tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC January 20, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
first baby giant anteater in 10 years. >> i bet it eats a lot of ants. >> thanks for join tonight on "world news," mafia takedown. the biggest mob bust in fbi history. a huge dragnet, stunning charges and so many suspects, they were held in an army base. fresh hope. gabrielle giffords heads to rehab. she's standing and scrolling through an ipad. her husband has a bold prediction for when she'll walk on her own. together. kidnapped from a hospital at 19 days old, now back with her family after 23 years. how the victim cracked her own case. and, that brief, shining moment. 50 years after jfk's inauguration, remembering the words that echo through history.
good evening. the nicknames were straight out of a "sopranos" rerun. meat ball, junior, lollipops. but if you thought the mafia was just a throwback that makes for good movies, the fbi reminded us today the mafia is alive and well. just not as strong as it was last night. early this morning, in the biggest mob roundup ever, 800 agents fanned out over four states and italy. tonight, 127 suspects are behind bars. on charges ranging from money laundering to murder. pierre thomas is here in brooklyn where the attorney general announced the arrests. pierre? >> reporter: george, many of those arrested are high ranking mob bosses, taken down in a bust that stretches from here in new york all the way to italy. scores of suspected mobsters, la cosa nostra, made men, today,
arrested in raids across the new york region. so many, the suspects had to be taken to an army base for booking. >> the reality is, it is an ongoing threat. a major threat. >> reporter: the charges? racketeering, extortion, murder, involving corruption of every kind. from construction sites to union workers. today, they were the scenes that tony soprano feared. the feds came, just like in "good fellas." >> we have a search warrant here for the premise. >> would you read and sign it? >> reporter: among those arrested, anthony cavezza. also known as tony bagels. benjamin castellazo, known as the claw. and vincenzo frogerio, vinny car wash. >> time and again, they have shown a willingness to kill. to make money, to eliminate rivals and to silence witnesses. >> reporter: in case you thought the mob was extinct, authorities say, think again. joseph coffee is a former nypd investigator who specialized in locking up members of the mafia. all these years, they're still around. why is that? >> well, because money dollar dictates what goes on.
they're not as effective as they used to be, but they're still making money. >> reporter: still making money and costing us. police say the mob drives up prices in industries ranging from construction to catering. these mob cases, like so many others, built on wiretaps and with informants who turned on their associates. big ron privetti is a former mobster who helped put about 50 mafia members behind bars. >> you're always concerned about retribution. >> reporter: and big ron's take on whether today's arrest will truly wound or kill la cosa nostra in the u.s.? >> the italian mob is not dead now. it will never be dead because as long as there's people out there that gamble, go to prostitutes, borrow money, there is always going to be somebody to cater to them. you'll be dead and i'll be dead the italian mafia will still be here. >> reporter: so, george, i guess the short answer is, forget about it. >> i was wondering if you were going to go there. okay, thanks, pierre. and there was more good news from tucson today. it will be congresswoman gabrielle giffords' last night in the hospital there. she'll be moving to houston
tomorrow morning to begin rehab, and as ryan owens reports, her husband and doctors shared other encouraging signs of progress. >> reporter: for the first time in almost two weeks, gabby giffords saw sunlight today. doctors wheeled her outside to a hospital deck. her husband, mark kelly, says he believes she's trying to talk to him. mouthing words she can't yet speak because of the tube in her throat. >> i'm extremely hopeful that gabby is going to make a full recovery. she'll be walking, talking and in two months you'll see her walking through the front door of this building. >> she is beginning to stand with assistance. she's scrolling through an ipad. these are fantastic advancements forward. they do indicate higher cognitive function. i do want to caution everyone that she has a long road ahead of her. >> reporter: the next stop is this rehabilitation hospital in houston. tomorrow, giffords will be flown by air ambulance to texas, where she will meet her new team of doctors, led by colonel john
