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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  December 18, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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us. >> from all of us here, we appreciate your time tonight, breaking news, the president asked to stop that surveillance program, monitoring the phone numbers americans call. but he says it makes the u.s. safer, so what will he do next? pressure point, the biggest change in 30 years on who really has high blood pressure and what you do about it. and on the edge, a crane operator trapped by a massive fire high above ground, nowhere to go, the daring rescue to save his life. good evening on this wednesday night as giant questions about life, liberty and security in america are in the spotlight. tonight a group of advisers hand picked by the president has told him to stop monitoring phone
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records across this country and to reign in measures used by the spy agency, the nsa. but the president has said those programs are important in the fight against terror, so what will the president do now? abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross tells us. >> reporter: it was another devastating blow for the nsa. today's report said the nsa's collection of the phone records of every american should be shut down because it presents a lurking danger of abuse and does not make the country any safer. >> we think the so-called meta data program has not been essential, has not contributed significantly to the prevention of terrorist attacks. in the united states or abroad. >> reporter: the panel including white house former counter terrorist official richard
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clark delivered the 300-page report and 46 recommendations to the present the this morning. >> the message from the nsa is coming to every corner of our nation. nsa, you've gone too far. >> reporter: the white house said president obama was studying the recommendations, but over the summer he defended the nsa phone record collection program as a key to preventing terror attacks. >> as i've said, this program is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots. >> reporter: but the report found that the nsa program resulted in only 12 tips last year to the fbi and no record of successful cases. >> the nsa has run amok because it's been systematically violating the right of privacy of millions of innocent americans. >> reporter: the review panel was formed in the wake of the revelations of edward snowden and his supporters say today's report shows the importance of his actions. >> it's a complete vindication of everything that he said and what caused him to come forward as a whistle blower. >> reporter: the tide seems to be turning in public sentiment about the nsa program. this parody christmas video
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produced by the aclu mocking the nsa has been seen almost a million times online in just six days. ♪ the nsa is coming to town >> reporter: of the 46 recommendations, the president has already rejected one of them, that a civilian, not someone from the military should run the nsa. the president says he will decide on the others by next month, now on the spot over whether to kill a program that he said many times has saved american lives. diane? >> we'll have the answer by the end of next month? >> mid-january. >> thank you, brian ross. now we move onto the rocket ride on wall street today, a staggering surge for a lot of american retirement funds. the dow jones closed up nearly 300 points because of what ben bernanke revealed about the strength of the american economy. what does it mean for your car loans, mortgage, credit cards. abc's chief business
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correspondent rebecca jarvis outside the federal reserve for us right now. >> reporter: diane, it means good things for all of those things. let me explain the biggest take away from the announcement here today. the federal reserve believes the economy is improving. they're taking away some of the stimulus that they've been pumping into the economy month to month but they're still leaving enough stimulus there so as not to spook the stock market. they believe the unemployment rate which is 7% right now could drop as low as 6.3% but they're going to be keeping interest rates low and that means positive news for your mortgage. if you would like to buy a new home, for car loans or if you are trying to get credit to expand a business, also good news for you. diane? >> how long do, we have any sense at all, these low interest rates will last? >> reporter: fed chair ben bernanke said today we would be keeping these interest rates low for the foreseeable future at least another year. >> rebecca jarvis, as we said, right outside the federal reserve tonight.
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it's t minus one week until christmas. last minute shoppers are in luck. retailers will keep marathon hours. look at the calendar. toys r us will stay open 87 consecutive hours before christmas, kohl's 100 hours and 100 retailers joined for a day they're calling free shipping day, no minimum purchase and guaranteed delivery by christmas eve. talk about a big holiday present, what about the two winners of that mega millions jackpot, the one that climbed above $600 million. we're beginning to learn who they are and how they chose the lucky numbers. hears there's abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: it took two and a half months to creat this massive $648 million jackpot and about 12 hours for ira curry of stone mountain, georgia to claim half of it. >> they were very, very excited about the win.
