tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 21, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
see you again at 6:00. tonight the call to action as the best of the best firefighters from around the country pour into arizona to battle a tower of flames. tonight passengers are fighting back at the nation's airlines. saying they're hiding the true cost of tickets. watch your wallet. we have video of pickpockets with new tricks. the experts take you frame by frame to show how to spot them. tiny houses, the size of an suv. how your neighbors are beating high costs. and finding happiness. a good evening to you on this wednesday night. we are coming on the air in the middle of a battle against the raging wildfire out in arizona.
an army of firefighters charging to the rescue. this fire is growing by wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour. abc's ryan owens is on the ground with the fight against the flames. >> reporter: there is something else red hot tonight near sedona arizona's iconic red rocks. a wildfire, 0% contained, is charring some of this country's most gorgeous landscape. >> the road is closed. >> reporter: tourists are being turned away in advance of the memorial day holiday. this couple owns a resort here. >> our livelihood is up there. all our guests got out safely. which is amazing, of course. >> reporter: hundreds of firefighters are battling the wind-whipped flames near slide rock state park including some men and equipment just cleared from those fires near san diego. >> it's a difficult fire to catch when you have wind driven and very, very steep terrain, that's why we have 15 hotshot crews on order. >> reporter: those hotshot crews are expected here tonight including firefighters from
nearby prescott, arizona. nineteen members of that department's granite mountain hotshots team were killed last summer not far from here. with a bad fire forecast for the summer, some are looking at new ways to fight fires. australians are looking on a way to use the force of a large explosion to literally blow away a fire. watch again. it's a lot like blowing out a candle. a blast of air from the explosion knocks the flame from its fuel source. until then, they will fight them the old-fashioned way. and from the rockies to the east coast, severe weather. tornado warnings forced the denver airport to close this afternoon. that's not snow. it's hail. up to five inches in places. here in arizona behind me you see the huge columns of smoke. this fire has doubled in size today. it's expected to double again overnight. no structures have burned.
but at least 100 homes are awfully close. diane. >> ryan, thank you so much. incredible courage battling those flames. now we go to washington and the growing outrage over veterans hospitals and the delay in life-saving care. today the president weighed in talking tough and talking action. abc's national correspondent jim avila who has been there in the beginning has the report. >> reporter: a national disgrace north carolina. this dying vietnam vet waits eight months for care. in indianapolis, this sick vet can't get her meds for months. and in phoenix, this woman loses her father-in-law to cancer after waiting more than a year for a doctor. today anxious to finally hear directly from president obama. >> yes, i wanted to hear a long time ago. >> reporter: the president promising that a va hospital staff anywhere has gained the
system creating secret lists to hide delays. people will be punished. >> it is dishonorable. it is disgraceful and i will not tolerate it period. >> reporter: president obama saying he wants answers to four questions before firing anyone. the checklist, who cooked the books? were they under pressure to deliver unrealistic appointment dates? who set those guidelines and who covered up? the inspector general's investigation spread to 26 hospitals in 11 states we know of. but the president stuns relatives today by saying so far the ig has found no case where a death was caused by the delay. >> and the ig indicated that he did not see a link between the wait and them actually dying. >> reporter: bringing another wave of anger to sally back in phoenix. >> he's lying and that's why i'm angry. because, in fact, they're responsible for his death. >> reporter: the president tonight vowing to fix whatever is wrong at the va.
jim avila, abc news, the white house. and now to the demand tonight to strengthen the airline passengers bill of rights. the target those confusing fees which mask how much your ticket will cost. everything from baggage fees to seat charges. abc's linzie janis now on the new crackdown tonight. >> excited about vacation? >> yes. >> reporter: they travel a lot and the government wants to make sure they don't get any nasty surprises at the airport. all those extra airline fees. we have all been there. lured by low advertised air fares to be shocked at the total bill. the department of transportation is proposing new rules that would require airlines and travel agents to be more transparent. disclosing all those extra charges upfront. not in small print. that would include extra fees for checked bags, carry-ons and advanced seat assignments.
they're planning their summer vacation. here's what they'll be paying to fly to hilton head, south carolina. $494 per ticket. but look, sitting together could cost an extra $15 each. one checked bag, $25. a second, $35. some airlines even charging up to $50 for carry-ons. the final price could be $619 each. that's $500 in extra fees for a family of four. the faa wants that spelled out clearly. but tonight the airline industry is fighting back. saying we believe this proposal overreaches and limits how free markets work. the new rules could go into effect as early as next year. just in time for their next big trip. linzie janis, abc news, new york. >> right now we have news from overseas in nigeria.
