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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  January 5, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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dragon. >> that is going to do it for us. >> from all of us here, thanks for watching. we'll see you again at 6:00. welcome to "world news." tonight, under attack. another deadly attack on police by a criminal with a high powered weapon. a call to action from police tonight, saying they can no longer fight this with this. facing reality. the president announces huge cuts at the defense department. can america ever fight two wars again? america upside down. 583 heat records in the last five days. shorts in ski towns? what's behind the weird weather tonight? healthy living. good news that one of the most dreaded diseases can be stopped in its tracks. and soul mate. new real evidence tonight that your dog is reading your thoughts, just by looking into your eyes.
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good evening. the people who are sworn to defend all of us in communities across this country are asking for help tonight in protecting their lives. criminals are now using high powered guns to mow down police at a staggering rate. the number of police killed by gunfire has risen 20% in the past year. and just last night, one gunman took down six officers, one shot dead, five others fighting for their lives at this moment. and today, police told abc's senior justice department correspondent pierre thomas that it is time to say "enough." >> reporter: it was a routine drug investigation last night in utah. police officers descended on a home. they were met with a hail of gun fire. >> we heard the multiple gunshots going off. sounded like ak-47. >> reporter: six officers hit. seven-year police veteran, jared francom -- married with two
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children -- was killed. >> agent francom was one of the -- more experienced agents in our unit. and -- he will be sorely missed. >> reporter: the dreaded words "officer down" being heard all too often. the number of police officers being shot and killed in the line of duty is spiking. in fact, there have been six fatal police shootings in just the last seven days. >> i can't think of anything that really shows more disrespect toward society in general than the killing of a uniformed police officer. >> reporter: why the jump? police say they are losing the arms race, often facing criminals with assault rifles that can be bought virtually at any gun store, online or through a vast black market. >> the officers aren't as well armed, in some cases, as the criminals they're going up against. >> reporter: firing the weapons, you can see the difference. this handgun is the type of weapon patrolmen usually carry on the beat. this ak-47 assault-style rifle
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is showing up in the hands of criminals. no match. and police say they are encountering more career criminals who would rather shoot it out with officers than go back to jail to face the longer sentences handed out to repeat offenders. >> we have a much more disparate, cold-blooded, brazen criminal on the streets of america. >> reporter: the suspect was identified as matthew stewart, whose father says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. tonight, in utah, five officers remain in a hospital, in serious to critical condition, fighting for their lives. >> reporter: the suspect also has a criminal record. but diane, tonight, no one can say why this man may have started shooting at police. >> all right, pierre, our thanks to you. and today, we learned that the nation's fighting forces, the military forces, are about to undergo a massive reduction. the president announced that the u.s. military will be scaled back, leaner and meaner. and the era may be over when america can try to fight two wars, simultaneously, overseas.
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here's abc's martha raddatz. >> reporter: with the tide of war receding and forced by congress to cut nearly $500 billion from the nation's military budget, the president today announced a dramatic new strategy. in the way this nation will fight and win wars. >> we have the opportunity and the responsibility to look ahead to the force that we are going to need in the future. >> reporter: for decades, the u.s. has maintained a military that could fight and win two major ground wars at the same time. no longer. with u.s. forces out of iraq and drawing down in afghanistan, the new strategy relies more on naval forces, air power and less on ground troops. >> the u.s. joint force will be smaller and it will be leaner. but it will be more agile, more flexible, ready to deploy quickly, innovative and
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technologically advanced. >> reporter: in other words -- >> more wars conducted by robots. more wars conducted by drones. and fewer wars being conducted by human beings. >> reporter: leaner, but the pentagon insists, not weaker. the navy will maintain all 11 of its aircraft carriers. but deploy them more to the pacific, to counter-balance china, and to the strait of hormuz, where iran is a growing threat. still, u.s. officials tell abc news the army will likely be slashed from 570,000 troops to 490,000 troops, beginning gradually in 2015. >> we do accept some risk in this strategy, as all strategies must. however, we should be honest. we could face even greater risks if we did not change from our current approach. >> reporter: one of those risks, of course, is if there were two conventional wars that broke out, it would take us longer to respond and we would have fewer people.
