tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC April 5, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> hope to see you again in half an hour. tonight on "world news," the baby boomer bombshell. landmark news about 77 million americans and their money. how much a boomer needs for retirement. and how many boomers have saved nothing at all? storm swarm. a record attack of furious tornadoes, wind storms, more at once than we've seen before. tuna trouble? all that radiation pouring into japan's ocean, just as the tuna start swimming towards the u.s. can we eat them? surviving smoke. a crippled jet liner makes a close landing. our reporter shows you what you need to know to get out of the smoke. and, the first all-female combat mission, showing the world why the sky's the limit.
good evening. america's 77 million baby boomers say again and again there is nothing as worrying as having enough money for the years ahead. and today, a landmark investigation showed that 44% of all boomers say they are unsure they have enough set aside for the lives they want to lead. millions admitting to saving nothing at all, being unable to retire. so, david muir spent the day digging into a new reality and the stories of all the people, taking a close look at the future tonight. david? >> reporter: diane, we knew there was worry out there, but this is a portrait unlike any so far. confidence in being able to retire has never been so low, as we learned today. and tonight here, the baby boomers forced to redefine their own retirement. their first words, on those little faces, the boomer babies, born between 1946 and 1964. in fact, just today, another
11,000 of them turned 65. but looming larger than any birthday wish, wishes for retirement, now rapidly changing. and here's why. 6 in 10 say their investments, retirement plans and their homes have lost significant value. in just the last three years. almost half of them, 42%, are now delaying retirement. and their savings accounts were not ready for this. nina scott is 56. she and her husband, teachers near boston. she planned to retire before he did. but now both working at least another decade. >> i worry if there was an emergency, absolutely. i worry about the health care, i worry about if we socked away enough to look after each other. >> reporter: she doesn't envision an extravagant retirement by any stretch. simple wishes now. enough to afford visiting their children and a hotel room. they don't want to burden them. and at home, they want to be able to afford their dogs. 1 in 4 boomers who are still working say they don't see a day when they can retire. the same number say they have little or no retirement savings.
64% see social security as a key part of their safety net. on the flip side, only 11% are deeply confident they're ready for retirement. john and jeanette urbom, near kansas city, kansas. john just turned 60. she's about to. he's a manufacturing sales rep, a traveling salesman. their wishes for retirement have grown simpler, too, since that wedding day. their first granddaughter changed everything. they're now considering downsizing the home to pad their savings. because most important now, being able to pay for that plane trip to visit olivia grace in denver. >> that's about all we think anymore. >> john wants to teach her how to fish. we want to be comfortable that, yes, we can buy a plane ticket and be out there in a day. >> reporter: and they're going to be able to teach her how to fish and more because financial experts say that couple there did three things everyone should do. they tackled it head-on. they talk about it three times a week. he's going to work about five years longer and plow it right into the savings account. and lastly, they pared down expectations. that trip from kansas city, kansas, to denver, will be as grand as anything they can
imagine, because olivia is at the other end. >> they may not get the cruise, but get the trip to teach her fishing. and they have advice? >> reporter: for the next generation. the savings is the big thing that got the boomers into trouble. >> save more than you think you need. thank you, david. and something happened today in this country that's never happened before. take a close look. across the southeast, almost 1,300 severe weather reports. a record. pouring into the national weather service in just 24 hours, as violent spring storms killed at least eight people. there were swarms of tornadoes and thunderstorms descending, and tonight, steve osunsami is in the wreckage in atlanta. steve? >> reporter: good evening, diane. there are scenes like this all over the south today. the people who live in this neighborhood say first it was the sound of the storm which was bad enough. but then, they heard the terrifying sounds of pine trees and oak trees snapping in two. this one missed the house but totaled this suv.
today, the worst of this incredibly large storm marched past georgia and into florida, where high winds tore through neighborhoods. eight people have been killed across the southeast. almost every one of them from large trees that were snapped by high winds and came crashing down on top of them. south of atlanta, a father and his 4-year-old son died today. the father was holding the child in his arms in a bedroom, hoping to protect him. the rescuers who found them wept. >> daddy had the baby and he was on top of him holding him, trying to protect him. but it smashed both of them. >> reporter: they're saying that in terms of actual storm reports, this could be the worst severe weather outbreak ever. >> what was most impressive was the area that the severe weather covered. and also the length of time the severe weather occurred. >> reporter: they were certainly feeling it in tennessee. at st. francis hospital in memphis, windows were blown out and a wall blown down.
