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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  December 10, 2010 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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here in san francisco in 1890s at the ferry building. >> thanks for watching tonight. i'm dan ashley. >> have a good evening. tonight on "world news," the closer. bill clinton to the rescue, brought to the podium by president obama to throw his support behind the tax deal. the conviction. elizabeth smart speaks out after the man who kidnapped and abused her eight years ago is finally found guilty. the questions. new video of the attack on prince charles and his wife camilla. and the british investigate how this happened. the outrage. americans vowing to form a human shield to protect elizabeth edwar edwards' funeral from extreme right wing picketers. and think thin? is it possible? the more you think about eating the food you crave, the less you actually do it? really?
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good evening. a surprise at the white house this afternoon. a presidential double take. president obama and president clinton, side by side at the podium. and when the current president left, president clinton continued, conducting his own free-wheeling question and answer session about the tax cut deal made by president obama with the republicans. a deal that, of course, has the democrats in revolt. as we said, can president clinton now be the closer? jake tapper can tell us. he's at the white house tonight. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. that's right. ensnarled in an intense debate with democrats over the tax cut deal that he negotiated with republicans, president obama today unleashed the big dog. after meeting for more than an hour in the oval office, president obama this afternoon introduced the husband of his democratic primary rival to offer his full throated support for the controversial compromise. >> i thought, given the fact
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that he presided over as good an economy as we've seen in our lifetimes, that it might be useful for him to share some of his thoughts. >> the agreement taken as a whole is, i believe, the best bipartisan agreement we can reach to help the largest number of americans and to maximize the chances that the economic recovery will accelerate and create more jobs and to minimize the chances that it will slip back. >> reporter: former president clinton echoed the dire warnings that the white house has been making about what might happen if this bill does not pass. saying the showdowns from his presidency cannot be repeated. >> we played political kabuki for a year, had two government shutdowns. we can't afford that now. we don't want to slip back into a recession. >> reporter: a lot of democrats on capitol hill say this is a bad deal, that president obama could have gotten more.
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>> i don't believe that's true. there's never a perfect bipartisan bill in the eyes of a partisan. >> reporter: the current president even left the briefing. >> i've been keeping the first lady waiting for about a half an hour, so i'm going to take off. >> well, i don't want to make her mad. please go. thank you. >> reporter: the former president argued for parts of the compromise that he says will boost the economy. extending unemployment insurance benefits for an additional 13 months for approximately 9 million americans, reducing the payroll tax by two percentage points and $3 billion in renewable energy tax credits added yesterday to win wavering democrats. >> if i were in office now i would have done what the president has done. >> reporter: mr. clinton acknowledged that the high-end tax cuts in the deal that so many democrats loathe will benefit him, but he said that's not why he's supporting the deal. >> i really believe this will be a significant net plus for the country. i also think that, in general, a lot of people are heaving a sigh
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of relief that there's finally been some agreement on something. >> reporter: and diane, the former president joked that he's happy to be in a place where political bullets fired will not hit him. but he said he spoke out today because fundamentally he thinks president obama made a good decision. diane? >> well, jake, we should note for everyone that even as president clinton was weighing in with support at the white house, there was an old fashioned filibuster under way from the opposition on capitol hill. take a look at this. senator bernie sanders, an independent from vermont has been speaking virtually nonstop, just one break, since 10:25 this morning. reading passages from books and articles. and winning a stamina award of some kind. there was drama inside an outside a courthouse in salt lake city today where jurors convicted the man who kidnapped and abused 14-year-old elizabeth smart and rejected his claim of insanity. and after brian david mitchell was found guilty, elizabeth, now
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23 years old, talked about what it means to her to see this verdict after more than eight years of waiting. mike von fremd has the story. >> reporter: this courageous 23-year-old woman was unafraid to confront the man who she says put her through nine months of hell. she was taken by knife point when she was just 14 years old. >> i'm so thrilled with the verdict but not only that, i'm so thrilled to stand before the people of america today and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about their crime. >> reporter: in his prison jump suit, brian david mitchell sang hymns loudly as the verdict was read. elizabeth and her family looked satisfied as they heard guilty on both counts. her father, ed smart, never gave up hope. >> it's real. >> reporter: when she was found alive, everyone called it a miracle. but worried if she would ever psychologically recover. the five-week trial seems to have answered that question, with her family in the courtroom, elizabeth, with unshakable courage, answered
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excruciating personal questions about nonstop sexual a a abuse and being forced to drink alcohol and take marijuana. >> that young woman had the ability and the willingness to recall the graphic details of her nine-month captivity. and she did it with candor and clarity that i think moved all of us. >> reporter: the jury deliberated just five hours and agreed with elizabeth smart, saying brian mitchell should not be found not guilty by reason of insanity. >> i hope that not only is this an example that justice can be served in america, but that it is possible to move on after something terrible has happened. >> reporter: mitchell will be sentenced in may and is expected to receive life without parole. because he was not found insane, it's expected he will do hard time in the prison system. meanwhile, elizabeth is getting ready to return to paris to complete her church missionary work.
