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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  March 19, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

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tonight, the breaking news as we come on the air. the president just a short time ago on the horrific shootings in atlanta. and what we've learned tonight. president biden and vice president harris meeting with asian-american lawmakers and community leaders late today. president biden and the vice president on the tragedy, the pain, and vowing to work to make our asian-american communities safer. and tonight, the newly obtained surveillance of the alleged gunman at the scene of the first attack. all eight victims have been identified, six of asian descent. the devoted mother of two, the army veteran, the spa owner killed just two days shy of her 50th birthday. steve osunsami in atlanta tonight with late reporting on what we now know. the other major news this friday night, the major change
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for schools across the country. the cdc issuing new guidelines tonight, recommending three feet of social distancing for school children with masks instead of six feet. could this help get children back to school sooner? some teaches unions pushing back tonight, the cdc director say, we have done the science. president biden also at the cdc tonight as health officials raise new concerns over those highly contagious variants, with several states now seeing cases on the rise. the worsening situation on the southern border. president biden's dhs secretary traveling to el paso, texas, today. hundred of migrant children and teens now held at border patrol cities for ten days or longer, well beyond the legal limit. matt gutman tonight. the widening scandal involving new york's governor andrew cuomo. "the new york times" reporting tonight for the first time a current employee of the governor's office, and what she now alleges involving the
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governor. back to see the american cruise lines resuming service, but the major change. and the "wheel of fortune" surprise. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here as we near the end of another week together. we begin tonight with the president and vice president just moments ago on the horrific shootings in atlanta. they came before the cameras during their visit to atlanta, meeting with asian-american leaders, community leaders in the wake of the shootings that killed eight people. six of the victims were of asian descent. the president calling the meetings heart wrenching. saying whatever the motivation, too many americans wake up worrying they have been verbally attacked and killed. he addressed what he called the skyrocketing cases, a year of living in fear. all this as abc news obtains new
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surveillance showing the gunman getting out of his car at the fist shooting in atlanta. this shows the that was we moved by the wrap apple church. police saying they're not ruling out calling this a hate crime. vice president harris saying regardless racism is real in america, it always has been, sexism, too, saying asian-americans within attacked and scapegoated. we are learning more about the victims. all eight identifies, including emily tan. yesterday would have been her 50th birthday. so many of their faces on the screen tonight. president biden urging dong take up the covid-19 hate crimes act, saying words have consequences, that this should be called the coronavirus, pull stop, he said. steve osunsami leading us off
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tonight in atlanta. >> reporter: in georgia tonight, the president and the vice president are promising to do all they can to protect asian-americans from attacks in the streets. at a meeting, they heard a long list of concerns from some of the state's asian lawmakers. >> hate can have no safe harbor in america. it must stop. it's on all of us, all of us together, to make it stop. >> a harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us. the president and i will not be sile silent. >> reporter: across town, the coroner is sending the dead to funeral homes and releasing the names of the victims killed at the two 24-hour spas in atlanta. 51-year-old hyun grant, a korean immigrant, leaves behind the two sons seen in this photo to her left. 39-year-old suncha kim was also killed and soon park and hyun
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yue. her two sons heart broken and share this photo. the majority of georgia's asian residents live in the atlanta suburbs, but many of them work in the city. atlanta's interim police chief wants them to know that down here, there's no question that his people are concerned about racially motivated attacks. >> we're now working to have a greater outreach to ensure them that we are here for them as well. >> reporter: there's a lot of mistrust. you know. >> yeah, it is a lot of mistrust. it's very understandable, especially during these times. but it is incumbent upon us to make sure we strengthen those relationships and to reestablish that level of trust. >> reporter: in the atlanta suburbs, there's new surveillance video from the scene of the first of the murders, at young's asian massage parlor. investigators here say that this is 21-year-old robert aaron long, seen going in and out of the business where he's accused of murdering four people. of the eight he's now charged with killing tuesday evening, all but two of them were asian. one of those two was paul
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michels, an army veteran who was a handyman at the business. the local sheriff, who's gotten an earful of complaints over the way his office has handled the case, showed up at a vigil outside and offered his condolences. >> we are committed to providing a safe community and getting a solid conviction on this. you have my promise. >> reporter: the sheriff's office has long in custody. their investigators agree with police in city that long had a sex addiction and was targeting the spas where he was regular. long was well known at his southern baptist church and is seen here in a picture taken from a 2018 video posted on the church's facebook page that was taken down a few days ago. the church hasn't commented on the video but is releasing a statement, saying that, the shootings were a total repudiation of our faith and practice. no blame can be placed upon the victims. >> steve osunsami back with us from atlanta. we were on the air together
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watching the vice president and vice president, and both of them went out of their way to say, whatever the motivation, however this is defined by law enforcement, that too many asian-americans are in fear, have been attacked, have been killed. >> reporter: that's right, david, and complicating things is a growing sense of mistrust between the asian-american community and the law enforcement community, and that wasn't made any better here by some unfortunate statements made by investigators in some counties to the north of here who are working on their end of the case. we spoke with the interim atlanta police chief here, who tells us he wants to asian-american community to understand that he is here to protect them, and he realizes that there is still work to do. >> steve osunsami, steve, thank you for your careful reporting. steve and juju chang will be in atlanta tonight for a special edition of the "20/20." i hope you'll join us all at 10:00 p.m. eastern tonight.
