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tv   America This Morning  ABC  December 21, 2010 4:00am-4:30am PST

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making news in america this morning. >> so much for california dreaming. try drenching. a fifth-straight day of rain, with the worst expected today. sky show. while we were sleeping, a total lunar eclipse. but this was even more rare than usual. and open till christmas. which stores plan to open this morning and stay open until christmas eve? good morning, everybody. thanks for being with us. too many more days of rain like this, they might have to start building arks out in california. only a county out there has been spared. but southern california has been hit the hardest. >> los angeles has seen 5 1/4 inches of rain since friday, more than one-third of what they usually get in an entire year.
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some rural areas have seen 13 inches so far. >> unbelievable. now, the jet stream is dealing them a second blow, with several inches of rain through tomorrow. that's not the only part of the country battling the elements this morning. with more on that, here's mike marusarz. >> reporter: it's soaking, blowing and suffocating the nation. >> i have never seen it like this. for years. >> reporter: what's being called the storm of the decade, is pounding parts east to west. >> everybody is ready. >> reporter: high winds toppled a wall of this shopping mall. beverly hills is now soaked. six inches of rain has fallen since friday. >> whenever the windshield wipers are full-blast, i don't like driving. >> reporter: across southern california, hundreds of homes are evacuated. residents worried about mudslides. the massive storm borne in the pacific, is now marching east. forecasters are calling for up to eight feet of snow in the colorado mountains. >> i'd rather snow. i can't stand the rain. >> reporter: in minnesota, fans braved bone-chilling conditions
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to watch the bears/vikings game. and on cape cod, blustery conditions made for a tricky trip on the roads. >> just driving down main street. a couple people tried to turn in front of him. bad road conditions. couldn't stop. >> reporter: a welcomed white christmas for several parts of the country. but if you just flatout hate this stuff, well, you have a long way to go. today is only the first day of winter. mike marusarz, abc news. >> certainly a sobering thought. but there is one spot where you might avoid winter today. >> for that, we turn to accuweather's ava dinges, who has the big picture. good morning, ava. >> good morning, rob and vinita. winter officially begins this evening. but it's really not feeling like it in the south. dallas, 74 by the afternoon. houston 77. this is in front of a cold front, keeping the temperatures about 15 degrees above average. at least for now. but that cold weather is on the way, pressing across the midwest. and we have a snowstorm across the midwest.
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wisconsin and even northern tier of illinois, expected to see four inches on the ground as they start off the morning commute. making for some slippery travels. much of that will be ending as we go throughout the day. nothing ending in the southwest. still expecting some very heavy rain, especially in southern california. and even building back in las vegas, through southern utah, where some areas could see and additional two to four inchee d. rain as we go through the day. and believe it or not, another slug of heavy rain on wednesday. that will lead to additional flash flooding and concerns of mudslides. but the good news is, by thursday, that should all be moving out of the southwest. that storm now moving into the midwest, late week. bad news for holiday travels. now, back to you, rob and vinita. >> all right, ava. thanks a lot. speaking of holiday travel, it is a disaster right now for those americans wanting to get home from across northern europe. thousands of passengers are now stranded at the major hubs, from germany all the way to britain. but nowhere are the problems greater than at london's heathrow airport. our nick watt has that story. >> reporter: the busiest international airport on earth. the busiest travel week of the year.
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thousands of passengers are now trapped at what they're calling hotel heathrow. they won't make it home for the holidays. >> i thought i would come home, like a present to my parents. and i was going to surprise them a little bit. >> reporter: this, london's worst snow in 25 years. the coldest december in 100 years. heathrow is not equipped to deal with it. >> i'm truly sorry for every spoiled christmas holiday, every disrupted travel plan. >> reporter: in germany, thousands of flights were canceled. in paris, one-third of all flights grounded. >> our flight coming in with air france -- >> reporter: the guy on the left is the french transport minister. >> our flight was canceled. we weren't told our flight was canceled. >> reporter: at brussels, they just ran out of deicer. >> they're closing the airport right? >> reporter: right, closed until wednesday at the earliest. many roads across europe are also a mess. and the railways? well, that is a five-hour line, snaking around london's international train station.
