tv ABC World News Tonight With David Muir ABC December 30, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
welcome to "world news tonight." breaking news. the mystery of air asia flight 8501. bolds and debris pulled from the ocean. the plan discovered six miles from its last point of contact. families overwhelmed with grief. investigators pouring over the clues. why the plane went down. our team is there. deep freeze. millions of americans starting the new year with an icy blast. record cold and snow. temperatures dropping to 20 below zero in some parts of the country. the great escape. the couple who outran an avalanche. surviving when the mountain came tumbling down. and 2014 the year of the selfie. from superstars to super stunts. the popular trend that exploded around the world. but who actually started it all?
good evening on this tuesday night. david is off. i'm elizabeth vargas. we are being -- we are leading tonight with breaking news. the mystery of air asia flight 8501. the images coming in. the first signs of the wreckage in the water. at this hour bodies of passengers and crew. this suitcase from the plane recovered from the ocean. the heartbreaking news overwhelming families. many spent the last four days huddled at the airport, waiting for word. the plane vanishing from radar last weekend, flying to singapore with 162 people on board. it was discovered six miles from the last point of contact in shallow water. we have team coverage tonight and we begin with abc's chief foreign correspondent terry moran. terry?
>> reporter: indonesia has declared to gather up the dead. the 162 passengers and crew who four days ago set off from this airport, full of hopes and plans and life and bring them home. search teams had scoured the tropical waters of the java sea for days, and then suddenly in the bright sun, there it was. the debris field, shards of shapes floating in the waves, pieces of that lost plane. the wreckage found about six miles from the last point of contact with the plane, in shallow water, about 100 feet deep. then, hours later came the official confirmation. "i confirm that the area where the plane crashed," the chief of search and rescue declared. "the debris came from the missing plane that we have been searching for." at the airport, body bags were loaded up while at sea divers entered the water to recover the corpses. all this shown live on local tv
traumatizing the families who saw the bloated broken bodies of loved ones as they followed the news here. their grief was overpowering, one after another fainted, medical teams doing their best to console the inconsolable. here, the moment a woman is told searchers have found bodies and debris? >> oh, they did? i still hopeful for the miracle. sorry, i cannot continue. >> reporter: back on the tarmac, investigators gathering every item, a blue suitcase, an oxygen tank the wreckage of a tragedy. a morgue has been set up near the crash site to identify the bodies return them to loved ones as soon as possible. at the same time searchers are going after those crucial black boxes, which may hold the data that can answer the question --
what happened? elizabeth? >> all right, terry thank you so much. as you said those black boxes are crucial. but even before they're found, the debris is providing insight into what may have happened in the plane's final moments. abc's david kerley is on the early stages of the investigation and is here with me with more on that. >> reporter: though the remains have not been found, the parts, the debris is yielding significant clues to experienced investigators. a suitcase. an oxygen tank. an uninflated emergency slide. these places of the air bust a-320 and those floating on the java sea all cluls to why this aircraft crashed. what do they tell us? so far, the bolds found did not have life vests. that could indicate the jet broke apart at altitude. the crew didn't have time to communicate trouble or passengers didn't have time to put them on. do those pieces of metal wreckage have burn marks, suggesting fire of explosion? the way the metal is pulled apart, its edges, can reveal if
it was impact with the water or other forces that tore the pieces. >> once you have the debris, you look at it all. and fire stands out, explosion stands out. was it ripped apart or was something else going on here? >> reporter: this debris field also tells a story. if it is relatively small, that would suggest the jet liner was mostly intact when it hit the water. a much wider field could mean a breakup at altitude and the pieces scattering as they fell into the java sea. but this debris field is also an arrow, pointing to where the wreckage has settled to the bottom and where investigators should find those all-important black boxes. and if not today, within the next day or so listening devices should be in the water around that debris field, trying to hear the ticking pingers from those boxes. >> so important to find those. david, thank you so much. and now, let's bring in abc news aviation consultant colonel steve ganyard in washington. we just heard david talking
about the debris. you were also focusing on the bodies that were found and the condition that they're in? >> yeah elizabeth. what we saw today with the remains that were recovered is they were intact and they did not have clothes on. now, this suggests possibly an in-flight breakup of the aircraft where whatever was in the cabin would have fall a long way and be stripped of the clothes they were wearing. so this might explain why we lost contact with this aircraft at 32,000 feet and there was no further communication, no furtherry ryadar hits. the question is, what would have caused that? was it a bomb was it structural damage? tonight, we really don't have anymore facts. these are just guesses and we need to get to that aircraft wreckage to find out what really happened. >> to be clear, you are focusing more on something happens in midair opposed to the plane crashing into the ocean? >> i think we need to consider that rather than an impact at the ocean. i think we're seeing clues tonight there might have been an
in-flight breakup. >> steve, thank you so much. and there was trouble today for another air asia flight in the philippines. one of its planes overshot the runway. the plane was trying to land in windy weather in manila. it came to a stop in the grass. 159 passengers were on board. they used emergency slides to get off the plane. thankfully no one was hurt. back here at home and the icy blast moving across the country. fierce winds blowing snow. icy roads making driving dangerous, heading into null-year-old'snullew year's eve. millions of americans are facing bitter cold temperatures. 20 below sooer owe in some areas. abc's brandi hitt shows us 2014 is ending with some of the coldestcold est weather of the year. >> reporter: tonight, a bitter arctic blast is bearing down on most of the country. >> it's cold. >> reporter: in northern california 60-mile-per-hour winds toppling trees, killing two people. one inside this apartment, the other crushed inside a car. conditions so treacherous, emergency crews are warning
families tonight in the town of paradise to shelter in place. in parts of utah, blinding sheets of snow, whipped by 40 40-mile-per-hour winds are overturning big rigs and downing power lines. the sub-zero temperatures also gripping denver. and the great plains, where they're de-icing jetliners in omaha. icy roads have led to more than 100 crashes in lubbock, texas with snow falling as far south as amarillo. >> just start misting it. >> reporter: even southern californians are protecting their plants from the deep freeze. now spreading from coast to coast just in time for new year's celebrations. here in pasadena, california, is thousands of people are going to fill these bleachers for the annual rose parade. they call it the granddaddy of them all and it could be the coldest of them all. with temperatures at or below freezing are predicted. elizabeth? >> wow. bundle up.
