tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 15, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. bracing for severe weather tonight. nearly 100 million americans now under alerts. high winds and possible tornadoes yet again in several states. at this hour, a rare tornado watch across at least six states in the upper midwest, including minnesota, which has never had a reported tornado in december. and then that system keeps moving east, including those states just hit with the deadly tornados. meteorologist rob marciano is standing by to time this out tonight. also just in, the national weather service now saying it was an ef-4 tornado that tore across much of kentucky, including mayfield. winds up to 190 miles per hour. the governor there breaking down today as he introduced the president, and what president
biden has just promised. we also have major new developments tonight on covid here in the u.s. how quickly this new variant is now spreading. and are the boosters working? what dr. fauci said today. and several universities reporting outbreaks. cornell now suspecting 900 cases of covid. it's believed the vast majority of these cases are among vaccinated college students. and the concern with students now going home for the holidays. former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin in federal court today, now pleading guilty to civil rights charges for the death of george floyd. overseas tonight, the humanitarian crisis now unfolding in afghanistan. our team is on the ground tonight. the children on the edge of starvation. a 2-year-old weighing just 11 pounds. and with the taliban now in control, now isis taking aim at them. our ian pannell back in afghanistan tonight. the major news back here at home tonight involving jfk. 58 years after his assassination, nearly 1,500
confidential documents now released on lee harvey oswald and what they reveal. remembering a trailblazing author and activist tonight. the discovery on mars. and our made in america christmas is back tonight. and this evening, a hint. what they hope you'll serve in the morning, and then at night. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a very busy wednesday night. we'll get to this new variant and how quickly it's spreading in the u.s. and dr. fauci on boosters appearing to work so far. but we begin tonight with nearly 100 million americans under alerts at this hour as we head into the night for severe weather yet again. damaging winds and, yes, the potential for tornadoes. tornado watches in six states at this hour across much of the upper midwest. this is very rare for december. take a look at the radar right now. that line of severe storms and
that area of particular concern as we come on, right there in yellow for potential tornadoes after dark. already tonight, the fierce winds and blinding rain in lincoln, nebraska. it's the same system spawning blizzard conditions in utah. a convoy of snowplows there. and high winds in colorado. in some places, reports of wind gusts reaching more than 100 miles per hour. passengers today at the denver airport coping with hundreds of delayed or canceled flights. and this system, just like the one that hit over the weekend, is traveling west to east and will likely bring heavy rain and winds to the region hit with those tornadoes already. we do have it all covered tonight and first, the track of this severe weather into the night. let's get right to senior meteorologist rob marciano leading us off, tracking it all. rob? >> reporter: hi, david. another powerful system cutting into the heartland. the next several hours will be life-threatening for some. let's get right to that. the tornado watch has just been expanded to include minneapolis. we mentioned how rare that would be. the center of the low over lincoln. we've had reports of 80, 90-plus-mile-per-hour winds
already. you can see the severe line cutting into iowa. we've got wind and snow alerts across a wide area, over 100 million americans under the gun right now. and we've got that big heat. that's what's triggering the severe weather. yet again, temperatures 30, 40 degrees above average. that wind energy goes up into canada tomorrow. but the front itself lays down across the ohio, tennessee, and mississippi river valleys for several days. this is right over the tornado-ravaged zone. heavy rain over two and three days is not what they need. david? >> that is certainly the truth. rob marciano leading us off tonight. rob, thank you. and of course all of this with another major headline coming in from the national weather service tonight. they, of course, have been out surveying the damage from those deadly tornadoes already. and just before we came on the air here, they issued their preliminary findings for damage across much of kentucky, including mayfield. i wanted to show you this. they say the tornado on the ground for 128 miles across western kentucky was a high-end ef-4. that means peak winds of 190 miles an hour. and now that heavy rain coming
with this next system. president biden late today touring some of the hardest-hit areas in mayfield, kentucky, and dawson springs, too, promising federal help now and for the long haul. and that no one is walking away. the death toll in kentucky, more than 70 people killed in that state alone. and the governor of kentucky choking up as he introduced the president. abc's elwyn lopez from mayfield again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, with this region bracing for heavy rain on the way, president biden on the ground in kentucky, surveying the damage in mayfield and dawson springs. meeting with families, saying he's never seen destruction like this. more than 70 lives lost in the state. the governor breaking down as he introduced the president. >> i never thought in my life i'd be able to introduce a president, and i wish there were different circumstances. >> reporter: and the president acknowledging the pain and suffering in the community. >> i met one couple on the way
up, said they're still looking for four of their friends. they don't know where they are. and those who have lost someone, there's no words for the pain of losing someone. a lot of us know it. >> reporter: announcing the federal government will cover 100% of the cost of all emergency work for the next 30 days. >> to all the families here, keep the faith. we're going to get this done, i promise you. no one's walking away. we're in this for the long haul. >> reporter: david, people are racing to cover up what's left of their homes with blue tarps as a new threat looms. we could see heavy rain, up to three inches through saturday, that will only add to the misery here. david? >> they certainly don't need this. elwyn lopez again tonight. elwyn, thank you. in the meantime, we turn now to the major new developments on covid tonight. how quickly this new variant is now spreading, now in at least 36 states. dr. anthony fauci today saying the boosters are working against this new variant so far. the washington national cathedral marking the deaths of more than 800,000 americans now.
