tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC April 8, 2019 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight, several developing stories as we come on tstunning. actress felicity huffman agreeing to plead guilty tonight. her letter now, just in. her apology, her message to her own daughter, and to the young people whose spots in school were taken. one of several parents agreeing to plead guilty. how much prison time could they face? also breaking tonight, stopped just in time. authorities say the potentially deadly terror plot discovered here in the u.s. investigators say a man planning to plow a u-haul van into a crowd. tonight, right here, the areas he had been looking at. also tonight, the horrific scene in afghanistan. three american troops and a contractor killed. several others wounded. the head of the secret service out tonight.
the director no longer in security secretary kirstjen nielsen to resign. what's going on? the chinese woman who got into mar-a-lago. tonight, we now knowhe east coa bracing for more severe weather. and now, a snowstorm for giee has the timing and where this hits. federal investigators on the scene after a string of suspicious church fires. several historically black churches and we're on the scene, too. the alarming new headline tonight on the measles. the new spike. and the urgent demand by some right here in new york city. and tax season. the eye-opening new number tonight when it comes to americans and their refunds this year. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a monday night. we begin tonight with that stunning admission. actress felicity huffman agreeing to plead guilty in the
college admissions scandal and offering a public apology tonight. an apology to her daughter and to the young people, the students whose admissions spots may have been stolen, saying she is ashamed of caer daughter and her family. she's one of 14 adults agreeing to plead guilty now. and what kindle of prison time could they face? abc's linsey davis leading us off tonight. >> reporter: do you plan to fight this? actress felicity huffman revealing today she does not plan to fight, instead, agreeing to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraul in connection with that massive college admissions scandal. >> a generous donation will ensure our kids beat them out. >> how generate? >> $15,000. >> reporter: the "december pras housewives" star pleading guilty to paying $15,000 to have an s.a.t. pressure or the correct her daughter's test answers. today, she released a statement saying, "i am in full acceptance of my guilt. and with deep regret and shame
over what i have done." adding, "especially, i want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly." the 57-year-old actress is one of 13 parents now agreeing to plead guilty in the operation varsity blues case. as for actress lori loughlin and her husband, accused of bribing their daughters' way into usc, they have yet to enter a plea. today, felicity huffman's husband, actor william h. macy, avoided questions. >> hi, william. how's felicity doing? >> thanks for asking. i can't talk about that. >> i heard that she plead guilty today. how is she holding up? >> i can't talk about it. >> reporter: instead, it was huffman herself who opened up about what she called her dishonesty, saying,"my dghr knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong wa betrayed her. this transgression toward her and the public i will carry for the rest of my life." >> linsey davis has been
covering tcover ing this story from the start. do they face possible jail time? >> reporter: there is. it carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. in huffman's plea agreement, federal prosecutors say they'll recommend she serve a term at the low end of the sentencing range. but in the end, it's all up to the discretion of the judge. david? >> linsey, thank you. we have also following another breaking headline tonight. the alleged terror plot foiled right here in the u.s. the man, the u-haul truck and the alleged plan tonight to plow into a crowd. prosecutors say the suspect was planning to ram that stolen u-haul van into pedestrians. he had looked at several locations, they say, and was apparently planning the attack for the national harbor waterfront in maryland. the suspect allegedly driving around looking for a large enough crowd to attack. here's our chief justice correspondent pierre thomas tonight. >> reporter: authorities say they caught the would-be terrorist in the nick of time. hours, perhaps even minutes, before 28-year-old rondell henry was about to commit mass murder.
prepared to die for his cause. according to the criminal complaint, on march 26th, henry stole this u-haul with the intent of plowing it through a crowd of people. he allegedly drove around washington, d.c., looking for possible targets, but did not strike. the next morning, authorities say, henry drove the van to dulles airport, but did not find as many people outside as he hoped. he walked through the terminal, allegedly trying to find a way through security to harm disbelievers, but gave up. authorities say he then drove the stolen u-haul to national harbor in maryland, a tourist area with restaurants and a ferris wheel -- a place families go. investigators say henry told them he wanted to create panic and chaos. "i was just going to keep driving and driving and driving," he said. "it wasn't going to stop." but e crowdserthin. investigators say henry broke into a boat and hid there overnight. when he tried to return to the u-haul the next morning, police were there waiting for him.
