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60 Minutes: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and North Atlantic Great White sharks on the uptick

What you cannot see is how close the shoreline is, as this 11 foot shark is just 10 feet from the sandy edge. Pic credit: CBS
What you cannot see is how close the shoreline is, as this 11-foot shark is just 10 feet from the sandy edge. Pic credit: CBS

This Sunday marks the 52nd season of the CBS news hour 60 Minutes, which is considered to be the preeminent news show on American television.

In the episode, sharks and Saudis are investigated by the reporting team.  In all, three timely stories from domestic and foreign datelines kick-off as Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman leads the broadcast followed by Scott Pelley’s dive into the impeachment inquiry threatening President Donald Trump.

One segment is made for fans of Jaws and those fascinated by all things shark-related. In the clip below, we find ourselves in Truro, Cape Cod with Bill Whitaker, who is researching the resurgence of the great white shark, which is finding that the Cape is one of its favorite hunting grounds.

The Spielberg film Jaws (1975) depicted the fictional seaside vacation town of Amity but was actually filmed off Falmouth in the lower cape.

This Sunday we head out with Whitaker and Dr. Greg Skomal, chief shark scientist for the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries. Nearby to the camera crew were hundreds of lounging federally protected gray seals, the go-to delicacy of great whites.

“This is the restaurant here. These sharks have found the restaurant, and they’re waiting for the doors to open,” quipped Skomal in the segment.

Whitaker checked out the coastal areas of New England and Nova Scotia, as the sightings are on the uptick and the fears are that these monstrously huge fish are swimming literally a few feet offshore. Many of the cape beaches have a sudden drop off when you venture out to wade, going from ankle deep to waist deep in a few feet. Guess who could be waiting.

According to producers, “Just 20 years ago, great white shark sightings were so rare in the North Atlantic that they were declared vulnerable and given protected status by the U.S. government. Now they are seen so often – and so close to shore – that they are drawing a public outcry, particularly on Cape Cod.”

What is true is that shark attacks are rare, but deaths and maimings do happen. An example from last September, Arthur Medici was killed by a great white while swimming off a Cape Cod beach. His was the first death by shark on the cape since 1936.

The truth is, once humans enter the shoreline where sharks are hunting seal nearby, it’s not personal but you are stepping into an apex predator’s dinner plate zone.

The segment with O’Donnell heads to Saudi Arabia this week where she interviewed the crown prince in Jeddah.

This is his first appearance on American television discussing the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. It is also his first interview since his kingdom’s oil facilities were attacked by drones and bombed.

The third segment sees Scott Pelley in the nation’s capital covering the growing impeachment inquiry and gathering the facts and people to tell this story, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The Season 52 premiere of 60 MINUTES airs Sunday, (beginning Sept. 29) at 7:30-8:30 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT on CBS.


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