even normally sunny california not escaping the big chill. brandi hitt thank you so much. and now, let's bring in abc's senior meteorologist, rob marciano in los angeles. rob? >> elizabeth, not just the cold here in so cal, but the threat for snow exists in some of the hills around los angeles. you go to the east that's where the higher accumulations will pile up. advisories down into texas for potentially freezing rain. the wind chill advisories and wind chill warnings through wednesday morning. going to feel like minus 20 in jackson. minus 21 in minneapolis. new year's eve night. this cold is going to get everybody, including the northeast, finally, in the 20s in new york city in the teens in chicago. so 2015 is going to come in on the cold size, elizabeth. >> thank you so much rob. we're going to move on now to washington and a couple of big bumps just days before republicans take full control
over capitol hill. michael grimm who last january threatened to throw a reporter off of a balcony announcing he will resign after pleading guilty to ax e say shun. one of the party's top leaders is facing tough questions. abc's jeff zeleny is in washington tonight. >> reporter: tonight, the gop's in damage control. the number three republican in the house, steve scalise of louisiana, has been in his postfor just six months. want to thank my colleagues and my constituents. >> reporter: but now, he's been forced to apologize for speaking at a 2002 gathering of white supremacy leaders. calling it a mistake to appear before a group founded by david duke, a former grand wizard of the knights of the ku klux klan. he says he wasn't aware of the group's views. in a statement, he added, "i emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold." speaker john boehner called it an error in judgement, but said
scalise "has my full confidence." it wasn't the only political fire republicans were scrambling to extinguish. new york congressman michael grimm finally agreed to step down, a week after pleading guilty to felony tax evasion. he repeatedly insisted he would stay in office. >> as long as i'm able to serve, i'm going to serve. >> doesn't accepting possibility mean resigning? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: but party leaders tell abc news they grew tired of the congressman landing in one scrape after another. like this infamous confrontation with a reporter. >> let me be clear. i'll throw you off this balcony. >> reporter: his bluster came to an end after a heated call with speaker boehner who is eager to clean house before congress opens in january. now with grimm gone, scalise is the gop's most pressing problem. party leaders are standing behind scalise tonight, but this is hardly how republicans hoped to start their new year in their new congressional majority.
elizabeth? >> jeff thank you. around the world tonight, records a key terror leader was killed in somalia. government officials there saying the intelligence chief of the militant group al shabab was targeted in the assault. he was accused of masterminding recent attacks in somalia and kenya. terror concerns are forcing a security change and pulling an iconic tourist attraction. the famous royal guard standing watch have been moved over fears of a possible attack. abc's hamish macdonald on the new challenge to protect those protecting the royal family. >> reporter: tonight, there's a changing of the guard. at palaces across london, the world-famous royal guards are making subtle but significant modifications because of fears they'll be targeted by isis. >> we we've seen their lone wolf tactics, which are incredibly penetrating and incredibly dangerous. >> reporter: abc news has
learned that intelligence based partly on intercepted communications has led to a decision to move guards from sentry boxes in front of the royal residences to positions behind locked gates. since the attack on a ceremonial soldier in canada in october, armed police are also on guard. >> we'll now see heavily armed police effectively guarding the guard. >> reporter: ken wharfe provided personal protection to princess diana for almost a decade. >> the soldiers here that guard these historic palaces are not armed to the teeth. in essence, they're not really there to fight away would-be attackers. >> reporter: well this is pretty much the best place to come and get your royal selfie. that's why thousands of people come past every day, to see this place and the famous palace guard. and that's the challenge now for security agencies. they must continue letting the public get up close to the royals and make sure that neither the public the royals nor the guards are in changeendangered
in the process. hamish mack donald abc news london. and a new report showing the daily risks to law enforcement officers here is on the rise. 126 killed in the line of duty this year ending a dramatic decline over the previous two years. shooting deaths are up more than 50% this year. 15 officers were killed in ambushes. nationwide the leading cause of death. that including the shooting deaths of two new york city police officers earlier this month. and now to a frightening scene breaking out in shopping malls across america. huge groups of people gathering and then erupting in massive brawls. abc's gio benitez is looking into it. >> reporter: tonight, an alert at malls all around the country. watch this massive fight in pennsylvania at the monroeville mall. just a day after christmas police say 1,000 teenagers walked into the mall but not to
take advantage of the sales. a melee erupting causing stores to close early. mall brawls happening from coast to coast since christmas, from pittsburgh, to nashville, to independence missouri to chicago, to sacramento. at opry mills mall in tennessee saturday, 150 people mostly teens. >> kind of just got really chaotic. >> reporter: and in ohio at beachwood place mall yet another teen mall brawl. while police don't know exactly what's causing them they're concerned that teens on social media are calling for others to meet them at the mall. that's what seems to have happened in pittsburgh. an organized event. and now malls are fighting back. now you have ma'ams that are using social media to try to prevent this. >> what they shouldn't be doing is allowing this congregation, which -- a quick flashpoint then turns into a fistfight, which turns into a mini riot. >> reporter: some advise for shoppers? >> don't be a bystander.
