tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC June 15, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
tonight, breaking news. the stunning medical condition revealed, severe brain damage. doctors late today on the american college student brought home from north korea. how did this happen. also late today, the jurors in the bill cosby sex assault trial, revealing they are deadlocked. what the judge told them next. republicans and democrats taking the field tonight, new details on the congressman in critical condition. and major news tonight about the gunman. his wife speaking out moments ago. the white house reacting tonight to reports from "the washington post" that the president is now being investigated for obstruction of justice. and falling from the sky. the blimp bursting into flames, the crash and the rescue near the u.s. open. good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. we have several developing stories as we come on.
and from washington tonight, this moment, nationals park. democrats and republicans both there. lawmakers kneeling in prayer on the field before the game. we'll take you there live in a moment after the horrific shootings there yesterday. but first here tonight, the stunning reveal from doctors, the american college student brought home from north korea, has extensive brain damage. otto warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years hard labor. returning home, carried off a medevac plane, sent home in a medevac plane, sent home in a coma. tonight, doctors explains his condition and the mystery now, what did the north koreans do to him? abc's linzie janis in cincinnati. >> reporter: tonight, back on u.s. soil, after 18 months in north korea, otto warmbier's doctors say he has extensive brain damage. >> he has spontaneous eye-opening and blinking, however, he shows no signs of understanding language. responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surroundings.
>> reporter: but how and why is still a mystery. what they do know, his brain was deprived of oxygen. how that happened is unknown. >> in general, respiratory arrest in a young, otherwise healthy person is a rare event. generally caused by something like intoxication or a traumatic injury. >> reporter: just days before he was released, the north koreans say warmbier contracted botulism and fell into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. doctors saying today, they have found no evidence of botulism or that he was beaten. >> we see no evidence of an acute or healing fracture including the skull. >> reporter: it's a devastating prognosis for the university of virginia student who was accused of stealing a propaganda poster -- and sentenced to 15 years hard labor after a one-hour trial. >> i've made the worst mistake of my life. >> reporter: today, warmbier's father wearing the same jacket
his son wore. warmbier's father railing against north koreans saying they brutalized their son. >> i'm able to talk to you on otto's behalf and i'm able to wear the jacket that he wore when he gave his confession. >> and linzie janis joins us live tonight from cincinnati. the president reaching out the the family. >> that's right, david. fred warmbier said the president called, asking him how he's doing. explained secretary tillerson worked hard to secure his release. warmbier called the call gracious. >> linzie, thank you. and to the other story playing out at this hour, that congressional baseball game in washington. republicans and democrats hoping to set an example tonight, as we now learn new details about the congressman in critical condition. here's abc's mary bruce. >> reporter: lawmakers turned
ballplayers, arriving ready for the big game. >> steve scalise, this hat is for you. >> reporter: many in lsu hats, a tribute to the player not on the field. second baseman, louisiana congressman steve scalise, tonight, hospitalized in critical condition. shot down when a barrage of gunfire tore through the republicans' final practice. senator jeff flake tweeting, "we're all pulling for you, republicans and democrats alike." overnight, the president visiting him at the hospital telling reporters today scalise is in "tough shape." >> it's been much more difficult than people even thought at the time. it's been -- he's in some trouble, but he's a great fighter and he's going to be okay, we hope. >> reporter: this morning, a third surgery for the congressman. the bullet that hit his hip injured his internal organs, fracturing bones and causing severe bleeding. today in congress a standing ovation for the victims and heros of the shooting spree. and at the stadium tonight,
unity and some friendly competition. >> we want to beat those guys and they want to beat us. afterwards, we're going to give each other a hug and drink beer together. >> hugs and beer a little later. mary bruce joins us from nationals park in washington. congressman steve scalise on everybody's mind tonight. he's not the only victim still recovering in the hospital. >> still hospitalized in good condition, that capitol police officer crystal griner, and matt mika remains in serious condition. both of those people very much on the minds of these lawmakers as they get ready to take the field here tonight. david. >> some promising images coming in already. the game of course comes as we learn new details tonight about the gunman. the video of what he said at an occupy wall street rally, and late today, his tearful wife speaking out just moments ago. here's abc's brian ross. >> reporter: in an emotional appearance tonight outside her home. >> horrible, horrible.
