tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC April 24, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight on "world news," ready for takeoff. as her commander husband lifts off, it's now official. congresswoman gabrielle giffords will be right there watching. and tonight, the extraordinary developments in her recovery. what we didn't know until now. what can she say? how far can she walk? amazing grace. after tornadoes tear through st. louis, those dramatic pictures of the airport taking a direct hit. a city marks this easter by going to church, even the churches no longer standing. fueling profits. with $6 a gallon a real possibility now, "world news" asks, why are the oil companies getting set to make record profits? and the royal wedding planner. the wedding tonight, by the numbers. from the bells to the biscuits. and that special request from prince william. what does he want in his own wedding cake?
good evening. and it was a welcome piece of news on this easter when congresswoman gabrielle giffords' husband, nasa commander mark kelly, lifts off this week, giffords will be right there watching. abc news broke the story at abcnews.com and tonight, new information on giffords' recovery. it's been nearly four months now since she was shot in tucson. this was the last image of her in front of that supermarket that day. talking to constituents before the shootings. and, of course, we remember that last tweet, inviting people to her "congress on your corner." and that first piece of news, that first breakthrough, commander kelly telling diane sawyer that his wife recognized him and had reached out to stroke his neck. and the woman when the congresswoman and the commander held hands. tonight here, the newest milestone. her doctors have cleared her to travel from texas to florida to watch the launch of the shuttle this week. here's david kerley. >> reporter: it's what shuttle commander mark kelly hoped for. abc news has now learned his wife will be there for liftoff this friday. >> she's been looking forward to this for a long time.
says nasa's -- as one of nasa's biggest supporters in congress, she was really looking forward to having the opportunity to be there. >> reporter: giffords was shot in the head at point blank by a lone gunman during a public appearance in tucson in january. while she's medically cleared to travel now, she will be accompanied by staff from the rehabilitation center. in a jet, straight from nasa houston to the kennedy space center. and we're learning new details about her condition. she's speaking in simple sentences or single words, including "awesome," "love you," according to "the arizona republic." she is walking a little. her left side is said to be perfect. but she has limited use of her right side. >> we saw some very early signs and so we got so optimistic, weer with expecting very fast recovery and that's not what we're seeing now. >> reporter: her husband has been by her side from the beginning. >> i see her every morning before i go to work and when i come home from work at the end of my day. >> reporter: that was until friday when kelly and his crew went into quarantine, as is always the case, to avoid
the risk of illness in space. on tuesday, the astronauts fly to kennedy space center. wednesday, congresswoman giffords arrives and will see her husband at a picnic with other astronaut families that night. then, the launch. set for friday, at 3:47 p.m. we've been told that giffords has already written a note for kelly to open in space. and she's picked a wakeup song, just as she did four years ago. ♪ beautiful day >> thanks to gabrielle for the great choice of wakeup music. >> reporter: what we don't know is what song giffords has chosen for this flight. giffords will be joined at the launch by president obama. but her staff warns this is not a public appearance. she will be with other families out of view of the media. but there is a chance we could see her for the first time. her staff says they may release a photo of her watching as her husband lifts off on what could be his last flight into space. david? >> all right, david kerley, thank you. and for more, we're joined by
bob woodruff, who has followed this story. because of his own brain injury, of course on assignment in iraq. and dr. jonathan fellis, a brain injury specialist. also here with us tonight. bob, i wanted to start with you. on this easter, we want back to a family moment of yours, when your children were helping you with words. and in this one in particular, was belt buckle. let's take a look. >> belt buckle. >> bedbugle. >> belt. >> belt. >> bout. >> no -- belt. >> belt. >> buckle. >> buckle. belt buckle. you told me. belt buckle. >> you did it. >> proud kids there. and they have grown up since then. >> reporter: yeah. >> you were saying for gabrielle giffords could come is this massive hurdle you remember, putting the cranium back together. >> reporter: this is the same side, hit on the left side, which is a lot of language.
