tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 11, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
we appreciate your time. see you in half an hour. bye-bye. tonight on "world news" -- from washington, d.c., what is in the bin laden diary? what have we learned about his private journal and his mind? and scared on u.s. airplanes, what an air marshal says you should do in a tense situation. what's in the water? our tests are back, the dangers and the health of mississippi floodwaters. spy cam in the cafeteria. should schools track what your child is eating. and a cascade of joy, three children, one answered prayer. only a mom could pull this off. good evening from washington, d.c. where tonight america's top intelligence experts are poring over bin
laden's handwritten journal. it was seized by the navy s.e.a.l.s from his hideout. and we learned today he took meticulous notes, even calculating exactly how many american lives he hoped to take through terrorism. our chief investigative correspondent brian ross tells us more. he's been tracking the diaries all day. brian. well, diane, u.s. officials say, in his writings, bin laden urged his following to strike smaller cities and kill as many americans as possible. the officials say bin laden remained obsessed with outdoing the attacks of september 11th. and he believed only a body count in the thousands would have any effect on u.s. policy overseas. >> the fact that bin laden wanted to kill thousands of americans doesn't surprise me at all. >> reporter: from his compound in pakistan, officials say bin laden urged al qaeda to consider attacks on los angeles, as well as smaller american cities. spread out the attack, he advised. >> it makes it more difficult
for us to track because we're looking at more symbolic locations. >> reporter: u.s. officials say bin laden was not satisfied with what had been smaller planned attacks, presumably like the failed times square bombing last year. the shooting at ft. hood and the aborted christmas day bombing of a flight headed to detroit. >> there's a number of ways to have high body count in areas of lower security. there's softer targets, there's less security in the midwest and other places. midwest and other places. and you could coordinate an attack much easier than you could in one of the major cities that have higher levels of activity. >> reporter: the study coming from computers discovered ten days ago in pakistan now being decoded and translated. u.s. officials say bin laden was sending the computer files to couriers to followers around the world. although it is not clear whether his advice was being strictly heeded. in addition to the
computer-generated messages, u.s. officials say bin laden also kept a handwritten journal with daily entries. his son omar said in a recently published book, his father would report his thoughts he would thunder over past grievances or pose new ideas which he believed would alter the course of the world. >> so anything in the journals, any clues about the future, brian, a plot under way? >> not so far, diane. officials say they have no information at this point that any of bin laden's thoughts became active thoughts. but it's increasingly clear that he was very much involved in plans what he hoped to be the next wave of attacks until his death he had not relinquished his role as america's greatest enemy. >> all right, brian, thank you. and worry about that very thing has heightened so much concern in recent days. and there have been four frightening incidents for passengers in the skies over america tote. the latest sign on the edge. lisa stark is at dulles airport today. >> reporter: the rash of
incidents occurred around the country. the latest, delta flight 1102, orlando to boston. a passenger last night, apparently drunk, tries to open an emergency exit in flight. two days ago, american airlines, chicago to san francisco. a passenger shouts allah akbar "god is great" in arabic. tries to barge into the cockpit. this past weekend -- continental airlines, houston to chicago. again, a passenger tries to pop open an exit. and delta, from detroit to san diego diverts to new mexico after a flight attendant finds the word "bomb" written on a napkin in the bathroom. what is going on? >> we are entering a legitimate threat period. >> reporter: is there an actual increase in incidents since the death of osama bin laden, or are jittery passengers and police reacting more forcefully? it does seem unusual to hear about so many problem passengers all at once. >> we are clearly paying closer attention, but you also have individuals who are trying to
exploit the situation. >> reporter: in the recent sky-high mishaps, passengers and flight attendants jumped into action. on last night's boston flight, off-duty policeman john riley helped contain the man who tried to open the door. >> they showed me, pointed the gentleman out to me. and said, whatever i do, make sure he wouldn't leave his seat for anything. >> reporter: matt graham is a former air marshal with some advice for those suddenly find themselves on a plane with an unruly passenger. >> let somebody know what's going on. say help. draw attention to the situation and try to get people involved. >> reporter: you have to physically do something yourself, the best thing you can do? >> get them away from whatever is causing the problem. isolate them. >> bear hug them is what you're saying? >> bear hug them. >> now, for those on board, these flights these incidents can be quite scary.
