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Japan power plant meltdown

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The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley reported this story.

Pelley says the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant after last spring's tsunami was much worse than was first thought. Correspondent Lucy Craft details how close it came to burning into the earth.

She says reporters recently got their first look at the devastation left in the wake of the accident, and could see heavily reinforced buildings torn to shreds. The damage was even worse because Rector 1 almost had a full meltdown.

"A new report revealed that molten nuclear fuel burned through the 8-foot concrete walls of the first protective casing surrounding the reactor's core, and then ate 3/4 of the way through the second casing," according to the reporter.

If the reactors had burned through, it would have contaminated the ground water and the soil and no one knows how far it would have spread.

Craft interviewed Yukio Takayama, a veteran firefighter who was sent to Fukushima six days after the accident. "The TV was saying, there was no meltdown, no radiation leaks, nothing to worry about," Takayama said. "But when you saw the damage, you knew this was no ordinary accident."

The fuel at the power plant will have cooled enough by the end of the year to allow for a "cold shutdown" of the plant, according to the plant's operator. However, dismantling the reactor and cleaning up the plant could take 30 years.

The reporter uses sound-on-tape to report while the viewer sees images of the destruction and coiled, collapsed framework of the power plant. The broadcast uses simulation videos to show how the reactors work, aerial shots to show the location of the power plant, and scenes of her sit-down interview with the firefighter.

Rio de Janeiro slums face challenges

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Special forces in Rio de Janeiro moved quickly as they looked in windows and knocked on doors in Rocinha, the city's biggest shantytown, on Monday.

On Sunday, 3,000 troops seized control of the hilltop favela without firing a single shot. The special forces operation was part of the effort to eliminate drug gangs and secure Rio de Janeiro before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, reports CNN.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual for many of Rocinha's 100,000 residents. Motorcycle taxis zipped up and down the winding roads, while food stalls displayed strings of onions and garlic.

Although Rocinha's top drug trafficker, Antonio Francisco Bomfim, was captured by police last week, the hard work still lies ahead. Tangled masses of electrical wires dangle over houses and mountains of trash line the streets, according to CNN.

"Before this was called a favela because it was full of criminals," said Juliete, 18. "Now things have to be done to call it a neighborhood. We need running water, proper sewage and things for young people to do."

Beijing's air pollution

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Dust hanging over the sky and a heavy blanket of smog are a depressing sight for one reporter who looks out his window to downtown Bejing everyday.

Buildings are barely visible and the air is barely breathable, reported Jaime A. Florcruz in an article for CNN.

Florcruz has lived in Beijing for nearly 40 years and said he has seen the air's quality go from bad to worse in the city. He said he never imagined it to be as bad as it is now.

He reported that experts blame the air pollution on rapid urbanization and industrialization. Pollution is more acute because of Beijing's 17 million people population and the rapid speed of its economic growth, according to experts.

"I have an 11-year-old child," said Wu Changhua, China director of The Climate Group, a London-based international organization. "I really wish for better air quality, for the nation's authorities to do something not just for us but for future generations. That remains a concern for parents like me and many others."

Stocks hammered by fears of broader crisis in Italy

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Investors dumped their holdings of Italian government bonds, leads to a global stock market sell-off, after fears that Italy was headed into deeper crisis.

The cost of borrowing for Italy drove up 7 percent, a level that many economists see as unsustainable and a number that accelerated bailouts for Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, according to the New York Times.

"Wednesday's surge in Italian government bond yields has catapulted the euro zone crisis into a dangerous new phase," said John Higgens, a senior markets economist with Capital Economics, in a research note, reports the New York Times.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 389 points Wednesday, but the fear factor was not only contained to the U.S. stock market. The euro slumped more than 2 percent after European markets also sold off, reports CNN.

Italy's bond rates are triggering intense market anxiety, which investors say is a result of lack of investor confidence.

"This is a crisis of confidence, not of fundamentals," said Mark McCormick, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, to CNN. "Italy's debt level is sustainable, but it needs to implement policies that will support economic growth."

British singer, Bertyl Davis, dies at 87

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Bertyl Davis, a British singer famous for carrying on her cabaret performances during the bombing of London during World War II and performances with American bands, died in her Los Angeles home Friday at the age of 87.

The reason for death was complications from Alzheimer's disease, a family spokesman told the New York Times.

Davis began her career early as the daughter of the British bandleader Henry Davis. She performed with her father's band at the age of 8 and was already a national star by the time some of the American big bands passed through London on tours, according to the New York Times.

Davis made her first American appearance on Bob Hope's radio show in1947 and she later performed with Frank Sinatra and Benny Goodman. Davis was a regular performer on the cruise ship circuit starting in the 1970s, reports the Washington Post.

Davis is survived by three children and two grandchildren.

A 50-year-old U.S. man is to remain in custody following the orders of an Aruban judge Friday as investigators continue to gather evidence in the disappearance and presumed death of the man's travel companion.

The Associated Press reports Gary Giordano has been in jail on suspicion of involvement in the case since Aug. 5 when he told police that Robyn Gardener was swept out to sea while the two were snorkeling.

"Our client is innocent and there has been a lot of investigation already," said Chris Lejuez, Giordano's attorney, in an interview outside court. "There is no evidence, and his life is being destroyed."

Giordano denies being responsible for Gardener's disappearance, whose body has not been found, reports CNN.

CNN also reports that authorities are waiting on results from examinations of cell phones and a computer. In addition, the Associated Press reports that investigators need more time to process the results of a re-enactment of the couple's snorkeling trip off the southeastern tip of the island.

After the 30-day period, Solicitor General Taco Stein said prosecutors would be expected to bring charges against Giordano or release him, according to the Associated Press.

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