tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC February 11, 2012 6:00pm-6:29pm EST
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off the air. >> lin for three. fires! good evening on this saturday night. great to have you with us and we begin with the run front runner desperate to regain his footing. as we await results from voters at the caucuses in maine tonight, mitt romney has already been given a crucial endorsement. from a huge grouch conservative voters he was working so desperately to convince he's one of them. tonight that group gathered in washington signaling romney is their guy. the former governor late today winning a straw poll with 38%, topping rack santorum at newt gingrich. it is your voice, your vote and david kerley leads us off in washington. >> reporter: good evening. he's halfway, mitt romney, to having a pretty good day after a miserable week in which rick santorum swept three primaries so romney throughout the
playbook to recalibrate his campaign. he bolted into maine, trying to get back on a winning track. all of the sudden, there were town hall meetings. >> portland is excited. thank you. >> reporter: and this morning -- >> i got to go -- >> reporter: sprant to caucuses around the state. >> i want to ask for your help. >> reporter: romney still trying to convince republicans he's severely conservative. >> if i'm president i will reverse all of the obama-era efforts to attack religion and -- >> reporter: it was a two-man race in maine, romney and ron paul. both desperate for a win. >> pretty darn important because you know the challenge, will you win state? i hope it's today. >> reporter: not confident, but paul drew hope from the fact that romney was forced to throw resources and last-minute campaigning into maine. >> stay in as long as i'm in the race and right now i'm in the race. >> reporter: the voting in maine followed a straw poll at conservatives at the cpac, conservative activists who went
for romney strongly over the rest of the field and they were fired up today. when the rock star of the right took the stage. >> we're just doggone frustrated with his pace of change. you say, i say, we say keep your change we'll keep our god, our guns, our constitution. >> reporter: former vice presidential candidate sarah palin lit into president obama and despite some buzz she might back a candidate, no endorsement was made but she did make what sounded like a jab at the front runner. >> our candidates must be someone who can instinctively turn right to skon "intuition"al conservative principles. it's either there or it isn't. >> reporter: very good news for mitt romney he got the conservative vote, honored to have won the straw poll, he tweeted. now he waits for the all-important maine results, that is what matters, that's a
caucus state, this could mean more delegates if he wins in maine. >> david, thank you. our political director, amy walter, who helps lead our powerhouse political team behind the scenes. great to have you here. talking about mitt romney, the australia poll and last 24 hours, spoke to those voters saying i was a severely conservative republican governor, using the word conservative 29 times in a speech lasting 26 minutes. seems to have worked. >> looks like it worked. when we were looking at this race earlier on, thinking about mitt romney, how well he needed to do, this was a critical time, this was a critical group of voters. he may not have sealed the deal with conservatives today, after losing three contests earlier this week, he can say i finally beat rick santorum and beat him on turf friendly to rick santorum. >> santorum, one national poll showing him surging ahead of
romney. what was the game-changer for him? >> the times that the economy is starting to slowly improve, that means social issues coming to the for ergs and those are in santorum's wheelhouse, the longer they're there, the better it is for rick santorum. >> all right, amy walter, great to have you with us. we should point out that rick santorum will go one on one with george first thing in the morning here on abc's "this week." >> we move on and to the weather this evening that powerful storm pushing freezing temperatures deep into the south tonight. already leaving blinding snow in the up are midwest, setting off a series of highway pileups. the biggest along interstate 75 in michigan, as many as 100 cars crashed, no one badly hurt. and in wisconsin tonight, harrowing moments for eight fishermen on the fox river. the ice there broke away, stranding them 1,000 feet from shore. until rescuers could get to them. a bitter blast of arctic air, coldest of the winter, ginger zee outside the studios in new york, you were telling me earlier, boston and atlanta will feel the like the same city
tonight? >> reporter: that's exactly right. not a comparison we see very often but wait until you see the numbers, the deep freeze is on this saturday evening. arctic air filtering down, settling over areas from central florida. so, yes, could you make a comparison between the overnight lows of boston and atlanta but also take tallahassee to new york, same overnight temperature, it is going to feel like the teens and single dijs its for many from new orleans over to jacksonville. that's what we find the freeze watches and warnings. windchill advisories as far south as. >> friend: meyers and west palm beach florida. >> we can handle this if it only lasts a couple of days. when this is out of here? >> reporter: the case all winter, just can't sick, nothing to block it in the atlantic. same case here. show you the mild air that will move in. i don't want to say warm, it's not above average by this point but closer to average for cities
