tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC September 9, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
look at that beautiful shot of san francisco. we'll see you again at 6:00. tonight on "world news," burning upheaval. that florida pastor now says he he koran, because the ground zero mosque will be moved. but we have an exclusive interview with the imam of the mosque who says it's all a surprise to him. a story that has everyone from donald trump to the white house weighing in. e-mail mayhem. why people from california to nasa and abc were cursing out their computers today. homeland security analyzing the avalanche of spam. taxpayer alert. another financially hit california city revealing that local officials were hiring limos in paris. and, an apple ever? how many vegetables do you think your fellow americans eat on an average week?
good evening from los angeles, and the news has been breaking a mile a minute today. on the story that has so many people confounded and taking sides. the florida pastor, terry jones, faced the cameras today to say he will not burn the koran in o6 two days on the 9/11 anniversary. but he also said that he had worked out a deal that the mosque planned near ground zero would be moved. but the imam of the mosque told abc news he knows nothing of such a deal, and now the pastor has reappeared before the microphones again. we're going to tell you the whole story of this afternoon. and our christiane amanpour was with the imam of the mosque, exclusively. she'll be reporting in. jon karl is in washington. and matt gutman is in gainesville, florida, where the pastor resides. let's begin with christiane amanpour. tell us what happened. >> reporter: well, diane, i
just spent the last several hours with imam feisal abdul rauf of the islamic center here in manhattan. i was interviewing him when pastor jones made that statement from florida. and, he shook his head in bewilderment and gave a statement to me in which he said, "i am glad that pastor jones has decided not to burn any korans. however, i have not spoken with pastor jones or imam musri. i am surprised by their announcement. we are not going to toy with our religion or any other. nor are we here to barter." and the imam went on to tell me that this whole issue is so sensitive because he really has to take care of sensitivities here in the united states and abroad. >> well, it was incredible you were there with the imam for this whole roller coaster. stand by.xd we want to hear about your interview today. but we do want to go for the latest strange event in this strange story to matt gutman, in gainesville, florida, where pastor jones and his small group
of followers first gained attention. matt? >> reporter: scrambling for a way out, pastor terry jones may have found one late today. >> the imam has agreed to move the mosque. we have agreed to cancel our event on saturday. >> reporter: it followed a day of so many twists. death threats against the pastor came in so thick, fbi officials arrived here today to brief jones and his followers. pressure poured in from every corner of the government. warnings even flew in from afghanistan, where the u.s. commander told our martha raddatz that while he supports first amendment rights, this -- >> could nonetheless endanger the lives of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of follow citizens who are deployed around the world. >> reporter: where there was fiery reaction. in pakistan, they burned flags, and effigies of pastor jones. across the border in afghanistan, more flag burning and protesters chanted "death to
the christians." insurgents there are circulating leaflets calling on muslims to "raise our voices and fight together."ñi iraq's president nuri al maliki warned the burning would encourage more violence. and even donald trump stepped in, offering to buy an investor's stake in the islamic cultural center, with 25% markup. but late tonight there is great uncertainty about what was promised and who is to be believed. and diane, there is yet another twist here. just a few moments ago, pastor jones came out here, looking bewildered, telling us that he'd been lied to. that he was guaranteed the cultural center would be moved. that appears not to be the case. and so this controversy will continue. diane? >> as we said, a confounding story. but i want to bring christiane amanpour back in, because we looked at the scenes of what has been happening overseas, and what people have been saying overseas.
