tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC April 27, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
hope to see you again at 6:00. >> bye-bye. tonight, as everyone is counting down to the royal wedding, this is "world news" from london, england. and first up in the headlines, storm warning. 85 million americans watching the sky. another round of terrifying twisters and raging rivers on the rise. in cold blood. nine americans executed in afghanistan. the gunman was supposed to be on the u.s. side. born in the usa. president obama shows the world his full birth certificate, saying that times are too serious for silliness. donald trump fires back. and, from here in london, rehearsal night. the royal couple practicing for friday. as we bring you the lessons of all those royal women who
traveled the same path as kate will ride to the abbey. and good evening tonight from london. behind me is buckingham palace, where on friday, right there on that balcony, another royal couple will appear, connecting us to the dramatic centuries of british history. and we'll have more on what happened here in london today. but we do begin as we have so many nights this week in the united states with tornadoes bearing down in state after state. 85 million americans worried about what this night of weather will bring. violent storms and along raging rivers, rising by the hour. there is heavy new damage from texas to tennessee, at least 11 more people have been killed today, bringing the total for the week to 22.
and abc's steve osunsami starts us off in moody, alabama, tonight. steve? >> reporter: good evening, diane. there are tornado warnings up all across this state. ten, at last count. the sky is getting dark. the wind is already starting to blow. this morning, they say there was no warning, no sirens whatsoever. all of a sudden, the top of this home was blown away. it's the never ending storm. this up evening, the sky was literally falling over alabama. in tuscaloosa, a tornado that looked a mile wide. >> it looks like we got hit by a 5,000-pound bomb here. >> reporter: new pictures tonight, where a tornado hit a hospital and a courthouse in alabama. this was from a live camera this afternoon. just after 6:00 a.m., the tornado was bearing down on families in alabama. >> i felt the bed shaking, and that's when i jumped up. >> nothing left. >> reporter: at wendy's home, it's all gone. >> just kind of, like, makes you stop and you think, you know,
wow. we're here one minute and we can be gone the next. >> reporter: george says it happened so fast, they didn't have time to run for cover. is this your wall on the floor here? >> yeah. that was the front of the house. that was the front of the house. >> reporter: one woman down the road was killed. his family was lucky they got out alive. >> pieces of our house scattered all over two, three counties, i think. but like i said, we're alive. we survived it. >> it's been about every day, every six hours or so, we'll have tornadoes, severe damage around the area. >> reporter: the map is ugly. tornadoes across several states, more than 45 of them since this morning, one after another. 20 alone in alabama. and, there's so much rain. across the midwest, there's now major flooding along the mississippi and ohio rivers. this suv in clarksville, indiana, was surrounded by rising waters. a parking lot in metropolis, illinois, was transformed into a lake. and in branson, missouri, families were scrambling to beat the flood.
>> my dad is born and raised here. we've never seen it this bad. >> reporter: in illinois, they've got a tough decision coming. they just might break the levee upstream to save the town. but if they do that, they'll sacrifice hundreds of acres of farms. they're headed to court to fight it out. at least ten people have already been killed so far in these storms this week. diane? >> thank you, steve. every day, so much loss. and, we shift now, to a strange day in american politics. president obama pressured to produce his full birth certificate, more than two years into office. saying, it's time to stop the side shows and carnival barkers. but within minutes, donald trump had punched back. and jake tapper is at the white house for us tonight. jake? >> reporter: diane, some advisers cautioned the president not to address this issue, because a long protracted discussion by republican presidential candidates about where the president was born could help make those republicans look unserious.
but ultimately, president obama decided that this birther nonsense was just too much of a distraction. it's the lie that would not die. >> he doesn't have a birth certificate. now, he may have one, but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he's a muslim. i don't know. >> this really is the biggest hoax every contemplated against our country in 200 years. >> reporter: president obama came before the american people today to provide even more documentation that he was born in the u.s. and is thus constitutionally eligible for the position he holds. >> i was born in hawaii, august 4th, 1961. >> reporter: the birther smear appears to have been hatched in anonymous e-mail campaign in the spring of 2008. then-senator obama responded by posting on his campaign website the certification of live birth that hawaii issues. but for some, that was not enough. nor were the 1961 birth announcements in honolulu's major newspapers. the lie persisted.
