tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC March 18, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
hour. >> bye-bye. tonigh tonight, several developing stories on this monday night. the toxic chemical plant burning out of control. the plumes of smoke, schools closed, the evacuations. at least six tanks up in flames. some residents told to shelter in place. and what's now been detected six miles away. the helicopter rescues playing out tonight. several states under water. at least three dead, roads and bridges washed away. and more rain now coming. the major reveal tonight. what the black boxes now confirm after that second new boeing 737 max jet crashed, killing everyone onboard. what we've now learned tonight. just days after the terror in new zealand, tonight, the deadly attack on the train in holland. they are not ruling out terror tonight. and now, the joint intelligence bulletin from the u.s. this evening. what has authorities so concerned. the major medical headline
this monday night. new confusion over aspirin and heart attacks. should you be taking an aspirin a day to cut down on risk after all? dr. ashton is standing by to clear the confusion tonight. and the former pediatrician sentenced this evening, authorities say he targeted more than two dozen children. what the judge decided and what it now means for that doctor. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here to start another week. and we begin tonight with that developing scene near houston at this hour. the toxic chemical plant fire burning out of control. the images coming in all day here. a plume of smoke stretching for 20 miles toward houston tonight. six tanks erupting in flames in deer park. firefighters are crying to keep that fire from spreading tonight. authorities are closely monitoring the air quality. families had initially been told to shelter in place, nearby schools closed. and what's now been detected in the air, miles away. abc's marci gonzalez from
houston tonight. >> reporter: tonight, this massive fire burning out of control, sending plumes of toxic chemicals into the air near houston. the flames erupting at the deer park chemical plant now for more than 24 hours. that black smoke visible for miles. >> it is a very dangerous and active event that's occurring. and is still going on. >> reporter: six large tanks filled with components used to make gasoline, nail polish remover and glue now burning, prompting nearby schools to close. residents for a time told to shelter in place, to keep their windows closed and air conditioning off. officials monitoring the air quality, finding low levels of particulate matter and a volatile organic compound as far as six miles from the facility. officials saying for now there is no immediate risk, but some environmental groups believe otherwise. >> i'm very concerned. this is not just an air quality problem, this is also a public safety issue. >> reporter: so far, no injuries reported.
tonight, fire crews on the scene using foam, trying to keep the flames from spreading. >> we should all pray that this comes to a very safe conclusion, sooner than not, to where there's no life lost. >> so, let's get right to marci gonzalez tonight. she's live outside that plant. and marci, there is word this evening from authorities who we just saw there speaking moments ago, they expect this blaze will continue for several days now? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, david. officials here say this fire will likely just have to burn out on its own, which could take a couple of days. and right now, the wind is carrying that smoke straight towards houston, where they are keeping a very close eye on this situation tonight. david? >> marci gonzalez leading us off tonight. marci, thank you. and now, to the other story unfolding at this hour. the emergency rescues, amid deadly flooding now across several states tonight. at least three dead. families are being rescued from their rooftops. heavy rain and floods washing away highways in spencer, nebraska. towns cut off by the floods. and that's just one community, one example tonight. those helicopters airlifting those families to safety. we have the pictures.
and now a new threat tonight of rain moving in yet again. abc's gio benitez from nebraska. >> reporter: tonight, roads and bridges washed out. dams and levees destroyed. thousands of families forced to evacuate amid the worst flooding to hit parts of the heartland in decades. >> there goes the mormon canal bridge, it just washed out. >> reporter: hundreds rescued already, including four people from this nebraska home surrounded by water. animals trapped, too. dogs saved from this iowa home. back in nebraska, military officials say one-third of offutt air force base was heavily flooded. offutt is home to strategic command, which oversees america's nuclear forces. west of omaha, the elkhorn river rising ten feet above flood stage. record snow and cold followed by a rapid warmup made water levels rise so much in rivers like the elkhorn river, that days later, some neighborhoods are still under water. in northwest missouri, residents
in craig filling sandbags, bracing for the water coming their way. >> we will do anything we can to keep this town dry. >> reporter: the waters now claiming at least three lives in the region. >> let's get to gio benitez. we can see that flooded-out home there behind you. you're live in waterloo, nebraska, tonight, and officials there are telling you just about every single road in and out of that town is damaged tonight, gio? >> reporter: that's right, david. in fact, you can only get to this town behind me by airboat. and you see that house right there, it's actually been moved off its foundation. and now, officials are worried about rain in the region tomorrow. david? >> we're thinking about all those families tonight. gio, our thanks to you. in the meantime, now to the major development tonight in the deadly plane crash that grounded boeing 737 max jets across the world, here in the u.s., as well. investigators say tonight the black boxes confirm, quote, clear similarities between the two air disasters involving that new boeing max 8, their newest and fastest-selling jet. abc's david kerley tonight on what we've now learned.
