sacred responsibility." >> pelley: david martin at the pentagon for us, david, thank you. the secretary of veterans
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affairs had a warning today. eric shinseki told congress if the shutdown lasts until late october nearly four million veterans will not receive disability compensation due next month. others won't get their pension payments. it is hard to imagine americans' opinion of congress getting much worse but it just did get much worse. in a gallup poll a month ago, the approve rating was just 19%. now it's down to 11%. remember how we got here. republicans agreed to fund the government but only if they could roll back obamacare. democrats wouldn't have that so funding ended october 1. next week uncle sam will run out of money to pay his bills unless congress raises the so-called debt ceiling. republicans say they won't do that unless the president cuts the budget first. nancy cordes is watching all of this on capitol hill for us tonight. nancy, there were meetings today. tell us what happened.
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>> reporter: well, scott, house leaders from both parties sat down today for about 40 minutes. the contents of that discussion were very closely guarded but it is a good sign, i suppose, because it's the first time that they've met since the shutdown started. the president is also getting more involved. he met with house democrats at the white house this afternoon and he's going to meet at the white house with the top 18 house republicans tomorrow. >> pelley: is there any hope of progress any time soon? >> reporter: no overt signs of progress, i'm afraid, scott. behind the scenes there are some members-- mostly republican-- who are floating a variety of ideas about raising the debt ceiling either for a short period of time or a long period of time in exchange for some debt reduction. but publicly democrats continue to insist that republicans need to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling first before they'll enter into negotiations. >> pelley: nancy cordes, as always, on capitol hill. thank you, nancy. as they argue in congress, a lot of federal agencies are not doing important work, and the workers who've been sidelined
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are getting frustrated. john blackstone has their story. >> let us work! >> reporter: about 50 furloughed government workers-- many of them scientists-- marched on nasa's ames research center in california this afternoon demanding the right to work. >> congress may think it's okay to get paid and to do nothing but we don't expect that. >> reporter: they say they're not worried about missed paychecks, their concern is what the country may lose forever while they're being kept out of their offices and laboratories. math linton is a nasa sign security specialist. >> i'm in a continuing conflict with hackers from other places who want to ruin your day, disrupt your project and steal your data. >> reporter: instead of watching for those hacker attacks on nasa computers, linton has been sitting at home worrying. >> if you were the c.i.a. and a country that you were at odds with sent all of their federal work force home, what would you
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do? would that be a good time for you to start poking holes in their defenses? i certainly think the answer would be yes. >> reporter: cyber security is a hot field right now. on furlough, linton has been fending off silicon valley job offers. >> i have received about five from different tech companies in the bay area. and it's getting harder everyday not to schedule a coffee and start talking about offers. >> reporter: others at today's demonstration work for nasa in aviation safety and space science. not paper-bushing bureaucrats they say but experts in their field, who have chosen public service. for now, linton is using the furlough to spend more time with his six-year-old daughter, but if the government doesn't hut him back to work soon somebody else will. john blackstone, cbs news, san francisco. >> pelley: like we said, looming next week is that possible government default. what if that happens? we put the question to one of america's top c.e.o.s. >> the confidence and our financial system would be
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severely eroded. this would be catastrophic. >> pelley: and there's a new development in a mysterious death at a major hospital when the "cbs evening news" continues. before copd... i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that on! symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be tak÷oen more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. with copd, i thought i'd miss our family tradition.
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>> pelley: news that the president was at least meeting with democrats and republicans about the budget crisis sent
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stock prices higher today snapping a two-day losing streak. but the prospect that the u.s. might default on its debts led fidelity investments today to sell many of its short term u.s. treasury bonds out of fear they won't be repaid and the interest rate on the one-year treasury bill that that matures october 17, the day the country could default? look at that. it's doubled in the past 24 hours, reflecting the higher risk to investors. we talked about all of this with one of america's most successful financial executives, ken chenault. chenault has been chairman of american express since 2001. his cards account for 26% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the u.s. the company's market value is $77.9 billion. what's at stake in washington? >> i think what's important to understand, if the united states hits the debt ceiling and is
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unable to pay its debts the consequences will be immediate and dramatic. the reality is that u.s. treasury debt is viewed as a risk-free asset because the united states has been the wealthiest nation on the planet for the last 100 years and no one ever believed that the united states would not pay its debts. as a result, the world financing infrastructure is built on u.s. treasury debt. if the u.s. defaults, the system literally unwinds. >> pelley: now there's a little bit of a chicken little effect here. back when the sequester was happening, the mandatory budget cuts there were predictions of grave consequences if for the economy that really haven't happened. when the government shutdown
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began about eight days ago there were suggestions of grave impacts on the economy. we haven't quite seen those yet. what's different about this? >> scott, what we're talking about is a default, is the first time in 237 years the history of this country that the united states would not pay its bills. what that means is the government does not stand behind its word. and the confidence and our financial system would be severely eroded. this would be catastrophic. >> pelley: your message to washington, then, is what? >> my message to washington is the united states has gone through incredible crises and our leaders have been able to find common ground and that's what our leaders have to do. failure is not an option. because what our government should be focused on is doing
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what's rig f doing what's right for the economy, and, in fact, ensuring that the promise of this great country can be realized. >> pelley: in what passes for good news, chenault told us that u.s. banks are much stronger than they were in 2008. better able to withstand another shock. there was a shooting today at the federal courthouse in wheeling, west virginia. a gunman, armed with a semiautomatic rifle, fired as many as two dozen rounds. one person inside the building suffered minor injuries. west virginia state police shot and killed the gunman. he's not been identified. we have no word on a motive. congress is taking action after our report on veterans overdosing on drugs prescribed by v.a. doctors. that story is next. ,,,,
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>> pelley: we've received a lot of response to our report last month that showed many returning war veterans are receiving lethal amounts of pain medication from v.a. hospitals. tomorrow a house subcommittee will hold a hearing on this. jim axelrod broke the story on this broadcast and since then he has learned of case after case of veterans who have died following doctors orders. >> reporter: in the weeks after our investigation aired we received photos like this one, the daily dosage of pain pills prescribed to a 30-year-old v.a.
