tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC April 17, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
that is all the time that we have. we will see you back tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. the critical moment in the battle for ukraine. the new coastal storm taking aim at the northeast. and the deadly shooting at an airbnb. but we begin with ukraine, putin's forces cornering the last pocket of resistance inside a steel plant. russia demanding they surrender or be destroyed. ukraine's prime minister calling mariupol besieged but not fallen. president zelenskyy says the battle could influence the course of the entire war. as the kremlin launches new deadly attacks and prepares for a new offensive in the coming days. james longman pushing further east, standing by in dnipro.
new video showing the desperate race to escape bullets in pittsburgh. dead li gunfire erupting at an airbnb there. two teenagers killed. just hours earlier, another mass shooting. nine people shot at a mall in columbia, south carolina. tonight, what we're learning about those investigations. the holiday travel crush is on. millions expected to fly or drive home over the next 24 hours. what to expect before you take off. new storm threats targeting millions this holiday weekend. the south bracing for severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. and we're tracking a coastal storm as well. we'll time it all out. the possible cancer cluster rocking a new jersey school. how environmentalists are investigating the possible link. and tonight, pope francis' blunt message, urging peace in ukraine. calling it an easter of war. and "america strong" tonight. the boston marathon returns.
back on schedule for the first time since the start of the pandemic. good evening, everyone. thanks so much for joining us on this sunday. i'm linsey davis. mariupol.with the battle for - the strategic ukrainian city is under relentless attack from russia. and there are fears it could fall any moment. it's now a wasteland. the russian military insists the port city is on the brink of collapse. capturing it would provide russia with a crucial land bridge from crimea to the eastern donbas region, which would help russian forces launch their major new offensive. ukrainian fighters holed up in a steel plant. defying a russian deadline to lay down their weapons and surrender. ukraine's prime minister vows they'll fight until the very end. president zelenskyy says the fight for mariupol may be the key to the entire war.
more than 21,000 civilians there are feared dead. russia is intensifying rocket attacks in kharkiv. missile strikes have killed several people, injuring more than a dozen. buildings are up in flames. the war in ukraine is exacting a heavy toll on families. many still struggling to escape the fighting. james longman leads us off from dnipro, ukraine. >> reporter: tonight, ukrainian forces defiant, locked in a fierce battle. in what could be the last stand for control of the critical port city of mariupol. ukrainian troops rejecting a russian ultimatum to surrender. they're holding out in this massive steel plant filled with underground tunnels. ukrainian prime minister saying mariupol is besieged but not defeated. >> we will fight until the end in this war. >> reporter: mariupol is now a wasteland after weeks of russian bombing and street fighting. bodies lying in the streets.
we meet alexander and his family, his wife and 9-year-old. they left the city that bears her name. "every morning i got up and thought about how to eat and how to drink. i ran out looking for something, knowing i might not return. or i'll come and the family is already dead. and i had to live with these thoughts every day." you must have been so worried. "this child of mine behaved perfectly." she was brave. she was brave. his wife gets upset talking about the home they lost. maria tells her not to cry. she's 9 years old, she's talking about how she knows there were women in the basement of her building who were giving birth in those conditions. she's smiling now. but this has had such an impact on so many kids. but he's so glad his daughter is safe. you can see it in his face. ukraine says thousands have died.
although if russia takes control, the true number may never be known. capturing the city would give russia a land bridge to occupied crimea in the south. which would allow forces there to join an expected new offensive in the eastern donbas region. ukraine's president says the fight for mariupol could influence the course of the whole war. "for us, the battle for donbas is very important. for the reason of safety. first of all, our grouping in donbas is one of the best militaries we have." russia is ramping up attacks in retaliation for the loss of the moskva in the black sea. raining down rockets on this apartment building in kharkiv, killing five people and injuring at least a dozen more. >> the relentless bombardment continues. james longman joins us from dnipro. we know russia doesn't have full control of mariupol right now. but play out the scenario for us, for both sides, if mariupol does fall. >> reporter: if russia announces full control, that may be what putin needs to sell the invasion as a win for his people.
and maybe even wind his offensive down for now. but controlling that city would give russia a foothold here for the long term. which would give putin what he needs to threaten ukraine with invasion for years to come. linsey? >> so much at stake. james, thank you. back at home, at least four mass shootings reported in america just this weekend. in new york, south carolina, and pennsylvania. an urgent manhunt is under way for a gunman who opened fire in pittsburgh, at least two people were killed. 13 injured. video shows panic inside the house. at least 90 shots fired. way toward the door.hing their - here's mona kosar abdi. >> reporter: another mass shooting claiming two young lives -- teenage boys, overnight in pittsburgh. adding to the spike in gun deaths in america. police say more than 200 people, many of them underage, were at a party at this airbnb when suddenly a hail of bullets.
