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tv   America This Morning  ABC  April 22, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PDT

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making news in america this morning -- >> the president gets tough on gas prices. launching a new task force, as more and more americans simply stay at home. a family values senator stepping down, as the investigation into an affair dragged on. and on this earth day, the real-life "lion king." the dramatic lives of these giant african cats. good morning. the country's record-high gas prices, over $4 a gallon in many areas, are now slamming businesses that depend on visitors. >> take a look at these numbers now. visits to the grand canyon are down 10%. mt. rushmore, down 15%.
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and to a big east coast attraction, newport, rhode island, visits are down 30%. >> and so, now, the president is looking at the possible causes of the high prices. emily schmidt is in washington with details. good morning, emily. how is the president doing this? >> reporter: good morning to you. the president is getting the justice department involved in this. that's because gas prices are now about $1 a gallon higher than they were this time last year. at that rate, filling up a mid-size car just once a week, would cost an extra 900 bucks a year. with gas prices at a nearly three-year high, commuters are now feeling the number crunch. >> 50-mile-plus round trip, over $110 a week. easy. >> reporter: the nationwide average is $3.84 a gallon and climbing. >> everybody complains. but they know it's not -- you know, they know we're not the cause. >> ridiculous. and i think president obama should be addressing this with his re-election campaign. >> reporter: the president is doing just that.
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yesterday, he announced attorney general general eric holder will put together a task force to investigate potential price gouging. >> we're going to make sure that nobody's taking advantage of american consumers, for their own short-term gain. >> reporter: mr. obama says the long-term solution is clean energy. just yesterday, the electric power nissan leaf won the world car of the year. but that's little help in the short-term. gas station owners say people spending more on gas are buying less of other things. >> we have three pastries. >> reporter: they're working to get people into convenient stores. other habits are changing, too. more interest in motorcycles. bus ridership in palm desert, california, is up 14% in a month. and fuel-efficient cars are selling fast. >> in february, we sold 18. and on this month here, we're on track to sell about 40 kia sols. >> reporter: crude oil now stands at $112 a barrel, up 84 cents in just one day. that one-day increase could
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actually translate to about an extra 3 cents a gallon more your next fill-up. peggy? >> unbelievable. emily schmidt, this morning. thank you. in other news this morning, nevada republican john ensign is resigning from the u.s. senate today. he's been under investigation by the ethics committee for having an affair with a former campaign staffer and helping her husband get lobbying jobs. ensign says he has done nothing wrong, though. and the justice department and federal election committee agreed. however, the ethics committee inquiry did continue. also, there's another republican presidential hopeful this morning. former new mexico governor, gary johnson, made it official yesterday in new hampshire, which is one of the first primaries. his major issue is cutting spending, even for defense. and he also favors legalizing marijuana. senator john mccain just arrived in benghazi to meet with the libyan rebels. the arizona republican has been calling for more u.s. military intervention there. president obama appears to be moving in that direction. and as martha raddatz reports,
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he also supports new u.s. air strikes using unmanned drones. >> reporter: there are two of them. they're armed with hellfire missiles and can help the civilians and opposition forces, that are just getting hammered on the ground. these are the same predators that are used a long away in afghanistan and pakistan, to kill high-value al qaeda targets. since 2006, more than 1,800 extremists have been killed there. they do exactly what the name predator implies. they fly low. they hunt a target, stalk it, loiter over it and go in for the kill. >> government forces often use civilian vehicles, making it hard to i.d. them without a close look. a natural gas company has stopped the controversial practice of fracking, following a toxic spill in pennsylvania. now, fracking involves blasting chemical-laced water into the ground. in that pennsylvania incident, thousands of gallons of that water leaked to the susquehanna river.
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the gas company says it's now contained the leak but it's trying to figure out exactly what caused it. there's a change at the top for pacific gas and electric, following last year's deadly pipeline explosion near san francisco. the company's ceo, peter darby, is now leaving with a $35 million golden parachute. 8 people were killed and 38 homes destroyed in that blast last september. after months of extreme drought and wildfires have burned through more than a million acres, the governor of texas is asking texans to pray for rain. governor rick perry issued a proclamation for the prayers to take place today through sunday. the last six months have been the drying on record in parts of the state since the 1930s. one of those massive wildfires is still raging in north texas, of burning 160 homes to the ground. it has charred 150-square-miles in just the past week. only 25% is contained this morning. and so far, officials don't know ents wilbe allowed to return to that community. and now, let's look at your morning weather from around the
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country. severe storms from east texas, into oklahoma city, louisville and columbus, ohio. heavy rain and flooding from st. louis to pittsburgh. rain across the upper midwest. drenching chicago, minneapolis, and the dakotas. mountain snow in the northern rockies. showers from san francisco to southern oregon. late rain from d.c., up to new york. >> and checking out some temps now. mostly 50s in the northeast. 80s from atlanta to dallas. and kansas city climbs up to 75. omaha at 65. 50s from seattle to salt lake city. and phoenix hits a hot 90. well, "time" magazine has named congresswoman gabby giffords as 1 of the 100 most influential people in the world. on top of that, president obama has written a tribute to giffords for the magazine. >> the president praised giffords as a model of civility and courage and unity. and a voice that cannot return soon enough. also on "time's" list, mark zuckerberg, justin bieber and first lady, michelle obama. >> bieber mania.
