tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 21, 2023 5:30pm-5:59pm PST
to ask for medication to treat covid-19. tonight, a special edition of "world news tonight." president biden and the high-stakes speech on the world stage in warsaw. the war in ukraine set to mark one year, and tonight the president's message to vladimir putin. president biden vowing that, quote, ukraine will never be a victory for russia. 24 hours after his secret and history-making trip to ukraine's capital, the president declaring kyiv stands strong. just hours before president biden's speech, vladimir putin delivering his state of the nation address, sending his own message to the u.s. and the west. mary bruce and martha raddatz joining me here in warsaw tonight, ian pannell live in kyiv. in the u.s., a major winter storm, 38 states on alert,
from california through the middle of the country, all the way to the northeast. heavy snow and ice, dangerous travel, high winds. and in the northeast, the rare tornado warning, ginger zee takes through it all. the team on the ground in east palestine, ohio, the epa ordering the company norfolk southern to cover the cost of the cleanup or face heavy fines. and to reassure the public, the popular republican head of ohio and head of the epa going from home to home, drinking from the tap. dramatic day in court in the alex murdaugh trial, the surviving son on the stand, his father charged with murdering his mother and brother, now watching his son testify. news coming in of a deadly avalanche in the u.s. several hikers killed. new images of the deadly plant explosion outside cleveland, the blast seen from miles away. also a baby formula recall, 145,000 cans recalled over a possible bacterial risk.
and news tonight on our robin roberts, her triumph ten years ago today, and tonight how you can save the life of someone you never met. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news tonight" with david muir, reporting tonight from warsaw, poland. good evening from warsaw, poland, where not far from where we're standing here tonight, president biden on the world stage. at a pivotal moment in the war in ukraine, set to mark one year since russia's invasion. 30,000 people gathered to hear president biden address our nato allies, ukraine, americans back home and of course much of the speech direct ly squared at vladimir putin. what the president said to the russian people directly. and after the historic trip to kyiv, saying kyiv stands proud, tall and most importantly, it stands free. the president saying ukraine
defying expectations this past year, that democracies are stronger and nato is more united than ever, the president repeatedly calling on president vladimir putin and his quote war of choice, saying if russia stopped, the war would be over, but if ukraine stopped defending itself, it would be the end of ukraine. but the president also preparing the u.s. and allies for a difficult road ahead. saying the defense of freedom is not the work of a day or of a year, promising that the u.s. would always have ukraine's back. and just hours before president biden's speech, president putin doing his own speech, suspending the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, the nuclear arms treaty with the u.s. calling this a historic moment, a choice between democracy which lifts up the spirit and the brutal hand of the dictator who crushes it. a defining moment, tens of thousands watching in warsaw, and senior abc news white house correspondent mary bruce is leading us off in warsaw tonight. >> reporter: president biden tonight with a rallying cry for america's allies.
>> one year ago the world was bracing for the fall of kyiv. well, i just have come from a visit to kyiv, and i can report kyiv stands strong. kyiv stands proud. it stands tall. and most important, it stands free. >> reporter: the president tron of russia's aggression. >> there should be no doubt, our support for ukraine will not waiver, nato will not be divided and we will not tire. >> reporter: but the president was also blunt, preparing allies and americans for a long road ahead. >> we have to be honest and clear-eyed as we look at the year ahead, there will continue to be hard and very bitter days. victories and tragedies, but ukraine's steeled for the fight ahead.
the united states together with their allies and partners will continue to have ukraine's back as it defends itself. >> reporter: standing in vladimir putin's backyard, biden called out the russian leader by name more than ten times, declaring putin underestimated the resolve of the free world. >> he thought autocrats like himself were tough and leaders of democracies were soft. autocrats only understand one word -- no. no, no. no, you will not take my country. no, you will not take my freedom. no, you will not take my future. >> reporter: just hours earlier in his annual address to the russian people, putin accused america and its allies of conspiring against his country, insisting western elites make no secret of their goal of inflicting a strategic defeat to russia, saying they intend to transform a local conflict into a phase of global confrontation.
he didn't mention biden by name but he did take a clear shot at america. announcing russia's suspending participation in the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty with the u.s., designed to limit production of long-range nuclear missiles. soon after, biden speaking directly to the russian people. >> the united states and the nations of europe do not seek to control or destroy russia. the west was not plotting to attack russia as putin said today. >> reporter: the president making it clear one person could end this war right now. >> this war was never a necessity, it's a tragedy. president putin chose this war. every day the war continues is his choice. he could end the war with a word. and so let's bring in mary bruce in warsaw tonight. the biden administration is now responding to putin's words that russia is suspending participation in a major nuclear weapons treaty.
