tv News 4 at 4 NBC August 18, 2009 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
assignment. here is another live look at the closing bell where today the market managed to recover some of yesterday's losses. stock prices were up in part because of better than expected earnings reports from retailers. and more positive numbers from the housing front. >> experts say there is no doubt the recession is winding down but the rebirth will be a slow one. if consumers don't buy into it. leanne gregg has the latest. >> reporter: key to america's recovery, the house market. numbers from the commerce department shows new home sales numbers closed down close 240% from the same time last year. new construction of ltifamiliar line its like apartment buildings dropped more than 13% in july. largely because of tight credit. sile family home construction, the worst hit part of the housing market, rose close to 2%. the fifth monthly increase in a row. >> the important thing is the shift in momentum. at the bottom, not a big bounce-up. >> reporter: a first-time home
buying tax credit had an impact and foreclosures made home buying in even the most unaffordable markets like california doable, skewing the housing numbers. >> we are now hearing stories of bidding wars between first-time buyers and speculators going after foreclosed homes that are now 50% off their peaks or even more. >> reporter: the u.s. economy can't rebound without consumer spending and many economists say the consumer can't start spending until the housing market and employment stabilize. that's why retailers earnings reports are so closely watched. u.s. stocks opened higher this morning with better than expected results from some retailers especially discounters. >> value is still important and as a result you are seeing the value retailers gain shares clearly where the demands are. >> reporter: despite positive number it is recession's impact may be felt for some time. leanne gregg, nbc news.
the confidence level in the housing industry this month is the miest it has been in more than a year. one lawmaker described him as a washington constitution. robert novak has died today after a long battle with brain cancer. his wife said he died early this morning at his home in washington. novak had been a columnist for the "chicago sun-times" for decades. he became a household name and face as commentator and co-host of cnn's "crossfire." he became a big story of washington himself as he was the first to publish the name of valerie plame, an employee at the center of th cia leak investigation. novak was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in july of last year. he was 78 years old. a 14-year-old southeast d.c. girl is recovering this afternoon after being shot twice in the back. what's more frightening it happened while she was inside her own house. the shots fired by someone
outside. megan mcgrath talked with the girl and her family this morning. they say it could have been a whole lot worse. >> right here. >> reporter: queen gaither points out one of the bullet holes. late last night gaither's town home was hit by a hail of gunfire. some of the nine bullets pierced the wall and entered the house. gaither's 14-year-old daughter, who was upstairs, was hit twice in the back. because she is a minor we are disguising her face. >> heard the pop come through the window, in the room. it struck me in the back. >> did you know you had been shot? how many bullets came into your house? >> nine. nin. two struck her. two was in the pillow. if she was laying on her bed on her pillow she would have gotten hit twice. >> reporter: this isn't the first time the home has been hit by bullets. the hole in this picture is from another incident that happened
four months ago. no one was hurt that time. she says young people gather on her corner and in the park across the street when guns are drawn, her house is in the cross fire. >> i think they were shooting at the boys outside. they just -- by them being around here at the play ground, it is still going to come our way. >> reporter: this morning an increased police presence could be seen in the neighborhood. these officers are investigating a series of burglaries in the area. residents say that this last week has been particularly bad. >> over $300,000. hi to have bullets come through my window, seven homes have been burglarized in the last three days. my friend's car windshield has been busted and the side window has been busted and every night is a nightmare. i can't sleep. there's all kinds of gunshots. >> reporter: pole are hoping some witnesses will come forward to provide information about who was hanging out in the area prior to the shooting. so far, no arrests have been