in terms of cognition, she will know exactly what she's saying, she understands the things said to her, but she's probably lost some of her words or perhaps like me, looking at the words and not knowing the order of the letters. and this without question will get better over time. >> when she's put back together -- >> reporter: probably very shortly. after four months is when you put this back on. >> and you said, doctor, the fact that she can stand and walk a little bit, that that's not terribly surprising to you, that the physical aspects of this come back more quickly. >> right. based on what we know about the path of the bullet probably hit the language and the arm function more and the leg function was more spared. we know the physical problems improve faster, to a greater degree, than the language and sophisticated things that are e unique to us hue ban beings. >> why is that? do we have a better back up system in our body to help us with the physical nature? >> it seems so. we have the redundant pathways that can take over for the physical things, the simpler
things we do. the human things just don't have other parts of the brain that can take over and step in. >> and doctor, you were saying, you can't underestimate the fact she's leaving the hospital, witnessing the launch is one thing, but getting out of the hospital is major. >> it's such an important moment to get out and test the skills that she's already learned in rehab. to interact with people. to even test how she'll stand up to the fatigue of a full day out and testing out her abilities and getting jostled about. it's all positive. >> and bob, you talked at length about lee, your wife, and the children, and the role they played in your recovery. so hard to quantify what they're able to do. but the fact that she's going to witness the launch, how powerful is this going to be for her? >> reporter: she'll be a lot happier. is there any proof, scientifically or others that this does change the recovery, but i think without question it does. i'm a big believer if you surround yourself with your friends and family, it does make your recovery a lot faster. it will with her, as well. >> no question.
bob woodruff, dr. fellis, thank you for being here with us tonight. it was last night here we showed you the dramatic images from inside the st. louis airport, captured by security cameras as that tornado roared through the terminal. there was devastation there and all throughout the city. and tonight here, the story of resilience on this easter. church goers in st. louis thankful, and at services with even part of their church gone. here's jeremy hubbard. >> reporter: a welcome sign over st. louis sunday. flights back in the air. more than 150 departures, even as work crews and street sweepers continue to clear tornado debris below. but for the weary travelers who finally made it home -- the headachers have just begun. >> looks like the passenger window may be a little windy going home. it's full of water. >> reporter: a sense of humor difficult to muster when you survey the damage around here. officials say it will take months and millions to fix this airport. its history, once famously detailed in the movie "up in the
air." >> are you kidding? lambert field? wright brothers flew through there. >> reporter: we went back to the spot where george clooney is standing, and today, it looks like this. covered in boarded up windows after the twister ripped the roof off the main concourse, sending debris flying and travelers running for cover. ♪ at easter mass, this congregation was full of storm victims. >> just like to show, how many people are without electricity right now? >> reporter: and they are not alone. even the church wasn't spared. out back sets the 40-foot steeple that was ripped off the roof in the middle of good friday services. but despite the devastation, on this holiday weekend, homeowners have found hope. >> there's a lot of memories here, but you make more and go on. nobody was injured and for that, i'll be eternally grateful. >> reporter: you can see references to bible verses painted on the plywood. folks in this neighborhood are calling it an easter miracle that no one was killed, despite that fact that 750 homes were damaged.
they are crediting the national weather service for giving lots of early warning to save lives. david? >> jeremy hubbard, thank you. and there were easter services across this country today, and across the pond. queen elizabeth attending an easter service at windsor castle. prince william and kate did not attend but as we all know, they will be in church come friday. jeffrey kofman is live outside westminster abbey tonight. jeffrey, good evening. >> reporter: and good evening to you, david. that's right. we are counting down, just over 100 hours until they exchange their wedding vows at the church behind me. britain is getting set for a party. the kind of party that happens once in a generation. >> feel the atmosphere all right, can't you? >> reporter: feel it? you can't miss it. there are so many british flags adorning regent street that you can hardly see the sun. and take a look in the shop windows. it's all about the royals. >> there's nothing like royalty to an englishman. a genuine englishman.