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>> he's everywhere. coming up after the break, the big announcement from japan overnight. an even longer delay for automakers to return to normal. and worldwide outcry this morning over the revelation that the iphone and ipad track your every move. and on top of all that, why more and more of us are saying, yes, hold the fries.
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and wall street is closed today, in observance of good
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friday, though banks will be open. tokyo's nikkei average ticked down less than 0.1% today. markets are closed in hong kong and london for holiday. the dow claim climbed 52 points yesterday. and the nasdaq gained 17 points. it will be a while before toyota is operating at full capacity. it doesn't expect output to return to normal until november or december. it's been forced to cut production because of parts shortages. toymaker mattel has faced a major blow in court. mattel had claimed that mga entertainment stole the idea for the bratz dolls. mga has now been awarded $88 million in damages. a couple of senators have questions this morning for apple. they want to know why the iphone and ipad are collecting tracking data on users and what all that is being used for. some european governments also
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say they will investigate whether apple is violating privacily laws. but security experts say companies like apple and google regularly collect this information and could eventually use it for location. based marketing. more and more people are saying no to that age-old question, you want fries with that? numbers show fewer of us are ordering french fries at restaurants. more people are ordering from the dollar menus and passing on the combo meals that do include the french fries. probably helping out the waistline a little bit. >> hamburgers have passed french fries as the most-ordered food in recent years. coming up next on your friday morning, a high schooler's social experiment. she faked her entire pregnancy. >> can you believe that? also, the music video lighting up the internet. troops bringing some britney spears to the afghan desert. hey kids, mommy's got a surprise for you.
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endangered whales are descending on cape cod in record numbers as we mark this earth day today. more than 100 north atlantic right whales were spotted off massachusetts yesterday, the most-ever in a single day. experts say the whales converge on this area this time of year to eat. now, for a look of morning road conditions for your good friday. wet on i-35, from dallas to the twin cities. flooding on i-70, from kansas city to indianapolis. and on i-55 from springfield, massachusetts, to memphis. heavy rain on i-90 from chicago to buffalo. and slick on i-5, in northern california and oregon. >> if you're flying, airport delays are possible in minneapolis, chicago, kansas city, memphis, detroit, atlanta and d.c. investigators in colorado are still searching for whoever left a bomb at a popular denver-area shopping mall. >> and they're looking into
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whether the bomb is, in fact, linked to the anniversary of the columbine massacre. clayton sandell reports from littleton, colorado. >> reporter: have you seen this man? do you know what was in his mind at this moment? did he have a motive? or is he first similarity, the date, april 20. 12 years ago, dillon lee bold and eric harris opened fire on columbine high school. second, the time. the hair at the mall and the school attack happened late morning.
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play were placed in similar locations. the small food court on wednesday. and both included similar devices. pipe bombs and propane tanks rigged to explode. we went back inside the mall. the bombs were placed in a hallway close to this food court. and if it had gone off when it was supposed to, this whole area would have been packed with people. >> they're just target-rich for somebody that wants to do something really bad. in a confined space with that many concentrated people, you can wreak havoc on a mall in ten minutes. >> reporter: and that is what worries law enforcement. malls like these where potentially thousands of people gather, sitting ducks for terrorists. this mall is open for business. customers are back and inside. it loo but as long as there's a suspected bomber on the loose, there are many people in this community who are still very much on-edge. clayton sandell, abc news, littleton, colorado. the mysterious disappearance of a north carolina teenager has now ended with the discovery of
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her body in a maryland river. phylicia barnes disappeared four months ago, while visiting family in baltimore. her body was pulled from the susquehanna river early wednesday morning. the body of a man was pulled from the river hours later. but it's still not clear if there's any connection. university of kentucky students are on alert for a foot stabber. he crawled under study tables in the main library and stuck a sharp object into women's feet. both women were wearing sandals. one woman says she is going to wear tennis shoes while in that library. tough news for smokers. federal health officials are predicting that by 2020, every state may have bans on smoking in restaurants, bars and also the workplace. that is based on the current pace of adopting anti-smoking laws. only seven states currently have no indoor smoking restrictions. in sports news this morning, we're in the thick o playoffs. we'll get the latest highlights, now, from espn news. >> good morning. with your espn news update, i'm
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max bretos. it hasn't been pretty but the chicago bulls are up 2-0, in their eastern conference series with the indiana pacers. it moves to conseco. to the fourth quarter, bulls up two. make it five. kyle korver. six minutes to play. korver again. it's been a one-man show for the bulls. but korver helping out their star, derrick rose. carlos boozer on the baseline, over tyler hansbrough. bulls with their nets out in front by four. under two minutes to play, pacers down two. danny granger ties it. 20 seconds left. final derrick rose appearance. drives in, left-handed lay-in. bulls up 86-84. under ten seconds to go. one, last go for the pacers. danny granger, no. chicago are up 3-0 in their series. miami looking to do the same, at the expense of the philadelphia 76ers. a close to one in game one. blew out philly in game two. third quarter, sixers up six. spencer hawes.
