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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  December 14, 2010 3:05am-4:30am EST

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help is not the four letter word they all warned you about. it's in the places you work, and in the places you play. in the time of distress... in a mess... it's common to depend upon and lean on. no team won ever because of just one. help is not weakness or bleakness, so hear this. there's no shame in my feeling, we all need help's healing. to be propped up and brought up... it's only natural. help is not a scary thing. so rejoice now, hear my voice now. support is what the world is about now. all we need to do is reach out now. whatever you're going through, we're here to listen... to provide help and hope when you need it most. visit your life your voice dot org for e-mail and live chat, or call anytime 1-800-448-3000 (tdd# 1-800-448-1433). it's your life. it's your voice. use it.
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his job as commander of nato forces in afghanistan. richard holbrooke was 69. chuck sigh vert sen, abc news. >> holbrooke is survived by his wife, his two sons and his two stepchildren. moving now to political news this morning, embattled republican party chairman michael steele says he wants to keep his job. steele announced that he's seeking a second term as gop chief. that's despite allegations of not only financial mismanagement, but also some very high-profile verbal gaffes in recent years. steele though is the first african-american ever elected as republican chairman. he though will face at least six others in next month's leadership vote. >> we'd heard maybe he wouldn't be but now apparently he will be. on capitol hill the tax cut deal hammered out by president obama and republicans is one step closer to becoming law. >> senators could give it their
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final stamp of approval later today. but its future in the house is a lot more uncertain. >> john hendren is in washington with the details. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning, vinita and rob. the president has been raising the pressure on congress at every opportunity to pass this deal, and last night the senate handed in his first major victory. the senate easily approved the test vote on the tax cut deal, a test both of the senate's ability to pass it and president obama's powers of persuasion. >> i am pleased to announce at this hour the united states senate is moving forward on a package of tax cuts that has strong bipartisan support. >> reporter: that vote paves the way for final passage in the next day or two. >> taken as a whole, the bill that the senate quill allow to proceed does some very good things for america's economy and the american people. >> reporter: the president's arguments could be working. a new abc news/"washington post" poll finds two of three americans back the deal, including a majority of democrats, independents, and three of four republicans.
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even more on capitol hill. >> passing this bilson the biggest tax hike in the history of the country won't happen is one thing that will bring some certain certainty. >> reporter: some democrats complain the $858 billion tax package would bring more red ink, not more jobs. >> extending tax cuts for the wealthy is one of the least effective ways to create jobs. >> reporter: even some who railed against the bill voted for it. including democrat mary landrieu and republican john mccain. >> i'll vote for it. but it's not what the people said they wanted done on november 2nd. >> reporter: what's still not clear is whether this measure can pass in the house. it is a apparently sailing through the senate. but with just days to go in the lame duck congress, the house is not scheduled to vote. well, and the president wasn't trying to win support for that tax cut deal, he took some time to hang out with the nba champion los angeles lakers. >> but it wasn't the ordinary event to honor the team's second straight title.
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instead of visiting the white house, everyone went to the boys and girls club of washington. they made care packages for wounded soldiers. >> mr. obama thanked the players for their charitable programs with children. put the champs to work. >> yeah, look at kobe and president obama. you can see there's not as much of a height difference as i would think there. >> that's right. >> we'll be right back with more "world news now."
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it's a story that played out like a shakespearean tragedy almost. a son shamed by his father, kills himself, leaving a young family behind. >> the story is all too real, though. mark madoff, son of bernie madoff, killed himself over the weekend. now we're learning more about what mark's life was really like after his father's incredible fall from grace. brian ross investigates. mark madoff's true passion was fishing. not washington street.
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so much so that he and his brother andy invested in a company that makes fishing reels and produced this video. and friends said mark only reluctantly went to work in the family business, and went down the road that would lead to tragedy. >> he loved life and he thought about everybody before he thought about himself. >> reporter: eleanor scolari was bernie madoff's secretary for 25 years and watched mark and his brother grow up. >> always knew that mark wore his heart on his sleeve. and he wanted to be liked. it was just his personality. i certainly liked him. people who were around him, you couldn't help it, he was so jubilant, he was so -- he was so sweet. >> reporter: 46-year-old mark madoff took his life saturday on the second anniversary of his father's arrest. a date on which his life of luxury and privilege became one of torment and shame. his father-in-law discovered the body hanging from a pipe on a
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dog leash. his 2-year-old son, nick, asleep in another room of the new york apartment. mark had sent an e-mail to his wife stephanie saying, i love you, send someone to take care of nick. >> how do you think he could have gotten to the point where he would hang himself with his 2-year-old son in a nearby room? >> i don't know. i don't -- i don't -- i don't want to go there. it's hard for me to go there. to think that, you know -- but it had to have been unrelenting. for him to go -- to go there and to feel that he had no way out. >> and he loved his children. >> oh yeah. >> reporter: madoff's former secretary says she is convinced neither mark nor his brother randy were aware of the ponzi scheme being run by their father for so many years. >> he had to live for the last two years under the scrutiny and the innuendos and people alluding to the fact that he
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should have known or he had to have known. well, you know what? he didn't. and i would bet my life on it. >> reporter: but as bernie madoff's son, he led an extravagant lifestyle. paid for with tens of millions of dollars that bankruptcy trustee says was stolen from madoff's investors. in a lawsuit, the trustee alleges, if the family members had been doing their jobs, honestly and faithfully, the madoff ponzi scheme might never have succeeded or continued for so long. >> one of the theories is that some of these people were in control or were absolutely in a position to understand what was going on. others simply benefited on a rather extravagant basis. >> reporter: for the last two years, the once picture perfect madoffs were a dysfunctional family. friends say mark was so angry about his father's crimes that he cut off all communication with him and also refused to speak with his mother, ruth, whom he called an enabler.