tell us more about your interview with that imam today. >> reporter: well, yes, indeed, diane, he's just come back, as you know, from a rather lengthy overseas trip sponsored by the state department, all about interfaith dialogue and trying to reach the moderates. and he says this has become a huge international issue, the issue over the islamic center in manhattan and also the threatened koran burning. and so everybody, all over the world, not just here in the united states, is watching. and he felt, and he said to me, that he thought it was a matter of vital national security not to give in or to move that islamic center. this is what he said. >> my major concern with moving it is that the headline in the muslim world will be, islam is under attack in america. this will strengthen the radicals in the muslim world. help their recruitment. this will put our people, our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens, under attack in the muslim world. and we have expanded and given and fueled terrorism. >> reporter: so, he said he wasn't making any threats or
predicting any terrible worst case scenario, just that he said that this was an extremely important consideration in these talks about anybodyçó potential moving that islamic center. diane? >> and what else did he say about the equation of the koran burning and the mosque near ground zero? >> reporter: well, he said it was really, he said, extraordinary, to try to equate destroying anybody's scripture with building what he called his center to be a multi-faith monument and place for cultural and ethnic tolerance and for all religions and groups to come and try to share the moderate ground of the current space.xd and he said there was no way to draw any kind of equivalence. >> well, again, christiane amanpour reporting from new york tonight, having spent the day with the imam of the mosque near ground zero. and i want to bring in jon karl tonight, from capitol hill, because jon, as you know, and i'm sure you've been getting
them, too, we get so many e-mail, e-mail after e-mail from all of you watching, saying, why is everyone giving so much attention to this pastor in florida? jon? >> reporter: well, you know, it's a good question, especially when you consider he has so few people in his congregation. but here at the white house, they noticed he was quoted saying he would consider putting off this burning if he got a call from the obama administration. so, that touched off a real conversation here, some intense debate about whether or not to give him that kind of attention. in the end, it was secretary of defense gates who was tapped to call him. we are told that he expressed quote grave concerns that the koran burning would put the lives of american service members at risk and of course he asked him not to do it. and we are told, diane, it was a very brief conversation. >> well, again, it is the picture going overseas and everybody wants to make sure that there's no ambiguity about where the american government
stands on this. thank you for that, jon. and, as we said, we've heard from so many of you about your questions about islam, questions like this one. "does the koran or does it not teach violence against people who are not willing to convert to islam?" and, we promised you we will be answering this and other questions in our series next week. so, keep sending them in to abcnews.com/worldnews. we'll keep reading them. and moving on now to a story that everybody feared might happen some day, it hit us all across the country today, including at abc news. a computer attack, jamming inboxes with hundreds of spam e-mails. the same story at company after company across america, even at nasa. the virus racing around the globe. and for awhile, the firewalls and tech experts were no match for the hackers who launched it. pierre thomas has been looking into it. what happened, pierre? >> reporter: diane, the attack targeting the e-mail systems of government agencies and major corporations including abc news began this afternoon.
among the companies and agencies hit, nasa, wells fargo, comcast and procter & gamble. it was a trojan horse-style computer virus racing at lightning speed through data bases, luring in e-mail users by posing as a message from one of your colleagues. then, the virus named "here you have" offers a link. there was just one problem. if you click on the link, the virus takes over your computer and starts sending out more e-mails under your name. diane, i got hit with hundreds of these e-mails in a matter of seconds, and i bet you did, too. this appears to be a worldwide assault and people across the globe have been using twitter to alert others about the virus, diane. >> and homeland security looking into it tonight. thank you, pierre. and now the words one california mother has been waiting to hear for more than a year finally came today.ñi iran says it will free the young woman, one of the three american hikers, being held in prison there. but there are questions about what will happen to her two companions and what kind of shape she is in.
