tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC August 21, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
contestants had three minutes to bob for burgers in ketch chip, and the deep fried cheese burger slider. >> mike: let's eat. >> ala this is "world news." and tonight, breaking news from libya. rebels closing in on libya's capital. will colonel gadhafi fall? the rebels take control of gadhafi's most significant military base in tripoli tonight. moammar gadhafi's brutal 41-year rule may be nearing its end. in this country, air show horror. thousands watch as this plane falls from the sky, the pilot is killed. and another accident today, the wing walker falls from a plane. watching irene tonight. already a tropical storm barrelling through the caribbean and could soon become a hurricane. the track right now shows it could be headed for florida. it could be a dramatic turn as early as tomorrow in the case
of that new york city maid, and one of the most powerful men in the world charged with attacking her. and ththe wedding planner. the boyfriend who spent the last year asking his girlfriend simple questions. if we ever got married, what would you want? >> she said she wanted martha stewart paper balls. >> she had no idea what she was about to walk into. >> what? she's here? good evening on this sunday night. as we come on the air with new reporting from the west coast. there are fast-changing developments out of libya tonight, where come knoll gadhafi's regime appears to be closer than ever to its end. these are the aimages coming in. rebels filling green square, the capital's main square there. tonight, no word on where gadhafi is, but there are reports that at least one of his
sons, saif, has been detained. the rebels also say the top military unit in charge of protecting gadhafi has surren r surrendered and perhaps joined the revolution. we do have a team on the ground tonight, beginning with abc's jeffrey kofman. jeffrey, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, david. well, this is the moment that libya has been waiting for but many libyans have been waiting all their lives for it. as we speak, the gadhafi regime is crumbling. the unthinkable is happening in tripoli. rebels are now in green square, raising the rebel flag. they are taking over government buildings. just a week ago, they would have been shot and killed for doing such things. and tonight, more dramatic developments. saif al islam, the most powerful son of gadhafi, has been arrested. this has happened at lightning pace, after six months of a revolution that was stalemated for so long, suddenly, it's moved so quickly.
the only piece missing, where is moammar gadhafi and what is going to happen to him? for the first time since this revolution began six months ago, the uprising has engulfed the capitol, tripoli, where tonight, some neighbors are reportedly under rebel control and there are pitched gun battles for cocorol l others. despite the destruction that can be seen everywhere, the government has taken to the airwaves,,laiming it is still in control. >> tripoli is well protected. and we have thousands upon thousands of professional soldiers who are ready to defend this city. >> reporter: sentiment repeated by ga df if i himself, who spoke by telephone on libyan state tv, dismissing the rebels as rats and urging the people to fight on. "i am with you in tripoli," gadhafi said. "don't allow the occupier to put their foot in our land. i am with you in this battle as i always promised you. we will never surrender."
one anchor on libyan state television took the defiance a step further, appearing on air with a pistol in hand. "with this weapon, i either kill or die today," she said. "you will not take this channel. we are willing to become martyrs." despite the bluster from gadhafi and his spokesmen, the momentum is clearly in the hands of the rebels. >> today, today tripoli! >> reporter: david, this city erupted in celebration, as so many did all through the night. it is very late here now. i can tell you that many of the young men from here went in pickup trucks to tripoli to join in the celebration. the gadhafi regime is all but over. david? >> jeffrey kofman, thank you so much. as that scene plays out in green square, in the center of tripoli, there are journalists holed up in a hotel elsewhere in that city. among them, the bbc's matthew
price, who i spoke with just a short time ago. >> there are about 35 of us here. we're wearing body armor at the moment as a precaution. and we've been hearing a large amount of very heavy fighting going on in the streets around the hotel. the government minders who are normally with us, most of them have left. their families have left. and you can, just as an illustration of what it's like here, even the civil servants who look after the foreign press here, he is walking around with an ak-47 at the moment. >> with an ak-47. you mentioned you are wearing body armor. are you able to look out the windows at all? what can you see, if anything, at this point? >> i can tell you what we've heard. heavy weapons being used. rocket-propelled grenades being fired. most of them outgoing, but they could be incoming, as well. there is clearly a lot of heavy weapons out on the streets of tripoli tonight, just like there was last night. and there are officials here who speak of their f frs of a