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but the pentagon has to weigh that risk of that happening with the new threat and the new budget, diane. >> and thanks to you, martha. and it was a terrible day in iraq on this front, stoking fear that the situation on the ground there will unravel now that u.s. troops have departed. a string of coordinated bombings targeting shiite muslims killed at least 72 civilians. and if you look at the pattern that has emerged, you can see it right here. in the 21 days before u.s. troops left, 33 iraqi civilians were killed. in the 20 days since? six times that number have died. and some encouraging and hopeful news now. tomorrow, we get the single most important vital sign for america's economic recovery. the jobs report. and tonight, we do have reason to believe it will be encouraging. today, we learned for the seventh straight week, the number of americans filing for unemployment dropped, this time,
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by 15,000. and that's not all. december brought a spike in private sector jobs, 325,000 people hired. and that's nearly twice what the experts predicted. and up now, it's your voice, your vote. and the powerful voice being heard by the republican in the lead tonight. mitt romney has traveled to a state where evangelical christians carry enormous weight. and abc's anchor david muir is with him in charleston, south carolina, tonight. david? >> reporter: diane, good evening to you. mitt romney arrived here in south carolina late today and this says two things about this campaign. how confident they are about new hampshire and that they are looking ahead. they are trying to court the christian conservatives here in south carolina, that same group of voters who made rick santorum a contender in iowa this week. >> reporter: confident enough about new hampshire and armed with more money than his opponent, mitt romney today flexed that muscle, showing up in south carolina, even before the new hampshire primary. >> this is going to be a campaign about the economy,
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about jobs. >> reporter: the campaign hoping that even among christian conservatives here, jobs and the economy are issue number one. with two tv ads in south carolina, one focusing on the president, the other, solely on the economy. >> policies which affect our economy. >> reporter: but some evangelical voters and those who consider themselves true conservatives still have reservations about romney. >> i just hope he's really truly changed his views and didn't do it for expediency. >> reporter: you want to be convinced of that? >> i want to be convinced of that. >> you know, at one time, he was pro choice. now he's pro life. >> reporter: does any of that create questions for you? >> it does. but again, it goes back to the economy. >> reporter: back to jobs for you? >> yeah. >> reporter: today, rick santorum was surrounded by a crush of media back in new hampshire, but the real question, will christian conservatives coalesce around him? or rick perry, who said, "see you in south carolina."
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or newt gingrich? all of them desperate for that part of the republican base, all of them looking for a romney fire wall in south carolina. but romney, already here, offering not religion to appeal to voters, but patriotism. reciting verses from "america the beautiful," as he's done for weeks now. >> o beautiful for heroes prove in liberating strife. who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life. >> reporter: but will that and that slim iowa win help? "time" magazine asking, so, you like me now? after their last romney cover, asking, why don't they like me? for weeks, romney has been asked by supporters to autograph the old version. he would, but not before crossing out one word first. >> i've learned how to adjust this, by the way. see, i cross that off, like that. >> reporter: he'll no longer have to cross that word out on the old magazine cover. abc news has learned exclusively tonight a figure involving the rick santorum campaign. they've raised $2 million in just the last 48 hours. and there was another moment from the campaign trail today, diane. take a look at this from new hampshire. rick santorum, ironically, one of issues that's made him very
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strong among christian conservatives, his stance against same sex marriage. he was booed because of that stance today with a group of young voters that asked him about it. he reiterated where he stands on that. mitt romney is back to new hampshire tomorrow, and so are we. we'll see you there. >> i will see you there. and this saturday, a remintder to everyone. the republican contenders will square off in new hampshire, the next big republican debate. george stephanopoulos and i will moderate. 9:00 p.m. eastern, 6:00 pacific. we hope you will join us. and get ready, because this sunday, a kind of homecoming you will not want to miss, as george returns to the chair on "this week." kicking things off with a very special edition of "this week" from new hampshire. the big picture on what matters to you in this big political year. and it will happen just hours after the republican debate. so, be sure to be there watching on sunday morning. and we shift gears now. what if a lot of drivers on the road tomorrow will be driving with a condition that rivals drinking -- but isn't? evidence tonight of the perils
