tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC February 18, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
>> i had planned to speak about something else but the gentleman from new jersey has just put my stomach in knots. because i'm one of those women he spoke about just now. >> reporter: she was respondinig to republican chris smith, who had just graphically described a type of abortion done during the second trimester. >> the doctor goes in with forceps and this device, and literally hacks that baby to death. planned parenthood itself says it takes 10 to 20 minutes to literally dismember that child. >> that procedure that you just talked about was a procedure that i endured. i lost a baby. but for you to stand on this floor and to suggest, as you have, that somehow this is a procedure that is either
welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous. >> reporter: as she finished, the chamber was in stunned silence. then -- >> i yield back. [ applause ] >> reporter: -- applause. for the new republican congress, planned parenthood is a prime target. especially after recent videos released by an anti-abortion rights group including one that showed a planned parenthood employee answering a question by someone requesting information for a 14-year-old prostitute. >> if they are 14 and under. just send them right there if they need an abortion. >> reporter: planned parenthood does get more than $300 million a year in taxpayer money for things like family planning, cancer screening, and other reproductive health programs. but under long-standing federal law, none of it can be used for abortion. republicans want the group
completely cut off. >> why on earth are we giving $363 million in taxpayer funds every year to planned parenthood? >> reporter: after telling her story, speier responded to what she called a vendetta against planned parenthood. >> planned parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. planned parenthood has a right to offer abortions. last time you've checked, abortions were legal in this country. now, you may not like planned parenthood. so be it. >> reporter: speier's emotional speech did not affect the outcome. the measure cutting off all funds for planned parenthood did pass the house. the bat now go to the senate which is far less likely to go along with that. as for speier herself, she told us just a few moments ago that not only did she not intend to talk about it at the time but before that speech she had only told a handful of people in her life about what had happened to her. >> a rare and perhaps unprecedented moment on capitol hill.
john karl starting us off tonight. john, thank you. 900 miles from the u.s. capitol, another political flash point, at the state capitol. in madison, wisconsin. the crowds there growing louder tonight with much of the nation watching because madison is now the epicenter of a fierce debate over how and how much to pay public workers. with already giant deficits still growing. chris bury is there again tonight. chris, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. it's been another wild day at the state capitol. this has become ground zero in the growing national debate over crippling budget deficits. today, the crowds grew to nearly 40,000. for the second day, the capitol is paralyzed. key democrats are still missing in action, holding up a vote on the governor's proposed cuts in benefits and bargaining rights. today, wisconsin troopers went looking at the home of one missing lawmaker. but he and his colleagues were holed up at this hotel across the border in illinois.
>> this might be the only option we really have to try to say to the governor, "let's slow this down. you're ramming this through." >> reporter: the budget showdown here hits home for the thompsons. jim, retired after teaching for 31 years in wisconsin schools. nancy, a retired nurse and school employee. >> i don't think we've ever been coddled, ever. we worked very, very hard for what we do. >> reporter: as former state workers, they see their pensions and health care as hard-earned trade-offs for decades making modest paychecks. >> we've taken less pay for the benefits, so now simply to cut our benefits is just unjust and totally unfair. >> we all in this economy have to take pay cuts. >> reporter: in monroe, wisconsin, 50 miles from madison, deli owner kim lee agrees with the governor's budget cuts. he has little sympathy for state workers, given his own family's health care costs. >> i pay $380 a month.
