tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 21, 2015 5:30pm-6:00pm CDT
with president obama at his side, the vice president announced he will not make a third run for the democratic nomination in what would have been an uphill battle against hillary clinton. major garrett broke the story today, and he begins our coverage. >> i believe we're out of time, the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. but while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. >> reporter: joe biden stood with president obama and said the democratic nominee should stand on their accomplishments. >> democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record. they should run on the record. >> reporter: but mostly, biden framed an agenda for a campaign that was not to be. >> we cannot sustain the current levels of inequality that exists in this country. i believe the huge sums of
pouring into our politics is a fundamental threat to our democracy. >> reporter: he also made a plea for bipartisanship and took a veiled swipe at hillary clinton after she half-jokingly called republicans her enemies during this month's presidential debate. >> i don't think we should look at republicans as our enemies. they are our opposition. they're not our enemies. and for the sake of the country, we have to work together. four more years of this kind of pitched battle may be more than this country can take. >> reporter: after losing his son, beau, to brain cancer earlier this year, biden's decision on whether to enter the race hinged largely on his family's emotional readiness for a campaign. today, he called for an ambitious assault on the disease that claimed his son. >> if i could be anything, i would have wanted to be the president that ended cancer because it's possible. it's personal, but i know we can do this. >> reporter: biden, ever cheerful and resilient, ended
with a note of optimism that left many friends and supporters wondering what might have been. >> it's about equality. it's about fairness. it's about respect. as my dad used to say, it's about affording every single person dignity. it's not complicated. we can do this. and when we do, america won't just win the future. we will own the finish line. >> reporter: despite president obama's affection and respect for biden, he had grown restless with the vice president's prolonged presidential deliberations and, scott, mr. obama was more than mildly pleased to see the speculation and the distractions that came with it laid to rest. >> pelley: major garrett at the white house, major, thanks. now let's bring in john dickerson, our cbs news political director and anchor of "face the nation." john, what struck you about the vice president's statement? >> reporter: you know at one point in his remarks he thanked the reporters who had been covering his deliberation process and quickly added, "and
covered my whole career." it was a subtle acknowledgment of a larger point which was biden wasn't just putting an toapped this presidential process. he was marking what's likely to be the end of his career in washington. it started in the early 70, and as if to harken back to that he made that pitch that major talked about for bipartisan isship with republicans. it would have been interesting to see if he could have campaigned on that. that was not the mood of his party right now. >> pelley: tomorrow hillary clinton will be testifying on the attack on the compound in benghazi, libya, and no doubt questions about her private e-mail server. what are the stakes for her? >> reporter: she had a lot of big hurdles to clear in october, and there were those she could control and those she couldn't. the debate was one hurdle, and she's cleared that. joe biden's possible candidacy was another hurdle, which has now been cleared away for her. tomorrow is really the last big test for her in october. can she of weather a full day's worth of testimony in front of a commit they even some
republicans have said is aiming to hurt her politically. if she can do, that she will be on stable ground after what was a pretty shaky summer. >> pelley: and we'll be watching "face the nation" on sunday. john, thanks very much. we're about to find out if one man can unite republicans in congress. many in the house are begging congressman paul ryan of wisconsin to be the new speaker, and last night, the reluctant ryan said he would do it but only if all the the factions support him. ryan was the g.o.p.'s 2012 candidate for vice president. he's an expert on the budget and chairs the waitz and means committee, which writes tax policy. will his ultimatum work? here's nancy cordes. >> reporter: paul ryan spent the day meeting with conservatives who didn't know quite what to make of his take-it-hoar-leave-it approach. >> there were a list of pretty strong demands. >> reporter: ryan says he will only run for speaker if all the wings of the fractured republican conclude endorse him
agree not to constantly threaten his speakership as they did john boehner's. >> we have become the problem. if my colleagues entrust me to be the speak ei want us to become the solution. >> reporter: idaho's raul labrador didn't like the sound of that. >> it appears he's asking for more power to be in the speaker's office instead of less power. >> reporter: even this condition met with some resistance: >> i cannot and i will not give up my family time. >> reporter: congressman tim huelskamp of kansas: what did you think of his request to spend most weekends with his family? >> i don't think the speakership is a 9-5 job. i've got family and that's why i'm not running for speaker or any other position like that. you have to work on the weekends. >> reporter: ryan has pushed for deep cuts in food stamps, housing assistance, and proposed converting medicare into a voucher program. >> we want to have real fiscal control. >> reporter: most republicans say they'll back him.
