tv America This Morning ABC December 26, 2012 4:00am-4:30am PST
little girl who loves her. good morning, everyone. i'm muhammad lila. >> and i'm brandi hitt. paula and rob are off this morning. travel could be a challenge, today, across much of the country. tornadoes, rain, snow, even a blizzard are all a threat. >> and in the south, they are picking up the piece after a series of storms which turned deadly. abc's wendy gillette is joining us now with more. wendy? >> reporter: muhammad and brandi, we may dream of a white christmas. and many of us got one. but these storms also delivered a deadly punch, all across the country. >> oh, jesus. look at that tornado. >> reporter: this is just 1 of more than 30 reported tornadoes that touched down on christmas day, leaving behind heavy damage. >> it's been on the ground for over a minute. >> reporter: this one roared through mobile, alabama, tearing down parts of trinity episcopal church and some downtown
businesses. another twister hit pearl river county in mississippi. blowing insulation into trees and peeling back walls of homes. there were some injuries reported there. but no deaths. >> judging from some of the damage we witnessed today, it's a miracle that no one was hurt any worse than they were. >> in this truck. and kept us from being sucked up in the tornado. >> reporter: further east in the state, in stone county, theresa mason and her boyfriend took shelter from a tornado inside their truck. >> it started jerking us and spinning us. >> reporter: the same fast-moving storms brought blizzard conditions to parts of the country's midsection. causing a 21-vehicle pileup in oklahoma city. and the system is heading east, bringing with it treacherous conditions on the day after christmas, often a busy travel day. enough of a threat for some in cleveland to stock up on supplies. >> ready to go.
>> i decided to get what we needed and go home. >> reporter: the storms are blamed for at least three deaths in texas, louisiana and oklahoma. live in new york, wendy gillette, abc news. muhammad and brandi, back to you. >> thanks, wendy. here's a look ahead at the nation's weather. winter watches and warnings are in effect for almost half of the country. the northeast could see a rain/snow mix for the evening commute before it turns all winter rain. wet from san francisco all the way to seattle. >> it is extremely cold in the middle of the nation. dallas is 38 degrees instead of the usual 55. minneapolis doesn't even get out of the teens. in the meantime, honolulu and miami, you're in the 80s. but there could be rain in both of those cities. chicago, detroit and indianapolis are in the 30s. to our other top story this morning. president obama is cutting his vacation short and heading back to the white house. >> he's hoping to make a last-ditch compromise with lawmakers to try to avoid that fiscal cliff. reena ninan is traveling with the president. she joins us, now, from honolulu, hawaii.
reena, has there been any movement to try to reach a compromise here? >> reporter: it doesn't seem that either side -- the president or the white house has reached out to either side over this christmas break. no movement moving forward on these fiscal cliff talks. the focus will shift to the senate. they have to try to craft something together that will pass both the house and the senate. so, the burden is now on them to try to strike some sort of a deal. that's because on friday before congress left for christmas, the house was unable to get any sort of a deal passed through. >> and, reena, give us a play-by-play. what can we expect this week? where will the white house be focusing their efforts? >> reporter: right. as i mentioned, capitol hill, now, taking the emphasis over at the senate side. the other concern that the white house does have is to make sure that they come to their different party lines. the democrats want to see, obviously, the middle class not
faced with any sort of tax hike, which there are $500 billion worth of tax hikes expected on january 1st. republicans are saying that spending cuts. they want to see more of that. and democrats do not want to go off of their focus on where they are right now, to get to that point. that's really a big divide that both the white house and capitol hill is facing right now. >> let's look at everyone left for christmas break. this seemed like it was going nowhere. is there any hope over the next few days that a deal is going to be reached? or are we just going straight off the cliff? >> reporter: well, the president says he hopes that members of congress will bring some eggnog and sing some christmas carols and come back. but it looks like it will take more than just some christmas cheer to get them to move off of their positions. the president, before he left, said he remains optimistic that some sort of a deal can be struck. but the reality is, they only have a matter of days. december 31st is when all of this has to be agreed by. and so, the clock is ticking, guys. >> all right. reena ninan joining us, live,
from honolulu, hawaii. thank you. well, if there is no deal, you heard, taxes are going to be going up, right? but here's a breakdown of just how much. a schoolteacher with two kids and a salary of $43,000, for example, will face a tax hike of more than $3,000. members of congress helped get us into this mess. they're going to have to pay, too. with an income of $174,000, they will pay $7,500 more in taxes. and the superrich, consider basketball phenom lebron james. he makes about $53 million a year. he would see his taxes go up $2.4 million next year alone. >> a lot of money. we have some chilling, new details about the christmas eve killing of two firefighters near rochester, new york. some of those details are in a letter written by the killer. 62-year-old william spengler used a bushmaster rifle similar to the one used in newtown, connecticut. police, yesterday, who read from his disturbing typewritten letter.
