60 Minutes Recap 11/17/13: Landfillharmonic’s Recycled Instruments

60 Minutes’ high-touch story is about the kids’ orchestra from trash-picking community Cateura, Paraguay. Landfillharmonic has gotten invites to perform around the world. And: Some of Guantanamo Bay‘s 11-year prisoners cannot be tried because of weak evidence. And: Warren Buffett and the Gateses founded The Giving Pledge, a group of billionaires who promise to give away at least 1/2 of their fortunes.


Lesley Stahl reports on Guantanamo Bay, which President Barack Obama has vowed to close down. Congress has barred its prisoners from setting foot on US soil. For the 1st time, cameras film Echo Block Camp V, where prisoners who have attacked guards are held. The sign says, “Camp V Joint Detention Group: JTF Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom”. 60 Minutes was told to move  as quickly as possible. As soon as they arrived, prisoners banged on their metal cells in protest. 60 Minutes also shows us the control room, where every prisoner is monitored. Producer: Richard Bonin

World-Changing Charity

Charlie Rose talks with Bill & Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet, founders of The Giving Pledge, a group of billionaires who pledge at least half their fortunes to charity either in their lifetimes or in their wills, hoping to change the world. In all, the group has raised half a trillion dollars.

One of them is EBay Founder Jeff Skoll. His skoll global threats fund’s pandemics advocacy has led to the film Contagion, produced by his for-profit company Participant Media. It has stopped some legislators from cutting the CDC budget. Participant also produced An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for “Superman, a documentary I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Skoll Global’s other advocacies are Climate Change, Water Security, Nuclear Proliferation and the Middle East Conflict. The next issue of Forbes will be on philanthropy. Producer: Denise Schrier Cetta

Recycled Orchestra

In Cateura, the poorest section of Paraguay’s capital, Bob Simon reports that “garbage is the only crop”. Plastic sells for 10¢ a pound; cardboard, 5¢. They make saxophones and trumpets out of old drainpipes; keys out of old coins and bottle caps. Producer: Michael Gavshon


Lesley also does a follow-up on their asteroids story. Jet Propulsion Lab scientists have told Anderson Cooper that asteroids hit the earth once every 100 years. Nature last month said that the probability is 5x what scientists had initially thought.


What, no story on Haiyan?

That’s our recap of 60 Minutes today, 11/17/13. Tune in for next week’s recap on the capture of gangster Whitey Bulger, PTSD therapy and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell. Til then, please check out our 60 Minutes archive HERE.

Image Credit: 60 Minutes


  1. Lillian Buhl says

    What a wonderful story about the Recycled Orchestra. I understand the concern that the wonderful donations may take away from their appeal. I’d like to suggest that when they travel, that they take the recycled instruments with them and play a piece or two on them rather than doing the whole concert on the gifted instruments. Hopefully, that would maintain their appeal.