tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC February 25, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
breaking news. we're on the scene, the deadly tornado outbreak. at least eight dead, including a 2-year-old. more than 30 twisters from texas to pennsylvania. homes destroyed. this truck blown over on the gw bridge in new york. the coast guard trying to save this boat. the showdown tonight. is this the last chance for the other candidates to try and take down donald trump before super tuesday? and, the eye-opening new poll tonight from marco rubio's own state of florida. is trump unstoppable, even there? just 24 hours after our exclusive with apple's ceo, tim cook, the fierirery moments on capitol hill today. and just tonight, apple answers the judge. new reporting tonight after a passenger jet slams into a runway. the emergency evacuation. and sylvester stallone, coming back into focus. will he deliver a knockout punch
at the oscars? we have stallone, right here tonight. good evening. and it's great to have you with us here on a thursday night. and we have several developing stories as we come on the air. and we begin with the deadly tornadoes. homes wiped out from texas all the way up to pennsylvania. more than 30 confirmed tornadoes now. this one in north carolina. another twister captured on camera right there, and word tonight that among the dead, three people in waverly, virginia, including a 2-year-old boy. this home in virginia torn in half by a powerful storm. the fierce winds, all the way up to new england. a dramatic rescue in the waters off new york city today. this boat overturning. you can see the coast guard lowering in from above, and then a coast guard ssz vessel in the water overturning, as well. abc's gio benitez, leading us off tonight. >> reporter: tonight, a trail of destruction after 48 hours of terrifying storms.
a rare tornado outbreak from texas to pennsylvania. >> it was like the whole house kind of shook. >> reporter: the first ever deadly tornado in virginia in the month of the february. the governor there declaring a state of emergency, after a tornado tore through the town of waverly, killing three, including a toddler. david root and his wife, susan, took cover in their storm cellar. >> you just heard the rain pounding into the storm cellar really hard. >> reporter: when it was all over, root found victims, his neighbors, tossed 300 yards from their mobile home. >> 150 yards and the grace of god are what separated us from losing everything. >> reporter: our philip mena seeing the damage up close. >> this empty lot is where that mobile home once stood. all that's left are those steps and piles of debris. >> reporter: in tappahonick, virginia, an ef-3 tornado injuring at least 25 people, including an infant.
in the midwest, it was snow. up to 40 jackknifed tractor trailers in illinois. drivers stranded in their cars. sheets of rain and high winds downing powerlines from pennsylvania to massachussetts. gusts strong enough to flip this trailer on new york's george washington bridge. >> we have a vship that's run aground here. >> reporter: and off new york's rockaway beach, seven crew members were rescued from this fishing boat after 12 foot waves ran it aground. the coast guard finally air lifting those fishermen to safety. david, so many close calls. and despite all of this devastation, here in lancaster, pennsylvania, no injuries and no deaths. but a schoolhouse was leveled here, and even so, workers here believe they will rebuild it in a week. david? >> gio benitez from pennsylvania. thank you. the other breaking headline tonight, the republican showdown this evening, and the big question -- can any of donald trump's opponents take him down
before super tuesday, just five days away now. tonight, trump already taking aim, not just at his rivals, but at a former presidential candidate, mitt romney. romney, of course, faced his own questions about taxes during his run. and tonight, the former president of mexico, unloading on trump, and trump's insistence that mexico would pay for that wall on the border. and a telling new poll this evening from marco rubio's home state of florida. trump with a crushing lead, 44% to rubio's 28%. abc's jonathan karl in houston at the debate tonight. >> reporter: for his rivals, tonight just might be the last big chance to stop donald trump. >> we weren't expected to win too much and now we're winning, winning, winning, the country. >> reporter: but today, trump's taking heat from across the border. former mexican president vicente fox slamming trump as a crazy guy, and a false prophet. as for that wall?