no wellness, no dental, no eye. $5,500 deductible per person. there's four in my family. >> reporter: madison has now become a magnet in the national and emotional debate over budget priorities, drawing figures like the head of the entire afl-cio. >> teachers didn't cause wisconsin's budget problems. >> kill the bill! kill the bill! >> reporter: this debate may grow even more intense. national tea party organizers are planning a big counter-rally here at noon tomorrow. david. >> chris bury in a very loud madison right there tonight. chris, thank you. and to show you how many workers this affects across the country, a number tonight. 22.5 million american workers, 17% of the workforce, work for the government. and with all of this debate, we wondered how the pay in benefits for public workers matches up against the rest of americans. and so sharyn alfonsi with the fact check tonight. >> reporter: are public employees really paid more than
private employees? according to the latest government data, yes. the average government employee makes about $47,000 a year. private sector workers, $45,000. but that doesn't mean private sector workers always make less than their public counterparts. look what happens when you compare people with the exact same job. for example, a certified public accountant working for the local government will make about $64,000. for the federal government, $67,000. but that same cpa in the private sector will make more than $71,000. do public employees pay less for their health care? yes. the average public employee pays about $3,600 for health care. compared to $4,100 for construction workers or the $4,200 some in the service industry or retail would pay. what about retirement? do public employees also have better pension plans? yes. only 20% of the workers in the private sector have so-called traditional pension plans. compared to 79% in the public
sector. and that is one of the big reasons public workers have become such a target. and other retirement benefits. most private employees don't get health insurance benefits in retirement but almost all, 87%, of public workers do, and that is definitely one of the flash points in this debate. >> sharon fonsi, thanks so much. from the protests in this to the ones overseas tonight. the crackdown continues throughout the middle east. in libya, dozens have been killed in clashes between security forces and demonstrators there. amid reports that police fired on the crowds. in jordan, a gang of thugs reportedly beat protesters with club, injuring eight. in yemen tonight, what they're calling an evening of rage. two people were killed as tear gas, gunshots, even hand grenades were thrown into the crowd. and in the tiny nation of bahrain tonight, clashes have taken another dramatic turn. police opening fire on thousands of protesters. at least 50 injured. as one onlooker put it, this is war. miguel marquez is in bahrain again tonight.
>> reporter: the pressure is rising. today, a small group of protesters tried to take back pearl square. the military answered with force. [ gunshots ] [ sirens ] at the hospital, a gruesome scene. the injured arrived in waves. the emergency room packed and chaotic. the fighting came so close, tear gas wafted through the halls. outside, a table with a collection of spent canisters and cartridges. some of it made in the u.s. the anger here palpable. this is salmaniyah hospital. protesters have now come here to call on their government to fall, to go away. they say tomorrow, there will be an even bigger protest. bahrain now at a breaking point. too much blood spilled. today, at a memorial for a dead protester, defiance. >> we want our rights!
we want our rights! we want freedom! >> we are all ready to die! it's either we get freedom or we die! >> reporter: the head of the political opposition here says there is only one way to restore order. it sounds like there's no way you're turning back. >> they have to send their troops back to the barracks. >> reporter: abc news has new video from wednesday night, the night pearl square was cleared of protesters. the moment the shooting started and panic ensued. the square now a symbolic center of this movement. protesters vow to take it back but that could mean spilling much more blood. miguel marquez, abc news, manama, bahrain. >> and those protesters we know have been fueled in part by what they saw unfold in egypt. from egypt, another powerful picture. in tahrir square a sea of women and children marking one week since president
mubarak stepped down. this evening, one of the many giant questions still unanswered -- where are some of the most vocal protesters who are still missing? lama hasan is in cairo tonight. >> reporter: the men, women and children of egyptian revolution back in tahrir square today. but with mubarak gone, why are they here? first, to celebrate their victory. but they also have a message for the army now running the country. they're going to hold them to their promises. >> if we don't get what we want, we'll come out again. >> reporter: the people who have come out here are saying one thing, the revolution is not over, and they're not going to accept anything less than change. change means the army handing over power to a civilian government. and lifting the 30-year-old emergency law still in effect which allows police to arrest people without charge. and then there are the dozens of people still unaccounted for. father of three ziyad bakir is one of them.
