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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  November 11, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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>> couric: left stranded at sea. >> everything started shaking and rumbling, and i turned to mark and say, "this is just not right." >> couric: i'm katie couric. also tonight, a medical first. doctors inject stem cells directly into this woman's brain to fight a deadly cancer. north korea in focus, a rare look inside the secret society and the threat it poses to america. and a veteran's final battle to bring all his fallen comrades home. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric.
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>> couric: good evening, everyone. their ship finally came in, and for the 4500 passengers and crew not a moment too soon. conditions on board the carnival "splendor" were anything but luxurious after a fire knocked out power on monday, leaving the massive cruise ship stranded in the pacific. but today after being pulled by five tugboats it docked in san diego. many of the passengers are now laughing about their cruise to nowhere but as john blackstone reports, there was nothing funny about that fire on board. >> reporter: after three helpless days at sea, the nearly 1,000-foot-long carnival "splendor" was pushed and pulled through san diego's harbor, more than 3,000 passengers lined up on decks and balconies while the ship was nudged up to the pier. there was obvious relief that three days of cold showers and cold food was over. >> no more sandwiches, please. >> reporter: as passengers got off into a crowd of cameras and reporters, they told how early monday morning the ship trembled
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and lost all its power. >> it actually felt like an earthquake, and everything just started shaking and rumbling, and i turned to mark and i said, "this is not right." >> reporter: the smell of smoke began to fill the huge ship. >> they just said there was lots of smoke, lots of smoke but no fire. >> reporter: chris harlan grabbed his video camera as smoke poured out, apparently from the engine room. >> that can't be good. >> reporter: passengers were told to evacuate their rooms but an announcement over the ship's p.a. system tried to be reassuring. >> there's really no need to be by the life boats. >> reporter: life on board was transformed from luxurious to lousy. was it an adventure or it was terrible? >> it was camping on the ocean and i hate camping. it started smelling like rotten milk. people were hording. we went for breakfast and they grabbed fruit and boxes of cereal because we didn'ted to stand in line for lunch. >> reporter: carnival cruise line said everyone will get their money back plus a free
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cruise if they want it. >> in our 35 years we've never had anything happen to this level. >> reporter: but the company has not yet identified the cause. the national transportation safety board is now investigating. cruise industry critic jack hickey says any shipboard fire can quickly turn into a disaster. >> cruise ships can, certainly, be fire traps because, again, cruise ships are isolated. they're out on the ocean and there's no place to go. >> reporter: but it seems for most of these passengers, the biggest disasterce was the food. >> i never saw a green bean sandwich observer. i never saw hot dog salad. there was a lot of things--. >> hot dog salad? >> yes. >> mystery meat. >> reporter: almost every passenger we talked to praised the crew for making the best of a bad situation. for the many on board who were marking special occasions, like their honeymoon or their anniversary, they'll now remember the date for being stuck at sea. katie. >> couric: john blackstone in san diego, john, a happy ending, relatively. so thanks very much. turning now to politics.
