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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  December 8, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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>> world news is up next. >> for sant jantd tonight on "world news," another bomb plot. a new sting nabs a man who converted to islam and is charged with trying to blow up a military recruiting station near baltimore. double dip? the top white house economist warns there could be another recession if the tax deal doesn't get passed. secret weapon. what are these women doing to fight extremism overseas? breakthrough. an amazing way to keep a donor heart from ever missing a beat. and, john's words. new tapes of john lennon's last interview before his death, 30 years ago tonight. good evening. we have another terror plot to report tonight.
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caught by another terror sting. it is the sixth time in the past year investigators have announced a foiled plan. this time, a baltimore man, a nicaraguan, who converted to islam, and he is under arrest, accused of trying to detonate what he thought was a bomb placed at a military recruitment center. and pierre thomas is there in catonsville, maryland, tonight. pierre? >> reporter: diane, for the second time in two weeks, the fbi says it's taken down a home-grown radical. this is the man the fbi says had deadly intentions. antonio martinez, a muslim convert, drove to this recruitment center outside baltimore at 9:00 a.m. this morning. he parked the suv, which he believed was full of explosives. he then left the scene in another vehicle and after he was certain the center was full of soldiers, he tried to detonate the bomb using a cell phone. but it was all a sting. >> how many more is out there that they're not catching? >> reporter: the fbi had been
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tipped off by a citizen who was concerned about martinez's facebook postings. just in the past two months he wrote, "the sword is coming. the reign of oppression is about to cease. anyone who opposes allah and his prophet, i hate you with all my heart." prosecutors say martinez was inspired by anwar al awlaki and believed the u.s. was at war with all muslims. the fbi made contact using undercover agents posing as radicals. martinez made clear to them he wanted to attack the u.s. military. he seemed obsessed with the recruitment center. he discussed burning it down to instill fear and to send a message whoever joins the military, they will be killed. and he said, i wish i knew how to make a car bomb. the fbi says they gave martinez many opportunities to back out. he chose not to. authorities say today, the sting reflects a disturbing trend. home-grown radicals. >> my assessment is that the threat environment now is increasingly active. >> reporter: the fbi says they
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fear that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people just like martinez, angry and easily manipulated. >> however isolated he was, he meant this. but pierre, any sense of how many investigative teams the fbi has out there? >> reporter: well, diane, at any given time, the fbi says there are about 100 terrorism leads they're tracking down. so, they say they are constantly under pressure looking at cases just like this. >> pierre thomas reporting from maryland tonight. thank you, pierre. and we have a new development on wikileaks to tell you about. supporters of wikileaks launched a war of retaliation today on the internet. a cyber attack stampeding the websites of mastercard, visa and paypal, even sarah palin's website. why? apparently because the companies refuse to process donations to wikileaks. and palin has been such an outspoken wikileaks critic. and there was a new document from wikileaks that we have tonight that has a surprising and quirky advisory in it about
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the tv show "desperate housewives." really, "desperate housewives." and how it helps the u.s. fight extremism abroad. jim sciutto is in london. he set out to learn more. >> reporter: today, its leader behind bars, a committee of six is running wikileaks, without interruption. to prove it, the cables continue to flow unabated, one, highlighting an unexpected success the u.s. may be having overseas. in the cable, titled "david letterman, agent of influence," two sawty informants tell diplomats that u.s. programs broadcast to the muslim world by satellite, from david letterman to "desperate housewives" to news programs were both popular and effective in fighting islamic extremism. "the american programming is winning over ordinary saudis," say the informants, "in a way that other u.s. propaganda never could. they are fascinated by u.s. culture in a way they never were before." some analysts say that american shows, even some of the more light-hearted ones, showcase american values, in a way that