holcomb, one of the army's top trauma surgeons. his experience treating soldiers in iraq makes him uniquely qualified to help the congresswoman. >> what we need to do is make a good medical plan and the time to do that is after we get our chance to look at her and examine her and talk to her. >> reporter: houston is also home to the johnson space center, so, at some point, mark can go back to work as an astronaut. and still be there every night for his wife and two teenage daughters. >> i know one of the first things gabby's going to want to do, as soon as she's able to, is start writing thank you notes. and i've already reminded her of that. >> reporter: there is a lot of risk involved in moving a patient who, remember, is still in serious condition. but her doctors are confident that giffords can handle it. her trauma surgeon joked today, we'll be doing the heavy lifting. and george, we just found out that her husband and her mom will be along for the ride. >> that is great and we all hope that prediction comes true. okay, ryan, thanks very much. first lady michelle obama
got a powerful partner today in her fight against childhood obesity. she announced that walmart, which sells more groceries than any market in america, is going to change what's on its shelves. and when walmart makes a stand there's a good chance its competitors will fall in line. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: so many choices. but often, the healthier one isn't the affordable one. >> that is a problem. you want to buy salads and vegetables and fruit and that always costs more. >> reporter: but now walmart says it will lower the price of its fruits and vegetables. slash the sodium and sugar on its great value brand foods. and use its massive buying power to prod other food manufacturers to do the same. >> the largest corporation in america is launching a new initiative that has the potential to transform the marketplace. and to help american families put healthier food on their tables. >> reporter: 140 million americans pass through walmart's doors every day.
they sell more groceries than any store in the country. so, if walmart demands healthier products from suppliers, shoppers at other stores could benefit. >> walmart is the 800-pound gorilla in the grocery industry. whatever walmart wants, walmart gets. and it could have a huge ripple effect in grocery stores everywhere. >> reporter: still, some wonder if this is not only about trimming consumer's waistlines but about beefing up walmart's bottom line. they've been struggling, trying to open stores in big cities. today, they pledged to bring healthier foods to the urban masses. those 23 million americans who live in areas deemed food deserts, with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. walmart today promising to fill that void. >> these are the neighborhoods in urban and rural communities where too many americans don't eat well. >> reporter: and industry experts say walmart has the power here to do what even the best public health initiatives cannot. force sweeping changes fast. they've done it before.
when walmart recently asked manufacturers to reduce excessive packaging, to go green, they did, from everything from juice to laundry detergent and they did it, george, in a matter of months, not in a matter of years. >> see what happens next. thank you, sharyn. china's president hu jintao continued his u.s. visit today, reaching out to corporate leaders and panda lovers. a new deal will keep these two pandas at the national zoo in washington for five more years. just enough time to produce one more baby panda. meantime, hu told executives the u.s. and china will fully recover from the global economic crisis, only if we cooperate. and there are days it sure seems like america's playing catch-up. two months ago, diane sawyer's team traveled to china to see the breathtaking pace of change there and tonight, clarissa ward reports from beijing that china is still growing at top speed. >> reporter: china is hot on america's heels. look out, boeing. china is designing its first commercial airplane.
watch out, nasa. china's building its very own space station. >> i think we're going to see a china that's going to spread its wings more. a china that is not going to be contained. >> reporter: china launched into 2011 full throttle, brazenly testing its first stealth fighter jet just as secretary gates arrived in the country. this year, china is paving 16,000 miles of highway, boasting that in just five years, they'll have more highways than america. just a few months ago, when diane, david and i fanned out across the country, we had a chance to ride china's new bullet train, breaking records of 230 miles per hour. this year, the nation will start to lay an astonishing 19,000 miles of railway lines. and china is going to need all the tracks it can get. as it prepares to break a new record. in the next six weeks, 640 million people will travel home for the spring festival.
