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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  February 20, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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tonight, breaking developments on several fronts. as the survivors of the deadly school shooting board buses for their state capital, washington next, the white house is pressed late today. what will the president do on mental health and on guns? should there be an age limit to buy an ar-15? and the white house is then asked, does the president have his own ideas? late today, president trump then revealing new action. also tonight, the new images from inside the school. frozen in time. president trump tonight unleashing on twitter on russia, saying today that he's been much tougher on russia than president obama. tonight, the white house is asked, how so? and if so, why are the sanctions against russia passed by both republicans and democrats on hold? our team on syria tonight. the horror. new airstrikes. families, young children seen screaming.
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more than 200 killed. the major winter storm in this country turning deadly. the confirmed tornado in texas. millions bracing for snow, freezing rain and floods from dallas up through chicago and detroit. and the mystery at sea tonight. the newlyweds. the wife who disappeared. the husband's story. and tonight, the major development. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a tuesday night. and this evening, as those school children world those buses, demanding answers, the questions at the white house late today, asking what the president plans to do after the mass shootings, the most recent, of course, in parkland, florida. the president then late today taking action on guns. what he's now done. and the new images coming in tonight from our abc station, wplg. the pictures from inside the school. what they reveal. tonight, the white house is asked about ar-15s. should there be age limits for buyers? the shooter was 18 when he
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bought his legally. abc's mary bruce leading us off. >> reporter: as survivors of the florida school shooting tonight travel by bus to the state capitol to demand action, vowing washington is next, at the white house, they're already feeling the pressure. tonight, answering questions about what president trump is going to do about the mass smoot shootings in america. 17 dead in florida. 58 in las vegas. 26 dead in sutherland springs, texas. late today, the white house pressed repeatedly -- does the president have any ideas? john roberts from fox news. >> sarah, you mentioned a deranged individual took the lives of 17 people at parkland. that's after a deranged individual took dozens of lives in las vegas, in the wake of which, the president offered some support for the idea of bank bump stocks, which seems to have fallen by the wayside. does the president have any ideas, any ideas at all on how to address this, or is he starting from scratch? >> i can tell you that the
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president supports not having the use of bump stocks and that we expect further action on that in the coming days. but i can tell you that the president doesn't support use of those accessories. >> reporter: that reporter pressing again. >> on the broader problem of deranged individuals getting hold of weapons and killing people indiscriminately, does he have any ideas on how to deal with this? >> look, we're having -- again, that's part of a lot of the conversations we're going to have -- >> you would suggest he's starting from scratch here? if he has to listen to people and he doesn't have ideas of his own that would he doesn't have any ideas. >> that's not what i said. you're taking my words out of context. >> well, could you explain? >> i was trying to before you interrupted me. he is very focused on mental illness. unfortunately, we can't just flip a switch. there is a process. >> reporter: tonight, the white house says the president does want to make background checks more efficient, but then, they were asked about assault weapons. in florida, nikolas cruz was able to legally buy an ar-15 when he was just 18 years old.
