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tv   ABC World News With David Muir  ABC  May 29, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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services inc. tonight on "world news," the heroes all around us. the president in joplin, missouri, speaking about the people who answered the call after that tornado. as our team witnesses a remarkable reunion. the doctor and the victim he saved, meeting again. and tonight, that hospital destroyed before and the new hospital after. revved up. but running? sarah palin on a harley today. but is this just another photo op? another donald trump on the stump? boy or girl? the parents aren't saying tonight. they want the child to decide. the gender experiment causing so much outrage. father and son. the soldier accused of revealing so many military secrets, some say betraying america. tonight, his father speaks out with surprising words. it's an abc news exclusive. and, a dog's life. the puppy, the proud parent, and the pictures. just 40 seconds, and he's all grown up.
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and good evening on this sunday night. a moment of silence in joplin, missouri, this evening, marking the moment one week ago when the deadliest twister since the 1950s touched down in that small city. and when we landed there to cover it just a week ago, these are the images i took with my blackberry. the snapped trees, the homes destroyed as far as you can see. there, the truck flipped over. the trees with the bark peeled right off of them. and the homes. this one, one of the few with any walls still standing. tonight, one week later, president obama was in joplin with a message about the strength of the people there, saying there are heroes all around us. matt gutman leads us off in joplin tonight. matt, good evening. >> reporter: hey, good evening, david. you'll find a lot of those heroes here at the new st. john's hospital. now, you visited the brick and mortar version across the street, that shell of a
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building. this place is now operational and it speaks to the resilience of these people. but all around, 13 miles of devastation, and that's what the president saw today. block after block after block. this is what the president saw on his drive in. disorienting sea of shattered homes and splintered trees. the street signs, the landmarks, gone. the president assured the victims of this tornado the whole country is with them. >> this is just not your tragedy. this is a national tragedy. and that means there will be a national response. >> reporter: and later on at joplin's community memorial, the president reminded us that -- >> there are heroes all around us. all the time. they walk by us on the sidewalk and they sit next to us in class. >> reporter: and while the president likely saw the skeleton of st. john's hospital, those ghostly curtains billowing, he didn't see this. the new hospital. just plastic and canvas now, but brimming with heroes.
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jill howard started running when she saw her hero. >> hi, dear. how you doing? >> reporter: e.r. doctor, dave. in the chaos after the tornado and with a gash in her leg, she said she finally felt safe when she found him. >> your eye? >> oh, it's fine. >> reporter: it was a black eye from flying debris. >> don't worry about me. get that dressed up for you. >> reporter: and this week, david met another doctor, who clutched a railing in a st. john's hospital stairwell to survive the tornado. he lost his intensive care unit. he lost his home. now living in a shelter with his family, but treating patients there, also. >> take your medicine this morning? you survived, you're alive, and that's the main thing. everything is going to be okay. we'll be back. >> you have shown the world what it means to love thy neighbor. >> reporter: the doctors, patients and volunteers here showing the resilience of this town. and that buildings aren't the only thing that make a community. and speaking of community, you may see the folks behind me.
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we have seen so many tearful embraces here today, david. and also, tremendous collaborative work. they put this tent city up in just a couple of days. a helipad in 48 hours and just moments ago, david, the first surgery here at this hospital. >> really something to see the doctors reunited with the people they saved. matt gutman, thank you. and we are mindful this evening of another city still recovering. look at these images tonight. this is tuscaloosa, alabama, where 7,000 homes were destroyed in a matter of minutes, just a month ago, by a deadly twister there. president obama told the people of tuscaloosa, we're going to make sure you're not forgotten. and so, one month later, we've gone back. and steve osunsami is there tonight. >> reporter: there are no children playing in these residential streets. the city looks like it did a month ago. >> america definitely should not forget about us. the people in this area are going to be needing help for so long. >> reporter: the mayor told us it's taken this long just to move the debris off the roads. >> you just can't change this overnight. even though the damage that was sustained in tuscaloosa took six minutes.
