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tv   ABC World News Tonight with David Muir  ABC  February 2, 2019 4:00pm-4:30pm PST

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tonight, virginia governor ralph northam refusing to resign. now denying that's him in a racist yearbook photo. saying he had never seen it until now. >> it was offensive, racist and despicable. >> but northam admitting he has appeared in blackface before. leaders of his own party, other democrats demanding he step down. new storm strikes. dangerous torrential rains and strong winds slamming the west. mudslides leading to evacuations. millions facing a flash flood risk, as temperatures in the frozen midwest and the northeast spike. on the brink. hundreds of thousands take to the streets in venezuela as embattled president maduro tells the u.s. we don't want another vietnam, we're ready to defend our homeland. our team in the middle of the
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growing crisis. high-profile heist. the thieves in hollywood caught on camera, seen driving away with a half-ton safe. hundreds of thousands in jewels taken. and final mission. the historic flyover in honor of the america's first female fighter pilot. the barriers she broke in the air and on the ground. and good evening. thanks for joining us on this saturday. i'm tom llamas. and we begin tonight with the breaking news. virginia's embattled governor now saying it wasn't him in a racist photo. ralph northam appearing with his wife before cameras today. taking reporters' questions and refusing to resign. expressing disgust and repeatedly calling that photo horrific that has emerged showing two people, one in blackface and the other dressed as a member of the kkk. on his yearbook page back in medical school. the governor saying he's never seen that picture before. and tonight, revealing to a
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separate incident where he admits to appearing in blackface. abc's zachary kiesch. >> reporter: tonight, the governor of virginia with an incredible reversal. after releasing a statement last night acknowledging he was in this yearbook photo of a man wearing blackface and someone dressed in kkk garb, today, he's refusing to resign, saying, after a closer look, it wasn't me. >> i did not purchase the yearbook, and i was unaware of what was on my page. when i was confronted with the images yesterday, i was appalled that they appeared on my page, but i believe then and now that i am not either of the people in that photo. >> reporter: the governor claiming that he got caught up in the moment, making a rush judgement when the medical yearbook photo was revealed. sending out an apology and taking responsibility before he claims he could closely examine the photo. >> i conceded that based on the evidence presented to me at the time, the most likely
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explanation that it was indeed me in the photo. >> reporter: he now says it was a mistake, suggesting the picture was on the wrong yearbook page. >> i have also had a classmate who i discussed this with this morning, we talked about this situation and i said, you know, is there a possibility you think that someone could have put a photo on the wrong page? she said, it happened on numerous pages in this very yearbook. >> reporter: governor northam said he had no recollection of wearing blackface at that party, adding, he would remember it because he had worn shoe polish in a dance contest in 1984, dressing up as michael jackson. >> my belief that i did not wear that costume or attend that party stems in part from my clear memory of other mistakes i made in this same period of my life. that same year i did participate in a dance contest in
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san antonio in which i darkened my face as part of a michael jackson costume. i look back now, and regret that i did not understand the harmful legacy of an action like that. >> reporter: he continued with this anecdote about that night. >> i had the shoes. i had a glove and i used just a little bit of shoe polish on my cheeks, and the reason i used a very little bit, because i don't know if anybody's ever tried that, you cannot get shoe polish off. >> reporter: this stunning 40-minute press conference turned bizarre at times. at one point, a reporter asking northam if he could still moonwalk as he had in the 1984 dance contest. the governor appeared to consider trying to dance before his wife intervened. >> my wife says, inappropriate circumstances. >> reporter: the governor then explained it wasn't until a conversation with an aide later in life that he learned why that michael jackson costume was offensive. >> do you think as a grown adult
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that it's problematic that you need to have it explained to you that blackface is offensive? >> no. you know, i'm not a person of color and people of color experience different things. it affects them different ways. >> all right, zachary joins us live now from richmond, virginia. the governor stating that he would not resign unless he reached a point where he thought it would be impossible to lead. also facing questions about why he had a racially charged nickname as a young man? >> reporter: the nickname appears in his college yearbook. he claims he doesn't know why. saying, you'd have to ask the students. tom. >> zachary with that new reporting tonight. all the late developments on northam's intention to keep his governor's seat tomorrow on "this week" with
