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tv   ABC World News Sunday  ABC  October 31, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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od night, everyone. captioned by: closed captioning services, inc. i'm dan harris. tonight on "world news," terror plot. new revelations tonight about those bombs headed for chicago, investigators now think they know who made them. he's tried to hit us before. countdown. the furious battle for congress. less than 36 hours to go now. what our new poll shows as president obama and the republicans make their final appeals. end of an era. one of the last links to camelot has died. the man behind president kennedy's most them memorable speeches. remembering ted sorenson tonight. and, a halloween mystery solved. the true story of a real life zombie. good evening. as the campaign barrels into its final hours, new signs tonight that the republicans are heading for major gains. our latest abc news poll shows
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likely voters favor republicans over democrats for the house 49% to 45%. putting republicans in an even stronger position than they were in when they swept into power back in 1994. much more on the election coming up in a moment. but we're going to start tonight with that foiled terror plot. there were some important developments today. we learned that one of the bombs flew part of its journey aboard passenger planes, not just cargo planes. the one person arrested has been released without charge. and, we're learning more about just how sophisticated these bombs were, and how close they came to reaching their targets. so we're going to turn now to chief investigative correspondent brian ross. brian, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, dan. the investigation is moving at a rapid pace, and the more u.s. and british authorities learn about the plot and the bombs hidden in printers, the more they are worried. following the lead of the british, senior american officials said today they now believe ups and fedex cargo planes were the real targets of the plot. >> at this point, i think we would agree with the british
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that it looks like they were designed to be detonated in flight. >> reporter: at first, u.s. authorities thought the targets were two synagogues in chicago. but it turns out the shipments, the printer bombs packed with clothing and books, were sent to addresses that were eight years out of date. a detailed analysis of the printer shows a clever bomb that easily got by x-ray screening. for detonation, the bomb maker added a circuit board from a cell phone which would have made it possible to set off the device with a phone call or by the alarm function of the phone. >> one scenario could be, once a plane gets in cell phone range, they could blow it up and film it as they are blowing it up. >> reporter: u.s. officials believe this 28-year-old saudi is the al qaeda bomb maker responsible for the printer bomb. he is believed to have designed the bomb used by the failed underwear bomber last christmas, as well as another failed attack on the saudi intelligence chief a year ago.
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>> the individual who has been making these bombs is a very dangerous individual. clearly somebody who has a fair amount of training and experience and we need to find him. we need to bring him to justice as soon as we can. >> reporter: so far, the only arrest made in yemen was of a 22-year-old female engineering student whose name and phone number were on the shipping documents. but late today her lawyer told abc news the student had been released after questioning and was no longer considered a suspect, apparently a stolen identity situation, dan. >> something else i wanted to ask you about. not everybody thinks of the saudis as our key ally on the war on terror. i was struck today by a top white house adviser going on television and thanking the saudis for, quote, saving lives on this one. >> reporter: indeed. the saudis played a key role here, and the u.s. has gone out of its way to thank them. but they were able to provide the tracking numbers of the ups and fed ax packages which allowed the u.s. to give the word to the british and to dubai about where the packages were and stop them before they came to the u.s. they had already passed one
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clearance and were about to go on when the u.s. stopped them. >> incredibly detailed intelligence. brian ross, thank you. officials admitted today that they don't know yet whether they found all the bombs that were sent out as part of this plot. our senior justice correspondent pierre thomas is covering that part of the investigation in washington tonight. >> very active investigation that's going on. we can't presume we have identified all the packages that are out there. >> reporter: the u.s. is trying to block every package that is in route from yemen. this weekend, the u.s. postal service announced that it has stopped all shipments from yemen. that announcement follows a similar decision by fedex and ups on friday. but law enforcement sources tell abc news the threat extends beyond stopping shipments. abc news has learned the u.s. government is reviewing packages from yemen as far back as two weeks ago. some may already be here. >> we need to make sure we get to the bottom of this. understand who is behind it.
