tv ABC World News Now ABC October 4, 2021 3:30am-4:00am PDT
this morning on "world news now," the facebook whistleblower revealed. >> documents she provided led to the blockbuster reporting about how the company knew of its harm to teenagers, and now the former manager is going public. what she said overnight about facebook's safeguards to stop the spread of misinformation being turned off. breaking overnight, more beaches are being closed in the race to contain a massive oil spill. were authorities too slow to react. plus, a potential sighting of brian laundrie. hear from the man who says he saw brian. and it's the find of a lifetime. what one 6-year-old found in michigan that some paleontologists spend a lifetime
looking for, and what he's doing with it now. it's monday, october 4th. from abc news, this is "world news now." >> and good monday morning. you know, speaking of finds, i think we have to find you an apartment here in new york city. faith abubey back with us from d.c. we love having you on. >> the couch is just fine. >> how's it been going back and forth, though. >> it's fun. wracking up frequent flyer miles. >> that's what it's all about. ready to get started? >> let's get it done. we're going to begin with the bombshell interview with the former facebook employee. >> she says facebook is using algorithms to keep people engaged even though the company's own research shows it amplifies hate. >> facebook is pushing back, calling the story misleading. this morning a former employee at facebook is revealing herself
as the whistleblower who leaked tens of thousands of company documents. >> i realized, okay, i'm going to have to do this in a systemic way and get out enough that no one can question that this is real. >> those documents from frances haugen, a former product manager at facebook, led to a series of articles in the wall street journal detailing how the social media company's own research showed that the company contributed to emotional problems among teenagers, especially girls. >> there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for facebook. and facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making money. >> according to haugen, facebook had measures in place to stop the spread of misinformation before the 2020 election, but she says they turned off those safeguards after the election, she says contributed to the january 6 riot at the capitol. >> and that really feels like a betrayal of democracy to me.
>> a federal panel is set to hear testimony from her tomorrow. richard blumenthal, who sits on the panel, tweeted facebook's actions make clear that we can not trust it to police itself. we must consider stronger oversight. responding to haugen's interview, a facebook spokesperson said every day our teams have to balance protecting the ability of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe place. to suggest we encourage bad content is not true. haugen also says she has empathy for ceo mark zuckerberg. >> mark has never set out to make a hateful platform, but he has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful, polarizing content gets more distribution, more reach. >> facebook suspended its plans to develop an instagram for teenagers. breaking overnight, a 24/7 operation is under way to contain that oil spill off southern california.
the coast guard says the operation now involves skimming boats that are being used overnight. and looking live at huntington beach pier, the beach is now closed. the beach is also closed in laguna beach about 15 miles to the south of that place. the oil is likely to be washing up for several days. abc's zohreen shah is there. >> reporter: this massive oil spill now reaching the shores of one of southern california's most popular beaches. >> we are in the midst of a potential ecological disaster. the oil spill has significantly impacted our community. >> reporter: at least 126,000 gallons of post-production crude pouring into the pacific ocean causing one of the worst spills in the state's history. now lining nearly six miles of orange county with thick black tar, the leak stemming from a broken pipeline offshore from huntington beach's coastline. the company that owns the pipeline pledging full cooperation. >> we will do everything in our
power to ensure that this is recovered as quickly as possible. and we won't be -- we won't be done until this is concluded. >> reporter: that oil slick stretching over nearly 13 square miles, from huntington beach's pier to newport beach, that oil creeping into talbert marsh. >> i've seen pictures of birds covered in oil and fish that have washed up onto the shore at the huntington beach state beach. >> reporter: huntington beach now closed off as the coast guard scrambles to contain the crude. >> it's created a very large sheen. that sheen is approaching our pristine beaches. >> reporter: even canceling the final day of the annual pacific air show which just drew a million and a half people to the city the day before. the company responsible says they have divers inside the
water trying to figure out where the source of that leak is but you can see the oil stretching across the sand. they said they have capped off both ends of the pipe and there is nothing left inside. zohreen shah, abc news, huntington beach. president biden's economic agenda remains in limbo this morning with democrats deeply divided over his $3.5 trillion social safety net package. progressives and moderates are still at odds over the cost and contents of the legislation, which includes free community college, universal pre-k and efforts to tackle climate change. after being forced to delay a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, top democrats say they hope to pass both bills by the end of the month. now the pandemic and it's deadline day for thousands of employees in the northeast, facing vaccine mandates. new york city teachers and connecticut state workers could be terminated by the end of today if they don't have at least one vaccine shot. phil lipoff has the details. >> reporter: any teacher who does not have at least one shot will be out of a job in new york
city. >> i felt shocked, surprised. heartbroken. my students messaged me friday. i am not allowed to talk to them, even though i gave them a heads up that this is it. >> reporter: and while there remains opposition, the overwhelming majority, at least 93% of teachers, have had at least one shot, well above the national average. >> i cannot imagine giving up my 24-year career because i didn't get a vaccine, because we do not have enough space for the schools to fully social distance, and this would be safer for all of us. >> reporter: the city saying it has an army of vaccinated substitutes ready to step in, and it's not just new york. connecticut's mandate for state employees set to take effect monday night. the national guard on standby to fill in any critical shortages. and in california, the governor the first in the nation to mandate the shot for all public school students once the fda approves the vaccine for each age group.