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patient in texas. and this one from a 54-year-old v.a. patient in oklahoma. these were the medications prescribed to ricky green, a veteran of the first gulf war, for his back pain. among them, three narcotics. his wife kimberly described a visit her husband made to his v.a. doctors in september of 2007. >> he wanted to be taken off this large amount of medicines. >> reporter: what did his doctors and health care providers say to him? >> basically that he needed to continue to take the medication. >> reporter: all of them? >> all of them. >> reporter: when he came home, did he continue to take all the medication? >> he followed the doctors' orders. >> reporter: the next month green died in his sleep, accidentally overdosing on a narcotic and a muscle relaxer prescribed by v.a. medical centers in arkansas. >> she was only 43 years old.
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we had a future together and this shouldn't have happened. >> reporter: tomorrow's hearing will examine v.a.'s practice of prescribing pain medication. congressman jeff miller chairs the house veterans affairs committee. >> unfortunately, it has become a routine way of dealing with our veterans is to give them a prescription, they walk out the door with their medications. and masking the pain only temporarily takes it away. >> reporter: it's not treating the underlying cause. >> no, and it's the underlying cause that absolutely has to be treated. >> reporter: according to veterans affairs, right now there are two pain management specialists for every 100,000 v.a. patients and with more than half of the newest v.a. patients-- those from iraq and afghanistan-- seeking treatment for pain, scott, the system is only going to grow more overloaded. >> pelley: jim axelrod in our
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washington newsroom tonight. jim, thank you. doctors at san francisco general hospital said today that a body discovered in a stairwell there was that of a missing patient, lynn spaulding, who was 57. she was admitted nearly three weeks ago for treatment of an infection but she disappeared two days later. her body was found yesterday. it is not clear how she died or how she got to the stairwell. for years the child buried here was known only as hope. tonight, police know who she really was. that story next. good job!
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may you never be stuck behind a stinky truck. [ beeping ] ♪ may things always go your way. but it's good to be prepared... just in case they don't. toyota. let's go places, safely. efforts to outlaw the bulett button. next at six. weather talent appears at wx center with generic >> pelley: there's been a break in a murder case that has stumped police for two decades. the victim was a young girl, but that's about all they knew about her until now. here's jeff glor. >> this area wasn't built up as it is now. >> reporter: for more than 20 years, jerry giorgio worked the most personal case of his five decade long career. it could finally be closing. >> i was elated to say the least. >> reporter: in july of 1991, a
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cooler was found just off new york city's west side highway. inside, the body of a four and a half-year-old girl. she was bound, malnourished and sexually abused. >> there's just a special thing about when it happens to a child. an innocent child can't defend himself or herself. like a hand came up from this little baby and clutched at our heart, took a piece of us and she became part of our family. nobody else claimed her and we refer to as our baby. >> reporter: and you never stopped thinking about? >> never stopped. >> reporter: giorgio's wife picked out the white dress the child was buried in. 500 people came to her funeral arranged by the handful of detectives working the case. she couldn't be identified so she was known as "baby hope." until yesterday. new york city police commissioner ray kelly announced they have an i.d. >> i do, again, want to commend the detectives for never giving up, staying on this case. >> reporter: a tip came in after
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police posted fliers in the area this summer. someone came forward saying they might know a relative and that led detectives to the child's mother. her d.n.a. was a match. for the time being, police are not releasing baby hope's name, nor the name of the mother or father fearing it might compromise the investigation. there are times when you thought this case was never going to be solved? >> no. >> reporter: you were always hopeful? >> absolutely. >> reporter: giorgio retired in july so he will not be making an arrest. but he says as the case nears completion there is one more thing he can do: make sure the tombstone gets changed so the child known for 22 years as "hope" finally gets her real name back. jeff glor, 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. world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captio captioned by media access group
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your realtime captioner is mrs. linda m. macdonald that's the pounding sound of prosperity echoing all across the bay area. and now a rush is on to fill the explosion of jobs. good evening, i'm ken bastida. >> i'm elizabeth cook. if you work in construction, you're likely getting a steady paycheck. the number of those jobs available in the past year is up nearly 6%. we have live team coverage tonight. da lin is in the san leandro where a big project is revitalizing the city. >> but first we go to mark kelly and the push to fill this demand for construction workers. mark? >> reporter: ken, massive projects like this one behind me, they are popping up all over the city. in fact, just today, we talked with students graduating tomorrow with construction certification. and they tell us in this city, at this time, it is good to be
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a construction worker. with the skyline changing before our very eyes, electrician alex jones sees a bright horizon in construction. with his own business, he does the hiring and sees starting pay for electricians at $15 to $25 an hour. >> there's a wide variety of construction types. and if you choose the right one that you like, you can make a really good living. >> reporter: in the bay area, jobs in construction have increased more than 5.5% in the past year. he that's a 180 from the grace recession when many -- from the -- that's a 180 from the great recession when many left the area. now students are knocking down the door to get a construction job. bell through in the towel on climbing the corporate ladder for work she truly loves. >> any excuse to get outside, use my hands, anything. i was there. so i found construction to be a suitable fit for myself. >> reporter: she