speaker boehner signaled today ryan's the only viable option. what's plan "b" if he doesn't decide to jump in on fridays? >> don't know. >> reporter: "don't know." ryan's hard-ball approach may not be sitting well with some of the hard-liners but it is the kind of strategic thinking they've been saying they want in a speaker. and it's all in their hands now, scott, because ryan will not be able to get the 218 votes he would need on the house floor next thursday unless at least some of them it support him. >> pelley: and ryan has also worked effectively with democrats. nancy cordes on capitol hill. nancy, thank you. another politician who wants things on his own term is russian president vladimir putin, who has now gone to war to save syrian dictator bashar al-assad. last night, assad showed up unexpectedly in moscow, the first time he's left home since a rebellion broke out four years ago. mark phillips now on putin's game plan. >> reporter: this was a lot
more than just a courtesy drop-by between old friends. it was a "thanks for everything, and i mean everything," drop. by. vladimir putin's jets are now effectively bashar al-assad's air force. that may explain the smile. and that air force was in it action during the meeting. the russians say they hit 83 targets over the past day, including these two strikes on what moscow claims were a rebel leader's meeting place and a logistics camp. there's no longer and pretense of only hitting isis targets. most russian attacks have been on assad's other enemies, including rebels supported by the u.s. and the airstrikes have another purpose-- they're it bombing russia back to being a major player in the middle east. vladimir putin is now running the diplomatic show as well, telling assad the bombing must be followed by peace talks. and putin's been working the phones. he called turkish president
recep tayyip erdogan, after the meeting, and he called another major player, king salman of saudi arabia, as well. the welcome afforded assad in moscow, including a gilded kremlin dinner, was clearly designed to show russia's unwavering support for him. in the west, the syrian president may be irreparably damaged goods, who the u.s. and others say must go, but he's still moscow's man. and, scott, the clearest sign that vladimir putin has his own agenda and is now a powerful independent actor on the syrian issue-- no one in the u.s. government had a clue about the assad moscow visit until after it happened. >> pelley: mark phillips in our london newsroom. mark, thank you. we noticed a study today by the world health organization that said that long-term exposure to radiation, even at low levels, can dramatically increase the risk of dying from cancer. last night, we told you about a
an old storage site in missouri. tonight, vinita nair tells us about dozens of similar storage sites around the country. >> you miss that job. >> reporter: carl chappell lost his 44-year-old son, steven, to appendix cancer three months ago. we talked with him and six of his neighbors, all of whom ever had cancer or lost a parent or child to it. they it all grew up here in north county, st. louis, where radioactive material left over from america's nuclear weapons program was stored. thousands of dirty barrels near a creek that ran alongside their playgrounds and backyards. using social media, the neighbors say they have documented more than 2700 cases of cancer, autoimmune disorders and brain and thyroid tumors in their area. cancer. >> they're not statistics, and they're not numbers. >> reporter: currently, the army corps of engineers lists 24
other sites in 10 states with low-level radioactive contamination that they are in the process of cleaning up. there are three other sites with low-level contamination under consideration for cleanup. this former chemical processing plant in queens, new york, is one of them. radiation barriers were installed as a band-aid solution in 2013. michael feldmann with the army corps of engineers says the cleanup moves slowly for a reason. >> in general, there are things we need to do at the pace we are performing in order to make sure that we are protecting the health and the environment of the area. >> reporter: dr. fasial kahn is the director of public health in st. louis county. >> some disasters unfold slowly over time, and their true nature and extent and severity only becomes clear in terms of human cost once you start counting people around you. >> reporter: to keep count, these neighbors keep a list. >> the landiss, the dubles, shirley shank died of breast cancer. >> there are 21 people on this list.
on the same street? >> right. >> reporter: all of the residents in north st. louis with health issues tell us they believe they had long-term exposure to the low-level contamination. this type of prolonged exposure has rarely been studied. scott, we are going to continue to follow this story. >> pelley: vinita, thank you very much. something that surprised us today in west virginia, president obama said drug overdoses kill more americans each day than car wrecks. 120 overdose deaths every day. in a decade, heroin use by young adults has more than doubled and anna werner met a young woman who is in the fight of her life. >> i want my life back, and i am ready. i'm so ready to stop. >> reporter: this is 19 it-year-old mariah powers, in a video she made while high on heroin on the day she says she hit bottom. >> i don't want to live my life this way.
i'm going to end up dead or in prison. >> reporter: mariah had overdosed four times in the previous month. she told us she made the video as a reminder of how low she was that night. she detoxed alone at home after she couldn't find a facility to take her in. >> just to see my face, like, even how i looked that day is, like, wow. >> reporter: this was mariah 10 days later when we sat down with her. she says she was just 16 when a boyfriend introduced her to heroin. >> it starts with your first high where it is just complete euphoria. and then when i didn't get that high again after i did it again, i thought maybe i need to do a little more. >> reporter: before she knew it, that first high had turned into a $100-a-day habit. >> i would steal, lie, cheat, sell my body. >> reporter: you would sell your bold. >> yes.