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they were, as they said, still in a state of shock. >> reporter: this is the 56-year-old's facebook profile picture before she disabled her account. the winner of the second largest jackpot in history is not speaking publicly. she did reveal to lottery officials that she bought only one ticket at the last minute picking numbers based on family birthdays. >> she had the radio on and the announcer was talking about the mega ball which is 7. 7 is the family's lucky number. she knew she had the mega ball. >> reporter: after state and federal taxes, the wife and mother is now about $120 million richer. the identity of last night's second big winner remains a mystery but we do know they bought their ticket in san jose, california. see this smile? that's the excitement of a man who is now $1 million richer just for selling that winning ticket, owner of jenny's gift and kids ware. >> i'm excited.
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i win $1 million, too. >> reporter: unfortunately, the owners of the gate way newsstand that sold the winning ticket in georgia get nothing. state law in georgia doesn't give the venders a bonus for a big win. but 20 people in 15 states are $1 million richer tonight after matching all the balls except the mega ball. and now the entire country can collectively scratch mega millions tickets off their holiday shopping list and return to the usual frenzy of this time of year. linsey davis, abc news, new york. and now a headline tonight about staying healthy and something everyone should know about blood pressure. one in three americans has high blood pressure, millions take drugs to lower the number. but a new study in the journal of the american medical association today says it may be time for a big change. and abc's senior national correspondent jim avila tells us about it. >> reporter: it's one of the most important tests your doctor
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gives, every checkup begins with a familiar cuff and pump because high blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke and is a leading symptom of diabetes. for three decades doctors put people with blood pressure over 140 on medication. today's new recommendation is 150 for those over 60. >> based on these guidelines you can feel comfortable saying if you have that patient below 150 you're at your goal. >> reporter: it's the first major change in 30 years and enough to give patients high blood pressure on its own because doctors are dueling over how high is too high for the 60 million americans struggling to keep their blood pressure below 140. today the committee said it changed the guidelines because there are more realistic goals that will provide the same results. >> having the ability to get them to goal without overmedicating them i think is very encouraging and exciting. >> reporter: both the american heart association and the american college of cardiology
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disagree, asking why change what's working. in fact, blood pressure at 140 has been the standard, strokes has been reduced by 70% and heart failure by half. >> this is not the time to relax about this silent killer. we have to do everything we can to prevent strokes, heart failure and even death. >> reporter: what's a frustrated patient over 60 to do? know the debate and ask your own doctor to weigh in. jim avila, abc news, washington. next tonight we want to show you an extraordinary act of heroism and a rescue for a man stuck on the end of a crane for more than an hour. tonight one of the rescuers is speaking out about how they did the impossible. abc's alex perez walks us through the stunning tape. >> reporter: take a look at the jaw dropping scene that played out in kingston, ontario tuesday. look closely, right here at the end of this huge construction
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crane with a raging fire below, one man, the crane operator. he inched as far away as possible from the 1,000 degree flames. >> oh, my god! >> reporter: trapped on the very edge of the boom, clinging for his life for more than an hour. the military chopper arrived but this rescue would be a tough one. >> it was just a little tiny platform basically so we were trying to get him to stand up. >> reporter: watch here. after what seems like an eternity, the arrest curer is able to secure the man in a harness. after plucking the operators who suffered only minor injuries to safety, the rest is up to the pilot. >> my life was in the hands of the flight engineer and the pilot. those guys have to be on their game. >> reporter: luckily for this man they all were. alex perez, abc news, chicago. and now we head to rome where today the world watched as pope francis delivered his final message before christmas. right there among the swelling crowds in st. peter's square was our own "gma" anchor robin
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roberts who had a face to face encounter with the people's pope. >> reporter: hailed with cheers of joy from the crowd. we were there, as pop francis entered st. peter's square. accepting a cross, blessing the sick, greeting families with hugs and kisses. his face is so expressive. people have been waiting for hours. dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno. good morning. "god is with us, and god still has faith in us," he says. a former janitor and nightclub bouncer, they call him, " the people's pope." and in just 9 months he's captured the imagination of not just the world's 1.2 billion catholics, but the world itself. his style was different almost immediately. just yesterday he celebrated his
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77th birthday by having breakfast with three homeless men and blew out candles surrounded by children. he ends his christmas message of compassion by leading us in prayer. jesus is god with us. the crowd repeats. afterwards, it was our moment. meeting face to face with the people's pope. we're american, i tell him. a moment of true humility. one and a half million tickets have already been given out this year just for this event. it's now a week from christmas and the crowds will certainly grow here as does this pope's popularity. diane? >> thank you so much, robin, right in st. peter's square today. next tonight, dr. richard besser investigating an outrage in america, the exorbitant cost of cancer drugs, is it right that the rich can afford them but many other people cannot? a question of life and death ahead. we're back in two minutes.
