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tv   AB Cs World News With Charles Gibson  ABC  September 10, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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welcome to "world news." tonight, the day after. did the president's speech change the dynamics on health care? do the facts support his claims? and what's happened to civility in politics? give it a shot. a big doels of good news about a swine flu vaccine. our medical editor has an update. terror trail. an fbi informant says he tracked the 9/11 hijackers, but was pulled off the case. brian ross investigates. unhappy returns. gm says if you buy one of their cars and don't like it, bring it back, get your money back, no questions asked. and, how hard is it to go where no one can find you? and, how hard is it to go where no one can find you? harder than you think.
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captions paid for by abc, inc. good evening. so, did the president's speech on health care reform last night change the landscape? did it improve the chances he'll get the reforms he wants? well, democrats liked it, called it a game changer. republicans didn't. for the most part, dismissing it. the president did ask for an end to political bickering, but there was bickering aplenty in washington today, and sorting fact from fiction about health care reform is becoming a full-time job. we have a number of reports tonight, and start our coverage with jonathan karl on capitol hill. jon? >> reporter: charlie, with the big speech over, today the challenge for the president is to get a divided democratic majority here on capitol hill to unite behind a single plan to reform health care. the speech was aimed at a congress deadlocked over health care reform. >> the time for bickering is
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over. the time for games has passed. now is the season for action. >> reporter: to democratic leaders, a smashing success. >> a game changer. >> a tour de force. >> an amazing performance. >> reporter: in reality, it's not clear if the president's speech changed much of anything, it certainly didn't convince republicans. >> bottom line, i thought the speech was partisan, uninformative, disingenuous. >> unfortunately, what the american people got wasn't a new health care plan, it was just another lecture. >> reporter: but what the president needed most was to unify those bickering in his own party, divided on whether to create a new government-run insurance program or public option. moderates don't want it, liberals do. and each side has threatened to vote no if they don't get their way. the president essentially told all of them to back off. >> it is only one part of my plan, and shouldn't be used as a handy excuse for the usual washington ideological battles.
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>> reporter: that didn't seem to satisfy any of them. >> but frankly, unless he's more clear about this notion of the public option, we are going to be continuing to be tugging in different directions. >> i can't support the current house bill, primarily because some of my concerns about the cost. >> reporter: a group of liberal democrats in the house wrote the president asking for a meeting, "as soon as possible," to clarify his position. but the president's argument may have had an impact on one very important member of congress. just last week, speaker of the house pelosi said the government-run insurance program was non-negotiable. >> we cannot pass a bill without a public option in the house. >> reporter: today, new flexibility. >> but you never go -- i don't think you ever really go into a negotiation and say that some things are non-negotiable. >> reporter: and despite all the talk of urgency last night, charlie, the wheels on congress turn slowly. white house officials are now saying they are hoping to see a health care bill passed by thanksgiving. and charlie it will almost certainly take longer than that. >> all right, jonathan karl on
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capitol hill, thanks to you. as the president spoke last night, there was a stunning moment, as the president tried to refute criticisms of his health care reform, a republican congressman from south carolina yelled out "you lie." well, there's a rough and tumble to washington politics, but so, too, is there a history of civility and respect, especially for the president of the united states. or, until recent years, there was. here's david wright. >> reporter: it was the shout heard round the world -- >> you lie! >> reporter: or at least the nation's capital. today the president was magnanimous. >> i'm a big believer that we all make mistakes. he apologized quickly and with out equivocation and i'm appreciative of that. >> reporter: by noon today, when he finally appeared on camera, congressman wilson did equivocate, distancing himself from his own apology. >> i heard from leadership that they wanted me to contact the white house and state that my
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statements were inappropriate and i did. >> reporter: democrats professed to be shocked by the outburst. >> it was stunning to hear such a statement made on the floor of the house when the president of the united states is speaking. >> reporter: but quickly sought to take advantage. the democrat hoping to unseat wilson enjoyed a fund-raising windfall, $400,000 in less than 24 hours. today republican leaders sought to distance themselves. >> his behavior was inappropriate. >> reporter: but plenty of others embraced him as a maverick who dared to speak truth to power. you can now buy a t-shirt that says, "i'm with joe wilson." >> it was rude of congressman wilson to do what he did, but it is hardly the most uncivil thing that's ever happened in the house of representatives. >> reporter: before the civil war, another south carolina congressman nearly beat a u.s. senator to death with a cane. more recently in 2005, some democrats booed george w. bush during the state of the union address. icon cli, in his speech, president obama was not only
