tv AB Cs World News With Charles Gibson ABC August 4, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
welcome to "world news." tonight, pardoned. former president clinton on a secret trip to north korea gains the release of two imprisoned americans. >> members of congress return to their districts and get an earful about health care reform. daily dose. a new study says more adults than ever are using antidepressant, and it's not
only because they're depressed. >> postage due. big money problems may force the closing of hundreds of post offices and force delivery cut-backs. >> and grab your wallet. wait until you hear what it costs raise a child these days. captions paid for by abc, inc. even after leaving office, presidents of the united states hold a special status, allowing them to fulfill roles no one else can. so it was today. former president bill clinton secretly flew to north korea to win freedom for two journalists. laura ling and euna lee were sentenced to hard labor for crossing borders illegally. after he met with kim jong-il, the women were pardoned.
>> bill clinton has now left korea. it's unclear whether the journalists are on his plane. president clinton held an emotional meeting with the two journalists before the special pardon was issued. despite a few tense moments, bill clinton seems to have gotten exactly what he wanted. freedom for the journalists, and the north koreans got what they wanted as well. less than 24 hours after he lapded in north korea, he secured the freedom of the journalists. >> this is a big coup to have a former president on their soil requesting the release of the journalists. >> and they were making the most of it. pictures of a grinning kim jong-il side by side with president clinton, meetings with mr. clinton, and a vip dinner, but the white house insisted today this was not an official
visit. >> this was a private mission. >> the was al gore who sought mr. clinton's help. he's the cofounder of current tv where laura ling and euna lee worked when they were detained last march. hillary clinton also has been heavily involved in trying to secure the young womens' release. including issuing an apology to the north koreans. >> the young women themselves have apparentladmitted that they probably did trespass, so they are deeply regretful, and we're very sorry this happened. >> since president obama took office, the north koreans have tested a nuclear weapon, long range misling, and a fleury of short and long range rockets. critics say the clinton visit is rewarding bad behavior. >> we have made this tremendous concessi
concession. by sending a pirn of this high profile could turn out to be a mistake. >> for the families of laura ling and euna lee, it is a day of joy. in a statement, they said, we are counting the seconds to hold laura and unieuna in our arms. when they're home, all eyes will be back on north korea to see if the clinton visit gets them back to the talks on the nuclear issue. >> thanks, and we'll take that question to our chief washington correspondent, george stephanopoulos. let's start with the mission itself, private mission, but obviously, the white house and state department knew about this. >> weeks of conversation with the security council, al gore, who was thought to be the envoy, the number one choice, but the north koreans made it clear they wanted a former president. they wanted clinton. he was in conversations with the white house over the weekend, flew out, and was probably on his way home right this second. >> there are so many issues between the u.s. and north korea, and he met with kim
jong-il, so is the expectation he got into the issues? >> the north korea state media said the former president gave a message from president obama. the white house says that is not the case. he said the president was under strict instructions not to go beyond this brief at all. only talk about the journalists. north korea has been looking for ways to get around the six-party talks. >> it's interesting if this causes a precede annsir the iranians are holding three americans who have crossed their borders, and you wonder if it may cause other nations to grab americans. >> as happy as everyone will be to have the journalists home, the white house is quite anxious about it. they're anxious iran will say we know what to do with the hitchhikers in the mountains. >> thanks. politics next. members of the house of
representatives are already back in their districts in summer recess, most holding town hall meetings to see what's on their minds, and most of what they'rehering is about health care reform. that's causing the white house to push back. >> reporter: at a town hall meeting today, steny hoyer got an earful. it was just the latest such episode of peep protesting health care reform with visceral anger, sh as the not quite brotherly love in philadelphia over the weekend. >> you want us to believe that a government that can't even run a "cash for clunkers" program is going to run the administration. no. >> one was hung in effagy. >> one man was shouted down before he could even speak -- says there's nothing authentic
