tv CBS Morning News CBS May 17, 2010 4:30am-5:00am EDT
some success, but how much? bp puts a tube in place to collect oil from the gulf of mexico spill. incumbent problems. two senate democrats fight for survival in tomorrow's primary elections. and iraq violence. a surge in bombings complicates u.s. plans to pull out combat troops. this is the "cbs morning news" troops. this is the "cbs morning news" for monday, may 17th, 2010. captioning funded by cbs good morning. thanks for joining us. i'm michelle gielan. the giant oil spill in the gulf of mexico has been growing for nearly a month now, but this morning bp may be a step closer to stopping it. workers have finally found a way to keep at least some of that oil from spilling in to the gulf. tara mergener is in washington with the latest details. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. well, after three weeks of failure, at least some of that
oil is finally being contained. today the blame game continues, though, on capitol hill. bp's president will likely have good news to share when he appears before a senate panel today. >> we're making good progress. >> reporter: the energy giant successfully hooked up a mile-long pipe sunday to suck crude into a tankership. the fix is designed to contain the massive oil spill, but it will take days before crews know how well it's working. >> we do have oil and gas coming to the ship now. we do have a flare burning off the gas. >> reporter: but members of the obama administration aren't ready to call it a success just yet. they, too, will be on capitol hill today to give their take on the progress being made. a day before the hearing, secretary of homeland security janet napolitano and secretary of the interior ken salazar issued a statement saying this technique is not a solution to the problem and it is not clear
how successful it may be. there's growing fear that the spill could be far worse than previously thought. computer models show the oil may have entered a major current that could carry it through the florida keys and up the atlantic coast. giant underwater plumes of oil also appear to be filling up the gulf. >> it's quite likely that some of the things living down there will mistake it for food and eat it. and it could be poisonous to them. >> reporter: and if that's not bad enough, some scientists estimate the well is now spewing 80,000 barrels of oil into the gulf every day. that's 16 times the official estimate. meantime, nearly 100 lawsuits have been filed so far across the gulf region. michelle, back to you. >> tara mergener in washington. tara, thanks. turning now to politics, candidates in pennsylvania, arkansas, kentucky and oregon have one more day to campaign before tomorrow's primary elections. it's already been a tough year
for some incumbents, and as tony guida reports, two senate democrats are struggling to survive. >> i sense that victory is in the air for tuesday. >> reporter: arlen specter, once a prince of the senate, is fighting for his political life in pennsylvania. >> i need another term in office to bring these 125,000 jobs to this region. >> reporter: his opponent joe sestak hammers specter for longevity. >> while i respect the man, it's just time. >> reporter: two democrats, specter who logged 30 years as a republican senator before switching out of the party that seemed ready to dump him, and sestak, a two term congressman and retired navy admiral. >> i understand that people are frustrated. >> reporter: another incumbent in trouble, arkansas democrat blanche lincoln looking for a third senate term facing a tough primary against two opponents. >> if you send the same people
back to washington, you are guaranteed to get the same result. >> reporter: incumbents have been falling hard recently. just last weekend, utah republicans knocked out three term senator robert bennett. he'd been targeted by the tea party. a few days later, west virginia democrats ousted alan mullahan, a 14 term incumbent. the chance to make a new congressman comes up tuesday in southwestern pennsylvania. a special election to replace veteran democrat john murtha who died. the republican party has spent about $1 million on behalf of tim burns. >> a referendum on the obama/pelosi agenda. >> reporter: democrats have matched that spending and today imported bill clinton to boost mark crist. all the polling ahead of tuesday's races reveals an angry electorate. hardly surprising in a midterm election year but for the depth of voter frustration. they seem eager to turn out anyone whose address is the nation's capital.
