tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS August 7, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
gabrielle giffords in an inexplicable shooting spree last year that left six dead and 13 wounded. today a federal judge in arizona ruledded that loughner was competent to understand the charges against him, allowed him to plead guilty and he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. bill whitaker's at the federal courthouse in tucson. bill? >> reporter: bob, judge larry burns, who has presided over this case since the beginning, said he saw a different jared loughner today. loughner, who shouted and ranted at a hearing last year today was quiet and subdued and spoke with a slurred but understandable voice. for most of the two-hour hearing, loughner sat calmly by his lawyer's side as his court appointed psychiatrist described his slow dissent into schizophrenia. he smiled just once when she mention it had name of his favorite prison guard. over the past year, loughner has undergone intensive drug treatment and counseling. today judge burns said: ,
when judge burns asked him if he knew what he was doing today, he answered distinctly "yes, i do." he then pled guilty to 19 counts of murder and attempted murder for this january, 2011, tucson shooting that left six dead and 13 wounded, including congresswoman giffords. to each count, loughner answered "i plead guilty." in exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. u.s. attorney john s. leonardo. >> mr. loughner will spend the remainder of his natural life in prison with no possibility of parole. >> reporter: representative ron barber was shot that day. he was giffords' congressional aide who recently won her seat. >> my hope is that what happened today in this court can help all of us move forward and continue our healing process. >> reporter: susie heilemann
was shot as she accompanied nine-year-old christina taylor green that day. taylor green was killed. >> it doesn't make it any easier to think about a dead nine-year-old. >> reporter: former congresswoman giffords and her husband relieved her statement today saying they are satisfied with the plea agreement, avoiding trial, they say, will allow them and arizona to move on. bob? >> schieffer: okay. thank you very much, bill. the plea deal in tucson came as authorities in wisconsin got more details on the white supremacist who opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon at a sikh temple killing six people and wounding four there. elaine quijano is on that story. >> reporter: as dignitaries from india comforted oak creek's sikh community, f.b.i. and local investigators were back at the temple, piecing together wade michael page's rampage. oak creek police chief john edwards. what's the working theory on why
he targeted this temple? >> i don't know why and i don't know that we'll ever know because when he died that died with him, what his motive was or what he was thinking. >> reporter: investigators believe page started firing his nine mile meter springfield semiautomatic pistol just moments after he parked his s.u.v. in the temple parking lot. he killed two people outside the building's main entrance. inside, he shot even others, killing four. investigators think page exited the temple once he heard the sirens of approaching police cars. page ambushed police lieutenant brian murphy before he died in a gun fight with other officers. do you think the attack was planned well in advance? >> no, i don't. i personally don't from everything i've seen. i don't think there's any indication this was a well thought out plan type thing. >> reporter: authorities are examining page's ties to hate groups. according to site intelligence group, a monitor of online hate speech, page made a number of posts on white supremacist web sites including one he's believed to have submitted in
september. page also had financial problems. he lost his north carolina home to foreclosure in january. he was fired from this iowa trucking company in 2010 for driving his own car under the influence of an unknown substance. it's unclear why he lost his most recent job at a milwaukee metal plant. has the investigation focused on stressors that might have pushed wade page to carry out this attack? >> absolutely. that's one of the things you want to find. why at some point did something happen that did this? >> reporter: now, officials say worshipers could be allowed back into the temple as early as tomorrow and, bob, the first funerals for the victims are scheduled to take place on friday. >> schieffer: all right, elaine. thank you. in west lake, ohio, an alert theater manager and an off duty policeman noticed a man who showed up to see the batman movie carrying a suspicious bag. they searched the bag and found
a gun, ammunition, and knives. the man's lawyer said he was carrying the weapons for protection after the deadly shooting at the batman movie in colorado. the police have decided to keep him in jail. well, the price of gas is rising again and it could go even higher after a fire last night at a chevron refinery in richmond, california. the nationwide average for gas is $3.63 a gallon, up 13 cents from last week. and it's the highest now since may. sharyl attkisson reports the fire is going to fuel the surge in prices at the pump. >> reporter: the fire shot columns of smoke above a densely-populated san francisco suburb and sent more than 200 people to the hospital with breathing problems or nausea. the economic impact is even broader. the chevron plant accounts for one eighth of california's refining capacity. today's postfire shutdown sparked an immediate spike of up to 35 cents in the region's wholesale gas prices.