>> reporter: along the route the royal carriage will take, police are checking sewers, even the inside of lamp posts for explosives. and they'll be watching from high in the sky. >> we want to make sure that nothing compromises this event. we want to be mindful of people in the crowd that do want to disrupt it. >> reporter: every roof top with a view of westminster abbey has been commandeered by television networks around the world. 7,000 journalists have been accredited for the wedding. a potential audience of 2 billion people. this could be the most watched event in history. in front of westminster abbey today, we found amateur painter david hocker, enjoying a front row seat before the crowds arrive. >> everyone of importance will go through this, what they call the great west door. >> reporter: that's this one here? >> yes. >> reporter: and david, if you want one gauge of wedding fever here, i talked to a man in front of westminster abbey who said he
would be camping out on the street as of tuesday for a front row seat on history. and i know david, you're on your way over. you should be warned, a huge area around the abbey and buckingham palace will be closed off so bring good walking shoes. >> guide me along the way. jeffrey kofman tonight, thank you so much. "good morning america," by the way, we should mention, live from london, first thing in the morning. abcnews.com covering the wedding all week long. and of course, 4:00 a.m. eastern, friday morning, i'll be joining diane sawyer and barbara walters. and later here on the broadcast, that special request from prince william, why he wants a second wedding cake, and what will be in it. we turn to the vatican, now, on this easter sunday, where pope benedict spoke to 100,000 of the faithful. we called for peace in the middle east, saying diplomacy should be used to settle the conflict in libya. his words come on an especially bloody day in libya. colonel gadhafi's forces
unleashed fresh attacks on misrata. in syria, dozens have gone missing, suggesting the syrian regime is widening its crackdown. 120 people have been shot dead by security forces in syria since friday now. and tonight, a warning from yemen's president. yemen has been a crucial ally for the u.s. on the war on terror. there is a huge al qaeda presence in that country. facing huge protests, the president says he will step down, but warned today, in so many words, you'll be sorry. 24 hours after agreeing to hand over power in his increasingly embattled country, yemen's president took aim at the opposition, warning that the dangers of al qaeda, saying support from the west for protesters could come at a cost. "they are ignoring what al qaeda is doing in yemen," the president said, "and they will pay the price." he's now agreed to hand over power to his deputy within 30 days, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. today, thousands of demonstrators were still at it, saying the deal falls short of
their demands. they want him out now and they want him tried. he warns al qaeda has found its way into the sea of protesters. "i think this will escalate the crisis," the president said. "it won't solve it." >> a warning from yemen tonight. meanwhile, in washington, president obama and his family celebrated easter by attending services at one of washington's oldest african-american churches. members of the church founded by freed slaves during the civil war broke into applause as the first family walked to a second row pew in the church. we're going to turn now to the explosive new battle in congress over the rising costs of medicare, and some eye-opening images of seniors in some unorthodox roles. here's rick klein now. >> he voted for nancy pelosi -- >> reporter: it's a political game both parties play. >> outrageous taxes and cuts $500 billion from medicare. >> hands off our medicare. >> reporter: this time, the democrats are blasting republicans over medicare cuts. a web ad running against two
dozen republicans warns that votes to, quote, end medicare, will force seniors to find new lines of work. one older gentleman -- >> did someone call the fire department? >> reporter: is shown being forced into an even more creative profession. so-called medi-scare strategies keep coming back because they work. older residents vote and don't want anyone touching medicare. neither do voters overall. 87% in the latest a b bc news/"washington post" poll say they oppose cutting the program. any hope for a solution may have to start in the senate, where a group of six senators is working to produce something they hope both parties can agree on. >> medicare cannot continue the way it is, if we're going to survive. >> this is a defining moment. and we've got to decide, as a nation, are we going to do some things that all of us would prefer not to have to do? or do we wait for the roof to cave in? >> reporter: now, the time line for any sort of action on medicare is extraordinarily short. this issue will only grow more
potent politically as 2012 draws nearer. david? >> and rick, we know you'll be watching it. thanks so much. and still ahead here on "world news," as americans face $6 a gallon for gas, why are the oil companies poised to make record profits? we've got the numbers here. we took you on board last night to see the endangered whales. tonight, the dramatic moment after our crew left. and, the numbers behind this royal wedding. how many pints of beer to be served? how many tulips to be trimmed? the astounding figures tonight. with alli, i lost 4 dress sizes. the reason that i picked alli was because it's approved by the fda, it was safe, it will block 25% of the fat that you eat and keep it from being absorbed. that's got to be better for ya $6 a gallon for gas, why are the how in tulips to be trimmed? but it is l program. pill
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[ knock on door ] oops...i gotta go. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor about adding niaspan. fight back. fight plaque. love you, daddy. on this holiday weekend, gas prices hit the $5 mark in several more states. and it comes the same week that the oil companies are set to post record profits. so why are they making so much money when american drivers can't seem to catch a break? here's t.j. winnick now. >> reporter: for new york city drivers like jack foley, it's no longer fill it up. >> i just $5 in here. >> reporter: the skyrocketing fuel prices might have a lot of american drivers red. but they have big oil seeing green. analysts expect the largest company, exxon, to report this week that its profits shot up nearly 60%, for a total of $10 billion. shell is expected to see a 22% gain, for a $5.9 billion profit. >> we're the ones that are getting, you know, shafted. >> reporter: the law of supply and demand, not this time.