>> reporter: tonight, it is french investigators confirming at least some of the data from this ethiopian crash is similar to the lion air boeing 737 max crash less than five months earlier. the angle of the two jets, on their wild up and down ride before crashing, is similar, but that data, after being extracted from the black boxes in france, was taken back to ethiopia, with that country's transport minister saying it could be 30 days before more is known. >> you can't fix the airplane until you know what the issue is. we need the data to know what to fix. >> reporter: the question -- was an anti-stall safety system, a factor in the first crash, also involved in the second crash? that safety feature forces the nose down. pilots didn't know about the system before that first crash. and tonight, questions being raised about how boeing's safety system was certified by the faa. >> they need to question and evaluate all the manufacturer's claims and perhaps that wasn't done as rigorously as it should
have been. >> reporter: in a statement, boeing says the max was certified in accordance with faa requirements, and the faa says there was no pressure to speed up the certification of the 737 max. abc news filed a freedom of information act request with the faa about the certification of the 737 max back in mid-december. we've not heard back from the faa. david? >> all right, but we know you'll stay on it. david kerley, our thanks again to you tonight. and now to president trump this evening, who spent much of his weekend tweeting. more than 50 tweets. among the president's targets, senator john mccain, who passed away nearly seven months ago. mccain's daughter, meghan mccain, defending her father today, and abc's senior white house correspondent cecilia vega tonight. >> reporter: president trump is no stranger to bashing john mccain. >> he's a war hero because he was captured. i like people who weren't captured. >> reporter: but this latest attack in that weekend tweet storm comes nearly seven months after the senator's death from brain cancer. a blow so low even the president's own allies jumped to
mccain's defense. over the weekend, the president accused mccain of "spreading the fake and totally discredited dossier," a reference to that 2016 document outlining salacious accusations about the trump team and russia. just hours before the tweet, the dossier mentioned on fox news. on sunday, the president still going, falsely tweeting, quote, "so it was indeed john mccain that sent the fake dossier to the fbi and media hoping to have it printed before the election." the truth is, mccain did turn over the dossier to the fbi, but it happened after the election, and there's no evidence he leaked it to the media. today on "the view," his daughter, meghan mccain, firing back. >> he spends his weekend obsessing over great men. >> reporter: defending her father. >> my father was his kryptonite in life and his kryptonite in death. when my father was alive, up until adulthood, we would spend our time together cooking, hiking, fishing, really
celebrating life, and i think it's because he almost died. and i just thought, your life is spent on your weekends not with your family, not with your friends, but obsessing -- obsessing over great men you could never live up to. that tells you everything you needed to know about his pathetic life. i genuinely feel bad for his family. i can't imagine having a father that does this on the weekends. >> cecilia vega with us live tonight from the white house. and cecilia, the president also on twitter has been taking aim at his potential democratic opponents. and we have news on a couple of them tonight. first, beto o'rourke, as you know, cecilia, news that he raised more than $6 million in his first 24 hours of his campaign, more than any other candidate. but there was also news involving former vice president joe biden, making news with something he said this weekend, that sort of very telling slip of sorts about a campaign to come? let's listen. >> criticized by the new left. i'm the most progressing record of anybody running for the --
anybody who would run. i didn't mean -- >> the most progressive of anyone running was what he said at first, cecilia. sure sounds like he's running. >> reporter: yeah, david, it's really sounding like it's not a question of if, but when. sources close to biden tell our team that he's not 100% there yet. he hasn't quite made up his mind, but if and when he does make this announcement, we're looking at still a couple weeks away. biden has already caught the attention of president trump, from right here inside the white house today, david, the president called biden a "low i.q. individual" on twitter. >> here we go. cecilia, thank you. overseas tonight, authorities around the world on high alert tonight after new zealand already and now the possible terror scare in the netherlands. a gunman opening fire on a train during rush hour, killing at least three people in the dutch town of utrecht. authorities launching an intense manhunt at this hour. the government raising the terror threat level. and abc's senior foreign correspondent ian pannell reporting in. >> reporter: in the middle of
