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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  May 17, 2012 1:40am-4:00am PDT

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>> right now, yeah. his school days are far from over. next up, grad school. it doesn't stop there either. this kid wants to go to med school after that. this kid will be a doctor by the time he's, what, 20? at this rate. >> 19 1/2. and here's what makes you feel even less of an intelligent human being. he said, college was fun. not hard. not difficult. electrical engineering, med school. it was fun. not hard. >> oh, you gotta be jealous of kids that smart. i just wonder, too, socially how they adjust. at that age, going to college. it's just -- >> his mom was driving him to school. >> that's not going to go well on a date. >> it's a different experience when mom is driving you to college. >> a little different. coming up next from science fiction to medical facts, see how robot limbs are changing lives forever. >> and halle berry's dramatic plea to the president. and this is no act. why this hollywood a-lister is fired up. you're watching "world news now." ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by
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radiancy. ♪ halle berry
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♪ i believe in miracles
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i see miracles ♪ a 58-year-old stroke survivor who is paralyzed was all smiles after sipping a latte with the help of her mind-controlled robotic arm. >> this story is awesome. it really is. she is 1 of 2 patients able to reach and grasp with a robotic limb linked to a sensor right there in her brain. we get more from the bbc's fergus walsh. >> reporter: you are watching something extraordinary. cathy hutchinson is controlling a robotic arm with her thoughts. notice the box which is screwed onto her head. that's linked directly to a sensor in her brain. paralyzed from the neck down, this is the first time in nearly 15 years she has served herself a drink. she can't talk, but was able to communicate this message. i couldn't believe my eyes when i was able to drink coffee without help.
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i was ecstatic. i had feelings of hope and a great sense of independence. the key to the technology is this tiny sensor dwarfed even by a five pence piece. it's implanted on the surface of the brain in the motor cortex. when the patient thinks about moving their arm, neurons in the brain are activated and these electrical signals are picked up by the sensor and sent to a computer which turns them into commands. and these are what those signals from the brain look like when directing the drink to the patient's lips. >> it was really a moment where we helped somebody do something that they had wished to do for many years. >> reporter: this tiny sensor was inserted into the arm of this robotics expert from reading a decade ago as part of an earlier trial. it enabled him to control a robotic claw. he says the technology could give independence to paralyzed patients. >> this will allow people to do
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things for themselves. maybe make a cup of tea. certainly switch off lights, open doors. and perhaps even drive themselves around in a wheelchair. >> reporter: the scientists, writing in the journal "nature" hope to use the sensor to reconnect the brain direct to paralyzed limbs and restore function. that is a distant dream. but this is a milestone on a long journey. fergus walsh, bbc news. >> we were both sitting here with our jaw open watching that story. >> it's incredible. >> that little microchip on the brain is no bigger than a baby aspirin. that's the size of it. >> the poor woman who was featured, she's been in this state for 15 years. so to be able to finally do this must be so wonderful for her. and we were saying -- >> 15 years she waited. >> right. and we were saying it's so easy. we don't think when we are opening and closing our hands. >> we just grab something. >> just go for it. we have to think, what are the commands she's sending this microchip to open and close the
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hand? >> what is she thinking? >> what does she have to think? >> doctors far more brilliant than you and i have figured that out. that's for sure. i'm happy to see -- but she must have suffered a stroke at a young age. she's 53 now. a glimmer of hope there, which is good. >> absolutely. coming up, anger from hollywood that could be heard all the way in washington. >> it's coming from the one and only halle berry and her dramatic words are not from a movie script. that story next. >> announcer: abc's "world news now" will contin
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♪ halle berry halle berry ♪ ♪ halle berry halle berry ♪ halle berry. well, halle has recently been at war with the paparazzi. and as someone who knows her personally, i know full well you don't want to anger the lovely actress. >> she can get mad. you know this. is this another one of your
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ex-wives? >> ex-wife, yeah, yeah, yeah. >> he knows all about it. she's been complaining about aggressive paparazzi who have been harassing her daughter. now she said she's going to go all the way to the top to demand protection. abc's david wright has the story. >> you -- i'm doing something honorable! >> reporter: one week after her latest confrontation with paparazzi outside her daughter's preschool -- >> it's just wrong, wrong, wrong. >> reporter: halle berry is now telling "extra" she plans to take her complaint all the way to the top. >> i think i want to call obama and say, look, can you help us? there are no laws here that protect our children. >> reporter: california is more progressive than most states in protecting celebrities. but there nor state laws banning paparazzi. federal laws also don't exist, but the president may relate to berry's plea for privacy. after all, the white house discourages all unauthorized
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photos of the obama daughters. >> reporter: not many celebrities have the president's clout. tom cruise, sarah jessica parker, julia roberts and others typically have to dodge photographers wherever they go with their kids. >> grown men crawling around a school with cameras, you know what? that puts fear into the heart of every parent. >> reporter: but on a public street, these photographers were well within their rights. >> she may be the one who could be subject to criminal action. if you assault a photographer. she could wind up being the one actually criminalized. >> i hate that i lost my cool, but you know, i'm human. when it comes to my daughter, i'm ferocious. >> reporter: after this incident, halle berry has expressed interest in moving to france where the privacy laws are a lot stricter. david wright, abc news, hollywood. >> all right, two quick points on this one. one, i understand the whole paparazzi issue especially when you infringe on kids. but, two, i think it was an off the cuff glib remark, oh, i'm going to ask president obama. she kind of said it with a
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smile. i don't think she's going to seriously launch a crusade to the white house. >> this woman has a lot of other things to worry about -- >> like me. >> -- like stalkers. and rob. >> one and the same. stalkers. and rob.
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♪ if i could talk to the animals ♪ ♪ just imagine it chatting with a chimp and chimpanzee ♪ ♪ message talking with a tiger, chatting with a cheetah ♪ this is my favorite story. >> you are very excited. this is all you. go ahead. this is made for you. >> yes. it's a story that's got all of us howling here in the newsroom. it's a scientific breakthrough that we can finally read the minds of dogs. >> now this raises -- >> he has to read this but he really doesn't want to. >> this raises the possibility that we only have just begun to communicate with our four-legged little friends out there. here's abc's steve osunsami with a dog's tale. >> reporter: we have all seen those incredibly smart dogs that are too cool for school. can dance their way to a million-dollar prize.
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>> find inky. >> reporter: or find a needle in a haystack. or even save your life if you are drowning. >> oh, i know. >> reporter: researcher greg burns had an idea no one has ever tried. to teach his dog callie to sit perfectly still for a series of mris and actually looking into her brain. getting her still was the hard part. they practiced with this contraption at home for months. and now these are the first images of an active dog's brain. during the test they showed callie hand signals she'd already learned. >> we essentially gave a hand signal like this which means you are about to get a hot dog soon or this hand signal which means no hot dog. >> the was after the signal for no hot dog. her brain was quiet. but it lit up when she saw the signal for the treat. in an area of the brain that processes feelings of reward. for the first time, researchers say this is scientific proof dogs are capable of more complex communication and not just with a few signals but potentially an entire sign language.
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>> it proves that they've transferred the meaning of these hand signals to something that's behaviorally important to them. it's really getting at the start of how the dog processes dog/human communication. >> reporter: take a look again at this amazing million-dollar performance and look closely for the hand signals. hands outstretched, fingers up. an intricate conversation. i always wonder what my dogs are thinking when i call them and they come. do they recognize my voice and do they love me as much as i think they do? burns says the answer is yes. his newest brain scan shows callie has the capacity for love and certainly loves him but loves his wife even more. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. >> see, we're going places with dogs. dogs are going to rule the world one day. >> oh, see, you're a dog lover. >> aw! that dog actually looks like my dog. >> what kind of dog?
