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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  September 8, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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i one morning woke up clutching my chest and thought what is that? and i said... the voice inside me said that is fear. >> and a lot of stress, too. we miss you, oprah. she took part in a lightning round of questions and answers and her favorite thing is her panini maker and prefers tequila to wi this is "world news." and tonight, terror alert. breaking news a credible and specific threat against the homeland. washington, d.c. and new york targeted by at least three people looking to use vehicles as bombs. call to action. the president makes his case to the country. how he plans to create jobs right now. and why the man who created starbucks says, don't wait for the government. weigh loss wonder. the one diet program scientists say tops even a doctor's advice.
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helping you shed twice as many pounds. and dear dad. a son's letter to the father he just missed meeting. born 26 days after his dad died on 9/11. good evening. and let's get right to that breaking news. just three days before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, intelligence officials have identified the first specific and credible threat connected to that commemoration. it's still unconfirmed but the president has been briefed. the leaears of congress, too. and we do know from the raid on his compound that osama bin laden had hoped to launch an attack to mark the day. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross and senior justice correspondent pierre thomas all over the story. brian, information that just came i i the last several hours
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tracking three individuals that entered the united states? >> reporter: that's right. intelligence information is three individuals, perhaps two with u.s. papers, passports or visas of some sort, came to the u.s. in mid-august. we believe they transitted through dubai. members of congress told that the fbi has the names of the individuals but not there whereabouts. they are now searching nationwide for these individuals. >> and they wanted to launch a truck bomb attack on washington or new york and some trucks are missing. >> reporter: some trucks are missing. they discounted a report of two trucks stolen in kansas city but they are searching nationwide now for reports of trucks that might have been rented and are overdue or have been stolen. they're looking everywhere, high and low. this is considered very serious. >> and so much of the concern coming into the anniversary had been over a lone wolf attack, starting here in the united states. but this is different. this is from overseas and it appears to be coordinated. >> reporter: this is definitely different.
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considered to be part of al qaeda central what they call the main part of al qaeda, it's believed the individuals may have come from either pakistan or afghanistan, onheir way here, perhaps to carry out what bin laden hoped would be a grand show for al qaeda on ooept sept 11th. >> let me bring in pierre thomas. what are officials doing right now? >> reporter: the fbi is planning to send out an urgent bulletin to 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country to make them aware of the plot and to get their help. they want to get any information that might match the information that came from overseas. and right now, the fbi and cia and intelligence community are scrambling to match that information against the traveling information coming into the united states for the last month or so. as brian noted, people that came recently into the country is trying to be matched with the information about this threat. and i'm told there's going to be a great show of force, a police
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present in washington and new york tomorrow. basically a surge of police activity to thwart any potential attack and scare them away if there is such a plot. >> okay, pierre, brian, thank you so much. we'll have much more on as this story develops. now word of a massive power outage across southern california stretching from san diego all the way to yuma, arizona. abc's david wright is in los angeles with the latest. david, the cause is unknown, but what has been found out so far? >> reporter: well, so far, the investigation, san diego power officials say there is no indication whatsoever that this was caused by an act of terrorism. they say the most l lely explanation is the line from arizona to california for reasons unknown, has been knocked out. but that's been a major disruption to power across this region. it covers a huge area. all of san diego county, parts of orange county, inland to palm springs and the arizona border
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and south into mexico, tee yan that and baja, california. the specific cause, still unknown, but 1.4 million customers affected, currently without power. and san diego officials say the out age could last well into tomorrow. as you can imagine, this is causing a major disruption in california's third biggest city, businesses closed, traffic at a standstill. public transportation, the trolley system is out, as well. san diego international airport is operating on generators. all outbound flights have been grounded. george? >> david w wght, thank you. we're going to turn now to the president's big job speech before a joint session of congress, his fifth speech before a joint session. he made the case for the american jobs act, something he hopes will jolt job creation and solve a problem that has haunted his presidency. abc's jake tapper has the details. jake? >> reporter: george, 16 times tonight, president obama called on congress to pass the $447
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billion plan that he outlined this evening and will formally introduce next week. president obama has high stakes with this. he seems haunted by high unemployment and, of course, his popularity is at an all-time low. president obama unveiled h h plan -- >> thihiis the american jobs act. >> reporter: and challenged the members of congress. >> the question is whether in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy. >> reporter: the biggest items in his proposal, $175 billion to extend and deepen the payroll tax cut reduction for working families. >> the typical working family will get a $1,500 tax cut next year. $1,500, that would have been taken out of your pocket, and it will go into your pocket. >> reporter: plus, a proposed $70 billion to cut employer payroll tax in half and eliminate them in 2012 for new
