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tv   ABC World News Tonight  ABC  March 21, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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welcome to "world news tonight." airport attack. new details of those terrifying moments in new orleans. the man with the machete, also had explosives with him and we hear from the tsa agent he attacked. terror alert. the new threat. what appears to be a hit list against u.s. servicemen and women calling for attacks here in the united states. off the force a racially charged video made by a florida police officer, and offensive text messages three others shared. it's not the only department tonight taking action over racist texts. durst documents. investigators search the home of a friend of the millionaire murder suspect. the treasure trove reported to have been taken away. panic on the slopes.
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the skiers hurt when the lift starts going backward. hundreds trapped high above the snow. and good evening, thanks for joining us on this saturday. i'm tom llamas. and we begin with breaking news on that attack at the airport in new orleans. we just learned that the suspect has died but so many questions remain. the attack began when richard white approached a security checkpoint attacking with a toxic spray and machete. inside the tsa agent that he injured on the right, the suspect shot by a police officer, he's there on the ground. abc's kendis gibson at the airport tonight. >> run this way! >> reporter: chaos at the new orleans airport. tonight, authorities say it could have been a lot worse. >> sometimes you'd rather be lucky than good. i think were both last night. >> reporter: just after 8:00 p.m. friday, 62-year-old
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richard white rushing through a checkpoint, at first attacking tsa agents with a bug spray. >> i was yelling at everyone to clear the checkpoint. >> reporter: then chasing tsa officer carol richel with a machete, the 14 inch blade, nearly striking her. >> this man was swinging very hard, very hard with that machete. if he would've made contact with anyone it would've been terrible. >> reporter: and tonight officials now saying white was armed with a lot more including molotov cocktails found inside a bag he dropped at security. >> six half-pint mason jars with cloth wicks into a liquid that we now know to be gasoline. >> reporter: the attacker finally taken down by three shots from a law enforcement officer. tonight, white has died from those injuries. >> it was chaos, it really was. people running in all directions, people were scared. >> reporter: richel injured by the gunfire. >> as they were taking me out on the gurney the lobby broke out
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into applause and it was very up lifting. >> reporter: tonight officials say white had mental health issues. besides the molotov cocktails they also found a bag full of chemicals in his van. and coming up. a new terror theft. a list appearing on the line calling for a threat on u.s. troops. abc's alex marquardt with the details. >> reporter: it appears to be nothing short of a hit list. a group calling itself the "islamic state hacking division" today is posting photos and addresses of 100 american servicemen and women online, calling on isis supporters in the u.s. to kill them. most of the information is publicly available, but chillingly collected and compiled to inspire attacks. >> real challenge is it only takes one person motivated to act by this kind of message. >> reporter: the defense department is telling abc news they can't confirm the validity of the message but are
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contacting the families of those on the list. >> the fbi says they are aware of the post, which comes after previous warnings to service members about keeping identifying information off of social media. >> this latest threat highlights the growing threat of isis around the world, after unprecedented attacks in tunisia and yemen this week were claimed by the group. >> the number of foreign fighters joining isis has grown over the past several months. its message is getting out and having an impact. >> reporter: in yemen's capital friday, four suicide bombings leaving over 130 dead fueling the chaos there that today reportedly led to the evacuation of u.s. troops serving in yemen. those attacks in yemen and tunisia at the national museum that left 20 europeans dead signaling more violence to come
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signaling there are more yet to come. tom? thank you. we turn to florida where four officers are off the force for exchanging racially offensive text messages and one of them produced a racist video. abc's ron claiborne reports. >> reporter: african american men attacked by dogs, a wanted poster for an escaped slave, klansman hood. those are just some of the disturbing images featured in a racially charged mock movie trailer made by a fort lauderdale police officer. the images are so repelling, so offensive, we can only show those brief excerpts. also uncovered, racist text messages by three other officers leading to the dismissal of three of them on friday, the fourth officer quit in january >> inappropriate racist behavior exhibited by those involved is unacceptable and reprehensible.