this evening, a bell sounding once for every 1,000 dead, ringing 800 times. dr. fauci saying today, new research confirming the power of boosters so far, that the third dose is restoring high levels of antibodies to fight this new variant. tonight, more universities, though, taking action after outbreaks, after cornell, where they suspect now 900 cases of covid on campus. the vast majority, it's believed, among students who are vaccinated. here's stephanie ramos. >> reporter: with the omicron variant now racing across the u.s., dr. anthony fauci today trying to reassure americans that we already have the weapon to fight it. >> our booster vaccine regimens work against omicron. at this point, there is no need
for a variant-specific booster. >> reporter: dr. fauci pointing to new research on the power of boosters. lab studies of pfizer and moderna vaccines show omicron significantly reduces antibody protection after just two doses. but a third dose restores high levels of antibodies. the white house covid team asked today how worried americans should be about omicron. >> if we didn't have these tools, i would be telling you to really, really be worried. but we have tools. so get vaccinated, get boosted. >> reporter: the omicron variant, detected in at least 36 states, now makes up about 3% of cases nationwide, and as much as 13% in new york, new jersey, and washington state, where cases are doubling every day, pushing some people to get that shot. >> i'm going to go ahead and get vaccinated. i think it's right, especially with the variant. >> reporter: the number of covid cases at cornell university now more than 900. many thought to be omicron,
pushing that college and others, like princeton and nyu, to move final exams online. and even if omicron is not more severe, as early data suggests, experts worry a spike in infections will send more people into hospitals that are already under siege. with reported outbreaks among vaccinated college students, doctors at new york's long island jewish medical center are bracing for a spike in cases. what are some of your concerns going into winter? >> as people now are gathering for the holidays and being inside, these new variants spread very easily, we know they're very contagious. much more contagious than delta even. we know that there are lots of super spreader events in colleges right now that are happening, so all those college kids are going to come home and spread covid to their families. >> reporter: it comes as more than 100 athletes across professional football, basketball, and hockey teams tested positive this week for covid or were exposed. more than 70 nfl players alone, including cleveland browns
quarterback baker mayfield, along with his head coach. and l.a. rams wide receiver odell beckham jr. >> there's been a substantial increase in our positive cases over the past several days. and i think this reflects that we're entering a new phase of the pandemic. >> reporter: and officials are telling us that they are very concerned about the number of covid cases that are growing, because the omicron variant is so transmissible. and now the cdc is out with a new forecast, estimating that the toll this could take on americans could grow, up to 845,000 deaths by january 8th, with many states expected to see an increase in hospitalizations and deaths in the next few weeks. david? >> all right, stephanie ramos tonight. thank you. we're going to turn now to the moment in court today. former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin pleading guilty to violating george floyd's civil rights. chauvin, of course, already serving 22 1/2 years. george floyd's family now reacting tonight. and here's alex perez. >> reporter: tonight, an about-face from former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. no cameras in the courtroom. chauvin changing his plea to guilty on federal charges that he deprived george floyd of his rights to be free from unreasonable seizure, and to
unreasonable use of force by a police officer that led to floyd's death. a jury found 45-year-old chauvin guilty on state criminal charges for floyd's death back in april. >> find the defendant guilty. >> reporter: chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in that case. chauvin in june seeming to allude to today's plea deal. >> my condolences to the floyd family. there's going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest, and i hope things will give you some -- some peace of mind. >> reporter: also part of today's federal plea deal, chauvin admitting guilt in a separate 2017 case where he allegedly kneeled on the back and neck of a handcuffed 14-year-old who survived. george floyd's loved ones reacting outside the court today. >> today, he had a chance to blow kisses and give air hugs to his family. we can't do that to our loved one who's not here.
