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tv   CBS Evening News  CBS  August 19, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT

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>> jeff: tonight the man behind wikileaks speaks out, during an unusual appearance at the ecuadorian embassy julian assange claims its u.s. government is carrying out a witch-hunt. kelly cobiella in london has the latest. syria's president emerges for the cameras in damascus. clarissa ward tells us u.n. monitors are leaving the country. new york state gets set to release its long-awaited decision on fracking, the controversial gas drilling process. and diana nyad's superswim can. she endure exhaustion and treacherous waters to become the first person to swim from cuba to florida? captioning sponsored by cbs
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this is the "cbs evening news." >> jeff: good evening, everyone, i'm jeff glor. he's an australian citizen wanted in sweden, holed up in england. but julian assange's primary target is the united states. today the man behind wikileaks spoke from the ecuadorian embassy in london where he's been grant add sigh lum and said the u.s. government is carrying out a witch-hunt. kelly cobiella was there. >> reporter: julian assange stepped on to the balcony of the ecuadorian embassy like an actor called out for an encore. instead of letting the audience in on his next move, the wikileaks founder lashed out at the u.s. reading a list of demands. >> the united states must renounce its witch-hunt against wikileaks. the united states must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful. >> reporter: it's the latest bizarre scene in his two-year fight against extradition to sweden.
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assange was arrested in london in 2010, accused of sexually assaulting two former wikileaks volunteers while on a visit to sweden. >> yes t is true, where is the evidence. >> he claims the allegation were part of a smear campaign, retribution for putting the u.s. government's military secrets on wikileaks. he's afraid the sweds will pass him on to the united states for a trial and possibly the death penalty. the alleged source of the leaks army private bradley manning is facing 22 criminal charges and a life sentence. today assange called manning a hero and a political prisoner. >> bradley manning must be released. >> reporter: but there was no mention of the sexual assault allegations or his extradition. assange ran out of legal options in may when britain's highest court shot down his appeal. ecuador has granted him asylum but to get out of this country, he has to set foot outside the embassy where dozens of british officers are waiting to arrest him. assange has been living in a
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small room with little more than a bed and an internet connection at this embassy for the past two months now. despite that, he showed no signs of being fed up or ready to give in. unless that changes, it will be left to ecuador, britain and sweden to work out a compromise. kelly cobiella, cbs news, london. >> jeff: in syria today a rare sighting. president bashar al-assad showed up for the cameras in the country's capitol, damascus. this just as the remaining u.n. monitors packed up to leave. turning joinings is clarissa ward, she is in beirut tonight. clarissa, what is this video tell us? >> well, jeff, it's certainly significant. this is only the second time that we have seen president assad since that large bombing in damascus killed four of his senior officials. in today's video he appears to be praying in a mosque in central damascusment you may
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remember there was a lot of speculation as to whether or not he had left the capitolment but everybody was really looking to see whether vice president farouk al sharaa would make an appearance. he did not. he is not present in that video. the opposition has said that that vice president has, in fact, defected and is on his way out of the country. but the regime, of course, is denying that. >> jeff: i also want to ask you about the u.n. observers. they have left the country. what does that mean for peace efforts inside syria? >> well, the main role of these u.n. observers was essentially to watch over or look after the cease-fire that was one of the points of kofi annan's six point tea plan. that cease-fire was never really actually implemented. the u.n. has now appointed a new syria envoy lakhdar brahimi, a veteran u.n. diplomat. he has worked as an envoy to iraq and afghanistan. but of course it remains to be seen whether he will have any more success than his predecessor.
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>> jeff: clarissa ward from beirut, clarissa, thank you. in afghanistan, another nato soldier was killed today by a man in afghan police uniforms. this happened in kandahar province and is the latest in a string of attacks by apparent afghan forces against nato forces. a roadside bomb in central afghanistan killed three other nato troops. the nationalities of the troops are not yet known. in campaign 2012 tonight the presidential campaign paused for the day. president obama attended church in washington while mitt romney attended services in new hampshire. it has been a busy week since romney named paul ryan as his running mate and we are joined by cbs news john dickerson. always good to see youment 1 week in here, what has been the ryan effect? >> he has put some oxygen in the race there. the poles don't show an uptick for governor romney the way other candidates have been helped by their vice president. but conservatives love paul ryan. and he showed this week he could both defend governor
