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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  September 17, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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tonight on "world news," force of nature, a strange storm in new york, a parade of hurricanes tearing across the ocean. is this evidence of the new age of global warming? force of politics. sarah palin hits iowa. tea party candidates surging against the democrats in three states and the newest arrival enters the national spotlight today. comedy and challenge. jon stewart announces a big washington rally of his own throwing down a gauntlet on what is fact, what is fury. and our person of the week, a 9-year-old commanding the attention of the powerful. good evening. as we came on the air last night, we knew a strange storm we know it's something rarely
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torn up. cars crushed in a matter of seconds at rush hour. national weather service experts are puzzling whether it was a tornado evoking that iconic picture in 1976, the tornado near the statue of liberty. after that, the armada of hurricanes in the atlantic and we asked dan harris to look into what this strange weather means and he's in the middle of the damage tonight. dan? >> reporter: diane, good evening. coming to you from queens, a neighborhood that got hit very hard by the storm, as you know this is not a part of the world where they're used to tornadoes which has so many scratching their heads tonight. >> oh, my god. this is crazy. >> reporter: in a metropolitan area, saturated with smartphone captured from so many angles including these pictures which window. >> am i really in jersey? >> reporter: this storm which
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brought high winds and lightning strikes did an enormous amount of damage in only about 15 minutes. shutting down the nation's largest commuter rail line, delaying more than 300 flights and knocking down more than a thousand trees. one woman was killed when a tree fell on her parked car right after she traded seats with her husband who survived. >> i keep thinking about is this happens. >> reporter: it spawned tornadoes and softball-size hail by thursday before barreling extreme weather all over the planet. in the u.s. it's been the hottest year ever with major atlantic hurricanes showing up further to the east and to the climate scientists have long predicted as the climate warms extreme weather although the length between frequent
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tornadoes and climate change is delillo who showed us her busted cars says she's never seen anything like it. everywhere. it was like being in "the wizard >> reporter: we tend to associate them with places like kansas but they do happen in cities, seven in new york city since 1950 including one that came right near the stature of liberty and we just got word that the storm that hit new york city which did all this damage, there were no tornadoes as part of that storm. we just found that out, diane, however, we did learn that a tornado did touch down as part of that same storm system over the border in new jersey, so very unusual and very destructive. >> just a wicked wind whipping through new york. thank you so much, dan harris, tonight and we move overseas to pope benedict carrying on with
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his visit to britain despite a terror scare in london. police there arrested six men today holding them as possible terror suspects but not charging them yet. the men were rounded up at a tip and our lama hasan reports about to begin their street. authorities confirmed the men were being held on terror charges related to the pope's visit. night just two miles from the linked to the investigation was taken in for questioning. but police say raids on homes hazardous materials. the pope's day packed with
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uninterrupted. the pope reaching out to his >> he can say that we are confident in the work of the police, of scotland yard. >> reporter: but from the moment he had been surrounded by vatican guards. popemobile and police have been streets. these measures were reviewed today. no changes were made. lama hasan, abc news, london. >> and a startling story today about a husband and wife who used to work at a nuclear lab in the united states. they were arrested today charged with conspireing to help develop a nuclear weapon for venezuela. they worked at the los alamos national lab in new mexico. the couple are now 75 and 67 years old. they're accused of passing classified nuclear information to an agent they thought was a venezuelan official and telling him that the documents were worth millions of dollars but they'd sell them for 973,000.
