tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC January 3, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
this is "world news." tonight, outbreak. the flu is on the move. hitting early, hitting hard. emergency rooms overflowing. why your state may be in the bullseye. and how much a flu shot really keeps you safe. breakthrough. an abc news exclusive. 20 women senators ready to make history. they are frank, they are funny and they are tired of gridlock and more. >> we would not be debating contraception. >> less on testosterone. >> fight the revolution. tonight, an abc news inves sbags powerful painkillers and the secrets of college football. and thin ice. the dramatic story behind this picture. two kids on an icy lake, hanging on four hours for dear life.
good evening. as we begin this thursday night, the nation's top doctors are sounding an alarm about something they're seeing coast to coast. and here is the map that says it all. every region marked in red is facing an outbreak of the flu. and there is no flu season that has started this hard, this early in a decade. so, why is this year so bad and what about the flu shot? abc's chief medical editor dr. richard besser starts us off. >> reporter: it's an early outbreak. in arizona, this time last year, there were 18 cases of flu. today, 790. in new york, 84 last year. today, 3,975. massachusetts, 126 last year. today, 3,736.
>> we are seeing an average of over 600 cases a week of infl influenza like illness. >> reporter: from kentucky to north carolina, to texas. >> horrible sore throat and ears. >> just makes you feel bald for five, seven days. it's nasty. >> reporter: hospitals now seeing the influx. >> we are having an early influenza season and it's a serious season. we've had a definite uptick in hospitalizations. >> reporter: there hasn't been an outbreak this early for ten years. and that year, the flu season was severe. we know that with just one sneeze the virus can spread almost 20 feet in just seconds. you are infectious a full day before you show any symptoms, a bad mix. but why would this flu season, which usually peaks in february, be spreading so quickly so soon? is this a new flu, one that isn't in this year's sack seine, one we're not immune to?
so far, the vaccine seems to be a good match. >> i can't remember it starting early in november. >> reporter: or more intriguing, could dry air be the culprit? it is the most interesting new theory. in damp air, the water droplets take the flu to the ground. dry air? look at that sneeze again, the virus floats in the air longer spreading further. all doctors know right now is that the flu is already here. >> so, rich besser is here right now. tell me more about the vaccine this year, how effective is it? >> reporter: it's never 100%. usually 60% in healthy adults, lower in the elderly who need it. that's why we all need to get the vaccine, so we don't infect them. >> but we keep hearing over and over again from people, i got the flu shot and i was more vulnerable afterwards to the flu. possible? >> reporter: it just can't happen. you may get a sore arm and a fever, but you are not getting the flu. >> so, get the flu shot, no matter what. >> reporter: it's better than nothing. >> all right, rich besser reporting in on this outbreak tonight. and we move on now, because we have learned tonight that in
newtown, connecticut, there will be a visitor tomorrow. congresswoman gabby giffords. she arrives just as the 500 children of sandy hook elementary are returning to the classroom, and it happened this morning. there they were, looking out at us from the bus. a small symbol of resilience. and abc's amy robach tells us the story behind those moments. >> reporter: officials say the buses were packed also nearly 500 sandy hook students returned to class for the first time today. >> most of the kids were excited. seeing friends they haven't seen in awhile. they were anxious to get into the hallways and meet up with the other kids. and you could see the teachers had the same response. >> reporter: but for many parents, it was a difficult, emotional day. we were with erin and her first grader, lauren, last night, as they prepared for school. >> we just try to focus on the happy things. we really have no idea what we're doing. >> reporter: during the shooting, lauren's teacher hid her 15 students in a tiny bathroom.
today, erin was one of many parents who stayed at school with their children. have you thought about next week and what each day may bring, will it get easier? >> i hope so. i hope so. i can't stay with them every day. i know at some point i'm going to have to let them go. >> we want to make sure everybody feels comfortable and we want to move on and let the kids move on, too. >> reporter: and even as students pass daily reminders of what happened in newtown, erin knows her children are one step closer to healing, each and every day. >> you get so worried and you get caught up in everything that happen and the tragedy of it all and then they surprise you by bouncing back. >> reporter: and diane, you mentioned congresswoman gabby giffords planned private visit with families here tomorrow. well, just yesterday, she was in new york city, meeting with mayor mike bloomberg and talking, not surprisingly, about gun control. diane? >> amy robach reporting in tonight. thank you so much, amy. and now we head overseas,
because there is word tonight that the fight against the enmili-in afghanistan has claimed a victory. u.s. officials confirming a powerful mastermind of attacks on u.s. forces has been killed by a drone strike. abc's chief global affair, correspondent martha raddatz with those details. >> reporter: we here at home go on with our lives, off to work, off to school, some 7,000 miles away in pakistan, a secret war is being waged from the sky. and last night, the u.s. scored a major victory in that war. a drone strike, killing a man named maulvi nazir, who had been sending fighters to attack our troops in afghanistan. this is the first drone strike of 2013. more than 350 have been launched since 2004. >> a large number of their top leadership, as well as a lot of the mid-level and foot soldiers have been taken out by these strikes. >> reporter: but while the drone war grows, the u.s. will soon be drawing down the 66,000 u.s.
