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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  July 8, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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>> tonight the last liftoff. >> one more time we can witness this great nation at it best. >> america at its best and most challenged. bob orr on the glorious final launch. kelly cobiella with the hundreds of thousands who witnessed history. but after the thrill, for space workers, the layoffs begin. what's next? anthony mason has today's national jobs report. troubling new information on hiring. and with a tragedy at the game, are the ballparks to blame? captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. reporting tonight from the kennedy space center. >> pelley: good evening. today for the last time america
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reached for the heavens with its space shuttle. "atlantis," the last in the fleet, roared aloft on a tower of flame, the 135th shuttle launch over 30 years, an ending to what is perhaps the greatest engineering achievement of all time. but this day was bittersweet because many people who shared in that achievement and depended on the shuttle for their livelihood will soon be out of work in the toughest job market in decades. these are the numbers that brought the country back down to earth today. the labor department reported that the economy created only 18,000 jobs last month, and with that the unemployment rate rose to 9.2%, the highest since december. anthony mason begins our coverage. >> reporter: for more than 14 million unemployed americans, june was a discouraging month. private companies add only
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57,000 jobs, and with state government struggling, minnesota's has shut down, nearly 40,000 government workers lost their jobs. after three months in which the economy looked strong, averaging more than 200,000 job gains, in may and june, it just flatlined. >> businesses just froze. they're not laying off workers, but they have stopped hiring. >> reporter: economist mark zandi believes higher gas prices stalled out an economy still trying to get back to full speed. >> the size of the economy is actually bigger than it was before the recession hit, however, we are lucky if we got a quarter of the jobs back. >> reporter: economist lakshman achuthan sees a fundamental shift in the economy that affects our ability to create jobs. >> i think a lot of people think the jobs problem was caused by the recession. >> no, it wasn't. something was ailing our economy before the great recession.
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>> reporter: more than 18 million jobs were created during each decade. but from 2000 to 2007, the economy added only 7 million. >> reporter: the seven years before the great recession hit marked the worst business cycle we have on record as far as job creation goes. >> reporter: economist heidi schierholz. >> we have now faced about 11 years of really week job growth. >> reporter: and, scott, the so-called underemployment rate, which includes those who have given up looking or have been forced to work part-time is now back up above 16% again. >> pelley: thanks, anthony. on this day, central florida is the eper in of layoffs in america. as the shuttle flew away, so did jobs. here in bra vard county, the unemployment rate is already 10.8%. layoffs started a few years ago, but the last shuttle means thousands more space workers across the country have met the
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end. we talked to some of the people who have spent decades on america's space adventure, and they're finding for the unemployed this can be a hostile planet. >> there are some people who have been laid off. >> pelley: we met 18 shuttle workers at a job center called bravard workforce. they come here to work on their resume and interview skills. a lot of them haven't looked for work in 30 years. can i see hands again for the folks who are currently unemployed? greg, i'll start with you. how long have you been unemployed. >> october 2009. >> october 2010. >> march this year. >> pelley: way back in 1990, the shuttle program peaked with 32,000 workers, but now it's 6,300 and dropping fast. liz vazquez is a single mother who lost her job as an office worker. her house is in foreclosure. her unemployment checks just ran out. she's been out of work since
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december 2009. >> i actually had my first interview about three months ago. >> pelley: let me see if i just heard you right. you got your first interview after more than a year and a half? >> yep. i've been trying all this time, and i thought for sure, you know, i have an associate's degree, it's not a bachelor's, but i thought for sure with all my skills and years of experience that i would have gotten something. >> pelley: what's next? >> food stamps, $200 a month, and then i guess i just have to figure it out, wing it. >> i've been a lifelong space buff. >> pelley: former shuttle technician greg cecil has master's degree, but he's run into a problem that we've been seeing all over the country these days. >> a lot of people i talk with online that used to work out of kennedy space center, we're noticing a trend, if you're 45 or older, you don't get interviews definitely. but some of the ones that have gotten laid off this are under 45 are picking up jobs. >> pelley: do you think you're
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too told rehire and too young to retire? is that the idea? [all speaking at once] >> definitely. >> pelley: we asked what they would be willing to do to support their families, and we got an answer that we never expected? >> i'm trying to get out of afghanistan to all places. that's where the money's at. >> i want to go, too. >> pelley: you're trying to go to afghanistan? what are you trying to do in afghanistan? >> rebuild. >> rebuild. >> make a living. >> pelley: how many people think there are opportunities in afghanistan? >> oh, i know it. >> pelley: turns out their aerospace skills fit the war, and the war fits their special sense of duty. >> these people maintained, built and operated a human space flight program and produced for the american people, produced the crown jewel for the united states, and that's what we want to do. >> pelley: how many of you expected to retire in the space program? everybody. how many of you have dipped into your retirement savings at this
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point? so you're spending your future that you were socking away. >> well, i figure the day i wake up dead, i won't go to work. >> the bottom line is there's not going to be anything for me to retire on. >> pelley: difficult as the jobs picture is tonight, there was celebration this morning here at the kennedy space center. bob orr, it was a perfect end to the shuttle program, a picture-perfect launch. >> reporter: it was marvelous to see, scott. tonight shuttle atlantis is safely on its way to the international space station, but only after a morning of drama that ended in a spectacular launch. despite a dismal forecast of overcast skies and possible storms around launchpad 39a, the four astronauts of "atlantis" strapped in for the final launch of a u.s. space shuttle. nasa searched for a window in the clouds and 12 minutes before the scheduled liftoff, the shuttle director radioed "atlantis" commander chris
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ferguson that he looked good to go. >> so on behalf of the greatest team in the world, good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true american icon. >> one more time we can witness this great nation at its best. >> reporter: but with just 31 seconds left in the countdown, a snag. >> t-minus 31 seconds. >> and we have had a failure. >> reporter: nasa quickly cleared what essentially tbawlsz alarm and the big clock rolled once again. >> main engine start. >> reporter: despite lingering concerns about potential rain and lightning -- >> liftoff, the final liftoff of "atlantis." >> -- "atlantis" roared. >> the space shuttle spreads its wings one final time for the start of a sentimental journey into history. >> reporter: the shuttle carried 10,000 of pounds of equipment and supplies to the space station, enough to last through 2012. >> "atlantis" go at throttle up.
