tv America This Morning ABC April 8, 2021 4:30am-5:00am PDT
faith. morning america." have a great day. right now on "america this morning," breaking news, another mass shooting in america and this time two young children are among several people dead. the details coming in from south carolina just hours before president biden takes aim at gun violence. the executive action he's taking today. a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic. for the first time the uk variant is officially the dominant strain in the u.s. what that means. plus, with more children and young adults being hospitalized, what the cdc director is now saying about going back to school. the deadly lamborghini crash. a 17-year-old behind the wheel of the $200,000 sports car, a young woman is killed. police announce whether charges will be filed.
and consumer alert. the new scam targeting people who book travel plans online. cleanup in aisle three. the mazzive lizard scaling the shelves at this supermarket. and later, the man who really wants to replace alex trebek on "jeopardy!" good thursday morning, everyone. i'm trevor ault. >> and i'm faith abubey. kenneth and mona off today. we begin with breaking news, word of another mass shooting in america, this time in south carolina. >> overnight officials confirm two children ages 5 and 9 were killed along with their grandparents and another adult at a home in rock hill, south carolina, which is in the northern part of the state and overnight the shooter was on the loose described as possibly armed and dangerous. right now police are not discussing a motive or whether the shooter knew the family. and this comes just hours before president biden is set to unveil a series of executive actions taking aim at gun
violence with gun safety legislation stalling in congress. the administration describes today's announcement as an initial step. after three mass shootings in three weeks, president biden this morning following through with his promise to take on gun violence. >> i don't need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common sense steps that will save the lives in the future. >> reporter: the president is expected to announce six executive orders on guns today. they include asking the justice department to crack down on so-called ghost guns, firearms assembled with a 3d printer from parts purchased online. >> the internet has plans to 3d print any kind of weapon anybody wants with printers that make that incredibly easy for someone to do in only a few hours in their garage or living room. >> reporter: the president will also call for investments in community violence intervention programs, a new annual report on firearms
trafficking which hasn't been compiled since 2000 and encourage states to adopt red flag laws which allow police or family members to petition courts to temporarily remove guns from people in crisis. this will be no legislative proposal from biden today but senate majority leader chuck schumer has vowed to take action overhauling gun laws including trying to pass stricter background checks. >> this time it's going to be different. a democratic majority in the senate is going to act. i have committed to put legislation to expand background checks on the floor of the senate. >> reporter: but republican leaders say the focus should be on mental health. >> the focus ought to be on identifying people in advance who have the capacity and the interest in carrying out these atrocious attacks. >> gun control advocates and some democrats pushing for more regulations will join president biden. president biden says he's willing to compromise with republicans on his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. they're clashing on the definition of infrastructure. biden says it should include
more than just roads and bridges but he says he's open to negotiations or the corporate tax hike that he's proposing to pay for it. the treasury department says the president's tax plan could bring in $2.5 trillion over the next 15 years. meanwhile, democratic senator joe manchin could pose a major challenge to biden's agenda. manchin says he will not vote to eliminate or weaken the senate filibuster. turning to the pandemic, the more contagious uk variant of the coronavirus is now officially the most dominant strain in the u.s. it's responsible for a major uptick in cases across the country, especially in these five states. just those five have seen nearly half of all the new cases in the last week. abc's elizabeth schulze has more on how the cdc is responding. elizabeth, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, trevor. well, the cdc is warning about the spread of this uk variant believed to be at least 50% more contagious than previous strains of the virus and likely more deadly.
new concerns this morning about that highly contagious uk variant, which the cdc now says is the most dominant strain of covid in the u.s. health experts fear it's helping fuel a fourth surge of the virus. >> if you add on the fact that we have loosening restrictions, more people traveling, young people spreading it an an even more contagious variant that's a setup for that. >> reporter: on the rise in at least 16 states. in michigan cases nearly tripling in the last three weeks. cdc teams now on the ground there. hospitals overwhelmed once again. nearly half of the nation's new covid cases are in just five states. many of the patients, younger people who have yet to be vaccinated. >> hospitals are seeing more and more younger adults. those in their 30s and 40s admitted with severe disease. >> reporter: at one wisconsin day care at least 16 children under the age of 6 tested positive for the uk variant this week, along with more than a dozen day care workers and
family members. >> i think we were kind of all stunned by the news. >> reporter: health experts say vaccines are still effective against the variant making the race to vaccinate even more urgent. 38 states have now opened vaccine eligibility to anyone over age 16 and with the pace of vaccinations ramping up, the director of the cdc telling abc's dr. jen ashton, she's hopeful kids will be back in school this fall. >> i really hope with a decreased number of cases that we should anticipate come september 2021 that schools should be full-fledged in person and all of our children back in the classroom. >> reporter: a new survey from the department of education found 46% of public school students are being offered full time in-person learning but the vast majority still at home doing virtual schooling for at least part of the week, trevor. >> elizabeth schulze in washington, thank you. texas governor greg abbott is accusing the biden administration of, quote,
presiding over the abuse of migrant children. abbott says investigators are looking into multiple reports claiming that migrant children are being neglected or sexually assaulted at a makeshift detention facility in san antonio. he is demanding the president take action. >> to end this abuse, the biden administration must immediately shut down this facility. the children who are in this facility should be moved to other federally run facilities where the federal government has the space, personnel and resources to ensure their safety. >> reporter: the department of health and human services will only say it has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of abuse. now to the murder trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin charged in the death of george floyd. the trial is now focusing on floyd's drug use and what was found inside the police patrol car, which floyd refused to enter. here's abc's reena roy.