more than 90 were fired. >> he got a gun! he got a gun! >> reporter: the panic sending partygoers tumbling down steps in their efforts to make it to the front door. others breaking bones after leaping from windows. >> they're shooting! oh, my god! >> reporter: besides those two dead, eight others were wounded as police believe an altercation led to the drawing of multiple weapons. >> when we heard the bang, bang, bang, bang, we looked out the window, and people were running out the door and screaming, yelling, crying, and my wife, i said, get away from the window. >> innocent people were struck. we're sick about it and we're gonna do everything we can to get those responsible for it. >> reporter: authorities tonight saying they have not yet made any arrests. and just hours earlier, chaos also erupting at this mall in columbia, south carolina. nine people shot, five others were injured when police believe an ongoing conflict between at least two suspects resulted in
an exchange of gunfire. the easter weekend shootings coming on the heels of the random mass shooting in brooklyn tuesday that left ten people shot, and underscores nationwide concerns over gun violence. >> i say over and over again there are many rivers that feed the sea of violence. this is a national issue. its not a red state, a blue state. >> reporter: mass shootings, defined as when four or more people are shot in a single incident, are up 66% in just the last two years. >> already more than 130 mass shootings in the u.s. this year. now, mona, airbnb released a statement regarding the shooting in pittsburgh. what are they saying? >> reporter: they say they have a strict no party policy, and have banned that booking guest for life. and they're also considering legal options to hold them accountable. linsey? >> mona, thank you. this easter weekend may be one of the busiest travel weekends of the spring. the tsa is screening millions of people at airports across the
country. many airlines are struggling to stay on schedule. here's elwyn lopez. >> reporter: tonight, travelers taking advantage of easing covid-era restrictions and flooding the nation's roads and airports. tsa reporting one of the busiest travel weekends since 2019. the number of travelers screened at airports across the country nearing pre-pandemic levels. millions on the move, reuniting with their families, both across the u.s. -- what was it like to be able to be with family during this time? >> oh, it was always great. when you get a chance to go, you need to go. >> reporter: -- and overseas. liat and her children are back in atlanta after visiting family in israel. >> it was fun to see my family again. >> reporter: but a nationwide pilot shortage is making it hard for airlines to keep up with demand. jetblue is slashing flights by up to 10% to ensure passengers face fewer delays and cancellations. >> there aren't enough people who want to be pilots. we have two years of pent-up demand. people want to travel, whether
it's to see family and friends or take a vacation and they are out there. >> reporter: and linsey, airport officials here tell me the longest wait times today have all been under 30 minutes. but the holiday crush is far from over. with more people making their way home tomorrow. linsey? >> sounds like a busy start to the work week. elwyn, thank you. we're also tracking severe storms along the gulf coast tonight. possible tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds from texas to the florida panhandle. a coastal storm takes aim at the northeast tomorrow. with heavy rain and snow. let's get right to greg dutra from wls in chicago. greg? >> reporter: this starts in the south, where they're on alert again for severe weather. it seems like they can't catch a break. it's been the last few days and nights. large hail and damaging winds are the threat again tonight. the system spins up a coastal storm on the eastern seaboard monday. moving up the coast monday night, with heavy rain from
d.c., philadelphia, new york, boston, into coastal maine, too. it is a quick mover. it targets new england on tuesday morning with more rain and wind. it's cold enough on the north side to produce some snow. already some winter weather alerts going out for upstate new york. it's the middle of april, but it seems like winter wants to hold on. linsey? >> we're ready to see spring prevail. greg, thank you. news on the pandemic tonight. covid cases rising in at least 31 states. fueled by the omicron subvariant, ba.2. philadelphia has reinstated its mask mandate beginning tomorrow. and massachusetts reporting an uptick in cases one day before the boston marathon returns for the first time in three years on its traditional date. here's faith abubey. >> reporter: tonight, philadelphia preparing to become the first major u.s. city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate since most restrictions were lifted last month. angry business owners and residents filing a lawsuit saturday to block it before it goes into effect monday.
>> people have just generally had enough of this sort of government overreach. >> reporter: and yet not everyone agrees. >> we definitely do not want any type of shutdowns, so that's why it's important to stick to the mandates. >> reporter: philadelphia health officials reporting a 50% increase in new covid-19 cases in just ten days. 31 states and territories across the country are seeing a similar upward trend. but hospitalizations so far remaining low, creeping up only 2.7% since last week, even as more contagious versions of the ba.2 variant fuel new infections. those sublineages, called ba.2.12 and ba.2.12.1, could be 25% more contagious than the original ba.2. >> what we need to be doing is monitoring this very carefully. i don't expect a surge like we saw in january. i think that is extremely unlikely. >> reporter: houses of worship packed this weekend for the first time in two years as people celebrate easter, ramadan, and passover.
