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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  September 16, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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tonight, the crucial fda meeting in the next 24 hours on booster shots in this country. deciding on the pfizer booster first. the fda's critical decision expected as early as tomorrow and tonight here the new data out of israel and what it shows. a third pfizer shot researchers say provides ten times more protection against covid and severe disease and what it shows for adults 60 and older. all of this amid the dire numbers here in the u.s., more than 2,000 deaths in the u.s. in the last 24 hours. the highest number in seven whit johnson with late reporting tonight, how soon those booster shots could begin and what new york city is already saying tonight. authorities securing the u.s. capitol ahead of that protest in support of the
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hundreds arrested in the january 6th attack on the capitol. fences going back up, every capitol police officer will be on duty. and tonight former president trump's new and encouraging words for those who took part on that day. rachel scott live on the hill. there is news tonight in a case making national headlines, the missing young woman vanishing during a cross-country trip with her boyfriend. authorities now releasing body camera video from the days before she vanished. her family pleading for her return tonight. the boyfriend this evening considered a person of interest and tonight his sister breaking her silence to abc news. overseas tonight france says it has killed the dangerous isis leader who claimed responsibility for the deadly ambush of four american service members in niger. tonight what we're now learning about the operation to take him down. ian pannell standing by. a developing headline tonight, a lawyer with ties to the democratic party tonight charged with lying to the fbi. he provided information that he said was possible communication
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between trump organization cmputers and a russian bank. tonight a special counsel that had been appointed by former president trump indicting the attorney for allegedly lying about who he was representing and making those claims. pierre thomas standing by. the growing mystery tonight, the prominent lawyer surrendering to authorities today accused of attempting to plan his own murder in an alleged insurance plot for his son, and all of this comes months after the mysterious deaths of that lawyer's wife and son. and history in space tonight, the extraordinary images coming in, only civilians on board and their remarkable view. from abc world news headquarters in new york, this is "world news tonight with david muir." good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. we begin tonight with this crucial meeting coming, the fda and their critical decision on booster shots in this country. the pfizer booster is being
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considered first. this is an outside advisory group now set to review pfizer's data for a third shot tomorrow. we have reported here on this debate on who should get these boosters first and if they're needed for everyone and that new study from israel finding the pfizer booster provides ten times more protection against infection and severe disease. in this country tonight more than 2,000 deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the highest single day in seven months. hospitals in nine states at their highest level in the pandemic. idaho now extending their crisis standard of care to the entire state which essentially allows them to ration medical care. that outside panel will consider pfizer's case for that booster shot. pfizer suggesting the booster six months after your second shot for those 16 years and older. and tonight what authorities in new york city are already saying about boosters. abc's whit johnson leading us off tonight. >> reporter: on the eve of that critical fda meeting on boosters, new data out of israel indicating an additional pfizer
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shot provided ten times more protection against covid and severe disease. with the battle over boosters heating up, the director of the nih saying this latest study turned him from a skeptic to a believer. >> the people who got immunized back in january, by the time you got to july, their protection would really have started to drop off, and not just against any infection, but even against severe infection. and that's the signal you want to watch for to say, oh, might be time to do something like a booster. >> reporter: and in israel the effect of boosters on people 60 and older even stronger. 12 days after that third shot, the risk of severe infection was reduced by nearly 20 times. but some at the fda are questioning whether they're truly needed for everyone. others making the case that boosters may only be justified for older americans right now. >> this data is persuasive. it's quite persuasive to me that it will be wise to give boosters to people over the age of 60. i am not convinced that this data is persuasive to give
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boosters to everybody. >> reporter: if the fda gives pfizer boosters the green light tomorrow, a cdc panel will address the matter next wednesday, meaning those third doses could be available by late next week at the earliest. moderna is expected to seek authorization for its boosters within the next few weeks. >> we have to vaccinate the 80 million americans who are still unvaccinated. giving more vaccine to the 180 million americans who have already been fully vaccinated is not going to change that. >> reporter: and the pandemic still raging in the u.s. 2,000 deaths reported on wednesday, the highest single day total in seven months. officials in idaho calling the situation dire, all hospitals can now ration care if needed. nine states hitting record hospitalizations including tennessee with the highest infection rate in the country. doctors losing younger patients. >> it's another thing to talk to the wife of somebody who's younger than me and tell her that she's going to be a widow. >> reporter: hospitals filled with the unvaccinated like
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joe gammon who spent a month in a coma. >> not getting the vaccine could cost you your life. i've actually lost several family members since i've been in here from covid, and it's been a bitter and hard pill to swallow. >> and whit johnson with us live again tonight. whit, the white house was pressed on whether the president got ahead of himself talking about boosters. the press secretary said eight top doctors suggested these booster were coming as far back as august and that this this plan was put together and always pending approval from the fda and the cdc and the white house saying that they'll be ready if and when this green light comes and tonight new york city, they're already preparing for a surge in need for boosters? >> reporter: and, david, really it's public health departments across the country preparing for this surge in booster shots. new york city, as you mentioned right here, the mayor promising to have nearly 2,000 vaccination sites ready to go, and they're mobilizing walk-in clinics and public outreach events, but again all of this pending that approval from government regulators, david.
