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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  December 12, 2018 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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tonight, several breaking stories as we come on the air. michael cohen is going to prison. donald trump's long-time attorney and fixer is sentenced to three years behind bars. cohen telling the judge this was, quote, blind loyalty, to cover the dirty deeds, in his words, of donald trump. what the judge then said to michael cohen. also breaking, the bombshell that came just hours later. the owners of "the national enquirer kws now flipping, helping prosecutors. prosecutors say they have now admitted to help donald trump win. the deadly terror attack at the christmas market, and at this hour, the urgent manhunt. the new image of the suspect tonight who opened fire on so the major storm here at home. several feet of snow in some places. then dangerous rain.
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the rockies, then straight across to the east coast. rob has the new timing right here tonight. the surveillance now emerging of the missing mother pushing that grocery cart, last seen on thanksgiving. and tonight, what her fiance has now done. the racemine. rescuers with their oxygen masks, and now their next move. the daring fire rescue. the child jumping into officers' arms. christine blasey ford, who testified to congress about then supreme court nominee brett cavanaugh, breaking her silence tonight for the first time. and the woman swimming alone, suddenly surrounded by killer whales. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. we have several dropping stories as we come on, but we begin with the president and two major headlines tonight. his long-time fixer and person attorney, michael cohen, is going to prison.
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michael cohen, who once said he the yearsrigehis, quote, onald blind loyalty caused him to cover up the dirty deeds of trump. and then, two hours later, the publishers of "the enquirer." what prosecutors say they have admitted to. abc's senior justice correspondent pierre thomas leading us off tonight. >> reporter: michael cohen arriving at court today, clutching the arm of his heartbroken daughter. >> hey, michael! michael! are you afraid? >> reporter: hoping for mercy, he took full responsibility for his crimes. "the personal ones to me," he said, "and those involving the president of the united states." prosecutors seikoen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of individual one," aka donald trump, when he facilitated hush money payments to porn star stormy daniels and playboy playmate karen mcdougal so they wouldn't go public before the election.
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cohen once said he would take a bullet for his boss. >> i'm obviously very loyal and very dedicated to mr. trump. >> reporter: but cohen told the judge he has "been living in a personal and mental i i i incarcerati incarceration," ever since he went to work for trump more than a decade ago. "it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light," he said. "i felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds." >> mr. president, did michael cohen cover up your dirty deeds? >> reporter: president trump's story about the hush payments has changed over time. first, he told the american people he knew nothing. >> did you know about the $130,000 payment to stormy o,niels? new after the >> reporter: now, he calls the stormy daniels deal a "simple pry haven't transaction," pointing the finger back at michael cohen. but today in court, cohen emotionally declared he'll fight to make sure history doesn't remember him as the villain.
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his voice cracking, cohen described the shame he'd brought on wife, children and elderly parents, all of whom were in court. but the judge was unmoved, sentencing him to three years in prison for what he called "a veritable smorgasbord" of fraud. saying cohen had "lost his moral compass." >> pierre thomas joins us live tonight from federal court in lower manhattan. and pierre, prosecutors from the southern district of new york saying cohen was motivated by greed and ambition. we know he's always been cooperating with special counsel robert mueller, that's a separate case. and mueller's team did give him some credit today in court for his help in their case. >> reporter: david, cohen's spent more than 70 hours with robert mueller's investigators, and today, the special counsel's prosecutors told the court he offered them substantial assistance, including credible and valuable information. and they said they expect him to continue to do so. david? >> pierre thomas leading us off tonight. pierre, thank you. and as i mentioned at the top tonight, michael cohen was
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just the first shoe to drop today. the second one a short time later. the pub lisher of "the national enquirer" help prosecutors. prosecutors say they knew they were breaking the law, and admit they did it anyway. here's cecilia vega on that front tonight. >> reporter: just two hours after michael cohen was sentenced, another bombshell. the u.s. attorney's office announcing a cooperation agreement with the company that publishes "the national enquirer," a.m.i. a.m.i.'s ceo, david pecker, a close friend of president trump. prosecutors say just two months after trump descended that escalator and announced he was running, trump then met with david pecker and michael cohen. according to court documents released today, "the enquirer" publisher offered to "help deal with negative stories about the presidential candidate's relationships with women." and they did. in fact, just three months before the election, a.m.i. tells prosecutors, they bought the story of playboy playmate