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george stephanopoulos. please be sure to tune in. now to the storm threat and emergency evacuations in the west. dangerous floodwaters filled with debris and mud cascading through malibu. and a driver stranded north of los angeles trying to push his car to safety. high winds bringing this towering pine, said to be 100 years old, down on a santa barbara home. and you remember those recent devastating wildfires, now they left many residents exposed during these torrential rains. here's abc's marcus moore. >> reporter: tonight, what looks like river rapids raging through this neighborhood in malibu, swallowing everything in its path. a major storm pummeling the entire state. flash flood alerts up and down california with some places expecting up to a half a foot of rain. mandatory evacuations in areas scarred by recent wildfires. residents worried about mudslides. >> horrible mudslides, people getting caught. >> reporter: santa barbara county getting hammered, powerful winds toppling a huge tree onto this apartment complex. in los angeles, drivers forced to take their chances on flooded streets. people in near waist-deep water near hollywood, more than
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100 weather-related emergencies reported across the city. investigators in ventura county looking into whether the storm played a role in this deadly crash, killing one search and rescue team member. and tom, you can see and you can hear that rushing water just behind me as it roars across this roadway here in malibu. a number of streets have been closed because of the dangerous flooding and the debris flow here. more rain is expected tonight into tomorrow. meaning this could only get worse. tom. >> marcus moore right there by those surging rivers. marcus, thank you. we turn now to the major thaw. the bone-chilling temperatures in the heartland into a record-breaking deep freeze now boomeranging back. rob marciano is standing by in new york central park. rob, good evening. >> reporter: tom, ice jam and snow melt flooding. look at these temperature changes in the last 48 hours in chicago and minneapolis. already warming over 40 degrees.
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tomorrow's highs in st. louis will be into the mid-60s. you move ahead towards monday, looking to be 50 or better in chicago. flooding is going to be an issue in buffalo. all the while, this storm in the west, a powerful cyclone slamming the west now with several more waves of moisture to come tomorrow and on monday. more flooding rain in the west for at least another two days. >> okay, rob, thank you. we want to move on now to venezuela. opposition supporters pouring into the streets in some of the biggest protests yet. those mass demonstrations against president nicolas maduro and in favor of rising rival juan guaido. abc's ian pannell in the middle of it all. >> reporter: the pressure is building as hundreds of thousands heed the opposition's call and take over the streets across the country. in the capital, protesters with
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signs reading "freedom for venezuela." others chanting simply, "yes, we can." >> as you can see, it's pretty much a carnival atmosphere, but what they're calling for is deadly serious. complete change of government, complete change of system, and they're not afraid to the risk to come out to the streets. >> reporter: today, a defection. a venezuelan air force general, the first high-ranking officer to back juan guaido since he was declared interim president saying the transition to democracy is imminent. guaido, who's promised amnesty to military and security forces, not guilty of serious crimes today calling for more defections, saying -- "we don't just want you to stop shooting at protesters. we want you to be a part of venezuela's reconstruction." across town his rival, president maduro held his own major rally, calling for elections that would increase his grip on power despite strong u.s.-led sanctions, he's refusing to step down.
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telling the crowd, "the american government threatens us every day. we do not want a new vietnam," adding, "we are ready to defend our homeland." but the people i met on the streets also vowing they won't back down. >> sometimes military action has to be taken to get to a better chances, and better good, the greater good, the way americans say it, it might be the right time. >> reporter: tom, we're seeing signs that u.s. sanctions and the seizing of bank accounts are really starting to bite here, and that affects maduro's ability to keep his backers and supporters happy. perhaps most worrying tonight, both sides saying, they're ready to fight to defend their positions, tom. >> all eyes on the venezuelan military as well. ian, thank you politics here at home. president trump spotting on the links with golf greats jack nicklaus and tiger woods.
