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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  February 3, 2023 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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national university. supporting the whole you. tonight, several developing stories as we come on the air. news coming in, the suspected chinese spy balloon hovering over the u.s. where it is now, and will there be a window to shoot it down? also tonight, the dangerous life-threatening cold moving into the northeast. the live readings already. first, the pentagon tracking that chinese balloon, the intelligence bay hanging beneath it, the size of three busses. where it was spotted today over the u.s., where it's believed to be headed now, 60,000 feet in the air. will the u.s. shoot this down? secretary of state antony blinken postponing his high stakes trip to china. mola lenghi, mary bruce standing by at the white house. the deadly cold already tonight, the national weather service is calling it a once in a generation arctic blast.
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25 million americans, multiple states. new york city, philadelphia, boston, wind-chill readings in maine expected to reach 60 below zero. and where the wind chill is already 106 degrees below zero tonight. victor oquendo in massachusetts. rob marciano timing this out. the deadly assault on an e.r. doctor riding his mountain bike. police say the suspect in his car hitting the victim, then allegedly getting out and attacking him. matt gutman reporting. another scare at the airport. this time, newark. two passenger jets clipping wings. one plane full of passengers. the stunning and unexpected jobs report tonight. president biden celebrating the numbers. the unemployment rate not this low since 1969. so, how does this complicate steps by the fed moving forward? rebecca jarvis, as always, breaking it down. the alex murdaugh double murder trial. the defense team, and what a ballistics expert acknowledged today. and tonight, the story of alex murdaugh's housekeeper dying in a fall at the home. what the family says they never
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knew. prosecutors say murdaugh got a $5 million payout from a policy that covered the housekeeper's fall. but will the jury hear about it? eva pilgrim reporting. robin roberts tonight and her epic jump. robin from new zealand, the birthplace of the bungee jump. you'll see her jump from the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. tonight, the lesson on conquering fear. good evening. it is great to have you with us on a friday night. almost to the weekend, but it will be brutally cold, dangerous, life-threatening cold. the readings coming in right now, and where the wind chill is already more than 100 degrees below zero. that's in a moment here. but we begin with the chinese spy balloon hovering over the u.s. tonight. china claiming it is a weather balloon that blew off course. u.s. authorities believe this is a surveillance balloon being maneuvered by china, likely using spy satellites.
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today the balloon was spotted over missouri. so where is it tonight, and where u.s. authorities believe it's headed. among the first sightings over billings, montana. that intelligence bay hanging beneath the balloon, that's the size of three busses. the pentagon tonight on discussions over whether or not to shoot it down, and will there be a small window of opportunity to do just that? what we're learning tonight. secretary of state antony blinken postponing his high-stakes trip to beijing, calling china's actions unacceptable. so, will this be shot down? if so, where? and what china is saying tonight. mary bruce at the white house, and abc's mola lenghi leading us off tonight in montana. >> reporter: tonight, the pentagon confirming the massive chinese spy balloon is on the move 60,000 feet above the ground and heading east. >> the balloon continues t move eastward and is currently over the center of the continental united states. >> what the heck is that? >> reporter: a senior u.s. official tells abc news the balloon now appears headed towards north carolina. across the country today, americans with their eyes on the
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skies, posting images like this one, the balloon floating over missouri. commercial pilots radioing in. >> we got that balloon in sight also. looks like it's way up there, maybe 50,000 feet or so. >> reporter: the balloon is huge with a technology bay attached below that is itself the size of three busses, loaded with high resolution cameras, according to a senior u.s. official, equipped with what appear to be solar panels on the side that could power its technology. it first entered american airspace over alaska, then flying into southwest canada before dipping down over billings, montana. >> this thing is up in the sky. >> what the heck is that? >> that thing is not the moon. >> any help would be appreciated. >> reporter: montana republican congressman ryan zinke was blunt, tweeting "shoot. it. down." the pentagon today sayig that option was considered and rejected, for now. >> we assessed that currently it does not pose a physical or military risk to people on the ground. for now we are continuing to monitor and review options. >> reporter: the white house today saying president biden
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agreed with the pentagon's strong recommendation. the risks involved with shooting down the balloon just too great. >> any potential debris field would be significant and potentially cause civilian injuries or deaths or significant property damage. >> reporter: for its part, china insisting today the balloon is not a spy vessel at all but a civilian airship used for research, mainly meteorological purposes. the pentagon flatly rejecting that claim. >> we are aware of the prc's statement. however, the fact is, we know that it's a surveillance pballo. we have clearly communicated that this balloon is violating u.s. air space and international law and that this is unacceptable. >> reporter: china says the balloon deviated far from its planned course, but the pentagon questioning that as well, saying the balloon can be maneuvered. a senior u.s. official telling abc news, it's likely being navigated with spy satellites. this all happening as secretary of state antony blinken prepared for a weekend trip to beijing.