>> if i had some dna, it wouldn't assuage those who don't believe he was born here. >> reporter: the numbers have been growing. 43% of all americans say the president was either not born in the u.s. or they're not sure where he was born, according to polls. including two-thirds of republicans, and almost half of independents. the president said polling did not prompt today's action. instead, he cited how earlier this month, a budget debate between him and republicans was overshadowed by possible republican presidential candidate donald trump's bombastic birther bunk. so, last week, the president sent a letter to hawaii's director of health, requesting that the state make an exception and provide him with certified copies of his original birth certificate. >> we're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers. >> reporter: in new hampshire today, a triumphant trump. >> i feel i've accomplished something really, really important. and i'm honored by it. >> reporter: late this
afternoon, diane, president obama, in a taping of "the oprah winfrey show" to air monday said that of course he knew that we was born in the u.s., he was there, he remembered it. diane? >> all right, jake. i want to bring in george stephanopoulos now, because, george, we just heard jake say that a lot of the staff said, don't do this, to the president. he did it anyway. why now, when this has been around for so long? >> reporter: well, i think he realized it was in his political interest to keep it going a little bit longer, as well. but in the long run, i think he knew that to have the question of this significant portion of the american public, as wrong as they were in their beliefs, believe he wasn't born in the united states and to question the legitimacy of him as president was not a good thing. so, better to put it away once and for all. even though it was really driven to the top of the news cycle by donald trump. >> that's it, it vaulted trump back into the headlines again. so, what does this mean now for the republican field, and trump has been polling number one or number two. and, also, trump, and his
noncandidacy candidacy. >> reporter: my guess is he's going to go up more. and chak actually, the president might not be all too displeased with that, either. he's going to have to face real questions about whether he is indeed a serious candidate, and if he can withstand the scrutiny of a campaign. but as for the other republican candidates, diane, i think they are all breathing -- and i talked to representatives of several of them today -- they're all breathing a sigh of relief. they don't like this issue. it's not a good issue for them. they are happy to have it go away. >> maybe case closed. okay, thank you, george stephanopoulos, tonight. and now, we move onto the massacre of nine americans in afghanistan. eight military and a contractor, by an afghan air force officer. the shooter lined up the americans in a meeting room at the kabul airport, apparently shooting them execution style. martha raddatz, on what this means to the 100,000 men and women fighting there tonight. >> reporter: it was a massacre,
smack in the middle of a highly guarded air force complex at the kabul airport. the nine americans were meeting in a conference room with a group of afghan airmen to discuss the training. all of them armed with an american-suppli american-supplied handgun. suddenly, a 48-year-old afghan pilot, a 20-year veteran, began arguing, erupting in anger and storming out. within minutes, he returned with his u.s.-issued handgun drawn. u.s. officials tell abc news he ordered the americans and afghans to drop their weapons and line up. that's when he opened fire execution style. the eight american service members and one u.s. contractor were killed. the five afghans badly wounded. the shooter then took his own life. across the complex, chaos. the sounds of gunfire and soldiers scrambling, some jumping out of windows to
escape. abc's mike boettcher was at the airport. >> sirens were going off and people were being herded into hardened buildings and told there was a situation. >> reporter: the afghan pilot's family said he was under financial strain, and depressed, with no connection to the taliban. this is the seventh time this year that afghan troops have turned on american and nato forces. the level of trust in the afghans will be even more shaken after today. in fact, since 2009, 24 u.s. military personnel have been killed by afghan forces. but this horrific day is by far the worst. and diane, i have already gotten e-mails from some in the military saying, "what are we fighting for?" >> well, martha, thank you for bringing us the story tonight. and we do have other news about the u.s. in afghanistan. and it affects the u.s. around the globe, as well. president obama will announce a shakeup in his national security team tomorrow. changes that have been long rumored. we have confirmed that leon
