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tv   America This Morning  ABC  December 18, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PST

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making news in america this morning, travel nightmare. atlanta's airport, the busiest in the world, shut down, plunged into darkness. >> the lights flickered once. it was really scary, and then they flickered again and they didn't come back. >> tens of thousands of travelers stranded with no place to stay. this morning the lights back on, but why the headaches are only just beginning on this busy holiday travel week. also overnight new details about senator john mccain's condition as he battles brain cancer. the veteran senator returning home to arizona. how it could affect the republican tax bill with the first crucial vote expected tomorrow. team for sale. the new fallout as the owner of one of pro football's top teams is accused of sexual harassment and using a racial slur. the allegations prompting the sale. cell phone safety.
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does the so-called radiation from your phone cause headaches or even cancer? the new guidelines from health officials raising more questions. and she can conquer anyone on the court, but new mom serena williams is going public with her toughest foe yet, a teething child. who is coming to her help this morning? and we do say good morning on this monday, everyone. i'm kendis gibson. >> and i'm eva pilgrim in for diane. the lights are back on at the world's busiest airport, but it may be quite some time before operations return to normal. >> yeah, the power was out for 11 hours at atlanta's airport stranding tens of thousands of travelers. the mayor says more than 30,000 people were impacted. now, domestic flights to atlanta were canceled and international flights were delayed or diverted and overnight we learned what caused it and why it could linger for
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days. overnight travelers trapped at the world's busiest airport. >> it's a nightmare. >> reporter: a massive power outage bringing atlanta's hartsfield jackson international airport to a standstill. some passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to nine hours. >> all the airlines that are like canceled, they're saying we have to leave the airport basically. there are people who have nowhere to go, so what do you want us to do. >> reporter: even the former transportation secretary grounded. anthony foxx tweeting, there is no excuse. this is insane. shuttles and bus services transporting some passengers to the georgia international convention center. hours-long blackout caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility. the backup system also knocked out. >> because of the intensity of the fire, the switch which accesses the redundant system was damaged which caused damage to two systems rather than one. >> reporter: even with the power restored this morning, the outage has set off a massive
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ripple reflect delaying 2,000 flights at the beginning of the holiday season. a perfect storm with a record 51 million passengers flying over the holiday period. that's a 3% increase from last year. >> but the problem is atlanta is the big hub for the southeast and for delta. they said you can't go -- you can't go there. >> i was going to try to get to birmingham. i was going to try to get to wherever, you know, nearby. not. >> reporter: it could take several days to sort out the missed flights, delays and disgruntled passengers. >> i think for airlines that are headquartered in atlanta like delta, it's going to have a cascading effect and it's going to take them a long time to figure out crew schedules and putting airplanes in the right place. there are going to be a lot of people who are going to be affected by this for a long time to come. >> of course, delta is the nation's biggest airline. now, officials say air traffic control maintained power so nobody was in danger. more than 1,500 flights have been canceled so far. as for the fire, officials say
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there is no evidence it was deliberate but the mayor does say he was not able to rule out terrorism or sabotage. now to the other big story this morning. new details about senator john mccain's condition. he is back home in arizona after being hospitalized during his treatment for brain cancer. he will not be in washington for this week's vote on the republican tax bill. abc's arlette saenz has the latest. good morning, arlette. >> reporter: hey, good morning, eva and kendis. senator john mccain is back home in arizona seeking further treatment at the mayo clinic, but even without his vote, republicans are on the verge of passing the most sweeping tax reform in a generation and securing their first major legislative victory. president trump says republicans are days away from delivering the biggest christmas gift for the american people. >> this is going to be one of the great gifts to the middle income people of this country that they've ever gotten for christmas. >> reporter: but who exactly will benefit from the gop tax plan.