>> reporter: in court wednesday the jury getting a close look at more video evidence in the murder trial of derek chauvin. the defense playing the body camera video to chief investigator james reyerson. >> did it appear that mr. floyd said i ate too many drugs. >> yes, it did. >> reporter: but then the prosecution show what had happened earlier in that same footage. >> is there a discussion about drug use by the officers in attempting to speak to mr. floyd? >> yes. >> having heard it in context were you able to tell what mr. floyd was saying there? >> yes, i believe mr. floyd was saying, i ain't do no drugs. >> a little different about what you were asked about when you only saw a portion of the video. >> reporter: a forensic investigator saying when she searched the police cruiser where officers struggled with floyd, she missed a few pills containing methamphetamine later determined to have floyd's dna on them. >> didn't have any information that i was looking for anything like a pill or resembling a pill so at the time i didn't give it any forensic significance.
>> reporter: the defense is arguing that floyd spit the drugs out during the arrest claiming his drug use led to his death. >> you've seen sort of a white substance forming around mr. floyd's mouth? >> yes. >> reporter: earlier on the stand a use of force expert testifying his actions were deadly and unnecessary because he didn't appear to be a threat. >> he was in the prone position, he was handcuffed. he was not attempting to resist. he was not attempting to assault the officers, kick, punch or anything of that nature. >> reporter: reena roy, abc news, new york. >> 11 current and former law enforcement officers have now testified against derek chauvin. the trial will soon enter a new phase focusing on the actual cause of george floyd's death. the county medical examiner will be the key witness. crews monitored air quality overnight at the scene of this massive fire at a chemical plant near houston. the plant's owners all saying that the workers there are doing okay and the cause of that fire
is still under investigation. smoke from the fire climbed so high, it was seen on weather radar. speaking of it's now time for a look at your thursday weather. conditions in missouri are not expected to be as severe as yesterday when storms knocked down trees and caused scattered damage. that same system brought hail to parts of arkansas. you can expect more heavy rain today from missouri across the midwest into michigan and just getting word of a reported tornado north of monroe, louisiana, and some homes are damaged. strong storms will move into the southeast today, and checking temperatures, highs 54 in seattle, above normal in the northeast and around the great lakes. coming up, a big change at u.p.s. to speed up your package delivery times. and also ahead, distracted driving taken to a whole new level. the state lawmaker busted for
back now with an update on a 17-year-old driving a lamborghini involved in a deadly crash. prosecutors in los angeles now say they filed charges against that teen who they say was speeding when he crashed into a lexus sedan driven by monique munoz. she was pronounced dead at the scene. the teen due in court later this month. we turn to a bizarre case of distracted driving. this time it was a lawmaker who was behind the wheel. here's abc's andrea fujii. >> reporter: this morning, a washington state senator is apologizing for zooming while driving. >> i do think that it has been a very collaborative process.