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>> a border collie mix named cookfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfdfd
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this morning on "world news now" -- courtroom drama. john edwards' defense attorneys bring an abrupt end to their case by calling no star witnesses. >> setting the stage for today's big closing arguments in the former presidential candidate's conspiracy trial. it's thursday, may 17th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> happy friday eve, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> and i'm diana perez. paula faris is on assignment. we'll get to the legal drama in the john edwards case in just a moment. and then, we're going to take you to suburban atlanta where students and parents are frightened. police say a man with a sniper's rifle was taking aim at school buses. also this morning, the shoes
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sold with some pretty promising claims to get you in shape. the false advertising, the company that's in trouble and how you can get a refund if you are a buyer of these shoes here. >> very interesting turn of events here. >> the whole thing is a little "sketchy." >> ooh. there you go. later on this half hour, gop presidential candidate mitt romney is getting some advice whether he wants it or not from an acting coach. that's later on in "the skinny." >> if you want to know which acting coach, i'm going to give you a hint. you ready? what is your favorite curse word? if god does exist, what would you like to hear him say at the pearly gates? if you know the show, you know who that is. >> i think everyone is going to get that. that's a good hint. >> love that guy. first, a major turn in the john edwards trial as the defense rests its case after only two days of testimony. >> instead of putting high-profile witnesses on the stand, lawyers focused on the finer points of campaign finance law. abc's bob woodruff is following the trial. >> reporter: a surprise in court. the lawyers for john edwards
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abruptly resting their case after initially dropping hints they planned to call edwards, his daughter cate and former girlfriend rielle hunter to the stand. instead, the case will go to the jury on friday. the sordid, 18-day trial laid bear the one-time presidential candidate's mighty fall from grace. in support, cate edwards walked side by side almost every day along with his mother and father. all of them sat right behind him in the court. two former campaign staffers testified edwards was present during conversations where his top money man discussed what he was doing to move hunter around and away from the press. to highlight edwards' willingness to lie, prosecutors closed their case last week by playing our "nightline" interview with him. >> a report has been published that the baby of ms. hunter is your baby. true? >> not true. not true. >> reporter: the defense argues edwards tried to hide his affair to spare his wife humiliation, not to save his campaign. we learned the judge will
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instruct the jury that the prosecution does not have to prove that attempting to protect his campaign was the only reason for the cover-up. just that it was more than a side benefit. that jury, nine men and seven women from central north carolina which includes the town where edwards grew up. they are solidly middle class. >> the government always wants people who are sort of -- people that follow the law. >> reporter: the jury is racially balanced. six african-americans, possibly a strategy by the defense. >> defense went out of their way to talk about john edwards' strong commitment to poverty, to his attending martin luther king celebrations. and so, i won't say pandering, but at least making sure the jury knew. >> reporter: today lawyers on both sides will give their closing arguments. they will get about two hours each. and the jury will begin their deliberations on friday. and then it's all just a waiting game. bob woodruff, abc news, greensboro, north carolina. >> again. so much anticipation that we were going to have this soap
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opera day yesterday with rielle and edwards and the daughter. some thinking was if you brought them back to the stand it would kind of just force the jury to hear all the sordid, salacious, dramatic details. and they didn't want to get into all of that. because essentially, despite all the personal drama, this case at its heart is about campaign finance law, not about affairs and, you know -- >> bringing everybody to the stand would have made for a sexy case, perhaps, but that's not what the defense attorneys wanted. they wanted an acquittal altogether. but if they have to go through with this, the last thing they want are all the sordid details on the stand. >> that's it, so closing arguments today and then in the jury's hands. now to our other major headline this thursday morning. an autopsy later today is expected to confirm that mary richardson kennedy took her own life. robert kennedy jr.'s wife was found hanging in a garage at the couple's home in suburban new york city. she had had trouble over the years with both drugs and alcohol and had two high-profile arrests as well around the time her husband filed for divorce back in 2010. she leaves behind four children. students riding school buses in suburban atlanta are getting
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special protection as police try to track down a sniper. a man was spotted in clayton county this week aiming a rifle at passing school buses filled with children. two passers by chased the man away but he dropped his rifle. he also left behind a notebook that had a list of school bus numbers. >> we can try to lift numbers off it. we can try to trace it through atf. through their system we can go to local pawn shops and basically provide leads. >> police are also guarding students at bus stops. they say the eyewitnesses did not get a good look at the gunman, but some say while he dropped one gun, he probably had another. there is word now that the losses suffered in that jpmorgan chase trading blunder are much worse than originally estimated. according to this morning's "new york times," the bank may have lost another billion dollars on top of the $2 billion loss originally reported. however, "the times" reports that despite all those losses, the overall health of the bank is still pretty strong.
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and facebook is ready to go public on the stock market tomorrow. and the company's value could top 100 billion bucks. despite all that wall street buzz, facebook is losing some pretty big advertisers. more on this from abc's t.j. winick. >> reporter: just days before facebook plans to file its initial public offering, general motors has announced it's pulling out of the social media giant. that will cost the company about $10 million a year in advertising. >> gm says it's just not been effective for them. they're not going to be doing ads on facebook. we heard bloomberg give a call to the other automakers. ford says they are continuing. they are going to be spending more on facebook. and what this really raises is the question of, you know, how effective is facebook going to be? >> reporter: jerome cleary is betting facebook will continue to be good business. he's never bought a stock in his life, but that will change friday when his favorite website goes public. >> i have read things that say you should invest in companies you like or know. and i know this company very well. and i really decided that this
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is going to be my big splurge. >> reporter: facebook announced it will make 25% more shares available than was initially believed. if they get the $38 a share they are hoping for, the company would be valued at $104.2 billion. still, gm's announcement raises doubts because the ipo price is, based among other things, on its potential to draw future advertising. >> advertising, of course, is just one way, but certainly a big way, that the company can potentially make money. and as it tries to become a public company and sell shares to investors, you know, what do investors want to see? they want to see sales growth, they want to see profit growth. and this has been one of the questions in terms of how well facebook will be able to do that. >> reporter: if facebook is able to get 38 bucks a share it would become the second biggest ipo ever in terms of money raised behind only visa. t.j. winick, abc news, new york. all right. here's a hint this morning about what the new iphone may look like. according to "the wall street journal," manufacturers say
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apple has placed an order for larger display screens fueling rumors that the next generation iphone may have a four-inch screen or even larger. iphones have had 3 1/2-inch screens since they were first put on the market nearly five years ago. since then, there's been more competition in the smartphone market. >> interesting. it's always so frustrating. every two weeks there's an upgraded version. you get one. oh, this is great. two seconds later. oh, now the iphone 14 is out. >> and the lines around the corner. it costs $700. you can't get it right. >> they are making that money. >> it's important. here's your thursday forecast, everybody. warm and sunny in the northeast. absolutely beautiful up here. thunderstorms and heavy rain in the southeast from wilmington, north carolina, to miami. also some light rain from minneapolis to marquette. showers from redding, california, into the northern rockies. >> 72 in boise.
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62 in seattle. and 85 in albuquerque. 68 in detroit. 80s from omaha to dallas and miami. 70s from boston all the way to baltimore. owners of a bike shop in tulsa, oklahoma, turned to social media to try catching a thief and to offer up a pretty good laugh as well. >> this is pretty hilarious. clearly, this crook hasn't yet caught on to the idea of surveillance cameras. once he stole the bike he tried pedaling away but, instead, oh, watch it again. this is great. face plant. >> well done. >> three, two -- oh. and when he realized that that obviously wasn't working, he got up, walked away. looks like he walked away with the bike. >> the shop owners chalk it up to karma -- good call -- and they posted the video on facebook hoping that someone will recognize the very balanced thief right there. >> so apparently he threw a cinderblock into the store. tried one bike. didn't have any pedals. settled for the mountain bike. both very costly. didn't make it to next door the gas station. did the face plant as you saw because apparently the chain
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fell off and then he had to walk home. >> a new winner in america's race for the dumbest criminal. >> oh, and that race is very close. >> yes, indeed. coming up next, if you bought -- if you bought skechers shape-up shoes, you may have money coming back to you. later on, inside the mind of tom cruise. the superstar opens up about his career, his religion and his family. you're watching "world news now." >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by cancer treatment centers of america.
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[ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility?
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the biggest one ever. skechers has agreed to pay out $40 million. >> the shape-up shoes promised to help you lose the weight and firm it all up without having to work out. as abc's linsey davis reports, that was false advertising. [ whistle blows ] >> i came across the shape-ups. my knees were feeling better. >> reporter: joe montana, brooke burke, kim kardashian. >> bye-bye, trainer. hello, shape-ups. >> reporter: just some of the celebrities who helped peddle skechers' claims that wearing these sneakers would tone you up and slim you down. >> good morning, everyone. >> reporter: but the federal trade commission says skechers put its foot in its mouth. and as a result, the company has to cough up $40 million, one of the largest consumer class settlements in history. most of it going to the customers who paid up to $100 for shape-ups and three other toning shoes. >> unfortunately, for the millions of people who bought skechers toning shoes, the only thing that got a workout was their wallet. >> improving circulation -- >> reporter: skechers can still sell the shoes but can no longer make claims of increased muscle activation, improved aerobic conditioning or weight loss.
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in fact, the ftc found shape-up wearers actually gained weight. and the company didn't just depend on celebrities. its ads quoted an independent study by a california chiropractor. turns out that chiropractor wasn't so independent. he's married to a skechers executive. in a statement, the company denied its ads were misleading but says it agreed to a settlement to avoid an expensive legal battle. it's not clear how much money each customer will get, but what is clear is that the $40 million settlement isn't likely to put skechers out of business. they are the leaders in a billion-dollar-a-year industry in a country eager to look great without working out. linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> oh, kim. if how do want that refund there, check out abc.com or our
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fan page, wnnfans.com for what you need to do if you want your money back. >> go get your money. >> false advertising. i'm shocked. coming up -- the actor who could be taking home a $50 million paycheck. >> and hollywood-style advice for mitt romney. that's next in your "skinny." >> announcer: abc's "world news now" will continue after this wq i can't stand these spots. those spots are actually leftover food and detergent residue that can redeposit on your dishware during the rinse cycle. gross. jet-dry rinse agent helps wash them away so the only thing left behind is the shine. jet-dry rinses away residues for a sparkling shine.