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and a new spotlight on the tea party in the november elections today. tonight former governor sarah palin will speak at the key presidential tate of iowa. and polls show tea parties ahead of the democrats in alaska, florida and pennsylvania. and the newest entry from delaware, christine o'donnell, took to the new stage. jake tapper has been looking into that. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. some officials here at the white house and across town at the republican national committee were convinced that whatever hopes the republican party had of recapturing the senate were dashed when christine o'donnell became their nominee for the senate seat in delaware but christine o'donnell is doing everything she can to prove them wrong. vice president biden went north to wilmington, delaware, today to campaign with the democrat he hopes will take the senate seat he once held. republican nominee christine o'donnell was warmly welcomed in
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washington, d.c. at the value voters summit and tried to turn attacks into a plus. >> the small elite don't get us. they call us wacky. they call us wing nuts. we call us we the people. >> reporter: trying to turn questions about her finances and her credibility into an astault by an out of touch ruling class on ordinary americans of faith. >> will they attack us? yes. will they smear our backgrounds and distort our records? undoubtedly. >> reporter: it is to a degree working. o'donnell claims to have raised $1.6 million through her website since her victory tuesday night and taken opportunities like last night's candidates forum in delaware to explain comments from her previous life as a conservative activist. such as this clip from mtv in 1996. >> the bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery, so you can't mass tur bait without lust. >> i was in my 20s and excited about my new-found faith but i assure you my faith has matured
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and when i go to washington, d.c. it'll be the constitution on which i base all of my decisions. >> she's doing a very good job to try to marginalize a lot of the things that have come out about her. >> reporter: but o'donnell's opponents will have a vast trove of very controversial comments to use against her. ones that may not play so well in the blue state of delaware. and, diane, more on that fund-raising dinner in iowa with sarah palin. the white house today called her the most formidable force in the republican party and suggested that she is dipping a toe in the presidential waters, diane. >> okay, jake, thank you. at the white house today as you know, president obama made it official naming the passionate wall street critic elizabeth warren to set up a brand-new consumer protection agency. as we reported last night she's the daughter of an oklahoma janitor. she became a harvard professor
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and an advocate for the middle class and now she'll have a budget of $400 million a year and almost 1,000 employees to tackle issues like credit card fees so i asked her about her priorities for the american consumer. what's the first thing you promise you're going to get done in this job? >> oh, the first thing i'm going to promise is that i'm going to be a voice in the room on behalf of middle class families, and if that means i'm going to be wild or unwelcome at any point so be it. >> what is the first thing you'll tackle? >> let's talk about credit cards. 1980 typical credit card agroelt was about a page and a half long. now they can run as long as 30 pages and they're full of fine print. and what's buried in the fine print, a trick here, a trap there. it's not right. it's not fair and, frankly, it shouldn't be legal. >> but to the critics who say you're coming to punish the banking industry --
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>> well, it's not to punish. the point is to say, those who want to be honest and fair in their dealings should not have to compete with those who don't want to be honest and fair in their dealings. >> those who are afraid of your arrival, for instance, assistant treasury secretary in the bush administration who said that cracking down on wall street means some people won't get a loan. there are jobs that won't be created. cars that won't be sold. >> can we just refrain what that seems to be saying? if he's really saying if we can't trick them we won't lend money to them, surely that's not what he means, but that is sure what the statement seems to suggest. >> did the president side-step a fight by appointing you this way? >> i don't think so. we could spend a year talking about the confirmation process. now, i actually would never be allowed to talk during this and more importantly, i wouldn't be allowed to work during it. the alternative is he said you can get to work tomorrow if you
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don't care much about titles. i said, mr. president, that's the job i want. >> what about your family? what are you going to be thinking about? >> you mow, i have two little granddaughters and we got a baby on the way, the third one. those are the ones i do this for. this is what i've worked on. this is what i've studied. this is the family i come from. the system is broken now and it's crushing families all across this country. >> elizabeth warren arriving in washington. a crucial day in afghanistan tomorrow. parliamentary elections amid a vicious taliban campaign of intimidation. 30 kidnappings today alone. and some of the candidates, women, have decided to put their lives on the line. nick schifrin is in afghanistan. >> reporter: for a woman, running for office in afghanistan means risking your naheed ahmed farid is one of gunmen.
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because it's too dangerous for hold private events down back have you received any threats? have you received any forward for the future of afghanistan. >> reporter: this year, there's parliament out of say their lives have been fathri farid's face has been ripped off of posters. the intimidation comes from the taliban, who still burn down girls' schools. but it also comes from her
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opponents. gangland politics in a still fragile, young democracy. there are a lot of security >> yes. >> reporter: is it worth the risk? >> you have to be brave and we have to accept any risks that we are going to have. >> reporter: farid was born here, but got her masters from george washington university. her campaign color is green, which stands for progress here. she never considered staying in the u.s., despite the dangers, which are constant. a few hours after our interview, a bomb exploded just a few miles away. but for farid, there is no letting up. because she wants afghan women to be celebrated on campaign posters and not covered by a burqa. nick schifrin, abc news, herat. >> tomorrow is the day. still ahead on "world news," jon stewart planning his own rally in washington. who is our 9-year-old "person of the week"? at purina one, we want your dog to be as healthy as possible. so, we set out to discover the science in
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the country's most famous funny newsman, a satirist wants you to circle your calendar for october 30th for real. he announced he is now hosting a march on washington. what he calls a rally to restore sanity. clearly his challenge, his latest one, to fox news and glenn beck. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> we will gather on the national mall in washington, d.c., a million moderate march. >> reporter: he's calling it the rally to restore sanity. >> but am i the right type of person to go to this rally? the fact that you would even stop to ask yourself that question as opposed to just let's say jumping up, grabbing the nearest stack of burnable holy book, strapping on a diaper and just pointing your car towards d.c., that means i think you just might be right for it. >> reporter: is the rally just intended to poke fun at glenn beck?