tony guida, cbs news, new york. and more disruptions for air travelers because of ash from that volcano in iceland. dublin, ireland's main airport has been closed since last night and the two biggest airports in holland shut down this morning. heathrow has been reopened, but other british airports are still shut down. in iran, negotiators completed a deal this morning aimed at easing concerns over the nuclear ambitions. iran's government agreed to send most of its enriched uranium to turkey, more than a ton, in exchange for more refined fuel for nuclear power reactors. turkey says that means there's no need for more u.n. sanctions against iran. violence continues in thailand this morning after the death of a general who was shot last week after he joined anti-government protests. there was fresh fighting in the streets of bangkok killing one government soldier and forcing a major hotel just outside the protest zone to shut down. in iraq, election officials
say a recount has confirmed that opponents of the current prime minister won the election in march. as the politicians argue, the violence goes on and lately it's been especially brutal. elizabeth palmer reports. >> reporter: panic in the wake of two suicide car bombings south of baghdad just as factory workers were coming off shift. in this incident alone, 45 people died. but it was just one in a whole wave of attacks across iraq that killed more than 100. we're workers just trying to earn a living, says this witness. why do we have to die like this? the motive may simply be to wreak more havoc in this unstable country. al qaeda-linked groups still dream of setting up a fundamentalist islamic state here. and their videos warn of dark days covered in blood. iraqi police and the military
thanks to intensive american training are better able to fight back than ever before. these days, though, it's iraq's politicians who are undermining security. the elections were held back in march and yet here we are two months later and there's still no new government. the two main candidates came neck and neck and they continue to fight over who should lead. the obama administration says the violence is discouraging, but predictable as extremists were always going to exploit political weakness. >> we have always known and planned for that they would make one last charge at trying to foment violence and chaos. >> reporter: but analyst kenneth pollak says there's a dangerous tipping point. >> if violence continues, if the iraqis believe that it's going to get out of hand, if they believe that the united states is walking away from the problem and is going to allow the violence to get out of hand, you could see a rapid return to civil war in iraq. >> reporter: that's something the u.s. military dreads.
it's already started closing its bases in iraq and had planned to start pulling out the first of 42,000 troops this month. the recent violence has delayed that plan by a few weeks, but the administration says it is sticking to its commitment to have only 50,000 troops left in country by this fall and to pull them all out by the end of 2011. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, london. violence erupted overnight in spain between soccer fans and police. thousands were celebrating a big barcelona win and some started setting fires. riot police moved in firing rubber bullets while the fans responded with stones and bottles. there were some arrests, but no reports of serious injuries. just ahead on the "morning news," the latest on the stock markets and other business headlines in our "moneywatch" report. plus, the shuttle "atlantis"
docks at the international space station for the last time. but first katie couric has a preview of tonight's "cbs evening news." copy machines can secretly hold on to your information creating an opportunity for identity thieves. our exclusive investigation broke the story. now our follow-up examines if anything is being done to protect your privacy. that's tonight only on the "cbs evening news." ffee. so world's best mom was more than happy to make a cup of delicious starbucks via. she got to the office just in time to save best friend forever from the office coffee. best friend forever bravely shared starbucks via with don't talk to me until my second cup before he even had his first. he shared it with i hate mondays who had three cups because it was, after all, monday. premium starbucks via ready brew. now available wherever you buy groceries. ♪
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the space shuttle "atlantis" docked with the international space station yesterday for what's scheduled to be the last time. this morning the astronauts are getting ready for the first of three spacewalks. "atlantis" brought batteries and other equipment to help keep the station running after the shuttle fleet is retired later this year. on the cbs "moneywatch," asian markets were down sharply this morning. emily smith is here in new york with that and more. emily, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. asian stock markets tumbled. the nikkei lost 227 points, more than 2%. and the hang seng was also sharply lower. investors are worried that europe's debt crisis will worsen as the euro fell to a four year low.
the european central bank president said europe's economy is in its most difficult situation since world war ii despite a trillion dollar debt package announced last week. >> well, the european debt crisis is also taking a toll on wall street. the dow opens this morning after falling 163 points on friday, the nasdaq lost 47. oil prices are also down. the price of benchmark crude was down near $70 a barrel this morning in singapore. gas and metro gas prices are also lower. looks like those credit card reforms are working. late credit card payments fell sharply in the first quarter. the new laws that took effect in february curb interest rate hikes and various fees. according to trans union, the delinquency rate for borrowers dropped to 1.1% in the first quarter. that compares to 1.3% for the same period last year. and beginning this summer, starbucks will start selling flavored ground coffee.
