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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  April 21, 2010 3:05am-4:30am EDT

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ght with first plane touching down at
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heathrow airport flying in from vancouver ar you said. there were a lot of smiles and people were in high spirits as passengers learned they could finally go home. there is an estimated 7 million people stranded. for many, as you can imagine, the news couldn't come soon enough. the decision that it was safe enough to fly was made after a government and aviation authority meeting here. after test flights through the volcano zone and analysis, aviation experts concluded that jet engines could fly through low-density ash. but now come the questions. should this blanket ban be imposed? were authorities being overcautious about the volcano? was it necessary? a british airways executive said he believes they could have continued to operate safely for a period of time before the flight restrictions were imposed last thursday. with so many people displaced, including crew members, analysts believe it could take weeks before airlines get back to normal. so the message to all of those people stranded, be patient with
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the airlines as they sort through this huge mess and reschedule everyone. jeremy? >> at least there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel. thanks, lama, for joining us. >> six days, hard to believe, with no shower, on a cot. here's a look at your weather. heavy rain out west in much of the rockies. california's sierra nevada mountains could get 12 inches of snow. thunderstorms and gusty winds possible in kansas, oklahoma, and missouri. and rain is expected in the mid-atlantic states. >> warm weather down south today. 80 in dallas. the nair family is going to love that. 79 in new orleans. 74 in atlanta. new york should reach 71 today. miami will be 83 degrees. and chicago's going to be 51. police near minneapolis are waiting for a bear to decide that it is time to go home. the black bear was first spotted up in a tree in a suburban neighborhood tuesday afternoon. authorities say the animal is scared and that is why it is staying there. >> look at all those looky lous. people crowded around during the day taking pictures and possibly spooking the bear even more. police say the bear could make
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its exit during the night when it didn't see people watching. i've done that before, like when bears have crawled into town in denver, you'd stare at them, quite a bit the neighborhood attraction. >> the reality is you see it, one or two people there. in denver it was the entire block. you'd watch the bear get more and more frightened. >> just hope it doesn't break loose and maul you to death. >> usually the hope, right? >> we'll be right back with more "world news now." [ female announcer ] switch to swiffer sweeper, but don't worry, he'll find someone else. ♪ who's that lady? ♪ who's that lady? ♪ sexy lady , ♪ who's that lady? [ female announcer ] swiffer sweeper's electrostatic dry cloths attract and lock dirt, dust, and hair on contact to clean 50% more than a broom.
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regulators in west virginia released new coal mine safety guidelines today after investigating one of the worst disasters in the industry in decades. 29 miners were killed earlier this month after that underground explosion. new rules should call for better ventilation of methane gas. the president and vice president will be in west virginia sunday for a memorial service. public health experts are pushing for new limits on the amount of salt we consume, forcing a cut-back on sodium in
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processed foods and restaurant meals. >> doctors say it is necessary because americans are not cutting back on their own. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: a pinch here, a dash there, and often a whole lot more. we're supposed to have no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt, about a teaspoon a day. look at what we eat. one of kfc's new sandwiches has more than half the sodium we're supposed to eat all day. this asian chicken crunch salad has more than a day's worth of salt. this chicken parm, well over the recommended daily amount. so the fda is now considering creating regulations, not recommendations but actual legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in everything from soup to nuts. >> sodium in the american diet is a very serious problem. >> reporter: it's not that we're heavy-handed with the salt shaker, it's that most of the salt we consume is actually cooked into the foods we buy. this is the amount of salt you're supposed to have in a year. this is the amount we actually
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end up consuming. 50% more. and most americans don't even realize it. >> it's causing significant disease, sometimes deaths. >> reporter: critics say salt isn't to blame for all that ails america. it's more complicated. >> the people in this world that consume the most salt, they have the longest life span. that's number one. the people that eat the least amount of salt have the shortest. >> reporter: others argue forcing food manufacturers to change their recipes will hurt business. some have already voluntarily reduced salt. but will consumers bite? we conducted an informal taste test of our own. "a," traditional spaghetti sauce. "b," the same brand's low sodium verse. >> option "a." >> reporter: tasters were split evenly, 50/50. some palates need convincing. does it taste better with a little salt? >> there's definitely more of a tangy kind of punch. >> reporter: manufacturers would have ten years, hope big grad reducing salt they won't leave consumers with a bad taste.
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>> it's just such a habit though. i think you watch the food channel when they're cooking and they're throwing salt in there. when you eat out you really notice it. >> all our palates are so trained to it. the minute you notice something is off it usually is salt. in terms of these regulations there's no specific time frame. it's not like we're going to walk into applebee's tomorrow and it will say less salt. they're saying right now nothing is off the table. these really will be changes that will be coming to restaurants. coming up, afghan children hooked on drugs at an early age. >> the impact of afghanistan's widespread narcotics problem. a rare look inside drug users' homes.
