tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC February 8, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
i'm carolyn johnson. >> thanks for watching. welcome to "world news." tonight, new rules. a huge change for airport security. how you can now go through fast, shoes on, hassle-free. stunning sweep. the candidate with no money, rick santorum, wins all three states last night. >> wow. >> so, what does the goliath, mitt romney, do now? culture of silence. a school reeling from a sex abuse scandal. can your child's school teach the teachers how to protect the children? and man's best friend. your family pet providing a key to fighting a major disease. and good evening. we begin, tonight, with a big change in airport security. one that signals those long, slow lines could be a thing of
the past. since 9/11, we've all wrestled with our shoes and clothes, laptops and liquids. but the government said today, they're going to roll out a new program in 28 big airports, with more cities to come. and abc's senior national correspondent, jim avila, at reagan airport in d.c., tells us what this program is. and if the country can feel safe. jim? >> reporter: good evening, diane. these frustrating lines have made flying safer. no new attacks. but for many frequent fliers, they've also taken the fun out of flying. so now, a sea change. by the end of the year, the tsa says the era of shoeless screening, may be over. for air travelers, that long, slow-moving security line seems like proof the terrorists won. >> i dread taking off my shoes and my belt. pretty soon, they'll have us strip naked. >> reporter: taking off belts and shoes, cosmetics and lap taps out of the bag, succumbing to pat-downs, by a government
that treated us all the same, children, old people, even u.s. senators. all of us, suspected terrorists. >> i think it's an indignity that we're going through, that's not making us safer. >> reporter: but now, in more than 30 airports, what the tsa is calling a new day. >> it's part of a fundamental shift in how we approach aviation security. >> reporter: from boston and new york in the northeast, to miami and atlanta in the south, chicago and denver in the midwest, seattle, san francisco and los angeles, in the west. in fact most major airports across the country, fast lanes for passengers who have submitted to fingerprints and background checks in advance. lines, where americans can keep their shoes and jackets on, their laptops and cosmetics in their suitcase. >> we're using what some people describe as more common sense. >> reporter: tsa will only say the new fast lanes are substantially quicker. and at los angeles international today, we timed this passenger
through the regular line, at 6 minutes and 10 seconds, while this passenger went through the new fast line, in just 54 seconds. >> it was great. traveling's easy again. >> reporter: five major airlines, american, delta, united, usair and alaska, are signed up to participate by the end of the year. frequent fliers will be asked to give background information. and anyone else willing to pay $100 for a five-year pass issued by homeland security, background check included, can enroll. >> if they can winnow down the number of people they have to spend more time with, at the end of the day, you have actually, i think, increased security. >> reporter: so, how do you sign up? well, if you're a frequent flier, your airline will contact you by e-mail. for the rest of us, you have to contact homeland security and ask about their trusted traveler program. you fill out a form on the internet. then, you go down for an interview. it takes about ten minutes. i got my card in about that time at jfk. diane? >> okay, jim. tell us, how quickly this might happen across the country.
how soon? >> reporter: well, it will be in almost all the major airports across the country, 35 by the end of the year. and it's not all they're doing. in fact, the tsa is hinting that they're going to have other trusted travelers without a card, for people who might be seniors or are in the military, who already have security clearances. >> what a difference that will make if those lines are shorter. thank you, jim avila. and now, we turn to breaking news from the pentagon tonight, about women and combat. an announcement that takes women one step closer to that happening. let's go to jon karl. we have the latest breaking news. jon? >> reporter: we learned that tomorrow, the pentagon will announce changes to rules governing women in combat. as you know, right now, women are not allowed to serve in combat units and units operating on the front lines. with the pentagon's announcement tomorrow, we have learned, this will change. but only partly. the pentagon is opening up 14,000 jobs, most of them in the army, that have been closed off to women because of that ban on
women in combat. this will include jobs in intelligence, logistics and communications. it does not mean you'll see women fighting in foxholes next to men. but they will be able to be part of forward deployed units. the pentagon sees this, diane, as a first step of more equality of opportunity for women in the military. it's also a recognition that warfare has changed. and it's a sign the front lines have changed. 300,000 women have served in iraq and afghanistan. >> let's just get this clear. is there a behind the scenes consensus, that women should be in combat someday fairly soon? >> reporter: there's a behind the scenes consensus, that they must have more opportunities open to them. i think we are still a long, long way from seeing true equality. women serving in all combat roles. but this is a step in that direction. >> thanks, jon. that just in from the pentagon. now, a shocker, delivered last night by "your voice, your vote." a clean sweep by the republican underdog, rick santorum, taking all three states, missouri, minnesota, colorado.