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to buy a handgun in florida, you have to be 21. >> does the president believe there should be an age limit for those who buy an ar-15? as you know, the shooter in florida was a teenager when he first bought an ar-15. >> i know there are currently laws in place that certain states that restrict that. whether you can make that federal policy that hasn't yet been determined. but that's something -- >> is that something -- >> i think that's certainly something that's on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up over the next couple of weeks. >> reporter: and then, moments after the briefing, the president revealed he is taking action on those bump stocks used in las vegas, directing the attorney general to come up with regulations to ban those devices. >> just a few moments ago, i signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. >> reporter: but tonight, those survivors in florida know bump stocks weren't used in their school. instead, a student and an
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ar-15 and red flags missed. which is why they want the president to do more. >> we don't think that people should be able to possess a semiautomatic, which can be a weapon of mass destruction. >> this is the way that we are all driving our grief, we're making something negative into positive energy and positive change for the future. >> adrienne bankert on that bus. mary bruce live with us from washington. and mary, we know the president is preparing to meet with students, parents, teachers from communities affected by mass shootings tomorrow. and as you reported there, he's directed his attorney general to take action on bump stocks, but you're also learning that the president, the white house may not be able to ban these devices on their own? >> reporter: david, lawmakers an experts seem to adree, if the president wants to ban these bump stocks, he's likely going to need congress to do it. tonight, the top democrat leading the charge on the hill, dianne feinstein, has a message for the president, in a statement, she says, "if you want these devices off the street, call congressional
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republicans and tell them to stop blocking our bill." david? >> mary bruce leading us off from the white house. mary, thank you. of course, those bump stocks were not used in florida, but an ar-15 was, and now, there is that debate, as well. should an 18-year-old be able to walk in and buy one like the alleged shooter did, legally? and tonight, a look inside those cla classrooms. images obtained by our station wplg, the abc affiliate in miami. after the deadly shootings, these images are difficult, and a reminder of the students and teachers who had to dive under desks and into closets to survive. and, of course, 17 did not. here's abc's victor oquendo. >> reporter: tonight, we are seeing haunting images from inside empty freshman classrooms of stoneman douglas high school. the photos show a door's class shatters. police believe smashed by the butt of nikolas cruz's rifle, as student scrambled to hide under desks. textbooks left open, earphones abandoned on a desk, the classroom here seen from the hallway. and we're now learning more about the suspected shooter through his education plan first
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obtained by abc affiliate wplg. it shows cruz was attending a school for emotionally and behaviorally disabled students in 2015. administrators noting, while he was making progress at the alternative school, he was reported to be "distracted by inappropriate conversations of his peers if the topic is about guns, people being killed or the armed forces." dottie provenzano is a former administrator specialist in broward county schools. >> i'm not the expert on mass killers, but this raises so many red flags. >> reporter: today, four more students were laid to rest. including peter wang, who helped others escape to safety that day. one of three junior rotc cadets who died. the army awarding them all medals of heroism. wang, who dreamed of going to west point, today honored with posthumous admission to the school. >> another extraordinarily difficult day in that community. victor back with us in front of that school. we know the memorial on campus is growing by the day. and victor, any word on when that school will be reopening, when they'll all come back
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together? >> reporter: david, students and their families were know fitted of a special orientation here next sunday where they'll be offering a variety of support services, and the goal is to have classes resume next tuesday. david? >> victor oquendo in parkland, florida, for us tonight. one more note this evening, what could have been another school attack. was the plot foiled? a maryland teenager this time, arrested at school, police say he had a gun in his backpack and a knife in his pocket. school officer questioning 18-year-old alwin chen after getting a tip that he was armed. this .9 millimeter in his backpack. at home, police found other weapons, including an ar-15-style rifle, plus a list of grievances against fellow students. president trump, meanwhile, on twitter today, and taking aim on russia, saying he's been much tougher on russia than president obama before him. the white house was then asked, why have the sack shuns passed by both democrats and republicans not been fully imposed? abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl on that tonight. >> reporter: answering questions for the first time since
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robert mueller's sweeping indictment of 13 russians for meddling in the election, the white house press secretary was pressed today on why the president hasn't forcefully condemned russia's actions. >> the president hasn't said that russia didn't meddle. what he's saying is, it didn't have an impact and it certainly wasn't with help from the trump campaign. it's very clear that russia meddled in the election. >> reporter: but the president himself has never been so definitive on the question of russian meddling, raising doubts after the story first broke during the campaign. >> but i notice any time anything wrong happens, they like to say the russians, she doesn't know if it's the russians doing the hacking. maybe there is no hacking. >> reporter: after the election, he acknowledged the meddling, but with a caveat. >> as far as hacking, i think it was russia, but i think we get hacked by other countries and other people. >> reporter: and the president has never called for punishing russia. what is he specifically doing about the fact that russia
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interfered with our election and has every intention, we are told, of doing it again? what is he doing about it? >> look, just last week, the department of homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen met with a number of relevant stakeholders. they are discussing this process. everybody wants to blame this on the trump administration. let's not forget that this happened under the obama administration. >> reporter: this happened over a year ago. what's he done about it? >> we've spent a lot of time working on cyber security, focusing on protecting the fairness on our elections. >> reporter: most recently, the president has criticized barack obama for not responding to the meddling. as for putin, he has suggested the russian leader is sincere in his denials. >> i believe that he feels he and russia did not meddle in the election. as to whether i believe it or not, i'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. >> reporter: he hasn't even called out putin, he criticized obama, he criticized the fbi, he didn't even criticize vladimir putin in the wake of this indictment.