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new reporting tonight that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is cautioning the president against using his emergency powers to by pass congress and build that wall. abc's white house correspondent tara palmeri reporting from west palm beach tonight. >> reporter: president trump on the golf course in florida today, side by side with tiger woods and jack nicklaus. his first trip to mar-a-lago since before the shutdown. but with just 14 days until the short-term funding bill runs out, the battle over the border continues, as trump faces growing opposition from within his own party against declaring a national emergency to build a border wall. >> actually having a national emergency does help the process. i think there's a good chance that we'll have to do that. >> reporter: a white house official telling abc news the president is aware that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is against using emergency powers to bypass congress. >> i'm for whatever works, which means avoiding a shutdown and avoiding the president feeling he should declare a national emergency. >> reporter: "the washington post" reporting that mcconnell told trump in a private meeting
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that congress might pass a resolution against declaring a national emergency, and that could force the president to use his veto power for the first time, driving a wedge between the president and his party. >> i think that this would be viewed as an expansion of executive authority that, we just don't want to go down this that road. >> reporter: a bipartisan group of lawmakers is now working to meet trump's demands for funding a wall along the southern border, the president's not optimistic. >> we'll be looking at a national emergency. i think the democrats don't want border security. >> tara joins us live. tara, there's been no real progress in those capitol hill negotiations on border security? >> reporter: tom, that's right. there's been no tangible progress. the group of lawmakers in that conference are heading to the border tomorrow to see the situation for themselves. but the two main players in this, house speaker nancy pelosi and president donald trump still won't budge. tom. >> tara, thank you.
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and word tonight that russia is pulling a plug on the nuclear arms pact with the u.s. suspending the treaty dating back to the reagan era. observers say it all may signal a new arms race. here's abc's lana zak. >> reporter: tonight, experts are warning of a new cold war as one of the most crucial arms-race treaties in history collapses. russian president vladimir putin has promised that russia is developing new intermediate-range weapons in response to the u.s. >> putin is getting his cake and eating it too, because he's able to deploy missiles that now threaten nato, but claim that it's the u.s. that has withdrawn >> reporter: they could test an array of weapons, out of a bond-villain playbook. including this, the poseidon underwater nuclear-powered drone, a device that if successful, would literally create tsunamis. >> one side has not been adhering to it.
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we have, but one side hasn't. unless they're going to adhere we shouldn't be the only one. >> reporter: putin said he's only following america's lead. but for years, russia has been threatening to withdraw from the landmark 1987 treaty signed by president ronald reagan and soviet leader mikhail gorbachev. in a statement, the president's actions are allowing for a dangerous arms race in which russia can act with impunity. tom. >> lana, thank you. and be sure to join us on tuesday night for complete live coverage of the state of the union address and the democratic response. and there's much more ahead on "world news tonight" this saturday. the urgent rescue mission under way. the atvs plunging in these waters. first responders diving in to save anyone they can. the daycare issue. the worker caught on camera yanking and dragging small children that were in her care and the high-profile heist. thieves driving away with a
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half-ton safe. hundreds of thousands of jewels taken. and the one person who was home who may be the key in solving it all. stay with us. moving? that's harder now because of psoriatic arthritis. but you're still moved by moments like this. don't let psoriatic arthritis take them away. taltz reduces joint pain and stiffness and helps stop the progression of joint damage. for people with moderate to severe psoriasis, 90% saw significant improvement. taltz even gives you a chance at completely clear skin. don't use if you're allergic to taltz. before starting, you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection, symptoms, or received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz, including worsening of symptoms. serious allergic reactions can occur. for all the things that move you. ask your doctor about taltz.