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♪ skinny so skinny ♪ all right. now for "the skinny." we're starting off with movies. one movie a lot of people are going to see. "the avengers" number one. kicking "the hunger games" off of the charts. so doing great. but what's come out of this, which is very interesting, is that robert downey jr., ironman in "the avengers," is set to make $50 million. but this is not what everyone is making. this is like, really, the $50 million man. he apparently has some kind of contract or some kind of clause in the contract where it says he's going to make all this money while everybody else is going to make peanuts compared to him. samuel jackson, scarlett johansson, $4 million to $6 million. everybody else in the movie, $2
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million to $3 million. >> how will they eat? >> wow! $50 million. he doesn't have to work for the rest of his life. >> i think what was funny, too, if i remember correctly, because of the success of "iron man" a few years ago, his agents said we have a huge success here. he had it in his contract he had to get a cut of the global sales, and he worked it out and so one movie, his paycheck, $50 million. >> arguably the biggest name in the movie if you think about it. >> yeah, and maybe producer on the movie as well. so he and all -- not bad. not bad for a few months' work there, mr. downey. james lipton, you know from inside the actor's studio. what is your favorite curse word? if god exists, what do you want to say at the pearly gates? i love -- he's so dry. i love it. apparently, he's written an article for "new york" magazine and done a video. after all his years interviewing actors and teaching, he wants to kind of help mitt lighten up and seem a little more human since mitt kind of struggles a little bit, some would say, with reaching out.
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that common touch and with being a little more likable and accessible. so take a look at the mock video that lipton put together for "new york magazine." >> what is your least favorite word? >> romney care. >> what turns you on? >> i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. >> what turns you off? >> the plight of the poor. >> what sound of a noise do you love? >> all: we need mitt! we need mitt! we need mitt! >> what sound or noise do you hate? >> all: obama! obama! obama! >> all done in jest, of course. you know what i mean? it's funny for a political year the last question he says is the question about, if heaven exists, what's do you want god to say? he says, what's up, gangsters? it's the m-i-double tizzle. it's just fun. go to the website and have a little fun with mitt. >> pretty hilarious. >> because he's so dry. bringing it back down, unfortunately. bristol palin has received death threats after she criticized president obama for his "view" appearance where he said that he supported gay marriage.
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>> ah, yes. >> so she took to her blog where she said that, you know, on her blog you'll see hate but in the name of love and bullying in the name of tolerance. she's calling people out for bullying and hating her for her own comments. it's very interesting that at the end of all of this, which is not the initial blog, this is the new blog where she's talking about the people sending her the death threats, she plugs her reality show. >> interesting. i think she even kind of chastised the president for kind of -- he credited his two young daughters for helping change his perspective on gay marriage. and she took offense at that and said it's better if kids have a mom and dad in the household, which i don't think her child has, but anyway, we'll move on from that. hypocrisy. and talk about "the dictator," the new sacha baron cohen movie out there now. some folks, as always, not happy. controversy about this movie. folks are saying it's a hurtful caricature that pokes fun at muslims and reinforces prejudices that are out there. >> no! >> even some of the critics haven't seen the movie yet, but
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they are saying based upon interviews and the trailers, this could be offensive. but that's what he does. >> that's his specialty. >> that's borat. >> that's it.
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♪ [ playing the theme from "mission impossible" ] sorry. that music inspires me. >> oh, boy. >> all right. >> from "mission impossible" to "rock of ages," superstar tom cruise is turning 50 this summer if you can believe it. >> top gun is 50. wow. he's always fought to keep his personal life pretty private, until now, though. abc's lara spencer reports on cruise's tell-all interview. ♪ i'm wanted wanted dead or alive ♪ >> reporter: it's tom cruise as we have never seen him before. he is stacee jaxx, singing and dancing his heart out in the upcoming movie, "rock of ages."
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in this jaw-dropping spread in next month's "w" magazine a tattooed and toned cruise channels his rock god persona. now he's opening up about it all. his career, his family and his religion in a revealing interview with "playboy" magazine. on his longtime involvement with scientology he tells "playboy," if i don't talk about my religion, if i say i'm not discussing it or different humanitarian things i'm working on, they're like, he's avoiding it. if i do talk about it, it becomes, oh, he's proselytizing. >> it is being a scientologist, people are turning to you. >> we've all seen him get a little too aggressive with the media for his religious beliefs. he certainly learned from that mistake. >> reporter: cruise who turns 50 in july tells the magazine he would never consider having plastic surgery. he is secure in who he is. and what makes him happiest? his wife katie holmes. >> katie once told "seventeen" magazine -- >> reporter: cruise tells the
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magazine he's just as smitten as the first day he publicly professed his love for her on "oprah." >> and i love this woman. >> reporter: cruise says he can handle the scrutiny that comes to their life but not when it comes to katie and their 6-year-old daughter suri. he tells "playboy," if media gossip hits too close to home, he'll just sue saying, quote, with certain ones you have to go, okay, you've crossed a line. and now you have the attention of my lawyers. when it involves your kids, you have to go, here's the line. >> hmm. >> look, i think tom cruise is a great actor. you know what i mean? i mean, the whole -- whatever his personal life is, his personal life. still, a great actor. that looks like it's going to be a wild kind of movie, too. comes out on june 15th. so go check him out. hard to believe he's going to be 50, though, in july. >> i'm not a fan of his look in this movie, but, he is a good looking man. >> what's was your favorite tom cruise movie? >> "top gun." >> "a few good men." a few good men." abababababababab
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this morning on "world news now" -- tragic discovery. the death that is shocking the kennedy family. sources say robert kennedy y jr.'s wife mary took her own life in her home in suburban new york. it's thursday, may 17th. ouncer: from abc news, news, this is "world news now." >> good morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm diana perez in for paula faris. we'll get to the kennedy family tragedy in just a moment. bring you details bring you details of a bizarre story from ected rocks on rnia. a woman who collected rocks on he beach is now suffering serious burns when those rocks ignited in her pants pocket. autism research. >> wow. doct also this morning, a major development in autism research.
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doctors discovered an early test for children, a really basic one, that can really make a big difference. it's an abc news exclusive. ale story all you moms out there may want to tune into. amazingly simple test. and later on this half hour, what a bittersweet love story told by the widow of a war hero just given the medal of honor. she shares the memories she's nnedy's d for decades. but first, police say a housekeeper discovered mary kennedy's body hanging in the garage of her sprawling mansion. >> kennedy had highly publicized battles with drugs and alcohol. and friends say she'd been increasingly worried about money. he abc's larry jacobs has the latest. >> reporter: the body of mary richardson kennedy was found in her home in bedford, a community north of new york city, wednesday afternoon. an autopsy will be performed thursday. multiple sources told abc news that she hanged herself. mary was robert f. kennedy's second wife. wife. his father his father, robert kennedy, was the u.s. attorney general and esw york senator who was
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assassinated during his eyesidential run in 1968. mary and robert kennedy were married for 16 years. they had four children. the couple filed for divorce in 2010. at the time she was said to be around that time, mary kennedy had two high-profile arrests involving intoxication. at the time she was said to be battling drugs and alcohol. the family's attorney released a statement that said, we deeply regret the death of our beloved sister mary whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation. mary kennedy was an architect ged theigner and managed the uple's home intoe couple's home into an up-to-date environmental showpiece. in an statement, the family described mary kennedy as a relentless advocate of green design and as a genius at friendship. ther kennedy was 52 years old. larry jacobs, abc news, new york. >> sounded like there were some signs there that her life was kind of spiraling a little bit out of control. she was going through a lot of things, too.
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but, again, i think -- people just fascinated with the kennedys because of just this agoory of tragedy here. jfk and rfk both assassinated. and then we all remember the summer of '99 when john john's plane went down along with his wife. ted kennedy died a few years ago , the brain tumor. it goes back for decades, the heartache and pain of this family, despite all their wealth and political success. >> you talk about the kennedy experts say it and everybody automatically assumes this means it's going to inntinue to happen in the family. really, a lot of experts say it's just that they're more in use public eye. they are a big family with a lot of people and things happening in their family, it's not like it doesn't happen in other ing le's families as well. >> every family has their drama. and rs just plays out for the defense ended its presentation moving on, jurors in the john edwards corruption trial are going to get the case tomorrow. the fo closing arguments are set for today and that's after the defense ended its presentation without calling any of those high-profile witnesses. instead, edwards' lawyers
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focused on the nitty-gritty of compaign finance law. the former presidential candidate could get 30 years in prison if he's found guilty. a sniper targeting schoolchildren may be on the loose in the atlanta area. a man was spotted in clayton county pointing a rifle at a school bus full of children. he dropped the rifle when two passersby chased him away. and he also left behind a amerbook with a list of bus numbers. police are now escorting school buses and guarding students. here's a pretty dangerous hard way. all of it captured on camera. gator versus human. atte video is wild. a north carolina aquarium scientist learned his lesson the very hard way. gator wanted no part of that almost losing his arm to the jaws of that angry gator right there. he made two valiant attempts to corral the animal, but that gator wanted no part of that and bit the man in the arm. the gator was finally subdued, thankfully. worse th the scientist, he's been treated and released from the hospital. gets on his back and then the gator really goes nuts there. e.ry lucky. that could have ended a lot worse than what it did.
