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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  December 30, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PST

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within the past hour the u.k. approved another easy to store vaccine paving the way for millions more people to get protected against the coronavirus. the covid variant first found in the u.k. is in the u.s. as the country reports the highest number of deaths since the start of the pandemic. celebrations for major latin american catholic country by moving to legalize abortion. hello, i'm isa suarez.
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"cnn newsroom" starts right now. >> this is cnn breaking news. a very good morning, everyone. it has gong past 8:00 here in london. breaking news out of the u.k. where regulators have approved the oxford astrazeneca vaccine authorized for use here in the u.k. it followed rigorous clinical trials and analysis. phil, finally good news out of the u.k. relief, no doubt, it has been authorized. talk to us about the advantages and why so many have been excited about its approval? >> reporter: isa, it is no overstatement to say for the u.k. and indeed for much of the
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world the hopes of getting ahead of the coronavirus in the relatively near future, they rest on this particular vaccine. the reasons? well, it is cheap. just a few dollars per shot. both oxford university and astrazeneca have committed to having this at cost, no profit, and it is convenient. you can move it around. you can transport it more easily because it only needs to be essentially kept in a fridge. it doesn't require the same deep cold storage that the pfizer vaccine requires, for example. so for these reasons it can be rolled out in a faster and a much wider way to get to many more people, people more remotely located and getting it to care homes and doctors and all of this will be possible. in line with this the government has announced a shift in tactics in terms of how it's going to
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roll out its vaccines in this country now, too. instead of trying to get two vaccines, both doses to people as quickly as possible, it's going to prioritize getting the first dose to as many people as possible as the vaccine stock becomes available. that means that people will still get the second dose but it's going to take longer. they're going to have to wait a little bit longer. the logic is that it rolls out more widely and begins to build up some degree of protection within the community and it establishes that more broadly so that the country, the population can start to move ahead of the virus and hopefully transmissions will then reduce, isa. >> that is really interesting about breaking up the doses. i'll speak to a virologist in the next few minutes, phil, to get a deeper insight into that. let's talk about the vaccine and its efficacy. there have been questions about how effective it is and in tekt
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how effective it is against the new strain. what do we know, phil? >> reporter: in terms of the new strain, broadly speaking that is research that is still being carried out by everyone developing vaccines, but the consensus view appears to be among the scientific community there is no reason to believe the vaccine will be less effective against the new highly transmissible variant. when it comes to the oxford university astrazeneca vaccine specifically, its effectiveness has been controversial. the headline figure, top figure is that it is 70% effective at ensuring that there are no symptomatic infections from covid-19 and perhaps more crucially, no one wond the 14 day trial group has hospital treatment.
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70% is an average. over the course of the trial there was a mistake. oxford university and astrazeneca say it was a happy mistake. a small amount of people had been given a smaller dose, half a dose initially. when they followed that group through what they found is they had greater effectiveness. it was 90% as opposed to the bulk of the trial group which received two full doses, their figure was 62%. that's how you get that average, that 70% figure. what the u.k. is going with is two full doses because that's what the bulk of the data supports at this stage even though the researchers believe they have stumbled upon a sweet spot for increasing the effectiveness. the data is not yet there in enough size and volume to support that. they have to go out and essentially try and replicate those results on a bigger scale
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but that's going to take time. in the immediate future for this emergency use we're going with two full doses. the stated efficacy there is 62%. that is enough. that is enough they believe to make a big difference in battling this virus. >> this news is coming off the back of two record-breaking days, unfortunately, for the u.k. in terms of covid cases. it is in the u.k., yet again, worse than we saw in april at the peak. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. this is a dark time for the u.k., there is no doubt. it looks like things are going to get worse. we've had yet another peak figure for daily known cases. more than 53,000. it comes at a time when hospitals are treating more covid-19 patients than anyone at any stage during the pandemic. none of this factors in the
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inevitable consequences of socializing at christmas. the government will announce that more areas of the country are going to move into what are currently the highest level restrictions known as tier 4 here. there's also the possibility they could move further. there are calls to take tougher action like perhaps delay the planned opening of schools in the coming weeks. perhaps move towards another national lockdown. there is a difficult time ahead. this is putting stress on the health system. it's at a breaking point we are told. that is another reason it comes at an important time. >> thank you, phil, for that breaking news. i want to bring in now laurence young. a virologist. thank you very much for joining us. let's start with the breaking news out of u.k. how much is this vaccine a game
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changer? >> well, it really is. it's a ray of hope during a very, very difficult time for us in the united kingdom. the benefit of this vaccine is twofold. one is that the u.k. government have ordered 100 million doses and the second is the logistics. it's much easier to roll out because it doesn't require ultracold temperatures for storage. it's a good news day really given everything else that we've gone through at the moment. >> do we know, professor, whether it's effective against this new strain given the number of cases we have seen two days in a row, record cases out of the u.k. and how much that strain is behind that increase, that surge in the numbers, how effective is it against this new strain? >> well, it's likely that the surge in cases we're seeing is because this new, more transmissible strain is replacing all other varieties and variants of the virus.