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some passengers are angry. >> stop. >> reporter: but most are sanguine. >> i've been in the cold for three hours. you have no blood left to get excited. you sit and wait. >> you try to take a boat, i will. >> reporter: good. determination. good luck. i hope you make it. >> thank you. >> reporter: sadly, the news isn't great. temperatures are going to plummet again. and a lot more snow is forecast. nick watt, abc news, london. >> what a mess. well, our london team will have another update later today on "good morning america." sam champion will also report on this story from a soggy and snowy west coast. president obama is expected to sign the repeal of don't ask, don't tell tomorrow. it will take several months for the policy to take effect. in the meantime, the military is figuring how it will implement the new rules, allowing gays to serve openly. the u.s.-led coalition in ig afghanistan is denying reports that american forces are pushing to expand ground raids into pakistan.
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this morning's "new york times" says u.s. commanders believe special operations forces could capture militants for interrogation. any such plan would likely trigger protests in pakistan. the nuclear treaty with russia faces a key vote in the senate today. lawmakers must decide whether to cut off debate. democrats say they are confident they have the necessary votes for passage. and two more republicans have signals they are likely to back the s.t.a.r.t. treaty. meanwhile, new mexico governor, bill richardson, has left north korea after what he calls a positive visit. richardson says the north koreans are ready to allow u.n. nuclear inspectors back into the country. and that will return -- and that they will return to multinational nuclear talks. south korea's president says his country is ready to retaliate against the north, if it continues its recent provocative behavior. in britain, a dozen suspects are being questioned about an alleged large-scale terror plot. they were rounded up in four british cities early monday. all the men were believed to have links to pakistan and to bangladesh.
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those arrests come on the heels of warnings about possible terror plots, both in europe and here in the u.s., possibly during the holidays. our diane sawyer talked to homeland security chief, janet napolitano about that. >> reporter: what do you say to the american people right now about the degree of anxiety that's just realistic right now, as we head into the holidays? >> well, what i say to the american people is that we are and thousands of people are working 24/7, 364 days a year to keep the american people safe. >> and you can see diane's interview with secretary napolitano, along with the director of national intelligence, james clapper, as well as the president's chief counterterrorism adviser, john brennan. all that tonight, on "world news." when we come back, desperate measures. the stores that will open today and stay open through christmas eve. and fined yet again.
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toyota responds to a new multimillion-dollar penalty. and the fans were ready. but was the team? minnesota's first outdoor nfl game in nearly 30 years. m morok
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it is time, now, for a check of market activity, starting overseas. tokyo's nikkei average picked up more than 150 points today. hong kong's hang seng is higher in late trading. in london, the ftse opened higher. on wall street, the dow opens at
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11,478, after losing 13 points yesterday. the nasdaq index gained six points. the federal communications commissions could pass new internet access rules today. the proposed rules would prevent providers like comcast or qwest, from blocking sites and applications. wireless companies would be able to block some sites and apps. toyota is facing $32 million more in government fines. the transportation department announced that toyota agreed to pay the fines, which are due to the company's handling of brake and steering recalls. these fines come on top of another $16 million that toyota is already paying. new government stats show americans are using less gas for the fourth year in a row. analysts say the recession, declining popularity of suvs, and concerns about climate change are all factors. well, if you want to shop straight up until christmas, get out the coffee because now is
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your big chance. toys "r" us announced it will stay open 88-straight hours from this morning until christmas. some macy's stores are staying open almost that long. and other retailers also announced some extended hours. >> procrastinator's dream. next on this tuesday morning, does echinacea really curb your cold? plus, the celestial show you might have missed overnight. an event, three centuries in the making. and highway horror. a greyhound bus bursts into flames. ♪
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♪ crayons and play-doh ♪ the latest dvd's ♪ lip gloss, gift cards, candy, shampoo ♪ ♪ anything for me? ♪ oh, stocking stuffers from walgreens ♪ ♪ you'll be glad you came ♪ get hershey's kisses chocolates ♪ ♪ in a great big candy cane [ female announcer ] don't forget to stuff those stockings. thangreens, es it easierle announcer ] donthangreens,o stuff those stockings. with a huge selection and extended holiday hours. most stores open till midnight. [ female announcer ] stay jolly with walgreens.