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>> what was his plan? >> i'd leave nature alone. .hat's my advice. leave nature alone. >> he's going to pick it up and move it off the side? was that his plan? >> not lls unless you're codile le dundee. let nature be. just saying. let nature be. >> wow. >> wow. now to a bizarre story out of southern california. a mother who collected rocks along the beach, she put them in her pocket. and then carried them home. >> that's right. her injuries and how this hours later, though, they caught on fire. kabc's eileen frere reports on her injuries and how this happened. seven of t >> reporter: the rocks contained various colors. family on san onofre state beach some green. some orange. seven of them altogether, collected by a san clemente family on san onofre state beach last saturday. what happened later baffles their neighbor. >> the daughters were playing with the rocks, and she took them away and i guess basically they combusted in her pocket due to friction. >> there were actual flames coming off of her cargo shorts. >> reporter: this photo shows the burnt shorts belonging to the girls' mother. put the rocks in her pocket.
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four hours after the 43-year-old put the rocks in her pocket. >> we responded to the call. we found that a 43-year-old female did have severe burns to her legs. second and third-degree burns. third-degree is very serious. that's when you have actual skin sloughing off the body. >> reporter: the county's health care agency says they're waiting for further test results on the rocks but believe two of them contained a phosphorous inated by being ockeother five became cross-contaminated by being together in the victims' pocket when the reaction happened. >> if it is phosphorous if nd in a road hey come to a conclusion, phosphorous burns always bring down, you know, very hot. almost the same material you'd find in a road flare. >> i'm going to think twice kiout collecting rocks because i always bring down, you know, interesting ones. >> reporter: this is eileen frere reporting. >> i read somewhere her kids found them. an she took them from her kids, put them in her pocket for later on and then they just -- they burst into flames. how does that happen?
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>> it's like that movie. remember that -- okay. i'll stop reminiscing here. we'll get back to it later. . > well, after so much criticism about the way that the military is addressing mental health issues, the u.s. army is ordering a major medical review. all post-traumatic stress disorder cases involving army thldiers since 2001 are going to be evaluated. and that's after complaints about doctors reversing their decisions about soldiers diagnosed with ptsd. the army promises to correct such decisions and provide proper mental health care to soldiers. >> they deserve it. that's for sure. the nation's top autism experts have announced they have broken some new ground. they say there is a very simple way to find some warning signs in children as young as just 6 months. abc's medical editor dr. richard besser has more. >> reporter: babies can tell you a lot. without speaking a word. watch his head a benjamin's 6 months old. i'm going to do the head lag test. watch his head as i pull his ull yourself up. it comes right up with his body.
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that's normal for his age. >> i want you to pull yourself .p. >> reporter: but this is iest possible sign of >> here we go. autism. >> reporter: the startling news. at 6 months, it could be the earliest possible sign of 's ben chacin in that's ben chacin in research video. video. look again. see how his head stays back? pediatricians have known head lag like this can be a sign of developmental delays. this is the first to connect it to autism. because early intervention is key, doctors say it could make a huge difference in treatment. >> we don't have to wait until after their 1st birthday until first words aren't emerging. >> we can take action now to >> we can go ahead and take tested a group of babies who had develop better. babies at >> reporter: dr. rebecca landa tested a group of babies who had an autistic sibling. babies at high risk. 75% of babies with head lag like ben ended up diagnosed with clue, at age 2. and without that clue, ben's parents would never have suspected it. >> i would have told you going into that day that everything was normal. >> when we see these kinds of indicators that development is kinds of indicators that
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antage to help rly in life, we really have a huge advantage to help children's brains connect themselves in a healthier r: families can start >> reporter: families can start therapy sooner. that's what happened with ben with intensive speech and wi occupational therapy. here he is today. >> i'm going to blow your house your house down. >> i have a very loud, 3 1/terous, wonderful ter: benar-old son. >> reporter: ben is now considered only borderline delayed. >> it says yellow flowers. >> reporter: an amazing glimpse of what early intervention can do beginning with a simple test. good job. dr. richard besser, abc news, new york. dr. richard besser, abc news, as you can imagine, we take coffee very seriously on this shift. and we have just learned that it .ow has an added benefit. because apparently, it could make you live longer. because an extensive study of 400,000 xtensive study of 400,000 rs had a slightly lower risk of death ly lower risk of death the national cancer institute says it doesn't matter if you go for regular or if you go for decaf. de but no one knows why coffee
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seems to increase longevity. interesting. >> very interesting. >> i'm pretty sure it was about six months ago that coffee was going to do you harm. don't they say the same about chocolate and red wine? >> my favorite things. my favorite things. yes. here's a look at your weather, everybody. showers from northern california into boise and helena. also around minneapolis, green bay and the upper peninsula of like.gan. warm and summer-like. very sunny here in the northeast. thundersto thunderstorms from the carolinas down to the sunshine state. >> 85 in miami. 75 here in new york. and 72 in boston. and 72 in boston. mostly 80s from kansas city to o.rgo. phoenix heats up to 102. colorado springs, 85, and billings is 76. a 6-year-old louisiana girl is a real hero with an award to prove it. >> that's right. t's le makayla washington was ayart enough to pick up the phone and call 911. that's after her pregnant mom's m's r broke and her baby brother
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ers rushing to be born. the 911 dispatcher says makayla the 911 dispatcher s uctions that her address and followed instructions that th mom keep both mom and baby safe. >> t >> very cool. her 911 call.operator says she did a better job than most show in four months and i promise you, if you are still on the show in four months and your water breaks, i'm right here. gm ready for you. >> that is the biggest lie. >> do what i got to do. whatever works. i'll be there for you. >> rob is going to be, i'm out. that's what rob is going to be saying. certain -- roce don't want to see i don't - blame you. >> rob wants to have nothing to do with the birthing process, and i don't either, so i don't blame you. story of love. nd there you go. i just want to see it when it's all cleaned up with the little beanie on. not, no longer tops that list. that's when i come back to the room. coming up, an unforgettable story of love. >> and the richest celebrities
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in the country. and why lady gaga, believe it or not, no longer tops that list. you're watching "world news now." ♪ i want to be rich >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by colonial penn life insurance. hd 3 [ female announcer ] women have made it the number one selling
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♪ there goes my hero watch him as he goes ♪ well, army specialist leslie sabo jr. was nominated for a medal of honor four decades ago, but somehow the request was lost. >> a researcher found that request ten years ago and now, as president obama said, the record can finally be set straight. abc's sherisse pham spoke with his widow. >> reporter: he was her first love. >> i think it was love at first sight for me. i really do. because i knew i was going to be with him. >> reporter: but rose mary sabo brown's time with her husband was cut far too short. >> he left november for vietnam and i never saw him again after that.
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so we were married nine months. that's all. >> reporter: 42 years later, rose mary is in washington to receive the medal of honor for the man she lost so long ago. leslie h. sabo jr. rose mary knew leslie had been killed by enemy fire, but up until a few years ago, she had no idea he had died saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. >> we had the funeral the day before my birthday. and on my birthday, a dozen red roses came from him. and it was the last gift i got from him. he ordered them before he went to vietnam. >> reporter: in 2002, a researcher called her with a startling discovery. years ago, leslie had been nominated for a medal of honor. >> during wartime, i guess things get forgotten. thank god he found them. >> reporter: president obama recounted leslie's bravery and what he did when he and his comrades were ambushed. >> leslie did something
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extraordinary. he began to crawl straight toward an enemy bunker, its machine guns blazing. and then he grabbed a grenade and he pulled the pin. he saved his comrades who meant more to him than life. >> reporter: 36 of them came to washington for the ceremony. each of them alive today because of leslie's sacrifice so long ago. sherisse pham, abc news, washington. >> this is an incredibly touching story. >> wow. >> my dad actually was a marine in vietnam. and so just to hear him talk about his buddies and all of his stories and of the people who did those things for him, it's so touching. so that is beautiful. >> my dad is a vietnam vet as well. and this man, leslie, died at 22 years old. may 10, 1978. a young, young man. reminiscent of things the country is going through again 40 years later. so happy for her. better late than never, she got
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that honor. that has to mean the world to her. so -- great to see that. >> that is wonderful. coming up, celebrities with the biggest fortunes. >> and who is the richest this year and why? you're watching "world news now." >> announcer: abc's "world news now" will continue after this from our abc stations.ababababab
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♪ i wanna be rich oh, i wanna be rich ♪ so just in case you aren't jealous enough of these people already, "forbes" just released its list of the very richest celebrities out there. and the most powerful star on the planet this year -- drum roll, please -- jennifer lopez. >> no drum roll. we just showed her picture. she sang -- >> in case you are just tuning in. >> she sang, tweeted, perfumed and judged her way to the very top spot. abc's t.j. winick shows us who j. lo beat.
