tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC June 6, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
americans turned over to the government. is all fair game in the war on terror? and caught on tape. how a woman survived under a collapsed building for 13 hours. good evening. as we come on the air, 90 million americans are in a new storm zone. tropical storm andrea has come ashore in florida, with a spray of tornadoes and a lot of water. and it's getting ready to march north. abc's weather editor sam champion leads us off right now from cedar key, florida. sam? >> reporter: good evening, diane. this tropical storm spent all day working up the gulf coast of florida and burst in strength, passed by us and turned inland, at 5:40 this evening, making landfall east coast time, in the big bend area of florida. that's day one of a three-day
involvement for the east coast with tropical storm andrea. tropical storm andrea, this first named storm of the atlantic hurricane season, brought 60-mile-an-hour winds and driving rain. and andrea's squall lines are spawning multiple tornadoes. that's expected to continue throughout the night. utility workers peeled debris from power lines in sun city center, florida, after a unconfirmed tornado touched down. one of at least 12 tornadoes reported so far. near palm beach, a reported twister left nabelgds in pieces. ripping patios off houses, flipping over boats, and shorting out transformers. >> in a minute's time, everything's gone. it's terrible. >> the biggest problem we have right now is the risk of tornadoes. everybody's got to follow the tornado warnings and watches. >> the water's high! >> reporter: andrea is bringing three to five feet of storm surge to florida.
in treasure island, these piers just barely above the rising water. and with drenching downpours, flooding and flash flooding, an estimates ten inches of rain is forecasted for some areas. and then there's the lightning. >> wow, 3,100 lightning strikes within the last hour. >> reporter: in all, almost 19,000 cloud to ground lightning strikes in florida, just today, an average of 19 strikes per minute. d, to get a sense of how large this storm is, take a look at it from space. this image from nasa, showing andrea blocking out most of florida. and this very early number one on the program is going to be remembered for those tornadoes that have been through florida, but also for the driving rain for the entire east coast. there are flood watches or warnings out from florida, all the way to maine in coastal areas. look at the path and notice the rain that's expected. it hits the entire coast over the next two days. and we're looking at probably two to four, four to six in the
yellow areas of rain. so this is a storm that will be remembered by a lot of towns. >> a wet few days ahead. thanks so much, sam champion. now we turn to a huge argument tonight about privacy and safety in america. we've learned that the obama administration quietly accessed the phone records of millions and millions of americans. saying it was necessary to guard against terror attacks. abc's chief investigative correspondent, brian ross, is here to break down whether your phone records were among those handed over. >> what was so surprising, even to some former top counterterror officials was the scale and the scope of the collection program. something both the bush and the obama administrations have tried their best to obscure. >> reporter: no american is exempt from the secret program. from office workers in new york city, to members of congress, hollywood celebrities, teenagers in the mall. the government doesn't listen to the phone calls, but it obtains the records of every call made, to what number, for how long and
from where. all to the outrage today of privacy advocates concerned about potential abuse of the data. >> it reflects what you eat, what you read, your political affiliations, maybe your faith and mental health. >> reporter: the program began under president bush who assured us that it was limited in scope. >> we're not mining or trolling through personal lives of millions of innocent americans. >> reporter: but the publication by a british newspaper of this top secret court order, requiring a verizon subsidiary to turn over all call detail records, including local calls, for its customers, confirms in black and white that the program continues and is all encompassing, not what congress heard from the obama administration's top intelligence official three months ago. >> does the nsa collect data on millions or hundreds of millions of americans? >> no, sir. >> reporter: and officials have
told abc news it's more than just verizon, that there are similar secret orders for the records of all u.s. phone companies. >> it is sweeping. it is not what i would expect out of the united states. >> reporter: federal officials call it a critical tool, used, for example, to track a spider web of connections for suspects like the accused boston bombers. >> i can tell you, to that end, within the last few years, there was a domestic case that was thwarted because of their ability to do this. >> even so, officials we asked across the government today could not or would not provide any specific details of any thwarted terror plot connected to the secret phone records. and like the program itself, too secret are if the public to know. >> and we've been talking about whether it was just phone records or more. >> as abc news has reported over the years, internet records have been obtained and they tapped into internet lines to get feeds of what's going across the
internet. >> thank you, and as you know the white house was put on the defensive instantly lie these revelations, accused of spying on americans. jonathan karl has that part of the story. when it was president bush collecting records, a certain senator was outraged. >> no more national security spying on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. >> reporter: this time it's his o.w.n. allies who are rout raged at him. >> it violates the heart and soul of america. >> reporter: one senator demanded to know if his phones were monitored. >> could you assure to us that no one phones inside the capital were monitored of members of congress. >> i don't think this is an appropriate setting for me to discuss that issue. >> the correct answer would be no, we stayed within our range