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his suicide may have been a final message. >> i think bernie got the message. >> did he deserve to get that message? >> yeah. well, mark didn't deserve to die. but bernie deserves to be where he is. i'm very angry. at bernie. that he did -- he made a choice. and -- and it came to this. >> what about ruth? >> i -- i -- i feel sorry for ruth right now. i'm sure she's so devastated. because mark was just a loving child. >> ruth seemed to have had a choice. support your sons, support your husband. >> she made the wrong choice. and i'm sure she's paying for it. >> reporter: on a mark madoff facebook page, his friends remembered him as a sensitive, caring person who did not deserve what happened to him. he was one of the best people i ever knew, wrote a high school friend. so sad, wrote a former madoff employee. sleep tight, mark.
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brian ross, abc news, new york. >> in addition to that e-mail that he wrote to his wife before killing him, he also wrote an e-mail to his own lawyer saying, no one wants to hear the truth. he denied it to the very end he knew anything about what his dad was up to. >> you heard from the lady in the piece talking about the constant scrutiny. people who just happen to have the same last name as madoff. they say making reservations, checking out with a credit card, even one woman went so far as to say when her daughter applied to schools they actually put "no relation" on all the applications because there's that immediate association. last name, maybe it's connected. >> just like a scarlet letter for the rest of your life, that's incredible. coming up, anything but smooth sailing lately on cruise ships. >> what cruise lines are doing when passengers run into the worst conditions. we'll be right back. ♪three blind mice, ♪three blind mice,
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♪see how they run, ♪see how they run... ♪ ♪
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you're looking at some live pictures there first of laguardia, there at george washington bridge. laguardia's what every traveler doesn't want to see. >> no kidding. >> you see the flurries coming down there. you see the starting to stick. >> luckily we're a lot better here than in the midwest. it's brutal in the middle of the country. >> minneapolis, we're sorry. >> that's rough. speaking of travel, this has certainly not been a good year to take an ocean cruise. luxury liner in the mediterranean that was battered by hurricane-force winds and 30-foot waves. >> now as the passengers are returning to port we're hearing about a very perilous journey to say the least. here's linsey davis. >> reporter: first, a stomach-churning ride. now rage is swelling inside the ship. after this uproar, royal caribbean announced passengers would get a full refund.
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the ship was off the coast of egypt when it was slammed by 30-foot waves and more than 60-mile-per-hour winds. glass was shattered, furniture toppled, and the ship's 20-foot christmas tree came tumbling down. at least 30 passengers were injured. >> for a split few seconds, we -- we thought we were going to die. >> reporter: it's been rough waters for the cruise industry lately. in tampa a ship was prevented from docking because of high winds and rough conditions. last week, it was the calia ii cruise ship in the antarctic. and who could forget the waves that struck off the coast of spain in march. >> people ran to their computers to report this. they didn't wait until they pulled into port. >> reporter: the timing is terrible. >> because it's wait period. a time of year when most cruises are booked. >> reporter: so far, no signs americans are holding off on booking cruises. but the industry is watching closely. and experts say if there's more
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high anxiety on the high seas, expect some steep discounts. linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> linsey mentioned discounts there. questions dentally confuses are pretty cheap right now. and if you wake up often in the middle of the night... rest is here, on the wings of lunesta. lunesta helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, so you can wake up feeling rested. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness.
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the minnesota vikings' brett favre, the iron man of football, was actually forced to sit out last night's game against the giants, ending his unbelievable streak of starting, get this, 297 straight games. a bum shoulder forced the qb to simply be a spectate are last night. it was an amazing streak that literally spanned 19 nfl seasons. >> putting his hand down his shorts, was that rehabbing it? >> that's a whole different issue. so how did the vikings do without favre? as they played detroit they could have used him. the giants ran all over them for 213 yards winning easily 21-3. favre's replacement that varis
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jackson was sacked four times and even knocked out of the game for a little while. tough game for favre to watch. not even on the home field anymore. as we said, it was in detroit. >> brett will be back, we know that. finally as the world watched the story of those chilean miners unfold we all learned a lot about those 33 men. one liked elvis, one had a mistress but they all like soccer. >> or football as they call it. manchester united. the bbc's ben thomas has more. >> reporter: after an 18-hour flight there was still plenty for the miners to smile about. every one of them a guest at manchester united. how has life changed for you? claudio told me, yes, it's changed totally. that change happened over 69 days. their ordeal and rescue was watched around the world. when they emerged they were in big demand.
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it was manchester united's turn to share the stage with the miners. it was sir bobby charleson who invited them here. >> we're really delighted. everybody in the world. if you get the opportunity to thank them, and then this is it. >> reporter: now many brands want to be associated with the miners. the trip to manchester united is being organized by one of the club's sponsors, a chilean wine producer. "it was an honor to be at old trafford." a place he'd only previously seen on television. after similar trips to spain, germany and the united states, it's a lifestyle some of these men may have to get used to. >> the honors keep rolling in for these guys. they had a chance to sit with david beckham during the game.
