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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  June 17, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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we hope to see you again at 6:00. tonight on "world news," nature's rampage. 1 million acres of america burning right now. and an awesome image from a volcano tonight. a diver in a lake, wading through waves of ash. lone wolf. a marine lance corporal behind bars after touching off a terror panic near the pentagon what was in his backpack? homeward bound. congresswoman gabby giffords heading back home to tucson to spend father's day with her family and get a hometown boost for her recovery. and, good-bye gray. scientists think they've learned how to reverse gray hair. the proof? a mousey gray mouse transformed into, well -- ♪ can't get enough of your love, babe ♪ >> and also tonight, our very
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special "persons of the week." good evening. it is a battle being fought on thousands of fronts in america tonight. ferocious wildfires, more than we have seen in a decade, and so many people on the run. there is even a fire outside a major city, houston. at this moment, more than 1.2 million acres burning across the country, an area the size of delaware. and, just since january, there have been 33,000 fires scorching 4 million acres. already twice what we usually see in a year. our matt gutman is in osteen, florida, tonight, where 420 fires are burning across the smokey sunshine state. matt? >> reporter: diane, and those
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fires have reduced 300,000 square acres of forest here in florida into just smoldering ashes. a moon scape, played out all across the south today. you may be able to hear all that rumbling of lightning just a couple of miles away. there were 50,000 lightning strikes just the other night. that means more fires sparked up here in florida for firefighters and others to deal with. tonight, near houston, new fires on the march, drawing a giant curtain of smoke across the horizon. and 200 people were ordered to evacuate, as over 100 firefighters from ten agencies battle the flames on the ground and from the air. infernos as high as office buildings have scorched state-size chunks of forest across the country's south. in arizona, the wallow fire is now the largest wildfire in state history, gobbling up half a million acres, forcing thousands from their homes. and with the wind kicking up this weekend, most won't be allowed back until next week. >> best conditions ever, probably, for a fire to move. >> reporter: in all, the 4.3
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million acres that burned this year is already 2.5 times the national average for the last ten years. enough to cover an area six times the size of rhode island. >> the trend is that more fires, larger fires, and this has been going on for more than the last ten years. >> reporter: and it's not over. smoke billowing in from georgia is causing asthma-like symptoms in jacksonville, florida. and also in florida, 50,000 recorded lightning strikes helped spark 400 fires, blackening 300,000 acres of land. and just in the past 24 hours, 78 new fires. so, what's going on? >> well, we're seeing prolonged drought. we're seeing more weather extremes. >> reporter: firefighters are focusing not on stopping fires but reducing their intensity. and above all, saving lives. today, not a single person has been killed from this year's fires. but it may take some of the forests, especially in the southwest, diane, about 100 years to recover.
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>> it does look like quite a scene there. thank you, matt. and a 22-year-old marine lance corporal is behind bars tonight in a washington, d.c. terror scare. the area around the pentagon was thrown into chaos this morning by a backpack loaded with suspicious materials. the fbi says he apparently acted alone, but who was he? and what exactly was his plan? senior justice correspondent pierre thomas has been on this story all day. pierre? >> reporter: diane, it was a tense morning here at the pentagon. as police feared they had uncovered a terrorist plot. now, they are racing to find out to see if the suspect was mentally unstable or a lone wolf terrorist. it all began at 2:00 a.m. when an army policeman confronted a man at arlington cemetery. the man flees. police run him down and find something alarming. the suspect, marine reservist yonathan melaku, a 22-year-old ethiopian american, is carrying a backpack filled with four
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ziploc bags with a substance that looks like ammonium nitrate, a key bomb-making ingredient. also inside, spent .9 millimeter ammunition and a notebook containing the words "taliban rules," "mujahadin" and "defeated coalition forces." they also find the suspect's car hidden in the bushes off a pentagon parking lot. police fear the worst. they worry the suspect has planted bombs at the cemetery, and the iwo jima memorial, located just a mile from the pentagon. >> the question is, are there multiple devices and are they around here? >> reporter: they shut down traffic all around the pentagon. authorities later raced to maluku's suburban virginia home to search for bomb-making material, as the fbi launches an international investigation to dissect his life. as the morning wore on, a fuller picture emerged. the fbi initially could find no links to terrorist organizations. >> we do believe at this time that this individual acted alone. >> reporter: as for the material in the backpack? it may be ammonium nitrate, but