the morning, 10:49 a.m., gunfire erupting on a dutch commuter tram, raising immediate fears this could be a new zealand-style terror attack. the gunman wielding an automatic weapon, killing three and wounding five more. then fleeing the scene. heavily armed counterterrorism police descend in force. authorities releasing these surveillance imams from just four minutes before the shooting spree, identifying the suspect as 37-year-old gokman tanis from turkey. for a while, the terror threat level in utrecht was raised to its highest level. neighborhoods locked down. police moving door-to-door in search of the suspect. then, authorities announcing an arrest. but the motive, still a mystery. >> we are investigating all possibilities. so, that means possible terrorist motives, but also other possible personal motives. >> reporter: well, david, a second man is also in custody,
suspected in being involved in that incident. meanwhile, a prime suspect now being questioned about why he opened fire on this spot earlier today. david? >> ian pannell with us tonight. ian, thank you. and of course, all of this playing out as new zealand deals with the horror of its worst terrorist attack ever, the attack in christchurch. vigils held for the 50 people killed by that gunman at two mosques, just three miles apart. well, what that suspect did in court. and tonight now, the new fear, the joint intelligence bulletin right here in the u.s., warning that al qaeda and isis are calling on muslims to retaliate around the world by launching their own attacks. abc's will carr, again tonight from new zealand. >> reporter: tonight, authorities worried about copycat attacks, while raw emotion continues to pump through the heart of new zealand. the alleged gunman, accused of killing 50 people, a self-proclaimed racist, his face blurred per local law, seen flashing a hand sign linked to white power in court.
the mayor of christchurch in disbelief. did you ever imagine that an attack like this would play out in your city? >> no, no. nothing could be further from my mind. you know, there has always been an underbelly. >> reporter: gun owners already voluntarily turning in their weapons. new zealand's prime minister calling for stronger gun laws, while embracing heartbroken residents. >> within ten days of this horrific act of terrorism, we will have announced reforms which will, i believe, make our communities safer. >> reporter: stories of survival now surging through this city, including the father who shielded his toddler, an american citizen, from gunfire. >> will carr with us live again tonight from new zealand. and will, i wanted to go back to that joint intelligence bulletin you reported on, it comes from u.s. law enforcement, the fbi, dhs among them, warning of potential copycat attacks around the world now? >> reporter: that's right, david. as people here continue to mourn, authorities in both the united states and here in new zealand say there is a real concern about copycats. it comes as both isis and al
qaeda are calling for retaliation, so law enforcement across the world on high alert tonight. david? >> will carr, our thanks to you again tonight. and back here at home now, and to news this evening about a deadly casino robbery in las vegas that played out this weekend. in fact, tonight, new surveillance images have just been released. police say the armed suspect demanded money from the poker cage at the belliago and then a gunfight erupts with the officers as he tries to escape the vegas strip. here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: tonight, a violent las vegas casino shootout seen from surveillance cameras. police say it started friday night. the suspect, michael cohen, armed with a gun, demanding money from a belliago cashier. >> cohen entered the bellagio poker room and robbed the casino cage at gunpoint. cohen fled with cash and casino chips he stole from the cage and exited through the north doors into the valet area. >> reporter: as cohen was running out of the casino, so was his luck. he tries carjacking a driver, but is spotted by these officers, already there on
another call. as they confront him, he opens fire, hitting one officer. police return fire. cohen is hit and dies at a hospital. >> we're going to transport an officer. >> reporter: that officer shot in the chest was saved by his bulletproof vest. police also saying tonight they believe cohen is same suspect who robbed the same casino back in 2017. that crime unsolved until now. david? >> clayton sandell with us tonight. clayton, thank you. here in new york city tonight, there are new developments in the murder of a reputed mob boss on staten island. the suspected killer making his first court appearance in new jersey today, flashing messages scrawled on his hand there. he's accused of luring francesco cali out of his home by ramming a car backwards into another car to get him out of the house. here's abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: some of the first images tonight of the 24-year-old police say murdered an alleged mobster. >> is it true you're waving your right to extradition? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: anthony comello appearing today in a new jersey
