tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 10, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight on "world news," riding the tiger. we barrel south on the mississippi as the floods head toward vicksburg. houses caught in the deluge, and we test the toxins in that water. as we look back at the last big one in 1927. son of bin laden. omar bin laden speaks out about his father's death, as bin laden's wives get ready to face u.s. interrogators. the bravest woman in mexico. the 20-year-old mother who tried to bring justice to the border. we find her and learn why she had to flee. and, change your life. a simple, proven secret for health and success? we'll show you what so many people have started to do.
good evening. there are now 4 million people down river from memphis, bracing and beginning their long wait tonight for the giant mississippi to arrive and tell them how bad it's going to be. we just returned from memphis this afternoon, where we waded into those waters. and there is news tonight that the river did crest, just under 48 feet, which is just shy of the record. and the swollen water is still pushing at the levees, but those leaks underneath, we showed you, those are called sand boils, have not undermined the strength of the levees. and yesterday we told you about the snakes you could see swimming around us in that water. but in a moment, we're going to tell you what else they are testing for in the waters tonight. but let us begin with jim avila, who spent the day barrelling along in the water toward the south. the 414 miles from memphis to
new orleans, riding the rapids of the river, in effect, to the next big town. he's in tunica, mississippi, tonight. good evening, jim. >> reporter: good evening, diane. behind me, you can see the real power of this river. the huge current going by me and through those closed casinos of mississippi now, as the threat of catastrophic flooding moves south to the delta region. the rugged mississippi, often meandering, is now surging towards the della. moving at double its normal speed. america's mightiest river is home to coast guard lieutenant brian miller, and the mississippi he sees now is more ferocious than ever. >> you can see all the swirls and flows. that's really an anomaly, for this particular area. >> reporter: the flood walls and levees held in memphis, sparing one of the largest cities along the river. but now, the flood surge is upon tunica, mississippi, where some families are now in shelter, evacuated as the river
swallows the town's lifeblood, riverboat casinos and their homes. >> we love it here, we want to go home. and we're going to do whatever it takes to stay there. >> reporter: down state in carter, mississippi, the jordan family's general store, open for more than 100 years, seen here in 1941, and now, fighting to stay open today, still displays the seven-foot water mark of the 1927 flood waters. >> '27 flood. >> reporter: fears of a second deluge. not since ed's dad was a year old, nearly 85 years ago, have they seen anything like this. the family's 3500 acres of planted cotton, soybeans and corn, soon to be wiped out. >> makes you sick to your stomach. all for nothing. >> reporter: in vicksburg, mississippi, a civil war battlefield city along the river, flood waters are expected to keep rising until saturday, some neighborhoods are moving to high ground. >> i don't know, i'm just
running from the water, stay one step ahead of it. >> reporter: down river in louisiana, preparations are under way for a massive crest in two weeks. this is butte larose, 40 miles from baton rouge, where prison inmates are helping sandbag operations. prisoners at angola state prison have been evacuated, moved out of harms way. and now, a new threat from these floods. you know that louisiana and mississippi is home to gasoline term names and those are now threatened and already, futures traders are pushing the price of gasoline up because of the flooding. diane? >> all right, jim, thank you. another source of real concern tonight is about the toxins in that water. what is in those rushing waters? steve osunsami is on the banks of the mississippi in memphis again tonight and he has been looking for answers. steve, good evening. tell us what you're finding and how you're testing. >> reporter: well, diane, you don't have to look too closely at the water to see that it is very, very dirty. this is water that's pushing up
against a school and some of the same water that's flooding neighbors, behind me, you can see the trash, we've seen medical waste here. you can smell the water. there's sewage in it. you can also feel the oily sheen on top of the water. we know there's gasoline, sewage in the water, oil. and there's even chemicals from washed out farmlands up north. we are testing the water, at this location, and a second location here in memphis. we've sent it to a lab. and we will have those test results for all of the many concerned residents here tomorrow. >> so, tomorrow night, we will have those results. you know, i think i recognize that school. i think i was there, too, we were there together, of course, yesterday. and, a little kid said to me, i'm going to go in that water, and i said, don't you dare. do they really think it could make someone sick if you just get in that water? >> reporter: health officials are sounding the alarm tonight. warning residents all along the mississippi, not to step in the water. they say that especially if you