about these protests. >> this notion of a grassroots campaign is totally and completely phony. the republican party has coordinated this apparent outrage and stirred it up. >> clearly, some of it is organized. bob mcguffie, a grass roots ai widely serkulated menno to put the congressman"on the deafensive with your questions and follow-up." the congressman should be made to feel that the majority opposes the socialist agenda of washington. the goal is to rattle him. get him off his prepares script and agenda. >> they need to hear t he people's voice. >> what official from freedomworks says his group is organizing, but he says washington ignores the real people with real emotions at their own peril. >> those inside thbeltway need to know you can't fake that kind
of outrage outside the beltway. >> how is their organizing and getting people to come to town hall meetings to express their feelings any different from a liberal group doing the same thing? >> i think what you have seen is they have bragged about manufacturing. >> this is just one area where the white house is aggressively pushing back. all those town hall meetings are on utieb, and now the white house is fighting fire with fire. they have launched their own video in which they refute a lot of the claims being made about health care reform. they say, send us claims you find fishy. >> thanks. president obama is celebrating his 48th birthday. celebrating by surprising someone who shares the birthday with him. he appears in the briefing room to serenade longtime journalist helen thomas who is 89 today. ♪ happy birthday to you happy
birthday dear helen ♪ ♪ happy birthday to you >> tongue in cheek, the president said both he and helen are wishish for a health care reform. students head back to school soon, and teachers are on alert for the resurgence of the swine flu. school-aged children are especially vulnerable. they're going to release new guidelines on what to do if students do so up with sympms. >> classes are back in session in rock dale high in georgia. >> we ask them, are they feeling okay? if they're sluggish, we ask them to go to dh nurse where we can take their temperature. >> reporter: school officials are anxiously awaiting the government's guidance on when or if schools should close because of h1n1 swine flu. >> it's all going to be according to what goes with it. >> reporter: when swine flu
appeared last spring, the administration first urged the schools to shut down. hundreds did. now the government is expected to advise schools to stay open, even as they see cases of swine flu. >> the virus is so widespread that it's not clear that closing a school down is helpful. >> reporter: some parents feel otherwise. >> a lot of kids were getting it. >> reporter: in some ways, closing schools may shift the transmission elsewhere. . it's not like those kids go home and stay home. they go to the maul or each other's homes. >> reporter: and closing school is costly for schools and parents forced to stay home to take care of their kids. they're advising schools to identify students and teachers who are ill and end them home. they don't know how widespread it will be, but they're hoping to avoid the chaos of last
spring's school shutdowns. the senate will vote later this week on another $2 billion for the "cash for clunkers" program, but unless it adopts the same measure approved by the house, it may have to be suspended. the white house says more than 150,000 vehicles have already been turned in for deals worth $664 million. what happens to all those vehicles that are turned in? >> reporter: if you love cars, turn your head. around the country, once shining sports cars are being beaten into scrap. this giant magnet holds the remnants of a single car, the ashes of a slow death that starts in the showroom. the clunkers program requires the dealers destroy the old engines so mechanics drain the oil, pour in a solution that
seizes the engine until it goes silent. from there, the cars are dragged to a salvage yard. first, they rip out the parts they can resell. check the ashtrays for change. carve out the rest with a claw. the car is pierced and punched into a pancake and then put aside. the corpses are stacked high, more are on the way. >> we have about a good 70 to 100 cars waiting to get picked up. >> reporter: still, sally, who runs a new jersey salvage yard says they aren't making much money off the clunkers because they can't resell the most profitable part, the engine. how many dollars worth of motors do you have in here? >> if you could sell them, $5,000 or $6,000. >> reporter: instead, they'll be crushed with the rest of the car.
here, skeletons become scrap to be recycled into building materials. >> our finished prodt which is recycled steel is about frizz be sized shapes. >> reporter: cornflakes from clunkers. >> and to think they were all shiny new cars in the showroom once upon a time. still ahead on "world news," drastic new plans for the postal service to save money. hundreds of local post offices could soon be shut down. questions about antidepressants. prescriptions arsoaring, but are all those patientess depressed. >> and dh eye opening wallet busting new price tag fod.il raising chd. hi, may i help you? we're shopping for car insurance, and our friends said we should start here. good friends -- we compare our progressssive direct rates, apples to apples, against other top companies, to help you get the best price.