in butler, kentucky, this family's home was ruined. in topeka, kansas, the storm sent families running to basements and bathrooms. >> i was scared. the first thought was -- i ran in the house and told him to get downstairs. >> this is unbelievable. look at that box go down the street. >> reporter: forecasters say we're off to a very busy start. and the severe storm season is just beginning. we were curious how much these large trees weigh. and found out that the largest can weigh between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds. that's a lot of weight, diane, to be flying through the air. >> that's right. and that's what the storm was like, taking that down. thank you, steve. and now we turn to the tuna we eat in america and the radiation in the ocean in japan. radioactive water is pouring into the pacific from that damaged fukushima nuclear plant. and tonight, u.s. fishermen have issued a plea. the tuna fish swimming in that water right now over in japan are going to be migrating into u.s. waters. so, what does that mean for the tuna we eat and the tuna we buy in cans?
neal karlinsky traces the amount of radiation and the reality about tuna. >> reporter: japan's nuclear crisis is an ocean away, unless you're an albacore tuna, the kind that ends up in cans of tuna fish across the united states. every spring, the torpedo-shaped tuna leaves the waters off japan, swimming at speeds of 50 miles an hour to the waters off oregon and washington, arriving late summer. before it gets there, it may well have spent time in some of the most radioactive water on earth. >> some of these fish that are feeding there may be picking up some radiation and we don't want to be harvesting them here in the united states if they do. >> reporter: in seattle, dr. vidar wespestad is part of a group of concerned fishermen, now urging the government to test the fish when they arrive. already, these tiny fish were caught in japan with unsafe levels of iodine-131 and cesium-137 in waters south of the nuclear plant. in the race to cool off the
reactors, they're spraying them with water, creating a toxic runoff they can't contain. 3 million gallons of contaminated water has now made its way into the ocean. the fishing industry up and down the coast is at a standstill. what's worse, fishermen here say the government hasn't told them a thing about their plan or when these waters might be safe for them to fish again. scientists who've studied the effects of radiation on fish say cesium accumulates in muscle tissue and migration patterns should be studied because different size fish are affected differently. >> there is the potential for genetic damage to these tunas, for instance, as well as impacts on their reproductive abilities. >> reporter: tonight, japanese officials say the radiation will dissipate in the vast ocean, while albacore tuna are already getting ready to migrate and prove whether they really are canaries in an underwater coal mine. neal karlinsky, abc news, kashima, japan.
and there is a budget showdown in washington, d.c. tonight. the clock ticking, time running down. republicans and democrats are locked on a budget collision course. and if this lasts until friday, the government has to shut down. so, here was the president, taking a stand today against and over the divide with the republican speaker of the house. >> we can't have a "my way or the highway" approach to this problem. because if we start applying that approach where i've got to get 110% of everything i want, or else i'm going to shut down the government, we're not going to get anything done this year. >> we've made clear that we're fighting for the largest spending cuts possible. we're talking about real spending cuts here, no smoke and mirrors. >> so, let's bring in jake tapper at the white house tonight. jake, how far apart are they, and is someone going to blink? >> reporter: they're pretty far apart right now. president obama hosted
congressional leaders at the oval office for about an hour and ten minutes. here's where each side is coming from. republicans want $61 billion in spending cuts. they also want to cut funding to national public radio and to planned parenthood. democrats, president obama, want $33 billion in proposed spending cuts and they want to fund npr and planned parenthood. it does not sound as though there was much progress at today's meeting. one source told me, we still have a lot of talking to do. diane? >> so, give us a realistic prediction about a government shutdown? >> reporter: well, i'd say right now it's about 50/50, though both sides say they want to avoid it. they're also all preparing for a shutdown. the white house sent out a memo to departments and agencies, telling them to alert top managers to prepare for a contingency for a shutdown. they are still having negotiations. house speaker boehner met with democratic senate leader
harry reid this afternoon. president obama said if they are able to hammer things out, great, if not, he wants everybody back at the white house tomorrow. and if they can't achieve it tomorrow, he wants everyone back on thursday. diane? >> the clock ticking, as we said. thank you, jake. and someone else also entered the fray today on the issue of the huge national debt. a man who has issued a kind of political double dare you to both sides. he is house budget chairman paul ryan and he told jon karl that today is the day simply to face the truth. >> reporter: for paul ryan, this is not just about government spending. it's a life or death struggle for the u.s. economy. >> the nation's fiscal trajectory is simply not sustainable. >> reporter: ryan, who once worked as a waiter to make ends meet, is 41 and has three kids. the scope of his plan is staggering. consider that while the president and republicans are on the verge of shutting the government down over less than $61 billion in spending cuts, ryan is calling for $6.2 trillion in cuts over the next ten years.
