tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC January 24, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
this is "world news." tonight, nuclear threat. north korea plans missiles that can target the united states. can they reach america? what could the impact be? and how serious is the threat, from the mysterious dictator now in charge. fire and ice. as flames shoot in the air, firefighters struggle in the frigid temperatures. how many people are now shivering in the cold in this country? and how many new ways can they show us how cold it is? a frozen egg? man or woman. listen to the phone calls that lured football star manti te'o. >> baby, i'm just calling to say good night. i love you. >> we'll tell you more about the man who allegedly tricked him for hour after hour. and, gold rush.
you're swimming in the water, something glitters, and, oh my, it's gold! worth $50,000. how do you find it? good evening. as we come on the air, one of the most dangerous countries in the world today is making a new threat directly aimed at the united states. north korea, the secretive nation, with its mysterious young dictator, announcing they will test their nuclear powers and saying they will put america on notice. let's bring in our chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz right now to tell us how serious this new aggression is. martha? >> reporter: diane, the u.s. is warning north korea not to try another nuclear test, saying it would be a mistake and needlessly provocative. but those warnings seem only to have provoked the new, young leader even more.
if there was any hope that kim jong-un would be less threatening and dangerous than his late father, those hopes are now dashed. the 20-something leader appears to relish his new role, now directly challenging the united states. the reclusive nation warning the world that it will soon test a nuclear weapon, long range rockets, one after another. today, vowing that the target of its missiles and nuclear aggression, america. their sworn enemy. >> he's trying to show he can't be pushed around. >> reporter: tonight, deep inside the isolated nation, there are signs that a nuclear test is being readied. north korea first tested a nuclear bomb in 2006. diane sawyer was inside north korea days after that test, the only western journalist meeting with the north's nuclear negotiators, who asserted their country's right to test.
now, it's believed the secretive regime has a nuclear arsenal of as many as 12 weapons. and powerful ones. their last test in 2009 revealed a bomb about half as powerful of the one that destroyed hiroshima. models show such a bomb could level an area roughly about the size of, say, lower manhattan. so, how big a threat is north korea? it's believed their missiles can travel about 6,000 miles at best, but capable of hitting hawaii. but what they are lacking, and this is critical, is the ability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be placed atop a missile and launched at an enemy. it's believed north korea is still many years away from being able to do that. still, as today shows, a nation which proudly hangs anti-american posters, such as this, while struggling to feed its own people, is working every day to become an even greater threat.
this is one of the very serious challenges that the next secretary of state will have to face. and quince dentally, the nominee for that job, senator john kerry, was on capitol hill today for his confirmation hearings, as you know, diane. >> that's right. a new and dangerous threat. thank you, martha raddatz. and we're going to move onto other headlines tonight, because a third of the country is seeing the big chill deepen. last night, we showed you the cold blast stretching from maine to maryland. but tonight, the arctic air is marching south, all the way to alabama. and as abc's alex perez tells us, even firefighters are getting frozen in place. alex? >> reporter: well, diane, this deep freeze making it difficult for firefighters in all those states to do their job. here in chicago, this warehouse fire started on tuesday, reignited this morning and as you can see, all the w water crs are dousing on this structure has turned it into an urban
igloo. burning ice. an unusual sight in a tremendous battle for chicago firefighters working in near zero temperatures. >> slips, falls increase, the fos brit. your body has to work hard just to keep yourself warm. you're going to get fatigued faster. >> reporter: the chill creating problems for firefighters all over. this home in indianapolis, up in flames. the owner was using an oven to keep warm. the deep freeze also deadly. at least four deaths blamed on the cold blast. in parts of indiana, lake effect snow. in new york city, one sign of the icebox misery, a fire hydrant frozen in time. in salt lake city, a cold, icy runway caused a plane to slide and forced officials to shut down the airport. on the roads, another day of pileups. this one in ohio, where authorities had to shut down a stretch of i-90. and for many drivers with dead batteries, just getting out of the drive way was a struggle. >> this is about my tenth call,
ooi i'd say. just kind of nonstop when it gets cold like this. >> reporter: aaa says the number of people calling their tow trucks for help has skyrocketed by 200% to 300%. >> batteries only have a three to five-year life cycle, so, if it is older than that, and you're heading out in this cold weather, you best check your battery. >> reporter: when it's this cold, how frustrating is it when you can't get your car to work? >> it's really frustrating. because sometimes you're just sitting out there, freezing, and there's nowhere to go. >> reporter: tonight, egg-cicles. look at this time lapse photo. >> this weather is nothing to yolk about. >> reporter: authorities say the weight of all that ice has made this structure unsafe. they say it could still be a couple of days before they are able to extinguish all the hot spots. diane? >> amazing scene behind you, alex. thank you. and, now, a ray of light in the struggling jobs economy. 12 million americans still out of work tonight. but today, we learned the number
of americans seeking unemployment benefits have fallen to a five-year low. and that's the lowest since the very beginning of the recession. experts say it's a sign employers are cutting fewer jobs and soon could be begin hiring at an even faster pace. and, on wall street, a big skid for an iconic american brand. apple tumbling 12% today. dropping on the news that the sales of those addictive gadgets, iphones and macs are not as soaring as expected. and look. since apple's high in september of last year, a virtual freefall, down 36% in 18 weeks. but even though apple was rocky, the dow held steady, closing up 46 points for the day. and, we move now to the crackdown on the epidemic use of prescription pain killers in america. consider this. the united states, just 4.5% of the world's population, consumes 99% of the world's hydro coe done, the open yat in vicodin.
