tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC February 12, 2022 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
tonight, breaking news as we ° come on the air. the eyes of the world on ukraine. the urgent phone call today between president biden and russian president vladimir putin. president biden warning putin of swift and severe costs if russia invades. the two leaders speaking a little over an hour today. the last-ditch effort of diplomacy after the state department ordered most of its embassy staff to evacuate. the white house on alert, saying russia could invade any day, urging u.s. sit essentials to get out why they still can. these images showing russia's latest military buildup. etairu ainians marching t agession.
the u.s. could respond. our teams on the ground in ukraine and at the white house. also developing, canadian police facing off today with protesters, moving in to clear the trucks off that key bridge between the u.s. and canada. the economic impact tonight, as and inspiring demonstrations overseas in paris. could american cities be next? and the warnings about the super and the warnings about the super bowl and the state of the union. tonight, the new setback in the fight against covid. pfizer announcing vaccine authorization for children under 5 put on hold for now. with more than 600,000 children testing positive last week. the reaction from parents, as states increasingly drop their mask mandates. drama at the olympics tonight. two scandals rocking the games. the team figure skating gold medal in question, with russia's 15-year-old star skater testing positive for a banned substance. when we can expect a decision, as the u.s. snowboarding team faces controversy, including allegations of sexual harassment and racism from a former olympian. record high temperatures in
the northeast. millions bracing for weather whiplash from the 60s to the 30s in one day. and in the west, getting ready for super bowl sunday. will the game be the hottest on record? that stunning wordle hostage rescue. new details tonight from the grandmother on how the popular word game helped save her life. and america strong. going for gold. a legally blind teenager eager to inspire at the beijing paralympic games. >> announcer: from abc news world headquarters in new york. this is world news tonight. good evening, it's great to have you with us on a busy saturday night. i'm whit johnson. we begin with breaking news. president biden warning vladimir putin a russian invasion of ukraine would bring swift and severe costs. u.s. officials saying a full-scale russian attack could come within days. the president speaking by phone to putin for a little over an hour this morning. the call coming as russian forces conduct live fire exercises in nearby belarus.
and massive naval drills in the black sea. more than 30 warships now there. a russian sub spotted on its way from turkey. u.s. officials ordering nearly all the remaining embassy staff in ukraine to leave now, as the threat of an invasion looms. u.s. troops on the ground now in romania, supporting nato forces. more than 3,000 members of the 82nd airborne arriving soon in the region. now, despite the urgent warnings, tonight russia denying it intends to invade. abc's soon your national correspondent terry moran leading us off from ukraine. >> reporter: tonight, an urgent last-ditch effort at diplomacy. president biden holding high-stakes talks with vladimir putin, seeking to stop a russian invasion of ukraine, which the u.s. says could happen in the coming days. biden and putin spoke for an hour on the phone today. the president warning that a russian attack would cause
"widespread human suffering." that and the u.s. and its allies would "respond decisively" with "swift and severe costs." >> this is a pivotal moment. >> reporter: biden's call coming just hours after secretary of state antony blinken spoke for 35 minutes with his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov. the u.s. saying lavrov again denied russia intends to invade ukraine, but adding, lavrov didn't signal russia was prepared to de-escalate, either. >> we are prepared for whatever should happen. >> reporter: overnight, the state department ordered all u.s. embassy personnel, except a "core team" of diplomats, to leave kyiv immediately. the u.s. continues to tell americans here to leave now, saying, "the u.s. government will not be able to evacuate u.s. citizens in the event of russian military action." and germany, canada, even russia, are all pulling their diplomats out of ukraine, as are many other nations. the pentagon has ordered about 160 florida national guard troops to leave ukraine, as 3,000 more u.s. forces began arriving in eastern europe to bolster nato's eastern flank. satellite images reveal the buildup of russian forces on
ukraine's border, an estimated 130,000 russian troops now massed on three sides. in the black sea today, more than 30 russian warships taking part in live fire naval drills. tonight, the mayor of kyiv announcing a plan for evacuation for the city's 3 million people. but ukrainian president volodoymyr zelensky taking a different approach, demanding firm proof that russia is poised to invade, saying today, panic only helps his country's biggest enemy. >> the truth is, we have different information, and the best friend is panic in our country. and all this country, it helps only for panic, doesn't help us. >> reporter: while in ukraine's capital of kyiv, a march in support of their country. at the local market, life goes on. this woman saying, "we live normally, just like before. we do not make any preparations for anything extraordinary. we know it may happen, but we hope it will not." tonight, there's no panic in the
