tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 24, 2017 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
tonight, double trouble. the winter blast hitting both coasts. weather alerts from oregon to maine. and the white christmas in store for millions. breaking tonight, deadly plane crash. five people killed, including a father and his children. investigators on the scene. did weather play a role? christmas terror scare. the false alarm sending holiday shoppers into a panic. this, as homeland security officials are now calling that shooting spree targeting police an act of terror. rescue emergency. more than 100 skiers stranded for hours. helicopters called in for the mountaintop rescue. and, home for christmas. the police officer killed in the line of duty. tonight, a community coming together to give her family a place to call their own.
>> announcer: from abc news, this is "abc world news tonight." >> and good evening. thanks for joining us on this sunday. i'm tom llamas. and we begin tonight with the christmas eve blast of snow and cold hitting both coasts. a car spinning on an icy road there in topeka, kansas. this all part of a system sweeping endless snow across the midwest. it's shaping up to be a white christmas for millions. with sections of the northeast even bracing for possible whiteout conditions on christmas day. and that arctic blast and strong winds slamming a chunk of the country as well. more than 50 million under wind alerts from washington to boston. abc's senior meteorologist rob marciano starts us off. >> reporter: tonight, millions are getting that white christmas and all the headaches that can come along with it. winter weather alerts now up in over two dozen states, stretching from coast to coast. >> it's coming down a lot heavier than it was earlier. >> reporter: it's coming down in chicago and in buffalo. parts of new england bracing for
another foot of snow. >> it's a little slippery, a little wet. >> reporter: while bostonians are still trying to claw their way out from this. >> if you don't have four-wheel drive, you're in trouble. in the winter. >> reporter: slick roads causing multiple accidents in pennsylvania. traffic along 1-79 at a crawl. in maine, a tow truck using rope to pull this vehicle to safety. >> the roads are starting to get real slick, so you've got to be careful. they're starting to freeze over. >> reporter: whiteout conditions blinding drivers in nebraska. this car slipping and sliding in topeka, kansas. and a second storm pummeling the west, giving mild cities like seattle and portland a rare december snow. >> and rob marciano joins us live now. rob, the big question tonight, who's getting a white christmas? >> reporter: well, we all want that white christmas, tom, until you've got to drive through it. take a look at the radar. we've highlighted some of the troublesome here out to the west. i-5 will be an issue, above the interstate at the high
elevations. i-79 and i-90, ohio and pennsylvania. that's where the snow is falling now. by tomorrow morning it gets north of new york and through albany, the interior sections away from i-95 is where the heaviest snow is going to fall, but everybody's going to get some wind, especially in the afternoon. wind advisories it out, over 40-mile-an-hour winds and big-time cold coming in behind this with lake-effect snows cranking, too. could see up to a foot of snow in interior sections, but minus is what it will feel like tuesday morning in chicago and the teens and single numbers across the i-95 corridor, so very cold after christmas. tom? >> big-time cold is right, negative 25 in green bay. rob, thank you. now to the fiery plane crash in central florida. five people killed, including a family. fog said to be thick at the time of takeoff, and now weather may have played a role in that accident, all part of the investigation. here's abc's gloria rivera. >> an ill-fated early-morning takeoff in florida leaving nothing but wreckage, killing
five. >> they say there is a plane down. it's really foggy. we're unable to see it from our location. >> reporter: the plane, a small twin engine, was taking off for key west, crashing soon after takeoff at the north end of the airport. >> clearly, no one should have tried a takeoff from this airport at 7:15 this morning. the airport was totally socked in with fog. >> reporter: upon impact the plane bursting into flames. >> we do have an aircraft on the ground. it's on fire at this time. we are extinguishing the fire. >> reporter: the sheriff knew the pilot, 70-year-old john shannon, personally. shannon flying his two daughters, son-in-law and a family friend. all perished. >> there was no chance of survival. when you look at the crash the only thing you can say is that nobody suffered. >> reporter: that community heartbroken tonight. no definite cause for the crash has been given but the ntsb is investigating. >> tom? >> gloria riviera for us tonight. thank you. we turn to parts of the country on edge after recent terror attacks. fears about an active shooter triggering panic at a local mall.
this as homeland security officials are urging vigilance as christmas eve celebrations get under way. here's abc's eva pilgrim. [ sirens ] >> reporter: crowds running from this mall outside miami. a shooting scare causing panic, but authorities there say it was a false alarm. this, as across the country, law enforcement remains on edge. in california, court documents revealing 26-year-old everitt jameson, a former marine recruit, was planning to attack one of san francisco's most popular spots, fisherman's wharf, on christmas, because of president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the israeli capital. >> it kills me to know that he might would do something like that. >> reporter: this as a homeland security spokesperson says a central pennsylvania shooting spree by ahmed aminamin el-mofty targeting police late friday was terrorism. el-mofty killed in a shoot-out with police. >> he was not afraid to fire at different law enforcement officers. >> reporter: in this video, homeland security now asking people to stay alert.
