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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  November 18, 2021 3:30pm-4:00pm PST

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tonight, several major headlines. the unexpected move from the defense in the ahmaud arbery case. also, we're expecting word at any time on boosters for all adults. and the thanksgiving week storm now coming into clearer focus. first, the arbery case, the prosecution today grilling travis mcmichael, who shot and killed arbery. mcmichael acknowledging arbery was unarmed and never verbally threatened him, telling the court, quote, he was just running. tonight, the fda panel expected to green light boosters for adults 18 and older in the coming hours. massachusetts and utah now among at least 14 states moving ahead with those boosters even before the fda, given what they're seeing. with tens of millions set to travel thanksgiving week, tonight, we're tracking the system that could not deliver two storms.
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the first beginning sunday. chicago to detroit, new york to boston. and rob marciano timing this out. more than 23 hours of jury deliberations now in the kyle rittenhouse trial. and the judge tonight banning a news network from the building. oklahoma's governor commuting the death sentence of julius jones just hours before his scheduled execution. jones always maintaining his innocence. two of the men convicted of killing malcolm x exonerated here in new york city. the manhattan d.a. apologizing today and what he said. there's late word coming in at this hour from capitol hill, the big move on the second part of president biden's domestic agenda. the backlash tonight near buffalo, new york. the judge facing outrage after a young man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting four teenag. the judge sentencing him to probation, saying prison time would be inappropriate. tonight, alarm growing for the tennis star missing after her accusations of sexual
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assault. and now the new turn. and with thanksgiving almost here, the 105-year-old running the 100-meter. reminding us all to give thanks. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. the fda at any moment expected to make news on boosters for all adults. and that thanks giving week storm now taking shape. but we are going to begin tonight with that unexpected move from the defense in the ahmaud arbery case. the defense tonight resting its case in the trial of three georgia men in the shooting death of ahmaud arbery. the prosecution had already finished. outside the courtroom, a prayer vigil by supporters of arbery's family led by hundreds of black pastors. inside, that move by the defense to put one of the defendants, travis mcmichael, on the stand. today, cross examination from the prosecution. mcmichael acknowledging arbery
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never pulled out any weapon and that arbery never said anything to him. mcmichael said of arbery at one point, he was just running. the incident ending in the firing of those fatal shots. tonight, the jury has now been sent home before closing arguments and abc's steve osunsami leading us off now from georgia. >> >> reporter: outside the glynn county courthouse in georgia today, hundreds of black pastors and people losely watching this case came to pray with the family of ahmaud arbery and their legal team. >> we are looking for a miracle. >> reporter: inside the courtroom, where the family is hoping for justice, prosecutors continued to grill one of the three men accused of murder and other charges in this racially explosive case. >> how many times have you pulled up on strangers that you don't know next to them with a pickup truck to ask them what they're doing in your neighborhood? >> i don't think i have, in that situation, but i have pulled up on people that are running behind, coming up behind them. >> reporter: travis mcmichael,
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who fired the fatal shots that killed arbery in february of last year, had to admit that before the shooting, his victim posed him no physical or verbal threat. >> never threatened you at all? >> no, ma'am. yeah, he did not threaten me ve verbally, no, ma'am. >> didn't brandish any weapons? >> no, ma'am. >> didn't pull out any guns. >> no, ma'am. >> didn't pull out any knife. >> no, ma'am. >> never reached for anything, did he? >> no. >> he just ran. >> yes, he was just running. >> reporter: mcmichael, his father, gregory mcmichael and a neighbor, william "roddie" bryan, have all pleaded not guilty. they say they were trying to make a citizen's arrest under then georgia law, but prosecutors say the victim wasn't the thief they were thinking. and wasn't the only person seen wandering this moment that was under construction in the neighborhood. today, we heard from other neighbors, at least two of them women of color, who were witnesses for the defense. they testified that the issue