>> reporter: and david, federal prosecutors have recommended a 25-year sentence for chauvin that would run concurrently with his state sentence. had he gone to trial on the federal charges, he could have faced life in prison. david? >> all right, alex perez in minnesota tonight. alex, thank you. overseas tonight, our team is back in afghanistan, and what they've witnessed is truly horrifying. a humanitarian crisis now unfolding. children on the edge of starvation. a 2-year-old weighing just 11 pounds. and with the taliban now in control, isis is now taking aim at them. our ian pannell from afghanistan tonight. >> reporter: tonight, taliban militants are facing two new battles, four months after they seized power in afghanistan and american troops left. the last time we were at kabul airport, it was controlled by the u.s. military. but today, it's these fighters, the taliban, armed with u.s.-made m-4 rifles. however, having forced the americans and nato to withdraw from the country, they're now having to battle an insurgency
of their own against isis. isis carried out that devastating attack on u.s. forces and afghan civilians in august that left 13 u.s. servicemen and women dead. since then, they've taken the fight to the taliban. the u.s. military fears isis or al qaeda could use afghanistan to launch terror attacks against america again. but taliban commanders like mawlawi mohammad salim saad try to play down the threat. "they aren't that strong," he says. though many of his fighters are now on the front lines against isis in the east. but the bigger battle tonight isn't isis, but hunger. a mix of sanctions and drought has brought the country to the brink of catastrophe. the beds at this children's hospital are now overflowing with malnourished children. mohammed is 2 years old and weighs just 11 pounds. that's less than half the weight of an average american 2-year-old boy.
you can see, poor little thing, just skin and bone. you must feel very hopeless, very helpless. his mom says she has a prescription to help ease his suffering, but no money to get it. the u.n. warns a million children are at risk of dying of starvation this winter. these images may be difficult to watch, but the lives of these children now depends on the world's attention and response. david, $280 million in emergency aid has been okayed by the united states and others, but it is likely not enough. it won't reach hungry mouths until the end of the year. and the situation right now in afghanistan seems as bad as i can remember it in 20 years of reporting here. david? >> just awful to see the faces of those children. ian pannell back with our team tonight and we sure do appreciate it. in the meantime, back here at home this evening, and to the major news tonight, 58 years after the assassination of jfk. nearly 1,500 confidential documents now released, many on
lee harvey oswald, and what they reveal. here's terry moran. >> reporter: 58 years from that fateful day in dallas, and today, new clues, new questions. among the documents released today, cia memos discussing lee harvey oswald's trips to the soviet and cuban embassies in mexico city months before president kennedy was killed. one of those cia memos, written the day after the assassination, says oswald communicated with an identified kgb officer while at the soviet embassy that september. oswald, who was married to a russian, was trying to get visas to move to russia. another new document, a tip from a u.s. official in australia two days after the assassination, an anonymous call from the embassy from a man claiming to be a chauffeur for soviet diplomats
who said the soviets had probably financed the assassination. the memo noting a similar call had been made a year prior. the documents show that american officials in australia dismissed both calls as crank calls. the national archives say the vast majority of documents related to the jfk assassination have been released, but not all, and president biden has ordered a review of thousands of more documents kept secret for decades for release next year. david? >> all of it fascinating. terry, thank you. we turn now to the economy and to inflation. americans, of course, paying more. tonight, the federal reserve now signaling they're going to try to take steps to slow this down, by raising interest rates up to three times in the coming year. which could mean more pain before this levels out. so, let's get right to our chief economics correspondent rebecca jarvis tonight. and rebecca, what did they say? >> reporter: well, david, the fed acknowledges that inflation has become a larger issue than originally anticipated. the way they can address this is with those rate hikes, likely three of them beginning in the spring next year. and the idea here is to slow down spending, to make the cost of borrowing higher on everything from new mortgages to car loans to credit cards and to make it more advantageous, david, to stash your money in the bank. david? >> tracking it always for us.
