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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  January 16, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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and spencer christian, thank you for joining us. we will see you back here at 6:00. breaking news tonight as we come on the air. the monster winter storm striking the south, now taking aim at the northeast. tonight the dangerous storm impacting more than 100 million americans. in south florida, an ef-2 tornado damaging more than 100 homes. other areas blasted with powerful winds, torrential rain, and crippling snow and ice. some 190,000 customers without power in southern states. and more than 2,800 flights grounded nationwide. the northeast now under threat. we're timing out the storm as it barrels up the coast. our other top story tonight, president biden now calling that terrifying synagogue standoff "an act of terror." the rabbi and three others taken hostage in texas emerging unharmed. the suspect shot and killed, identified as a 44-year-old british national.
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the man allegedly demanding the release of a convicted terrorist. tonight, the dramatic rescue. the video capturing the moments several hostages escaped. and where the president says the suspect allegedly got his weapons after landing in the u.s. battling the omicron surge. the biden administration warning of tough weeks ahead. daily covid cases soaring to nearly 800,000 new infections on average. hospitals under siege with nearly 160,000 covid-positive patients receiving care. tonight, why dr. jha says it's going to get much worse. novak djokovic deported. the serbian tennis star kicked out of australia, losing his bid to defend his tournament title. his response to the decision tonight. the underwater volcano in the pacific erupting again. tonight, the growing fears for the island nation of tonga. the voting rights showdown in washington. the white house push stalled in congress. tonight the key democrat vowing to not give up the fight, and my interview with martin luther
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king iii on the eve of mlk day about the measure and those opposing it. the hero pilot speaking out. >> i had god as my co-pilot. >> daniel moore released from the hospital today to a round of applause, credited with saving the lives of an infant and two flight nurses. what he says about the miraculous crash landing. good evening, everyone. thanks so much for joining us on this sunday. i'm linsey davis. a lot to get to tonight. the final moments of the attack on the texas synagogue. president biden calling it an act of terror. but we begin tonight with that monster winter storm that's pummeling the south. it is now bareling into the northeast. more than 100 million americans are on alert. north carolina's governor is telling residents to stay off the roads. dozens of accidents are reported throughout the region amid significant ice accumulations. tens of thousands are already
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without power, and that number is only expected to grow tonight with strong winds in the forecast. that same storm system triggering at least one confi confirmed tornado in southwest florida. dozens of mobile homes damaged or destroyed by the twister. thousands of flights were canceled. more than 90% of the operations out of charlotte's airport impacted. abc's elwyn lopez leads us off tonight from charlotte. >> reporter: tonight, the far-reaching storm plowing through much of the country, plastering the southeast with a wintry mess. parts of the carolinas smothered in near whiteout conditions leaving more than 100,000 without power. the blast crippling interstates and major roadways. some drivers marooned. others pushing cars along. and tonight in north carolina traffic in the skies coming to a near halt. charlotte douglas international airport leading the world in cancellations, with more than 95% of flights grounded. >> hopefully something will open
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up, you know, but for right now just a waiting game for me right now. >> it's coming down pretty good here. >> reporter: parts of northern georgia seeing more than four inches of snow. and a short-lived ef-2 tornado kicked up from that same system in fort myers, florida. >> this terrible, fierce storm came through here. it lifted me off my feet. >> reporter: more than two dozen homes destroyed there. edward murray says he was trapped under his for 30 minutes before firefighters rescued him. >> hard-working men that came in through that rubble to get me. i'm so honored, so honored. the paramedics treated me very well afterwards. lee county can be very proud of these people. >> reporter: and, linsey, this storm is pushing into the northeast, but temperatures here are expected to drop overnight, so some of this wintry mess on the roadways could freeze. that is why officials here are urging people to stay off the roads. linsey. >> stay home if you can. elwyn, thank you.
