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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  November 30, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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i'm cheryl jennings. >> from all of us here, thanks for watching. we tonight on "world news," face to face. the president and the resurgent republican leaders get down to business. what happened at the first meeting in the new political world? hostage hero. how one teacher did everything right when a troubled student held her classroom at gunpoint. this debate about d. important new guidelines about vitamin d and calcium. dr. richard besser with the surprising facts. and, going the distance. the lengths some americans are traveling to get a job. nomads who camp out while packing your holiday presents. good evening. exactly four weeks ago tonight, president obama was handed what he called a shellacking. the results of that mid-term election.
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today, the new house republican leaders walked into the roosevelt room for their first big encounter with barack obama, and, the question is, will there be more partisan paralysis or will the government finally act? what about the big issues? tax cuts and paying benefits for the 2 million americans out of work for almost two years. jake tapper tells us tonight about the summit at the white house. good evening, jake. well, president obama called the meeting productive. republicans call it useful and frank. anything and many, many deadlines fast approaching. the president seemed to be most gratified by a 35-minute stretch of the nearly two hour meeting without any staff present. >> i was pleased to see several of my friends in the room say, "let's not try to work the washington spin cycle to suggest that somehow the other side's not being cooperative." >> reporter: cooperation better come quickly.
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tonight, emergency unemployment insurance expiries. on friday, funding for the federal government runs out and the bush tax cuts vanish as the clock strikes midnight and 2010 becomes 2011. in their meeting, sources tell abc news, soon to be house speaker john boehner said the american people had sent a loud and clear message to focus on jobs and cutting spending. soon to be house minority leader nancy pelosi said the message was to focus on jobs and the deficit, not quite the same thing since her solution to the debt includes tax increases republicans oppose. in the short-term, there was widespread agreement. >> the two most important things to do, obviously, decide how we're going to fund the government for the next ten months and decide the tax issue. >> reporter: president obama pushed republicans today to allow congress to vote separately on bush tax cuts for the wealthy and those for everyone else. but republicans rejected that idea. >> we're looking forward to the conversation with the white house over extending all of the
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current rates and i remain optimistic. >> reporter: the president today designated treasury secretary tim geithner and budget director jack lew to start negotiating immediately on the bush tax cuts with a bipartisan group of four members of congress. left unresolved are other priorities of the white house and democrats. the president thinks that funding the government, passing unemployment insurance extensions, don't ask, don't tell repeal, the dream act, tax cuts and s.t.a.r.t. can all be done in the next 18 days? >> yes. >> reporter: but at lease on >> reporter: but at least one senate democrat seemed skeptical an open microphone today caught colorado's michael bennet griping that the system is broken. >> it's all rigged. i mean, the whole conversation is rigged. the conversations -- the fact that we don't get a discussion before the break about what we're going to do in the lame duck is just rigged. this stuff's rigged. >> reporter: and diane, president obama told the republicans at the meeting that he should have reached out more
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to them over the previous two years. republicans, who oppose the president's domestic agenda lock-step, offered no such mea culpa. >> oh, those open mikes. thank you, jake tapper. and, as you said, today's failure to agree on extending jobless benefits will have an immediate effect. it will be a painful impact for those across the country who are caught in the recession job front. and sharyn alfonsi has more on the long-term unemployed and whether there's any safety net at all. >> reporter: ellen andrews lost her job last year. she's been supporting herself and her 1-year-old son henry with her unemployment benefits. >> it means i can keep a roof over our head. it means that, you know, even though it's a struggle to buy food and everything, it means that i'm keeping the lights on and i'm keeping food in the house. just, you know, sometimes just barely, but i'm able to do that. >> reporter: but now, andrews and millions of others may be
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cut off, with congress allowing emergency unemployment benefits to expire. only lawmakers have argued we simply can't afford it. the extension bill would cost the country another $12 billion, another huge expense for a government already in debt. without an extension, the labor department estimates 635,000 people could lose all benefits by december 11th, more than a million and a half by christmas and nearly 2 million by the first of the year, rising to more than 3 million by the end of january. and the ripple effect, some say, will be devastating. >> people who are unemployed and receive benefits spend that money in their communities immediately. they buy groceries. they put gas in the car. they fill prescriptions. >> reporter: social services are bracing. in iowa, they're stocking the shelves at local food banks. in one shelter in atlanta, they've added 100 additional beds, but already, every one is occupied. ellen andrews says she's praying for a christmas miracle.
