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tv   ABC World News Tonight With David Muir  ABC  January 1, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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anything with those moves. that is all we have for you. several breaking stories tonight as we come on the air. the growing travel chaos in the u.s. as millions of americans fly home from the long holiday break. tonight more than 2,600 flights are grounded. the worst day yet of mass cancellations since airlines were hit by staff shortages from soaring covid cases and bad weather. thousands stranded. chicago hit the hardest tonight with more than a thousand flights halted at the city's airports. also breaking tonight, the dangerous high-wire rescue for nearly two dozen people trapped overnight in icy conditions on a tram car high above a mountain slope. and the massive winter storm barreling across the country. more than 80 million people on alert for extreme weather. heavy snow, flooding rains, and possible tornadoes.
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rob marciano standing by tracking it all as the system races east. our other top story, the record-breaking covid surge and the staggering spread of the omicron variant at the start of the new year. new york state marking an all-time single-day high of more than 85,000 new cases. hospitalizations nationwide approaching 100,000 as our country enters the third year of this pandemic. the urgent concerns as schools prepare to return to in-person learning after the long winter break. what parents need to know tonight. and the desperate search in colorado for three people missing after those devastating december wildfires carved a path of destruction. hundreds have started the new year homeless. and snow and bitter cold are adding to the misery. zohreen shah is in the fire zone tonight. and sticker shock in 2022. the worst inflation in decades has prices for groceries and other items set to rise even
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higher this year, some by as much as 20%. paying tribute to a global civil rights icon. the state funeral for archbishop desmond tutu, the nobel peace prize winner who helped end apartheid in south africa and heal his nation. tonight the message from his daughter. plus tonight, how a single social media post led to an outpouring of support for a fire department decimated in the tornado outbreak in kentucky. good evening. thanks for joining us on this busy first day of 2022. happy new year. i'm terry moran in washington, and we begin tonight with the growing travel nightmare. more than 2,600 flights canceled today. the most since the wave of cancellations that began just before christmas, and the numbers are climbing. already more than a thousand flights tomorrow have been grounded. a combination of weather and staffing shortages are slamming
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the airlines on one of their peak travel weekends, leaving thousands of weary travelers with nowhere to go. airlines are offering incentives to pilots and crew to work extra hours to make up for shortages caused by the pandemic. the weather in the chicago area isn't helping. southwest halting all flights out of midway. the city's airport accounting for nearly half of the grounded flights nationwide. all of this is bad news for the many who are trying to get home. abc's rena roy leads us off from newark airport. >> reporter: tonight, a perfect storm of extreme weather and covid related staffing shortages causing travel chaos coast-to-coast. >> it's been a long exhausting 12 -- 24 hours -- 12 hours. don't even know because i'm so tired. yeah, we've slept on benches. we've slept on what we could find. >> reporter: for the seventh day in a row, more than a thousand cancellations. over 2,600 flights grounded today alone, the most yet this holiday season.
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nearly half of those in chicago, which is seeing the most cancellations in the world. >> there is no space to spend the time, something to eat, so it's a long time here. >> reporter: southwest halting all flights at midway airport this afternoon. a winter storm bringing gusty winds and heavy snow across the central u.s., slamming colorado, grounding hundreds of flights in denver. >> just like when we think air travel couldn't get any worse, it gets worse. >> reporter: all of this during one of the busiest travel periods of the year, with an estimated 6.5 million passengers traveling today through monday. and the faa is warning these issues could continue through mid-january as more air traffic controllers and other employees test positive for covid. united now offering triple pay for pilots who pick up extra shifts. spirit paying flight attendants double. >> rena roy joins us live now from newark liberty
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international airport tonight where over 100 flights have been canceled today. these disruptions are expected to continue? >> reporter: terry, that's right. tomorrow and monday expected to be the busiest travel days to return home, and we're already seeing more than a thousand cancellations sunday alone. terry? >> hard day. rena, thanks very much for that. next to the daring high wire rescue outside albuquerque, new mexico, amid icy conditions. nearly two dozen people stranded overnight in a tram. rescuers reaching all of them late today. and a winter storm impacting millions across the country tonight. a state of emergency declared in kentucky. tornado watches in effect across several states as this system sweeps east. elwyn lopez is in atlanta. >> reporter: tonight, a dramatic high wire rescue in albuquerque, new mexico. all 21 people being pulled to safety after being stuck in a cart on a tramway for more than 14 hours.