massacre, if the rebels get in. they believe the rebels are looking for revenge, that there will be a lot of blood-letting and that this will not be the peaceful transition of power that the u.s. and others in the west want. >> and matthew, when you see the workers at the hotel, some of the government workers leaving, what does that tell you? >> it's a very clear sign that things are not going well for the gadhafi regime. i think it is now true to o y that the gadhafi government's days are numbered. they are possibly not even measuring that time in days but hours. >> matthew, thank you so much. i appreciate it. stay safe. >> thank you, david. >> matthew price tonight. and obviously matthew unable to look at the hotel windows, unable to see what's happening. as all of this plays out, as jeffrey reported, no firm word tonight on colonel ga daffy's whereabouts or status. as you might remember, it was christiane amanpour, the only american reporter to speak with
ga gafdhafi since this began. gadhafi telling her he would never leave libya. >> reporter: colonel gadhafi, the president of the united states, the leaders of britain and other leaders are calling on you to step down, to leave libya, to leave your position of power. will you do that? >> translator: who would leave his homeland? why do i leave my homeland? why do i leave libya? >eporter: they say that they've done it because you have ordered force against your people, shooting of protesters -- >> translator: this is lying. 100%. >> colonel gadhafi with christiane amanpour last february. tonight, president obama is monitoring events as they come in. he's on martha's vineyard vacations with his family. he did make a short statement a short time ago. i want to bring in abc's david
kerl kerl. what have we learned from the white house totoght? >> reporter: the president was briefed in the morning and thought the day. and david, he e was at a restaurant just across the harbor a few minutes ago, and he said, we are going to wait until we get full confirmation about what is happening and i will make a statement when we do. the white house is a little concerned that all the reports may not be exactly what is happening so, they are waiting until they get full confirmation, but this is exactly what the white house was hoping, they would see gadhafi leave. the question is, will his loilists lay down their arms? >> that is the big question. david kerley, thank you. and you were more note have score seas this evening. another strongman also vowing to stay put. syrian president bashar assad saying his regime is strong and warning foreign countries against intervening. his forces reportedly cracked down on protesters in his country. more than 2,000 people have believed to have been killed since march. back in this country tonight, and to a series of ashes at air shows this weekend.
thousands turn out for those spectacles of seeming impossible feats, with some of the most experienced pilots in the cockpit. still, as you know, they can go horribly wrong, and abc's barbara pinto tonight on three different accidents this weekend alone, two in this country, one abroad. and a warning tonight, this video is difficult to watch. >> reporter: with thousands watching, a stunning tragedy. the stunt plane plummets, exploding in flames. >> holy cow! oh, dear god, please be with his family. >> reporter: killing veteran pilot brian jensen. >> you knew he was not going to survive that, unfortunately. bad thing. >> reporter: jensen logged 23,000 hours in the cockpit, in his acrow bat acrobatics plane seen here on jensen's website his death comes just hours after this fatal crash at an air show in england. and today, another tragedy near detroit. aerial stuntman walking on the wing of a low-flying plane fell
200 feet to his death. the drama and death defying stunts are what draw an estimated 12 million spectators to these air shows every year. today, at chicago's air show, this family turned a cautious eye to the sky. >> you're concerned for people on the ground but you're also concerned for the safety of the pilots. i mean, they're flying pretty close at times. >> reporter: the pilots who perform these shows are experts, heavily trained and certified every year. today in kansas city, the air show went on with a grim reminder of the risk. a memoriri to pilot brian jensen, planes flying in missing man formation, leaving an empty space in the sky. aviation experts tell us there have been no spectator fatalities at american air shows in more than 50 years. and despite three tragic incidents this weekend alone, they say on the whole, the safety record for air shows is good. david? >> all right, barbara pinto tonight, thank you so much.
