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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  May 9, 2012 1:40am-4:00am PDT

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the car drives away without stopping. police say thanks to the video they were able to catch and arrest the driver just a short time -- that's the second kind of video like that we've seen this week. the other one, the guy got out on the highway. those guys are lucky to be alive. >> look at that. >> and they got the driver, which is even better news. >> goodness. more than a year after japan's devastating tsunami, a mountain of debris is descending on the alaskan coastline. these pictures capture just a fraction of, get this, the 1.5 million tons of trash from that disaster. some potentially toxic drifting our way at about four miles an hour. cleanup crews are now getting hazmat training, preparing to pitch in to save those beaches. they say the size of this debris field is bigger than the state of california, all moving torward us from that tsunami/earthquake more than a year ago. >> more than a year ago. it's remarkable. all the way in japan, from japan. >> crazy. here's your wednesday weather. flooding and heavy rain from
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detroit to new england. and the entire east coast. much of the same along the gulf coast to el paso and the southern rockies. mostly dry but pretty windy in the pacific northwest and northern rockies. >> 57 in seattle. 82 in boise. 92 in phoenix. mostly 60s from fargo to detroit. a wet 66 in bean town. 73 here in new york. 80s from miami to dallas. two extremes in one story now. simply because we do plenty of animal stories here on "world news now," which rob loves, and we don't do so many stories about soccer. >> let's get a bit of both. thanks to an english soccer fan who brought a chicken to the match. the other night. it was a game between the teams from blackburn and wigan. how do you say that, jack? wigan. and the chicken was dressed to support blackburn. >> ultimately it was caught and carried off and it wasn't really any help because blackburn lost. i like the chicken outfit. i like the whole chicken thing. >> i was quite a soccer star back in new jersey in my early teens. so i -- the recreational league. >> that's a fun fact. >> isn't it. we mark the passing of a
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children's book pioneer. he brought generations of kids to "where the wild things are." my favorite book. >> really? >> we all know it. but first, bake sales now on the endangered list in the state of massachusetts. fund-raising may never taste as sweet again. we'll tell you why when "world news now" continues right after this. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by arriva medical. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by arriva medical.
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all right. here's a story of the morning. with an epidemic of childhood obesity, one state is taking drastic action. banning school bake sales. >> it's happening in massachusetts where children and parents are upset at the cookie crackdown. kelley tuthill from our boston station shows us what's cooking. >> reporter: when the danver
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high school marching band got an opportunity to play in the rose bowl parade, the pressure was on to raise money. >> i believe the students collectively sold over 8,000 pounds of fudge. it was just incredible. >> reporter: but now the department of public health has set its sights on fund-raisers involving sweet treats, including the all-american bake sale, igniting a schoolyard debate. >> and it helps the schools and helps buy books. helps fund trips. it helps fund, you know, things that's the taxpayers aren't paying for. i mean, that's the purpose. >> i think there are lots of creative ways we can, you know, come up with for fund-raising that wouldn't have to involve unhealthy foods. >> reporter: this is all part of a state law that goes into effect in august which tries to limit our kids' access to unhealthy food from a half an hour before the school day to a half hour after it ends. but the department of public health wants the ban on sweet treats to extend 24/7.
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its new guidebook it says schools are encouraged to apply the new nutrition standards at all times. >> clearly it's to really create an environment in schools where kids have the opportunity to make choices among healthy options. we're at a place in massachusetts where one-third of our kids in schools are either overweight or obese. >> reporter: in danver, some band boosters say back off. >> not so sure why the state feels that they need to step in on this. >> this is our facebook question of the day. are lawmakers overstepping their authority by banning bake sales? we want to know what you think. >> check out wnnfans.com. chime in on this one. straight ahead, a big birthday for a timeless puppet. >> mr. punch is next here on "world news now." >> announcer: "world news now" will continue after this from our abc stations.ieieieieieieiee
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a very famous puppet is celebrating a big birthday across the pond. he survived everything from wars to the playstation generation.
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>> he is mr. punch. the bbc reporter david sillito tells us more. >> reporter: mr. punch is a man with a message. if anyone gets in your way, hit him with a big stick. over hundreds of years and across the world, babies, policemen, crocodiles, punch has wacked them all. >> one question, he's a very, very bad man. >> he's a clown. >> he's a mass murderer. >> he uses a slap stick like this. and he delivers what is known as stylized blows. it's the other side of a coin from a fairy's magic wand. not to mention, of course, they are puppets. it's like wondering whether tom and jerry ought to be reported to the rspca. >> reporter: and, yes, that was a banker being thwacked because punch has always been changing.
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he exists across the world and arrived in brittan 1662. over the years there's been punching joan. punching toby. he's always been upsetting someone. >> the victorians, of course, were very concerned about things like, oh, should we see the devil or the ghost. they had no concerns about, you know, what you might do to your wife or a baby. >> there's laughter in the air. the magic always draws the crowds. >> reporter: back in the innocent days of the '40s and '50s, punch often used to carry out a hanging. no longer. today there are often new characters such as mr. jobsworth or the badly behaved babies. crocodiles, sausages, the authority figures waiting to take on the man with the big nose and the big chin. happy birthday, mr. punch. david sillito, bbc news, worthington.
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>> a little scary, though, right? >> mr. punch. >> a little freaky. what i do in my spare time is my business. what i do in my spare time. [ female announcer ] got a bad odor in your high-efficiency washer? clean it with tide washing machine cleaner. [ female announcer ] three uses will help remove odor-causing residues and leave your washer clean and fresh. to help maintain your he washer, use tide washing machine cleaner once a month and always wash with tide he detergent, specially formulated for proper he performance. tide washing machine cleaner. clean laundry starts with a clean washer.
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call or log onto hoveround.com right now! ♪ well, he was a man who helped millions of children's imaginations run wild. like every home with little ones, my kids have "where the wild things are." it's one of my favorite books. >> you love this one. a lot of people do. maurice sendak passed away at the age of 83, but his contributions to children's literature will live on for many, many years to come. abc's david wright honors the passing of a literary legend. >> reporter: maurice sendak's
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world was the opposite of mary poppins. no spoonful of sugar for little max who misbehaves as boys do and is promptly sent to bed. no supper. but his imagination runs wild. >> and he sailed off for night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year. to where the wild things are. >> do you think you'd like to go where the wild things are? >> reporter: for more than 50 years, kids have taken that sublime journey with max. >> they roared their terrible roars. >> and gnashed their terrible teeth. >> reporter: in wonder and in fright. >> and now, cried max -- >> let the wild rumpus start. >> reporter: for generations of kids and their kids, sendak's story has spoken to something wild inside each one of us. >> kids revel in any kind of emotion. it's physical. it's tantalizing. it's great. >> reporter: maurice sendak was born in brooklyn in 1928. a frail boy, gay and jewish. the depression and the holocaust a back drop to his youth.
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childhood for sendak had plenty of dark corners. >> saying to me what childhood was like, it was just a mess. >> reporter: sendak didn't want to sugarcoat childhood the way so many authors did. >> to not show the little tattered edges of what life is like, but i remember what life was like. and i didn't know what else to write about. >> reporter: no matter how terrible the adventure, he always brought us home to max's room where he found his supper waiting for him. >> and it was still hot. >> reporter: maurice sendak was 83. david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> true literary legend. >> reminiscing. brought back childhood memories for you. >> i wanted to go to "where the wild things are." i wanted to move there. >> that was very cool. what was it that kind of got you? >> just that the story, the sort of child being able to get away.
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this morning on "world news this morning on "world news now" -- man and woman. that is how marriage is now defined in the state of north carolina. >> that definition was part of a constitutional amendment in that state that effectively slams the door on same-sex marriages. it's wednesday, may 9th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> good wednesday morning. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm sunny hostin. the gay marriage amendment to north carolina's constitution was one of a host of big decisions made by voters in several states yesterday. we'll get to those coming right up. >> a lot of politics going on around the country. we'll get to that. then, this morning, a bizarre story. the complete disappearance of a hollywood movie executive.