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most stores open till midnight. cape cod and southern massachusetts caught the edge of a nor'easter that spared the east coast's major cities. up to ten inches of snow will fall on the cape before it's all over. the storm is fading now. but boston, vermont and maine
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will get snow today before it's gone altogether. be careful on i-95, through those states today. i-94, from fargo. chicago could be icy, too. but the real trouble is out west, of course. especially on i-5, from san francisco south, where there could be flooding today. >> if you are flying today, you can expect some delays in all the major airports out west. seattle, san francisco, los angeles, salt lake city, las vegas and phoenix. well, it's an early morning or a late night for sky gazers up to see a much-anticipated and very rare total eclipse of the moon. >> right now, the full moon is coming back into view, after being covered entirely just a short time ago. cloudless parts of the u.s. were a prime spot to see this spectacle in the sky. the heavens put on a show overnight. with this, a total lunar eclipse. it peaked at 3:17 eastern time this morning. a total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth blocks the sun's rays from the face of the moon.
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the moon is then fully in the earth's shadow, appearing reddish-brown to us on the ground. >> lunar eclipses can be seen over such a wide area, unlike solar eclipses. the moon is so much smaller than the earth, its shadow is very small. and it only intersects a very small part of the earth. >> reporter: people across north and south america watched as the moon's brightness slowly faded, until totality, which lasted just a few minutes. an early christmas present for people passionate about astronomy. >> it's a total lunar eclipse, which is awesome. you don't get the partial aspect of it. you get the full eclipsing of the moon, where the earth's shadow passes over. >> reporter: this morning's event made it more rare, falling on the winter solstice. the last time that happened was back in 1638. and now, the good news. we will have to wait 350 years again for a total lunar eclipse to fall on the winter solstice. the next time it happens will be
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in 2094. the first results of the 2010 census reports are out today. the once-a-decade count is expected to show there's now more than 308 million americans. it should indicate that the slow migration continues to the south and west. those population changes will have an impact on congress. texas is likely to pick up four seats. while new york and ohio should lose two seats, each. a colorado man who wrote a how-to book for pedophiles is now in a florida jail facing obscenity charges. phillip grieves was arrested at his home from deputies from florida. the pedophile book generated a lot of controversy, after it showed up on the book was pulled, though, after the protests. the arrest warrant came after grieves sold a book to deputies in florida. it was a frightening trip for dozens of passengers when their greyhound bus erupted into flames on a busy interstate highway near indianapolis. the driver managed to stop and all passengers escaped.