>> obviously this is really alarming tonight. pierre with us tonight from the national harbor. and pierre, this suspect, we know, is an american, and authorities believe he was radicalized online? >> reporter: that's right, david. authorities say henry began harboring hatred for non-muslims go years ago. the fbi believes he was inspire bid watching videos of foreign terrorists, another sign that the influence of isis living on, even as they lose ground overseas, david. >> pierre thomas tonight. thank you, pierre. and now to the horrific scene for american troops, the deadliest attack on u.s. forces thisafghanistan. it was a deadly bomb attack. three americans and a contractor were killed in a roadside explosion. the taliban tonight is claiming responsibility, and with what we know right now, here's our foreign correspondent james longman. >> reporter: tonight, the americans were traveling in a convoy when a taliban car bomb exploded outside bagram air base near kabul. three u.s. service members were killed. three more wounded. and an american contractor also killed. it was the deadliest day for the u.s. in afghanistan this year.au
personnel have been killed in little more than three months. specialist joseph collette and sergeant first class will lindsay died from wounds sustained in an operation in the north just over two weeks ago. president trump has indicated he wants to bring many of the 14,000 american troops home, but the pentagon says there is no timeline. it was just two months ago, david muir was given exclusive access in afghanistan to american special forces training to take on the taliban. targeting the taliban, while at the same time, talking with them, hoping to broker a peace deal. the top u.s. commander, general scott miller, with david. >> do you think those ps the t key part of any endgame here? >> absolutely. >> that was just two months ago. james longman with us tonight from london. and james, even with the taliban behind this deadly attack on american troops, we know the u.s. has been involved in those direct talks on a possible peace agreement. so, where do the talks stand now?
>> reporter: well, david, they reached an agreement in draft last month. that was about american troop withdrawal and the taliban's commitment to not protect terror groups. but we are a long way from a concrete plan for the future of afghanistan. david? >> as we clearly saw there today. james longman tonight, thiank you. ba heomeno a the major headline unfolding in washington. president trump firing the head of the secret service after forcing out homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. what's behind all this? abc's senior national correspondent terry moran tonight at the white house. >> reporter: president trump is cleaning house at homeland security. first, forcing out secretary kirstjen nielsen, the public face and prime defender of the family separation approach the administration said would deter migrants. today, outside of her home, nielsen ever the team player. >> i just want to thank the president again for the tremendous opportunity to serve this country. i share the president's goal of securing the border. >> reporter: nielsen's ouster
comes just two days after trump dumped his own nominee to head i.c.e., ron vitiello. >> ron's a good man, but we're going in a tougher direction. we want to go in a tougher direction. >> reporter: and the purge at homeland security continued today, with removal of the head of the secret service, randolph alles. it comes with the president clearly frustrated that his get-tough policies have failed so far to stem the surge of migrants at the southern border. >> our country is full, our area is full, the sector is full. we can't take you anymore. i'm sorry, can't happen. so, turn around. that's the way it is. >> reporter: the numbers are stark. officials estimate as many as a million undocumented migrants could try to cross the border this year, double last year's total. nearing the record high of the early 2000s. but back then, it was mostly single men looking for work. today, it's mostly families. >> a real shift there. terry moran with us live tonight from the white house. and terry, with all this unfolding, through are now at least ten senior members of the president's team by our count
serving in an acting capacity. >> reporter: that's right, david. and it's starting to cause concern. there is a federal law which limits how long someone can hold a position in that way, 210 days. but there are exceptions, including homeland security. president trump has said he likes the flexibility of having acting secretaries. one reason, he doesn't have to ask the senate for its advic and consent on its cabinet, as the constitution would normally require. david? >> terry moran tonight. terry, thank you. as you know, there is also news tonight about that chinese national who got into mar-a-lago while the president was in florida. tonight, troubling new details about the suspect and what was discovered in her hotel room. abc's victor oquendo is in florida. >> reporter: tonight, a judge ruling a chinese woman accused of breaching security at president trump's mar-a-lago club will stay in jail while the investigation continues. at a detention hearing, prosecutors claim the defendant, yujing zhang, quote, lies to everyone she encounters. zhang was arrested on march 30th after allegedly telling security
officials at the president's private club that she was there to go to the swimming pool. investigators charged her with lying to secret service and entering a restricted space and claim they found a thumb drive with malware. tonight, prosecutors say a search of her hotel room further alarmed investigators, claiming they found a device used to detect hidden camerases, nine thumb drives, five sim cards for cell phones and $8,000 cash. zhang's attorney says she made no direct misrepresentation at the club or during her interview with secret service agents. >> all right, so, let's get right to victor oquendo. and victor, during today's hearing, we heard that secret service agent who testified that he tried to use a thumb drive with that malware she had been found with, taken during the arrest, it started to do something to his computer that he said he'd never seen before? >> reporter: that's right, david. that agent said that when he plugged it in, it tried downloading files immediately. installing this into his computer. he had to stop it before further corrupting his computer, david.