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>> getting a new job. >> reporter: that's what you're asking for for christmas? >> that's what i'm asking for for christmas. and one that's substantial enough to, you know, take the burden off and take the worry off. >> reporter: and it is tough out there right now. for every five unemployed people, there's just one job opening. lawmakers could still change their minds on this, but we're told a deal in washington could take weeks to accomplish. all this little comfort to the 2 million people who will stop getting unemployment checks next month. >> all that uncertainty going through the holidays. >> reporter: as they go through christma christmas. >> thank you. sharyn alfonsi reporting tonight. and now, more repercussions today from wikileaks, and more documents released. the latest batch focuses on pakistan, a crucial u.s. ally on the war on terror. and once again, some of the leaks are embarrassing, but some could be dangerous. and we have reporters living in three key countries, where the impact is already being felt.
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first, nick schifrin in islamabad, pakistan. >> reporter: diane, i'm outside the pakistan president's house, where the cables could strain an already frayed relationship that is so important to the fight against al qaeda and the taliban. the u.s. is desperate for pakistan to be stable and a dependable ally in the fight against militants. but the cables reveal the u.s. was doubtful whether this government could even survive. in one cable, the head of the army here suggests he might depose the president and force him into exile if political tension in the country increased. other cables show that the u.s. was so doubtful about the safety of pakistan's nuclear weapons, it actually tried to block a pakistani attempt to increase the strength of those weapons. all of this points to doubt and mistrust on both sides, at a time when the u.s. needs the pakistani government and military to fight militants in order to succeed across thehaaf. >> reporter: i'm lara setrakian
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in dubai. every here is reeling from revelations that some arab governments pushed for a u.s. attack on iran. saudi arabia's king abdullah now infamously calling for cutting off the head of the snake. another zinger, arab military officials agreeing that iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad was unbalanced, even crazy. but those lines hardly appear in arabic language newspapers like this one, al khaleej. in the arab world, the press is heavily influenced by the government, and arab governments are very embarrassed by what's in these cables. analysts say these leaks definitely hurt arab relations with iran which makes using dy employee diplomacy to keep iran from getting a nuclear weapon all that much harder. >> reporter: i'm clarissa ward in beijing. china's strong alliance with north korea is suffering some serious setbacks today after leaks revealed china's mounting frustration with the rogue regime.
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according to the documents, one top chinese diplomat is said to described north korea as acting like a spoiled child. another says the country represents a threat to the security of the whole world. here in china, where media is state-controlled, there has been no mention anywhere of cables involving china and the wikileaks website is blocked here. but analysts are still concerned about how this might effect the influence that china has on north korea and whether this might push an already paranoid country deep entire a tail spin. diane? >> thank you, clarissa and lara and also nick, our team in the field. and today, the pentagon released its long awaited study on don't ask, don't tell, and how the troops will react if gays can serve openly in the military. after seeing the survey, top brass are reaffirming it is time for a change. here's jon karl. >> reporter: the clear message from the peng leadership today? don't ask, don't tell, should be
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repealed. >> this can be done and should be done without posing a serious risk to military readiness. >> reporter: the pentagon surveyed 115,000 service members and found 69% believe they've already served with somebody who is gay or lesbian, and 92% of them said the impact on their unit was very good, good or didn't have much of an effect at all. the findings don't surprise army medic sergeant anthony bustos, who was featured in a photo essay of secretly gay service members and who came out in an interview with bob woodruff in may. >> i know that none of my guys would have traded me for another medic whether that medic be straight, gay, lesbian, whatever. >> reporter: but the survey predicted, quote, some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention if the ban on gays and lesbians is lifted. and found some real pockets of opposition within the military. 48% of those in army combat units and 58% in marine combat units said repealing don't ask, don't tell, would have a negative impact.
