tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC July 14, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the chilling 911 calls just made public. the calls for help from the night of tt collapsesnhet tbull. walls ripped off, tenants trapped in the parking garage beneath. water pouring in as they tried to climb back up the stairs. and tonight, after three weeks of search and recovery missions, what we've now learned. victor oquendo in florida. the extraordinary rise in covid cases in this country fueled by the delta variant. cases now on the rise in at least 42 states. in new york city alone, cases doubling in a week. doctors in miami seeing more covid patients in their 20s and 30s. cases in missouri up 181% in a month. in mississippi, reports of
children on ventilators. whit johnson tonight on this highly transmissible variant. just in tonight, the fbi under fire for its handling of sexual abuse claims involving former u.s. gymnastics doctor larry nassar. tonight, what the inspector general has uncovered. did the fbi disregard allegations by gymnasts and to cover their mistakes? tonight, the fbi just issuing a statement, saying the actions of certain fbi employees are inexcuse blg. and this question -- how many young women were assaulted after the fbi was notified? pierre thomas standing by tonight. there are reports of a tornado on the ground as we come on the air. the potential for more severe storms in the heartland and the northeast. and, of course, the massive fires burning out of control in the west tonight. >> an entire community in washington state evacuated. residents running for their lives. matt gutman and senior meteorologist rob marciano on the worsening situation. was iran planning to kidnap
an american citizen here in new york city? tonight, four iranian operatives charged. federal prosecutors on the plan to capture the woman, whisk her away to venezuela and then bring her back to iran. martha raddatz reporting. the major nfl star charged. what we've learned. breaking news involving britney spears tonight and her fight to control her own finances. what the judge has just decided. and your health tonight. the new study on walking and your mind. researchers on how long, how far to help your memory. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy wednesday night. the fbi under fire in the larry nassar case. what's just been uncovered. also, severe storms, reports of a tornado on the ground at this hour. but we are going to begin
tonight with the difficult audio in the tragedy that gripped this nation. for the first time, we're hearing the calls to 911 right after the collapse of that condominium building in surfside, florida. newly released calls from families, from tenants who were trapped in parts of the building still standing. some calling from the parking garage, saying it was filling with water. trying to escape back up the stairs. tonight, nearly three weeks after the catastrophic collapse of that high rise, this is what remains. there is movement tonight on several fronts. new reporting from our team here on potential problems, warning signs, as early as 1996, with the pool deck and the underground garage. and the desperate search for survivors turning to a recovery mission. today, another person found in the rubble has now been identified. at least 96 people have now confirmed to have died in the collapse. more than a dozen still unaccounted for. tonight, those difficult calls for help and those possible warning signs missed. suddenly collapsed. repteorhe f
>> oh, my god. >> the whole building collapsed! >> oh, my god. oh, my god. >> reporter: it happened while most were sound asleep. around 1:30 in the morning. >> i woke up because i was hearing some noise. i looked outside and i saw the patio area starting sinking down, the building just went to a sink hole, so, there will be many, many people dead. >> reporter: this woman calling from the part of the champlain towers south still standing. >> where is your emergency? >> yes, i'm at champlain towers, something's going on here. you have to get us out of here. >> you're in your apartment right now? >> yes, but half the building's gone. >> reporter: another woman on the line with 911 as she desperately tried to escape from the garage. >> i think the roof collapsed in the building. a bunch of us are in the garage. we're going up the stairwell.
the garage is inundated with water. we don't know where the water is coming from. >> reporter: one man leading his family to safety while telling the operator -- >> there's people in the rubble yelling. >> reporter: rescue workers searching the rubble for 14 days, desperately looking for survivors. this boy saved the night of the collapse. the search recently shifting to a recovery mission. crews, local leaders and the community pausing for this moment of silence. now three weeks since the collapse, 96 victims have been found. the youngest, 1-year-old identified just yesterday. at least 11 people are still missing. >> and victor, i know there are new questions tonight about warning signs that may have been missed. >> reporter: david, we have obtained documents indicating that as far back as 1996, inspectors were calling for repairs to the garage and the pool. keep in mind, that's 15 years after this building was constructed. and while those repairs were made, some experts we've spoken
with say that is pretty unusual and this will certainly be part of the investigation moving forward. david? >> victor oquendo, thank you. now to the coronavirus here in the u.s. and health officials tonight are sounding the alarm over how quickly this delta variant is spreading. the numbers tonight. cases up more than 10% now in at re iew yor cess in just the past doubling in a week. more than 184 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 65% now of everyone 12 years and older. but in areas where vaccination rates remain low, cases are spiking. and in mississippi, for one, reports of children on ventilators. here's abc's whit johnson. >> reporter: tonight, the highly contagious delta variant taking hold across the country, now estimated to account for close to 58% of all new covid cases. at least 44 states and territories reporting a weekly increase. >> we can expect to see hospitalizations rise.