have cuts, there is such high levels of bacteria in this water that it could make you very sick. >> all right, steve, we look forward to the results tomorrow night. and as we have been saying, human beings aren't the only ones scrambling for higher ground. nearly 200 pets in the flood zone are spending the night at a shelter in memphis. cats, dogs, even parakeelts and ducks. they can swim, but they're going to stay there until their owners are able to bring them home. they are peltts. and 78 horses have been evacuated to a temporary shelter. the barns and shelters they normally call home are water logs tonight. and one man gave fishing prooch that the waters are really high. you can catch a cat fish, that big. not the one that got away, it was that big, right in your own backyard. that is our reporting tonight from the flood zone. and we turn to other news. it is a banner day for the
resurgent u.s. auto industry. less than two years after coming out of bankruptcy, general motors announced today it is adding 4,000 american jobs. and investing $2 billion in 17 plants around the country. and abc's linsey davis reports on this big comeback. >> reporter: the idea that general motors is on its way back to running on all cylinders means preston bunts is about to be, too. he's been laid off by the auto giant three times and he's hoping any day now to get his third letter to come back to work. >> when you get that letter, you get a sense of ease, where you know you're going back to a place that can really provide for your family. >> reporter: according to the experts, gm's move today could create a ripple effect of 28,000 additional jobs. >> what we are about, in reclaiming this great company, is it benefits america. >> reporter: about half of those being hired will come from the pool of 2,000 gm workers who
were recently laid off. >> this is a good example of a large companies hiring thousands of people that result in smaller companies being able to offer jobs to hundreds of people. >> reporter: gm got close to a $50 billion lifeline from taxpayers, that kept them alive, since 2008. so far, the company has paid back almost half that. the government currently owns 33% of the company's shares. and today's announcement puts gm in a much better position to pay back every cent of your money. linsey davis, abc news, new york. and now, osama bin laden's son is speaking out about the death of his father. bin laden's family lashed out today, harsh words for president obama, claiming that the u.s. raid in pakistan broke the law. and chief investigative correspondent brian ross has the latest tonight on the words from the family of the al qaeda terrorist. >> reporter: bin laden's fourth son, 30-year old omar, says he left his father in disgust the year before the 9/11 attacks,
but he told abc news recently he still cared for him. >> i still love him. so much and with all my heart. >> reporter: in written statements today, omar and other family members condemned the u.s. raid that killed bin laden, calling it an assassination of an unarmed man in violation of international law. the bin laden family also called for the three wives that all lived under the same roof in the pakistan compound. the u.s. is seeking to interrogate them. amal, the youngest, along with khariaiah and siham. they are been with bin laden since before 2001. >> what i want to know from osama bin laden's wives is what sort of individuals he met with. what information he may have been involved in in terms of terrorist attacks overseas. >> reporter: bin laden's youngest wife was given to him as a teenager, a marriage arranged by this cleric, sheikh
rashad, who told abc news the bride never complained about bin laden. "amal has never made him upset," the cleric told us, "with reprisal or guilty." bin laden acquired his wives to strictly follow the koran. put aside jealousy. and provide sex when called. >> fulfilling the desires of the, you know, the male leader, or the husband, in the family, is a very important duty for women. >> reporter: pakistani authorities said today that while one bin laden son was killed in last week's raid, a second one is supposedly missing. authorities say it may be hamza bin laden, seen in this video as a teenager at an al qaeda training camp. pakistani authorities are suggesting the missing son may have escaped, though a u.s. official told me today the u.s. is extremely confident, diane, that no one got away. >> and to be clear, omar bin laden who we saw in the piece, his mother is not in that compound? >> reporter: she was not. he and his mother fled in 2001,
