tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC November 23, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
their signature baerlds are connectioned to their arrests. hazing death in a marching band. is that why this drum major died? parents say their warnings to the school were not answered. swimming with sharks. could great whites be our good friends? these bikini glad clad researchers are trying to prove it's true. and giving thanks. these two kids don't know it yet, but they're about to have the best thanksgiving of their lives. wait until you see what happens next. good evening. and we begin tonight with some good news. every year, everyone one of us who hits the road for this long holiday weekend bramss for a travel nightmare. that doesn't stop us, of course. undeterred by wicked weather and a spike in the price of travel, an estimated 42.5 million
americans are taking to the skies, roads and railways to be with friends and family for thanksgiving. and today, most of them got a pleasant surprise. our team fanned out across the country all day and they've been reporting that for once, the holiday travel crush isn't so bad. one of the newest members of our abc family, meteorologist ginger zee is out on the west side highway and didn't doesn't look all that bad out there. >> reporter: not at all, george. can you see the road behind me, people are moving around just fine. and that was the story for most across the country today. but there were some surprises. it wasn't snow or rain but a black goo that snarled traffic along a 40-mile stretch of the pennsylvania turnpike. driveway sealant leaked from the back of a truck, leaving hundreds stuck. cars and holidays ruined. >> look at my wheels and tires. we have to turn around and go back home.
>> reporter: and then there was mother nature. winds whipped the coast of oregon. snow and ice blanketed washington state. motorists stuck. >> yeah, i'm trying, but this traffic is really delayed. >> reporter: and in the east, cold rains drenched the i-95 corridor, from georgia up through new england. drivers forced to navigate flooded roadways. ice knocked out power. but despite all that, for most americans, the great thanksgiving migration is going pretty smoothly. this family, with their dog, ludwig, hit the road, and like millions of americans today, weren't going to let a little drizzle get in their way. does the rain scare you at all or did this change your timing to mid-day? >> no, no. it scares her, doesn't scare me. >> reporter: those traveling in the air today may have paid 20% more for their tickets over last year and crowded into 640,000 fewer seats, but it was relatively clear sailing, as
well. abc employees fanned out across the country. at atlanta's airport, usually the busiest in the world -- >> that was incredible. it took me less than five minutes to get through security. >> reporter: most flights on time in new york. >> boarding running smoothly here. >> reporter: and this was inside detroit's airport. but of course, not everyone was pleased. this woman made it to los angeles but her bags didn't. changing her outlook at holiday travel. >> i hate it. i used to love it but i'm too old for this. >> reporter: again, she was the exception. most folks were very happy to get to where they needed to be without much in the way of delay. here's the next problem, though. we're already looking ahead, another storm system for the next major travel day, being sunday, when most americans make their way home. looks like that storm will drop rain and even snow from the southeast to new england. george? >> boy, sure does look tough. okay, ginger, thank you. and welcome to abc. now to politics, your voice,
your vote. and the latest republican debate last night. the con tenders broke some new ground, michele bachmann said rick perry doesn't understand the pack stan nuclear problem. >> they showed us time after time that they can't be trusted. i would not send them one penny. period. >> with all due respect to the governor, i think that's highly naive. these weapons could find their way out of pakistan, into new york city or into washington, d.c. and a nuclear weapon could be set off in this city. >> and herman cain, who stumbled off his front-runner's perch, got a little confused. >> is it okay for muslim americans to get more intensive pat-downs or security when they go through airports? >> no, blitz, that's oversimplifying it. i'm sorry, blitz, i meant wolf, okay? >> but the big story is what happened when the two current front-runners tangled over the hot button issue of immigration. here's abc's jake tapper.