we're going to turn now to the weather this evening and to a new storm. a hurricane watch is in effect tonight for puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. tropical storm irene is ripping through the caribbean right now and could be a hurricane by tomorrow. and for the first time this season, a hurricane-force storm is now threatening the u.s., with possible tracks showing it headed toward florida. and so we want to turn to the weather center tonight and accuweather memeorologist justin polvick. good to see you. we can see irene over your shoulder. where is this storm right now? where is it headed? >> well, david, we have a developing tropical system, right now for the east and southeast of puerto rico. expecting heavy rainfall and potential for mud slides. but down the road, as we go through time, mid to late week, this storm moving in the general direction of florida and the southeastern coastline. >> and you were telling me a particular threat are the warm waters this storm will be passing through. >> that's right. we have factors for and against intensification. of course we do have a lot of terrain in irene's path, some very mountainous terrain, over
10,000 feet, but extremely warm waters do favor intensification over the next several days. >> i know the tracks are very early, but when do you expect it to effect the u.s. mainland, if it does at all? >> mid to late week. the next 48 hours very crucial to see how much irene interacts with land. but as we move into mid to late week, wednesday, thursday and friday, all interests will be from the bahamas into florida and the southeastern coastline. >> all right, justin, we'll all be watching irene. and we should point out that in the northeast here tonight there's fierce weather in the mid-atlantic states. in fact, there are big delays at airports from washington to boston tonight, thanks to a front that caused fierce storms in maryland and tornado warnings in new york. we turn now to that other storm, over the allegations of rape made against the man who wanted to be president of france by a hotel maid right here in new york city. there could be a dramatic turn in the case, and as early as tomorrow. here's abc's aaron katersky now. >> reporter: the woman at the center of this explosive case
has been summoned to a meeting tomorrow. prosecutors could reveal to her if they plan to drop sexual assault charges against one of the world's most powerful men, even after she went public, telling abc's robin roberts dominique strauss-kahn was brutal. >> i wanted to throw up. i was so sad. i was so -- i don't know what to do. i was so scared. >> reporter: at first, prosecutors had no doubt, strauss-kahn was arrested before taking off for paris. weeks later, what prosecutors called substantial credibility issues undermined the maid's story. >> i had made a mistake, but this man tried to rape me. he tried to rape me. >> there's no requirement that you have to be mother teresa to be a rape victim. >> reporter: the maid's attorney kenneth thompson launched a public campaign to persuade the district attorney to go forward with the criminal l se.
>> ai i am confident in nafi diallo. and i am confident in the evidence. >> reporter: he is less confident in prosecutors. he tells abc news, while he hopes the d.a. will keep the case alive, "we are not confident he will do so." the d.a.'s office will not comment on tomorrow's meeting. if the charges are dismissed, as straun khan's attorneys have said they should be, a dramatic prosecution would end with no answer to the question of what really happened in that hotel room. aaron katersky, abc news, new york. and there is still much more ahead on "world news" this sunday night. what we're learning tonight about americans and religion. the new argument being made about where religion is headed in this country. it's the season for those high school seseor photos. tonight, the photographer refusing to take pictures of some of the students. why she is taking a stand on it. and this -- >> what? she's here? >> you've got to see this. the groom who runs to get his bride to be. the only thing? she has no idea she was arriving at her own wedding.