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that visit now canceled. >> in light of china's unacceptable action, i am postponing my planned travel this weekend to china. we concluded that conditions were not conducive for a constructive visit at this time. >> reporter: there have been other foreign surveillance balloons above the u.s., but none like this. >> what makes this different is the duration and the length of which it has been over u.s. territory. >> reporter: the pentagon says the balloon is expected to linger above america for a few days. >> this is really something. let's bring in mola lenghi. he's in billings, montana, for us again tonight. that state with several sensitive nuclear sites. as you reported, u.s. authorities say the balloon is likely navigated by chinese satellites. the pentagon says they've decided not to shoot it down at this point, but that option isn't completely off the table? >> reporter: that's right, david, a u.s. official familiar with the situation says the current thinking is to wait for the balloon to drift over the atlantic ocean and then shoot it down once it's over u.s. territoryial waters.
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that way you can avoid injuries on the ground, and two, retrieve the balloon, study it, and ultimately exploit the intelligence. david, tonight china says it regrets the unintended entry of the air ship into u.s. air space, but as you can imagine, not exactly flying with u.s. national security officials who are calling this unacceptable. >> mola lenghi, thank you. let's bring in mary bruce. president biden chose not to talk about this today, trying not to enflame the situation. what are you learning from the white house tonight? obviously the president continuing to be briefed. and on mola's point, if you shot this down over u.s. waters, that still is a small window of opportunity to pull this off. >> reporter: yes, david. we know the president is being regularly briefed. his team presented him with all options, including the possible military action to take the balloon down. now, initially biden was advised against that because of the concern over civilian risk, but tonight we have learned that option may be back on the table. one source telling us the thinking here is to wait until
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the balloon goes out to see and then shoot it down, but this is very tricky. they would have just 12 nautical miles to do this before entering international waters and certainly don't want to start an international incident over this. tonight we are told the white house is keeping communications to china open. but even though beijing expressed regret, it was not enough to salvage secretary blinken's trip. what is clear this is only further escalating tensions between our two countries. >> yeah, no question. you mentioned those 12 nautical miles would be the opportunity. mary, thank you. of course the other major concern the concern over this dangerous life-threatening cold. they're calling it a once in a generation arctic blast that has already turned deadly tonight. 25 million americans in ten states. wind chills below zero in philadelphia, new york, and boston. and look at this tonight. this is the view from a camera on mt. washington in new hampshire. they've already set a preliminary record at this hour. the wind chill moments ago, 106 degrees below zero. if confirmed it's the coldest
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windchill ever recorded in the u.s., including alaska. snow squalls along with that arctic chill. a time lapse from vermont. a cold emergency in place in boston. this is through sunday now. rob marciano standing by to time this out, and abc's victor oquendo in boston where the wind chill is 13 below zero right now. >> reporter: tonight, millions of families are in the midst of what the national weather service is calling a "once in a generation" arctic blast. >> we're seeing wind chills right now which are already below zero and before the night's over with, these are going to drop even more. >> reporter: parts of new england expecting wind chills at or near 60 below zero. outside springfield, massachusetts, as winds gusted above 50 miles per hour, a tree crashing onto a car, killing a 6-month-old girl inside. the woman driving rushed to the hospital. in boston, pilots battling high winds as they landed at logan airport. >> we're going to load food and stuff in here. >> reporter: and outreach teams hitting the streets to care for the needy. >> if anyone is out and sees someone else who might be in
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distress, please call 911. >> reporter: doctors say hypothermia can set in in just minutes. >> this weather can be deadly. it's life threatening. this is something that people have to really take seriously. >> reporter: the arctic front visible in the form of powerful snow squalls pushing from upstate new york through new england. here in boston, a brutal night ahead. a cold emergency is in place. winds will gust to 40 miles per hour, so there's a real concern about power outages, and it will feel like at least 30 below. david? >> victor oquendo in boston. victor, thank you. let's get to rob marciano who's timing this out for us tonight. hey, rob. >> reporter: hi, david. if you live in the northeast, you've felt it all day long. temperatures have been dropping. now these winds are really ripping, measured over 40 miles per hour already. and the wind chill advisory is pretty much everywhere north of new york city. here you see it on the map. it's no picnic south of here either. minus 23 for a wind chill right now in albany. minus 13 in boston. but numbers in the morning will