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as they do every year majorities advocates lit up in public to urge leaders nation we'd to legalize pot. in boulder, colorado, 7,000
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people showed up for a public smoke-out on the cu campus. a huge crowd of pot smokers lit up. colorado lawmakers could become the first state to fully legalize marijuana and regulate growers. afghanistan is facing a huge drug addiction problem. 90% of the world's opium is grown there. >> sometimes they're hooked from the moment they're born. u.s. state department researchers looked into the problem and shared what they found with abc's brian ross. >> reporter: the researchers traveled across afghanistan to the homes of known heroin and opium addicts. with unusual access to carry out their tests, including saliva swabs and hair samples, the researchers found children quietly being addicted themselves to the drugs. simply by breathing in the second-hand smoke as their parents got high. these children are paying the price of afghanistan's drug
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economy. >> this is a pattern, as we understand, that has been going on for years, for generations perhaps. >> reporter: u.s. officials say these rarely photographed scenes from video made by the field researchers are clear evidence of why afghanistan's heroin addiction won't be easily solved. >> this was not difficult to find. >> no, no, no. this is very, very common, unfortunately too common. >> reporter: drug enforcement official doug wankle took us through the video. >> it's a version of chasing the dragon. >> reporter: dad chases the dragon, smokes opium and heroin, and his children get hooked. >> fumes are in the air, kids are ingesting them. also there's residue from that that falls to surfaces in the house. whether it's furniture, whether it's the doorway, television, whatever. >> so that little boy can't help but get a good dose. >> he's getting a good dose of something here, yeah, probably opium. >> do the parents not realize this? >> i don't think they really
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realize. they don't really understand the impact or the effects of this. >> reporter: the landmark research to be made public next week found afghan children of all ages with what were termed alarming levels of opium in their hair, urine and saliva. levels similar to those found in american adult street junkies. according to one of the researchers dr. bruce goldberg. >> these children are classic opium or heroin addicts. they crave the drug. if the drug is withdrawn, they go through withdrawal. >> reporter: what must be among the world's youngest addicts. >> mom or dad may actually give them opium. mom may place opium on her nipple while breast-feeding. mom may give opium to a child that is irritated or won't sleep. so when they walk and teeth, they're exposed to opium products. you only have to give a child who's very small a small amount of drug for it to be similar to a larger dose in an adult.
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so it doesn't take a lot of drugs to produce toxicity and addiction in a small child. >> reporter: until recently, the u.s.-led war against the taliban had failed to focus much effort on afghanistan's heroin production. afghan officials say the result is an easy availability of drugs which has driven local addiction to what is now considered an epidemic level. >> drug use by itself is a big problem. i feel that if we cannot control it in the present, we'll have big trouble in the future. >> reporter: the afghanistan narcotics unit says the study reveals an ugly truth about life in afghanistan. >> we are trying to control it but our resources are very limited. we are not in a position to control it very well. >> reporter: afghan officials estimate there are at least 1 million addicts in the country of 30 million people, including many who are in the police and the army. >> in the police and the army.
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>> reporter: with only a few dozen treatment centers the problem continues to grow and to be passed on. worst case, if this is not addressed, what happens? >> you've got a serious, debilitating problem in your society. it will get into the government, it plays well into the hands of those who want to continue insurgency. certainly corruption, criminality. it's a serious, serious problem. >> reporter: the study has shocked veteran drug policy experts, and the u.s. aid department hopes it will lead to more resources for drug treatment centers in afghanistan and an understanding that not all of afghanistan's problems can be solved with soldiers. brian ross, abc news, new york. >> just bizarre how inherent it is in the culture. the idea that women would put opium on their breast to breast-feed their children to calm them down. it's truly something that they're dealing with from birth on. >> it gives you an idea how entrenched it must be in part of their culture, that they don't think there's something wrong
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with that as well. >> right. >> it will be much more from the state department when they release more findings into the problem in afghanistan. stick around, "morning papers" straight ahead.
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"world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> if you watched the show yesterday we had a bit of a milestone. >> yes, we did. >> willis celebrated something very exciting. 31 years at abc and he never took a day off. >> no sick days. >> sorry, excuse me. >> he didn't get any awards. >> no, he didn't. willis, we got you something. >> something had to be done about this. >> oh, lord. >> so johnny i., our other cameraman, made him an award with some sort of lettering machine. >> special detail to attention, his name is spelled incorrectly on the trophy and fixed with pen. >> it also has a naked woman with wings. i don't know what that's all about but it's all yours now,
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willis. >> i encourage you to read the bottom of it. >> not on the air. >> yeah, not on the air, a special message from all of us underneath it. >> don't say we never gave you anything. >> this is pretty interesting. a family with a -- at bob hope airport, a woman and her mother, and the woman is 58, her 93-year-old mother, they're about to get onto a flight headed to a wedding. the woman says she had written the tsa ahead of time and said, my mom has specific medical needs, i need to take apple sauce, cheese, and milk aboard. of course, tsa has all those specific rules. the next thing you know as the security people try to confiscate the things they get into a fight. and according to this, the woman must have hit the tsa agent because she has been charged with misdemeanor battery. they say it was a full-out fight. this all happened back in april. now there's a lawsuit about all of this. tsa's not commenting. she says she e-mailed them ahead of time and this video has now surfaced on youtube and people are watching it again and again
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and again. >> i guess there's some confusion about that. the agent claims that she made a fist and struck her on the hand during the tussle. others are saying she didn't hit her. who knows what's going on. this next one is sort of sad and sweet at the same time. there's this guy from oregon, a young man, aaron jamieson, who's dying from cancer. and he has decided that he has to help his wife pay for his final costs. like his cremation costs, that sort of thing. he's selling advertising space on his urn. one friend has already paid $100. he hopes to raise 800 bucks to cover the cost. he's also going to sell ads on urns that will hold his ashes and his wife's and his parents' too. so he's going to sort of sell -- he hasn't earned much yet but he hopefully will. it's sad. he's looking out for his wife. he didn't have much of an insurance policy, knows he's going to die, knows his wife needs help. >> the last story was the ten fast food items worse for you
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than the kfc double down but we don't have time for it. than the kfc double down but we don't have time for it. we'll have to post thank you dear, very much.