courtroom with the words "maga forever" scribbled on his palm. comello is accused of murdering reputed gambino family crime boss francesco "frankie boy" cali. police say comello shot the 53-year-old purported godfather after allegedly smashing into cali's parked car outside his staten island home. >> confirmed, male shot. get a rush on a bus. >> reporter: just moments before the murder, the two men were reportedly spotted on grainy surveillance talking and shaking hands. police say they later tracked comello's phone to the crime scene and discovered his fingerprints on cali's blood-stained suv. sources say investigators believe he was dating cali's female relative when cali reportedly told him to stop seeing her. this is the first time a reputed mob boss has been killed in new york city in more than 30 years. but police say they don't believe that this is mob related. david? >> all right, linsey davis tonight. linsey, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this monday. the pediatrician just sentenced tonight. authorities say he targeted more than two dozen children.
but what that judge decided and what it means for the doctor. the major medical headline tonight. new confusion over aspirin as and heart attacks. bottom line, should you be taking an aspirin a day to cut down on your risk or not? dr. ashton standing by with the answer tonight. and why so many people are flocking to one american town. in fact, authorities tonight saying they cannot handle the, quote, disneyland-sized crowds. they are asking people to change their dates. we'll tell you where this is playing out. a lot more news ahead. s ahead. mbers tell only half the story? at t. rowe price, hundreds of our experts go beyond the numbers to examine investment opportunities firsthand. like a biotech firm that engineers a patient's own cells to fight cancer. this is strategic investing. because your investments deserve the full story. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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are 70 and older, you should not take an aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke, because the risk of bleeding is thought to be better than any potential benefit. >> but if you've had the stroke before or a heart attack before, you should keep going? >> reporter: absolutely. these new guidelines do not apply to people who have already had a heart attack or stroke, they should not stop their aspirin. >> and what about the age group, say from 40 to 70, if they've been taking a daily dose of aspirin, what do you do there? >> reporter: that's where it's a little tricky. if you're between 40 and 70, and you are at high risk for heart disease, but low risk for bleeding, it might be an option, so, you should talk to your doctor. >> all right, dr. jen ashton, trying to clear up the confusion tonight. we always appreciate it. when we come back here on a monday night, the pediatrician just sentenced. authorities say he targeted two dozen children. what the judge has now decided. and there were so many opinions over this story, that push on the bridge, should the friend be punished? what happened in court today? the index is next. t. ix can help you quit "slow turkey." g with support, tix is provenhelp you quit.
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porta-potty. danger on the road, find out what's led to a spike in collisions along a south bay highway and what's being done to prevent more of them. live where you live, this is abc 7 news. that's a beautiful that really is. >> new optimism in oakland tonight, a new project opens this evening to help with one of the bay area's biggest issues. good evening, thank you for joining us. i'm dan ashley. >> and i'm dion lim. here at abc 7, we are committed to building a better bay area, which means we look for solutions to some of the big issues that affect where you live including homelessness. >> that's exactly right. oakland is about to debut its latest efforts to satisfy the needs of residents both those
with homes and those without. >> tonight people who live in their cars will have a new safe place to park and sleep. it's the parking lot of the williams chapel baptist church. >> this is the first of four safe parking sites scheduled to open at churches in the east bay. 5,600 people are homeless in alameda county, and more than half of them are living in oakland, according to the latest census. >> leslie brinkley joins us live to show what a difference this can make. >> reporter: this could make a big difference. now, there are the homeless living on the streets, and then there are the homeless living on the edge and managing to stay in their vehicles, and that's who's being targeted, five churches in oakland are basically opening up their parking lots to specifically college students and homeless families who are living out of their vehicles. now, there are going to be no drugs and alcohol tolerated in these parking lots. a lot of strict rules will be enforced on checking in at