panetta, now the cia director, will be named defense secretary, taking over for robert gates in the late summer. and general david petraeus, now the top commander for the u.s. in afghanistan, will return to the u.s. to head the cia in the fall. and, now here in london, the city has been transformed into a kind of wedding command center. electrified by a secret rehearsal with the bride and groom tonight. and nick watt has been tracking the action. he's at methodist hall right now. nick? >> reporter: good evening, diane. well, kate and william have just been and gone. they were here at this 1,000-year-old abbey for their final rehearsal. they slipped into the abbey through a side door. post-rehearsal, the paparazzi caught a very happy bride and groom driving away. in 36 hours, they'll be back with 2 billion people watching, doing this for real. this afternoon, this was the
scene outside kate's hotel. is the wedding dress in there? there's kate's dad. what's in his bag? kate at the wheel. is that the wedding hairdo? kate taking a box out of the trunk. what's inside? meanwhile, last minute rehearsals for fly past pilots, horseback horn players. and, in the predawn quiet, all the queen's horses and all the queen's men. a full rehearsal. sir malcolm ross was once the queen's master of the household, choreographing such events. what can go wrong? >> nothing, nick. nothing must go wrong. >> reporter: today, not just flowers, but 20-foot trees taken into the abbey to decorate. >> i'm happy. >> very exciting. >> i think it's a little bit of a historical moment. >> reporter: historic because kate's what they call a commoner. no blue blood. her mom's family were coal miners. >> from coal mining to future queen of england.
i mean, it's an astonishing story. it is a fairy tale, frankly. >> reporter: now, diane, this time tomorrow night, kate will be with her family in that hotel. and prince william, he'll be at st. james' palace, just around the corner. a quiet night in with his father, prince charles. >> and you and i will be seeing each other a lot in the days to come. thank you, nick. and still ahead on "world news," we sent david muir on a simple mission. in this country facing so many budget cuts, how do they really feel about the royal spectacle? and, that sisterhood of royal women kate middleton is about to join. 50 years along the same path. what are the lessons? ♪ ♪
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different solutions to the same problem. epic spending deficits. here in england, they took drastic measures, cutting deeply right away. so, we wondered, how do the people feeling the sting of those cuts view the splendor of the royal wedding, and david muir went out to find out today. hello, david. >> reporter: hi, diane. great to see you here in london. and so many people here will tell you, they're facing so many of the problems americans are facing back at home. as diane mentioned, unemployment, huge deficits. and now, an opulent royal wedding. but we learned today that many here welcome it. it was the image of that moment, the cocoon around prince charles and camilla was punctured. windows shattered as the anger and frustration here boiled over. after giant cuts passed by the government here. $133 billion over four years. while back in the u.s., congress just finished a bruising battle over cutting less than 1% of that. in the uk, they cut college
funding by 40%. public housing, 60%. retirement age moved up to 66. and so the people here, desperate for relief, have found themselves desperate for this royal escape too. >> it's about exuberant wenting so much as we need this wedding. we need this wedding to make a turn around for some tine. >> reporter: there have been royal turnarounds before. when charles and diana were married, 2.5 million brits were "on the dole," as they say -- getting unemployment. the same giant number they now face again today. the differences, though, now, so much has already been pared down. >> the time of the wedding before with diana and charles, there was a royal yacht. the two of them went off on a big honeymoon cruise. that's now a museum. >> reporter: that yacht docked forever. the royal train barely used. and at the core of this country, just like the u.s., that disappearing engine, those british factories after world war ii, now a fraction of what they were. this is one of those shops where you can get trinkets for the royal wedding. how are you? i first picked up the william and kate spoon. where was it made? >> china.