oil industry analyst tom clough saa says that's on top of a big increase already in motion for consumers nationwide. >> it's easy to predict retail prices will go up sharply in the next ten days and we'll see higher prices than we saw last year. >> reporter: the chevron plant was built way back in 1902. no new refineries have been built in the u.s. for more than 30 years and damage to any one can have a big impact on the nation's refining capacity. even before the fire, the national average retail price of regular gasoline was up 24.3 cents from the month before. the midwest took the biggest hit with prices up 25.7 cents in a week to $3.775 gallon where pipeline and refinery problems helped raise prices. if the current trend were to continue, 2011 would be the most expensive year ever for motor fuel purchases but cloza thinks the streak will break. >> . >> this is not the new normal. this is the continuation of the
bipolar a normal where we have high out-of-control seasonal peaks and much lower prices between, let's say, thanksgiving and groundhog day. i suspect that will happen into next year. >> reporter: cloza characterizes the rising gas prices as a major summer storm but not exactly climate change. he expects them to drop in september as long as there are no more refinery fires or actually a shutdown like something in the gulf caused by a hurricane. bob? >> schieffer: thank you very much, sharyl. in the presidential campaign, republican mitt romney vowed today that if elected he will make sure that welfare recipients are required to work. he criticized president obama for giving states more leeway on that, saying the president is creating what he called a culture of dependency. the white house called romney's accusation "categorically false and blatantly dishonest" noting that as governor of massachusetts romney himself had asked for waivers on the work requirement.
in syria today, president bashar al-assad made a rare appearance on television as the civil war intensified. as many as 19,000 people have now died since the rebellion began a year and a half ago and many more have fled the country. few journalists have been able to get inside syria to report what's going on. holly williams is just over the border now in turkey. >> reporter: this was assad's first appearance in public in nearly three weeks, but the syrian president's meeting with iran's security chief looked like business as usual and there's no sign that mr. assad is giving up the fight for control of his country. in aleppo and other cities today, government forces pounded areas held by the rebels. this bloody civil war has already forced nearly two million syrians to flee their homes. in this camp on turkey's border, many of the refugees have been here for more than a year. these women told us their homes
were bombed by the regime and their husbands' names were placed on a government blacklist for supporting the opposition. when we asked them about president bashar al-assad they said they don't want him dead because they would be too easy. "let him taste the suffering that we have" said this woman. "we hope that he and his whole family are humiliated just as he has humiliated us." more than a thousand new refugees arrived in turkey in the last day, joining 44,000 already living in camps. why are you leaving? >> they burned our houses. >> reporter: they bombed your house? this woman told us if president ossad can't be killed she wants to die herself to escape the hardship. she said her son stayed behind to fight with the rebels against the government. some of the families we've seen flee across this border were too frightened to speak with us. they don't know who will
eventually win this conflict and they told us they're scared of retribution. they escape with their children and a few possessions, but as they cross the boarder to safety, many also bring their hatred of the man they blame for leaving them homeless. >> pelley: holly williams joins us now from the turkey/syria border. yesterday, holly, the syrian prime minister defected. any more signs of defections today from assad's government? >> reporter: yes, the turkish authorities have confirmed that yet another syrian general has defected across the border. women w him were five other syrian military officers as well as relatives and supporters that total around 400 people. it all adds to the sense that the syrian regime is crumbling but we do need to be cautious because president bashar al-assad remains in control of one of the biggest and best equipped militaries in the middle east. >> schieffer: all right,
holly. thank you so much and be careful now. a first in women's gymnastics at the olympics. a visitor to mars sends back a picture postcard and if the drought wasn't bad enough, farms in the heartland are now covered in sand when the "cbs evening news" continues. do you often experience the feeling of a dry mouth?
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>> schieffer: president barack obama today ordered $30 million in aid to help farmers and ranchers hit hard by drought. 87% of the high plains is now in drought, up about 15% from last year. but a year ago, farmers there had another disaster on their hands and michelle miller shows us they still have not recovered. >> reporter: scott olson's family has been farming in the missouri river valley for three generations last summer, floods washed away his crops and those of nearly 500 other farms along the nebraska/iowa border. the floodwaters left behind a sea of sand. >> the sand is probably two to three feet right here. as you can see, there's no moisture in it. there's no way the plant can survive in that. >> reporter: the sand came from the rising missouri river. it broke through levees with currents so strong it swept out the river beds. olson says it will take years before his soil is back to