what do you say to nervous republicans who say this is a political kamikaze mission? you've just given democrats a big target that may ultimately cost republicans their majority here? >> you know, none of them say that. just kidding. this is not a budget. this is a cause. and look, we can all go do something else with our lives. we're not just here so we get this lapel pin that says we're a member of congress. we are here to try to fix this country's problems. if that means we are giving our political adversaries a political weapon to use against us, which by the way, they will have to distort, demagogue and lie to use it, shame on them. >> reporter: the biggest cut in ryan's plan is medicaid, slashed by $750 billion over ten years. he'd save $375 billion by cutting the federal work force by 10%, imposing a pay freeze until 2015 and making federal employees pay more for their pensions. farm subsidies would be cut by $30 billion. and most explosively, it would eventually end medicare as we
know it, replacing it with taxpayer subsidized private insurance plans. though that change would not effect anybody 55 years old or older. ryan has been working on this for years. >> you literally go through it line by line. >> reporter: ryan has already been vilified by democrats for cutting programs for the poor while he extends all the tax cuts for the rich. and diane, even if all of his spending cutting are enacted, there will not be a balanced budget for nearly 30 years. so, it only gets partway there. >> okay, jon karl reporting in tonight. and still ahead on "world news," smoke in the plane. it happened yesterday. we show you what you're supposed to do to survive. and, the all-female, formidable first-time ever flying combat team. what happened when they entered one of the most dangerous skies in the world? if your racing thoughts keep you awake...
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job. but they and the pilots remained calm. the first hint of trouble came just after takeoff, smoke in the cockpit. >> united 497. we have smoke issues with the airplane. >> reporter: the plane was at 4,000 feet. >> this is 497, we are declaring an emergency. >> united 497 safe souls on board and fuel remaining? >> 106 souls on board. >> reporter: then, the unthinkable. >> 497, we've lost all our instruments right now. >> reporter: the crew had just their backup instruments. the tower guided them in. >> united 497, just continue left turn. i will tell you when to stop, sir. >> fox five this is our aircraft touching down now. >> reporter: the plane skidded off the runway. all 106 on board got out safely. >> i got off the plane and started running. because i knew how much fuel was on the plane is what worried me. >> if you can't instantly determine the source and the severity of the smoke, you must consider it to be a threat to the airplane. >> reporter: we got a taste of
what a smoky cabin is like during critical safety training for airline personnel. >> stay low! >> reporter: it can quickly become impossible to see. so it's important to have counted the number of rows to the emergency exits behind and in front of you. when evacuating, stay low, hunch over. don't crawl. you could get trampled. breathe slowly. and as silly as it sounds, when you evacuate, leave all that carry-on luggage behind. smoke or fire on a plane is reported in the u.s. some two times a day. often, it's a false alarm. still -- >> i think it needs be kept on the forefront as far as a safety issue goes. >> reporter: yesterday's emergency underscores just why. lisa stark, abc news, washington. and coming up next, the subject is sleep. a new revelation about the people who really do thrive on just four hours a night. it's 2. wonder where the durango's been for the last two years? well, it toured around europe,
getting handling and steering lessons on those sporty european roads. it went back to school, got an advanced degree in technology. it's been working out -- more muscle and less fat. it's only been two years, but it's done more in two years than most cars do in a lifetime. i know what works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris. omnaris, to the nose! did you know nasal symptoms like congestion can be caused by allergic inflammation? omnaris relieves your symptoms by fighting inflammation. side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. i tossed those allergy symptoms out of my party. [ man ] omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. how are you getting to a happier place? running there? dancing there? how about eating soup to get there? campbell's soups fill you with good nutrition,
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including aspirin, may increase bleeding risk, which can potentially be life threatening, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take, including aspirin, especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix. and now story about sleep, from "the wall street journal." today, experts have identified the short sleepers, the stars who really do only need four hours of sleep or less. no naps, no coffee. and by the way, they also tend to be naturally optimistic, ambitious, energetic and outgoing. but that's only 3%, as we said. the rest of us, who get just four hours of sleep a night are sleep deprived. so, don't wake us until you can help us. the astronauts aboard the