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let's go straight to chief meteorologist danielle breezy from wkrn in nashville. danielle, tell us what is happening at this hour right now. >> reporter: this dangerous winter storm is heading up the east coast. take a look. you can see the snow and icy conditions now extending up into the mid-atlantic. weather alerts remain in effect from florida to maine. atlanta, d.c., new york and boston all seeing impacts. this storm barrels up the coast overnight bringing heavy snow inland and wind-driven rain along the i-95 corridor. the worst conditions wrap up in new york city by 7:00 a.m. but continue for new england into the afternoon. treacherous road conditions will linger into the monday morning commute. that will be here in nashville and along the east coast, linsey. >> danielle, thank you. to our other major story, the attack on the texas synagogue. tonights authorities identifyed suspect as a british national. today president biden called the incident an act of terror. the president praising law enforcement for their swift action and the cooperation between state and local authorities. the nearly 11-hour standoff came to an end late saturday when an elite fbi team stormed the building.
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our abc affiliate wfaa has this exclusive video of the hostages running out to safety. a man with a gun retreating into the building. abc's mireya villarreal reports tonight from the scene in colleyville, texas. >> reporter: tonight, a frantic dash to freedom for hostages fleeing a nearly eleven-hour standoff at this synagogue in north texas. the group escaping through a side door with an armed man following them before he disappears back into the building. flash bangs and gunshots caught on exclusive video from our abc affiliate wfaa. moments later, agents rushing inside. the fbi using a special hostage negotiating team out of quantico, virginia, to speak with the suspect, now identified as a british national, malik faisal akram. >> it's very likely this situation would have ended very badly early on in the day had we not had professional, consistent
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negotiation with the subject. >> reporter: the suspect interrupting shabbat services at congregation beth israel outside of fort worth around 10:20 local time saturday taking four people hostage, including the rabbi claiming to have explosives in his backpack. authorities say he demanded the release of convicted terrorist affia siddiqui, now serving an 86-year sentence for trying to kill u.s. personnel in afghanistan. members watching a live stream of the service on the synagogue's facebook page, now taken down, listening in fear. >> you know, he said he had a bomb. he said he had a gun. >> reporter: across the country law enforcement also stepping up security at jewish houses of worship. shortly after 5:00 p.m., one man set free, but the others remaining inside for over four more hours. all four hostages making it out alive and unarmed. investigators saying the suspect died in a shooting incident. >> this was an act of terror. >> reporter: today president biden condemning the standoff
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saying this about how akram potentially got the weapons after arriving into the country in the last few weeks. >> i don't have all the facts nor does the attorney. but allegedly the assertion was he got the weapons on the street. >> reporter: the anti-defamation league recording more than 8,000 incidents of extremism or anti-semitism in the last two years. >> anti-semitism attacks have risen over the last three or four years increased and we need to prepare our community. >> reporter: the network conducting security and training at beth israel synagogue. tonight one of the hostages crediting that training for saving their lives saying in a statement, in the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening. without the instruction we received, we would not have been prepared to act and flee.
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>> that training making all the difference, it appears. mireya joins us tonight. mireya, british authorities say they're working with their u.s. counterparts as this investigation continues. but what else are we learning tonight about the suspect and his connection to affia siddiqui? >> reporter: you know, linsey, right now multiple sources are telling abc news that initial indications are that he was actually shot and killed by that special hostage negotiation team that was brought in, but right now forensic tests are pending, and as for affia siddiqui, she has given a statement through her attorney and says she does not know this man and condemns his actions. linsey. >> mireya, thank you. we turn now to the pandemic and the battle against the omicron surge pushing hospitals and health care workers to the brink. cases soaring to new records. nearly 800,000 new infections per day. that's eight times higher than just six weeks ago. the surgeon general tonight warning of a tough few weeks ahead and defending the administration's covid response. abc's phil lipof is in new york for us tonight.
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>> reporter: tonight, the biden administration on the defensive after several setbacks in the battle against covid. our martha raddatz pressing the surgeon general on the testing troubles across the country. >> we're pulling out the stops on testing right now, and that's why in addition to the 50 million tests we sent to community health centers, in where people can get free tests. >> but, dr. murthy -- >> we're also -- >> i know what you're doing. >> -- rapid at-home tests. >> i know what you are doing now, but the question is why wasn't it done sooner? look, you say, you always hold out hope, but you plan for the worst. it doesn't sound like that happened. >> well, there was planning, martha. >> reporter: critics say not enough. but tonight, the white house has some criticism of its own, blasting the supreme court for blocking the administration's workplace vaccine mandate. >> it was a setback for public health. >> reporter: the nation reporting nearly 800,000 new covid cases a day, pushing hospitals to the brink. >> i think it's going to get much worse. the problem is we are running out of health care workforce.