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nine days after the midterm elections, americans have a message for the new congress and president obama-- work it out. a cbs news poll out shows 72% want republicans in congress to compromise on major issues. 78% say president obama should compromise, only 16% want him to stick to his positions. and what are the key issues? more than half want congress to focus on the economy and jobs, far more than health care or any other issue. 40% of americans tell us they're pleasedly with the results of the midterm elections and their expectations for the 112th congress, about four in 10 expect the house and senate to accomplish more than usual, about the same number expect them to accomplish less. president obama, meanwhile, is in south korea, day 7 of his asian trip. he had some tough talk for the north on this veterans day, but on the issues of job, trades, and taxes, it was a day of
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disappointment and confusion. chip reid who is traveling with the president in seoul explains. >> reporter: in south korea, the president saluted veterans of the korean war and the 28,000 u.s. troops who still stand guard here today against a hostile nuclear armed north korea. >> the united states will never waiver in our commitment to the security of the republic of korea. we will not waiver. >> reporter: but that moment of national pride was followed by disappointment, a press conference that was supposed to be a celebration of a free trade agreement with south korea fell flat. the talks continued to drag on. >> we don't want months to pass before we get this done. we want this to be done in a matter of weeks. >> reporter: the sticking point-- cars. last year, south korea exported 476,000 cars to the u.s., but imported only 6,000 american cars. so far, south korea has refused to bend to the president's demands. >> the president's weak position domestically has made it very hard for him to be a leader
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internationally, particularly in the economic realm. >> reporter: the president is also dealing with the harsh economic realities he'll confront when he returns to washington, including an explofl controversial proposal from the chairman of his debt reduction commission loaded with painful budget cuts and tax hikes. >> i set up this commission precisely because i'm prepared to make some tough decisions. i can't make them alone. i'm going to need congress to work with me. >> reporter: the president will also face a ferocious battle over the bush tax cuts. during the campaign he strongly opposed extending them for upper income americans. today the white house appeared to cave before the negotiations even began. the liberal base erupted in anger, forcing the president's advisors to spend the day furiously back-pedalling. tomorrow the president heads to japan for an economic conference and one last chance to try to convince asian nations to open their markets to u.s. goods. katie. >> couric: chip reid reporting
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from seoul, south korea, chip, thank you. now to another tofrl issue, don't ask, don't tell, which bans gays from serving openly in the military. the pentagon recently asked active duty and reserve troops for their opinion and today cbs news reviewed the draft report. more than 70% of those who responded think lifting the ban on gays serving openly would have little or no impact. 40% of marines said they'd be concerned about serving with gays in combat. meanwhile, in health news tonight, a medical first. doctors injected embryonic stem cells into a woman's brain, hoping they'll fight her cancer. close to 23,000 americans are diagnosed with brain cancer every year, and more than half that number die. ben tracy met this pioneer patient and has an exclusive look at this groundbreaking procedure. >> i've already agreed. >> reporter: jenn vonckx has been leaning on her family a lot lately. just three weeks ago, doctors in her home town of celtic told her
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there was nothing more they could do to treat the tumor in her brain. they gave her two months to live. >> it's a short time, when they tell you that, wow. you wouldn't even believe how short it feels. >> reporter: she didn't know at this hospital nearly los angeles dr. karen abude has been working on a revolutionary new cancer treat for the very worst brain tumors called glioblas tom athe same kind jenn has. these kind of tumors are so invasive, until now there have been no way to get the chemotherapy through the blood-brain barrier, but with stem cells researchers think they've found a way. here's how-- 10 million neural stem cells with a special enzyme are injected to the brain. the stem cells seek out and tach themselves to the tumors. the patient takes a pill containing a nontoxic drug that enters the brain. when the drug interacts with the enzyme in the stem cells it instantaneously creates an active chemotherapy drug.
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the hope is the chemo will kill the sdpurmz leave healthy brain tissues alone. >> the chemotherapy is never going toxic all over the body. it's just being made where the tumor cells are. in that case we should have a lot less side effects. >> reporter: it's worked in mice but never tried on a human until this week. jenn is patient number one. >> first in the world. i would prefer that there have been a few people going through it before me. bye, i love you. >> reporter: wednesday othe morning of her surgery, she is ready. >> i'm ready to get it-- get her done. >> reporter: her family says good-bye. >> bye, jenny. >> reporter: and over the course of the four-hour procedure, those 10 million stem cells are sent into jenn's brain to try to fix it. it will be a month before doctors know if it works. >> it's like the first step on the moon and it would just be the beginning. >> reporter: jenn had some smaller steps in mind, cleating a 75-mile walk around seattle. >> i will crawl it if i have to.