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his story is the very definition of without a trace. obviously, all of his family is hoping for a safe return but a very bizarre story here. where could he have gone? just kind of disappeared. has not been seen at all since. talk about an inspiration. a woman paralyzed in an accident is now a marathon finisher. now her time which was measured in weeks not hours just simply doesn't matter. she made it across the finish line with plenty of fans there to cheer her on. >> look at that. if that doesn't inspire, what will. fantastic. it is wednesday morning. that means a few more celebrities have a lot more time on their hands after being ousted from "dancing with the stars." they are now down to the final four on the show after last night's dramatic double elimination. >> a double elimination. >> i won't say a surprising elimination. >> no. we called that. >> but double -- we did kind of call it. we know what we're talking about. first this morning, a major setback for advocates of same-sex marriage. north carolina has become the 30th state to approve an amendment defining marriage as a union between only a man and a
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woman. >> yes, the campaign spokesman for president obama is calling the new amendment divisive. abc's karen travers is in washington with more. good morning, karen. >> reporter: good morning, rob. good morning, sunny. this vote in north carolina comes just as gay marriage comes back to center stage in the presidential campaign. a ballot initiative in north carolina gained national attention. voters passed an amendment to the state's constitution that goes further than simply banning gay marriage which is already illegal there. the amendment means that north carolina now will not recognize any type of legal union between nonmarried couples, gay or straight. north carolinians were deeply divided. >> i read through the bible through three or four times and i read it every day, and i just think that's the thing to do. >> it's a matter of civil rights. >> reporter: in recent years, support for gay marriage has risen sharply nationwide. an abc news poll in march showed
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that for the first time more than 50% of americans say gay marriage should be legal. the issue now playing out in the presidential campaign after vice president biden indicated on sunday his own opinion goes further than the president's. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights. >> reporter: as a senate candidate in 2004, mr. obama expressed opposition to gay marriage. but in december 2010, he said -- >> my feelings about this are constantly evolving. i struggle with this. >> reporter: the vice president's comments not only sparked a renewed debate about gay marriage but put the focus on the president's character, not his policies. >> what gets the president in trouble here politically is this notion of a wink and a nod to his base. >> reporter: that base is a balancing act for president obama. younger voters overwhelmingly support gay marriage while
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african-americans and latinos oppose it. rob and sunny? >> thanks, karen. california is poised to pass a first of its kind ban on a controversial therapy aimed at turning gay people straight. supporters say such treatments are not effective and potentially harmful. critics argue the ban would interfere with the right of parents to seek whatever kind of therapy they deem appropriate for their children. more political news this morning. the longest serving republican member of the senate is heading for retirement, though not by his own choice. indiana senator richard lugar lost his bid for re-election to a candidate backed by the tea party who pegged lugar as too moderate for the seat. the veteran republican has held his office in the senate since 1977. also republican presidential hopeful mitt romney stumped across michigan virtually ignoring the primaries in indiana, north carolina and west virginia. romney easily won all three of those contests adding about 100 more delegates to the 288 of them he still needs to officially, mathematically, clinch the nomination.
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and in wisconsin, milwaukee mayor tom barrett has won the democratic primary in the race for governor. so now he'll face republican governor scott walker in a recall election on june the 5th in what's being called the showdown over union rights. most taxpayers probably would be shocked to learn they are picking up the tab for former presidents. and now there is a new push to stop what's often called presidential welfare. jimmy carter, bill clinton and both bushes are eligible for free rent, office staff, postage and the like. last year uncle sam paid $830,000 for george w. bush's phone bill. and $15,000 for former president carter's postage. congress created this presidential entitlement in 1958 because harry truman couldn't afford to pay his bills. >> of course, now most of these presidents since then are fairly wealthy men if not very wealthy men. get this. after -- bill clinton raked in
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more than $10 million in speaking fees last year. george w. bush made $15 million for just giving speeches. so it's a far cry from harry truman days. most of these guys leave office and in books and speeches and consultant work. make millions of dollars. >> how do you get an $830,000 phone bill? i like to speak on the phone but i can't imagine $830,000. everyone has those plans now. unlimited calls. >> must have friends on jupiter. in 2010, the total bill about $3 million. a drop in the bucket for our federal budget, but on principle it seems a little -- >> i don't like it. >> -- hard to swallow. we could learn more today about the foiled terror plot when the head of the fbi talks to reporters. we do know the bomb was delivered intact to u.s. intelligence by a double agent working with the cia. the fbi is still analyzing that explosive which was intended to be concealed in a passenger's underwear. hats off to that incredibly intrepid double agent. and prosecutors in the roger
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clemens trial have been scolded by the judge for putting on a slow and boring case. judge reggie waltman, a judge i myself have been in front of, told lawyers that jurors were fed up because they see their time is being wasted. it's already been four weeks and the prosecution still hasn't put its key witness on the stand. that apparently won't happen until next weekend. >> get those jurors some coffee. animal rescuers are trying to free a dolphin trapped at an underwater construction site in long beach, california. the young dolphin is surrounded by metal sheeting that's being used as a foundation for a wharf. it got stuck after swimming in during high tide. rescuers have cut holes in the sheeting hoping the dolphin will swim out there on its own. well, here is your wednesday weather. a nasty day in the eastern part of the country with drenching rain and flooding from michigan to maine and all the way down to miami. also, stormy along the gulf coast, the southern half of texas, new mexico and arizona. gusty winds in the northwest. >> 75 in salt lake city.
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84 in sacramento. kansas city up to 71. minneapolis, 67. chicago, even 60. 70s from new york to atlanta. 84 in new orleans. well, many of us have captured our picture perfect prom moment, all the smiles and you are dressed to the nines. but apparently some teens in wisconsin didn't get the kodak moment they were hoping for. >> this is pretty funny. this is what happened when nearly 20 high school seniors decided to pile on to a wooden pier to have their picture taken before the big dance. well, yeah, the pier suddenly collapsed leaving most of them soaking wet. thankfully no one was hurt. those girls were mad about their hair. >> the teens didn't miss a beat, though. they tossed the wet clothes in the dryer, dried their hair, touched up their makeup and made it all to the prom with a memory of a lifetime. >> you want your prom to be memorable. >> that's a great story. >> they'll have a great story
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for many years. look on the bright side. >> they have some pictures. >> for the world to see. coming up, some stunning details about an incident involving john travolta. that's ahead in "the skinny." first, what happened to a big time movie executive who seems to have vanished right into thin air. no word from him for over a week now. details when we come right back. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by the scooter store.
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nice little shot of hollywood there. in california, though, a mystery is growing this morning as police continue to search for a hollywood movie executive who simply vanished. >> 57-year-old gavin smith disappeared last week without a trace, and his son has taken to social media asking the public for help in hopes of finding some answers.
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cecilia vega has more. >> reporter: gavin smith is a 20th century fox movie executive who helped put some of hollywood's biggest blockbusters in theaters. from "titanic" to "avatar" to the latest "star wars" movies. he even appeared in front of the camera a few times. >> congrats, al. four pieces in national magazines this month. >> reporter: but now this 57-year-old father of three is at the center of a hollywood mystery after he didn't pick up his youngest son from school on wednesday and hasn't been heard from since. his family is beginning to fear the worst. >> any cause for concern that would lead you to suspect foul play in any way? >> he didn't pick up his son in the morning. that's a huge cause for concern. he did not call his office. he didn't show up to work. he has never done any of those things in 21 years. >> reporter: smith had been on a business trip in las vegas the week before. he came home to los angeles friday and was supposed to spend tuesday night at a family
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friend's home nearby. >> he was watching tv downstairs when our friend went to bed. he was going to be coming up to bed shortly. >> reporter: instead, his family says he left his friend's house around 10:00 p.m., taking only his wallet and driving off in his black mercedes. los angeles sheriff's investigators are baffled by the disappearance. >> we're asking for the public's assistance in locating mr. smith. >> reporter: smith's family has turned to social media and the internet to help find him, creating a facebook page and a website. >> we just want him home safe and sound, and we're doing everything we possibly can. >> reporter: smith's oldest son evan is following in his father's footsteps as a college basketball star. gavin smith played for ucla's championship 1975 team. his son is a forward for usc. evan has turned to his twitter followers for help tweeting, still looking for him. i'll never stop. >> we need as much help as we can so we can bring him back home safely.
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>> and if somehow he is, you know, seeing this, we want you to come home, baby. we love you. our world is not right without you. be safe. >> reporter: leads have been coming in to police, but so far, nothing credible. also no hits on gavin smith's cell phone. no usage of his credit cards. his family says he has no enemies and so far now this case remains a real mystery. in los angeles, cecilia vega, abc news. >> police say now they are giving some more resources to this case. they aren't specifying what those resources may be, but the fact that his cell phone, no cell phone records since the disappearance and no credit card use, what does that tell you? >> i don't know. it's so -- it's clearly possible that someone abducted him. it's possible he may no longer be alive. but i find it odd that he has just disappeared without a trace because there are surveillance cameras almost everywhere. especially in los angeles. so it just doesn't make sense to me. >> hope the family does not get the worst news.
