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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  March 17, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world, you are watching "cnn newsroom" and i'm rosemary church. just ahead, eight people killed in three atlanta area massage parlours and police are working under the assumption they are connected. the latest on what we know. plus, president biden tells would be migrants don't come to america as the white house faces scrutiny for a surge at the u.s. southern border. and questions and criticism abound as more european countries suspend the rollout of the astrazeneca vaccine, despite regulators saying the benefits outweigh the risks. ♪ >> we are following new details now on breaking news here in atlanta, georgia. eight people are dead and one
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suspect is in custody after shootings at three metro area massage parlours. an official tells cnn law enforcement are working with the theory that all three are connected. four people were killed in one shooting north of atlanta in cherokee county and four others in two separate shootings inside the city. we've learned that four of the victims are of korean ethnicity. the suspect in the cherokee county shooting, 21-year-old robert aaron long was taken into custody about 150 miles south of atlanta just hours after the killings. atlanta police say video evidence suggests long is likely also the suspect in the other two shootings. the fbi is assisting local law enforcement as they investigate. cnn's ryan young reports now from the scene of one of the shootings. >> reporter: just a devastating case here in atlanta.
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right now police are investigating three different shooting scenes, if you look behind me you can see the work the detectives are still doing. police have taken into custody robert long, he is from an area known as woodstock outside of atlanta. two different shooting scenes where three women were shot in one location and one woman was shot across the street. the total number of victims are eight and police are working with the theory that all of these cases are connected but they don't know what the motive is just yet, at least they are not sharing t they do believe that video surveillance is what gave them the identity about the car and it was a georgia state trooper who was able to stop the car that the suspect was riding in. this case is developing as police continue to notify family members about the deaths. >> and as ryan reported there, we still do not have a motive, but there's been reaction to the deadly shootings, including from the chairwoman of the democratic party of georgia. house democrat in a keep ma
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williams says this attack sadly follows the unacceptable pattern of violence against asian-americans that that is skyrocketed through this pandemic. an attack on our asian-american neighbors is an attack on us all and will not go ignored or unanswered. the new york police department has been monitoring the situation this atlanta. in a tweet it's counterterrorism bureau says while there is no known nexus to new york city it still plans to send assets to asian communities across the city out of an abundance of caution. u.s. president joe biden is in the midst of a cross-country tour promoting his $1.9 trillion covid relief package to the american public and it's happening while he faces increasing scrutiny over his administration's handling of the recent influx of migrant children at the southern border. cnn's kaitlan collins is following both stories.
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>> reporter: president biden is taking his sales pitch to pennsylvania. >> if there's anything else we can be doing. >> reporter: in chester biden kicked off his coronavirus relief bill road show designed to build support for the nearly $2 trillion package that no republicans voted for. >> we really made it work and i think you should be aware more help is on the way for real. >> reporter: biden and his top aides will appear in multiple battleground states this week as they try to convince americans that further spending and possible tax increases are necessary next steps to rebuilding. >> we have to prove to the american people that their government can deliver for them. >> reporter: one place biden doesn't plan to visit for now, the u.s. southern border. >> do you have any plans to travel to the southern border, sir? >> not at the moment. >> reporter: the president is facing new scrutiny as thousands of migrant children are stuck in border patrol facilities while
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his administration scrambles to find room for them. >> we are building the capacity to address the needs of those children when they arrive, but we are also and critically sending an important message that now is not the time to come to the border. >> reporter: department of homeland security secretary mayorkas says the u.s. is on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years. top immigration officials blame smugglers for taking advantage of biden's pledge to reverse trump's anti-immigrant policies. >> they are exploiting people's hope and desperation. >> reporter: but even mexico's leader says biden is viewed as the, quote, migrant president. >> it's not the way we would put it. it is a more humane system, but it is not open borders. >> reporter: republicans are flocking to the border to blame biden for the recent surge, but he's also coming under fire from members of his own party. >> it has to be a strong message because with all due respect the