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and concern was highest among military chaplains. secretary gates acknowledged those concerns today, but he urged the senate to pass the bill soon. and he said that the pentagon would implement the changes slowly. in other words, diane, even if congress were to act now on this, and that's unlikely, it could be months or even more than a year before the ban is actually lifted. >> even more than a year. >> reporter: that's what i'm told. >> all right, jon, thank you, reporting from congress tonight. and we turn next to that teacher who helped her classroom survive. the wisconsin teenager who held his fellow students hostage yesterday has now died after a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and late today, his family released a statement, saying they may never know the answer to the question why. the high school is closed after 24 students and one teacher spent hours trapped at gun point. tonight, everyone is saying that that one teacher made all the difference. chris bury is in marinette, wisconsin. >> reporter: today, this blue
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collar, ship building town struggled to understand. knowing if not for the efforts of a brave teacher, things would could have been so much worse. >> she saved the lives of many students by her calm demeanor. >> kids were great. i'm glad they just made it safe. >> reporter: valerie burd, a ten-year veteran, kept her cool when 15-year-old sam hengel, one of her students, left western civilization class, only to return with a .22 caliber semiautomatic and a .9 millimeter pistol. he started firing shots inside her room. >> i made her aware of how proud i was of her. her leadership in that classroom was the calming attitude that the students needed to get them out of there safely. >> reporter: she sent arriving students to the shelter of the library. >> i was scared the first two hours. my legs were shaking. >> reporter: taking a cue from their teacher, the students engaged hengel in hours of small talk, about the hunting and fishing he loved. >> overall, everyone remained
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calm and just kept talking to him. >> reporter: nearly seven hours into the ordeal, police heard shots, knocked on the door and saw hengel fatally wound himself. just last year, school officials and police had practiced a simulated shooting. one reason, perhaps, the casualty count was not higher. today, no one had a clear motive for hengel's hostage-taking. >> he was mentioning how he couldn't afford a couple of things. just stuff like that. and how he didn't get anything for hunting and his fish that he caught were small. just clues that could be why. >> reporter: his family asked for privacy. whatever sam's troubles, valerie burd kept him from harming others. so, this small town, grieving a tragic loss, is also giving thanks. chris bury, abc news, marinette, wisconsin. >> another great american teacher. and, still ahead on "world news," the facts about vitamin d and a surprise about calcium
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supplements. and, meet the men and women migrating across the country, camping out. a kind of amazing race to get a job for the holidays. so, we set out to discover the nutritional science at purina one, we want your cat to be as healthy as possible in some of nature's best ingredients. that's how we created purina one with smartblend. nutritionally optimized with real salmon, wholesome grains and essential antioxidants, for strong muscles, vital energy, a healthy immune system, and a real difference in your cat. purina one improved with smartblend. discover what one can do. nothing beats prevacid®24hr. just one pill helps keep you heartburn free for a full 24 hours. prevent the acid that causes frequent heartburn with prevacid®24hr, all day, all night. nothing works better.
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the doctor leaned over and said to me, "you just beat the widow-maker." i was put on an aspirin, and it's part of my regimen now. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go see your doctor now. but i wasn't winning any ribbons managing my diabetes. it was so complicated. there was a lot of information out there. but it was frustrating trying to get the answers i needed. then my company partnered with unitedhealthcare. they provided onsite screenings, healthy cooking tips. that's a recipe i'm keeping. ( announcer ) turning complex data into easy tools. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. tonight, something new about two nutritional supplements probably in your home right now. vitamin d and calcium. long heralded as pillars of a
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healthy diet. but today, we learned that when it comes to calcium, some of those pills may not be necessary, and our senior health and medical editor dr. richard besser checked out the facts. >> are you taking your vitamin d? >> yes, i am. >> beautiful. >> reporter: you've been hearing for years, take more vitamin d and calcium. >> people need both calcium and vitamin d to form strong bones. the question has been, how much vitamin d to they need to support the calcium in order to get the strongest bones? >> reporter: updated recommendations out today say most people are getting enough through diet and supplements. first, vitamin d. the new recommendations say that infants need 400 units of vitamin d daily. children and adults, 600 units. that would mean drinking five cups of milk, or eating more than five ounces of salmon every day. it's a big increase over the old guidelines. an improvement. but is it enough? >> it's a big jump forward. but they didn't go far enough. >> reporter: the panel based the vitamin d recommendation only on
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benefits to bone health, saying there was insufficient evidence to support other indications. but many doctors believe it reduces the risk of other illnesses. >> there is a lot of evidence suggesting that increasing your vitamin d intake will reduce your risk of many serious chronic diseases. from my perspective, there is no downside to increasing your vitamin d intake. >> reporter: and now, to calcium. while most people are getting enough, the panel found adolescent girls aren't getting enough. but something very surprising. postmenopausal women may be getting too much. the recommendation is 1,2 000 milligrams a day. an amount some women may be exceeding by taking too many supplements. that can lead to kidney stones. >> all right, help us out here, rich. another confounding report here. for the postmenopausal women who are concerned about too much or too little, what are they supposed to do? >> reporter: you know, you don't want to take calcium casually. there are better ways to do it. if you are looking at the products, calcium citrate is a good way to go.
