tv America This Morning ABC February 26, 2021 4:30am-5:01am PST
safe, kenneth and deidre. >> this proud ba right now on "america this morning," the breaking news overseas. president biden approving u.s. air strikes in the middle east, retaliation for attacks that left several americans injured. who was targeted and what we're learning about the casualties. also breaking overnight, two u.s. navy ships in the middle east now deing with potential outbreaks of coronavirus. what the ships are being forced to do, plus, the race to vaccinate here at home. some people told to wait up to 125,000 minutes, which would be late may. gender identity in the spotlight. the debate over extending new protections to lgbt americans. two members of congress taking their fight into the hallways and now the contentious questioning for the first transgender person nominated to a federal office.
caught on camera, lady gaga's dog walker shot on the street. her dogs stolen. what we're learning about the case. plus, could one of the nfl's all-time favorite quarterbacks be on the move? and later, i can't believe it's butter. the controversy over a certain kind of butter. is it too hard to spread? good friday morning, everyone. thank you for joining us. i'm kenneth moton. >> i'm deidre bolton. mona is off. we begin with some breaking news. the u.s. launching air strikes in syria. >> it's the first military action under president biden and comes in response to recent attacks that injured americans across the border in iraq. abc's julia macfarlane joins us now from london with the latest. julia, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, kenneth. good morning, deidre. the air strikes were quick to receive republican support. senators marco rubio and lindsey graham tweeting their support for president biden's first
military action. this morning, new details emerging on the first military strikes carried out under the biden administration. the president ordering the air strikes in eastern syria aimed at protecting american troops overseas. >> i'm really proud of the men and women in our force who carried out the strike. as you would expect, they performed in a very professional manner. we are grateful for their service. >> reporter: defense secretary lloyd austin spent thursday visiting sailors off california. but behind the scenes he was monitoring the operation which targeted buildings belonging to iranian-backed militias believed responsible for recent attacks against americans in iraq. earlier this month, a rocket fired from syria hit the border city of erbil, iraq, wounding five americans including a service member. the biden administration vowed retaliation for that attack. >> we're confident in the target that we went after.
we know what we hit. we are confident that that target was being used by the same shia militia that conducted the strikes. >> reporter: while according to a u.s. official, president biden selected the smallest target for the air strike from a range of options and as for the casualties, the official said there were possibly a handful. kenneth. >> julia there in london, thank you. the biden administration could declassify an intelligence report about the killing of the journalist jamal khashoggi as early as today. the report is expected to blame saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman for the execution inside the saudi consulate in turkey. president biden spoke to the crown prince's father yesterday, but the official white house readout does not reference khashoggi being discussed. the white house says a range of options is on the table to punish those responsible. this could be a landmark day in the fight against the coronavirus. a third vaccine could get the green light as early as tonight. meanwhile, the virus is hitting
the u.s. navy with two ships now heading into port because of infections on board. abc's ike ejiochi is here with more. ike, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, kenneth. good morning, deidre. the pentagon right now is dealing with that new covid outbreak as doctors here in the u.s. prepare for a potentially game-changing new vaccine. this morning, two military ships in the middle east have been taken out of service because of the coronavirus. the navy says about a dozen service members tested positive on the "uss san diego" and several people on board the "uss philippine sea" are suspected of being infected. it comes as america prepares to add another weapon to its pandemic-fighting arsenal. the fda is expected to grant johnson & johnson emergency use authorization for its vaccine as early as tonight. >> now that it's going to be only one shot, we'll be able to vaccinate more people by the end of june. >> reporter: in addition to being a single dose, the johnson & johnson vaccine has been tested against several variants that are worrying public health officials. moderna and pfizer are already
modifying vaccines to target certain variants, and both companies are testing a third booster in case more protection is needed. this morning, about 66 million americans have received at least one vaccine shot. >> we're moving in the right direction, though, despite the mess we inherited from the previous administration. >> reporter: but a member of the trump administration is now blasting biden accusing him of taking credit for the vaccine rollout. former assistant health secretary admiral brett giroir tweeting, i am so tired of the continuing lies that the president inherited a covid-19 vaccine mess when, in fact, 99% of current vaccine manufacturing and distribution is exactly as planned and explicitly described by the trump administration's "operation warp speed." but the demand still outpacing supply. at one vaccination site in massachusetts, 50,000 appointments were nearly filled in just 90 minutes. other people were sent to a so-called digital waiting room where wait times were up to 125,000 minutes.
that's nearly three months. >> i understand that there is a limit of vaccines. that's a real tangible issue, but there's got to be a better way. >> reporter: meanwhile, another warning about the variants of that coronavirus. brazil just seeing its deadliest day so far of the pandemic as its mutation spreads all over the united states. kenneth. >> all right, ike there in washington. thank you. president biden's coronavirus relief package will no longer include a $15 minimum wage increase. the house is said to approve the bill today, but a senate official ruled against including the wage hike. senator bernie sanders now planning to sponsor an amendment which would punish large companies that pay less than $15 an hour. mitch mcconnell says he's still willing to support former president trump just weeks after blasting trump on the senate floor. mcconnell spoke to fox news last night about the prospect of trump winning the prom nation for president in 2024.
