tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC February 24, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
welcome to "world news." tonight, severe threat. tornadoes, hail and a new blast of heavy snow. 24 states on alert tonight. price swing. the new surge in gas prices. but why are some americans paying less than $3 a gallon, and others $5? how to find cheap gas where you live. home field advantage? mitt romney going for the win in his home state of michigan. but where are all the fans? easy money. $1 billion up for grabs. unclaimed cash. why some of it might be yours. and our "person of the week." why is this high school football coach heading to the oscars? >> you got to believe in yourself, fellas.
good evening. we're less than a month away from that first day of spring. but for any of you who had hoped that the worst of winter has already passed, mother nature's message today is who are you kidding? tonight, a single, massive storm has 24 states, nearly half the country, in its grip. and it is fierce. hurricane-strength winds, hail, snow, even tornadoes. as we come on the air, that brutal weather is bearing down hard on the south. abc's meteorologist, ginger zee, is tracking it all for us tonight. >> reporter: violent winds and pounding hail are lashing southern states tonight. over 100 reports of severe weather. and it's not over. >> it's pretty big hail here. good-sized hail. >> reporter: the monster system that plowed through the rocky mountains is now pummeling the eastern half of the country. a barrage of large hail from
alabama to georgia. people in south carolina cleaning up where 60-mile-per-hour winds blew through. in columbia, south carolina, tornadoes touched down. close by, winds of 50 miles per hour, brought this tree crashing into an apartment building. investigators had to get a woman out of a mobile home when a tree fell on it, trapping her inside. high winds fanned the flames of this inferno in tennessee. the storm slammed the midwest this morning, dumping more than six inches of snow in michigan. shutting down schools and making roads impassable. >> it's starting to accumulate. but it's a real wet, heavy snow. it will be a problem moving it. but the roads are real sliply right now. >> reporter: more than eight inches of snow fell in chicago, causing chaos on the highways. shutting down airports and stranding passengers. >> so far, it stinks. but what are you going to do? it's -- we'll be out of here hopefully in a few hours. and we'll be in 85 and sunny weather. and you guys will be stuck here, hopefully. >> reporter: the threat still
exists tonight, for severe weather. let me show you which area needs to be alert this evening. anywhere in southeast virginia, through eastern north carolina, and just a sliver of far northeastern south carolina. so, george, this is meaning isolated tornadoes. we also have hail and damaging wind threat. >> how about the rest of the weekend? >> reporter: the rest of the weekend is looking a lot better as far as severe weather goes. but what we do want to see is wind. and i want to tell you about this because, from anywhere, from cleveland, to new york city, upstate new york, we're talking 40-mile-per-hour, 50-mile-per-hour, 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts. if you're not weighed down, or have trees, power lines or anything outside, that patio furniture, that could go flying and become projectiles on your saturday. now, for the gas prices rising almost as fast as tempers across the nation. gas ticked up again overnight, 3 cents. the 29th-straight day of increases. but it turns out the pain of the pump is not spread equally. how much you pay depends a lot on where you live.
abc's dan harris explains why. >> reporter: when it comes to breathing in the noxious fumes of overpriced gas, we are not living in the united states. california is the red zone. a big, angry blotch of high prices. over $4 a gallon pretty much throughout the state tonight. one of the most expensive gas station in america? the mobile station on south hacienda boulevard in l.a. in the northeast, an unhappy orange. average prices between $3.60 and $3.93. the vast underbelly of the country in yellow. between $3.38 and $3.71. but look at this big pasture of green there in the middle, where prices are all the way down to $3.16 and lower. home to the cheapest gas in america? u pump it in ft. collins, colorado. just $2.64 a gallon.