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we'll follow that. and when we come back, we'll lighten the mood with the wednesday morning "skinny." >> some unbrotherly love amongst the jacksons. and last night's losers. yes, two. "dancing with the stars." you're watching "world news now." >> announcer: abc's "world news now" will continue after this from our abc stations. inue after this @@@@ ú
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♪ skinny so skinny ♪ ♪ skinny so skinny ♪ welcome back, everybody. wednesday morning, of course. that means we've got to update you on "dancing with the stars." double elimination last night. so two folks got the boot. oh, tough to see them go. actually a cool show last night. chris brown performed. did a good job. also a tribute to dick clark which was very cool. some of the original bandstand dancers. but in terms of who got the boot last night, roshon fegan, the disney star. he's the one that got the ax last night. >> he had a good run. >> he was in the bottom several times throughout the season. judges seemed to like him. he and his partner seemed pretty
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close. he was gone, and melissa gilbert. this was not a shocker here. people that watch the show more regularly than i do, yeah, probably time for her to pack it up. so they both went home. roshon fegan is out of there and melissa gilbert has gone back to the prairie. she survived the injury. had some kind of injury and bounced back from that. so they have a lot to be proud of, but time to pack the bags and move on. my girl maria menounos is still in it and your boy, mr. levy, is still in there. i know you like that. >> boyfriend in my head. now, john travolta, one of my favorite actors, he is really coming under fire. we know yesterday a federal lawsuit was filed against him by a masseuse. now we've got a second masseuse adding and joining this federal lawsuit. $2 million. claiming that he, too, was rubbed in the wrong way. the jokes make themselves in this case. now let's make it clear that travolta, 58, he said this is completely fabricated. he finally has come out because initially we hadn't heard a word from him.
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he said it's completely fabricated. he says in terms of the first claim, he wasn't even in los angeles at the time. he wasn't even in beverly hills. he was filming a movie somewhere else. but the second person apparently this happened, allegedly in atlanta, and i believe he was there. >> okay. apparently -- >> he was there. >> because the suit now, the details are out there. you can find them on tmz or gossip websites. a lot of salacious, very graphic detail provided in this suit. but we'll see how it plays out. these are celebrities. people try to take advantage sometimes, but -- >> and these rumors have been swirling around john travolta for quite some time. >> we'll see how that plays out. also talking about this guy matt fiddes, a former bodyguard for michael jackson. wrote a pretty scandalous book here. first came out. he said he and whitney houston had this love affair. whitney and michael had this
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love affair back in the day. he really wanted to marry whitney. now he's told the tabloid in britain, "the sun," that he wanted his brother randy to be shot after the two had a squabble that escalated into something a lot crazy. he says, quote, michael was caught in a war with his brothers for years. they were desperate to sign him to a $500 million deal for a jackson five reunion tour. lucky for randy that the nation of islam bodyguards did not act on michael's request to have randy shot in the leg, not killed. and michael at the time was strung out with drugs and that's why his bodyguards did not follow the order. and this guy has also said that he is the real father of michael's son. >> that's where he loses me because they don't look alike. they don't look alike. i'm not quite buying the blanket thing. oh, but you think maybe they look alike? >> all i know it's not michael's kid. that's all i can say for sure. so whether it's -- whoever. details coming out about that. finally, justin bieber
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graduates from high school. he didn't really go to high school. he got his ged, but he said, i'm free. it was hard doing school and work every day. congrats to justin bieber. >> has a tough life. [ male announcer ] we put a week's worth of bad odors in a home.
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♪ ♪ a little enya. i found my center, my zen. i'm there. >> now to an inspiring story out of london. in 2007, a young woman's life was forever changed after an equestrian riding accident. >> the accident actually left her paralyzed, but she perseveres and has tackled one of the most daunting tasks. she completed a marathon, believe it or not. abc's nick schifrin has this incredibly inspirational story. >> reporter: for five years, claire lomas hasn't been able to walk, hasn't been able to feel her legs. but that hasn't stopped her.
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she was once a professional show rider. but in 2007, a freak accident paralyzed her from the chest down. until january, she was in a wheelchair. then she started walking thanks to a $75,000 robotic suit. >> it's amazing after five years of sitting down to be back on my feet, fully weight bearing. and i can walk in it as well. >> reporter: she can only take 30 steps a day, but that didn't stop her either. she set out to walk 55,000 steps. claire started the london marathon with 35,000 runners. long after the winners finished, she was still at it walking a mile and a half every day. and 16 days later, claire finished supported by thousands of fans. >> it's a moment i'm going to treasure for the rest of my life. >> reporter: and yet, this isn't the happiest day of her life. this race isn't even just about her. >> i've got a girl who is 1 on
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friday. >> reporter: yes, claire got married and gave birth to her daughter after her accident. >> we're having a bit of a competition to see who can walk first. we're about level at the moment. >> reporter: claire has always loved completing difficult tasks. the last two weeks are a reminder that she still can. >> before my accident, i had always loved challenges. i'm that type of person. it doesn't change who you are when you have a spinal injury. you still want to push yourself. >> reporter: that's the lesson she hopes to teach other accident victims. perhaps to teach all of us. nick schifrin, abc news, london. >> wow. she raised about $130,000 for spinal research. and another participant in the marathon raised more than a million dollars for suicide prevention after she collapsed and died midrace. that became her cause. >> it's remarkable. bravo. >> that kind of commitment is beyond words. >> announcer: this is abc's
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"world news now," informing insomniacs for two decades
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this morning on "world news now" -- double agent. that's who foiled that al qaeda bomb plot. >> the terrorists did not know they were working with a u.s. agent, and that is being called a big intelligence victory this morning. it is wednesday, may 9th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> good morning. i'm sunny hostin in for paula faris. >> i'm rob nelson. some really amazing details about how that terror plot was foiled all thanks to the undercover work of the double agent. we'll get to that in just a second. so we had the navy s.e.a.l. team six with bin laden.
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this guy has to be right up there -- or woman -- right up there with them. >> no question. >> get inside al qaeda. get the bomb and get it back. >> and get it back so they could look at the bomb and -- >> like a movie plot. >> it really is. also this half hour, voters in north carolina approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. it's just one decision that was made at the polls yesterday. the results are coming up. >> people don't understand this is actually bigger than just banning gay marriage because they are banning a domestic legal union. none of that is valid in the state. civil union or any kind of domestic partnership out the window. >> they are saying it's a big step backward. >> yeah. secretary of state hillary clinton. very frank talk from her, not about north korea or china or iran or iraq. she is answering the critics of her appearance. she says she just doesn't care anymore about what anyone has to say about how she looks.
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>> and good for hillary clinton. who cares. she's got a really important job to do. >> she has bigger fish to fry than her hair and makeup. >> exactly. from speaking no english to iverall hld campus, he's getting his dind ho the classroom quite yet. grea >> love to see that kind of story. but first, details are still emerging about that double agent who somehow managed to fool al qaeda. >> officials say he worked his way inside a terror cell in yemen, gained the trust of the bombmaker and slipped out of the country with the device. abc's diana perez is joining us with more this morning. good morning, diana. >> reporter: rob and sunny, more details are emerging about the device the cia was able to recover from an al qaeda cell in yemen. it's information that some say shows that cell is becoming better at building bombs. still, the department of homeland security says they see no immediate need to change screening procedures.