made. in southeast, megan mcgrath, news4. a series of overnight fires prompts an arson investigation in montgomery county. >> expanded cell phone service is coming to metro. here's a look at four other stories making headlines in our area today. investigators are looking into a series of fires set in damascus, maryland, burning bales of hay sent huge of clouds of smoke into the air. four of the blazes fire fighters went to put out were hay fires. a construction worker recuperating from a fall inside after building in northeast d.c. he was part of a crew working on a high-rise here on first and k streets northeast this morning. when he fwel 20 feet down a shaft. firefighrs say a piece of plywood helped break his fall. the worker was still breathing and conscious when rescuers got to him. his injuries were serious but is expected to be okay. get ready to hear more chatter on metro. wireless carrier at&t and
t-mobile will install new hardware that will let riders call inside 20 different stations. sprint customers can already get service on metro and will install new hardware. customers should be able to use their phones on trains by october 16. australian couple's record breaking journey h ended right re in our area. healthen and john taylor are fuel-efficiency experts. this afternoon they finished driving more than 9,000 miles through all 48 contiguous states in our country. getting an average of about 68 les per gallon during their journey. shat terse record they set last year of about 5 miles a gallon day three of 90-degree temperatures here in washington. any chance we could get cooling storms? veronica johnson has our fast forecast from storm center 4. >> thanks, barbara. we are getting cooling storms. at least a few neighborhoods right now. coming through southern montgomery county, eastern fairfax and into the district
soon. so wheaton, you folks have lightning around your area and cooling storms. these are moving very quickly off to the east. and out of fairfax county, too, around oakton and the annandale area moving east towards the district, too. got more thunderstorms again. there's lightning with some of these. loop over the last couple of hours coming through sterling and just south of the rockville area. lot of lightning there dissipating but just off to the west coming in into northern loudoun county. there will be some more. now i think we could have thunderstorms, isolated thunderstorms, around for the overnight period. at least the early night. 93 is the temperature. we sure could have used a cooling off. today we are at the 18th 90-degree day for the year. fewer than average. 90s will roll on the next couple of days, too. 75, cooling off in martin burs,burg. it will be cooling off tonight. cropping to about 80 degrees by 11:00. so a few evening early night storms for us. heat and humidity continues and
we will talk about the needed rain for this area in just a few minutes. >> veronica, thanks. the white house is out with a new message in the health care reform debate today. the public insurance option is not dead, according to the obama administration. but there is still plenty of opposition to the public option from law make others both sides of the political aisle and their constituents. steve handelsmans that latest from capitol hill. >> reporter: he called it one sliver of health care reform but says president obama is still fight for the public option, government option. so is its health secretary today. >> we continue to support the public option, lower costs, give americans and consumers more choice, and keep private insurers honest. >> reporter: after two weeks of town halls, where the public option is a big issue, ams r finds america has changed its mind. now opposing the public option
47% to 43%. last month it was 46% to 44% in favor. >> the public doesn't necessarily have the appetite for big governmental change in health care right now. >> reporter: the republican point man on reform said told you so. >> bottom line it is that a public option is resented by a lot of republicans and some democrats because we feel it is the first step towards government takeover of health care. >> reporter: team obama claims republicans like grassley are scaring the public by spreading falsehoods. >> pull the plug. >> reporter: this was gop senator jim demint. >> you heard the president say you are too old for the pace maker and you need painkillers. the president shouldn't decide what kind of health care we are to get. >> reporter: obama aides insist he has not lost. >> the preferred meth. he certainly is hoping to looking at and discussing other ideas. >> reporter: which sounds to many democrats like a presidential cave-in on a key
part of reform. some democrats up here are saying they won't vote for any health care package without the public option. i'm steve handelsman's, news4, capitol hill. we are just getting started on "news4 at 4:00." talking about an unusual parking spot a car see to defy gravity on this drawbridge. south carolina's first lady is speaking her mind about her husband's affair. why she compares it to drugs and alcohol. is your summer open footwear putting your health at risk? find out what may be lurking inside your summer flip-flops. we thought she was out but will paula abdul change her mind and return to "american idol"? we know another show she won't be doing.
