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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  January 7, 2018 7:00pm-7:58pm EST

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killer? in chicago, an experimental computer program is trying to do just that. it's called predictive policing. you were in the top 1%, in the risk group that they're following. >> smith: yeah, i know. i could believe it because, you know, i used to be wild, i was, man, real wild, you know. >> mallette: the goal of this operation is: keep people alive. that's number one. number two, keep them out of prison and jail. >> alfonsi: dr. ann mckee has spent 14 years looking at the brains of hundreds of athletes who suffered concussions. recently she said former patriot tight end aaron hernandez was the most severe case of the degenerative brain disease c.t.e. she had ever seen in someone under 30. tonight we hear that it's not only athletes who are at risk, but also the 300,000 soldiers who have returned home from war with brain injuries.
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deployed, he said, "you know, i could come back with no legs, or no arms," but nobody ever said that he could lose his mind one day at a time. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm scott pelley. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm bill whitaker. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." it's easy to think that all money managers are pretty much the same. but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management.
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interfere in our 2016 presidential campaign, but how exactly did he do it? well, according to a u.s. intelligence report, one of his weapons was a russian television network called rt. it stands for russia today, and you can find it on many of our cable or satellite systems, just like any other news outlet. we recently went to moscow to meet with the head of rt, margarita simonyan. we arrived just as the justice department was insisting that rt register as a foreign agent in the united states under an 80-year-old law enacted to expose nazi propaganda. and simonyan was scalding mad. >> simonyan: should we close american media in russia because they're all anti-putin and they wage campaigns against him every single day? should we close them? you tell me. >> stahl: no one's closing you. no one's closing you.
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is destroying our reputation. should we do the same thing here in russia to all the american media? they're all anti-putin. should we do that? probably should, shouldn't we? >> stahl: margarita simonyan is blustery, a force to reckon with. she's the head of a vast, state- run tv network, with almost 2,500 employees. they broadcast around the world, with a spanish channel for latin america, an arabic channel for the middle east and four english editions, including rt uk and rt america, available on cable and satellite. while not a lot of americans watch rt on tv, it is widely disseminated on social media and youtube, where it has racked up more than two billion views. much of their schedule is
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shows, including this one hosted by larry king. >> larry king: there is no movie like this movie! >> simonyan: we wanted a cnn of our own. you can put it in these words. that would be true, i can't deny it. >> stahl: let me tell you what u.s. intelligence agencies say about rt-- and i'm talking about the c.i.a, f.b.i., and n.s.a.-- they describe you as a weapon in an information war. >> simonyan: all the russian intelligence agencies call the american media the same. i think that's what the intelligence agencies do. i think it's pretty much their job. >> stahl: she dismisses the u.s. intelligence report that assesses "with high confidence that putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the u.s. election," and that rt, "russia's state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign." in this intelligence report there are, i don't even know how many references to you-- >> simonyan: 27.
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a photograph of you, and a cartoon of you stepping over the white house. >> simonyan: there's nothing illegal that we did. there's nothing murky. there's no weird activity that we're involved in. nothing. >> stahl: to most of our questions, her answer was "well, what about you?" let's talk about russian interference in our election. >> simonyan: uh-huh. >> stahl: which our intelligence agencies tell us happened. and, i believe-- >> simonyan: and you believe them. just like you believe that they were weapons of mass destruction in iraq. didn't you believe that? continue to believe that russian interference in american elections happened. in five years, you will know that it didn't. >> stahl: it's also facebook and twitter say the same thing now. >> simonyan: oh, what do they say? what do they say? >> stahl: they say that the russians used their websites to perpetrate pro-trump, anti- hillary clinton information. >> simonyan: i can't dth
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there could've been russian media that had their opinion on twitter, on facebook, whatever broadcast. is that bad? is that illegal? isn't that what the american media do as well? british media supported hillary. no problem with that. no interference. nothing. french media supported hillary. no problem with that. some russian media supported trump-- "oh, my god!" >> stahl: did rt support trump? >> simonyan: no. rt did not support trump. >> stahl: was rt-- >> simonyan: and rt-- our fault is that rt did not support hillary either. >> stahl: i know that. >> simonyan: i wanted, to win, somebody who would be nicer to russia. >> stahl: did you get that? >> simonyan: no. is it even possible? we don't know. >> stahl: one curiosity is rt's connection to michael flynn, president trump's former national security adviser, who has pled guilty to lying to the f.b.i. in the russia probe. simonyan invited him to rt's 10th anniversary gala in 2015.