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it was not the type that is explosive. and the searches of his home and car have turned up no explosives. if it turns out to be a lone wolf terrorist, that's exactly what the fbi feared. someone showing up without warning. diane? >> pierre, thank you for the reporting. and it was a day of backlash, anger and confusion about social security. one of the most powerful groups in the country, the aarp, made headlines with word that they are actually debating a seismic shift, accepting the idea of some cuts in social security. here's ron claiborne on the backlash and the questions. >> reporter: aarp has been fighting hard against any move by congress to trim social security benefits. >> some in congress want to cut medicare and social security, cutting your benefits so washington can pay its bills. >> reporter: but the powerful lobbying group for older americans is now quietly accepting that some cuts are inevitable to save social security from going broke.
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>> aarp understands there are going to have to be some changes. >> reporter: at what was described as a heated meeting of aarp's policy council, the panel reportedly acknowledged it would have to accept that the retirement age, now 66, will have to be pushed back further. benefit levels reduced and contributions raised. >> we know there are going to be pieces we don't like. we're certainly going to fight for the pieces we do like. >> reporter: while the group will not advocate benefit cuts, that would spark revolt among many of its 35 million members, it will not stand in the way of some kind of reduction, provided they the not affect current recipients. >> the changes are inevitable. people are living longer and we're going to need to make changes to keep up with that, just as we have in the past. >> reporter: the conservative concord coalition says aarp's approval is key to any deal to save social security. >> aarp can really kill a deal if they came out and said, no benefits, no how, no way. apparently they're not going to do that, so, that's an encouraging thing. >> reporter: not surprisingly what people think of this
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depends a lot on how old they are. >> i think it should be, if not the last resort, pretty close to the last resort. >> maybe this is pitiful, but i sort of figure my generation won't get social security anyway. >> reporter: the social security expected to run dry in just 25 years. the aarp is now signaling that something's got to give. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. and, word tonight that congresswoman gabby giffords will be spending the weekend in her hometown of tucson, visiting her family. her husband, astronaut, mark kelly, spoke about her release from the hospital, first, to their house in houston. >> she wanted to leave but she was a little bit, you know, a little bit apprehensive. a little bit of a sad day. but she was happy to get here. you know, we had a very busy lifestyle, different places, so, you know, in any given year, she was here very rarely, but you know, it's very familiar to her, so, that's nice. she's really looking forward to getting back to tucson. >> he says they have been dreaming of the trip to tucson,
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and her doctors believe it could give her a hometown boost in her recovery. heading overseas now, a group of women committed a simple, small, brave act of defiance today. women in saudi arabia decided that they have a right to drive a car, even though it is forbidden in their ultra conservative kingdom. there were cheers for them from around the world, one twitter message saying, "saudi women, start your engines." lara setrakian on this small rebellion in the season of the arab spring. >> reporter: to conservative saudis, what you're seeing here is not just a crime, it's a sacrilege. >> it's kind of bizarre. >> reporter: but areej khan is one of thousands of saudi women who has had enough. her campaign, "we the women," plastered jeddah with signs, calling for the right to drive. and today, dozens of women took their message to the streets. one female protester saying, "i
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think the community is ready to accept us and welcome us as drivers." last month, one woman's bold move, a youtube manifesto, turned her into the rosa parks of the arab spring. her subsequent arrest, detention, turbo-charged the cause. fueled by facebook, publicized on twitter and, despite the country's strict reading of the koran, mandating a wife's sub serve against to her spouse, the big surprise, support from the husbands. >> we've seen men support their women and say, "i want my woman, my wife to be independent and that's why i want her to drive." >> reporter: the protestors say the kingdom's gender apartheid is not just unjust, but unfair and inefficient. saudi women in this factory in riyadh can drive the supply trucks, but they can't drive home. and for these women, low income mothers, paying a driver up to $400 a month is a burden they can't afford. >> it adds to that social injustice that women feel
