tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC November 21, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PST
tonight, several developing stories as we come on. the travel crush. more than 50 million americans on the road and in the skies this thanksgiving. the dely rush hour collision. the military opening up restricted air space to commercial flights. as an arctic blast hits on the holiday. some wind chill temperatures plunging below zero. also breaking, the mansion murder. a couple and their small children killed. their house then set on fire. why the father's brother is now under arrest. also tonight, in a rare move, supreme court justice john roberts publicly slamming president trump. the immigration ruling behind their fight. now, the president firing back. toddler's desperate escape.
the dramatic moment. residents trapped by a raging inferno dropping a child to good samaritans below. hidden deals. less than 48 hours until black friday. and rebecca jarvis with the secret ways to save even more money. plus, the incredible inside story of a dramatic mountaintop rescue. several people, their dogs, running from the california wildfires. the pilot team that flew right into the smoke. and good evening. it's great to have you with us on a busy wednesday night. i'm tom llamas, in for david. and we begin tonight with the record cold for thanksgiving, as record travel for the holiday hits its peak. tens of millions of americans now on the move. highways jammed at this hour from new england to chicago, dallas to the san francisco-oakland bay bridge. and take a look at this. this is from chicago tonight. traffic bumper to pull per on the highways. and earlier, a deadly start to the morning rush.
at least one person killed and six hurt in a fiery crash on the brooklyn bridge. and the nation's airports with their hands full. this terminal packed in denver. tsa predicting 30 million will fly over the thanksgiving break. abc's eva pilgrim leads us off. >> reporter: tonight, the thanksgiving rush grinding to a halt. in new york, one person is dead and six injured after this fiery crash on the brooklyn bridge cut off a major travel route during the morning commute. but that wasn't the only traffic headache. >> oh, my god. >> reporter: this taxi cab in the nearby brooklyn battery tunnel engulfed in flames, smoking out visibility for drivers. >> you can't even see. >> reporter: a rough start to what could be the most traveled thanksgiving in over a decade. a record 30 million hitting the skies. >> it's a nightmare. all the people that don't know how to travel are here today. >> it's honestly kind of hectic. >> reporter: boston, chicago, denver, atlanta, seeing a crush of travelers this morning.
in pittsburgh, lines at a standstill. >> we thought it was going to be faster, but they had a trick for us. we're still waiting. >> reporter: tsa deploying an additional 1,200 officers and 80 k9 units to handle the extra flux of passengers. airlines also getting help from the military, as they've opened up restricted airspace to allow for more direct routes along the east coast. our david kerley on the tarmac at reagan national airport. >> the airlines have added 158,000 seats to try and deal with what could be nearly 3 million flyers today. the best news for the airlines is that the weather doesn't look like it's going to hamper the effort for everybody to get home for the holidays. >> reporter: but most travelers will be hitting the roads, more than 48 million. traffic in chicago this afternoon slowed to a crawl. fueling that traffic? falling gas prices. the national average now $2.60. tom, with fuel prices dropping right before the holiday, many experts say there are a lot of people waiting to make the
decision to travel at the last minute. if you're one of those people, tomorrow is the lightest day, the best day to avoid the grid lock. tom? >> eva pilgrim as some strong weather is moving in there. and this thanksgiving, people are bracing for an arctic blast and record cold in the northeast. snow and wind blowing across syracuse, new york. look at that right there. temperatures plunging overnight from d.c. to philly, new york to boston. wind chills falling below zero in some areas. and the west bracing for three days of rain. abc's chief meteorologist ginger zee is tracking it all tonight. she's along the george washington bridge. and ginger, you've already felt some weather tonight. >> reporter: we did, we just saw a squall come through here, tom, with mixed precipitation. this is what's happening. just northwest of us, by about 130 miles, binghamton, new york, their wind chill, 4. so, the front is there. and you can see it on the map. it is pushing with some snow squalls in the lakes, lake effect snow. a couple of inches, all you need to get the roads covered.