vicodin, the single most popular pain kill earl in this country. so, what is the big new thing the government wants to do? abc's david kerley tells us. >> reporter: it is an epidemic of addiction. pharmacy robberies where crooks are stealing vicodin and other drugs. t the command is staggering, with estimates ranging in the millions of americans addicted to vicodin-type drugs. not just the rich, but housewives, like jerri, who was followed on the a&e program, "intervention." but these pills for pain can also be deadly. brandi meshad, just 16 years old, took too much vicodin and other drugs, and died. >> too easy to pull something out of somebody's medicine cabinet. >> reporter: in 2011, 131 million prescriptions were written for the mix of the vicodin. it's a mix of the ingredient in tylenol and hydrocodone.
the drug enforcement administration can't win the battle, and is pleading to make it harder to get vicodin. >> it would help reduce the abuse potential. >> reporter: the drug enforcement administration which has seen the huge spike in farmly robberies, cannot win the battle and is pleading to make it harder to get vicodin. and that's what worries doctors and patients who use vicodin appropriately to control pain. if it's classified as a more dangerous drug, that could drive up costs for makers and doctors, more paper work. patients would have to make more visits to the doctor for refills. spending more in copays. >> we do have a national crisis. with prescription medications. and something needs to be done. >> reporter: balancing use that helps millions of americans in pain against the abuse that leads to this. a recommendation comes tomorrow. david kerley, abc news, washington. >> thank you, david. and now, we want to tell you about another bump in the sky
for the boeing dreamliner, the newest commercial jet, the one that has been grounded around the world. you'll remember the fire on a plane that landed in boston. well, federal investigators said today there were sips of short circuiting and other issues with the battery involved in that fire. they are now calling it a serious air safety concern and says the investigation will take a long time. and now, as we reported last night, defense secretary leon panetta made it official, after 200 years. more than 200 years. american women are no longer banned from serving in combat. but there is one catch. they have to meet the physical requirements. is it hard? w we asked abc's cecilia i have ga to show us what it takes. >> reporter: thousands of jobs historically off limits will now be up for grabs. jobs like leaping from airplanes and infiltrating enemy lines to rescue stranded air force colleagues. that has never before been allowed. but to fight alongside men,
women will have to pass the same physically grueling tests elite special forces like the navy s.e.a.l.s need to. swim the length of five football fields in at least 12 minutes and 30 seconds. do 50 pushups, 50 curlups and 10 pull-ups in six minutes total. that's followed by a mile and a half run in at least 10 minutes. studies have shown women can outperform men when it comes to endurance. but will they have the upper body strength needed to lift and load a 50-pound shell into a tonito tank gun? retired air force brigadier general ruth wong served as a medic in desert storm. is there a role in the military that you think women cannot do? >> i can't see one at this point in time. >> reporter: women serve in combat roles around the world, but they make up just a small fraction of combat soldiers. in israel, just 3%. but some former officers say women will have to prove they have the physical strength to
serve on the front lines. >> the combat roles, that has to be addressed if the standards are going to be separate. those that enter special operation unit, standards are high and high for a reason. >> reporter: so many women have lost their lives already. 152 in the line of duty in iraq and afghanistan alone. but now, it's the actual front lines that will be wide open. cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. and still ahead, right here on "world news," you will hear the voice that tricked a football hero. >> i love you. bye. >> but was the girl on the other end of the phone actually this man? and, who is he? that's next. we know all your investments may not be with fidelity, but we can still help you see your big picture. with the fidelity guided portfolio summary,
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and tonight, we are learning more about the hoax that fooled manti te'o. and the man who was allegedly behind it all. we are hearing the phone calls, the ones that te'o thought were the girl of his dreams but in fact, they were an imposter. abc's matt gutman has the tape. >> reporter: tonight for the first time, the voice that charmed and tormented manti te'o, the notre dame football star releasing voicemails he thought were from his girlfriend. we now know she never existed. >> hi, i am just letting you