>> reporter: newt gingrich has long advocated a moderate position on illegal immigration. everyone is now paying attention. >> if you've been here 25 years, obeying the lay, you belong to a local church, i don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you and kick you out. >> reporter: his new status also means his opponents are on the attack. >> well, i don't agree that you would make 11 million workers legal because that, in effect, is amnesty. >> amnesty is a mag innocent. >> i'm prepared to take the heat for saying, let's be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so they are not separated from their families. >> reporter: this position is not so different from mitt romney's four years ago. >> the 12 million or so should be able to sign up for prem innocent residency but should not be given a special pathway. >> reporter: and romney remained fuzzy today when it comes to whether every illegal immigrant
should be deported. >> i'm not going to start drawing lines here. >> reporter: still, a moderate position on this issue threatening to hurt gingrich, just acid did texas governor rick perry, whose slide in the polls began when he espoused a similar view. today, iowa republican congressman steve king told iowa public television that it makes gingrich less likely to receive his endorsement. >> well, i moved a little bit away last night when i heard the debate. >> reporter: the subject came up because of gingrich's support for the mad rat, even liberate, 1986 immigration reform bill, signed by ronald reagan. reagan's son michael, the conservative talk radio host, said his late father would have applauded gingrich. >> he would say to the republican party, you better find a way to reach out to the hispanic population or you may find yourself on the ash heap of history. >> reporter: a republican with more moderate views on immigration reform could make several key battleground states with high latino populations more competitive against president obama. not to mention helping with
moderate swing voters, george. but it's a conundrum of primary politics that what helps you in the general election can hurt you in the primaries. >> okay, jake, gnu. to egypt now, and an update on the three young americans arrested in the chaos. word today that u.s. officials do not believe the three americans will be released in time for thanksgiving. as thousands of protesters still in the square clash with police for a fifth straight day. also in the middle east, yemen's embattled president signed an agreement today to transfer pormer to his vice president. i would put an end to his 33-year rule. the move comes after months of pressure from protesters calling for his resignation. elections are expected to take place within three months and saleh is the fourth arab leader pushed from office as a result of arab spring uprisings. and back home, the fbi took down seven men accused of hate crimes today. but the men in custody are not
your usual suspects, they're amish. which is why the crime may seem a bit strange to us. abc's pierre thomas explains. >> reporter: the amish are known for being a peaceful community shying away from modern technology. but of late, the amish have been suffering though a violent crime spree. the weapon of choice -- hair clippers. today, the justice department charged seven amish men of religiously motivated hate crimes, accusing them of attacking others in the sect and shaving off their hair. it may not sound horrific to you, but to the amish, it's a serious offense. >> for them, it is really a prime public symbol of their amish faith and identity. very shameful to have your beard cut. >> reporter: the attacks allegedly stemmed from a dispute over amish theology. under federal law, attacking someone because of their religion is considered a hate crime. >> nobody has the right to assault another individual based
upon their religious beliefs. >> reporter: in addition to restraining men and women and cutting their hair, federal prosecutors say mullef forced members to sleep for days at a time in a chicken coop. he also, the fbi claims, has been counselling the married women in the clan to cleanse them of the devil with acts of sexual intimacy. >> the amish people are living in fear. >> reporter: now with these arrests, if the fbi case is true, prayers may have been answered. pierre thomas, abc news, washington. last night, we told you about two new accusers, both under the age of 28, who say former penn state football coach jerry sandusky sexually abused them. and today, we learned that one of the accusers is a member of sandusky's family. his lawyer calls the allegations unfounded, adding that one of the claims stems from a sandusky family dispute. we also learned today the country superstars sugarland are being sued for their role in the indiana state fair stage collapse that killed seven people last august. 44 survivors and families of the
four victims claimed sugarland's contract gave the band final say over whether the show could go on dispute the weather risk. and it was a rough day on wall street. the dow closed down more than 230 points, a dip of more than 2%. dropping to a six-week low. the markets were rattled by indications that germany, which has been relatively unscathed by the economic crisis engulfing europe, may not be vulnerable. and retailers are holding their breath this weekend, hoping the experts are right when they predict a banner holiday shopping season. they're taking action, as well, extending black friday by opening some stores thanksgiving night. but as abc's linsey davis reports, for all of us buying this year, it might pay to be patient. good evening. >> reporter: good evening, george. more than 150 million people plan on shopping black friday weekend and hitting stores like this best buy, which opens up friday at midnight. but experts say, before you go, it pays to have a strategy.
windy laurnls has food, sleeping bags and a tent, all the essentials for a seasoned bargain hunter. >> we decided to come early this year so we could be sure to be the first one in the door. >> reporter: millions will soon be joining her, hitting the stores early this year, on thanksgiving. toys "r" us opens at 9:00 p.m., walmart, 10:00 p.m. macy's, kohl's, best buy and target all opening at midnight. some time for a little strategy. and the biggest advice, sometimes it's best to hold off. for example, don't buy toys. they'll likely be greater discounts later with better buys the first two weeks of december. hold off on top-brand tvs. black friday is an excellent time to get a cheap tv, but the best deals on brand-names come later. and if you're buying a big ticket item on sale, don't buy all the little things that go with it, like batteries, which often are not on sale at the checkout counter. in fact, you may not even need to go into a store at all.
>> that's really the number one strategy, to do some of that shopping online before you want to go to a store because so many of these stores that have black friday door besters will have them available at their website. >> reporter: of course, there are things you'll want to take advantage of, like video games and dvd and blu-ray movies. and if you are hitting the stores this weekend, bring along your smartphone. apps like red laser allow you to snap a picture of the upc code on the item and tells you which other stores sell the item for less. if you're wondering what might possess people to camp outside of a store? well, feast your eyes on this. 42-inch sharp flat screen tv, it will be selling for $200 on black friday, it would normally be two or three times that. george? >> okay, linsey, thank you. and at the white house today, president obama oversaw a thanksgiving ritual. pardoning two very lucky turkeys, peace and liberty. in past years, the pardon turkeys were sent to disney land
for a parade. but liberty and peace are skipping the parade. instead, they spent the night in a suite at the exclusive w hotel in washington and will live out the rest of their days at george washington's home, mt. vernon, never to be eaten. still ahead on "world news," a legendary college marching band racked by a hazing tragedy there were warnings it might happen. and the two children about to have the best thanksgiving of their lives, and they don't even know it. an investment opportunity you didn't see before. fidelity's next-generation ipad app lets you see what's trending around the world, as well as what over a million fidelity customers are trading throughout the day. and advanced charting lets you customize your views and set up your own comparisons. our ipad app can help refine your strategy, or even find a new one. i'm velia carboni, and i helped create fidelity's next-generation ipad app. it's one more innovative reason serious investors are choosing fidelity.