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romney's medicare plan and also attack on that issue. which is very important for them. he's done well enough that the two are now going to campaign tomorrow together in new hampshire. they weren't scheduled too. one of the reasons though campaign is ryan's effect on romneyment one romney advisors said ryan really jacks him up. >> jeff: the republican convention begins 1 week from tomorrow. we know as you know that these are largely prepackaged events by this point. any surprises you're expecting. >> reporter: remember we used to talk about a brokered convention. this is the opposite of that. there is no surprises. but there is often a surprise at these convention. remember in 1992 pat buchanan's very fiery speech. that was something that kind of got people to sit up and take notice. of course barack obama in 2004. another mystery is how about governor romney sell himself. this is an opportunity for him to reintroduce him self to the country. in 1992 bill clinton totally reframed his debate, his whole campaign when he introduced himself as the man from hope. see how governor romney does that. in the end this is a long
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commercial for the party. so will it be selling a positive vision or will this be four days of beating up on president obama. >> jeff: john dickerson, thank you. >> two men are presumed dead tonight after being swept away in raging floodwaters in dallas last night. four inches of rain filled parking garages and turned streets into rivers. authorities continued searching for the men today. >> dallas has been the center of the latest west nile outbreaks. scientists have confirmed more than 600 cases of the virus across the nation, the most ever by early august. at least 35 people have died, 21 of them in texas. the storm that caused that flooding in dallas also kept the trucks and planes from spraying insecticide last night. they are expected back at work tonight. >> wildfires continue to rage across the west, from northern california to washington and idaho. in washington firefighters gained ground against the fires that had destroyed dozens of homes near the cascade mountains. many residents were allowed
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to return to their homes after being evacuated. it has to the been easy, diana nyad has been repeatedly stung by jellyfish but tonight the long distance swimmer continues on her 100 mile journey from cuba to the u.s. she's about a quarter of the way to making history. and tamey leitner has more. >> reporter: diana nyad is making her fourth attempt to swim the swark infested waters between cuba and the florida keys. swimming more than 100 miles in the ocean is challenging enough. but making it even more dangerous for diana nyad is what's in the water. overnight nyad was stung four times by jellyfish on her neck, lips, hand and forehead. >> you get dehydrated. your lips swell up from the salt. >> reporter: alex kostich has been there himself. he is among the world's fastest open water marathon swimmers. >> to complete an open water
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race you need a little bit of insanity mixed with allots of discipline and a lot of endurance training. >> reporter: whether it be insanity or sheer will,. >> what she's doing just blows my mind. >> reporter: former world champion try athlete siri lind lee knows myate-- nyad personally. >> i love her relentlesslyness, her fearlessness. >> reporter: it is not her first attempt. at age 62, it may be her last. >> does her age in particular work against her. >> i would think it would. and she's also going against all the odds. and imagine when she does accomplish this, how inspiring that's going to be to everyone. >> reporter: so in your eyes, her simply attempting this yet again makes her a success. >> amazing, absolutely. >> reporter: no one has ever done what nyad is now on the verge of doing. >> whether she makes it or not, her attempt, her passion, her determination, that in itself, she has
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already inspired us all. >> reporter: if all goes well, she could reach the florida keys by tuesday. tammy leitner, cbs news, los angeles. >> jeff: later, a a place for peace in the chaos of the city. a long time fracking holdout gets set to move forward. and students investigate the food value of their own school lunches. those stories when the "cbs school lunches. those stories when the "cbs evening news" continues. nah, he's probably got... [ dennis' voice ] allstate. they can bundle all your policies together. lot of paperwork. [ doug's voice ] actually... [ dennis' voice ] an allstate agent can help do the switching and paperwork for you. well, it probably costs a lot. [ dennis' voice ] allstate can save you up to 30% more when you bundle. well, his dog's stupid. [ dennis' voice ] poodles are one of the world's smartest breeds. ♪ bundle and save with an allstate agent. are you in good hands? a great clean doesn't have to take longer. i'm done...
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but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time. [ female announcer ] ensure muscle health has revigor and protein to help protect, preserve, and promote muscle health. keeps you from getting soft. [ major nutrition ] ensure. nutrition in charge! >> jeff: school lunches have become a billion dollar battlefield. on one side those pushing for changes in the way millions of kids eat. on the other, some members of an industry that has had a long and successful rubin side lunchrooms. here's sharyl attkisson. >> reporter: for a high school project 16-year-old juniors michael benson and ivan aston investigated school lunches and made this video. >> if you could sum up cafeteria food in one word what would it be?
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>> slop. >> reporter: finding the food's nutritional value wasn't easy. >> the cafeteria people didn't want to tell us what it was. and we just never got a straight answer from really anyone. >> it's more like a mystery meat. we don't know what they are putting in it. >> reporter: that is a for the find beef soy mixture and the popular pizza puff has about the same calories, fat and sodium as a big mac. >> reporter: and an initiative backed by the first lady usda is make the first radical changes to school lunches in 15 years. it requires daily fruits and vegetables, loan low fat milk, more whole grain and less fat. kevin concannon oversees the school lunch program. what kind of reaction did you get from the industry? >> the industry, i think, had a lot of anxiety about this. that is the kind of thing i can say about that. >> reporter: the food industry had a full menu of objections. salt and sodium have important functional properties, transfats should not be inadvertently discouraged.