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we know from looking at the change in that virus and where the mutations have occurred that it is extremely likely that the vaccines that are all being developed at the moment, including the pfizer biontech vaccine that's already being rolled out in the u.k. and the new astrazeneca oxford vaccine will be effective because the body's immune system mounts a very pro found and broad response to the virus and these small changes will not affect that immune response. >> right. but if we take -- if governments take a long time, let's say, to actually vaccinate the population, is there a change? is there a fear within the scientific community here, professor, that perhaps the mutations will keep occurring and that will make it harder for vaccines to actually try to be effective? is there a fear of that? >> yes, there is. that's a very good point.
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two reasons. one, we've really got to get on and vaccinate as soon as possible and stamp out the virus. we know the virus is changing and we know the virus will continue to change and will change in response to vaccination. whilst this vaccine program is so important, what we've got to do is continue with these restrictions because whatever happens with the virus in terms of it changing, it will still transmit in the same way and therefore the restrictions that prevent transmission, that is, wearing facemasks, being very careful about hand and face hygiene, social distancing, being careful of crowded spaces, all of those things will prevent transmission of any variant. what's really important, we're going to hear about this today in terms of further restrictions in the u.k. is that people take notice of this. even with these variants we can
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stop transmission. >> professor, we had correspondent phil black at the top of the show in the last few minutes saying potentially the vaccination plan is to try to vaccinate, at least the first round, as many people as possible and then vaccinate much later the second round. what is the thinking behind that? is that to build strong immune system? what can you tell us? >> we know that all vaccines work best if you give two doses. there's a priming dose and then there's the boosting dose. the time between those two doses is very, very variable. what we know from the data coming out of most of the vaccines being developededed, particularly the astrazeneca vaccine, is the first dose does give you quite a proportion of protection. so that you get an immediate protection, and given the need to roll this out to as many people as possible, it made sense in the first round to get
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as many people vac sin nated with the prime vaccine and then up to 12 weeks later, you have a margin of three months before you need to give the second dose. i think this is a sensible dose to ensuring we get as many of the vulnerable folk in our population. health care workers vaccinated as soon as possible. it makes immunological sense as well. >> very briefly i'm hearing from matt hancock that the u.k. will be out of this by the spring. how realistic is this, do you think? >> i think that's really optimistic. the issue here is one of logistics. >> yeah. >> getting this vaccine rolled out to the entire population, certainly the most vulnerable, is going to take time. i'd love to think we can do this this side of spring, i anticipate it being a little later. we have to get on with it and
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get all of the organizational, logistic call pieces in place. >> professor lawrence young, i appreciate you taking the time to speak to us this morning. thank you, sir. do stay with cnn more on the breaking news plus still ahead, the u.s. is hitting record covid deaths as well as hospital admissions. the nation is lagging behind on vaccinations. why health officials feel another surge could be on the way. huge crowds fill the streets of buenos aires. why activists on all sides of the issue came out ahead of a landmark vote. we'll bring you the story after a very short break. even hangiging with your dog. so, what are you waiting for? downloload now and get your first stock on us. robinhood.
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the covid-19 pandemic's deadliest month in the u.s. is only getting worse. daily coronavirus deaths hit another record high on tuesday. you can see that with more than 3700 reported. right now more americans than ever are being treated for the virus. in los angeles county, the number of people in the hospital for covid is up 1,000%. you heard that right, 1,000% from just two months ago.