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the bill slashes the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, a win for big business. for the wealthy it lowers the top tax rate from 39% to 37%. and for middle class americans the plan doubles the standard deduction, but it caps combined state and local income and property tax deductions at $10,000. previous analysis of the senate plan found that americans earning $75,000 or less would pay more in taxes within ten years. >> this is a total betrayal of president trump's economic message on the campaign trail. it's a huge giveaway to big corporations. >> reporter: the package also eliminates the oprah mandate requiring individuals purchase insurance. congressional analysis says that could lead to 13 million more people uninsured. last week, two key hold-outs, senator marco rubio and bob corker, announced they'd back the plan. republicans now believe they'll have the votes. >> i'm confident we'll pass this bill probably on tuesday. we were determined to get this job done.
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>> reporter: but one key gop senator won't be on hand as he battles brain cancer. senator john mccain returned home to arizona where he'll undergo physical therapy and rehab at the mayo clinic. >> he's going through a very tough time. there's no question about it. but he will come back if we need his vote. >> reporter: senator mccain's office says the senator looks forward to returning to washington in january. as for the tax bill, the president hopes to sign the package by the end of the week. the irs says americans could see changes to their paychecks early next year. eva and kendis. >> thanks, arlette. in the meantime, there are some new developments in the russia investigation. president trump denying reports that he plans to fire the special counsel robert mueller. the denial comes after a lawyer for the trump transition team sent a letter to members of congress claiming that mueller's office illegally obtained transmission e-mails. he claims they are protected under the attorney/client privilege. even though he says he's not
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firing him, he still voiced his criticism last night. >> not looking good. it's not looking good. it's quite sad to see that so my people are very upset about it. >> reporter: mueller's office insists their investigation -- their investigators have followed the law. in the meantime, last night the president once again denied any collusion with russia. russian president vladimir putin is thanking president trump for sharing intelligence that helped prevent a terror attack. a tip from the cia apparently helped russian authorities stop a bombing plot in st. petersburg. during a thank you call, putin promised the president that russia would also turn over any information about potential terrorist threats against the united states. well, time now for a look at your weather on this monday morning. it's going to be a stormy week ahead across the country. snow in the northwest will move into the center of the country and then up to canada. behind that is arctic cold temperatures and even more snow. thunderstorms along the east coast next weekend could make holiday travel more difficult for millions of americans.
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now today's temperatures will be a little bit more moderate. 43 you see there in new york and 45 in chicago. mid-50s are expected today from denver to washington. 82 in miami. coming up, the pope's giant pizza party. but first celebrity chef mario batali's unusual apology after being accused of sexual misconduct. and new troubles in sarah palin's family. why her son has been arrested.
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we're back with the emotional procession as the body of fallen california firefighter cory iverson was returned to san diego. the four-hour possession passed through five counties with firefighters and other emergency
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personnel saluting from overpasses. the 32-year-old leaves behind a pregnant wife and a young daughter. >> and iefrdz died while helping to fight the thomas fire along the pacific coast north of los angeles. that fire is now on the verge of becoming the second largest in state history after burning 270,000 acres and more than a thousand buildings. several homes burned in montecito this weekend, but officials were able to save many others including a guest house where the eagles wrote their famous song "hotel california." the fire is now 45% contained. this morning the director of the cdc is insisting that no words have been forbidden at the agency. a "washington post" report has claimed the white house banned seven terms from official documents related to next year's budget. they are vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based. while denying the report, the director tweeted sunday that the agency will continue to talk about all of its important
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public health programs. the oldest son of former alaska governor sarah palin has been arrested on domestic violence charges again. court records in alaska show 28-year-old track palin is facing several counts stemming from the incident including burglary, assault and criminal mischief but the circumstances are still unclear. he was arrested last year for allegedly attacking his girlfriend. mario batali is facing criticism for his unusual apology for sexual misconduct against women. the celebrity chef who was fired from his tv show last week wrote to subscribers of his newsletter and acknowledged, quote, many mistakes while calling his behavior wrong. and then at the bottom of his letter batali wrote, p.s., in case you're searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these pizza dough cinnamon rolls are a fan favorite. he included a photo that readers could click on for the recipe. >> okay, strange response there. so forget cinnamon rolls or even cake. pope francis celebrated his 81st