normal. >> i figure on the piece of ground that i've got last year, i lost a half million dollars off that piece of land. and i'll probably maybe have half a crop this year. >> reporter: that hurts. >> oh, yeah. but it's not just me, it's so many people that have the same problems. >> reporter: people like mason hanson. his farm is 70 miles down river and was one of the worst hit. his biggest challenge? a four-foot-high wall of sand that spans 90 acres. this is like sand on the beach. >> yes. it's fine sugar sand. you can look at it. it raises nothing. >> reporter: for the last ten months, farmers have been using bulldozers to clear the sand. but environmental regulations prohibit them from dumping it back in the river because it's now been exposed to chemicals used to treat farm land. so what do you do with all this sand? hand son says he'll take the top two feet and bulldoze it into pits left by the flood. the rest, he says, he'll makes
in the with the soil underneath and hope he can replant. olson has spent the last year surveying the devastation from the air, taking pictures to help his neighbors assess the damage. >> yeah, it's going to be a tough situation. very tough situation. and we will lose some farmers out of this. >> reporter: emotion runs deep. >> oh, yeah. just like the water did. you bet. >> reporter: the federal government has set aside $20 million to help clean up america's heartland, but farmers say that won't even cover half their costs. michelle miller, cbs news, in the missouri river valley. >> schieffer: as for that mission to mars, the rover named "curiosity" is looking for signs of life. today it sent back its first color pictures showing the edge of a giant crater in the distance. it's buried because there's a sand problem there, too. it got in the transparent lens cap. nasa says the next pictures will
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the first american ever to do that. china lead the medal count with 34 gold and 73 overall. the u.s. has 30 gold and 70 overall. britain is in third. the u.s. men's basketball team is three wins from a goal medal, but as mark phillips reports tonight, winning won't be as easy as it once was. >> reporter: things got a little bit testy as the u.s. ran up the score against argentina in this game. watch carmelo anthony about to shoot and be sucker punched by this argentinean tough guy. anthony was more than hurt, he was shocked. for a while, it looked like a hockey game might break out. >> i'm still shocked, to be honest with you. i'm still shocked. usually that stuff doesn't happen to me. >> reporter: a lot of stuff happens at an olympic basketball tournament when you've got u.s.a. on your shirt. three letters that no longer mean you're unbeatable. basketball's popularity has
produced an invasion of foreign stars into the n.b.a. who love to dim the luster of home-grown stars like tyson chandler. >> it's great that everybody's paying attention and watching us-- either way, whether they're watching us to root to lose or watching us because they're fans. >> reporter: but losing's not an option. >> . >> losing is never an option. (laughs). >> reporter: the u.s. habit lost here yet, but they've been tested. they were up by a mere point at the half in the argentina game and were trailing lithuania into the last six minutes. their coach, the famous mike kryzewski put out the old kind of tweet-- the kind that makes athletes practice. is failure an option? >> well, failure can be an outcome, you know? so hopefully it's not one of our options. >> reporter: or players like kobe bryant know what will happen. for the u.s. team, is anything but gold failure? >> no, man, that's more so a question for y'all.
we don't win gold, you guys are going to kill us. >> reporter: the n.b.a. first allowed its players to come to the olympics 20 years ago as a way of promoting its product and the game. judging from how others play that game right now it may have promoted too well. mark phillips, cbs news, london. >> schieffer: in just a moment, we'll be remembering marvin hamlisch and playing his songs. ♪ they're playing my song, oh, yeah, they're playing my song. those little things still get you.
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>> schieffer: nobody does it better. for decades, that could be said of the man who wrote that song, and so many others. he wrote to kind of songs you hear and just can't get out of your head. "the entertainer." "one singular sensation." the way we were." composer marvin hamlisch has died in los angeles. he was just 68. anthony mason has his story and his music. >> this was the original melody. >> reporter: in 1973, marvin hamlisch was asked to write a song for barbra streisand. they'd met a decade before in the orchestra pit of the show "funny girl" wenham hreurb was 19. >> he was the rehearsal pianist. i always loved marvin.
♪ memory... >> reporter: the tune for the film "the way we were" would become streisand's first number one single. the son of a new york accordion player, hamlisch went on to win every major entertainment award-- the oscar for both "the way we were" and "the sting" for his adaptation of scott lop joplin's ragtime music. he won emmies, grammys and a tony for the score to "a chorus line" which also earned him a pulitzer prize. hamlisch loved show tunes. >> one and two and three and four...! >> reporter: but he also scored more than 40 films. in a 1999 documentary about "the way we were" hamlisch said originally he left the film's famous theme music out of the last scene but noticed test audiences didn't cry. >> and i remember going to the head of the studio of the music department saying "you've got to let me go back in and rerecord this ending." and he didn't want me to.
>> reporter: so hamlisch himself paid for the musicians to go back into the studio. >> and i put in for whatever the 15th, 16th, 17th time, i put in the melody. >> reporter: it became a film's classic closing scenes thanks to the music of marvin hamlisch. anthony mason, cbs news, new york. >> pelley: that's the news. for scott pelley, i'm bob schieffer, cbs news in new york. see you here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
now, "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment newsmagazine in the world. gabby douglas, the new family drama. did he get all of the support she needed from her father. >> here's my dad in afghanistan. >> did he contribute to her mother's debt? and will he be able to share in her olympic riches. and bridge it nielsen on falling off the wagon. >> a relapse can happen. >> we showed her photos clutching a vodka bomt. plus, ashton. mariah.