tv America This Morning ABC February 24, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PST
making news in america this morning. >> libyan leader, moammar gadhafi loses his grip on power. same-sex stunner. president obama changes his stance on a law blocking gay marriage. investors have something to celebrate, as well. good morning, everybody. thanks for being with us today. there are new signs this morning that libyan leader, moammar gadhafi, is now losing his 40-year hold on power. the opposition has now taken control in the east. and is vowing to liberate the capital, tripoli. >> meanwhile, president obama
has new stands to stop killing his own people. hundreds are dead. and there's protesters still in libya. emily schmidt has the details. >> reporter: good morning to you. americans who are trying to escape libya may not be able to do so. today, the sea waters are simply too rough for their ferries. so, they wait, while the world waits, to see what another day of protests brings. protesters in libya are gaining control. but at huge costs. hundreds killed, while moammar gadhafi forces fire on his own people. >> the suffering and bloodshed is outrageous. and it is unacceptable. so are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of libya. >> reporter: president obama says the u.s. is preparing a full range of options to respond to the crisis. from no-fly zones to prevent attacks on protesters from the air. for for protests from oil
companies to stop operations in the 12th-largest oil exporter. oil concerns sent the markets down a second-straight day. oil hit $100 a barrel for the first time in nearly three years. headed towards what economists say could cause huge global concern. >> $150 a barrel, that's the previous peak. that is probably too much to bear. we'll be back in recession. >> reporter: in libya, the concerns are more immediate. foreigners making their way out of chaos. >> just scared. people are fighting for their life. scrambling over people. pushing, shoving, kicking. >> reporter: protesters, looking for progress. >> we are taking control of everything. traffic, security, utilities. everything. >> reporter: now, there are calls for new rallies and change, despite nearly inevitable confrontations. when oil goes up $1 a barrel, you're going to pay about an extra 3 cents a gallon for fuel at the pump. think about this. yesterday's increases alone could cost you an extra 8 cents
a gallon at a future fill-up. rob and peggy? >> emily schmidt, in washington. thanks, emily. saudi arabia is taking steps to make thur the protests in that region do not spread to the kingdom. king abdullah returned wednesday after three months away for back surgery. and brought with him a massive economic aid package. it will provide saudis with interest-free home loans, unemployment assistance and debt forgiveness. there's grim news in new zealand in the wake of that massive earthquake. officials say the death toll has climbed to 98. clarissa ward reports from the devastated city of christchurch. >> reporter: in so many parts of this shattered city, the race is on. >> we are pulling people out. some very lucky to be in a pocket. other people, not so lucky. we don't know. >> reporter: at this building, relief. roslyn chapman found alive. her first day on the job. she was trapped for hours in a tiny space under her desk.
rescue workers cut through pancaked floors and ceilings to reach her. hundreds of rescuers have been working around the clock, carefully shifting through this rubble. they're armed with sniffer dogs and heat-seeking cameras. they're trying to get a sense whether it's possible that anybody is still buried alive under the rubble. for every celebration, there is so much heartbreak. >> unfortunately, there were some people in there that we had to get out of there who were deceased. >> reporter: morris gardner is looking for his sister. >> we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. >> reporter: and in many places, wrenching decisions. at this six-story building, police say they've been getting text messages from survivors. a group of exchange students from japan. in this elegant city, a tourist destination home to 350,000 people, water supplies are cut off, power and phone service, too. aftershocks hit almost every hour.
more images emerged of those terrifying moments right after disaster struck. people desperate. but now, picking up the pieces. they also say, we'll be all right. >> talk to one another, help each other out. do the very best you can. we will come through this. republican lawmakers are proposing a temporary spending plan to avoid that much-talked-about government shutdown possibility. house speaker boehner says the bill would keep the government running for two weeks after the march deadline. he wants to vote on the measure next week, after they work out $4 billion in spending cuts. democrats, though, are already rejecting the bill, saying it is not a compromise. there's been an embarrassing turn for the governor of wisconsin in his battle over benefits. scott walker was duped by a prank caller in revealing his negotiating strategy. he says he will announce that 6,000 state workers are at risk of being laidoff if his bill does not pass soon.
he thought he was speaking to up a porter. but it was an editor at a local newspaper. lawmakers are fleeing the state capital. they are holed up in a budget motel across the border in illinois. at issue, is a bill that would direct taxpayer money to private schools and a so-called right-to-work bill. >> protests overseas. thisests here. this morning's weather, now, from around the country. up to a half-foot of snow from northern california into the pacific northwest and northern rockies. snow, also from kansas city to central illinois. gusty winds, hail and isolated tornadoes from oklahoma and east texas, into nashville. some heavy downpours in louisville, little rock, and ohio valley, moving to the northeast by tonight. >> 40s from boston to baltimore. while miami heats up to 80. single digits from billings to fargo. and 22 degrees in minneapolis. 33 in seattle. and 45 in salt lake. and coming up, why your retirement savings may be in better shape than you think.
