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tv   Nightline  ABC  June 25, 2013 12:35am-1:06am PDT

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barstow boys are spitting into the wind ♪ ♪ back home the hammer always has to fall crosses barely hanging on the wall ♪ ♪ someday i know you'll never leave me but we're far from that hard light tonight ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> jimmy: iron & wine. their album "ghost on ghost" is out now. you can see a bonus song at jimmykimmellive.com. i want to thank liev schreiber, i want to thank amy schumer. i want to apologize to matt damon. we ran out of time. tomorrow night miley cyrus and marlon wayans will be here. thank you for watching. "nightline" is next. good night!
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tonight on "nightline" -- international man of mystery. fugitive nsa leaker edward snowden has the u.s. government hot on his trail as he weaves from china to russia. tonight, what's next for america's most wanted? the latest on the global manhunt. meet rusty. from the himalayas to the national zoo to the streets of washington, d.c. how neighbors helped find the escaped celebrity red panda. and how the cuteness of our furry friend is working against him in the wild. and all for love. in tonight's "feed frenzy" the definition of true love according to kanye west. >> announcer: keep it right here, america. "nightline" is back in just 60 seconds.
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>> announcer: from washington this is "nightline" with terry moran. hello, everyone, and thanks for joining us tonight. the news today seems as though it was ripped right out of the pages of a spy thriller. a high school dropout turned nsa super wiz leaks government secrets and goes on the lam. but it's not james bond's latest movie. it's the story of edward snowden, now wanted for leaking some of america's most confidential information. and tonight abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross is here with the latest. brian? >> reporter: terry, it's been a month now since edward snowden abandoned his country, essentially defected, leaving his job at the nsa in hawaii, determined to reveal some of this country's most sensitive secrets. and now his saga has turned into a full-fledged diplomatic incident, badly straining u.s. relations with first china and
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now russia. it was a day of high drama and international intrigue today at the moscow airport, reminiscent of a cold war spy novel. at the center of it all, 30-year-old edward snowden, a contract employee at the cia and the nsa, the national security agency. under indictment for espionage and on the run from the fbi with four laptops loaded with america's most sensitive secrets. >> i had access to, you know, the full rosters of everyone working at the nsa, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world. >> reporter: and so far this brilliant, quirky high school dropout has managed to outsmart the cia, the nsa, and the fbi. an astounding tale in the eyes of one former cia spy. >> i feel like every country's going hot potato, hot potato, he's not ours, he's not ours and he just keeps switching from country to country to country. >> reporter: emily brandwin, a one-time improv comedian, was
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recruited into the cia's clandestine service as a master of disguise and then went undercover herself. and i think it's crazy that they can track everything but they can't track snowden. we're just waiting. it's the most epic game of marco polo ever. >> reporter: snowden had been scheduled to fly out of moscow to havana monday on flight 150 of the russian airline aeroflot, but the 30 journalists who also bought tickets on the flight found snowden's assigned seat in economy class, 17a, empty as the plane pulled away from the gate. >> i was thinking maybe whack-a-mole would maybe be appropriate too. i mean, every time he pops up i think we're about to go oh, we're going to get him and then he disappears and goes somewhere else and then he pops up again and he disappears. >> reporter: the drama at the moscow airport was no laughing matter for the united states secretary of state, john kerry. outrage that russia is refusing to arrest the american fugitive. >> it would be very disappointing if he was willfully allowed to board an airplane as a result and there
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would be without any question some effect and impact on the relationship and consequences. >> reporter: tonight, diplomats say snowden is spending the night somewhere in the moscow airport. but his precise whereabouts are still a mystery according to abc's kyra redia, who spent the day at the moscow airport. >> he doesn't have a russian visa and he can't leave the airport. the only way out is for him to take a flight. amazingly, no one has seen snowden since he arrived on sunday. there's duty-free shops everywhere, and there are cafes, but there's also a bunch of secret lounges in the corridors where he could be hiding. >> they don't want to take hmm into custody or arrest him or do anything coercive. but they might like to give him a guest house for the night. they might like to have him go to sleep while they get to play with his computers that he's brought along with him. >> reporter: like a real-life version of where's waldo, snowed zen trying to make his way from russia to cuba and then to ecuador for political asylum. all countries only too happy to
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defy the u.s. and all put on notice by the white house on monday. >> we would simply be noting to other governments the fact that mr. snowden is wanted on felony charges and that he should -- as such should not be allowed to proceed with any further international travel except as necessary to return him to the united states. >> reporter: ecuador's embassy in london already serves as a safe haven for another u.s. target, wikileaks founder julian assange, who by phone today said his group had helped to arrange snowden's escape and that one of his associates was with snowden. >> they are in contact with their legal team. the u.s. government is taking on a generation, a young generation of people who find the mass violation of the rights of privacy and open process unacceptable. >> reporter: the latest chapter in snowden's fugitive odyssey began in hong kong last friday, where he had been in hiding for almost a month. it was on friday that word leaked out that the u.s. had
