tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC October 20, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
tonight, breaking news in the gabby petito case. the hunt for brian laundrie. and what authorities have now found. the fbi saying possible human remains have been discovered at a nature park near brian laundrie's home in florida. authorities discovering personal items including a notebook and a backpack, too. and why his parents were at the search area this morning before the discovery. also, the major news coming in tonight on boosters. the fda now authorizing boosters for moderna and johnson & johnson. and saying it is safe for americans to mix and match boosters. the cdc expected to sign off and what we're also learning about preparations to vaccinate 28 million schoolchildren 5 to 11 as soon as the vaccine is authorized.
the very difficult scene playing out in court today. parkland school shooter nikolas cruz pleading guilty to 17 counts of murder. the names of the victims read aloud. what nikolas cruz said to the families and how the parents are responding tonight. this evening, reports of movement on capitol hill on president biden's domestic agenda. what stays in the bill, what goes? universal pre-k, expanding medicare, vision and hearing so far surviving. rachel scott live on the hill. and robin roberts tonight with the first lady dr. jill biden on reports two years of free community college will not survive in the bill. the frightening moment on the highway. a police officer on the scene of an accident, blindsided by a speeding car. we do have news on his condition tonight. also news this evening about a major medical breakthrough. surgeons successfully transferring a pig kidney to a human patient and what this could mean. doctors telling the 95-year-old queen elizabeth that she needs rest.
the queen canceling her trip and what she's now saying. also word coming in tonight of an attack on a u.s. base overseas. what we've learned. and the walkout at netflix. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. and we begin tonight with the fbi before the cameras late today in the gabby petito case. this month-long search now for brian laundrie. a short time ago, the fbi confirming investigators have found what appears to be human remains along with laundrie's backpack and notebook. all of it not far from his family home in florida. crews had searched the carlton nature reserve many times before, but this discovery was in a nearby nature park that until recently had been under water. today, the county medical examiner was called to the scene along with a cadaver dog.
petito and laundrie had been documenting their cross country trip, posting videos on social media, when she disappeared. laundrie returned home to florida without petito. his parents have said he left to go hiking more than a month ago. and we also learned that police were informed last night that brian laundrie's parents would be joining the search today. abc's trevor ault leads us off on the ground in florida tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a major discovery in the month-long search for gabby petito's boyfriend brian laundrie. >> earlier today, investigators found what appears to be human remains along with personal items such as a backpack and notebook belonging to brian laundrie. >> reporter: investigators uncovering those remains and items in an area of florida's micyakkahatchee creek environmental park that was previously under water. the fbi now working to determine if the remains are, in fact, human and if it's brian laundrie. >> i know you have a lot of questions, but we don't have all the answers yet. we are working diligently to get those answers for you.
>> reporter: today, the sarasota medical examiner and a cadaver dog on the scene, along with laundrie's parents. their attorney saying the fbi and local police were informed last night of chris and roberta laundrie's plan to help with the search this morning and it was after a brief search off a trail brian frequented that some articles belonging to brian were found. >> gabby petito. never goes outside. >> reporter: the laundries reported brian missing more than a month ago, september 17th, two days after he was named a person of interest in gabby petito's disappearance. this summer, the couple had been on a cross-country road trip, sharing their seemingly happy travels on social media. >> did he hit you, though? >> i guess, yeah, but i hit him first. >> reporter: but on august 12th, police body camera footage capturing the pair after an altercation in moab, utah. and on september 1st, laundrie returned to his parents' north port, florida, home without petito. her family reporting her missing september 11th.