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and then, andre iguodala slams it in. eight-point lead. but philly couldn't hang on. here come lebron james and dwyane wade combining. another look. poor jrue holiday. beaten like a drum there. heat down four. early fourth quarter, heat down two. no longer trailing. james with the three. now, looking to protect the lead. james misses the three. but wade with the putback. heat win by six. dwyane wade, 32 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. this has been your espn news update. for all the latest on the sports world, tune into "the highlight express" every night, at 11:00 p.m. eastern on espn news. washington state high school senior, gabby rodriguez is no longer pretending to be pregnant. for more than six months, the 17-year-old has been showing a baby bump. this week, the "a" student revealed at a school assembly it
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was a social experiment, done with her school's permission. even most of her family and teachers had no idea. she learned firsthand how attitudes change toward pregnant teens, and not always for the better. >> important lesson for all those folks. >> the principal was involved but not many others. very interesting. well, when you spend your days and nights risking your life to defend your country, a little downtime is certainly well-deserved. ♪ ♪ hey, over there please forgive me ♪ ♪ if i'm coming on too strong >> okay. these are some men and women of a marine platoon serving in afghanistan. and they're lip-syncing to the britney spears hit song, "hold it against me." they've used their time to make videos of her stars like miley cyrus and shawn kingston. let's face it, they can move. they can move. >> they earned it. all right. well, coming up next on your friday morning, the glitch that is taking some popular websites offline this morning. we're going to show you
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which areas are bracing for more severe weather, as well, when we come back. swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on p of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse. my rheumatologist told me about enbrel. i'm surprised how quickly my symptoms have been managed. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. get back to the things that matter most. good job girls.
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is blowing in today the southern plains to the ohio valley. some areas battered by earlier storms, are bracing for more heavy rain, hail, flooding, also a chance of tornadoes. also more of the same is possible again early next week. and you can blame ame of yo favorite websites this morning. the online retailing giant also rents space on its servers to other websites. and one of its data centers near washington, d.c. crashed yesterday. and today at arlington national cemetery a rare burial of an airmen who died in 1945. the remains of james maynard were recently identified of being returned from the philippines. he will be buried with full military honors. the pope joins millions of christians around the world in marking this good friday. it commemorates the crucifixion of jesus and is usually accompanied with a time of prayer and reflection. and lindsay lohan expected back in a california court later today. the pretrial hearing could determine whether she will go on trial for stealing an expensive necklace. the owner of the store is expected to stake the stand.
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next on abc7 news at 4:30 -- the new clues that san francisco police hope will help them catch a sexual predator. plus, pg&e makes a big admission about thousands of missing pipeline documents. why they say they won't be coming and what they say will happen if regulators continue to push the issue. mike will have the forecast. >> i'll have an update on the chance of scattered light rain for the weekend. i see a warming trend next week. >> sue hall wi well, there is an earth day treat in theaters today. the lion king story comes to life. >> this is a new movie by abc's
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parent company, disney, peering into the wild of how big cats really live. here's vicki mabrey. >> reporter: a mother's instinct is to protect her babies. >> she's going to survive on her own. and those cubs are completely dependant on her. >> reporter: and layla, a lioness, with a 6-month-old cub, maura. they are stars of disney nature's "african cats," filmed in kenya. two years they followed the big cats, documenting their ferocious love. their life-and-death struggles. the crew's access, their proximity to the feline stars is remarkable. >> we're almost as close as we are here. and they could so easily, they could say, have some lunch. but they don't.
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>> reporter: we met allister and keith at the bronx zoo, where they admitted to casting their cats with "the lion king" in mind. >> a really gripping story. we wanted to make the real "lion king." we chose that boy, having a good, old roar. >> reporter: the film is theatrical, with heroines, and villains. plot lines and storywork. filled with drama and comedy. and tragedy. >> the oldest lioness, layla, was limping from the beginning. she had a 6-month-old cub. and we knew to bring up a cub was going to be a struggle. maura doesn't make it. and in the end, is reunited. it does have a happy ending. >> reporter: this is vicki mabrey, in new york. >> reality tv. >> getting all choked up by the


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