tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC December 26, 2016 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
as we come on the air tonight, extreme weather colliding with holiday travel. the blizzard on one of the year's busiest travel days. airport delays stacking up tonight. passengers stranded. highways shut down. and the northeast facing treacherous driving conditions right now. george michael's mysterious death. tributes pouring in for the pop star, found dead on christmas. the new questions tonight about his final days. trump versus obama. the war of words tonight. donald trump firing back after president obama suggests he could have won the election. state of emergency. the dangerous sink hole swallowing an american neighborhood. residents forced to evacuate in the middle of a holiday. and go ahead. make my christmas. the great lengths some are going
to protect what's theirs. porch pirates beware. and good evening. i'm tom llamas, in for david. we begin tonight with the winter weather blast hampering the trip home for millions on one of the year's busiest travel days. a blizzard slamming into the plains states. more than a foot of snow, you see it there, in some spots. highways shut down. and that system now moving east, with icy driving conditions expected tonight in the northeast. and it was a standstill at many major airports. the average delay in minneapolis, more than two hours at one point. today, approaching an hour after l.a.x. more than 330 cancellations coast to coast so far. and untsz scoring the power of the storm, straight-line wind s destroying this building in nebraska. and a freak christmas day tornado reported in kansas. more on the forecast in a moment. but first, linzie janis gets us started tonight with the holiday
travel mess. >> reporter: tonight, treacherous travel for millions coming home from the holidays. 75-mile-per-hour wind gusts flipping this semi on its side in grand island, nebraska. backing up traffic for miles. in kansas, reports of a rare december tornado. and in the northern plains -- >> i'm on the second story, and the snow's right there. >> reporter: -- powerful blinding winds and over a foot of snow forced the closure of more than 500 miles of interstate across the dakotas. ice-covered roads on christmas day near grand forks sent dozens of cars careening off slick roads. and caused pileups in salt lake city. in minnesota, high winds downed power lines, leaving thousands in the dark. and grounding flights. chelsea spent christmas night sleeping in an airport chair. >> this is a holiday travel nightmare. >> reporter: more than 3,000 delays, and hundreds of canceled
flights. ws wsoc's mark barber saw the morning crush in charlotte firsthand. >> from ticket counters to security lines, charlotte's airport is wall to wall with travelers. in all, 130,000 passengers are flying here today. >> reporter: tonight, the misery means thousands could be forced to spend another night away from home. >> and linzie janis joins us now from laguardia. linzie, what are the worries as this storm now moves east? >> reporter: tom, the big concern is icy roads, especially in new england. look out for more airport delays there, too. tom? >> linzie janis for us tonight. linzie, thank you. this is a big storm. so, for what's next, let's bring in rob marciano. >> reporter: tom, a couple of concerns tonight. the severe weather in the south. icy conditions in the northeast. so, we'll start there. you can see sub freezing temperatures along the i-90 corridor, so, next couple of hours will be treacherous. and then the back side of this, the southern side, that's where the severe thunderstorms are popping up. a couple of tornado warnings
earlier today as this thing crosses the mississippi river. nashville, louisville. maybe some flash flooding tonight. look at the highs today. 76 degrees in louisville. that's an all-time record, ties it for the month of december. this pushes off to the east tomorrow, promises to be a quieter day as kro the east. >> rob, thank you so much. next, to that christmas night stunner. pop superstar george michael found dead at the age of 53. the exact cause, still under investigation. his manager saying the singer suffered heart failure. mane time, the memorial at his home outside london growing tonight with tributes pouring in for the former wham member who rocketed to solo stardom. abc's terry moran is in london tonight. ♪ baby ♪ i know you're asking me to stay ♪ >> reporter: george michael's mega-hit "faith" summons up a flood of emotion. a whole era. ♪ cause i got to have fifth ♪ i got to have faith >> reporter: today, the tributes poured in around the world for the '80s pop icon lost far too soon.