>> we love her very much and we miss her and we want her to come home. >> reporter: neither laundrie nor his parents spoke with authorities in the search for petito. her body found september 19th near wyoming's grand teton national park. the county coroner ruling she'd been murdered weeks prior. >> we find the cause and manner to be -- cause, death by strangulation and manner is homicide. >> reporter: and david, the medical examiner has not yet given a timeline for identifying these remains, but the fbi says they'll likely be out at the scene for several more days, continuing to comb through this park in search of more evidence. david? >> trevor ault leading us off tonight. trevor, thank you. and now to that major news on boosters tonight. late today, the fda authorizing boosters for moderna and johnson & johnson. and the fda also saying it is safe to mix and match booster shots. the cdc advisory panel now meets. they typically sign off rather quickly after the fda. it also comes as the white house now rolls out its plan to get millions of doses of the pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 the
moment regulators give it the green light. children will get two shots, three weeks apart and each of those shots will be about a third of the adult dose. the vaccine for children once approved will be available at doctor's offices, pharmacies and potentially even at schools. and tonight, also news, americans eligible for boosters now, that group could soon be widened to include everyone 40 and older. here's whit johnson. >> reporter: tonight, the fda officially authorizing booster shots for moderna and johnson & johnson and allowing americans to mix and match any of the three vaccines as a booster. the moderna booster for the same population as pfizer after six months for people 65 and older and those at high risk due to health or where they work. j&j boosters after two months for anyone over 18. and that green light for people who want to boost with a different brand of vaccine. >> what people are seeing with our mix and match study is also that if you boost with the johnson & johnson vaccines, the
numbers didn't come out quite as high as if you boosted with an nrna vaccine like the moderna or pfizer vaccine. >> reporter: one study suggesting giving j&j recipients a different vaccine booster could produce higher antibody levels. in illinois, music teacher susan mocarski got the johnson & johnson one shot. she cares for an elderly parent and a grandchild, another reason she's eager to get her booster. >> the moderna or pfizer might be a better response and moderna was slightly even higher than pfizer. either one would probably be okay with me, but why not get the best if it's available? >> reporter: and tonight, the white house rolling out its plan to get the pfizer vaccine to 28 million children ages 5 to 11 starting in early november. >> should the fda and cdc authorize the vaccine, we will be ready to get shots in arms. >> reporter: once regulators sign off, millions of doses will ship out to 25,000 doctor's offices, tens of thousands of pharmacies, community and school clinics. the goal? to make getting a vaccine shot easy and convenient for families. >> a lot of parents always are a
little extra careful about their children and want to turn to their trusted voices, pediatricians among them. and so, the white house is working with pediatricians among others to make sure that these vaccines are available where parents want them. >> ready? she's going to count for me, okay? >> one, two, three -- >> reporter: the dose for younger children will be a third of the amount given to adults. to make it easier for doctors and providers, the vaccine packaging will come with smaller needles and include color-coded caps on the vials. purple for those 12 and older, orange caps for kids 5 to 11. >> if we can get the overwhelming majority of those 28 million children vaccinated, i think that would play a major role in diminishing the spread of infection in the community. >> that's on child vaccinations. let's get back to these boosters tonight, whit johnson. and whit, the fda saying yes to boosters. the cdc now meeting, so, what's the timeline here? and what's this news, boosters
potentially soon for everyone 40 and older? >> reporter: david, that cdc advisory panel will vote on recommendations for boosters tomorrow. then the cdc director will give the final sign-off and millions more americans could be eligible by this weekend. and as you noted, there are reports that the fda is also considering booster shots for anyone 40 and older, but that likely won't be addressed until next month. david? >> all right, whit johnson with us again tonight. thank you, whit. we're going to turn now to that very difficult scene playing out in a florida courtroom today. parkland school shooter nikolas cruz taking responsibility in one of the worst school shootings in u.s. history. cruz standing there, pleading guilty to 17 counts of murder. and then speaking directly to the heartbroken parents in that courtroom. tonight, how the parents reacted and abc's victor oquendo was there. >> reporter: standing before the judge, the parkland school shooter listened as every victim's name was read, every count listed and made his plea. >> count 16, murder in the first degree of jamey guttenberg.
