tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC May 9, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, several breaking developments as we come on the air. the american prisoners held in north korea, on their way home at this hour. president trump says he will be there to meet them. as iran tonight lashes out, after the president tears up the nuclear deal. also tonight, cameras surrounding the president's attorney and friend michael cohen today. new questions tonight about millions paid to cohen through his shell company after the election. including a payment from a company closely tied to a russian oligarch. what was the money for and where did it go? the chemical explosion inside a high school. several students and a teacher rushed to the hospital. the urgent search at this hour, authorities fearing an alligator attack. the smoke and chaos in the cabin. there is new video tonight. passengers forced to evacuate. the abc news exclusive. the pilots of that southwest
flight describing the moment the engine exploded. stunning new images coming in tonight over that volcano, and why authorities are now fearing an eruption could be imminent. and the severe weather moving across the country tonight and into the northeast. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy wednesday night. three americans held hostage in north korea are on their way home right now. president trump first tweeting that they were on their way. the three men flying out with secretary of state mike pompeo. president trump says he plans to be there when they arrive at andrews air force base at 2:00 in the morning. just as iran tonight sends the president its own message, after he tore up the nuclear deal. abc's chief white house correspondent jonathan karl leading us off. >> reporter: the president made the announcement himself, llg t american prisoners an important moment for the country. >> right now, flying back are
three, what they were calling hostages, we call them fine people. three really fine people. seem to be healthy, they will be landing at 2:00 in the morning at andrews air force base, and i'll be there to greet them. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo traveled to north korea to secure their release, meeting for a second time with kim jong-un. the three former prisoners are korean-american. two of them detained last year, the third imprisoned since 2015. >> and i appreciate kim jong-un doing this and allowing them to go. >> reporter: the president now focused on meeting kim himself. mr. president, where is the summit going to take place? >> we're going to announce that in three days. within three days. >> reporter: will it be the dmz? >> it will not be there. >> reporter: the location still a mystery. kim seldom travels. though north korea today released this picture of the north korean dictator on his plane in china.
the president is already envisioning making history. >> do you deserve the nobel prize, do you think? >> everyone thinks so, but i would never say it. you know what i want to do? i want to get it finished. the prize i want is victory for the world. >> reporter: but even as he pursues one nuclear deal, he is facing global blowback for pulling out of another. in iran today, anti-american protests, including the burning of american flags and photos of president trump. lawmakers there questioning the president's, quote, mental capacity, and threatening to restate its nuclear program. what are you going to do if iran starts up their nuclear program again? >> iran will find out. if they do, there will be very severe consequence. >> let's get to jon karl at the white house tonight. iran had agreed to nuclear inspections. as we know, that wasn't enough to keep president trump in the agreement. north korea already has nuclear
weapons. will kim jong-un agree to inspections anywhere close to what iran was already allowing? >> reporter: that's uncertain, david. north korea has cut itself off from almost all of the outside world for more than a half a century. it is hard to imagine that such an isolated and secretive regime would suddenly open itself up, including its most sensitive military facilities, but the white house insists that any deal with north korea will be fully verifiable, and that would inspections beyond anything we have ever seen in north korea. >> all right, all of this as we await the arrival of the three americans. jon karl, thank you. the other major story, the president's one-time attorney and friend, michael cohen, surrounded today by cameras and new questions, too, after it's been learned that millions were paid to him through his shell company after the election. some of that money funneled through the company with possible ties to a russian oligarch. so, what was the money for? here's abc's chief national affairs correspondent tom llamas
again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, more cameras and new questions following the president's person attorney, michael cohen. >> any response to avenatti? >> his document is inaccurate. >> how do you feel about, you may have changed an election? >> reporter: a memo released by stormy daniels' attorney, michael avenatti, alleges cohen used the same shell company that facilitated her payment in that hush agreement -- essential consultants -- for transactions totaling at least $4 million shortly before the election into 2018. and tonight, questions surrounding the $500,000 avenatti says cohen receives from a company with deep ties to putin ally viktor vekselberg, a russian billionaire, who reportedly attended the trump inauguration, and according to "the new york times," was questioned by the mueller team. and the big question tonight what exactly was that company, columbus nova, paying for? columbus nova tells abc news it hired cohen as a "business consultant," for possible real estate deals, but says it had nothing to do with vekselberg.
