Friday, November 21, 2008

60 Minutes E-mail Alert


It still seems almost a miracle that no terrorist or renegade country has gotten a hold of a nuclear device. In our lead story Sunday, you will see how frighteningly possible that scenario continues to be when Scott Pelley investigates the boldest attack ever on a nuclear facility containing bomb-grade uranium. In his first television interview, a worker at South Africa’s Pelindaba nuclear facility tells Pelley how he fought four armed men – taking a bullet in the process –  who broke into the plant’s emergency control center. The government of South Africa is not convinced that the attackers (there were actually two different groups of them) were after the highly enriched uranium, or HEU, stored at Pelindaba. That’s "nonsense," says Matthew Bunn, an atomic security expert at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who has studied the case. “These people cut through a 10,000-volt security fence. They disabled sophisticated electronic intrusion detectors. These people knew what kind of site they were in.” Even a six-pack sized amount of HEU would be enough to make a small nuclear device of the type al Qaeda has been trying to obtain for years.


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If marriage is meant to be “for better or worse,” the foreign-born widows Bob Simon speaks to in our second story are in the worse category times two. That’s because the Americans they married died in the middle of the immigration process, before the government determined whether their marriages were based on love and not a scheme to gain citizenship. The widows in this story now face deportation. Racquel Williams has a toddler and lives with her mother-in-law, Linda Williams, who tells Simon: "They filed the right papers…in a timely manner…and then my son died. This was not something that you can foresee."


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Then Lesley Stahl welcomes back an old friend, Rex Lewis-Clack, the boy born blind and mentally impaired whose life was transformed when his parents discovered he was a musical savant. Now 13, Rex is still astounding his doctors who said at his birth that he would never walk or talk. He’s even reading Braille now. As his incredible skills at the piano continue to mature and develop, Rex’s music is allowing him to feel and express the human emotions his disability often robs him of.   


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These stories, and the holidays are ruining the holidays for Andy Rooney, on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.




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