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contradicts the negative image of the u.s. often heard in mosques. in "desperate housewives," the comforts of capitalism. in david letterman, freedom to poke fun at one's government. and in film, the document describes, quote, heroic honesty in the face of corruption in "michael clayton." >> do i look like i'm negotiating? >> people identify them, create a sense of familiarity, people feel they have connected with americans regardless of their backgrounds. >> reporter: many are deeply skeptical. arguing there's no way images from hollywood can overcome those from the extremely unpopular and violent wars in iraq and afghanistan. >> i don't think you can make a leap that because they're watching it, they are sympathetic to the society that produced it. >> reporter: but in the war of ideas, at least, could this be an unexpected new weapon? jim sciutto, abc news, london. and moving on next to those tax cuts for all americans who
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thought there was a deal. well, it's now stuck in a storm of congressional criticism from both sides. the white house economic adviser larry summers tried to prod action by congress with a warning, saying, failure to agree could create a second recession, a double dip. and jake tapper is at the white house tonight. jake, tell us more about that. >> reporter: well, one day after president obama said the country was not in danger of a double dip recession, the administration is certainly putting the heat on democrats in congress, with larry summers saying that not passing the tax compromise would significantly increase the risks of a double dip recession. vice president biden just got out of a meeting with house democrats. it's a meeting that was described to me by one attendee as contentious, with a lot of angry democrats furious about this tax cut compromise. and if the white house, it has been told to me, if the white house had to rely only on democratic votes in the house and senate, this compromise would not pass. but thankfully for the white house, they're going to have a
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lot of republican votes for it. >> well, i was going to ask you that. frustration by americans about paralysis in congress. what's going to happen? when? >> reporter: well, it seems that they are picking up steam in terms of support for this compromise with the president making the case that the economy cannot have this bill defeated. you might remember, this is shades of two years ago with t.a.r.p. but one point that has been made to me over and over again, especially by chris van holland, democrat of maryland, is the real problem for democrats is this estate tax compromise that was added, and many members of congress, democrats, say they did not even know this was part of the negotiation and this is a real sticking point for them, a choking point, according to congressman van holland. >> another snarl on capitol hill. thank you, jake tapper. and by the way, the republicans created another kind of headline today, by the colorful man they decided to put in charge of taxpayer purse strings. a congressman known for very big spending back at home.
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our jon karl tracked down the powerful politician on capitol hill. >> reporter: meet hal rogers. i understand you are the incoming appropriations chairman. >> that's what they tell me. >> reporter: he's the man republicans have chosen to run the most powerful committee in congress, the one that controls the government's purse strings. >> our federal spending is off the charts. >> reporter: an odd choice for a party that wants to cut spending. rogers has been called "the prince of pork." he's funneled so much money to pet projects in his district that his hometown of somerset, kentucky, has been dubbed "mr. rogers' neighborhood." over the past two years alone, he's responsible for 135 pet projects, called earmarks, at a cost of about $250 million. there's $52 million for the so-called national center for hometown security, located in his hometown and chaired by a big donor to his campaign. and there's the daniel boone parkway -- or there was, until 2003, when it was renamed the hal rogers parkway after he got
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federal money to do away with the tolls. and most recently, $5 million for groups that help wild cats, one of the few that qualify is the cheetah conservation fund, where his daughter works. you have been known as the prince of pork. have you changed your ways? >> well, sure. the electorate told us, i think, the number one thing they want is to cut spending. >> reporter: but look at rogers' hometown airport. he's funneled $17 million here. when we visited on tuesday, no cars in the parking lot, no planes on the runway, no people in the terminal. the airport in your hometown, $17 million, it's not even used by commercial air traffic right now. >> well, flood control that we've worked on over the years that protect towns from being flooded, i'm proud of that work. >> reporter: rogers' office later clarified that the airport has nothing to do with flood control but that other projects he supported did.