>> i'm not going to pay for that [ bleep ] wall. he should pay for it. he's got the money. >> reporter: trump, who's been dinged for his own foul language -- >> i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. i was going to say they're full of [ bleep ] but i won't say that. and you can tell them to go -- themselves. >> reporter: is now tweeting, "former president of mexico horribly used the f-word when discussing the wall. he must apologize." trump could get dinged on something else, too. his tax returns. the last republican presidential nominee suggests he's hiding something. >> i think we have good reason to believe that there's a bomb shell in donald trump's taxes. either he's not as anywhere near as wealthy as he says he is or he hasn't been paying the kind of taxes we would expect him to pay. >> reporter: in response, trump unleashed a barrage of insults on twitter. calling romney awkward, goofy, a dope, and one of the dumbest and
worst candidates in history. trump also posted this photo of himself next to a tower of paperwork, with the caption, "signing a recent tax return. isn't this ridiculous?" waiting to take on trump tonight, ted cruz and marco rubio. increasingly desperate kill each other off, but both in danger of getting annihilated by trump. >> i'll admit, he's the front-runner, and i'm certainly an underdog. but i've been an underdog my entire life. >> we can't be fooled by pt barnum. the time for the clowns and the acrobats and the dancing bears has passed. >> and jon karl with us live tonight inside the debate hall in houston. and jon, we saw that poll in florida. donald trump with a huge lead over marco rubio, in rubio's home state. this has got to be alarming to team rubio. >> reporter: oh, it sure is, david. if marco rubio were to lose florida, his campaign would be over. now, team rubio is saying that they don't believe that poll is
correct. in fact, top rubio adviser todd harris tweeted that we are going to win florida, period, take it to the bank. but david, they are also preparing to take the fight for the nomination all the way to the republican convention this summer, because they believe there's a real possibility that nobody, not marco rubio, not donald trump, would get a majority of the delegates before them. >> all right, jon karl, we'll be watching with you tonight. jon, thank you. now, to the democrats, and just five days until super tuesday, as i pointed out earlier, and south carolina, of course, right before it. the newest polling showing hillary clinton ahead of bernie sanders by nearly 30 points in south carolina. sanders not even campaigning in south carolina today, but drawing huge crowds across several states, voting on super tuesday. abc's cecilia vega asking sanders, do you still have a path against hillary clinton? and you're about to hear his answer. >> reporter: hillary clinton feeling the love in south carolina. >> we need you! >> i'll be there for you. >> reporter: from gymnasiums -- >> thank you so much.
>> reporter: to churches -- >> i will always remember south carolina. >> reporter: the enthuse yam here reflecting just how strong clinton's lead is in the palmetto state, especially among african-american voters. >> we love some clinton. >> reporter: what do you know about bernie sanders? >> nothing. >> nothing. >> reporter: nothing? >> nothing. >> reporter: clinton and her husband bill crisscrossing the entire state. making 13 stops in south carolina this week alone. bernie sanders, just two, but he's drawing massive crowds in super tuesday states and beyond. 7,000 in missouri, 8,000 in massachusetts, 9,000 in oklahoma. >> together, we're going to transform america. thank you. >> reporter: sanders recently telling me, he still has a path to the nomination. there are a number of people right now who say the math just doesn't add up for you, looking forward. how do you think you can win this nomination? >> are you ready for this one? the answer is by getting more delegates than my opponent. >> reporter: but he'll have to get past south carolina first. >> more delegates, his answer.
cecilia vega live in charleston tonight. and cecilia, hillary clinton seems to be spending a lot of time in south carolina, even though super tuesday looms large. is this a calculation on the part of the campaign? >> reporter: it certainly is, david. and she has another event that starts here soon. she is hoping for a really big win on saturday, and with that, the momentum to propel her into next week. looking ahead to super tuesday, david, she has visits to five different staft states between d then. david? >> all right, cecilia, thank you. we turn now to a major new development in the standoff between apple and the fbi. late today, word apple has now responded to a judge's order that it break into that terrorists iphone after san bernardino. apple refusing. tonight, asking the judge to vacate the order. apple's move comes just 24 hours after our exclusive with apple ceo tim cook. we asked him, does he worry there could be information on that phone that could save lives? his answer here in a moment. and fiery moments on capitol hill today. the fbi director with his own words for apple.
abc's senior justice correspondent pierre thomas on the heated debate. should apple break into that phone? >> reporter: tonight, apple defiant, arguing a judge's order that apple help the fbi break into the san bernadino terrorists iphone violates the constitution. saying the fbi is seeking a, quote, dangerous power. the move comes less than 24 hours after apple ceo tim cook sat down for an exclusive interview with our david muir revealing why they won't do it. >> this case is not about one phone. this case is about the future. what is at stake here is, can the government compel apple to write software that we believe would make hundreds of millions of customers vulnerable around the world, including the u.s. >> and you'd have to write that system in order to unlock that phone. >> yes. yes. this is -- we -- we have no more information about this phone. the only way to get information, at least currently,
the only way we know, would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the software equivalent of cancer. we think it's bad news to write. we would never write it. we have never written it. and that is what is at stake here. >> but in your quiet moments, do you have any concern that you might be able to prevent a terrorist attack by breaking into that phone? >> david, some things are hard, and some things are right. and some things are both. this is one of those things. >> reporter: but today on capitol hill, critics taking aim at apple. fbi director james comey, just hours after tim cook's argument, testifying this is only about one phone. >> this is a single phone in a very important investigation, where the ask is, to write a piece of software that will work only in that phone. right? not in anybody else's phone. and you, apple, can hold the phone. >> i think apple leadership risks having blood on their hands and i think tim cook is
going to have a hard time explaining why he stood in the way of justice on this issue. >> to some people at home, listening to this argument, who understand where you're coming from, who might say this was a terrorist attack on u.s. soil, and that if ever there was a case that apple would make some sort of exception, that this might be that moment. do you really want to plant the flag on privacy and safety on syed farook's iphone? >> i think safety of the public is incredibly important. safety of our kids, safety of our families, is very important. the protection of people's data is incredibly important. and, so, the tradeoff here is, we know that doing this could expose people to incredible vulnerabilities. this is not something that we would create. this would be bad more america. >> reporter: the justice department has just released a statement, rejecting apple's argument, and vowing to fight in court.