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of dwc -- driving with a cold. how many accidents are caused by common cold, stuffy heads? here's abc's matt gutman with a surprising new answer. >> reporter: could this -- be as dangerous as this? a heavy cold, equal to four double whiskeys, say researchers. in britain, insurance company young/marmalade attached black boxes, just like in planes, to thousands of cars. they found normally excellent drivers under the influence of a cold became dangerous drivers. >> when a driver had a cold, their reactions were much slower. they were braking later. their cornering was a little bit more erratic. it is almost like having loads and loads of drinks, if you've got a cold and you're trying to drive. >> reporter: the problem is not attributed to medication. the most likely culprit for reduced reaction time? poor sleep, caused by a cold. so, if a cold-related accident
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rate holds true in this country, colds cause more than 600,000 accidents a year. so, if millions of people out there are more dangerous just because they have a cold, can and should they be taken off the road? and what should the people with a cold do? so, what can you do if you are sick and you have to drive to work anyway? >> do everything that you can to make sure you are much more attentive of everything that is going on around you. making sure that both hands are on the wheel. that you've buckled up. that you allow enough distance between you and the car in front of you. >> reporter: or, better yet, say experts, just call in sick and leave the car in the garage. matt gutman, abc news, miami. and still ahead right here on "world news," minnesota, warmer than florida? yes. hundreds of heat records broken. what is happening this winter, and what is next? and the crippling disease that strikes so many people, especially women, on the run tonight. dramatic new treatments, reversing symptoms and transforming lives.
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warmer in the plains than in many parts of florida. 583 new heat records broken in the past five days. we asked abc's clayton sandell to get to the bottom of the wild ride. >> reporter: after a few days of winter freeze, much of the plains and midwest feel a lot like spring. >> this is just glorious. >> reporter: in denver, it's 66 degrees. >> we should be in the low 40s today, so we're about 25 degrees warmer. >> reporter: bismarck, north dakota, is normally just 23 degrees. today, a warm 62. glasgow, montana, normally 13 degrees. today will see 50. the temperature is higher in rapid city, south dakota, than in miami, florida. >> so, instead of snow shoeing, they're walking today. >> reporter: so, why is the weather map turned upside down? you can partially blame cooler pacific waters, pushing the jet stream further north. that means -- >> mild, dry, in the south and southwest. >> reporter: and then there's something called the arctic oscillation, that acts like a fence to trap cold air.
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keeping the midwest warm. that fence can unexpectedly spill freezing air south. but it's not just shifting air and chilly water that's creating wacky weather. scientists say the swings are influenced by global warming. >> climate change is probably a good bet as to why those patterns have become disrupted. >> reporter: oddly enough, warming is expected to super charge snowstorms. that's because more heat is evaporating more water. >> the atmosphere is holding more moisture, so storms can tap into more moisture. so, when it is cold enough to snow, we would expect to see heavier snowfall events. >> reporter: the bottom line is, that over the long-term, we'll probably seal more extreme weather ooepts as the temperature continues to rise. but short-term weather events are more fickle and diane, winter conditions, a lot different from this, could come roaring back. diane? >> looks pretty great there, clayton. thank you. and still ahead, new hope for hundreds of thousands of people in treating a devastating disease. disease. with my friends, ll do a. out for drinks, eats.
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is rich? >> reporter: yeah, you know, it's really exciting when you can give people living with a disease like ms hope. and there's genuine hope here. a new crop of treatments that work and more that are on the way. >> real strong. don't let me push down. >> reporter: today, this is what multiple sclerosis looks like. >> hard as you can. good. >> reporter: traci ofri is looking good and feeling good for the first time in decades. >> pretty good for 30 years, huh? >> not bad. >> these have laces and i probably couldn't do laces before. >> reporter: ms steadily robbed her of her life. blind in one eye at 19, totally numb from the chest down. scooting herself down stairs. >> all of a sudden, my legs went. and all of a sudden, i had no balance. >> reporter: in ms, the body's own immune system attacks the koefting that protects the nerves. in the most severe cases, it can lead to blindness, paralysis. and there was little doctors could do until now. >> the attitudes of people with ms was diagnose and adios.