>> i knew all his hits. yeah, it's very sad news. >> i really cannot believe i'm standing here and george has passed away. >> he was a song book to the good times, the bad times. >> reporter: outside his london home, fans gathered, lighting candles, some weeping. michael was found dead at his country home christmas day. police called to the scene, calling the death "unexplained but not suspicious." his manager telling abc news he died of heart failure. pictures taken just a few months ago show his physique had changed. but there are still so many questions about exactly what happened to this 53-year-old. there will be an autopsy. ♪ >> reporter: george michael's music touched so many, from the bubble-gum pop he made with wham -- ♪ wake me up before you go-go ♪ >> reporter: -- to this timely holiday ballad. ♪ last christmas ♪ i gave you my heart ♪ but the very next day ♪ you gave it away >> reporter: he later revealed how, before he was famous, he worked as a dj and struggled with stage fright.
>> i've no idea how i'm able or was almost immediately able to sing to thousands and thousands of people, when i literally just used to shudder at the thought of talking to these few dinner/dance people. >> reporter: wham traveled to beijing in 1985, the first western pop act to play in china, before a crowd of 15,000. all over the world, he became a teen favorite, known for his stage presence and his sex appeal. ♪ i want your sex >> reporter: a songwriter with ten number one hits in the u.s. but george michael also struggled with stardom, fighting depression, hiding the 235k9 that he was gay from fans until a 1998 arrest for lewd behavior outed him. >> the idea that he had been this tragic, old-fashioned, stair owe typical closet joe, they just loved it. >> reporter: on social media, michael's peers remembering his tremendous talent -- bandmate andrew ridgeley -- "heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend." elton john, on instagram -- "i am in deep shock.
the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist." ♪ i knew you were waiting for me ♪ >> reporter: and aretha franklin. together, they won a grammy. >> he was on the money. he made such a tremendous contribution musically. it's a huge loss. >> reporter: friends remember a man who also loved a good laugh, like with james corden in the very first "carpool karaoke." ♪ baby ♪ i'm your man >> reporter: and so many remember tonight those soul-stirring anthems. ♪ freedom ♪ oh ♪ freedom ♪ freedom ♪ >> reporter: here at george michael's london home, people have been coming all day and night to light candled, leave flowers and notes. this one says, "you had the voice of an angel. so now go sing with them forever." tom? >> and that me nor y'all still growing tonight. alrea all right, terry, thank you. much more tomorrow on a special edition of "20/20" at 10:00 p.m. eastern.
next tonight, to politics. and a back and forth brewing between president obama and donald trump. the outgoing president telling former adviser david axelrod in a podcast interview, he would have defeated trump if he had ran for a third term. the president-elect responding tonight on twitter, saying, quote, no way. the war of words heating up as trump tries to move on from controversy surrounding his foundation. abc's mary bruce is at the white house. >> reporter: tonight, the current versus the future president. it started with president obama saying he could have taken on trump. >> i am confident in this vision, because i'm confident that if i had run again and articulated it, i think i could've mobilized a majority of the american people to rally behind it. >> reporter: but late today, trump firing back, tweeting, "president obama said he thinks he would have won against me. he should say that but i say no way! jobs leaving, isis, obama care."
a very different tone tonight from that oval office meeting. >> very good man. very good man. >> reporter: trump tonight also slamming the u.n., just days after it passed a measure condemning israel, saying "it has such great potential, but right now, it's just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time." these latest critical tweeting coming 25 days before the inauguration, as donald trump is racing to free himself from potential conflicts. announcing on christmas eve he's shutting down the trump foundation to avoid even the appearance of any conflict. in the same statement, trump insisting that 100% of the money goes to charity. but there are questions about the foundation's spending, including whether trump inappropriately used foundation money to purchase this $20,000 portrait. trump has already paid a penalty to the irs after the foundation made an improper campaign contribution. and now, trump's plan to shut it down is facing a major snag. the new york attorney general's office is investigating the foundation, and says it cannot
legally dissolve until that investigation is complete. >> and mary bruce joins us live from the white house tonight. and mary, we're also learning about a shakeup on his white house team? >> reporter: that's right. already a little staffing drama. just a few days ago, trump named jason miller to be his communications director, but miller's announced he won't be joining the team. instead, miller says his family needs to be his top priority. tom? >> mary bruce tonight, thank you. next tonight, we head overseas and the kremlin saying it doesn't believe terrorism took down a russian military plane. some of that wreckage dragged from the black sea after the plane crashed sunday, two minutes after taking off from sochi en route to syria. all 84 passengers and eight crew including most members of a renowned russian choir are believed dead. an investigation now focusing on technical faults and pilot error. back here in the states, a state of emergency in michigan, where a sinkhole forced the residents in more than a dozen homes to evacuate this holiday
weekend. take a look. a problem with an 11-foot wide suer pipe, some 50 feet deep, eyed at the cause. one home already damaged by the hole, which officials estimate is 100 feet by 250 feet deep. residents this morning receiving upda updates. as eva pilgrim reports, it is an area that's dealt with sinkhole problems before. >> reporter: tonight, the state of emergency in fraser, michigan. a sinkhole threatening this entire neighborhood. >> very scary. very scary. i'm glad we're out of there. >> reporter: 22 families evacuated, including sue alba, who woke up early christmas eve to the sound of splintering brick. >> loud noises, cracking through the evening. they got progressively greater. like, boom, boom, boom. so, that's when we got up and couldn't get out of the garage door. >> reporter: neighbor derek loewen and his father ran over to help, grabbing whatever they could. >> i didn't know how bad the situation was, but i kept running in and out as much as we could until police officers told us it was too dangerous.
