tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC April 7, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight on "world news" from chicago, epidemic of errors. the frightening medical mistakes racing through america's hospitals. your odds of being a victim, ten times worse than anyone knew. blame game. a fresh round of finger pointing over the looming government shutdown. and people who will be hit the hardest scramble to make plans. hiring blitz. the company adding 50,000 workers in a single day. meet the woman who soared from burger flipper to top boss. on mcjobs, money and how anyone can climb the ladder. life moves on. vicky kennedy opens up about ted kennedy, an upcoming family wedding and when she misses ted the most.
good evening from chicago. we are here in the windy city to get the story straight from the top about the company ready to hire 50,000 workers across america in a single day. and 700 miles east of here, the wrangling in washington. are we headed for a government shutdown tomorrow night? but first, stunning medical news tonight about how many americans have something go wrong when they go to the hospital. the astronomical new number? 1 in 3 patients will face a mistake during a hospital stay. far worse than we've ever been told. and sharyn alfonsi has been looking into all the errors. sharyn? >> reporter: diane, it is a staggering number. medical mistakes being made at a rate ten times worse than we thought. researchers say it's not that hospitals are getting worse, it's that the methods we use to track the errors are getting better.
so, we now have a clearer picture of exactly what's going on inside america's hospitals. the blischke triplets are a picture of health today. a wagon full of cute. but hours after they were born, little taylee suddenly flat lined in her mother's arms. >> i looked down and taylee went purple. it's just like she died in my arms. she just stopped breathing. >> reporter: it turns out, a nurse mistakenly gave taylee an iv of morphine intended for her mother. >> there should be no way that a very small iv line of a 4 1/2 pound baby should be confused with that of a full-grown woman. that should not happen. >> reporter: but according to researchers, mistakes like that are more common than we realized. they looked at 795 patient records, following the methods most hospitals use to report mistakes, they found just 35 errors. but when they used a new more comprehensive computerized method, they found a stunning 354 mistakes. ten times as many on the very
same records. the most common, medication errors, the wrong dosing, the wrong medicine. followed by mistakes in surgical procedures, from leaving surgical tools inside the body, to operating on the wrong part of the body. next, infections acquired in the hospital. if patients have a choice, choose a hospital that uses bar codes to match patients with proper drugs. and if you are undergoing surgery, make sure the doctor marks the part of your body where they should operate. lonnie soul wished his doctors had. we spoke to him after he went on surgery for his right knee but came out with doctors operating on his left. >> it makes me mad. i got two bad knees, two knees that don't work. >> reporter: and these are costly errors. one study estimating medical mistakes cost the u.s. more than $17 billion a year. diane? >> all right, sharyn alfonsi, thank you. and now we turn to the nail-biting negotiations in washington. anxious federal workers protested as the deadline drew closer. both sides are quick to blame each other.
and in what is now a battle over just a few ball dollars. so, with so much at stake, what's really holding things up? jon karl spent the day on capitol hill getting answers. >> reporter: on capitol hill, a partisan meltdown. >> the reason we did not shut it down is because -- >> house will come to order. gentleman will suspend. >> cut spending to begin getting our fiscal house in order and to keep -- >> reporter: they even disagree about what they disagree about. democrats say they have agreement on $34.5 billion in spending cuts. but republicans say there is no agreement on how much to cut. and believe it or not, the issue of abortion could be what causes the government to shut down. democrats say republicans are trying to use the funding bill to force new restrictions on abortion rights. but republicans say they are simply trying to restrict public funding of abortion. one tea party freshman told us shutting down is better than rolling over.