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already in the middle east. if they can ride camels thousands of years ago, why can't they drive cars today? >> reporter: as saudi women push back, the optimistic say that change is ahead. >> now that i've done it, i'm worried that now i won't be able to stop. >> reporter: lara setrakian, abc news, london. and, an emergency declaration in parts of argentina tonight, as nature puts on an awesome display of power. you are looking at the largest lake in argentina, that's right, it is a lake, but no water to be experienced, as it is smothered in a deep blanket of volcanic ash. a lone diver wading through the soot-filled waves. and the ash landed from a volcano that has been erupting 500 miles away in neighboring chile for two weeks. father's day approaches, and the dad in chief, president obama, is staring down a milestone a lot of fathers have faced. daughter malia is becoming a teenager, turning 13 next month.
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and the president told "good morning america's" robin roberts his strategy for dealing with a teen in the white house. >> reporter: are you prepared for what's about to come? >> i'm not anticipating complete mayhem for the next four, five years, but i understand teenagehood is complicated. i should also point out that i have men with guns that surround them often. and a great incentive for running for re-election is that it means they never get in a car with a boy who had a beer. and that's a pretty good thing. >> reporter: have you thought about having a son? >> you know, you act as if this is a decision of mine. it really isn't, i mean, as michelle points out, i did not carry ten pounds in my belly. you know, i think michelle's general view is we're done.
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>> and on the theme of father's day, later in the program, how does roughhousing with dad help create a healthy child? there's new research out tonight. and, when we come back, want to dupe father time? the end of gray hair? today, doctors may have cracked the code. and, who knew a small army of people named phil would help and, who knew a small army of people named phil would help to save a town called phil, too. e so i've got to take care of my heart. for me, cheerios is a good place to start. [ male announcer ] got something you'll love to keep doing? take care of your heart. you can start with cheerios. the natural whole grain oats can help lower cholesterol. brrrbb... makes you feel ageless. [ male announcer ] it's time. love your heart so you can do what you love. cheerios. [ bob ] squak.
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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. ♪ if you have gout, high uric acid can lead to more attacks. ♪ there's new research out uloric lowers uric acid levels in adults with gout. it's not for the treatment of high uric acid without a history of gout. uloric reduces uric acid to help you reach a healthy level. [ female announcer ] don't take uloric if you are taking azathioprine, mercaptopurine, or theophylline. gout may flare when starting uloric. don't stop taking it. your doctor may give you other medicines to help prevent flares. a small number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths were seen in studies. it's not certain uloric caused them. certain tests to check liver function may be required.
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tell your doctor about liver or kidney problems, or history of heart disease or stroke. the most common side effects are liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain, and rash. [ male announcer ] if you have gout, ask your doctor about uloric. [ pneumatic wrench buzzing ] [ slap! slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums and a and a breakthrough tonight in the ongoing duel with gray hair. scientists believe they've cracked the code, uncovered a way to make gray hair reverse itself. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: half of all 50-year-olds are half gray. and the cover-up? >> rich color, fewer grays. >> no one invited gray to this parry. >> reporter: is big business. we spent more than $2 billion last year on home coloring
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products. >> no ammonia, no worry. >> and not a gray in sight. >> reporter: but now, scientists have found a new ingredient that one day could be added to your hair products to help really turn that silver back to its original sheen. researchers at new york university have restored these gray haired mice to their original bushy black brilliance. how? well, your hair color is determined by two things working together. hair follicle stem cells and color producing stem cells. if they stop working together, your hair goes gray. but researchers have uncovered a protein called wnt. it's the pathway between the two stem cells. and they figured out how to turn it on and get the cells working together again. so, gray hair is restored to its natural color like in the mice. >> mice and human hair are very similar in the way they are structured. so, it definitely can be applied at some point in the future. >> reporter: good news for workers worried about the so-called gray ceiling, age discrimination in the workplace.