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>> reporter: this only days after the firing of a veteran san francisco police officer, charged with corruption, who was found to have sent racist text message was other officers. those officers are under investigation. >> we have a problem with institutional racism in law enforcement. from coast to coast you find the real-lived experiences with people in urban communities around the country will substantiate that. >> reporter: redditt hudson a former police officers who now works for the naacp said video and text messages make them easy to capture. in the ft. lauderdale case the video and text was revealed lie a former girlfriend of one of the officers. >> i think social media has really brought to main stream america the lived reality of blacks and latinos across the country that they've experienced for generations. >> reporter: the union representing ft. lauderdale police station said everyone has a right to fair review of the facts and due process.
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as for the former officers investigators told them they were only joking. >> nothing funny about the text or video. thank you. to texas a hunt is on for gunman who hot a woman in the head in what appears to be a case of road rage. tonight she's in fair condition as police officer are asking anyone who might have seen what happened to come forward. bazi kanani has the latest. >> reporter: tonight an urgent manhunt for the angry driver on this busy texas highway who shot at 28 year old kay hafford in a rush hour road rage attack. >> she's bleeding from the head. i think she's been shot. >> reporter: just after pulling on to interstate 45, she honked at the driver of a white chevy tahoe that cut her off. that driver, retaliating by taunting her, then firing at her car and driving away. as hafford recovers in the hospital her family is trying to control their rage at the violent driver. >> nobody deserves it. nobody deserves it. >> reporter: the impulse toward aggressive driving, surprisingly
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common. a recent poll found one in ten drivers admits to feeling uncontrollable anger toward another driver. >> it's not worth getting involved in an incident that could turn into something very drastic. >> reporter: potentially lifesaving advice for all drivers. bazi kanani, abc news, washington. bazi, thank you. next to the weather on the first full day of spring a very mixed bag. boston adding almost two more inches of snow to this season's all-time record. now more than 110 inches. meanwhile, heavy rain triggering flooding like this in a beaumont texas parking lot. flash flood watches up tonight. abc's senior meteorologist rob marciano joins us. rob, where is all this rain headed tonight? >> reporter: this is some heavy stuff. slowly moving to the east outside of san antonio. look at the maps. we'll take you through the next 24 hours. by this time tomorrow night it's still hanging around the southeast. i think we'll see an additional two to three inches of rainfall.
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we had over four inches of snow here in central park, tom. most of that melted away throughout the day today. >> we see some of it there in the distance. so, is winter really over? >> i'm afraid the cooling trend continues. look at these numbers for tomorrow. across the northeast. new york, 38 for a high. 30 in boston. that's like january 22nd. versus march 22nd. we are concerned about the risk for spring flooding. it will only take one warm rain. we'll be on the lookout for that. over the next several weeks. tom? >> rob, thank you. also here in new york a devastating fire has killed seven children. siblings ranged in age from 5 to 14. their mother and another sister escaped out a second story window. their father was out of town. officials traced the fire to a faulty electric hot plate used by the orthodox jewish family on the sabbath. more than 100 firefighters battled what was the deadliest fire in eight years in the city.
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about an hour north of new york investigators searched a home where millionaire robert durst stored some of his possessions. brandi hitt reports what they may have carted array. >> reporter: new york state police searching this hudson valley home hauming away boxes of transcripts and records from the murder trial in texas according to "the new york times" who interviewed the home owner. the 71-year-old real estate heir arrested after his bombshell mutterings were revealed in the docudrama "the jinx." is now preparing to appear in court monday for a bail hearing. he's expected in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife and is wanted in l.a. for the 2000 murder of his best friend susan berman and aquited of killing his texas neighbor in 2001. >> the judge in that case
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believe the hbo recordings will be admitted as evidence something durst's attorney plans on fighting. >> his mutterings, musings, his ramblings don't mean anything. >> reporter: brandi hitt, abc news, los angeles. overseas a somber anniversary marked on a tiny island of iwo jima. more than 30 u.s. military veterans and their families were flown in to mark the 70th anniversary of one of the bloodiest and most iconic battles of world war ii. it was an emotional for veterans now in their 90s. that battle in 1945 killed nearly 7,000 marines and wounded 20,000 others. in italy pope francis stretched the arms of the catholic church to people usually left in its shadow. during a visit to a prison in naples, he had lunch with a group that included gay, hiv positive and transgender inmates. does that signal softening of the stance on sexuality? here's david wright. >> reporter: today in naples, pope francis went to prison. this stop at the giuseppe salvia detention center, a late