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another plot uncovered. another moment that rocked our collective sense of security when it comes to flying. >> obviously, a lot of people are scared about being invaded, their privacy and everything like that. but honestly, i would rather have them do that than have something tragic happen. >> reporter: sources tell abc an operative working with the cia and foreign intelligence agencies infiltrated an al qaeda cell in yemen and was able to obtain a bomb. a bomb that the cell planned to use on a u.s.-bound plane. instead, the device is now being inspected in a virginia lab, and officials have already gathered important information. it's a better version of the failed christmas 2009 underwear bomb that did make it on to a plane to detroit. like that bomb, this one could get past screening equipment, and officials say it was built by the same man, ibrahim hassan al asiri. this fbi video shows its potential damage. all of these details worry the experts. >> what we know is that the bomb contains no metal parts and, therefore, would not normally
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have been detected by anof o security measures. >> reporter: but not everyone is sounding the alarms. >> all things considered, yes. in high likelihood it would have been detected. >> reporter: the white house says this bomb never made it anywhere near its target. >> we're confident that neither the device nor the intended user of this device posed a threat to us. >> reporter: still, everyone's deepest worry is that al qaeda is now building undetectable devices that could potentially beat airport security. rob and sunny? there were security scares overnight at two airports in the west. a southwest plane at phoenix sky harbor airport was searched after a threat. nothing was found and the aircraft was allowed to depart on its scheduled flight. and at john wayne airport in orange county, california, a plane was held after a threat was phoned in. that plane was also cleared to fly a short time later. and with these renewed concerns about security at our nation's airports, there's a new and disturbing congressional report about the tsa. it found that millions of dollars in high-tech equipment is gathering dust in a tsa warehouse. when asked why, tsa officials say they ordered the extra
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equipment in order to get a discount and had no plans to deploy it. >> they also say they are waiting for some of the smaller airports to get ready for that equipment as well. so there's some truth somewhere in the mix of the reasons. also other news. veteran senator richard lugar has lost his bid for re-election. the moderate indiana republican was unable to fend off a tea party republican rival, far more conservative candidate. this was the first time lugar faced a primary challenge in his nearly 40-year career in the senate. >> i have no regrets about running for re-election. all of us should believe in the nobility of standing before the public and asking for their vote. even if doing so can be a very daunting task. >> president obama hailed lugar as a strong bipartisan leader willing to reach across the aisle in order to get things done. republican presidential hopeful mitt romney easily sailed to victory in primaries
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held in indiana, north carolina and west virginia. facing no real challenges, romney virtually ignored all three contests. instead he spent his day stumping across michigan. in north carolina, voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman only. the amendment not only bans same-sex marriages, it also means civil unions and other domestic partnerships will no longer be recognized by the state. >> so illegal in 30 states, legal in 6 states if you're keeping count. also california is poised to pass a first of its kind ban on a controversial therapy aimed at turning gay people straight. and now supporters say such treatments are not effective and potentially harmful even. but critics argue the ban would interfere with the rights of parents to seek whatever therapy they deem appropriate for their own children. very interesting. you have to wonder, too, has the north carolina vote generated the social conservatives in that state who may, come november, come out big time for mitt romney as opposed to the president.
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so the democratic party watching, i think, north carolina, very carefully. >> he had north carolina last time around. >> barely, but had it. we'll see how that plays out. the defense in the john edwards case is gearing up for its own presentation set to begin tomorrow or possibly friday. >> it's still unclear when the most highly anticipated witness will be called to the stand. abc's scott goldberg is joining us with the latest testimony. good morning, scott. >> reporter: good morning rob and sunny. maybe today will be the day that the jury hears directly from rielle hunter. she did not take the stand yesterday. instead the jury heard testimony that even after his affair with her made headlines, john edwards still thought he had a bright future in politics. late in the afternoon, wendy button, a former speechwriter for john edwards, testified the former presidential candidate knew a wealthy benefactor, fred baron, was spending money to cover up the affair with rielle hunter and support the baby edwards had with her. it's something edwards has long
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denied and it could turn out to be pivotal testimony. earlier in the day, tim tobin, a one-time edwards donor provided cringe-worthy but not necessarily criminal details. he said he went to dinner with edwards in 2008 after tabloids printed the first stories about the affair. and tobin said he found it astonishing at that dinner that edwards still thought he might get picked as barack obama's running mate. tobin said he warned tma he also told the jury when he went back to rielle hunter's home in north carolina, after she went into hiding in california, he found a sex tape. but all of that is incidental to the question the jury has to answer -- did edwards knowingly use campaign money to cover up the affair? rielle hunter told "gq" magazine she was in the dark about the money, and she said this on the oprah winfrey show. >> do you think he was more afraid of elizabeth finding out or the rest of us? >> elizabeth. >> reporter: and that would seem to back up the defense argument that edwards was concerned about
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hiding the affair from his wife, not about helping his campaign. because hunter is considered so unpredictable, it is possible prosecutors will not call her to the stand before they wrap up their case later this week. rob and sunny? >> we'll see. >> the legal term for that trial is hot mess. >> it really is. quite engaging and entertaining, though, because it's a federal case, and it's a campaign contribution case. who knew it would be that interesting. >> it's not the money people are following. it's the sordid stuff, as usual. now to a new manifesto of sorts issued by secretary of state hillary clinton. after years in the public eye from the white house to the senate, to the state department, clinton has faced blistering criticism. >> and not just for her political views but for her hair, her clothes, even her makeup. as she told cnn about her declaration of independence. >> i feel so relieved to be at the stage i'm at in my life
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right now because, you know, if i want to wear my glasses, i'm wearing my glasses. if i want to pull my hair back, i'm pulling my hair back. and, you know, at some point it's just not -- it's not something that deserves a whole lot of time and attention. and if others want to worry about it, i'll let them do the worrying for a change. >> good for hillary. she's secretary of state. my goodness. she's got an important job. >> and she's been in the public spotlight a long time and been through a few things. if she wants to wear sweats and a straw hat, go ahead. she's earned the right to be comfortable in her own skin. here's a look at your weather. a windy day across the pacific northwest and northern rockies. flooding rain from arizona to texas and the gulf coast. also a soaker along the east coast from miami to new england. and those downpours stretch into cleveland and detroit. >> 60s from fargo to indianapolis. 66 in boston. 78 in baltimore. 80s in miami, dallas and new orleans. phoenix heats up to 92. sacramento, 84.
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billings, 81. you know, you could say josh hamilton of the texas rangers had a decent night at the plate last night. >> yeah, not bad. decent indeed. in fact, hamilton became just the 16th major leaguer ever to hit four home runs in the same game. against baltimore hamilton blasted two-run homers in the first, third and seventh innings and added a solo shot in the eighth. >> his other at-bat was a double. he leads the american league with 14 home runs so far this season. look at that. >> that's incredible. "new york times" points out for the first time in history, the most precious achievements for a pitcher and a hitter have occurred in the same season. don't forget about philip humber of the chicago white sox who had a perfect game against seattle just 17 days ago. so quite a season in baseball. >> who knew. well, coming up, the most unhealthy part of your day. >> all that sitting in the car, commuting to the office, not good for you. let's put it that way. we hit the road and give you some details on that when we
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come right back. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by united health care. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement nsurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to " 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying .up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket. these are the only medicare supplement insurance plans... exclusively endorsed by aarp. when you call now, you'll get this free information kit... with all you need to enroll. put their trust in aarp p medicare supplement insuranc.
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♪ ♪ well, pretty much everyone has to deal with some kind of commute twice a day. you know what i'm talking about. >> yes, i do. for those who spend a long time in the car, doctors are saying it just may be the unhealthiest part of your day. we get the details from abc's cecilia vega. >> reporter: when it comes to cindy abrams' los angeles commute, there's one way to
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describe it. long. in fact, two hours long each way. well, actually when we got in the car with her, she had a few other choice words. >> absolute agony. white-knuckled fury. >> reporter: at some point, every commuter stares straight into the brake lights ahead and thinks it. this is going to kill me. turns out it just might. in the study, researchers looked at 4,000 frustrated drivers smack in the middle of one of the worst commutes in the country, dallas, texas. they found those commuting ten miles or more had bigger waistlines and higher blood pressure than those with shorter commutes, even if they exercised regularly. >> it's the first study that has documented how commuting distance affects objective health outcomes. so, namely, blood pressure, cardio respiratory fitness and weight. >> reporter: but the reality is, america needs to get to work. the average commute is about 25 minutes long each way.
