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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  February 24, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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whose life would you save? one kidney, and you have to choose between the young patient or the old. hear how the rules may be about to change. meet and greet. william and kate in the crowds, as the bride to be is put to her first test on what will be the rest of her life. and, made in america to support american jobs. our jon karl goes to the most patriotic landmarks and discoverers a shock about the souvenirs. surely that american flag can't be made in china? stay tuned. good evening. we begin with another suspected terror plot against the united states. fbi officials told us today, this is exactly the kind of threat that keeps them up at night. a lone wolf, no known ties to any group, vowing jihad. he is a college student in
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texas, a 20-year-old saudi arabian studying chemical engineering. he is charged with plotting to destroy u.s. dams, nuclear power plants and targeting former president george w. bush. president obama was briefed on the fbi's plans before they moved in to arrest him, and pierre thomas set out to learn more about the saudi arabian and his plans today. pierre? >> reporter: diane, the sources i've been talking to on the phone all day say this case is scary. exactly what they are worried about. one official said the suspect is, quote, the real deal. a bona fide threat. >> reporter: the fbi says the evidence is clear. this man, khalid aldawsari, a chemical engineering student from saudi arabia, was planning a murderous campaign. >> this guy appears to be very serious. >> reporter: the potential targets? president george w. bush's dallas home, referred to as the tyrant's house. streets in new york for possible car bombs. nuclear power plants.
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dams in california and colorado. backpack bombs for a dallas nightclub. and even, the fbi says, studied how to turn dolls into bombs. in his apartment, the fbi said it discovered a bomb-making factory. a hazmat suit, lab equipment, wires, clocks and chemicals used in explosive production. much of it bought online at he's only 20, and was here in the u.s. from saudi arabia on a student visa since 2008. >> he is your classic lone wolf-type terrorist. in fact, he's potentially the scariest type. >> reporter: fbi officials locked in on him on february 1st after the carolina biological supply company notified them that aldawsari had purchased a large amount of phenol, a chemical that can be used to make a high explosive. february 14th, the fbi was so concerned, they sent a special operations team to covertly break into his parent in texas. in addition to the alleged bomb making items, the team found a chilling message written in a diary.
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"i excelled in my studies in high school in order to take advantage of an opportunity for a scholarship to america. now, after mastering the english language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target the infidel americans, it is time for jihad." the fbi tapped his phones, e-mails and internet postings. in a prayer posted online, he blogged, "grant me martyrdom for your sake and make jihad easy for me." diane, the fbi believes the suspect was in the very final stages of preparing an attack. >> how do they know that, pierre? >> reporter: what we're hearing from them is that he was actively trying to buy the chemicals and in september, he wrote it was time. >> he wrote that in september. >> reporter: exactly. >> all right, pierre thomas reporting from washington and he'll continue with his reporting with more online throughout the evening. and we turn overseas to libya, and the mind of a man who seems increasingly wild and unhinged. a rambling moammar gadhafi unleashed another bizarre rant,
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even as his opponents were gaining ground. and abc's alex marquardt is traveling in eastern libya and reports that the noose does seem to be tightening around gadhafi. alex, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, diane. we spent the day with opposition protesters here in eastern libya. they feel emboldened tonight, like they are on the cusp of taking down this dictator after his four decades in power. and for many of them, there's no turning back. the people here are growing in power and courage. taking the battle to gadhafi's special units and foreign mercenaries in city after city. in eastern libya, a protester took the wheel of this armored vehicle. crowds lifted weapons to the sky. meanwhile, gadhafi continues to see top officials defecting. tonight, one of his closest aides and his cousin is asking for asylum in egypt. so, gadhafi took to the air waves today, phoning into libyan tv with another rambling
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diatribe, accusing the u.s. and al qaeda of fermenting the uprising against him. he said the young protesters were given drugs by osama bin laden, that something was slipped into their coffee. so, who is in control of his country tonight? most libyans live near the coast. and throughout the east, the opposition is now in control and gadhafi's forces have been pushed out. the battle for control is raging in the west, in the cities surrounding gadhafi's base in the capital tripoli. and today, those battles were deadly. and who are the protesters? every day libyans, young and old who we met today. waving the libyan flag from before gadhafi took power more than four decades ago. despite the fury directed at gadhafi by these protesters, this is very much a celebration. these people feel like they've already won. >> we are one team. there is no division between us.