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>> he has been tougher on russia in the first year than obama was in eight years combined. >> reporter: congress slapped sanctions on russia last summer, but the president has yet to fully implement them. >> why hasn't the president implemented the sanctions which congress passed last year? >> look, frankly, that's not completely accurate. there's a process that has to take place. and we're going through that process. >> so, let's get to jon karl live from the white house, as well. and jon, those sanctions were passed in july with overwhelming bipartisan support. about seven months later now, the white house has still not fully implemented them? >> reporter: the secretaries of state and treasury have said that the sanctions are coming, and you heard the press secretary say that they've begun that process, but david, the bottom line is, that those sanctions have still not been fully implemented. >> and jon in the meantime, another issue that came up late today, the white house pressed on the newly announced restrictions on west wing officials working with what's called a temporary security
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clearance. their access to classified information, they say, will now be limited. and sarah sanders was asked what that will mean for jared kushner who is unable to obtain a full clearance. take a listen. >> does he not need classified information? >> i can't answer that question, as we've addressed many times before. but i can tell you that nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that jared is doing. >> and jon, you were in the room when sanders was asked if the president will consider granting his son-in-law a full security clearance himself. >> reporter: she said that the president, she has not directly asked the president that question, but we heard from her and also today from the chief of staff, john kelly, both saying that regardless of what happens, jared kushner will continue to be able to do his job here at the white house. >> all right, jon karl at the white house tonight. jon, thank you. and amid all of this, there was also a new guilty plea in the russia investigation today. tonight, the list of guilty pleas so far, first former national security adviser michael flynn, then george papadopoulos, on friday, american richard panedo, and
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now, today, a dutch lawyer, who is now linked to a former trump campaign aide. so, who is this man who has now pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi? thomas. >> reporter: the special counsel's latest target walking into the fbi's d.c. field office. and tonight, london-based attorney alex van der zwaan is accused of lying to investigators. mr. van der zwaan, why did you feel the need to lie to the special counsel, sir? van der zwaan, a dutch national married to the daughter of a russian oligarch. he pleaded guilty to making false statements about contact with rick gates, former trump campaign chairman paul manafort's deputy. van der zwaan admitted to destroying e-mails connected to his role in a pr war that manafort and gates were allegedly involved in to support ukrainian politicians backed by russia, years before they were involved in the trump presidential campaign. according to prosecutors, van der zwaan, who "worked
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closely" with gates and manafort, was also communicating with a mysterious individual described as "person a" in today's charges. the latest sign of the pressure robert mueller is putting on manafort and gates, already indicted in the special counsel's probe. >> pierre thomas with us live tonight outside the course. and there are indications that rick gates, who this newest man to plead guilty worked with, could be negotiating a plea deal himself? >> reporter: david, our sources say talks have been under way, but so far, are inconclusive. if gates does agree to a deal, that means a lot more pressure on manafort, david. >> pierre, thank you. overseas tonight, and to syria now. pro-assad forces launching an air assault. more than 200 people killed. a quarter of them children. video tonight showing the desperate rush to save babies, to rescue children from homes after the barrel bombs fell. here's abc's senior foreign correspondent, ian pannell, who has been to syria many times for us.
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>> reporter: tonight, bloodshed and fear as parts of syria descend into chaos. in the middle of the day, bombs destroying neighborhoods. women and children escaping from demolished home. one aid worker here says, it feels like the end of the world. a handful of brave rescue workers struggle to help the wounded, often the youngest and most vulnerable. scrambling to get people to safety, this man hands a small child through a window into an ambulance. this is ghouta, one of the last rebel-held areas in syria. and it's been under constant attack since sunday night. over 200 killed in the past two days alone, including more than 50 children. president assad and his backers have dropped hundreds of missiles and mortars on homes and hospitals. barrel bombs thrown from helicopters, imprecise and deadly. i've seen the same tactics used by the government elsewhere in syria. this was aleppo in 2014. some say what's happening here is even worse. as children plead for help from collapsed buildings, as rescue workers frantically try to help,
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and as the bombs continue to fall. if you thought the syrian war was ending -- think again. tonight, david, we're hearing the bombardment still has not stopped. people there are desperate and they're pleading to america and the world to help. david? >> ian pannell tonight. thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this tuesday. the major winter storm in this country right now. it's turned deadly. and the storm track at this hour. the confirmed tornado now. millions bracing for snow, freezing rain and floods, from dallas up through chicago and detroit. maj major travel hubs and moving east. the deadly police shooting of a teenager. dash cam video made public. and there is news coming in on the officer involved. and the mystery at sea tonight. the newly welds. the wife who disappeared. the husband's story. and tonight, the major development a lot more news ahead.