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and if you think your commute is bad, nearly 8% of america now spends more than an hour getting to work. and the evidence is mounting that all that stress and lost time is taking a toll. gallup researchers found a third of drivers with 90-minute daily commutes report recurring neck or back problems. and researchers in sweden even found couples with long commutes were 40% more likely to drive to divorce court. the advice? seek out carpooling, public transportation, anything that can get you out of the driver's seat and give you a break from a daily grind that really is dangerous. cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles. >> or better yet, just quit your job. there you go. just let it all go. >> let it all go? >> 86% of us commute to the office by car, train or bus. the average commute right now about 25 minutes. >> mine is longer than that, but long commutes can take away from exercise and are associated with high blood pressure and higher weight and generally just lower
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fitness levels. >> i know. and that adds stress to your day. that's the worst part. especially crazy living in a big city. good luck out there, folks. straight ahead now, a preview of what's ahead tomorrow morning on "world news now." you don't want to miss this. >> no, you don't. and the custodian at columbia getting ready to walk for his diploma. stay with us. >> announcer: abc's "world news
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sleep is overrated. you're watching abc "world news now." >> love her! >> that is a very special guest that you'll meet tomorrow morning. the one and only aunt barbara. >> self-proclaimed long island homemaker and everyone's favorite relative. she's also the top tupperware consultant. >> in north america. she's no joke. tomorrow at this very same time she'll share her story and show
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us some incredible new products. you've never met anyone like ann barber. well, now to our favorite story of the day. a columbia university custodian who took the job 20 years ago all so he could take tuition-free classes is set to graduate this sunday. >> the soon to be ivy league grad will receive his bachelors degree and he's not done in the classroom. >> reporter: gac filipaj is 52. he came here from the former yugoslavia in wartime. speaking no english. >> and you will be a graduate? one of the best ivy league universities in the united states? >> yes. >> the best in the world? >> yes. >> are you proud? >> i'm proud, and i'm extremely happy. >> reporter: wait. he's graduating with honors. it has taken him 12 years. first he had to learn english. then at age 40 he entered college here while working nights full time. he carries his backpack alongside the nation's brightest valedictorians from across america, and he cleans the
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bathrooms. >> were you ever in a situation where you were cleaning, doing your work and one of your classmates walks by from your class? >> yes, yes. >> is that weird? >> some of them who did not know what job i do, i noticed their faces a surprise. >> like whoa! >> this guy? he's -- >> he's in my class. >> reporter: the dean is blown away by gac and proud of columbia for offering free tuition to its employees who make the grade. >> he wanted that education. he's gotten it. he's going on to a masters degree. >> reporter: and gac tells me maybe a ph.d. he loves it. >> it's a different thing when you do something out of pleasure. >> reporter: he regrets only this, that his father died three weeks ago and didn't know he was doing this. >> because he thought that i am not that smart. >> reporter: and to all of us born here he says -- >> whoever wants to work two jobs, three jobs, people can go and look and they will find a job. in my country, even if you want to work, there are no jobs.
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>> reporter: gac filipaj graduates with honors from columbia university sunday. >> announcer: "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." ...and then there's the pillow. ♪ i dare you to dare me so they dared me to try this pantene. [ female announcer ] pantene anti-breakage the keratin protection system makes hair stronger reducing breakage up to 97%. ♪ think only salon brands can do that? i took the dare... will you? [ female announcer ] anti-breakage from pantene. hair so healthy it shines.
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>> announcer: "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> well, interestingly enough, experts are warning that aircraft safety is failing to keep up with our expanding waistlines. and so the experts are warning that airplane seats and seat belts are not strong enough to protect obese people and that obese people will blast through the seat belts if there is a crash. we now know statistically one-third of americans are obese. one-third. 42% of americans will be obese by 2030. and on top of it, if you are slim, you are now more at risk because fat passengers are going to blast through their seat belt and then injure you.
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>> wow! is that the language the study used? blast through? >> blast through their seat belts and injure those around them. >> oh. so the seat belt is not strong enough to contain the heavier folks. >> "the new york times" is saying the aircraft engineers are designing seats for a passenger weight of 170 which would meet the rules written before, like six decades ago. now the average american man has ballooned to nearly 194. average american woman, 165. >> wow. we are getting big. we are getting big. >> can't even -- >> blasting through. blasting through. >> okay. we're laughing at the phrasing. anyway. biggest phobia in the world now. this thing called -- i didn't know this was a term. nomo -- n-o-m-o -- phobia. fear of being without your mobile device, which i am experiencing after losing my phone in a cab saturday night. >> i know.
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i have mine with me. >> 66% of us fear being without your phone at all times. it's an obsession. warning signs -- inability to ever turn your phone off. obsessively checking for missed calls, e-mails or texts. constantly topping your battery life. 53% of us admit the fear of losing our phone. average folks check their phone 34 times. 75% of us use it in the bathroom. >> i have nomophobia. >> i do, too. it's a sad sign of the times, though. >> i'm okay with it. i have it. >> it's all right. >> yes. anyway. moving right along. a real-life -- we're going to blast through. real life mario kart. students coast through mit hallways using a real-life mario. remember the nintendo game which first appeared in 1992. >> the guy built his own. >> he built his own. his name is charles. he built his own and tears down the halls of mit late at night when no one is watching. >> that is not bad at all. video games in real life. i bet he's a real hit on campus.
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not a lot of dates but at least has a go kart. >> it's cute. he's blasting through the walls
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this morning on "world news now" -- gathering dust. this morning on "world news now" -- gathering dust. that's what millions of dollars in airport security equipment is doing inside of a warehouse. >> and that's raising questions about whether everything possible is actually being done to stop terror attacks. it's wednesday, may 9th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> getting over that hump. >> yes, indeed. >> good morning. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm sunny hostin. a report being released today will detail what kind of terror-fighting machines are in mothballs, not doing anything to keep americans safe and continued threats from al qaeda. >> weird story here. a warehouse full of equipment. there's been some progress getting those things out.
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they blame it on some manufacturing issues and smaller airports not able to accommodate the equipment. >> clearly we need them. >> you don't want to see stuff, considering the news of this week, not being used. also a round-up of the voting from around the nation. very interesting politics at play in the last 24 hours. one long-serving republican senator is now looking forward his next challenge after losing a primary battle. on top of that, voters in north carolina take a stand against gay marriage. all the results coming up. plus, one state's effort against bake sales. those most popular fund-raising events for everything from school trips to little league teams, it's all in the name of eating healthier or so they say. >> we all grew up with bake sales. >> you need a bake sale. >> but the obesity problems perhaps claiming another -- >> have a gluten-free bake sale or healthy bake sale. >> we need our gluten-free taste-off. we'll do that before you leave the show this week. and you may not know his name but you'll likely recognize his face. mr. punch, the puppet who has been stirring up trouble for centuries. he is celebrating a big birthday these days. >> gosh, i remember that.
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but first, we have some breaking news this morning as the fbi is investigating security threats at two airports out west. agents were on the ground at phoenix sky harbor airport where a southwest airlines plane had been taken to an isolated area. that aircraft is now on its scheduled flight to tulsa, oklahoma, after being cleared. >> and they are also investigating a threat at john wayne airport in los angeles. it was heading to phoenix when a call came in about explosives or hazardous materials. >> it came as a new report calls into question how the tsa is spending millions of safety development never uses. weird. here's abc's jim avila with more. >> reporter: a nondescript tsa warehouse in dallas. inside, abc news has learned america's best weapons against al qaeda's bomb of choice. hundreds of scanners, explosive detection systems and in this wooden crate, the latest bomb detecting scanners sitting idle, never used, all in storage for
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more than nine months. some more than a year. while nearly 300 airports across the country go unprotected by the newest, best bomb-scanning technology. >> there are airports around america that really don't realize that in dallas, texas, there are huge amounts of this equipment sitting in excess. >> reporter: a congressional investigation concludes that the tsa is not only wasting $184 million by not deploying security equipment, it is warehousing the one device that can actually detect a nonmetallic plastic explosive. when congress asked why, the report says the tsa told them they ordered extras to get a discount and had no specific plan to deploy. >> obviously, the point of having advance screening technology is to get it out to the field. it's not -- it's not a museum relic. >> reporter: abc news has learned fbi agents planned to make a replica of a newly
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recovered underwear bomb and send it through airport security, testing homeland security secretary janet napolitano's statement. >> all things considered, yes, in high likelihood it would have been detected. >> reporter: the tsa touts a layered approach start with intelligence from the cia and fbi. prescreening of who is flying. looking for the overly nervous, body and luggage scanning and 700 randomly deployed canine patrols trained to sniff out explosives of all kinds. but dogs are not a fail safe because of a high number of false positives. >> no one of these things is a magic solution. but taken together, they reduce the risk very substantially of a successful attack. >> reporter: the department of homeland security says it's working hard to deploy those machines. it's just waiting for local, small airports to make room for them.
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jim avila, abc news, new york. there are new details this morning on that double agent who foiled an al qaeda bomb plot. before the attack had a chance to succeed, the agent working for the cia delivered the bomb intact to u.s. intelligence. the fbi is still analyzing the explosive which was intended to be concealed in a passenger's underwear. we could learn much more later today when the fbi's director holds a briefing. another form of attack has terror officials worried. for the past six months an unidentified group of hackers has been mounting an ongoing coordinated cyberattack on the control systems of u.s. gas pipelines. now according to u.s. officials, it is still unclear if a foreign power is trying to map those gas systems or if hackers are attempting to harm the pipe lines themselves. scary news all around. >> my goodness. >> i saw this and this freaked me out. the agency responsible for protecting government whistleblowers says a disproportionately high number of tips come from employees of the faa.