>> if the president was the party's nominee, would you support him? >> the nominee of the party, absolutely. >> reporter: just two weeks ago mcconnell slammed trump after the impeachment trial blaming him for inciting the attack on the capitol. trump is expected to discuss the future of the republican party during his first public speech since leaving office. he's speaking sunday at cpac, the conservative conference where his allies will revive their election fraud claims. he's also expected to criticize president biden's immigration policy. a former u.s. olympic gymnastics coach has taken his life hours after facing charges for human trafficking and sexual assault. john geddert was charged with 24 felonies. michigan's attorney general says geddert used force and coercion against girls at his gym and lied about his in-house doctor larry nassar who is now in prison for abusing girls. >> these allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual
abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple victims. >> geddert was set for an arraignment thursday. instead he took his own life at a highway rest area. here in new york, a suspect is being questioned after another attack targeting asian-americans. video shows a man walking in new york's chinatown being stabbed in the back. an eight-inch knife was recovered at the scene. police say a suspect sun remember denned. it comes amid a surge in violence against asians in several cities. president biden visits texas today amid growing anger over the power and water crisis in that state. the head of the agency that manages the power grid told lawmakers yesterday he would not change anything about the company's response saying that his staff helped avoid a more serious blackout after winter storms. about 1 million texans still face disruptions to their water supply. time now for a look at your friday weather. southern california gets a break today after powerful winds blew over four trucks on the
freeways east of los angeles. those winds also hampered crews fighting a local fire that damaged three homes. looking at the radar more heavy rain and snow today in the pacific northwest. up to three feet of snow could fall in the mountains through this weekend and more storms today across the south. atlanta gets to 60 degrees today. seasonably chilly in the northeast and around the great lakes and low 70s for the southwest. 57, albuquerque. coming up, tiger woods has been transferred. the details ahead. but first the dramatic rescue as children are dropped from a burning fourth floor apartment. and mr. potato head is going gender neutral just as the debate over gender gets heated in washington.
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istanbul where a woman and her four children were trapped inside a burning building. she dropped them one at a time out of a fourth story window. volunteers on the ground caught them using unstretched or stretched out rather blankets. the kids and their mother are okay. >> wow. back in this country, the issue of gender identity is taking center stage as lawmakers debate new protections for lgbtq americans. there's a deep partisan divide including arguments over religious freedom and parental rights. this morning the lgbtq community is one step closer to being protected under federal civil rights. the house has approved a bill that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. >> the fact is in most states a lgbtq is at risk of being denied using. al>>y ac passed along mostly party lines
now faces an uphill bill in the senate where at least ten republicans would have to join democrats to pass it. the debate spilling out into the hallways of capitol hill. congresswoman marie newman who has a transgender daughter placed a transgender pride flag outside her office. that prompted georgia congresswoman marjorie taylor greene whose office is directly across the hall to post a sign reading, there are two genders, male and female, trust the science. will force her daughter to ct - compete in sports and share locker rooms with biological men. concerns that supporters claim are misguided. >> my own daughter, who years ago bravely came out to her parents as transgender, i knew from that day on my daughter would be living in a nation where most of its states she could be discriminated against merely because of who she is, and yet it was still the happiest day of my life, and my daughter has found her authentic self. >> reporter: the debate coming during a historic
confirmation process in the senate involving the first openly transgender person nominated for federal. dr. rachel levine, president biden's nominee for health secretary facing questions from senators about transgender medicine. >> american culture is now normalizing the idea that minors can be given hormones to prevent their biological development of their secondary sexual characteristics. >> thank you for your interest in this question. transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field with robust research and standards of care that have been developed. >> if confirmed dr. levine said her top priority will be the coronavirus pandemic. the makers of mr. potato head are going gender neutral rebranding the popular toy to just potato head. the announcement from hasbro set off a storm of confusion on social media, but the company clarified saying only the brand name is changing. the individual mr. and mrs. potato heads are staying. coming up, the boat crash in florida with no driver on board. but first new video of lady gaga's dog walker being shot. how the singer is responding and
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did you know that every single flush flings odors onto your soft surfaces? then they get release back into the air, so you smell them later. ew right? that's why febreze created small spaces. press firmly and watch it get to work. unlike the leading cone, small spaces continuously eliminates odors in the air and on surfaces. so they don't come back for 45 days. just imagine what it can do with other odors. we're back with this we're back with this frightening scene in florida. a driverless boat plowed into a dock, slid across the seawall and smashed into a second dock. the two people tossed overboard are okay. that crash is under investigation. now to the shocking attack on lady gaga's dog walker caught on camera. the walker was shot and the dogs stolen. the singer is offering a reward
for the dogs' return as we learn about the popularity of this breed of dog. abc's andrea fujii has the latest. >> reporter: this morning, a high-profile dognapping that has los angeles police searching for armed robbers who shot lady gaga's dog walker and stole two of her french bulldogs in hollywood. >> a shooting just occurred. >> reporter: surveillance video captured the moment of the attack. the dog walker, ryan fischer, was shot as the armed robbers took two of the dogs named koji and gustav and drove off. you can hear fischer screaming and someone nearby say they're calling for help. >> i've been shot. help me. >> we're calling 911 for you. >> reporter: helicopter video shows paramedics arrive shortly after. 35-year-old fischer was taken to the hospital where he's expected to survive.