>> victor, thank you. and next this evening, the fbi and the atf are on the scene at this hour and searching for a possible arsonist behind a series of church fires in louisiana. three historically black churches going up in flames in the same parish. the suspicious fires, less than two weeks apart. abc's steve osunsami is on the scene, too, tonight. >> reporter: federal agents rushed to louisiana. the atf is here tonight with their national response team, and so is the fbi, looking for clues in these burned up pews and steeples, hoping they lead to whoever is responsible. at mt. pleasant baptist church, which burned on thursday, you can still smell the smoke tonight from the police line. >> i don't understand it. you're at a place of worship, that you've been wore shipping for 40 years and then sunday morning, you don't have it no more, for no reason. another iles from there, rod apn st. mary baptist church burned on march 26th. today, we found hymn books and
bibles that burned, too.e is churches and authorities fear they're looking for an arsonist and a racist. >> whether it's a single person, a single technique, a single method, we're not ready to speak to that yet. but obviously there is a relation with these three fires. >> reporter: congressman clay higgins, who represents this community in washington, recorded and posted a video on facebook promising justice. >> you will. you will be caught. you will be arrested. >> reporter: god's house was burned, but not destroyed. sunday services are now being held at a new church with welcoming arms. the state fire marshal is taking the lead in the investigation, and they say that they have no leads, it's sey no one was hurt, which they would have been had they been here at the time of this fire. this is what's left of the sanctuary. david? >> heartbreaking scene there behind you steve. steve osunsami live in louisiana. now, to the hostage drama we've been reporting on here, involving the kidnapped american
woman, the tourist, and her guide, finally freed in uganda. after talk the u.s. would not pay ransom, did someone pay? abc's senior foreign correspondent ian pannell in ewe began ga again tonight. >> reporter: tonight, after five long days in captivity, american tourist kimberly sue endicott and her guide jean-paul mirenge remezo enjoying their freedom. ugandan and u.s. authorities negotiating the handover of the two after they were abducted, then finally securing their safe return. these were the moments shortly after they were rescued. endicott surrounded by heavily armed ugandan police, greeted by u.s. officials. there are reports a ransom was paid, for much less the half million being demanded, but american and ugandan officials deny they made a payment. but this s kidnappers still at large. today, kimberly sue was flown to the capital, kampala, and handed over to american diplomats, but she and her guide will now be focused on heading just one
place tonight -- home. while there's great relief that kimberly sue and jean-paul are free tonight, there's growing concern about where the kidnappers are. that search now expanding tonight. david? >> we are glad she's free. ian, thank you. next tonight, the trump administration taking aim at iran. the president designated the islamic revolutionary guard corps a foreign terrorist group. to your money tonight. an eye-opening headline about your taxes and in familiar, refunds this year. the irs is now reporting refunds are down $6 billion from this time last year, with just a week left to file your returns. the agency says $206 billion has been paid in refunds so far, compared to $212 billion last year. 1.6 million fewer americans are receiving refunds at this point. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this monday. the tornado today end and now parts of the east coast tonight bracing for more severe weather in the hours ahead.