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you paid him $45,000 to come to the event, and sat him next to mr. putin. it just conjures up the idea that eventually he may have been some kind of a conduit when he did get close to trump. >> simonyan: because he sat next to putin in very-- >> stahl: not because he sat next to putin. that there was some relationship. >> simonyan: with putin? putin didn't know who he was. i give you my word on that. >> stahl: but members of congress want this further investigated since flynn failed to disclose these contacts on his security clearance forms. so you've had this job for how long? >> simonyan: for 12 years now. >> stahl: 12 years? >> simonyan: too long. uh-huh. too long. >> stahl: you started when you were 25. >> simonyan: yes. >> stahl: she was a young reporter covering the kremlin at the time, and putin liked her work. so when rt was created, she was tapped to be the editor-in-chief of the new state-owned tv network. i marvel that a 25-year-old was given that job.
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>> simonyan: i do, too. but it worked, didn't it? >> stahl: when it started, the focus was on happy stories about russia. but according to u.s. intelligence, under her leadership and putin's guidance, rt morphed into a tool to attack the west. its budget, set by the kremlin, grew tenfold to over $300 million a year. that's because rt is part of a larger strategy. five years ago, russia's highest-ranking military officer wrote what's known as the "gerasimov doctrine," saying that in warfare, information can be more effective than a military weapon. an idea that was then put into action. your defense minister said in february that he had formed a new branch of the military called "information warfare troops." >> simonyan: i don't know if that's the case, if that's what the military is doing. we know that that's what nato has been doingor
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they are military. we are not military. >> stahl: in 2012, you said that russia needs rt the same way it needs a defense ministry. and you've also said, rt was fighting "an information war against the whole western world." >> simonyan: i am not at any kind of war. i have two children. i'm a journalist. i've been a journalist ever since i was 18. >> stahl: before that, she was a kid growing up in southern russia. >> simonyan: we were extremely poor, our family. we had rats this big in-- i can't even call it a house. in the room where we lived, with my parents and my sister. >> stahl: this was in the soviet time? >> simonyan: yeah. >> stahl: back then, she says she was a big fan of the united states, especially when she was an exchange student in bristol, new hampshire. >> simonyan: new hampshire is absolutely beautiful. >> stahl: did you watch american television? >> simonyan: mostly mtv. >> stahl: mtv. >> simonyan: i was 15. >> stahl: i get the impression
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though, that your views of the united states have kind of curdled. >> simonyan: it didn't just happen to me. it happened to, more or less, all of russians in 1999 when you bombed yugoslavia. >> stahl: the u.s. called that nato operation a humanitarian intervention to prevent ethnic cleansing. but to russia, it was a sign of u.s. aggression too close to home. >> simonyan: we found that absolutely unfair, outrageous-- illegal, because it wasn't approved of by the united nations. it was a shock. america had russia wrapped around it's little-- little pinky through the whole '90s. we did everything you told us. and we were eager to do more and more. the whole nation-- russian nation was like, "tell us what else we can do to please you. we want to be like you. we love you." and then i99
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you bomb yugoslavia. and that was the end of it. in a minute, in one day. and that's when you lost us, unfortunately. >> stahl: tensions between our two countries have only grown, leading up to the 2016 election, during which rt was accused of going out of its way to delegitimize hillary clinton. >> guest: secretary clinton has engaged in behavior that is criminal, that anybody else would be going to jail for. >> roger stone: hillary clinton has bitten, kicked, punched, scratched and thrown hard objects at her husband. >> host: we ask julian assange whether he has the email that could put hillary clinton in prison. >> stahl: rt's most popular segment about candidate clinton, with over 10 million views online, vilified her as hopelessly corrupt: >> host: so, in 2015, 96% of the clintons' charity went to themselves. >> stahl: that's not accurate, but it's right out of the russian playbook-- disinform and dit
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rt often interviews as experts conspiracy buffs, white supremacists, and actors. it traffics in anti-american crazy theories like, tying terror attacks to the f.b.i. or accusing the pentagon of inventing ebola. >> host: can you blame anyone for distrusting the u.s.'s medical intentions at this point? >> stahl: they air a steady diet of violent protests and racial conflict to suggest the u.s. lacks the moral high ground to criticize russia, and is collapsing from internal divisions. a lot of your pieces are about what's wrong with the united states. >> simonyan: right now, if we open a website of the american media funded by the american government and read what is there right now, that is what screams that not only russian democracy is evil, russia is
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evil, russian's authorities are evil, people are pretty much evil. >> stahl: no question we interpret events through our separate realities. typically on rt, nato is bad, assad of syria is not. the u.s. foments conflict, russia does not. you're telling me you didn't invade crimea? >> simonyan: no, we did not. you call it invasion. >> stahl: well, what do you call it? >> simonyan: we call it the free will of the people. >> stahl: and now, european leaders agree with the u.s. intelligence report. french president emmanuel macron, with putin at his side, accused russia of interfering in their election, calling rt an agent of propaganda. >> emmanuel macron: propagande et propagande mensongere. >> stahl: and british prime minister theresa may made some of the same charges against the kremlin. >> theresa may: it is seeking to weaponize information. deploying its state-run media organizations to sow discord in the west and undermine our institutions.