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but the silver stigma may not habe the same thing on the social scene. >> my hair started really turning color when i was 25. >> reporter: in a nonscientific expeer yment experiment we did at "gma," gail posted two ads on an online dating website. one with gray hair. one as a digitally-enhanced brunette. 75 men responded to gray hair. 55 to the brunette picks. not surprising to gail. >> i really had more confidence in myself with the white hair than i did with the dark hair. i'm just so used to being the way i am. >> counter intuitive there at "gma." so, the big question. is it permanent? >> reporter: unfortunately, it's not. you put it on your hair, and as long as your hair is attached to your head, it's going to be your natural color. you're not going to get roots or anything like that. that's the good news. but if the hair falls out, and remember, we lose 40 to 100 strands of hair every day, the next one that pops up, you'd have to treat that again. not completely permanent but better than a dye. >> okay. well, so far, lucky mice, i guess, if they care. thank you, sharyn.
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happy weekend to you. and coming up, all of these people have two words in common. and one mission to help a town. at bayer, we've been relieving pain for over 100 years. and today, we're re-inventing aspirin for pain relief. with new extra-strength bayer advanced aspirin. it has microparticles so it enters the bloodstream faster and rushes relief right to the site of your tough pain. ♪ in fact, it's clinically proven
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to relieve pain twice as fast. new bayer advanced aspirin. extra strength pain relief, twice as fast. but for some of us with overactive bladder, our pipes just don't work as well as they should. sometimes, i worry my pipes might leak. but i learned there's something more i can do. now, i take care with vesicare. once-daily vesicare can help control your bladder muscle and is proven to treat overactive bladder with symptoms of frequent urges and leaks day and night. if you have certain stomach or glaucoma problems, or trouble emptying your bladder, do not take vesicare. vesicare may cause allergic reactions that may be serious. if you experience swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, stop taking vesicare and get emergency help. tell your doctor right away if you have severe abdominal pain, or become constipated for three or more days. vesicare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion.
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so why wait ? ask your doctor today... ... about taking care with vesicare. we're going to head on into the interview. eugena . . . ms. nelson what do you think ford is doing right? they've really done it with sync. cuz i'll say, "call my husband", and it calls him. and i never have to pick up my phone. if you could thank ford for one thing, what would it be? i don't feel like a mom in a minivan. i actually feel like a woman and then a mom. so i would say, "thank you". how do your kids feel about the edge? my fifteen year old loves it, 'cuz he thinks he's gonna' drive it in a year. there is an american town with a kind of quirky name. it is called phil campbell. and after a tornado struck in april, take a look at what was left of the alabama town. half the town, destroyed. half the families, homeless. and they thought no one would come to save them.
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not counting on a planet filled with people named phil campbell, too. steve osunsami tonight on the day the phils came to the rescue. >> i'm phil campbell. >> i'm phil campbell. >> i'm phil campbell. >> i'm phil campbell. >> i'm phil campbell. >> reporter: this week, they're coming together to save one of their own. >> i'm committed -- >> to helping the town -- >> of phil campbell, alabama. >> reporter: phil campbell, the town. phil campbell, from england. phil from round rock, texas. from wisconsin. they've come to clean up and rebuild, churches, homes and schools. and phil campbell from brooklyn, who hopes to raise $70,000 in donations for the city. >> how you doing? phil campbell. >> nice to meet you. >> phil campbell. >> nice to meet you. i'm phil. >> we've been trying to give that first push. >> reporter: of? >> reporter: getting ho
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>> getting homes rebuilt. >> it's keeping the conversation going. if we don't keep the conversation going, small towns are going to disappear. >> and the people are so good to us when we come, you know, you just want to help and do something if you can. >> reporter: where was your room? 9-year-old alliyah baker and her mother lost everything. where was the front door? >> right about there. >> reporter: right here. this little girl told me it feels like the world forgot, until the phils came to town. >> they've helped us. >> uh-huh. they helped a lot. more than they'll probably ever know. >> i got tears in my eyes thinking, they're willing to come and help and support and do what they're doing -- >> reporter: we heard that quite a bit. neighbors with tears in their eyes. because someone from so far away cares so much. steve osunsami, abc news, phil campbell, alabama. >> don't underestimate the phils. and coming up, the secret power of roughhousing with dad. is it the key to raising a healthy, successful child? i have copd.