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and what else we might be facing. >> reporter: much of the cargo coming into the u.s. from overseas is not screened. and tonight, u.s. officials are deeply concerned that al qaeda is trying to exploit the weakness. >> about 90% of the cargo is not screened. at least not screened in a fashion where you can determine what's inside the containers. >> this is a warning al qaeda is obsessed with aviation. >> reporter: the u.s. is sending a team of transportation security administration offic l officials to yemen to review their cargo screening procedures. but the concern is not just reserved to cargo. this week, americans can expect to see enhanced security at airports ranging from patdowns to more bomb sniffing dogs. the concern runs deep. the fact is, sources tell me, the chance for an attack on u.s. soil may be as high as its been since 9/11, dan. >> unsettling to hear that, pierre, especially when you hear about the huge cargo loophole. pierre thomas, thank you. in chicago tonight, members of the jewish community held their sabbath services as
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scheduled this weekend despite the terror plot. congregants and clergy say they are surprised to hear their synagogues may have been singled out by terrorists thousands of miles away. >> i didn't imagine that a congregation as small as ours would -- might possibly emerge as a target for this. >> the rabbi said nobody seems unduly frightened, and he says he's thankful that everybody is safe. chicago is, of course, president obama's hometown, and he was there this weekend as part of a campaign swing leading up to tuesday. his mission? buck up endangered democrats as best as he can. our new poll numbers suggest the president's party is in for some major losses. we're going to kick off our campaign coverage tonight with david kerley. >> hello, philly! >> reporter: the mad dash for votes -- >> hello, bridgeport! >> reporter: four states in two days. >> hello, cleveland! >> reporter: came to cleveland. >> i need you to keep on fighting. i need you to keep on believing.
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i need you to knock on some doors. >> reporter: unable to move the unemployment numbers, mr. obama has been working to move democrats to vote. last night, 30,000 supporters providing a chicago homecoming at the same park where mr. obama spoke after winning two years ago. a passion he's trying to reignite. >> if everybody who fought for change in 2008 shows up in 2010, we will win this election. >> reporter: while the president may have narrowed the 13-point gap to just four points in our latest poll, democrats are still behind. and in a chicago diner this morning, mr. obama acknowledged the challenge. >> we've seen a lot of enthusiasm, but it's going to be tight. it's true here, true in ohio, true in every state where we're competing. >> reporter: but experts believe not only will republicans gain the 39 seats needed to take control of the house, they may end up winning 50, 60, or even more. the message will be clear, say the republicans.
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>> they're going to say, you blew it, president obama. we gave you the two years to fulfill your promise of making sure that our company starts roaring back to life again and instead, i believe things are getting worse. >> reporter: palin and the big backers of the tea party movement expect to have a pig say in the new congress. >> the republican party, bless their heart, finally learned in this last year to listen to america, and that's why the republican party is going to win. >> reporter: there are problems for republicans. abc news has learned senate party leaders are abandoning essentially giving up on their nominee in alaska, joe miller, believing the incumbent write-in candidate, lisa murkowski, is now the best hope for holding that seat. the president is back in washington, he's done campaigning. he will wait until tuesday to find out what kind of congress he'll be dealing with for the next two years. and dan, every democratic operative i spoke to says the house is lost. the only debate they're having now is by how many seats. dan? >> david kerley, thank you. let eastern now to our senior
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washington editor rick klein, who is in new york tonight. nice to have you here. let's go back to this poll. our numbers show that likely voters favor republicans for the house 49% to 45%. that's a major tightening since early september. when republicans led by 13 points. but you would argue that democrats are still in serious trouble on the house side. >> reporter: that's right. if you look just two years ago, president obama was the candidate of change. he embodied change. but in our latest poll, we're seeing a total reversal. people who say they're looking for new ideas or new direction, by a 21-point margin, 57% say they prefer to have republicans rather than democrats. it's as if people have given up on democrats entirely. >> as you say, a total reversal. let's talk about the senate. as we sit here, 36 hours before the voting starts. what are the key races to watch? >> reporter: the tone is going to get set in the east. in pennsylvania, one of the first states to have polls close, joe sestak has bounced back from being almost out of it entirely in his race against pat toomey. also, west virginia, joe
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manchin, the popular democratic governor there is making a strong case for senate. if either of those races goes democratic, republicans will have to run the table. and that brings us to the democratic fire wall, what they hope will be the fire wall, out west in california and in washington state. in washington, patty murray, the incumbent senator there is neck and neck against dino rossi. just too close to predict. and in california, barbara boxer seems to have pulled ahead a little bit against carly fiorina. if she pulls that off, democrats are likely to hold the senate. and the marquee matchup of the night is in nevada. that is going to be tea party triumph or tragedy. they would love to take down harry reid, sharron angle, the tea party candidate, out there, a lot of complicating factors in this race. if they miss this opportunity, there will be a lot of soul searching about why they weren't able to beat their number one target. >> fascinating year, and that's a particularly fascinating race. thank you very much for coming on, rick klein. appreciate it. one more political note. i should say, we do have a reminder that diane sawyer and george stephanopoulos will have full coverage of the election results beginning at 9:30 eastern tuesday night, right
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here on abc. and now to that political note i was just starting to tell you about, on that rally in washington this weekend, led by the comedians jon stewart and stephen colbert, the one to call for civility in politics. it is now estimated that more than 200,000 people attended. twice the number that gathered back in august to hear from the man that jon stewart often skewers, the fox news host glenn beck. one of the last surviving members of president kennedy's inner circle passed away today. ted sorenson. sorenson was a close friend, adviser and confidant of john kennedy's. but it was his role in crafting those memorable kennedy speeches that is perhaps sorenson's most enduring legacy. sorenson started working for then-senator kennedy in 1953. he was fresh out of law school, just 24. and he followed the young president to the white house. his contribution to kennedy's book "profiles in courage" has long been hotly debated. sorenson signed an affidavit insisting he did not ghost write
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"profiles," which won a pulitzer prize. and as for kennedy's most famous turn of phrase -- >> ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. >> reporter: in his 2008 memoir, sorenson wrote, the truth is that i simply don't remember where that line came from. sorenson also worked for robert kennedy, in whom he saw echoes of barack obama. >> barack obama, like robert kennedy, is an inspiring speaker, eloquent speaker. people who say, oh, that's just words, just rhetoric. just words, just rhetoric is what made this country great. >> and ted sorenson was 82 years old. coming up here on "world news" this sunday, could president obama's legacy be a flood of black candidates running against his policies? an extraordinary behind the scenes look at one of this election season's busiest campaigners.