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we just don't have the staffing, so that is going to be a challenge for many weeks ahead. >> reporter: millions infected having to isolate away from work and out of school. in early omicron hot spots some encouraging signs tonight, a dramatic drop in daily cases. that is from just last week. new york city down 17%. 25% in washington, d.c. and cases also appear to be plateauing in massachusetts, vermont, and new hampshire. starting wednesday the biden administration will begin the process of distributing 500 million free at-home tests. four allowed per household though a senior white house official says it could take seven to ten days for those tests to arrive. linsey. >> and those tests cannot arrive soon enough. phil, thank you. in just a few hours, the australian open gets under way without the defending champ, novak djokovic. the tennis great flew out overnight after a final ruling on his deportation. here's abc's britt clennett. >> reporter: tonight, novak djokovic deported after losing his last ditch effort to stay and defend his australian
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open title. the serbian tennis star flying to dubai just hours after a three-judge panel ruled unanimously to uphold his second visa cancellation. >> the orders of the court are, one, the amended application be dismissed with costs. >> reporter: the nine-time australian open champion argued he entered the country on a medical exemption because he had recovered from covid-19 last month. his visa was canceled by australian border officials upon his arrival at the airport. djokovic later won an appeal, allowing him to stay in the country and practice until the court decided his fate. djokovic releasing a statement after the ruling saying he was extremely disappointed and adding, "i'm uncomfortable that the focus of the past few weeks has been on me, and i hope that we can now all focus on the game and tournament i love." unable to play, the top ranked player now facing potentially a three-year ban into australia. prime minister scott morrison praising the decision saying australians expect the
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sacrifices they've made during the pandemic to be protected. linsey. >> britt, thanks so much. tonight the underwater volcano off of tonga erupted again. the initial eruption was captured by satellite and led to tsunami advisories as far away as the western u.s. an ash cloud is making reconnaissance difficult and communications with tonga have mostly been cut off. back in this country, the push for voting rights is taking on new urgency on this, the eve of the dr. martin luther king holiday. a showdown is looming in the senate where several measures are facing an uphill battle. but south carolina representative jim clyburn says supporters are not giving up. here's abc's alex presha. >> reporter: tonight on the eve of martin luther king jr. day, images like this one of the civil rights leader at the signing of the first civil rights legislation hailed as a high point in our democracy. >> what do we want? [ crowd chanting ] >> when do we want it? [ crowd chanting ] >> reporter: and now renewed efforts to broaden access to voting hangs in the balance.
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a senate debate scheduled for tuesday. a vote all but certain to fail. >> we are going to keep pressing this issue. >> reporter: democrats don't have enough support for legislation, including the freedom to vote act. the bill would expand voter registration, designate election day as a federal holiday, establish protections against gerrymandering, and restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated americans. >> i hope we can get this done. the honest to god answer is, i don't know. >> reporter: since the 2020 election critics say a number of states have taken action making it more difficult to cast a ballot. last year, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. arizona is one of them. in the spirit of his father, martin luther king iii led a rally in phoenix over the weekend. [ crowd chanting ] >> reporter: earlier today linsey spoke with king and his wife andrea. >> it is said that a people who do not remember history are doomed to make the mistakes of the past. >> why is this something that needs to be constantly renewed
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and revisited? >> it has never been done totally correct in the sense that we had to do it initially as an act, and acts have to be reinstated over and over again. i think that's why congress has designed actual laws that will make it sustainable. >> reporter: linsey, all eyes will be on senators kyrsten sinema and joe manchin. both democrats refuse to support getting rid of the filibuster, a potential workaround for their party to pass voting rights legislation on its own. linsey. >> many remaining hopeful, though, alex, thank you. now to the escalating tensions between russia and the west. today secretary of state blinken reaffirming u.s. support for ukraine's sovereignty in the face of increasing russian threats. kiev under cyberattack. government sites hit with malware as video purports to show even more russian forces heading to the border. here's abc's white house correspondent maryalice parks. >> reporter: tonight, newly released video showing ukrainian troops training on their eastern
