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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  April 11, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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>> world news with diane sawyer is up next. for all of us here. thanks for joining us the see you back here tonight on "world news" -- sky high. gas prices jump to the highest levels ever for april. does that mean $5 a gallon by memorial day? nature's fury. how did an entire town survive this devastation? tonight, meet the quick-thinking sheriff who saved the day. murder mystery. police intensify their search for a serial killer as more possible victims are found. is the suspect planning to kill again? and saving your sight. a surprising solution for millions of women at risk for losing their vision. the answer may be right in your refrigerator.
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good evening. after food and shelter, the one thing most americans can't do without is gas. and its price just keeps rising. late today, official word from the federal government that gas prices rocketed to their highest level since 2008. up 11 cents in seven days and they are going up everywhere. this map we saw tells the story. a gallon of regular gas tops $3.50 a gallon in 48 of the 50 states. only wyoming is lower. jim avila has been tracking. you're learning the summer will be much worse. >> reporter: george, it's getting serious. while the average price at the pump is still under the $4.00 mark, some of the most populated places in the country are seeing pump prices right up against the $5.00 mark. this as you say is months before the peak driving season. the regular unleaded pump in suburban los angeles.
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>> i put in $13 and it got me about three gallons. >> reporter: in greenwich, connecticut. >> look at this, regular, $4.11. >> reporter: and chicago. >> $4.29 a gallon seems like an absolute rip-off. >> reporter: a body blow to the personal budget of american drivers. one economist says for every dollar gas goes up, we spend 5% less on other things. lara, a single mother in chicago has seen her gas costs jump $20.00 a week. and she's already cutting back. >> definitely stressful to have to have it cut into my budget and worry about what i'm able to do from week to week. >> reporter: americans are already driving less. one survey says the amount of gasoline sold has dropped five weeks straight. but lara and so many others can't stop driving. instead, she started buying groceries in bulk and cut her daughter's dance classes to once a week. >> i have to make sacrifices. >> reporter: she's not alone. in numbers released today,
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drivers in new england, the midwest and west coast have all been hit hardest. the highest price in the country, bakersfield, california. $4.89 a gallon. not too far from the dreaded $5 mark. driven by tension in oil-producing countries like libya, it's a price point economists say will hurt not only personal budgets but could thwart the recovery. >> we're right on the cusp to start triggering the changes in consumption behavior. there's nothing more pernicious for the economy than an increase in oil prices. it acts as a tax. >> reporter: a tax that does little that benefits americans and the taxpayers. it doesn't pay police and firefighters. in fact, 60% of the oil dollar goes overseas. george, that's the transfer of wealth no one here wants to see. >> absolutely not. jim avila. thanks. we're going to turn to a story called the miracle in mapleton. the iowa town straight out of a norm an rockwell painting was flattened by a tornado.
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60% of the buildings destroyed, but no one was killed or even seriously hurt. yunji de nies spent the day with the lucky survivors. yunji, as much as they lost, they're full of gratitude. >> reporter: that's absolutely right, george. this town is definitely thankful. there's not much left of this house. this is the kitchen. the women who lives here is 95 years old. she actually had time to make it down safely to this basement. it's all thanks to a very quick-thinking sheriff. as the tornado barreled toward mapleton, sheriff jeff pratt saw the twister approaching from his truck. >> huge dark clouds, a lot of wind, a little bit of rain. >> reporter: he sprang into action. >> there was gonna be people hurt, a lot of people hurt, so we were calling for all the help we could get. >> reporter: his call triggered sirens, a familiar warning that made jennifer goslar grab her family and run to her cellar. >> i could just tell that everything was being ripped apart.
