tv Nightline ABC September 13, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am EDT
tonight on "nightline," americans under siege. another angry assault on a u.s. embassy in the middle east, as demonstrators breach the walls of the u.s. compound in yemen. amid growing protests across the region over a mysterious, inflammatory film that's igniting anti-american fury. as mcdonald's announces it will post calorie counts on menus nationwide and big sodas are banked in restaurants in new york city. we ask, does any of this make a dent on the war on fat? and, eureka! from a peel-free hard boiled egg maker to the next big gym craze, inside the nerve center that transforms wannabe-inventor's
big ideas. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," september 13th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. tonight, it was a day of fury, as violent anti-american protests erupt at u.s. embassies across the arab world. in cairo tonight, clashes with police have turned violent, after hundreds stormed the american compound in yemen earlier today. it's all part of the uproar over an american-made movie that mocks the muslim prophet muhammad. tonight, american officials are warning that extremist groups could spread this violence back here at home and abc's martha raddatz brings us the latest. >> reporter: tonight, protesters and egyptian security forces are facing off outside the embassy in cairo. the crowds, throwing stones and molotov cocktails, greeted with tear gas in return. it has been a long day of unrest
in the region. this morning, outside the u.s. embassy in yemen's capital, protesters smashing windows and climbing the walls to the compound. at around 4:30 a.m. east coast time, yemen's spokesperson in washington tweeted in all caps, "protesters have stormed the u.s. embassy in sana'a." the assault, only the latest of a growing number fueled by anger at an amateurish, low budget film made in los angeles and promoted by the koran-burning gas or the, terry jones of florida. >> there must be an action. >> reporter: the film is clearly meant to denigrate the muslim prophet muhammad, depicting him as a child molester. >> there's really no possibility of maintaining a lid on the kind of provocative material like this film from getting out into the region. >> reporter: for three days now, protests have been raging across
the arab world. it started on tuesday, the anniversary of 9/11, when a group scaled the walls of the u.s. embassy in cairo, tore down the stars and stripes and raised black flags reading "there is no god but allah." by tuesday night, the violence was spreading and deepening. the american consulate in benghazi, libya, was in flames. and the ambassador and three other americans, dead, after militants attacked with gun fire and rocket-propelled grenades. by wednesday, the crowd outside the embassy in cairo had grown larger and the mood, ugly. the rhetoric now, a world away from the heady days of the arab spring last year. when i visited yemen during its own uprising, the atmosphere was optimistic. things have clearly changed. >> we do have to recognize that this kind of outrage that we're
seeing in the region is a result of an enormous amount of frustration with the lack of fulfilled promises about the arab spring. the arab spring wasn't just about freedom and democracy. it was about social and economic progress. >> reporter: despite the death and utter devastation at the u.s. mission in benghazi, the state department insists there was a robust security presence. >> we determined that the security at benghazi was appropriate for what we knew. >> reporter: yet, just the day before the attack, al qaeda's leader urged libyans to retaliate against americans for the death of a libyan-born militant, killed by u.s. drones. and days prior to the attack, the state department knew that the anti-muslim movie that has caused outrage, had been running on egyptian television. yet, there were no warnings about it to other u.s. missions.
that film is now the focal point of the anti-american sentiment roaring through the middle east. >> this video is disgusting and reprehensible. there is no justification. none at all, for responding to this video, with violence. >> reporter: the film's origins are still murky, but law enforcement says they've identified at least one man involved in its production, nakoula basseley nakoula. a coptic christian who lives in california. today, media and place were gathered outside his suburban home, but he never appeared. sources tell abc ne b kr nubc n received threatening calls and is scared for his life. tonight, protesters are still gathered outside the u.s. embassy in egypt, whose government, led by the muslim brotherhood, is under fire for
not con telling the attacks quickly or forcibly enough. >> i don't think that we could consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. >> reporter: in an interview with tell money doe, president obama was surprisingly stern about the egyptian response. >> and if they take action that indicate they're not taking those responsibilities, as all other countries do where we have embassies, i think that's going to be a real big problem. >> reporter: and the u.s. embassy in cairo pointed out that while the muslim brotherhood's english twitter feed pledged support for the u.s., its arabic language field was focused on decrying the film. "have you checked our your own arabic fields? i hope you know we read those, too." the protests will likely continue into friday, the muslim holy day, and u.s. embassies around the world remain on high alert. the aftermath of a low budget
film with horrible reviews, but a huge and angry audience. for "nightline," i'm martha raddatz in washington. >> martha raddatz on the continuing turmoil in the middle east. "good morning america's" going to have the latest developments in the morning on this story. tomorrow is a big day in the middle east. next up, we're going to change gears. we're going to tell you about the newest addition to the mcdonald's menu. calorie counts. will knowing how many calories that big mac has really stop you? one reporter's experiment. you know why i sell tools? tools are uncomplicated. nothing complicated about a pair of 10 inch hose clamp pliers. you know what's complicated? shipping. shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping's easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. that's not complicated. no. come on.