tomorrow morning, when we dry out, you also are chilled. to your bone. it will feel like 6 at the macy's parade. 0 for connecticut. 9 below, burlington, vermont, which could go for their coldest thanksgiving on record. so, too, could providence. you know the headline here is cold. but sunshine back to the west. 60 for denver and kansas city. pockets of rain that could help the smoke in the west. tom? >> ginger zee for us tonight. ginger, thank you. now to tonight's other headlines. chilling new details in the mansion deaths in new jersey. prosecutors revealing how a father, mother and their two children were killed, their house then set on fire. the father's brother now under arrest, and accused of torching his own home. here's abc's gio benitez. >> reporter: tonight, authorities in new jersey say a nightmare unfolded inside this burning mansion. the killing of an entire family followed by arson. >> this is one of most heinous cases that i think they have ever investigated, that we have ever seen. >> reporter: police recovering the body of 50-year-old keith caneiro tuesday outside
his home with multiple gunshot wounds. >> all units operating, 15 willow brook road, colts neck. every vac wait the building. >> reporter: inside, the bodies of his wife jennifer, and who they believe to be their two children. a source telling abc news investigators suspect all three were stabbed. >> unfortunately, sadly, each of these individuals were the victims of homicidal violence at some point prior to when fire was set. >> reporter: it turns out, earlier in the day, ten miles away, the home of the victim's brother was also burning. today, police charging that brother, paul caneiro, with aggravated arson of his own home, saying, "he doused it with gasoline, then set it on fire while his wife and two daughters were inside." no one was injured. police say the two fires are related, but they have not called caneiro a suspect in the death of his brother and family. the two brothers ran a tech company together. the victim, keith caneiro, was the ceo. >> and gio benitez joins us live
tonight from colts neck, new jersey, where that family was killed. gio, so many questions in this case. that brother will be in court next week? >> reporter: he will, tom. he's facing those arson charges. meanwhile, police here say that there is no threat to public safety. they call what happened to that family a targeted attack. tom? >> gio benitez. thank you. we turn to politics now. president trump interrupted thanksgiving at mar-a-lago with a new and unexpected war of words with supreme court chief justice john roberts. in a rare rebuke, justice roberts pushing back against the president for blasting a federal judge as a, quote, obama judge, after ruling against his migrant asylum policy. president trump now doubling down on his attack. here's abc's senior white house correspondent cecilia vega. >> reporter: tonight, an extraordinary rebuke of the president from the supreme court's chief justice. it came after president trump lashed out at an obama-appointed judge from the 9th circuit court
of appeals, who temporarily blocked his plan to crack down on asylum seekers. >> well, you go to the 9th circuit and it's a disgrace, and i'm going to put in a major complaint, because you cannot win, if you're us, a case in the 9th circuit. this was an obama judge. and i'll tell you what, it's not going to happen like this anymore. >> reporter: that triggered a rare reprimand from chief justice john roberts. he wrote, "we do not have obama judges or trump judges, bush judges or clinton judges. what we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them." and on this thanksgiving eve, he added, "that independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for." late today, president trump fired right back, tweeting, "sorry chief justice john roberts, but you do indeed have "obama judges," and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our
country. these rulings are making our country unsafe! very dangerous and unwise!" president trump says he'll appeal his eye sigh lum plan, all the way to the supreme court. as for those 5,800 troops deployed to the border this thanksgiving, the president told abc's karen travers -- >> don't worry about the thanksgiving. these are tough people. they know what they're doing and they're great and they've done a great job. you're so worried about the thanksgiving holiday for them. they are so proud to be representing our country on the border. >> all right, cecilia vega joins us now from the white house. and cecilia, president trump taking heat on another front tonight, his unwavering support of saudi arabia, after the murder of jamal khashoggi. the president saying maybe the saudi crown prince knew about it, maybe he didn't. and today, he made a point of praising the saudis? >> reporter: yeah, tom. this one on twitter, when he said that oil prices are getting lower, thank you to saudi arabia. now, i've got to say, saudi arabia's far from the only reason for these declining oil prices, but like the president told me yesterday when i asked him why he seems to be siding