>> reporter: why are you willing to go public about that? >> because i know i'm not the only one. >> i felt pretty hopeless. >> reporter: mariah's father, joe powers, watched his daughter o.d. over and over. what is that like? >> um, i pretty much buried my daughter at that point in my mind, you know, and that sounds croup crewel. it doesn't mean i gave up with her, but i figured that the disease would get her. >> i'm not doing this anymore. >> reporter: powers had never seen that video his daughter made. >> i want my dad back. i don't want to be this empty, hollow shell anymore. >> reporter: she told us that that was the night that she made the decision to get sober on her own. >> i hope she stays that way. >> reporter: you're not ready to believe that yet. >> no. she will always be an addict, and there's always going to be a-- a-- waiting for the shoe to drop.
you feel confident that you can beat back that it voice of addiction? >> i can only take it one day at a time. i can't say, "i'm going to be sober for the rest my life." but as of today, heck, year, i'm going to stay sober. >> reporter: she's now stayed sober for 60 days. anna werner, cbs news, cleveland. >> pelley: for many americans, the road to retirement is getting longer. and we will remember a singer
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up more than $5,000 from three years ago. their financial problems are also forcing their parents to delay retirement, and anthony mason has tonight's "eye on money." >> reporter: this area has pretty much always been home. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: steve and beth burau both grew it up in the chicago area and were hoping to retire here soon, but then the youngest of their three daughters went off to college. >> we started realizing the little one was going to be going going to be delayed. >> i don't see it before 70, at least. >> reporter: that's probably not what you plannedded. >> no. no. >> reporter: steve is a 58-year-old packaging designer. beth, who is 56, works in a medical clinic. >> i thought when i got a little bit older that we could travel or we could do other things, but right now, all i'm looking at is working and making money. >> reporter: and the buraus are doing better than most boomers. four in 10 have no retirement savings at all, and nearly 70% have no defined pension plans.
financial advisers say a nest egg needs to be big enough that a retiree can live on 4% of that savings a year. christine benz at "morningstar" says it also helps to put off taking social security benefits. >> for every year that you're able to delay past your full retirement age, you're able to pick up a roughly 8% inflation-adjusted increase in your benefit. >> that's been six years. >> reporter: the buraus are working with a financial planner now. what would you tell another couple in your situation? >> you know, realize that, yeah, the end is in sight, and, you know, what are those things that you want to do and think about those things when you're 20 and 30 and 40. don't wait until you're 45, 50 years old to really start thinking seriously about them. >> reporter: most of all, scott, financial planners say put something aside, and remember, a late start is better than no start at all. >> pelley: anthony mason,
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>> pelley: cory wells, one of the singers in three dog night has died. joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. joy to you and me >> pelley: you couldn't tune in a rock station in the early 70s without hearing one of their hits in three-part harmony. papa told me not to come >> pelley: wells was an air force veteran and an avid fisherman from new york. he was still touring with three dog night. cory wells was 74. that ain't the way to have fun >> pelley: a surprising new it neighbor has moved on to "sesame street."
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>> pelley: the folks who have been bringing us "sesame street" for 46 years say that their mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. and to that end, they're adding a new character. here's jim axelrod. >> reporter: in "sesame street's" new online story, the new kid on the block seems to be a little different, and it's not just julia's bright orange hair. >> hi, abbey calls loudly. julia doesn't answer. "your friend doesn't like me," says abbey sadly. >> reporter: but since this block is "sesame street," elmo is on the job of teaching kids what they need to. >> "elmo's daddy told elmo that julia has autism," he says. "so she does things a little differently." >> reporter: julia's story is to see the amazing in a a children.
autism have been bullied at some point. the idea behind julia is familiarity breeds compassion, and compassion helps reduce that number. the twittersphere blew up at the news like this from @rutiregan, "seeing kid like i was depicted positively on a mainstream show, that means a lot to me." the story end like you might imagine. "one, two, three," count julia. "yeah! one, two, three friends," counts abbey. >> reporter: with confusion cleared up, friendship triumphant, and the sunny days on "sesame street" now even brighter. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >elley: and that's the c c evening news for tonight.
around the world, good night. this is "jeopardy!" here are today's contestants -- a grants and development manager from knoxville, tennessee... a video editor from new york, new york... and our returning champion -- a former realtor from provincetown, massachusetts... whose 1-day cash winnings total... and now hehe is the e st of "jeopardy!" ---- alex trebek! thank you, johnny. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. as you just heard, robert earned a lot of money yesterday. he played the game well. it was a close match, but he came up with the correct response in final and wagered a lot of money.