jim sciutto is following that story. >> reporter: it's news the hikers' families have been waiting for ever since their brief reunion in tehran in may. but not under these circumstances. sarah shourd, held for 14 months along with friends shane bauer and josh fattal, will be freed in the coming days due to a serious medical condition, which her family says involves the discovery of a lump on her breast. she already has a preexisting condition related to cancer. in a statement today, the mothers of the three hikers said, "we hope and pray that the reports are true and this signals the end of all three of our children's long and difficult detention." their detention has become entangled in the wider standoff between the u.s. and iran. iran accuses them of spying. their families say they were just hiking in the mountains near the iran/iraq border. >> we've seen the islamic republic use their prisoners as political collateral before. they are obviously incredibly savvy when it comes to the media and the pr game. the worse thing that could
happen to them would be that something would happen to sarah inside of that prison. >> reporter: there's no immediate sign bauer and fattal will be released. but tonight their lawyer told us he's hopeful. does this bring any hope at all for the other two hikers, josh fattal and shane bauer? "i hope," he said, "that the trial is now back on track and that the other two cases will be resolved quickly." we reached sarah's mother today. she had no official word from iran. in fact, she heard the news from us. she's now focusing all her hope on when she can finally see her daughter again. jim sciutto, abc news, washington. and we are here in california where politics and the political season is in high gear as it is across the country. and we've been examining some fascinating races, none more so than the one here in california for the senate, drawing attention across the entire nation. two strong candidates, women, locked in a headline-making battle. they are powerhouse contenders
in a high-stakes race. carly fiorina, head of computer technology giant hewlett-packard for six years. barbara boxer, three-term senator. >> we have to fight for every job. >> jobs are my focus. >> reporter: in the first debate, fiorina hitting boxer on taxes, spending, regulation. >> the results of her policies are devastating for this state. >> reporter: boxer, striking back on fiorina's record as ceo of hp. >> laying thousands and thousands of workers off, shipping their jobs overseas. >> reporter: boxer has called her businesswoman adversary heartless. you talked about a heartless executive. >> when you lay off more than 30,000 workers, you ship their jobs overseas, it really hurts. and then when you're asked, when you're asked today, would you do it again, you say, oh, yes, and[ at the time, when you say, i wish i could have done it more quickly. my opinion, that's heartless. i'll let people judge for themselves. >> reporter: barbara boxer talking about heartless business people.
>> i managed hewlett-packard through the worst technology recession in 25 years. and, yes, we had to lay some d people off, sadly, but by the end of my tenure, we had grown jobs, created jobs right here in california. barbara boxer should be very careful about who she calls heartless. >> reporter: issues could not be defined more clearly, nor could the women. 69-year-old boxer, california liberal. once worked as a stockbroker, then(rááj$(q#ore turning to politics. 55-year-old carly fiorina, once heralded as one of the most powerful women in american business was an executive at lucient technologies before moving to hp, which ended in a stormy exit. she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. she started campaigning just months after her chemotherapy. her hair had fallen out. you made a joke, you said, i was nearly bald, i looked in the mirror. barbara boxer doesn't scare me a bit. it can't be that only easy.ñr
>> no, i mean -- many things in life aren't easy. it doesn't mean they're not worthwhile things to do. although, i must say, now sometimes when i look back on those pictures, i think, holy cow, it really was short. >> reporter: and if you needed further proof how clearly their staking out the two sides, carly fiorina has had sarah palin's endorsement. and barack obama has been campaigning at barbara boxer's side. >> president obama has come out twice for me. he's so gracious to do that. sarah palin has endorsed very strongly my opponent carly fiorina. i think it says a lot. >> i'm very proud of sarah >> reporter: like to see her as president? >> oh, who knows, you know? you know me, diane, we've talked before. what you know about me, i am focused on the job at hand. barbara boxer knows she's going to have the race of her life. >> another of the fascinating
races this campaign season. and still ahead on "world news," another southern california town shocked by the lifestyle taxpayers have supplied government officials. and, young soldiers fighting in afghanistan, old enough to remember the attack that launched their war. we speak value. and people like what we're saying. about how fusion is projected to hold its resale value better than camry. and has better quality than accord. as a matter of fact, people like what we're saying so much, ford fusion is now the 2010 motor trend car of the year. the fusion, from ford. get in . . . and drive one. time to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze... my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel.