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[swords clank] watch out! give me all your treasure!
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imagine what a little time can do for your family. ah, ha! take that! missed me! ah! tough talk from president obama this morning as bipartisan support grows to curb wall street's bad behavior. >> if these folks want a fight, it's a fight i'm ready to have. plus, legal limit. the debate over how much salt should be allowed in our food. and, trail blazer. remembering dorothy height, godmother of the civil rights movement. it's wednesday, april 21st. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> we overuse the word pioneer. but not in this case, you can't overstate her significance historically. she was lobbying for rights for minorities as far back as the 1940s. >> there's an editorial in "the washington post" yesterday. it was so beautiful.
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it basically said one of the things she learned with all the things she was denied and all the things she fought for was to never be bitter. i think that's a really good message especially to the jaded youth and the jaded adults in the world now. >> absolutely. we'll take a look at the life of dorothy height coming up this half hour. good morning, i'm jeremy hubbard. >> i'm vinita nair. next up, wall street. president obama arrives in new york tomorrow to argue his case for more government oversight of big banks. >> debate on the financial regulatory reform bill has been put off in the senate until next week as democrats and republicans appear headed toward a compromise. jake tapper reports from the white house. >> reporter: painting a picture of some of these unregulated financial markets, the president uses words such as gamble and bet. the chips are the economy. >> we can't allow financial institutions the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy. using money and connections to stack the deck. >> reporter: in this good guys versus bad guys drama he describes, the president seems increasingly ready for a showdown. >> what we've seen is an army of
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industry lobbyists from wall street descending on capitol hill. if these folks want a fight it's a fight i'm ready to have. >> talking in terms of morality, immorality, lying, is the way to reach out and try to put a face on this. >> reporter: the core issue, derivatives, essentially bets between power players on wall street and around the world on whether certain businesses and industries will live or die. it's a massive and largely secret market, mostly unregulated. with more than $600 trillion worldwide at stake. that's more than 43 times the size of the u.s. gross domestic product. president obama says he'll veto any bill that does not bring derivatives under control. >> part of what led to this crisis was firms like aig and others making huge and risky bets using things like derivatives without accountability. >> reporter: president obama will address this in a speech on thursday on wall street. there will be financial executives in the audience but president obama will be mainly focused on the larger audience, trying to explain to the
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american people how this technical debate affects them in terms of their jobs, their retirement, and their savings. jake tapper, abc news, the white house. some of those big banks the president is trying to regulate have reported huge profits for the first quarter. goldman sachs nearly $3.5 billion. jpmorgan chase $3.3 billion. citigroup $4.4 billion. bake of america $3.18 billion. europe's busiest airports are open this morning. with more than 95,000 flights canceled in the last week alone officials say it will be weeks before the backlog of stranded travellers gets home. miguel marquez reports from france's most active hub. >> reporter: paris' charles de gaulle airport packed to the gills. just 24 hours ago, the same terminal, a ghost town. at new york's jfk, it was stranded travelers in very temporary quarters. the displaced masses moving out and up. then came the reunions. thousands of them all over the world.
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here in paris, there were tears, hugs, and lots and lots of kisses. in chicago, dick and joan walter finally got their daughter and niece back after they were stuck for five days in sweden. >> they're finally home where they belong. >> reporter: in frankfurt, the reunion came with flowers and a cowboy hat. she must have visited texas. how do you feel being home now? >> very good. feels really, really good. >> reporter: but there are still plenty of stranded passengers including these british students spending their extra time in the u.s. wisely. studying for college entrance exams. miguel marquez, abc news, paris. right now, china is observing a day of mourning for the more than 2,000 victims of last week's earthquake. memorials are being held around china today and three minutes of silence was observed to mark one week since the disaster struck. as a sign of respect to the victims, china's government has ordered a day-long ban on all
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entertainment. in west virginia, new mine regulations are being unveiled today in direct response to this month's disaster that killed 29 miners. the state's mine safety board is expected to call for new rules on ventilation and mine rescues. another anticipated proposal would require more regular methane gas detector maintenance. a buildup of methane in the main might have led to the explosion. get ready for a salt shake-down. the government and industry are working out a plan to reduce the amount of sodium in all our diets. that plan may take ten years. as clayton sandell reports a major new report calls for the government to order the decrease. >> reporter: the new report to the food and drug administration is clear. americans need to end their love affair with salt. >> we all recognize that sodium in the american diet is a very serious problem and that we as a nation need to aggressively address this. >> reporter: dieticians recommend eating no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day. about a teaspoon.