and i'm assuring you we did not spy on members of congress. >> reporter: today the white house said it's all legal, approved by a special intelligence court, but that court last year reviewed more than 1,700 requests from the administration. how many did it turn down? zero. the president has some unlikely supporters on this -- republicans. >> so you keep up what you're doing, president bush started it, president obama is continuing it. we need it from my point of view. >> they have been notified about all of this, the leadership in both parties was briefed about what the administration was doing. but because this was classified, all the information was classified, they couldn't publicly object to it or even talk about it. >> and as we said, people divided and arguing about this tonight. thank you, jonathan karl. and it's not often you get an apology from the irs, but at a hearing on capitol hill today,
a commissioner with the tax agency did just that. he took responsibility for a lavish conference in anaheim in 2010, that cost more than $4 million of taxpayer money. by the way, he's the official playing mr. spok, in a pared ony video. that video costs thousands of dollars to produce and today he called it embarrassing. >> overseas to syria where the civil war is creeping closer to israel. today syrian rebels captured a crossing point, that area between syria and israel used to be a ceasefire zone, but the u.n. was forced to pull out and israeli forces are on alert tonight. central europe is battling some of the worst gloods in a decade there. in germany, scores of volunteers fighting the floods, animals had to be carried to safety as the
water levels rose by more than 20 feet. and we have a passing to note tonight. esther williams, a certified movie legend, and you can still see her splashing in those old movies on the cable channel. but something else she chiefed ripples across the decades. this hollywood store who put on sequins and swam like a torpedo. >> don't be fooled by the lipstick, she was secretly one of the nation's top athlete. diving 50 feet, and landing with precisi precision. swimming under water over and over until he got it just right. we went to see her in 2007. ♪ >> when i hear that music, i'm back in the pool. >> she laughed about hollywood
and the secret of that perfect hair and mascara. >> it's fascinating. they would see me in the morning, and they would say, here she comes. >> dipping their hands. >> dipping their hand in. >> esther jane williams was eight years old when she learned how to swim and qualified for the olympics in 1940, but they got canceled because of the war. for an entire decade, she reigned as one of the biggest stars. even though that 50-foot dive put her in a body cast, cracking her vertebrae as she hit the water. in this scene, she got trapped in the slam shell, unable to breathe when it wouldn't open. >> i said time for me to go, and i opened that clam shell, and i swam out. >> she was also one of the first stars to turn a trademark, those
bathing suits, into a business. in part because of pressure from her, synchronized swimming became an olympic sport. she knew strength and daring when she saw it. and one of those little girls was a little girl in louisville, kentucky, who remembers being inspired by her, and thank you, miss williams, for our day at the pool. still ahead here on "world news," an abc news exclusive video, dramatic rescue in philadelphia. how did this woman survive 13 hours after a building collapsed on top of her? and later, see what this man is doing 12 hours every day, just to help a child achieve his dream. how strong do you have to be to change the world? "america strong" is back. is is . to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for him, he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol.
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we invest more in the u.s. than anywhere else in the world. over fifty-five billion dollars here in the last five years - making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. always go the extra mile. to treat my low testosterone, i did my research. my doctor and i went with axiron, the only underarm low t treatment. axiron can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms;
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they've found no one not since late last night when amazingly a 61- year-old woman was brought out, injured but alive. she'd been buried in the debris for 13 hours. >> we had access to her, but as soon as we cleared an area for her, and she could get out, she tried to get out on her own. >> reporter: rescue teams used dogs, and motion detectors, even tracking cellphone signals to their owners, to know where to dig. among the dead, a 24-year-old student who was shopping at the store that was crushed. the woman rescued last night mura plekam was lucky but others have survived trapped in collapsed buildings far longer. in the 2010 haiti earthquake, a child survived eight days buried in rubble. and earlier this year, a woman lived 17 days in the wreckage of a garment factory collapse in bangladesh. she left the hospital only today. experts point to the rule of threes as the keys to survival you can't go three minutes without air, more than three days without water, and more than three weeks without food. but the big question here today
was why it happened in the first place. >> there was no blocking no bracing, nothing holding it up, it was kind of standing there, blowing in the breeze. >> reporter: we learned today the demolition had not been inspected by the city. it didn't have to be. it's not required. tonight with no survivors left to be found, what's left of the collapsed building is being taken down by hand, considered the slower, but safer way. ron claiborne, abc news, philadelphia. and coming up next here in our "instant index," the mother whose good manners may have cost her $600 million. does the almost powerball winner have any regrets tonight? dentures are very different to real teeth.