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pleading for health care reform but also for more civil debate here in washington. >> too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenge. >> reporter: that's almost certainly true but it also may be naive to expect it to change. david wright, abc news, washington. the president's speech was his most detailed and specific yet about what he would support in a health care bill, but is everything he claimed about the benefits of his health care reform plan supported by the facts? we asked our white house correspondent jake tapr to give the speech a fact check. >> reporter: the president tried to do a fact check of his own. >> the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to nose who are here illegally. >> reporter: would the reforms apply to illegal immigrants? the answer is no. house and senate bills say any new government subsidies to purchase health insurance would only apply to legal silt sevens. but the issue is more
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complicated than that, when immigrants to go emergency rooms, the charges are often paid for my emergency medicaid, which at least one democratic bill may expand. though, today, the white house reiterated the president's point. >> the legislation that the president will sign won't cover illegal immigrants. >> reporter: what about this claim? >> insurance companies will be required to cover at no extra change routine checkups and preventive care. that makes sense. it saves money and it saves lives. >> reporter: does preventive care save money? some experts say the answer is no. preventive care is humane, smart and moral, but the director of the nonpartisan congressional budget office says, quote, the evidence suggests that for most services, it leading to higher spending overall. one of the problems last night is that the legislation drafted and made public so far has yet to live up to his promises. >> i will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future.
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period. >> reporter: another nonpart an analysis of the house legislation said the bill would result in a net increase in the federal budget deficit of $239 billion over the 2010 to 2019 period. >> it will slow the growth of health care costs for families, businesses and government. >> reporter: again the white house insists the bill the president signs will achieve that, but the congressional budget office said one senate bill will expand costs. and charlie, apparently tired of defending legislation that does not meet the president's goals, last night, the white house posted a two and a half page obama plan for health care reform, brold outlines, no details. they say the devil is in the details. well, the fewer details, the fewer devils. >> jake tapper, thank you. next, we're going to turn to a specific health concern, the h1n1 or swine flu. there is very encouraging news tonight about vaccination against the flu that pretty much changes everything we'd
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anticipated in recent weeks, and so dr. richard besser is joining us tonight. what's the news? >> reporter: this is very exciting. the new england journal today published results of a vaccine trial out of australia, of the new swine flu vaccine and done in adults. what they found was that one dose of the vaccine was enough to give protective immunity. that's fantastic news. >> we had anticipated, everything we heard so far is that you would need two shots. so, now they are saying just one. but this is just one study? >> reporter: it's one study. i was on the phone with head of infectious diseases at the nih. the u.s. data is coming out tomorrow and shows the same findings. what this means that potentially twice as many adults could get vaccinated. more people will be likely to get it, and the cost of administration and the logistics around it are greatly improved. >> you said to me earlier today, though this is just a study in
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adults. >> reporter: that's right. >> is it any different for kids or anybody else? >> reporter: we'll see. in ten days to two weeks, we'll have the results from the studies in children. very young children, most likely will need two doses. but it's possible that in older children, as we are seeing in adults, they will get the same kind of response. >> if it's just one shot, as opposed to two, are you getting half the amount of vaccine and half the amount is actually effective or is the one shot stronger than the half of the two shots? >> reporter: the one shot will be the same shot you would have gotten had we had to go to a two-dose schedule. and so that second shot is available for somebody else, either here or in another place where they don't have access to vaccine. >> bottom line, we're going to have to have one less shot to be vaccinated against swine flu in greatest likelihood? >> reporter: as long as this holds up, that's great news. one shot for adults. >> all right, dr. besser, thank you. dr. besser and our medical unit have put together answers to the
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most commonly asked questions about the plflu, and you can fi that information at and still ahead on "world news," the fbi informant told off the trail of the 9/11 terrorists. brian ross investigates. talk about a test drive the automaker offering a 60-day, money back guarantee. is it enough to convince customers? and, lost in america. one man's attempt to disappear without a trace. is it possible? in this digital age. so, what's the problem? these are hot. we're shipping 'em everywhere. but we can't predict our shipping costs. dallas. detroit. different rates. well with us, it's the same flat rate. same flat rate. boston. boise? same flat rate. alabama. alaska? with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate.