prices always vary from state-to-state. but this is unusual. >> no. this is not normal. >> reporter: why? because the refineries on the coasts are buying more expensive crude from places like saudi arabia and nigeria. while the inland states are getting the cheaper stuff from canada and north dakota. these wild price differences aren't just happening on a national level. at this gas station here in new york city, the price is $4.39 a gallon. but check this out. we are 20 blocks north, and it's 50 cents cheaper. and look at the variability in the dallas area, where the average is price is $3.59 a gallon. the least expensive, sam's club and costco, at $3.39 a gallon. these big box stores are able to sell cheaper because they guy in bulk and because -- >> it's about getting you inside to buy all your other merchandise. >> reporter: those big box clubs
do charge a membership fee. but experts say it could pay off, especially since gas prices are likely to keep going up. dan harris, abc news, new york. and from rising prices to rising stakes in the race for the white house. after 20 debates and 9 contests, it's "your voice, your vote." battleground, michigan. could it be the tipping point? mitt romney had a bid today with momentum, to make his closing arguments in the state he was born and needs to win. david muir is on the trail with romney. good evening, david. >> reporter: good evening, george. i was talking with the top romney adviser today about how crucial michigan will be. he said, we are all-in here. and he asked, what would we do differently at this point anyway? but that was before a major speech here today turned into a major photo op, for the wrong reason. ford field in detroit. and this is what the announcer was saying about the fumbling lions. >> the lions will have to mound a comeback to win today. >> reporter: turns out, they
could have said the same thing today. but it wasn't the lions, and tens of thousands of fans. it was this. mitt romney and 1,200 supporters sitting on the 30 yard line. billed as his major speech, this was romney's chance to capitalize on recent momentum. his chance to close the deal on his home turf. problem is, there was a lot of turf. they put 1,200 closely-packed chairs here. look at the end zone way off there. they have a score in michigan first. look at ford field here. a stadium that seats 80,000. a challenge to make it look as packed a as it was today. setting the stage here was a challenge. even some of the folding chairs in front of romney, empty. conservative commentator, laura ingram tweeting, the images of ford field, not helping romney. but the governor determined to share his fondness where the place he grew up. three seconds in, he started -- >> i love cars. >> reporter: he began and ended talking about cars. he talked about the cars he
drives, right down to his wife. >> i drive a mustang and a chevy pickup truck. ann drives a couple of cadillacs. >> reporter: making his case for cars inside. while outside, protesters. the banner that of ed romney wrote about opposing the auto industry, letting it go bankrupt. and on the air here tonight, rick santorum with a similar argument. >> who's on the side of michigan workers? not romney. >> reporter: what santorum fails to mention is he opposed the auto bailout, too. and someone else on the air tonight, president obama. the re-election team trying to rattle republicans with the argument obama will make in the fall. >> when 1 million jobs were on the line, every republican candidate turned their back. >> reporter: and late today, we heard that rick santorum is delivering, tonight, what he is billing as a major economic speech, as well. but, george, he's delivering that speech from a fish fry at a catholic parish. a very different venue. >> david, i know the romney
believes they have momentum going into to the votes in michigan on tuesday. and this deal at the field isn't the biggest deal in the world. but how did it happen, exactly? >> reporter: well, the romney camp says this was never their idea, ford field. they say the detroit economic club set this whole thing up. and in fact, they did. it was originally at a smaller venue. they called up the romney camp and said, there's more people interested. let's move it to the stadium. but local leaders say when they called the romney camp to say that, the campaign said they are okay with that. but there's questions whether or not another venue would have been better. >> big vote coming up tuesday. this sunday, i'll be talking to rick santorum. and a powerhouse roundtable. overseas to the deadly fighting in syria. secretary of state hillary clinton was center stage at a gathering of more than 60 nations to decide how to stop
syrian president assad's assault on his people. some nations suggested arming the rebels, a move the u.s. opposes. secretary clinton stood firm. >> i am convinced that assad's days are numbered. i just regret deeply that there will be more killing before he finally goes. >> and while they deliberated, there was new bloodshed in the city of homs. at least 22 dead as the shelling intensified. but there was also some hope. for weeks, thousands have been trapped, desperate for medical help. today, that help arrived. alex marquardt is on the border with syria tonight. >> reporter: amid the bombings, a syrian aid group, today, was given safe passage to collect a few of the thousands reportedly wounded inside homs, which has been under relentless assault by syrian forces for three-straight weeks. >> i was wounded in a rocket attack yesterday. >> reporter: but these journalists, two seriously injured in the attack that killed veteran american war correspondent marie colvin on wednesday, reportedly refused to
leave. yesterday, they issued these videos pleading for help. but today, activists told us they demanded the international red cross to get them out, along with the rest of the wounded still trapped. the constant shelling of homs appears to have given way to street battles. the rebels firing what weapons they have against the formidable regime forces. we can't verify these videos' today, in these hills along the border, we met the men who say they can bring down the syrian regime, if the world will help them. they're young. one was just 18. with little military training. assad and his family are like the mafia, this fighter says. we rise up because we want our freedom and democracy. it's not humanitarian aid or sanctions they're asking for. they want weapons. big weapons. from anyone. what can an ak-47, he asks, do
against a tank? for all the world's talk about helping syria, these young men say they see no help coming. we know we're on our own, he says. only god is with us. alex marquardt, abc news, on the turkey/syria border. and in afghanistan, anger over those korans burned by the u.s. military has hit a boiling point. today was the deadliest day yet. at least 12 protesters killed in clashes with afghan security forces. and with the protests growing and spreading, and american troops angry after the deaths of two american soldiers, the top u.s. commander in afghanistan, general john allen, paid a surprise visit to his troops. giving a plea for calm and composure. >> there will be moments like this, when your emotions are governed by anger, and a desire to strike back, these are the moments when you reach down inside and you grip the discipline that makes you a united states soldier.
