tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC July 20, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
see you back at 6:00. this is "world news." tonight -- the protests coast-to-coast, 100 rallies demanding justice for trayvon. jay z, beyonce among those joining trayvon's family. as a nation now reacts to the president who said it could have been me. the family tragedy at the amusement park. the mother who falls to her death from a roller coaster, what a witness said the mother was concerned about before the ride took off. and tonight, here, what are the most dangerous rides in america. extreme weather. finally the break in the heat wave, but it's now bringing a wave of severe storms with it. abc meteorologist ginger zee here with the warnings and watches tonight. as the pioneer who took on the presidents, every one of them back to jfk, tonight that first assignment, what was helen thomas supposed to be covering and the tough questions she began asking instead. >> my question is, why did you
really want to go to war? good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a saturday night. a lot to get to. andn we begin with the protests across the country tonight. more than 100 rallies, justice for trayvon they're being called, and they come just 24 hours after some very personal reflections from president obama, saying trayvon martin could have been him. here in new york, trayvon martin's mother and brother at a rally led by the reverend al sharpton in downtown manhattan. in miami, a mother with her arms around her 12-year-old son at a rally there. in the west tonight, in las vegas, a father and his young son and the american flag. it was one week ago tonight that not guilty for george zimmerman and protesters are now demanding a civil rights case, among their many questions, why was trayvon martin followed in the first place? here's abc's gio benitez. i am --
>> i am -- >> trayvon martin! >> trayvon martin! >> reporter: trayvon martin, alive in the hearts of protestors who want self-defense laws redefined after george zimmerman's acquittal. here you are with this sign. "justice for all the trayvons." what do you mean? >> well, he -- trayvon martin is not alone. there are many out there who are abused in ways, large and small, just like he has been. >> reporter: thousands in at least 100 cities, braving the broiling heat to take their message to the streets. you brought so many friends. you've brought your own son. why? >> because we believe in justice. it's not a black thing, this is a human thing. that my son could have been trayvon. he is the same age. >> reporter: in new york, trayvon's mother, sybrina fulton, was side by side with music stars beyonce, jay z and the activist, reverend al sharpton, who organized the rally. >> of course we are hurting and of course we're shock and disappointed, but just means that we have to roll up our
sleeves and continue to fight. >> reporter: many here now want zimmerman to face federal civil rights charge. his attorney, mark o'hara, in a interview with abc news this afternoon. >> he'll never have the life that he had before this event. he is somewhat frustrated that that jury verdict is not being believed. >> reporter: that verdict prompting president obama late friday to make a surprise visit to the white house briefing room. >> trayvon martin could have been me, 35 years ago. there are very few african-american men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. that includes me. >> reporter: and tonight, the streets here are quiet. but those protesters sure want to know what that justice department investigation will find. david? >> gio benitez leading us off tonight. thank you. now to that nightmare at the amusement park in texas, just outside of dallas. a family watching as a mother 14 stories high falls to her death. tonight, how could this happen?
and what are the most dangerous rides in america? abc's clayton sandell is in arlington, texas. >> reporter: at six flags over texas the coasters are king. but today, in one corner of the amusement park, the texas giant is quiet. shut down friday night after a woman fell to her death. >> she goes up, like this, and then when it drops to come down that's when it released and she just tumbled. >> the daughter and son-in-law, yelling and screaming, my mother has fallen off. >> reporter: a witness tells the dallas morning news she saw the woman get on the ride. she claims the woman appeared concerned that her safety harness wasn't secured. six flags said in a statement today, we are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident. it would be a disservice to the family to speculate. two years ago, the texas giant stranded riders 14 stories above the ground. safety advocates say this latest accident highlights the patchwork of state laws governing roller coaster operators.