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>> it was taking roughly about 5 to 15 minutes for every two people to get rescued off, and that includes the helicopter flight. >> reporter: this as a massive new year's storm marches east, putting more than 80 million people across the country on alert for heavy snow, potential torrential flooding and a potential for tornadoes. that looming threat taking aim at some of the same areas already decimated by twisters just three weeks ago. in south central kentucky, life-threatening flash flooding taking over streets. crews in rafts pulling people to safety. the governor there now declaring a state of emergency. and in morrison, colorado, snow-covered roads sparking cars to slip and slide across this interstate, stranding dozens of drivers. tonight, several states from louisiana to kentucky now at risk for tornadoes. and terry, that round of storms could continue into the overnight hours, making it even more dangerous. terry? >> elwyn, thanks. let's get right to abc's senior meteorologist, rob marciano.
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rob, can you time this all out for us? >> reporter: it's an expansive storm on this holiday. it's got snow, rain, and obviously the severe weather watch. let's go through it right now. snow is falling heavily in chicago. beginning to pile up there, stretching into detroit with the wind as well. there's that heavy rain, another pulse coming through tennessee and kentucky. we already had one reported tornado. tornado watch expansive as well until at least 10:00 across the mid south, maybe extended east as it moves off with the thunderstorms in the carolinas tomorrow and mild air in the northeast. but look at this cold air swinging into the midsection. that all swings to the east by tomorrow night. terry? >> all right. rob, thank you. we turn now to the pandemic. infections nationwide are now surging to their highest levels ever. some school districts have already switched to virtual classes starting next week. for the second new year's in a row, many celebrations were muted by covid concerns. a crowd of just 15,000 watching the ball drop in times square. but unlike 2021, the rose bowl
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parade in pasadena, california, went ahead as planned. last year's event was canceled months in advance due to the pandemic. abc's phil lipoff is in new york for us tonight. >> reporter: tonight, one day into the new year, the record number of covid infections continues to climb. now new concerns about a possible surge on top of a surge after new year's eve gatherings across the country. like these in new orleans, las vegas and new york. the empire state starting the new year with a new single day record, more than 85,000 new cases. the u.s passing 2.2 million cases in the last week alone, but a bit of positive news out of the uk, where the health security agency finds people infected with omicron there have reduced risk of covid-19 related hospitalizations compared to those infected with delta. >> we are heartened by the fact that from the south african data, the data from the uk, and the accumulating data in the united states, that it looks
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like it is less severe. >> reporter: still, nearly 100,000 americans remain hospitalized this weekend with covid. >> with covid, you are talking two to four weeks if you're lucky enough to get out. and unfortunately, especially among the unvaccinated, we're seeing a pretty high mortality rate still. >> reporter: pediatric hospital admissions are at a pandemic high, as school is scheduled to begin again monday. districts across the nation weighing what to do in this covid surge. some beginning the year online. today atlanta public schools announcing classes will be held virtually next week. and after learning 25% of the 800 rapid tests administered to staff and students over the break came back positive, all public schools in yonkers, new york's third largest city, will be remote. >> this thing is spreading, especially to the little ones, and more and more kids are hospitalized. >> reporter: d.c. public schools requiring all of its nearly 60,000 students and staff to provide proof of a negative covid test before they return wednesday.
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>> there you go. >> reporter: in castro valley, california, this district handing out free rapid tests in hopes of resuming in-person learning. >> we want to make sure everyone takes a test before they come to school. >> reporter: children must test negative on sunday to resume class on monday. in massachusetts, the teachers' association wants to close schools as a precaution. >> we close our schools because of the danger posed by weather. this is a different kind of danger and equally important to close schools. >> reporter: the governor pushing back. >> there are a lot of tools and capabilities available to keep kids and adults safe in school. >> reporter: a source telling abc news the fda is likely to authorize booster shots for children ages 12 to 15 next week. it actually could come as soon as monday, and when it does, cdc director rochelle walensky says authorization from the cdc will follow quickly. terry? >> phil, thank you. we know many of you have questions, and so joining me now is dr. patel of stanford children's health.
