tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC April 30, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight on "world news," ground zero, our first look this evening at one town where the winds topped 200 miles per hour. the town nearly wiped off the map as the death toll climbs this evening and communities now turn to the humanitarian crisis. lost and found, those precious possessions carried 100 miles by the storm. how one woman's small entry on facebook is now getting families photos they feared were lost forever. fast track. we're at the vatican where pope john paul's coffin has been brought back up preparing to make him a saint. photo finish. william and kate, the official wedding photos released tonight. from our tiny booth, two moments i won't forget and the snapshots you asked for.
good evening on this saturday night. we begin here with words we heard just today from one emergency worker who said it is not an exaggeration to say that whole communities were wiped out. today, our team spent the entire day in one of those towns, ground zero, if you will, smithville, mississippi where an ef-5 tornado decimated the town. the highest on the scale. you see the number there behind me. winds reaching 205 miles per hour. the death toll across eight states is still climbing this evening. now more than 340 people. neal karlinsky is in mississippi tonight to lead off our coverage. >> reporter: good evening. of all the tornado strikes, the one to hit this tiny town was by far the strongest. an ef-5. it obliterated 70% of the homes around here. cars have been tossed about like children's toys are commonplace. it's the stories from the people who live here that are unlike anything we have heard so far. to understand what the people of
smithville, mississippi went through, you need to listen to shelley brown. she found her father amidst the rubble minutes after the tornado obliterated his house. >> he looked at me. he said she's gone. i can't find her anywhere. then he passed out. >> reporter: he was having a heart attack. his wife of 43 years was nowhere to be seen. >> he said that the tornado ripped her out of his arms as she went into the air. >> reporter: her mother's battered body was found 20 feet away. she didn't make it. her father devastated that he couldn't hold on to his wife died at the hospital. this town of over 800 people suffered unimaginable loss. the post office is a pile of bricks. the only school was ripped apart. the police station, leveled. the chief says his department can do nothing but ask for help just like everyone else. he lost everything but a single squad car. he was inside his office trying to save his son when the tornado struck. >> while he was going up over, i
grabbed ahold of him. he grabbed me. we were actually blown like outside the building. >> reporter: the survival stories are as mind boggling as the damage. down the street, 79-year-old maxine was ripped from her house along with the wall. they found her on train tracks 50 yards away. incredibly, she was alive. >> having to go through all of that, in between these trees, she survived. it's hand of god type of miracle. >> reporter: even all these days later, they're still searching for the missing. in this town, four people still remain unaccounted for. even though 15 of this city's 17 buildings were leveled, they vow to rebuild. david? >> the fact that maxine was found alive on the railroad tracks. incredible. thanks so much in mississippi tonight. it's not the intensity of the tornados that stand out, but the size and duration. look at the satellite image of
tuscaloosa, alabama. you can see the path of destruction. right from the bottom of the screen, all the way to the northeast, really incredible from the sky. jim avila is on the story. >> reporter: it's cleanup day across the south. a saturday workday as city after city begins the comeback. >> although we have been ravaged beyond comprehension, we still remain the shiny city on the hill. >> reporter: the line of tornados tore through 15 states in 24 hours. today the president added mississippi and georgia to alabama's official designation as a disaster area. alabama remains the hardest hit. 113,000 still without power. 1700 injured, 254 dead in alabama alone, including little edgar vazquez, just 9 years old. >> he's with his family. >> the town of phil campbell hit so hard, it may never recover.
18 people died here. >> i don't know if it will ever come back. it's so much damage. i don't know if anybody would have the heart. >> reporter: francis' family survived in a center hallway as the home fell down around them. >> the tornado that big, it doesn't matter if you're in a trailer or brick home or whatever, if you're in the path of it, it's going. >> reporter: to prove her point, a trailer park, where pansy's mobile home was gone in seconds. >> all of this can be rebuilt, you know. god will send people like he has. >> reporter: today church groups are helping with the cleanup. >> i can't believe all these people are out here. they don't know us from adam. >> reporter: here in phil campbell, the recovery has indeed begun. people are getting out of the shock they were once in. now as the mayor of tuscaloosa said today, their hearts may be broken, but their souls are intact. >> the resiliency has been so
much. thanks so much again reporting in the tornado zone. these violent storms not only took lives, they have taken precious memories, blowing photographs 100 miles away. one woman has taken to facebook, an extraordinary effort to get those photos back to families who lost them. dan harris is also in the region tonight. >> reporter: these are memories in search of owners. first birthdays, first steps, graduations, weddings. snapshots snatched away by the tornados, faded and ripped and smudged, but found by strangers miles away. this picture of a brother and sister from phil campbell, alabama was found 100 miles away in ardmore, tennessee. this portrait of their cousin from the same town was found 150 miles away in manchester, tennessee. this picture of nick and stacey was found 267 miles away in chattanooga, tennessee.