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all one team. and we'll fight as one team until we die or he's out. >> reporter: foreigners aren't sticking around to see how it plays out. they're getting out. and today, one lucky american boarded a british ship while hundreds of other americans are stranded in a ferry, waiting for better weather. the americans will hopefully leave by tomorrow, where there have been calls for massive protests in tripoli. and if gadhafi has taught us anything over these last few days, it's that he's not afraid to use deadly violence. so, tomorrow could be another bloody day. diane? >> and alex will be reporting on that tomorrow. thank you, alex. and, we were amazed to learn a secret way these protesters in libya have been linking arms and organizing. ordinary communication was banned, but gadhafi didn't notice very unusual activity on a dating website. jeffrey kofman tells us about a daring idea. >> reporter: on the internet, he was looking for love, or, so he said.
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so, do you know if this is a political message or a love message? >> this letter is code. >> reporter: a leader of the protests against gadhafi, omar knew facebook and twitter were being monitored by libya's secret police. so, in order to establish a place where protesters could organize, he used the cover of, the of the middle east. a place for single muslims to find love. this dating site asks women how much of your face do you cover, and, would a shared marriage be acceptable? online, omar called himself "where is myriam," pretending to be hunting for a wife, and thousands of men who supported the revolution signed on as women. do you think that this woman is really one of your contacts? this is a political message pretending to be a lover? >> it's sure with me. i know him. >> reporter: new recruits were greeted with a poem. "my lady, how i want to climb this wall of silence. maybe we can meet on yahoo messenger." in that poem, omar shared his
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yahoo messenger name and numbers for text messaging. that's how many of the rebels were assembled. for some, though, the call to arms came in the innocuous words of romance. someone named "be true," wrote, "may your days be full of jasmine." a coded reference to the so-called jasmine revolution that is sweeping the arab world. "and the same to you, i hope you will call me," replied omar. a coded reference to say they were ready to begin the uprising. omar dreamed of rallying 50,000 supporters who would take to the streets. using this match-making site, he ended up with 171,323 admirers. revolution seeded with love. jeffrey kofman, abc news, tunisia. and now, we return to this country, and a final liftoff into history today. after 27 years of flying, the shuttle "discovery" blasted off for its 39th and final mission, heading to the international space station.
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the shuttle "endeavor" with astronaut mark kelly aboard makes its final flight in april. and, now, we turn to a brian ross investigation. he has learned that there are dozens of aging oil refineries across this country, using the chemical that can escape and kill. and brian looks at who is at risk and what can be done. >> reporter: in corpus christi, texas, the warning sirens come at all times of the day and night for the nearby oil refineries. >> you never know when you go to bed if you're going to live through the night. >> reporter: few here have forgotten what happened two years ago, after an explosion at the citgo refinery when safety precautions failed to fully stop a release of a little known but highly lethal chemical called hydrofluoric acid, that just barely missed the neighborhood. scientists call it one of the world's most hazardous chemicals. >> you can't breathe eventually. you die from asphyxiation.