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they're nominated to be "time's" people of the year, person of the year, whatever you want to call it. the honors keep rolling in for the guys. the honors keep rolling in for the guys. >> honor wel let's turn over this log. yeah! both: whoa! i like the big black ones. i like the brown wiggly ones. mmm. i like the green crunchy ones myself. whoa. explore nature. there are surprises everywhere. go to [female announcer] in today's tough economy, there's a lot of people out there promising
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stuck in snow. drivers in danger going nowhere fast. how they coped for hours. daring rescue. a mother and child trapped in a burning suv. >> they were our guardian angels. >> the spreading flames and a race against time. then, generous act. a hollywood starlet's drive to save lives. it's tuesday, december 14th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> you probably recognize her in the video, that's mandy moore. >> doing good work this holiday season. giving up some time in hollywood for a much better cause. good for her. >> yes.
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good morning and thanks for being with us. i'm vinita nair. >> i'm rob nelson. the south is shivering under some record-breaking low temperatures this morning as a frigid weather system now shifts east. >> behind that system they are still digging out in the midwest. some drivers are finally home after being stranded in their cars for 12 hours. chris bury is on the road in indiana. >> reporter: in the flat and frozen tundra of northern indiana, the highways looked like snowy junkyards. strong winds piled up huge drifts, leading to numerous accidents. leaving at least 70 cars and trucks stranded. how many cars and trucks have you pulled out already? >> truck-wise i've pulled out about ten. car-wise -- i've lost count on cars. >> lost count? >> lost count. >> reporter: sean cunningham who took these pictures on his phone was trying to get home to chicago from ft. wayne. >> we were stuck probably for about 13 hours overnight.
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so we were incredibly lucky to have enough gas to make it through the night. >> reporter: we crawled east along a treacherous u.s. 30. near val pa race sa. >> you can see a car and truck both stuck in the snow here. the traffic can barely make its way along. conditions still pretty bleak here, the wind is blowing, visibility is poor. >> reporter: we came across megan reid who lost control of her car. >> i couldn't see the road, pretty much. >> it was just whiteout? >> yeah. >> you wound up in the ditch? >> there was snow blowing so hard you couldn't see your headlights in front of you. >> reporter: three indiana counties declared states of emergency. some roads were barely recognizable. >> right now it's just a safety issue. we need to open the roads and get people home. >> reporter: sean cunningham was almost home. >> we've gotten food, water, and a break. so we're on the mend. >> reporter: their ordeal had lasted nearly 24 hours. on a trip that usually takes less than four.
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chris bury, abc news, on u.s. 30 in indiana. >> wow. in kansas city it was a wintry mix that no one could have predicted. a water main break shot so much water into the air it completely covered a home. with temperatures in the teens everything on that property froze solid. the homeowner literally had to use a blow torch to thaw the lock and open the front door. >> not a good time for your pipes to freeze. >> not at all, oh, man. homeowners in western washington have a soggy mess on their hands this morning too. there were even more landslides and flooding yesterday after a record rainfall in seattle as well as in some other low-lying areas. dozens of riverside homes were damaged and some people say the water rushed in so fast they didn't have time to move their belongings to higher ground. meanwhile, farmers in florida are spending an anxious night trying to save their crop. citrus fruit and tomatoes are especially vulnerable. >> with more on the deep freeze we're joined by accuweather's ava dinges. good morning to you, ava.
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>> good morning, rob and vinita. a legitimate reason for some people in florida to grab their winter coats. here we're taking a look at morning temperatures. 18 in jacksonville. tampa 30. even miami 35. but some low-lying areas could even be to that freezing mark. and it's really because the cold air is coming in across the central tier of the country, sliding its way all the way into florida. while portions of central florida may be into the 20s, it may be even warmer than that to start the day in new york city. 21 in new york city, where jacksonville is looking to be at 18 degrees. all this cold air in the east has also been sparking up lake-effect snow. heavy snow in northern indiana, continuing throughout the day. also eastern ohio, east of cleveland, all the way back into buffalo. some locations have already seen a foot of snow and could see an additional foot throughout the day. into the west it's all about the rain. we've seen about 4 inches of rain in seattle just over the last two days. they had a bit of a lull over the nighttime hours. as we go throughout the day, more heavy rain is expected and that will lead to additional flooding. back to you, rob and vinita.
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>> ava, thanks. now here are some of today's high temperatures for the rest of the country. mild in the west. phoenix will warm up to 76. sacramento 57. and albuquerque 63. >> just 7 degrees today in the twin cities. 20s meanwhile in omaha, chicago, and detroit. 30s along much of the east coast. miami eventually warms up to 56. and in hotlanta, anything but, it is 34 today. president obama is among those remembering the long public career of richard holbrooke. the veteran diplomat died after suffering a torn aorta. at the time of his death he was a special envoy to pakistan and afghanistan. hoed he had served under every democratic president from john f. kennedy to president obama. mr. holbrooke was 69 years old. the senate could give its final approval today to that tax cut deal hammered out by president obama and republicans. the $858 billion measure sailed through the senate and a test vote monday with overwhelming support. even though its passage by
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senators is all but assured it's clear not everyone is on board. >> passing this bill so that the biggest tax hike in the here of the country won't happen is one thing that will bring some certainty. >> extending tax cuts for the wealthy is one of the least effective ways to create jobs. >> the bill's future, though, is far from certain in the house where a vote has not even been scheduled yet. if it's not passed by january 1st those bush-era tax rates and some unemployment benefits will expire. the battle over alaska's u.s. senate race has now moved to the state's highest court. republican joe miller filed an appeal to the alaska supreme court after being turned down by a lower court. he is challenging how the state conducted the election and how it counted write-in ballots for his rival, senator lisa murkowski. arguments will be heard friday. indirectly story here. imagine being in a car crash so terrible, you actually considered throwing your newborn
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from the burning car. that's what one north carolina mom thought when she found herself trapped inside the fiery suv with her baby. some say what happened next is a christmas miracle. reporter ken lemon of our charlotte station, wsoc, has more. >> reporter: she came into the fire department crying. this is why kathy lambert is so thankful. she was in the driver's seat of this burning suv, her 3-week-old son landon trapped in the car seat behind her, when she hit the tree. >> they were our guardian angels. >> reporter: her legs were stuck. the flames started to spread. the desperate mother said at one point things looked so bad she decided to just reach around, grab the car seat, and throw the baby from the burning suv. >> i thought as long as he made it, i was happy. >> reporter: she said she prepared to toss her baby out when she heard firemen. >> i was happy to see them. >> reporter: they were nearby
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all along. members of the community volunteer fire department were at a christmas party about 50 yards away. >> had that not happened we probably wouldn't be here. >> reporter: some firemen went to the scene, leaving behind their tools and trucks. one used a two-way radio to shatter the window so they could rescue lambert and her newborn. >> if there would have only been two people here they still would have had a very difficult time taking care of that particular situation. >> unbelievable. that report again from ken lemon of wsoc. ironically, two months ago the lamberts alerted one of their neighbors their house was on fire. that family escaped the fire unharmed. the holiday spirit has been rekindled in one israeli city not far from where thousands of trees were destroyed in forest fires. >> another kind of tree has gone up in the center of haifa that's sure to put smiles on people's faces. this christmas tree was built using more than 5,000 plastic bottles.
