Tag Archives: 60 Minutes

60 Minutes on Assisted Suicide

The most recent episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes featured a story about assisted suicide.

Here is how it began:

A young woman with brain cancer named Brittany Maynard made news recently when she spoke about her decision to end her life rather than succumb to the last ravages of her disease. Maynard moved to Oregon because it has a law that enables terminally ill people to obtain a lethal dose of barbiturates.

Whether doctors and caregivers should be allowed to help someone like Maynard hasten her own death is the subject of a long-running, state-by-state battle. Our story tonight is about a woman who was prosecuted for allegedly helping her 93-year-old father kill himself. Barbara Mancini lives in Pennsylvania, a state that does not have a law like Oregon’s. Her father was terminally ill and in pain and had repeatedly said he wanted to die. One morning while she was caring for him, Mancini says he asked her to hand him his bottle of morphine.

Barbara Mancini: He asked me to hand him the bottle and I did. I had the dosing syringe in my hand. He took the cap off and he drank what was remaining in the bottle. . . .

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“The Cost of Cancer Drugs”

Recently, 60 Minutes ran a story about the inflated prices of new cancer drugs.

Here is how the segment began (from 60 Minutes website):

Cancer is so pervasive that it touches virtually every family in this country. More than one out of three Americans will be diagnosed with some form of it in their lifetime. And as anyone who’s been through it knows, the shock and anxiety of the diagnosis is followed by a second jolt: the high price of cancer drugs.

They are so astronomical that a growing number of patients can’t afford their co-pay, the percentage of their drug bill they have to pay out-of-pocket. This has led to a revolt against the drug companies led by some of the most prominent cancer doctors in the country

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60 Minutes on Tax Fraud

Recently, 60 Minutes ran a story about prevalent IRS identity scam.

Here is a how the story began:

There have been lots of stories over the past few months on identity theft and how the information can be used against you. You may have heard something about stolen identity tax fraud. You may even have been a victim of it. It’s the biggest tax scam around now.

This is how it works. Someone steals your identity, files a bogus tax return in your name before you do and collects a refund check from the IRS. It’s so simple, you would think it would never work, but it does. It’s been around since 2008, and you’d think the IRS would have come up with a way to stop it, it hasn’t. Instead the scam has gone viral, tripling in the past three years.

The IRS estimates that it sent out nearly three million fraudulent refunds to con artists last year. And according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office out tomorrow, it cost tax payers $5.2 billion. The Treasury Department believes the numbers are much higher than that. Proving once again, what every con man already knows: there is no underestimating the general dysfunction and incompetence of government bureaucracy.

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60 Minutes on ISIS

This Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted two segments to ISIS.  The first chronicled ISIS from the ground in Iraq.  Here how that segment began:

Today, America’s top military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said the U.S. and its allies will attack ISIS from many directions. “We want them to wake up every day realizing they’re being squeezed,” he said. American pilots have hit the Islamic extremist group in Iraq nearly 200 times now, and soon the U.S. will be bombing ISIS in Syria.

America was drawn back into war when ISIS began to overrun part of northern Iraq called Kurdistan. Kurdistan is semi-autonomous with its own military called the Peshmerga. With American air support, the Peshmerga are holding a tense front line against ISIS.

Earlier this month, we started our reporting on that front line to explain ISIS; what it is, where it came from and how it blitzed through two countries. In June, the leader of ISIS declared himself ruler of a new nation, which he calls The Islamic State.

The second segment discussed the “repercussions” of ISIS with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and King Abdullah II of Jordan.  Here is how that segment began:

President Obama’s plan hinges on arming and training moderate Syrian militias to defeat ISIS. The president has been criticized for not doing that sooner. You’re about to hear from two men who saw the threat early, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Jordan is a moderate, American ally, nearly surrounded by war, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its west, Syria to its north and Iraq to the east.

Today we spoke to King Abdullah in New York before this month’s U.N. General Assembly meeting. For hundreds of years, his family ruled the holiest shrines in Islam. And the king was nearly at a loss for words today when we asked him about the head of ISIS, who claims to lead all Muslims.

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Feel Good Friday: Hero Coach Halt School Shooting

Several weeks ago, CBS’s 60 Minutes told the amazing story of Frank Hall, an assistant football coach at Chardon High School.  When a a shooter entered the high school and started spraying gunfire into a crowd of students, Hall confronted the shooter and chased him out of the building. 

Here is how the story began: 

Two years ago this week three students were killed and three were wounded in a high school shooting you probably don’t remember because there are so many. An assistant football coach named Frank Hall helped stop that shooting. But when we sat down with him recently, Hall told us he wished there was no reason to know his name or, God forbid, think of him as a hero. He’s the type you’d call a “regular guy.”

On February 27th, 2012, Hall was doing what he always did. With hugs and fist bumps, he kept order among a hundred kids gathering in the school cafeteria before class. Then, Hall was confronted by a question no one can truly answer. What would you do at the sound of gunfire? No time to think. There’s only the reflex of character. This is the story of a fraction of a second and the months of consequences that follow. . . .

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March 28, 2014 · 7:29 pm

Inside the Boston Bombing Investigation

Yesterday, linked to a This American Life story about an Orlando FBI shooting loosely linked to the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Today, we take you inside the investigation of the investigation of the Boston Bombing.

60 Minutes went “the inside story of the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt.” Here is how the story began:

The two explosions that tore through the Boston Marathon nearly a year ago were like a starting gun on a second race against time. Unknown terrorists were on the loose and they had more bombs. Now, for the first time, you’re going to hear the inside story from the federal investigators who ran the manhunt. They led a taskforce of more than 1,000 federal agents, state police and Boston cops.

Tonight, they will speak of the disturbing evidence that cracked the case and of a debate among the investigators that ultimately led to the dragnet’s violent end. The afternoon of April 15th, the FBI’s man in charge of Boston got a text, “two large explosions near the finish line.” For Special Agent Rick DesLauriers, the marathon became a sprint to catch the killers before they struck again. . . .



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March 25, 2014 · 5:55 pm

Saving Money by Providing Free Homes for Homeless?

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes ran an interesting story about municipalities that are providing free homes to the homeless in order to save money.  

Reported by Anderson Cooper here is how the story began: 

Giving apartments to homeless people who’ve been on the streets for years before they’ve received treatment for drug or alcohol problems or mental illness may not sound like a wise idea. But that’s what’s being done in cities across America in an approach that targets those who’ve been homeless the longest and are believed to be at greatest risk of dying, especially with all of this cold weather.

They’re people who once might have been viewed as unreachable.  But cities and counties affiliated with a movement known as the 100,000 Homes Campaign have so far managed to get 80,000 of them off the streets. Local governments and non-profit groups do most of the work. The money comes mostly from existing federal programs and private donations, and there’s evidence that this approach saves taxpayers money. 


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February 11, 2014 · 9:48 pm