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>> reporter: as seen in this industry test film, a release of the chemical in liquid form doesn't fall to the ground but floats across the desert in a kind of death cloud. >> it's really nasty stuff. >> reporter: an abc news investigation with the center for public integrity found 50 oil refineries from houston to minneapolis to los angeles to philadelphia who use hydrofluoric acid, putting some 16 million unsuspecting americans at serious risk. >> worst case scenario is a major accident in a highly populated area, and thousands of people are impacted. >> reporter: that hasn't happened, but in the last two years, there have been 29 fires and explosions at refineries using hydrofluoric acid, which is key to making gasoline cleaner and more efficient. >> i think our safety record could be improved but it's not a bad safety record. >> reporter: but our investigation found a crisis brewing with aging equipment and a poor record of maintenance. after an accident involving the chemical at this sunoco refinery
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in philadelphia, investigators found the company failed to correct and established history of tube leaks dating back to 1973. there are chemicals that would be less risky and are being used at other refineries, but the industry says it would be too difficult and too expensive to convert. so, they continue to use hydrofluoric acid, diane. >> brian, i know you're going to go online and put the information, because if you live near an oil refinery, you can see it there, one that uses these chemicals. so, head to and you can also learn what to do in case of an accident. also, there will be much more of brian's reporting tonight on "nightline." still ahead right here on "world news," how would you decide who gets to live? should younger patients be the first in line? kate middleton, her first test as princess to be. how did she do? and, american products meet american jobs. so, why are even our flag pins made in china?
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but only 17,000 get them. tonight, sharyn alfonsi tells us about a new proposal that says the young should go first. >> reporter: legina leggins is desperate for a new kidney. for 15 years, the 43-year-old mother has been on the waiting list. last week, she got this letter, notifying her she is finally at the top of that list. >> it's up and down emotions, feelings and not thinking i was going to make it or whatever. >> reporter: but now, the nation's organ transplant network is considering reshuffling the deck, giving younger, healthier people a preference over older, sicker patients like legina. faced with that reality that she could be passed over -- >> i have kids myself, and if i was to make a choice for my children to get it opposed to myself, i would let my kids get it. >> reporter: the donor network, for 25 years, has been oriented towards giving kid needs to those who have been waiting the longest. >> the kidney allocation system
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currently works like your local deli, where there's a machine that says, "take a number." >> reporter: but the new formula would work like this. two patients waiting for a kidney, both medical matches to the donor, both with kidney failure. one, a 12-year-old girl, the other, a 60-year-old, also suffering from complications, diabetes. under the proposed plan, the girl would get the kidney, even if the 60-year-old had been waiting for years. older patients would often get pushed to the back of the line. critics call it age discrimination. but doctors say they need to get the most use, the most years, out of an organ. >> we're not trying to not give kidneys to older patients. we're trying to give the right kidney to the right patient. if you're driving a 20-year-old automobile and you need new tires, you don't ask the dealer for the most expensive racing tires. >> reporter: more than 87,000 americans are waiting for kidneys. and more than 4,600 will die ever year on the waiting list.
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>> i just thank god that i'm still here. >> it is such a dilemma, such a choice. how likely are those proposals to pass? >> reporter: it is very likely to pass. and there are similar measures in place with things like heart transplants. they typically won't give you a new heart if you're over 70. so, it's all about balancing fairness but with the scarcity of these organs, so many people waiting for donations. >> as of now, if you're in your 80s, you can get a kidney. >> reporter: that's right. >> they may change. thank you, sharyn alfonsi. and coming up, kate middleton. she's reporting for royal duty. did she pass with flying colors? tends to stn motion. n staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arths, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide our relief
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calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums we got a preview today of a young woman in her new life, becoming a princess. prince william and kate middleton carried out their first official duties together since they became engaged and everyone was watching with a microscope. how would she be dressed, how would she handle the champagne? nick watt has the answers. >> reporter: this, kate's first taste of royal duty. handshakes and small talk. she's a natural. and dressed for the blustery weather. a tweed coat, chocolate scarf and holding her hair in the wind? the brits call that a fascinator. william did the talking, and kate poured the champagne. text book. >> i thought it was wonderful. i think she's absolutely beautiful.
