tv ABC World News Sunday ABC February 6, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
i'm jake tapper. tonight on "world news," end game. the besieged egyptian government meets for the first time and offers concessions. but just who are they negotiating with? christiane amanpour talks to a top official of the feared muslim brotherhood. secret trial. the american hikers jailed by iran on spying charges finally get their day in court, but behind closed doors. and without having met their lawyer for months. reagan remembered. the celebrations today on what would be ronald reagan's 100th birthday. why are some of his biggest boosters uneasy with all the praise? brave heart. the child burn victim in the experimental treatment that saved him. and on this super sunday, the sports scandal rocking a nation.
good evening. after nearly two weeks of protests and clashes, some normalcy returned to egypt today. banks reopened, schools held classes. behind closed doors, what happened was anything but normal. it was historic. the mubarak government met with 50 opposition leaders to explore a transition to democracy, such a meeting once would have been unthinkable. even more remarkable, it included representatives of the outlawed muslim brotherhood. a group long seen as an islamist threat. christiane amanpour spoke to a leader of the brotherhood and leads our coverage from cairo tonight. christiane? >> reporter: jake, it's been an extraordinary week. a week in which the president has agreed to step down, the people continue their pressure and have got concessions, the protests have gone from violent to peaceful and the political process is now under way. in cairo, people were still gathering in tahrir square. but over the course of this day, it became clear that the real action had moved into the
cabinet office. it was there that omar suleiman, the new vice president of egypt, in an unprecedented meeting, convened the opposition that has effectively forced president mubarak to step down. for the first time in 30 years, the muslim brotherhood, a banned political party, sat in a government meeting. alongside youth leaders who are at the heart of this movement. but it's the brotherhood, and what role it might take in the future here, that is of chief concern to the west. we spoke to this doctor, a member of the brotherhood's leadership council, after the meeting. everybody is afraid of you, afraid of the muslim brotherhood. >> high, i say? i ask why. give me an answer. >> reporter: because they don't want to see a fundamentalist regime. where people don't have choice -- >> we are not fundamentalists like the westerners think. we respect all people. >> reporter: he told us the brotherhood is not seeking the presidency or any cabinet position.
and he says the brotherhood accepts egypt's peace treaty with israel. what about the west? would you have friendly ties to the west? >> we have good feelings towards the western countries. but what i'm searching for, the better feelings from the western country. >> reporter: and while there are still protesters vowing to remain in the square until the president leaves office, the political process for when he does leave is now under way. and after the meeting, there were reports on state television of major concessions. that the government would not try to hunt down on punish the protesters. that it would eventually lift the oppressive state of emergency. and set up committees to start talking about amending the constitution and preparing for free and fair elections. and, it would no longer interfere with internet or texting connections. my colleague alex marquardt has been here, as well. and one of the things that the government wants, the vice president said to me, now, is for the people to go home and,
quote, save the egyptian economy. >> reporter: that's right, christiane. we have been here for awhile and seen the many turns this story has taken. from the violent clashes with police on the very first day to the battles with the pro-mubarak forces to the relative calm on a few days, there has been tension throughout. tonight, there's less tension in the air, and after 13 days of protests, many here just want to get their normal lives back. dusk on the nile. young egyptians hanging out, drinking sea, smoking. scenes that seem so out of place after all the anger and violence of the past two weeks. and you and your friends, are you going about your lives the way you were before? >> yeah, just without the nightlife. i called my friends, they told me, let's go out. yeah. let's go out. but before the curfew. >> reporter: lines snaked out of banks this morning. the first time they were open in a week. the branches that were open only had enough cash to stay open a few hours. cranes cleared the wreckage of burned-out trucks. one way to gauge how cairo is feeling?
the traffic and the honking were back. tahrir square is still full of thousands of protesters. today, milling about peacefully, dancing, chanting. making art out of garbage. most have not wavered in their demands and they feel like they're making progress. >> the root causes of the corruption and this criminal acts against the egyptian people is not changing from its root, nothing will happen. >> reporter: but we saw something developing. some in this group were arguing they've already won and should call it a day. others shouted them down. tonight, in cairo neighborhoods, many who support the cause are losing patience with the diehards who have brought life in cairo to a halt. >> we got what we want. we have to stop now and then we can see the change. >> reporter: and just when life beyond tahrir square started to feel normal again, a reminder that this country remains in crisis. the nationwide curfew. >> at 7:00, take a look at the country. it's completely closed.
no restaurants, no coffee shops, not even a supermarket to buy your stuff. >> reporter: so, though there's a lot we can point to of things back to normal, there are signs everywhere that that's not the case overall. still closed, schools and universities across the country. what we've learned from the past two weeks is that things change very quickly and that we don't know what tomorrow will bring. >> reporter: indeed. and the week ends here with a situation in egypt on a split screen. on the one hand, people remain in the protest square and on the other hand, the political process is under way. jake? >> christiane and alex, thank you. the repression the world has witnessed the last couple of weeks has been part of the mubarak regime for decades. it's not often seen by those of us in the west, but one american journalist got a glimpse of it when those forces detained him overnight. >> egyptians as well as westerners who were blindfolded with black blindfolds, handcuffed, calling out, unsure of where they were, what was going to happen to them.