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of moderate to severe ra, even without methotrexate. ask if xeljanz is right for you. our "instant index" starts with a trip to an ancient mystery. a mighty city, which legend has it vanished 1,200 years ago. but take a look upona a watery grave 20 miles off the coast of modern day egypt. buried in the assistants, statues of pharaohs, a temple, and a graveyard of ships. is this the real-life atlantis? cleopatra crowned there, helen of troy visiting. still a mystery why the city sank. first timber lake, now justin bieber, a $250,000 trip
on board the virgin galactic. bieber said he'd like to do a concert up in space. and how would you feel if you came this close to winning a $590 million jackpot? well, today we heard from the mom who let an older woman, 84-year-old gloria mackenzie cut in line in front of her and wake up to that winning ticket and that big jackpot. >> my daughter said, that could have been us. i said, it could have been. but things happen. she was like, sometimes it's better be patient than rich. and i said, that's right. so i knew we were teaching our daughter the right thing. >> she added everything happens for a reason and she hopes the money is a blessing to gloria mackenzie's family. talk about grace. and meet a man helping a young men on a journey to become everything he can be.
it's "america strong," next. an. it's the most powerful thing on the planet. love holds us in the beginning. comforts us as we grow old. love is the reason you care. for all the things in your life... that make life worth living. ♪ ♪ sweet love of mine [ lighter flicking ] [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where giving up isn't who you are. ♪ this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing,
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without the shock of ice. how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪
and finally tonight, we know it's the people of this country who make america great, whether they are young or old, or in this case, both. you're about to meet a friendship created by kindness. one thrown into tragedy, the other, a kind of angel swooping down. both defining america strong. abc's josh elliott. >> reporter: they are the unlikeliest of pairs -- 22-year-old collin smith and 72-year-old ernest greene, known to all here at high point university, as a package deal. >> we always have a lot of fun.
prior to his freshman year of high school, collin, a three-sport athlete, was involved in a horrific car accident, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. >> when did they tell you what happened and how bad it was? >> a physical therapist came in and was like, hey, you're not going to walk again. basically your life has been stopped, and you have to figure out how to pick up the pieces. >> reporter: ernest greene, who'd recently retired, heard through his church about the accident and felt what he says was "a calling" to help collin, whom he'd never met. so he called collin's family, offering his services to the boy's overwhelmed parents. no one could have seen the remarkable journey, almost eight years in the making, that was beginning. greene put in 12-hour days, leaving his home before dawn to get to collin's house by 6:00 a.m. he would get collin out of bed and ready for school, and then make the 45-minute drive to
high point university, attending classes with, and taking notes for collin, all while pushing him three miles a day or more. >> did you ever feel sorry for him? >> probably some, but i've always felt that he could do what he wanted to do. >> reporter: just weeks ago, collin graduated from college. of course it was ernest pushing him on to that stage. >> i'd been pushing him around campus for four years. i wanted to push him up to get his diploma. >> reporter: greene was surprised with one of his own. fitting and hard-earned, for two men who over the better part of a decade have come to embody together what it means to be "america strong." >> you guys always going to be a package deal? >> probably. >> without him i wouldn't have gotten where i needed to be or wherever i'll go. it takes a lot to get somebody to be mobile and believe they
can do things. >> reporter: do you think about the love that he's had for you and the love that you have for him? can you quantify it? >> i don't really have a way to measure it. once again, how do you describe ernest? you just can't. it's hard to describe what we mean to each other. >> reporter: josh elliott, abc news, high point, north carolina. >> by the way, collin says his dream is one day to coach a basketball team of his own. and for more of our "america strong" stories, you can always go to abcnews.com and for the latest news there 24 hours a day. we thank you for watching. "nightline" of course will be along later and we will see you right back here again tomorrow night. until then, have a great night.