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karen mcdougal. >> there were real feelings between the two of us. >> reporter: a.m.i. acknowledges they bought her story in order to bury it, a practice known as catch and kill. they say they worked in "cooperation with," and "at the request and suggestion of" one or more people on the campaign to make sure mcdougal "did not publicize damaging allegations" about trump before the election and "thereby influence that election." in the deal which was signed in september, a.m.i. admits they knew this would break campaign finance laws, but they did it anyway. at the same time, americans in supermarkets across the country were seeing these images on a.m.i.'s tabloid covers -- "hillary's failed secret lie detector test!" "hillary's two secret strokes!" "hillary: 6 months to live!" >> and cecilia svsay vega live with us tonight. overnight, we know the president was asked about talk of it
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impeachment, and he said he's not concerned? >> reporter: in fact, he said, people would revolt if he was impeached. that came in a new interview with reuters. and he said, quote, it's hard to impeach somebody who hasn't done anything wrong. david? >> cecilia, thank you. we're going to turn next here to the global manhunt tonight, after the deadly terror attack near a christmas market. the scene in strasbourg, france, as the shooting unfolded. the gunman was apparently shot, too, and then jumped into a taxi to escape. tonight, the new image just released in this hunt, and abc's senior foreign correspondent ian pannell is in france. >> reporter: tonight, hundreds of french police and soldiers in an all out hunt for one man -- cherif chekatt. the 29-year-old career criminal suspected of carrying out that deadly terror attack near the strasbourg christmas market. police today seizing evidence from his apartment and searching cars at the nearby german border. chekatt escaping in a taxi, wounded in the arm by soldiers, but telling the driver he'd just shot people.
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>> there were really a lot of gunshots. like, it was so loud. >> reporter: the screams of witnesses harrowing to hear. one victim on the ground as passers-by try to help. two people were killed. a third is brain dead. another dozen wounded. chekatt wasn't just known to the police. he was on a terror watch list. they searched his home earlier that day in an unrelated case, but they found a rifle, grenade and knives. french officials admitting this could've triggered the attack. >> so, let's get to ian pannell live with us again tonight at the scene of that shooting. and we're learning much more about the suspect at this hour? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, david. we know that chekatt was born and raised here in strasbourg, france, the same city where he launched that attack just behind me yesterday. here is the problem, that the attacks have taken place in europe aren't carried out by outsiders, they are carried out by people from the home
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countries, making it all the harder to detect and prevent. david? >> radicalized at home, which is a worry here in the u.s., as well. ian pannell, thank you. back here at home tonight, and to that major new storm barrelling across the country, hammering the northwest and the rockies first. look at this. snow in washington state. a dangerous stretch of highway there. winter weather alerts tonight, wind alerts, as well, straight from the west to texas and headed straight to the northeast. meteorologist rob marciano is tracking it all for us tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. this is a powerful western storm, and it's only going to expand as it links up with the southern jet stream. check out this pattern. these jet streams will phase tomorrow over texas and throw a lot of moisture across the southeast. we had 70-mile-an-hour gusts in wyoming. high wind warnings for parts of the plains. winter storm watch just west of ft. worth and heavy rain down i-10, louisiana, mississippi. georgia on friday, across the carolinas snow zone late. here in new york over the weekend with heavy rain potentially. david? >> we'll be watching it.
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rob, thank you. we're going to turn next tonight to a troubling admission from a d.a. in north carolina tonight in the case of a 13-year-old girl abducted and killed while she was sumfully waiting to go to school. tonight, the d.a. revealing there had been dna linking the suspect in her case to a rape long before, and that he should not have been free. here's abc's steve osunsami now. >> reporter: it's a painful admission tonight. >> could that paper right there have saved hania aguilar's life? >> potentially yes, and probably yes. >> reporter: north carolina authorities admit that they had in their hands dna test results that tied 34-year-old michael mclellan, seen here in court, to a rape that happened in 2016, but they say that their investigators never followed up. had they done so, the robeson county prosecutor believes that 13-year-old hania aguilar might be alive today. mclellan is now charged with raping and killing the eighth
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grader, who was kidnapped last month on her way to school by someone driving away in the suv seen in this surveillance video. >> i don't know what happened, if it got lost at the sheriff's department, if it got buried on someone's desk. this hurts. this is like taking a punch to the gut and not being prepared to get it. >> reporter: mclellan is now charged in both cases. in this one, police say it was dna evidence removed from the abandoned suv that led them to him. mclellan is being held tonight without bond. before making this public, authorities had to break this to this girl's family, and that was a tough conversation. david? >> steve, thank you. next tonight, to the race against time in west virginia. several rescue teams deep inside an abandoned coal mine. tonight, where three people were lost. but there is breaking news as we're on the air tonight. their family believes they might have just been found. abc's david kerley on the scene for us. >> reporter: mine rescuers working with the national guard know they are up against the clock tonight. staging what they're calling a big push to find the three remaining people who illegally entered the abandoned mine four and a half days ago.