more u.s. troops are joining the hunt for the missing school girls. president obama reveals that 80 americans have been deployed to chad which shares a border with nigeria. the president says they'll stay until american help is no longer needed. now to iran and the reminder of all the freedoms we take for granted in america. you all know the song that has become an anthem for optimism. "happy" by pharrell. some young iranian fans decided to join the movement. their joy met with an ominous show of force. world leaders are pushing back. abc's martha raddatz who has travelled to iran over the decades tells us what is happening. >> reporter: they call it happy in tiran. young iranians lip-syncing the hit. their message.
even in repressive iran, there is joy. but 165,000 hits later when the iranian police found out, the joy was over. they rounded up and arrested the six dancers and the film maker calling the homemade video with women not wearing the required head scarves vulgar. an affront to public chastity. the world reaction was swift. pharrell tweeting it's beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness. i ran today is a country in flux. the guards facing off with the new president hassan rouhani who is supporting more freedom, especially on the internet. tonight six of the seven young people from the video were released. iran's president even tweeting happiness is our people's right. but diane, critics say the dancers shouldn't have been arrested in the first place. >> and the whole world will keep
watching. thank you so much. sometimes humor is the hardest thing. ask fbi director. james comey. today his attempt at a joke about marijuana back fire and back fired big time. abc's senior justice correspondent now on the punch line gone wrong. >> reporter: the fbi has been known as the straight-laced just the facts lawmen depicted in the abc classic tv show. >> you're under arrest. >> reporter: if you smoked marijuana in the past three years, you need not apply to the fbi. but a bit of buzz has been created after director was asked on monday if the fbi would hire a computer wiz who smokes pot. in response, he said, i have to hire a great workforce to compete with the cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview. does that mean the fbi is considering a change in its pot policy? today the fbi said hold on and
the director said those comments were partly ingest. >> i am determined not to lose my sense of humor. but unfortunately i was trying to be serious and funny. >> i am dead set against using marijuana. i don't want young people to use marijuana. it's against the law. i did not say i'm going to change that ban. i say i have to grapple with the change in my workforce. >> reporter: some members of congress were not laughing worried that all the smoke might confuse young people. pierre thomas, abc news, washington. and next we are heading into memorial day weekend and a new report out today reveals this is the highest time of year for drivers who run red lights. the study reminding everyone about the danger of collisions when you fly through an intersection. today we learned that drivers most frequently run lights in the afternoon. between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. and the worst day of the week, friday. maybe when everyone is thinking of the weekend. and now, to the news that has a lot of pet owners
demanding answers. that report of tainted treats from china fed to thousands of dogs and cats. petco took action. it is yanking all treats off its shelves made from china. abc breaks down what's been happening. >> reporter: little muttly is a survivor of a mystery canine killer, one that today is one of the nation's two biggest pet stores to announce they'll pull chinese made jerky pet treats off the shelves. the kind of treats muttly's owner says made him sick. >> made him very, very sick. not eating. not interested in doing anything. very lethargic every day. >> reporter: he is one of the 5,600 dog may have been sickened by those chinese-made jerky treats. 1,800 just since last october. more than 1,000 dogs have died. the fda has been tracking complaints for years but can't say for sure the jerky is causing the illness. pet owners in a panic causing
those retailers, petsmart and petco, to announce those treats will soon be gone. so petco has allowed us to come into the store to see which of the products made from china are still on the shelves here. a bunch of these products made in china are still on the shelves here at petco. the company says by the end of the year, all of these will be gone. interestingly, look closely, all of these products are on clearance. they're still on the shelves for now. the stores tell us because there's been no government recall and the makers say they're safe. as for little muttly, he took four months to recover but now has got the wag back in his tail. matt gutman, abc news, miami. up next, we're going to show you pickpockets using new tricks to lift your wallet while you shop and how you can stop them. could you live in a home the size of an suv? how to live like a king in a tiny space and beat the high cost of housing.
and next tonight, we're going to tell you about a crime on the rise. a 10% increase in pickpockets. in recent years. and tonight our experts are going to take you frame by frame through a video to show you the newest tricks. abc's cecilia vega teamed up with a pro to show you how to keep their hands off your wall let. >> reporter: inside this san diego whole foods, surveillance video catches a pickpocket in action. watch, just for a slit second, the shopper turns away from her cart and that is all the man in the checkered shirt needs. his hands covered by a shopping bag, hide what he's about to do -- the woman has no idea this crook walked away with her wallet and handed it off to a partner. over in the produce aisle. the guy in the white shirt gets the attention of the clerk. now that the clerk's back is turned. look, his partner n the row behind him swoops in.