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a natural. she will make a lovely queen. >> reporter: this is now what kate does. standing behind her prince, supporting him in everything he does. the british royal family doesn't actually govern anymore. their role is purely ceremonial. this is where they live, where they will live the next two years. over this rough terrain, william serves as an air force search and rescue helicopter pilot. >> william's been on duty this week, rescue a woman that had fallen off the cliff. he was involved with winching down the paramedics to try to save her. she died. pretty harrowing incident for william. >> reporter: today, there were nerves, but no hitches. was she born to be a princess? tomorrow, they're in st. andrews, the college town where they met for more meet and greet. prince william is introducing his bride to be to the nation and the world. nick watt, abc news, anglesey. >> a fascinator, huh? well, coming up next here, why are american flag pins made
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as you know, if each of us spends $3.33 on american goods, we'll create almost 10,000 new jobs. so, our jon karl did some detective work. he went to some of the big u.s. landmarks in washington, only to find most of the items they're selling are made everywhere but the usa. >> reporter: the best place to start your visit to d.c.? the smithsonian, where you can see everything from lincoln's top hat to the gowns of the first ladies. but good luck finding something american in the gift shop. one senator was so outraged to find the presidential busts made in china, he fired off a letter demanding the museum sell stuff made in america. it's not just the smithsonian. we went to the great symbols of the usa in search of made in america. the lincoln memorial. let's look at what they have. magnets. with the washington monument.
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made in china. a bell. made in china. toothpick holder. made in china. the jefferson memorial. a replica of the memorial itself. let's take a look. oh, no. even the american flag pins. made in china. we spent about 400 bucks on souvenirs all over town. not a single one of them made in america. not even my supreme court gavel key chain. the lincoln memorial does sell some made in the usa stuff, but they explained to us, it comes down to dollars and cents. case in point, the hats. all right, two hats, made in america, made in china. what are the prices. >> $19.95 and $10.95. >> reporter: this is almost half the price, but made in china. >> yes. >> reporter: the spoons here used to be made in america. but a couple of years ago, the manufacturer moved to mexico. so, if you wanted to get more of these, could you? >> no. not made here. >> reporter: there is one place
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we found where virtually everything sold is made in america. the shops at the u.s. capitol. back to the smithsonian. they told us they did find an american manufacturer of presidential busts but it nearly doubled the price. so, they're sticking with the made in china presidents. and the elvis bobbleheads, too. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> and, we'd like you to join our made in america challenge at sign on, here we go together next week. thanks for being with us tonight. we'll see you again tomorrow. e
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bay area weather two. days of cold conditions and more snow. much more, is the question. take a look at the forecast. >> there are a number of people in prison that shouldn't be there. yeah. >> and he was one of them. a man spent 18 years in prison on a faulty conviction. >> we have to have a plan. we need a solution. >> there is history in sacramento tonight. >> and the tahoe ski area could become an elite resort offer occasions of the biggest fans. good evening, everyone. we have cameras trained on weather tonight there. is another storm approaching
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bringing us bone-chilling temperatures and snow. >> and wherever you are, you're going to feel it. >> and let's turn now to spencer christian on a time line on what's happening. >> we'll take a look now. there is lots of precipitation most of it at the moment. there is rainfall light to moderate rainfall. let's take a look at where there is snow. up north we go. you can see snow falling around clear lake. and farther north around excuse me around mount st. -- mount st. helena. elevation of over 4300 feet we're seeing snow right now. snow levels are very high at the moment and will be rising actually during some portions of the overnight hours. and it's mount hamilton, we're seeing snow now z there is elevation of just under 3500 feet there is snow as well. snow levels rising overnight. colder air arrives tomorrow we'll see snow levels lowering
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again. and i think there is 100% chance somewhere you'll hear the cliche winter wonderland. you'll hear that. >> thank you very much. and the north bay could get some of the worst of the storm and we're live in novato tonight. >> reporter: usually does, dan. that is why


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