tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 10, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
exchange and the others out on the street. the dow closed up 330 points today, or 3%, continuing a runup that began last week. at the same time, a new report says americans are seeing their incomes fall even more rapidly than during the recession. incomes are down 6.7% since the recession ended after falling just half that amount during the recession. and that's one reason for the protests that began on wall street are now spreading across the country from honolulu to boston, saf to miami. 67 cities in 33 states. jim axelrod is in downtown manhattan. jim? >> reporter: well, norah, new york's mayor michael bloomberg now says the protestors can stay here indefinitely as long as no laws are broken. that's as clear as he's been so far that the demonstrations will continue unimpeded. the occupy wall street protestors have set up a camp with a food court, newspaper,
medical unit, internet cafe, even yoga practice. but uniting behind one clear cohesive message? that's a different story. do you need a unified message? >> no. we do not need a unified message. >> reporter: 28-year-old max hodes has been here at zucotti park for 23 straight days. >> i think that that tool you're talking about, the one specific message, is a way to dumb down and divide the masses. >> reporter: while long on moral outrage, this movement remains short on specifics and absent a discipline aid froch convert dozens of demonstrations nationwide into a lasting political movement. is there a specific law you'd like to see passd? >> no. no. >> reporter: you're in a struggle here? >> yes. >> reporter: what would victory in the struggle look like. >> victory is not going to be a simple easy-to-define picture.
>> reporter: for buddy bolton, out of work for 18 months, victory is reducing the influence of lobbyists. for sparro kennedy, it's influencing the taxes from the top 1% of earners to the benefit of the other 99%. >> i'm not saying let's make people less wealthy, let's give people basic necessities, clothing and shelter. >> reporter: younger protestors here argue their movement is still in its infancy. they're not following someone else's schedule to define themselves. but older demonstrators who lived through the '60s sense further delay could risk their momentum. >> we need to be one message. what that message is, that is the question. >> reporter: tomorrow afternoon a crowd of between 400 and 800 protest sors say they're going to march up town to the homes of the wealthiest residents of new york like jamie dimon, the c.e.o. of j.p. morgan chase.
they say there they'll protection tax policies which they say unfairly aid the rich. norah? >> o'donnell: jim, i know you said the mayor says the protestors can stay as long as they want. how long is that likely to be? >> reporter: well, the mayor says he thinks that will be determined by the weather which suggests the city's position is with winter coming their content to wait out the demonstrators. >> o'donnell: jim axelrod, thank you. and the rally in stock prices has seen the dow gain 777 points in the past week, more than 7%. anthony mason is our senior business correspondent and, anthony, what's behind this rally? >> reporter: norah, this was the dow's biggest rally in two months and it was fueled by new optimism that europe is finally getting a grip on its debt crisis. france and germany agreed over the weekend to come up with a plan to strengthen european banks by early november so, after dipping into bear territory last monday, that's a decline of 20% from its highs, the s&p 500 has rallied back
more than 10% in just a week and all 30 stocks in the dow, norah, were up today. >> o'donnell: incredible. do you think the rally can last? >> reporter: this was the tenth triple digit move in the dow in the past 11 sessions. we've had some good economic news like last friday's job number, better than expected so fears of a recession easing somewhat but they haven't gone away. >> o'donnell: anthony mason, thank you so much. in egypt, christian leaders blamed the military for yesterday's deadly violence, the worst since protestors toppled president hosni mubarak in february. mark phillips reports at least 26 people were killed in the streets of cairo, most of them christians. >> reporter: the hostilities and suspicions in egypt don't even stop the bury the dead. while some of the victims of sunday's violence were laid to rest, the families of others refused to allow funerals, demanding instead that autopsies be performed to prove how their relatives were killed.