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she is not only a survivor, she's both a role model, and, to many here, a hero. mike von fremd, abc news, salt lake city. and, also, in the news today we learned that a key component of the country's homeland security matrix is broken. the federal aviation commission has lost track of a vast number of aircraft. the security gap was uncovered by the associated press, which found information and records missing on 119,000 private and commercial planes. how could this happen? how big a threat is it, really? pierre thomas got some answers. >> reporter: the world saw the devastation that even a small aircraft can do when a man angry at the government and hellbent on suicide crashed his plane into an irs building earlier this year. nearly ten years after 9/11, with terrorists still fixated on using planes as flying missiles or bombs, you would think all of air security would be air tight. think again.
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the registration records for roughly a third of all general aviation planes are incomplete, outdated. in short, the government can't tell you for certain who is in control of thousands of small planes. the fear is that a drug dealer or terrorist might buy a plane and the government would never know because of shoddy records. today, a member of 9/11 commission said these kinds of problems had been identified years ago. >> someone could be flying a plane into a nuclear plant or a chemical plant or an iconic building. i think in this area it's about time that the faa got to business of knowing who owns the aircraft. >> reporter: how did this breakdown happen? until recently, faa registration was largely an honor system. every three years, the faa mailed registered plane owners a form asking them to update their information. if the owner did not respond, typically nothing happened. as a consequence, at least 16,000 planes were sold, but the new owner's information was never given to the faa.
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we decided to test the system. we're checking on a plane that we know is out of commission. the owner told us its been totaled and being sold for parts. but when we checked faa records online, there it is, like it's still active. this flight tracker shows all aircraft that were over the united states just this afternoon. keeping track of the owners of the hundreds of small planes in the air is clearly a challenge, one that by the government's own admission it's been failing at. the faa plans to get tough. beginning next year, if the owner of a plane does not keep his records up to date, diane, registration will be revoked. >> all right, pierre thomas reporting from washington. and we move overseas now to the postmortem on that security breach in london. everyone asking, how prince charles and his wife camilla could have been put in the path of danger. as we reported, the couple was attacked while in their car during violent street protests over college tuition hikes. and jeffrey kofman has all the
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news from london today. >> reporter: the royal couple under attack. >> charles! scum! >> reporter: look closely at these images from last night and you can see how vulnerable prince charles and camilla really were. their motorcade stuck in heavy traffic. a rowdy protestor on the hood of the security car following them. there is charles waving and smiling, trying to diffuse tension. >> off with their heads! >> reporter: but there is terror on camilla's face. and in this photo you can see her grabbing her husband's hand. the car window is open. >> put the window up. >> reporter: "put the window up," yells a voice. the former head of royal security tells abc news open windows are never allowed in royal vehicles. even more, the car should never had been allowed near the protesters. security should have been alerted and taken an alternate route. >> if the perpetrators had actually succeeded in breaking into the car, then the
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protection officers might have resorted to firearms and god knows what might have happened. >> reporter: the royal security detail does carry guns, and they did not draw them. today, london's police chief agreed something went very wrong. >> we should acknowledge that was a very shocking incident, and hugely regrettable. >> reporter: the royal family resists traveling like the president in bullet-proof, bomb-proof limousines. they know their business is connecting with the people and they do not want to be confined to a security bubble. the queen is famous and much loved for her walk-abouts with the people. the royals are nothing if not resilient. today, charles was back at his duties, handing out medals to british troops. but with his own security compromised and his son william about to have a very public wedding, a complete review of royal security has been ordered. jeffrey kofman, abc news, london. and, also overseas tonight, an empty chair spoke volumes in
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oslo, norway. the nobel peace prize was awards to chinese dissident liu xiaobo. and as we told you last night, he remains behind bars in china. the nobel committee says that fact alone shows how necessary and appropriate his award is. and still ahead on "world news," elizabeth edwards' funeral tomorrow. the uninvited demonstrators and the strangers rallying to her defense. and what if you could shed pounds just in the way you think about food? a new study. and, family and friendship, as we all remember it when we had time, text and twitter free. i'm off to the post office... ok. uh, a little help... oh! you know shipping is a lot easier with priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate.