>> reporter: james hodgkinson's wife of almost 30 years, sue, said she cannot explain what her husband did on that baseball field. >> i just don't know what to tell you people, i had no idea this was going to happen and i don't know what to say about it. >> reporter: she said her husband made preparations to go to washington at the beginning of the year, selling off almost all he owned. >> that he wanted to go up there and work with people to change the tax brackets. >> reporter: tonight, federal agents are still trying to learn how hodgkinson's political activism turned into political terror. six years ago, he was among hundreds in the occupy wall street movement, speaking to a local fox affiliate in st. louis. >> the 99% are getting pushed around and the 1% are just not giving a damn. >> reporter: but friends and family say hodgkinson became distraught over the election of donald trump. and his comments on facebook took on a dark tone. on march 22nd this year, hodgkinson wrote "trump is a traitor. trump has destroyed our democracy. it's time to destroy trump and
company." two days later neighbors called police to say hodgkinson had fired off 50 shots into the air. >> that's when brought the little kids in and called the sheriff. >> reporter: the sheriff's report says no charges were brought, because he had a valid illinois firearm owner's i.d. card. >> he said he would quit shooting and that he would actually take his gun to a gun range, where it was safer. >> reporter: a few days later in march, hodgkinson left for washington, living out of a van in the parking lot of the alexandria, virginia, ymca, just across the street from the baseball field. >> i can't believe he did this, i cannot believe. >> that wife speaking out just moments ago. brian ross with us tonight. investigators still believe this man was acting alone, no accomplices. >> that's right, david. as his former lawyer put it, he was an angry little man with a very big chip on his shoulder. david. >> brian, thank you. we turn next tonight to the white house, responding to the
report from "the washington post" that president trump is now being investigated for obstruction of justice. the white house saying very little, being careful with what they said today. the president, meanwhile, tweeting all day. here's abc's cecilia vega. >> reporter: inside the white house today, president trump ignored questions about that bombshell report he's under investigation for obstruction of justice. >> mr. president, do you believe that you are under investigation now? >> reporter: but he lashed out on twitter, calling it a phony story saying, "you are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt in american political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people." the white house tightlipped, refusing to say who those bad and conflicted people are. but "the washington post's" report that the president himself is now the subject of special counsel robert mueller's investigation comes as a major turning point in the russia probe. a key question, did the president fire former fbi director james comey because of the russia investigation? comey says yes.
>> i was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the russia investigation was being conducted. that is a very big deal. >> reporter: now it's no longer just he said/he said. investigators are looking into whether the president repeated something he did with comey, telling all government officials to clear out of a white house meeting so he could be alone with cia director mike pompeo and the director of national intelligence dan coats. there, the president reportedly asked coats to intervene in the investigation into fired national security adviser mike flynn. during his testimony on capitol hill, coats refused to answer most questions but said he never was pressured to intervene. >> confidential conversations between the president and myself i don't believe it's appropriate for me to address that in a public session. >> reporter: the president also reportedly called coats and nsa director admiral mike rogers and asked them to publically declare there was no collusion with
russia. they refused. according to "the washington post," rogers' former deputy wrote a memo at the time, documenting that phone call. and now the special counsel investigators want to talk to all three men. and with this questions swirling, the president is still tweeting, hammering hillary clinton, the democrats and what he calls that phony story. >> and cecilia, president trump as we all know has hired his own personal lawyer to deal with the russia probe. tonight, there's word coming in that the vice president mike pence is doing the same. >> the exact same. his name is richard cullen. a former u.s. attorney. and like the president's team, cullen will respond all special counsel-related inquiries. the vice president's office tells us that he looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter, david. >> cecilia, thank you. another major headline from washington tonight, the senate sending a strong message to russia for its meddling in the election. in a rare bipartisan move, voting 98-2, to impose new
sanctions on russian businesses and requiring the white house to get congressional approval to soften or lift existing sanctions. the measure goes next to the house for approval. next here, to developing news in the bill cosby sex assault trial. jurors revealing today they're deadlocked. what does this mean? and what the judge then told them. here's abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: today, tempers flared outside this pennsylvania courthouse, between cosby supporters and an alleged cosby victim. >> bracelet me speak, please. >> reporter: tempers erupted after the jurors reported they're deadlocked. after reviewing testimony and nearly 40 hours of deliberations. the judge telling them to try again, in the hopes of avoiding a mistrial. as bill cosby waits in the courthouse today, his spokesman outside thanked the
jurors. but with cosby's fate hanging in the balance, his accuser appeared relax, sending her own message. andrea constand, who claims that cosby drugged and then sexually assaulted her in 2004, today, tweeted out this lighthearted video. shooting hoops as she waits for that verdict, with the tag line, always follow through. her case against cosby is the only criminal prosecution stemming from allegations from more than 50 women who accused the comedian of sexual assault -- misconduct and/or drugging. several accusers are attending the trial, including this woman who has been here for two weeks, from california. >> i feel very deflated. i'm worried. i'm holding on to some hope because the judge is telling them to go back in there and work on it. >> let's go live to linsey davis, who has been covering this case from the start. linsey, if the jury is unable to
reach a verdict, the judge can then declare a mistrial, then what happens? >> yeah, you're exactly right, if they come back deadlocked one more time, it very well could be declared a mistrial. at that point, bill cosby would walk out of this white house a freeman. it would then be up to the district attorney's office to decide if they want to try him again. >> linsey, thank you. next to major developments after that devastating high-rise fire in london. tonight, the first images now coming in from inside that building. abc's james longman from london. >> reporter: the twisted mess of ruined lives, a first look inside the london inferno. nothing left but charred rubble. and there are still bodies in here. though it's not clear how many. the search still too dangerous, the fear that the number of dead will soar well past the 17 already confirmed. >> what floor are you on! >> reporter: the horror is captured on social media. as the flames raged. grief has turned to anger here.