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♪ ain't no other way baby i was born this way ♪ >> reporter: last year the "forbes" celebrity 100 was topped by lady gaga, the hottest, most unusual performer in pop music. her new album "born this way" sold a million copies in its first week with the gender-bending entertainer pulling in an impressive $90 million in 2011. but it turns out 2012 isn't as goo-goo for gaga. the new number one on the block is jenny from the block. because the "forbes" list is not just about money. it's about everything that makes someone famous these days. social media, tv, endorsements and internet traffic. j. lo is on top because she's got 6 million followers on twitter and 12 million fans on facebook. >> it's no longer enough for a celebrity to just sing really well. your celebrity has to be extended into a clothing line, like j. lo has. and not just singing, but also being on tv and movies. >> reporter: in second place, 2010's number one, oprah
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winfrey. the queen of talk is still the number one earner on the list with $165 million. thanks to her empire of spin-off shows, her magazines and her satellite radio deal. number three is the youngest on the "forbes" list. ♪ baby, baby, baby, oh >> reporter: oh, baby you guessed it. 18-year-old heartthrob justin bieber. this year, two of the three kardashians made the cut. say what you will, kris jenner's girl kim certainly knows how to stay relevant and earn millions while doing it. oh, and that infamous wedding? it was quite the moneymaker. as was the publicity she earned from the more infamous divorce just a few months later. >> reporter: that's why kim ranks seventh on the "forbes" list with $18 million. yes, being famous for just being famous doesn't just pay. it pays well. i'm t.j. winick in new york. >> a lot of your ex-wives on that list. >> no kidding.
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where is my alimony payment? there's my girl j. lo. adele 24. britney spears number six. justin bieber number three. britney spears number six. justin bieber number three. medicare card, y 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. plus you'll get this free guide to understanding medicare. the prices are competitive.
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>> announcer: "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> are you a vodka drinker? >> yes. remember my bloody mary? bloody mary. >> you love your tomato juice on this shift. i thought this was extremely funny. there are apparently a lot of other nondrinking uses for vodka. so it's more than just, you know, alcoholics' favorite. they call it like a goo remover. you need some of that -- let me clarify that. the stuff that's left behind after like a sticker or label comes off. >> oh, okay. >> you can use vodka to wipe that off. it can be used to polish chrome. your rims or something. polish off your rims.
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this is all legit. i swear. room deodorizer. mix it with water and spray it with lysol, if you are at the prom. >> why would you waste -- >> i wouldn't use grey goose. also bouquet, preserves flowers. put a few drops of vodka in the vase and it keeps the flowers alive a little bit longer. and number five, shower cleaner. like, you spray it on the mildew on the curtain or in the tub. it helps clean it up. it's chemical free and effective. >> this is what we're putting into our bodies? goo cleaner. >> yes, i am -- i clarified that. don't get the wrong idea. i don't want you all to break the mood. recall right. yes. >> here's number two. this is pretty incredible. we want you to watch something first. >> oh, my god, my baby. >> stand back! >> i got this. i got this. >> booker! >> so in a very "seinfeld,"
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newman-esque kind of way, they released this parody video. governor chris christie and mayor booker. they do get along. they released this. they were trying to, because mayor booker is always saving the day -- >> booker is the mayor of newark, new jersey. christie is the governor of new jersey. for folks not in the northeast. just giving them a shout-out. >> they are trying to poke fun at the fact that mayor booker is constantly saving the day and chris christie just can't get there fast enough. just can't make it. >> booker is a real-life hero. a couple of weeks ago, saved someone from a fire. shoveled snow when bad weather comes. he's a beloved mayor up there. seems like a very good guy. if your children don't want to eat their vegetables, there's a new trick out there. that comes from the university of oregon. give them water with their dinner. boom. right there. instead of the usual, you know, cola or sodas or whatever. if you give them high-calorie drinks that creates an appetite more for fatty and salty foods. if you give them water with every meal that increases the appetite for vegetables and greens. so that is the trick to getting your kids to eat the veggies. >> nice.
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this morning on "world news now" -- family tragedy. robert kennedy jr.'s wife is found dead in her home in suburban new york city. >> her apparent suicide has sent shockwaves through a family known for one tragedy after another. it's thursday, may 17th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> good morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> and i'm diana perez in for paula faris. we'll bring you up to date on the investigation into mary richardson kennedy's death and explain what's next in the john edwards trial after his defense team's very dramatic move in court. >> all that talk yesterday about ooh, rielle is coming to the stand. ooh, edwards. ooh, cate. and then none of them. comes to the stand.
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kind of anticlimactic. still the case almost in the hands of the jury. also this morning, a controversial lesson about racism in a colorado elementary school. a second grader there showed up in black face and wearing an mlk costume. how school administrators responded and what the boy's mother has to say now. later this half hour, an amazing advance for a paralyzed woman who used her brain, a microchip and futuristic technology to operate a robotic arm all on her own. >> talk about the miracles of modern medicine. >> incredible. >> that story is mind-blowing. so we'll get to that in just a second. first, new details now in the death of mary richardson kennedy, whose battles with drugs and alcohol were well known. >> friends say the 52-year-old architect had grown increasingly sad and worried about money in the past few weeks. abc's jeff pegues reports from suburban new york city. >> reporter: kennedy family friends came to the westchester county home with flowers and food. refusing to comment as robert kennedy jr. and the couple's four children grapple with another tragedy. they are asking for privacy.
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>> how you doin', folks? you'll all have to leave the private property. >> reporter: the 52-year-old's body was found in the garage of the sprawling mansion. according to law enforcement sources, a housekeeper made the discovery. mary richardson kennedy had committed suicide in her mt. kisco home. her death shocked residents. >> astounded. shocked. couldn't believe the news. >> reporter: over the last couple of years, mary kennedy has had a series of run-ins with police, including an arrest for driving under the influence. that incident occurred soon after robert f. kennedy jr., bobby kennedy's son, filed for divorce in 2010 after 16 years of marriage. the family's struggles were well documented. in a statement, the family remembered her as a gifted architect who supported numerous causes. quote, mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit. during this difficult period, the family is grateful to all those who respect and cherish mary's memory by protecting the
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privacy of her family. as far as what may have led to the suicide, friends and a report by radaronline.com say that mary kennedy was increasingly despondent and depressed, concerned about mounting financial problems. jeff pegues, abc news, in mt. kisco, new york. >> thank you, jeff. >> the entire family grieving but those four kids, this must hit them so hard. >> and the thing is, any time there's news about the kennedys like this, you just go back to tragedy after tragedy in this family. also, interesting historical point here, robert kennedy jr. lost his father when rfk was assassinated way back in 1968. so maybe that experience of losing his dad will help him deal with his four kids who have now lost their mother. you hate to put it in those terms. death and tragedy, something this family has become accustomed to. they are used to it. >> very difficult. and of course, it's our sources that are telling us this was a suicide. but an autopsy is going to determine the true cause of death and we'll be able to report that when that happens.