>> i do like that it's after fda approval, but i also feel like it should be the family's choice. >> i'm grateful, yes, because i would hate for one of my babies discusauthoriziofor pfer's vaccine for ks later this month. and merck seeking approval for its pill that it says could cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths in half. while dr. fauci called it extremely important, he stresses no pill is a substitute for the vaccine. >> the easiest way to stay out of the hospital and not die is don't get infected. >> reporter: and dr. fauci says it's too soon to tell whether families will be able to safely gather this holiday season. the cdc out with its guidance that you be fully vaccinated in order to travel and if you're not vaccinated a reminder to wear your mask indoors. phil lipoff, abc news, new york.
a northern california surfer is recovering this morning from a shark bite. the surfer is expected to survive after suffering severe injuries in the waters off sonoma county. other surfers got him to shore and he was airlifted to the hospital. police don't know what type of shark bit him. one of the largest powerball jackpots in history has reached new heights. >> and the winner is -- no one! tonight's drawing now worth $670 million. it is sixth in powerball history. no one has hit five numbers in the powerball since june. >> so some fun facts. you always hear about how you have a better chance of being struck by lightning. >> twice maybe? >> apparently, you have a better shot at being killed by a vending machine. >> also to be the bearer of bad news, odds are one in 292.2 million. to get bit by a shark, one in
seven million if you live in a land-locked state. so if you live in the midwest you have a better chance of being bitten by a shark than winning the lottery. but you can't win unless you play. >> are you going to play? >> i think so. why not? >> you're a betting man. okay, coming up, the 6-year-old who discovered a 12,000-year old tooth. plus, sounding the alarm about a diaper shortage. and the potential new sighting of brian laundrie. those details next. you're watching "world news now." ndrie.
here in new york city, a statue of george floyd has been vandalized for the second time in four months. the latest happened sunday morning in manhattan. someone threw paint on the statue and got away on a skateboard. the same statue was vandalized in brooklyn in june. no arrests have been made in either case. financial secrets of the rich and famous have been exposed by a group of journalists from across the globe.
they revealed files from the dubbed pandora papers. and allegedly show offshore accounts and dealings by hundreds of celebrities and politicians, including king abdullah ii of jordan. he allegedly used shell companies to buy 14 homes. and tony blair bought a company in the virgin islands that came with an $8 billion building. a potential sighting of brian laundrie is being reported by a man who says he had a conversation with someone who fits laundrie's description near the tennessee/north carolina border on the appalachian trial. dennis davis says the man asked for directions to california. >> he said yeah, me and my girlfriend just had a fight, and she called me on the phone and told me she loves me, and i've got to get to california to see her.
>> davis reported the encounter to police, and he says the man he spoke with had a dark, thick, black beard. davis described him as looking dishevelled and acting strange. parents of small children are battling a unique problem. a diaper shortage. covid has affected the global supply chain for many items, but diapers have not yet recovered. that's led to short supply and higher prices. up more than 10% this year. the harsh weather in texas in february shut down plants that make a material used for diaper absorbency. >> we've been reporting about these shortages for the better part of a month now. coming up, the college student dividing the internet, called the couch guy. why his reaction to a surprise by his girlfriend is now causing a viral sensation on tiktok. but first, the 6-year-old boy whose entire future may hinge on the discovery of a 12,000-year-old tooth. you're watching "world news now."