are we really serious that we could see a government shutdown when there are only a few billion dollars separating these two? >> yeah, it's possible. >> reporter: it's worth shutting it down? over those few billion? >> i will tell you, it's time for our side to stop being the one to give in. >> reporter: do you understand how bad congress looks out there when people see this? >> i understand how bad congress looks from inside and i'm one of them. >> reporter: in the whole mess, echoes of another government shutdown nearly a generation ago. >> we're trying to keep open the government. >> we don't want to shut government down. >> politics as usual. >> usual politics in washington. >> this is just more smoke and mirrors. >> we're talking about real spending cuts here, no smoke and mirrors. >> this notion that somehow we're offering smoke and mirrors. >> we have to get to work on this in a serious way. >> let's talk about serious things in a serious way. >> and i think it's time for them to get serious about it. >> reporter: today, house republicans did pass a bill that could keep the government funded
for the next week and fund the pentagon for the rest of the year but democrats say that they will oppose it. again, diane, because it includes restrictions on public funding of abortion. >> well, jon, as you well know, every minute of the standoff brings millions of americans closer to facing the real consequences of a shutdown. and jake tapper is on that story again tonight at the white house. and the president, last night, well, he noticed what jake was saying. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. that's right. whether or not the government shuts down tomorrow at midnight remains up in the air. congressional leaders are meeting with president obama this evening at the white house to try to hammer out a last-minute deal. and the clock is ticking. last night on "world news," we told you the story of louisville, kentucky's, j.t. henderson, his wife and their adopted son, worried about not receiving their tax refund. >> if i could speak to the president or the congressional leadership, i would just tell them -- >> reporter: and at least one negotiator was watching. >> j.t. said if he could speak
directly to all of us in washington, he would tell us that all of this political grandstanding has effects as it trickles down to normal, everyday americans. there's no reason why we should not be able to complete a deal, unless we've made a decision that politics is more important than folks like j.t. henderson. >> reporter: today, j.t. told us he appreciated the president hearing his concerns. >> it came as a shock. that's for sure. but it was a good thing. >> reporter: but he would blame both sides for any shutdown. >> i don't hold one party responsible over the other. i think it's a case of business as usual in washington. >> reporter: also worried, members of the military. freshly back at ft. campbell, kentucky, from his third tour in afghanistan, staff sergeant christopher hartune today enjoyed a meal with his family. the government shutdown will not mean that soldiers stop fighting. it would mean that he, and his wife, a federal employee, would
not be paid. >> if they stop both of paychecks, it would definitely have a devastating affect on us. just with, you know, with children and daily lives, expenses will go away. >> reporter: no such problem for president obama, house speaker john boehner or congressional leaders. they'll be paid no matter what, even if they cannot hammer out a deal. a cruel irony not lost on military families with loved ones in harm's way overseas. >> it doesn't affect them, it affects us. >> reporter: and diane, of course, both sides say a deal is within reach but they have not been able to agree upon a final figure for cuts, where the cuts come from and those controversial provisions about abortion, national public radio and whether or not they should strip powers from the epa. diane? >> jake tapper catching the president's eye last night. thank you, jake. and last night, we brought you my interview with the two-fisted governor from new jersey, chris christie. well, today, he delivered a seismic speech in which he declared 2011 the year of
education reform. and he started with that issue of weeding out underperforming teachers. >> layoffs should be based on merit. if you're a good teacher, you stay. if you're not, you go. >> you may remember, i pressed the governor on how he can be sure you can measure good versus bad. are you so confident to know who is a really good teacher? >> yes. >> that confident? >> of course. you talk to any parent who has children in school, within weeks they know if they have a good teacher or a bad teacher. within weeks. and another story back in the news tonight, after we broke that story last month about the sleeping air traffic controller at reagan national airport in washington. we are just learning now about a second incident with a sleeping controller. this one happened in mid-february, in tennessee, with the controller purposely taking a nap, as seven flights came and went. and here's lisa stark.
>> reporter: there were two air traffic controllers working the midnight shift at the knoxville airport, but only one was awake. the other? sound asleep. >> yes, sir. we're trying to get a hold of knoxville approach or knoxville departure and we cannot raise them. >> poppa charlie, stand by. >> we got our clearance, but we don't have any radio contact with them. >> reporter: sources tell abc news the sleeping controller, whose job was to line up flights landing and leaving the airport, had fashioned a bed on the floor of the radar room, with couch cushions and a blanket. he never heard the radio calls. >> lifeguard, 804 tango fox. >> reporter: the second controller, responsible for a different piece of the sky, was stationed several floors above, unable to leave his post. abc news has learned a third employee went to go check on their colleague and tried to rouse the slumbering man at least twice. at one point, the controller, sounding groggy, tried to contact a flight.