that's more than two times the entire population of the u.s. in the classroom, diane visited with chinese students. they average 41 more days a year of school than americans. what's the best thing about china? >> pressure. >> reporter: pressure? and what is the worst thing about china? >> pressure. >> reporter: these students now top the world in science, math and reading scores. still, the sobering realities loom large. 150 million people here still live on less than $2 a day. and human rights abuses abound. but china is not looking back. they're doubling down, determined to make 2011 their year. clarissa ward, abc news, beijing. nine years after the savage murder of daniel pearl, the
"wall street journal" reporter who was beheaded in pakistan, we're learning more about what happened, thanks to some determined college students. the pearl project has just released its findings about the killing and martha raddatz spoke with the interns who insisted on answers. >> reporter: danny pearl was a young, wickedly smart reporter, about to be a father, when he was kidnapped in 2002. his beheading put on the internet by his captors for the world to see. there have been many investigations since and a hollywood movie, but nothing compares to this. 32 journalism students at georgetown university spent three and a half years uncovering the truth. >> it took waking up in the middle of the night to make these phone calls to pakistan. we slept on the floor at the office, in the classroom and in our professor's office. >> i learned the true definition of a cold call. >> reporter: khalid shaikh mohammed, the master mind of the 9/11 attacks, had confessed to slitting danny pearl's throat, but only after he had been
waterboarded nearly 200 times, raising questions about whether he had told the truth. the students kept probing. the first break came at a secret meeting in a parking garage. a source gave them high quality video of the murder and that's when they saw the detail in the killer's hand. >> the process is called vein matching. it's a biometric way of identifying people. >> reporter: the students found a match. they learned that the fbi had already gotten pictures of khalid shaikh mohammed's hands in guantanamo and carefully compared the veins, measuring precise length and spacing. >> the major veins don't change. it's even similar to fingerprint analysis, because we're looking at landmarks on that surface. >> reporter: it is less scientific than fingerprinting, but these students and the teacher who was danny pearl's friend believe danny's case is now solved. >> it was his clues that we
followed and i think he would be really proud of these students and all of the spirit with which this work was done. >> reporter: martha raddatz, abc news, washington. and still ahead on "world news," how one young woman's detective work helped her crack her own cold case and hug her mom for the first time in 23 years. and, secrets of the speech, 50 years ago today, it rang across america. the echoes lived today.
her gut told her that something just wasn't right. her hard work cracked the case. and tonight, we heard for the first time from the young woman who solved her own kidnapping after 23 years. the case had gone cold since the 3-week-old girl was snatched from her hospital crib. but andrea canning telling us how one young mom did what teams of detectives could not. >> reporter: after 23 years, this one shattered family is whole again. >> how did i feel when i lost my daughter? oh, my god, that was like a big part of my heart was just ripped apart. >> i just always believed that she would find me. that's what i believed in myself, you know, that she would come and find me. >> reporter: in 1987, carlina white, just 19 days old at the time, was snatched from this hospital. >> i hope she's all right. i hope you're taking good care
of my baby. >> reporter: the family believes she was abducted by a woman disguised as a nurse who had recently lost her own baby. carlina was taken to connecticut, given a new name and new life, reportedly raised by this woman. >> i just hope that officials will be able to get her in their hands. >> reporter: police have not confirmed the abductor's identity and will only say a criminal investigation is under way. this miraculous reunion, the result of carlina's own suspicions. when the woman she thought was her mother couldn't provide a birth certificate, she did her own detective work. >> i just started typing in yahoo and google, like, different articles, anything that pulled up in 1987, any child missing. and the baby just struck me because looking at it, it looked like my daughter. >> reporter: she's talking about this photo on a missing children's website, along with a composite about how that baby might look today. it was like looking in a mirror.
steve loftin is the artist behind that composite. >> i more or less used her mother's picture and the picture of her as an infant as reference points. >> it is a one in a million kind of thing that happens. this is the longest stranger abduction case that we are aware of that's ever been resolved. >> reporter: a dna test ultimately proved that carlina and joy white were, in fact, mother and daughter. and today, they're making up for that precious lost time. andrea canning, abc news, harlem. >> what a great ending. and that's not all. because of carlina's case, hospitals all across the country introduced new security measures like wrist bracelets that have basically eliminated infant abductions. and coming up, proof that no one's above jury duty.
