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tv   Nightline  ABC  January 11, 2011 11:35pm-12:05am PST

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twizzlers. the twist you can't resist. tonight on "nightline," miracles of the mind. as her doctors taught congresswoman give ford's progress for recovery, we wonder how the brain can possibly rebound from such trauma and look back at those who have survived from a columbine shooting vick time to jim grady, to our own bob woodruff. plus, the weather bomb? we've had snowpocalypse, snowmageddon and the snowicane. what makes this one different? and, phone wars. it's a smartphone smackdown, as verizon jumps into the iphone market. that ring you hear?
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means the fighting talk as begun. and it's a "sign of the times." >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city this is "nightline," january 11th, 2011. >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. and to begin we want to show you pictures released this evening by the office of representative gabrielle giffords, her husband, u.s. navy captain mark kelly holds her hand inside the hospital room where she is recovers from a gunshot wound to the head. the suspected gunman 22-year-old jared loughner remarkably give formedffords is said to be doing well. here's bob woodruff who brings to the story his own incredible tale of survival. >> was somebody shot then sir? >> yes the guy looked like -- the guy had a semiallutomatic pistol. he went in, he just started
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firing. >> reporter: just after 10:00 in the morning, 22-year-old jared loughner walked straight to gabrielle giffords and shot her point blank in the head. >> he comes out around he goes immediately up to her, fires the first shot. >> reporter: he killed six others in his rampage, but his target was still fighting for her life. >> is anybody injured? did you say gabrielle giffords was hit? >> yeah. she's hit. i believe she's breathing. >> reporter: her story is one of survival, against all olds as she was lifted to tucson's university medical center doctors were preparing for the worst. >> most of the people who get shot in the head don't come here. they are already dead. >> reporter: in 38 minutes, she was on the operating table. her surgeon, dr. michael lemole. >> i was skeptical when the team told me that she was actually following commands before surgery, because her injury seemed too severe for that. >> reporter: the bullet
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penetrated the brain entering in her forehead and exiting the back. her survival is nothing short of a miracle. just hours later -- >> i'm about as optimistic as i can get. >> reporter: in newly released photos, her husband is shone at her bedside. today, her medical team said for the first time she's out of the coma and resuming basic motor functions. >> there are other things coming out now that we've just seen today. scratching her nose. but think about it? scratching your nose. your brain has to say, i have an itch, it bothers me here i'm going to move my hand up there and scratch exactly this point. >> reporter: she's able to breathe on her own, and the tube may come out any time now. her chances of survival are high. but what kind of life will she lead? >> when we finally got to -- miracles that been a word that's used to describe my recovery. nearly five years ago, my life hung on a line after our abc news team was struck by a road
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roadside bomb in iraq. doctors told my wife i might not ever be the same again. but thankfully they were wrong. after 36 days i woke up. it took many months but i slowly was learning how to walk speak and recognize my family and friends. >> belt buckle. >> reporter: i was searching for every word that i could remember. these were promising signs. hammer. hammer. h-a-m-o-r. and i'm not the only one. >> dust particles fall from the ceiling and the ground was shaking. we knew it was pretty read. >> reporter: it was april 20th, 199 9 in littleton, colorado pat ireland was a junior in high school. >> my head came above the table just an inch or two and as soon as i did that the gunmen saw me
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off from a distance and that's when i was hit. i was shot twice in the head and once in the foot. >> reporter: the columbine massacre horrified and changed a nation. 13 were killed and 24 injured. patrick was shot three times, with two bullets in his head an paralyzed on one side he found the strength to escape, out the window. >> the s.w.a.t. team shotted out to me from a distance to stay there and hang on and they would come with me. >> reporter: the image of his escape played out for the nation to watch. he was rushed to the hospital. >> when i was in the ambulance, they were asking me question after question about who i was, what my name was, who, if i could remember my parents names. >> reporter: emergency surgery to save his life lasted for hours. they removed a bullet in his forehead. but the other was deeply lodged in the left half of his brain. so, they left it there.
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his parents were told he might never walk or talk again. but soon, he was proving them wrong. >> the brain is really an amazing thing, and the fact that it was able to recreate a lot of those path ways was very -- i was very fortunate. >> reporter: he had to learn now only how to walk but to talk and write, over mosts of rehab. this neuro surgeon also knows miracles. >> i was reviewing x-rays and my beeper went off. >> shots -- >> reporter: that was march 1981. the day that john hinckley shot president reagan and his press secretary, jim brady as they were leaving the washington hilton. this doctor treated brady. >> his entrance wound was right through his left eyebrow. there was a little gauze over it. i took that piece of gauze off and brain came out like if you squeezed toothpaste.
