tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC May 19, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
brother broncos. we bron tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. 423 days since new york city shut down, tonight, the mask mandate lifted. new york state following other states as they enact the new cdc guidelines, vaccinated americans can go without masks indoors and outdoors. but across the country tonight, the flash points. the tense moments over masks. and today, the cdc director pressed on capitol hill about the new mask guidance. how she answered. all eyes on the hill tonight. will they work together to get answers? lawmakers voting on whether to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the deadly attack on the capitol, to try to prevent it from ever happening again. today, mitch mcconnell joining kevin mccarthy and pressuring republicans to vote no.
and the congressman who just days ago compared the insurrection to a capitol tour, a visit. tonight, the image emerging of that same congressman trying to help barricade the capitol for safety. the pressure mounting on former president trump and the trump organization. new york's attorney general overnight revealing that their probe is also now a criminal one. so, what does this mean? tonight, the former president responding and jon karl with late reporting. the conflict between israel and hamas. president biden today increasing pressure on israel to de-escalate. to work toward a cease-fire. but tonight, what the israeli prime minister is now signaling and matt gutman, live from tel aviv. here at home tonight, the alleged hazing death of a sophomore. seven former fraternity members in court. the mom who talked to her son before he went to that initiation ritual. she and her husband coming face to face with those blamed for the alcohol-related death of their son. we're tracking what authorities are calling life-threatening storms across several states as we come on the air tonight.
the alerts up right now. and america strong tonight. the 8-year-old boy who wrote to me. and it turns out a lot of other kids feel the same way. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a wednesday night. we have a lot to get to tonight. and we're going to begin with the major milestone in this pandemic. 423 days after new york city shut down, of course, once the epicenter for the virus, tonight, most covid restrictions have been lifted. tonight, the mask mandate dropped for those who have vaccinated. open for business. here in new york, the crowds and yes, the traffic back in times square. of course, masks no longer required, though many in the city say they're going to wear them until they feel more comfortable taking them off. more people inside restaurants and in larger groupers. but across the country tonight there are still the flash points. the tension over some of the guidance still in place. for one, whether schools should
insist that children wear masks. tonight, the emotional arguments for and against the idea. and today, the cdc director was pressed on this new guidance, including one senator asking why we can go into a packed restaurant without a mask but not on an airplane. how she answered. abc's eva pilgrim leading us off. >> reporter: tonight, the original epicenter of the pandemic roaring back to a new normal, with fully vaccinated new yorkers cleared to ditch the masks indoors and outdoors. >> the bottom line is, if you're vaccinated, you have more freedom. >> reporter: on streets today, many were still in masks. >> i'm going to keep the mask on. >> why? >> i'm not taking any chances. >> reporter: some businesses keeping mask rules, or asking for proof of vaccination. the owner of this restaurant says their customers are more comfortable dining outside. >> if the staff feels comfortable not wearing a mask, like, and they're vaccinated, i
think that's heading in the ight direction. comft ne andhathey feel good about. >> reporte as millions of children are not vaccinated. >> no masks! >> reporter: after tempers flared at this school board meeting, the utah house today passing a ban on mask rules in schools. >> it's really about the mental health of our students. >> reporter: texas' governor is threatening to fine schools and local governments up to $1,000 if they impose mask mandates. in florida, parents demanding schools drop masks in classrooms. >> if a parent wants to have their child wear a mask to school, go for it, just please do not mandate what my child must do. >> reporter: and 10-year-old john provenzano confronting his school board. >> my mask also sticks to my face when it's really hot, and it makes it hard to breathe. i feel like i can't catch my breath and that makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. it's really stressful. direorre ocapitol ll on the new mask guidess ceed t