but we should stress that when a plane is at altitude, when it's pressurized, it is impossible to open those doors, you simply can't muster the force to do it. >> impossible to open. didn't know that. thank you, lisa stark. and we move on now to the floods. tonight, 4 million americans are watching the mighty mississippi in the next big town waiting for the river to strike, vicksburg where a floodwall is all that stands between the water and downtown. and you are looking at a live picture from vicksburg right now. this museum was on the wrong side of that wall. you can see what happened there. look at the river rising. upriver, of course, from memphis, there have been fear about the toxins in the water. our steve osunsami decided to test them and the results are in tonight. steve, what did you find? >> reporter: well, good evening, diane. we are at the memphis school that you visited on monday. and the reason that we're here, this is one of the places where we tested the water. health officials had been warning residents to get out of the water, to stay clear of it,
unless they are protected. and we found out why today. the results of our test were troubling. >> it's very nasty. it's very nasty. >> reporter: families across memphis told us they're afraid of the sludge-filled floodwaters that have poured into their homes and were curdling today in the 90-degree heat. >> i'm not scared of the snakes. i'm scared of the water. >> filthy. scary filthy. >> reporter: today, we found out for sure, we hired researchers to take two samples. one next to a school in an expensive neighborhood that's been struggling with visible trash in the water. the second from the low-income neighborhoods in south memphis where the water looked clean but smelled dirty. the lab results confirmed their fears. >> it is screaming high. >> reporter: the levels of the deadly e. coli bacteria. coliform and fecal matter were in the water were 2,000 times higher than any acceptable limit in both places.
>> there would be a need for the complete decontamination of the structure, every house, washing it down, has experienced this water. >> reporter: outside the school, they were not pleased. >> why is it so high? what can we do to change that? >> reporter: on the south side, of town where the water actually had less fecal matter than the water near the school, it was still off the charts. >> i didn't know it was what that toxic, i really didn't. >> reporter: today, scientists tell us we know of high levels of sewage, diesel, nitrogen and phosphorous, from floodwaters washing down the mississippi. all around, they get their drinking water from the mississippi riv system, scientists are testing, worried the chemicals might make their way from the river to the faucet. this is a problem if you're exposed to it, especially if you have cuts or abrasions. they say, diane, this could make you terribly sick. >> and it could be there a long time. thank you, steve osunsami. reporting from memphis. and we are in washington. as we said, and today, political history was made, something we have not seen before.
former speaker of the house newt gingrich announced he's getting in the 2012 presidential race and he did it with a tweet. a tweet he hopes will electrify his race for the white house. what happened next? jon karl joins us with more. >> i've got to tell you there is real republican angst about this current crop of republican presidential candidates. i've spoken to several influential party leaders who believe they have a golden opportunity to beat barack obama, but may be in the process of blowing it. and now tossing his tweet in the ring, newt gingrich. >> i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> reporter: gingrich joins a republican field that seems tailor made for "saturday night live." >> this is a great time for this nation's greatest man, me. >> reporter: potential candidates include a billionaire developer with a reality show and hair that seems to defy gravity. the guy who ran godfather's pizza. two candidates who support decriminalizing drugs and prostitution.
obama's former ambassador to china and the former governor, the president credits for inspiring his health care plan. and a tea party heroine. at the first debate, half of them stayed away missing this. >> how many of here would use heroin if it was legal? i bet nobody. i need the government to take care of me. i don't want to use heroin, so i need these laws! >> i never thought heroin would get applause here. in south carolina. >> reporter: no wonder speaker of the house john boehner told us he's still hoping for more candidates. >> i'm not sure that we've seen all of the candidates we're going to see. i'm as anxious as anybody else to see all of our candidates come out so we can get a idea of what's the field look like. >> reporter: as for gingrich, on paper, he looks like a top contender, a former speaker of the house who actually produced balanced budgets, a conservative known to virtually all republicans.