>> while we're not aware of any specific, credible threats at this time, the recent attempted attack in new york is a reminder that we must remain vigilant. >> reporter: in new york, the city on heightened alert after the halloween attack that left eight dead and that subway attack near times square earlier this month. the suspect using a homemade explosive, telling investigators he carried out the attack in the name of isis because he was angry over all the killings of muslims around the world. >> and eva pilgrim joins us live now from outside of st. patrick's cathedral in midtown manhattan, where police are stepping up security on this christmas eve. >> reporter: that's right, tom, security ramped up across the country at soft targets such as churches, including the national cathedral in d.c. here at st. patrick's cathedral in new york, police have put up barricades and have increased the number of officers around church services. tom? >> eva pilgrim for us tonight. eva, thank you. we move on to politics. escalating tensions between the president, the fbi, and the press.
the president in florida this weekend taking time to thank troops for their service, also firing off new twitter comments aimed at the bureau's deputy director, andrew mccabe. democrats are accusing the president of trying to erode public confidence in the special counsel's investigation into russian meddling. here's abc's kenneth moton. >> reporter: tonight, president trump's relentless attack on the media continues. retweeting this "winning" image, the cnn logo squashed under his shoe. >> today, and every day, we're incredibly thankful. >> reporter: trump kept busy on christmas eve, thanking troops. >> we're grateful for each of you, who spend this christmas away from your families. >> reporter: and hitting the golf course. trump also teeing off on fbi deputy director andrew mccabe, who is reportedly going to retire in march. trump accused him of bias after an ally of hillary clinton's donated to his wife's political campaign. trump tweeting on mccabe, "these were the people who were investigating hillary clinton." >> well, it's a shame what's happened with the fbi.
about you look at what's gone on with the fbi and with the justice department, people are very, very angry. >> reporter: trump's attacks on the fbi have been increasing. an agency he recently said is in tatters. democrats and republicans, concerned the president is undermining the russia investigation, and that he may take aim at special counsel robert mueller. >> no one is above the law. let mr. mueller do his investigation without interference from the president. >> reporter: tonight, the white house facing scrutiny over derogatory remarks the president allegedly made in the oval office about immigrants. "the new york times" reporting trump was enraged in june about the number of immigrants who had entered the u.s. since his inauguration. trump reportedly complained that 15,000 immigrants from haiti "all have aids" and that 40,000 nigerian immigrants would never go back to their huts in africa once seeing the u.s. and the white house strongly denying the story, calling the claims lies and outrageous. >> i was not in that meeting. but the people in that meeting say the comments never happened.
so i have no belief that that actually transpired. >> the "times" standing by their story. kenneth moton is live from west palm beach, where he's with the president. the president was busy on twitter today, tweeting about success in the midterm elections? >> reporter: that's right, tom. the president tweeted "good republican candidates will win big." he also touched on his own approval ratings. blasting those polls that say his approval ratings are in the low 40s. trump says his base is strong and so are his insider polls, but the president didn't provide any evidence or proof to back up those claims. tom? >> kenneth moton for us tonight. kenneth, thank you. and this headline from north korea, rejecting the latest u.n. sanctions on its intercontinental ballistic missile launch as "an act of war." the u.n. security council voting unanimously friday to pass those tougher sanctions, further restricting its oil imports. north korea saying the move threatens peace and stability on the korean peninsula and in the region. next to the growing flu danger. the cdc warning of widespread
influenzalike activity in 23 states. doctors saying we may be approaching the peak of flu season. here's abc's marci gonzalez. >> stick your arm out. >> reporter: the flu spreading fast and hitting hard. now, experts say, it's going to get worse. >> i went to the doctor and got tested, and that i felt like i had a sinus infection. >> reporter: it turns out vince blea does have the flu. so does his son. now they are spending christmas quarantined, away from their family. >> it's sad that i won't be with the family today. it's the best thing for everybody. >> reporter: the cdc telling "the washington post" there's a 30% chance the flu peaks next week. ten states already reporting high flu activity chiefly from one powerful strain of an alarmingly contagious illness. >> the influenza virus can exist in the air three to six feet from a person who is infected and that does not have to be spread by just coughing or sneezing. that can be spread by talking or breathing.