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we just said the lord's prayer over and over and over until it was over. >> reporter: you must have been terrified. >> yeah, we were. >> reporter: they all made it thanks to sheriff pratt's early call. what kind of a difference do you think the sirens made for your family? >> oh, huge. we had a five to ten-minute warning. i think that saved everybody. >> reporter: this is mapleton before the tornado. and this is after. 60% of the buildings damaged or destroyed. even with this massive devastation, all 1,200 residents survived. >> we stacked 15 ambulances thinking that we'd had the worst and only used two. >> reporter: only used two? >> yeah, so that was great. >> reporter: today, school is closed, but the kids are hard at work. >> it's great coming from a small town. we have everybody helping and working. >> reporter: and the sheriff is still helping, too. >> i know everybody in town, so a lot more hugs to people than anything else, just to tell them
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that we're still here helping them out. >> reporter: even with so many homes destroyed like this one there is no need for shelters here tonight. we're told that neighbors are all helping each other, over and over again today, we're told. it is good to live in a small town like mapleton, george. >> what a great american story, yunji. from the flattened towns in iowa, we head north to where they're under water. the red river crested over the weekend spawning the fourth largest flood ever. those rivers aren't dropping anytime soon. it's the third year in a row barbara pinto has braved the flood zone. she's in harwood, north dakota tonight. barbara. >> reporter: i'm on the second family of this home. here in harwood. like house after house here, the rising red river has turned it into an island. this is what it looks like from above. part of north dakota is a giant lake. on the ground, it's sleepless
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nights. justin lenox and his dad take turns looking for leaks in their plywood moat. >> you keep a check list? >> yeah, a check list making sure there's no major leaks. >> reporter: the red river is literally lapping at their door. how high is the water here? >> it's about 4 1/2 feet or so. >> reporter: and the only thing between you and it is -- >> the wood here. >> reporter: now, people here are tired. this is the third year of historic flooding in a row, george. >> okay, barbara, and you've been there every year. we're going to turn overseas to japan where there was a terrifying reminder of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck exactly one month ago. a six-minute aftershock struck the country not long after the japanese observed a moment of silence for the victims. the searchers of the dead and missing pause to remember. bob woodruff filed his report from the hardest hit areas. >> reporter: the aftershocks today, another blow to the town
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obliterated by the quake 31 days ago. with tons of debris being hauled away, families of a man is still searching. to find what is left. there isn't much. here are some of the first things that they get when they start digging through the ground here. slides, pictures. old books with pictures. you see still covered with water. you can see the little kid. i don't think they even know exactly which family it is. the children remain frightened. are you afraid at all to come back to a place like this hit by the waves? yes, i am scared, he said. i'm not happy. they are still finding bodies. in this town about 30 a day. these women told us they watched as the body of a small child was pulled from the rubble. only this big, she told me. 14,000 u.s. troops are here to help speed up the recovery. they took us by helicopter. this is incredibly stunning.
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i don't think anybody ever seen anything quite like this in our lives. >> it is. it is history. >> reporter: u.s. soldiers and marines hard at work, clearing mud and debris from schools. >> this is not going to be complete in another week or another month. the devastation in this area, it will take years to get it totally cleaned out. >> reporter: one classroom. one school at a time. >> we've been working pretty much from the day we got here. >> reporter: take a look at this. in the suffering city. the troops cleared the baseball field and took on the students. after a month, after so much sorrow, on one field today, the crack of a bat. and small steps forward. bob woodruff, abc news, japan. and we turn now to washington where the next great political battle over how to deal with america's debt is being described as armageddon.
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before the dust had even settled over last week's government shutdown showdown. jake tapper has that story from the white house tonight. >> reporter: president obama surprised a class of colorado eight graders at the white house this afternoon. last month, with the threat of a government shutdown, the school children were worried that the trip may be canceled. after a last-minute deal between the president and congress that threat was averted. now america turned to a fight that makes last week's seem like child's play. >> that's going to be a big battle. >> reporter: a battle over how much we as a nation borrow. currently, to keep the government operating, our government takes out a $100 billion loan every month, a mind-boggling number. that's enough to buy every month four mcdonald's happy meals for every single person in the world. or a month's worth of groceries for almost every american. or a new toyota camry for almost every person in philadelphia, houston, colorado springs and
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san francisco. but now we're about to reach our credit limit. next month, we'll max out at $14.3 trillion. that's right, trillion. leaders from both parties agree, not allowing the government to continue to borrow would be a disaster. >> house prices would fall. stock prices would fall. we'd all be a lot less wealthy. >> reporter: but house republicans say any bill that would raise that debt limit must also include massive spending cuts. >> the president said, i want you to send me a clean bill. guess what, mr. president, not a chance you're going to get a clean bill. there would not be an increase in the debt limit without something really, really big attached to it. >> reporter: and george, on wednesday, president obama will outline the steps he feels need to be taken to reduce the national debt. if the debt ceiling is not raised by july, the government will have to take some very harsh measuring, including raising taxes and reducing social security, medicare and medicaid benefits.
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>> the secretary-treasurer has called that unthinkable. and former massachusetts governor mitt romney already leading in polls for challenger for president made his run all but official forming a presidential exploratory committee for 2012. he's the second major republican contender to do that, joining another former governor, minnesota's tim pawlenty. and still ahead on "world news" -- grisly discovery, why police in work are racing to find a serial killer before the suspect strikes again. the secret for everyday eyes. to cut vision loss in half. and the band of brothers, meet the soldiers whose extraordinary courage and camaraderie may win it on the front lines in afghanistan. without the pills. no pills, no pain. how can you get pain relief without taking pills around the clock? try thermacare heatwraps, for all day relief without pills. i was surprised, thermacare worked all day.