like atlanta, chicago and new york. by the time we reach the first part of the workweek. >> we'll be watching the latest forecast first thing tomorrow on "gma." tonight, the heartbreaking day in tacoma, washington, a funeral for charlie and braden powell, almost a week after their lives were taken by their own father. the crowd of mourners filled the church and spilled outside to support the family suffering shatering grief. ab abby boudreau is in tacoma. >> reporter: more than 1,000 people gathered in this church, to mourn the loss of two innocent boys, brothers, 7-year-old charlie and 5-year-old braden, two brothers sharing a single casket. six days after their father josh powell killed himself and his two children in an unimaginable tragedy. this community came together to say their final good-byes. >> i was charlie's kindergarten teacher. he loved to work alongside his mother in the garden, make salsa
and bake bread. braden loved being at school with the other children and always that big, beautiful smile on a face so like his mother's. >> reporter: the boys's mother susan cox powell mysteriously disappeared from her utah home more than two years ago, since then her and powell family embroiled in a bitter custody about thele for the children. today, both families put those differences aside. susan's father thanked the community for the outpouring of compassio compassion. >> it helps us to know there are good people in the world, good people that would fight against evil. >> reporter: police here in washington and in utah are still pushing forward with their investigation into susan's disappearance. investigators say they've discovered a blood-stained comforter in a search of josh powell's storiage unit. today, a community grieving from an unexpeektabspeakable loss an
parents looking for answers. the boys will by buried together after a service. a community wondering what could have been to prevent a tragedy like this. abbie, thank you. turn to the spiralling crisis in syria. a top army general assassinated by gunmen in damascus, the first time a high-level military official killed in the uprising against president assad. the u.s. says it has hard new evidence syrian government's assault on civilians. these satellite photos showing artillery and mortars against the people in homs. >> president ahmadinejad telling the iranians that iran will make a nuclear announcement, unveiling, hi words a big nuclear achievement as tens of thousand marked the 33rd anniversary of the islamic revolution. so i bring in abc's global affairs anchor christiane
amanpour in our london bureau. we heard president ahmadinejad talk about the new nuclear achievement and on the other hand signal readiness to revive talks, which are we to believe? >> reporter: president ahmadinejad talks about new nuclear achievements, designed this time for domestic consumption, on the anniversary of the revolution, a big nation dale. the important thing from their part is reit tate raierating ti ready for talks. at at this time with heightened tension and talk of military intervention. >> the readiness to talk appears to be the real biel dooel. also so much talk about the straight of hormuz, so much oil traveling there and the risk it will be shut down but you learned more information about that. >> reporter: the strait of hormuz and threat to close it ratcheted up tensions to incredible degree over the last several weeks. i've been told by an iranian
official that the person in iran who said that, a member of the revolutionary guard has been roundly rebuked by the senior supreme leader in iran, tellinging him he should not have talked that way about the straits of hormuz. >> thank you so much from our london bureau tonight. >>. >> one more picture from overseas from greece where demonstrators hit the streets of athens as the government moved to put more painful spending cuts. wall street and americans watchiwatch ing 401(k) watches, greek leaders warning of economic ripple effect throughout the global economy if lawmakers don't approve drastic measures, includie ining slashing the min wage and cutting pensions. you know about wasted money if you saw "the money pit" tonight the money pit you're paying for, giant empty buildings on the taxpayer dime. the story behind the movie, one on one with viola davis of
"the help" the personal connection and how many times the story was passed over. later, he was our person of the week last night but that was before we knew what he would do after "world news," you got to see this. ♪ a refrigerator has never been hacked. an online virus has never attacked a corkboard. ♪ give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides... ...with mail. it's good for your business. ♪ and even better for your customers. ♪ for safe and secure ways to stay connected, visit usps.com/mail sometimes life can be, well, a little uncomfortable, but when it's hard or hurts to go to the bathroom, there's dulcolax stool softener. dulcolax stool softener doesn't make you go... it just makes it easier to go.