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border on high alert. u.s. officials warn the russian military is in position to move quickly and potentially invade if putin says the word. with more than 100,000 troops already amassing at the border, this unverified social media video examined by independent researchers seeming to show russia moving even more troops and heavy equipment west. and the biden administration believes russian operatives are already inside ukraine and could soon be planning to stage an incident. a so-called false flag operation that putin would then use as a pretext for invasion. adding to the escalating tension, cyberattacks on ukrainian websites. microsoft flagging destructive malware and systems belonging to several ukrainian government agencies and organizations that work closely with the ukrainian government. >> if it turns out that russia is pummeling ukraine with cyberattacks, and if that continues over the period ahead, we will work with our allies on the appropriate response. >> reporter: the white house
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says they will be ready with heavy-hitting sanctions. but in a recent interview the kremlin spokesperson seeming to brush that threat aside. >> we would like just to ask people in washington, can you recall any example of a situation when sanctions helped you to solve a problem? >> reporter: linsey, the white house tells me they are continuing to make overtures to the russians to try to get them to keep negotiating, but it is noticeable that no new meetings have been announced. and in that interview, the kremlin spokesperson had this ominous warning. he said he thought that russia and the west were on totally different tracks and that that was not good and disturbing. >> maryalice reporting from the white house, thanks so much. this comes just two days after north korea test-fired a
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pair of short-rank ballistic missiles from a railway car. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. the urgent manhunt for a gunman in a deadly shooting on an amtrak train. and the hero pilot released from the hospital now speaking out. and you could lose up to ten pounds. trulicity is for type 2 diabetes. it isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. it's not approved for use in children. don't take trulicity if you're allergic to it, you or your family have medullary thyroid cancer, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction, a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, changes in vision, or diabetic retinopathy. serious side effects may include pancreatitis. taking trulicity with sulfonylurea or insulin raises low blood sugar risk. side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and may worsen kidney problems. ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity. your shipping manager left to “find themself.”
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finally tonight, he was piloting a helicopter earlier this week when it crashed right in front of a church. today he's giving all the credit to his co-pilot. [ applause ] upon his release from the hospital today, daniel moore was hailed a hero, though he says it was all a miracle. >> i'm just feeling fortunate that i had god as my co-pilot that day, and we -- we took care of the crew. >> reporter: moore was piloting the medical helicopter on tuesday that crashed outside philadelphia. on board a 2-month-old infant patient and two flight nurses en route to the children's hospital of philadelphia. these images from a surveillance camera captured the chopper the moment it went down. moore fractured his ribs, sternum and vertebrae, but everyone on board survived.
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>> i have one that is not alert. he's the pilot. >> reporter: the pilot was praised for skillfully avoiding buildings and power lines. while his memory is a bit hazy, his heart is full of gratitude. >> i remember my flight and taking a 2-month-old baby, handing it off to safety and grabbing the fire extinguisher and putting the fire out. i remember waking up and looking up and seeing a whole company of firefighters looking down at me, and that's a real good feeling. i want to thank all the first responders that showed up that day and the everyday heroes, the uber driver and all those folks running towards the burning helicopter rather than away from it. it's been very overwhelming. you know, i always tell people i just drive the bus. the heroes are in the back working on the patient. >> thanks so much for watching. david muir back here tomorrow night. i am linsey davis. have a great night. >> announcer: thank you for
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making "world news tonight with david muir" america's most >> building a better bay area, moving forward and finding solutions. this is abc 7 news. dion: the 49ers advance to the next round of the playoffs after finishing off dallas. you're watching abc 7 news at 6:00. the 49ers just wrapped up a thrilling playoff game against their rival, the cowboys. a 23-17 win over dallas and now it is on to green bay. abc's evan news chris alvarez has more. chris: i have not had a chance to relax but to breathe. i am sure you heard the emotion coming out of the sports room. they renamed the weekend the super wildcard weekend.
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the game was super and wild. it came down to the final play. dallas has zero timeouts. you see the time winding down. he needed to get to the line to spike it but instead, dak prescott gave it to the center. he jumps in between trying to re-spot it and time runs out. absolutely costly and that is how the game ended. kyle shanahan was pretty sure that was the end but the way things were going, he is still holding his breath. >> i thought it was over. i saw it live. i was confident it was done but still nervous. sometimes it changes so you are never fully sure until they let you know. chris: san francisco will play at green bay next weekend, most likely saturday in the divisional round.
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