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administration's message is not coming through. that's the reality of it. >> and that was cnn's kaitlan collins. in an interview with abc president biden discouraged migrants from traveling to the u.s. and he pushed back against criticism that he's too nice when it comes to immigration. take a listen. >> was it a mistake not to anticipate this surge? >> well, first of all, there was a surgery the last two years in '19 and '20, there was a surge as well. >> this one might be worse. >> well, it could be, but here is the deal, we're sending back people -- first of all, the idea that joe biden said come because i heard the other day that they're coming because they know i'm a nice guy and -- >> they're saying this. >> yeah. well, here is the deal, they're not. >> do you have to say quite clearly don't come? >> yes. i can say quite clearly don't come and what we are in the process of getting set up, don't leave your town or city or
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comm community. now to growing concerns in europe over astrazeneca's covid-19 vaccine. on tuesday another four countries went against the advice of the european medicines agency by temporarily halting use of that vaccine. that's after reports of blood clots in a very small number of people who got the vaccine. eu regulators argue the benefits of being vaccinated against the coronavirus outweigh the yet to be proven risks. results of an manual review are expected thursday. so let's bring in cnn's cyril vanier, he joins us live from london. cyril, the tragedy of all of this is that people are at risk of dying from covid-19 while this investigation is under way for 37 blood clots in the midst of 17 million shots to people. it's extraordinary. >> reporter: without question, rosemary, all the people who
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have not received shots over the last few days because their countries have suspended astrazeneca vaccinations, of those, there is a percentage that could get covid, of those there is a percentage that could be hospitalized, of those there is a percentage that might require intensive care treatment and there is a percentage that will statistically speaking die of covid. so that as you say is the tragedy of suspending vaccinations. now of course the calculation made by european countries is that they took this as a precautionary measure because they were getting troubling data from some vaccine recipients who had had adverse health events, there were multiple deaths that were reported and they wanted these investigated by the european medicines agency and they did not want to be accused of ignoring potentially troubling information, but, look, i think we have started to see a pivot in this story yesterday. the beginning of yesterday we saw more countries join the group that were pausing astra
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astrazeneca, then in the middle of the day unexpectedly the european watchdog, the ema, gave a preliminary assessment of all of this and their preliminary assessment is in line with what they have said, the benefits far outweigh the risks and there is no known connection between the vaccines and potentially fatal blood clots. so they continue to recommend the vaccine. their definitive assessment will come on thursday but already it seems a number of powerful european countries are expecting that it will be positive. yesterday france and italy, which have both suspended the vaccine, said they stand ready and they are poised to resume astrazeneca vaccinations if the ema recommendation comes back positive, as they expect it will, they said. >> all right. let's hope they can move forward and do that quickly. cyril vanier bringing us the latest from london. many thanks. president joe biden says new york governor andrew cuomo should resign and could even be prosecuted if sexual harassment
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claims against him are proven. cuomo is facing allegations of misconduct from multiple women, he has so far resisted calls to step down. new york's attorney general is investigating the claims. mr. biden told abc news if the allegations are proven, there will be major consequences. >> let me ask you about governor cuomo of new york. i know you've said you want the investigation to continue. if the investigation confirms the claims of the women, should he resign? >> yes, i think he probably will end up being prosecuted, too. >> but how about right now? you've said you want the investigation to continue, you saw chuck schumer, senator schumer, senator gillibrand, a majority of the democratic delegation don't believe he can be an effective governor now. >> that's a judgment they have to make about whether he can be effective. here is my position, a woman should be presumed to telling the truth and should not be
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scapegoated and become victimized by her coming forward, number one, but there should be an investigation to determine whether what she says is true. that's what's going on now. >> and you've been very clear if the investigation confirms the claims, he's gone. >> that's what i think happens. and, by the way, it may very well be there could be a criminal prosecution that is attached to it, i just don't know. let the investigation -- and i'm not -- i don't know what it is, but i start with the presumption it takes a lot of courage for a woman to come forward, some are not -- anyway, it takes a lot of courage to come forward so the presumption is it should be taken seriously and investigated and that's what's under way now. >> governor cuomo previously issued a statement apologizing if his behavior made anyone uncomfortable, but he denies any wrongdoing. next here on "cnn newsroom," new details on russia's influence in last year's u.s. presidential election. what the kremlin did to try to help donald trump stay in the white house.