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inside? $350,000 worth of cash and jewelry. >> from an investigative standpoint, this kind of heist would typically involve planning and inside information that there was this size of a safe in the house. >> reporter: that same woman then seen here jumping into the passenger seat as the car speeds off. cameras capturing a dark object in the trunk, so large the alleged perpetrators drive away with the hatch up. tom, police say the maid was home at the time of the heist and saw the thieves. and parts of that vehicle remain on scene and are being analyzed by investigators. tom. when we come back -- an incredible rescue. a mother and her baby. the car crashed and sinking fast. the quick-thinking man that saved their lives. and the comedian jerry seinfeld now facing a legal issue. what it's all about when we come back. be right back. with moderate to severe crohn's disease,
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to redrive treef retrieve the drivers. one of the drivers was able to make it to shore. emergency teams now desperately trying to find that other driver. and disturbing moments caught on camera in florida. a daycare worker yanking multiple small children by their arms and apparently dragging those children across the classroom. the worker immediately fired and arrested for child abuse. and an incredible water rescue out of broward county, florida. a young woman with her 4 month old son losing control of the car and landing in a nearb the mother and the baby were trapped inside. he then jumps in. handing the infant to another bystander. and then saving the mother. he acted because he hoped someone else would do it for his family. and comedian jerry seinfeld now getting sued by a company claiming it bought its porsche speedster then finding out it was a replica. seinfeld's lawyers said he acted in good faith and he's willing
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to do what's right and fair. and when we come back -- celebrating america's first female fighter pilot. the historic moment at her funeral and the changes that she made in the air and on the ground. stay with us. let's onest: dealing with your insurance shouldn't be more frustrating than the accident itself. that's why esurance makes it simple. just take some pics. [picture noises] go to sleep. wake up. grab a bite. maybe some racquetball. and boom - your money's on the way so you can get back on the road fast. well, not that fast. the editor had to make it fit in 30 seconds. it's pretty tricky actually trying to ... and ... tagline. when insurance is simple, it's surprisingly painless. when insurance is simple, your mornings were made for than psoriatic arthritis. as you and your rheumatologist consider treatments, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once daily pill for psoriatic arthritis. taken with methotrexate or similar medicines, it can reduce joint pain... ...swelling and significantly improve physical function.
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something that the navy has never done. >> reporter: mariner died january 24th, at the age of 65, after fighting cancer for 5 years. throughout her career she fought to break barriers and open the cockpit door to women. in 1973, she was one of eight women to get her wings from the navy, the next year she became a fighter pilot. it was just the first of her many firsts -- the first woman to land on aircraft carriers, she flew in desert storm, and was the first woman to command a squadron. she was a shining beacon for the female pilots who followed in her footsteps, including those flying over her funeral today. >> there was never a question in my mind whether i could fly combat roles in today's navy, and more doors are opening every day. >> reporter: mariner always wanted to fly. her father, an airforce pilot, died in a plane crash when she was just 3, but that didn't stop her. she washed planes to pay for flight lessons, later serving her country while also piloting
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women's rights in the military. mariner retired as a captain in 1997. she logged 3500 military flight hours, but her impact in the skies and on the ground is immeasurable. >> her real goal became not to be exceptional but to be the first person that opened the door but left it open for others to follow her through. tonight, we honor the legacy of captain mariner. we thank you for watching. i'm to llamas in new york. "good morning america" and "this week. see you right back here tomorrow night.
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a break today. but as you can see on livedoppler7. more rain is expected any minute now. find out just how much and rushing flood water inundates streets a look at parts of california pounded by the storm. and steph curry may be in the spotlight during the warriors game tonight but today at this shop in oakland. ayesha taking care of business. abc 7 news starts now. >> announcer: live where you live this is abc 7 news. boy take a look. the second round of our winter storm is approaching. >> already dumping four inches -ft ve in the pacific andeated dumped several feet of snow in the

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