with the saudis over his own intelligence community in the death of jamal khashoggi, he said, this is about the economy and america first. tom? >> cecilia vega, thank you. we turn now to an incredible moment caught on camera. a nervewracking rescue in dallas. an apartment building in flames, and a moment of sheer desperation. take a look at this. nabls rushing to help, watching as a toddler is dropped from a third floor window into their arms. police going door to door to get everyone out. here's abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: tonight, police body camera video shows the frantic moments at this dallas apartment complex as police and residents race to help. >> come on, come on, this way. >> reporter: as flakes sho flam through the roof. one woman forced to toss her baby out of a third floor window, begging for someone to catch her little boy. safely caught in the arm's of a stranger. >> caught the baby with a curl on, just like you caught a football. >> reporter: officials say in all, six people had toll jump in
order to escape. some pulled a mattress from a downstairs apartment to cushion their falls. >> there was no way that those citizens were going to get out of that apartment complex except for out of those windows. >> reporter: the fire broke out around 7:00 this morning. according to dallas fire and rescue, two residents and a firefighter were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. >> thank god though those residents were there and they were so willing to help. >> reporter: tom, at this time, the cause of the fire remains unknown. officials say that the building is too unstable for investigators to enter. tom? >> an incredible rescue. all right, linsey, thank you. next tonight, the new headline for the attorney who took on the president. michael avenatti. the outspoken lawyer accused of domestic violence by an ex-girlfriend. prosecutors in los angeles today making a major decision in that case. here's abc's kayna whitworth. >> reporter: tonight, los angles prosecutors declining to charge embattled attorney michael
avenatti with a felony after his ex-girlfriend, actress mareli miniutti, says he attacked her last week. according to court documents, the 24-year-old says the violent encounter started inside their apartment with an argument over money. she claims avenatti called her quote ungrateful expletive expletive and began forcefully hitting her in the face with pillows. minutti, who filed a restraining order against avenatti, states avenatti then "grabbed my right arm and dragged me out of bed and into the public hallway." she says she was only wearing underwear and a t-shirt. she says these photos of bruises on her back and leg are proof. avenatti vehemently denying the accusations. >> i have never struck a woman. i never will strike a woman. >> reporter: abc news obtaining this letter addressed to lapd detectives from avenatti's attorney, telling his side of the story, that miniutti was allegedly upset because he was "no longer paying her bills", that she was allegedly acting irrational because she was taking multiple medications.
and on the night of the altercation, when asked by a security guard, she "did not deny that she had been drinking that night." after today's announcement from the d.a., avenatti said in a statement, "i have maintained my innocence since the moment of my arrest." although avenatti is not facing a felony charge, l.a. city prosecutors could still file a misdemeanor charge against him. and tonight, miniutti's attorney saying they will confident that charge will hold. tom? >> kayna whitworth with the new developments tonight. kayna, thank you. and we move on now to unfinished business in the midterm elections. the senate showdown in mississippi. the runoff election set for this coming tuesday. republican cindy hyde-smith apologizing to anyone that was offended. that apology doing little to silence critics, including some of her biggest donors. here's abc's mary bruce. >> reporter: with days to go
before the special election in mississippi, republican senator cindy hyde-smith is now expressing some regret after a string of racially charged controversies. the latest, these pictures from 2014. hyde-smith in a confederate cap posing in the home and library of confederate president jefferson davis. her caption, "mississippi history at its best." and earlier this month, hyde-smith was caught joking with a supporter about public hangings. >> if he invited me to a public hanging, i'd be on the front row. >> reporter: initially, she dug in, saying in a statement, "any attempt to turn this into a negative connotation is ridiculous." >> senator, are you familiar with mississippi's history of lynchings? >> i put out a statement yesterday and that's all i'm going to say about it. >> could you at least explain? >> i put out a statement yesterday and we stand by the statement and that's all i'm going to say about it. >> reporter: but now, a week later, and with top donors like walmart, at&t and pfizer withdrawing their support and asking for their money back, hyde-smith is offering some apology.