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families learning of a new tactic today. the rescue miners will go as far as possible without air masks, then put them on to allow them to go even deeper. crews have had to cut a new road to get into mine entrance that the four went into, and that is where the rescuers are entering this mine c giant fanse been blowing air into a north entrance of the massive mine that was shut down two years ago. but rescuers are concentrating on a southern entrance miles away, where one of the four crawled out on monday, telling authorities the other three were alive, but likely in the pitch black. why do think they went into that mine? >> i know why they went in that mine. to get copper. >> reporter: scavenged copper is valuable in this economically depressed area, where families are praying tonight for everyone's safe return. >> all right, so, let's get live to david kerley. as i mentioned moments ago, there's some breaking news here, and new hope at this hour? >> reporter: absolutely, david. family members have just told us moments ago that a state official has told them, the
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gentleman from the mine safety administration here in west virginia, that all three have been found alive, they need medical care, but he says they will be okay. some very good news from here in west virginia, david. >> good news indeed. david kerley on this again tonight. thank you. next, to the nationwide search for that missing mother from colorado. tonight, the surveillance of her in that grocery store, last seen with her 1-year-old daughter. tonight, amid questions about why her fiance was not at that news conference, tonight, what his attorney is now saying. here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: this is the last confirmed sighting of kelsey berreth, thanksgiving day, shopping at a supermarket with her daughter. tonight, her fiance's lawyer says his client is cooperating with the search to find her. patrick, why don't you talk to us? patrick frazee refused to talk yesterday, leaving his lawyer's office with the couple's daughter. you want to say something about kelsey? frazee let police search his phone and take dna sample s and
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photographs. police say a frazee told them he got a text message from berreth november 25th. a second text message from her phone to her job that day said she was taking time off work. as for why frazee was a no-show at monday's press conference? why isn't he here? >> you'll have to ask him. >> reporter: "mr. frazee was first notified of the press conference approximately an hour prior." his lawyer says, and given more notice, "he would have participated." his attorney says frazee is not speaking publicly because he didn't want to interfere with the investigation. david? >> clayton, thank you. and to the breaking headline overseas tonight. britain's prime minister, theresa may, has survived a major challenge to her leadership. he remains in power, for now. abc's james longman joins us from outside parliament tonight. james? >> reporter: david, theresa may has survived tonight this attempt to push her out of power. but her long-term future is anything but certain, and so is the future brexit. the vote on may's leadership was triggered by members of her own party, and it's all because of brexit. even though they voted for it before she became prime minister. many are not happy with how
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she's handled it. the terms she has secured to leave the european union. just moments ago, theresa may addressed the british people outside 10 downing street, saying, quote, we need to get on with the job and focus on building a country that truly works for everyone. but getting a brexit deal the rest of europe will sign off on, and that the british people will like, well, that remains her biggest challenge. she only has 107 days to finalize it, and the clock is ticking. david? >> all right, prime minister may holds on for now. james, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this wednesday. the deadly fire rescue. police rushing into an inferno. look at this. a child then jumping right into officers' arms. there's also news coming in tonight about christie blasey ford. she testified before congress. tonight, she's breaking her silence for the first time, and you'll hear from her coming up. and the police crackdown on package thieves at your front door. we've seen so many of these cases. well, tonight, something new.
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what authorities are now putting inside some of those boxes, and our correspondent is right there as they witness a theft unfolding. what happens next. our because of smoking.ital. but we still had to have a cigarette. had to. but then, we were like. what are we doing? the nicodermcq patch helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. nicodermcq. you know why, we know how. [[clap, clap]] ♪ hey, jen, which tie says, "trustworthy but also fun"?