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it's probably going to take us six years to fully recover. >> reporter: families here tell us it's disheartening and depressing to pass by the piles of rubble every day that don't move. there's still the smell of snapped pine trees in the air. the smell of fiberglass, the metal, it's all still here. nearly 100 families are still living at the last open shelter. they have nowhere to go, and the shelter will close next week. >> where will i go? sleep in the car? my family's house? i don't know. >> reporter: when does this change? >> it may take years or months. >> reporter: 69-year-old shirley billingsley and her family worry they'll have to sleep outside their broken home. >> this wall fell off right here. >> reporter: they want the federal government to bring them trailers or allow them to spend their emergency money on hotels or housing. >> obama came here and he said, we're going to help everybody. that's a lie. tell obama shirley said that and she lives in tuscaloosa,
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alabama. >> reporter: willie and danielle are doing much better than most of their neighbors. they had good insurance, and the bulldozers come next week. this was their last look at the house. they came looking for missing pictures of their baby girl. and they found them. we want you to tell us who it is. can you do that? >> me. >> reporter: that's you? they told us they had a message for tornado victims in joplin and in oklahoma. a month from now, you will not be healed but you will be healing. steve osunsami, abc news, tuscaloosa, alabama. >> great to see her smile. so much of this country still recovering. we do move on tonight, and to politics. and there was quite a scene in washington today. sarah palin surrounded by cameras, climbing onto a harley to launch the first leg of a trip that looks like a campaign but looks, as we learned from donald trump, can be deceiving. why campaign if you're not running? here's david kerley now. >> reporter: dressed head to toe in black, sarah palin started her bus tour on the back of a
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motorcycle, arriving uninvited at the rolling thunder memorial, which honors p.o.w.s and grabbing much of the media attention. >> freedom is a god-given right. >> reporter: palin used a slick video to announce her bus tour which reportly will take her up the east coast to the first primary state of new hampshire. so, is this a launch of a presidential campaign? or a publicity tour? what does the bus tour indicate, governor? >> it indicates a desire on our part to get across america and remind others about our foundation, how important it is to respect and protect our constitution. >> reporter: but there's no published schedule, no advance teams -- >> you hang in there. >> reporter: even republican leaders were in the dark in the states she may travel through. political professionals are left wondering if palin is serious about running. >> these are the boxes you have to check. she's not checked any of them and yet still she has this hard core base of supporters who would seem willing to follow her no matter where she goes. >> reporter: it's frustrating for candidates who are running. tim pawlenty spoke to abc's
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christiane amanpour. >> even now, only about 50% of the republicans nationally even know my name. >> reporter: republicans watched another potential candidate, donald trump, test the waters in what may have been an effort to get publicity. more than 40% of republicans are not happy with their field, leading others to dip a toe in the nomination waters. this weekend, rudy giuliani is going to new hampshire for a fund-raiser. former new york governor george pataki is now considering jumping in. and texas governor rick perry? >> i'm going to think about it. >> reporter: now, we asked sarah palin, when are we going to see the bus? she said, tomorrow in washington, d.c. where does it stop next? her people wouldn't say. david, she was asked directly, are you running for president? the answer? don't know. david? >> all right, david kerley in washington tonight, thank you. we're going to move to afghanistan, where tonight, president karzai says he's delivering his final warning to the u.s. after a u.s. air strike accidentally killed more than a dozen mothers and children. nick schifrin, who has spent
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years covering this region, has the fallout for us tonight. >> reporter: in rural afghanistan, a father grieves his dead children and his village suffers from a u.s. mistake. the u.s. says the target was a house the taliban took over but admits by the time the bomb dropped, the house was filled with women and a handful of children. the u.s. apologized today as the village mourned its dead. "the u.s. and the taliban were fighting only 1,000 feet from my home," he says. "in all, three houses were bombed." the strike occurred in helmand, where more u.s. troops die than any other province. the u.s. fights back with the help of air strikes. but afghan officials complain bitterly that some of those strikes miss their targets and kill civilians. civilians are killed by both sides in this war. 2,700 died last year. mostly from taliban bombs. in village after village i've walked through, most afghans say the taliban is their enemy.
