June 28, 2009, CBS
Pinkston, Priya David, Seth Doane
<Show: CBS EVENING NEWS>
<Date: June 28, 2009>
<Head: June 28, 2009, CBS>
<Sect: News; International>
<Byline: Chip Reid, Ben Tracy, Kimberly Dozier, Lara Logan, Randal Pinkston, Priya David, Seth Doane>
<Guest: Christopher Hill>
<High: The investigation into Michael Jackson's death continues as new details emerge about his eccentric life. Neighboring nations are
threatening to attack as the Honduran military ousts its president sending
him into exile. Despite a surge in violence in Iraq the Iraqi military
claims it's prepared to take charge when American troops withdraw.>
<Spec: Deaths; Celebrities; Music Industry; Central America; Honduras; Coup; Violence; Middle East; Politics; Government>
CHIP REID, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Tonight, still no answer to what killed Michael Jackson after police interview the doctor who was with him when he died, as new details emerge about his eccentric life.I'm Chip Reid. Also tonight, a coup in Central America. The military ousts the Honduran president and sends him into exile. Neighboring nations are threatening to attack.
Despite a surge in violence, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq tells us the Iraqi military is prepared to take charge when American troops pull out of Iraqi cities. And this week, sentencing day for ponzi thief Bernard Madoff and his victims will have their say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want him to hear how he has ruined and destroyed my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Good evening, Russ is off tonight. We begin with new details on the investigation of the death of Michael Jackson. Police have interviewed the singer's live in doctor about Jackson's last moments and the family requested and received an independent autopsy. More now from Ben Tracy in Los Angeles. Ben?
BEN TRACY, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chip, still no official word from the Jackson family compound here near Los Angeles about funeral arrangements for Michael Jackson, but we have learned some new details about the final moments of his life.
An attorney for a doctor who was with Jackson at the time said the superstar was found in bed with a pulse before he died. Now as more and more details emerge about the life and death of Michael Jackson, they are becoming increasingly strange.
TRACY (voice-over): Michael Jackson's family remains mostly out of sight at their suburban Los Angeles home where a makeshift shrine to the mega star is growing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're here because we loved him and we would like to express that in some way and this is the only way we know how.
TRACY: Meanwhile, investigators say Dr. Conrad Murray, who was with the singer during his final moments provided useful information during three hours of questioning Saturday.
Murray was hired to tend to Jackson during his planned summer concerts in London. A lawyer for the doctor told the LA Times that his client did not inject Michael Jackson with the painkiller Demerol on the day he died. But many questions still remain. How much medication was Michael Jackson taking? And did a reliance on painkillers contribute to his death? One time spiritual advisor Deepak Chopra says in 2005, Jackson asked him for a prescription.
DEPAK CHOPRA, JACKSON SPIRITUAL ADVISOR: And he showed me a little bottle of OxyContin. I started to probe and then came to found out he was seeing several doctors who was giving him narcotics.
TRACY: Attorney Thomas Mesereau who represented Jackson during his 2005 molestation trial says even after being acquitted Michael Jackson was never quite the same.
THOMAS MESEREAU, FORMER JACKSON ATTORNEY: He was not constructed, in my opinion, emotionally for a trial like that.
TRACY: However, Mesereau says Jackson was a devoted father who worried about what would happen to his kids if he died prematurely. An ever increasing number of Jackson associates want to care for the children.
Jackson's long-time nanny Grace Rwaramba considers herself the children's mother. She is quoted in the Times of London saying Jackson abused prescription drugs and she had to pump his stomach several times.
She is also quoted saying that just hours after Jackson died, his mother Katherine called her and said, You remember Michael used to hide cash at the house. I am here. Where can it be?
J. RANDY TARABORRELLI, MICHAEL JACKSON BIOGRAPHER: If Grace's goal was to re-create herself from nanny to celebrity, then bravo, job well done. But if she had hoped to maintain a relationship with Michael Jackson's children, then that was a pretty stupid move.
TRACY: Now we are told that the Reverend Al Sharpton is actually on his way to Los Angeles right now to meet with the Jackson family about potential memorial plans. Those could include simultaneous worldwide celebrations of Michael Jackson's life. Chip?
REID: Thank you, Ben.