>> it fills me up, it makes me feel whole again. i'm sorry, i get emotional. >> reporter: and tomorrow, the boston marathon back to its usual 30,000 runners for the first time since 2019. this, as more than a dozen broadway shows in new york city are opening this month alone. many theaters planning to drop their vaccine mandates by month's end. here in d.c., another sign of the ever-changing covid reality. howard university has once again moved its undergrad courses and final exams online. amid rising covid cases, other universities have also reinstated their campus mask mandates. linsey? >> back to virtual classes again. faith, thank you. officials in new jersey are investigating a possible link between cases of brain cancer and a school there. 105 former students and staff have been diagnosed with brain
tumors going back decades. about half of them cancerous. health experts calling the rate concerning. environmental engineers are testing the grounds for radiation. here's zachary kiesch. >> reporter: tonight, questions surrounding this new jersey high school and a possible link to brain tumors. >> i want answers. i want to know that there is something or there is nothing there. >> reporter: al lupiano wondered if there is a possible connection after he, his wife, and his sister, all former students, were diagnosed with brain tumors. al's tumor discovered 20 years ago. his wife and sister receiving their diagnoses last august. angela died this year. >> i had recalled two family friends, the black sisters, had also passed of these brain tumors. that started setting off bells and whistles in my head. >> reporter: lupiano made a plea on facebook searching for anyone else in the area who had a similar experience. so far 105 former students and
staff connected to colonia high school saying they had been diagnosed with primary brain tumors, about half were cancerous. the cases spanning three decades. >> right now it's just a list of names and ages and years graduated. so it's not scientific by any stretch. but it's alarming because there's just so many people with either a tumor, malignant or benign. and it's serious. we have to really take a look at it. >> reporter: the mayor of woodbridge telling our station wabc environmental experts are testing the area for radiation. placing canisters inside every room in the school to collect air samples. >> the other step is, they are doing a test of the ground with gamma meters and they put them in strollers. they literally wheel the strollers across every square inch of the outside of the school. >> reporter: some students are justifiably concerned. >> everyone's praying, hoping for the best. but i guess only time will tell. >> reporter: tonight, medical experts are urging caution. >> it's certainly concerning,
because the rate of tumors is higher than we would expect in the general population. >> reporter: the mayor says the school will remain open, and any changes will hinge on the samples that are being collected. the results are expected within the next month. >> zachary, thank you. for the first time since the pandemic, pope francis is celebrating easter mass in a crowded st. peter's square, on what he called an easter of war. the pope delivered a message to the world requesting prayers for peace in ukraine. saying we've seen too much blood and too much violence. he addressed a crowd of about 100,000 people. and still ahead on "world news tonight" this sunday, how that massive container ship finally came free. and the emotional reunion of a pilot and the officers who saved his life.
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pandemic kept them at home. but now they're ready to run. boston is back. for many, it's a rite of passage. and now the boston marathon is back. >> it's nice that life is getting back to normal. >> reporter: patriots day tomorrow will mark the 126th running of the world's oldest annual marathon. >> it feels amazing. i'm just very excited. it's surreal. i can't believe that i am actually here. >> reporter: 30,000 runners hailing from all 50 states and 122 countries. >> i'm going to get to boston. >> reporter: many this weekend making a trip to the finish line for a photo op of a bucket list experience. >> for some of those like me, it's our first chance to run boston after six years of blood, sweat, and tears. >> reporter: chris burke will be among the thousands of runners. taking on the challenge to honor his wife jessica, who was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer five years ago, four months after giving birth to their daughter ellie. >> i will never forget the first
words out of my mouth. no, i have this brand new baby at home. i can't have cancer. >> reporter: chris is running to raise money for the dana farber cancer institute as a thank you to the team who saved his wife's life. >> helped us stay a family and we are forever grateful. >> reporter: tomorrow will mark the eighth time matt brown and lucas carr will run in the marathon's wheelchair division. the duo teaming up again to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries. matt was a high school hockey player when he was paralyzed in 2010. >> to be able to help individuals who have suffered an injury like this live a better and more fulfilling day with what we raise, that's everything. >> so meaningful. thanks so much for watching. see you on "gma" in the morning. david muir right back here tomorrow night. i'm linsey davis in new york. have a great evening, and good night.
>> next, good news this easter weekend when it comes to covid. the new numbers. the easter party is back, t years after the pandemic began. and police join the party. the call that left them dancing. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts right now. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions. this is abc 7 news. >> it is time to get out of the emergency phase. there's too much else going on. >> a call to return to normalcy from the world's leading health experts. that involves expecting -- accepting that covid is here to stay. happy easter to you. you are watching abc 7 news at 6:00. the world is now seeking the lowest death rate from the virus
since the pandemic began. the global population is now 65% vaccinated, and there is a lot more omicron-induced immunity. worldwide, total number of confirmed covid cases is surpassed 500 million according to the johns hopkins tracker. experts say the number is most certainly underreported. cases in california are slowly increasing. the seven-day positivity rate is 2.1%, the first time it has exceeded 2% in weeks. experts say the statistics demonstrate how the response to covid is changing in most parts of the globe, especially here in california. >> we have to understand, this is the goal of management, is to prevent severe disease. cannot prevent every facet. we are going to get mild colds from covid, just like we get mild colds right now from other pathogens. j.r.: she says we are in a much better place than we have been in the last two years.
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