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u.s., it has begun facing repercussions from silicon valley. youtube downgraded their preferred channel status and twitter banned rt ads from their platform. and the justice department has labeled rt a foreign agent. moves, says the fiery margarita simonyan, that fly in the face of the u.s. constitution's freedom of the press. >> simonyan: don't you represent the country that had always told us that difference of opinion is good? what happened to that? what happened to the american way? >> stahl: if you register as a foreign agent, you still are protected by the first amendment and there is still no censorship. >> simonyan: that's not true. >> stahl: so why-- >> simonyan: that's not true. >> stahl: that is true. >> simonyan: no, that's not true, because effectively, not a lot of people would like to work being labeled a foreign agent. the same thing will happen to american media in russia. exactly the same. and we will see how many people will still work for american media in russia-- >> stahl: so you-- >> simonyan: --being labeled a foreign agent. >> stahl: --you're going to retae.
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>> simonyan: not me. the russian government-- >> stahl: will retaliate. >> simonyan: --definitely will. yes. they've already said that. >> stahl: and indeed, russia hastily passed a law enabling its justice ministry to label u.s. government-owned media like radio free europe/radio liberty and voice of america "foreign agents." preponderance cbs money watch sponsored by lincoln financial, helping you protect those you love most. >> quijano: good evening. stock markets opened monday with the dow, nasdaq, and s&p 500 at record highs. delta and wells far get report earnings this week. and the len trok inshow in las vegas highlights self-driving cars and high definition tvs. i'm elaine quijano, cbs news.
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>> pelley: what if a murder could be predicted? what if police could intervene with the future victim or future killer? in chicago, an experimental computer program is trying to do just that. it's called predictive policing, and the city is counting on it to ease some of the worst gun violence there since the 1990s. there were 650 murders in the year just ended. that's more than new york city and los angeles combined. the computer program spits out the names of those most likely to shoot, or be shot. police say the results are uncanny. but it's what chicago does with the data that is saving lives. ask ernest smith, who, according to the computer, should be dead or in pron
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>> ernest smith: i got enemies. you know what i'm saying? and they don't like me, you know? i mean, it's all a part of growing up in chicago. >> pelley: ernest smith was a trigger-pulling, drug-pushing menace to chicago's west side. one of the reasons you had enemies was you joined a gang. >> smith: yeah. i was a gang-- i'm a gang member. >> pelley: that's a gangster disciples tattoo on your hand? >> smith: yes. it's a six, you know? yeah. >> pelley: smith was a star on the police department's "strategic subjects list," which attempts to rank chicagoans most likely destined for solitary or a cemetery. you were in the top 1%, in the risk group that they're following. >> smith: yeah. i know. i could believe it because, you know, i used to be wild, i was, man, real wild, you know. >> chris mallette: the goal of this operation is: keep people alive. that's number one. number two, keep them out of prison and jail. >> pelley: chris mallette runs the program that has, so far, saved ernest smith
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>> you're at a crossroads right now. >> pelley: mallette is executive director of the chicago violence reduction strategy. >> mallette: the violence is unacceptable, it's not going to be tolerated. we will stop you if you make us; we will help you if you desire the help. >> pelley: mallette has assembled a coalition of cops, social workers, ministers, and moms. >> mallette: we're looking to get people to put guns down, we're looking to get people to stop pulling triggers. and by "we," i mean the collective partnership of local, community folks who are partnering with local law enforcement to try to get this done collectively. >> pelley: it starts with that computer program, a $3 million experiment run by the chicago police and the illinois institute of technology. >> commander kenneth johnson: we try to identify the subjects who are most at risk. >> pelley: commander kenneth johnson explained that everyone arrested in chicago is assigned a risk score of zero to 500. commander johnson showed us the