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elizabeth edwards will be laid to rest tomorrow. but when the family arrives at the church, they will be met by two groups of strangers. one, forming a kind of human shield of compassion to protect them from the members of the westboro baptist church. you'll recognize them from picketing at the tune rams of fallen u.s. soldiers. and they now have elizabeth edwards in their sites. why? terry moran reports. >> reporter: so now this infamous heat group -- ♪ god showed his wrath to thee >> reporter: -- has found what they must think is a new way to offend. a new way to tear at frayed fabric of our common decency by
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protesting at the funeral of elizabeth edwards. >> do you believe that god gave elizabeth edwards breast cancer as retribution? >> of course that's what he did and then he gave her a whoring husband. don't you understand? you don't get to stomp your feet and flip off god and think it's going to go well for you. >> reporter: that's shirley phelps-roper, the daughter of the founder of westboro, fred phelps, who took to the radio to proclaim the group's twisted theological argument, that the many sorrows of elizabeth edwards' life were all god's punishments for her support of gay rights, abortion rights and other issues. >> she used her money and her standing in this country to defy her creator. >> reporter: do you like doing this? >> oh, i love it. if you knew how fun. >> reporter: in october, we rode along with the westboro members as they arrived in washington for their big day in court, the supreme court, where their protests at military funerals have triggered a major first amendment case. ♪ ♪ crying about your feelings
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♪ for your sin no shame ♪ you're going straight to hell ♪ ♪ on your crazy train >> reporter: all this manic hatred has now sparked a counter protest. on facebook and elsewhere, people are planning to come to the edwards funeral on saturday and block the westboro protests from being seen by any of the bereaved. >> success to us would be that if on sunday morning the headline reads, "elizabeth edwards quietly laid to rest." >> reporter: it's all so vicious. but at arlington national cemetery in october, it sounded as if the westboro protesters know, all they've really accomplished is to make themselves despised. >> who have we persuaded? who have we changed? >> reporter: nobody. >> what funeral have we stopped? >> reporter: zero. >> what saluting have we prevented? >> reporter: none. >> what taps have we silenced? >> reporter: not a one. >> then get over yourself. >> reporter: terry moran, abc news, washington. and coming up, a lot more news on "world news."
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>> this time of the year, i crave pumpkin, anything to do with pumpkin. >> i crave chocolate. i never stop eating it. >> reporter: but the new study suggests, if you want to eat less of what you love, don't stop thinking about it. instead, imagine savoring it one delicious bite at a time. researchers told a group of people to imagine eating 30 m&ms one by one. then they were given a bowl of m&ms and told to help themselves. the group that imagined eating the candy ate half as much as a group who didn't imagine it. >> thinking about consuming food itself elicits a similar response as if we actually eat the food. >> reporter: here's why. imagining something pleasant can trigger dopamine in the brain, releasing the same good feeling as actually doing it. so scientists think imagining eating a certain food might trick your brain into thinking you actually ate it. so i asked the author of the study what would it take to curb my craving for a big old big mac.