and we just spoke to a legal scholar who believes this case is destined for the supreme court. >> pierre thomas on this case again. pierre, thank you. now, to an alarming case in pennsylvania. the high school honor student making headlines tonight. he came to america on a visa, overstayed that visa, and authorities say he identity, even going to the local high school. parents now outraged, and, of course, the question now, why did he do it? abc's david wright on how they discovered him. >> reporter: asher potts was a model student. so much so that when this high school senior, active in rotc, posed with a state rep, she tweeted a picture. #goingplaces. going to jail, it turns out. police say asher potts is actually a 23-year-old ukrainian named artur samarin, who overstayed his visa. police in harrisburg say samarin made up a phony identity, complete with a social security card and a pennsylvania driver's license. he enrolled at john harris high school as a freshman four years ago. and was just a few months shy of graduating.
>> i was surprised, i thought he was like 17 or 18. >> reporter: classmates describe the student they knew as a straight arrow. >> i knew him since last year when he was in rotc. he was nice. >> reporter: parents are horrified. >> you have beautiful girls in this school that are minors, that are underage. and you have, basically, a grown man in here, you know, misrepresenting himself. >> reporter: police say a tip finally led them to discover the hoax. the question now is why? david wright, abc news, new york. >> david, thank you. now, to a new medical headline tonight, and a breakthrough for women struggling to have a baby. the first uterus transplant in america. a 26-year-old woman undergoing the nine-hour procedure. the organ from a deceased donor. the operation for some women unable to carry a pregnancy to term. we want to get right to dr. richard besser, who is with us here tonight. and rich, this is the first time here in the u.s., and if successful, could create a lot of hope here. >> reporter: that's right. it's hope for women who can't
have babies because of a particular problem with their uterus. the first american recipient is 26 years old, part of a clinical trial, to see, is it safe and effective? and cleveland clinic is going to do ten of these. >> a lot of hope in the u.s. in sweden, where they tried this, in a limited number of cases, some success? >> reporter: that's right. they tried it nine times and have had four successful deliveries and healthy babies. the uterus is temporary, though. so, after one or two pregnancies, they remove it so the woman can stop taking transplant drugs. >> fascinating. rich, thank you. there is still much more ahead on "world news tonight" this thursday. new developments. the air scare on the runway. you've seen the pictures. the passenger jet aborting takeoff, bouncing on the runway. the emergency evacuation. and what we are now learning tonight about the pilot. also, the new headline tonight about sea world. the embattled amusement park now admitting to spying. what's this all about? and the countdown to the oscars tonight. sylvester stallone, back in the spotlight, and getting another shot at the hollywood title.
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his lawyer telling a radio station now that if el chapo is extradited to the u.s., he will plead guilty in exchange for a reasonable sentence. part of that sentence, allegedly including being held in a medium security prison. we turn to sea world tonight, and for the first time, admitting it asked employees to pose as animal rights activists to get information on groups such as peta, to learn about their upcoming tactics. cole's announcing tonight it will be closing 18 stores, following another quarter of disappointing earnings. sales down 20%. the retail giant will release a list next month. and, getting ready to make his first oscar appearance, vice president joe biden tonight, set to introduce lady gaga's performance. they're expected to highlight the issue of sexual abuse against women. when we come back here tonight, will sylvester stallone deliver a knockout punch at the oscars this weekend? what stallone had to say about that, with our robin roberts, right after the break. hey!
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finally tonight here, our countdown to oscar sunday. actor sylvester stallone getting another shot at an academy award. this time, in the movie "creed." revealing to robin roberts that he created rocky when he couldn't even get a job as an extra. >> i never wanted to do this movie. i thought, sick rocky is so counter intuitive to what rocky really is designed for. my wife goes -- you're a coward. if you're afraid of something, that's the commitment of the artist. to pursue the unknown. you're going to see an opening, put it right on his chin. >> what do you remember from the oscars 40 years ago?
>> i had a rented tux the tie was a little loose and as i was adjusting it, and it went sprung and it broke. so i take it, and i put my collar out, which at the time was disco fever, and i go in. i didn't think we were going to win. they brought me on stage, and i went, oh, no. no tie. here we go. to all the rockies in the world, i love you. >> when you said, this is for all the rockies. >> we're all rockies, in a sense. we all have this struggle to try to realize our dream. which is trying to be appreciated in our own lifetime, to say, you know what? i'm not the fastest, i'm not the prettiest, i'm not the tallest but i just like to take a shot at it. one time. >> we shall see on sunday. and robin's special journey to the oscars tomorrow night, 10:00 p.m. eastern, right here. thanks
this is "jeopardy!" introducing today's contestants -- a naval officer from virginia beach, virginia... a lawyer from san francisco, california... and our returning champion -- an h.r. consultant from newburyport, massachusetts... whose 1-day cash winnings total... and now here is the host of "jeopardy!" -- alex trebek! [ cheers and applause ] thank you, johnny gilbert. hello, everyone.