once these photos would have been lost forever, but in the age of facebook, they are finding their way back home. >> i actually got on facebook right after the storms went through and a friend of mine posted it was raining pictures in her yard. >> so patty got the idea to create an online lost and found. so far she's posted dozens of images. >> a lot of the pictures that are put on there are baby pictures, pictures from birthdays. personal memories. they can't replace those. the only way they can get those back if someone finds them and returns them to them. >> reporter: dan harris, abc news, tuscaloosa, alabama. >> one woman's work. we thank dan. he'll be back on "gma" in the region in the morning. we turn to washington. members of congress who during a visit home were bombarded with constituents who said hands off my medicare. here's david kerley tonight. >> reporter: republican members of congress got an earful. in florida. >> congressman why did you vote
for a budget to privatize medicare? >> because the country can't afford it. we can't afford it. >> reporter: last night, even the republican author of the budget plan, paul ryan, was loudly criticized forcing the congressman to tell one man to leave the town meeting. >> you're going to have to leave if you don't want to be a polite person. >> the man left. the loud complaints about ryan's budget plan are over medicare which according to democrats would be turned into a voucher program, but only future seniors would be affected. in new hampshire, a tea party freshman. >> actually, this does not affect anybody who is 55 years or older. >> reporter: in pennsylvania -- >> you say nothing in the campaign about i'm going to change medicare. now you voted for a plan that will destroy medicare. >> reporter: it was a dramatic shift from the last time republicans went home during a recess. then they heard from tea party members and others who encouraged them to cut spending.
>> i don't like it. >> there's nothing in the bill about health care. it's health insurance and who pays for it? >> despite the massive shift in tone, republicans dismissed the suggestion that they were pummelled at home. >> the republican position, is it controversial? yes, but is it reality? yes, it is. we ought to stop playing politics. and face up to reality. >> they campaigned on cutting but now when they're coming home to talk about cutting they have to defend how difficult this cut is. especially when we're talking about medicare. >> democrats believe the republicans have handed them a gift with their vote to change medicare. it's a vote that democrats are already using in tv ads and fundraising calls as well. david? >> david kerley tonight. thanks so much. as you heard him report there, the architect of the republican budget plan now generating so much controversy is paul ryan. ryan sat down with an interview with the host of "this week" christiane amanpour. christiane asked him about this growing heat he's taking. >> how do you feel being made a
bogey man? >> i don't think about it. i sleep well at night, because i know we have a debt crisis coming. we know we're going to have an economic collapse if we stay on the path we're on. it's unconscionable as an elected representative of people to know that that's coming and not try to do something to prevent it from happening. if it's bad politics, so be it. >> let's bring in christiane amanpour. always good to see you. it's something to hear a politician say if it's bad politics, so be it. the question, is ryan in particular, republicans in general, willing to take a hit politically with this? >> it seems ryan is. he's been working for years on this plan. he's devoted to it. we were at his district in wisconsin where he was holding town hall meetings. as you saw other congress people are facing a backlash from their constituents. many are now saying perhaps the republicans will start running away from the ryan plan because of the drastic cuts he calls for in medicare, medicaid and other
such programs. he seems very committed to it, saying that without this kind of thing, there will be a massive crisis. >> congress knows we have to address this deficit. what about the democrats? what's their counterplan? >> they too know that there has to be some kind of plan to rein in the debt and come up with a plan to overhaul entitlements. you hear democrats say they are going to call for cuts, meaningful cuts in spending in return for their vote on the debt ceiling, for instance. >> christiane with us tonight. you can see christiane's full interview with congressman ryan including what he said about the chances of compromise with the president. tomorrow morning right here on "this week." obviously, you noticed i'm back here at the desk of new york, flying back from london this morning. the papers as i left there, here's the headline, royal theater captivates the world. when i landed in new york, front page of the papers here, the daily news, "sealed with a kiss." but the papers did not have the
new photos taken inside buckingham palace. jeffrey kofman has the photos and the behind the scenes story from the photographer himself. >> reporter: the morning after the big day, the duke and duchess of cambridge left buckingham palace to begin their lives as a married couple and a surprise. they have delayed their honeymoon. for now, a short break, escaping by helicopter, their destination, an official secret, but somewhere secluded in britain. that followed a late wedding party for 300 at buckingham palace. while details are scarce, the daily telegraph reports prince harry was light hearted and laced with jokes at his brother's expense and even some of his more elderly relatives. prince charles described kate as the daughter he never had and said that the family is lucky to have her. today, the official family photos were released. the duke and duchess alone and with their family.