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formally asked hong kong to arrest snowden and then return him to the u.s. it spooked snowden according to his lawyers that he might be imprisoned and lose his computers. >> you can, you know, spend so many days in a small place and yet he feels he was free because he had contact with the whole world through the computer. >> reporter: snowden's lawyer, albert ho, told abc's gloria riviera, a government intermediary then advised snowden to leave before it was too late. >> he was assured that he could leave without interruption, but he was rather concerned whether or not this assurance is reliable, and he would like to see confirmation. >> reporter: u.s. authorities tell abc news hong kong officials gave snowden time to get out by stalling on the formal u.s. request for his arrest, claiming the paperwork was not in order and then failed to tell american officials that snowden was on the move. >> this was a deliberate choice by the government to release a
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fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant. and that decision unquestionably had a negative impact on the u.s.-china relationship. >> and snoden was able to make a flight to moscow on sunday even though his passport had been revoked by the u.s. the day before. hong kong officials say the passport was not revoked in time by washington, coming eight days after the criminal charges were first transmitted, something the white house also denied, including china in the blaum. >> i can say that the hong kong authorities were advised of the status of mr. snowden's travel documents in plenty of time to have prohibited his travel as appropriate. and i think that did reflect our concern and disappointment in the actions or the failure to act by hong kong authorities as well as the fact that we do not buy the suggestion that china could not have taken action. >> reporter: ironically, snowden's countries of choice now, china, russia, cuba, and
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ecuador are hardly models of human rights. in fact, human rights watch has called on ecuador's president, rafael correia, to end his assault on free speech, saying he has undercut freedom of the press in ecuador by subjecting journalists to public denunciation and retaliatory litigation. snowden's own supporters, including daniel ellsberg, defend his use of those countries. >> he knows very well that most of these countries that he's passing through and ecuador itself has standards of press freedom that we don't want to see in this country except that we're approaching them, and he's helping us prevent that. so i think that so far he's shown extremely good judgment, and i don't have anything to offer him. i'd congratulate him, as a matter of fact. >> reporter: u.s. officials say they still don't know the full toll of the damage they claim snowden has done. but secretary of state john kerry put it bluntly. people may die as a consequence of what this man did. terry? >> the saga continues.
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thanks for that, brian. well, next up, snowden was not the only subject of a high-stakes search today in washington, d.c. rusty the red panda also did his best to outrun authorities. ♪ [ lighter flicking ] [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where giving up isn't who you are. ♪
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the streets of washington, d.c. turned into a concrete jungle here today when a red panda named rusty escaped from the national zoo. this species is known for being elusive in the wild, and runaway
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rusty put up a good chase as neighbors vied to spot the instant local celebrity. but their cuteness factor could be a double-edged sword for these attractive redheads. abc's dan harris went all the way to the himalayas to find out why. >> reporter: you are looking into the furry face of possibly the most adorable fugitive in american history. this morning when a nearly one-year-old red panda named rusty escaped from the smithsonian national zoo the news media and the twitterverse had a field day. perhaps unsurprisingly, rusty had his own fake twitter account in a matter of nanoseconds. as it turns out, rusty is just the latest mystery involving his species. right now, in fact, scientists are trying to figure out why the red panda, which one's roamed vast regions of the earth, is now on the brink of extinction. it is a mystery we recently decided to investigate on the other side of the world, in the small sliver of the planet where red pandas can still be found in
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the wild. these are the foothills of the himalayan mountains, darjeeling, india. this crowded, chaotic city is best known for growing some of the world's finest tea. >> what's up, guys? what's going on? >> reporter: but even though this is the red panda's natural habitat, a zoo is still the best chance to see one face to face. >> it's a very elusive animal. you don't see it in the wild. it's very rare. >> reporter: this zoo is one of the most successful red panda breeding centers in the world. they've teamed up a male and a female, hoping they'll make a love connection. and maybe someday those offspring can be returned to the wild. but even if this particular matchmaking attempt is successful, zookeepers here are very worried about what they call the red panda curse. >> they look right at you. >> yes. because of this cute-looking face and loving nature, hundreds of animals have been taken