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but they warn they'll turn against the u.s. if mistakes like today's keep occurring. >> and nick schifrin joins us here at the desk in new york. and nick, you've been to so many towns and villages after incidents like this one. so hard to win the people back. >> reporter: david, this is a region where the local culture demands that people take revenge after an incident like this. even if these people were for the u.s. and against the taliban before this incident, this incident will mean that they'll take revenge against the u.s. and fight u.s. troops. and that goes to show just how fragile some of the progress the u.s. is trying to make in this region is. >> nick schifrin here with us in new york. nick, safe trip back. we're going to move now to the army private accused of leaking a mountain of military secrets, wikileaks then publishing the documents. and since bradley manning's arrest, his father has struggled to understand why his son may have done this. that father is now speaking out for the first time and to our dan harris. >> reporter: what is it like to be the father of a young man accused of betraying america? many americans have seen your
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son's picture but i don't think we know much about him as a person. can you just describe him for me? >> he was always very energetic. he was just very normal kid. >> reporter: what was your reaction when you heard he had been arrested? >> i was shocked. >> reporter: in a new pbs "frontline" documentary, bradley manning's father, brian, speaks for the first time. he also agreed to talk to us, saying, he still has not had a chance to ask his son directly if he did it. when you're able to say to your son, is it true, did you do it, if he says, dad, it's true, i did it, what would you say back? >> i would say, you stupid idiot. why would you do something like that? probably more words after that. i'd be openly embarrassed at the way i've been holding up thinking he's innocent, you know? and embarrassed of the fact that he had done such a thing. it's embarrassing to me.
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>> reporter: "frontline" obtained bradley manning's facebook page, in which he talks openly about being gay, about opposing don't ask, don't tell, and about his feelings of loneliness and isolation in the army. manning's superiors almost didn't send him to iraq because he was considered emotionally unstable, but yet he somehow ended up working in a top secret facility. if he did it, can you imagine what reasons he would have for doing something like this? >> the only other reason i could see this happening is him being cocky and being tech savvy and, you know, just say, hey, i can get at all this crap. send it out to wikileaks. or brag in a text to somebody else. >> reporter: it's been reported that bradley manning and his father had a poor relationship, but his father denies that. as bradley manning awaits trial, his dad tells us that sometimes, when people ask him if he is related to bradley manning, he denies it. as you look forward to all the
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potential twists and turns that await your son, what scares you the most? >> that he's guilty. >> reporter: dan harris, abc news, new york. >> our thanks to dan tonight. it was last night here we reported on that harrowing landing of the delta jet in atlanta, the tire blowing, the landing gear catching fire. the flight was coming in from pittsburgh when that tire blew as it touched down, causing the brakes to overheat. four people suffered minor injuries and the faa is still looking into the age and the condition of that tire and the landing gear that caught fire. and still ahead as we continue on "world news" this sunday night, the debate so many of you have already weighed in on at our website. is this baby a boy or a girl? and why the parents are determined to keep it a mystery. then later here, a dog's life. the images getting so much attention this evening, as he grows up, right before our eyes. and, later tonight, on this memorial day weekend, one woman and her quiet mission to help the children who are woken in the middle of the night. [ male announcer ] this is charlie whose morning flight
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we're going to turn now to a controversial decision by a mother and father to allow their baby to choose his or her own identity. the couple won't say whether their new child is a boy or a girl. and they say with good reason. but so many others are not convinced of this. and here's linsey davis. >> reporter: a blond hair, blue eyed 5-month-old baby named storm. we know all the basics about this baby, except whether it's a boy or a girl. the canadian couple decided not to share storm's sex because they want to allow the baby to develop without the constraints of gender stereotypes. it's being kept so under wraps not even the grandparents know if they have a granddaughter or grandson. and ever since they said the gender of their baby is none of the world's business, suddenly, the world not only wants to know but feels entitled to criticize their parenting style.
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>> i think it causes a lot of confusion, don't you think, for the child? >> reporter: baby storm has caused a blizzard of criticism on the internet. bloggers are saying things like, "our kids are now science experiments? sad." and "another example of where the world is heading. absolute stupidity." but kathy, storm's mother, is defending the decision. in a letter to abc news, she said, "the strong, lightning fast response was a shock" and "storm will need to understand his/her own sex and gender to navigate this world. the outcry has confirmed it." sheryl experienced a similar backlash earlier this year, after allowing her 5-year-old son to dress up like a princess for a preschool halloween party. but the big difference in that case, her son made the decision. storm didn't choose to be genderless. >> the parents are making huge decisions for this child that can cause it to be ostracized, it can cause it to feel humiliated. to cause it to feel a lot of doubt and uncertainty about who it is.