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>> i mean, beck in many ways is the direct inspiration. >> reporter: chris smith wrote the cover story on stewart for this month's "new york" magazine. >> he sees this rally as theater. >> reporter: and fox news is clearly his favorite foil. >> that's not good. >> reporter: but beyond the jokes he's serious about holding fox news accountable. >> he's become a fact checker and a goad to do better work. >> reporter: after all, it was stewart who noticed the story on fox that made a health care rally appear larger than it was. >> if i wouldn't have known better i would think they put two days together. >> reporter: when fox questioned the money trail of the ground zero mosque stewart countered. >> you use the same logic to actually link fox news with dangerous saudi money. >> reporter: for fox's part they dismissed stewart as simply entertainment and while he may be aiming for the funny bone, he's clearly struck a nerve with
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millions of fans. >> i am not afraid of muslims, tea partyers, socialists, immigrants, gun owners, gays, but i am kind of scared of spiders. >> reporter: likely to heed his call to rally. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> and coming up, dr. richard besser and his investigation that got congress to take action. d. p-a-d... p.a.d. isn't just poor circulation in your legs causing you pain. it more than doubles your risk of a heart attack or stroke. i was going to tell you. if you have p.a.d., plavix can help protect you from a heart attack or stroke. plavix helps keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots, the cause of most heart attacks and strokes. call the doctor about plavix -- please? i will. [ male announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines such as prilosec reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment.
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and the latest now on a "world news" investigation. last may dr. richard besser took a close look at the company's promise to expectant parents. if they bank their baby's cord blood it can treat all kinds of diseases here. rich is here but first a little of that original report. >> reporter: we set to answer a question. are they overpromising the life-saving promise of storing cord blood. our cameras captured the pitch at a free dinner. >> you have this one-time opportunity. if i was doing this day i would definitely bank my cord blood. there is no doubt about it. >> reporter: the marketing to vulnerable expectant parents is everywhere. the claim, by paying thousands of dollars to bank it, you'll
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have a life insurance policy of sorts, that the stem cells you store can be used to treat a list of deadly diseases your child may develop later in life. >> presently we treat over 80-life threaten decembers. >> reporter: the nation's top scientists say that is not true. for most diseases you can't use your own child's cells. we challenged the biggest company. is it ethical to market stem cells as a biological life insurance policy? >> i don't think so. >> reporter: but here it is in his company's literature. biological insurance. >> now you've got news on that front. >> i do. this week senator charles grassley, he's a ranking member of the finance committee, started an investigation. he sent letters to the four largest blood bank companies raising concerns about their marketing practices. let me share with you one of those letters. he said "after viewing the report by abc news, i'm writing to viacord to express my concern about what appears to be
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questionable statements in informational materials viacord provides to the public" and he wants answers by the end of the month >> all right. got action on that front. you'll stick around because you have our very small but very -- >> persuasive. >> very persuasive person of the week. stay with us. we'll be back. games with my gra. great news! for people with copd, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, advair helps significantly improve lung function. while nothing can reverse copd, advair is different from most other copd medications because it contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator, working together to help you breathe better. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair.
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and finally our "person of the week." most people who come to capitol hill to lobby congress don't have to get out of school to do this so who was that 9-year-old with here again dr. richard besser? >> reporter: there were the people you'd expect, elected official, cancer specialists, but the loud eest voice on the hill may have belonged to mollie ward. is this your first time to washington? >> yes, i like it. >> reporter: mollie was diagnosed with a rare pancreatic cancer before she turned 2. >> we felt like our hearts had been ripped out. >> we went through the traditional courses of treatment and surgery and chemotherapy that did not work. >> to have cancer you have to be brave and you get a lot of shots and have to go through a lot of
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things. >> reporter: looking at mollie today, you wouldn't know doctors removed her spleen, half of her pancreas and blasted her with chemo and radiation. most children are given adult treatments in kid-size doses, but when mollie became resistant to chemotherapy, her parents were faced with two choices, take her home and make her last days comfortable or try to find a rare clinical trial. >> we were just devastated. i think you go through a sort of a grieving process when you are actually given that kind of news. >> reporter: since 1980 only one new cancer drug was approved for children. by comparison, 50 were approved for adults. >> there are not enough children with cancer to really incentivize the industry to bring their expertise to the problem. >> reporter: mollie was one of the lucky few to find an experimental treatment. while pediatric cancers have increased by nearly 30% in the last 20 years, development of new drugs for kids is virtually non-existent. >> we're given the opportunity
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to test this experimental phase one drug and six, seven years later, here's where we are. she's living proof of the miracle of what she is today. >> reporter: do you think you were lucky. >> i got the opportunity to get through cancer and not a lot of people do. >> reporter: so mollie, her family and her doctor came to the capitol. a little cancer crusader paying it forward. >> so we choose the wonderful mollie ward who took part on a summit on childhood cancer on capitol hill. her extraordinary spirit shining through. we hope you have a truly wonderful weekend and we'll see you here monday. here she is... pretty cool, huh? yeah, but... what happened to the back there? well, here's the thing: this was the only "sporty two-seater" they had on my budget. uh-huh. and the seats go all the way back. (announcer) settling for less is not smart.
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