>> reporter: and it's not just the very young, old, and people with weakened immune systems who are at risk. 20-year-old alani murrieta was killed by complications from the flu last month. >> never in a million years would we have thought that we would have lost her that day like this. >> reporter: she did not get a flu shot. neither did blea and his son. and though the vaccine is only about 10% effective this year, doctors say you should still get it because it could keep your symptoms more mild. tom? >> marci, thank you. heading overseas now on this christmas eve to the vatican. many millions watching around the world as the pope ushers in christmas with traditional midnight mass celebrations. the faithful flocking early to st. peter's square, where the pope urged catholics to focus their prayers on the people in the philippines. that country ravaged from floods and landslides from a tropical storm. the death poll rising again today. officials report more than 200 people have died.
those devastating images you see right there, a family struggling through waist-high water, trying not to be swept away. 40,000 people having to flea their homes. next to puerto rico, celebrating christmas in the dark. hundreds of thousands still struggling without power in the aftermath of hurricane maria. hard times taking their toll on this holiday. more now from abc's victor oquendo. >> reporter: more than three months since hurricane maria hit and nearly 30% of puerto rico's electrical grid is still not generating power. christmas eve, better known as noche buena in puerto rico, won't be as illuminated this year with electricity at a premium, noticeably fewer holiday lights creating a very unmerry christmas for hundreds of thousands. >> my aunt didn't have lights. my grandma's lights is on and off. so we decided to do it in my house, because this is a more stabilized system, so that we can finish cooking and eating happily and having fun. >> reporter: jose ortiz lives in
san juan. he tells us this holiday is different, just hoping not to run out of the bare essentials as his family gathers to celebrate. >> this christmas will be bigger because our families got extended. we got together with our neighbors and people who we didn't know living in the same suite as us. >> reporter: since the storm we've visited some of the hardest hit areas across the u.s. territory. like san lorenzo, where the bridge that connects it to the rest of the island was washed away. your mother had a stroke? >> mm-hmm. >> reporter: how long did it take to get her to the hospital? >> about two hours and a half. >> reporter: how long would it take if the bridge was up? >> 20 minutes. >> reporter: the suffering comes as congress has delayed a possible vote on disaster relief until january. all this too much for luisa melendez and her three sons, her sister and her sister's family, ten now packed into a relative's three-bedroom home in north carolina. >> you know, we're going to have to make do however we can. we have everything scheduled down to try to keep the costs where we can afford to pay it. >> reporter: this family says their gift is being away from
the storm-ravaged island. tom, many puerto ricans are spending the holiday away from friends and family. some 269,000 puerto ricans have left the island since hurricane maria to start new lives here in florida alone. tom? >> a very tough christmas for so many from puerto rico. victor, thank you. and there's much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. frozen. skiers stranded for hours, stuck in the air above the alps. helicopters swooping in to bring them to safety. we'll take you inside this very high-flying rescue. plus, a potentially dangerous ingredient in an item under some christmas trees tonight. why some children's products are being pulled off the market. and our reporter joins last-minute shoppers scrambling for that perfect gift. we'll also tell you about big savings available after the holiday. stay with us. >> announcer: this is "abc world news tonight" brought to you by ancestry dna. ♪ this holiday, the real gift isn't what's inside the box.
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back now with the last-second rush for presents. time just about running out for christmas procrastinators. here's abc's maggie rulli. >> reporter: tonight, we are just hours away from christmas and santa isn't the only one dashing around. you look a little stressed and desperate. you look like you're on a mission to go shopping right now. >> i am on a mission. >> he's like i forgot to put this on the list. >> reporter: this man scrambling for gifts. how old is your son? >> he's 8. >> reporter: desperately searching for an electric scooter. checking off most of his list in just minutes. but that electric scooter? ralph, i'm sorry. we tried everything. >> well, that happens when you do the last-minute shopping. >> reporter: but sometimes waiting won't put you on the naughty list. many retailers are offering up big postholiday deals, experts predicting discounts up to 30% on video games and 60% to 80% off certain clothing, if you wait until january. but for those procrastinators like ralph, sometimes hope is not lost. ralph, this is so exciting!