how do you wish to plea? >> guilty. >> count 17, murder in the first degree of peter wang. how do you wish to plea? >> guilty. >> reporter: anguished families of the victims wiping away tears. then nikolas cruz spoke directly to them for the first time. >> i am very sorry for what i did and i have to live with it every day. and if i were to get a second chance, i would do everything in my power to try to help others. and i am doing this for you and i do not care if you do not believe me. and i love you and i know you don't believe me but i have to live with this every day. >> reporter: gina rose montalto was just 14 years old when she was killed in the shooting. her father tony says watching cruz speak was painful. >> it was probably the most uncomfortable thing -- well, second-most uncomfortable thing we've ever had to do. first one would be hugging our daughter's lifeless body. >> reporter: prosecutors then laid out their case that on valentine's day in 2018, cruz, armed with an ar-15 rifle, took an uber to marjorie stoneman
douglas high school just as classes were letting out. parents listening as they recounted the 17 murders in gruesome detail. >> luke hoyer, 15 years old, was shot twice and he died of his wounds. >> reporter: luke's mom gena reliving the pain of the loss of her son. >> we miss him dearly. he should be here today. and we're just still in shock. we're glad today has come this way. we're hoping for accountability of the death penalty. >> reporter: and now comes the penalty phase for nikolas cruz. beginning in january, thousands of potential jurors will be screened until it's down to 12, who will ultimately decide his fate, life in prison or the death penalty. death would have to be unanimous. david? >> all right, victor, thank you. we turn next tonight to news of movement this evening on president biden's domestic agenda. democrats and republicans have already agreed to a bipartisan infrastructure bill to fix roads, bridges and create jobs. now democrats are still negotiating the other bill. tonight, word the price tag is
coming down significantly from the original $3.5 trillion. universal pre-k and expanding medicare, vision and hearing still in, but what's out? robin roberts with the first lady dr. jill biden tonight reacting to movement on the president's plans and rachel scott on the hill again. >> reporter: tonight, with pressure mounting to reach a deal, the president traveling to pennsylvania to sell his domestic agenda. >> this has been declared dead on arrival from the moment i introduced it, but i think we're going to surprise them, because i think people are beginning to figure out what's at stake. >> reporter: the president holding marathon meetings with progressives then moderates. the white house says, "the window for finalizing a package is closing." >> everyone is going to have to compromise if we're going to find that legislative sweet spot we can all get behind. nobody will get everything they want. >> reporter: sources tell us the president told progressives the price tag has to drop from $3.5 trillion to just under $2 trillion and to get the bill across the finish line,
sacrifices would need to be made. the bill would still cover funding for child care, elder care, universal pre-k and medicare expansion for vision and hearing but paid family leave may be less than what the president wanted. four weeks instead of 12. and the $300 monthly child tax credit may only be extended for one more year. is that enough to you? >> as far as i'm concerned, a one-year expansion is a death sentence for the child tax credit. i see it as a grave miscalculation. >> reporter: we're told the president informed members a plan for tuition-free community college would likely be dropped from the final package. a key democratic priority championed by the first lady. she spoke with robin roberts today. >> i don't have to tell you that some people are concerned with the social spending bill that is being reported that free tuition at community college may have to be taken out of the bill. for families that were hoping for that -- >> i know. >> what would you say to them? >> i would say, we're not giving up.
we are not giving up. this is round one, this is year one, i'm going to keep going. so, there's hope, because we're going to get this done. >> reporter: and david, another setback for democrats, tonight republicans blocking voting rights legislation once again. the vice president told me tonight they are undeterred by this. democrats do plan to bring another bill named after the late john lewis to the floor as early as next week, but they still do not have the republican support they need to move forward. david? >> all right, we'll be watching for that. rachel, thank you. and you saw robin roberts with the first lady dr. jill biden there. robin will have much more of her interview tomorrow on "good morning america," including the very moving discussion on breast cancer awareness. in the meantime tonight, we're going to turn to the breaking headline from the nfl. the league now agreeing to changes to its $1 billion concussion settlement program. altering the way claims for compensation are now evaluated, eliminating the controversial practice of race norming, which critics claim made it harder for black players to qualify for payouts. abc news reporting on this for
some time now and now major changes. here's abc's janai norman tonight on what this new deal means for former players and their families. >> reporter: tonight, the nfl and its former players have reached an agreement to change the way concussion claims are evaluated. the new terms meant to be filed under seal but abc news learning that in that 46-page document, the nfl and other parties state that no race norms or demographic estimates, whether black or white, shall be used in the settlement program going forward. in june, the nfl pledging to end the use of the controversial practice of race norming, a neuropsychological tool that when used in these cases assumes black players start at a lower cognitive level than white players, often making it harder, critics claim, for black former players and their families to qualify for compensation for head injuries sustained during their careers. today's news coming after an abc news investigation uncovered emails from several clinicians
who evaluated players, saying they felt pressured to apply race-based adjustments to former players' cognitive test scores that, quote, "bottom line do discriminate against black players." the prominent attorney who negotiated the landmark settlement in 2013 later apologizing to his own clients in an exclusive interview. >> i was wrong. i'm really sorry that anybody, anybody, any client of mine in this program has been made to feel that way. that was a big mistake. it was a failure of the system. >> reporter: two black former players, kevin henry and najeh davenport, filed suit against the nfl last year, accusing the league of "avoiding paying head injury claims based on a formula that discriminates on the basis of race." that suit was eventually dismissed, but not before the judge ordered the nfl and attorneys for former players into mediation to address the
concerns raised about race norming. >> i'm banged up. i'm beat up. and the part that you don't see is up here. you don't see how my brain is beat up. they don't hit me less or harder because i'm black. >> reporter: a spokesperson for the nfl stating this summer that while they "are committed to eliminating race-based norms in the program and more broadly in the neuropsychological community, there is no merit to the claim of discrimination." and david, the settlement agreement stating the league will automatically rescore all eligible tests of retired players for whom those race-based norms were applied. that could mean millions of dollars of additional payouts for former nfl players and their families. david? >> all right, janai, really important reporting from you and the team on this. thank you. overseas tonight, the u.s. military base has been attacked in syria. a u.s. official confirming that there has been a coordinated attack on the u.s. base at al tanf in syria near the border with jordan. the attack now over and they say with no u.s. injuries or deaths. when we come back here tnight, a police officer on the
scene of an accident, blindsided by a speeding car. the images and news on his condition tonight. and the queen has been told by doctors, she needs rest. hidn if you can help heal your skin from within. with dupixent adults saw long-lasting, clearer skin and significantly less itch. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines don't change or stop them without talking to your doctor. talk to your doctor about dupixent. air wick without talking to your doctor. air wick scented oils are infused with natural essential oils to create authentic seasonal scents that fill your home with holiday spirit all season long. connect to nature this season. ♪ you pour your heart into everything you do, which is a lot.