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week that is sure to cause some controversy. it claims that americans are becoming less religious. the duke university professor who authored the study says religion is still a powerful force, but americans have less trust in religious leaders now. and here, we look at spirituality and the military. and we hear from those convinc that it can protect a soldier's health long after war. here's abc's jim sciutto. >> reporter: general rhonda cornum knows something about combat stress. >> i was sure i was going to die. we were crashing and we were sure it was unsurvivable. >> reporter: a helicopter medic during the gulf war, she was shot down, captured and threatened with murder. she says her spirituality helped get her through it. >> being psychological resilient to include spiritually fit was very important. >> reporter: she's now director of the comprehensive soldier fitness program and says the latest military research confirms what she learned from her own experience. as part of the new program, soldiers are encouraged to an
analyze their own spirituality. they are even tested on it. asked how much the following statements describe them -- i am a spiritual person. my life has a lasting meaning. why is it that spiritual people make better soldiers? >> the ethos thaha we adhere to always place the mission first, never accept defeat. never leave a fallen comrade. those kinds of things require you to have belief in something bigger than yourself. >> reporter: just as military chapels are intended to be nondenominational, accommodating soldiers of all faiths or no faith at all, the military says the assessment is not intended to test soldiers' religious beliefs but they're overall mental health. before sergeant dustin chalker, a vowed atheist, the program is actually a thinly veiled religious endorsement and un-ameririn. >> when you have a commitment to what you signed up for and your belief in supporting defending the constitution and then you are given a test that is in
direct contra decision to that, there's a sense of betrayal. >> reporter: more than 300 other soldiers agree, and a group of them are planning to sue the military in a federal court. the military says no soldier is required to follow the programs tips for spiritual fitness, though it stands by the assessment, which it calls valuable in treating the stress of war. jim sciutto, abc news, the pentagon. >> our thanks to jim tonight. and when we come back, the photographer refusing to take those high school senior portraits. what she says she has discovered about somethey used to.nts.ke are you one of them? remember when you had " more energy for 18 holes with your buddies. more passion for the one ya love. more fun with your family and riends. it could be ! a treatable condition called low testosterone or lw t. 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.
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a new jersey high school is grieving tonight following a highway crash that killed four members of the school's football team. eight members of the team were in an suv headed for a celebration lunch after practice before the big season. the 17-year-old driver apparently lost control. he was among those killed. we're going to turn noto a photographer who takes those high school senior portraits. she's now taking a stand against bullying on facebook. jennifer mckendrick came across some facebook pages with mean comments made by some of the students she was about to photograph. she cancelled them and blogged that she will not photograph bullies. as you know, we have been reporting here on "world news" all this past week about joplin, missouri's recovery from last may's tornado. among the losses then, memories, preserved in photographs. and volunteers at a nearby church are culling through pictures gathered from across the region and collected on a facebook page, created away in oklahoma.
so far, 30,000 photographs have been found. just a few hundred returned to their owners, though. the volunteers still say they want to get those photographs to the rightful families. when we come back here tonight, the most unlikely wedding planner, the groom. and the bride who didn't know she was about to get married. she was about to get married. i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on p of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse. my rheumatologist told me about enbrel. i'm surprised how quickly my symptoms have been managed. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, yr doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b,
and finally, the most unlikely wedding plalaer. they arrived on the red carpet. many of the guests themselves not knowing why they were really here. just the groom's closest friends in on it. >> when he told me about it a year ago, i knew he would do it. >> reporter: for a year, sean had been preparing for this moment. >> so, i started asking her questions, like, back in august 2010. hey, if we were going to get married, what kind of centerpieces would you want? she goes, i want mason jars with a candle. so, if you look around, there's mason jars with a candle. she said she wanted martha stewart paper balls. i said, well, who is the one standing in the wedding? she's standing in the wedding. she doesn't know it, but she's planned her entire wedding. what? she's here. >> reporter: the groom runs down that aisle to meet the unsuspecting bride to be. >> this is your wedding. >> right now? >> we're getting married today.
me and my buddy dan brought her entire bedroom set here so it's set up in her room so she can have whatever she wants. >> reporter: and inside, colleen was getting ready. and learning that party she thought she was going to was her own wedding. >> i'm so happy i'm not going to a retirement party tonight. >> reporter: garage doors slowly open, and there was colleen, in her dress, beside her father. down the aisle to their vows. >> you take colleen as your lawful wedded wife? >> i do. >> do you take sean as your lawful wedded husband? >> i do. >> sean, you may kiss your bride. >> we needed that on a sunday night. congratulations, sean and colleen. don't forget, "good morning america" first thing in the morning. and start the week right here tomorrow night, diane sawyer and "world news." have a good evening. good night.
good night. >> alan: a beating, two shootings, and growing concerns of violence at a sporting event after last night's niners-raiders game. i'm alan wang. two men were shot in the parking lot at candlestick park after the preseason game, and one man was badly beaten in the stadium restroom. cecelia vega is at candlestick park where investigators are still searching for evidence. >> reporter: those investigators may be making some progress. san francisco police are saying this evening they have identified a person of interest in one of those sin