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for a body in motion. we have all heard about hazing rich warms on football teams and in college fraternities. but we were surprised to learn hazing is part of the culture of big-time marching bands, the kind that would perform tomorrow in thanksgiving pa raids. and tonight, one band who actually performed for the president is fazing a hazing tragedy. one of their drum majors is dead. abc's matt gutman reports from florida. >> reporter: away from the blasts of horns and that choreographed pageantry of the storied florida a&m marching band, was a brutal hazing ritual called the "rigte of passage." investigators now believe 26-year-old drum major robert chapman died after walking a gauntlet of fists on a school charter bus, apparently pummeled to death as he went from the back of the bus to the front, after his team's game in orlando saturday. >> hazing was involved in the
events that occurred prior to the 911 call for assistance. >> reporter: as recently as september, according to "the orlando sentinel," a mother of a band member warned the school in an e-mail. "these practices must stop and they will not until someone stands up and some changes are made." it's not the first time the legendary band has been in trouble. abc news has learned that a decade ago, five band members paddled marcus parker so badly his kidneys shut down. he was awarded $1.8 million in a civil battery case. so we asked the school president why this keeps happening. he denied any responsibility. >> i haven't seen any evidence that has tied hazing to his death. >> reporter: and tonight, the fallout begins. >> i loved that young man. >> reporter: abc news has learned the long-time marching band director, julian wright,
was fired. but the problem may be bigger than florida a&m. >> i would say hundreds of thousands of students a year get hazed on a regular basis, and at least one will die every year. >> reporter: but for robert chapman's family and friends, any promise of change comes too late. matt gutman, abc news, miami. and still ahead, the shark angels. fearless women swimming with the ultimate predator to prove a point. where gre are great whites really so where gre are great whites really so scary? 967. i got mine in iraq, 2003. u.s.a.a. auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation, because it offers a superior level of protection and because u.s.a.a.'s commitment to serve the military, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy. get an auto insurance quote. u.s.a.a. we know what it means to serve.
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we couldn't take our eyes off this harrowing video today. a helicopter trying to string lights on a christmas tree twisted out of control and crashed when its rotors clipped the cable. it was all broadcast live on the w w website of a new zealand television network. the pilot walked away. he's going to be fine. and his wife believes he had god on his side. and now to more startling video. look at these women in bikinis, apparently out for a casual swim -- with sharks. the kind we all remember from "jaws." it's all part of a bold experience by national geographic designed to prove we may not have much to fear from sharks, even great whites. the perfect story for our intrepid "nightline" co-anchor, bill weir. >> reporter: a swimmer spots a shark -- just feet away. and back on the surface, her terror is visible -- and understandable. >> the big sharks, the damage they can do -- i've seen it. it's too much for me. >> reporter: yet she and her
friends choose to jump back into the water. to bait them with the sight of peal flesh, the smell of blood and urine, even the flash of jewelry. all part of a stunning experiment to prove that sharks are not mindless man-eaters after all. >> you want to see some big sharks? >> reporter: i'd love that. let's go lose a toe or two. dr. ryan johnson is the marine biologist behind this idea, and by sight and name -- he knows the great whites of mossel bay better than anyone. he's used robotic seals to prove that they use light from the shore to hunt at night. and he's even had a shark accidentally jump into his boat. but he's also seen how these predators behave themselves less than a half mile from some of the most popular beaches in africa. there hasn't been an attack here in 20 years, and among many locals, "galeophobia" has gradually faded. aren't you at all worried that one nibble could set all this back and reinstill all that fear?
>> yeah, it's something we live with all the time. a shark attack or shark bite is tragic for shark conservation. >> reporter: and so friday night, he will send his shark angels into the water, on live television, befting their limbs and his reputation that the creature of our night mares is simply misunderstood. bill weir, abc news, in mossel bay, south africa. >> and there will be more reporting from bill later on "nightline." and "shark attack" will air on friday on gnat gnat geo wild. and still to come, a father gives his children a wonderful thanksgiving gift. and through the woods. and a little bit of skidding on the ice and taking out grandma's garage door. so while you're celebrating, allstate will be standing by. trouble never takes a holiday. neither should your insurance. that's allstate's stand.
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we are wrapping up this thanksgiving eve with one more reason to give thanks. researchers are piling up evidence about the power of gratitude. it turns out being thankful can make you more optimistic, better rested, and, in a word, happier. that sure feels true, and here's one young family proving it. >> it's what gets you through the next day, and the day after that. and it's just -- i'm just glad to be back. >> reporter: army sergeant andrew merino, tooki intalking s
two children, a.j. and brooklyn, reading a book called "rijo dheo dad." what they don't know is their dad, along with their mom, is waiting for them. >> how do you feel right now? >> happy. i missed you. i missed you. come here. come here, big man. how's my little man? >> reporter: andrew's been away from his kids serving in afghanistan for 400 days. >> are you going to stay home forever? >> i think so. i would like to.
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