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meantime, the u.s. has confirmed the new case of the new variant of covid-19 first found here in the u.k. officials say a colorado man has been infected despite having no travel history. they warn the variant is in other states as well. the u.s. is among 26 other states confirming its presence. there are still signs of hope as the vaccine rolls out. cnn's nick watt has more for you. >> reporter: there's a reason the vp elect just got vaccinated live on tv, to reassure black americans, all-americans that it's safe. >> it's about saving your life, the life of your family members and the lives of your community. >> reporter: the outgoing vp did it, the president-elect did it, lame duck donald trump did not.
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they say 20 million doses in arms, two days away, 2 million shots logged. >> even if you under count, how much under count is it? we are below where we want to be. >> reporter: the federal government ships the doses but leaves the logistics there to others. think of it like a locomotive getting started. the first few wheeled turns are slow and difficult and then things move faster. >> reporter: meantime, more than 2,000 americans on average are killed by covid-19 every day. >> i think we just have to assume that it's going to get worse. >> reporter: the stay home order for much of california was extended. >> on average 9 to 10 people in l.a. county test positive for covid-19 every minute. >> reporter: and icu capacity across region is at 0%.
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>> what's going to happen in california when you run out of capacity? they'll need to decide which patients are potentially salvageable and which ones aren't. >> reporter: nationwide more americans are hospitalized with this virus now than ever before and december is already the tedliest month of the pandemic. then came christmas. the travel, the gatherings. >> in addition to the surge we're going to have an increase superimposed upon that surge which could make january even worse than december. i hope not. >> reporter: nick walsh, cnn, los angeles. a few hours ago in fact cheers ringing out through buenos aires a few hours ago after the senate passed an historic bill legalizing abortion. it is a landmark moment for
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women's rights. the bill galvanized activists on both sides of the debate. argentina also happens to be the birth place of pope francis. let's bring in our senior vatican analyst john allen. history being made in the last few hours. the first major country to legalize abortion. it is not a surprise because it's been years in the making since the movement trying to approve this, but for many still very divisive. >> oh, it is very divisive. first off, hello, happy holidays to you. these are less happy for pope francis who finds himself disappointed but not terribly surprised by the result. things have been trending this way for some time. you'll remember when he was still the archbishop of buenos aires in 2010, over his opposition he watched them
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legalize same-sex marriage. this debate came up two years ago in 2018, narrowly lost in the senate. the difference today, of course, is argentina has a center left government who was aggressively backing this which explains the different result in this. nevertheless, this does not make it any less of a bitter pill for pope francis to swallow. this has been a terribly divisive issue to swallow. they have different colors. it has divided families and certainly this is an issue the pope put some of his personal credibility on the line for intervening several times directly pleading for this not to happen. so it certainly will be seen as a setback though perhaps one the pope did see coming, isa. >> so a bitter pill.
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a snub, let's say, for pope francis, the argentinian pope, who has interjected regarding the vote, but also no doubt for the catholic church, it held so much sway. >> yeah, that's right, latin america traditionally has been almost aho among again newsly catholic continent. more than 40% of latin americans live there. it has been the 800 pound gorilla in the room. it has been another chapter in a transition from the catholic church not being the one that calls the cultural shots but, rather, being an important but minority presence. in that sense, isa, latin america is undergoing the same transition that western europe did some time ago.