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>> get that later today. moving on. our other big headline this mork, closing arguments are set for today in the john edwards trial after the defense rested its case after just two days. jurors did not hear from any of those blockbuster, high-profile witnesses that the defense hinted might be called. instead, lawyers argued that the former presidential candidate tried to hide his affair to spare his wife's humiliation and not to save his campaign. >> i was a bit stunned. i think the courtroom was stunned when the defense announced it was going to rest its case. >> jurors are expected to begin their deliberations tomorrow. edwards could get 30 years if convicted. the key witness against roger clemens faces more grueling cross-examination today in the former pitcher's perjury trial. clemens' former trainer brian mcnamee did admit the first time clemens asked for help with an injection he did not use the word "steroids." but mcnamee added after that that clemens told him he wanted
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to quote get really huge and strong. and that's when mcnamee insist he's gave clemens his first injection of steroids. the deion and pilar sanders' war of the roses is finally nearing an end. a texas judge has ordered deion sanders to pay his ex-wife more than $10,000 a month. he must also pay her housing and legal fees but no spousal support. they've agreed to share custody of their children through the summer. and in colorado springs, an elementary school project there has sparked an explosive debate on racism. 8-year-old sean king was supposed to dress up like martin luther king jr. so he decided to paint his face black as part of his presentation. but sean was asked to leave after he and his parents refused to wash off all that black makeup. they insist all this was just a costume and not meant as an insult. >> he said, mom, i want to wear a suit because that's what he wore and a black tie and i have to wear a white shirt. and he said also i want to do my face in black. >> they thought it was inappropriate and it would be
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disrespectful to black people. but i say that it's not. i like black people. >> some parents say they had no problem with sean's face paint but the school district said a staff member and some of the students there were in fact offended. >> so here's the deal that i have with this whole situation. it's one thing to send your child to school and not realize that this is an issue. but once the school says, people are having a problem with this, we'd like for him to wash his face, and to still say no, that's my issue with it. just wash his face. >> be done with it. >> oh, i'm sorry. did i offend someone? okay. no problem. >> you hope the school and the parents they used this -- i know this has become a cliche, but a teachable moment where they sit down with the kids and explain why some people are perhaps offended by that. black face never seems to go over. we had this controversy with ashton kutcher. he made himself look indian for a commercial and people didn't like that. some of those touchy things, maybe again, a lesson can come out of -- a real history lesson
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can come out of it. we'll see. >> hopefully. now to arizona. hundreds of homeowners who have ignored evacuation orders are now being forced out. and that's because a wildfire threatening their historic mining town nearly tripled in size in just 24 hours. as abc's ryan owens reports, it's a difficult battle for firefighters. >> reporter: the smoke can be seen from phoenix nearly 100 miles away. the so-called sunflower fire has already burned nine square miles. and it's just one of four fires now burning in arizona. >> the next days are critical in fire weather as far as the winds that are coming through. so we have a lot of concerns as to how the fire is going to move and what's going to happen. >> reporter: the gladiator fire in central arizona is the most dangerous. it's consumed more than 2,000 acres and has forced the evacuation of the historic mining town of crown king. >> it's getting kind of close. and so we don't even know if we can go back yet. >> reporter: with the blaze just a mile from about a dozen homes,
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officials believe the last of the 350 residents evacuated -- >> you just can't trust fire. >> reporter: lori learned at a community meeting that the wind was now pushing the fire toward her home. >> what you are predicting kind of drops it straight over our house. >> probability is it's going to get there. >> reporter: she and her family left everything behind. >> i was pretty convinced that it was going to go the other way. >> reporter: about 400 firefighters are trying to contain the blaze, and officials say the fire is unusually dangerous. it's not just the smoke and heat. the area is known for rattlesnakes and abandoned mines. >> we have some wildlife and reptiles out there that they need to be very careful with. and the mines. a lot of unknown mines out there. >> reporter: ryan owens, abc news, arizona. here's a look at your thursday forecast, everybody. as ryan mentioned, another hot, dry, windy day in the southwest. the exact conditions they don't
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need. also showers from northern california to boise and helena. rainy from the twin cities. to michigan's upper peninsula. thunderstorms from florida into the carolinas. a beautiful stretch of weather coming here to the northeast. the next four days look picture perfect in our neck of the woods. >> we love to hear that. sunny 75 in new york. 80s in atlanta, kansas city and new orleans. 72 in chicago. triple digits in phoenix. 77 in sacramento, and 81 in salt lake city. this is the season most 17 and 18-year-olds are champing at the bit to toss those graduation caps in the air and move on to college. >> oh, yeah. that's mostly true for 17-year-old aaron. except this year he's actually graduating from college with a 4.0. he can't even vote yet but he's getting his bachelors degree in electronic engineering from the university of texas in dallas. wow. >> ever feel dumb? >> right now. >> right now, yeah. his school days are far from over. next up, grad school.
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it doesn't stop there either. this kid wants to go to med school after that. this kid will be a doctor by the time he's, what, 20? at this rate. >> 19 1/2. and here's what makes you feel even less of an intelligent human being. he said, college was fun. not hard. not difficult. electrical engineering, med school. it was fun. not hard. >> oh, you gotta be jealous of kids that smart. i just wonder, too, socially how they adjust. you know what e mean? at that age, going to college. it's just -- >> his mom was driving him to school. >> that's not going to go well on a date. >> it's a different experience when mom is driving you to college. >> a little different. coming up next from science fiction to medical facts, see how robot limbs are changing lives forever. >> and halle berry's dramatic plea to the president. and this is no act. why this hollywood a-lister is fired up. you're watching "world news now." ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by radiancy.
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♪ halle berry ♪ halle berry ♪ halle berry
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♪ i believe in miracles i see
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miracles ♪ a 58-year-old stroke survivor who is paralyzed was all smiles after sipping a latte with the help of her mind-controlled robotic arm. >> this story is awesome. it really is. she is 1 of 2 patients able to reach and grasp with a robotic limb linked to a sensor right there in her brain. we get more from the bbc's fergus walsh. >> reporter: you are watching something extraordinary. cathy hutchinson is controlling a robotic arm with her thoughts. notice the box which is screwed onto her head. that's linked directly to a sensor in her brain. paralyzed from the neck down, this is the first time in nearly 15 years she has served herself a drink. she can't talk, but was able to communicate this message. i couldn't believe my eyes when i was able to drink coffee
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without help. i was ecstatic. i had feelings of hope and a great sense of independence. the key to the technology is this tiny sensor dwarfed even by a five pence piece. it's implanted on the surface of the brain in an area known as the motor cortex. when the patient thinks about moving their arm, neurons in the brain are activated and these electrical signals are picked up by the sensor and sent to a computer which turns them into commands. and these are what those signals from the brain look like when directing the drink to the patient's lips. >> it was really a moment where we helped somebody do something that they had wished to do for many years. >> reporter: this tiny sensor was inserted into the arm of this robotics expert from reading a decade ago as part of an earlier trial. it enabled him to control a robotic claw. he says the technology could give independence to paralyzed patients. >> this will allow people to do things for themselves.
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maybe make a cup of tea. certainly switch off lights, open doors. and perhaps even drive themselves around in a wheelchair. >> reporter: the scientists, writing in the journal "nature" hope to use the sensor to reconnect the brain direct to paralyzed limbs and restore function. that is a distant dream. but this is a milestone on a long journey. fergus walsh, bbc news. >> we were both sitting here with our jaw open watching that story. >> it's incredible. >> that little microchip on the brain is no bigger than a baby aspirin. that's the size of it. >> the poor woman who was featured, she's been in this state for 15 years. so to be able to finally do this must be so wonderful for her. and we were saying -- >> 15 years she waited. >> right. and we were saying it's so easy. we don't think when we are opening and closing our hands. >> we just grab something. you just grab it. >> just go for it. we have to think, what are the commands she's sending this microchip to open and close the
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hand? >> what is she thinking? in her brain to make it -- >> what does she have to think? >> doctors far more brilliant than you and i have figured that out. that's for sure. i'm happy to see -- but she must have suffered a stroke at a young age. only 43. but she's 58 now. a glimmer of hope there, which is good. >> absolutely. coming up, anger from hollywood that could be heard all the way in washington. >> it's coming from the one and only halle berry and her dramatic words are not from a movie script. that story next. >> announcer: abc's "world news now" will continue after this from our abc stations.nenenenene
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♪ halle berry halle berry ♪ halle berry halle berry halle berry. well, halle has recently been at war with the paparazzi. and as someone who knows her personally, i know full well you don't want to anger the lovely actress. >> she can get mad. you know this. is this another one of your ex-wives?
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>> ex-wife, yeah, yeah, yeah. >> he knows all about it. she's been complaining about aggressive paparazzi who have been harassing her daughter. now she said she's going to go all the way to the top to demand protection. abc's david wright has the story. >> you -- i'm doing something honorable! >> reporter: one week after her latest confrontation with paparazzi outside her daughter's preschool -- >> it's just wrong, wrong, wrong. >> reporter: -- halle berry is now telling "extra" she plans to take her complaint all the way to the top. >> i think i want to call obama and say, look, can you help us? there are no laws here that protect our children. >> reporter: california is more progressive than most states in protecting celebrities. but there nor state laws banning paparazzi. federal laws also don't exist, but the president may relate to berry's plea for privacy. after all, the white house discourages all unauthorized photos of the obama daughters. >> you get a life!
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get an honorable life! >> reporter: not many celebrities have the president's clout. tom cruise, sarah jessica parker, julia roberts and others typically have to dodge photographers wherever they go with their kids. >> grown men crawling around a school with cameras, you know what? that puts fear into the heart of every parent. >> reporter: but on a public street, these photographers were well within their rights. >> she may be the one who could be subject to criminal action. if you assault a photographer. she could wind up being the one actually criminalized. >> i hate that i lost my cool, but you know, i'm human. when it comes to my daughter, i'm ferocious. >> reporter: after this incident, halle berry has expressed interest in moving to france where the privacy laws are a lot stricter. david wright, abc news, hollywood. >> all right, two quick points on this one. one, i understand the whole paparazzi issue especially when you infringe on kids. should protect their privacy. but, two, i think it was an off the cuff glib remark, oh, i'm going to ask president obama.
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she kind of said it with a smile. i don't think she's going to seriously launch a crusade to the white house. >> this woman has a lot of other things to worry about -- >> like me. >> -- like stalkers. and rob. >> one and the same. and rob.