forces in afghanistan today. military planners say 6,000 to 20,000 remain after 2014, to ensure the country does not descend again into a safe haven for terror. officials have i spoken to believe that president obama will opt for fewer troops and a faster withdrawal, which means in the future, we will likely be even more dependent on these drone strikes, diane. >> thank you so much, martha. and returning home now, news today from secretary of state hillary clinton. 24 hours ago, we saw her walk out of the hospital after that health scare and blood clot. well, today, she said she would be back at work next week. she worked from home on conference calls with her foreign policy team and they said she sounded upbeat and raring to go. and, in washington today, it was a kind of new start. the just elected 113th congress of the u.s. arrived from around the country. and it was a day filled with drama.
fresh off the bruising brawl over the fiscal cliff, john boehner was re-elected speaker of the house. but this time, 12 of his fell local republicans did not vote for him. last time, the vote was unanimous. after taking the gavel, he spoke, fighting back tears in front of his colleagues. >> put simply, we're sent here not to be something, but to do something. >> so, that was john baner in the house. but across the capitol, a milestone in history. one after the hour, women were sworn in as senators. for the first time ever, 20 u.s. senators in all and they were lawyers, ranchers, a former governor. they are also mothers. a total of 40 children and stepchildren, as senator kirsten gillibrand reminded us as her swearing in. and before the holidays, we had a chance to gather these
formidable women in one room to talk about a new era. and they said they fought to win tough races and they're not going to stop now. they are living, breathing history, climbing the stairs and sending a signal. they are 20 senators, republican and democrat, who say they have had it with gridlock and the way congress works. >> if they can delay a problem, pick and argument, and wait until next year, they'll do it. we don't believe in the culture of delay. >> nor barbara mill cull ski. for a record 26 years, she's brought the women together for private dinners, cheering her them on with her slogan. >> fight the revolution. >> i don't want people who watch this show to think we're some kind of a sorority, because we're not. we all march to the sound of different drummers, to some extend. >> but senator dianne feinstein
says women can be independent lawmakers and still work together. >> you know, we're less on testosterone. we don't have that need to always be confrontational. and i think we're problem solvers and i think that's what this country needs. >> someone once said that women candidates speak softly and carry a big statistic. i do not agree with the speak softly part. >> when i saw president obama a few weeks ago, i told him about our dinners and i said, mr. president, if you want to see bipartisanship in washington, invite the women senators to help you get it done and he loved the idea and he plans to invite us to the white house. >> so, they say they're ready to tackle big issues like jobs, transportation, immigration, but it's their male counterparts who keep reopening roe versus wade and contraception. >> i think most of us would agree that the government doesn't have a place in that. it's really individual families who should make those decisions. >> i'm pro choice, so, i don't disagree with what my friend
jean just said, but i think both issues should be settled and should not be the main focus of debate. >> i don't think they are entirely settled. i mean, that's the problem. is that there. >> reporter: amendments produced to say that women wouldn't have access to health insurance coverage for birth control. there was a question raised about whether or not we'll really have enforcement of equal pay for equal work laws. and boy, if that's the case, then we better stand up and we better speak out. >> but if congress was 51% women, you can bet your bottom dollar we would not be debating contraception. >> we should be talking about transportation infrastructure, or economic development or how to solve the budget deficit. and we keep facing these amendments on abortion, it's like, can't you just leave that alone? >> always by men. always by men, diane. >> and these new female arrivals
signal a modern era. the first we mall senator ever from nebraska, deb fischer. the first asian american woman elected to the senate, mazie hirono. and the first openly gay senator, tammy baldwin, of wisconsin, who was in college when she was inspired by geraldine ferraro. >> i said to myself, i can do anything. the sky's the limit. >> how many of you absolutely know america is ready to elect a female president? >> absolutely. >> easy. how many of you think there will be a nominee, a female nominee in 2016? >> hope so. hope so. >> we hope so. >> is there a president in this room? >> maybe. >> maybe not in -- >> 20 of them. >> a succession of them. >> i think the thing is, every man wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, i
can be president. every woman looks in the mirror and says, what can i get done for the country today? >> not one of you in this room looks in the mirror and says, i can be president. >> well, you may think it from time to time. >> snorkelly abeyond tells a story of her 8-year-old daughter. >> she said, mom, i don't want you to run for president. i said, hey, i'm not running for president. why do you ask me that? and she said, because, mom, i want to be the first woman president. >> she better call hillary. >> can she break the news to her, we're not waiting that long? >> and, again, our interview was taped before secretary clinton was hospitalized and released. and, by the way, we asked these senators to pass on the best advice they ever got for all children, all boys and girls? and we're going to bring that to you tomorrow night. and still ahead here on "world news," brian ross investigates the powerful painkiller some college football
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there's the sign to the bullpen. here he comes. you wouldn't want your doctor doing your job, the pitch! whoa! so why are you doing his? only your doctor can determine if your persistent heartburn is actually something more serious like acid reflux disease. over time, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. for many, prescription nexium not only provides 24-hour heartburn relief, but can also help heal acid-related erosions in the lining of your esophagus. there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea. call your doctor right away if you have persistent diarrhea. other serious stomach conditions may exist. don't take nexium if you take clopidogrel. let your doctor do his job. and you do yours. ask if nexium is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. and now, we have an abc news investigation about college football players and injections of a powerful painkiller. one star college player says it gave him a heart attack.
abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross tells us more. >> reporter: even when he showed up in severe pain, number 94, usc defensive lineman armond armstead was told his team needed him on the field. >> that's what's expected you on the field, especially at usc where football is so important. >> reporter: so, armstead was soon introduced to what an abc news investigation found is the closely held secret of college football training rooms. where team doctors inject powerful prescription painkillers to get injured players back on the field. >> just go in, he would give me the shot and i'd be on my way. >> reporter: medical records show armstead received injections on game day of the generic version of the painkiller toradol, developed for use in treating post operative pain in hospitals. its label warns of the increased risk of cardiac infarction, a
heart attack, and stroke, which could be fatal. and you had a heart attack? >> i had a heart attack. >> reporter: armstead's story has helped to shed new light on the secret world of painkillers in college football. of the top college football teams contacted by abc news, 16 refused to disclose whether they use toradol. six said they do not. four said they do. unlike professional sports, the ncaa does not keep track of the use of toradol or other painkillers. >> if we keep track of what happens, let's say, to horses in horse racing, don't we owe it to the athletes to keep track of what's going on in college sports? >> reporter: with the backing of his parents, the 290-pound armstead, a picture of health, with no family history of heart disease, is now suing usc and the team doctor, claiming they ignored the stated risk of toradol and never told him about them. >> as a mom, that was an atrocity. how many other kids are going to take those shots to get on that field, not knowing, this could kill you. >> reporter: the team doctor,
james taboni, would not talk about whether he had revealed the risk of toradol. >> i can't comment on that. >> reporter: you feel it's appropriate to use -- >> young, healthy people, we still use its. >> reporter: usc declined to comment. and when we went to the school stadium to see the coach, we were told we did not have the proper paperwork and escorted off the property. >> you guys are obviously making us uncomfortable. >> reporter: the coach later told us he had no idea until we told him about the possible risk of the painkiller. but now, at least two teams, nebraska and oklahoma, told us, they are stopped using toradol in the weight of growing concerns about the risk of the painkiller which include possible kidney failure and internal bleeding, diane. >> a big list there. and i know you'll have more on all of this on "nightline" tonight. we'll be watching. thank you, brian. and coming up here, a big new barrier adele just broke. ♪ there's a fire ♪ starting in my heart
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the doctor cries out, she's holding my finger! the baby's father grabbed the camera, photographed the baby making her first new friend. let's just savor that for a moment. and, tonight, we also have a number to remember. 4 billion. that's how many disposable coffee cups starbucks uses around the world in one year. so, today, they introduced something new. a plastic reusable cup which costs a dollar, and when you bring the cup in for a refill, they'll douse it, first, in boiling water. and, adele is making history tonight. ♪ you could have had it all ♪ rolling in the deep >> for the first time since nielsen started tracking music sales, one album has reigned supreme two years in a row, earning the spot of top seller in 2011 and 2012. and the honor goes to adele's album, "21."
and we love to know what you're seeing and hearing every day, so, tweet me your thoughts for the "instant index, index," @dianesawyer. and, coming up, the incredible story behind this picture. two teens, inches above an icy lake, clinging to a tree for four hours. the astonishing rescue, next. this is $100,000. we asked total strangers to watch it for us. thank you so much. i appreciate it. i'll be right back. they didn't take a dime. how much in fees does your bank take to watch your money? if your bank takes more money than a stranger, you need an ally. ally bank. your money needs an ally. mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice,
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and finally tonight, the story of two teenagers, an icy lake and the saving power of one ri righty tree. here's what happens, with abc's cecilia vega. >> reporter: all they had was a dying tree, and for more than four hours, that's what the two boys clung to, standed in the middle of an icy lake. >> it was pretty scary. >> yeah, it was pretty scary. >> you could feel it like sinking in and cracking. >> reporter: 14-year-old christian van aller and 15-year-old alex orton told us what happened when they went out walking on that lake in the arizona mountains and the ice cracked. >> if the tree wasn't there, we probably would have fallen in. >> reporter: each lost a shoe in the frigid water, so they covered their bare feet with their hats and waited. by the time the rescuers arrived, night had fallen. it took a team of more than two dozen to pull the boys to safety.
so what is the lesson in all of this? >> don't do that again. >> don't do that again. >> reporter: lesson learned -- the cold, hard way. cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. >> and we thank you so much for watching. we're always here at abcnews.com. "nightline" later. and i'll seal you again tomore night. good night.