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i put the gauze back on i thought, this is noted good. i didn't think he had much of a chance to survive. >> reporter: the bullet that struck brady above his left eye has scattered in the right side of his head. his juries were far worse than congresswoman giffords. >> the congresswoman's bullet only affected one hemser if. jim's affected both. that's a far worse injury to affect both hemispheres. >> reporter: and just a couple of weeks later -- >> he woke up which surprised all of us. there are people who do better than anyone would expect from such an event. so, it's hard to predict. you just kind of have to see where it goes. >> reporter: nine months of complicated rehab followed. he stayed paralyzed on one side and still speaks with a slur. but he pulled through. tonight, congresswoman giffords has made it through the first three critical days. >> she has no right to look this guy and she does. we're hopefully. >> reporter: and while they say it's too soon to predict what happens when giffords wakes up,
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it doesn't take a miracle to picture her recovery. >> what will be will be and she's going to work as hard as she needs to. >> reporter: so, there are many questions. giffords is right-handed. but the fact that she's responding is a good sign. and there's a lot that we don't know about the capacity of the brain to adapt and take over the functions of a damged area. >> think about the first time you had to ride a bicycle. your brain was wildly forming new connections and pearing them down. i think it's no different when you're trying to relearn that after a brain injury. have >> are those scissors? >> reporter: looking back, i was able to relearn most of the words that were lost. pill bottle. candle. of course, my memory isn't what it used to be but my kids say i love them even more than before. so great to be home. >> reporter: jim brady went back to work 19 months after he was
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shot. now, at 70 he is still fighting for stricter gun control laws. >> i feel very important to be in the position that i'm in now. through everything that had happened, i probably wouldn't have gone to the school that i went to and as a result i probably wouldn't have met my wife. probably wouldn't have gone into the career that i went into. >> reporter: pat is a managing director, working in finance. he and his wife casey have an 8 month old little girl. he says ss if his past is any indication, giffords has a good chance of recovery. >> i'm sure that her demeanor and the type of person that she is, she will continue to be a hard worker and get through this. >> reporter: if anyone can believe, those of us who have been through it do. this is bob woodruff for "nightline." >> interestingly, one of the doctors we spoke to said that research shows that female brain is better equipped to handle
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brain trauma than the male brain. female brains have more e las elasticity elasticity. meanwhile, jared loughner's parents issued a statement earlier in the day, saying quote, we wish that we could change the heinous events of saturday. we care very deeply about the victims and their families. we are so very sorry for their loss. when we come back, right now, there's snow on the ground in 49 out of the 50 states. we track one huge storm. nighttime nasal congestion meant, i couldn't breathe right. i couldn't sleep right. next day it took forever to get going. night after night, i sat up. sprayed up. took a shower... or took a pill. then i tried drug-free breathe right advanced. and instantly i breathed better! i slept better. it felt...better. thank you, breathe right! [ male announcer ] breathe better, sleep better feel better. now try new breathe right advanced
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. what do northern taxes and southern pennsylvania have in common? though more than 1,000 miles apart, they've been hit by the same storm. it's led to at least 11 deaths and crippled travel canceling 2,500 flights today and stranding drivers, including, for a time our yunji de nies. >> winter storm warnings are up. >> reporter: snow in the northeast in january. >> this is going to be another major storm system. >> reporter: it really shouldn't be a surprise. >> declared a weather emergency. >> reporter: but this time it's different. some are dubbing this the weather bomb. the escalation in the arms race of meet rolg. >> there must be a visibility of a quarter mile or less obstructed by snow and you have to have sustained winds of 35
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miles per hour. and those conditions must occur for at least three hours. >> reporter: the amount of snow actually doesn't matter. but capturing the relative size and strength of recent storms has become a game of top this. >> record-breaking storm comes today! >> reporter: while the storms may not truly be worse, the words used to describe them certainly are. snowmageddon. snow lock lips. snowicane. and now, a weather bomb. >> exploding, bombing, if you will. >> they are all describing the same thing. a storm which rapidly intensifies and during the intensification process, you get bands of heavy snow north and west of the storm. and that's when you can get excessive snow amounts. >> reporter: meanwhile, in the south, the snow may be over but
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freezing cold temperatures have locked the region in ice. in south carolina, the roads were ice skating rinks. in georgia, vehicles have been stuck on this stretch of interstate 285 for 24 hours with jackknifed trucks blocking the way. >> i know people are frustrated and why can't they get these roads cleaned, and we're trying as best we can. >> reporter: passengers spent the night at the atlanta bus station. >> people are hungry. they just let people sit there and starve and not do anything about it. it's just terrible. >> reporter: at least 11 people have been killed. and this southern nightmare is expected to continue through the week. >> unfortunately, we're not going to be getting any warmth any time soon. so, the snow and ice that accumulated in the south, it's going to take days before we can finally get rid of all that. >> reporter: i've been stuck in my own travel turmoil for the