>> we need uniform regulations that are applied across the board. we need the same standards, the same inspection guidelines applied to all amusement rides in every state. >> reporter: statistically, experts say, amusement parks are safe. a trade group estimates that the chances of being injured, 1 in 24 million. when it comes to emergency room visits, twice as many people are injured on the carousel compared to roller coasters. and you can see the texas giant right over my shoulder here, david. and today we have seen hundreds of thrill-seekers coming to ride the coasters, but we're told this roller coaster is shut down indefinitely. david? >> clayton, our thanks to you tonight. now, to another developing story tonight. the big break in the heat. the warm temperatures clash with the next system. tonight, here, also late word of a tent collapse outside of atlanta after heavy rains in the south. here's abc's aditi roy. >> reporter: heavy rain downs a tarp at a fund-raising rally in
georgia. just one sign of wicked weather sweeping the nation. last night, a violent thunderstorm ripped through las vegas bringing 71-mile-per-hour winds and even the casino floor at the caesars hotel was under water. in detroit, the storms knocked out power to 100,000 people. it's been a brutal week of blistering temperatures. the hottest temperatures in the northeast, 99 degrees in boston. 98 in new york and philadelphia. >> i literally have felt that my skin is going to come off my body. it's just horrendous. >> reporter: 11 people have died so far from the blazing temperatures. emergency rooms seeing patient after patient with heat exhaustion. >> we had a person who actually had heat stroke and passed away unfortunately. >> reporter: new york city setting an all-time record for power use. these brave sunbathers are actually seeking out the sun, you might expect more people to join them tomorrow, the expected
high then, a cool 88 degrees. david? >> a cool 88 degrees. you know it's bad when 88 sounds good. but we'll take it, thanks to aditi. ginger zee here with us. in order to get these cooler temperatures we have a clash of systems. >> that's right, and that's when we get storms. to get the relief that we're talking about, we have to get through this. this is in ohio today, but it's more than just ohio, this stretches along a cold front from boston to new york city, washington, d.c., these scattered thunderstorms already bringing more than two dozen severe weather reports and damaging winds throughout the night. >> be on the watch tonight. once we get these severe storms out of the way, ginger, cooler temperatures for everyone. >> yes. not just cooler, but less humid. i want to show you just how much cooler. it won't feel soupy and soggy on top of you. detroit starts the week in the low 80s. boston, only mid-80s tomorrow. dropping to 78 on tuesday. new york city, stays in the mid-80s. but that's closer to average for this time of year. >> boston, 78. ginger, let's go to boston. one more weather note, that major wildfire in california, the threat of thunderstorms this
weekend could set back the battle to rein in that fire near palm springs. it's just 25% contained tonight. and those mandatory evacuations are still keeping more than 6,000 people out of their homes. we'll keep you posted. and tonight, remembering a pioneer here, helen thomas who pressed so many presidents with her tough questions, has died. she started covering the jfk administration, and continued right through president obama, sharing a birthday with him in fact. tonight, a look back. helen thomas covered ten presidents as far back as jfk. right there in the oval office with lyndon johnson. standing out in a sea of men, covering the house. as a white house reporter, she traveled with nixon on a historic trip to china. but that didn't keep her from asking tough questions about watergate. >> ms. thomas, it would be improper for me to comment on the substance of any charges or indictment. >> reporter: she believed asking tough questions was her duty.
>> we are the watchdogs. self-anointed, self-appointed, but we're there and it's very important that we be there. >> reporter: gerald ford once said that she practiced a fine blend of journalism and acupuncture. this question to president bush. >> why did you want to go to war the moment you stepped into the white house? >> i think your question, with all due respect to you as a lifelong journalist, i didn't want war. to assume i wanted war is just flat wrong, helen. >> helen thomas was not intimidated by presidents. she would ask a question and ask it over again if she didn't get an answer and she felt there was no such thing as a rude question. >> reporter: helen thomas was born on august 4th, 1920, winchester, kentucky. one of nine children, the family would move to detroit. she earned her english degree in 1942 and headed to washington, earning $24 a week to write radio copy. her first assignment at white
house, to cover the stylish first lady jackie kennedy. but she soon made it clear that she wasn't there to cover fashion. at the end of her career, a comment on israel. >> tell them to get out of palestine. . >> reporter: because of that, she lost her job as a columnist. but thomas said of her long career, she loved being in the white house and having an orchestra seat on history and every president standing there before her knew it. >> all right, helen, this is my inaugural moment here. i'm really excited. >> mr. president, do you think that pakistan -- >> reporter: she was off and running, no easy question for a newly elected president. launching right into a question about pakistan. helen thomas will be buried in detroit. her family says that a memorial service will be held in washington come october. and now, to boston tonight and to the trial of notorious mob boss whitey bulger. and this evening, a plot twist worthy of a detective novel. a man who had been in that courtroom waiting decades to testify against bulger, suddenly found dead. abc's ron claiborne covering the case.