gaga's third dog, miss asia, managed to get away. lady gaga, who is now in rome filming a movie, is offering a $500,000 reward, no questions asked for the safe return of her beloved dogs. >> what's wrong, sweet pea? >> reporter: like any doting dog owner, she's posted many pictures of them on her instagram account. >> i'm not sure if those people knew whose dogs they were. >> reporter: police say it's unclear if fischer was targeted or if this was a random attack. but french bulldog threats are not uncommon as they're often valued of upwards $5,000 each and are reportedly the fourth most popular breed in the u.s. in january, a san francisco woman was attacked as robbers stole her french bulldog puppy. >> the popularity, it's small, and you can just easily grab. this is what makes them an easy target. >> reporter: lady gaga's father has spoken out pleading for the public's help in catching the suspects.
kenneth, deidre. >> all right, andrea, thank you. tiger woods has been transferred to one of the nation's top hospitals. he's been taken to medical center in los angeles to recover from extensive surgery after tuesday's rollover crash. experts say woods may need more surgery and will likely be hospitalized for at least a week. growing speculation about sacramento quarterback russell wilson. his agent says wilson has not demanded a trade but if a deal is put together, the only teams he would go to are the cowboys, saints, raiders or bears. >> got it. prince harry like you've never seen him before. the growing outrage over butter. is it too hard? >> butter believe it. evere rheumatoid arthritis. psoriatic arthritis wasn't going to change who i am. when i learned that my joint pain could mean permanent joint damage, i asked about enbrel.
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time to check "the pulse" on this friday beginning with prince harry joining james corden for a bus ride around hollywood. >> yeah, it was a socially distanced version of "carpool karaoke" for the two old friends. the ride included some spilled tea and a stop at the mansion used as a backdrop for "fresh prince of bel-air" for a bit of rapping. >> the very house that will smith turns up to, it was good enough for the fresh prince, it's good enough for a real prince. >> okay. >> do you remember the song? ♪ now this is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down ♪ ♪ now take a ♪ sit right there ♪ ♪ i'll tell you how i became a prince of a town called -- ♪ bel air ♪ >> this was prince harry's first time riding in an open air double decker. there's a buttergate uproar
believe it or not. >> canadians are complaining that their butter is harder than usualand doesn't soften at room temperature. it's being blamed on an additive in cow feed. >> a sharp rise in demand means producers need more milk so they have been adding palm oil to the feed which increases fat content and that increases the butter's melting point. a home for sale in california that everyone wants to see. >> the zillow listing has 3 million views. here's why. mannequins are hanging out inside the room. >> pictures show piles of laundry on the couch, groceries on the kitchen table. and mannequins just chilling. >> the mannequins belong to the current tenant who works in the fashion industry. meanwhile, a similar sort of scene at this iconic steak house in new york. peter luger filling empty seats with celebrity mannequins from madame tussauds. and finally an extreme slam dunk. >> a man in ottawa put on his skates and traveled down an ice covered path then watch what happened there. >> what? a slam dunk on the ice. he hit a jump, flew 25 feet. >> pretty cool.
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this is abc7 news. now at 5:00 the first military operation of president biden's presidency. the target air strike in syria. decision day for johnson and johnson vaccine. a third covid-19 shot could be authorized for the use in america soon. the process to push it through. >> excited to go back and see my friends. i think it will be nice to get more interaction with teachers. the local school district getting ready to welcome back students if inperson learning, including high schoolers. and this baby giraffe needs a name at safari west. how to cast your vote. a good way that start a friday. friday february 26th. >> and we're not going to call it spot, too tall, nothing like that. we're going to do better. first we're going to check the meteorologist mike nicco. hey mike. >> good morning reggie,