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>> the bottle tops are holding the whole thing together. it took the artist about a month to build the tree. she thanks her family for all the help. i wonder if she drank all that water by herself. >> she's in the bathroom right now. we'll be right back. wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww if your racing thoughts keep you awake...
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sleep is here, on the wings of lunesta. and if you wake up often in the middle of the night... rest is here, on the wings of lunesta. lunesta helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, so you can wake up feeling rested. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion.
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in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. get lunesta for a $0 co-pay at sleep well, on the wings of lunesta. back in back in the day, cheating in class meant writing your notes on your palm or on the bottom of your shoe. but all that's changed. >> these high school and college students are taking cheating to the next level and they are going digital. and students are getting support doing it from a surprising source. david muir reports. >> reporter: this young man is relieved to know finals will soon be over.
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the college papers. the thesis projects. after all, he has spent ten years writing them for other students, who pay him. what's the most you've been paid to write a paper? >> a 175-page accounting paper that made me $2,000. >> a lot of folks would say $2,000 is a good chunk of change. >> indeed. >> reporter: we've agreed to alter his voice and call him ed to conceal his identity. and ed is not alone. this is 21st century cheating. the outsourcing of college work. >> hey there, what's up? do you really want to spend countless days and nights stuck working on your homework? yeah, neither did i. >> there are companies out there that do this. >> thousands. >> and it's perfectly legal. >> it is, it is. i pay taxes. >> reporter: in fact, there are thousands of writers hard at work on finals right now. they're just not the ones actually in school. you say you've written toward a master's degree in cognitive psychology? >> indeed. >> a ph.d. in sociology? >> uh-huh. >> business administration, pharmacology, maritime security? >> uh-huh. >> did you ever go to a public library or do any research? >> no, no, absolutely not.
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i google everything. everything is googleable. >> reporter: by some estimates, nearly 70% of college students say they've cheated. at the honors program at hofstra university, we asked five professors with experienced eyes if we ordered a paper for one of their exams, could they tell the difference? we pay extra for a rush job, $340 for a paper on ancient literature. we hand it in along with other papers actually written by students at hofstra. so all three of these papers look like papers you would get. >> yes, absolutely. >> yes. >> was there one paper, if you had to guess, that would be the one that was paid for? you say? >> paper "c." >> i would have said paper "c." >> "c." >> "d." >> "a." >> it was "a." just one professor picked it out. and even so, she admitted this -- >> this paper, what would i do? i'd grade it. >> there's nothing about it that says? >> there's nothing about it i can prove. >> reporter: in fact, one of the professors actually put the paper through scanning software
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used by so many universities that looks for plagiarism. the result? >> everything here is correct. >> reporter: another paper passing muster. which is why ghostwriters like ed will continue to get desperate e-mails like this one from students. >> this customer says, where you are can you get my messages? please i pay a lot and don't have a to fail. >> i'm curious, where are the parents in all this? >> oftentimes right alongside the students. they are paying for the student's paper. >> reporter: we met gene, a sophomore, who used the allowance from his mother to pay for his work. >> i've ordered multiple papers online. >> are you okay with yourself doing that? >> yeah, i was 100% okay with doing it. i know at least ten people who do it. >> ten? >> at least. at least ten. >> how much did you make this week? >> i was on pace to make $66,000. >> do you stop writing? >> i have. >> do you wish you hadn't done it at all? >> absolutely not. i don't know anybody in the world who would trade the education i've had.
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>> reporter: he says he wouldn't trade that education. and what's the answer? part of it might come from those very professors who took part in our experiment at hofstra. they say they created smaller class sizes to get to know their students on a personal level. they expect to hear their students' voices reflected back in those papers. david muir, abc news, new york. >> wow. that sounds scary enough, get this. the ghostwriter in that story says he's written papers for seminary students. >> he says he takes excerpts including you know those summaries for amazon books? from everything. he's taken excerpts from that. that scares me if i was a student and knew that little detail. >> only one professor got it right, that's crazy. a major development involving tiger woods' ex-wife. >> michael jackson's new album is out today. and another performer is disgusted about it. all coming up next in "the skinny."