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there, too, they've had to adjust to not always getting their way and having to literally move in societies where the civil order does not reflect the church's future. >> john allen in rome, thank you for taking the time to speak to us and happy holidays to you. u.s. republican senate majority leader mitch mcconnell could kill the effort to get americans larger checks. he added two additional demands instead of allowing a direct vote on the stimulus. let's bring in robert gucci from lancaster university in england. he's the editor of "the trump presidency journalism and democracy." thank you for taking time to speak to us. plenty to sink our teeth into this morning. let's start with the move of
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mitch mcconnell who has tied this to two relief measures? what was the strategy? >> some was a negotiation to get donald trump to sign the first bill, the $600 to the first group and to stop the government from shutting down a among lots of other funding budget line items here. so these are taking a look at some of donald trump's issues having to do with social media and holding them accountable in his eyes to the content that they spread, which he thichs led to him losing the election and what it supports and deems to be big news as well as other big concerns of his. it's the 2000 number of wanting larger checks to go into american bank accounts. >> i understand, correct me if i'm wrong, the move doesn't
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necessarily mean he'll bring up the bill for a vote, but if he does, is this just a game of political chess likely to kill off all three measures? >> what we're also seeing that's playing into this is the january 5th senate race in georgia, and so a lot of this is trying to curry favor with the american voters because that decision is going to decide who's going to run -- who's going to hold control in the u.s. senate. so even though there are lots of complexities and general what looks like dismay on capitol hill, there's also an understanding that we need to have voters go to the polls and make decisions that would influence a senate hold under biden presidency. and so one of the main issues is how do we get them to go to the polls to secure the senate for either side and what they're
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doing is having voters be concerned about how american democracy works. this is going back into the normalcy, i guess, of u.s. politics predonald trump which kind of fits to donald trump's rhetoric over time that government can't get anything done. even though he sat on that bill for five days and delayed a lot of things and added a lot of concerns about whether people would get unemployment benefits or whatnot from the first bill, you know, he's actually proving a point in his ownby czar way of running politics that government is his own enemy and isn't necessarily thinking about the average american who could use that money and looking at the government for some certainty, particularly now in the middle of a pandemic. >> we are seeing, i think it's best to say, a feud within the republican party. we've seen several republicans supporting the expanded stimulus
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payments that many others believe are not sound economic policy. so how real of a feud is there within the republican party? >> well, this is -- this has been something that's been boiling up from not just pre-election but certainly during the election about where they're going to land on it if the election itself was valid, legitimate, and if donald trump lost the election. certainly, you know, republicans have been struggling a long time now for four or five years now to figure out where they stand in terms of what consider turmoil on capitol hill but some might see as policies making america better if we were to use donald trump's sort of rhetoric here, so this kind of feud within the party is a real thing that's been brewing for a couple of years. got a big punch during the election. it's the first time it's come
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before congress to make a decision, put a vote down on a piece of paper, make a stand and speak to their constituencies about who they are, what the republican party is, whether it's going forward and quite frankly where they are now when people are looking for how they're going to pay rent, put food on the table. not a good look for republicans to be blocking this even though there are a lot of other political pieces at play here. it really does for the american people come down to how do i make rent, how do i not get evicted and how do i put food on the table? these other issues take a second seat. >> we have the president saying that they should vote for this unless the republicans have a death wish. robert gucci, thank you for your time, sir. >> thank you. now an incoming republican congressman has died of covid.
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he was only 41 years old. he was set to take office on sunday. the flags will be flown at half staff on the day of his funeral. we are following breaking news out of the u.k. just in the last hour. government regulators approve another covid-19 vaccine. the oxford astrazeneca vaccine set to be rolled out early in the new year. we'll have all the details on the breaking news story after a short break. you are watching cnn. these folks don't have time to go to the post office
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they use all the services of the post office only cheaper get a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to andnever goe again.
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this is cnn breaking news.
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it is just beyond 8:30 here in the u.k. in the last hour we've been following breaking news. government regulators say the oxford astrazeneca covid vaccine has met the safety, effectiveness and selma has more news. after two days in a row of record covid numbers, this news is very welcome indeed. what do we know about the vaccine and crucially the vaccination as well as the delivery plan? >> reporter: well, let's start by talking about the vaccine, isa. so this oxford astrazeneca vaccine is set to be rolled out next week. jabs could be given on jab 4th, monday. so just a matter of days. the british government says this is a victory for british scientists. they are touting this as something that will bring on the end of the pandemic sooner. this means more vaccinations, more jabs, getting to the herd