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he's a former front-runner for the republican nomination, a multi-multimillionaire. so, why is he flying coach? and on this halloween night, meet a real zombie, declared dead in a hospital then buried, but the story did not end there. hi, andy griffith here. that new healthcare law sure sounds good for all of us on medicare. starting next year, we'll get free check-ups, cancer screenings, lower prescription costs. and better ways to protect us and medicare from fraud, so it will stay strong for our kids and grandkids. now, that's music to my ears. ♪ now, that's music to my ears. [meow] desperate for nighttime heartburn relief?
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there is now a huge wave of black candidates running against barack obama. many of these candidates have the full support of the largely white republican party and the tea party. ron claiborne is on the story. ♪ >> reporter: charleston, south carolina, where the civil war began, where tradition, conservative tradition, is woven deep in the politics. >> i think it's a new day. >> reporter: and it's where tim scott, an african-american, is running for congress as a republican. and proud conservative with the backing of sarah palin. do you consider yourself a tea party member? >> absolutely. i think if you believe in conservative government, if you believe in free markets or capitalism, if you believe in not spending money you don't have, you're a tea party member, as well. >> reporter: polls show scott far ahead in a district where white voters outnumber blacks three to one. who are you voting for? >> tim scott. >> tim scott. >> he's proven himself. i don't think race really factors as much as many people believe in the south anymore. >> reporter: if scott is elected
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from his charleston district he would be the first african-american republican elected to the house of representatives from the deep south since 1901. this year, 42 african-americans ran for the republican nomination for house seats. 14 of them won. and like republicans everywhere this year, they are harsh critics of president obama. >> i'll go anywhere you wish to debate your failed big government policies. >> reporter: 33-year-old ryan frazier is in a tight race in colorado's seventh district. >> you have to engage. and that's what the republican party is going to have to do more of. i feel that in many cases, democrats take minorities for granted and that republicans have not done enough. >> reporter: democrats scoff at the notion that 14 black candidates out of 435 house seats is a trend. republicans say this time they really are opening the door to new faces. ron claiborne, abc news, denver. and one note from overseas tonight, in baghdad, iraqi police stormed a catholic church
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where gunmen were holding nearly 100 people hostage. dozens of the worshippers were killed. the attackers, who may be linked to al qaeda, hit the iraqi stock exchange, which is right across the street, but they were repelled and then took cover in the church. which is one of baghdad's biggest and most important. coming up, a rare behind the scenes look at one of the season's busiest campaigners. why is this multimillionaire former presidential front-runner flying everywhere in coach? sufferers, like carl, d frn to put prilosec otc's 24 hour heartburn protection to the test for two weeks. the results? i can concentrate on everything i'm doing, not even think about it anymore. since i've been taking it, i've been heartburn free, which is a big relief for me. [ male announcer ] take your 14-day challenge. ♪ prilosec otc. heartburn gone. power on.
