tv ABC World News ABC December 31, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
rockin' eve starts at 8:00 p.m. that's it for us at tonight, all-time high on this final night of 2016. that ring of steel ringing in the new year with an unprecedented show of force. heavily armed police on the ground and in the sky. our team deep inside new york's security command center as millions gather in times square and around the world to welcome in 2017. did russian hackers target a power company right here at home? tensions rising as expelled russian diplomats race to leave the country, while trump's team asks, does the punishment fit the crime? the manhunt for a cop killer. a young rookie just married. the latest in this year's alarming rise in officers killed in the line of duty. trapped for eight hours sky high on a ride.
so high rescue ladders were too short. how those families finally came down. and lost in the snow for more than a day. how the slip of paper one man carried in his pocket for three decades finally saved him. good evening and thank you for joining us as we bid farewell to 2016. i'm cecilia vega. as new year's celebrations are under way around the world, we begin right here at home with a staggering show of force. a live look right here at new york's times square, the sidewalks are packed. more than a million people expected there for the country's biggest party. security at an all-time high. sanitation trucks are on guard, blocking against possible truck attacks like that deadly one on a christmas market in germany. law enforcement not just here but from coast to coast on high alert tonight against any and all threats. abc's eva pilgrim is right there
in the thick of it all in times square starting us off tonight. >> reporter: tonight, more than a million now pouring into times square. security checkpoints going up, trucks in place. 7,000 police, some heavily armed, setting those unprecedented security measures in motion. the fbi loading into suvs preparing to check for any possible explosive devices. >> we'll be looking at our cases here in new york and we'll also be looking at events worldwide to see whether or not they could potentially have any impact on us here in new york. >> reporter: this is the nypd command center where authorities will have eyes, cameras, 9,000 video feeds watching everyone and everything coming and going near the celebration. rooftop surveillance teams being deployed for a view from above. bomb-sniffing dogs and critical response officers covering everything on the ground. authorities put up 65 viewer pens from times square to 59th street. each holds up to 3,000 people. everyone wanting to get in will
have to pass through multiple checkpoints. 65 sand trucks and 100 blocker vehicles as you can see are in place now circling the area from times square all the way up to central park hoping to prevent tragedies like the ones we've seen recently in berlin and nice. >> it will be a most protected event with multiple layers of security. >> reporter: cities from coast to coast on heightened alert. in baltimore and philadelphia, fences put in place to make sure ringing in the new year is done the safe way. >> and eva joins us now live from times square. you can see the police there behind you. what are they telling you about possible threats tonight? >> reporter: authorities here say there isn't a specific threat to times square or celebrations in other cities. they are taking these extra steps out of an abundance of caution. cecilia? >> eva pilgrim leading us off tonight, thank you. we want to turn now to new concerns about a possible cyber breach of a u.s. power company.
officials pointing fingers once again at russian hackers just as those 35 expelled russian diplomats are racing to leave the country. the president-elect's team is now questioning the obama administration's political motives behind that punishment. this as mr. trump today ditched the reporters who cover him to play some golf. here's abc's mary bruce. >> reporter: tonight on a tarmac outside washington that russian plane sits waiting, as the clock ticks down. 35 russian diplomats and their families, almost 100 people in total, have less than 24 hours to get out of the u.s. already two lavish russian retreats on long island and the maryland shore have been shut down, punishment for russia's cyber-attacks and interference in the u.s. election. and tonight, new concerns the russians may have also targeted the american electrical system. a code linked to the russian hack found on a laptop associated with a vermont electrical company.
the apparent hack did not disrupt operations, but it raises questions about the security of the u.s. power grid. the discovery comes as president-elect trump is praising russian president putin. tweeting it was a "great move" for him not to retaliate against the new sanctions, saying "i always knew he was very smart." but even some republican lawmakers disagree. >> to praise putin, to come out and say that, a, this never happened and if it did it's not a big deal and we've done way worse is a totally different thing and i hope that tone changes. >> reporter: trump has repeatedly denied u.s. intelligence and questioned if russia was behind the hacking. now in an interview with our jonathan karl trump's new press secretary questions if the punishment fits the crime. >> if you look at 35 people being expelled, two sites being closed down, the question is, is that response in proportion to the actions taken? maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. there's a question about a political retribution here versus a diplomatic response.