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>> reporter: and she may also be giving thousands of people with brain tumors a reason to move forward and to hope. ben tracy, cbs news, california. >> couric: of course we wish jenn all the best. an update on a medical story we brought you last night. the kidney donor chain established by jan and garet hil. they save lives by matching donors with recipients. since our story aired, garet says 204 people have signed up to donate a kidney and begin a new chain. on a normal day just two people sign up. if you'd like to see the story or get involved you can go to our web site at cbsnews.com. and still ahead here on the cbs evening news, a veteran who will not stop fighting for his fallen brothers in arms. but up next, we go back to north korea for a rare close-up look at the world's most secretive society. [ woman ] you know, as a mom, i worry about my son playing football.
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to put in focus some of north korea's mystery. for nearly 60 years, communist north korea has shut itself off from the world. >> there is no place in the world like north korea. >> couric: seen from space, it's literally a black hole between the likes of china to the north and the republic of korea to the south. >> reporter: when they decide it's time for the western media to come in, it all happened in a matter of hours. >> couric: north korea gave a cbs news team a four-day window to attend communist party ceremonies in the capital of pyongyang. kim jong il would introduce his youngest son and heir, kim jong un, to the world. >> on our flight from beijing to pyongyang an attractive 22-year-old north korean flight attendant asked me where i was from. i told her i'm from america but i live in japan. right away she snapped back, "i hate america. i hate japan."
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and them she politely asked me what kind of beverage i wanted to drink. >> will we see these kinds of crowds. >> excuse me. >> i'm trying to understand, that's all. it almost feels like you're on the back lot of some hollywood studio because you're driving by all of these stores or restaurants but no one is ever in them. >> i can still hear the sound of the tapping on the ground of their boots. they may look like the rockets, but everybody's got guns. >> couric: dissent is met with prison or death. north koreans have no contact with the outside world. their focus is kim jong il. >> nothing compares to what happens when kim jong il and kim jong un walk out. this sound goes through the crowd. this sort of wooo-wooo. and they start all lifting their hands up. and i look at their faces and they're all crying, and that's when you realize you're in
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something entirely and disturbingly unique. sdpl despite being backwards and bankrupt, north korea has built as many as a dozen nuclear weapons, and may be making more. >> the real concern about north korea is nuclear capacity is not that they're going to launch one but that they're going to sell one. >> couric: according to a new u.n. report, north korea sells $100 million worth of nonnuclear arms every year to countries with terroristitize like iran and syria. money from the weapons sales goes into the pockets of north korea's leadership, which is also linked to counterfeiting and money laundering. >> north korea in some ways is a cancer on asia. >> couric: in the past, international aid in the form of food and medicine has gotten north korea to stop its nuclear weapons programs, but pyongyang has repeatedly broken its promises right after it gets
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what it wants. >> the trick for the united states and the obama administration is how do you ensure that you aren't rewarding north korea for its bad behavior? >> couric: tensions are highest along the 160-mile demilitarized zone. on one side, u.n. forces, including 28,000 americans. on the other, north korea, hidden in those hills are 11,000 artillery pieces aimed at south korea's capital. >> there are 22 million people in seoul, 100,000 american citizens. they're all in range of north korean artillery. right now you have a country sort of being run by a man who is in his 60s and has already suffered a stroke. now it's going to be turned over to a man who is in his 20, about whom we know almost nothing. >> couric: kim jong un will inherit a country in tatters. starvation is chronic, killing as many as two million people
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since 1990. a third of the country's 23 million are undernourished. >> given the succession that is unfolding before our eyes in pyongyang, i think what we're seeing are opportunities arise, potentially, to not only explore diplomacy with new figures in the regime but also to see if there are new actors with whom we could deal. >> couric: but it's a giant neighbor that could have the final say. >> mao zse once said china and north korea were as close as lips and peace. >> couric: for now, china supports the kim regime's grip on power. >> first there is the threat of hundreds of thousands starving north korea refugees floodinging into china. second a new unified korea would likely be a u.s. allied, and that could bring the possibility of u.s. troops coming up through south korea, into north korea, right up to the chinese border. >> brides and grooms, fresh this
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their wedding, the first play they go is this monstrous statue of kim il sung, the first leader and father of north korea, and they go to be blessed. >> couric: from kim il sun to his grandson, one family ruling one nation since its creation nearly six decades ago. when we come back, movies were his life. a look back at the long career of dino delaurentiis. if you have osteoporosis, and you take once-monthly boniva, check out the myboniva program. it's free to join, and it shows you lots of ways to help improve your bone strength. like bone-healthy exercises that are easy to do. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss. and myboniva gives you calcium-rich recipes... monthly reminders... and even a month of boniva, free.
