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tv   Nightline  ABC  December 30, 2011 11:35pm-12:00am EST

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project, her life with brad pitt and while their kids want them to get married. and he, robot. it is science fiction, brought to life. an expressive, conversational robot who looks and acts more human than ever before. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city,
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this is "nightline," december 30th, 2011. good evening, all, i'm bill weir. for american troops serving in afghanistan, one killer has surpassed all others. the improvised explosive device. they have either taken the lives or shattered the bolds of more than 8,000 u.s. service members of that war. and they are such a relens lent scourge because they are so easy to make, with a couple of ingredients that end up being disturbingly easy to buy. here's nick schifrin with our series, "nightline investigates." >> reporter: down every rutted road in afghanistan, nothing scares u.s. troops more than this. an ied, just blew up beneath this truck. >> is everyone okay? >> reporter: ieds are the u.s.'s enemy number one in afghanistan. >> oh, my ears. >> reporter: they killed or wounded more than 8,000 american
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troops. and the numbers are getting worse. >> [ bleep ]. this is close as we get to the source of all our problems. ieds. >> reporter: meet this sar jet. he's an explosives technician, better known as a member of the bomb squad. >> it's like playing a game. who gets to it first? who makes it blow up first? us or them? >> looking to be a long night. but hopefully everybody makes it back here safe. >> reporter: that's his team leader. on 9/11, he was a freshman in high school. he joined the military after he graduated and deployed to eastern afghanistan six months ago. >> what really surprised me is the amount of ieds. probably over 200. >> reporter: one of those bombs killed this staff sergeant on the fourth of july. but it wasn't a ram don blast. the taliban rigged a bomb just for him. >> he was my first team leader.
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he taught me how to survive here. >> reporter: and after garcia died, scofield replaced him. and how has that affected you? >> sucks. you learn from what they did wrong. what they taught you, what they were doing right and just drive on, get the job done. >> reporter: but this is no ordinary job. it's intense. >> looks like a roll of the dice every time you drive down the road here. you're not going to find everything. >> reporter: on this evening, a call comes in. an ied, buried in a road. we set out in a convoy of armored trucks. at the scene, schofield walks to where the ied is buried. we aren't allowed to follow. so, we filmed it from inside the truck. he finds a 40-pound bomb. so, how do you stay safe out here? >> distance. stay away from it. >> reporter: to keep that distance, they use a robot, armed with the highly explosive c-4 to detonate the ied. the robot takes the risk so the men don't have to.
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inside the truck, they navigate the robot using a screen and a joy stick. then, after the robot drops the c-4 on top of the ied, after everyone is ready -- >> fire in the hole! >> reporter: that bomb could have killed four soldiers in an armored vehicle. >> ied, single jug, 40, 45 pounds. splattered everywhere, road is safe. >> reporter: after packing up, they head home to the afghan version of "csi." >> this might be the most important part of what we do. >> reporter: every bomb carries a signature of its creator. so, they try to find a finger print or a piece of dna. >> goes into the system. and next time these people -- they get arrested, their dna is collected, we can trace it back to the ieds. >> reporter: and tracing the ieds often leads them out of afghanistan. and so, my next destination, pakistan, to look for the source. this country is a u.s. ally.
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it has received $20 billion american since 9/11. but according to the u.s. military, as much as 75% of the material used in bombs in afghanistan come from one place. this is the largest fertilizer producer in pakistan. last year, it made 350,000 tons of something called calcium ammonium nitrate. that's what this is, this bag. it's small little white pellets, doesn't smell like anything, and it is sold everywhere in pakistan. it is legal here, used for farming and agriculture. but if you take this and add fuel and a detonation device, you can create an ied. just like the taliban did in this propaganda video. the same bags we found for sale are often smuggled into afghanistan, where they're illegal. this summer, the u.s. army caught 5,000 pounds of it, underneath a fake floor in a truck.
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pakistan's government says it is beginning to regulate the sale. but pakistani salesmen say they aren't required to know and don't care whom they sell it to. "for god sakes, it's not poison," this shopkeeper told us. well, actually, it can be worse. as this man knows well. and how much ammonium nitrate did you need to create a bomb? "15 pounds is enough," he says. meet sayed. he helped kill a female politician and religious leader in kandahar with ieds brought from pakistan. i met him in jail in kabul. "making explosives isn't that difficult," he says. "we took the fertilizer and a remote. it's easy." it's even been easy in the u.s. 17 years ago, timothy mcveigh blew up the oklahoma city federal building with ammonium nitrate. congress didn't approve legislation to track it until this year.
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the u.s. is asking pakistan to regulate it in months. pack-arab has sent a version to the pentagon so it can be easy tracked. but that's a long-term solution. scofield and clingen still have a lot of work to do. because this is the sad fact. no matter how many missions these men execute -- >> fire >> reporter: no matter how many bombs they diffuse. unless the flow of calcium ammonium nitrate is stopped, ieds will continue to explode. and kill more and more u.s. soldiers. for "nightline," i'm nick schifrin in logar, afghanistan. >> it is the world's worst game of hide and seek over there. our thanks to nick schifrin. just ahead, angelina jolie. her kids think she should marry brad pitt. she tells us what she thinks about that. [ coughing ] [ male announcer ] got a cold?