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california taxpayers have been paying some local officials twice what the president makes? and that's not all. here's mike von fremd. >> reporter: the tiny city of vernon wants everyone to know it is an amazing place to do business. >> they all come to work in vernon. >> reporter: the salaries for the top city managers are astounding. $1.6 million a year. and the perks, even better. first class travel around the world at $800 a night hotels. this in a town that laid off workers and cut health insurance because of budget problems. >> for these city officials to be receiving salaries larger than the governor, larger than the president of the united states is absolutely unjustifiable. >> reporter: there are only 90 people that live in the city of vernon, but the homeowner's association says in these tough economic times, it's outraged that their city leaders were living the high life. >> shame on you! >> reporter: what is happening in vernon is also happening in the neighboring cities of maywood and bell. working class neighborhoods
where "the los angeles times" discovered the city manager was making nearly $800,000 a year. and the chief of police got $457,000. >> we have a case where hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money has been paid out under completely suspicious circumstances. >> reporter: in bell, residents paid extravagant property and sewer taxes to help subsidize officials salaries. >> we paid double what the city of beverly hills is paying. >> reporter: four officials have been forced from office. activists say they were able to get away with it because no one was paying attention. mike von fremd, abc news, los angeles. and still ahead, how many vegetables do you think your fellow americans eat every week? want to guess? e a larger home to accommodate their family. matt was a star from start to end. he took care of us. he'll take care of you. we always like to follow up with clients and make sure that they know
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and finally tonight, in two days, it will be the ninth anniversary of 9/11, and most us can probably tell where we were and what we were doing when the towers fell. but what about the young men and women who are fighting the war that took place because of that day? martha raddatz decided to ask them. she's in afghanistan. >> reporter: it seemed impossible, flying over afghanistan today, to think that it has been nine years since 9/11. but, for some of the soldiers here, 9/11 is nearly half a lifetime ago. private parker wattson still has a baby face at 20, but he is a battle-hardened combat medic. when this war began, he was just a little boy. where you frightened? >> i was a little frightened at first but i was reassured by my
parents that we'd be all right. >> reporter: as wattson watched the towers collapse, an even younger boy was there, running for his life. what do you remember about it? >> the booms. me and mom running down west side highway, to go across the brooklyn bridge. >> reporter: did you join the army then? >> then? not really. >> reporter: at 18, lee williams joined the army. today, he is proud to serve, like so many his age. i can't imagine you ever thought, "gee, i'll probably be over there fighting some day." >> i don't know, ever since then i kind of wanted to. >> reporter: captain alex haig was a college student in washington on 9/11. >> all my friends are serving, so it's something i think about every day. and it's very much a part of my reality. >> reporter: there is another reality for those older soldiers. they have been in two wars now, and they have suffered so much loss. >> i personally know ten that have been killed. personally. >> reporter: how do you live
with that? >> i personally am numb to it. >> reporter: how many soldiers that you have known have been lost? >> there have been 12 on this deployment so far. >> reporter: how tough is that? >> you got too much other stuff to think about going on here than that. >> reporter: indeed they do. so, while 9/11 will always be there, a powerful memory, these soldiers have so much more to think about every day. martha raddatz, abc news, kunar province, afghanistan. >> and for "world news" from california tonight, have a good night. see you friday. developing news. discovery of a body in the home of a missing man. victim number five, perhaps of an east bay murder spree. >> freeway shootout that foiled an apparent assassination plot. from jail, tonight the suspect talks about.
>> freedom rings for an oakland woman still being held in iran. friends and oakal experts on this sudden gesture gfwill. >> northern california's first exprose lane along the 680 freeway tonight with new rules may take getting used to. >> good evening, everyone. a graim discover fully a hercules home the scene of a murder two weeks ago. another body was found today. >> police will not confirm that body is that of frederick salas. missing since his father was found dead in his home. >> it's the latest turn in an unusual case. we are live at hercules with the latest for us. >> it seems this bizarre case just captivated the bay area over the last couple weeks just got more mysterious. i'm going to step out of the way so you can see the see the crime scene here, poli