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many new interviews, including with one of the sons who lost a mother. in the meantime, the other major news this friday night, and the pandemic. the major change for schools across the country. the cd issuing new guidelines, recommending three feet of social distancing for children with masks instead of six feet. could this help to get children back to school sooner? teachers unions are pushing back. the cdc director saying, we have to science. here's abc's whit johnson. >> reporter: tonight, a major change that could help pave the way for millions more children to get back in the classroom. >> i'm hopeful that we are turning a corner on this pandemic. getting our children back to school, in-person instruction as soon as possible is a critical first step in doing so. >> reporter: the cdc today reducing its distancing recommendation from six feet to three inside the classroom with universal masking. but if community transmission is high, the cdc advises middle and high schools to break students
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into small groups or stay at six feet. that's because older kids are more likely to spread the virus. >> we've seen the science to ensure that this is safe for those schools. >> reporter: the cdc citing multiple studies, finding the shorter distance did not sacrifice safety. marci clark is a mother of three in new jersey, whose kids haven't been in a classroom in a year. >> it's been a year. i am at peace with my kids returning to school and being three feet apart from a classmate. >> reporter: but some major teachers unions pushing back. the national education association calling for "more detail," and saying the rule change would be "particularly challenging" for large urban schools with fewer resources. and concern from some school boards. >> we do in the want to try to cram as many student as we can into a classroom. >> reporter: today, joe biden making his first visit as president to the cdc, saying science is back. >> you've changed things. you've changed them in a way
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that are going to make everybody healthier in this country. and when we have a crisis, you're prepared to meet it because you speak truth and science to power. >> reporter: but tonight, an urgent warning. dr. anthony fauci saying the highly contagious uk variant could be 64% more deadly and now accounts for up to 30% of infections in the u.s. but adds the three authorized vaccines are effective against it. >> get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible. with the vaccine that we know works. >> and so let's get back to whit johnson tonight and back to the new guidelines for school children. the change from six feet to three feet with masks. but for teachers and adults in schools we took note the distance will remain six feet? >> six feet is still recommended among school staff, and when teachers are interacting with the students, that distance is also advised in group settings,
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when children are eating lunch, exercising or engage in the other activities without masks. the cdc pointing out children between the ages 5 and 17 make up 10% of covid cases in the u.s. >> whit, thank you. there was some pushback from teachers unions as whit reported. i'm sure you have questions at home on this. let's goat dr. ashish jha. always great to have you. you heard the head of the cdc say we have the science on this. are you confident three feet instead of six feet makes sense? >> david, thanks for having me on. i think as long as the kids and adults are masking up, as long as there's reasonable ve ventilation in the room, i think the science is strong that three feet is every bit as safe as six feet. at this time cdc got this right. >> we're watching the vaccination numbers. we watched dr. fauci defend himself on capitol hill, still
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wearing his mask after being fully vaccinated. he said this is not theater. even for vaccinated americans the recommendation is still masking in public because there's still a lot we don't know, if even you have been fully vaccinated. >> yeah, and here's the key part of that. i think we have good evidence being vaccinated reduces transmission, but there's a lot of high-risk people out that that have not yet gotten vaccinated. even if there's a small risk of spread, i think we need to continue the mask up. over time we can definitely get rid of our masks and go back to a more normal way of life, but not until we have more high-risk people vaccinated. >> dr. ashish jha, appreciate our time. thank you. president biden's dhs secretary traveling to el paso, texas, today. hundreds of migrant teens and children held at facilities ten days or longer. that's beyond the national limit.
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here's matt gutman from new mexico. >> reporter: tonight, abc news learning about 500 migrant minors have spent more than ten days in border patrol custody, well beyond the three-day limit. many like this 17-year-old. he says, we're searching for the midweste american dream because this our country, the violence is really bad. >> reporter: today, homeland security secretary, alejandro mayorkas, and a bipartisan group of senators visited immigration facilities here in el paso after he acknowledged this week the challenge ahead. >> the situation is undoubtedly difficult. we are working around the clock to manage it. >> reporter: the u.s. bracing for a surge of migrants not seen in 20 years. many going right over this wall. this is what's left of the ladders migrants use to get over the wall. most of the children in overwhelmed border patrol facilities are left to wait for day for transfer to shelters.
