tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC April 7, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
americans that drink alcohol say they prefer beer. that's it for abc 7 news at 5:00. see you right back here at 6:00. tonight, breaking news as we come on. president trump's embattled homeland security chief, out. days after appearing at the border with the president, as the national debate over immigration and the wall rages on. also breaking tonight, the kidnapped american rescued, five days after she and a local guide were kidnapped at gunpoint on safari. held for a $500,000 ransom. tonight, inside the rescue, as the first pictures come in. our ian pannell is on the ground. also developing tonight, severe storms strike. from houston to new orleans, north through nashville. damaging winds, pounding hail, the flood threat. more than 40 million americans in the path tonight. survivor story. the couple lucky to be alive, speaking out after a freak accident.
more than a dozen power line poles toppling. one smashing straight through their windshield. how they survived. and the investigation into the cause of that collapse. also tonight, the abc news exclusive. a family demanding answers after their daughter, a fifth grader, dies following a fight inside of her classroom. authorities still not revealing the official cause of death. and the home explosion mystery. the residence reduced to rubble. the blast blocking the neighborhood. tonight, what may have caused that home to blow. good evening. i'm tom llamas. thanks for joining us on this sunday. breaking news from the white house, kirstjen nielsen is out of a job. the president confirming in a tweet that she's leaving the administration. two days after nielsen appeared with president trump at the
border in california. let's get right to tara palmeri at the white house tonight. >> reporter: tonight, kirstjen nielsen is out. resigning in a letter, writing it was time for her to step aside. adding, i hope the next secretary will have the support of congress and the courts in fixing the laws, which have impeded our ability to fully secure america's borders. an administration shakeup coming as the president ratchets up his rhetoric about immigration. >> the asylum program is a scam. our country is full. >> reporter: the president withdrew the nomination for the director of immigration and customs enforcement. >> ron is a good guy. but we may just go a different way. a little bit tougher. >> reporter: nielsen coming under fire for the controversial family separation policy. >> i'd like to thank secretary nielsenid,
niel >> we have some of our sheriffs here. our fabulous, fabulous partners. >> reporter: the president touring a two-mile strip of 30-foot steel slats. a long-planned replacement of fencing. >> it's a great wall, and it looks, i think it looks fantastic. >> reporter: that trip coming just one week after he threatened to close the southern border completely, amid a surge of migrant crossings. 76,000 migrants were stopped at the border in officials estimate the numbers from march will be even higher. >> tara, the president and nielsen were meeting at the white house tonight. and it seems by this point, the president was fed up. >> reporter: that's right, president trump said he wanted a tougher immigration policy at the border. white house officials telling me he was becoming increasingly frustrated with nielsen, and blamed her for the surge in border crossings.
now, at a time when the president says there is a crisis at the border, we have acting secretaries in the interior, defense, and the department of homeland security. >> and tara, the president announcing that the commissioner of u.s. customs and border protection will take over temporarily? >> reporter: that's right, president trump has named him into an acting role, it's temporary until he names a replacement who will need to be confirmed by the senate. he is a longtime border patrol officer. >> tara, thank you. now to tonight's other breaking news, an american tourist kidnapped and held for over five days is free. officials rescuing her and her guide. the pair are said to both be in good health. they were on a safari drive when
four men kidnapped them, demanding $500,000 for their release. ian pannell is in uganda tonight. >> reporter: rescued. a five-day ordeal, over at last. this is the first photo of american kimberly sue endicott shortly after being rescued with her local guide, both now safe and well at last. we've just heard that the american hostage and her congolese driver have been released. we've seen a lot of police and military activity throughout the day, and in the last few moments, a helicopter has landed in the area of the lodge where they were originally staying. local wildlife workers jubilant as the news came through. >> it's good to know she's rescued safely and it's good news. >> reporter: the pair were kidnapped at gunpoint right here last tuesday while on an evening game drive in queen elizabeth park in uganda. the gunmen demanding a $500,000 ransom. a massive police and army hunt was launched.
scouring the skies and the land in search of the pair. tonight, we can report that highly sensitive negotiations have been going on for days to secure their release. fbi negotiators actively involved. ugandan police releasing a statement saying the two were recovered unharmed, in good health, and in the safe hands of the joint security team. a spokesman for the tour company they were with, wild frontiers uganda, telling abc news the pair are now back at his safari lodge and are in okay physical condition. a local lodge owner and her friends were in the park when the pair were rescued. they're released. they're released. you look very happy. >> really happy. >> reporter: good news for uganda, right? >> really good news. >> reporter: this was an unprecedented event for uganda. kimberly sue and john paul can rest easy knowing it's finally over. but the kidnappers have escaped. and tonight, security operations continue. >> ian joins us from uganda.
so many questions about whether a ransom was paid tonight. >> reporter: yes, a spokesman for the tour company telling abc news a ransom was paid. the u.s. government insisting it doesn't pay kidnappers. but if that's the case, it will be a huge concern to the people who live here and rely on the tourists who come to visit. tom? >> ian, thank you. and tonight, back here at home, more than 42 million americans in the path of severe weather. across the southeast, lightning bolts lighting up the sky. heavy rain swamping several communities. this footage, with a roof ripped away in texas. gusts topping 75 miles per hour. hail pounding homes and windshields in several states. and this powerful storm isn't done yet. here's rob marciano. >> reporter: tonight, millions being bombarded by severe storms in the south.