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file of shaquon thomas, someone not unlike ernest smith, whose history of arrests added up to a risk score of 500. what are the things that go into that? >> johnson: well, some of the things that go into the risk model is who they're associated with, their arrest history, and also whether or not they've been a victim or they've been an offender of a violent crime. how many gun offenses they've been involved in. those are all factors that go into it. here he is fighting a police officer, now unlawful possession of a handgun. >> pelley: and then here at the end, first degree murder, and he's the murder victim. end of timeline. >> johnson: at 22 years old. >> pelley: this is what commander johnson does with the data. the heart of the chicago violence reduction strategy is to personally visit those that the police believe are at high risk of being a shooter or a victim. the visit is based on the computer score and other
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shootings among friends and enemies, or taunting in social media, which is a big driver of violence these days. >> johnson: you've been shot before, right? how long ago was that? >> aaron green: like, a week and a half, two weeks. >> pelley: first, 21-year-old aaron green got a blunt letter from the superintendent of police, which reads, in part, "if you engage in gun violence, rest assured, you will be subject to arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law." but then, neighbors and social workers step in to offer a way out of gang violence. >> mallette: and the message is, "listen, we love you, we value you, and we need you." >> pelley: we love you? >> mallette: we love you, absolutely. we love you, we value you and we need you. but here's the catch: we need you in your rightful place. we want to restore you to your rightful place in our community. >> pelley: when they came to your home, what did you think? what was the first thing you thought when you saw that police officer out there? >> smith: oh, man. i thought i was dealing with something else.
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something i did way back in the day. i was like, aw, man, they done finally got me. >> pelley: what did they say to you that day? >> smith: they had a man with them and they wanted to talk to me about this program, you know, to help me get my life together. >> pelley: the man who came to talk to ernest smith was charles perry. >> charles perry: so what i tell them is, "i used to be you." >> pelley: what did you do? >> perry: i sold drugs. i shot people. i mean, you name it, i did it. >> pelley: after 19 years and 29 days in prison, charles perry became one of the social workers essential to the chicago strategy. >> perry: young people believe that they not worth anything. whatever they got in they immediate surroundings is all they are, all they'll ever be. and it's so far from the truth. >> pelley: but how do you convince a young man who's known nothing else in his life that he is somebody? >> perry: it's not my job to convince you. it's my job to plant the seed.
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a seed in you other than destruction and death. >> pelley: the social worker takes his client by the hand; walks him through the d.m.v. to get a driver's license, helps him with clothes, takes him to job training, and helps him find work. >> mallette: we call it the big small stuff. there's some stuff to us that's just small stuff. go get your license. go get an i.d. go finish your degree. which is small stuff to the majority of us, i would say, but it becomes very big stuff to guys who are caught in this lifestyle, who've never engaged in that way. >> pelley: ernest smith didn't have an i.d. why did the i.d. matter so much? >> smith: because you learn you can't do nothing in life without identification. when i got that i.d., it's like, man, like, a huge weight got lifted off my shoulders, you know? i felt like a member of society again. >> pelley: an i.d. and charles perry got smith his first job at the age of 31. for a while he worked part-time in a kennel.