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the british newspaper "the sun" has a story out that is sure to catch anyone's eye because they're basically saying that elin nordegren, tiger's ex, might have a new boyfriend.
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>> good for her. i think most people like that. >> the fact that she could be moving on. they're saying she's with a 35-year-old south african at a college. she basically is studying right now. they're saying she's studying mental health counseling at florida's rollins college and she's with a 35-year-old guy. the source who is unnamed says there's been kissing and cuddling but i don't know if it's gone any further. they describe the guy as a hunky student. you can tell there's no images of the guy. but he says -- the source says he witnessed a kiss between the two of them while he was walking elin back to her car. in the school parking lot. so interesting to say the least. >> after what she's been through, she deserves a little bit of love, a little bit of happiness, a dude that treats her right. good for elin. >> i feel bad for him considering how much interest there's going to be in him should this be a real story. >> get used to the spotlight, dude, that's for sure. speaking of couples here, i think maybe in the last month or two about the rumor that chelsea and 50 cent are together.
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oh, no, we're not, we deny it, blah, blah, blah. guess what chelsea tweeted. the picture you see, the two are cuddled in bed, putting the kiss on his cheek. then she tweets along with the photo, i don't know why anyone thinks that i would ever date a rapper. that's what she tweets. anyway, the first photograph together back in new orleans, that started the rumors, he was on her show sometime last year, very flirty and all this. a source, again unnamed, says it's been going on awhile. it's more a hookup thing whenever they are in the same town. i don't know. the question here is she tweeted herself. shameless publicity or really something going on? trying to get out of that mess she created when she made those jokes about angelina jolie? i don't know what's going on. that's the latest in the 50 cent/chelsea saga. >> she could probably get back for hundreds of thousands of dollars because everyone wants the scandal to be true. >> i'm sure it's not staged at all. >> right. >> we'll see. >> so will i am is out talking very openly.
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he uses the word "disgust" for the michael jackson album. we heard some of these rumblings before. he's basically saying, michael jackson was an ultimate perfectionist. he goes on to say, he was such a perfectionist about his songs he would literally stand in the studio himself, mastering and mixing everything. the song he's talking about if you haven't heard it, take a quick listen. ♪ ♪ tell me what you're waiting for ♪ >> and that album is out today. this song "hold my hand" with akon is reportedly the subject of the conversation with "rolling stone" magazine. he goes so far to say,, he had a conversation with michael jackson before his death where michael said, somebody leaked one of these songs, why would they do that, why does anyone do that? >> i'm a huge michael jackson fan. i'd rather have something imperfect than nothing at all. maybe that's just me. celebrity breakups to report. your boy zac efron, vanessa hudgens, done.
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the split was amicable. the two young stars are through. and also, surprise here. "dexter" star michael c. hall and carpenter are calling it quit after two years of marriage. if your racing thoughts keep you awake...
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sleep is here, on the wings of lunesta. and if you wake up often in the middle of the night... rest is here, on the wings of lunesta. lunesta helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, so you can wake up feeling rested. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness.
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ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. get lunesta for a $0 co-pay at sleep well, on the wings of lunesta. here are some stories to watch today on abc news. italy's prime minister faces a vote of no confidence in parliament today. that vote could drive silvio berlusconi from office. he's been fighting for political survival. also, lawyers for wikileaks founder julian assange will be in court in london today trying to win his release on bail. assange is in custody on sexual misconduct charges. >> a new survey on teens and marijuana use is expected to be released today by the federal government. it should reveal drug use trends among students in junior and senior high school. finally from us, usually when a movie is a box office hit
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the movie's top star is out promoting the film. but not mandy moore. >> instead the star of disney's "tangled" is in africa where she's trying to save children threatened by malaria. she's now asking for your help. here's dr. richard besser. >> reporter: mandy moore is in the central african republic to distribute bed nets for a group called nothing but nets. >> voila! >> reporter: their goal? to help prevent malaria, a disease transmitted by mosquitos that infects over 500 million people and kills more than 1 million each year. >> realizing that a child in africa dies every 45 seconds from malaria, and that really with just $10, that's all it takes to send a net and change a life. i was in. >> reporter: mandy, who had millions of fans, says the person she admires most is this 10-year-old girl from philadelphia, katherine commale. >> she's definitely without a doubt an inspiration. >> my goal would be everyone in africa gets a bet in addition who needs a bed net.
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>> reporter: when katherine at age 5 learned millions of children's lives could be saved with a bed net she came up with a plan. >> here's a bed net certificate, and we decorate them and then we sell them in honor of someone. we usually decorate them with markers, glitter, and like crayons. and then we usually sell 1,000 a year. >> i was bowled over that really here was this young woman who has raised about $150,000 for nothing but nets since she was 5 years old. >> reporter: in the last five years, nothing but nets has distributed more than 3 million bed nets to africa, potentially reducing overall childhood deaths by malaria by 25%. >> it feels good to be a hero. once you send a couple of nets you'll try to keep going and try to change the world. >> and that again was dr. richard besser reporting. we want to remind you to watch the abc news special "be the change, save a life." it will air this friday at 10:00 p.m. eastern. the series is sponsored in part by the bill and melinda gates foundation.
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>> good work, mandy moore, a great cause. >> good work, mandy moore, a great cause. certainly the need i >> i'm a big believer in the power of we. we can tackle the tough challenges we face and build community through service and volunteering. the reality is - we're all in this together. it's time for you to raise your hand, go to and get involved in something you believe in. are you with me? are you with me?
