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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  March 24, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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>> couric: tonight, we the people. a new statistical portrait of the united states shows the hispanic population soaring and a reverse migration of blacks from the north to the south. i'm katie couric. also tonight, passing the baton. the u.s. is planning to turn over leadership of the libya mission to nato. tokyo's water is declared safe again, but not before a radiation scare causes a run on bottled water. and an air traffic controller in washington is suspended after falling asleep. leaving commercial jetliners to land on their own. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world
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headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. every so often the census bureau gives americans a look in the mirror to see who we are and how we're changing and a report from the bureau today says one thing that's changing is the racial and ethnic makeup of the country with the hispanic population growing rapidly. one out of six adults is now hispanic as is one out of four children. in the past ten years, the overall u.s. population has grown by 27 million to 308 million and hispanics account for more than half the increase. more now from nancy cordes. >> reporter: salt lake city's newest grocery store caters to a group that census figures show is growing even faster than expected. hispanics in utah grew by 78% in the past decade they now make up 13% of the state's population. >> in the year 2000 i started
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noticing church congregations increasing. i started noticing hispanic groups, i started seeing a lot of soccer teams. >> reporter: in fact, the 2010 census shows hispanics contributed more than half the total population growth in 18 states including kansas and nebraska, florida and louisiana. and with the white birthrate declining, hispanic children in texas now make up 50% of all public school students, up from 40% a decade ago. >> the 2010 census is showing us that latinos have become a national population, no longer concentrated in the traditional gateway states. in fact, i think the story of the 2010 census is the rise of the latino south. >> reporter: census figures show the south was also a magnet for african americans moving out of northern cities like detroit and chicago. the black population in north carolina grew 18% over the past decade. georgia 26%. florida 28% >> these are new younger blacks
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who don't remember a lot of the bad stuff that went on in the south years ago, who don't remember being shut out of the suburbs. they want to have it all, they want to go with the jobs are. they want to go where the good houses are. >> a equals d, b. >> reporter: the anderson family left detroit... left detroit for atlanta when their jobs looked uncertain. >> we got a job the same week. i got a job and then he got a job. >> reporter: census figures from the city they left behind are so startling detroit's mayor wants a recount. nearly 240,000 people moved away this past decade-- a quarter of the city's population. just like hispanics, the asian population in this country grew by 43% other the past decade. they now make up nearly 5% of the u.s. population. katie? >> couric: nancy, if there's strength in numbers, hispanics should become a pretty potent political force at the ballot
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box in 2012. >> reporter: they should, katie, but keep in mind that less than 40% of hispanics are eligible to vote. you have about a third of the population under 18 and then another third who are either undocumented or who are here legally but aren't citizens. so their power is diluted somewhat katie. >> couric: all right. nancy cordes. nancy, thank you. now to a story that's been dominating the headlines for more than a month-- libya. today nato said it will take over leadership of operation odyssey dawn possibly by this weekend. in a way, that handover by the united states is already beginning. 130 sorties were flown over libya today. only half by american planes. last sunday u.s. pilots flew 90% of those missions. in one attack today, a french warplane destroyed a libyan aircraft that violated the no-fly zone and the coalition continues to fire tomahawk cruise missiles at libyan targets. 14 more today, 175 since saturday.
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on the ground, there was fierce fighting again misurata, 110 miles from tripoli. rebel forces claim they killed 30 of moammar qaddafi's snipers and liberated the port. but the big story today, the u.s. transferring leadership of the operation to nato. chip reid is at the white house tonight and, chip, what's the latest on that? >> reporter: well, katie, a short time ago nato announced that they will take over the military operation, or at least the no-fly zone. they'll take over command and control. now, president obama has been saying for a number of days knew this would happen within days, not weeks. however, there are a couple of very important points to keep in mind. first of all, this is not going to happen instantaneously. as one senior administration official described it to me, it's not like hitting a light switch, it's like setting a thermostat. it takes time for the temperature to change. and it could be a number of days or even manufacture before this transition happens. and, second, even after the transition happens, u.s. pilots are still going to be very much involved. flying everything from
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surveillance missions to combat missions. katie? >> couric: all right, chip reid at the white house. chip, thanks very much. as the u.s. steps back, france is playing a larger role in the operation. that includes the attack on that libyan warplane we told you about. mark phillips has more on that from tripoli. >> reporter: french jets operating out of corsica are being credited with the kill. a french patrol picked up a radar blip of a libyan plane apparently sent up to test the no-fly zone. bad idea. the french say the libyan pilot tried to land but that they hit his plane with an air-to-ground missile as he did so. the libyans' desperation may come from scenes like that. the still-burning wreckage from a strike on a military facility that was broadcast on state-run t.v. it not only destroyed the facility, they say, it caused casualties both military and civilian. these, they say, were some of the victims.