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limiting starches like potato makes luncheon appealing and confusing. only john keeling with a $3 billion potato industry agreed to talk with us on camera. >> are french fries good for kids. >> sure, french fries are good for kids. like any other food, in moderation. >> reporter: in the end the food industry convinced congress to reign in usda's plan to limit french fries and salt, kids still get to buy sugar flavored milk and pizza still counts as a vegetable because of the tomato paste. >> why can't usda just say tough luck, pizza is not a vegetable. >> it's to the a vegetable, but in the world of public policy, sometimes influence-- industry influences it and injects itself into it. that's what happened here. >> reporter: michael and ivan have their own influence. the school agreed to post nutrition data and they can't wait to see what is on the menu this fall. >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: sharyl attkisson, cbs news,
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chicago. >> jeff: another united airline flight had to return to liberty airport after an emergency today that fold an incident yesterday when a united flight experienced engine problems on takeoff. it returned safely. today's flight returned because of smoke in the cockpit and cabin. on mars curiosity today tried one of its tools out. scientists zapped a nearby martian rock to test an onboards laser. the beam burned a small hole in the rock. next the engineers will send the rover on its first short drive on the surface of mars. >> protestors across china today went after japanese cars. hundreds of chinese attacked the cars including police cars beating them and overturning others. the protestors are angry about japan's claim to some nearby uninhabited islands. next, the debate rages on as new york state prepares to issue long-awaitedm regulations on fracking. from psoriatic arthritis hit, even the smallest things became difficult.
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>> jeff: the method of extracting natural gas from deep in the earth known as fracking has dramatically changed 9 u.s. energy industry. but as more wells are drilled, protests is have continued. the latest flashpoint is new york state which has been a
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fracking holdout. cbs news has learned that new york is about to okay fracking and will issue guidelines after labor day. as this happens, the debate continues. >> the days are long and grueling for upstate new york dairy farmers john and teresa lyons. lyons hill farm, in the family for over 150 years is struggling. a 2009 barn fire put the family into debt. and recently milk prices have sunk. the lyons say they are losing $7,000 a month. >> the way the economy is, it will be a great chance to lose the entire farm. >> the lyons are relying on one hope, that new york state makes a decision soon that would allow gas drilling on their farm. >> the money would be a great blessing. a good shot in the arm. >> reporter: the farm sits on top of the marcellus shale formation which contains natural gas deep
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underground. it stretches from tennessee to new york. the gas is extracted by way of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, which involves millions of gallons of sand, water and potentially toxic chemicals blasted deep into the earth. shattering underground shale and freeing natural gas for collection. on the pennsylvania side, property owns are expected to make more than $2 billion this year, leasing land to gas drilling companies. but in new york, fracking has been on hold for four years. >> i think about the money i'm standing on. it would be like someone standing on the bank knowing they have a million dollars in it, and no access to it. >> reporter: environmental concerns in other states is have lead to closer scrutiny of fracking. in albany, new york's department of environmental conservation responsible for writing the regulation says if high volume hydraulic fracturing moves forward in new york, it will do so with a strictest standards in the nation. >> these wells are inherently
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unsafe. >> reporter: but many new yorkers say no thanks. sandra steingraber is an environmental biologist. >> the energy secretary says fracking can be done safely. the president says fracking can be done safely. are they wrong? >> they are. when you shatter the bedrock, it's not only full of methane, it's full of benzene, full of tyluene, poisonous hydrocarbons, you blow it up and put sort of cocktail straws into the ground. you create portals of contamination for others to come into our aqua ferrs and into air. >> the lyon family says they have seen safe drilling across the border. and they will take their chances to save the farm. >> i think drive pennsylvania and i do not see a difference in their hey crop or corn crop growing over there, just they have a newer tractor. >> there are currently more than half a million natural gas wells across the
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>> jeff: the navy's oldest commissioned warship saled under its own power today for only the second time in over a century. the quick trip out of boston harbor for the 2015-- 215-year-old u.s.s. constitution commemorated the by centennial of the war of 1812. the ship earned its nick name old ironside because enemy cannonballs seemed to bounce off its oak hull. a number of u.s. cities have seen stunning spikes in street violence this summer including chicago and philadelphia. chicago for one has seen 30 people shot just this weekend. that took many to look for solution, ines ferre has the story of one program that seems to be working wonders here in new york. >> reporter: 11-year-old karen rosas spent summer afternoons at stillwaters, a reading and writing sanctuary in bushwick one of brooklyn's more troubled neighborhoods. >> i write something and
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then i'm focused on the story and i forget everything. i like to write to express my feelings, so i can express them on words. >> when she write -- 1-year-old maria says she finds calm amid the chaos. >> i write about how smart i get or how happy i can get or how sad. >> this is a place where they can come and be at peace. >> one day there was a -- >> steven haff a former new york city public school teach opened stillwaters four years ago. >> they'll sometimes write about things they have seen or heard on the streets, problems, gunshots, losses that they have suffered. just a rough daily struggle. >> so what came up today. >> reporter: here children write stories and poems with the encouragement of volunteers. >> i'm who i am because of him, pretty much. >> reporter: 18 years ago modesto jimenez was one of
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haff high-school students. he belonged to a neighborhood gang. instead of handing him detention slips for cutting class, he says haff handed him books showing him a world beyond his tough neighborhood. >> i just want to make sure that they don't go a road that is definitely not needed and just making sure they stay focused on the right path. >> once upon a time there was a girl who wished to be the one reflect its, not the reflection. >> instead he hopes this road will keep them safe and encourage them to give back to their community. ines ferre, cbs news, new york. >> jeff: that is the "cbs evening news" tonight. later on cbs "60 minutes." i'm jeff glor, cbs news in new york. norah o'donnell will be here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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