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addition to the schedule. but the pope reportedly insisted on it. dining with inmates, some of whom are gay, transgender or h.i.v. positive. a remarkable statement, from the head of the roman catholic church. but from the beginning, pope francis has sought to make the church more accepting of people who have been marginalized. early on, when a reporter on the papal plane asked about gay priests, francis famously answered "who am i to judge?" >> his approach to the gospel is one of reaching out to people, dialogue, you know not handing people a rule book but engaging them. >> reporter: today's lunch was just a small part of a busy day in naples but chastised the mafia on its home turf. urging criminals to repent and urging honest citizens to stand up to them. [ speaking italian ] >> reporter: "don't let them steal your hope," he said. today's trip even included a miracle, as the pope kissed one
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of naples' most cherished relics, the dried blood of the city's patron saint there in that vial. the cardinal said with that kiss half the dried blood turned to liquid. to which pope francis smiled, saying "if only half of it liquefied, we still have work to do." david write wright, abc news, new york. we have much more ahead on "world news tonight." and up next, frightening moments on a ski lift in a resort in maine. what went wrong and what you need to know the next time you hit the slopes. and the fda signs off on genetically modified apples and tomatoes saying they are perfectly safe. but which major food suppliers refusing to use them? the legacy of usaa auto insurance could be one of them. our world-class service earned usaa
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season. in one resort in maine several skiers were injured on one of the most commonly yet potentially hazardous pieces of equipment, the ski lift. here's abc's linzie janis. >> reporter: a terrifying moment as this chair lift malfunctions rolling backward down the mountain skiers jumping off to try to save themselves. >> it was definitely panic. we heard people screaming. everyone standing in lift lines concerned about people jumping into them. >> reporter: this skier one of 200 who had to be evacuated this morning from the lift at maine's sugarloaf, one of the east coasts biggest ski resorts. >> there were people laying on the ground they were definitely immobile. >> reporter: seven people hurt and their injuries described nonlife threatening. not the first time at sugar loaf. in 2010 eight people were injured after a lift cable derailed.
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what is more common, isolated incidents. this 9-year-old boy ended up dangling, plummeting 20 feet and incredibly injuring his leg and this 17-year-old from new mexico, falling 45 feet. he, too, was okay. chairlift deaths rare. just 15 reported in the last four decades but safety experts say, skiers need to be extremely vigilant. >> if you think you'll drop something like a pole or glove it's best to let that drop. >> tonight, sugar loaf in maine apologizing to its customers and promising a thorough investigation. linzie janis abc news, new york. still ahead on "world news tonight," the unprecedented cross country road trip that kicks off tomorrow from san francisco. no one in the driver's seat and what it could mean for the future of road trips for all of us.
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finally tonight, when we look out at the majestic views of the grand canyon we assume they will always be there and for one man they won't be. and time is running out. here's steve osunsami with an effort to get ahead of that life-changing deadline. >> reporter: 27-year-old james is going blind. >> unbelievable. >> reporter: he's here at the grand canyon and his seeing eye dog on a trip of the lifetime to see as much as he can before genetic retinal disease steals his sight. >> you take both your hands and cup it around the sides -- >> reporter: this is what he has left, like looking through a broken window at the end of a rainy hallway. just 15% of his vision.
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>> the fact i can see this. i'll never take that for granted. >> reporter: the youth that brought him here took jonathan to see niagara falls and devin costello on a helicopter ride through the canyons on a sunny day. both are already legally blind. michael said he's teaching them to burn the images in their mind. he, too is losing his vision. >> i am not in denial, i have advanced glauk glaucoma. >> reporter: how do you burn this in your mind? >> i just take it all in. >> reporter: james took a number of moments, and years from now, when the last of his sight is gone, he said his imagination will bring him here. steve osunsami abc news, the grand canyon. we thank steve for that. we have a note. we have a passing note tonight. lisa colagrossi, from abc new york, died suddenly from a brain
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aneurysm last night. her spirit and humor will be sorrily missed. lisa is survived by her husband and two young sons. she was only 49 years old. we thank you for watching. "gma" and "this week" tomorrow morning. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night. have a great evening. good night.
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