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>> reporter: a camera on the external fuel tank focused closely on the heat shield on the belly of the orbiter. a preliminary analysis revealed no worries, no indications that the vulnerable insulating tile suffered any debris damage on launch. for nasa, this was a textbook start for the end, because when "atlantis" comes home, the 30-year shuttle program will be shut down, a sobering reality that tempered today's celebration. of course, there is still plenty of work to do on this mission, and nasa will stay focused, be assured of, that until "atlantis" rolls to its final stop in 12 or 13 days, scott. >> pelley: bob, we don't know when americans will leave the space port again. i wonder what's next for the u.s. space program? >> reporter: oh, very uncertain. long term nasa would like to build its own heavy lift rocket again and go into deep space. in the interim for three to five years we'll hitch a ride on soyuz from russia, and commercial developers will try to build us a new platform to
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get us back to the space station, but it's all literally up in the air. >> pelley: thanks very much, bob. we can show you the pictures, but it's consistent to capture the feel of a shuttle launch. our studio three miles from the shuttle path shook like it was in an earthquake. hundreds of thousands of people came from all over the country to feel that, too, and kelly cobiella was out there among them. [cheering] >> reporter: chris has dreamed of this moment since he was a kid. >> i've been promising myself for 20 years that i'd see a launch. and i kind of ran out of opportunities. so this is was our last chance. >> reporter: bell drove 1,100 miles from detroit with his mother-in-law and three children and spent the night in a tent in the pouring rain to make sure his family had front-row seats to history. >> i know how much enjoyment, how much excitement i got just seeing launches on television and going to space camp and being a part growing up of that,
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and i know this is something that at least the two boys are going to remember. >> reporter: along florida's space coast, people staked out any open patch of grass they could find. many came two days ago and slept when and where they could, all for just the incredible 42 seconds between liftoff and the shuttle ice disappearance in the clouds. >> it's one of the most amazing things i have ever seen in my entire life. i'm so emotional. it was fabulous. >> reporter: the rumble of rockets has drawn crowds to this coast for 50 years. for mercury and apollo, the shuttle's first flight, and today for its last. it was also a spectacle that left the bellboys believing the sky was no longer the limit. >> i'm going to be first kid on the moon. >> reporter: and millions more here and beyond marveling at the journey. it was hard for people to leave this park today.