>> reporter: where was this made? >> china. >> reporter: they can hear the money bells, too. >> that's very hard for the british people. the prime minister has said, everybody must have a street party and there's a slight sense of kind of mandating, we have to celebrate. we have to say, we're here, we're surviving. >> reporter: headed to westminster station, the tube, as they call it. martin perry told us this country needs this wedding. >> i think we've got our work cut out. >> reporter: even frances will be watching, after watching her job disappear. studying to be a lawyer, her paid internship at a law firm is now gone with the cuts. when were you told that -- >> i was told maybe three weeks ago. >> reporter: so you just found out? >> quite recently, yeah. >> reporter: that the internship is done, because of the cuts? >> yeah. >> reporter: a young woman whose opportunity was cut short by the drastic cuts here in britain. and yet, on friday, she'll be celebrating another young woman, kate middleton. she said, though it's a fairy tale playing out before billions of people watching, that she
hopes it will also change the fortunes here in britain, so many people face. >> change the spirit, the fortunes, and how much is the wedding predicted to bring in? >> reporter: anywhere between $700 million and $1 billion. so, maybe that will bring some g good fortune. literally. >> okay. we'll be back out on the streets again tomorrow, david. thank you. and, coming up, those expired prescriptions in your medicine cabinet. we all have them. which ones could do you harm? do you know? the exelon patch -- it releases medication continuously for twenty-four hours. she uses one exelon patch daily for the treatment of mild to moderate alzheimer's symptoms. [ female announcer ] it cannot change the course of the disease. hospitalization and rarely death have been reported in patients who wore more than one patch at a time. the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds
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america now being raised by a single parent. a percentage that's been climbing for years. researchers say one reason is the shift toward greater acceptance, though they say single parents are more likely to live in poverty. and an eye-opening look inside all those bulging medicine cabinets. we don't throw out our medications, as we all know. well, today, millions of old prescriptions we have inside are featured in a new report that says all those kills can lead to painkiller abuse among children and for older americans, medication mixups and contaminate our drinking water when they are flushed. so, be sure to throw them away different ways or combine the old pills with coffee grinds or kitty litter and put them in the garbage. police departments, by the way, across the country in the u.s. are going to be collecting unused medicine on saturday. and, a revealing new snapshot tonight of our changing appetite when we go out to eat, with burgers and fries fading
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quietly in the car with her own thoughts, will she hear the whispered voices of all the women before her, who traveled the exact same route when they walked into history? a bride with her heart pounding, traveling through an echo chamber of the royal brides before. starting at the place where she and her family are getting ready. here it is. the goring hotel. and we're told that mr. middleton just came in right before we arrived here. it is a hotel so identified with the queen mother. you may think of her most as the wife in that movie who persuaded her husband to get help with his stammer. >> and down comes her royal highness -- >> all right? >> yes. >> actually quite good fun. >> reporter: we know the bride is going to be arriving in a car, breaking with tradition with the carriage. so, i'm going to take my own route in a slightly less elegant
car. within minutes, she'll pass by the place where diana once also set out on this journey. a veil covering her face. a few minutes after that, the crossroads, where once her groom walked behind a casket. and his brother left a note for mummy. and then, she rounds the final corner to westminster abbey. so, pull up in your car and take the walk. it's a short one. not far at all. right up to the doors to the future. >> reporter: and when she leaves in her open carriage and looks out at the streets, the people who have gathered for centuries to watch british ceremonies will be standing behind those who are gathered for her today. and up ahead, buckingham palace, where queen elizabeth ii left for her coronation to begin her 60-year reign. right there is the balcony. it's fairly low. we think of it as very high. but it's fairly low, so, you see people stretched down but not so far beneath you.
the balcony, where once the queen mother stood with her daughter, queen elizabeth, and her sister margaret. celebrating the end of the war with winston churchill. and a half century later -- >> you had standing on the balcony, the same three women as who were there in 1945. and kate will be part of that history now. >> and we will, of course, be watching as she is part of that history. don't forget to set your alarms, abc's coverage begins at 4:00 a.m. friday morning. we thank you for watching. we're always on at abcnews.com. "nightline" later. i am a fourth generation san franciscian . i am a local hire. >> san francisco's new police chief gets an enthusiastic reception in the swearing in
today. >> does your iphone track where you have been? >> what services you would be missing out on if it didn't. >> a woman paid $6400 for the right to shop district buy and then local stores shut down. 7 on your side is coming up. >> there's a new set of the eyes looking into the san bruno pipe line explosion . federal prosecutors confirm they, too, are on the case and aggressively seeking answers from pg&e. >> the u.s. attorney's office in san francisco is reviewing thens of documents as it looks at the fire that claimed lives. pg&e identified 34 miles of additional pipe line that has faulty records. heather is live with more on this they received a subpoena .
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