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>> reporter: this concept dates back to the '70s when "x: a fabulous child story," appeared in "ms. magazine." it's a fictional story about a baby who is raised not as a girl or boy but as an x. the parents decide not to tell anyone if x is a boy or girl. sound familiar? >> and linsey is with us now. you were telling me earlier that this is not the first couple to have done this? >> reporter: there's a couple in sweden who two years ago got a lot of publicity for the same thing with a child named pop. it's bake si lick the same premise. they don't want society to assign a gender, they want their child to have the freedom to choose. >> it's a couple years later, do we know yet? >> reporter: we don't know pop's gender yet. >> linsey davis, thank you. and when we come back here on the broadcast tonight, the puppy who grows up right before our eyes, in 40 seconds, in fact. she needs help from me. and her medication. the exelon patch -- it releases medication continuously
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the cemetery banned the flags, saying they got in the way of groundskeeping. monty's parents worked for years to change the policy so flags could be planted on his and the other graves there. an agonizing defeat at the indy 500 late today for driver j.r. hildebrand. he was just one turn away from winning his first indy 500 when he crashed into a wall. the 2005 winner, dan wheldon, sped past him to take the title. hildebrand said it was a driving mistake, saying, "i guess that's why rookies don't win the indy 500 a whole lot." and, you know the expression parents say, they grow up so fast? but not quite this fast. watch this tonight. a puppy grows up right before our eyes. the video has become an internet sensation. she's a german shepherd named dunder. the owners took his picture every day in the same spot, putting together a full year's growth in less than a minute. 42 seconds, in fact. more than 2 million people have now watched dunder grow up online. and when we come back here on the broadcast tonight, an extraordinary gift, reminding us of what memorial day is truly about.
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and finally tonight on this memorial day weekend, we learned of a tiny gift from a woman with one giant heart. she has not forgotten the children who have lost a mother or father to war. reminding us all what this holiday is truly about. this weekend, another tearful return home. soldiers from the battlefield, brought back to dover air force base in delaware. and quietly behind the scenes, a woman determined not to forget not only those soldiers, but their children. the ones left behind. now, 4,300 young faces who have lost parents in iraq and afghanistan. those children often woken in the middle of the night and brought to the base from all over the country as their mother or father is brought home.
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marsha volunteers to watch over them. >> a lot of times when we go on the tarmac, the children are young, it could be all hours of the day and night. 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 in the morning is not unusual. >> reporter: she had an idea. >> my idea was to give them something to hold onto, because many times they've never brought any stuffed animal with them. they left home so quickly. >> reporter: after losing her own husband in korea, she was determined to help other families. her gift? giving those children something to hold onto. sewing tiny teddy bears herself. and delivering them. >> a little security. because they think of what they have back home again and it reminds them that if they don't have this exact bear, they must have a bear. it's an american tradition to have a teddy bear. >> reporter: some of her bears delivered just today. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: she knows inside the children are hurting. >> they need to have something of their own to hold onto. >> reporter: the tiny gift from a woman who hasn't forgotten the
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children and their parents sacrifice this memorial day. extraordinary. and we're going to leave you tonight with this image. a boy scout at ft. bliss cemetery in el paso, texas. after placing that flag, he told his father, "let's go honor more soldiers, dad." good night.
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>> alan: police are searching for this woman tonight. last seen friday night leaving a class in hayward. her name is million le. he car was found but no sign of her today. police are hoping someone has seen her. lillian kim talked to police just a short while ago and joins us with more. >> reporter: as many as seven police officers are working on this missing persons case. they say they are determined to find out what happens to michelle le. le is 26 years old, 5'6", and weighs 120 pounds. she is from sack -- san ma -- san mateo. she is a nursing student. during her break at 7:00 p.m. she told others she need


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