look at this wall of condolences and look at some of these messages, "jail those responsible." >> this is an accident that never needed to happen. >> reporter: and questions for the building managers -- did the insulation and exterior cladding, recently installed, cause the fire to spread? and crucially, where else is that material used? an expert tells abc news that it is part of commercial construction in the united states, including new york city. tonight, sniffer dogs have been on a grim search for bodies in the tower behind me, parts of which still too unsafe for firefighters to enter, david. >> james, our thanks to you again tonight. and back in washington, d.c., criminal charges this evening against 16 people most of them turkish security agents after those rare images, they are accused in the violent assault on protesters outside the turkish ambassador's residence last month. nine people were injured. it was earlier that day, turkey's president erdogan was visiting the white house.
tonight, turkey's president is blasting those american indictments. there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday -- falling from the sky, the fiery crash tonight. the blimp bursting into flames. the race to rescue the pilot. the blimp going down near the u.s. open. and the daredevil wife, from a famous family, breaking her own husband's record, hanging over the niagara falls by her teeth. [ bell rings ] fun in art class. come close, come close. [ moans ] when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. awww. try this. for minor arthritis pain, only aleve can stop pain for up to 12 straight hours with just one pill. thank you. [ upbeat music playing ] you can't quit, neither should your pain reliever. stay all day strong with 12 hour aleve. check this sunday's paper for extra savings on products from aleve. ♪...nausea, heartburn,♪ indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!♪ ♪nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!♪
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>> as you see it going down, a major explosion when you realize that there's probably someone in there. >> that's the blimp, that's not good. >> reporter: rescue teams quickly rushing to the scene. >> we have a blimp down. manned aircraft down. >> reporter: the pilot going down with the blimp. >> the patient is out, however, he is injured. >> reporter: rescue crews pulling him from the wreckage just in time right before the explosions. >> we have a 200-pound male patient, 40% burns on his back. >> reporter: the pilot's carried off on a stretcher and into a waiting medevac chopper. the owner of the blimp airsign telling abc news they don't know yet what caused the crash, but that it happened shortly after the blimp refueled. david, the pilot is being treated for burns but his injuries are not life threatening. the ntsb is now investigating the crash. david. >> alex, our thanks to you. when we come back here -- that murder suspect crying in court, accused of killing that mother and two daughters home from college, in addition to
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finally, america strong. the game will go on tonight. just as it has for more than a hundred years. ♪ take me out to the ballpark >> reporter: it's a 108-year-old tradition, the baseball game played by members of congress, democrats and republicans, taking the field. it first began back in the summer of 1909. in 1917, president woodrow wilson ready for the game, standing right behind the players. very little has stopped these games, the great depression and the wars would get in the way. over the years, familiar faces even a future president. >> gop's gerald ford with a hit.
>> speaker of the house, tip o'neill taking a swing. tonight, both teams back on the field. the reminders are also there. they're all raising money for charity. more than a million already and sending a powerful message that country comes before politics, before division. the players hoping to lead the way. >> and we thank you for watching on a thursday night. i'm david muir. hope to see you right back here tomorrow to finish out the week. good night.
with security on high alert, no major incidents as the warriors make a big surprise commitment. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts now. live, where you live, this is abc 7 news. >> means the world to me to win the championship for you guys. >> i don't consider it work. i love to do this. >> it is two times. >> we come to work every day and we can't wait to see this group of players. >> same time next year. >> i want to keep this thing going for years to come. be out here, in this cali sunshine every june. ♪ >> wow. what fun today. more than a million people soak
in that california sun and celebrate another championship in oakland. good evening, i'm dan ashley. >> i'm ahma daetz. >> we have the greatest fans in the world. we're so happy to be here. >> warriors owner and ceo joe lake said today is the day all about the fans. he saluted the dub nation loyalists, celebrating the second nba finals title in three years. >> here is the star who was there for both the victories. fans were wild when they saw steph curry with a cigar hanging out of his mouth, lifting up the championship trophy. >> not many things that can bring politicians and famous rappers together. that's libby schaaf riding with super fan mc hammer. san francisco mayor ed lee also rode in the parade. >> let's begin our team coverage with katie utehs who took in the parade from oakland. >> what
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