>> i still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood i can burn down and do what i like doing best, killing people. >> and police also upped the death toll from monday's violence to three, after finding the body of spengler's sister in his burned-out home. meanwhile, two of the fire fighters that responded to the blaze are still in the hospital. in newtown, connecticut, thousands of people from all over the country came to pay their respects on christmas day. volunteers have been keeping watch over the candlelight vigil for the 20 children and 6 adults that died in that massacre. at christmas services, congregants were told that good always overcomes evil. and police in kentucky say they believe alcohol was a factor in a deadly christmas eve car crash. five people were killed when one vehicle went airborne, right over the median and flew into another car. the driver of the airborne vehicle and four members of the same family died. first responders said it was the worst crash they have ever seen. overseas now. and new evidence that the global
recession is not over. thousands of people in rome turned out for the annual christmas day meal given away by the church. the dinner was held in an ancient basilica. now, when the tradition started back in the '80s, it mainly served the homeless. yesterday, most of those who waited in line were the working poor, too poverty-stricken to afford a proper christmas dinner. americans will soon be unable to adopt children from russia. the upper chamber of the parliament there is expected to approve a measure outlawing the practice. it's in retaliation for a u.s. law that calls for sanctions against russians seen to be human rights violators. there's 740,000 children without parental custody in russia. more than 60,000 russian children have been adopted in the u.s. in the last 20 years. some encouraging news from south africa this morning, where nelson mandela is said to be in good spirits. the former president has been in the hospital since the beginning of december. yesterday, he got a visit from the country's current president,
jacob zuma, who said mandela is looking better. zuma also said doctors are happy with the progress that mandela is making. still, overseas in australia, shoppers there have had a full day in the stores. they've been doing their so-called boxing day shopping. and they're doing a lot of it. today's actually the busiest shopping day of the year down under. analysts say both men and women were buying up the latest fashions. with men going for surprise gadgets. and women, for homewares. meantime, back here at home, a special story about a family's first christmas at home. they are mothers carrie bell and jennifer klawitter, along with their quadruplets. sofia, olivia, emily, and little noah. the children were born prematurely in march. at birth, they all weighed a little more than just one pound each. but they ended up gaining some weight in the hospital. and they made it home by august. >> last christmas was interesting and fun. but this christmas is so much more better because they're here.
they're healthy. >> look at their mom. called it a christmas miracle. the quads were conceived after several pregnancy attempts failed. they were all delivered within eight minutes of each other. >> they are beautiful. to a christmas tradition now. a celebration of a military victory that changed our nation. it's the annual re-enactment of george washington's christmas day crossing of the delaware river in 1776. hundreds gathered to watch the event and to hear a washington stand-in deliver the speech to the troops. this year, the weather just didn't cooperate. only one boat tried to make the crossing. but the water was just too rough. the weather must have been better back in '76 because there were enough boats to carry 2,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 18 canons from pennsylvania to new jersey. the historic trek turned the tide in the revolutionary war. >> at least they tried. maybe they didn't make it. there was quite a treat for fans at yesterday's rockets/bulls game in chicago. >> the crowd watched as the bulls mascot and a bunch of
santas put on this impressive display of slam-dunking. granted, yes, they were using trampolines to get that high above the rim. you have to give them credit, especially after they had been delivering those presents all night long. too bad the bulls, though, could not deliver a win. ouch. >> nice to see santa like that. still ahead, if yesterday was a day to give and receive, retailers are hoping today will be a day to spend. and there's some great deals to be had if you want to brave the stores. how stores are hoping to make up for the lackluster holiday season. plus, the ride of a lifetime. the new high-speed train that will cut a 20-hour trip to just 8 hours. we'll tell you where it is and how fast it goes. stay with us. i'm only in my 60's...
