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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  October 21, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> pelley: joe biden shakes up the race. >> unfortunately, i believe we're out of time. >> pelley: also tonight, remnant of america's nuclear past, the health effects from radioactive contamination at dozens of sites. baby boomers are forced to put off retirement. >> right now, all i'm looking at is working and making money. >> pelley: and a big change on "sesame street." a very special new kid moves in to the neighborhood. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: this is our western edition. today, joseph r. biden jr. stepped into the rose garden, laid out a platform, and then
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gracefully stepped off, bringing to an end his ambitions of becoming president and a nearly 50-year political career. 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 meant to be. >> we cannot sustain the current levels of inequality that exists
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in this country. i believe the huge sums of unlimited and often secret money 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.
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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
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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 to this presidential process. he was marking what's likely to be the end of his career in washington. it started in the early '70s, and as if to harken back to that he made that pitch that major talked about for bipartisanship 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
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test for her in october. can she 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 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 ways and means committee, which writes tax policy. will his ultimatum work? here's nancy cordes. >> reporter: paul ryan spent the day meeting with conservatives oo didn't know quite what to make of his take-it-or-leave-it approach. >> there were a list of pretty strong demands. >> reporter: ryan says he will
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only run for speaker if all the wings of the fractured republican conference endorse him by friday, and if hard- liners 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 speaker, i want us to 'scome 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. er reporter: ryan has pushed for deep cuts in food stamps, housing assistance, and proposed converting medicare into a voucher program.
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>> 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 friday? >> 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 terms 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
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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 any 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 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
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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,
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can dramatically increase the risk of dying from cancer. last night, we told you about a high number of rare cancers near an old storage site in missouri. tonight, vinita nair tells us about dozens of similar storage sites around the country. >> you miss that child. >> 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 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 2,700 cases of cancer, autoimmune disorders r,d brain and thyroid tumors in their area. mary oscko has stage four lung cancer. >> they're not statistics, and they're not numbers.
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they were my neighbors. >> reporter: currently, the army inrps 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 that 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.
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>> the landiss, the dubles, shirley shank died of breast cancer. >> there are 21 people on this list. >> reporter: and they were all 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 rentamination. 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-year-old mariah powers, in a video she made while high on heroin on the
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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. ke, eporter: 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.
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>> i would steal, lie, cheat, sell my body. >> reporter: you would sell your body? >> 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 cruel. 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,
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and there's always going to be a-- a-- waiting for the shoe to drop. >> reporter: at this point, do you feel confident that you can beat back that 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, yeah, 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 with a string it of hits when "the cbs evening news" continues.
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alone debt is over $35,000, 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 away to school, we knew it was going to be delayed. >> i don't see it before 70, at least. >> reporter: that's probably not what you planned. >> 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
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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, thanks very much. and we'll be right back. we'll be right back.
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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. ♪ mama told me not to come >> pelley: wells was an air force veteran and an avid fisherman from buffalo, 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 neighbor has moved on to "sesame street." and we'll introduce you when we come back.
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company has an ulterior mot next. weather talent appears at wx center with generic >> 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, abby calls loudly. julia doesn't answer. "your friend doesn't like me," says abby, sadly. >> reporter: but since this block is "sesame street," elmo is on the job of teaching kids what they need to know. >> "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 all children.
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more than six out of 10 children with 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, the story end like you might imagine. "one, two, three," count julia. "yeah! one, two, three friends," counts abby. >> reporter: with confusion cleared up, friendship triumphant, and the sunny days on "sesame street" now even brighter. jim axelrod, cbs news, new york. >> 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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your realtime captioner is linda marie macdonald. a major san francisco inchange shut down during the evening rush as police comb a construction site for a murder suspect on the run. good evening, i'm ken bastida. >> i'm veronica de la cruz. the epicenter of the manhunt near 280 at the mariposa exit, sfpd now starting to re-open streets in the area. kpix 5's joe vazquez is there for us. joe. >> reporter: an army of san francisco police officers and oakland cops was scouring this area for most of the afternoon. it started way back over there at 280 mariposa, where san francisco police say some suspects bailed out of a car and into a construction yard.
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>> came down the same direction down through the bushes across the job site. two jumped over the fence and ran down the street and one ran under the garage. >> around 3:15, we have an incident here. we are assisting oakland pd. we have some suspects that bailed out of a vehicle in this area. and we set up a perimeter. >> reporter: with rifles drawn, police went inside area buildings searching for the suspects for two tense hours this afternoon. they eventually caught four men, including this man, was cuffed and put in a police car. what goes through your mind that they're looking for a homicide suspect and they are right there at your work site? >> i didn't know they were chasing them. i thought they were running away from a hit-and-run. >> reporter: it's not clear what happened here. police initially said that they had pulled over a homicide suspect. then oakland police


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