In Central America, the military in Honduras staged a coup today and fast moving events threatened to explode in the region. Troops took the president into custody and sent him into exile. Kimberly Dozier has the latest. Kimberly?
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Chip. President Obama today called for a peaceful resolution to the political crisis in Honduras and a U.S. official this evening says that the White House still considers President Manuel Zelaya the duly elected leader of that country.
DOZIER (voice-over): Honduran troops faced off with angry but so far peaceful demonstrators after the army's dawn arrest and expulsion of President Manuel Zelaya.
Now exiled to nearby Costa Rica, President Zelaya says troops grabbed him out of bed, beat his bodyguards and arrested him in his under shirt. His supporters are calling it a coup to prevent him from holding a constitutional referendum today. He says it would have made the government answer more fairly to the people by installing a one man, one vote system. His critics say it was about allowing him to run for a second term.
The vote had been condemned by the Honduran Congress and the country's Supreme Court. They are backing the military, and one of Zelaya's main congressional critics has been tapped to replace him.
The organization of American states condemned the ouster at an emergency meeting in Washington today, but no one is calling for military intervention, including the Honduran representative, a Zelaya supporter.
CARLOS SOSA, HONDURAN REPRESENTATIVE, OAS: We are a nonviolent people. We believe strongly many nonviolent means of a political struggle.
DOZIER: But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is threatening to invade after Honduran troops temporarily detained ambassadors from his country, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
DOZIER: Chavez doesn't usually follow through with such threats. And thus far, other than the verbal condemnation, we are not seeing a lot of international momentum towards some sort of intervention. Chip?
REID: Thank you, Kimberly.
Turning to Iraq, it's moving week for the U.S. military. On Tuesday, American forces they will pull back from cities leaving security there to Iraqi forces. Lara Logan reports from Baghdad that things are not quiet as departure day approaches.
LARA LOGAN, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the first moments of chaos following a massive bomb blast inside a Baghdad market last week, captured on amateur video. It is a scene of utter devastation. At least 78 people were killed as they shopped for the evening meal. This is just one incident in a week of attacks that left more than 250 people dead, the worst violence in more than a year.
Iraq's prime minister appealed for national unity even as he celebrated the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns. Maliki has made no secret of his delight that from June 30th, just two days away, U.S. forces will mostly be confined to bases outside of urban areas. In the country side, they can still operate as normal.
But under the security agreement the U.S. made with Maliki's government, American troops will need Iraqi permission to enter the city.
Today in Baghdad, terrorists took advantage of the bad weather to target a U.S. convoy, one of their last opportunities to strike at American troops before they mostly disappear from the city streets. The attack left six Iraqis wounded. Civilian casualties are one reason many Iraqis are glad to see the U.S. go.
But the violence leading up to the June 30 deadline has raised doubts in the minds of many here, fearful of what will follow the U.S. withdrawal.
LOGAN: Exactly how the agreement will work is still somewhat unclear to the forces who have to abide by it, but as a senior U.S. officer told me, there is still a lot of gray area. Lara Logan, CBS News, Baghdad.
REID: Joining me now for more on the U.S.'s new role in Iraq, we turn to the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad, Christopher Hill. Welcome, Mr. Ambassador.
CHRISTOPHER HILL, U.S. AMBASSADOR IN BAGHDAD: Thank you very much.
REID: We just heard from Lara Logan that the violence in Iraq is the worst it has been in more than a year. Is moving the troops out of Iraqi cities an irreversible decision or could they be going back in?
HILL: Well, first of all, there has been violence in Iraq lately, but I think if you look at the overall trends, not just look at comparing one day to another, but overall trends, you see that violence in this year, '09, are considerably less. And at we are doing, really, with this move is to comply with our obligations of the security agreement that we reached with the Iraqis. We think, we are certainly ready to make this move and most importantly we believe the Iraqi forces are ready to take over this mission.
REID: But what would it take, sir, if the violence does continue to get worse? Is there any possibility that U.S. troops could be going back in?
HILL: You know, in addition to being the world's greatest fighting force, I would say American forces have also become the world's greatest trainer. They have been working very hard with the Iraqis to make sure the Iraqis can take up this mission, so we with have every confidence that they will be able to do so. So I don't think there is any need to speculate on what happens if things get rough. We know that things will be difficult at times, but I think we are really ready to move forward on this.