streets. people are out, saturday night. they say they've been living with russian threats for years and they're hoping for the best. but ask, and you sense the mood is shifting. do you think it will be war? >> i am ready. >> reporter: what happens next is up to vladimir putin. >> what he really wants is for the elected government in kyiv to fall so he can put a puppet government in place. he has the military means to do that. the question is whether he has the resolve and is willing to pay the price. >> that is the unknown in all of this. terry moran back with us tonight from kyiv. and terry, russia now releasing details about that crucial call between biden and putin. what is their take on what was discussed? >> reporter: well, whit, the kremlin says that the u.s. is trying to create an atmosphere of hysteria so when russian troops return to their bases, the kremlin says, the u.s. will just declare victory. but senior american officials tell us, they aren't basing these warnings on what's coming
out of the kremlin in moscow, but on what they see on the ground here. whit? >> all right, terry for us again, thank you from ukraine. let's bring in abc's karen travers at the white house tonight to break down some of this for us. karen, those 3,000 american troops heading to the region, what is their role, even if there's an invasion? >> reporter: whit, the white house says these american troops are not going to war. they are not going to be fighting russia in ukraine. these are temporary defensive deployments. the united states reinforcing nato allies in eastern europe. >> also reiterating there will be no u.s. military assistance for americans who may choose to remain in ukraine despite the urgent warnings to leave? >> reporter: president biden and senior administration officials have said that repeatedly. the president will not put american troops at risk by sending them into ukraine. the white house says president biden was very direct today with vladimir putin about his concerns of the safety and security of those americans still in ukraine. whit, a senior state department official today said there are real limits to what the united states can do in a war zone. whit? >> and so much at stake.
karen, thank you. next tonight, we move onto that tense standoff at the u.s./canadian boarder. it appears to be coming to an end. trucks that had been blocking the ambassador bridge, a vital thorough fair between the two police facing off with hundreds of protesters remaining behind. the bridge still closed. those protests against covid restrictions spilling overseas now, including paris. police using tear gas there to disperse demonstrators. here's abc's elwyn lopez tonight from detroit. >> reporter: tonight, a showdown at the u.s./canada border. police moving in, forming a line and holding it. step-by-step and face-to-face. clearing out protesters blocking the busiest border crossing in north america. our ashan singh is in on the canadian side. >> this morning, protesters actually started evacuating the entrance of the ambassador bridge after a strong police presence. now it's been a few hours and they've left the bridge entrance, but they haven't moved far. >> who are you protecting? >> reporter: the six-day
blockade of the ambassador bridge linking detroit to wind sour, ontario, bringing in a quarter of all trade between the two countries, came to a screeching halt. hammering the auto industry, unable to get crucial parts into factories. and without them, production taking a hit, along with workers. >> i've been in the company for nine years, there's always changes that happen, but this is different. >> reporter: general motors forced to cancel several shifts. automakers like ford and toyota scaling back. now experts say factory workers in michigan could lose more than $51 million in wages this week alone. >> automakers have already been struggling for the past year with the computer chip shortage. so, this comes at a really bad time. >> reporter: demonstrators against covid-19 mandates crippling canada's capital for a third straight weekend. and tonight, the protests could possibly be spreading to the
u.s. buffalo bracing for truck convoys. the u.s. department of homeland security warning of demonstrators potentially disrupting the super bowl tomorrow in los angeles. and the state of the union next month in washington. and whit, tonight, windsor police tell me they are methodically moving protesters out. officials reiterating that they want this to end peacefully. experts say if the bridge opens up soon, plants could be back up and running by early next week. whit? >> all right, elwyn, thank you. we turn now to the pandemic and disappointment for many parents of young children, reacting to the news of another vaccine delay. pfizer pulling their request for authorization for kids under 5, saying they're waiting for more data. the timeline for shots now being pushed back to april or may at the earliest. the news coming as the daily case average in the u.s. has dropped below 200,000 for the first time since december, down more than 75% from the omicron peak. but the numbers remain comparable to the highest points of the nation's previous peaks. here's abc's phil lipof from new york. >> reporter: tonight, as covid restrictions loosen across the country, parents of america's
youngest children grappling with the news that vaccines for children 6 months to under 5 have been put on hold. pfizer, waiting for more trial data, delaying its request for fda authorization of its vaccine for that age group for a few more months. >> i think the more vaccines, for me, the better. but. >> reporter: but to wait a few months -- >> if it's for safety, i think it's a really good thing. >> reporter: pediatricians, including those at golden gate pediatrics outside san francisco, now telling parents to be patient. >> they understand but, you know, i think there's a bit of a letdown. but overall, it's better to get it right. >> and if anything, this should add some trust to the general public about how thoroughly the fda looks at all data with respect to safety and efficacy. >> reporter: last week, more than 600,000 children tested positive for covid. but that's down from its peak of more than 1.1 million just three weeks ago. depending on where you live, some vaccine requirements, even mask mandates are going away.