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be even more dangerous, and that red spot blizzard warning, that's for blowing snow on the ground. minus 57 in caribou. we get to that figure or less, that's an all-time record. minus 11 in new york. this is hypothermic stuff, frostbite in minutes. but a rapid rebound in temperatures coming during the day sunday. we'll start in single digits in many spots all the way into the 40s for sunday, monday, and tuesday. so it's just a matter of survival for the next 36 hours. david? >> whiplash for sure, but take saturday seriously. rob, we thank you. get back inside. we're going to turn next to the doctor struck by a car. police say he was then attacked. he did not survive. that emergency room doctor riding his bike on the pacific coast highway, struck by a driver. police say the driver then got out of the car and stabbed the doctor. bystanders taking the attacker down. here's our chief correspondent matt gutman from california tonight. >> reporter: tonight, an e.r. doctor is dead after police in california say a motorist slammed into him, then got out
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of his car and stabbed him. according to the orange county sheriff's department, around 3:00 p.m. wednesday this white car broadsided dr. michael mammone as he was on his bike at a crosswalk on the much-touristed pacific coast highway. >> at that point, the suspect drove around the victim, exited his vehicle, went back to the victim and continued to assault the victim. >> reporter: a criminal complaint alleging the car's driver, vanroy smith, then attacked mammone with a knife. bystanders stepping in to detain smith. but mammone, an emergency medicine specialist, later dying at a hospital. tonight, providence mission hospital where mammone worked saying they are grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. david, that suspect arrested, charged with murder and the use of a deadly weapon. authorities say they know of no connection between these two men and know of no motive for this crime. smith has pleaded not guilty. bail has been set at $1 million. david? >> just horrific. matt gutman tonight, thank you.
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now to the scare at newark airport. two passenger jets clipping wings. gio benitez is there. >> reporter: tonight, travelers shaken after an aircraft clipped another plane's wing while it was getting ready to take off for orlando, filled with passengers. >> all of a sudden you hear and feel a jolt. >> reporter: united says the orlando plane was sitting at a gate, preparing to leave newark when its left wing was struck by another united plane. that plane empty and being towed to a nearby gate. rebecca bloom was on board. >> the wing of a larger plane had clipped our wing. >> reporter: you can see the damage in these photos obtained by abc news. the port authority police, aircraft rescue firefighter unit carrying a piece of the wing. >> i think we were thinking, what was that? but we all saw it, and i think our jaws dropped. >> reporter: the incident happening just weeks after a dramatic near miss at jfk airport. a delta jet coming within seconds of slamming into an
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american airlines plane that was crossing the wrong runway. david, the faa is now investigating, but no passengers were hurt. united says they all got off the plane safely. david? >> gio, thanks so much. we're going to turn now to the economy and a remarkable strong jobs report today. it was unexpected. employers adding 517,000 new jobs in january. unemployment down to 3.4%. that's the lowest unemployment rate since 1969. president biden today celebrating the news. >> here's where we stand -- the strongest job growth in history, the lowest unemployment rate in 54 years, manufacturing rebounding at a faster rate than in the last 40 years, inflation coming down. put simply, i would argue the biden economic plan is working. >> all right, let's bring in our chief business and economics correspondent rebecca jarvis tonight. rebecca, where are the jobs? and how does this complicate efforts by the fed moving forward? >> reporter: the hiring is widespread, across nearly every
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industry. by far the strongest is leisure and hospitality, which added more than 100,000 jobs with americans continuing to spend money on travel and dining out. professional jobs, despite the fact that we've seen those layoffs at major tech companies, hold strong, as well as government and health-care jobs. and this report is really a signal that the fed's eight interest rate hikes in a row have not led, as of yet, to any kind of recession or major instability in the economy, and it really, david, acts as a green light to the federal reserve to continue hiking interest rates ahead in its fight against inflation. david? >> continues to be the good news against the bad news, the balancing act. >> reporter: yes. >> rebecca, thank you again tonight. now to the other news in the trial against alex murdaugh, accused of murdering his own wife and son. the defense pressing investigators on the murder weapon. tonight, the story of alex murdaugh's housekeeper dying in a fall at that home. what her family says they never knew about an insurance payout
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of more than $4 million. here's eva pilgrim. >> reporter: at the alex murdaugh trial today, the defense team pushing a ballistics expert to admit the state doesn't have the murder weapons. >> you cannot and you did not and you are not offering an opinion that item 22 shot gun was used to murder paul murdaugh, correct? >> my result was inconclusive. i mean, what that ultimately means is i'm not able to determine that. >> reporter: it comes as the judge decides whether the jury should hear evidence of murdaugh's financial crimes at work and about his greed at home. the judge hearing what the prosecutors consider a stunning betrayal. murdaugh's own longtime housekeeper gloria satterfield died after a fall at the family's home in 2018. murdaugh telling her sons to sue him for the insurance money. >> did you trust mr. murdaugh? >> yes. >> reporter: the housekeeper's son testifying murdaugh offered her children about $100,000 each. they had no idea he got more than $4 million from his insurance company. they didn't learn of it until