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but we end up taking in much more. often twice what we need. and that can lead to high blood pressure, strokes, and even death. most of that sodium doesn't sprinkle out of the salt shaker. the committee says americans are getting more salt from unhealthier processed foods and from eating out more in restaurants. the institute of medicine report recommends setting maximum sodium levels for different foods and gradually rolling those levels back. >> reducing salt in the food supply needs to be a gradual process. for a couple of reasons. one is to allow consumer tastes to adapt to reduced levels. also for industry. salt in the composition of food products is something that cannot be changed overnight. they need to rework their recipes. >> reporter: industry advocates have long argued that salt is not the evil it's made out to be. >> the problem is not salt, the problem that we're dealing with is that we don't have a balanced
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diet. >> reporter: the american medical association says that by simply cutting the amount of salt we eat in half, 150,000 lives a year could be saved. clayton sandell, abc news, denver. lawmakers are vowing to take action after the supreme court struck down a federal ban on videos that show graphic violence against animals. the justices by an 8-1 vote ruled restricting such videos was unconstitutional because it limited free speech. justice samuel alito, a dog owner, was the lone dissenter. he suggested animals would suffer because of the decision. now here is a look at your weather. heavy rain expected in california, utah and arizona. the sierra nevada mountains could get 12 inches of snow. thunderstorms and gusty winds in kansas, oklahoma, and missouri. rain will stretch from the carolinas to new jersey. >> temperatures should reach 71 in new york. 59 for boston. warm across the great lakes and the south today. 68 in detroit. 66 in minneapolis. 74 in atlanta. another gorgeous day across much of the country. how many gnomes are in your
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home? that is the sort of question residents of strassberg, illinois, might get this weekend. some residents are planning to conduct a gnome census along with a food drive. >> gnomes are statues of bearded men that often populate front lawns. they're the village mascot and seem to be everywhere in town. the count is being modeled after the u.s. census. is a gnome like a troll? you call me a troll a lot. would i count in this census? >> there's a reason i say that off-air. >> oh, gotcha. a gnome and a troll, are they different? >> i think they're different. >> trolls are on your dash board. >> i think by nature a gnome has to have the little dunce hat. the travelocity hat, maybe. we'll be right back with more "world news now." pick a city. any city.
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welcome back. the civil rights pioneer who spent her life fighting for justice by leading the national council for negro women has died. >> that is just one of dorothy height's many accomplishments. as diane sawyer reports height was an activist since the days of the new deal. >> reporter: never underestimate the power of a gladiator in a picture hat. we first saw dorothy height in the 1940s, lobbying eleanor roosevelt for civil rights. ♪ we shall overcome >> reporter: 1963. she helped organize the march on washington. there she is on the stand with martin luther king. >> i have a dream today. >> reporter: though she said at the time she thought the speech was a little too long and she was disappointed it didn't mention women's rights. >> african-american women are women who seldom do what they want to do but always do what
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they have to do. >> reporter: and still, after she was confined to a wheelchair, she was determinedly glamorous. >> even if you go into battle you don't have to look like a battle ax. >> reporter: then 2009. flash forward to another podium. it was, height said, one of the proudest moments of her life when an african-american took the oath of office. dorothy height never married but left behind a grateful family of millions. >> president obama called height the godmother of the civil rights movement. six years ago on her 92nd birthday height was awarded the congressional gold medal. >> she accepted the award with a memorable speech in march of 2004. >> to just get the news that such an action has been taken and that you will be honored with a unanimous vote of both houses of the congress was an experience in itself.
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i just have to tell you. it really gave me a real sense of almost panic to think, what will i do, what will i say? but now that i'm here with you and feel the spirit in this room, mr. president, i just have to say thank you. and i also want to say thank you for and i'll accept this award on behalf of the millions of people, particularly women, whose work goes unnoticed. i thank you very much for what it means to me to have a sense that there is -- there may not be a lot of glamor to it, but that there's a recognition of a fact that there are many of us who work day by day with the hope that we can make our country what we want it to be.
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and that we take that task seriously. but i feel especially blessed on march the 24th, 19 -- not 19. 2004. i feel especially blessed to have you celebrate and to have all of this happen to me, mr. president, on my 92nd birthday. early in life i learned that it was important to have some goals. and to have a sense that you're not just a worker, but that you have a mission. and to have a sense of a life's work. and i chose to put my life's work in a direction of equality and justice. and it --
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[ applause ] and it has been an enriching thing, and i say all the time to young people, there is no way that you can reach out and work with people at all levels without growing yourself. because i have learned from the powerful, from the distinguished, from the highly educated. but also from the poor. and all of those lessons i hope have helped to shape what i am seeking and trying to do. when i was asked to give a quotation for the back of the medal, i used one that i had -- it doesn't sound very profound. but i thought it was expressive of me.