>> you know, for anyone that was offended by my comments, i certainly apologize. >> reporter: at a debate, hyde-smith also pointed a finger at her opponent, democrat mike espy, who is african-american. >> this comment was twisted and it was turned into a weapon to be used against me. >> reporter: espy fired right back. >> i don't know what's in your heart, but we all know what came out of your mouth. that's given our state another black eye that we don't need. >> and mary bruce joins us now from capitol hill. and mary, cindy hyde-smith getting a vote of confidence from president trump. >> reporter: yeah, tom, the president saying she's done a fantastic job and it's a shame she has to go through all this. the president will be making the case for her on monday when he heads down to mississippi. tom? >> and that election on tuesday. all right, mary, thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the american missionary killed trying to visit a remote island inhabited by a tribe that has little contact with civilization when they allegedly turned on
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mid-range or high-end variety, it may be better to hold out until cyber monday. with toys "r" us now shuttered, target, walmart and amazon trying to fill the void. >> the weekend before christmas, the toys will be slashed in prices. >> reporter: finally, tom, if you are out braving those crowds, a little kindness goes a long way. now's the time to smile and negotiate. many retailers offer hidden discounts and promotions, but you have to ask. tom? >> if you don't ask, you don't get. all right, rebecca, thank you. and when we come back, a driver killed when a piece of concrete crashes through his wi windshield. authorities say it was no accident. plus, the chopper pilot swooping in to save residents and their dogs and california flames moved in. and oh snap. the christmas tree fail that's put one city's holiday cheer on hold. stay with us. ay with us. toothbrush. but my hygienist said going electric could lead to way cleaner teeth. she said, get the one inspired by dentists,
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body. back here in the states, a baggage handler in trouble for mistreating property. take a look. a passenger onboard a southwest flight that had just landed in phoenix filming the employee as he tosses boxes from the conveyor belt. one of those boxes appearing to read "live tropical fish." southwest calling the video, quote, deeply disturbing, and says the baggage handler will be retrained. and oh christmas tree. crews in youngstown, ohio, cutting down this tree for the downtown square when, take a look at this, snap. the tree breaking in two. the christmas celebration will have to now wait until after thanksgiving. and when we come back, the pilots who flew into the california flames and their incredible rescue. it's america strong. rica strong.
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problems with flooding. police believe finally tonight, america strong. the firefighters flying head-on into the smoke and flames in california. here's abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: the pair of pilots flying right into that thunderhead of smoke. l.a. fire department pilots dave nordquist and joel smith had been battling the woolsey fire near los angeles earlier this month, part of a swarm of pilots fighting fires from the air. >> those guys are in a bad area, they need to get out quick. >> yeah. >> reporter: when they got the call -- >> all right, this is rapidly becoming very ugly. >> yeah, it is. >> reporter: the risk was huge. but the alternative? >> there was really nowhere to run, nowhere to go for these people. >> reporter: they started running low on fuel when joel smith finally jogs back with three survivors and two dogs. >> we probably had another five minutes to get the people out
before it burned over the top. >> there's one dog here. english mastiff. little apprehensive, but we're getting him onboard. >> reporter: with the pooch finally pushed onboard, joel jumps back in, they lift off. the fire rearing up. >> we okay now? >> you're clear now. >> reporter: the hero pilots never even got the names of their passengers. there was no time. >> that's enough excitement for me today. >> hey, you and me both, brother. >> reporter: they drop them off and flew right back into that fire. matt gutman, abc news, los angeles. >> so, tonight we salute those pilots for being america strong. and we thank matt for that report. we thank you for watching. i'm tom llamas. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow. for david and all of us here, have a great thanksgiving. night.ght.
for this rain. clearing that smoke from the skies. >> the south bay is getting the least amount of rain from the current system. showers are expected to continue through the evening. >> bursts of strong showers. soaked san francisco inundating some streets. slowing the commute of the of the city before rush hour. today is the rainiest day in san francisco since april 7. 228 days ago. >> we were in san francisco north beach neighborhood where umbrellas were easy to spot. by noon sop suers and drains were overwhelmed by the rain. good afternoon. thank you for joining us. >> look at this. blue skies.
>> we'll look from the sky 7. right now over 880 in the east bay. north and south. this is in hayward. taking a look at the traffic there. it doesn't look like the roadways are all that wet. which is a good thing gien what the afternoon commute has been like for many. north bay now from the camera. you can see a few drops on the lens there. it was probably worse earlier in the day. >> i think so. we have team coverage and how it's affecting the thanksgiving commute. >> this is what we have been waiting for. >> we're happy it hit here. it was heavier earlier in the day. what's happening now. you can see the in this region from the peninsula across the pay to parts of the east bay. we have pockets of light rain. heavier in parts of the mountains. look at this widespread and steadier rain.