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people on the roads. this close encounter in rapid city, south dakota. and near elkhart, inn u.n., people escaping their flooded homes tonight. really a mess everywhere. rob marciano tacking us through the track. >> reporter: david, this storm is just not moving very fast. we've got a stalled frontal boundary. kind of parallel with the jet stream. a lot of moisture. it's raining heavily on the north side. icing and another round of pretty much the same thing tomorrow. shifting a little bit to the east. flooding, a huge concern. record heat. dozens of records today. that gets squeezed tomorrow. look at this. 80s in orlando. maybe 70 again in new york. still winter, david. >> all right, rob, thank you so much. when we come back, the new health headline tonight. and the major development in the mystery at sea. the newlyweds, the wife who disappeared. there is news tonight about the husband. k.'ll be right back. y doctorribed brilinta. it's for people who have been hospitalized for a heart attack. brilinta is taken with a low-dose aspirin. no more than 100 milligrams
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butting a boat trip off florida in may, allegedly telling police he was asleep when the boat struck an unknown object. a police officer has been cleared after a deadly shooting of a teenager in overland park, kansas. dash cam video showing the officer firing at a mini van last night. 17-year-old john albers nearly running him down. police had been told beforehand he may be suicidasuicidal. the d.a. today saying the shooting was justified. the new headline tonight about women and heart disease. the american heart association say many heart attacks in women under the age of 55 actually go undiagnosed. researchers say 10% involve chest pain and no artery blockage. lat lat lat later exams showing the heart attacks. if you have suspicions, you should ask your doctor. when we come back here tonight, the story of jacob the golden retriever, and you'll want to hear this -- one important duty.
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finally tonight here, america strong. and it is national love your pet day. but it is their gift of love we mark right here tonight. they are the team, loaded up and ready to go. hannah, tobias, ruthie and jacob -- all in the back there -- and all ready to serve yet another community in need. part of a fleet of comfort dogs now sent to parkland, florida. the broward sheriff's office tweeting, "therapy dogs have been onsite at our communications center to help our dispatchers during this difficult time." >> hi, david. >> hi, david. >> reporter: phil and brenda birden, volunteers with the lutheran church charities k9 comfort dog ministry. >> today, we started visiting
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elementary schools and we plan to do this all week. >> reporter: and their goal, the group says, is to have boots and paws on the ground within 24 hours of a tragedy. this 3-year-old golden retriever, jacob, from northbrook, illinois, is already there. with children as they attend a prayer vigil, and that's jacob last october in las vegas. and in orlando, after the nightclub shooting in 2016. some of those dogs even made the trip to sandy hook in newtown. >> you can't pet a dog without smiling. so, even if just for a moment you can smile, in the midst of this awfulness, that's a wonderful thing. >> those dogs needed in so many places. and the volunteers with them, we honor you all tonight. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. until then, good night. until then, good night.
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>> drivers and pedestrians were on their own in san the lights just went out. >> the traffic lights are operating again around the city, but it was gridlock for hours today when hundreds of them went dark. >> vic, what have we learned? >> reporter: the mta says it's investigating it and does not know the cause yet, but there were 200 intersections that were affected. this area, the embarcadero was the first to be heavily impacted.
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it was a watch out then walk type of morning for pedestrians. shortly after 9:00 a.m. toward the tail end of the commute, traffic lights began flashing red, the first big impact were the signals on third street and embarcadero, then different parts of the city, heavily traveled roads. by 11:00 a.m., the problems were across the city. paul rose, spokesman for the san francisco municipal transportation agency. >> the network that controls the traffic signals throughout the city partially went down for about 200 traffic signals. >> reporter: the sfmta called in all it's field crews to manually reset utility boxes, massive task.

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