another powerful snowstorm is marching across the country tonight, moving east and south. 27 states from minnesota to maine and as far south as georgia are facing winter weather warnings and advisories tonight through tomorrow. and, the next time you think about squirming out of jury duty, remember this picture. take a close look at the jury pool in d.c. superior court. that is elena kagan, the newest supreme court justice. proving that even the most powerful are citizens first. kagan wasn't picked for a jury and she left court without collecting the $4 reimbursement that everyone is offered for transportation. and, those potential jurors weren't the only ones who got a surprise today in washington. check out the reactions of the
white house guests who got a surprise of their own, when michelle obama and bo were on hand to say hello. >> i'm here to say hello. this is for you. it's wonderful to see you. >> reporter: the first lady's meet and greet was in honor of the two-year anniversary of president obama's inauguration. and coming up, we remember another inauguration. jfk's legendary speech and the two little words that almost didn't make it in. that i needed to quit it and i went online to find a way. ♪ what really excited me about chantix -- it's a non-nicotine pill. i didn't want nicotine to give up nicotine. while you're taking the medication, for the first week, you can go ahead and smoke. [ male announcer ] prescription chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. when i was taking the chantix, it reduced the urge to smoke.
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in washington today, caroline kennedy celebrated the moment 50 years ago today when her father became president. >> today we mark not just the anniversary of my father's inauguration, but the endurance of an ideal. his time was short, but his summons still echoes and it always will. >> and tonight, john donvan reflects on that timeless summons, the iconic call to service that stirred a nation and inspired a generation. >> reporter: those who were there for it always recall the cold. how winter gift-wrapped washington the night before. when the pre-inaugural kennedys stepped out together for the last time. then came a diamond bright morning. more fancy dress.
men, too. and still more cold. and then, at last -- >> fellow citizens. >> reporter: heard by millions warm at home, the words. just over 1,300 of them. but each -- >> let the word go forth from this time and place. >> reporter: well chosen. >> that the torch has been passed to a new generation of americans. >> reporter: and also, a touch formal, like the silk hats, as if he aspired to deliver a classic, suitable for setting in stone. exactly right, says historian thurston clark. >> he wanted this to be a speech for the ages. >> reporter: he wanted to go down in history with this. >> he did. and he started, the first thing he said to ted sorenson right after the election was, "go and read the gettysburg address and learn its secrets." >> reporter: clark's own exquisite biography of the address argues that its best lines came not from ted sorenson, who was kennedy's speechwriter, but from jfk himself, who made sure to be photographed working on it. a claim loyally corroborated over the years by the late
sorenson himself. >> it was kennedy's speech. >> reporter: corroborated, but not always believed, except by those who recognized that his themes, like sacrificing for liberty -- >> pay any price, bear any burden. >> reporter: -- were themes he'd expressed throughout the campaign. and no one doubts that the edits were kennedy's, as when he spoke of human rights. >> those human rights to which this nation has always been committed. >> reporter: a young aide, later a u.s. senator, had urged kennedy to mark the cause of civil rights, so listen for this two-word insert. >> to which we are committed today, at home and around the world. >> the president got to me that day and he revived the can-do american spirit that the world was waiting for, and he was young himself. >> reporter: young, and also bold. after years of cautious leadership in the 1950s and a sense of drift. >> it's like "the wizard of oz." when you're watching "the wizard
of oz," suddenly, it goes from black and white to color. the country went from black and white to color. >> reporter: and so, the words the speech's most famous passage -- >> ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. >> reporter: they are, indeed, set in stone far and wide now. written not to please but to inspire. they did and they do. john donvan, abc news, washington. >> yes, they do. that is all for us tonight. diane's going to be back tomorrow. i'll see you in the morning on "gma." have a great night. tonight management shuffle at one of the world's dominant businesses. a game of corporate musical chair autos another car dredged up in the search for a kidnapped 4-year-old. his mother makes a new plea
for his return. >> sacramento superior court house. a victim's family filed a lawsuit against former governor schwartzeneggar saying it was illegal for him to shorten of a prison sentence of a politically-connected man who killed their son. >> tonight 30 years of promises that are about to be broken. >> the search for a missing little boy is back to scare yun. >> investigators say the amber alert for juliany is back to square one tonight. >> and there is some new information for you. the sheriff deputy came out and briefed reporters and said they're going to take a look at this channel. so far they'