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work. >> smith: man, it was like heaven, you know? even though i was a drug dealer, you know, like, i always, kind of, had money, but it feels different when you work for it. i want to keep working. i don't ever want to go back to the streets. >> pelley: when you come into someone's home and say, "we're here to help you," how often do those guys believe you? >> mallette: well, if you look at who's reaching out for help, one out of three will reach out for help. >> pelley: one out of three? one of the obstacles to success is fear and loathing of the cops. chicago police have an infamous history of brutality, so the violence reduction strategy enlists the neighborhood. >> donna hall: they just want somebody to show that they love them, you know, to tell them that they love them, let them know that they life is important, too. somebody care about them. my name is donna, and we're actually from the community. >> pelley: donna hall has a way of melting ice. she's delivered mail in her
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neighborhood for nearly 20 years. but her heaviest burden, she carries, special delivery. >> hall: i'm not the person that i used to be. i was angry. i was mad at god. but in all reality, i was mad at marshall. i was mad at him for leaving me. >> pelley: her son marshall left in 2013. that's him, at right, in the parka. a surveillance camera recorded the end of his life. ( gunfire ) >> hall: "boom, boom, boom." and he falls. >> pelley: shot for no known reason, by someone unknown. donna hall helps lead "the sisterhood," a movement of moms of the murdered. >> hall: we, the community, we have to get on the front line. i don't like to march. i'm not marching. because you can't hear me in a crowd. >> pelley: all about meeting people one on one. >> hall: because if i'm sitting here, we can hear each other. you receiving it better.
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went through. it's real. this pain is real. >> pelley: don't some of them just look at you and think, "i can't wait for this lady to get out of my house?" >> hall: probably so, a lot of them. a lot of them do. but when, when it's over, i stop them right there. and i tell them. >> give me a hug, i'm a hugger. >> hall: and i tell them, just, if you got to close your eyes, just picture your mama standing right here for a minute. you're breaking my heart. it would break my heart if something happened to you. >> pelley: but not even a mother's plea is enough, most of the time. jamal cain is one of the roughly 66% who refuse help. >> pelley: the cops put you on their list of people likely to shoot or get shot. were they right about you? >> jamal cain: yeah, i guess. i've been shot six times. >> pelley: when the violence reduction strategy team came to his home, he saw the cops and he hid. his grandfather took the social worker's card. >> cain: i just looked at it and threw it down. because i had no intention of calling them.
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don't think the police want to help me. >> pelley: you regret that now? >> cain: not really. >> pelley: you still don't believe it? >> cain: nope. >> pelley: when we saw cain, he was in jail on a gun possession charge. >> cain: i grew up on the bad neighborhood, but that-- that don't make me bad. just make me stuck. >> pelley: "stuck?" what do you mean? >> cain: i'm not necessarily a bad person. it's just the things i do may be bad, if you grow up and you see everybody selling drugs, getting money the fast way, you want to do it. it don't necessarily mean you want to be violent. violence has come along with the way life that we live. >> mallette: we don't necessarily consider these guys to be bad people. they could just be very dangerous at times. and there's a bit of a difference. >> pelley: oh, what's the difference? >> mallette: well, i think the difference is, if people are driven to what they think is their barrier and their breaking point, what are they willing to do. when you see them out of that element of just engaging on the street, you see them as fathers,
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>> pelley: you know, a lot of people watching this interview right now are thinking, he's coddling criminals. you need to lock these guys up forever and the problem will be solved. >> mallette: i think some of them need to be locked up, but here's the reality, scott-- they're going to keep coming back. you solve the problem by engaging and interacting with individuals. >> pelley: but it's tough for individuals to break from a gang. just wanting out doesn't change the neighborhood. ernest smith was sorely tested when his former girlfriend, the mother of his child, was murdered. >> smith: man, i was hurt. i was mad. you know, i was ready to get out there and go back to my old ways. >> pelley: before that home visit with the police and with charles, you would've gone out to find somebody to shoot. >> smith: oh, yeah. i would've went crazy. i would've snapped out. >> pelley: but he didn't. and he hasn't been arrested since joining the program a year ago.
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but how hard is it to stay out of crime? >> smith: really, to keep it honest with you, it ain't. we basically, we make up excuses to go back. we make up excuses to go do the things we want to do. you know, i got demons. they fight with me. you know, like, you broke. go take this. go do that. but i learned to wait and be patient, you know, and ever since, good things been happening and coming through the door for me. >> pelley: and chicago will have to be patient. it's taken four years for the violence reduction strategy to visit nearly 1,500 people. of them, 78% have no new arrest for a violent crime. >> shots fired out here. shots fired, shots fired. >> pelley: and in 2017, shootings were down 21%. can the violence end? >> perry: will it end? yes. >> pelley: how do you get there? >> perry: we're doing it to ourselves. all we got to do is stop ourselves from doing it. there's no one riding in on a white horse to save us. the savior is right there in the community. they right there.
