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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  February 17, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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the state capital, some even picketing legislators at their home. upset at state budget cuts. today, the capitol rotunda was packed top to bottom. thousands of teachers, nurses, state employees of all kind. mostly peaceful. handful of arrests. >> is there a lot of anger here? >> yes. we're very upset. >> i think it's frustration more than anger that he's not listening to our voices. >> reporter: so many teachers are here. madison's schools, closed for the second straight day. the protesters raging at the government plan to reign in $3.6 billion deficit. demanding that public employees pay more for their pension and health care. for an average worker making
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$48,000 a year that's a $3800 hit. scott walker in office only six weeks told me that he has no choice. why is this so necessary? >> for us, we're broke. like nearly every state across the country. >> reporter: just as republicans prepared to pass the bill, key democrats left the state to stall the vote. capitol police were looking for them. >> we hope that we're in a place that's hard to find. >> reporter: what's upsetting to state workers is a budget that strips away all of their human bargaining rights. any wage increase beyond cost of living would require a state referendum. they blame the governor. do you think he's trying to bust the union? >> yes. by taking away our right to bargain as teachers. >> reporter: are you trying to bust the union? >> no. bottom line, trying to balance the budget. >> reporter: governor said that
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if the law doesn't pass, thousands of public workers will be laid off. still, democrats are still awol and the governor is threatening to call out the national guard if the central state employees walk off the job. diane? >> chris, no sign that they're going home soon. thank you. and as chris knows, the debate, the contest about who will get america's limited resources spreads far beyond wisconsin, including to the doorstep of a tough-talking governor back east who said he will not back down. here's sharyn alfonsi. >> reporter: in new jersey, governor chris christie booed by firefighters. after suggesting the retirement age had to be raised. and that pension plans had to be cut. >> promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for. >> reporter: new jersey facing an $11 billion deficit this year -- >> 50 times three is -- >> reporter: in new york,
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mayor bloomberg threatened to cut teachers jobs because of a loss in state funding. >> i don't think we can afford to lose any teachers. but if we have to do, we'll have to do with 6,000 fewer. >> reporter: most states, unlike the federal government, have to balance their budget every year. 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most difficult on record. 48 states and the district of columbia are projecting short falls. totalling $125 billion. federal assistance is largely gone. so legislators are looking to cuts. they're considering limiting the power of public unions, hoping to cut their pensions and benefits. as we saw in wisconsin and ohio today, public workers say they now feel like public enemy number one in a battle that's just begun. sharn alfonsi, abc news. and from the budget protests gathered across america, we go overseas now to the wave of demonstrations for democracy,
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they are spreading, most recently to bahrain, the poster-sized nation, and miguel marquez was there along the protesters last night as the police moved in against them all and he tells us about it. >> reporter: down, but not out. the people of this tiny kingdom gathered at the one place they could today, manama's main hospital. we went there, too. a sobering tour. the injured lay everywhere, room after room, floor after floor. >> we were sitting peacefully, sleeping. most of them sleeping at this time. >> reporter: hospital officials told us the government held back dozens of ambulances, not allowing them to collect the injured. >> it's simply inhuman. even hosni mubarak, he did not prevent the ambulances to go to the casualties and remove them. >> reporter: in the morgue today, three of the dead, all apparently killed from a shotgun blast. pearl square last night,
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about a thousand peaceful protestors were keeping vigil, men, women, even children had settled down to sleep. and then, a little after 3:00 a.m., the military swarmed in, firing volley after volley of tear gas, rubber bullets, and shotguns directly into the crowd. i was there reporting for abc news radio. there are whole gangs of police officers moving in a line to clear the square forcefully. the protestors are now starting to move back toward the military and they are -- in a -- whoa. in a complete fight, right on the streets. and then, security forces turned on me. oh, no, no, no. hang on. journalist, journalist, journalist. journalist. he said, "no." he said, "no." i'm going, i'm going. i'm going.
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my injuries were slight compared to what we saw in the hospital later in the day. this tiny island has been ruled by a monarch for more than 200 years. there are as many as 2,000 members of the royal family in the complaint, they get the best jobs and plum opportunities. >> reporter: and miguel marquez is on to phone with us right now. so hard to see the protesters still in the hospital. we talked last night. are you still okay? >> i am okay. feeling very good today. a little bruised, a little battered. a couple of welts on my back, but doing great. >> what about tomorrow, are there plans to go out on the streets again? >> tomorrow is going to be make or break, i think, protesters say they want to get on the streets. another day of rage out here after friday's prayers. it's a test of wills and tomorrow we'll see whether or
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not this demonstrations have any left. >> take care, miguel. thank you for phoning in to us tonight. and with that in mind. let's go to jake tapper now, he's analyzing what are the risks for u.s. as the protests spread across the middle east. not just bahrain. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. what seems like a direct conflict between american national security interests and american ideals. today the u.s. government condemned the loss of life as protests in bahrain. but the secretary of state made clear that the u.s. alliance with that regime is solid. >> bahrain is a friend and an ally and has been for many years. >> reporter: bahrain is home to more than 4,000 u.s. military personnel at the only u.s. naval base in the region. it's also home to the navy's fifth fleet. >> we have advised all our sailors to avoid the sites where the protests are occurring. >> reporter: for decades those sailors have been there to protect u.s. interests.
