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tv   America This Morning  ABC  July 22, 2010 3:00am-3:30am PST

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making news on this thursday, july 22nd. >> about-face. the government employee fired for comments posted online gets an apology from the white house. but will she take her job back? storm threat in the gulf. a new system could sideline cleanup crews and delay the race to kill the well. and beachgoers beware. how did 1 jellyfish injure more than 100 swimmers? and good morning, everyone. the white house has made a quick reversal and apologized to the usda official who was forced to resign. shirley sherrod has been offered another job at the agriculture department. >> the case had threatened to
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drag the administration through another embarrassing controversy over race. emily schmidt is joining us this morning from washington, with details on this really fast-moving story. emily? >> reporter: it's all happened within the course of just the past couple of days. good morning, vinita and rob. for a short time, it seemed like shirley sherrod's words had come back to haunt her. but instead, it's deemed the administration's making the apologies now. in 24 hours, shirley sherrod went from a forced usda resignation to a forced apology. >> i ask for shirley's forgiveness. and she was gracious enough to extend it to me. >> ms. sherrod is owed an apology. i would do so on behalf of this administration. >> reporter: the about-face was about as quickly as the media firestorm that caused it. as conservative blogs and cable tv ran a video about usda agent
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shirley sherrod was talking about a farmer who needed her help. >> to help a white person. so, i didn't give him the full force of what i could do. >> reporter: based on the speech clip, vilsack's office asked for sherrod to resign. the secretary says, without pressure from the white house. but it turns out sherrod's speech continued with how she helped the farmer and still has his support today, more than 20 years later. >> i've come a long way. this shouldn't have happened. it took too long. but it makes me feel better that the apology is coming. >> reporter: after vilsack spoke to sherrod by phone, he visited the congressional black caucus, where members said shirley sherrod needs a place back in government. and shirley sherrod has a new job office from the usda. she says she needs some time to talk it over with her family before she decides if she will take it. vinita and rob back to you.
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>> emily schmidt, thank you. what will she decide?n she nd o talks to george stephanopoulos on "good morning america." state employment offices are gearing up ahead of an expected vote in congress today. house members are expected to follow the senate to extend benefits to the long-term unemployed. officials in some states say retroactive payments could go out as soon as next week. in other state, though, the jobless may have to wait a few weeks. president obama has signed into law the weeping overhaul of the financial industry. now, he must decide who will head up the powerful new bureau of consumer protection. elizabeth warren, a harvard law professor, is considered a leading candidate for that job. a tropical storm gathering 1,000 miles from the gulf oil leak is bringing work at the site to a standstill. some ships could start heading to safe harbor today. and it could be two weeks before they are back in business. the latest satellite image shows a nor organized system that could drench the keys tomorrow
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before heading into the gulf. john hendren has the latest from venice, louisiana. >> reporter: good morning, rob and vinita. with that oil spill seeming closer than ever to end for good, today, there is the prospect of more delays? and worse. more crude in the gulf of mexico. a gathering storm threatens to set back the clock on the oil cleanup. at sea, these ships could evacuate their post, when relief well work is stopped just days before connecting with the oil. and the cap that stopped oil from spewing into the gulf of mexico. if the storm reaches the gulf, monitoring that leaky cap would stop. >> if we had to leave the well unattended, we would have a gap of three or four days when we wouldn't have surveillance unseen. >> reporter: that has officials thinking about uncapping the well, instead of going through a catastrophic event. >> it would probably be safer to release some of the pressure, by releasing some of the oil to protect that cap. >> reporter: that could fuel a
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growing frustration. surgeon general, native, said she saw the signs of substance abuse that followed hurricane katrina. >> this is more emotional because we don't know when it's going to end or how long it's going to be. what the long-term effects are. >> reporter: vanessa robbins says her family of fishermen feels the stress. >> they don't have the money. >> reporter: if gulf residents, their lives frozen by the spill, the prospect of a storm of sea and oil, is one in a series of unwelcome delays. bp ceo tony hayward could be going back to capitol hill. there's reports he's been invited to testify about claims that bp pressured scotland to release the lockerbie bomber, in order to gain access to libyan oil. the company admits it encouraged a prisoner exchange years ago. but denies it had anything to do with last year's release. secretary of state hillary clinton is marking the 15th anniversary of normalized
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relations with vietnam, during a visit to hanoi. she is pressing vietnam on human rights. and pressing to help with the lingering effects of agent orange used in the war. she will also meet with other southeast asian officials about the threat of north korea. britain's prime minister david cameron took a bite out of the big apple during his first trip to the u.s. he grabbed a quick hot dog lunch with new york city mayor michael bloomberg. tens of thousands of people remain without power this morning after wild weather ripped through new york city area. strong storms battered parts of new york, new jersey and connecticut with pounding rain, 60-mile-per-hour winds, lightning, even some reported tornadoes. today will be a much calmer day in the northeast. severe storms in the middle of ith 80-mile-per-hour winds, golf ball-sized hail and flash flooding. strong thunderstorms in kentucky and tennessee.