cohen, already under criminal investigation for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations. and now we're now learning of other companies who paid cohen millions, looking for help in working with president trump. >> now you have the right hand of the president, right hand of mr. trump, all of a sudden starts taking all of this money from all of these multinational corporations for god knows what, and the american people deserve to know what it was for. >> reporter: among the payments outlined in avenatti's memo, $200,000 from at&t, which has a major merger pending before the justice department. the company says they paid to get "insights into understanding the new administration." and pharmaceutical giant novartis acknowledges they paid cohen $1.2 million. a company spokesman says they were promised, kwoemequote, acc the new administration. special counsel investigators have questioned novartis about its agreement with essential consultants. >> and tom llamas joins me now. and robert mueller's team has
already questioned several of these clients, the companies that spent that money, sending it through michael cohen's company, which we know is called essential consultants. but the bottom line tonight, this could spell new legal trouble for cohen. >> reporter: it could, david. but legal experts also said, cohen trying to capitalize on his long relationship with the president might not be a crime. one of the things they may look at is, was this lobbying, and if so, why didn't he register as a lobbyist? >> tom llamas with us here on the set tonight. tom, thank you. also developing at this hour, the high school chemical explosion, injuring more than a dozen students and a teacher. the high school evacuated after a science e peexment gone wrong, igniting a chemical fire. victims were rushed to the hospital, and here's abc's steve osunsami tonight. >> reporter: investigators tonight north of nashville are trying to reassure parents that this was an accident and nothing more. >> report of a fire. they've got a couple students that are going to be transported. >> reporter: the fumes were so great, the whole school -- seen here -- had to leave the building. and parents had to come get
their kids. >> your kids are safe and we've got the other ones transported to appropriate care facilities, for them to be taken care of. >> reporter: school officials at merrol hyde magnet school say it was a science experiment in a high school chemistry lab that grew into the fire. 17 students and their teacher were hurt, and had to be try yajed right outside the school. >> all the students are out front, in case you want someone to slow everybody down coming around the corners. >> reporter: they sent at least nine of them who breathed in fumes and suffered chemical burns to their arms and legs directly to hospitals. >> it's boric acid and ethyl alcohol. when they came in, we set up the decontamination tents and had them wash off. >> reporter: these same chemicals were responsible for this fireball nearly four years ago at a children's museum in reno. 13 were burned. >> and steve osunsami live with us tonight. you just pointed out there that we've seen these kinds of accidents before. but officials say this was a first-year teacher who was conducting this experiment?
>> reporter: that's right, david. and authorities are crediting school administrators with doing the right thing and moving quickly. this school is expected to reopen tomorrow. david? >> steve, thank you. we turn to hawaii tonight, and this evening, new images coming in of the volcano emergency on the big island. look at this. geologists releasing video showing the lava lake created. they say it could erupt in the coming days, sending rock and ash into the air. tonight, nearly 40 homes and structures have now been destroyed. about 2,000 people have now been evacuated. there is also new video tonight of smoke filling the cabin of a passenger jet, and the emergency evacuation that followed. molts after their delta flight landed in denver. look at this. passengers scrambling for the emergency exits. some of them climbing right out onto the wing. here tonight, abc's david kerley. >> reporter: landed, taxiing to the gate and suddenly smoke in the cabin. coming out of the vents. >> ladies and gentlemen, please lower yourselves, bend over. get as low as you can. if you have a blanket, place