don't stay there gawking at it. >> reporter: because group fights like these are unpredictable. gio benbenitez, abc news, new york. now, to a sure sign that the year is coming to a close. testing the ball drop today in new york city's times square. the glittering 12-foot wide waterford crystal ball is getting ready for its closeup. more than 1 billion people around the world will watch it welcome in 2015. and, there's still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this tuesday. running for their lives. caught on camera. the couple that outran an avalanche. the hike that turned into a mad dash down the mountain. and news about the former president, george h.w. bush. what doctors are saying about his health tonight. and it's the year of the selfie. the most popular one ever the monster trend that just keeps growing. and the one person who did it first.
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any at the moment a couple's nature walk turned into a sprint to survive. capturing incredible pictures while caught in the path of an avalanche. here's abc's clayton sandell. >> reporter: that sound you hear is an avalanche. >> i thought i was in serious trouble, i mean right when i heard the sound. >> reporter: colby dotson and his girlfriend ashley bechard were on a weekend hike to these ice caves two hours from tacoma, washington. when the mountainside suddenly comes roaring toward them. >> i just looked the opposite direction and started to run. >> reporter: they make it to safety but turn just in time to see people inside that cave right below all that snow. >> we were scared those people were either hurt or going to be hurt. >> reporter: everybody made it out okay, but they are incredibly lucky. in the u.s. last monther, 35
people died in avalanches. a slide can carry thick layers of heavy snow even rocks and trees up to 80 miles an hour. at the copper mountain ski resort in colorado we simulated what it's like to be trapped. you think of snow as being fluffy and white and soft but really in an avalanche, it isn't. it becomes very hard very tough to dig yourself out. and very difficult to breathe. >> looks like he's got something. >> reporter: i was lucky to be rescued by ski patrol. my hero! hello! dotson says he's lucky he didn't need a rescue. this time. >> it was definitely an experience that dropped your jaw. >> reporter: clay to be clayton sandell, abc news denver. >> definitely jaw dropping. when we come back that very different kind of avalanche.
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the man trying to blow up this machine in australia when his plan backfires. he's knocked off his feet. he flaed withed with no money and no flip-flops. and why is it that the boiler always seems to break at the wrong time? even these chimps know the feeling. huddling under blankets provided by their keepers at the monkey sanctuary in wales. good news the heat is back on tonight. and when we come back the selfie that broke the records. and how we're all rushing inging now to get into the picture. if you're taking multiple medications does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications. but it can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath. that's why there's biotene available as an oral rinse toothpaste, spray or gel. biotene can provide soothing relief and it helps keep your mouth healthy too. remember, while your medication is doing you good, a dry mouth isn't.
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phenomenon. abc's david wright tells us why 2014 is the year of the selfie. >> reporter: selfies were already a thing by the time ellen set out to break the internet. but this star-studded image from oscar night 2014 set a new standard. popes and presidents a beatle and a billionaire. the queen herself, even some award-winning news an corps got in on the fun. on twitter this year the word selfie mentioned 92 million times. the ox ford english dictionary defines selfie as a photo one has taken of ones self. typically with a smartphone. any background will do. move over bradley. fun fact. the first selfie from 1839 a guy named robert cornelius sat still for a full minute to take this. and there's this. throwback thursday, from 60 year years ago, posted this year by colin powell. this year selfie technology improved dramatically.
we had selfies from space. selfies from other species. say cheese. and selfies that must have seemed like a good idea at the time. selfies are not worth risking your life for, folks. at its best the selfie is not just an act of narcissim, it's what we are, where we are, and who we're with. a moment in time you just can't wait to share. david wright abc news, new york. >> all right. thanks so much for watching. we'll see you back here tomorrow night. for david and all of us at "world news tonight," have a good evening. good night.