REID: Some analysts worry that with the U.S. troops moving out of the Iraqi cities, there will be a power vacuum and that that vacuum could be filled by forces loyal to Iran. Is that something that concerns you?
HILL: Well, again, if there were a power vacuum that would suggest the Iraqi forces are not ready for the mission. In our judgment, they are ready and they are looking forward to taking on the mission.
REID: U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill in Baghdad, thank you very much for your time.
HILL: Thank you.
REID: Still ahead on tonight's CBS Evening News, how many years does swindler Bernie Madoff deserve? Victims have their say.
REID: When he faces judgment tomorrow, swindler Bernard Madoff will hear how much of the rest of his life he will spend behind bars. He will also get an earful. Randal Pinkston got an idea of what those victims will say.
RANDAL PINKSTON, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sharon Lissaur is getting a chance to do something most of Bernard Madoff's 8,000 victims can't. She is one of the few selected to speak at the swindler's sentencing tomorrow.
SHARON LISSAUR, MADOFF VICTIM: I just want him to hear how he has ruined and destroyed my life.
PINKSTON: Lissaur says she was wiped out. The savings from her modeling career plus money her money left her were all invested with Madoff last November, just six weeks before his ponzi scheme collapsed.
LISSAUR: Everyone had so much trust in him and he betrayed everyone.
PINKSTON: Lissaur will be one of hundreds of victims expected to jam a federal courthouse when a judge imposes a sentence for what is described as the largest investment fraud case in history.
Last week, a federal judge ordered Madoff to forfeit over $170 billion in assets, which essentially means all of his property, and his wife Ruth was ordered to give up $80 million of her assets, still leaving her with $2.5 million dollars. Madoff's lawyers say a humane sentence would be 12 years in prison. Federal prosecutors are recommending 150.
ROSE LESS, MADOFF VICTIM: I would like to see him get a lifetime in prison and not in one of the fancy country club jails.
PINKSTON: Rose and Jack Less, aged 89 and 92, say they invested every penny of their savings, including profits from the sale of their business and home, with Madoff. Now all of it, $800,000 is gone.
LESS: We started to sell our furniture, some of our things that we valued, so that we could have some money immediately.
PINKSTON: What makes their Less's case more difficult is that the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the agency charged with compensating victims who lost money, is using a formula for restitution that will give the Less's nothing because they have withdrawn money over the years. It is a formula that many say is unfair to the oldest of Madoff's victims.
BARRY LAX, ATTORNEY: They were victimizing obviously by Madoff and now seemingly they are victimized again by Pacific Trustee and essentially the SEC too.
PINKSTON: Some of Madoff's clients say they don't really care about his sentence. They just want their money back. All claims must be filed with SEPC by Thursday. Chip?
REID: Thank you very much, Randal. The U.S. soccer team played together for its first major championship in the confederation's cup final in South Africa. The U.S. took a surprising lead against powerful Brazil, on quick goals by Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan. Thanks to some spectacular saves by Goalie Tim Howard, the U.S. led 2-0 at halftime but Brazil rallied, with three unanswered goals to win the cup 3-2.
The new Transformers alien robot sequel has racked up the second biggest five-day opening ever at the box office. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen took in more than $200 million. Only The Dark Knight did better.
Just ahead on tonight's CBS Evening News, Michael Jackson, mixing black and white.
REID: Michael Jackson was a study in contrasts, a black performer beloved by white Americans, but one who later seemed to erase his blackness. Call him a study in black and white. Priya David has more.
PRIYA DAVID, CBS NEWS CORREPONDENT: Michael Jackson started performing at a conflicted time.
This is ten-year-old Jackson auditioning in 1968, just four years after the nation's passed the Civil Rights Act and legally ended segregation.
DANYEL SMITH, VIBE MAGAZINE: People forget that there weren't always African-Americans on television and there were amount zillion black athletes and black doctors and lawyers and teachers.
DAVID: Vibe magazine's Danyel Smith called Michael Jackson the first black musician to truly cross over into the mainstream.
SMITH: He kicked down that door.
DAVID: Jackson moved from his R B roots to pop music and in 1983, he became the first black artist to appear on fledgling MTV with his blockbuster song Billie Jean.