mask at school? who's the ultimate decider here, is that the cdc, is it the president, is it the governor? >> reporter: dr. rochelle walensky saying decisions should be made at the local level. >> we've recommended that schools not change anything for this school year, because it will be hard for our youth to get fully vaccinated before the end of the school year. >> why is it different on an airplane as opposed to a restaurant? >> there's very little choice when you board an airplane as to who you're going to be sitting next to, who is around you, and also, airplanes may be a place where we have more variants because of the travel from international places. >> reporter: david, dr. fauci saying the vaccine lasts at least six months, likely longer, but that we will almost certainly need a booster sometime within the first year after being vaccinated. the cdc director says nursing home residents may be among the first to get those boosters because they were among the first to get the vaccine. also, elderly people often do not have as robust an immune
response. david? >> all right, eva pilgrim leading us off tonight. eva, thank you. we're are also watching capitol hill at this hour and the battle over whether to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the deadly attack on the capitol. to try to prevent it from ever happening again. republican leaders now pressuring republicans to vote no. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, who said he was open to the idea, today saying he opposes it, after growing pressure from former president trump. and tonight, after that congressman in recent days who compared the insurrection, the attack on the capitol, to a visit, a tour of the capitol -- now the images emerging of him helping to barricade the capitol from the rioters. abc's rachel scott with late reporting from the hill tonight. >> reporter: tonight, senate republican minority leader, mitch mcconnell joining house republican leader kevin mccarthy, republicans to vote no on a commission to investigate the attack on the capitol. after signaling he was open to the idea of a commission, mcconnell now calling the bill slanted and unbalanced.
>> the facts have come out and they'll continue to come out. what is clear is that house democrats have handled this proposal in partisan bad faith going right back to the beginning. >> reporter: but there were republicans who worked with democrats on this proposal. tonight, democrats are warning they'll investigate with or without republican support. >> we will find the truth. so it's not a question of doing this in addition -- something in addition to this. it's a question of, if they don't want to do this, we will. >> reporter: and it already faces fierce opposition. former president donald trump, who on january 6th rallied his supporters. >> we're going to walk down to the capitol. >> reporter: -- releasing a statement saying, "republicans in the house and senate should not approve the democrat trap of the january 6th commission. it is just more partisan unfairness." but not all republicans agreeing with the former president. repu katko was tasked with
working with democrats on this. >> the american people expect us to put partisanship aside for the sake of our homeland security. >> reporter: and there is a growing effort to redefine what happened that day. it was just days ago when republican congressman andrew clyde of georgia compared the insurrection to a tourist video. >> if you didn't know the tv footage was a video from january the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. >> reporter: but now, this image has resurfaced. that same congressman trying to barricade the doors to stop the mob from breaking in. >> all right, so, let's get right to rachel scott up on the hill tonight. we know lawmakers voting this eening. the house with enough votes to pass this, but in the senate, we know it will need 60 votes. so, rachel, as you always do, give us a reality check. is that likely. >> reporter: some of the same republicans who voted to convict former president donald trump in the senate say they are open to the idea of a commission, but they want to see some changes first, so, the bottom line here tonight, it is going to be an uphill challenge for democrats to get at least ten republicans onboard. david?