rebecca, thank you. when we come back tonight, the major headline involving the nypd. and the discovery on mars, and it's significant. there's a different way to treat hiv. it's once-monthly injectable cabenuva. cabenuva is the only once-a-month, complete hiv treatment for adults who are undetectable. cabenuva helps keep me undetectable. it's two injections, given by a healthcare provider once a month. hiv pills aren't on my mind. i love being able to pick up and go. don't receive cabenuva if you're allergic to its ingredients or taking certain medicines, which may interact with cabenuva. serious side effects include allergic reactions post-injection reactions, liver problems,...and depression. if you have a rash and other allergic reaction symptoms, stop cabenuva and get medical help right away. tell your doctor if you have liver problems or mental health concerns, and if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering pregnancy. some of the most common side effects include injection site reactions, fever, and tiredness. if you switch to cabenuva, attend all treatment appointments.
with once-a-month cabenuva, i'm good to go. ask your doctor about once-monthly cabenuva. i recommend nature made vitamins, with once-a-month cabenuva, i'm good to go. because i trust their quality. they were the first to be verified by usp, an independent organization that sets strict quality and purity standards. nature made. the #1 pharmacist-recommended vitamin and supplement brand. psoriatic arthritis, made my joints stiff,... ...swollen, painful. emerge tremfyant®. tremfya® is approved to help reduce joint symptoms in adults with active psoriatic arthritis. some patients even felt less fatigued. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to.
emerge tremfyant® with tremfya®... ask you doctor about tremfya® today. here in new york city tonight, the nypd making history. new york city mayor-elect eric adams nominating keechant sewell to become the city's next police commissioner. if confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead the department. a chief of detectives, she's been in law enforcement for more than two decades. when we come back here tonight, remembering a trailblazing author and activist. and that major discovery on mars. plaque psoriasis. now, there's skyrizi. 3 out of 4 people achieved 90% clearer skin at 4 months, after just 2 doses. skyrizi may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. before treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms such as fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches, or coughs or if you plan to or recently received a vaccine. ♪nothing is everything♪ talk to your dermatologist about skyrizi. learn how abbvie could help you save.
no one can deliver your mom's homemade short ribs. that's why instacart helps deliver the ingredients. and you add the love. what can i du with less asthma? with dupixent i can du more... yardwork... teamwork... long walks.... that's how you du more, with dupixent, which helps prevent asthma attacks. dupixent is not for sudden breathing problems. it's an add-on-treatment for specific types of moderate-to-severe asthma that can improve lung function for better breathing in as little as two weeks. and can reduce, or even eliminate, oral steroids. and here's something important. dupixent can cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. get help right away if you have rash, shortness of breath, chest pain,
tingling or numbness in your limbs. tell your doctor if you have a parasitic infection, and don't change or stop your asthma treatments, including steroids, without talking to your doctor. are you ready to du more with less asthma? just ask your asthma specialist about dupixent. i'm 53, but in my mind i'm still 35. that's why i take oste bi-flex to keep me moving the way i was made to, it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long term. osteo bi-flex, plus vitamin d for immune support. to the index tonight and to the index tonight and to that discovery on mars. scientists say they have found, quote, significant amounts of water, likely in the form of ice hidden under the surface of a major canyon. five times deeper than the grand canyon. and a passing to note tonight. famed author and activist bell hooks has died. she wrote dozens of books
exploring issues of race, gender, and sexuality, including "ain't i a woman," "black women and feminism", and "all about love." born gloria jean watkins, she wrote as bell hooks as a tribute to her great-grandmother. she was 69. when we come back here tonight, our made in america christmas is back. something to serve in the morning, at dinner, and afterward. used by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin that's a trail i want to take. eliquis. eliquis reduces stroke risk better than warfarin. and has less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis has both. don't stop taking eliquis without talking to your doctor as this may increase your risk of stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking, you may bruise more easily or take longer for bleeding to stop. get help right away for unexpected bleeding, or unusual bruising. it may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. the number one cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor about eliquis. - hi, i'm steve. - i'm lea.
and we live in north pole, alaska. - i'm a retired school counselor. [lea] i'm a retired art teacher. [steve] we met online about 10 years ago. as i got older, my hearing was not so good so i got hearing aids. my vision was not as good as it used to be, got a change in prescription. but the thing missing was my memory. i saw a prevagen commercial and i thought, "that makes sense." i just didn't have to work so hard to remember things. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. i just didn't have to work so hard to remember things. in a recent clinical study, patients using salonpas patch reported reductions in pain severity, using less or a lot less oral pain medicines. and improved quality of life. ask your doctor about salonpas. it's good medicine.