MICHAEL ENDELMAN, SENIOR EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: Music fans don't necessarily think in these black and white terms, especially when there is music that is so compelling and so great, but they didn't care. They loved Michael Jackson. It didn't matter, sort of what race he was.
DAVID: But race continued to matter to Jackson, as he grew into his title, King of Pop.
In 1991, he came out with Black or White, the clearest expression of his philosophy on race, singing I am not going to spend my life being a color.
Bill Bottrell co-produced Black or White.
BILL BOTTRELL, RECORD PRODUCER: He was mostly trying to transcend race and in his own case, undefined race.
DAVID: But Jackson's message about race and his own racial identity came as much from his appearance as his music. This YouTube video shows the changes in his appearance from childhood to adulthood. Jackson attributed the lightening of his skin to a disease called vitiligo, but some felt Jackson was denying his black identity.
SMITH: Sometimes people would think that because of the changes in Michael's hair and his skin tone and his facial features that they might have some idea that he wasn't proud of who he was.
DAVID: Of being black?
SMITH: Of being black. He struggled with it, openly and in a way that was painful for many African-Americans to watch.
DAVID: Jackson played out those struggles on a global stage, but his legacy is that fans from every nation remember the magic of his music more than the color of the man. Priya David, CBS News, New York.
REID: You may not know the name, but you will certainly recognize the face and voice. TV pitch man Billy Mays died today. He was found unresponsive in his Tampa home. Mays made a career out of hawking products like Kaboom and OxiClean. Yesterday Mays was on a plane that made a rough landing in Tampa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLY MAYS, DECEASED: You know, things from the ceiling started dropping, and it hit me on the head but I have a hard head, so --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: There is no clear indication the injury contributed to his death. Billy Mays was 50. And we will be back in a moment.
REID: Iranian riot police used tear gas and clubs to disperse an estimated 3,000 demonstrators in North Tehran today, the first major protest in five days. Iranian musicians and artists in this country are expressing their anger over what is happening the best way they know how. Here's Seth Doane.
CROWD: What do we want? Justice.
SETH DOANE, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A show of solidarity by candlelight, on canvas and in concerts. Six thousand miles from the demonstrations and street protests in Tehran, activists and artists in New York City seem to find their voice this week, as many inside Iran were quieted. Iranian-American Johnny Azari attended this vigil and planned his own late night tribute.
JOHNNY AZARI, FOUNDER, FREEDOM GLORY PROJECT: The feeling of power really, it's just overwhelming.
DOANE: What he could do was bring together several bands to raise awareness.
AZARI: We wrote a song for the people of Iran.
DOANE: Debuting an anthem about the green movement, signature color of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. In the audience, his dad, Shoja Azari, an artist exiled from Iran in the early eighties. His work is part of a contemporary art exhibition which just opened at The Chelsea Art Museum and it is truly contemporary. Last updated at 2:00 a.m., the night before the show. It incorporates images from YouTube of the protests and violence in Iran.
SHOJA AZARI, ARTIST: Fortunately, the regime cannot really cut all communication because of the technology and the Internet.
DOANE: From digital artwork to this on a drum. Here, Shiva Ahmadi paints her commentary on the political power of oil. In Iran, she was forced to self censor.
SHIVA AHMADI, ARTIST: It was very frustrating. You are an artist. You put your heart there. You are doing what you believe in, but then you never get to show them.
DOANE: But here through September is the chance for 56 artists to show their work, 35 of them still live in Iran, where their art is considered subversive.
TILL FELLRATH, MANAGING EDITOR, CHELSEA ART MUSEUM: The main idea behind the show was to really defy stereotypical perceptions that people have of a country like Iran.
DOANE: Till Fellrath is co-curator of this exhibit, originally planned to mark the 30th anniversary of the revolution in Iran.
FELLRATH: None of us are able to go to Tehran right now and be on the street demonstrating but I feel through our work what we can do here to raise awareness and provide a platform for people to speak out.
DOANE: A platform and a voice that many inside Iran are still hoping to find. Seth Doane, CBS News, New York.
REID: That is the CBS Evening News. Later on CBS, 60 Minutes. Thanks for joining us for this Sunday evening.
For Russ Mitchell, I'm Chip Reid, CBS News in New York. Katie Couric will be right here tomorrow night. Good night.
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