take a look at where one driver's car wound up. a picture you have to see to believe. police in wisconsin are trying to figure out how this vehicle not only ended up perch order the drawbridge but also where the driver disappeared to when the bridge operators noticed the car was up there, they lowered the bridge and the driver drove
away. police say they didn't learn of the incident until reporters contacted them. now police are looking for the driver of that car so they can try to prevent it from happening again. they are not just for the beach. most everyone wears flip-flop these days. they are a mainstay for school for many. some are concerned about possible health risks they pose. michelle kosinski reports. >> reporter: dangerous footwear. do your parents know where your flip-flops have been? >> not always. sometimes. >> reporter: the flip-flopping has become our walk through anything mainstay. in the city, wear them to the white house. do you know what can be lurk
inside them? ♪ flip-flops >> reporter: "the new york daily news" made them not so fun anymore. they test ad few and found nasty staph infections. we decid to investigate and brought out our emergency mobile flip-flop lab and went in. >> you think that's normal? if had you to guess what might be growing in some of those shoes -- >> fungus. >> reporter: if your shoe could speak to us -- >> probably say dirty things. subway in philadelphia. it has cow manure. >> reporter: winner or losing was pete from philly. his 6-year-old leather specimens were covered with infectious germs. and the bacteria that caused yet infections and diaper rash. >> think i will be throwing them away. >> reporter: all of the flip-floppers we tested were carrying some foul companions down there. some that live inside the intestines. even drug-resistant bacteria. >> he actually got an infection with these. it could be very serious. >> reporter: only really if you
have a compromising new system or a cut on your foot. >> as long as your skin is intact, as long as you use common sense, and don't knowingly expose yourself, i think you shouldn't be alarmed. even though those nasty things are out there, those nasty things have always been out there. we just haven't always been looking for them. >> reporter: you can always protect yourself or maybe clean those disease-ridden shoes of pandemic doom with soap. we know where you have been flopping. it ain't so pretty as your fancy toenails lead us to believe. >> doctors report other health concerns from folks that wear flip-flops including twisted ankles, joent pain andresearch snacks like popcorn can be as healthy as fruits and vegetables when it comes to antioxidants. researchers at the university of scranton studied the amount of healthy antioxidants in cold
cereals and whole grain snacks and found that popcorn had more antioxidants than the pasta, chips and crackers they tested. corn, wheat and oat cereals were found to be comparable to fruit and vegetables. kids in our area are heading back to school and here at news4 we are holding our annual backpack for kids drive. it is an effort to get students in need. school supplies they need to be successful. pat lawson muse joins us live from the tinley town cvs with more on how you can help. hey, pat. >> reporter: hi, barbara. you know, the -- the school year comes so quickly. summer goes so quickly. already it is time for kids to get back to the books. as you know, in this tough economy there are a lot of kids that need books and supplies. so all day we have been here in the 4500 block of wisconsin avenue northwest. collecting backpacks for kids and backpacks filled with supplies, paper and pencils and glue, rulers, wet wipes, water, crackers. all the kids kids need to get them started on the new year.
we do this at news4. we have done it the past four years and do it with the help of parters like g.e. capit. you supported this campaign for theast three years, this is the fourth year. you donated. >> correct. we donated for the past four years because we really believe that g.e. capital, in preparing the students and making sure they go back to school ready to learn sex treatmently important and we believe that giving back to the community through work is imperative and encourage all area business tows come down and make a donation and go online to nbcwashington.com and do the same. r>>eporter: one of our other partn partners, one of our partners you work with us on so many campaigns. tell us about the need in our community. >> the need is tremendous. i mean, one of the most -- one of the favorite times of the year is going back to school. but to go back to school unequipped is one thing i think no young child wants to do.
if we can pour out our hearts ask dollars and bring out backpacks and get supplies, backpacks filled with supplies every young person will get that great start they need to get the -- school year started. >> reporter: thanks so much. very quickly, you go to a cvs store, pay $12.99,ep.99,on deon the storrs o tgoatthr go ton iogeatd ant card donn ioged t a list of the cvs locations near you. help us out and help a lot of kids get a good start to the new school year. >> a lot of kids are counting on it. good stuff in those backpacks. coming up next on "news4 at 4:00" if you are heading to the airport labor department you may find yourself with extra room on the plane. silencing those tweets. why so many organizations are cracking down on twitter. a new way to kick a bad habit that you may not have thought of before.