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doctor, some recent studies suggest omicron may infect the body differently than the delta variant, that it may spare the lungs, and it sounds like we're having the same experience here in the u.s. as in other countries that have dealt with omicron -- skyrocketing case numbers. so, could it be less severe? what's the bottom line? how concerned should we be about omicron? and how do you see it playing out here? >> the bottom line is that some early data, especially a report just released from the uk, including data here domestically, does suggest the variant is more mild than delta. this is a good thing. it's resulting in less severe hospitalizations, less visits to the emergency department, and people need to remember that the vaccines still work against any variant. but here's the reality -- when we have 300,000, 400,000 positive tests a day, you're still inevitably going to have a large amount of illness, hospitalizations, and exposures to people, front line workers
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such as police, firefighters and doctors who are then taken out of work, and that could have disastrous consequences. >> and serious consequences. you are at work today. let's turn to schools. we know cases among children are soaring, and that of course makes it really hard for school officials across the country who must make tough decisions this weekend about the safest way to return to class after the holiday break. so for parents like me, getting ready to send our children back to school, do you think we can keep schools open safely amid this omicron surge? >> i think it really does depend on the individual school district, the resources, what local transmission looks like. we know that over the past week, pediatric hospitalizations have soared past 60%, but we also by and large know that an in-person learning environment is optimal for children's health, not only for their academic knowledge, but also it's an extremely safe place for kids to be. we are often keeping kids in a safe environment, providing kne meals, noticing sign of abuse,
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all of it. they need to weigh what to do. whether it's testing, staying segregated in classrooms, mandating vaccines, all of it. we have to get on the same page and do what we can to protect our kids and give them the option of going back into school. parents should be prepared for the fact that there might be a delay, especially in places where cases are surging. >> be prepared. dr. patel, thanks very much. be sure to watch "this week" tomorrow morning. george stephanopoulos goes one-on-one with dr. anthony fauci. we move to colorado and the desperate search there for at least three people missing after one of the most destructive wildfires in the state's history. a blanket of snow is now covering the area where nearly a thousand homes were destroyed, and president biden has approved a federal disaster declaration freeing up funds for those affected. here's abc's zohreen shah. >> reporter: tonight, colorado officials urgently searching for three people missing after the 6,000-acre marshall fire tore through boulder county, torching an estimated 1,000 homes. >> the debris is hot. it's all fallen in, and it's now covered with 8 inches of snow,
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so search and recovery efforts are hampered substantially. >> reporter: in the aftermath, families taking account of what remains. >> everything looks like it could be out of a movie. >> how does this happen? >> who would have thought this fire happened in louisville? >> reporter: state officials say they've never seen an inferno so destructive rip through suburban neighborhoods. today a colorado snowfall arriving, wrapping entire scorched neighborhoods in white. debris still smoldering underneath, raising the question, what if it had come sooner? >> 24 hours earlier, it would have been such a blessing. >> i think right now it's pretty surreal. i mean -- not doing well. my dad used to just walk across the street to the golf course. he'd play every morning. it's just like, life, and it's just gone. >> reporter: amid the ash, a bright spot. neighbors and friends ready with a helping hand. >> one thing about colorado is we do stick together during hard times, and this is one of those times. >> reporter: and, terry,
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president biden approving a disaster declaration to make federal funds available. as for how this fire started, right now officials don't have a credible cause. terry? >> zohreen shah in colorado, thanks very much for that. in south africa today, a farewell to a global icon and nobel peace price laureate, archbishop desmond tutu. his scaled down funeral today at st. george's cathedral in cape town limited to 100 mourners because of the pandemic. his simple coffin accompanied by his grandchildren and his daughter, a church minister herself spoke about her father. >> we say thank you, daddy, for the many ways you showed us love, for the many times you challenged us, for the many times you comforted us. >> archbishop tutu's remains are to be interred at the cathedral. there is much more ahead on
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"world news tonight" this saturday. the new groundbreaking protection for patients facing steep medical bills. and sticker shock for grocery prices set to climb even higher in the new year. inner voice (kombucha brewer): as a new small business owner, i find it useful to dramatically stare out of the window... ...so that no one knows i'm secretly terrified inside. inner voice (sneaker shop owner): i'm using hand gestures and pointing... ...so no one can tell i'm unsure about my business finances. inner voice (furniture maker): i'm constantly nodding... ...because i know everything about furniture... ...but with the business side...