[ unintelligible ] this is the second case of a napping controller. the other one at reagan national last month. but that was accidental. the government says in knoxville -- >> nobody home. >> reporter: -- the controller chose to take a nap on the job. lisa stark, abc news, washington. and, today, japan was rocked by the most powerful aftershock yet, four weeks after the monster quake. today's measured 7.1 and sent up new tsunami warnings for awhile, causing widespread blackouts. but it doesn't seem to have caused new damage to that fukushima nuclear plant. and still ahead on "world news," she's the woman behind the golden arches here in the united states. and she's hiring 50,000 people in one day. could you be one of them? can you guess which one of these fruits has shown promising results in the fight against cancer? and, a love story.
ted kennedy and his wife victoria. the one thing helping her cope with his loss the most. [ male announcer ] it's 2011. wonder where the durango's been for the last two years? well, it toured around europe, getting handling and steering lessons on those sporty european roads. it went back to school, got an advanced degree in technology. it's been working out -- more muscle and less fat. it's only been two years, but it's done more in two years than most cars do in a lifetime. but it's done more in two years sometimes life can be, well, but when it's hard or hurts to go to the bathroom,,/ there's dulcolax stool softener. dulcolax stool softener doesn')t make you go... dulcolax stool softener. easier to go./ make yourself comfortable. i'm friend, secret-keeper and playmate.
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who started flipping burgers and then rocketed to the top of the golden arches. and she's on a mission to change your mind about what is a mcjob. mcdonald's says they'll train you in everything from how to make a french fry to how to use your smile to win success in life. and now, their 50,000-person recruiting event will add 7% to their 650,000-person work force in just one day. what are the jobs? what level jobs are they? >> the jobs we are looking for span the course from everything, an hourly employee -- >> reporter: are most of them at the counter, preparing, flipping the burgers? >> the restaurants, the jobs that we're looking to hire for are primarily in the restaurants. >> reporter: but what about the fact that even the dictionary has the word "mcjob" in it? defined as low wages and limited ton? opportunity? and you don't come in and think of it as a sustainable income
for your family. >> well, we're redefining the term mcjobs. because it's misunderstood. >> reporter: she says those 50,000 new workers will pump more than $1 billion into the economy. a recent study determined that a family of four, with both parents working, needs the parents to earn an average of $68,000 a year for basic needs. an individual needs $30,000. that's double mcdonald's average wage. do the economics for me of how $17,000, on average, for a job like this, pays off in your life? >> i think the economics from a job at mcdonald's is, people start, just like any other company. and they get the opportunities to grow. >> reporter: she says, look at it another way, as she did as a single mom 33 years ago, who first worked french fries and then the front counter. and learned enough about the business in one year to become
the manager of the store. before we left, we took a tour of this ultramodern mcdonald's right here in chicago. it now features, for instance, fruit smoothies. joining in the fashion of healthy options. so, we asked about the move in some states about happy meals for children, a move to put a cap of 500 calories on them and make sure there are no toys inside. >> bannig toy is not going to be the solution. on average, the child eats only three meals a month at mcdonald's. the other 87, i think, are part, have to be part of the solution. >> reporter: and now mcdonald's, which made profits straight through the recession, is going to ramp up again, adding 50,000 workers, urging them to smile their way to the top of the food chain. you started here and did you think then that there was a future in it?
did you think then that that was going to be a path? >> in my wildest dream, i would never have guessed that i'd be sitting here today. >> again, it will happen on april 19th. and coming up, which of these fruits is a super food in the fight against cancer? 3q double shift... i need a break. he needs some gellin'. yeahhhhhhh. gellin' is like having a teeny tiny foot masseuse in your shoe. you like ? nice ! dr. scholl's massaging gel insoles. outrageous comfort, all-day long.