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birthday with a giant pizza, 13 feet long topped with a single candle. you see him blowing it out there. he told the visiting children to eat all of that pizza because it will help them grow strong. happy birthday. >> and all the food groups in it, right? >> yeah. well, coming up, why uber may be revolutionizing another mode of transportation. but first the nfl team suddenly for sale after the owner is accused of sexual misconduct. and concerns about whether cell phones can cause headaches or even brain tumors. you know how we always debate that. we've got some new things prompting guidelines. stay with us. guidelines. stay with us. due to afib, a type of irregular heartbeat not caused by a heart valve problem. but no matter where i ride, i go for my best. so if there's something better than warfarin, i'll go for that too. eliquis. eliquis reduced the risk of stroke better than warfarin, plus had less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis had both. don't stop taking eliquis
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we turn now though to the mounting questions after health officials in california issued tips on how to avoid potential health risk from cell phones. >> they referred to research that indicates the energy emitted by cell phones could increase the risk for brain tumors, low sperm count and headaches even though there is no conclusive medical research to cause concern. they recommend keeping your phone an arm's length away from your body when you sleep. don't fall asleep with it on you and they recommend carrying your phone in a bag or purse instead of in your pocket. a professor who sued the state for not releasing information about the potential danger is praising the guidelines. >> currently we're not doing a good job in regulating the radiation from these devices. in fact, we're doing an abysmal job, and people are being injured and harmed by the delay in having this information accessible to them. >> now, officials say there's simply ways for people who are concerned about the possible risk to limit their exposure.
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well, it's the safety at ski resorts getting new attention this morning following a weekend accident in central pennsylvania. it was the opening day of ski season when a lift malfunctioned and sent a chair sliding backwards downhill. the chair reaction left five people injured. >> my jaw dropped, and i was like, oh, my gosh, and i just sat there for awhile and just like watched everybody and was watching the emergency personnel come up. >> well, a spokesman said the lift passed all of its safety tests before opening. a ski industry group said only a dozen lift-related deaths have been reported in the last 40 years. uber is gaining popularity among a new crowd, hospital patients. a new survey found uber has cut down on ambulance use by 7% as riders look to save money. some insurance companies also offering gift cards to uber users. they emphasize the service is not a substitute during emergencies. a bombshell headline from the national football league. carolina panthers owner jerry richardson selling the team
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after this season as he faces harassment claims. "sports illustrated" reports that richardson commented on female workers' looks and even asked some if he could shave their legs. the 81-year-old also reportedly used a racial slur. celebrities including hip-hop mogul diddy have already expressed interest in buying that team. well, there was a strange scene at last night's cowboys/raiders game, the ref gave dallas a first down after measuring with a folded piece of paper. that's how close it was. >> yeah, so the cowboys did go on to kick the game-winning field goal. they won, 20-17. one of their touchdowns there by dak. we get more right now from espn. >> kenny and i have been waiting five seconds to bring you this report. good morning, america. so the patriots and steelers played, and if they had played in anybody's backyard, the steelers had won. they played in an nfl stadium, the patriots won. >> we have rules and the rule books are thick. let's watch.
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already it's the fourth quarter. steelers trail, 34 seconds to go, down three. roethlisberger, jesse james, did he score, yes. sure looked like it. on replay they review and it's a complicated rule and they rule that franco harris' immaculate reception doesn't count, lynn schwan didn't catch the ball and "we are family" was a stupid song for the 1979 pirates. here's roethlisberger, fakes the spike, throws the pick. do not throw a slant against the paitsdz near the goal line. they win, 11-3. they got the tiebreaker. roethlisberger, sad. >> panthers/packers, aaron rodgers' first game since week six. remember, he had the broken collarbone. out 64 days and packers trail, 31-17. he did not look especially sharp. there's his third touchdown pass. three picks, richards, rodgers, onside kick, rodgers into carolina territory and hits geronimo allison on the slant, except allison fumbles and panthers recover. spoils the return of aaron rodgers, 31-24.
