tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC March 23, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
if you have the lotto tykit that wins tonight, you tonight on "world news," flash point. the president gets personal about the trayvon martin case. as thousands and thousands of people across the country wear hoodies as a show of support. revved up. a record-breaking month for car sales. which car do your neighbors most want to buy? star power. meryl streep, johnny depp, kelly ripa, teaming up to fight bullies. and hero or hoax? a man taking flight. the incredible video and the embarrassing morning after. good evening. something extraordinary happened across the country today, one month after a young man named trayvon martin was shot by a man on a neighborhood crime watch.
martin had gone out to buy candy, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and all day long, thousands and thousands of people have been posting pictures of themselves wearing hoodies. a father and his son. children and adults standing united. and a classroom filled with students. more of them gathering outside, holding signs, saying, do we look suspicious? in trayvon's hometown, lebron james and the miami heat standing in solidarity. and then the president himself, in the white house rose garden, was asked about the shooting, and his answer was a personal one. >> i can only imagine what these parents are going through. and when i think about this boy, i think about my own kids. but my main message is, to the parents of trayvon martin.
you know, if i had a son, he'd look like trayvon. >> let's begin now with abc's matt gutman, at the center of the story, where there is news today about the shooter. matt? >> reporter: good evening, diane. tonight, for the first time, is officials here admitting they know how to contact george zimmerman. he's the neighborhood crime watch captain who, in this very spot, shot and killed trayvon martin. now, he's become something of a ghost here, but there are acros the country, clamoring for his arrest and for justice. from coast to coast, thousands of high school students streaming out of schools today, wearing hoodies. now, the symbol of the trayvon martin tragedy. the shooting of one unarmed black teen morphing into a debate about race and justice in america. >> it hurt me to my heart that it could happen to anyone's child. and it could very well have been mine. >> reporter: in south florida, 25 schools emptied out. students forming martin's initials on the football field.
in new jersey, teachers handed out iced tea and skittles, which martin was carrying when he was shot. ♪ i know change is going to come ♪ >> reporter: on the steps of the capitol in washington, congressional staffers. and online, pictures, faces, black, white, young, old, all of them wearing hoodie, in a massive show of support. but on television, a fox news host claiming it was the sweatshirt that made trayvon a target. >> i think the hoodie is as much responsible for trayvon martin's death as george zimmerman was. >> reporter: the comments provoked a firestorm, and rivera later tweeted, "my own son just wrote to say he's ashamed of my position." meanwhile, still no sign of george zimmerman. but today, officials revealed they do know how to contact him. >> we can get in touch with him but we are not providing him any security that i'm aware of. >> reporter: yesterday, the town's police chief resigned. the florida governor launched a high level probe into trayvon's death and its troubled investigation. and tonight, diane, increasing
concern that initial mistakes made here investigating this crime scene could hinder the case against george zimmerman. diane? >> thank you, matt. and as we mentioned, the president spoke in unusually personal terms. the white house said he had been expecting a question, had thought a long time about his answer, an answer that evokes a conversation a lot of african-american parents have with their sons. abc's pierre thomas tells us about private warnings some parents give about unspoken rules. >> reporter: just about everybody in the black community is talking about trayvon martin. >> that could be any of us, you know? any of our children. our brothers. >> i don't want to be like treyvon martin's mom, burying my child. >> reporter: today, suburban moms racine tucker-hamilton and lagreta dennis are giving their sons specific instructions for survival. the uncomfortable conversations, necessary for generations, still taking place. >> once they started looking
like men, which is about 14 or 15, even though they're children, i basically told them, now you're perceived as a black man in society. >> reporter: even a trip to the store is not routine. >> i tell them, always you have to keep your hands out of your pocket because people will perceive that as threatening or they may think that you've stolen something. >> if you walk in a building and you have your hood on from being outside, take that hood off. if you go in a store and you buy something, always put your item, even if it is a pack of gum, get it in a bag and get your receipt. >> reporter: the moms also say don't stand too close to people, particularly women. and when stopped by the police -- >> don't reach for anything. roll down the window. be respectful. ask the officer if you could please call your parents. i want to be on the phone to hear the conversation. >> reporter: their sons -- honor roll students -- still feel the pressure. >> sometimes when i'm riding the metro, like, i'll walk right by somebody and they'll kind of, like, tighten up.