>> from their point of view, it was two families coming together. >> reporter: there is this more casual official photo, clowning for the camera is 8-year-old tom pettifor. >> it was a picture we all wanted to take. we had seconds to put that picture together. those children came in. they knew -- there was a promise of sweets and jelly beans. >> after a long weekend, the newlyweds will head to wales where prince william will return to his work as a military search and rescue pilot. they are planning a honeymoon somewhere overseas and exotic but they won't say where and they won't say when. the parents of the bride checked out of their hotel this morning and headed home. after months of living in the public eye, it is clear the couple and their family are eager to have a little time away from the camera. jeffrey kofman, abc news, london. >> thanks to jeffrey.
we reported from london during the royal wedding on the one guest struck from the invitation list, ambassador to syria. the reason was the brutal crackdown on protesters that continued again today. western reporters have been banned from syria. witnesses say more than 16 people have been killed in the last two days alone. the president of yemen has reneged on his offer to step down causing outrage from protesters there. the forces loyal to the president cracked down. four deaths reported there. from libya, breaking news tonight, colonel gadhafi's son reportedly killed in a nato air strike. he asked for a cease fire, but nato rejected it. egypt's minister said ousted president hosni mubarak could be put to death if he's convicted of ordering the death of protesters. more than 800 people were killed during the uprising there. there is much more news ahead. should the pope who led the church during the eruption of the sex abuse cases be fast
tracked to sainthood? there's a debate. we ask you to weigh in. it's no laughing matter, why would the comic book hero superman not want to be an american? would clark kent approve? we read your tweets and messages on facebook to us. so many of you asked what were we taking pictures of in those moments? desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. talk to your doctor about your risk for osteoporosis-related bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of nexium for a long time. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. talk to your doctor about nexium. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. beer and wine, and cupcakes.
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>> thousands of people are converging on the vatican in rome that will advance the sainthood of the late john paul ii. at least some of the fateful are saying not so fast. david wright is there. >> where roman emperors once slaughtered christian martyrs, a vigil for a future saint. tomorrow morning in st. peter's square, pope john paul will officially be beatified. >> the last step on the step to sainthood. his heroic virtue has been confirmed. we're waiting for one more miracle. >> reporter: normally the church wouldn't begin this process until five years after a possible saint has died, but in pope john paul's case, they've waived the waiting period. church officials say while they are fast tracking this, they're not cutting corners. john paul was the ambassador of the faith, a champion of religious freedom who helped
bring down the iron curtain. at his funeral, the crowd shouted santo subito. sainthood now. but there are also detractors. >> you're not a fan of santo subito in this case? >> no, i have deep reservations. >> joe is one of many who say the late pope for too long turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse scandal that in the u.s. alone so far has more than 10,000 victims and more than 4,000 priests accused of wrongdoing. >> in its aftereffects, it leaves a troubled papacy. >> ahead of tomorrow's ceremony, the coffin was brought up and placed before the tomb of st. peter. tomorrow it will be at the basilica's main altar so the faithful can pay their respect. david wright, abc news, the vatican. >> when we come back on abc news, why doesn't superman want to be an american?
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say truth, justice and the american way is not enough anymore. superman was born on the planet of krypton but he was adopted by a family in kansas. more to come on this. this 18-month-old can be the next superman of sports. take a look at him kicking one soccer ball after another into his toy chest. over and over again. he got the attention of the professional soccer team in his town. they knew the family because his grandfather played for the team. they invited him to a news conference. they offered him a ten year contract. he's got the jersey on. the jury is still out on his future talent. he signed the deal in crayon. we were caught on camera taking pictures from our anchor booth. so many of you weighed in. [ male announcer ] a moment that starts off ordinary
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stacked four stories high, the tiny green broadcast booths overlooking buckingham palace. from inside the booth, we were watching along with all of you back here at home. apparently caught on camera, using our own cameras. >> we're not just watching it on television, we're seeing it. >> so many of you tweeted me asking what were we taking pictures of. on facebook, hope the cartwheeling clergyman made the list. i didn't catch that on my own, but that image has got to be near the top of the royal scrapbook. >> for me it was the balcony. we had a bird's eye view. we knew there would be the kiss. but two? this was one of my favorites. the other star of that second kiss, the little bridesmaid covering her ears. it wasn't the smooch that was too loud, it was the roar of the crowd and the flyover. what we didn't know is the 3-d camera captured the kiss in a historic way. those images coming this week.
my favorite moment, rich telling me the spin they took in the aston martin, we were reporting on a wedding scripted down to the minute. this we had no idea it was coming. we learned more about that blue aston martin owned by prince charles run on english wine. we wondered was it the same one? james bond was driving an aston martin db 5, its driver a little older. that's okay, prince william is new at a lot of things, first and foremost, newlywed. or just wed as the car said. >> we couldn't believe it when we saw them driving out in an aston martin. >> barbara and diane and i thank you for getting up so early to watch the royal wedding. that's the broadcast for tonight. good night.
>> alan: good evening. governor jerry brown has undergone surgery to removal a cancerous greg on -- growth on his nose. the governor needed reconstructive surgery to his nose, but the procedure was done with only local anesthesia. brown is recovering at home. he cancelled his plans to address delegates at the democratic party convention. both president obama and california senator barbara boxer called for an end to the $4 billion in annual tax breaks for the oil industry. rising gas prices have slowed economic growth and hurt
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