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>> all right. whit johnson leading us off again tonight. whit, thank you as always. now to the other major news this thursday night, the department of homeland security issuing a new warning tonight that some heading to washington in support of people charged in support of people in the january 6th riot may seek to engage in violence. security now ramping up across washington, fencing up again around the capitol. video surveillance now installed and the new comments from former president trump tonight, supportive words for those who were there that day. rachel scott on the hill tonight. >> reporter: tonight the fencing around the u.s. capitol is back up. washington bracing for saturday's rally in support of those charged in the january 6th riot. the department of homeland security tonight issuing a bulletin that people either involved in or posting this weekend's event may seek to engage in violence. most trying to distance themselves. the number two republican telling "the new york times"
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there are a lot of clearly angry people who want to march on the capitol. i haven't talked to a single republican up here in the senate that has encouraged or enabled anything like that but today former president donald trump sending this message, our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the january 6th protests. it was not a protest. it was a riot. but for months the former president trying to rewrite history. >> and they were peaceful people. these were great people. the crowd was unbelievable, and i mentioned the word love, the love, the love in the air, i've never seen anything like it. >> we're coming for you. >> reporter: as the pictures made clear, that is just not true. the justice department reports approximately 1,000 assaults on law enforcement officers during the insurrection. officer daniel hodges crushed in a doorway. >> the man sees of opportunity of my vulnerability to grab the front of my gas mask and use it to beat my head against the door.
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>> reporter: officer michael fanone grabbed, swarmed and tased. >> i heard chanting from some in the crowd, get his gun and kill him with his own gun. >> and rachel scott live with us from the capitol tonight. more than 600 people facing charges i know in the january 6th riot and 60 are in jail tonight. >> reporter: yes, and supporters of this weekend's rally call those rioters still in jail political prisoners, but prosecutors have been clear about this, they say many of those who are still behind bars pose a significant, credible and ongoing threat to public safety, david. >> all right, rachel scott tonight, thank you. we're going to turn now to a case making national headlines, tonight new video now emerging in this urgent search for a missing florida woman, gabby petito, disappearing on a cross-country trip with her boyfriend, brian laundrie. tonight that newly released police body cam video showing them in utah in the days before she vanished after an incident between them that prompted a call to 911. the boyfriend is a person of interest in the case. he's not spoken to authorities,
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but tonight his sister breaking her silence to abc news. here's victor oquendo. >> reporter: she's the florida woman who's been missing for 23 days, and these are the newly released images caught on body camera video showing gabby petito just days before she would go missing. officers responding to a 911 call for an argument between petito and her boyfriend, brian laundrie, near arches national park in utah. petito seemingly distraught. >> what's going on? how come you're crying? >> we've just been fighting this morning going through some personal issues. >> reporter: according to the police report, at one point petito went to slap her boyfriend. he pushed her away catching petito off balance. she then scratched him in the face. >> sometimes i have ocd, and sometimes i can get really frustrated. >> reporter: no charges were filed. police helping laundrie find a hotel for the night while petito stayed with the van. she was last seen nearly two weeks later on august 24th checking out of a hotel with laundrie in salt lake city, utah. her mother says the next day was the last time she spoke with gabby, who told her they were in grand teton, wyoming, on their