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jobs and higher wages. the president said republicans had supported and proposed many of the items he was proposing, including extending and reforming unemployment insurance, building off some state programs that provide worker retraining for the unemployed. >> this plan builds on a program in georgia that several republican leaders have highlighted, where people participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a perm innocent job. >> reporter: the president also proposed $140 billion to help keep 280,000 teachers on the job, as well as firemen and police officers. and to build infrastructure. >> we can put people to work rebuilding america. everyone here knows s have badly decaying roads and bridges all over the country. our highways are clogged with traffic. our skies are the most congested in the world. >> reporter: some economists are bullish on the plan. mark zandi says he expects it to
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add 2 percentage points to gdp and 1.9 million payroll jobs and reduce unemploymymt by a percentage point. but diane swank says the problem is on the consumer end. >> employers have a lot of cash on their sheets. they have money to hire. they just don't have the incentive. >> reporter: george, the president said the plan would be 100% pay for but did not detail how. that will come later t ts month when he gives a speech and presents plans for deficit reduction, george. >> and jake, i know the white house is hoping this is going to put a lot of pressure on congress, especially on that payroll tax cut. any indications, early indications whether they might? >> reporter: some very conciliatory remarks, friendly remarks from republican leaders in congress and very harsh remarks from republican presidential candidates indicating that there is going to be a lot of politics at play here. >> no question about that. jake tapper, thank you. but now to one american businessman who is not waiting for the president or congress to act. howard schultz revolutionized how so many get our coffee, turning starbucks into a global
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brand. he's created a lot of jobs along the way, too. he told "nightline" anchor terry moran his new plan to do even more. >> reporter: like so many americans, howard schultz is fed up with the mess in washington. >> there's such a disconnect between what's going on there and what the needs of the people are. and it's an emergency. it's no longer a crisis. it's an emergency. >> reporter: so, schultz is trying to do something about it. over the past few weeks, in newspaper ads, in an online campaign and in an extraordinary national conference call tuesday night, that 130,000 people joined -- >> unemployment has to be the number one issue. >> reporter: the starbucks chief is trying to rally the business community, starbucks customers and others behind a few big ideas. first, he's calling for a moratorium on giving money to politicians of both parties until they start acting responsibly and reach a deal on the national debt. so far, 140 ceos and thousands of citizens have signed the pledge to cut off the
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politicians' money. >> you took an oath of office, all of you, to represent america. not ideology, not one con stitch wh constituency over another. we have serious problems right now. can't you leave that outside and come into that room and solve america's problems? >> reporter: second, schultz believes it's time for business executives themselves to take the initiative and just start hiring workers, without waiting for washington. >> business leaders are going to have to galvanize their own constituencies and do everything they can to demonstrate confidence in the economy and i think that can be contagious. >> reporter: for this billionaire, it's personal. he grew up in federally subsidized public housing in brooklyn. he knows what hard times are. knows those unemployment numbers aren't statistics, they're families like his. >> i am the poster child for the american dream. and maybe i have license to ask the queseson, aren't we better than this? >> reporter: starbucking
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america. it just might work. terry moran, abc news, new york. >> let's hope so. now to the massive evacuations under way in the east. more than 100,000 wet and weary residents out of their homes. the remnants of tropical tomorrow lee unleashed torrents of new rains, soaking homes, washing out roads, sending rivers over their banks for the second time in less than two weeks. the flood zone stretches from virginia to vermont and abc's linsey davis is in one of the hardest hit cities, wilkes barre, pennsylvania. linsey? >> reporter: good evening, george. this street is aptly named water street. initially, the mandatory evacuation was for 8:00 p.m. but as the river started to surge much faster than expected, they moved that order up by four hours and you can clearly see why. with waters rising by the minute, half of wilkes barre was racing to find higher ground. how fast did this water come in
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your backyard? >> this came to this section in about 15 minutes. >> reporter: matthew crake is grabbing what he can before the susquehanna invades his home. >> you can't stop it. there's really nothing you can do. >> reporter: the raging river has chased out more than 75,000 people. about one-third of the entire county. so, is this the first time you've been evacuated? >> we've been asked, probably about our third time. this is the first time it was mandatory. >> reporter: in much of the drenched northeast, still reeling from hurricane irene, there is no rest for the weary. philadelphia's already received its annual amount of rainfall in just over a month. 41 inches, leaving residents under water and overwhelmed. >> there was a car that had floated up onto my porch and about four foot of water beside the house. >> reporter: in binghamton, new york, the torrential rain sent river over retaining walls. more than 11 feet above flood stage, breaking a record. another wall of water washed over this football field and
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everything else in its path. at least four deaths have been attributed to flooding in pennsylvania, and rescues are ongoing. >> get you right over to the ambulance so you can sit down. >> reporter: the flood waters rose so fast at this zoo in hershey, pennsylvania, two bison had to be put down when they couldn't be rescued and started to drown. and as the waters rise, for many people, the thought of another unfolding disaster is too much to bear. >> this is like the fifth one that i had to live through and i can't take it no more. i have to go. reporter: evacuees were advised to take 72 hours worth of clothing and supplies. but with many of the bridges and roads flooded as severely as this, it could be even longer before they are able to get back to their homes and assess the damage. george? >> boy, what a month it has been in the northeast. linsey, thank you. still ahead on "world news," the secret to shedding pounds. scientists say they found the single b bt diet program.
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and one little boy's valentine to the fatherr he nevr met. a lesson in hope and renewal from a child of 9/11. copd makes it hard to breathe, so i wasn't playing much of a role in my own life, but with advair, i'm breathing better so now i can take the lead on a science adventure.