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>> you'd have to imagine biting and chewing and swallowing the big mac from start to finish. probably, for it to work. >> reporter: and so, diane, i tried it. >> and? >> reporter: and i sat there and i really imagined eating every single bite and i took it very seriously and by the time i got to the big mac, it was cold, so it only had about three-quarters of it. but then, i polished off the fries because it only works on one item at a time. so, you can't focus on the whole meal. >> what a mixed blessing or curse it was. but how long do you imagine in order to get the results? >> reporter: well, they say you really have to think about each step of eating it and it's really the imagining of it that makes you feel as maybe, if you've done it. but don't wait too long, your food gets cold. >> all right, i'll imagine a second one for you. coming up, those good old quiet days together. don't we remember them? someone who took a vow to bring them back. our "persons of the week."
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advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. i had fun today, grandpa. you and me both. if copd is still making it hard to breathe, ask your doctor if including advair will help improve your lung function for better breathing. get your first full prescription free and save on refills. and, finally tonight, our "persons of the week." so many of us wish for the days when conversations had pauses and communication had time for thought. do you remember those days? well, it seems one teacher wanted his kids to experience that, too, and neal karlinsky was with them.
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>> i'm, like, addicted to my phone. and i'm on facebook 24/7. >> reporter: confessions of a facebook generation. >> amounts to four hours of facebook a day. >> reporter: you're watching the daily digital habits of high school students, recorded by them, for us, about to try something so unfamiliar, most teens would say, "no thanks." >> i wake up, i check my facebook, my twitter. >> reporter: the dare? can these students go one week without any social networking? no facebook, no twitter, no text messaging. they call it "the social experiment." do you think you have an addiction? >> i think i have an addiction. i'll say it, i have an addiction. >> reporter: how many texts a day normally? >> over 100. almost 200. >> reporter: they pulled the plug, signed off facebook and took their lives back to what they refer to as the old days -- 1995. 1995? in the 1800s, jane austen wrote
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of women waiting anxiously for a month for a boyfriend's handwritten letter. just imagine, a whole month to wonder what's in it. a far cry from today's courtships -- cold typing, sent in an instant. and catching up "happy days" style at the diner is ancient history now when gossip has already shared at the tap of a keyboard. and kids sometimes pay more attention to the phones in their hands than the friends by their sides. >> the first thing i noticed was how weird it was to wake up and not reach for my cell phone. >> reporter: teacher trent mitchell came up with the idea. >> i hope they think about ways they can communicate besides just sending a quick omg, lol message. >> reporter: they told us it felt awkward. without instant messages, having to call a friends home and actually go through their parents first. >> i think i'm going to read a book. i haven't read a book in, i want to say, five or six months because it's just -- i don't find time to because i'm always on facebook or twitter. >> reporter: how quickly things
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change. but not for everyone. >> i failed. >> you already failed? >> yes. >> reporter: but for those who did hold out this week, a new appreciation for a simpler time when people didn't message each other. they actually sat down and talked. >> i'm starting to like "the social experiment." it's good to talk to people. >> and so we choose the students and teachers of shorewood and shorecrest high schools. the students said they got to bed earlier, got more homework done, while they were technology free. and they do plan to limit their time online so they can keep it up. so, here's to paying attention to each other. hope you have a great we tonight the capture of an east coast murder suspect in san francisco. the rescue of the 12-year-old girl he's accused of kidnapping. >> a bay area city wants a fire department. a 30-year-old cost-sharing idea just not working out.
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>> in san francisco, a judge refused to stop the sale of several state buildings. the transaction is set to take place next week. it's to help california plug the deficit. >> miracle at union square. jant clause back on the job, taking requests. good evening, breaking news tonight in san francisco. a kidnapped girl from the east coast has been found safe. >> her suspected kidnapper is under arrest. the 12-year-old britney smith vanished a week ago from roanoke, virginia. today the suspect was spotted in san francisco with britney and was arrested. >> we're live with the latest information on this. >> reporter: the 32-year-old jeff ti easley and 12-year-old britney smith were first brought here to the richmond station and have since been moved, probably to the hall of


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