2000. before the attacks. >> okay, brian, thank you. and now, for the first time since taking office, president obama traveled to the u.s.-mexican border today, calling for immigration reform. and saying that the border is more secure than ever. but you're going to hear now from someone who has fear in her eyes, and that fear will tell you that on the mexican side of the border, drug violence is creating one of the most dangerous places in the world. tonight, in an abc news exclusive, john quinones talks to someone you met here once before. >> reporter: they called her, the bravest woman in mexico. the petite and feisty 20-year-old student who took the job no one else wanted. police chief in a border region terrorized by the drug war. her predecessor was tortured by the drug cartels, and then beheaded. today, marisol valles garcia gazes across the border toward
mexico, from the safety of the u.s. >> translator: my country is so close, but so far away. >> reporter: she served the town of praxedis, mek coe, for just a few months. but then came the death threats? [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: question yes. they threatened to kill me, my family, my baby boy. i was always scared, couldn't even sleep, always wondering, when are they coming to get me. >> reporter: and that's why marisol is now hiding in the u.s., pleading for political asylum. >> translator: i want fran quillty for my family. >> reporter: as police chief, she hired more female officers. they were unarmed, fighting crime not with guns but with principles and values. she cracked down on crimes like domestic violence and robbery and vowed not to get involved in the drug war. but critics say she was simply too young and naive. but the fact is, the warring mexican drug cartels have made this one of the most dangerous spots in the world.
last year alone, 2500 people were killed in the juarez valley. were you too idealistic? trpt >> translator: maybe i was too naive. >> reporter: when you took the job, you said, we're all afraid but we must not let fear defeat us. has fear won? >> translator: there will always be fear. i'm still afraid. but as long as we're breathing, we can dream for a better world. >> reporter: her most touching thoughts are for the people she's left behind. your message to them? >> translator: don't ever lose hope. continue fighting for your children. >> reporter: fear and intimidation score another victory here. >> oh, the look on her face, john. i know she's in hiding. any chance she'll get asylum? >> reporter: chances are good, but it could take years. viewers want to connect with her, they can reach out to her on abcnews.com. >> so you'll be following what
the viewers want to know? >> reporter: absolutely. >> thank you john. still ahead on "world news," we're going to tell you the secret we can all use to achieve a lot more in health and in life. a kind of message in a bottle tonight, sent by one river city to the others down river now in peril. no, no, no... i do not have a thing about bugs. i have a thing about bugs in our house. we used to call an exterminator. ugh... now i go ortho. home defense max. i use it once inside to kill the bugs. stops them dead. guaranteed. and outside to keep new ones from moving in. that's up to 12 months protection against bugs. and 12 months of keeping our house to ourselves. until your mother comes. right. ortho home defense max. defend what's yours. finally, there's a choice for my patients with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, or afib, that's not caused
by a heart valve problem. today we have pradaxa to reduce the risk of a stroke caused by a clot. in a clinical trial, pradaxa 150 mg reduced stroke risk 35% more than warfarin. and with pradaxa, there's no need for those regular blood tests. pradaxa is progress. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding, and seek immediate medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have kidney problems or a bleeding condition, like stomach ulcers. or if you take aspirin products, nsaids, or blood thinners. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem,
going to tell you about new evidence that is simple but very powerful. a tool for achieving what you want in life. there is a new report finding 40% of us now are turning to alternative treatments, especially meditation. and, dan harris asks the questions about the growing proof that that works. >> reporter: medication, once considered supremely flakey, is now being used by the marines, by corporate executives from general mills to target to google, by students in classrooms all over america and now, according to this new study, by roughly 3 million patients on the recommendation of their doctors. >> we weren't expecting to see such a high rate of referrals. that was really surprising to us. >> reporter: dr. rex hoffman recommended meditation to dan nil low ramirez, who was too claus foe pick to endure this treatment for radiation. it worked.