but gingrich starts down in the polls, weighed down by political and personal baggage. he admitted mistakes. including an affair with one of his congressional aides who he went on to marry. >> whatever the republican problems are, jon, the president still does have his problems, though? >> 9% unemployment, $4 a gallon gas. in the latest abc news poll, diane, 45% said they would definitely not support barack obama for re-election. so they know he's got some big problems as well. the question is, who will the republicans put against him. >> so their poll numbers are still current under the water on all of this. good to see you, jon. and there is word tonight from north carolina that evangelist billy graham is in the hospital. graham is 92 years old. he was admitted today near his home in asheville. his doctors say early tests point to pneumonia and that he's been given antibiotics. they say he's resting comfortably and he is fully alert. and still ahead on "world
news" -- a young boy accused of shooting his white supremacist father lifts a veil on a secret world of american nazis. and tiny cameras in the school cafeteria, counting every calorie your child eats. is that going too far? and one mother pulls off the surprise of a lifetime three times. [ male announcer ] it's 2011. 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.
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advair helps prevent symptoms. tonight, a family tragedy in california is exposing the world of neo-nazis across america, opening a door on to white supremacists living in the suburbs. a 10-year-old boy in riverside, california, is accused of shooting and killing his father, an outspoken racist and leader of the neo-nazi movement. bent on indoctrinating his young son. what happened? here's david muir. >> reporter: jeff hall is the man behind the megaphone, the head of the southern california chapter of the international socialist movement, the largest nazi party that remains in this country, he wanted a white society. often arming himself with guns and night-vision goggles to patrol the mexican border. his trademark, a skull on the back of his head, and his trademark message, too.
>> it's our voice. the whites have a voice as well. >> reporter: authorities believe his voice was silenced by his own 10-year-old son. the boy reportedly stood at the bottom of the living room stairs and allegedly shot his father as he lay on the couch. journalist jesse mckinley had been documenting the father's activism for months. >> he was proud of the fact that he was able to teach his kid to use night vision goggles. and also how to shoot a gun. >> reporter: mckinley said the boy showed no outward anger, that he seemed to love his father. >> it goes without saying, the ideas, the rage that is expressed by the parents and families like this to people who are not personally known to the children is difficult to process for the kids. >> reporter: jeff hall's followers would rally and often rumble with counterprotesters. his most recent protest was two months ago telling reporters this. >> i identify with my culture.
i'm proud to be white. you see t-shirts, brown pride, hispanic pride. black pride. if you see a white male wearing a white pride t-shirt, then it's offensive. >> reporter: hall was part of a group of hundreds across 32 states now have this memorial for him. ♪ >> reporter: jeff hall predicted it was his activism that would lead to his death. a surveillance camera on the lookout for strangers. outsiders who might go after him. in the end, police believe it was his 10-year-old boy who would prove his father wrong. david muir, abc news. coming up on "world news" -- calorie cameras in the cafeteria. catching what children eat and what they don't. cafeteria. catching what children eat and what they don't. it'll hold your plants but it'll also hold 'em back. the solution: miracle-gro garden soil. the perfect mix of rich, organic ingredients, and miracle-gro plant food. just mix it in. and turn bad soil into great soil. helps plants grow twice as big.