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if you have it, you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms... by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and call your doctor right away if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. breathing with copd is no small thing. ask your doctor about spiriva.
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helping strengthen our bones. caltrate delivers 1200 milligrams of calcium and 800 iu of vitamin d plus minerals. women need caltrate. caltrate helps women keep moving because women move the world. imagine a day when we can eat what we want and sleep soundly through the night. prevacid®24hr prevents the acid that causes frequent heartburn all day, all night. finally tonight, our "persons of the week." father's day is sunday, and we have some new research showing roughhousing with dad, the kind that sometimes worries mom, that roughhousing might just help
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turn the child into a star. here's a dad named bill weir. >> reporter: presents are often the currency of love. birthday cake is keen. and fishing trips teach the tortuous merits of sitting still. but it turns out that a little rough and tumble may be some of the most valuable daddy time. >> oh, my! it's rough around here. >> reporter: see, in the world of human development research, women -- rightly so -- get most of the focus and the credit. but new science tells us that while nursing and lullabies from mom are vital in shaping a happy child, a game of "stop hitting yourself" with dad can be just as important. >> your dads socks, those black ones, off his feet. >> reporter: this is dr. richard fletcher, an australian researcher, who recorded games of "steal the sock" to gauge how this kind of play helps kids
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develop that skill, that one skill that separates angels from hellions -- self-regulation. >> you have to control your emotions, which are pretty high because you're trying to win. and it's very exciting with your father, but the father is controlling it, so that you can try as hard as you can, and really go for it, and he'll make sure that it's safe. >> reporter: he believes that when a father provides the right mix of winning and losing, the child learns how to control himself in ways he wouldn't get anywhere else. so, honey, i know it gave you a heart attack when olivia and i would play couch cushion death bounce, but look at her now. i was lucky enough to learn from the best. the same guy who taught me how to give a headlock and that you don't lose an ounce of rugged manhood by telling your boy you love him. love you. >> love you, too. >> reporter: so, here's to the
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human jungle gyms, the dads who risk abdominal trauma while battling captain underpants. the step-dads who do their time in the bounce house. ♪ with every roll in the grass, you're preparing your babies for a rough and tumble world. and the rest of the day may just sweeten that hug at their wedding tomorrow. bill weir, abc news, new york. >> and so we choose dads everywhere. may your father's day be filled with roughhousing and love. thanks for watching. we are always on at >> bay area homeowners in desperate need of help with house payments. tonight thousands of families seek rescue from foreclosure . >> new information about the man accused in a 29 count indictment for mortgage fraud.
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i am michael fenny it is a story you will see on abc news. >> the search for a missing nursing student, her family confronts reality and hold out hope. >> anniversary of the war on drugs and just say no campaign that got its start in an east bay elementary school. >> i hope it will be worth it. i got here at 5:00 p.m. yesterday. >> we'll see what they can do for us. >> he's in the same sad situation as many others . he owes twice as much on his house as it is worth. but he is getting help they need tonight. >> for so many bay area homeowners that can't come soon enough. they line up for a free mortgage relief event that put them face to face with experts. david louie is there live tonight. >> 52,000


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