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> let's imagine just for fun, you have a hollywood lineage, flawless looks, serious acting chops and a romantic roommate named brad pitt. so, what else do you really need to do? well, in addition to trying to help humanity, angelina jolie also wrote and directed a movie
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in english and bosnian and earned a golden globe nomination for best foreign language film. here's abc's christiane amanpour for our series, "it was a good year for." >> reporter: do you ever get to walk outside? >> we're so clear now, if the cameras would leave, we may have a normal day. >> reporter: if angelina jolie seems a bit giddy about an undisturbed saturday morning in new york city, well, it's understandable. after all, it's not often that she, or her partner, brad pitt, get to step out of the limelight. >> you find ways. and we're getting older, too. we're getting to -- you know, we're mom and dad. we don't do interesting things. so, you start -- >> reporter: you are a boring couple? >> we're not boring, but -- but we're private. >> reporter: the couple met on the set of their movie "mr. and mrs. smith." >> there's nowhere i'd rather be than right here with you. >> reporter: one of more than 30 films jolie has starred in, from
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block busters like the "laura craft" franchise. to her academy award winning portrayal of a psychiatric patient in "girl interrupted." >> no! >> reporter: alongway, she's become the highest paid actress in hollywood and one of the most famous women in the world. >> angelina, right here! >> reporter: but you won't even see her in her latest movie. it's her debut as a director and a writer. the film "in the land of blood and honey," is about the three and a half year war in bosnia, in which 200,000 people were slaughtered. >> this is something in europe. this was not -- this was the worst genocide since world war ii, in europe. and what were we all doing? and did we do enough and why do we not speak about this enough and why don't i know enough about this? so, i wanted to learn. i felt there was a responsibility to learn. >> so terrible we should be exterminated? >> reporter: it is a
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controversial thing to do, to tackle the idea of camps, women being raped, as a tool of war. the different ethnicities. >> there's no safe way to tackle these subject matters but i think the important thing is to discuss them and tackle them. >> reporter: whether visiting refugee camps in her role as good will ambassador for the united nations or trying to help these children in afghanistan, she's a tireless advocate. three of her six children were adopted from post-war countries. cambodi cambodia, ethiopia and vietnam. like the united nations at chez jolie-pitt. they have their national flags -- >> they do have their flags. >> reporter: is that how they stay connected and know about it? >> well, we travel to their countries. we have projects in cambodia that have been there for years, we just broke grout on our aids clinic and just starting a project in vietnam. so, all of our children will have something that they will go
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back to, volunteer with and have their responsible to and it will be part of their country. >> reporter: lots of questions lots of people want to know. do you plan to get married to mr. brad pitt? >> the kids ask me the other day and i asked them if it was just because they wanted to have a big cake. >> reporter: do they ask you that? >> they have asked, yeah. they see movies that have, you know, people get married in the movie, or somebody is, you know, the happily ever after. shrek and fiona are married. we explained to them, once you have six children, you're committed. >> reporter: and while she's still committed to acting, jolie says that there is much more on her road ahead. >> i don't feel needed in a position of being an actor. i feel like i'm needed at home as a mom. i would like to write and work on, produce more projects about issues dealing with situations
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that i feel passionate about. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm christiane amanpour in new york. >> "in the land of blood and honey" is in select theaters now. up next, we interview a man who is just not like other guys. did you know you can be smart about your calorie intake, and still get the nutrition your body needs? try boost® calorie smart nutritional drink. it provides key nutrients your body could be missing. each serving is packed with sixteen grams of protein and also contains twenty-four vitamins and minerals- including calcium and vitamin d and it's under two hundred calories. get the balanced nutrition you need to help you stay strong and active. try boost® calorie smart today.
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2012. just a couple dozen hours away. so, what will the future hold? hmm. well, if you said human noids with computer brains sheathed in synthetic flesh conducts interviews on network television, oh that's so 2011. here's abc's jim sciutto. >> hi. nice to see you. >> reporter: and ea interview w philip starts kind of like a bad date. >> how are things? >> reporter: things are good. there's small talk. >> i read newspapers and magazines. >> reporter: awkward pauses. >> can you state the question in different words? >> reporter: if you are lucky, something comes up that gets the chemistry flowing. >> do you like being a robot? >> it's really exciting, because my technology is changing. >> reporter: philip is a state of the art talking robot, with a big vocabulary, complex facial expressions, a sense of humor and something of an ego. he is, well, surprisingly human.
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what's your favorite movie? >> my favorite movie is "blade runner." have you seen it? >> reporter: i have. today, robots manufacture, clean, perform operations, win jeopardy. >> who is michael phelps? >> reporter: but robots living and communicating like real human becomes or something close to it is very new. are these the make ings of the next robot brain? >> it has an on-board process or the that can see faces and understand speech and wirelessly connect to an intelligent server. >> reporter: among the most successful innovators is david hanson, who believes we're a lot closer to living roe bolts than we realize. >> roerobots will some day, or , wake up. they may be really smart. may be as creative and smart and capable as humans. >> reporter: for hanson, that means both words and all the expressions and movements that go into the way we communicate
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with each other. so, he developed a human-like robot flesh called frubber, designed to allow a robot face to show all the emotions a human face does. >> david made my body. he is an excellent artist and amazing inventor. >> reporter: is he god? >> i think he's god. better ask him to be sure, though. >> reporter: philip is not perfect. far from it. we had lots of confusing exchanges. do you have a girlfriend? >> girls are one of the most valuable resources. >> reporter: there are some in the community that think robots like phillipp are a gimmick and may be dangerous. they say robots will never be truly human, so they shouldn't look like them at all. >> we need to make them human-like. >> reporter: in we want them to be our friend, and hanson really does, they need to be more like us than like machines. we've all seen "terminator," after all. >> i'll be back. >> reporter: i'll admit in his first robot date, as strange and
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awkward as it was, i did like it. >> got to be a tough job to be a human being and i'm glad i'm not one. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm jim sciutto in dallas, texas. >> something on the back of your head there, philip. thank you, jim. and thank you for watching abc news. and we'd like to thank all the amazing people whose names you're about to see. their blood, sweat tears and smarts that made "nightline" the number one show in late night again. and we all hope you have a happy new year, america.


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