>> reporter: every day for weeks, stephen rakes showed up at whitey bulger's trial. >> i can't wait to look him right in the eyes. >> reporter: awaiting the day that he could testify against the former reputed boston mob kingpin. >> bullet-piercing eyes. there is no heart. he probably sleeps in an ice chest. >> reporter: every day, until last wednesday, when rakes was found dead on the side of a road in a boston suburb -- no wallet, no i.d., no signs of trauma. originally, police thought that rakes' death was a suicide, but increasingly, it appears it was not suicide. it was not natural causes, but something suspicious. although an autopsy was inconclusive, investigators now believe his body was dumped where it was found. rakes had been expected to testify that 30 years ago, bulger extorted him into selling his south boston liquor store. but the same day rakes disappeared, prosecutors decided not to call him to the stand. >> he was very much looking forward to testifying. >> reporter: at bulger's trial
friday, dramatic testimony from confessed mob boss and bulger crony, stephen, "the rifleman" flemmi, who said bulger personally murdered flemmi's girlfriend after the two men decided she knew too much. flemmi, he grabbed her around the neck and strangled her. prosecutor, what did you do? flemmi, nothing. also coming out, this astounding allegation by flemmi that they made regular cash payments to about half a dozen boston fbi agents in the '70s and '80s. he said that one of them was so grateful that he gave them a case of military-grade plastic explosives. david? >> ron, thank you. overseas tonight and from italy, the first convictions in the case of that deadly costa concordia shipwreck. 32 passengers died. now, five employees have been found guilty of crimes ranging from manslaughter to negligence. the captain of that ship goes on trial in september. and from london tonight, following every clue and every movement by the royal family, when will the new heir be born?
britain is ready. but, is the baby? abc's amy robach, a mom herself, knows those babies decide on their own. right, amy? >> reporter: they certainly do, david. good evening. behind me the most-watched doors in the world. you know how the saying goes, a watched pot never boils. it is the never-ending great kate wait. when will the duchess of cambridge finally go into labor? everyday there's a new false alarm. >> i spent so much time jumping up and down. between there and the lindo window doors, it's kept me quite fit. >> reporter: today a helicopter landed at kensington palace but no one knew if the couple were in the chopper. last night, a call from the middleton's home to the police. but it was just a dog, possibly william and kate's beloved lupo, caught in the family's security gate. yesterday, "the sun" newspaper sent kate and william look-alikes to the hospital. but the journalists weren't fooled and it gave the royal press pack some welcome relief.