you found the scooter! where was it in the store? >> it was just by the door, by the exit. >> reporter: but waiting until the last minute can be risky, some items are so hot and so rare they don't even put them on the shelves. we had to ask for these from behind the customer service desk. and this is the final lol ball and the last of the fingerlings left in the entire store. tom? >> some hard-to-find gifts, and we're glad ralph found that scooter. maggie, thank you. up next, right here when we come back, serena williams announcing where and when she's returning after nearly a year off. and where in the world is santa claus? tonight, we are tracking him. we'll have that live look coming up after the break. the live look, coming up after the break. [ click ] [ keyboard clacking ] [ clacking continues ]
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crews dropped onto the gondolas to free the skiers and lower them down one by one to safety. tonight, everyone is okay, and so far no word yet on what caused the cars to stall. a warning now about some children's items that could be under your christmas tree and a potential asbestos hazard. retailer claire's pulling children's makeup from stores in nine states. the move coming after one mother sent her daughter's makeup to be tested. it came back positive for the cancer-causing material. claire's says it's investigating but that the recall is just a precaution. serena williams announcing her return to the tennis court just four months after becoming a mother. the new mom playing an exhibition next saturday in abu dhabi, the match her first since her daughter's birth in september and marriage just last month. williams looking to defend her australian open title next month as well. and santa on the move. let's take a live look now. this is norad tracking st. nick's busy day and night. at last check, his sleigh and reindeer were over europe.
the journey beginning, as always, from his home near the north pole. norad not just following santa, he'll receive protection from a military escort once over north america. that's a good thing. and when we come back, a special gift for the family of a slain police officer. a city comes together to give her children a happy holiday. stay with us. cer. a city comes together to give her children a happy holiday. stay with us. [sighs] like a burden's been lifted. those other cards made you sign up for bonus cash back. then they change categories on you every few months. then you had to keep signing up! you...deserve...better. now get out there and keep earning that 1.5% cash back on every purchase everywhere. thanks, doc. i'm not a doctor. what? [whispers] time to go. what's in your wallet? that cough doesn't sound so good. take mucinex dm. i'll text you in 4 hours when your cough returns. one pill lasts 12 hours, so... looks like i'm good all night! why take 4-hour cough medicine? just one mucinex lasts 12 hours.
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of three and a veteran of the nypd. >> my partner's shot! my partner's shot! >> reporter: in july, without warning and for no reason a deranged gunman murders officer miosotis familia. her children thrust into a stark reality. eldest daughter genesis now the guardian of twins, her 12-year-old siblings. >> i was really, really concerned about my brother and sister. sorry. >> reporter: but just in time for christmas, neighbors and strangers raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy them a new apartment. >> oh! >> reporter: furnished complete with christmas decorations. >> oh, my god! yo! >> it was just really, really emotional that there are so many people that care about the well-being of me and my siblings and really want us to have a nice place to ourselves. >> reporter: the home giving them all hope for the future. >> we've had to learn how to move forward, and it hasn't been the easiest road to go down, but
the support that me and my siblings received, it helps a lot. and you know, we'd be in a much darker place if it weren't for that. >> reporter: and sweet reminders of the angel watching over them named mom. >> those we love don't go away. they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard, but always near. still loved, still missed and very dear. >> reporter: adrienne bankert, abc news, new york. >> powerful words right there. we thank adrienne for that story, and we thank you for watching. i'm tom llamas in new york. "gma" first thing in the morning. i'll see you right back here next week. have a great night, and merry christmas.
tonight, a chilly night in the bay area. we look from our camera to downtown san francisco. don't plan on the fire. tell you why. >> busy union square with options for procrastinators. >> this may not look like much. quite a story behind what caused the fire in menlo park. who or rather what is blamed for it. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts now. >> live, where you live. this is abc 7 news. it is a pretty picture. to top it off you cannot start a fire in the fireplace to keep warm. good evening, i'm eric thomas. thank you for joining us. not only is it cold, it is a spare the air day for today, tomorrow and tuesday. let's get to meteorologist, for
a first check on weather. drew? >> spare the air day extended through tuesday. a really stagnant air pattern we have upstairs right now. poor air quality. take a look. especially in the north bay and in the santa clara valley. next come of datesch hoys. live doppler 7, cloud cover overhead. you do see returns, unfortunately, not reaching the ground. not likely to do so under the dry pattern. take a look at the planner tonight. hoeflding in holding on to the clouds. chilly. midnight. temperatures dropping into the 40s. we do have changes in store for christmas day. detail that and the forecast in a few minutes. >> all right. see you then. thank you. weather isn't stopping all the last minute shoppers. this is about the time most of the stores close their doors. abc 7 news dion lin where the rush is on in union square.