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>> this cbs sports update is brought to you by the lincoln motor company. i'm adam zuker in new york with a look at the a.f.c. playoff picture. yesterday tennessee overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to beat kansas city. in the other wild card match up earlier today on cbs, jacksonville got its first playoff wing since 2007, defeating buffalo. in the divisional round next week on cbs, jacksonville visits pittsburgh sunday and the defending super bowl champs will host tennessee saturday night. for more sports news go to with 33 individual vertebrae and 640 muscles in the human body, no two of us are alike. life made more effortless through adaptability. the perfect position seat in the lincoln continental.
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"what if" more of the came from renewable resources? "what if" the electric grid could detect, fix and even prevent power outages?
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and more secure? "what if" all these "what if"s became a reality? well, they are. at dominion energy, we're completely transforming our power grid and the way we think of energy... move from "what if" to "what's next." dominion energy. >> alfonsi: until a few years ago, n.f.l. players who struggled with severe depression, bouts of rage and memory loss in their retirement were often told they were just having a hard time adjusting to life away from the game. doctors have since learned these changes can be symptoms of the degenerative brain disease c.t.e., chronic traumatic encephalopathy, caused by blows to the head.
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what we're learning now is that c.t.e. isn't just affecting athletes, but also showing up in our nation's heroes. since 9/11, over 300,000 soldiers have returned home with brain injuries. researchers fear the impact of c.t.e. could cripple a generation of warriors. ♪ ♪ >> present arms! ( gunfire ) >> alfonsi: when joy kieffer buried her 34-year-old son this past summer, it was the end of a long goodbye. kieffer's son, sergeant kevin ash, enlisted in the army reserves at the age of 18. over three deployments, he was exposed to 12 combat blasts, many of them roadside bombs. he returned home in 2012 a different man. >> joy kieffer: his whole personality had changed.
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i thought it was exposure to all of the things that he had seen, and he had just become harder, you know, but-- ( sighs ) he was-- he was not happy. >> alfonsi: so at this point, you're thinking "this decline, this change in my child is just that he's been in war and he's seen too much." >> kieffer: right. >> alfonsi: did he tell you about blasts that he experienced during that time? >> kieffer: uh-huh. >> alfonsi: what did he tell you? >> kieffer: that they shook him. and he was having blackouts. and-- it frightened him. >> alfonsi: ash withdrew from family and friends. he was angry, depressed. doctors prescribed therapy and medication, but his health began to decline quickly. by his 34th birthday, sergeant kevin ash was unable to speak, walk, or eat on his own. looking back on it now, was there anything you feel like he could've done? >> kieffer: uh-uh. >> alfonsi: because? >> kieffer: because it was, it-- it was his brain. the thing i didn't know was th
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i mean, before he went into the service, he said, "you know, i could come back with no legs, or no arms, or even blind, or i could be shot, i could die," but nobody ever said that he could lose his mind one day at a time. >> alfonsi: his final wish was to serve his country one last time by donating his brain to science, a gesture he thought would bring better understanding to the invisible wounds of war. joy reached out to the v.a.- boston university-concussion legacy foundation brain bank where neuropathologist dr. ann mckee is leading the charge in researching head trauma and the degenerative brain disease c.t.e. mckee has spent 14 years looking at the post-mortem brains of hundreds of athletes who suffered concussions while playing their sport.
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this past summer, her findings shook the football world, when she discovered c.t.e. in the brains of 110 out of 111 deceased n.f.l. players-- raising serious concerns for those in the game today. and when dr. mckee autopsied patriots tight-end aaron hernandez, who killed himself after being convicted of murder, she found the most severe case of c.t.e. ever in someone under 30. now, she's seeing a similar pattern in deceased veterans who experienced a different kind of head trauma-- combat blasts. ( explosions ) of the 102 veterans brains dr. mckee's examined, 66 had c.t.e. i can understand a football player who keeps, you know, hitting his head, and having impact and concussions. but how is it that a combat veteran, who maybe just experienced a blast, has the same type of injury?