excited by the protesters sweeping his country, he took to the streets on friday, january 28th, also known as the day of rage. his family has heard nothing of him since. what's it like when you're sitting at home waiting for news? >> horrible. horrible. >> reporter: bakir's father and sister have been combing all the morgues and hospitals and searching online. for them, the revolution has been ruined. >> when mr. mubarak steps down, everybody in egypt was enjoying and celebrating. i'd like to join them but i can't. >> reporter: a stark contrast with the millions in the streets today celebrating a new egypt. lama hasan, abc news, cairo. >> our thanks to lama tonight. our christiane amanpour will sit down with secretary of state hillary clinton to discuss the violence ratcheting up across the middle east. that's this sunday morning right here on "this week." we turn back to this country now where this record shattering winter seemed like it would never end but today across much of the country a welcome break. but don't get used to it. sam champion, why do you always
have to look around the corner? >> well, it has been good news. because cities like d.c., trenton, newark, new york city in some areas, have come in with record highs today. they were four or five degrees above normal. so that is good news. but for those areas in the north atlantic it's going to be over for tomorrow. you're back in the 40s. >> you mentioned some more snow again next week. but there was also an alarming forecast you pointed out about snow melt eventually. >> yeah, and we might as well show you what this week's snow melt did, david. remember last week, february 10th. 49 of the 50 states had snow on them or in them some place. and after this quick warm-up of this week through much of the country, that's down to 25 states. that's a really rapid snow melt. noaa put out their spring forecast for spring flooding. and they're saying that a large part of the north central u.s. faces at least a high risk of moderate flooding due to this runoff and future storms to come. >> all right. sam champion, thanks. still ahead here on "world news" this friday night, that white-knuckle moment on live tv that wasn't a stroke. what was it? that reporter is back on tv tonight. why what she learned about herself could help so many. an extraordinary image tonight of the sun. what was this?
and then later here, that young woman who beat out justin bieber and her message tonight to all of his upset fans. at purina one, we want your cat to be as healthy as possible. so we set out to discover the nutritional science in some of nature's best ingredients. that's how we created purina one with smartblend. nutritionally optimized with real salmon, wholesome grains, and essential antioxidants for strong muscles, vital energy, a healthy immune system, and a real difference in your cat. purina one with smartblend. discover what one can do. [ male announcer ] did you hear about the car company test-driving cars on the internet? you just log on, click "drive,"
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>> reporter: viewers thought reporter serene branson was having a stroke. as she told a colleague last night on kcbs, she didn't know what was going on. >> to be honest with you, i started crying right away because i was scared. i was embarrassed. i was terrified and confused. confused. what had just happened? >> in her case, she recovered completely. she had a normal neurological exam, and her imaging study showed no evidence of a stroke. >> reporter: her doctor now says further tests reveal branson was suffering from a migraine. branson apparently experienced what's called a migraine with aura. the whole brain suddenly activates, flooded with neurotransmitters and blood. then the blood vessels constrict and suddenly the brain shuts off. >> some of the people have what we call the "alice in wonderland" syndrome. things are bigger than normal or smaller than normal. mentally, you are going down a rabbit hole. >> reporter: about 18% of women and 6% of men have had some sort
of migraine this past year. of those, roughly 1 in 5 have had a migraine with aura. doctors say the condition is easily treatable with medication. >> i'm going to turn this into a positive, and if i can at least let people know that i'm okay and talk about the issue. >> reporter: a serious issue but, happily, not life threatening. david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> we are glad she's back and so are the words. when we come back on the broadcast, what caused this spectacular image up in the sky? . while a body in motion tends to stn motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arths, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide our relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is er.
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with all of the talk about jobs and pay, it may come as no surprise that when president obama got a chance to sit down with some tech giants that we all recognized, he was asking how to create jobs. the president is toasting the tech industry in silicon valley. facebook founder mark zuckerberg there. apple's steve jobs was there. the president did visit intel today. more evidence the economy in general and airline travel in particular are bouncing back. american airlines since it's recalling 200 more flight attendants who lost their jobs in recent years. earlier this month, it said it was rehiring almost 400 other attendants. and a sign of the times, 30 new hires will speak mandarin for flights to and from shanghai. a little news from 93 million miles away this evening. a giant solar flare seen by a nasa observatory. an extreme ultraviolet light. the largest solar flare in four years. it happens when magnetic energy in the sun's atmosphere builds and builds and finally explodes.
