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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  February 2, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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>> pelley: tonight is israel planning an attack on iran in the spring? defense secretary panetta is quoted as saying it's likely. david martin is working that story. angry reaction on both sides after one of the leading breast cancer charities cuts off grants to planned parenthood. nancy cordes reports new york's billionaire mayor says he'll make up some of the loss. a new clue to how alzheimer's disease may spread. jim axelrod tells us it could lead to new treatments to try to stop it. and anna werner reports something most of us take for granted is growing scarce in the texas drought. >> it's devastating. you don't really know what's going to happen. captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. there is growing talk about a military strike against iran to stop its from developing a nuclear weapon. some of it came from israel's defense minister, and some of it came from u.s. defense secretary leon panetta today. more about all of that now from national security correspondent david martin at the pentagon. >> reporter: defense secretary panetta believes there is strong likelihood israel will strike iran in april, may, or june. that, according to columnist, david ignatius, writing shortly after he completed a transatlantic flight with the defense secretary. panetta today did not dispute it. as if to show panetta has cause for concern, israel's defense minister seemed to reject u.s. arguments economic sanctions need more time to work. sprinkling his hebrew with english ehud barak said.
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>> as long as as november, barak said there were only six to nine month left before iran buried its nuclear facilities so deeply to make it too deep to attack. when joint chiefs chairman martin dempsey tried to convince israeli leaders it's too soon for military force, he came away admitting he had not changed any minds. israel recently canceled a missile defense exercise scheduled with the u.s. for the spring, a move some defense officials interpret as evidence israel is focusing all its efforts on preparing for an attack. as panetta explained in an interview with "60 minutes," an israeli strike would almost certainly have consequences for the u.s. >> the united states could be targeted as a result of that. we would get blamed, whether they like it or not. we would get blamed. >> reporter: nobody, including the israelies, thinks a strike with all its unforeseen
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consequences is a good option, but if sanctions don't work and work soon, the israelis could decide it's the only option. >> pelley: and secretary panetta told us iran could have a bomb as early as this year if it decided to go ahead. david, thanks very much. short of war, the united states and europe are pressuring iran to give up the nuclear program. they have frozen many of iran's international banking transactions and the european union will join the u.s. in boycotting iranian oil. also high on the administration's defense priorities is the threat from computer hackers. the director of the f.b.i. really caught our attention today when he said that cyber attacks could soon be a bigger threat than terrorism. bob orr is our homeland security correspondent. bob. >> reporter: scott, director robert mueller said he spent his entire f.b.i. career chasing terrorists and trying to stop the next terror attack, but today in a stark warning to congress, mueller signaled the enemy and the mission may be
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changing. >> i do believe that the cyber threat will equal our surpass the threat from counter-terrorism in the foreseeable future. >> reporter: house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers was even more blunt. >> a cyberattack is on its way. we will suffer a catastrophic cyber attack. the clock is ticking. >> reporter: officials say they have no information that any large-scale attack is imminent, but can see critical system, like the nation's power grid grid, and air traffic control network are, vulnerable. u.s. businesses and government computer networks are already under daily assault. state-sponsored spies, largely from russia and china, are stealing corporate secrets in what one official calls the greatest pillaging of wealth in history. kevin mandia is one of the america's top cyber detectives, investigating breaches for defense contractors and other major corporations. >> if i'm a fortune 500 company, i should just assume i'm going to be a target at some point. >> you are a target.