>> it is frustrating. i get kind of angry. >> reporter: it's painful. it's just painful that you have to think two steps ahead, just because of the color of your skin. >> it is painful. but unfortunately, it's a reality for us. at the end of the day, i want my sons to come home alive. >> reporter: diane, what struck me is that these women are having these conversations with their sons every day. >> pierre thomas, giving us a window onto those private conversations. thank you so much. and now, we turn to that deadly rampage in afghanistan, the murders of 17 unarmed villagers. today, military prosecutors at ft. leavenworth, kansas, formally charged an army sergeant, calling the killings a deliberate and calculated act of violence. here's abc's martha raddatz. >> reporter: the details of the charges are so stark and horrific. 17 people murdered and six horribly wounded. the majority, women and children, shot in the head, the
chest, the groin. >> the government is alleging that this was a premeditated act. that sergeant bales thought about for at least an instant, that he didn't make a mistake. >> reporter: if staff sergeant robert bales is convicted, the best he can hope for is life in prison with the possibility of parole. the worst, death. bales' lawyer insists the case against his client is weak. >> there's no crime scene, there's no csi stuff, there's no fingerprints, no ballistics. >> reporter: but images from that first day tell another story. >> there are investigators looking through the grounds, presumably looking for shell casings, looking for other identifying information that would tie sergeant bales to the location. >> reporter: bales' attorney has also said that his client does not remember anything between the time he left the base and returned. but the attorney for bales' wife kari told abc news that the sergeant called kari right after the shooting from jail, telling her that something terrible had
happened. kari bales and her husband talked again this week, and after the call, the lawyer says kari bales just kept saying, "it was so good to hear his voice." sergeant bales' attorney is now saying that his client was involved in nine roadside bomb incidents, one, where we know he got a concussion, but bales never received a purple heart. and any soldier who is injured by enemy action is entitled to one. but the lawyer is clearly trying to set up a defense, diane, that could reduce the chances of the death penalty. >> thank you, martha raddatz, reporting from the abc news bureau in washington. and the american auto industry is on a roll tonight. new figures show an unexpected surge of americans streaming onto car lots and driving away with new cars. but there is also a concern in detroit tonight. the next generation of potential car buyers doesn't seem to share their parents' love for a new set of wheels. why? here's abc's david muir.
>> reporter: cars are the engine of the american economy. if they keep selling at this rate, we could see 14 million cars sold this year. the kind of number we haven't seen in five years. 2007, americans bought 16 million cars a year, then the recession. sales plummeting to 10.4 million. it was a job killer. you were all here. everyone inside this gm plant outside detroit sent home, 18 months they were out of work. tonight, they're back. >> this is all the rear seats. and the air bags in the back. >> reporter: looks good. just tonight, we learned a volkswagen plant in tennessee hiring 800 more jobs on the line, for the passat, made in america. but there are still major hurdles. among them, younger drivers. in the 1960s, american teens' identities were driven by their cars. >> move into the cool world of mustang. >> reporter: there was albert and his girlfriend who just hated how he was treated. >> i wonder whatever happened to him. >> albert's a mustanger now. >> reporter: 40 years later and automakers are more determined than ever.