hong kong's hang seng was off 1.3%. and in london, the ftse opened lower. on wall street, the dow lost 107 points yesterday. the nasdaq was down almost 33 1/2 points. there's news this morning of help for homeowners in trouble. "the wall street journal" says the obama administration has come up with a deal that would force big banks to reduce mortgage principals. right now, loan modifications mostly lower interest rates and increase the number of payments. if the deal goes through, it could cost the banks billions of dollars. but clear up uncertainty about foreclosures. meanwhile, the gap between selling prices between foreclosed homes and other properties is now widening. a foreclosure listing firm says last year, a foreclosed home was, on average, 28% cheaper. up only just a little bit from the year before. but reality track expects even more foreclosed homes on the market this year. in other news, now, ford is recalling almost 150,000 f-150 pickup trucks from 2005 and 2006, because of an air bag
problem. however, the government wants ford to recall 1.3 million of them for that same problem. the f-150 is the best-selling vehicle, car or truck, in the u.s. fidelity investment says that balances in the 11 million 401(k) accounts its manages are at a ten-year high with an average balance of $71,000. workers are putting about 8% of their paychecks into their 401(k) plans. and the rising stock market is also helping. one group that probably will not be worried about their 401(k) balances anytime soon, are wall street bankers. they took home an estimated $20.8 billion. that was down 8% from 2009. but only because the industry is deferring more compensation in the form of company stock. >> ever think we're in the wrong business? >> i was just going to say. all these years, when we could have been in that area of banking. >> could do it all again. when we come back this morning, president obama's
surprising about-face on gay marriage. what the white house's new stance really means. and new york's new star takes center court. did carmelo anthony shine in his first game as a knick? we've got the scoop. marjorie, you've had a policy with us for three years. it's been five years. five years. well, progressive gives megan discounts that you guys didn't. paperless, safe driver, and i get great service. meredith, what's shakin', bacon? they'll figure it out. getting you the discounts you deserve. now, that's progressive. call or click today. introducing honey bunches of oats, raisin medley. there's nothing like it! the only cereal with 1, 2, 3 kinds of raisins and crunchy multigrain flakes. you gotta try new honey bunches of oats raisin medley.
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and now, for a look at your morning road conditions today. wet and flooded highways, from texas to pittsburgh. snow on i-70, from kansas city to indianapolis. and out west on i-5, from seattle to redding, california. also, a little bit icy on i-80 and 90 in the rockies. >> if you're flying today, expect airport delays in seattle, san francisco, salt lake city, kansas city, chicago, memphis, dallas and new orleans. a stunning turnaround from president obama is now heating up the debate again on same-sex marriage. >> the president, now, says the federal law banning the recognition of gay marriage is unconstitutional. we get more, now, from karen travers. >> reporter: good morning, rob
and peggy. well, this announcement by the obama administration could re-ignite some social battles, with the 2012 presidential election looming. it's a stunning change of policy. the obama administration announced that under federal law, same-sex marriages should be treated just like traditional ones. president obama ordered the justice department to stop defending in court the defense of marriage act. that law, which was signed in 1996 by president clinton, defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. support for same-sex marriage has gradually increased. but the nation is still split roughly 50/50 on the issue. last year, president obama admitted his own uncertainty. >> my feelings about this are constantly evolving. i struggle with this. >> reporter: on wednesday, the white house acknowledged the president is still grappling with his personal views. but stressed he has long opposed the federal law. mr. obama has been under fire from gay rights advocates.
they say he's been too slow to implement the changes he promised as a candidate. they call this announcement monumental. >> it's all about taking an unjust, discriminatory, and unconstitutional law, off the books. >> reporter: conservatives slam the president. >> there are reasons why traditionally heterosexual couples have been recognized by governments. and it's not a position that same-sex couples have proven to be. >> reporter: this couple is suing the federal government to change that. >> we challenge the statute because it's fundamentally wrong. >> and it directly affects us. >> reporter: even if this law is found unconstitutional, that doesn't make same-sex marriage the law of the land. what it does do is gives federal benefits to same-sex couples where the marriages are legal. rob and peggy? >> thanks, karen. the u.s. has the dubious distinction of coming in last when it comes to paid family leave. the new report from human rights watch says, of the 178 nations of guaranteed leave for mothers and new
fathers, the u.s. falls at the bottom of the list. right next to swaziland and new guinea. in comparison, new parents in sweden get up to 16 months of paid leave after a baby is born. well, federal drug agents are warning of more arrests to come, after picking up 20 people in south florida, including several doctors. all of the raids zeroed in on so-called pill mills, illegal prescription drug operations that dispense painkillers to people who have nothing wrong with them. they say the multimillion-dollar pain clinics are funding some pretty lavish lifestyles, as people buy prescriptions with no questions asked. a california judge has made it clear that lindsay lohan is getting no special treatment and also could end up back behind bars. lohan was given a choice to either cut a deal and go to jail or take her chances of going to trial. she is accused of stealing a necklace from a jewelry store. she is on probation for a dui conviction. turns out, as america gets fatter, so do our pets. new research shows that more
than 85 million cats and dogs are overweight. one in five of these animals is obese, actually. vets blame all the treats that we give our furry friends, coupled with a lack of exercise. sounds like the same problems that their humans have. >> for sure. well, the big night in basketball, with carmelo anthony making his debut here in new york. here's adnan virk at espn news with all the highlights. >> good morning. the moment that new york knicks fans have been waiting for. carmelo anthony making his debut at madison square garden, alongside amar'e stoudemire. how would melo fair against the milwaukee bucks. raucous ovation greeted him. got even louder after his first basket as a knick. new york up by five. off the inbounds, landry fields, one of the few they did not give up in the deal. baseline dunk. new york up by seven. second quarter, tied at 53-53. amar'e, carmelo.