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in a letter sent to the white house, the u.s. office of special council highlighted seven cases they believe illustrate an ongoing problem of inadequate responses from the faa. so these tips are coming about the group that governs our airline and sky safety. that's unnerving to me. >> that is very unnerving. i had no idea. i didn't know that. >> so the whistleblowers are coming out. and a lot of the info is coming out about your safety and mine on those planes. >> you know how much i love to fly. >> you're a big fan of the friendly skies. another big political story this morning. north carolina voters have overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman only. the amendment not only bans same-sex marriages. it also means civil unions and other domestic partnerships will no longer be recognized by the states. this law goes further than a simple ban on gay marriage. president obama says he is,
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quote, disappointed saying such a ban is divisive. and veteran senator richard lugar was unable to fend off a challenge from the tea party. he has lost indiana's republican primary. >> lugar is one of the senate's longest serving members, holding his seat since 1977. president obama praised lugar for his willingness to reach across the aisle and get things done. and facing no real challenges, mitt romney easily won the republican primaries in indiana, north carolina and west virginia as well. he picked up about 100 of the 288 delegates he still needs to officially clinch the nomination. that magic number still 1,144. even romney didn't pay much attention to these three particular contests. he spent most of the day stumping across michigan. so now just a matter of simple math. it's done. >> it's just a matter of time. >> these are formalities at this point. the hunt continues this morning for two tennessee girls and the family friend accused of abducting them and killing their mother and older sister. >> hundreds of people gathered for a vigil last night to pray for jo ann bain and her three daughters ages 14, 12 and 8. and now we have surveillance video of the suspect adam mayes
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seen chatting with a mississippi store clerk just days after the disappearance. this becoming a family affair now. another former top aide to john edwards is back on the stand today. yesterday the former speech writer testified edwards acknowledged knowing that a wealthy donor was secretly supporting his pregnant mistress rielle hunter. the prosecution is expected to wrap up its case by tomorrow though it's still unclear whether ms. hunter will testify. other big trial news. closing arguments are set to begin later this morning in the murder case against jennifer hudson's former brother-in-law. attorneys for william balfour rested their case yesterday after calling two police detectives as witnesses. balfour is charged with killing hudson's mother, brother and her 7-year-old nephew. we were talking about this before we went on the air. the defense, their case lasted
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30 minutes. prosecutors spent two weeks putting their side of the case. so that's not a white flag, what is? >> i didn't understand that. typically when you have someone on trial, really for their life and for their liberty -- >> triple murder. >> a triple murder. you want to see some sort of aggressive defense mounted. i thought going into the trial the prosecution didn't have a slam dunk case. very little forensic evidence. jurors like that csi effect. missing fingerprints and blood evidence. but 30-minute defense, i say -- >> two weeks versus 30 minutes. i don't know -- i'm going to go out on a limb and say i think the jury may convict in this case based upon a weak defense. >> a very weak defense. >> but justice for the family perhaps. that's the good part. a warning about graphic surveillance video of a hit and run accident which may be disturbing to some of you. the good news is, everyone is okay. >> that is good. >> three pedestrians scrambling across an intersection in buffalo. keep an eye on the right. that's when a fast-moving car hits one of them. the victim goes flying through
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the air. the car drives away without stopping. police say thanks to the video they were able to catch and arrest the driver just a short time -- that's the second kind of video like that we've seen this week. the other one, the guy got out on the highway. those guys are lucky to be alive. >> look at that. >> and they got the driver, which is even better news. >> goodness. more than a year after japan's devastating tsunami, a mountain of debris is descending on the alaskan coastline. these pictures capture just a fraction of, get this, the 1.5 million tons of trash from that disaster. some potentially toxic drifting our way at about four miles an hour. cleanup crews are now getting hazmat training, preparing to pitch in to save those beaches. they say the size of this debris field is bigger than the state of california, all moving torward us from that tsunami/earthquake more than a year ago. >> more than a year ago. it's remarkable. all the way in japan, from japan. >> crazy. here's your wednesday
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weather. flooding and heavy rain from detroit to new england. and the entire east coast. much of the same along the gulf coast to el paso and the southern rockies. mostly dry but pretty windy in the pacific northwest and northern rockies. >> 57 in seattle. 82 in boise. 92 in phoenix. mostly 60s from fargo to detroit. a wet 66 in bean town. 73 here in new york. 80s from miami to dallas. two extremes in one story now. simply because we do plenty of animal stories here on "world news now," which rob loves, and we don't do so many stories about soccer. >> let's get a bit of both. thanks to an english soccer fan who brought a chicken to the match. the other night. it was a game between the teams from blackburn and wigan. how do you say that, jack? wigan. and the chicken was dressed to support blackburn. >> ultimately it was caught and carried off and it wasn't really any help because blackburn lost. i like the chicken outfit. i like the whole chicken thing. >> i was quite a soccer star back in new jersey in my early
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teens. so i -- the recreational league. >> that's a fun fact. >> isn't it. we mark the passing of a children's book pioneer. he brought generations of kids to "where the wild things are." my favorite book. >> really? >> we all know it. but first, bake sales now on the endangered list in the state of massachusetts. fund-raising may never taste as sweet again. we'll tell you why when "world news now" continues right after this. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by arriva medical. to you by arriva medical.
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all right. here's a story of the morning. with an epidemic of childhood obesity, one state is taking drastic action. banning school bake sales. >> it's happening in massachusetts where children and parents are upset at the cookie crackdown. kelley tuthill from our boston station shows us what's cooking. >> reporter: when the danver high school marching band got an opportunity to play in the rose
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bowl parade, the pressure was on to raise money. >> i believe the students collectively sold over 8,000 pounds of fudge. it was just incredible. >> reporter: but now the department of public health has set its sights on fund-raisers involving sweet treats, including the all-american bake sale, igniting a schoolyard debate. >> and it helps the schools and helps buy books. helps fund trips. it helps fund, you know, things that's the taxpayers aren't paying for. i mean, that's the purpose. >> i think there are lots of creative ways we can, you know, come up with for fund-raising that wouldn't have to involve unhealthy foods. >> reporter: this is all part of a state law that goes into effect in august which tries to
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limit our kids' access to unhealthy food from a half an hour before the school day to a half hour after it ends. but the department of public health wants the ban on sweet treats to extend 24/7. its new guidebook it says schools are encouraged to apply the new nutrition standards at all times. >> clearly it's to really create an environment in schools where kids have the opportunity to make choices among healthy options. we're at a place in massachusetts where one-third of our kids in schools are either overweight or obese. >> reporter: in danver, some band boosters say back off. >> not so sure why the state feels that they need to step in on this. >> this is our facebook question of the day. are lawmakers overstepping their authority by banning bake sales? we want to know what you think. >> check out wnnfans.com. chime in on this one. straight ahead, a big birthday for a timeless puppet. >> mr. punch is next here on "world news now." >> announcer: "world news now" o
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a very famous puppet is celebrating a big birthday
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across the pond. he survived everything from wars to the playstation generation. >> he is mr. punch. the bbc reporter david sillito tells us more. >> reporter: mr. punch is a man with a message. if anyone gets in your way, hit him with a big stick. over hundreds of years and across the world, babies, policemen, crocodiles, punch has wacked them all. >> one question, he's a very, very bad man. >> he's a clown. >> he's a mass murderer. >> he uses a slap stick like this. and he delivers what is known as stylized blows. it's the other side of a coin from a fairy's magic wand. not to mention, of course, they are puppets. it's like wondering whether tom and jerry ought to be reported to the rspca. >> reporter: and, yes, that was a banker being thwacked because punch has always been changing. he exists across the world and arrived in brittan 1662.
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over the years there's been punching joan. punching toby. he's always been upsetting someone. >> the victorians, of course, were very concerned about things like, oh, should we see the devil or the ghost. they had no concerns about, you know, what you might do to your wife or a baby. >> there's laughter in the air. the magic always draws the crowds. >> reporter: back in the innocent days of the '40s and '50s, punch often used to carry out a hanging. no longer. today there are often new characters such as mr. jobsworth or the badly behaved babies. crocodiles, sausages, the authority figures waiting to take on the man with the big nose and the big chin. happy birthday, mr. punch. david sillito, bbc news, worthington.
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>> a little scary, though, right? >> mr. punch. >> a little freaky. what i do in my spare time is my business. what i do in my spare time. [ female announcer ] got a bad odor in your high-efficiency washer? clean it with tide washing machine cleaner. [ female announcer ] three uses will help remove odor-causing residues and leave your washer clean and fresh. to help maintain your he washer, use tide washing machine cleaner once a month and always wash with tide he detergent, specially formulated for proper he performance. tide washing machine cleaner. clean laundry starts with a clean washer.