that over your nose and mouth. >> reporter: the delta crew fearful they have a fire. >> fire on the aircraft. >> reporter: the smoke continues. >> flight attendants, evacuate. >> reporter: the emergency exits open. slides deploy. and the 146 passengers who flew from detroit start pouring out. >> there's passengers on the airfield. >> reporter: passengers helping other passengers. and not just down the slides. they pile up on the wings of the md-90 jet. a nightmare for air traffic controllers, trying to keep other aircraft away. >> we have a dire emergency off the east side. >> reporter: delta says tonight it was hydraulic fluid which dripped on to a hot power unit, causing all that smoke. delta says there were only mile nor injuries, some smoke inhalation and twisted ankles. it is apologizing for the incident and offering the passengers compensation. david? >> david kerley tonight. david, thank you. and the exclusive right here tonight, the hero pilots from that southwest flight who got the plane down after the engine exploded. for the first time, captain
tammie jo shults and first officer darren el littler speaking with our martha raddatz about the explosion. you'll remember shrapnel smashing a window and a mother and wife nearly sucked out, pulled back in, but she did not survive. martha just today asking about the moment that explosion occurred. >> describe to me the moment when you heard that bang, what kind of bang, what went tlut your mind? >> it was rather radical. and it yawed and then it began its own decent, and darren was handling it beautifully, in not trying to force the aircraft to stay on -- on altitude. >> we were passing through about 32,000 feet when we had a large bang and a rapid decompression. >> my first thoughts were actually, oh, here we go, just because it seems like a flashback to some of the navy flying that we had done, but
really, darren -- just very easy to communicate and we had to use hand signals because it was laud, and there was -- it was just hard to communicate for a lot of different reasons. >> there is much more to this story, and you can see martha's full interview and the reaction from captain schultz's husband. "20/20," this friday night, 10:00 p.m. eastern right here. we're going to move on tonight, though, to tough questions on capitol hill today for president trump's new pick to head the cia. gina haspel, now the number two person at the agency, grilled by senators about her record involving enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. concerned lawmakers asking her if she still believes torture works, as the president does, and would she reinstate similar programs if confirmed. abc's mary bruce tonight with how she answered. >> reporter: after 30 years in the shadows as a covert agent, today, gina haspel stepped into the spotlight. >> i think you will find me to be a typical middle class american.
>> reporter: but her career has been anything but typical. >> i recall my first meeting with a foreign agent. it was on a dark, moonless night with an agent i'd never met before. >> reporter: her history at the cia is largely classified. but what we do know today sparked protests. >> gina haspel's a torturer! >> reporter: haspel reportedly once led a black site prison in thailand, where terror suspects were waterboarded. critics call it torture. today, haspel was adamant she would not allow those techniques as cia chief. >> i would not restart under any circumstances in an interrogation program at cia. under any circumstances. >> reporter: but democrats pressed further. >> do you believe that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? >> senator, i believe that cia officers to whom you referred -- >> please answer yes or no. >> senator, what i believe sitting here today is that i support the higher moral
standard we have decided to hold ourselves to -- >> can you please answer the question? >> senator, i think i've answered the question. >> no, you've not. >> reporter: during the campaign, president trump supported waterboarding. >> mr. trump, you said, not only does it work, but you'd bring it back. >> i would bring back waterboarding and i'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding. >> reporter: today, haspel insisted, she will not bend. >> if this president asked you to do something that you find morally objectionable, will you carry out that order or not? >> senator, my moral compass is strong. i would not allow cia to undertake activity that i thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. >> mary is live up on the hill. and bottom line, mary, does haspel have the votes to be confirmed? >> reporter: tonight,many republicans say you won't find a more qualified nominee. look. this is going to be extremely close, but right now, haspel does appear to have enough support to be confirmed.
david? >> mary bruce watching it all on the him. mary, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the e. coli outbreak growing tonight. and the urgent search tonight. authorities fear it could be an alligator attack. the former wichl facing a first degree murder charge tonight, nearly two decades after her husband went missing. and at this hour, investigators searching for the remains of up to six girls, what the suspect allegedly said that led them to this location. more news ahead.ahead.