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and these, they insist, were others, buried today at an emotionally charged mass funeral more than 30 coffins were brought to tripoli's martyr cemetery. it's impossible to know who was in them or how they had died, but an english-speaking cleric was provided to blame their deaths on what the libyans call the crusader attackers. >> reporter: qaddafi has two weapons-- public opinion and time, and he's trying to use them both. while his loyal militias continue to attack pockets of opposition resistance, anti-qaddafi rebels in one of those pockets, the town of misurata, say their hospitals are filling up with victims of their own and that they are running out of supplies with which to treat them. until now, the coalition attacks have been along the coastal strip, but there was also a strike today deep in the libyan interior at a base the qaddafi regime has historically used to
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bring in armies and fighters from the south. katie? >> couric: mark phillips reporting tonight from tripoli. many questions remain, including what happens if qaddafi stays in power. we'll try to answer some of those questions later in the broadcast. meanwhile, a hint today that the so-called arab awakening is spilling over into syria. antigovernment protests continue to grow in the south in spite of a brutal brachdown this week that killed at least 37 protestors. today, president bashar assad seemed to try to placate the demonstrators. he pulled back his security forces in dahra and ordered the release of all protestors who had been arrested. it's been nearly two weeks since the earthquake and tsunami in japan. the recovery is only beginning and the crisis at that damaged nuclear plant is far from over. today, two plant workers were take on the the hospital after suffering from radioactive burns, and rescue workers say the evacuation zone around the plant has kept them from searching for the missing.
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the number of missing is now above 17,000 and the death toll has reached more than 8,800. meanwhile, in tokyo bill whitaker reports tap water has been declared safe again for infants. >> reporter: 24 hours after it was deemed unfit for infants, the regional governor declared tokyo's tap water delicious and safe for all. "let's all calm down," he said. nevertheless, shoppers, emptied store shelves, even waited in line for water with some storms limiting what people can by, the city began distributing 12 bottles of water each to the families of the 80,000 infants one year and under in tokyo. megumi hitosi got level for her baby. the level is down again. does that give you trust? "there's no way to get independent information other than from the government so i still worry the tap water is
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contaminated" she says. following days of rain, the city's tap water was found to have unhealthy levels of radioactive iodine which raises an infant's risk of thyroid cancer. water workers say the radioactivity now is diluted to safe levels. picking up grandchildren from day care, kenzo isn't buying it. "yesterday the water is bad but this morning the water is okay? it's very difficult to believe what they say and i'm confused." 140 miles away, the source of the problem continues to confound efforts to bring it under control. today, smoke rose again from reactors two, three, and four and for the first time from unit one. engineers don't know why. now new fears the sea water used to cool reactors may have encrusted them in salt that could be holding heat in, making the situation worse. today, two workers were rushed to the hospital with radioactive burns after their feet came in contact with water at the plant.
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and another sobering note: today the government official in charge of the nuclear operation warned the japanese people to stay on their toes. he fears they might be becoming too optimistic-- his words-- about success? this crisis. katie? >> couric: bill whitaker in tokyo tonight. and there are new questions tonight about safety procedures at nuclear plants right here in the u.s. a report from top federal regulators say safety guidelines for the nuclear industry are " contradictory and unclear." their investigation found at least 24 cases of possible equipment defects that went unreported. two safety reviews have already been ordered at the nation's 104 nuclear reactors. to another safety issue now. we told you the story last night, commercial jetliners approaching the airport in the nation's capital just after midnight ready to land and the air traffic controller can't be reached. today we learned what many suspected. the controller was asleep. bob orr reports it was a wakeup
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call for him and the f.a.a. >> reporter: moving to calm nervous flyers, the f.a.a. today suspended the air traffic controller who was working alone yet missing in action when two passenger jets landed at reagan national airport early wednesday. there's a professional pilot for more than 25 years, i'm outraged by this and we have an investigation and we will get to the bottom of it. i want to know why this happened. >> reporter: american airlines flight 1012 was minutes from landing when the pilots radio it had reagan national control tower. getting no answer, they called a regional air traffic facility for help but controllers there had no better luck raising the tower. >> reporter: the jet, with 97 people on board, circled the airport as a precaution before landing safely with no assistance from the tower. minutes later, united airlines flight 628 was approaching the same runway. the tower was still silent.
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>> reporter: that plane, with 68 people aboard, then landed on its own. the veteran controller, a supervisor with a clean safety record over 20 years, says he fell asleep. he told n.t.s.b. investigators he was working a fourth consecutive overnight shift. now two controllers are working the midnight shift at reagan and the f.a.a. is reexamining other staffing. about 30 airports, most of them smaller facilities with light overnight traffic, have single controllers working overnight. now, the passengers on the two flights wednesday were in no real danger and the pilots were never actually flying blind. but something clearly went wrong at this airport right across the river from the white house. katie? >> couric: bob orr. bob, thank you. and still ahead here on the "cbs evening news," fierce on the field and in the fight against breast cancer. but up next, david martin tackles the three most pressing questions about the u.s.
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for sudden symptoms. advair contains salmeterol which increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. advair is not for people whose asthma is well controlled with a long-term asthma control medicine like an inhaled corticosteroid. once your asthma is well controlled your doctor will decide if you can stop advair without loss of control and prescribe a different asthma control medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. do not take advair more than prescribed. see your doctor if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. is advair right for you? ask your doctor. get your first prescription free. advair helps prevent symptoms. >> couric: the battle for libya began five weeks ago with antigovernment in protests in benghazi. but when and how will it end? as david martin reports, the answers are not so clear-cut.