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and the quotation you will find, and i think it's in the program, is, that african-american women seldom do just what they want to do, but always do what they have to do. and i am grateful that i've had times and places where i've been part of those who are ready to do what needed to be done.
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recent comments by sarah palin regarding christianity in the u.s. are heating up a new debate about church and state. >> there are references to god in the pledge of allegiance and on the dollar bill but does this mean the u.s. is really a christian nation? dan harris looks for answers. >> reporter: this latest palin-provoked controversy is as a result of these comments on youtube. in which the former alaskan governor said it is "mind boggling" to suggest that america is not a christian nation. >> if anyone tries to convince you that god should be separated
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from the state, our founding fathers, they were believers. >> reporter: the idea that america was founded as an explicitly christian country is an article of faith in some circles. the fox news host glenn beck has dedicated entire shows to it. >> when they looked at all the writings the founders used and relied on and quoted, the most quoted source is the bible. >> reporter: is this argument correct? mainstream historians say no. that if you look at the early documents, including personal letters, it's very clear that the founders did not want to make christianity the official religion. >> most of the founders were members of christian churches and their tradition was biblical and christian. but they took great pains to avoid tilting the government toward religion. >> reporter: the founders left out any mention of god or jesus in the constitution. except when they noted the date in the year of our lord 1787. then in the first amendment they specifically outlawed the establishment of any state
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religion. and by the way, thomas jefferson, the man who wrote in the declaration of independence that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, he was a deist, not a christian, meaning he believed that god created the universe but no longer intervenes in human affairs. interestingly, however, many people believe that by not making christianity the official religion, the founders created a dynamic and competitive atmosphere in which faith has thrived. making america one of the most religious developed countries on earth. dan harris, abc news, new york. >> some critics of sarah palin are saying it's interesting in the sense that she of all people sort of champions the idea of no government involvement. yet now she is arguing maybe the government should be involved in people's religion. sort of a contradiction. but those are the critics. >> perhaps there's a partisan stance here too. she says it's mind-boggling to see the direction our nation's taken recently. obviously a jab at the
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it removes odours of sports, teenagers... (laughing) i would not want to face a week without febreze fabric refresher. finally this half hour, it can be a wild scene in the subways in new york and other big american cities where rats have made themselves at home. >> in moscow, stray dogs have taken the place of mice in the subways. and some of them join commuters for the ride. here's alexander marquardt. >> reporter: every so often riding moscow's busy subway you may notice the commuters around you include a dog. a stray. there are some 30,000 to 35,000 strays in moscow.
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you see them everywhere. markets. construction sites. underground passageways. adapting to the world they were born in. moscow's stray dogs have gotten so used to living in this big city, scrounging for food, some have started getting around the way millions of muscovites do every day. on the metro. that's where we found this female. among the crowds in the station. we couldn't even keep up with her as she zipped between the legs to get to the doors for a ride. dr. andrey poryakov is a biologist who studied moscow's strays for 30 years. >> translator: these clever dogs know people much better than people know them. some of them have figured out how to navigate the giant subway system. >> reporter: we rode around moscow center several times with our new friend while she slept on the floor. at times she had a brief conversation. it was as if she knew that such
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close quarters were no place for her to appear threatening. >> it's stressful for people staying in a crowd. they figure out the station and somehow know where to get out. >> that's incredible. >> the dogs are quite clever. >> reporter: many muscovites see these tens of thousands of homeless dogs as a big problem. >> this is a problem and we have to solve it. they're not guilty that they became homeless. >> it's not really easy to completely move the dogs, though. i guess we have to -- just to learn how to live with them. >> reporter: the stray dogs of moscow, including the subway commuters, have themselves already done a lot to work for peaceful integration. alex marquardt, abc news, moscow. >> that poor little puppy in red square. these dogs love company. that one dog was sprawled out on the floor of the subway. liked being around other people. can't blame him for that. >> if i learned anything about living in new york it's dogs can really adapt to anything. i remember the first time i saw a dog using the restroom on the grate, i thought, how efficient. saves everyone some time here.
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high stakes. a financial reform bill gains momentum in washington as wall street signals it's ready to fight back. plus, facebook danger. before you befriend strangers consider the dark side of social networking. it cost one teen her life. under the sea. cameras get a rare glimpse at an elusive giant creature with a killer instinct. it's wednesday, april 21st. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." ♪ under the sea >> those are the only lyrics i know. >> something like ♪ where we can play all day i don't know them either. >> we need to brush up on our disney songs. considering we work for them. >> is it pumped in here?