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including the world's most important choke hold, including access through the strait of hormuz. 19% of daily oil imports to the u.s. come from the middle east. across the middle east, the administration says, the u.s. government relies upon arab regimes that are the target of those protests. yemen is led by a regime that allows the u.s. to target al qaeda within its borders. the most active al qaeda franchise. in jordan, where tensions are also simmering, their intelligence helped track the former leader of al qaeda in iraq, abu musab zarqawi, whom the u.s. killed in 2006. in saudi arabia, the government alerted the u.s. last october explosives hidden in toner cartridges. shipped by planes to chicago. >> these countries give us agents and intelligence and really are an extended arm of the cia and the u.s. defense
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department. >> diane, a real sense of deja vu at the white house today. with top officials calling their bahraini counterparts. asking them to show restraints. the bahraini government not seeming to get the message. we may have seen this movie recently before. >> all right, jake, so many tough and tricky questions for the white house. back here in this country, it was quite a scene today as more than 100 people across the country, many of them doctors are under arrest tonight, charged in the biggest medicare fraud case in history. at time when money is tighter than ever, this type of fraud is costing americans as much as $90 billion a year. abc's pierre thomas has details of today's takedown. >> reporter: 6:00 a.m., roughly an hour before dawn. federal agents convene in a brooklyn parking lot to prepare for a raid. the target -- suspected health care scam sters stealing your tax dollars. abc news was there exclusively
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as the suspects were read their rights. all part of a national crackdown with raids across the country. $200 million in fraud from these raids alone. >> doctors, nurses and medical professionals from los angeles to new york and cities in between, have cheated taxpayers and patients alone. >> reporter: they say this clinic along with two others in brooklyn accounted for nearly $57 million in fraud. sources say that the clinic recruited and then paid patients a $40 kickback to come in for bogus treatments for vertigo. the problem is, the treatment was never provided or not needed at all. some patients were even given government-funded transportation. expensive am ambulances. the company build medicaid and medicare. >> it's a serious crime. as we have shown today, we'll make sure that it has serious consequences. >> it's a multibillion racket.
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the government revealed today a most wanted health care fugitive list. >> we urge the public to report any information on the whereabouts of these fugitives. >> reporter: pierre thomas, abc news, new york. still ahead on "world news" -- could dwarfs in another country hold the key to fighting cancer? and do you know which one of all of these things is still actually made in america? and, the computer watson crushed the human competition, but how will he do against a return engagement with our david muir? people have all kinds of retirement questions. no problem. td ameritrade has all kinds of answers. call us. for quick help opening your new ira. or an in-depth talk with a retirement expert. like me. stop by my branch for a free retirement check-up. retirement hows and how-muches? whens... and what-ifs?
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come on, stop living in the shadows. you've got a life to live. [ male announcer ] so don't blame it on aging. talk to your doctor and go to isitlowt.com to find out more. it seems pretty incredible that we learned today that dwarfs in ecuador grow older without developing diabetes or cancer, so what is the secret and could we turn it into a pill for the rest of us? jeffrey kofman takes us there to meet them. >> reporter: at less than 4 feet tall, he's helping scientists identify a way to stop cancer and diabetes. when did i realize that i would not grow, he said. when i was in primary school. here in this remote region of southern ecuador, he's one of 120 people with a rare syndrome called laron dwarfism.
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he begun studying them more than 25 years ago. to see if he could help them. his findings just published include something unexpected and remarkable. >> i started noticing somehow in this area in ecuador, are areas with high rates of cancer, but no one has ever died of cancer. >> reporter: he discovered that the dwarfs have a genetic mutation. it stopped diabetes and cancer from developing. this is not the first time that scientists have identified the gene that might suppress cancer growth. researchers in california had seen this in dwarf mice in the lab. confirming the gene acts the same if humans by the end of this year, they can begin trials on adults likely to develop cancer or diabetes.
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>> i think if we did not have the population of the human population that the research would be delayed by years. >> reporter: today, science is one step closer to an elusive goal -- a daily pill that wards off diseases that cut so many lives short. jeffrey kofman, abc news, ecuador. >> truly remarkable story. and coming up -- what if we only bought what was made in america? a new challenge. nly made in america? a new challenge. [ male announcer ] hands free driving.