>> rachel scott on the hill for us again tonight. thank you, rachel. the pressure mounting, meanwhile, from presideon presi trump tonight and the trump organization. the new york attorney general revealing their probe is now a criminal one. so, what does this mean? what changed? tonight, the former president now responding and here's our chief washington correspondent jonathan karl. >> reporter: pressure on donald trump is growing tonight after new york attorney general leticia james announced her civil investigation into his business is now a criminal probe. james released a statement, saying, "we are now actively investigating the trump organization in a criminal xas tip." her team is now working with the manhattan district attorney, who won a supreme court battle to get access to trump's tax returns and other financial records. lawyers and accountants have been poring over thousands of pages of documents. the investigations began long before trump left the white house. >> the prosecutors in new york are out of control. they're out of control. >> reporter: the full extent of the investigation is not known,
but one area of inquiry is whether trump manipulated the values of his properties to obtain loans and to minimize his taxes. the new york attorney general has interviewed his son eric, who now runs the trump organization. trump has long said it's all political. >> these same people that failed to get me in washington have sent every piece of information to new york, so that they can try to get me there. >> reporter: and today, trump reacted to the latest development with a lengthy written statement, calling the investigation, "a political and partisan hitwitch hunt," adding "there is nothing more corrupt than an investigation that is in desperate search of a crime, that is exactly what is happening here." >> jon, bottom line, what should we make of this announcement from the new york state attorney general, that her investigation is also now a criminal one? >> reporter: well, david, the attorney general gave no indication as to why she has now turned this into a criminal investigation, but perhaps the most significant aspect of her
announcement is that she said she is now working with the manhattan d.a. that means the two most powerful prosecutors in new york have now teamed up to investigate the trump organization and remember, a civil investigation can result in fines. a criminal investigation can result in prison time. >> jon karl with us tonight. jon, thank you. in the middle east tonight, the battle between israel and hamas now in its tenth night. b pressure tonight, making a fourth phone call now to prime minister benjamin netanyahu. biden saying he expects to see a significant de-escalation. netanyahu responding tonight and matt gutman in tel aviv again tonight for us. >> reporter: tonight, in his most significant push in an end to the fighting since the conflict began, president biden telling israel's prime minister he expects "a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire." after that call, benjamin netanyahu appearing to rebuff biden, saying, "i am determined to continue this
operation until its objective is achieved." the conflict now in its tenth night, with more than 250 palestinians killed in gaza and the west back than 1,600 wounded. in israel, at least 12 dead and over 300 wounded. overnight, the israeli military hammering gaza. today in israel, civilians running for cover as sirens warned them of incoming rockets. and over the past 40 days, clashes in east jerusalem's contested sheikh jarrah neighborhood. this neighborhood is where 28 palestinian families have been threatened with eviction from east jerusalem. it has been one of the triggers for this conflict between israel and hamas. three days ago, this video going viral. maysoun ghosha says she and her two daughters were pummeled by israeli police when they tried to enter their neighborhood. the interaction filmed on palestinian tv. today, she showed me the homes that face possible eviction. she told us her husband's family has lived here since 1948. the land now in dispute. on one side, those 28 palestinian families, on the
other, jewish families suing to reclaim property once owned by jews. she says she's not afraid and will never leave their home. israel's supreme court stayed the evictions until they weigh in on the case next month. >> and matt gutman back with us again tonight from tel aviv. and despite the israeli prime minister's comments today, you reported earlier to us that you've seen some relative calm in tel aviv? >> reporter: david, we have not heard a siren in the tel aviv metro area since early sunday. more lights on behind me than we've seen in recent days and while netanyahu says that the operation will continue, over the past 48 hours, many fewer casualties in gaza than we've seen. perhaps setting the stage for that de-escalation. david? >> all right, matt, our thanks to our and team there in tel aviv again tonight. back here at home this evening and to the alleged hazing death of a collera the mom who had talked to her son before he went to that
initiation ritual, she and her husband coming face-to-face for those blamed in the death of their son. here's stephanie ramos. >> reporter: tonight, the seven former members of pi kappa alpha fraternity are all pleading not guilty to all charges in connection with the death of 20-year-old bowling green state university sophomore stone foltz. foltz died of alcohol poisoning three days after the fraternity allegedly held an initiation event in which foltz and other incoming members were encouraged to drink an entire bottle of hard liquor each. stone's family fighting for justice, remembering a phone call right before that initiation. >> he said, it's justritual, i . >> court will call state of ohio versus jacob krinn. >> reporter: prosecutors say he was brought home by other members, including jacob krinn, stone's fraternity big brother, who faces the most serious charge of first degree manslaughter. foltz's autopsy revealing a blood alcohol content nearly five times the legal limit.
his parents inside the courtroom, emotional. >> there's really no way to truly prepare someone to come face-to-face with the people that are responsible for your son's death. >> reporter: the seven accused have been released on bond with conditions. prosecutors say they're still investigating and more people could face charges. a pretrial conference has been set for july. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos with us tonight. steph, thank you. tonight, a new texas law bans most all abortions while also allowing anyone to sue doctors or others who help a woman get an abortion. governor greg about both signed the measure today banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. the law takes effect in september. legal challenges are expected. when we come back here toere tg what th're calling pot deadly storms tonight across several states, in a moment. with less asthma? whau with dupixent i can du more...