>> reporter: this reporter, one of his "new york times" colleagues and their egyptian driver were stopped at a checkpoint and handed over to egypt's dreaded secret police. they were interrogated and detained, left all night in a cold room. >> we heard people being beaten. you could literally hear the sound of them being clubbed and them screaming when it happened. sickening thud. >> reporter: though it's unclear who these detainees were, a number of human rights workers and demonstrators have gone missing in these days of protest. perhaps most tonotably, this 30-year-old, an executive with google and one of the leaders of the youth movement that grew into these massive protests. it's wildly believed he's been taken by the security police. these pictures show someone who looks like him being dragged off, apparently by plain clothed police. though it is impossible to confirm that it is him. this is what life has been life for decades in egypt. egyptians have good reason to fear the secret police. they're known to participate in torture. u.s. ambassador to egypt in
cables published by wikileaks said or the chun was routine and pervasive. she writes that a human rights activist told her, to conduct murder investigations, police will round up 40 to 50 suspects from a neighborhood and hang them by their arms from the kreechling for weeks until someone confesses. nicholas says his experience has brought him a greater understanding of what the people in the streets of cairo are protesting. >> after seeing this, you know, you realize how people could be so brave to stand up to tear gas, to rubber bullets, to being beaten. because you realize that you'd rather all stand up together and face these clubs than be taken one by one for this treatment. we turn next to a case moving through what iran calls its judicial system, causing outrage in this country. the arrest of american hikers on spy charges a year and a half ago. their trial began today. simon mcgregor-wood has that story. >> reporter: after 18 months,
the two hikers finally had their day in tehran's revolutionary court. but america's only diplomatic representative in iran was told to wait outside. the two men along with sarah shourd were all charged with entering iran illegally and espionage. shourd was released on $500,000 bail for medical reasons last september and is refusing to return to iran. she's been tried in absentia. defense lawyers read out not guilty pleas for all three. we spoke to one of those lawyers tonight. "after reading everything, i'm very hopeful and positive," he told us, "that legally, there is no evidence of trespassing or spying." problem is, this whole case is more about politics than law. >> we know from previous experience in iran that these judges are not objective. these cases are not based on the actual evidence. they are political cases.
>> reporter: the two men's fate may now depend on a power struggle between religious hard liners and those inside the regime who believe this case may now be more trouble than its worth. simon mcgregor-wood, abc news, london. earlier tonight, president obama sat down with fox news channel's bill o'reilly to talk about politics, egypt, and of course, football. joining us to talk about is abc senior political editor rick klein. rick, we heard christiane talk about the muslim brotherhood. bill o'reilly asked the president about that organization and if it is anti-american. what did the president say? >> reporter: the president said there are strains of the brotherhood that are anti-american, but significantly, jake, he rejected the idea that the only two choices in egypt are between the muslim brotherhood and a repressed egyptian people. he said, certainly, the muslim brotherhood is well organized, but they do not have majority support and there are others in egypt who will have a say. >> and o'reilly suggested that president obama is moving to the center to improve his standing. how did the president respond to that?
>> reporter: presidents never like to say they're moving. the president said, i didn't move, i'm the same guy. he talked about his plans for investing in education and trying to create jobs. those are the messages he wanted to deliver by accepting an interview like this in the first place. for 12 minutes or so, the president got to push back against the major critiques of his administration against, with one of the leading critics of the administration. so i think the white house probably pretty pleased with it overall. >> all right, rick klein in washington, thank you. going to be a late night at the white house. president obama is throwing a super bowl party. j.lo and husband mark anthony are bringing some celebrity fabulousness to a guest list largely of lawmakers. the menu includes bratwurst, cheeseburgers, beer brewed in pennsylvania and wisconsin. items that will not win a seal of approval from the first lady's anti-obesity crusade, though i think there's some salad on that menu, as well. the president, by the way, says he's not choosing sides in the game. he's a chicago bears fan. one item from ohio. a spectacular explosion when a freight train carrying volatile
chemicals derailed south of toledo. at least 15 cars carrying ethanol were involved, creating a fire ball that could been seen for miles. no reports of injuries. still ahead on "world news" this sunday, the shocking sports scandal that left an entire nation with a heavy, heavy heart. but when we return, as the celebration of ronald reagan's centennial officially kicks off, does the reagan myth match the reality? new year's resolution! joined? we want a healthier liestyle... so we can have more energy t do more stuff. healthy lifestyle? well, you should also start enjoying activia or activia light. activia, for us? sure, it's or peoplewho want to feel good inside. when you feel good, you're more likely to get out here and enjoy life! mmm! mmm! i like this resolution. mm-hmm! here is the actiia promise-- love how you feel or your money back! ♪ activia 7
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former first lady nancy reagan welcomed visitors to the reagan presidential library today to officially kick off the centennial celebration of her late husband's birth. >> and i know that ronnie would be thrilled and is thrilled, to have all of you share in his 100th birthday. doesn't seem possible, but that's what it is. >> reporter: birthday events are planned all year long but will they fuel a reagan myth that does not match the man? here's abc's david kerley. ♪ god bless america >> reporter: a centennial celebration befitting a president. celebrating a man who redefined the republican party, cherished by conservatives. >> i have only one thing to say to the tax increasers. go ahead. make my day. >> reporter: the now political icon is a campaign must-mention. >> ronald reagan.