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supersize me era, it's common knowledge that fast food can be bad for your health and your waistline, but today, bad news for those who believe ka lotter ignorance is bliss, as mcdonald's announces that calorie counts are going to be posted on their menus nationwide. so, abc's dan harris decided to hit the golden arches and see how a little menu math might change the way americans chow down. >> reporter: americans spend $100 billion a year on fast food. we consume three burgers a week on average. so, will we start making healthier choices once mcdonald's starts posting how many calories are in its meals, as they've just announced they will do beginning next week? this put us in the mood to do an experiment. step one, i'm going to go in this mcdonald's and make my dream order. this is very exciting for me. i love burgers. double quarterpounder with cheese. large fries.
and a vanilla shake. some of the calorie information mcdonald's will be posting is quite surprising. the big mac is not the biggest source of calories, just 550. that'sless than the double quarterpounder with cheese at 750. the highest calorie food on the menu isn't even a burger. it's the big breakfast with hot cakes. 1,090. what's the damage in my bag? grand total, 1,950 calories. now, step two in this little experiment. how much time will it take me to burn off 1,950 calories on this treadmill? okay, so, as the experiment runs its course, let's consult some experts on whether forcing restaurants to post calorie information, as the federal government is poised to do soon, actually works or whether it's just another example of the nanny state run amuck. all right, doctor -- >> yes. >> reporter: we brought you here to mcdonald's because we have a question.
this doctor is from new york university. he has done studies and found that posting calorie info does not change the way people order. what do we have to do to get people to really change their orders? offer a defibrillator with the burger? >> these foods really taste good, so, the price is a huge factor. we know convenience is a huge factor. all of these things come into play. >> reporter: to be fair, there have been conflicting studies showing sometimes calorie info does have an impact and the doctor says it may become increasingly effective over time. meanwhile, back on the treadmill -- i've been running for ten minutes now. and i've only burned 115 calories. which is a little depressing. time to speed it up. so, what else can we do to curb the american appetite ins a country where two-thirds of us are overweight or obese? what about that law in new york city, banning the sale of sugary
drinks over 16 ounces? the doctor thinks that could actually do some good, even though many protesters really believe this is big government out of control. but as the doctor points out the, the nanny state has been effective at things like bringing down smoking through taxes and cigarette bans. you're saying we've got so many people sick, so many people costing us so much money in so many hospitals across america because of obesitobesity, we ha do something. if it infringes on your liberty just a little, deal with it? >> it's a ball lapse, right? i don't think anyone is saying that fast food restaurants can -- i don't think anybody can saying that certain foods cannot be sold at all. but to make changes that are subtle or a little more than subtle that might shift your behavior just a little bit. >> reporter: finally, the results of the experiment. okay, i'm at 30 minute, nearly 400 calories.
and i quit. at that rate, i would have had to run more than two hours, which is never going to happen. unless i'm being chased. i'm not going to lie. it's a sobering statistic. but i'm still going to eat the burger. for "nightline," this is dan harris, on the treadmill. >> didn't like the vanilla shake, but otherwise, the menu was great. thanks to dan for that. just ahead, cowl a peel-free hard boiled egg maker -- could that really be a multimillion dollar idea? yes. not just the only one. we take you inside the birthplace of some of your favorite "as seen on tv" products, next. [ female announcer ] to get a professional cleansing system
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showcasing the trials of getting to market. >> inspiration was aqua paw idea. >> reporter: at the help, louis foreman, who showed me the best of their latest offerings. you're selling me something that i didn't know i needed. >> that's what it's all about. not about products that you need. products you want. >> reporter: and with tens of thousands of submissions, they're never short of ideas for the next great invention. >> like they say that everyone has a great novel in them? i think everyone has a great idea. >> reporter: everyone thinks they have a great idea. >> but how do you turn great idea into a great product? and, really, at the end of the day, it's about execution. >> reporter: that's exactly what charlie didn't know how to do. the contractor from maui had his eureka moment while he was paddle boarding. he realized that while gyms are cluttered with treadmills and exercise equipment galore, there's nothing on the market that mimics working out on the water. >> i had no idea how to make that happen. i had no means to prototype it.
i had no means to patent it. >> reporter: he went home and drew this. a rough model of a standup paddle board machine and sent it in. edison green-lighted his idea, promising to bring it to market. ten months later -- charlie arrived in north carolina for the big reveal. this is the hydroliptic. hundreds of thousands of dollars were invested in research and development, taking that simple sketch and turning it into a machine that gives you a real workout. trust me, i tried it. it is pretty smooth. do you think you ever could have made something like this on your own? >> no in my wildest dreams. i really don't. >> reporter: edison is now shopping the machine to exercise equipment manufacturers. they and charlie will split the licensing profits 50/50. expect it in a gym near you in the next year. and there's real money to be made. over a trillion dollars of new products are sold each year.
at edison, no idea is too silly or too simple. they learned that lesson the hard way. >> you know, apparently there are a lot of people that need blankets with sleeves. >> super large, one size fits all. >> that product had sold over $500 million. it's approaching $1 billion business. >> reporter: now, is that something that came out of here? >> it suspect, but we did have an inventor in our first ever come to us with a blanket with sleeves and we looked at him, we said it was silly. that may have been one of our biggest regrets. >> reporter: but they've had far more successes, all from people who just thought, now what if? >> you don't have to be a ph.d, you don't have to be a scientist working in a lab to be a great inventor. >> reporter: just ask charlie, who, right now, is waiting for those checks to roll in. i'm yunji de nies for "nightline" in charlotte, north carolina. >> a great american tradition there. thanks to yunji.
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