perhaps you remember this ad, it made headlines because it was aimed directly at younger drivers. ♪ days go by and still i think of you ♪ >> reporter: but look at this. they are shifting gears. in 1998, 64% of americans 19 and younger had driver's licenses. ten years later, just 46% have them. and 46% of young drivers say they would choose internet access over owning a car. which is why ford is now turning to facebook, trying to get young drivers to focus on their new focus. a whole page devoted to it. gm even inviting an executive from mtv, asking what it takes to score a younger customer. >> touching the young adults or connecting with them, doing something that resonates for them is always difficult. because this is a moving target. >> reporter: so, apparently not as easy to sell cars to young people as it once was. first, it takes jobs to afford them. but there was that other number, 46%, saying that if they had to choose between cars and internet access, they'd choose the internet. that's why they are using
facebook, twitter to reach them. >> times a-changing. so, did you love your first car? >> reporter: i didn't love it. it was a chevy four-door. had a hard time getting up hills. but it got me there. >> all right, loved my firebird, i did. thank you, david. and our washington watchdog tonight. following a trail of nepotism in the halls of congress. an investigation has found that an extraordinary number of house members are trading on their positions as elected leaders to benefit themselves and their families, even hiring relatives for their offices and their campaigns. abc's jon karl tracked down some of the lawmakers. >> reporter: how would you like a job where you can expense your fitness training, hire your kids and your spouse, earn 18% interest on your money and funnel millions of dollars of other people's money to places your family members work? there are members of congress who do all of that, and it's perfectly legal. >> the scandal in washington isn't what's illegal.
it's what's legal. >> reporter: a new report singles out 82 members of congress for putting family members on their payrolls. ron paul's campaigns have hired his daughter, brother, grandson, granddaughter and three other relatives, paying a total of $300,000 since 2007. paul's campaign manager told abc news, it's all above board. we caught up with keith ellison, who the report says paid his son $7,000 in his last campaign. >> i don't think a person on a campaign who is related to the candidate should be excluded for that purpose. >> reporter: lynn woolsey paid her daughter $43,000 in her last campaign. >> she really earned that money. >> reporter: every penny of it? >> every penny of it. >> reporter: several members make money by loaning their campaigns cash. grace napolitano loaned her campaign $150,000 from her retirement account in 1998 and for years charged 18% interest. then there's the case of aaron schock, the mega-fit congressman
had his campaign pay $319 for a p-90x fitness video. he didn't return calls for comment. his campaign also paid for a seaplane ride in st. croix. not bad. jonathan karl, abc news, capitol hill. and coming up, the stunning video of children ganging up on a classmate riding the bus to school. why are so many stars wanting every child to see this film? and i've got osteoporosis. me but i'm an on the 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
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>> they punch me in the jaw. strangle me. take things from me. they push me so far that i want to become the bully. >> reporter: for lee hirsch, the director, this is more than a movie. >> our goal is that we built a very simple call to action. stop bullying, speak up. >> reporter: but that call to action is likely not going to be heard by millions of teens. the footage is so raw. teens use profanity and the filmmakers refuse to sensor it. the motion picture association of america has given the film an "r" rating. no one under 17 admitted without an adult. now, major hollywood players are fighting back, hoping to lower the rating so kids can see it. meryl streep hosted a screening this week to draw attention to the film and revealed she, too, was bullied. >> this one bully was hitting my legs with a stick until they bled. >> reporter: and kids themselves are rallying to change the
rating, led by katie butler, 17 years old and a bullying survivor. so far, more than 450,000 people have signed the petition katie started, including johnny depp, justin bieber, kelly ripa. >> it should be mandatory viewing for all kids going into middle school. >> reporter: the rating remains unchanged for now. but change is happening for alex, the quiet kid at the heart of the movie. he's 15 now, no longer a victim. and he hopes his experience can be a lesson for all of us. >> i feel like i'm the teacher. i feel like i'm actually teaching them to -- how to make the world a better place. >> reporter: terry moran, abc news, washington. and ahead, the wind beneath his wings. how this man's astonishing flight caught on tape turned out to be a lot of hot air. if you are one of the millions of men who have used androgel 1%,
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other news tonight. the much anticipated film "the hunger games" opened last night at midnight and it is already on track to break box office records. frenzied fans waited in long lines to fill packed theaters. online, a ticket is being sold once every ten seconds. the film, based on a best selling series of books, raked in nearly $20 million. that was just last night. and it is now on course to earn $150 million this weekend. and maybe you, too, saw this
video online. we did, and we were spell bound. a dutch engineer invented a pair of mechanical wings that allowed him to fly just like a bird. you can see him flapping his arms and then soaring over a park. this video traveled around the world. he was a featured star on television, a lead on web broadcasts. but today, abc news reached out to him and he confessed to us it was an elaborate hoax, played on a gullible globe. he is not an engineer, he's a filmmaker. his wings will not take him anywhere. and coming up, alan alda has an idea to help make everybody smarter. see why he's our "person of the week." [ male announcer ] what's the beat that moves your heart?