the air transport association says 1 million fewer people than last year will take to the skies. 16 million passengers are expected to fly on domestic carriers the holiday weekend, down from 17 million last year. 3.5% decline and experts say it is due to the economic climate. the air transport association says airports will be less crowded but planes will be near or at capacity. depending on where you are, we do have a range in temperatures today where i was standing today, it was cooking. >> hot and steamy, i'm sure. yes. big range in temperatures from those locations that have gotten the cooling storms. they dropped almost 20 degrees. western maryland, i will show you those locations in just a moment. and if -- listening and maybe you are like what was that, some thunder coming through, indeed, yes, we have torndsterms out there. they are pretty isolated now. no severe weather for us but at the end of week that could change where we will be looking at some thunderstorms. tseveresthunderstorms at that. coming through at the endve of e
week. 91 the temperature. reagan nationa e airport. dew point is at 67 degrees. and relative humidity at 45%. winds out of the south at 9. heat index is at 96 degrees. last hour, it was up to 100. again, we cooled off a little bit with some rain in the area. so degrees here. 77 in atlanta. cooler for them. 87 right along the coast. new orleans and jacksonville, florida. 87 and 90 degrees down in miami. again, what we have seen over the last 24 hours, more humidity getting thrown into the area. look at the dew point temperatures. we are at 67 degrees. anything over 70 is very humid and that is where we will be sitting in a steam bath for the next couple of days which still temperatures due to get over 90 degrees at least for the next two. the heat index now is 96 degrees here and one of the warmest spots over the northeastern quarter of the country, 96. feels like 103 degrees in miami florida.
we are seeing the remnants of claudette. what was claudette. it moved ashore early. yesterday fort paul ton beach, that moisture p moisture has been drawing to north quickly. it has been interacting with this. weather front that's just off to the west of us, and that's the front will be giving us a better chance for thunderstorms as we move through the workweek. especially at the end of the week. we have a few right now in the instability that's going on, mclean and around silver spring, areas of southern montgomery county. out of fairfax and into the district. one cell still producing some lightning we don't have any hail and we don't have any high winds. one thing we do have again is some lightning out there. there may be a little more coming through later tonight and again in the way especially around 7:00 and 9:00. there's the one cell we watched heading out around areas of northern anne arundel county now. how much is it producing? almost a half inch of rain, western maryland. the high was 98.
winchester, .12 inches of rain. bill is expected saturday, late friday, early saturday. make its move west of bermuda. let's get you updated here with visual forecast. warm and humid. 86 and 91 degrees for the evening. by tomorrow morning, temperatures will be cooling off but not in a big way. we have another hot day coming our way tomorrow with afternoon thunderstorm barbara and jim. >> thank you. still ahead on "news4 at 4:00," this afternoon, extreme measures to cut the budget in chicago leave somes residents caught off guard. >> south carolina's first lady opens up to "vogue" magazine about her husband's affair. it is the newest tourist attraction. how some visitors to new york are getting an up-close and personal look at what's been dubbed the miracle on the hudson.%.