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of ricochet, or a whiplash injury to the brain inside the skull, and that's what gives rise to the same changes that we see in football players, as in military veterans. >> alfonsi: blast trauma was first recognized back in world war one. known as "shell shock," poorly protected soldiers often died immediately or went on to suffer physical and psychological symptoms. today, sophisticated armor allows more soldiers to walk away from an explosion, but exposure can still damage the brain-- an injury that can worsen over time. >> mckee: it's not a new injury. but what's been really stumping us, i think, as-- as physicians is, it's not easily detectable, right? it's-- you've got a lot of psychiatric symptoms-- and you can't see it very well on images of the brain. and so, it didn't occur to us. and i think that's been the gap, really, that this has been what everyone calls an invisible injury.
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c.t.e. brain bank. >> alfonsi: the only fool-proof way to diagnose c.t.e. is by testing a post-mortem brain. so these are full of hundreds of brains... >> mckee: hundreds of brains; thousands, really. >> alfonsi: researchers carefully dissect sections of the brain where they look for changes in the folds of the frontal lobes, an area responsible for memory, judgement, emotions, impulse control, and personality. >> mckee: do you see there's a tiny little hole there? that is an abnormality. and it's a clear abnormality. >> alfonsi: and what would that affect? >> mckee: well, it's part of the memory circuit. you can see that clear hole there that shouldn't be there. it's connecting the important memory regions of the brain with other regions. so, that is a sign of c.t.e. >> alfonsi: thin slivers of the affected areas are then stained and viewed microscopically. it's in these final stages where a diagnosis becomes clear, as in the case of sergeant kevin ash. so this is sergeant ash's brain?
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this is four sections of his brain. and what you can see is, these lesions. and those lesions are c.t.e. and they're in very characteristic parts of the brain. they're at the bottom of the crevice. that's a unique feature of c.t.e. >> alfonsi: and in a healthy brain, you wouldn't see any of those kind of brown spots? >> mckee: no, no, it would be completely clear. and then when you look microscopically, you can see that the tau, which is staining brown and is inside nerve cells, is surrounding these little vessels. >> alfonsi: and explain, what is the tau? >> mckee: so, tau is a protein that's normally in the nerve cell. it helps with structure. and after trauma, it starts clumping up, as a toxin inside the nerve cell. and over time, and-- and even years, gradually, that nerve cell dies. >> alfonsi: dr. lee goldstein has been building on dr. mckee's work with testing on mice. >> dr. lee goldstein: we're in the neuro-tunnel laboratory.
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university lab, dr. goldstein built this 27-foot blast tube where a mouse, and in this demonstration, a model, is exposed to an explosion equivalent to the i.e.d.s used in iraq and afghanistan. >> goldstein: when it reaches about 25, this thing is going to go. ( explosion ) >> alfonsi: dr. goldstein's model shows what's going on inside the brain during a blast. the brightly-colored waves illustrate stress on the soft tissues of the brain as it ricochets back and forth within the skull. >> goldstein: what we see after these blast exposures, the animals actually look fine. which is shocking to us. so, they come out of what is a near-lethal blast exposure, just like our military service men and women do. and they appear to be fine. but what we know is that that brain is not the same after that exposure, as it was microseconds before.
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and if there is a subsequent exposure, that change will be accelerated. and ultimately, this triggers a neuro-degenerative disease. and, in fact, we can see that really after even one of these exposures. >> alfonsi: the department of defense estimates hundreds of thousands of soldiers have experienced a blast like this. what does that tell you? >> goldstein: this is a disease and a problem that we're going to be dealing with for decades. and it is a huge public health problem. it's a huge problem for the veterans administration. it's a huge moral responsibility for all of us. >> alfonsi: a responsibility owed to soldiers, like 33-year-old sergeant tom bates. >> sergeant tom bates: we were struck with a large i.e.d. it was a total devastation strike. >> alfonsi: bates miraculously walked away from this mangled humvee, one of four i.e.d. blasts he survived during deployments in iraq and afghanistan. do you remember feeling the impact in your body? >> tom bates: yes. yeah. >> alfonsi: what does that feel ke
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>> alfonsi: and you were put back on the frontlines. >> tom bates: yes. >> alfonsi: and that was it? >> tom bates: uh-huh. >> alfonsi: when bates returned home in 2009, his wife libby immediately saw a dramatic change. >> libby bates: i thought, "something is not absolutely right here. something's going on. for him to just lay there and to sob and be so sad. you know, what do you do for that? how do i-- how do i help him? he would look at me and say, "if it wasn't for you, i would end it all right now." you know, i mean, like, what do you do, and what do you say to somebody who says that? you know i love this man so much, and-- >> alfonsi: you're going to the v.a., you're getting help, but did you feel like you weren't getting answers? >> tom bates: yes. >> alfonsi: and so you took it into your own hands and started researching? >> tom bates: i knew the way everything had gone and how quick a lot of my neurological issues had progresseha