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immunity sooner. in the first two weeks they want to vaccinate as many as 2 million people. those who are a priority are those who are over 80, elderly, front line health care workers. it will be a very limited portion of the population but there's a lot of advantages to this vaccine that's why people are excited about it. it's cheap, 3 pounds, $4, the same cost as your morning latte. it doesn't need the special refrigeration as the pfizer biontech vaccine. all of that is less of a concern because it can be stored in my fridge, your fridge, think about the global implications of this, right? think about the ability to go into rural abilities, put this into a rural fridge. think about going into a nursing home rather than having it in centralized hospitals. this is a big deal. it gets into parts of the country that maybe the pfizer
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biontech vaccine could not have reached. >> logistically much easier. selma, you and i were talking yesterday looking ahead to this approval and we were talking about the questions that have arisen from the efficacy of the vaccine and crucially whether it can be effective. what are you hearing from the oxford teams? >> reporter: this has definitely been a matter of debate, controversy and a cloud a little bit hanging over this vaccine. here's what the scientists are doing behind this vaccine. they say they have formulas that will make this vaccine higher. during the preliminary trials the efficacy was 70% against coronavirus but researchers say if they change the dosing. if one of those two doses, because you need two doses of the vaccine. if one of those doses is a half dose that could bring the
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efficacy up to 90%. that will be on par with the pfizer biontech vaccine. we'll hear more from the scientists and researchers. and it mimics the immune system in a better way. they're touting that winning formula. advertising that as a way to bring the efficacy up. bring it on par with pfizer and biontech and advertising this is cheaper, most importantly, it's easy to transport. isa? >> selma, thank you for that breaking news. the last hour heard from health secretary matt hancock. they say this clears the path of the pandemic by spring. one view rrologist said that's t optimistic. stay with cnn as we continue to follow the breaking news. plus, more on the devastating earthquake rocking croatia. the surge for survivors continue. plus, millions of americans
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welcome back to our viewers in the united states and around the world, i'm isa suarez. thousands of dead after a quake hit central croatia. the search for survivors is still on. the mayor has called for emergency aid. cnn's cyril vanier has more. what do we know about the search and rescue efforts? are they still ongoing? >> reporter: the search and rescue efforts still ongoing. what's happening now is
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authorities are still assessing the extent of the damage. people went through hell yesterday. those are the words of one of the mayors of one of the towns hardest hit by this earthquake. people were not able to go back into their homes. they lit bon fires and slept in their cars. i want to show you what it was like for them from the moment the quake hit people the moment the earth shook in central croatia. the mayor of the town of petrenia almost knocked off his feet by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake. after the tremor, this is what it looked like. roofs collapsed, buildings destroyed, the damage extensive in this rural town of around
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25,000 residents. the mayor fearing the worst. >> translator: i don't know if people in houses are alive or dead. half of the city has been demolished. our kindergarten has been demolished. our court is demolished too. a lot of things were demolished. we are now struggling to organize with a new strength we must find in ourselves because this is a sadness. this is a torment. i call for help, anyone who can come. >> reporter: first responders and emergency services are activated. so are soldiers from the nearby barracks. the priority, save lives. search for possible victims trapped under the rubble and treat the injured. this one clutching a child as they're loading into an ambulance. this is the strongest earthquake to hit the country since the advent of modern seismic measuring tools according to the united states geological survey and it was felt across the area.
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in neighboring slovenia where the parliament session was interrupted and in croatia's capital, residents huddling outdoors taking stock of the damage. back near the epicenter several fatalities are confirmed and the number of injured is rising. the hospital at petrijna barely able to function, itself struck by the quake. the lights knocked out, patients in the dark waiting to be evacuated. >> all of the patients in that hospital, isa, have since been air lifted to another hospital in the capitol. many couldn't be driven because a bridge leading from that region to the capitol was badly damaged. also we can report according to our affiliate on the ground that all of the electricity has not yet been restored. lastly, there have been aftershocks. at least two registered by the united states geological survey
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coming in at 4.7, 4.8 magnitude on the richter scale and that really is a challenge avni earthquake. usually there are aftershocks. those, too, can cause damage to structures and be a real danger to the population there until the safety of those structures has been assessed. >> absolutely. cyril vanier. thank you very much. good to see you. now millions of americans are bracing for what will be a treacherous end to 2020 as not one storm but two storms will sweep the nation. 40 million people in dozens of states are on the winter weather alerts. snow blanketed much of the midwest. meanwhile, another system is taking face further south. karen mcginnis has the latest. not one but two. talk us through it. >> yes. very complex and dynamic weather system. the system that moved across the midwest that pummelled portions