welcome back to 4:0. i'm barbara harrison. >> i'm jim handly. a look at the top stories we are following for you. a 14-year-old southeast washington girl is recovering today after being shot in her home overnight. someone fired a gun outside of her family's townhouse about midnight. nine bullets entered the house. two hit the girl in the back. police are searching for suspects. columnist and tv commentator robert novak died this morning following a yearlong battle with brain cancer. novak was born and raised in joel yet, illinois and became a familiar face on several washington political talk shows. the family said he died at his home in d.c. he was 78 years old. more people will soon be able to use their phones on metro. wireless carriers, at&t and t-mobile, verizon, too, and sprint all are going tune stall new hardware that will let riders make calls, send texts and surf the web inside of 20 different metro stations. customers should be able to use
their phones on trains by october 16th. >> pretty cool. like many cities and countries in our area and across the country, chicago is facing budget troubles to help close the gap the city is shutting down for some forced furlough days. >> the first one was yesterday. it caught some residents by surprise and had some city workers doing double duty. leanne gregg has our report. >> reporter: today trash haulers will play catchup after letting trash pile up yesterday. the workers, along with many other city employees were off the job monday, as part after plan to help reel in the budget. many residents were surprised when they showed up at city hall needing documents and greeted with a closed sign. >> i need it today because i'm going to court. i need to show it to the judge to prove my grandmother passed. >> reporter: the city of chicago will cut services for two more days this year. everything from health clinics to libraries. troubling for this man that uses
the library for the internet. >> it is hard. everybody is out looking for jobs. >> reporter: across the country, cities, counties and at least a dozen states have made unpaid furlough days a new reality of the recession. as revenues from sales and property taxes, investment income, and building fees continue to plummet, these signs on government buildings are a sign of the time. leanne gregg, nbc news. police and firefighters are not involved in those furloughs. officials estimate that they will save more than $8 million with the furloughs. the so-called miracle on the hudson has become part of new york city history. now the crash site has been added to tours of the city's waterways. passengers aboard waterway harbor cruises can now float over the spot where us airways flight 1545 land medical the hudson back in january after its engines were knocked out by geese. and during the 90-miniature passengers hear stories of how the heroic efforts of captain
sully sullenberger and his crew made the landing possible. and how waterway workers came to their rescue. all 155 passengers aboard survived. the company said it decided to add the tour because so many tourists had asked about it. her first extensive interview since leaving her husband, south carolina first lady jenny sanford shares her thoughts about their troubled marriage. sanford moved out of the governor's mansion earlier this month when her husband's fair with an argentine woman was made public. she has been living at the family's oceanfront cottage. in the september issue of "vogue" magazine, mrs. sanford compared her husband's affair to an addictazag i meecinshe he tt bam magine it becamee cl mr e he was justth going to ses o t see this ledrnea ledrn that almost like an addiction to alcohol or e al told the toldhe neverurto od re m hcc me would o sothkeinlig at.
the person i marriedas w c wr tn order a core ofratemols.mo cee person who did this is not ntered on thoseor ms. m on the other hand, the other woman, she said, i fee sorry for the oer woman. i am sure she's a fine person. 'titan ce be fun for her though do i sometimes question her judgment. and as far the future, mrs. nfor d seemed to be open to a poible reconciliation. ow i n th n iit think it is up to my hba tndin tng see if srcohi he wants to stay married. the ball is in his court. still ahead today on "news4 at 4:00," seems about just like everybody is on twitter these days. why are so many organizations starting to crack down on tweets? what is paula planning? you wi you probably won't see her dancing with the star
welcome back. veronica johnson in storm center 4. lightning moving through eastern howard county and northern anne arundel county. as we zoom in there around southern montgomery county and coming out of fairfax, there is more showers and thundershowers, potomac, hin point headed east to wheaton and bethesda area,