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meanwhile, republican leaders say that despite rogers' long record of government spending and a lot of it that the committee is going to work differently now. its most important mission, not pet projects but cutting spending. >> okay, jon karl on the accountability trail again tonight. defense secretary robert gates wrapped up two days in afghanistan, saying the surge strategy there is working, and the goal of ending u.s. combat operations by 2014 can be met. as you know, all this week, we've been looking more deeply at the question, can we win? martha raddatz, who has traveled to afghanistan so often, is there again tonight with a commander and the men and women giving so much to try to make that happen. >> reporter: major general john campbell, from the 101st airborne division, commands all forces in the volatile eastern part of afghanistan, where the toll on his troops has been staggering. in july, just five weeks into his tour, he told us 27 of his
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soldiers had been killed. he carried cards with each of their names in his pocket. by september, there were so many, he had to keep them in his ruck sack. >> about 76 right now. >> reporter: and today? >> lost 96 heroes straight from 101st, and another 45 attachments from the 101st. so, it's been a big toll. >> reporter: the toll is especially personal for some. can you tell me his name? >> i can't even get it out. >> reporter: it's too painful to say? >> yeah. >> reporter: we later learned his friend's name was shaun mittler, 32 years old, the father of a young daughter. it seems everyone in these combat outposts knows someone who has died. and it seems everyone, including this 100-pound 21-year-old female, has been in the fight. >> we started taking fire from all angles. they had us in a 360. >> reporter: i think a lot of
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people will say, wait, women are in the front lines? >> we are. love being able to say that i can go out there and fight for my country along with every man in the army. >> reporter: and yet today, after all this sacrifice and 30,000 additional troops, only 36% of the afghan people express confidence in u.s. forces. but we met this woman two years ago. she told us then she was pessimistic about her future. today, she says, it's thanks to the u.s. that she has improved security. "if the u.s. forces left," she says, "we would be back to the wildest days." the u.s. troops agree. and everyone we talked to said that despite the polls, they see progress every day, which they believe will ultimately lead to success. >> can we win this war? well, i certainly wouldn't be here if i didn't think we could make a huge difference. >> reporter: but the general
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says he doesn't want to fool anyone. this will take time, and it will take more sacrifice. martha raddatz, abc news, kunar province, afghanistan. and still ahead tonight on "world news," an amazing medical breakthrough. a way to keep a donated heart beating until it reaches the desperate recipient. 30 years after his death, john lennon, the lost interview. and, a loyal son who passes up a chance to play in the super bowl, for love of his parents. etfs? exchange traded funds? don't just give me ten or twenty to choose from. come on. td ameritrade introduces commission-free etfs with a difference-- more choice. over a hundred etfs.... ...chosen by the unbiased experts at morningstar associates. let me pick what works for me. for me. for me. the etf market center
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a healthy immune system, and a real difference in your cat. purina one improved with smartblend. discover what one can do. and now medical news. it's a scene played out on tv medical dramas and in real life across the country. doctors racing against the clock to get a donor heart to a patient in dire need. now, david wright tells us about an almost sci-fi technology to keep those fragile donor hearts beating. and we have a warning for you. some of the scenes are medically graphic. >> reporter: inside this box is something you don't see every day. even if you're a cardiac transplant surgeon. a human heart, still beating. even after its donor has died. like something out of edgar allen poe. >> something like that. >> reporter: still pumping, until the moment surgeons place it in its new recipient. the heart doesn't miss a beat.
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as it were. >> literally. >> reporter: that's new in the world of heart transplants and potentially revolutionary. normally, the organ is stopped and kept on ice. the surgeons have to thaw it out, one hour for every hour it was frozen. >> the time we allow the heart to be outside of the human body is usually six hours. >> reporter: and with this? >> with this, it can go on, maybe up to 24 hours. >> reporter: not only that, but with this experimental procedure, the surgeons can see right away if the heart is viable. this allows you to kind of test drive it? >> to a certain extent that's probably a good analogy. >> reporter: with a frozen heart, it's always a guessing game, until it's too late to put the old heart back. there are now more than 3,200 people on the waiting list for heart transplants. every year, 10% of them die waiting. this procedure could expand the pool of recipients because a donor heart can travel farther to find a possible match. andrea ybarra was waiting a year and a half for a matching heart.