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you inspired a very special dog food. [ female announcer ] chef michael's canine creations. chef inspired. dog desired. now, a new strategy in the battle against childhood obesity. 17% of children and adolescents in this country are considered obese. and that's three times the weight of just a generation ago. well, today, several schools began a new kind of candid camera experiment. but as dan harris reports, some people are already asking if this just goes too far. >> reporter: it's a regular lunchtime at w.w. white elementary school in san antonio, texas. but today, there's a tiny camera snapping shots of the students' trays on the food line and then again, when they throw their leftovers away. the pictures are immediately analyzed with technology so advanced they can recognize a half-eaten apple. the calories consumed are
tabulated on the spot. >> they show whether you're healthy or not. >> they try to get you healthy and a better body and stuff. >> reporter: it's part of a $2 million federally funded pilot program to show which anti-obesity initiatives are working and to open the eyes of parents. >> this feedback is for parents so they can help us raise healthier children. >> reporter: if you are into counting your own calories, there is, of course, an app for that, it's called meal snap. we decided to take this thing out to a test drive here to one of my favorite burger joints in the universe. we'll see if the app calculates it correctly. can i have a cheeseburger. it's impressive. the app correctly recognized each of the food items. it estimated, however, that the total calories were between 900, and 1300. the real number, 1500. but is this going a bit too far, especially in our schools. sarah palin for one thinks yes. >> i brought dozens and dozens
of students for students. >> reporter: she brought cookies for students in pennsylvania saying all of these anti-obesity campaigns are nanny-state overreach. they say what kids eat is up to parents, but they say a little visual nudge can't hurt. dan harris, new york. >> you have to see this video, while dan was there on the park. did you see him on the park bench? a persistent squirrel started fighting him for camera time and food. you can see the show. look who won at abcnews.com/world news. the squirrel, by the way, wants the burger. and now, the newest, fastest trains in the world that go 230 miles per hour started the final test runs in china. six months after we gave you a sneak preview, the trains run between beijing and shanghai. you'll remember, david muir rode one of these rockets back in november. the regular runs will begin next month in china. and when we return, one family sharing a triple, joyful
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and finally tonight, one mother, three wishes granted. mother's day came a couple days late for a family in san diego. but a military mom found an unforgettable way to make the long miles and months spent apart melt away. and david wright has the story. >> reporter: after 13 months in afghanistan, that classic scene at the airport was just the start of lieutenant tanya zinn's homecoming. she got to come home two weeks early, so she quietly arranged for her mom and dad to pick her
up. so she could surprise her three kids at school. first stop, san marcos middle school where her 12-year-old son travis was told to report to the principal's office. no explanation. travis thought he was in trouble. >> you okay? >> reporter: instead, he got to go home early. next stop, twin oaks elementary, where 11-year-old james got a special classroom visitor. >> hey, baby. >> reporter: for centuries mothers have hugged their sons home from war. in our time, sons have to wait for their moms for this. daughters, too. katrina is the oldest of the three. she's 16. finally, after 13 months at war, this family is complete.
>> ready, one, two, three -- team! >> reporter: no more fatigues. her stealth mission was a huge success. >> it definitely is what kept me going. it's the only thing throughout my year that got me emotional was thinking about the reunion and the surprise, if i could pull it off. >> reporter: home at last. david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> and home permanently, stationed in san diego. and we thank you for watching. we're always on at abcnews.com. and don't forget "nightline" later on tonight. we'll see you back in new york city >> a confrontitation with a drug suspect take ace violent turn caught on camera. new trouble for the san francisco police. >> only on 7 a new twist in an old police scandal. the judge looks at a lawsuit against two suspected dirty cops. >> hundreds of east bay
students ditch classes to join a week of action staged by school teachers around the state. >> and return to the scene of one of the worst environmental disasters in california's state history. >> good evening, a legal victory for the family of a antioch man killed in a police drug raid. >> they continue to move forward with a suit against two officers in the scandal. >> the surprise ruling from a federal judge. we have the exclusive report in antioch. >> the judge said there was not enough evidence to prove that timothy mitchell was wrongfully killed when the police raided the apartment. the two officers were caught nup a growing scandal and now mitchell's family wondered what happened in the apartment. three years ago a special team of narcotics o
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