temperatures cooling off. in the 90s to upper 80s. and we will see temperatures cool off even more as this shower -- thundershower activity oo akyoes for another couple ofe take a look at your 7-day forecast. what we can expect for the remainder of the workweek. up to another high of 90 degrees tomorrow. 91 for thursday. the humidity, haze continues. friday 50% chance of showers and storms. saturday we get the break with less oppressive air across the area. more comfortable conditions. sunday, beginning the workweek, looking pretty nice as we cool off into the 80s. but some much needed rainfall headed our way as we just have a third of what the rainfall should be for this month of august. back to you. >> thank you. redskins fans will have to turn to something other than twitter to get the reports on injuries. rosterses and drills from training camp. the team has now banned media organizations from tweeting on practices during the preseason. it is a growing trend in the nfl. some teams only allow media
tweeting for the first 20 minutes of camp. for many fans, there's no tweeting, blogging or texting at all. corporations are also concerned that tweet cog share trade secrets and strategies with the competition and outsiders. >> trying to control information flow, all the big old organizations want to figure out what to do with this new tool and how to manage when all of their employees can suddenly talk to the world. >> reporter: this month the u.s. marines banned twitter over fear it is network would be vulnerable to attacks by hackers. coming up, one of michael jackson's most famous gloves could be yours. find out how much it might go for. going high-tech to kick that addiction. how one man used facebook to help give up smoking. a
michael jackson's death, we are hearing from his doctor. earlier today, dr. conrad murray issued on statement on youtube to his supporters. he says because of all that's going on, he is afraid to return phone calls or e-mails and while not being too specific, murray maintained his innocence. >> i have done all i could do. i told the truth. i have faith that the truth will prevail. god bless you. >> murray has been at the center of the ongoing death investigation for the late king of pop. while there has been no official ruling, it is believed that jackson overdosed on a powerful anesthetic usually reserved for hospital use. jackson'samous sequin glove he wore at the motown 25 anniversary special could be yours. but for a brief moment this morning today's show host matt lauer not only put it on, he was inspired to do one of jackson's signature dance moves. the glove is one of many
personal items belonging to the pop icon being auctioned off later this year in new york. you can also bid on outfits worn by michael jackson in music videos and artwork he drew or paint. >> i think he did pretty well with that move. all day long news4 has been out along with our corporate partners collecting backpacks and other school supplies for students in need. pat lawson muse joins us live from the tinley town cvs with more. >> reporter: this has been a tremendous effort today. we are still collecting backpacks for kids. we have a pile -- a pretty tall pile over there, backpacks donated to the cvs. 455 wisconsin northwest. we still need your help in order to provide backpacks for thousands of needy kids in the washington area. all have you do is go to a local cvs store, pay $12.99, buy the pack pack and donate the backpack at the store or you can do it online. news4 has a lot of partners in
this. our co-sponsor is cvs and tim is the cvs regional salesmanag man >> we have sold over 500 backpacks at this location. throughout the stores we collected over 1,250 backpacks. we filled 4,000. we still have a long way to go to get to the goal of getting all the backpacks into the hands of the kids that need them in time for school to start. >> reporter: you are collecting donations on online. that's an effort that's ongoing. >> donations ongoing at nbcwashington.com. you can go there and aenotal gotten a totalhaortt t t.ye t aw kilt tl wdd ao t o total. we are still here to 6:00 tonight. the rain is letting up. come on down. >> reporter: we have a lot of work to do. the rain cooled things off. but it has been hot today. del is one of our corporate partners. del is with g.e. you worked with us the past three years. tell us how you can encourage
other business tows get involved. >> this is -- our third year in a row of doing this for general electric and g.e. volunteers and donated $500 in cash. we had employees here throughout the day working at the booths and encouraging other businesses and citizens to participate. in this environment of those that have the ability to help really need to help and i encourage all the business necessary the washington, d.c., and surrounding areas to step up to the plate and make donations of backpacks of school supplies. >> reporter: del, thank you so much. it is easy to do. you don't have to come out in a the rain, you can go to our websit nbcwasnghicotonbcwashing. an ynbkemaour donation bykerediy card. again, $12.99 plus o a g tal l s yoyocan find a list ofif all stor st tsnghipa this dgoak a mndnd mree youror comew news the rain. o rahe. h a o tpwe tatreaiheen rra appreciat the rain to cool us off. come and see us here on wisconsin avenue and make your