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shoppers confronting inflation numbers that haven't been seen in years. the price of milk, 4.6% higher than a year ago. bread up 4%. poultry, fish, and eggs 13% higher. as consumers deal with the shock -- >> when i went into the store yesterday, normally, like, a pound of ground chicken is usually about $3.99. yesterday it was $7.99. >> reporter: even higher prices coming right away. according to "the wall street journal", beginning this month, companies like general mills and kraft-heinz planning more price increases to wholesalers on everything from mustard to cereal to jell-o. as they pass along their own perfect storm of rising costs, like higher transportation expenses because of rising oil prices, higher prices for animal feed, payroll costs pushed up because labor is short, and the havoc the pandemic has brought to the grocery supply chain. >> you can't really wave a magic
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wand and just sort of fix the supply chain problem. >> i'll make sure my son eats, and i'll just have to reduce what i eat. >> reporter: many economists see prices climbing for many goods in the next six months by as much as 10% to 20%. there is hope of prices leveling off once the latest variant is behind us. terry? >> deirdre bolton, thanks very much for that. when we come back, the new year's drawing tonight for $500 million lottery prize. today, things can be pretty unexpected. but your customers, they still expect things to be simple. and they want it all personalized. with ibm, you can do both. businesses like insurers can automate it processes across clouds. so agents can spend more time on customer needs. and whatever comes your way, you've got it covered. saving time and improving customer service, that's why so many businesses work, with ibm. welcome to allstate.
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federal law making most surprise medical bills illegal. the new consumer protection measure bans nearly all emergency medical services from charging patients extra for unknowingly receiving treatment outside their insurer's network. other notable state laws -- california becomes the first to require a $15 an hour minimum wage for companies with more than 25 employees. and recreational marijuana becomes legal in montana for adults over 21. and tonight, the new york year's day powerball jackpot is a whopper, growing to $500 million after there's been no winning ticket going all the way back to early october when a lottery ticket owner in california won nearly $700 million. when we come back, the outpouring of support for a fire department decimated in the deadly tornado outbreak in kentucky. me of us were born for. to protect people.
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finally tonight, when one kentucky town needed help, they asked for it, and boy did they get it. >> reporter: it happened in a instant -- >> i turned on my radio and dispatch was talking saying, are you seeing this? >> reporter: a huge tornado tearing through western kentucky and the town of casey, population 300. volunteer fire chief wade adams was home with his family. >> once it hit our little town, assistant radioed in and said the station's gone. our firehouse was mangled metal. >> reporter: so was the entire town. >> you're walking down the street, and there's supposed to be a home there and there's not. nothing can prepare you for hearing your neighbors screaming in the streets. >> reporter: for this rural small town, it was hard to know where to begin.
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what happened next surprised chief adams. >> someone took a picture, put it on social media, and then i received 211 phone calls in two days wanting to support our little community. >> reporter: offers of fire trucks and all kinds of equipment started coming in from across the country. from varnville, south carolina, company 2 to donated a pumper. from stanford, new york, that fire department sent a power generator. and from rochester, massachusetts, a 3,000-gallon tanker is now on the way. >> this truck here is a pumper and a tanker, so they're getting a two for one. >> reporter: here's the moment when chief adams saw his new tanker for the first time. >> god bless you. i really don't have the words. >> well, it's what we do. we take care of each other. so happy new year. >> reporter: we take care of each other, and in hard-hit casey, kentucky, they're grateful. >> casey is going to build back. hopefully bigger, hopefully stronger. we've got friends to help us rebuild, and we will. >> that's "america strong." i'm terry moran in washington. have a great evening.
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heading live outside looking at the embarcadero, bundle up. parts of the bay area under a freeze warning tonight. a look at where temperatures could drop into the 20's. big fireworks, but no legal ones , and no legal show in san francisco for new year's eve. but the chp saw an increase of arrests for one particular crime. abc 7 news at 6:00 starts right now. >> this is abc 7 news. jobina: -- >> i heard the shot. at first i could not believe what i had heard. jobina: gunfire ups inside of an
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east bay mall. witnesses describe and terrifying scene. tonight one man is in the hospital and another is wanted by police. thank you for joining us and happy new year. i am jobina fortson. you are watching abc 7 news at 6:00. the shooting happened on new year's eve at the sun valley mall in concord. cornell barnard spoke to people who ran and hid for cover. >> everybody started running out. cornell: chaos at the sun valley mall in concord on new year's eve. gunfire sending shoppers running for cover. >> i heard the shot and then at first i could not believe what i had heard and then people started coming in and confirmed it. i stayed right where i was. cornell: one person was wounded. it began as a robbery around 3:30 when someone tried to help the robbery victim, suspect open fire. >>

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