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so, she was willing to be among the first. before the surgery, she would get winded just walking down the block. >> this is a piece of cake now. >> reporter: life is still different now. you just want to go out and enjoy every minute of it. you don't believe that life is so short until you go through something like this. >> reporter: and you have that heart to thank for it. >> and i thank god and her every day for this. one day we'll meet again. >> reporter: thanks to this experimental surgery, not any time soon. david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> truly amazing. and coming up, john lennon, the lost interview, conducted just before he was shot. it's true. an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, or afib, can make a blood clot form, here, in your heart, that can break free and go straight to your brain where it can cause a serious stroke. having atrial fibrillation gives you a 5 times
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we wanted to tell you about reports tonight that the queen of soul, aretha franklin, has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. recently, she canceled her concert dates through may and underwent surgery for an undisclosed illness. and all fans of miss franklin send her our thoughts. and another legend, on what would become the last day of his life, john lennon, posed for this picture. today, on the 30th anniversary of his murder, "rolling stone" put this image on its cover and released lost excerpts from his last interview, which was done just three days before he died. bill weir tells us about it. >> reporter: his final months were the happiest of his life. as the new pbs film "lennonyc" shows, the beatle had mellowed.
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he was finally making music again and told "rolling stone" these were songs for his generation, not the critics howling for another "sergeant pepper." >> they only like people on the way up. i cannot be on the way up again, and i cannot be 25 again. i cannot be what i was ten years ago. i cannot be what i was five minutes ago. what they want is dead heroes, like sid vicious and james dean and all that, and i'm not interested in being a dead [ bleep ] hero. >> reporter: but that is exactly what he became. for days after his murder, fans stood outside his apartment and sang his songs. we can only imagine how that outpouring of love outside the dakota affected a little boy living inside. you see, for the first five years of sean lennon's life, he spent virtually every day with a father who had walked away from music in order to raise him. ♪ people say i'm crazy >> reporter: you can see that devotion in the new video for "watching the wheels." but like so many of today's parents, he was racked with
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doubt. >> i'm not the greatest dad on earth, i'm doing my best. but i'm a very irritable guy and i get depressed. >> reporter: and after a decade of political activism, he saw the world differently. >> i used to think that the world was doing it to me and that the world owed me something, and that either the conservatives or the socialists or the fascists or the communists or the christians or the jews or the fascists were doing something to me. i'm 40 now. i don't think that anymore. i am part of them. there's no separation. we're all one. "all you need is love." i believe it. it's damn hard, but i absolutely believe it. >> reporter: bill weir, abc news, new york. and coming up, the story of a son who gives up his super bowl dreams to take care of mom and dad. [ punches ]
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eat, sleep, football. >> reporter: after college, he did get a small taste of that dream, playing on the new york jets practice squad, before being cut this fall. he landed a job as a train conductor for norfolk southern railroad outside atlanta. >> i love riding the train, that has always been the back-up plan for me. >> reporter: but then something remarkable happened. yesterday, the jets called and asked him to come back and join the team. his answer? even more remarkable. >> i had to turn them down because i had a great job. >> reporter: the conductor said no. no to pro football. no to a near certain trip to the playoffs. >> people say, hey, they might have a chance to bplay in the super bowl. and i sit there and think, and i tell them, "hey, you only got one mom and dad." >> reporter: one mom and dad he lives with in georgia. his father is disabled and can't work, his parents depend on his salary as a conductor to make ends meet. he would have made more for the jets, but there is no guarantee it would last. >> i could have been released again.
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it was about being a young man and not being selfish. >> i just appreciate him loving us that much, saying, i'm going to stay home with mom and dad and i'm going to help them. >> reporter: today, even the jets say his decision showed character. >> that's one of the reasons why we wanted that kid. >> reporter: keith fitzhugh is passing up one dream for another. >> he's a great kid. he really is. >> reporter: he might never be a great player, but he is already a great son. john berman, abc news, new york. >> another kind of championship. so good to be with you tonight. hope to see you right back here tomorrow night. until then, good night. tragedy at the hyatt. how an 18-month-old twin wound up in a fountain in a san francisco hotel. >> and a lawmaker fighting what a path he's been forced to take. >> and why why wikileaks is
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hailed as a war time whistle blower by some in the bay area. >> and and why there is now a fight over replacing them. good evening, a painful reality check as lawmakers take a look at just how fire the budget situation is. >> it's being called budget 101 for incoming lawmakers. the forum taking a scared straight approach in outlining the problem. nannette miranda is live tonight for us. >> reporter: governor elect jerry brown pledged to do everything we can get the state finances back in order. and the first step to define the scope of the problem. the state does not have enough tax revenue to cover spending commitments. >> what we're looking at today is much worse thans

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