and you gut through the pain. and you gut through the anger. and you remember why we're here. we're here for our friends. >> allen added that now is not the time for revenge. it is time to remember who we are, as americans. and there are new concerns, tonight, that iran is moving closer to building a nuclear bomb. u.n. inspectors reported that iran has accelerated its efforts to produce nuclear fuel at a site deep underground. iranian officials also refused to answer questions about experiments that could help them develop a warhead. and brushed aside the report. saying iran's nuclear work is for civilian purposes and will continue. still ahead on "world news," $1 billion in unclaimed tax dollars. are you one of the lucky ones who could collect it tonight? and meet the high school coach from one of the toughest towns in america. what he did, earned him a ticket towns in america. what he did, earned him a ticket to the oscars. oing your job.want your so why are you doing his?
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washington. we have your money, please come and get it. but that's exactly what the irs is doing right now, announcing it is sitting on more than $1 billion that taxpayers own but have failed to claim. abc's senior national correspondent, jim avila, has more on who's eligible for the money and how you can get it. >> are you kidding? this is fantastic. >> reporter: it's something you may have seen on "good morning america." the sound and sight of joy, as states and cities give back thousands in overcollected fees and taxes. >> this is unbelievably helpful. this is perfect. mortgage is met for next week. >> reporter: and now, your rich uncle, sam, is advertising the biggest giveback of all. $1 billion of overpaid federal taxes, ready to refund to 1 million taxpayers who did not file their 2008 taxes. >> so, our job at the irs is to make sure the proper amount of taxes are paid, which means we collect the money if you owe it. but we also get it back into americans' pockets if we owe it back to them. >> reporter: who's leaving this
money on the table? the irs says mostly low-wage earners, like waiters and waitresses, freelancers and the working poor. people who don't make enough money to owe any taxes, but every week their employer still deducts cash from their check. the average unclaimed refund? more than $600. if they file now, before april 17th, they will get all that money back. if they don't, what's left behind goes back into the u.s. treasury. is there any reason i shouldn't go after it? >> no. there's no reason you shouldn't go after it. there's no legal issues and no other issues. >> reporter: tax accountants say the irs uses these refund alerts to lure nonfilers into the system. you may not owe this year, but some time in the future, you probably will. >> we think of this as a long-term game. and make sure that the tax system is run fair. year in and year out. we do what's right. >> reporter: and don't worry. if you claim your share of the billion and file now, three years late, it's only a crime if
you owe the irs money. jim avila, abc news, new york. >> and for step-by-step directions on how you can collect any irs funds owed to you, head to our website abcnews.com/worldnews. coming up, we take you inside the white-knuckle near-miss. why the driver was reluctant to leave. and the good samaritans who leave. and the good samaritans who saved her. go woman. i've been active all my life. that's why i'm excited about reclast. it's the once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment. reclast helps to restrengthen my bones to help make them resistant to fracture. and with reclast, well, no other osteoporosis treatment is approved to help protect in more places: hips, spine, even other bones. [ male announcer ] you should not take reclast if you're on zometa, have low blood calcium, or kidney problems. or you're pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are nursing. take calcium and vitamin d daily. tell your doctor if you develop severe muscle, bone or joint pain, if you have dental problems as jaw bone problems have been reported,
or if you develop new or unusual pain in your hip, groin or thigh. the most common side effects include flu-like symptoms, fever, muscle or joint pain, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. if you have questions about your current treatment, ask your doctor about reclast. in absolute perfect physical condition and i had a heart attack right out of the clear blue... i'm on an aspirin regimen... and i take bayer chewables. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. he's my success story. [ laughs ] for you today ? we gave people right off the street a script and had them read it. no, sorry, i can't help you with that. i'm not authorized to access that transaction. that's not in our policy. i will transfer you now. my supervisor is currently not available. would you like to hold ? that department is currently closed. have i helped you with everything you needed ? if your bank doesn't give you knowledgeable customer service 24/7, you need an ally. ally bank. no nonsense. just people sense.
you wouldn't want your doctor doing your job. so why are you doing hers? only your doctor can determine if your persistent heartburn is actually something more serious... like acid reflux disease. over time, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. for many, prescription nexium not only provides 24-hour heartburn relief, but can also help heal acid related erosions in the lining of your esophagus. talk to your doctor about the risk for osteoporosis-related bone fractures and low magnesium levels with long-term use of nexium. possible side effects includheadache, diarrhea and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. let your doctor do her job, and you do yours. ask if nexium is right for you. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. back, now, with a slit-second, life-and-death drama, all caught on tape.