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heavy rain and flooding from eastern colorado to arizona. >> and phoenix will be a bit cooler than normal at 101. it's 90 in sacramento. and 70 in seattle. kansas city climbs to 94. and detroit, 84. a high of 91 here in new york. 89 in boston. and 93 in atlanta. still ahead, paying the price. how much the sex scandal has cost tiger woods in those lucrative endorsements. and it's been a summer of stingrays and sharks. now, the biggest species of jellyfish comes ashore. and the daring rescue, just seconds before a car bursts into flames. [ school bell rings ]
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and time for a check of market activity, starting overseas. tokyo's nikkei average fell 0.6% today. hong kong's hang seng is higher. in london, the ftse opens slightly lower. on wall street, the dow fell 109 points yesterday. meanwhile, the nasdaq slipped 35 points. and stocks were higher yesterday, before federal reserve chairman ben bernanke spoke at a congressihearing. hearing. he warned lawmakers that the country's economic outlook is, quote, unusually uncertain. he said the fed is ready to take action if things get worse. but that nothing is imminent. he also said it would take a significant amount of time to restore the jobs lost during the recession. big oil is teaming up to come up with a rapid response system for future oil spills.
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exxon mobil, chevron, conoco phillips and shell have donated $1 million to form a company to respond to spills underwater. bp was informed about the venture but has not joined. ford is trying to make the decision to go green a little easier. the automaker plans to sell the hybrid version of the 2011 lincoln mkz for the same price as the gas model. it is the first time any automaker has done that. and it could force others to follow suit. tiger woods has not won a tournament since returning to the golf course. but he is still raking in the big bucks. tiger ranked number one on "sports illustrated's" list of top-earning athletes for the second-straight year. he earned about 90 million bucks in the last year. but, of course, his extramarital affairs cost him $22 million in endorsements. >> tiger woods was a big story on our abc news website. and now, we have a new ipad app,
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that we want to tell people about. this is it, right here. like i said, it is brand-new. and a cool way to search for news stories. >> the concept here is that it forms this globe. you can scroll through and flip through. each time you do that, it come up to a different story. you click on it. and you can check out video on the website, as well. >> it's a wonderful new website. the most important thing we should mention about this app is it is free. you can download it on itunes. and like we said, you can go with the cool, spinning globe, that function that rob was showing you right there. or take the time to go to the more traditional website and see it the way you're used to. >> by clicking that button, you'll get to the traditional site. and it will show you the full thing in normal layout. >> we're proud of it here at abc. when we come back at this thursday, the ruling is in at whether or not cheerleading is officially a college sport. plus, an elephant turns on the trainer that it's known since birth. we'll be right back. erericicicic
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it is time, now, for a look at the morning road conditions. messy in the midwest, with flooding on i-35, from minneapolis to kansas city. also on i-80, from omaha to des moines and chicago. and i-70, from indianapolis to st. louis. wet roads in tennessee and kentucky. >> and if you're flying today, expect airport delays in phoenix, denver, minneapolis, chicago and miami. in a surprising turn, rod blagojevich's attorneys have rested their case without calling a single witness. and that includes the famously vocal blagojevich himself, who said repeatedly he would take
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the stand. so, what is behind the silence? here's barbara pinto. >> reporter: for more than a year now, the embattled ex-governor, promised to tell his story in court. >> i will fight. i will fight. i will fight. until i take my last breath. >> reporter: to anyone who would listen. >> innocent of all charges. >> reporter: but rod blagojevich told the judge it was his idea not to testify. >> the government, in their case, proved my innocence. they proved i did nothing illegal. and that there was nothing further for us to add. >> reporter: the usually outspoken ex-governor's silence on the stand, spares him from a blistering cross-examination by federal prosecutors. >> i think the government another outfoxed in this case. i think they were counting on blagojevich testifying. they believed the hype. >> reporter: jurors have heard plenty. hours of wiretapped conversations, where prosecutors say a foul-mouthed blagojevich tried to sell barack obama's senate seat. >> i mean, i've got this thing. and it's [ bleep ] golden.
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and i'm just not giving up for [ bleep ] nothing. >> reporter: the defense argues that was all bravado. no money ever changed hands. but that might not matter. >> the crime was committed if he attempted to do it. the crime was committed if he threatened to do it. >> reporter: blagojevich had parting words for reporters. >> i learned a loft lessons from this whole experience. and perhaps, maybe, the biggest lesson i've learned is that i talk too much. >> reporter: starting next week, jurors will decide if the former governor's words could cost him ten years in prison. barbara pinto, abc news, chicago. a federal judge has ruled that competitive cheerleading in not an official college sport, under the title nine gender equity law. quinnipiac university women's volleyball team brought the suit after the team was eliminated and replaced with a cheerleading squad. the judge said one day cheerleading may qualify. but right now, it's too underdeveloped and disorganized.