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was crime and that they felt scared seeing strangers on neighborhood security cameras. >> violated. upset that my kids weren't getting to grow up in the safe neighborhood i grew up in. >> reporter: jurors tonight have been dismissed until monday. tomorrow, the judge will handle charges and other motions. what this means is that closing arguments could begin as early as monday morning, and then the jury would be handed this case. david? >> all right, steve osunsami leading us off tonight. steve, thank you. and now to the upcoming holiday and this pandemic, with families set to gather across this country. tonight, the fda is now expected to authorize both pfizer and moderna boosters for all adults 18 and older at any time. tomorrow, cdc advisers will then meet on this and this could all happen very quickly. and here's the map tonight. more than a dozen states have moved forward for boosters for all adults already, given the rise in cases they're seeing
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with more people indoors. in fact, new cases are up 35% across this country just since late october. here's whit johnson tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the fda expected to authorize booster shots for all adults at any moment, paving the way for a robust rollout of third doses this weekend. >> the rate of disease is markedly lower for those who received their booster shot, demonstrating our boosters are working. rir. >> reporter: but today, massachusetts and utah joining a dozen other states in getting ahead of the cdc, allowing pfizer and moderna boosters for everyone 18 and older. >> what we're seeing is that wth immunity waning and cases climbing, there's a recognition that anyone over 18 with the right amount of time should be eligible for a booster. >> reporter: the booster buildup coming amid growing fears of another winter surge. cases across the country are up 35% since late october. 18 states seeing an increase in hospital admissions. in new mexico, doctors
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struggngcare for a stream of covid patients. >> our situation right now is dire. most of these patients are unvaccinated. this is overwhelming our health care system. >> reporter: in maine, bettina lerman was unvaccinated and ended up on a ventilator with covid. >> i love you. >> reporter: in a coma for more than a month, her family was already planning a funeral when they got a call from the doctor. >> i need you to come up to the hospital right away. i'm like, what? is something wrong. and he goes, "well, your mother just woke up." i literally dropped the phone. i was like, "what?" because we were supposed to be terminating life support that day. >> reporter: loved ones calling it a medical miracle, saying bettina plans to get vaccinated when she's better. >> i think the right thing to do is to get vaccinated, so if one of our family members gets it again, it won't be that bad. >> reporter: and david, a cdc advisory panel will meet tomorrow to discuss booster shots and is expected to make recommendations. the cdc director would then give
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the final green light, which could mean a new wave of boosters going into arms this weekend. david? >> all right, whit johnson tracking it for us tonight. whit, thank you, as always. and with tens of millions set to travel thanksgiving week, tonight, we're tracking the system that could actually now deliver two storms. the first beginning sunday, chicago to detroit, new york to boston. let's get to senior meteorologist rob marciano timing it out for us tonight. hi, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. a dynamic pattern setting up for the eastern half of the country. 20, 30 degree temperature swing. there's that front. 20s, 30s and 40s. behind it, that sets the stage for a quiet weekend until the next system drops into the great lakes. all rain along the east coast, but then that low digs, kind of develops another coastal low and it sits off the coast of new england and tuesday and wednesday. wind, some snow across parts of new england. how long it sits there, still a question mark, but looks to be a bit of a mess, at least through
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wednesday. david? >> all right, we'll be tracking this with you, rob, thank you. we turn to the other news this thursday night and kenosha, wisconsin, at the trial of kyle rittenhouse. that jury now deliberating more than 23 hours. and today, the judge calling lawyers and rittenhouse into the courtroom for what he calls a very serious matter. the judge then revealing he was banning a cable news network from the building. here's terry moran. >> reporter: tonight, a third long day of deliberations has come to a close. jurors still working trying to determine the fate of kyle rittenhouse, charged with killing two men and injuring a third with an ar-15 during violent protests last year. rittenhouse says he acted in self-defense. but outside the presence of the jury today, a shocking moment in court. >> i have instructed that no one from msnbc news will be permitted in this building for the duration of this trial. >> reporter: the judge bans msnbc from the trial after kenosha police say they pulled over a man affiliated with the network.