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here...blackberry pomegranate. i can't find my hand. (announcer) yoplus and new yoplus light. digestive health alternatives from yoplait. tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. president obama is going to observe a moment of silence, marking the time that each attack occurred. since that day, though, a nagging question has remained. could the attacks have been prevented? a top fbi operative says he knows the answer, and he's speaking out for the first time. here's our chief investigative correspondent brian ross. brian? >> reporter: that's right, charlie. he's coming out of the shadows to tell abc news, the fbi had hijack ring leader mohammed atta in his sights but shifted focus to an easier case. as a highly prized undercover operative for 13 years, he was known as mohamed. his real name is ellie asad, a
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36-year-old native of lebanon. >> i gave 13 years, and people need to understand what i did. >> reporter: eight years after the 9/11 attacks, he is going public with an account of how he says he and the fbi missed a chance to stop the hijackers. you could have stopped the attacks? >> yes. i could -- i'm not 100% positive. i'm 80% positive. >> reporter: in 2001, the fbi sent assaad to infiltrate this mosque. there, he says he spots and recorded conversations with the man later identified as the leader, at that, as well as others in his group. you saw them? >> yes. and even i prayed in the mosque, the private mosque, and i went to certain private meetings. >> reporter: but assaad says over his objections, the fbi told him to leave atta alone, and instead, to set up and sting two men that he calls wannabe
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terrorists. assaad says while he was posing as a bomb maker, he's on the right, and producing weapons, the real terrorists were left alone. >> this is yet another example of the way the system broke down prior to 9/11. and if the system had worked, we might have been able to identify these people before the attacks. >> reporter: shortly after the attacks, assaad says he identified atta as the man the fbi told him to leave alone. >> i was very angry. i was very upset. >> reporter: you were that close. >> confirm what my suspicions were correct. i was right. i was 100% right. >> reporter: assaad says the fbi agents have his reports and his tapes, document what he saw, but none of that ever made its way into the 9/11 commission report, and tonight, the fbi's only comment, charlie, was to decline to comment. >> all right, brian ross, thanks
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to you. and you can see more of brian's reporting tonight on "nightline." coming up, one automaker's dramatic new attempt to get you in the show room. (announcer) there are engines... and then there's the twin-turbocharging, 365-horsepower-generating, ecoboost™ engine in the all-new ford taurus sho that has the thirst of a v6 with the thrust of a v8. we speak car. we speak innovation. introducing the all-new taurus sho from ford. drive one. and i was so tender o the touch-- but i didn't know why. my doctor diagnosed it a fibromyalgia. and then he ecommended lyrica... fibromyalgia is thought .to be the result of over-active nerves that cause chronic, widespread pain. lyrica is .fda-approved to help relieve the unique pain of fibromyalgia.
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so now, i'm learning what a day islike with less pain. lyrica is not for veryone. tell your doctor about any serious allergic reaction that causes swelling or affects breathing or skin, or changes in eyesight including blurry vision or muscle pain with fever or ired feeling. lyrica may cause suicidal " thoughts or actions in a very small numbr of people. some of the most common side efects of lyrica are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. do not drink alcohol while taking lyrica. you should not drive or operate machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. could your pain be caused " by fibromyalgia? ask your doctor about lyrica today.
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"on the money "tonight, an optimist six assessment of the stimulus plan. in their first report, the white house economists claim that more than 1 million jobs have already been saved or created. the number of new home foreclosure filings dropped last month for a change, down 1% from july. but that is still 18% higher than a year ago. and general motors is making a bold move. gm is offering new car buyers a 60-day, money back guarantee on all new vehicles. they call the promotion "may the best car win." gm hopes this latest offer, putting its money where its mouth is will turn tire kickers into car buyers. but will it work? here's chris bury. >> reporter: in a folksy ad campaign, gm's new chairman takes on the sales job of his life. >> before i startled this job, i
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admit i had some doubts. probably a lot like you. >> reporter: seeking to sway skeptical buyers with a rare money back guarantee. buy a car and don't like it, they'll take it back, no questions asked. >> general motors knows they have to change their impression with car buyers in this country. and that's what this program is about. >> reporter: that's quite the task, given gm's collapse in this recession. like other automakers, it had previously offered to take back the cars of new buyers who had lost their jobs. this campaign is different. gm is aiming squarely at concerns over the quality of its cars and trucks. toyota dominates the top ratings in the latest jd power quality survey. over the last year, gm's cadillac leapfrogged from tenth place to third. but its bread and butter chevrolet ranked ninth. gm is still battling a lag in public perception. >> high portion of consumers are reluctant to try domestics right
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now because of the perception that the products are not as good. >> reporter: now that the hugely successful cash for clunkers program is over, automakers anticipate sales will drop. >> there's concern that sales are really going to fall off as a result of the cash for clunkers program ending. >> reporter: for gm, now majority owned by taxpayers, you the new campaign holds a whiff of desperation. once it sold half the cars made, now barely one in five. in the words of its marketing chief, doing nothing is not an option. chris bury, abc news, chicago. and up next, catch me if you can. one man discoverers how hard it can. one man discoverers how hard it is to really disappear. orth carolina, yett, ...and i smoked for 29 years. the one thing about smoking - is it dominates your life, and it dominated mine. and the sad thing about it is that you can always use an excuse if cigarettes don't kill me, oh well - something else will. but, you can't use that as an excuse.