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>> when i was 11 years old, i got fascinated with a flame on a candle. for days i would look at this flame and i would think, what is it, what's going on in there? so, i asked a teacher. what's a flame? and the teacher thought for a second and said, it's oxidation. and that was it. somebody said a wonderful thing about this. they called it the curse of knowledge. they don't seem to go together, but actually, if you know something really well, sometimes you forget what it's like not to know that. >> reporter: what it's like to be a very curious little boy, growing up in new york city, the son of an actor who wanted him to be a doctor. so, he took a chemistry course. >> in the final exam, i got 10 out of 100 on my final paper. so, the professor called me into his office, he looked at my paper and he said, "why are you here?" and i said, "i'm here to make my father happy."
>> reporter: but as we all know, alan alda would grow up to be better at medicine on tv, as the beloved hawkeye pierce on the tv show "m.a.s.h." >> want to play a little doctor after we're finished? >> reporter: and then a long career, arcing across stage and screen. and now that he's 76 years old, he's returning the favor to his first love, science, and to all those children alive with curiosity. and the people about to teach them. take a look at this. >> chances are, it's plastic. >> make it more personal. >> reporter: alan alda teaching an improv class at stonybrook university. instead of theater students, these are the stars of chemistry, biology, physics, learning to bring passion to the expression of their ideas. >> it adds an extra element. this gave it some kind of intimacy. improvising is not making things up. it's making contact. so, if you are concentrating on that, you are not concentrating on worrying how you're doing.
am i too fat, is my voice too funny, you know, can i remember the big words? all that goes away and you just tell your story and that is wonderful to see. >> reporter: am i too fat? >> no, but i -- but i forgot about it while we were talking. >> reporter: and alda is also launching the most inspired contest on the planet. he is challenging scientists all around the globe to answer that question. what is a flame? and do it in a way that keeps the wonder alive. and guess who he is inviting to judge them? >> 11 year olds are going to judge this and these kids are, have been lined up in, all over the united states, in thailand, new zealand, australia, even an aborigine class. so exciting that they want to judge these scientists' answers. >> reporter: one man, on a mission, to light up the minds that will light up the road to the future.
what's the expression on their faces, a kid, you most hope science will bring? >> i hope, oh, yeah, like, oh, oh, tell me more about that, you know? that would be great. >> reporter: and so we choose alan alda, and his wild-eyed idea, to inspire children in 20 countries around the world. and we thank you for watching. david muir will be in this chair all weekend. and we'll see you again monday. have a great weekend. police offering details on the deaths of five people in a san francisco home. a discovery by a 12-year-old girl. >> the fbi joined the search for a missing morgan hill teenager. the mystery deepens a week after her disappearance. >> bay area unemployment picture. companies are reluctant to
hire, and job seekers and bart on a path to success. >> and what would you do with $290 million tonight? have you two hours to decide. >> a normally quiet neighborhood in san francisco is shattered tonight by a killing scene. police have been unable to explain so far, five people found dead inside of their homes, good evening, i'm cheryl jennings. >> and i'm dan ashley. a young girl found members of her family dead this morning. how and why is still not clear but police say there is no reason to think anyone else is in danger. the victims scattered in several parts of a home in san francisco's inglewide -- ingleside district. >> foremost of the day, the street was blocked off from both ends, only a little while ago did po