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this is banking reimagined. what's in your wallet? next tonight, the crackdown on package thieves for the holidays. tonight, gio benitez behind the scenes of an undercover sting operation, and what they're now putting in some of those packages. >> reporter: headaches, viral videos, and an estimated 26 million victims in the u.s. as so-called porch pirates swipe those packages from our doorsteps. tampa police say these two women did just that this week. but one major american town is now doing something about it. >> these are the locations where our gps devices are deployed right now. >> reporter: we're inside the jersey city police burglary unit. they've teamed up with amazon, planting a gps tracking device inside fake packages, and dropping them off on a porch, waiting for a porch pirate to come steal it. >> this morning, the detectives deployed this, and within eight minutes, we had movement on one
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of the devices. we swooped in and made the arrest, with big smiles on our face. >> reporter: within the first four hours of their undercover sting, police made three arrests. >> the message to the bad guys are, we're going to catch you. >> reporter: and david, the goal is to arrest repeat offenders, and deter others, because you simply can't tell which package is rigged. now, jersey city is one of the first cities in the country to do this. they hope it goes nationwide. david? >> all right, we'll see if it works, gio, thank you. when we come back, that major apartment fire. a child jumping out of a window. and christine blasey ford breaking her silence for the first time. time. i didn't like something having control over me. i wanted to stop. the thing is i didn't know how. chantix, along with support, helps you quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke to the point that i could quit. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. some people had changes in behavior or thinking,
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to the index of other news tonight. the dramatic fire rescue in texas. police were trying to save a mother and son trapped inside a burning apartment building. an officer smashing a second floor window. the young boy then jumping into the officer's arms. everyone survived. dr. christine blasey ford is speaking for the first time since the senate hearing for supreme court justice brett kavanaugh. she presented the sports illustrated inspiration of the year award to former gymnast rachael denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse larry nassar of sex assault. >> stepping forward, you took a huge risk, and you galvanized future generations to come forward, even when the olds are seemingly tacked against them. and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others. >> dr. ford honoring that gymnast.
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and swimming in the water, but a survive. judy johnson was suddenly surrounded by three playful killer whales. at first, she thought they were dolphins. she called it a life-changing experience. when we come back tonight, the mother who thought her baby died right after birth. but what just happened decades later. later. 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.
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finally tonight here, the daugt whole was adopted decades ago, but who always wondered if she would meet her biological mother. take a look at this photo. a baby girl named connie, born in indiana, may 12th, 1949.
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she was adopted by a family in southern california, here in the arms of her new father. right in front, her bobbed hair, and through the years, she would wonder about her biological mother. this is connie now, on the right. her daughter buying her an ancestry dna kilt. and it revealed a cousin. and it also revealed her mother's name. and it said, well, here's my mother's given name, and she said, oh, that's my aunt. oh, by the way, she's still alive. i'm like, oh my god. >> reporter: and just days ago, waiting for her in a tampa nursing home, connie's biological mother, genevieve puriton. watch her face when they hug. there were tears, and genevieve revealing that she was 18 and wasn't married when she gave
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birth. and she says the hospital told her her baby had died. >> it's okay. it's okay. >> reporter: her daughter connie telling us, that hospital is now gone, and the doctor is no longer living. that they may never have the mystery solved. what they do know is that there was a time when there was a lot of secrecy around adoptions and young women who weren't married. tonight, a daughter wiping away her mother's tears. and that mother, genevieve, learning she has grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, rose on the left, fletcher on the right. and a family reunion with them all next month. wow. what a holiday it will be for that family. i'm david muir. i hope to see you right back here tomorrow. good night. good night.
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slick. he had his eyes on wraek bre breaking into a business then got stuck. and he was stuck for a while. good afternoon. >> so a burglar in the east bay is lucky to be alive after getting stuck in the grease vent for two days. >> he was found above the business after the owners of some neighboring businesses heard his muffled cries for help. >> laura anthony joins us with the story. >> reporter: well, hi. this restaurant behind me has been closed for a while which turns out to be a good thing for this suspect because no one tried to turn on the stove while he was stuck in the grease vent. he was stuck until the business th i'mike door came to his eep
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>> igor said it's kept hear frg two days. >> i keep hearing that thipg again, ah. >> reporter: until this morning when he we want nt to investiga this is what he found. a man covered in grease stuck in a vent at the business next door. >> i start asking questions. your name. just please help me. get me out of here. okay, but what is your name? please don't hurt me. >> reporter: campos called 911. when first responders arrived, all they could see is the man's leg and foot. >> i've got a person trapped in the grease shoo>> found him stu the stove area here. >> reporter: in order to free the man, alameda county firefighters had to dismantle the vent. >> our crews had to dismantle the sheet metal and bring