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remembering richard holbrooke. the veteran diplomat who pushed for peace for decades. deep danger. after a major snow storm and icy blast. >> 30 degrees windchill. skin can freeze in minutes. >> the deadly toll. and, florida's freeze. the worst snap in years reaches precious cropland. it's tuesday, december 14th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> a brutal winter day for so many folks around the country. it's rough here in new york. >> i feel like we've learned so much about florida's citrus and tomato situation as well, just
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how delicate they all are this year. >> very fragile. a scramble now to take care of all that stuff. you're in for a rough 24 hours or so. good morning, everybody, i'm rob nelson. >> i'm vinita nair. the nation's leaders are remembering richard holbrooke this morning as a key figure in american foreign policy. he has served under presidents as far back as jfk and was currently serving as special envoy to afghanistan and pakistan. >> holbrooke passed away last night after surge for a torn aorta. christiane amanpour has a look back at his long career as the nation's public servant. >> reporter: richard holbrooke entered the ranks of the great diplomats when he e okered the dayton peace accord that ended three years of bitter ethnic war in bosnia. holbrooke's death comes just days before the obama administration rolls out its review of the war in afghanistan. a war that holbrooke was actively working to o rn around. in part, through a so-called
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civilian surge, using not just american troops but american expertise to rebuild the country. >> we're not abandoning afghanistan. nor are we going to have an open-ended troop commitment because no war can go on indefinitely, and afghanistan cannot bear the pain and costs. >> reporter: holbrooke, the distinguished diplomat, was not above sometimes using less than diplomatic language. >> and everybody in the world knows that and it's silly to even respond to such a ludicrous charge. >> reporter: he was forever shaped by his first experience as a diplomat. in vietnam more than 45 years ago. he went on to become the youngest-ever assistant secretary of state and was twice appointed ambassador to germany and the united nations. he also had a successful second career on wall s seet. but his professional love was always public service. and he was grateful for the opportunity to serve his country once again as special envoy.
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>> i thank you for your confidence in offering me this daunting assignment. and all i can do is pledge my best to undertake it. >> reporter: he suffered from heart trouble, and he died after surgery to repair his aorta. with his family beside him. he was 69. christiane amanpour, abc news, washington. >> richard holbrooke is survived by his wife, two sons, and two stepchildren. now to our other top story of the morning, the deep freeze ripping much of the country. they have opened shelters in south florida where the temperatures are expected to be in the teens and 20s overnight. those readings are expected to be about 20 degrees below normal for much of the day. blankets and other services were offered to miami's homeless last night. the drivers stuck on snow-covered roads in indiana are finally back home this morning. some spent more than 12 hours in their cars after that historic snow storm.
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clayton sandell now reports on the aftermath. >> reporter: the storm continued its slow, miserable grind across the country. from illinois, where whiteout conditions made roads treacherous, to indiana, where this morning at least 70 drivers were stranded. in wisconsin, they were digging out from under 22 inches of snow. at airports s ound the region, they're trying to get back on track after a weekend of canceled flights. >> my flight from chicago to cleveland has gotten canceled. it's rebooked for tuesday afternoon. >> reporter: in florida the governor declared a state of emergency. the cold is threatening everything from citrus crops to green beans. the system is now pushing northeast into canada. but bitter cold will linger. it's also a deadly storm. in at least four states, people have been killed in traffic accidents. and there is new danger. from double-digit, below-zero windchills in places like minnesota. dr. joseph clinton is seeing more frostbite and hypothermia patients showing up in his minneapolis e.r.
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>> at 30 degrees windchill, skin can freeze in minutes. >> reporter: then there is the collapsed souffle that is the minneapolis metro dome. done in by high winds and heavy snow. workers were trying to figure out how to fix the metro dome. that challenge now falls to jim heidelberger and his crew, working two shifts around the clock. >> everything's a challenge, right? >> reporter: there is one bright spot. the metro dome had prepared food for the approximately 64,000 fans that were supposed to be here for the football game. obviously they couldn't use it so they've donated all of it to area food banks. guys, i hope it's a lot warmer in new york than it is here. >> not much. in the pacific northwest, residents are facing record rainfall and flooding. >> accuweather's ava dinges has a look ahead at the weather today. good morning, ava. >> reporter: good morning, rob and vinita.
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we've been talking about the heavy snow in the east. it's been all about the rain in the northwest. especially along the cascades and back into the olympics, into washington. seattle has seen about 4 inches of rain just over the last two days. they're going to get another inch or two just throughout today, leading to additional flooding concerns. eventually the temperatures will be dropping down, into the cascades. that will be changing into heavy snow. heavy snow continues into the great lakes as cold winds pour over the great lakes, more heavy snow in northern indiana, eastern ohio, all the way into upstate new york. some locations have seen a foot of snow. they could see another foot or more throughout the day. into the southeast the cold continues to plunge all way into florida. starting off the day, cities like jacksonville barely into the teens. as we take you down to cities like orlando, into the 20s. even miami, near record 35 to start off their morning hours. they may need to grab winter coats as they step outdoors. in the northwest, still watching that rain push on in. now back to you, rob and vinita. >> ava, thanks. here's a look at some of the day's highs around the nation. 30 in new york.
