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tv   America This Morning  ABC  September 11, 2009 4:30am-5:00am EDT

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it's friday, september 11th. our annual day of remembrance. this morning, victims of the terror attacks being honored across the country. plus, an abc news investigation. could the attacks have been prevented? promising reform. congressional leaders say they have enough votes to pass the president's health care plan. and missing bride. days before her wedding, this ivy league student is gone, days before her wedding, this ivy league student is gone, without a trace. captions paid for by abc, inc. good morning. in the hours leading up to the commemoration of the 9/11
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attacks, tribute lights glowed out of ground zero in new york. ceremonies marking that horrific day are taking place there at the pentagon and in pennsylvania today. >> the images are, of course, still raw. and the wars in afghanistan and iraq are constant reminders. but since in the years since 9/11, fear is waning a bit. >> viviana hurtado has the latest from washington. >> reporter: good morning, jeremy and vinita. president obama hits the road this weekend, to continue his push for health care reform. on saturday, he's scheduled to attend a rally in minneapolis. it's just one of several attempts to try to drum up support for his reform proposals. on thursday, the president kept the spotlight on health care. at a gathering of nurses at the white house, mr. obama said he would not allow reform to be delayed or killed by political games. at a cabinet meeting, he, again, pushed for health care reform. and said he accepted the apology
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of republican congressman, joe wilson, who during wednesday night's address to a joint member of congress, called the president a liar. the president's real challenge is not convincing some republicans to come on board. but unifying his own divided party. moderates oppose a government-run option, on grounds it would add to the federal deficit. liberals have vowed to vote down legislation that doesn't include this provision. vice president biden predicted there will be votes on health care reform by thanksgiving. senate majority leader, harry reid, said he wants to finish earlier. jeremy and ve neat fa. in congress wilson may have apologized. and president obama may have accepted that apology. but the uproar are far from over. leaders in the house are pushing for their own apology from wilson, by tuesday. threatening a resolution of public disapproval if he doesn't. wilson insists his apology to the president settles the issue.
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>> last evening, i let my emotions get the best of me, on the critical issue of health care. it was wrong. and i apologized to the president shortly afterwards. and he has acknowledged my sincerity. >> but suns the outburst, the campaign coffers of wilson's democratic opponent are filling. in just one day, former marine rob miller raised more than $700,000. politic will take a short break in washington, as the nation remembers those who died eight years ago in the september 11th attacks. >> john hendren in washington. >> reporter: from ground zero, to the pentagon. it is a day of solemn remembrance. at the world trade center site, a massive steel column. the last one standing, has been returned. a symbol of rebirth. >> seeing it come back just means progress. it means that we are moving ahead. we are thinking about tomorrow. >> reporter: in boston, where two of the fateful planes started that day eight years ago, high school senior olivia o'malley honored victims with
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3,000 flags. >> they went into a building to go to work. you know? they lost their family ppsz they lost their friends. they lost everything. >> reporter: in new jersey, home to 700 of the victims, residents come to the meadow lands, where a dual pier symbolizes the fallen towers. >> it's aimed at the area where the twin towers were. i know no one is ever going to forget. >> reporter: and to bayone, where the tear drop. >> i've observed people crying. and solemn faces coming through here. and it's so important for us not to forget what happened. >> reporter: as americans remember the attack planned in afghanistan, house speaker nancy pelosi dismissed calls for a surge in troops. >> i don't think there's a great deal of support for sending more troops to afghanistan. in the country or in the congress. >> reporter: here in washington, president obama will observe a
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moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. later, he will lay a wreath at the pentagon memorial. jeremy and vinita? >> john hendren live for us in washington this morning. john, thanks. and later this morning, count on abc news for live coverage from ground zero and the president's remarks at the pentagon. in connecticut, the fbi has launched an all-out search for a missing yale university grad student. annie lee was supposed to get married this weekend. but she's not been seen since tuesday. with more on the search, here's jen maxfield, of our new york affiliate, wabc. >> reporter: police are sorting through the trash at the medical research facility at yale, digging for clues in the disappearance of student annie lee. inside the building, trained dogs are sniffing the lab for evidence. officers are handing out missing persons flyers, hoping that someone knows what happened. >> it may not be foul play. but it's kind of scary.