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it's not. >> you'll hear that story and see the story about the octopus coming up later this half hour so stick around for that. good morning, i'm jeremy hubbard. >> i'm vinita nair. the nation's biggest banks are gearing up for a battle against the government crackdown. >> president obama and congressional lawmakers appear to be moving closer to a deal to overhaul the banking industry after months of wrangling. john hendren joins us from washington with details. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning, jeremy and vinita. president obama plans to rally public support with a financial regulatory reform road tour. stopping next week in iowa, missouri and illinois. his targets on wall street are not happy. the showdown between president obama and the nation's biggest banks is on. >> we can't allow financial institutions the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy. using money and connections to stack the deck. >> reporter: as the president prepares for a major address on his financial reform plan thursday, blocs from wall street, banks announced huge first quarter profits.
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and they're using them to fight back. >> wall street has been pouring money into washington. >> reporter: by some accounts paying more than 1,000 lobbyists to argue more regulation would slow the economy. >> you take money out of that system and there's lots of it. you have a system that grinds to a halt. >> reporter: senate democrats seem to be daring republicans to block reform. with just 59 democrats, one short to block a bill-killing gop filibuster, senate leaders need at least one republican. but they're moving ahead anyway toward a vote and a potential standoff. >> you either believe we need to strengthen oversight of wall street or you don't. >> reporter: republicans objected to a $50 billion fund to unwind failing banks. >> we need to end bailouts. >> reporter: now that the white house and senate democrats are considering dropping the fund from bill republicans say they're back in negotiations. >> serious talks have resumed. >> one major target of reform is derivatives, those complex bets that helped tank banks and the economy. for democrats, example number one is goldman sachs. now under fire for allegedly engineering a mortgage product that was designed to fail.
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jeremy and vinita? for the first time in six days planes are landing at london's heathrow airport. a jetliner from vancouver, british columbia, was the first to touch down since the volcano in iceland erupted last week. as you can see there are a lot of passengers happy to be back home. officials are warning it will take weeks before everyone reaches their destination. as for the volcanic eruptions which triggered this travel chaos, neal karlinsky says there is hopeful news. >> reporter: iceland's lead scientists got a fresh look from above the volcano and came out with a feeling they haven't had in nearly a week. relief. >> the amount of magma that's coming out of the crater is decreasing. >> is it accurate to say perhaps the worst is over? >> we hope so. >> reporter: in the fallout zone we found scientist skya taking ash samples that she'll bring to a lab for testing. >> hopefully we can predict whether there's a lot more of the magma still to come out.
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>> reporter: we tagged along as she patrolled the hardest-hit area to monitor the volcano. it's all about the wind here. the ash was coming straight out the top of the volcano, over this valley, and on into europe. but for now, the wind has shifted, moving the ash elsewhere. it couldn't come soon enough for this ash-battered valley filled with weary people who face months of digging out and farmland left in tatters. do you think the coming season will be okay? >> no, i don't think so. >> no? it's going to take another year for it to get better? >> yeah, maybe next year. >> reporter: scientists caution that while they think the worst is over, it's not an exact science. and while the rest of the world breathes easier, people here aren't out of the woods yet. neal karlinsky, abc news, iceland. something of a bizarre development in the corruption case against former illinois governor rod blagojevich. in a tv appearance timed for last evening's newscast blagojevich blasted federal prosecutors. he'll come face to face with
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them today. blagojevich accused the feds of dirty tricks in an effort to suppress evidence he claims will exonerate him. >> while they're lying about me, i can deal with that, i'm in this business. last week in their proffer of lies they're hitting below the belt and attacking my wife. they are cowards and they are liars. the government sneaking into court tomorrow to try to file a motion to keep all the tapes from being heard. >> the fbi had secretly recorded blagojevich's conversations about filling the senate seat vacated by president obama. they led to racketeering and fraud charges which blagojevich has pleaded not guilty to. the police department in a southern california town has been the target of a series of booby trap attacks and now authorities have struck back. there have been three instances targeting police headquarters. 16 people, all with connections to white supremacist groups, were arrested yesterday. 35 homes were raided in a search for evidence. the colorado couple behind last october's balloon boy incident will be paying restitution. richard and mayumi heene have
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agreed to pay $36,000 to authorities who responded when they reported that their 6-year-old son had floated away in that homemade helium balloon. it was all a hoax and heenes have both done jail time for staging it. there's little balloon boy himself. >> good to hear they have to pay for some of this. it affected so much. >> the people of colorado are happy about that. here's a look at your weather. rain for much of the west coast and the western rockies. thunderstorms in some of the western plain states. rain also expected from the carolinas to new jersey and in south florida. the rest of the eastern u.s. should be clear. >> a warm 71 in new york today. 69 for boston. 62 in baltimore. chicago can expect a high of 51. detroit should get up to 68. and most of the west coast should see highs in the 50s today. here is a good excuse for not finishing a construction job. my saw blade ran away. home surveillance camera captured a construction worker's round saw blade fall off and spin across the lawn in ohio. look at it go. it left a deep gash in a vacant house.
