tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 8, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
for america? sitting idle. abc news discovers new screening machines sitting in warehouses. security experts are outraged. we asked, are bomb sniffing dogs the answer? traffic jam, new report on the stress of driving to work. how long is too long, and what it's doing to your health and your marriage. made in america, the all-american house tours that hold the secrets for thousands of american jobs. and remembering maurice
sendak who took a generation of american children on an amazing journey, where the wild things are. good evening. we start tonight with the daring bravery of a real-life spy. we now know it was a double agent who foiled that plot to bomb an airliner bound for the u.s. it was an incredibly dangerous assignment, to operate secretly inside an al qaeda terror cell. abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross is back tonight with exclusive details. >> the cia working with other countries has pulled off a true mission impossible assignment, infiltrating al qaeda, with a double agent posing as a suicide bomber and learning the secrets of the latest bomb design. the target was quite in yemen, known for screening its
recruits. yet somehow, we were able to get someone inside. >> it's quite an accomplishment to be able to pass yourself off as an equipment terrorist to the terrorists when, in fact, you're working for a u.s. or allied intelligence agency. >> reporter: details of the source' identity are being closely held. but the spy was able to infiltrate the cells, get his hands on a bomb and get the bomb out of the country through saudi arabia last week. >> we had confidence that we had control that it was not an active threat at that time. >> reporter: the bomb is being described as an upgrade to the underwear bomb used three years ago in a failed attempt to bring down a detroit-bound jet liner. this new design is described as being made with a different chemical formula, with dual
detonation systems, to make it easier to set off. >> by having the bomb in its original state, before it goes off, u.s. experts now are able to figure out how the bomb works, how it might be detected. it's'ser when the bomb is still intact. >> reporter: still there's great concern the bomb maker, 30-year-old ibrahim al asiri, is working on other bomb designed, including bombs surgically implonted in terrorists, even in picture frames and radios, as shown in this al qaeda video. >> they keep trying to devise more terrible ways to kill innocent people. >> in this case, the bomber was the source working for the u.s. anand others, and there was no threat. but american authorities said as long as ibrahim al asiri is alive making other bombs for other terrorists, it's a grave threat to the u.s. >> and even though this plot was foiled, airport security is still on alert.
yet abc news has learned millions of dollars of hi-tech equipment is desbathering dust in a government warehouse. equipment airports say they need. abc's senior national correspondent jim avila has the details on that. >> reporter: a non-descript tsa warehouse in dallas, inside, abc news has learned america's best weapon against al-qaeda's bomb of choice. hundreds of baggage scanners, explosive detection systems, and in this wooden crate, the latest bomb-detectiving scanners, all in storage for more than nine months, some more than a year, while nearly 300 airports across the country go unprotected by the newest, best technology. >> there are airports around america that really don't realize that in dallas, texas, there are huge amounts of this equipment sitting in excess. >> reporter: a congressional investigation to be released tomorrow, but obtained exclusively by abc news tonight concludes that the tsa is not only wasting $184 million by not
deploying security equipment, it is warehousing the one device that can actually detect a non-metallic plastic explosive -- when congress asked why, the report says the tsa told them they ordered extras to get a discount and had no specific plan to deploy. >> obviously the point of having advanced screening technology is to get it out to the field. it's not a museum relic. >> reporter: abc news has learned fbi agents planned to make a replica of the newly recovered underwear bomb, and send it through airport security, testing homeland security, janet nappol tano's statement today. >> all things considered, there's a high likelihood it would of course detected. >> reporter: prescreening of who is flying, looking for the overly nervous, body and luggage scanners and 700 randomly canine patrols trained to sniff out