i appreciate it. >> reporter: it happened as the state legislature was in session discussing a proposed $18 billion transportation bill, all the while state senator rebecca saldana was participating via zoom. and though her background was blurred, she openly discussed the fact that she was driving. >> it's a cost. it's a burden. i'm driving my olds vehicle right now. >> reporter: the legislative session being broadcast live on public television but in washington state distracted driving is illegal, which includes using electronics while behind the wheel. the washington state patrol saying drivers must concentrate on the road, and zooming while driving is not safe. the senator released a statement saying, as a working mom, i face the same struggles many parents in washington are facing including trying to face including trying to make my work schedule fit with my duties as a parent, unfortunately, i made a choice today that was not in compliance with the law and for that i apologize. under washington state law a trooper must catch an offender
in the act to be cited, so it appears the senator is in the clear. saldana was additionally wearing headphones while driving, which is also against the law. faith, trevor. >> andrea, thank you. u.p.s. has announced plans to buy a fleet of electric aircraft to speed up their delivery service. the aircraft fly like a plane but they land and take off vertically like a helicopter, so no runway is needed, and they produce zero emissions. they can handle several routes on a single charge and they arrive in 2024. coming up, the new scam targeting people who book travel plans online. and also ahead, tiger woods was driving 87 miles per hour in a 45 zone, so why isn't he getting a ticket? sn't he gettin ticket?
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we're back with "reading rainbow" legend levar burton embracing calls for him to take over as the host of "jeopardy!" fans started a petition online that called for him to get the gig. nearly 200,000 people have already signed it. burton says he hopes the powers that be are listening. we turn now to allegations of racial profiling by the los angeles police department. this is the video evidence, and now the man who was arrested is speaking out. this morning, the lapd facing fresh questions after newly released body camera video shows the wrongful arrest of a black man. >> they assume that you're some criminal and this is weird.
>> reporter: arrest happening in 2019 when los angeles police responded to a domestic violence call with a white suspect but the officers ended up arresting a neighbor, antone austin, who is black. austin says he was taking his garbage can in when the two lapd officers pulled up. his attorneys said they discussed on the body cam video not having any information as to what the suspect looked like, and one officer can be heard saying "probably" when asked if austin is the suspect. >> this dude? >> probably. >> turn around for me. >> what? >> turn around. >> probably? that's how you go and arrest someone on a probably? my guy thought he was going to die. he thought he was going to be the next hashtag. >> reporter: this morning the l.a. city attorney's office says austin's claim of racial profiling is without merit, but austin is now suing the city for $3 million. >> the footage of the guy drive by and the guy say is this the guy and for him to say probably and watch the other camera of the driver and
hear him say, yeah, that's him is crazy they can just convict you when they're supposed to be there as a mediator, serve and protect. >> austin's girlfriend was also arrested after intervening during the altercation. both were then taken to jail but were later released. tiger woods' february crash in los angeles is being blamed on excessive speed. sheriffs say woods was not impaired but driving up to 87 miles an hour, nearly double the speed limit. they say he nver hit the brake and he hit the gas by accident. abc's matt gutman returned to the scene. >> reporter: you can still see the path that tiger woods' suv carved through this ventation here. i've been speaking with senior officials at the l.a. sheriff's department, and they continue to say he received no special treatment. it's doubtful anyone would have received a citation for this crash, and that's primarily because there were no eyewitnesses here, there were no traffic cameras and no police officers to document it. >> woods tweeted a statement out
thanking first responders. well, if you're making travel plans online, the better business bureau is warning about a scam. fraudulent websites are popping up claiming to be government sites that can process your tsa precheck or global entry applications, the things that get you through security faster, and these scammers are gaining access to victims' personal information, so to protect yourself make sure you go through an official website with a dot gov address. coming up, one of the most successful romantic comedies in history is coming back. also ahead, the giant lizard inside a convenience store. we'll be back.
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a massive monitor lizard got into the 7-eleven store in thailand climbing the shelves in search of a snack. he ended up just trashing the place. >> eventually reptile wranglers escorted the big guy out eventually. next, one of the most successful come disof all time is returning. >> "my big fat greek wedding 3" is in the works and actress nia vardalos says the news leaked because one greek found out. >> classic. a designer handbag like no other. >> louis vuitton is selling a bag shaped like an airplane. the price tag, well, the price tag is sky high, it's $39,000. and finally, forget taking the plate, one little baseball fan just wants to stand behind it. >> take a look at him. his idol is the umpire at these games in louisiana. >> he is stealing the show himself. crowds are gathering just to watch him imitate the ump. he's got it down. love that. look at that. call him out, lathan.
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the vaccine versus variants battle. the now dominant uk strain spreading in the u.s., fueling rising hospitalizations and more than a dozen states. can we avoid a fourth surge? the on current vaccine just found to curb the california variant according to a new study. delivering doses. needs to be done if california wants to reopen by june 15. one bay area county that is helping meet the mission. the san francisco giants showing us their all new safety procedures ahead of opening day. good morning. it is thursday, april 8. let's get started with mike nicco. >> a few changes here in the weather department. i want to start up in the north bay where we have some fog around santa rosa. the picture you see on the right is san rafael where we do have me