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i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. it was very interesting that you could smoke on the first week. chantix gave me that extra help that i needed to get through a tough time. (announcer) chantix is a non-nicotine pill. in studies, 44% of chantix users were quit during weeks 9 to 12 of treatment, compared to 18% on sugar pill. it is proven to reduce the urge to smoke. i did have an unopen pack of cigarettes in my purse and then i think i opened my purse and realized it was still there. and i said, "what the heck, i don't need these..." ...i said, you know, "bye, i don't need you anymore, you're not my crutch, i don't need a crutch." (announcer) talk to your doctor about chantix and a support plan that's right for you. some people have had changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in behavior, thinking or mood
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that are not typical for you, or if you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. talk to your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which can get worse while taking chantix. some people can have allergic or serious skin reactions to chantix, some of which can be life threatening. if you notice swelling of face, mouth, throat or a rash stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away. tell your doctor which medicines you are taking as they may work differently when you quit smoking. chantix dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. the most common side effect is nausea. patients also reported trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams. until you know how chantix may affect you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. chantix should not be taken with other quit smoking products. as a non-smoker it's wonderful. the best thing that ever happened. the best thing i have ever done besides my husband, and dogs, and family. with the chantix and with the support system, it worked.
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it worked for me. (announcer) talk to your doctor to find out if prescription chantix is right for you.
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finally tonight, a disappearing act. in our digital age of google and gps, myspace and map quest, it's getting harder and harder to hide anything. but what about trying to hide yourself? one man who is immersed in electronics for a living has tried to do just that, disappear. but could he do it? here's john berman. >> reporter: you ever feel like you want to get away from everything? work, family, bills, cell phone, blackberry? ever get the urge to disappear without a trace? just how far are you willing to take it? as far as evan ratliffe? where's evan? >> i don't know. >> reporter: evan is a reporter for "wired" magazine who has set off a remarkable manhunt trying to disappear for a full month. how do you do that? >> i don't know. i've never done it. evan knows. >> reporter: it's harder than you think. earlier this year money manager marcus shrenker failed spectacularly when he tried to stage a plane crash.
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investigators found him easily, after discovering google searches on his laptop such as "how to jump out of an airplane while parachuting." in the modern age, we leave more traces than ever before. from the atm cards in your wallet, the cell phone in your pocket, the laptop on your desk. revealing? >> where they've been, what they've looked for on the internet. >> reporter: evan's editor shared all the information that investigators would have, bank records, old e-mail accounts, social networking sites. his height, weight, and fact was allergic to gluten in food. hundreds of amateur sleuths joined the hunt. the first discovery? footage of evan talking to a video-blogger on california's venice beach, with dark hair and a goatee. >> i guess that made it seem a little more real. >> reporter: that was two weeks ago. tuesday, he was caught with a shaved head in new orleans by a group tracking him online. >> i never thought they would get me this way. >> reporter: how? from a trail or links on facebook, they discovered his
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computer's ip address, a digital fingerprint that revealed he was in new orleans. next, they scoured the neighborhood here the only gluten free pizza place in the city, and that's where they found him. so, what did evan learn? >> fantasies about disappearing are just that, they're that. fantasies. >> reporter: evan, lost and found. john berman, abc news, new york. >> and that is "world news" for this thursday. i'm charlie gibson, and i hope you had a good day. for all of us at abc news, have you had a good day. for all of us at abc news, have a good night. captions by vitac
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