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♪ if i could talk to the animals ♪ ♪ just imagine it chatting with a chimp and chimpanzee ♪ ♪ imagine talking to a tiger, chatting with a cheetah what a neat achievement it would be ♪ this is my favorite story. >> you are very excited. this is all you. go ahead. this is made for you. >> yes. it's a story that's got all of us howling here in the newsroom. it's a scientific breakthrough that we can finally read the minds of dogs. >> now this raises -- >> he has to read this but he really doesn't want to. >> this raises the possibility that we only have just begun to communicate with our four-legged little friends out there. here's abc's steve osunsami with a dog's tale. >> reporter: we have all seen those incredibly smart dogs that are too cool for school. can dance their way to a million-dollar prize.
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>> find inky. >> reporter: or find a needle in a haystack. or even save your life if you are drowning. >> oh, i know. >> reporter: researcher greg burns had an idea no one has ever tried. to teach his dog callie to sit perfectly still for a series of mris and actually looking into her brain. getting her still was the hard part. they practiced with this contraption at home for months. and now these are the first images of an active dog's brain. during the test they showed callie hand signals she'd already learned. >> we essentially gave a hand signal like this which means you are about to get a hot dog soon or this hand signal which means no hot dog. >> the was after the signal for no hot dog. her brain was quiet. but it lit up when she saw the signal for the treat. in an area of the brain that processes feelings of reward. for the first time, researchers say this is scientific proof dogs are capable of more complex communication and not just with a few signals but potentially an entire sign language.
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>> it proves that they've transferred the meaning of these hand signals to something that's behaviorally important to them. it's really getting at the start of how the dog processes dog/human communication. >> reporter: take a look again at this amazing million-dollar performance and look closely for the hand signals. hands outstretched, fingers up. an intricate conversation. i always wonder what my dogs are thinking when i call them and they come. do they recognize my voice and do they love me as much as i think they do? burns says the answer is yes. his newest brain scan shows callie has the capacity for love and certainly loves him but loves his wife even more. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. >> see, we're going places with dogs. dogs are going to rule the world one day. >> oh, see, you're a dog lover. >> aw! that dog actually looks like my dog. >> what kind of dog do you have?
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>> a border coll
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this morning on "world news now" -- courtroom drama. john edwards' defense attorneys bring an abrupt end to their case by calling no star witnesses. >> setting the stage for today's big closing arguments in the former presidential candidate's conspiracy trial. it's thursday, may 17th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." >> happy friday eve, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> and i'm diana perez. paula faris is on assignment. we'll get to the legal drama in the john edwards case in just a moment. and then, we're going to take you to suburban atlanta where students and parents are frightened. police say a man with a sniper's rifle was taking aim at school buses. also this morning, the shoes sold with some pretty promising claims to get you in shape. the false advertising, the
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company that's in trouble and how you can get a refund if you are a buyer of these shoes here. >> very interesting turn of events here. >> the whole thing is a little "sketchy." >> ooh. there you go. >> try the veal. later on this half hour, gop presidential candidate mitt romney is getting some advice whether he wants it or not from an acting coach. that's later on in "the skinny." >> if you want to know which acting coach, i'm going to give you a hint. you ready? what is your favorite curse word? if god does exist, what would you like to hear him say at the pearly gates? that's a little hint. if you know the show, you know who that is. >> i think everyone is going to get that. that's a good hint. >> love that guy. first, a major turn in the john edwards trial as the defense rests its case after only two days of testimony. >> instead of putting high-profile witnesses on the stand, lawyers focused on the finer points of campaign finance law. abc's bob woodruff is following the trial. >> reporter: a surprise in court. the lawyers for john edwards
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abruptly resting their case after initially dropping hints they planned to call edwards, his daughter cate and former girlfriend rielle hunter to the stand. instead, the case will go to the jury on friday. the sordid, 18-day trial laid bare the one-time president candidate's mighty fall from grace. in support, cate edwards walked side by side almost every day along with his mother and father. all of them sat right behind him in the court. two former campaign staffers testified edwards was present during conversations where his top money man discussed what he was doing to move hunter around and away from the press. to highlight edwards' willingness to lie, prosecutors closed their case last week by playing our "nightline" interview with him. >> a report has been published that the baby of ms. hunter is your baby. true? >> not true. not true. >> reporter: the defense argues edwards tried to hide his affair to spare his wife humiliation, not to save his campaign. we learned the judge will instruct the jury that the
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prosecution does not have to prove that attempting to protect his campaign was the only reason for the cover-up. just that it was more than a side benefit. that jury, nine men and seven women from central north carolina which includes the town where edwards grew up. they are solidly middle class. >> the government always wants people who are sort of -- people that follow the law. >> reporter: the jury is racially balanced. six african-americans, possibly a strategy by the defense. >> defense went out of their way to talk about john edwards' strong commitment to poverty, to his attending martin luther king celebrations. and so, i won't say pandering, but at least making sure the jury knew. >> reporter: today lawyers on both sides will give their closing arguments. they will get about two hours each. and the jury will begin their deliberations on friday. and then it's all just a waiting game. bob woodruff, abc news, greensboro, north carolina. >> again. so much anticipation that we were going to have this soap opera day yesterday with rielle and edwards and the daughter.
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some thinking was if you brought them back to the stand it would kind of just force the jury to hear all the sordid, salacious, dramatic details. and they didn't want to get into all of that. because essentially, despite all the personal drama, this case at its heart is about campaign finance law, not about affairs and, you know -- >> bringing everybody to the stand would have made for a sexy case, perhaps, but that's not what the defense attorneys wanted. they wanted an acquittal altogether. but if they have to go through with this, the last thing they want are all the sordid details on the stand. >> that's it, so closing arguments today and then in the jury's hands. we'll see. >> that's right. now to our other major headline this thursday morning. an autopsy later today is expected to confirm that mary richardson kennedy took her own life. robert kennedy jr.'s wife was found hanging in a garage at the couple's home in suburban new york city. she had had trouble over the years with both drugs and alcohol and had two high-profile arrests as well around the time her husband filed for divorce back in 2010. she leaves behind four children. students riding school buses
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in suburban atlanta are getting special protection as police try to track down a sniper. a man was spotted in clayton county this week aiming a rifle at passing school buses filled with children. two passers-by chased the man away but he dropped his rifle. he also left behind a notebook that had a list of school bus numbers. >> we can try to lift prints off it. we can try to trace it through atf. through their system we can go to local pawn shops and basically provide leads. >> police are also guarding students at bus stops. they say the eyewitnesses did not get a good look at the gunman, but some say while he dropped one gun, he probably had another. there is word now that the losses suffered in that jpmorgan chase trading blunder are much worse than originally estimated. according to this morning's "new york times," the bank may have lost another billion dollars on top of the $2 billion loss originally reported. however, "the times" reports that despite all those losses, the overall health of the bank is still pretty strong.
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and facebook is ready to go public on the stock market tomorrow. and the company's value could top 100 billion bucks. despite all that wall street buzz, facebook is losing some pretty big advertisers. more on this from abc's t.j. winick. >> reporter: just days before facebook plans to file its initial public offering, general motors has announced it's pulling out of the social media giant. that will cost the company about $10 million a year in advertising. >> gm says it's just not been effective for them. they're not going to be doing ads on facebook. we heard bloomberg give a call to the other automakers. ford says they are continuing. they are going to be spending more on facebook. and what this really raises is the question of, you know, how effective is facebook going to be? >> reporter: jerome cleary is betting facebook will continue to be good business. he's never bought a stock in his life, but that will change friday when his favorite website goes public. >> i have read things that say you should invest in companies you like or know. and i know this company very well. and i really decided that this
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is going to be my big splurge. >> reporter: facebook announced it will make 25% more shares available than was initially believed. if they get the $38 a share they are hoping for, the company would be valued at $104.2 billion. still, gm's announcement raises doubts because the ipo price is, based among other things, on its potential to draw future advertising. >> advertising, of course, is just one way, but certainly a big way, that the company can potentially make money. and as it tries to become a public company and sell shares to investors, you know, what do investors want to see? they want to see sales growth, they want to see profit growth. and this has been one of the questions in terms of how well facebook will be able to do that. >> reporter: if facebook is able to get 38 bucks a share it would become the second biggest ipo ever in terms of money raised behind only visa. t.j. winick, abc news, new york. all right. here's a hint this morning about what the new iphone may look like. according to "the wall street journal," manufacturers say apple has placed an order for
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larger display screens, fueling rumors that the next generation iphone may have a four-inch screen or even larger. iphones have had 3 1/2-inch screens since they were first put on the market nearly five years ago. since then, there's been more competition in the smartphone market. >> interesting. it's always so frustrating. every two weeks there's an upgraded version. of the iphone. you get one. oh, this is great. two seconds later. oh, now the iphone 14 is out. >> and the lines around the corner. it costs $700. you can't get it right. >> they are making that money. >> it's important. here's your thursday forecast, everybody. warm and sunny in the northeast. absolutely beautiful up here. thunderstorms and heavy rain in the southeast from wilmington, north carolina, to miami. also some light rain from minneapolis to marquette. showers from redding, california, into the northern rockies. >> 72 in boise. 62 in seattle. and 85 in albuquerque. 68 in detroit. 80s from omaha to dallas and miami. 70s from boston all the way to baltimore.
