60 Minutes April 26 2009

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What is it like to be "the last guy in the room" with the most powerful man in the world? Vice President Joe Biden knows and tells correspondent Lesley Stahl in our lead story. The Veep gave her a chance to shadow him for three days. The result is the most thorough portrait of America’s number-two official since he took office. The profile also features his wife, Dr. Jill Biden and his boss, President Barack Obama.

Watch an excerpt.

Next up correspondent Scott Pelley reports a huge problem staring the U.S. and the world in the face that little has been done to solve. America may have the most coal on Earth, so naturally, most of the electric power Americans consume is generated by burning its cheapest and most abundant fuel. But the byproduct – carbon dioxide – is doing the most to contribute to global warming. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers knows that, yet he’s building two more coal fired plants. Rogers says he has big plans to make his company carbon free – but it’ll take at least 40 years and cost billions to build and implement clean-coal technology. Even if the rest of the world’s coal-burning industries do the same, the planet would still be in peril says NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen. "2050 is too late. We will have guaranteed disasters for our children, grandchildren, and the unborn."

Watch an excerpt.

In our third story correspondent Bob Simon returns to the elephant orphanage in Kenya to report that there are still, unfortunately, no shortage of orphaned elephants. That’s because ivory tusks are now going for almost $1,000 each and more adult elephants are being slaughtered for them. Daphne Sheldrick and her helpers are doing everything they can to protect the baby elephants as well as prepare them for being sent back to the bush.

Watch an excerpt.

Those stories, and a "gifted" Andy Rooney

     

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