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today. 107-year-old viola fletcher, the oldest survivor of the 1921 tulsa race massacre, making her first trip to washington to testify before congress. sharing her painful memories of the violent white mob killing hundreds of black people in greenwood, nearly a century ago. >> i hear the screams. i have lived through the massacre every day. our country may forget this history, but i cannot. >> fletcher among three survivors asking for national recognition of the tulsa massacre and compensation for survivors and their descendants. 107. that's something. tonight, a passing to note. legendary comedian and actor paul mooney has died. known for his collaborations with richard prior and david chappelle. mooney was 79. when we come back tonight, the letter an 8-year-old sent me and then all of the other messages, too.
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may is seal yak disease awareness month and tonight, the 8-year-old hoping we would report on it. it all started with jack sperry from philadelphia and the letter he wrote me. >> hi, i'm jack sperry and let me read my letter to david muir and "world news tonight." >> jack's writing about seal yak disease. >> dear mr. muir. when i turned 8 in march, i wished for a cure for celiac disease. >> jack watches the news and hopes to get the word out. >> i watch you every night with my dad. you are a great storyteller
including about the nih. >> and according to the nih, 2 million americans have celiac disease. some estimate up to 3 million. >> eating without fear is our hope. food insecurity happens for celiacs every day. can you help me tell this story this may, which is celiac awareness month? >> and when his friends learned he was reaching out, they did, too. >> hey, david! >> they have celiac disease, too. >> i have celiac disease. >> maggie, a third grader from virginia. >> i didn't have to bring my own food and i didn't have to worry about cross contamination. >> hey, traderia f norris pennsylvania. t a strict gluten free diet, which is pretty tough. >> and ava from maryland. >> not all package foods are clearly labeled. >> jack's mother leslie takes photos of gluten free foods that
she finds at the supermarket and she posts them. all of these families helping one another. >> my favorite foods are burgers, pizza, chicken fingers and fries. my mom has been able to find or make gluten free versions of my favorite foods. i love cooking with her. >> jack and his family and other families have gone to capitol hill. a bipartisan congressional briefing, asking for help. >> solving celiac could be the gateway to understanding so many other diseases. but we need a treatment that's better than the gluten free diet. >> bye, david! >> well, jack, thank you for your letter. it made a different. good night.
live breaking news. bursts of flames shooting into the air as a fire burns more than a dozen cars and at least one structure in martinez. firefighters are still putting water on it hours after the fire first started. thank you for joining us. you are watching abc7 news at 4:00. let's get right to abc7 news news reporter matt boone live in martinez with the latest on this breaking news. >> reporter: guys, there are still fire hoses and firefighters monitoring the situation. it is a bit breezy and windy out. flareups are still a concern. that is going on behind me. if we pan up toward the hillside we can see where the fire burned. if we zoom in we can see the chart hillside but also some cars that were out there. video from early this afternoon showing what actually looked and sounded like an explosion as the fire broke
1:50. that fire quickly burning grass and the cars spread throughout the are. sky 7 overhead as the black smoke billowed visible from the freeway. is road is currently closed causing traffic in the immediate area. it is unclear how it started but a neighbor says they saw it possibly start in the grass and then start moving toward the structure. she called 911. my husband and i were on the patio getting prepared for the 40th birthday party and we had seen smoke. has been went next door to tell the gentleman and his dog to get out of the house. by that time it was inflamed and i called 911. thankfully they were able to get it under control. that neighbor worry that because of the dry brush it could have easily spread to the neighboring home. once again they were able to contain it to