>> all of photographers, jumped up, grabbed their cameras. kate looked amazing. >> reporter: even kate's mother has the world buzzing. >> about a week ago, i was over there in the palace gardens, in the row beside me was carole middleton, she said i really shouldn't be here because kate is expecting a baby any day now. >> reporter: we believe kate and william are now back at their cottage at kensington palace. and we can confirm that prince william has taken official leave from his military duties. his only duty now is to be by kate's side. any day now. david, any day. >> all right, amy robach. right there, for every step of the way. there's still much more ahead on "world news" this saturday night -- how far is too far, we asked, the money made off of those celebrity photos and tonight, the newest controversial moment as they unfold. a calm scene suddenly turning into a confrontation. and later tonight, we take you on a journey with the fish whisperer, this is no ordinary summer fishing trip. wait until you see what we found with him. she's still the one for you -
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kanye west was surrounded by paparazzi. days earlier, he had warned them to stop talking to him. >> i don't want to hear the paparazzi talk to me. >> reporter: listen to the paparazzi. peppering the superstar with questions. after a few minutes -- >> what you're trying to do is get me in trouble. >> reporter: seconds later, kanye lunges at the photographers appears to try to wrestle the camera away and then puts the man in a head lock. the paparazzi is a staple of many celebrities' fish bowl lives. but these confrontations are increasingly common. often, caught in the crush of fans and photographers, the most vulnerable targets the children of the stars. earlier, this month, 7-year-old suri cruise was heckled on the streets of new york. >> get out of the way!
>> reporter: for photographers just a single frame can fetch up to thousands of dollars. as abc's nick watt found out last year, the paparazzi says they're simply feeding the public's appetite. >> hate me for all you like. i'm the photographer. it's the general public. the general public craves it. the general public want to see it. >> reporter: abc news has learned that the lapd is still investigating the incident and whether to press attempted robbery and battery charges against west. when we come back here on "world news" -- all of us yawn, but tonight, the coffee machine that notices and pours you a free can cup of coffee. j.d. power and associates has ranked quicken loans highest in the nation in customer satisfaction... i say "family," because we've been blessed with this honor for 3 years in a row... rest assured we'll treat all of your mortgage needs with tender loving care. amazing client satisfaction:
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many of us enjoy a summer fishing trip now and then. but tonight, abc's gloria riviera with the catch of a lifetime. with the monster of the deep. >> reporter: meet dr. zeb hogan. he's been called the fish whisperer, which may not sound like much until you realize we're talking about monster fish. zeb's a modern-day indiana jones traveling the world tracking down these living leviathans, living fossils zeb fears are going extinct and desperately need to be protected. he invited us to krabi, a remote part of southwestern thailand on the andaman sea, to what he says is the best place in the world to see monster fish for ourselves. and for zeb hogan this is his part-time office. >> people don't realize that
freshwater fish are some of the most endangered animals on the planet. >> reporter: here anglers must follow rules that protect them. like using barbless hooks that don't hurt them. >> this fish i'm guessing is at least a 200-pounder, look at the patterns. >> reporter: it's an arapaima, the living loch ness. >> they are big, they are powerful. >> reporter: holy-moly! next. >> amazon redtail catfish. >> reporter: wow! >> really nice pattern on its head, bright red tail. those little moon-shaped pads that you see, those are his teeth. >> reporter: beautiful fish. >> yeah, yeah. >> reporter: but when he asked if i want to catch one, i'm not sure. sport fishing an endangered animal? it's so powerful we have to keep trading off. oh, my god! it's takes three of us to do it but then, zeb hops in the water and my first monster fish is in my net. whoa! amazing. >> it's a giant catfish. >> reporter: it's so rare even
next at 6:00, a look at the live response from the mayor who tried to address a ralliy oakland. we'll hear from a guy verts -- diverse crowd, and the father of a missing toddler is trying to stay positive while searching for his young daughter. >> we have to roll up our sleeves and continue to fight. >> a call to actionful the family of trayvon martin wants to change the justice system. their teenage son was killed despite being unarmed. today thousands across the nation rallied against the verdict and called for justice from florida to chicago, new york to atlanta, and here in the bay area.
we begin our team coverage with the john alston who is live from oakland with a look at the rally. >> a short time ago a few bicyclist took off. but about 200 or so demonstrators gathered in front of the federal building in downtown oakland for a peaceful and passionate rally, condemning the acquittal of george zimmerman in the shooting of trayvon martin. one of about 100 nationwide rallies organized by rev revved al sharpton, the protesters demanding the federal government file. civil rights charges against george zimmerman. >> we know -- african-americans -- goes a state of mind of racial perception of african-americans. and so the justice department has to look at that question.