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overseas. >> cursed by their good looks? >> yes. >> here comes one. >> reporter: in fact, when these animals were first discovered in the early 1800s, a full 50 years before the giant black and white panda, by the way, they were a must-have accessory of the victorian age. >> yeah. unfortunately, you can see why people would want them as a pet. >> reporter: as far as we know, the only place the red panda lives in the wild is here in the region around the himalayan mountains. however, recently and for reasons that scientists do not fully understand yet, evidence of the red panda has surfaced in a very surprising place. here in the foothills of another mountain range, the blue ridge mountains of tennessee. >> needless to say, i was not expecting a red panda. >> reporter: steven wallace and his team here at the gray fossil site have unearthed prehistoric turtles, sabre-tooth cats, and pot-bellied rhinos. but nothing prepared them for this single tooth that was dug up several years ago. >> this is the best sample of a
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fossil of red pandas anywhere. and we've just gotten started. >> reporter: it's the shape and size of that tooth that links this 4 to 7 million-year-old red panda with the ones living today a world away. >> they were much more widespread at one time. >> reporter: wallace says the tennessee red panda was probably much larger, about the size of a mountain lion in fact, and thrived in the thick forests once found here. so why did they disappear? one theory -- raccoons moved in and started competing for the same food. >> understanding why fossil red pandas were so much more successful and so much more widespread than pandas today can be very beneficial to actually protecting them and ensuring that they'll be here for future generations. >> they're pretty curious. >> yes. >> reporter: but back in the himalayan foothills, red pandas face threats more urgent than evolution or natural selection. poachers can get a lot of money for selling red panda body parts. in some parts of china these bushy tails are even considered
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good luck charms for wedding ceremonies. the luck of the red panda is running out fast. conservationists believe there are fewer than 10,000 left in the wild, which makes the matchmaking happening in this cage in india even more critical. as for rusty, the critter who escaped from the zoo in washington, this afternoon a woman who lives nearby tweeted "red panda in our neighborhood." it definitely looked like rusty. sure enough, just a few hours later another tweet, this one from the national zoo, "rusty back from his adventure." >> hey, guys, excuse us. >> reporter: one mystery solved, but so much more to do for a species haunted by its good looks, fighting for its survival. for "nightline" this is dan harris in darjeeling, india. >> they are adorable. thanks for that, dan. next up, why kanye west says his love for kim k. is as real as it gets. ♪ [ male announcer ] harvey's i'm so happy you're home dance.
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so among the stories that caught our eye today, party time is over for former italian prime minister silvio berlusconi.
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and the party never stops for kanye west. a little something we call the "feed frenzy." ♪ silvio to the slammer. he's been called italy's hugh hefner for reportedly throwing orgies known as bunga bunga parties. but today former italian prime minister silvio berlusconi's party came to an end. the randy septuagenarian was sentenced to seven years in jail for paying for sex with an underage girl known as ruby heart stealer. like so many others do at big moments in their life berls kony's taken to facebook to post his rants claiming it's intended to eliminate him from the political life of his country. he's now banned from public office for life. twinkie turnaround. start the countdown. twinkies are back. on july 15th hostess will return the snack cakes to gas station shelves across the country.
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the beloved purveyor of sweet treats filed for bankruptcy in 2012. and although there were many cake casualties, perhaps none was met with as much grief as that of the twinkie. americans loudly mourned the loss of the cream-filled golden nuggets, inspiring social media campaigns and irrational stockpiling. and now they demand nothing change about twinkies 2.0. product boxes will now include the saccharin line "the sweetest comeback in the history of ever." yeezus speaks. his new record includes a song entitled "i am a god." ♪ i am a god but can kanye west show love for anyone other than himself? yes, he can. in an interview with "w" magazine the self-adoring superstar discusses his relationship with the only other person on the planet who gives him a run for his money in dedication to personal branding -- kim kardashian. "oh, that's just all for love. it's simply that. at a certain point or always love is more important than any
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branding or any set of cool people or attempting to impress anyone. because true love is just the way you feel." keeping up with the kardashians is not only par for the course with his chosen partner, it's romantic. and with that it's time now for tonight's closing argument. a huge week at the supreme court. a time when the biggest decisions come down. today, affirmative action. abigail fisher, who's white, applied to the university of texas in 2008, and she didn't get in. she blamed the school's affirmative action policies, and she sued. today the supreme court hand down a cautious ruling, sending abigail's case back down to the lower court, where texas will have to show it uses race as a last resort, not a prime factor in the admissions process. so what do you think? should colleges and universities seek diversity on campus by considering a student's race? or should the affirmative action experiment come to an end? you can join the conversation on the "nightline" facebook page or tweet us @nightline or ytd

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