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stacy keibler and music from gary clark jr. nightline is next. >> tonight on "night line," the war or words is on from president obama -- >> we are confident that we could prepare for and deal with any potential ramifications. >> to syrian president assad both throwing everything they have into a media blitz. reaching a boiling point. tonight diane sawyer asks the president -- >> is this it? >> in the mississippi delta, they grow to over 700 pounds. for ten days a year, the gator hunters get to take population control into their own hands.
>> from new york city, this is "night line" with dan abram. >> good evening and thanks for joining us. tonight the verbal war between president obama and syria's president reached a fever pitch. assad in his first interview with an american journalist since the incident denied he was responsible and suggested there would be repu purepercussions i
americans take action. >> in washington, a president in the political fight of his life. >> we will be stronger if we take action together as one nation. >> in damascus, another president in the fight of his life. >> he did not present any evidence. they didn't present anything. >> nearly three weeks, 20 days after the chemical attack in syria, a war of words for the hearts and minds of the world. >> the assad regime inhuman use of chemical weapons against men women and children. >> unleashed terror on a massive scale. >> if we don't stand up to it, we will face it more and they will think they can intimidate anyone. >> straight to the breaking news. if assad yields control of his chemical weapons to international authority, are we back from the brink? is military strike on pause?
>> absolutely, if in fact that happens. i don't think that we would have gotten to this point unless we had maintained a credible possibility of a military strike, and i don't think now is the time for us to let up on that. so, what i have said specifically is i want to make sure that that norm against use of chemical weapons is maintained. if we can do that without a military strike, that is overwhelmingly my preference and now the key is can we see with a sense of urgency. >> meaning how long does he have to show this is real? a week? a month? >> this is one of those situations where the stakes are high, but they are long term. they're not immediate or imminent. but they are serious. i don't anticipate that you would see a succession of votes this week or any time in the immediate future. and so i think there will be time during the course of the
debates here in the united states for the international community, the russians and syrians to see if there is a way to resolve it. but i want to be sure we don't take the pressure off. >> it is said that zefrg possible in terms of retaliation. >> you should expect everything. you should expect everything. not necessarily through the government. it's not only the government is not the only player in this region. you have different parties and factions. you have different identities. you have everything now. so you havepect that. >> tell me what you mean by expect anything? >> expect every action. >> including chemical warfare? >> that depends on if the rebels or terrorists in this region or any other group have it, it
could happen. i'm not a fortune teller to tell you what is going to happen. you cannot expect for anyone to tell you what is going to happen. it's an area where everything is on the brink of explosion. you have to expect everything. >> do you feel at this moment looking at everything that's possible that the american people should brace for retaliation? >> look, we take all precautions, but understand, assad's capabilities are not significant compared to ours. they are significant compared to an opposition that are not professional fighters. >> they have allies, iran, hezbollah. >> they are significant to 400 children that they gassed but not to us. iran is not going to war with the united states over the use of weapons that they themselves object to. but i think it is important for us to understand that if, in fact, the choice is between a
world in which dictators and other countries start believing it's acceptable to use chemical weapons on civilians and children that will make it more dangerous for us. that means troops will all start having to wear gas masks because they don't know whether or not chemical weapons would be used. if we can resolve this without military conflict, that is much preferred. i would much rather be talking about creating more jobs and focus on all the things that i really think the american people care deeply about but my responsibility as commander in chief is to make sure i think about our long term national security interests and the use of chemical weapons threatens that in a significant way. >> you still want congress to vote authorization and do you still reserve the right to strike if they say no? >> with respect to me order a strike in the face of
congressional opposition, this is something i have said. the reason i took this to congress in the first place. i think it's important for me to weigh consensus in this country. strikes may be less effective if i don't have congressional support and if the american people don't recognize why we're doing this. so, i have not made a final determination in terms of what next steps would be. my hope would be that i can persuade congress that this is important. my hope is that i can persuade some of the american people that this is important. >> but it's a tough sell. 64% of the american people oppose air strikes, up 5% from just a week ago. be sure to watch president obama address the nation tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on abc. next, they're huge, they're wiley, and they could snap you up. we join these gator hunters as they seek them out. >> abc news night line, brought to you by geico.
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>> depending on where you live you might find your place overrun by bugs or rats. but in the mississippi delta, it's gator hundreding season. residents looking for a challenge and that meat are more than happy to take matters into their own hands if they can. we went down to join some of the adventurous folk to see how they wrangled those reptiles. >> it's midnight deep in the dark waters of the mississippi
delta and we're along for the final 48 hours of this record breaking alligator hunting season. what lies beneath? jurassic park. they are struggling to wrestle an 18 foot alligator into their boat. we're in the delta national forest. it's the same place where over the last ten days, mississippi's alligator hunting season, three teams captured massive monsters. >> giant gators which seems rather redundant. that is is a dinosaur. >> this massive gator tips the scale at 741.5 pounds. how did they get so big? >> meet beth trammel. her son, husband, and brother in law caught this 723 pounder last weekend. and just an hour later, dustin and his team wrangled this one. four pounds heavier.