since suzie's got goals, she'll want a plan to reach them. so she'll get some help from fidelity, and she'll feel so good about her plan, she can focus on living it. that's the planning effect, from fidelity. with less moderate-to-severe eczema, why hide your skin if you can help heal your skin from within? dupixent helps keep you one step ahead of eczema with clearer skin and less itch. hide my skin? not me. don't use if you're allergic to dupixent. serious allergic reactions can occur, including anaphylaxis, which is severe. tell your doctor about new or worsening eye problems, such as eye pain or vision changes, or a parasitic infection. if you take asthma medicines, don't change or stop them without talking to your doctor. ask your doctor about dupixent. innovation usually looks something like this. but what if it didn't? what if it looked like a family truck that powers a family home? or an ordinary drive made extraordinary?
let's change what innovation looks like. from floating around in your own personal space capsule up here... to what we could build for all americans down here. finally tonight here, the countdown is on. what's your one thing? tonight, our made in america christmas is back. ten years and running, asking, what's your one thing? including what's on the dinner table. in los angeles, delight patisserie, baking 3,000 cookies a day. shortbread cookies for santa, with messages you can customize. peace and love. and we love this. they're hiring. >> hi, david! >> owner celine zhou. >> i'm so excited to show you the custom message cookie we
have done for you, and this is the message, "happy holidays, david!" >> we loved that message. looks delicious, too. in riverside, california, the two brothers with the last name rudolph. >> hi, david. >> scott and brian rudolph, cofounders of banza. a pasta made out of chickpeas. spaghetti. linguini. rigatoni. >> chickpeas are high in protein, lower in carbs, and they're great for people and planet. >> we're working with our u.s.-based farmers and factory employees to make it easier for people to eat more chickpeas. >> farmers including the street family, harvesting chickpeas in chester, montana. 125 workers turning them into pasta. 18,000 stores across the country. >> hi, david. >> the head of manufacturing. >> we've seen massive growth. and it's been really exciting to work here. the best part is, banza is made in america. >> and tonight, across oregon and california, they're brewing up something big. >> hi, david! >> groundwork coffee. 190 workers. >> welcome to my coffee playground. >> cofounder jeff chean.
>> at groundwork coffee, we're only sourcing certified organic coffees. this is what we're all about. coffee that makes a difference. >> organic coffee that inspires people to work hard, dream big and impact the world. >> and for christmas, different varieties shipped to you every month. >> hi, david. remember, our coffee subscriptions make great holiday gifts. >> 11 cafes. next order up. >> iced horchata cold brew for david? >> brewing something big, those three words in mind -- >> made in america! keep your ideas coming. i read them on instagram and twitter. and i'll see you right back here tomorrow. from all of us here, good night >> it is the first day of
california's new mask mandate. for all of us in the bay area, it's more mask confusion so we are sorting it out for you county by county tonight. >> seeing neighborhoods working together is the real reward. >> building a better bay area and seasoned by stopping people who target your packages and the people who deliver them. spencer: tracking a level to storm through the bay area. abc 7 news at 6:00 begins right now. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. >> it ain't over until it's over and it's not over. live doppler 7 shows the evidence of a storm blanketing the bay area. i am ama daetz. dan: and i am dan ashley. we are on storm watch because it's a level two storm in the bay area right now. gusty winds and rain and sometimes downpours will be with
us for the next few hours. live doppler 7 shows you where the worst of the storm is right now. ama: we have live team coverage. our reporter is in the north bay. let's hear from spencer christian who is tracking the storm. spencer: the rain is spreading to all parts of the bay area right now. the north bay is the area getting hardest hit. drenching downpours developing and other areas and in the santa cruz mountains. a lot is moving into the east bay at the moment. let me give you a look at the wind gusts that are accompanying these drenching downpours. we have gusts ranging from 24 to 48 miles per hour across the bay area so this is a wind driven rain storm. it's a level two. through tomorrow morning, moderate to heavy rainfall at times. dusty. thunder and lightning with this storm. a lot of instability in the atmosphere. there is a chance of hail. possibility of snow in the north bay hills.