>> big size hail. >> reporter: softball-size hail slamming the houston area pummeling these cars. this one left without its back window. outside austin, extreme winds leaving behind a trail of destruction. homes and businesses flattened. this roof ripped off. only one wall left standing. >> it's pretty surreal. it's kind of hard to know it's happened here at this place. >> reporter: thousands of lightning strikes hitting throughout the weekend. at least one injured when an 11-year-old girl was struck. torrential rain shutting down roads in rockwell, texas. a driver rescued from this car as it was pulled out from floodwaters. in north dakota, rising water levels. chucks of ice creating ice jams evacuating their homes as the mississippi river continues to rise along the iowa/illinois border. >> let's get right to rob for forecasts.
>> a watch posted for louisiana. warning posted as well. lafayette, getting to baton rouge. some storms in texas had winds to 74 miles per hour. lots of wind energy. 8:00 a.m., it's past new orleans. 5:00 p.m., through georgia. through south carolina. and the threat for severe weather tomorrow has been extended to atlanta, charlotte, augusta, columbia, through norfolk. and coming into the pacific northwest, rivers are running high. and additional rainfall, with flooding potentially. and this system will get into the plains over that flood zone midweek. tom? >> rob, thank you. now to the west coast, where a couple is sharing their dramatic survival story. lucky to be alive after live power lines slammed through ut warning. here's maggie rulli. >> reporter: tonight, the couple trapped in this mangled mess of poles and power lines. bruised but thankful to be alive. >> wires down, about 15 poles down.
>> reporter: tom and linda cook were driving in their seattle neighborhood on friday when suddenly they saw a flash. >> i saw the pole start falling to the ground and i thought, wow, we have to find another way out. >> reporter: but that led to a domino effect, with dozens more tumbling down. >> it was so surreal and then it was one after another after another. >> reporter: the couple swerved but the pole landed right in the center of the car, causing the roof to cave in. >> had it hit to the left or right, it would have come down on top of one of us. >> reporter: rescuers frantically working to get them out. >> i started to open the door and i heard someone say that's not a good idea because those wires might be live. >> reporter: the downed poles spanning a mile, wiping out power to thousands. the couple rushed to a local hospital. home tonight, feeling grateful after a close call. >> wasn't our time. >> yeah. >> reporter: authorities say the poles were given a full inspection just a couple of years ago. and now, they have no idea what could have caused them to come
crashing down. tom? >> incredible that they survived. maggie, thank you. next tonight to chicago, where six people including two children were shot outside of a baby shower. a 10-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy were among the wounded when police say two men approached the gathering and opened fire. four adults also hit. one of them, critically injured. authorities say the shooting may have been gang related. in louisiana, authorities remain on high alert after fires in ten days at historically black churches. the fbi and atf trying to determine whether the fires were intentionally set. and now to an abc news exclusive. the family of a fifth grader demanding answers. the 10-year-old died after a fight with another student in class. authorities have not revealed the cause of the death. here's zachary kiesch. >> reporter: tonight, the family
of 10-year-old raniya wright, breaking their silence, demanding answers for why the 10-year-old died, days after a fight in her south carolina school. >> i sent my child to school feeling like she could be protected while she's not in my care anymore. i want to know everything and they didn't have no answers for me at all. >> reporter: on march 25th, raniya was involved in a fight with another fifth grade girl. raniya's condition so severe, she was unresponsive and in critical condition when she was taken to a charleston hospital, where she died two days later. the other girl has been suspended, and police say there was no weapon used in the fight. as memorials grow, her family and concerned parents have raised questions about the way the incident was handled, and the lack of information officials and the school have released. >> the school failed. they don't want to admit they failed, they don't want to own and swp uer the rug. we're talking about a 10-year-old girl.