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what do you do when you can no longer get around like you used to? when you fear losing your independence? who do you call? call hoveround now, to see if you qualify for america's premier power chair. hi, i'm tom kruse, inventor and founder of hoveround. now you can do more, see more, enjoy life more. here's why hoveround makes it easier than any other power chair. hoveround is more maneuverable to get you through the tightest doors and hallways. more reliable. hoveround employees build your chair, deliver your chair, and will service your chair for as long as you own your chair. and most importantly, 9 out of 10 people got their hoveround for little or no cost. call now for your free dvd and information kit. and now every hoveround comes with this tote bag and cup holder for handy access to your favorite items. you don't really have to give up living because you don't have your legs. call now for your free consultation. and right now, get this limited edition hoveround america travel mug free with your hoveround delivery.
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call or log onto hoveround.com right now! ♪ well, he was a man who helped millions of children's imaginations run wild. like every home with little ones, my kids have "where the wild things are." it's one of my favorite books. >> you love this one. a lot of people do. maurice sendak passed away at the age of 83, but his contributions to children's literature will live on for many, many years to come. abc's david wright honors the
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passing of a literary legend. >> reporter: maurice sendak's world was the opposite of mary poppins. no spoonful of sugar for little max who misbehaves as boys do and is promptly sent to bed. no supper. but his imagination runs wild. >> and he sailed off for night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year. to where the wild things are. >> do you think you'd like to go where the wild things are? >> reporter: for more than 50 years, kids have taken that sublime journey with max. >> they roared their terrible roars. >> and gnashed their terrible teeth. >> reporter: in wonder and in fright. >> and now, cried max -- >> let the wild rumpus start. >> reporter: for generations of kids and their kids, sendak's story has spoken to something wild inside each one of us. >> kids revel in any kind of emotion. it's physical. it's tantalizing. it's great. >> reporter: maurice sendak was born in brooklyn in 1928. a frail boy, gay and jewish. the depression and the holocaust a back drop to his youth.
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childhood for sendak had plenty of dark corners. >> saying to me what childhood was like, it was just a mess. >> reporter: sendak didn't want to sugarcoat childhood the way so many authors did. >> to not show the little tattered edges of what life is like, but i remember what life was like. and i didn't know what else to write about. >> reporter: no matter how terrible the adventure, he always brought us home to max's room where he found his supper waiting for him. >> and it was still hot. >> reporter: maurice sendak was 83. david wright, abc news, los angeles. >> true literary legend. >> reminiscing.
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this morning on "world news this morning on "world news now" -- man and woman. defines how marriage is now this morning on "world news now" -- man and woman. that is how marriage is now defined in the state of north carolina. >> that definition was part of a constitutional amendment in that state that effectively slams the door on same-sex marriages. it's wednesday, may 9th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> good wednesday morning. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm sunny hostin. the gay marriage amendment to north carolina's constitution was one of a host of big
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decisions made by voters in several states yesterday. we'll get to those coming right up. >> a lot of politics going on around the country. we'll get to that. then, this morning, a bizarre story. the complete disappearance of a hollywood movie executive. his story is the very definition of without a trace. obviously, all of his family is hoping for a safe return but a very bizarre story here. where could he have gone? just kind of disappeared. has not been seen at all since. talk about an inspiration. a woman paralyzed in an accident is now a marathon finisher. now her time which was measured in weeks not hours just simply doesn't matter. she made it across the finish line with plenty of fans there to cheer her on. >> look at that. if that doesn't inspire, what will. fantastic. it is wednesday morning. that means a few more celebrities have a lot more time on their hands after being ousted from "dancing with the stars." they are now down to the final four on the show after last night's dramatic double elimination. >> a double elimination. >> i won't say a surprising
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elimination. >> no. we called that. >> but double -- we did kind of call it. we know what we're talking about. first this morning, a major setback for advocates of same-sex marriage. north carolina has become the 30th state to approve an amendment defining marriage as a union between only a man and a woman. >> yes, the campaign spokesman for president obama is calling the new amendment divisive. abc's karen travers is in washington with more. good morning, karen. >> reporter: good morning, rob. good morning, sunny. this vote in north carolina comes just as gay marriage comes back to center stage in the presidential campaign. a ballot initiative in north carolina gained national attention. voters passed an amendment to the state's constitution that goes further than simply banning gay marriage which is already illegal there. the amendment means that north carolina now will not recognize any type of legal union between nonmarried couples, gay or straight.
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north carolinians were deeply divided. >> i read through the bile thrscf1 o sen arpltionde. than 50% of americans say gay marriage should be legal. the isout the presidential campaign after vice president biden indicated on sunday his own opinion goes further than the president's. >> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights. >> reporter: as a senate candidate in 2004, mr. obama expressed opposition to gay marriage. but in december 2010, he said -- >> my feelings about this are constantly evolving. i struggle with this. >> reporter: the vice president's comments not only sparked a renewed debate about gay marriage but put the focus on the president's character, not his policies. >> what gets the president in trouble here politically is this notion of a wink and a nod to his base. >> reporter: that base is a balancing act for president obama. younger voters overwhelmingly support gay marriage while
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african-americans and latinos oppose it. rob and sunny? >> thanks, karen. california is poised to pass a first of its kind ban on a controversial therapy aimed at turning gay people straight. supporters say such treatments are not effective and potentially harmful. critics argue the ban would interfere with the right of parents to seek whatever kind of therapy they deem appropriate for their children. more political news this morning. the longest serving republican member of the senate is heading for retirement, though not by his own choice. indiana senator richard lugar lost his bid for re-election to a candidate backed by the tea party who pegged lugar as too moderate for the seat. the veteran republican has held his office in the senate since 1977. also republican presidential hopeful mitt romney stumped across michigan virtually ignoring the primaries in indiana, north carolina and west virginia. romney easily won all three of
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those contests adding about 100 more delegates to the 288 of them he still needs to officially, mathematically, clinch the nomination. and in wisconsin, milwaukee mayor tom barrett has won the democratic primary in the race for governor. so now he'll face republican governor scott walker in a recall election on june the 5th in what's being called the showdown over union rights. most taxpayers probably would be shocked to learn they are picking up the tab for former presidents. and now there is a new push to stop what's often called presidential welfare. jimmy carter, bill clinton and both bushes are eligible for free rent, office staff, postage and the like. last year uncle sam paid $830,000 for george w. bush's phone bill. and $15,000 for former president carter's postage. congress created this presidential entitlement in 1958 because harry truman couldn't afford to pay his bills. >> of course, now most of these presidents since then are fairly
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wealthy men if not very wealthy men. get this. after -- bill clinton raked in more than $10 million in speaking fees last year. george w. bush made $15 million for just giving speeches. so it's a far cry from harry truman days. most of these guys leave office and in books and speeches and consultant work. make millions of dollars. >> how do you get an $830,000 phone bill? i like to speak on the phone but i can't imagine $830,000. everyone has those plans now. unlimited calls. >> must have friends on jupiter. in 2010, the total bill about $3 million. a drop in the bucket for our federal budget, but on principle it seems a little -- >> i don't like it. >> -- hard to swallow. we could learn more today about the foiled terror plot when the head of the fbi talks to reporters. we do know the bomb was delivered intact to u.s. intelligence by a double agent working with the cia. the fbi is still analyzing that explosive which was intended to be concealed in a passenger's underwear. hats off to that incredibly
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intrepid double agent. and prosecutors in the roger clemens trial have been scolded by the judge for putting on a slow and boring case. judge reggie waltman, a judge i myself have been in front of, told lawyers that jurors were fed up because they see their time is being wasted. it's already been four weeks and the prosecution still hasn't put its key witness on the stand. that apparently won't happen until next weekend. >> get those jurors some coffee. animal rescuers are trying to free a dolphin trapped at an underwater construction site in long beach, california. the young dolphin is surrounded by metal sheeting that's being used as a foundation for a wharf. it got stuck after swimming in during high tide. rescuers have cut holes in the sheeting hoping the dolphin will swim out there on its own. well, here is your wednesday weather. a nasty day in the eastern part of the country with drenching rain and flooding from michigan to maine and all the way down to miami. also, stormy along the gulf coast, the southern half of texas, new mexico and arizona. gusty winds in the northwest.
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>> 75 in salt lake city. 84 in sacramento. kansas city up to 71. minneapolis, 67. chicago, even 60. 70s from new york to atlanta. 84 in new orleans. well, many of us have captured our picture perfect prom moment, all the smiles and you are dressed to the nines. but apparently some teens in wisconsin didn't get the kodak moment they were hoping for. >> this is pretty funny. this is what happened when nearly 20 high school seniors decided to pile on to a wooden pier to have their picture taken before the big dance. well, yeah, the pier suddenly collapsed leaving most of them soaking wet. thankfully no one was hurt. those girls were mad about their hair. >> the teens didn't miss a beat, though. they tossed the wet clothes in the dryer, dried their hair, touched up their makeup and made it all to the prom with a memory of a lifetime. >> you want your prom to be memorable. >> that's a great story. >> they'll have a great story
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for many years. look on the bright side. >> they have some pictures. >> for the world to see. coming up, some stunning details about an incident involving john travolta. that's ahead in "the skinny." first, what happened to a big time movie executive who seems to have vanished right into thin air. no word from him for over a week now. details when we come right back. >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by the scooter store. news now" weather brought to you by the scooter store.