there's even a dispute over there. there are two versions of what happened in the riot. members of egypts coptic christian minority-- about 10% of the population-- insist they had been marching peacefully to protest what they see is increasing discrimination when they were attacked first by rock-throwing thugs then by the army firing live rounds and charging through the crowd in armored vehicles. the army says it was attacked by violent infiltrateors in the crowd and fought back. egyptian state t.v. cast the christian demonstrators as a violent mob. egyptian prime minister essam sharaf warned of what he called foreign meddling and a dirty conspiracy. and the army is being accused of inciting violence to remain in power. this is supposed to be the period when post-mubarak egypt moves towards a new order and
democracy, but there's little evidence of either. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> o'donnell: in libya, the former rebels raised their flag today in moammar qaddafi's hometown of surt but the battle is still raging block by block, house by house as pro-qaddafi forces seem ready to fight to the last man. allen pizzey is there. >> reporter: the last qaddafi loyalists holding out in his hometown are being mercilessly ground down as the latest final assault gains brutal momentum. an almost ceaseless attack using rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns has moved the front lines forward more in the last two days than even the attackers expected but with nowhere to run and no reason to expect mercy, the hard core of what's left of qaddafi's forces aren't giving up ground easily. reinforcements of former rebels and their "mad max" vehicles charged through gap in their protective role to head to the front lines stirred on by a
sense of victory and a cry that is both call to arms and prayer. prayers they feel are answered when comrades in arms meet joyful each has survived to fight on. abdurraouf abdurraouf sadi, an oil field engineer turned fighter says he had no choice but to be here. >> this is the price of freedom. we've never known freedom before. >> reporter: for the time, the prize of surt is finally won there's not likely to be much left there but the value of surt is not material it's psychological, its fall will mean the actual end of qaddafi. not everyone in qaddafi's birthplace was loyal to him, but the fighters who now control the rebels are jumpy, fearful snipers may be hiding here. the assault on the last bastion is designed to make sure none survive. allen pizzey, cbs news, surt. >> o'donnell: the united nations today accused the police in
afghanistan of systematically torturing prisoners. it says suspected taliban fighters were hung by their hands and beat within cables until they confessed. the u.n. report comes as the u.s. military transfers more authority to afghan security forces. nato says it's taking action to stop abuses. mitt romney tries to ignore the controversy over his religion. dr. jon lapook on why the price of one of the most popular prescription drugs is suddenly rising. and a tipster who blew the whistle on fugitive mobster whitey bulger when the cbs news continues. [ male announcer ] there are only so many foods
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>> o'donnell: the republican presidential candidates face off in their next debate tomorrow evening at dartmouth college in new hampshire. the focus will be on the economy. but another issue has suddenly popped up in the 2012 campaign: the religion of the front-runner. political correspondent jan crawford has the latest on that. >> reporter: mitt romney campaigning today in new hampshire kept his focus on the economy. >> the obama economy is a "where's waldo" economy. >> reporter: and ignored a growing issue: his mormon faith. it boiled up at a conference of religious conservatives when a pastor of a dallas megachurch who supports texas governor rick perry said romney was not a real christian. >> in my estimation, mormonism is a cult and it would give credence to a cult to have a mormon candidate. >> reporter: the other republican candidates disavowed the remarks. >> we're not running for
theologian in chief, we're running for president of the united states of america. >> this is so inconsequential as far as this campaign is concerned. >> reporter: but perry has had relatively little to say about jeffress. the other mormon candidate in the the race, former utah governor jon huntsman, said today on cnn that perry should be more outspoken. >> anyone who is associated with somebody willing to make those comments ought to stand up and distance themselves in very bold language and that hasn't been done and rick ought to stand up and do that. >> reporter: for perry who is depending on the religious vote the issue is complicated. in the 2008 republican race, evangelical voters were a solid majority in two key early states: iowa and south carolina. by contrast, in new hampshire where romney has a commanding lead, evangelicals made up only 21% of 2008 republican primary voters. and many evangelicals want a candidate who shares their
religious beliefs. so perry's got to be careful here, norah. while he may disagree, he doesn't want to rebuke the same voters he'll be counting on if he's got a shot of winning the nomination. >> o'donnell: great point. jan crawford, thanks so much. now it can be told. the tip that led to the arrest of gangster whitey bulger in june came from this woman, anna bjornsdottir, a former miss ice, lived part time in santa monica, california, where every morning she saw bulger and his girlfriend feeding a stray cat. on a trip back to iceland she saw a news report about bulger and phoned the f.b.i. for that she collected a $2 million reward. a popular drug for treating inflammation is giving patients sticker shock. why the pills suddenly cost 50 times more.
>> pelley: more than half of american adults take dietary supplements but a study out today suggest older women may face a slightly greater risk of death if they take multivitamins or mineral supplements, researchers say they don't know why and found no direct link between these supplements and health problems but this study in the "archives of internal medicine" will add to the questions about whether healthy people need to take them at all. one of the most popular treatments for gout and other inflammatory prescriptions is a prescription drug cowled colchicine.
it dates back to ancient greece and is taken by nearly four million americans. in recent months, the price shot up almost 5,000%. dr. jon lapook explains why. >> reporter: 24-year-old scott mcgrath suffered from a painfully inflamed lining of the heart. four months ago, the price of his medication suddenly went through the ceiling. look at his old and new prescriptions. this is 60 tablets. how much did it cost? >> it cost me $34.83 and it cost my insurance company nothing. >> reporter: and when you went to refill it, it's called... >> it's now called colcrys and it cost me $62.16-- so almost double the amount i paid-- and it cost my insurance company $244.74. >> reporter: a jump of $272. >> the drug is no longer being sold by any company other than a single company and that explains the price increase. >> reporter: but colchicine has been used to treat gout and other inflammatory conditions for thousands of years.