>> reporter: david, the secretary of state today calling this move deeply unfortuate and irresponsible. this is the last remaining treaty regulating the world's two largest nuclear arsenals. the fear is if putin follows through on this and leaves this treaty, it could lead to a nuclear escalation just as russia is desperately looking for a way to win this war. david. >> mary bruce, thank you. as you heard mary report, vladimir putin delivering a defiant speech today, also vowing to stand firm. our chief foreign correspondent ian pannell is live in kyiv. it was a remarkable split screen of sorts today, two leaders standing up to one another, and for many eerily reminiscent of the cold war era. >> reporter: you're right, if president biden was trying to rally america and its allies, putin was trying to rall ny ssru for starting a war he said was aimed at russia's strategic defeat. i think, despite a year of battlefield humiliations, he showed no signs of backing down
and no easing of tensions either, even appearing to make thinly veiled nuclear threats. while he was speaking his army was again shelling civilians in liberated kherson. with china's foreign minister in moscow now for meetings tomorrow amid u.s. warnings against supplying weapons to russia, you're right, it's been a day of cold war echos. even as putin is making it clear he's ready to fight for a very long time in ukraine. david. >> ian pannell live, thank you. one more note before we move on to the other news back home tonight. president biden made it a point to thank poland for welcoming 1.5 million refugees from ukraine. we've traveled to the war zone several times this year. our first trip right after russia invaded, the refugees we met, on packed trains, mothers and children coming across the border. our visit to what was once a theater built by ukrainians turned into a shelter for mothers and their young children, the humanitarian costs
of this war. i want to bring in abc chief global affairs martha raddatz. martha, it was a striking moment, the president thanking poland but sobering words about what could be a very long road ahead. >> and it could be, we've seen the refugees so many times. my first experience crossing the border right after the invasion, and seeing those mothers and wives say good-bye to their husbands, sons and fathers who stayed to fight. 8 million refugees left ukraine but what is very heartening, so many came back. so many wanted to stay in ukraine, fight for and support their country. >> i know you're traveling after this report tonight. martha, thank you very much. martha raddatz, ian pannell, mary bruce, thanks to the team in the war zone tonight. other news in the u.s., a major coast-to-coast storm, 38 states, 150 million americans
from california through the midwest, all the way to the northeast, heavy rain, blizzards in some places, wind, ice, severe storms. look at pictures tonight. whiteout conditions for drivers in fargo, north dakota. a potentially historic snowfall on the way to minnesota and a rare tornado warning in new jersey's mercy county. damaged buildings and downed trees from the wind there. chief meteorologist ginger zee is tracking it for us tonight. >> hi, david. smorgasbord of alerts. is what you're about to see on this map. winds from san diego to las vegas and to snow levels as low as 500 feet in sacramento. some of the coldest air california has seen. see the wind alerts all the way to the gulf coast. winter weather advisories in the northeast. everybody has something. let's time it out. there are dangerous storms overnight, from oklahoma city to tulsa and columbia, could see isolated tornadoes there. snow wraps up over wyoming. interstate 90 could be impassable at times.
twin cities really gets the main entrée of snow on thursday. gusts up to 50 miles per hour. 94/35 going to be big-time problems with 12 to 24 inches with all that wind. back to california. snow. ice in lansing, michigan, and the all-time february heat possible in the southeast by thursday. david. >> ginger zee, thanks as always. we turn next this evening, our team on the ground in east palestine, ohio. company behind the toxic train derailment to clean up the mess and pay for it or the government will do it and send them the bill. amid the fear and suspicions in the communities, the republican governor and head of the epa visiting people's homes and drinking water from the tap. mona kosar abdi is there for us. >> reporter: tonight, state and federal officials working to get the message out, telling people in east palestine, ohio, that their water supply is safe. governor mike dewine assuring
resident carolyn brown. >> you just need to continue to -- >> test it. >> you have to continue to test, we know it's all right now, just make sure in the future it's all right as well. >> reporter: most of the village's 4700 residents get water from the municipality, and tonight, the epa pledging to hold the rail company cleanup.ble for the entire - >> let me also be crystal clear, norfolk southern will pay for cleaning up the mess that they created and the trauma that they inflicted on this community. >> reporter: more than two weeks after that toxic train derailment, norfolk southern says 4500 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 1.5 million gallons of contaminated water already have been removed from the site. outside the press conference, we met farmer jan douglass, who
is worried about how that plume of smoke could affect her crops. >> 3.75 miles from the epicenter, i'm concerned for the toxicity of my soil. and does that indicate how we can plant this spring? >> reporter: she's now paying out of pocket for a lab to test her soil. in a statement, norfolk southern says they are committed to doing right by the people of east palestine and are committed to paying for the cleanup. after public pressure, transportation secretary pete buttigieg says he will visit the village. >> mona kosar abdi, thank you. we turn now to a dramatic day in the trial of alex murdaugh, accused of murdering his wife and son, and the son who survived this, now taking the stand and testifying in his father's defense. abc's eva pilgrim in south carolina tonight. >> reporter: buster murdaugh taking the stand in his father's defense, describing the first time he saw his dad after learning his mom and brother had been shot to death. >> he was destroyed, heartbroken. i walked in the door and saw him and gave him a hug.