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>> reporter: the most pressing question: can allied aircraft stop the libyan army from killing civilians? when you see what an air strike can do to a tank-- breaux its turret clean off-- you'd think the answer would be "of course." >> easy to see the tanks, easy to hit them. it's kind of the ideal military situation with which to apply air power, tanks in the open. >> reporter: but what about tanks not in the open? tanks already inside cities? >> air pow kerr do a lot, but it can't root them out. the definition of rooting them out really implies you've got to dig in and the only way you dig in to get that is through ground forces. >> reporter: air strikes in cities risk killing the very civilians the allies are trying to protect. so instead they have to target the ammo dumps that keep the tanks supplied. >> a tank without ammunition is simply a tank. it's a very huge, very large piece of machinery that won't provide any intended purpose. >> reporter: the no-fly zone can cut off the libyan army, but
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it can not kill it. >> the no-fly zone is not a video game that will have a quick ending with a winner and a loser. >> reporter: which raises the next question: can qaddafi survive? >> i think qaddafi could last quite a long time unless we do something more to bring him down >> so we could have a prolonged period of qaddafi control in a good part of western and southern central libya and controlled by rebels in the eastern part of the country. >> reporter: we have been this no-fly zone? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: qaddafi could hang in there for another decade? >> oh, yes. i think so. >> if qaddafi survives, we're in for a very nasty, costly, long-term stalemate. >> it looks like two two failed states. there's a failed state under control of qaddafi and there's a state in benghazi that will be under international supervision.
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>> reporter: the state in benghazi would be governed by the rebels. who so who are the rebels? >> we know very little about the composition of this libyan opposition. >> i know that there are some capable people in the opposition. >> reporter: do we know what kind of government they want? >> at this point, no. >> we're kind of stepping into a dark room. we have assumed responsibility for the dark room without understanding all its traps and pitfalls. >> reporter: military operations always have unintended consequences and this one promises to be no different. david martin, cbs news, the pentagon. >> couric: and when we come back, mark kelly getting ready for a shuttle mission talks about the miraculous recovery he's witnessing right here at home.
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>> couric: in houston, these are busy days for astronaut mark kelly and his wife congresswoman gabrielle giffords. he's training for next month's space shuttle mission, she's in rehab recovering from that assassination attempt in january. kelly told reporters today his wife is doing "remarkably well" and continues to improve everyday. >> she's starting to process some of the tragedy that we all went through in january she's going through that as we speak. despite that, she remains in a very good mood. >> reporter: >> couric: kelly will command "endeavour" on its final mission. he said will's a good chance congresswoman giffords will be
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able to attend the launch on april 19. in glendale, california, today, elizabeth taylor was laid to rest after a small private funeral at forest lawn cemetery. many celebrities are buried there, including taylor's good friend michael jackson. taylor died yesterday of congestive heart failure. she was 79. and coming up next, an n.f.l. player honors his mother by taking on an opponent she couldn't beat. [ horse whinny ]
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>> couric: and finally tonight, you've got to make sacrifices if you want to make it to the n.f.l. but for one player, it took his mother's courage to learn about real sacrifice, and now mark strassmann shows us he's using her example and the american spirit to help save others. >> reporter: on many dallas mornings, a ray of hope comes by bus. >> hold your breath, please. >> reporter: mobile mammograms, free of charge to low-income women like tammy garrett. without this bus... >> i wouldn't be able to get it at all. >> right in here. >> reporter: 4,500 women receive mammograms through this program last year. 20 of them had breast cancer. but there's another story of how this bus and its mobile mammograms got into neighborhoods like this one. a bus powered by a mother's legacy and a son's commitment.
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that son is bradie james, a linebacker for the dallas cowboys. >> this room right here had nothing in it. >> reporter: he started foundation 56, a breast cancer outreach program. his mother, etta james, died of the disease in 2001. there was nothing like this for her? >> nothing. nothing like this. >> reporter: if there had been? >> she would still be here. >> reporter: in 2000, bradie james was a college standout at l.s.u., but at home his father, bradie james, sr., had kidney disease while ms. mother fought breast cancer. they had little money so etta james passed up cancer treatment to give her husband a chance at kidney treatment and life. >> and she chose to put herself on the back burner so everybody else can live and i guess that's the way she felt like she could live, she could live vicariously through everybody else. >> reporter: his parents died within three months of each other. >> we celebrate today life.
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>> reporter: his foundation 56 now honors her memory, including motivational visits with support groups like this yoga class and cooking seminar. without this foundation, where would you bo b? >> dead. >> reporter: in 2008, cecelia stephens walked on to a foundation 56 bus with stage three breast cancer. after treatment, she's now cancer free. stephens always wanted to meet james to thank him. >> how you doing? good to see you. how are you doing? >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: with every woman he helps, one in particular comes to mind. >> it's all about her legacy and really a son's love for his mom. >> reporter: mark strassmann, cbs news, dallas. >> couric: what a great story. and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thanks for watching. see you tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
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