know i got here. i miss you. i love you, bye. >> doesn't it sound like a girl? >> it does. >> it sounds like a girl, doesn't it? yeah. >> reporter: but could the sweet voice on the "katie" show actually be the voice of this man? >> hey, what's up, everyone, this is ronaiah. i'm truly blessed and excited to share music with you. >> reporter: "the daily news" reports ronaiah tuiasosopo's attorney says his client was the one speaking to te'o all along. tuiasosopo, seen in these chase chan music videos, was a former star high school quarterback, who te'o claims created the beautiful, jealous and totally fictitious lennay kekua. >> i don't know who answered your phone. and i don't care. >> reporter: so convincing, te'o would spend up to eight hours bearing his soul to her. over 1,000 calls. what's more, abc news has learned, tuiasosopo may have been duping people for years. this polynesian beauty queen
says this lennay kekua contacted her online back in 2008. >> i think what made her seem real was just the persistence in the messages, just being consistent at the same time. >> reporter: she says when they were supposed to meet, someone else showed up. ronaiah tuiasosopo. but what might drive someone to attempt such an elaborate hoax? >> it's both a very weak ego and a definite character distorter with a tremendous need to manipulate. >> reporter: the daily news" reports tuiasosopo's attorney insists his client was just a person trying to reach out and communicate and have a relationship. matt gutman, abc news, los angeles. and coming up here, are you ready for the super bowl? and are you ready for the fact there's a shortage of one of these foods? oh, no. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you make 70,000 trades a second... ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪
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and did this video make its way into your inbox today? a moment grandparents everywhere can relate to. it was the night before christmas, shirley brown opens what she thinks is jewelry. >> we're having a baby! >> inside the box was a block with the letter b, specificallying the world baby. and shirley says she's been waiting ten years to become a grandmother. we know that's the best christmas present ever. and tonight, new messages from another time. rare pictures of john f. kennedy, his wife, jacquelinjac here with ethel kennedy. and here on vacation in palm beach, five years before he was elected president. and, look at the tiny handwri handwriti handwriting, "jfk jr.," his birthday card to his dad. the mow men taupes were found hidden in a home owned bid one of president kennedy's closest friends. they will be auctioned next
month. and this just in. the man who created the extraordinary journey of "lost" is about to take us on another journey, this time, interga lal tick. j.j. abrams will be directing the next installment of the sacred "star wars." abrams said "star wars" was the first movie to blow his mind. "star warps vii" due in 2015. and one more note, a picture from our family grabbook. robin roberts, back on the set of "good morning america" for a test run, as she promised. testing her early morning stamina as she prepares for the big return. and we cannot wait. coming up, a thrilling hunt for solid gold treasure and a chance to get wet. so, how do you get thousands of dollars? next. my bad.
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alaska, hear the sound of opera floating across the water, it could be one of two things. cold induced hallucinations or emily ridell. until she can make it on the stages of europe, she makes ends meet on the bering sea. and diving to the bottom with a ten-inch suction hose. let other girls wait tables. emily is chasing gold. >> i would much rather dive in freezing water than waitress. whoa! >> reporter: she's part of the modern rush of drifters and dreamers, drawn here by ancient geology and the modern economy. ages ago, glaciers smeared gold across this land, and when the recession hit, prices topped 1,800 bucks an ounce. >> half an ounce. >> reporter: that's still -- >> 1,000 bucks. >> reporter: this family borrowed hundreds of thousands to build a backhoe on a barge they call the christine rose. but emily and the crew of the edge make do with a plywood
deck. much to their own peril. >> i had a couple of experiences this summer that really made me question diving. >> reporter: and yet, they dive on. providing rich plot lines for the discovery channel's "bering sea gold." >> there's a lot of gold right here. >> reporter: that show has turned this desolate place into a suddenly hot destination. what do you say to the person watching this, i got plywood. i got an old pump. i'm going to go do it. >> by all means, but just accept that it's going to mean spending a lot of winters in nome broke. >> reporter: but when word spreads of a $50,000 day, those warnings lose weight. because nothing fights the cold like gold fever. bill weir, abc news, nome, alaska. >> by the way, bill told us, if you feel like joining the adventure, they have great pizza in nome, alaska. and you can see more of his