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>> the worker retrieved the blade -- there's the gash -- and put it back on the machine and left. the couple that recorded the accident looked at the tape when they wanted to know why the work wasn't finished. >> god forbid a dog or a person standing in the way of that blade. >> that is incredible. look at how big that blade was as well. >> he's no bob vila. or norm even. >> or ty pennington. we'll be back with more "world news now." diabetes scared me to death. there's so much to learn. but liberty walked me through it all... like when i test at night or after i eat... makes a big difference. when it comes to your diabetes supplies, quality and reliability are important. that's why liberty offers the accu-chek aviva meter. and it's the only meter and strip combination
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there is a growing darker side to facebook and other social networking websites that could leave younger users especially vulnerable. >> police are warning users, especially parents and children, about criminals looking for their next victim on facebook. nick watt reports from london.
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>> reporter: this is where they found ashley hall's body. her arms were bound, duct tape covered her mouth. this shy 17-year-old girl had been raped and murdered by someone she met on facebook. >> if you're an overweight girl who lives in england and doesn't have someone to love her, you will look for that and you will grab at that and the predators know that. >> reporter: peter chapman, a 33-year-old convicted rapist, was arrested next day on an unrelated charge. he confessed to ashley's murder. >> tell me what you said to me in the cell. >> i killed somebody last night. i need to tell someone in cid where the body is. >> reporter: chapman had posed online as a handsome teenage boy, had befriended ashley on facebook and other sides, sent her flattering messages. arranged to meet. my dad's on his way, babe, he told her. he's here, babe, replies ashley.
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chapman raped and suffocated her in his car and dumped her in a field. the famously opinionated british press called for action. britain's child exploitation and online protection center claimed publicly that in just the first quarter of this year, it received 253 complaints about facebook. 39% of them suspected cases of kids being groomed online by pedophiles. last december the world's most popular social network site created a global safety advisory board to tackle such issues as online stalking and cyber bullying among its 400 million users. serious crimes are rare but when they happen, capture headlines. in january, phoebe prince killed herself after allegedly suffering relentless online attacks from other students at her massachusetts high school.
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now, what british officials are asking facebook to do is to put on every single page what they call a panic button. they want all of britain's 23 million facebook users to see this button, which can take them directly to advice similar to that now offered by facebook, and also to contacts for local law enforcement. for kids, a safety net. for predators, perhaps a deterrent. facebook said no. >> we asked facebook to take the button in the same way as msn and aol and others had and put it in their environment, so children could report to us when they were afraid in the online environment. they chose not to do that. >> reporter: ashley hall's mother echoes that demand. >> all the other sites have got it on. so why hasn't facebook got it on? >> reporter: advice offered through the button for kids includes if someone online says something inappropriate, it is important for you to tell an adult you trust or report directly to us. it is vital that you stop the chat with them immediately.
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and their rule number one for a parent, if you understand the internet and understand what the risks are, there are a number of things you can do that will make your child safer online. facebook wouldn't give us an interview but e-mailed this statement. facebook is a leader in online safety. our experience affirms there is no single answer or silver bullet that makes the internet or facebook safer. >> bottom line, it's making sure that the information users need to keep themselves safe is there and that they know when to reach out to law enforcement and get help. >> reporter: carrie aftab is an internet safety expert and adviser to facebook. she believes facebook is doing all it can. the rest, she says, is up to us. and is, i suppose, offline. >> it's not a matter of buttons or even internet safety information. we need to make sure that young people engage the most important filter we have, this one, the one between their ears.
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>> reporter: the police who investigated ashley hall's murder agree. >> our message is, do not meet people that you've only met on social networking sites. i'm also a realist. i know that people will still go on and do that. so there's preventive messages that you need to listen to. and that is, if you're going to meet someone, tell someone where you're going to meet them. tell them who you're going to meet. and only meet them in very, very public places. >> reporter: sadly an online panic button probably wouldn't have saved ashley hall. she didn't think she was in danger. she thought she was in love. i'm nick watt in london. >> in response to all of these problems, facebook has added something it calls the safety center. it's actually something that you can click on the facebook website. it's really hard to find. it has the resources that you probably want as a parent, being able to reach out to law enforcement. like i said, you really have to
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navigate the site well. >> that's not good. they have stepped up here in the u.s. i think they worked with something like 49 state attorneys general to try and weed out predators online. they've made steps over here but clearly some steps still need to be made overseas in britain. we have some other news to report this morning. pioneer civil rights leader dorothy height has died. >> president obama calls height the godmother of the civil rights movement. she served as the director of the national council of negro women for 40 years and won the congressional gold medal on her 92nd birthday. >> height had been in a washington, d.c. hospital for weeks where she died on tuesday. dorothy height was 98 years old.
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if you hate kate, then we got some good news for you.