>> reporter: this town has had this problem before. in 2004, a massive 160-foot sinkhole opened on the same road, shutting it down for nearly ten months. authorities blaming this sinkhole on a collapsed sewer pipe, 45 feet under the ground. residents being urged to stay away. >> let these people get their jobs done. it's a devastating situation. we don't want it to become a tragedy. >> reporter: engineers are now working to figure out how to get some of these people back home, but say it could be two weeks before that happens. tom? >> incredible nobody was hurt. all right, eva, thank you. next, to a deadly christmas weekend in the city of chicago. 12 people were killed, at least 40 shot in incidents between friday night and sunday night. the windy city has been wracked by violence. in 2016, get this, with 750 people killed this year alone. that is the highest annual homicide tally in more than two decades. now, to a pair of inmates kates sparking manhunts in two
states. a texas man escaping on klus has eve. and in tennessee, three suspects still on the run after finding a soft spot in the jail and exploiting it. here's abc's gio benitez. >> reporter: tonight, the search is on in both prison breaks. video from inside the tennessee jail showing how the inmates made theirs kate. just after 1:30 a.m., ripping the toilet from the jail wall, after a water leak had weakened the bolts. then, popping open this metal panel leading to freedom. >> they escaped in six minutes and fled over a fence. >> reporter: three of the six still on the run. and in texas, another inmate, 36-year-old jake childers, who was arrested for assaulting an officer, escaped from jail. police say he stole a truck and guns from a nearby home. a facebook post from law enforcement urging residents not to interact with childers and go call 911 immediately. >> everybody is concerned, and we'll have to be very careful. >> reporter: and tom, authorities will now, of course,
investigate those glaerps holes in security that allowed the tennessee inmates to escape in just six minutes. tom? >> gio, thank you. it is the day after christmas, which means it is a busy shopping day in america. with returns, customers darking in on gift cards, and post-christmas deals. the holiday shopping season isn't over yet, in fact, according to experts, spending is up, and could top a trillion dollars. here's abc's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: tonight, the rush to make returns and spend those christmas gift cards, triggering one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year. >> they gave my mom the wrong gift in the store, so, i wanted to get a different color. you don't want to wait too long, so, i wanted to get it asap. >> reporter: did you get gifts that you absolutely hated or just the wrong size? >> wrong size. >> reporter: retailers are hoping to cash in, too, extending hours and offering deep discounts on just about everything. the best deal? clothing. >> absolutely amazing. >> reporter: name brand sites like ann taylor loft, the limited and express slashing prices by 50% or more.
and experts say, you may be able to bargain for a better deal in person. but don't procrastinate. nearly a quarter of all stores shorten their return window around the holidays. plus, be ready with your receipt and photo i.d. more and more retailers require both to curb shoplifting. and if you have gift cards that you won't be use, try selling them online at sites like raise.com and gift card granny. tom? >> some good tips tonight. all right, adrienne, thank you. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this monday. we have an update on a "star wars" legend's health. and you won't believe what some people are doing to scare off package thieves. and an nfl heavyhitter, known for stopping runs, making tackles and getting sacks, throwing a surprise stunner. stay with us. kids to get a repair estimate. liberty did what? yeah, with liberty mutual all i needed to do to get an estimate was snap a photo of the damage and voila! voila! (sigh) i wish my insurance company had that...