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issued a statement apologizing
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a new report from the u.s. intelligence community finds russia was the main culprit with a not so secret campaign to get trump reelected. cnn's alex marquardt has the details. >> reporter: this report from the office of the director of national intelligence is the most comprehensive report we've seen so far about the 2020 election from the u.s. intelligence community and it details the extent of russia's major influence campaign to try to hurt joe biden's campaign and help donald trump's. the report goes farther than what we've heard before from the u.s. intelligence community, clearly stating that people close to then president trump and the administration were being targeted by russia intelligence at the behest of russian president vladimir putin. this was one of the report's key findings, we assessed that president putin authorized and a range of government organizations conducted
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operations undermining the public confidence. that is the main goal of these influence operations to divide americans, pit voters against one another, but russia went farther according to this report saying a key element of moscow's strategy was to use its proxies linked to russian intelligence to push, influence narratives including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against president biden to u.s. media organizations, u.s. officials and prominent u.s. individuals, including some close to president trump and his administration. now, they don't name the americans who were targeted and who are close to trump, but they do name andre darcach who was in contact with president trump's personal lawyer rudy giuliani and vladimir putin according to this report had purview over the
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activities of him. this report goes on to talk about iran's influence campaign to hurt donald trump and sow division probably they say approved by iran's supreme leader. very interestingly china who trump and his allies had said were working to get joe biden elected didn't deploy any influence efforts in the election according to this report. china didn't feel it was worth risking the u.s./china relationship to get caught meddling in the election. this report from odni makes clear on the technical side of voting foreign actors did not impact the actual votes. they write, we have no indications that any foreign actor attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process in the 2020 elections including voter registration, casting ballots, vote tallies. the foreign relations were all about influence operations.
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alex marquardt, cnn, washington. two top u.s. officials arrived in south korea just hours ago for talks that looked to revitalize ties. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken and defense secretary lloyd austin will be meeting with their counterparts in seoul. this as u.s. intelligence has assessed that north korea may be preparing to carry out its first weapons test since president joe biden took office. cnn's paula hancocks is in seoul, she joins us now live. good to see you, paula. so the threat posed by north korea will no doubt dominate discussions. what's expected to come out of these meetings and of course this overall trip? >> reporter: well, rosemary, there's a couple reasons for this trip, one of the first ones is the fact that president joe biden said all along that he wanted to reengage with allies, especially those allies that he felt that the former president and the trump administration had
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neglected. so certainly going to tokyo, going to seoul first up for their first trips is significant. they will be talking about north korea, we know that. clearly the issue is prevalent here. we've heard from some u.s. officials speaking to our barbara starr that u.s. intelligence does assess that they are currently preparing for some kind of a weapons test in north korea. that doesn't come as a surprise to be honest to many people because quite often a new u.s. administration is welcomed with a weapons test or missile test. in fact, some would even question why it hasn't come already, they're surprised we haven't really seen much in the way of weapons tests since march of last year. of course, covid and the pandemic has a lot to answer for when it comes to that and is probably one of the prevailing reasons why we haven't seen that, but they will be discussing north korea. also they will be discussing, no doubt, china, the fact that this first stip is into northeast asia and is just ahead of a trip
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to alaska meeting with chinese officials is significant as well. rosemary? >> all right. paula hancocks joining us live from the south korean capital. very thanks. cubans are fleeing their home land once again trying to make it by boat to the united states. for some it is the only way out since they can no longer get a u.s. visa or even an international flight. covid-19 is making the perilous journey even more urgent. cnn's patrick oppmann has an exclusive report. >> reporter: as the tiny boat carrying cuban migrants approaches the coast of florida a police helicopter infrared camera captures the moment when things go terribly wrong. >> air one, they just had a wave take them out, the boat flipped over. >> reporter: all eight people who were aboard this boat for more than 16 days in february survived. the coast guard told cnn they are seeing an increasing number
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of cubans trying to make the dangerous and illegal journey to the u.s. some are stepped on boats, some found on deserted islands where the coast guard dropped supplies before rescuing them. others are not so lucky. in a town in cuba this woman keeps vigil for her two young children. the toys and shoes the children left behind sit neatly in their room. their mom hoped to reunite with her husband in florida beatrice tells us. my daughter is a good mother, she says, she wouldn't have done this if everything wasn't safe, if everything wasn't okay. she wouldn't have put them through this. her children are everything to her. just down the street this woman
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says her husband was on the same boat, trying to go to the u.s. to better provide for his family. she says she doesn't know what to tell his teenage daughter. she says nothing happened to her father, she says that her father has to be alive somewhere, but where? we can't take it anymore. we are desperate. cuba has been hit hard by the impacts of the coronavirus and increased u.s. sanctions under the trump administration. tough economic conditions in the past led to waves of cubans fleeing the island by boat. it's nearly impossible to leave cuba legally these days. covid and still unexplained health incidents among u.s. diplomats caused the u.s. to stop issuing visas at the embassy in havana. a state department report says as of november there were more than 78,000 cubans on a waiting list for immigrant visas.