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there's no question about it. >> reporter: mandia showed us how the most successful attacks begin with simple research. >> if i wanted to compromise you, what i might do, bob, is find out your interests. what's your favorite football team, baseball team, your dog's name. >> reporter: then the attacker sends an innocent-looking e-mail. in this demonstration, it's a pentagon budget proposal. >> when the hacker gets me to open that attachment, that hacker now has access to my entire computer, all the files i have, everything? >> correct. >> reporter: if just one employee is compromised, the whole operation is at risk. >> with one weak link, i usually can get everybody's user id and pass phrase. >> reporter: attacks like this have already caused huge lozs >> i think we're waiting to see how much of our products are being replicated or are our trade secrets anything to materialize from other region of the world. >> reporter: potentially tens of billions. >> i have seen estimates from billions to trillions. >> reporter: an attack on critical infrastructure could
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cause incalculable damage. it may not be possible, scott, or affordable, to make systems hacker-proof. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. the government is still working to make the skies terror-proof, and we learned today, that the number of people on the official no-fly list has doubled. officials began adding more names of potential security threats after that failed christmas day bombing of a jetliner over detroit in 2009. now, 21,000 people considered potential threats are banned from flying to or within the united states. about 500 of them are u.s. citizens. we told you last night that one of the largest breast cancer charities, susan g. komen for the cure, plans to cut off grants to planned parenthood for breast cancer screening. today, there was sharp reaction for and against that decision. here's nancy cordes. >> scurrilous accusations are
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being hurled at this organization and are profoundly hurtful. >> ambassador nancy brinkler who founded komen for the cure in memory of his sister tried to explain the decision today. >> many of the grants we were doing with planned parenthood, do not meet new standards of criteria for how we can measure our results and effectiveness in communities. >> reporter: but she could not explain why planned parenthood alone, out of 2,000 granteees, appeared to be affected by the new rules. today, thousands of messages swamped komen's facebook page. more than 90% of them negative "your credibility just went into the tank," read one. >> they put themselves into the middle of a political witch-hunt. >> reporter: california senator barbara boxer was one of two dozen democratic senators who sent a letter to komen today urging it to reconsider. >> it certainly is hurting the women across this country, and
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that's what's so sad, women who count on this screening. >> reporter: one of those women is nonique monique, in orange county, california, laid off and uninsured, she said planned parenthood was one of her only options when she needed a breast exam >> mammogram showed two spots, and then planned parenthood stepped up and said, here, go for an ultrasound. that eventually led to a needle biopsy which showed one was a cyst and i didn't have to worry about it and the other was a tumor. >> reporter: komen for the cure has long faced pressure from conservative groups to drop its funding of breast screenings at planned parenthood because it also performs abortions. one of those groups, life way christian resources released a statement today expressing its gratitude. but the decision reportedly led the charity's top health official to resign in protest after six years on the job. "i respect the work of planned parenthood" molly williams said in a statement today. "and i believe it would be a mistake for any organization to
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bow to political pressure and comp promise its mission." new york mayor michael bloomberg pledged $250,000 to planned parenthood today, which means that in the past two days, scott, the organization has raisemore than the $680,000 it got from the komen foundation in all of last year. >> pelley: and, nancy, what about the komen foundation's fund-raising since this news broke? >> reporter: well, they told us today that their fund-raising is up as well. they say it's up 100% over the past two days, but they didn't give us any figures. >> pelley: nancy, thanks very much. since it was founded in 1982, susan g. komen for the cure has contributed $1.9 billion to breast cancer research and programs. we heard some encouraging news today in the battle against one of the cruelest diseases. there's a new clue as to the mystery of how alzheimer's disease spreads in the brain. we wanted to know more about that. so we asked jim axelrod to look
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into it. >> reporter: researchers have long wondered how alzheimer's ravages the brain, whether it develops independently in different parts of the brain or starts in one area and spreads as suggested in a new study co-authored by dr. scott small of columbia university. >> the spread idea is right, it would mean you might be able to prevent the spread and progression of alzheimer's which is really quite interesting. >> reporter: brains of people with alzheimer's contain tangles of a protein called tau, thought to play a role in memory loss. researchers genetically engineered mice with tau in their brains brains and mapped s spread over 22 months. as the mice aged, tau spread from cell to cell, destroying them as it moved. >> there's no-- an appreciation that tau, at the very least, is this sort of excutioner. it's the abnormality that results in cell death and
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dysfunction. >> reporter: coauthor karen duff said the finding raised hopes for new therapies that might block tau. >> we are fascinated by the idea it can spread from cell to seld and that allows a hole range of interventions that can catch it as it's leaving one cell into another. >> reporter: can this be a new therapy? we ask the chief medical officer at the alzheimer's association. >> that might be a useful therapeutic pathway, but there are many steps that have to come before you're actually going to get to a useful product that could be used to treat human disease. >> reporter: he said it could take five more years of research before any conclusions can be drawn. and, scott, one red flag. there have been many approaches to fighting alzheimer's that seemed to work in mice but didn't translate to humans. clearly, much more research is needed, but that's not dim anything hope of the scientists tonight. >> pelley: jim, thank you very much. a political note-- last weekend, on "face the nation" donald
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trump told bob schieffer he was thinking about running for president, but on second thought, he's not. today, the real estate developer and reality tv host fired off an endorsement of mitt romney. trump called romney tough, smart, and sharp. the new eruption of violence in egypt as protesters blame the police for a deadly so, riot. the mona lisa may have a twin sister. and a break in the ice at the bottom of the world when the cbs evening news continues. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil
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a lot of people injured, mainly from inhaling tear gas. but the most serious clashes here in months is the people demand answers for what happened in this football riot, and the number of people killed there. but also they want to feel that this country is really changing, and they don't feel that yet. >> pelley: and what is the military council that runs the country had to say about all of this? >> reporter: well, the military council says that it doesn't want anything that is going to cause instability in the country, that it promised an investigation into what's happened at that football stadium. but the people here are not listening to the military. they want the military leaders to go. they are fed up with what they see as excuses for deaths across the country, and i think there is really going to be a serious push now to get the military to stand down, much sooner than they were meant to. they were meant to go at the end of june, but, really, the people are determined to carry on protesting until they go. >> pelley: emma hurd with sky
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news, thank you very much. there is news tonight about a classic work of art. it turns out the mona lisa may have a long lost twin. take a look at this. two paintings, same woman, one of them the world's most famous painting, the other thought to be a replica. can you tell which is which? the one on the left is da vinci's masterpiece. the one on the right, art experts now believe, was painted by a student work side by side with da vinci as he composed the original. the u.s. wants to include the taliban in afghan peace talks. are they interested? we'll talk to the taliban commanders next
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>> pelley: defense secretary leon panetta made news yesterday when he said the combat role for u.s. troops in afghanistan could end next year instead of 2014. today, he took a step back, insisting that u.s. forces will remain combat ready, even as they transition into their new role of training afghan troops. another part of the u.s. strategy involves gettings the taliban to hold peace talks with the afghan government. isa ward spoke with some taliban representative where's they live, in pakistan. >> reporter: they call him the farther of the taliban, one of pakistan's most well-known and hard-line islamists. we visited sami ul haq at hissings are of religious school near its afghan border.