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when freeze-dried, becomes a kind of battering ram in beating back the disease. here's deborah roberts. >> reporter: imagine this everyday fruit offering a one-two punch against esophageal cancer, the sixth deadliest form of cancer in the world. >> it's very exciting. i start to eat strawberry every day now. >> reporter: dr. tong chen's team at the university of ohio found the berry link during a study in china, with 36 patients who had precancerous lesions. they gave them an ounce of freeze-dried strawberries twice a day for six months and found amazing results. 80% saw a decrease in the lesions. why freeze-dried? experts say it could be that it offers ten times the concentration of natural disease fighters like vitamins a and c and flavonoids, a natural anti-inflammatory. the idea of freeze dried berries curing disease wouldn't surprise many health-conscious eaters. many have long suspected, with their vitamins and minerals, they hold the key to wellness. tom schneider, a retired
grandfather, treated for pre-cancerous esophageal lesions isn't wild about berries, but will eat them now. >> the next time we go to the grocery store, i would think about putting freeze-dried strawberries on the grocery list. >> reporter: the study is far from conclusive, but offers hope to anyone looking to their diets for help in staying well. deborah roberts, abc news, new york. coming up, victoria kennedy tells us when she misses ted the most. ♪ hit the road, jack ♪ and don't you come back no more ♪ ♪ no more, no more, no more ♪ hit the road, jack ♪ and don't you come back no more ♪ [ male announcer ] want your weeds to hit the road? hit 'em with roundup extended control. one application kills weeds and puts down a barrier to stop new ones for up to four months. roundup extended control spray once. stop weeds for months.
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which beneful prepared meals. tonight? and find out how you can save money on your prescription. roasted chicken recipe? - savory rice and lamb stew. - [ barks ] you're right. tonight is a beef stew kind of night. [ announcer ] beneful prepared meals. another healthful, flavorful beneful. i see you're flatulent in three languages. graduated op of your gas. [ male announcer ] got gas on your mind? your son rip is on line toot. [ male announcer ] try gas-x. powerful relief # from pressure and bloating in a fast-acting chewable. gas-x. pressure's off. and finally tonight, victoria kennedy on calm waters and rough seas. she was ted kennedy's anchor, his oasis. tomorrow, the family breaks
ground for an institute to honor ted kennedy's other love, the senate. and tonight, vicky kennedy tells claire shipman what it's like to sail on without her soul mate. >> reporter: it has been almost two years since the kennedys lost the glue that held their family together. how is the family coping with that big gaping hole? >> i think it's been hard for all of us. i think it's been hard for all of us. we all miss him. we all miss him. he was -- he had those big shoulders that all of us leaned on. it's been a huge adjustment, in all honesty, for all of us. those are shoes that nobody can fill. >> reporter: what are the moments now that are the hardest for you still? >> you know, the usual ones i think that anybody who has gone through the loss of a loved one. you know, the big occasions and sometimes even the quiet ones. >> reporter: there is one family event that offers some solace --
the announcement that teddy's son, patrick, who spoke so eloquently at his father's funeral -- >> may your dream for a better, more just america may never die. >> reporter: is getting married. >> everybody is really excited about that. she's the loveliest young woman. >> reporter: for vicky, afternoon their almost 20 years of partnership, the focus has been on legacy instead of loss. the mission of the new kennedy institute, education about the senate, the nuts and bolts of government. >> teddy loved three things. he loved more than three things, he loved life, but he loved history, he loved education and he loved the united states senate. and this place brings all of those things together. it's going to be beautiful. >> reporter: her vision of what will grow in this spot has been remarkably healing. >> i just think that i was the luckiest, am the luckiest woman on the planet. >> reporter: why? >> because i met the love of my
life and he made me so happy. i feel like i was the lucky one. >> and victoria kennedy will be there for the groundbreaking tomorrow. thank you for watching. we're always on at abcnews.com. and don't forget to watch "nightline" later. with a big thank you to wls, the abc station right here in chicago, a good night from all of us. >> nickel sized hail and traffic to a stand still. burst of weird weather strikes northical. and a man who expected to plead guilty changes course. >> barry bonds keeping a
powerful secret when he testified about using steroids. prosecutor get the final say in the perjury trial. >> and a message congress how a shut down will spoil a spring break. >> this is abc 7 news at 6:00. >> these pictures we are about to show you tell the story. people found themselves caught in a hail storm . the hail made it tough to see and hard it drive in interstate 80 in fairfield. it fell hard enough and accumulated on the windshield. spencer, anymore hail on the way? >> it is hailing in the same area as a matter of fact. thunderstorms are breaking out here and closing in on here and stormy weather reaching through sonoma and down to ain'tock x. rio visted .
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