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over 100 beachgoers in new hampshire are recovering after being stung by a giant jellyfish. officials say while the animal was already dead, its stingers remained active for several days. nine children were among those treated at local hospitals after getting a painful sting. the sea creature was identified as a lion's mane jellyfish. it has been known to grow to a size of seven feet across. and the toledo, ohio, zoo has released this video of an elephant attacking his keeper. the tape shows the animal pinning the keeper in a corner, after being startled by his arrival in the enclosure. the man is now in serious condition, some three weeks after that attack. zoo officials say the elephant may have been play-fighting, as they often do in the wild. a minnesota man is being called a hero after coming to the rescue of a trapped driver. and it was all caught on dash cam video. the driver was stuck behind the wheel when his van crashed into
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a tree. with that man smoking, mark kristofferson pulled the man to safety, just seconds before the van burst into flames. kristofferson says he believes anyone else would have done the same thing. a group of leading experts say pregnant women can drink a cup of coffee or a soft drink and not worry about a miscarriage or premature birth. the latest recommendation comes from the american office of obstetricians and gynecologists. it tries to clear up information on caffeine. moderate consumption betweens eight ounces of coffee or four eight-ount cups of tea. and now for your sports news, sara walsh at espn news. >> good morning, stephen sprasburg, trying to keep a april yant season going. pete rose in cincinnati, to take in the action. bottom of the second, no score. johnny gomez strikes out swinging. strasburg cruising early on. bottom of the fourth, strasburg
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in a jam. two on, one out. stubs hits a fly ball to outfield. bernadina makes the catch. jay bruce tagging on the play. pudge gets him before he gets to the plate. strasburg loves the help from the defense. his team wins, 8-5. yankees hosting the angels on wednesday. bottom of the seventh. runners on the corners. one out. brett gardner wasn't like the called strike on the inside corner. he complains to the home plate umpire, who doesn't like him complaining. he gets tossed. off the bench, tom curtis comes in to take over gardner's at-bat. he launches a three-run home run to right. his first major league home run. he would get a curtain call. yankees win it, 10-6. padres and braves. top of the ninth. billy wagner to close it out. padres down one. torrealba doubles to right field. hayward makes the strong throw to right. but jerry hairston jr., going to beat the relay there.
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game tied at 4-4. wagner's fourth blown save. top of the 12th. game still tied. hunley lines a double to left. two runs score. san diego wins it, 6-4. have a great day. back to you guys in the studio. coming up next, the stories we'll be following today. including, bracing for bonnie. oil cleanup
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now, a look ahead to the stories we'll be watching on this thursday. shirley sherrod, the fired usda official, considers her next move after being offered an apology and another job at the
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agriculture department. her reaction, coming up later on "good morning america." also, ships working at the gulf oil spill site could begin moving to safe harbor today, as a tropical storm develops in the caribbean. work on a relief well has already stopped. the storm could arrive in the gulf over the weekend. vice president joe biden heads back to the gulf today. this time, to theodore, alabama. he will visit the cleanup staging facility. and then, meet with fishermen and business owners. secretary of state hillary clinton is in hanoi for two days of meetings with southeast asian officials. the trip also marks the 15th anniversary of normalized relations between vietnam and the u.s. and colton harris moore goes before a federal judge in washington state this afternoon. the teen known as the barefoot bandit arrived in his home state yesterday. that's where his alleged cross country crime spree began, before he was captured in the bahamas last week. for some of you, your local news is coming up next. >> for everyone else, "america
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finally, the young face and mind behind the fast-growing website bringing friends across the globe together. >> facebook just crossed a major
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milestone, boasting 500 million users worldwide. our own diane sawyer sat down with founder, mark zuckerberg, to get a look at what life is like for him and his employees. >> reporter: inside a simple building, in a suburban neighborhood, a maze of desks in a modest, open office. people who work here can come in at their own schedule. they can eat all their meals here. play an occasional guitar hero. all because the 26-year-old founder, wants to distractions from creativity. we know that at one point you lived in a room. had a mattress and little else. >> yeah. >> reporter: how about now? >> it's pretty simple. it's a pretty small house. but the most important thing to me is to be within walking distance of the office. >> reporter: and your girlfriend's in medical school? >> yeah. these a third year in medical school. >> reporter: so, this whole idea of lonely guy starting facebook because he didn't have a girlfriend. got broken up with. that's part of the creation
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myth. >> i think people have a lot of fiction. when i dropped out of college to start working on facebook full time out here, i later talked to my mom about it. and she told me that she knew i was going to drop out of college. >> reporter: that college was harvard. and as we said, there were bruising arguments with students there who said they, too, were once part of the social networking design. one of those closest to zuckerberg, once his roommate, reportedly, behind a big, new movie. >> you stole our website. >> they're saying we stole the facebook -- >> reporter: have you seen the trailer for the movie, "the social network"? >> someone showed me part of it. >> reporter: are you going to see the movie? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: would you like someone else to play you? >> i don't know. i never met him. he seems like a nice guy. >> reporter: yeah. >> actually, his cousin works here. >> reporter: what? >> yeah. his cousin is a designer here. we have meetings all the time. we're working on designing a product together. >> reporter: huh. >> yeah. it's a small w


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