>> ronald reagan. >> ronald reagan. >> reporter: and not just republicans. democrats seeing that history has been good to the 40th president are trying to co-opt part of his legacy and republicans know it. >> you could almost say we're all reagan-ites now. >> reporter: but some conservatives worry that this embracing of the reagan legacy by both sides of the aisle may strip away some of the former president's ideals. making it harder for conservatives to move the country to the right. but those same conservatives have been purposeful in reagan myth-making. for 14 years, one group has worked to get airports, roads and buildings named in mr. reagan's honor. does that diminish the conservative cause? >> to the extent that we're all reagan-ites now, i don't see how conservatives could be depressed by that. because what reagan meant then and now means that we're going to discuss american politics in a conservative vocabulary. >> reporter: the reagan message -- >> our government is too big and it spends too much. >> reporter: -- of smaller government and fewer taxes didn't become a reality.
while he dramatically cut tax rates, he also signed tax increases in six of his eight years in office. rather than shrinking government, spending increased 2.5% each year he served. and the national debt tripled. the myth may not match reality, leaving us plenty to debate. >> how many presidents can we say that historians 100 years after they left office are still writing about them and still interested in them? ronald reagan will be one of them. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: david kerley, abc news, washington. coming up, the experimental medical procedure that allowed this little boy to survive terrible burns and be a third grade cutup once again.♪ i'm not just someone who's quitting with chantix and support... our kids go to school together. -we work together. -i'm in your cooking class. we play ball together. [ male announcer ] chantix is a non-nicotine pill proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke.
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alfred came to help them put it out, he was covered in flames. >> in the backseat of the car he said, mommy, am i going to die? because i think i might die. and i said, no, you're not going to die. you're not going to die. no. >> reporter: doctors in cincinnati saved his life with a risky procedure that required fda approval. they took small pieces of skin, what little he had left, and used them to grow replacement skin in a laboratory. >> i want to go home. >> reporter: after months of prayers and dozens of operations -- >> good morning, alfred. we're glad to have you here today. >> reporter: he's now back in school with his old friends in his new skin. >> i'm awesome. >> reporter: all this time, a teddy bear kept his seat nice and warm. for the next year, he has to wear this protective suit while his skin fully heals. his doctors flew to town weeks ago to show his friends what to expect. >> they showed how he needed the special clothes. >> no one would want to wear this. >> reporter: really? >> i don't like wearing this. >> i like it.
it looks like a firefighter mask. >> reporter: what is your favorite tv show? ♪ spongebob squarepants ♪ spongebob squarepants ♪ spongebob squarepants >> reporter: it's clear, the kids don't see -- >> nope, they don't. >> reporter: he's a regular student. >> just a regular third grade student that they're glad to have back in their classroom. >> reporter: he's expected to make a full recovery. his mother says he's learned more in four months about life, death and love than most people learn their entire lives. steve osunsami, abc news, georgia. and we're learning more tonight about a story of survival in wisconsin. during the blizzard, joe latta slipped in snow at the end of his drive the way and then was buried when a plow pushed snow on top of him. he was stuck for four hours and feared he would die, but a neighbor saw his hand. >> thinking, well, we're going
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americans call wrestling and then there's sumo. it is japan's national sport, revered for centuries. sumo wrestlers are treated like celebrities in japan, which is why the news that some matches were fixed has the entire nation in shock. the stunning message from one wrestler to the other? "i'll go with the flow and put up at least a little resistance." bowing deeply in apology, the sumo association announced today it would cancel the upcoming grand tournament. the prime minister calls it a betrayal of the people. so, how are people here taking it? ♪ oh say can you see >> reporter: imagine at the start of tonight's game, the announcer said, sorry, no game tonight. tune in next year. that will give you some idea. akiko fujita, abc news, tokyo. >> that's some heavy business. that's "world news" for this sunday. diane sawyer will be back here
>> alan: while some parts of the nation are digging out of the snow, the bay area is enjoys sizzling spring-like temperatures. what a contrast. it hit the mid-to-high 70s in some areas, and it's enough to set record. look at these people having fun in the sun today. how about these beautiful shots in golden gate park. shot by our photographer. leigh glaser joins us with more on these record-seth temperatures. >> leigh: 70s and even some mid-to-low 80s, set new records for a lot of the bay area. here's a look at record highs today. oakland, new record, 81. moffet el