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31 in baltimore. 34 in atlanta. after freezing morning temps along the gulf coast, new orleans gets up to 50. and dallas 62. those are the highs. >> unbelievable. 20s from kansas city to detroit. a biting 7 degrees in minneapolis. just 10 in fargo. meanwhile, 40s from seattle to billings. a wet 50 in portland. and 64 in colorado springs. the 12-year-old virginia girl kidnapped after her mother was killed is reunited with her dad and the rest of her family. brittany smith was escorted back to virginia last night three days after she was found unharmed in san francisco with her mother's boyfriend. jeffrey easley is a prime suspect in the mother's death. his extradition hearing is set for today. hundreds of people could be laid off from internet giant yahoo! as soon as today. "new york times" reports that 600 employees could be let go. that's about 5% of yahoo!'s total workforce. the california-based company has been struggling to increase revenue as it competes with giants google and facebook.
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no comment from yahoo! on that report. the tax cut deal between president obama and republicans could get final approval in the senana as early as today. it sailed through a test vote in the senate monday. the $858 billion measure preserves bush-era tax rates and extends some unemployment benefits. its future in the house is unclear. the vote hasn't even been scheduled. president obama's health care law has suffered a significant legal setback. a federal judge in virginia has now ruled that it's unconstitutional to require every american to buy insurance. that of course is a central part of the new law. the decision is a victory though for opponents of so-called obama care. the white house believes the requirement will be upheld in the supreme court. >> if we cross this line with health care now, this unconstitutional line, where the government can force us to buy a private product and say it's for our own good, then we'll have
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given the government the power to force us s buy other products. cars, gym memberships, asparagus. >> we're confident that t is constitutional, and quite frankly, of the three courts that have rendered decisions on this question, two have ruled in our favor. >> the two judges who ruled in favor of the health care law were appointed by democrats. the judge in virginia who ruled the insurance requirement unconstitutional is a republican appointee. another tribute to the 40th president as we prepare to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday. >> the ronald reagan centennial postage stamp featured the former president with his santa barbara ranch in the background. former first lady nancy reagan was there to unveil it at his presididential library in california. >> this is the third reagan stamp since his death in 2004. it goes on sale in february as a special forever stamam the first one was 37 cents. then 39 cents. you can watch the postage increase as you track your way. >> the times have changed for
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♪ [ male announcer ] every day thousands of people are switching from tylenol® to advil. to learn more and get your special offer, go to take action. take advil®. to add insult to injury during the new york jets' embarrassing loss to the dolphins sunday, an assistant coach has been suspended without pay for the season. sal alosi was caught on camera tripping nolan carroll as he ran down the sidelines. alosi has called and apologized to carroll for the move. in addition to the suspension alosi was fined $25,000. well, in yesterday's "morning papers" we told you about this year's most viewed youtube videos. of course that was the big issue
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you saw with the one and only antoine dodson. >> what about the 700 billion other videos we watched? here's john berman with a look at the ones we really liked to click on. >> reporter: no vision too odd. >> double rainbow, oh my god. >> reporter: no citrus too annoying. no child too endearing. >> justin bieber! >> reporter: so what happened to these low-res, low-tech sensations? jason chance, the sixth grader who stunned an oklahoma talent show with his version of lady gaga's "paparazzi" scored a record deal with ellen degeneres' label. the 3-year-old girl who loved justin bieber so much it made her cry keke her tears in check when she finally got to meet him. paul vasquez -- >> it's a double rainbow all the way! >> reporter: who saw not one but two rainbows at yosemite landed a gig on a commercial for windows. >> whoa! look at that! >> reporter: then there's isaiah mustafa. >> look at your man. now back to me.
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now back at your man. now back to me >> how do you smell? >> personally, i smell like championships. >> reporter: this former pro football player turned old spice spokesman got guest shows on tv shows. what exactly is under the towel? >> i wear nothing underneath the towel. i am a thespian. method actor. >> reporter: along with spinning cars, rolling balls and a little indian ocean of "twilight." that's what we watched most in 2010. 13 million hours of video. in 2011, maybe we'll break away from the computer and get outside. who knows? maybe we'll see a -- >> double rainbow all the way across the sky! >> reporter: john berman, abc news, new york. we're returning to one of our top stories in just a moment. >> the work going on right now in florida's citrus groves to save the crops from the deep freeze. that's coming up next in our "american landscape."
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back to one of our top stories this morning. parts of the east can expect an arctic blast following a major snow storm out in the midwest. and the deep south is also bracing for a deep freeze. >> it is going to be 23 degrees in west palm beach today, which happens to be the same temperature right here in new york city. the cold in florida could be very costly. here's "american landscape" coverage from our orlando affiliate wftv. >> temperatures are dropping fast as an historic hard freeze is taking hold offentral florida and is not letting go. with the windchill, it could feel like it's in the teens when you wake up in the mornini. it hasn't been this cold in december since the 1980s. >> right now, all of central florida is under a hard freeze warning. we b bught in team coverage tonight for this major weather story. >> central florida citrus growers are bracing for r low freezing temperatures tonight. one grower told us he could lose
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$1 million worth of crops just tonight. channel 9's ryan hughes s live in an orange grove right now in lake county. ryan, the irrigation systems are on and i understand ice is now forming on the trees. >> reporter: that's right. the ice formed out here in clermont in the last hour or so. you can see it here at the base of the tree. there are icicles on these leaves and branches. it's actually a very good thing. because the ice serves as a protector. these tiny sprinklers are the only line of defense against the bitter cold damaging florida's citrus trees. at showcase of citrus in lake county, hundreds of gallons of water will hit the trees, freeze, and encase the fruit in a protective barrier of ice. >> once you start making the ice you have to continually make the ice. >> reporter: around 8:00 tonight, john arnold turned on the 11 irrigation systems on his property and they began to spray water. many of the trees should be protected by morning. to check to see if the fruit made it through the cold snap, workers will pick some of it, cut it open, and see if it's frozen inside.