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we had nothing to offer them. >> reporter: but from nothing, doctors now have a powerful arsenal of treatments -- eight new drugs approved with three more on the way. some just help symptoms. one drug actually hides the white blood cells that destroy the nerve coating, blocking the disease itself. that's the one traci is on. >> i have to say, it was awesome. >> reporter: bill white is the first in a study of whether a patient's own stem cells can repair damaged nerves. >> it's like having a birthday when you're 8 years old. you're happy. >> reporter: 20 years of medical detective work finally paying off. scientists can now use an mri to see the damage ms does to the brain, allowing them to develop those new drugs that transform lives. so, today, traci can put her shoes on, drive a car and admire the changing face of ms. >> now i can see out of both eyes. i have 20/40 vision. >> reporter: 20/40 vision. and she was blind in one eye before. you know, ms is about as complex
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as diseases get. when i see this kind of progress for this, it gives me hope we can make this kind of progress on just about any disease. >> i can tell how excited you are. so, do we now why it affects women more than men? >> reporter: we don't. this is called an autoimmune disease and most of those diseases are more common in women. >> just no idea why. >> reporter: that's right. >> okay, rich besser, thank you. and still ahead, can your dog really read your mind? there's news tonight about how dogs know what you're feeling. [ sniffling ] [ male announcer ] not sure what to take? now robitussin® makes finding the right relief simpler than ever. click on the robitussin® relief finder. click on your symptoms. get your right relief. ♪ makes the cold aisle easy. ♪ robitussin®. relief made simple.
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and finally, all dog owners often have the sense their dogs have psychic powers, anticipating what you're about to do. and understanding your feelings without a word. well, tonight, there is new evidence dog owners are nearly right. here's abc's anchor dan harris. >> reporter: it's the latest research to confirm what many dog owners already know -- that our dogs get us. do you feel like dogs can understand us, like, our emotions? >> absolutely. >> reporter: really? >> yeah. >> reporter: the new study says dogs have similar communication skims to very young children. if you look a dog in the eye and address it in a friendly way, it's more likely to do what you ask. which scientists proved in an
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experiment involving video monitors and eye-tracking technology. other studies have shown that dogs know to read human emotion by looking at the right side of our face, which is exactly what humans do with one another. there's even evidence for telepathy. researchers documented this dog gets up and going to the door 11 seconds after its owner got up to leave work for home. this happened 50 times in a row. scientists say dogs, who are pack animals in the wild, have complex emotional lives, including feelings of empathy and loss. on the dog run in manhattan today, this surprised no one. you feel like she understands you? >> absolutely. >> reporter: really? >> especially when i say peanut butter, banana or treat. forget about it. >> reporter: willow -- treat. there are limits to this communication. watch as snobby here steals part of our camera and refuses to give it back.
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proving sometimes dogs will just be dogs. dan harris, abc news, new york. >> and we thank you for watching. we're always on at don't forget, "nightline" along later. and tomorrow, we'll be on the ground in new hampshire, ahead of abc's big debate on saturday. see you from new hampshire tomorrow. sthiam on on you! >> dan: occupy oakland is at it again, this time they forced city hall to shut down. we're live there tonight to show you how and why. >> reporter: i'm nannette miranda in sacramento. they will unveil the new budget
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five days early. >> a precedent setting case facing the state supreme court. when it's too late for victims to sue the catholic church. >> and how this man was saved on 9/11. a blind man with a vision for the rest of us. this is not nice stuff, but that is what it takes to balance the budget. >> governor brown unveiling a state spending plan that relies billions in budget cuts. i'm cheryl jennings in for carolyn johnson. >> dan: i'm dan ashley. he unveiled his possible the ted when it was mistakenly posted on line. it projected $9.2 billion and calls for $4.2 billion in cuts. assumes they will pass higher sales tax increase and in they don't i


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