but health experts are warning, don't let your guard down just yet. nationwide, the cdc says, we are still losing 2,300 people a day to covid. and whit, there's news on therapeutics tonight to fight covid. the fda authorizing a new monoclonal antibody treatment that's shown promising results. two treatments previously that were doing well against the delta variant shone not to be as effective against omicron. that ely lily therapy will be given to infected patients at high risk of severe illness. whit? >> another tool in the battle against the virus. phil, thank you. now, to beijing, and the scandals rocking the winter games. a 15-year-old star russian figure skater, a favorite for individual gold, testing positive for a banned substance. the court of arbitration for sport set to hold a video conference tomorrow to decide whether she can remain in china and compete. and the investigation involving usa snowboarding, as more medals are handed out. abc's marcus moore in china tonight.
>> reporter: tonight, the drama in beijing. decide whether kamila valiyeva can take the ice in the women's singles competition by monday, just 24 hours before the event begins. our alex presha pressing olympics officials about the timeline for a decision. >> given the time crunch here, are you confident that there will be a resolution to this by the 15th? >> there will be a resolution of this specific case, which is where the suspension will be lifted or not, yeah, i'm certain of that. >> reporter: on christmas day, the 15-year-old phenom tested for a banned heart medication which may help increase endurance, but it wasn't reported until after she helped the russians win the gold in the team event over the u.s. the athletes from russia could lose their medals, giving team usa the gold. russian athletes with a long history of cheating allegations, already banned from competing under their country's flag because of a state-funded doping program during the 2014 sochi games. american figure skater adam rippon writing on twitter, "the entire situation is
heartbreaking. this young girl is just 15. she's a minor. the adults around her have completely failed her." the team's coach denying the claims, saying she is, quote, innocent and clean. and tonight, the u.s. snowboard team, fresh off of a history-making win in the new mixed team cross event, facing a controversy of its own. former olympian callan chythlook-sifsof accusing coach peter foley of sexual harassment. kearney apologized on instagram, saying he used the slur in a joking manner and it was stupid and disgusting. he said he faced being let go from the u.s. team over that incident. foley has denied the sexual harassment allegations against him. he told "the new york times" they were surprising to him and that right now he's concentrating on supporting the athletes here at the olympics. whit? >> marcus moore in beijing tonight. thank you. now, to the record-breaking heat in the west, as the rams and bengals prepare to take the
field tomorrow in the super bowl. the kickoff temperature expected to be in the lower 80s, well above normal for this time of year. and weather whiplash in the northeast. let's get to cheryl scott from our affiliate. >> reporter: hi, whit. unseasonably hot conditions on the west coast. heat advisories for california with highs expected back in the low to mid 80s. we are talking about potentially one of the hottest super bowl kickoff temperatures on record. and here on the east coast, feeling spring-like weather. that's all about to change. look at these wind chills tomorrow. it's going to feel below zero, upper midwest and in the 20s and 30s on the east coast. and with this cold weather comes snow. light amounts of accumulating snow. >> virginia, philadelphia, up into new york. this snow will wrap by sunday night, but that cold isn't going anywhere.