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that you need to do for your heart health. for me, it means an aspirin regimen. before you begin an aspirin regimen. speak to your doctor. >> couric: google can be pretty handy. hungry? it will help you find a restaurant. injured? a hospital is a click away. and 52 fyou're the police, it will even locate criminals for you. complaints about suspected drug dealers on a corner in brooklyn sent the nypd to google street view to scout the neighborhood and there they were. they set up a sting operation and nabbed the three suspects and their stash of heroine and marijuana in a nearby basement. in other news, dino delaurentiis was born to make movies. his career lasted seven decades and included two oscars. he produced more than 500 films, many of them unforgettable, like "death wish."
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charles bronson's portrayal of a vigilante struck a chord in the 19 70s, as did "serpico" with al pacino as a corruption-fighting cop. delaurentiis also produce the futuristic "barbarela" starring jane fonda. he once told the "l.a. times" making movies is all about instincts. nobody taught picasso how to paint. dino delaurentiis died today at his home in los angeles. he was 91. want to cut corners by using a broth with msg? swanson chicken broth has no added msg. so for a perfect holiday meal, the secret is swanson, 100% natural chicken broth. stuffing. the side dish that makes people take sides. take a stand at greatstuffingdebate.com.
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>> couric: on this veterans day, americans honor those who serbed in the armed forces. for one world war ii vet, the war won't end until he can bring every one of his fallep comrades home. we first reported on his efforts more than two years ago and a lot has changed since then. bill whitaker updates this story of determination and the american spirit. >> i sometimes have asked myself whether or not this is survivor's guilt. >> reporter: at 91, world war ii vet leon cooper is still fighting battles in the south pacific. he survived the bloody battle of tarawa in 1943. more than 1100 marines and sailors died, almost 2300 wounded, 4600 japanese killed in the first major battle of the pacific.
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cooper, a landing craft officer, ferried waves of marines ashore. >>. >> and i saw fear in their eyes. all i can think is could they see the fear in mine? >> reporter: now he's fighting so america never forgets. >> there are hundreds of guys who lie in tarawa in unmarked graves. >> reporter: we first met him at his malibu home two years ago. >> i was angry. all those guys dying. >> reporter: angry at finding red beach where so many marines died was the island dump and neither the pentagon nor politicians seemed to care. but today... they seem to be paying attention now. >> yeah, because we made a lot of noise. >> reporter: following our story and a documentary cooper helped make, the pentagon was prodded into action. recently sending a forensic team to tarawa to search for the remains of fallen fighters. >> being on marine hallowed ground, bringing my fallen brothers home, that's as good as it gets right there.
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>> reporter: the team recovered two sets of remains believed to be americans. and sent them home as heroes. now leon cooper is a hero to the families of tarawa's fallen. >> my uncle frank roger cabral... >> reporter: he's gotten 500 letters and emails like this. >> "his body never came home." >> reporter: marjorie coakley, the niece of i a tarawa marine lives in the bay area. >> i wanted to tell him thank you for still caring after all these years and keeping the story alive. >> reporter: the remains recovered on tarawa were flown to the military forensic lab in honolulu for identification. that will take months. as for leon cooper... >> i'm not going to give up. >> reporter: he plans to keep fighting to ensure service and sacrifice are remembered and honored. bill whitaker, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: thank you, leon cooper. and that is cbs evening news for tonight. i'm katie couric.
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