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lives of a number of people. >> reporter: they now believe the killer could be responsible for more than a dozen murders. among them four prostitutes, who all advertised on craigslist, at least one was strangled. now the search continues for even more bodies in the heavy brush and tough terrain on horseback using fire trucks and cadaver dog like this one. how important are cadaver dogs in brush and terrain like this? >> the brush doesn't linder them like us. >> reporter: detectives believe he's highly intelligent and leads another life. and other phone calls placed suggests a connection to law enforcement. >> he used pre-paid or throw-away cell phones and he was only on the phone for perhaps up to three minutes. at least tells you he's savvy enough if it's tracked down it's not going to point to him. >> reporter: in a terrifying twist, the killer called the sister of one of his victims. out of fear, she spoke to us in
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shadow. >> did he say he killed your sister on the phone? >> yeah. >> reporter: do you think he's done killing? >> no. if he's doing that many murders he's not going to stop. he obviously enjoys it. and he's sick in the head. >> reporter: authorities tell abc news there are several suspects of interest in this case with links to law enforcement. and they know this beach inside and out and they haven't ruled out that it could be more than one killer. >> that is scary, okay, andrea, thanks very much. coming up, millions of american women are losing their eyesight but there's a simple fix. superfoods on your supermarket shelves. ♪
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we have news tonight on what could be a secret weapon in the fight to prevent macular degeneration. it's the leading cause of vision loss in americans 65 and older. and researchers say today that younger women can cut their risk of developing the disease in half simply by eating more foods you probably already have in your home. here's linsey davis. >> reporter: dorette white is following her doctor's orders, essentially, take two cups of these leafy vegetables and call me in the morning. white is in the early stage of macular degeneration. >> i asked him how it progressed. he said right now, it's okay. >> reporter: with age-related
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macular degeneration called amd, many maintain peripheral vision but their central vision deteriorates. it would go from this to this. some notice it while looking at straight lines. say your bathroom tile. macular degeneration will make those tiles look like this, wavy and blurred. vitamin d is known to have health benefits and now studies show it lowers the risk of macular degeneration. in women between 40 and 75 years old. how exciting is the news of this study? >> it's wonderful. by adding vitamin-rich foods in your diet, you can decrease the odds of developing macular degeneration by 50%. >> reporter: it was shown when consumed 720 international units of vitamin d per day instead of the current recommended dose of 600. we get lot of vitamin d from the sun but doctors say it's your food that will help you up your vitamin d intake. especially milk, serial, oatmeal and fish.
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for example, you can get to 720 international units with a 3 1/2-ounce piece of tuna. vitamin d is known as the sunshine vitamin. perhaps now, it's capable of keeping people out of the dark. linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> and you can find a list of ways to add more vitamin d to your diet on our website news. we go overseas to great britain where the royal couple are making their final public event before the day. the next time we see kate middleton is when she heads up the aisle to marry prince william. the royal wedding just 18 days away. abc news will be there all day in force. coming up, the soldiers who won medal after medal for valor coming up, the soldiers who won medal after medal for valor in combat. osteoporosis treatment-- no big deal. so i have to wait up to an hour just to eat or drink. i've got time to kill. yeah right! i'm a working woman. and i'm busy. why should osteoporosis therapy disrupt my morning routine? with new atelvia there's no wait. unlike other osteoporosis medicines...
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finally tonight, our team was in the trenches last week for one of the longest and deadliest battles of the afghan war and today, general petraeus made some of the most decorated veterans in the middle of it. >> reporter: parachuting from behind german lines at normandy. battle of the bulls. the 101st airborne is one the most decorated divisions of the u.s. army. and now their heroics on the freezing mountain tops in one most remote, forsaken regions of afghanistan. the u.s. troops came to a taliban hideout. a hornets' nest, to take the battle to them. only to be deprived by just how many the enemy they had come across. so often in war, the heroic from war remain far from sight. but not this war. not this battle. we were there to witness is firsthand.
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sergeant matthew mendez took a bullet to the chest and kept fighting. >> what happened? >> got shot. >> reporter: saved only by his body armor. today, mendez was awarded the bronze star for his bravery. sergeant jeremy sizemore was shot, too. amazingly, he told you the bullet deflected off his pocket. today, sizemore received the bronze star as well. his commanding general understood what moved these men to heroics. >> there is fierce determination to not let down their buddy. ♪ >> reporter: honored at a solemn memorial, the six of their buddies who didn't make it. and another six who were wounded. for private first class brian smith the youngest in this close-knit squad, the loss ran deep as he knelt and wept to remember the sergeant he looked up to. each soldier from this mighty
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crew honored today would gladly trade every medal in the world for the lives of their fallen comrades. mike boettcher, abc news, camp joyce, afghanistan. >> they fight for all of us and each other. thanks for watching "world news." more news on later on "nightline," the regrets of former white house former secretary desiree rogers, i'll see you tomorrow on "gma" and "world news" with diane sawyer. have a good night. >> new fall out from the san bernardino pipe line explosion. is 3million enough to punish pg&e. and attack on world giant
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fans. new cuter is in place. >> lawmakers wanting to carry guns. and the hot line is open right now. here is the number. call with your questions right now. there is a major difference of opinion what pg&e should have to pay for missing a deadline. >> the utility agreed to a three million dollar fine and may never meet the demand for records. >> the penalty is now in the hands of an administrative law judge and david louie has the story. >> pg&e was order to produce safety records by


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