we'll probably see deaths go up. >> reporter: cases in new york city more than doubling in just one week, from 182 on july 6th to 429 on july 12th, fueled by the delta variant. los angeles county seeing a 500% jump in covid cases over the past month. health officials saying all of those hospitalized are not fully vaccinated. >> the delta variant is here in california. it's spreading and it's spreading fast. >> reporter: and concern growing for kids who are not yet eligible for a vaccine. in mississippi, health officials reporting at least seven children with covid are being treated in icus. two of them on ventilators. >> these seem to be more classic covid symptoms. fever, cough, respiratory illness. and i suspect that's probably because this delta variant is imparting a little more severe illness in the pediatric population. >> reporter: in wtdallas,
police officer arnulfo pargas is on a ventilator fighting for his life. his wife says he was so focused on helping others get vaccinated, but he failed to do it himself. >> he was working on the day we went and he was supposed to come with us, but he said, "you guys go and i'll go later," and now he says "i too should have just gone to get vaccinated." >> and whit johnson with us from new york tonight. whit, cases doubling in just a week in new york city. you reported that. authorities pointing to the delta variant, just like the rest of the country. but they are seeing these numbers could have been much worse in the city had vaccination rates not been as high here in new york. >> reporter: david, experts at yale university estimate that vaccines have prevented about 250,000 covid cases in new york city and more than 8,000 deaths. the city also saying more than 98% of those who are hospitalized or died from covid this year were not fully vaccinated. david? >> all right, whit johnson with us. whit, thank you. we are also tracking severe storms in the middle of the country right now and the northeast. reports of a tornado on the ground just before we came on the air.
and of course, the massive fires burning out of control in the west at this hour. already destroying more than 1 million acres. firefighters battling the flames but also the heat and the drought. lake levels dangerously low. a entire community in washington state evacuated. residents running for their lives. we have all of this covered including the track of these storms and that tornado. here's our chief national correspondent matt gutman now. >> reporter: tonight, 68 large fires are burning in 12 western states. more than a million acres scorched. that's nearly as big as the state of delaware. overnight in washington state, the entire town of nespelem running for their lives. horses and humans got out safely, but some homes were lost. >> i've been here for 20 years, you kind of grow attached to it. nice little humble home, but it was my home. >> reporter: in oregon, one of the country's first megafires, the bootleg fire now 220,000 acres. it is out of control and
authorities say it will burn until late fall. >> i wish we had something more than extreme to explain it, because it's historical fire behavior with a historical drought that we're seeing out here. >> reporter: that drought driven many waterways are dry that the state of california had to relocate over a million baby salmon 122 miles to a hatchery with more water. david, firefighters have just gotten control of the river fire here but just a few hours north of here in paradise, california, a new fire has exploded over the past 12 hours and they are already beginning to redeploy resources and some of the 1,500 firefighters here to that fire. david? >> matt, we know you'll stay on it. let's get right to rob marmarci, tracking the heat and the fires, including reports of this tornado. >> reporter: one of the ground right now. been a difficult round in iowa. tornado watch up until 9:00 local.
in the east, the heat and hum humidity has spawned some storms here. 60-pl 60-plus-mile-per-hour winds in parts of virginia, just south of d.c. in the west, the heat is beaning somewhat, but the fire danger still high across the northwest. and flash flood watch for a high monsoon danger across the four corner states. david? >> rob, our thanks to you again tonight. we also have a developing headline at this hour. the fbi now under fire for its handling of the sexual abuse claims involving former u.s. gymnastics dr. larry nassar what the inspector general has now uncovered, saying the fbi disregarded allegations by gymnasts and later made false statements to cover their mistakes. and just in this evening, the fbi now saying the actions of certain fbi employees were inexcusable. here's pierre thomas. >> reporter: in a devastating assessment, a new report by the justice department's inspector general bluntly states fbi agents failed to respond to the allegations against dr.
larry nassar, who has been accused of molesting some of the nation's most prominent female gymnasts. the report slams the fbi saying it failed to respond "with the urgency that the allegations required" and "failed to take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat posed by nassar." his victims say the former physician for usa gymnastics was a monster. sentenced in 2018 to up to 175 years in prison for assaulting hundreds of athletes including olympic stars aly raisman and mckayla maroney. the world's best, simone biles, has also identified herself as a survivor of abuse by nassar, and in 2019, blamed many in positions of responsibility for not protecting the athletes. >> you literally had one job and you didn't protect us. >> reporter: now that new report facing questions about whether as many as 70 young athletes were assaulted as the fbi fumbled their investigation into nassar. according to the report, after first hearing of the allegations in 2015, for months, agents failed to flag authorities who culd have taken action.