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he ran a red light near the bus designated for jurors and said he'd been told to follow it. >> that's an extremely serious matter. >> reporter: nbc news issued a statement, saying, "the freelancer never contacted or intended to contact the jurors during deliberations and never photographed or intended to photograph them." adding "we regret the incident." this jury's working hard, clearly, since the beginning of deliberations. they've asked for a copy of the jury instructions for each of the jurors. one of the jurors taking it home to study tonight. they've also reviewed as a group of a lot of the video evidence, but today, no questions, no requests for evidence. they're hashing it out. david? >> all right, terry moran from kenosha again tonight. thank you, terry. now to the breaking headline late today from oklahoma, where the governor there halted the execution of julius jones just hours before he was set to die. supporters then breaking into cheers in the capitol rotunda the moment they heard the news. the governor reducing the
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sentence to life in prison. jones always maintaining his innocence. marcus moore tonight from oklahoma. >> reporter: tonight, jubilation after oklahoma's governor granted clemency to death row inmate julius jones, sparing his life nearly four hours before his execution. governor kevin stitt choosing life without parole for jones, despite calls from supporters and family, saying in a statement, "after prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, i have determined to commute julius jones' sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole." jones also not eligible for a future pardon. ♪ amazing grace ♪ >> reporter: still, outside the prison, crowds breaking out in song. his sister telling me, she and jones spoke after the news. his first words to her, "i love you." as best you can, describe what that moment was like. >> it's a blessing to be able to hear his voice and to know that he will still be alive. >> reporter: jones was a college student in 1999 when he was charged with murdering
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paul howell during a carjacking outside of oklahoma city. investigators finding a gun wrapped in a red bandanna in jones' house after they interviewed two other suspects. he was convicted and sentenced to death in 2002. for more than 20 years, jones and his lawyers have maintained his innocence, claiming he was framed. david, under the governor's decision, jones is not eligible for parole, nor can he seek any other commutations. despite that, his sister told me their fight for his freedom is not over. david? >> marcus moore live from oklahoma for us. marcus, thank you. we reported last night here on the expected news and tonight, the headline here in new york city. the exoneration of two men convicted more than 50 years ago in the assassination of malcolm x. the manhattan district attorney, cyrus vance, requested the move after a netflix docuseries and a lengthy investigation uncovered new evidence. the d.a. today apologizing. muhammad aziz, who was exonerated, was in court today, and kalil islam both served decades in prison.
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aziz addressing the court. >> those events were and are the result of a process that was corrupt to its core. one that is all too familiar to black people in 2021. >> after the hearing, islam, who, of course, did not live to see this day, his sons said they did not think they would ever see this. aziz celebrating with his family. in upstate new york tonight, a judge near buffalo facing backlash after sentencing a young man, an admitted rapist, to probation. the 20-year-old defendant ple pleading guilty to sexually assaulting four teenage girls. the judge said prison time would have been inappropriate. here's elwyn lopez. >> reporter: tonight, outrage in new york, after a judge ruled a man who pleaded guilty to sex crimes against four teenage girls, including rape and sexual
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assault, could not serve a single day in prison. >> i agonized, i -- i'm not ashamed to say that i actually prayed over what is the appropriate sentence in this case. >> reporter: christopher belter associated two 15-year-olds and two 16-year-olds in his family's home in western new york. he was 17 at the time and tried as an adult. >> i've come to feel deep shame and regret for my actions. none of you deserve to be in this situation. >> reporter: one of belter's victims becking the judge to, quote, not let this rapist walk away, adding, you have the ability to save future girls. he faced up to eight years behind bars, but judge matthew murphy determined eight years probation was punishment enough. >> there was great pain, there was great harm, there were multiple crimes committed in the case and it seems to me that a sentence that involves incarceration or partial incarceration is inappropriate.