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>> i expect to have some fruit damage and for ice to be in the oranges and in the grapefruit. >> reporter: temperatures in lake county could dip into the mid to upper 20s but arnold fears it could go even lower. just a week ago, cold weather ruined some trees on his 350-acre grove. florida produces $9 billion in citrus every year, and one bitterly cold night could potentially snuff out hundreds of millions of dollars in crops statewide. >> this fruit's in jeopardy tonight, i know it is. >> reporter: back here live, the winds are whipping out here tonight. john arnold said that's a bad thing because it wipes out the heat in the groves. he said he'll be out here all night long checking on the trees and the fruit. live in clermont, lake county, ryan hughes, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> winter weather across the country is impacting central florida travelers tonight. >> since about 7:30 tonight, there have been about 25 flight delays either taking off or landing at orlando international airport.
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channel 9's mark moyle found out cold weather not only creates problems for travelers but also for workers at airports across central florida. those working on the planes can't wear gloves. >> reporter: they cannot wear gloves all the time because they have to use their fingers to get to the very tiny instruments on the airplanes. for orlando executive airport line worker pedro nogares, working on planes on the runway can be numbing when temperatures are as cold as they are tonight. he says one of the most challenging parts of working on planes in the cold is the fact that he doesn't always get to wear gloves because it's too dangerous. >> because of the cold and the wind, you need your hands not shaking. it is very dangerous to spill jet fuel. the regular gas for planes. it's painful sometimes. you feel the fingers like it's frozen. . >> reporter: workers say when the mercury drops they dress for it. from layers and gloves to ski masks to help break the wind. >> we are feeling the wind at some time, especially us that rk 75% the time on theheamp. you fefe that your mouth is
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frozen. i mean, your nose. sometimes we need to report to the base any kind of situation. >> reporter: with other outside jobs, employees can oftentimes go inside to warm up and then go back out. but for airport line workers, they don't always have that luxury. >> tonight we had a lot, a lot of arrivals. so like i said, 75% of the time it's outside. >> reporter: as you can imagine, those who have to be outside in the morning are bracing for those very, very cold, high 20s in the morning. and imagine the cold temperatures with the windchill as it is now. the folks here at the airport on the tarmac have to deal with it more so because of the propeller and jet props here. reporting live in orlando, mark boyle, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> it was funny. i was checking the weather on theiphone over the weekend. at one point it was colder in new orleans than it was here in new york city. it's crazy this kind of weather. >> to say the least, considering
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we're seeing florida is the same as we are here in new york city. i always wonder when i hear did these stories s at will happen to orange juice prices. i looked. rumor is saying orange juice futures jumped to their highest since '07. 6.2%. keep you awake... sleep is here, on the wings of lunesta. and if you wake up often in the middle of the night... rest is here, on the wings of lunesta. lunesta helps s u fall asleep and stay asleep, so you can wake up feeling rested. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinatioio or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness.
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"world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> welcome back, everybody. well, of course this time of year it's the best time of year for year-end lists. twitter has put out the top twitter trends of 2010. real quick to the top ten list from ten to one. you had paul, the octopus that predicted the world cup. >> oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. >> harry potter and the deathly hollows at nine. justin bieber eight. the android seven. six, apple ipad. five, vuvuzela. what was that? >> that was the horn they used at the world cup. >> four, the haiti earthquake, three, the movie "inception." two, the world cup, number one surprisingly not a celebrity, it
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was the gulf oil spill that happened back in april. that was what was hot on twitter this year. number one news, the oil spill, on people it was justin bieber, for movies it was "inception" which i actually never saw. that's what was popular in twitter. 25 billion messages so far this year. >> i'm impressed the folks at twitter also managed to keep those messages down to 120 or 140 characters or whatever. if only all of us could sue our employers and say you didn't give me exactly what i wanted. this is kind of f interesting story. it involves a teacher who is now suing the city. this is happening here in new york. he basically says, i had a physician's request to give me a senior class versus a freshman class because i had heart problems and these freshmen are crazy. they didn't end up giving him the freshman class, so now he is suing the school involved in all of this. he basically says, in 2009 he had five freshmen that led him to high-intensity interactions because they were so badly behaved. he said he couldn't deal with the outbursts. it actually caused him physical pain.
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he doubled over in pain so he had a physician's letter saying he has to have a senior class because they are less prone to these crazy outbursts. >> a doctor's note excusing him from teaching freshmen. >> right. >> oh, wow. man. >> speaks highly of freshmen everywhere. >> no kidding. not everyone who you think is trustworthy, doesn't mean they necessarily are. this is a story out of reuters in new york. there's a catholic nun here in our state who is known for kind of going -- she enjoyed casinos in atlantic city, taking gambling trips. apparently now she has been fired for embezzling $850,000 from this small college, iona college, in new rochelle, new york, a period over ten years before they discovered how much money she was taking. sending phoney invoices to pay off personal credit cards and expenses. she was known to be the gambling nun but they found out she was quite the embezzler. almost a million bucks. she pleaded not guilty. the nun is now headed to trial. >> leave it to the folks at reuters to figure it out about a nun. >> a nun, i know. >> to say the least you'd think that would go against some of the vows.
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>> some but not all, apparently had to get enough money to go to the casino, man. >> not enough time for this next story. this is where i plug facebook. gecko: are you ready for your talk, sir? boss: just going over how geico helps people save in even more ways... ...with good driver discounts, multi-car discounts, defensive driver discounts...
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