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medical breakthrough tonight. for the first time ever, surgeons in new york transplanting a pig's kidney into a human patient with no signs of rejection. the patient was brain dead before the surgery. the kidney functioning normally. scientists hope this could help ease the desperate need for transplant organs. when we come back tonight, the walkout at netflix and that news on the queen. netflix i'm still drawn to what's next. even with higher stroke risk due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin that's a trail i want to take.
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to the index tonight and some netflix employees staging a walkout in los angeles today. protesters angry over comedian dave chappelle's new netflix special "the closer" saying some of his comments are anti-trans. netflix's ceo criticized for supporting chappelle. he told "variety" he mishandled criticism, he should have been more thoughtful. that special remains on netflix. and queen elizabeth canceling her trip to northern ireland. hosting a reception at windsor castle just last night, but doctors have now advised her to rest for a few days. the palace offering no further details, saying the queen is in
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ask your doctor about everyday verzenio. finally tonight here, when you go off to college and your mom goes with you. tonight, mother and son brandi and maverick mitchell. this mom redefining what it means to be a soccer mom. that's because brandi, at 45 years old, has enrolled at miramar college in san diego, where her son maverick is a freshman. the two both going to school and both playing sports. her son maverick, a goalie on the water polo team. number one in the red cap. thwomes eang, practicing and
scoring. and it's not just sports. one of her classes on computers, right there in the classroom, her son, too. and right here tonight, after practice -- >> hi, david. >> brandi and maverick. >> i play on the women's soccer team. yes at my age. i fortunately have enough of the skill level and the energy to keep up with these young women who are more than half my age. >> and what's it like going to school with your mom? >> it's been very cool to be in a class with her, because i've been able to do all my work together. >> he actually checks in with me to make sure that i'm getting my homework done. that i'm keeping on top of my test preparation. >> tonight, the son and the soccer mom and their message. >> never give up. no matter what age you are. >> just because you didn't get a chance to do something when you were quote unquote young doesn't mean you won't get a chance later on. >> i just love these two. we'll see you tomorrow. good night. good night.
digging powerlines done with it. officials are warning of other potential issues. >> especially those homes in and around the burned star area are protected and prepared. >> building a better bay area. moving forward. finding solutions. this is abc 7 news. >> good evening and thank you for joining us. dan: taking a live look outside at our traffic cameras at the golden gate bridge, richmond bridge and san rafael. we have rain slowing down the evening commute. let's go to sandhya patel. sandhya: this is a good thing. we need the rain even though it is slowing down the commute. i want to show you live doppler 7. we are seeing more widespread activity shouting -- starting in
east bay. macarthur boulevard, emeryville seeing the wet weather. san francisco into the peninsula into san bruno. send carlos skyland boulevard is wet. it is light and very soupy as the level 1 storm has stalled out from last night. the wind has let up but you are still seeing that moisture leading into the area. rainfall totals over one inch in santa rosa you will notice there were only trace amounts from hayward to san jose. as you look at the timeline you'll notice the showers keep on coming. 8:00 tonight we have more showers and storms for tomorrow morning and a little more in terms of the intensity going into late morning and early afternoon. this is just the start of what looks to be a very wet pattern. the next storm friday morning with a stronger atmospheric river sunday night into monday. ama: grenell bernard continues