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>> reporter: an attorney for one of belter's victims slamming the decision. >> he is privileged, he comes from money, he is white and for an adult to get away with these crimes without doing jail time is unjust. >> reporter: and david, that lawyer saying his client was physically sick after that sentencing. and i should note that that judge is nearing mandatory retirement. this is one of his last cases on the bench. david? >> elwyn, thank you. now to news from capitol hill tonight. the house set to take a big move now on the second part of president biden's domestic agenda. let's get right to stephanie ramos with late reporting from washington tonight. stephanie? >> reporter: david, the house is moving forward tonight to vote on this sweeping bill, which comes at a $1.75 trillion price tag. the bill dedicates a record half trillion dollars to fighting climate change. it includes money for universal pre-k, elder care and a one-year extension of the child tax credit. it would expand medicare to cover hearing and bring down the
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cost of prescription drugs. also included, paid family leave. but that is likely on the chopping block when this heads over to the senate, and that's because moderate joe manchin says he's opposed to it. he said he's also worried about the cost of the bill amid rising inflation. the white house says the bill pays for itself. and tonight, the congressional budget office appearing to agree. still, though, there is a long road ahead. the bill facing major head winds over in the senate, where president boyden cannot afford to lose a single democratic vote. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos in washington. stephanie, thank you. and we continue to follow this global headline, the growing alarm over the fate of the chinese tennis star not seen in public since accusing a former chinese official of sexually assaulting her. and tonight, fellow champion serena williams among the latest now to speak out. here's abc's kaylee hartung. >> reporter: she's the latest major tennis star to voice outrage and concern over the disappearance of chinese tennis player peng shuai. serena williams tweeting, "i am
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devastated and shocked to hear about the news of my peer, peng shuai. i hope she is safe and found as soon as possible. tis must be investigated and we must not stay silent. sending love to her and her family during this incredibly difficult time." the grand slam doubles champion has not been seen publicly in two weeks, her social media going dark after alleging she was sexually assaulted three years ago by a former high-ranking chinese government official. the head of the women's tennis association now questioning shuai's safety after receiving what he considers to be a fraudulent email, supposedly from the athlete, in which she called the allegation of sexual assault "not true." adding, "i'm not missing, nor am i unsafe. i've just been resting at home and everything is fine. thank you again for caring about me." as the mystery deepens, the white house pressed about it today. >> we have of course seen the reports. we unfortunately just don't have any additional information on it. >> reporter: and david, today at a news conference, beijing's foreign ministry spokesperson brushed off questions about her
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whereabouts and then any mention of her name was scrubbed from the official transcript of that news conference, david. >> kaylee hartung tonight. kaylee, thank you. we'll stay on this. when we come back tonight, the former nfl player on the run from police tonight after horrific images surfaced. and the major event in the sky overnight -- what to look for. ♪ ♪ remember when no dream was too big? and you could fearlessly face the unknown.
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finally tonight here, america strong. let's hope we're all like this at 105. tonight, she's done it again. julia hawkins is america strong. from baton rouge, louisiana. you met her here three years ago. back then, just 102 years old, she set the world record in the 60-meter dash. then, at 103 years old, a record in the 50-meter dash. so quick they call her hurricane hawkins. >> the hurricane is in the house. >> graduating from lsu in 1938, this great-grandmother didn't even start running until she was 100. >> at 100, i started running. i thought it would be neat to run at 100 and do the 100-yard dash. >> and tonight?
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>> good luck. >>we >> now 105 -- >> doing great! >> running the 100-meter dash at the louisiana senior games. finishing at 1:03, a new world record. and afterward, how did it feel? >> wonderful! i'm so happy. >> julia and her message. >> just stay healthy and keep running. >> and we will never forget what she once told us. >> hi, david. it's been wonderful to be here racing. it's awe-inspiring to me to be able to do this. >> julia amazes us. at 105, she's done it again. hurricane hawkins. i'll see you tomorrow. good night. moving forward finding
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solution i7 ws.we, the dying lie dying bullets are flying every day in our neighborhoods call. the 911 is like calling. santa claus calls to end the increasing violence here in the bay area just as there were at least three new deadly shootings, and that is just since midnight. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. i'm larry beil and i'm kristen z one person was killed on i-80 today. you can see the heavy law enforcement presence just before noon as the chp investigated. the shooting several lanes were closed off slowing down traffic for hours. we still don't know where the actual shooting occurred, but the car came to a stop. just east of the bay bridge toll plaza near the grand avenue overpass abc 7 news reporter leslie. brinkley has the latest on what we've learned about the shooting and the concern about violence on bay area freeways. four lanes of westbound interstate 80 at the bay bridge toll plaza were shut down
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completely at 9:30 this morning after a body was found in the front passenger seat of this burgundy colored suv on an access road into the caltrans parking lot. the front windows were blown out by what could have been bullets the driver survived chp will only say they are conducting an investigation. so it's unclear who shot at the suv and whether it was targeted or random chp could be seen talking to witnesses a massive backup and suit clogging westbound traffic heading to san francisco from the macarthur maze by 11:45 the alameda county sheriff's department coroner's van arrived at the scene and the bay bridge was reopened by noon. just a few weeks ago 23 month old jason wu was shot in the forehead as he traveled on southbound 880 in a car. his mother was driving police. leave the family was caught in gang crossfire there have been dozens upon