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after the murders. >> had he ever told you there was an umbrella policy for $5 million? >> no. >> did you give him permission to steal your money? >> no. >> reporter: the ballistics expert did testify that old shell casings found on the family's property matched the markings of those found near maggie's body, suggesting that one of the missing murder weapons had been fired on the property before. david? >> eva pilgrim tonight, thank you. when we come back here, news coming in from the tyre nichols investigation. what we just learned about one of officers seen on that video. and later news involving the dallas zoo and the owl in new york city. could be a sign that your digestive system isn't at its best. but a little metamucil everyday can help. metamucil's psyllium fiber gels to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down and also helps lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so you can feel lighter and more energetic. ♪
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investigating after an owl escaped from its enclosure at the central park zoo. the zoo said the enclosure had been vandalized. the bird has been spotted in the city on fifth avenue and 60th street and in central park. when we come back here, robin roberts in new zealand jumping from the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. a lesson on fear tonight. [ sneezing ] are you okay? oh, it's just a cold. if you have high blood pressure, a cold is not just a cold. coricidin is the #1 doctor recommended cold and flu brand. specially designed for people with high blood pressure. be there for life's best moments. trust coricidin. we really had our hands full with our two-year-old. so naturally, we doubled down with a new puppy. thankfully, we also have tide ultra-oxi with odor eliminators. between stains and odors, it can handle double trouble. for the #1 stain fighter and odor remover, it's got to be tide. dancing is everything.
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>> reporter: that's the motto for brave souls from around the world who visit the home of bungee. >> that was incredible. just goes to show that fear is in your mind, you can overcome anything. >> reporter: invented in 1988 here in new zealand. >> have you done anything like this before? >> reporter: i have not! so, when in the birthplace of bungee, you've got to take a leap. for me, that's the sky jump in auckland, at the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. >> are you ready? >> reporter: i'm ready! i'm ready to live more and fare less. >> i love to hear it. >> reporter: my heart beat heavy as we head up the lift. >> how are you with heights? >> reporter: i'm good with heights, not good at jumping off of them but good with heights. venturing 53 stories up. >> i'm going to be at the bottom to catch you. >> reporter: the safety briefing. >> i'm going to check your shoes now. lift them up for me please. looking good. i'm going to double check your harness now. >> reporter: then it's go time. okay, this is real. oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh, this is happening. >> robin, i'm gonna do a
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countdown very shortly, okay? >> reporter: okay. >> here she comes if three, two, one, go! >> whoo! whoo. >> reporter: conquering this incredible leap of faith at 52 miles per hour. oh, my gosh! oh, my god, i'm doing it! it's happening! mind blown and elated with my feet firmly planted back on the ground. oh, my gosh. >> high five, robin. well done. >> reporter: oh, my gosh. >> let's get you out of here. >> reporter: oh, many i gosh. that was living more and fearing less. >> safe flight home, robin, on a plane. good night. >> new at 6:00, we follow-up on
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concerns about possible sex g a catholic school. >> we are looking for to seeing everybody. >> the oakland zoo is back open, here what a month of storm related shutdowns cost. >> another storm is on the way, i will have an hour by hour weekend forecast coming up. news at 6:00, starting now. >> building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc 7 news. >> law taking action following this exclusive about young women believed to be sex workers who appear to be soliciting outside a grade school. >> oakland city offi concerned after the video we brought you last night. that video was shot outside saint anthony's catholic school on east 15th street in oakland. we are hearing there will be more patrols and new surveillance cameras to keep a
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closer eye on the problem. >> stephanie joins us with these new developments. >> parents are scared and frustrated about the safety of their children in this area along east 15th street. action is being taken and we are getting insight as to where these women are coming from and how they are being exploited. >> but exposed in plain sight. these videos show concerns of possible prostitution and human trafficking outside of k-8 grade school. >> as much as parents try to avoid it, it's there. it's heartbreaking. >> the city of oakland is committing to taking further action. >> discuss a new enforcement plan. >> i will state for the record that we have greater cooperation from the fbi. >>