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finally tonight, here, our "person of the week." the singer who stunned 27 million grammy viewers. it wasn't lady gaga. it wasn't justin bieber. it was a young woman whose name most of us had never heard of but a name now here to stay. >> literally surprise. that is the best word. just like "what?" >> and the grammy for best new artist goes to -- esperanza spalding. >> i was just trying to collect myself to walk up those stairs without tripping. >> reporter: millions were watching her walk up those stairs wondering "who is this young woman?" a huge upset. her trademark music and hair-do outdoing someone else's. ♪ baby baby baby esperanza spalding had just won the grammy for best new artist, beating out justin bieber. >> i'll do my best to make a whole lot of great music for all of you. >> reporter: when we met up with her this week in japan, we
learned she'd been working up to that moment since kindergarten. >> the first defining moment that sort of set off this road of my life as a musician was when i was 5 and i saw yoyo ma on "mister rogers neighborhood." i saw that and i said, i want to do music. >> reporter: drowning out the noise in her tough neighborhood in oregon with her devoted single mother. >> finding instruments. finding teachers. i sort of think of her as my saint, you know. >> reporter: she would learn obo, guitar, piano. before settling on the bass. ♪ finest days so talented, at 20, she began teaching at the famous berkeley school of music. she'd graduate to bigger stages. president obama and the nobel peace prize. ♪ a white ceremony honoring stevie wonder. >> it was nerve-racking not solely because the president and the first lady and the vice president and his wife were sitting there but stevie wonder
was over there. >> reporter: they would applaud her. but this week not everyone was applauding. disappointed bieber fans taking that disappointment online. she told us she's not reading it. and backstage? >> i like your hair. >> everybody likes your hair. >> your hair's so cool though. >> thank you. you never know, some of those bieber fans might in a few years discover that they like jazz. ♪ nothing compared they like the bass and they like my singing. if they don't, god bless them, and i'm going to keep doing it anyway. ♪ >> and so we choose 26-year-old esperanza spalding. by the way, the first jazz musician to take the best new artist title at the grammys. that is "world news" for this friday night. i'm david muir. i hope to see you here both nights this weekend.
for diane and all of us hereye tonight the san bruno explosion, and the search for pipeline records. why pg&e is now reaching out to past employees. it's a story only on 7. a high-ranking narcotics agent goes to court on drug charges. what it could mean for the people he's busted. >> a local company said kit get homeowners out from underwater. ahead on 7 on your side why the state put a stop to this. >> and if you're headed to the mountains for a holiday ski weekend you might want to get there faster if you wait. good evening, we begin tonight with a very unusual request by pg&e. part of the pipeline investigation. >> that is right. it's been more than five months since a natural gas line exploded, killing eight people. now, the utility is sending this letter to past employees.
>> looking for pipeline records they might have. and this is a story you'll see only on 7:00. >> leters went out to 42,000 employees and contractors asking them to call a toll free number if they have any records. the hope is that someone will be able to fill in the banks in -- blanks to make sure all gas lines are being operated at correct, safe pressure levels. this 71-year-old dan murphy worked for pg&e 45 years and has a lunch box he carried on the job. this picture was taken in 1962 in the work clothes he wore. just the other day, he got this letter in the mail addressed to former or retired employees, asking them to look for records, hard copy or electric related in anyway to pg&e gas transmission system.
saying documents include pressure test reports, pressure charts and as built construct drawings for pipeline projects and reads records are needed regardless of how old they may be. >> there is a massive undertaking of making sure that anyone else out there may still have records. we want to leave no stone unturned here. >> the cpuc has given them until march 15th toj prove it has accurate records of what pipes are underground. this after pg&e admitted it thought the ruptured pipe was seamless. it took the fire to reveal that it was not. and ntsb identified a faulty weld. pg&e said so far it can't find about 30% of the necessary records and this mentions the 2007 bridge disaster, lok