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nice little shot of hollywood there. in california, though, a mystery is growing this morning as police continue to search for a hollywood movie executiv nice little shot of hollywood there. in california, though, a mystery is growing this morning as police continue to search for a hollywood movie executive who simply vanished. >> 57-year-old gavin smith disappeared last week without a trace, and his son has taken to social media asking the public for help in hopes of finding
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some answers. cecilia vega has more. >> reporter: gavin smith is a 20th century fox movie executive who helped put some of hollywood's biggest blockbusters in theaters. from "titanic" to "avatar" to the latest "star wars" movies. he even appeared in front of the camera a few times. >> congrats, al. four pieces in national magazines this month. >> reporter: but now this 57-year-old father of three is at the center of a hollywood mystery after he didn't pick up his youngest son from school on wednesday and hasn't been heard from since. his family is beginning to fear the worst. >> any cause for concern that would lead you to suspect foul play in any way? >> he didn't pick up his son in the morning. that's a huge cause for concern. he did not call his office. he didn't show up to work. he has never done any of those things in 21 years.
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>> reporter: smith had been on a business trip in las vegas the week before. he came home to los angeles friday and was supposed to spend tuesday night at a family friend's home nearby. >> he was watching tv downstairs when our friend went to bed. he was going to be coming up to bed shortly. >> reporter: instead, his family says he left his friend's house around 10:00 p.m., taking only his wallet and driving off in his black mercedes. los angeles sheriff's investigators are baffled by the disappearance. >> we're asking for the public's assistance in locating mr. smith. >> reporter: smith's family has turned to social media and the internet to help find him, creating a facebook page and a website. >> we just want him home safe and sound, and we're doing everything we possibly can. >> reporter: smith's oldest son evan is following in his father's footsteps as a college basketball star. gavin smith played for ucla's championship 1975 team. his son is a forward for usc. evan has turned to his twitter followers for help tweeting,
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still looking for him. i'll never stop. >> we need as much help as we can so we can bring him back home safely. >> and if somehow he is, you know, seeing this, we want you to come home, baby. we love you. our world is not right without you. be safe. >> reporter: leads have been coming in to police, but so far, nothing credible. also no hits on gavin smith's cell phone. no usage of his credit cards. his family says he has no enemies and so far now this case remains a real mystery. in los angeles, cecilia vega, abc news. >> police say now they are giving some more resources to this case. they aren't specifying what those resources may be, but the fact that his cell phone, no cell phone records since the disappearance and no credit card use, what does that tell you? >> i don't know. it's so -- it's clearly possible that someone abducted him.
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it's possible he may no longer be alive. but i find it odd that he has just disappeared without a trace because there are surveillance cameras almost everywhere. especially in los angeles. so it just doesn't make sense to me. >> hope the family does not get the worst news. we'll follow that. and when we come back, we'll lighten the mood with the wednesday morning "skinny." >> some unbrotherly love amongst the jacksons. and last night's losers. yes, two. "dancing with the stars." you're watching "world news now." >> announcer: abc's "world n
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♪ skinny ♪ skinny so skinny ♪ welcome back, everybody. wednesday morning, of course. that means we've got to update you on "dancing with the stars." double elimination last night. so two folks got the boot. oh, tough to see them go. actually a cool show last night. chris brown performed. did a good job. also a tribute to dick clark which was very cool. some of the original bandstand dancers. but in terms of who got the boot last night, roshon fegan, the disney star. he's the one that got the ax last night. >> he had a good run. >> he was in the bottom several times throughout the season. judges seemed to like him. he and his partner seemed pretty close. he was gone, and melissa gilbert. this was not a shocker here. people that watch the show more regularly than i do, yeah,
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probably time for her to pack it up. so they both went home. roshon fegan is out of there and melissa gilbert has gone back to the prairie. she survived the injury. had some kind of injury and bounced back from that. so they have a lot to be proud of, but time to pack the bags and move on. my girl maria menounos is still in it and your boy, mr. levy, is still in there. i know you like that. >> boyfriend in my head. now, john travolta, one of my favorite actors, he is really coming under fire. we know yesterday a federal lawsuit was filed against him by a masseuse. now we've got a second masseuse adding and joining this federal lawsuit. $2 million. claiming that he, too, was rubbed in the wrong way. the jokes make themselves in this case. now let's make it clear that travolta, 58, he said this is completely fabricated. he finally has come out because initially we hadn't heard a word
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from him. he said it's completely fabricated. he says in terms of the first claim, he wasn't even in los angeles at the time. he wasn't even in beverly hills. he was filming a movie somewhere else. but the second person apparently this happened, allegedly in atlanta, and i believe he was there. >> okay. apparently -- >> he was there. >> because the suit now, the details are out there. you can find them on tmz or gossip websites. a lot of salacious, very graphic detail provided in this suit. but we'll see how it plays out. these are celebrities. people try to take advantage sometimes, but -- >> and these rumors have been swirling around john travolta for quite some time. >> we'll see how that plays out. also talking about this guy matt fiddes, a former bodyguard
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for michael jackson. wrote a pretty scandalous book here. first came out. he said he and whitney houston had this love affair. whitney and michael had this love affair back in the day. he really wanted to marry whitney. now he's told the tabloid in britain, "the sun," that he wanted his brother randy to be shot after the two had a squabble that escalated into something a lot crazy. he says, quote, michael was caught in a war with his brothers for years. they were desperate to sign him to a $500 million deal for a jackson five reunion tour. lucky for randy that the nation of islam bodyguards did not act on michael's request to have randy shot in the leg, not killed. and michael at the time was strung out with drugs and that's why his bodyguards did not follow the order. and this guy has also said that he is the real father of michael's son. >> that's where he loses me because they don't look alike. they don't look alike. i'm not quite buying the blanket thing. oh, but you think maybe they look alike? >> all i know it's not michael's kid. that's all i can say for sure.
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so whether it's -- whoever. details coming out about that. finally, justin bieber graduates from high school. he didn't really go to high school. he got his ged, but he said, i'm free. it was hard doing school and work every day. congrats to justin bieber. >> has a tough life. [ male announcer ] we put a week's worth of bad odors in a home.
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♪ a little enya. i found my center, my zen. i'm there. >> now to an inspiring story out of london. in 2007, a young woman's life was forever changed after an equestrian riding accident. >> the accident actually left her paralyzed, but she perseveres and has tackled one of the most daunting tasks. she completed a marathon, believe it or not. abc's nick schifrin has this incredibly inspirational story. >> reporter: for five years, claire lomas hasn't been able to walk, hasn't been able to feel her legs.
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but that hasn't stopped her. she was once a professional show rider. but in 2007, a freak accident paralyzed her from the chest down. until january, she was in a wheelchair. then she started walking thanks to a $75,000 robotic suit. >> it's amazing after five years of sitting down to be back on my feet, fully weight bearing. and i can walk in it as well. >> reporter: she can only take 30 steps a day, but that didn't stop her either. she set out to walk 55,000 steps. claire started the london marathon with 35,000 runners. long after the winners finished, she was still at it walking a mile and a half every day. and 16 days later, claire finished supported by thousands of fans. >> it's a moment i'm going to treasure for the rest of my life. >> reporter: and yet, this isn't
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the happiest day of her life. this race isn't even just about her. >> i've got a girl who is 1 on friday. >> reporter: yes, claire got married and gave birth to her daughter after her accident. >> we're having a bit of a competition to see who can walk first. we're about level at the moment. >> reporter: claire has always loved completing difficult tasks. the last two weeks are a reminder that she still can. >> before my accident, i had always loved challenges. i'm that type of person. it doesn't change who you are when you have a spinal injury. you still want to push yourself. >> reporter: that's the lesson she hopes to teach other accident victims. perhaps to teach all of us. nick schifrin, abc news, london. >> wow. she raised about $130,000 for spinal research. and another participant in the marathon raised more than a million dollars for suicide prevention after she collapsed and died midrace. that became her cause. >> it's remarkable. bravo. >> that kind of commitment is
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beyond words. >> announcer: this is abc's
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