it's sticking around with even colder conditions across the northeast on monday. whit? >> all right, cheryl, good to have you with us tonight. thank you. there is much more ahead on "world news tonight" this saturday. british police contact prime minister boris johnson over so-called party-gate. and protests escalating against the police killing of amir locke. (audience cheers) what happened to your wall? at least geico makes bundling our renters and car insurance easy. that saved us a ton. what's on this chicken? paprika. paprika! i made it at home! that's my catchphrase. for bundling made easy, go to geico.com. i love you! i've seen how cancer can affect the people i care about. that's why i'm helping protect myself against some cancers like certain cancers caused by hpv. for most people, hpv clears on its own. but for those who don't clear the virus hpv can lead to certain cancers in both women and men. gardasil 9 is the only vaccine that helps protect adults
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some blocked traffic, knocked trash cans into the street, shattered a bus stop, and left graffiti. locke was killed earlier this month by police serving a no-knock warrant. when we come back, new details on how wordle, the popular word game, helped save a woman's life. we hear from the family tonight. - and ask about vraylar. some medicines only treat the lows or highs, once-daily vraylar is proven to treat depressive, acute manic, and mixed episodes of bipolar i in adults. full-spectrum relief for all bipolar i symptoms. elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis have an increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor about unusual changes in behavior or suicidal thoughts. antidepressants can increase these in children and young adults. report fever, stiff muscles or confusion which may mean a life-threatening reaction, or uncontrollable muscle movements which may be permanent. high cholesterol and weight gain, and high blood sugar, which can lead to coma or death, may occur. side effects may not appear for several weeks. common side effects include sleepiness and stomach issues.
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you can change how your skin looks and feels. and that's the kind of change you notice. talk to your eczema specialist about dupixent, a breakthrough eczema treatment. to the index tonight, new to the index tonight, new details of the case of an 80-year-old grandmother in illinois who authorities say may have been saved in part because of the game wordle. the family spoke to "gma," detailing how the game may have saved denise's life when her daughter didn't get her daily score.
>> i generally send jenny my wordle in the morning and sometime later or so, jennifer might catch up with me on the phone. >> and when you have -- when you expect something in the morning like a wordle score and you don't get it and then you keep calling and they're not responding, you -- and you're so far away, you know, you get nervous. >> so, denise's daughters got in touch with a neighbor who called police to do a wellness check. authorities say a man was holding her mother hostage, allegedly threatening her with a sharp object. police moving in to free denise and arresting the alleged intruder hours later. incredible. when we come back, how one teenager beat the odds to compete for team usa.
finally tonight, america strong. how a legally blind teenager fought to compete in the beijing paralympics. max nelson has been skiing since first grade. the 17-year-old from minnesota recently learned he will be competing on the u.s. nordic ski team at the paralympics in beijing. >> i thought they were joking. i was very excited. >> totally blind in his left eye, max only has blurry, tunnel vision in his right. >> at the age of 2, i was diagnosed with an eye disease. >> but that has never stopped him from pursuing his dreams. here he is, in his first ski race. he's had more than ten
operations on his eyes. >> wow that is icy. >> he always skis with a guide who wears bright colors and has a small speaker on his back to warn max about obstacles and turns. >> i would describe him as indestructible. >> dave bridges has been coaching max for six years. >> max's spirit -- he's got such a can-do attitude. >> giving him this poster for inspiration. >> every time i look at it, i'm like, i can do this. i'm not going to give up. >> max now set to compete for team usa, as the youngest person on their paralympic nordic ski team. but he's not stopping there. >> i want to keep inspiring people. that would be the biggest dream of mine, just to inspire more people. >> and you're well on your way, max. congratulations. i'm whit johnson in new york. i'll see you on "gma" in the morning. have a great night.
>> this is so critical. we need to make this happen now. >> text, a plea to get people to vote in support of the recall of three san francisco school board members. why one says he should stay on the board. and one person and several pets rescued as a fire ripped through san francisco buildings. and a plan to keep cars off the road that runs against the golden gate park. the one road beside the park that is against the plan. abc7news starts now. >> kisses abc 7 news. -- this is abc seven news. >> an election is currently underway that will decide the