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they stayed until they could no longer hear or see the shuttle, and then, scott, they gave atlantis one last standing ovation. >> pelley: thanks, kelly. president obama today blamed the bad jobs numbers in part on worries that the united states might default on its debts. he said that prospected has employers afraid to hire. bob schieffer is our chief washington correspondent and anchor of "face the nation." bob, is that really why they're not hiring. report well, i tell you something, scott. worry about the country going into default may be part of it, but this jobs situation was getting bad long before people began the worry about defaulting. this marks the 29th month in a row now that unemployment has been above 8%. that is the longest stretch it's been that high since the 1930s. having said, that i doubt that many people would argue with the president when he says it can only get worse if congress does not find a way to raise the debt
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ceiling, so the government can borrow the money it needs to pay its bills. but he got a double-barrel reminder today of just how hard that is going to be to get a deal. on the left you had the leader of the house democrats, nancy pelosi. she said no way democrats would accept cuts and social security benefits. >> no benefit cuts in medicare and social security. >> reporter: then on the right, the republican leader in the house, john boehner, said he didn't believe the two sides were any closer to an agreement tonight than they ever were. well, they are all meeting again on sunday, scott, but i tell you, if there is a deal cooking, it is a long way from being done. >> pelley: thanks, bob. sunday on "face the nation," bob's guest will be treasury secretary timothy geithner and senators jeff sessions and bill nelson. the scandal that caused a british tabloid to fold has now landed on the prime minister's doorstep. a night at the ballpark for a father and son takes a tragic
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turn. and america's history in space today and yesterday when the "cbs evening news" continues. tends to stay at rest... rt
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was arrested. elizabeth palmer tells us the last word hasn't been written on this scandal. >> reporter: the political damage control came from the very top. >> we need a proper police investigation, then the public enquiry that i've set out very clearly today. >> reporter: prime minister david cameron's own reputation is now threatened by the growing "news of the world" scandal. reporters from the paper are accused of hacking into the voice mail of as many as 4,000 people, including a murdered teenager and the families of fallen soldiers. the prime minister defended his decision to hire as an adviser the man who ran the paper at the time. >> he said that he did not know what was happening at the "news of the world" in terms of hacking and he resigned as a result of it. i decided to give him a second chance. >> reporter: this morning coleson was arrested. another former editor, clive goodman, was arrested, too, after allegations he bribed police. so farrah beck ca brooks, a
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former editor turned senior executive, hasn't been investigated, even though she told a parliamentary committee that... >> we have paid the police for information in the past. >> reporter: now public opinion has turned sharply against the paper's owner, rupert murdoch, one of the world's most powerful media tycoons. he bought "the news of the world" back in 1969 and made it the cornerstone of an empire that now includes fox news and the "wall street journal." simon hoggart is a columnist for "the guardian." his newspaper has been investigating the scandal for years, and he says murdoch is facing an enormous backlash. >> now it's just loathing for the guy. >> reporter: the murdochs moved fast to close down "the news of the world" this week, but it's much easier to stop the presses than to repair a reputation tainted by lying and deceit. authorities announced a short
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time ago that they now arrested a third person in this scandal, a 63-year-old man, although we don't know yet who he is. and rupert murdoch himself is flying into london tomorrow from the u.s. to take charge personally of this spiraling mess. scott? >> pelley: thanks, liz. in syria today, the streets were filled again with protesters calling for president bashar al-assad to go. we have amateur video from one of the biggest rallies where in 1982 that asad's father crushed a rebellion, killing as many as 25,000 protesters. this week the u.s. and french ambassadors visited hama to show their support for the protesters. it happened in the blink of an eye. tragedy at the ballpark. when we come back. the healing power of touch can be even more powerful,
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with penetrating nubs plus the powerful pain relief of bengay. >> just about every baseball fan who attends a game hopes to catch ball in the stands, but don teague reports that last night in arlington, texas, tragedy struck at the rangers' game. it was the second inning when 39-year-old shannon stone tried to catch a ball tossed into the stands by player. he lost his balance and as his young son looked on fell over the railing, plunging 20 feet on to the pavement below. >> his son cried out "daddy," and my husband grabbed boy so he wouldn't see it because he was
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calling for his dad. >> reporter: stone, who died about an hour later, was a firefighter in brownwood, texas. his family said he went to the game specifically hoping to catch a ball, even stopping on the way to buy his son a new glove. outfielder josh hamilton, who tossed the foul ball to stone, was stone's favorite player, and he's distraught. >> it's pretty surreal. it brings things into perspective how quickly lives can change. in the blink of an eye. and very unexpectedly. >> reporter: players throwing balls into the stands is common in baseball. today the rangers said the railing that stone fell over exceeded building code and the team is not making any changes. >> what you would like to do is hope that we don't have that situation come up again. but i also would not suggest that we don't give baseballs away. >> reporter: major league baseball issued this statement: we will carefully review this
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incident with our clubs to continue to ensure a safe environment for our fans. well, this is the fourth time in the 17-year history of this ballpark that a player or a fan has fallen over the railing, but it is the first fatality. scott, tonight the players will be wearing black ribbons in stone's memory. >> pelley: thanks, don. it's been quite an adventure from mercury to atlantis. americans in space when we come back. >> pelley: with the end at
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least for now of the manned space program, we were thinking today of how it all began and how much walter cronkite was part of that experience. >> roger. >> pelley: in the early days of space flight, we didn't have a station here. we had a station wagon. yet walter managed to broadcast live on that day in 1916 when we put our first astronaut, alan shepard, on top of a rocket. >> cronkite: the redstone rocket is ready. commander alan shepard, the astronaut, is ready. >> it is still go. >> cronkite: the world can have no doubts that we did it, and the man who did it was alan shepard , jr. history was made today, and you were an eyewitness. your correspondent, walter
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cronkite. >> pelley: and history was made today exactly 50 years and nine weeks after shepard's flight. the shuttle program ends with no clear successor. >> liftoff! >> pelley: the shuttle had its critics, it was expensive, there were astronauts. but there was nothing like it in the world. americans conceived it. when tragedy struck, americans pressed ahead without fire. to a generation, man in space seemed as american as the constellation in our flag. but today marked the end of the heroic age of space flight when we all claimed ownership. the last shuttle left the earth, drawing a bright, burning line in the sky, the signature of people who dare to dream. and that's the "cbs evening "cbg news." i'm scott pelley at the kennedy space center. for all of us as cbs news all around the world, good night.
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