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last two days. trying to drive from birmingham alabama, back to atlanta. there's ice on the sides of the road but there's a clear path in the middle and we're staying on it. doing exactly what i shouldn't be doing in the aftermath of an ice storm. it's okay. i don't know but it's what you don't see that you need to be worried about. after three and a half hours of very careful driving, we got to the outskirts of the city. one car after another keeps skidding in front of us. and met a very frustrated stranded trucker. have you been talking to other truckers? >> everybody's talking. >> reporter: what are you saying? >> the worst area to be on the road conditions. >> reporter: the storm that brought chaos to the south is now setting its sights on the mid-atlantic and northeast. >> we're expecting four to eight inches in and around
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philadelphia. new york city, 6 to 12. but the worst of this storm is going to be across southern new england, where hartford brov dense, boston booster, massachusetts, they could see over a foot, with lots of blowing and drifting. >> reporter: this evening, new york city declared a weather emergency. >> what we sure know is that tomorrow morning's commute is not going to be easy. >> reporter: mayor bloomberg came under harsh criticism for the city's response for the last storm, even ending up the target of a "saturday night live" skit. >> tonight i am pleased to report that even as we speak, thousands of city sanitation workers are out in the plows. they're not plowing yet. right now, they're playing cards. that's in their contract. after they're done playing cards, they'll look at internet porn for an hour or so. >> reporter: today, he was quick to assure the city that lessons had been learned. >> you should know that our sanitation department has 365 salt spreaders and 1,700 plows
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ready. >> reporter: balances have even been issued sleds to move patients across snow. >> you want to go faster? >> no, this is good. >> reporter: and while a storm like this can be fun at the beginning, at this point, back in georgia, it's just a mess. we made it! it is five hours later, a lot of white knuckling but we're here we're safe. the roads are almost empty, so obviously, everyone is smarter than us, and i'm yunji de nies for "nightline," and i am very happy to be home. >> i bet. sleep tight. up next it's a phone fra kas. two industry giants wage a war of wars as a new smartphone makes its way to the market. ñzñzñzñzñzñz host: could switching to geico really save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance? host: was ab lincoln honest? mary todd: does this dress make my backside look big? abe: perhaps
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@@ >> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> 6 1/2 million. that's how many one expert says at&t stands to lose with verizon's official entry today into the iphone market. those are high stakes worthy of a corporate war and verbal sparring between the two companies has already begun. and for neal karlinsky, the phone wars are a "sign of the times." >> reporter: let's face it. after all the hype all the pomp and circumstance, isn't this a bit ridiculous? all this for just another cell phone? >> okay, i guess by the looks of all of you here in the room you're expecting a big announcement today. >> reporter: but this isn't about just a phone. this is the iphone, this is at&t
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versus verizon. this is war. >> we're incredibly pleased to give verizon customers the choice they've been waiting for. we've designed an iphone 4, which has all the features that you would expect. >> reporter: at the heart of the fight is a single constant iphone complaint. it's an amazing device but boy, does it drop calls. and the blame has landed squarely on at&t. >> they have really dropped the ball on this. think had a golden nen opportunity. they could have been kings. and instead they are the object of so much ire. >> reporter: verizon has bided its time without an iphone. they played their strongest until now. a highly rated network that allows people to actually make phone calls. today, the war of words is in full swing with a spokesman for at&t firing off this barrage. i'm not sure iphone users are
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ready for life in the slow lane. a comment on the speed of verizon's data network. verizon said at&t is known for a lot of things but network quality is not one of them. then adding a comment you might expect to hear more on a play ground than in a boardroom, it must be backwards day at at&t. it's shaping up like coke versus pepsi in the days of the cola wars. get out your blindfolds and get ready to make some calls. the taste test is all about the bars. >> when at&t started having network problems, everybody thought they were going to take care of it and they didn't. nobody predicted, initially, exactly how much drain this phone was going to put on their network. verizon could be poised for the same thing. except, we've talked to them and they seem extremely confident. >> reporter: analysts are already projecting that at&t could lose 6 1/2 million tolver
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rison just this year. what about the other phones out there? google got into the race selling android phones on just about every carrier. >> verizon is a big problem for at&t, to end their exclusivity but that's not going to slow their growth to a halt. >> going to pick up a lot of new customers who have really said, i want an iphone but i want verizon first and now they get to get the phone they've been waiting for since 2007. >> reporter: how far things have come since 2007 when the iphone was a mustry and steve jobs himself told us he had to hide just to use it. >> are you using that as your phone? >> i haven't been able to because i can't take it out in public. i've had one at home for awhile. >> reporter: after today? >> i'm going to start using it. >> reporter: the world hasn't been the same since. as promised, the iphone reinvented the phone changed mobile computing, and now,
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there's going to be even more of them out there. once again with today's news while verizon and at&t duke it out, the only clear winner is apple. i'm neal karlinsky for "nightline" in los angeles. >> well, it's a fight that's still too early to call. pun intended. when we come back, an emergency arizona law, that's the subject of tonight's closing argument. but first, jimmy kimmel. >> jimmy: tonight, channing tatum is with us. from "off the map," mamie gummer. and n
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