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welcome back. in washington state, some homeowners are fighting back. they're tired of people stealing their packages. abc's mara schiavocampo shows us how they're taking matters into their own hands. >> hello. what are you doing? >> reporter: tonight, homeowners striking back against those porch pirates. the brazen thieves hitting in broad daylight, coming on foot, by car, and even on two wheels, looking for easy loot at your doorstep. 23 million americans already falling victim to this crime, and now, some are fighting back. jaireme barrow setting up a booby-trapped bait box that fires a blank shotgun shell when grabbed. while police say something this extreme isn't a great idea, so far, it's worked. twice. would-be thieves scurrying off. >> i have no real recourse, if
i'm going come up with a solution that would deter and prevent, there's nothing really scarier than thinking you're getting shot at it by a 12-gauge. >> reporter: this seattle woman saved her package while she was traveling, hundreds of miles away, thanks to a doorbell system called ring. she saw a live feed of a man on her porch. >> hey, put that back. >> reporter: and talked him into walking off, empty-handed. officials say the best way to fight back? surveillance cameras, providing a clear view of faces and license plates on getaway cars. tom? >> mara, thank you. and when we come back, a holiday miracle for a family, stranded on the roads near the grand canyon. and see how a kansas city chiefs defensive star, one of the biggest guys in the nfl, surprised everyone. stay with us. when you have a cold, you just want powerful relief.
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playing princess laia suffered a massive heart attack over the weekend. and a family is lucky to be alive tonight after getting stranded in the snow for 36 hours. they were trying to reach the north rim of the grand canyon on friday, but the road there is closed for the winter. when the family car got stuck, mom karen went walking 24 miles in search for help. >> i kept thinking, this isn't how my life is supposed to end. my son needs his mother. my husband needs his wife, you know, i'm not -- i'm not letting my mother bury me. i can't let this happen. >> her husband headed out, as well, finally finding a signal for his cell phone he was able to call 911. right now, all three are safe and being treated for frostbite. and one of the kansas city chiefs big play makers caps off their christmas day win against the denver broncos while making history. check this out. you see 346-pound nose tackle dontari poe take the snap, jump
and toss the ball right into the hands of demetrius harris for a touchdown. this play makes poe the heaviest player in nfl history to ever throw a touchdown pass. i think i see "dancing with the stars" in his future. all right, when we come back, the two 10-year-old sisters separated at berth, reunited a world away by the power of christmas. it's a story you don't want to miss. it's the little things in life that make me smile. spending the day with my niece. i don't use super poligrip for hold, because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well fitting dentures let in food particles. just a few dabs of super poligrip free is clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. try super poligrip free.
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finally tonight, one mother on the hunt for the perfect christmas gift makes the ultimate discovery. finding a gift her daughter will never forget. abc's gloria riviera has the story. >> reporter: she's a little girl with three big brothers she adores. but 10-year-old audrey min doering has always wanted one thing. this year it was on her list. >> the one thing that she wanted for christmas, along with a cello, is -- she wanted a sister. >> reporter: mom jennifer went searching for something, anything from audrey's family history in china, where she was adopted in 2007. >> we happened to stumble upon an extra picture, and from there we were able to find that there were two of them. >> reporter: that's right -- two. jennifer discovered her daughter
has an identical twin sister, also adopted by an american family. >> it's like an amazing christmas present. >> i thought that it wasn't real. >> reporter: like audrey, sister gracie rainsberry loves fettuccine and sports. both little girls fighters who have made it through surgery for heart defects. >> it's like looking into the mirror for me. >> reporter: two little girls who, this christmas, got a most precious gift. a sister for live. gloria riviera, abc news, washington. >> a most precious gift is right. thank you, gloria. for david muir and all of us here, thank you for watching tonight. "gma," first thing in the morning. i'm tom llamas. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night.
this is "jeopardy!" here are today's contestants -- a stay-at-home parent from toledo, ohio... a botanical artist from santa fe, new mexico... and our returning champion, a gis technician from oklahoma city, oklahoma... ...whose 3-day cash winnings total... and now here is the host of "jeopardy!" -- alex trebek! [ cheers and applause ] thank you, johnny. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. and to all of our fans in canada, happy boxing day. let's see if we can't make this last week of the year an exciting one, particularly for our winners,