>> reporter: now with 2017 just hours away, trump is wishing a "happy new year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly, they just don't know what to do. love." but no love for the press. trump once again breaking protocol, ditching the reporters tasked with following his movements as he ended the year with a round of golf. now, the president-elect will be celebrating tonight with the likes of sylvester stallone at his annual new year's eve celebration. the soldout bash at his mar-a-lago estate is known for being quite the star-studded event. cecilia? >> it sure is, mary. thank you. >> there will be much more on the president-elect's response to russia. our jonathan karl going one-on-one with the incoming white house press secretary sean spicer. that is tomorrow on "this week." to breaking news tonight, an armed attack at a nightclub in turkey during new year's celebrations at one of that country's top clubs. at least 35 dead, dozens
wounded. authorities say at least two men opened fire and set off explosions in what they're now calling terrorism. and now to the staggering number of deaths in this country of police officers killed in the line of duty. and tonight the latest casualty in what many are calling the most contentious year in recent memory between the public and their police. this time a young trooper in pennsylvania shot and killed. here's abc's marci gonzalez. >> reporter: that trooper's deadly encounter sparking a massive manhunt. it started 6:30 friday night. a pennsylvania state trooper responds to a domestic call at a home in rural pennsylvania. while inside 23-year-old landon weaver began interviewing the suspect who authorities say then grabbed a gun and opened fire, killing the rookie officer and newlywed. >> tragically, trooper weaver succumbed to his wounds. >> reporter: this, already a tragic year for law enforcement with at least 65 officers shot to death in the line of duty. that number up more than 56% over last year. from the five officers ambushed in dallas this summer --
>> come here. >> reporter: -- to the two officers in georgia just this month, whose final moments were captured on body cameras. gunned down as they responded to a domestic disturbance call. >> the domestic violence call is the number one most unpredictable type of call police officers answer in this country. >> reporter: a fact reiterated in this latest deadly case in pennsylvania. trooper landon weaver, leaving behind his wife of just more than six months. after a more than 15-hour manhunt, authorities finally tracked down the suspect, shooting and killing him. trooper weaver was on the force for just more than a year. cecilia? >> marci, thank you. on the streets of chicago today, a silent march remembering those killed in that city's alarming spike in violence. on michigan avenue, a sea of people carrying crosses, each cross representing one murder victim. more than 750 people were killed in chicago this year, the most in nearly 20 years. and in cleveland tonight, divers beginning the grim
recovery effort to find a family missing in lake erie. the coast guard suspending the rescue operation after 20 hours of searching. the family's small plane disappearing just after takeoff late thursday night. six people were on board, a family of four and their two friends. and imagine this one, trapped on an amusement park ride for eight hours, parents and their children so high up there rescuers had to use ropes to get them down. their ladders were just too short. abc's phillip mena brings us the latest. >> reporter: tense moments, families trapped sky-high. stuck for eight agonizing hours on this amusement park ride. the observation deck at knott's berry farm in california, stalling around 2:00 p.m. with 21 people inside including seven children. by 5:00, firefighters finally called to the scene, but their ladder not even close to reaching the riders stranded more than 120 feet in the air. the only way down, by rope, one by one.
this woman clinging to her rescuer. witnesses on the ground terrified. >> i'm ready to go into tears. >> reporter: gabe javage and his family were among those inside the rotating ride. he captured this video of firefighters harnessing his 3-year-old niece in the darkness. the last person rescued finally rescued just before 10:00, nearly eight hours later. >> thankfully no one was hurt here. officials here say the ride will remain closed while they conduct an investigation. cecilia? >> phillip, thank you. we want to turn to what is shaping up to be a cold and damp new year's eve for so many people. police say dense fog may be to blame for this deadly pileup in bakersfield, california. and there in western maine, it took the owner two hours to dig that car out from heavy snow. abc's senior meteorologist rob marciano is braving the cold for us tonight in times square. rob, how cold will it be out there when that ball finally drops?
>> reporter: seasonably cold. we're watching four systems across the four corners of the u.s. when the ball drops around midnight at 40 degrees. there may be a passing shower of the rain variety. the system clips across the northeast. maybe some snow across northern new york and northern new england. the tail end of this, the rain across atlanta and new orleans will continue a couple of days. snow for seattle and portland and rain for parts of southern california right through the midnight hour. here in times square regardless of the weather, at the stroke of 34id night, the crowd as usual will be going crazy. >> and you've got a front row seat, rob, thank you. we want to turn next to an incredible story of survival. a man lost on a hike spending more than 30 hours in the snow. the key to his survival right there in his pocket it turns out for decades. abc's adrienne bankert has more. >> reporter: lost in the middle of nowhere, wally fosmore finding himself miles from help while snow shoeing near leavenworth, washington this week, using his cell phone to record his track. >> a snow squall blew in and visibility went to zero and i made a wrong turn. >> reporter: the clock ticking, temperatures plummeting to the