just broken down. >> reporter: at the time of the murders buster said his mom was worried the family could lose millions in a lawsuit over paul's involvement in a fatal boat crash. >> it kind of consumed her. she was big on reading all of it, when she read the negative stuff it made her feel upset. >> reporter: the defense asking buster to weigh in on the disputed audio of his dad's interview with police, whether alex said i did him so bad or they did him so bad. >> just so bad, they did them so bad. >> what did your dad say? >> they did them so bad. >> was that the first time you heard him say that? >> no, sir. >> reporter: buster saying he had used the expression since the night of the murders, but neither side asking buster about the third voice on the video. >> he's got a bird in his mouth. >> reporter: the voice prosecutors and seven witnesses say is alex murdaugh's, placing him at the crime scene minutes befo mde
the defense introducing this reconstruction of the crime scene based on data. a forensic engineer, testifying alex murdaugh at 6'4" is too tall to have fired the shots. >> whoever fired these shots, first of all was 5'2" to 5'4". >> that's the most likely explanation, yes. >> reporter: but the prosecutors challenging that expert's qualifications. >> have you taken shooting incident reconstruction classes? >> no. >> dyou veny certifications in shooting incident and reconstruction? >> no. >> any classes in gunshot wounds? >> no. >> reporter: and we're expecting to hear from other members of the murdaugh family as part of the defense's witness list. david. >> eva pilgrim, thank you. now to the southern border, and tonight the biden administration is proposing stricter new rules for migrants applying for asylum with the
pandemic-era limits set to expire. migrants would now be required to apply for asylum in countries they travel through on the way to the u.s. if they come to the u.s. anyway, they could apply at entry points but most of those who cross illegally authorities say will be sent back. the pandemic-era rules, title 42, that allowed them to be sent back without a hearing, are expected to end in may. when we come back, news of a deadly avalanche in the u.s., and a baby formula recall parents need to know. news on robin roberts, the triumphant ten years ago today. 'cause i have asthma. and i have depression. i have diabetes. and i struggle with my weight. for us, covid is a whole different ballgame. in fact, you could be one of almost 200 million americans with a high risk factor that makes covid... even riskier. which is why you need to be ready, and have a plan.
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tonight we're learning more about a deadly avalanche in a remote part of washington state. authorities say three hikers were killed and another was hurt after triggering an avalanche. it's about 70 miles outside seattle. the sheriff's office says they won't be able to recover the bodies until the weather mproves. victims were from connecticut, new york and new jersey. and we also have news of the deadly plant explosion outside of cleveland. a traffic camera capturing the blast. a column of black smoke pouring into the sky, a maintenance worker killed in the explosion, 13 others hurt. most of the victims treated for burns. debris scattered for hundreds of yards. still no word on a possible cause. when we come back, we have news on the important baby formula recall. what parents need to know in a moment. m still a target for chronic kidney disease. and my type 2 diabetes means i'm also a target. we are targets too. millions have chronic kidney disease
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finally tonight, we'll never forget it. r her een ten years since our rf bonern t marrow transplant. this evening we celebrate rob m find a life-saving match need. >> as i walk down the halls every morning -- i'm back -- it is not lost on me, the significance of this moment from a decade ago. good morning. beaming in gratitude as i returned to the desk. ter s away forlynear sthix monie we're a family, we want you to hear things from us.
in june of 2012, when i mds -- it is a rare blood disorder that affects the bone marrow. i was blessed to have the perfect match. she she's going to be my donor. sister, y-ann. >> she's singing now, get me out of here! get me out of here! >> in those challengg moments to follow, focusing in on the fight, and not the fright during my intensive treatment at memorial sloan-kettering. 've takinggo my dear mama's adv make my ssy message, sharing my story in hopes to help other. love how much stronger i feel. so exciting. swabbin' for robin.
woo!ngen years of bringing donors and recipients face-to-face. mas >>j'ish tc h >> like the one in 2017 with alex and aj. >> thank you for saving my life. ntaiin, ue to keep me going. and still a deca lerou, r hope is to inspire others to help be a match. >> robin, you inspire us and all the people you've helped along the way. to find out how you can help, go to bethematch.org or scan the qr code on the screen. i'm david muir, good night.