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>> reporter: the yale pharmacology student was seen on surveillance video. it's unclear whether lee exited with her colleagues. but she hasn't been seen or heard from since. her wallet, cell phone and keys were found in another research building where she left them earlier in the day. >> i just hope that she's found safely and brought home. >> reporter: adding to the mystery, lee is supposed to get married on sunday, to a grad student at columbia. as fbi agents finish their search of lee's offcampus apartment, her fellow yale students are walking in groups for their own safety. >> that was jen maxfield reporting. we'll have a live update on the search later on "good morning america." it is the equivalent of a home run in the battle against h1n1 or swine flu. a new report says one dose of the vaccine is strong enough to protect adults. and it takes effect in about a week. this is a major development, according to our senior medical editor, dr. richard besser. >> what this means is that
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potentially twice as many adults could get vaccinated. more people will be likely to want to get this vaccine. and the cost of administration and the logistics surrounding immunization are greatly improved. >> and another new report shows just how important that vaccine could be. researchers say a typical student who catches the swine flu will spread it to two or three classmates. the resort town of sedona, arizona, is cleaning up, after getting hammered by a wild flash flood. cars were tossed around and stacked on one another, after a powerful storm hovered over the area for about 30 minutes, dumping 2 inches of rain. the floodwaters swamped a popular shopping area. and some drivers had to be rescued from their cars. and now, for this morning's weather from around the nation. another wet day for drought-stricken texas. with heavy rain stretching all the way to florida. stormy in the northeast, with rains and strong winds in philadelphia, new york and boston. thunderstorms, hail and gusty winds in the dakotas and
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minnesota. >> 69 today in gar doe. 79 in minneapolis. highs only in the 60s in the northeast today. 88 in miami and dallas. 84 in new orleans. up to 15 degrees hotter-than-normal out west, though. 104 for phoenix. 100 for sacramento. 91 in portland and boise. and coming up this morning, eight years after the 9/11 attacks, a new voice. >> i was right. i was 100% right. >> one former fbi informant says he knew what the 9/11 attackers were planning. brian ross reports. plus, sports world shocker, involving a new world tidal holder. the gender question is answered. there was a time i wouldn't step out of the house without my makeup. now, it's no problem. (announcer) eutrogena tone corrcting night serum with high " performance soy to even skin tone and active retinol to spee cell turn over.
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the obama administration says it is time to adjust strategy, now that the financial system is showing signs of improvement. treasury secretary, tim geithner, told a congressional panel that the government will begin winding down programs, designed to save banks and lift the economy out of a recession. but geithner admits the economy still has a long way to go. >> more progress than i think people reasonably expected. not enough yet, though. not enough. and we're going to keep at it. >> president obama will deliver a speech on the financial crisis on wall street monday. exactly one year after lehman brothers collapsed, igniting the crisis. well, it is a mixed picture for stocks on this friday morning. tokyo's nikkei average fell
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nearly 0.7% today. hong kong's hang seng is higher. in london, the ftse opened higher. wall street, the dow closed yesterday at its highest level since october. the benchmark climbed 80 points, finishing the day at 9627. the nasdaq gained 23 points to close at 2084. americans income plunged, the most on record last year. median household income sank to just over $50,000. a drop of 3.6%, wiping out a decade's worth of gains in just one year. and more americans fell below the poverty line. almost 40 million people lived in poverty. more than 13% of the population. that was an increase of 2.5 million people. the s.e.c. says it has learned from the mistakes that led to bernard madoff's multibillion-dollar fraud. two top officials told a congressional panel there will be changes after the commission bungled several investigations into madoff. the head of the agency's enforcement division said he has started the biggest overhaul of
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his division in at least 30 years. well, general motors is launching a unique marketing campaign, aimed at boosting sales and improving its public image. unhappy car buyers can get a full refund within 60 days, no questions asked. gm is hoping to win back customers, concerned about the company's recent bankruptcy. the offer starts monday. and will run at least through the end of november. sprint/nextel has a new monthly plan, offering unlimited calls to other cell phones, regardless of the cell carrier. the plan starts at $70 a month. and also includes unlimited texting. analysts say sprint's plan could eventually force competitors to lower their prices. >> one more reason to use your phone. >> yes. you can read more about these stories online at and next on this friday, the man who claims he could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. and what did latoya jackson have to say about her brother, michael, when she sat down with barbara walters? it is an abc news exclusive.
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welcome back. these are the latest headlines from abc news. solemn ceremonies are set to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks, eight years ago today. president obama meets with family members at the pentagon. president obama hits the road this weekend. his first stop, a rally in minneapolis tomorrow, aimed at keeping health care reform in the spotlight. house speaker nancy pelosi says, she is confident the president will be signing a bill by year's end. and the fbi has joined the search for a missing yale grad student. annie lee who was supposed to get married on sunday, has not been seen since tuesday. although it has been eight years since the worst terrorist attacks ever on u.s. soil, at least one nagging question remains. could they have been prevented? >> now, an fbi informant is coming out of the shadows for the first time. and he says he has the answer.
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chief investigative correspondent, brian ross, has the details. >> reporter: as a highly-praised undercover operative for the fbi for the last 13 years, he was known as mohammed. his real name is elie assaad, a 36-year-old native of lebanon. >> for people to understand what i did. >> reporter: eight years after the 9/11 attacks, assaad is now going public with an account of how he says, he and the fbi missed a chance to stop the hijackers. you could have stopped the attacks? >> yes. i could. i'm not 100%. i'm 80% positive. >> reporter: in early 2001, the fbi sent assaad to infiltrate this small mosque outside miami. there, he says, he spotted and even recorded conversations with the man later identified as 9/11 hijack leader, mohammed atta, as well as several other members of the group. you saw them? >> yes. and i prayed in the mosque. and i went to certain, private
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meets. >> reporter: but assaad said, over his objections, the fbi told him to leave atta alone. and instead, to set up and sting two men, that he calls wannabe terrorists. assaad says while he was posing as a bombmaker, he's the run on the right. and producing weapons for the wannabes, the real terrorists were left alone. shortly after the attacks, assaad said he identified atta as the man the fbi told him to leave alone. >> i was very angry. i was very upset. >> reporter: you were that close? >> to confirm what my suspicious recollect. i was right. i was 100% right. >> reporter: in a statement, the fbi challenged assaad's account. and said the claims and factual conclusions are, quote, not supported by the evidence, unquote. the fbi did not specify this claims. but we checked with assaad. and he said he told us the truth and stands by his story. brian ross, abc news, new york.