on saturday, lee turner's team picked up the record setter, a 741 pound beast. so we hit the pitch black swamps of mississippi with that ordinary suburban family turned reptile wranglers. >> paralegal by day and alligator hunter by night? >> alligator queen. >> the alligator queen? >> the alligator queen family capturing that giant gator on their first hunt ever. >> that was my second night. >> it sounds like you were ready for it? >> yeah. it looked like it. it looked like a monster. >> were you ever scared? >> yes. very scared. he was going up around in circles for an hour, hour and a half. >> it's her son parker's 18th birthday and he's looking to catch a second gator. aboard their 12 foot rig, we
caught the first gator and shawn throws out the first line hooking the gator's foot. it's about five feet long, which makes it a legal catch. >> it's beautiful, really. that's beautiful. >> but the night is young and they let it go. >> he's gone. >> for the next three hours of chasing, the trammels would spot gators but they would disappear under water as soon as they spotted us. >> red eyes. >> it's midnight and this alligator shows his face. >> come on buddy, come on up. don't be afraid. >> at about five feet long, some people may be wondering why? >> we eat the meat. i don't see it any different than the prepackaged meat in the grocery store. >> with the giant catch next week they will have 120 pounds of meat, enough to last months.
>> let's get hand sanitizer out. >> that's a mom thing to say. >> yes. >> is it safe? >> it is safe. we have only had two accidents reported. both of those were fairly minor. we had one person that actually got bit on the hand. >> biologist, ricky flint, the hunt coordinator. >> she will be right at the edge of the boat. >> took us right to a female gator's coveted spot, her nest. he says they are so big because for years nobody was allowed to hunt them. so the gators kept growing in size and pop yulation. >> alligators have become a problem on people's property? >> absolutely. goldfish pond, swimming pools, turned deck of a house, in the parking lots of downtown jackson. >> gators are not in danger but
critics say that wild alligators should be left in the wild. >> some people are watching this saying i'm not so comfortable with that? >> we see this as a renewable resource, just like these trees that are growing here, if i cut that tree down, it's going to regenerate itself either from the acorn that falls to the ground and sprouts or the root sprouts. this same thing happens with alligators. >> and that record breaker from a few days ago? we had to go out with him. >> i became an overnight celebrity. everywhere i go people recognize me. i'm going to see if i can find a good one. >> dustin and his team are looking for a bigger catch. >> an animal 700 pounds is something that could eat you and has thousands of pounds of jaw pressure. it's pretty exciting. it's not a competition but we try to take an older animal. that's what we shoot for.
>> four hours go by without a bite. >> see maybe, i would say 40 or 50 alligators. got close to a couple, but, not close enough to get a shot. >> now at 3:00 a.m., his team spots the big one. >> check the line. hold on. >> the battle would go on for hours. >> i got it. let it go. stop. >> in the end, an 11 foot monster captured right in front of our cameras. each hunter allowed two gators in this ten-day season. the long night has turned into an early morning. >> we set out with hopes of catching an alligator, maybe a big one, but really it's hard to get one in the first place. i just enjoy being out here and love doing it. >> for "night line," in the mississippi delta. >> just another day out looking for gators.
to each his own. >> next, diana nyad made history when she swam from cuba to the florida keys. why is the record now being questioned by skeptics? even get through the day. so i was honest with my doctor. i told her i'd been feeling stuck for a long time. she said that for some people, an antidepressant alone only helps so much and suggested we add abilify (aripiprazole). she said that by taking both, some people had symptom improvement as early as 1 to 2 weeks. i wish i'd talked to my doctor sooner. [ female announcer ] abilify is not for everyone. call your doctor if your depression worsens or you have unusual changes in behavior, or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens and young adults. elderly dementia patients taking abilify have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor if you have high fever, stiff muscles and confusion to address a possible life-threatening condition. or if you have uncontrollable muscle movements, as these could become permanent. high blood sugar has been reported
with abilify and medicines like it and in extreme cases can lead to coma or death. other risks include increased cholesterol, weight gain, decreases in white blood cells, which can be serious, dizziness on standing, seizures, trouble swallowing, and impaired judgment or motor skills. [ sally ] since adding abilify, i feel better. abilify and my antidepressant make a pretty good team. [ female announcer ] ask your doctor about a free trial of abilify and go to addabilify.com. side-by-side, so you get the same coverage, often for less. that's one smart board -- what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] split atoms? [ flo chuckles ] [ whirring ] hey, how's that atom-splitting thing going? oh! a smarter way to shop around -- now that's progressive. call or click today.
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>> in tonight's feed frenzy, the world celebrated when diana nyad stumbled on to the shore. it was a record breaking 103 mile triumph for someone of any age. much less a 64-year-old. the first to make it without a shark cage. but now some are alleging that her team's account of the swim doesn't add up. now she is out to convince skeptics she broke the record fair and square. why is team nyad failed to provide a more detailed account of her 53 hours in the ocean? this swim was not documented independently by impartial observers. and why wasn't it recorded with continuous video. and two, could she have really
gone without food and water for a crucial 7.5 hours? no refuelling for that long? and finally her speed. nyad is know for her plodding pace and in this case slow and steady seems to have won the race. but she more than doubled her average speed in the second day in the water from 1.6 miles an hour to about 4 miles an hour. she started and ended the journey at the same pace but the surge in the middle has people asking if she clung to a boat. without conclusive evidence, it's hard to know. tomorrow nyad will answer questions from skeptical members of the long distance swimming community. she claims that ideal conditions carried her along that portion of the trip. if she did do it by the book, why ask the world to rely on the