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cubans are unable to receive visas at the u.s. embassy and the pandemic was shut down most international flights to and from this island. for many cubans desperate to leave now the dangerous journey by boat is their only option. beatrice praise for a miracle for her daughter and grandchildren. that they find them, that they don't stop looking, she says, whatever the news is that they know what happened. it's more upsetting to not know. days after our interview cuban officials announced that the search for the missing boat has ended. unlike too many other cubans beatrice's family is lost at sea. patrick oppmann, cnn. we are following developments after the deadly shootings at three massage parlours here in metro atlanta. we will have an update next.
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back now to our top story, the shootings at three atlanta area massage parlours that left eight people dead. we are told law enforcement are now working with the theory that all three are connected. the shootings took place north of atlanta in cherokee county and inside the city. we have learned that four of the victims are of korean ethnicity. the suspect in the cherokee county shooting, 21-year-old robert aaron long, was taken into custody just hours after the killings. atlanta police say video evidence suggests he's likely also the suspect in the other two shootings.
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coronavirus strains first found in california are now officially being called variants of concern according to the centers for disease control and prevention. it comes as cases are starting to tick up in several states, although national case numbers are still down overall. two states, michigan and minnesota, have seen cases rise by 40% in the space of just seven days. on a more positive note, though, america's vaccine rollout is accelerating, almost 12% of the population, about 39 million people are now fully vaccinated, but in europe the vaccine rollout is a very different story. nick watt has the details. >> thousands of people are dying across the eu every day. we have authorized four highly effective covid vaccines. >> reporter: but 16 european countries just temporarily
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suspended use of one of them. the astrazeneca. after blood clot issues in just 37 people of the 17 million plus who have had a shot in the eu and the uk. the company says zero evidence their vaccine increases the risk of clots. >> it's no more with the astrazeneca vaccine than with the other vaccines. i don't think they are making the right decision and i hope that they will reverse the decision, but when they do, even when they do, the damage is done. >> reporter: by "damage" he means vaccine hesitancy. here in the u.s. nearly half of republicans say they won't even try to get a shot. >> we politicized mask usage, which was obviously absurd, now we're politicizing vaccine, taking the vaccine. it's crazy. >> reporter: meanwhile, in mississippi anyone 16 or older can get a covid-19 vaccine. get your shot, friends, tweeted the governor, and let's get back
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to normal. moderna just injected the first children in a late stage trial of its vaccine in the baby to 11-year-old demo. >> i think if we're going to get to 80% population immunity at some level children are going to need to be vaccinated. >> reporter: this was one year ago today. >> pars and gyms will close effective midnight tonight. >> reporter: california's bay area announcing the first stay home order in the land. this week a new dawn in the golden state. >> we're thrilled. we're thrilled to be back open. >> reporter: you can now eat inside restaurants again, even go to the movies. >> we're watching "tom and jerry" and, well, we know it's going to be really funny. >> reporter: but average new covid case counts are now rising in as many states as they are falling. a month ago nebraska was the one and only state where cases were
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climbing. the country now nearing 30 million confirmed cases, the real number the cases likely double that according to a study published today in a leading medical journal. scenes like this raise a question, how many more? >> every time we open up without the mask mandate, we have had a surge that has caused more people to die. >> reporter: every time you hear a governor in the u.s. saying that they're rolling back restrictions they add, we trust our people to make sensible decisions. this, case in point, this restaurant behind me here in l.a., it is now allowed to have people eating inside but they're not going to do it, not yet. they say they want to stay safe. nick watt, cnn, los angeles. in the next few hours the eu is expected to announce details of its digital green pass, it's essentially a vaccine passport that will allow free travel and support a struggling tourism