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americans taxpayer of paying for and the price tag is not small. abc's jon karl reports tonight, it's your money. >> reporter: take a good look at this vacant lot in los angeles. it's about to become a $400 million money pit. the federal government is building a massive new courthouse there even though there are two courthouses nearby. and according to a government report, more courthouse space than is needed. why is this happening? >> it is one of the biggest wastes in government. >> reporter: it's part of a courthouse-building spree started a decade ago when congress believed there would be a huge increase in the need for courtrooms. this recently completed courthouse was built in miami for $163 million, leaving the old one, right down the road, padlocked and abandoned. and here, just a few blocks from the capitol building itself, the federal government spent
$105 million on this shiny new courthouse, leaving the old courthouse open and operating, but for the most part, empty. just look at the empty hallways and deserted courtrooms we found inside. all told, the government accountability office says that $835 million has already been spent over the last decade on unneeded federal courthouses. the chairman of the committee that oversees federal buildings wants to pull the plug on this, starting with that l.a. courthouse. >> both parties need to come together and say enough is enough. >> reporter: but politicians in "atlanti "atlantis" ---los angeles insist the court dlt houses are overcrowded. it is needed now? >> it is absolutely needed. you have dangerous criminals having to go into public elevators and go down public corridors in order to get to the courtroom. >> reporter: the government plans to break ground later this year on the new l.a. courthouse with $400 million of your money.
jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> our thanks to jon for keeping watch. when we come back, one of the oscar favorites, the movie the "help" and the real story of the movie and why it was nearly doomed before anyone even read the story. d opening day. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better, and that means... game on! symbicort is for copd, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections, osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. [ whistle ] with copd, i thought i might miss out on my favorite tradition. now symbicort significantly improves my lung function,
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of the favorites, "the help" celebrates the real life women who raises children in the south, the unsung heroes. deborah roberts and one on one with one of the stars and her personal connection with the movie. >> reporter: it is hollywood's cinderella story. "the help," a low budget film turned blockbuster success that has made major stars of its two main characters. viola davis and octavia spencer are both nominated for academy awards. octavia has already claimed two major awards for her portrayal of minnie, a feisty, hot-tempered maid in 1960s mississippi. >> oh, my god, this means so much to me. >> reporter: is all of this vindication over the naysayers who grumbled that this is hollywood once again embracing a movie with old stereotypes? >> this which is people will probably crucify me. but i don't think it's the
typical what we've always seen. it's told from a perspective we've never heard. >> reporter: "the help" offers a wrenching look at those women who cleaned homes for white families and lovingly raised their children, yet were often denied basic dignities like using the family bathroom. viola davis has won widespread acclaim for her role as abileen, a maid who finds her voice by secretly revealing her life to a young white woman who's writing a controversial book. what was the most wrenching scene for you? >> i have to tell you the most wrenching scenes for me was the bridge club scenes when i had nothing to say. >> a disease preventative initiative -- >> well, i had to convey it all in my face but as a human being not being allowed to express or get it out. and to be able to hear yourself talked about in a way that is demeaning and dehumanizing and
to suck it up and internalize it every single day. i did that for two weeks. it was very difficult. >> reporter: it may just be the hidden strength behind this movie, highlighting a painful moment in the past while offering a new opportunity to talk about it. >> deborah roberts with us to talk about the hidden power behind the film. you told me about the number of times the original book was actually turned down. >> it was rejected by 60 publishers before it was finally picked up and went on to become a runaway success and now, ten years later, nominated for four oscars. >> and for viola who you have come know this film was quite personal? >> reporter: she told me her own mother was a maid and she was able to draw inspiration from her knowledge of that and of course, now all of the remarkable, the daughter of i ma maid. completely, r be