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if you're a big fan, this is a disappointment. "dancing with the stars," she's been the character that everybody's loved to hate. and the judges have really gone off on her. >> i think even if you liked her you had to acknowledge her dancing was -- >> not a very good dancer. >> no. >> she was in the bottom two, right up there next to pamela anderson, and wouldn't you know it, kate is out. >> why do people not like pamela? >> whatever is worthy of my time, i give my all. and i did. even though maybe sometimes it didn't come across. i was scared to death most of the time. to be out here. >> as exhausted as she was she still showed up every single day. as a teacher i'm very proud of you. i thought you danced beautifully and showed america it doesn't matter how much things go against you, you still come out here and give it your best. >> i'm very, very honored to have been here. i love everyone that i met. it was a great experience and i'm sorry i'm crying, i'm a cry baby. >> very emotional for her obviously. but the judges as we said were
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brutal. i think tony her dance partner could have had more life out of a frock on a coat hanger than he had with kate gosselin on the dance floor. up next for her, she's got a court date. jon's taking her to court saying she shirked her duties and he wants custody because she was off doing "dancing with the stars" and not being a good parent. so that court date's next month. >> i hope pamela anderson isn't next. like i said, i think she's good. i don't know why she was up there. >> she's doing well. >> she's doing really good. it's ochocinco i think might be next. >> you heard it here first. >> cameron douglas, despite the pleas of his famous family, michael douglas and grandfather kirk douglas, is going to jail for four years. this all stems from a conspiracy charge to distribute crystal meth and cocaine. he was up against -- i should say five years. more than four years, sorry about that. he was up against ten years as a possibility. they ended up giving him the more than four-year sentence. the judge in the case said something interesting. he said he's gotten too many
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letters from famous people that treated him like a victim. so he more or less said, it's time for him to serve his sentence. all this stems from an instance where half a pound of crystal meth was shipped overnight by him, then while he was in lockup his girlfriend snuck in some drugs for him. she was caught and arrested and he was returned to lockup. the eight months he's already been in jail counts toward that four-plus. >> that's good for him. a series of bad decisions it sounds like. too bad. well, you remember, here's "the skinny" update for you. david copperfield, this woman who claims she was picked out of the audience by david copperfield, lured to his private island and sexually assaulted. she's now dropping her rape case against copperfield. apparently she's not saying it didn't happen, she's just basically saying she's tired of fighting this. she says it's never been about money, i just want him held accountable for what he did. the prosecutors and fbi investigated for two years, searched his place in vegas. they closed the case this year without filing any criminal charges against him. so apparently they didn't find enough there. apparently she had done this in
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the past. she was charged with fabricating sexual assault claims against another man. >> oh. >> so there you have it. >> interesting tidbit there. >> she's dropping it. >> so you know how i'm always saying it's the year of the indian? >> yes. >> bad news for a fellow indian. kumar, his name is kal penn, he was robbed apparently. sounds like it happened in washington, d.c. 1:30 a.m. tuesday. they say it was a street robbery. keep in mind he is the associate director in the white house office of public engagement. >> he's leaving that job to go back to being kumar again. >> another "harold and kumar" holiday movie. >> just as the guy leaves d.c., what's his going-away present, they stick him up and try to rob him. >> they say his wallet and other possessions were taken. it doesn't say there was any incident of violence. an incident like this happens they don't want to report too much information so he probably didn't want too much dirt. >> too bad neil patrick harris wasn't there to help save the day.
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>> that's right, in the movie.
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here are some stories to watch today on abc news. a national day of mourning today in china after last week's earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people. more than 12,000 were injured when the quake hit in a rural area. state regulators in west virginia plan to release new coal mining safety guidelines today. industry changes on ventilation are expected after an explosion killed 29 miners earlier this month. and the former president and first lady george and laura bush accept a big honor today in dallas. they will receive the medal of freedom at a ceremony at southern methodist university. finally this half hour, a trip down into the deepest parts of the ocean to get a rare closeup look at a remarkable yet elusive creature. >> national geographic captured pictures of the giant pacific octopus and its habitat.
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here's john berman. >> reporter: it is an enigma of the deep. unseen until you notice just a wiggle of an arm. arms that can span up to 30 feet. national geographic went searching for the giant pacific octopus. part of sea-faring lore. it was no easy find. it has an uncanny ability to squish into the smallest of places. limited by just one thing. >> these are the two halves of an octopus beak. if it can fit this beak through a hole, the whole animal can be squeezed through. >> reporter: not that an octopus needs to hide. each sucker on each leg can hold up to 35 pounds. >> times 200 suckers times eight arms, you have an animal that's capable of supporting multi tons. >> reporter: capable of doing battle with a shark. this shark got away. but an octopus will use its beak to pierce a shark's hide, killing it on the spot.
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but for all the toughness, there is a tenderness. the team discovered a sight rarely seen. a female octopus nursing her eggs. 100,000 of them. an octopus will live just three or four years. the nesting process will take all of her strength. after the eggs hatch, she will die. and of the 100,000 eggs that do hatch, a mere two -- two -- will survive to become adults. and begin again the glide of mystery. john berman, abc news. >> fascinating. i had no idea about that. the idea they can support that much weight, plus the whole notion that the sharks have a predator underwater. these guys can really squeeze them. >> the life cycle is sad. >> it is sad. >> to hear so few also are able -- those are just some really unbelievable images. they're just captivating. you can't look away. >> we're showing them in deep water here. apparently they can also live in shallow coastal waters. imagine running into that when
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you're out surfing.
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