and a lot of people saying it was a david versus goliath night. so, what does the republican goliath, mitt romney, do now? abc's david muir has been reporting on the romney camp all day. tell us about it, david. what is next? >> reporter: diane, we wanted to know, were they rattled by this? was governor romney rattled? and i was told today, no. but would they have liked to have won some of those states? the answer, yes. but they point out that senator mccain, though, lost more than a dozen states on his way to the nomination. a long fight ahead. but tonight, there is someone else who has been given the brand-new fuel. today, a group prayer in texas, after rick santorum's sweep. supporters hopeful that santorum's moment in the spotlight, after winning colorado, minnesota and missouri, will last. santorum pointing out that this time he wasn't wildly outspent. >> tonight, we had an opportunity to see what a campaign looks like, where one candidate isn't outspent five to one, by negative ads. >> reporter: but it also reveals the scope of mitt romney's
losses. four years ago, he clearly won two of those three states. the governor then. >> thank you. >> reporter: fast-forward to now. >> this was a good night for rick santorum. >> reporter: and when you dig into romney's numbers last night, political observers say you also see something else. >> only one-third as many people in minnesota came out to vote for him as came out in 2008. only one-third as many people came out in missouri as came out in 2008. >> reporter: the romney campaign emphatic with me today, that this has less to do with an enthusiasm gap, they say, and more to do with santorum spending more time in these states than romney did. regardless, late today, it was clear that romney recognizes himself, he recognizes santorum as his immediate threat. >> rick santorum was a major earmarker, continues to defend earmarks. i believe that while senator santorum -- >> reporter: more than santorum's record, there could be greater concern about the part of santorum's story that resonates with blue-collar americans. the immigrant grandfather that
worked in the coal mines. that might explain why we heard this about governor romney's father. >> my father never graduated from college. he apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter. and he's pretty good at it. he actually could take a handful of nails, stick them in his mouth, and spit them out, pointing forward. >> reporter: of course, romney's father went on to become governor and ran for president himself. when i asked, are they concerned about the time spent on santorum, if that's time lost against president obama? they say there's plenty of time to take aim at obama and the stewardship of this economy. but there's a wrinkle there, too, with a slightly improving jobs picture. so, santorum and an economy that's slightly shifting. and we're joined, now, by george stephanopoulos. thank you, david. he is, of course, "good morning america" anchor. and anchor of "this week." so, george, aha. you told me about two weeks ago, when i asked you if anything could derail romney, you said, nothing we can foresee. he is the all-but certain nominee, right now. would you repeat that tonight? >> i think he is the all-but certain nominee right now, yes. i think that's the view shared by top republican strategists
and the obama campaign, right now. but there's no question that mitt romney has taken a hit here. and one he did not expect, especially in colorado. and i talked to one republican strategist who said, the problem is, if he can't take out this field in the republican primaries, how can he beat president obama? that's the big concern. >> so, what do they see the vulnerability they have to address? and what do you think he's going to do? >> well, number one, he has to take out rick santorum in michigan. he has to win there. here's the problem. he's turning to his right, looking to his right, to attract conservatives to beat santorum. but he's ceding the middle, those independent voters he needs to beat obama. dropped 18 points in the last month. but they know they have to take out santorum. now, a new raspberry for congress today from the american people. a poll showing congressional approval has dipped to 10%. the lowest level in nearly 40 years. today, congress is less popular
than the irs, than president nixon during watergate. even bp in the wake of the gulf oil spill. and also tonight, a new question in that tragic case of the father who blew up his house and his two children were inside. an investigation has now been launched into how a 911 operator handled a call from the terrified social worker who brought the children to the house of their father, jason powell. she called 911, tried to convince the operator the children were in danger. listen. >> how long will it be? >> i don't know, ma'am. they have to respond to emergency, life-threatening situations first. >> this could be life-threatening. i'm afraid for their lives. >> all-told, this conversation took six minutes. authorities say they are not happy with the performance of the 911 operator. but they do not think those six minutes could have saved the boys. and we head overseas, now, as tonight, the white house is trying to decide what the u.s. should do about syria.
where the rebels fighting for democracy there sent out a plea for help today. the worst day of violence yet. the rebels saying 93 people in homes killed by the government. one activist sent a video describing the scene today. >> you can see over there, another rocket, down at more civilian houses. this is what we've gotten used to. rockets, bullets, children dead in the street. body parts. are these civilian houses over there? are these human beings in their houses? there's another rocket landed over there. this is happening every day. this is happening -- where's the u.n.? where's the humanity? where's america? >> and the white house has to make a decision whether to send arms to help those rebels. and still ahead here on "world news" -- the school reeling from the sex abuse scandal. how do you make sure teachers at your child's school never look the other way? and talk about man's best friend. how dogs are changing the future of cancer treatment for everyone.