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way to yellowstone. authorities have named brian lauderie as a person of interest in petito's disappearance, and the fbi is also investigating. >> two people went on a trip. one person returned, and that person that returned isn't providing us any information. >> reporter: laundrie's attorney saying "mr. laundrie will continue to remain silent on the advice of counsel" because they believe "any statement made will be used against you." the couple had been documenting their cross-country road trip in this white van. >> gabby petito never goes outside. >> reporter: and on september 1st laundrie returned to the north point, florida, home where the couple lived with his parents with the van, but without petito. tonight, petito's father pleading for his daughter's safe return. >> what i need from everybody here is help because the goal is still not met, and that goal is to bring gabby home safe. >> reporter: and tonight while that person of interest is not talking, his sister cassie is. >> obviously me and my family want gabby to be found safe. she's like a sister, and my
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children love her, and all i want is for her to come home safe and sound and this to be just a big misunderstanding. >> reporter: and the sheriff's office in utah is now looking into any possible connection between petito's disappearance and a double homicide of two women that occurred a day after she interacted with police. david. >> all right, victor oquendo tonight. victor, thank you. we should mention that boyfriend, a person of interest has not spoken but much more of that interview with his sister tomorrow morning right here on "good morning america." in the meantime, overseas tonight france says it has killed the top isis leader in africa in an air strike thanking the u.s. for their support. the target wanted in the death of four u.s. troops in an ambush in niger in 2017. abc's senior foreign correspondent ian pannell tonight on how this unfolded. >> reporter: he had a $5 million bounty on his head. and tonight the french military says adnan abou walid al sahrawi, isis' number one commander in africa, responsible for the death of four u.s. soldiers is dead.
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al sahrawi's group carried out a deadly ambush attack on a team of u.s. green berets and local troops, searching for a key isis figure in niger in 2017. during the operation, staff sergeants bryan black and dustin wright and sergeant first class jeremiah johnson were killed near their vehicle during an intense gun battle. sergeant la david johnson was separated from the group and also killed. his body missing for two days. five nigerian troops also died. french president macron confirming overnight that sahrawi was killed in a drone strike while on a motorbike near the border with mali in late august. we were near that border in 2019. although parts of niger are stable, the closer you get to the border, the more you see these large, ungovernable spaces. and these have provided fertile territory for militants to come in from the middle east, from north africa to join local terrorist groups and to create a
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much greater threat than has ever existed before in this part of africa. >> he is remembered by so many. >> reporter: the parents of jeremiah johnson say the news is bittersweet. >> it sure doesn't bring any kind of closure. >> he was just one of many that were there that day. there are a lot more perpetrators that should be brought to justice. >> reporter: despite this killing, the terror threat in parts of africa is growing with one military official telling me he fears a surge in violent extremism, not just from isis, but increasingly al qaeda. david? >> ian pannell tonight, ian, thank you. and another headline involving france tonight, that country blasting a new u.s. and uk security deal with australia for nuclear powered submarines. part of the effort to hold china in check. but that deal prompted australia to cancel a submarine deal with france. back here at home tonight to a developing headline from washington at this hour. a lawyer with ties to the democratic party tonight charged
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with lying to the fbi. he provided information that said was possible communication between trump organization computers and a russian bank. tonight a special counsel appointed by former president trump indicting the attorney for allegedly lying about who he was representing and making those claims. let's get right to our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas with late reporting. pierre. >> reporter: david, the special counsel indicted michael sussmann who retired from a prominent law firm with ties to the dnc and hillary clinton campaign and whether the trump organization was in contact with a russian bank and yielded nothing but the special counsel claims sussmann lied to the fbi saying he was not representing any clients and suggesting he was acting as a good citizen, but the special counsel believes sussmann was representing a tech company and the hillary clinton campaign. attorneys for sussmann say the case is baseless and unprecedented. david, the decision to indict came down to the wire. the statute of limitations for any charges tied to these allegations runs out in just three days.