new york up by two. 2:20 to play. knicks up by four. they also acquired chauncey billups. a big shot to amar'e for the lay-in. amar'e had 19 points. new york's up by six. 30 seconds left, carmelo. you had me at hello. the knicks over the bucks, 114-108. elsewhere, notre dame taking on providence. college hoops action. ben hansbrough, finished with 32 points. notre dame up by nine. under a minute remaining. providence down five. marshon brooks taking over. getting the basket. scores the layup. providence within three. 20 seconds remaining. more from the friars. and brooks. where's the "d"? providence within two. seven seconds remaining. friars down four. and brooks was unbelievable. hitting the three in transition. providence is only down one. one second remaining.
and missed the first. brooks, one last shot. it's no good. he finished with 52 points. 20 and 28 from the field. notre dame wins this one, 94-93. you're up to date for now. and don't forget, for all of your highlights, join us on "the highlight express" on espn news. back to new york. well, it's another case of mascot madness. and this one has a pretty mean right hook. >> we disagreed on this one. this is vanderbilt university. mr. c. was having fun in the crowd after last night's game. did you see that? he suddenly punched a student in the face, giving him a bloody nose. >> vanderbilt officials say the student is fine. and they're still trying to figure out if the punch is accidental or deliberate. you say accidental. i think -- >> i'm siding with mr. c. we have to slow down the replay on that one. >> i think there was beef in the frat house the night before. but we'll see. >> he can't even see him there. coming up next, a look ahead. we'll fight during the commercial. the stories we'll be following later today. including wikileaks founder, julian assange, whether he will go on trial for sex crimes. and after 143 million miles,
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waiting to leave the country. the death toll from new zealand's earthquake is now nearing 100. more than 220 people are still listed as missing. and wisconsin governor scott walker may turn up the pressure on senate democrats. he plans to warn as many as 6,000 state workers they're going to be laid off. wikileaks founder, julian assange, will learn if he's heading back to sweden today, where he is accused of sex crimes. a british court will rule if he should be extradited to stand trial. assange will be allowed to appeal the ruling. the space shuttle "discovery" is scheduled to liftoff this afternoon for the last time. when it returns from the space station 11 days later, it will be retired and probably end up at the smithsonian. and motown is coming to the white house. first lady michelle obama, welcomes several performers including john legend, smokey robinson and sheryl crow. it's all part of the series called sounds of young america. >> sounds like a good time. for some of you, your local news is next. >> and for everyone else, we'll
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red carpet. >> of course. abc's diana alvear takes us for a look back in time, at a closer look with oscar's fascination with fashion. >> reporter: on a night the stars go all-out at working for the academy, making the best-dressed list may be just as big an accomplishment. >> that dress, wow. that was va vavoom. it had cutouts in all the right places. >> reporter: when it comes to the oscars, classics instantly spring to mind. ever the pretty woman, julia roberts owned oscar and the red carpet in 2001. a vision in green. mick nicole kidman outshines former husband, tom cruise, in 1997. and in 2002, halle berry's gown was just as memorable as her touching acceptance speech. then, there are the fashions that have people asking, not who are they wearing? but what were they thinking?
take this black biker shorts ensemble. then, there was bjork's unforgettable white swan dress in 2001, way before swans were considered oscar contenders. and who can forget the grand dam of don't try this at home yourself. cher's beaded concoctions dominated the '80s. this year, there's one actress that's willing to take some risks. >> it's probably going to be a catastrophe. >> reporter: helena bonham carter's mismatched shoes and interesting gown, brought a different wow factor to the golden globes. >> she doesn't care what anyone thinks. i think that's wonderful. i wish more actresses were like that. >> reporter: oscar watchers are hoping for an encore performance. diana alvear, abc news, hollywood. >> she doesn't care. that's what makes it hip. >> i like to watch what they're wearing. some people just watch the preshow. and they're done w