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they lose. the packers now 7-7 and most likely out of the playoffs. >> victor axelsen won men's singles in badminton. that's it for sports. >> thanks, fellas. up next the emergency that had chick-fil-a opening on a sunday. also the prince and the ex-president. why harry is sitting down with barack obama. and an urgent plea from serena williams to all moms out there. y is sitting down with president obama. and an urgent plea from serena williams to all moms out there.
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grant mcauley tweeted here, all you have to do to get chick-fil-a on a sunday is cut the power to the world's busiest airport, i guess so, grant. >> i don't know that we should do it again. >> now to a star-studded q&a where the the interviewer is just as famous as the interviewee. >> or possibly bigger. prince harry is moonlighting for a guest editor and he sat down with an old pal. >> it focused on the former president's final day in office but first they went over the ground rules. >> okay, so do i have to speak faster because i'm a slow speaker. >> no, no, no, not at all. >> okay. do i need a british accent? >> but if you start using long pauses between the answers, you're probably going to get the face. >> let me see the face. oh, okay. i don't want to see that face. >> there you go. the face. the interview, by the airs a little bit later on this month. tennis star serena williams is fighting her toughest battle since becoming a mom, teething. >> yeah, forget sharapova.
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she can't take her daughter. she posted a picture on instagram. the picture read teething, the devil is so hard. >> mom says she has tried everything, even letting the 3-year-old chew on mommy's fingers, ouch. serena's also asking her followers for some advice. i'm sure she's getting tons of advice. sglfrjts yeah. finally a marijuana marvel in massachusetts. it's a 100-foot-long joint. >> it was rolled by the marijuana exhibit. there are a thousand grams of pot and 3,000 yards of rolling paper and they plan to use a blowtorch to light it. >> they'll need it. ll need it. ♪ i tried hard to quit smoking. ♪ but when we brought our daughter home that was it. ♪ now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. can you say thanks nicoderm cq? every great why needs a great how.
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and good morning on this monday, december 18th. >> what? >> a week, a week out. >> less than a week. >> true, if you want to get it together. i don't have it together. >> that's true. >> amazon prime still is going to have you covered. it is not too late. it's all fine. >> jumped the gun. let's get on to the weather. really a little panic there. i still have stuff i need to buy for my wife. quiet right now. that's the good news. let's talk about temperatures. 36 in santa rosa. 35 in san ramone. we have 44 in oakland.
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here's what i'm talking about. it's back after what seems like forever. storm impact scale, a light storm is on its way for wednesday. more on that in the next 20 minutes. here is sue. >> we are heading to emeryville. take a look at the bay bridge from our camera. looking great. let's take a look at the toll plaza. cash paying folks have a minor delay but no problems getting into san francisco. a couple incidents in the south bay we'll update. it is a holiday travel nightmare that's far from over and this morning there are still hundreds of delays and cancellations after a power outage at atlanta's hartsfield jackson international airport. here's a live look, hard to see anything, look at the fog. still major delays.
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abc 7 news reporter wilson with more. >> reporter: good morning, jessica. you can see it is already busy here at sfo this morning. i have bad news there are some cancellations up here on the board. the 6:05 a.m. and the 10:25 have already been canceled. this could not have happened at a worst time. we're in the middle of a record-breaking travel season. 51 million people will fly. airline experts expect that it will take days for airlines to recover. according to flight aware more than 400 flights have already been canceled today. seven of those from sfo. former transportation secretary anthony fox spent five hours on the tarmac during the power outage yesterday tweeting this is insane. georgia power believes the outage was caused by a fire in an underground electrical facility. atlanta's mayor says the fire
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was so strong it knocked out the redundant system, too. >> all the airlines that are canceled say we have to leave the airport. we have nowhere to go. what do you want us to do? >> reporter: atlanta opened its convention center to provide stranded passengers a place to stay. delta says everyone flying through atlanta should check their status before coming to the airport. because so many flights are already booked to capacity this is going to take a long time to recover from. live at sfo, tiffany wilson, abc 7 news. exhausted firefighters are getting a small break today. they're taking advantage of calmer winds to mount an attack on flames threatening month cito that is just outside of santa barbara. the fire has grown to 270,000 acres. picture an area larger than new york city and boston combined. evacuations

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