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>> all right. pierre thomas tonight, pierre, thank you. there are new developments this evening involving a prominent south carolina attorney, alex murdaugh, surrendering to authorities today accused of allegedly planning his own murder as part of a insurance fraud scheme. and it comes after the mysterious murder of his wife and one of his sons. here's abc's eva pilgrim now. >> reporter: tonight, a once prominent south carolina lawyer's stunning fall from grace. >> all rise. >> reporter: alex murdaugh turning himself in today accused of insurance fraud and other charges for allegedly planning his own murder nearly two weeks ago. police say the plan, to get his son a nearly $10 million insurance payout. >> if anyone wants to see the face of what opioid addiction does, you're looking at it. this is a horrible, horrible disease. >> reporter: murdaugh's alleged accomplice, former client curtis edward smith, also appearing in court on multiple charges including assisted suicide. murdaugh's life coming under scrutiny after the brutal
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unsolved murders of his wife, maggie, and 22-year-old son, paul, this past june. >> is he moving at all, your son? >> nobody -- they're not -- neither one of them is moving. >> reporter: police have not yet identified any suspects but probes into that case now launching several other investigations, and alex murdaugh is out of jail tonight on $20,000 bond. his lawyers say he will be going back to that rehab facility for his opioid addiction. >> eva pilgrim who has been following this case for us, eva, thank you. when we come back tonight, news this evening about convicted former police officer derek chauvin. his plea tonight in another case. and then later here the two people who will be hosting "jeopardy!" for the rest of the season. got a couple of bogeys on your six, limu. they need customized car insurance from liberty mutual so they only pay for what they need. what do you say we see what this bird can do?
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"jeopardy!" revealing tonight that former champ ken "jeopardy!" revealing tonight that former champ ken jennings and actress mayim bialik will share hosting duties through the end of the year as they now work on a final decision. when we come back here tonight, those four civilians on their own in space. the new images coming in tonight. >> announcer: abc "world news tonight" with david muir sponsored by farmers insurance. ) i've seen this movie before. (woman) you have? (burke) sure, this is the part where all is lost and the hero searches for hope. then, a mysterious figure reminds her that she has the farmers home policy perk, guaranteed replacement cost. and that her home will be rebuilt, regardless of her limits or if the cost of materials has gone up. (woman) that's really something. (burke) get a whole lot of something with farmers policy perks.
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difference that all that empty office space is making to san francisco. 7 on your side history in space. history in space. four civilians on their own and their view. here's gio benitez. >> reporter: tonight the spectacular views from a mission that may change space travel forever. >> all: three, two, one. >> ignition. >> reporter: the all civilian crew of four rocketing into the night traveling far beyond the international space station to an orbit 367 miles above the earth, the highest anyone has ever flown who wasn't a trained astronaut. people documenting the history-making flight from different perspectives on the ground. >> that's amazing. >> that's so cool. it's going right by the moon. >> one of the things that's remarkable about this flight is these are everyday people. we can begin to send almost anybody up to the colonies we hope to develop on the moon and on mars.
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>> reporter: late today elon musk tweeting, just spoke with inspiration4 crew. all is well. 29-year-old hayley arceneaux was part of the crew and is now the youngest american to ever fly in space. arceneaux testing out zero gravity with a toy dog, a golden retriever like the assistance dogs used at st. jude children's hospital where she was once a pediatric cancer patient. >> that is apropos. >> reporter: the crew hopes to raise $200 million to benefit the hospital. and, david, the plan is for the capsule to splash down in the atlantic near florida on saturday, but the impact will be felt far into the future. david. >> the images just spectacular. gio, thank you and thank you at home tonight. i'll see you tomorrow. good night. >> announcer: thank you for making "world news tonight" with david muir america's most watched newscast.
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>> empty offices and empty streets, signs of the pandemic are still obvious in san francisco. the long-term difference this will make at the city. >> it is not difficult to say that things are not good right now. >>, is winding down and we have showers on the way. i will have your weekend forecast, coming up. >> happening right now, the southbay celebrating 200 years of mexico's independence. a live look from downtown san jose, coming right up. >> from abc 7, live, breaking news. >> on eastbound highway 21 in oakland where chp just fully reopened the tunnel. traffic is backed up whiter ways. sky seven overhead showing us that scene. that was closed for more than 1.5 hours for police investigation.
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at last check, eastbound traffic was backed up to the foot of the bay bridge along 24, 580 and 80 as well. there are also several miles of slow traffic on northbound 14. chp has fully reopened that tunnel. expect delays going into this evening. >> breaking news. a person was rescued from a cliff. this was less than one hour ago. a member of the rescue team being lifted up to safety by a chp helicopter here. this happened just to the north of the golden gate bridge. no word on how that person ended up getting stuck on that side of the cliff. quick could evening on this busy thursday. to tonight's top -- >> good evening. >> this is what the worst possible drought level looks like in the bay area and it is not just happening here. >> 88% of the stage falls into the worst