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industry. frederik pleitgen is live for us in berlin, he joins us now. good to see you, fred. so how exactly will this vaccine passport work and what are the pros and cons here? >> reporter: yeah, it's really interesting because there certainly is going to be a big discussion on the eu level as there is with most initiatives on the eu level. different member states have different interests. essentially they want a green card, if you will, or a green sheet for people who have received coronavirus vaccines for them to be able to travel freely in the states of the european union. now, of course, all that isn't as easy as it sounds. for instance, countries like germany are saying they don't really want people who haven't gotten vaccines to have a harder time traveling or to have a much harder time traveling because of course right now the rollout of the vaccines is still quite slow here in europe, the eu is saying they want that vaccine passport or green slate to become available by the summer. then of course the question is
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which vaccines are going to be eligible to be in that passport as they call it, and right now what we're hearing is that it's only going to be vaccines approved by the european medicines agency. so a lot of the vaccines, for instance, from china, also the russian vaccine right now is still in rolling approval. those probably wouldn't be eligible for that at this point. and then especially the germans are also saying what about people who have already had coronavirus and recovery, so have antibodies, they should be able to move freely as well. also in europe as you know, rosemary, this is a place with a lot of small countries that usually have borders to one another, they want special rules for people who commute between countries which is something that happens frequently here, to also make it easier for them. still complications, especially the countries that have a lot of tourism they want this as fast as possible, spain, portugal, greece, countries like germany are saying let's take our time and work this out in a way that
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you don't have safety concerns with a lot of people traveling cross border very quickly. >> frederik pleitgen, thanks for bringing us up to date on that. with vaccines becoming more prevalent in large parts of the world, many people are wondering how it changes the way we deal with the pandemic. so cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta has responded to some questions from our viewers and here are some of his answers. >> karen asks if you are fully vaccinated by the end of may, is it safe to go on vacation in august? karen, i mean, this is probably one of the most common questions i get. i think people are starting to think about the light at the end of the tunnel. let me give you, i think, what may be some good news here, some optimistic news at least. i think the answer is yes, but i want to be humble here because, you know, again, the virus has surprised us in so many different ways, but once you start to look at how quickly people are being vaccinated, looking at the numbers of new
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infections, also balancing that with the fact that we know viral transmission typically goes down in the warmer months, i think it seems pretty safe to think that, you know, over the summer we are going to be in a very different position than we are even right now. roberto asks if i had covid back in september of 2020 but i don't know if i have antibodies, should i have only one dose or two of the vaccine? so let me just explain what roberto is talking about here. when we talk about the two-shot vaccines from moderna and pfizer, one way to sort of think about this is that the first shot is sort of priming the pump, it's the prime shot, and the second shot is the boost. so what roberto is referring to, he says, look, if i already have been infected and i have antibodies, does that serve as sort of the prime? so if i get just one shot is that essentially like a second shot, acting as the boost?