two sisters were driving in delaware, when they made a wrong turn and got stuck on a railroad track. when with a freight train rumbling toward them, some good samaritans stopped to help. abc's ron claiborne brings us what happened next. >> reporter: this is a story where seconds count. 4:00 in the morning, monique dyton makes a right turn onto these train tracks. her car becomes stuck. and her sister gets out to investigate. a passing garbage truck pulls up and the two men get out to help. >> and the next thing you know -- ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. >> reporter: a train is closing fast, at 60 miles per hour. but monique refuses to leave the car. >> when we see the light, i was like, okay. you need to get out of the car. i told her four times. i walked away. i said, i can't leave her. so, i went back and said, okay, get out of the car. she stepped on foot out. >> reporter: four seconds between life and certain death. when the women's mother watched
this terrifying video -- >> all i could think about is, that could have killed by babies. >> reporter: a horror barely averted because two men who saw something, did something. ron claiborne, abc news, new york. >> four seconds to spare. coming up, the tough love coach who believed by teaching kids to play football, you could teach them how to live. tonight, he's heading to the oscars. i remember the day my doctor told me i have an irregular heartbeat, and that it put me at 5-times greater risk of a stroke. i was worried. i worried about my wife, and my family. bill has the most common type of atrial fibrillation, or afib. it's not caused by a heart valve problem. he was taking warfarin, but i've put him on pradaxa instead. in a clinical trial, pradaxa 150 mgs reduced stroke risk 35% more than warfarin without the need for regular blood tests. i sure was glad to hear that. pradaxa can cause serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding. don't take pradaxa if you have abnormal bleeding, and seek immediate
medical care for unexpected signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. pradaxa may increase your bleeding risk if you're 75 or older, have a bleeding condition like stomach ulcers, or take aspirin, nsaids, or bloodthinners, or if you have kidney problems, especially if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all medicines you take, any planned medical or dental procedures, and don't stop taking pradaxa without your doctor's approval, as stopping may increase your stroke risk. other side effects include indigestion, stomach pain, upset, or burning. pradaxa is progress. if you have afib not caused by a heart valve problem, ask your doctor if you can reduce your risk of stroke with pradaxa. nyquil (stuffy): just reading whatyour label.ing? wait! you relieve nasal congestion?
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it's fridaynight lights meets "the blindside." and the whole movie is true." undefeated," one of the documentaries up for an oscar sunday night. it follows the fairy tale season of a high school football team from one of the toughest neighborhoods in america. the man who inspired it all is our "person of the week." >> the character of a man is not measured in how he handles his wins. but what he does with his failures. and tonight, we failed. and everybody says, when you get these intercity kids down, they'll lay over and you'll beat them by 40. not us. >> reporter: this is the gospel of bill courtney. a local business man who volunteered to coach for manassas high, in one of the toughest quarters of memphis.
>> it's like new orleans after the flood. we just never had a flood. it's a community that got the rug pulled out from under them. >> stop. stop. what the y'all's problem? >> reporter: it's young people exploding with frustration and heartache. >> two things mean most anything to him in the world. is his father and football. his dad's dead. that's tough. and we got to make sure we're there for him. >> reporter: and they were. bill and his fellow coaches, all working for free, driven by a simple belief. that football can teach these kids how to live and dream. >> we want to make you better. and then, as individuals, if you get better, and you get better as a team, you might start seeing that if you do something for somebody other than yourself, that you might be better for it. >> reporter: but getting better isn't always pretty. >> somebody tell me somebody has listened to me. character. >> reporter: the boys took it in. and overcame personal demons. >> at what point -- at what point do you quit trying?
you listen to me. you're going to put the team before yourself. and you're going to be a man. >> yes, sir. >> and you're going to put it behind you. and our team is not going to be torn apart by stupidity. >> reporter: and they weren't. but something surprising happened, too. one of the losingest teams in the history of tennessee began to win. >> this school was founded in 1899 and has never won a playoff game. ever. and this group's going to change all that. >> reporter: they sure did. but that winning streak is not what matters most to coach bill. >> the only thing you do have control over is what's inside you. is your soul. it's the only thing nobody can steal from you, is your character. you build that, and then the game and life is -- reveals what you built. >> and so, we choose coach bill courtney and the men of
"undefeated," winners on the field and off. coach bill will be rubbing elbows with george cloon nay and meryl streep in the theater on oscar night. have a good time. our oscar coverage kicks off on sunday, at 7:00 p.m. eastern, 4:00 pacific. david muir will be here tomorrow. thanks for watching. i'll see you sunday on "this week." ♪
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