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now to our "healthy living" series, where we report on the best ways to help you and your family make smart health decisions. and there is news tonight for
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the two-thirds of americans who are overweight or obese. a top medical journal found one of the best known diets in the country is popular for a reason. it is the best. abc's andrea canning has the story. >> reporter: becky marine once looked like this. she tried everything from the atkins diet to rigorous exercise. >> i felt embarrassed and ashamed. >> reporter: but it wasn't until she turned to weight watchers that she dropped 104 pounds. >> it's not a dramatic crazy scheme. it's an intelligent way of eating and living. >> reporter: and science is backing that up. researchers followed over 700 overweight adults for a year, all trying to lose weight. half worked with their doctors to shed the pounds, the other half were put on weight watchers. those under a doctor's care lost an average of five pounds. the weight watchers members lost more than double that amount. the weight loss program is famous for its system of assigning points to snacks and meals. so dieters can keep a running
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tab on what they're eating. that, combined with weekly weigh-ins and support groups, is proving effective. >> the support works. because we've had diets for eons, all types of diets. i don't think it's about the diet as much as it is about all the support that the dieter is getting. >> reporter: weight watchers also came out on top when a u.s. news and world report panel of experts sized up commercial diets. joining the program costs around $40 a month. an inexpensive alternative, keep your own food journal, counting up those calories. that's how randy and suzie stanberry collectively lost over 250 pounds. this little book really changed your life. more than just a book. >> yeah, it's a way of life. >> this is almost like a little miracle book. >> reportete a feeling that comes from finally finding a diet that's proving to work. andrea canning, abc news, new york. and when we come back, back to the future. remember that shoe?
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and pay for them over time. and we learned today that google has gobbled up one of america's best-known restaurant reviewers. google is buying zagat. whose website and restaurant guidebooks feature customer reviews on food, service and decor. we don't know yet what google paid for zagat. and it's back to the future for nike. today, the sneaker company announced it is going to make a shoe based on the famous pair in the 1989 movie "back to the future ii," worn by michael j. fox's character marty mcfly. >> power laces, all right. >> reporter: well, maybe not power laces, but they will glow. nike will auction a limited edition of 1,500 pairs and donate the money to fox's foundation for research into parkinson's disease. and when we come back, a son's letter to the father he never met. words of hope and renewal in the wake of 9/11. means i stay up all night. good mornings? not likely! i've tried the pills, the sprays
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and finally tonight, as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we remember that day, reflect on
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how we've changed and how we haven't. and most of all, think of those most touched by the violence. one of them, a young boy. not even born when the planes hit. as "nightline" anchor bill weir discovered, that boy's spirit shows how the human heart can absence of a father he never met. >> reporter: when he wasn't leading comebacks as quarterback of "the bravest," pat lyons was part of f elite unit sent to rescue other firefighters and it was a mayday call that sent him racing into the north tower. as it fell, his wife got the worst news of her life. >> and i don't know if it was because i was pregnant, or in shock, but i dropped the phone and i just went hysterical crying. >> reporter: a few weeks later, she gave birth to their first child, a boy named for the father he'd never meet. and if you ever wonder how family like this can survive such loss, just listen to this. >> dear dad, i just missed meeting you. you died on september 11th,
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2001, and i was born 26 days later on october 7th. >> smart child. >> i want you to know that mommy is doing a great job of loving me and raising me in a happy home. every september 11th we go to your firehouse, squad 252, for a mass. we get to eat lots of donuts and see the fire truck. i see it every year and every year, i think it's so cool. i think it is really cool that you were such a brave firefighter and that you died saving lots of people's lives. i feel so proud of you. as i get older, everyone says i walk like you, run like you and have your crazy sense of humor, too. i play flag football in the same league as you and in the same position as you, quarterback. i really like it when people compare me to you. mommy got married again and i have a dad, a brother and a sister.
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my dad plays sports with me and teaches me how to do things. i really love him. i know that you are in heaven and you are always watching over me. i love knowing that you are a hero. i wish i could have met you. >> reporter: the first time patrick was in a church full of fireman, he was a baby at his dad's funeral. seen here in nfl film's "the bravest." >> dear family and friends, may i introduce you to the new love of my life, patrick matt lyons. >> reporter: saturday, he'll read that letter at the fifiman's mass at st. patrick's cathedral. proof that it is possible to never forget as life goes on. bill weir, abc news, new york. >> and you have to believe his father would be so proud. you can see more on patrick jr.'s story tonight on "nightline." for diane sawyer and all of us at abc news, good night.
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no justice no, bart. police protesters stage a demonstration shutting down san francisco bart stations. >> fbi descends on a bankrupt solydra plant. why they want to put the company ceo on the hot seat. >> and tonight how the suspect's pregnancy could play into the defense. >> the san francisco flight attendant who has become one of the unsung heroes of september 11th. >> good evening, everyone. i'm carolyn johnson. >> and the powell street bart station is closed right now. >> police shut down that station about half an hour after the protests began by the group no justice no, bart. this time, the targ yilt was the powell street station. police kicked out repor


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