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this is a cool rock. and my mom said is this actually a rock? and my dad said i want to kick it in the river. >> reporter: julian had a hunch it night be a tooth, albeit in dire need of a dentist. >> well, when i got home i got gunk off of it from the 12,000 years, because it hadn't been wiped forever. anyways, i got that off and saw white on it. see. here. university of michigan's museum of paleontology confirmed that the tooth is real. belonging to an ancient mastodon. >> it's like 10,000 to 12,000 years. >> reporter: the museum saying julian is likely the first person to touch the tooth ever. you thought this maybe could be worth some money? >> yeah. >> reporter: and is it?
>> no. >> reporter: maybe not worth the big bucks he'd hoped for, but the bragging rights at school, priceless. >> i showed them that i had some kind of -- i bringed it in one day, and all their minds actually fell off their heads. >> reporter: researchers have already gone back to the area where julian found the tooth, hoping to find more mastodon material, but their search turning up empty, and julian's already decided he wants excavating tools for christmas this year. >> my mom's going to get me my own pick ax. >> reporter: a kid-friendly pick ax, no doubt. julian is donating his epic find to the museum and he'll meet with the paleontologist there for a behind the scenes tour and is also trying to convince the nature preserve to rename dinosaur hill to mastodon hill. >> if you're 6 years old, are they that eloquent? >> he knew paleontology, archeology, he's on it. >> and the gifts he wants for christmas? >> a pick ax. >> i think i wanted pokemon cards.
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time now for "the mix," starting with the latest viral video sweeping across tiktok and sparking a fierce debate. >> yeah, and it has to do with a guy who's now been dubbed couch guy, and for this, we'll bring back will ganss. what's going on? >> there's a lot going on. i'm officially hooked on the saga of couch guy, wracking up 337 million views on tiktok in less than two weeks. the original video has been viewed 50 million times alone. this is it. it shows a young woman named lauren surprising her boyfriend at college. his name is robbie. that's him in the red on the couch. the video is dividing the internet.
some saying he did not act happy enough to see her. another saying he looked like he hugged her like she was his aunt at christmas dinner. that's not really something you want from a boyfriend. but tiktokers are digging deeper, saying that when robbie bends over, you can see it in slow motion, here the girl sitting next to him on the couch sneakily passes his cellphone under his arm. why did she have the phone in the first place. why did they have to hide that she had it. that's shady. others analyzing the movements when lauren walks in. they say it's weird that she felt like she needed to scoot away, not once from robbie, but two times. there's also, like, theories that her hand is on his back when she walks in. it's a lot. and i'm invested. and i'm not the only one here. >> just based on what i'm seeing here, it's the first time i'm looking at it.
couch guy is about to be single guy very fast. >> i mean, as of this morning, though, lauren is still defending him on her tiktok. obviously rooting for them and hoping for the best but the whole thing, the reaction is whole thing, the reaction is uncomfy. >> if it were me, no more calls. keep that phone. don't call me. >> red flags are red flags for a reason. that's all i'm saying. >> preach. next to a truly pandemic-era wedding. >> when restrictions made it all but impossible for a canadian bride to have her family attend in the u.s., she brought it to the border. >> it was kind of interesting. karen's father was quoted as saying they wouldn't have missed it for the world. being there on the border, that's pretty cool. has this happened before? has there been a wedding in two countries? and finally to a four-legged babysitter. >> the mini goldendoodle outside new haven, connecticut is showing true puppy love to the owner's newborn triplets. >> sunny clearly adores the
right now on "america this morning," oil spill disaster. the massive oil spill blackening the southern california coast. the race to stop the spread as thousands of gallons of crude oil threaten wildlife and close beaches. what we know about the spill right now. betrayal of democracy. new bombshell claims from a facebook whistle-blower ahead of tomorrow's testimony on capitol llhi. why the former manager says facebook contributed to the january 6th attack on the capitol, and what she's saying about mark zuckerberg. baby roe speaks out. the abc news exclusive as the supreme court's new term begins today, activists on both sides of the abortion issue take to the streets with the future of roe