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[ male announcer ] new robitussin dm max nighttime. fast, powerful cough relief that helps you sleep like a baby. robitussin nighttime. don't suffer the coughequences. next here tonight, fighting chance, new drugs are saving lives for cancer patients, but the cost of the drugs is spiraling out of control. so a question, is it fair that the rich can afford them and so many other people cannot? a cancer diagnosis doubles your likelihood of going bankrupt. abc's chief medical editor dr. richard besser investigates an outrage in america. >> reporter: if her pill bottle goes empty, patsy thompson fears she will die. >> about seven weeks worth. sglr. >> a 65-year-old working mother of seven adopted children, she's
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fighting leukemia, now in remission, but this drug, sprycel, is keeping her alive. only it costs at least $106,000 a year. even with medicare payments, it would cost her about $10,000 a year out of pocket. she can't afford it and she's not alone. >> it just all seems so unfair. >> reporter: cancer drug prices have doubled in the past decade, eleven of the past 12 drugs the fda approved for fighting cancer in 2012 were priced over $100,000 a year. that's double the average family income. >> did you ever think that at this point in your life you'd be facing this kind of medical crisis? >> no. >> reporter: thousands of cancer patients, even many with insurance, face the same dire decision, go bankrupt or die. >> are we reaching a point where only the rich survive? >> patients who cannot afford the drugs are forgoing the treatment and dying. >> reporter: dr. hagop kant arjian is leading a protest by more than 100 cancer specialists, demanding pharmaceutical companies lower their drug prices. pharmaceutical companies say it costs on average more than one billion dollars to research a new drug. but critics put the cost below $90 million. >> the pharmaceutical industry is the second most profitable
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industry in the united states after the oil and gas industry. >> reporter: in the u.s. sprycel, and top tier cancer drugs like it cost twice as much as it does in parts of europe, china, canada, and the u.k. places where the government sets a limit on pricing. bristol-myers squibb produces patsy's medication. as the cost of the pills more than doubled since 2007, the ceos earn tens of millions of dollars. >> do you think the price of these drugs is ethical? >> i don't know that you need a gazillion dollars worth of profit. >> reporter: bristol myers squib said in a statement to abc news. "we take great care to price our medicines based on the cost to develop them. for sprycel, we have robust patient assistance programs in place." still, one in five cancer patients can't afford their medication, patsy among them. she applied to that "reimbursment support program." she was denied. down to 30 pills and little hope. >> if you take this bottle away? >> i won't be here. >> reporter: these are game changing drugs. they're not expensive drugs that just give you a few months of life.
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they are drugs that turn cancer into a low grade disease you can live with for decades. >> is there help on the way for patsy? >> we're in touch with the company. we've been talking to her doctors and we're going to continue to try to help. for everyone in the same boat, they have to hope that the pressure from the cancer doctors makes the companies do the right thing and lower the prices. >> thanks, rich, for investigating tonight. and when we come back, it is time for our "instant index." wait until you see who made the cover of aarp magazine. are you sitting down? our "instant index." magazine. are you sitting down? our "instant index." my mantra? family first. but with less energy, moodiness, and a low sex drive, i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron. the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about 2 weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women especially those who are or who may become pregnant and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes
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in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs. common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting and increase in psa. ask your doctor about axiron. [ female announcer ] can you heal a broken heart with a bundt cake? of course you can! even if that heart was broken by zack peterson. bake the world a better place with nestle toll house. the day building a play set begins with a surprise twinge of back pain... and a choice. take up to 4 advil in a day or 2 aleve for all day relief. [ male announcer ] that's handy. ♪
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our "instant index" starts with an unusual holiday cupid in san francisco. look up. it's a drone with mistletoe hovering over unsuspecting couples. one couple urging the drone to come pay them a visit. it's the brain child of a california artist who said he wants to help us reimagine drones as something sharing in the fun of being human. oh, no, say it isn't so. look at the leading man on the cover of aarp magazine. it's brad pitt who turns 50 today, and made us all think back 22 years ago. the 27-year-old brad pitt as we first saw him in "thelma and louise." >> ladies, gentlemen, let's see who wins the prize for keeping their cool. >> unforgettable. and a rolling stone is also defying age today. keith richards, does this sound like 70 to you?