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some climbed out through the windows. a mechanical problem may have caused the bus to overheat. another bus took the passengers well, a holis. well, a holiday-themed flash mob forced the evacuation of a california mall. up to 5,000 people showed up to sing the hallelujah chorus in the mall's food court, when the weight of the crowd caused damage to the floor. after the packed mall was evacuated, officials determined there was no serious threat. it will be business as usual there this morning. a popular herbal remedy for cold doesn't do much good. that's according to some new research out. the study of more than 700 adults and children, suggests that the tiniest benefit from using echinacea, about a half-day shaved off a week-long cold, and slightly milder symptoms. with no cure for the common cold, americans spend more than $5 billion a year on remedies. with the metrodome still being repaired after the snow-caused cave-in, the minnesota vikings and chicago
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bears took their monday night football game outdoors last night. it turns out, it wasn't much of a game. with the frigid highlights, here's sara walsh at espn news. >> good morning. in a league where nothing is a given, we know one thing for certain. you can never count out brett favre. the vikings, hosting the bears at tcf bank stadium, home of the minnesota gophers. the fans were braving the weather to get prime seats. brett favre was on the field, warming up. he was supposed to be out. instead, he gets a last-minute start. field conditions a big concern. took a lot of manpower to get the field suitable for playing. favre comes on the field to start a new streak. first quarter, no score. favre, the quick pass to percy harvin. he takes it down the field, breaks a tackle to get into the end zone. minnesota takes an early 7-0 lead. late in the first quarter, bears down 7-3. first and 30 from their own 33. jay cutler, going deep to johnny knox who makes the catch and
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goes 67 yards, untouched for the chicago touchdown. bears lead it 10-7. second quarter, third and four for the vikings from the chicago 48. favre was brought back. corey wootton off the edge for the sack. favre would stay on the ground after the play. one of the things they were worried about, the frozen field was incredibly hard, if a player took a hit. favre would leave the game and would not return with a head injury. late in the second quarter, same score. jay cutler finds devin hester with the 15-yard strike. the bears went into the break up 17-7. in the third quarter, 20-7, devin hester, taking the punt and going untouched down the sideline for a 64-yard t.d. the bears go on to win it, 40-14. with that victory they clinch the nfc north. have a great day. back to you guys in the studio. well, we're not done with the sports just yet. up next, the college team making
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a run at history tonight. we'll be right back. if your racing thoughts keep you awake... sleep is here, on the wings of lunesta. and if you wake up often in the middle of the night... rest is here, on the wings of lunesta. lunesta helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, so you can wake up feeling rested. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you.
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be even more powerful than the last, dumping as much as ten inches of rain on the low lands. and several more feet of snow in the mountains. plenty of americans are among those stranded at airports across europe. wintry weather has canceled thousands of flights from germany to britain. the delays are now being hours.rather than hours. the s.t.a.r.t. treaty faces a key vote today on capitol hill. senators will decide whether to cut off debate on the issue. democrats say they're confident the nuclear treaty with russia will be approved. a judge could send bernard madoff's former secretary to jail today, unless she comes up with a $5 million bail. annette bongiorno is now under house arrest. she is suspected of stashing away millions of stolen dollars from investors. the uconn women's basketball team goes after win number 89 tonight. a victory by the lady huskies would break the record of the longest winning streak of any team in college basketball. for some of you, now, your local news is coming up next. >> for everyone else, the star of the movie "a christmas story." where is ralphie now?
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and finally from us this morning, the quirky christmas classic, known simply as "a christmas story." >> so many people's favorite holiday movie. it's a 1983 film that centered
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on a young boy that only wanted a b.b. gun for christmas. >> the movie remains, of course. as our neal karlinsky found out, that young boy has not stayed the same. >> ho, ho, ho. >> reporter: whether you celebrate christmas or not, there are a few movies that celebrate it during the holidays, as this one. >> what do you want for christmas, little boy? >> reporter: "a christmas story" has become the eggnog of cinema. >> no. i want the red ryder air rifle. >> you'll shoot your eye out, kid. ho, ho, ho. >> no. >> reporter: today, ralphie is all grown up. his name is peter billingsley. are you surprised that people still recognize you and come up to you, for that role? >> no. i'm not surprised because it happens a lot. i guess i look somewhat the same. >> reporter: but over the years, he's moved behind the camera. from "couples retreat," with his friend, vince vaughn, to "the breakup."
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billingsley has become a successful hollywood producer and director. but after all this time, he's never spoken in detail about the childhood role that followed him his entire life, until now. he agreed to speak at the opening of the musical he hopes to take all the way to broadway. ♪ yes. leg lamp and all. "a christmas story." on opening night of the big performance, seattle's fifth avenue theater, crowded with adults acting like children before christmas. >> before the curtain opened, it said "a christmas story," in the same font. playing some music. and i thought, boy. this has come a long way from when i was 12 years old, making a movie that no one really believed in. >> reporter: just imagine. without "a christmas story," the world may never know the joys of a leg lamp. and kids everywhere might be sticking their tongues to flag poles. i'm neal karlinsky, in seattle. that's what's making news in america this morning. >> have a great tuesday.


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