low 20s. the 60-year-old hiking in snow almost as deep as he is tall. at night fall, fosmore relying on his experience as a search and rescue volunteer three decades earlier and a list of ten winderness essentials typed on a small note card, supplies he says saved his life, including a head lamp, extra food and tools to build a fire. >> my main job was just to keep the little tiny fire going. >> reporter: protected between two trees, he waited for the snow and wind to subside. he hiked out to attempt to get cell phone reception and was able to reach his son who called rescuers. fosmore using a whistle to get the first responder's attention with a lesson for other adventure seekers. >> take what you need and be ready to be self-sufficient. >> reporter: reunited with wife melody and the rest of his family in time to celebrate the new year. adrienne bankert, abc news, dallas, texas. next to some big changes about to take effect in 2017. new laws from what you can and
can't smoke to how to catch a catfish. abc's ron claiborne tells us what we need to know as the clock strikes midnight. >> reporter: at the stroke of midnight you can toke at midnight in california, nevada, massachusetts and maine. recreational amounts of marijuana can be used and sold legally. the deadly 2015 accident between a fedex delivery truck and a charter bus led to a new california law requiring charter bus drivers to provide better safety instructions to passengers. >> 911. >> we have an accident -- >> ma'am, listen to me. take a deep breath. okay, is he still shooting? >> oh, my god! >> reporter: in the wake of the 2015 san bernardino massacre that claimed 14 lives, new gun laws in california will ban easily reloadable semiautomatic weapons and prohibit magazines of more than ten bullets. that spurred a rush to purchase just those kinds of weapons. illinois is expanding the fight against domestic and sexual
violence, ordering training for cosmetologists to recognize signs of abuse. 20 states will raise their minimum wage, ranging from missouri where it goes up by a nickel to arizona where it jumps nearly $2 an hour. and starting next year in illinois, you'll be able to use a pitch fork, a spear gun or a bow and arrow, your choice, to hunt catfish. california alone passed 898 new laws. other states hundreds more. everything from oregon banning sky larn lanterns, those are miniature balloons, as a fire hazard, to new hampshire finally passing a law making it illegal to point a laser beam at a plane or a car. you have to wonder why that one took so long. >> certainly but now i know how to catch a catfish. >> with a pitch fork is one possibility. >> thank you. happy new year. it's almost time. the countdown is on here but it is already 2017 in many parts of the world. in sydney fireworks set off from the famous harbor bridge
including purple fireworks in honor of the late singer prince. a spectacular scene in dubai as fireworks shoot from the world's tallest building. and pyrotechnics lighting up victoria harbor in hong kong. there is still much more ahead on this final "world news tonight" of 2016. yes, this is a car through the roof of a house. what police say may have caused that driver to go airborne. an airline pilot allegedly passed out drunk in the cockpit. turns out he's not the first pilot accused of trying to fly under the influence. and let's ring in 2017 with cuteness, shall we? cue up the baby eagle cam. were you among the millions watching and waiting? we sure were. many people clean their dentures with toothpaste or plain water. and even though their dentures look clean, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope, we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture, and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly.
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it is arguably the most famous ball in the world and tonight when it drops something else will fall from the sky right there along with it. abc's john donvan explains. >> 3, 2, 1! >> reporter: it's the sphere for the year, the ball dropping ritual in new york's times square. >> i've been coming out to see the ball drop for close to 20 years. >> reporter: the globe, now a global affair, seen by one billion people around the world, but originally conceived more than a century ago as a stunt by the "new york times." our symbol of the new year getting more sophisticated over the decades, then going national. televised across america which brings us the welcome 2017 ball. this thing weighs almost six tons, is made of 2,688 triangle shaped panels of waterford crystal, and 32,000 l.e.d. lights, together creating more than 16 million colors. and when that ball drops tonight
floating through the sky will be not just any confetti. >> 3,000 pounds of confetti are thousands and thousands of people's wishes. >> reporter: they refer to it as wish-fett, carrying the aspirations of ordinary folks, who this year are wishing -- >> for 2017 i wish that people would gain common sense and be nicer to each other. >> healthy and happy. >> reporter: there will be this too, we hope, kindness. the official theme of this year's midnight drop. or put another way, don't be mean in 2017. happy, kind new year. john donvan, abc news. >> don't be mean in '17. thank you for watching on this last night of the year. i'm cecilia vega. and before we go, one final look at times square. you can see the ball drop right here on abc with ryan seacrest starting at 8:00 p.m. from all of us here at abc, have a happy and safe new year's. good night.
united states with to hold and inwith new knew -- in with the new. how the bay area is getting ready to welcome in 2017. thousands are gathering at the embarcadero for the big fireworks show. the animal rescue that caused a parking throttle -- to get torn up. abc7 chance at 6:00 starts now. now at 6:00, the world is ringing in 2017, and in just a few hours we will say goodbye to 2016. good evening, i'm in for eric thomas. thank you for joining us tonight. you just saw the start of the new year in london.
here's a live look now at the embarcadero in san francisco from our abc7 roof camera. thousands were gather to watch the fireworks but they better be bum bundle up. >> the started with cloud cover and that well to the south, the storm system brought us an isolated shower. your planner, not too cold by 10:00, and by midnight, as we welcome 2017, we'll do so under mainly clear skies. temperatures in leanin the done inland in the 30s. and around the water, not too bad but the