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of the midwest with snowfall, 10 inches of snowfall, about 25 centimeters of snowfall, that system is moving through the great lakes. very dynamic still. further to the south, kind of a different situation. we've got that warm sector where the warm sector is, lots of moisture. the back side of this, also in the state of texas, this is where we're looking at kind of an icy mix, perhaps changing over to snowfall along the i-10 corridor. as we look at the high res forecast radar, still some icing and snow and precipitation down from the ohio river valley and a thin sliver of ice like indianapolis and st. louis, i think it will be brief there. for chicago pretty much the same. start out with ice, it's quiet, they've got the snow. this is a very dynamic weather system. further to the south right across the south central
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mississippi river valley, 2 to 4 inches of rainfall or as much as 100 millimeters. the gulf coast region, several million people from houston, corpus chris city, sugar land. you're looking at severe weather. temperatures very mild. lots of moisture here. then it expands outgoing into thursday, new year's eve, and from new orleans to lafayette. lafayette so hit hard by the hurricane season. mobile, alabama, towards montgomery and into birmingham, the risk of severe weather again. we're looking at places like martha, into southwestern texas that can expect snowfall so very dangerous driving conditions. isa, we haven't even talked about the pacific northwest. back-to-back storm systems in the next few days. >> karen mcginnis, thank you very much. good to see you, karen. now to louisville, kentucky,
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where two police detectives connected to the case will soon be fired. detectives james and cosgrove said james violated standard procedures and untruthfulness. cosgrove fired the shot that killed taylor according to an fbi analysis. police hearing is scheduled for thursday. now after months of speculation, we're getting a clearer picture of russia's tum coronavirus death toll. new data suggests it's much higher than we expected. our matthew chance has the latest after a very short break. . it's a unique crafted blend of vitamins, zinc, other minerals, and herbs. take on your day with airborne.
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russia's coronavirus death toll stands at 55,000, but data from the country's statistics agency says 230,000 more deaths were reported in russia than the same time last year. the deputy prime minister says a majority can be blamed on covid. that would put the death toll at
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586,000. cnn's matthew chance is following this from london. for some time there has been so much skepticism about the numbers out of russia and what relates to covid. break it down for us. what is the reality on the ground and why has it taken so long to acknowledge these numbers? >> reporter: look, as you rightly say, isa, the skepticism has been pretty widespread. the official figures that russia put-back there in terms of deaths related to covid-19 grossly understate the actual number of people who have died because of that. it was reported in november which, you know, identified the fact that russia only records the covid deaths of people, patients who have been diagnosed with covid before they died and who don't have any underlying
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health problems. not people who died with the pandemic making it worse. that led to a gross understatement of the actual number of people. still a big number, 66,000 people but what the deputy prime minister was saying a couple of days ago now, the number of excess deaths that have taken place over the course of the last 11 months, it's close to 230,000 people. about 80% of that figure, she says, are related to covid-19. so that would mean a death toll of somewhere in the region of 185, 186,000 people which makes the third highest death toll in the world. obviously that's much more accurate with the kind of scenes we're seeing on social media of morgues overflowing with bodies
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and doctors and nurses who are working the front lines of the pandemic in russia. >> the 184,000 puts the country the third highest in terms of the number of any country in the world. how has the government been handling the pandemic? or, rather, what is their assessment of their handling of the pandemic? well, i'm not sure that they make that kind of transparent self-assessment except to say they've been doing a lot to bring this under control. they were the first country to approve emergency use vaccine. they did that back in august. that vaccine has been rolled out ever since then. front line health care workers and teachers are among those who have been already vaccinated. it's a process that is ongoing.
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they wanted to vaccinate more people than they have. they're not up to speed yet. there have been deals to export that vaccine overseas in latin america, asia, africa as well. they've been imposing at times quite strict lockdowns and imposing very tight restrictions on people in moscow but other times letting people basically roam free and allow the number of infections to spiral upwards. >> matthew chance in london. thank you very much, matthew. good to see you. that wraps up this hour of "cnn newsroom." i'm isa suarez. i'll be back with more breaking news out of the u.k. in just a few minutes. stay with us. robinhood believes now is the time to do money.
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a new ray of hope. the u.k. approves the oxford astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine. the country's health secretary predicts a path out of the pandemic by spring. sounding the alarm. the u.s. president-elect joe biden says the president's vaccine plans are falling short. and an historic vote. scenes of celebration and disappointment as argentina moves to legalize abortion. hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm isa ar


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