it's speculators and oil futures who bid the price up, betting that things are going to get worse in the middle east. experts say don't blame big oil for what's happening here at the pump. after all, they don't set the prices. >> the majority of oil is controlled by government-owned oil companies in places like the middle east. and oil companies, private oil companies here are price takers. they don't set the price. >> reporter: president obama is trying to force the issue by cutting what he calls $4 billion in subsidies to big oil. across the country, families are grappling with how to survive the pinch. christie of flushing, michigan, no longer drives her son to school. he takes the bus. >> we're not going to do independent little trips during the week. >> reporter: it's not farfetched to say those family vacations will likely get shorter, with memorial day and a national average of $4 a gallon right around the corner. t.j. winnick, abc news, new york. when we come back here, you're not going to believe what a woman named betty easter won on this easter.
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were the only ones on board as researchers off the coast of cape cod showed us some of the white whales feeding off the coast. nearly half the world's entire population. after we left, a rescue mission, as one of the whales got tangled in rope. they did send us this image. the whale was saved and, we're told, was then set free. great news from off of cape cod. when we come back here, the numbers you haven't heard about the royal wedding. the pints of beer? let's just say, bottoms up. it can come along anywhere, anytime. and when it does, men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use. cialis for daily use is a clinically proven low-dose tablet you take every day, so you can be ready anytime the moment's right even if it's not every day. tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain
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morning. tonight right here, a look at the wedding by the numbers. right down to the cakes. and that special request from prince william. lama hasan is in london. >> reporter: 1900 people will gather in westminster abbey as the royal couple says i do. providing the music during the ceremony, two choirs, onor kes trat. 5,000 sequences of bechls will ring out in celebration, for a whole three hours. the couple will have two wedding cakes. 1700 base cuts will be used to make william's childhood favorite chocolate biscuit cake. keeping the royals and their guests safe, 5,000 police officers on duty. with 187 well-groomed horses on parade. and 35 police sniffer dogs on guard duty. not invited? no worries, you can join 1 million people lining the streets of london. or one of the 5500 street parties across the united
kingdom. we all know that brits love their beer, but get this. during the royal wedding festivities, pubbing will be pouring 100 million pooiints of beer. and if you are outside buckingham palace, hoping to get a glimpse of that tape mouse kiss on the balcony, flowers won't be a distraction. 26,000 tulips, which peaked too early this spring, will be cut, leaving all eyes on the main attraction. la ma hasan, abc news, london. >> that is the broadcast for this sunday night. thank you for being here. "good morning america" live from london, first thing in the morning. and our countdown continues until our coverage, 4:00 a.m. friday morning. we look forward to seeing you. diane sawyer is right back here tomorrow night. happy easter. good night.
>> i know they need to make a profit but they don't need to make that much profit. >> alan: as you dig deeper to fill your tank, gas companies are set to announce record profits later this week. gas prices have inched up another 12 cents, part of a nonstop surge that started september of last year. as of today the average price of regular in california is 4.21 per gallon. diesel is 4.55. in san francisco, regular is 4.27 per gallon. lillian kim is in emeryville with more on the surprising -- rising prices. >> reporter: s gas prices are going nowhere but up and there appears to be no end in sight. the