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so here's a test. look around you. do you know if anything around you right now was actually made entirely in america? and what difference would that make for jobs. we have an invitation. in ten days join "world news" as we set off on a kind of challenge. america's manufacturing work force. our true grit. pulling us out of every economic downward that we faced as a country. look at what happened after world war ii, we virtually invented home appliances. like microwaves. making everything we needed right here. by the 1960s, we were also making the rocket fuel and the rockets for our dreams. that's how we got to the moon first. back then, for every ten things in america bought, only one was bought overseas. fast forward to 1979, we didn't
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know it, but that would be the peak of u.s. manufacturing prowess. in the next few years, foreign countries would get in the race. learning how to make our things more cheaply. so fewer of us are making things today. than any time in 70 years. and today more than half of everything americans buy is made overseas. >> to find an american-made product is virtually impossible. >> even some of the american-made products are made with foreign products. >> reporter: do you know which one of these brands is still the only one manufactured in the u.s.? is it the radio flyer? levi jeans? the baseball? >> louisville slugger. >> i mike louisville sluggers. >> reporter: the louisville slugger from my hometown. the chairman said that his employees are always reinventing the company. >> you give them a problem it's like giving your fish, they'll eat it right up. they give you a better answer. >> reporter: what should america do? can we bring back the usa brand.
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if every one of us spent an extra $3.33, just $3.33 on u.s.-made goods every year, that would create almost 10,000 new jobs in this country. so, next week, we begin our challenge together. emptying this home one piece of furniture, one appliance at a time, can we fill it back up with only 100% american-made products? what will it look like? can we find everything we need made right here. made in america. so, join in, we're under way in just ten days. and coming up -- did that buzzer give the computer watson an unfair advantage over us? fair advantage over us?
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>> reporter: okay, the supercomputer proved that he's super smart. >> what are tools? what is las vegas? >> correct. >> reporter: on this day after, so many asking what's next. ibm told us today less space odyssey -- >> i'm sorry, dave, i'm afraid i can't do that. >> reporter: less "terminator." not out to crush us, watson is out to help us. do you see a day when watson can stand beside a doctor and help the doctor with the diagnosis? >> absolutely. that's exactly the vision. >> reporter: what does watson's brain look like? 2800 core processors behind the scene. equivalent of ten refrigerators. the sound back here deafening. there's one other question, what about the buzzer? did watson have an unfair advantage? they told us here today that he can buzz in .01 of a second. there's no question that watson had a buzzer advantage.
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lot of people are saying that. >> right. it's true. >> reporter: we asked for a rematch. ready to beat him at the buzzer. >> on january 17th robbers made off with $2.7 million from this brinks building near this city's charleston bridge? >> boston. >> jfk was shot as his motorcade passed through this outdoor plaza? watson? >> what is dealy plaza. >> correct. >> david? >> what is baghdad? >> nicely done. good. >> reporter: ahead, conveniently, i then called it quits. not sure where the game is headed or where watts onheaded next. >> diane, back to you. >> i'm going with buzzergate on you, watson. i got this figured out. and david, too. we thank david muir. we wish you all of a good night.
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great to have you with us. we'll be back tomorrow with "world news" on friday. h@ another blast of wet winter weather hits the bay area. >> tonight we're out to show you how low the snow can go. >> the king of tides. tonight why the choppy bay waters during a storm could become an every day occurrence in the future. >> and moments ago at sfo president obama arrives in the bay area assembling a who's who for dinner and tech talk. >> and the bear hunt. plan for lake tahoe this fall. why critics say this may do more harm than good. >> good evening, everyone. air force one just touched down at san francisco international airport with president obama on board. >> he's in town for a dinner tonight to talk about jobs and
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the economy. >> abc 7 is live for us at sfo now. >> this plane touched down on time, pulled up here at quarter to 6:00. there are pictures of the president coming down. he was met by san francisco mayor ed lee and lieutenant governor newsom, and california's attorney general camela harris. they met him at the bottom of the plane. he's in town to attend a dinner at woodside. and the white house says he wants to talk high tech and green tech with some of the wealthyest people in silicon valley. leading many to believe he is connecting with his donor base. he's got a presidential campaign that will be heating up this summer and meeting with these previous donors will no doubt be part of the plan whit comes to getting
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reelected. with the visit there is another political kpotent. he's been taking heat from republicans for his investments in research and development that he's outlined in his budget. republicans say that that is wasted money. no doubt the president is meeting with he'ders in order to bring them on board. the president taking a helicopter to canada college in redwood city. from there it's just a short drive over to woodside. he's going to the home of a venture capitalist hosting tonight's dinner. we're reporting live from san francisco airport, mark matthews abc 7 news. >> and just ahead we'll take a look at what leaders hope to accomplish at that dinner tonight. >> stay with us for that. let's move on to talk about weather. we've got another good soaking today, a fairly strong storm moved through the bay area today, and it

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