how could one company gain a monopoly? there are about a thousand medications on the market that pre-date the existence of the f.d.a. and therefore were never approved. f.d.a. official deborah autoautor spoke to us as the head of the office of unapproved drugs. >> well, for me, unapproved drugs present current present risks. we don't know what's in them, we don't know if they're going to work properly, we don't know how they're made and that's a real concern. >> reporter: hundreds of thousands of people take colchicine each year, the f.d.a. told us over the past 40 years, 169 deaths have been linked to the medication. a company called u.r.l. pharma decided it would take the ancient drug sold for ten cents a pill and test it as part of an f.d.a. program to either approve these drugs or get them off the market. >> one company chose to seek out the approval and they spent tens of millions of dollars in order to establish the data necessary for that approval and there were some important things that came out of the approval process. we discovered that a lot of
people were being excessively dosed with colchicine. >> reporter: unlike companies that develop drugs from scratch and study thousands of patients per years, u.r.l. pharma started with a pre-existing drug. its research did clarify safety and dosing information. in return for the studies, the f.d.a. granted u.r.l. exclusive rights to sell the medication. >> the f.d.a. rewarded them. >> reporter: dr. edward if you had man is a rheumatologist who has been prescribing colchicine for 30 years. >> the reward they got seems far out of proportion to the work they did. >> reporter: what were the conversations among your colleagues? >> outrage, basically. it was just outrage that a company could take advantage of this f.d.a. process and basically appropriate the drug for its own purpose. even if a patient isn't paying the full price out of pocket, their insurance company is paying it, medicaid and medicare have to pay for it, we're all paying for it. >> reporter: how much are we paying? u.r.l. declined to tell us about its sales so we went to a drug benefits manager called prime
therapeutics. it told the u.s. cost of an average prescription has risen from under $7 to $185. i.m.s. health gave us the number of colchicine prescriptions nationwide. add it up and the cost of u.r.l.'s price hike over just one year could exceed half a billion dollars. with the higher price, u.r.l. has started a program to assist patients who can't pay-- so far 60,000 have asked for help. u.r.l. declined our request for an interview but in a statement said its research "dramatically reduced adverse reactions from colchicine." we asked deborah autor of the f.d.a. about the price. did you anticipate that the pricing was going to go up 50 times? >> i think that the companies have control over the pricing and certainly would hope that they would take into account the interests of consumers and not price them unreasonably. >> reporter: does that mean no, you weren't expecting it? >> i think that's their
decision. we were surprised they set the price that high, yes. >> reporter: scott mcgrath tried over-the-counter medications for his heart condition but they didn't work as well as colchicine. >> it's a scary position to be in, to find myself in. but, you know, ultimately i had to pay. i needed the drug. >> reporter: u.r.l.'s exclusive right to colchicine for the most common indication-- gout-- expires next july. there are about a thousand other unapproved medications currently on the market. since the f.d.a. does not control drug pricing, there's little to stop similar price hikes from happening again. >> o'donnell: jon, thank you for that. and childbirth sometimes involves a race to the hospital. but a marathon? 27-year-old amber miller-- 39 weeks pregnant-- got her doctor's permission to compete in yesterday's chicago marathon. walking and running, she finished in 6:25 and later that evening gave birth to a daughter
june, seven pounds, 13 ounces. by the way, miller finished the marathon ahead of her husband. she says he was a little out of shape. many older americans depend on government food aid, but some are at risk of losing it. that story is next. exclusive to the military. and commitment is not limited to one's military oath. the same set of values that drive our nation's military are the ones we used to build usaa bank. from free checking to credit cards to loans, our commitment to the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. ♪ visit us online to learn what makes our bank so different. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
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>> o'donnell: finally tonight, bread lines and soup kitchens conjure up images of the great depression when so many americans were out of work and hungry. all these years later in today's struggling economy, many americans are again dependent on food aid, especially, as seth doane reports, the elderly. >> thanks a lot. >> reporter: every month, 68-year-old david coleman comes to the lobby of his new jersey low income housing complex to pick up a box of 20 non-perishable food items worth about $50. >> this is not grocery shopping, but this is something that really helps. >> reporter: he's one of 600,000 seniors nationwide who take part in what's called the commodity supplemental food program. to qualify, they must earn less than $14,300 a year. but this program is in jeopardy. >> congress is looking at cutting some of the funding of this program. >> i can think of things that congress could probably cut back
on, but this is not a... this is not one of them. supreme to eat. >> reporter: in the latest federal budget, the house proposed $800 million in cuts to federal nutrition programs. if those cuts pass congress later this year, 150,000 food box recipients would be dropped. >> i ask you: how would you make a decision around which elderly person gets the food box? who gets one and who doesn't? how do you make those kinds of decisions? >> reporter: vicki escarra runs feeding america, which provides emergency food aid to 200 food banks nationwide. >> we cannot do this by ourselves. we have got to have support on these federal programs and congress has got to step up. >> a lot of canned items, are most of these things from food banks? >> a lot of them are. >> reporter: a third of those who use a food bank at least once a month are over the age of 60. how is retirement? >> financially speaking? it's extreme. it really is. >> reporter: with gas prices up 30% and groceries up 6%, it
seems the only thing staying steady is coleman's fixed income just a thousand dollars a month from social security. >> we are the backbone of the country. we helped to build this country and if we put in our 40, 50 years of work and hard work in this country then, you know, don't just turn your back on us and say "you're on your own." >> reporter: most here retired years ago. going back to work isn't an option. but neither is going hungry. >> thank you very much. >> reporter: seth doane, cbs news, plainfield, new jersey. >> o'donnell: that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. scott will be back tomorrow. i'm norah o'donnell. thanks for joining us and have a good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org [ female announcer ] can a health insurance company
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