and now a snowstorm for midweek? i thought it was april.ing with the timing and the track of this time. also, the disturbing new medical headline. another spike in the number of measles cases across america. and the urgent action being taken right here in new york city. more on that in a nt and the cost of gas tonight. the new numbers just in, and what this could mean for the week's ahead. a lot more news ahead on a monday night. monday night. stay tuned. it comes to type 2 diabetes, are you thinking about your heart? well, i'm managing my a1c, so i should be all set. right. actually, you're still at risk for a fatal heart attack or stroke. even if i'm taking heart medicine, like statins or blood thinners? yep! that's why i asked my doctor what else i could do... she told me about jardiance. that's right. jardiance significantly reduces the risk of dying from a cardiovascular event for adults who have type 2 diabetes and known heart disease. that's why the american diabetes association recommends the active ingredient in jardiance. and it lowers a1c? yeah- with diet and exercise.
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the cdc tracking 465 cases in 19 states this year, a near record since the disease was virtually eradicated nearly 20 years ago. most of those sickened were not vaccinated. doctors and community leaders tonight concerned. >> the anti-vaxxer movement across the country is very strong. it has found its way through social media and confused parents and confused people about the importance of vaccinate. >> reporter: david, doctors say people with the measles may be con stay use even before they know they're infected. the measles can spread up to four days before and four days after that classic rash appears. david? >> all right, erielle, thank you. when we come back, that showstorm midweek. up to 20 inches of snow in some places. i wish this was april fools. but singer is standing by live with the track in a moment. makes you feel like you can do it all. but mania, such as unusual changes in your mood, activity or energy levels, can leave you on shaky ground.
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damaging homes in alabama today. we're watching snow for midweek, for a large partal of the >> reporter: david, as we speak, severe thunderstorm warning in place for richmond, virginia. look at those watches all the way down into south carolina. that's just tonight. then we have to turn our attention to that big high pressure system, with plenty of cold air. it's going to invite in snow. we're talking lots of snow. 6 to 18 inches possible from colorado through nebraska, minnesota, south dakota into wisconsin midweek through the late week. david? >> i guess we'll be seeing you again this week. thank you, ginger. and new numbers tonight on gas prices. the average jumping to $2.74. six states reporting gas prices above $3. california, hawaii, washington, oregon, nevada, alaska all topping $3. when we come back, what a firefighter did, wearing 50 pounds of gear. this was incredible. you have to see it to believe you have to see it to believe it.
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i'm trying to do that. >> ryan trained for weeks. tryi too deep a breath. >> it's great for fire fighting. not for running. >> reporter: wearing that suit to show others what his father did, what he does and what all fellow firefighters do every day. >> when there's an actual structure fire and the guy's going to a job, it's much more taxing on the body than my half marathon will be. >> reporter: his wife ahead of him, holding the american flag. the final steps. the crowd cheering him on. >> ryan! ryan! >> reporter: as he crosses the finish line, an entire community waiting. we salute ryan and all of our firefighters. dad would be proud. i'm david muir. good night.
live where you live, this is abc7 news. >> screaming very loud, and keep screaming. >> he threw a knife so he could try to use it, but i think the dog had already broken one of his arms. >> a man mauled by a dog. the scene was so violent, police shot and killed that dog when they arrived. good afternoon. thanks for joining us. i i'm ama daetz. >> and i'm dan ashley. the attack happened in daly city. the man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. >> abc7 news reporter wayne friedman has the latest on the investigation. >> when police arrived, the time had long passed when they could prevent an attack. all they could do is shoot to kill. >> he was playful and friendly. so something happened to him, i don't know. that's why i get surprise d. >> the assailant a neighborhood rottweiler. police shot and killed him as he
attacked 30-year-old gil in his own backyard. the victim's father says the dog fought his way in to do it. where was the dog? >> neighbor. >> he come over the fence? >> the hole. >> there was a hole in the fence? >> big dog. >> here is a closer look at the hole in the fence. patricia ochoa heard the screams and then watched the attack from next door. >> he threw a knife so he could try to use it, but i think the dog had already broken one of his arms. and one arm was in his mouth. yeah, it was very graphic. >> another neighbor tried to spray water on the dog but without success. daly city police arrived as soon as possible. >> the dog was on his arm, and the guy was saying thr knif t m. i throw h knifnd a at, the police fally arrived