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♪ he said his personal philosophy on aging is it's a privilege just to wake up to a new day. and we got a kind of early christmas present right here in our news room today. you may remember the a cappella powerhouse you met as our persons of the week. they came by, the group known as pentatonix. they came back and they sang to us all those beyonce songs in six minutes. we had to buckle our seatbelts. ♪ >> wish you had been there for that talent, the kindness and the happy break in the news day for all of us at "world news." and coming up next right here tonight, talk about an era, barbara walters, two decades worth of fascinating people. can you guess the person she
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chose as her very first? we'll tell you. know the feeling? copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? don't wait to ask your doctor about spiriva.
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or treat gas with these after you get it. now that's like sunblock before or sun burn cream later. oh, somebody out there's saying, now i get it! take beano before and there'll be no gas. take beano before she'and you love her for it.ide. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
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do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. now tonight a great television finale. for 21 years barbara walters has brought us the ten most fascinating people of the year, and her final list airs tonight.
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abc's jon donvan now shows us some of the people we met over the last two decades. >> good evening and welcome to the ten most fascinating people of the past year. what a list. stay with us. >> reporter: and so it went, a brand with a brand name, she who asks the questions. from young politicians at the starting gate. >> what would you like the mark you leave to be? >> to leave this country through a period of dramatic change. >> reporter: to paris at the cross roads. >> are you ditsy? are you dumb? not at all. >> reporter: to those who appeared before their fate had truly unfolded. >> i don't think i will be going to prison. >> reporter: woods before the marital problems. >> so many kids look up to role models. i can help kids in a positive way. >> reporter: kennedy before the plane trip. >> people can say worse things than you are attractive and look good in a bathing suit. >> reporter: the common thread, her one of a kind ask anyone
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anything style. >> are you lovers? >> i love roy like my brother, even more. >> many people find the thought of you as president a little scary. >> why is that? >> reporter: by the way, first person, first show, k.d. lang. in truth some of the most fascinating are now lesser remembered, an astronaut, a cloner of sheep, a jeopardy champ and when one reality star this this -- >> oh, my god this is like elvis. >> reporter: she nailed it. no one ever had more staying power than she tonight who will say -- >> welcome to our final ten most fascinating people special. >> reporter: she could put herself on that list but she won't because she asks the questions. jon donvan, abc news, washington. >> and barbara walters ten most fascinating people of 2013 airs tonight at 9:30 eastern. so glad you were with us tonight. i'll see you back here again
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tomorrow. we want to leave you with a dazzling display of exploding light from our abc station in los angeles kabc. 75,000 lights in the middle of fountain valley. visitors call the home a must see and you know why. ow why. tonight why a streak of spare the air days has come to an end >> and the family of a teenager who remains on life support is turn together power of group
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prayer. a movement to outlaw plastic water bottles. why san francisco is taking this seriously. >> a million dollars, too. >> great laugh. a shop owner collects $1 million from megamillions but when will big winner come forward? a time lapse view marking a change in the weather making it easier for you to breathe. good evening, i'm ama daetz. >> after 11 winter spare the air days, conditions are improving the hazy skies made it hard see the hills
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people we spoke with didn't seem worried. >> i got back home, i came out >> we should be concerned because it's fault of life issue but it doesn't stop me from going out. >> now, look at the calendar for 11 days we've been under a spare the air alert. >> what is going to change. >> we have lots of clouds, and spots the moisture that might produce a sprinkle or overnight. this is where winds


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