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it's absorbed well. it's cheap. you don't have to take it with food. with any calcium, you want to divide your dose. if you take it all at once, it won't be absorbed really well. >> oh, really? i didn't know that. >> reporter: you can only take in so much at one time. and the other thing, when you are starting to take calcium, check with your pharmacist because it can interfere with some medications. >> so make sure you're checking it against what they say the correct number is. >> reporter: that's right. it's very important to do. it's so important for bone health but you have to do it right. >> and if you want to ask a question of dr. besser, or check out your personal vitamin d and calcium intake, head to coming up, more news of the day. and, is this the car that's going to get americans to plug in instead of fill up? mmmm.
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benefiber. clear, taste-free, and dissolves completely. what a beautiful way to get fiber everyday. that's the beauty of benefiber. a different kind of report card tonight for the nation's students. according to a new study, the latest one, the high school graduation rate rose from 72% to 75%. and the number of so-called dropout factories, where fewer than 60% of freshmen are still enrolled, four years later, has grown smaller. some progress. and do you get the new car smell in an electric car? the first chevy volt rolled off the gm assembly line today. it can travel 35 miles on battery power. 340 miles on one tank of gas. an average of 60 miles per gallon. it will be available later in december. the federal tax credit means it will cost $33,500. and, a victory tonight in a
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fight waged through history by generations of americans. the house passed landmark legislation today, awarding $3.4 billion to native americans cheated out of royalties for resources on their lands. minerals and oil. there were also payments designated for african-american farmers denied the kind of government assistance their white counterparts once received. and coming up, the new great migration. americans racing across the country to get the job. a heart attack that's caused by a clot, one that could be fatal. but plavix helps save lives. plavix, taken with other heart medicines, goes beyond what other heart medicines do alone, to provide greater protection against heart attack or stroke and even death by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous clots. ask your doctor if plavix is right for you. protection that helps save lives. [ female announcer ] certain genetic factors
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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. 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, 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 2 weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. reported sometimes less than 2 weeks after starting plavix. this holiday, do you really want to cut corners by using a broth with msg? swanson chicken broth has no added msg. so for a perfect meal, the secret is swanson, 100% natural chicken broth.
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we're always learning so much about the true grit and resilience of americans in these tough times. and, we heard about thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people who now live in their rvs, camping out and engaged in a kind of amazing race to get the jobs, wherever they are. steve osunsami reports. >> reporter: they don't like being called migrants or gypsies. instead, they say they're families always on the move, circling the country, following jobs. >> i love it. >> we love it. >> reporter: their rv is their only home, some 400 square feet of moving opportunity. >> there's jobs everywhere for people that live in rvs and are willing to move around. >> reporter: today, a good number of those available jobs
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are in kentucky where this large processing plant for is still hiring seasonal workers and placing help wanted ads on camping websites. more than 500 of these families have settled here for a bit, making nearly $15 an hour. >> kind of rough to begin with, but you work yourself into it. >> reporter: jimmy sowder, a former trucker, and his wife sheila, are from indianapolis and have been traveling for three years. the company built their cold weather campgrounds pays their rent and all utilities. this is a good deal. >> yeah, it's a fantastic deal. >> reporter: heather wickline and her family are from tampa, where her husband lost his job in september. they are now on the road, and today, he's at work. the kids are happy, and there's a job waiting when this one ends. >> we just got a job offer. but we're hoping to go some place south. >> reporter: where it's warmer? >> texas or florida. >> reporter: in no way is this easy. families tell us you have to be able to live with a certain
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amount of uncertainty, and leave friendships and people behind. >> reporter: the sowders were working in new mexico until september, are in kentucky until january and will spend the holidays in indianapolis and boston. and start seasonal work in maine, come april. >> it's good to know that there's jobs out there, but also, too, we don't want everybody to know it because all the jobs will be taken. >> you always are looking for a job. you're looking for your next job. >> reporter: they are families with true grit, and are determined to follow the work. steve osunsami, abc news, kentucky. >> worth repeating one more time. true grit. hope it's a good night in your house a times are tough, but why they're about to get tougher for half a million californian autos escaped inmate in santa cruz. does the sheriff's department plan to change policy after yesterday's violence? >> how police want to checkup
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on you every time you drive into their town. a woman brings new meaning to ticketless travel. coming up on 7 on your side, by not getting proper ticket ended up costing her thousands. >> good evening, the last check could be in the mail for thousands of unemployed californian autos federal extensions expired today and 150,000 californiains are getting notices this week. unless there is another extension, the number will grow until the end of the year. and people are bracing for devastating consequence autos yeah. that 450,000 doesn't -- that just includes california and doesn't include the 250,000 californian who's already maxed out on their unemployment benefits as of last week.


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