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owners of a bike shop in tulsa, oklahoma, turned to social media to try catching a thief and to offer up a pretty good laugh, as well. >> this is pretty hilarious. clearly, this crook hasn't yet caught on to the idea of surveillance cameras. once he stole the bike he tried pedaling away but, instead, oh, watch it again. this is great. faceplant. >> well done. >> three, two -- oh. and when he realized that that obviously wasn't working, he got up, walked away. looks like he walked away with the bike. >> the shop owners chalk it up to karma -- good call -- and they posted the video on facebook hoping that someone will recognize the very balanced thief right there. >> so apparently he threw a cinderblock into the store. tried one bike. didn't have any pedals. settled for the mountain bike. both very costly. didn't make it to next door the gas station.
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did the faceplant, as you saw, because apparently the chain fell off and then he had to walk home. >> a new winner in america's race for the dumbest criminal. >> oh, and that race is very close. >> yes, indeed. coming up next, if you bought -- if you bought skechers shape-up shoes, you may have money coming back to you. later on, inside the mind of tom cruise. the superstar opens up about his career, his religion and his family. you're watching "world news now." ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by cancer treatment centers of america.
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[ female announcer ] letting her home be turned into a training facility?
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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. call or log onto hoveround.com right now! welcome back, everybody. well, the largest consumer refund settlement has now been reached in the federal trade commission, ever in its history. the biggest one ever. skechers has agreed to pay out $40 million. >> the shape-up shoes promised to help you lose the weight and firm it all up without having to
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work out. as abc's linsey davis reports, that was false advertising. [ whistle blows ] >> i came across the shape-ups. my knees were feeling better. >> reporter: joe montana, brooke burke, kim kardashian. >> bye-bye, trainer. hello, shape-ups. >> reporter: just some of the celebrities who helped peddle skechers' claims that wearing these sneakers would tone you up and slim you down. >> good morning, everyone. >> reporter: but the federal trade commission says skechers put its foot in its mouth. and as a result, the company has to cough up $40 million, one of the largest consumer class settlements in history. most of it going to the customers who paid up to $100 for shape-ups and three other toning shoes. >> unfortunately, for the millions of people who bought skechers toning shoes, the only thing that got a workout was their wallet. >> improving circulation -- >> reporter: skechers can still sell the shoes but can no longer make claims of increased muscle activation, improved aerobic conditioning or weight loss.
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in fact, the ftc found shape-up wearers actually gained weight. and the company didn't just depend on celebrities. its ads quoted an independent study by a california chiropractor. turns out that chiropractor wasn't so independent. he's married to a skechers executive. in a statement, the company denied its ads were misleading but says it agreed to a settlement to avoid an expensive legal battle. it's not clear how much money each customer will get, but what is clear is that the $40 million settlement isn't likely to put skechers out of business. they are the leaders in a billion-dollar-a-year industry in a country eager to look great without working out. linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> oh, kim. if you do want that refund
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there, check out abcnews.com or our fan page, wnn fans.com for what you need to do if you want your money back. >> go get your money. >> false advertising. i'm shocked. coming up -- the actor who could be taking home a $50 million paycheck. >> and hollywood-style advice for mitt romney. that's next in your "skinny." >> announcer: abc's "world news now" will continue after this from our abc stations.cl
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♪ skinny so skinny ♪ all right. now for "the skinny." we're starting off with movies. one movie a lot of people are going to see. "the avengers" number one. kicking "the hunger games" off of the charts. so doing great. but what's come out of this, which is very interesting, is that robert downey jr., iron man in "the avengers," is set to make $50 million. but this is not what everyone is making. this is like, really, the $50 million man. he apparently has some kind of contract or some kind of clause in the contract where it says he's going to make all this money while everybody else is going to make peanuts compared to him. samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, $4 million to $6
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million. everybody else in the movie, $2 million to $3 million. >> how will they eat? >> wow! $50 million. he doesn't have to work for the rest of his life. >> i think what was funny, too, if i remember correctly, because of the success of "iron man" a few years ago, smartly, his lawyers and agents got together and said, we have a huge success here. he had it in his contract he had to get a cut of the global sales, and he worked it out and so one movie, his paycheck, $50 million. >> arguably the biggest name in the movie if you think about it. >> yeah, and maybe producer on the movie as well. so he and all -- not bad. not bad for a few months' work there, mr. downey. james lipton, you know from "inside the actor's studio." you know this. what is your favorite curse word? if god exists, what do you want to say at the pearly gates? i love -- he's so dry. he's so good. apparently, he's written an article for "new york4gñ magazi and done a video. after all his years interviewing actors and teaching, he wants to kind of help mitt lighten up and seem a little more human since
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mitt kind of struggles a little bit, some would say, with reaching out. that common touch and with being a little more likable and accessible. so take a look at the mock video that lipton put together for "new york magazine." >> what is your least favorite word? >> romney care. >> what turns you on? >> i like being able to fire people that provide services to me. >> what turns you off? >> the plight of the poor. >> what sound of a noise do you love? >> all: we need mitt! we need mitt! we need mitt! >> what sound or noise do you hate? >> all: obama! obama! obama! >> all done in jest, of course. you know what i mean? it's funny for a political year. the last question he says is the question about, if heaven exists, what's do you want god to say? he says, what's up, gangsters? it's the m-i-double tizzle. it's just fun. go to the website and have a little fun with mitt. >>stst it is. it's pretty hilarious. >> because he's so dry. bringing it back down, unfortunately. bristol palin has received death threats after she criticized president obama for his "view" appearance where he said that he supported gay marriage.
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>> ah, yes. >> so she took to her blog where she said that, you know, on her blog you'll see hate but in the name of love and you'll see bullying in the name of tolerance. she's calling people out for bullying and hating her for her own comments. it's very interesting that at the end of all of this, which is not the initial blog, this is the new blog where she's talking about the people sending her the death threats, she plugs her reality show. >> interesting. i think she even kind of chastised the president for kind of -- he credited his two young daughters for helping change his perspective on gay marriage. and she took offense at that and said it's better if kids have a mom and dad in the household, which i don't think her child has, but anyway, we'll move on from that. hypocrisy. and talk about "the dictator," the new sacha baron cohen movie out there now. some folks, as always, not happy. controversy about this movie. folks are saying it's a hurtful caricature that pokes fun at muslims and reinforces prejudices that are out there. >> no. >> even some of the critics
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haven't seen the movie yet, but they are saying based upon interviews and the trailers, this could be offensive. but that's what he does. >> that's his specialty. >> that's borat. >> that's it. >> that's it.
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♪ [ playing the theme from "mission impossible" ] sorry. that music inspires me. >> oh, boy. >> all right. >> from "mission impossible" to "rock of ages," superstar tom cruise is turning 50 this summer if you can believe it. >> my goodness. 50. wow. he's always fought to keep his personal life pretty private, until now, though. abc's lara spencer reports on cruise's tell-all interview. ♪ i'm wanted wanted dead or alive ♪ >> reporter: it's tom cruise as we have never seen him before. he is stacee jaxx, singing and dancing his heart out in the upcoming movie, "rock of ages." in this jaw-dropping spread in next month's "w" magazine a tattooed and toned cruise
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channels his rock god persona. now he's opening up about it all. his career, his family and his religion in a revealing interview with "playboy" magazine. on his longtime involvement with scientology he tells "playboy," if i don't talk about my religion, if i say i'm not discussing it or different humanitarian things i'm working on, they're like, he's avoiding it. if i do talk about it, it becomes, oh, he's proselytizing. >> it is being a scientologist, people are turning to you. >> we've all seen him get a little too aggressive with the media for his religious beliefs. he certainly learned from that mistake. >> reporter: cruise who turns 50 in july tells the magazine he would never consider having plastic surgery. he is secure in who he is. and what makes him happiest? his wife katie holmes. >> katie once told "seventeen" magazine -- yes! >> reporter: cruise tells the magazine he's just as smitten as the first day he publicly professed his love for her on "oprah." >> and i love this woman.
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>> reporter: cruise says he can handle the scrutiny that comes with his very public life, but not when it comes to katie and their 6-year-old daughter, suri. he tells "playboy," if media gossip hits too close to home, he'll just sue saying, quote, with certain ones you have to go, okay, you've crossed a line. and now you have the attention of my lawyers. when it involves your kids, you have to go, here's the line. >> hmm. >> look, i think tom cruise is a great actor. you know what i mean? i mean, the whole -- whatever his personal life is, his personal life. still, a great actor. that looks like it's going to be a wild kind of movie, too. comes out on june 15th. so go check him out. hard to believe he's going to be 50, though, in july. >> i'm not a fan of his look in this movie, but, he is a good-looking man. >> what's was your favorite tom cruise movie? real quick. >> "top gun." >> "top gun." "a few good men." "a few good men."
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