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but tonight, the texas governor blasting even those shelters, which are supposed to be designed for children. >> we see very dangerous conditions that these migrants are forced to be in, whether it be lack of running water or exposure and spread of covid. >> reporter: and today, david, the government of mexico saying it is deploying forces to its southern border, trying to stem the flow of migrants into the country. now they're saying they're doing this mostly to protect the massive number of children coming in, most of them from central america. >> matt gutman on the southern border again for us. matt, thank you. now to a developing headline as we're on the air. the widening scandal involving new york governor andrew cuomo. "the new york times" reporting for the first time a current employee at the governor's office coming forward with her own allegations. here's abc's erielle reshef tonight. >> reporter: tonight for the first time a woman who works if the office of governor andrew
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cuomo coming forward to accuse him of sexual harassment. alyssa mcgrath said cuomo ogled her while she was taking dictation. he didn't start speak, she said. i look up to see what was going on and he was blatantly looking down my shirt. cuomo denied ever getting physical with anyone. >> i never harassed anyone. i never abused anyone. i never assaulted anyone. now -- and i never would. >> reporter: but mcgrath is the eighth woman the say that's just not true. anna list claims cuomo created a toxic and abusive environment. >> i don't think the average person in new york state would hike to know that they're governor is an absolute -- monster. another former aide,
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lindsey boyland, says cuomo gave her an unwanted kiss. she told ronan pharaoh at the governor's mansion one of his dogs jumped on her. she claims cuomo joked if he were a dog he would try to mount her as well. >> we unearthed emails, texts, both internal communications in the governor's office that talked about her looks and alluded to an elevated level of interest from the governor. >> reporter: david, boylan said the governor tried to -- the governor's office says that was appropriate to set the record straight. david? >> erielle reshef here in new york. thank you. when we come back tonight, the another headline breaking involving coronavirus at mar-a-lago. what's being done there tonight. and a major step if you're looking to travel soon again, but with a major change. into chemical energy, cleaning the oxygen we breathe. plants clean the air. when applied to stained textiles, plant-based surfactants like the ones in seventh generation detergent
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was shut down out of on a b abundance of caution and workers have been quarantined. royal caribbean and celebrity cruises will resume sailings in june. trips from the bahamas or st. martin will not stop or depart u.s. ships carrying 250 people are banned from lines. they'll need to show proof of a covid vaccine. children will need a negative test. when we come back, the ncaa is is apologizing to women players tonight and the wheel of fortune prize. oh. their award-winning content is tailored to fit your investing goals and interests. and it learns with you, so as you become smarter, so do its recommendations. so it's like my streaming service. well except now you're binge learning. see how you can become a smarter investor with a personalized education from td ameritrade. visit tdameritrade.com/learn
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michels. and finally tonight here, a note before we go. amid the horror in atlanta this week, the brave and loving son on his mother. >> reporter: tonight, the outpouring of support from all over this country. the vigils, the marches, standing together for the lives lost in atlanta. 51-year-old hyun jung grantjunga korea was one of the victims. her oldest son writing about his mother. she was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to
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providing to my brother and i, adding, as much as i want to grieve and process the reality that she is gone, i have a younger fwroer take care of and matters to resolve as an as a result of this tragedy. he tells abc news he's been overwhelmed by the support on his go fund me page. donations from all around the country and the world. writing, i don't know how any word i write here will convey how grateful and blessed i am to receive this much support. my mother can rest easy knowing i have to support of the world with me. >> i hope you'll join juju and me, 10:00 p.m. eastern for that special "20/20." good night.
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asian americans have been attacked. too many asian americans in milwaukee, up and down the streets, are roaring. waking up each morning -- the president and vice president adding their voices to a growing chorus across the country condemning recently attacked asian americans. thank you for joining us. tackling issues of race and social justice is something we are focused on the -- governor gavin newsom was in san francisco where he condemned the attacks. chris reyes has the governor's comments. >>
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did not hold back emotions. he spoke at the chinese culture center. side-by-side with local legion american leaders. they are asking him to continue to amplify their message. >> this breaks your heart. it actually infuriates me. i think all of us. the idea that people have to live in fear because their race, their ethnicity >> reporter: local asian american leaders, governor gavin newsom voiced his commitment recent spike in hate crimes and incidents against the community. many happening right here in the bay area. >> we have close to 3800 incidents of verbal and physical attacks against the asian american community. >> reporter: cynthia has been gathering those numbers for entire year

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