explosives of aum kind. but dogs are not a fail-safe because of a high number of false positives. >> no one of these things is a magic solution. but taken together, they reduce the risk very substantially of a successful attack. >> the department of homeland security says it's been working to deploy the body scanners at its warehouse. the delay was caused by smaller airports unable to fit them immediately, they say. but since the congressional investigators were there in february, only two of the scanners remain in that warehouse. >> thanks so much to you, gym avila. now we turn to the trial of john edwards. the prosecution is expected to present its final witnesses this week. and today another staff member took the stand to tell why she's now testifying against her former boss. >> the dramatic testimony came from the woman who was working with edwards on writing a public
statement in 2009, an apology to the nation for his affair and lies. while wendy button was talking with edwards he admitted to knowing something he had long denied, in which is the crux of the case. that secret funds from a benefactor were being used to hide and support the child he had with rielle hunter. button told jurors that edwards told her he had known all along that fred baron had been taking care of things. i recall edwards saying i knew other people were supporting quinn. but edwards decided not to include the information about money in a later draft of the statement. button told the court, he said for legal and practice cal purposes, we needed to take it out. it's part of the ongoing greek tragedy playing out here, the prosecution had been por portraying him with a fatal flou, befriending people, manipulating them, and when they had no more use, discarding them. the prosecution's attack on his
edwards' character began 12 years ago with andrew young, who agreed to hide edwards' girlfriend. we did everything he asked us to do and the abandoned us. then there was bunny mellon, the lonely multimillionaire philanthropist who loved him and wanted to help him. a close friend of melon testified that when schee foundut on the $725,000 was used to hide hunter, she said, maybe you should pay for your girlfriend yourself. in those conversations that edwards had with his speech writer, wendy button, he told her he was struggling with how to quick the news to his only children that quinn is also his daughter. >> thank you, bob. and the south dakota company that makes the filler called pink slime says it's closing flee of its plants because of the controversy. one plant will remain open. a lot of supermarkets stopped selling ground beef after the
publicity about the product, which is made by heating bits of beef, and treating them with small amounts of ammonia gas. the company, beef products, incorporated, calls the criticism of pink slime unfounded. something is happening tonight on the west coast of the united states. take a look. in alaska, photographs in the past several days showing a mountain of debris descending on the beaches there. a lot of the items have japanese labels, the debris from a snearm more than a year ago. all tolled 1.5 million tons of trash are drifting this way about four miles per hour, and it's bigger than the state of california coming our way. clean-up workers are now getting hazmat training to deal with some of of the trash. volunteers are also joining up to join the marathon effort to save those beaches. we have hopeful news on the jobs front today. in march u.s. companies posted the highest number of job openings in nearly four years,
but we all recognize the economy has a long way to go. we return to abc's david muir and the made in america team who have been looking for solutions, ways to create jobs at home. david? >> this has been about jobs from the very start. we all remember that turbine builders posed a challenge to people all over. he said use 5% more american when buying materials and we'd create 200,000 jobs right away. so many of you at home have yet to weigh in until tonight. reporter: we couldn't forget what we discovered 2,100 miles from new york, clear across the country in bozeman, montana. that home that started it all. >> here's the house here. >> reporter: the builder convinced his all-american blueprint could not only build this home, but hundreds of thousands of new jobs in america. >> so just about everything that i'm looking at is american. >> more than just. >> reporter: we inspected every corner of the house. the nails.
>> reporter: the staples. so this staple came from here? where's the tub from? >> i knew you were going to ask that. >> reporter: aqua glass from oregon. the fixtures? moen from north carolina. >> reporter: literally from all over the united states? absolutely. >> reporter: the neighborhood knows about it? >> heck, yeah. >> reporter: and after our report, the whole country knew about it. and tonight, six months later -- not only is that family in, but just today the builder revealed to us something else. what happened within hours, of that first report. >> we started getting e-mails and phone calls from all over the country. >> reporter: so did "world news". >> hey, david, come on in. >> reporter: see how we do made in america. this builder from lake oswega, oregon, pointing out everything to the wood on his living room doors. the new owner, besides herself.