vanilla, caramel and cinnamon flavors will be available at grocery stores under starbucks' new natural fusions label. it's the first push into the premium flavored coffee market where brands like folders and maxwell house dominate store shelves. michelle? >> we need some hazel nut. that's my favorite. >> that sounds good. >> emily smith here in new york. thanks. we have a follow-up now on those teachers who were fired from a rhode island school. they've been rehired. back in february, the board of trustees of the struggling central falls high school voted to fire the teachers. but a deal has now been reached with the union to bring them back. it will also impose a longer school day and other changes to reform the school. straight ahead, your monday morning weather. and in sports, celtics and magic tip off the nba eastern conference finals. ♪
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baseball-sized hail stones battering cars and roofs and smashing windows. time now for a check on the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows the rockies and southwest with clear skies. clouds are moving in to california and the northwest. cloud cover is breaking up over parts of the east coast. the midwest is cloudy. there are strong thunderstorms in parts of the southeast. later today thunderstorms will continue across much of the south. look for rain along parts of the west coast and the mid-atlantic states. the rockies and northern plains will be sunny and calm and there will be sunshine in the northeast, as well. in sports, game one of the nba eastern conference finals went to boston. the celtics' ray allen had 25 points against the magic and after building a 20 point lead, boston used some tough defense to hold on and beat orlando 92-88. game two is tuesday night in orlando. in baseball, a rare stumble for yankees closer mariano rivera. minnesota's jason kubel smashed
a grand slam homer in the eighth inning for a 6-3 twins victory. it was the first grand slam off rivera in almost eight years and ended a string of 51 straight saves. in the national league, dodgers catcher russell martin singled in the only run in a 1-0 win over the division leading padres. it was enough for a series sweep and l.a.'s seventh straight win. and in nascar, kyle busch won the sprint cup series race at dover international speedway. jimmie johnson led much of the way but wound up 16th after being hit with a penalty for speeding on pit road. when we return, we'll take another look at this morning's top stories. and the elena kagan nomination. two issues that may affect her chances of getting to the supreme court. [ school bell rings ] [ female announcer ] kids who don't eat breakfast may not be getting the nutrition they need to keep their bodies strong. a nutritious start to the day is essential.
the coastal southwest and florida will see rain and thunderstorms. most of the west coast will be wet with rain stretching from central california all the way to seattle. here's another look at this morning's top stories. workers in the gulf of mexico have hooked up a tube to collect some of the leaking oil from that blown out well. how much oil will take days to measure. bp officials are due to appear at a senate hearing later today. and four states hold important primary elections tomorrow. angry voters could throw out two democratic senators, arlen specter and blanche lincoln. as senate leaders hammer out a schedule of hearings for supreme court nominee elena kagan, the number two senate republican says he doesn't expect his party to delay a vote on her nomination. but gop senators will be asking tough questions. jan crawford has more.
>> reporter: the battle over elena kagan's nomination now is being waged on two fronts. newt gingrich leveled the first charge calling her anti-military. as dean at harvard, kagan opposed having military recruiters on campus saying that don't ask don't tell policy was discriminatory. and the second line of attack, having never been a judge, does kagan have enough experience to be a justice. >> we just don't have any way really of judging whether she can lay her views aside. >> reporter: kagan took some heat on the sunday talk shows, but in her private meetings last week with senators, she turned up the pressure on herself. she criticized past supreme court confirmation hearings for lacking substance and didn't back away from a 1995 law review article where she called them a farce and a hollow charade. >> she stood by her words. >> reporter: that article was an issue in her hearings last year for solicitor general. republicans said they expect to
hear more from kagan than past nominees and they'll press her for her views. >> it's going to be a big deal. it's so important how she testifies. >> reporter: but they concede there's only so much she can say. >> you should never answer a senator's question about how you're going to decide a case. >> reporter: as senator kyl said on "face the nation," there will not be an effort by republicans to block her nomination, but there will be a fight when those confirmation hearings start later this summer. jan crawford, cbs news, washington. miss usa would like a pizza, please. the last two contestants in last night's pageant were miss oklahoma and miss michigan and the winner was rima fakih of dearborn, michigan. she's the first arab-american to win the miss usa crown. asked how she felt, she said after, ask me after i've had a pizza. and speaking of winners, this morning on "the early show," the winner of "survivor: heros and villains" gets her $1 million prize. you're watching the "cbs morning news." million prize. you're watching the "cbs morning
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