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a new government review finds the financial situation at the u.s. postal service has gone from bad to worse to much worse. and many post offices are likely to be closed. 700 local post offices have been targeted for possible closing. and that may just be the beginning. here is steve osunsami. >> reporter: nearly all of the post offices likely to close are in urban areas. this would mean postal counters, sorting facilities, delivery routes, postal carriers, their vehicles would all be eliminated or consolidated to save costs. this office in virginia is on
the list. >> it's been a great place to work. ts ve been here since '93.onin on >> that'sas >> that's sad, really sad. he.s. u.s. according to a postal service is facing a deteriorating financial situation and at high risk of failure, losing as much as $7 billion this fiscal year. traditional mail just isn't as popular as it used to .be last year, it fell by 9.5 billion pieces. it's expected to drop another 28 billion pieces this year. americans have turned to the internet, and they're not looking back. >> i do all my bill paying online. >> i do all my mailing through e-mail. >> i never go to the post office. >> reporter: there's been such a cultural shift that in one poll, o most americans said the post office should be closed on the weekends.
>> i think people like writing a letter, walking to the post office, chatting. then a lot of people are like, send. >> reporter: the deficit has gotten worse. in october, the postal service is required to make a $5.4 billion payment to the employee insurance plan, and that money is not there. the post office said the situation is grave, but it will continue to deliver the mail. it's likely there are more severe cuts down the road. and we have a list of the 700 post offices that might be shut down. you can find out if your local post office is on the list by checking the world newser. national guard rescue teams have been called out in louisville, kentucky, where there's severe flooding after more than half a foot of rain fell in a couple hours this morning. crews used boats to get some people to safety. the library was hard hit.
tens of thousands of books deflroyestd by fldwaters. coming up, new findings on antidepressants. why are so many people who aren't depressed taking the drugs? everything changed. i didn't know what to do. right about then, our doctor mentioned the exelon patch. he said it releases medicine continuously for 24 hours. he said it could help with her cognition which includes things like memory, reasoning, communicating and understanding. (announcer) the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers or who take certain other medicine should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems, such as bleeding may worsen. mom's diagnosis was hard to hear, but there's something i can do.
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researchers have found the use of antidepressants is soaring. a study just released showed in just a decade the u.s. went from just under 6% of the population taking antidepressants to more than 10%. why are so many people clinically depressed? >> reporter: it's a sobering revelation. they fount 27 million americans were taking a daily antidepressant. >> more people are being treated, and that's a good thing. it also raises questions about whether they're getting the appropriate treatment. >> reporter: americans can now choose from 38 different antidepressants. and what's surprising, the survey found that mo americans taking an antidepressant are not suffering from depression. it's more from nerve and back pain, sleep problems, smoking, and even menopausal cases. >> it wasn't clear if you looked
in the doctor's records or if you asked the patients themselves. >> reporter: that's because most antidepressants are prescribed not by the doctors themselves but by a family doctor. >> if they don't do an evaluation because they don't have time, if they're overprescribing, if they're not following through. >> reporter: and more and more patients are demanding antidepressants. in less than a decade, spending on direct to consumer antidepressant ads nearly quadruples. another boon to the sales, the stigma associated with mental health issues is fading. 5 out of 6 americans now have a positive opinion about psychiatric medications. the risk is many more americans will turn to antideprntsaess, too quickly and inapprriately. > when we come back, it costs
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finallfinally, tonight, a y man by the name of john shepherd 9 pounds, 4 ounces, the brand k, new grandson of good friends of mine which is perhaps w the following story caught my mind. the u.s. government put out an estimate that young john will cost his parents $291,570. $291,000. as if parenting weren't scary enough. and they tell parents to start saving for college. how about the $291,000?
where does that go from? 32% will be for housing. 16% for food, probably higher for boys who would eat the dining room table if you let them. another 16% for child care and education, and 14% for transportation. those minivans used by the soccer moms take a lot of gas, but this is just money. mom and dad's love gets thrown in for free. it's like the ads on tv. 18 years of housing, $93,000. one smile from the baby or one hug when they're older, priceless. so welcome, john shepherd. go easy on your folks, and try to makthose sneakers last an extra year. new life, so precious. that is "world news" for this tuesday. i'm charlie gibson and i hope you had a good day. for all of us at abc news, have a good night.