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and i just-- i wanted answers for it. >> alfonsi: that led him to new york's mount sinai hospital where neurologist dr. sam gandy is trying to move beyond diagnosing c.t.e. only in the dead, by using scans that test for the disease in the living. >> dr. sam gandy: by having this during life, this now gives us for the first time the possibility of estimating the true prevalence of the disease. it's important to estimate prevalence so that people can have some sense of what the risk is. >> alfonsi: in the past year, 36 veterans and athletes have been tested for the disease here. tom bates asked to be a part of it. >> dr. ash: the injection i'm going to give you has a radioactive tracer element. >> alfonsi: that radioactive tracer, known as t807, clings to those dead clusters of protein known as tau, which are typical markers of the disease. through the course of a 20- minute pet scan, high resolution images are taken of the brain and then combined with m.r.i. results to get a
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picture of whether there are potential signs of c.t.e. scan results confirmed what tom and libby had long suspected. on the right, we see a normal brain scan with no signs of c.t.e., next to tom's brain, where tau deposits, possible markers of c.t.e., are bright orange. >> gandy: here, these could be responsible for some of the anxiety and depression he's suffered, and we're concerned it will progress. >> tom bates: my hope is that this study becomes more prominent, and gets to more veterans, and stuff like that, so we can actually get, like, a reflection of what population might actually have this. >> gandy: i want to just watch you walk. >> alfonsi: there is no cure for c.t.e. dr. gandy hopes his trial will lead to drug therapies, so he can offer some relief to patients like tom. dr. ann mckee believes some people may be at higher risk of getting the disease than others. while examinn.
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aaron hernandez's brain, she identified a genetic bio-marker she believes may have predisposed him to c.t.e., a discovery that could have far- reaching implications on the football field and battlefield. do you think you will ever be your old self again? >> tom bates: i don't ever see me being my old self again. i think it's just too far gone. >> alfonsi: so what's your hope, then? >> tom bates: just to not become worse than i am now. >> brain researchers are seeking veterans willing to offer one final service for their country. more at sponsored by eucrisa. for mild-to-moderate eczema? it can be used almost everywhere on almost everybody. the face of a fisherman? the hand of a ranch hand? the knee of a needle pointer? prescription eucrisa is a nose to toes eczema ointment.
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>> pelley: 50 seasons of "60 minutes." this week, from the first sunday in january, 2014. that's when we ventured to iceland and the edge of an erupting volcano for a look at one of the greatest forces of nature. our guide was volcanologist haraldur sigurdsson. >> haraldur sigurdsson: you're looking right into the crater. >> pelley: scientists rate volcanic eruptions on a scale of zero to eight. this is a four, which they call cataclysmic. tell me what you're seeing. >> sigurdsson: it's an explosive eruption, and the explosions are producing big clouds of ash that are moving up-- up, straight up into the atmosphere, at the velocity of a few hundred feet per second, and throwing out huge rocks. >> pelley: how big are these pieces that we see flying? >> sigurdsson: some of these
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>> pelley: i'm scott pelley. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." woman: i'm a fighter. always have been. when i found out i had age-related macular degeneration, amd, i wanted to fight back. my doctor and i came up with a plan. it includes preservision. only preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula recommended by the national eye institute to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd backed by 15 years of clinical studies. that's why i fight. because it's my vision. preservision. that's why i fight. wiback like it could used to? neutrogena hydro boost water gel.
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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can. captioned by media access group at wgbh (grunting) tanner: carlos was bleeding internally. they had to move him to county. the last time we saw each other, i was accusing your son of the worst possible crime. i'm not sure what to think anymore. if he didn't kill mia and he dies because of this... all we can hope is that we get a chance to make this right. (gasps) ♪ what-what happened? did ochoa... is-is he... no, no. for once, it's good news. come on. doctor: he'd lost a lot of blood by the time he got here. the prison hospital didn't do him any favors. they missed the secondary internal injury.


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