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many afghan taliban leaders and fighters study here, earning it the nickname "the university of jihad." ul hawk says taliban figures are respective to the idea of peace talking but the three key commissions must be met first. "the americans must leave afghanistan. secondly, taliban leaders should be released from guatanamo. the third demand is there should be no outside interference in afghanistan." it is unlikely american negotiators will accept these terms, though release of some prisoners from guatanamo have been discussed. while some may be supportive of peace talks, there are clear signs there are divisions within the group. many of the younger, more militant members say they are not ready to stop fighting. at a small guest house on the outskirts of islamabad, we had the rare chance to sit down with the young taliban commander from
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helmund province. for security reasons, he asked that we not show his face. if these talks in bowhat are successful and taliban leaders tell you and your fighters to put down your armes, will you do it? "no, it will not happen," he said, "and those who are talking to the political wing of the taliban, should understand that real peace is only possible by talking to the ground fighters." so the bottom line is you're not willing to compromise. you're not willing to collaborate. is there any chance of peace? "if the afghan government announced tomorrow that strict islamist law would be reinstated, we would accept that," he said, "but those in power now will never go along with that." for the moment, there is a huge gulf between what the taliban and their backers want and what america would be willing to accept. isa ward, cbs news, islamabad. >> pelley: we have to note a passing tonight. angelo dundee, the legendary boxing trainer has died.
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muhammed ali once called dundee, the best trainer in the world. he worked in the corner of nearly every one of ali's fights. he also trained sugar ray leonard and 13 other championes, including george forman. he was 90 years old. the most impressive picture we saw today came from antarctica, a photo taken by a nasa satellite in november showing a giant crack in the pine island glacier, right there on the right. the crack is 19 miles long, and scientists say it will create an iceberg. this iceberg would be larger than new york city. a texas-sized drought has one town on the verge of running out of water. that's next.
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>> it's kev devastating. you don't know what's going to happen. >> reporter: the community's only well has barely a day's worth of water left. so five times a day, water is being trucked in to fill the community's storage tank, and for now, everyone here has to boil drinking water, but castillo would rather buy bottled water to make formula for her son. it takes another bite out of the paycheck she gets work at a fast food restaurant. >> i mean, i'm a new mother. i'm worried about him, you know. he's my life. i'm worried about my family. i don't know what's going to happen. >> reporter: the community's problems started with the drought that dried up this part of lake travis. there's so little water left in the lake, that both docks like this one that should be floating some 40 feet over my head now sit on dry land. the biggest worry here is the threat of wildfires. have you ever had the town say
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to you, "we might not have enough water for you to fight a fire?" >> no. >> reporter: this is the first time. >> this is the first time. >> reporter: volunteer fire chief dean lefter and his crew fought wildfires here last summer. this season, he may have to truck in water from communities 12 miles away. >> if you've got to truck water as opposed to water being right there ready, it makes all the difference in the world as to how fast you can put out a fire. >> reporter: the water authority is now weighing options that could prove expensive-- dig a deeper well or find a way to get water from another lake. >> it's one of those critical situations that you can just hope that it just gets better. >> reporter: if it doesn't, castillo says, she may have to think about a third option-- moving. anna werner, cbs news, spicewood beach, texas. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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this is 9 news now. heavy security surrounding a southeast d.c. school this afternoon as more details come out about the sexual assault of a girl inside ketcham elementary yesterday. scott broom has the new information about what happened. reporter: cathy lanier briefed the public in a radio appearance today. >> there was a adult male who entered the school i believe asked to speak to someone in the school and was given an escort. during the course of that escort inappropriately touched a female student. reporter: beyond that police and school officials are saying nothing. parents complain there's not even been a note home explaining the situation. meanwhile police and security officers kept watch at ketcham today. >> they are continuing to do interviews this morning. reporter:


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