>> reporter: an autopsy has been done but officials say it could take several weeks to get the results back, leaving the family increasingly frustrated as they deal with the loss of their little girl. tom? >> zachary, thank you. and there will be much more from that interview tomorrow on "good morning america." we move on now to a circus scare. a lion tamer attacked while performing. the cat scratching and biting the trainer. a tooth reportedly stuck inside the tamer's body. tonight, he's speaking out. here's marci gonzalez. >> reporter: this terrifying lion attack captured on camera at a circus in ukraine. you can hear members of the audience screaming as the giant cat pounces on his trainer. in this video posted by peta you see the lion's jaw clamped onto 32-year-old hamada kouta's arm, forcing him to the ground. >> two seconds. he's come to me and attack me and catch me. >> reporter: the trainer left covered in gashes and bite
marks, saying he had a tooth still stuck in his muscle. incredibly getting back up and moving towards the lion. >> the trainer's life was absolutely in danger. he's very lucky to survive that. if that lion had gotten the trainer by the neck it probably wouldn't have ended as well as it did. >> reporter: tonight, kouta is already back in the ring with the same lion just one week after this attack. >> this is not first time i have attacked. they have so many times. these lions and tigers for me just like my sons, like my daughter. >> reporter: tonight, kouta is still recovering from those bites and scratches. admitting most attacks like this are the lion tamer's fault. tom? >> marci, thank you. there's much more ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday. the home explosion mystery. a massive blast rocking a neighborhood. black smoke billowing through the sky. an inferno seen for miles. tonight, the warning because of what may have sparked the explosion. and the terrifying moment a 14-year-old girl is slammed and
sent flying into traffic. that reckless driver fleeing the scene. tonight, the hit and run manhunt under way. and, her majesty's secret service. what prince william is saying now about shadowing spies. now about shadowing spies. stay with us. thritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened. as have tears in the stomach or intestines, serious allergic reactions, low blood cell counts, higher liver tests and cholesterol levels. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. your doctor should perform blood tests before and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you've been somewhere fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections.
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>> due to the lack of water, we had to shuttle tankers back and forth, so that takes a little bit more time. basically, the house was a total write-off before the fire department got here, because of the amount of fire that was there. >> reporter: two workers were reportedly in the house at the time of the explosion. one of the men was taken to a local hospital for burns to his arm. it appears none of the other homes in the area were damaged. investigators are combing through the rubble, trying to piece this together. but they say they may never know exactly how this fire started. tom? >> diane, thank you. when we come back, the deadly flooding overseas. record rains sweeping through iran. at least 70 people killed. tonight, they're bracing for a new round of downpours. and the wrestling star attacked in the ring by a fan. security struggling to stop the fight. you'll see it all. you'll see it all. stay with us. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage.
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evacuate. record downpours soaking that nation, and they're holding their breath as a new round of rain now looms on the horizon. back here at home, at brooklyn's barclays center, wrestling superstar bret "the hitman" hart, attacked. making a speech at the hall of fame ceremony. suddenly, a fan jumping into the ring, tackling hart to the ground, and punching him in the face. security rushing in to pull the man out, still slugging hart on the mat. that attacker was finally taken into custody, and is now facing assault and criminal trespassing charges. and, her majesty's secret service. prince william getting a taste of 007 life, spending three weeks shadowing britain's intelligence services, learning more about how his country's security and intelligence teams work. preparing for the level of briefings he'll be given in the future. william calling his top secret work experience, quote, "humbling." when we come back, they locked eyes and that was it. an incredible story. a nurse and her little patient's fight for health that found them both a family. stay with us. ♪ ♪
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medicine is love. 2-year-old gisele smith just glows with happiness and joy. and, she should. she lives now in a world full of love. far from the world she was born into, weighing less than two pounds. she needed a feeding tube and special care. she was in the custody of the state, her birth parents apparently unable to care for her. and for five months, not a single person visited this baby in the hospital. then, a chance encounter changed everything. >> this little girl in a stroller crossed my path, and i said, who is that beautiful little angel? and the nurse said, this is gisele. that was the moment where i realized this was meant to be. >> reporter: that's liz smith, the director of nursing at franciscan children's hospital in boston. liz had been trying unsuccessfully to start a family of her own. >> i thought my door to motherhood had closed. >> reporter: liz knew this could be the second chance at a family that she and gisele both needed. so she took in the baby as her
foster daughter, knowing it might not be forever. >> that was hard because there was a lot of unknown, but what i did know was that she deserved every ounce of love i had to give her. >> reporter: but then liz got the news that she and gisele had been waiting for. her adoption, finalized. liz getting to hear the one word she always hoped for. >> she calls me mama or mum. >> no, mama. >> sorry, she calls me mama. >> mama is right. we thank them for sharing their story. we thank you for watching. "gma" first thing in the morning. david muir is right back here tomorrow night. i'm tom llamas in new york. have a great evening. good night.
. stanford is taking action against a student who the school says was involved in the college admission scandal. and more fallout from the grounding of the 737 boeing planes. the airline says it is canceling additional flights. abc7 news at 6:00 starts now. >> bitter sweet but excited. i'm excited. >> it is the end of an er fa aakgth lastcle ana re movgcr warriors fans are mixing celebration with a little sadness as they say farewell to oracle arena after four decades of memories.
there's still the playoffs so there's a little more chance for the playoffs to be made. it is the last regular season game. live at oracle with details. >> reporter: hey, eric. a super emotional day for dove nation that's having a really hard time saying goodbye to oracle. the oldest arena in the nba. it's been a pre game party happening on the plaza. helping fans on to the place that they love. a pre game warm-up for the warriors on the court for the fans, a special message on the scoreboard. >> one more game and that's it. >> reporter: the final countdown for doves fans. the last regular season game for the team at the place they've called home for the past 47 seasons. >> they definitely earned a new stadium but it won't be oakland. it's a little heart breaking. >> reporter: the warriors made this day a party for its loyal