donation here. do something and help us supply needy kids withackpacks to get their school year off to a good start. back to you in the studio. >> great effort. i know you have been there since we started. early this morning. thank you. >> thank you, pat. coming up next on "news4 at 4:00," it is official. paula abdul isn't going dancing. will she return to the judges' table at "idol"? >> facebook users take them t court. coming up tonight on "news4 at 5:00" -- >> new informationm pari froor to decide about the new vaccine. another metro death. a contractor electric cute order the job. another developing sto
it has cooled off out there. 90 degrees earlier in martinsburg. we are still holding in the 90s but have shower activity out there. we take on the rockies, colorado rockies. here is a look at the radar. right now around oakton, fairfax, wet weather with showers moving through. wheaton and chevy chase will be picking up showers as well. and take a look at the area with heavy rain coming through, east of pasadena and you will be picking up more of that. probably until about 8:00 or 9:00, i see showers moving through the area. so 5:00, 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, no rain in the forecast. you will need your umbrella for the afternoon. we will start out with 74, 75 degrees. the high tomorrow is 09. with more widespread showers and thunderstorms through the area. i think it is at the p end of the week where there is that possibility. possible bill of severe weather in the area. but it will be very humid and hot for the remainder of the
top stories making news on th webtoday. >> could paula abdul returning to "american idol"? cast member died monday while rehearsing a show at walt disney world in florida. the stunt performer suffered a head injury while doing a tumbling roll for the "indiana jones" spectacular. he was taken to the hop where he died. disney says it will cancel today's "indiana jones" show in memory of the actor. this is the third employee's
death in just over a month at the park. could paula abdul be returning to "american idol"? she said she was leaving "idol" when contract talks broke down. there was talk about "dancing with the stars" picking her up. that didn't happen. so now comes word that she's in talks with "idol" again. take a good look at amazing automobiles sold for an unbelievable price. at an auction in pebble beach, california, 1962 ferrari 250 california spider got the attention of everyone at the pebble beach auction sunday. the car that allegedly won every ward imaginable and sold to an unnamed buyer for just over $5 million. it was the highest sale price of any car at the event running by good and company. jerry seinfeld and jair leno, both loved exotic cars for years, entered autos in the event, too. popular social networking website is being sued for how it
uses people's personal information. five facebook users have filed a lawsuit in california alleging the website violates privacy laws and misleads people about how their information is used. the lawsuit alleges facebook violates privacy laws by distributing personal information posted by users to third parties. facebook has not commented on the lawsuit. barbara? quitting smoke sing never easy. for many it requires a support of friends and loved ones. keith garvin has the story of one man who used his facebook friends to conquer his addiction. >> reporter: >> if i could take back anything in my life, it would be that, i never started smoking. >> reporter: for 33 years, michael was a smoker. at his worst, he was burning through two packs a day. >> physically i was coughing all the time. i was short of breath sometimes. and i -- just wasn't feeling very good at all. >> reporter: where he decided to quit at age 47, he knew he would need support from his friends. and a lot of it.
try about 500 friends. >> good job, mike. almost two weeks. now you got it beat. keep up the goodwork. i have 500 people following me on facebook and i'm going to put it out there. i'm going quit smoking and the people have my permission to give me grief if i didn't do it. >> reporter: he announced on facebook he was quitting smoking and if he felt the urge for a drag he yum dated his status and friends responded by telling him to stay strong. he says it was like being peer pressured to quit. >> i thought i can't start smoking now. i can't go back on what i said i was going to do. it is different when you just make a promise to yourself. if you break that you can rationalize it and you can say well, this is what i want. but if you have told many, many people, you are letting them down and you are viewing yourself differently. >> reporter: a sue ki tryst that specializes in treating addictions, he says using facebook and other social networking tools to conquer dependencies is similar to depending support groups. >> one of the theories about
drug use is that people use drugs as a replacement for good relationships. and it takes it in reverse. it gives relationship fulfil fulfillme fulfillment. rip it may not work for everyone. for some the facebook friendships are too superficial and words of support don't have the same meelg. not so for michael. it has been five weeks since he has had a smoke. the longest he has ever gone without a cigarette. he said he's feeling better than ever. >> it has not been easy. the prospect of going back to smoking in front of all those people, i have