>> hey, david. it's gary and joe showing you our all-american house. >> reporter: from the brickwork at the front door. to the fireplace. to the cabinetry. made in america. just this weekend from chesapeake, virginia -- >> hopefully this home will bring more jobs back to the united states. >> and from virginia to, spokane, washington, our abc team there, they know the criminal. the nails are from the east coast, the flooring from idaho, even the bath fixtures are made in the u.s.a. and who could forget those american nails? they cost a little more than their chinese counterparts, but the builder says they don't jam the nail gun as much. >> reporter: maze nails tonight says their sales are up 12% in six months, anand they're hirin again. >> thank you for choosing maze
nails. >> what does that translate into? i just got off the phone with them. they say ten million more nails sold in the last six months than they saw last time because of viewers who saw that piece. >> one nail at a time. i love our new tv star. thank you, david. now we have a footnote, taking you behind the photo which has ricochetted around the world. have you seen this yet? it's a david and goliath moment symbolizing the lack of freedom in moscow. a little boy with training wheels pedaling up to the police deployed by strong man vladimir putin. the police were there after protesters flooded the street. today we heard from the boy's parents who say they were there in the crowd and they want to assure everyone their little boy was safe. still ahead, news today on account your commute is affecting your waste line, your
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abc's ses celia vega explains. >> reporter: when it comes to cindy's commute, there's one way to describe it -- long. two hours' long each way. when we got in the car with her this morning, she had a few other choice words. >> absolutely agony. it's white-knuckle fury. >> reporter: at some point, every commuter stares into the brake lights and thinks it, this is going to kill me. turns out, it just might. in today's study researchers looked at 4,000 frustrated drivers back in the middle of one of the worst commutes in the country, dallas, texas. they found those commuting ten miles or more had bigger waistlines and higher blood pressure than those with shorter commutes. >> it's the first study that had documented how commuting distance affects objective health outcomes, mainly blood
pressure, cardio respiratory fitness and weight. >> reporter: but the reality is, america needs to get to work. the average commute is about 25 minutes long each way. if you think your commute is bad, neerl 8% of america now spends more than an hour getting to work. the evidence is mounting. all that stress and lost time is taking a toll. gallup researchers found a third of drivers with 90-minute commutes report recurring neck or back problems. researchers in sweden even found couples with long commutes were 40% more likely to drive to divorce court. the advice? seek out car pooling, public transportation, anything that can get out of the driver's seat and give you a break from a daily grind that really is dangerous. cecilia veg a abc news, los angeles. still ahead, secretary of state hillary clinton issued a kind of manifesto for all women
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failed to qualify for a marathon medal, but look at this, other marathoners came back, took off their medals to give them to her. as we said, a kind of declaration of independence from aur secretary of state today hillary clinton has endured nagging critics about makeup, hair and grooming on those grueling diplomat trips. she had a great response to all that. >> i feel so relieved to be at the stage i'm at in my life. if i want to wear my glasses, i'm wearing my glasses. if i want to pull my hair back, i'm puming my hair back. you know, at some point, it's just not something that deserves a whole lot of time and attention. if others want to worry about it, i'll let them do the worrying for a change. >> a blow for everyone. and ahead, the captain for all the children who sailed out where the wild things are.
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he was a singular american genius, an author who could tap into the miss chief of children and accompany them as they let the wild adventure begin. today the world lost a brilliant original who created a lot of books and worlds, but among them, a little boy named max. abc's david wright salutes the passing of maurice sendak. >> reporter: his world was the opposite of mary poppins. no spoonful of sugar for max. no supper, but his imagination
runs wild. >> and he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are. >> reporter: do you think you would like to go where the wimd things are? for more than 50 years, kids have taken that sub lime journey with max. >> they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth. >> reporter: in wonder and in fright. >> and now, cried mas, let the wild rumpus start. >> reporter: for generations of kids and their kids, sendak's story has spoken to something wild inside each one of us. >> reporter: mauric sendak was born in brooklyn in 1928. a frail boy. gay and jewish. the depression and the holocaust, the backdrop to his youth. childhood had plenty of dark corners.
>> childhood was a mess. >> reporter: sendak doesn't want to sugar coat childhood the way so many authors did. >> do not show the tattered edges of what life was like. but i remember what life was like, and i didn't know what else to write about. >> reporter: now matter how terrible the adventure, he always brought us home to max's room, where he found his supper waiting for him. >> and it was still hot. >> reporter: maurice sendak was 83. david wright, abc news, los angeles. and we thank you for joining us tonight. we're always here at abc news.com and remember to watch "nightline" later. i'll see you again tomorrow.