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one politician you haven't seen much of this election season is the 2008 republican presidential second place finisher, mitt romney. but he's not been sitting this one out. in fact, he's been flying all over the country, staying up in the air, but intentionally under the radar. john berman got some pretty amazing behind the scenes access. >> reporter: this is not a presidential election year, but mitt romney is running. well, at least hurrying to catch an airplane. two years ago, he was the runner up for the republican
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nomination. there was a campaign plane and a whole lot of aides and now you're walking through airports dragging your bag. it's different, right? >> this is the way normal life is. >> reporter: this year, he's campaigning in 25 states in two months. flying coach, by the way, despite his several hundred million dollar fortune. too cheap to pay for business class? >> yeah, unless you're going the long distance, or if there's a real reason for it. like if i have ann with me. >> reporter: his wife ann wasn't with him. just me. there is a reason why you're cramming yourself into the coach seat here? >> well, there are a lot of races that are very, very close. >> reporter: on this day, it was lunch with senate candidate ken buck in colorado. and dinner with susanna martinez for governor in new mexico. not to mention mcdonald's. even the air train. >> i hope you will vote for my friend meg whitman when you're out there. think about it. >> reporter: is this the first time you've done campaigning on the air train?
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>> it could be. >> reporter: a visit from romney helps raise money and generating generating press coverage. but there is no doubt more to this. what do you get out of this? >> a lot of good friends. >> reporter: that might do what later on? >> i don't expect that people who are receiving support today are thinking about what's going to happen down the road. >> reporter: are you running for president again? >> i haven't made that decision and that decision will be made after november but when after november, i can't predict. decisions come when they come. >> reporter: in other words, stay tuned. this coach passenger -- >> vote for susanna martinez. have's a pretty good person. see you, guys. >> reporter: might be looking for an upgrade. john berman, abc news, albuquerque, new mexico. >> a man who may want to go from coach to air force one. coming up next, secrets of the living dead. how did this man become a real life zombie? [ susan ] i hate that the reason we're always stopping is because i have to go to the bathroom. and when we're sitting in traffic,
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i worry i'll have an accident. be right back. so today i'm finally going to talk to my doctor about overactive bladder. [ female announcer ] if you're suffering, today is the day to talk to your doctor and ask about prescription toviaz. one toviaz pill a day significantly reduces sudden urges and accidents all day and all night. and toviaz comes with a simple, 12-week plan with tips on training your bladder. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma or cannot empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. toviaz can cause blurred vision and drowsiness, so use caution when driving or doing unsafe tasks. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. [ susan ] today, i'm visiting my son without visiting every single bathroom. [ female announcer ] why wait? ask about toviaz today.
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(man) tonight, it's a haunted makeover... aah! as the "extreme" team builds a house of horrors and gives this school for the deaf... (thunder rumbles) new life! (cheering) ...all new, tonight at 8:00/7:00 central on... it's halloween, so, naturally, we decided to do a story about zombies. ghosts and goblins may be imaginary, but zombies, it turns out, can be very real. here's jeremy hubbard. >> reporter: it seems like an appropriate question to ask on halloween. are zombies, the living dead from those hollywood horror
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flicks, possible in real life? >> by haitian beliefs a zombie absolutely exists. >> reporter: anthropologist wade davis, a national geographic explorer in residence, spent years studying voodoo culture and the story of this man, seen here in the documentary "zombies, when the dead walk." in 1962, he went to an american-run hospital in haiti with a fever. but it got worse and he was declared dead, even buried. so, imagine his sister's surprise when 18 years later, she spotted him, walking through the town marketplace. he said he had been given a portion by a voodoo priest all those years earlier, then dug up, beaten, and enslaved on a sugar plantation for years. but what kind of potion could fake death? >> so when i went down to haiti, i was looking for a drug that could make someone appear to be dead so profoundly that it could fool a physician. >> reporter: davis discovered voodoo poe shun potions
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containing a toxin from the puffer fish. a toxin that can slow your heart, make your muscles limp, make you appear deceased. >> by full custom in japan, if you succumb to the fish, you are laid out by your grave for several days to make sure you're really dead. >> reporter: this ugly fish, the cause of zombieism? okay, so, maybe it doesn't quite match the story behind those gory flesh eaters of your favorite halloween filfilms. but perhaps maybe there is now finally a scientific explanation for the living dead. jeremy hubbard, abc news, new york. >> so, now you know. look out for puffer fish. that's going to do it for our broadcast tonight. diane sawyer will be right back here tomorrow night. i'm dan harris. for all of us here at abc news, thank you for watching and happy halloween.
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>> halloween night." it's a night for families, but for some it's an opportunity to commit crimes. good evening, everyone. state parole officers will be out to make sure sex offenders aren't taking advantage of young out to make sure sex offenders . >> paul role agents are gearing up for a busy night. late this afternoon about two dozen agents gathered and received instructions for this halloween. they plan to go to the holmes of convicted sex offenders. they want to make sure sex offenders are in compliance with their parole. which means convicted sex offenders cannot leave their holmes. their