>> it was beautiful that my mind was able to control my heart beat, my breathing, my relaxation. >> i see us using it more with our patients. >> reporter: researchers say meditation doesn't just relax you. it can physically change your brain. earlier this year, a harvard study looked at people who took a mere eight-week course in meditation and found these two parts of their brains, associated with self-awareness and compassion, actually grew, while this part, associated with stress, shrank. there are a lot of different kinds of meditation. it vinvolved three basic steps. step one, sit comfortably. step two, focus on your breath. feel it going in and out. step number three, when your mind wanders, which it will, a million times, to things like, where are my keys, what am i having for dinner,er time your
mind wanders, just gently return to your breath. i've interviewed corporate executives who say medication has made them more focused an effective and one rock star who says it cured his stage fright. >> if i wasn't meditating, if i still had so much stage fright, i might still be in my shell. >> that's a big change. so, people had the good part of their brain plumped up. how long did they meditate a day? >> reporter: just 30 minutes. and there's indication if you do less, it will still work. and there's all sorts of fascinating studies that show that it can boost your immune system and even make you nicer. >> nicer. >> reporter: my wife has encouraged me to do that. >> and you look wonderful tonight, dan. >> reporter: thank you. coming up next, which airlines do passengers say they really, really like the best? [ male announcer ] from nutritional science
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or become constipated for three or more days. vesicare may cause blurred vision, so use caution while driving or doing unsafe tasks. common side effects are dry mouth, constipation, and indigestion. so why wait ? ask your doctor today... ... about taking care with vesicare. just as millions of americans are making summer travel plans, airline passengers are weighing in on pet peeves and favorite airlines. and the biggest complaints? uncomfortable seats and all those fees. and, which airlines fa s fared best? the three favorites are southwest, jetblue and alaska airlines. two weeks after marking their 25th anniversary, maria shriver and arnold schwarzenegger are separating. their 1986 wedding was a marriage of his high wattage hollywood star power and the kennedy family. and they have asked for privacy.
and, tonight, we are remembering a pioneer who contributed so much to this profession for so many years. jeff gralnick started as a producer at abc news in 1972, rising to executive producer of "world news tonight" and the driving force behind election coverage here for more than a decade. he is missed by his friends and all of those who learn sod much from his vision. jeff gralnick was 72. and, coming up, what memphis wants to say to their brethren facing the floods down river wants to say to their brethren facing the floods down river tonight. e ball...et's get ready here it comes... here you go. good catch. perfect! alright now for the best part. let's see your pour. ohhh...let's get those in the bowl. these are way too good to waste, right? oh, yea. let's go for it... around the bowl and... [ male announcer ] share what you love... with who you love. mmmmm. kellogg's frosted flakes...
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don't stop taking plavix without talking to your doctor as your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase. people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines, including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, which can potentially be life threatening, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix. finally, last night, while we were still in memphis, we
went out for some of the sights and sounds that make it such an amazing american city. and we discovered that the people there had a message for those facing the floods to come. the sun sets over memphis. graceland is still there, so is sun record studio, where so many got their start. and at night, we took a walk on beale street. how does that sound? soul of the community, home of the blues. there was dancing on the sidewalk, even though the water was lapping just a few hundred yards away . in bb king's house of blues, we asked people what message they had? keep the faith. strength. nothing defeats river people.
and then we asked the band, the bb king all-stars, to play one song they would like to play for everyone that loves and fears the mighty mississippi. ♪ i'm sittin' on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away ♪ >> reporter: tonight, music still play iing, the people of e mississippi, still going strong. and we're so glad you're watching tonight. we have news at abcnews.com 24 hours a day. don't forget, "nightline" later, and we'll see you here tomorrow.