international space station got a dramatic alert from mission control today. a piece of space junk was heading their way. a six-inch chunk of an old chinese satellite was drifting dangerously close. the crew of three was warned that they might have to scramble for shelter in an attached capsule, but the path of the debris shifted enough, the all-clear was sounded. and, now, a little video we saw and we simply thought we had to show you. it's like a children's story. there was a girl whose family refused to buy her a horse. so, what did she do? she saddled up one of the family cows. and it took her two years, but she trained the cow to become a show jumper. she's a 15-year-old girl from germany and the cow, named luna, has become a kind of seabiscuit of the bovine world. when we come back, how a sister hood of women is making history at 600 miles per hour. women is headed
off at 600 miles per hour. then i found out advair helps prevent symptoms from happening in the first place. advair is for asthma that's not well controlled on a long-term asthma medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. advair will not replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. advair contains salmeterol which increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. advair is not for people whose asthma is well controlled with a long-term asthma control medicine like an inhaled corticosteroid. once your asthma is well controlled your doctor will decide if you can stop advair without loss of control and prescribe a different asthma control medicine, such as an inhaled corticosteroid. do not take advair more than prescribed. see your doctor if your asthma does not improve or gets worse. is advair right for you? ask your doctor. get your first prescription free. advair helps prevent symptoms. today, investors want retirement planning on their terms.
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and finally tonight, this is one for the history books. a group of women shattered a glass ceiling, or make it kind of a stratospheric ceiling. they were the first air force completely female combat mission. showing their stuff at 600 miles per hour in the dangerous skies of aftghanistaafghanistan. and martha raddatz has their their story. >> okay, so we've got some high peaks, mountains to work with. >> reporter: they dubbed the mission "dudette seven" -- and for good reason. from the planners, to the pilots, to the weapons officers, to the maintenance crew, there was not a "dude" in sight. everyone involved in this two-ship f-15e combat mission was a woman.
>> we knew we were going to take off in support of the guys on the ground. most likely that we were going to have to drop some bombs. >> reporter: and what a mission it was. as our mike boettcher saw from the ground, the fighting in the kunar province was intense. the air support from the f-15s adding a layer of protection and fire power vital to the soldier's success. and apparently made all the better given that the voices from the cockpit were female. >> it was nice for the ground guys to hear they had women protecting them, of course. not that we're any different than the guys. but it's just a guy thing that they like to hear sometimes. >> reporter: in fact, of the more than 14,000 pilots in the air force, only 687 are females. but women have been flying combat missions for the air force for 18 years now. which does kind of make you wonder why, after all these years, the air force still refers to all its
personnel as airmen, when so many airwomen are changing history. martha raddatz, abc news. >> and we're so glad you are watching tonight. we are always bringing you the news at abcnews.com. and don't forget "nightline," a unique take of the news, later on tonight. we'll see you back here tomorrow. and hope you have a great night. until then. í@ door wide open. san francisco city officials who could have stopped this ride aboard a speeding muni train. >> bedroom bullet holes. a boy should have been asleep in this bed. >> the prosecution rests its case in the barry bonds trial.
will bonds be called as a witness in his defense? >> and the salvage timbers of a tunnel giving new meaning tonight to save the redwood crusade. >> dramatic video taken aboard a crowded train. the train is moving and the door, wide open. >> the video posted on you tube last night. and also reveals a san francisco supervisor on board at the time that can d.nothing to alert the driver. >> and officials are at a loss to explain it. mark? >> and we're here on the embarcadero. and muni trains -- the kind we're talking about come down this line right here. and there is one that had the door open was at