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welcome back. it is back to the malls today. and merchants have their fingers crossed. today is expected to be the fifth-busiest shopping day of the year, fueled by the deep discounts at many stores. preholiday sales were disappointing this year, mostly because of the budget and the fiscal cliff, hurricane and school shooting. and now, many retailers are stuck with inventory that they really need to clean out. >> they've got new merchandise that's coming in right behind it. and they recognize it's really now about recouping what sales they lost from the lack of excitement. so, look for the sales to carry through for most of january. but not much further than that. >> cohen says the biggest discounts will be on cold-weather merchandise because winter arrived late this year. top economists feel housing will be one of the bright spots on the economy next year. mark zandi of moody says better housing will continue to improve over the next three to four
years, with better sales, more construction and higher prices. last month, existing home sales rose more than wall street expected, almost 6%, reaching the highest level in three years. more homeowners in trouble may also be getting some help. "the wall street journal" reports the obama administration is thinking about expanding its refinancing program. borrowers whose mortgages aren't backed by the government and who owe more than their homes are worth may be eligible soon. that would be good, not only for them, but also for the economy, as a whole. and rail travel this morning is taking a major step forward in china. that country now has the longest high-speed rail line in the world. more than 1,400 miles. trains between beijing and guangzhou will initially travel a top speed of 200 miles per hour. cutting the trip from 20 hours to 8. it may also spur domestic airlines to cut their fares. >> impressive. when we come back, a little courtside coziness for a controversial couple.
>> the first side-by-side appearance for, yes, rihanna and chris brown. and later, a little girl's dog snatched from a new york city street is home for christmas. how some good samaritans pitched in to get the pup and catch the thief. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] nothing gets you going quite like the power of quaker oats. today is going to be epic. quaker up. today is going to be epic. trying to find a better job can likbe frustrating.gs, so at university of phoenix we're working with a growing list of almost two thousand corporate partners -
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that's insurance for the modern world. esurance. now backed by allstate. click or call. welcome back. now, for a look at morning road conditions. blizzard conditions will make travel difficult all around cleveland and indianapolis. and roadways will be wet from san francisco to seattle. >> meanwhile, if you're flying, airport delays are possible in atlanta, charlotte, d.c., philly, new york, boston and detroit. and time, now, for sports. and a big christmas in the nba. >> we get all the highlights, now, from espn. >> good morning. i'm doug kezirian with your espn "sportscenter" update. five games on christmas day, including a rematch of last
year's nba final. lebron james and the heat, hosting the oklahoma city thunder. fourth quarter action. dwyane wade to the rack. throws it down. defending champs up four. the 1-point game inside of 30 seconds. lebron, such great vision. finds chris bosh. miami up three. other end, kevin durant, three-time nba leading scorer. misses. okc with the offensive rebound. russell westbrook misses. looks like he was fouled. no call. he's upset. and the heat win the rematch of the finals. elsewhere, kobe and the lakers, hosting the knicks. kobe and carmelo put on a show and delivered on christmas like santa claus. in transition, anthony sticks the three. later, melo finished with 34. knicks would lead by nine at one point in the third quarter. but the lakers come back. closing seconds.