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and there is gathering evidence, roberto, that you may be right. i talked to dr. francis collins who is the head of the nih about this and he said that they may head in that direction for people who have recovered from covid, maybe only giving them one shot. we are not ready to do that yet or recommend that yet because the evidence isn't there, but that may be a possibility. one of the big questions, roberto, that you've correctly asked is how are we going to ensure that people have the antibodies reflective of having been previously infect snd do they still have antibodies or have those antibodies waned? that's going to be one of the big questions. for now the guidance for you is that you still need to get two shots. eric, what is being done to try to get people out of long covid syndrome? eric, this is one of the more perplexing things about the virus. it has surprised us nearly every step of the way. i remember when i first heard that a respiratory virus could be causing isolated loss of
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smell. why would that happen? why would a respiratory virus cause isolated loss of smell? why would it cause covid toes? why would it cause strokes as we were just talking about? these are all questions that go into the question that you're asking about long covid, what exactly is happening in the body? the answer is there is a lot of research right now and there's centers now all over the world that are specifically looking at post-covid syndrome, long covid syndrome, long haulers syndrome, whatever you want to call it. it likely has to do with the amount of inflammation in the body in response to the initial infection. it doesn't seem to be correlated with the severity of infection, meaning even people who had mild symptoms could still develop lingering symptoms, but we don't know yet. you know, a year into this we're still not sure why people have these long hauling symptoms or even how long they last. a recent study basically said that about 30% of people even nine months after their initial
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infection still had various symptoms. so there's a few question marks that remain and that's certainly one of the big ones. >> our thanks to dr. sanjay gupta. do you have questions about covid? you can find answers online at cnn.com/health. take a look. well, some of those charged in the u.s. capitol attack are now facing damning testimony from their own family members. next, why their children felt compelled to speak to authorities. you said you'd never get a dog. you said you'd never do a lot of things. but you never knew all the things a dog could do for you. and with resolve you never have to worry about the mess. love the love, resolve the mess.
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your connection doesn't. so how do i do this? you don't do this. we do this, together. bounce forward, with comcast business. on monday a 16-year-old girl testified against her father in court about his alleged role in the u.s. capitol riot. she and her brother say their father threatened to shoot them if they turned him in. the case is just one example of how family and friends have been torn apart in the wake of the insurrection.
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cnn's jessica snyder reports prosecutors are moving quickly in several cases. >> reporter: the man accused of viciously assaulting d.c. police officer michael fanone is back in jail. chief judge howell ruling he belonged behind bars, saying his actions were egregious and that he showed no remorse. prosecutors say he was seen on police body camera footage attacking the officer who told cnn he had to fight for his life. >> they were screaming out, you know, kill him with his own gun. i just remember yelling out that i have kids and it seemed to work, some people in the crowd started to encircle me and try to offer me some level of protection. >> reporter: he is also accused of stealing officer fanone's police badge and radio. court documents say he first claimed he left the badge in d.c., then he said he threw it
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in a dumpster and finally admitted to burying the badge in his backyard. >> the guys were stripping me of gear, pulling the badge off my chest, they ripped my radio. >> reporter: judge howell slammed his alleged actions saying stealing the lifeline of the radio to call for safety, it is just not acceptable, it is lawless behavior. also still behind bars after a court appearance today, guy reffit. prosecutors say he is a member of the texas 3 percenters group and that he drove to washington with guns had his ca r to move f
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and heal. israeli archeologists have found new fragments of the dead sea scrolls for the first time in 60 years. these are the newly unearthed pieces. it is estimated they are about 2,000 years old. the writing is biblical text giving an insight into jewish society and religion around the time of jesus.
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the discoveries were made in the j judean desert. after previously unknown pieces of the scroll recently turned up on the black market. finally this hour not even covid can stop chicago's famous basketball loving nun from cheering on her favorite team. sister jean the 101-year-old chaplain at loyola university, chicago, has gotten permission to attend the school's first round game in the march madness tournament friday in indianapolis. it will be her first game in-person this season. covid restrictions had her watching from home, but now she is fully vaccinated. sister jean shot to fame in 2018 when loyola made an incredible run to reach the final four. she was there every step of the way and was considered the team's good luck charm. well done. good on her. thank you so much for your company. i'm rosemary church, "early start" is up next, you're
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watching cnn. have yourselves a wonderful day.
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♪ breaking developments out of atlanta. at least eight people killed at three massage parlours. what links the victims and what we know about the suspect. bars and restaurants prepare to celebrate st. patrick's day with covid restrictions, but the cdc says the best way to stay safe is to stay home. i can say quite clearly don't come. don't leave your town or city or community. >> president biden's direct message to migrants

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