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teachers never look the other way? to tell us the latest, abc's cecilia vega. >> reporter: the allegations of what went on at this los angeles elementary school are so unspeakable, it is now shut down. the entire staff, being replaced. two veteran teachers are under arrest. and police say there are nearly two dozen student victims. allegations of children being sexually abused, even in the classroom. one teacher, a long-time fixture of the school, accused of taking hideous, lewd photos of students. >> he's been working here for 30 years. so, my thing is, has it been a 30-year span that he'd done this? >> reporter: the abuse here was first reported nearly two decades ago. but the case was dropped for lack of evidence. now, there are questions about how something so horrible could go on for so long. and whether there is a culture of silence in american classrooms. by one estimate, across the country, nearly 10% of students report being the target of sexual misconduct by school
staff, sometimes between kindergarten and high school, including everything from verbal to physical abuse. private companies do offer comprehensive workshops for teachers and administrators to spot signs of sexual abuse among fellow educators and how to report it. but some experts say, too often, any training in america's schools is given short shrift. >> bullying may get 10 minutes, sexual misconduct may get 15 minutes. and these are important, complex issues, that says if we're going to do a good job with it, if people are really going to take it seriously, you've got to devote more time than that. >> reporter: there are red flags, both teachers and parents should be looking for. excessive attention paid to one student. teachers spending time alone with children after school. locked classroom doors, covered windows, furniture obstructing part of the classroom. as for how to break any code of silence? >> the teachers and the administrators, they love those kids. they are not intentionally silencing anything. but they are human beings. and they're subject to the same
dynamics as everybody else. and it's tough to trust yourself enough to speak out. >> reporter: but the parents at this los angeles school are more than just speaking up, now. >> what do we want? justice. >> reporter: they are demanding change. >> we want justice. >> reporter: cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. >> and today, we spoke to a teacher who had taken the training course. and he says, it really did teach him to trust his instincts. and if he sees something that doesn't look right, speak up. still ahead, we'll tell you what this whale is saying, as a human comes to her rescue. the earth's gravitational pull and hurtle us all into space, which would render retirement planning unnecessary. but say the sun rises on december 22nd and you still need to retire, td ameritrade's investment consultants
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canals are clogged with ice. no gondolas there. in spain, palm trees coated with white. and even north africa has been hit. parts of libya are digging out from a winter storm unseen in 55 years. and another reminder that we are not the only form of intelligent life on this planet. off the waters of new zealand, a killer whale became entangled in a lobster trap. her orca family tried to free her, using their noses and teeth to untangle her and untangle the ropes. but finally, a human came to the rescue. and the whale is heard calling out to her family that help has arrived. listen. [ whale making sounds ] >> experts say they know that is what she is signaling because a cry of panic would have been very different, high and piercing. she was not frightened. she didn't struggle.
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and tonight, we have learned they are our allies in a whole, new way. they are best friends in the search for a cure for cancer. to tell us about it, here's abc's chief health and medical editor, dr. richard besser. >> reporter: in the war against cancer, the cavalry is wagging its tail. this is dutch, a beagle mix. in august, he was diagnosed with nonhodgkin's lymphoma. his cancer is the exact same kind as 7-year-old payton's. payton's meeting dutch today because incredibly, they are both being treated at m.d. anderson cancer center. and the cutting-edge treatment he's getting could help kids like payton. >> the dog's like the little cancer partner. >> the dog's one example of a brave, new world that these dogs are blazing for us. >> reporter: you can really take a dog that has cancer and learn something about a human with the same type of cancer? >> absolutely. >> reporter: remember how one dog year equals seven human years?
that's a huge advantage researchers have in studying cancer in pets because you can learn much faster if the treatment is working. >> the prognosis was not very good. he only had six weeks to live with that diagnosis. >> reporter: six weeks. >> six weeks. >> reporter: how long has he lived? >> he's close to six months. >> reporter: dr. terry fossum created a register, to link sick dogs with clinical trials. >> they don't have to create disease in animals. they can use the animals that have gotten the disease naturally. and they're going to be more predictive models. >> reporter: even the national cancer institute is supporting dog to human treatment in 20 centers. helping us study everything from melanoma, to bone cancer. >> we could use the same types of immune-based therapies we want to apply for humans and understand whether or not they work in the dog. it's a win-win. >> reporter: roll over. an even bigger win for patients like payton. >> thank you, dutch. >> reporter: dr. richard besser, abc news, houston, texas. >> we're so happy to report,
payton and dutch are doing very well tonight. we thank you for watching. we're always there at abcnews.com. "nightline" will be here later. and of course, we'll see you once again, right back here, tomorrow night. good night. tonight a question of excessive force. did police have to do this? pictures may not tell the whole story. >> new backlash against oakland occupy movement. will they try to disrupt the mayor? >> a pair of welders casting doubt on the pipeline system.
and and a dooms day scenario. what might happen if terrorists take aim at the water supply. >> and it's happening castro valley. sky 7 is live over the scene of an officer-involved shooting there. >> we're told a law enforcement agency was conducting a type of operation when shots were fired. authorities are not saying yet which department was involved in this. >> our media partner reports that one suspect was shot, one officer has been injured. >> take a look at the scene. paramedics took one of those injured to the hospital. he appeared to have a leg injury but was talk oogt police investigation has shut down grove way, you can see live from sky 7 hd. traffic is starting to back up in that area. and so it's a bad time for this. we'll bring updates as we get them. stay tuned. >> and there is