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came up, kind of one last time, fighting, and then he went down again and you didn't see him anymore. >> anybody whose got the binoculars, go ahead and pull them out. >> reporter: teams also using sonar to search the water, but so far finding nothing. >> we've seen alligators out in this water already. so, they definitely are out in this retention pond. >> reporter: alligator attacks are a rare but real threat. experts say they can lunge at 20 to 30 miles an hour. david, teams in orlando will continue working tonight. the sheriff's office saying if there is someone in that pond, it is highly likely they'll find them. david? >> victor, thank you. when we come back, that e. coli outbreak growing. also, the wife charged with first degree murder, two decades after her husband went missing. and severe weather moving across the country tonight, and right into the northeast. the track, right after the break. my body of proof. proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can take on psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific
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williams. denise williams later married his best friend, brian winchester. the two allegedly conspired for nine months to kill williams. she did collect a nearly $2 million life insurance policy. news on the search for up to six girls missing for decades. invest d authorities now revealing the suspect, convicted killer arthur ream, backed about murdering six people to inmates. the severe weather threat across the midwest tonight. the storm system drenching the plains states. montana right here under water. tonight, chicago and indianapolis in the path of damaging winds, hail, possible tornadoes. that system then threatening the northeast tomorrow. and the e. coli outbreak involving romaine lettuce continues to spread tonight. four more statements with illnesses. 29 states now effected. 149 sickened. the e. coli tied to romaine lettuce from yuma, arizona. when we come back, america strong tonight. why an entire stadium was suddenly on its feet. you will be, too, when you see
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to help prevent another stroke. so, i'm doing all i can to stay in his life. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. finally tonight, graduation day is always special, but this is definitely america strong. bob barger, from toledo, ohio. a world war ii veteran. he joined the navy right out of high school and flew during the war. he met his wife, jeanne, at a dance and, after the war, they got married. bob enrolled at the university of toledo, but left for a job to support his family. and nearly 70 years after bob took his last class, at the age of 96, a surprise. haraz ghanbari, the head of military and veteran affairs at the university of toledo, and
bob are friends. and haraz decided, without bob knowing, that he would look up bob's old school records. >> we were able to retrieve his transcripts from the archive. they were actually on microfiche. >> reporter: it turned out bob had actually completed enough credits for an associate's degree. and with a fellow veteran recording on their phone, haraz surprises bob with the news. at 96, he's going to graduate. >> here's the deal, bob, we're going to give you your diploma? >> what? >> you're going to graduate this may. yeah. >> reporter: and just listen as it sinks in. >> i can't believe this. >> yeah, and then you're going to -- >> i'm 96 years old. >> reporter: and with commencement season here and haraz by his side, that world war ii veteran who more than earned that diploma. >> robert edgar barger. please stand and be recognized. >> reporter: the crowd on his
feet. holding that diploma up for everyone to see. and tonight, this message. >> hi, david. this is bob barger. world war ii naval aviator, and this is my diploma. and i'm very proud of it. >> reporter: it's the best message we've received in a long time. and what was it like on that stage? >> like i was in a different world. i felt very good. >> reporter: and tonight, bob says he's thankful. >> i never thought i'd live to see this. it's a miracle. >> we salute you, bob. i'm david muir. good night. >> announcer live you live, this is abc 7 news.
new troubling developments about a san francisco police officer who accused other cops of ethnic and religious skrims, developments that may raze are raise question base the credibility of the accuser. >> abc 7 news reporter vic lee has been following the story and in the newsroom with the latest. vic. >> the officer in question made numerous accusations against those he worked with at two different stations. now he filed complaints with police internal affairs with the city he is equal employment opportunity office. the complaints still under investigation. >> i experienced racial and religious harassment and also witnessed blatant misconduct against citizens. >> that was in april twhe officer of afghan descent filed a form complaint he said he was harassed by fellow officers because he was muslim. he claims someone even sketched an isis flag on his locker with the inscription go back. he did not want to go identified
for safety reasons. san francisco public defender jeff adachi who represented him at the media brechg gave examples. >> his sergeant his superior background and then saying do you know any towel heads. >> abc 7 news learned that in 2013 the officer was the subject of a napa police all points bulletin in a suspicious persons case. they were armted that he told a woman on a dating website he was a high-level cia agent and that he was involved in the killing of osama bin laden. >> police were so concerned that they issue this bulletin about the encounter to bay area law enforcement agencies. in 2015, the officer applied to the oakland police academy. the department told abc 7 news he briefly attended the academy as a trainee and that in march he was dismissed by the department. o p. d. would not disclose why. but a source with