as the woman in the hat looks away from her cart to pick the perfect apple, he picks up her wallet. police releasing these surveillance videos to san diego affiliate kgtv hoping they'd lead to an arrest. theft rings run by sticky finger crooks are making a killing. in philadelphia, investigators say this group has perfected the crime. this man sits directly behind his victim. hidden by his jacket, he reaches right inside her purse hanging on the chair. >> the thieves analyze you very well. watching for the weakest victim. >> reporter: bob arno is a master pickpocket expert. who advises law enforcement on how to catch the crook. he and his wife show me how it's done. the woman at this table is so busy talking. she has no idea what's going on behind her. >> did you take my wallet? >> reporter: it happened fast. watch bob's hand again. it looks like he's leaning on
her chair but her purse is going, going, gone! there are ways to avoid becoming a victim. keep your valuables in the bottom of your bag, not the top. keep everything in your line of sight. that cell phone on the table, now you see it, now you don't. >> your phone. >> oh, my phone. >> you didn't even realize? >> no, i didn't. >> systems make it easy for the thief. >> crime of opportunity. >> absolutely. >> reporter: abc news, phoenix. when we come back, something is burning up our "instant index." 20 million bees waiting to surprise drivers trying to drive past an accident. see it next. surprise drivers trying to drive past an accident. see it next. er. sometimes my copd makes it hard to breathe. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes.
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which singer has the biggest range? it turns out to be a surprise, believe it or not. it is axle rose, but the highest of the high notes goes to mariah carey. a high g. listen. be impressed. ♪ you've got me feeling emotion ♪ sounds from another planet. up next, right here, home sweet home. tiny houses the size of an suv. americans fighting happiness and beating the high cost of living. come with us.. ost of living. come with us. alaska, they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs.
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americans grapples with soaring house prices, high mortgage costs. what if you could build a different kind of castle? in the last few years there has been a huge spike in the percentage of tiny houses. 160% increase. and the owners are proving the secret to happiness is simply where you find it. abc takes you into some tiny houses for the grand tour. >> reporter: it's the mansion of andrew and gabriella morrison's dreams except they say a mansion is really a state of mind. >> it only took us four months to build. and the cost to build it? $22,7455.06. >> reporter: there is just 221 square feet. that's slightly bigger than a chevy suburban and a lot smaller than your average 3,000 square foot mcmansion. >> welcome to the inside. >> reporter: the grand tour. and inside that tiny home -- a kitchen worthy of a top chef. >> i mean i can do donna summer
dance movies in here if i want to. this place is huge. >> reporter: they've got a master bedroom on one side, a guest bedroom on the other there atop the ladder. >> so comfortable up here. >> reporter: a fire place and plenty of storage. >> pullouts for our hats and gloves. >> reporter: all 18 pairs of their shoes fit neatly beneath the staircase. they are marvels of architecture with tiny price tags enticing buyers stressed out by a full size mortgage. another benefit -- you can take them anywhere. how about an abandoned dc alley? >> it's called the match box. >> reporter: austin's tiny home, just 140 square feet, $30,000. this is his bike rack. it's also his coffee table. his bed is over the kitchen. and because jay loves to cook, the ceiling below doubles as a spice rack. and behind that wall -- >> it doubles as a wet bath. >> reporter: tiny living has become a growing movement. there are tiny hotels, tiny apartments, tiny granny flats, even tiny culture clubs.
and even if it's not for you, tiny dwellers say there are lessons for all of us. in living small. >> what do you miss the most? >> to be honest, i don't miss much. >> reporter: meaning clean out that junk drawer, declutter that attic and you might just discover move about who you really are with less. devin dwyer, abc news, washington. >> and we thank you so much for watching. always here at abcnews.com. "nightline" later and we'll see you back here tomorrow night. good night. >> a missing california woman escapes after ten years in captivity. >> 9ers linebacker hoping to put his criminal past behind him. tonight the answer to weapons charges in the courtroom. >> a company goes on trial on charges of bilking taxpayers out
of millions of dollars. >> and video of a former east bay lawmaker being arrested for shoplifting. her return to politics. >> this is the apartment complex. a young woman has been held captive but a man she claims has been abusing and assaulting her for ten years >> we'll a live report from southern california in just a moment. as soon as this is available. 49ers linebacker faces a possibility of four years in prison after pleading no contest to dui and weapons charges. >> this surprise move happened this afternoon inside of a courtroom. his plea could clear the way to
suspend smith for the up coming season the judge scheduled his sentencing for july 25th. smith faced three illegal weapons charges back in june, 2012 as well as dui charges after a car crash in september. smith and his attorney still not come out of the court to address the media. >> a construction worker in san jess yeah has died the second construction site fatality in two days. it happened just afternoon this, is sky 7 hd. according to a spokesman, the man fell about three stories he was pronounced dead at the scene. another man died yesterday after falling about nine feet on a construction project >> police are investigating an accident involving a muni light rail