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space shuttle "discovery" is still circling the earth this morning, after bad weather delayed its landing. there could be another attempt to touch down today. but the forecast for florida is even worse. nasa says the shuttle may have to land at edwards air force base in california. "discovery" has been in space for 14 days. it has enough supplies to remain in orbit until sunday. michael jackson's sister, latoya, has opened up to abc's barbara walters, in her first in depth interview since her brother's death. she said michael was drape dressed in all white. she blamed his death on anyone who provided him with drugs. and she described him as the closest thing to a god she ever knew. you can get a preview of the exclusive on "good morning america." and the entire interview will air tonight on "20/20," at 10:00, 9:00 central. and coming up here this morning on "america this morning," gender questions about one of the world's fastest runners may have been answered. and the nfl season begins, with an overtime thriller in e is
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the most common side effect is nausea. patients also reported trouble sleeping and vivid, unusual or strange dreams. until you know how chantix may affect you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. chantix should not be taken with other quit smoking products. the urges weren't like they used to be, and that help me quit. (announcer) talk to your doctor to find out if prescription chantix is right for you. president obama took time yesterday to congratulate the 2009 stanley cup championship pittsburgh penguins at the white house. the team presented the president with a team jersey. and then, they let him hoist the cup. well, his airness, michael jortden, is finally set to take his place where everyone knew he'd end up, basketball's hall of fame.
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the man considered the greatest in the history of the sport, will receive it later at the induction ceremony in springfield, massachusetts. test results are in on the south african runner whose gender raised eyebrows in the running world. castor semenya won the 800 meter in berlin. but there were questions about her deep voice and muscular body. newspapers in australia report semenya has both, male and female sex organs. now, for football fans, a pair of exciting games on the gridiron last night. here's will selva at espn news. >> good morning. first night of the nfl season on thursday. the titans and the steelers. big ben and company, defending their super bowl title. not a lot of offense in this one. second quarter, rob ross' 31-yard field goal attempt is mroked. more importantly, as toy
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polamalu goes to recover, his knee gets sprained. under a minute to go. kerry collins, finding a wide-open justin gage. game tied at 7-7. steelers driving. roethlisberger, looking and finding hines ward. ward, though, fumbles the ball. titans recovered it. and ward is not pleased about it. we're headed to overtime. steelers' jeff reed, into attempt the 33-yard field goal attempt. it is up and it is good. hines ward and the steelers survive, 13-10. college football, now. number 15, georgia tech, entertaining clemson. fourth quarter. tied up at 27-27. josh nesbitt, hooked up denarius thomas. puts them in field goal range. from 36 yards out, scott blair
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nails it. georgia tech up three. with 30 ticks on the clock, kyle parker, short over the middle on fourth and ten. it was spended for c.j. spiller. georgia tech hangs on to win it 30-27. that will do it for this espn news update. now, back to jeremy and vinita and "america this morning." >> football is finally back. it looked like a soaring success in the skies over enid, oklahoma. >> thousands of kites danced through the air, in an attempt to break a guinness world record. oklahoma is waiting to see if they beat germany's record of 967 kites. >> if they call short, it won't be a total loss. #ú3ú achoo!
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captions by: caption colorado, llc (800) 775-7838 try as hard as you might, but when you wake up, you will know it is 9/11. we will remember with the rain. also ahead, caught on camera. looks and sounds like people were being told how to cheat on their taxes. and on tv, watch "the wire" in baltimore and you'll hear about the effort to change our ways. good friday morning. thanks for joining us this morning. i'm megan pring. -- i'm megan pringle. good morning it's september 11th. it's hard to say that, isn't it? >> it's hard to believe it's been seven years. >> we have rain, wind, clouds
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and gloom. it will continue throughout the day. taking a look, we have a low pressure system situated just off the coast of the delmarva peninsula and so we're seeing that rain shield spreading in. mostly it's been confined to the eastern shore and it's spreading off to the north of the city. we're going to be seeing that rain throughout the day today. this is what we've collected just since midnight. so you can see almost three- quarters of an inch, a little more than that in galina and half inch in northeast. here's your 12-hour forecast. temperatures won't move a lot today. we're looking at upper 60s to low 70s. send it over to kim now for a check of the roads. >> thanks, everyone. traffic is moving by at speeds. keep in mind, the road ways are slick. we'll have ponding on the roadways. working several accidents


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