kobe the hoop. l.a. down one, entering the fourth. now, lakers up three. bryant, made all eight of his shots in the paint. 9-straight games scoring at least 30. ensuing knicks possession. carmelo knocked it down. knicks down three. just over 30 seconds to go. j.r. smith, off-balance and off the mark. lakers get the rebound. still a three-point lead. 14.4 seconds to go. pau gasol, the two-handed emphatic dunk. lakers win 100-94, making it five-straight. i'm doug kezirian. enjoy the rest of your day. and good luck with all those returns. >> thanks, doug. up next, against all odds. a little girl is reunited with her dog, which was stolen right off the street. >> we'll show you how a chance encounter led a good samaritan to rescue the pup and put the thief behind bars. stay with us. [ laughter ]
welcome back. time to check "the pulse," the stories you'll be talking about today. and i guarantee this is a big headline. >> big headline. something a lot of people may not want to hear. but rihanna and chris brown are apparently openly dating once again. the controversial couple spotted cozying up courtside at the l.a. lakers game yesterday. the first time in years that the two arrived at a public event together. brown pleaded guilty back in 2009 to felony assault of rihanna. take a look at this. jessica simpson expecting her second child now. we've been talking about this for days. she's now confirming that, yes, she's pregnant, via twitter.
this is a photo. she sent a picture of her 7-month-old girl with the words big sis underneath it. it's so cute. rumors had been circulating for weeks, as the singer has been sporting loose-fitting clothes. and she is also engaged to eric johnson. so, they're going to have two coming up shortly. and the footage you want to remember. look what just rolled into one of the main train stations in brussels. it is the world's largest vintage steam train. but it's made entirely of oh, so edible chocolate. it was built in that train station. it didn't arrive there. the whole thing, get this, 110 feet long, made of solid chocolate. the big belgian chocolatemakers often produce large pieces like that train as a way to get holiday shoppers to buy from them. and i tell you what. i would buy that in a second, if i could. >> wonder what it costs, too, to just slice off the caboose and say, i'm going to take this portion with me.
if you could fit it in your car. >> i'm sure there's some thing about which part of the train could you choose? i don't care. it looks so good. for some of you, your local news is next. >> for everyone else, we'll be right back with the heartwarming reunion of a little girl and her dog. that's powerful enough to carry more coffee and fresh water to make coffee that's stronger and bigger... and even hotter! actually, i just press this button. brew the coffee you love -- stronger, bigger, or hotter -- with the keurig vue. it just wouldn't go away. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia, thought to be the result of overactive nerves that cause chronic widespread pain. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i learned lyrica can provide significant relief from fibromyalgia pain. and for some people, it can work in as early as the first week of treatment. so now i can plan my days and accomplish more.
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durcaptioned byuralock. closed captioning services, inc. good morning. happy day after christmas. i'm katie marzullo in for kristen sze. i'm eric thomas. in for eric thomas. >> we hope you got everything you wanted. today's gift, showers. >> yeah. mike? if you wanted dry air you have to wait until tomorrow. today tracking showers with live doppler 7 hd. you can see the best chance of those hitting the ground the north bay. light to moderate rain. very showery in nature and spotty, sliding southeast, 25 to 30 miles per hour.
all of us will get touched by brief to light moderate rain through the morning even into the afternoon hours under partly sunny skies we keep the chance of showers in the forecast, 50s this afternoon. good morning happy day after christmas, pretty light out there, slick roads from overnight rain, light conditions on the golden gate bridge i came across an hour three lanes southbound, two lanes northbound. light conditions. looks good out of the central valley, no delays from tracy up and over the altamont into dublin pleasanton area, bart, muni caltrain all back on regular schedule. highway 121 at 12 closed at 8th street due to flooding, 7:00 this morning is estimated time of opening. thousands of oakland residents have been without
power since after 2:00 this morning. pg&e crews working to fix the problem affecting more than 6800 customers. there are five separate outages, no estimate as to when the lights might come back. san ramon also having power problems, more than 200 homes and businesses with without power. -- this morning the after christmas sales kickoff in a few minutes. stores trying to turn around disappointing holiday sales with deep discounts. amy hollyfield is live at the hillsdale shopping center in san mateo where they are going to open early. >> reporter: 30 more minutes and the shopping begins again. you can start shopping after taking a brief break yesterday if you are up for it. there's big deals to be had today. you will see signs of markdowns in all of the stores today. it is going to have a black friday feel with coupons