the reports also found as the controversy blew up, fbi officials "did not take responsibility for their failures," but instead tried to cover it up, providing "incomplete and inaccurate information" when questioned about their response. david, tonight the fbi issuing a statement, calling the bureau's handling of the case appalling. their statement also calling the actions of some fbi personnel, quote, inexcusable and a discredit to the organization. david? >> all right, pierre thomas on the breaking headline. thank you. and from capitol hill tonight, senate democrats announcing they have agreed now on a $3.5 trillion plan for what they call non-traditional inf infrastructure. a plan they believe they can pass with no republican support. so, let's get right to rachel scott on the hill tonight. rachel, what's in the plan? do they have all democrats on board to pass it? >> reporter: david, the president telling reporters today he believes democrats can get this done, but he knows that he cannot afford to lose a single vote from his own party here. arrived on capitol hill today to
rally support for this plan, meeting with democratic senators behind closed doors for roughly an hour, where he told them they must stand united on this front. much of this $3.5 trillion package is still being worked out, but we are told it is sweeping, including funding for child care to climate change to immigration reform. much of that would be paid for my increasing taxes on the wealthy, as well as top corporations, but still, you have a handful of moderate democratic senators that i spoke to today who say they have some serious concerns about inflation, as well as the size and the scope of that package, david. >> they'll be key on this. in the meantime, where do things stand on the part of more traditional infrastructure, that's how some label it, that republicans and democrats have been working on together, bridges, roads, broadband, for one? >> reporter: democrats and republicans have been meeting for weeks now, trying to hash out the final details of that bipartisan infrastructure package. the biggest hangup right now continues to be how to pay for $600 billion in new spending. democrats do want to get that bill on the senate floor by next
week, but the reality is, david, they just are not there yet. >> you're tracking it all for us. thank you, rachel. we turn next tonight to iran and to an alleged plot to kidnap an american citizen here in new york city. tonight, the fbi says they have foiled the plot to kidnap a u.s.-based journalist. here's abc's chief global affairs correspondent martha raddatz. >> reporter: for more than a year, says the indictment, iranian intelligence has been plotting the extraordinary kidnapping of one of iran's most prominent critics, masih alinejad, an american citizen living on american soil. >> i know that this is the nature of the islamic republic, but i always thought that here in america, in new york, i'm safe. >> reporter: the fbi alerting the journalist and author months ago that iran had hired private investigators to track her every move, including installing a live, high definition video feed of her brooklyn home. >> they showed me photos from my
private life, the photos of my husband, me walks around, like, watering my beautiful garden. they even took picture of my -- my step-children. >> reporter: after moving her from safe house to safe house, alinejad now posting this video to twitter, showing police parked outside her home, saying they were there to protect her. the justice department now indicting four iranian officials who they say considered using military-style speedboats to take her from new york to venezuela, where she could then be sent to iran, where prison or worse was a near certainty. the white house today condemning what it called iran's dangerous and despicable reported plot to kidnap her, but saying negotiations on nuclear talks will continue. >> torturing, kidnapping. you cannot downplay the level of the brutality of such a regime just because of having a nuclear deal with them.
>> reporter: the four iranian officials indicted are all in iran, but an iranian woman living in california who officials say provided financial services, was arrested and if convicted, she could definitely face extended prison time. but the iranians themselves, david, say the charges are baseless ridiculous. david? >> all right, martha rad ddatz tonight. martha, thank you. when we come back here, the nfl star charged tonight with domestic violence. and just in, the judge's decision now in the britney spears case.
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shot that says it you a. america strong. nick herman from san diego, california, is a fighter. playing basketball since he was a boy. at 16, while playing for the torrey pines high school falcons, doctors found a cancerous tumor in nick's left leg. he would spend nin nin hospital. nine months of chemotherapy. doctors feared he may even lose his leg. slowly regaining his strength. ringing the cancer bell. and incredibly, just a couple months after his last round of chemo, nick returning to basketball. his team making it all the way to their division championship. and down to the last half-second. the score tied at 60. they pass the ball to nick, he takes the shot and he scores. a three-pointer, winning 63-60. nick's team rushing to him.
lifting him up. nick overcome. and right here tonight -- >> hi, david. >> nick on his determination. >> spent many nights, long nights in the hospital doing che chemotherapy and many others doing physical therapy in order to rehab and get back to playing basketball. >> nick telling us he's been playing basketball every day this summer and we still await his final decision with multiple college scholarships for this fall. >> to all those people going through similar things, i want you to know that you can do anything. never stop pushing and never stop working towards your dreams. thank you and go falcons. >> keep proving them wrong, nick. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. good night.
now from abc7, live, breaking news. >> a covid crackdown today, where federal agencies seized documents from an office where patients received fake covid-19 vaccine cards. good afternoon,kristen sze. >> you are watching here on abc7 news, hulu live, and wherever you string. >> in napa, a homeopathic doctor was arrested for selling a fake pallet to protect people from covid-19. a statement from the acting u.s. attorney in san francisco says the doctor allegedly told people the vaccines contained toxic ingredients and urged patients to buy immunization pallets. a family member of one patient told authorities that there was a claim the pellets contained a small amount of covid to give them lifelong immunity. she is also accused of providing fake vaccine cards and told patients to falsely
mark that they received a vaccine. this is her website. she has facing one count each of wire fraud. her website says she holds a doctorate in natural medicine, not a medical degree. day five and still no sign of a missing jogger who disappeared over the weekend near pleasanton. >> authorities now believe 37- year-old phil kreycik is incapacitated or not in the 50 square miles of wilderness crews have searched. speaking only to abc7 news, his wife says the family will not give up hope that he will return home. >> it takes every molecule in my body. to stay in the moment. to stay in the moment. to know that we will find him. >> we will hear more from